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Who Explored Southwestern Minnesota in 1838 and Was One of the 
First White Men to Visit Lyon County. 






By Arthur P Rose 


Author of the Histories of 

1 > > > 

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Northern History Publishing Company 

M arshall, Minnesota 






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WHE white man's history of Lyon county dates back to no great an- 
tiquity, but that will be overcome in the course of time. Of priceless 
value are local histories of communities of the eastern states written 
contemporaneous with their early settlement; future generations will place a 
higher value on this work than the people of the present. 

While the history of the county covers only a period of time represented by 
a span of years accorded a long-lived man, the events which have occurred 
should be recorded while there are yet living some who took part in the history- 
making. It is for this purpose that this volume is put forth. It is the only 
complete history of Lyon county ever published, and the material for its com- 
pilation has been secured almost wholly from original sources. 

The author has consulted and quoted from the writings of Hon. Warren 
Upham, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, from C. F. Case's History 
of Lyori County, from the History of the Minnesota Valley, from the publications 
of the Minnesota Geological Survey, from Minnesota in the Civil and Indian 
Wars, and from other books of reference. The files of the local newspapers 
have been of inestimable value in supplying authentic data, especially the files 
of those pioneer journals, the Prairie Schooner, Marshall Messenger and News- 
Messenger, kindly loaned by C. C. Whitney, of Marshall. Without them much 
of historical importance must have remained unrecorded. Scores of pioneer 
residents have interested themselves in the work to the extent of devoting time 
to the detailing of early day events. 

For the purpose of revising and suggesting improvements Messrs. C. F. Case 
and H. P. Sanden and Dr. H. M. Workman reviewed the manuscript before it 
was put to press. Those gentlemen read the historical part of the volume, 
made a number of corrections, and indorsed the work as an impartial, com- 
prehensive and substantially accurate record of events from the earliest days 
to the present time. 

In the work of gathering the data the author has been ably assisted by 
Messrs. P. D. Moore, J P Xclsqri^and William Larkin. 

Probably no historical vo»x waVeyes put to press which entirely satisfied 
its author. There are so many pitfalls in" the path of him who seeks to record 
the events of the past; the dnwnun mind is so prone to err in recalling names 
and dates of a former day ; S v it happens that the writer, compiling his story 
from data of which only-a* pavtr can 'be'-. verified, knows that there must be errors, 
albeit he may have exercised the greatest care. With no apologies, but with 
this brief explanation and the realization that the work is not perfect, this 
History of Lyon County is put forth. 


Marshall, Minnesota, August, 1912. 




Pre-Historic Times — The Earth in the Making Early Inhabitants — The Indians — Origin 
of the Sioux — Their Tribal Divisions- The Sis>itons — Indian Life in Lyon County — 
Early Explorers — LeSueur in Southwestern Minnesota — Carver — Long — Featherston- 

Trading Post — Aaron Myers Locates on the Cottonwood — The Nobles Road Built— 
Headquarters Buildings Erected — Trappers' Operations — The Saratoga Townsite— 
Murder of John Renniker — Lyon County Depopulated — Sioux Massacre — Butchery at 
Lake Shetek — Peace Established — Impermanent Settlers — Half-Breeds' Claims. ...... 25 



The First Settlers — Muzzy — Goodell — Castor — Other Arrivals — County Surveyed — Lynd 

Settlement — Life on the Frontier — Arrivals of 1868 — The Cottonwood Settlement — 

First Postoffice — Taylor's Store — Ticknor's Hotel — Gristmill — Frontier Experiences — 

' The Lake Marshall Settlement — C. H. Whitney and Party — Pioneer Homes — Log and 

Sod Shanties — Life Described by a Pioneer 41 



Lyon County as French Territory — Sold to Spain — Resold to France — Bought by United 
States — Included in Louisiana, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa Territories — 
"No-Man's Land'' — Minnesota Territory — County Formations — Act Creating Lyon 
County — The Name — Organization — Lynd Named County Seat — Meeting Places of 
County Board — Organization of Townships — First Town Meetings — First Officers- 
Homesteaders — First Births, Marriages, Deaths, Etc. — Selecting the Names — Lake 
Marshall — Lynd — Lyons — Fairview — Nordland — Grand view — Lucas — Eidsvold — Mon- 
roe — Amiret — Westerheim — Vallers — Custer — Clifton — Stanley — Sodus — Rock Lake — 
Island Lake — Shelburne — Coon Creek. 47 


EARLY' SETTLEMENT (Continued)— 1870-1873. 

Census of 1870— Arrivals That Year— Marshall Postoffice Established— Dr. Whitney's Store 
—Indian Scare — Militia Company Formed — Newcomers in 1871 — Rev. Ellis' Store- 
Upper and Lower Lynd — First Church Building — Early Schools — Winona & St. Petti 
Railroad Built — Land Grant — Immigrants Pour In — And Stake Claims— Crop Sta- 
tistics for 1872 — Loss by Fire and Hail — Hard Winter — Blizzard of January. 1873 
Eight Persons Perish in Lyon County — Experiences in the Storm — Train Service 
Begun — Early Tax Payers — Lincoln County Formed — Marshall Becomes County Seat 
— Vote by Precincts 65 




Calamitous Days — First Grasshopper Invasion — Damage in Saratoga and Lynd Settle- 
ments — Depositing the Eggs — Relief Measures — Mass Meetings — Destitution — Dis- 
tributing Food and Clothing — Free Seed Grain — Acreage of 1874 — Myriads of Hoppers 
—Almost Total Crop Destruction — A Terrible Blow — Fair Association Organized — 
First Fair — An Indian Scare — Fugitives Reach Lynd — Messrs. Gibbs and Pierce Perish 
in Blizzard — Government Distributes Rations and Clothing — Hoppers in 1875 — Fighting 
the Pests — Damage by Blight — Census of 1875 — First District Court — Invasion of 1876 
—Another Damaging Setback — "Grasshopper Congress" —Day of Prayer for Deliver- 
ance — End of the Scourge 75 



New Era Begins — Bumper Crop of 1877 — A Time of Jubilee — Rush of Homeseekers— The 
Icelandic Colony — Boom of 1878 — The Trail of the Prairie Schooner — Last of Govern- 
ment Land Taken — Crop Failure — Old Settlers Organize Society — Dakota Central 
Railroad Built — Bishop Ireland's Colony — Crop Statistics, 1879 — Another Blizzard 
Victim — Harvest of 1880 — Population That Year — -The Land Office — The Long Winter 
— October Blizzard — Samuel Kile Loses Life — Story of the Winter — Railroad Blockade 
—Death of Ole Norton — Famine — Out of Fuel — Burning Lumber — Snow Fences 
Appropriated — Floods — "Overland" by Boat — First Belgian and Holland Settlers 
Arrive — Railroad Rumors 87 



Promise of Better Times — Crop of 1882 — Big Immigration — More Victims of the Storm 
King — French and Belgian Settlers Arrive — Proposed Duluth Railroad — Fight Over 
Bonds- — Bounteous Times — Census of 1885 — Blizzard of 1888 — The Stalled Train- 
Adventures in the Storm — Willmar & Sioux Falls (Great Northern) Railroad — The 
Bond Issue — New Villages — Death-Dealing Cyclone — Population in 1890 — Court House 
History — Campaigns for New Building — Bonds Voted — Destroyed by Fire — Rebuilt — 
'Cyclone and Hail Storms — Panic of 1893 — Crop Failure — Hard Times — Census Figures 
—Return of Good Times — Jail Erected — More Railroad Building — Hail Storm of 1903 
—Census of 1910— Crop Damage in 191 1 99 

POLITICAL— 1869-1912. 

First Officers Named by Governor Marshall — Delays in Organizing — First Election Precincts 
and Judges — Seventy-Eight Voters — Result of First Election — Commissioner Districts 
—Early Day Salaries — Legislative Roster — Republicans in Control — Part Played by 
"Peoples" Party — Congressional Roster — A Contest for Treasurer — Roster of District 
Judges — Democrats Enter Local Field — The Independents — Farmers Alliance Fur- 
nishes Opposition — Succeeded by Peoples Party- — Free Silver Issue — Primary Election 
Law — Gains in Voting Strength — Detailed Results of Elections — Summary 113 


MARSHALL— 1872-1912. 

Location — Natural Beauty — Known as the Big Bend — Homesteaders File on Site — Their 
Sod Shanties — The Postoffice — Campaign for a Railway Station — First Buildings — 
The Pioneer. Merchats — Selecting the Name — The Hotel Accident — Townsite Platted 
-Additions— Progress in 1872— W. M. Todd's First Visit— Part Played by C. H. 
Whitney — Postoffice History — Activities in 1873 — Early Directory — First Tax Payers 
—One Year Old — Made County Seat — In Hopper Days — Incorporation — Becomes a 
( it v — License Question — Roster of Officers — Boom of 1878 — Directory That Year— 
In 1884— Later' History— Fires 129 




The Schools First Teachers and Pupils The Octagonal Building — Independent District 
Roster Boards of Education— Superintendents— High School Graduates — New 
Building— St. Joseph's Convent The Churches— First Services — Church in a Saloon- 
Congregational— Methodist — Baptist ( atholic — German Lutheran — Evangelical Asso- 
ciation- Episcopal— Icelandic Lutheran — Presbyterian — Norwegian Lutheran — The 
Lodges — Masonic — Grand Army — Workmen — Woodmen — Royal Arcanum — Maccabees 
—Foresters — Modern Brotherhood— Yeomen— Defunct < >rders — The Carnegie Library 
—Fire Department — Pioneer Fire Fighters — The Banks — Bank of Marshall — Lyon 
County National — First National — Marshall State — Municipal Plant — Telephone Com- 
pany Tile ( lompany 14:! 


TRACY— 1875-1912. 

Location Summit Postoffice — Townsite Platted — Additions — First Business Houses 
Known as Shetek Station — Postoffice History — First Year's Progress — Directory of 
1875— During Grasshopper Days — Activities in 1879 — Becomes a Railroad Center 
Incorporation — Becomes a City — License Question — Roster of Officers — Boom of 1883 
— A Division Point— Business Houses in 1884 — Census — The Second City in South- 
western Minnesota— The Fire of 1891 — The Losses — Later History — The Schools — 
Teachers- Members of the Board — High School Graduates — School Buildings — 
Churches — Presbyterian — Methodist — Norwegian Lutheran — Catholic — German Luth- 
eran—Swedish Lutheran — United Norwegian Lutheran — Episcopal — The Lodges- 
Library — Fin- Department — Bank-— Tile ( Company 161 


MINNEOTA— 1875-1912. 

Lyon's Third City — Nordland Postoffice — Frick's Store — "Yellow Medicine Crossing"- 
Founding the Village — First Business Men — Postoffice History — Townsite Platted 
Additions — Name Changed to Minneota — History of the Change — Advancement in 
1878 — Village Incorporation — Voting on License Question — Village Officers — Directory 
of 1884 — Census Figures — Schools — High School Graduates — The Churches — Norwegian 
Lutheran — Catholic — Icelandic Lutheran — Baptist — Evangelical Lutheran — Lodges 
Library — Fire Department — Banks — First National — Farmers and Merchants 177 


COTTON WOOD— 1 888- 1 9 1 2 . 

Descriptive — First Mention — Selecting the Site — Platted by Schutz & Tyler — Additions- 
Sale of First Lots — First Buildings Erected — Pioneer Merchants — Postoffice History 
Rapid Growth — Directory of 1889 — Incorporation — Voting Under Local Option Law 
Roster of Village Officers — Fire — Gains in Population — Schools — Graduates — Churches 
— Norwegian Lutheran — Presbyterian — English Lutheran — Lodges — Fire Department 
— Banks — First National — Cottonwood State -Fire Insurance Company I s - 1 



Balaton — Its Location— David Bell Establishes Store — Townsite Platted Addition- 
Station Opened — The Postoffice and Postmasters — Early Business Houses Directory 
of 1884 — Fire of 1S92 — Incorporated — License Question- Officers- Lire of 1908 
School — First Pupils — Churches — Lodges — Banks — Fire Insurance Company- Russell 
—Where It Is — The Name — Platted — Ephraim Skyhawk the Pioneer Merchant 
Postoffice — Later History — Incorporation — Contests Over Saloons — Local Officers 
Fire — School — Churches — Lodges — Bank 19!' 



GHENT AND TAUNTON— 1878-1912. 

Ghent — Grandview Postoffice — Ray Founds Pioneer Store — Grandview Platted — Catholic 
^ Colony Stimulates the Village — Renamed Ghent — Early Business Houses — Incorpora- 
tion — Village Officials — Gains in Population — School — Catholic Church — Lodges — Fire 
Department — First State Bank — Taunton — As Siding No. 4 — Lonesome Postoffice— 
First Business Houses — Platted — Growth in 1S9S — Incorporated — Roster of Officer - 
School — Churches — Fire Department — State Bank of Taunton 211 


Lynd — The Oldest Village — Upper Lynd — Lower Lynd — Modern Lynd — Made County Sent 
—And Loses It — An Old Church — Florence — Its Founding and History — Garvin — Its 
History as Siding No. 7 — Terry and Seefield — Pioneer Merchants — Amiret — Founded 
as Saratoga — Later Named Coburg — The Postoffice — Early Business Enterprises — A 
Deserted Village — Later History — Green Valley — First Business Men — Dudley 
Burchard — Heckman — Camden, A Town That Was — Rock Lake — Sham Lake — Plan 
Avon — Ceresco — Hildrethsburg— Island Lake — Brenner — Leo 219 



Location of County — Boundaries — Area — Topographical Features — The Coteau des Prairie- 
— Geological Formations — Elevations of Townships — Soil — How It Was Formed— 
Analyses — Timber — Scarcity of Waste Land — Climate — Drainage Systems — The 
Streams — Lakes — Products — Resources — Development — Transportation Facilities — 
Wagon Roads — Telephone lines — Mail Delivery Routes- Land Values — Compared 
With Other Countries ' 233 


Papers Now Published — The Defunct Journals — Founding the Pioneer Paper — The Prairie 
Schooner — J. C. Ervin — Messenger — News — Consolidation as News-Messenger — Lyon 
County Leader — The Reporter — Tracy Gazette — Trumpet — Headlight — Republican- 
Herald — Minneota Prospect — Mascot — Vinland — Cottonwood Leader — Current — Gazette 
—Balaton Journal — Eagle — Times — Bystander — Leader — Press — Tribune — Press-Trib- 
une — Russell Review — Anchor — Garvin Leader 239 



Prairie Fires — Terrors of the Prairie — Methods of Fighting — Interrupt a Funeral — Death of 
Mrs. Fellon — Game in Early Days — Early Courts of Justice — Brief Marriage Ceremony 
—Coining the Word "Blizzard" — "The Long Winter" — Locomotive Scares the Natives 
—Pioneer Minister — Rev. Ellis' Peculiarities — Railroad Strike — Riot Narrowly Averted 
— County in Straitened Circumstances — "Stands Off" Creditors — Signs of the Times — 
Illustrations of Early Day Conditions 247 


Biographical History 255 


Joseph Nicolas Nicollet Frontispiece 

Nicollet's .Map.. 32 

Minnesota Territory 18 

Tracy School Building 68 

Sod Shanty 68 

Map of Lyon County, 1874 80 

A Pioneer Cabin 96 

Oldest Building in Lynd Township 114 

A Landmark — Kiel's Hotel 114 

A Pioneer's Log Cabin 124 

Early Day Farm Home 124 

Marshall Street Scenes 134 

Marshall's Churches 146 

Marshall's Institutions 154 

Tracy Scenes L60 

The Great Tracy Fire 166 

Tracy's Churches 170 

Minneota Scenes 182 

Cottonwood Scenes 192 

Balaton Scenes 202 

Russell Scenes. 206 

Ghent Scenes 214 

Florence Scenes 220 

( larvin Scenes 224 

Amiret Scenes 228 

Lyon County Lakes 236 

Plowing Scene 250 

Trappers and Their Catch. 250 

Charles C. Whitney 254 

Mr. and Mrs. Reese Davis 274 

Thomas E. Davis 294 

Lyon County Officers. ■ 312 

Minneota Catholic Church, Pastor and Offi- 
cers 344 

Anton E. Anderson 360 

Mr. and Mrs. Christian E. Etrheim 378 

Homes of D. S. Burt 392 

Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Mathews 406 

T. M. Thomas' Drug Store 422 

S. Sanderson and Family 422 

Home of Nels Anderson 438 

Mr. and Mrs. John Hartzell 438 

Mr. and Mrs. Aime Vanhee 452 

Ole K. Furgeson 452 

Hugh L. Edwards and Family. 466 

Mr. and Mrs. Knute E. Ronning 466 

Christ K. Melby. 480 

Harry J. Tillemans. 480 

L. ^Thompson 480 

August Princen 4S0 

Charles Foulon 494 

Dr. E. F. St. Denis 494 

Edward Schreiber 494 

Abel D. Schaeffer 494 

Dr. F. D. Gray 506 

The Marshall Hospital 506 

R. B. Daniel... 506 

H. M. Clark 506 

Philip P. Ahern 522 

(lus Knudson 522 

St. Gilbertson 522 

G. B. Bjornson -. 522 

Evan M. Jones 536 

Frank D. Pinckney 536 

Charles W. Cady 536 

Dr. E. L. Hall 536 

Ole Ophiem 54,S 

J. S. Bartlett 548 

Rev. L. E. Sjolinder and Family 548 

N. J. Robinson 548 

Dr. L. E. Ijams 560 

O. A. Krook 560 

D. L. Kennedy 560 

Frank Case 560 

Joseph V. Mathews 572 

Dr. J. B. Robertson. 572 

Victor J. LaVoy 572 

Peter H. Bly 572 

Hans P. Sanden 584 

Henrv H. Benson 584 

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver A. Killius 584 

F. T. Shaeffer 584 

Home of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver A. Killius.. . . 596 

Old Home of Henry Patneaude 596 

Home of H. P. Sanden 596 

Standard Lumber Company 596 

Bridge Over the Redwood 606 


Amiret township, 56. 

Amiret village, 56, 226-228. 

Apportionments — commissioner districts, 114, 

116, 118; congressional, 116; legislative, 115, 

Area, 233. 

Assessments, early, 80, 111. 
Automobile, first in Tracy, 254. 

Balaton, 199-205; banks, 204; churches, 202; 
caily directory of, 200; fires, 200, 202; first 
business houses in, 199; incorporation of, 200; 
insurance company, 204; license question, 201; 
lodges, 203; officers, 201; platting, 199; popu- 
lation of, 199, 200, 201; postoffice, 200; 
school, 202. 

Hanks (see village headings). 

Big Bend, 45, 130. 

Births, first — in county, 42, 59; in townships 
(see township headings). 

Blan Avon, 232. 

Blizzard, derivation of word, 251. 

Blizzards, 45, 69-71, 81, 91, 92-97, 99. 102-104. 

Blockades, railroad, 80, 93-97, 09. 135. 

Bonds — for court house, 108, 109; for indebted- 
ness, 89; for municipal improvements (see 
village headings); for railroads, 9<S, 101, 105; 
for schools (see village headings). 

Boundaries — of Lyon county, 49, 73, 233; of 
Minnesota Territory, 48. 

Breaking, early, 38, 40. 

Brenner postoffice, 232. 

Buildings, pioneer, 34, 35, 36, 38, 41, 45. 

Burchard, 230. 

( lamden, 231. 

Canton township, 54. 

Catholic colony, 91, 97, 100, 183, 184, 212. 

Census— of county, 65, 83, 91, 102, 107, 111, 

112; of farmers in 1884, 51-63; of villages 

(see village headings). 
( 'eresco, 232. 
Church, the first, 67. 
Churches (see village headings). 
( lifton township, 58. 
Climate, 236. 
( loburg, 226, 227. 

Commissioner districts, 114, 116, 118. 
( ommissioners — chairmen of board of county, 

113; early meeting places of, 49, 50. 
Congressional history, 116. » 

Contests — for county seat, 74; for office, 117. 
Coon Creek township, 02. 
Coteau des Prairies, 30-32, 233-23,5. 

Cotlonwood, 189-197; banks, 196; churches, 194; 
early directory of, 191: fire, 193: lire depart- 
ment, 196; first business men of, 190; founding 
of, 190; incorporation of, 192; insurance 
company, 196; lieense question, 192; lodges, 
195; officers, 192, 193; platting of, 190; popu- 
lation of, 189, 192, 193; postoffice, 191; 
school, 193; selecting the site of, 189. 

Cottonwood lake. 189, 236. 

Cottonwood river, 29, 35, 30. 

County borrows money, 253. 

County formations, 48. 

County seat — removal of, 74, 
49, 220. 

Court, district, established. Si. 

Court houses, 74, 107-109. 

Crop failures, 75-85, 89, 97. 110. 

Crop statistics, ON, 78, SO. 88, 90, 

( luster township, 58. 

Cyclones, 100, 107, 109, 110. 


220; selecting the, 


Deaths— in blizzards, 69-71, SI, 82, 91, 93, 94, 
99, 100; in cyclone, 106; first in county, 43; 
first in townships (see township headings). 

Delaven township, 59. 

Descriptive, 233-238. 

Destitution — because of crop failure, 110; 
because of grasshoppers, 76, 77, 80, 85. 

Drainage, 236. 

Dudley, 229, 230. 

Edenview township, 58. 

Eidsvold township, 54. 

Elections — county (see political); village (see 

village headings). 
Elevations, 234. 
Exploration, 28-32. 

Fairs, county, 81, 111. 

Fair view township, 52. 

Field, the fenced, 35. 

Fire departments (see village headings). 

Fires (see village headings). 

Fires, prairie, 69, 247. 

Floods, 96, 97, 254. 

Florence, 222-224. 

Free seed grain, 69, 78, 82, 85. 

Came, 27, 33, 68, 00, 249. 
( iarden, first in county, 35. 
Garvin, 224-226. 
Geology, 25, 233-235. 



Ghent, 211-215; as Grandview, 211, 212; hank, 
215; church, 214; fire department, 215; first 
business houses in, 211, 212; incorporation of, 
212. 213; lodges, 215; naming of, 212; officers, 
213; platting of, 211; population of, 211, 212. 
213; postoffice, 21 1; school, 213. 

Gold discovery, 25 I. 

( ioose lake, 2:17. 

Graduates of high schools (see village headings). 

( rrain, first raised, 44. 

Grandview postoffice, 211. 

Grandview township, 53. 

Grasshopper scourge, 75-85, 87, 88. 

Green Valley, 228-229. 

Hail storms. 09, 110, 111, 112. 
Half-breeds, 10, 41. 
Heckman, 230. 
Hildrethsburg, 232. 
Homesteaders, 50-63, 89. 
"Hopperdozers," 83. 

Icelandic colony, 88. 

Immigration, 68, 72. 88, 89, 91, (17. 99, 100. 

Incorporation (see village headings). 

Indians — in-Lyon county, 27, .SO, 130; origin of, 
25'; trails of, 27, 45, 130; treaties with, 33; 
tribal divisions of, 26; trouble with, 28, 31, 
37, 39; villages of, 26, 31 ; war between, 26. 

Indian scares, 66, 81. 

Island lake, 01. 237. 

Island Lake postoffice, 232. 

Island Lake township, 01. 

Jail, 111. 

Judges district court, 117. 

Judges, early election, 114, 115. 

Judicial districts, 84. 

Jurors, first, 84. 

Justice courts, early, 250. 

Kent, 224. 

Lady Shoe lake, 237. 
Lady Slipper lake, 237. 
LaFramboise, Joseph, 30, 31. 
Lake Marshall, 50, 130, 237. 
Lake Marshall township, 50. 
Lake of the Hills, 237. 
Lakes, 236, 237. 
Lake Sigel, 237. 
Lake Yankton, 237. 
Land grant, 68, 84. 
Land office, 91, 92. 
Land values, 75, 112, 238. 
Legislative history, 115, 116. 
Leo postoffice, 232. 
License (see village headings) 
Lincoln county created, 73. 
Lisbon township, 54. 
Livestock, first in county, 44. 
Lodges (see village headings). 
Lonesome postoffice, 210. 
Lone Tree lake, 236. 
Long lake, 237. 
Lucas township, 54. 
Lynd, James W., 34, 51. 

Lynd, Lower. 07, 74, 220. 

Lynd, Modern, 219-222. 

Lynd township, 51 . 

Lynd, Upper, 44, 40, 07, 147, 210, 220. 

Lynd voting precinct, 114. 

Lyon county — creation of, 49; enabling act for, 

49; naming of, 49; organization of, 49, 113; 

sovereignty of lands in, 47, 48. 
Lyons township, 51, 52. 

Madison township, 56. 

Markets, 238. 

Marriage ceremony, a brief, 250. 

Marriage, the first — in county, 44; in townships 
(see township headings). 

Marshall, 129-159; banks, 156, 157; churches, 
145-151; cyclones in, 109, 110; early direc- 
tories of, 133, 140; fire department, 155; fires 
in, 141; first buildings in, 66, 130; first busi- 
ness houses in, 131-134; first man on site of, 
129; first tax payers in, 72, 136; flood in, 
96, 97; homesteaders on land in, 00, 130; 
incorporation of, 137; library, 154; license 
question, 137; lodges, 151-154; made county 
seat, 74, 136; naming of, 131; officers, 137- 
139; platting of, 132, 133; population of, 
130, 137, 140, 141; postoffice, 65, 130, 135; 
railroad reaches, 68, 132; securing the station 
for, 131; schools, 143-145; threatened by 
prairie fire, 249. 

Marshall voting precinct, 114. 

Martin township, 60. 

Massacre at Lake Shetek, 39, 40. 

Militia company, 66. 

Mill, the Marshall, 158. 

Minister, a pioneer, 67, 252. 

Minneota, 177-188; as Nordland, 177-179; as 
Upper Yellow Medicine Crossing, 177; banks, 
187; churches, 183; early directories of, 178, 
181, 182; fire department, 187; first merchants 
of, 178; founding of, 178; incorporation of, 
180; license question, ISO; library, 187; 
lodges, 186; naming of, 179; officers, 180, 
181; platting of, 17S; population of, 177, 
180, 182; postoffice, 177, 178; schools, 182. 

Moe township, 54. 

Monroe township, 55. 

Mound Builders, 25. 

Mounds, 26, 27. 

Myers, Aaron, 34, 35, 37. 

Newspapers, 239-245. 
Nobles' Col. W. H, 35, 36. 
Nobles' spring, 35. 
Nobles' wagon road, 3,5, 36. 
Nordland township, 53. 
Nordland village, 177-179. 

Officers — county (see political): township (see 
township headings); village (see village head 

Old Settlers Association, 90. 

Panic— of LS73, 76; of L893, lb). 
Petrified tree, 234. 
Political, 113-128. 

Population — of county (see census); oi villages 
(sec village headings). 



Postoffices (see village headings). 
Postoffice, the first, 44, 45. 
Prairie fires, 69, 247. 
Prairie schooners, 89. 
Precincts, early voting, 114. 
Press, the, 239-245. 
Products, 237. 

Railroads — Dakota Central (Northwestern), 90; 
Duluth, Xorth Shore & Southwestern, 101; 
Minneapolis & St. Louis, 97, 98; Minnesota & 
Northern, 106; Sleepy Eye branch (North- 
western), 111; Willmar & Sioux Falls (Great 
Northern), 103-106; Winona & St. Peter 
(Northwestern), 67, 68, 89, 132, 254. 

Railroad strike, 90, 252. 

Redwood river, 30, 32, 236. 

Redwood station, 230. 

Relief measures, 69, 76-78, 82, 85. 

Religious services, first — in county, 42, 147; in 
townships (see township headings). 

Reminiscent, 247-254. 

Renniker, John, murder of, 37. 

Rivers. 236. 

Rock lake, 60, 237. 

Rock Lake postoffice, 231. 

Rock Lake township, 60. 

Rural free delivery routes, 237. 

Russell, 205-209; bank, 208; churches, 207; 
first business .men of. 205; incorporation of, 
206; license question, 206; lpdges, 20S; naming 
of, 205; officers, 207; platting of, 205; popu- 
lation of, • 205, 206, 207; postoffice, 205; 
-electing the site of, 205; school, 207. 

Salaries county officers, early. 1 14. 
Sandstone, 234. 
Saratoga precinct, 114. 
Saratoga Station, 226. 
Saratoga townsite, 36, 38. 
Sawmill, the first, 44. 
School districts, creation of, 67. 
School Grove lake, 237. 

Schools, the first — in townships (see township 
headings); in villages (see village headings). 
Seefield, 224. 

Settlement, early, 30, 34, 36, 38, 41-45, 65-74. 
Settler, the first, 42. 
Sham lake, 23, . 
Sham Lake postoffice, 232. 
Shelburne township, 61. 
Shetek Station, 162. 
Siding No. 4, 216. 
Siding No. 7, 224. 
Sod shanties, 45, 68. 
Sodus township, 60. 
Soil, 235. 

Stanley township, 59. 
St owe township, 62. 
Summit postoffice, 161, 162. 
Survey of county, 42. 
Swan lake, 237. 

Taunton, 215-218; as Siding No. 4, 216; bank, 
218; churches, 217; fire department, 21S; 
first business houses in, 216; incorporation of, 
216; officers, 217; platting of, 216; population 
of, 216, 217; postoffice, 216; school, 217. 

Taxes, payment of, extended, 76, 82. 

Tax payers of 1873, 72. 

Telephone, the first, 254. 

Terry, 221. 

Three-Mile creek, 42, 236. 

Timber, 27, 235. 

Topographv, 233-235. 

Townships, 50-63. 

Tracy, 161-175; as Shetek station, 162; banks, 
174; churches, 168; early directories of, 162, 
165; fire department, 173; fire of 1891, 166, 
167; first buildings in, 162; first business men 
of, 162; incorporation of, 163; library, 173; 
license question, 164; lodges, 171; made a 
railroad division, 165; naming of, 163; officers, 
164; platting of, 161, 162; population of, 161, 
163. 105, 107; postoffice, 161, 102; schools, 

Traders, 30, 34, 35. 

Trading posts. 30, 34; 

Trails, Indian, 27, 45, 130. 

Train, the first, 68, 72. 

Transportation facilities, 237. 

Trappers, 38. 

Treaties, 3:',. 

Tree claims, 50-63. 

Twin lakes, 237.. 

Upper Yellow Medicine precinct, 114. 
Upper Yellow Medicine township, 54. 
Upper Yellow Medicine Crossing, 177. 

Vallers township, 57. 

Yillages, Indian, 26, 31. 

Vineland postoffice, 191. 

Votes cast at county elections, 128. 

War between Indian tribes, 26. 
War, the Sioux, 34, 38-40. 
Well, the town, 251. 
Westerheim township, 56. 
Winter of 1880-81, 92-97. 251. 
Wood lake, 23/ . 

Yellow .Medicine river, 30, 32, 236. 



Aamodt, Charles 491 

Aamodt, < >lai 337 

Adair, Harvey H 557 

Adams, Frank A 293 

Adams, Howard 577 

Adams, S. H 298 

Addison, Harry W 460 

Addison, R. M 280 

Ahem, Garrett F 577 

Ahem, James J 501 

Ahem, Michael F '. 446 

Ahem, Philip P 52 1 

Ahem, William C 535 

Akester, Dr. Ward 497 

Alexander, Lee 469 

Alleckson, John 397 

Allen, Mannie G 597 

Almjeld, Peder J 547 

Ampe, Celeste 501 

Amundson, Alfred 49!) 

Amundson, Amund H 4_'() 

Amundson, Ferdinand 331 

Amundson, Gregar 273 

Amundson, Ole 300 

Andersen, Hans. 385 

Anderson, Adolph T 586 

Anderson, Andrew 447 

Anderson, Anton E. (Cottonwood) 360 

Anderson, Anton E. (Florence) 544 

Anderson, Charles R 514 

Anderson, Edward 329 

Anderson, E. W 569 

Anderson, Herman 476 

Anderson, John 359 

Anderson, John M.. 504 

Anderson, Lincoln L 442 

Anderson, Martinus 349 

Anderson, Nels (Eidsvold). 438 

Anderson, Nels (Coon Creek) 306 

Anderson, Oluf 331 

Anderson, Oscar J.. 606 

Anderson, Par. 562 

Anderson, Rasmus N 576 

Anderson, Sorn A 609 

Arndt, Herman J 366 

Arntson, Arthur E 605 

Askdal, Sigurdur M 519 

At wood, James Walter 425 

Aurandt, Maxwell J 325 

Avery, Levorit 259 

Baert, Gust M 443 

Bair, M. D . . 520 


Bakken, Knute < ) 340 

Baldwin, Ray D 399 

Baldwin, Thomas P 308 

Baldwin, William S.. 297 

Bamford, Charles F 578 

Bamford, George H 158 

Bamford, William ( ' 574 

Banks, Will 523 

Bartlett, Fred S 382 

Bartlett, James S 549 

Bates, Allen 324 

Beasley, William 434 

Bellingham, Charles C 269 

Benson, George 484 

Benson, Hall 309 

Benson, Hans 364 

Benson, Henry H 584 

Berg, CarlF.. 552 

Berg, John E 569 

Berg, Lars 598 

Berg, Peter M 529 

Berge, Ole.... 578 

Berry, William E 282 

Betourne, A. G 559 

Bigham, R. A 462 

Bills, Frank E 288 

Birkenmeyer, F. M 517 

Bjornson, Eyolfur 442 

Bjornson, Gunftar B 521 

Bladholm, Axal L 606 

Bladholm, John 606 

Blake, Charles E 517 

Blake, Major John Winslow 258 

Blake, Richard 276 

Blanchard, A 4(11 

Blanchard, Alvin L.. 316 

Blanchette, Albert L :!7<i 

Blanchette, .Steve. 358 

Blegen, Lauritz E 346 

Blomquist, John 183 

Bly, Peter H... 573 

Borson, Ben 578 

Bot, Henrv J 362 

Bot, John H 495 

Bot, Reinier J 441 

Bot, William II _ 463 

Brantner, John Franklin 101 

Bredeveien, Hans J 473 

Breen, John 401 

Breening, Charles ( ' 338 

Bremen, Walter < >. . 590 

Broughton, George K. 310 

Broughton, Knud A 264 

Broughton. < He A. 271 




Brown, Fremont Sharpe 352 

Brull, William J 353 

Bruns, Henry 602 

Buckley, John 427 

Bue, Mathias 592 

Bugher, Isaac 594 

Bumford, Abner G 394 

Bumford, Richard R 348 

Burchard, James C 335 

Burckhardt, F. Charles 420 

Burckhardt, Henry 454 

Burckhardt, Henry J 368 

Burckhardt, John A 551 

Burckhardt, Oscar H 405 

Burlingame, Oscar A 539 

Burns, Wilhelm 442 

Burt, Edward V 392 

Busse, Frank 603 

Butler, Fred E 524 

Buysse, Frank 485 

Buysse, Mrs. Julianna 525 

( 'ady, ( Iharles W 535 

Cain, Henry J 428 

Caley, George B 467 

Caley, Harry E 580 

Carnine, William Dennis * » I 1 

Caron, Jasper A 596 

( 'axon, Leon 473 

Caron, Phil 532 

Carroll, William H... 539 

Carstens, E. H 386 

Carstens, Harrv E.. <>10 

Case, C. F.. . 303 

Case, Frank W 561 

Case, Fred H 575 

Casselman", Dr. Don. 499 

Castle, John R. 445 

Castle, John William 390 

Castle, Thomas I 160 

Catlin, Joseph H 323 

Chace, A. R 354 

Chamberlain, Archibald J 449 

Chamberlain, ( leorge H , .~>f > ( .l 

Cheney, Birney L 581 

Child, Fred E. 567 

Chittenden, A. C 319 

Chittenden, Walter R 511 

Christensen, Peter 598 

( hristenson, Andrew A 321 

Christenson, Henry. 384 

Christenson, James 353 

Claeys, Bernard F 380 

Clark, Horace M 507 

Clark, Milton S... 534 

( lark, Wallace W 607 

( lausen, Fred 613 

Clausen, Thomas 582 

Clay, Andrew. 433 

( lendenning, Forbes 582 

Clendenning, Margaret E 485 

Coil, William Jacob 6(H) 

Colby, Earl A 579 

Cole, Benton J 605 

Como, Henry 614 

Cook, Fred S ;...»... 448 

Cook, W. W 501 

Copeland, Fred W 505 


Craig, John L 305 

Culshaw, John B 348 

Culshaw, Thomas P 368 

( ulshaw, William 429 

Cummings, Robert 322 

Cupp, Christian 285 

Cutler, George B 539 

Dahl, Julius T 538 

Dahl, Ole S... 413 

Dahl, Peter T 312 

Dahlke, Emil 587 

Dale, A. C •. . 538 

Dalmann, G. A 341 

Dandurand, George 567 

Dane, Albert B. 586 

Daniel, Richard B. . 507 

Davis, Ellsworth E 367 

Davis, Reese 274 

Davis, Thomas E 294 

Debuf , Camil 527 

De Clerk, Edward 534 

De Keyser, Ernest 613 

De Kiere, John F. 474 

Dennin, Gustav A 502 

De Reu, Charles L 477 

De Sutter, ( 'amid F 357 

De Sutter, Emiel 419 

De Muck. Henry 604 

DeVos, John...." 554 

Dickerman, Eugene A.... 299 

Dierockx, Peter 407 

Dillberg, Swan A 139 

Dohertv, Thomas R 540 

Donaldson, Russell G 485 

Donnelly, Charles. 591 

Dove, Charles .",01 

Dovre, Olaf 286 

Dovre, Ole 379 

Doyle, James E 450 

Drake, Montgomery E 445 

Durrenburger, August 421 

Duns, Christian M 502 

Eastman, Warren S. 301 

Edwards, Edward 288 

Edwards, Hugh L 166 

Edwards, William H 499 

Edwards, William R 374 

Egan, James. 475 

Ehlers, William C 127 

Elbers, Peter. 333 

Elmer, Edward P 372 

Engels, Mrs. Ludovica H 4 11 

Engesser, John 579 

England, Justus 545 

English, Arch R 390 

English, Bert L 441 

Erickson, E. John : 398 

Erickson, Erick 613 

Erickson, Nels 602 

Erickson, Sigurdur B 543 

Eriksrud, Nelder. 557 

Etrheim, Christian E 378 

Etrheim, Eilef E 386 

Evans, David H 295 

Evans, Ellsworth 277 




Fifield, George F U2 

Finch, AInion Henry 577 

Finnegan, John F 460 

Finnell, Jesse E 551 

Finseth, Halvor E 510 

Fischer, Kasper 352 

Fitch, George Arthur lis 

Fjelstad, Eggert E :;ss 

Fiinn, John B 602 

Forbes, A. ( Ion Ion 492 

Forbes, Samuel J 375 

Ford, .Michael B 380 

Ford, Patrick 369 

Foster, Elmer E 107 

Foster, Lester F 309 

Foulon, Charles. 494 

Frahm, Claus 557 

Fraser, Dr. ('. B 444 

Freese, Arthur 327 

Freese, Henry 288 

Freese, Lawrence H 32] 

P'rench, Palmer () 382 

Froehlich, John William 595 

Froland, Peder 500 

Drake. Paul ■ 589 

Fuller, Emery ( ! 563 

Fuller, Frank E. 615 

Fulton, H. P 432 

Furgeson, Adolph 373 

Furgeson, Henry K 283 

Furgeson, Lars ( >scar 571 

Furgeson, Mrs. Helene. 452 

Galbraith, Samuel W 270 

Garrow, Arthur 594 

Geiwitz, George 512 

Gibbs, Cassius M 530 

Giese, Paul W 365 

Gieseke, William F 410 

Gifford, Elbridge 575 

Gifford, George B 377 

Gilbertson, Sturlaugur 522 

Gilpin, J. Delbert 563 

(iislason, Ami B 302 

Gislason, Bjorn B 328 

Gislason, John B 285 

Gits, Ed 345 

Gits, Francis 318 

Gits, Paul 412 

Glotfelter, William H 301 

Goltz, Gottlieb C 308 

Goltz, Gustav J 297 

Goodell, Charles E 256 

Goodmund, Sigfinn 303 

Goodrich, Charles W... 290 

Goodrich, CM 272 

Goodrich, Wallace A 489 

Goodwin, Joshua 287 

Gorseth, M. 369 

Gorseth, Ole Olson 373 

Grannan, Michael E : 472 

( hay, Dr. F. D 506 

Greeley, Solomon '. 440 

Green, Andrew E 403 

Green, Emil 492 

Gregg, Dren C 256 

Gregg, W. R 335 

Grieve, James 351 

1 'age 

Griffith, John I) 480 

< rriffith, John J 266 

( rrotta, Maurice 5 I I 

Guelsow, Fred J 133 

Gullerud, Rev. Olaf 519 

Haack, William F 469 

Hahn, Matthew D 509 

Hall, Dr. Earl L 536 

Hall, James H 427 

Hall, James, Sr 358 

Hall, William 444 

Halvorson, Samuel 268 

Hamilton, Frank 568 

Hamm, E. M 267 

Hansen, George A 458 

Hansen, Peter 426 

Hanson, Christine 514 

Hanson, Henry 400 

Hanson, James M 568 

Hanson, N. W r 487 

Harden, Mrs. Annette 525 

Harden, Myron W 363 

Harris, Mrs. James A 347 

Hartzell, John 438 

Hasbargen, Dan 467 

Hatlestad, Ole H 264 

Hattlestad, Andrew Henry 355 

Havens, Jasper L 278 

Heagle, William E 431 

Eeairet, Andrew E 451 

Healv, Edwin W 273 

Healy, Fred M 384 

Heine, Henry C 403 

Helgeson, Helge K 369 

Helgeson, Louis 319 

Helgeson, Ole 270 

Hellickson, Anton A 314 

Hellikson, Andrew 292 

Helium, Albert J 391 

Hendrickson, Ira W 608 

Hennen, James J 463 

Hennen, Leo 429 

Hennen, Mathew 515 

Henrichs, Byron G 546 

Henrichs, Herman 558 

Henrichs, William C 355 

Herron, Wilson 538 

Heymans, Anton 383 

Hill, Sherman 493 

Hofman, Hector 599 

Homer, Philip 532 

Hognason, Snorri 346 

Hoidale, Dr. Andrew D 490 

Holden, Carl R 516 

Holden, John, Jr 586 

Holland, < >scar A 574 

Holley, Frank L 455 

Hollo', John 359 

Hommerberg, Anton 558 

Hook, Andrew 566 

Hook, Frank E 555 

Hook, George 579 

Houston, W. A t36 

Hovdesven, A. O : >'" 1 

Huisenfeldt, Cornelius 380 

Bughes, Griff 121 

Hughes, John H 350 




Hulburt, John 570 

Humphrey, Kay C 468 

Ijams, Dr. L. E 561 

Illian, Charles A 503 

Inhofer, G. J 447 

James, Dr. W. D 424 

Jansen, Jacob J 366 

Jansen, Theodore ' 350 

Jerpbak, Peter H 394 

Johnson, Andrew 556 

Johnson, Christ 404 

Johnson, Elmer 592 

Johnson, George H 499 

Johnson, Haldor G 509 

Johnson, Jens B 265 

Johnson, John 317 

Johnson, John H. 528 

Johnson, Mrs. C. A 327 

Johnson, Xels P 503 

Johnson, Solomon 417 

Johnson, Thomas U 465 

Jones, Evan C, Sr 307 

Jones, Evan ('., Jr 414 

Jones, Evan M 536 

Jones, Hugh H 322 

Jones, Thomas C 597 

Jonsson, Rev. B. B 4f>0 

Josefson, Johann A .'Ill 

Josephson, Ami S 396 

Josephson, Herman 393 

Kaechele, Tony W 542 

Karlen, John A 475 

Keehl, Otto M 505 

Keller, Christian H 564 

Keller, Edwin K 603 

Kelly, Edward P 437 

Kelly, Peter F 591 

Kelson, Alfred 552 

Kelson, Andrew 504 

Kennedy, Duncan L 560 

Kiel, GuvH 513 

Kile, Arthur J 398. 

Kiley, Eugene B 425 

Killius, Oliver A 584 

Kinch, Arlow S 546 

King. D. M 506 

Kjorness, Knud E 283 

Klaith, Lorents 351 

Kleine, John E 556 

Knudson, John 537 

Knutson, -Gus 522 

Kolhei, Alexander. ■ 488 

Krook, Oscar A 560 

Krueger, Emil J 555 

Kvanbeck, Halvor K 376 

Laingen, Charles R 447 

Larson, Adolph B 512 

Larson, Fred 563 

Larson, George 559 

Larson, Knut *..... 417 

Larson, Ludvig E 326 

Larson, Martin C 336 

Larson, Niels F 330 


Larson, Olaus M 513 

Laudenslager, Charles A 439 

Laudenslager, John J 328 

Laughlin, James J 451 

La Voie, William 471 

LaVoj', Victor J 573 

Lawrence, J. A 518 

Leas, John H 395 

Leas, J. S 445 

LeBeau, George 1 387 

LeCuver, Edward 597 

Ledel, Gustav 291 

Lee, Ole 1 310 

Leitch, Henry 510 

Leknes, Berner 419 

Leland, Lewis B 324 

Lende, Tennes A 533 

Lerwick, L. M 514 

Liedtke, David 520 

Lien, Anton K 552 

Linden, Andrew P 497 

Lindholm, John 462 

Lindstrom, Carl 532 

Lindstrom, P. A 595 

Loe, Mrs. Jerdine 403 

Long, George 528 

Longtin. F. J 547 

Loranz, Anton 304 

Lord, .Alexander J. 519 

Lowe, George G 498 

Lucas. William L 581 

Lund, Bernt E 575 

Mack, Anton , 587 

Madden, George W 453 

Maertens, Edward 468 

Maertens, Hyppolit 377 

Maher, John 589 

Malzahn, Frederick W. E 568 

Marcotte, Edward 456 

Marcotte, Hector A 593 

Marks, Fred C 314 

-Marshall, Jacob C 599 

Masters, Mrs. Anna 280 

.Mathews, Joseph V 572 

Mathews, Marvin E 406 

Mat his. J. W 545 

Matthews, Henry A 408 

Mattson, John. 464 

Maxson, Edgar T 465 

Maxson, William E.. 481 

MeDaniel, Samuel 594 

McDonald, Lawrence 471 

McElvain. Joe R 515 

McGinn, Arthur J 140 

McGinn, James 334 

Mc( luigan, Patrick J 607 

McLaughlin, David L .• 424 

McMahon, Mrs. Katherine 533 

McNiven, James A 441 

Meehl, Henry 300 

Melby, Christ K 478 

Mcllenthin, Fred W 312 

Mellenthin, Mrs. Anna Louise 389 

Menard, Joel 530 

Menard, Prudent B 593 

Meyer, Edward 364 

Meyer, Merman P 343 




Meyer, Rudolph A. T 54 1 

Michel, Ernest A 488 

Middleton, Charles II 338 

Mielke, .Mrs. Catherine 313 

Mihills, Donald R 568 

Miller, Charles. 411 

Miller, Earle S 339 

Miller. Edward 464 

Miller, Harry C 555 

Mitchell, James 260 

Mitchell, Joseph M 339 

Mitchell, I >smund X 531 

Mitchell, Robert A 207 

Moat. William 481 

Moffat t. ( leorge 474 

Mohn, Knute K 373 

Mohr, Henry G 541 

Mongeau, Archie S 553 

Monroe, John 277 

Monseth, Lars F 446 

Moore, A. M 402 

Moore, John W 459 

Moore, William A 564 

Moorse, Mathew J 570 

Morgan, Amos S 608 

Morgan, Henry D 293 

Mork, Chris 605 

Morse, Jerome 272 

Moss, Robert S 601 

Mouland, Toilet' T 455 

Mnllaney, William F 37!) 

Mullen, George A 565 

Mulvaney, Thomas 478 

Murphy/Thomas H • 611 

Murphy, William 575 

Murrison, Robert G 371 

Myran, Esten 600 

Myran, Mrs. ( Hava 276 

Neill, Robert M 402 

Nellis, Claud Dayton 604 

Nelson, Albin W 460 

Nelson, Andrew (Clifton) 483 

Nelson, Andrew (Marshall) 266 

Nelson, Chris 615 

Nelson, Gust 593 

Nelson, Hans P 588 

Nelson, Henry 333 

Nelson, Iver 304 

Nelson, John P. . . . 415 

Nelson, Joseph L 565 

Nelson, Nels 383 

Nelson, Peter C 526 

Nelson, Philip A 505 

Nelson, Thomas 289 

Nicholson, Stephen 459 

Nielsen, Fred 399 

Nordli, Carl 483 

Nylin, Knute ■. 544 

( )'( 'onnor, John 356 

< )dell, Spurgeon. 342 

( >estern, Orlando J 520 

Ofstad, Andrew 357 

Ofstad, Michael (i 423 

Oftedal, Hans L 443 

Olevson, Isaac N 558 

Olson, Andrew 593 


< USOn, Mrs. Marie ( 1 :;]r> 

Olson, Oluf G... 497 

Olson, Peter H 392 

Opdahl, Iver 529 

Ophiem, Ole 548 

Ordlock, bars H 436 

Orsen, Nickolai. 457 

Orsen, Ole L 274 

I >ssen, George 563 

< Misman, Iver A :;7.~> 

( >verlee, George 603 

I >wens, John S.. 275 

Pagel, Charles F 426 

Painter, Horatio R 454 

Palmer, William C : . 533 

Paradis, Teles, Jr 498 

Paradis, Telesphore 4."t3 

Parker, Francis J 388 

Patneaude, Henry 596 

Pat t ridge, Henry J 367 

Pattridge, Otis L 367 

Paulson. Ole 511 

Pearcy, Walter 609 

Pedersen, Ole. 517 

Pederson, John (' 310 

Pehrson, Nels 431 

Peniston, William B 416 

Persons, Dr. C. E 313 

Peterson, Albert E '. 615 

Peterson, Anton till 

Peterson, August 503 

Peterson, Frank 61 >3 

Peterson, Hans 398 

Peterson, Jay P 349 

Peterson, Lewis C 320 

Peterson, Louis E 432 

Peterson, Martin 434 

Peterson, Marvin 583 

Peterson, Ole E 307 

Peterson, Ole S 323 

Peterson, Peter. 489 

Peterson, Peter A 523 

Phillips, Willianv E 571 

Pilotte, Lueien 610 

Pilotte, Peter 588 

Pinckney, Frank D 537 

Place, JohnM - 601 

Plantz, Charles E. 562 

Poison, Nels 012 

Porter, A. C 193 

Powers, Dr. Fred H 526 

Prairie, Levi 191 

Prechel, August C 610 

Price, Rees 260 

Price, Rufus H 259 

Princen, August 180 

Princen, Joseph 362 

Prouty, De Alton 113 

Purves, .< teorge W -ID 

Radke. Gustav.. 587 

Rasmussen, Anton 565 

Hea. Orvin J 330 

Reese, Boyd T 508 

Regnier, Ambrose A : > s ' 

Regnier, < reorge '■>' 

Regnier, John H 360 





Regnier, Joseph E.. 486 

Regnier, Louis N 410 

Reinkc, Albert 518 

Rialson, Louis 291 

Rialson, Ole 317 

Rieh, Edwin S 595 

Richard, Charles C 337 

Rickert, Jacob A.. 457 

Ristow, Herman F 400 

Rivard, Ferdinand A ' . . . . 436 

Roberts, David R 316 

Robertson, Dr. J. B 572 

Robinson, N. J 548 

Rogan, James T 561 

Rogde, John C 361 

Running. Knute 466 

Ronning, Mrs. Erick. 280 

Ronning, Paul K 393 

Ronning, Peder Gilbert 351 

Rossland, A 377 

Rouse, Jacob 263 

Powell, Lewis L 321 

Rowland, Arthur H. .. 411 

Ruliffson, Donald II 566 

Ruliffson, F. W 430 

Punholt, Ole <> 298 

Rye, Anders E 302 

Rye, OleE 333 

.Salmon, Daniel F. .'.. 554 

Sampson, Rasmus B. 496 

Sanden, Andrew 271 

Sanden, Hans P 583 

Sanders, .Mrs. Angeline 392 

Sanderson. Dr. Anton G 405 

Sanderson, Dr. Edward T .'!4.'i 

Sanderson, Sander 422 

Sather, Iver O 162 

Savoie, Henry 600 

Schaefer, Abel D 195 

Schain, George A.. 547 

Scherf, Rev. Paul 590 

Schmitz, ( harles 516 

Schoel, William... 614 

Schouweiler, Michael W.. 588 

Schreiber, Edward 494 

Schroeder, August 551 

Schultz, William 439 

Schurz, Herman 550 

Scott, John 269 

Scott, Lewis E. 412 

Seals, Thomas D 279 

Searles, H. R 381 

Seiler, William. 570 

Seiter, H. Raymond 155 

Senden, Joseph M 449 

Seward, Virgil B 292 

Shaeffer, F. T 585 

Sharratt, Homer D 523 

Shaver, Edgar W 404 

Shepard, Cyrus P 371 

Shepard, Ernest S 312 

Shequen, William Grover 448 

Sheutzel, Herman 424 

Sickler, F. W % . . . 357 

Sigurdson, Christ E \ . . 526 

Simmons, Eugene 552 

Simmons, Wesley W 500 


Sjolinder, Rev. Laurent Erik 549 

Skaar, Knute 409 

Skogen, Carl ().... 338 

Skyhawk, Ephraim 299 

Slanev, Rev. J. H 609 

Slette, Ole P 374 

Slette, Peter P.. 407 

Smedsrud, Mrs. Nellie 484 

Smith, Dr. J. F 543 

Smith, Ernest 4/0 

Snapp, Charles M — 559 

Snidal, John 405 

Sommer, Victor 582 

Sorensen, Nels Christian 591 

Soucy, L. P ^ 510 

Spencer, John K 530 

Spong, Charles J 341 

Stankey, Herman C 456 

Starr, Frank E.. . 34S 

Starr, Herbert L 435 

Stassen, John. 004 

Stassen, Mike 471 

Stassen, Theodore :!97 

St. Denis, Dr. E. F 495 

Sterk, Ole IL... 435 

Stewart, Rev. William Joseph 344 

Stiefel, David 268 

St il well, Edwin C 475 

Storck, William G. 543 

Storlie, Halvor A 393 

Story, Burl... 443 

St rut hers. Robert Alton 488 

Sturgeon, John J.. 486 

Sullivan, M 322 

Supernatz, Joseph 388 

Swanson, Aldor B 418 

Swanson, Erick M 524 

Sween, Julius 599 

Swennes, Arne 329 

Swennes, Knute 345 

Swenson, Andrew J 315 

Swift, Homer R.. 47_' 

Swift, Lee 415 

Swonson, Carl R 425 

Tate. George A.... 320 

Tate, Harry A 457 

Taylor, Leon M 482 

Teerlinck, Julius 382 

Tegels, John 42:; 

Tehart, Christ 540 

Terry, Byron P 286 

Teufel, Henry A 608 

Thavis, Henry 527 

Thiel, Gustav 389 

Tholen, John. 550 

Thomas, Benjamin F 281 

Thomas, James J 289 

Thomas, Theodore M 422 

Thompson, L. T 479 

Thompson, Thore K 305 

Thorburn, William B 434 

Thordarson, Dr. Theodore 482 

Tibbit, Charles F 332 

Tiemessen, Francis J 014 

Tillemans, Harry J 479 

Tillemans, William P 433 

Tolzman, William 482 



Topel, Charles H 45] 

I nun. Alvah I! 278 

Town, Lucius E.. 265 

Tracy, George I) 469 

Tram, Henry 1 566 

Tn.ut, Mrs. Mary 400 

Truax, Charles 295 

Trudeau, Adolph 576 

Tubbs, Vernon B •">'-'< 

Tweet. John C 284 

Twog I. William E.. 577 

Tychsen, Rev. Th 540 

Van Breasen, Ben F 176 

Vanden Berghe, Oscar 553 

Van Dusen, < leorge Albert. 450 

Van Dusen, Willard .1 342 

Vangheluwe, Peter. 528 

Vanhee, Aime 452 

Van Moer, Edmond 408 

Van Sadelhoff, William 613 

Vanstrom, Frederick W I s - 

Van Uden, Anton 590 

Van Uden, Herman A I < < 

Van Walleghem, Rev. Henry Victor 535 

Vergauwe, Victor 535 

Vergote, Gustave 190 

Verhaake, Joseph : j : >'> 

Vermeersch, Louis 504 

Volden, Hans... 430 

Yolk, Albert 513 

Voss, Henry 450 

Wahlquist, Otto "> s I 

Walquist, Joseph 614 

Walsh, Thomas F 17:: 

Wambeke, John 556 

Wat kins, William E 592 

Webb, Frank W. 344 

Webb, T. II :;s5 

Wedger, Charles F 386 

Weidauer, Alvin E 585 

Weidauer, Herman F. (Grandview) 612 

Weidauer, Herman F. (Lake Marshall} 170 

Weikle, Ferdinand K 332 

Weking, Otto 402 

Welsh, John W 574 

Wewetzer, Lewis A -Mil 

Whiting, Dr. Carl E 395 

Whiting, lvl win F.. 306 

Whitlatch, Grover ('.. 615 

Whitney. Charles C 255 

Whitney, Charles H 261 

Wiesner, J.N. 196 

Wignes, Ole J 282 

Wild, Albert 553 

Wilhelm, Urbane 391 

Willard, William I).. 580 

Willford, Bert 370 

Willtord, Cassius M 318 

Williams, James Von. 429 

Williams, Joseph B 541 

Williams, Roy W 325 

Willis. Robert E 389 

Wilson, John 542 

Wilson, John W 356 

Wimer, Cary J 325 

Wohlheter, Walter P 566 

Woodruff, Frank L 554 

Woodruff, Joseph C 540 

Workman, Dr. H. M 315 

Wreath, Albert 547 

Wright, Absalom Lloyd 409 

Zabel, Julius 5s:; 

Zvorak, John 478 


Lyon County 



A HOUIGINAL DAYS— 1 700-1 866. 

THK white man's history of Lyon 
county dates back to no great 
antiquity. Nevertheless, during 
millions of years many interesting things 
happened in the county — events which 
were not witnessed by mortal eye, 
events which the most vivid imagination 
cannot conceive. 

From a part of the seething, molten 
mass that composed the earth during 
the millions of years about which even 
the geologists hardly dare venture a 
guess Lyon county was formed and 
became a part of the earth's surface in 
the process of cooling. Thereafter it 
was successively covered with the waters 
of the sea, was raised from the depths 
to a great altitude, and was crushed 
back by the weight of the vast ice sheets 
during the Glacial Period. 

During those times Lyon county's 
topographical features were formed, 
many changes resulting before Nature 
had them fashioned to her liking. Soil 
was spread over the surface; ridges and 

'Traces of man's presence during this period have 
been found in the flood plain of the Mississippi river at 
Little Falls, Minnesota, and in other parts of the 
United States. Concerning the original peopling of 
North America, Warren Upham, A. M., D. Sc, in 
Minnesota in Three Centuries, says: 

"The original peopling of America appears to have 
taken place far longer ago by migration from North- 
eastern Asia during the early Quaternary or Ozarkian 
Epoch of general uplift of northern regions, which 
immediately preceded the Ice Age, and which con- 
tinued through the early and probably the greater part 
of that age. Then land undoubtedly extended across 
the area of Behring sea. 

"During Ozarkian time and the long early part of 
the Glacial Period, wandering tribes, migrating for 
better food supplies or to escape from enemies, could 

hills were formed by the action of the 
ice; depressions were left in which are 
now lakes; the waters from the melting 
ice sought avenues of escape and formed 
rivers and creeks; plant and animal life 
came into existence. 

When Lyon county was first inhab- 
ited by the human species is unknown. 
Even when the North American con- 
tinent was first peopled archaeologists 
can at best only guess. There has been 
discovered evidence that man lived upon 
the continent during the decline and 
closing days of the Ice Age, some 6000 
to 10,000 years ago, and probably had 
done so for a much longer period. 1 

When civilized man first came to the 
New World he found it peopled with a 
savage race which he called Indians. 
They had no knowledge of their own 
ancestry nor of any peoples who may 
have preceded them. Whether or not 
this race supplanted one of a higher 
civilization is a question upon which 
authorities disagree. 2 The only source's 

have crossed on land from Asia to Alaska and could 
have advanced south to Pategonia and Tierra del 
Fuego, occupying all the ground (excepting the ice- 
covered area) that is now, or was in pre-Columbian 
times, the home of the American race. It is not im- 
probable, too, that another line of very ancient migra- 
tion, in the same early Pleistocene or Quaternary 
time, passed from Western Europe by the Faroe 
islands, Iceland and Greenland, to our continent." 

-"It was formerly thought by many archaeologists, 
twenty-five to fifty years ago, thai the mounds of the 
Ohio and Mississippi valleys were built by a prehistoric 
people, distinct from the Indians and further advanced 
in agriculture and the arts of civilization. To that 
ancient people the name of Mound Builders was given , 
and it was supposed that they were driven southward 



of information concerning the early in- 
habitants are the implements of warfare 
and domestic use they made, found in 
burial places and elsewhere in the land. 
The Mississippi valley is prolific in 
mounds — the burial places of these 
ancient peoples,— many having been 
found and excavated in Minnesota. 

While we have little knowledge of the 
very early peoples who inhabited Minne- 
sota, from the middle of the seventeenth 
century, when white men first pene- 
trated to the Northwest, we can trace 
the history of the Indian tribes more or 
less accurately. At the coming of white 
men nearly the whole state was occupied 
by the Dakota, or Sioux, Indians. 3 
The only exception was in the extreme 
northern part, where the Kilistino (or 
Crees) and the Monsoni of the Algonquin 
tribes had their habitat. The Sioux, 
with whom alone Lyon county has to 
do, had their favorite hunting grounds 
on the prairies, and although they were 
usually domiciled in a portion of the 
timbered lands bordering the prairies 
they were strictly Indians of the prairie. 

About the middle of the eighteenth 
century the aggressive Ojibways, or 
Chippewas, made successful war on the 

into Mexico by incursions of the Indian tribes that 
were found in our country at the first coming of white 
men. This view, however, has been generally given 
up. The researches of Powell and other specialists, 
including Winchell and Brower in Minnesota, have 
well referred the building of the mounds to the ancestors 
of the present Indians." — Warren Upham in Minnesota 
in Three Centuries. 

s The Dakoian stock embraced many tribes and 
according to Indian tradition came from the Atlantic 
seaboard. Their original homes, according to the best 
authorities, were in the Carolinas, Virginia, and 
possibly portions of the Gulf coast. Into that region 
formerly the buffalo ranged. It is suggested that the 
quest for food probably led the Dakotas to follow the 
movements of that animal and thus in time to possess 
the country west of the Mississippi river. 

The migration, which occurred several centuries 
before the discovery of America, covered a great length 
of time and was by way of the Ohio valley, which was 
the home of the Dakotas at one time. Some authori- 
ties assert that the Dakotan stock built at least a part 
of the celebrated mounds of the Ohio valley, as well 
as those of Eastern Tennessee and West Virginia. 

The most important branches of the Dakotan stock 
that migrated to the West are given as follows 
(abridged) in The Aborigines of Minnesota, published 
by the Minnesota Historical Society in 1911: 

"Hidatsa. The Minitari or Gros Ventres of the 
Missouri valley. Probably the first of the expelled 
mound builders to reach Minnesota. 

Sioux and Crees, driving the Sioux to 
the south and the Crees to the north. 
Thenceforth until the white man sup- 
planted the red these two tribes occupied 
all the area of Minnesota, the Ojibways 
holding the northeastern wooded half 
and the Sioux its prairie half on the 
southwest . 

The Sioux nation was divided into 
several different tribes, each of which 
laid claim to certain tracts. The south- 
western part of Minnesota, including the 
present county of Lyon, was claimed by 
the Sissiton tribe. The location of the 
several bands inhabiting Southern Min- 
nesota in 1834 has been told by the 
missionary, S. W. Pond, who came to 
Minnesota that year. He has written: 

"The villages of the .M'dewakanton- 
wan were on the Minnesota and Mis- 
sissippi rivers, extending from Winona 
to Shakopee. Most of the Indians living 
on the Minnesota river above Shakopee 
were Warpetonwan. At Big Stone lake 
there were both Warpetonwan and 
Sissitonwan, and at Lake Traverse 
lhanktonwan [Yankton], Sissitonwan 
and Warpetonwan. Part of the War- 
pekute lived on Cannon river and part 
at Traverse des Sioux. There were 

"Crows, or Absaruka, or Upsarata. Still further up 
the Missouri river. 

"Mandan. On the Missouri river. 

"Sioux, or Dakota. Embraced San tee (Issanti), 
Sissiton, Wahpeton, Yankton, Yanktonai, Teton 
(embracing Brule, Sans Arcs, Blackfeet, Minneconjou, 
Two Kettles, the Ogallala and the Hunkpapa) and the 
Assiniboin, or Stone Sioux. 

"Winnebago. Originally in Central Wisconsin and 
Northwestern Illinois and later in Northern Minnesota 
and Iowa. 

"Omaha (Maha) and their kindred, Ponca, Osage, 
Kwapa and Kansa. Formerly of the Ohio and Wabash 
rivers. Later in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, 
sometimes extending their domains temporarily to 
Minnesota and the Black Hills. 

"Iowa (Dusty Heads). Included also the Otoe and 
the Missouri. Along the Mississippi river north of the 
Missouri, along the Des Moines river, and temporarily 
in Minnesota." 

The word Dakota, by which the Indians preferred to 
be designated, signifies allies, or joined together in 
friendly compact. But from the earliest days the 
nation has been more commonly referred to as Sioux, 
a word of Ojibway origin and bestowed by the French 
voyageurs. For centuries the Ojibways of the Lake 
Superior country waged war against the Dakotas and 
whenever they spoke of the latter they called them 
Nadowaysioux, which signifies enemies. The French- 
men nicknamed the Dakotas Sioux, a contraction of 
the Ojibway word. 



frequent intermarriages between these 
divisions of the Dakotas, and they were 
more or less intermingled at all their 
villages. Though the manners, lan- 
guage and dress of the different divisions 
were not all precisely alike, they were 
essentially one people." 

As has been mentioned before, the 
southwestern part of Minnesota was the 
country of the Sissiton branch of the 
Sioux nation from the time white men 
first visited it, The timber land along 
the Redwood river in Lyon county was 
a paradise for these Indians of the 
prairie and some of the band had their 
homes there; others frequented it on 
trapping and hunting expeditions and 
to gather the syrup from the maple trees. 

Parker I. Pierce, who passed through 
Lyon county in the early sixties and 
was quite well informed on Indian 
affairs, has given an interesting account 
of Indian life in Lyon county before the 
coming of white settlers. In the Lyon 
County Reporter of December 2G, 1896, 
he wrote: 

At Lynd there were about 1500 acres of 
timber (most of it having later been cut by 
the settlers), consisting of oak, bass and sugar 
maple. This timber was paradise for the 
Indians, furnishing shelter and fuel for winter 
and a feeding ground for their ponies. In the 
summer they would hunt and kill buffalo and 
dry the meat for winter. After the cold weather 
set in they devoted their time to trapping the 
fur-bearing animals, such as otter, mink and 
muskrats, which were abundant. In every 
slough one could count from three to forty 
houses or dens, which were made of rushes and 
varied in height. When there was to be high 
water in the spring they were built high, and 
when low water they were built low. That sign 
hardly ever failed. Now the rats have dis- 
appeared. The otter were not very plentiful, 
as the Indians kept them well trapped out. 
Their skins brought a fair price, probably two 
quarts of brown sugar. Wolves were very 
plentiful before the white trapper came among 
them. The Indian was so superstitious that he 
would not kill any; he said they were his Great 
Father's dogs. The same with a snake. 

As I said before, there were plenty of sugar 
maples and the Indian women made hundreds 
of pounds of sugar. In the spring the surplus 
would go to the Indian trader and shortly would 
be traded back to them for furs and robes. 

Each band of Indians had their allotment of 
trees. The troughs that were made to catch 
the sap remained under the trees until the 
following spring; then the same ones would go 
back to their camping ground. 

The Indians were happy and rich with ponies. 
Their burial places were the oaks that stood on 
the bluffs. The ones that died were wrapped 
in a blanket and put in the fork of a tree and 
left there until they crumbled to dust. The 
older settlers can recollect seeing the burial 
places in Lyons township, adjoining the town 
of Lynd. 

There is a mound the settlers call the knob, 
which is no doubt an ancient burial place. 
This knob looks as though the dirt had been 
carried and laid as systematically as for some 
observatory or look-out place; for one can 
stand there and see for miles in each direction. 
It once faced a lovely sheet of water which is 
now dry and is one of the best stock farms in 
the Northwest, owned and occupied by Mr. 
Ruliffson and sons. This mound has been nearly 
ruined by wolf hunters. There have been 
human bones found when digging for wolves. 
Years ago there was a hard-beaten trail leading 
to this mound from the timber, thence toward 
Wood lake, passing a very high peak where there 
was a large pile of rocks one could see for miles. 
No doubt this mound and peak have been used 
for look-outs, as the enemy, another tribe, was 
very troublesome. 

The history of Lyon county before 
the white race took possession must be 
left almost entirely to the imagination; 
there is little data from which to write 
it. If inanimate things could speak, 
what wild tales of Indian adventure 
could be poured forth! But inanimate 
things cannot speak and the animate 
aborigine is a notoriously worthless 
historian, so a very interesting part of 
the history of Lyon county must forever 
remain unrecorded. Only trifling bits 
of history, intermingled with a plethora 
of legend, are preserved of the days 
before the Caucasian race took pos- 

Let us, in imagery, take a look at the 
Lyon county of years gone by, when it 
was in primeval state, when it was as 
Nature had formed it. Its topography 
was practically the same as we find it to- 
day. There were the same broad, rolling 
prairies, stretching as far as the eye 
might reach, presenting in summer a 
perfect paradise of verdure, with its 



variegated hues of flowers and vegeta- 
tion; in winter a dreary and snow- 
mantled desert. The rivers and creeks 
flowed in the same courses as now; the 
lakes occupied the same banks as at the 
present day. But what a contrast! 

"Wild beasts and birds and wilder red 
men then reigned supreme. Vast herds 
of bison, elk and deer roamed the open 
prairies and reared their young in the 
more sheltered places along the streams. 
With that wonderful appreciation of the 
beautiful which Nature has made an 
instinct in the savage, the untutored ' 
Sioux selected the country as his hunting- 
ground and roamed it at will. Such 
was the Lyon county before the march 
of civilization brought the white man to 
supplant the red. 

Before introducing the first white man 
who set foot on the soil of Lyon county, 
let us review briefly the explorations 
that had been made in other parts of 

White men first penetrated the North- 
west country to the present state of 
Minnesota in the middle of the seven- 
teenth century (1655-56). In 1683 the 
first map on which physical features of 
Minnesota were pictured was published 
in connection with Father Hennepin's 
writings. The map is very A'ague and 
demonstrates that little was known of 
the Northwest country. Five years 
later, in 1688, J. B. Franquelin, a 
Canadian-French geographer, drafted 
for King Louis XVI. of France a more 
detailed map of North America, making 
use of information gathered by .loliet 
and Marquette, La Salle, Hennepin, 
DuLuth and others. Some of the prin- 
cipal streams and lakes are marked and 
more or less accurately located, among 
others the R. des Moingene (Des 
Moines), which rises not far from our 

territory. The data for a greater ^part 
of the map were doubtless secured from 
the Indians. 

A few French explorers, named above, 
had penetrated the present area of 
Minnesota, but none of them had ex- 
plored the southwestern portion. The 
first white man to visit the interior of 
Southern Minnesota was Le Sueur, who 
in 1700 ascended the Minnesota river to 
near the present site of Mankato. 

In 1699 Le Sueur received a com- 
mission from DTberville to visit and 
examine a copper mine which the 
former claimed to have learned of in 
the country of the Iowas. 4 In April, 
1700, with a company of about twenty- 
five persons he set out from the settle- 
ment on the lower Mississippi with a 
single shallop. On the nineteenth of 
September he reached the mouth of the 
Minnesota river and on the last day of 
that month, having reached the Blue 
Earth river, he built a fort in which he 
spent the winter. Fort L'Huillier, 
named for one of the chief collectors of 
the king of France, was a league up the 
Blue Earth river. A short distance 
from the fort the Frenchmen gathered 
large quantities of blue or green earth, 
which they believed to be copper ore. 
In the spring of 1701 Le Sueur with a 
part of his force descended the Missis- 
sippi with the "ore," 4000 pounds of 
which were sent to France. The garri- 
son which had been left at Fort L'Huil- 
lier, having received ill treatment at the 
hands of the Indians and having run 
short of provisions, in 1703 returned to 
civilization in charge of Derague. 

The data secured by Le Sueur were 
used in the preparation of a map of the 
Northwest country by William De L'isle. 
royal geographer of France, in 1703. 
Several of the larger and more important 

4 Le Sueur had first visited the upper Mississippi 
country in 16S3 with Perrot, in the interests of trade. 

He built a trading post at Isle Pelee, a few miles below 
Hastings, in 1695. 



physical features of Southwestern Min- 
nesota were more or less accurately 
located. For the first time the Minne- 
sota river appeared upon a map, being 
labeled R. St. Pierre, or Mini-Sota. 
The Des Moines river also has a place 
on the map, being marked Des Moines, 
or le Moingona R., and its source was 
definitely located. There is nothing in 
the writings of Le Sueur, however, to 
lead to the belief that he extended his 
exploration to any country except along 
the Minnesota river and not much 
farther up that stream than the mouth 
of the Blue Earth. 

During the next sixty-six years after 
Le Sueur visited the Minnesota river 
country, no white man was in South- 
western Minnesota, so far as we know. 
Then, in November, 1766, Jonathan 
Carver ascended the Minnesota and 
spent seven months with the Indians at 
the mouth of the Cottonwood river, in the 
vicinity of the present city of New Ulm. 
He remained with the Indians until 
April, 1767, and learned their language. 5 

5 Of his trip to this point Carver wrote: 

"On the twenty-fifth [of November, 1766] I returned 
to my canoe, which I had left at the mouth of the river 
St. Pierre [Minnesota]; and here I parted with regret 
from my young friend, the prince of the Winnebagoes. 
The river being clear of ice by reason of its southern 
situation, I found nothing to obstruct my passage. 
On the twenty-eighth, being advanced about forty 
miles, I arrived at a small branch that fell into it from 
the north; to which, as it had no name that I could 
distinguish it by, I gave my own, and the reader will 
find it in the plan of my travels denominated Carver's 
river. About forty miles higher up I came to the 
forks of the Verd [Blue Earth] and Red Marble [Waton- 
wan] rivers, which join at some little distance before 
they enter the St. Pierre. 

"The river St. Pierre at its junction with the Mis- 
sissippi is about a hundred yards broad and continues 
that breadth nearly all the way I sailed upon it. It 
has a great depth of water and in some places runs 
very swiftly. About fifteen miles from its mouth are 
some rapids and much higher up are many others. 

"I proceeded up this river about 200 miles, to the 
country of the Nadowessies [Sioux] of the plains, 
which lies a little above the fork formed by the Verd 
and Red Marble rivers just mentioned, where a branch 
from the south [the Cottonwood] nearly joins the 
Messorie [Missouri] river." [The sources of the Cot- 
tonwood river are near those of Rock river, the latter 
being a tributary of the Missouri.] 

6 From information received from the Indians Carver 
made some wonderful deductions as to the physical 
features of the country. In his narrative of the trip 
he wrote: 

"By the accounts I received from the Indians I have 
reason to believe that the river St. Pierre [Minnesota] 
and the Messorie [Missouri], though they enter the 
Mississippi twelve hundred miles from each other, 
take their rise in the same neighborhood, and this 
within the space of a mile. The river St. Pierre's 

It is possible that Carver during this 
time may have visited the country 
which is now included within the bound- 
aries of Lyon county, for he hunted 
with the Indians over some of the great 
plains of Southwestern Minnesota which, 
"according to their [the Indians'] ac- 
count, are unbounded and probably 
terminate on the coast of the Pacific 
ocean."' 1 

Undoubtedly white men, engaged in 
trade with the natives or trapping and 
hunting for the fur companies or for 
themselves, visited that part of South- 
western Minnesota which is now desig- 
nated Lyon county in the early part of 
the nineteenth century. But such men 
left no records of their operations, and 
our information concerning the explora- 
tion of the country is obtained almost 
wholly from expeditions sent out by 
the government. 

An early visitor to Southwestern 
Minnesota was Major Stephen H. Long, 
who conducted a party of exploration, 
under direction of the secretary of war, 

northern branch [that is, the main river] rises from a 
number of lakes [Big Stone lake] near the Shining 
Mountains [the Coteau des Prairies] and it is from 
some of these also that a capital branch [Red River of 
the North] of the river Bourbon [Nelson river], which 
runs into Hudson's Bay, has its sources. ... I have 
learned that the four most capital rivers of North 
America, viz., the St. Lawrence, the Mississippi, the 
River Bourbon [Nelson] and the Oregon [Columbia], 
or River of the VVest, have their sources in the same 
neighborhood. The waters of the three former are 
within thirty miles of each other; the latter, however, 
is rather farther west. 

"This shows that these parts are the highest lands 
of North America; and it is an instance not to be 
paralleled on the other three-quarters of the globe, that 
four rivers of such magnitude should take their rise 
together and each, after running separate courses, 
discharge their waters into different oceans at the 
distance of 2000 miles from their source." 

Of the country through which he traveled Carver 
wrote : 

"The river St. Pierre, which runs through the terri- 
tory of the Nadowessies flows through a most delightful 
country, abounding with all the necessaries of life that 
grow spontaneously, and with a little cultivation it 
might be made to produce even the luxuries of life. 
Wild rice grows here in great abundance; and every 
part is filled with trees bending under their loads of 
fruit, such as plums, grapes and apples; the meadows 
are covered with hops and many sorts of vegetables; 
whilst the ground is stored with useful roots, with 
angelica, spikenard and ground nuts as large as hens' 
eggs At a little distance from the sides of the river 
are eminences from which you have views that cannot 
l,c exceeded by even the must beautiful of those I 
have already described Amidst these are delightful 
groves and such amazing quantities of maples thai 
they would produce sugar sufficient for any numbei 
of inhabitants." 



to the source of the Minnesota river and 
to Lake Winnipeg in 1823. In the party 
were several scientific gentlemen from 
Philadelphia, among them Professor 
William Keating of the University of 
Pennsylvania, who was the historian of 
the party. 

It was during the month of July, 
1823, that Major Long and party made 
the trip up the Minnesota river, traveling 
on the south side of the stream. Pro- 
fessor Keating mentions the Redwood 
river and states that the red pipestone 
was said to exist on its banks three 
days' journey from its mouth. Mention 
is made of Patterson's rapids, the Grand 
portage, the Pejehata Zeze Watapan 
(Yellow Medicine) river, Beaver rivulet 
(Lac qui Parle river) and other physical 
features. Interesting observations were 
recorded respecting the fauna and flora 
of the prairies. 

Another exploration of Southwestern 
Minnesota was made in the summer of 
1835 by G. W. Featherstonhaugh, an 
English gentleman. He bore the title 
United States geologist and was com- 
missioned by Colonel J. J. Abert, of the 
Bureau of Topographical Engineers. 
Featherstonhaugh proceeded up the 
Minnesota river for a considerable dis- 
tance and explored parts of the Coteau 
des Prairies, which he described at some 
length. His exact route is not known 
and it is possible he passed through 
Lyon county. 7 

A white man first established a home 
in Lyon county in 1835. He was 

'From Featherstonhaugh's expedition resulted two 
works, one entitled "Report of geological reconnoisance 
made in 1835 from the seat of government by the way 
of Green Bay and the Wisconsin Territory to the 
Coteau des Prairies, an elevated ridge dividing the 
Missouri from the St. Peter's [Minnesota] river," 
printed by order of the Senate in 1S36, and the other 
"A Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotar," published in 
London in 1847. 

s Most of the information concerning the operations 
of Joseph LaFramboise herein contained was obtained 
by Doane Robinson, now secretary »f the South 
Dakota Historical Society, in an interview _ with 
Joseph LaFramboise, Jr., in 1900. The latter re- 
membered well the time of the family's residence in 
Lyon county and the visit of George Catlin in 1S37. 

Joseph LaFramboise, a trader in the 
employ of the American Fur Company, 
and his post was in the Lyncl woods on 
the Redwood river. There for a period 
of two years he lived with his family, 
engaged in trade with the Indians. 

So early as 1826 Joseph LaFramboise 
was a trader, licensed by the Indian 
agent at the agency established at the 
mouth of the Minnesota river. In the 
late twenties he established a trading 
post on the headwaters of the Des 
Moines river, probably in Murray county, 
where in 1829 a son, Joseph LaFram- 
boise, Jr., was born. 8 In 1834 he moved 
the post to the "Great Oasis," at about 
the present location of Lowville, in 
Murray county, remained there one 
year, and in 1835 removed the post to 
the Lyncl woods. 

For two years LaFramboise and his 
family were residents of the future Lyon 
county, he acting as agent for the 
American Fur Company in bartering 
with the Indians. In 1837 he moved to 
the mouth of the Cottonwood river and 
the next year to a homestead in Ridgely 
township, Nicollet county, about eleven 
miles above the present site of New Ulm. 
LaFramboise died in 1856. 

It was in 1837, while LaFramboise 
was residing in Lyon county, that 
George Catlin, the famous traveler and 
Indian delineator, traversed the county 
on his way to visit the Pipestone 
quarries. 9 He organized the expedition 
at the falls of St. Anthony and was 
accompanied only by Robert Serril 

His mother was an Indian woman, the daughter of 
Walking Day. LaFramboise, Sr., was a much married 
man. His second and third wives were daughters of 
Sleepy Eye and his fourth was Jane Dickson, whom 
In married in 1845 at Traverse des Sioux. That 
marriage was the first performed in what is now 
Nicollet county. 

9 George Catlin made the trip from New York City, 
traveled 2400 miles, and devoted eight months' time, 
"traveling at considerable expense and for part of the 
way with much fatigue and exhaustion." He had 
planned to make the trip when at Fort Snelling in 
1835, but learning of the Featherstonhaugh expedition 
that year to the Coteau des Prairies, he postponed the 
trip two years. 



Wood, "a young gentleman from Eng- 
land of fine taste and education/' and 
mi Indian guide, O-kup-kee by name. 

This little party traveled horseback 
and followed the usual route up the 
Minnesota on the south side. At Trav- 
erse des Sioux, near the present site of 
St. Peter, Mr. Catlin and his companion 
halted at the cabin of a trader, where 
they were threatened by a band of 
savages and warned not to persist in 
their determination to visit the quarries. 
They continued on their way, however, 
crossed to the north side of the river at 
Traverse des Sioux, proceeded in a 
westerly direction, and crossed the Min- 
nesota to the south bank near the mouth 
of the Waraju (Cottonwood), close to 
the present city of New Ulm. 

There Messrs. Catlin and Wood left 
the river and journeyed "a little north 
of west" for the Coteau des Prairies. 
They traveled through the present 
counties of Brown, Redwood and Lyon 
and passed several Indian villages, at 
several of which they were notified that 
they must go back; but, undaunted, 
they continued their journey. Catlin 
states in one place that he traveled one 
hundred miles or more from the mouth 
of the Cottonwood, and in another place 
"for a distance of one hundred and 
twenty or thirty miles" before reaching 
the base of the coteau, when he was still 
"forty or fifty miles from the Pipestone 
quarries." 10 He declared this part of 
the journey was over one of the most 
beautiful prairie countries in the world. 11 

Mr. Catlin came to the trading post 
of the American Fur Company in charge 

10 Most of Catlin's distances were overestimated. 
The distance from the mouth of the Cottonwood to the 
base of the coteau where he came upon it is only about 
seventy-two miles in a direct line; then he was about 
thirty-six miles from the quarries. 

lll 'This tract of country, as well as that along' the 
St. Peter's [Minnesota] river, is mostly covered with 
the richest soil and furnishes an abundance of good 
water, which feeds from a thousand living springs. 
For many miles we had the coteau in view in the 
distance before us, which looked like a blue cloud 
settling down in the horizon, and we were scarcely 

of Joseph La Framboise, whom he re- 
ferred to as an old friend, at the Lynd 
woods. From the trading post the 
intrepid travelers journeyed to the 
quarries, guided by their Indian. The 
explorer described the land along the 
route as a series of swells or terraces, 
gently rising one above the other. 
According to his account, there was not 
a tree or bush to be seen in any direction 
and the ground was covered with a 
green turf of grass five or six inches high. 

The next white men to penetrate 
Lyon county were a party of explorers 
in the government employ, who passed 
through in the summer of 1S3S. In the 
party were six men under command of 
Joseph Nicolas Nicollet, with John C. 
Fremont, later nominee of the Repub- 
lican party for president of the United 
States, second in command. 12 Among 
the others were Charles A. Geyer, the 
botanist of the expedition; J. Eugene 
Flandin and James Renville. -i { 

Nicollet and Fremont traveled from 
Washington to St. Louis and thence up 
the Mississippi river to H. H. Sibley's 
trading post, near the mouth of the 
Minnesota river. Thence they journeyed 
over the general route of travel up the 
south side of the Minnesota river, 
crossing at Traverse des Sioux. They 
proceeded west across the "ox-bow," 
stopping at Big Swan Jake in Nicollet 
county, and crossed the Minnesota again 
at the mouth of the Cottonwood. They 
proceeded up the valley of the Cotton- 
wood, on the north side of the river, to 
a point near the present site of Lam- 
berton, and then crossed to the south 

sensible of the fact when we had arrived at its base 
from the graceful and almost imperceptible swells with 
which it commences its elevation above the country 
around it." — North American Indians, by George 
Catlin. , . , , , -., j-4j 

i-From 1S36 to 1S43 Nicollet, most of the time 
assisted by Fremont, prosecuted :i geographical survey 
of the upper Mississippi country. He explored nearlj 
all portions of Minnesota and many other parts of the 
country theretofore unvisited. His operations in 
Southwestern Minnesota were (mite extensive. 



side of the river and struck across 
country to the west. They passed 
through the southeast corner of Lyon 
county, about where the city of Tracy 
now stands, and passed around the 
north end of Lake Shetek. Thence they 
proceeded southwestward, between Bear 
lakes, to the Pipestone quarries. 13 

After spending three clays at the 
Pipestone quarries, where is now situated 
the city of Pipestone, the Nicollet party 
visited and named Lake Benton (for 
Mr. Fremont's father-in-law. Senator 
Benton) and then proceeded westward 
into Dakota, visiting and naming Lakes 
Preston (for Senator Preston), Poinsett 
(for J. R. Poinsett, secretary of war). 
Abert, Thompson, Tetonkoha, Kam- 
peska and Hendricks. Before returhing 
to civilization Nicollet visited Big Stone 
lake and other places to the north. He 
returned to the falls of St. Anthony by 
way of Joseph Renville's camp on the 
Lac qui Parle. 

As a result of Nicollet's exploration 
several physical features of Lyon county 
and the immediate vicinity were given 
names and appeared on a map for the 
first time, all quite accurately located. 
Among them are St. Peter or Minisotah 
river (on which are shown Crooked 
rapids, Rock Bar rapids and Patterson's 
rapids), Tchanshayapi or Redwood R., 
Waraju [Cottonwood] R., Pejuta Zizi R. 
or Yellow Medicine R., L. Shetek 

13 On Nicollet's map, issued in 1843. his route to the 
quarries is indicated by a fine dotted line. This map 
at the time it was issued was the most complete and 
correct one of the upper Mississippi country. It 
covered all of Minnesota and Iowa, about one-half of 
Missouri, and much of the Dakotas, Wisconsin and 
Illinois. The author save names to many streams and 
lakes and gave the first representation of the striking 
topographical features of the western and northern 
parts of Minnesota. He located, by astronomical 
observations, the numerous streams and lakes and the 
main geographical features of the state, filling in by 
eye-sketching and by pacing the intermediate objects. 

Other explorers had visited and described the Coteau 
des Prairies, but Nicollet was the first one to define its 
boundaries on a map. He described the region west 
of the Mississippi as containing several plateaus, or 
elevated prairies, which marked the limits of the 
various river basins. The most remarkable of these, 
he declared, was the Plateau du Coteau ties Prairies 
(plateau of prairie heights), a name bestowed by the 
earlier French explorers, and Coteau du Grand Bois 

(designated as the head of the Moin- 
gonan [Des Moines] river), L. Benton 
and Red Pipestone Quarry. On his 
map the country along the Minnesota 
river is labeled Warpeton country and 
that further south Sissiton country. 

The next recorded visit of white men 
was in 1844, when an expedition in 
charge of Captain J. Allen came up the 
Des Moines river, operating chiefly to 
chart that and other streams. He 
passed through Jackson, Cottonwood 
and Murray counties and came to Lake 
Shetek, which he decided was the source 
of the Des Moines river. He gave that 
body of water the name Lake of the 
Oaks and described it as remarkable for 
a singular arrangement of the penin- 
sulas running into it from all sides and 
for a heavy growth of timber that 
covered the peninsulas and the borders 
of the lake. 

With Lake Shetek as temporary head- 
quarters, Captain Allen extended his 
explorations in several directions. He 
proceeded due north from the lake and 
crossed the Cottonwood and later the 
Redwood near the present site of 
Marshall. When thirty-seven miles 
north of Lake Shetek he turned east 
and crossed the Redwood again near the 
site of Redwood Falls. From the mouth 
of the Redwood he explored the south 
shore of the Minnesota river several 
miles up and down and returned to 

(wooded heights). Nicollet described the Coteau des 
Prairies as a vast plain, elevated 1916 feet above the 
level of the ocean and 890 feet above Big Stone lake, 
lying between latitudes forty-three and fortv-six 
degrees, extending from northwest to southeast for a 
distance of 200 miles, its width varying from fifteen 
to forty miles. On the map he located it as extending 
from a point a short distance northwest of Lake 
Traverse in a southeasterly direction into Iowa, in- 
cluding the western part of Lyon county. 

Of the country through which he passed on his way 
to the quarries Nicollet wrote: 

"Whatever people may fix their abode in this region 
must necessarily become agriculturists and shepherds, 
drawing all their resources from the soil. They must 
not only raise the usual agricultural products for 
feeding, as is now but too generally done in some parts 
of the West, but they will have to turn their attention 
to other rural occupations, such as tending sheep for 
their wool, which would greatly add to their resources, 
as well as finally bring about a more extended applica- 
tion of the industrial arts among them." 


- ; 








u V 

i) r 


















1— 1 











Lake Shetek. 14 The expedition then 
set out for t lie west and went down the 
Big Sioux river to its month. 

From events so far recorded it can be 
seen that up to the middle of the nine- 
teenth century the general knowledge 
of the country comprising Southwestern 
Minnesota was extremely Hunted. For 
a decade after Captain Allen passed 
through Lyon county in 1S44 there are 
no records of the visits of other white 
men, although undoubtedly some of the 
traders who had headquarters on the 
Minnesota river trod its soil occasionally. 

Excepting what these nomadic people 
of the Indian country knew, we find 
that when Minnesota Territory was 
created in 1849 the southwestern portion 
was a veritable terra incognita. 15 In 
fact, all the land west of the Mississippi 
river was still in undisputed ownership 
of the Sioux bands, and white men 
(excepting the licensed traders) had no 
rights whatever in the country. But 
the tide of immigration to the West had 
set in and settlers were clamoring for 
admission to the rich lands west of the 
river. In time the legal barrier was 
removed. 16 

In the spring of 1851 President 
Fillmore, at the solicitation of residents 
of Minnesota Territory, directed that 
a treaty with the Sioux be made and 

14 "From Lizard creek of the Des Moines to the 
source of the Des Moines, and thence east to the St. 
Peter's, is a range for elk and common deer, but 
principally elk. W r e saw a great many of the elk on 
our route and killed many of them ; they were some- 
times seen in droves of hundreds, but were always 
difficult to approach and very difficult to overtake in 
chase, except with a fleet horse and over good ground. 
No dependence could be placed in this country for the 
subsistence of troops marching through it." — Captain 
Allen's Report. 

15 " Westward of the Mississippi river the country 
was unexplored and virgin. There were wide expanses 
of wild and trackless prairie, never traversed by a 
white man, which are now the highly developed coun- 
ties of Southern and Southwestern Minnesota, with 
their fine and flourishing cities and towns and the other 
institutions that make for a state's eminence and 
greatness. Catlin had passed from Little Rock to the 
Pipestone quarry; Nicollet and his surveying party- 
had gone over the same route and had traveled along 
the Minnesota. Sibley and Fremont had chased elk 
over the prairies in what are now Steele, Dodge, 
Freeborn and Mower counties; the Missouri cattle 
drovers had led their herds to Fort Snelling and up to 

named as commissioners to conduct the 
negotiations Governor Alexander Ram- 
sey, ex-officio commissioner for Minne- 
sota, and Luke Lea, the national com- 
missioner of Indian affairs. These 
commissioners completed a treaty with 
the Sissiton and Wahpaton bands — the 
upper bands, as they were usually 
called — at Traverse des Sioux (near the 
present site of St. Peter) during the 
latter part of July, 1851. Immediately 
thereafter the commissioners proceeded 
to Mendota (near St. Paul), where they 
were successful in making a treat} - with 
the AVahpakoota and M'daywakanton 

The treaties were ratified, with im- 
portant amendments, by Congress in 
1852. The amended articles were signed 
by the Indians in September, 1852, and 
in February of the next year President 
Fillmore proclaimed the treaties in 
force. By this important proceeding 
the future Lyon county passed from 
the ownership of the Sioux to the United 
States. By the two treaties there were 
transferred about 30,000,000 acres from 
8000 Indians, the greater portion of the 
land lying in Minnesota. 17 The price 
paid was about twelve and one-half 
cents per acre. 

After the lands were ceded settlers 
poured into the country west of the 

the Red River regions, but in all, not fifty white men 
had passed over the tract of territory now comprising 
Southern and Southwestern Minnesota when the 
territory was admitted in 1849." — Return I. Holcombe 
in Minnesota in Three Centuries. 

18 In 1841 a treaty was negotiated by J. B. Doty, 
governor of Wisconsin, in councils held at Traverse des 
Sioux, Mendota and Wabasha, by the terms of which 
the Sioux were to cede about, 25,000,000 acres of hind, 
but the treaty was not confirmed by the Senate. 

17 The territory ceded by the Indians was declared 
to be: "All their lands in the state of Iowa and also 
all their lands in the territory of Minnesota lying easl 
of the following line, to-wit: Beginning at the junction 
of the Buffalo river with the Red River of the North 
[about twelve miles north of Moorhead, in Clay county]: 
thence along the western bank of said Red River of the 
North to the mouth of the Sioux Wood river; thence 
along the western bank of said Sioux Wood river to 
Lake Traverse; thence along the western shore of said 
lake to the southern extremity 1 hereof; thence in :i 
direct line to the junction of Kampeska lake with the 
Tchan-ka-sna-du-ta, or Sioux river; thence along I In- 
western bank of said river to its point of intersection 



Mississippi river and settlements were 
founded at numerous places in the 
eastern part of the territory. But for 
'some years they did not extend so far 
west as Lyon county, and until after 
the Sioux War the territory that com- 
prises the county was largely the same 
virgin country it had always been. 

During the year 1855 white people for 
the first time resided in Lyon county, 
if we except Joseph LaFramboise, who 
for a short time had a trading post 
within its boundaries. In the year 
mentioned James W. Lynd established 
a trading post in the Lynd woods on the 
Redwood, and Aaron Myers and family 
located on the Cottonwood, in the 
present township of Amiret. 

It was during the month of May, 
1855, 18 that James W. Lynd established 
his trading post on the Redwood. The 
original site was on land which when 
surveyed was found to be the northwest 
quarter of the northeast quarter of 
section 5, Lyons township, — land which 
later was taken as a homestead by 
Charles E. Goodell. The groves along 
the Redwood had always been a favorite 
camping ground of the Indians and the 
site was a model one for barter with the 
natives. The fur trade was a profitable 
one and Mr. Lynd is said to have 
carried on a successful business, trading 
sugar, blankets, calico, tobacco, ammu- 
nition and possibly whisky for pelts of 

with the northern line of the state of Iowa; including 
all islands in said rivers and lakes." 

Excluded from this territory were two reservations. 
That for the upper Sioux was a tract of land twenty 
miles wide, straddling the Minnesota river from Lake 
Traverse to the Yellow Medicine river. The reserva- 
tion for the lower bands was of the same width and 
extended from the upper reserve down to the neigh- 
borhood of New Ulm. There were disputes regarding 
these reservations until Congress in 1863 annulled all 
treaty obligations toward the Sioux and the Indians 
were removed beyond the limits of the state. 

IS C. H. Whitney is the authority for giving this date 
as the time of the establishment of the post. He 
obtained the information from the half-breed LeMars 
and an old Indian, Shoto John by name. 

loWhen Mr. Goodell took his claim in the late sixties 
he found the remains of a burned buildkig on the site 
of the old post. In 1880, while plowing for a garden 
a short distance north of this place, he unearthed a tub 
full of tools, consisting of several handsaws, an augur, 

the numerous fur-bearing animals. 
During a part of the time he employed 
in the store a half-breed, John Moore. 

According to the best information 
available, the post was conducted at the 
original location on section 5 two years 
and was destroyed by fire. 19 It was 
then moved down the river a short 
distance to the northeast quarter of 
section 33, Lynd township, only a stone's 
throw from the present village of Lynd. 
It was on land which later became 
known. as the Wright place. There he 
built a log cabin, in which he conducted 
his business some time longer and which 
in the late sixties was used by the 
settlers for various purposes. It is 
unknown how long Mr. Lynd operated 
the post in Lyon county. He moved to 
the Lower Agency on the Minnesota 
river, about six miles below Redwood 
Falls, and there established a store. 20 

The others w r ho ventured far from the 
limits of civilization and founded a home 
in Lyon county in 1855 were Aaron 
Myers and family. That year he and 
his wife and children 21 made permanent 
settlement on what is now the north- 
west quarter of section 31, Amiret 
township. Myers located there for the 
purpose of trapping and trading with 
the Indians, and his home was there 
two years and six months. Mr. Myers 
has told of his residence there: 22 

"I was born in Herkimer county, 

chisels, hoes, a handax, flatiron, a teacup and saucer. 
The tub had entirely rotted away, only the impression 
being left by which to determine what it had been. 
Most of the tools were destroyed by rust. 

20 James W. Lynd was quite a prominent man in the 
affairs of the frontier country and served as a member 
of the State Senate in 1861. He was one of the first 
victims of the Sioux massacre, having met his death 
at the store of Nathan Myrick at the Lower Agency. 
Others killed with him were Andrew J. Myrick and 
(I. \V. Divoll. 

21 Mrs. Myers' maiden name was Walkup and she 
was born in Vermont January 31, 1826. She died as 
a result of exposure during the Sioux massacre. The 
children of the family were as follows: Louisa, born 
May 20, 1850; Arthur J., born November 20, 1851; 
Olive E., born July 24, 1854; Fred B., born May 25, 
1857, died in 1864; Addie J., born May 12, 1861. 

"Interview by Doane Robinson in February, 1900. 
At that time Mr. Myers resided near Garretson, South 
Dakota. He died there in March, 1905. 



New York, .June 8, 1825. I moved 
from Polk county, Wisconsin, to the 
piece of land now known as the Robin- 
son farm'-' 3 on the Cottonwood river, 
four miles above the present village of 
Amiret, Lyon county. Minnesota, where 
with my wife and five children I lived 
for more than two years. We planted 
some corn and a garden, but in the 
main we depended on trapping and 
trade with the Indians. At first every- 
thing went well with us and our relations 
with the Indians were pleasant.'' 

Mr. Myers was known among the 
Indians as Siha Sisrinna (Small Feet). 
He was also called Doctor because he 
successfully treated several of the In- 
dians who. had sore eyes and also took 
care of those who were sick or injured. 
He became well-known among the 
natives who frequented the vicinity. 24 

During 1S56 and 1857 a wagon road 
was constructed across southern Lyon 
county, being a part of the road between 
Fort Ridgely ami the Missouri river, 
known as the "Fort Ridgely and South 
Pass Road." It was constructed by 
the United States government under 
direction of Albert H. Campbell, who 
bore the title of "General Superintend- 
ent Pacific Wagon Roads," but the field 
work was in charge of Colonel William 
H. Nobles. 25 ^ 

23 The home of Mr. Myers was not on the George 
Robinson farm. W hen the pioneer revisited the scene 
in later years he recognized his old home on the Grover 
place, now the property of L. F. O'Brien. The 
original house is still standing. 

24 Much of the information concerning the early 
settlement of Saratoga (as the point later was known) 
is obtained from Dr. H. M. Workman, of Tracy, who 
secured it from Mr. Myers and others. I have also 
made use of data secured from Mr. Myers by Doane 
Robinson, now secretary of the South Dakota Histor- 
ical Society. 

"Colonel William H. Nobles was born in 1816. He 
constructed the first wagon road in Minnesota and 
became noted as the discoverer of the pass in the Rocky 
mountains which shortened the emigrant route to the 
Pacific side some 500 miles, and through which the 
Union Pacific railroad now passes. A Minnesota 
county is named in his honor. In 1S61 he was president 
of the Minnesota Old Settlers' Association. 

-The course of the road as described by Albert H. 
Campbell in his report to the secretary of the Interior 
February 19, 1S59, was as follows: 

"... This road was completed only as far as the 
Missouri river, 2.54 miles, some time in the fall of 1857, 

The road entered Lyon county close 

to the line that separates Monroe and 
Amiret townships and crossed the Cot- 
ton wood on section 31, Amiret town- 
ship, and section 36, Sodus township. 
Thence it continued westward, crossed 
the Redwood river near the present site 
of Russell, and passed close to Lake 
Benton. From the lake it extended to 
the Missouri river. 26 The road was in- 
tended as a highway for emigrant trains 
to the Pacific coast, but the eastern end 
of the road, at least, was never so used. 

What particularly interests the people 
of Lyon county is the fact that Colonel 
Nobles had a permanent camp at the 
crossing of the Cottonwood, spent one 
or two winters there with his men, 
erected a house, stables and corral, and 
there built the finest bridge on the road. 
At the camp was a spring of water, 
which later became known as Nobles' 
Spring, while across the river was a 
fenced field, in which it is believed the 
roadmakers raised a garden. The. 
bridge had a substantial set of abut- 
ments and the stable had a stone foun- 
dation laid in mortar. The ruins of the 
Nobles camp were in existence many 
years after the county was settled. 

The following account of the building 
of the road and the activities in Lyon 
county is taken from the report of 

in consequence of the insufficiency of the appropria- 
tion and of alleged Indian hostilities. The general 
location of this road is as follows: Beginning at the 
ferry on the Minnesota river, which is 150 feet wide at 
this place, opposite Fort Ridgely. The general course 
of the road is southwesterly, passing through a marshy 
region a few miles south of Limping Devil's lake to the 
north fork of the Cottonwood, a distance of about 
seventeen miles, thence to the Cottonwood river, over 
a rolling country, with lakes and marshes, about one 
and one-half miles below the mouth of Plum creek, 
distance about nineteen miles. From this point the 
road continues across Plum creek and three good 
watering places to the crossing of Cottonwood at Big 
Wood, about eighteen and one-half miles. Thence the 
road continues to Hole-in-the-Mountain, near Lake 
Benton, a distance of about thirty-two miles, passing 
through a region abounding in lakes and an abundance 
of wood, water and grass. From Lake Benton the 
road passes for the most part over a high prairie to the 
Big Sioux river, about twenty-three and one-half miles. 
. . . This road, as far as built, is remarkably direct 
and is believed, from the description of the country 
through which it passes, to be the best location which 
could have been made, securing a plentiful supply of 
water, grass and timber." 



Colonel William H. Nobles, dated Jan- 
uary 18, 1S58. "upon the Fort Ridgely 
and South Pass Wagon Road, con- 
structed under the direction of the 
Department of the Interior, 1856-57- 
58 ':- 7 

... I have to report that I have located 
and built a good wagon road from Fort Ridgely 
to the Missouri river, in latitude 43 degrees, 47 
minutes, between Bijou hill and Fort "Look- 

The road has been selected and made with a 
view to accommodate the emigrant, by having 
it pass through a good country and in the 
vicinity of wood and water; and also, with these 
valuable considerations always in sight, I have 
been able to complete the road in almost a 
direct line from Fort Ridgely to the terminus 
on the Missouri river. . . The rivers on the 
road to be crossed are North Branch of the 
Cottonwood river, Cottonwood river (twice), 
Redwood river, Medary creek, Big Sioux river, 
Perrine creek, Riviere du Jacques or James 
river, besides a number of small creeks. 

On the Cottonwood river I have constructed 
a rough bridge adapted to the present travel, 
but it is important that this river should be well 
bridged at both of the crossings. The rapid 
flow of emigration to this section of country also 
demands that the bridges be immediately con- 

... At this time most alarming accounts 
had been received from the Yellow Medicine, 
and messengers were going through the country 
preparing the frontiers in anticipation of a 
general Indian war. . . . 

In view of these difficulties I returned to my 
former camp on the Cottonwood river and 
employed my men bridging that stream and 
repairing wagons, harness, etc. . . . 

I have erected on the Cottonwood river a 
substantial log house, with store-room, etc., 
and have placed the stock and property in 
charge of a small number of men. I have also 
erected good stables for the protection of the 
animals, cut and secured hay sufficient, I think, 
to keep them through an ordinary winter. 

During a part of the time of the 
residence of the Myers family in Lyon 
county, a trapper, Charles Hammer by 
name — but commonly called "Swede 

- ; Secured through the kindness of Hon. Warren 
Upham, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society. 

2S The Dakota Land Company also laid out towns at 
Flandreau, Medary, Sioux Falls and other points on 
the Big Sioux river, far out in the Indian country, and 
planned big for the colonization of the frontier. It 
seems strange, indeed, that any company of sane men 
would attempt to found a town in such a country as 
Lyon county was in 1S57, but the act was not more 
out of the ordinary than many that were proposed. 

The fifties were remarkable ones in Minnesota 
Territory by reason of the immense tide of immigration 
and the consequent activity in real estate operations. 
The fever of real estate speculation attacked all classes. 
Enormous and rapid profits were made by speculators 

Charley" —made his home there and 
operated in the vicinity. Mr. Myers 
described him as a good-natured fellow. 
but did not know whence he came or 
what later became of him. 

J. H. Ingalls is another who estab- 
lished a home in the same vicinity 
during the time Mr. Myers resided there. 
With four children (his wife was dead) 
he located on the Cottonwood a little 
above Mr. Myers' home, also on section 
31, Amiret township, and near the 
Nobles stables. But little is known of 
Ingalls' life in Lyon county and it is 
known that he remained only a short 
time. He married again and with his 
wife and two daughters, aged twelve 
and fourteen years, met death in the 
massacre of 1862. Two other children. 
bo3^s, were taken prisoners. 

While the Myers family was living in 
this out-of-the-way place, in the spring 
of 1857, the Dakota Land Company 
located a townsite, named Saratoga, on 
section 1, Custer, near the Myers home. 28 
A house was erected on the townsite 
and John Renniker, an employe, was 
left in charge. He has been described 
as a plain, honest Pennsylvania Dutch- 
man. The sole inhabitant of Saratoga 
determined to turn a penny to his own 
account and sold whisky to the Indians, 
in consequence of which he soon lost 
his position. Thereafter Saratoga was 
deserted and Renniker made his home 
with Mr. Myers, by whom he was em- 

Mr. Myers made a trip to the Sioux 

who had the foresight and courage to venture. Elab- 
orate schemes for big ventures were planned; nothing 
was done in a niggardly manner; frenzied finance 
reigned supreme. 

Railroad rumors filled the air and "paper" roads 
covered the territory from one end to the other, most 
of them backed by bonuses granted by the Legislature. 
Townsite companies were organized and extensively 
operated. Townsites were indiscriminately planted on 
the frontier and the Legislature was prevailed upon to 
establish wagon roads leading to them, to pass acts 
declaring them incorporated villages, and to declare 
them the county seats of counties created for the 
purpose — counties in which lived not a human being. 

Such were the conditions when Saratoga was 



river country in the spring of 1857 with 
a party of the Dakota Land Company, 
I nit soon returned home. Upon his 
return he sent Renniker with his oxen 
and wagon to New Ulm for supplies. 
Contrary to his employer's expressed 
instructions, Renniker bought a ten- 
gallon cask of whisky and started home. 
John Campbell, a notorious half-breed, 
had witnessed the purchase and with a 
party of seven Sioux warriors followed 
and overtook the unfortunate man near 
the present village of Walnut Grove. 
Renniker was murdered and the goods 
taken by Campbell and the Indians. 29 

Renniker's death became known and 
"Swede Charley," accompanied by Hoel 
Parmelee, one of the settlers at Lake 
Shetek, set" out to hud the body. They 
secured the assistance of Andrew Koch, 
who lived in the vicinity, and found the 
murdered man near Nobles' crossing of 
the Cottonwood, on or near section 19, 
township 109, range 38. The body was 
brought to Saratoga and buried on the 
ridge north of Mr. Myers' house. 

After the murder Mr. Myers feared to 
have his family exposed to Indian attack 
and moved to the Lake Shetek settle- 
ment, which had in the meantime been 
established. There he and his family 
resided until the massacre of 1862, when 
they barely escaped with their lives. 

In the late fifties when settlers pushed 
out to the Lake Shetek country they 
came over the Nobles road to near 
Walnut Grove and then switched off 
and proceeded to the lake by way of 
Lake Sigel. This route was said to 
have been taken because water was 

29 John Campbell was lynched in Mankato in 1865 
for the alleged murder of the Jewett family. He and 
Mr. Jewett had served in the same company in the 
army and after the war Campbell had located near 
LeSueur, while Jewett, who was known to have about 
$300 in cash, had returned to his home on a farm near 
Mankato. Soon after, so it was believed, Campbell 
and five Indians went to the Jewett home and mur- 
dered the whole family with the exception of a baby 
and Mr. Jewett's father, who had been left for dead. 

Campbell was taken into custody and his life was 
brought to a close by being suspended from a tree 

more easily obtained. In 1861 a road 
was laid out between New Ulm and 
Sioux falls by "a lawyer, a cross-eyed 
man from Dubuque — called 'Old Steve' 

and Hoel Parmelee," 30 which made a 
shorter route between the two settle- 
ments than over the Nobles trail by way 
of Saratoga. The trail crossed the lower 
end of Lake Shetek ami did not touch 
Lyon county. 

Lyon county was left destitute of 
white inhabitants after the departure of 
Messrs. Lynd and Myers and remained 
so until several years after the Sioux 
War. During these years white men 
had established homes almost to the 
border of the county, but none had had 
the hardihood to venture quite so far 
from the more populous communities. 

Mankato and New Ulm had grown 
into thriving little villages and the 
country adjacent to them had become 
settled. Farther up the Minnesota were 
Fort Ridgely and the two Indian 
agencies, at wmich resided many white 
people. To the south, Jackson county 
had attained a population of two or 
three hundred people, a small colony 
had been established in the Graham 
Lakes country of Nobles county, and 
just over the Lyon county line, on Lake 
Shetek, there was a thriving little settle- 
ment. Even farther west, on the Big 
Sioux river, colonies had been planted 
and were striving to hold the land. On 
Lake Benton in after years were found 
ruins of the homes of people who had 
lived there before the massacre, but 
nothing is known of them or their fate. 31 

Thus we have knowledge that people 

growing not far from where the Normal School now 
stands. It is said that a posse pursued the Indians, 
overtook them in Lyon county or nearby, and shot 
down the five accomplices. 

30 The information originated with Hoel Parmelee , 
who settled at Lake Shetek about 1855, and wis 
secured by Dr. H. M. Workman. 

31 A writer in the Lake Benton News of January 27, 
1881, said: "There is evidence that the country 
around Lake Benton had early settlers. A gentleman 
who settled at Lake Benton in March, 1MM.I, has said 



were living on all sides of the future 
Lyon county prior to the outbreak of 
the Sioux War. But from the time of 
the departure of the traders, Lynd and 
Myers, until after the Sioux were driven 
from the country we have no record of 
the permanent occupation of Lyon 
county by white men. 

But, while the county was not occu- 
pied permanently during this period, 
we know that at least a few trappers 
operated here. Three such were Luther 
C. Ives, George Lamb and Charles 
Fesenden. 32 The men spent the winter 
of 1860-61 on Lake Shetek and the next 
winter lived in Indian tepees at Saratoga. 
Mr. Lamb was killed in the massacre of 
August, 1862, near New Ulm and Mr. 
Ives took part in the defense of that 

Another man who claimed to have 
trapped extensively in Lyon county 
during this period was T. J. Bowers. 
According to his story he employed a 
number of trappers and had his head- 
quarters in the vicinity of Saratoga, 
where he lived in a dug-out. He made 
the statement that at the time of the 
massacre he was a scout in the govern- 
ment employ, and that he spent the 
night of August 20, 1862— the date of 
the Lake Shetek massacre — in the Myers 
cabin at Saratoga. 33 

It is possible that temporary settle- 
ment may have been made at another 
point in Lyon county before the Sioux 
War. On sections 32 and 29, Lake 

that when he arrived there were only two other settlers 
in the vicinity — William Taylor and Charles Shindle. 
He reported that there were several vacant houses 
scattered around the lake — six of them — partly burned. 
There were also several large pieces of breaking done. 
On one place there were a large number of rails and 
posts split in the timber and logs cut but not split. 
The writer asked several of the Indians about this, 
but they knew nothing. His opinion was that they 
fell victims to the 1862 massacre. The writer found 
the skeletons of two persons about where the Lake 
Benton depot now stands." 

32 The data for this paragraph were obtained from a 
personal interview with Mr. Ives, who now lives in 
South Dakota. % 

"Mr. Bowers was in Tracy June 9, 1893, and in 
company with Dr. H. M. Workman, Earle Miller and 
Niel Currie he drove out to the scenes of his early 

Marshall township, the settlers of 1870 
found one or two pieces of land which 
had been broken many years before. 
The furrows had grown over to grass 
and stood as solid as the unbroken 
prairie. Those who made the discovery 
estimated that the breaking must have 
been done before the massacre. 

Whoever may have resided in the 
county previously had departed before 
the Indian outbreak of August, 1862, 
and Lyon county was destitute of in- 
habitants when the outbreak occurred. 

Fortunate was it for Lyon county 
that settlements were not located within 
its boundaries when the terrible Sioux 
massacre came upon the exposed frontier 
in the awful days of August, 1862. For 
the fair soil of Southwestern Minnesota 
was crimsoned with the blood of many 
innocent men, women and children. 
Fiendish atrocity, blood-curdling cruelty 
and red-handed murder ran riot. The 
murder-crazed redskins plied the rifle 
and tomahawk until not less than eight 
hundred victims had paid the penalty 
for trying to extend the limits of civili- 
zation. The massacre was the most 
stupendous one in the annals of Indian 
warfare, and only for the fact that it 
contained no settlers did Lyon county 
escape the awful calamity. 

The valley of the Minnesota river was 
drenched with blood. In the present 
counties of Brown, Nicollet, Redwood, 
Renville and Yellow Medicine men, 
women and children were butchered by 

activities. Of this trip and the evidence that Mr 
Bowers had operated there as maintained. Dr. Work- 
man has written: 

"He [Bowers] said he would like to drive out to 
Saratoga and look that country over once more. 
That he had been there in an early day cannot be 
questioned. We went to the Nobles spring, stable 
and bridge, and from there he pointed up the river to 
Jim Morgan's place and said: 'I was there last in 
1864 and never returned — left in January.' .... 
We drove over and a short way up the river, and about 
seventy-five feet from it, on the banks of a small 
creek, we found the dug-out as described. It was west 
of George Robinson's and south of the fenced field. 
Robinson and Morgan had never seen it. . . . He 
claimed that he had left in the dug-out several hundred 
traps and that he employed fourteen men to trap 
We dug out the place, but found nothing." 



the hundreds. At other exposed points 
in Southwestern Minnesota the redskins 
fell upon the settlers and enacted lesser 
tragedies — lesser only because their vic- 
tims were not so numerous. At Wood 
lake, only a few miles from the Lyon 
county line, was fought the deciding 
battle of the war. At Lake Shetek, 
just beyond the southern boundary of 
Lyon county, occurred one of the famous 
butcheries of the massacre, participated 
in by Indians who had their homes on 
the Redwood river in Lyon county. 

In the settlement at Lake Shetek at 
the time of the massacre were about 
fifty persons, consisting of the following 
named men and their families: John 
Eastlick, Charles Hatch. Phineas B. 
Hurd, 34 John Wright, William J. Duley, 
H. W. Smith, Aaron Myers, 35 William 
Everett, 36 Thomas Ireland, Andrew 
Koch; and the following named single 
men: William Jones, 37 Edgar Bentle} r , 
*John Voigt, E. G. Koch, John F. Burns 
and Daniel Burns. 38 

On the twentieth of August about 
twenty Sioux came to the lake and 
ruthlessly murdered a number of the 
settlers, wounded many more, and took 
some into captivity. They were headed 
by White Lodge, chief of one of the 
upper bands, and accompanying them 
were Grizzly Bear (also known as Lean 
Bear) and others from the Lynd woods. 39 
These Indians were acquainted with the 
Lake Shetek settlers and in the past had 
been shown many kindnesses by them. 
Their attack was the basest treachery. 

The first home visited was that of 
Phineas B. Hurd, who was absent at the 
time. Ten of the Indians entered the 
house and while Mrs. Hurd prepared 
breakfast talked and smoked their pipes. 
E. G. Voigt, the hired man. picked up 

34 Was absent at the time of the massacre 
35 Had formerly lived in Lyon county. 
36 Later became a resident of Marshall. 
87 Was absent at the time of the massacre. 

the baby when it awoke and cried and 
walked out in the yard with it. No 
sooner had he left the house than an 
Indian deliberately shot him dead near 
the door. Mrs. Hurd was amazed at the 
deed, for these Indians had always been 
kindly treated and had often fed at her 
table. She ran to the assistance of the 
fallen man and her baby, but a mis- 
creant intercepted and she was ordered 
to leave at once and go to the settle- 
ments across the prairie. She was even 
refused the privilege of dressing her 
naked children and was compelled to 
commence her wandering over the track- 
less prairie, without food and practically 
without raiment for herself and children. 

The next place visited was the home 
of Andrew Koch. Mr. Koch was shot, 
the house was plundered, and Mrs. Koch 
taken prisoner by White Lodge. She 
was with the Indians ten days and was 
finally rescued at Camp Release. 

Some of the settlers fled to the settle- 
ments when the attack on the others 
became known, while others gathered at 
the house of John Wright and prepared 
it for defense. For some reason they 
abandoned the house to seek protection 
in a slough. The Indians at once com- 
menced firing on the retreating party 
and the whites returned the fire as they 
fled. Those wounded in the flight to 
the slough were Charles Hatch, William 
Everett, John Eastlick, Mrs. Eastlick. 
Mrs. Everett and several children. 

Upon receiving the Indians' promise 
that they would not be harmed, the 
women and children left the protection 
of the slough and went to the savages. 
No sooner were they out than Mrs. 
Everett, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Ireland and 
several of the children were killed. 
Mrs. Eastlick was shot and left for dead 

38 The Burns brothers lived alone on a claim at 
Walnut Grove, some distance from the lake. 

3 ' J Amone the Indians participating were old Pawn. 
Chaska, Tizzie Tonka, Titonah Che Che (Bad Ox) and 

White Owl. 



but she finally made her escape with 
two of her children. Mrs. Julia A. 
Wright, Mrs. William J. Duley and four 
of their children were taken captive and 
some of them were ransomed at Fort 
Pierre. All other settlers made their 
escape, many of them after innumerable 
hardships. The Burns brothers were 
not attacked. 40 

Southwestern Minnesota had received 
a setback from which it took many years 
to recover. After the inauguration of 
the fiendish warfare the frontier line 
receded eastward and the greater part 
of Southwestern Minnesota was again in 
the midst of the hostile Indian country. 
Steps were taken to defend the exposed 
settlements, to conquer the redskins and 
drive them back. 

The Civil War was in progress and 
most of the able-bodied men were in the 
South, fighting for the Union. It there- 
fore required some time to muster troops 
and place them in advantageous posi- 
tions to cope with the wily red foe. 
But after some delay the Indians were 
driven back, soldiers were placed all 
through the western country, and the 
prairies were patrolled by companies 
detailed for the service. The expedi- 
tions against the hostile Sioux resulted 
in Lyon county being occasionally visited 
by military parties. 

The savages were in time subdued, 
but for a number of years settlers on The 
extreme frontier lived in a state of con- 
stant anxiety, not knowing at what time 
the scenes of 1862 might be repeated. 
When peace was established on the 

40 Dr. H. M. Workman has prepared the following 
list of people who were residents (or had been just 
prior to the outbreak) of the Lake Shetek settlement 
at the time of the massacre and the fate of each: 

Killed — John Voigt, Andrew Koch, Sophia Ireland, 
Sarah Jane Ireland, Julianne Ireland, John Eastlick, 
Frederick Eastlick, Giles Eastlick, William J. Duley, 
Jr., Bell Duley, Emma Duley, Mrs. Sophia Smith, 
Mariah Everett, Willie Everett, Charley Everett. 

Taken Captive and Later Rescued — Mariah Koch, 
Rosannah Ireland, Ellen Ireland, Fsanklin Eastlick, 
two Duley children. Mrs. William J. Duley, Mrs. Julia 
Wright, Dora Wright, George Wright, Abillian Everett. 

Present but Escaped — Aaron Myers, Mrs. Aaron 

border, settlement again commenced — 
destined this time to be permanent — 
and the frontier line moved westward 

In 1S64 two brothers, Moore by name, 
came from Eastern Minnesota and 
braved the dangers of locating in prox- 
imity to the Indians. They located on 
the southwest quarter of section 8, 
Lake Marshall township, and broke some 
land. But they soon became alarmed for 
their safety and ^deserted their claims. 

In 1865 or 1866 Denman Greeman 
located on the Myers place at Saratoga, 
but within a short time moved to the 
Lake Shetek settlement and became a 
permanent resident. 

A few half-breeds made pretense of 
holding claims along the Redwood in 
Lyon county after the massacre. Alex- 
ander and Joseph LaFramboise, Jr., 
sons of the first white man to settle in 
the count}', had claims in Lynd town- 
ship, which they sold to A. W. Muzzy 
and E. B. Langdon in 1867. Thomas 
Robinson, a French half-breed, had a 
claim on section27, Lynd.whichhe sold to 
Ralph Holland in the spring of 1868. John 
Mooers, a half-breed son of Hazen Mooers, 
sold a claim on section 34, Lynd, to 
Arthur Ransom at the same time. 

Lyon county remained destitute of 
white population until 1867. That year 
a few pushed out to the Redwood river 
country, selected claims, and established 
permanent homes. At last the country 
which had been the home of the abor- 
igine for countless ages was possessed 
by the whites. 

Myers. Louisa Myers, Arthur Myers, Olive Myers, 
Fred B. Myers, Addie J. Myers, Almiona Hurd, William 
Henry Hurd, Baby Hurd, Thomas Ireland, Lavina 
Eastlick, Merton Eastlick, Johnnie Eastlick, William 
J. Duley, II. Watson Smith, William Everett, Charles 
Hatch, Edgar Bentley, Charles Ziercke and family, 
Frank Labache, Rhodes, Dan Burns, John Burns. 

Absent — Phineas B. Hurd, William Jones, E. G. 
Koch, J. G. Wright, Sam Jacques, Wesson Lake 

Had Moved Away — Albino Griswold, Hoel Parmelee, 
Sam Brown, Hank Brown, Lamb, Bassett, J. H. 



THERE is always something con- 
nected with the settlement of a 
new country that interests, and 
so it is with Lyon county. Often, how- 
ever, there is a tendency on the part of 
the chronicler of local history to paint, 
polish and varnish the stories of the 
early days, so that sometimes those who 
were the principal actors in the drama 
enacted fail to recognize themselves or 
their part in the play. It is my inten- 
tion to steer clear of this fault and avoid 
fiction in dealing with the early day 
events, and to rely solely upon the facts 
to make the narrative interesting. 

After the close of the Civil War and 
the subjugation of the Indians, there 
was a great tide of immigration to the 
western country. To all parts of the 
upper Mississippi valley came the home- 
seekers, who spread out over the rich 
lands of Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and 
Nebraska. Most of the emigrants were 
from the eastern and central states, 
where timber was abundant, and their 
first choice was always wooded land 
along the streams. So it came about 
that the first settlement in Lyon county 
was made in the timber tract along the 
Redwood river in the townships of Lynd 
and Lyons. 

Permanent settlement in Lyon count v 

began in 1867. The year before, how- 
ever, a few men had visited that part 
of Redwood county which later was set 
off as Lyon for the purpose of spying 
out the land and selecting claims. 

A. W. Muzzy made a trip to the 
Lynd woods in 1866 and there found 
several families of half-breeds occupying 
claims by squatters' rights. He selected 
a claim held by LaFrambdise on section 
33, Lynd, bargained for the purchase of* 
the same, and made arrangements with 
the half-breed to hold the claim until 
his return. This LaFramboise did, liv- 
ing in the log cabin formerly occupied 
by James Lynd as his trading post. 1 

In 1866 also came Charles E. Goodell 
and his cousin, Will Stone. They spent 
some time hunting, trapping and cutting 
timber, they having conceived the idea 
of cutting logs in the Lynd woods and 
floating them down the river during 
high water to a mill at Redwood Falls. 
They soon abandoned the scheme. Mr. 
Goodell determined to make his home 
in, the county and selected as a claim 
the northeast quarter of section 5, 
Lyons township, the site of the first 
Lynd trading post. He came back 
again in 1867, but did not locate per- 
manently until January, 1868. 

1 Article by Mrs. C. F. Wright dated February L'.'l, 



The first settler to make a permanent 
home in the county was T. W. Castor, 
who located on the extreme eastern 
border of the county in the spring of 
1867. Part of his claim was on section 
34, Stanley township, and the rest was 
over the line in Redwood county. He 
built a house on the claim and resided 
there several years. It is said that he 
hauled his supplies from Redwood Fall;; 
during the winter on a handsled drawn 
by a Newfoundland dog. To T. W. 
and Mary Castor, on September 12, 
1867, the first white child in Lyon 
county was born. His name was Hugh 
Wilson Castor and he died of diphtheria 
in Iowa. 2 

During the month of June, 1867, A. 
W. Muzzy, who had selected his claim 
the previous year, came to take posses- 
sion and he was accompanied by E. B. 
Langdon. Both dated their permanent 
residence in Lyon county from that 
time. Their families came in Septem- 
ber. 3 During the fall months of 1867 
there also joined the little settlement in 
the Lynd woods and became established 
residents the following: L. W. Langdon 
and family (including a nephew, Emer- 
son Hull), Luman Ticknor and his wife 
and step-daughter, Elizabeth Taylor; 
M. Y. Davidson and family, Mrs. C. F. 
Wright and son, D. M. Taylor and E. E. 

2 T. W. Castor was a graduate of Oberlin College. 
He was a man of positive temperament, peculiar in his 
views, independent in his thinking. He was a scout 
under General Sibley during the Indian War and at 
one time served as deputy register of deeds of Olmsted 
county. Mr. Castor was a pioneer of Redwood Falls 
but remained only a short time. He settled in Lyon 
county with the intention of raising stock and was the 
county's pioneer stock man. The first winter of his 
stay he had only one cow, and from that he increased 
until he had cjuite a herd. Mr. Castor was a member 
of the Board of County Commissioners in 1874. In 
the late seventies he moved to Pottawattamie county, 

1 3 A. W. Muzzy was untiring in his efforts to induce 
immigration to the vicinity. He wrote articles 
descriptive of the country to newspapers in the East 
and West and enlisted the attention and co-operation 
of many leading men of Minnesota. His settlement in 
the county was due to his desire to found a Methodist 
colony. He and his son-in-law, Rev. C. F. Wright. 
planned to establish a large church and school for the 
education of the Indians. The scheme proved to be a 
visionary one, but it resulted in giving to Lyon county 
many desirable citizens. 

Taylor. All of these located in the 
woods in Lynd township and all spent 
the following winter in their new homes. 

Others came during the year to view 
the new land and some selected claims 
with the intention of returning the next 
year, but the ones mentioned were the 
only one- who may properly be termed 
settlers of 1867. 4 When the first set- 
tlers arrived Lyon county had not been 
divided into townships or sections, but 
during the months of July, August, 
September and October Surveyors R. H. 
L. Jewett and George G. Howe and 
their assistants ran the lines. s There- 
after the settlers could select their 
claims intelligently, although it was 
some time later when the plats were 
placed on record and filings could be 
made at the land office. 

The first arrivals to the Lynd settle- 
ment were religiously inclined and on 
September 26, 1867, the first religious 
services in the county were held, partici- 
pated in by A. W. Muzzy, his daughter, 
Sophia, wife of Rev. C. F. Wright of the 
Methodist church, and L. Langdon and 
family. 6 

The Lynd settlement was decidedly 
on the frontier. To the north the near- 
est neighbors were on 'the Minnesota 
river, to the east only a few settlers were 
to be found until the Minnesota river 

'Among those who visited the region in search of 
land in 1867 were Lambert Marcyes and his son, 
Hiram R. Marcyes. They met some of the party that 
had preceded them and inquired where good land 
could be found, supplied with timber and water. The 
new arrivals were informed that several belts of timber 
had been seen at a distance, which were supposed to 
be along creeks or bordering the several lakes nearby, 
and that quite a forest was known to exist on a creek 
about three miles to the northwest, to which the 
Marcyes took their way. On returning at night one 
of the many questions asked was where they had been 
during the day. They replied, "over to that three- 
mile creek," and ever since the stream has borne the 
name Three-Mile creek. 

•The townships of Lucas, Vallers and Westerheim 
hid been surveyed in August and September, 1859, by 
Mahlon Black, but the surveyor neglected to make 
proper mounds and the stakes were mostly destroyed 
by prairie fires. The township of Custer was surveyed 
in 1867 by Shaw & Taylor and Eidsvold the same year 
by David Watson. 

6 See history of the Methodist church of Marshall. 
chapter 10. 



was reached) to the south (excepting a 

few settlers on Lake Shetek) it was 
many long miles to the nearest white 
homes, while to the west all was unin- 
habited country. 7 The making of homes 
in the frontier land was not accom- 
plished without many difficulties and 
carried with it sacrifices and most of the 
comforts that make life endurable for 
him who has had the savage educated 
out of him. The only visitors were the 
Indians and half-breeds, who were still 
in the vicinity in small numbers. The 
prairies were unbroken by roads or 
groves, and the winter storms and 
summer prairie fires chased the elk and 
antelope without hindrance. 

But the human habit of adaptability 
to environment and the hope of future 
competence from the fertile farms to be 
secured under the homestead law carried 
the pioneers through the dark days. 
Wild game furnished a part of the bill 
of fare and the timber furnished fuel 
and material for the homes. The houses 
were of logs, the roofs of shakes split 
from oak trees, the floors of rough plank 
hewn from the timber. 

In 1868 the population of Lyon 
county was increased. To Lynd town- 
ship came Levi 8. Kiel, who has ever 
since had his home in the county; James 
Cummins, A. R. Cummins and George 
Cummins, who became prominent in the 
early affairs of the county; Lambert 
Marcyes, George Marcyes and Hiram 
Marcyes, who became well-known resi- 
dents; A. D. Morgan, who became the 
county's first store keeper and post- 
master; Jacob Rouse, who still resides 
in the county; Ralph Holland and 
Arthur Ransom, who purchased claims 
from half-breeds; Rev. C. F. Wright, 
who was the first minister; Andrew 

Nelson, who has ever since lived in 
Lyon county; Mrs. Bowers, a daughter 
of A. AY. Muzzy, who came in April and 
died of consumption on April 20, one 
week after hen - arrival, hers being the 
first death in the county; John Clark, 
Henry B. Nichols and possibly others. 

Charles E. Goodell returned to his 
claim in Lyons township in January, 
1868, and during that year C. H. 
Hildreth, Luther Hildreth and W. S. 
Adams located in the same precinct, all 
taking claims along the Redwood river. 

To the timber tract along the Cotton- 
wood river, in the present townships of 
Custer and Amiret, also came a few 
settlers in 1868. Charles Grover, La- 
fayette Grover and Clark Goodrich 
settled in Amiret, and H. C. Masters, 
John Avery, Horace Randall, Walter S. 
Clayson, Edward Horton and G. S. 
Robinson took claims in Custer. These 
settlements were all made in the vicinity 
of the old townsite of Saratoga and for 
several years the community bore that 

Nearly all these arrivals of 1868 
brought families and builded themselves 
homes. Until after 1868 the population 
of Lyon county was confined to two 
settlements (excepting the T. W. Castor 
family): the one on the Redwood river 
occupying the timber lands in Lynd and 
Lyons townships, and the other on the 
Cottonwood in Custer and Amiret town- 
ships. Of these the Lynd settlement 
was the larger and for several years 
dominated the affairs of the county. 

Several important events occurred in 
the Lynd community during 1868 that 
tended to establish the permanency of 
the settlement and to make for the con- 
venience of those who had cast their 
fortunes on the frontier. One was the 

7 The first white settlers in Nobles countv arrived county were no whiles until is, 4; the firsl settlement 
July 4, 1867; only two families had their homes in in the county of Lincoln was made in 1868. 
Rock county during the winter of 1867-68; in Pipestone 



establishment of a postoffice in June 
with D. M. Taylor as postmaster. It 
was located on section 34, Lynd town- 
ship, — the site of what later became 
known as Lower Lyncl. A weekly mail 
was received by way of Redwood Falls. 8 
Mr. Taylor also put in a small stock of 
groceries and other goods — in a room 
said to have been almost large enough 
for a bed room — and conducted a store 
for a short time. 

The same season Luman Ticknor 
opened a hotel for the convenience of 
the few people who visited the settle- 
ment. 9 In the summer of 1868 Jacob 
Rouse and James Cummins dammed 
the Redwood river at the point which 
later became known as Upper Lynd and 
put in a small sawmill, which proved to 
be quite a convenience to the settlers. 
It was changed to a gristmill in 1872. 
The same year C. H. Hildreth com- 
menced building a mill at a point on the 
Redwood about two miles below the 
present village of Russell, but the place 
was destroyed by fire the same fall and 
the project was abandoned. 10 

While a few conveniences had been 
established in the settlement, they fell 
far short of meeting the demands. 
The sawmill was not in operation until 
1869 and before that time it was the 

custom to haul logs to Redwood Falls, 
fifty miles distant, have them sawed, 
and then haul the lumber back, several 
settlers generally making the trip to- 
gether. Excepting the little store of 
Mr. Taylor, Redwood Falls was the 
nearest trading point. That village had 
only two stores, run on the trading post 
style, and they catered but little to the 
white trade. 11 The nearest flouring 
mill was at New Ulm and there a part 
of the trading was done. 

There were a few additions in 1869 
and others came to the county, took 
claims, made improvements, and pre- 
pared to make permanent settlement 
the following spring. To the Saratoga 
settlement, in Amiret township, came 
James Mitchell; to the township of 
Vallers, which had not before had a 
settler, came Johannes Anderson; to 
Lyons came W. C. Adams; to Lake 
Marshall, L. W. Langdon and E. B. 
Langdon; to Lynd, T. T. Pierce, H. L. 
Pierce, George W. Pierce, Parker I. 
Pierce, Warren S. Eastman, T. S. East- 
man and V. Eastman. Besides those 
mentioned, C. H. Whitney, C. H. Upton 
and E. G. Bascoinb took claims in Lake 
Marshall, 0. A. Hawes and R. Water- 
man in Lynd, and Moses Fifield and 
Mendell Fifield in Lyons. All made 

s The first mail brought to the office was carried by 
William Jackson, the first white male child born in St. 
Paul. He sold the contract to one Castle, of Yellow 
Medicine, and the latter in turn to Peter Ortt, of 
Redwood Falls. H. J. Tripp carried the mail for Ortt 
for a time and later secured the contract. The Lynd 
postoffice was under the management of D. M. Taylor 
four years. <. 

9 "The travel through Lynd at that time couldn't 
have been very large or regular. Bands of Flandreau 
Indians camped in the woods occasionally and a few 
travelers from Redwood Falls now and then stopped 
there on the way to settlements beyond. Between 
Lynd and Pcdwood P'alls there was but one house." — 
Case's History of Lyon County. 

10 The first marriage in the county occurred October 
17, 1868, when Ida Marie Hildreth, at the age of 
fifteen years, became the wife of Henry B. Nichols. 
The second marriage was that of W. H. Langdon and 
Zilpha Cummins, which was'also in 1868. 

The first Fourth of July celebration was held in 1868 
at A. W. Muzzy's home. 

Luman Ticknor plowed the first ground for crop in 
the spring of 1868. W. C. Adams and Arthur Ransom 

sowed the first grain and the latter operated the first 
fanning mill. The first wheat was raised by A. R. 
Cummins in 1869. The first horses in the county were 
owned by E. B. Langdon, first mules by M. V. David- 
son, first chickens and turkeys by L. W. Langdon, 
first hogs by Luman Ticknor, and first dog by James 

A. R. Cummins made the first barrels that were in 
the county; James Cummins made the first chair; 
George Cummins and Charles E. Goodell split the first 
rails; T. T. Pierce and son burnt the first brick, a kiln 
of 40,000, brought in the first blacksmith's tools, and 
set out the first grove. 

^"Perhaps you would like to know how people got 
along with no railroad nearer than Mankato, although 
boats were running to New Ulm when the water was 
high enough. We did a greater part of our trading at 
Redwood Falls, distant fifty miles, and no place to put 
up until we got to Mr. Castor's, twenty-five miles. If 
we had any blacksmithing to be done, it had to be 
taken to Redwood Falls. I have known our towns- 
man, A. D. Morgan, to walk that fifty miles in one day, 
with a plow lay on his back, and return the next day. 
Charles Goodell has done as well." — Correspondent in 
Marshall Messenger, June 30, 1881. 



slight improvements in 1869 and re- 
turned to remain the following year. 12 
Prior to this time the only claims 
taken had been in the timber; now 
selections were made on the prairie 
tracts and some at quite a distance from 
the older settlements of Lynd and 

I can close this chapter no more 
fittingly than by reproducing an article 
written by Mrs. Fellows, of Lynd, and 
read before the old settlers' gathering 
in February, 1885. It gives a very true 
idea of conditions in 1869: 

The time I first saw Lyon county, in the dark 
days of 1869, there were about a dozen in our 
settlement, scattered along the Redwood river 
in the timber. Another settlement, nearly as 
large as ours., was on the Cottonwood river, and 
another at Lake Benton. These constituted the 
entire population of our county. What was 
then one county has been divided into two, 
Lyon and Lincoln. 

The settlers lived in small, low, miserable log 
houses; indeed, some of them were originally 
Indian tepees, remodeled to suit the emergency. 
Some were without floors, except the solid earth 
with a covering of prairie grass; after it became 
dry and broken it was raked off and fresh grass 
cut and spread down. Of course, the floors 
needed no sweeping, and that was something 
saved, as there was a chance to economize in 
brooms. Economy, rigid economy, was the 

A roof made of shingles was almost unknown. 
The houses were roofed, some with hay, some 
with earth, but the prevailing fashion was a 
shake roof. I fancy only the initiated have seen 
or heard of the shake roof. It consisted of flat, 
clumsy pieces of wood, all sizes and widths, and, 

12 The coming of these men had much to do with the 
future growth of Lyon county. On the first day of 
May, 1S69, the following named ten men set out from 
Olmsted county, Minnesota, in search of new homes: 
C. H. Whitney, C. H. Upton, E. G. Bascomb, T. S. 
Eastman, V. Eastman, W. S. Eastman, O. A. Hawes, 
R. Waterman, Moses Fifield and Mendell Fifield. 
They traveled with four covered wagons and had 
besides a saddle horse. They spent several weeks 
viewing the country around St. Cloud, Benson and 
Hutchinson, and not liking the looks of the country 
turned to the southwest. They arrived in St. Peter 
and there Abner Tibbets, register of the United States 
land office, advised them to go to the country which is 
now Lyon county. 

. The party made the trip by way of Redwood Falls 
and arrived at the Lynd settlement on June 9, where 
they were welcomed by A. W. Muzzy. The next day 
was spent in rest at D. M. Taylor's store. On the 
eleventh three parties were formed to visit as many 
different parts of the surrounding country: one to the 
Rock Lake country, one to the head of Three-Mile 
creek, west of Lynd, and the third down the Redwood. 
The next day other prospecting trips were made. 

C. H. Whitney went out on a scout and covered the 
north part of the county. He followed an Indian 
trail down the Redwood to the point called by the 

as nearly as I can remember, about three feet 
long, split and shaped and smoothed with a 
broad-ax, overlapping each other shingle- 
fashion, serving as a mere covering, keeping out 
the sun, but affording little protection. The 
wind and snow and rain and flies and mosquitoes 
and gnats and all other nice things had full 
liberty to come and go at will. And of all these 
things there was no lack. 

In those days there were blizzards, too, real 
genuine blizzards. The winds were not tem- 
pered to the shorn lamb, not by a good deal. 
After a blizzard what a picture our houses 
presented ! Floors, beds, everything, were fanci- 
fully covered — decorations enough to have 
satisfied the most esthetic admirer of Oscar 
Wilde. Here and there and everywhere were 
festoons and wreaths and garlands and every 
imaginary thing of "the snow, the beautiful 
snow," filling the house, above and below. We 
didn't enjoy it a bit, however. With the mer- 
cury frolicking among the lower twenties, the 
poetry of our natures was entirely frozen out. 
Even a board to make a door or case a window 
was of inestimable value. Flooring, not the 
best quality by a number of grades, sold for 
$50 per thousand. 

Thanks are due a Maine Yankee for intro- 
ducing an improvement in our architecture. 
Sod houses made an appearance, and they were 
much better, being more economical. Here we 
lived, deprived of every luxury and most of the 
comforts and necessaries of life, trying to be 
happy and keep homesickness away, which 
would occasionally trouble us notwithstanding 
all efforts to prevent it. 

We were, so to speak, at the jumping-off 
place, as another leap would have landed us 
among the savages. We depended wholly upon 
Redwood Falls for everything we had, and that 
a poor trading place, indeed. A spool of 
thread, a sheet of note paper, a pound of tea or 
sugar, had to be hauled fifty miles. One of our 
great blessings was our postoffice with a weekly 
mail. By the way, the first postoffice in this 
county was a gigantic affair! It required but 
one box, fastened with a huge padlock, to pre- 
vent mail robbery. 

Indians the Big Bend — the present site of the city of 
Marshall. There he struck the Lac qui Parle trail 
and followed it to about where Minneota is now 
situated. Thence he proceeded east until he came to 
another trail between Minnesota Falls and the Big 
Bend, followed that trail to the Big Bend, and then 
struck across country to Lake Marshall.' At that 
point he found another Indian trail leading to the 
Cottonwood river and Lake Shetek. 

After resting at Lynd on the thirteenth and can- 
vassing the situation, all members of the party decided 
to take claims and made their selections in Lake 
Marshall, Lynd and Lyons townships. The fourteenth 
was spent in breaking land on their claims, some of 
the party also breaking on the northwest quarter of 
section 4, Lake Marshall township, to hold the claim 
for Mrs. Ursula Stone, a soldier's widow and the son- 
in-law of C. H. Upton. 

The entire party set out on June 15 for the return 
home and made their filings :it the land office on June 
18. The Eastmans returned in the fall, erected a log 
cabin, and spent the winter in their new home; the 
others spent the winter in their old homes and all 
returned in 1S70. Mr. Whitney did "missionary" 
work in Wisconsin that winter and as a result the 
population of Lyon county was added to in 1S70. 



HAD a person been horn in the 
territory now embraced within 
the boundaries of Lyon county 
in the year 1800 and lived in the place 
of his birth until seventy years of age, 
he would have lived successively under 
the governments of Spain, France and 
the United States; would have been a 
resident successively of the territories of 
Louisiana, Missouri, Michigan, Wiscon- 
sin, Iowa and Minnesota and of the state 
of Minnesota; and at one time and 
another would have been under the 
jurisdiction of the counties of AVauba- 
shaw, Blue Earth, Brown, Redwood and 
Lyon in Minnesota. In other words, 
• Lyon county has formed a part of those 
countries, territories and counties since 
first the flight of years began. 

This mythical native of Lyon county 
would also have been decidedly under 
the jurisdiction of the Sioux Indians 
until a man grown, for white men had 
only nominal claim to the territory until 
the land was ceded to the United States 
by treaty in 1851. Before taking up the 
story of the creation of Lyon county, I 
shall here break into the chronological 
order of events long enough to trace 
this matter of sovereignty. 

Our county formed a small part of 
the New World possessions claimed by 
France by right of discovery and ex- 

ploration. In 1763, humbled by wars 
in Europe and America, France was 
forced to relinquish her province known 
as Louisiana, and all her possessions 
west of the Mississippi river were ceded 
to Spain in that year. Amid the 
exigencies of European wars Spain, in 
the year 1800, ceded Louisiana back to 
France, which was then under the rule 
of Napoleon Bonaparte. On April 30, 
1803, negotiations were completed for 
the purchase of Louisiana by the 
United States for fifteen million dollars. 
On that date the future Lyon county 
became a part of the United States. 

Soon after the United States secured 
possession, in 1805, that part of the 
mammoth territory of Louisiana which 
had been called Upper Louisiana was 
organized into Missouri Territory, and 
had our county then had inhabitants 
they would have been under the govern- 
ment of Missouri. Missouri was ad- 
mitted as a state in 1820, and for several 
years thereafter the country beyond its 
northern boundaries, comprising what is 
now Iowa and all of Minnesota west of 
the Mississippi river, was without organ- 
ized government. Hut in 1834 Congress 
attached this great expanse of territory 
to Michigan Territory. Two years later 
Wisconsin Territory was formed, com- 
prising all of Michigan west of Lake 



Michigan, and for the next two years 
we were a part of that territory. 

Congress did a lot of enacting and 
boundary changing before it got Lyon 
county where it belonged. We became 
a part of Iowa Territory when it was 
created in 1838, because we were in- 
cluded in "all that part of the [then] 
present Territory of Wisconsin which 
lies west of the Mississippi river and 
west of a line drawn due north from the 
headwaters or sources of the Mississippi 
to the territorial line." Lyon county 
was a part of Iowa Territory until Iowa 
became a state in 1846. During that 
time settlers began to locate in portions 
of what later became Minnesota, and 
they were put under the jurisdiction of 
Clayton county, Iowa. 1 By the ad- 
mission of Iowa to t he Union the 
country west of the Mississippi became 
a "no man's land"; it was a part of no 
territory or state. That condition ex- 
isted until Minnesota Territory was 
created in 1849. 

When the first Legislature convened 
after the organization of Minnesota 
Territory in 1849 it divided Minnesota 
into nine counties, named as follows: 
Washington. Ramsey. Benton, Itaska, 
Pembina, Mahkahto, Wahnahia, Dahko- 
tah and Waubashaw. 2 The last named 
occupied all of Southern Minnesota, ex- 
tended from the Mississippi river to the 
Missouri river, and its northern bound- 
ary was an east and west line that passed 
about through the center of the present 
Yellow Medicine county. 

The future Lyon county remained a 
part of Waubashaw county until March 
5, 1853, when there was a readjustment 
and Blue Earth count v came into exist- 

ence. The boundaries of the latter were 
described as follows: "So much of the 
territory lying south of the Minnesota 
river as remains of Waubashaw and 
Dahkotah counties undivided by this 
act." As the boundaries of the two 
older counties as defined by the act were 
very indefinite, it is impossible to state 
exactly what the dimensions of Blue 
Earth county were. It is known, how- 
ever, that it included all of Southwestern 
Minnesota and extended into the present 
state of South Dakota. 

For two years the unknown Lyon 
county country remained a part of Blue 
Earth county, and then came another 
change. By an act approved February 
20. 1855, the county of Blue Earth was 
reduced to its present boundaries. Fari- 
bault county was created with the boun- 
daries it now has (except that it ex- 
tended one township farther west than 
now), and the new county of Brown 
came into existence. Brown county in- 
cluded all of Minnesota south of the 
Minnesota river and west of a line 
drawn south from the western boundary 
of the present day Blue Earth county. 
It also included a vast stretch of country 
in what is now South Dakota but that 
was taken off when Minnesota's bound- 
aries were made as at present consti- 
tuted upon admission to the Union in 

The next change we have to record 
affecting Lyon county 3 was made in 
1865, when Redwood county was formed, 
embracing (besides two townships in the 
present Brown county) the present 
counties of Redwood, Lyon, Lincoln, 
Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle. 
Redwood count v was so constituted 

1 Henry H. Sibley, who lived at Mendota, was a 
justice of the peace of that county. The county seat 
was two hundred fifty miles distant, and his juris- 
diction extended over a region of country % "as large as 
the Empire of France." 

2 The boundaries of these counties are shown on the 
accompanying map. 

3 By act of March 23, 18.57, there were severed from 
Brown county the following: Martin, Jackson, Cot- 
tonwood, Nobles, Murray, Rock and Pipestone, besides 
some in the South Dakota territory. 

«._ ... . 


1% ..<>■*, 

* i » i£ 

' 1....YV | t ~-D -^-mi 


V MIA"-** " I ' H§ O ^^ t 1, 

.- •/ . • 




....... ,, 

-A.^j».y'\A 1 + 





i . . . i \ . . . 



From a .Map Published in 1850. The Nine Original Counties of the Territory Are Shown. 



until the present Lyon and Lincoln 
count it's were formed into Lyon county 
in 1869. i 

There was only a handful of residents 
in the proposed county in the early 
days of 1S(> ( .), but they were an ambi- 
tious lot. They maintained that they 
had brought the star of empire west 
with them and that they ought to have 
the handling of its destinies. They 
asked the Legislature to take the neces- 
sary action to set off the western part of 
Redwood county into a new political 

The bill for the creation of Lyon 
county, embracing the present counties 
of Lyon and Lincoln, was introduced by 
Senator Charles T. Brown, passed the 
Legislature, - and was approved by Gov- 
ernor William R. Marshall on March 2, 
1869. 5 It provided that the act should 
not become operative, however, until it 
had been approved by a majority vote 
of the electors of Redwood county at 
the general election of November, 1869. 
The vote was favorable and Lyon county 
was ready to take up the burdens of 
organization. The county was named 
in honor of General Nathaniel Lyon, of 


the United States army, who met death 
at the battle of Springfield in June, 1861. 
Very soon after the act became 
operative as a result of the election, 
Governor Marshall appointed a few 

4 Redwood county lost Yellow Medicine and Lac qui 
Parle by act of March 6, 1871. 

s The act reads as follows: 

"An act to define the boundary lines of Lyon conn I y 
and attach the same to Redwood county for judicial 

"Section 1. The boundary line of Lyon county is 
hereby established and hereafter shall be as follows: 
Beginning at the southeast corner of township one 
hundred and nine (109), range forty (40), thence due 
north to the northeast corner of township one hundred 
and thirteen (113), range forty (40), west of the fifth 
principal meridian, thence west to the boundary line 
of the state of Minnesota, thence south on the boundary 
line of the state to the township line between townships 
one hundred and eight (10S) and one hundred and 
nine (109), thence east on said township line to the 
place of beginning. 

"Sec. 2. At the time of giving notice of the next 
general election, it shall lie the duty of the officers of 
the county of Redwood, as required by law, to give 
notice of such election, to give notice in like manner 
that at said election a vote will be taken on the question 

county officers and vested them with 
power to begin county government. It 
was proposed to organize in December, 
1869, but owing to the absence of two 
of the commissioners it had to lie post- 
poned, and the machinery of county 
government was not set in motion until 
August 12, 1870. 6 At that time the 
first meeting of the Board of County 
Commissioners was held at the home of 
Luman Ticknor, in Upper Lynd. 

The first act of the board was the 
selection of a county scat, the first entry 
in the journal reading as follows: 

State of Minnesota, County of Lyon — ss. 
Be it known that at a session of the Board of 
County Commissioners of Lyon county, held at 
the house of L. Ticknor, in said county, on the 
twelfth day of August, 1870, the seat of said 
county was settled and established on the 
southeast quarter of section thirty-three (33) 
in township one hundred and eleven (111) of 
range forty-two (42). [Signed] A. W. Muzzy, 
Leva S. Kiel, County Commissioners. Attest: 
E. Lamb, Auditor. 

For nearly tw r o years Upper Lynd 
was the seat of government of Lyon 
county. Then, although no official ac- 
tion was taken to that effect, the 
county business was transacted at Lower 
Lynd. That remained the seat of gov- 
ernment until it was moved to Marshall 
in January, 1874, as the result of the 
election of November, 1873.' 

At the time of the organization of the 
county the population was small and 

of changing the boundary lines of Redwood county in 
accordance with the provisions of this act. At said 
election the voters of said county of Redwood in favor 
ot the change proposed by this act shall have distinctly 
written or printed or partly written or printed on their 
ballots, 'For change of boundary lines of Redwood 
county in favor of Lyon county,' and returns thereof 
shall be made to the same office by the judges of 
election of the several townships ami by the auditor 
of said Redwood county as upon votes for state 

"Sec. 3. The county of Lyon is hereby attached For 
judicial purposes to the county of Redwood. 

"Sec. 4. The foregoing provisions of this act shall 
lake effect and be in force from and after the ratifica- 
tion and adoption of the proposed change by •' majority 
of the voters of Redwood county. 

"Sec. ,5. All acts and parts of acts inconsistent with 
this act are hereby repealed. 

"Approved March 2, L869." 

"For a more detailed account of the organization 
see chapter 8. 

"The meeting places of the Board of County Com- 



the law-making body did not see fit to 
provide for township government at 
once. Instead, the county was divided 
into five election precincts, in each of 
which were justices of the peace and 
constables, appointed by the County 
Board. These local officers officiated 
until the first township was organized 
early in 1872. The last township did 
not begin local government until 1883. 
The several townships were officially 
created in the following order, but the 
organization in all cases did not imme- 
diately follow: Lake Marshall, Lynd, 
Lyons, Fairview, Nordland, Grandview, 
Lucas, Eidsvold, Monroe, Amiret, West- 
erheim, Vallers, Custer, Clifton, Stanley, 
Sodus, Rock Lake, Island Lake, Shel- 
burne and Coon Creek. 


Although other parts of the county 
were settled earlier, there had been 
rapid settlement in Lake Marshall town- 
ship in 1870 and 1871, and that was the 
first political division to be granted 
township government. The Board of 
County Commissioners passed the neces- 
sary resolution on January 2, 1872, and 
on March 8 the organization was per- 
fected. The first town meeting was 
held at the home of C. H. Whitney on 
the 'southeast quarter of section 4, 
where later was built the city of Marshall. 

The first officers of the precinct, 
chosen at the time of the first town 

missioners prior to the removal to Marshall, as recorded 
in the commissioners' journal, were as follows: 

August 12, 1870 — House of L. Ticknor. 

October 8, 1870— Lynd. 

October 14, 1S70 — Wright school house. 

January 3, 1871 — House of E. Lamb. 

.March 15 and April 7, 1871— Store of G. W. Whitney. 

May 16, 1871— Store of G. W. Whitney, adjourned 
to the church. 

September 19, 1871 — Lynd. 

January 2, 1872 — Log school house near Lynd post- 

.March 29 and April 30, 1872— Hall of Smith & Ellis 
at Lynd. 

June 1, 1872, to May 9, 1873— Kiel &>Morgan's hall. 

June 17, 1873— Kiel's hotel. 

September 24, 1873 — Lvnd. 

January 20, 1874— Office of J. W. Blake, Marshall. 

meeting, were as follows: Oren Drake, 
chairman; C. T. Bellingham and Noble 
Cuyle, supervisor,;; C. H. Whitney, 
clerk; O. A. Drake, treasurer; S. M. 
Taylor, assessor; W. H. Langdon and 
C. H. Whitney, justices of the peace; 
C. H. Upton and O. A. Drake, con- 

Lake Marshall township was named 
after the lake of the same name, and the 
lake was named in honor of Governor 
William K. Marshall. 8 

Following is a list of those who re- 
ceived title to government lands in Lake 
Marshall township, under the homestead 
and timber culture acts, and the number 
of the section (in parentheses) on which 
the claim was located: 9 

James Armstrong (6), John M. Burke (36), 
Andrew J. Ham (22), Joanna Ham (22), William 
G. Hunter (12), Lorenzo D. Lewis (28), Marietta 
Martin (14). Milo B. Morse (4-fi), Alex S. Nobles 
(32), C. H. Richardson (28), Ursula S. Stone (4), 
J. B. Smith (18), Joseph Sanders (8), M. F. 
Templeton (24), John F. Wyman (10), George 
B. Wilmarth (32), Charles M. Wilcox (26), 
George B. Watkins (34), Alfred Loveless (20), 
Joseph K. Johnson (2), Aaron F. Templeton 
(24), Josiah Clark (32), Charles L. S. Bellingham 
(20), Salmon Webster (10), Charles M. Temple- 
ton (24), Henry F. Hoyt (2), Heirs M. R, 
Templeton (24), George R. Welch (10), George 
G. Orr (30), Andrew Erickson (14), Samuel 
Benjamin (30), Asahel A. Hunter (14), James 
Andrew (6), Moses D. Skillings (24), William M. 
Pierce (2), Charles H. Upton (4), Frank Y. 
Hoffstott (10), Samuel W. Orr (30), Orson A. 
Drake (30), Oren Drake (30), Jabez W. Pike 
(2), Frank A. Lamphere (22), Daniel Minnick 
(18), William C. French (18), Peter Van Zant 
(20), Robert Minnick (32), Allen O. Underbill 
(28), Steward Groesbeck (28), Seth W. Taylor 
(28), Christian Wunderlich (20), Peter F. Wise 
(34), Edward Jones (34), Charles H. White (22), 
Milton C. Niles (28), Charles M. Baction (28), 

*The first birth in Lake Marshall township was that 
of Mary Langdon, daughter of Henry and Zilpha 
Langdon, who was born in June, 1870; the second 
birth was that of Fannie Whitney, daughter of ('. U. 
and Mary Whitney, and occurred November 24, 1870. 
The first marriage was that of Oren Drake and Mis. 
U. S. Stone and was performed September 4, 1S72, by 
Rev. Ransom Wait. The first death was that of a 
daughter of James Armstrong; she died of scarlet fever 
October 5, 1871. 

9 As taken from the records in the office of the 
register of deeds. The names in this list and those of 
the other townships include only those who had home- 
stead and timber claims, and only the names of those 
appear who received title to the lands. 



William Cashman (18), William H. Loveless 
(20), Eugene B. Langdon (8). 10 


Lynd township, named in honor of 
James W. Lynd, the trader who in an 
early day had a post within the town- 
ship, was declared an organized town- 
ship by the Board of County Commis- 
sioners on September 4, 1872. Officers 
were not selected at that time, however, 
and the organization was not perfected 
until a year later. The first officers of 
the precinct were appointed by the 
County Board on January 9, 1873, and 
were as follows: Jacob Rouse, chair- 
man; A. K. Cummins and John E. 
St arks, supervisors; N. Davis, clerk; 
George E. Cummins, treasurer. 11 

Titles to government land w%re grant- 
ed in Lynd township as follows: 

George M. Boston (19), E." W. Barton (8), 
Lewis E. Bates (4), M. V. Davidson (33), O. C. 
Gregg (30), Cornelius Hall (33), Oscar A. Hawes 
(12), Clark S. Johnson (10), Levi S. Kiel (28), 
Edgar Langdon (32), George W. Marcyes (27), 
Hiram A. Marcyes (14), Hiram R. Marcyes (23), 
George Pierce (34), Arthur Ransom (34), David 
Steifel (28), John E. Starks (4), A. C. Tucker 
(18), Melville A. Tucker (18), Daniel M. Taylor 
(34), Hiram G. Ward (30), Horace M. Workman 
(4), J W. Williams (8), George W. Herrick (18), 
Robert M. Addison (24), Vernon M. Smith (32), 
Eleazer Farnham (2), Philemon C. Farnham (2), 

10 Farmers who resided in Lake Marshall Township in 
1884, according to G. F. Case's History of Lyon County, 
were as follows: J. W. Pike, Henry F. Hoyt, J. K. 
Johnson, George Cook, J. B. Drew, W. Hyde, R. 
Spates, R. F. Webster, James Andrew, George Link, 

B. Link, J. Ward, Henry Freese, J. Anderson, Noble 
Cuyle, T. King, J. Scott, J. W. Blake, J. S. Dewey, 
S. Webster, T. Walker, W. Wirt, W. G. Hunter, 

C. H. Richardson, O. M. Fuller, A. Erickson, P. 
Quiglev, John Berry, Daniel Minnick, W. Cashman, 
J. Smith, B. J. Heagle, M. Pettibone, C. T. Bellingham, 
Charles Bellingham, Andrew Ham, ('. Skillings, ('. M. 
Templeton, A. F. Templeton, J. M. Burke, C. H. White, 
L. D. Lewis, M. C. Niles, George Orr, J. Clark, F. S. 
Wetherbee, E. Brotherton, John Middleton and G. R. 
Wat kins. 

i l The first child born in Lynd township was a 
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ransom, born in 
November, 1868; the second child was Harry Lynd 
Cummins, son of George E. Cummins, born in 1869. 
The first death was that of Mrs. Bowers, which occurred 
April 20, 1868. The first marriage, that of W. H. 
Langdon to Zilpha Cummins, was performed in 1868 
by Rev C. F. Wright; the second was that of A. W. 
M'cGandy to Charlotte Buell in 1871. The first school, 
supported by subscription, was taught in Lynd s 
trading post building in the spring of 186!) by l.ydia 
Cummins. The first church services were held in 
September, 1867, and the first church was organized 
in 1868. 

Peter W. Mullany (14), Leslie A. Gregg (30), 
A. L. Randall (24), James E. Leonard (10), 
Charles M. Shilliam (32), Charles G. Pearson 
(10), John N. Johnson (10), Lydia J. Pierce (34), 
Hiram Fellows (20), Christian Nelson (14), 
Warren S. Eastman (12), Josephus Myers (4), 
Harriet Perrin (26), Mary Jane Lasure (6), 
Edward Fezler (28), Orla B. Nash (14), Mark 
Christensen (14), Dewitt C. Pierce (28), James 
Cummins (22), George E. Cummins (22), George 
A. Wunderlich (20) Hugh Smith (26), James M. 
Lockey (8), Jennie M. Rathmell (18), Jon 
Anderson (10), Colon Acheson (14), Heirs Oren 
Gregg (30), Allen D. Morgan (22), Charles 
Meloin (24), Letta Hute (24), Otto Weking (6), 
Horace N. Smith (26), Stephen B. Green (20), 
James A. Harris (8), Alva P. Wells (8). 12 


The next town created was Lyons, 13 
which doubtless derived its name from 
the same source as that of the county, 
namely, General Nathaniel Lyon. It 
was officially declared an organized 
township on March 18, 1873, and given 
the name it still bears. At the first 
town election, held April 1, 1873, the 
following first officers were chosen: 
Gordon Watson, chairman; C. L. Van 
Fleet and J. C. Buell, supervisors; 
Henry Mussler, clerk; C. A. Wright, 
treasurer; Charles Hildreth, assessor; 
J. W. Hoagland and Edmund Lamb, 
justices of the peace; Charles E. Goodell 
and Amasa Crosby, constables. 11 Land 

'-The following named farmers resided in Lynd 
township in 1884: J. Goodwin, P. B. Fezler, ('. 
Farnham, P. C. Farnham, J. Peterson, Josephus Myers, 
R Spates, F. Peterson, W. Williams, James Lockey, 
A. P. Wells, C. S. Foster, A. Mellenthin, F. Mellenthin, 
C. Morton, Jon Anderson, Larribee A- Sons, William 
Acheson, Otto Anderson, Charles Pearson, O. A. Hawes. 
W. S. Eastman, I. V. Eastman, Andrew Nelson, Colon 
Acheson, Christian Nelson, Orla Nash, W. Wunderlich. 
Peter Mullany, H. Rolph, Philip Snyder, A. C. Tucker, 
H. Rathmell, H. Tucker, George A. Wunderlich, L. I'.. 
Fellows, Alex Burr, W. Sykes, B. Syfces, .lames Cum- 
mins, ,L. Marcyes, George Link, B. F. Link, A. I.. 
Randall, B. Heath, C. E. Rice, L. Oilman. Z. 0. 
Titus, H. Smith, W. L. Watson, ('. E. Hid-. Levi S. 
Kiel, S. Van Alstine, A. R. Cummins, 1>. ('. Pierce, 
J Drvden, C. M. Damuth, O. Gregg, 0. C. Gregg, 
H. G. Ward, L. A. Gregg, Charles Shilliam, W. 11. 
Langdon, V. M. Smith, Jacob Rouse and Mrs. Pierce, 

uOn October 22, 1S72, Lake Benton township, 

comprising a tract of territory in the southeast part of 
the present Lincoln COUnty, was created by the County 


1 'The first child born in Lyons township was Fred 

Adams, born in L870. The first school was taught by 

Florence Downie in 1873. Religious services wen- 
first held in the township by Rev. Ransom Wait ..a 
November I). 1870, and the first church society was 

formed in September, 1873, 



titles were granted to the following in 
Lyons township: 

W. C. Adams (5), James Burnes (26), Moses 
G. Fifield (10), Joseph Fifield (10), A. A. Fifield 
(10), Edward P. Gage (22), James T. Moon (34), 
Hugh William Neil (26), John D. Soper (22), 
George H. Thurston (24), C. L. Van Fleet (32), 
Roland Weeks (28), Charles A. Wright (12), 
William Whitson (22), Mahlon S. Faucett (24), 
Ransom Wait (14), Thomas S. Downie (12), 
Charles W. Hicks (2), John L. Jones (28), Evan 
L. Jones (34), Albert C. Dresser (28), James F. 
Hoagland (22), Richard R. Roberts (20), Fred 
C. Hicks (12), William M. Riddell (26), Elisha 
Foster (30), Walter Carlaw (32), Leander P. 
Knapp (30), Mary L. Gould (14), Isaac Harvey 
(20), Richard Tuper (24), Dennis Leary (6), 
Charles S. Riley (14), Sophia Hicks (2), John J. 
Hicks (2), Gordon Watson (2), Jeremiah Van 
Schaick (30), James M. Millard (26), Ludwig 
Mitzner (34), Dennis N. Fellon (18), Lois E. 
Coleman (10), Almond C. Dann (20), Charles E. 
Goodell (14), Reuben Beazlev (6), Louis Crane 
(4), Martha M. Day (6), Samuel W. Galbraith 
(28), William Nelson Jones (18), Henry Mussler 
(20), Thomas A. Graham (34), August Rienke 
(18), Mauley M. Curtis (12), Evan C. Jones (8), 
Ephraim Skyhawk (18), Warren Erwin Austin 
(24), Charles V. Hicks (2), Heirs Edward C. 
Bot (6), Elisha B. Downie (12), Henry L. Pierce 
(4), Henry Schaeffer (34), Anthonv Megandv 
(4), Edmund Lamb (4), Orla B. *Xash (22), 
( hvcn M. Owens (8), Martin V. Davidson (4), 
Luman Ticknor (8), Lars P. Bergman (18). 15 


Fairview and Lyons townships may 
be classed as twins, for they were 
granted the rights of township govern- 
ment on the same day and perfected 
their organizations on the same day. 
The beautiful prairie township of Fair- 
view was appropriately named. In the 
early days, with naught to interrupt the 
view, it was a fair sight to look upon. 
There was spread out a landscape of 
loveliness, and any other name for the 

15 The following farmers lived in Lyons township in 
1884: B. F. Bates, C. V. Hicks, J. J. Hicks, Gordon 
Watson, Y\ . C. Adams, H. L. Pierce, C. E. Bice, Mrs. 
Day, Dennis Leary, Reuben Beasley, Joseph Fifield 
M. G. Fifield, F. R. Lindsey, E. B. Do'wnie, F. (' Hicks' 
T. S. Downm. M. M. Curtis, Charles E. Goodell, J M' 
Millard, Ransom Wait, C. S. Riley, D. N. Fellon 
R. Roberts, A. C. Dann, I. N. Harvey, R. 1). Soper] 
1). Soper, J. W. Hoagland, J. F. Hoagland, James 
Murison, J. Ingram, G. H. Thurston, James Burns 
W. N. Riddell, Robert Riddell, S. W. Galbraith, L. 
Jones, C. E. Dresser, C. C. Wagner, D. T. Fellon, 
Jeremiah Van Schaick, L. P. Knapp, Walter Carlaw] 
C. L. Van Fleet, T. A. Graham, Ludwig Mitzner. 
E. L. Jones, E. Schmitz, J. Mitzner and Mr. Teufel. 

16 The first child born in Fairview was Walter 
Reynolds, son of William and Maria Reynolds, who 

township would have been a misnomer. 
Fairview township was created March 
18, 1873, and the first town meeting was 
held at the home of John W. Elliott, on 
section 34, on the first day of April of 
the same year. At that time the follow- 
ing officers were chosen: Harmon Love- 
lace, chairman; John W. Elliott and 
G. M. Johnson, supervisors; John Bu- 
chanan, clerk; Owen Marron, treasurer; 
B. G. Emery, assessor; Harmon Love- 
lace and John Buchanan, justices of the 
peace; W. S: Pieynolds and A. Williams. 
constables. 16 

The government issued patents to 
land in Fairview township to the follow- 
Miner Atherton (32), Romain ('. Beech (6), 
Charles A. Edwards (26), B. C. Emery (14). 
I. P. Farriagton (26), John L. Gee (6), Daniel 
P. Hance (24), Reuben Henshaw (22), Anne 
Hanlon (10), Besnasel Hanlon (10), John Hanlon 
(18), Harmon Lovelace (20), David H. Neely 
(4), William S. Reynolds (34), George Spaulding 
(28), John Shull (4), Luman Ticknor (30), 
Daniel F. Weymouth (2), Alvin Fort (12), 
William D. Lovelace (24), Thomas Lindsay (12), 
Polk Williams (8), Frank Constant (22), Jasper 
W. Dickey (20), Seth Johnson (30), Edward C. 
Pierce (28), John A. Brown (22), Cornelius 
Meehan (10), Daniel Thomas (30), David D. 
Forbes (14), Martha Meacham (8), E. Alfred 
Edwards (4), George L. D. Weymouth (2), 
William C. Robinson (10), Harvey G. Howard 
(20), George M. Robinson (10), Richard Blake 
(18), John Cummings (26), Richard Yates (28), 
Margaret JTanlon (18), Walter Wakeman (20), 
Maudavill Potter (28), Marcellus F. Murphy (4), 
Martin V. Davidson (24), John H. Buchanan 
(32), Daniel M. Taylor (30), Allen Smith (6), 
Eben B. Jewett (32), Hamilton Smith (18), 
John W. Elliott (34), Zenas Rank (24), Isaac 
Lindsey (14), Lewis Lavake (14), Delia M. 
Wasson (22), Frank D. Wasson (22), Eliza 
Wasson (22), Heirs Charles Weymouth (2), 
Homer Robinson (20), George F. LeBeau (6). 17 

was born April 2, 1871. Walter Woodruff and Julia 
Lovelace were the first in the township to marry. The 
first death was that of Mary Gibbs, mother of Henry 
Gibbs; she died in December, 1871, at the age of ninety 
years. School was first taught in the township by 
Ada Kennedy in 1S<4; the first school room was a 
granary belonging to Thomas Lindsay. The first 
religious services were conducted by Rev. George 
Spaulding at his home in 1S73. 

17 The following were heads of families residing in 
Fairview in 1884: D. Alexander, D. F. Weymouth 
M. P. Jewett. Cox Brothers, H. Edwards, R ('" Beech 
J. L. Gee, C. L. Wiley, Philip Rue, A. Paul, Neill 
Oren Marron, Martha Meacham, A. Hanlon, Besnasel 
Hanlon, G. M. Robinson, W. ('. Robinson. Rev. 
Graves, O. F. Walter, Isaac Lindsev, Alex Forbes, 
D. D. Forbes, Whitney & Keith, F. J. Parker, John 




Almost without exception, the town- 
ship of NTordland was settled by Nor- 
wegians and they bestowed upon it the 
name of a province in their native land. 
Nordland township was created by the 
Board of County Commissioners May 9, 
1873, and soon thereafter the first town 
meeting was held at the home of T. H. 
Horn on section 14. 

The initial officers of Nordland were 
as follows: Ole O. Groff, chairman; 
Ole 0. Rear and Nils Anderson, super- 
visors; Frederick Holritz, clerk; A. O. 
Strand, treasurer; T. O. Loftsgaarden, 
assessor; J. O. Fangen and Frederick 
Holritz, justices of the peace; Thrond 
Helverson and W. K. Hovden, con- 

The following became owners of land 
in Nordland by virtue of the homestead 
and timber culture acts: 

Charles Anderson (18), Fred Holritz (10), 
Andrew Halversen (28), Christopher K. Iverson 
(20), Tobias Iverson (30), Lars J. Jerpbak (18), 
Erick Knudson (22), Nels B. Nelson (8), Gunder 
Olson (8), Robert Quiggle (2), Mary Tollef (26), 
Halvor A. Verse (12), William K. Hovden (2), 
Niels Gregersen (30), Arent Larsen (12), Niels 
N. Myre (14), Ole Olsen (12), Samuel Hansen 
(20), John Larsen (34), Theodore Halve rson 
(28), Halvor Olsen Skogen (26), Ole O. Barisnens 
(24), Ole Sieverson (14), Osten Anderson Rye 
(34), Gregar Amundsen (22), Simon Sivertson 
(4), John Johnson Hoff (4), Lewis B. Leland 
(28), Christian Johnsen (8), Ole Shelrud (24), 
Ole O. Nordbv (22), Seaver G. Dalen (6), Ole O. 
Skaar (18), Sever L. Teigland (10), Nels Hal- 
verson (28), Tobias Iverson (30), Syvert A. 
Hazleberg (30), Sturlaugur Gilbertson (8), Ole 
O. Rear (12), John Josephson (4), Martin 
Bradison (32), Ole A. Lien (28), John O'Brien 
(4), Josef Jonssen(30), Thor Rye (8), Ole Ledel 

Hanlon, M. Hanlon, Hamilton Smith, J. A. Hunter, 
Richard Blake, J. \\ . Dickey, H. G. Howard, Kinney, 
W. P. Thayer, L. K. Thayer, J. A. Brown, Reuben 
Henshaw, F. D. Wasson, W. U. Lovelace, D. T. Hance, 
John Cummings, James Lawrence, E. C. Pierce, M. 
Potter, Rev. George Spaulding, A. C. Forbes, A. 
Baldwin, Seth Johnson, Daniel Thomas, Luman 
Ticknor, E. B. Jewett, E. A. Edwards, .Mrs. Coleman, 
J. W. Elliott, W. S. Reynolds and E. O. Barnard. 

18 During the next ten years after its organization 
the growth of Nordland was slow and in 1SS4 the only 
heads of families living in the precinct were Haiver 
Olson, J. B. Johnson, Thomas Olson, W. K. Hovden, 
Robert Culshaw, John Ohnn, Sven Jeremiasrn, John 
J. Hoff, S. Severtson, John Josephson, B. <'. Gatzke, 
S «',. Dalen, Sturlauger Gilbertson, Nels Nelson, Chris 
Johnson, Teeta Tolff, A. Strand, Sever Tergland, B. 

(24), Paul B. Gatzke (6), Thidemap Jensen (24), 
Leif Stenerson (30), John B. Johnson (32), 
Torjus H. Flom (14), Frank Ramberg (24), 
Halvor H. Bakken (26), Peter Larson (26), 
Gilbert T. Larsen (24), Heirs Benjamin Johnsen 
(32), John McClusky (20), Peter Johan Jennen 
(14), Robert Hanson (10), Benjamin Johnson 
(32), Gregar Stenerson (24), John Gillund (22), 
Frank Dobrinski (6), Thomas Olson (2), Andreas 
J. Olsen (10), Brede Bredeson (32), Sven H. 
Jeremiasen (4), Thomas McClusky (10), Tollef 
Olson Festad (10). 18 


The topographical features supplied 
the name for Grandview, the name being- 
selected when the township was created 
July 21, 1873. On September 23 of the 
same year the County Board authorized 
a change in name to Warrington, but 
the change was not made. 

The township was organized in Au- 
gust, 1873, when the first town meeting 
was held at the home of Jacob Thomas. 
The first officers, selected at that time, 
were as follows: T. J. Barber, chair- 
man; S. B. Green and J. M. Collins, 
supervisors; A. L. Baldwin, clerk; J. M. 
English, treasurer; George Chamberlain, 
assessor; Orlando McQuestion and H. B. 
Loomis, justices of the peace; (!. A. 
Wirt and C. P. Cotterell, constables. 1 '* 

Government land patents were grant- 
ed to the following in Grandview: 

Henry W. Burlingame (4), Frank D. Baldwin 
(26), Edward Goodman (10), Charles E. Goodell 
(34), James P. Greenslitt (4), Stephen B. Green 
(22), J. A. Goodrich (12), Alexander Graham 
(14), Harrison A. Irish (14), Charles J. Morse 
(24), Martin M. Marshall (28), William Markell 
(10), John S. Pears (24), Janet Robertson (24), 
Wells I. Smith (20), J. M. Vaughn (8), George A. 
Wirt (22), Generius Johnson (6), Christian Lee 

Verpe, Ole Rear, Ole Groff, Arne Larson, < He Bji 
N. T. Dahl, T. H. Flom, A. Larson, Nels Myre, Ole 
Severson, Charles Anderson, Lars Jerpbak, Asian Haug, 
Ole Stear, Samuel Sanson, Frederick Bolritz, Ole 
Myrick, K. Melby, Ole Nordbv, J. G. Gillund, Gregar 
Amundsen, Thideman Jens -n, (i. Stenerson, Ole Ladel, 
F. Rumberg, Ole S. Kgelud, Nels Ealverson, Andrew 
Balverson, Albert Halverson, Louis Lsland, S. Lndei 
son, T. Tobias, M. Bredeson, li. Johnson, Ole Boi 
L. Kst and J<ilui Larson. 

"Lilly McQuestion, the firsi child born in Grand 
view was born December 16, L871, the daughter o 
Orlando McQuestion. The firsi death was a child ol 
Joseph Chamberlain. The firsi school was taught by 
Sarah Constant in L876. The first religious services 
were conducted by Rev. W. S. W illiams. 



(18), Alberto L. Baldwin (22). Selden Coleman 
(26), William T. Maxson (20-28), Charles P. 
Cotterell (22), Bergit S. Jacobson (6), Ransom 
F. Lathe (28), John G. Cook (34), William L. 
Goodrich (12), Ambrose Amundson (8). Jacob 
Thomas (22). Anthon J. Ledel (30), Orlando 
McQuestion (34), John O. Ranum (30), Rufus F. 
Southworth (2), Hugh Chalmers (2), Lewis 
Story (32), Johan Christ Xielson (30), Thomas 
J. Barber (22), Amasa A. Farmer (20), Georgi- 
anna M. Collins (14), John R. Phelps (32), John 
Shelrud (30), Harrison B. Loomis (4), Fannie 
M. Collins (10), Flovd H. Deland (2), Leo 
DeCock (8), Miles W. Fuller (32), Martin 
Ellefson (6), Lewis E. Bates (28), Charles 
DeVos (4), Edward A. Deland (12), Edward 
Fezler (28), Camille Claeys (8), Sigfred Ledel 
(18), Franklin H. Goodrich (12), James S. 
Rauger (30), Ole Ingebretson Rot am (6), 
William Bot (14). Anders H. Opdahl (6), Chester 
Andrews (26), -James M. English (26), William 
J. Brull (34), Edwin M. English (24), George W. 
Carpenter (24). 20 


The northeast corner township was 
officially designated an organized town- 
ship July 21, 1873, under the name of 
Canton, and it was more than a year 
later when the name Lucas was bestowed 
upon it. 21 The organization was per- 
fected August 5, 1873. 

The first officers of the township were 
as follows: .lames Wardrop, chairman: 
O. H. Dahl and John Moe, supervisor:-: 
R. H. Price, clerk: N. T. Dahl. treasurer 
and assessor; T. S. Norgaard and P. H. 
Dahl, justices of the peace; R. J. Ben- 

20 There were living in Grandview the following in 
1884: Victor LeBeau, Hugh Chalmers, F. H. Deland, 
J. Cavanaugh, H. B. Loomis, Theodore Carron, C. 
Foulon, G. Verghote, John Ford, Martin Ellefson, 
G. A. Aal, B. Jacobson, Ole Rotam, Ambrose Amund- 
son, J. M. Vaughn, R. L. Greenslitt. H. Maartens, Leo 
DeCock, David VanHee, H. Princen, B. F. Jellison, 
F. H. Goodrich, E. A. Deland, A. Paradis, W. S. 
Goodrich, Alexander Graham, Georgianna Collins, 
C. Messine, A. VanHee. S. VanHee, Christian Lee, 
Sigfred Ledel, J. Regnier, J. Lambert, A. A. Farmer, 
W. T. Maxson, L. E. Bates, Isaac Regnier, Charles 
Cotterell, S. B. Green, T. I. Barber, Jacob Thomas, 
A. L. Baldwin, J. M. English, G. W. Carpenter, E. 
Lord, Frank Baldwin. S. Coleman, J. Butson, Peter 
Schmitz, C. Schmitz, F. Laythe, John Shelrud, John 
Nielson, A. J. Ladle, J. O. Ranum, J. Lambert, M. W, 
Fuller, Lewis Story, A. Pennston, William Goodell. 
J. G. Cook and Orlando McQuestion. 

-'Ruling- of state auditors forbade two townships 
in the state to have the same name, and as a conse- 
quence the people of a new township frequently had 
to change the name. The people of Lucas were 
especially unfortunate in choosing a name that had not 
before been selected. The name Lisbon was selected 
in place of Canton on March 17, 1874. and that in turn 
was changed to Moe on May 21, 1874. Lucas was 

jamin and George Anderson, consta- 
bles. 22 

The following were settler- of Lucas 
who received their land from the govern- 
ment : 

George Anderson (8), Otto Anderson 2 
Squire J. Carr (24). Robert Cummings (32), 
Peter H. Dahl (4). P. A. Eitland (18), James 
Galbraith (30), Ann Lines (24), Lewis B. 
Nichols 20), George Russell (34), William H. 
Slater (4), Robert Chalmers (30), John McLen- 
nan (32), Thomas Bell (12), Joseph Gray (28), 
Peder Eliason (10), Christopher IVterson (22), 
' John Boniman (30), John H. Mielke (22), James 
Wardrop (12), Christ H. Dahl (S). Josiah 
Durham (2), Rufus H. Price (2), Gabriel Ander- 
son (6). Torjus S. Norgaard I ti. Edward T. 
Tonnessen Hamre (10-8), Hans P. Dahl (6 
Allend Christianson (10), Endre Endreson (8), 
Clinton J. Price (14), Carl Kartowietz (26), 
James C. Townsend (MO). Frederick Strohschaen 
(12), John Krog (22), Ole H. Batlestad (18), 
Daniel R. Burdctt (20), Charles S. Lovelace (20 . 
Toilet" o. Legvold (Ki(. William Stewart (32), 
James Ouickshank (34), John Johnsen Nesdal 
(14). Wilhelm Weinkauf (24), her Nelson (2), 
Mikkle Nelson (6), Thomas Chalmers (32 
Neils Neilson (6), Siverl <>. Barsted (20), 
Christian Rusl (34). " 


Nineteen residents of the northwest 
corner township petitioned for township 
government and the County Hoard took 
the requested action September 2. 1873. 
The township was created and organ- 
ized with the name Upper Yellow Medi- 
cine, but the name was later changed to 

chosen October 11, 1S74. and as no Other township had 
:i prior ri till t the name \va> permanently established. 

22 Thc first child born in Lucas was Albert Erwin, 
born February 27. 1872. The first death was a son 
of John Krog, who died in the winter of 1873. The 
first marriage was that of D. R. Burdette to Alice M. 
Price and occurred July 16, 1873. The first school 
was taught by Ella Williams in 1873 in a small building 
erected by R. H. Price on section 2. The first religious 
services were conducted by Rev. Joseph Williams, of 
the United Brethren Society. 

23 In 1884 the residents of Lucas township were as 
follows: R. H. Price, Iver Nelson, At. Nelson, E. S. 
Reishus, Aarrestad Brothers, L. P. Aaberg, Gabriel 
Anderson, J. A. H. Dahl, N. Rosvold, M . Rosvold, 
J. H. Anderson, C. H. Dahl. A. Bars tad, A. Anderson. 
Mr. Conrad. Peder Eliason, E. T. Hamre, Allend 
Christianson, Frederick Strohschaen, James Wardrop, 
Thomas Bell, J. Johnson, A. Miro, A. Slette, J. Medboe, 
O. O. Reinholt, O. H. Hattlestad, M. T. Ness, H. J. 
Meilke, John Krog, J. A. Smith, Christopher Peterson, 
J. C. Lines, J. J. Hunziker, C. Kartowitz, F. G. Stroh- 
schaen, Jr., J. McDonald, J. C. Gray, James Galbraith, 
John Boniman, Robert Chalmers. J. ('. Townsend, 
John D. Smith, Robert Cummings, William Stewart, 
John McLellan, Thomas Chalmers. James Cruickshank, 
James Robertson, George Russell and P. Schlemmer. 



The in' t ti»u ii meeting was held Sep 
tember 20, 1873, and the following were 
chos en t he fin t offh era: II. T. < Oakland, 
chairman; Nels Torgerson and A. 
Amundson, supervisor : John Coleman, 
clerk; Swend Peterson, treasurer; 0. B. 
Ringham, • e or; H. D, Frink, jus t ice 
of the peace; <> I! Esping and G. 
Amundson, constal le ;. a ' 

The following homesteaders and tree 
claim claimants received title to real 
(•• late in Eidsvold: 

Ambrose Amundsen (34), Lewis Anderson 
28 William Brockway (20), John A. Coleman 
28) W. M. Coleman (26), Swend Peterson .:<: 
Ole Pederson (24), Ole B. Ringham (26), Jakob 
Steinmetz (22-12-18), William P. Tenney (18), 
Harvey D. Frink (26), John M. Hall (8), Knud 
Olson (10), Knud 0. Dovre (34), Freeborn \ 
Welch (18), William Mohr (30), Francis I; 
Adams I I), Aaron Conger (6), Kmit A. Rye (22 . 
Knud Helgeson (2), Amend Amendson (24 
Knud K. Gigstad (34), George II. Welch (18 . 
Hugh Bowden (12). Edwin E. Ramberg ■ ; 
Neils Torgeson (34), Charles Overland (14), 
John Olson Kaas (22), Knut S. Kraubek (14), 
Barnel Vosberg (6), Filing Knudson llaugen 
(12), Walter P. Ruggles (1). Knnd Knudtson 
(10), Ole A. Swennes (2), Parmer Crampton (8 . 
Norman Webster (8), Bergven J. Hoff (32 
Lewis 1*. Johnson (10), Isaac Olson (24), Thor- 
vald Rye (12), [gnacy Gawareski (30), < He II. 

Esping (12), Patrick Malone (14), .John McCor- 

jnick (20), Betsey .1. Wallin (22), Knud Kjorness 
(2 J). Lawrence McDonald (28), Jens Alickson 
(32), Joseph Alickson (32), Kazimien Surdzinski 
(30), Hugh McNamara (4), Nels Anderson (10), 
Ellen Salmon (28), Maria Olson (32), Carrie E. 
Fodness (2), Engebret K. Kjorness (24), James 
W. Williams (20), Syvert Hanson (22), Heirs 
Frank Hinkley (8), Andrew Budniakowski (30), 
John S. Kosmalski (20), Gottlieb Kerlein (30), 
Reuben H. Clark (4). 25 


The county law-making body sel apart 
the soul heai i corner towns hip for or- 
ganization on January 5, 1874, and 
named it Monroe. 28 Some time later 
the firsl town meeting was hold ;i t the 
tore nf II. X. Joy in Tracy, officers 
weir selected, and .Monroe township was 
fully organized. 2 ' 

Land patents were granted by the 
government to the following named 
persons in .Monroe township: 

Reese Davis (8), Smith S. Fuller (S), Edward 
Glynn (6), Alden ('. Levitt (12), William H. 
Morgan (20), A. Peterson (20), Philip Peregrine 
(6), Rees Price (18), Ole Rialson (22), E. L. (24), Henry II. Welch (26), David Bumford 
(30), Charles S. Grover (6), William V. Taylor 
(6), John M. Chapin (24), Andrew Christensen 
(28), Edwin W. Healy (26), Ole Olson Suae (20), 
Wyatt Moulton (18), Anne Amandsen (32), 
Ole Helgeson Brevig (28), Elias Jones (10), 
Ole Johnson (26), Hugh R. Hughes (18), James 
R. Mullins (12), EUas Rialson (22), Gunerins 
Olson (30), Evan D. Evans C30), Charles Vau 
Dusen (4), Walter A. Sutherland (2), Hans T. 
Larson ( 10), Ingeborg Trulson (32), John Schultz 
(24), William Shand (14), Kittel C. Haugen (28), 
Charles W. Northrup (4), William F. Randall 
(4), Amand Erlandson (22), Thomas Devine 
(12), Amasa A. Farmer (12), Frederick Johnson 
(12), Emerson W. Ladd (2), Ole Amundson (20), 
Heirs Elias Olson (34), Ellef Anderson (34), 
Jacob F. Durst (8), Mary E. Bass (6), Adolph 
Gilbertson (14), Rasmus H. Lawrence (10), 
Hans Amendsen (32), Levi Montgomery (26), 
Benjamin R. Bass (6), William S. Moses (24), 
Truis Knudsen (32), John F. Knowles (34), 
John L. Craig (14), Solomon Evans (30), 
George White (18), Wilbur F. Nelson (2), 
Levi Bailey (4), Martin Larson (10), Guilbert 

-'Twin girl.s. born to Mr. and Mrs. Swend Peterson 
in 1871, were the first births in Eidsvold. A daughter 
of ( >le Pederson, who died in 1872, was the first to die 
in the precinct. The first marriage was that of J. J. 
Wallin to Annie Olson and occurred October 24, 1874. 
The first public school was taught by O. H. Dahl in 
the railroad section house. Rev. J. Berg conducted 
the first religious services in the same building. 

25 The following were engaged in farming in Eidsvold 
township in 1884: O. A. Swennes, Knud Helgeson, 
K. Kodness, F. McMahon, W. P. Ruggles, F. R. Adams, 
Aaron Conger, Barnet Vosburg, J. Ahern, E. Hinkley, 
. L. P. Johnson, K. Knudson, K. O. Bakken, Torger 
Stene, Thor Rye, Hugh Bowden, E. Rnutson, Ole H. 
Esping, E. Severson, H. T. Oakland, K. Tvambeek, 
Patrick Malone, F. N. Welch, B. Agners, John McCor- 
mick, J. E. Kaas, J. Pennington, C. Hanson, Knut Rye, 
H. Rye, B. Wallin, K. E. Kjorness, E. K. Kjorness, 
Amend Amendson, Isaac Olson, G. Thompson, O. B. 
Ringham, H. H. Boe, J. Wilhelms, W. Salmon, Lewis 
Anderson, Lawrence McDonald, Henry Carstens, A. 
Katke, William Mohr, E. O'Brien, Nels Torgerson, 
K. O. Dovre and Ole Feste. 

26 The name was suggested by Louis and Ole Rialson, 
early settlers of the township who came from Green 
county, Wisconsin, the county seat of which was 
Monroe. The residents of the new township selected 
that name by ballot over Chelsea, another name that 
had been proposed. The Board of County Com- 
missioners on January 6, 1874, directed the county 
auditor to send to the state authorities the name 
Starr, in case the name Monroe was rejected. 

27 The first birth in Monroe township was that of a 
daughter of Rees Price; the second was that of George 
White, a son of Mr. and Mrs. George White, born June 
17, 1872; the child died September 10 of the same 
year, his death being the first in the precinct. Stella 
Cleveland taught the first school in the township in 
1875. Religious services were first conducted in 1873 
by Rev. Ransom Wait at the home of E. L. Starr. 
The first religious organization, a Congregational 
Sunday School, was formed in June, 1874, at the home 
of J. M. Wardell. The first church organization was 
that of the Presbyterian, formed in the fall of 1874; 
its church building, the first in the township, was 
erected in the spring of 1875. 



Larson (10), Segrid Amundson (20), Ole Ander- 
son (28). 28 


The township which is now designated 
Amiret dates its existence from March 
17. 1S74. when the County Board, upon 
the petition of Horace N. Randall and 
others, authorized its citizens to organ- 
ize. For several years the precinct bore 
the name Madison, but in 1879, by 
legislative act. its name was changed to 
Amiret, to correspond with the name of 
the village within its boundaries. 29 
The first town meeting was held at the 
store of William Coburn April 7. 1874. 
S. S. Truax, J. H. Williams and H. N. 
Randall were judges of the election then 
held and William Coburn was clerk. 

The first officers chosen were as fol- 
lows: James Mitchell, Jr., chairman; 
Lafayette Grover and David Hawks, 
supervisors; William Coburn, clerk: S. S. 
Truax, treasurer; J. H. Williams, assess- 
or; John Taylor, justice of the peace; 
Luther Mason, constable. 30 

To the following early settlers of 
Amiret township government land titles 
were granted: 

Henry Borchert (30), William Doxie (6), 
Charles Donaldson (22), George W. Donaldson 
(22), Simeon S. Goodrich (12), Philo Hall (14), 
Isaiah D. Hetric (24), David Hawks (14). 
William Harrison (32), James Hopkins (30), 
Beers Johnson (30), Eliza A. Kennedy (34), 
Jacob Kline (28), N. Leavitt (26), Jane Mitchell 

--The fanning population of Monroe township in 
lss4 was composed of the following: C. Reggie, 
E. W. Ladd, J. Jones, Jessup & Walsh, C. \Y. Van 
Dusen. \Y. Northrup, James Thomson, J. W. Tyson, 
Philip Peregrine, B. R. Bass, E. W. Glvnn, I. Grover, 
J. Glynn, J. F. Durst, J. P. Davis, Rees Davis, R. H. 
Lawrence, Martin Larsen, Gulbrand Larsen, Elias 
Jones, T. Larson, Nevius Brothers, J. R. Mullen, J. B. 
Mullen, J. B. Deal, J. L. Craig, J. C. Tweet, R. Cava- 
naugh, N. H. Starr, C. Muediking, Wyatt Moulton, 
H. R. Hughes, Rees Price, W. H. Morgan, Ole Amund- 
son, Ole Olsen, Charles C. Warren, A. Erlandson, Louis 
Rialson. S. D. Peterson, T. Lewis, Ole Liaison. W. S. 
Moses, W. Henning, J. Moline, J. S. Wilniarth, H. H. 
Titus. Levi Montgomery, Ole Johnson, J. J. Randall, 
('. Christianson, Ole Anderson, Ole Helgeson, Andrew 
Christensen, Mrs. R. Sessions, E. D. Evans, G. O. 
Miller, A. Amendsen, H. Amundson, J. Jacobson, 
H. .Moline, Ellef Anderson, J. Retz, Schmitz. 

- 9 The village was named in honor of Amiretta Sykes, 
wife of M. I . Sykes, vice president of the Chicago ifc 
Northwestern Railroad Company and also of the 
Winona & St. Peter Railroad Company. 

(30), Luther Mason (20), Saira H. Preston (26), 
J. C. Plumseth (28), Charles P. Silloway (22), 
O. W. Walsh (34), Hamilton Drake (28), 
Merritt Shaw (18), James Mitchell (30), Peter 
McKeever (30), Frederick A. Woodruff (2), 
Joseph Connelly (30), Valentine O. Cove}' (10), 
James W. Drew (4), Jasper L. Havens (24), 
Don D. Harding (28), Calvin Maydole (18), 
Franklin G. Cahow (12), Luvina Devens (10), 
Ariel H. Wellman (26), William Coburn (10), 
Oliver P. Ball (4), Joseph Fredenburg (2), 
Alfred Nichols (20), George Beck (18), Daniel 
Warn (24), Nelson Johnson (18), John W. 
Taylor (14), Joseph B. Shepard (4), George W. 
Smith (8), James Struthers (8), Joseph Shake 
(6), Horace N. Randall (14-2), Henry C. May- 
dole (6), Isaac C. Seeley (8), Benjamin R. Bass 
(6), James D. Bevier (24), Sidnev N. Lund (24), 
John B. Martin (24), Ambrose N. Smith (18), 
Jacob Devens (4), James Mitchell, Jr. (4), 
Ephraim Skyhawk (2), Abraham V. Brown (10), 
John Sherman (12), Eugene E. Harding (20), 
Homer C. Swift (8), Emery J. York (26), 
Lewis F. Rowell (10), Thomas Johnson (24), 
Charles Mason (20), Burton A. Drake (6), 
Perrv D. Gross (20), Charles F. Whipple (28), 
Andrew Purves (18), John D. Owens (32), 
Alexander Kennedy (12), Joel H. Harris (32), 
Louis Michel (6), Gardner F. Harding (34). 31 


Nearly all the early day settlers of 
Westerheim township were Norwegians 
and when the time came to organize the 
township they gave it a Norwegian 
name — Westerheim, meaning western 
home. The petition for the creation of 
the township was presented to the 
county authorities February 24, 1876, 
and was signed by J. R. Blanchard, 
A. A. Lee and others. Action on the 
petition was deferred, but on April 19, 

30 The first birth in Amiret township was a daughter 
born to Mr. and Mrs. William Coburn in 1S73. The 
first death occurred in 1872 and w r as a daughter of 
Luther Mason. The first marriage was that of J. A. 
Hunter and Miss C. A. Mitchell and was performed 
June 3, 1875. The first school was taught in 1873 by 
Mrs. Warnick in a board shanty on section 31. The 
first religious services were conducted in 1872 by Rev. 
J. Reese, and the first church, Congregational, was 
built in 1873. 

31 The settlers of Amiret township in 1884 were 
F. S. Woodruff, Joseph Fredenburg, Ephraim Skyhawk, 
Jacob Devens, O. P. Ball, J. W. Drew, H. ('. Maydole, 
Joseph Shake, C. H. Dudrey, James Struthers, H. C. 
Swift, John Curray, A. Nichols, V. O. Covey, W. 
Blackman, P. Devens, John Sherman, J. M. Taylor, 
J. Frost, H. X. Randall, S. F. Rowell, H. Curray 
C. R. Maydole, D. Tucker, J. W. Nichols, B. Nichols, 
James T. Hernan, H. D. Shepherd, T. R. Mathews, 
J. M. Mitchell, J. York, A. D. Lord, G. Harding, 
Hamilton Drake, James Mitchell, P. Ford, C. S. 
Grover, L. D. Grover, William Harrison, G. F. Harding 
and O. W. Walsh. 



1876, the necessary action was taken 
and the township named. 

The town meeting to effecj an organi- 
zation was held at the home of Peter 
Johnson May 9, L876, when the follow- 
ing were chosen firsl officers: llalvor 
Nyland, chairman; 0. J. Moe and Hans 
Samuelson, supervisors; O. L. Orsen, 
clerk; Andrew Lee, treasurer; Thorbjon 
Huso, assessor; John [lstad and H. P. 
Johnson, justices of the peace; Rasmus 
Hanson and T. H. Opdahl, constats 

Titles to lands in Westerheim were 
granted by the government to the 

Halvor Aadson (30), Thorbjon Aadson (30), 
R. W. Cavenaugh (22), Mary M. Oliver (8), 
George L. Richardson (34), Johan Olsen Stensrud 
(14), Oscar Thompson (20), S. Hognason (4), 
Jonathan Peterson (4), William Marshall (26), 
Rasmus Hanson (32), Knut Knutson (30), 
Knud T. Thompson (2), Ole Thompson (2), 
SigbjornSigurdson (2),( iudmumler Jonsson (14), 
Elling J. Oxaas (4), Hans Samuelson (12), 
Gunnlaugur Petursson (14), Sander Knudson 
(28), Oluf S. Orson (8), Christopher Christianson 
(24), Ostander Warren (26), Alexander D. Hill 
(26), John Ilstad (30), Hans P. Johnson (20), 
Knud J. Hall (2), Ole L. Orsen (18), Thronel 
H. Opdahl (6), Thorlak Peterson (10), Andrew 
Hellikson (10), Josef Josefsson (8), Knud A. 
Broughton (12), Byrneld L. Leland (20), 
Andus H. Opdahl (34), Ole J. Leland (20), 
Henrik Samuelson (12), John C. Rogde (28), 
Knud Knudson Floe (18), Oliver J. Moe (18), 
Sigmundi Jonathason (10), Vincentius Engels 
(26), Joseph Kenna (22), Magnus M. Strom (6), 
John Kiley (30), Patrick McGinn (28), Francis 
Buysse (34), Bjorn Gislason (10), Elbert F. 
Claflin (28), Carolina Van de Wolstyne (34), 
Henry Van Altvorst (4), Ole Jacobson Moe (18), 
Edward Cassidy (22), Knudt E.. Fodness (6), 
Magnild Orson (18). 33 


Vallers township received settlers in 
an early day, and so early as 1873 

32 Westerheim's first birth was a daughter born to 
Mr. and Mrs. John Ilstad in 1874. In June, 1S74, the 
first marriage, a double one, was celebrated — H. A. 
Nyland to Inger Olson and T. A. Huso to Carrie Olson. 
The bride of H. A. Nyland died in September of the 
same year, the death being the first one in the precinct. 
The first school was taught by Knud Fodness in 1877. 

"The residents of Westerheim in 1884 were K. J. 
Hall, S. Sigurdson, Ole Thompson, K. T. Thompson, 
C. Johnson, E. J. Oxaas, John Peterson, S. Hognason, 
Mary Oliver, Oluf Orson, Josef Josefsson, Andrew 
Hellikson, S. Jonathason, Bjorn Gislason, K. A. 
Broughton, Hans Samuelson, Henry Samuelson, John 
Stensrud, E. Fjeldstad, G. Jonsson, G. Petursson, E. 
Bjornson, Walter Walsh, Lars Orson, Ole L. Orsen, 

attempts to bring about local govern- 
ment Were made. One or two elections 
were held to that end, but for some 

reason the government was not per- 
fected. The Comity Board passed the 
necessary enabling act September 21, 
1876, and named the precinct Vallers. 34 

The township began local government 
October 7, 1S76, when the first town 
meeting was held at the home of Ole O. 
Brenna. The officers elected at that 
time were as follows: S. W. Laythe, 
chairman; John Anderson and M. K. 
Snortum, supervisors; Ole O. Brenna, 
Jr., clerk; Ole O. Brenna, Sr., assessor; 
Ole O. Brenna, Jr., justice of the 
peace. 35 

There was considerable University 
land in Vallers and as a result the list 
of those who obtained land titles from 
the government is not so large as in 
most of the other towns. The list is as 

Johannes Anderson (6), Norman L. Jones (32), 
Michel Knudson (4), Johan Olsen (4), Ole O. 
Prestegaren (2), Ole Olsen Brenna (4), Nathan 
B. Langdon (34), Ole Anderson (6), Andrew O. 
Anderson (6), Horace C. Bemis (34), Knudt 
Swenson (22), Christian O. Hovde (20), Harvey 
W. Throop (26), J. L. Robinson (26), Casper 
Holter (18), William H. H. Hay ward (30), 
Alexander McNaughton (26), Ole J. Ulland (8), 
Ole Lende (22), Jacob Harpster (32), Olaus 
Hanson (20), Gulik Olsen (2), Louise McMasters 
(34), Lena A. Cliffgard (18), Mary Orson (28), 
Hans A. Solberg (26), August Dieken (32), 
Ole O. Brenna, Jr. (8), Charles A. Butler (28), 
John Discher (28), Severt H. Thorness (28), 
Michael Norton (22), Ole Anderson (6), Ole E. 
Borthus (30), Rasmus J. J. Haaskjold (20), 
Edward E. Ackerman (28), Sven Knudsen Thon 
(20), Martin J. Osnes (18), Einar L. Oftedal 
(26), Ferdinand Wambeke (30), John S. Thon 
(22), Carl G. Anderson (18), Daniel P. Shoe- 

O. J. Moe, B. L. Leland, H. P. Johnson, O. I. Leland, 
E Cassidy, W. Sanden, Alex DeWitt, Chris Johnson, 
William Marshall, J. C. Rogde, F. DeReu, H. A. 
Nyland, Rasmus Hanson, Ole O. Skogen, John Ilstad, 
A. DeZutter, Andrew Lee, D. Van de Norstyne, 
Andrew Opdahl and Van Halsbeck. 

3 4 It is said that Ole O. Brenna, an early settler, was 
responsible for naming the town. His desire was to 
name it Valla, a Norwegian word meaning valley, but 
because of incorrect spelling in the petition or illegi- 
bility the county commissioners made the name read 

35 John Anderson, born in 1872, was the first child 
born in Vallers. The first death was that of Ole J. 



maker (34), Andreas S. Malde (2), Thorstein 
Thorseinson (8). 36 


Although one of the first settlements 
of Lyon county was located in Custer, 
the township was not "ranted local 
-government until 1876. The County 
Board declared the Township organized 
September 21. 1876, and named it 
Custer. 37 The first town meeting was 
held October 14 and the following were 
elected first officers: L. D. Lewis, 
chairman; W. H. Hughes and William 
Shand, supervisors; B. F. Thomas, clerk 
and treasurer. 38 

The greater part of the early settlers 
of Custer township were Welsh. The 
government granted land titles to the 

John Avery (10), Milton Cairn (2), Edward 
H. Cutts (26), Jeremiah Evans (14), David E. 
Evans (2), Knute Johnson (1), Ogen Johnson 
(1), Richard Morgan (2), Joseph Wagner (2), 
William W. Harrison (10), Benjamin F. Thomas 
(4). Simon Delong (2), Lafayette Alden (4), 
David E. Griffith (12), George F. Glotfelter (18), 
Andrew Johnson (28), Hugh H. Williams (24 1, 
Nekolai Nilson (28), Edward R. Jones (6), 
Benjamin T. Kirby (6), John T. Bickell (6), 
Andrew A. Xilson (6), William J. Crawford (20), 
John L. Harris (24), Carl Whittmutz, Sr. (20), 
Carl Whittmutz, Jr. (20), Abner G. Bumford 
(22), Richard H. Hughes (12), William Parker 
(30), J. Helleson (28), Peter Fedde (18), Joseph 
Rees (12), Hendrick Peterson (34), Hans M. 
Anderson (8), Solomon Evans (24), James 
Morgan (12), Hugh R. Hughes (14), John E. 
Hughes (14), Tolloff Nelson (34), John P. Jones 
(28), William H. Davy (6), Robert R. Owens 
(26), Thomas L. Harris (24), Andrew Booth (4), 
John S. Owens (26), Frank L. Whiting (32), 

Engen, who died in August. 1877. The first marriage 
ceremony was performed December 23, 1877, and 
united Ole O. Brenna, Jr., to Anna Olson. The first 
school, a private one, was taught by J. L. Robinson in 
1879; the first public school was conducted by Lavina 
Day in 1880 and a school house was built that year. 
Rev. Knud Thorstenson, a Lutheran minister, preached 
the first services in 1877 at the home of Ole O. Brenna. 

3 »According to a list prepared by C. F. Case for his 
History of Lyon County, the following wen- 1 he only 
heads of families living in Wallers in 1884: G. O. 
Aaniat, H. Olson, A. S. .Malde. E. Varpnes, .Michel 
Knudson, Ole O. Brenna, Sr., Andrew O. Anderson, 
John Anderson, Ole Anderson, O. A. Anderson, T. 
Thorsteinson, O. J. I'lland. OlecO. Brenna, Jr., E. S. 
Roti. .1. Roti, I. Olsen, M. J. » >-ne>, O. II. Miller, 
C. O. Hovde, S. K. Thon, R. J. J. Haaskjold, Knudt 
Swenson, Ole Lende, H. A. Solberg, H. W. Throop, 
A. Baldwin, J. L. Robinson. S. II. Thorsness, Ole E. 
Borthus, Mike O'Toole, N. L. Jones, N.,M. Fisk and 
Cox Brothers. 

Lewis P. Jones (2), Landy Soward (32), Hans 
Jacobson (34), Clemet Helleson (34), Daniel 
Willford (22), Knud K. Olsen (22), Andrew 
Green (24), Charles W. Candee (30), Joel A. 
Tucker (30), Lars Nilson (32), James Elliott (18), 
Willard Gifford (18), Heirs David D. Jones (18), 
Benjamin Thomas, Sr. (4), Henry C. Masters 
(10), Torger P. Lien (32), John Whittmus (20), 
Lewis Soward (22), John H. Jones (8), James 
Steele (22), David Morgan (2), Owen R. Owens 
(26), Bengt Swenson (6), Margaret Jones (10), 
Charles A. Anderson (8), Annie S. Cutts (20), 
Sarah M. Randall (11), William Jackson (30). 39 


The next township we have to con- 
sider in the order of their creation is 
Clifton, which first was entitled to a 
place on the map September 21, 1876. 
At that time the County Board desig- 
nated the new division Edenview, but a 
short time later the name was changed 
to Clifton. Christopher Dillman, a pio- 
neer of the precinct, suggested the 

The first election to choose officers 
was held at the school house of district 
No. 28 on October 7, 1876, when the 
following were chosen: A. J. Waite, 
chairman; G. P. Ladenburg and Christo- 
pher Dillman. supervisors; II. D. Barnes, 
clerk; C. A. Cook, treasurer; J. A. 
Dillman. assessor; C>. W. Mossman and 
John M. Linn, justices of the peace; 
H. J. Newhouse and W. B. Franklin, 
constables. 40 

The following named persons were 
early settlers of the township and 

37 When plans were first laid for the organization of 
the precinct, in the early summer of 1876, the residents 
proposed to name it Reno, in honor of the general then 
taking a prominent part in the Indian campaign. 
Before the organization was made, however, General 
Custer and his forces had been massacred on the Little 
Big Horn and some blame for that disastrous event 
was attached to General Reno. When the petition 
was presented it asked for the name Custer, in honor 
of the massacred leader of the white forces. 

3S The first school in Custer township was taught by 
Jane Mitchell in INTO in a log school house on section 
2. Rev. Riley, a Methodist minister, conducted the 
first religious services in 1870. The first church 
society, Presbyterian, was organized in 1871 by Rev. 
Joseph Rees and the first church was erected in 1 s; ; 

39 Permanent residents of Custer in 1884 were (',. S. 
Robinson, C. M. Goodrich, David Morgan, E. H. Cutts, 
Simon Delong, B. F. Thomas, B. B. Thomas. Lafayette 
Alden, Andrew Booth, C. A. Anderson, John Avery, 



secured lands through the homestead 
ami timber culture acts: 

Moses Barnes (6), Joseph C. Brown (34-24), 
Charles A. Cook (6), John F. Constant (18), 
Aaron M. Dudley (32), Walter Dunn (12), 
William B. Franklin (34), John Haghes (30), 
Henry G. Mead (8), Tenbroeck Stout (26), 
Mathew Wilson (4), Charles Marks (2), George 
W. Selover (24), 1). A. Keves (22), Seymour S. 
Sloan (10-4-30), Oliver B. Brown (34), Silas B. 
Wheeler (6), Herman J. Newhouse (8), Newton 
C. Truax (4), Fred Hawkins (28), John M. Linn 
(18), W. S. Rader (34), Botlolf Knudson (6), 
Alfred Mead (10), Winfield W. Mossman (12), 
Louis Stein (30), George Metselder (4), Marcus 
C. Humphrey (14), George W. Mossman (12), 
Jacob Dillman (20), William H. Dillev (24), 
August Adler (10-6), Charles Gary (10), Mary 
Truax (18), Frederick Shake (32-28), Christo- 
pher Dillman (20), James B. Brown (30), 
Benaiah A. Grubb (6), Joseph Pierard (22), 
George Ladenburg (18), Abbott J. Waite (18), 
Edward C. Kieffe (32), August Minneseng (26), 
George W. W. Shaw (22), Dewitt C. Ackcrman 
(10), John W. Blake (30), George C. Dillman 
(20), Julius Freiheit (26), John B. Fairbank 
(14), Edwin S. Reishus (28), James Strange (4), 
William A. . Titus (14), William Castle (26), 
John P. Louis (2), Peter A. Norton (2), Robert 
M. Hassinger (12), George M. Cauffman (34), 
Daniel Kennedy (20). 41 


Stanley township has the distinction 
of having been the first in Lyon county 
to boast a permanent white settler, 
T. W. Castor and family having located 
there in 1867. It was settled in the 
early days largely by Scotchmen. A 
petition was presented for the organi- 
zation of the precinct in July, 1873, but 
the Board of County Commissioners de- 

Margaret Jones, W. W. Harrison, James Morgan, 
Joseph Rees, R. H. Hughes, D. C. Griffiths, J. H. 
Cutler, W. H. Hughes, William Shand, J. H. Hughes, 
Peter Fedde, W. W. Gifford, D. D. Jones, James 
Elliott, George I. Glotfelter, Carl Whittmutz, St., 
Carl Whittmutz, Jr., J. W. Whittmutz, James Steele, 
Daniel Willford, K. K. Olson, Lewis Soward, A. G. 
Bumford, T. L. Harris, J. L. Harris, H. H. Williams, 
S. Evans, L. B. Woolfolk, R. R. Owens, O. R. Owens, 
J. S. Owens, E. H. Cutts, J. P. Jones, M. Nelson, John 
Swenson, William Parker, C. W. Candee, Landy 
Soward, Hendrick Peterson, Hans Jacobson, Clemet 
Helleson and Tolloff Nelson. 

40 The first birth in Clifton was that of Laura M. 
Cook, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Cook, born 
October 24, 1872. The first death was that of a child 
of W. B. Franklin, in December, 1878. The first 
school was taught by Ida Mead in 1876. The first 
sermon was preached by Rev. H. C. Simmons, Congre- 
gationalism in 1875, and the first church was organized 
in 1880. 

41 The settlers of Clifton in 1884 were Charles Marks, 
C. J. Spong, William Marks, H. C. Meehl, George 

ferred action, and it was several years 
later when the desired action was taken. 

Stanley was one of four townships 
created on September 21, 1876. At 
that time it was named Delaven, but 
the name was rejected by the state 
auditor, and Stanley was conferred upon 
it December 23, 1876. It was ordered 
that the first town meeting be held on 
October 14, 1876, but the result of the 
election — if one was held — is not known. 
At the election in March, 1877, the 
following officers were chosen: F. B. 
Patterson, chairman; Colin McNiven 
and James dairy, supervisors; D. T. 
Ludwig, clerk; Oliver Patterson, treas- 
urer; Charles Kennedy, assessor; Duncan 
McKinlay and Edward Wilson, justices 
of the peace; Lester Garry and Mr. 
King, constables. 42 

Homesteads and tree claims were 

secured by the following in Stanley 


Albert Caufman (20), William A. Crooker (28), 
Daniel Monroe (12), William Monroe (2), Ole O. 
Myrvick (20), Duncan McKinlay (4), Thomas 
McKinlay (4), Frank B. Patterson (28), James 
White (2), Peter Brooks (22), James W. Young 
(14), Oliver Patterson (28), David N. Mason 
(34), Charles Kennedy (30), John Russell (10), 
Charles H. Currie (14), Charles E. Higby (32), 
Newton D. Wasson (20), Elizabeth Bosler (14), 
William F. Neill (8), James Garry (10), Mary J. 
Sprague (32), Henry Sprague (32), James F. n. 
Gibb (8-6), Colin McNiven (12), Robert Monroe 
(6), James Dick (8), James McKinlay (4), 
Julia N. Knox (18), Hannah C. Knox (18), 
Fred Beltz (22), George A. Camp (22), George 
Bissett (26), George Hussack (10), Samuel C. 

Metselder, B. Snyder, C. Rock, C. A. Cook, R. D. 
Barnes, B. A. Grubb, H. J. Newhouse, P. I. Truax, 
Henry Mead, August Adler, C. M. Gary, D. C. Acker- 
man, F. H. Fligge, Alfred Mead, B. Hassinger, W. 
Mossman, F. Rowley, \I. C. Humphrey, F. Bedbury, 
G. P. Ladenburg, J. M. Linn, J. Flemming, J. A. 
Dillman, Christopher Dillman, George Dillman, G. W. 
Shaw, D. A. Keys, Joseph Pierard, W. H. Dilly, G. W. 
Selover, J. Durkey, August Minneseng, Julius Freiheit, 
Fred Hawkins, L. Nichols, J. B. Brown, Frederick 
Shake, E. C. Knieff, J. C. Brown and W. S. Rader. 

4 -The first child born in Stanley township was also 
the first child born in Lyon county. He was Hugh \Y . 
Castor, son of T. W. and Marv Castor, and was bora 
September 13, 1867. The first death was that oi 
Charles Knox and occurred in November. L876. The 
first marriage — Daniel Monroe to Harriet White - 
occurred November 12, 1S74. The first school was 
taught in 1875 at the home of James White by Ann 
Monroe; the first school house was built in 1880. The 
first sermon was preached July 13, 1873. at the home 
of C. H. Currie, by Rev. E. Wilson, Methodist. 



Knox (28), George Michie (6), Edward Wilson 
(24), John A. Little (24), Frederick D. McLeod 
(12), Philip Kennedy (26), David H. Tickner 
(28), Charles A. Knox (20), T. Wilson Castor 
(13-24), Robert Heilman (18), Burl Story (32), 
Lester. Garry (10), George Marron (20), Martin 
Christensen (24), Nelson F. Frary (26), Robert 
W. Dick (4), Jane Glashan (6), Peter White 
(10), William W. Rich (30). 43 


The township which is now designated 
Sodus was created by the Board of 
County Commissioners October 9, 1876, 
and named Martin. The name was re- 
jected by the state auditor because a 
township in Rock county bore that 
name, and on December 13, 1876, the 
name Sodus was bestowed by the County 
Board. The new name had been se- 
lected by ballot by the voters of the 
new town. 

The first town meeting was held at 
the home of Nathan Warn on October 
27, 1876, when the following were 
selected first officers: Elezer Hall, chair- 
man; Carage Fisher and Daniel Warn, 
supervisors; W. H. Chaffee, clerk; G. 
Sykes, treasurer; Nathan Warn and 
J. H. Clark, justices of the peace; Oscar 
W. Pangburn and W. G. Williams, con- 
stables. 44 

The government granted titles to land 
to early day residents of Sodus as fol- 
lows : 

J. C. Bateman (12), Alex Doig (34), Elezer 
Hall (24), Robert Marshall (30), William Neill 
(30), Knude Olson (30), William Shepard (32), 
Ephraim Warn (22), Albert Wienke (26;, 
Henry J. Young (24), Thomas F. Watson (8), 
Sylvester A. Horton (20), Levi Craig (14), 

43 Farmers residing in Stanley township in 1884 
were J. McFagen, James White, William Monroe, John 
Garry, W. Stewart, Thomas McKinlay, Duncan 
McKinlay, George Michie, Jane Glashen, G. Lowe, 
J. F. Gibb, W. T. Neill, James Dick, James Garry, 
John Russell, R. Cavanaugh, John Noble, C. H. Currie, 
T. Savage, E. Basler, W. Warnke, H. Wenholz, Mrs. 
G. Palmer, Mrs. Heskett, Julia N. Knox, H. G. Heil- 
man, Robert Heilman, Newton Wasson, H. Lovelace, 

C. A. Knox, George Camp, Fred Beltz, Mrs. W. Wilson, 
Philip Kennedy, George Bissett, H. D. Tickner, S. S. 
Knox, C. E. Patterson, William W. Rich, T. D. Ludwig, 
Charles Kennedy, Charles Higby, H. J. Sprague and 

D. N. Mason. 

44 Mr. and Mrs. Henry Cuyle, who were the first 
settlers of the precinct, were the parents of the first 
child born in Sodus. The first death was that of 
Tollef Olson in September, 187.3, and his funeral, 

David Davis (34), William R, Griffiths (34), 
Thomas J. Hicks (6), William Marshall (20), 
William G. Williams (28), Thomas Edwards (34), 
Daniel W. Shilliam (18), Carlos E. Marsh (18), 
George J. Cook (26), David E. Clark (8), Konrad 
Lorenz (26), Tollef Olson (28), Anton Lorenz 
(26), Carage Fisher (4), Andrew Purves (12), 
Jacob D. Eastman (10), Henry Ford (30), 
Wilhelm Langhorst (14), Harrison Barnes (6), 
A. J. Estee (10), Enos Warn (22), Martin Lee 
(28), Arnold R. Chace (14), Adelia Berry (2), 
Nicholas Minns (6), Edward J. Roberts (34), 
William H. Chaffee (4), John B. Northrup (32), 
William H. Estee (14), Manlv M. Curtiss (IS), 
Hugh Neill (20), Robert Neill (30), John H. 
Clark (4), William Bolander (24), Lucy A. 
Swain (28), William Berry (2), William N. 
Shequen (32), August F. T. Giske (10), Orville 
Pangburn (4), Henrv Van Schaick (18), Archi- 
bald Downie (18), Heirs Samuel Whitten (12), 
Charles E. Caley (6), Ezra Warn (22), John C. 
Taylor (22), Freeborn L. Austin (10), Oscar VY. 
Pangburn (12), John Ritchie (2), Mathud Steel 
(2), Dana P. Sawyar (20), Heirs Olof Anderson 
(32), John J. Olsen (32), John Vogtman (14), 
Reuben Johnson (8), William Neill (30). 45 


Rock Lake township derives its name 
from the beautiful little body of water 
of the same name that lies within its 
boundaries. The lake was so named by 
the early settlers on account of the 
character of its banks, which in some 
places are walled up with boulders. 

The township was created October 9, 
1876. The first town meeting was held 
October 26 at the school house in 
district No. 18 (now district No. 60). 
The following were the first officers: 
William Livingston, chairman; William 
H. Hamm and James Abernathy, super- 
visors; A. N. Daniels, clerk; G. W. 
Linderman, treasurer; J. F. Crunch, 
assessor; J. A. Van Fleet and Lucius 

conducted by Rev. Joseph Rees, was the first religious 
service in the township. Miss Frances Mason taught 
the first school in 1877 in a private house. 

45 The 1884 residents of Sodus were Mathud Steel, 
William Berry, J. McCudden, John Ritchie, Carage 
Fisher, W. H. Chaffee, Orville Pangburn, John Clark, 
Mr. Maxson, Harrison Barnes, C. E. Caley, Mr. Gray, 
Nicholas Minus, T. J. Hicks, D. E. Clark, E. Clark, 
A. R. Johnson, T. F. Watson, Henry Estee, C E. 
Marsh, D. W. Shilliam, W. L. Thurston, Hugh Neill, 
Nathan Warn, J. C. Taylor, D. Warn, William Hull, 
A. R ; Chace, J. Scott, B. Ford, George J. Cook, Albert 
Wienke, Konrad Lorenz, Anton Lorenz, J. N. Lawshe, 
W. G. Williams, Robert Neill, William Neill, Robert 
Marshall, Henry Ford, A. Anderson, William Shequen, 
A. C. Forbes, Thomas Edwards, John Griffiths, William 
Griffiths and N. Davis. 



Town, justices of the peace; E. I!. Weeks 

and Archie Mc\al>l>. constables. 48 

Land titles were granted to the fol- 
lowing' named early settlers of Rock 

Lake township: 

Carl Gustaf Bengts (32), James F. Crunch (6), 
Edgar W. Gifford (24), John \Y. Lester (30), 
William Livingston (30), Lucius Nichols (20), 
C. L. Osborn (8), Orville E. Persons (6), S. S. S. 
Spink (24), P. E. Terry (IS), R. E. Town (22), 
John M. Johnson (32), Chester H. Bullock (10), 
Archie McNabb (14), Alvah S. Town (22), 
Emily A. Glotfelter (14), George Carlaw (6), 
George W. Root (12), Reuben \Y. Taylor (18), 
Clark Town (28), Henry L. Gifford (26), Emery 
Hamm (10), Elbert M. Hamm (34), O. S. 
Carlisle (12), Johann Gatz (2), ( >lof O. Lof (34), 
Donald Mclnnes (28), Marvin S. Odekirk (2), 
William H. Hamm (24), Lucius Town (22), 
Edson R. Weeks (18), James Abernathy (8), 
Nils Truedsson (32), Julius A. Town (22), 
George B. Gifford (14), Thomas L. Terry i20), 
Patrick Russell (30), James B. Gibbons (12), 
Nathaniel Terry (28), John McKay (4), John K. 
Penhale (2(5), 'Heirs Hiram C. Howard (28), 
George W. Linderman (8), Joseph Ciesielski (4), 
William H. Trotter (24), John A. Van Fleet (4), 
Theodor J. Skaug (30), A. Hilmer Anderson (18), 
Margery J. Browned (24), Absalom L. Wright 
(20), Frederick Lachman (2). 47 


Within the borders of Island Lake 
township are a number of lakes. One 
of these is called Island lake, from the 
fact that in it is an island, about two 
and one-half acres in extent, covered 
with a growth of natural timber. The 
lake furnished the name for the town- 

Island Lake township was set apart 
for organization September 20, 1878, 

46 A son of Archie McNabb was the first child born 
in Rock Lake township. The first death was that of 
George A. Glotfelter on June 21, 18,78. C. M. Eichler 
and Cora Hamm were the first couple married in the 
precinct; they were married in October, 1879, by 
O. E. Persons, justice of the peace. The first school 
was taught by Miss Katie Glenn in 1876. The first 
sermon was preached by Rev. Joseph Rees in the fall 
of 1873. 

47 In 1884 the following had homes in Rock Lake 
township: Frederick Lachman, J. Golts, T. Luedke, 
G. Golts, M. S. Fawcett, J. A. Van Fleet, Mrs. Crouch, 
George Carlaw, O. E. Persons, James Abernethy, G. W. 
Linderman, J. O'Garee, G. W. Rowe, George W. Root, 
M. Randall, O. S. Carlisle, J. W. Wolverton, Archie 
McNabb, C. A. Glotfelter, E. R. Weeks, R. W. Taylor, 
S. Flint, T. L. Terry, O. E. Merriman, Lucius Town, 
Mrs. McErlain, A. S. Town, Nils Truedsson, E. W. 
Gifford, Mrs. W. H. Trotter, William Hamm, J. H. 
Moore, H. L. Gifford, A. W. Bean, Clark Town, H. C. 
Howard, Nathaniel Terry, Patrick Russell, T. J. 
Skaug, J. M. Johnson, C. G. Bengts, O. O. Lof, E. M. 
Hamm and J. P. Davis. 

but the town was not organized until 
the following March. The first officers 
were: Robert Gardner, chairman; La- 
fayette Grow and George George, super- 
visors; J. R. King, clerk and assessor; 
D. A. Kennedy, treasurer; J. H. Sykes, 
constable. 48 

To government land in the township 
of Island Lake the following were 
granted title: 

J. C. Beach (34), Charles J. Falk (34), John 
R. King (34), Lafayette Grow (6), Daniel W. 
Kennedy (26), Gunder Gunderson (4), Daniel 
1). Sanning (14), August T. Muhl (2), Heirs 
Samuel M. Van Buren (22), Albert Pochardt 
(32), August Polesky (22). Thomas H. Russell 
(26), John H. Sykes (22), John Fowlds (32), 
Kittle Folkvanson (4), Charles Bohlman (22), 
Halvor Olson Kaas (4), Robert Gardner (28), 
Sarah E. Wyant (28), Johan Albrecht (20), 
Enon Rolph (12), Mary E. Cornish (12), George 
George (24), Ole Willman (18), Richard W. 
Phillips (14), Henry K. Furgeson (10), Johan 
Hjalmar Petterson (26), James M. McDonald 
(18), Henry Nelson (8), Moses N. Roberts (8), 
Jacob Wilson (10), Edward H. Barnes (24), 
Peter Furgeson (4), Isaac Robinson (2), Duncan 
A. Kennedy (28), Jens P. Christensen (12), 
Edwin O. Baker (10), Presley Fuel (28), Carl 
Pochart (24), Asa R. Snow (6), Peder Jacobsen 
(2), John Olson Estol (2), Herbert R. Welsford 
(30), August Kalson (8), Homer Sparks (14), 
Valgedor Johnson (18), Martin Furgeson (10), 
Ole Furgeson (2), Henri Kerzmann (20), Edgar 
F. Tibbits (6), Theodor Jacobsen (8), Milton R, 
Beach (34), Owen Morris (20), Jes Paulsen (12), 
Elizabeth S. Prosser (2), Richard Phillips (14), 
Gottfried Steller (26), Charles F. Tibbits (8), 
Anders Anderson (18), John Hellvig (32). 49 


Shelburne township was not settled 
rapidly in the early days, due princi- 

4S The first children born in Island Lake township 
were a child born to the first wife of John R. King in 
1871 and Ethel Hodgkins. The first marriage was that 
of John R. King to Elizabeth Milner on December 24, 
1878. The first school was taught by Ada Kennedy 
in 1879. The first religious services were conducted 
at the home of John R. King by a Rev. Dewey from 

49 There were living in Island Lake township in 188 I 
the following: August Muhl, John Olson, Peder 
Jacobsen, Ole Furgeson, John Wilson, Peter Furgeson, 
K. Furgeson, Halvor Olson, G. Rue, B. Knutson, 
E. F. Tibbits, Lafayette Grow, A. R. Snow, C. F. 
Tibbits, Theodor Jacobsen, M. W. Roberts, Henry 
Nelsen, Martin Furgeson, H. K. Furgeson, Jacob 
Wilson, Jes Paulsen, Mary Cornish, Enon Rolph, 
J. P. Christensen, George " Boston, R. W. Phillips, 
John Lanning, Richard Phillips, Homer Sparks, ('. 
Willman, M. McDonald, John Albright, Owen Morris, 
Charles Bohlman, John Dyke, W. Van Buren, Paul 
Polasky, Carl Pochart, E. H. Barnes, George George, 
J. H. Petterson, T. H. Russell, D. W. Kennedy, l>. A. 
Kennedy, Robert Gardner, S. Freese, John Fowlds, 
Albert Pochart, J. C. Beach, C. J. Falk and J. R. King 



pally to its distance from railroad 
points, and its organization was con- 
siderably delayed. The County Board 
took the necessary action to make it an 
organized township on August 19, 1879. 
and the first town meeting was held at 
the home of C. P. McCann on September 
6 of the same year. 

The first officers of Shelburne town- 
ship were as follows: C. P. McCann. 
chairman; D. A. Aurandt and W. F. 
Randall, supervisors; W. N. Olin, clerk; 
Erick Peterson, treasurer; F. W. How- 
aid, assessor; E. F. Dickson and H. P. 
Sanden, justices of the peace; C. P. 
Howard and Andrew Gilbertson, con- 
stables. 50 

The following is a complete list of all 
persons who received patents to lands 
in Shelburne township under the home- 
stead and timber culture acts: 

John M. Burke (16), Charles B. Fellows (24), 
D. F. Kelley (2), David Alexander Aurandt (26), 
Erick Peterson (26), Allen Spink (2), Nelson R. 
Crouch (14), Charles M. Eichler (2), William 
Shafer (14), Hendrik Jorgenson (30), Cornelius 
Pederson Myran (20), Winslow N. Olin (14), 
Lyman E. Fellows (24), Even Anderson (30), 
Clarence E. Dean (4), Clement McCann (22), 
Peder Anderson (20), Hans P. Sanden (20), 
Pat McGinnis (34), John Pederson Myran (18), 
Frederick W. Howard (22), Nils A. Hommer- 
burg (26), Andrew Peterson (32), Edwin F. 
Dickson (24), Andreas G. Hungerud (6), John 
Murphy (14), Ragnhild Olson (2), Christopher 
Johnson (20), Paul K. Ronning (32), N. Lilya- 
quest Johnson (34), Heirs Sigre Johansen 
Gorseth (26), Ole Kjelson (6), William Shaw 
(18), Charles E. Carlson (30), Carl F. Olson 
Green (32), Frans Wilhelm Ceder (32), Bore 
Larsen (4), Ralph Hatten (22), Peter Johnson 
(34). 51 


The last township to take up the 
burdens of township government was 

s0 Peter Ronning, son of Mr. and Mrs. Erick Ronning, 
born June 27, 1873, was the first child born in Shel- 
burne. The first school was taught by Miss Sadie 
Bartlett in 1881. The first religious services were 
conducted in the fall of 1876 by Rev. Egland, a Nor- 
wegian Lutheran minister. 

51 The farmers of Shelburne township in 1S84 were 
Allen Spink, John Olson, C. E. Dean, W. F. Randall, 
P. Simenson, Ole Kjelson, A. G. Hungerud, W. H. 
Shafer, W. N. Olin, John Murphy, E. K. Ronning, 
J. P. Myran, H. P. Sanden, Cornelius Peterson Myran, 
Filer Anderson, Christopher Johnson, C. P. McCann, 
P, McDowell, Ralph Hatton, E. F. Dickson, C. B. 

Coon Creek. Its settlement in the early 
days was slow, principally on account 
of so much of its territory being taken 
up by school and University lands, as 
well as railroad lands. Its settlement 
was meager until the early eighties, but 
it has now developed into one of the 
most densely populated farming town- 
ships of the county. 

The people of the township presented 
a petition to the Board of County Com- 
missioners January 4. 1882, asking for 
the creation of the township with the 
name of Garfield, in honor of the 
martyred president. The commissioners 
took action on the matter, but as one 
township in the state already bore the 
name Garfield, the commissioners be- 
stowed upon it the name of Stowe. 
Provision was made for holding the fir>T 
town meeting at the home of Louis 
Larson on March 7. but for some reason 
the people neglected the matter and 
Stowe township was never organized. 

The matter of the organization of the 
township was again taken up July 17, 
1883, when the commissioners named 
the precinct Coon Creek 52 and desig- 
nated the home of William Lamon as 
the place and August 4, 1883, as the 
date for holding the first town meeting. 

Following is a list of the first officers 
of Coon Creek township: Frank P. 
Willard, chairman; C. A. Johnson and 
John E. Johnson, supervisors; G. O. 
Rask, clerk; Louis Larson, treasurer; 
William Lamon and Christian Cupp, 
justices of the peace; J. F. Mungerson, 
constable. 53 

Fellows, Erick Peterson, N. A. Hommerburg, Sigrid 
Gorseth, D. A. Aurandt, Hendrik Jorgenson, E. A. 
Blegen, M. L. Blegen, E. K. Ronning, I. L. Blegen, 
Pat McGinnis, X. Lilaquest and J. Limblum. 

52 The township was named from the creek, and 
there is also a Dead Coon lake just over the boundary 
line in Lincoln county. It is said that the latter was 
named by a corps of surveyors in the early days, they 
having found a dead coon on the bank of the lake. 

i3 The first child born in Coon Creek township was 
William Sharrett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Sharrett, 
born at the home of D. S. Burt in 1870. The first 



The only titles to homestead and 

timber claims in Coon Creek township 

wore granted to the following: 

Mattic E. Brown (30), Dallas S. Burt (24), 
Benry B. Bodgekins (22), Charles A. Johnson 
(2), William Shaw (30), Frederick Ehde (24), 
Gustaf Rask (8), Peter Lehnertz (6), christian 
Cupp (6), Samuel Johnson (22), Suis Suison (18), 
John Johnson (18), William B. Milner (8), 

death, thai of a baby of Mr. and Mrs. Burt, occurred 
in November, 1876. The firs! marriage occurred 
November 28, L877, the contracting parties being 
Thomas Milner and Ella Knapp. The first Bermon 
was preached by Rev. Ransom Wail in 1875. 

6*The farming population of Coon Creek township 
in issi, one year after its organization, consisted of 

William Lamon (20), Johann Siemer 
William McCarthy (12), William P. Rogers (2), 
Beirs Amelia Lichte (12), Edward Lichte (12), 
David S. Phillips (22), Arthur A. Joy (20), 
Rasmus C. Rakteirrud (18), Augusta Schellin 
(12), William Milner (10), John F. Mungerson 
(2), William Joy (20), James B. Laurie (4), 
Berbert Sykes (20), Louis Larson (18), Bans 
Gilbertson (6), John J. McDonald (30), Nils 
Anderson (2), Frederick Welsand (8). 54 

the following: .1. F. Mungerson, 15. F. Bement, Nils 
Aii.lci-.~on. t\ A. John-. .a, \Y. M. Rice, F. Porter, 
Johann Siemer, 1'. Senerty, Christian Cupp, M. .Milner, 
Gustaf Rask, W. W. Eferrick, F. Willard, A. Johnson, 
William McCarthy, John Cleland, Louis Larson, John 
Johnson, \ \ Joy, T. -low William Lamon, .1. Fuller, 
I.. Hildreth, II. H. Hodgekins, D. S. Hurt, Frederick 
Ihde, R. Taylor and .1. .1. McDonald. 


EARLY SETTLEMENT (Continued)— 1870-1873. 

WHEN Lyon County was organ- 
ized in the summer of 1870 the 
only portions settled to any 
extent were along the Redwood river in 
the townships of Lyons, Lynd and Lake 
Marshall, and along the Cottonwood 
river in the townships of Custer and 
Amiret. There were a few families in 
the northern part of the county, and a 
few of the other townships boasted 
a family or two. When the federal 
census of 1870 was taken, about the 
time the county was organized, the total 
number of men, women and children 
residing in the present counties of Lyon 
and Lincoln was 268 — about as many as 
now reside in the village of Russell! 1 

There were a number of new comers 
during 1870. Those who had come in a 
party the year before and taken claims 
returned and brought a few others with 
them, arriving Ju e 1. The permanent 
settlers thus acquired were C. H. Whit- 
ney, C. H. Upton, PI G. Bascomb, 
O. A. Hawes, R. Waterman, Moses 
Fifield and Mendell Fifield, who had 
been out the year before; Dr. G. W. 
Whitney, Z. O. Titus and John N. 

l Lyon county was not recognized as a separate 
division by the census takers of 1870, but was included 
in Redwood county. Lynd precinct, which probably 
included the settled portions of Lyon and Lincoln 
counties, was listed as containing 268 persons. Of 
these, 235 were native born (including two Indians) 
and 33 were of foreign birth. The population of 
Redwood county in 1870 was 1829, divided as follows: 
Lac qui Parle, 307; Lynd, 268; Redwood Falls, 691;- 

Johnson, who came with them and 
settled in Lynd; and John Snyder and 
William Ramsey, who took homes near 
Lake Benton. All these built sod shan- 
ties and most of them had families with 

Among the other arrivals of 1N70 were 
A. C. Tucker and M. A. Tucker, who 
located in Lynd; George R. Welch, who 
became a resident of Lake Marshall 
township; William S. Reynolds and 
Joseph Carter, who became the first 
settlers of Fairview; Daniel Monroe, 
who settled in Stanley; Frederick Hol- 
ritz, the first settler in the township of 
Nordland; Rev. Williams and John II. 
King, who were the first to make homes 
in Island Lake; and D. S. Burt, the fir.-i 
settler of Coon Creek. 

In the fall of 1870 a postoffice named 
Marshall was established at the home of 
C. H. Whitney on section 4. Lake 
Marshall township, and that gentleman 
served as postmaster until the village 
of Marshall was founded. 

Another event of the year was the 
establishment of a store by Dr. G. Y\ . 
Whitney. He opened it in September 

Sheridan, 111; Sherman, 67; Yellow Medicine, 385. 
It is apparenl that the precincts of Redwood Falls 
Sheridan and Sherman were in the presenl Redwood 
county, that Lac qui Parle included tin- settled portions 
of the county which now bears that name, thai Yellow 
Medicine precinct included the settled portions - 
present county bearing the same name, and that Lynd 
precinct included the presenl counties <>t Lyon and 



in the old log building on section 33, 
Lynd, the building that had served as 
James W. Lynd's trading post in the 
early days and in which later Luman 
Ticknor conducted a hotel. Later Dr. 
"Whitney erected a store building in 
Lower Lynd and conducted the store 
there. Later still the Whitney store 
passed into the hands of Z. O. Titus 
and John N. Johnson. 

In 1870 also came the first Indian 
scare. It was rumored that the Indians 
living to the west threatened to make a 
raid on the settlement at Lynd and 
excitement ran high. On May 24 a 
meeting of the settlers was held at the 
home of Luman Ticknor, of which C. F. 
"Wright was chairman and T. T. Pierce 
secretary. At the meeting it was the 
opinion that danger threatened and a 
militia company was formed, the mem- 
bers signing a paper which read: "We, 
the undersigned, agree to enlist in a 
company of state militia for the defense 
of our settlement and state." The fol- 
lowing officers were elected: James 
Cummins, captain; M. V. Davidson, first 
lieutenant; C. E. Goodell, second lieu- 
tenant; A. D. Morgan, orderly sergeant; 
C. E. Taylor, sergeant; W. Herrick, A. 
McGandy, P. Ki-ltz and W. Kiel, cor- 
porals. The captain was instructed to 
send to the adjutant general for arms 
and ammunition and to request that the 
Spencer rifle and one hundred rounds of 
cartridges to each man be sent. 

Ha-Ka, a trusted Indian, was in the 

-The Marshall News-Messenger published the fol- 
lowing interview with G. M. Durst in 1910: 

"He [Mr. Durst] recalls that he and the late Charles 
Bellingham and the latter's father immigrated to Lyon 
county together, from Fillmore county. They came 
with an ox team and camped on the present site of 
Marshall on the night of May 25, 1871. There were 
then but two settlers on the ground which was later 
to be built up into a modern little city — C. H. Whitney 
and C. H. Upton. They located in the summer of 
1869 on the southeast and northeast quarters of section 
4 and built sod houses on the east side of the river. 
With the Bellingham-Durst party also came another 
ox team from Fillmore county with two young men, 
Charles Bastion and Calvin Shipton. . . . 

"Two or three, days after their arrival the Belling- 
hams and Durst took their homesteads three miles 

settlement and promised to notify the 
settlers in case of danger. The scare 
soon died out and the organization of 
the militia company was not perfected. 

Among the arrivals to Lyon county in 
1871 were the following: G. M. Durst, 
C. T. Bellingham, Charles Bellingham, 
Milo Morse, Oren Drake, Mrs. U. S. 
Stone, Josiah Clark, Charles Bastion, 
Calvin Shipton, Charles Van Fleet and 
the Bean Brothers to Lake Marshall 
township; 2 0. C. Gregg, L. A. Gregg, 
Christian Nelson, P. I. Pierce and G. W. 
Pierce to Lynd; Ransom Wait, M. S. 
Fawcett and O. S. Carlisle to Lyons; 
John W. Elliott, Reuben Henshaw, 
Henry Gibbs and Richard Gates to 
Fairview; O. M. McQuestion to Grand- 
view; A. O. Strand to Nordland; Nils 
Torgerson, Swend Peterson and Ole 
Esping to Eidsvold; Halvor A. Nyland 
and Thorbjin Aadson to Westerheim; 
William H. Slater, R. H. Price, Allend 
Christianson, Peter Oliason, E. T. 
Hamre, Hans Dahl and James Wardrop 
to Lucas; Lafayette Grow and Mr. Fort 
to Island Lake; J. R. Burgett, H. H. 
Hodgkins and F. T. Burt to Coon Creek; 
E. *K. Ronning, C. P. Myran and 
Christopher Johnson to Shelburne; A. 
McNabb and George H. Thurston to 
Rock Lake; Henry Cuyle to Sodus; 
S. S. Truax to Amiret; David Stafford, 
E. W. Healy, George White and Rees 
Price to Monroe. 

The Lynd settlement continued to be 
the social, political and business center 

south from Marshall, on section 20, Lake Marshall 
township. A few days later Josiah Clark, the Bean 
boys and Charley Van Fleet put in an appearance, 
and about the same time Milo Morse, Mrs. U. S. Stone 
and Oren Drake. Morse and Mrs. Stone had filed on 
the southwest and northwest cjuarters of section 4. 

"Milo Morse had a 'bee' that summer and Mr. Durst 
remembers that he was one of the party who helped 
at the 'bee' to put up the first sod shanty on the 
original site of Marshall, which was laid out in the 
center of section 4. The sod shanties of Messrs. 
Whitney and Upton were on the other side of the 
river, just outside the first plat, though part of the 
Whitney land was in the original plat and was all 
subsequently included in the village. The Morse sod 
house was east of the river, between Main Street ami 
the Northwestern tracks." 



of the county. It was still the most 
Thickly settled part and in it were the 
county's capital, the only business 
houses, and the only place that could 
by any stretch of the imagination be 
termed a village. 

One of the important events of 1871 
was the establishment, at Upper Lynd, 
of the county's second store by Rev. 
W. T. Ellis. The store was quite a 
pretentious affair, considering its dis- 
tance from the railroad and the sparsely 
settled country from which it drew 
trade. It was later moved to Lower 
Lynd, some two miles down the river. 3 

Although the population of the county 
was still very small, the year 1871 wit- 
nessed the founding of two villages in 
the Lynd settlement, about two miles 
apart — Upper Lynd, on the south side 
of the Redwood river, on the southeast 
quarter of section 33, about one and 
one-half miles above the present village 
of Lynd; and Lower Lynd, also on the 
Redwood river, about one-half mile- 
northwest of the modern village of 

The village of Upper Lynd had been 
started earlier by A. W. Muzzy, already 
had a hotel and postoffice, was the 
county seat, and for a time had boasted 
a store. The plat of Lynd — commonly 
referred to as Upper Lynd — was platted 
by William T. Ellis and George C. Smith 
in the fall of 1871, the site having been 
surveyed by T. G. Morrill on August 22. 

3 "The older citizens of the county will remember 
Ellis as a character. Governed mostly by impulse, he 
was always ready to preach a sermon, run horses for 
the whisky, conduct a Sunday School, or beat his best 
friend in a trade. While here he was an energetic, 
fervid, effervescent citizen who did considerable to 
build up the church and secular interests of Lynd and 
develop its latent possibilities. He opened a store at 
Lynd and bought goods for it sufficient to stock 
several such settlements. His goods had to be brought 
in by team from New Ulm and were caught in a heavy 
rainstorm on the way. It is said the dried apples 
swelled so that all the other goods in that load were 
shoved overboard. His load of codfish, bought at ton 
rates, probably on time, had to be spread over the 
hills of Lynd to dry till the air of that settlement, it 
is claimed, reached the Flandreau Indians and seventy 
bucks went on the warpath, thinking they smelled the 
camp of another tribe." — Case's History of Lyon 

After a short career the village suc- 
cumbed to its more prosperous rival 
down the river, lost the county seat, 
postoffice and store, and in time became 
good farming land. Lower Lynd was 
laid out in June, 1871, by A. R. Cummins 
and A. D. Morgan. Levi S. Kiel and 
A. D. Morgan built a hotel on the site 
and the latter opened a store. After 
the fall of its up-river rival Lower Lynd 
became the leading town of Lyon 
county. ' 

The first church building in the 
county was erected by the Methodists 
early in 1871. It was located on M. V. 
Davidson's claim, the northeast quarter 
of section 33, Lynd. The building was 
of logs, had a shake roof, and the floor 
was of earth. Rev. C. F. Wright 
preached the first sermon in the building. 

Although a school, supported by sub- 
scription, had been conducted so early 
as 1869, school districts were not organ- 
ized or public schools conducted until 
1871. Districts No. 1 and 2 were 
created by the Board of County Com- 
missioners on March 15, 1871. The 
former included sections 20 to 29, in- 
clusive, and 32 to 36, inclusive, in the 
township of Lynd; the latter included 
all of Lyons and Rock Lake townships. 5 

An event of the greatest importance 
to Lyon county at the time and bearing 
directly on its whole future history was 
the building, in 1872, of the Winona & 
St. Peter railroad — now a branch of the 

4 For a more complete history of these villages the 
reader is referred to chapter 16. 

5 Other early day school districts were as follows: 

No. 3 (created April 4, 1871) — Amiret, Sodus, Custer 
and Monroe townships. 

No. 4 (created May 16, 1S71) — The eight northern 
townships of Lyon county. 

No. 5 (created May 16, 1S71) — The six southern 
townships of Lincoln county. 

No. 6 (created January 2. 1872) — In Lincoln county. 

No. 7 (created January 2, 1872)— The southern half 
of Lake Marshall township. 

No. 8 (created January 2, 1872)— The northern halt 
of Lake Marshall township and the southern tier of 
townships of Fairview township. 

No. 9 (created June 1, 1S72)— Ten and one-hall 
sections in northeastern Lynd and northwestern Lake 
Marshall townships. 



Northwestern system. To aid in the 
construction of the road the government 
gave to the company the odd-numbered 
sections of land for a distance of twenty 
miles on each side of its line, so that 
one-half the lands of Lyon county were 
withdrawn from homestead entry and 
passed into the possession of the railroad 
company. 6 

The line was run diagonally across 
the county from southeast to northwest. 
The rails were laid into the county in 
1872, a construction train reached the 
site of Marshall on October 12, but the 
line was not operated until the spring 
of 1873. 

The building of the railroad had a 
wonderful effect upon the settlement of 
Lyon county. A country into which a 
railroad is building is not destined long 
to remain a frontier region and during 
the whole of the year 1872 immigrants 
poured in and took claims in every 
precinct. 7 Sod shanties and little frame 
shacks dotted the prairies in theretofore 
unsettled portions. 8 The village of Mar- 
shall was founded and rapidly grew into 
the most populous and important center 
of the county. 

Because there was this big immigra- 
tion and the whole order of things was 
changed, it must not be imagined that 
the country was developed in a day. 

"This land grant undoubtedly brought the railroad 
several years sooner than would have been the case 
otherwise and for the time being aided materially in 
the settlement of the county. But a little later, when 
all the government lands had been filed upon and 
settlers were passing through the county to locate 
upon the free lands in Dakota, it was found that the 
grant was a decided drawback to the settlement of the 
county. For several years the railroad lands were not 
placed on the market; when they were they sold for 
from six to fifteen dollars per acre. 

7 Among the arrivals of 1872 were Jacob A. H. Dahl, 
John Krog, Ole O. Brenna, Michael Knudson, A. 
Malde. Knud O. Dovre, T. O. Loftsgaarden, Ole O. 
Myrvik, Lars J. Jerpbak, Sam Hanson, Charles Ander- 
son, Sven H. Jeremiassen, Nils N. Myre, T. I. Trana, 
Nels Gregerson, Ole O. Nordby, T. J. Barber, Selden 
Coleman, James Butson, L. E. Bates, Jacob Thomas, 
James M. English, A. L. Baldwin, J. A. Brown, H. G. 
Howard, Thomas Lindsay, Frank D. Wasson, Duncan 
McKinlay, S. B. Wheeler, J. A. Dillman, R. D. Barnes, 
C. A. Cook, G. P. Ladenburg, C. H. Richardson, 
Joseph Sanders, John Ward, S. Webster, W. M. Todd, 
J. W. Blake, S. V. Groesbeck, J. A. Hunter, J. K. 
Johnson, Mathew Steele, W. G. Hunter, Andrew 

Almost without exception the early 
settlers of the county were poor in this 
world's goods; they came to secure free 
land and build themselves homos in the 
new country. Most of the arrivals of 
1872 came too late in the season to 
break their lands and put in a crop, and 
consequently there was not a large 

Only 676 acres of land — a little more 
than one section — were planted to crop 
in 1872 in the whole territory now 
embraced in the counties of Lyon and 
Lincoln. Of these 342 acres were in 
wheat, 98 in oats, 167 in corn, 6 in 
barley, 13 in buckwheat, 45 in potatoes 
and 5 in beans. From this acreage were 
produced 6690 bushels of wheat, 38S9 
of oats, 5274 of corn, 165 of barley. 3651 
of potatoes, and 88 of beans. There 
were also put up 2574 tons of wild hay. 
The dairy products consisted of 7166 
pounds of butter and 4850 pounds of 
cheese. There were less than 500 head 
of cattle and only ninety sheep in the 
county in 1872, according to the assess- 
ors' figures. 

Except for the fact that the prairies 
became dotted with tin 1 homes of 
settlers, it was largely the same virgin 
territory it had always been. The game 
lover found himself in a paradise. 
Birds abounded. There were ducks, 

Hamm, Joshua Goodwin, E. B. Jewett, Walter Wake- 
man, J. W. Williams, W. 'Coleman, D. P. Billings, 
Stanley Addison, J. A. Coleman, Andrew Barrett, 
Thomas McNeil, W. M. Pierce, L. B. Nichols, Lyman 
Turner, N. Wilkins, C. Mehan, Daniel Farquhar, 
B. F. Link, George Link, H. P. Sanden, J. W. Hoag- 
land, M. M. Hoagland, Samuel W. Galbraith, Edson 
Weeks, Orval Persons, Noble Cuyle, H. Drake, J. L. 
Craig, Louis Rialson, Ole Rialson, E. L. Starr, Edward 
Glynn, Ole Andersen, Ole Helgeson, Andrew Chris- 
tensen, Kittle Christopherson, David Morgan, William 
H. Hamm, Emery Hamm, G. W. Linderman, C. 
Osborn, J. W. Lester, J. A. Van Fleet, J. T. Crouch, 
A. S. Town, Lucius Town, Lina Bishop, Loliff Olson, 
Henry G. Mead, Hugh Neill, William .Will, David 
Clark, H. O. Clark, John H. Clark, George R. Wat kins 
and S. L. Wait. 

8 Sod houses were easily built and were the prevailing 
style of architecture in the days when lumber was 
scarce and money more so. They were comfortable if 
properly built. Some of them had floors and others 
did not. The roof was usually constructed of poles 
and brush, covered with dirt and sod; some of them 
shed rain and some did not. 


In Such Houses as This Hundreds of Lyon County Residents Had Their Homes. 



wild geese, brant, curlew and prairie 
chickens. Occasionally 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 
l>y electrical storms of terrific and 
ineffable grandeur. At night the set- 
tlers often sat until midnight watching 
the frolic of sheet-lightning playing over 
miles of cloud banks, vividly suggesting 
the possible glories of another world. 
Vegetation grew rank. The newcomers 
rode along the river bottoms or on the 
ed^es of sloughs through seas of wild 
bluejoint grass up to the horses' hacks. 

It was the experience of a life time, 
this breaking up the virgin lands and 
building a community from the ground 
up, and many were the probable and 
improbable stories told of those days. 
Letters went back to the old homes in 
the East, telling how the homesteaders 
planted corn with an ax and caught 
fish with a pitchfork, and how the piano 
was set up in the shanty and the library 
stacked up under the bed. 

During the season the county was 
visited by disastrous prairie fires and 
hail storms, and as a result aid for those 
who met with loss was furnished by the 
state. For the relief of those in strait- 
ened circumstances in Lyon county by 
reason of fire losses, $100 was distrib- 
uted. To supply seed grain the state 
authorities also sent to the county 
$808.25, all of which was reported dis- 
tributed by the Board of County Com- 
missioners on March 19, 1873. 

The winter following the year of rapid 
settlement — the winter of 1872-73 — 
must go down in history as a most 
severe one. It brought the most terrible 
blizzard in the county's history, before 
or since, in which the settlers received 
their first experience of real hardships. 

Winter began November 12. The 
day had been line, but toward nightfall 
those who knew the Northwest saw in- 
dications of a blizzard. At dark a gale 
from the northwest 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 
was on. and there was a series of storms 
until the afternoon of the third daw 
Thenceforth it was winter. Snow fell to 
a great depth, probably not less than 
two feet, but it was so blown about and 
drifted by the wind that in some places 
there were drifts of twenty feet or more. 

From the time winter so set in there 
was little let-up in the severity of the 
weather. One storm followed another, 
and when not storming the weather was 
cold and severe, while the deep snows, 
almost constantly drifting, made travel 
difficult and sometimes dangerous. Dur- 
ing that long winter the inhabitants of 
this part of the state were practically 
shut out from the world. For weeks 
at a time there were no mails. Many 
people were inconvenienced for want of 
necessary food, fuel and clothing. The 
sufferings and horrors of that long and 
dreadful winter will never be effaced 
from the memories of those wdio ex- 
perienced them. 

The ill-fated year 1873 began with the 
most violent storm in the history of 
the state from the time of its first 
settlement to the present date. For 
three days, beginning January 7, the 
blizzard raged, extending over the whole 
Northwest. The temperature was from 
eighteen to forty degrees below zero 
during the whole period of the storm. 
The air was filled with snow as fine as 
flour. Through every crevice, keyhole 
and nailhole the fine snow penetrated, 
puffing into the houses like steam. 
Seventy human lives were lost in the 



storm in Minnesota, and eight of this 
number were people who resided in 
Lyon county as then constituted. 

The forenoon of Tuesday, January 7, 
was mild and pleasant; the sky was clear 
and there was no wind. It seemed as 
though a "January thaw" was imminent. 
The pleasant weather had induced many 
farmers to go to the woods for a supply 
of fuel or with their families to the 
neighbors to visit! 

About eleven o'clock a. change was 
apparent. The sky lost its crystal clear- 
ness and became a trifle hazy. Just 
about noon a white wall was seen bear- 
ing down from the northwest. The 
front of the storm was distinct and 
almost as clearly defined 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; a full- 
fledged blizzard had supplanted the 
bright sunshine in a few minutes. The 
air was so completely filled with hying 
snow that it was impossible to see 
objects a short distance away. 

One who witnessed the storm said: 
"The air was filled with whirling frost, 
fine as flour, so thick that it was im- 
possible to see into it more than a rod 
or so, and no idea of direction could be 
kept. The snow would blow right 
through ordinary clothing, and it was 
impossible to face the wind because of 
intense cold." Another declared that 
there were twenty-four different currents 
of air to the cubic foot, each traveling 
in a different direction and each moving 
with the velocity of electricity. 

All Tuesday night. Wednesday and 
Wednesday night the storm raged with 
unabated fury. Not until Thursday 
was there any let-up, and not until 
Friday was the storm over. Very few 
who were in places of safety when the 
storm struck braved the dangers of get- 

ting anywhere else. The hotel at Mar- 
shall was filled with people as securely 
fastened within -doors as though they 
had been in jail, and at Kiel's hotel in 
Lynd were other wayfarers awaiting the 
opportunity to get home. Besides those 
who perished, several Lyon county 
residents were caught on the prairie in 
the storm, and some were obliged to 
spend two or three days in deserted 
claim shanties or hay stacks. 

Three of those who perished in the 
storm were residents of that part of the 
county which a year later was organized 
into Lincoln county. They were Wil- 
liam Taylor, who had settled at Lake 
Benton in 1868; James Robinson and a 
Mr. Fl.ersold. 

William Taylor had started from Lake 
Benton to mill at Redwood Falls with a 
load of grain. The storm came upon 
him when he had reached a point about 
where the village of Russell now stands. 
There he unhitched his team, overturned 
the sleigh box, and spent the night and 
part of the next day. Realizing that he 
must freeze if he remained where he was. 
Mr. Taylor turned loose one of the 
horses and, mounting the other, set out 
in an attempt to find a place of safety. 

After the storm a searching party 
found the trail of the unfortunate man. 
The horse he had ridden was found on 
the Redwood river in Lyons township, 
from which place Mr. Taylor had trav- 
eled afoot with the storm in a south- 
easterly direction about forty miles. 
The searching party lost the trail about 
twenty miles from where he had left the 
Redwood. At one place he passed 
within ten feet of a claim shanty and 
at another he passed between a shanty 
and a hay stack, but owing to the dense 
snow, and possibly to the fact that at 
that time he was blinded, he passed 
them by. The body was found the 



following winter by settlers from near 
Worthington at a point in northern 
Nobles county not far from the present 
village of FnUla. 

Three others that met death in the 
storm were members of the Fox family. 
The family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. 
Fox, their six year old daughter and a 
nephew, a young man. They were on 
their way home to Lynd township from 
Redwood Falls, where they had been 
visiting, and became lost in the storm 
at a point on the east side of the Red- 
wood river, not far from the site of the 
Catholic church of Marshall. 

Becoming lost and not knowing where 

they were, the unfortunate people un- 
hitched the oxen and overturned tin 1 
wagon box to fix a shelter. It was of 
little value, however, and the family 
were soon drifted over with the snow. 
When the storm abated, on Saturday, 
the family was found. The young man 
and the little girl were dead and Mr. Fox 
was so severely frozen that he died on 
Monday. Mrs. Fox recovered. 

The other deaths in Lyon county 
occurred not far from where Tracy is 
now situated. The victims were Asle 
Olson, who lived near Lake Sigel, and a 
man whose surname cannot be recalled 
hut whose given name was Knute, who 
lived just over the line in Murray 
county. The men were returning from 
Lake Shetek with a load of wood when 
they lost their way ami perished. 
When the storm subsided Olson's body 
was found a half mile from his home. 
The body of the other man was not 
found until March. It was discovered 
only a short distance south of Tracy, 
near the old fair grounds. 

0. C. Gregg was one of those who had 
experience with the awful storm. In a 
speech delivered before the Old Settlers 
Society in February, 1885, he said: 

On the morning of the seventh the wind 
completely lulled and ominous quiel prevailed. 

The speaker, in his tenderfooted innocence, 

thought winter had broken up. Without an 
overcoal he started down the river to visit 
Uncle Mareyes. While chatting there, all of a 
sudden came a wind from the northwest with 
a wailing sound such as he had never heard 
before— that terrible roar that precedes a genuine 
blizzard, but then new to him. Alarmed, 
fearful of some disturbance of the elements, he 
started home, accepting an overcoat from his 
host. He had hardly got started before the 
blizzard struck. A dense volume or sheet of 
blinding snow came upon him, crowded with 
terrible pressure by the northwest wind. 

On reaching the timber he could barely see 
from tree to tree, so fiercely was the snow driven 
through the woods. As he merged from the 
timber to traverse the few rods to Kiel's hotel, 
he could not see his hand placed two feet from 
his eyes, but he managed to reach the house 
and gain entrance, where he found other way- 

He never before knew what a storm was. 
Here for three days and three nights they were 
compelled to remain, during which time two 
others joined their number, each at different 
times gaining the door and falling into the room 
nearly exhausted. At these times it required 
the united force of two or three men to close 
the door against the storm. 

W. P. Durst, then a boy seventeen 
years old living in Lake Marshall town- 
ship, and his twelve year old brother 
were also caught in the storm and barely 
escaped with their lives. On the day 
of the great blizzard they had gone to 
the Lynd woods with an ox team for a 
load of fuel. They had secured their 
load and started home when the storm 
came upon them. The older boy placed 
his brother on the south side of the load 
and cautioned him to keep a hand con- 
stantly on the wood. He then took his 
place at the head of the team and 
literally felt his way through the blind- 
ing storm for six miles, arriving at last 
at the cabin of the Bellinghams. The 
smaller boy's toes were frozen, but he 

Despite the ushering in of the year 
1873 with the terrible January storm, 
the year opened auspiciously. The new 
railroad thawed out and regular train 
service was established to Marshall in 



April. 9 During the year the road was 
extended to Lake Kampeska and the 
transient population thus brought in 
made times lively. For two years train 
service was not maintained west of 
Marshall, except that every Saturday an 
engine and caboose made the trip to the 
western end of the line to hold the land 
grant . 

With the opening of the railroad came 
hundreds of new settlers, and the settle- 

»The first train to run within the limits of Lyon 
county on a regular schedule left New Ulm at nine 
o'clock in the morning of April 14, made the run ot 
eighty miles in seven hours, and arrived on time at 
Marshall at four o'clock in the afternoon. H. B. Gary 
wa< conductor and Robert McConnell engineer. I he 
train was made up of engine No. 26, a baggage car. 
coach, and twentv-five freight cars. John Ward, 
Marshall's first station agent, was on the platform to 
receive the first train. 

lOThose who were assessed for personal property in 
1S73 were as follows: 

Lake Marshall— J. T. Bellingham, C. T. Bellingham, 
\ W Bean Samuel Benjamin, Charles Bellingham, 
Robert Bellingham, John W. Blake, David P. Billings, 
W C Bennett, J. Bagley, L. H. Cannon, Josiah Clark, 
Samuel Corliss, W. M. Coleman, John A. Coleman, 
Noble Cuyle, William Clemmens, Orson Drake, Michael 
Durst M. V. Davidson, C. A. DeGraff, Everett & Co., 
Jennie Gates, J. C. Garnhart, J. Y. Hoffstot, A. J. 
Hamm H F. Hovt, J. A. Hunter, W . A. Johnson, 
J K Johnson, W. R. Loveless, Alfred Loveless, E. B. 
Langdon, W. II. Langdon, L. W. Langdon Langdon 
& Laythe, R. Monroe, M. B. Morse, C. F. Metcalf, M. 
Melon, L. B. Nichols, George E. Nichols, G. W . Payne, 
Alexander Sanders, Joseph Sanders, James Smith, 
S N Taylor, W. M. Todd, Turner & Loope, H. J. Tripp, 
A O Underhill, C. H. Upton, Peter \:m Zant, G. R. 
Welch, M. E. Wilcox, C. H. Whitney, E. Woodbury, 
S Webster, J. P. W T atson, William Johnson & Co., 
J.' W. Wilson. 

Lvnd— L. E. Bates, E. M. Barton, J. G. Bryan, 
E. P. Carlton, G. E. Cummins, W. A. Chapman, A. R. 
Cummins, James Cummins, L. H. Dunn, N. Davis, 
J V. Eastman, T. S. Eastman, E. Fezler, O. C. Gregg, 
Oscar Hawes, J. N. Johnson, C. S. Johnson, J. K. 
Kyes L S. Kiel, James M. Lockey, G. W. Link, 
A. D.' Morgan, L. Marcyes, C. Nelson, Andrew Nelson, 
T* T Pierce A. Ransom, Jacob Rouse, J^ E. Starks, 
Smith & Ellis, A. C. Tucker, Z. O. Titus, Samuel Van 
<Ustyne. William Van Buren, J. W. F. Williams, 
H. G. W r ard, R. Waterman, H. R. Marcyes. 

I vons— William C. Adams, Frank Bills, Mrs. M. L. 
Buel John E. Buel, A. Crossley, Scott Carlisle, Thomas 
Downie, E. B. Downie, A. C. Dam, M. A. Fifield, 
S W" Galbraith, C. E. Goodell, G. A. Gill, F. C. Hicks, 
J W Hoagland, Charles Hildreth, G. W. Hicks, L. C. 
Hildreth, J. N. Harvey, L. P. Knapp, E. Lamb, A. W 
Magandv, H. Mussler, Hugh Neill, William Neill, 
Owen Owens, Mrs. B. Roberts, Henry Shafer, R. 
Tuper, C. L. Van Fleet, Roland Weeks, R. Wait, 
G. Watson, C. A. Wright, William Witson. 

Fairview — C. C. Beach, Norton Billings, John 
Brown, Tvler Carpenter, C. A. Edward, J. W. Elliott, 
B C Emery, Benona Gibbs, H. P. Gibbs, John Hanlon, 
Reuben Henshaw, H. G. Howard, Seth Johnson, 
Cornish Johnson. Harmon Lovelace, Thomas Lindsay, 
Owen Marron, W. S. Reynolds, George Spaulding. 
Lurnan Ticknor. William Robinson, Zenas Rank, 
Abraham Williams, Frank Wasson. 

\ordland — Neils Anderson, Ole Anderson, A. Chris- 
topherson, S. Esperbrick, C. Endrusen, C. K. Eiversen, 
T H Flom, O. O. Groff, W. K. Hovden, Gunder 
Hanson, J. H. Hyglen, A. Halvorsen, J. B. Johnson, 
B Johnson, A. Johnson, S. Jeremiahson, C. H. Lee, 
T O Loftsgarden, X. H. Myre, A. L. Marken, N. B. 
Nielson Ole Olson, Halvor Olson, 01« O. Rear, A. O. 

ments of Lyon county were indeed in a 
nourishing condition. That the country 
was developing rapidly is shown by the 
fact that in 1873 there were 393 personal 
property assessments, a considerable 
larger number than there had been in- 
habitants three years before. 10 

The iron horse brought many of the 
comforts of life — neighbors, markets, 
and other adjuncts of civilization. The 
hardships of pioneer life seemed passing 

>trand, A. P. Strand, Jard Stenersen, Leif Stenersen, 
K. Tolefson, J. O. Tanjen, T. Helgosen, Ole Ledell. 

Lake Benton (southern Lincoln county) — A. Ander- 
son, N. F. Berry, Edgar Bentley, ('. H. Briffett, James 
Brfffett, James Cooley, C. W. Cooley, Hans Grand. 
James Gillman, Benjamin Hadley, J. A. Hutetron-. 
S. G. Janes, A. G. Leach, Thomas Lemon, John Moore, 
W. M. Ross, Alexander Ross, F. M. Randall, Thomas 
Robinson, John Snyder, W r illiam Taylor. 

First Precinct (Custer, Monroe, Amiret and Sodus) — 
Ole Anderson, Ole Amenson, John Avery, Ole Arnud- 
son, O. H. Brevig, Patrick Curtin, C. Christopherson, 
A. Christensen, William Coburn, G. W. Donaldson, 
H. Drake, Rees Davis, Theodore Dickenson, J. H. 
Eastman, David Griffith, Lafayette Grover, C. S. 
Grover, W. Hanison, Eleazer Hall, E. Hall, Thomas 
M. Harris, R. H. Hughes, Ole Johnson, Johnson, Ole 
Johnson, Margaret Johnson, John S. Jones, Ogan 
Johnson, Triston Knudson, Neamiah Leavett, James 
Mitchell, Jr., James Mitchell, L. S. Mason, L. Mason 
Charles Mason, James Morgan, S. E. Morgan, W. H 
Morgan, Nelson, Tolef Olson, Saulerious Olyn, Cornelius 
Olson, Robert Owens, Jacob Plymouth, A. Purves, 
Rees Price, H. Randall, Ole Rialson, Lewis Rialson, 
Horace Randall, Joseph Reese, G. S. Robinson, E. L. 
Starr, Martin See, D. Stafford, Landy Soward, William 
Shand, William Taylor, K. Trielson, S. S. Truax, B. B. 
Thomas, B. F. Thomas, George White. Knos Warn, 
S. E. Wallace, H. H. Williams, J. H. Williams, A. H. 
Well man. 

Second Precinct (Stanley, Lucas, Vallers and 
Clifton) — R. D. Barnes, Moses Barnes, C. A. Cook, 
F. Dillman, G. P. Ladenburgh, H. Newhouse, M. 
Wilson, P. J. Truax, Reuben Beasley, T. W. Castor, 
C. T. Taylor, James White, Ansen Anderson, J. R. 
Benjamin, Thomas Bell, Allend Christian, .1. Durham, 
J. P. Brod, J. C. Lines, Antoine Meron, R. W. Price, 
Chris Peterson, Nels Rosvold, Michael Rosvold, F. 
Strosham^ E. T. Thompson, James Wardrop, John 
Anderson, Knudt Anderson, Ole O. Brandon, Ole 
Olson, John O.Stensrud, M. K. Snartum. 

Third Precinct (Grandview, Westerheim and Eids- 
vold) — Halvor Aadson, T. Aadson, Lewis Anderson, 
H. Burlingame, James Budson, T. J. Barber, A. L. 
Baldwin, C. Chamberlhv G. W r . Carpenter, F. M. 
Collins, J. G. Cook, A. H. Chamberlin, Ole Esping, 
J. M. English, G. O. Gilbertson, Nels Hanson, John 
Ilstad, H. A. Irish, G. Johnson, Knud Knudson, 
Andrew Lee, George Lee, H. B. Loomis, O. McQuestion, 
William Markell, Isaac Olson, Nels Syverson. 

Fourth Precinct (Rock Lake, Shelburne, Coon Creek 
and Island Lake) — John A. Van Fleet, Orville Persons, 
Cyrus L. Osborne, G. W. Linderman, Chester Bullock, 
Emery Hamm, Edson W'eeks, J. T. Crouch, Lucius 
Town, J. and R. Town, J. W r . Lester, William Living- 
ston, Lyman Fellows, Dallas T. Burt, H. H. Hodgkins, 
J. R. Burgett, W. T. Ellis, Joseph Williams, John 
McKay, William Hamm. 

Fifth Precinct (northern Lincoln county) — Frank 
Apfield, Frank Applebee, A. Anderson, Henrv Bagley, 
James Collins, John Dall, Daniel Dennison, D. Daniel- 
son, Or. Gunderson, Hans Johnson, Jacob Jacobson, 
John Jacobson, John Kelley, Anton Martinson, 
Thomas Mackey. John Nelson, Daniel Omley, Orsman 
Oleson, M. S. Phillips, William Ramsey, Like Randall, 
Ole A. Rige, Benjamin Sampson, Helner Simpson, Ole 
Severson, Off. Shedland, Caw Telfson, Elias Van 
Eaton, M. L. Wood, Henry Worden. 



away and hopes of a prosperous future 
budded and bloomed under the stimulus 
of t he growing boom. 

With the new order of things came 
two important changes in Lyon county: 
the creation of Lincoln county from the 
fifteen western townships and the re- 
moval of the county seat from Lynd to 
Marshall. The settlement of western 
Lyon county had been quite rapid and 
the people there demanded a county of 
their own. Marshall, the only railroad 
town in the county, became ambitious 
and demanded the county seat. 

It is doubtful if either of these 
changes, singly, would have been au- 
thorized by vote of the people, but, 
together, they were put through without 
great difficulty. The electors of the 
future Lincoln county agreed to vote 
for Marshall for the county seat if the 
people of Marshall and vicinity would 
vote for the new county, and vice versa. 
The coalition was a strong one and the 
returns show that each party fulfilled 
its promises. 

The bill for the creation of Lincoln 
county passed the Legislature in the 
spring of 1873. According to its pro- 
visions the fifteen western townships of 
Lyon county were set off and formed 
into Lincoln county, the county seat of 
which should be Marshfield, but the act 
should not become operative unless a 
majority of the voters of the whole of 

"Vallers and Westerheim. r 

12 Eidsvold. 

"Stanley and Clifton. 

14 Included also Island Lake and Coon Creek. 

1 'Monroe, Custer, Amiret and Sodus. 

16 Rock Lake and Shelburne. 

17 Composed of two townships in southern Lincoln 

18 Composed of the northern tier of townships of 
Lincoln county. 

19 Composed of ten townships in central and southern 
Lincoln county. 

20 Thirty-nine votes of this total were worded 
"Against Division of County" instead of "Against 
Lincoln County." 

Lyon county should ratify the act al 
the general election in November, 1873. 
Considering the importance of the ques- 
tion, the campaign was not an excep- 
tionally hard fought one. Those favor- 
ing the creation of the new county won 
at the polls by a vote of 254 to 214. 
The vote by precincts was as follows: 


Canton (Lucas) 

Northeast I Ustrict 11 

Upper Yellow Medicine 12 


( rrandview 


East Precinct l3 

Marshall (Lake Marshall) 



Saratoga 15 

South District 16 

Lake Benton 17 

Yellow Bluff 18 

Marshfield 19 















( lounty 








214 20 

On December 5, 1873, Governor 
Horace Austin issued a proclamation 
declaring the county of Lincoln formed 21 
and on that date Lyon county was 
reduced to its present area. 22 

The bill providing for the removal of 
the county seat from Lynd to Marshall 
passed the Legislature March 6, 1873. 
It too provided that the voters must 

21 The first meeting of the Board of County Com- 
missioners of Lincoln county was held at the home of 
M. S. Phillips in Marshfield in January, 1874, the 
commissioners being N. F. Berry, A. C. Burdick and 
Henry Bagley. They appointed the following first 
officers: Charles Marsh, auditor; John Jones, treas- 
urer and superintendent of schools; William Ross, 
sheriff; M. L. Wood, register of deeds; John Snyder, 
judge of probate; A. C. Leach, county attorney; M. S. 
Phillips, clerk of court; James Berry, court com- 
missioner; John Cooley, coroner; Mr. Taylor, surveyor; 
Ole Swenson and J. W. Lawton, justices of the peace; 
Benjamin Sampson and Frank Applebee, constables. 

22 In 1877 a petition was circulated in the northern 
part of Lincoln county and quite liberally signed, 
asking that Lincoln county be annexed to Lyon 
county, but the opposition defeated the prayer ot the 
petitioners. The following spring a scheme was 
devised for the formation of a new county, composed 
of parts of Yellow Medicine, Lincoln and Lyon, with 
Canby as the county seat, but was abandoned. 


ratify the act at the general election in 
November, 1873, before it should be put 
in force. The people of the Lynd 
settlement fought for the honor of 
holding the seat of government, but 
they were overwhelmed. The Lincoln 
county country voted almost solidly for 
Marshall, as did the people in the 
vicinity of Marshall and in the country 
to the north of that village. 

Many votes were won for Marshall on 
the promise that a tract of land should 
be given for county purposes and that 
there would be furnished, free of cost, 
for a period of ten years, buildings for 
county offices and court purposes. 23 
The Prairie Schooner, published at 
Marshall, on October 25, 1873, said: 
"When any one tells you that the 
people of Marshall are in favor of 
building county buildings at the county 
expense, brand it as a lie. Marshall 
proposes to furnish all buildings neces- 
sary and suitable for county purposes 
just as long as the county sees fit to 
occupy the same, and the county will 
not be taxed one cent for buildings if 
the county seat is moved to this place." 

23 A legal document, dated October 28, 1873, made 
the promise binding and was in the following words: 

'"Received a bond running to the county of Lyon, 
signed by John W. Blake, Charles H. Whitney, D. 
Wilcox, J. Bagley, W. Wakeman, Coleman & Company, 
M. E. Wilcox, R. J. Monroe, L. B. Nichols, J. W. 
Williams and S. Webster, properly acknowledged, 
conditioned in the penal sum of 82000, to furnish to 
said Lyon county offices or buildings for county 

At the election Marshall won over 
Lynd by a vote of 397 to 101, the vote 
by precincts being as follows: 


Canton (Lucas) 

Northeast District 

Upper Yellow Medicine . . 




East Precinct 

Marshall (Lake Marshall) 




South District 

Lake Benton 

Yellow Bluff 














By proclamation of Governor Horace 
Austin, dated December 5, 1873, Mar- 
shall was declared to be the county seat 
of Lyon county. The county commis- 
sioners met for the first time in the new 
seat of government January 24, 1874, 
and the county officers began conducting 
business there soon after. 

officers, county commissioners and district court for 
the period of ten years, and the bond of J. W. Blake, 
properly executed, conditioned in the penal sum of 
S1000, to deed said county certain described lots in 
the village of Marshall for county purposes, both 
bonds conditional upon the removal of the county seat 
to Marshall, and request that the county commissioners 
will accept the same on behalf of said county." 



NOW come the dark days of Lyon 
county's history— the grasshop- 
per days. For several years, 
beginning with 1873, grasshoppers, or 

Rocky .Mountain locusts, swept down 
upon the country in countless millions, 
devouring 'the crops and bringing dis- 
aster to nearly every resident. The 
people of Lyon county, in common with 
those of all Southwestern Minnesota, 
suffered as few pioneers of any country 
ever suffered. Adversity followed ad- 
versity. The frowns of fortune over- 
whelmed those who had come with such 
high hopes the preceding years and cast 
them into the slough of despond. The 
picture could hardly be painted too 

The country became bankrupt. Im- 
migration ceased; migration began. All 
who could mortgaged their property 
and many left the county. Some got 
into such straitened circumstances that 
they were literally without the means to 
pay their railway fare out of the county. 
It was impossible to make a living from 
the farm, and many sought work during 
the summer seasons in their old homes 
in the East; others attempted to earn a 
livelihood by trapping. In time land 
became valueless; it could not be sold 

'The acreage sown to grain in 1873 was 1983, nearly 
three times as large as that of the year before. Of the 
total acreage, 1139 were in wheat, 330 in oats, 319 in 

or mortgaged. After the first or second 
year eastern capitalists refused to con- 
sider loans in the grasshopper infested 

Prosperous as Lyon county is today, 
one can imagine the suffering a series of 
almost total crop failures would bring. 
Picture, then, a settlement of some two 
thousand people with practically no 
means — people who had come because 
they were poor and because they be- 
lieved the new country offered oppor- 
tunities for securing a home and a 
competence — devastated by a scourge 
which took away the only means of 
earning a living. Such were the con- 
ditions in the times about which we are 
now to tell. 

The people who had come the pre- 
ceding year set to work with a will to 
break out the prairie land, and great 
were the expectations for the crop of 
1873, the first crop of any size planted 
in the county. L The grain grew beauti- 
fully during the spring months; the 
faith in the soil was justified. Every- 
body was enthusiastic over the prospects. 
Then came the plague. 

The grasshoppers first made their 
appearance in Lyon county about the 
seventeenth of June, 1873, and the 

corn, 54 in barley, 36 in buckwheat, 85 in potatoes, 
10 in beans, 2 in sorghum, and 8 in other products. 



county was not entirely free from them 
during' the remainder of the season. 
Their arrival was first made known by 
the appearance of the sky; the sun 
seemed to have lost some of its bril- 
liance, as though darkened by clouds of 
fine specks floating high in the air. 
Some believed that the specks were the 
fluff from cottonwood seeds. They kept 
increasing in number, and after awhile 
a few scattering ones began falling to 
the earth, where they were found to be 
grasshoppers, or Rocky Mountain lo- 
custs — forerunners of an army that 
devastated this part of the country and 
resulted in the retardation of its settle- 
ment for many years. 2 

The invading hordes feasted upon the 
growing grain and gardens and did 
great damage. In the Saratoga settle- 
ment along the Cottonwood in south- 
eastern Lyon county they were particu- 
larly voracious and left practically no 
grain. Along the Redwood, also, they 
brought destruction to crops, but there 
were some parts of the county that were 
riot visited. 3 Most of the grasshoppers 
left after a few weeks, but enough were 
left and deposited their eggs during the 
months of August and September to 
make certain that the county would be 
infested the next year. 4 The harvest. 
of course, was light, but good yields 
were reported in the few communities 
that had not been visited. 

In addition to the grasshopper dev- 

; The grasshoppers were first noticed by a small party 
of picnickers at Watson's grove in Lynd township. 
Their attention was attracted by the sudden clouding 
of the sun on a clear, bright day. There appeared to 
be a great cloud that was described as resembling a 
sheet of dull silver. For some time the cloud moved 
about in circular form and gradually neared the 
earth. As it came closer its animation was observed 
and before long the whole cloud settled upon the earth. 

These first arrivals did not extend farther north 
than the Lynd settlement and many residents were 
skeptical of the stories told of the invasion. A party 
of -Marshall people was deputized to investigate and 
went up to the Lynd settlement. When they reached 
the Redwood river at the place then known as the 
Muzzy flat their progress was stopped. The horses 
refused to approach the usual fording place, and there 
before them, covering a space twenty rods wide and 
for a considerable distance along the bank, the locusts 
were piled up two inches deep, a moving, undulating 

astation, the panic which held the 
country in its grip in 1S73 added to the 
hard times which followed. The loss of 
crops left many families in destitute 
circumstances, and there was some 
suffering during the next winter. 

The state authorities took prompt 
action to relieve the suffering in the 
frontier counties. Petitions from the 
stricken districts were poured into the 
Legislature, asking appropriations for 
relief. Realizing the gravity of the 
situation, the Minnesota law-making 
body, late in January, 1874, appro- 
priated $5000 for the relief of the desti- 
tute and enacted a law extending the 
time of payment of personal property 
taxes until November 1 in the counties 
of Jackson, Cottonwood, Murray, Nobles, 
Rock. Watonwan, Lyon and Lac qui 
Parle. 5 

Lyon county did not receive much 
benefit from the state aid, owing largely 
to local pride. In accordance with the 
custom of pioneer ' journals to report 
nothing that would tend to retard 
settlement, the local newspaper reported 
fair crops. A perusal of the files of 
the Prairie Schooner for 1873 discloses 
not a word of the grasshopper visitation 
of that year. Many people of the 
county denied the existence of destitu- 
tion and denounced those who sent out 
requests for aid. 

For the purpose of ascertaining the 
condition of the people of the county a 

mass of animation. The insects had there piled up by 
the million and where they covered stumps and brush 
they gave the appearance of being several feet deep. 

3 The damage to crops in 1873 in Minnesota was 
officially estimated at S3, 034,000. 

4 Eggs were deposited preferably in solid ground 
and to a depth of from one-half to one inch. The tail 
of the female grasshopper is a hard, bony, cone-shaped 
substance, and this was easily bored into the solid 
ground and the eggs deposited. 

6 "The bill postponing the collection of taxes on 
personal property in Lyon and several other south- 
western counties passed the Legislature a little too 
late to benefit many taxpayers of this county, as most 
of them paid all taxes against them prior to the first 
of this month, to prevent extra cost." — Prairie 
Schooner, February 19, 18/ 4. 



mass meeting was held at Marshall on 
the lasi day of January, 1874. 8 It was 
the sense of that meeting that there 
were no persons in Lyon county in 
actual want and a resolution was passed 
denouncing the reports that had been 
sent out to that effect. Another reso- 
lution was passed to the effect that 
Lyon county would be able to take care 
of any case of destitution that might 
arise, without outside aid. The com- 
mittee that reported the resolution was 
composed of J. W. Blake. Jacob House, 
J. G. Bryan. 0. C. Gregg and J. II. 
Buchanan. The meeting ascertained, 
however, that some families had moved 
in from the grasshopper devastated 
districts who would probably want seed 
grain in the spring, and the governor 
and Legislature were petitioned to make 
a just distribution of funds for free 
seed grain when it was needed. 

The people of southern Lyon county 
took exception to these optimistic reso- 
lutions of the Marshall meeting. On 
February 17 a mass meeting attended 
by two hundred people was held at 
Saratoga station. The opinion of those 
people was that there were many people 
in the southern part of the county that 
needed substantial aid at once, that 
much would be needed before another 
crop could be raised, that they were at 
that moment in pressing need of bread, 
meat and clothing, and would be later 
of seed grain. Committees were ap- 
pointed to canvass the community and 
report to the Board of County Com- 

Before the matter was taken up by 
the county officials, in February a 
subscription paper was circulated and 

8 "\Ve, the undersigned, do hereby request that a 
meeting of the citizens of the county be held at Con- 
gregational Hall in Marshall at two o'clock p. m. 
Saturday, January 31, for the purpose of more defi- 
nitely ascertaining whether there are any destitute 
persons in Lyon county, and if so, whether there are 
any more than can be provided for by the county. 
A general attendance is requested, particularly of 

$92 raised for relict'. A disbursement 
committee on February 17 reported thai 
*.'!7.l>2 of this amount had been dis- 
tributed among the needy, mostly in 
the Saratoga country. 

The county was without funds to take 
care of the needy and it was obliged to 
pledge its faith to one of the Marshall 
merchant- to raise by taxation and pay 
back the sum of 1100 and interest 
advanced in supplies. The following 
resolution — a forceful reminder of the 
dark days of Lyon county's history— 
was passed by the Board of County 
Commissioners February 24, 1874: 

Resolved that the faith of the county is 
hereby pledged to William Everett & Company 
to levy a special tax and to pay them one 
hundred and seventeen dollars and have the 
same placed upon the next roll and collected 
with the other county taxes in consideration that 
they shall advance to the county one hundred 
dollars for the relief of the destitute of the 
county, provided that the said William Everett 
& Company shall furnish provisions upon the 
requisition of the commissioners to the amount 
not more than one hundred dollars and if less 
than said amount, pro rata. 

The following resolution passed relative to 
disbursing aid to the destitute: Resolved 

First. That the applicant shall be a resident 
of this county. 

Second. That there shall be no tea, coffee, 
sugar, spirits, molasses or fruits furnished. 

Third. No person shall be furnished who has 
more stock than one team and one cow. 

Fourth. No exception to the above save in 
case of sickness. 

Fifth. The circumstances of the applicant 
must be set forth in an affidavit before aid is 

Sixth. This aid shall be disbursed by William 
Everett & Company upon the order of James 
Mitchell, Jr., A. D. Morgan and W. M. Pierce, 
relief commissioners. 

The people of Lyon county were 
finally forced to admit that they must 
have state aid and made application for 
a portion of the $5000 appropriated. 
S. S. Truax, of the Saratoga settlement, 
received $250 from the governor early 

those who may have knowledge of any destitution in 
any part of the county. (Signed): J W. Blake, 
S Webster, Wilbur Coleman, Stanley Addison, C. H. 
Whitney, C. W. Andrews, G. E. Nichols, M. V. David- 
son S V. Groesbeck, E. B. Jewett, M. E. Wilcox, 
J A. Coleman, W. M. Todd, L. B. Nichols, J. P. 
Watson, W. Wakeman, J. W. Williams." 



in March and distributed it among the 

It was early learned that many 
farmers would not have grain for seeding 
purposes in the spring of 1874, and the 
Legislature in February appropriated 
$25,000 for supplying the want. Lyon 
county's share, 1128 bushels, was re- 
ceived in March and the distribution 
was completed early in April. The com- 
mittee that had charge of this work was 
composed of S. S. Truax, Jacob Rouse 
and J. W. Blake. The demand for the 
grain was so great that each applicant 
received only a part of the grain asked 
for. 7 The grain, all wheat, was dis- 
tributed to the farmers of the county as 
follows: Lake Marshall, 102 bushels; 
Lynd, 102; Lyons, 102; Saratoga (Mon- 
roe, Custer, Sodus and Amiret), 318; 
Rock Lake, 30; East Precinct (Stanley 
and Clifton), 30; Canton (Lucas), 78; 
Northeast Precinct (Vallers and West- 
erheim), 42; Upper Yellow Medicine 
(Eidsvold), 66; Nordland, 96; Grand- 
view, 96; Fairview, 66. 

If there had been a belief that the 
grasshopj>er scourge was to be only a 
temporary blight on the prospects of 
Lyon county, it was rudely dispelled. 
The visitation of 1873 was as nothing 
compared with what followed. The 
story of the years to follow is one of 
heartrending misery. From Manitoba 
to Texas the grasshoppers brought deso- 
lation and suffering in 1874, the visita- 
tion being general along the whole 
frontier. Especially destructive were 

T '"We do not know the number of applications from 
different parts of the state for seed wheat, nor the 
extent of the territory to be supplied, nor the rules 
governing the distribution, but it appears to us that 
this county should have at least three times the 
amount of seed wheat that has been apportioned." — 
Prairie Schooner, March 19, 1874. 

s The wheat acreage in 1874 by precincts was as 
follows: Nordland, 236; Lake Marshall, 323 H; 
109-41 (Custer), 433 34; Upper Yellow Medicine 
(Eidsvold), 141 J>2! Lyons, 457 H; Canton (Lucas), 
516 y>\ Fairview, 456; Lynd, 546; 111-40 (Clifton), 
112; Madison (Amiret), 282^; 110-43 and 111-43 
(Island Lake and Coon Creek), 69 14; 112-40, 113-41 

they in Southwestern Minnesota and in 
Kansas and Nebraska. 

A large acreage was sown in Lyon 
county in the spring of 1874, there 
being 4245 acres sown to wheat alone. 8 
Then came anxious days. The grass- 
hopper eggs which had been deposited 
the year before began to hatch during 
the early days of May. 9 While the pests 
had been considered numerous the year 
before, there were now more than ten 
times as many. The appetites of the 
youngsters were good, and they began 
their ravages as soon as the first tender 
blades of grain appeared. Whole fields 
were stripped entirely bare in those parts 
of the county where the hoppers were 
most numerous, notably along the Cot- 
tonwood in the Saratoga country and 
along the Redwood in the Lynd country. 

Had the ravages of the native hoppers 
been the only damage, the county could 
have borne the infliction, for there were 
portions in which little or no damage 
was done. During the closing days of 
June most of the Lyon county hatch 
departed. Several days were spent in 
swarming and collecting, and then they 
rose in vast clouds, filling the air as far 
as the eye could reach, and sailed away 
to discover new worlds to conquer. 
During this period, each day from ten 
o'clock in the morning until three in 
the afternoon, the air was filled with the 
winged emigrants. With their depar- 
ture it was hoped the ravages of the year 
were at an end, but it was not to be. 

During the early days of July came 

and 113-42 (Stanley, Vallers and Westerheim), 299; 
109-42 (Rock Lake), 122; 110-41 (Sodus), 250. 

9 The process of hatching was interesting. In each 
nest, a half inch or more below fhe surface of the 
ground, invariably laid in hard earth, were from 
twenty to fifty eggs. When the sun warmed tin- 
ground sufficiently to hatch the eggs, the pithy cover- 
ing of the nest popped off and a squirming mass of 
little yellow hoppers poured out. Each was encased 
in a sort of shell or skin, which it immediately began 
to pull off. Then, after taking a moment's view of 
the world, each little hopper hopped away in .search 
of something to eat. At birth they were about a 
quarter of an inch long and had no wings, but these 
developed rapidly. 



an invasion of "foreign" hoppers from 
the southern counties, which math' it 
evident that the county was not to 
escape with the damage done by the 
native pests. They appeared in cloud- 
like formations, drifting with the wind. 
sometimes entirely disappearing, and 
again returning with a change of wind. 
While the depredations before had been 
committed only where the hatch had 
been, the invaders now attacked fields 
in parts of the county theretofore un- 
molested and some fields were literally 
eaten hare to the roots. Still the 
damage was not total, and before the 
middle of July the army had almost 
entirely disappeared. 

At this time, when it was hoped the 
pests had departed for good, the Prairie 
Schooner estimated the damage: 

First. From Coburg [Amiret], along and near 
the Cottonwood river, to the southern boundary 
of the county and west to Lake Yankton, in- 
formation received indicates that on an average 
two-thirds of the wheat and oats sown have 
been destroyed anil much injury done to corn 
and potatoes. 

Second. A strip of country about three miles 
wide and extending from Lake Marshall on the 
east to the Redwood river on the west, including 
Upper Lynd, will average about half a crop of 
wheat and oats. 

Third. The balance of the county, including 
principally that portion lying northeast of the 
railroad as far down as Lake Marshall and 
northwest of the Redwood river, will average 
at least seven-eighths of a crop. 

Taking the whole county together, we believe 
there will be from two-thirds to three-fourths as 
much wheat and oats and seven-eighths as much 
corn and potatoes as there would have been had 
we not been visited by the grasshopper plague. 
. . . Some farms in the county have been 
totally stripped of everything in the shape of 
crops; and on the other hand there are many 
farms which promise abundant yield of every 
kind of crop, not having been damaged to the 
least extent by grasshoppers. 

Before the paper which contained this 

estimate was put to press (July 16) the 

editor of the Prairie Schooner penned 

this qualification: 

Later — It is of no use to estimate crops 
before harvest. Yesterday clouds of grass- 
hoppers were passing over from north to south, 
and as we go to press word has come that they 
have made a descent on the Yellow Medicine 

and. ;ii Rock Lake, sections heretofore un- 

The invasion of July 1.") was the 
worst <>f the season and resulted in 
almost total annihilation of crops in the 
Rock Lake and Yellow Medicine coun- 
tries communities which had escaped 
before. Before they departed those 
pails of the county were literally alive 
with the voracious insects. And what 
havoc they wrought! So thick was the 
air with the flying pests that at times 
the sun was obscured. They appeared 
to the people below like a vast cloud, 
sweeping sometimes in one direction, 
sometimes in another — always with the 
wind. Imt never traveling far to the 
west or northwest. 

At evening when they came down near 
the earth, the noise they made was like 
a roaring wind. Those that alighted on 
the prairies seemed to know where the 
grain fields and gardens were and 
gathered in them from all directions. 
Every cornstalk Lent to the earth with 
their weight. The noise they made 
eating could be heard from quite a 
distance and resembled that which 
might have been made by hundreds of 
hogs turned into the fields. In fact, 
such was the destruction that within a 
few hours after they came down whole 
fields of corn ami small grain were as 
completely harvested as though they 
had been cut with a reaper and hauled 
away. It was a discouraging sight. 

After gorging themselves with the 
crops, the grasshoppers sometimes piled 
up in the fields and along the roads to a 
depth of one or two feet. Horses could 
hardly be driven through them. Stories 
have been told of railway trains lie- 
coming blockaded by the pests so as to 
be unable to move until the insects were 
shoveled from the track. 

The last invasion was not of long 
duration, although grasshoppers in di- 



minished numbers remained until August. 
Fortunately, they departed without de- 
positing their eggs in Lyon county, 
although eggs were left in counties to 
the east of Lyon. 

The greatest damage was to small 
grain. Many fields were entirely de- 
stroyed and yielded nothing to the acre. 
The wheat that was threshed — according 
to a thresher who operated in all parts 
of the county — averaged nine and one- 
half bushels per acre and oats nineteen 
bushels. Gardens were almost entirely 
destroyed; corn and potatoes, which 
constituted only a small part of the 
acreage, were a fair crop. 10 

This second successive crop failure 
was a terrible blow. A great many who 
had not been hard pressed by the con- 
ditions in 1873 were now reduced to the 
common level; their savings had been 
spent and they had no income. Those 
who were not compelled to live on 
charity were compelled to practise most 
rigid economy. Hay furnished the fuel; 
potatoes, pumpkins and squashes — a 
few vegetables left by the hoppers — ■ 
supplied the bulk of 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 
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 next year. 

The question naturally arises: Why 
did the people of Lyon county stay in a 
country in which the grasshoppers 
wrought such damage? It is doubtful 
if many would have remained could 
they have looked ahead and foreseen 
what they still had to go through, for 

!0 According to the report of the commissioner of 
statistics, the loss of the several crops in twenty-eight 
counties of Minnesota in 1S74 was as follows: Wheat, 

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 harvest fields of more 
fortunate communities and earn enough 
to supply their absolute needs. 

The majority stayed with their claims 
and weathered the storms of adversity. 
Hope was abundant that each year's 
visitation would be the last. The fer- 
tility of the soil had been demonstrated, 
and it was known that once the country 
was free from the pests, it would become 
one of the richest spots in the West. 
The settlers had invested all their 
accumulations of former years in im- 
provements, and to desert the country 
meant that they must go as paupers. 

Before continuing the account of the 
grasshopper scourge, let us consider a 
few other items that occurred in 1874 
which throw a light on conditions of 
that day. 

The one railroad in the county was 
not in operation from February 16 to 
April 8, due to snow blockades and the 
fact that its operation would not be a 
paying investment. Again the next 
winter the line was not operated regu- 
larly and for ten weeks prior to April 
13, 1875, not a train was run in the 

The assessment for 1874 shows that 
the value of personal property was 
$120,384, divided among 525 residents. 
There were in the county 495 horses, 
2690 cattle, 31 mules, 336 sheep and 
356 wagons and buggies. 

Despite the fact that the grasshoppers 
were doing most of the harvesting, a 
fair association was organized during 
this period and a county fair held. 
The first meeting to bring about organi- 

2,646,802 bushels; oats, 1,816,733 bushels; corn, 
738,415 bushels; barley, 58,962 bushels; potatoes, 
221,454 bushels; flax seed, 52,833 bushels. 


ty MUli Luke 
.nil .,...11 

»' if 

i.:..!,-si a.. 


Lyon County As It Appeared in 1874, From a Map Published in a State Atlas That Year. 



zation was held in December, \s7'.\, in 
a little room that had been partitioned 
off from the old company store building 
in .Marshall. The preliminary steps were 
taken at that time and on .January 31, 
1S7I, the Lyon County Agricultural 
Society was organized. The first officers 
were as follows: .1. <!. Bryan, president; 
C. H. Whitney, secretary; E. B. Jewett, 
treasurer; S. Webster, .1. II. Buchanan. 
O. C. Gregg, R. D. Harm's, (I. Watson, 
('. H. Bullock, .lames Morgan, R. II. 
Price. F. R. Holritz. John [lstad, Ole ( >. 
Brenna and T. J. Barber, vice presidents; 
J. W. Blake. T. W. Castor, (I. S. Robin- 
son, J. W. Hoagland and Jacob Rouse, 
executive committee. 

The first fair was held at .Marshall in 
October, 1N74. and was declared to be 
asuccess, several hundred people being in 
attendance. There were many exhibits, 
although the premiums were not liberal. ' ' 

In the summer of 187-4 came an 
Indian scare that created some little 
excitement in western Lyon county 
the result, doubtless, of a practical joke. 

On Saturday, July 18, three Norwe- 
gian families who lived on the Sioux 
river near Medary arrived in the Lake 
Benton settlement, driving their flocks 
and herds with them. They brought 
the alarming intelligence that Fort 
Wadsworth, Dakota, had been captured 
by Indians, who had massacred two 
hundred whites; that the village of 
Flandreau was in flames, that the people 
of Medary and Flandreau and elsewhere 
along the Sioux were fleeing the country, 
and that the redskins were on their way 
to Lake Benton, where they expected 
to arrive the next night. 

"Those who received premiums at the first county 
fair were C. H. Bullock, D. P. Billings, Charles Belling- 
ham, J. W. Dickey, S. Webster, B. C. Emery, A. 
Emmerson, J. M. Lockey, C. H. Whitney, Norton 
Billings, Seth Johnson, Ben Johnson, J. G. Bryan, 
E. Jewett, C. Jewett, H. C. Simmons, J. W. Blake, 
C. A. Edwards, Alfred Edwards, H. P. Gibbs, G. A. 
Gill, William Robinson, Z. O. Titus, A. Barrett, G. 
Watson, J. Bagley, Nathan Davis, C. Kennedy, M. B. 
Morse, O. A. Drake, J. W. Hoagland, William Living- 

The report created consternation in 
the isolated settlement on Lake Benton. 
The news flew from house to house and 
there was great commotion. Sonic of 
the settlers gathered at the place where 
now the village of Lake Benton is 
situated and held a council of war. 
The majority favored investigating the 
report before deserting their homes, but 
six families hastily packed a icw things, 
set out in hasty retreat for the east, 
alarmed all the people along the route, 
and reached Lynd before their fears 
were calmed. 

Another council was held at Marsh- 
field, where it was decided to investigate 
the rumor. John Snyder and William 
Taylor rode to Flandreau, twenty-five 
miles distant, and found all quiet along 
the Sioux. Upon their return the 
alarmed people declared the war over. 
Within a few days those who had so 
precipitously fled returned to their 

The winter of 1874-75 was a severe 
one, punctuated with numerous bliz- 
zards. The lives of two Lyon county 
people were sacrificed to the winter 
storms that season. 

One of the victims was Henry Gibbs, 
a resident of Fairview township. He 
and his wife had spent the day visiting 
at a neighbor's and in the evening 
started home with their ox team. One 
of the dreaded prairie storms suddenly 
came upon them and they lost their way 
and drifted with the storm until their 
wagon broke down in a slough in 
Stanley township. 

Mr. and Mrs. Gibbs arranged a wind- 
break with the wagon box and prepared 

ston, A. E. Watkins, J. H. Buchanan, Owen Marron, 
Henry Schaffer, L. Ticknor, H. Lovelace, H. J. Tripp, 
Blake Watson, Coleman & Company, B. A. Grubb, 
A. W. Bean, J. W. Williams, Pierce & Wakeman, 
Prairie Schooner, Mrs. C. A. Edwards, Mrs. E. B. 
Jewett, Mrs. D. P. Billings, Mrs. J. Bagley, Mrs. H. C. 
Simmons, Mrs. H. P. Gibbs, Mrs. A. W. Bean, Mrs. 
H. Lovelace, Mrs. C. Kennedy, Mrs. Seth Johnson, 
Mrs. Z. O. Titus, Mrs. G. A. Gill, Miss Bryan, Miss 
Kate Watson, Mrs. Clemens and Mrs. Mott. 



themselves as best they might to spend 
the night. For two nights and one day 
the storm raged as only the blizzards 
of the Northwest could in those days, 
and the unfortunate people were im- 
prisoned in their illy prepared refuge 
during all of that time. When the 
weather had sufficiently cleared to see, 
Mr. Gibbs made his way to a house and 
sent aid to his wife. He was so badly 
frozen that he died soon afterward. 
Mis. Gibbs was rescued from her perilous 
plight and recovered, although one of 
her feet had to be partially amputated. 

The other victim was Thomas T. 
Pierce, of Lynd township, who met 
death in the storm of January 8, 1875. 
Mr. Pierce, who was an elderly man, 
had started from the home of a neighbor 
the day before the storm for his camp. 
He did not arrive at his destination and 
searching parties were immediately or- 
ganized. It was more than two weeks 
later when his dead body was found on 
the shore of Dead Coon lake. He was 
frozen stiff and was lying on his face. 
Air. Pierce had traveled many long miles 
in the storm, a part of the way through 
a section of the county almost wholly 

Although the losses occasioned by the 
grasshoppers in 1874 were greater than 
the year before, there had been also a 
much larger acreage sown and consid- 
erable grain had been saved and mar- 
keted. There were not many cases of 
destitution in the county during the 
winter of 1874-75 12 and no aid was 
requested from the state for* their relief. 
The United States government in a 
small way granted aid to those who re- 

12 "I have heard of only three or four cases of desti- 
tution in Lyon county this winter, though there may 
be more." — G. M. Durst in Prairie Schooner, February 
19, 1875. 

13 The act was passed March 1, 1875, and provided 
for the extension of time of payment of personal 
property taxes to November 1 in the counties of 
.Martin, Jackson, Nobles, Rock, Murray, Cottonwood, 
Watonwan, Renville, Lyon and parts of Blue Earth, 
Faribault and Broun. In order to secure the exten- 

quested it. In March, 1875, H. Pauld- 
ing, assistant surgeon of the United 
States army, superintended the distri- 
bution of army clothing and rations to 
those who applied in the counties of 
Lyon and Lincoln. Again the Legis- 
lature granted an extension of time for 
the payment of taxes in some of the 
devastated counties and, of course, 
Lyon county was among the number. 13 

Notwithstanding the terrible experi- 
ences of the two preceding years, the 
farmers determined to put in a crop in 
1875. The ground had been prepared, 
but the farmers were without seed grain 
and without the means to purchase it. 14 
The Legislature came to their rescue 
with an appropriation of $75,000, the 
act providing for the distribution of 
seed grain to that amount, with certain 
provisions for its repayment. The 
money market was constricted and the 
state was not able to secure the cash to 
purchase more than $50,000 worth of 

The distribution was conducted under 
the supervision of a State Board of 
Commissioners and a local board was 
named in each county. Lyon county's 
share was $1500, all furnished in wheat. 
The Lyon county committee of distri- 
bution was composed of W. M. Pierce. 
James Mitchell and H. T. Oakland, and 
each precinct had a committee to de- 
termine who should be supplied. With 
the seed received from the state and 
that which was in the county, there 
was enough to seed a large part of the 
prepared land in Lyon county. 

Days of anxiety followed the appear- 
ance of the grain above the ground. 

sion 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 grasshoppers or hail. 

14 "I have been on a tour of three or four days 
among the farmers of this county and find from act u.i 1 
observation that there are a great many who will be 
unable to seed their land unless they get aid from 
some source." — Samuel Carroll in Prairie Schooner, 
November 5, 1874. 



Would the grasshopper scourge .main 

come with its ruin and desolation? As 
the season advanced the people with 
deep concern scanned the skies for the 
appearance of t heir old enemy. As eggs 
had not been deposited in Lyon county 
the preceding season, there were no 
young hoppers, and the only apprehen- 
sion was an invasion by the "foreigners." 

The county was practically free from 
the pests until early July, although 
before that time they were reported 
active in other parts of Southwestern 
Minnesota. The settlers kept track of 
the movements of the grasshoppers as 
they would have those of an invading 
army of soldiers. They knew that only 
by chance would they escape. They 
felt as though the sword of Damocles 
were suspended over them, ready to fall 
at any moment. 

The damage done in Lyon county in 
1875 was by the Minnesota valley 
hatch. The army was not so numerous 
as the year before, nor did the pests eat 
so ravenously as formerly. They ap- 
peared to be a degenerate breed and 
many died after depositing their eggs. 
The farmers waged war on the enemy 
by the use of fire, tar and other legalized 
instruments. 15 

In individual cases the loss of crops 
was quite severe, but generally in Lyon 
county the damage was slight and a big 

ls There was really very little that the settlers could 
do to destroy or cheek the pests, although many 
schemes were tried. Nothing availed against the 
invading hordes, but in the case of the native hoppers 
the farmers waged a more or less successful war by the 
use of tar. "Hopperdozers," a sort of drag made of 
sheet iron and wood, would be covered with tar and 
dragged over the ground. The young hoppers would 
be caught in the tar and destroyed. Another scheme 
was to prevent prairie fires during the fall months, 
conserving the grass until the hoppers had hatched in 
the spring. Then on a given day the country would 
be burned over and the pests destroyed. Ditches 
would be dug and the hoppers driven into them and 
burned; scoop nets were used, but little headway 
could be made with them. In some of the counties 
bounties were paid for their capture. In seven such 
counties 58,019 bushels were captured, upon which 
bounties aggregating $76,788.42 were paid; still no 
diminution was noticed in the damage done 

16 The Prairie Schooner, which even in the darkest 
hours gave glowing accounts of conditions, fairly 

percentage of the crop was harvested. 16 

But the dangers of the season were not 
yet over. During the entire week be- 
ginning August 31 there was a continual 
downpour of rain, which did much 
damage to grain in stack and shock. 
Blight injured some of the wheat, and 
instead of grading No. 1 it was second 
and third grades. 

Conditions dining the winter of 1875- 
76 were so much better than they had 
been during the two other winters of 
the scourge that aid from outside was 
not needed, and the county was able to 
supply its own seed for the next crop. 

The census of 1875 gave Lyon county 
a population of 2543. Of this number 
71 1 were men over twenty-one years old 
and 863 were children between the ages 
of five and twenty-one years. The 
population by precincts was as follows: 17 

Eidsvold 99 

Fairview 175 

Grandview 150 

Lake Marshall 397 

Lucas 116 

Lynd 225 

Lyons 152 

Madison (Amiret) 158 

Monroe 181 

Nordland 208 

Custer 18 166 

Clifton 52 

Stanley 83 

Sodus H4 

Vallers and Westerheim 104 

Rock Lake and Shelburne 92 

Coon Creek and Island Lake 71 

Total 2543 

bubbled over when describing conditions in 1875. 
The following item from the paper of August 13 of that 
year is not in reality a truthful portrayal of the state 
of affairs: 

"We hear it reported down East that we are all 
eaten out by grasshoppers around Marshall this year. 
Such stories are at the opposite extreme of the fact, 
for we are harvesting the biggest crop ever harvested 
in this county. . . . We can lose half a crop here and 
then beat their best crops. Thirty bushels to the acre 
for wheat will be a very common crop around Marshall 
this season, and we have fields of oats that stand 
seven or eight feet high, so thick that a reaper can 
hardly run through them. . . . We have not a hopper 
more than we want for chicken feed around here and 
are happy in the brilliant prospects." 

17 The population of nearby counties in 1875 was as 
follows: Lac qui Parle, 1428; Yellow Medicine, 24S4; 
Redwood, 2982; Cottonwood, 2870; Murray, 1329; 
Pipestone, 4. 

1? Only the ten first named were organized townships 
and had been named. 



Lyon and Lincoln counties, which 
before had been attached to Redwood 
county for judicial purposes, were sepa- 
rated from the mother county by act 
of the Legislature of 1875. The first 
district court was held at Marshall June 
13, 1876. 19 

Another event of 1876 was the placing 
on the market of the railroad lands. In 
August the company opened an office 
at Marshall and the first of the granted 
lands passed to private ownership that 
year. These were sold for one-fifth 
down and the balance in payments at 
seven per cent interest. 

Grasshoppers brought destruction to 
crops again in 1876. During May the 
destroying agents hatched out in those 
portions of the county where eggs had 
been deposited the year before, notably 
in the Rock Lake district and around 
the newly founded village of Tracy. 
Late in May south winds brought in a 
few full grown hoppers, but they re- 
mained only a short time. 

During the entire month of June the 
young hoppers continued their depre- 
dations in the southern part of the 
county. A correspondent from Tracy 
on June 23 said: "The grasshoppers 
have destroyed most of the grain and 
our trade is principally butter and pro- 
duce." A resident of Rock Lake wrote 
at the same time: "The hoppers are 
doing all the mischief they can." The 
other parts of the county suffered little 
damage in the early part of the season. 
Then was repeated the experience of 
former years. 

Vast clouds of the pests swooped 
down upon the county early in July and 
for several days feasted on the crops. 

,9 The jurors who served at the first term of court in 
Lyon county were as follows: 

Grand Jurors — J. B. Greenslitt, G. E. CummiDs, 

B. F. Link, L. S. Kiel, H. G. Howard, O. Marron, 
W. L. Watson. Gustave Jaoobson, N. Warn, Zenas 
Rank, G. W. Linderman, E. B. Downie, H. D. Frink, 

C. H. Richardson, H. Mussler, I. P. Farrington, Olof 
Pehrson, M. M. Marshall, J. W. Blake, 'W. M. Todd, 
John N. Johnson, O. A. Drake. 

They were of a roving disposition and 
did not remain in any one location any 
great length of time. The Marshall 
Messenger, which had succeeded the 
Prairie Schooner, told of the invasion 
in its issue of July 7. 1876: 

The grasshoppers have been on a bender for 
the last few days. While looking toward the 
sun in the middle of the day the sight presents 
the appearance of a million swarms of bees. 
They are lighting and flying all the time. There 
is not a farmer in this vicinity who can predict 
what his prospects are for a harvest this fall. 
They are coming down in many places, but are 
very unsettled in their conclusions about 

Again, on Thursday. July 20, came 
the agents of destruction in countless 
numbers and attacked the fields in all 
parts of the county. They remained all 
day Friday, feasting, and on the follow- 
ing day all departed for the south. 
Oats, barley, corn, vegetables, ami all 
crops except wheat were almost wholly 
destroyed: wheat, the big crop, by some 
strange turn of fate, was only a partial 
loss. The grain that was left was 
quickly cut and put out of the way of 

The last invasion of the year came on 
Sunday morning, August 6, out of the 
northwest. The grasshoppers, with ex- 
cellent appetites, covered about two 
townships, remained a few days, and 
flew away with the wind, most of them 
to the northwest. Wheat was then in 
the shock and proved dry eating, so the 
invaders attacked the corn fields and 
made a clean sweep of the crop in the 
territory invaded. Only a few eggs 
were deposited during the season, but 
the ground was peppered with them in 
a belt extending from Martin county 
north to Kandiyohi county. 

Petit Jurors — Fred Gley, Jacob Rouse, S. E. Morgan, 
J. Lawrence. W. H. Cook, A. Ransom. D. Monroe, 
P. Kiltz, R. M. Addison, C. A. Cook, A. Williams, 
A. Lee, S. Van Alstine, William Rich. A. Bates, J. 
Owens, N. Webster, S. Johnson, J. Sanders, J. M. 
English, H. H. Welch, R. H. Price, A. R. Cummins, 
T. S. Downie. 



There was no disguising the fact that 
Lyon county had met another damaging 
setback. Many who had fought the 
scourge so long gave up and quit trying 
to raise crops; some left the county. 
The prospects were indeed discouraging. 
The grasshoppers had again deposited 
their eggs in neighboring counties, and 
there seemed little prospect that the 
country would ever be free from them. 
Many did not give up, however, but 
determined to fight to a successful end 
or meet utter failure in the attempt. 
The Messenger on March 2, 1877, said: 
"Our farmers are making ready, with 
the clear grit that has become chronic 
during the grasshopper afflictions, to 
sow all they can get seed for." 

The Legislature of 1877 took measures 
to care for the devastated counties. 
One hundred thousand dollars were 
appropriated to be used in bounties to 
pay for the destruction of grasshoppers 
and their eggs, $75,000 to furnish seed 
grain, 20 and another sum for a relief 
fund. Some Lyon county farmers were 
able to purchase seed, and grain so 
shipped in came without transportation 
charges by the railroad company. Lyon 

20 The law provided for the repayment of this money 
by those receiving the grain; in case it was not paid 
back the county was bound to make payment to the 
state. Applicants were obliged to furnish affidavits 

county's share of the appropriation for 
seed was $3840.90, the applicants being 
given their choice of wheat, corn or 
peas. There were 177 applications, so 
that each received an average of $21.70 
wort h of grain. 

A "grasshopper congress" was held at 
.Marshall March 13, 1877, and was 
largely attended. Means of contending 
with the common enemy were discussed 
and plans were laid for burning the 
prairies on a given day. In accordance 
with a proclamation of Governor John 
S. Pillsbury, Thursday, April 26, 1877, 
was set aside as a day for fasting and 
prayer, and on that day religious 
services were held throughout the state 
and deliverance from the scourge was 

Whether or not these means assisted 
in the deliverance is not certain, but 
certain it is that the grasshopper 
scourge, so far as Lyon county was con- 
cerned, ended in 1876. Thereafter for 
two or three years the pests in small 
numbers visited the county but did 
practically no harm. Grasshoppers had 
struck terror to the hearts of Lyon 
county people for the last time. 

as to their condition, and the county coinmissioners 
acted as a board to determine the worthiness of the 



HENCEFORTH the story of Lyon 
county is one of advancement. 
The calamitous days are past. 
No longer do the grasshoppers threaten 
the very existence of the settlement; no 
longer is it found necessary to solicit aid 
for the relief of the inhabitants. The 
days of such adversity have become 
only a memory. It must not be under- 
stood that this change was wrought in 
a day, for it was not. Trials and tribu- 
lations were yet to assail those who had 
borne so much and so long, but times 
were on the mend, and the year 1877 
ushered in the reconstruction era. 
People began anew the work of progress 
that had been interrupted when the 
grasshoppers came and placed a mort- 
gage on the county in the summer of 

In some respects the people of Lyon 
county were in better condition than 
they had been before the scourge. Most 
of those who had filed upon government 
land in the early seventies now had 
title to their homes — and land began 
to have a value. A few had not met 
with great losses during the terrible 
scourge and were already in position to 

1 "The frequent rains we are having this spring 
increases our prospects for a good wheat crop. It 
seems now as if we might slip through this year into 
prosperous times again. Our only fear of grasshoppers 
is from flying ones, and any other part of the country 
is as much in the way of that as we are. We have a 
large acreage of crops and with a good harvest will be 
happy once more." — Marshall Messenger, May IS, 1877. 

begin the forward march. Many others, 
however, found it necessary to free 
themselves from debt before the effect 
of the more prosperous times became 

The annual dread of grasshopper 
visitation was again felt in the summer 
of 1877, and this time the settlers were 
agreeably disappointed. The season was 
admirably adapted to two ends: the 
best possible development of small grain 
and the worst possible development of 
the locusts. The cool, rainy weather of 
the spring and early summer seemed to 
have been sent on purpose to give 
wheat and other small grain a rapid 
and healthy growth and at the same 
time give the grasshoppers a slow and 
feeble development. 1 

A few of the pests hatched out on the 
sunny slopes in May, but they were so 
few in number and so unlike their 
voracious ancestors that no damage 
resulted. 2 The local press reported in 
the latter part of June that there had 
not been reported a single field of grain 
in Lyon county perceptibly injured by 
grasshoppers. About the middle of July 
they were seen on the wing, and occa- 

2 Contributing largely to (he unexpected good 
fortune was a little red parasite, which destroyed the 
grasshopper eggs in the nests in the fall and early 
spring months. Later the parasites attacked the 
young hoppers, loading down their frail wings and 
carcasses until it was almost impossible for them to 
fly. Bushels of the pests died before they developed 
sufficiently to'do damage. 



sionally a few came down, but the 
damage they did was practically nothing. 

As the season advanced it became 
evident that unless the grasshoppers 
came Lyon county would produce an 
enormous crop. 3 The grasshoppers did 
not come and by the middle of August 
the harvest was completed — the first 
crop in years had been saved. It was 
an enormous one, yields of forty bushels 
of wheat per acre being frequently re- 
ported. During the fall months — up to 
January 1 — there were shipped from the 
Marshall station 309 cars, containing 
109,007 bushels of wheat. The grain 
was all number one and brought good 

It was % a time of jubilee! Every 
resident seemed imbued with new life. 
When the golden grain came pouring in, 
business men began increasing their 
stocks; farmers began improving their 
farms and putting their lands in readi- 
ness for the next crop; Lyon county was 
again inhabited by people who thought 
life worth living. 

For the first time since the coming of 

3 "The grain crop here is simply immense and our 
farmers who were able to seed their farms last spring 
have a pretty sure prospect of comfort and plenty 
ahead." — Messenger, July 2!!, 1877. 

4 The following items from the columns of the 
Marshall Messenger give an idea of the immigration 
in the fall of 1877: 

"Land hunters arrive on every train. Business has 
just begun in. this locality, all because the grasshopper 
danger is past." — August 24. 

"The town is full of strangers these days — land 
hunters mostly. The fame of our fertile prairies has 
spread over the land." — September 28. 

"Everything seems to indicate a big rush of immi- 
gration next spring. Even now, not far from the heels 
of winter, there is a respectable rush of a very desirable 
class of homeseekers distributing themselves from this 
point over the whole county. Nearly all who visit 
us remain as settlers." — October 12. 

"Approaching cold weather does not seem to per- 
ceptibly check the rush of land hunters to this part of 
the state. Every train is filled with men anxious for 
a few acres of our rich prairie land. The railroad 
company is selling considerable more land than it 
expected to, and our vacant sections are fast filling 
up with actual settlers. This makes us feel well and 
will greatly help county revenues soon." — November 

6 The people of the United States have but little 
acquaintance with the natives of Iceland, the little 
island in the Arctic circle. They are found in only a 
few places in America, and one of the two principal 
colonies of the United States is that in northwestern 
Lyon county, overlapping into Lincoln and Yellow 
Medicine counties, with Minneota as the central point. 
The other American colonies are at Pembina, North 

the grasshoppers/ immigrants arrived in 
Lyon county in 1877. They 'began 
arriving as soon as it became evident 
that the crop was safe and that the 
county could produce something besides 
the flying pests. Many came prepared 
to build on their lands, and the lumber 
yards were unable to replace their stocks 
fast enough to meet the demand. 
Nearly all the government lands had 
been filed upon by this time and the 
newcomers turned to the railroad lands, 
which had been placed on the market 
the year before. 4 

Among the immigrants of 1877 were 
fifty Icelanders, who arrived in August 
direct from their northern homes and 
located in northwestern Lyon county. 
A few of this nationality had settled in 
the ■ vicinity a year or two before, the 
first having been Gunlauger Peterson, 
who came in 1875. Others joined the 
colony later, giving to Lyon county a 
very desirable class of citizens. 5 

On March 5, 1877, a lull was passed 
by the Legislature authorizing Lyon 
county to issue bonds not to exceed 

Dakota, and at New Iceland, near Winnipeg, in 

In the early seventies Icelanders founded settle- 
ments in the Muskoko district of Ontario and in Nova 
Scotia." These were only temporary abiding places, 
the Northmen moving in 1875 to the western shore of 
Lake Winnipeg. There they founded New Iceland, 
now the largest settlement in the New World. Win- 
nipeg is the center of Icelandic wealth and culture in 
America. Several thousand reside there permanently 
and most of the emigrants from Iceland go there 
before scattering to the farming districts. 

The colony in Lyon county was founded, as described 
in the text, in 1877. There were two hundred arrivals 
from Iceland to the settlement about Minneota in 
1879, and others came later. The Icelandic settle- 
ment now comprises about one thousand people. 

Rev. Pall Thorinksson led a party of colonists from 
Manitoba in 1879 and located them in Pembina 
county, North Dakota, where they grew in numbers 
and wealth until now they form the next largest 
Icelandic colony in the New World. 

Of the Lyon county Icelanders the Marshall News- 
Messenger of May 24, 1904, said: 

"The colony in this section of Minnesota has flour- 
ished, though, in a measure, through affiliation with 
other nationalities, the semblance of colonization has 
been lost. One noticeable characteristic of the 
Icelanders is their appreciation of the public school 
system of their adopted country and their thirst for 
knowledge and English education. During several 
years past the graduating classes of the Marshall High 
School have included students of Icelandic birth and 
descent, and most of these have continued their 
education at the University of Minnesota, at normal 
schools, and other institutions, and subsequently 
engaged in the professions.'' 



$10,000 for the purpose of paying the 
county indebtedness. During the grass- 
hopper days the county, as well as the 
people living in it, had run behind 
financially and county orders were a 
slow sale at sixty cents on the dollar.''' 
Another event of the year 1877 was the 
establishment of train service on the 
Winona & St. Peter railroad between 
Marshall and the state line, giving the 
newly founded village of Minneota and 
the people of northwestern Lyon county 
benefits theretofore denied. 

The abundant crop harvested in 1877 
and the belief that the grasshopper days 
were a thing of the past were elements 
that brought a boom in 1878. To all 
parts of Southwestern Minnesota and 
many parts of Dakota Territory the 
settlers flocked that spring. Before the 
wagon roads became passable the settlers 
came by train, the great rush beginning 
early in February. 7 Five hotels in 
Marshall were unable to take care of the 
crowds of land hungry men, and still 
they poured in. 

About the middle of April the new- 
comers began to arrive in the well- 
remembered ''prairie schooners," or can- 
vas-covered wagons, and these continued 
to arrive in great and undiminished 
numbers until about the first of June. 
Twenty, forty, sixty, per day they came, 
in many cases accompanied by droves 
of cattle, horses and sheep, household 
goods and farming implements. 8 Not 
all of these stopped in Lyon county, but 
a great many did. 

8 "The county was organized about four years too 
soon and before it was able to support a county 
government. In an early time we were unfortunate in 
having many floating criminals brought in by the 
building of the railroad, and the effectual prosecution 
has put an end to crime but left us in debt. The 
railroad owns half the land of the county and has 
never paid a tax, the state owns about a tenth and 
pays no taxes, and the United States owns three- 
tenths, untaxable. There is little personal property 
to tax, and one-tenth of the land here can only pay 
current expenses." — Messenger, March 2.3, 1S77. 

7 The local paper on February 15 reported the 
arrival of about one hundred immigrants during the 
preceding week. One month later it declared the 
rush not only continued but increased. On March 22 

As a general thing the newcomers 
were a well-to-do class. The first ones 
secured homesteads, but late in April it 
was announced at the land office that 
there was not a piece of government 
land in Lyon county that had not been 
filed on; there were a few pieces that 
had been abandoned, but they were 
not very desirable. Thereafter the ar- 
rivals purchased railroad lands and im- 
proved farms that the grasshopper 
sufferers had placed on the market. 

A great amount of hind was broken 
out 9 and nc-\v buildings made their 
appearance in all parts of the county. 
To make these improvements the new 
residents swamped the local lumber 
dealers with orders. Day after day 
lumber-laden wagon trains could be 
seen wending their way across the 
prairies from the villages of Tracy, 
Marshall and Minneota to the new-found 
homes. The implement dealers also 
reaped a harvest supplying machinery 
to the new residents. 

It is a pity that we cannot record a 
continuation of prosperous times, for 
the people of Lyon county were certainly 
entitled to the smiles of fortune. Two 
weeks of excessive hot weather in the 
first half of July, followed by a week of 
excessive rains, brought a crop failure. 
Wheat, which, was still the big crop, 
was damaged most and because of its 
quality brought a low price;' 10 corn, oats 
and vegetables fared better. Close times 
financially again prevailed. 

The Lyon County Old Settlers Asso- 

it stated that two full passenger coaches of immigrants 
were brought to the county daily by the railroad. 

H "Look out almost any time and you will see streak- 
of white across our green prairies. They are strings 
of emigrant schooners come West to gain homes and an 
independent future for their families. Still there is 
room for more." — Messenger, May 3, 1S7S. 

B "You can travel north, south, east and west, ami 
everywhere you go breaking teams are hard at work 
turning over our ri( h soil. It is impossible to estimate 
the number of acres that ire being broken, but it will 
be immense." — Messenger, May 31, ISTs. 

10 "There is no longer much doubt that the wheat 
crop has been injured nearly or quite one-half. Ten 
to fifteen bushels per acre will be a good crop this 
year." — Messenger, August 2. 1878. 



ciation was organized September 30, 
1878, those instrumental in the organi- 
zation being J. W. Blake, C. H. Whitney, 
S. H. Mott, H. J. Tripp. Stanley Addi- 
son. W. M. Todd, S. Webster and C. L. 
Van Fleet, The first officers of the 
association were as follows: A. R. 
Cummins, president; C. L. Van Fleet, 
secretary; N. Cuyle, treasurer; Stanley 
Addison and C. H. Whitney, executive 
committee; J. W. Blake, orator; J. N. 
Johnson, historian: General Pierce, story 

Early in the season of 1879 prospects 

for a big crop were flattering. Over 
36,000 acres of land were sown, and fine 
weather in the spring months promised 
a bountiful harvest. But the crop was 
light. Wheat was blighted and the 
average yield was less than ten bushels 
per acre; corn, oats and barley did 
better. There were marketed in the 
county during the year 285,950 bushels 
of wheat. 

The acreage sown to the different 
grains in 1879 and the personal property 
assessments of each precinct were as 









895 T 
1013 * 
1158 • 
1216 ' 

950 I 

1812 r 

570! » 
200! t 
1873 ! 

05S ' 
1116 " 

571 ~ 
1221 ) 

































Lake Marshall 





Rock Lake 

Sodus . 




Island Lake, Shelburne 
and Coon Creek 








Lyon county's second railroad, the 
branch of the Chicago & Northwestern 
west from Tracy, was built in 1879. 
This resulted in the founding of Balaton 
—and later of Garvin — and the rapid 
settlement and development of southern 
Lyon county. 

The first rumor of the building of the 
new line came in January, when it was 
said the Northwestern would construct 
the road in an effort to "head off" the 
Southern Minnesota (Milwaukee), which 

was being extended through the south- 
western part of the state. At that time 
orders were issued for shipping to Tracy 
large quantities of railroad building 
material. Surveyors ran the line of the 
road in March and April. 

Contracts were let in May and early 
in June construction was begun. It was 
intended to have the road ready for 
operation by the first of August, but a 
.strike and the desertion of many of the 
workmen to the harvest fields delayed 



matters and regular trains were not put 
in operation until September 29. 

The construction of the railroad made 
times lively and there was a large 
increase in population. During the year 
1879 emigrant cars to the number of 
420 were unloaded at the various rail- 
way stations of Lyon county. Among 
the arrivals of the year were a number 
of Irish Catholics — the first of Bishop 
Ireland's colony — who settled in the 
vicinity of Minneota. 11 

Another life was sacrificed to the 
winter storms in Lyon county on 
December 16, 1879. The victim was 
Trule Knutson, who lived three and 
one-half miles southwest of Tracy. He 
had been assisting Ole Johnson move a 
house from the shore of Lake Sigel to 
Tracy and at sundown he started for his 
home, walking and driving a yoke of 
oxen. He was caught in the storm, 
lost his way. and perished. His body 
was not found for several days. 

Lyon county harvested an excellent 
crop in 1880, as did all portions of 
Southwestern Minnesota, and more No. 1 
wheat was raised than had ever been 
the case before. The county again 
became known as the "Land of Promise." 
The farmers were not to realize to the 
fullest extent the fruits of the bountiful 
harvest. Frequent and heavy rains in 
August made it impossible to finish 
stacking until about the middle of 
September, and threshing had hardly 
commenced when the memorable winter 
set in, preventing further operations. 
The next spring weather conditions were 

HAn association of Irish Catholics was formed in 
Chicago in the spring of 1879, with a capital stock of 
$100,000. The object was the colonization on western 
farms of people of that nationality who resided in 
eastern cities. Bishop Ireland had charge of the 
Minnesota and Dakota divisions and he at once made 
arrangements to plant one of his colonies in Lyon 
county. . 

The railroad lands of Eidsvold, Nordland, Grand- 
view, Westerheim and Wallers townships were reserved 
and later purchased. In the two first named the 
Irish colonists were located, and a little later Catholics 
of other nationalities were brought to the other town- 

no better, and a large part of the 1880 
crop was not threshed until the next 
summer. It was impossible to market 
the grain that had been threshed because 
of impassable roads and the railroad 

The federal census of 1880 gave Lyon 
county a population of 6257, an increase 
in five years of 3714 people, or 246 per 
cent. Of the fourteen counties com- 
prising Southwestern Minnesota, only 
Brown had a greater population. 12 The 
population was divided as to sex, 
nationality and color as follows: Males, 
3381; females, 2876; native born, 4558; 
foreign born, 1699; white, 6255; colored, 
2. By precincts the population was as 

Amiret 282 

Clifton 204 

Coon Creek 106 

Custer 293 

Eidsvold 378 

Fairview 287 

Grandview 267 

Island Lake 177 

Lake Marshall 265 

Lucas 226 

Lynd 308 

Lyons 226 

Monroe 281 

Nordland 343 

Rock Lake 248 

Hhelburne 140 

Sodus 213 

Stanley 188 

Vallers 146 

Westerheim 283 

Marshall 961 

Minneota 1 13 

Tracy 322 

Total 6257 

Before 1880 homesteaders of Lyon 
county were obliged to make the trip 
to. Redwood Falls (to New Ulm prior 
to 1872) to make proof on their claims. 

The first colonists located near Minneota and were 
under the spiritual charge of Father M. J. Hanley. 
The new arrivals were, as a rule, unskilled m farming 
pursuits and were not successful, and many engaged 
in other enterprises. In the early eighties there were 
great additions to Bishop Inland- colony and it 
became an important factor in the history and develop- 
ment of Lyon county. 

i'-The population of nearby counties in 1880 was as 
follows: Lac qui Parle, 4907; Yellow Medicine, 5884; 
Redwood, 5375; Murray. 3604; Pipestone, 2092; 
Lincoln, 2954. 



With the rapid settlement of the country 
to the west, most of the business of the 
Redwood Falls land office came from 
Lyon and Lincoln counties, and an 
office was opened at Tracy on May 22, 
1880. It was located there nine years. 
The offices at Benson, Tracy, Redwood 
halls and Worthington 13 were consoli- 
dated February 28, 1889, and moved to 
Marshall, where the land office was 
located until July 1, 1903. Then there 
was a merger of the Marshall and St. 
Cloud offices and Lyon county lost the 
office. 14 

One of the dates from which time is 
reckoned in Lyon county is the winter 
of 1880-81 — the season of Siberian 
frigidity. There have been worse storms 
than any that occurred that winter; for 
short periods of time there has been 
colder weather. But there never was a 
winter to compare with this one in 
duration, continued severity, depth of 
snow, and damage to property. 

Blizzard followed blizzard. The rail- 
roads were blockaded for weeks and 
months at a time. Fuel and food were 
nearly exhausted. People burned green 
wood, fences, lumber, hay and grain 
and went without lights. In some places 
there was suffering for lack of food. 
Roads remained unbroken all winter and 
the farmers obtained their supplies from 
the villages- by means of handsleds. 
Two lives were lost in Lyon county in 
the storms of that winter and several 
others were so badly frozen that ampu- 
tation of limbs was necessary; many 

13 The Redwood Falls office was established in July, 
1872, with Colonel B. F. Smith as register and Major 
W. H. Kelley as receiver. The Worthington office was 
the successor of the Brownsville office, established on 
the Mississippi river in 1854. It was moved to Chat- 
field in 1856, to Winnebago City in 1861, to Jackson 
in 1869, and to Worthington in 1874. Upon the 
removal from Worthington in 1889 C. P. Shepard was 
register and August Peterson receiver. 

14 The first officers at Tracy were George W. Warner, 
register, and John Lind, receiver, the latter being 
succeeded after several years' service by P. K. Weiser. 
Messrs. Warner and Weiser were in charge when the 
office was moved to Marshall in 1889. »L. M. Lange 
succeeded George W. Warner as register November 1, 
18S9, and C. P. Shepard succeeded the latter February 

others became lost in the storms and 
had thrilling experiences. The long, 
cold, boisterous, blizzardous, wearisome 
winter will never be forgotten by those 
who were then living in Lyon county. 

Before the farmers had fairly started 
their fall work, while the grass was yet 
green and the insect world active, winter 
set in. Toward evening on Friday, 
October 15, the wind, which had been 
blowing from the north all day, brought 
with it an occasional flake of snow. 
'When darkness came the wind and 
snow increased, and before midnight the 
elements were thoroughly aroused. 
Throughout the night the storm steadily 
increased, and when morning came its 
fury was such as had seldom been wit- 
nessed in the middle "of the severest 
winters. Saturday forenoon the wind 
continued to blow with terrific violence, 
driving before it the rapidly falling snow 
with such force that few dared to 
venture out of doors. All day the 
blizzard raged, not calming down until 
nightfall. Saturday night the raging 
elements ceased their tempestuous frolic. 
Sunday the weather was calm, but cold 
and wintry. The fall of snow was great 
and the violent winds piled it in great 
mounds. 15 

The streets of Marshall, Tracy and 
Minneota were packed full, the banks 
in many places on the north side rising 
'almost level with the second story 
windows and completely covering from, 
sight some of the smaller buildings. 
The business houses in all three villages 

16, 1894, and served until the removal. P. K. Weiser 
was succeeded as receiver August 1, 1SS9, by E. P. 
Freeman, he by M. E. Mathews in January, 1894, and 
George M. Laing took the office February 7, 1898. 
Mr. Laing died June 17, 1898, and C. F. Case served 
from July, 1898, until the removal from Marshall, tj.*-i 

16 "Although this country has gained something of 
celebrity in the blizzard business, the oldest inhabitants 
were as much astonished as anybody at such a storm 
in October as we caught last Saturday and Sunday. 
This storm was unprecedented. Nobody knows how 
much snow fell, as it was gathered in drifts from 
nothing to thirty feet deep. It would pass for a 
first-class blizzard, and the loss to the county by it 
will foot up several thousand dollars." — Messenger, 
October 22, 1880. 



were for the most part closed and the 
towns resembled Icelandic hamlets. The 
snow which fell in this initial storm did 
not entirely disappear until the following 

So badly drifted was the snow that 
the railroad was completely blockaded, 
and from Friday, the fifteenth, until 
Saturday, the twenty-second, no trains 
were able to get through, although Large 
forces of men were at work clearing the 
track. Even this short blockade re- 
sulted in a shortage of fuel. In the 
country damage because of the storm 
was great. It was the first and only 
blizzard experienced in the county in 
October, and, of course, the farmers 
were unprepared for it. The loss of 
stock throughout the county was con- 
siderable, many hogs and sheep, par- 
ticularly, having been frozen to death. 

The only death resulting in this 
October blizzard in the vicinity was that 
of Samuel Kile. He was with a thresh- 
ing crew at Tom Brown's place north of 
Minneota. On the morning of the six- 
teenth he and others started for the 
barn to do the chores, and on the way 
to the barn Kile's hat was blown off. 
Despite the protests, of the other men, 
he started in pursuit of the hat in the 
raging blizzard. That was the last seen 
of the man alive. 

When it became apparent that Kile 
was lost, the men shouted and rang bells 
to guide him to safety and a diligent 
search was made. During the next 
three weeks searching parties scoured 
the entire neighborhood, dragged the 
Yellow Medicine river, and made every 
effort to locate the body. In the first 
part of November the body was found 
embedded in a snow drift, sixty rods 
northwest of the barn; his hat was found 

^Samuel Kite was a son of George and Barbara Kile, 
who lived over the line in Lincoln eounty. During the 
fall of 1880 he was employed with a threshing crew 
operating north of Minneota and was so employed 
when he met his death. Samuel Kile was a strong 

one and one-half miles southeast from 
t he place. 18 

There were several cases of severe 
freezing and many adventures in this 
remarkable storm. A Swede living near 
( 'eresco was lost while going from his 
house to the barn and for three days 
wandered over the prairie. He was 
found thirty miles from home with both 
feet frozen. A son of Levi Craig, who 
lived near Amiret, had an exciting 
experience in the storm. He had gone 
to a neighbor's to get some matches and 
on the way home became lost. He 
came upon a wheat stack and, burrowing 
his way into' it, remained there until 
Sunday morning. He reached home 
severely frozen. 

For a short time after the initial storm 
the weather was calm but wintry. 
About the middle of November storms 
began to rage again, and wintry blasts 
continued from that time until late in 
April. For weeks at a time the people 
of Lyon county were absolutely isolated. 
They spent long weeks of weary waiting 
in the midst of the dreariest, gloomiest 
and most discouraging surroundings- 
waiting for the raising of the blockade 
and the arrival of the necessaries of life, 
of which they were deprived. Because 
of the fuel and provision famine which 
ensued there was considerable suffering 
in parts of the county. Severe cold 
weather began November 16 and during 
the remainder of the month the ther- 
mometer frequently registered sub-zero. 

Following is the story of the winter. 
told in brief chronological order, from 
the beginning of December until the 
breakup in the spring: 


2-3. Zero weather. 

voung man and weighed about ISO pounds. At the 
time of his death he was eighteen years, eight months 

and eighteen days of age. lie was a brother ol Arthui 
J. Kile, who for many years has I ..■en a resident ol 



4. Snow falling and drifting. Last train and 
mail for five days. 

5-9. Below zero weather. Railroad block- 
ade raised on the ninth. 

10-15. Milder weather. 

23. Last freight train of the winter arrived. 

25. Ten days' railroad blockade begun. 17 
25-31. Extremely cold weather — thirty and 

thirty-five below zero — and blizzardy. 

26. Ole Norton lost in blizzard and so 
severely frozen that he died later. 18 


4. First train in ten days arrived. Big mail 

5. Another train ran. 

6. Railroad blockaded 

8. Snow-fighting train got over the line. 

10. Road cleared and first mail received 
since January 5. No freight trains. 

12. Twenty-four hour blizzard raged. One 
week railway blockade begun. 

19. Last train from the east for three months 

20. Train ran from Marshall to Watertown 
in the morning and returned to Tracy in the 
evening — the last train over the line until April 

17 "We haven't seen business more nearly at a 
standstill for sonie years than it was here several days 
this week. We suppose it is necessary to state that 
we have had no eastern trains this week. Just when 
we will have one again is a matter still under dis- 
cussion."— Messenger, December 31, 1880. 

ls 01e Norton was thirty-two years old and lived 
alone in Vallers township. On theeveningof December 
26 he started out to go to the home of his brother, 
Michael Norton, a little over one-half mile away. The 
thermometer registered ten degrees below zero and the 
wind was blowing hard. 

.Mr. Norton passed a hay stack about thirty rods 
from his house and thereafter found it difficult to 
determine the directions. He continued on his way 
but soon became completely lost. After wandering 
about on the prairie two hours he again came to the 
same stack, but believed it to be another about two 
miles distant. He could see a few rods away the dim 
outline of what he took to be a house, and made an 
effort to reach it, but he could make little headway 
against the wind and returned to the stack. By this 
time his feet were freezing and to keep up the circula- 
tion of blood he began running around the hay stack. 

Failing to get relief, Mr. Norton dug a hole in the 
stack, with the intention of seeking shelter therein. 
Progress was painfully slow, as his hands were be- 
numbed and he had lost one of his gloves. He suc- 
ceeded in making an opening only large enough for 
his legs, which he hoped to keep from freezing. The 
unfortunate man remained at the hay stack until 
daylight and then with great difficulty made his way 
to his house, which he found was only a few rods away. 
With greater difficulty he succeeded in building a fire. 

Mr. Norton's cap was frozen to his head, but after 
awhile it thawed out enough to be removed. He got 
one of his boots off and found his feet were frozen 
solid. Becoming alarmed at his condition and not 
daring to remain alone while thawing out, Norton 
hobbled to his brother's house with one foot bare. 
There he was taken care of and hopes were entertained 
that his feet might be saved. Both feet were ampu- 
tated below the knee on January 9 by Doctors Andrews 
and Farnsworth and Mr. Norton died on the twelfth. 
His experience in the storm was given by him sub- 
stantially as recorded above. 

""During the past week Marshall has given a 
limited supply of fuel to the towns above and entirely 
exhausted her own supply. The former blockade was 
not broken long enough to get any freight through 
from the east and none of any consequence has arrived 
since the Christmas blockade. The last cordwood has 
been sold and the last of small coal has been sold. 
There is a plentiful supply of large hard coal in town, 

19. Storm from the north. Fuel supply run- ^ 
ning short. 19 

21. Blizzard raging. 

22. Still storming. 

24. Railroad entirely covered with drifts, in 
places thirty or forty feet deep. Railroad has 
sublet the contract for carrying the mail between 
Sleepy Eye and "Watertown, and mail from the 
west received. 

26. Blizzard from the north. 

27. Fuel famine at Minneota reported. 20 

30. Heavy snow storm at night . 

31. Blizzard. 


1. Fuel nearly gone at Marshall. 21 

2. A little coal turned over to the dealer by 
Mr. Burchard, of Marshall, and sold in small 

3. Last overland mail for many days re- 
ceived. At evening began one of the worst 
storms of the winter, coming from the south- 
east. Lasted until the seventh. 22 

7. Mild weather and thaw after the storm 
subsided. Froze at night and crusted all the 

8. Fuel famine serious. Breaking roads to 
( lamden woods. 23 

which for use in cooking or parlor stoves requires to 
be broken up."— News, January 21, 1881. 

\. M. Chadburn, of Minneota, was in town 
yesterday and says the people of that town are suffering 
greatly from cold, that there has been neither wood 
nor coal there for a long time. He states that women 
and children ami many of tin' men are compelled to 
lie in bed during the night and day in order to keep 
from freezing. Mr. Chadburn came down t<> see if he 
could secure any fuel, and finding a small quantity of 
coal and Mime green wood, he says t lie citizens will at 
once come here for a supply."— News, January 28, 

-'The only dry wood mi sale at thai time were a 
few cords that were hauled in from the Youmania 
farm and sold at $10 or 811 per cord, and the supply 
was soon exhausted. What little hard coal there was 
sold for $13.75 per ton. 

--"From Thursday nighl of last week [February 3] 
until Monday morning of this [February 7], this 
locality was visited by the heaviest and worst -now 
storm the oldest inhabitant, much as he hates to admit 
it, ever saw here. . . . On this occasion we had both 
snow and wind in uncommon quantities. Instead of 
coming from the northwest, as most of our winter 
storms do, this one came from the southeast. While 
not very cold for a winter storm, the severe wind and 
drifting snow made it impossible most of the time to 
do anything out of doors, and nearly all business was 
at a standstill. When it cleared off the roads were in 
the worst possible condition. Drifts on top of drifts 
so perfectly impeded travel that during Monday very 
few teams ventured out, although the snow was soft 
and melting." — Messenger, February 11. 1881. 

23 "Tuesday morning [February S] the citizens were 
notified to assemble at the land office to take action 
toward breaking out the roads leading to town from 
the settlers' farms. It was resolved that the first duty 
was to open the road to the Camden timber land-, 
ten miles distant, as many families were destitute of 
fuel. Rev. Liscomb stated that the wood-chopping 
party, which started in the morning, had progressed 
only two miles and returned to dinner, but hail gone 
out again. The resolution was followed by immediate 
action, and half an hour later three or four teams and 
thirty or forty men were on the road to Camden. 
They reached the morning party about five miles out, 
where they had been met by a Camden party led by 
V. M. Smith, with a -mall load of flour from the mill. 
The entire party returned to town, announcing an 
open road to the timber land and the probability of a 
supply of wood the following day. 

"An adjourned meeting was held at the land office in 



9. Roads broken from Marshall to Ceresco, 
Amirel and other points. Farmers reported 
burning bay. 

1 1 . Severe blizzard from I be north. 

12. Blizzard all day. Measures for relief of 
destitute taken in Marshall. ' ' 

I l. Suffering reported at Minneota for lack 
of fuel and provisions. Burning railroad fence 

L9. 1. aJies of Marshall raised money for 
supplies for the destitute. 

22. Hard snow storm, the only one of any 
consequence for nearly a week. People of 
Grandview burning snow fences. 88 

24. Snow and south wind. 

•_'.">. Blizzard from the south. 

26. Blizzard from the northwesl 

28 Mail received. Oats used for fuel. 27 


1-:;. Mild weather. 

I. Fierce blizzard all day. 

the evening. There was considerable discussion as Bo 
the opening of roads to other towns ami nut upon the 

prairies to the settlers. It was saiil that Settlers were 

..mi of fuel ami provisions and it was quite impossible 
For them to break the roads ami get to town. Rev. 
Liscomb favored opening roads to the hay ami straw 
stacks near town, as horses ami cattle wen- suffering 
for food. It was finally agreed that gangs of men 

and teams should operate Wednesday on tin' roads to 
the northeast, north and BOUthwest, and the following 

morning work was begun. It was decided that on 
Thursday a combined effort should lie made to 

tin- road' south to Tracy, it being reported that the 

towns above and below were opening connecting mads. 

in order to get the mail ami freight on tin- railroad." 
— News, February 11, 1881. 

"February 12 a meeting was held in Marshall to 
devise means of relief for those who were suffering for 
lack of fuel or provisions because of the blockades and 
severe weather. It was the general opinion that relief 
should come from the county commissioners and a 
committee was appointed to look into the matter of 
destitute persons. 

""People at Minneota have received permission 
from the railroad company to dig up and burn all the 
fence posts, and Station Agent Davidson is having a 
perplexing time in their distribution. Only Coats' 
store has been open for three weeks past, because there 
has been no fuel to warm the stores. As yet only a 
few cases of actual suffering for want of provisions 
have come to light and these have been attended to. 
About a dozen teams went to the Camden timber 
Monday morning [February 14] and that night suc- 
ceeded in bringing to town about eight cords of wood. 
It was tedious work and few teams could haul more 
than half a cord. Some who started with more had 
to leave part of it on the road. On Tuesday some 
fifteen teams went to the woods and brought in about 
ten cords. The wood sells here at $7.00 per cord."- 
News, February 18, 1881. 

26 "While we in Grandview have been poorly off for 
fuel, our supply long since being exhausted, we have 
kept from suffering by the aid of the snow fences along 
the line of the railroad, and these are well-nigh ex- 
hausted; but we live as all our neighbors do, in hope. 
We ha've heard of no cases of suffering for want of 
worldly goods and but little sickness." — Grandview 
Correspondent, February 25, 1881. 

27 "Mr. Humphrey and others east of here are 
burning oats for fuel and say that a bushel a day 
supplies a stove. This makes a cheap fuel." — Mes- 
senger, March 4, 1881. 

2S "Marshall came very near getting out of kerosene 
oil some three weeks ago and our enterprising grocer 
of the Twin Cash Stores, Mr. Waldron, sent W. A. 
Crooker and his mules down to Mankato after a load. 
This was about the only team that would try to make 
the trip, and bets were made that he wouldn't be back 
here to celebrate the Fourth of July. But it is never 


Rain, hail and snow storm began at 

."). Beginning si\ days of Hue weather, 
ply of kerosene received at, Marshall. 28 

lb Roads open Wet ween most of the settle- 
ments. Deep snows reported in Custer town- 
ship. 211 








Heavy snowfall. 

Blizzard all day. 
( lontinued blizzard. 
Fair weather. 
Blizzard began at noon. 
Snow drifting. 

.Second load of express matter since 
December arrived overland from Sleepy 

Marshall people attack snow fences. 80 

:!(). Attempt made to open the railroad. 31 
31. Severest blizzard of the winter raged. 32 


1-7. Spring weather. Shovelers working on 
snow drifts between Tracy and Marshall. 33 
6. Heavy mail overland from the east. 

safe to bel on what Crooker and his mules can accom- 
plish, and last Saturday [March 5] they hove in sight 
over the hill. The band instantly turned out with a 
long rope, to which were attached nearly a hundred 
boys, to help haul him into harbor. Having hitched 
on and got the Twin Cash proprietor on board, they 
refused to let go and made a grand street parade, 
thus giving glory to the event and a good advertise- 
ment to tin. 'twin Cash Stores. We have plenty of oil 
here now and can give our neighbors some if needed. 
Crooker made the trip in about twelve days, but had 
to stop two days at Lake Marshall on account of a 
blizzard. Mr. Waldron very generously paid him $14 
more than agreed on to make up for the unexpected 
bad weather and other delays." — Messenger, March 11, 

'-" J "Most of the farmers are busy digging snow. 
Some have tunnels ten feet deep and forty feet long 
leading to their stables. We have seen a number of 
our neighbors going to mill with handsleds. Coal oil 
is very precious and the burning of tallow candles is 
considered a luxury. Mail is out of the question, 
which makes it very disagreeable for those who have 
distant sweethearts'. Most of us are burning green 
wood, which is very hard on our patience." — Custer 
Correspondent, March 11, 1881. 

30 "Parties out of dry wood have lately been tearing 
down all the snow fences up this way for fuel. Green 
wood is plenty here yet, but high because of bad 
roads." — Messenger, March 25, 1881. 

""Superintendent Sanborn arrived here Wednesday 
[March 30] and proceeded to tear up things to heat the 
engine that has been stored here for several weeks and 
began work on the road between here and Tracy. As 
the company is now at work at both ends of the 
blockade and in the middle, we can hope to connect 
with the outside world in a few weeks. Later— This 
item was a little too previous. A slight change in the 
weather has delayed things some." — Messenger, April 
1, 1881. 

""Wednesday evening [March 30] damp snow began 
to fall in this vicinity, with a constantly increasing 
wind, and by midnight the storm had assumed the 
title of blizzard. Thursday morning dawned upon the 
blizzard in full bloom and the old prophecy of March 
coming in like a lamb, sure to go out like a lion, was 
fully verified, for certainly no storm of the winter was 
more severe than that of the last day of March. "- 
News, April 1, 1S81. 

""Since the last blizzard, March 31, the weather has 
been putting on the air of spring, and the work of 
opening the railroad has rapidly progressed. \ olun- 
teer companies turned out here for two or three days, 
and the railroad company has since been hiring all the 
men they could get to shovel snow. The coal shed 
and other things that could be spared were chopped 
up for fuel to feed the engine that has been wintered 
here, and as long as that holds out fair progress will be 
made. The cuts are everywhere filled full, and the 



7. Mail for the east sent out by way of 
Granite Falls. Marshall people burning lum- 
ber. 34 Began snowing at two o'clock. 

8. Northeast blizzard and heavy snowfall. 

11. Snowing. 

12. North wind drifts snow. 

13. Zero weather. 

16. First night since early in November that 
ice did not form. 

18. Railroad opened to Tracy and first train 
in three months — lacking two days — arrived. 

19. Railroad opened to Marshall and freight 
train arrived at eleven o'clock in morning, 
bringing car load of wood. Two passenger 
trains also arrived, bringing first mail in two . 
weeks. These were the first trains from the 
east to reach Marshall in exactly three months. 

20. Railroad opened to Minneota, but no 
trains run. 35 

21. Floods washed out track and bridges 
and traffic on the railroad (after twenty-four 
hours' operation) was suspended until Maj r 3. 

The long winter of 1880-81 was over, 
but its results were not over, and after 
trains had been operated in Lyon county 
one day, the blockade was again in 
force by reason of floods and washouts, 
and no trains were run in the county 
until -May 3. 

The torrents of water from'the melting 
snow overfilled the banks of the rivers, 
inundated the low lands, and carried 
away bridges and railroad tracks. Six 
bridges on the line of the Northwestern 

snow is almost as hard as ice in some places. As there 
is no snow plow here every foot of the cuts has to be 
shoveled out by hand. The work will therefore be 
slow and Tracy will not be reached before next week 
probably. At the Sleepy Eye end the drifts are much 
worse than here, and although as large a force as they 
can get is employed, their progress west is not rapid. 
If the road is open by the last of next week our largest 
expectations will be realized." — Messenger, April 8, 

'••"Considerable lumber is being burned here now, 
other fuel being scarce and high. Mr. Sullivan has 
been selling lumber for fuel at first cpst." — News, 
April 8, 1881. 

36 A Minneota citizen, writing to the Marshall News 
of April 25, 1881, told of conditions at that point 
during the winter, as follows: 

". . . That although we have passed so far a very 
unpleasant winter and have suffered great incon- 
veniences, there has been no loss of life or property in 
consequence of the severity of the weather. Our 
village has not known what it is to enjoy the luxuries 
of a good wood pile or well-fillecf coal bins during 
nearly the entire winter. 

"Farmers about Minneota have fared worse than the 
people in town, in not having wood or coal, but better 
in having plenty of hay and straw to feed and burn. 
... A great many farmers have stables so located as 
to be completely covered over with snow. A large 
number have an opening only at the top and the 
farmers go down into their stables by means of a 
ladder, tin- animals being completi ly confined in a snow- 
prison. We have heard of no instances of farmers 
having been out of fuel. ... At one time there were 
three families that had nearly exhausted their supply 
of provisions 'luring a stormy spell, but they were 

between Sleepy Eye and Watertown 

were carried away and there were a 
dozen place- where the track was 
washed out. 

The melting snow,- began to cover the 
lower surface.; on April 20, but the over- 
flow of the stream- did not take place 
until the twenty-second. Floodtide was 
reached Sunday evening, April 24. and 
on the following day the waters began 
to recede. On the twenty-eighth the 
streams were so reduced as to be nearly 
within their banks again. 

The losses in different parts of the 
county were considerable. The dam 
of the Redwood at the Camden mill was 
swept away, as was also one in Lyons 
township. The" streets of Marshall were 
traveled in boats, and trips by boat 
were made from that village to points 
on the Minnesota river, part of the way 
over the inundated prairies. The bridges 
over the Redwood at Marshall were 
wrecked and several thousand feet of 
lumber ami several small buildings were 
carried away. The loss in the village 
was estimated at $5000. 36 

soon supplied again and have suffered no incon- 
veniences since. 

"Then- has been no attempt to keep open the roads 
for teams I xcept along the railroad track. Snowshoes 
and handsleds on wide runners have taken the place 
of horse- and sleighs in this vicinity. On Tuesday of 
this week four men on snowshoes hauled a corpse on 
a handsled a distance of about ten miles to the burying 
ground of this place tor interment. The corpse had 
been kept two or three weeks buried in a, snowbank 
awaiting an opportunity for burial. Pleasant daj 9 
during the pasl two months have been signaled in town 
by hundreds of feet of snowshoes. All seem to have 
fallen in with the Scandinavian idea of going to town 
on snowshoes and taking their goods home on hand- 
sleds or packing them on their backs. 

"The stores of our town have suffered but little 
inconvenience as yet for supplies of provisions; at 
least they continue to serve their customers' as usual." 

36 The Marshall News of April 29, 1881, told of the 
flood in the village as follows: 

"The Second Street bridge, leading to the railroad, 
was not high or wide enough to carry off the surplus 
water. Almost a- soon as the area between the street 
and Nichols' stable was filled, the water burst over the 
street, from between the bridge and the corner of the 
Merchants Exchange, cutting off communication for 
teams and pedestrians. At the same time .Main Street 
at the lower bridge had been overflowed, cutting off 
communication in that direction. Early in the day 
water backed up between the railroad bridge and Main 
Street, soon cutting across the street and making a 
broad, deep and rapid current past the Bagley House, 
Watson's residence, and across to the bend of the 
river. This outburst relieved the main channel and 
saved the entire main street and its business blocks 
from inundation. 


Log Cabin Erected on Section 4, Custer Township, in 1870, by Zibe Furgeson, 
and Purchased the Following Year by Benjamin B. Thomas. The 
Engraving is Made From a Painting. 



The work of repairing the railroad 
and raising the blockade was put under 
way as soon as the waters permitted. 
The reconstruction crew, working from 
the east, reached Tracy May 1. ami on 
the afternoon of tin- third Marshall was 
reached. The same evening a well- 
Loaded freight train broughl supplies to 
the several villages along the line and 
the next day passenger, mail and freight 
service were established. Train service 
on the branch west from Tracy was 
begun about the same time. 

The long blockade was broken and 

the people of Lyon county were again 

able to purchase the necessities of life. 

The Marshall News of April li said: 

Every -tore in town hung out its banner 
labeled "sugar** this week. The town lias been 
without it for a week or two, along with many 
other things. Towns west of us have been 
much more destitute, very nearly approaching 
suffering in some cases. The docile coffeemill 
has furnished all the hour and meal of many 

A gentleman living at Minneota wrote 

at the time of the arrival of the first 

train : 

We have just received our first freight since 
January. The arrival of the train with the 
bridge carpenters was the signal for the citizens 
to turn out and run to the depot. The railroad 
company sent in a freight train right away after 
the work train. A joyful smile overspread the 
countenances of our citizens when they heard 
that Coats had some sugar on the train, and 
what a rush there was by the sweet -toothed 
members of our community! 

Most of the 1880 grain crop was 

"The street afforded a rapid watercourse from the 
News office, past the Bagley House, to the end of the 
street, and from the Merchants .Exchange the water 
reached to the hill beyond the bridge. The passage 
of the water past the Bagley House and Watson's 
place to the river left the business part of town entirely 
surrounded by water and accessible only by boats. 
On Saturday [April 23] the high walks west of the News 
office and barber shop were carried away, leaving the 
Bagley House, Gary's building, Wetherbee's store, the 
marble works and Mrs. Farnsworth's building each 
surrounded by rapid currents of water, through which 
it was difficult to navigate boats. Temporary bridges 
were constructed on Monday to reach these points. 
All of the cellars on the south side of the street were 
flooded and stables and cattle buildings generally were 

"Previous to the thaw between forty and fifty boats 
had been constructed, and on Friday every boat and 
every apology for one were brought into requisition 
to ferry people to and from their homes and business 
places. A regular ferry was established between the 
.Merchants Exchange and the bridge as long as the 

threshed and marketed in the spring 
and summer following, and some of it 
was of good quality. Owing to the 
Hoods, the late season ami blight, the 
\\ heal crop of lssi was a failure. The 
local papers reported it as a half crop 
and estimated the yield at ten bushels 
per acre. Some of the other crops were 
fail- and there was a good market for 
all produce. 

In April, 1881, came the first Belgians 

and Hollanders to the Catholic colony 
of northwestern Lyon county. With 
these first arrivals, about seventy-five 
in number, came Father Cornelius, who 
did much toward the rapid settlement 
of the county. The new arrivals, who 
settled for the most part in Grandview 
township and the village of Client, were 
attracted by the advertising matter of 
the Catholic society and the report of 
one of their number who visited the 
county in 1SS0. 37 

The matter of the building of the 
Minneapolis & St. Louis railroad through 
Lyon county was a live issue in 1881. 
Surveys were made in the summer and 
bonds to aid in its construction were 
voted in several precincts of Redwood 
county. Late in September the railroad 
authorities submitted a proposition, by 
the terms of which they agreed to build 
through Lyon county provided the right 
of way was given and about $30,000 in 

bridge remained, and afterwards from the Exchange 
to the opposite shore. The water at this point formed 
a double current in the regular channel of the river 
and past the corner of the hotel, running at a speed of 
about a dozen miles an hour and making it difficult 
and dangerous to cross, and not a few narrow escapes 
from disaster occurred." 

37 In 1880 Angelus Van Hee and his son, Aime Van 
Hee, came from Belgium to locate a home for a colony 
in the New World. They came upon the request of 
Bishop Ireland and were accompanied by Peter Van 
Hee, of Liverpool, England. Angelus Van Hee and 
his son visited many parts of the country and found 
no place they liked better than Lyon county. They 
bought land on section 17, Grandview township, made 
some improvements thereon, and than returned to 
Belgium and reported favorably on the country. 

As a result of this visit, the colony came in 1881, 
and there were many additions during several suc- 
ceeding years. Among those who purchased farms in 
1881 were David Van Hee, Mrs. Modest Van Bee, 

Messrs. De Hutter, Vandewoestyne, Decock, Vei 

and Foulon. 



bonds were voted to aid in the con- 

The people of Lyon county were 
eager to secure the road and at once 
made arrangements to vote the bonds. 
It was arranged that township bonds 

should be issued and not all the town- 
ships were asked to contribute. Fol- 
lowing is the list of townships that 
voted on the bond issue, the date of the 
election, the amount of bonds asked, 
and the result : 


Lake Marshall 


Fairview , 


Island Lake . . 
Grand view 


Nordland 38 . . . 



Oct. 18 
Oct. 21 
Oct. 25 
Oct, 29 
Nov. 8 
Nov. 12 
Dec. 31 
Dec. 31 
Mch. 21 













Although enough bonds were voted, posed road had passed into other hands 

the road was not built, and in May, and that the line would not be con- 

1882, it was announced that the pro- structed through Lyon county. 

3S Voted against the bonds. 


THE AGE OF IMi< >SPEK ITY— 1882-1912. 

FACTS supplying the context of 
preceding chapters lead to the 
conclusion that the people of 
Lyon county had passed through many 
years of hardships and bitter dis- 
appointments before a permanent con- 
dition of prosperity was readied. This 
long period of travail was punctuated 
by an occasional year that promised 
better times. In the earliest days the 
settlers contended with obstacles in- 
cident to the settlement of any new- 
country, being far from railroads, mar- 
kets, schools, churches, and the many 
institutions that in our present day 
civilization are considered necessary to 
the enjoyment of life. 

The community had hardly emerged 
from its frontier state when the grass- 
hopper scourge came with its terrifying 
inflictions, and the county received a 
setback which took years to overcome. 
Following the departure of the plague 
came several years devoted to the pay- 
ment of debts contracted during the 
dark days and making a new start. 
During this reconstruction period were 
several years of partial crop failures 
because of weather conditions, and the 
age of prosperity did not begin until the 
year 1882. 

An excellent crop of small grain was 
produced in 1882, the first crop in 

several years that was secured and 
marketed without some discouraging 
feature. The result was a rise in the 
value of Lyon county farming lands and 
an influx of new settlers, who came to 
share in the prosperous times. During 
the fall months every train from the 
east brought landseekers, most of whom 
invested in railroad lands and remained 
as permanent settlers. "With no effort 
to force a boom," said the Marshall News 
in August, "one has fairly started. 
The railroad land office is daily dis- 
posing of land in the county and much 
deeded property is changing hands." 

The following winter was another 
severe one. For thirty-four days prior 
to March 4 the railroad was blockaded 
so completely that not a train ran in the 
county. Another of the death-dealing 
winter storms occurred February 15 
and 16, 1883, in which two more lives 
were added to the list of those sacrificed 
to the Storm King. 

During the afternoon of the fifteenth 
the weather was calm and foggy. At a 
quarter after nine in the evening was 
heard the roaring, rumbling sound that 
gives warning of the approach of all 
storms entitled to the name blizzard. 
At half past nine it struck, moving with 
a velocity of thirty-five miles an hour. 
The blizzard raged until half past seven 

\j ^ f> c b ■ - 



the next evening, the thermometer 
during this time registering six to eight 
degrees below zero. 

Luther C. Hildreth, thirty-five years 
of age, an early settler of Lyon county, 
lost his life in the terrible storm. He 
had been chopping wood at D. S. Burt 's 
place, on the northwest quarter of 
section 24, Coon Creek township, a mile 
and a half from his own home, which 
was on the southeast quarter of section 
22, of the same precinct. At eleven 
o'clock on the night of the storm Mr. 
Hildreth started for home and within a 
short time was lost. As subsequently 
learned by tracing his tracks, he passed 
quite near his own house and continued 
west to Lone Tree lake. Then he turned 
east, came to the Redwood river, and 
followed up its channel two miles. 
While in the river bed Mr. Hildreth 
endeavored to dig a hole in the snow, 
but failed and lost his mittens there. 

Still clinging to the ax he carried, Mr. 
Hildreth left the river and proceeded in 
a meandering course to within a short 
distance of Balaton. The last half mile 
was made on his hands and knees part 
of the way, the tracks showing that he 
staggered when walking. The body was 
found on the eighteenth. He was lying 
on his back with his legs doubled under. 

The other death was that of Annie 
Cain, nineteen years of age, who lived 
with her parents near Amiret. On the 
day the storm began she was visiting at 
the home of F. A. Woodruff and early in 
the evening started home. She became 
lost in the fog before the blizzard started 
and when the storm came up she 
battled with it for some time, but 

'The French colony came as a result of the reports 
of the county made by Messrs. Letourneau and Regnier, 
who came in the summer of 1882. After visiting 
many parts of Southwestern Minnesota, they decided 
to locate in the Ghent neighborhood. Their repre- 
sentations were responsible for the arrivals of 1883. 
Among the first of the French settlers were Messrs. 
Paradis and sons, Suprenant-Lord, Xord Paradis, 
Antony Paradis, Suprenant-Prairie. Metty, Carron, 
Lebeau, Padnaud, Duchene, Nevell and Emilien 

finally succumbed. Mis:; Cain traveled 
six miles and sank down to her death 
about two hundred rods north of the 
house of Andrew Jackson. At one time 
in her travels she passed within thirty 
rods of that home. The young lady was 
thought to have remained at Wood- 
ruff's, and the fact that she had been 
lost in the storm was not known for two 
days. Her body was found on the 

The year 1883 witnessed a large 
immigration to Lyon county. In March 
came a colony of fifty French settlers 
from Kankakee county, Illinois, who 
settled in the Ghent neighborhood. 
They came in a train of thirty-seven 
cars and brought farming implements 
and stock with them. 1 There were also 
many arrivals from Belgium and Hol- 
land, who came as a result of a trip to 
the old country by Father Cornelius in 
January, 1883. 2 

Many new farm houses were erected 
during the year, the villages increased 
in population, and the country took on 
an air of prosperity. Good crops were 
the rule and nearly a million bushels of 
grain were harvested. The acreage sown 
to the several cereals, the total yield 
and the average yield per acre for 1883 
were as follows: 




















-Among these arrivals from the old country were 
Father Y. Devos, who became pastor at Ghent ; Messrs. 
J. Lambert, Princen, Schreibers, Haerts, Maertens, 
Depuydt, Messine, Dieken, Sandy, Clayes, Peters, 
Van den Bogaerde, Crombez, Bauruans. Delmeule, 
Hendrick, Riviere, DeReu. Van den Abeele, Van 
Prundel, Vrnkenlen, Engels, Dobbeldere, Blauwette, 
Browers and Maenhoudt. 



Early in I 88 I came I be promise of a 

new railroad for Lyon county. It was 
to be built by a company styled the 

Duluth, North Shore & Southwestern, 
of which Herman E. Long was president 
and Louis H. Greiser was secretary. 
The "proposition." which was the in- 
evitable forerunner of railroad building 
in the early days, was submitted to the 
people of Lyon county at a mass 
meeting held at Marshall on January 2l>. 
The company desired a bonus of county 
bonds to the amount of $40,000, to be 
delivered in case the road was com- 
pleted to Marshall not later than 
September 1, 1885. 

Most of the people of Lyon county 
were enthusiastically in favor of bonding 
for the road, which was to traverse the 
county in a general north and south 
direction, and at another meeting on 
January 30 petitions for calling a special 
election to vote on the bonds were 
signed. The people of Marshall, par- 
ticularly, were active in canvassing the 
county for signatures to the petition 
and within a short time petitions favor- 
ing the calling of the election were 
presented to the county authorities 
from every township, each signed by 
at least two local officers and twelve 
other freeholders. The requested action 
was taken by the Board of County Com- 
missioners and a special election called 
for February 23. 

Tracy was not on the line of the 
proposed road and. the people of that 
village were opposed to the granting of 
bonds. A lively campaign in opposition 
ensued, participated in largely by the 
Chicago cv. Northwestern interests. John 
Lind, later governor of Minnesota, was 
at the time a resident of Tracy and took 
a prominent part in the campaign 
against the bond issue, particularly to 
keep the matter from coming to a vote. 
An injunction, forbidding the county 

auditor to poi I and publish the notices 
of election, was "ranted by Judge 
Webber, of the district court. When 
the injunction papers were served, how- 
ever, the notices had been posted and 
the call for the election had been turned 
over to the printers. The election was 
held in all precincts except Monroe, 
Eidsvold and Nordland, the election 
officers of those precincts refusing to 
open the polls upon advice of those 
opposing the bonds. 

To carry the election it was necessary 
not only that a majority of the electors 
voting should favor the issue, but also 
that a majority (if the townships should 
record a favorable vote. The bonds were 
carried by a vote of 724 to 156, and 
thirteen of the seventeen townships 
voting gave majorities in favor. The 
vote by precincts was as follows: 






























Coon Creek 




Island Lake 

Lake Marshall 





Rock Lake 









After the election the people of Tracy 
again appealed to the court and secured 
a temporary restraining order, forbid- 
ding the county authorities to deliver 
the bonds and the railroad officials from 
applying for them. In district court on 
May 29 Judge Webber made the in- 



junction permanent. 3 Before this action 
was taken, however, it became known 
that the railroad would not be built. 
It failed for lack of capital. 

The years 1884 and 1885 were among 
the most prosperous in Lyon county's 
early history. Excellent crops were 
raised and there was a big immigration. 
Landseekers came to the county in large 
numbers and indications of prosperity 
were apparent on all sides. New farms 
were opened, neat frame houses replaced 
the sod shanties of pioneer days, and 
real estate values increased. 4 

Exclusive wheat farming was given 
up and much flax and hay were raised. 
Farmers turned their attention also to 
stock raising and dairying more than 
formerly. The farmers were at last 
firmly upon their feet, and the high road 
to wealth was open. The recovery from 
the grasshopper scourge was at last 

The population of Lyon county in 

1885 was 7978, an increase of 1721 in 

five years. By precincts the population 

was as follows: 

Amiret 406 

Clifton 190 

Coon Creek 102 

Custer 308 

Eidsvold* 622 

Fairview 253 

Grand view 430 

Island Lake 240 

Lake Marshall 205 

Lucas 244 

Lynd 376 

Lyons 243 

Marshall 986 

Monroe 290 

Nordland 417 

Rock Lake 329 

Shelburne." 196 

Sodus 246 

Stanley 186 

Tracy* 1210 

Vallers 167 

Westerheim 432 

Total 7978 

3 The case was entitled: Gilbert H. Jessup, David 
H. Evans, Henry Pattridge, Nathan Beach and John 
Lind vs. James Lawrence as county auditor, Herman 
E. Long and Louis H. CJreiser. % 

4 "The amount of railroad land sold about this place 

The year 1886 was not a particularly 
fruitful one. There was very little 
movement in real estate and times were 
dull. In the country some improve- 
ments were made, but in comparison 
with the two or three preceding years, 
the twelve-month was an uneventful 

The next year a splendid record in 
agricultural development was made. 
The acreage of crops was increased, 
many acres of prairie land were broken, 
many new farms were opened, a great 
amount of building was done, and the 
number of livestock greatly increased 
and the breed improved. 

In the history of the Northwest there 
have been a few winter storms of such 
unnatural severity that they stand out 
as events of historical importance. The 
most severe of these awful storms was 
undoubtedly the blizzard of January 7, 
8 and 9, 1873, an account of which has 
been given. Ranking second was the 
terrible blizzard of January 12, 1888, 
when over two hundred people lost their 
lives in different sections of the North- 
west. By a miraculous turn of fate, 
none of these was in Lyon county, 
although man}' were caught in the 
storm and some were severely frozen. 

The conditions essential to such a 
disastrous storm as this proved to be 
had been filled by the weather dining 
the week previous. On January 5 a 
storm of sleet had frozen on the surface 
of the deep snow to an icy smoothness. 
The day before the storm the intense 
cold weather that had prevailed mod- 
erated, the wind shifted to the south- 
west, and there was a heavy snowfall, 
which continued until the blizzard 
started the next day. 

and Tracy this year exceeds by far the amount sold 
any previous year, and what i> better, it is sold to 
men who will occupy and till it." — News-Messenger, 
July 17, 1885. 

'Including Minneota village. 



On Thursday morning, the twelfth, 
the weather was mild and by noon it 
was thawing. A damp snow was falling 
and there was scarcely any wind. At 
a little before four o'clock in the after- 
noon what little wind there was subsided 
and there was a dead calm. At five 
minutes past four o'clock came the 
storm, with absolutely no warning. 8 It 
has been described as coming "as 
quickly as one could look to the win- 
dow." In a moment a howling, shriek- 
ing blizzard was raging with blinding 
fury, rendering it hazardous to under- 
take a journey of even a few blocks in 
town and making it equivalent to almost 
certain death to be caught away from 
shelter on the prairie. 

The terrors of the storm were aug- 
mented by a rapidly falling mercury, 
which soon reached the region of the 
thirties and rendered infinitely small the 
chance that any unfortunate being could 
survive who might be exposed to its 
perils. The storm rapidly increased in 
fury and continued unabated until eight 
o'clock Friday morning; then it lost 
much of its violence but continued until 

6 The coming of the storm was heralded in advance 
by telegraph in some places, but most of the people of 
Lyon county had no warning. It struck Gary, South 
Dakota, at 3:55, Canby at 4:00, and Marshall at 4:05. 
It has been estimated that the storm traveled at the 
rate of over one hundred miles an hour. 

7 The most thrilling experiences of the storm came 
to the fifty or more passengers on the east-bound 
Northwestern train, which for nearly six days was 
stalled in a cut one mile west of the siding then known 
as Kent, now the village of Garvin. The train was 
making its regular run from Huron to Tracy, due at 
the latter place about seven o'clock on Wednesday 
evening, the eleventh. There was a southwest wind 
and a light fall of snow during the day, with increasing 
wind toward evening. A snow-plow was running- 
ahead, and the train following as the plow reached the 
station ahead. At Lake Benton the wind had so 
increased that a freight train was abandoned, its 
engine added to the passenger train, with its caboose 
in the rear, and the train ran on double-headed. At 
Balaton the passenger started east, on arrival of the 
plow at Tracy. When between four and five miles 
from Balaton, near Kent, the train became stalled in 
a long cut. This was at ten o'clock in the evening. 

The engines, being unable to pull the train out, 
loosened from it and from each other and for two 
hours the trainmen made desperate efforts to break 
out of the cut. This was finally accomplished, but 
at about the same time a south blizzard of great force 
struck, whirled and piled the snow up in every direc- 
tion, and filled the track between the engines and the 
cars faster than the trainmen could remove it. Finding 
all efforts to connect with the cars hopeless, and water 
and fuel fast being reduced, with the storm increasing, 

Saturday night. Not until Tuesday did 
the conditions of the weather and roads 
permit many snow-bound people to 
reach their homes. 

The storm came at a time when many 
were exposed to it. The mildness of 
the temperature that characterized the 
early part of the day resulted in farmers, 
who had long been weather-bound, going 
to the towns to trade, and a number of 
them were returning home; it came at 
an hour when schools all over the 
county were being dismissed, and child- 
ren were obliged to make their way 
home in the storm; it came also at the 
time of day when many farmers were in 
the habit of driving their stock to water, 
and they and their herds became lost 
in its blinding fury. A great many 
head of stock were frozen to death. 

A number of Lyon county people had 
narrow escapes from death. A few were 
obliged to spend the night in snowdrifts 
and haystacks, and there were several 
severe cases of freezing. In the vicinity 
of Garvin a whole train load of people 
was imperiled. 7 

Lyon county's third railroad, the 

both engines at midnight pulled out and made the run 
to Tracy, arriving safely. 

Then commenced in earnest the long siege of the 
passengers. Fortunately, there was a good supply of 
coal in the ears, enough for nearly two days' use. 
The besieged train comprised the mail and express 
cars, smoking and passenger coaches and caboose. 
There were between fifty and sixty passengers, enough 
to make crowded coaches when sleeping accommoda- 
tions were provided. But little sleep was had that 
night. The storm increased in fury and no passenger 
ventured outside, even while the trainmen were making 
efforts to release the train. Thursday morning broke 
upon a doleful appearing set of snow-bound passengers. 
With two or three cranky exceptions, the passengers 
were' cheerful. The storm showed no abatement 
until ten o'clock, when it gradually lessened in force 
until noon. 

The telegraph from Tracy made known at Balaton 
the fact that the train was stalled. The section men 
at the last named place loaded handsleds with pro- 
visions, hauled them out to the train, and a cold meal 
was eaten. During the afternoon a telegram was 
received at Balaton announcing the approaching 
blizzard. Realizing the dangers to which the people 
on the train would be subjected in one of the dreaded 
winter storms, the people of Balaton sent out seven 
teams hauling sleds to bring in the passengers. 

Twenty-three persons were hastily loaded into the 
sleds and at three o'clock the start for Balaton was 
made. The rest of the passengers remained on the 
train. When the party in the sleds had proceeded 
about half way to Balaton and were still about two 
• and one-half miles from the village, the memorable 
blizzard struck. At the time they were about twenty 
rods from the railroad track. The ladies were turned 



Great Northern, was built in 1888. Its 
construction gave the county excellent 
railroad facilities, all except three of its 
twenty townships being then traversed. 
The preliminary steps toward the 
building of the road were taken in the 
spring of 1886. The Will mar & Sioux 
Falls Railroad Company was organized 
March 3, 1886, by residents of South- 

with their backs to the storm and covered with wraps 
and robes. In a moment the road was obscured from 
view. The men dismounted and bending to the 
ground sought for the road, knowing that to get out 
of it was most dangerous. It was found and a council 
of drivers and male passengers was held. 

1 1 was decided to keep the teams close together and 
make a break from the road to the railroad and keep 
close to it for the remaining two miles to town. 
Although only twenty rods away, it required a full 
twenty minutes to reach the railroad, which was 
struck at a point recognized as Ham's crossing. Some 
of the drivers gave the lines to the passengers and 
walked, encouraging their restless and confused horses, 
leading them and breaking drifts in front. In this 
manner slow and tedious progress was made toward 
the village by the little caravan. 

The roaring blizzard, the dense atmosphere, the 
cutting, freezing, damp snow, the fast falling tem- 
perature, the anxiety of the drivers and the uneasiness 
of the horses all combined to create anxiety in the 
minds of the party. To add to the evils, one of the 
loads was overturned, two or three of the party lost 
their heads, and one man became partially deranged, 
crying and howling, and in his wildness pulling the 
robes and wraps from ladies in front of him, saying 
1 hat he had but a few minutes to live and that he 
must get warm before he died. The people from the 
overturned sled attempted to walk, but with one 
exception soon found places in other vehicles. The 
exception, in fur coat and silk hat, stumbled through 
the snow, and, becoming exhausted, sank upon the 
roadside to die. He was seen by occupants of the 
last sled, who stopped and pulled him into their 
sleigh. His ears and face were frozen terribly. 

At half past six, after a ride of three and one-half 
hours — two and a half hours in the blizzard — the last 
load reached the village and put up at its one hotel. 
Citizens were at their doors discharging guns and the 
school bell was incessantly clanging its alarm to guide 
the storm-bound procession into the village, but these 
sounds could not be heard beyond the village in the 
direction of the travelers. Everything possible was 
done for the relief of the passengers, nearly all of whom 
had frozen faces and chilled limbs. 

Some of the trainmen started to walk to Tracy from 
the stalled train Thursday afternoon and were caught 
in the storm. They sought shelter in a grove and 
later found their way to a farm house. The next day 
they succeeded in reaching Tracy. 

Those who remained on the train also had their 
troubles. A few of the passengers did a lot of grum- 
bling, made no effort to take care of themselves, and 
made life miserable for everybody. Three nights 
were spent on the stalled train. Saturday the railroad 
officials at Tracy secured teams and sent a relief party, 
which brought off the imprisoned passengers. It took 
all day to drive from Tracy to the train and most of 
the next day to make the return trip. The baggage- 
man, L. S. Tyler, remained on the train until it was 
released on Tuesday. That day Dr. H. M. Workman 
headed a party which brought to Tracy in sleds those 
of the passengers who had made the trip to Balaton. 
Other adventures were reported in different parts 
of the county, among others the following: 

Arthur Heath left Marshall a few minutes before the 
storm struck with a load of manure to haul a short 
distance beyond the village. He heard the approach 
of the storm and, turning, saw it coming. He jumped 
off the load, unhitched the team, and turned them 
toward the barn, but the horses would not face the 
storm. He then went with them with the storm and 
fortunately brought up at the building at the fair 
grounds. He got his team inside, and his dog, which 

western Minnesota, acting as agents for 
the Manitoba road, of which James .1. 
Hill was the presiding genius. 8 The 
officers and directors chosen at the time 
of organization were J. M. Spicer, of 
Willmar, president; D. E. Sweet, of 
Pipestone, vice president: C. C. Good- 
now, of Pipestone, secretary; C. B. 
Tyler, of Marshall, treasurer; .1. G. 

had followed, also came within. Hatch had little 
clothing on, and. getting cold, he commenced to 
tramp around the building. His feet became cold and 
he took the blankets from his horses, wrapped his dog 
in them, and lay down with his feet next to the do'g. 
Alternately walking and warming his feet in that way, 
he passed the long night. In the morning it was still 
cold and blizzarding and he did not dare to try to gel 
home in his condition. The man was missed Thursday 
evening, but it was out of the question to attempt to 
find him in such a storm. The next morning a res- 
cuing party found him. His hands and feet were 
badly frozen, but with care he came out all right. 

Josiah Clark's two sons were a mile and a half from 
home with four horses and were given up as lost by 
their father, but they pulled through, found the house, 
and the horses follovt « - < 1 them in. 

Hans Peterson, of Coon Creek township, anil his 
fourteen-year-old son, Jay P. Peterson, now a resident 
of Russell, came near losing their lives. They had 
just finished watering their herd of horses in the 
Redwood river when the howling blizzard struck them 
The horses were blinded by the whirling avalanche of 

snow and all except one blind mare thai with the 
storm to the southeast. The Peterson home was to 
the east and the man and boy finally succeeded in 
reaching the barn, bringing with them the blind marc. 
In order that they might not become lost in going 
from the barn to the house, one stayed at the barn 
and hallooed until the other made his way to tin- 
house; then the one at the house by his voice directed 
the other. 

They had hardly entered the building when a 
rushing, pounding noise was heard outside, as if a 
hurricane threatened the destruction of the premises. 
Upon rushing out they discovered, to their amazement , 
the whole herd of horses within the open space about 
the house, they having plunged headlong into it from 
the summits of the encircling drifts. The animals 
were totally blind, the entire front of their heads beintr 
blocked with solid ice. They were rounded up and 
with great difficulty got into the barn. It is the 
opinion of Mr. Peterson that the horses heard the 
shouts of the men at the house and blindly made their 
way against the storm to where instinct told them 
lay safety. 

M. S. Fawcett and his son, who lived near Balaton, 
lost a herd of cattle and only through good fortune 
succeeded in getting to safety themselves. The 
blizzard came upon them while they were driving the 
stock to water, only a short distance from the house. 
In an unsuccessful attempt to get the cattle back to 
the barn, they became lost. They finally came upon 
a hedge fence that led them to the barn. 

James Harris and his son in Grandview had a close 
call while watering their stock. The stock turned and 
went with the storm. The boy was on a horse, without 
saddle, bridle or halter, and it was with the greatest 
difficulty that the father overtook and got the boy 
off the horse and then found his way home. 

In Lvnd township Messrs. Oilman and Gooder were 
out with their stock. Gooder became lost and sought 
shelter in a straw stack. By the merest accident Mr. 
Oilman ran across him and rescued him in a freezing 
condition. Each lost their stock. 

Hans Solberg was with his team after hay. When 
the storm struck he unhitched the team, fastened the 
horses to the wagon, and after a great struggle reached 
home. His'ears and hands were frozen. 

8 The formal transfer of the Willmar & Sioux Falls 
to the Manitoba Company was made in September, 
1887, before the line was constructed, and after 
January, 1890, the road was designated Great Northern. 



Schutz, of Marshall; 11. T. Carson, of 
Sioux Falls.' 

The information was given out that 
Mr. Hill was the promoter of the new 
road and that a proposition for the 
issua ce of bonds as a bonus would 
soon be submitted. A preliminary sur- 
vey of the road, which was to run from 
Willmar to Sioux Falls, was begun in 
April, 1886, and the next month sur- 
veyors, working from the south, began 
working on the line in Lyon county. 
Then activities for the year ceased. 

Early in the spring of 1887 surveyors 
again operated in the county, and it 
became evident that the road would be 
built. The promoters asked for town- 
ship bonds of all townships except 
Westerheim, Eidsvold, Nordland, Rock 
Lake, Custer, Monroe and Ainiret. to 
the value of $35,200, in consideration 
of which they would have the line com- 
pleted by January 1. 1888. The elec- 
tion notices were posted by committees 
from Marshall, which was the seat of 
the greatest interest in the campaign, 
and the first election was held in 
Stanley and bonds carried. Before the 
other elections were held the railroad 
authorities stopped proceedings for the 
purpose of presenting a new proposition. 

This was to the effect that as it would 
be impossible to have the road in 
operation when promised, an extension 
of time was asked to October 1, 1888, 
in consideration of which a slight re- 
duction in the amount of bonds asked 
would be made. Considerable feeling 
was aroused because of the delay, but 

9 The Willmar & Sioux Falls Railroad Company was 
incorporated with a capital stock of $2, 000, 000 by 
J. M. Spicer and G. H. Perkins, of Willmar; Gorham 
Powers, of Granite Falls; C. B. Tyler and J. G. Schutz, 
of Marshall; C. C. Goodnow and D. E. Sweet, of 
Pipestone; E. A. Sherman and H. T. Carson, of Sioux 

10 Bonds carried. 

u As a matter of fact only a part of the bonds 
voted ever passed into the hands of the railroad 
company. The Marshall News-Messenger of October 
23, 1903, said; 

"The village of Marshall bonds are the only bonds 

new election notices were posted ami 
the elections were held. Under the 

new terms the several precincts were 
asked to vote $31,600, but it was 

thought probable that at least one 
township would vote against the bonds, 
and the railroad officers let it be known 
thai they would be satisfied with 

The elections were held in May and 
June. The amount of bonds asked of 
each precinct and the result of the vote 
were as follows: 









Grandview. . . . 



Lake Marshall 

Lynd 10 

Island Lake... 
( '(inn Creek... . 




si 71 in 

11 II MX) 

















The failure to vote bonds in Grand- 
view, Vallers and Shelburne resulted in 
raising only $27,300, or $2700 short of 
the sum demanded. To make up the 
deficiency the village of Marshall, on 
April 17, 1888, voted $3000 additional 
bonds, nominally to furnish depot 
grounds ami right of way in Marshall. 
The bonds were carried by a vote of 
128 to 10. X1 

The roadbed of the Willmar & Sioux 

ever issued and turned over to the railroad company. 
The towns of Lynd and Lyons issued their bonds but 
forbade their delivery to the railroad company until 
a like amount of stock value of the road was delivered 
to said towns in exchange for the bonds, meanwhile 
placing the bonds in trust with C. B. Tyler, who has 
retained their custody during the past fifteen years. 
None of the other towns issued the bonds they hadtso 
freely voted, and presumably for the same reason that 
the Lynd and Lyons bonds were held in escrow. . . . 
It is a singular fact that neither the old Willmar & 
Sioux Falls Company, the Great Northern Company, 
nor any party having a claim to the bonds have ever 
demanded the same during the fifteen yeurs that they 
have been held in escrow." 



Falls railroad was graded dining the 
summer and fall of 1887, not being com- 
pleted until early in December. The 
track was laid in August, 1SSS, Marshall 
being reached on the twenty-first of 
that month. Trains were operated 
north from Marshall on September 11, 
and between that village and Pipestone 
early in October. The work of con- 
struction was somewhat delayed in the 
vicinity of Camden because of the large 
number of bridges necessary to build 

The construction of the railroad had 
a wholesome effect on Lyon county. 
The villages of Cottonwood, Green 
Valley, Lynd. Russell and Florence were 
founded as a result. The northeastern 
and southwestern portions of the county, 
which before had not been thickly 
settled, were rapidly filled with settlers. 
Adding to the prevailing active times, 
one of the best crops of years was 
harvested in 1888. 

Another railroad that was projected 
in 1888 was the Minnesota & Northern, 
which proposed to build a line from the 
south through Tracy and thence to the 
north. In July Tracy and Monroe 
township voted bonds to aid in its con- 
struction, but the company failed to 
build because of lack of capital. 

On .Inly 22. 1890. a cyclone visited 
Lyon county and left a trail of death, 
ruined crops and wrecked homes in a 
narrow strip of country in Eidsvold, 
Westerheim and Grandview townships. 
The cyclone formed at about twenty 
minutes before six o'clock at a point 
about seven miles north of Minneota. 
The cloud formation is said to have been 
one of the most singular spectacles ever 
witnessed. The clouds concentrated in 
such a manner as to form the distinct 
Midlines of a human head, of mammoth 
proportions, with the wind , apparently 
issuing from the open mouth. 

The twisting formation started upon, 
its travels in an easterly direction and 
continued in that direction about one- 
half mile. Its width varied from two 
to ten rods. It suddenly took a turn 
to the south and ran a furious race to 
within three-quarters of a mile of 
Minneota; then, after seeming to rest 
for a second, it took a southeasterly 
course with more fury than ever. 

Throughout its course in Eidsvold 
township the cyclone scattered grass. 
grain and dirt in the air, but struck no 
buildings. On the northwest quarter of 
section 20, Westerheim, the large barn 
of B. L. Leland was struck. The roof 
and two sides were torn out, but the 
house, in which was the family, eight 
rods distant, was not damaged. 

The next place attacked was the 
home of Felix DeReu, on the southwest 
quarter of section 28, Westerheim, and 
here the storm commenced its deadly 
work. In the house were Mrs. DeReu 
and four children — Cyriel, Bertha, Julius 
and a baby. The house was struck with 
such terrific force that it was smashed 
into fragments, and beneath the ruins 
were buried the DeReu family. The 
mother had gathered the children and 
with the baby in her arms had started 
for the cellar when the storm broke. 

Cyriel, the eldest child, was so badly 
injured that he died the following 
morning; Mrs. DeReu's limb was broken 
just above the ankle; Julius sustained a 
broken leg; and Bertha was so badly 
injured that for a time her life was 
despaired of. The other child, although 
carried a distance of over two hundred 
yards, was uninjured. Mr. DeReu was 
buried in the ruins of the granary and 
badly bruised but not seriously hurt. 
All the buildings on the place were 
leveled to the ground in almost an 
instant and scattered over the prairie; 
not a single thing that goes to make up 



a farmer's home was left whole. Even 
the farm machinery thai stood on the 
premises was broken up and scattered 

broadcast over the fields in six-inch 

The cyclone continued its southeast- 
erly course and struck with awful vio- 
lence at the home of Andrew Opdahl, 
on the southwest quarter of section 34, 
Westerheim. The house, barn and gran- 
ary were whirled through the air and 
scattered over the prairie, not a board 
or timber being left in its original size. 
Mrs. Opdahl and her child were taken 
up by the storm and dashed back to 
earth. Both were badly bruised and 
cut but not seriously injured. Mr. 
Opdahl was returning from Ghent and 
saw the -wrecking of his home. Two 
horses were lifted bodily, carried several 
rods, and deposited in a neighbor's 

A little farther on its course the 
cyclone passed within a few rods of 
Thomas Carron's house, and then seemed 
to lift. A parting puff removed the 
chimney from a blacksmith shop in 
Ghent and then the twister vanished. 

The census of 1890 showed a popula- 
tion of 9501 in Lyon county, an increase 
of 1523 in five years. 12 Great progress 
was made in material advancement 
during 1890 and the following year. 
The News-Messenger of November 20, 
1891, described conditions: "A season 
of healthf ulness, a crop of remarkable 
bounteousness, "a year of unparalleled 
growth for Marshall and Lyon county, 
enormous trade at all stores, unprece- 
dented payments of mortgages and old 
debts, and most promising prospects 
for the future." 

Lyon county's court house was built 
in 1891, after many years' effort. Upon 

J2 By precincts the population in 1890 was as follows: 
Amiret, 294; Clifton, 245; Coon Creek, 258; Custer, 
321; Eidsvold, 413; Fairview, 266; Grandview, 443; 
Island Lake, 300; Lake Marshall, 233; Lucas, 466; 

the removal of the county seat to Mar- 
shall early in hX74, in accordance with 
their promise, the townsite owners, 
Messrs. Stewart, .Jenkins, Ward and 
Blake, donated the block of ground 
upon which the building now stands. 
At the same time the free use of the 
office of .). W. Blake was given for the 
transaction of county business ami for 
a time that was the Lyon county court 
house. Apparently it was not in use 
long, for on October 15, 1875, we find 
this complaint in the Marshall Messen- 
ger: "Just now, it seems, we are out 
of court house room, and our offices can 
be found lying around in cheap corners 
most anywhere." 

The first official action toward the 
construction of a court house was taken 
by the Board of County Commissioners 
in July, 1874, when the following reso- 
lution was passed: 

"Resolved that there be a special tax 
of one mill on the dollar, payable in 
money only, levied on the taxable 
property of Lyon county for the year 
1874, and for eight succeeding years, 
for the purpose of building a court house 
in said county." 

It was also provided that the money 
so raised should be loaned on Lyon 
county real estate, all loans to be made 
payable March 1, 1883. The times were 
such, however, that sentiment was 
against the levying of this tax, and on 
October, 1875, the action was rescinded 
and $68.83 in the court house fund was 
transferred to another fund. 

The first county building, erected on 
the court house square, was put up in 
June, 1876. Its dimensions were 18x24 
feet and it was twelve feet high. Joshua 
Goodwin was the contractor. This little 
building was occupied until the new 

Lynd, 380; Lyons, 344; Marshall, 1203; Minneota, 
325; Monroe, 252; Nordland, 357; Rock Lake, 395; 
Shelburne, 275; Sodus, 280; Stanley, 198; Tracy, 1400; 
Vallers, 397; Westerheim, 456. 



court house was erected. It was sold 
December 7. 1892, for $281. 

Early in 1881 an effort was made to 
build a court house and jail. A bill 
ed the Legislature and was approved 
March 7. which authorized the issuance 
of bonds, not to exceed $15,000. for the 
purposes, but it was not to become 
operative until it had been ratified by a 
vote <>f the electors. Sentiment was 
still against the expenditure and the 
question was not submitted to the 

In December of the same year the 
commissioners purchased of George 
Nichols for $1500 a building on Main 
Street, which for the next nine years 
was used for court purposes. 13 It was 
sold in July, 1891, for $2500. 

Not until 1889 did the court house 
question again become a live issue. 
Then Representative A. C. Forbes in- 
troduced a bill which provided for the 
repeal of the 1881 measure (authorizing 
a bond issue of $15,000) and for author- 
ity to issue bonds to the amount of 
$51 ).()()(). There were several restrictive 
provisions: the bonds were not to be 
is; wed unless the act was ratified by 
majority vote at a special election, and 
the election was not to be called unless 
a petition (naming the amount of bonds 
to be voted for), signed by at least five 
resident freeholders who were legal 
voters in each voting precinct in the 
count\- was filed. If the bond issue 
were defeated at one election, another 
might be called to vote on the same 

The bill was passed and approved by 
Governor Merriam, but not without 
Opposition. An indignation meeting was 
held in Tracy and a committee of f hree 

Those who advocate the building of a court house 
think this purchase .-in unwise one, bu1 those m favor 
of delaying the court house building until we know 
what we want think the purchase of » the Nichols 
Building an economical and safe investment. . . . 
The lower (Ktrt of the building makes a good court 

was sent to St. Paul to protest against 
the signing of the bill. Remonstrances 
were liberally signed in parts of the 
county and forwarded to St. Paul. It 
soon became known that the people of 
the county generally were opposed to 
the expenditure of so great a sum. and 
as in former cases the matter was not 
voted on. 

The final struggle for the court house 
came in 1891. Prosperous times were 
then enjoyed and there was a surplus of 
$18,000 in the county treasury. The 
matter was taken up early in the year 
by the farmers alliance organizations, 
which at the time were powerful in the 
county. They passed resolutions in 
favor of the erection of a building to 
cost in the neighborhood of $25,000, 
but were opposed to the expenditure of 
$50,000, as the former bill provided. 

A bill was introduced in the Legisla- 
ture by Representative C. H. White 
providing for the erection of a court 
house at a cost of not more than $25,000. 
The County Board was authorized to 
use the funds on hand and to issue bonds 
for the balance. Again the question 
was to be submitted to the people and 
the county auditor was directed to call 
a special election. 

Again the people of Tracy and those 
parts of the county opposed to the 
measure raised a protest and threatened 
to bring on a county scat contest. An 
offer was made to build and donate to 
the county a court house at Tracy, 
providing the county seat should be 
moved to that village. The bill passed 
the Lower House under suspension of 
the fules, and a delegation from Tracy 
made an effort to have it reconsidered. 
but was unsuccessful. A fight was then 

room, and above there are two good jury rooms. 
This building will furnish ample accommodation for 
court business tin so mi years to come and can be let 
for other purposes between terms if desired." — 
Marshall Messenger, December 15, 1881. 



made before committees of the Senate 

and for two weeks the bill was one of 
the principal topics of discussion at the 
capitol. The court house adherents 
were successful; the bill passed the. 
Senate in March and was approved by 
t he governor. 

The election to decide the question 
was held on Saturday. May 9, 1891, and 
was the fiercest fought battle of ballots 
ever witnessed in Lyon county. It was 
in a measure a sectional fight, with 
Marshall and adjoining territory on one. 
side and Tracy and adjoining territory 
on the other. The result was 939 votes 
in favor of building the court house and 
862 against. The several precincts voted 
as follows: 







Coon Creek . . . 




Island Lake . . 
Lake Marshall 





Rock Lake . . . 





Westerheim. . 



































There was a big celebration by the 
people of Marshall on election night, and 
Monday there was a bigger celebration 
in honor of the victory, in which people 
from many parts of the county partici- 
pated. The committee under whose 
direction the campaign for the court 

house was waged was composed of 
A. C. Chittenden. V. B. Seward. M. 
Sullivan, C. F. Johnson, A. R. Chace, 
Olof Pehrson, R. M. Addison and F. E. 

There was no delay in the construc- 
tion of the building. On May 19 Frank 
Thayer, of Mankato, was employed as 
architect and superintendent of con- 
struction. The contract was let June 
11, 1891, to D. D. Smith, of Minneapolis, 
on a bid of $22,290, increased later by 
$700 by reason of changes in plans. 
Other contracts were let for vaults, etc., 
in the sum of $1058. Work of excava- 
tion for the court house was begun 
early in July, the corner stone was laid 
under the auspices of the Masonic order 
September 3, and the structure was com- 
pleted and was to have been dedicated 
January 15, 1892. 

Early in the morning of January 8 
the new building was discovered to be 
on fire and within a few hours only the 
walls of the building were standing. 
The sum of $14,622 was secured in 
insurance. A contract for rebuilding 
the court house was let in March, 1892, 
to J. D. Carroll, of St. Paul, on a bid of 
$13,893, and the building was accepted 
by the Board of County Commissioners 
on November 14. 

There were prospects for an enormous 
crop in 1892 and a continuation of 
prosperous times, but the march of 
progress was interrupted by a series of 
storms which brought destruction to a 
big part of the crop. 

Early in the morning of August 5, 
1892, a tornado did some damage in 
Marshall, demolishing a residence, bring- 
ing a $1500 damage to the court house 
in course of construction, and twisting 
barns and overturning several small 
buildings. The loss was about $2500. 
The next disaster of the season came 
August 8, when a wind and hail storm, 



within the space of ten minutes, brought 
damage in Lyon county to the amount of 
nearly a half million dollars. The 
amounf of hail and the size of the 
stones were without precedent. In Mar- 
shall the storm took the same course as 
the one of three days before. Several 
buildings were wrecked, including the 
Icelandic church, one or two residences, 
and several barns. The damage in the 
village was only $3000 or $4000. 

The storm was from five to eight miles 
wide and extended across the central 
part of the county from west to east. 
The townships of Island Lake, Lynd 
and Lake Marshall were completely 
covered, although in rare instances here 
and there a quarter section escaped with 
little damage through a freak in the 
elements' course. The loss in those 
townships was nearly total. About 
three-fourths of Nordland township was 
covered, as were also the two southern 
tiers of sections in Grandview and 
Fairview, the eastern and central parts 
of Clifton, and the north tiers of sections 
of Sodus and Lyons. It was estimated 
that one-sixth of the county's grain crop 
was lost. The acreage of grain de- 
stroyed was placed at 39,280 and the 
money loss $471,360. 

On August 13 a heavy wind storm, 
general over the county, brought another 
loss. The grain still standing was 
pounded down, so that much of it was 
absolutely worthless. 

The memorable panic of 1893 and a 
lew years of stringent times followed; 
the decade of development was rudely 
interrupted. There was a period of 
partial crop failures and low prices and 
the count} passed through a time of 
depression. Several firms failed and 
business was paralyzed. The preceding 
years of plenty had induced many to 
enlarge their holdings. Farmers had 
purchased more lands, increased their 

stock, erected new buildings, largely on 
credit, and on them fell a heavy hand. 

On July 5, 1893, came a most de- 
structive hail storm, which, however, 
brought loss to only a small part of the 
county, in the extreme southwestern 
corner. The damage in Lincoln and 
Murray counties was great, and in the 
southern half of Shelburne township all 
exposed plant life was destroyed. The 
fields were left blackened and only the 
roots of the crops were left. 

Another hail storm visited parts of 
the county on August 19, 1893, and 
brought some loss. The principal dam- 
age was done in the southern and 
western portions. Most of the small 
grain was in shock or stack and escaped 
injury, but late flax and corn were 
badly damaged. 

When winter approached the effects 
of the times were apparent. The Mar- 
shall News-Messenger of December 8, 
1893, told of conditions: 

The first whisperings of destitution in our 
midst are being heard, and the low murmuring* 
will soon increase to emphatic demands upon the 
charitably inclined. The conditions point to a 
winter of suffering among the poor. . . . 

There are today in our midst a half dozen 
families, large in numbers, who are in want of 
food, fuel and clothing, and in the tributary 
territory there are scores of such families; their 
numbers here and around us will increase as 
cold weather continues. Many may easily be 
found and others will not make their wants 
known until after much suffering and the danger 
line is reached. In the country are men, at the 
head of large families, strong in physique and 
proud in spirit, who have never known poverty 
or needed aid, who today are penniless, without 
supplies for their families, feed for their stock, 
or even seed for the next crop. In most cases 
the fault is not theirs, but their condition follows 
storm-swept fields, an unremunerative market, 
and collections pressed by the necessity of 
creditors, demanding the last bushel of grain 
and last head of stock. In other cases unwise 
methods have proven quite disastrous that 
under ordinary circumstances might have 
proved fairly profitable. Others are destitute 
owing to their own improvidence and shiftless- 
ness, and in some cases to dissipation. 

Adding to the severity of the times, 
in 1894 came the first Lyon county crop 
failure since grasshopper days. The 



calamity was caused by drought. Hani 
times in the midst of plenty summarized 
the record for 1895. No previous year 
was more richly blessed by t he generosity 
of Nature, and yet the cry of hard times 
was more frequently heard than in 
either of the two preceding years. The 
harvest was of unusual bounty and 
under normal conditions would have 
placed the people of Lyon county in 
comfortable circumstances, but the 
prices for grain were hardly sufficient 
to pay for threshing and hauling to 
market. The assessed valuation of the 
county in 1895 had increased to over 
four million dollars. 11 The population 
that year was 12.42."), an increase of 
2024 in five years. 15 

The lean years of the hard times 
period following the panic of 1893 con- 
tinued until 1897. Then abundant 
crops, aided by better conditions in the 
country at large, brought a change in 
the status. During the years 1897 to 
1902, inclusive, excellent crops were the 
rule and hundreds of new settlers came 
to share in the bounteous times. Land 
values jumped several hundred per cent. 
It was a time of unprecedented pros- 

The Lyon county jail and sheriff's 
residence was built in 1899 and 1900. 
The contract was let June 19, 1899, to 
Pauly Jail Building and Manufacturing 
Company, on a bid of $10,575. The 
building was completed and accepted by 
the County Board March 6, 1900. The 
total cost was $11,797.88. 

Another increase in population was 

1J The assessed valuation for the decade before had 
been as follows: 1S86, $2,074,248; 1887, .82,210,371; 
1888, $2,453,092; 1889, $2,532,340; 1890, $2,723,722; 
1891, $2,844,436; 1892, $3,687,465; 1893, $3,899,005; 
1894, $4,001,781; 1895, $4,028,091. 

15 By precincts the population in 1895 was as follows: 
Amiret, 360; Balaton, 222; Clifton, 311; Coon Creek, 
415; Cottonwood, 303; Custer, 387; Eidsvold, 504; 
Fairview, 373; Grandview, 471; Island Lake, 360; 
Lake Marshall, 328; Lucas, 399; Lvnd, 429; Lyons, 
476; Marshall, 1744; Minneota, 512; Monroe, 386; 
Nordland, 440; Rock Lake, 335; Shelburne, 366; 

made known by the census of 1900. 
That year the population was 14,591, or 

2166 more than it had been in ISO.")." 1 

Lyon county's last railroad, the branch 
of the Northwestern from Evan to 
Marshall, was built during 1901 and 
1902. For the purpose of building this 
road, the Minnesota Western Railroad 
Company was formed in July, 1901. 
grading for the new line was commenced 
in August, and late in the fall the grade 
was completed. Tracklaying was begun 
the next spring and was completed to 
the junction near Marshall on July 11, 
1902. Train service was begun August 

The year 1903 brought an interrup- 
tion to the series of big crop productions. 
This was caused by excessive rainfall 
and the most destructive hail storm in 
the county's history, excepting the one 
of 1892. The hail storm came on the 
morning of July 1. Its width was two 
to four miles and it extended south- 
easterly from the northwest corner of 
Island Lake township. The principal 
damage Avas in the townships of Island 
Lake, Lynd, Lake Marshall, Sodus, 
Clifton and Amiret. In the path of the 
storm the loss was almost complete. 
The storm proved to be only a tem- 
porary check to the forward movement. 

A county fair association was organ- 
ized in 1904. Grounds were purchased 
near Marshall for $6000, buildings were 
erected, and since that date fairs have 
regularly been held. 

The census of 1905 gave Lyon county 
a population of 16,171, an increase of 

Sodus, 350; Stanley, 271; Tracy, 16S7; Vallers, 502; 
Westerheim, 494. 

16 The population by precincts in 1900 was as follows: 
Amiret, 407; Balaton, 209; Clifton, 365; Coon Creek, 
672; Cottonwood, 549: Custer, 467; Eidsvold, 581; 
Fairview, 406; Ghent, 119; Grandview, 427; Island 
Lake, 384; Lake Marshall, 377; Lucas, 461; Lynd, 488; 
Lyons, 469; Marshall, 2088; Minneota, . 77 ; Monroe, 
387; Nordland, 458; Rock Lake, 404; Shelburne, 469; 
Sodus, 376; Stanley, 360; Tracy, 1911; Vallers, 479; 
Westerheim, 501. 



1580 over the enumeration of 1900. 17 
The last few years of Lyon county's 
history have, indeed, been prosperous 
ones. It has developed into one of the 
richest agricultural counties in the state 
of Minnesota. Bountiful crops and good 
prices have been the rule. 18 Land 
values at the present writing (1912) are 
the highest they have ever been, several 
transfers having been made at $100 pe# 

In 1910 the population of Lyon 
county was 15,722, divided among the 
several precincts as follows : 

.\miret 444 

Balaton 364 

Clifton 395 

Coon Creek 525 

17 By precincts the population in 1905 was as follows 
Amiret, 438; Balaton, 350; Clifton, 426; Coon Creek 
542; Cottonwood, 883; Custer, 414; Eidsvold, 448 
Fairview, 467; Garvin, 107; Ghent, 193; Grandview 
459; Island Lake, 399; Lake Marshall, 413; Lucas, 475 
Lynd, 562; Lyons, 445; Marshall, 2243; Minneota, 954 
Monroe, 402; Nordland, 429; Rock Lake, 413; Russell 
275; Shelburne, 460; Sodus, 379; Stanley, 419; Taunton 
196; Tracv, 2015; Vallers, 481; Westerheim, 484. 

Cottonwood 770 

Custer 617 

Eidsvold 472 

Fairview 410 

Ghent 210 

Grandview 468 

Island Lake 374 

Lake Marshall 415 

Lucas 462 

Lynd ". . 568 

Lyons 451 

Marshall 2152 

Minneota 819 

Monroe 471 

Nordland 460 

Rock Lake 402 

Russell 262 

Shelburne 432 

Sodus 358 

Stanley 396 

Taunton 205 

Tracy 1876 

Vallers 449 

Westerheim 495 

Total 15,722 

1S A severe wind, rain and hail storm brought loss to 
crops in a small portion of the county June 20, 1908. 
The damage was confined to small tracts north of 
Minneota and east of Marshall. In parts of the county 
some damage to small grain was brought by hot winds 
in the summer of 1911, but the loss was not great. 


POLITICAL — 1 869-1 912. 

BEFORE taking up the political 
history of Lyon county, let us 
resume briefly the story of events 
that led to its organization. Lyon 
county, it will be remembered, had in 
turn formed parts of the counties of 
Waubashaw, Blue Earth, Brown and 
Redwood, and not until the Legislature 
passed an enabling act in 1869 was Lyon 
county entitled to a place on the map 
of Minnesota as a political division of 
itself, and then it embraced also the 
territory now known as Lincoln county. 
When Lyon county was created it was 
very sparsely settled, and in the thirty- 
five townships comprising its area was 
a mere handful of residents; a year 
later, when the first election was held, 
the population was less than 300 and 
the voters numbered only seventy-eight. 
Difficulties were encountered in effect- 
ing the organization of the county after 
it had been created. In December, 
1869, Governor William R. Marshall 
named A. W. Muzzy, E. R. Horton and 
Daniel Williams commissioners, Edmund 
Lamb auditor, and Charles Hildreth 
sheriff, and vested them with authority 
to set in motion the machinery of 

county government. Circumstances pre- 
vented an immediate carrying into 
effect of these plans. Mr. Horton was 
absent from the county at the time of 
his appointment and did not return. 
Mr. Williams departed soon after the 
appointment and remained for a pro- 
tracted visit. These absences reduced 
the Board of County Commissioners to 
one member and, of course, it was out 
of the question for the remaining 
member to act as the County Board. 

The residents of the new county were 
anxious for organization, particularly 
that they might participate in the 
election of 1870, and in the summer of 
that year Horace Austin, who had 
become governor of Minnesota, ap- 
. pointed Levi S. Kiel to serve as one of 
the commissioners. 

The organization was perfected on the 
twelfth day of August, 1870, when two 
members of the board, A. W. Muzzy and 
Levi S. Kiel, met at the home of Luman 
Ticknor in Upper Lynd. At that time 
Messrs. Muzzy and Kiel took the oaths 
of office, as did also Edmund Lamb as 
county auditor. Mr. Muzzy was chosen 
chairman of the board. 1 These were 

Chairmen of the Board of County Commissioners 
have been as follows: A. W. Muzzy, 1870; Timothy 
S. Eastman, 1871-72; M. L. Wood, 1873; .James 
Mitchell, Jr., 1874-75-77-79-80-82; Gordon Watson, 
1876; H. T. Oakland, 1878; M. C. Humphrey, 1881; 
E. L. Starr, 1883; V. M. Smith, 1884; John Noble, 

1891-92-04-10; J. J. Hartigan, 1893; Ole J. Wignes, 
1894-00; Ole F. Norwood, 1S95; Robert Heilman, 
1896; T. P. Baldwin, 1897; John A". Hunter, 1898-01; 
D. S. Phillips, 1899; C. W. Candee, 1902-03; Levi S. 
Kiel, 1905; C. K. Melby, 1906; John N. Jones, 1907; 
J. M. Wardell, 1908-12; T. K. Thompson, 1909; 

1885-86; Hugh Neill, 1887-88-89-90; O. H. Hatlestad, C. E. Etrheim, 1911; James McGinn, 1912 



the only officers Lyon county had until 
the officers elected on November 8, 
1870, qualified on January 3, 1871. 

At a meeting of the County Board on 
October 8, 1870, the county was divided 
into five election precincts, polling 
places were designated, and judges of 
election were appointed for the ap- 
proaching election, as follows: 

Saratoga (embracing the present townships of 
Monroe, Custer, Sodus and Amiret) — Polling 
place, house of George Robinson; judges, Joseph 
W agner, James Mitchell, Clarence Avery. 

Marshall (embracing present townships of 
Stanley, Fairview, Lake Marshall and Clifton) — 
Polling place, house of C. H. Upton; judges, 
C. H. Upton, Joseph Carter, L. Langdon. 

Upper Yellow Medicine (embracing present 
townships of Lucas, Vallers, Westerheim, Eids- 
vold and Alta Vista) — Polling place and judges 
not named. 

Lynd (embracing present townships of Grand- 
view, Nordland, Island Lake, Lynd, Lyons, 
Coon Creek, Shelburne and Rock Lake) — ■ 
Polling place, house of Luman Ticknor; judges, 
A. W. Muzzy, A. R. Cummins, Luman Ticknor. 2 

Lake Benton (embracing all of the present 
county of Lincoln except Alta Vista township) — 
Polling place, house of William Taylor; judges, 
William Taylor, Daniel Williams, John Bir- 
mingham. 3 

At the election polls were not opened 
in all the precincts, but there was voting 
in at least Marshall and Lynd precincts 
—in the former at the sod shanty of 
C. H. Whitney and in the latter at an 
old claim shanty. 4 Seventy-eight votes 
were polled in Lyon county at the first 
election, held on November 8, 1870, and 
the following officers were elected: 

-The election judges of Lynd were on October 21 , 
L870, changed to E. Lamb, T. T. Pierce and M. V. 

3 The first local officers for these precincts were 
named by the County Board and were as follows: 
Saratoga, Ziba Furguson and George Robinson (suc- 
ceeded by James Mitchell, Jr.), justices; Clarence 
Avery and William Taylor, constables; Marshall, 
(. H. Whitney, justice; William S. Reynolds, con- 
stable; Upper Yellow Medicine, Frank Nelson and Mr 
Morse, justices; Lynd, Hiram Marcyes, justice; Lake 
Benton, George Ross and Mr. Bentley, justices. 

*A writer in the Marshall Messenger in after years 
told of the first election in Lyon county: "What a 
tussel we had when we held our election. We held it 
in an old claim shanty built by half-breeds years ago 
bul finding it too small to hold all of us we went out 
doors, the noisiest crowd that was ever out of prison. 
\\ c voted as we wished, writing our own tickets." 

5 0. C. Gregg was appointed deputy auditor June 10 
18(2, and had charge of the office after that date. 

'Resigned August 20, 1872, and Walter Wakeman 
appointed. * 

George E. Keyes, 5 auditor. 

A. R. Cummins, treasurer. 

James Cummins, sheriff. 

W. H. Langdon, register of deeds. 

A. W. Muzzy, judge of probate. 

W. M. Pierce, 6 county attorney. 

A. D. Morgan, clerk of court. 

James Mitchell, Sr., court commis-' 

Joseph Wagner, 7 commissioner first 
district. 8 

Timothy S. Eastman, commissioner 
second district. 

Daniel Williams, commissioner third 
district, 10 

Office holding was not so much in 
style in pioneer days as in later years 
and there was not unseemly scramble 
for the honor of holding office. In fact, 
a number of those elected did not take 
kindly to the unsolicited honor and only 
after much persuasion consented to 
qualify. Party politics did not enter 
into the question of selecting local 
officers and no conventions were held. 
As there were no regularly selected 
nominees, there were no ballots, each 
voter casting a ballot of his own manu- 
facture for his own candidates. 

For several years the emoluments 
were not great, The salary of the 
county auditor was $100 per year; the 
superintendent of schools drew the 

^Resigned May 6, 1871, and on that date Horace 
Randall was appointed. The latter did not qualify 
and on May 16, 1871, George Robinson received the 

s The_ Board of County Commissioners on October 
14, 1870, had divided the county into commissioner 
districts as follows: No. 1, the two eastern tiers of 
townships; No. 2, the present townships of Wester- 
heim, Grandview, Lynd, Lyons and Rock Lake; 
No. 3, all of the present Lincoln county and the 
western tier of townships of Lyon county as at present 
constituted. This apportionment was in force until 
after the creation of Lincoln county. 

"Removed from the county and on September 4, 
1871, was succeeded by Ira Scott. 

10 In the early days of the county's history the 
office of superintendent of schools was an appointive 
one. The first superintendent was C. F. Wright, who 
was appointed October 18, 1S70. He was succeeded 
March 5, 1871, by G. W. Whitney, and that gentleman 
in August, 1871, by Ransom Wait, who served until 
March 17, 1874. After that date until the office 
became an elective one, G. M. Durst held the office by 


■ r'^ji «-~t=^>^ 

The Oldest Building in Lynd, Typical of Pioneer Days in Lyon County. 



Kiel's Hotel was Erected in Old Lynd When That Place was the County Seat. The 
Building was Used for Court House Purposes for a Time. 



princely salary of $20 annually; the 
county attorney received $25 each year 
for his services for .some time after 
county organization but his salary was 
raised to $50 in 1873 and to $100 in 
1875. So late as 1875 the County Board 
estimated the expense for salaries for 
the coming year at only SI 200. 

During the first dozen years of the 
political history of Lyon county elections 
were held every year, although the terms 
of office were two years, and only a few 
officials were selected in the odd- 
numbered years. In 1871 James Mitch- 
ell, Jr., was elected commissioner 
from the first district, M. L. Wood from 
the third, and Timothy S. Eastman 
continued to represent the second. 
Charles L. Van Fleet was elected sur- 
veyor and M. Taylor coroner. 11 

The election of 1872 brought an 
almost entire change in the personnel of 
county officers. The following were 

u The judges of election in 1S71 were as follows: 
Saratoga, Benjamin Thomas, James Mitchell and 
Richard Hughes; Marshall, Mr. Johnson, W. H. 
Langdon and C. H. Upton; Lynd, D. M. Taylor, 
G. E. Cummins and Sylvester Fry; Lake Benton, 
William Marsh, William Ross and William Taylor; 
Upper Yellow Medicine, Berent Thompson, Ole 
Syverson and Anton Maartesen. 

12 Resigned May 21, 1874, and was succeeded by 
S. Webster. 

13 John Snyder resided in that part of the county 
which is now Lincoln county, and when the new 
political division was organized in December, 1873, 
the office of judge of probate became vacant. Gover- 
nor Horace Austin appointed W. M. Pierce to the 
vacancy in December, 1873. 

I4 The constitution of the state of Minnesota, adopted 
in 1857, provided that the counties of Nicollet and 
Brown (in the latter was included the present Lyon 
county) should form the seventeenth legislative 
district, entitled to one senator and three represen- 
tatives. This apportionment was in force until 1860. 
VJnder it the district was represented as follows: 

1857-58 — Senate, Thomas Cowan; House, Ephraim 
Pierce, Albert Tuttle, Frederick Rehfeld. 

1859-60 — Senate, Thomas Cowan; House, John 
Armstrong, Frederick Rehfeld, W. Pfaender. 

By the legislative apportionment of 1860, the 
counties of Faribault, Jackson, Cottonwood, Nobles, 
Pipestone, Rock and that part of Brown county west 
of range thirty-four (including Lyon county) were 
made to form the twentieth district, entitled to one 
senator and one representative. The district was so 
constituted until 1866 and was represented by the 
following legislators: 

1861 — Senate, Guy K. Cleveland; House, A. Strecker. 

1862 — Senate, Guy K. Cleveland; House, B. O. 

1863— Senate, D. G. Shillock; House, J. B. Wake- 

1864— Senate, D. G. Shillock; House, J. A. Latimer. 

1865 — Senate, D. G. Shillock; House, J. A. Kiester. 

1866— Senate, D. G. Shillock; House, J. B. Wake- 

elected: (). C. Gregg, auditor; Jacob 
Rouse, treasurer; .lames Cummins, 12 
sheriff; Z. (). Titus, register of deeds; 
John Snyder, 13 judge of probate; Walter 
Wakeman, county attorney; Charles L. 
Van Fleet, surveyor; A. D. Morgan, 
commissioner second district. James 
Mitchell, Jr., and M. L. Wood continued 
on the board, representing the first and 
third districts. 

While there was opportunity to vote 
for only a few officers in 1873, the cam- 
paigns for and against the removal of 
the county seat and the creation of 
Lincoln county made the election an 
exciting one and 502 ballots were cast 
in the county as then constituted. 
Following was the result : 

Governor — C. K. Davis (rep), 389; 
Ara Barton (dem), 100; Samuel Mayall, 

Representative 14 — Z. B. Clark (rep), 

In 1866 the future Lyon county, as a part of Redwood 
county, formed a part of the nineteenth district, the 
(■(unities comprising the district being Nicollet, Brown, 
Sibley, Redwood, Renville, Pierce and Davis. The 
district, which was so constituted until 1871, was 
represented as follows: 

1867 — Senate, Adam Buck; House, Charles T. 
Brown, D. G. Shillock. 

1868 — Senate, Charles T. Brown; House, John 
Rudolph, Adam Buck. 

1869 — Senate, Charles T. Brown; House, John 
Rudolph, J. C. Stoever. 

1870 — Senate, William Pfaender; House, William L. 
Couplin, P. H. Swift. 

1871 — Senate, William Pfaender; House, William L. 
Couplin, J. S. G. Honner. 

The apportionment of 1871 put Redwood, Brown 
and Lyon counties in the thirty-seventh district, 
entitled to one senator and two representatives. 
That was the alignment for ten years. The district's 
representatives were as follows: 

1872 — Senate, William Pfaender; House, O. S. 
Reishus, Henry Weyhe. 

1873 — Senate, J. S. G. Honner; House, J. W. Blake, 
C. C. Brandt. 

1874 — Senate, J. S. G. Honner; House, Z. B. Clark, 
Charles Hansing. 

1875 — Senate, J. W. Blake; House, H. S. Berg, 
Knud H. Helling. 

1876 — Senate, J. W. Blake; House, P. F. Jacobson, 
William Skinner. 

1877 — Senate, S. A. Hall; House, David Worst, 
E. P. Bertrand. 

1S78 — Senate, S. A. Hall; House, J. W. Williams, 
C. C. Brandt. 

1879 — Senate, K. H. Helling; House, Gorham 
Powers, J. P. Bertrand. 

1881 — Senate, S. D. Peterson; House, J. C. Zeiske, 
G. W. Braley. 

Since 18S1 Lyon, Lincoln and Yellow Medicine 
counties have comprised one district and have Keen 
represented by one senator and two members of the 
House. Until 1897 the district was No. 16; since thai 
date it has been No. 17. The representatives have 
been as follows: 



243; Bishop Gordon (peo), 165; O. S. 
Reishus, 83. 

Commissioner Third District 15 — N. T. 
Berry, LI; I. D. Briffit, 13; N. F. Berry, 
s." ; 

Considerable opposition to the local 
Republican ticket developed in 1874 
and a "Peoples" ticket was placed in 
nomination. The convention which 
placed it in nomination declared it was 
non-partisan and it was made up of 
Democrats and dissatisfied Republicans. 
The contest following was a spirited one 
and the new party elected auditor, 
treasurer and court commissioner. The 
vote of Lyon county proper was 453 in 
1874. The result in figures: 

Congressman 17 — H. B. Strait (rep), 
398; E. St. Julian Cox (dem), 49. 

Senator— J. W. Blake (rep), 274; 
J. S. G. Honner (peo), 169; John 
Sigler, 2. 

Representative — H. S. Berg (rep), 
445; Falk, 3. 

Auditor— S. S. Truax (rep), 205; 
O. C. Gregg (peo), 248. 

Treasurer — Jacob Rouse (rep), 223; 
J. W. Williams (peo), 229. 

Sheriff— S. Webster (rep), 252; H. J. 
Tripp, 197. 

1883— Senate, J. W. Blake; House, C. M. Morse, 
John Swenson . 

1885 — Senate, J. W. Blake; House, C. M. Morse, 
Thomas McMillan. 

1887 — Senate, Ole O. Lende; House, J. Nobles, 
J. Hanson. 

1889 — Senate, Ole O. Lende; House, A. C. Forbes, 
A. J. Crane. 

1891— Senate, Orrin Mott; House, C. H. White, 
O. C. Wilson. 

1893— Senate, Orrin Mott; House, Ole O. Lende, 
Levi S Tyler. 

1895 Senate, E. S. Reishus; House, Frank W. Nash, 
George E. Olds. 

1897 Senate, E. S. Reishus; House, George E. Olds, 
J. 11. Manchester. 

1899- Senate, Louis H. Schellbach; House, John G. 
Sehutz, Charles \Y. Stites. 

I in H Same as 1S99. 

190.; Senate, .lohn G. Sehutz; House, G. Erickson, 
II. \\ . Ruliffson. 

1905 Senate, John G. Sehutz; House, G. Erickson, 
Marcus Lauritsen. 

1907 Senate, Virgil B. Seward; House, Harry M. 
Hanson, ('. K . Melby. 

1909 Senate, Virgil B. Seward; House, J. N. 
Johnson. ( '. K. Melby. 

1911 Senate. O. A. Lende; House, Edwin F. 
Whiting, J. N. Johnson. 

1 When Lincoln county was withdrawn it became 
necessary to change the commissioner districts of 

Register of Deeds — S. V. Groesbeck 
(rep), 193; George M. Durst (peo), 149; 
William Clemmens (ind), 96. 

Judge of Probate — E. B. Jewett (rep), 
264; James Mitchell, Sr. (peo), 180. 

Attorney — Walter Wakeman' (rep), 
210; Lyman Turner (peo), 197. 

Clerk of Court— Ole H. Dahl (rep), 
325; Fred Holritz (peo), 92. 

Court Commissioner — C. A. Edwards 
(rep), 149; J. N. Johnson 18 (peo), 175. 

Coroner— D. M. Taylor 19 (rep), 199; 
T. W. Castor (peo), 127. 

Surveyor — C. L. Van Fleet (rep-peo), 

Commissioner First District — James 
Mitchell, Jr. (rep), 97; John J. Jones, 18. 

Commissioner Third District — H. T. 
Oakland (rep), 96; T. W. Castor (peo), 

A small vote was cast in 1875, with 
the following results: 

Governor — John S. Pillsbury (rep), 
188; D. L. Buell (dem), 50. 

Representative — P. F. Jacobson (rep), 
69; John N. Johnson (ind), 149. 

Commissioner Second District — W. M. 
Pierce (rep), 73; G. Watson (peo), 81. 

Six hundred six votes were cast at 
the presidential election of 1876, when 

Lyon county and this was done early in 1874, the 
districts being as follows: No. 1, the townships of 
Monroe, Custer, Rock Lake, Shelburne, Amiret and 
Sodus; No. 2, the townships of Lyons, Coon Creek, 
Island Lake, Lynd. Lake Marshall and Clifton; No. 3, 
the townships of Stanley, Fairview, Grandview, 
Nordland, Eidsvold, Westerheim, Vallers and Lucas. 
This apportionment was in force until the county was 
given five districts in 1880. 

16 No one too*k office under this election and on 
March 17, 1874, T. W. Castor was appointed commis- 
sioner from the third district, replacing M. L. Wood. 

l7 From 1872 to 1901 Lyon county formed a part of 
the second congressional district; since that time it 
has been in the seventh district, the other counties of 
the district being Big Stone, Chippewa, Grant, Kandi- 
yohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Pope, Redwood, Renville, 
Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Yellow Medicine. Con- 
gressmen who have represented Lyon county since 
1872 have been as follows: H. B. Strait, March 4, 
1873, to March 4, 1883; J. B. Wakefield, March 4, 1883, 
to March 4, 1887; John Lind, March 4, 1887, to March 
4. 1893; James T. McCleary, March 4, 1893, to 1901; 
Frank M. Eddy, 1901 to March 4, 1903; A. J. Volstead, 
March 4, 1903, to March 4, 1913. 

1S C. H. Whitney became'eourt commissioner Janu- 
ary 4, 1876. 

"Mr. Taylor did not qualify and on July 31, 1876, 
W. M. Todd received the appointment. 



the county was again found to be 
strongly Republican. The "Peoples" 

party was again in the held with a 
county ticket, but with one exception 
all Republicans were chosen for county 
officers. The vote in detail: 

President — Rutherford B.Hayes (rep). 
520; Samuel J. Tilden (dem), 73; 
Cooper, 13. 

Congressman — H. B. Strait (rep), 521 ; 
E. T. Wilder (dem), 73; Ignatius Don- 
nelly, 9. 

Senator— S. A. Hall (rep), 512; S. A. 
George, 76. 

Representative — W. (!. Braley (rep), 
308; David Worst, 236. 

Auditor — O. C. Gregg (rep), 465; 
Fred Holritz (peo), 138. 

Treasurer — J. H. Williams (rep), 134; 
J. W. Williams-" (peo), 460. 

Sheriff — John Hunter (rep), 487; John 
N. Johnson (peo), 101). 

Register of Deeds — C. L. Van Fleet 
(rep), 407; Zenas Rank (peo), 154; 
B. A. Grubb (ind), 32. 

Judge of Probate — D. F. Weymouth 
(rep), 485; E. B. Jewett (peo), 107. 

Attorney — D. F. Weymouth (rep and 
peo), 588. 

Court Commissioner — E. Lamb 21 (rep), 
472; W. M. Pierce (peo), 100. 

Coroner — J. A. Coleman (rep), 497; 
P. B. Fezler (peo), 96. 

Surveyor — C. L. Van Fleet (rep), 446; 
George Link, 149. 

Commissioner Third District — H. T. 
Oakland (rep), 200; H. W. Burlingame 
(peo), 21. 

The election oT 1877 resulted as fol- 
lows : 

20 Mr. Williams was elected to the Legislature in 1877 
while serving his term as county treasurer and when 
he qualified as a member of the Legislature he left the 
county office in charge of a deputy. The Board of 
County Commissioners declared the office vacant and 
on January 22, 1878, appointed R. M. Addison to the 
vacancy. Mr. Williams refused to surrender the 
office, the appointee was unable to secure possession, 
and the former treasurer drew salaries as a member of 
the Legislature and as county treasurer until the end 
of the term. 

Governor— John S. Pillsbury (rep), 
374; William L. Banning (dem), 25. 

Judge District Court '---Alfred Wallin 
(rep), 294; E. St. Julian Cox (peo), 104. 

Representative — J. (1. Bryan (rep), 
221; James W. Williams (peo), 169. 

Superintendent of Schools — G. M. 
Durst (rep), 362. 

Court Commissioner — C. H. Richard- 
son (rep), 390. 

Commissioner First District — James 
Mitchell, Jr. (rep), 67. 

Six hundred ninety-eight was the 
highest number of votes polled for the 
nominees of any one office at the 
election of 1878. Again the opposition 
to the regular Republican ticket was 
represented, but the showing against 
the only organized party in the county 
wits poor and all Republican nominees 
were elected by large majorities. The 
vote follows: 

Congressman — H. B. Strait (rep), 506; 
Henry Poehler (dem), 186. 

Senator — K. H. Helling (rep), 576; 
E. Birum (dem), 117. 

Representative — GorhamPowers (rep) , 
605; H. S. Berg (dem), 91. 

Auditor— O. C. Gregg (rep), 502; Ole 
Quam (peo), 195. 

Treasurer — G. A. Jacobson (rep), 681. 

Sheriff— J. A. Hunter (rep), 576; 
N. Warn (peo), 114. 

Register of Deeds — W. M. Coleman 
(rep), 547; James Ward (peo), 143. 

Judge of Probate — D. F. Weymouth 
(rep), 564; B. A. Grubb (peo), 134. 

Attorney — A. C. Forbes (rep), 561; 
C. Andrews (peo), 116. 

"Mr. Lamb did not qualify. W. M. Pierce was 
appointed court commissioner March 6, 1877, and 
qualified at that time. 

'--Judges of the ninth judicial district and 
dates of service have been as follows: M. G. Hanscome, 
March 11, 1870, to January 1. 1S77; E. St. Julian Cox, 
January 1, 1877, to March 22, 1882; H. D. Baldwin. 
April 4, 1882, to January 3, 1883; B. F. Webber. 
January 3, 1883, to November 15, 1906; I. M. Olsen, 
November 15, 1906, to January. 1913. 



Clerk of Court C E. Patterson (rep). 
150; •). W. Williams (peo), 239. 

Coroner J. W. Andrews (rep), 551; 
S. V. Groesbeck (peo), 142. 

Surveyor II. L. Coats (rep), 498; 
G. W. lank (pro). 114. 

Commissioner Second District — G. 
Watson (rep), 148; G. W. Link (peo), 

There was no opposition to the Re- 
publican nominees in 1879 and the 
result was as follows: 

Governor — John .S. Pillsbury (rep), 
421; Edmund Rice (dem), 100; W. W. 
Satterlee, 15. 

Superintendent of Schools — G. M. 
Durst (rep), 462. 

Court Commissioner — C. H. Richard- 
son (rep), 426. 

Commissioner Third District — H. T. 
Oakland (rep), 138. 

For the first time in the county's 
history, in 1880 the Democrats as a 
party decided to enter the field of local 
politics and placed a ticket in the field. 
Without exception the Republicans 
were successful, although the Democratic 
nominee for representative carried the 
county. Lyon county had made rapid 
strides during the few years previous 
and the total vote now reached 1336. 
The vote in detail: 

President — James A. Garfield (rep), 
1141 : W. S. Hancock (dem), 195. 

Congressman — H. B. Strait (rep), 
1103; Henry Poehler (dem), 227. 

Senator — S. D. Peterson (rep-dem), 
1 J 39. 

Representative — G. W. Braley (rep), 
578; Ener Birum (dem), 748. 

Auditor— O. C. Gregg (rep), 1145; 
M. B. Drew (dem), 190. 

Treasurer — G. A. Jacobson (rep), 
105S: .1. W. Williams (dem), 264. 

"Resigned in January ,\ 1882, and J. W. Blake 
appointed. Jlt h~,-._. »- c-t- » 

-U.yon county had now become entitled to five 

commissioners and on September :;u, lssil, the several 

Sheriff— J. A. Hunter (rep), 1063; 
David Gamble (dem), 266. 

Register of Deeds — A. X. Daniels 
(rep), 932; J. J. Hartigan (dem), 396. 

Judge of Probate — D. F. Weymouth 
(rep-dem), 1324. 

Attorney— A. C. Forbes (rep). 1020; 
Charles W. Main (clem), 296. 

Coroner — S. V. Groesbeck (rep-dem), 

Surveyor — Y. M. Smith 23 (rep-dem), 

Commissioner First District 24 — Jona- 
than Owen (rep), 255; G. W. Link 
(dem), 74. 

Commissioner Second District — M. C. 
Humphrey. Jr. (rep), 220: James Law- 
rence (dem), 11. 

Commissioner Third District — Fred 
Holritz (rep), elected; S. R. Kentner. 

Commissioner Fourth District — James 
Mitchell, Jr. (rep), 154; Joshua J. Coyle 
(dem), 26. 

Commissioner Fifth District — E. L. 
Starr (rep), 222; G. S. Robinson (dem), 

The election of 1881 resulted as fol- 
lows : 

Governor — L. F. Hubbard (rep), 481; 
R. W. Johnson (dem), 79; I. C. Stearns 
(pro), 41. 

Superintendent of Schools — G. M. 
Durst (rep), 562. 

Commissioner First District — A'. M. 
Smith (rep), 100. 

Eleven hundred eighteen votes were 
cast in 1882. A "Peoples" ticket was 
again in the field and there were several 
independent candidates. The contest 
was a sharp one and with one exception 
the Republican ticket was elected. The 
vote as canvassed: 

Congressman — J. B. Wakefield (rep), 

district* were formed as follows: No. 1. Lynd and 
Lake Marshall; No. 2, Lucas. Stanley, Clifton. Fairview 
and Grand view; No. 3, Nordland, Eidsvold, Wester- 
heim and Vallers; No. 4, Amiret, Sodus, Lyons, Coon 



Judge Districl Court 25 B. F. Webber 
(rep), 870; M G. Hanscome (ind), 247. 

Senator .1. W. Blake (rep), 973. 

Representatives JohnSwenson (rep), 
1110; C. W. Morse (rep), 732; Ira S. 
Field (ind), 380. 

Auditor — James Lawrence (rep), 107") : 
M. M. Curtis (peo), 34. 

Treasurer — X. W. L. Jager (rep), 410: 
J. W. Williams (peo), 141; R. M. 
Addison (ind), 556. 

Sheriff— J. F. Remore (rep), 1044; 
Levi Montgomery (peo), 01. 

Register of Deeds— R. R. Bumford 
(rep), 987; Fred Holritz (peo), 127. 

Judge of Probate — F. S. Brown (rep), 
633; D. F. Weymouth (peo), 481. 

Attorney — A. C. Forbes (rep), 695; 
C. W. Main (peo). 21; M. E. Mathews 
(ind), 387. 

Clerk of Court— C. E. Patterson (rep), 
1079; Timothy Stout (peo), 39. 

Court Commissioner — Daniel Wilcox 
(rep), 1115. 

Coroner — J. W. Andrews 26 (rep), 1075; 
John S. Renninger, 29. 

Surveyor — D. Ward Kennedy (rep), 

Commissioner Second District — John 
A. Noble (rep) defeated R. D. Barnes 

Commissioner Third District — Ole L. 
Orsen (rep) defeated Thomas Hanson 

The year 1883 was the last in which 
elections were held in odd-numbered 
years and the officers chosen at that 
time served until after the election of 
1886. There was not much interest in 
the election and no opposition to the 
Republican ticket. A small vote was 
polled and the result was as follows: 

Governor — L. F. Hubbard (rep), 567; 

Creek and Island Lake; No. 5, Monroe, Custer, Rock 
Lake and Shelburne. 

25 E. St. Julian Cox, the preceding incumbent, had 
been impeached and removed from office. H. D. 
Baldwin had been appointed to the office and served 
a short time before this election. 

A. Bierman (dem), 14'.); Charles E. Boll 
(pro), 32. 

Superintendent of Schools Leslie A. 
Gregg (rep), 734. 

Coroner — C. F. Persons (rep), 740. 

Surveyor J. W. Blake 27 (rep). 710. 

Commissioner Fourth District — Hugh 
Neil! (rep). 07. 

Commissioner Fifth District — George 
Carlaw (rep), 283. 

Only the Republican party was in the 
field of local politics in 1884 but there 
were several independent candidates 
and a lively contest resulted. The total 
vote was 1608 and was divided as fol- 
lows : 

President — James G. Blaine (rep), 
1223; Grover Cleveland (dem), 242; 
John P. St. John (pro), 99. 

Congressman — J. B. Wakefield (rep), 
1265; J. J. Thornton (dem), 230; 
William Copp (pro), 96. 

Representatives — C. M. Morse (rep), 
755; Gustav Erickson (rep), 786; C. F. 
Case (ind), 810; Thomas McMillan (ind), 

Auditor — James Lawrence (rep), 1604. 

Treasurer — George Little (rep), 963; 
R. M. Addison (ind), 632. 

Sheriff— J. F. Remore (rep), 1507; 
P. B. Fezler (pro), 86. 

Register of Deeds — R. R. Bumford 
(rep), 1592. 

Attorney — A. C. Forbes (rep), 767; 
V. B. Seward (ind), 822. 

Judge of Probate — F. S. Brown (rep), 
1312; D. F. Weymouth (ind), 254. 

Coroner — C. E. Persons (rep), 1596. 

Commissioner First District — Andrew 
J. Ham (rep), 253. 

The Democrats placed a partial ticket 
in the field in 1886 but were unsuccessful 
in electing any of the nominees, although 

2«Resigned October 3, 1883, and C. E. Persons 

27Resigned and on December 16, 1SS4, Leslie A. 
Gregg appointed. 



they polled nearly 600 votes. The 
highest vote east for any one office was 
1528. The vote for candidates was as 

Governor— A. R. McGill (rep), 1109; 
A. A. Ames (dem), 332; James E. Child 
(pro),. 84. 

Congressman — John Lind (rep), 1053; 
A. H. Bullis (dem), 411; George J. Day 
(pro), 60. 

Senator— Ole O. Lende (rep), 1483. 

Representatives — John Hanson (rep), 
1321; John Noble (rep), 1500; Gustav 
Erickson, 159. 

Auditor — James Lawrence (rep), 989; 
John S. Renninger (dem), 538. 

Treasurer — George Little (rep), 1516. 

Sheriff— J. F. Remore (rep), 1494. 

Register of Deeds — R. R. Bumford 
(rep), 932; M. E. Wilcox (dem), 596. 

Judge of Probate — F. 8. Brown (rep), 

Attorney — A. C. Forbes (rep), 944; 
Charles W . Main (dem), 572. 

Clerk of Court— E. S.. Reishus (rep). 

Court Commissioner — Daniel Wilcox 
(rep). 1517. 

Coroner— C. E. Persons (rep), 1238; 
S. E. Sanderson (dem), 287. 

Surveyor — J. W. Blake (rep), 1500. 

Superintendent of Schools — L. A. 
Gregg 28 (rep), 1166; T. H. Webb (dem), 

Commissioner First District — W. W. 
Rich- ft (rep), 215. 

Commissioner Second District — Ole L. (rep), 82; Fred Holritz. 67; John 
O'Brien, 7(i. 

Commissioner Third District -Robert 
Gardner (rep), 148; J. W. Hoagland, 
126; W. W. Maleroy, 11. 

Commissioner Fourth District — Hugh 
Xeill (rep), 254; F. S. Wetherbee, 65: 
J. W. William-. 7<i. 

^Resigned November 22, 1888, and W. H. Edwards, 
the superintendent-elect, completed the shori un- 
expired term. 

Commissioner Fifth District — E. L. 
Starr (rep), 271; H. B. Swartwood, 89. 

The Republicans, Democrats and Pro- 
hibitionists named county tickets for 
the election of 1888 and the campaign 
was quite spirited, although the domi- 
nant party was uniformly successful. 
The total vote was 1826 — the largest 
yet cast in the county — and was divided 
as follows: 

President — Benjamin Harrison (rep), 
1138; Grover Cleveland (dem), 475; 
Clinton B. Fisk (pro), 207. 

Governor — William R. Merriam (rep), 
1098; Eugene M. Wilson (dem), 485; 
Hugh Harrison (pro), 235. 

Congressman — John Lind (rep), 1152; 
Morton S. Wilkinson (dem), 473; D. W. 
Edwards (pro). 188. 

Judge District Court — B. F. Webber 
(rep), 1818. 

Representatives — A. C. Forbes (rep), 
1065; A. J. Crane (rep), 1087; Wakeman 
(pro), 217. 

Auditor — Thomas P. Baldwin (rep), 
1009; Louis Larson (pro), 789. 

Treasurer — George Little (rep), 1168; 
George C. ManteU (dem), 316; A. R. 
Thompson (pro), 331. 

Sheriff— J. F. Remore (rep), 1256; 
S. B. Green (dem), 343; W. G. Hunter 
(pro), 210. 

Register of Deeds — James B. Gibbons 
(rep), 1022; Philip Letournau (dem), 
661; K. E. Kjorness (pro), 113. 

Judge of Probate — F. S. Brown (rep), 
1234; M. E. Mathews (dem), 374: J. W. 
Series (pro), 198. 

Attorney — V. B. Seward (dem-rep), 

Superintendent of Schools — W. R. 
Edwards (rep), 1305; Mrs. L. F. Ferro 
(pro), 303. 

Court Commissioner — D. F. Wey- 

J9 Resigned in January, 1888, and Frank D. 
chosen by the appointing board. 




mouth (rep), I 153; J. V. Mallory (dem), 
l.'.S; S. B. Wheeler (pro), 204. 

Coroner C. E. Persons I rep), 1 1 50; 
.1. S. Renninger (dem), 468; B. C. 
Emery (pro), 199. 

Surveyor— J. W. Blake (rep), 11:5."); 
George V. Link (dem), 475; Richard 
Morgan (pro), 211. 

Commissioner First District — O. H. 
Hatlestad (rep), 196; John C. Lines 
(dem), 84; (I. ML Robinson (pro). 22. 

Commissioner Third District -J. H. 
Cutler (rep), 140; Robert Gardner 30 
(pro), 1!)!). 

Commissioner Fifth District .James 
.1. Hartigan (rep), 344; 0. .1. Rea (dem), 
54; .1. P. Davis (pro), 39. 

The election of 1890 brought a radical 
change in Lyon county politics, caused 
by the entrance of the farmers alliance. 
Before that date the Republican party 
had met but slight opposition, contend- 
ing occasionally with a "Peoples" ticket 
or independent candidates. Now the 
Alliance party, rapidly gaining strength, 
put a complete ticket in the field and 
gave real opposition to the dominant 
party. The campaign preceding the 
election was bitter and one of the most 
hotly contested in the history of the 
county. The Alliance carried the county 
for their nominees for governor, con- 
gressman and the representatives (wdio 
had been indorsed by the Republicans) 
and elected superintendent of schools 
and two commissioners. An independ- 
ent carried the county for senator and 
the other county offices went to the 
Republicans. The total vote was 1795. 
The result as canvassed: 

Covernor — William R. Merriam (rep), 
605; Thomas J. Wilson (dem), 404; 
Sidney M. Owen (all), 714; J. P. Pinkham 
(pro), 66. 

30 Resigned January 7, 1S90, because of removal 
from the district, and on January 20 S. O. Herrick 
named as his successor. 

Congressman John Lind (rep), 829; 
•lames H. Baker (all), 877. 

Senator Mans Lavesson (rep), 438; 
Orrin Mott (all). 165; H. M. Burchard 
(ind), 769. 

Representatives C. 11. White (all- 
rep), 1760; O. C. Wilson (all-rep), 1764. 

Auditor — Thomas P. Baldwin (rep), 
10S0; .lames F. Gibb (all), 696. 

Treasurer- George Little (rep), 1073; 
II. B. Loomis (all), 709. 

Sheriff— J. F. Remore (rep), 1159; 
K. E. Kjorness (all), 606. 

Register of Deeds — J. B. Gibbons 
(rep), 1059; Webb (all), 709. 

Judge of Probate — F. 8. Brown (rep), 
1115; Perry Newton (all), 669. 

Attorney — V. B. Seward (rep), 1036; 
H. A. Baker (all), 730. 

Clerk of Court^E. S. Reishus (rep), 
1125; I). F. Wasson (all), 637. 

Superintendent of Schools — W. R. 
Edwards (rep), 950; S. L. Wait (all), 

Court Commissioner — E. B. Jewett 
(rep), 1033; M. E. Wilcox (all), 740. 

Coroner — C. E. Persons (rep), 1104. 

Surveyor— J. W. Blake (rep), 983; 
George W. Link (all), 741. 

Commissioner Second District — Oliver 
T. Moe (rep), 84; O. J. Wignes (all), 119. 

Commissioner Third District — Robert 
Riddell (rep), 152; S. O. Herrick (all), 

Commissioner Fourth District — Hugh 
Neill (rep), 325; J. W. Pike (all), 111. 

The Peoples Party succeeded the 
Alliance forces in 1892 and by combining 
with the Democrats elected three county 
officers. The total vote was 2256 and 
the result follows: 

President — Benjamin Harrison (rep), 
1069; Grover Cleveland (dem), 584 31 ; 

■■"Fusion was effected cm some of the Democratic 
and Peoples Party presidential electors in Minnesota 
and those electors received 7.50 votes in Lyon county. 



James B. Weaver (pp), 358; Silas Bid- 
well (pro). 271. 

Governor — Knute Nelson (rep), 1009; 
1). W. Lawler (dem), 514; Ignatius 
Donnelly (pp), 319; William J. Dean 
(pro), 257. 

Congressman — James T. MeCleary 
(rep), 981; W. S. Hammond (dem), 452: 
L. C. Long (pp), 353; E. H. Bronson 
(pro), 282. 

Representatives- L. S. Tyler (rep), 
1011 ; Ole Lende (rep), 806; James Gibb 
(pp-dem), 699; O. C. Wilson fpp-dem), 
611; A. R. Chace (pro), 326; A. L. 
Foster (pro), 210. 

Auditor— Ole Kelson (rep), 730; C. H. 
White (pp-dem), 601; A. L. Baldwin 
(pro). 329; T. B. Baldwin (ind), 465. 

Treasurer — Robert Riddell (rep), 454; 
S. Odell (pp-dem). 600; Seth Johnson 
(pro), 281; George Little (ind), 833. 

Sheriff— J. F. Remore (rep), 1327; 
G. A. Dalmann -(pp-dem). 527; W. G. 
Hunter (pro), 301. 

Register of Deeds — J. B. Gibbons 
(rep), 978; A. O. Anderson (pp-dem), 
787; E. I. Leland (pro), 390". 

Judge of Probate — O. E. Maxson 
(rep). 970; C. W. Main (pp-dem), 891; 
A. P. Whitney (pro), 277. 

Attorney — F. S. Brown (rep), 962; 
M. F. Mathews 32 (pp-dem), 964; T. M. 
Quart on (pro), 250. 

Superintendent of Schools — D. C. 
Pierce (rep), 750; S. L. Wait (pp-dem), 
945; J. F. Durst (pro), 628. 

Coroner — C. E. Persons (pp-dem-rep), 
1466; C. M. Ferro (pro), 436. 

Surveyor -O. H. Sterk (pp-dem), 
1017; L. S. Teigland (pro), 597. 

Commissioner First District — O. H. 

II at lest ad (rep). 209; Robert Heilman 
(pp-dem). 218. 

Commissioner Third District— James 

"Resigned September 24. 1894, and' no successor 

Murrison (rep), 188; J. J. Thomas (pp- 
dem), 108; S. O. Herrick (ind), 113. 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. J. 
Hartigan 33 (rep), 226; W. S. Moses (pp- 
dem), 69; Louis Rialson (pro), 126. 

In 1894 fusion was effected on only 
a few of the offices and there were four 
partial tickets in the field. The Repub- 
licans were generally successful, al- 
though the opposition carried the county 
for one representative and elected the 
county attorney and clerk of court. 
The vote was 2721 and the several 
candidates received votes as follows: 

Governor — Knute Nelson (rep), 1272; 
George L. Becker (dem), 166; S. M. 
Owen (pp), 1052; Hans S. Hilleboe 
(pro), 149. 

Congressman — James T. MeCleary 
(rep), 1318; James H. Baker (dem), 206; 
L. C. Long (pp), 893; H. S. Kellom 
(pro), 161. 

Senator — Charles ('. Whitney (rep), 
1181; F. S. Reishus (pp), 1127; 1). H. 
Evans (pro), 301 . 

Representatives— F. W. Nash (rep). 
1294; George E. Olds (rep), 835; 1). T. 
Jones (pp), 907; L. I. Leland (pp). 7S6; 
M. F. Woodard (pro), 201. 

Judge District Court — B. F. Webber 
(non-partisan), 1816. 

Auditor — Ole Kelson (rep), 1407; C. 
H. AVhite (pp), 952; C. D. Brimmer 
(pro), 166. 

Treasurer— Eli S. Frick (rep), 1300; 
Ephraim Skyhawk (dem), 316; D. S. 
Phillips (pp). 930. 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen (rep), 
1024; J. P. Peirard (dem), 449; O. J. 
Wignes (pp), 874; James Morgan (pro), 

Register of Deeds — S. N. Harrington 
(rep), 1245; John Michie (dem). 03: E. 
T. Mathews (pp). 1033; L. S. Teigland 
(pro). 243. 

"Died November 24, 1894, 
chosen to complete the term. 

and Ole F. Norwood 



Judge of Probate 0. E. Maxson(rep), 
1362; ('. \Y. -Main (dem-pp), I L59. 

Attorney — F. S. Brown (rep), 1196; 
V. B. Seward (pp-dem), 1249; T. M. 
Quarton (pro). 143. 

Clerk of Court— 0. H. Hatlestad (rep), 
1113; S. Odell (pp), 1272; J. F. Durst 
(pro), 207. 

Superintendent of Schools — J. P. 
Byrne (rep-pro), 1551; Mrs. T. H. Webb 
(dem), 185; S. L. Wait (pp), 1100. 

Coroner — C. E. Persons (rep). 1642; 
C. M. Ferro (pro), 527. 

Surveyor— 0. H. Sterk (rep), 2035. 

Commissioner Second District — J. B. 
Johnson (rep), 143; C. P. Kenyon (dem), 
. 85; K. S. Kvanbek (pp), 108; Ole L. 
Orsen (pro), 51. 

Commissioner Fourth District — T. J'. 
Baldwin (rep), 412; M. C. Kiel (pp), 191. 

In 1896 the free silver issue gained 
many adherents in Lyon county. AVil- 
liam Jennings Bryan, the Democratic 
standard bearer, received a large vote 
and John Lind carried the county for 
*governor. The Peoples Party had a 
county ticket in the field and its nomi- 
nees received large votes, several being 
elected. The total vote was 3066. The 
result in detail: 

President — William McKinley (rep). 
1623; W. J. Bryan ( dem-pp j, 1351; 
John M. Palmer (nat dem), 25; Levering 
(pro), 67. 

Governor— David M. Clough (rep), 

' 1384; John Lind (dem-pp), 1560; William 

J. Dean (pro), 56; A. A. Ames (ind), 3. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep), 1554; Frank A. Day (dem-pp), 
1386; Richard Price (pro), 62. 

Representatives — J. H. Manchester 
(rep), 1561; George E. Olds (rep), 1235; 
John T. Mooney (pp), 1329; David T. 
Jones (pp), 1181. 

"Died September 19, 1.898, and Charles H. Kelson, 
a son, was appointed to complete the short unexpired 

Auditor— Ole Kelson 1 " (rep), 1617; 
(). F. Norwood (pp), 1411. 

Treasurer— Eli S. Frick (rep), 1623; 
Hubert M. Gray (pp), 1377. 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen (rep), 
1866; H. M. Dwyre (pp), 1187. 

Register of Deeds — S. N. Harrington 
(rep), 1605; Arne Anderson (pp), 142(>. 

Judge of Probate — O. E. Maxson 
(rep), 1625; C. M. Gislason (pp), 1386. 

Attorney — F. S. Brown (rep), 1621; 
C. W. Main (pp), 1414. 

Superintendent of. Schools — J. P. 
Byrne (rep), 1637; Mrs. Dell W. Forbes 
(pp). 2046. 

Coroner — C. E. Persons (rep), 1697; 
S. Iv Sanderson (pp), 1271. 

Surveyor— O. H. Sterk (pp), 2015. 

Commissioner First District — Erik 
Roti (rep), 279; Robert Heilman 3 "' (pp), 

Commissioner Third District — James 
Murrison (rep), 302; D. S. Phillips (pp), 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. A. 
Hunter (rep), 318; George P. Erb (pp), 

Again in 1898 the Democratic-Peoples 
Party candidate for governor carried the 
county, as also did one of that party's 
nominees for the Legislature. On the 
county ticket the Peoples Party, which 
was the only one in opposition to the 
Republican, elected clerk of court and 
superintendent of schools, while an inde- 
pendent was chosen one of the com- 
missioners. There was a falling off in 
the vote, only 2285 being cast. The 
result : 

Governor — William H. Eustis (rep), 
976; John Lind (dem-pp), 1141; George 
W. Higgins (pro), 62; L. C. Long (middle 
road populist), 32; William B. Ham- 
mond (soc lab), 3. 

"Resigned January 31, 1899, and was succeeded by 
Horace G. Hoffman. 



Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep), L092; D. H. Evans (pp-dem), 
L061; T. P. Grout (pro), 65. 

Senator — Louis H. Shellbach (rep), 
1123; E. S. Reishus (pp), 1040. 

liepret entatives — John (1. Schutz 
(rep), 1165; Charles \Y. Stites (rep), S54; 
John S. Mooney (pp), 903; Chr. Christ - 
ianson (pp), 834. 

Auditor — Thomas McKinley (rep), 
1181; 0. F. Norwood (pp), 1031. 

Treasurer— Eli S. Frick (rep), 1180; 
Hubert M. Gray (pp), 994. 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen (rep), 

Register of Deeds — S. N. Harrington 
(rep), 1214; Martin Furgeson (pp), 972. 

Judge of Probate — L. M. Lange (rep), 
1304; S. L. Wait (pp), 878. 

Attorney — F. S. Brown (rep), 1150; 
M. E. Mathews (pp), 1079. 

Clerk of Court — E. 1. Leland (rep), 
934; S. Odell (pp), 1306. 

Superintendent of Schools — Mrs.Addie 
M. Whiting (rep), 1066; Mrs. Dell W. 
Forbes (pp), 1752. 

Coroner — C. E. Persons (rep), 1740. 

Surveyor — W. A. Hawkins (rep), 1222; 
O. H. Sterk (pp), 1031. 

Commissioner Second District — P. O. 
French (rep), 81; K. S. Kvanbeck (pp), 
121; Ole J. Wignes (ind), 127. 

Commissioner Fourth District — T. P. 
Baldwin (rep), 322; C. H. White (pp), 

The Republicans made almost a clean 
sweep in 1900, carrying the county for 
all national, state, congressional and 
legislative nominees and electing all the 
county officers except superintendent of 
schools. The number of ballots cast 
was 3033 and the vote in detail was as 

President — William McKinley (rep), 
1844-; W. J. Bryan (dem-pp), 879; John 

'■Died November 2, 1903. John N. Jones succeeded 
to the office. 

G. Woolley (pro), 111; E. Y. Debs (soc 
clem), 16; Malloney (soc lab), 4. 

Governor — Samuel R. Van Sant (rep), 
1466; John Find (dem-pp), 1308: Bernt 

B. Haugen (pro), 66; S. M. Fairchild 
(middle road populist), 17; Thomas H. 
Lucas (soc clem), 4; Edward Kriz (soc 
lab), 3. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep), 1601; M. E. Mathews (dem-pp), 
1211; S. D. Works (pro), 86. 

Judge District Court — B. F. Webber 
(non partisan), 2019. 

Representatives — John G. Schutz 
(rep), 1690; Charles W. Stites (rep), 
1505; D. H. Evans (pp), 1122; Chr. 
Christianson (pp), 903. 

Auditor — Thomas McKinley (rep), 
1962; J. T. Hanson (pp), 1071. 

Treasurer— A. H. Dunton (rep), 1588; 
Charles Catlin (pp), 1220. 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen (rep),' 
2013; Ole J. Wignes (pp), 855. 

Register of Deeds — S. N. Harrington 
(rep), 1787; Martin Furgeson (pp), 1064. 

Judge of Probate — L. M. Lange (rep), 

Attorney — E. C. Patterson (rep), 1480; 

C. W. Main (dem-pp), 1400. 
Superintendent of Schools — Mrs. Dell 

W. Forbes (pp), 2236. 

Court Commissioner — Walter Wake- 
man (rep), 2227. 

Coroner — C. E. Persons (rep), 2265. 

Surveyor — W. A. Hawkins (rep), 2303. 

Commissioner First District — O. H. 
Hatlestad (rep), 301; Horace G. Hoff- 
man (pp), 240. 

Commissioner Third District — C. W. 
Candee 36 (rep), 382; D. S. Phillips (pp), 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. A. 
Hunter (rep), 333; A. R. Endersbee 
(PP), 218. 

The primary election law went into 


Home of Captain Langdon at the Old Watermill in the Once Flourishing 

Village of Camden. 

Erected by Griff Hughes on Section 9, Custer Township, in the Fall of 1SS9. 



effed in 1902, and since thai time party 
nominations have been made by direct 
vote of the people instead of the old 

style county conventions. This has re- 
sulted in revolutionizing county politics. 
Lyon county being normally strongly 
Republican, the principal campaign is 
now made for the Republican nomina- 
tion and there are seldom contests for 
county office at the general election. 

The first primary election in Lyon 
county was held September 16, 1902, 
and there were contests only among the 
Republicans. The result of the ballot- 
ing where more than one sought the 
office was as follows: 

Congressman — M. J. Dowling, 1041; 
A. J. Volstead, 620; E. T. Young, 163. 

Senator— John G. Schutz, 1151; C. YY. 
Stites, 67s! 

Representatives — J. H. Catlin, 695; 
Gustav Erickson, 819; A. H. Mahler, 
387; H. W. Ruliffson, 1078. 

Register of Deeds — J. W. Andrews, 
477; 8. N. Harrington, 1268. 

Attorney — Thomas E. Davis, 1035; 
E. C. Patterson, 771. 

Clerk of Court— G. B. Bjornson, 910; 
A. G. Bumford, 913. 

Commissioner Second District — C. K. 
Melby, 192; Ole L. Orsen, 96. 

The result of the general election of 
1902, at which 2494 ballots were cast, 
Avas as follows: 

Governor — Samuel R. Van Sant (rep), 
1784; Leonard A. Rosing (dem), 534; 
Thomas J. Meighen (pp), 69; Charles 
Scanlon (pro), 91 ; J. E. Nash, 3; Thomas 
Van Lear (soc lab), 11. 

Congressman — A. J. Volstead (rep), 
1871; August O. Forsberg (pp), 373; 
Knut Johnson (pro), 145. 

Senator— John G. Schutz (rep), 1925. 

Representatives — H. W. Ruliffson 

(rep), 1741; Gustav Erickson (rep), 
1544; John .1. Mooney (pp). 495. 

Auditor — Thomas McKinley (rep), 

Treasurer — A. H. Dunton (rep), 2055. 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen (rep), 

Register of Deeds — S. N. Harrington :i7 
(rep), 2172. 

Judge of Probate — L. M. Lange 38 
(rep), 2103. 

Attorney — Thomas E. Davis (rep), 
1469; E. B. Johnson (hid), 1025. 

Clerk of Court — A. G. Bumford (rep), 

Superintendent of Schools — H. R. 
Painter (rep), 1263; Mrs. Dell W. 
Forbes (non partisan), 1973. 

Surveyor — W. A. Hawkins (rep), 

Commissioner Second District — C. K. 
Melby (rep), 240; O. J. Wignes (ind), 

Commissioner Fourth District — Levi 
S. Kiel (rep), 523. 

The contests in the Republican pri- 
mary election of 1904 were decided as 
follows : 

Representatives — Gustav Erickson, 
883; Marcus Lauritsen, 689; John Mc- 
Kenzie, 843; H. W. Ruliffson, 995. 

Treasurer— C. J. Berdan, 847; A. H. 
Dunton, 1054. 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen, 1251; 
H. O. Clark, 694. 

Judge of Probate — E. C. Patterson, 
937; Walter Wakeman, 935. 

Commissioner Third District — J. N. 
Jones, 215; L. E. Peterson, 179. 

At the 1904 general election 3134 
ballots were cast, the largest number in 
the history of the county, before or 
since. For president Theodore Roose- 
velt received a record breaking majority 

37 Died September 12, 1903. M. E. Drake received 
the appointment and completed the term. 

38 Resip:ni'd and was succeeded by E 
June 1, 1903. 

C. Patterson 



over Alton B. Parker. The vote for the 
several nominees was as follows: 

President — Theodore Roosevelt (rep), 
2394; Alton B. Parker (dem), 331; 
Thomas Watson (pp), 52; Swallow (pro), 
107: E. V. Debs (pub own), 50. 

Governor — Robert C. Dunn (rep), 

Lauritsen, 753; Ole Ostensoe, 186; V. B. 
Seward, 1800. 

Representatives — H. M. Hanson, 1350: 
I. L. Kolhei, 964; C. K. Melby, 1476. 

Auditor — Thomas McKinley, 782; 
Ernest S. Shepard, 2019. 

Treasurer — A. H. Dunton, 544; J. H. 

Hi58; John A. Johnson (dem), 1268; Dahl, 707; Elmer E. Foster, 498; R. M. 
Charles W. Dorsett (pro), 82; J. E. Nash Neill, 1089; F. S. Purdy, 81. 
(pub own), 15; A. W. M. Anderson (soc 
lab), 14. 

Congressman — A. J. Volstead (rep), 

R epresentatives — Marcus Lauritsen 
(rep), 2285; Gustav Erickson (rep), 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen, 1407; 
M. E. Grannan, 1527. 

Register of Deeds— M. E. Drake, 2010; 
George D. Fitch, 669. 

Judge of Probate — Walter Wakeman, 
1381; O. F. Woodard, 1432.. 

Clerk of Court— C. J. -Berdan, 596; 

Auditor— Thomas McKinley (rep), A. G. Bumford, 1515; Frank C. Whitney, 

2704. 737. 

Treasurer— A. H. Dunton (rep), 2691. Surveyor— W. A. Hawkins, 1059; O. 

Sheriff — Andrew A. Christensen (rep), H. Sterk, 1562. 

2751 . Commissioner Second District — Ole E. 

Register of Deeds— M. E. Drake (rep), Rye, 203; T. K. Thompson, 224. 


Judge of Probate — E. C. Patterson 
(rep), 2449. 

Attorney — Thomas E. Davis (rep), 
1460; Bjorn B. Gislason (ind), 1674. 

Superintendent of Schools — Mrs. Dell 
W. Forbes (non partisan), 2580. 

Coroner — J. B. Robertson (rep), 2250. 

Surveyor — W. A. Hawkins (rep), 

Commissioner First District — O. H. 
Hatlestad (rep), 504. 

Commissioner Third District — John N. 
Jones (rep), 382; S. W. Galbraith (ind), 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. M. 
Wardell (rep), 488. 

There were many candidates for the 
Republican nominations in L906 and 
the results were as follows: 

Judge District Court — L. G. Davis, 
506; Joseph A. Eckstein, 519; I. M. 
Olsen, 1)40; B. F. Webber, 320. 

Senator Robert Faulds, 103; Marcus 

At the 1906 general election 2293 
votes were polled and the results were 
as follows: 

Governor — A. L. Cole (rep), 815; 
John A. Johnson (dem), 1288; Charles 
W. Dorsett (pro), 112; O. E. Lofthus 
(pub own), 19. 

Judge District Court— I. M. Olsen 
(rep), 954; Albert Steinhauser (dem), 
100; M. E. Mathews (non partisan), 

Congressman — A. J. Volstead (rep), 

Senator — V. B. Seward (rep), 1798. 

Representatives — H. M. Hanson (rep), 
1536; C. K. Melby (rep), 1452. 

Auditor — Ernest S. Shepard (rep), 

Treasurer— R. M. Neill (rep), 1909. 

Sheriff — M. E. Grannan (rep), 1607. 
Register of Deeds — M. E. Drake (rep), 

Judge of Probate — O. F. Woodard 

(rep), 1S58. 



Attorney X. J. Robinson (rep), 1849. 

Clerk of. Court— A. G. Bumford (rep), 

Superintendent of Schools — II. R. 
Painter (rep), 1(122; .Mrs. Dell W. Forbes 
(non partisan). 1512. 

Coroner — J. B. Robertson (rep), 17(>7. 

Surveyor — O. H. Sterk (rep). 1817. 

Commissioner Second District T. K. 
Thompson (rep), 300. 

Commissioner Fourth District -Levi 
S. Kiel (rep), 430. 

Only a few contested for the Repub- 
lican nominations in 1908 and the 
results were 1 as follows: 

Representatives — John X. Johnson, 
1169; C. K. Melby, 1100; Thomas 
Stringer, 640. 

Judge of Probate — John E. Regan, 
596; O. V. Woodard, 1274. 

Commissioner First District — O. H. 
Hatlestad, 166; Ludwig E. Larson, 153. 

Commissioner Third District — Clans 
G. Johnson, 81; Evan M. Jones, 139; 
John X. Jones, 132; George A. Tate, 151. 

Commissioner Fifth District — H. J. 
Cain. 131; J. M. Wardell, 203. 

The general election of 1908 brought 
forth 2987 voters. The vote in detail: 

President— W. H. Taft (rep). 1618; 
W. J. Bryan (dem), 1043; Eugene W. 
Chafin (pro), 146; E. V. Debs (pub own), 
46; Thomas L. Hisgen (independence), 1. 

Governor — Jacob F. Jacobson (rep), 
1530; John A. Johnson (dem), 1209; 
George D. Haggard (pro), 106; Beecher 
Moore (pub own), 19; William W. Allen 
(independence), 3. 

Congressman — A. J. Volstead (rep), 

Represent at ives- 
(rep), 1424; C. K. 

John N. Johnson 
Melby (rep), 1589; 

W. C. Gaugh (pro), 583; Alfred Soder- 

lind (ind), 915. 

; '.Mr. Wardell resigned in the spring of 1912 on 
account of ill health and died a few weeks later. 
H. F. Seiter was chosen to complete the term. 

Auditor Ernest S. Shepard (rep), 

Treasurer P. M. Neil] (rep), 2236. 

Sheriff— M. E. Grannan (rep). 2157. 

Register of Deeds M. E. Drake (rep), 

Judge of Probate— O. F. Woodard 
(rep), 22S3. 

Attorney X..I. Robinson (rep), 2152. 

Superintendent of Schools — H. R. 
Painter (rep). 2229. 

Coroner — J. B. Robertson (rep), 2043. 

Surveyor -0. II. Sterk (rep), 2163. 

Commissioner hirst District — O. H. 
Hatlestad (rep). 285; Peter T. Dahl 
(ind), 252. 

Commissioner Third District — George 
A. Tate (rep), 302; C. E. Etrheim (dem), 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. M. 
Wardell 39 (rep), 392. 

The results of the Republican primary 
election of 1910 for the offices sought by 
more than one candidate were as fol- 

Senator— Olai A. Lende, 1351; V. B. 
Seward, 1273. 

Representatives — J. H. Catlin, 1044; 
Edwin F. Whiting, 1419. 

Sheriff— M. E. Grannan, 1390; R. A. 
Mitchell, 1161. 

Register of Deeds — Boyd Champlain, 
947; M. E. Drake, 1513. 

Judge of Probate — John Michie, 774; 
O. F. Woodard, 1709. 

Superintendent of Schools — Lucy A. 
Mercer, 794; H. R, Painter, 1878. 

Surveyor — J. D. Lanoue, 616; O. H. 
Sterk, 1662. 

Commissioner Fourth District — E. E. 
Davis, 312; Levi S. Kiel, 255; S. W. Or, 

At the last general election before the 
publication of this volume— that of 



1910— the total vote cast was 2507. 40 
The vote was divided among the several 
nominees as follows: 

( rovernor — A. 0. Eberhart (rep), 1158; 
James Gray (dem), 1091; J. F. Heiberg 
(pro), 90; George E. Barrett (pub own), 
24; C. W. Brandborg (soc lab), 33. 

Congressman — A. J. Volstead (rep), 

Senator — Olai A. Lende (rep), 1867. 

Representative — Edwin F. Whiting 
(rep), 1745; Cain (ind), 311. 

Auditor — Ernest 8. Shepard (rep), 

Treasurer— R. M. Neill (rep), 1983. 

Sheriff— M. E. Grannan (rep), 1266; 
John Munroe (dem), 1192. 

Register of Deeds — M. E. Drake (rep), 

Judge of Probate — O. F. Woodard 
(rep), 1929. 

Attorney— James H. Hall (rep), 1220; 
James Von Williams (dem), 1178. 

Clerk of Court — A. G. Bumford (rep), 

Superintendent of Schools — H. R. 
Painter (rep), 1942. 

Coroner— J. B. Robertson (rep), 1839. 

Surveyor— O. H. Sterk (rep), 1911. 

Commissioner Second District — T. K. 
Thompson (rep), 167; James McGinn 
(dem), 176. 

Commissioner Fourth District — E. E. 
Davis (rep), 398; Levi S. Kiel (ind), 267. 

And now the political history of Lyon 
county is brought to a close. It covers 
a period from the time in 1870 when the 
first official took the oath of office— 
when there were less than one hundred 
voters in the count}- — up to and in- 
cluding the last general election before 
the publication of this volume. A brief 

40 The vote of the county at the first election, in 
IN<(), was is, and m 1873, while the present Lincoln 
county was included in it, it was .502. The total vote 
cast a1 each election since that time was* as follows' 
L874, 453; 187.".. 238; 1876, 606; 1877, 399; 1878, 698'; 

summary of conditions during this time 
may not be out of place. 

The county has always been normally 
Republican and in the early days was 
overwhelmingly so. Although the party 
of Jefferson polled fair sized votes at 
several elections, it has never carried 
the county for the national ticket; at 
three elections it carried the county for 
its nominees for governor. 

During the entire early history of the 
county, the Republican was the" only 
party maintaining an organization. But 
during that time there was a strong 
independent movement, kept alive by 
one faction of the Republican party and 
the Democrats, which opposed the Re- 
publican organization and on several 
occasions gained partial control of county 
politics. With the later settlement of 
the county came the organization of 
the Democratic party, and since that 
time it has been a factor in county 
politics, although always as a minority 
party. Since primary election days it 
has participated in local politics only 
to a limited extent. 

In the free silver days of the nineties 
the Alliance, succeeded after one cam- 
paign by the Peoples Party, came into 
existence, carried the county for gover- 
nor and congressman at one election, 
and became a power in local politics. 
Fusion between the Peoples Party and 
Democrats was accomplished and for 
some time the combined forces furnished 
opposition to the dominant party. 

The Prohibitionists have never been 
strong in Lyon county. In a few cam- 
paigns they placed nominees for county 
offices in the field. Socialists and other 
minor parties have little or no strength 
in the count v. 

30.33; 1902, 2494; 1904, 3134; 1906, 2293; 1908,' 2987-' 
1910, 2.507. 


MARSHALL- -1872-1912. 

MARSHALL, the capital of Lyon 
county, is the largesl and old- 
est existing town in the county. 
It is located at the Big Lend of the 
Redwood river, and its elevation above 
sea level is 1174 feet. It is a station 
on the Chicago & Northwestern railroad 
and the Great Northern railroad. Other- 
wise described, Marshall is on section 4, 
Lake Marshall township, and the busi- 
ness center of the city is only three 
miles, in a direct line, from the geo- 
graphical center of the county. 

The population of Marshall in 1910 
was 2152, but there has been an in- 
crease since that time and a census 
today would show a population of about 
2500. It is one of the progressive and 
prosperous towns of Southwestern Min- 
nesota. All lines of business that are 
to be found in the towns of agricultural 
communities of the upper Mississippi 
valley are represented. It is noted for 
its beautiful homes, schools, churches 
and social organizations, and in these 
respects it is the peer of any city of its 
size in the state. 

Considered in its natural state, the 
location of Marshall is one of unusual 
beauty; Southwestern Minnesota has 
not a more lovely spot. Through the 
eastern part of the city flows the Red- 
wood river, skirted by a growth of 
natural timber, which forms a series of 

pretty little parks. In its natural state 
and with the embellishments added by 
the hands of man, Marshall ranks as one 
of the prettiest little cities in a state 
distinguished for its pretty towns. 
Especially is one charmed with its 
loveliness in summer. Then the broad 
avenues and parks are clothed in bright- 
est green; trees are everywhere. 

One can hardly realize that less than 
a half century ago this spot was an 
uncharted wilderness, practically un- 
known to white men; yet such is the 
case. Time was when the dusky red 
man pitched his tepee where now 
Marshall's churches are located; vast 
herds of bison inhabited the surrounding 
country and made their wallows, per- 
haps, where now our courts are held; 
timid deer browsed where at present 
the pupil studies his natural history; 
elk in countless numbers roamed the 
adjacent prairies and saw their antlers 
reflected in the clear waters of the 
Redwood as they bent down to drink. 

When the first white man set foot on 
the site of the city is not known. Pos- 
sibly he was some adventurous trapper 
who had pushed out beyond his asso- 
ciates to locate new grounds in which 
to ply his trade, and, having come to 
the Redwood river, proceeded up the 
stream to the point where was later 
founded the city. Maybe Joseph La 



Framboise in the thirties or James W. 
Lynd in the fifties, in their operations 
in Lyon county, visited the Big Bend 
of the Redwood and were the first to 
stand upon the site. Possibly the first 
was a member of one of the exploring 
parties that visited Southwestern Min- 
nesota in an early day. 

History records that wherever the 
North American Indians were in the 
habit of gathering for purposes of 
residence, council, worship or barter, 
those spots have invariably been selected 
by white men on which to locate their 
centers of population. There is scarce 
an instance to the contrary, and. 
indeed, it would have been remarkable 
had a city not been founded where 
Marshall now stands. For the Big Bend 
of the Redwood was a well-known spot 
to the aborigines; there they were wont 
to gather and make their camps while 
on the warpath or hunt, and it came to 
be a popular assembling ground. Trails 
extended from it in four directions: 
northward to the Lac qui Parle country; 
southward, past Lake Marshall, to the 
Cottonwood river country and Lake 
Shetek; southwestward, up the Red- 
wood river, to the Lynd woods and the 
famous Pipestone quarries; northeast- 
ward, down the Redwood, to the 
present site of Redwood Falls and the 
Minnesota river. 

The land on which Marshall was later 
built (section 4, Lake Marshall town- 
ship) was without a claimant until the 
summer of 1S69. At that time C. H. 
Whitney and C. H. Upton, accompanied 
by others, came to the county and 
located claims thereon, Mi'. Whitney 
taking the southeast quarter and Mr. 
Upton the northeast quarter. They 

'The proximity oi Lake Marshal] doubtless suggested 

l lie name of the postoffiee to Mr. Whitney. The lake 
was named in honor of Governor William I!. Marshall. 
The village was not named after Lake Marshall or in 
honor of Governor Marshall, but after this postoffice. 

broke a little land on each of those 
claims and also on the northwest quarter 
of the same section, which was reserved 
as the claim of Mrs. Ursula Stone, 
mother-in-law of Mr. Upton and a 
soldier's widow. These gentlemen de- 
parted from their claims on June L">. 
and on the eighteenth made their filings 
in the land office at New Ulm. 

Messrs. Whitney and Upton returned 
on June 1, 1870. Mr. Whitney built a 
sod shanty on his claim — the first build- 
ing erected in Marshall, though not the 
first in the village as originally platted 
—and Mr. Upton put up a sod shanty 
on his claim, both being on the east side 
of the river and not in the original 
platted portion, but in additions later 
made. Although there was no prospect 
of the founding of a village at the time, 
Mr. Whitney, on October 17. 1870, 
secured the establishment of a post- 
office, which was located on his claim 
and of which he became postmaster. 
The office was named Marshall 1 and was 
operated as a country postoffice until 
the village was founded. 

During 1870 a number of settlers 
located in the vicinity of the village-to- 
be and the Marshall postoffice became 
a sort of social center for those living in 
the neighborhood. Late in May, 1871, 
Mrs. Ursula Stone and Milo Morse 
arrived and selected as their claims the 
remaining land on section 4, Mr. Morse 
filing on the southwest quarter and Mrs. 
Stone on the northwest quarter. In 
June Mr. Morse, assisted by his neigh- 
bors, built a sod shanty at a point on 
his claim which is about where the 
Van Dusen elevator now stands, close 
to the Northwestern tracks. 2 

Not until early in 1872 was there 

2 "I helped to build the first house on the original 
townsite of Marshall, in June, 1871. It was a sod 
house. The original homesteader, Milo Morse, held a 
'bee' and the Bellinghams, At Bean, myself and others 
attended."— G. M. Durst. 



thought of a village at the Big Bend. 
Then came rumors of the proposed ex- 
tension of the Winona & St. Peter rail- 
road through Lyon county, and a little 
later came the surveyors who selected 
the route. The people at the Big Bend 
early put in a claim for a station on the 
proposed road, hut their claim was 
opposed by the settlers at the point 
where the road would cross Three-Mile 
creek, close to the present village of 
Ghent. For a time the choice was in 
doubt, but the settlers at the Hia; Bend 
were triumphant, largely through the 
exertions of (\ II. Whitney. He made 
a trip to the land office at Redwood 
Falls, secured data concerning the land 
filings in the two neighborhoods, and 
presented the matter to the railroad 
authorities in such light that t hex- 
promised the Lyon county station should 
he at the point where the road would 
cross the Redwood river. 

It was not long after the selection of 
the .site was made 1 before there were 
signs of a village. The first building 
erected, excepting the sod houses hefore 
mentioned, was put up in June, 1872. 
It was a little frame building erected by 
the railroad company for the use of its 
engineers and stood where the Lawrence 
furniture store is now. The second 
building was put up about the same 
time and stood in the middle of Third 
Street, facing Main, in front of the site 
now occupied by the Lyon County 
National Bank. Its dimensions were 
13x16 feet, with a lean-to, and the 
lumber it contained was hauled from 

New 11 in. The builders were William 
Everett, R. M. Addison and Charles A. 
DeGraff (the latter the head of the 
contracting firm which built the rail- 
road), who formed the firm of Willi; 



Everett A: Company for the purpose of 
engaging in business in the proposed 
town. A large slock of goods was 
carried and the firm did an enormous 
business from the start, most of the 
patrons being employes doing construc- 
tion work. 3 

At a time when the only buildings 
on the site were the engineers' office, the 
Everett stoic building and the sod 
shanties of the homesteaders, and hefore 
it was platted, in .Inly. 1872, Marshall 
was named. The momentous event 
occurred at a supper served a party of 
railroad officials by Mrs. C. H. Whitney 
in the engineers' office. 1 There were 
present Vice President and Treasurer 
Sykes, General Manager Howe, General 
Superintendent Stewart, Attorney Gen- 
eral Smith, Chief Engineer W. G. Ward, 
Assistant Engineer J. W. Blake, Con- 
tractor DeGraff and his son, Charles 

During the meal the naming of the 
station was discussed and the following 
names were proposed, all in honor of 
some member of the party: Ward City. 
Howeville, DeGraffton, Stewartville and 
Blake City. No agreement was reached 
and W. G. Ward suggested that their 
hostess, Mrs. Whitney, name the station 
and the others assented. Having heard 
the- discussion, Mrs. Whitney realized 
that the selection of one of the names 

3 The sales at this store the day it opened were 
$2200, and they frequently were $2000 to $2,500 per 
day. R. M. Addison and S. H. Mott succeeded to the 
business some time after the railroad came and a 
little later Mr. Addison became sole proprietor. 

4 "One day in July, 1S72, Engineer John W. Blake 
dashed into the 'village' upon a sweat-dripping pony 
which he had ridden from Lamberton, starting at 
leu-thirty in the forenoon and arriving here at four- 
thirty in the afternoon. He stated to C. H. Whitney 
that the engineers and railroad officers had come to 
Lamberton by train and were then on their way by 

teams to Marshall and must have supper when they 
arrived. Mrs. Whitney levied upon whatever the 
country afforded and prepared the repast in her house, 
and upon the arrival of the party it was conveyed to 
the engineers' office, and there occurred the first public 
repast held in this place. Major Blake says it was a 
meal lit for princes, and the wonder of all was that 
such an extensive array of viands could have been 
collected and prepared upon such short notice and 
upon the open prairie. A large number of people 
came with the party, but only the 'high joints' sat 
down to the repast in the office." — News-Messenger, 
September 16, 18S7. 



proposed might prove embarrassing, 
and she selected the name Marshall, 
after the postoffice conducted by her 
husband. The name was instantly ac- 
cepted by the officials. With a libation 
of water" sprinkled upon the ground, 
General Smith baptized the new town, 
accompanying the ceremony with a 
speech in which he urged upon Marshall's 
foster parents the duty of using their 
influence in the cause of temperance 
within its limits. The party remained 
in Marshall over night and then con- 
tinued their journey to Lake Kampeska. 

Hut little progress was made in the 
building line before the railroad reached 
the town. Early in September Jesse 
Bagley built a little structure where the 
Watson hardware store now stands and 
used it as a boarding shanty. In Sep- 
tember also Captain Herrick and Major 
Filkins set up a large tent (to the rear 
of the site of John Schneider's store) 
and conducted a saloon, which was 
liberally patronized by the railroad 
workers. In this tent while it was so 
employe) 1, the first religious services in 
Marshall were conducted by Rev. E. H. 

October was a busy month in the new 
town. It witnessed the arrival of the 
railroad on the twelfth, the opening of 

5 A little more than a week after the hotel was opened, 
on October 20, an accident occurred which is well 
remembered by all who were present and is chronicled 
as an event in the history of Marshall. W. M. Todd, 
in correspondence to a Winona paper at the time of 
the accident, wrote of it as follows: 

"Inside this hotel last Tuesday evening occurred 
ccident that is well worthy of notice, even in a 
metropolitan paper, and that published at a great 
distance away. The train from the east that evening 
was loaded with passengers and it contained all the 
railroad men employed by the company at this place. 
All took a bee-line for the hotel and demanded rest 
and refreshments. Charlie's eyes bulged out when he 
surveyed the multitude, but he yelled, 'Come in and 
we will do the best we can.' In went the throng, 
and as there was not room enough elsewhere, it pressed 
into the dining room. Supper being ready, all who 
Could surrounded the table and the rest stood up 
anywhere they could find room. 

"The room was already full and commenced to pack 
when the weight caused the floor to break, and down 
went table, dishes, chairs, trunks, satchels, men, 
women, children, babies and all in one promiscuous 
mass into the cellar below. The authoi of this de- 
scription was -ittiiiir on a broom handle, play-horse- 
fashion, waiting for his turn at the coffee and boiled 

a hotel on the same date, and the 
platting of the village on the twenty- 

The hotel was erected by C. H. 
Whitney and was a substantial structure. 
It was located where the present Atlantic- 
Hotel stands, was 35x40 feet and two 
stories high. Mr. Whitney had decided 
to build just one month before the hotel 
was opened to the public. On the 
twelfth of September he left for Winona 
to purchase the lumber. The stock was 
billed to "the end of the line," which 
proved to lie near the present village of 
Amiret, and was hauled from that point 
by team. The structure was rushed to 
completion and was opened October 12, 
the day the first train was run to the 
town. Supper was provided for 27o 
men that evening. 5 

For the purpose of platting the 
Marshall townsite a partnership was 
formed by J. H. Stewart, superintendent 
of the Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company; J. H. Jenkins, assistant super- 
intendent; W. G. Ward, chief engineer; 
J. W. Blake, assistant engineer; and 
C. H. Whitney. They purchased the 
southwest quarter of section 4 from Milo 
Morse and the south half of the north- 
west quarter from Mrs. Stone and laid 
out the town on portions of those tracts 

beef, having taken a big dose of quinine and whisky 
to scare off a threatening ague chill, and as he saw- 
everything begin to go down, he sprang across the 
'bloody chasm' and landed in the kitchen. When he 
looked back into the dark cellar and saw the shadowy 
forms of the struggling victims trying to extricate 
themselves and heard the shrieks of the sex which 
caused the downfall of man once before, he was, to 
say the least, sorry he had invested. In the dining 
room and office w r ere nearly two hundred persons, and 
as the lower floor of the whole house except the kitchen 
went down, the most of this number went down with it. 
"Digging out the ruins, human and otherwise, began 
with a vengeance. It was found that no one was hurt 
in going dow r n, but some were bruised in being 'snaked 
out.' A Miss Smith, manager of the dining room, 
who was under a trunk, was slightly injured. The 
fellow who lifts himself by his boot-straps was there 
and tried to pull her from under the trunk while 
bracing his feet on the top of it. Many complained 
the next morning of bruised shins, particularly 'Deacon' 
Knowles, the clerk, who jumped clear over a table to 
rescue a bull-dog. Another evidence, of the way 
things are done here is the fact that this cellar was 
cleaned out and a new floor laid before four o'clock the 
next morninir, and upwards of three hundred persons 
breakfasted there." 



and of the southeast quarter, which was 
the property of Mr. Whitney. 

The site was surveyed by James A. 
Craik. The certificate of the plat was 

made October 22 by William G. Ward, 
Ella C. Ward, Joseph II. Jenkins, 
Augusta M. Jenkins, James II. Stewart, 
Lucy J. Stewart, Florence E. Blake, all 
by John W. Blake, their attorney in 
fact, and by John W. Blake, Charles H. 
Whitney and Mary A. Whitney, per- 
sonally. The certificate was acknowl- 
edged before William Langdon, register 
of deeds, and was filed in his office 
October 22, 1 872. 

The original plat consists of twenty- 
four blocks, mostly on the west side of 
the river. The streets running north- 
east and- southwest were named Easl 
Third, East Second, West First. West 
Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth. 
Those running northwest and southeast 
were named Marshall, Redwood, Lyon 
and Main. 6 

After the townsite was platted, al- 
though winter was close at hand, a 
number of buildings were put up and a 
few business enterprises started. Colonel 

8 Additions to Marshall have been platted as follows: 

Blake's, by John W. Blake, April 9, 1877 ; surveyed 
by C. L. Van Fleet. 

Addition A, by John Ward, June 7, 1877; surveyed 
by C. L. Van Fleet. 

Railroad, by Winona & St. Peter Railroad Company, 
February 5, 1879; surveyed by Arthur Jacobi. 

Stewart & Jenkins', by J. H. Jenkins and J. H. 
Stewart, September 23, 1886; surveyed by J. H. 

Howard's, by Ellen Howard, April 26, 1887; sur- 
veyed by J. W. Blake. 

Eastman's, by J. D. Eastman, March 31, 1900; 
surveyed by W. A. Hawkins. 

Riverside, by Marshall Land & Improvement Com- 
pany, August 23, 1900; surveyed by W. A. Hawkins. 

7 W. M. Todd wrote a reminiscent article of early 
days in Marshall for the News-Messenger of August 21, 
1903. He told of his arrival and of conditions as he 
found them in October, 1872, as follows: 

". . . One sunny morning in October, 1872, I left 
New Ulm on a construction train destined for 'Redwood 
Crossing,' as it was then called. The name Marshall 
had not at that time been heard of. [Mr. Todd was 
mistaken. The name had been selected some time 
before, although the village had not yet been platted.] 
. . . Reaching 'Cottonwood Crossing' (Amiret), which 
was as near as the track was laid, I stayed over night 
with the Mitchell family. . . . 

"I left the Mitchell hostelry next morning with John 
Snyder, who had been to 'the crossing' for a load of 
lumber to take to Lake Benton. The load was so 
heavy and the roads so rough that we walked most of 
the way and reached what was to be known as Marshall 
about dark That night I slept in a tent occupied by 

Samuel MePhail opened a law office, 
erecting a little structure on the site of 
the Lyric Theater thai was later used 
as a claim shack, lb M. Addison and 
II. J. Tripp, who carried the mail 
between Redwood Falls and Lynd, 
formed a partnership and engaged in the 
implement business on the lot to the 
real' of the present Addison Block. 
David I'. Hillings came to the village 
and opened a general store. John A. 
Coleman elected a store building near 
the present Lyon County National Bank 
Building and engaged in business. Dr. 
S. Y. Groesbeck and J. W. Blake erected 
residences, the first in the village, and 
the former later engaged in the drug 

A Congregational church society was 
organized and a building in which to 
hold services was begun. Daniel Far- 
quher opened a blacksmith shop in a 
little building he erected near the Main 
Street bridge. W. M. Todd arrived in 
October and engaged in the lumber 
business, erecting a little office building 
in the rear of the present Youmans 
yards. 7 Among others who located in 

the crew of John Watson, which was building the 
railroad bridge across Redwood river. . . . 

"Though thirty-one — almost thirty- two — years have 
elapsed, the impression given by the scene as I emerged 
from the tent next morning is still vivid. ... In every 
direction was a seemingly endless expanse of undu- 
lating prairie, green with a verdure which a hand of 
man had never disturbed, utterly houseless and 
without trees, excepting those which marked the 
course of the river. . . . 

"After a simple but substantial breakfast with the 
bridge crew, I set out 'to see the town.' There were 
just two buildings: one a little structure occupied by 
surveyors as headquarters, the other a cheap building 
occupied by Everett & Company as a supply store for 
the construction men. Captain Herrick, of Gary, 
South Dakota, also had a tent on the bank of the 
river in which he kept a small stock of goods. His 
goods were called by different names, but they were all 
poured from the same jug. 

"Farther up what I was told was a street a little 
frame building had just been started. Approaching it, 
I found a man sitting on a timber smoking a cigar. 
His face was smooth, his hair was thin but long, and 
his countenance indicated that his mind was hard at 
work. I introduced myself, and he informed me that 
his name was Charles H. Whitney and that the building 
being erected was to be a hotel. I told him I had cut 
loose from the effete East and was looking for a location 
in the West, where I might shake the ague, which had 
so long been shaking me, and grow up with the country. 
Whitney saw at once that his reply was expected to 
be in the nature of advice, and I never knew a man to 
make a greater effort to rise to the dignity and respon- 
sibilities of his task. 

"He pointed in every direction to the oceans of 



Marshall in 1872 were J. W. Blake, who 
.sold town lots; J. G. Ward, who became 
the first station agent; Walter Wakeman 

and W. M. Pierce, who were attorneys: 
('. II. Richardson, Stanley Addison. 
Andrew Barrett. Thomas McNeil, L. B. 
Nichols. Lyman Turner. X. Wilkins and 
C. Mehan. 

The following letter written in Mar- 
shall October 26, 1872, and published in 
the Winona Republican gives an idea of 
conditions in the little village at that 

.Most everyone has heard of a little railroad 
station and embryo city just dug up away off 
somewhere in the West by the name of Marshall, 
but few know where it is located, except that it 
is accessible by the Winona & St. Peter railroad. 
It is situated "eighty miles west from New Ulm, 
forty miles from Redwood Falls, forty-five miles 
from the Dakota line, twenty-five miles from 
Lake Benton, and eight miles from Lynd, the 
last mentioned being the illustrious seat of 
Lyon county. 

"Although* this little town is in its infancy, I 
venture the assertion that no one who has 
never visited it can conceive with any approach 
to facts the activity and interest with which 
business is impelled. In the morning a few 

untitled land, which he maintained was as fertile as it 
was fair: he looked a few years into the future and 
drew a picture of solid townships of No. 1 wheat and 
herds of sheep and cattle; prophetically he saw about 
him a thriving city with paved streets, palatial resi- 
dences and metropolitan stores; he could hear the 
rumbling of ponderous machinery in the manufacturing 
plants and see the towering chimneys emitting copious 
volumes of smoke, which formed black mountains 
against the sky; he could see glistening church spires 
and hear the babbling of myriads of children at play 
about the different school buildings; he could see 
processions of wagons reaching from the city miles 
into the country, all loaded with grain and hay and 
fruit and stock, and he waved his hat majestically as 
he described the movements of the boats which would 
carry the products down the Redwood river to the 
waiting markets of the East. It was a picture no 
artist could paint. 

"I tried to put my imagination in sympathy with 
his. I tried to see the processions of wagons, but as 
there was not a house or a hoof between us and the 
tar distant horizon, the wagons refused to appear. I 
also tried hard to see the big steamers floating down 
the Redwood, but there was no place in sight where I 
could not have jumped across the stream, and my 
imagination would not work right with such contra- 
dictory surroundings. 

"When Mr. \\ hitney was in the midst of his eloquent 
peroration he was interrupted by a tall man riding a 
pony and carrying a gun. The visitor was introduced 
to me as Major Blake. The major dismounted and 
after a cordial greeting asked me where I hailed from, 
what business 1 was going to undertake, and if I had 
selected a lot. While we three were talking another 
man approached us. lie was tall and straight and 
wore a cape about his shoulders. He had a stately 
Step, wore his hair long, and had a Vermontish coun- 
tenance. His name wa9 Walter Wakeman. . . . 

"I left tin- place that afternoon for Winona, riding 
to 'Cottonwood Crossing' with Mr. Underwood, who 
was head clerk for Bridge-builder Watson. I ordered 
my lumber and returned as soon as the cars were 
running and began to do business. The night of my 

loads of lumber are hauled to a certain spot and 
immediately begin the creaking of saws and 
clanging of hammers, continued until silenced 
by the darkness of night, when a little shanty, 
16x24 feet, or smaller, is so nearly completed as 
to allow men to lodge therein the same night. 
A family will arrive in town on the evening train 
and next morning charter an ox team and 
lumber wagon, and after loading in the live 
stock, start out on the prairie to find a piece of 
government land on which to squat and by night 
they will find their land and arrange to file 
upon the same and next morning return with a 
carpenter to build the house. 

There are at present in process of erection 
here one hardware store, one grocery and dry 
goods store, one boarding house, one livery 
stable and a Congregational church. The latter 
will be only a temporary, two-story building, 
the upper story of which will be used for religious 
purposes, and the ground floor will be used for 
school purposes. 

The railroad company is building, all at the 
same time, a depot, a turn-table, an engine 
house and warehouse. All these buildings, with 
the dwelling houses being erected, give employ- 
ment to a great number of men and cause a 
great deal of commotion and excitement. 

Nearly every nation on the globe is represented 
here, and when the representatives talk at once 
in their native tongue they make the most con- 
glomerated gabble you ever heard. 

Next comes our hotel, which was begun a 
little more than three weeks ago. Of course, it 
is not completed, yet it manages in some 
mysterious way to lodge the modest number of 

return was the night on which the floor of the hotel 
dining room fell in [October 20]. . . . My first customer 
was Levi Kiel and my second old man Waterman, tin- 
two coming about the same time. I remembered this 
because I had never seen a foot of lumber measured, 
and my ignorance was decidedly embarrassing. Mr. 
Kiel, who wasn't so fresh, showed me how to pro- 
ceed. . . . 

"About this time the permanent population em- 
braced, besides those already mentioned, Charley 
Richardson, Stanley Addison, Dr. Groesbeck, the 
Hunters. General Pierce, and perhaps a few others 
whom I do not now remember. ... 1 engaged 
Walter Dunn, a husky young man from Rochester, 
to help me in the lumber yard. 

". . . As soon as possible I built a lumber office, 
and then had the best — perhaps the only good — place 
to sleep in town. This was the first building com- 
pleted in Marshall, except the surveyors' headquarters 
and the supply store before mentioned. 

"•'old weather soon came, and with it a snow storm 
which not only ended all construction work on the 
railroad but caused a great amount of suffering among 
the laborers. The latter came stringing into town for 
a day or two, and some of them were in pitiable 
condition. How to shelter so many men from the 
piercing cold was a serious problem. Barrett and 
McNeil, who had rented the hotel of Mr. Whitney, had 
an addition to the hotel partially completed. It was 
rough boarded on the outside, shingled and floored. 
The .up-stairs portion was all in one room, the parti- 
tions not having been set off. These laborers to the 
number of more than a hundred were driven up into 
this room like so many cattle and laid out on the floor 
so thick that one could not turn unless all turned. 
McNeil, who was a big burly Irishman, went lip-stairs 
at intervals during the night and yelled, everybody 
turn over.' 

"All that portion of the railroad west of New Ulm 
was so badly blockaded by the continued storms that 
there was no hope of opening the road before spring. 
The prospects seemed so dismal that I went to Winona 
and I spent the winter with my brother. ('. B. Todd. 
. . . I left Marshall a day or two before Thanksgiving." 


City oj Marshall D 


about Beventy persons each ni^lit , and the 
tables are prepared to accommodate each time 

lour hundred. The host and hostess, Mr. and 

Mrs. ('. H. Whitney, say this is sticking them 

in too thick, but this is the only house of public 
accommodation in the place and they cannot 
conscientiously turn them away. 

The first marriage in the village 
occurred in the fall of 1872. The con- 
tracting parties wore Charles Bellingham 

and Louisa Durst and the ceremony was 
performed by C. II. Whitney, justice of 
the peace, in his hotel. 

[n January, 1873, thepostoffice, which 
before had been located a1 ('. II. Whit- 
ney's house, was moved to the village 
proper and Walter Wakeman became 
post master, the office being conducted 
in the drug store of Groesbeck ct 
Wakeman. 8 

During the winter of 1872-73 there 
was no advancement in Marshall, and a 
few who had located in the little town 
the fall before spent the season in their 
old homes. The new railroad was 
covered with drifts all winter and 
regular trains were not operated to 
Marshall until April 14. With the be- 
ginning of spring, however, there were 
made additions to the little town and its 
building up was rapid. W. M. Todd, 
who had wintered elsewhere but who 
had returned on the first train, has told 
of the progress that spring: "The ac- 
tivity in the direction of settling, 
building and improving the village and 
surrounding country during that spring 
of 1873 could hardly be described; or if 
it were described it would seem incred- 
ible. The real progress of the place, if 

s Walter Wakeman served as postmaster until 
April, 1874. Dr. S. V. Groesbeck then received the 
commission but served a very short time and was 
succeeded by C. H. Whitney. The latter served until 
April, 1876. During his administration, on July ">. 
]s7."i, a money order office was established. W. M. 
Coleman served as Marshall's postmaster from April. 
INTO, to April, 1878; C. F. Case, to February, 1883; 
S. 1). How, to 1886; M. Sullivan, to August 1, 1890; 
S. N. Harrington, to August 1, 1894; J. S. Renningcr, 
to October 1, 1898; Frank W. Sickler, to November 9, 
1902; Charles E. Patterson, to February 8, 1907; 
Oscar Krook, from that date to the present. A postal 
savings bank was established in connection with the 
office July 15, 1911. 

not the existence itself, dates from thai 

.1. I'. Watson was one of the firs) to 
se1 up in business. He opened a tin 
shop and a little later added a stock of 
hardware.'-' Early in the spring (l. E. 
Nichols opened a saloon. 1 " In May 
U.S. Adams and Mat hew Metcalf arrived 
from Trempealeau, Wisconsin, bringing 
with them a building in sections. It 
was set up and the front part occupied 
as a blacksmith shop by Mr. Metcalf, 
while the rear part was occupied as a 
wagon shop by Mr. Adams. 

A brick kiln was constructed in the 
summer of 1873 by C. H. Whitney and 
85,000 bricks were burned. In the fall 
they were used by .J. F. Reichert in the 
construction of a double store building 

the first brick building in the town. 
John Ward became the first station 
agent and M. E. Wilcox the telegraph 
operator. Walter Wakeman and Dr. 
S. V. Groesbeck opened a drug store, 
C. Woodbury became the proprietor of 
the pioneer hostelry and changed the 
name to Marshall House, P. L. Van Sant 
established the Travelers Home, Lang- 
don & Laythe established a lumber yard, 
J. W. Williams opened a new hardware 
store, Turner & Loope sold lumber, 
furniture and machinery, A. 0. Under- 
bill opened a confectionery store, Mrs. 
Burrall a millinery store, Jesse Bagley 
a meat market, E. Fuller a photograph 
studio, Daniel Wilcox a blacksmith shop, 
L. Nichols a livery barn, W. M. Todd 
formed a partnership with Coleman & 

Five rural free delivery routes are now operated 
from the Marshall office. Numbers one and two were 
established June 11, 1900, and the first carriers wen- 
George Watkins and Isaac Clendenning, respectively. 
Numbers three and four were established December 1, 
1903, with Harry Jefferson and John Nash, respect i\ ely, 
as carriers. Number five was established May 16, 
1901, with F. R. Lindsay as carrier. 

H J. P. Watson engaged in the same business con- 
tinuously until his death in January, 1909. 

10 The Board of County Commissioners on March 18, 
1872, granted Mr. Nichols license to sell liquor in 
Marshall from April 1, 1873, to March 31, 1S74. The 
license fee for the year was J5(). 



Company and continued in the lumber 
business, the Prairie Schooner — the first 
newspaper — was founded in August by 
J. C. Ervin. 

In the first issue of the pioneer paper, 
August 23, 1873, appeared the following 
description of the growing town: 

The growth of Marshall has been almost 
miraculous. Nine months ago the first house 
was erected. Now there are seventy-nine per- 
manent buildings already constructed, and this 
number will soon be increased by the erection 
of others already planned. Upon the same 
ground where nine months ago the bird and 
insect tribe held undisputed sway, there has 
sprung into existence, seemingly from the very 
earth, a busy, bustling town, where now mingle 
in happy unison the sounds of the hammer and 
chisel, the continual rattle of passing vehicles, 
the shriek of the welcome locomotive, and the 
hoarse shout of Winona and St. Paul dry goods 
drummers. Within the year land has increased 
from $1.25 per acre to $25 to $200 each for 
residence lots and from $100 to $400 each for 
lots for business purposes, with ready sales. 11 

Marshall now has four general stores, two 
hardware stores, one drug store, one boot and 
shoe shop, two millinery and dressmaking 
establishments, three lumber yards, one meat 
market, two blacksmith shops, two hotels, 
three boarding houses, an express office, a 
telegraph office, a depot and other railroad 
buildings, one bakery, two confectionery estab- 
lishments, a furniture store, a flour and feed 
store, one livery stable, four dealers in agricul- 
tural implements, one brick yard, one church 
building, one doctor, three lawyers, two claim 
agents and dealers in real estate, one dealer in 
lime, three wheat buyers, three stone masons 
and several carpenters and builders. 

When Marshall was one year old, the 
Prairie Schooner of October 25, 1873, 
boasted of progress made: 

Our town is one year old this week and we 
challenge comparison with any other of like age 
in the West, from the Gulf to British America, 
and in this we refer not only to the size of the 
place and its numerous commercial advantages, 
but more especially to the character of its 
inhabitants, the business men, the schools, 
churches, etc. For many years Marshall will 
necessarily be the market and trading point for 
an immense extent of country. 

The importance of the youthful village 

"Winn the assessment of 1S73 was made the value 
of real estate on the Marshall townsite was placed at 
1 14,44s. Those assessed for real estate were L. B. 
Nichols, R. J. .Monroe, A. O. Underhill, N. Stewart, 
William Clemens, Congregational church, George H. 
Maynard, J. A. Coleman, Johnson, Walter Wakeman, 
.1. Bagley, 1). P. Billing-, Everett it Company, Daniel 
Farquher, .1. F. Metcalf, Ezra Ticknor, J. W. Blake, 
E. B. Jewett, M, Davidson, ,1. W. Canfield, Joshua 

was increased as a result of the election 
in November, 1873, which gave it the 
county seat. Several improvements fol- 
lowed, and plans for the future em- 
braced many enterprises that have not 
matured to this day. 

The grasshopper scourge put a damper 
on progress and from 1874 to 1876, in- 
clusive, the town was almost at a stand- 
still. In April, 1874. the local paper 
estimated the population of Marshall at 
300, but it is doubtful if the town had 
that many inhabitants. That year the 
Kendall mill was built, J. W. Blake 
started a cheese factory, B. A. Grubb 
opened a harness shop, S. H. Mott 
bought an interest in the store of 
Everett & Company, M. M. Marshall 
built a grain warehouse and engaged in 
the furniture business, C. A. Edwards 
established a lumber yard, L. F. Pickard 
opened a tin shop. Fuller & Company 
opened a feed store, Dr. Burgoyne loca- 
ted in the village for the practise of his 
profession, 12 D. F. Weymouth opened a 
law office, Lockey & Yates, masons, and 
J. Goodwin & Company, builders, lo- 
cated in the village. 

There were also a few additions in 
1875. I. P. Farrington opened another 
general store, Joe Sears a shoe shop, 
J. A. Hutchins a blacksmith shop, Dr. 
Newell a dentist's office, Whitney & 
Webster an insurance office. George 
Nichols erected a brick building and 
Marshall, Coleman & Company and C. F. 
Case a double brick block on Third 

Despite the fact that times were 
about as hard as could be imagined, the 
local paper almost always gave glowing 

Goodwin, C. W. Andrews, John Callaghan, John Gal- 
lagher, S. V. Groesbeck and C. H. Whitney. 

"Among the physicians who have practised in 
Marshall have been Drs. Groesbeck, Houston, Bur- 
goyne, Cleveland, Persons, Andrews, Poaps, Armington, 
Baldwin, Wimer, Renninger, Whitney, Bacon, Kil- 
bride, Hobday, Mallory, Wheat, Hard, Ferro, Powers, 
Gray, Akester, Ijams, Heath, Gag and Woodworth. 



accounts of the town and its progress. 
The Messenger on October 1, 1875, said: 

Although Marshall is only three years old, 
we can look with pride at the importance it has 
already assumed on the map of Minnesota. It 

started out on the unsettled frontier, with no 
especial natural advantages except an ocean of 
fertile prairie tributary to it, and has fought its 
way to recognition through grasshoppers and 
hard times, all the time a live town and one 
with a good destiny. The terminus of the 
Winona & St. Peter railroad, it has been made 
the central point for western immigration, and 
through the pluckiness of its business men has 
built itself into the best town on the western 
frontier for its size and condition. 

Marshall now has a population of only about 
three or four hundred, 13 but has several sub- 
stantial buildings that look as if the people here 
had come to stay. Among the buildings we 
will mention a $3000 school house, five two- 
story brick stores, a Methodist church, a two- 
story building with hall above belonging to the 
Congregational church, two hotels, several store 
buildings of wood, three grain elevators, one 
grist null, depot, engine house, etc., together 
with several fine dwellings of brick and wood. 
There are 'three lumber yards. We have a 
good brick yard. 

Marshall became an incorporated vil- 
lage in 1876. The first action toward 
that end was taken at a mass meeting 
held at M. M. Marshall's drug store on 
the evening of Monday, December 27, 
1875. Of that meeting J. P. Watson 
was chairman and C. H. Whitney secre- 
tary. It was the sense of those present 
that sections 4, 5 and 9 should be in- 
corporated as the village of Marshall 
and J. W. Blake, D. F. Weymouth and 
R. M. Addison were named a committee 
to draft an incorporation act. 

A bill that met the approval of the 
citizens was drawn up and introduced 

13 The census of 1875 gave Lake Marshall township, 
including the village of Marshall, a population of only 
397. The population of the village was probably not 
over 250. 

14 An amended charter was put in force in 1881 by 
legislative action. The changes were not great but 
were made necessary by defects in the original instru- 
ment. The amendments were drawn up by the 
Marshall Board of Trade and the new charter became 
operative in March, 1881. 

15 Two previous efforts to this end had been made. 
On July 30, 1892, at a public meeting attended by 
only a few citizens, resolutions were passed favoring 
the change and the Village Council was asked to draft 
a bill. On April 9, 1897, another mass meeting was 
held, called at the instance of the village authorities. 
It was the desire of some to incorporate under the 
provisions of the law of 1895, but a majority of those 
present were unfavorable to the change and no action 
was taken. 

in the Legislature by Senator .1. \Y. 
Blake in January. A petition favorable 
to the act and one remonstrating were 
circulated for signers and forwarded to 
the state capital. The bill was passed 
with little opposition and was signed by 
the governor February 17. 

Provision was made in the incor- 
porating act for the beginning of mu- 
nicipal government and C. A. Edwards, 
.1. F. Reichert, (\ H. Whitney, C. F. 
Case, Oren Drake, John Ward and J. A. 
Coleman were named to call the first 
election and attend to the preliminaries. 
The election was held March 10, par- 
ticipated in by fifty-four voters, and a 
set of village officers was chosen without 
opposition. The Council met for the 
first time on Saturday, March 18, 1876. 14 

Village government continued until 
1901, and then Marshall was incorpo- 
rated as a city. 15 The action was taken 
as the result of a petition, signed by 
more than two-thirds of the voters, 
which had been presented to the judge 
of probate. On February 20, 1901, 
Judge L. M. Lange issued the requested 
order. The first election under city 
government was held April 2, 1901. 

Following is a list of the officers 
chosen at each annual election, under 
both forms of government, from the 
time of incorporation to the present: 16 

1876 — President, John Ward; trustees, C. A. 
Edwards, M. E. Wilcox, S. H. Mott; recorder, 

1B During the greater part of the early history of 
Marshall the license question was an issue. Before 
incorporation the granting of license in the village was 
in the hands of the Board of County Commissioners, 
and prior to the beginning of municipal government 
saloons were licensed each year. At the Lake Marshall 
township election of March, 1S75, the license question 
entered into the selection of local officers and license 
advocates were successful by majorities of six. 

Saloons were licensed by the three first Village 
Councils without the question being submitted to a 
vote of the people. It was the intention of the anti- 
saloon advocates to have the question submitted :it 
the election of 1877, but they neglected to give the 
legal notice. Early in 1878 a petition was presented to 
the Village Council, asking that no license prevail, and 
on January 11 of that year the mooted question was 
submitted to vote without legal authority or binding 
results. For license received three votes and against 
license seventy-three votes. The Council was dead- 
locked, and on April 27, 1S7S, the matter was again. 



W. M. Todd; treasurer, J. P. Watson; justice, 
Daniel Markham; constable, D. Bell. 

L877 — President, M. E. Wilcox; trustees, C. A. 
Edwards, Joshua Goodwin, S. H. Mott; recorder, 
\Y. M. Todd; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice,- 
Daniel Markham; 17 constable, D. Bell. 

L878— President, J. W. Blake; trustees, C. H. 
Richardson. 18 O. C. Gregg, G. M. Durst; recorder, 
W. M. Todd; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; constable, 
Edward Berg. 

1879— President, J. W. Blake; trustees, J. F. 
Reichert, P. M. Addison, J. F. Remore; recorder, 
W. M. Todd; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 
W. M. Todd; constable, R. F. Webster. 

1880— President, J. W. Blake; trustees, W. M. 
Todd, J. F. Remore, R. M. Addison; recorder, 
V. B. Seward; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox. 

1881— President, M. Sullivan; trustees, R. M. 
Addison, J. F. Remore, W. M. Todd; 19 recorder, 
V. B. Seward; treasurer, G. M. Wilcox; justice, 
J. W. Blake; constable, O. A. Drake. 

1882 — President, E. L. Healy; trustees, A. C. 
Chittenden, J. P. Watson, M. H. Gibson; 
recorder, Walter Wakeman; treasurer, F. S. 
Wetherbee. p 

1883 — President, M. Sullivan; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, R. M. Addison, Olof Pehrson; recorder, 
C. H. Whitney; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 
E. B. Jewett. 

1884— President, M. Sullivan; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, R. M. Addison, Olof Pehrson; recordi>i\ 
V. B. Seward; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox. 

1885 — President, M. Sullivan; trustees, R. M. 
Addison, Olof Pehrson, J. G. Schutz; recorder, 
H. A. Wilber; 20 treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 
E. T. Mathews. 

1886 — President, M. Sullivan; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, Olof Pehrson, G. E. Johnson; recorder, 
Louis Larson; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justices, 

C. H. Whitney, 21 D. G. Stewart. 

1887 — President, J. G. Schutz; trustees, D. 
Wilcox, S. Butturff, Olof Pehrson; recorder, 
Louis Larson; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 

D. F. Weymouth. 

1888— President, C. B. Tyler; trustees, J. W. 
Pearson, S. Butturff, Olof Pehrson; recorder, 
Louis Larson; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 
D. G. Stewart, 

1889 — President, M. Sullivan; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, J. W. Williams, E. S. Frick; recorder, 

indirectly, submitted to vote. One of the trustees 
resigned and on the selection of his successor rested 
the license issue. The candidate favoring license was 
elected and saloons were at once opened. 

In 1879 license carried by a vote of 99 to 89. There- 
after for a number of years the question was not 
submitted directly, but was left to the village authori- 
ties, and campaigns were made by each party for can- 
didates favorable to their cause. At nearly all these 
elections officers favoring license were chosen. In 
1882 the Council granted license for the first six months 
and refused it during the remainder of the term. 
A license Council was chosen in lss;; by an average 
vote (if tin to 87. In 18S4. on a direct vote, license 
w mi by a vote of si to 29. 

The question was not submitted again until 1894 
and license was granted each year. From 1N94 to the 
time city government was begun the vote on the 
license question was as follows, in the years nut given 
the question not having been submitted and license 
having been granted : 

1894 — For, 1S7; against, 92. 

ls'.)6— For, 183; against. L94. 

L897 — For, 151: against, 152. * 

1898— For, 261 ; against. 109. 

S. N. Harrington; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; 
justice, E. B. Jewett. 

1890 — President, M. Sullivan; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, J. W. Williams, E. S. Frick; recorder, 
S. N. Harrington; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; 
justice, D. G. Stewart. 

1891 — President, M. Sullivan; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, E. S. Frick, J. W. Williams; recorder, 
F. 'M. Healy; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 
E. B. Jewett. 

1892 — President, R. M. Addison; trustees, 

E. S. Frick, C. F. Case, R. G. Curtis; recorder, 

F. M. Healy; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 
D. G. Stewart. 

1893 — President, J. G. Schutz; trustees, C. F. 
Case, E. S. Frick, H. M. Langeland; recorder, 
F. M. Healy; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; justice, 
D. A. Kennedy. 

1894— President, C. F. Case; trustees, C. H. 
Richardson, H. M. Langeland, E. S. Frick; 
recorder, E. T. Mathews; treasurer, C. M. Wilcox; 
justice, D. G. Stewart, 

1895— President, C. M. Wilcox; trustees, H. 
M. Langeland, E. S. Frick, D. D. Forbes; 
recorder, J. C. Burchard; treasurer, C. E. Pat- 
terson; justice, D. A. Kennedy. 

1896 — President, A. C. Chittenden; trustees, 
H. M. Langeland, D. D. Forbes, J. N. Barkee; 
recorder, J. C. Burchard; treasurer, C. E. 
Patterson; justice, T. P. Baldwin. 

1897 — President, D. D. Forbes; trustees, H. 
M. Langeland, W. C. Kayser, Joshua Goodwin: 
recorder, J. C. Burchard; treasurer, F. W. 
Sickler; justice, D. A. Kennedy. 

1898— President, V. B. Seward; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, T. J. Baldwin, J. P. Pierard; recorder, 
J. C. Burchard; treasurer, C. C. Guernsey; 
justice, Walter Wakeman. 

1899— President, V. B. Seward; trustees, J. G. 
Schutz, W. C. Kayser, R. C. Beach; recorder, 
J. C. Burchard; treasurer, ('. C. Guernsey; 
justice, D. A. Kennedy. 

1900 — President, John E. Burchard; trustees, 
R. C. Beach, J. P. Pierard, M. W. Harden; 
recorder, Frank C. Whitney; treasurer, C. C. 
Guernsey; justice, Walter Wakeman. 

1901 — President, John E. Burchard; trustees, 
M. W. Harden, James Lawrence, R, C. Beach; 
recorder, H. R. Welsford; treasurer, C. C. 
Guernsey; justice, D. A. Kennedy. 

1901 — For, 226; ag;iinst, 70. 

There is no provision in the city charter for voting 
under the local option law, and saloons have been 
licensed since the charter was adopted. 

17 At a specia! election on October 20, 1877, W. M. 
Todd was elected justice. 

ls Resigned and at a special election held April 27, 
1878, J. F. Reichert was chosen as his successor. 

19 Resigned and S. W. Laythe was chosen as his 
successor at a special election on May 17, 1881. 

20 Died August 2, 1885, and D. B. Woodbury was 
chosen to complete the term at a special election held 
August 25. 

21 Resigned in April, 1886, and at a special election 
.May 11 D. F. Weymouth was chosen to complete the 

--Mr. Burchard resigned August 14, 1901, and at a 
special election M. E. Mathews was chosen to complete 
the term. Mr. Mathews was succeeded as alderman 
by J. C. Burchard, elected September 12, 1901. 



L901 (city) -Mayor, John E. Burchard; 22 
aldermen, 23 M. E. Mathews (two years), John 
L. Watson (one year), W. F. Bryant (two years), 
('. H. Richardson (one year); recorder, W. C. 
Kayser; treasurer, C. C. Guernsey; justices, 
Walter Wakeman, D. A. Kennedy. 

L902— Mayor, V. B. Seward; aldermen, J. H. 
Schneider, J. P. Pierard; recorder, W. C. Kayser; 
treasurer, E. S. Frick. 

1903— Mayor, M. E. Mathews; aldermen, J. C. 
Burchard, W. P. Bryant;; 1 recorder, J. W. 
Humphrey; treasurer, E. "S. Frick; justice, 
Walter Wakeman. 

^ 1904— Mayor, F. M. Healy; aldermen, H. P. 
Fulton, Herman Schurz; recorder, John R. Gray; 
treasurer, R. M. Neill. 

1905 — Mayor, J. C. Burchard; aldermen, 
Robert Heilman, Peter White; recorder, John 
R Gray; treasurer, R. M. Neill; justices, Walter 
Wakeman,. C. L. Miles. 20 

1906- — Mayor, J. C. Burchard; aldermen, R. B. 
Daniel, Herman Schurz; recorder, John R. Gray; 
treasurer, R. M. Neill; justice, Harrison Barnes. 

1907 — Mayor, Spurgeon Odell; aldermen, H. 
M. Langeland, 26 F. B. Sweet; recorder, John R. 
Gray; 27 treasurer, R. M. Addison, Jr.; justice, 
Walter Wakeman. 

1908 — Mayor, Spurgeon Odell; aldermen, J. G. 
Schutz, Thomas E. Davis; recorder, C. P. 
Shepard; treasurer, C. H. Johnson; justice, Fred 

1909 — Mayor, Spurgeon Odell; aldermen, 
August Durrenberger, Peter White; recorder, 
C. P. Shepard; treasurer, O. K. Kiel; justice, 
W'alter Wakeman. 

1910 — Mayor, Thomas E. Davis; aldermen, J. 
G. Schutz, William Mullaney; recorder, C. P. 
Shepard; treasurer, Harris Persons; justices, 
J. W. Pike, Boyd Champlain. 

1911 — Mayor, Thomas E. Davis; aldermen, 
August Durrenberger, P. P. Jacobson; recorder, 
C. P. Shepard; treasurer, Harris Persons. 28 

1912 — Mayor, Thomas E. Davis; aldermen, 
J. G. Schutz, W. F. Mullaney; recorder, C. P. 
Shepard; treasurer, Theodore M. Thomas; 
justice, J. W. Pike. 

For a year after the village was in- 
corporated there was not much progress, 
due to the fact that the grasshoppers 
were still in the land. There were, how- 
ever, a few business enterprises started 
in 1876, among them a general mer- 
chandise store by Olof Pehrson, black- 
smith shop by Keyes & Blake, imple- 

23 Urider the city charter the terms of aldermen are 
for two years, and after this first election one was 
elected from each ward each year. In the roster the 
name of the alderman from the first ward appears 

■ first. 

- 4 Mr. Bryant resigned after having served one year, 
and at the regular election of 1904 Albert Volk was 
chosen to complete the term. 

"Resigned in May, 1905. 

20 Resigned May 4, 1908, and August Durrenberger 
was chosen at a special election May 22. 

ment business by J'. F. Wise, drug store 
by Burgoync & Jewett, shoe shop by 

B. F. Jellison, feed mill by C. A. Ed- 
wards, drug store by M. M. Marshall, 
meat markets by B. Gibbs and D. 
Crowley, millinery stores by Mrs. Clem- 
ens and Mrs. UnderhiU, machinery 
business by S. .1. Watkins, grain ware- 
houses by H. B. Gary, C. A. Edwards 
and Addison & Mott, carpenter shop by 
I. Burrall. 

When it became known that the 
grasshopper plague was a thing of the 
past, Marshall took rapid strides for- 
ward. Several new enterprises were 
started in 1877 29 and prospects for the 
future were bright. The Messenger of 
November 16, 1877, said: "This town 
is the busiest hamlet in the West. You 
can't, find a spot where your ears are not 
filled with the din of building. Houses 
sp'ring up in a day or two, and our 
lumber yards can hardly ship in enough 
to supply the demand. You can expect 
to be run over next summer if you don't 
get up and dust." 

The predicted boom came in 1878. 
Before the close of spring ten two-story 
brick business blocks had been erected, 
besides several frame business houses 
and many residences. Among the im- 
provements of the year was the Messen- 
ger Block. Two banks were founded, 
two new brick yards were established, 
business firms of all kinds came into 
existence, and a number of professional 
men located in the village. ' A directory 
of business firms published at the close 
of 1878 listed the following: 

27 Was succeeded August 5, 1907, by C. 1'. Shepard. 

2S Did not qualify and Theodore M. Thomas chosen 
by the City Council. 

"Among the enterprises in 1877 were a furniture 
store by D. Mclntyre and James Andrews, meat 
market by McCormick, gunsmith shop by C. A. 
Haskel, lumber yard by Horton it Hamilton, general 
store by E. Puffer, hotel by D. Bell, lumber yard by 

C. B. Todd and W. H. Lynn and :i general store by 
M. E. Wilcox. 



Banks — Owen & Dibble, Lyon County Bank 
(Strait, How & Tyler). 

General Merchandise — Chambers Brothers, 
Olof Pehrson, Addison & Mott, A. C. Chittenden, 
W. D. Hillyer, Schutz & Kyle, Bedbury. 

Groceries — Robert Waldron, E. L. Healy. 

Clothing — S. Keyser. 

Hardware — J. P. Watson, J. W. Williams. 

Drugs— Aldrich & Houston, C. M. Wilcox, 
Ole Quam. 

Furniture — G. A. Tracy, D. A. Mclntyre. 

Jewelry— J. Lohmiller, W. H. Wright, W. C. 

Meat Markets — D. Crawley, L. Lavake, F. S. 

Book Store — J. H. Schneider. 

Grain Warehouses — Addison & Mott, H. B. 
Gary, C. A. Edwards, Williams & Webster, 
M. M. Marshall. 

Feed Mill— J. W. Blake. 

Lumber Yards — Langdon & Laythe, Horton 
& Hamilton (W. M. Todd, agent), Addison & 

Farm Machinery — Addison & Mott, O. H. 
Hatlestad, Edwards & Tripp. 

Shoe Shops — J. P. Pierard, Sear. 

Harness Shop — F. Watson. 

Feed Stores— A. C. Chittenden, F. S. Wether- 

Bakeries — James Barron, Davis. 

Hotels — J. Johnson, J. Bagley, Merchants 
Exchange, Marshall House (Thomas Watson), 
Prairie House. 

Restaurants — James Barron, Montgomery. 

Saloons — John J. Laudenslager, Farrington & 
Company, E. Mahoney. 

Billiard Hall— Merchants Exchange. 

Livery Stables — L. B. Nichols, McNiven 
Brothers, Bennett & Hunt. 

Brick Yards— C. H. Whitney, W. A. Crooker, 
J. Lockey. 

Blacksmith Shops — Keyes & Ryan, R. Curtis, 
M. H. Gibson. 

Wagon Shops — H. S. Adams, Ellsbury. 

Gun Shop— C. A. Haskel. 

Paint Shop — Skilling Brothers. 

Candy Manufacturer — Wright. 

Barber Shop— C. E. Porter. 

Millinery — Mrs. Remington, Miss Farnsworth. 

Newspaper — Marshall Messenger (C. F. Case). 

Lawyers — E. B. Jewett, E. A. Gove, D. F, 
Weymouth, A. C. Forbes, M. E. Mathews 

Physicians — Drs. J. W. Houston, J. W. 
Andrews, C. E. "Persons. 

Dentist— Dr. E. D. Allison. 

Land Office — Winona & St. Peter Railroad 

Insurance Office — C. L. Van Fleet. 

Marshall increased in size and impor- 
tance during 1879. 30 In 1880 the value 
of the building improvements amounted 
to $85,000. The federal census that 

30 Among the business and professional firms estab- 
lished in 1879 were Youmans Brothers & Company 
<M. Sullivan, agent), lumber yard; \. F. Remore, 
machinery; Van ]>u>en & Company, elevator; Todd & 
Edes, Lyon County News; Laythe & Tripp, machinery; 

year gave the village a population of 
961. During the next few years there 
was little increase in population, the 
census of 1885 showing that there were 
986 people living within the corporate 
limits. But the town made great prog- 
ress in other ways and developed into 
one of the best villages of Southwestern 
Minnesota. A business directory pub- 
lished in C. F. Case's History of Lyon 
County in 1884 was as follows: 

Mercantile — A. C. Chittenden, J. G. Schutz, 

F. S. Wetherbee, Olof Pehrson, Edwards & 
Company, general stores; E. L. Healy, Humph- 
rey & Gail, J. W. Williams, groceries and crock- 
ery; J. P. Watson, R. M. Addison, hardware and 
machinery; Youmans Brothers, Horton Lumber 
Company, lumber yards; Louis Janda, shoe 
store; C. M. Wilcox, Walter Wakeman, A. B. 
Sweet, drug stores; S. Butturff, furniture; W. C. 
Kayser, books, stationery and tobacco; M. 
Hooker, stationery and tobacco; Mrs. Hillyer, 
millinery; J. Price, John Russell, Mrs. Hicks, 
bakery and restaurants; Fred Watson, harness; 
Woodruff & Wilber, F. Weikle, meat markets; 
Parsons & Wise, clothing. 

Professions — C. E. Persons, J. Armington, A. 
Poaps, physicians; E. D. Allison, dentist; Forbes 
& Seward, M. E. Mathews, M. B. Drew, D. F. 
Weymouth, E. B. Jewett, E. A. Gove, attorneys; 
Rev. J. B. Fairbank, Rev. J. W. Powell, pastors; 

G. M. Durst, Miss Mikkelson, Miss Downie, Mrs. 
G. M. Durst, teachers. 

Trades — E. J. Harrison, marble cutter; Arthur 
M. Nichols, R. B. Vonderamith, B. Vosburg, 
painters; J. McGandy, photographer; M. H. 
Gibson, George Heinmiller, C. J. Price, R. Curtis, 
blacksmiths; S. Marshall, wagon maker; J. B. 
Murray, O. C. Phillips, barbers. 

Miscellaneous — Marshall Messenger by C. F. 
Case, Lyon County News by C. C. Whitney; Van 
Dusen & Company (E. Frick, agent), Porter 
Milling Company (W. A. Hunter, agent), eleva- 
tors; T. King, grist mill; L. Nichols, livery; 
W. Keith, W. Simmons, H. Hoyt, hotels; George 

E. Johnson, stock buyer; B. Wright, feed mill; 
Peterson & Company, tailors; D. G. Stewart, 
sewing machines; C. M. Wilcox, express agent; 
H. M. Burchard, railroad land agent; T. A. 
Woodruff, railroad agent; Van Winkle, telegraph 
operator; Charles Kent, collection agency; Strait 
& Company, creamery; Woodbury & Frick, 
skating rink. 

Marshall kept pace with the develop- 
ment of the surrounding country during 
the late eighties and had a population 
of 1203 when the census of 1890 was 

F. Weikle and J. Lohmiller, meat markets; King & 
Wakeman, drug store; W. L. Watson, machinery; 
V. B. Seward and M. B. Drew, attorneys; E. J. Harri- 
son, marble cutter, Laythe & Pehrson, store. 



taken. The years 1890-91-92 were ex- 
ceptionally prosperous ones for the 
village. The building improvements in 
1890 were valued at $55,000, mostly 
expended for residences. The next year 
the value of improvements was placed 
at $125,000. That year a system of 
electric lights was installed by Parsons 
Brothers, general merchants, at a cost 
of $6000. 31 

The village installed waterworks and 
electric lighting systems in 1894. At a 
special election to vote on the question 
of issuing $25,000 bonds for the purpose, 
bonds were carried by seventy-three 
majority out of 308 votes cast. E. T. 
Sykes secured the contract on a bid of 
$24,340. The waterworks were in op- 
eration early in December and the lights 
were turned on December 21, 1894. 

There was little advancement during 
the panic years 1893 and 1894, but in 
1895 building improvements to the value 
of $50,000 were made. They included 
brick business blocks put up by T. J. 
Baldwin, C. F. Case and W. S. Dibble. 
The census of 1895 showed a population 
of 1744, a gain of 541 in five years. 

Rapid strides forward were made in 
the late nineties and the village began 
to take on metropolitan airs. A tele- 
phone system was installed in the 
summer of 1897, with forty-three initial 
subscribers. During the past decade 
progress has been marked, although 
increase in population has not been 
great. Marshall's population was 2088 

3 'Twenty-three arc lights was the limit of the plant 
at first. Of these, nine were placed in the streets, 
eight in Parsons Brothers' store, and the others in 

in 1900, 2243 in 1905, and 2152 in 1910. 

Marshall's history has been remark- 
ably free from destructive fires. On 
only two occasions has the fire fiend 
gained the mastery. 

The most destructive fire in the 
town's history occurred on the night of 
September 24, 1902, bringing a loss of 
about $100,000. The three-story brick 
building owned by T. J. Baldwin and 
occupied by Baldwin & Loveridgc's 
department store was destroyed. The 
law office of V. B. Seward and Odd 
Fellows hall on the second floor were 
destroyed, as was also Masonic hall on 
the third floor. A small frame building 
adjoining, owned by W. S. Dibble and 
occupied by Blakeslee's meat market, 
was crushed by the falling walls from 
the larger building. The fire burned 
fiercely and for a time threatened to 
destroy the whole business section of 
the city. 

The second fire of consequence oc- 
curred May 15, 1905, and brought a loss 
of $40,000. The double store building 
in Syndicate Block owned by Mrs. E. D. 
Parsons and the store of P. H. Roise & 
Company were destroyed, as well as the 
furnishings of Masonic hall and the 
dental parlors of Dr. S. E. Whitmore. 
Losses were also sustained by J. N. 
Barkee, furniture; Wilson Mercantile 
Company, V. B. Gits & Company, Dr. 
A. D. Hard, Thompson's cigar factory, 
W. A. Hawkins and M. E. Mathews, 

other stores. Incandescent service was added to the 
plant early in 1892. 




ONE of the first institutions to he 
provided after the founding of 
a town is the public school. In 
Marshall the school came almost simul- 
taneous with the founding of the 
village. The first school, supported by 
subscription, was conducted in the win- 
ter of 1872-73. It was held in the little 
office -building erected by W. M. Todd. 
G. H. Darling was the teacher -for a 
time and he was succeeded by Walter 
Wakeman. Only a few pupils were in 
attendance and the school was of short 

School district No. 8, then embracing 
the north half of Lake Marshall town- 
ship and the southern tier of sections of 
Fairview township, had been created by 
the Board of County Commissioners 
January 2, 1872 — before Marshall had 
a place on the map. The district was 
organized in 1873 and the first public 
school was taught on the second floor 
of the building erected by the Congre- 
gational church society. That building- 
was used for school purposes until 1875. 
Miss Diantha Wheeler, who in October, 
1875, became the wife of G. M. Durst, 
was the first teacher and she had in her 
charge thirty or forty pupils. 1 The first 

'Among those who attended Marshall's first public 
school, furnished from memory by Mrs. G. M. Durst 
and some of the former pupils, were Ada AVebster, 
Fred Webster, Dwight Coleman, Clarence Jewett, 

members of the Board of Education were 
John Coleman, J. W. Blake and C. H. 

A four months' winter term was 
begun November 10, 1873, with Miss 
Lovelace as teacher. Miss Wheeler again 
became teacher and was in charge until 
June, 1874, when she was succeeded by 
G. M. Durst. At that time the enroll- 
ment had reached sixty pupils. Besides 
those mentioned the other teachers 
employed during the time the school 
was conducted under the ordinary 
district plan were Ada Webster (Mrs. 
J. W. Williams), Jennie C. French (Mrs. 
J. W. Andrews), Miss L. A. Bailey 
(Mrs. W. M. Todd) and Addie Gary (Mrs. 
C. E. Persons). 

In March, 1874, a lull passed the 
Legislature authorizing the Marshall 
school district to issue bonds to the 
amount of $2500 for the purpose of 
erecting a school house, and in October 
of that year the people of Marshall 
decided to build. In the summer of 
1875 a two-story octagonal building, 
forty feet in diameter, with a seating 
capacity of 150, was completed. Its 
cost was about $2800. Many taxpayers 
thought it an extravagant expenditure, 
but within three years it was not large 

Clara Groesbeck, Zulu Whitney, Susie Hoyt, Alonzo 
Hoyt, Ora Coleman, Lota Bagley, Jean Turner, 
Florence Turner, Walter Turner, Mi lie Whitney, 
Lucius Bagley, George Bagley, Albert Wilkins. 



enough to accommodate the pupils 

At a school meeting in September, 
1878, it was decided, by a vote of 60 
to (>. to appropriate $1300 to build an 
addition to the school house. A build- 
in" committee was chosen, composed of 
O. C. Gregg, C. H. Richardson and J. S. 
Dewey, and in October the addition was 
ready for occupancy. Its dimensions 
were 22x40 feet, two stories high. The 
school house then contained four rooms 
with a seating capacity of 250 pupils. 

A reorganization, under the inde- 
pendent district plan, was effected 
October 1, 1878; the school was graded, 
and four departments were maintained. 
The first Board of Education under the 
reorganization was composed of Jona- 

-M. Sullivan furnishes from memory a list of mem- 
bers of the Board of Education who have served since 
1878, in addition to those mentioned, as follows: 
Walter Wakeman, Squire D. How, M. Sullivan, M. C. 
Humphrey, C. F. Case, George Johnson, Mrs. A. G. 
Watson. Mrs. A. C. Forbes, C. E. Persons, M. E. 
Mathews, J. R. Conway, C. C. Whitney, C. B. Tyler, 
('. E. Patterson, Frank Sickler, C. F. Johnson, M. W. 
Harden, W. C. Haney and J. C. Sheffield. The 
members of the Board in 1912 are C. E. Persons, 
M. Sullivan, W. C. Haney, J. C. Sheffield, Frank 
Sickler and M. W. Harden. 

Superintendents of the Marshall public schools 
have been as follows: J. B. Gibbons, 1878; C. J. 
Pickert, 1879; J. C. Hull, 1880; Leslie Gregg, 1881-82; 
Mr. Emery, 1SS3-84; W. C. Kilgore, 1885; C. M. 
Boutelle, 1885-03; M. B. Fobes, 1903-12. 

4 The following have been graduated from the 
.Marshall High School: 

1888 — Edith Addison, Minnie E. Andrew, Nette 
Jackson, Grace Watson, Mille Whitney, Harry W. 
Addison, William D. Frost, S. Sigvaldson. 

1889 — Edwin M. English, Peter A. Johnson, J. C. 
Lawrence, Anna L. Weikle, N. Maude Butturff, C. M. 
Gislason . 

1890 — Millie Sanders, Edna Fiske, Clyde Butturff, 
Nellie Drake, Mabel Paige, Joseph Forbes, Margaret 
Downie, Hugh Dickie, Thomas Cahill, Maude Downie, 
Arthur Drew, Thomas Salmon, Bert Drake. 

1891— (no class). 

1892 — Mary Davis, Esther Davis, Kate Salmon, 
Julius Humphrey. 

1893 — Generius Lee, Frank Case, Robert Neill, 
\ I .- 1 1 1 1 1 - Madison, Addie Pierce, Bertha Snyder. 

1894 — Oscar Worman, John T. Cavanagh, Elijah T. 
Loomis, Stella M. Snapp, Thomas E. Davis, John 
Davis, Harry R. Gay, Lillian C. Link, .Maude D. Link. 

1895 Alice Langan, Harry Buttson. 

1896 — Gertrude Baldwin, Herbert Newton Dresser, 
Florence May Elliott, William Kirk English, Haldor 
1',. Gislason, Glenn Roy Link, Ida Belle .Marsh, Harvey 
Gordon Norton, Agnes Elizabeth Neill, Lillian Christine 
Johnson, Fauntie Grace Warren, Maud D. Link, 
Stella May Snapp, Laura Belle Maynard. 

1897 Corrington Waite Thurston, Arni B. Gislason, 
Nellie Elvia Cummings, Mabel Agnes Dresser, Ida 
Belle Hall, Charlie Thomas McLennan, .Maude M. 
McGandy, Royal Charles Millard, John Philip Smith. 

1898 — George Luther Andrews. Maurice John Breen, 
Birdie Hortense Champlain, Elizabeth Ida Davis, 
Myrtle Hope Elliott, Harry Hamilton Galbraith, John 
Gunnlaug Holm, Robert McMaster Hood, Grace L. 

than Owens. A. C. Forbes, C. H. Whit- 
ney, C H. Richardson, J. S. Dewey 
and O. C. Gregg. 2 J. B. Gibbons was 
the first superintendent of the graded 
schools and his assistants in 1878 were 
Addie Gary ami Hattie Owen. 3 

The school population increased rap- 
idly and within a few years the facilities 
were taxed to their utmost. Early in 
1886 the voters of the district author- 
ized a bond issue and in the fall of that 
year a new building was erected at a 
cost of $15,000. That structure was 
used until destroyed by fire twelve years 
later. A high school course was added, 
was made a four-year course in 1890, 
and the Marshall school was raised to 
the first class in 1896. The first high 
school class was graduated in 1888. 4 

McGandy, Sarah Maude Murray, Edwin Gail Patterson, 
Ada Richardson, Manie Emabel Tucker, Lurline May 
Mat kins, Eva .Maude Watson. 

1899 — Anna Kimber Boutelle, Simeon James 
Burchard, Christine Helga Edwards, Nathan Milo 
Fiske, Fred Green, Frank Egbert Norton, Willis 
Irving Norton, James Von Williams. 

1900— Alice Rosalie Chamberlain, Charles Bayard 
Gibbons, Carrie Belle Hicks, James Lewis Humphrey, 
Duncan Leroy Kennedy, Royal Aaron Kidder, Duncan 
James McLennan, Lottie O'Brien, Florence Amelia 
Patten, Gallic Maude Pehrson, Frank Harvey Throop, 
Grace Eliza Wasson. 

1901 — Robert Mott Addison, Louisa Elizabeth 
Boutelle, Lewis Earnest Dresser, Lucy Rice Fiske, 
Rose Anna Gray, France- Slingeriand Harrington. 
Alexander Hood, Mary Ellen Keppel, Frederick 
William McLennan, Wallace Edwin Mead. .Myrtle 
Dorothy Miller, Nels Christian Nelson, Rollin Hunt 
Sehutz,' Rud Charles Wasson. 

1902 — Octavia Maria Thompson, Roscoe Edward 
Berg, John Thomas Butson, Frederick Hollister Case, 
Helga Jonina Davidson, Edith Mae Forbes, Christine 
Lillia Hognason, Eliza Hood, Helen Julia Hunter, 
Alice Mabelle Jelleson, Edward Philip Kennedy, 
Edward John Lawrence, Madge Link, Mildred Link. 
Ethel .May Patterson, Harris Edward Persons, Anna 
Veda Shepard, Sigrid S. Swanson, Eva Alice Tucker, 
Hazel Jane Wakeman. 

1903 — Hazel Payzant Andrews, Mary Lilly (len- 
denning, Ella Agnes Chittenden, Walter Sessions Fiske, 
Gertrude Marie Hunter, Mabel Amelia Johnson, Erna 
May King, Julius Tobias Knudson, Elenora Amanda 
Kelson, Vera Nell King, Louise Gertrude Langland, 
Grace Laura Link, George Sloan Langland, Florence 
Gertrude Parker, Thomas Ambrose Regnier, C. Lloyd 
Ruliffson, Louise Elizabeth Schutz, Stefania Jona 
Swanson, Homer I). Sharratt, Leora B. Watkins, 
Leona D. Watkins. 

1904 — Phoebe Estella .Madden, Paul Nathaniel 
Casserly, Claud Marion Hoagland, Charles Stuart 
Kidder, William Jones Galbraith, Stanley Herbert 
Addison, Willard Orville Persons, Petra Caspara Sole, 
Joseph S. Peterson, Lela Maude Patterson, M. Eleanor 
Bumford, Emma Henrietta Hcilman, Elsie May 
Schmitt, Grace Mildred Goodwin, Mabel] Harriet 
McCready, Elizabeth M. Chalmers, Ragna Lucile 

190.5 — Barclay Acheson, Lee Alexander, Harold 
Andrews, Georgia Bellingham, Roscoe Bellineham, 
Ethlyn Conway, Blanche Davis, Clair Dickinson, 
Mabelle English, Eva English, Gordon Forbes, Nina 
Hotham, Edna Hukee, Bessie Hunter, Violet Jelleson, 
Orion Kiel, [na Lindsley, Edwin Neill, Claude Palmer. 



Again in 1891 the school house was 
filled to overflowing' and the voters 
authorized a bond issue of $6000 to 
provide additional facilities. A four- 
room ward school house was erected in 
1S92 south of the Northwestern railroad 
tracks and was occupied for the first 
time in September of that year. J. D. 
Carroll was the contractor. The total 
cost of the building, heating plant and 
furnishings was $8232. 35. The building 
was sold to Dr. F. D. Gray for hospital 
purposes in October, 1910, for $3000. 

The high school building erected in 
1880 was destroyed by fire on the night 
of December 8, 1898. The loss was 
placed at $20,000, covered by insurance 
to the amount of $13,000. Immediately 
steps were taken to rebuild. Plans for 
a new building, drawn by W. B. Dunnell, 
were accepted by the Board of Education 
in January, 1899, and a little later the 
contract was let to the Angus McLeocl 
Company, of Minneapolis, on a bid of 
$39,737, which was later increased, be- 
cause of changes in plans, to $41,000. 
A $40,000 bond issue was made and the 
building was completed and occupied in 
December. The cost of the building, 
heating, plumbing, ventilating, furnish- 
ings, etc., was about $60,600. It is one 

Vida Pike, Lizzie Smith, Elida Sole, George Struthers, 
Harry Tate, Maggie Thomson, Lueile Watson, Louisa 
Wetherbee, Homer Wheeler. 

1906 — May E. Galbraith, Alice E. Meier, Sidonia A. 
Mathews, Seraphine B. Ehlers, Mina F. Snyder, Sylvia 
L. Cummings, S. Augusta Sigvaldson, Lloyd M. 
Thorburn, Francis Joseph Kennedy, Alice Louise 
Lindsey, Ernest Persons, Anna May Smith, Guy H. 
Kiel, John E. Silvius, Guy W. Hicks, Iva Elizabeth 
Aurandt, Velna P. Shannon, Earl E. Jefferson, L. 
Pauline Fitzsimmons, Inga A. S. Anderson, Wallace 
Jackson Kidder, Gordon Elwyn Kidder, Agnes Delila 
Ruane, Alma Dahlberg. 

1907 — Joseph Anderson, Bertha Bancroft, Guy 
Blanchard, Gladys Bumford, Naomi Chace, Charles 
DeReu, Mate Harden, Frank Hoagland, Louise Hollo, 
Clarence Kennedy, Kittie Kramer, Holland Mathews, 
Nellie Moore, Nettie Palmer, Ambrose Ruane, Williard 
Ruliffson, Artys Schroeder, Ada Tibbitts, May Tib- 
bitts, Mabel Vodden, Louise Patterson, Flossie Kramer. 

190S — Mary Arloine Bumford, Leila Marie Bush, 
Charles Louis DeReu, Henry Knox Elder, Joseph 
William Harrison, Charles E. Healy, Myrtle May Hollo, 
George Kingdom Johnson, Josephine Theresa Johnson, 
Winnie Sigridur Johnson, Eva Nancy Kidder, Bertha 
Emma McCready, Mary Josephine Martin, Holland M. 
Mathews, Ruth Minette Murray, Loline A. Musch, 
Beulah Pearl Palmer, Helen Mary Penison, Dale 
Simon, Minnie May Schneider, Ellen Lauretta Welch, 
Flora Catherine Wetherbee. 

of the largest and finest school buildings 
in the state. 

At the present writing (1912) 539 
students are enrolled in the Marshall 
schools. Including the superintendent, 
twenty instructors are employed. The 
school ranks among the best in Minne- 

Besides the public schools, a Catholic- 
school and a business college are con- 
ducted in Marshall. 

St. Joseph's convent and academy 
has been in operation since March 1, 
1900, conducted by the sisters of the 
Order of St. Joseph. It has grown to 
considerable prominence. In 1899 Mother 
Seraphine and Mother Celestine came to 
Marshall and their investigations led to 
the founding of the school. The Ma- 
honey residence was purchased for a 
school building, and on March 1, 1900, 
the school was opened, in charge of 
Sister Wilfrida, of St. Joseph's Academy, 
of St. Paul, assisted by Sisters Celesia 
and DuRosaire. Several additions have 
been made to the original school house, 
and a large number of students receive 


Seven church societies have organi- 

1909 — E. Rea Austin, Myrtle Barker, Eugenia Agnes 
Regnier, Lena Amelia Benson, Aroline Mary Forbes, 
Virginia Marie Johnson, Mae Henrietta Mathis, 
Wallace Strait Schutz, Larus Sigvaldson, Harry 
Benjamin Spong, Willis Franklin Gillett, Grayce Clara 

1910 — Edith Lyle Bailey, Grace Winifred Bancroft, 
Mary Bernice Kennedy, Mary Hortense Ladwig, 
Mildred Alma McFarland, Henrietta Marion Addison, 
Nellie Miranda Austin, Oscar Bernard Bladholm, 
Ruth Etta Fulton, Joseph Penual Mathews, Cassalanzo 
Middleton, Elmer Joseph Molter, Robert John Myhr- 
vold, Ethel Catherine Porter, Alice Elizabeth Regnier, 
Lila Ruthe Sturgeon, Lillie Gudny Swanson, Myrtle 
Viola Thomas-, Emma Mary Vergote, James Walter 
Kennedy, Julia Judith Vergote. 

1911 — Truman Lewis Bumford, Julia Malvina 
Johnson, Edna Christine Newman, Blanche Leona 
Regnier, Ella Sophia Strand, Adolphus Daniel Betour- 
nay, James Edward Blake, William Patrick Dolan, 
Nellie Annette Ledell, George Irving Peffer, Emma 
Bertha Peterson, Elizabeth Magdalene Poethke, 
Charles Leon Robinson, Benjamin Adolph Schutz, 
Edith Agnes Bourke, Lucy Katherine Sharratt. 

1912 — Lueian Fred Wasson, Raymond Henry Lee, 
Anna Viola Nash, Mary Cnristenson, Mac Nbrah 
Middleton, Hattie Ellis Spong, Susan Clara Smith, 
Cecil Frank Brantner, Coxey Strand, Otto Julius 
Wienke, Seymour Le Grande Elliott, 



zations in Marshall and all of them 
have houses of worship. The churches 
are, in the order of their organization, 
Congregationalist, Methodist, Catholic, 
German Lutheran, Evangelical Associa- 
tion, Episcopal and Presbyterian. Three 
other societies have at one time and 
another been represented in Marshall 
but are not now. They were the 
Baptist, Icelandic Lutheran and Nor- 
wegian Lutheran. 

The first religious services held in 
Marshall were conducted by Rev. W. T. 
Ellis, Methodist, of Lynd. They were 
held in the engineers' office in the 
summer of 1872. The next services 
were held a short time later by a Con- 
gregationalist minister, and the Congre- 
gational church was the first organized 
in the village. 

In the summer of 1872 Rev. E. H. 
Alden, of Waseca, pioneer home mis- 
sionary of the Congregational church, 
came to Marshall and made arrange- 
ments for organizing a church. At the 
time the site was occupied by only two 
buildings and a tent. The tent was the 
property of Captain Herrick and Major 
Filkins, and in it they conducted a- 
saloon. It was the only available 
"building" in town for religious worship, 
and in it on several occasions Rev. 
Alden preached to the people of Marshall 
and vicinity. 5 He later held services 
in the engineers' building and remained 
in Marshall during 1872. 

The Congregational church was or- 
ganized by Rev. Alden on October' 6, 

'"Captain Herrick and Major Filkins had a tent in 
which they had a saloon. Old Major Filkins tended 
bar. We didn't have a building. We went to see the 
major, and he said: 'Yes, certainly, I will close my 
liar and you can hold services here.' A dry goods box 
was used for the bar, and I used to take a table cloth 
or sheet (table cloths were scarce in those days) to 
cover the dry goods box. Before we came in he 
always used to turn up the sheet, treat the boys, and 
then close up. After the services were over he would 
open again and go on with his business, and I think 
the Sundays were just as orderly then as they are now. 

". . . This tent stood right back abcjut where John 
Schneider's store is. They were the first church 
services in Marshall. It was considered work to take 

1872, with the following members: Mr. 
and Mrs. Seth W. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. 
H. P. Gibbs, Mrs. J. W. Elliott and 
Mrs. Cook. The first board of trustees 
consisted of Walter Wakeman. Seth W. 
Taylor and John W. Elliott. The first 
treasurer was J. P. Watson, who was 
also the first choirster. Mr. Buchanan 
was the first Sunday School superin- 
tendent and had charge of a union school 
until the Methodist school was organized 
in 1873. 

Immediately after the organization of 
the Congregational church, in the fall 
of 1872, a start was made on a building 
to be used as a house of worship. It 
was begun in 1872 but was not com- 
pleted until the following spring. Rev. 
Alden and Walter Wakeman constituted 
the building committee. The structure 
was a two-story store building erected 
at the corner of Main and Fourth 
Streets. The lower floor was occupied " 
by a store, and the upper floor was used 
for school purposes during week days 
and by the church society on Sundays. 
The Congregationalists occupied this 
building until 1879, when it was sold to 
H. B. Gary for $1000. 

Rev. George Spaulding became pastor 
of the church in May, 1873, and served 
until August, 1874. The first com- 
munion service was held in September, 
1873. The next pastor was Rev. H. C. 
Simmons, installed in September, 1875, 
who was in charge until September, 
1879. 6 During the grasshopper days 
untiring efforts were required to main- 

that lumber from the yard of the railroad company 
and then carry it back again every Sunday, but some 
way Major Filkins had such a winning way with him 
that we always got enough boys to do it." — C. H. 


6 Pastors of the Congregational church have been 
E. H. Alden, 1872; George Spaulding, lS7:i-74 ; H. C. 
Simmons, 1875-79; S. J. Rogers, 1879-81; J. B. Fair- 
bank, 1881-84; A. J. Dutton, Albert Warren and 
N. D. Graves, supplies during 1885-87; A. P. Lyon, 
1887-1890; C. M. Harwood, 1891-94; George M. 
Morrison, 1894; George P. Merrill, W. N. Moore, 
J. W. Vallentyne, W. A. Bockoven. 

Marshall's Ghurches 



tain the organization. The members 
were few, limes were exceedingly hard, 
and great energy was required to keep 
the church in existence. 

Better times came upon the com- 
munity and early in August, 1S7S, the 
Congregationalists began work on a 
new church edifice, which was completed 
the next spring. The building commit- 
tee was composed of Rev. H. C. Sim- 
mons, chairman; J. P. Watson, M. M. 
Marshall and A. C. Chittenden. The 
new church, which cost about $4000, 
was dedicated free from debt May 18, 
1879, by Rev. Dr. McG. Dana, of St. 
Paul, assisted by Rev. Champlain and 
Rev. Moses. 

The church completed in 1879 served 
the need's of the society until 1902, 
when the need was felt for a larger 
building. About $6000 were expended 
in rebuilding, the work being in charge 
of a building committee composed of 
M. W. Harden, chairman; James Law- 
rence, R. R. Bumford, Mrs. W. S. Dibble 
and Mrs. H. M. Langland. The corner 
stone was laid October 4, 1902, and the 
church was formally opened June 28, 

While the Congregational church was 
the first organized in Marshall, the 
Methodist, officially organized in 1873, 
is in reality the oldest church society in 
the city. Its organization was a con- 
tinuation of the Methodist church of 
Lynd, which had come into existence 
several years before and the jurisdiction 
of which extended to the village of 
Marshall. The history of the Methodist 
church of Marshall dates back to the 
very earliest settlement of Lyon county; 
in fact the first settlers came for the 

7 Among the early members of the church and the 
year they became members, according to the church' 
records, were the following: Mary H. Laythe in 1869; 
O. C. Charlotte, Leslie Gregg, Levi and Emily Kiel, 
Ellen, Howard, Henry and Zilphia Langdon, Benjamin, 
Nancy and William Sykes, Luman and Mahala Ticknor 
in 1S70; George and Mary Linderman, I). H., Jane and 

purpose of founding a church and school 
in the frontier region. 

According to the records of the 

Methodist church, on September 26, 

A. W. Muzzy, hie daughter, Sophia, wile of 
Rev. C. F. Wright, member of the Red River 
Conference of the Methodist Episcopal church, 
and L. Lan^dou and family took possession of 
Lynd and vicinity in the name of the Lord by 
establishing religious worship. On the follow- 
ing Sabbath they instituted divine worship and 
maintained it regularly thereafter [sic] every 

In November, 1867, the worshippers 

were reinforced by the arrival of the 
family of Luman Ticknor, and the 
following spring by the family of George 
Cummins. The Methodists of the little 
settlement organized a church society 
in October, 1868, and for the first time 
had the services of a regular clergyman, 
in the person of Rev. C. F. Wright. On 
March 24, 1869, the body was officially 
recognized by Presiding Elder N. Hob art 
of the Mankato district. The church 
was attached to the Redwood circuit 
and was put under the pastoral care of 
Rev. Wright, who was in charge until 
1870. 7 

The conference of 1870 created a new 
charge, designated Lynd and Lake 
Shetek, with Rev. A. R. Riley as pastor. 
The same year a Sunday School was 
organized and a log meeting house was 
built at Lower Lynd. In 1871 the 
church was moved to Upper Lynd and 
Rev. A. Eastman became pastor. A 
frame building was put up, used for a 
church for a short time, and then moved 
to Lower Lynd and transformed into a 
dwelling. Thereafter for a time the 
Methodists worshipped in the Lynd 
school house, but in 1872 the Methodist 
charge was moved to the new village of 

Olive A. Ticknor, Henry and Eliza Sehaffer, Richard 
and Charlotte Tupper, Charles S., Sarah A. and Olive 
Grover in 1872; A. L., Anna and Emaline Baldwin, 
Lucy Ueland, Emma Eastman, Seth and Jennie 
Johnson, H. B. and Anna A. Loomis and Fanny A. 
Hoaglin in 1873. 



Marshall. That was during the pastor- 
ate of Rev. J. H. McKee, with Rev. 
\Y. T. Ellis as local preacher. 8 

Services were occasionally held in 
Marshall in 1872 and early in 1873 by 
Revs. W. T. Ellis and 6. C. Gregg. 
The church organization was perfected 
August 17. 1873. 9 Rev. Gregg became 
the pastor of the Marshall church, and 
the Lake Shetek and Saratoga appoint- 
ments were set off. Rev. George Galpin 
became pastor in 1874. and under his 
charge substantial progress was made 
by the society. In the fall of 1874 a 
parsonage was erected on Fifth Street, 
opposite the location of the future 
church. During the suriimer of 1875 a 
little chapel was erected on the north 
end of the present school grounds, on 
lots donated by the townsite owners. 
The church, dedicated August 15. 1875, 
cost about $800, and in it the Methodists 
worshipped until 1886. The little build- 
ing was later moved to another location 
and remodeled into a residence. 

Increases in membership made neces- 
sary a larger church building, and in 
1885 steps were taken to build. On 
July 20, 1885. the board of trustees 
decided to erect a church to cost not 
more than $3000, but work was not to 
commence until $2500 were raised. 
Almost that amount was raised before 
the year ended. A location at the 
corner of Lyons and Fourth Streets was 
purchased of E. B. Jewett and on 
December 18, 1885. plans and specifi- 
cations were accepted. 

The church was erected in 1886, 
largely through the efforts of B. J. 

pThe following have served as pastors of the Meth- 
odist church from the time it was recognized by the 
church authorities to the present: C. F. Wright , 
1S69-70: A. K. Riley, 1S70-71; A. Eastman, 1871-72; 
J. 11. McKee, 1872-73; O. C. Gregg. L873-74; W. T. 
Ellis, 1874; George Gaplin. 1S74-76: J. T. Lewis, 
ls7»i-77: H. P. Satchel!, 1*77-7!!; J. X. Liscomb, 
1879-^2; J. W. Powell, 1882-85; J. A. Cullen, 1885-87; 
F M. Rule, 1S87-8S; E. P. Robertson, 1888-91; A\ .- 
Cochrane, 1891-92: George R. Greer, 1S92-93; Frank 
P. Harris. 1893-95; J. A. Sutton. 1S!I.?-9N; Samuel 
Ellery. 1S9S-02; Benjamin C. Gillis, 1902-07; S. Arthur 

Heagle, Seth Johnson. M. Sullivan and 
Dr. E. D. Allison. Its cost was about 
$7000. The church was dedicated No- 
vember 14, the services being conducted 
by Rev. Robert Forbes. Rev. J. W. 
Powell and Rev. E. R. Lathrop. Rev. 
J. A. Cullen was the resident pastor at 
the time. A new parsonage was erected 
in 1905 at a cost of $5200. 

A larger building was demanded i:i 
19C9 and on May 29 of that year a son- 
tract was let to George D. Carroll to 
remodel the building. A building com- 
mittee composed of M. E. Drake, Peter 
Walker, H. B. Loomis, W. G. Hunter, 
George Caley and Rev. S. A. Cook was 
appointed and the work was rushed to 
completion. The cost of reconstructing 
the building was $10,200. It was dedi- 
cated Sunday, September 19, 1909. by 
Rev. Dr. F. B. Cowgill. the district 
superintendent, assisted by Rev. J. W. 
Powell and Rev. S. A. Cook, the local 

The third church society organized in 
Marshall was the Baptist. During the 
summer of 1878 Rev. W. H. Schwartz, 
of Kenosha, Wisconsin, came to Mar- 
shall and in August organized a church 
with ten members. The officers of the 
society were J. M. Lockey, deacon: 
J. P. DeMattos, clerk; C. B. Todd, J. M. 
Lockey and B. H. dibits, trustees. A 
lot was purchased with a view to erecting 
a church edifice, but that was not done 
and the life of the society was short. 
During the life of the church services 
were held in the public school building. 

The Catholic church — Church of the 
Most Holy Redeemer — was organized 

Cook, 1907-10; J. E. Bowes, 1910-12. Of these, Revs. 
J. X. Liscomb, F. M. Rule and E. P. Robertson later 
became presiding elders. 

9 "On the seventeenth of August the Methodists 
organized a church society at this place, starting out 
with eighteen members. This is in the circuit of Rev. 
McKee, but he having all he could attend to elsewhere, 
Elder Gregg, of Lynd, has usually- filled the semi- 
monthly appointments here." — Prairie Schooner, 
September 20, 1873. 



in 1885. Several years before thai time, 
however, services were occasionally held. 
The first mass was held by Father Tori 
in 1879, and thai early there was talk 
of building a church. 

There were only a few families of the 
faith in .Marshall in 1884, but that year 
it was decided to erect a church. The 
decision was reached at the time of a 
visit in May, 1884, by Bishop John 
Ireland ami Fathers Cornelius and 
Devos. .1. W. Blake donated two lots 
east of the river, the business men of 
Marshall contributed nearly $1000, and 
members of the faith contributed lib- 
erally. The building was erected at a 
cost of about $1000 under the direction 
of a building committee composed of 
Father Devos, of Ghent, and Messrs. 
Janda ami Humphrey. The building, 
though not entirely completed, was 
occupied for the first time November 
30, 1884. 

The church* was organized in INS."). 
The following were heads of the families 
representing the initial membership: 
John Hanlon, Daniel Minnick, Con 
Meehan, Richard Blake, P. W. Mullaney, 
James Smith, Owen Myron, Thomas 
Welch, Mr. Vergote, Mr. Loke, John 
Casserley, Pat Casserley, John Ruane, 
Pat Quigley, Philip Kennedy, John 
Zeigler and John Lewis. John Hanlon 
and Daniel Minnick were the first 

Prior to 1890 there^was not a resident 
pastor and services were only occasion- 
ally held, conducted by Father Edward 
Lee. 1 " Improvements were made on 
the church in the spring of 1889 and the 
interior was completed. The church 
was incorporated in October, 1890, the 
articles being signed by Archbishop John 
Ireland, August Ravoux, J. E. Devos, 
John Haidon and Louis Janda. 

'"Pastors of the Marshall church sines 1S90 have 
been as follows: Fathers Hugh Victor, 1890-93; 
Francis Jager, 1S93-97; Buckle, 1897-98; Joseph Guillot, 

The German Evangelical Lutheran 
church of Marshal] is one of the old 
religious societies of the city. About 
1877 the German Evangelical Lutheran 

Synod of New I'lm sent Rev. Christ 
Boettcher as a missionary to Lyon and 
adjoining counties to minister to the 
< terman Lutherans at the expense of the 
Synod. Thereafter until a church was 
organized at Marshall in lsss ministers 
of the faith, Rev. Boettcher and Rev. 
W. Shechietal, held services in the 

The church society was organized in 
1888 and Rev. R. Poet like has ever since 
been the pastor. The initial member- 
ship was represented by the families of 
the following: Theodore Tessmer, C. 
Mellenthin, G. Schultz, William Marx, 
Fred GoelcOW and P. Murch. 

For a number of years the Lutheran 
society did not have great strength, had 
no house of worship in Marshall, and 
had irregular services. In June, 1896, 
dissatisfaction arose among some of the 
members, who left the church and 
organized a new society under the pro- 
tection of the Ohio Synod of the German 
Evangelical Lutheran church. The 
trustees of the new organization were 
Fred Mellenthin. August Mellenthin and 
August Schwabe. The organization was 
brought about through the labors of 
Rev. W. Ehwald, who preached in and 
around Marshall from the fall of 1896 
until the next spring. During his pas- 
torate the first steps to form the organi- 
zation were taken, and during the short 
pastorate of his successor, Rev. H. 
Drews, it was perfected. Rev. G. R. 
"Wannemacher succeeded as pastor in 
the fall of 1897. 

Lots for a church building were pur- 
chased on Lyons Street in April, 1897, 
and that summer the church was erected. 

1898-10; William C. Soulard, Innocent Domestici and 
J. M. Sebillet, 1910-11; E. Damourette (assisted by 
J. M. Haquin), 1911-12. 

i :.i • 


It was dedicated on Sunday. July 18.. 
by Rev. Ernst, of St. Paul. 

Both branches of the German Luth- 
eran church continued to maintain or- 
ganizations until the summer of 1908, 
when a reconciliation was effected. A 
reorganization was made at that time 
by thirty families and services by the 
combined organization were held for the 
first time in .June. 1908, conducted by 
Rev. R. Poethke. 

The Salem Evangelical Association, 
another German church society, was 
also organized in 1888.' Rev. Loeven. 
of the Dakota Conference, began to 
preach to members of the faith in 
.Marshall and vicinity, and, although 
there were only a few families, a class 
was soon organized. Rev. Loeven was 
folio \\*ed in turn by Rev. Preise, Rev. 
G. A. E. Leppert and Rev. S. B. Goetz 
during 1888 and 1889, though none of 
these was a resident pastor. 11 During 
the first twelve years of the church's 
history there was no church edifice and 
during the greater part of that time 
services were held in the Ehler school 

The congregation grew and there was 
a strong desire for a church home. 
Dining the pastorate of Rev. H. A. 
Seder funds for a church edifice were 
raised. In April, 1899, the society was 
incorporated under the name of Salem 
Congregation of the Evangelical Asso- 
ciation. Two lots on Main Street oppo- 
site the court house were purchased and 
the work of building was begun in July. 
It was completed in January, 1900, and 
was dedicated, free from debt, on June 

UResidenl pastors of the Salem church have been 
as follow-: ( . W. Wolthausen, 1889-92; W. Blanchard 
1892-93; A. Zabel, 1893-95; F. Draeger, 1895-98; 
H. A. Seilcr. 1VIS-00: ('. A. Tesch, 1900-04; G W 
Hielscher, L904-07; Otto Schultz, 1907-12. 

i*The first members of the Episcopal church included 
Messrs. and Mesdames S. H. Mott, D. F. Afarkham 
J. W. Blake, s. Webster, R. M. Addison. Mr.-. J. W. 
W illiams and others. 

13 Pastors of the St. James Episcopal church since 
the reorganization in IKS') have been as follows: J. ]'.. 

10 by Bishop S. C. Breyfogel. of Read- 
ing. Pennsylvania. The cost of the 
building was about 82o00. 

People of the Episcopal faith in 
Marshall held services irregularly and 
had an organization in the early days, 12 
being ministered to occasionally by the 
following pastors from other charges: 
Edward Livermore, 1874-76: E. G. 
Hunter. 1876-79; H. J. Gurr. 1879. 
Thereafter until the society was reor- 
ganized in 1889 no pastor was assigned 
to the Marshall community. During 
that period several abortive efforts were 
made to effect an organization and 
build a church. 

Bishop Gilbert, of St. Paul, and 
Rector Thompson, of St. Peter, held 
services in one of the other church 
buildings on July 8, 1888, and there the 
start toward the organization of a 
society and the erection of a church was 
made. To solicit funds and attend to 
the preliminary work a -building com- 
mittee was appointed as follows: Orrin 
Paige, chairman; E. E. Parsons, secre- 
tary; J. W. Williams, treasurer; R. M. 
Addison and E. S. Reishus. 

St. .lames Episcopal church was or- 
ganized by Bishop Gilbert .July 21. 1889, 
but was not made a parish until May 
23, 1892. In November, 1889. a place 
of worship was fitted up in the hall of 
the Williams Building, a pastor was 
assigned to the charge, 17, and monthly 
services were held. Member.- of the 
church worked hard to secure the neces- 
sary funds and in June. 1890. they had 
raised $1000. 14 At that time Bishop 
Gilbert visited Marshall and at a church 

Halsey, 1889-91; G. H. TenBroeck. 1S91-94; T. G. 
McGonigle, 1894-95; T. H. .1. Walton. 1896-98; no 
pastor 1898-00; W. P. N. J. Wharton, 1900-01; Arch- 
deacon Houpt, George E. Schulze and C. B. Beaubien, 
1901-02; Frank Erwin Brandt. 1902-03: Richard S. 
Read, 1905-05; John Vinton Plunkett, 1906-07; 
William A. Dennis, 1910-12. 

14 "The ladies of the Episcopal society are entitled 

"to much credit for the heroic efforts made to establish 

a church in Marshall. They are now working to secure 

the wherewith to erect a church building and have 



meeting it was decided to proceed with 
the building of a church. 

Three lots at t he corner of Main and 
Fifth Streets were donated by Messrs. 
Stewart, Jenkins and Blake and the 
building was commenced in September, 
1890. The corner stone was laid Octo- 
ber 7 and then work was stopped 
because of lack of fund:;. It was put 
under way again in the spring of 1892, 
and in time a fine stone building, costing 
about $7000, was completed. It was 
dedicated by Rev. W. P. TenBroeck in 
October, 1893. 

For many years the Icelandic Luth- 
erans maintained a church organization 
in Marshall. For a time services were 
held in private residences, hut in the 
summer of 1890 the members undertook 
the erection of a church edifice. Sub- 
scriptions were solicited and in the fall 
of that year a church was erected west 
of the Great Northern railroad tracks 
at a cost of about SI 500. The next 
year a stone foundation was put under 
the building and the corner stone was 
*. , laid with ceremonies by Rev. Thalaksson 
on November 15, 1891. 

In the cyclone of August 8, 1892, the 
Icelandic church building' was 'demol- 
ished and the same fall a new building 
took its place on the old foundation. 
Services were held many years, but 
finally the attendance dwindled and the 
organization went out of existence. 
For some time before the pulpit had 
been filled by the pastor of the Minneota 
church. The building was purchased 
in March, 1911, by T. R. Cummings and 
remodeled into a residence. 

already raised funds sufficient to insure one in the 
near future. They wish to build this season if pos- 
sible."— Reporter, July 2, 1890. 

15 The first members of the Presbyterian church were 
James McNiven, Joseph Forbes, Thomas E. Davis, 
John J. Davis, Mary A. Davis, Esther Davis, Reese 
Davis, Mrs. Jane Davis, Mrs. F. E. Nichols, Miss 
Magcie McNiven, Miss Julia McNiven, Malcolm C. 
McNiven, Mrs. Malcolm C. McNiven, Mrs. Campbell, 
Miss Kittie Campbell, Mrs. C. G. Miller, Blanche 
Meade, William Neill, Mrs. William Neill, Emma 

The first Presbyterian Church of 
Marshal] was organized June 28, 1891, 
under the direction of Rev. 1!. X. 
Adams, the synodica] superintendent of 
home missions, with thirty-one mem- 
bers. 15 Malcolm C. McNiven and Reese 
Davis were the first elder,- and the 
following were the first officers: Mary 
A. Davis, clerk; J. P. Watson, treasurer; 
A. R. Chace, 1). I). Forbes and James 
McNiven, trustees. Until the church 
was erected services were held in 
Chittenden's Hall. Rev. Clarence G. 
Miller was the first pastor. 10 

Steps were at once taken to erect a 
house of worship. Two lots were pur- 
chased on Lyons Street, opposite the 
school house, and in the fall of 1891 a 
building. 24x28 feet, now used as the 
lecture room, was completed. Its cost, 
including furnishings, was about $2000. 
The dedication services were conducted 
February 14, 1892, by Rev. John 
Barbour, of Mankato. The Presby- 
terian church as it stands today was 
constructed in 1900 and the first services 
were held therein May 27. It was 
dedicated June 24. 

For a short time the Norwegian 
Lutherans had an organization in Mar- 
shall, the church having been organized 
about 1899. Services were held in the 
German Lutheran church by Rev. 
Kleven, of Minneota. The society was 
not very strong and soon ceased to 


Marshall is well represented by secret 
and fraternal orders. There are in 

Graves, Rev. W. D. Graves, J. P. Watson, Mrs. J. P 
Watson, Mrs. Cordelia H. Graves, Mrs. Elizabeth A. 
Forbes, A. R. Chace. Mrs. Alice P. Chace, Miss Grace 
L. Watson, Miss Kittie M. Watson, Miss Flossie J. 
Watson and Miss E. Maude Watson. 

16 Pastors of the Presbyterian church have been as 
follows: Clarence G. Miller, 1S91-94; Harvey M. 
Pressly, 1S94-97; Frank L. Fraser, 189S-00; R. I.. 
Barackman, 1900-02; T. D. Acheson, 1903-05: C. 
McKibbin, 1905-12. 



existence the following societies, most 
of which have also auxiliary organiza- 
tions: Masonic, Grand Army, Work- 
men, Modern Woodmen, Royal Arca- 
num, Maccabees, Foresters, Modern 
Brotherhood and Yeomen. Several 
< >t her well known societies have in times 
past had organizations in the city. 
among them the Odd Fellows, Knights 
of Pythias and Legion of Honor. 

The oldest order in Marshall is Delta 
Lodge No. 119, A. F. & A. M., which 
was organized under dispensation No- 
vember 16, 1874. The organizer was 
Thomas Montgomery, of St. Peter, and 
he was assisted by A. Mardin and Dr. 
Berry, of New Ulm. The first officers 
were as follows: H. J. Tripp, W. M.; 17 
Joshua Goodwin, S. AY; S. V. Groesbeck, 
,1. W.; G. M. Durst, secretary; M. E. 
Wilcox, treasurer; George E. Nichols, 
S. 1).; B. A. Grubb, J. D.; L. F. Pickard, 

Lona Chapter No. 21, Order Eastern 
Star, was named in honor of Mrs. Lona 
Todd, who had died a short time before 
the lodge was organized. It came into 
existence March 4, 1891, with thirty 
charter members. 18 It was instituted 
by Charles L. Davis, of Red Wing, 
grand patron of the Eastern Star. 

A dispensation for Marshall Chapter 
No. 65, Royal Arch Masons, was granted 
in April, 1898. The lodge started with 
nearly forty members and the following- 
first officers: John E. Burchard, high 
priest; Clarence M. Boutelle, king; M. E. 

l7 Past masters of the Masonic lodge have been as 
follows: H. J. Tripp, 1874-76; G. M. Durst, 1S77- 
79-84; Joshua Goodwin, 1878; George E. Johnson, 
1885-86; A. C. Forbes, 1887; E. L. Healy, 1888-90-93; 
M. E. -Mathews, 1891-92; J. B. Gibbons, 1894-95; 
O. E. Maxson, 1896-97; 1). .AT. King, 1898; F. C. 
Whitney, 1899; H. M. Fredenburg, 1900-01; W. A. 
Hawkins, 1902; J. W. Humphrey, 1903; J. G Burchard. 
1904-05; S. E. Whitmore, 1906; C. W. Hicks, 1907; 
H. D. Caley, 1908; J. C. Burchard, 1909; O. F. Wood- 
ard, 1910; William Neill, 1911; J. Von Williams, 1912. 

ls The charter members of Lona Chapter were 
Mesdames Nancy E. Gary, Nellie E. Brenner, Eliza 
Burchard, Minnie E. Mathews, Etta Harrington, Alice 
Johnson, Winnie Dale, Anna Sanger, Kittie Maxson, 
Ada Williams, Dexter Stewart, M. Sullivan, Sarah 
Wilcox, Ida Adams, Agnes Neill, Maity Fiske, Misses 
Allic Stewart, Florence Turner, Messrs. Seymour 

Mathews, scribe. The chapter was con- 
stituted November 29. 1898. 

A commandery of Knights Templar 
was put under dispensation July 5, 1901, 
with John E. Burchard. John S. Ren- 
ninger and Clarence M. Boutelle as 
principal officers. Marshall Command- 
ery No. 28 was instituted November 8, 
1901. by Eminent Commander Joseph 
Bobletter. 19 

Marshall's second fraternal order was 
Good Samaritan Lodge No. 73, Inde- 
pendent Order Odd Fellows. A pre- 
liminary meeting of Odd Fellows was 
held October 3, 1879, and steps were 
then taken to organize. The lodge was 
instituted December 18 of that year 
with the following named six charter 
members: .1. E. Maas, A. T. Gamble, 
C. H. Richardson, J. H. Williams, S. O. 
Weston and C. W. Andrews. The lodge 
had an existence of twenty-nine years 
and surrendered its charter December 
22, 1908. 

A Rebekah lodge, auxiliary to the 
Odd Fellows, was maintained for a 
number of years. As the result of a 
surprise party given members of Good 
Samaritan Lodge by wives of the 
members early in 1895, application was 
made for a charter for the auxiliary. 
Surprise Lodge No. 113, Rebekahs, was 
organized March 5, 1895. 20 

One of the most highly respect ed 
orders in Marshall is D. F. Markham 
Post No. 7, Grand Army of the Republic, 
which has existed since 1881. So early 

Adams, William A. Hawkins, H. B. Gary, Dexter 
Stewart, M. Sullivan, O. E. Maxson, M. E. Mathews, 
L. M. Lange, H. M. Burchard, S. N. Harrington and 
C. F. Johnson. 

19 The first officers of Marshal] Commandery were 
John E. iBurchard, John S. Renninger, Clarence M . 
Boutelle, Rev. S. Ellery, James C. Burchard, H. M. 
Fredenburg, E. S. Frick, A. J. Chamberlain, M. W. 
Harden, A. A. Christensen, Thomas McKinley, H. B. 
Gary, W. A. Hawkins, Fred S. Cook and E. Ziesmer. 

20 Charter members of Surprise Lodge were Lillie G. 
Baird, Rosa Sanger, Fannie A. Richardson, May M. 
Mallory, Alma J. Hunter, Sarah Bryant, Alice G. 
Wheeler, Ella M. Cowhan, Nellie Gee, Margaret 
Mather, George H. Porter, William G. Hunter, W. F. 
Bryant, J. W. Pearson, C. H. Richardson and W. F. 



as 1875 an attempl was made by the 
soldiers of the Civil War to form a post 
of the ('■. A. I;, or an independenl or- 
ganization, but it resulted in failure. 

In the spring of L881 I he matter was 
again agitated, and this time the venture 
resulted in success. 21 A petition for 
organization was signed by thirty-eight 
soldiers 22 and forwarded to headquarters 
al Stillwater. The post was mustered 
in July 20, 1881, by Department Com- 
mander Adam Marty, with eleven char- 
ter members, as follows: J. W. Blake, 
who became the firsl posl commander; 23 
J. M. Vaughn, W. T. Maxson, C. C. 
Whitney, John Dewey, S. Webster, G. W. 
Mossman, John Laudenslager, ('. E. 
Porter, A. I). Morgan and B. Vosberg. 
Thirty-four comrades were mustered in 
during the next few months and on the 
first of the year 1882 the membership 
was forty-five. 

('amp Phil Kearney No. 21. Sons of 
Veterans, had an organization for a 
number of years, but was finally dis- 
banded. It was mustered in April 23, 

!1 "D. F. Markham Post was organized in tin' summer 

of 1 SSI , its inception being stimulated by the un- 
successful attempt to observe Memorial Day, on May 
30. The day was Monday, but arrangements hail 
been made by a few of the old soldiers to hold services 
on Sunday, and a good program had been arranged 
for Chittenden's Hall and also at the cemetery over 
the grave of Daniel F. Markham, who at that time was 
the only soldier buried there. A severe storm began 
Saturday and continued three days, making it neces- 
sary to abandon the proposed services. . . . Soon 
after half a dozen old soldiers held an informal meeting 
and determined to organize a Grand Army post in 
Marshall, and Comrade J. M. Vaughn was delegated 
to circulate a petition among the old soldiers for such 
an organization, in which he succeeded during the 
month of June. During this time there was only a 
provisional Grand Army Department in Minnesota 
and only one post remained of the number that had 
previously existed. This was at Stillwater, and, with 
only one post existing, the provisional department 
commander was Adam Marty of that city." — News- 
Messenger, December 11, 1903. 

22 The signers were D. Lee Mason, S. V. Groesbeck, 
A. J. Ham, John Laudenslager, A. Kingsley, G. E. 
Nichols, A. A. Hunter, J. M. Vaughn, G. ~R. Walch, 
G. W. Mossman, H. A. Crittenden, J. N. Liscomb, 
Walter Wakeman, R. M. Addison, J. W. Blake, A. D. 
Morgan, C. H. Richardson, W. S. Reynolds, Joshua 
' Goodwin, C. C. Whitney, C. A. Edwards, C. E. Porter, 
R. F. Webster, M. Atherton, C. F. Case, A. A. Farmer, 
F. Wescott, S. Webster, O. A. Drake, C. L. Thompson, 
J. A. Hunter, R. J. Madison, A. G. Randall, John 
Dewey, C. B. Todd, B. Vosberg, W. T. Maxson and 
A. O. Underhill. 

- :, Farly commanders of D. F. Markham Post were 
as follows: J. W. Blake, 1881; S. Webster, 1882; 
C. C. Whitney, 1883; S. Webster, 1884; R. M. Addison, 

I ss.1'.. by Adjutant I.. E, Hale of Minne 
apolis, with about twenty charter mem- 
bers. 2 * 

1). !■'. Markham ( lorps No. 67, Women's 

Relief Corps, was organized March l.~>, 

1890, and instituted by Mrs. Sarah S. 
Evans. The order began with a mem- 
bership of nineteen. 25 

Marshal] Lodge No. 125, Ancient 
Older United Workmen, was instituted 
Augusl 21, 1890, by (band Master 
Workman ('. II. Hot kin with ten charter 
members. 28 The Lodge was formally 
organized September 4. 

The Workmen auxiliary, Mizpah Lodge 
No. 53, Degree of Honor, was instituted 
January i':!, 1896, with a membership of 
twenty-eight. 27 

One of the Marshall lodges that 
flourished for a number of years but 
which has surrendered its charter was 
Marshall Lodge No. 89, Knights of 
Pythias. It was instituted July 23, 

1891, by Grand Chancellor J,. P. Hunt, 
of Mankato, with twenty-eight charter 
members. 28 Marshall Division No. 9, 

L885; T. P. Baldwin, ISSfJ; O. Warren, 1887; C. A. 
Cook, 1888; C. H. Richardson, 1889; A. R. Chace, 
1890; U. M. Addison, 1891. 

- 4 Thc first officers of Phil Kearney Camp were 
Seymour Adams, Louis Larson, Thomas J. Baldwin, 
Frank C. Whitney, F. A. Howard, Charles H. Austin, 
Fred II. Webster, C. L. Addison, Harry W. Addison, 
R. D. Baldwin, C. P. Goodwin, R. B. Vondersmith 
and W. M. Trowbridge. 

25 The charter members of D. F. Markham Corps 
were Mesdames William T. Maxson, A. R. Chace, 
O. E. Gail, I. N. Harvey, O. Warren, John Lauden- 
slager, Ellen Howard, O. M (-Question, Thomas McElwee, 
L. M. Lange, S. Harrington, N. W. Mallory, B. F. 
Webster, C. Richardson, H. S. Adams, George Little, 

A. Cruikshank, George Watkins and R. J. Madison. 

2B The charter members of Marshall Lodge were 
L. M. Lange, George B. Hughes, Clarence B. Guernsey, 
Warren S. Eastman, Charles H. Johnson, Joseph 
McGandy, Frank D. Wasson, Alfred E. Heller, John 
J. Kelly and David A. Aurandt. 

27 The first officers of Mizpah Lodge were Mesdames 
D. MeErlain, W. B: Thorburn, T. R. Cummings, Joseph 
McGandy, J. M. Millard, Thomson, H. M. Dwyer, 
Joseph Besonson, Violet Brown, N. D. Wasson, L. M. 
Lange and J. F. Hoagland. 

2S The charter members of the Knights of Pythias 
lodge were J. S. Renninger, C. M. Wilcox, V. B. Seward, 

B. H. Wheeler, A. R. Chace, W. C. Kayser, D. D. 
Forbes, H. W. Addison, F. H. Webster, A. E. Helber, 
A. C. Guernsey, F. E. Parsons, A. A. Van Winkle, 
W. M. Fay, Charles Flemming, Frank Sargent, Charles 
P. Goodwin, C. E. Patterson, E. S. Frick, B. L. Gates, 

C. H. Johnson, J. A. McNiven, C. F. Johnson, J. B. 
Gibbons, F. C. W T hitney, J. J. Kelly, Archie McFadyen 
and A. P. Baker. 



Uniform Rank. Knights of Pythias, was 
instituted January 17, 1896. with twenty- 
nine charter members. 

Marshall Camp No. 1548, Modern 
Woodmen of America, was organized on 
the evening of August 3, 1891. under the 
direction of Deputy Head Consul H. W. 
Noble. It began with a small member- 
ship, 29 but it developed into a popular 
order and has had a flourishing existence 
of twenty-one years. 

Artesian Council No. 1606, Royal 
Arcanum, began life March 20, 1895. 
It was instituted by H. W. Mead, deputy 
grand regent of the state, assisted by 
Secretary G. A. Ives, of Minneapolis. 1 " 

Marshall Council No. 108, Legion of 
Honor, was instituted March 24, 1897, 
with twenty-one charter members, and 
had a short existence. 31 

Marshall Tent No. 75, Knights of the 
Maccabees, Avas organized April 25, 1S98. 
with nineteen charter members. 

Columbus Court No. 835, Catholic 
Order of Foresters, was organized in 
April, 1899, with twenty-five charter 
members. 32 

Isabella Court No. 430, Women's 
Catholic Order of Foresters, was organ- 
ized in December, 1899. The organizer 
was Mrs. Mary Martin and the court was 
installed by Mrs. Annie Cummings. 33 

Eureka Lodge No. 532, Modern 
Brotherhood of America, was organized 
May 15. 1899, with forty-eight charter 
members. 34 

Marshall Homestead No. 639, Brother- 

- 9 Charter members of the Woodmen lodge were 
C. F. Johnson, S. N. Harrington, George McConnel], 
J. S. Renninger, ('. M. Wilcox, F. M. Healy, M. E. 
Mathews and C. C. Guernsey. 

30 Charter members of Artesian Council were I). M. 
King, G. Axvesen, C. H. Johnson, S. N. Harrington, 
W. G. Little, R. A. Chittenden. J. C. Burchard, F. J. 
Parker, < >. A. Krook, H. M. Grey, George H. Porter, 
R. Zeismer, E. S. Frick, J. A. MeNiven, J. S. Ren- 
ninger, Frank Hose. Robert A. Glashan, N. C. Titus, 
C. E. Meader and George A. Tallon. 

3 'The first officers of the Legion of Honor lodge 
were Charles P. Goodwin, George V. Hicks, Bert 
Blakeslee, Mrs. Fannie W. Case, Mrs. C. C. Rutherford, 
A. II. Klinge, Mrs. May Mallory, Mrs. Bertha Dressel, 
Mis- Gertrude Geering, J. N. Mallory, 'C. F. Case, 
Florence Hicks and S. Paulson. 

hood American Yeomen, was organized 
early in 1903. 


Thirty-two years ago the foundation 
for Marshall's public library was laid. 
On February 11, 1880. the Village 
Council authorized the establishment of 
a public library and made a tax levy of 
one mill on the dollai — all that the law 
then permitted — for its support. The 
president of the Council at the same 
time named the following persons a 
Board of Directors with authority to 
establish the library: C. J. Pickert, 
S. D. How. C. F. Case, A. C. Forbes, 
Mi-- Cynthia Weymouth, Mrs. J. P. 
Watson. Mrs. R. M. Addison and Mrs. 
J. W. Blake. 

A one-mill tax was levied the next 
year and funds were raised by dramatic 
entertainments, so that the Library 
Board had *42<). 10 in its treasury. The 
Hoard failed to agree on a plan, the 
money was put at interest, and for 
several years after the initial step was 
taken a library did not materialize. 

The matter was again taken up late 
in 1885, when it was found the Library 
fund amounted to about $470. The 
Village Council then decided to purchase 
books and found the institution. Va- 
cancies on the Library Board were 
filled, and Messrs. Case. Tibbals. Durst 
and Tyler were named a committee to 
purchase books. Walter Wakeman was 
made librarian and the books were kept 

32 The first officers of the Foresters lodge were 
Thomas Welch, John Nash, William Kinney. J. 1). 
Martin, G. Vergote, Chris Rock, Arthur Brais, Arthur 
Gits, Fred Dandurand, George Dandurand, Paul Gits, 
Rev. Father Guillot and George Hickey. 

33 The first officers of Isabella Court were Mrs. Emma 
MeErlain, Mrs. Mary Martin, Mrs. Eppinsperger, Miss 
Annie Mulligan, Bessie Kennedy. Mis- .Virion Ferra, 
Mrs. Lague, Miss Mongeau, Mrs. Georgia Dandurand, 
Miss 15. Paradis, Mrs. Susan Gaffney, Mrs. Jennie 
Dandurand and Miss Arnoldine Princen. 

34 The first officers of Eureka Lodge uric Horace 
Hoffman, Joseph Besonson, C. C. Guernsey, T. G. 
Bonnallie, A. C. Hinckley, H. D. Caley, John Mont- 
gomery, William Gruel, \V. B. Thorburn, J. M. Meehl, 
John Dick, Dr. T. H. Wimer and Dr. W A. Hobday. 

^ .<*• 


1 55 

at his store. The library was opened 
January 1, 1880, with five hundred 
volumes on hand. It continued until 
replaced by the Carnegie library in 1903, 
supported by tax levies. Reading rooms 
weri> established, and, considering its 
limited resources, became quite popular. 
In February, L902, the Ait History 
Club became interested in the establish- 
ment of a Carnegie library and wrote 
the philanthropist. A year later .Mr. 
Carnegie offered to donate $10,000, 
providing the village would furnish a 
site and bind itself to expend $1000 
annually on maintenance. The offer 
was accepted at a public meeting held 
.March 4, 1903. The site at the corner 
of Lyons and Third Streets was pur- 
chased for $2500, and in July. 1903, the 
contract for the erection of the building- 
was let to H. P. Fulton on a bid of 
$9400. It was constructed under the 
supervision of a building committee 
composed of M. Sullivan, M. AY. Harden 
and AY. S. Dibble. The Marshall library 
is one of the best institutions of the kind 
in Southwestern Minnesota. 


The Marshall Fire Department has 
developed from small beginnings. Prior 
to 1879 the village was without fire pro- 
tection, except that afforded by water 
in several wells and the willingness of 
the citizens to apply it. The first 
action by the village authorities to pro- 
vide means of protection came in Feb- 
ruary, 1879, when a box was erected 
near the town pump and filled with 
buckets. A meeting to organize a 
volunteer fire department at that time 
was held, but small interest was taken 
and no company was formed. 

Three hundred fifty feet -of hose was 
purchased in December, 1879, to be 
attached to the town pump in ca::e of 

lire. This purchase led to the forma- 
tion of the lirst fire company. A public 
meeting was held at the Merchants 
Exchange on the evening of December 
20, when sentiment was found to be 
unanimous in favor of forming a fire 
company. M. E. Wilcox. J. G. Schutz 
and C. H. Richardson were named a 
committee to confer with the village 

At a meeting of the Village Council 
December 29 provision was made for 
organizing a company of five men, who 
should have charge of the apparatus 
and be in command at (ires. Such a 
company was formed with .1. G. Schutz 
as chief and C. H. Richardson. S. AVeb- 
ster, Stanley Addison and E. L. Healy 
as the other members. A hook and 
ladder truck and buckets were a little 
later added to the equipment. 

The pioneer fire fighting company 
was handicapped by lack of equipment 
and was not long maintained. The 
News of January 16, 1885, said: "The 
only semblance of fire apparatus is a 
light truck, carrying a few ladders and 
hooks. Something efficient is demand- 
ed." In February, 1888, a number of 
Diamond hand grenades were purchased 
and placed in accessible positions about 
the village. Marshall's fire fighting ap- 
paratus was indeed primitive until a 
progressive step was taken in 1890 and 
an efficient force organized. 

The organization of Marshall's Fire 
Department came as a result of a con- 
flagration that brought a loss of $7000. 
At a meeting of the A r illage Council 
January 10, 1890, it was decided to 
erect an engine house and purchase a 
fire engine, hose and other necessary 
apparatus to protect property. J. G. 
Schutz and J. AY. Williams were chosen 
by the village authorities to carry out 
the plans. 



The engine house, used also as a city 
hall, was erected in the summer of 1890, 
the steam engine was put in service in 
July, and a reservoir was excavated on 
the village lots to furnish water. The 
fire department was organized July 14, 
1890, with twenty-five members. 35 

When the waterworks system was in- 
stalled in 1895, the steam engine was 
discarded and modern fire fighting ap- 
paratus was procured. A reorganiza- 
tion of the department was effected in 
the summer of 1895, 36 and the same 
organization has been maintained ever 
since. New material was added in 1899, 
and additions have frequently been 
made since that time. 

Late in 1911 the fire house and city 
hall was rebuilt and enlarged and the 
department has one of the finest homes 
maintained by a volunteer department 
in Minnesota. The personnel of the 
department is also excellent, and the 
fact that Marshall has sustained few 
losses by fire is due largely to the work 
of the fire fighters. 


Marshall has three banking institu- 
tions, two chartered by the national 
government and one conducted under 
the state banking laws. They are the 
Lyon County National Bank, the First 
National Bank, and the Marshall State 
Bank. All are ably conducted institu- 
tions, enjoy the confidence of the public, 
and are in flourishing condition. 

The first bank established in Marshall 
is defunct. It was the Bank of Mar- 
shall (later a state bank), which opened 

35 The first officers and members of the department 
were as follows: F. M. Healy, chief; Harry Addison, 
chief engineer; George Hughes, foreman; William 
Thorburn, assistant foreman; E. L. Healy, president; 
Joseph Pierard, vice president; Thomas J. Baldwin, 
secretary; Charles H. Johnson, treasurer; James 
Andrew, Ray Baldwin, Frank Cutting, Charles Lauden- 
slager, Fred Webster, Oscar Krook, William Simmons, 
Len Barnes, George Upton, George Taylor, Jay Truax, 
Charles Goodwin, Eugene Goodwin, Z. Smith, Guy 
Remore, Cliff Golder and John Sturgeon. 

its doors late in April, 1878. It was 
founded as a private institution by 
W. S. Dibble, who was the manager, 
and Jonathan Owen. It was conducted 
under the firm name of Owen & Dibble 
until the spring of 1883, when Mr. 
Dibble became sole owner. Until 1890 
the bank was housed in a frame building 
and then was moved into a brick block 
erected by the owner. 

The bank was a popular institution 
and a flourishing business was built up 
by Mr. Dibble. It became a state bank, 
with a capital stock of $25,000, in the 
spring of 1891. The bank was discon- 
tinued April 11, 1900, Mr. Dibble at 
that time disposing of the business to 
the First National Bank. 

The second bank founded in Marshall 
and the oldest now in existence was the 
Lyon County Bank — later reorganized 
as the Lyon County National Bank. It 
was founded as a private institution, 
with a paid-up capital of $25,000, and 
began business late in August, 1878. 
The officers and owners at the time of 
founding were H. B. Strait (who was at 
the time a member of Congress), presi- 
dent; C. B. Tyler, vice president; S. D. 
How, cashier; and D. L. How. Business 
was begun in the building still occupied, 
the Messenger Block having been erected 
by the bank people at that time. In 
S. D. How was vested the management 
of the bank and that gentleman con- 
ducted it for more than fourteen years. 

The Lyon County Bank was reorgan- 
ized as the Lyon County National Bank, 
capital stock, $50,000, on August 1, 
1891. The officers and directors chosen 

36 The officers of the department at the time of 
reorganization were as follows: Fred M. Healy, chief; 
John Schneider, assistant chief; W. B. Thorburn, 
foreman; J. B. Murray, assistant foreman; W. H. 
Simmons, foreman hose company No. 1 ; A. J. Whit- 
taker, foreman hose company No. 2; Charles Kelson, 
secretary; John Watson, treasurer; T. J. Baldwin. 
Charles H. Johnson and J. B. Murray, trustees. 



at that time were as follows: H. B. 
Strait, president; M. Sullivan, vice 
president; S. D. How, cashier; F. AY. 
Sickler, assistant cashier; II. B. Strait, 
M. Sullivan. S. D. How. C. B. Tyler, 
A. C. Chittenden, James Lawrence and 
.1. (!. Schutz, directors. In addition to 
these D. D. Forbes and Joseph Ciesielski 
were stockholders. 

There have been only a few changes 
in the management of the Lyon County 
National Bank. Cashier S. I). How 
resigned October 3, 1892, and was suc- 
ceeded by F. W. Sickler, who lias served 
ever since, with the exception of a short 
time when J. G. Schutz was cashier. 
President Strait died February 25, 1894, 
and was succeeded by C. B. Tyler, the 
present incumbent. James Lawrence is 
the present vice president. During its 
long life the Lyon County National Bank 
has been in able hands and is one of the 
sound financial institutions of the county. 

The First National Bank of Marshall 
was authorized to begin business August 
16, 1891, and on September 8 opened 
its doors in the building it still occupies 
and owns. Its capital stock was $50,000 
and the owners of the stock were H. M. 
Langland, G: W. Pitts, M. W. Harden, 
R. M. Addison', C. F. Johnson, Olof 
Pehrson, F. E. Parsons and Andrew 
Nelson. The first officers and directors 
were as follows: H. M. Langland, 
president; R.« M. Addison, vice presi- 
dent; M. W. Harden, cashier; C. C. 
Guernsey, assistant cashier; R. M. Addi- 
son, Olof Pehrson, F. E. Parsons, C. F. 
Johnson and H. M. Langland, directors. 

During the first twenty years of the 
institution's history the only, change in 
management occurred in June, 1901, 
when E. S. Frick succeeded C. C. Guern- 
sey as assistant cashier. The only other 
changes since organization occurred in 
Januarv, 1911. At that time R. M. 

Addison succeeded H. M. Langland as 
president, M. W. Harden became vice 
president, E. S. Frick became cashier, 
and H. N. Harmon was made assistant 
cashier. The present directors are R. 
M. Addison, H. M. Langland, Andrew 
Nelson, M. W. Harden and E. S. Frick. 

The First National has had a remark- 
able growth and has larger deposits 
than any other bank in Lyon county. 
According to a recent statement, the 
deposits are about one-half million 
dollars. Since the organization the 
stockholders have received in dividends 
$95,000. The bank has a surplus and 
undivided profit of over $28,000. 

The Marshall State Bank is the 
youngest of the city's financial institu- 
tions. It was opened for business June 
15, 1909, with a capital stock of $25,000. 
Its officers, chosen at that time and 
still at the head of the bank, are as 
follows: Spurgeon Odell, president; 
James A. McNiven, vice president; S. J. 
Forbes, cashier. Those gentlemen are 
also the directors and owners of the 
stock. The bank owns the building it 
occupies and the one adjoining. 

The Marshall State Bank does a 
general banking business, makes farm 
loans, deals in real estate, attends to 
collections, and writes insurance. Dur- 
ing its life of three years the bank has 
built up an excellent business and has 
gained the confidence of the people to 
an extent seldom equalled by an insti- 
tution of the same age. 

The officers of the State Bank were 
formerly associated in the real estate, 
loan and collection business under the 
firm name of Odell & McNiven. They 
succeeded D. D. Forbes & Company, one 
of the pioneer real estate firms of the 




The municipal power and light plant 
was built in 1894, furnishing water and 
electric lights. The plant was enlarged 
in 1905 and new and better machinery 
added. Another addition was made 
two years later and in 1908 all-day 
electric light service was inaugurated. 
This service is now used extensively for 
power by printing. offices, butcher shops, 
laundry, creamery, machine shops, gar- 
ages, elevators, etc. 

The plant is strictly modern and one 
of the best in Southwestern Minnesota. 
It is equipped with high-pressure boil- 
ers, cross compound direct-connected 
engines, and 2300 volts, sixty cycle, 
three-phase alternating current system. 
The city water is supplied by artesian 
wells. Pressure is maintained on the 
water system by direct driven steam 
pumps. Recently a central heating 
system has been installed and most of 
the business houses on the southwest 
side of Main Street are heated from the 
municipal plant. The heat is supplied 
by the exhaust steam from the pumps 
and a portion of the engine exhaust. 

One of the institutions in which the 
people of Marshall take great pride is 
the flouring mill operated by the Mar- 
shall Milling Company. It is one of the 
really big concerns of Southwestern 
Minnesota, maintaining an enormous 
plant, and it has placed Marshall on the 
map for many people who otherwise 
would not have heard of the city. 

The Sleepy Eye Milling Company in 
1892 bought a small flouring mill in 
Marshall, ami in 1893 the Marshall Mill- 
ing Company was organized and incor- 
porated. Its first officers were William 
Gieseke, president; William F. Gieseke, 

• 7 The officers of the Northwestern Telephone 
Exchange Company are as follows: C. E. Yost, of 
Omaha, president; C. P. Wainman,»of Minneapolis, 
vice president; George F. McFarland, of Omaha, 
general manager: M. L. Lane, of Minneapolis, com- 

secretary; and A. Blanchard, treasurer. 
For more than a decade the business 
was conducted on a comparatively small 
scale, but the business grew and in 1905 
there was completed at a cost of SI 00.000 
a modern mill. Other improvements 
have since been made, and the Marshall 
Milling Company today has one of the 
finest plants in the Northwest. 

The mill "proper is a six-story brick 
building and is operated twenty-four 
hours a day. There are large elevators, 
warehouses and other buildings that go 
to make up a model plant. 

The Northwestern Telephone Ex- 
change Company is one of the business 
institutions of Marshall. It is the suc- 
cessor of the Southwestern Minnesota 
Telephone Company, which installed the 
first telephone exchange in Marshall. 
The last named company, established by 
Pipestone capitalists, entered Lyon coun- 
ty in 1897 and built exchanges at 
Marshall, Tracy and Minneota. T. F. 
Robinson was president and manager of 
the company and C. E. Patterson was in 
charge of the Marshall exchange. 

The present company purchased the 
properties in Lyon county August 1. 
1906, rebuilt the lines, in 1910, and 
moved the exchange to the News- 
Messenger Building. M. B. Hanson is 
the local manager. 37 Several rural lines 
are given connections with the Marshall 
line. The first rural telephone line was 
built by the old company in 1901. 

One of the big business institutions 
of the city is the Marshall Tile and Side- 
walk Company, which was incorporated 
in January. 1907. The plant is one of 
the best equipped in the state and 
covers about six acres of land. The 
best tile manufacturing machinery on 

menial superintendent: J. W. Christie, of Omaha, 
treasurer; W. R. Overmire, of Omaha, auditor; George 
K. Blakely, of Sioux Falls, district commercial man- 



the market has been installed. The 
curing bin is made of cement blocks and 
all the tile are steam-cured. The com- 
pany manufactures cement drain tile 
and building blocks and builds side- 
walks and does other contract work. 
The product is used extensively through- 
out Lyon county and the trade territory 
extends to all points on the North- 
western. Great Northern and Milwaukee 

railroads within a radius of one hundred 

The officers and stockholders of the 
company are as follows: \Y. \Y. Sim- 
mons, president; Samuel Molter, vice 
president; Spurgeon Odell, secretary; 
YY. F. Gillette, treasurer; James A. 
McNiven, J. G. Schutz, Anton M. 
Ilvdeen, M. M. English and Herman 



, t B%> * 


K* 1 


TRACY 1875-1912. 

RANKING second in size among 
Lyon county municipalities is 
Tracy, a city of 1876 people, 

according to the last census. It is in 
Monroe township, in the extreme south- 
eastern coiner of the count}", the 
business center being only one mile from 
the Redwood county line and two and 
one-half miles from the Murray county 
line. It is a division point of the 
Northwestern railroad and is the eastern 
terminus of the Dakota- Central branch 
of that road. Its elevation above sea 
level is 1403 feet. 

Tracy is a prosperous and progressive 
city and presents an attractive appear- 
ance. It has broad streets, lined with 
substantial business houses and hand- 
some residences. As a business point 
Tracy takes high rank, because of its 
favorable location as regards trade 
territory. All the improvements to be 
found in Minnesota towns of its size are 
in Tracy. It has an excellent water- 
works system, electric light plant, good 
schools and churches. 

While Tracy was not founded until 
1875, we may go back of that date 
several years to get at the beginning of 
its history. When the Winona & St. 
Peter railroad was constructed in 1872 
there was apparently no thought of 
planting a village where Tracy was later 
built, and the only station established 

in Lyon county at that time was 
Marshall. But a country postoffice 
named Summit (which the Tracy office 
succeeded) was located on the line of 
the road just over the line in Redwood 
county, one and one-half miles east of 
the future city, of Tracy. The office 
was established in 1872 and Levi Mont- 
gomery was the postmaster, conducting 
it at his farm home. Summit postoffice 
was operated there until moved to Tracy 
in the spring of 1875. 

During the first half of the seventies 
quite a number of homesteaders located 
in Monroe township and there was also 
quite a flourishing settlement on Lake 
Shetek, only a short distance south of 
the site of Tracy. In the spring of 
1875 the Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, which had come into pos- 
session of section 23 by grant, laid out 
the village and named it Tracy, in 
honor of a director of the Chicago & 
Northwestern Railroad Company. 

The original plat included portions of 
the northeast quarter and the southeast 
quarter of the section and was surveyed 
by J. B. Berry. It consisted of ten 
blocks on the northeast side of the 
track, divided by South, Morgan, First. 
Second, Third and Fourth Streets. The 
dedication was made April 27, 1875, by 
Albert Keep, as president of the Winona 
& St. Peter Railroad Company, and the 



instrument was filed in the office of the 
register of deeds May 18, 1875. l 

Almost simultaneous with the plat- 
ting of the site came the building of the 
town. The first building was put up 
early in the spring of 1875. It was a 
warehouse, erected by Neil Currie. The 
station was established about the same 
time, with J. L. Craig as first agent. 
The Currie warehouse served the pur- 
pose of a depot until the summer of 
1876. The second building on the site 
was a hotel erected by Henry H. Welch, 
who conducted the hostelry until the 
fall of 1879. The third building and 
the first store was located on the site 
early in the spring. The building had 
been erected on the farm of E. L. Stan-, 
just east of the site, in the fall of 1874, 
by H. N. Joy and that gentleman moved 
it to Tracy and located it at the corner 
of Front and Third Streets. In it a 
store was opened, conducted under the 
firm name of Taylor & Joy. 

Although the village was platted as 
Tracy, the site was known as Shetek, or 
Shetek Station, until June, 1876, taking 
its name from the postoffice. It was in 
May, 1875, that' Summit postoffice was 
moved to the new village and named 
Shetek. 2 The office was conducted in 
the store of Taylor & Joy and H. N. Joy 
was the first postmaster. 3 

Several other enterprises were started 

Additions to Tracy have been platted as follows. 

Randall & Youmans', November 20, 1878, by 
< niton S. Randall and Charles M. Youmans; surveyed 
by C. L. Van Fleet. 

First Railway, August 9, 1881, by Winona & St. 
Peter Railroad Company; surveyed by Thomas F. 

Cowles & Davis', May 28, 1883, by John P. Davis; 
surveyed by George P. Ela. 

Second Railway, June 6, 1883, by Winona & St. 
Peter Railroad Company; surveyed by George P. Ela. 

Moses & Hennings' (East Tracy), April 24, 1884, by 
William Hennings anil William S. Moses; surveyed by 
S. P. Mclntvre. 

Randall's, May 10, 1884, by John J. Randall and 
Carlton S. Randall; surveyed by J. W. Blake. 

Johnson V, March 17, 1886, by Ole Johnson; sur- 
veyed by S. P. Mclntyre. 

Swenson's, October 15, 1902, by Andrew Swenson ; 
surveyed by W. A. Hawkins. 

Miller's. April 4, 1904, by Earle S. Miller; surveyed 
by W. A. Hawkins. % 

Moses' Second, November 11, 1904, by William S. 
Moses; surveyed by W. A. Hawkins. 

at Shetek Station during the summer 
and fall of 1875. Gley & Brauns opened 
a general store and erected the second 
warehouse, J. P. Davis opened a third 
general store, Truax & Dudrey and J. M. 
Wardell established lumber yards and 
sold farm machinery and Mr. Wardell 
opened a furniture store, David Stafford 
built a hardware store, Allen Bates 
engaged in the saloon business, 4 a Mr. 
Mathews conducted a harness shop, and 
two churches were organized. 

The Shetek Station correspondent to 
the Marshall Messenger of November 12, 
1875, told of the growth of the little 
village during the first season of its 

This thriving little burg in the big bend has 
been making good use of its time this summer, 
and where a year ago there was nothing the 
traveler now looks out on a nice little village. 
Notwithstanding the drawbacks it has received, 
there are few settlements on the frontier that, 
have made better records in the same time. 
The second town in Lyon county in importance, 
it has the same elements of life and growth that 
have pushed Marshall into its present thrifty 

Shetek Station's present business and public 
buildings are as follows: The Methodists anil 
Congregationalists have each a ' comfortable 
church building; there are three general stores, 
kept by Gley & Brauns, Taylor & Joy and J. P. 
Davis; Truax & Dudrey and J. M. Wardell have 
each a lumber yard and deal in farm machinery; 
J. M. Wardell has opened a furniture store; 
Mathews has a harness shop; Stafford keeps a 
hardware store; there are two warehouses, 
Currie's and Gley & Braun's; there is a good 
hotel kept by Welch and a saloon by Bates. 
This, we think, makes a good showing for one 

2 "We learn that the postmaster general has changed 
the name of Summit in Lyon county to Shetek and 
appointed H. N. Joy postmaster." — Prairie Schooner 
May 28, 1875. 

3 H. N. Joy served as postmaster of Shetek about 
one year. He was succeeded for a short time by S. S. 
Truax, and in June, 1876, the name of the office was 
changed to Tracy. In September, 1876, E. O. Braun; 
took the office and served until July, 1888. Under hi 
administration, in July, 1879, a money order office 
was established. Charles W. Main was postmaster 
from July, 1888, to January, 1892; M. D. Gibbs to 
March 1," 1896; O. J. Rea to February, 1900; W. R. 
Edwards to April 1, 1908; and A. H. Rowland from 
that time to the present. 

Three rural free delivery routes are operated from 
the Tracy office. No. 1 was established January 15, 
1900, with F. M. Hanks as carrier; No. 2, October 15, 
1904, with R. N. Rowland as carrier; No. 3, August 15, 
1906, with H. J. Flatequal as carrier. 

4 The Board of County Commissioners on May 31, 
1875, granted license to Allen Bates to sell liquor at 
Shetek Station from June 1, 1875, to June 1, 1876. 
The license fee for the year was $35. 



Although several business houses had 
been started, Shetek Station was still a 
very small village in 1875, and when the 
census was taken that year the popula- 
tion of Monroe township, including the 
village, was only 181. During 1S76 the 
grasshoppers were a burden and not 
much progress was made. During the 
summer the name of the village was 
changed from Shetek Station to Tracy"' 
and the railroad company erected a 
depot building. At that time the county 
paper referred to Tracy as a village of 
two or three stores, two church build- 
ing.', school house, hotel, etc. Likewise 
there was little advancement during 
1877. .1. L. Craig established the first 
livery stable that year. 

.More prosperous times came in 1878. 
The grasshopper plague was a thing of 
the past and many new settlers located 
in Tracy and the vicinity. A corre- 
spondent writing to the county paper in 
March said: "Our village is all life 
now. Every train is bringing new 
settlers to our border, so that the 
future of our town will undoubtedly 
ba: k in sunshine. Trade is brisk, taking 
the time of year into consideration. 
Improvements are going on every day. 
Sidewalks have been built, which we 
have long needed. Another store build- 
ing is going up." 

In May, 1S78, a citizen of Tracy wrote 
to the Currie Pioneer as follows: 

Several new buildings are going up, among 
which are the new hardware store of Mr. Rob- 
ertson, the dwelling house of Rev. John Gimson, 
an addition to the Tracy Hotel, and an addition 
to the store of D. Stafford. Mr. Hughes, of the 
firm of Hughes & Owens, has returned from 
Chicago, where he purchased a stock of goods 
for the new store, which is now nearly com- 
pleted. The drug store is also nearly finished 
and another one is about to be commenced. A 
third hardware store is talked of, also a furniture 

5 " Allow me the privilege of writing you a few lines 
from this place. As you will see, the name has been 
changed from Shetek to Tracy. It is a little more 
lively here than usual and looks quite like a little 
town. Our hotel has been enlarged to a two-story 

Among the enterprises stalled in L878 
were a hardware store by D. H. Evans, 
a general store by Iverson cV. Thurin, 
meat market by E. L. Starr, store by 
Beach & Company, grocery store by 
Mr. Warren, millinery store by Mrs. 
Warren, and a machinery depot by Ole 
Rialson & Company. 

During the first four years of its 
history the aspirations of Tracy were 
not great, and few had the temerity to 
predict that it would ever become 
aught but a little trading point. But 
early in the year 1879 came knowledge 
that a railroad was to be built from that 
village westward into Dakota Territory. 
The effect on the struggling village was 
magical. The town was filled with 
strangers, some looking for farms, others 
for business opportunities. Before the 
close of spring fourteen frame buildings 
had been completed, others were in 
process of construction, and several new T 
enterprises were founded. The town 
was lively all summer because of the 
activity in railroad construction, and 
there was a large increase in population. 
The census of 1880 showed a popula- 
tion of 322. An item of importance in 
the history of Tracy during this period 
was the establishment of a United States 
land office there in May, 1880. 

Early in 1881 the citizens of Tracy 
believed the village had developed to a 
point where incorporation was desirable 
and they asked the Legislature to take 
the necessary steps. The village was 
incorporated under the general laws of 
the state by an act approved February 
5, 1881. The following commissioners 
were named in the act to set the ma- 
chinery in motion: M. T. Bohannan, 
J. M. Warded, D. H. Evans, E. O. 

building and the railroad company is at work erecting 
a building 24xis feet. It is to be used for a branch 
land office of the company."— Tracy Correspondent, 
June 23, 1876. 



Brauns and M. D. Gibbs. The first 

election was held at the Commercial 
Hotel March 15, 1881, when 103 votes 
were cast and a set of village officers 
was chosen. A short time later the 
Village Council was organized and Tracy 
began municipal government. 6 

Following is a list of those who have 
been elected to office under the village 
and city governments: 7 

1881 — President, J. M. Wardell; trustees, 
Peter Iverson, Nathan Beach, M. T. Bohannan; 
recorder, F. S. Brown; treasurer, Anson Warren; 
justice, Daniel Pierce; constable, S. S. Truax. 

1884 s — President, J. M. Wardell; trustees, W. 
H. Little, Peter Iverson, Anson Warren; record- 
er, C. W. Main; treasurer, G. H. Jessup; justices, 
M. D. Gibbs, David Stafford; constable, James 

1888 — President, EL M. Workman; trustees, 
J. W. Bedle, Martin Thurin, John Lloyd; re- 
corder, F. S. Brown; treasurer, R. E. Hughes; 
justice. W. I. Carver; constables, R. D. Marlette, 
C. X. Groat. 

1889— President, J. M. Wardell; trustees, 
Martin Thurin, L. F. O'Brien, A. H. Perry;- 
recorder, F. S. Brown; treasurer, G. H. Jessup; 
justice, W. I. Carver. 

1890— President. J. M. Wardell; trustees. A. 
H. Perry, W. F. Parker, L. F. O'Brien; recorder, 
1". S. Brown; treasurer, G. H. Jessup; justices, 
W. I. Carver, James Kneal; constables, James 
Mullins, R. E. Willis. 

1891 — President, Martin Thurin; trustees, J. 
W. Bedle, L. S. Tyler, E. P. Parks; recorder, 
F. S. Brown; treasurer, G. H. Jessup; just ire-, 
W. I. Carver. Levi Montgomery. 

1892 — President, Martin Thurin; trustees, L. 
S. Tyler, E. P. Parks, R, E. Hughes; recorder, 
O. F. Norwood; treasurer, D. T. McArthur; 
justice, W. I. Carver; constable, A. A. Chris- 

1893— President, D. T. McArthur; trustees, 
O. F. Norwood, W. F. Parker, Swan Anderson; 
recorder, C. W. Main; treasurer, R. E. Hughes: 
justice, T. M. Quarton; constable, A. A. Chris- 

1893 (city)— Mayor, H. M. Workman; alder- 
men, C. F. Lehmann, O. J. Rea, J. W. Bedle, 
E. P. Parks; recorder, C. W. Main. 9 

1894 — Mayor, D. H. Evans; aldermen, A. R. 
Thompson, H. B. Swart wood; recorder, Morris 
Workman; treasurer, W. O. Musser. 

6 Village government was abandoned in 1893 and 
was replaced by government under a city charter, the 
change having been made on August 3. A commission 
to prepare a new charter was named February 9, 1907, 
completed its work and reported the following August. 
Again in April, 1911, a new commission was named to 
draft a charter to submit to the voters for approval or 
rejection. It completed it?- work March 5, 1912, but 
as it had not reported within the six months' time 
limit, it became necessary to have the commission 
reappointed before making a final report. At the city 
election in April, 1912, the new charter was adopted 
by a vote of 237 to 116. 

"Saloon license has been granted in Tracy during its 

1895— Mayor, J. M. Wardell; aldermen, O. F. 
Norwood, D. T. McArthur, E. P. Parks. 

1896— Mayor, W. F. Parker; aldermen, W. J. 
Richard, D. T. McArthur; recorder, L. J. Hunter; 
treasurer, W. (). Musser. 

1897— Mayor, W. H. Little; aldermen, T. M. 
Quarton, H. J. Pattridge; recorder, D. F. 
Densel; treasurer, W. O. Musser; justices, A. T. 
Downing, M. D. Gibbs. 

1898— Mayor, W. D. James; aldermen, N. O. 
Peterson, J. M. Wardell; recorder, J. M. Riegel; 
treasurer, W. O. Musser; justice, P. M. Nupen. 

1899— Mayor, W. D. James; aldermen, C. J. 
Berdan, D. T. McArthur; recorder, J. M. Riegel; 
treasurer, W. O. Musser; justice, M. D. Gibbs. 

1900— Mayor, W. F. Parker; aldermen, Nils 
S. Taarud, H. R. Searles; recorder, J. M. Riegel; 
treasurer, W. O. Musser; justice, J. T. Hanson. 

1901— Mayor, J. W. Bedle; aldermen, W. D. 
Haycock, F. P. Parks; recorder, J. M. Riegel; 
treasurer, W. < >. Musser. 

1902 — Mayor, H. W. Burlingame; aldermen, 
R. E. Willis, J. J. Laughlin; recorder, A. H. 
Rowland; treasurer, W. O. Musser; justice, J. T. 

1903 — Mayor, H. W. Burlingame; aldermen, 
T. M. Quarton, J. X. Wiesner; recorder, A. H. 
Rowland; treasurer, Ira W. Bedli\ 

1904— Mayor, J. M. Wardell; aldermen, J. ( '. 
Filkins, H. A. Bates; recorder. A. H. Rowland: 
treasurer, Ira W. Bedle; justice, C. J. Berdan. 

190o — Mayor. X. J. Robinson; aldermen, 
Charles Taarned, J. X. Wiesner; recorder, A. H. 
Rowland; treasurer. Ira W. Bedle; justice, M. D. 

1906 — Mayor, X. J. Robinson; aldermen, J. C. 
Filkins, John Stonehouse; recorder, A. H. 
Rowland: treasurer, Ira W. Bedle; justice, C. J. 

1907— Mayor, J. K. Fitch; aldermen, P. M. 
Xupin, T. H. Webb; recorder, A. H. Rowland; 
treasurer, E. Herzog; justice, M. D. Gibbs. 

1908— Mayor, J. R. Fitch; aldermen, H. E. 
McKenzie, G. E. Schmidt; recorder, L. J. Fitch; 
treasurer, E. Herzog. 

1909 — Mayor, C. C. Richard; aldermen, Louis 
Rialson, John Selck; recorder, L. J. Pitch; 
treasurer, E. Herzog; justice, George Town. 

1910 — Mayor, C. C. Richard; aldermen, G. A. 
Hansen, G. E. Schmidt; recorder, L. J. Fitch; 
treasurer, E. Herzog; justice, ('. J. Berdan. 

1911 — .Mayor, T. S. Bonnallie; aldermen, 
Louis Rialson, John Selck; recorder, L. J. Fitch; 
treasurer, E. Herzog; justice, W. R. Edwards. 

1912 — Mayor, T. S. Bonnallie; aldermen, 
Samuel Furan, G. E. Schmidt; recorder, L. J. 
Fitch; treasurer, E. Herzog; justice, C. J. 

entire corporate history. On several occasions the 
matter has been voted on under the local option law. 
Following were the results at those elections (possibly 
not complete) : 

1894— For, 244; against, 118. 

1896— For, 243; against, 153. 

1897 — License by 48 majoritv. 

1898— For, 183; against, 92." 

1899— For, 214: against, 139. 

1900— For, 215; against, 141. 

s The roster for the year.- 1882-83-85-86-87 are not 

9 Resigned and Morris Workman appointed. 



Tracy advanced by leap- and bounds 
during the early eighties and soon 
became the largesl village in the county. 
The Tracy Gazette in January, 1882, 
stated thai fifty buildings had been 
elected during the preceding summer. 
Progress was substantial in 1882. The 
next year came a boom that carried the 
town beyond the expectations of its 
most ardent well-wishers and gained for 
Tracy state-wide attention. 1 " 

The causes of the prosperous times in 
1XS3 were the action of the railroad 
company in making the town a division 
point and the expenditure of many 
thousands of dollars in railroad improve- 
ments. Also adding to the effect were 
excellent crops and good times in the state 
at large. Of the activity a1 Tracy the St. 
Paul Pioneer Press in October, 1883, said: 

The immense outlays being rapidly made by 
the railroad company, in the way of extensive 
improvements, mark a new era in the permanent 
progress and prosperity of the town. A fine 
brick and stone round house, with stalls for 
thirty locomotives, is being erected as fast as a 
large force of workmen can push it, and it is 
now almost completed. A handsome brick 
machine shop of large dimensions is also nearly 
ready for occupancy. A splendid turn-table is 
being put in and two coal sheds are being con- 
structed, each three hundred feet in length. 
The fact is the improvements being made by the 
railroad company at Tracy will rank among the 
most complete and important of any on the 
entire line of the road. ... A twelve-inch 
water main has been laid to Lake Sigel for the 
conveyance of a bountiful supply of pure and 
wholesome water for railroad purposes. Many 
other improvements are to be immediately 
made, the details of which cannot here be 
enumerated, but all of which combine to make 
Tracy a very important railroad center. 

So soon as it was ' learned that the 
railroad company had decided to make 
the improvements, many new business 
houses were founded. A directory of 
business and professional men in Tracy, 
published in C. F. Case's History of 
Lyon County in 1884, was as follows: 

'"The Winona Republican in June, 18S:;, said: 
"There is probably no section of Southern Minnesota 
where a more prosperous and jubilant feeling exists 
this season than at Tracy. The town itself is growing 
in a manner exceeding any period of its existence. 
The building improvements are of a substantial and 
permanent character." 

Bank Bank of Tracy, by Jessup & ( lompany. 

General Merchandise Pattridge Brothers, J. 
P. Davis, K. E. Hughes, Warren & Owens, 
Iverson A: Thurin, A. 11. Perry, 

Clothing — Jacobi Brothers, John Shea. 

( troceries < lauerke, Weber iV- < lompany. 

Hardware I). II. Kvans, H. Stafford, J. E. 
Clark, Nathan Beach. 

I'uinii me ,J. .M. Wardell. 

Drugs and Jewelry — C. L. Bohannan, F. E. 

Meal Market I. A. Walden, J. W. Potter. 

Harness Wagner & Company. 

Millinery and Dressmaking — Steneragel & 
Currie, Warren & I oman. 

.Novelty Store — H. F. Seiter. 

Tailor Shops — H. Alexander, 1*. A. Lamberg. 

Lumber— Wardell, Beach & Company. 

Machinery — S. 1). Peterson, Marlette & Lloyd, 
D. H. Evans. 

Elevators— Van Dusen & Company, Whitten 
& Judd, Winona Mill Company, D. H. Evans. 

Coal V:in Dusen A: Company, J. J. Randall. 

Hotels— M. D. Gibbs, Neil Finch, B. K. 
Cowles, Murphy & McDonald, Larson Brothers, 
A. D. M (-Masters. 

Restaurants — C. J. Gardener, Mary Leavett. 

Saloons — J. J. Hartigan, Fred Lehman, Martin 
Hose, ( '. Anderson. 

Beer Depots — August Schell, C. & J. Michel, 
Hartigan & Armstrong. 

Wholesale Liquors — E. H. Roach & Company. 

Newspaper — Tracy Trumpet, by W. M. Todd. 

Photograph Gallery — W. I. Carver. 

Livery Barns — Lindsley & Fitch, J. L. Craig, 
John Germain. 

Laundries — Ching Kee, Mary Otis. 

Shoe Shops — James Marshall, Henry Heine. 

Blacksmith Shops — Paul Haugen, John Glynn. 

Wagonmaker — John Selck. 

Barber Shops — Jackson & Seiter, H. A. Bates. 

Painters — Manuel & Cogswell. 

Express Agent — I. E. Segur. 

Skating Rink — Welch & Davis. 

Attorneys — C. W. Main, Van Buskirk & 
Brown, John Lind. 

Physicians — C. M. Ferro, Mrs. L. Ferro, S. S. 
Jones, H. M. Workman, O. E. Case. 

Postmaster — E. O. Brauns. 

The census of 1885 gave Tracy a 
population of 1210, showing it to be the 
largest town in Lyon county. The in- 
crease in five years had been 888 and it- 
had 224 more people than Marshall. 
The growth and development were 
steady during the next half decade and 
Tracy advanced to the second munici- 
pality in size in Southwestern Minne- 
sota. Its population was 1400 in 1890. xl 

11 According to the census of 1890, only Luverne, 
in Rock county, had a larger population than Tim \ 
in the counties of Rock, Nobles, Jackson, Martin, 
Watonwan, Cottonwood, Murray, Pipestone, Lincoln, 
Lyon, Redwood, Renville, Sibley, Yellow Medicine 
and Lac qui Parle. The population of Luverne was 



A blow that for a time checked 
Tracy's forward march was a disastrous 
fire, which occurred November 29, 1891, 
and which was the most destructive 
conflagration in the whole history of 
Lyon county. For a time it appeared 
as though the whole city north of the 
railroad track must go. but the flames 
were finally checked after a loss of 
nearly $50,000 had been sustained. 

The fire was discovered at fifteen 
minutes before eleven o'clock in the 
forenoon and when the alarm was given 
the flames had gained considerable 
headway. The fire started in the base- 
ment of a store building and when dis- 
covered the flames had eaten their way 
to the wooden sidewalk in front and 
were reaching to the window sills of 
two or three buildings. Had there been 
a sufficient water supply and apparatus 
to get it to the fire, the flames might 
have been quenched, but Tracy at that 
time had not a waterworks system. 
The hook and ladder company did great 
work at the fire and without adequate 
apparatus succeeded in confining the 
flames to the one block. For hours the 
members of the company fought for the 
preservation of the town, among the 
leaders in the fight being Messrs. Tevlin, 
Hennessy and Thurin. 

The flames spread rapidly and it soon 
became apparent that a serious con- 
flagration was certain, with small means 
of combating it. When it was seen 
that adjoining structures must go, there 
was a general movement to save stocks 
of goods and thousands of dollars worth 
were piled in the streets. By reason of 
this the loss of personal property was 
not great. Heroic efforts were made to 
check the spread, but in vain. At one 
time a cable was attached to a frame 
building to pull it out of the course of 
the flames by a locomotive, but the 
building was pulled to pieces and was 

eagerly seized upon by the destroying 

Marshall was appealed to for aid, and 
that city's fire department was rushed 
to the scene. Water was hauled close 
to the raging flames by locomotives and 
the steamer of the Marshall department 
was put in action. Two streams were 
kept playing on the fire for more than 
five hours and the progress of the con- 
flagration was finally checked. 

Twenty-six buildings were destroyed, 
classed as follows: three hotels, sixteen 
store buildings, six barns, one warehouse 
and the Tammany Hall residence. Of 
the buildings, thirteen were two stories, 
one was of brick, and two brick- veneered. 
The burned district covered the central 
and most prominent block in the village, 
bounded by Front. Third and Fourth 
Streets. Every lot on the front of the 
block was occupied by a building, while 
only four buildings were located on the 
rear of the block. 

An estimate made shortly after the 
fire placed the losses on buildings and 
the insurance carried as follows: 




J. Mullen, residence 

G. Peterson, store 

J. B. Waugh, hotel 

J. J. Hartigan, saloon. . . . 

H. C. Heine, store 

R. E. Hughes, two stores 
E. 0. Brauns, two stores 

I. A. Walden, hotel 

D. H. Stafford, two stores 

Bedle & Segur, store 

i A. Bates, store 































' 1800 


M. 1). Gibbs, hotel 

V. R. Wilson, store 

O. L. Pattridge, store 
Hartigan & Brown, store 

J. D. Owens, store 

J. Lloyd, warehouse, barn 

B. Johnson, barn 

D. H. Evans, store 

Geffert Brothers, saloon . . 
John Owens, store 











i— i o 









-i— i 




The losses :iiul insurance carried <>u 
personal property were as follows: 


J. B. Waugh, hotel 

Fitch Brothers, barber 

P. Sanders, saloon 

H. C. Heine, shoes 

Ed. Miller, notions 

('. \Y. Main, postoflfice. . . . 

R. E. Hughes, merchan- 

T. L. Carryer, restauranl 

City Hotel* 

Phil Tevlin, saloon 

1). Stafford, hardware. . . . 

Bedle & Segur, meat mar- 

A. Bates, restaurant 

M. D. Gibbs, hotel 

V. R. Wilson, jewelry. . . . 

O. L. Pattridge, merchan- 

J. D. ( ►wens, merchandise 

J. Lloyd, machinery 

Masonic Lodges 

A. o. U. W. Lodge 





21 ii i 
•_'i ii i 


•_>()( l 














The total losses were $45,399 and the 
insurance carried by all who sustained 
losses was only $18,476. Because of the 
combustible character of the buildings, 
almost prohibitive insurance rates pre- 
vailed and little insurance was carried. 
The fire was a serious blow to the people 
of Tracy and came at the worst possible 
time of the year. The merchants were 
in the midst of the best trade season 
ever experienced in the county, and as 
winter was just beginning rebuilding at 
once was out of the question. 

During the summer before the fire 
bonds to the amount of $25,000 had 
been voted to put in a system of water- 
works and supply fire protection, but 
the work had hot been undertaken. 
After the fire, however, the work was 

'-The following have served as members of the 
Board of Education since the reorganization in 1S88: 
A. R. Thompson, W. R. Edwards, C. L. Bohannan, 
.Mrs. J. O. Askevold, Mrs. L. F. Ferro, G. H. Jessup, 
P. J. Newton, W. H. Little, J. Frank Durst, H. F. 

put under way and the system was 
completed in the fall of 1892. An 
electric lighting system was also in- 
stalled the same season. A part of the 
burned distinct was rebuilt in 1892, but 
the village was a long time recovering 
from t lie blow. 

During the last twenty years Tracy's 
progress has been steady and it has 
developed into an exceptionally pros- 
perous little city. Its population was 
1687 in 18!)."). was increased to 1911 in 
1 'MM), and reached high water mark in 
1905 with a total of 2015. The census 
of 1910 gave a population of 1876. 


A public school was established in 
Tracy a very short time after the first 
business enterprises were started. The 
school was opened in the summer of 
1875 and was conducted in the recently 
erected Presbyterian church building. 
Miss Stella Cleveland was the first 
teacher and the first pupil; were Mary 
Starr, Fred Starr, Sanford Joy, Sherman 
Joy and John Craig. The school was 
conducted in the Presbyterian church 
until 1880 and the teachers during that 
time were Hannah Evans, Harriet E. 
Tucker and C. W. Candee. 

A four-room two-story brick school 
house was erected in 1880 at a cost of 
$6000. The first teachers after the 
house was built were E. A. Currie and 
Alice Powell. Others who taught the 
Tracy school prior to the reorganization 
in 1888 were Frank L. Randall, Eliza- 
beth Lewis, Gertrude Todd, Mrs. Mac- 
kay, Professor Lee, C. C. Baldwin, Katie 
Murphy, Addie Gary and Annie Shand. 

A reorganization under the independ- 
ent district plan was effected in 1888. 12 

Seiter, H. J. Pattridge, Richard Rowland, C. M. Ferro, 
O. F. Norwood, J. A. Hunter, H. M. Workman, W. F. 
Parker, J. J. Laughlin, O. L. Pattridge, D. T. M.- 
Arthur, Louis Rialson, J. A. Rickert and E. B. Johnson. 



A high school was established the same 
year in charge of Superintendent H. G. 
Klepper 13 and the first class was grad- 
uated therefrom in 1890. 14 

In time the school population so in- 
creased that added facilities were de- 
manded. A frame building was erected 
and in July, 1893, the people voted to 
issue $25,000 bonds for a new building, 
by a vote of 76 to 36. Owing to the 
financial stringency it was impossible to 
market the bonds at once, a dispute 
arose over the selection of a site, and in 
August the matter of issuing the bonds 
was put to a vote of the electors of the 
district. By a vote of 52 to 80 it was 
decided to postpone the matter. 

In the spring of 1895 the people of 
Tracy decided to erect the building. 
By a majority of 257, at an election 
held April 23, the voters authorized the 
i>>uance of bonds to the amount of 
$30,000. The bonds were sold, the 
handsome brick school building was 

13 The Tracy High School has had only three super- 
intendents. H. G. Klepper served from 1888 to 1891, 
G. H. Alden in 1891 and 1892, and Lee Swift from 1892 
to the present time. Only two other high school 
superintendents in Minnesota have had charge of one 
school for a longer period than Professor Swift has 
been in charge of the Tracy school. One teacher, 
Blanche Grant, now Mrs. H. F. Seiter, taught in the 
Tracy schools twenty-three years. 

14 The following have been graduated from the Tracy 
High School: 

1890 — Llewellyn Hunter, Stella Hughes, Maude 
Edwards, Romie Webster, Walter Carver, Charles 
Little, Mvrtle Johnson, Myrtle Gibbs. 

1891 — Edgar Davis, Hannah Lloyd. Albert Booth, 
Edward Hughes, Frank Norris, Annie West, Ernest 

1892-93-94 — No classes. 

1895 — Jessie Moses, Abbie Moses, Blanche Williams, 
Callie Carver, Edna Campbell, Annie Carney. 

1896 — Glenola Collins, Ezra S. Wardell, Alice Ladd, 
Claude McClellan, Florence Wardell. 

1897 — Josephine M. Edwards, < lora Jones, William 
Norwood, Myrtle Ladd, George Norris, N. J. Robinson, 
Lillian May Richards, Almeda Belle Richards. 

1898 — Jessie Beach, Cora Craig, Lillian Starr, Frank 

1899 — Annie Reinhold, Margaret Cushing, Pearl 
Durst, Clara Tweet, Ernie Brauns, Lee Prouty, Edward 
Jones. Charles Main, William Titus, Helena Thurin. 

1900 — John Wardell, Robert Campbell, Ross A. 
Wiley, Clara Mathews, Edna Stafford, Mildred Hunter, 
David Crouch. 

1901 — Agnes Campbell, Jennie Owens, Edna Cole, 
Charles Donaldson, Nellie Richardson, Lucy Starr. 
Gertrude Manuel. 

1902— Maude Gibbs, Francis Larson, Gilbert Gil- 
bertson, Frankie Adams, Edward Durst, Van .Mathews, 
Elizabeth Cushing, Ruth Jessup, Fred Wiesner. 

1903 — Vera Edwards, Flossie Bass, Clara Shnaar, 
Tessie Behan, Ada Casserly, Edna Thurin, Frank 

erected and formally opened January 7. 

The lower grades occupied the old 
building, known as the Central school, 
and the high school and higher grades 
occupied the new building. The Central 
school was destroyed by fire February 
29, 1912, bringing a loss of $10,000, 
covered by $7000 insurance. The lower 
floor of Syndicate Hall or the Finch 
Building is now used for school purposes 
and plans are under consideration for 
the erection of a new school house. 

The Tracy schools rank among the 
best in the state. The present enroll- 
ment is 550 and eighteen instructors are 
employed. The high school has a fac- 
ulty of seven teachers. In addition to 
the regular high school course, normal, 
manual training, agricultural and com- 
mercial departments are maintained. 


Eight church societies have organiza- 

1904 — Margaret Mitchell, Bessie Wardell, Clay 
Pattridge, Verna Parks, Hazel Anselme, Angie Behan, 
Ethel Sanborn, Neil Currie, Hattie Rowland. 

1905 — Anna Finnegan, Stella Campbell, Hazel Bright- 
man, Gladys Durst, Florence Curtis, Lou Woodruff, 
Marjorie Nagler, Vivian Doherty, Effie Campbell, 
Helen Jessup. 

1906 — Warner Workman, Edward Tweet, Alice Cull, 
Katherine Welch, Hazel Edwards, Cecile Owens, 
Oleanna Lee, Luella Norwood, Anna Dalton, Mattie 

1907— Roscoe Webb. Stella Bedle, Myron Gibbs, 
Josie Parks, Carl Tweet, David Doherty, Fayette 
Doherty, Vaughn Evans, Malcolm Nash, May Swift, 
Mark Pattridge, Archer English, Elmer Laughlin, 
Grover Lehman. 

1908 — Vivian Pattridge, Millie Weeks, William 
Curtis. William Haycock, Gladys Doherty, Ralph 
Finnegan, Wilma Larson, .Mabel Olson, Vera Price, 
Grace Strand, Jessie Murphy. 

1909— Vera Swift, Mable Hull, Clara Jacobson, Ada 
Purvis, Elizabeth Purvis, Nelle Fetter, Mabel Nupin, 
Charles Campbell, Lydia Johnson, Mourine Edwards, 
Cecil Doherty, Anna Mickelson, Harlan Rowland, Verle 
Parks, Florence Montgomery, Gladys Endersbee, 
Jeanette Mitchell, Marguerite O'Brien, Anna W T elsh, 
Selma Brown. 

1910— Ethel Gosslee, Esther Nylin, Martha Gnltz, 
Lena Olson, Julia Tweet, Marie Vahle, Elizabeth 
Youngs, Carrol Nash, Howard Pierce, Winnifred Price, 
Mabelle Sandbo. 

1911 — Eloise James, Esther Owens, Lester Webb, 
Kathrine Brown, Zella Campbell, Joe Dalton, Will 
Mitchell. Winniired Roos, Bernadette O'Brien, Selma 
Olson, Minnie Hanson, Walter Laughlin, Olga Appel- 
quist, Ruth Galstad, Nora Jacobson, Winnie Evans, 
Henry Taarud, Emma Pattridge, Clara Murphy, 
Dudley Seiter, Irene Larson, Napoleon Mongeau. 

1912 — Vivian M. Klopp, R. Lucile Larson, Mary 
Catherine Nelson, Blanch E. Campbell, Gladys E. 
Walker. Lvdia A. Stahn, Raymond C. Jacobson, 
Esther R. Erbes, Coral U. Fitch, Harold W. Kelley, 
Floyd L. McElvain, Valeria E. Kahl. 



tions in Tracy. They arc the Presby- 
terian, Methodist, Norwegian Lutheran, 
Catholic, German Lutheran, Swedish 
Lutheran, United Norwegian Lutheran 
and Episcopal. Nearly all of these are 
old societies and the organization of 
some of them antedate the founding of 
the village. 

So early as the spring and summer of 
1873 religious services were held at the 
home of E. L. Starr, adjoining the 
present site of Tracy, conducted by 
Rev. Ransom Wait, Presbyterian. In 
the fall of 1874 a Presbyterian church 
society was organized with Cyrus Clark. 
H. N. .Joy and Mr. and Mrs. H. H. 
Welch as members 15 and Rev. Wait as 
pastor. When Tracy was founded the 
following spring among the first build- 
ings put up was a Presbyterian church, 
which cost only a few hundred dollars. 
Rev. Wait was pastor of the church two 



The Presbyterian church of Tracy in- 
creased in membership and in a few 
years outgrew the original edifice. In 
1885 a new building, 36x48 feet, with a 
19x24 feet addition, was constructed 
under the direction of a building com- 
mittee of which George F. Bidwell was 
chairman. The cost was about $5000 17 
and the new edifice had a seating 
capacity of 350. It was dedicated, free 
from debt, on March 7, 1886, by Rev. 
S. O. Anderson. A short time later a 
parsonage was built. The present mem- 
bership is over 200. 

For a number of years in the early 
days the Congregationalists had a church 

1 Among the other early day members of the Pres- 
byterian church were John L. Craig, John Ferguson, 
Mrs. Mary Jones, Mrs. Mary A. Louden, James Rose 
and Mrs. Alice Starr. 

"Following is a list of the pastors who have served 
the Presbyterian church of Tracy: Ransom Wait, 
1874-76; Clarke Louden, 1876-80; John C. McKee, 
1880-84; Frank M. Carson (student), 1884; Samuel G. 
Anderson, 1884-85; Daniel A. Jameison, 1885-87; 
Augustus H. Carver, 1887-91; William J. Palm, 1891- 
94;, L. F. Badger, 1894-02; W. D. Stires, 1902-07; 
E. E. Dobson, 1907-12. 

"Among the contributors to the building fund of 

and Sunday School, the school being the 
first religious society in the village. It 
was organized at the home of J. M. 
Wardell in June, 1874, with twenty 
members and with W. S. Moses as super- 
intendent. Rev. E. H. Alden, a Con- 
gregational missionary, conducted ser- 
vices in the vicinity in 1874 and a 
church was organized with seven mem- 
bers and with Rev. J. H. .Jenkins as 
pastor. A little church building was 
erected in the summer of 1875 and for 
several years the society was main- 
tained. Rev. Philip Peregrine was the 
second pastor and Rev. H. C. Simmons 
the third. By the terms of an agree- 
ment between the Congregationalists 
and Presbyterians of Tracy and Sleepy 
Eye, the field at the latter place was 
left to the Congregationalists and that 
society withdrew from Tracy in favor of 
the Presbyterians. 

Another pioneer church of Tracy is 
the Methodist. It was organized in 
1875 as a result of preaching by Rev. 
Gimson in Tracy and vicinity. It was 
established with few members, and E. 
W. Healy, C. W. Coble and C. Arnoldt 
were the first trustees. For several 
years the Methodists had no church and 
worshipped every other Sabbath in the 
Congregational edifice. Rev. J. W. 
Powell succeeded Rev. Gimson and 
occupied the pulpit until 1882. 

During the pastorate of Rev. Ff. J. 
Harrington, 18 when the membership 
had reached about twenty-five, in 1882, 
a church building was erected. It was 
dedicated by Rev. Forbes. The Meth- 

the Presbyterian church were the following: Chicago 
& Northwestern Railroad Company and employes, 
$860; residents of Tracy, $1265; officers of the railroad 
company outside of Tracv, $2;{5; Laird-Norton Com- 
pany, $100. 

18 Pastors of the Tracy Methodist church since Ism' 
have been as follows: H. J. Harrington, 1882-84; 
Butler, 1884-86; Teal, 18S6-88; Terwilliger, 1SS9-90; 
Eckert and Triggs, 1890-91; R. D. Phillips. 1891-95; 
W. S. Cochran, 1895-96; W. C. Sage, L896; I \ 
Willsey, 1896-9S; E. V. Vaughn, 1898-02; G. W. 
Hickman, 1902-03; H. 1). Seckner, L903-06; F. Fred- 
riekson, 1906-11; E. II. Edwards, L911-12. 



< m list society is now in prosperous con- 
dition and has a membership of about 
120. 19 

The Norwegian Lutheran church is 
one of the older religious societies of 
Tracy. In the early eighties services 
were irregularly held in the older 
church buildings and in private resi- 
dences and there was no regular pastor. 
The church was organized February 11, 
1883, with the following members: 
Jacob A. Jacobson, Paul P. Haugen, 
John Tweet, Iver H. Engen, Hellek 
Olson, Peter Olson, Bolette Olson, B. 
Peclerson, Kristine Pederson, Iver Olson 
Dahl, Joe Johannesen, Alek Lean, Karen 
Christenson, Karoline Christenson and 
Ole Ostensjoe. 20 Kev. Askevold was 
the first pastor and served from 1883 to 
1889; Rev. A. J. Nervig was pastor from 
1889 to 1905: Rev. H. Magelsson, of 
AV ;i lnut Grove, preached during parts 
of 1905 and 1906; and Rev. O. M. 
Gullerud, the present pastor, took charge 
in October, 1906. The society has a 
fine house of worship and a parsonage 
erected in 1907 at a cost of nearly 
$3000. Its present membership is 171. 21 

St. Mary's Catholic church of Tracy 
Mas established in 1884, but services 
had occasionally been conducted before 
that date. The first mass was held at 
the home of Pat Summers about 1880. 
The church edifice was started in the 
fall of 1884 and completed the following- 
year. Father Edward Lee, of Minneota, 
was in charge of the church for a time 

1,J The present officers of the Methodist church are 
C. G. Porter, \V. W. Moses, H. W. Elliott, E. J. Ev.ins, 
E. Blettner, Fred Healy, Russell Donaldson, Carl 
Wamstead, George Donaldson and Mrs. C. G. Porter. 

20 The first board of trustees of the Norwegian 
Lutheran church was composed of Jacob A. Jacobson, 
secretary; Hellek Olson, treasurer; John Tweet, Paul 
Haugen and Iver Engen. 

21 Affiliated with the Tracy church is the Holand 
Evangelical Lutheran church, about five and one-half 
miles southwest of Tracy. It has a membership of 1.55 
and is ministered to by Rev. Gullerud. The Holand 
church was organized in 1878 by Professor John 
Ylvesaker with the following members: Andrew 
Johnson, Andrew Olson, Klemet Halleson, Hans 
Jacobson, Halvor O. Ericksrud, Henrik Pederson, 

and held services once a month. He 
was succeeded by Father Darche, the 
first resident priest. 22 The present mem- 
bership is about 200. The pastor of 
St. Mary's church also holds services at 
Walnut Grove. 

Services by members of the German 
Lutheran faith were first held in Tracy 
in the fall of 1886. A church society 
was organized at that time with the 
following named gentlemen and their 
families as first members: John Reetz. 
William Wiecks, William Darger, Wil- 
liam Schmidt, H. C. Heine, John Selck, 
William ( liffert and Charles Giese. From 
the date of organization until 1892 
services were held once in three weeks 
in the Congregational church building, 
conducted by outside pastors. A church 
building was erected in 1892 and six 
years later a parsonage was put up, the 
value of both buildings being "about 
$2100. Rev. C. W. Heuer was the first 
pastor and served from 1892 to 1S ( .)7. 
He was succeeded by Rev. Ahward, and 
the latter in 1909 by Rev. Tychsen, the 
present pastor. Services are now held 
every other Sabbath. The membership 
is about twenty-five. 

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran 
Herlunda church of Tracy was organized 
December 11, 1888, with the following- 
first members: Peter Magnell and wife, 
Albert Hedenberg and wife, Samuel 
Reinhold and wife, Peter Swenson and 
wife and Charles Dahlin. 23 The church 
was incorporated in 1889 as a member 

John Iverson, Juul Helleson, Martin Olson, Nicalai 
Nelson, Truls Odegaarden and Tollef Nelson. 

"Resident priests in charge of St. Mary's church 
have been Fathers Darche, Mahoney, Sullivan, Smol- 
lein, John Gleason, John Byrne and George E. Carlin. 
The last named was assigned to the charge August 28, 

"Others who joined the church before it was incor- 
porated in 1889 were Christian Mohn, Sven J. Bjork- 
man, Anders A. Busk, Bengt Matteson, Peter Swanson, 
Swen Nelson and Swan Anderson and their wives. 
The first deacons of the church were Peter Magnell, 
Samuel Reinhold and Albert Hedenberg. The first 
trustees were Charles Dahlin, Samuel Reinhola and 
Peter Magnell. 



of the Augustana Synod of North 
America. Prior to 1891 the pulpit of 
the Tracy church was filled by the 
Balaton pastor and ministers from oilier 
charges. The firs! residenl pastor, Rev. 
B. S. Nystrom, located in Tracy in 
1891. 24 A parsonage was built that 
year and the church was put up in 1892. 
The value of chureh property is $3000. 
The membership is now ninety-seven 
communicants and twenty-five chil- 
dren. 2 "' 

The United Norwegian Lutherans 
have maintained an organization in 
Tracy since December, 1888. Among 
those instrumental in its organization 
were Bernt Johnson, ( He Johnson, Henry 
Olson and Charles Ostlund. The society 
has never had a resident pastor and is 
at present supplied by Rev. K. C. 
Henderlie, of Canby, who conducts 
services once every three weeks. The 
membership is between fifty and sixty. 

St. Mark's Episcopal church of Tracy 
was organized by Rev. Arthur Chard in 
the late nineties. For a time services 
were held in the United Norwegian 
Lutheran church, but the society now 
has a chapel of its own. The first 
members of the Episcopal church were 
Dr. and Mrs. H. M. Workman. Morris 
Workman, Mrs. L. E. Harvey, M. D. 
Gibbs, Mrs. Minnie Wiley, Mrs. H. E. 
Blair, Mrs. Keller, Mrs. C. W. Marks. 
Mrs. Ralph Yates, Mrs. Fannie Morgan, 
Mrs. J. Q. McNally, Mrs. Lucy Warren 

24 The pastors of the Swedish Lutheran church of 

.Tracy have been as follows: B. S. Nystrom, 1S91-94; 

supplied by students 1894-96; C. J. A. Holmgren, 

1896-99; P. E. Fredlund, 1900-02; A. Melin, 1902-06; 

L. E. Sjolinder, 1906-12. 

"Among the members of the Swedish Lutheran 
church, in addition to those mentioned, are John 
Peterson and wife, Nels E. Pehrson and wife, Andrew 
Martinson and wife, John August Anderson, Andrew 
S. Carlson and wife, Peter Neilson, Joel Nelson and 
wife, John A. Bowman and wife, John F. Fornquist, 
August Peterson and wife and Henry Peterson. 

26 Among the Episcopal ministers who have supplied 
the Tracy parish have been Revs. Arthur ('hard, 
TenBroeck, Charles F.uiar, J. Hoist, Richard Reade, 
John Plunkett and W. A. Dennis. 

"The charter members were W. M. Todd, Claude M. 
Ferro, Anson Warren, E. L. Choate, Henry W. Little. 

and Mrs. Charles Riegel. Owing to the 
small membership the church has never 
had a resident pastor.-' 1 Services are 
now held the second Sabbath of each 
month by Rev. W. A. Dennis, of 


Tracy is the home of a number of 
worthy secret and fraternal orders. 
They are the Blue Lodge, Chapter and 
Order Eastern Star of the Masonic 
orders, Grand Army of the Republic. 
Womens Relief Corps, Odd Fellows, 
liebekahs. Modern Woodmen, Knights 
of Pythias, Catholic Order of Foresters, 
Modern Brotherhood and Royal Neigh- 
bors. Besides these are two women's 
clubs — Current News Club and Sorosis 

Tracy Lodge No. 155, A. F. & A. M.. 
the oldest order in the city, was organ- 
ized under dispensation in July, 1882, 
with the following first officers: W. M. 
Todd,-;W. M.; M. D. Gibbs, S. W.; and 
Anson Warren, J. W. The charter was 
granted January 10, 1883, to twelve 
members. 27 The lodge has ever since 
been maintained and its membership is 
now seventy-four. 

Late in 1883 members of the order 
in Tracy, Walnut Grove, Currie and 
Marshall asked the grand chapter for 
the establishment of a Royal Arch 
Mason Chapter at Tracy, 28 and in April, 
1884, the local order was organized 
under dispensation. 29 The charter was 

Frank E. Ketehum, Charles J. Gardner, Samuel S. 
Truax, James Thomson, Joseph Jones, Myron D. Gibbs 
and John H. Cutler. Only one of the number is now 
a resident of Tracy. 

2S Those who signed the application for the dispen- 
sation for Bower Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, were 
John M. Moore, John Moore, Neil McKay, J. F. Remore, 
Frank Hooker, H. B. Gary, A. C. Forbes, M. E. Math- 
ews, Squire D. How, C. L. Van Fleet, S. M. Gage, 
M. Sullivan, G. F. Bidwell, Neil Currie. A. T. Crowl, 
H. M. Workman, John G. Schutz, James P. Corbin, 
John R. Fitch, W. H. Owens. George W. Thomas, 
H. G. Humphries, Jr., and E. A. Gove. 

29 Those who served as first officers under dispensa- 
tion were George F. Bidwell, G. W. Whom is, Neil 
Currie, M. Sullivan, S. O. How, A. T. Crowl. It. M. 
Workman, J. F. Remore. S. M. Gage, II. B. Gary, 
J. G. Schutz and N. McKay. 



granted October 14, 1884. The present 
high officers are J. D. Owens, high 
priest; Charles C. Richard, king; Howard 
( losslee, scribe. 

Virginia Chapter No. 15, Order East- 
ern Star, was instituted February 3, 
1885, by Grand Matron Mrs. H. A. 
Valentine, of Minneapolis, and Grand 
Patron Willis, of Farmington. It was 
organized with thirty-five charter mem- 
bers 30 and its membership is now ninety- 

The second oldest order in Tracy is 
Joe Hooker Post No. 15, Grand Army 
of the Republic. It was chartered 
August 8, 1882, with twenty-two mem- 
bers. 31 The post was disbanded after 
a short existence, but was reinstated 
August 18, 1884. It was mustered in 
at that time by O. E. Gail, of Marshall. 32 
The post now has only a few members 
but an active organization is main- 

For a time a Sons of Veterans post 
had an existence. It was formed in 
November, 1885, and its first officers 
were C. L. Bohannan, captain; .1. G. 
Willis, first lieutenant; O. J. Pea. second 

Joe Hooker Corps No. 65, Womens 
Relief Corps, has been in existence nearly 

I lie charter members of Virginia Chapter were 
Hat tie Bidwell, Eunice Blood, Lillian Blood, Jennie 
Densil, Louise Gibbs, Myrtle Gibbs, Blanche Grant, 
A.bbie Humason, Mary A. Jones, Louise Klepper, 
Hannah Lloyd, Evelyn Matson, Grace Nash, .Martha 
Pattridge, Alice Richard, Sarah Segur, Hannah 
Stafford, Emma Warren, Hannah I). Warren, Amelia 
Whiting, .Minnie Wiley, Josephine Yates, G. !•'. Bidwell, 
F. S. Brown, S. M. Gage, M. D. Gibbs, W. O. James, 
W. 1>. Jones, W. H. Little, O. L. Pattridge. W. J. 
Richard, .1. R. Segur, F. L. Warren, Homer Whiting, 
H. M. Workman and Mrs. Virginia Workman, who was 
the first worthy matron and for whom the chapter was 

31 The charter members of Joe Hooker Post were 
M. D. Gibbs, Ole Rialson, J. L. Craig, M. F. Mills, 
James Steel, D. W. Underwood, H. N. Joy, James 
Morgan, J. H. Hitchcox, Samuel Bell, L. Aldrich, 
\\ . II. Arnold, J. P. Davis, John Manuel, John Lloyd, 
David Wilford, Irving R. Wagner, David Campbell, 
\Y. J. Henry, Thomas Edwards, J. N. Fitch and 
F. P. Town. 

32 The first officers at the time of reorganization were 
I. R. Wagner, W. H. Arnold, John Lloyd, M. D. Gibbs, 
.J. P. Davis. H. N. Joy, J. L. Craig, William Mesler, 
David Campbell and John Manuel. 

"The charter members of Joe Hooker Corps were 

twenty-three years. It was chartered 
December 6, 1889. with twenty-three 
members. 33 It now has 106 members 
in good standing. 

Chosen Friends Lodge No. 100, Inde- 
pendent Order Odd Fellows, was char- 
tered July 30, 1884. and was instituted 
August 18 by Past Grandmaster Fahr- 
man, of Winona, ft began with six 
members 1 " and now has forty-seven. 
A Rebekah lodge, auxiliary to the Odd 
Fellows, also lias an active organization. 

Tracy Lodge Xo. 96, Ancient Order 
United Workmen, was organized June 
10, 1887. with only ten members.'' 15 It 
has increased until today it has the 
largest membership of any lodge in 
Tracy. About one hundred forty mem- 
bers belong to the local order. Its 
auxiliary. Tracy Lodge No. 8, Degree of 
Honor, was organized January 10, 1893, 
with ten members. 38 Its membership 
is now 120. 

Tracy Camp Xo. 1549, Modern Wood- 
men of America, came into existence 
August IS, 1891, with eleven members. 37 
The lodge has had a prosperous exist- 
ence. It now has ninety-five beneficial 
and one social members. 

A lodge of the Knights of Pythias. 
Xo. 85, was established September 9, 

Mary A. Starr, Elizabeth Leach, Martha Deming, 
Crania Swartwood, Mary Bohannan, Lizzie Haywood, 
Minnie M. Bohannan, Addie M. Perry, Mary E. Rice, 
Emma Webster, Jennie Miller, Mary E. Wagner, Marj 
c. Mesler, Anna Manuel, Evelyn Matson, Myrtle Gibbs, 
Louise Gibbs, Cora Howard, Mildred Clark, Maria P. 
Bohannan, Delia Downing, Kate Hughes, Albina Bate,-.. 

34 The charter members of Chosen Friends Lodge 
and the offices they held were as follows: J. A. 
Stewart, noble grand; C. L. Bohannan, vice grand; 
R. E. Hughes, secretary; F. S. Woodruff, treasurer; 
I. X. Bentley, conductor; W. D. Jones, inside guardian. 

s; The ten charter members of the Tracy Lodge No. 
96 were Martin Thurin, N. B. Jacobi, J. R. Segur. A I 
West, B. Hughes, I. E. Segur, J. M. Wardell, W. Rice, 
E. Woodruff and C. L. Kopp. 

36 Charter members of the Degree of Honor lodge 
were Mesdames Eunice Clark, Minnie F. Pattridge, 
Francelia M. Huntington, Cora L. Thurin, Matilda 
Brauns, Lueinda Craig, Jennie Connie, Cora A. Har- 
tigan, AnL'ie L. Musser and Delia Nichols. 

"Charter members of the Woodmen lodge were 
W. R. Edwards, H. A. Bates, Swan Anderson, J. E. . 
Hennessey, W. H. Bohannan, Allen Bates, J. .1. 
Hartigan and C. L. Bohannan. 



1891, with twenty charter members. 38 
It has had an active existence and now 

has a membership <>t' sixty. 

\\ . Michael Court No. LOO, Catholic 
Order of Foresters, was established 
August 9, 1899, with a small member- 
ship. 39 Meetings arc seldom held now, 
although the charter is still retained. 

A lodge of the Modern Brotherhood 
of America was organized December 21, 
1899, and is still an active organization 
with thirty-five members. "' 

A Royal Neighbors lodge was insti- 
tuted March 10, L900, with a large 
membership. " It lias since held regular 
meetings and now has a membership of 

Both the Current News Club and the 
Sorosis Club are affiliated with the 
State Federation. The former has a 
membership of twenty-five and the 
latter of twenty. The Sorosis Club was 
organized in 1892 and became a member 
of the federation in 1900. 4 - The Current 
News dub was organized in 1893 and 
federated in 1895. 43 


The Tracy public library was estab- 
lished in the winter of 1880-81 and 
among the first members were F. S. 
Brown, John Lind, H. W. Little. G. H. 

38 Charter members were John Renninger, C. M. 
Wilcox, W. M. Fay, Neil Finch, D. H. Evans, F. N. 
Stewart, F. S. Brown, N. B. Jacobi, F. Hunkins, 
Willard Rice, L. F. O'Brien, C. S. Shepard, J. E. Doyle, 
W. J. Walker, George Stahl, P. H. Welch, M. B. 
Stowell, J. A. Wiley, S. Kinmore and George Norris. 

39 The charter members of the Foresters lodge were 
John Wiesner, Henry Cain, J. C. Donovan, James G. 
Behan, J. M. McCabe, Peter Frederick, Frank Ford, 
Richard M. Hogan, James Donovan, B. W. Odekirk, 
Walter Dalton and Herman Farrell. 

40 The charter members of the Modern Brotherhood 
lodge were Joseph R. McElvain, Charlotte McElvain, 
William A. Dicks, Jacob J. Tofting, Charles P. Hewitt, 
Augusta A. Schumacher, Knute N. Nylin, Josephine 
Carter, William S. Carter, J. B. Bens, D. Alton Prouty, 
Dora Lehman, Nicholas A. Borger, John C. Bong, 
Henry Jones, John P. Larson, James L. Montgomery, 
Ida Lehman, Anna M. Hanson, William A. Carter, 
Peter A. Callahan, August S. Swenson, Swan Anderson, 
Nellie Nylin, Mary A. Jones, Floyd A. Schaffer, Nellie 
A. Hewitt, W. P. Newton, Nellie Narveson, Thomas 
Narveson, Elise Drury, Frank Gary, Elizabeth C. 
Allen, Delia M. Ray and Albert T. Goslee. 

41 The charter members of the Royal Neighbors lodge 

Jessup and others. It is now conducted 
in a loom in the city hall and comprises 
1192 volumes. The library is open to 
the public on Saturday of cadi week. 
A fee of twenty-five cents pci- quarter is 
charged patrons. 


The first steps toward the establish- 
ment of fire protection in Tracy were 
taken in 1885. There being no water- 
works system at that time, the principal 
apparatus of the pioneer fire fighting 
company were a hook and ladder truck 
and accessories, which were purchased 
at a cost of $383. The hook and ladder 
company formed at that time was the 
nucleus of the present fire fighting or- 
ganizations of Tracy. The members of 
the pioneer company were Martin Thurin, 
P. J. Tevlin, J. J. Hennessy, H. M. 
Workman, Dell Haines and Pearl Pea. 
Later August Peterson and Frank Black- 
man became members. 

After the big fire of November,1891,and 
a waterworks system had been installed, 
a reorganization was brought about — in 
the spring of 1892. Besides the mem- 
bers of the old company there were 
admitted at that time John Jones and 
A. H. Rowland. 

The department is an efficient one 

were Laura Berdan, Ellen Jensen, Hilda Johnson, 
William D. James, Emma H. Flatequal, Susie M. 
James, Mary J. Kahl, H. A. Bates, W. G. Menke, 
D. A. Prouty, Ella M. Stiles, Nellie Thurston, Hbnora 
Donovan, Louise Hennessy, Maisie M. Whitmore, 
Anna C. Parks, Dencie A. Bates, Elizabeth Dalton, 
Christina Flink, Marion A. Prouty, H. M. Workman, 
Ollie Elliott, Mary Burns and Harry Stiles. 

42 The members of the Sorosis Club are Mesdames 
H. M. Algyer, C. E. Bartlett, F. S. Brown, Don Cassel- 
man, C. W. Walbran, Cora Craig, G. W. Donaldson, 
W. R. Edwards, B. L. English, G. A. Fitch, G. H. 
Goodwin, Cora Gould, Mildred Hunter, W. D. James, 
J. J. Laughlin, W. H. Valentine, D. T. McArthur, 
G. W. Norris, C. B. Partridge, C. G. Porter, J. A. 
Rickert and T. H. Webb. The associate members are 
Mesdames Hoidale, Steel and Lien. 

43 The members of the Current News Club are 
Mesdames Libbie Babcock, C. O. Brauns, D. H. Evans, 
J. Finnegan, J. E. Filkins, Neil Finch, Louise Gibbs, 
C. Callaghan, E. Herzog, E. B. Korns, E. S. Miller, 
Julia McDonnough, Harriet McCallister, George Nehls, 
Lester Fitch, L. K. Prouty, Nels Pehrson, J. R. Segur, 
Lee Swift, H. F. Seiter, George Tracy, Ross Main and 
Helena Thurin. 



and thoroughly equipped. In its equip- 
ment are two hose carts, a hose reel, 
a hook and ladder truck, and nearly 
3000 feet of hose. The department is 
maintained in the city hall. There are 
seventeen active members. The present 
chief is G. E. Schmidt. 

The Tracy Firemans Relief Associa- 
tion has over $2000 in its treasury. 
H. M. Workman is president of the 
association, Jacob Rickert secretary, 
and A. H. Rowland treasurer. 


Three banking houses are conducted 
at Tracy, the First National Bank, 
Citizens State Bank, and Tracy State 
Bank. The first named is the successor 
of the old Commerce Bank; the two 
state banks are of more recent origin. 

Tracy's first bank was a private in- 
stitution, the Bank of Tracy, founded 
by G. H. Jessup in the early eighties. 
Later W. O. Musser became a partner in 
the business. The bank was a popular 
institution, built up an enormous busi- 
ness, and had a long life. Late in 1904 
Mr. Jessup died, the affairs of the bank 
were found to be in a bad way, and the 
institution was closed. Upon its ruins 
a new bank was started, founded for the 
most part by depositors of the defunct 

The second banking house of Tracy 
was the Commerce Bank, established as 
a private institution in the eighties by 
J. E. Evans and J. P. Davis. The 
Commerce Bank was succeeded on Aug- 
ust 1, 1891, by the First State Bank, it 
having been purchased by J. S. Tucker, 
D. T. McArthur, E. W. D. Holway and 
others. Upon the organization of the 
state bank Mr. Tucker became president 
and Mr. Holway vice president. 

On February 21, 1895, the First State 
Bank was reorganized and became the 

First National Bank. The organizer- 
were Martin Thnrin, John A. Hunter. 
John D. Owens, W. Pi. Edwards, Neil 
Finch, I). T. McArthur, Ben Bear. 
E. W. D. Holway, C. J. Weiser, Solomon 
Loeb and J. S. Tucker. The first 
officers were as follows: J. S. Tucker, 
president ; E. AY. D. Holway. vice pres- 
ident; D. T. McArthur, cashier: and 
L. J. Hunter, assistant cashier. Mr. 
Mi ..-Arthur became president in 1901 and 
was at the head of the bank until his 
death on August 26, 1911. 

The First National Bank moved to 
its present commodious quarters at the 
corner of Main and Third Streets in 
April, 1898. From a small beginning 
the institution has worked its way to the 
front and is one of the prosperous finan- 
cial institutions of Lyon county. It 
has a capital stock of $50,000 and a 
surplus of $1 0,000. In 191 1 the deposits 
averaged about $400,000 and the total 
resources were about a half million 
dollars. The present officers are C. J. 
Weiser, president; Ben Bear and E. 
Herzog, vice presidents; H. M. Algyer. 
cashier; L. Houston, assistant cashier. 

The Citizens State Bank began busi- 
ness September 21, 1904, with the fol- 
lowing first officers: J. M. Wardell, 
president; George E. Button, vice pres- 
ident; H. F. Seiter, cashier. The busi- 
ness is conducted in the building at the 
corner of Third and Morgan Streets 
formerly occupied by the Bank of Tracy. 
The bank has a capital stock of $25,000 
and a surplus of $5000. From Septem- 
ber, 1907, to September, 1911, the 
deposits increased from $77,033.02 to 

The present officers of the Citizens 
State Bank are J. M. Wardell, president: 
George E. Dutton, vice president; H. F. 
Seiter, second vice president; J. A. 
Rickert, cashier; L. F. Nelson, assistant 



cashier. The directors are S. I'. Hicks, 
George E. Dutton, II. J. Pattridge, J. M. 
Wardell, D. H. Evans, Neil Finch, 
II. F. Seiter, A. M. Nash and \Y. H. 

The Tracy State Bank opened its 
doors January '_', 1905, with a capital 
stock of $20, 000. It occupies a building 
put up for the purpose in the fall of 
1904. D. A. McLarty served as presi- 
ded during the first year of its existence. 
The present officers and directors are as 
follows: J. R. Fitch, president; I). A. 
McLarty, vice 1 president; L. J. Fitch, 
cashier: A. Swoffer and C. S. Orwall. 


An institution that has aided materi- 
ally in the progress of Tracy is the Tracy 
Cement Tile Company, manufacturers 
of tile, building blocks and brick. It is 
the successor of the Tracy Cement Drain 
Tile, Brick and Block Company, which 
began business in 1905 and which was 
owned by H. F. Seiter, D. H. Evans, 
( Me Ophiem, J. R. Segur and F. G. 

Segur. The company was reorganized 
and incorporated, with ;i capital stock 
of $50,000, under the preseni name on 
January 1. 1911. The stockholders are 

the same as of the original company and 
the officers are D. H. Evans, president; 
11. F. Seiter, secretary and treasurer; 
I Me Ophiem. manager. 

F. M. Slover, a practical tiler, and a 
corps of surveyors are employed by the 
company. During the summer months 
between twenty-five and thirty men are 
employed and the plant is operated 
during the winter months with a reduced 
force. The capacity of the plant is 
from 2000 to 4000 tile per day, depend- 
ent upon the size. It is one of the 
largest cement manufacturing plants in 
the state and is equipped with modern 
machinery, being operated by elec- 
t licit v. A large stone crusher is operated 
and there are two live-steam curing 
tunnels. Besides the manufacturing de- 
partment, another branch of the enter- 
prise is contracting tile laying, survey- 
ing, etc. 


MINNEOT A— 1875-1912. 

IN POINT of size Minneota is Lyon 
county's third town and it is also 
one of the older villages of the 

county. As a business point it also 
takes high rank, for it draws trade from 
an exceptionally fine farming country. 
Its trade territory is large, extending 
northward into Yellow Medicine county 
and westward into Lincoln county. It 
is a substantially built little city and 
presents an attractive appearance. 

Minneota is in the northwestern part 
of the county, on the Chicago & North- 
western railroad. The platted village 
is on the southeast quarter of section 25. 
Kidsvold township. Its elevation above 
sea level is 1179 feet. The population 
when the 1910 census was taken was 

So early as 1871 ■settlers located in 
the northwest corner township in close 
proximity to the site of the present 
village. Others came the following year, 
and in 1872 a postoffice named Nordland 
was established for their benefit. It 
was located on section 26, just west of 
the site of the village, and H. D. Frink, 
a homesteader, was the postmaster. 
That office was the predecessor of the 
Minneota office and Mr. Frink remained 
in charge until it was moved to the 
present location in 1875. Mr. Frink 

J The Marshall Prairie Schooner on January 29, 1874, 
referred to the place as follows: "Upper Yellow 
Medicine Crossing is a postoffice and store located on 

also established a little store at his 
home in 1873 for the convenience of his 
neighbors, ami about the same time 
Christian Lee started a blacksmith shop, 
which he conducted near the Frink store 
for two years. Mr. Frink operated his 
store only about one year. The site of 
these activities was sometimes referred 
to as Nordland, after the postoffice, but 
more frequently as Upper Yellow Medi- 
cine Crossing, from the fact that there 
the newly constructed railroad crossed 
the Yellow Medicine river. 1 The im- 
portance of the little hamlet on section 
26 was added to in 1874 when N. W. L. 
Jager opened a store there. 

It seemed probable that Nordland 
would gradually develop into a little 
village, but this was not destined to 
occur at its original location. The store 
and blacksmith shop were on the lands 
of homesteaders and the railroad com- 
pany decided to locate a station on its 
own land. On September 22, 1875, a 
construction train, carrying material 
and a score or more workmen, was run 
out to the Yellow Medicine crossing and 
a sidetrack was laid on the southwest 
quarter of section 25, land which had 
been secured under the land grant. At 
the same time preparations were made 
for building a warehouse at that point 

Yellow Medicine river at the crossing of the Winona it 
St. Peter railroad, fifteen miles northwest of Marshall.'' 



by the Van Dusen Company, in time to 
care for the season's crop. 

This improvement warranted the be- 
lief that the railroad company would 
establish a station there and that in 
time a village would be founded. Before 
the season closed a few persons located 
at the new site, established business 
enterprises, and the new place succeeded 
to the name Nordland. Mr. Jager 
moved his store from section 26 and was 
the first inhabitant. He had only a 
small stock of goods and housed them 
in a little shanty he erected close to the 
river. The warehouse was erected and 
early in November Ole H. Dahl located 
there as manager. At the same time 
that gentleman opened a little store, 
carrying hardware and drugs. 2 The 
third business man also came in Novem- 
ber, 1875, only a few days after Messrs. 
Jager and Dahl. He was Thomas I). 
Seals, who moved a store from Marsh- 
field, in Lincoln county/ and opened 
the second general store. Mr. Seals has 
ever since been engaged in business in 
the village. 

In December, 1875, Mr. Jager suc- 
ceeded Mr. Prink as postmaster of 
Nordland and early in 1876 it was 
moved from its original location on 
section 26 to the village and conducted 
in Mr. .lager's store. At the time there 
was talk of changing the name of the 
office to Eidsvold, but that was not 
done. 4 • A Nordland correspondent to 

2 "01e Dahl has lately opened a store at Yellow 
Medicine Crossing for the sale of hardware, drugs, etc. 
He is buying wheat there also." — Marshall Messenger, 
November 26, 1875. 

3 "Dr. Seals has moved his store from Marshfield to 
Yellow Medicine Crossing." — Marshall Messenger, 
December 10, 1875. 

4 The following have served as postmasters of Nord- 
land (later Minneota) : H. D. Frink, 1872-75; N. W. 
L. Jager, 1875-87; C. P. Kenyon, 1887-90; Pauline Lee, 
1890-95; James McGinn, 1895-97; Andrew Winger, 
1897-01; G. S. Sigurdson, 1901-03; G. B. Bjornson, 
1903-12. The office was raised from fourth- to third- 
class January 1. 1912. 

Three rural delivery routes are operated from the 
Minneota office, having been established as follows: 
No. 1, September 1, 1903, K. Mohn, carrier; No. 2, 
June 1, 1904, L. S. Teigland, carrier; No. 3, June 1, 
1904, O. J. Moe, carrier. 

the county paper in January, 1876, 
said: ''Our new town in Eidsvold is 
progressing finely. Three store build- 
ings and two warehouses have been 
erected since October last. Although 
the population is very small yet, our 
business men are both intelligent and 
industrious."' The same correspondent 
gave a list of business houses as follows: 
X. W. L. Jager. dry goods and groceries; 
O. H. Dahl. hardware, lumber and 
grain; Dr. T. D. Seals, general store. 

During the summer of 1876 the Nord- 
land railroad station was established 
and a depot erected. The company also 
platted the village, the survey having 
been made by Arthur Jacobi prior to 
August 5. Albert Keep, as president 
of the Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, certified to the plat August 
26. 1876. Ten blocks were included in 
the Nordland plat. The streets running 
parallel with the railroad were named 
First, Second and Third and those at 
right angles were named AYashington, 
Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. 5 

The pjatting of the site did not 
result in any great rush for town lots. 
There was practically no improvement 
during 1876, the county paper on Jan- 
uary 1, 1877, stating that the village 
consisted of three stores and two ware- 
houses. Likewise, there was little ad- 
vancement in 1877, but the following 
year was one of great prosperity in Lyon 

'Additions to the original Nordland plat have been 
made as follows: 

First Railway, by Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, August 18, 1881; surveyed by Thomas F. 

Second Railway, by Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, May 2, 1892; surveyed by John T. Price. 

Gilbertson's, by Aslaug Gilbertson, July 2, 1892; 
surveyed by C. L. Van Fleet. 

G. A. Dalmann's, by G. A. Dalmann, August 24, 
1S93; surveyed by O. H. Sterk. 

Third Railway, by Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, May 20, 1897; surveyed by John T. Price. 

Fourth Railway, by Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, August 8, 1900; surveyed by J. C. W. Cline. 

Fifth Railway, by Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, September 20, 1902; surveyed l>v W. H. 

William Anderson's, by William Anderson, Sep- 
tember 7, 1906; surveyed by O. H. Sterk. 



county and the little hamlet made greal 
si rides forward. 

The change in the name of the post- 
office from Nordland to Minneota (an 
Indian word signifying "big water") 
occurred in February, 1878. The change 
was not brought about without much 
bickering, jealousy and hard feelings. 
Owing to the manner of selecting the 
name great excitement prevailed and 
enmities were made that took years to 
overcome. The name Minneota was 
suggested by T. I). Seals." 

The big immigration of L878 and the 
rapid development of Lyon county dur- 
ing that year brought many improve- 
ments to Minneota. A correspondent 
writing in June said: "Our town is 
building up very rapidly and promises 
to he second to none west of New I'lm 

6 A Minneota correspondent to the Marshall Messen- 
ger of February 22, 1878, told of the campaign for the 
change in name and the resultant excitement over the 

selection, as follows: 

"About three or four weeks ago two petitions were 
put in circulation to solicit signers for the purpose of 
changing the name of the station and postofEce at 
Nordland, one for the name Jager, the other for 
Minneota. ' When Minneota had about twenty-five 
and Jager seventy-five signers, dissatisfaction was 
manifested by the people with both names. Tin- 
parties working for Minneota gave it up and called a 
meeting to get a new name. Horten was adopted by 
a large majority. Two petitions were made, signed 
by eighty persons in the vicinity of Nordland, and one 
was sent to Washington and the other to the railroad 
company in Chicago. Another party held a meeting 
but it resulted in nothing. 

"Thursday, February 14, there came a report from 
Washington, . stating that the name Nordland was 
changed to Minneota. When this was reported from 
the postoffice Dr. Seals borrowed an anvil, furnished 
the powder, treated with cigars, and held a grand 
' celebration for Minneota. Only a few were present 
and there was little excitement at the time, of course. 

"How this extraordinary trick happened is yet a 
mystery. The petition for Minneota is still here and 
nobody confesses to having sent such name to Wash- 
ington. Somebody has done the play but who it is 
we all want to know. Two ways are suspected. 
Someone might have sent a single letter to Washington 
or copied and picked up names from other petitions 
without an j' authority. If this is so, it must be 
revealed, for there is much excitement and agitation 
among the people in the whole community. 

"We have asked our best scholar and professor in 
the Indian language about the definition of Minneota 
and he declared it was an Indian name and that it 
will be very useful as an advertisement for Indian 

Nearly twenty-nine years later Dr. T. D. Seals, at 
whose instance the name Minneota had been selected, 
gave the history of the incident. It was published in 
the Minneota Mascot in December, 1906, and was as 

"In the fall of 1875 or early in 1876 I wrote to my 
uncle, J. W. Durr, a New York banker, and asked him 
to see Senator Straight and request that official to 
procure a change of name for this little hamlet, which 
at that time was called Nordland and was not large 
enough to cut much figure in the commercial world. 

before fall." the close of the year 

a Minneota resident wrote: "One year 
ago Minneota bad only two or three 
business houses; now it has eleven or 

twelve, one elevator and two ware- 
hoUi e >." 

One of the improvements of 1878 was 
the establishment of a large general 
.-tore by Cunts A: Davidson, who erected 
the line, t building in the village. Van 
Duse'n A Company put up an elevator, 
operated by steam power, of which (i. A. 
Jacobson had charge. John Carlen 
opened a hardware and machinery store. 
G. A. Jacobson and J. C. Peterson 
opened a lumber yard and dealt in farm 
machinery. Nels Erickson established 
the .Minneota House and later engaged 
in the dry goods and grocery business. 
J. .1. Wallin opened a furniture store. 

I suggested the name Minneota, which, as you all 
know, is an Indian name and means 'much water.' 
My request was granted ami our little collection of 
shanties was officially designated Minneota. 

" \\ bile this matter was pending at the national 
capita] some of our local promoters became impatient 
and wanted to name the place themselves. Of course 
they could not agree on a name, each one having some 
pet cognomen which he wanted to bestow upon the 
future metropolis. O. L. Orsen wanted Horten. Ole 
Peterson came to the front with Oslo, and the friends 
of N. W. L. Jager wanted Jagersville — Jager and I 
were pretty much the whole cheese in those days. 

"Finally the advocates of these different names got 
together and decided to hold an election and let the 
people decide what name they wanted. This was 
done, but before the polls closed John Swenson drove 
in on his little mule, carrying a sack of mail. This 
mail contained a letter from Washington, which 
brought the local authorities notice that the new-born 
city had been officially designated Minneota. This 
put a damper on the proceedings and excitement ran 
high for a while. 

"Just as the tellers were ready to co.unt the votes, 
which had been deposited in the cigar box, duly 
guarded during the day by reliable officials, I am told 
Lewis Anderson marched into the polling place, seized 
t he ballot box, and made his escape before anyone 
had time to raise voice or hand in restraint. He 
walked out into the street, where he smashed the box 
and trampled the ballots into the mud — and to this 
day no one knows which faction was victorious at the 
first election ever held in the village of Minneota. 
There are only a few of the old timers left, but we dare 
say that they all remember that election. All were 
intensely interested and for many weeks the election 
was the talk of the neighborhood. 

"I remember the incident as plainly as if it were 
yesterday. Of course, there is reason for my recalling 
it so vividly. When the mail brought the news that 
the name Minneota had been selected at Washington, 
O. L. Orsen made the remark that there was evidently 
among us a wolf in sheep's clothing — referring to the 
man who had, without consulting anyone, fastened 
this name upon the town and thus completely check- 
mated the advocates of the other three names. I did 
not know Mr. Orsen then as I do now, and for three 
days I did not venture out of my store. After that 
the excitement gradually died down and I began to 
muster up courage to speak to my fellow-townsmen. 
Hut for a time I was a scared man." 



William Kitzinger erected the second 
hotel, the Tremont House. Thor Rye, 
a tinsmith, engaged in business. Samuel 
Leland became the village blacksmith. 
Sheldrew & Reinertson opened a photo- 
graph gallery. N. W. L. Jager and 
T. D. Seals, the pioneer business men, 
conducted their stores with increased 

In June, 1879, Minneota's business 
houses comprised four general stores, 
two hardware stores, two shoe shops, 
two hotels, two blacksmith shops and 
three elevators. The village then boast- 
ed of a new school house. Among the 
new business men were Sidney Fuller, 
blacksmith shop; T. Hanson, variety 
store; George Duffy, livery barn; and 
Peter Pickles, meat market. 

A few new stores and shops were 
opened in 1880. Among the new enter- 
prises was a lumber yard established by 
Youmans Brothers & Hodgins, of which 
John Dobson became local manager. 
The census of 1880 gave the little ham- 
let a population of 1 13. 

Although only a few over a hundred 
persons were living in the village proper, 
they were an ambitious few and in 1880 
asked for incorporation. A bill author- 
izing Minneota to begin local govern- 
ment was passed by the Legislature and 
approved by the governor January 21, 
1881. The first village election was 
held February 7, and two days later the 
Village Council was organized. The 
corporate limits, as determined by the 
Council February 9, 1881, were all of 
section 25, the north half of section 36, 
the northeast quarter of section 35, and 

"In 1879 the people of Eidsvold township declared 
in favor of licensed saloons by a vote of 42 to 19. 
After the incorporation of Minneota license was 
granted by the Council each year without the question 
having been submitted to vote up to 1891. From 1891 
to 1900, inclusive, the license question was voted on 
under the local option law, with the following results: 

1891 — Against license by 18 majority. 

1892 — Against license. 

1893- — For license by 2 majority. * 

1894— For, 59; against, 58. 

1895— For, 70; against, 61. 

the east half of section 26, all in Eidsvold 

Following is the roster of village 
officials from date of incorporation to 
the present time: 7 

1881 — President, G. A. Jacobson; trustees, 
J. C. Peterson, N. W. L. Jager, John Carlen; 
recorder, A. D. Davidson; treasurer, J. H. Frost; 
justice, S. R. Kentner; 8 constable, William 

1882 — President, G. A. Jacobson; trustees, 
N. W. L. Jager, Anton Winter, J. H. Frost ; 
recorder, A. D. Davidson; treasurer, T. D. Seals; 
constable, Swen Peterson. 9 

1883 — President, J. C. Peterson; trustees, 
Anton Winter, J. H. Frost, J. N. Lee; recorder, 
J. S. Renninger. 

1884 — President, J. C. Peterson; trustees, J. H. 
Frost, J. N. Lee, Thor Rye; recorder, J. S. 
Renninger; treasurer, William Davidson; justice, 
J. J. Dobson; constable, William Kitzinger. 

1885 — President, J. C. Peterson; trustees, 

F. Winters, A. B. Thompson, S. B. Leland; 
recorder, Frank Johnson; treasurer, William 

1886 — President, J. ('. Peterson; trustees, 
William Kitzinger, Anton Winter, .S. B. Leland; 
recorder, Frank Johnson; treasurer, William 
Davidson; justice, S. E. Sanderson; constable, 
H. (_). Hanson. 

INS? — President, J. N. Lee; trustees, G. A. 
Dalmann, G. ( '. Mantel, A. L. Rye; recorder, 
Frank Johnson; treasurer, William Davidson; 
justice, S. O. Brenna. 

isss President, Thomas Hanson; trustees, 

G. C. Mantel, S. B. Leland, (!. S. Sigurdson; 
recorder, Frank Johnson: treasurer, N. W. L. 
Jager; justice, T. D. Seals; constable, P. Fer- 

1889— President. C. J. Wimer; trustees, E. B. 
Leland, Anton Winter, C. Schram; recorder, 
Frank Johnson; treasurer, X. YV. L. Jager; 
justice, M. Ferguson; constable, H. O. Hanson. 

1890 — President, C. J. Wimer; trustees, Anton 
Winter, C. Schram, P. Ferguson; recorder, Frank 
Johnson; treasurer, N. W. L. Jager; justices, 
T. D. Seals, S. E. Sanderson. 

1891 — President, N. W. L. Jager; trustees, 
(.'. J. Wimer, E. K. Kjorness, Syvert Most; 
recorder, Frank Johnson; treasurer, J. H. 
Frost; constable, H. (.). Hanson. 

1892— President, N. W. L. Jager; trustees, 
E. K. Kjorness, E. I. Leland, Frank Johnson; 
recorder, Syvert Most; treasurer, J. H. Frost; 
justices, S. Hognason, Oscar Rye; constables, 
S. P. Heggdahl, H. O. Hanson. 

1893— President, P. O. French; trustees, C. A. 

1896— For, 43; against, 100. 

1897 — Against license by 22 majority. 

1898— For, 56; against, 63. 

1899— For, 91 ; against, 50. 

1900— For, 79; against, 56. 

Since 1900 the matter has been left in the hands of 
the Council, and except the years 1901 atid 1904 
license has been granted each year. 

s Resigned and on November 22, L881, John Dobson 

'•'Did not qualify and William Davidson appointed. 



Walker, E. I. Leland, (i. S. Sigurdson; recorder, 
St. Gilbertson; constable, E. B. Leland. 

1894 President. M. Ferguson; trustees, ( '. P. 
kenvon, T. X. Mvlire, Henry Moe; recorder, 
St. Gilbertson; treasurer, .lames Steels: justices, 

1'. t). French, T. I). Seals; constable, Hugh 
Bowden, Jr. 

1895— President, H. Cbamplin; trustees, M. 
Ferguson, I). M. Walrath, J. ('. Peterson; 
recorder, St. Gilbertson; treasurer, E. I. Leland; 
constable, Joseph Alexson. 

1896 — President, M. Ferguson; trustees, B. 
Jones, 'I'. X. Wyhre, D. C. Pierce; recorder, St. 
Gilbertson; treasurer, K. I. Leland; justice-. 
P. <>. French, T. D. Seals; constable, L. B. 

1897- President, G. A. Dahnann; trustees, 
]). ('. Pierce, E. I. Leland, T. X. Myhre; recorder, 
St. Gilbertson; treasurer, ( '. M. Gislason; con- 
stable, ( ). J. Moe. 

ISDN- President, H. X. Dahl; trustees, 11. (>. 
Hanson, E. B. Leland, S. A. Anderson; recorder. 
St. Gilbertson; treasurer, 0. L. Dorr; justices, 
P. ( >. French, G. B. Bjornson; constable, L. B. 

1899 President, H. X. Dahl; trustees, A. J. 
Kile, S. A. Anderson, M. Ferguson; recorder, 
St. Gilbertson; treasurer, < >. L.'Dorr; assessor, 
L. T. Thompson; constables, W. J. Salmon, 
0. J. Moe. 

I'dOO— President, H. N. Dahl; trustees, M. 
Ferguson, S. A. Anderson, A. J. Kile; recorder, 
St. Gilbertson; treasurer, O. L. Dorr; assessor, 
L. T. Thompson; justices, G. B. Bjornson. 11. I >. 

1901— President, H. N. Dahl; trustees, S. A. 
Anderson, M. Ferguson, H. O. Hanson; recorder, 
M. E. Drake; treasurer, O. L. Dorr; justice, T. D. 
Seals; constable, O. J. Moe. 

1902 — President, St. Gilbertson; trustees, H. 
O. Hanson, S. A. Anderson, K. E. Kjorness; 
recorder, M. E. Drake; treasurer, O. L. Dorr; 
assessor, N. A. Anderson; justice, P. 0. French. 

1903 — President, St. Gilbertson; trustees, 
S. A. Anderson, H. O. Hanson, F. A. Kingsley; 
recorder, M. E. Drake; treasurer, 0. L. Dorr; 
assessor, O. J. Moe; justice, T. D. Seals; consta- 
bles, W. J. Salmon, George Benson. 

1904 — President, St. Gilbertson; trustees, H. 
O. Hanson, S. A. Anderson, George Geiwitz; 
recorder, F. A. Kingsley; treasurer, O. L. Dorr. 

1905 — President, St. Gilbertson; trustees, W. 
A. Crowe, George Geiwitz, S. A. Anderson; 
recorder, G. C. Lee; treasurer, O. L. Dorr; 
assessor, L. J. Jerpbak. 

1906— President, St. Gilbertson; trustees, S. 
A. Anderson, W. A. Crowe, George Geiwitz; 
recorder, G. C. Lee; treasurer, O. L. Dorr; 
assessor, L. J. Jerpbak; justice, P. O. French. 

1907 — President, James McGinn; trustees, 
T. F. Walsh, E. T. Sanderson, H. J. Mackechnie; 
recorder, D. C. Pierce; treasurer, O. L. Dorr; 
assessor, L. J. Jerpbak. 

1908—, P. O. French; trustees, G. <>. 
Funden, J. F. Finnegan, H. E. Knutson; 

l0 "A law portion of the immigrants tt> this county 
for the pasl three or four years settled about Mi unci it a. 
and as a consequence the country tributary to that 
town is the most thickly settled of any in the county. 
Minneota is constantly realizing benefits of various 

recorder, 1). C. Pierce; treasurer, < >. L. Dorr; 
assessor, A. J. Kelley; justice, P. M. Berg; con- 
stable, W. .). Salmon. 

I'.k lit— President, P. ( ). French; trustees, H. H. 
Groesinger, J. F. Finnegan, George Benson; 
recorder, A. P. Gislason; treasurer, 0. L. Dorr; 
assessor. L. J. Jerpbak; justice, James McGinn; 
constables, W. H. Loomis, ( ). H. Werpy. 

I '.i 10 -President, II. X. Dahl; trustees, H. G. 
Johnson, A. J. Kelley, George Benson; recorder, 
A. B. Gislason; treasurer. <). L. Dorr; assessor, 
P. O. French; justice, T. M. Burke. 

PHI — President, W. H. Deen; trustees, 
George Benson, G. O. Funden, T. P. Culshaw; 
recorder, H. G. Johnson; treasurer, L. M. Ler- 
wick; assessor, H. N. Dahl; constables, W. J. 
Salmon, O. H. Werpy. 

1912 — President, W. H. Deen; trustees, 
George Benson, T. P. Culshaw, G. O. Funden; 
recorder, H. G. Johnson; treasurer, L. M. 
Lerwick; justices, P. O. French, G. W. Liver- 

Minneota's progress during the early 
eighties was substantial. Its growth 
«a : proportionate with the settlement 
and development of the surrounding 
country and was augmented by being 
made the center of the Catholic colony 
established by Bishop Ireland. The 
location of the colony of Icelanders in 
the vicinity also added to the growth of 
the village. 10 In the spring of 1882 the 
following lines of business were repre- 
sented in Minneota: One bank, five 
general stores, two hardware stores, two 
hotels, three saloons, one drug store, 
one wagon shop, two blacksmith shops, 
two shoe shops, one harness shop, one 
livery stable, two lumber yards, one 
"rain elevator, two grain warehouses, 
one feed mill, two dealers in agricultural 
implements, one lime house, one coal 
dealer, one meat market, one church and 
parsonage, and one school house. 

A directory published in 18S4 listed 

the following: 

Davidson Brothers, Bank of Minneota. 

N. W. L. Jager, general merchandise. 

T. Hanson, dry goods and groceries. 

T. D. Seals, dry goods and groceries 

Ole O. Brenna, dry goods and groceries. 

Hanson Brothers, hardware, furniture, ma- 
chinery, livery. 

kinds on account of this acquisition, and the growth 
of thai village, though not particularly rapid or 

spasmodic, is steady and all its business men are on 
the road to prosperity." Marshall News-Messenger, 
March 20, 1885, 



Thor Rye, hardware and tinware. 
Frost & Peterson, groceries. 
Wimer Brothers, drugs. 
Dennis Cahil, groceries. 
George Mantel, shoes. 
Anton Winter, harness. 
T. D. Seals, meat market. 
G. A. Dalmann, feed mill. 
C. P. Kenyon, farm machinery. 
P. Ferguson, hotel. 
S. B. Leland, blacksmith. 
Arney Rye, blacksmith. 
Swend Peterson, saloon. 
W. Hester, saloon. 

J. C. Peterson, agent Laird-Norton Lumber 

William Davidson, agent L. C. Porter Elevator 


G. N. Lee, agent Van Dusen & Company, 


J. R. Smith, depot agent and telegraph 


Doctors Wimer, Renninger and Sanderson. 

Minneota had attained a population 
of 325 when the census of 1890 was 
taken. At the beginning of that year 
the following were engaged in busines s 
and the professions, according to a list 
prepared by the Marshall Reporter: 
Ferguson Brothers, groceries, shoes and 
agricultural machinery; G. S. Sigurdson, 
who managed the Verzlunarfelag Islen- 
dinga, a co-operative general store; 
Thomas Hanson, general store, ware- 
house and bank; T. D. Seals, general 
merchandise store: X. W. L. .lager, the 
pioneer store; James Steel, the Bank of 
Minneota; R. M. Addison, a branch 
hardware store; George Mantel, grocery 
and shoe store; G. A. Dalmann, grocery 
store; Kile & Winter, harness shop; 
C. J. Wimer, drug store and stationery; 
Olof Rye, jewelry store; Mary Rye. tin 
shop, stoves and furniture: S. B. Leland, 
wagon and blacksmith shop; William 
Kitzinger, Tremont Hotel; Sy vert Most, 
shoe shop; J. C. Peterson, who had 
charge of the Laird-Norton lumber 

n"We wen somewhat surprised last week on a visit 
to Minneota to see the marked improvement the 
village has made this season. About, twenty new- 
buildings have been erected, some of them expensive 
residences. Several new two-story business houses 
have also sprung up, and a four-story roller mill is 
being built by a stock company. It will have a 
capacity of about 100 barrels a day\ with power and 
room for more when needed. A -late bank has also 
been organized and Minneota is making a creditable 

yards; E. 1L Leland, manager of the 
L. C. Porter Milling Company's eleva- 
tor; E. I. Leland, manager of the 
Marfield & Company's elevator and coal 
yard; B. Jones, meat market and wood 
yard; Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company, land office; W. A. Crowe, 
saloon; H. P. Ferguson, saloon; V. 
Anderson and A. C. Heiret. draymen; 
C. P. Kenyon, postmaster; Dr. San- 
' iierson, physician. 

During the early nineties, prior to the 
panic and the beginning of the hard 
times period. Minneota made steady 
progress. The year 1892 was an ex- 
ceptionally progressive one and many 
improvements were made. 11 For a few 
years in the middle nineties the village 
was at - a i tandstill because of the 
prevailing financial stringency. The 
population was 512 in 1895. 

Minneota Inn. progressed steadily dur- 
ing the last fifteen years of its history 
and has taken its place as one of the 
up-to-date, wide-awake little villages of 
Southwestern Minnesota. It has a num- 
ber of public improvements, including a 
waterworks system installed in 1901. 
The population had increased to 777 in 
1900, and five years later it was 954. 
The census of 1910 showed a slight 
falling off, the enumeration disclosing 
a population of 819. 


The' Minneota public school system 
has grown from humble beginnings. 

The first school was taught in the rail- 
road section house in 187o by Leora 
Coleman, 12 and that building was used 

record as a promising town." — Marshall Reporter, 
August IS, 1892. 

I'^Among the teachers who have had charge of the 
Minneota schools are the following, only the superin- 
tendents being listed since the schools were graded: 
Fannie Erskine, Mrs. P. O. French. C. J. Wimer, 
P O French, D. C. Pierce, Mrs. C. J. Y\ nner, C. < >. 
Anderson. ('. C. Wilson, J. P. Byrne, F. F. Buckley, 
C A Braley, B. A. Wallace, L. L. Cornwell, J. J. 





as the school house until 1879. The 
great progress made by the village in 
L878 brought a demand for better school 
facilities, and in October of that year 
the school board was authorized by the 
voters to issue bonds to the amount of 
$1200 to build a school hou e. Thi ; 
was- done and in the spring of 1879 a 
school lion e was completed. 

In 1893 a four-room brick school 
home was erected, bonds to the amount 
of $6000 having been voted for the 
purpose the year before. Seven years 
later the voters of the district authorized 
the expenditure of $5000 more to pro- 
vide additional school facilitie 

The Minneota schools were organized 
under the independent district plan 
May 1, 1900, and a little later a high 
school course was added. The first 
class was graduated in 1904. 13 

About 300 pupils are now enrolled in 
the Minneota schools. Prof. Arnold 
Gloor is superintendent of the schools 
and the following are the present in- 
structors: Olive Norgaard, principal; 
Johanna Hognason, science teacher; 
Bessie M. Jackson, Elizabeth Nicholson, 
Margaret • Lambert. Lillian "Wat kins, 
Anna Welch, Frieda Gilbertson. Dora 
V. Askdal and Jennie M. Frost. The 
Board of Education is composed of the 
following named gentlemen: G. B. 
Bjornson, president: A. B. Gislason, 
secretary; H. J. Tillemans, treasurer; 
L. M. Lerwick, James McGinn and 
H. N. Dahl. 

Jensrud, F. E. Sprout, T. R. Cole, E. T. Fitch, C. A. 
Gregory, F. P. MeComb and Arnold Gloor. 

13 The following have been graduated from the 
Minneota High School: 

1904 — Marth Hognason, F. G. Byron Hognas.m, 
Newel H. Dahl, Jennie M. Frost. 

1905 — Bjarni Anderson, Agnes D. Lehmd, Sigurd 

1906 — Margaret Mary Langan, Baldlir Jonathan 
Dalmann, William Allan Crowe, Amanda Klevan, 
June Louise Vvimer, Harry Adolph Crowe, Theodore 
Bernhard Voog, Maud Beatrice Leland, Edward George 

1907 — Amy T. Dahl, Winnie J. Johnson, Christine 
V. Dalmann, Eleen G. Eastman. 


Five active church societies are main- 
tained in Minneota, namely, the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran, Catholic, Icelandic 
Lutheran, Baptist and Evangelical Luth- 
eran. All have houses of worship and 
hold service.; regularly. 

The first religious services in the 
village were conducted in the Nordland 
section house by Rev. J. Berg, a Nor- 
wegian Lutheran pastor. Under the 
direction of Rev. Berg, the Immanuel 
Congregation of the Norwegian Synod 
was organized and the pioneer preacher 
occupied the pulpit for a short time. 
He was succeeded by Rev. Knute 
Thorstonson, who preached once a 
month for about two years. The next 
pastor was Rev. Olof Hoel, of Canby, 
who served until 1892. Rev. Andrew 
Kleven had charge of the church from 
1S!»2 to 1909, and Rev. E. J. Henderlie 
ha^ been pastor since 1910. The Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church of Minneota 
has about 450 members. The church 
trustees are Henry Furgeson, Ole Esping, 
H. O. Skogen, N. B. Nelson and Louis 
Anderson. ' 

The Catholic colony of Minneota was 
opened to settlers in the spring of 1SS0. 
Previous to that year His Grace Arch- 
bishop John Ireland, then coadjutor 
bishop of St. Paul, had begun to advo- 
cate the cause of Catholic colonization. 
By means of lectures delivered in the 
middle and eastern states and through 
his writings in the public press of 
Canada, Ireland, England, Belgium and 

1908 — Jonina P. Jokull, Frieda Gilbertson, Melville 
Sanderson, Thora Strand, Olive R. Olafson, Bessia 
Winnifred Ferguson, Mabelle Irene Leland, Elvira C. 
Josephson, Victor ('. Josephson, Dora V. Askdal. 

1909 — Eva F. Wimer, Ellen Askdal. 

1910 — G. Arthur Larson, Fred A. Geiwitz, Nellie B. 
Dorr, Carvel E. Erickson, Bjorn Winger, Petrene S. 
Johnson, Magnhild Orsen, Cora A. Geiwitz, Leslie V. 
Dahl, Susan A. Mullen, Luella B. Hanson. 

1911 — Ella Johnson, Ida Jokull, Patsy McGinn, 
Reuben Pennington, Mary Wallin. 

1912 — Stella A. Cassidy, Hazel L. Male, Johanna •'. 
Gudmundson, Pauline S. Sigvaldson, .1 me Yeo. 



Holland, he made known to Catholic 
multitudes the possibilities of a healthy 
and happy home on the virgin plains 
and amid the undeveloped resources of 
the big and bountiful state of Minne- 
sota. He was acquainted with the dire 
distress of the downtrodden masses in 
the congested districts of large cities. 
He knew that in lands beyond the sea 
good men starved in slavery and fear, 
and. like another Moses, he determined 
to lead them from their environments 
to the light and freedom and the future 
peace and prosperity which he foresaw 
Would reward their labors in this Land 
of Promise. 

With prophetic foresight His Grace 
also realized that if the Catholic church 
was to grow and keep pace with the 
growth and progress of Minnesota, it 
could only be by the incoming of Cath- 
olic settlers from other lands. There- 
fore, for the future happiness of the 
people, for the advancement in these 
parts of the faith he professed, he 
heralded the call to Minnesota through- 
out the world. In answer to that call 
many came, and those who came and 
persevered through the privations of 
pioneer days have good reason feo bless 
the hour they came and the great 
prelate whose voice had called them 

The first Catholic settlers began to 
arrive in the summer and fall of 1880, 
and Father M. J. Hardy was appointed 
to act as their pastor and to help in 
locating them on their lands. 14 He said 
mass in the Minneota depot and in the 
old log house west of Minneota where 

1 'The heads of families which constituted the initial 
membership of the Minneota Catholic church were as 
follows: Michael Cain, Barney Agnew, Philip Lynch, 
Thomas Rogan, Walter Walsh, Martin Finnegan, 
Patrick McGinn, Robert Culshaw, James Kiley, Hugh 
Bowden, Pat Creeden, John O'Connor, Barnie O'Hare, 
Garrett Ahern, William Salmon, John Boulton, Peter 
Tumulty, Francis McMahon, Daniel Mullen, Patrick 
Langan, James O'Brien, Martin » Langan, William 
Garrety, Joseph Whitwell, John Braken, William 
Lyons, Hugh McNamara, John Buckley, Michael 
Bunce, Bernard Cassidy, John Malone, William 

he resided with a number of the colonists 
until their homes were built. Father 
Hanly was succeeded by Father L. 
Cornelius in August, 1881, and soon 
after his appointment he set about 
building the church and parish house. 
The church was dedicated under the 
name of St. Edward the Confessor, 
owing to the fact that many of the first 
colonists were English or had lived some 
time in England. 

Father Cornelius went to Europe in 
the winter of 1882 to promote the cause 
of colonization amongst the Belgians 
and Hollanders and he returned in the 
spring of 1883 with many colonists. 
Most of these settled on the lands seven 
miles east of Minneota, and, having 
received a priest of their own national- 
ity, they originated the present parish 
of Client. 15 Father Cornelius was suc- 
ceeded by Father Edward Lee in March, 
1X83. Father Lee was pastor seven 
years and during those years endeared 
himself to the people by the zeal with 
which he ministered to their spiritual 
welfare in spite of the privations he had 
to endure. Father Lee was replaced by 
Father H. Victor in April, 1890. Father 
Victor cleared off the debt that was in- 
curred iii building the church and then 
went to live in Marshall, from which 
place he attended Minneota as a mission. 

.Minneota remained a mission from 
1890 to August, 1901, and during that 
period it was attended by Fr. Victor 
(1890-93), Fr. F. Jager (1893-95) and 
Fr. A. J. Vanden Heuvel (1895-01). In 
response to a petition from the people 
and a promise to support a resident 

Reynolds, Charles Donnely, John Dobson, Thomas 
Howard, Michael Dwyer, James Cahill, John Penning- 
ton, James McMahon, Edward Kelley, Peter Hughes, 
Lawrence McDonald, Edward O'Brien and John 

15 The Belgian and Holland families who remained 
members of St. Edward's parish were those of Charles 
DeSutter, John Tillemans, Ferdinand Wambeke, 
Peter Jennen, Peter Stassen, Frank Buysse, Louis 
Traen, Anthon Bankers and Peter Moorse. 


1 s:> 

pastor, Archbishop [reland appointed 
Father Murlowski to the pastoral charge 
of St. Edward's congregation in August, 
1901 . At that time the people rebuilt 
the parish house, expending thereon 
$1251. Father Murlowski died after an 
operation in Rochester in January, L903. 
Father A. Schaefer became pastor the 
same year and guided the destinies of 
St. Edward's until September 10. I'M).-), 
when he was succeeded by the present 
pastor, Father W. J. Stewart. 

The parish has progressed rapidly 
under the administration of Father 
Stewart. Owing to his tireless activity 
during the years of his pastorate the 
Catholic cemetery has been enlarged and 
beautified, the church has been repainted 
without and redecorated within, the 
assessment of $2200 for the new cathe- 
dral at St. Paul has been paid in full. 
$13,300 has been subscribed toward the 
building of a new parish church, and a 
block of land — one of the finest in the 
village — has been purchased on liberal 
terms from John O'Connor as the site 
for the future developments of this 
progressive parish. The congregation 
at the present writing consists of about 
350 members. The church trustees are 
Philip Ahem, secretary, and Harry J. 
Tillemans, treasurer. Mr. Tillemans suc- 
ceeded Robert Culshaw, who died May 
7, 1912, and who for thirty years was 
treasurer, organist and conductor of the 
choir of St. Edward's parish. 

An Icelandic Lutheran society was 
organized so early as 1880, but St. 
Paul's Church was not founded until 
October 27, 1887. The first members 
and church officers were G. S. Sigurdson, 

16 The first members of the Baptist church were 
Nathan N. Smart, Rebecca Smart, Nellie Smith, Mrs. 
A. M. Olson, Mrs. Alice Cole, Mrs. Richard Bliss, Mrs. 
Rhoda French, Mrs. C. J. Wimer, Miss Pratt, Mr. and 
Mrs C. D. Bremer, George W. Carpenter, William 
Carpenter, Mr. and Mrs. Ed. North, Mrs. John Ferguson, 
W. F. Smith, Agnes Miller, Charles M. Anderson, Miss 
Gertrude Barlow, C. R. Bremer, Miss Anne Bremer, 
Miss Erne Bliss, Frank W. Carpenter, Miss Hester 

president; J. II. Frost, secretary and 
treasurer; F. 1!. Johnson, C. (1. Schram 
and St. Gilbertson. Rev. X. S. Thor- 
laksson was the first pastor and served 
from 1887 to 1894. Rev. B. B. Jonsson 
has been pastor since that time. 

St. Paul's Church was incorporated 
July 24, 1891, and the parsonage was 
built that year. The church home was 
built in 189") and dedicated December 
8 of that year. Rev. Sigurdson, of 
Winnipeg, Rev. Jonsson, of Minneota, 
and Prof. Sanders, of St. Peter, con- 
ducted the dedicatory services. The 
value of the church property is $7000. 
The present membership is 250. The 
members of the church council are G. B. 
Bjornson, B. Jones, G. A. Anderson, 
H. G. Johnson, K. S. Askdal, P. P. 
Jokull and A. R. Johnson. Auxiliary 
societies maintained are Sunday School, 
Luther League and Ladies Aid Society. 

The First Baptist Church of Minneota 
was organized in 1896. Prior to that 
time services were held occasionally, 
conducted by visiting clergymen and 
theological students. The organization 
of the Minneota church was brought 
about through the labors of Rev. E. R. 
McKinney, then pastor-at-large for 
Southwestern Minnesota, and Rev. E. R. 
Pope. It began with a membership of 
thirty-four. 16 N. N. Smart and C. D. 
Bremer were the first deacons and P. O. 
French was the first clerk of the society. 
Rev. E. R. D. Hollensted was installed 
as the first pastor. 17 

A Baptist church edifice was com- 
pleted in the spring of 1897 at a cost of 
$1200. The church now has a member- 
ship of twenty-five. Services are held 

Cummins, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Dale, Mrs. B. C. Franzen. 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred Gee, Miss Gertrude Gee, Mr. and 
Mrs. C. W. Goodrich, Miss Ethel Goodrich. 

i?The following have served as pastors of the First 
Baptist Church of Minneota: E. R. D. Hollensted, 
1896-9S; C. R. Upton, 1899-00; W. D. Dye, 1901-02; 
N J Hilton, 1903-05; J. D. Nichols, 1907-08; students 
and visiting pastors, 1908-11; J. M. Brown, 1911-12. 



every other Sabbath, the pastor also 
having charge of the church at Canby. 
The deacons of the church are P. O. 
French and John Yeo. Mrs. French is 
clerk and Mr. French treasurer of the 

The church of the Immanuel Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Congregation of Min-» 
neota, affiliated with , the Norwegian 
Synod of North America, was organized 
April 18, 1898, by fourteen families. 18 
The first officers of the church were H. 
N. Dahl, president; G. C. Lee, secretary; 
O. J. Wignes, treasurer; I. N. Olevson, 
S. P. Hegdahl and W. H. Deen, trustees. 

For six months after the organization 
services were conducted by missionary 
pastors of the Synod, and then Rev. 

A. J. Nervig was installed as pastor and 
the pulpit has since been regularly 
supplied. 19 The church home was Good 
Templars' Hall for two years, and in the 
summer of 1900 the present house of 
worship was put up at a cost of $2400. 
The present membership is about fifty 
and the following are the church officers: 
Rev. B. B. Jonsson, president; Ole I. 
Lee, secretary and treasurer; W. H. 
Deen, I. N. Olevson and John (!. 
Geiwitz, trustees. Services are held 
every third Sabbath. 

18 The families constituting the initial membership 
of Immanuel church were those of H. N. Uahl, W. H. 
Deen, I. N. Olevson, O. J. Wignes, S. P. Hegdahl, 
O. J. Moe, P. R. Myers, O. G. Reese, H. C. Lee, G. C. 
Lee, O. I. Lee, Edor Myers, N. W. L. Jager and K. E. 

l0 The following have been pastors of the Evangelica 
Lutheran church: A. J. Nervig, 1898-01; Sorenson* 
1901-06; O. M. Gullerud, 1906-10; B. B. Jonsson- 

20 The charter members of Minneota Camp were 
John E. Berg, Charles D. Blaker, G. B. Bjornson, 
H. L. Champlin, J. M. Collins, G. A. Dalmann, Nels P. 
Frederickson, Martin Furgeson, St. Gilbertson, Walter 

B. Gislason, Frank Hinkley, Frank R. Johnson, Ole I. 
Lee, James Meaghan, M. H. Marcuson, Samuel J. 
Swenson, Saras Sorenson, John Stephenson, S. E. 
Sanderson and Dell M. Walrath. The present members 
holding office in the lodge are A. E. Arntson, J. G. 
Geiwitz, J. F. Finnegan, S. B. Erickson, H. G. Johnson, 
George Benson, M. F. Klaith, P. M. Berg, W. H. Deen 
and Martin Peterson. 

2l Charter members of Alpha Lodge were Betsy Kile, 
Otto Anderson, J. F. Finnegan, P. G. Schram, S. 
Walter Jonason, Olophena Werpy, W. J. Salmon, 
Martin Furgeson, Jonina Holm, Minnie E. Stowell, 
Mrs. W. B. Gislason, Dimphena Meagljan, Clara E. 
Van Tassel, Eliza Sanderson, Edwin O. Ageton, Alice 
Wimer, Eveline Ringham, Betsey Moe, Mrs. J. G. 


Minneota Camp No. 2385, Modern 
Woodmen of America, is the oldest 
fraternal order in Minneota. It was 
organized August 20, 1894, 20 and has 
had a prosperous existence. The pres- 
ent membership in good standing is 151. 

Alpha Lodge No. 1382, Royal Neigh- 
bors of America, was organized February 
27, 1899, and is still an active organiza- 
tion.- 1 

Minneota Lodge No. 200, Independ- 
ent Order Odd Fellows, was instituted 
February 9, 1901, by Grand Master 
Alex Van Praag. It was organized with 
a small membership 22 but has had a 
prosperous life and now has twenty- 
three members. 

Equality Lodge No. 238, A. F. & A. 
M., was organized April 4, 1901, with 
ten charter members. 23 Thirty-two 
members are now on the rolls and 
regular meetings are held at Masonic 

Homestead Lodge No. 778, Brother- 
hood American Yeomen, was instituted 
September 14, 1901, by W. D. Bryant. 24 
The present membership is thirty-nine. 

St, Edward's Court No. 1498, Catholic 
Order of Foresters, was instituted Sep- 

Hunter, Zella M. Ageton, Anna O. Hanson, Mrs. H. L. 
Drake, Anna Reese and Emma McConnell. 

22 The following were first members of the Odd 
Fellows lodge: J. G. Hunter, J. B. Gardner, S. Mag- 
nuson, P. O. French, K. K. Mohn, D. M. Walrath, 
M. B. McAIister, J. E. Berg, A. E. Walrath and P. M. 
Berg. The principal officers at present are L. M. 
Lerwick, G. H. Jonathan, S. B. Erickson and P. M. 

"The charter members were as follows: G. A 
Dalmann, C. M. Gislason, S. M. S. Askdal, W. A. 
Crowe, I. N. Olevson, J. C. Rogde, P. O. French, H. J. 
Moe, G. B. Bjornson and E. I. Leland. The present 
officers of the lodge are L. M. Lerwick, Theodore 
Thordarson, A. B. Gislason, B. B. Gislason, Arnold 
Gloor, . G. A. Dalmann, C. E. Anderson, H. J. Moe, 
Arthur E. Arntson and P. O. French. 

24 Charter members of the Yeomen lodge were J. J. 
McGinn, K. K. Mohn, O. C. Spillum, W. H. Lewis, 
Andrew Anderson, G. S. Sigurdson, Nels A. Anderson, 
Edwin O. Ageton, J. B. Gardner, C. A. Knutson, 
Cornelius Kiley, W. M. Flemming, G. B. Bjornson, 
Lewis L. DeSutter, G. Rofnson, Frank O'Neal, Bert 
O'Neal, C. V. Arneson, August Princen, Albert J. 
Johnson, Elmer O'Neal, A. J. McGinn and John A. 
Peterson. The present members holding office are 
P. M. Berg. T. P. Culshaw, A. J. McGinn, 6. H. Werpy, 
C. E. Culshaw, A. W. Berg, Mrs. O. H. Werpy arid 
Mrs. P. M. Berg. 



tember8, 1904, by Deputy Blissenbach, chemicals, one hook and ladder truck, 
of Mankato. 25 The lodge at present has and 1200 feet of hose, 
fourteen members. 


The Minneota News and Art Club 
founded a library in 1901 and conducted 
it two years. The club then turned it 
over to the village and its management 
has since been vested in the Village 
Council. The library, which contains 
about 1000 volumes, is on the second 
floor of the city hall and is open to the 
public on Wednesday and Saturday 
evenings of each week. Librarians who 
have been in charge since it has been 
conducted by the village have been 
Hannah Dahl, 1903-04; S. Hognason. 
1904-05; Edith B. Seals, 1905-12. The 
library board is composed of Edith B. 
Seals, president; E. T. Sanderson, secre- 
tary; H. J. Tillemans, treasurer; Ella 
Benson, B. B. Gislason, S. B. Erickson, 
Hannah Hognason, Arnold Gloor and 
B. B. Jonsson. 


The Minneota Fire Department is one 
of the oldest fire fighting organizations 
of Lyon county. It came into being as 
a result of a fire in the summer of 1885 
which destroyed the Van Dusen eleva- 
tor. The department was organized 
September 15, 1885, with W. A. Crowe 
as chief. A little apparatus was pur- 
chased at that time and a small building- 
erected to house it. 

The department now has forty mem- 
bers and the following are the principal 
officers: P. M. Berg, chief; O. I. Lee, 
secretary; W. P. Tillemans, treasurer. 
The apparatus is housed in the city hall 
and consists of two hose carts, two 

25 The charter members of St. Edward's Court were 
A. J. Kelley, Rev. Schaefer, H. J. Tillemans, C. Cul- 
shaw, G. F. Ahem, M. F. Ahem, M. J. Finnegan, 
E. B. Kiley, J. Wemerskeshen, W. J. Moughan, Edward 


Minneota has two banking institu- 
tions, the First National Bank and the 
Farmers and Merchants National Bank. 
The banking history of the village 
antedates the establishment of either of 
these institutions, however. In the 
early eighties William Davidson and 
A. D. Davidson founded the Bank of 
Minneota and conducted it as a private 
banking house for a number of years 
under the firm name of Davidson 

The State Bank of Minneota, the 
predecessor of the present First National 
Bank, was established in 1892. John 
Swenson was the first president and he 
has ever since been at the head of the 
institution. O. L. Dorr was the first 
cashier and he continued in that position 
until after the reorganization into the 
First National Bank. L. M. Lerwick 
was made cashier in July, 1910. The 
building occupied by the bank was 
erected in 1902. The capital stock of 
the First National is $30,000. 

The Farmers and Merchants National 
Bank was organized in 1903 with a 
capital stock of $25,000 and with the 
following first officers: W. A. Crowe, 
president; C. J. Wimer, vice president; 
E. I. Leland, cashier; F. M. Ahern, 
assistant cashier. Mr. Crowe retained 
the presidency until January, 1912, 
when he was succeeded by A. J. Kile. 
Mr. Wimer was succeeded as vice presi- 
dent in 1906 by C. K. Melby, and the 
latter a year later by A. J. Kile. M. F. 
Ahern was made cashier at the begin- 
ning of 1905, C. K. Melby in March, 

Langan, D. F. Salmon and Frank Tiemesson. The 
present office holders of the order are H. J. Tillemans, 
Edward O'Connor, A. J. McGinn, E. G. Langon, T. P. 
Culshaw, J. Rogan and F. Tiemesson. 



1905, and H. J. Tillemans, the present 
cashier, at the beginning of 1906. Mr. 
Tillemans succeeded Mr. Ahern as as- 
sistant cashier in 1905 and the next year 
S. B. Erickson succeeded to the office. 
The home of the bank was erected in 

The growth of the business of the 
Farmers and Merchants National Bank 
has been rapid. According to a state- 

ment made November 10, 1905, just 
before Mr. Tillemans became cashier, the 
resources of the bank were only $87,- 
902.04. A statement made April 18, 
1912, showed that the resources had 
advanced to $433,914.49. The deposits 
at that time were $365,430.06. The 
bank has a surplus and undivided profits 
of $25,000, and is rated one of the 
sound institutions of Lyon county. 


COTTONWOOD— 1 888-191 2. 

COTTONWOOD is one of the 
younger villages of Lyon county, 
but its growth during the twenty- 
four years of its existence has been sub- 
stantial. Today it ranks as the county's 
fourth town in size, with a population 
of 770 according to the last census. 
The village is a prosperous one and is 
situated in the midst of an excellent 
farming country. It is built on the 
bank of Cottonwood lake and has one 
of the finest townsites in Lyon county. 
Cottonwood is in the extreme north- 
eastern corner of the county, on section 
9, Lucas township, and is a station of 
the Great Northern railroad. 

Settlers first located in the vicinity 
in the early seventies, but because of 
the distance from markets the develop- 
ment of that part of the county was not 
so great as that of the portions lying in 
proximity to the railroad. When the 
Willmar & Sioux Falls (Great Northern) 
railroad was built through the county in 
1888 northeastern Lyon county became 
rapidly filled with settlers and the vil- 
lage of Cottonwood was founded and 
had a rapid growth. 

It will be remembered that the pre- 

x The Marshall News-Messenger of November 11, 
1887, said: "While we have not official authority for 
locating the stations in this county, we have sufficient 
indications to pronounce the following locations as 
quite certainly decided on: The first station will be 
at Cottonwood lake, about fourteen miles distant and 
six and one-half miles this side of Hanley Falls. This 

liminary steps toward the building of 
the new railroad were taken in 1887 and 
that the roadbed was graded that year. 
No steps were taken that early to found 
any of the towns along the proposed 
line but there Avas speculation as to 
their probable location and it was early 
rumored that one of the stations in 
Lyon county would be on the shores of 
Cottonwood lake. The first mention in 
the public prints we find of a prospective 
town there was in the Marshall News- 
Messenger of September 9, 1887, which 
said: "Cottonwood lake is without 
doubt the prettiest sheet of water, next 
to Lake Benton, in this part of the state, 
and a station will be located there. It 
will prove a great resort in summer for 
all people hereabouts and no more 
beautiful location for a town can be 
found anywhere." 

Late in the same season the railroad 
authorities selected the sites for all the 
stations, although they were not offi- 
cially announced to the public and there 
was no intention of platting the sites 
until the road was constructed. 1 Work 
on the road was resumed in 1888, and 
in May of that year it was officially 

will be an important station, beautiful in location, 
upon a fine lake, and must become a favored summer 
resort for our people. In its charming surroundings 
it is unequalled by any place in this section of country, 
save Lake Benton. The railroad will control the 
townsite and intends to make it a first-class town." 



announced that one of the stations charge of C. T. Hanson. The next en- 
would be on Cottonwood lake and that terprise started was by Martin Norseth, 
its name would be Cottonwood. The who in September received several cars 
rails were laid on the new line in August of lumber and engaged in the lumber 
and train service was begun north of business. The same month he started 
Marshall on September 11. Before that a store building and before the close of 
event occurred preparations had been the year opened a hardware store, which 
made for founding Cottonwood. was soon afterward sold to Sperber & 

The founders were C. B. Tyler and Hunzicker. 

J. G. Schutz, of Marshall. They pur- The railroad was completed in August 

chased from Dr. Lange, of New York and train service begun on September 1 1 . 

City, 372 acres of land on section 9, W - L - Barnett became the first agent 

Lucas township, for which they paid and was the first permanent resident of 

$18 per acre. In July, 1888, they laid the village. In partnership with Martin 

out the townsite, consisting of about Norseth he engaged in the coal business, 

forty acres, on the northeast and south- J °h^ Sturman dug a well and erected a 

east quarters of the section. The plat water tank for the railroad company in 

was surveyed by C. L. Van Fleet July September, and in October the depot 

27 and the dedication was made by was erected. 

Messrs. Tyler and Schutz on the last day 
of the month. It consisted of nine 
blocks and included land on both sides 
of the railroad track. The streets run- 

Christ Dahl and J. H. Dahl began the 
erection of a two-story business house 
in September and completed it in 
December. In the lower part they 

ning north and south were named East opened a grocery store, and the upper 

Second, East First, Railroad, Lake, floor was used as their place of residence. 

West First and West Second, and those The Northwestern Elevator Company 

cast and west were Front and Main. 2 began the erection of an elevator late in 

Before the survey was completed July, which was completed early in 

several lots were sold 3 and immediately October and opened under the manage- 

thereafter several buildings were put up. 
The first building completed on the site 
was a blacksmith shop by Larson 
Brothers, which was put up in August. 
In September Martin Ness erected a 
double building, in part of which he 

rrient of J. H. Dahl. 4 On September 5 
the Cottonwood Farmers Co-operative 
Association was organized with a capital 
stock of $2000 to engage in the stock, 
grain and produce business. Hans Sol- 
bers; established a restaurant late in the 

opened a hotel early in September; the . ve:ir and T. Sole built a carpenter shop, 

other part of the building was rented to Johnson Brothers began the erection of 

Olof Pehrson, of Marshall, who became a creamery on Cottonwood lake, which, 

the pioneer merchant of the village, however, was not completed that season. 

His store was opened October 2, in An early consideration of the people 

^Additions to Cottonwood have been platted as 

George Anderson's First, December 9, 1893, by 
i leorge Anderson; surveyed by O. H. Sterk. 

Schutz & Tyler's First, May 10, 1S97, by C. B. Tyler 
and ,T. G. Schutz; surveyed l>v O. H. Sterk. 

Arneson & Olson's First, July 2. 1S97, by G. A. 
Arneson and O. J. Olson; surveyed by O. H. Sterk. 

Schutz & Tyler's Second, October 19, 1898, by 
C. B. Tyler and J. G. Schutz; surveyed by W. A. 

'Lots were put on sale at $50 each. The iirst pur- 
chaser was Martin Norseth, who paid a bonus of $100 
for first choice. The second and third purchasers were 
Martin Ness and Dahl Brothers. In 1889 the price 
nf lots was $75 and $100 and a few vears later advanced 
to $300 and $400. 

*Before the close of the year 1888, seventy-five cars 
of wheat were shipped from Cottonwood, forty-nine 
cars of wood and coal were received, and there were 
still 10,000 bushels of wheat stored in the elevator. 



of Cottonwood was the establishment of 
a postoffice. For many years a country 
postoffice named Vineland, located over 

the line in Yellow Medicine county, had 
supplied mail facilities for the people of 
the Cottonwood lake country, and early 
in October steps were taken to have the 
office moved to the new village. This 
was accomplished and the Vineland post- 
master, O. S. Reishus, moved the office, 
renamed Cottonwood, to the village. 
He purchased new fixtures, erected a 
building, and in December opened the 
office, conducting a stationery and book 
store in connection. The mail route by 
rail was established January 28, 1889. 
Mr. Reishus was postmaster only a 
short time and was succeeded by Christ 
Dahl. 5 

Cottonwood's growth during 1889 was 
almost in the nature of a boom, but it 
was based on merit alone. A large tract 
of tributary country, which before had 
been long distances from market, de- 
manded a good trading point, and 
Cottonwood filled the bill. 6 

In 1889 Blackmar & Curran, of Min- 
neapolis, and Martin Norseth organized 
the Cotton wood Lumber Company, 
erected lumber sheds and an office, and 
engaged in the lumber business with Mr. 
Norseth as manager. John Anderson 
erected a hotel building, which was 
leased to 0. E. Oilman. P. H. and A. H. 
Baker put up a new building. 0. 0. 
Brenna erected a store building and 
A. C. Chittenden, of Marshall, estab- 
lished a branch general store therein. 
Sperber & Hunzicker purchased the 
hardware store of Martin Norseth and 

5 Postmasters of Cottonwood have been as follows: 
Christ Dahl, 1889-90; J. H. Dahl, 1S90-94; John 
Michie, L894-99; W. D. Lovelace, 1899-04; Mrs. Sarah 
Dahl, 1904-12. The office is third-class. 

Two rural mail routes are operated from the Cotton- 
wood office. No. 1 was established November 16, 
190:3, with Lars Rasmussen as carrier. No. 2 was 
established April 15, 1904, with Carl Stark as carrier. 

6 The Marshall News-Messenger of November 1, 
lss'j, said: "Cottonwood is a phenomenal town ami 

put in a larger stock. J. 0. Schutz and 
John Hollo, of Marshall, built a large 
store building with a hall on the second 
floor and established another general 
store. O. O. Slette engaged in the 
implement and hardware business. The 
firm of Dahl & Lieberg was formed and 
continued, with increased stocks, the 
general store established by Dahl Broth- 
ers, adding a millinery department. 
Anderson Brother.; opened a pool hall 
and temperance saloon. Tones Bore 
erected a two-story store building. 
Grover Brothers started a livery barn, 
which was destroyed by fire October 15. 
Several others engaged in business, a 
number of residences were erected, and 
at the close of 1889 a prosperous and 
flourishing village had grown up. 

A directory of the business houses 

published in December, 1889, listed the 

*- jj * t. i 

1 r 1 '-' 


' Olof Pehrson (C. T. Hanson, manager), gen- 
eral merchandise. 

Dahl & Lieberg, general merchandise. 

Schutz & Hollo, general merchandise. 

A. C. Chittenden (Segur Johnson, manager), 
general merchandise. 

Martin Ness, furniture. 

Sperber & Hunzicker, hardware. 

O. O. Slette, hardware and farming imple- 

Charles R. Wall, harness shop. 

Mamie and Ida Hunzicker, millinery. 

Henry Anderson, meat market. 

Anderson Brothers, billiard hall. 

O. E. Oilman, hotel. 

Grover Brothers, livery barn. 

Larson Brothers, blacksmith shop. 

Larson & Sole, wagon shop. 

Cottonwood Lumber Company (Martin Nor- 
seth, manager), lumber. 

E. T. Doty, lumber and fuel. 

Northwestern Elevator Company (J. S. Otis, 
manager), grain. 

Inter-State Grain Company (Charles Kayser, 
manager), grain. 

Christ Dahl, postmaster. 

A. L. Skinner, station agent. 

its sudden growth is suggestive of the boom towns <>t 

Dakota, bu1 I here the comparison ends, for Cottons I 

has grown upon its eold nieril as an agricultural center 
and from the equally eold fad thai it is surrounded 
by as thrifty a settlement of farmers as can be found 
anywhere in the broad Northwest. . . . The growth 
is phenomenal when one considers thai not the leasl 
effort has been made to sell lots or induce settlers to 

go there. There has been no public sale oi lot-, tto 

newspaper notice of the town, and never t a lini ol 
print. '.I matter put out regarding the place." 



Rev. K. Thorstenson, pastor Norwegian 
Lutheran church. 

The growth of Cottonwood was rapid 
during 1890 and at the age of two years 
the village boasted a population of more 
than 200 people. There were then about 
twenty business houses and fifty resi- 
dences. Progress was rapid also in 1891 
and several new buildings were erected. 
The Marshall Reporter of September 24. 
1891. said: "Cottonwood is making a 
boom this fall. All the stores report 
good business and there has been more 
wheat shipped from this place than from 
any other station on the road. . . . 
Cottonwood is having a steady growth, 
and the large and good country sur- 
rounding warrants it." 

The growth of Cottonwood had been 
so rapid that when it was three years 
old the residents decided to incorporate 
as a village. On December 3. 1891. a 
petition signed by Martin Norseth and 
thirty-two others was presented to the 
Boai'd of County Commissioners, asking 
that body to call a special election for 
the purpose of voting on incorporation. 
The petition was granted and January 
12, 1892. was the date set for the 
election. It was held in Syndicate Hall 
and "for incorporation" was carried by 
a vote of 33 to 11. The corporate 
limits included six and one-half sections 
of land and included considerable farm- 
ing country. 7 

The election to choose the first village 

7 These limits were reduced to two sections as the 
result of a special election on November 1, 1894, when 
there were set off sections 5 and 8, the north half of 
17, the north half of 16, the northwest quarter of 15. 
the west half of 10 and the west half of 3, all in Lucas 

8 During the twenty-one years of the corporate 
history of Cottonwood licensed saloons have been 
operated thirteen years and the village has been 
"dry'' eight years. Excepting one year, the license 
question lias been an issue at every regular election under 
the local option law. The results have been as follows : 

1892 — License carried. 

1893 — For, 57: against. 20. 

1894— For. ii:S: against, 27. 

1895 — For, 16; against, 57. 

1896 — License by 13 majority H 

1897 — License by 9 majority. 

1898— No vote; license in force. 

1899 — For, 53; against, 51. 

officers was held February 1, when 
sixty-four votes were cast. The officers 
qualified at once and village government 
was begun. The first officers served 
only until their successors were chosen 
at the regular election the next month. 
Following i- ; the roster of village 
officers from the time of incorporation 
to the present: 8 

1892 — President, Thomas McKinley and Mar- 
tin Norseth; 9 trustees, O. O. Brenna, George 
Russell, J. H. Dahl; recorder, C. T. Hanson; 
treasurer, C. R. Wall; justices, O. H. Dahl, P. J. 
Krog; constables, D. B. York, O. J. Johnson. 

1892 (regular election)— President, Thomas 
McKinley; trustees, George Russell, Louis Lar- 
son, J. L. Otis; recorder, C. T. Hanson; treasurer, 

C. R. Wall; justices, O. O. Brenna, Jr., J. R. 
Bell; constables, O. J. Johnson, D. B. York. 

• 1893 — President, .Martin Norseth; trustees, 
G. Arneson, M. T. Ness; recorder, C. T. Hanson; 
treasurer, J. H. Dahl; justice, J. B. Robertson. 

1894 — President, Martin Norseth; trustees, 
J. H. Dahl, Louis Larson, O. O. Brenna, Sr.; 
recorder, C. T. Hanson; treasurer, C. R. Wall; 
justice, J. F. Gibb; constables, D. B. York, 
O. J. Johnson. 

1895 — President, J. H. Catlin; trustees, 
Thomas McKinley, J. F. Gibb; recorder, C. G. 
Strand; treasurer, ('. R. Wall; justice, O. O. 
Brenna, Jr.; constable, Ludwig Erickson. 

1896 — President, J. H. Catlin; trustees, 
Thomas McKinley, < >. J. Johnson, O. J. Olson; 
recorder, ('. (i. Strand; treasurer, C. R. Wall; 
justice. Ole Ranum; constables, Charles Catlin, 

D. B. York. 

1897— President, J. H. Catlin; trustees, 
Thomas .McKinley. I >. J. Olson, O. J. Johnson; 
recorder, C. G. Strand; treasurer, C. R. Wall; 
justice, S. H. Adams; constable, F. Gandy. 

1898 — President, Thomas McKinley; trustees, 
George Anderson, Louis Larson, A. T. Lindblad; 
recorder, C. G. Strand; treasurer, C. R. Wall; 
justices, O. O. Brenna, Jr., W. D. Fanning; 
constable, John Munroe. 

1899 — President, J. H. Catlin; trustees, Louis 
Larson, A. T. Lindblad, James Grieve; recorder, 
C. G. Strand; 10 treasurer, C. R. Wall; assessor, 
M. T. Ness; constable, S. H. Adams. 

1900— For, 60; against, 50. 

1901 — Against lie, use by 20 majority. 

1902 — For. ^; against, 55. 

1903— For, 80; against, 60. 

1904 -Licens ■ by 15 majority. 

1905— For, 74; against, v! 

1906 — For, 93; against, 81. 

1907— For. 89; against, 7.j. 

1908 — For, 68; against, 77. 

1909 — For, 55; against, 99. 

1910 — For. 37; against, 93. 

1911 — For, 47; against, 97. 

1912— For, 5s : against, 86. 

'■The vote for president of the Village C >uncU was a 
tie between .Messrs. McKinley and Norseth. Lots were 
not drawn, as the law provided, and for a short time 
the village had two pr< sidents. 

inir Strand left the village and at a special election 
in May, 1899, O. J. Olson was elected his successor. 



1900 President, J. B. Robertson; trustees, 
Louis Larson, James Grieve, A. 'J'. Lindblad; 
recorder, 0. J. Olson; treasurer, .). I'. (!il>l>; 
assessor, E. P. Kelly; .justices. .1. K. Jones, W. J. 
Mackay; constables, John Munroe, Sven lVfoen. 

1901 President, .1. P. Robertson; trustees, 
X. P. Fivdericksou, A. ( >. Anderson, J. H. Catlin; 
recorder, < >. J. Olson; treasurer, J. F. Gibb; 
assessor, E. P. Kelly: justice. \Y. A. Goodburn. 

1902 President. ".I. H. Catlin: trustees. J. 
Mero, D. B. York, A. P. Bolstad; recorder, ('. R. 
Laingen; treasurer, J. F. Gibb; assessor, .John 
Michie; justice, O. O. Brenna, Jr.; constables, 
John Munroe. J. P. Kahler. 

1903 President, J. H. Catlin: trustees, .1. H. 
Dahl, G. Possum, W. M. Davis; recorder, E. P. 
Kelly; treasurer, C. R. Wall; assessor, John 
Michie; justice, W. A. Goodburn. 

1901 — President, George Anderson; trustees, 
(!. Possum, J. T. Garry, P. T. Dahl; recorder. 
O. J. Olson; treasurer, John Michie; assessor, 
Andrew Rossland; justices, J. H. Leas, I. X. 
Boe; constables, John Munroe, J. F. Kahler. 

1905 — President, Martin Xorseth; trustees, 
P. H. Bly, Gabriel Anderson, W. A. Goodburn; 
recorder, Charles Catlin; treasurer, G. A. Arne- 
son; assessor, Andrew Rossland; justice, O. O. 
Brenna, Jr. 

1906— President, J. H. Catlin; trustees, T. A. 
Lende, Adolph Johnson, J. H. Dahl; recorder. 
C. R. Laingen; treasurer, P. T. Dahl; assessor, 
John Michie; justice, O. H. Hatlestad; con- 
stables, I. X. Boe, G. A. Boese. 

1907— President, P. H. Bly; trustees, T. A. 
Lende, E. C. Christian, A. B. Anderson; recorder, 
L. T. Reishus; treasurer, George Lowe; assessor, 
G. Fossum. 

1908— President, L. T. Reishus; trustees, P. T. 
Dahl, D. B. York, T. A. Lende; recorder, John 
Michie; treasurer, George Lowe; assessor, G. 
Fossum; justice, G. M. Davis; constables, G. A. 
Boese, Lauritz Kise. 

1909 — President, G. A. Arneson; trustee-. 
Andrew Rossland, L. Abrahamson, H. J. 
Fratzke; recorder, John Michie; treasurer, I. L. 
Kolhei; assessor, G. Fossum; justices, W. D. 
Lovelace, O. O. Brenna; constable, Louis 

1910 — President, A. O. Anderson; trustees, 
J. T. Garry, C. R. Undem, J. M. Anderson; 
recorder, W. J. Huddleston; treasurer, P. T. 
Dahl; assessor, G. Fossum; constable, G. A. 

1911 — President, A. O. Anderson; trustees, 
J. T. Garry, C. R. Undem, J. M. Anderson; 
recorder, W. J. Huddleston; treasurer, P. T. 
Dahl; assessor, G. Fossum; justices, R, W. 
Christie, Louis Gunderson; constable, William 

1912 — President, E. S. Reishus; trustees, J. T. 
Garry, John Munroe, T. Tharaldsen; recorder, 
W. C. Frank; treasurer, Henry Arneson; justice, 
George Lowe; constables, G. A. Boese, A. M. 

Cottonwood was visited by a fire on 

April 22, 1893, which 1 nought a loss of 

"The first teacher of the school in district No. 15 
was P. H. Dahl and the first pupils were P. H. Rognlie, 
H. N. Dahl, Caroline Dahl. Tillie Dahl, John H. 

*.->()()() and which hut lor a fortunate cir- 
cumstance would have destroyed the 
entire business portion of the village. 
The fire originated in the office of the 
Cottonwood Current and spread rapidly 
despite the efforts of the citizens to 
check it. There had been a heavy fall 
of snow and the progress of the flames 
was finally checked by packing damp 
snow in a sixteen-inch space between 
two buildings. The losses were as 

Christ Peterson, Cottonwood Current 

building $600 

Current office 100 

Larson Brothers, blacksmith shop 600 

C. R. Wall, harness shop and building. . 1600 
George Gigstad, building occupied by 

O. O. Slette 1200 

J. W. Williams, damage to building occu- 
pied bv Paul Twedt & Company as a 
saloon" 900 

The burned district was immediately 
rebuilt with larger and better buildings. 

The progress of Cottonwood during 
the past twenty years of its history has 
been rapid and it has developed into an 
exceptionally good town. Its popula- 
tion in 1895 was only 303. This was 
increased to 549 in 1900 and to 883 in 
1905. The census of 1910 showed a 
population of 770. 


On October 7, 1876, school district 
No. 15 — now the Cottonwood district- 
was organized. Before Cottonwood was 
founded the school was taught in private 
homes in the country nearby. 11 In the 
spring of 1889 an effort was made to 
form a new district for the village and 
to erect a school house, but it was un- 

The school of district Xo. 15 was 
located in the village in January, 1890, 
and for two months school was held in 
a building formerly occupied by the 

Anderson, Tonnes E. Anderson, Henry E. Anderson, 
Dena Anderson, Nels H. Dahl and Herman H. Dahl. 



store of A. C. Chittenden. 12 Then for 
over a year the village was without a 
school. 13 At a meeting on March 21, 
1891, the voters authorized a bond issue 
of $1500 to erect a school house in the 
village, but at another meeting in May 
the amount was reduced to $1000. A 
building was erected that fall at a cost 
of $2000 and school was thereafter held 
regularly therein. The pioneer building 
was replaced in the fall of 1903 by the 
present structure. 

A reorganization of the Cottonwood 
schools was made March 2, 1903, when 
an independent district was formed 14 
and a high school course added, which is 
now a full four- year course. The first 
class was graduated from the high school 
in 1907. 15 More than 200 pupils are 
now enrolled in the public schools of 
Cottonwood. P. A. Reinertson is super- 
intendent of the schools. 


Three church societies have active or- 
ganizations in Cottonwood, namely, the 
Silo Norwegian Lutheran, the Pres- 

'-'A partial list of those who have taught in the 
Cottonwood schools is as follows: Thone Thorstenson, 
Sadie Robinson, James A. Wilson, Mrs. ( . D. Orr, 
Sarah Foss, Esther Davis, Mary Davis, S. L. Wait, 
Anna Dahl, Inga Dahl, Hulda Petterson, Annie 
Jurisdol, Alice Paulson, Emma Moen, Anna S. Law- 
rence, Marion W. Gibbs, Anna M. Gould, S O. Eidem 
and Mabel Donoldson. 

13 The Cottonwood correspondent to tin- Marshall 
News-Messenger of July 25, 1S90, said: "It seem- a 
pity that we do not have school within the village. 
The citizens are going to get up a petition to have the 
district divided and if they succeed will erect a school 
house and have a permanent school the year round." 

1 'Those who have served as members of the Board 
of Education since the organization as an independent 
district have been J. F. Gibb, A. E. Anderson, John 
Lines, A. O. Anderson, John O. Loe, C. R. Undem, 
A. O. Lende, J. T. Garry, N. P. Frederickson, W. A. 
Goodburn, O. J. Olson, A. B. Anderson, C. R. Wall, 
E. P. Kelly, L. T. Reishus, L. McKechnie, A. O. 
Hovdesven and P. H. Bly. 

l5 The following have received diplomas from the 
Cottonwood High School: 

190/ — Ralph Undem, Orvin Undem, Jessie Gibb, 
Clifford Lewis, Norman Ness. 

1908— No class. 

1909 — Myrtle Plorence Rouse, Ella Rebecca Lende, 
Clara Samuella Ludwig, Gertrude Estelle Janssen, 
Milda Elefta Lende, Neil Martin Kise, Justus Tegner 
Ness . 

1910 — Marie G. Jurisdal, Amanda R. Kise, Harvey 
L. Paulson, Belle A. Gray, Amanda C. Ludwig, Endre 
B' Anderson, Ella M. Oison, Ida C. Kolhei, Peter J. 
Waugsness, Maysie M. Gibb, Gladys E. Munroe, John 
W. Anderson. 

byterian and the English Lutheran. 

The oldest of these is Silo Norwegian 
Lutheran Church, whose founding ante- 
dates the birth of the village. It was 
organized in 1880 by Norwegian families 
living in the vicinity of the future 
village 16 and at once became a strong 
society. Rev. K. Thorstensen was pas- 
tor from 1880 to 1893, Rev. M. Ramstad 
from 1893 to 1907, and Rev. T. H. 
Haugen from the last named date to the 
present time. 

The Norwegian Lutherans had no 
church home until after the founding of 
Cottonwood. A fine building was put 
up in 1889 and has ever since been used 
by the congregation. The value of the 
church property is $13,000, including 
$3500 expended for a parsonage in 191 1 . 
The church lias a large membership. 17 

The First Presbyterian Church of 
Cottonwood was organized in 1895 by 
Rev. R. N. Adams, synodical mission- 
ary. J. B. Robertson and J. F. Gibb 
took a prominent part in organizing and 
financing the society. The initial mem- 
bership was small, 18 but the church has 

1911 — Stella Haugan, Clara Hatlestad, Mabel Lien, 
Hilda Haraldson, Myrtle Townsend, Wilsie Anderson, 
Elmer Anderson, Paul Bottolfson, Helge Bly, Corelian 

1912 — Joseph Kise, Sikke Kleppe, Lauron Love- 
lace, Ella Peterson, Tilda Thon, Mabel Christenson. 

16 The first members of Silo church were George 
Anderson, Gabriel Anderson, Nels T. Dahl and family, 
Hans P. Dahl and family, Peter H. Dahl, Christ H. 
Dahl, Jacob H. Dahl, Nels N. Rosvold and family, 
P. H. Rognlie, John H. Anderson, Iver Nelson and 
family, Nicolas Nelson, Torjus S. Nordgaard and 
family, Jacob L. Midboe and family, Peter Eliason, 
E. T. Hamre, Christopher Peterson and family, John 
Peter Krog and family, Engebret Rasmussen and 
family and M. T. Ness. The first»fficers of the church 
were as follows: Rev. K. Thorstensen, chairman: 
Torjus S. Nordgaard, secretary; Jacob L. Midboe, 
treasurer; Iver Nelson. Sr., Gjermund Anderson and 
Nels N. Rosvold, trustees. 

17 The present officers of Silo church are Rev. T. H. 
Haugen, chairman; G. O. Aamodt, vice chairman; 
A. E. Anderson, secretary; Martin M. Egeland, treas- 
urer. The trustees are I. L. Kolhei. chairman; John 
C. Peterson L. J Eikland, C. N. Larson and Hans Berg. 
The deacons are Rev. T. H. Haugen, C. R. Undem, 
X. Aarrestad, Lawrence Olson, G. O. Aamodt, O. S. 
Barstad, Martin M. Egeland and A. E. Anderson. 

ls First members of the Presbyterian church were 
Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Price, J. B. Robertson, Mr. and 
Mrs. J. F. Gibb, Mr. and Mrs. E. P. Kelly, Mrs. James 
Garry, Mrs, William Gibb, Mr. and Mrs. John Lines, 
Mrs. 'J. H. Catlin, Mr. and Mrs. John Michie and Mr. 
and Mrs. W D. Lovelace. 



prospered and has a present member- 
ship of sixty-seven. For three years 
services were conducted twice cadi 
month in the Great Northern depot and 
in 1898 a church edifice was erected at 
a cost of SHOO. It was dedicated 
January 22, 1899, )>y Kev. R. N. Adams. 
Rev. J. H. Staney lias been pastor of 
the church since October, 1910. The 
church session consists of J. B. Robert- 
son, .John Michie and John L. Leas. 

The First English Lutheran Church 
of Cottonwood is only three years old, 
but the society it succeeded was one of 
the old religious bodies of the village. 
When Cottonwood was founded in 18SS 
a number of the members of the Silo 
church left the parent society and 
founded a Synod Norwegian Lutheran 
church. 19 A church home was erected 
in 1892 at a cost of $3000, the corner 
stone having been laid in November of 
that year. 

The members of the Synod Norwegian 
Lutheran church and a number of 
German Lutherans of Cottonwood and 
vicinity united on June 6, 1909, and 
formed the English Lutheran church. 20 
The first pastor was Rev. Aasen and the 
church is now under the pastorate of 
Rev. Laux, who is also in charge of the 
German Lutheran church of Posen. 
The society has a membership of sev- 

19 The first members of the Synod church were the 
following paid their families: Sylfest L. Orwoll, Lasse 
S. < >r\voll, Jacob L. Midboe, C. H. Dahl, O. S. Reishus, 
E. T. Harare, John L. Johnson, Lars Midboe and Mrs. 
Anna Dahl. Those selected as officers at the time of 
organization were C. H. Dahl, Jacob L. Midboe, Lars 
J. Midboe, E. T. Harare and O. S. Reishus. Pastors 
who have occupied the pulpit were Revs. Vallcr, Lea, 
Berg, Aasen, Aanestead, Rognlie and Reishus. 

: "The first members of the English Lutheran church 
were the following gentlemen and their families: Ole 
Dahl, P. H. Bly, David Frank, Rudolph Frank, 
Edward Frank, Herman Botcher, August Prechel, 
Henry Kheen, Henry Olson, E. S. Reishus, C. Fratzke, 
Ed Strochine, Gustav Thiel and Sarah Dahl. 

"Charter members of Cottonwood Lodge were 
Thomas McKinley, J. F. Gibb, C. G. Strand, G. A. 
Arneson, R. C. Laird, J. R. Kjemhus, C. D. Orr, C. R. 
Wall, Ludwig E. Erickson, Thomas Chepeski, John P. 
Bene, Joseph Mero and George Russell. 

"The first officers of Equity Lodge were S. H. 
Adams, J. H. Catlin, Thomas McKinley, J. W. Lind- 
blad, James McKay. W. G. Martine, L. McKechnie 

and James Townseml. 

enty-five. Services are held every three 


The oldest fraternal order in Cotton- 
wood is Cottonwood Lodge No. 213, 
Ancient Order United Workmen, which 
was organized April 6, 1896, with thir- 
teen charter members. 21 It now has a 
membership of sixteen. 

Equity Lodge No. 221, A. F. & A. M., 
was instituted September 30, 1896, by 
Past Grand Master W. F. Dickinson, of 
bed wood Falls, and for a short time was 
operated under dispensation. 22 The 
charter was dated January 14, 1897, 
and the lodge was formally constituted 
in March. The lodge is still active and 
has a large membership. 23 

Constance Chapter No. 183, Order 
Eastern Star, was instituted March 25, 
1905, with ten charter members. 21 Reg- 
ular meetings are held and the lodge 
has a membership of thirty-seven. 

Fortunate Camp No. 7104, Modern 
Woodmen of America, was organized 
December 23, 1901. 25 The present mem- 
bership is sixty-eight and meetings are 
held regularly in Masonic Hall. 

Sunshine Lodge No. 2157, Royal 
Neighbors of America, began its exist- 
ence January 31, 1908. 2G It has a 
present membership of fifteen. 

23 The present officers of the lodge are J. P. Garry, 
N. P. Frederickson, Joseph B. Mathews, Charles 
Laingen, William Tolzman, G. A. Boese, James Grieve, 
George Lowe, Robert Cummings and John Michie. 

24 The charter members of Constance Chapter were 
Amelia Michie, Leuchlau McKechnie, Ellen Grieve, 
John Michie, Albertine Boese, Sadie Munroe, C. R. 
Laingen and J. George Koelz. 

25 The W r oodmen camp had the following charter 
members: D. J. Atrops, Gust Boeberg, Ole Britton , 
W. M. Davis, W. G. Gibb, William Harare, E. P. Kelly, 
A. H. Lowe, O. W. Petterson, John Ophus, A. S. 
Severson, F. B. Thomas, J. A. Anderberg, A. L. 
Bolstad, Robert Cummings and H. H. Galbraith. 

26 The charter members of Sunshine Lodge were 
Mabelle Tharaldson, Hattie V. Strand, William S. 
Strand, Edna J. Leland, Mary Kjemhus, Anna B. 
Budd, Allie N. Judd, Sara Browne Jones, John R. 
Jones, Anna S. Hering, Minnie Gibb, Edith O. Gibb, 
William G. Gibb, Emma Ensign, George X. Ensign, 
Anna Christian, Charles L. Cravens, Albertina Boese 
and Lillie Abott. 




As a result of the fire of April 22, 
1893., the Cottonwood Fire Department 
was organized. Immediately after the 
conflagration the Village Council ordered 
a chemical engine, hook and ladder 
truck, hose cart, hose and other appara- 
tus. By this one move Cottonwood 
advanced from no fire protection at all 
to one of the best protected villages in 
the vicinity. 

The department was organized in 
August, 1893, with the following first 
officers: Herman Dahl, chief; W. J. 
Mackay, captain of chemical company; 
Will Garry, assistant; C. R. Undem, 
captain hook and ladder company; R. C. 
Laird, assistant; L. McKechnie, secre- 
tary; S. H. Adams, treasurer. The de- 
partment now has a membership of 
twenty. G. A. Boese is chief and his 
assistant is 1'. T. Dahl. 


Two banking houses are conducted in 
Cottonwood, the First National and the 
Cottonwood State. Both are old estab- 
lished institutions and are conducted on 
sound principles. 

The First National is the successor of 
the Bank of Cottonwood and the 
Security Bank. The former, a private 
enterprise, was founded in August, 1892, 
by J. H. Catlin, who was president, and 
his son, Charles Catlin. who was cashier. 
John Michie was the first depositor. 
The first home of the bank was the 
building now occupied by the barber 
shop. In 1901 the institution was re- 
named Security Bank and organized 
under the state banking laws with a 
capital stock of $15,000. The officers 
under the reorganization were J. H. 
Catlin, president; J. F. Gibb, vice 
president; Charles Catlin, cashier; L. T. 
Reishus, assistant cashier. 

Early in 1903 the Security Bank 
became the First National Bank and 
began operations with a capital stock 
of $25,000. Two years later it was 
housed in the present bank building. 
The present officers are as follows: 
J. H. Catlin, president; J. F. Gibb, vice 
president; Charles Catlin, cashier; L. T. 
Reishus and W. R. Frank, assistant 
cashiers. The directors are J. H. Catlin. 
Charles Catlin, J. F. Gibb, L. T. Reishus, 
R. Frank, D. Frank and J. B. Robert- 

"Under the management of Mr. Catlin 
the bank has grown from small begin- 
nings to an institution of prominence in 
the financial affairs of Lyon county. 
Its deposits are over a quarter million 
dollars. -Mr. Catlin is also president of 
and principal owner of the Wood Lake 
State Hank. 

The Cottonwood State Bank began 
business September 15, 1897, with a 
capital stock of $15,000. in the building 
erected for the purpose and which has 
ever since been the bank's home. The 
officers and principal stockholders at 
the time of organization were C. S. 
Orwoll, president; E. S. Reishus, vice 
president; A. O. Hovdesven, cashier; 
I. L. Kolhei, Gabriel Anderson, George 
Anderson and Martin Norseth. 

The state bank has grown until it 
takes high rank among the institutions 
of the county. The deposits on January 
4, 1911, were $158,000. The present 
officers and directors are C. S. Orwoll, 
president; I. L. Kolhei, vice president; 
A. O. Hovdesven, cashier; Alex Kolhei, 
assistant cashier; Gabriel Anderson and 
E. S. Reishus. 


One of the big institutions of Lyon 
county is the Norwegian Mutual Fire 
Insurance Company of Eidsvold, Lyon 



County, Minnesota, the headquarters of 
which are at Cottonwood. This com- 
pany is one of the pioneer institutions 
of the county and has grown to large 

In 1S77 E. K. Kjorness, O. L. Orsen 
and a few other farmers of Eidsvold 
township organized the company and 
carried on the business with indifferent 
success for a time. Others became in- 
terested in the venture and on February 
22, 1879, a reorganization was effected. 
This occurred at the home of G. Peterson, 
on the northwest quarter of section 14. 
Westerheim township. E. K. Kjorness 
became president, 0. L. Orsen secretary, 
and I. L. Kolhei treasurer, 27 and the 
first insurance was written in 1880. 

Fifty-seven policies were written in 
1880 for a total of $57,426 insurance. 
The receipts for the year were $192.65, 
fire losses were $23.00. and other ex- 
penses were $91.76. This made the 
total expenditures for the year $114.76 
and left a profit of $77.89 for the year's 
business. Compared with a present day 

- 7 .Mr. Kjorness was president until his death in 
1893; since that date O. C. Wilson, of Granite Falls, 
has been at the head of the company. Mr. Orsen was 

statement, that was a small business. 
In 11)11 policies in force were 24 10 and 
the amount of insurance in force $5,477,- 
920. That year the cash receipts were 
$10,825.15 and disbursements $9,030.75. 
The cash on hand at the close of the 
year was $)>:>, S74 and premium notes 
outstanding were $5, 3SS. .")."), making the 
total assets $39,262.55. 

Insurance is in force in fifty townships 
in the counties of Lyon, Lincoln, Yellow 
Medicine. Redwood and Lac qui Parle. 
The cost of insurance has been reduced 
from twenty-five cents per $100 when 
the company was organized to fifteen 
cents per $100 at the present time. The 
officers and directors of the company are 
as follows: O. C. Wilson, Granite Falls, 
president; C. G. Nelson, Canby, vice 
president; A. E. Anderson, Cottonwood, 
secretary; I. L. Kolhei, Cottonwood, 
treasurer; O. L. Orsen, Minneota; H. G. 
Odden, Echo; H. P. Rodness, Clark- 
field; Chr. Wollum, Porter; Chr. Ramlo, 

secretary until 1901 and was succeeded by A. E. 
Anderson. Mr. Kolhei has been the only treasurer 
of the company. 

PUBLIC imivi 



BALATON is an incorporated vil- 
lage on the Dakota Central 
branch of the Chicago & North- 
western railroad. ' The platted portion 
of the village is on the west half . of 
section 23. Rock Lake township, and it 
is fifteen miles west from Tracy. The 
population of Balaton was 364 when 
the census of 1910 was taken. Its ele- 
vation above sea level is 1528 feet. The 
site is an exceptionally fine one, being 
on the south shore of Lake Yankton, a 
lovely sheet pf water. As a business 
point the little village ranks well up 
with the other municipalities of Lyon 
county, drawing trade from an old 
settled portion and finely improved 
tract of farming country. 

Balaton was founded in 1879 as a 
result of the building of the Dakota 
Central railroad. The rails were laid so 
far as Lake Yankton in August, but 
before that date and before the station 
was located the first business house was 
established. David Bell, who had been 
in business at Amiret, sold out in May 
and the next month erected a store 
building a quarter of a mile w r est of the 
future village. For a time his patrons 

'The Rock Lake correspondent to the Marshall 
Messenger of July 1, 1879, said: "The railroad com- 
pany has located our station on section 23, near Lake 
Yankton. It is one mile east of the center of the 

2 Additions to Balaton have been platted as follows: 
First Railway, May 25, 1886,"by Winona & St. Peter 
Railroad Company; surveyed by J. W. Blake. 

were mostly the laborers employed in 
construction work. The site of the 
station was made known in the latter 
part of . I une 1 and Mr. Bell immediately 
moved his store to the site and became 
the town's first business man, his store 
being where the Westbee store is now. 

The Balaton townsite was surveyed 
by Albert Jacobi on July 23, 1879, and 
the plat was certified to by Albert Keep, 
as president of the Winona & St. Peter 
Railroad Company, on September 12. 
Six blocks were originally laid out, 
divided by First, Second, Third and 
Fourth Streets and Lake and Central 
Avenues. 2 

The railroad was completed to the 
new station in the first part of August 
and train service was inaugurated Sep- 
tember 29. J. W. Mosher was the first 
agent. The growth of Balaton in the 
year of its birth was not rapid. In the 
fall Albert Parker erected a building and 
established the second general store. 
Lumber was sold from the station and 
grain bought that fall, but the year 
closed with Balaton a very inconspic- 
uous place. 

A number of new business enterprises 

Second Railway, July 13, 1893, by Winona & St. 
Peter Railroad Company; surveyed bv J. T. Price. 

Third Railway, August 21, 1900, by Winona & St. 
Peter Railroad Company; surveyed by J. C. W. Cline. 

Fourth Railway, October 21, 1901, by Winona & 
St. Peter Railroad Company; surveyed by F. R. Cline. 

Skill's, June 28, 1902, by Arthur M. Shill; surveyed 
by W. A. Hawkins. 



were started in 1880 and the Balaton 
postoffice was established with R. E. 
Town as postmaster. 3 William Hamm 
erected the Balaton House in March 
and a little later in the same season 
R. E. Town opened the Lake Avenue 
Hotel. A grocery and • crockery store 
was opened by E. L. Healy and placed 
in charge of J. B. Gibbons. That gen- 
tleman a little later bought the store 
and added a stock of general merchan- 
dise. Two lumber yards were conducted 
during the year and a school house and 
depot were erected. 4 

In the spring of 1881 Messrs. Moore 
& Weberg opened a general merchandise 
>tore and that summer N. A. Sanders 
started a hardware store, R. E. Town a 
furniture store, and J. W. Moore a wood 
yard. In 1882 there were the following 
business enterprises: Three general 
stores, one hardware store, one furniture 
store, one blacksmith and wagon shop, 
a hotel, an elevator, warehouse and 
lumber yard. 

A directory of the business houses of 
Balaton as given in C. F. Case's History 
of Lyon County in 1884 was as follows: 

A. Parker, general merchandise. 

J. B. Gibbons, general merchandise and post- 

J. A. Moore, general merchandise and drugs. 

N. A. Sanders, hardware and machinery. 

E. D. Bartlett, Lake Avenue Hotel. 

William Hamm, Balaton Hotel (leased by 
C. S. Riley). 

H. H. Stevenhoffer, agent Winona Mill Com- 
pany, grain. 

N. Zechus, agent Seafield & Company, grain. 

A. N. Daniels, insurance. 

L. Campbell, justice of the peace. 

W. H. Davy, constable. 

3 The following have served as postmasters of 
Balaton: R. E. Town, 1880-81; J. B. Gibbons, 1881- 
86; S. W. Galbraith. 18S6-90; A. N. Daniels, 1890-94; 
S. W. Galbraith, 1894-98; A. Whiting, 1S98-05; J. H. 
Carlaw, 1905-12. 

For a number of years before the establishment of 
rural free delivery routes a mail route was operated 
between Balaton and Slayton, supplying the Current 
Lake and Lowville offices. Round trips were made 
three times a week. 

Four rural routes are now operated. Numbers 1 
and 2 were established December 1, 1900, with Clayton 
Whiting and A. M. Wheaton as carriers; No. 3, in 
1902, with Clarence Wheaton as carrier; No. 4, in 1907 , 
with S. W. Swihart as carrier. 

The growth of Balaton was not rapid, 
but during the early day.; it provided a 
convenient trading point for southern" 
Lyon county and gradually developed 
into a substantial little village. A cor- 
respondent claimed the village had a 
population of 200 at the beginning of 
the year 1889. 

A fire in the early morning of Sep- 
tember 26, 1892, brought destruction to 
live frame business buildings and several 
stocks of goods, the loss being about 
$15,000. The fire originated in the 
barber shop and pool hall of E. M. 
Cameron and when discovered was 
under too great headway to be con- 
trolled. The village then had no fire 
protection. The principal losses, partly 
covered by insurance, were as follows: 

O. O. Lof, building $2000 

J. B. Gibbons, building 1500 

Willard Pierce, building 300 

( !. H. Weller, building 300 

Krook & Tyler, building and stock 4000 

E. M. Cameron, barber shop and pool 

room fixtures 1000 

G. F. Stow, general merchandise 3300 

Balaton became an incorporated mu- 
nicipality in 1892. An effort had been 
made to secure incorporation by legis- 
lative act in 1888, but it did not even- 
tuate. On November 3, 1892, a petition 
signed by George L. Carlaw and thirty- 
nine others was considered by the Board 
of County Commissioners and favorably 
acted upon. J. H. Call, William Hamm 
and C. W. Candee were named in- 
spectors of the election, held December 
5, to vote on the question. By a 
majority of ten the residents decided in 

4 "We made our first visit to Balaton this week. 
It is a very pleasant location on Lake Yankton and 
will undoubtedly be a good town in time, as it is 
surrounded by a rich country and is thirteen miles 
from Tracy and fourteen miles from Tyler, so that it 
will command a fair trade. Several good buildings 
are already erected there. Mr. Town has up a large 
hotel building and William Hamm is keeping another 
hotel. Our former citizen, J. B. Gibbons, has a store 
there and there is a second store kept by a Scandina- 
vian. The town has also a good school house, good 
depot, etc. . . . One or two lumber yards complete 
the business as we saw it in a hurried visit. The town 
will be a very pretty one in a few years." — Marshall 
Messenger, October 8, 1880. 



favor of incorporation. The election to 
choose the firsl officers was held Decem- 
ber 27. 

The following have served as officials 
under the Balaton village government: 5 

L892 President, C. W. Candee; trustees, G. 

Caman, Ed. Whitney, E. H. Weeks; recorder, 

\ \. Daniels; treasurer, J. N. Westbee; justices, 

S. W. Galbraith, F. L. Wireck; constable, W. 


L894 — President, G. L. Carlaw; trustees, J. H. 
Call, V. L. Wireck, E. F. Whit ins; recorder, 
A. \. Daniels; treasurer, .). X. Westbee; assessor, 
A X. Daniels; justice, B. P. Terrv; constables, 
C. B. Miller, H. R. Searles. 

L895 — President, E. F. Whiting; trustees, J. 
H. Call. E. R. Weeks, H. R. Searles; recorder, 

A. X. Daniels; treasurer, J. X. Westbee; justices, 

B. P. Terry, G. B. Miller; constables, H. R. 
Searles, V. Wilhelm. 

1896— President, J. H. Call; trustees, O. K. 
Wilhelm. W. S. Whiting, Charles Bergstrom; 
recorder, W. H. Estee: treasurer, J. A. Moore; 
assessor, Charles Germo; justices, D. A. Hardin, 
A. J. Estee; constable, James Abernathy. 

1897 — President, C. W. Candee; trustees, R. 
11. Martin. S. W. Galbraith, W. 8. Whiting; 
recorder. W. H. Estee; treasurer, R. B. Martin; 
assessor, Charles Germo; justices, A. J. Estee, 
Charles Bergstrom; constables, Chris Frederick- 
son. 1". Wilhelm. 

Isms President. C. W. Candee; trustees, R. 
H. Martin, G. A. Tate, J. X. Westbee; recorder, 
Charles Germo; treasurer, R, B. Martin; justice, 
A. S. Town; constable, Chris Frederickson. 

1899 — President, C. W. Candee; trustees, E. 
R. Weeks, Jens Knudson, J. X. Westbee; 
recorder, O. E. Wilhelm; treasurer, H. O. 
Garlock; assessor, P. W. Giese; justice, Charles 
Bergstrom; constable, J. A. Penhale. 

1900 — President, J. X. Westbee; trustees, < >. 
E. Wilhelm, Jens Knudson, S. S. Brockway; 
recorder, J. H. Carlaw; treasurer, H. O. Garlock; 
assessor, E. L. McDowell; justice, A. J. Estee; 
constable, John Hamm. 

1901 — President, J. X. Westbee; trustees, O. 
E, Wilhelm, Jens Knudson, S. S. Brockway; 
recorder, J. H. Carlaw; treasurer, H. O. Garlock. 

1902— President, J. X. Westbee; trustees, O. 
E. Wilhelm, S. S. Brockway, Jens Knudson; 
recorder, J. H. Carlaw; treasurer, C. W. Candee; 
assessor, P. W. Giese; justices, B. P. Terry, 
S. W. Galbraith; constable, A. R. Town. 

1903— President, J. N. Westbee; trustees, O. 
E. Wilhelm, U. Wilhelm, S. S. Brockway; 
recorder, J. H. Carlaw; treasurer, C. W. Candee; 

5 The license question has brought forth many close 
contest.- in Balaton. In 1890-91-92, before the village 
was incorporated, the question was submitted to the 
voters of Rock Lake township and each time the 
no-license advocates wen- successful. During the 
twenty years Balaton has been an incorporated 
municipality licensed saloons have been conducted 
nine years and the town has been "dry" eleven year-. 
License was granted in 1893, and thereafter until 1908 
the matter was decided by vole each year under the 
local option law. The question has not been sub- 
mitted since 1907 and license has not been granted 
Following were the results of the several elections: 
1S'.)4 — For, 41 ; against, 13. 

assessor, L. D. Harrington; justices, A. J. Estee, 
F. A. ( lanser. 

Hi 1904 — President, J. X. Westbee; trustees, E. 
F. Whiting, Edwin Olson, 8. S. Rrockway; 
recorder, O. M. Olson; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, O. E. Wilhelm; justice, A. E. Whiting; 
constable, F. A. Ganser. 

1905— President, G. A. Tate; trustees, E. F. 
Whiting, U. Wilhelm, C. W. Nord; recorder, 
O. M. Olson; treasurer, A. M. Moore; assessor, 
O. E. Wilhelm; justices, B. P. Terry, F. A. 

1900 — President, James Knudson; trustees, 
John Swan, Julius Meyers, F. S. Bartlett; 
recorder, E. F. Whiting; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, O. E. Wilhelm. 

1907 — President, James Murrison; trustees, 
F. S. Bartlett, Herman Schnell, C. W. Xord; 
recorder, E. F. Whiting; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, O. E. Wilhelm. 

1908 — President, James Murrison: trustees, 
Herman Schnell, F. S. Bartlett, C. W. Xord; 
recorder, E. F. Whiting; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, O. E. Wilhelm; justice, F. J. Sherry; 
constable, W. K. Flodine. 

1909 — President, Herman Schnell; trustees, " 

E. M. Hamm, F. S. Bartlett, S. W. Galbraith; 
recorder, E. F. Whiting; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, U. Wilhelm; justice, B. P. Terry; 
constable, E. D. Jewett. 

1910 — President, Herman Schnell; trustees, 

F. S. Bartlett, E. M. Hamm, S. W. Galbraith; 
recorder, E. F. Whiting; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, U. Wilhelm; justices, F. J. Sherry, E. , F. 
Whiting; constables, James Laguer, W. K. Flo- 

1911 — President, Herman Schnell; trustees, 
S. W. Galbraith, F. S. Bartlett, Andrew Johnson; 
recorder, E. F. Whiting; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, U. Wilhelm; justices, Robert Xeill, 
B. P. Terry; constable, C. R. Livingston. 

1912 — President, Herman Schnell; trustees, 
F. S. Bartlett, S. W. Galbraith, C. W. Nord; 
recorder, E. F. Whiting; treasurer, A. M. Moore; 
assessor, U. Wilhelm; justice, Robert Neill; 
constable, R. G. Murrison. 

Balaton has not advanced as far as 
some of the other municipalities of Lyon 
county, but its growth has been steady 
and it has developed into a prosperous 
little business point. The population 
was 222 in 1895. 209 in 1900. 350 in 
1905, and 364 in 1910. 

A fire brought a loss of about $14,000 

1895 — For, 13; against, 37. 
1X1)6 — For, 21; airaia-t, :;:;. 
L897 -License by 7 majority. 
L898 — For, 25; against, 38. 
lso<) — For, :;">; against, :;.'.. 
1000 — For, :;S; against, 30. 
1901 — License by - majority. 
1902 — License by 11 majority. 
190.; License by 5 majority. . 
1904 — For, -19; against, 43. 

1905 -Againsl license by L6 majority. 

1906 -Againsl license by 13 majority. 

1907 -Againsl license by 17 majority. x 



to Balaton on February 8, 1908. The 
losses were as follows: James Murrison, 
stock of hardware and implements, 
$6000; O. C. Eng, store building and 
machine shed. $2500; .Miss Lena Eng, 
store building, millinery stock and house- 
hold goods, $5000; M. L. Stewart. 
library, $300. 


Balaton was only a few months old 
when the first school was taught in the 
spring of 1880. Alice Gibbon- was the 
first instructor and the pupils were L. E. 
Town, Julius Town, Grace Pierce, George 
O'Gara. William O'Gara, Nellie O'Gara. 
Helen 8'earles and William Glotfelter. 
The second instructor was C. W. Candee. 6 

The first school house was put up in 
the fall of 1880 and was in use until the 
fall of 1892. when it was replaced by a 
larger structure. That in turn became 
inadequate and in 1907 the present brick 
school house war- erected at a cost of 
$14,000. During several years prior to 
that time efforts had been made to build 
and the voters had on several occasions 
authorized bond issues for the purpose, 
but because of technical errors the work 
was not put under way sooner. 

About 130 pupils arc now enrolled in 
the Balaton schools, which are in charge 
of Charles F. Pecholt. The members of 
the Board of Education are Dr. Charles 
Germo, secretary; F. J. Brcening. treas- 
urer; and Guy Brock way. 7 


The Methodists, Presbyterians, Ger- 

°Among others who have taught in the Balaton 
schools have been William II. Marshall, Mr. Morton, 
Frank Cook, Guy Brockway, Mr. Cornwall, Mrs. Ammi 
Whiting, Charles Glotfelter, L. K. Prouty, Miss 
Dresser, Nettie Truax, Annie Shand, Anna Robinson, 
Nels Crouch, Mr. Wheeler. Harry Hilschman, .Mary 
Wiley, .Maud Murphy, Gertrude Hunter, Alice Nelson, 
Maud L. Hubbard, H. W. Gilberts >n, Mark L. Stewart, 
Kate Welch, Floy Fuller, Sarah Donnelly, John 
Temple, May C. Engler, Lillian Thomas, Charles F. 
Pecholt, Alta Warner, Ethel Black, Ida Peterson and 
Mrs. Charles F. Pecholt. 

"Others who have served as members of the board 
have been J. A. Moore. Jerry Dickinson, J. K. Penhale, 

man Lutherans and Swedish Lutherans 
each have societies in Balaton, organized 
in the order named. 

The first religious society in the village 
was a free Will Baptist church. It was 
organized December 19, 1879, with ten 
members and was formed through the 
efforts of Rev. C. H. Richardson, of 
Marshall, and that gentleman was the 
church's first pastor. A church edifice 
was elected in the spring of 1889 and 
was used jointly with the Methodists. 
The Baptists maintained the organiza- 
tion several years and then the church 
went out of existence. 

The Methodist church was organized 
in 1880 by Rev. J. X. Liscomb. The 
initial members were J. W. Hoaglin and 
wife. J. W. Linderman and wife. E. I). 
Bartlett, Anna Davie. Emma Crouch, 
Mrs. W. Pierce and Phoebe Pierce. A 
parsonage wa erected in 1885 and after 
1889 service, were held in the Baptisl 
church. The pre ent edifice was erected 
in 1898 and was dedicated December 4 
of that year by Pre: iding Elder Han- - 
com. The trustees of the Methodist 
church are James Hall. J. W. Searles, 
E. I). Bartlett, Willard Pierce, David 
Swihart, Tolof 01 on and Charles Ander- 
son. The pastor is Rev. J. Hanna. 8 

The First Presbyterian Church of 
Balaton is also one of the older societies 
of the village. It was organized in the 
early eighties largely through the e .'torts 
of Robert Riddell. 9 The first services 
of the society were held in the waiting 
room of the depot by the first pastor, 

Louis Campbell, Mrs. A. E. Whiting, Mrs. J. H. Call. 
S. S. Brockway, Otto Olson, E. F. Whiting ami James 

s The following haVe served as pastors of the Meth- 
odist church of Balaton: Revs. I. H. Snell. < >. C. 
Gregs, W. A. Tickner, William Copp, Marquist, 
Goodrich, U. P. Olin, Webster, II. Jones, C. A. Maine, 
D. H. Carmichael, S. II. Brown, E. S. Gilbert and 
J. Hanna. 

"Those admitted to membership at the tine- "I 
organization were Messrs. and Mesdames Robert 
Riddell, William Riddell, A. C. Dresser. James Aber- 
nathy, William Livingston, George 1.. Carta w, James 
Murrison ami Mr-. Jeanette Carlaw. The first trustees 




Rev. Ransom Wait, 10 and thereafter for 
some time in the school bouse. The 
church was erected in 1885. The corner 
stone was laid with ceremonies in July 
by Revs. Gregg, Jamieson and Herrick 
ami the building was dedicated January 
H>. 1886, by Rev. Wall. The cost of 
the structure was about &2000. A par- 
sonage was completed in 1902. The 
present membership is about 100. The 
Trustees are Dr. Charles (lernio. A. M. 
Moore and .J. B. Carlaw. 11 

The German Lutheran society was 
organized February 8, 1885, and has 
ever since maintained an active organi- 
zation. 12 For a few years there was no 
re idem pastor, but since 1888 ministers 
of the Lutheran faith have resided in 
Balaton. Rev. R. Poethke occupied the 
pulpit from 1888 to 1900, Rev. R. 
Fehlan from 1901 to 1904, and Rev. 
J. P. Scherf from 190.") to 1912. The 
church home was erected in 1900 and 
the parsonage in 1902. Nearly fifty 
families are now affiliated with the 
church and the present trustee- are 
C. W. Teufel. F. W. Teufel and William 
Stibbe. A parochial school is con- 
ducted by the pastor. 

For several years before the organi- 
zation of their church the Swedish 
Lutherans field services occasionally, 
conducted by vfsiting clergymen. The 

were George L. Carlaw, James Murrison and A. C. 
Dresser. The first elders were Robert Riddell, William 
Livingston and E. R. Weeks. 

10 Pastors who have occupied the pulpit of the 
First Presbyterian Church of Balaton have been 
Revs. Ransom Wait, John N. Williams, G. N. Wods- 
worth, B. Hall, M. F. Sparks, J. A. Clark, M. A. Linglie, 
L. Mclntyre, G. S. Pinney, J. Russell Jones, Brooks 
Hitchings, Arthur A. Palmer, Joseph C. Mapson and 
Robert L. Vance. 

11 In the same charge with the Balaton church is 
Easter Presbyterian Church of Sodus, with a member- 
ship of forty-five. It was organized October 17, 1894, 
with the following members: Mr. and Mrs. II i iiili 
Neil, Margaret Neil, Elizabeth Neil, Mr. ami Mrs. 
Robert Neil, Buelah Neil, James A. Dick, Mary Ford, 
Air. and Mrs. Louis Nelson, Margaret Ford, Agnes 
Firmage, Jane Ford, Clara D. Thurston and Robert 
Ford. The first elders were Louis Nelson, Hugh Neil 
and Robert Ford. 

12 The initial membership of the German Lutheran 
church was as follows: John Goltz, Gottlieb Goltz, 
Ludwig Luedke, William Wichmann, August Frost, 
August Smerling, August Tank, C. W. Teufel, John 

Swedish Evangelical church of Balaton 
was organized in June, 1907, through 
the efforts of Rev. Harold Ardahl, 

pastor of the Sillerud Swedish Lutheran 
Church of Scandia township, Murray 
county. Rev. Ardahl has ever since 
had charge of the Balaton church. 13 
For two years the congregation wor- 
shipped in the German Lutheran church 
and in the summer of 1909 a church 
home was erected at a cost of $2700. 
The society now has a membership of 
about 100 and services are held every 
other Sunday. The present trustees 
are Nels Hanson, C. W. Nord and H. A. 
Anderson and the deacons are Nels 
Truedsson, A. W. Nelson and John 
Blomquist. 1 ' 


The oldest fraternal order of Balaton 
is the lodge of the Ancient Order United 
Workmen, which was organized No- 
vember 4, 1889, with a large member- 
ship. 15 • The lodge is an active one and 
has over fifty members. Meetings are 
held in Westbee Hall. Nonpareil Lodge 
No. 49., Degree of Honor, was organized 
September 10, 1895, with ten members. 16 
The membership is now forty-seven and 
meetings are regularly held. 

Balaton Camp No. 3821, Modern 
Woodmen of America, has existed since 

Breening, William Loeck, Ludwig Mitzner, Emit 
Plagens, Julius Mitzner, A. Mitzner, F. W. Teufel, 
Michael Meyer, Peter Swann, John Swann. The first 
trustees were Ludwig Ludke, John Breening and 
William Wichmann. 

"The first trustees were H. N. Olson, C. W. Nord 
and H. A. Anderson and the 'first deacons were Nels 
Truedsson and John Blomquist. 

14 A Sunday School, organized in 1901, is maintained 
in connection with the church. Nels Truedsson was 
the first superintendent. Twenty-five pupils are en- 
rolled and the teachers are Mrs. O. Sandquist, Miss 
Sadie Nord and Nels Truedsson. 

15 Charter members of the Workmen lodge were 
J. H. Call, D. F. Sanders, George L. Carlaw, J. P. Estee, 
R. E. Town, J. A. Moore, W. S. Whiting, G. Willielm, 
Charles Brandt, A. S. Town, J. Dickinson, E. II. Weeks, 
J. Murrison, T. A. Graham, D. McErlain, G. A. Tate, 
H. C. Shaffer and II. A. Bates. 

le The charter members of Nonpareil Lodge were 

Lillian Tate, Hattie Call. .Mary Willford, Eva Moor . 
Sarah Town. Jeannie A. Graham, Laura Willford. 
Mahel Whiting, Jane Weeks and Rachael Murrison. 



April 27, 1896. 17 Eighty-one members 
are now on the rolls of the lodge. Lake 
Yankton Lodge No. 5005, Royal Neigh- 
bors of America, was instituted Septem- 
ber 27, 1907, with a large initial mem- 
bership 18 and is still an active order. 


Two banks are conducted in Balaton, 
the First State Bank and the First 
National Bank. The former is the older 
and the successor of the first financial 
institution of the village. 

The Bank of Balaton was established 
as a private institution in the middle 
nineties by R. H. Martin & Son and was 
sold in January, 1899, to H. O. Oarlock 
& Company. It was succeeded in May. 
L901, by the First State Bank, which 
was organized by M. Lauritsen, presi- 
dent; J. N. Westbee, vice president; 
C. W. Candee, cashier; J. H. Carlaw and 
Charles Germo. It began life with a 
capital stock of $10,000. The banking 
house was erected in 1901. The present 
officers of the First State Bank are 
Charles Germo, president; J. H. Carlaw, 
vice president; A. M. Moore, cashier; 
and .1. A. Moore, Jr., assistant cashier. 

The First National Bank succeeded a 
state bank organized in 1902. The 
officers while the institution was op- 
erated under a state charter were 
George A. Tate, president; A. J. Rush, 
cashier; and N. H. Olson, assistant 
cashier. The capital stock was $15,000. 
The reorganization occurred in June, 
1903, when the First National Bank 
opened for business with a capital stock 
of $25,000 and the following officers: 
George A. Tate, president; August 

17 The charter members of the Woodmen lodge were 
L. L. Cornwell, W. H. Estee, W. Glotfelter, A. Goohall, 
A. S. Moline, Robert Steele, Nels Strnberg, Nels 
Wahlgren, E. F. Whiting and E. W. Whiting. 

ls The following were charter members of the Royal 
Neighbors lodge: Lucy Anderson, Chafles R. Ander- 
son, Delbert J. Bailey, J. H. Breening, Wilhelm 
Bevens, Myrtle E. Beck, Eliza B. Bailey, Blanche A. 

Swanson, vice president; F. W. Ruliff- 
son, cashier; and U. Wilhelm, assistant 
cashier. The present commodious bank- 
ing house was erected in 1909. At the 
annual meeting of January 30, 1912, a 
change was made in the management of 
the bank and the officers are now as 
follows: James Hall, Sr., president; 
U. Wilhelm, first vice president; August 
Swanson, second vice president; F. W. 
Ruliffson, cashier. The directors are 
C. M. Hommerberg, August Swanson, 
H. J. Tillemans, James Hall, U. Wilhelm, 
L. Redding and N. H. Olson. 


For the purpose of insuring its mem- 
bers against loss by fire or lightning the 
Western Mutual Fire Insurance Com- 
pany of Balaton was organized in June. 
L894. The incorporators were as fol- 
lows: A. N. Daniels, who was the first 
president; J. 1'. Estee, who served as 
the first secretary; James Murrison, 
W. II. Estee, William Livingston, T. J. 
Skaug, R. R. Roberts, Fred Lochman, 
A. G. Bumford, Julius Frost, William 
Klukas, John Goltz, William Teufel, 
L. Ludke, William Frost, Ludwig Arndt, 
Julius Mitzner, F. W. Teufel, O. F. 
Persons, J. N. Harvey, 0. W. Candee. 
Robert Riddell, Evan C. Jones, Charles 
Livingston and Jerry Dickinson. 

The business of the company' lias 
grown until late in 1911 the amount of 
insurance in force was over two and 
one-quarter million dollars. The pres- 
ent officers and directors are J. A. W, 
Shand, president; E. M. Hamm, secre- 
tary; A. M. Moore, treasurer; L. E. 
Peterson, J. C. Taylor, William Bruell, 

Bailey, Emma S. Goltz, Henry Hamm, Mary Hamm, 
George W. Jones, Martha E. Jones, Sina Knudson, 
Mathilda Moline, Maggie G. Murrison, Robert Murrison, 
Katherina Mullaney, Isabella G. Murrison, Elsie Pierce, 
Hulda Swann, William Swann, Nora Sorenson, Frankie 
L. Town, Amanda Thompson, Ingue Weede, E. F. 
Whiting, Emma M. Weede, N. H. Wahlgren, Anna E. 
Whiting and Eva Whiting. 



Robert -Will. I'. Johnson and I'. II. 
Fligge. J. P. Estee was the first 
secretary of the company and he was 
succeeded for short terms by A. X. 
Daniels. James Murrison was then 
elected to the office and served eleven 
years. He was succeeded by the present 
-ccrotary, E. M. Hamin. 


Lyon county's sixth municipality in 
point of size is Russell, a village of 202 
people, according to the last census. 
It is a station on the Great Northern 
railroad and the platted portion is on 
the south half of section l'.l. Lyons 
township. Russell draws trade from 
quite an extensive and very prosperous 
territory and as a business point takes 
rank equal to the other villages of like 
size in the county. 

Russell was founded in 1888 and had 
its inception as a result of the building 
of the Willmar & Sioux Falls (Great 
Northern) railroad. Before the road 
was built, in the fall of 1887 it became 
known that one of the stations was to 
be located there 19 and in May, 1888, 
the railroad officials announced that the 
station would be named Russell, after 
Russell Spicer, son of one of the pro- 
moters of the Willmar & Sioux Falls. 

The track was laid to the site during 
the early fall of 1888 and train service 
was begun a little later. The plat was 
surveyed by C. L. Van Fleet and was 

19 "The fifth station in the county will be Clear 
Lake, on the center of section 19, town of Lyons, 
thirteen and one-half miles from Marshall, and here 
will be another beautiful townsite and the station will 
be an important one, both in beautiful location and 
as a shipping place." — Marshall News-Messenger, 
November 11, 1887. 

20 Additions to Russell have been platted as follows: 

Addition A, September 7, 1892, by Henry M. 
Burchard; surveyed by C. L. Van Fleet. 

Addition B, September 28, 1893, by Henry M. 
Burchard; surveyed by O. H. Sterk. 

E. Skyhawk's First, December 12, 1896, by Ephraim 
Skyhawk; surveyed by O. H. Sterk. 

Peterson's, July 15, 1901, by Hans Peterson; sur- 
veyed by W. A. Hawkins. 

dedicated by Henry M. Burchard on 
January 1<>. 1889. The original plat 
consisted of only tour blocks, divided by 
First, Second and Third and by River 
and Front Streets.-' 

During the month of October, 1888, 
the Northwestern elevator and a section 
house were erected and about the same 
time Ephraim Skyhawk put up a two- 
story building. On the ground floor he 
opened a little store and he and his 
family lived on the second floor. Mr. 
Skyhawk was the pioneer business man 
of Russell and for some time he and his 
family were the only residents of the 
new village. The postoffice was estab- 
lished in February, 1889, and was con- 
ducted in Mr. Skyhawk's store. 21 

In March, 1889, Herman Ristow 
erected a little house and became the 
second resident of Russell, taking a 
position as section hand. Albert Ris- 
tow, born July 29, 1889, was the first 
child born in the village. There was 
practically no advancement during 1889, 
but the following year several improve- 
ments were made. 

A. J. Cowie took a position as grain 
buyer for the Northwestern Elevator 
Company early in 1890 and sold farm 
machinery as a side line. The Inter- 
State Grain Company put up a flat house 
and furnished competition for the pio- 
neer grain firm. During the summer 
S. W. Galbraith, formerly of Balaton, 
erected a store building, moved his 
family to Russell, and engaged in the 
hardware and grocery business. 22 He 

Bengtson's, August 23, 1910, by John Bengtson; 
surveyed by O. H. Sterk. 

21 Russell has had only two postmasters. Ephraim 
Skyhawk served from the time of establishment in 
February, 1889, until 1896, and F. S. Purdy from that 
date to the present time. 

One rural route is operated from the Russell office. 
It was established February 4, 1904, and G.H.Thurston 
was the carrier until 1907. He was succeeded by 
Charles O. Johnson, the present carrier. 

22 "Sam Galbraith, of Balaton, is locating in Russell, 
where he is building a store. Hereafter when Eph. 
Skyhawk comes to Marshall he will not have to lock 
up the town during his absence." — Marshall News- 
Messenger, September 26, 1890. 



remained only about a year and then 
sold to William Bnel. 23 In the fall of 
1890 a little shack of a building was 
brought to the station on a flat car and 
for several years was used as the depot. 
Late in the same season Fellows Brothers 
opened a feed mill and a little later a 
blacksmith shop. 

A harness shop was opened in 1891 
and a pool hall was started, which a 
little later was replaced by a hardware 
store. During the same season three 
residences were erected. In the spring 
of 1892 A. A. Fifield put up buildings 
and opened a lumber yard and later in 
the same season Scott Carlisle built and 
opened to the public the first hotel. 
Before the close of the year ten more 
dwelling houses were put up and Russell 
began to take on the appearance of a 
thriving little village. 

The hard times of 1893 interrupted 
progress to some extent, although a few 
residences were erected and a pool hall 
was started. A church was organized 
that fall. The Marshall News-Messen- 
ger of November 3, 1893, said: "Rus- 
sell has a dozen stores, hotel, two 
elevators, lumber yard, etc. Russell is 
a wheat market from the word go and 
this fall has shipped to Minneapolis 
seventy cars." 

More business enterprises were estab- 
lished in 1894. In May a large two- 
story double store building was erected 
and Messrs. Fawcett and E. L. Cross 
established stores. Dr. Treat located 
in the village for the practice of his 
profession. Several residences were 
erected, there were a few changes' of 
ownership of the business establish- 

2 3 The death of May Belle, infant daughter of Mr. 
and Mrs. William Buel, was the first in Russell. 

24 The license question has been an issue at nearly 
every local election. During 1898 and 1899 no vote 
was taken and license was granted. Since then the 
results of the elections under the local option law have 
been as follows: 

1900— For, 17; against, 14. * 

1901 — License carried. 

1902 — License carried. 

ments, and a few other enterprises were 
started. A creamery was built in 1S95. 
In 1896 Messrs. Chamberlain & Hick- 
put up a building and engaged in the 
general merchandise business. F. S. 
Purdy erected another building in which 
he established a hardware store and kept 
the postoffice. The upbuilding of the 
little town was rapid during the pros- 
perous days of the late nineties and 
there came a demand for local govern- 

So early as .January, 1895, an effort 
was made to secure incorporation and 
meetings were held with that object in 
view. No decisive action was taken, 
however. In December, 1896, the resi- 
dents claimed a population of 180 for 
Russell ami there was again talk of 
asking for municipal government. In 
the summer of 1898 those interested 
pushed the matter to a successful con- 
clusion. The petition asking for an 
election to decide the question was 
favorably acted upon by the county 
law-making body July 18, 1898, and 
August 30 was the date set for holding 
the election. F. S. Purdy, R. A. 
Bigham and C. W. Hicks were named 
inspectors of the first election. Those 
favoring incorporation were successful 
by a majority of three votes. For the 
selection of the first village officers the 
election was held in Workmen Hall on 
September 13. 

Following is the roster of village 
officers from the time of incorporation 
to the present: 21 

1898— President, Ephraim Skyhawk; trustees, 
E. Smith, J. W. Andrews, R. G. Webb; recorder, 
J. P. Peterson; treasurer, H. W. B. Harden; 

1903 — For, 32; against, 34. 

1904 — For, 28; against, 37. 

1905 — Against license carried. 

1906 — Against license carried. 

1907 — Against license by 3 majority. 

1908 — License carried. 

1909 — Against license by 20 majority. 

1910— For, 25; against, 34. 

1911 — For, 42; against, 26. 

1912 — For, 47: against, 29. 

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justices. !•'. S. Purdy, S J. Smith; constables, 
M. 11. Hanks, A. I;. Carlisle. 

1899 President, J. W. Bipple; trustees, R. G. 
Webb, 0. S. Carlisle, Herman Ristow; recorder, 
J. P. Peterson; treasurer, 11. W. B. Harden; 
assessor, William Daffer; justice, .). .1. Schulte; 
constables, M. F. May, Ed. Nichols. 

L900 President, .1. W. Andrews; trustees, 
R. Ci. Webb. R. A. Bigham, S. W. Fellows; 

recorder, .1. I*. Peterson; treasurer, 11. W. B. 

Harden; assessor, M. I". May; justices, P. S. 
Purdy, G. t >. Rask; constable, A. F. Wheeler. 

1901 President, <i. < >. Rask; trustees, E. O. 

Webster, 11. ('. Hanson, A. 11. Mjnnick; recorder, 
E. Smith; treasurer, M. F. Cadwell; assessor, 
T. H. Conners; justice, E. Haase; constable, 
t ' 11. Bosteder. 

1902 — President, E. Metcalf: trustee-, Hans 
Peterson, R. A. Bigham, A. E. Engberg; record- 
er, W. .1. Huddleston; treasurer, M. F. Cadwell; 
assessor, .1. M. Ryan; justices, ('. I'. Eastman, 
(i. H. Thurston; constables, A. I'. Wheeler, 
J. E. Jones. 

I'M):; -President, P. P. Willard: trustees, Hans 
Peterson. 1!. A. Bigham, H. W. B. Harden: 
recorder, W. J. Huddleston; treasurer, G. W. 
Cochrane; assessor, D. S. Phillips; constable, 
A. R. Carlisle. 

L9I II -President. R. A. Bigham: trustees, H. 
W. B. Harden, D. S. Phillips, A. E. Engberg; 
recorder, W. J. Huddleston; treasurer, G. S. 
Willard; assessor, A. N. Daniels; justices, C. P. 
Past man, P. S. Purdy; constable, F. G. Sage. 

1905 — President, R. A. Bigham; trustees, D. 
S. Phillips, E. L. Hall, A. E. Engberg; recorder, 
W. J. Huddleston; treasurer, G. S. Willard; 
assessor, Hans Peterson. 

1906 — President, R. A. Bigham; trustees, E. L. 
Hall. W. D. Hackett, Ephraim Skyhawk; 
recorder, F. S. Purdy; treasurer, G. S. Willard; 
assessor, Hans Peterson; justices, F. S. Purdy, 
T. D. Knapp. 

1907 — President, R. A. Bigham; trustees, 
Ephraim Skyhawk, P. Kavanaugh, W. D. 
Hackett; recorder, F. S. Purdy; treasurer, E. 
Smith; assessor, Hans Peterson; constables, 

E. G. Loringer, R. E. Jones. 

1908— President, D. S. Phillips; trustees, L. 
G. Wallin, T. J. Willfong, Ephraim Skyhawk; 
recorder, J. N. Jones; treasurer, E. Smith. 

1909— President, E. L. Hall; trustees, L. G. 
Wallin, William Murphy, E. G. Loringer; 
recorder, J. N. Jones; treasurer, E. Smith; 
assessor, Hans Peterson; constables, F. G. Sage, 
A. R. Carlisle. 

1910— President, E. L. Hall; trustees, G. H. 
Walker, L. G. Wallin, A. R. Carlisle; recorder, 
R. A. Bigham; treasurer, J. B. Williams. 

1911— President, E. L. Hall; trustees, L. G. 
Wallin, A. R. Carlisle, G. H. Walker; recorder, 
R. A. Bigham; treasurer, J. B. Williams; 
assessor, Hans Peterson; justice, F. E. Child. 

1912— President, E. L. Hall; trustees, L. G. 
Wallin, G. H. Walker, R. E. Benson; recorder, 

F. E. Child; treasurer, J. B. Williams; assessor, 

2i The pioneer Presbyterian chureh was many miles 
from any settlement when it was built and for a score 
of years it was the place of worship of the people in- 
habiting a large scope of country. The chureh was 

Hans Peterson; justices, F. S. Purdy, E. Smith; 
constable, E. < i. Loringer. 

The growth of Russell has not been 
great, bill it has been substantial and 
the village lias never taken a backward 
step. The population in KM).") was 275 
and the census of 1910 gave it a popula- 
tion of 262. 

Russell has had one serious confla- 
gration in its history. On the night of 
June 25, 1907, the fire fiend brought a 
loss of $8000. The hotel owned by 
William Murphy and Leased to J. N. 
Jones, the hotel barn, the meat markets 
owned by Krick Bergman and George 
Beasley and two ice bouses adjoining 
were destroyed. 

THE school. 

Russell has a first-class school, which 
lias been maintained for the last twenty- 
two years. The first building was a 
little structure erected in 1890. A few 
years later the voters of the district 
authorized a $2500 bond issue, the 
bonds were sold, and the present 
building was put up. 


Two church societies are maintained 
in Russell, the Presbyterian and the 

The first Presbyterian church erected 
in Lyon county was located in Lyons 
township, not far from the future 
village of Russell. It was erected in 
1873 and before a society of that de- 
nomination was organized in the village 
the people of Russell attended that 
church. 25 

The first religious society in Russell 
was the Presbyterian Sunday School, 
organized with about fifty members in 

built by Rev. Ransom Wait, the pioneer Presbyterian 
minister of the county. It was sold on February 10, 
1894, to satisfy a mortgage of $400 held by the Presby- 
terian Church Extension Society. 



May. 1891, in S. \Y. Galbraith's new- 
store building. Rev. L. Mclntyre, of 

Balaton, and Superintendent Knutsen, 
of the Mankato Presbytery, were the 
organizers. Meetings were held in pri- 
vate homes, in the depot, and later in 
the little school house. 

Steps were early taken to effect a 
church organization and on May 14. 
1891, Rev. N. H. Bell, superintendent of 
churches for the Presbytery, and Rev. 
John Sinclair visited the place to look 
the field over. Prior to that time $400 
had been raised by subscription toward 
a church building and the church 
authorities promised to assist in the 
organization of a church and the 
erection of a building. It was not until 
1894. however, that these things were 

In November, 1893, Rev. J. W. Hood 
began holding services in Russell and 
the following February he and his 
sister. Miss Bella Hood, held evangelistic 
services there. As a result the Russell 
Presbyterian church was organized with 
thirty-six members. Rev. Hood was 
installed as pastor in June, 1894, having 
charge also of the church in Island Lake 
township. 26 The following fall a church 
home, 30x50 feet, was completed and 
dedicated practically free from debt. 


The Ancient Order United Workmen. 
Degree of Honor, Modern Woodmen of 

26 Rev. J. W. Hood was pastor of the Russell church 
until February 12, 1903. He has been succeeded in 
turn by the following: Revs. Davies, C. D. Van 
Wagner, A. E. Evans, J. A. Lumley, H. P. Gray and 
T. C. Hill. 

27 The charter members of the Workmen lodge were 
M. S. Fawcett. M. F. Cadwell. Jay Peterson, R. A. 
Bigham, F. S. Purdy, Hans Peterson, Frank Zvorak, 
C. W. Wilson, Ernest Smith and Ephraim Skyhawk. 

- x Tln- present office holders of the Degree of Honor 
lodge are Florence Hall, Nina Burckhardt, Sadie 
Roberts, Augusta Purdy, Mabel Hackett, Lucinda 
Bigham, Lurline Johnson, Carrie Hanson, Ida Bergman, 
Ellen Larson, James Zvorak, Grace Johnson and 
Stella Carlaw. 

- 9 The charter members of the Woodmen lodge were 
A. L. Blanchard, C. M. Wilson. E. Z. Retzlaff, John A. 
Johnson, A. C. Rice, A. E. Wunderlieh, M. G. Sparks, 

America, Royal Neighbors of America 
and the Masonic orders are represented 
in Russell. 

The oldest of the fraternal orders is 
the AVorkmen lodge, which was organ- 
ized June 22, 1897, with ten charter 
members. 27 The lodge now has a mem- 
bership of fifty and owns a lodge build- 

Russell Lodge No. 138, Degree of 
Honor, was organized January 25, 1899. 
It now has sixty-four members and 
meets regularly in Woodmen Hall. 28 

The Modern Woodmen of America 
lodge began its existence on November 
13, 1900, with twelve members, 29 which 
has been increased to sixty-six at the 
present time. 

The Royal Neighbors lodge has existed 
since August 24, 1904, 30 and now has 
fifty active members. 

Coteau Lodge, A. F. & A. M., began 
its existence under dispensation in 1901. 
A charter was granted by the grand 
lodge in January, 1902, and the lodge 
was regularly constituted March 19 of 
the same year. 31 The order now lias 
fifty-seven members. 


The First State Bank of Russell is 
the successor of the first banking house 
of the village, a private bank denomi- 
nated the Bank of Russell. D. S. 
Phillips was president and G. W . 

A. H. Minnick, R. R. Sibley, William H. Potts, G. S. 
Willard and John Mattsson. 

30 The charter members of the Royal Neighbors 
lodge were Kate Jones, John A. Johnson, Mary B. 
Rice, Margaret Bergman, Emma Bergman, Mary E. 
Owens, Anna A. Wilson, Sarah Moore, Margaret 
Willard, Kate E. Marsden, C. S. Willard, Charles Burt, 
Teresa Blanchard, C. Wilson, Guv Walker, Hugh 
Walker, E. L. Hall, Lucy Jones, L. Holden, W. S. 
Morgan, Effie Buell, Mrs. E. Burt, Kate Holden, 
Viola Thurston, Nellie Hippie, D. S. Owens and 
Gertrude Blanchard. 

31 The charter members of Coteau Lodge were Jacob 
Rouse, F. S. Purdy, M. F. Cadwell, J. W. Andrews, 
F P Willard. W." IX Hackett, A. Holden, Ephraim 
Skyhawk, E. Metcalf, E. Smith, W. E. West. G. W. 
Cochrane, C. P. Eastman, Nels Rossen, Hans Peterson 
and R. A. Bigham. 



Cochrane cashier of the pioneer institu- 
tion. The First State Bank was or- 
ganized January 1, 1903, to continue 
the business and had a capital stock of 
$15,000. Among the incorporators wore 
,1. G. Schutz, ('. B. Tyler. I). I). Foil.-. 
V. B. Seward. .1. C. Burchard and J. C. 
Lawrence, of Marshall, and I). S. 
Phillips and Hans Peterson, of Russell. 
The officers were as follows: E. X. 
Bailey, president; J. H. Tate, vice presi- 
dent; G. W. Cochrane, cashier. 

A controlling interest in the First 

State Hank was purchased in February, 
1906, by C. H. Ross and \Y. E. ('. Ross. 
The officers then became C. H. Ross, 
president; W. E. C. Ross and M. K. 
Simmons, vice presidents; and (!. S. 
Willard, cashier. Upon the death of 
.Mr. Willard in 1908 B. Leknes became 
cashier and J. B. Williams assistant 
cashier. The directors of the bank are 
C. H. Ross, W. F. C. Ross, M. K. Sim- 
mons, B. Leknes and (ieorge Olson. 
The home of the bank was erected in 



NOT far from where the North-, 
western railroad crosses Three- 
Mile creek, on the northwest 
quarter of section 15, Grandview town- 
ship, seven miles northwesl of Marshall. 
is the little village of Ghent. Its eleva- 
tion above sea level is 1173 feet and its 
population 210. Ghent is the trading 
point for a populous and thrifty com- 
munity, made up for the most part of 
Belgian and French settlers, and is one 
of the most progressive little villages of 
Lyon county. 

When the Winona & St. Peter (now 
the Northwestern) railroad was built in 
1872 that part of Lyon county north- 
west from Marshall was thinly settled, 
but there were a few homesteaders near 
the point where the new road crossed 
Three-Mile creek and they made an 
effort to have a station located at the 
crossing. Conditions warranted the es- 
tablishment of only one station in Lyon 
county at that time, the settlers near 
the crossing- of the Redwood made a 
more active campaign, and the railroad 
officials located the station there instead 
of at Three-Mile creek. Thus the lead- 

J The Grandview office — the predecessor of the Ghent 
office — was re-established in 1878 with J. M. Vaughn 
as postmaster. During the year of its establishment 
it was kept in the store of A. P. Ray and was then 
moved to the home of Mr. Vaughn, two and one-half 
miles northwest of the village. It was moved to the 
station in January, 1881, and a little later the name 
was changed to Ghent. R. F. Laythe became post- 
master and was succeeded by Mr. Capistrand, who left 
in the summer of 1883. Aime Van Hee served as 

ing town and county seat of Lyon 
county became Marshall instead of a 
city planted where Ghent stands today. 

In time more settlers located in the 
vicinity of the crossing of Three-Mile 
creek, and to furnish them mail facilities 
a postoflice was established early in 
1S74. It was named Grandview, after 
the township, and Harrison A. Irish, 
a homesteader on section 14, was the 
postmaster. The office, supplied from 
Marshall, was maintained for a couple 
of years and was then discontinued, to 
be re-established at a later time. 1 

It is the village of Grandview with 
which we have to deal in chronicling the 
early history of Ghent, for prior to 1881 
that is the name the village bore. 
Grandview was founded in the spring of 
1878. In April of that year A. P. Ray 
erected a store building and engaged in 
the grocery business. The venture was 
not a success and the store was discon- 
tinued in October. The Grandview 
townsite was platted by the railroad 
company on July 5, 1878, the survey 
having been made by Arthur Jacobi. 2 

J. M. Vaughn bought grain at Grand- 
postmaster from 1894 to 1902 and Mrs. Matilda 
Blodgett has since held the office. 

2 Twenty blocks were included in the plat. The 
streets running northwest and southeast were named 
Green, Barber, McQuestion and Burlingame; those 
northeast and southwest, Bladwin, English, Chapman, 
Loomis and Maskell. There have been no additions 



view during the seasons of 1878 and 
1879 for Van Dusen & Company, and 
for some time after the closing of the 
Ray store that was the only enterprise 
on the site, and that did not boast a 
building to shelter it. Although the 
site had been platted and some business 
enterprises had been started previously, 
the practical founding of Grandview 
came in 1880. That year the first of 
the Catholic colony located in the 
vicinity and supplied the stimulus for 
the building of a village. 

During 1880 Van Dusen & Company 
erected a grain warehouse and John 
Fodness was employed as grain buyer; 
Jerry Fagan, one of the colonists, opened 
a store but closed it the next year; 
William Heinmiller engaged in the black- 
smith business; Burl Story moved a 
little shack from his homestead and kept 
boarders, also erecting a barn; one of 
the residents also sold lumber at the 
youthful village. While this list of im- 
provements for 1880 cannot be con- 
sidered large, a start had been made and 
Grandview was placed on the map. A 
correspondent to the Marshall Messenger 
of December 17, 1880, wrote: "We 
don't look for a city here very soon but 
hope to see more business done at our 
station hereafter than in the past. . . . 
Six months ago there was not one 
individual living in this village; now we 
have seven buildings." 

Progress continued during 1881, due 
principally to the arrival of a large 
number of Belgian colonists. A depot 
was erected during the summer and Mr. 
King installed as agent, a telegraph 
office being added in September. The 
same month, upon the petition of 
residents, the name of the postoffice was 
changed from Grandview to Ghent, 3 

3 "This lively little place has changed its name to 
Ghent. It is growing and bids fair t© be quite a vil- 
lage." — Ghent Correspondent to Marshall Messenger, 
September 22, 1881. 

named after the city in Belgium, and 
the station was later also given the new 
name. Burl Story erected a hotel 
building and founded the Ghent House. 
R. F. Laythe put up a building and 
engaged in the general merchandise 
business, selling out later to Capistrand 
& Soucheray. A Mr. Hayden opened 
another store the same season. John 
Fodness erected- an 18x26 feet store 
building and one of the colonists built 
a dwelling house. 

In the spring of 1882 a Ghent citizen 
wrote that the village had a population 
of 125 and that the business enterprises 
consisted of one general store, a hotel, 
blacksmith shop, elevator and lumber 
yard. A few changes in the ownership 
of business houses were made in 1883. 
Capistrand & Soucheray bought the 
lv. F. Laythe store in March and three 
months later Mr. Soucheray became sole 
proprietor. In December Kmilien Para- 
dis bought the Jerry Fagan store build- 
ing and engaged in the general mer- 
chandise business. In 1884 Francis 
Gits opened a hotel and tinware shop, 
Mr. Vergote a blacksmith shop, and Mr. 
Cool a carpenter and wagon shop. In 
1885 Youmans Brothers & Hodgins es- 
tablished a lumber yard. 

There was no boom connected with 
the growth of Ghent and at no time did 
it develop beyond the demands of the 
surrounding farming country. A special 
census taken on March 14, 1899, showed 
a population of 182. It was at that 
time that the residents asked for incor- 
poration. 4 

A petition asking for the incorpora- 
tion of the northwest quarter of section 
15, Grandview township, as the village 
of Ghent was filed with the county 
auditor March 28, 1899. It was signed 

4 A petition for incorporation had been presented to 
the County Board in the spring of 1897. but that body 
had refused to act on the same. 



by thirty-two voters."' The County 
Board "ranted the request of the resi- 
dents of Ghent and named May 15, 1899, 
as the date for voting on the question. 
A. 11. Lerschen, Alois Bergeron and 
A. .1. Paal were inspectors of the initial 
election. Of the twenty-five votes cast, 
every one was in favor of beginning 
municipal government. The first offi- 
cers were chosen May 29, 1899. 

Following are the names of those who 
have been elected to office since Ghent 

was incorporated :' ; 

1899 — President, Francis Cits; trustees, George 

I. Regnier, B. Brouwer, Alois Bergeron; recorder. 
Joseph Letournean; treasure]-, Joseph Dent/,: 
justices, James Meaghan, Constant Dirckx; 
constables, Louis Vermeersch, August Dolies- 

1900 — President, Francis Gits;trustees,Charles 
Foulon, Alois Bergeron, B. Brouwer; recorder, 
Joseph Letournean; treasurer, Joseph Kemna; 
assessor, A. A. Regnier; justices, James Meaghan, 
G. I. LeBeau; constables, Jules Van Hee, Louis 
\ iimeersch. 

1901 — President, A. H. Lerschen; trustees, 
Charles P'oulon, B. Brouwer, James Meaghan; 
recorder, Joseph Letourneau; treasurer, Joseph 
Kemna; assessor, A. A. Regnier; justices, Peter 
Fibers, John Cavanaugh. 

1902 — President, A. H. Lerschen; trustees, 
James Meaghan, Peter Wessels, G. I. LeBeau; 
recorder, Charles Foulon; treasurer, Joseph 
Kemna; assessor, G. I. Regnier; justices, Fred 
Lerschen, Adolph Overbeke; constable, Gus 

1903 — President, A. H. Lerschen; trustees, 
James Meaghan, Peter Wessels, Alphonse Cyr; 
recorder, Charles Foulon; treasurer, Aime Van 
Hee; assessor, G. I. Regnier; justice, H. Princen; 
constables, G. I. Regnier, Adolph Overbeke. 

1904 — President, A. H. Lerschen; trustees, 
G. I. LeBeau, Francis Gits, Alphonse Cyr; 
recorder, John Cavanaugh; treasurer, Aime Van 
Hee; assessor, A. A. Regnier; justice, Fred 
Lerschen; constable, Arthur Gits. 

1905 — President, A. H. Lerschen; trustees, 
G. I. LeBeau, Alphonse Cyr, Joseph Kemna; 
recorder, John Cavanaugh; treasurer, Ed. Gits; 
assessor. Alex Lord; justice, C. Van Winsberghe; 
constable, C. H. Monroe. 

1906 — President, Peter -Albers; trustees, Ed- 
ward Schreiber, H. J. Bot, B. Dolander; recorder, 
Ed. Gits; treasurer, Aime Van Hee; assessor, 
C. Van Winsberghe; justice, Robert Stelter; 
constables, Leopold Flaeys, A. Van Uden. 

5 The signers of the incorporation petition were 
A. H. Lerschen, Alois Bergeron, A. J. Paal, J. W. 
Lerschen, Frank Cotterell, Joe Lerschen, Adolph 
Goyette, Peter Elbers, L. L. Yalb, Evan Alsvint, 

II. C. Ohlsen, Aime A. Van Hee, August Dolieslager, 
Cornelius Bontsen, Peter Clouatre, Joseph Deutz, 
C. L. Pierce, Charles Foulon, J. D. Letourneau, Fred 
Rilladeau, John Gossen, Gustave Van Hee, A. J. Van 
den Steurel, J. 8. Letourneau, Es von Altvorst, James 

1907— President, Charles Foulon; trustees, G. 

J. Inhofer, I'M ward Schreiber, Louis Vermeersch; 
recorder, Edward Robinson; treasurer, Aime 
Van Hee; assessor, ('. Van Winsberghe. 

l'JOS — President, Charles Foulon; trustees, 
Edward Schreiber, (i. J. Inhofer, Louis Ver- 
nieei'seh; recorder, Theodore Sanders; treasurer, 
H. J. Mot; assessor, ('. Van Winsberghe; justice, 
H. J. Bot; constable, Emile Loessaert. 

1909 — President. Charles Foulon; trustees, 
Celeste Ampe, G. J. Inhofer, Arthur Gits; 
recorder, Theodore Sanders; treasurer, H. J. 
Bot; assessor, ('. Van Winsberghe; justice, Hero 
W. Bot. 

1910 — President, Charles Foulon; trustees, 
Arthur Gits, Henry Lord, Celeste Ampe; recorder, 
G. J. Inhofer; treasurer, H. J. Bot; justices, 
H. J. Bot, Louis Vermeersch; constables, Emile 
Loessaert, Mike Stassen. 

1911 — President, Charles Foulon; trustees, 
Louis Vermeersch, Henry Lord, Arthur Gits; 
recorder, H. J. Bot; treasurer, John Bankers; 
justice, S. A. Walrath; constable, Emile Loes- 

1912— President, Charles Foulon; trustees, 
Henry Lord, H. M. Maertens, Celeste Ampe; 
recorder, H. J. Bot; treasurer, Ed. Gits; assessor, 
C. Van Winsberghe; justices, Mike Stassen, S. A. 
Walrath; constable, H. Mortier. 

The federal census of 1900 gave Ghent 

a population of 119. There lias been an 

increase since that time, the population 

in I'M)") having been 193, and in 1910 it 

was 210. The village has progressed in 

a business way and is admittedly one 

of the best of the smaller municipalities 

of Lyon county. 


For a number of years after the 
founding of Ghent the nearest school 
was more than a mile from the village. 
The first school taught in the village 
was under the direction of Father Y. 
Devos. He established a free school 
for the education of the children and 
to teach the many foreign born residents 
the English language. Miss Hannah 
Lester was the teacher. 

Upon the request of the residents of 
Ghent, school district No. 07 was formed 

Meaghan, Louis Vermeersch, Constant Dirckx, Theo- 
dore Stassen, Francis Gits, B. Brouwer and Finans Bil. 

G At the T Grand view township election of March, 
1899, the license question was decided negatively by 
the voters, and that fact led to the incorporation of 
the village. The license question has never been 
submitted to vote since incorporation and saloons 
have always been licensed. 



and a public school established. Francis 
Gits was treasurer and B. Brouwer 
director of the district when it was 
organized. 7 The first teacher was 
Stephen Walrath 8 and the pupils of the 
first public school were Ed. Gits, Arthur 
Gits, Clemence Gits. Victor Gits, Joseph 
Princen, Fred Green, Theodore Thomas, 
Minnie Thomas, Harry Regnier, John 
Cavanaugh, Morris Breen and John 
Breen. Thirty-five pupils are now en- 
rolled in the Ghent school. Sister Loy- 
ale is the teacher. 


Ghent was founded by and the tribu- 
tary country settled almost entirely by 
Catholic- and the church of that faith 
in the little village is one of the strongesl 
in Southwestern .Minnesota. The church 
of St . Eloi is the only one in Ghent . 

The beginning of the Catholic church 
of Ghent was in June, L883, when father 
Y. Devos accompanied a large number 
of colonists from the old country and 
was assigned to the charge at Client. 
The pastor said. mass for the first time 
soon after his arrival and the church 
was organized. 9 The congregation was 
not strong enough to erect a house of 
worship at (»nce and until the church 
home was secured services were held 
respectively at the home of Angelus 
Van Hee, the store of Mr. Soucheray. 
the home of Francis Gits, and the rail- 
road depot. 1 " 

7 The present members of the Board of Education 
.■vie George LeBeau, clerk: Charles Foulon, treasurer: 
and C. Van Winsberghe, director. They have served 

for the past six years. 

8 Other teachers of the Ghent school have been 
Ora Loomis, Samuel Rank, Mr. Goulef, Katie Shortell, 

Kate Lynch, Kate Ahem and Sisters Ligouri and 
Loyale, of the Sisters of St. Joseph. 

I he following named persons and their families 
constituted the membership of the church at the time 
of organization: Angelus Van Hee, Francis Gits, 
Charles Foulon, .Mrs. Bruno Van Hee, David Van Hee, 
Francis DeSutter, Desere Van de Woesteen, Gustav 
Vergote, Leo DeCock, Peter Buysse, Henry Maertens, 
Felix Delicti, Mrs. Van den Abeele, John Cavanaugh, 
Matthew Schreiber, Theodore Caron, Isaac Kegnier, 
Isaac Patenode, Joseph Regnier. Anton Paradis, Sr., 
Anton Paradis. Jr., Victor LeBeau, .1. I>. Letourneau, 

The first church was erected in 1885 
through the efforts of Father Devos. 11 
Later a house and barn were added to 
the church property. The frame church 
building erected in 1885 was used by the 
congregation until January 1. 1902, 
when it and the priest's house were 
destroyed by fire, bringing a loss of 

The present brick church— the finest 
church edifice in Lyon county — was 
erected in 1904 and 1905. The corner 
stone was laid June 9, 1904, by Rev. 
bather Walsh, assisted by eight prelate-. 
The building was dedicated by Arch- 
bishop John Ireland May 30, 1905. The 
cost was $30,000 and it was dedicated 
with a debt of less than $7000 against 
it. About $22,000 had been raised in 
the palish during the year preceding its 
completion. The building committee 
that supervised its construction was 
composed of Mes rs. Breen, Regnier, 
foulon. Maertens, Bot, Cavanaugh, Gits 
and Engels. The parsonage was erected 
in L905 at a cost of $6000. 

The present membership of the Ghent 
church is 1000, comprising 140 families. 
Of these 140 families, twenty-two are 
French-Canadian, five German, four 
Irish, and the ret Belgian and Holland. 
The presenf church trustee- are Francis 
flits and J. Van Keulen. 

A convent and school is maintained in 
connection with the church. It was 
established in 1893 and the convent 

J. A. Letourneau, Mr. Lambert and Mr. Soucheray. 
The first trustees were Francis Gits, Anton Paradis 
and Angelus Van Hee. 

10 In an article prepared by Father V, Devos in 1NS4 
was the following concerning the Ghent church: 
"There are few congregations where so many languages 
are spoken. When he addresses the people the pastor 
has to speak in Flemish, French, English and German. 
The Latin used in divine office is the only common 
language which is generally understood by all. As 
soon as they hear the Latin language, which they 
heard in their younger days and in their distant 
Fatherland, they feel themselves at home in their old 
church and they are very happy to see and hear the 
pious ceremonies of their worship." 

ll Other pastors of the church at Ghent have been 
Fathers DeCueninek, Straten, Jansen, Keuelinck, 
Van den Heuvel, Schaefer, Walsh and Van Walleghem. 


: 3* KixYV&wK 



building was erected in 1898 at a cosl 

Of $6000. An addition of ('((llal cosl is 

now proposed. Aboul 1 _'."> pupils re- 
ceive instruction in the school. Mother 
Evelyn, of the Sisters of St. Joseph, is 
the mother superior and she lias three 


Ghenl Court No. L081, Catholic Order 
of Foresters, was organized March 19, 
1900, 12 and has had a prosperous exist- 
ence. The lodge now has a membership 
of forty-two. The principal officers arc 
Henry Lord, Ed. Gits, Charles Foulon, 
A. D. Schaefer*and Theodore Stassen. 

Camp No. 6617, Modern Woodmen of 
America, began its existence July II. 
1906. with twenty-six charter mem- 
bers. 13 The present membership is 
twenty and the principal officers are as 
follows: Emile Loessaert, F. F. St. 
Denis, E. Schutyser, John Stassen, 
Charles Popelier and E. Schreiber. 


The Ghent Fire Department was or- 
ganized February 15, 1903. Of the fol- 
lowing named first members of the 

department only, the five first named 
are still members: George F LeBeau, 
Ed. Gits, Fd. Schreiber, Theodore Stas- 
sen, J. F Rhodes, Anton Lerschen, 
Hector Hofman, A. D. Schaefer, A. J. 
Lord and Arthur Gits. 

The equipment consists of a Watrous 
gas engine, hose cart and 1500 feet of 
hose. There are now twenty-eight mem- 
bers and the officers are as follows: 
George Inhofer, chief; H. Maertens, as- 
sistant chief; Charles Foulon, president; 

12 The charter members of Ghent Court were Charles 
Foulon, A. H, Lerschen, Peter Elbers, George I. 
Regnier, Theodore Stassen, Leo Henen, Camille 
DeSutter, Jacob Stassen, George DeMeyer, John 
Cavanaugh, J. W. Lerschen, A. J. Paal, A. Cyr, A. 
Van Overbokc, J. A. Gossen, August Maertens, F. .1. 
Lerschen, H. M. .Maertens, G. Schreiber and John 
Gossen . 

A. I >. Schaefer, vice president : E. F. 
St. Denis, secretary; William C. Hess, 
treasurer: ( leorge LeBeau, Earl Schreiber 
and J. I. Rhodes, finance committee. 

THE B \\K. 

One banking institution, the Firsl 
State Bank of Ghent, is conducted in 
the village, it is the successor of the 
firsl banking house, a private institution 
denominated the Bank of Ghent, which 
was organized with a capital of .^oOOO 
on .March L>:;, 1903. The first officers 
and board of directors were as follows: 
John F. Burchard, president; John 
Breen, vice president; Charles Foulon, 
cashier; D. D. Forbes and M. W. Harden. 

In L908 the Bank of Ghent was re- 
organized under the state banking laws 
with a paid-up capital of $10,000. The 
present officers and directors are M. W. 
Harden, president; John Breen, vice 
president : Charles Foulon, cashier; V. B. 
Seward and John A. Brewers. The 
elegant banking house, which with the 
fixtures cost $7500, was erected in 1905. 
The business of the institution has 
steadily increased, and according to a 
statement made May 30, 1911, the 
deposits were $145,000 and there was a 
surplus of $3000. 


The smallest of the incorporated vil- 
lages of Lyon county is Taunton, ft is 
a station of the Northwestern railroad 
and is in the extreme northwestern 
corner of the county, on section t7, 
Eidsvold township. The population in 

13 The charter members of the Woodmen cam]) were 
Edward F. St. Denis; Aime Van Hee, Levi St. Peter, 
Herman Pillotte, Henry Paradis, David Paradis, 
Bernard Nash, Arthur Gits, Emile Loessaert, Joe 
Pillotte, H. J. Bot, Levi Prairie, A. Regnier, J. A. 
Regnier, J. E. Regnier, Teler Charbanan, .) . I . Regnier, 
P. E. Regnier, Ed. Schreiber, Ed. Schutyser, Robert 
Stelter, W. Van Sadelhof, II. E. Regnier, T. F. Sanders, 
Phil Paradis and Robert Didrich. 



1910 was 205. While Taunton has not 
become a metropolis, it has furnished a 
convenient market for the people of the 
surrounding country and has developed 
into a prosperous little village. 

Until 1885 the site of Taunton was 
bare of improvements. That year the 
railroad company built a side-track there 
and the site became known as Siding 
No. 4. In the fall of 1885 Marfield & 
Company put up a warehouse and J. P. 
Tumelty bought grain for the firm at 
the new station. 

The second building on the site was 
put up by Fred Smuhl, who conducted 
a small grocery store and became post- 
master. 14 In April, 1886, the village 
was platted and "Siding Xo. 4" became 
Taunton. The plat was surveyed by 
C. C. Pudor and the dedication was made 
April 30 by Albert Keep, as president 
of the Winona & St. Peter Railroad 
Company. Only two blocks were plat- 
ted. The streets were named First, 
Second, Garfield, Main and Lincoln. 1, 

Turner & Brenna established a ware- 
house in 1890 and divided the grain 

business with Marfield & Company. In 
the summer of 1892 Nick Grengs erected 
a building and opened a general store. 
He sold the next year to E. II. Carstens, 
who still carries on the business. The 
Catholic church was built in 1895 and 
the same year residences were put up by 
Philip Ahern and Fred Smuhl. A few 
more improvements were made in 1896 16 

14 The postoffice was first named Lonesome, later 
became Rippon, and in 1886 was changed to Taunton. 
Fred Smuhl was postmaster from 1S86 to 1896 and 
E, H. Carstens from that time until 1906. Anton 
Heymans, Annie Ahern and Mary Franekoviak had 
eharge of the office for short periods during 1906 and 
1907. W. S. Baldwin became postmaster December 
24, 1907, and has since held the office. 

Two rural routes are operated from Taunton. The 
first carrier of No. 1 was Henry Conger and of No. 1> 
was Alfred Hagen. 

15 Two additions to Taunton have been platted by 
(lie railroad company: First Railway, on October 4, 
1S1J7, and blocks 6 to 13, inclusive, on December 20, 
1905. , 

1B "Who says Taunton has not grown the last year? 
Six new buildings have been erected, not including 

and Youmans Brothers & Hodgins es- 
tablished a lumber yard, but Taunton 
still occupied a very small place on the 
map of Lyon county. 

The year 

of greatest growth in 

Taunton's history was 1898, when Franz 

Anthony opened a general store, Allen 

Lester a hardware store, Amund Huseby 

a hotel, and a few others engaged in 

business. A resident of the village, 

writing to the Marshall News-Messenger 

of December 9, 1898. gave the following 

description of Taunton and its standing: 

In your paper of November 25 you speak of 
Taunton as a railroad station with but half a 
dozen or less buildings. You have a mistaken 
idea of the size of our town. Taunton has 
about 100 inhabitants. We have thirty business 
and dwelling houses; we have three firms buying 
grain, two elevators and one warehouse; we 
have a lumber yard which does a good business; 
three general stores and one hardware store, 
all doing a good business; we also have one 
restaurant and one boarding house and two 
blacksmith shops. And at present there are 
three gangs of carpenters busy every day, and 
there will be several new buildings added to the 

The prosperous times of the late 
nineties brought several new enterprises 
to the little village and in the spring of 
1900 a census showed a population of 
L84 people living on the 1730 acres of 
land which it was proposed to incor- 
porate as the village of Taunton. 

Forty-nine residents of Taunton on 
May 1, 1900, petitioned the county 
authorities for village government. 17 
The County Hoard took favorable action 
that day and named W. S. Baldwin, 
P. P. Ahern and .1. H. Pennington in- 

a lumber yard, grain warehouse and stockyards." — 
Minneota Mascot, November 28, 1896. 

17 The signers of the incorporation petition were 
John Kosmalski, F. A. Steenke, P. P. Ahern, Johann 
Kubiszak, A. P. Gumpolen, Johann Kopicki, Walentz 
Korpal, William Nicolay, John Kuszkiewiz, .Max 
Kosmalski, B. Bimek, George Cherpeski, Johan 
Krvins, Thomas Walsh, E. T. Morse, Anton Jasinski, 
W . F. Carstens, H. G. Conger, Kasmiez Bulmaski, 
Louies Coren, J. H. Pennington, James J. Moughan. 
M. F. Ahern, W. C. Ahern, W. J. Moughan, Anton 
Litanspi, Fred Packer, C. J. Traen, M. F. Spronffski, 
John Gorborg, John Domek, Henry Traer, W. E. 
Skeels, J. A. Patrowski, M. J. Salmon, E. W. Carstens, 
W. S. Baldwin, W. B. Moughan, E. A. Lee, Ole Kaas, 
A. Beeks, H. P. Jalmson, Anton Larson, John Kozinski, 
Ludwits Breponynski, J. J. Ahern, John A. Peterson, 
John Nawak and F. B. Hartwick. 



spectors of the first election, which was 
held at the office of Ybumans Brothers 
A: Sodgins on June 5. At the election 
"for incorporation" was carried, the 
first village officers were selected soon 
after, and Taunton began local govern- 

Following is the roster of officers 
chosen at the several village elections: 18 

L900 -President, P. P. Ahem; trustees, E. H. 
Carstens, H. P. Johnson, W. ('. Ahem; recorder, 
J. J. Moughan; justice, W. S. Baldwin. 

l'.iiil President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, II, P. 
Johnson, \Y. ( '. Ahern, T. I'". Walsh; recorder, 
J. II. Pennington; treasurer, J. J. Domek; 
justice, < He Johnson; constable, John Ross. 

L902 President, P. P. Ahern; trustees. H. P. 
Johnson, W. ('. Ahern, T. I". Walsh; recorder, 
\V. E. Skeels; treasurer, J. J. Domek; assessor, 
William Nicolay; justices, M. I". Ahern, William 
Nicolay; constables, Paul Carstens, W. S. 

L903— President, P. P. Ahern: trustees, H. P 
Johnson, E. H. Carstens, W. S. Baldwin; 
recorder. A. B. Conger; treasurer. A. Hevinans; 
assessor. William Nicolay. 

1!H)1 — President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, H. P. 
Johnson, W. S. Baldwin, W. Korpal; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer, A. Hevinans; assessor, 
William Xicolay; constables, H. Frazer, J. E. 

1905— President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, II. P. 
Johnson, W. Korpal, W. S. Baldwin; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer, A. Hermans; assessor, 
W. Hagaman; justice, D. F. Salmon; constable, 
J. E. Salmon. 

1906— President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, H. P. 
Johnson, W. Korpal, W. S. Baldwin; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer, A. Hermans; assessor, 
J. K. Johnson; justice, John Smishek; constable, 
John Ross. 

1907— President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, H. P. 
Johnson, J. E. Salmon, Joseph Shimek; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer, A. Hevmans; assessor, 
T. G. Ahern. 

1908— President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, H. P. 
Johnson, J. E. Salmon, Joseph Shimek; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer, Charles Maek; 
assessor, William Nicolay; constable, John Ross. 

1909— President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, J. E. 
Salmon, D. F. Salmon, Joseph Shimek; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer, M. F. Ahern; assessor, 
William Nicolay; justice, S. M. Walrath; con- 
stable, J. J. Mach. 

1910— President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, J. F. 
Koffnolski, J. E. Salmon, D. F. Salmon; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer, M. F. Ahern; assessor, 
William Nicolay; justice, H. M. Maertens; 
constable, J. Moe. 

1911 — President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, John 
Kosmalski, J. E. Salmon, D. F. Salmon; recorder, 

ls The license question has never been submitted in 
Taunton under the local option law and saloons have- 
always been licensed by the Village Council. 

I B Hartwick; treasurer, M . I'. Ahern; justice, 

I). P. Salmon; constable, 11. M. Maertens. 

1912 President, P. P. Ahern; trustees, John 
Kosmalski, I ). J. Salmon, I), p. Salmon; recorder, 
F. B. Hartwick; treasurer. M. 1'. Ahern; justice, 
1). P. Salmon; constable. John Ross. 

Since becoming an incorporated mu- 
nicipality Taunton has had a slow hut 
steady growth. The population was 196 
in 1905 and 205 in 1910. Among the 
improvements of recent year,; were a 
saloon building erected in 1903 by 
Johnson A: Mootz, an implement ware- 
house by Emil Buttke, a brick store 
building by .1. W. Mach, and a school 
house in 1 90b. 

THE school. 

Taunton has a good semi-graded 
public school. O. H. Mullar is the 
principal and teaches the higher grades; 
Annie Ahern has charge of the lower 
grades. The present enrollment is about 
ninety. The school board is composed 
of M. F. Ahern, clerk; P. P. Ahern, 
treasurer; and D. F. Salmon, director. 
The four-room school house, built of 
cement blocks, was erected in 1906 at a 
cost of over S7000.» 


St. Cyril and Methoduis Polish Cath- 
olic Church of. Taunton is one of the 
strong religious bodies of Lyon county 
and has a membership of about fifty 
families. The church edifice was erected 
in 1895 and was dedicated June 13 of 
that year. The dedicatory service s were 
conducted by Fathers Jager, of Marshall, 
and Zaleawiski, of„ Wilno, and were 
attended by over 1000 people. For 
many years the church was ministered 
to by priests from Ivanhoe and Wilno. 
The resident priests have been Fathers 
Buuchek, who served in 1905 and 1906, 
and Tomeski. who located in Taunton 



in 1911. The parsonage was erected in 
1906 at a cost of $6000. 

A German Lutheran society is main- 
tained in Taunton, supplied by pastors 
from other churches. 


The Taunton Fire Department was 
organized in 1907. Its fire fighting 
apparatus consists of a chemical engine 
and its membership is fifteen. John 
Ross is the chief. 


The State Bank of Taunton began 

business in May, 1905, with a capital 
stock of $10,000. The officers and 
directors at the time of organization 
and at the present time are as follows: 
John Swenson, president; P. P. Ahern, 
vice president; M. F. Ahern, cashier; 
and Samuel Lewison. The institution 
does a general banking business and 
engages in the real estate, collection and 
insurance business. The bank has had 
a substantial growth, the deposits having 
increased from $15,000 in 1905 to 
$90,000 in 1911, and enjoys the confi- 
dence of the people. 




ITHIN the limits of Lyon 
county are a number of little 
villages that have not reached 
a size that would warrant the beginning 
of local government, hut which arc. 
nevertheless, places of importance in the 
affairs of the county and of great benefit 
to the people of the surrounding country. 
They are Lynd, Florence, Garvin, Amiret 
and Green Valley. 

Besides these villages are a few other 
places that have names and occupy 
places on the map. They are Dudley, 
Burchard, Heckman and Camden. Be- 
fore Lyon county became dotted with 
villages and before the days of rural 
mail routes a number of country post- 
offices were established, the names of 
many of which will be recalled only by 
pioneer residents. Among such post- 
offices were Rock Lake, Sham Lake, 
Blan Avon, Ceresco, Hildrethsburg, 
Island Lake, Brenner and Leo. 


One of the most important of the 
smaller towns of Lyon county in a 
business sense, and by far the most 
important historically, is Lynd, located 
on the Great Northern railroad and the 
Redwood river, six and one-half miles 
southwest of Marshall. Nestled among 
the river bluffs, it has the most beautiful 

location of any village in the county. 
It boasts quite a number of business 
enterprises and is a thriving little 

Time was when Lynd was the only 
village in and the county seat of Lyon 
county, as well as the business, social 
and religious center of the county. In 
chronicling its history it is necessary to 
deal with three distinct villages, all 
bearing the same name. The oldest of 
these has been commonly referred to as 
Upper Lynd and was on the southeast 
quarter of section 33, Lynd township, 
one mile southwest of the present vil- 
lage. Lower Lynd, which became plain 
Lynd after the abandonment of the 
upper village, was founded a little after 
the older village and w r as located on the 
north side of the Redwood river — on 
the south half of the northwest quarter 
of section 27, Lynd towmship, — one-half 
mile north of the present village. 
Modern Lynd replaced the other village, 
having been founded in the late eighties, 
after the building of the Great Northern 

Upper Lynd came into existence in 
1868. That year the postoffice, named 
Lynd in honor of James W. Lynd, the 
trader who had his post at the site, 
was established with D. M. Taylor as 
postmaster. The same year Luman 
Ticknor opened a hotel and Mr. Taylor 



put in a small stock of staple goods. 
The store was not conducted long, but 
Mr. Taylor served as postmaster for 
several years. In September, 1870, Dr. 
George W. Whitney established a store 
in the log building on section 33 that 
had been used by the trader many years 
before. Dr. Whitney occupied that 
building for a short time and then 
erected a building in Lower Lynd and 
continued the business. 

When Lyon county was organized on 
August 12, 1870, the county seat was 
declared to be on the southeast quarter 
of section 33, which was Upper Lynd. 
The following year that village reached 
the zenith of its power. A church was 
erected, W. T. Ellis established a store, 
and the townsite was platted by George 

C. Smith and W. T. Ellis. 

The Upper Lynd townsite was sur- 
veyed by T. G. Morrill on August 22, 
1871. The certificate of dedication was 
acknowledged by the proprietors 1 before 

D. D. Morrill, a notary public for 
Ramsey county, on February 28, 1872, 
and it was filed in the office of the 
register of deeds of Redwood county 
March 20, 1872. Twenty-four blocks 
were included in the plat. In the center 
of the map of the plat was one block 
labeled "Public Square or Park." The 
north and south streets were named 
Alexander, Ramsey, Morton and Fenton; 
the east and west ones, William, Mar- 
shall, Main and Charles. 

W. T. Ellis, the guiding spirit of Upper 
Lynd, labored hard to make the village 
a success, but his efforts resulted in 
failure. Without legal authority, but 
by common consent, the rival down the 
river became the county seat, the post- 
office was moved there, Mr. Ellis moved 
his store there, and in time the site of 

'The dedication was in the following language: 
"We, the undersigned, George ('. Smith and William 
T. Ellis, proprietors of the village of Lynd, do hereby 
certify that we caused the same to be laid out into 

Upper Lynd became good farming land, 
as it is to day. 

Lower Lynd was founded in 1S71. by 
A. R. Cummins and A. D. Morgan. It. 
was beautifully situated on the river 
bottom, with bluffs rising abruptly on 
either side, and was nearly surrounded 
by timber. The townsite consisted of 
about twenty acres of land, divided into 
eight blocks, and occupied a position 
within a little bend of the river, on the 
north side. Separating the blocks were 
three streets, named Cummin;. Main 
and Bridge. 

Levi S. Kiel and A. 1). Morgan erected 
a large hotel building on the site and 
Mr. Morgan established a store. The 
new Lynd secured the county seat in 
1872. the postoffice was moved there, 
a church building was moved from the 
older town, and Lower Lynd became the 
metropolis of Lyon county. 

Its importance was not destined to 
continue, however. The Winona & St. 
Peter railroad was built through the 
county in 1872 and left Lynd to one 
side. Marshall was founded and rapidly 
outstripped its inland rival. In the fall 
of 1873 the voters of the county declared 
their preference for Marshall for the 
county seat, and in January, 1S74, Lynd 
lost that aid to future greatness. At 
the time of the removal of the county 
seat the Prairie Schooner said that 
Lynd contained two stores of general 
merchandise, a postoffice, shoe shop, 
hotel, blacksmith shop, wagon shop, 
carpenter shop and several offices. 

Lynd steadily declined after it lost 
the county seat. At the beginning of 
the year 1876 the county paper stated 
that Lynd had one store and was the 
center of a large settlement. In time 
practically all the business enterprises 

lots, streets and alleys for town purposes as hen- 
platted and that we hereby give the streets and 
alleys as here platted to the public. [Signed] George 
C. Smith, William T. Ellis." 





W M* '!,. 


School House 



were abandoned, although the postoffice 
continued to be conducted by Levi S. 

Kiel until after the building i>t' modern 
Lynd. The pioneer hotel building ami 
several residences still occupy the site 
of old Lynd. 

With the building of the Willmar & 
Sioux Falls railroad in 1888 came the 
founding of fehe third, or modern, Lynd. 
When the grade tor the road was made 
in the fall of 1887, a grade for a siding 
was made on the southwesl quarter of 
section 27. a half mile south of the old 
town, and in August, L888, the track 
was put in. 

\Y. II. Sherman, vice president of the 
Willmar A: Sioux Falls Railroad Com- 
pany, and G. E. Rice platted the town- 
site. It was surveyed by ('. L. Van 
Fleet on November 6, 1888, and the 
dedication was made by the proprietors 
on November 20. Four blocks only 
were platted. They were divided by 
streets named First. Second, Third and 
Fourth and at right angles by Rice 
and Railroad Streets. 2 

Modern Lynd was not built in a day; 
in fact, its growth was very slow. The 
first building erected on the site was an 
elevator put up by the Northwestern 
Elevator Company. The people of the 
vicinity wanted a store established, 3 
but for several years no one made the 
venture. The first store was opened in 
1891 by F. W. Cowdiam. who conducted 
it until the fall of 1895 and then sold to 
W. R. Gregg. The Lynd postoffice, 
which had been conducted so long by 

-Two additions to Lynd have been platted, namely: 
Rice's, by C. E. Rice on March 14, 1905; Sharratt's 
First, by A. A. Sharratt on April 15, 1911. 

3 "There has been talk of putting in a store at Lynd, 
but it does not materialize very rapidly. This is a 
good point and some one will be here soon to make 
his fortune." — Lynd Correspondent to News-Messen- 
ger, November 17, 1890. 

'Mr. C'owham served as postmaster until November, 
1895, and W. R. Gregg has since held the office. 

One rural route is operated from the Lynd office. 
It was the first rural free delivery route established 
in Southwestern Minnesota and the first trip on it was 
made December 4, 1899. Philip Snyder was the first 
carrier and C. W. Cady was substitute. The latter 

Levi S. Kiel, was moved to the stoic and 
Mr. Cowham became postmaster.' After 
the Cowham store, the next building 
erected in Lynd was a residence by A. F. 

Alexander, who moved from a farm. 
The Methodist church was put up in 
1896 and a residence by Philip Snyder 
in L897. 

The first thirteen years of Lynd's 
history saw very few improvements 
made, and this was due largely to the 

fact that g 1 titles to lots could not be 

secured. In 1901 the matter was 
cleared 5 and the advancement that year 
was rapid. Nicholson Brothers put up 
buildings and engaged in the lumber 
and hardware business. Larson & Voog 
built a store and residence and engaged 
in business. Charles Zellmer erected 
the store building now occupied by II. C. 
llausei'. Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Austin 
put up a building and established the 
first hotel. 

During the past decade Lynd has 
made fair progress and taken its place 
as one of the substantial little villages 
of Lyon county. Among the buildings 
erected since 1901 are the residences of 
A. A. Sharratt, F. Nicholson, Mrs. 
Gillman, Mrs. Williams, C. W. Cady, 
George Moffatt, G. S. Wunderlich, 
Stephen Nicholson, Otto Raav and F. 
W. Yanstrom, the tenement house of 
Claus Frahm, the school house erected 
in 1905, the First State Bank building 
in 1910, the blacksmith shop of Claus 
Frahm, and the wagon shop of F. E. 

has been carrier since November 1, 1901, and is the 
second oldest carrier, in point of service, in the state. 

5 "The town of Lynd has for many years been sadly 
stunted because of the lack of title to the land. Until 
a few days ago no one knew to whom the land be- 
longed and it rested with the courts to decide the 
matter. T. P. Baldwin bid the lands in at forced sale 
and contested for possession, but the decision handed 
down was not in his favor. The court says that the 
land belongs to Rice & Canfield. 

"The boom has already begun. Three lots have 
been sold to a Mr. Larson, of Wisconsin, who will 
open a lumber yard and an elevator in a short time. 
It is understood that a store will also soon be opened." 
— Marshall Reporter, April 5, 1901. 



The First Methodist Episcopal Church 
of Lynd is the outgrowth of the first 
religious society formed in Lyon county, 
which was established in September, 
1867, by the first settlers. 6 Rev. C. F. 
Wright was the first pastor. 7 After the 
founding of Marshall in 1872 the charge 
was divided and two separate organiza- 
tions were maintained. 

In September, 1889, the Lynd church 
was incorporated with the following as 
trustees: L. S. Kiel, W. H. Langdon, 
L. Oilman, W. R. Gregg, M. C. Kiel, 
William Cook, A. C. Tucker, E. E. 
Taylor and W. L. Watson. It was the 
intention to erect a church edifice at 
that time, but it was several years later 
when the building was finally erected. 

The matter of a church home was 
again taken up at a meeting of the 
trustees on January 28, 1896, when a 
building committee was selected. The 
church officers at that time were L. S. 
Kiel, president; Jacob Rouse, secretary; 
and W. R. Gregg, treasurer. The build- 
ing was commenced the following May, 
the corner stone was laid June 13, and 
the church was occupied for the first 
time in August, 1896. The cost was 
$1200. A parsonage was completed in 
March, 1911, at a cost of $1200. 8 

Early in 1889 a Presbyterian church 
society was organized in Lynd and 
services were for a time held in the 
school house, conducted by Rev. N. D. 
Graves, of Marshall. The trustees at 
the time of organization were Hiram 
Fellows, D. C. Pierce and Andrew Nel- 
son. Alexander Burr w r as clerk and 

6 For a more complete history of this church the 
reader is referred to page 147. 

"Other pastors of the Lynd church have been 
Revs. A. H. Riley, Eastman, G. H. MeKee, O. C. 
Gregg, W. T. Ellis, George Galpin, S. F. Lemans, 
Joseph Hall, Ellery, Lindsley, Hitchcock, A. A, 
Wilcox, J. W. Farr, J. W. Stebbins, Langworthy. 
Williams and George W. Root. » 

s The stewards of the Methodist church of Lynd are 

The Lynd State Bank was incor- 
porated June 1, 1910, and opened for 
business July 11 of the same year, with 
a capital stock of $10,000. The original 
stockholders and officers were the same 
as at present, namely: J. E. Vanstrom, 
president; S. J. Forbes, vice president; 
and F. W. Vanstrom, cashier. The bank 
owns its own home, which was erected 
at the time of founding. The growth 
of the institution has been satisfactory. 
Within six months after founding the 
deposits were $30,000 and there has 
since been a steady increase. 


Florence is an unincorporated village 
on the Great Northern railroad and on 
the northwest quarter of section 20, 
Shell mrne township. There are a bank, 
several stores and shops in the village, 
where the people of Shelburne and 
adjoining townships do their trading. 

Like the other villages of Lyon 
county on the Great Northern railroad, 
Florence was founded in 1888. The site 
for the station was selected in November 
of the year before, 9 and in May, 1888, 
it was announced that the new station 
would be named Florence. The name 
was bestowed in honor of Florence 
Sherman, daughter of the founder of the 
town. Train service was begun in the 
fall and on October 9, 1888, the village 
was platted by W. H. Sherman, who had 
purchased eighty acres of land from 
H. P. Sanden for the purpose. It was 
surveyed by Jackson & Yause and con- 
sisted of seven blocks. The streets, 
running north and south, were named 

C. W. Cady, recording steward; A. E. Alexander, 
S. Nicholson, Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Austin, W. R. Gregg, 
H. W. Ruliffson, N. F. Larson and William Banks. 
The trustees are W. R. Gregg, S. Nicholson, A. E. 
Alexander, C. H. Austin and Fred Nicholson. 

9 "The last station, making six in all, will be located 
on section 20, in Shelburne, six and one-half miles 
beyond Clear Lake [Russell], ten miles west of Balaton 
and nineteen miles southwest of Marshall." — Marshall 
News-Messenger, November 11, 1887. 



Morton and Harrison, and the avenues 
were named Garfield, Lincoln, Logan 
and Blaine. 10 

The townsite proprietor erected a 
store building — the first structure in the 
town — and leased it to Thomas H. 
Owens, who sold a farm near Tyler and 
established a general store in the new 
town. For several years he was the 
only business man in Florence and he 
conducted the store until his death on 
March 15. 1894. The postoffice was es- 
tablished soon after Mr. Owens located 
in Florence and he became the first 
postmaster. 11 The second building 
elected was a blacksmith shop put up 
by a Mr. Swenson. 

For several years after the founding 
there were few improvements to mark 
the site, but in 1893 the village advanced 
rapidly. Amberson Brothers established 
the second general store (now conducted 
by M. O. Gorseth), H. O. Jeglum en- 
gaged in the implement business, a Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church was put up, 
the Shelburne Warehouse Association 
engaged in the grain business, L. 
Anderson put up a building which was 
occupied by a harness shop and shoe 
store for a time and later by a general 
store in charge of T. Dreger, C. O. Green 
built a hotel which was opened early in 
August, a school house was completed 
late in the year, and several others 
engaged in business. 

Florence has not grown as has some 
of the neighboring villages, but it has 
developed into a prosperous little com- 
munity and each year marks some 
progress. There was talk of incor- 

10 Sanden's First Addition was platted November 24, 
1909, by H. P. Sanden. 

u Other postmasters of Florence have been David 
Owens, John Martin, M. O. Gorseth and Anton Larson. 

12 A complete roster of the teachers in district No. 
78 is as follows: Dora Anderson, 1893; Mattie ('. 
Snartum, 1894-95; Caroline Thompson, 1896; Mary 
Davis, 1897; Herbert Dresser, 1898; Sophia Semonsen, 
1899; Albert Peterson, 1900-01; Josephine Sundblad, 
1902-03; A ngnes Johnson, 1904-05; Rangna Johnson 
1906; Elisa Hall, 1907; Martha Bly, 1908-09; Lydia 
Lundquist, 1910; Edla C. Johnson, 1911-12. 

porating as a village in 1902, but the 
step was not taken. 

The history of the Florence school 
antedates that of the village itself. In 
1884 school district No. 47, embracing 
the southwest quarter of Shelburne 
township, was organized, and a school 
house was built on C. P. Myran's farm, 
the southwest quarter of section 20, 
just south of the future village. The 
teacher.: of that school were Cora Low- 
land, Mary Bingham, Amelia Lien, T. 
H. Owens, Blanch Chapman, Mattie 
Sanders, Mabel C. Grover and Ella 

The present district, No. 78, was or- 
ganized in 1893. ' In the fall of that 
year a school house was erected in the 
village at a cost of $750. Forty-five 
pupils are now enrolled in the school, 
which is in charge of Edla C. Johnson. 12 
The members of the school board are 
A. E. Green, clerk; H. P. Sanden, 
trea urer; and Anton Hynden, director. 

The Norwegian Lutheran church of 
Florence was established in 1878, ten 
years before the village was founded. 1 ' 1 
The first pastor was Rev. Martin Shirle, 
who was in charge of the church one 
year. He was succeeded in turn by 
Rev. Eggeland, 1879-82; Rev. Martin 
Shirle (second call), 1882-90; Rev. Bernt 
Askevold, 1890-94; Rev. Sorenson, 1894- 
97; Rev. Flelga Aanestad, 1897-07; and 
Rex. Axel Berg, 1907-12. 

Camp No. 3871, Modern Woodmen of 
America, was organized in November, 
1897, 14 and has had an active life. 
Twenty-three members are now on the 

13 Early members of the church were Peter Sanden, 
Hans P. Sanden, Cornelius Myran, Paul Ronning, E. 
K. Ronning, J. P. Myran, Andrew Sanden, Christopher 
Johnson, Edward Anderson, Evan Berg, Evan Blegen , 
Tver Blegen, Carl Anderson, Andrew Berg and Thomas 

14 The charter members of the Modern Woodmen 
lodge were John Martin, Hans P. Sanden, K. 10. 
Ronning, Edward Ronning, Louis Anderson, Evan 
Berg, Peter Myran, Ole Myran, Louis Blegen, Theodore 
Drake, Soren Jacobson, Mike Ofstad, M. < >. Gorseth 
and Peter Ronning. 



The State Bank of Florence was in- 
corporated June 5, 1908. with a capital 
stock of $10,000. The first board of 
directors was composed of P. A. Chris- 
tiansen, A. E. Green. M. O. Gorseth, 
C. H. Christopherson, Ed. Anderson. 
H. P. Sanden and S. A. Christianson. 


Of the smaller villages of Lyon 
county. Garvin is one of the most im- 
portant and has a number of business 
enterprises that would he a credit to 
more pretentious places. It is a station 
on the Dakota Central division of the 
Chicago & Northwestern railroad, aboul 
midway between Tracy and Balaton, 
and is on the southeast quarter of section 
27, Custer township. 

Although the railroad was built in 
1879 the station was not established 
that early and the site was not entitled 
to a place on the map until 1886. Four 
years earlier a side track had been laid 
there and in railroad circles the site was 
known as Siding No. 7. 1 "' The siding 
became known as Terry in the spring of 
1886, and on April 30 the Terry town- 
site was platted by the railroad com- 
pany. It was surveyed by C. C. Pudor 
and was dedicated by Albert Keep, as 
president of the Winona <v St. Peter 
Railroad Company. Two blocks only 
were included in the original plat. The 
streets were named First, Sherman, 
Grant and Sheridan. 16 

In the fall of 1886 the postoffice was 
established and for some time the office 

15 When this sidetrack was laid in 1882 it had appar- 
ently been the intention of the railroad company to 
establish a station, for in the Marshall New- of August 
11. 1882, I find the following: 

"Lyon county has a new village, located in the 
town of Custer, on the Dakota Central, midway 
between Tracy and Balaton. The company has 
platted a townsite and put in a sidetrack. A depot 
and an elevator will be built immediately." 

16 Additions to Garvin have been platted as follows: 
Blocks 3 and 4, August 8, 1900. by the railroad 

company; surveyed by J. C. W. Cline. » 

Bredevien's, December 9. 1905, by Hans J. Bred- 

evien; surveyed by W. A. Hawkins. 

was at the home of William R. Owens. 
the postmaster. 17 The station bore the 
name Terry only about one year and 
was then renamed Kent. The first 
building erected at the station was a 
flathouse put up by a Mr. Seefield in 
1887. H. L. Green was employed as 
urain buyer by Mr. Seefield. He lived 
in one end of the flathouse and stored 
grain in the other. About 1889 the 
flathouse was replaced by an elevator 
and Mr. Green continued as grain buyer 
several year-. 

The name of the station was changed 
from Kent to Garvin, in honor of H. C. 
Garvin, traveling freight agent of the 
railroad, in July. 1891. Until business 
houses were founded there, however. 
the place was generally referred to as 
Seefield, after the owner of the elevator. 
The second structure on the site was a 
business building put up by William 
Owen-, in which he opened a store. 
He conducted the store a few years and 
then sold to Annie Shand. About the 
time that William Owens erected his 
store building he and his brother, Owen 
Owens, each built dwelling houses in the 

After selling the pioneer store, William 
Owens and his brother put up another 
building and established the second 
general -tore. About the same time 
Andrew Anderson erected a small build- 
ing and engaged in the blacksmith 
business. Other enterprises followed 
and the village of Garvin gradually 
developed. It has had a steady growth 

Blocks 5 to 14, inclusive, June 17, 1909, by the 
railroad company; surveyed by F. R. ('line. 

Blocks 15 to 19, inclusive, November 26, 1910, by 
the railroad company: surveyed by F. R. Cline. 

17 The office has had only two postmasters. William 
R. Owen- served from the fall of 1886 until September. 
1900, since which time Evan M. Jones has b?en post- 

Two rural route> arc supplied from the Garvin 
office. Both were established March 1, 1903. Samuel 
Jones was carrier of No. 1 and David V. Jones of 
No. 2. 



and each year witnesses additions to 
the town. 

Garvin has an excellent school, with 
three instructors and about eighty-five 
pupils. Before the village of Garvin 
was founded, on December 3, 1879, 
district No. 47 was organized. 18 The 
first teacher of the school was Annie (i. 
Shand and the first officers of the district 
were E. H. Cutts, clerk; Thomas L. 
Harris, treasurer; and Daniel Willford, 
director. 19 A two-room school house 
was built iu 1901 and that was replaced 
in 1911 by a four-room brick school 
house, erected at a cost of $11,500. The 
present instructors are Eunice Davis, 
principal; Agnes Peterson and Clara 
Jacobson. 2 " 

The First Congregational Church of 
Garvin was organized in 1891 with only 
eight members, as follows: John N. 
Jones, William W. Jones, Annie P. Jones, 
Mary Anne Jones, Edith Owens, Thomas 
T. Jones, Evan M. Jones and Maggie 
Jones. The first deacons were William 
W. Jones and Evan M. Jones and the 
pastor was Rev. Edward Thomas. 21 
The church was erected in 1899 and the 
value of the church property is now 

ls The signers of the petition for the organization 
of the district were Daniel Willford, E. H. Cutts, 
A. S. Cutler, L. Soward, Thomas L. Harris, Robert 
Owens, Hugh R. Hughes, Robert R. Owens, Margaret 
Jones, Ojen Johnson, John H. Hughes, John S. Owens, 
H. C. Masters, John L. Harris, C. M. Goodrich, W. W. 
Harrison, John Avery, Walter DeLong, Simon DeLong, 
James Steele, John H. Griffiths, Solomon Evans, 
George S. Robinson, Edward Glynn, B. R. Bass, 
Jeremiah Evans, David Davis, H. Peterson, Clemct 
Helleson, Thomas Nelson and Hans Jacobson. 

1 "Other officers of the district have been A. G. 
Bumford, Clinton Willford, O. R. Owens, Hans John- 
son, Ed. Edwards, W. W. Jones, C. R. Holden, N. S. 
Peterson, A. L. Colburn and E. M. Jones. 

20 Others who taught the Garvin school since 1897 
have been- N. S. Peterson, Arthur O. Dillon, Glenola 
Collins, Elizabeth Carlysle, Hannah Johnson, Etta A. 
Lucas, Myrtle Ladd, S. S. Swanson, H. R. Painter, 
Mrs. H. R. Painter, Rose Osborn, Ida Amundson, 
Clara Welty, C. H. Webb, Edith M. Engstrom, Leona 
Blanchard and Delia Cook. 

21 The pastors who have occupied the pulpit of the 
Congregational church have been as follows: Edward 
Thomas, 1891-95; John L. Martin, 1S95-96; R. P. 
Upton, 1896-98; A. E. Wood, 1898-00; C. A. Ruddock, 
1900-02; W. A. Taylor, 1902; supplied during 1902-03; 
George Battey, 1903-04; F. Wright, 1905-06; D. R. C. 
Jenkins, 1907-09; Robert E. Roberts, 1909-11: William 
P. McClane, 1911-12. 

- 2 In the same charge with the Garvin church is 
Bethel Congregational Church of Custer township. It 
was organized January 20, 1875, through the efforts 

$4000. The membership is seventy- 
eight, comprising twenty families. A 
Sunday School with seventy-five mem- 
bers is maintained in connection. 22 

( larvin Camp No. 3599, Modern Wood- 
men of America, was organized April 5, 
lS'.IS.-' 1 The lodge has had an active 
life and now has sixty-two members. 
The principal officers are A. A. Persons, 

E. M. Jones, E. M. Strunk, C. R. Holden 
and John Holden, Jr. 

The Woodmen auxiliary, Charity 
Lodge No. 2048, Royal Neighbors of 
America, was organized March 20,1 900. 2i 
There are now forty-three members in 
good standing. 

The banking history of Garvin dates 
back to May 27, 1905, when the Lyon 
County Bank, private, was established 
by G. A. Tate, J. H. Rice and N. H. 
Olson. Mr. Tate was president and 

F. D. Pinckney cashier. In April, 1907, 
the farmers of the vicinity purchased 
the stock and organized the Farmers 
State Bank, with a capital stock of 
$10,000. The new officers were N. S. 
Peterson, president; T. P. Lien, vice 
president; and F. D. Pinckney, cashier. 

The Farmers State Bank absorbed 

of Rev. E. H. Alden. The first members of the church 
were Richard Hughes, Ann Hughes, Thomas Harris, 
Hannah Harris, Mary Williams, Katherine Thomas, 
Mary Jane Griffith, Edward Glynn, Ann Glynn, 
Marguerite Hughes and Ruth Price. Thomas Harris 
and Richard Hughes were the first deacons and 
Edward Glynn, James Morgan and William H. Hughes 
the first trustees. 

The church building on the southwest quarter of 
section 12 was built in 1876 and until 1895 the charge 
was an independent one. The pastors during those 
years were Revs. Philip Pergrine, Francis, Wrigley, 
James Davis, Edward Thomas, John K. Martin and 
Riifus P. Upton. Since 1895 the pastors of the 
Garvin and Bethel churches have been the same. 
Bethel church has forty-one members at the present 

- 3 The charter members of Garvin Camp were A. J. 
Anderson, C. S. Anderson, A. G. Bumford, B. O. 
Dalthorp, Edward P. Evans, H. L. Green, Reuben L. 
Harris, Carl R. Holden, R. T. Hughes, Evan M. Jones, 
John P. Jones, Thomas T. Jones, William W. Jones, 
George E. Lindsley, John S. Owens. Owen R. Owens, 
H. L. Shand, James A. W. Shand, A. J. Swenson, 
Clinton Willford and C. M. Willford. 

24 Charter members of Charity Lodge wimp Maggie 
J. Jones, Anna Coyle, Mary A. Jones, Margaret Hughes, 
Hannah A. Hughes, Olive A. Thomas, Louisa Carlburn, 
Nellie Caruren, Annie P. Jones, Annie D. Jones, Mary 
A. Weed, Annie Shand, Sarah Harris. Sephorah Owens. 
Mary Underwood, Anna E. Owens, Alice Hughes, 
Mary J. Hughes, Eleanor Jones, Mary F. Jones, Alice 
Jones, Edith Owens and Lena Anderson. 



the Garvin State Bank on July 3, 1909. 
The latter was organized in 1907 with 
the following officers: J. R. Fitch, 
president; C. S. Orwoll, vice president; 
and H. L. Shand, cashier. The present 
officers of the Farmers State Bank are 
N. S. Peterson, president; G. Peterson, 
vice president; and F. D. Pinckney, 
cashier. Under the management of Mr. 
Pinckney the bank has had a prosperous 

One of the institutions of Garvin is 
the creamery, which was built by the 
farmers of the vicinity and put in 
operation in June, 1899. The Garvin 
Creamery Company manufactures 200,- 
000 pounds of butter per year and dis- 
tributes about $60,000 per year among 
the farmers of the vicinity. P. O. 
Anderson is the buttermaker and has 
had charge of the creamery for the past 
eight years. The officers of the com- 
pany are as follows: Thomas D. Phil- 
lips, president: W. W. Jones, secretary; 
E. M. Jones, treasurer; Ellsworth Evans, 
J. J. Thomas. E. J. Davis and D. I). 
Jones, directors. 


A compact, neat appearing little 
village is Amiret, twelve miles south- 
east of Marshall on the Northwestern 
railroad. It is on the northeast quarter 
of section 19. Amiret township. Here 
are grouped a number of stores, shops 
and elevators, enterprises that go to 
make up a trading point for the con- 
venience of the surrounding farming- 

Amiret has borne different names at 

25 The Coburg postoffice was discontinued late in 
1S75, Mr. Coburn having served until that time. It 
was re-established in the spring of 1878 with James 
Mitchell, Jr., as postmaster, but the office during his 
administration was in charge of David Bell. Soon 
after its re-establishment the name was changed to 
Amiret. Mr. Bell later received the appointment. 
He was succeeded in July, 1S79, by C» A. Wheelock, 
who served until October, 1880. D. S. Hart, the depot 
agent, kept the office a month or two and late in 

different periods of its history and it is 
one of the oldest villages of Lyon 
county. Nearby the first townsite in 
the county was laid out in 1857 and 
named Saratoga, and later when the 
railroad was built and a station was es- 
tablished in the vicinity it also was 
named Saratoga — the first name borne 
by Amiret. 

The plans of the railroad company 
regarding the location of a station in 
the vicinity of the future village of 
Amiret were rather indefinite. A side- 
track for the unloading of supplies was 
laid in 1872, when the railroad was being 
constructed, on the S. S. Truax farm, 
the northwest quarter of section 32, 
about a mile and a half from the present 
village. There seems to have been the 
promise that a station would be located 
farther north, for in the late summer of 
1S72 William Coburn erected a store 
building there and engaged in business. 
Within a very short time he moved the 
building to Saratoga Station (section 
32). In July, 1872, a postoffice, named 
Coburg in honor of the pioneer store- 
keeper, was established with Mr. Coburn 
as postmaster. 25 

The present and final location of 
Saratoga Station was selected in the fall 
of 1874. The townsite, also named 
Saratoga and situated on the northeast 
quarter of section 19, was surveyed for 
the railroad company on October 7, 

1874, by John B. Berry, and the certifi- 
cate of dedication was made April 26, 

1875. Eight blocks were laid out, 
divided by Front, Church. Main, Second 
and First Streets. 26 - 

J. H. Williams established the second 

November, 1880, the office was put in charge of Frank 
Watson. J. W. Kellev was the next postmaster and 
held the office until July, 1885. T. H. Webb was 
postmaster from 1S87 to April, 1897, and F. W. Webb 
from that time until 1911. David Morgan is the 
present postmaster. 

26 Outlots 1, 2 and 3 were platted by the railroad 
company September 1, 1911. 



store, his resilience answering the pur- 
pose of a business house, and competed 

with the pioneer business man. Mr. 
Coburn conducted the store and post- 
office at the old station on section 32 
until June, 1875; then the neighbors 
assisted in moving the store building to 
the Saratoga townsite, where it remained 
until destroyed by fire in December, 
1907. 27 A depot was erected and Sara- 
toga, or Coburg, as the place was more 
commonly called, began to take on the 
appearance of a village. 

The grasshopper plague brought a 
stop to advancement; in fact, was re- 
sponsible for the depopulation of Coburg. 
Mr. Coburn closed his store and moved 
away, the postoffice was discontinued, 
and a few empty buildings only marked 
the site. Coburg was without inhabi- 
tants at the beginning of the year 
1876. 28 

With the departure of the grasshop- 
pers the deserted village once more 
became the scene of activities. In the 
spring of 1S7S the Coburg postoffice was 
re-established and David Bell, who at 
the same time opened a general store in 
the Coburn building, hail charge of the 
office. During the summer of the same 
year Van Dusen & Company erected an 
elevator and a dwelling house. The 
residence was occupied by L. N. Lawshe, 
who had charge of the grain business. 

27 The Prairie Schooner of July 2, 1875, said: "The 
town of Coburg has been changed to a point a mile 
this side of the old station. Coburn Brothers and 
others have moved up there and a town has been laid 
out with good prospects of future growth." 

It is said that this old building of Mr. Coburn was 
the first frame building, excepting the engineers' 
building at Marshall, erected on the line of the road 
west from Sleepy Eye. It was used for store purposes 
respectively by William Coburn, David Bell, H. D. 
Kelly, D. Y. Davis, A. ('. ( 'liittenden, J. W. Kelley, 
John Currie, Thomas Webb, Purvis & Griffith and 
Mr. Hamilton. While the last named was the owner 
it was destroyed by fire. 

- s "Coburg is twelve miles east of Marshall. It has 
a depot, no business, but lots of good land." — Marshall 
News, January 1, 1S76. 

29 The history of the naming of Amiret was given as 
follows in the Marshall News-Messenger of August 9, 
1907, the information having been secured in an 
interview with James Mitchell: 

". . . In the dilemma of the handful of citizens, 

A shoe shop was established, a Congre- 
gational church and Sunday School were 
organized, and a school was conducted 
by L. F. Robinson. 

Prior to February, 1879, the post- 
office bore the name Coburg and the 
station Saratoga. Confusion in the mail 
service resulted because of the dual 
appellation and the name of the post- 
office was at that time changed to 
Amiret, and soon after the railroad 
company changed the name of the sta- 
tion to correspond. Amiret was named 
in honor of the wife of M. L. Sykes, at 
that time vice president of the Chicago 
& Northwestern Railroad Company. 29 

Several improvements were made in 
Amiret in 1879. David Bell sold his 
store in May to H. D. Kelly, who con- 
ducted the business only a short time. 
C. A. Wheelock became depot agent and 
opened a second general store in July, 
which he conducted until October, 1880. 
William Blair and E. Warn each estab- 
lished hotels, G. L. Lowe opened a 
blacksmith shop, a school house was 
erected, and L. N. Lawshe continued to 
buy grain. 

In 1880 C. T. Trow engaged in the 
lumber business, a Mr. Smith for a few 
months operated a general store, D. S. 
Hart became station agent and sold a 
few goods as a side line, and in the fall 
A. C. Chittenden, of Marshall, opened a 

young Jim Mitchell came to the front and insisted that 
the place should have a new name that should include 
both the station and the postoffice. He came to 
Marshall and laid his troubles before Gene Wilcox, 
who was then station agent and supposed to stand in 
with the railroad magnates. Gene asked for twenty- 
four hours' delay and meanwhile worked the wires 
between Marshall and railroad headquarters at Winona, 
eulogizing the beauties and prospects of Amiret anil 
descanting on the renown that would befall the for- 
tunate individual who should name the embryo 

"After due discussion among the magnates, it was 
determined that one M. L, Sykes, a vice president of 
1 he Chicago & Northwestern road, and also holding a 
similar office in the Winona & St. Peter branch, should 
have the honor, which was fitting, as he had already 
bought a farm near the station to be named. With 
true gallantry the railroad man thought of his wife, 
whose name was Amiretta, and through Wilcox at 
first hand, and Mitchell at second hand, the village 
was christened Amiret, a name which it has sinc^ 



branch general store, which was placed 
in charge of Frank Watson. That store 
was operated for several years. 

The progress of Amiret was not rapid, 
for we find that in the spring of 1882 
there were in the village only one store, 
an elevator, lumber yard, hotel and 
boarding house. During the next few 
years there were more backward steps. 
A. C. Chittenden withdrew from the 
field and a store was established by 
J. W. Kelley, who in the spring of 1885 
was reported to be the only inhabitant 
of Amiret. 30 And in July he moved to 
Balaton and left the village without an 

There was a revival in the spring of 
1886. Webb Brothers opened a general 
store, two other stores were established, 
and a blacksmith shop was again op- 
erated in the village. Never again was 
Amiret to be called a "one man town." 
In 1892 the business interests consisted 
of two stores, two grain warehouses, two 
machinery dealers, a lumber yard and 
a blacksmith and wagon shop. 

Slow growth has followed and Amirel 
now consists of a number of prosperous 
business houses, housed in substantial 
buildings. Twice have fires brought 
losses to the village. In December, 
1907, the old Coburn store building was 
destroyed. On November 3, 1908, the 
store of Webb & Peterson was burned, 
bringing a loss of many thousands of 
dollars. The Tracy Fire Department 
was called and saved the village from 

The Amiret State Bank was estab- 

30 "The executive, judiciary, clerk, postmaster and 
all is centered in one man, J. W. Kelley. That man 
runs the village of Amiret entirely and absolutely. 
Whether he would run the village were there anything 
of the village besides his store is a question upon 
which the writer interviewed no one. There is no 
one to interview besides Mr. Kelley and he couldn't 
say, for should another man move in he might except 
to Mr. Kelley's administration and establish a con- 
spiracy. Mr. Kelley knows this and rather than be 
confronted by any such possibility he throws out no 
inducements to people to come there,, in the way of 
flaming posters, circulars and Dakota falsehoods. "- 
Marshall News-Messenger, March 27, 1885. 

lished with a capital stock of $10,000 
on October 1, 1910, by a number of 
business men and farmers of Amiret ami 
vicinity and is housed in a building- 
erected for the purpose. The officers 
and directors are as follows: President, 
Lester J. Fitch; vice president, R. A. 
Mitchell; cashier, F. T. Shaeffer; Solomon 
Greeley and C. S. Rowell. 


Five miles northeast of Marshall, on 
the line of the Great Northern railroad 
and on the northeast quarter of section 
10, Fairview township, is the little 
village of Green Valley. There is one 
general store, an implement warehouse, 
lumber yard, three elevators, black- 
smith shop, a church and school. 

Green Valley came into existence 
when the Willmar & Sioux Palls railroad 
was built in 1888. The site and name 
of the station were announced in May 
of that year, although it was known the 
fall before that a station would be 
located in the vicinity.'" The track 
was laid to the site on Saturday, August 
18, 1888, and the sidetrack was laid the 
next day and a platform built. The 
Northwestern Elevator Company erected 
an elevator at the same time, which was 
the first building on the site. 

There were no other improvements in 
Green Valley during the year of its 
founding. In February, 1889, the post- 
office was established and conducted at 
the home of G. M. Robinson, who lived 
nearby. Mr. Robinson served as post- 
master until February, 1890. ' ,2 Not 

3I ". . . The next station coming toward Marshall 
is somewhat in doubt, but will probably be near (1. M. 
Robinson's, in Fairview, or in the southwest corner 
of Vallers, making it from five to six miles from Marshall 
and Cottonwood lake. Of course, it will not be a 
prominent station, but important as a shipping point 
and will have a first-class elevator.'' — Marshall News- 
Messenger, November 11, 1887. 

32 Others who have "been postmasters of Green 
Valley have been E. P. Duffy, Isaac Clendenning, 
H. W. Throop, O. S. Walters, Elijah Loomis, J. B. 
Truax, John Sharratt, John S. Gee and P. F. Ziesmer. 
Mr. Sharratt is the present postmaster, having served 
on his last term since October 12, 1905. 







until the summer and fall of 1889 were 

there any additions to the village. In 
August Spurgeon Odell located there 
and took the management of the eleva- 
tor, boarding at the home of G. M. 
Robinson. Before the middle of No- 
vember he had purchased 21.000 bushels 
of wheat. The same fall the railroad 
-tat ion was opened, in charge of Frank 
Angier, hut was closed the first of the 
following year. A little box-car struc- 
ture was hauled to the site and answered 
the purposes of a depot. 

E. P. Duffy erected a building in the 
fall of 1889 and in January, 1890, opened 
the village's first mercantile establish- 
ment. About the same time H. AY. 
Throop moved a dwelling house to tin 1 
village from Yallers township. The 
Inter-.State drain Company put up a 
warehouse in August, 1S90, and Charles 
Ahlbeck became the grain buyer for the 
firm. The same season a blacksmith 
shop was established by .lay B. Truax. 
In 1S92 Spurgeon Odell erected a" 
dwelling house. 

The growth of Green Valley has not 
been great. Among the enterprises es- 
tablished after the start had been made 
were a store by J. S. Gee, who also put 
up a residence; an implement business 
by Gee & Ziesmer in 1899, lumber yard 
by the H. W. Ross company, and a 
blacksmith shop by Mr. Frazier. 

Those engaged in business at Green 
Valley at the present time are as follows: 
John Sharratt, general store and post- 
office; L. E. Boudreau, machinery and 
vehicles; AY. H. Lane, manager of the 
H. W. Ross lumber yard; L. A. Knapp, 
blacksmith; M. J. Barrett, station agent; 

33 Among the first members of the church were 
Mrs. D. -P. Andrews, H. N. Robinson, Mrs. W. C. 
Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Throop, Mr. and Mrs. 
John Sharratt, Mr. and Mrs. John S. Gee, Mr. and 
Mrs. E. F. Ziesmer, Mrs. Thomas Lindsay, Mr. and 
Mrs. W. A. Grant and W. A. Forbes. 

• !4 The charter members of Green Valley Cam]) were 
F. H. Deland, Fred Gee, Ernest Ziesmer, Burt Gee, 
W. A. Grant, James F. Knox, F. E. Markell, George 

C. \Y. Christensen, manager Inter-State 
elevator; Northwestern Elevator Com- 
pany and Walter Parks Elevator Com- 

A Presbyterian church is maintained 
in Green Yalley, although it has never 
had a resident pastor ami has only a few 
members. It was organized in 1898 
through the efforts of John S. Leas, 
Sunday School organizer, of Cotton- 
wood. 3 '' A church home was built the 
same year and was dedicated January 
23. 1899, by Rev. R. N. Adams, of 
.Minneapolis. The cost of the church 
was $1000 and it was dedicated with an 
indebtedness of only $82. 

Green Valley Camp No. 4981, Modern 
Woodmen of America, was organized 
September 1, 1897. 34 The lodge is still 
active and has fifty-eight members at 
the present time. 


Dudley is a townsite and elevator 
site on the branch of the Northwestern 
railroad built in 1901. It is on the 
northwest quarter of section 17, Clifton 
township, and is the youngest of all 
Lyon county sites. 

YVhen the roadbed was being graded 
in the summer of 1901 it was rumored 
that one of the stations would be in 
Clifton township, 35 and in November 
the railroad authorities announced that 
such a station would be established and 
that its name would be Dudley. A 
townsite of four blocks was surveyed by 
F. R. Cline and platted December 20, 
1901, by the Western Town Lot Com- 
pany, of which M. Hughitt was presi- 

J. Reichert, H. M. Reichert, Joseph A. Reichert, 
H. N. Robinson, John Sharratt, William Sharratt, 
H. ('. Stankey and H. W. Throop. 

s *"It is possible that there will lie no station in 
Lyon county. ... If another station or a siding- is 
put in between West/line and Marshall, it will doubt- 
less be on section 17 or is, Clifton." — Marshall News- 
Messenger, August 16, 1901. 



dent. The lots in the several plats 
along the new line of road were sold at 
public auction by the town lot company 
in April. 1902. A few were sold at 
Dudley at an average price of $100. 

Train service on the new road was 
established August 13, 1902, and two 
grain firms erected elevators to handle 
the season's crop. In the spring of 
1903 the voters of Clifton township 
decided to build a town hall at the 
station and it was announced that the 
Hayes-Lucas Lumber Company would 
put in a lumber yard. Mrs. J. W. Castle 
conducted a store there three years. A 
village did not materialize at Dudley. 
The railroad station was closed March 
3, 1904, and the grain business is the 
only one conducted there. A postoffice 
was maintained for a time. 


Burchard is a grain buying point and 
siding on the Dakota Central division of 
the Chicago & Northwestern railroad, 
not far from the crossing of the Great 
Northern railroad. It is on the south- 
west quarter of section 11, Shelburne 
township, and is about six miles west 
from Balaton. 

Soon after the railroad was con- 
structed in 1879 an elevator was built 
and the place became known as Red- 
wood Station. Excepting the elevator, 
there was no improvement at the station 
for several years. A townsite of two 
blocks was platted by the railroad com- 
pany September 15, 1885, and soon 
thereafter came the beginning of a little 
village at Redwood Station. 

During the winter of 1885-86 a hotel 
building was erected and opened by 
William Shafer and a general store was 

36 William Shafer later became postmaster, and later 
still M. S. Fawcett. Owen M. Owens was also post- 
master for a time. The office was discontinued in 

established by P. C. McCann. A peti- 
tion for a postoffice was circulated early 
in 1886, and after the department had 
rejected the names Redwood and Shel- 
burne, it was established in April with 
the name Burchard. It was named in 
honor of H. M. Burchard. the railroad 
land agent of Marshall, and P. C. 
McCann was the post master. ae The 
station was named Shelburne in April. 
1886, but was later changed to Burchard 
to correspond with the postoffice. M. 
S. Fawcett in 1891 took charge of the 
Burchard hotel and conducted it for 
some time. A dwelling was put up by 
R. A. Bigham, who took charge of the 
elevator, and in 1889 a school house was 
located on the town plat. There was 
little call for a village at Burchard and 
now the only business conducted is the 
buying and shipping of grain during the 
fall seasons. 


Heckman is a siding on the North- 
western railroad at Lake Marshall, five 
miles southeast of Marshall. An eleva- 
tor of the Western P^levator Company 
is conducted by J. F. Brant ner and a 
postoffice is in charge of Mrs. Brantner. 

So early as 1876 the site was selected 
for a future station, 37 but no improve- 
ments marked the site until twelve years 
later. In June, 1888, a sidetrack was 
laid and the place appeared on the rail- 
road folders as Heckman. At the same 
time a warehouse was erected, which 
was managed by W. F. Bryant. Grain 
was purchased and coal sold at the 
warehouse. J. F. Brantner became 
agent of the grain company in 1901 and 
the Heckman postoffice was established 
the same year. 

37 "A stake has been stuck at Lake Marshall by the 
railroad magnates for a station some time in the 
future." — Marshall News, May 12, 1876. 



I \\ll>l IN. 

Camden, od the Redwood river a 
short distance above Lynd, was once a 
place of considerable importance in 
Lyon county, having a Large gristmill 
and several business enterprises; now 
several families reside in the valley that 
was formerly Camden, Inn for many 
years there have been no business es- 

In 1868 James Cummins and Jacob 
Rouse built a sawmill at the site of 
Camden, which they operated a few- 
years. In the fall of 1S74 George Smith. 
W. T. Ellis and Jacob Rouse, under the 
firm name of Smith. Ellis & Rouse, con- 
verted the sawmill into a gristmill, 
platted the Camden townsite, secured 
the establishment of a postoffice in 
December, 38 and were responsible for 
the founding of a flourishing little vil- 
lage. I can best give the early history 
of Camden by quoting from the Prairie 
Schooner of December 24, 1874, which 
said : 

The outside world has just begun to hear 
mention of the town of Camden in Lyon county. 
It will probably hear more of it before the next 
transit of Venus. It is located on the Redwood 
river, two and one-half miles above Lynd, on 
land owned by Smith, Ellis & Rouse. It is 
snugly tucked away between two ranges of 
hills which afford a safe retreat from the winds 
of winter and furnish beautiful and refreshing 
scenery during the other portions of the year. 

About eight acres have been platted, upon 
which have been built quite a number of nouses, 
all with one exception since last August. Smith 
& Ellis have a store building, 20x40 feet with 
20-foot posts. The lower part has a large and 
select stock of goods, sold by Smith & Ellis, 
and the upper story is occupied as a hotel kept 
by W. T. Ellis and family. W. M. Van Buren 
is employed by Mr. Ellis to make boots and 
shoes to order, and he is said to be an excellent 
workman. Ellis has built about 150 feet of 
stable for the accommodation of teams. A 
frame school house, 24x36 feet, is nearly com- 
pleted and will be furnished with patent seats. 
School will be taught this winter by C. L. Van 
Fleet. On the east side of the river John Keyes 
has a blacksmith shop. In addition to these 
buildings and the gristmill are three residences 
of Keyes, Rouse, Tupper and Van Fleet. Other 

38 W. T. Ellis was the first postmaster of Camden 
and served until 1875. He was sueeeeded by Jacob 

buildings are expected to go up in the spring, 

which will give Camden the appearance of a 
nghl smart little burg. 

The year of its founding was Cam- 
den's most progressive twelve-month. 

A church was erected nearby in 1875. 
At the beginning of the year 1876 the 
county paper described Camden as 
having "a large flouring mill, a store 
ami plenty of timber and other desirable 
attractions." \Y. T. Ellis conducted the 
mill a few years and then sold to V. M. 
Smith. The latter operated the mill 

everal years, and after several changes 
in management it passed into the hands 
of Jacob Rouse, who operated it many 
years and finally closed it. In the 
eighties W. R. Gregg conducted a store 
at Camden for about five years. 

The final blow came to Camden when 
in 1888 the Great Northern railroad was 
built and a station was refused the 
village. Because of the topography of 
the site and the extensive grading 
necessary in the vicinity, it was im- 
possible to establish a station there and 
the village of Lynd was built instead of 


Rock Lake was the name of a country 
postoffice established in 1873. It was 
first located on section 28, Lyons town- 
ship, and Roland Weeks was the post- 
master. He was succeeded by A. C. 
Dann and the office was moved to Mr. 
Dann's home on section 20, Lyons town- 
ship. In November, 1874, J. A. Van 
Fleet received the appointment and 
moved the office to his home on section 
4, Rock Lake township. He conducted 
the office until it was discontinued in 
1881, after the establishment of the 
Balaton office. Mail was carried to the 
Rock Lake office from Marshall. 

Rouse and the latter in the eighties by Louis Crane. 
The office was discontinued many years ago. 



Sham Lake was a postoffice established 
on the southwest quarter of section 2, 
Lucas township, in 1873. R. H. Price 
was the first and only postmaster. He 
opened a store at his place in 1874 and 
conducted it a few years. The post- 
office was discontinued about 1880. 

Blan Avon was the name of another 
country postoffice established about 
1873, in Custer township. For a time 
it was in southern Sodus township. It 
was maintained only a few years. 

On the Redwood river close to the 
Redwood county line — and part of the 
time in the other county — for about 
eleven years was conducted the Ceresco 
postoffice. It was established in 1872 
and T. W. Castor was the first post- 
master. A store and blacksmith shop 
were also conducted at Ceresco for a 
time in the seventies. Several different 
persons were in charge of the postoffice, 
W. J. Simmons having been postmaster 
in 1882. 

Hildrethsburg postoffice was estab- 
lished in June, 1874. It was first located 
on section 20, Lyons township, and 
Henry Mussler was the first postmaster. 
Charles Hildreth, also of Lyons town- 
ship, was appointed to the office in 

39 "The Brenner postoffice in the northern part of 
this county is discontinued on account of the rural 
mail route established last week from Cottonwood. 
The records will be turned over to the postmaster of 
Cottonwood. . . . 

"Brenner postoffice was established about 1875, 
with O. O. Brenna, Sr., as postmaster. The postoffice 
department evidently intended to give the office the 
name of the postmaster, but made the mistake of 
naming it Brenner. Mr. Brenna. Sr., held the office 
until 1889, when his son Ole became postmaster and 
held the position about two years. Then he resigned 

February, 1875, ami held it until it was 
discontinued in 1S78 as the result of the 
burning of Mr. Hildreth's house. 

Island Lake postoffice came into 
existence in June, 1874, with John R. 
King as postmaster. It was located at 
that gentleman's house on section 34, 
Island Lake township, and there Mr. 
King in the early days also kept a small 
stock of merchandise and conducted a 
"half-way" house for the travel between 
Marshall and Marshfield. In June, 1898, 
after the office had been operated at" the 
same place for twenty-four years, it 
was moved to the home of C. A. Johnson 
and Mis. Johnson became postmistress. 
The office has since been discontinued. 

Brenner postoffice was established in 
Yallers township in December, 1875, 
with Ole O. Brenna as postmaster. It 
had an existence of twenty-eight years 
and was discontinued in November, 
1903, as the result of the establishment 
of rural mail routes. 39 

Leo postoffice was established in July, 
1880, on section 14, Lyons township, 
with Mrs. Libbie Millard in charge. 
She was postmistress until the office 
was discontinued April 1, 1892. 

and O. H. Sterk was appointed and has since held the 

"The mail was first carried from Redwood Falls by 
way of the old town of Yellow Medicine, Vineland or 
Voldeys, Stavanger and Brenner to Marshall and back 
over the same route, making the offices once a week 
each way. Later the route was changed and mail 
was carried from Willmar by way of Oranite Falls, 
Vineland, Stavanger, Brenner, Marshall and Redwood 
Falls, delivering once a week each way, Soon after 
the establishment of the Cottonwood office mail was 
curried to Brenner from Cottonwood." — Cottonwood 
Current, November, 1903. 



LYOX county is situated in 
Southwestern Minnesota. one 
county only being between it 

and the South Dakota line, while two 
counties lie between it and the Iowa 
line. It is hounded on the north by 
Yellow Medicine county, on the east by 
Redwood county, on the south by Mur- 
ray county, and on the west by Lincoln 
county. The county lie; between the 
forty-fourth and forty-fifth degrees of 
latitude, and the ninety-sixth degree of 
lodgitude west from Greenwich passes 
through the western edge of the county. 

The shape of Lyon county is rectan- 
gular. It contains twenty townships 
and its dimensions ■ are thirty miles, 
north and south, by twenty-four miles, 
east and west. Its area is 720. 60 
square miles — more than one-half the 
area of Rhode Island. Of the total 
area, 709.50 square miles are land, 
while only 11.16 square miles are 
covered by water. 1 

A glance at the map of Minnesota 
and of the political division designated 
thereon as Lyon county will furnish the 
information above given. But there 
will be found nothing to distinguish 
Lyon county from the other divisions of 

'Minnesota Geological Survey, 1884. 

Concerning the contour of Lyon county and creation 

of its physical features, I quote as length from the 

writings of Hon. Warren Upham in the Minnesota 

Geological and Natural History Survey of 1884, as 


the vicinity except that there are many 
lakes and watercourses and a network 
of railroads. The lithographed piece of 
paper does not convey much idea of the 
country; a personal inspection i; re- 
quired to learn what it really is. 

In general, the surface of Lyon county 
is a high, gently undulating plateau, 
though considerably diversified by rivers 
and lakes, some of which have bluffy 
shores and some natural timber. While 
this describes the general contour, it 
varies considerably in different parts of 
the county. The northeast portion- 
roughly, that northeast of the North- 
western railroad — is more gently un- 
dulating than the other parts. The 
ascent of the land to the southwest in 
that district is six to ten feet per mile. 

The southwestern portion is higher 
land, being on the western edge of the 
Coteau des Prairies. It can be described 
in general as a long plateau or massive 
ridge, in parts smoothly undulating or 
rolling in contour, but having two belts 
(terminal moraines, the geologists term 
them) which are very irregularly broken 
by steep hills, knolls and small ridge s, 
twenty-five to one hundred feet above 
the intervening hollows. 2 

"The second terminal moraine of the last ice-sheet, 
which is the eastern or inner belt of knolly and hilly 
drift upon the Coteau des Prairies, extends north- 
westerly in a nearly straight course from the Blue 
Mounds near Windom, in southern Cottonwood county, 
to <iary, in the edge of Dakota. In Lyon county its 
northeast boundary passes through the center of 



The mean elevation of Lyon county 
above sea level is about 1320 feet. The 
lowest point is 1100 feet, at the place 
where the Redwood river leaves the 
county. The highest point is in the 

Custer, Lyons and Island Lake townships. The most 
rough and hilly part of this moraine is from a half mile 
to one and a half miles wide at its northeast side, 
where it usually has many irregular knolls, short 
ridges and hills," which rise from twenty-five to fifty 
feet, and occasionally from seventy-five to one hundred 
feet, above the intervening depressions. Their con- 
spicuous appearance, as seen from the northeast, i- 
due to the ascent westward of the country upon which 
they lie. From the specially hilly northeast margin 
of this morainic belt its width reaches five to fifteen 
miles, southwestward, with a rolling and in some 
places knolly or hilly surface, including the greater 
part of the distance to the parallel outer range of drift 
hills, but leaving next to that a smooth, slightly 
undulating tract, three to five miles wide. 

"The southeastern continuation of this third moraine 
may be represented by the rocky drift knolls, ten to 
twenty feet high, which occur about the north end and 
at the northeast side of Lake Marshall, in a region 
which mainly has a very smooth contour. Again, 
twelve miles farther to the east-southeast, a bell 01 
typically morainic knolls, about twenty rods in width 
and a half mile or more in length, was noted close 
south of the Cottonwood river, on sections 14 and 15, 
1 S, in Redwood county. 

"The Antelope valley. Between the third or 
Antelope moraine and the foot of the Coteau des 
Prairies on the west is the Antelope valley, BO named 
l>y the Sioux. This is a broad shallow depression, or 
rather a part of an inclined plane with a slightly un- 
dulating surface of till, being three to tin miles wide 
and reputed to extend 125 miles, from Minneota, in 
the northwest township of Lyon county, to the south 
bend of the Sheyenne river in Dakota. The moraine 
of the Antelope hills and the smooth area oi till on its 
east side average twenty-five to fifty feet higher than 
the adjoining eastern border of the Antelope valley, 
but have some lower portion-, allowing streams to 
cross both the valley and the moraine in their north- 
eastward course from the coteau to the Minnesota 

"Modified drift. No extensive areas of modified 
drift were observed in ihis district. In a few places, 
however, small deposits of gravel and sand, partly 
kame-like, form . the surface. A noteworthy cut in 
such beds was seen near Balaton, in southern Lyon 
county. A sixth of a mile southeasl from this station, 
close southwest of the railroad, in a rounded hillock. 
an excavation has been made for ballast to a distance 
into the hillock of 150 feet, the section exposed being 
twenty rods or more in length and about twenty feel 
high in its highest part. It consists of gravel, yellowish 
and in many portions ferruginous, mostly very coarse 
and containing abundant pebbles up to six or eight 
inches in diameter, nearly all of them plainly water- 
worn or rounded. At four to seven feet below the 
top, for a depth of a hundred feet or so at the highest 
part, the material is fine, sandy gravel, obliquely 
bedded in slopes of five degrees to twenty-five degrees 
eastward. The central mass here is sand, while the 
enclosing strata are gravel, mostly with pebbles less 
than three inches in diameter, but in some places 
holding pebbles up to five or eight inches in diameter. 
The lenticular mass of sand occurring here shows two 
small faults at its center, each of three or four inches, 
the lower side being at the east. The stratification of 
this deposit is conformable with the slope of its surface, 
showing that it remains nearly or quite in the same 
form as it was left by the glacial floods. 

"Only two fragments of rock that exceeded a foot 
in diameter were seen in this excavation. These were 
one and a half and three feet long. About one-third 
of the pebbles here, both large and small, are lime- 
stone; nearly all of the rest are granite and crystalline 
schists; only a few pebbles, as of shale, which could 
certainly be referred to the Cretaceous, were seen, and 
no quartzite or conglomerate. Many {>f the limestone 
fragments are obscurely fossiliferous. The top of this 
cut is about thirty feet above Lake Yankton and 
perhaps five feet below the top of the mound in which 
it is made. Similar gravel forms the subsoil and 

southwestern corner, about 1750 feet 
above the sea. The estimated mean 
elevations of the several townships are 
as follows : Lucas, 1 1 25 ; Stanley. 1130; 
Clifton. 1160; Amiret. 1225; Monroe, 

extends to a depth of thirty feet in wells at Balaton 
station, and reaches thence a half mile to the north- 
we-t, beside the lake, and two or three miles easterly 
along the railroad. 

"Cretaceous beds. Sandstone, clay and shale, of 
Cretaceous age, are believed to underlie the glacial 
drift throughout the greater part of this district 
[Lyon, Yellow Medicine and Lincoln counties]; but 
their only natural exposures found during this survey 
are a few low outcrops of sandstone in northwestern 
Lyon county and northeastern Lincoln county. 

"The most eastern outcrop of the Cretaceous sand- 
stone is near the center of section 7, Westerheim, in 
the west or left bank of the south branch of the Yellow 
Medicine river, about a half mile from its junction 
with the north branch. A hard, gray, somewhat 
calcareous sandstone is here exposed at several points 
along a distance of eight or ten rods, rising three to 
seven feet above this creek. So far as can be seen in 
these somewhat broken ledges the layers of this rock 
appear to be two or three feet or more in thickness 
and nearly level. In some parts their weathered 
surface shows concretionary structure, being dotted 
with roundish masses from an eighth to a quarter of 
an inch in diameter, which have resisted the disin- 
tegrating effects of frost and rain, so that they stand 
out slightly from the nst of the stone. 

"About a mile northwest from this place numerous 
blocks of the same sandstone, up to six or eight feel 
in length, were seen in the channel of the north branch 
<.t Yellow Medicine river, on the southeast quarter of 
section 1. Eidsvold, but no ledge of it in place was 
observed here. One of these blocks, about five feet 
Ioii<_r. showing the concretionary character mentioned, 
contains numerous -mill Bakes and particles of lignite 
ami soft peaty mat ter. 

"Another has been sculptured by natural agencies, 
perhaps influenced by some massive concretionary 
structure, -o that in form it resembles the trunk of a 
tree. Mr. Simon llovlaml, who owns and lives on 
this quarter section, believing it to be a fossilized tree. 
removed it to a location near his house. The 
length of this stone is six and one-half feet, and its 
diameter at one end is three and one-half feet and at 
the other two and one-half feet. Its stratification is 
plainly seen at the smaller end. being in layers from 
one to four and five inches thick. Iron-rusted lam- 
ina 1 , a twentieth of an inch thick, sometimes mark 
the planes of bedding. The weathered surface is in 
part perforated with holes from a quarter of an inch 
to one inch long and about a twentieth of an inch in 
diameter, similar to those of worm-eaten wood. Other 
portions exhibit a concretionary structure in small 
roundish masses and inosculated ridges, a fourth of 
an inch in diameter or width. Sulphuret of iron is 
seen in two or three places, in somewhat cylindrical 
masses, about one and a half inches long, consisting 
of straight fibers and surrounded by stains of iron- 

"At another point near the foregoing, soft white 
matter fills a straight tube in this stone, one and 
one-half inches long and a quarter of an inch in diam- 
eter. These are believed to be in the places originally 
occupied by fragments of wood but are the only trace 
of organic remains seen in this block. Its surface is 
soft and easily cut with a knife to a depth of about a 
quarter of an inch, but farther within it is very hard. 

"This rock is exposed about five miles to the south- 
west, on the northeast quarter of section 20, Eidsvold. 
on land of Henry Jacob-, being visible along an extent 
of about four rods in the bed of a small creek and 
rising one or two feet. It is a compact, hard sand- 
stone, blue inside, but brownish gray on the surface. 
The characteristic concretionary structure was seen 
here only in a detached block, which, however, was 
doubtless derived from the underlying ledge. Again, 
near the west line of this township and county, the 
same formation outcrops along an extent of about 
twenty feet, with a height of one to two feet, in the 
north bank of the north branch of Yellow Medicine 
river, on the southwest quarter of the northwest 
quarter of section 7, Eidsvold. 



1400; Vallers, 1150; Fairview, L175; 
hake Marshall, 1200; Sodus, 1300; 
Cu ter, 1 160; Westerheim, 117"): Grand- 
view, 1200; Lynd, 1300; Lyons, l 150; 
Rock Lake, 1560; Eidsvold, 1200; Nord- 
land, 1350; Island Lake, 1500; Coon 
Creek, 1625; Shelburne, 1700. 

The soil is what is termed drift 
deposit by the geologists. It has the 
same uniform fertility that character- 
izes all southern and western Minnesota. 
There is no outcrop of the bed-rock, 
but in the two hilly belts arc some 
boulders and increas ed portions of gravel 
and sand. 

Vegetable decay has enriched the soil 
and colored it black to a depth that 
averages about two feet, but varied 
from one to four feet, being greatest in 
depressions and Least upon swells or 
knolls. Beneath the black soil boulder- 
clay extends to a depth of fifty to two 
hundred feet. It is yellowish and soft 
to a depth of ten to twenty feet and 
below that is dark bluish and harder. 
This soil is made up of materials gathered 
during the Ice Age in regions to the 
north and spread over the country. It 
is principally clay, but also includes 
some sand and gravel and occasional 

The great depth of soil contributes 
to its durability, and its fertile proper- 
ties appear almost inexhaustible. One 
of its peculiarities . is its remarkable 
ability to resist drought. In time of 
exceedingly dry weather, a thin crust 
forms on the surface and retards evapo- 
ration below without being firm enough 
to interfere seriously with the growth of 

"On section 11, Custer, on land of James Morgan, 
much lignite in small fragments is found along the 
large southern branch of the Cottonwood river, which 
there and thence northeast to Amiret has cut a valley 
seventy-five to one hundred feet deep. A tunnel has 
been dug into the lower part of the bluff by Mr. Morgan, 
where springs occur at the top of a light bluish clay 
that is supposed to be of Cretaceous age, and in this 
tunnel pieces of lignite and of wood were found. 

"Clay or shale, containing fossils characteristic of 
the Fort Pierre and Fox Hills groups, the upper 
divisions of the Cretaceous series, has been encountered 

vegetation. The loam i> free from 
surface water and ready for cultivation 
as soon as the frosl leaves the ground 
in the spring. 

Much of the water that falls as rain 

is absorbed by the soil and is gradually 
given up to growing crops. The surplus 
water of heavy rains and melting snow 
i- soon drained away down the undula- 
ting slopes and through the water- 
courses. Nearly the whole count y is 
prairie and was originally covered with 
wild grass. 

Several scientific analyses of the soil 
have been made, and by all authorities 
it has been pronounced as containing 
elements of extraordinary fertility. But 
the magnificent crops which the soil of 
Lyon county produces speak more elo- 
quently than the scientist can. The 
testimony of farmers who have accumu- 
lated wealth and independence affords 
unquestionable proof of the richness of 
the soil. 

Natural timber occurs only in narrow 
belts along the rivers and in groves of 
small area bordering the lakes. The 
largest tract of timber is in the deeply 
excavated valley of the upper Redwood 
river in Lynd and Lyons townships. 
There the wooded area is about 2000 
acres. Along the Cottomvood is a tract 
of about 1000 acres, and on the Yellow 
Medicine a tract of about 600 acres. 
These timber tracts were quite heavy 
originally, but have been considerably 

There is no section of country in the 
United States which has a smaller pro- 
portion of waste lands. Except for the 

in numerous instances by wells in Yellow Medicine and 
Lyon counties near the foot of the slope which forms 
the eastern boundary of the Coteau des Prairies. 
Doubtless some of these wells have reached Cretaceous 
strata in place; but others evidently have been wholly 
in the glacial drift, containing disrupted and trans- 
ported masses of Cretaceous shale with fossils. The 
frequency of these fossils in the drift indicates that the 
upper Cretaceous formations originally covered much 
of this district and supplied a large part of the drift, 
and that they probably underlie the drift here and in 
the Coteau des Prairies." _^.^J 



area actually taken up by the waters 
of lakes and creeks, all is tillable, even 
to the tops of the hills and knolls and 
in the bottom lands. Lyon county has 
not the rocky, untillable land of many 
of the eastern states; it has not the 
marshy, untillable land of other parts 
of the country. 

The climate is healthful. Owing to 
the more perfect drainage afforded by 
the many streams, Lyon county sur- 
passes neighboring, entirely prairie coun- 
ties in point of healthfulness as a result 
of the dryness of the atmosphere. The 
natural drainage not only prevents an 
accumulation of stagnant water, which 
breeds disease germs, but it purifies the 
air as only rapid streams can. 

Lyon county has one of the most 
perfect and complete systems of drain- 
age of any section of Southwestern Min- 
nesota. With the exception of about 
fifteen or twenty square miles of terri- 
tory in Rock Lake and Custer town- 
ships, which is drained to Lake Shetek 
and the Des Moines river, all the area 
of Lyon county is drained by streams 
emptying into the Minnesota river. The 
principal streams are Yellow Medicine 
river, which drains the northern part.; 
Redwood river and Three-Mile creek, 
which drain the central portions; and 
Cottonwood river, which drains the 
southern part. These and their numer- 
ous tributaries furnish excellent drain- 

The basin of the Yellow Medicine 3 
includes about 600 square miles, of 
which 140 lie in Lyon county. The 
farthest source of the river is Lake 
Shaokatan, fifty miles southwest from 
the mouth. There are several small 
tributaries in Lyon county. 

About 325 square miles of Lyon 

3 Yellow Medicine is a translation of the Sioux word 
Pejut zizi, by which the stream was called by the 
Indians. Pejut zizi is the long, slender, bitter, yellow 

county's area is drained by the Redwood 
river. The stream rises in Lake Benton 
and flows a northeasterly course sixty 
miles to the Minnesota. Its largest 
tributary is Three-Mile creek, which 
rises near the west line of Lyon county, 
flows northeast twenty miles, nearly 
parallel with the Redwood and from 
three to five miles northwest of it, and 
enters the latter stream in Stanley 
township. Valleys thirty to forty feet deep 
have been eroded by the Redwood in 
the vicinity of Marshall and thence to 
the east line of the county, and the same 
is true of Three-Mile creek from Ghent 
to the point where it enters the Red- 

The Cottonwood river, by many tribu- 
taries, drains about 240 square miles in 
southern and southeastern Lyon county. 
The northern and main branch of this 
stream flows eastward nearly through 
the center of Lake Marshall township, 
only two or three miles south of the 
Redwood. That branch flows through 
an eroded valley. Another important 
branch rises in Murray county, flows a 
northeasterly course between Rock and 
Yankton lakes, passes a little south of 
the village of Aniiret, and joins the other 
branch close to the county line. 

The seven thousand acres of Lyon 
county that are water surface are taken 
up by numerous small lakes. Many of 
these are beautiful bodies of water, clear 
and sparkling, abounding with fish. 

One of the most beautiful lakes in the 
county is Cottonwood lake, on whose 
shores the village of Cottonwood is 
situated. It is a small body of water 
and has some timber on its shores. 
Another little body of water in Lucas 
township is Lone Tree lake, two miles 
northwest of Cottonwood. In the same 

root of the moonseed and was used by the Indians as 
a medicine. The plant is common along the bluffs of 
streams in Minnesota. 



township arc several other lake beds 
which contain water some seasons and 
are dry others. They are Sham lake on 
section .'!, Lady Shoe lake on 20 and 21, 
Lady Slipper lake and School Grove 
lake in the southeastern part. 

Swan and (loose lakes are on the line 
dividing Redwood and Lyon counties 
in Stanley township. Clifton and Aniiret 
townships have no lakes. Two miles 
south of Tracy is pretty little hake 
Sigel, about three-fourths of a mile in 
diameter. In western Monroe and east- 
ern Custer townships are three little 
bodies of water which should have been 
called Triplet lakes, but which are 
called Twin lakes; one is now dry. Long 
lake is on the south line of Custer town- 
ship, and the bed of Lake of the Hills is 
a little north of it. There are no lakes 
in Sodus township and only one in 
Lake Marshall. The lake after which 
that township was named is one and 
one-half miles long; it lies in the south- 
east corner of the township at Heckman 

The north central part of Lyon county 
is destitute of lakes, there being none 
in Fairview, Vallers, Westerheim, Grand- 
view and Lynd. Formerly there was 
Rush lake, near the center of Lyons 
township, but it is now dry. In Rock 
Lake township are two lakes of some 
size — Lake Y r ankton at L^alaton, and 
Rock lake in the northwest corner of the 
township. In southwestern Shelburne 
township are a cluster of little lakes, 
which are dry some seasons. A beauti- 
ful little body of water, about a mile in 
diameter and fringed with timber, lies 
in northern Coon Creek township. It 
is Wood lake, or Lake Marguerite. In 
Island Lake township are two lakes- 
Goose lake, with an area of about 160 
acres, and Island lake, with an area of 
over 200 acres. In the latter is an 

island containing about three acres of 
land and covered with trees. Both 
these lakes are dry some seasons. 
Nordland and Eidsvold townships have 
no lakes. 

Lyon is an agricultural county. The 
principal products are corn, barley, oats, 
wheat, rye, flax, livestock, dairy pro- 
ducts, poultry, fruit and vegetables. In 
the early days the settlers confined their 
energies almost exclusively to wheat 
raising. Now diversified farming is the 
rule. Every farmer raises stock and 
many engage in dairying on a large 
scale. While agriculture is the prin- 
cipal pursuit, manufacturing occupies 
an important place among the county's 
industries. The manufactories include 
gristmills, brick and tile factories, cream- 
eries, etc. 

Lyon county has developed beyond 
the point reached by many counties of 
Southwestern Minnesota. With trans- 
portation facilities it is well supplied. 
Excepting Stanley, Nordland, Island 
Lake and Sodus, every township in the 
county is touched by one or more rail- 
roa'dSj and railroads are within two miles 
of each of the exceptions. The Chicago 
& Northwestern traverses the county 
from southeast to northwest, crosses the 
southern part of the county and has a 
branch line to Marshall from the east, 
while the Great Northern traverses the 
county from northeast to southwest. 
There are many villages, which furnish 
good markets for grain and produce and 
are convenient trading points. 

The county has excellent wagon roads. 
Local and long distance telephone lines 
form a complete network and every 
community is reached. Twenty-three 
rural free delivery mail routes are 
operated from Lyon county postoffices. 
and there are few farms to which mail 
is not delivered daily. 


Lyon county land can be purchased that must not be lost sight of is its 
at from $40 to $100 per acre, according proximity to the great markets. It is 
to improvements and proximity to within easy reach of the Minneapolis, 
markets, and, considering the richness St. Paul, Sioux City, Omaha and 
of the soil, the excellent markets and Chicago markets. Their nearness and 
the educational and social advantages the low freight rates in effect insure 
offered, it is not easy to understand why high prices for farm products sold there 
any homeseekers pass through this and low prices for commodities pur- 
country to the bleak prairies of the chased there. 

Dakotas or Canada. Lyon county land, Lyon county holds most alluring pros- 

at the price at which it can now be pects for farmers who are in search of 

obtained, is cheaper, all things consid- rich and productive lands close to 

ered. than the Dakota or Canada land markets, where they may establish 

at the present prices, for the settlers homes amid schools and churches and 

there will be compelled to spend more congenial surroundings. There are a 

than the difference in price to bring few tracts yet to be put under cultiva- 

those countries up to the condition of tion, and there are large farms that may 

this. be subdivided, while other farms that 

The farmer in the older states east are now in the hands of renters might 

and south can dispose of an eighty-acre be improved by resident owners, 

farm and with the proceeds purchase a The county is capable of supporting 

quarter section in Lyon county, and in more than three times the number of 

making the change he will lose none of farmers it now has. The local cream- 

the advantages and conveniences en- eries want more cream, the merchants 

joyed. There will be no frontier hard- want more produce, the elevators want 

ships to endure, no years of lonely toil more grain, the stockbuyers want more 

in a sparsely settled country, nothing cattle and hogs, and all around is a 

lacking in the way of social pleasures or demand for the products of Lyon 

the advantages of schools and churches, county — a demand that cannot be taken 

Another advantage of Lyon county away. 



DURING the thirty-nine years of 
Lyon county's newspaper his- 
tory twenty-four weekly papers 
have been established. Of this number, 
nine are in existence when this volume 
i.3 issued in 1912, namely: Marshall 
News- Messenger, by C. C. Whitney; 
Lyon County Reporter (Marshall), by 
Frank W. Case; Tracy Headlight, by 
J. D. Gilpin; Tracy Herald, by 0. J. 
Rea; Minneota Mascot, by G. B. Bjorn- 
son; Cottonwood Current, by Huddle- 
ston & Sisson; Balaton Press-Tribune, 
by Press-Tribune Publishing Company, 
edited by E. F. Whiting; Russell Anchor, 
by Fred E. Child; and Garvin Leader, 
published by John Holden, Jr., and 
edited by E. M. Jones. 

Those journals which have gone out 
of existence were as follows: Prairie 
Schooner, Marshall Messenger and Lyon 
County News, from which was formed 
the News-Messenger; Lyon County Lead- 
er, which was published at Marshall 
and for a short time at Balaton; the 
Tracy Gazette, Trumpet, Republican 
and Republican-Trumpet, from which 
developed the Tracy Headlight; Min- 
neota Prospect, Vinland (an Icelandic- 
paper published at Minneota), Cotton- 
wood Leader, Cottonwood Gazette, Bal- 
aton Journal, Eagle, Times, Bystander, 
Press and Tribune (the last two named 

merged into the Press- Tribune), and 
Russell Review. 

In pioneer communities of the West 
the establishment of the first paper was 
always an item of great importance. A 
new settlement required a champion, 
and not until it boasted a news journal 
was its permanency assured. After the 
founding of the pioneer journal it be- 
came "our paper" to all the residents — 
an institution in which to take pride — 
and everybody assumed the duty of 
seeing that it was properly supported. 
Sentiment entered largely into the new 
enterprise, and it has seldom occurred 
that the pioneer paper did not have a 
long life of usefulness. 

The little settlement at Marshall was 
no exception to the rule, and when the 
first paper was launched it was an in- 
stitution in which great pride was taken. 
In the month of August, 1873, J. C. 
Ervin brought to Marshall a printing 
plant and on the twenty-third of that 
month took from the press the first copy 
of the Prairie Schooner, the first news 
journal published in Lyon county. The 
plant consisted of a Washington hand- 
press, the platen of which was said to 
have at one time been used as a. door 
step, two cases of badly worn body 
type, eight or ten cases of advertising 
type, cigar-box slug cases, and a tin- 
covered imposing stone. 



The office in which the Prairie S'choon- 
er was launched was 12x18 feet, and it 
was occupied also as the offices of Dr. 
S. V. Groesbeck and Major J. W. Blake. 
The name of the publication was sug- 
gested by General Pierce. The sub- 
scription price was $2.00 per year and 
its size was a seven-column folio, of 
which two pages only were printed in 
the home office. In the spring of 1874 
it was enlarged to an eight-column folio. 
In politics it was Republican. Mr. 
Ervin had charge of the pioneer journal 
until the last day of the year 1874. * 

C. F. Case, who had formerly pub- 
lished the Waverly, Iowa, Republican 
and who has ever since lived in Marshall. 
purchased the Prairie Schooner from 
Mr. Ervin December 31. 1874. The 
next October he changed the name to 
Marshall Messenger. There were several 
changes in the size of the Messenger 
under Mr. Case's management, it having 
been made a seven-column folio in Maw 
1877, enlarged to eight columns in 
March, 1878, and made a six-column 
quarto, with four pages printed at home, 
in August, 1SS0, which form it retained. 
Howard Brothers leased the Messenger 
from Mr. Case in November, 1884, and 
the following month the plant was pur- 
chased by C. C. Whitney, of the Lyon 
County News. Arthur Howard got out 
a few issues for Mr. Whitney and on 
January 16, 1885, the two papers were 

1 W. M. Todd in after years wrote of the establish- 
ment of the Prairie Schooner and its publisher: "I 
well remember the visit of J. C. Ervin when he came 
to look the place over as a newspaper field. He was 
very affable, and the people and he from the beginning 
seemed to be satisfied with each other. He had been 
accustomed to frontier life and easily adapted himself 
to the conditions which he found. He set up his 
outfit in the little building which had been surveyors' 

Mr. Ervin was the founder of many papers, among 
them the Fort Dodge Times, Liberty .Messenger and 
the Blade (later the Minneapolis Times). For many 
years he was editor of the Chicago Express, city editor 
of the Chicago Daily Dispatch and afterwards was 
connected with the Chicago American. In later years 
he was editorial writer on the Joliet, Illinois, News and 
edited the Fresno, California, Democrat. He devoted 
many years to literary work and was the author of 
several books. Mr. Ervin died in San Francisco in 
the spring of 1912. 

combined, the merger resulting in the 
News- Messenger. 

The Lyon County News was founded 
May 28, 1879, by W. M. Todd and 
George A. Edes. It was established as 
a seven-column folio and was Inde- 
pendent Republican in politics. 2 Mr. 
Todd became sole proprietor December 
3, 1879. and on April 21, 1S80, he sold 
to George B. Gee. C. C. Whitney, who 
has continuously conducted the paper 
for the past thirty-two years, bought 
from Mr. Gee on November 17, 1880, 
and turned the News into a Republican 
journal. It was enlarged and improved 
and put on a paying basis. 

Having purchased the Messenger from 
Mr. Case. Mr. Whitney, on January 16, 
1885, consolidated the Marshall papers 
and in their place produced the News- 
Messenger. Frank C. Whitney secured 
an interest in the publication September 
15, 1893. and until February. 1907, was 
associated with his father in its manage- 
ment. C. 0. Whitney has since been 
sole publisher. 

The Marshall News- Messenger has be- 
come one of the leading and most Lib- 
erally quoted weekly newspapers of 
Minnesota and its publisher is one of the 
state's best known newspaper men. The 
paper consists of twelve or more pages, 
all printed in the home office. The 
plant is a model one. The office is 
modern in every way, being equipped 

-"During the latter part of the seventies I became 
infested by newspaper microbes and was seriously 
considering launching a newspaper at Marshall. . . . 
While the question was being pondered, along came 
George Edes, an old newspaper man with a still older 
printing outfit, looking for a location. He at once 
sought me and made overtures to join him in starting 
a paper. . . . The question of the political complexion 
of the paper was settled by his proposal that I do the 
writing and he attend to the mechanical part. I 
needed no coaxing, and the Lyon County News made 
a weekly medium through which facts, fads and 
fancies were dished up in delectable style to such as 
would condescend to read them. In a few months 
I purchased the interests of Mr. Edes and proceeded 
to float the enterprise alone, in connection with other 
duties, until I found by experience more or less disas- 
trous and depressing that a newspaper was not so sure 
a path to wealth, fame and glory as I had always 
supposed. After I found what an expensive plaything 
it was I sold it to the office foreman, George Gee."- 
W. M. Todd, 1903. 



with a Junior Merganthaler typesetting 
machine, large cylinder press, folder, 
three job presses, bindery, etc. The 
machinery is operated by individual 
electric motors. 

The next paper established in the 
county seal was a Peoples Party organ, 
the Lyon County Leader. It was found- 
ed April 26, 1895, by M. V. B. Scribner, 
who conducted it for a Dumber of years 
against great odds and with poor suc- 
cess. The plant was moved to Balaton 
in May. 1901, and publication of the 
Leader was there continued for a few 
months. In August, 1901, the sub- 
scription list was turned over to the 
publisher of the Tracy Herald and Mr. 
Scribner moved the plant away. 

C. F. Case, the former publisher of the 
Marshall Messenger, founded the Lyon 
County Reporter at Marshall December 
20, 1889. 3 It was then and has ever 
since' been Republican in politics. At 
the time of founding it was a nine- 
column folio; it has undergone several 
changes in form and is now a seven- 
column quarto. An excellent paper was 
issued and the Reporter at once became 
a popular institution. The founder con- 
ducted the Reporter alone until July 23, 
1898, when his son, Frank W. Case, 
secured an interest and the publishing 
firm became C. F. Case & Son. The 
elder Mr. Case retired in 1899 and gave 
the property to his sons, Frank W. and 
Fred H. Case. The former became sole 
proprietor the next year and he has ever 
since been the publisher. 

The Reporter has taken its place as 
one of the substantial institutions of 
Lyon county and is a good paper. The 
plant is modern and well equipped. A 
Simplex typesetting machine was in- 
stalled in the spring of 1899 and was the 

3 For a few months the paper was also issued under 
the titles Minneota Standard and Cottonwood Enter- 
prise. Each of those villages had local reporters, and 

first installed west of the Mississippi 
river. The first home of the Reporter 
was the room now occupied by Kieth's 
photograph gallery, and the presenl 
quarters in the Case Block have been 
occupied since \XU7. 

The first paper in Tracy and the pred- 
ecessor, several degrees removed, of the 
Tracy Headlight, was the Tracy Gazette, 

which was founded in the fall of 1879 by 
I). \\ . Kutchin. The pioneer paper 
war; anything but a financial success and 
its proprietor had a hard time to keep 
it in existence. Mr. Kutchin departed 
for the East in the early fall of 1880 and 
left the paper in other hands. In March, 
1881, publication was suspended but 
the next month Mr. Kutchin returned 
and revived the paper. 

For over three years the pioneer news- 
paper man of Tracy was at the head of 
the Gazette. The plant was then pur- 
chased by W. M. Todd, who on March 
30, 1883, established the Tracy Trumpet 
as the successor of the Gazette. He was 
a more aide newspaper man than his 
predecessor and published the Trumpet 
successfully nearly two years. The paper 
was purchased in February, 1885, by 
O. J. Rea and H. C. Buckingham, who 
made it a Democratic paper. The fol- 
lowing August Mr. Rea became sole 
proprietor and published the Trumpet 
until July 1, 1892. 

The purchaser at that time was V. W. 
Lothrop. He was the publisher until 
July 2, 1894, when the office passed into 
the hands of T. A. Cashman and Miss 
Maine Starr. The latter was manager 
of the Trumpet and conducted it until 
October, 1898. The firm of Starr & 
Cashman was then dissolved and the 
property reverted to the former owner. 
For a few weeks the paper was issued 

advertisements from each village were run in all 



by Mrs. Florence R. Lothrop, and in 
December. 1898, the plant was pur- 
chased by H. F. Seiter. He made the 
Trumpet a Peoples Party organ and was 
the publisher until August, 1899. Jack- 
son & Anson were the publishers from 
that time until May, 1900, and Jay 
Jackson then became publisher and con- 
ducted the journal as a Republican 
organ. He was succeeded a few months 
later by David Stafford, who was in 
charge only a short time. The Trumpet 
had not been a paying investment for 
some years, and in December, 1900, the 
plant reverted to a former owner, H. F. 
Seiter. He sold the plant the following 
-month to the owner of the Tracy 
Republican, who consolidated the two 

The Tracy Republican was founded 
by Edward and Frank Lawrence in 
March. 1885. Their efforts to make a 
success of the venture resulted in failure 
and in 1887 they sold to W. R. Edwards, 
who put the paper on a sound footing. 
Mr. Edwards purchased the Trumpet 
plant in January, 1901, consolidated the 
two, and continued publication under 
the name of Republican-Trumpet. He 
retired in 1910 after twenty-three years 
of continuous publication of the one 

The Republican-Trumpet was pur- 
chased by Bert L. English May 20. 1910. 
He changed the name to Tracy Head- 
light and presided over the destinies of 
the pioneer newspaper two years, con- 
ducting it as a Progressive Republican 
paper. Mr. English has lived in Tracy 
since childhood and learned the printer's 
trade on the paper he later edited. On 
May 10. 1912. J. D. Gilpin purchased the 

O. J. Rea, a former owner of the 
Trumpet, founded the Tracy Weekly 
Herald September 4, 1894, making the 

third paper in the village at the time. 
He has ever since been the proprietor 
and nearly all the time has had the 
active management Mr. Rea was ap- 
pointed postmaster in the spring of 1896 
and J. M. Riegel became associated with 
the owner in the management and was 
the editor. That gentleman leased the 
plant in January, 1898, and had sole 
charge until Mr. Rea's time expired in 
the spring of 1900. Since the last 
named date Mr. Rea has not had asso- 
ciates in the business. 

The Herald is independent in politics 
and fearless in its utterances. Mr. Rea 
has always been independent enough to 
criticize wrong in politics or local mat- 
ters. The paper is a seven-column 

Minneota's first newspaper was not 
long-lived or a success. It- was the 
Minneota Prospect and was founded by 
Clyde W. Rea in July, 1888. He pub- 
lished it only until October of the same 

The first issue of the Minneota Mascot 
was taken from the press September 4, 
1891. The founder was J. P. Byrne, 
who had come from Madison to teach 
the Minneota school. For six weeks 
the new journal was under the manage- 
ment of J. F. Paige, who had formerly 
published the Montevideo Leader, and 
then the business and editorial control 
was assumed by Mr. Byrne. W. H. 
Deen purchased an interest April 21, 
1893, and was associated with Mr. 
Byrne in the publication until Septem- 
ber 25 of the same year. W. W. Davy 
became the editor October 26, 1894, and 
served one month. With these excep- 
tions, Mr. Byrne was the editor and 
proprietor until January 28, 1895. 

The Mascot was purchased on the 
date last mentioned by S. Th. Westdal 
and G. B. Bjornson, young men who had 



grown t»> manhood in Minneota, Mr. 
Westdal having been employed on the 
paper for about two years. The follow- 
ing Augusl Mr. Westdal became sole 
proprietor and he conducted the Mascot 
until April 15, L900. On that date G. B. 
Bjornson assumed the managemenl and 

later the same year he purchased the 
plant, and he has ever since been the 1 
editor and proprietor. 
• Mr. Bjornson has built up a successful 
business and has made the Mascot a 
power in the affairs of Minneota and 
Lyon county. His paper is conceded 
to be one of the very best country 
weeklies in Minnesota published in a 
town the size of Minneota. It is Inde- 
pendent Republican politically and its 
editorial . utterances are widely copied 
throughout the state. The Mascot was 
founded as an eight-column folio, was 
made a six-column quarto in 1899, and 
was enlarged to a seven-column quarto 
in 1905. 

In the spring of 1902 Mr. Bjornson 
began the publication of Yinland from 
the Mascot office. This is the only 
Icelandic newspaper ever published in 
the United States. Publication was con- 
tinued until 1908. 

Cottonwood's first newspaper was the 
Cottonwood Leader, established August 
28, 1891, by G. E. Graber. The venture 
was an absolute failure and in November 
of the year of its birth publication was 
suspended. The plant, which had been 
purchased with nothing more substantial 
than promises to pay, was left in the 
village and from it was later issued the 
Cottonwood Current. 

AY. H. Mullane founded the Cotton- 
wood Current in February, 1892, taking 
over the subscription list of the defunct 
Leader. He was succeeded a few months 
later by E. I. Raymond, who in Decem- 
ber, 1892, departed and left the field 

5 .icant . The people of Cottonwood were 

anxious to have the paper continued 
and with inexperienced help they man- 
aged to get out a few editions. A 
company was then formed to purchase 
the plant and continue publication. 

The Current was purchased by .1. F. 
Paige in January, 1893, and on April 22 
<>f the same year the plant was destroyed 
by fire. The proprietor replaced the 
plant and continued publication until 
September, when he sold to W. H. Deen, 
formerly of the Minneota Mascot. W. 
D. Lovelace purchased the Current 
March 3, 1894, and was its editor and 
publisher for more than ten years. He 
sold to C. W. Folsom August 13, 1904, 
and the latter to the present owners, 
W. J. Huddleston and W. A. Sisson, on 
October 6, 1905. Those gentlemen have 
since been in charge and have greatly 
improved the Current. The paper is 
now a six-column quarto. 

Cottonwood Gazette was the name of 
a paper that had an existence of less 
than two years in the nineties. It was 
established by C. G. Strand in June, 
1896, and W. C. Smith became the 
proprietor in March, 1897. In the latter 
part of the same year publication was 

Of the many news journals that have 
at one time and another been published 
at Balaton the first was the Balaton 
Journal. It was founded by A. N. 
Daniels early in 1887 and was published 
by him nearly two years. C. C. YYhitney 

6 Company, of Marshall, became the 
publishers on January 1, 1889, and the 
local management was given to R. B. 
Caldwell. That gentleman was suc- 
ceeded in the fall of 1890 by John H. 
Call. The Journal was sold in Febru- 
ary, 1891, to J. Gitzy. who published it 
about one month and then suspended 



Balaton's second newspaper was the 
Balaton Eagle. In January, 1893, C. L. 
Wing, who had been publishing the 
Woodstock Eagle, moved the plant to 
the Lyon county village. The Balaton 
Eagle did not bring great returns to its 
publisher and in October, 1893, Mr. 
Wing departed and left the Eagle unable 
to fly. Publication was resumed in 
December by Miller & Estey, but the 
venture was not a success and the plant 
was sold at auction in April, 1895, and 
moved away. 

The Balaton Times was established 
by Jackson & Anson early in 1900 and 
was printed in the proprietors' Tracy 
Trumpet office. Publication was sus- 
pended in April, 1900, at which time the 
subscription list and good will were sold 
to the newly founded Balaton Bystander. 

The founder of the Bystander was 
Professor W. M. Snyder, who in March, 
1900, got out the first issue. He put a 
small plant in the village, most of the 
money to pay for which had been raised 
by subscription. Professor Snyder was 
not a success as a newspaper man and 
the life of the Bystander was short. 

From May to August, 1901, the Lyon 
County Leader was published in Balaton 
by M. V. B. Scribner, who for several 
years previously had published the paper 
at Marshall. 

The Balaton Press was established 
early in January, 1903, by J. H. Rush, 
and for more than seven years it was 
published by him, the mechanical work 
having been done in the office of the 
Lake Benton News. It was not a 
financial success, but certain interests 
in Balaton required an organ and the 

4 "The Balaton Tribune was formerly owned and 
published by C. H. Smith, who had given a bill of sale 
of his printing material to certain parties in the village. 
It appears that friction occurred between the owner or 
owners of the bill of sale and the editor on account of 
the policy of the paper toward certain matters of local 
interest, and the bill of sale was enforced by the 
appointment of a receiver, who was put in charge of 
the office and paper; the editor was eliminated and the 

paper was kept alive. It was published 
until consolidated with the Tribune in 

In August, 1905, C. H. Smith took a 
plant to Balaton and put forth the 
Balaton Tribune. The village was hard- 
ly large enough to support one paper, 
but the new paper was backed by 
interests that also required an organ. 
In the spring of 1907 the owners of a 
bill of sale of the Tribune plant given 
by Mr. Smith was enforced and a re- 
ceiver was appointed. The bill of sale 
did not cover the title of the paper or 
the subscription list, but these were 
taken by the new owners and the dispute 
between the interested parties found its 
way to the courts. 4 F. J. Sherry be- 
came the proprietor of the Tribune after 
Mr. Smith was ousted and continued 
publication until the consolidation in 

The two Balaton papers were consoli- 
dated March 15, 1910, and the Balaton 
Press-Tribune took their place, the new 
paper being printed in the Tribune 
office. The paper has since been edited 
by E. F. Whiting, while H. G. Towne 
has been business manager. The Press- 
Tribune was enlarged to a six-column 
quarto on October 15, 1911. It is Re- 
publican in politics and is an influential 

Early in 1901 a newspaper bearing a 
Russell date line made its appearance, 
printed in an outside office. In May of 
the same year W. J. Huddleston took a 
plant to the little town and established 
the Russell Review, which he conducted 
until October, 1905. Then he purchased 
an interest in the Cottonwood Current 

publication of the paper was continued by the parties 
holding the bill of sale, who not only controlled the 
office and business, but seized the subscription list and 
demanded and received the mail of the late editor. 
Mr. Smith now brings suit against his successors for 
damages, claiming that the bill of sale was confined 
to the material of the office." — Marshall News- 
Messenger, October 25, 1907. 



and left Russell without a newspaper. 
After a lapse of three weeks the Russell 
Review was revived. C. P. Eastman 
purchased Mr. Huddleston's interests, 
picked up a plant by purchase from 
several offices, and early in November 
got out his first issue. It was up-hill 
work publishing a paper in a village the 
size of Russell, but he kept it alive until 
December, 1906, when he moved the 
plant to Osakis, Minnesota. 

Russell was not long without an organ 
of publicity. On May 16. 1907, L. H. 
Rairdon founded the Russell Anchor. 
He conducted it until March, 1909, and 
it was then purchased by two Russell 
business men, F. S. Purdy and B. 
Leknes. Those gentlemen were the pub- 

lishers until July 29, 1909, when the 
present owner, Fred E. Child, purchased 
the plant. Mr. Child has made a success 
of the business and has a well equipped 
office. The Anchor is a six-column 
quarto, of which four pages are printed 
in the home office. 

After retiring from the Balaton Trib- 
une, C. H. Smith moved to Garvin and 
on August 16, 1907, launched the Garvin 
Leader. It was founded as a six-column 
folio and that has ever since been the 
size. Mr. Smith sold the Leader in 
June, 1911, to ten business men of the 
village. Since that time the publishers 
have been John Holden, Jr., and F. D. 
Pinckney and the editor has been E. M. 



IN gathering- data for a volume of 
this kind one runs across many 
stories of the early days for which 
no place can be found in the historical 
part but which are truly interesting and 
in many instances throw vivid light on 
early day conditions. These have been 
preserved and are here incorporated 
under the chapter heading "Reminis- 
cent." Some of the stories have been 
written by early day residents; some are 
taken from the files of the local press; 
others are original, prepared by the 
author from data gathered from personal 


Those who lived in Lyon county dur- 
ing the years of its early settlement, 
and up into the eighties, will never 
forget the alarm caused by the approach 
of a prairie fire. Many of the present 
generation are skeptical of the dangers 
to life and property from this source. 
Others can but marvel at the conditions 
that made a prairie fire dangerous or 
even possible. But conditions in the 
early days differed greatly from those of 
the present time. Then there were vast 
stretches of sparsely settled and un- 
broken prairie, covered with a dense 
growth of grass, which in the low places 
often grew to a great height. In the 

fall the grass died and formed a thick 
covering of highly inflammable material, 
which "burned like a prairie fire" when 
it became ignited. 

When a heavy wind accompanied one 
of these conflagrations the effect was 
thrilling. The flames would race over 
the prairie with the speed of the wind, 
leaping, bounding, rushing on their 
fiery way. By clay the air would be 
filled with smoke and cinders and the 
atmosphere would become hazy; at night 
the heavens would be illumined by the 
blaze, and the bright lines of the raging 
fires could be seen, often miles in length. 
After the passing, the prairie would be 
left a blackened waste. 

The few scattered settlers were in 
great danger of loss when one of these 
fires approached. Many settlers lost 
their whole belongings, and but few 
escaped without loss from this source. 
"Firebreaks," made by plowing furrows 
around the buildings or hay stacks, 
sometimes served as a check to the 
flames, but with a strong head wind 
the flames often jumped hundreds of 
feet, and in such cases the breaks were 
no protection. The favorite met Ik id of 
fighting fires was by "back-firing." 
When one of the terrors of the prairie 
was seen approaching with the wind, a 
fire would be set near the property to 
be saved. This, small at first, could be 



controlled and whipped out on the lee- 
ward side, leaving the flames to slowly 
eat their way windward to meet the 
coming lurid destroyer. Sometimes a 
space of sufficient width was thus 
burned over in time to prevent the 
destruction. In case of a big con- 
flagration, fire fighting companies would 
be organized to go out and contend with 
the flames, using dampened sacks, quilts, 
or whatever was handy, to whip out the 

Prairie fires continued a menace to 
the people of Lyon county many years, 
or until the county had become quite 
thickly settled and subdued. Seldom 
did an autumn pass in the early days 
without one or more disastrous con- 
flagrations in some part of the county. 
Several times the villages were threat- 
ened with destruction, and companies 
had to be formed to go out and fight the 
approaching flames. 

One of the most destructive of the 
caily day fires occurred in the fall of 
1871. It was started in Lyons town- 
ship, where a homesteader set a fire to 
burn refuse hay. It spread rapidly, ex- 
tending south to the Cottonwood river, 
north to the Yellow Medicine river, and 
east as far as Redwood Falls. The hay 
and grain of practically all the settlers 
in the burned district were consumed 
and the homes of some of the settlers 
were destroyed. A little patch of frost- 
bitten grass was found that had been 
protected by the river, and the home- 
steaders cut that to keep their stock 
through the winter. 

The fourteen-year-old daughter of 
James Armstrong, who lived close to 
where Marshall was later built, had died 
the day before of scarlet fever, and 
preparations for the first funeral in the 
community were being madb when the 
fire came. The following account of the 

fire and the funeral is from the Marshall 
News-Messenger of September 16, 1S87: 

C. H. Whitney made the coffin, conducted the 
funeral, and made the remarks the occasion 
demanded. The affair was peculiarly sad. The 
girl died September 28, 1871, and on the follow- 
ing day a terrible prairie fire raged, burning over 
the whole country. A few who could gather 
fought the flames until exhausted. Mr. Whitney 
was taken to his sod shanty more dead than 
alive, and the fire swept away everything he 
had. He had just got the frame of his new 
house erected and the lumber was on the 
ground for its completion. All this was de- 
stroyed, together with all his grain and hay, 
the fruits of his first year of pioneer life. 

That morning he had begun to make a coffin 
for the body awaiting burial; at night he was sq 
prostrated as to be unable to proceed with the 
work of the morning, and the night was passed 
by Mrs. Whitney in caring for her husband" and 
with her own hands finishing the work upon the 
coffin. The funeral was held the following day, 
amid the calamities of the loss to settlers by the 
great fire and the grief at the loss of the first 
of the little band. To add to the gloom, the 
atmosphere was yet so dense with smoke from 
the fire of the previous day and the now distant 
burning of the prairie that respiration was 
difficult, and the somberness of the night over- 
spread the country. 

A large tract of country was burned 
over in August, 1873, and several people 
lost their homes and other property. 
This was the first experience with the 
dreaded racing flames for many of the 
residents of Lyon county, and a great 
many were badly frightened. 

Another fire of great fierceness and 
covering considerable area swept the 
western part of Lyon county about the 
middle of September, 1877. It started 
near Sioux Falls and was driven by a 
strong southwest wind. It ran down 
both sides of the Redwood river as far 
as Marshall and was one of the most 
destructive fires in the county's history. 

Illustrative of the velocity with which 
it traveled: Messrs. H. P. Sanden, E. 
K. Ronning, C. P. Myran and Christo- 
pher Johnson, of Shelburne township, 
had finished threshing and started for 
Marshall, each hauling a load of wheat 
to market with ox teams. . When they 
started from home there was no sign of 


■24! I 

fire, but they had proceeded only so far 
the prei enl site of R,uss ell when the 
blazing fire was seen approaching, and 
within a shorl time the prairies were a 
blackened waste. 

One life was lost in this conflagration. 
At the C. P. Myran home, near where 
the village of Florence is now. were Mr . 
Myran and two children and Mrs. 
Henrick Jorgenson, wife of a newcomer 
who was building <>n his homestead near 
by. When the flames approached, the 

two women went out to the :011th to 
"back-fire'! and protect the property. 
The flames came with such -peed that 
the women were unable to accomplish 
their purpose hut were forced to flee for 
protection. Mrs. Myran reached the 
dug-out ami safety, hut Mrs. Jorgenson 
was overcome at the straw stable and 
burned to death. 

The straw buildings, threshed "rain, 
hay. chickens and everything excepl 
the dug-outs on the C. P. Myran and 
Christopher Johnson homestead:- were 
destroyed, and those 1 families were 
robbed of the fruits of their year's 
labor — the first year of their residence 
in the county that the grasshoppers had 
not taken the crop. E. K. Ronning and 
H. P. Sanden, their neighbors, gener- 
ously shared their grain with the un- 
fortunate families and assisted them in 

The village of Marshall was in danger 
from a fire on October 3, 1879, and 
heroic efforts were necessary to save the 
town. Illustrative of the methods em- 
ployed in overcoming the demons of 
the prairie is the following account of 
the checking of this fire, published in 
the Lyon County News of October 8, 

Quite an excitement was created by the 

sudden appearance of a large fire last Friday 

afternoon in the vicinity of J. M. Lockey's 

brick kiln, south of town. It will be remem- 

' bered that the wind blew violently at the time 

from the south and very many during the day 
spoke of the difficulty with which a fire could be 
managed should ii once gel started. In fact, 

every one in town had his eyes and cars wide 

open for an emergency of this kind, a id in less 
than ten minutes after "fire" was yelled, hun- 
dreds of men were on the spot, armed with 
brooms, wet rags, shovels, pitchforks, rakes, 
hoes and everything they could seize hold of 

and were welting the Haines. One man had the 

tailboard of a lumber wagon, hut each used his 

weapon with a vengeance and the flames were 

rut off. The first two or three, though, 

who reached the spot were the ies who did the 

most effective work. . . . Now the village is 
out of danger from fires from that quarter. 

During the latter part of October, 
1888, prairie fires were very destructive 
in several part- of the county and many 
grain stacks and buildings were burned. 
Near the newly established station of 
bit .ell. on October 31, occurred a very 
stubborn fire and a human life was 
sacrificed to its fury. A number of 
people were fighting the flame; on the 
bluff near the home of Daniel Fellon, 
and among the 1 number was Mrs. Fellon. 
The men rushed to head off the flames 
that were going around a back-fire, 
leaving Mrs. Fellon behind. The lady's 
clothing caught fire and she wa3 so 
badly burned that she died the following 


In the days before white men came, 
Lyon county was the home of several 
species of big game, including bison, elk 
and deer, and many fur bearing animals. 
On hunting and trapping expeditions 
the aborigines visited the county from 
time immemorial, and later, when settle- 
ment had been extended to the frontier 
regions, white trappers were wont to 
visit the streams with their traps and 
were richly rewarded. 

Small game was abundant — so abun- 
dant, in fact, that it is not safe to give 
a truthful account of its abundance at 
this late day. C. F. Case in the Lyon 
County Reporter of February 4, 1899, 



told how easy it was to replenish the 

larder when Lyon county was young, 

as follows: 

A man of resources had little trouble to live 
on the Minnesota frontier at that time. The 
air was full of meat. Ducks and geese were 
frequently so thick that even we could shoot 
toward heaven and bring down this manna. 
The first goose that fell a victim to our sporting 
habits met with a flat refusal from our better 
half to cook the bird, for she insisted it must 
be sick or we never could have shot it. This 
prejudice died out later when we came home 
from a hunt and reported that three of us had 
shot fourteen geese at one shot. That was good 
hunting, and we felt a very natural delicacy for 
many months against confessing that when the 
fourteen fell our gun didn't go off. 

The bison was a mono- the first of the 
big game to depart after the arrival of 
settlers. The very first settlers occa- 
sionally saw stray members of this 
noble animal of the prairies and many 
evidences of his former presence in the 
shape of wallows and his bleaching bones 
scattered over the prairie. A stray 
buffalo was killed by two Norwegian 
boys in 1869 at the point in Westerheim 
township where the two blanches of 
Yellow Medicine river join. The boys 
were bunting chickens, and the monarch 
of the plains met his death with charges 
of bird shot. The elk also departed 
early, although a few were seen by the 
Lyon county pioneers. The last of that 
species of big game was killed on the 
shore of Lake Marshall in 1870 by Alex 
Demars, a half-breed. 

Deer remained in the county for a 
longer period, and had their habitat in 
the woods along the streams. After the 
October blizzard in 1880 three were shot 
in the Lynd woods, and at other times 
during that winter of deep snow several 
deer were seen in the county. 

(by w. m. todd.) 

The early history of Marshall presents 
nothing more amusing than the first 
judicial proceedings. 

Before the village was organized a 
certain township justice of the peace 
issued a summons in a civil process. 
He took delight in telling of the coming- 
suit and always added that he could not 
understand why they brought the case 
before him, for he had heard nothing 
about it and knew nothing of the par- 
ticulars. He did not know that his 
professional ignorance constituted his 
sole qualification. 

After the case had been called and 
the complaint filed, the attorney for the 
defendant made a motion to dismiss, on 
the ground that "the complaint did not 
state facts sufficient to constitute a 
cause of action." After a moment's 
silence the learned justice assumed an 
air of judicial dignity and said: "A 
motion has been made to dismiss; does 
anyone second the motion'.'" 

During the years 1 wore the judicial 
ermine many amusing incidents hap- 
pened, some of which will never be 

On a certain occasion 1 performed a 
marriage ceremony under quite extra- 
ordinary circumstances. One day in 
May I was cleaning up the room, which 
Avas used in turn for lumber office, court 
room, council meeting room, etc. The 
day was intensely warm and 1 had re- 
moved coat, vest and collar and rolled 
up my sleeves; my hand.-; were dirty, 
my hair disheveled, and drops of per- 
spiration were trickling over a dust- 
begrimed face. 

While in this condition a Norwegian 
couple appeared upon the scene to be 
married. It was about eleven o'clock 
and I told them that I would go to 
dinner early, clean myself, and be ready 
for the ceremony about one o'clock. 
This would not answer at all. They 
wanted to be married then and there. 
without delay. I pleaded in vain for a 

The Machine is Owned by Peter Hanson of Russell. 


Furs Taken by Charles and Mynard Burt, Coon Creek Township, in Five Weeks of the 

1910 Season. There are Eighty Mink, Thirty-four Skunk, Four Hundred 

Fifty Rats, One Fox and Twelve Weasels. 



short postponement and finally told 
them that in any evenl l must go home 
and wash and put on some clean clothes. 
They would not agree even to that and 
demanded that the ceremony be per- 
formed at once. 

1 was hardly able to conceal my dis- 
pleasure at their unreasonable haste 
and lack of consideration for my em- 
barrassed appearance, and I jumped up 
before them and told them to stand up 
and take hold of hands. Then, turning 
to the woman, I said: "Do you like 
him?" She coyly answered "yes." Nexl 
addressing the man. 1 said: "Do you 
like her?" He blushingly said ••yes." 
"Then go to it." That was the only 
ceremony and it occupied less than half 
a minute. The whole party was actually 
dazed and somewhat dissatisfied over its 
brevit y and lack of formality. 



The word blizzard, synonymous with 
the terrible winter storm of the prairies, 
was coined during the early settlement 
of the Northwest. In the early eighties 
the newspapers of the country rilled 
columns giving the "original" derivation 
of the word, which then came into 
general use and in time found its way 
into the dictionaries. There is evidence 
that the word was coined in Marshall 
during the memorable storm of January. 
1873. Concerning this, the Lyon Coun- 
ty News of March 2, 1883, said: 

The word blizzard was first used in Marshall, 
.Minnesota, by an American settler, now residing 
in Iowa. It was in the storm of 1873, at 
Charles H. Whitney's hotel, and the man was 
Deacon Seth Knowles, who was a settler of Lyon 
county near this village. The deacon was a 
fine German scholar, and while discussing the 
terrible storm raging without one speeker said 
no word could express its severity, whereupon 
the deacon said: "It's a blitzard !" 

So the great storm of 1873 was locally known, 
and with recurring storms the term spread 
through the state. During late years it has 
been generally adopted for squalls in the eastern 
states, which as compared with a genuine 

blizzard arc no more than zephyrs. The deacon 

knew what he was talking about and adapted 
the term to the terrors of the storm. A German 
witnessing one of these overpowering storms 
would say: 

"/></■ Sturm kommt bliizartig," 
which, translated into English, would be: 

"The storm conies lightning-like." 
The transition from bliizartig to blizzard 
is natural and easy, while no word could better 
describe the oncoming snow and wind storm, 
and certainly there is no English word to lill 
the hill. The newness of the term and its 
pronunciation led the deacon to step to the 
counter of the hotel and write the word for the 
benefit of his friends. 


A hook could be filled with the ad- 
ventures and unpleasant features of the 
long winter of deep snows, 1880-81. 
For weeks the people of Lyon county 
were isolated, without mail and scantily 
supplied with fuel, provisions and many 
other necessities of life. The incon- 
veniences- were borne good naturedly 
as a general thing, and the humor of the 
situation was often manifested. 

During the last days of March, 1881, 
when not a train had been run for more 
than two months, an effort was made 
to open the road at Marshall, and an 
engine which had been "dead" there 
for many long weeks was fired up with 
wood that had been the coaling plat- 
form. C. C. Whitney, of the News, 
told of the effect on the people of the 
sound of the locomotive's whistle and 
bell, as follow-: 

Wednesday afternoon the good people of 
Marshall were amazed and somewhat alarmed 
at hearing loud, shrill and frightful shrieks, and 
only those knowing to the facts could account 
therefor. Children ran to their mothers, women 
were almost speechless, and the sterner sex 
trembled with fear, many calling to mind 
Mother Shipton's prophecy that in 1881 the 
world would come to an end. But there was 
no call for such consternation, in reality. 

In other countries and even in some parts of 
America, it is said, they have what are called 
locomotives, a kind of huge machine, which is 
made to run with steam, and these so-called 
iron horses draw coaches through the country 
at a rapid rate of speed. To alarm people of 
their approach these locomotives have attached 
a large bell and whistle. 



It was one of these strange machines, running 
about near the river and blowing its terrible 
whistle, which caused the alarm to our people. 
We understand these machines are quite harm- 
less, unless a person gets in front of them, and 
that they run along very fast in good weather, 
but that they are afraid of snow and can only 
be used in portions of the country where no 
snow falls. It is hinted that some time next 
summer, the Lord willing, some of these loco- 
motives will be used to draw coaches and freight 
through this section of country. But we 
haven't much faith in such notions and think 
the old-fashioned way of having horses to draw 
the passengers, freight and mail from Sleepy 
Eye far more reliable, take it all the year 


Rev. W. T. Ellis played an important 

part in the early affairs of Lyon county. 
He was one of the founders of Lynd and 
Camden, a pioneer minister, store- 
keeper and promoter, and a leader in 
early day affairs. In a way he was a 
character and many stories have been 
told of his doings. The following de- 
scription of Rev. Ellis is from the pen 
of C. F. Case, written in 1898: 

Probably this Rev, Ellis was for a time the 
most celebrated man in the county. We re- 
member him as a preacher of some talent and a 
good deal of originality. Governed almost en- 
tirely by impulse, it was a wild guess what might 
be expected of him next. At a revival meeting 
he would make the pictures on the wall weep 
for the sins of the world, and as a Sunday 
School teacher he would fire the pupils with 
ambition to walk in the footsteps of Moses and 
the prophets, but he would also run horses on 
Sunday for the whisky, beat his best friend in a 
trade, and swear like a Spanish pirate when he 
got mad. Being overheard once by a lady 
damning his cattle away up in G, he apologized 
by saying that he had bought them from a 
very profane man and that he had to quote the 
language they were accustomed to before they 
thought his admonitions in earnest. Since 
eaving here he has been illustrated in the 
Police Gazette for trying to break up a seditious 
church meeting by pounding the congregation 
with the pulpit Bible. 

In business Rev. Ellis was governed by the 
same impulsiveness. If dried apples were cheap 
in his opinion and for sale on time, he bought 
a ton of them and other goods with the same 
reckless abandon. It is said that one of his 
dried apple loads, topped out with half a ton 
of codfish, was caught in a heavy shower on its 
way from New Ulm and raised so high that he 
could only take the prairie road {o Lynd and 
had to spread his load over forty acres to dry 
again in the sun. The addition to this story, 

which we once made, that the Flandreau 
Indians smelled the drying codfish ami, thinking 
it the camp of a Chippewa enemy, went on the 
warpath, we here admit was untrue. The odors 
did not reach farther than Lake Benton. 


"When the Dakota Central railroad 
was 1 seine- constructed in the summer of 
1879, the workmen engaged in a strike 
which created great excitement and 
necessitated a visit from the governor 
and the calling out of the militia. The 
wildest rumors were sent out concerning 
depredations committed by the strikers. 
but as a matter of fact very little 
damage was done. 

On the morning of June 16, 1879, 
thirty-one shovelers working four miles 
wi'-t o( Tracy struck and demanded in- 
creased wages. Their employer refused 
the demands and told the men to go to 
Tracy and get their pay. The workmen 
at the next camp to the west also 
-truck when they heard of the action of 
the others, and a large number of the 
strikers started west to incite the other 
camps and make the strike general. 

Nearly all the workmen joined the 
striker.; and those that were inclined 
otherwise were forced to join the ranks. 
The several construction crews became 
a mob. The march to the west con- 
tinued until nightfall and camp was 
pitched on the Redwood river. On the 
morning of the seventeenth the mob 
continued the march toward Lake Ben- 
ton. All except the camp farthest west 
suspended work and the army of strikers 
began the march back to Tracy. Many 
were mounted, and when some of those 
forced into the strike attempted to 
escape they were run down and again 
made to join the ranks. 

The foreman in charge of the con- 
struction work was making a tour of 
inspection near Lake Benton when the 
trouble occurred. He eluded the strikers 



by taking a circuitous route and reached 
Tracy early on the morning of 'rue-day. 
the seventeenth. He at once asked aid 
from the county authorities. 

Sheriff Hunter was informed that the 
strikers were waging war on the settlers, 
contractors, boarding house keepers and 
others and that a general riot was feared. 
The peace officer at once swore in about 
twenty deputies, who, armed with rusty 
muskets, took the noon train for the 
■ ea1 of trouble. The sheriff senl out a 
mounted scouting party to reconnoitre 
md they reported an army of 200 
strikers to be fifteen miles wesl of Tracy. 
it was feared the sheriff's company 

would not he Strong enough to cope 
with the mob and a call was sent tor the 
state militia. 

About noon on Wednesday a part of 
the strikers arrived at Tracy. They 
doif aloft on a- rude frame a sheet on 
which was inscribed: "Railroad Strik- 
ers. $3.50 per day and SI..')!) per day." 
A council between the strikers and con- 
tractors was held, at which the latter 
agreed to have the money on the next 
train from Marshall with which to pay 
the men their wages. The train did not 
stop at Tracy but went through at full 
speed. This incensed the strikers and 
threats of violence were made. 

The strike was brought to a sudden 
close. Within a half hour after the 
train from Marshall went through, a 
special train bearing the New Ulm 
militia company arrived in Tracy. On 
the train was also Superintendent San- 
born with money to pay the strikers. 
Only about thirty of them applied for 
their wages; the others returned to work 
and the strike was over. Governor John 
S. Pillsbury made a trip to Tracy early 
on the morning of Thursday to inves- 
tigate conditions, but the men had re- 
turned to work and the governor 
remained only a couple of hours. 


In the early day- Lyon county was 
frequently "hard up" and not in position 
to meet its bills. Times were exceeding 
bad, there was little taxable property, 
ami often the county authorities wen 
obliged to take humiliating means to 
satisfy creditor-. 

On A.ugus1 20. 1872, Sheriff James 

Cummin-- presented a bill for $552.40 

for expenses incident to the arrest and 

imprisonment of E. 0. Langdon, John 

Terrill. Emerson Hull and Egbert Hull, 

charged with horse thievery. The bill 

was allowed, but the county was without 

funds to meet it. Proceedings of the 

County Board that day were in the 

following language: 

Heard authorized .Mr. A. R. Cummins, county 
treasurer, to raise three hundred dollars to apply 
on above sheriff's hill; said money to he borrowed 

on six months' time at interest not to exceed 
twenty-five per cent per annum. 

During the grasshopper days debts 
were contracted which caused much 
trouble and expense to county officials. 
Several judgments were secured and 
drastic steps had to be taken to keep the 
county solvent. The following resolu- 
tion appears on the journal of the 
Board of County Commissioners for 
March 23, 1878: 

Whereas one H. D. Witness holds county 
orders to a large amount and holds over us 
judgments and suits to our mortal terror and 
excessive fear, demanding money and costs 
and general distress to the good people of Lyon 
county, therefore we, the County Board of said 
county so distressed, do hereby resolve that in 
consideration that said H. D. Witness withhold 
such suits and judgments from further progress 
and does not start more suits to so distress and 
mortally worry said good people aforesaid, that 
on the first day of July next, we, the County 
Board, will issue bonds to the extent of the law, 
viz.: $4900. Signed. O. C. Gregg, county 
auditor; H. T. Oakland, chairman County Board; 
D. F. Weymouth, county attorney. 



Indicative of the times, there are 
found in the files of the county papers 



many interesting items. Under exist- 
ing conditions the events recorded below 
could hardly happen. In many re- 
spects the people of Lyon county of 
thirty and forty years ago lived in a 
different world; not one of the little 
items quoted was considered out of the 
ordinary at the time, but they would lie 
if published as news in the same papers 
today. "The world do move." 

Salary Increased. — The postmaster of Marshal 
has had his salary increased from $45 to $200 a 
year, to date from January last. — Prairie 
Schooner, November 1, 1873. 

Marshall an Island. — The high water of last 
week has disappeared and left the river within 
reasonable bounds. It brought out the fact that 
several residence lots within the town plat ought 
to be deeded with a boat to get on to and off 
from in high water. Either the business part 
of town is in the wrong place or a little work 
ought to be put in on the river bank above, 
in the shape of a levee, or still farther up, in 
the shape of a cut to turn high water off Lake 
Marshall way. The business part of town was 
mostly out of water but was on an island that 
cut the larger part of town off from connection 
with it. — Prairie Schooner, April 16, 1875. 

Gold Discovery. —We don't wish to excite the 
country with statements that will not properly 
pan out on examination, but there is gold in 
Lyon county. Some years ago an old minei 
was struck by the peculiar bluffs around Cam- 
den, nine miles above Marshall, and in Mr. 
Rouse's company did some prospecting ami 
found gold in small quantities. The search was 
abandoned, but within the past few days Mr. 
P. I. Pierce, who is an old gold miner, has been 
turning up the sand in that neighborhood and 
yesterday showed us some specimens which he 
found there of undoubted genuineness. He is 
sanguine that gold in paying quantities will be 
found. Nearly every pan shows color. — Marshall 
Messenger, May 1 1 . 1S77. 

The Town Well. — "We never miss the water 
until the well runs dry." But we rise to a point 
of order on the internal improvement question. 
The well on the corner is the subject of this 
harangue, fellow citizens. It ought to be a 
well-spring of joy, for in it has been sunk the 
public wealth to the amount of $150, more or 
less. We hope somebody has made something 
out of it, for the public has not, and in all the 
desirable qualifications of a well it is a lament- 
able failure. It is simply a hole in the ground, 
over which the council has spent much money 
and many hopes. If the structure only ran up 
instead of down it would do to leave as a mon- 
ument of hope deferred, but as it does not the 
question still rages: "What shall we do to be 
saved." — Marshall Messenger, April 25, 1S7<). 

Better Railroad Facilities. — One can now leave 
Marshall at half past twelve o'clock in the 
afternoon and be in Chicago at four o'clock 
the next afternoon, making a ride of twenty- 
seven and one-half hours. This is an improve- 
ment on the time card we once had, when it 
took from six at night until six in the morning 
to ride from here to New Clm, and that on a 
freight train with an oak plank to sit on and a 
dirty old red lantern for an illuminator. — Lyon 
County Xews, June 4, L879. 

No 1'irst Bounce does. — The base ball regu- 
lations for 18,79 are changed so thai a foul hall 
must be caught on the fly to make the striker 
out. Also the ball must be caught on the fly 
on the third strike to insure a strike. — Lyon 
County Xews, June 4, 1.S7 ( J. 

Electric Lights a Success. — Edison has finally 
made a success of his electric light. Now what? 
—Lyon County News, December 31, 1879. 

The First Telephone. — Professor Cregg ha- a 
telephone in successful operation between his 
residence ami the court house. It attracts a 
great deal of attention from the curious. Will 
Gregg manufactured the machine. — Lyon < lounty 
News, October 21, 1881. 

An Automobile! — The Olds automobile for 
D. H. Evans arrived on Monday and the great 
chauffeur has been the erivy of all as he "autoed" 
about the city. The machine is a daisy and tin 
first one to be owned by a Tracy citizen. — Tracy 
Herald, April, 1902. 


Former Superintendent of State Printing and for Thirty-two 
Years Publisher of the Marshall News-Messenger. 




CHARLES C. WHITNEY (1880),* ex- 
president of The .Minnesota Editors 
and Publishers Association, ex-super- 
intendent of state printing for Minnesota, and 
for thirty-two years publisher of the Marshall 
News-Messenger, is a man who has taken a 
most active and important part in the af- 
fairs of his county and state. Perhaps no 
man in Lyon county is better known within 
the county and throughout the state than is 
Mr. Whitney. For nearly a third of a cen- 
tury has he labored in the promotion of 
every worthy undertaking that tended to the 
betterment of his city and county and he has. 
wrought well. The life story of such a man 
is indeed entitled to a place in the History 
of Lyon County. 

Charles Colby Whitney is a product of 
New England. He was born at Salmon 
Falls, New Hampshire, March 20, 1846, and 
resided in New England until he came to 
Lyon county at the age of thirty-four years. 
His father was overseer in the cotton mills 
at Salmon Falls and later held similar posi- 
tions at Lawrence, Haydenville, and Wal- 
tham, Massachusetts. It was while our sub- 
ject was quite young that the family moved 
to Lawrence, and it was there that his life- 
work began. After securing a public school 
education young Whitney entered the office 
of the Lawrence American, at the age of 
fifteen years, and served a most thorough 
mechanical apprenticeship. Ever since that 
date, fifty-one years ago, he has been en- 
gaged in the printing business. So expert 
did he become as a printer that he was made 
foreman of the job department when only 
seventeen years old. 

*The date in parentheses following the name 
of each subject is the year (if arrival to Lyon 

Upon the outbreak of the Civil War Mr. 
Whitney was too young to enlist but when 
he reached the age of eighteen years he left 
the office and went to the front. He enlisted 
for three months as a private in Company 
I, Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, and when 
his term expired he joined Company D, 
First Battalion, Twenty-sixth New York Cav- 
alry, in which he remained until the conclu- 
sion of the war. 

The war over, Mr. Whitney returned to 
his work in the American office, where he 
remained until coming to Lyon county in 
1880. During the last ten years of his serv- 
ice 'on that paper he was employed in the 
editorial department, first as a reporter, later 
as city. editor, and during the latter part of 
his stay he was one of the proprietors of 
the paper upon which he had begun to work 
as a young boy. While thus engaged he was 
also for many years a special correspondent 
for the Boston Herald. His parents moved 
to Waltham soon after he began his appren- 
ticeship, but with the persistence which has 
characterized his later years he remained at 
his post and secured a mechanical, business 
and editorial education. During his resi- 
dence in Lawrence Mr. Whitney became 
actively interested in politics and public af- 
fairs and for two years served as a member 
of the City Council. 

The most marked success of Mr. Whit- 
ney's career awaited his coming to Lyon 
county. The attraction of this region led 
him to leave Massachusetts in 1880 and 
locate in Marshall, where his home has ever 
since been. Upon his arrival he purchased 
the Lyon County News and in 1885 he 



bought the Marshall Messenger, consolidated 
the two, and has ever since continued the 
publication under the name of News-Mes- 
senger. Of his success as a publisher an 
article in a history issued by the Minnesota 
Editors and Publishers Association said: 

"The first thing which attracted the atten- 
tion of the newspaper fraternity to Mr. 
Whitney was the neat typographical appear- 
ance of his paper, the result of his thor- 
ough Massachusetts schooling. This at once 
led to the reading of its contents, and it 
was readily seen that a new editor had come 
to the state who was bound to make his 
mark. . . . Mr. Whitney's paper at 
once took front rank in the politics of 
Southwestern Minnesota, and as he became 
more widely known, its influence has been 
extended far beyond his local bailiwick, and 
it is one of the influential Republican papers 
of the state." 

Soon after his arrival Mr. Whitney became 
an active member of the State Editors and 
Publishers Association and in 1895 he was 
elected its president. He still participates 
in the management of that organization and 
for sixteen years has been chairman of its 
executive committee. In 1894 he organized 
the Republican Press Association, was 
elected its first president, and for many 
years was represented on its executive com- 
mittee. He is serving his twelfth year as 
a trustee of the Minnesota State Soldiers' 

in November, 1895, Mr. Whitney was ten- 
dered and accepted the office of superintend- 
ent of state printing, his selection being 
made by the board of printing commissioners 
composed of the secretary of state, state 
treasurer and state auditor. For ten years 
he held the office and his administration 
was highly successful. 

Locally Mr. Whitney has also served in 
official capacities and his work as a mem- 
ber of the Board of Education was excep- 
tionally beneficial. He was secretary of the 
board twelve years and was one of its most 
valued members. In social life he has also 
been active, belonging to the Grand Army 
of the Republic, Masonic, Odd Fellows, 
Knights of Pythias and Royal Arcanum or- 

Charles C. Whitney was married in Law- 
rence, Massachusetts, in 1866 to Mattie M. 
Hogle. and there his eldest son, Frank C. 

Whitney, was born. Mrs. Whitney died in 
1877, and in 1879 Mr. Whitney was married 
to his present wife, Nellie A. Johnson, of 
Bethel, Maine. To this union have been 
born the following named children who are. 
living: Joseph W., Minne Sota (Mrs. Fred 
A. Hills), Dick and Jack. 

CHARLES E. GOODELL (1866), deceased, 
was the first permanent settler of Lyon 
county and for over twenty years he was 
prominent in the affairs of Lyons and Lynd 

He was born in Buffalo, New York, August 
4, 1843. When a boy he moved to Illinois 
and was living in that state when the Civil 
War began. He enlisted in Company D, Sev- 
enty-fifth Illinois Infantry, August 14, 1862, 
and served nearly three years, being dis- 
charged July 1, 1865. 

In the spring of 1866 Charles Goodell 
came to Lyon county with a cousin, Will 
Stone, to trap and hunt. He did not make 
permanent settlement at that time, but the 
following spring he came again and took a 
claim on section 5, Lyons township, where 
the Lynd trading post had been established 
years before. He resided in Lyon county 
until 1888, when he moved to Tennessee 
and located in a community settled by Lyon 
county people. He died there June 10, 1908. 
Mr. Goodell was a prominent Mason and a 
member of Delta Lodge of Marshall. He was 
also one of the early members of D. F. 
Markham Post, G. A. R., having been ad- 
mitted to membership September 24, 1881. 

Mr. Goodell's wife died in 1904. At the 
time of his death he had four sons living, as 
follows: George H., of Illinois; Ernest, of 
Sioux City, Iowa; Frank, of Tennessee; and 
Roy, who lived with his father. 

OREN C. GREGG (1870) is one of Lyon 
county's earliest settlers and is today one of 
its most widely known citizens. His work 
as superintendent of State Farm Institutes 
took him all over the state and gave him 
a wide acquaintance, and for the last few 
years his work under the direction of the 
agricultural colleges in North Dakota, Mon- 
tana, Idaho, Utah and Colorado has made 
his name well known, especially in the farm- 
ing communities of those states. The farm 



in Lynd and Island Lake townships which 
Mr. Gregg owned and operated thirty-nine 
Mais was sold a tew years ago when our 
subject took up his work in the West, but 
.Mr. Gregg reserved a comfortable cottage on 
the place tor the use of himself and wife, 
and they still make their home on the old 

The date of Mr. Gregg's birth was No- 
vember 2, 1845, and his birthplace is Enos- 
bnrg. Vermont. He is the son of Oren and 
Clarinda (Comstock) Gregg. The mother 
died when her son was six years of age and 
is buried in Vermont, her husband's native 
state. She was a native of New York 
State. Oren Gregg, St., was a clergyman, 
and for forty years he was a member of 
the Troy Conference of Vermont and New 
York. At the close of his active work in 
the pulpit he made his home for a few years 
with his son Oren in Lyon county, and later 
he went to California. He lived there with 
his son. Leslie A. Gregg, and died at the 
age of eighty-two years. 

The subject of this sketch received his 
early education in Fort Edward Institute and 
Plattsburg Academy in the state of New 
York. After finishing school he was em- 
ployed in the enrollment office of the provost 
marshal, in the sixteenth district, New- 
York, located at Plattsburg, a position he re- 
signed at the close of the Civil War. Mov- 
ing to Mower county, Minnesota, in 1865, 
he taught school and also filled the pulpits 
of the churches at Chatfield, High Forest and 
Eyota. Mr. Gregg came to Lyon county- 
early in 1870. when the country was new and 
unsettled. At that time no clergyman had 
ventured into the field, excepting traveling 
missionaries. The community, however, was 
earnestly desirous of having church services, 
and Mr. Gregg, who was naturally a fluent 
speaker and well trained in the scripture on 
account of his environment as a boy, mod- 
estly offered his help and ably conducted 
worship in the villages several years, never 
asking any remuneration for his work. 

The year 1870 marked Mr. Gregg's arrival 
to Lyon county, and he located on the north- 
west quarter of section 30, Lynd township, 
where he has since made his home and to 
which he has added adjoining land in Lynd 
and Island Lake townships, making a total 
acreage of about 400 acres. The place for 
vears has been known as the Coteau Farm 

and the State Farm. Mr. Gregg gave it the 
first name on account of the little range 
of hills which extends from southwestern 
Minnesota west into South Dakota. 

.Mr. Gregg was ever a farmer of advanced 
ideas. He was one of the first winter dairy 
men in the state, in the days before the 
cream separator and the silo. Early in his 
farm experience he began to study the laws 
which govern the selection of dairy stock 
and their improvement. It was his original 
investigation in this line which caused him 
to be called to aid in college extension work 
in nearly one-half the states of the union. 
Mr. Gregg also co-operated with H. W. 
Campbell in promoting dry farming ideas. 
To Mr. Campbell may be given the credit 
of the inception of the idea, but to Mr. 
Gregg must be given praise for taking hold 
of the scheme with all his enthusiasm, 
furnishing the implements and actually 
working out a good part of the system on his 
Lyon county farm. 

Our subject was becoming well known 
throughout the state on account of his prac- 
tical experimenting and advanced theories 
in farming. In 1893 the State Experimental 
Station established a branch on Mr. Gregg's 
farm. They occupied at will the 400 acres 
and furnished a few scientific instruments, 
but our subject freely offered the use of his 
stock, machinery and buildings for the car- 
rying on of the work, met all expenses ex- 
cepting the hire and board of the experi- 
menting force, and ably assisted the repre- 
sentatives of the state farm school who ac- 
tively took charge of the experimental work. 
It was about this time that Gov. Pillsbury 
created the state farmers institutes. For 
several months in every year several corps 
of experts in all branches of farming were 
sent out over the state, holding a several 
days' session in the important towns and 
talking advance methods to . the farmers. 
The system met the success it deserved, and 
the farmers were enthusiastic recipients of 
the idea. To Mr. Gregg was given the posi- 
tion of superintendent of the institutes by 
Gov. Pillsbury, and that office he held twen- 
ty-two years. This work and the compiling 
of the Farmers Annual, a publication in 
connection with the institute work, occupied 
our subject's time, and most of the active 
farm management was in the hands of a 



tenant during the years of Mr. Gregg's in- 
cumbency of his office. 

During Mr. Gregg's early residence in the 
county he was county auditor twelve years, 
and was during that time also on the Mar- 
shall Village Council and the Board of Edu- 

Oren C. Gregg was married in Plattsburg, 
New York. May 25, 1868, to Charlotte I. 
Carter. She was born December 19, 1840, 
and is the daughter of Samuel Carter, an old 
and highly respected citizen of Plattsburg. 

Our subject is associate editor of the 
Northwestern Agriculturist. He is a stock- 
holder in the Dakota Telephone Company. 
He and his wife have for many years been 
prominent members of the Methodist church. 
Mr. Gregg's fraternal affiliations are with 
the I. O. O. F. lodge. 

deceased. One of the leading men of Mar- 
shall and Lyon county in the early days was 
Major John W. Blake, who was one of the 
founders of Marshall and a man who played 
a most important part in the business, po- 
litical and social life of the community in 
pioneer days. 

John Blake was born at Dover, Maine, 
August 29, 1839. He moved to Wisconsin in 
1840 and to Lyon county, Minnesota, in 
1872. He was educated in Milton Academy 
and in the University of Wisconsin and by 
profession was a civil engineer. In 1860 
he established and published the Jefferson 
County Republican, at Jefferson, Wisconsin, 
and was conducting that journal when the 
war began. 

Our subject enlisted for three months' 
service as a private soldier and afterwards 
re-enlisted for three years in Company E, 
Fourth Wisconsin Infantry. In October, 
1862, he was made first lieutenant of H 
Company, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin Infantry, 
and was regimental adjutant from Decem- 
ber, 1862, to June, 1864. Then he was com- 
missioned captain of H Company and de- 
tailed on the staff of General Cameron, act- 
ing as A. A. Q. M. general of the Thirteenth 
Army Corps and later as A. A. C. S. of La 
Fourche district. Department of the Gulf. In 
October, 1864, he became major of the 
Forty-second Wisconsin Infantry. The next 
month he was made provost marshal on the 

staff of General John Cook, in which position 
-he was serving at the close of the war. 

The first active service of the young sol- 
dier was in 1861 in Maryland under Gen- 
erals Butler, Dix, Wool and Lockwood. He 
went to the Gulf Department with General 
Butler and participated in the capture of 
Fort Phillips, Jackson and New Orleans and 
the engagements at Red Church, Grand Gulf 
and the first attack on Vicksburg under Gen- 
eral Williams. He took part in the battle 
of Baton Rouge and was later with General 
McClernand in the expedition up White 
river and the capture of Arkansas Post. 
He was in the Vicksburg campaign under 
General Grant, took part in the battles of 
Fort Gibson. Fourteen-Mile Creek, Edward's 
Station, Raymond, the siege of Vicksburg, 
and was at the capture of Jackson under 
General Sherman. He was again in the Gulf 
Department under General Banks and par- 
ticipated in the battles of Carrion Crow 
Bayou, Opolusas, Sabine Cross Roads, Mans- 
field. Marksville Plains and the capture of 
Fort Esperanza. 

After the war Major Blake returned to 
Jefferson, Wisconsin, and engaged in the 
lumber business in company with W. G. 
Ward. Later they built mills and conducted 
an extensive business at Wolf River, Wis- 
consin. In 1867 Major Blake built a foun- 
dry and a machine and agricultural imple- 
ment manufactory at Jefferson and conducted 
the same successfully for some years. In 
1872 he engaged in the employ of the Chi- 
cago & Northwestern Railroad Company as a 
civil engineer and assisted in the location 
of and construction of the Winona & St. 
Peter railroad from New Ulm to Kampeska. 
and that year paid his first visit to Lyon 

During the summer the railroad was built 
Major Blake bought the land upon which 
the city of Marshall now stands and in com- 
pany with others platted a town and founded 
.Marshall. His home continued in the new 
village until January, 1891, when he located 
at Dalton, Georgia. He died at that place 
May 15, 1903, and was buried in the Marshall 

Major Blake was a guiding spirit in the 
affairs of the community for many years. 
He held the office of county surveyor many 
terms and represented his district in both 
houses of the Minnesota Legislature. 



RUPUS H. PRICE 1 1 NT i i. A very few 
men have had a longer continuous residence 
in Lyon county than has the gentleman 
whose name heads this review. He came to 
.Minnesota in Territorial days and he came 
to Lyon county when the prairie was broken 
only occasionally by the claim shacks of 
homesteaders. For forty-one years he has 
been a resident of Lucas township. He was 
the third settler to locate in that township 
and his house was the first erected there. 
He is deservedly given a place in this His- 
tory of Lyon County. 

In Will county, Illinois, on February 3. 
1846, Rufus H. Price was born. His father, 
Charles Price, was an Englishman by birth 
who located in Illinois in 1838. He was killed 
in Indiana in 1854. The mother of our sub- 
ject, Abigail (Fuller) Price, was born in 
Ohio. She came with her son to Lyon 
county in 1S71 and resided with him until 
her death in 1884. 

Rufus Price left his native state and came 
to Minnesota when it was yet a territory, in 
1 857. He located near Rochester and resided 
there the next fourteen years of his life, 
purchasing land and engaging in farming 
after growing up. When he reached the age 
of eighteen years, on February 18, 1864, .Mr. 
Price enlisted at Rochester in Company C, 
Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and 
spent the next seventeen months in the serv- 
ice of his country, having been mustered out 
at St. Paul July 18, 1865. He is a member 
of the Grand Army of the Republic. 

After the war Mr. Price continued his 
residence in Eastern Minnesota until 1871. 
In June of that year he came to Lyon county 
and filed a homestead claim to the southwest 
quarter of section 2, of what is now Lucas 
township. His nearest trading point at the 
time he located on the claim was Yellow 
Medicine, on the Minnesota river, which 
consisted of a store, postoffice and black- 
smith shop. The lumber for his house was 
hauled from Willmar. In that pioneer home 
was taught the first school in the township, 
conducted for three months by Miss Ella 
Williams. Mr. Price encountered many 
hardships in the early days, but he passed 
successfully through the period -of travail and 
in time came upon prosperous times. He 
now has one of the finest farm homes in 
the county and is the owner of 320 acres 
of excellent land on sections 2 and 3. 

.Mr. Price took a leading part in affairs 
in the early days. He was one of those 
who brought about the organization of Lu- 
cas township in INT:: and he was appointed 
township clerk by the Board of County 
i'oinmissioners at the time of organization. 
He held the office several years, was assessor 
four years, and has been a member of the 
town board. He assisted in the organiza- 
tion of school district No. 19 and has held 
the office of treasurer of that district. He 
is a member and one of the trustees of 
the Presbyterian church of Cottonwood. 

In local business matters Mr. Price has 
also taken a part. He owns a controlling 
interest in and is vice president of the 
Home Telephone Company of Cottonwood. 
He is a stockholder of the Lyon County 
National Bank of Marshall and of the First 
National Bank of Cottonwood. 

Mr. Price was married in Lucas town- 
ship January 4, 1890, to Helen Elmer. She 
was born in Gothland, Sweden, July IS. 1862, 
a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Elmer, 
who came to Lyon county in ISSN. Mrs. 
Price's mother died in December, 1910: her 
father lives in Northern Minnesota. Mr. 
and Mrs. Price have seven children: Logan, 
of Graceville, Montana; Marvin, of Alberta, 
Canada; Fern, Willard, Hazel, Porter and 
Ray, who live at home. 

LEVORIT AVERY (1868), of Lake Mar- 
shall township, is a native of the Gopher 
State, having been born in Rice county, 
Minnesota, November 9, 1858. When ten 
years of age, he accompanied his parents to 
Lyon county and his father homesteaded 
land in Custer township. Our subject re- 
ceived his early education and grew to man- 
hood while residing at home, living on the 
home place until twenty-four years of age. 

At the latter age he started working out 
on farms and in 1884 he rented his father's 
farm and conducted it one year. He then 
returned to Waseca county. Minnesota, 
where he rented land three years, after 
which he returned to Lyon county and has 
resided here since, with the exception of 
eighteen months spent in Colorado. In 1908 
he rented the northwest quarter of section 
21, Lake Marshall township, where he now 

The parents of our subject are John and 



Lydia (Ketchun) Avery, both natives of 

Mr. Avery was married at Waseca, Min- 
nesota. February 14, 1883, to Minnie Norcutt, 
a native of Minnesota. She was born June 
22, 1862. and is a daughter of Xorman and 
Sarah (McKinley) Xorcutt, the former a na- 
tive of Vermont and the latter of New York. 
Mr. and Mrs. Avery are the parents of the 
following children: Clyde, born May 17