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vvl\\::n.4>i\ Co I, 



Of Thosi' Kilk'il in the Springfield and Helmont Massacres. Erecteil at 

Jackson in 1909. 








Author of The History of Nobles County, 


Northern History Publistiing Company 

Jackson. Minnesota 






R 1»'3 L 

To THL memory of the twenty men, 
women and children who met death at 
the hands of the Indians in Jackson county in 
the massacres of 1857 and 1862, this volume is 
respectfully dedicated. 


OF ALL the counties oi' Southwestern .Minnesota Jaelvson has the most 
interesting history. Settled as it was years before inhahitants caiiie to 
other portions of Southwestern Minnesota, its early iiistory is more re- 
]ilete with stirring events than that of its neiglibors. On its soil was enacted 
the first Indian outbreak in Minnesota, in whieli a number o( hardy pioneers 
wlio had ]>ushcd out onto the fiontiei' met death. Later, during the Sioii.v war, 
the soil of tlie county was again crimsoned with the blood of tlmse whd were 
endeavoring to found lionics on the Inintiei-. Such was Ibe priee paid by thos<' 
who came to live in Jaclison county a lialf century ago. 

Witli this volume is presented the first Jackson county Iiistory. tlie material 
for its compilation having been obtained almost wholly from original sources. 
Friendly coadjutors have assisted materially in its preparation. From j\Irs. 
Sharp's "History of the Spirit Lake Massacre," ''Minnesota in Three Cen- 
turies," recently published, and the writings of Honorable Warren Upham, sec- 
retary of the Minnesota Historical Society, the author has )nade lii)eral quo- 
tations, and other authorities have been consulted. To the editorial fi-aternity 
of Jackson county the author is under obligations. The files of their publica- 
tions have been of incstinial>lc value in furnishing authentic data. Especially 
valuable were those of that pioneer journal, the Jackson Eepublic, of which 
liberal use has been made, and without which much of historical importance 
must have renuiined unrecorded. Due ai-knowdedgment is made to county offi- 
cials, wdio assisted in the hunt for early day records, and to scores of citizens 
in private life, who interested themselves in the work to the extent of devoting 
time to the detailing of early day events. 

Special mention is due the assistance given by Captain Jareb Palmer, 
without whose help the account of the county's very early settlement and of the 
Springfield massacre would have been woefully incomplete; Mr. Ole Anderson, 
to whom must be given the credit for much of the information relating to tlie 
early Norwegian settlement and the Belmont massacre; Mr. T. J. Knox and 
Mr. John S. Woolstencroft, -who assisted tlie author in many ways ami who. 
with Captain Palmer, served as tlic committee to review' and revise tlie work be- 
fore it was put to press. In tlie work of gathering the data tlie anthoi- lias 
been ably assisted by Mr. P. D. Moore. 

Probablv no historical work was ever put to press which entirely satisfied 
its author. There are so many pitfalls in the path of him wdio seeks to record 
the events of the past; the liuman mind is so prone to err in recalling dates 
and names of a former day. So it happens that the writer of local history, 
compiling bis story from data of which only a part can be verified, knows that 
there must be errors in his work, albeit he may have exercised the greatest care. 
With no apologies, but with this lirief cxiilanation. and the realization that tlie 
work is not perfect, this history of Jackson county is put forth. 

Jackson, Minnesota, January, 1910. ARTHUR P. ROSE. 


t'llAPTKi; 1. 

AIJOHKilXAL 1JAV^^1834-1855. 

Pie-Hisl.oi ic Timrs — Tlie Eartli in the Makiiig — Geological Periods — Early liiliabitants — 
The Mounc; Builders — The Indians — Origin of the Sioux — Tlwir Tribal Divisions — 
.Southern Aliiuitsota Indians — The Sifsetons — Tnkpadutii's Band — Treaties with the 
Sioux — Early Explorers and Their Maps — LeSueur — Carver — Albert Lea's Expedi- 
tion — Joseph X. Nii-ollot Explores Jaekson County — And Maps It — Tehan-Shetclia 
Lake — Captain Allen Passes Through County — His Description — Big Game — Sur- 
veyors Enn Boundary Line — Eeno's ^Military Boad Survey — Keal Estate Si)eeulation 
— JinnugraHon to ^linne^ota 25 



The first Settlers — Wood Brothers^Found Springfield — And Open Store — Their Claims 
— First Building in the County — The Webster City Party — Settle at Springfield — 
Experience With Half Bre(?d — Indian Camps at Springfield — Gaboo and Umpashota 
— Permanent Settlers of 1856 — Location of Cabins — Prepar.itions for Winter — 
Short of l^rovisions — The Severe AVinter — Mail Route Established — Mail Carrier 
Perishes — Trip to Slocum's — William Wood's Grit — Robert Smith and John Hen- 
derson Lost in Storm — Badly Frozen — Surgical Operations — "Do.-tor'" Strong the 
Hero — Birth of First White Oiild — Visits from Indians — Slee]>y Eye — Inkpaduta — 
Sioux Not Feared — Are Entertained 37 


Causes of Massacre — Formation of Outlaw Band — Murder of Tahsahghee — Inkpaduta 
Implicated — Description of Inkpaduta — Chiefs Black Eagle and Sidominadota-- 
History of tlie Band — Show Hostility to the Whites — Forts Des Moines and 
Ridgely — Henry Lott Murders Indians — Scare at Clear Lake — The Outlaws in 
1856 — Trouble at Smithland — Indians Become Surly — Abuse Settlers at Cherokee — 
On the Little Sioux — At Peterson — Outrages Committed — Iowa Authorities Notified 
— Major Williams' Expedition — Indians Reach Okoboji Lakes^And Commit Whole- 
sale ^Murder — Four ^Vomen C!aptives Taken — Mrs. Sharp's Account — The Awful 
Carnage — Indians Retreat to Heron Lake ' 47 



lirst Iniiniation of Trouble — Black Buffalo Warns George Wood — Warning Unheeded — 
Morris Markham Discovers Spirit Lake Massacre— Notifies the Springfield Set- 
tlement — Proposed Trip to the Lakes Abandoned — Woods Do Xot Believe Story — 


Couricis Sent to Fort Uiilgcly — ( ahiiis I!anu'a(U'il — Two Sliaiigc liijians Aniio - 
And Tell Umpashota of Spirit Lake ^Murders— Ump.isliota Advises Against Burial 
Party Going to Lakes — Eleven Able Bodied Jlen in Settleniont — Attack on Spring- 
field — Names of the Warriors- Murder of William W^ood— His Conduct Criticised — 
George Wood Killed— Attack on Tliomas Cabin -Redskins Repuls'd— Jareb Palmer's 
Story of tlie Fight— Willie Thomas Killed- Stewart Family Killed At the WHieeler 
Cabin — Total Losses — Part Played by the 'Springfield Indians 57 

('iiAi'ri:i; \". 

Fi.iciiT or TUK 1 ri:rii\KS-is.-,7. 

'Die Indians JJejiart — Settlers Panic Stricken Consultation at 'J'liunias Cabin — l)<Tidcd 
to Flee to Fort Dodge — A Terrible Journey — A Night in tlio Snow — Indian Alarms 
— I'liglit from Wheokr Cabin — Deserted by "Doctor" Strong Cripples and Baby 
Abandoned to 'I'licir Fate — Self Preservation Only Thought Refugees United— 
Shiegley's Search for His Baby— At the Granger Cabin — Journey Continued— A 
Sugar Diet — Refugees Meet \'olunteers- Safe at Last — Soldiers Arrive from Fort 
Ridgely — Hardships of t!ic Tiii) l'ur>uit of the Indians — Pursuit Abandoned — In 
the Indian Camp — The Alaiin -Burial of the Dead— Captain Bee -Sohliev; Re- 
main — Snlisc.|iiiiil History of the Indians — Death of lukpaduta.. . tiit 

ciiAr'i'Ki; \i. 


Early Day ( omlitions — Jackson Counly as I'lcnrh 'rcnilnry Sdld tu Spain — Rescdd 
to France-Bought by I'nited States — A Part of Louisiana Territory — Missouri 
— Michigan — Wisconsin — Iowa — No Man's Land — Minnesota Territory Formed — Jack- 
son County a Part of Dakota County — Blue Earth — Brown- The County Created — 
The Act — The Name— Hon. Henry Jackson — Settlers of 1857 — Towns of Jackson 
and Odessa— Mail Route— Indian Alarms— A Petition— Settlers of 1858- Death of 
James Townsend — James Middleson Killed— State Roads— Townsite Boomers — 
Town of liclmont Founded- Incorporated— Its History- -Boundaries Surveyed— 
County Organized — Indians Create Alarm 81 

CHAI'TI'll; \ II. 

Tin: \ii|;\A KCIAN SKI TI.KM KNT ls(;(l lS(;-2. 

Travels of Anders Olson Slaabaken — He Brings a Norwegian Colony— Settlers of 
1800— \\'liere They Located— Home Guard Formed— Captain W^est— Census of 1800 
— Names of Inhabitants — Number of Families — Property Owned— Age and Birth- 
place—Arrivals of 1801— The Slaabaken family— The Civil War— Nearly All the 
Voters Enlist— Their Names— F'irst Religious Services- Sawmill Begun— First 
Fo\n-l.h of July C<'lebration— Assessment of 18fll--The Property Owners — Their 
Taxes-Assessment of 1S02 -Conditions in 1SG2— Isolation of the Settlers -Trad- 
ing Points — Ignorance as to Indian ^Mode of M'arfare 0;> 

CHAPT]-:!; \iii. 

Till': r.KLMoNT MASSACKK— 1802. 

Tlie Sioux War Its Magnit\ulc Humors of Trouble I'vca.-'i BclnicMil The Ccrman from 
New ritn Decision to Build Stockades — Too Late — Fifty .Sissetons Raid Jackson 
Couniy And Attack the Norwegians — Murders at Fohre Ibuue — Refuge in the 
Cellar — Adventures cif the Folu'c l!ov — Ole I'olire Killed — Mrs. Jornevik a Heroine — 


Her Death — Killing of Mikkel Slaabaken — Tenibl" Experience of Anders Slaa- 
baken — Knud Midstad and Wife Murdered — ^Massacre of the Langeland Family — • 
The Fight in Christiania — Indians Repulsed — Thirteen Whites Killed — List of 
Killed and Wounded — Errors in Former Accounts — Alarm at Meeting House — Stam- 
pede — Simon Olson's Heroic Deed — Refugees at Thomas Home — On to Estherville — 
Relief Expedition — Burial of the Dead — The Monument — Jackon County Deserted — 
Alarms on the Frontier 101 


Slaabi'kens Return to Belmont — Adventure in Prairie Fire — Two Deaths — White Raid- 
ers — Indian Alarms — County Again Deserted — Events of 1 803— Permanent Settlers 
Come in 1804— Their Adventures— First Birth— Flight— The Return— Wild Hogs- 
Military Matters — Former Settlers Petition — Soldiers Come — Fort Bailey — Other 
Posts — Confidence Partially Restored — Census of 1805 — Names of Inhabitants — 
Immigration — Indians Attack Trappers — The Scare— County Reorganized— First 
Election — Townships Created — Petersburg — Des Moines — Belmont— Minneota — Early 
Homesteaders — School Districts — Taxes — Those Assessed — Crop Statistics — The 
Land Grant— Its Eflect— Jackson Founded— Severe Winter— Starvation Period — 
Fish and Milk Diet — Measures for Relief — Difficulties of Travel — Prices for Staples 
—First Church— School Statistics— Taxes of 18G7— First Jurors— Products of 18G7...1U 



Trapping Days — Statistics for 1808 — Assessed Values — Products — Wisconsin Organized 
— Middletown Begins Government — Blizzards — Ole Sime and Archie Lee Perish — 
Immigi-ation in 1870 — Census — Heron Lake, Round Lake and Delafield Organize — 
Early Day Homesteaders — Trouble Over Name — School Conditions — Assessment 1870 
— Products — District Court Established — Court House Bonds Defeated — Railroad 
Rumors — Lively Times in 1871 — Pioneer Experiences — Organization of Christiania, 
Enterprise and Weimer — First Railroad Comes — Heron Lake Village Founded — 
Bountiful Crops — Hunter, Kimball. Alba and LaCrosse Townships Begin Govern- 
ment — Victims of Blizzards in 1872 — Voters Prevent Diminution of County's Terri- 
tory — Plans for Court House — Bonds Carry — Contributions — Building Erected 127 


Calamitous Days — Ewington Township Organized — Record Breaking Blizzard — Experi- 
ence of Anders R. Kilen — First Grasshopper Invasion — The Damage — Many Desti- 
tute Settlers — Relief Measures — The Committees — Legislature Appropriates — Funds 
Received — The Distribution — Free Seed Wheat — ^West Heron Lake, Rost and Sioux 
Valley Organize — Total Crop Destruction in 1874 — Settlers Desert County — Grass- 
hopper "Stories" — The Losses — Terrible Times — Rigid Economy — Governor Davis' 
Appeal— Distribution of Cash and Food — Army Rations — Why Not Desert County? 
— Free Seed Again — Acreage Sown in 1875 — Blizzard — Population — By Precincts — 
Third Invasion — Southern Townships Escape — Damage by Rain — Grasshopper Con- 
vention — Railroad Rumors — Bonds Voted — Partial Crop in 1870 — Discouraging 
Prospects — Another Convention — Free Seed — Day of Fasting and Prayer — Slight 
Damage in 1877 — Year of Jubilee— Crop Statistics— End of the Scourge 141 

xii TAIILI'; OK ((iN'I'KXTS. 

( llAI'TKi; Ml. 

I'i;i ISPKKI il S TI.MKS- IS78-1S!U. 

Xi'W I'^ni lio{i;iiis- Kcmwcil l.aiul (mmu'I hoiitlieni iliimesota Kailio;nl Extends — Rusli 
of liiiiiiigrants — More K.iilro.ul I'.iiililing — Lakefielil Founded — Ruilroad War — Tlie 
l,;i'^t (ira'islioppcis — Ctiisus of 1880 — Oitolicr litiz/.ard — A Stvcre Winlcr -Railways 
llloikadod — Slioit of Provisions — Gieat Dcpfli of Snow — Tlie Floods Damage Re- 
sulting — I1<'atli in Storm — Boom of 1884 — Railroad Lands on the Market — Pros- 
perons Days — Tlic I. iS: M. N.- -Crop Statisties -Census of 188.")— First County Seat 
Contest — "Brutus" Writes — Tl;.' .Meeting— Petition Cinulated Coniniission- 
ers Reject Pelilion — Blizzard of 1888 — Big Gain in Pn]iulatiiiM Denianil for Lands • 
Abortive Plan to Divide Coimty — Cylone — P.ini- i.l ls!i:; Simoh.I ( mnity S<>at 
Figlit--Tli<' New Law— Tlie Opening (!un — The Petition — (^luestion Submitted 
Lakefield Builds Court House — Jackson \\ins — ^ Dte by Precincts .• . . . l.")7 

cii.\i''i'i;i; .Mil. 

cn!i!iv\ r j';\KNTs-isii.-) I'.iiii. 

Census of 18!).") — laek^oii Soutliejii Kailway — Disastrous Wind Storm 'Iwu Deal lis 
— Prosperous Kra — Population — Third Coniity Seat (oiilc-l .\luil Slin.;;iiii; (am 
l)aign — Lakefield Ofiers Court House — Jackson Wins — ^'ote by Precincts -Election 
Contested — Judge Quinn's Decision — Appeal to Supreme Court — Jail Building — In- 
JMnctioii Proceedings — Contract Let — Building Completed — Disastrous Yeajr 1903 - 
Heavy Rains— Death Dealing Tornado— The Killed — The Deluge — County Sub- 
merged — New Court Mouse Agitation — Bonds Defeated — Mandamus Proceedings 
— Census of 11)05 — By Precincts- -Length of Residence — Nationality — More . Court 
House Legislation — Another County Scat Contest — Bitter Fight — Bribery and Cor- 
ruption Charged — Canvassing for Signatures — \\ithdiawals — Revocations- E.vciting 
Meeting of Commissioners — Petition Defeated — Tl'.e Xew Petition — Court House Lit- 
igation — Governor Johnson Takes a Hand — Contract Let — Last County Seat Con- 
test Ended — Court House Bonds Carry — Building Completed — Dedicated — Bounteous 
Years 171 

CHAPTEi; .\1\. 

POLTTI CAL -1858-1882. 

County Organized Coniniissioners Named — First Election Tliirly-lwo X'olers in I8(i0 
— All for Lincoln — County Officers EUvted- Organization Discontiiuied- Legislative 
Officers — Reorganization — Ditliculties Encountered — First Election — Those Elected — 
Legislature Legalizes Action — Government Begun — First Convention — Elections of 
18l)t), 18li7 and 1868— Contests in LSfiO— All Voters are' Republicans— DemocVats 
Organize KIcctions of 1870 and 1S71 (irant Carries County — The Independents — 
Get Few Oll'ices in 187.3 — Rejiublican in 1874— No Nominations iji 187.5--Hayes' Big 
Majority — Elections of 1877. 1S78 and 1870 — Five Coniniissioners for County — Gar- 
field Carries County- .S.veii Deiiionatic ^'otes in 1881- Election of 1882 187 

CII.M'TKi; W. 
I'lii.i ri('.\L— 18s:m!iio. 

Democrats Organize — Election of 1881) lilaine Carries County IJig Vote in 1880— Ex- 
citing Contests — Harrison Has Majority in 1888— Three County Tickets — Revolution 
in 1800— The Alliance Party — Dominates Polities-Birth of Peoples Party— Fusion 

- Honors Divided in 1802- Tfarrison"s Small Plur.ility Billcr Campaign of 1801- 


Free Silver Issue— EIccUoii of 1890— Itepublicans Win in 1S98— Large Vole of 1900 
— McKinley Carries County— Primary Election Law— The First Primary— General 
Election of J !)02— Death of Peoples Party— Election of 1904— Roosevelt's Popularity 
—Working of the Primary— Party Lines Ignored in 190G— Effect of County Seat 
Contest— Johnson for Governor— The 1908 Election— Taft the Choice— Summary 199 


JACKSON— 18.30-1809, 

L(jcalion- Elevation — Nahiral llcanty — First" Whites Arrive — Springiield Founded — Re- 
named .Jackson — Becomes (jounty Seat — Alexander Wood — Land Patents — First 
])<-ed— Early Day Cabins— Saw .Mill— Jackson Platted— Ashley & Bailey— The 
Name— Additions— The First Building- White's Store— George Chamberlin's Adver- 
tising— Postoffiee Established— Its History— Buildings of 1807- Kimljall and Clark 
—Historic Building— The Town in 1807— Arrivals of 1808— Joseph Thomas' Town- 
site— Rivalry Between East and West Sides— Replatting— Legislative Action— 
The Town in 1809— The Land Office- Its History— Big Trade. Tevritorx Kimball's 
Business — An V.m\\ Directory — Stage Lines ^l-'i 


JACKSON— 1 870-1 91 0. 

Prosperous X'iUage Develops — Improvements in 1870^Trade Territory Abridged — In 
1872— The Grasshopper Days— Railroad Comes— lis Effect— Life Awakening Agency 
— New Enterprises — Attempt to Incorporate — Results in Failure — Improvements in 
1879— Census of 1880— Incorporation— F'irst Election— Village Officers. 1881-1909— 
The License Issue — First Council ileeting— Early Financial Statement — On a Nor- 
ma! Basis — Statistics— Directory of 1884 — Population in 188.5 — A Division Point — 
Depot Jloved— Water Works System- Prosperity— Panic of 1893— Census of 189.5 — 
A Prosperous Era. 1899-1902— Electric Liglits— "The Wet Years"— Again Pros- 


. "l-S.) 

CHAl'TKi; Will. 


The Schools — First Teachers and Pupils — Tlie School House — First Financial Statement 
— Second Building — An Independent District — The New School House — The Churches 
— Methodist — Presl)yterian— Norwegian Lutheran— Catholic — (iernian Lutheran — 
Episcopal — The Lodges — Masonic — Grand Army —Relief Corps — Workmen — Odd Fal- 
lows — Modern Woodmen — Foresters — Knights of Pythias^The Banks — Brown Na- 
tional — iMrst National — Jackson National — Fire Department — Early Day Depart- 
ment — Agricultural Society 2:!o 


LAKEFIELD— 1879-1910. 

its Central Lncatimi — Trade Territory — The Site — Jackson Center — Henry Knndson 
F'onnds Town — Its Demise — A. R. Kilen Founds Lakefield — Platting — Additions — 
Original Titles — "Bethania" — First Building — Early Business Houses — The Postoffiee 
—Postmasters— Early Day Events— Directory of 1883— Of 1884- Depot Burns- Im- 
jnovements — Population in 1887 — Petition for Incorporation — First Voters — Incor- 
porated — License Question — Village Officers, 1887-1909 — Current Events— Fires — 


The Schools — First Teachers — School OITic-crs— The Churches Swclish I.tithcraii 
Proshyterian — Methodist — Uerinan Kvangclical — Norwegian Lutheran — Baptist - 
Catholic — The Lodges — Odd Fellows — Kebekas — Workmen — Modern Woodmen - - 
Royal Neighbors — Maccabees — Masons— Eastern Star — The Banks— Jackson County 
State— First National -I'' 

( llAI'TKi; w. 

IIKi;i>.\ I.AKK ISTMlUll, 

Location-Site Si'U'cted I'hittcd- Additions — First Inlialiilaiils Sniilh & Carroll -Find 
Raw Prairie— Business Houses of 1871— The PostolTice— Postmasters— Progress in 
1872— New Enterprises — Fifty Inhabitants— Big Trade Territory— Merchants Pros- 
per — Directory of 1873— Grasshoppers Take Profits— Better Times- Raiload Build- 
ing — Improvements in 1870— Census of 1880— The Tow Mill— Incorporation — Li- 
cense Question -OtTiccrs. 1882-1909- Prosperous Decade— Big Business in 1882 - 
Subsequent History— Fires— The Schools -The Indepemlent Dislriel Sdiool Houses 
—The Churches — Slethodist-Catholic — Salem Lutheran- Norwegian Lutheran The 
Lodges — The Banks— Farmers State Bank -First National Bank.. .2.")7 

CHAPTEl! .\.\l. 


Alpha — Wisconsin Station Irwin — First Business Houses — Renanicil .\lpha— Platted 
—Additions— Boom Days— Incorporation— OtTiccrs 1899-1909— Population— Wilder— 
■Station Established— The Name— Activity in 1885— College Founded -Town Starts 
—First Business Men— Delay in Deeds— Platted— Current Events— Incorporation— 
Petitioners- Population— Farmers State Bank — Okabena — Its Enterprises — The 
Station — Postoflfice — First Store — Platted — Miloma — Prairie Jimction — Wrong Pre- 
diction — Derivation of Name — Petersburg — Its History — Bergen — Des iloincs City 
—Belmont— Round Lake— Eldora—Orr— Williamsburg— Brownsb\irg—Namsos— Som- 
erset-Sioux \'alley— Loon Lake— Trcbon— Arlington— Karlin— Gold Leaf— Elm— 
SpolTord 269 


Location Boundaries— Area -Surface — Township Klevalion.s .\ltiliide of \'illages — 
Geologic I-'ormat ion— Warren Upham's Description— The Soil— Scientific .-Vnalysis - 
Climate— Timber The Drainage Systems -Des Moines River— Elm Creek— .lack 
C-cek— Okabena Creek— Little Sioii.x River— The Lakes -Their Size and Location— 
Prmlucts— Manufactories— Transportation Facilities— Taxable Valuations By Pre- 
cincts—Townships Compared— Land \'aliies— Advantage Over DaUotas and Canada 
—Markets— Agricultural Conditions— Wanted. yUirc Populalion . .279 

CIIAPTKi; .\.\11I. 


.Nine Papers Founded -Five Now Published— Founding the Jackson Republic— First 
Subscribers— The Salutatory— George C. Cliamlx-rlin— Burt Day Buys Paper- A. B. 
Allen— Later Publishers— Heron Lake Guardian-Minnesota Citizen Later Lake- 
field Standard— lis Publishers -Heron Lake Wave— Name Changed to News -Jack- 
son County Pilot— Its History— Jackson County Times- John Woolstcncrofl Lake- 
field Herald — Jackson County Argus— Jackson Tribune .289 




Inkpaduta's Indians — Their Customs and Beliefs — The Delicious Pole Cat — Miss Gard- 
ner's Experience — Trip to Slocuni's — Incident of 18.57 — The Prairie Fires — Terrors 
of the Prairie — Loss of Life — The Editor Arrives — George Chamberlin's Advent — 
Adventures in a Blizzard — As Remembered by a Child — Night in a Snow Bank — A 
\\'edding Journey — Traveling Under Difficulties — Wild and Woolly Days — Muskrats 
as Legal Tender — W. C. Logue's Story — In tlie Olden Days — Ole Anderson's Orange 
— He is Handed a Lemon — Good Bye, Hoppergrass — Song of Triumph LTpon the De- 
[larture of the Grasshoppers 29.5 


REMINISCENT (Continued). 

Muskrats, Politics and Religion — An Interrupted Service — An Early Marriage — An 
Industrious Officer — Troubles of a Justice — \\liolesale Marrying — Early Justice 
Courts — A Wife as Jailor — "A Clodhopper" — A Youthful Correspondent — A Political 
Deal — John Davies and the Crane — Early Day Mail Facilities — Indian Scares — Sand 
Hill Cranes Pose as Indians — The Scare of 1876 — A Joke on Kimball — Why He 
Cared for the Stock — Near Capture of the Youngers— Tom Mather Tells of It — 
Rafting the Des Moines — Snow Boats — In Grasshopper Days — Governor Pillsbury 
Visits the County — Swearing Off — And On — Race for a Farm — The Wrong Dose — 
Game in Early Days — Signs of the Times 313 


Mdiiiinn'iil 111 Inilians' \ i.1 iiii- I'loiitispiccc 

.li«si-|ili Niinlas Xii'olU'l 2.'> 

l)cs .\l<jiiu;s Uivor Si'Ciu'.s. . .'iT 

Tin- Dcs Aloiiios at Jackson. 47 

Miip ()l S|nin^ncld JSeLtlemtiit 01 

"Lone TiPi;" 78 

Some OKI Timers 87 

.\ rioiiccr Home OS 

Map of Norwegian Settlement.. 105 

Old Kort Itelmont 113 

Count IV Scenes '-•! 

\.n-r liuil.linss of J. J. Egj;i 134 

.Map of Jack.son County, 1874 141 

.\ Sod Shanty * 141 

The Andrew Monson Cabin 140 

Pioneers of Hopper Days 140 

Vac Simile Letter, (iovernor Pillslniry . . . .152 
"Tlie Kivals"— Old Court Uouso— Lakefield 

Cilv Mall * ^100 

Cyclone of 1003 178 

.lackson County Court House 187 

Jack.'^on in 1882 213 

.lacki^on Scenes 225 

.lack>on's Cliurches 238 

Main Street, Lakefield 245 

South .Main Street, Lakefield 245 

Lakclield llifjh School 248 

.Mukinj; a County Ditch 24S 

Laketield's Cliiuehes -52 

Main Street. Heron Lake 257 

IJeron Lake, Winter of lOOSOH 2.57 

Heron Lake School Mouse 200 

Destruction of Heron Lake's Old School 

llotise 200 

Heron Lake's Churches 204 

Wilder Scenes 272 

Scene on Heron Lake 270 

Some Country Churches 304 

Captain Jareli Palmer 333 

Welch .\shley 342 

Thomas ,1. Knox 354 

Henry Knudson and Family 305 

George R. >loore 370 

Alexander KIddos 

.■\nders 1!. Kilcn 

.Tolin W. Cowiii}; 

Paul II. I'crgc. . . 

Henrv O. Andersim 

15. P." St. John 

James C. Caldwell 

Dr. Iver S. Bensm; 

(Charles M. Oa-ie 

fieorge lichrenfcld 

Dr. Anton J. Moc 

Jolin S. Woolstcncroft ... . 

J. If. Putman 

Jackson County Officers... 

Menzo L. Asliley 

nenjamin W. Ashley 

H. Henry Hu-ihes 

Ravmond Hartoscli 

John T. Smith 

Charles Winzer 

Frederick A. Coolcy 

Carl S. Eastwood 

A. A. Fosness ... 

Louis F. Lammer~ 

Julius F. Liepold 

Bruno Poppitz . 

Harry 51. Burnliani 

John L. Klnp 

Robert C. Mnir 

Frank C. Albert us 

F. E. Malrhow 

William C. Malchow 

Samuel L. Kank 

Louis Kiesel 

\rthur P. Rose. . 

Alton B. Clieadle 

Dr. Herbert L. Arzt 

Home of Martin A. Foss. . 
Henry W. \'oehl. 
■Tohn llauniann 
Fritz Sclnildt 

Family of Kllinj; KInc> 

Southwestern Minuesnlii 

Home of T. J. Knox. . 

Home of P. H. Hcrjie 

Home of 
Home of 
Home of 








. .4411 











. . . 505 








. . ..528 






. ....535 




Aas, Ole 

Aekerman, I^'Oiiard 
Adams, William . . . 
Ahrens, Fred S. C. . 

. . .414 
. . .535 
. . . 560 

Ahrens, Henry W 507 

Albert, John A 585 

Albertson, Albert 4G7 

Albertiis, Frank G 542 

Aldrich, Bert 5S4 

Alexander, Frederick W 583 

Allen, Ethan W 516 

Allen, William 574 

Allers. Edward F 434 

Allers, Fred 410 

Aller.s. John H 566 

Ambrose, Alfred 566 

Ambrcse, John 502 

Amundson, Ole 505 

Anderson, Adolph 470 

Anderson. Charles 419 

Anderson, Oustav A 469 

Anderson, Hans 465 

Anderson, Henry G 424 

Anderson, John A 504 

Anderson, John M 474 

Anderson, Ole 337 

Anderson. Peter 528 

Appel, Frank J 412 

Arndt. Martin 538 

Arnold, Anthony A 405 

Arnold, Herman J 467 

Arntson, Olof . . 568 

Arp. J. B 436 

Arzt, Dr. Herbert E 542 

Ashley, Benjamin W 351 

Ashley. Jesse F 382 

Ashley, Leonard F 35S 

Ashlev, Louis W 460 

Ashley. Mark D 370 

Ashlev, Menzo L 345 

Ashley. Otis M 509 

Ashley, Welch 342 

Anteii. William F. , 564 

Ayery. Virgil W. . .427 

Bailey, Frank E 349 

Bailey, Major Hiram S 339 

Baker, William H 527 

Baldwin, John 375 

Bargfrede, John Diedrich 584 

Barnett, John 453 

Bartosch, Raymond 475 

Bauchle, Adam 429 

Bauer, Christ 450 


Bauman, Matthias 580 

Tiaumann, John 563 

Behrenfeld, George 464 

Behrens, John C 554 

Benson, Andrew 544 

Benson, Dr. Iver S 448 

Benson, Gust 457 

Benson, John W 353 

Berge, Paul H 413 

Berkness, Syvert H 384. 

Berreaii, Frederick H 433 

Besser, John 383 

Beste, Henry ... - , .560 

Bezdicek, Vincent 511 

Bjornstad, Elias T. . .425 

Boehl, Edward A .411 

Bond, Harry L 547 

Borsgard, John 434 

Borsgard. Peter 403 

Brakke, John P 359 

Britsch, Louis J 407 

Brodin, Carl 435 

Brown, Frank H 573 

Brown, John K 364 

Brown. Oliver 'W 454 

Buclimann, William (' 529 

Burnham, Harry M. . .4.53 

Burrcson. Peter .497 

Burrill, Dr. C. L .528 

Bushnell, Sherrill .413 

Butler, Vernon E .441 

Cabot. John L . .417 

Caldwell, James C .4411 

Callison, W. L. . .40! 

Capelle. AValter 583 

Carlestroin. William 3SS 

Carlson, Andrew .470 

Carr, William E .576 

Cass. Stephen G ...554 

Chamberlin, George ( .340 

Chalupnik, John A.. .555 

Chalupnik, Joseph J. 577 

Cheadle. Alton B 484 

Christiansen, George 566 

Christie. Gustave J 550 

CTiristoffers, Seibert 562 

Cedarberg. Elias ... 456 

Conner. Thomas J 575 

Cook, Alfred H.' 569 

Cooley, Frederick A 513 

Cordes. Anton 512 

Cowing, John W 404 

" Crawford, David 414 


Crawley. Jolin S 

I'lilliortson, H. S 

I'liniiinjilmni, Oorge B. 


. . .402 

Dalil, Chris 172 

Dalil, Samuel 44S 

J)alziel, .Uimes M 414 

Dav. Frank E 511 

l)ie"son. Obert Elmer 430 

Dillev, Peter 451) 

l).)st."il. Leo J 4fi8 

Drews. William F 530 

Diinker, .Jolm 480 

nniilop. William C 4(18 

Dunn, .Marshal I! :itiO 

Eastwood, Carl S 421 

Kdel. .Joseph 571 

Edel, Thomas 582 

Ediin, John C 521 

Kgge, John J., Jr 502 

Egge. John P 511 

Egge, Tollef .1 4!):1 

Eggestein, William 442 

Ellofson, John E 551 

Elness, Aleck F 50n 

Elness, Edward r>2fl 

Elness. O. E .' 530 

Klvernm, Peter P • 390 

Engel, John 415 

Engen, Ole 487 

Erpestad, Mieliael H 398 

Esser, Ferdinand 578 

Faber, Frederiek B '>-^- 

Fader. Edson . .3iil 

Fest. .Mathins 520 

Fiala. Frank 425 

Fiddes, Alexander 380 

Fiddes. Alexander T 4.58 

Flatgard, O. T 500 

Forman, John R 5(i9 

Fo.sness, A. A 401 

Foss, h. A 380 

Foss, Martin A 548 

Foss, Oscar 440 

F'randrnp. Henry 514 

Frantsen, Carl 383 

Frederickson, Bcndick 407 

Frederickson, Fred 553 

Frederickson, John 308 

Frederickson. Samuel 430 

Freemire. William E ' 393 

Freer, Newton 5.W 

l-'reer. Peter E 400 

Freer. Waller S 402 

Freking. August 431 

I'ritscher. .loseph E 500 

Froderniann. Herman 454 

Frost, Moses 1 38l> 

Frost, Nathaniel 330 

Fuglesteen. Theodore 550 

Gage, Charles M l''""' 

Hage, Ernest A 4nr> 

fiage, John G 400 

<!age. Theodore E 458 


Ocissel, Charles 572 

Cerlaeh, A. Frank 406 

tierlaeh, .Michael J 397 

(Jiibert, Albert H 397 

(lilbert, Gilbert H 371 

( iilbert. Hogan 338 

(Jillespie. H. B .' 455 

(iillie. Hans 372 

Gogolinski, Joe 551 

(;ohr. Albert 484 

(Jolitko. Joseph F 525 

Goodwin. Thomas 340 

Grady, John G 438 

( irave. Barney 58:1 

Graves, .Joseph H 541 

( ireenwood. Clarence W 398 

(Irein, .John 530 

Grinager. Thomas H 449 

Gruhlke, Albert A 383 

(Jruhlke, Robert A 303 

(Jruldke. William U 363 

(•runst. John 542 

Gnritz. Herman 548 

Guritz, John . . 579 

llaljorman, Ferdinand K 382 

Haberm;ui. .John li 353 

Hater. Peter 477 

llagerson. John 442 

llamlon, William 453 

Hansen. Peter (Jackson) 437 

Hansen. Peter (Wisconsin) 485 

Hanson. Jonas 505 

Hanson. Nels 469 

Hanson. Otto 371 

Hanson. Peter T 500 

Harm, .John 444 

1 larstad. Ole .Severson , . .373 

Harstad. S. 393 

llartnian, l>ed W. G 553 

Hartncck. Max 5.58 

1 lasbargen, Charles 508 

llasbargcn, Daniel R 559 

llassing. Frank J... 524 

llassing. Henrv 564 

llayostck. Joseph 530 

llecht. August 473 

Hecht. Charles 561 

Hcidlel.augh. S. E 519 

llelvig. Lars 574 

ll-mming. Chris L 570 

Ibwett. IMward F 464 

Holland. John L 640 

Holland. John f) SIO 

llofslad. Martin B 638 

llokanson. F. (i 428 

Hidden. Peler P 344 

Holm. Jess A 635 

llolsten. Marlin 396 

llcdston. Nels 489 

Hoiivel. Henry J 603 

Hovelsrud. John 553 

Hughes. H. Henry 409 

llumphrcv. Charles M 472 

Hunt. William 559 

Hunter, .James W 344 

Husbv, Gunder A 370 



Husby, Mark 460 

Hussong, Conrad 577 

Iverson, Ole 476 

Jacknian, Charles F 463 

JacUiiian, Merton F 518 

Jackson, Henry Walter 472 

Jackson, Jacob C 392 

Jacobsen, Peter 576 

Jacobsen, Peter C 567 

Jacobsou, John 492 

James, Dr. Meredith J 565 

Jarmuth, Henry 427 

Jariiuitb, William H 476 

Jensen, Christ 469 

Jensen, Christen 515 

Jensen, Jens 572 

Jepson, Peter 552 

Johnson. Abraham 369 

Johnson', A. E 398 

Johnson, Albert J 565 

Johnson, Ben H 344 

Johnson, H. 482 

Johnson, J. C 356 

Johnson, James C 580 

Johnson, Jens J 493 

Johnson, Louis L 535 

Johnson, Jv'els A 485 

Johnson, William 429 

Juvland, Gjormuiid T 501 

Kablo, Henry 585 

Kable, Thomas 545 

Katus, John 452 

Kellam, Dr. Charles R. J 378 

Kephart, Bert 570 

Kidney, Fred W 530 

Kielblock, August 540 

Kiesel, Louis 466 

Kilen, Anders R 394 

Kilen, Erick 361 

Kimball, Wilbur S 341 

King, John L 528 

King, William V 339 

King, Willie P 400 

Klein, Peter 573 

Klindt, Ferdinand 528 

Knox, John Cowing 431 

Kno.x, Thomas J 354 

Knudson, Henry 365 

Knutl], Claus 541 

Knutson, Albert S 399 

Koehn, Ferdinand 459 

Koep, Herman H 549 

Koep, P. F 517 

Kopeste, Frank 582 

Koster, John P 473 

Krai, John V 481 

Krumwiede, Louis 543 

Kuhlman, Martin 508 

Kuhnau, Cierhard 545 

Kuhnau, Rudolph 517 

Kulseth, Thomas 533 

Kummeth, L 412 

Laramers, Louis F. 395 


Larson, August , 573 

Larson, John 582 

Larson, John S 408 

Larson, Ole L 408 

Larson, Oscar A 503 

Lee, Brownell H 348 

Lee, Francis 460 

Lee, Henry H 375 

Lee, Mart'in H 500 

Lev, Albert A 451 

Lev, Frank M 559 

Lewis, Edward J 569 

Libra, Leonard A 459 

Liepold, Joh)i G 531. 

I^iepold, Julius F 374 

Lindberg, Christian E 476 

Livengood, Rollen W 536 

Loken, Andrew 431 

Ludvigsen, Christ 518 

Ludvigsen, Erie 519 

Lueneburg, John C 399 

Lueneburg, Robert H 381 

Luft, Conrad W 565 

Madden, Maurice 578 

Madden, Thomas 501 

Madsen, Peter 407 

Magyar, John 561 

Makovika, Joseph V 483 

Malchow, Charles 347 

Malchow, F. E 535 

Malchow, William G 499 

.Mansfield, John A 497 

Marey, Osro C 578 

.Matousek, Father Rudolph 568 

.Matteson, Benjamin 450 

Matuska, Frank A 544 

Mayer, Charles 432 

McGlin, John 470 

McGlin. Michael 512 

McKellar. Peter D 443 

McMartin, John 465 

McNab, Duncan 3.52 

McQuillin. William A 537 

Melville, Andrew H 552 

Meyer, Charles H 449 

Mever, Fred H 581 

Mil'brath, Edward 532 

Milbrath. Ferdinand 491 

Miller, Charles 444 

Miller, Henry M 440 

Miller, John' W 391 

Miller, Michael 377 

Miller, Mike J .523 

Mittelstadt, Robert 303 

Moe, Dr. Anton J 471 

Moe, S. J 373 

Molden, Paul 531 

Molkentliin, Gustav H 515 

Montee, M. P 580 

Moore, George R 370 

Morrison, George E .526 

Moses, .James B 388 

Motl, Frank 418 

Muir, Robert C 404 

Muir. William T 394 

r.ior;T7.\riii( AL im)i;\. 

Mii/.ikiir, Frank A 41i> 

Miizikiir, Joseph T 48U 

Alyrvoia, Ijiis oiti 

Niivara, Jolm A. 533 

Nejedly, Karl 481 

Nelson, George E 3S7 

Nelson, Ilugbcrt J 482 

Nelson, J. P 54a 

Nelson, Ole 374 

Nelson, lV(er 434 

Neslrn.l, Adolpli J 43'J 

Nestniil, Jjolin 371 

Nielsen, Matliias 438 

Niemann, Carl 5-5 

Nordberg, Ulc M 575 

Nourse, Joseph II .365 

I I'lJonnell, John G 457 

Olsen, Lemek 470 

Olsen, Tarje K 4<JU 

UUen, Thomas 40U 

UUon, Andrew C 343 

Olson, Kdward E 500 

Ulsoii. John M 387 

Olson', Ole J 4'.I5 

Olson, Ole R 5G5 

Olson, Peler A 351 

Olson, IVter T -"'14 

Olson, Simon '■'■'•^ 

Olson, Tollef 544 

0]iperud, Anders 307 

I'addock, (Icorge 15. 420 

I'ago, Kdward (i 482 

rainier, Captain Jarelj 333 

I'almer, .lames E 337 

Patterson, Jesse A.. .307 

Panlson, Henry .572 

Panlson, Paul II 410 

Pearson, Ernest E.... 54!) 

I'ederson, Anton ... 400 

Perry, Charles E 478 

Peter. William 4;M 

Peters, Kmil 5r)4 

Peters, ll.-rman II. .. 43li 

IVtcrsen, l.aiirilz P.. 445 

Peter.son. .Mliert 540 

Peterson. Andrew 4!)2 

Peterson. Charlie 533 

Peterson, Jolm 513 

I'ietsch. Onido E 543 

I'igman. Waller L. . 403 

Plagnian, I'enliniind 538 

PohhnaM. Angnst ... 5(18 

Pohlman. Carl W... 422 

Pohlman. Henry F. 534 

Pdhlmaii. Herman . . 451 

i'olilman. William 501 

Pope. I'rank L 5-17 

Poppitz. Itrnno 428 

I'ortmaiin, Dr. William C 474 

I'ost. Harm 423 

I'resiott, Jesse 1' 370 

I'ril.vl. I'r.Mik J 5(17 

Piil.'vl. .lo-<pli .1 IT'.i 

Prokes, Joseph N . 

Piilver, U. W 

Putman, J. M 


. . .480 

(^iialey. .lolin .... .537 

Quail," .Martin 681 

Qninhy, Jens 604 

Kaaseh. John V 427 

Hank. Samuel I. 4.">0 

Keadle. It.irl.ara 447 

i;.e, John 11........ .•IS.'i 

Keed. Isaae C. . .". .487 

Reeves, .lohn L .503 

Rehnelt, Stephen 510 

Reimers, I'red 453 

Riee. E 522 

Ridgewav. William F 369 

Rieken. "Claus E 472 

Riley. Captain l>anicl L 423 

Roberts, Dr. Osear E .548 

Robertson, R. S 422 

Robson. Henry W 415 

Roe, Anders 342 

Rossow. Car! F 389 

Rossow. lleiirv 43'.l 

Rost. Charles" W 405 

Rost. .James R 4!13 

Kiie. Ilaleck K 372 

Kuc, lliiam C 3!)7 

Kiissell. I'erry L 510 

Ru.ssell, Thomas J 488 

.^aathofT. Il.-nry 

Saalhoir. SiebtMid II. 
St. John. Aiulre M. . 
St. John. Heiiona P. 

Salin, John .\ 

Sander. I". II 

Sandon. Charles II. . 

.•^awyer. Kreil 1) 

Sawyer, (ieoige 11. . 
Sawyer. John M. . . . 
Silieppmann, .\iigiist 
Sihlapkolil. Charles 
Si-hniidt. Henry . . . . 
Si'hnapp. .lohn 1). 

-.4 1 
. .520 
. 5.-.8 

Silineiiler. William (1 435 

Sehoelleriiian. Frederiek W 5."i5 

Sehoewe. Rudolph 502 

Sehroeder, A. M .403 

Sehroeder, Theodore 475 

Sehroeder. William .1. C 548 

Sehroeder. William M. K 512 

S<hiild(. Fiilz . 503 

Sehiiltz. Henry 4.5."i 

Seluimaeher. Kdw:.rd 4S0 

Sehnniaeher. Theodore E 3!l| 

Seluimaeher. William .381 

Sehwager. .Jurgen 402 

Seleen. Fr.'d .1 38.'> 

Serum. Andrew C 301 

Sether, Hans C 340 

Severson, Charlie 547 

Shay, James P 645 

shearer, Samiul W. ...507 




Shudalil, Herman 576 

Shumaelier, 476 

Sievert, Frank 545 

Skaliekv, Emil J 4(i3 

Skalskv. Frank 571 

Skinrud, Hans 380 

Snialley. Isiali L 571 

Smith," Edwin 507 

Smith, George H 443 

Smith, John 440 

Smith. John J 400 

Smith. .Tohn T 3.50 

Smitli. Morton W 517 

SpafTord. John A 4fl7 

Sparks. Artlinr J 447 

Stahl, Hans 540 

Stall, Hans M 390 

Stall, Henrv A 302 

Stall. Martin 426 

Stall, Thomas H 505 

StefTen, Henry '. .478 

Steiner. John L 531 

Stenzel. Clement 504 

Stenzel, Frank J 380 

Steward, Lerov D 567 

StofTerahn. Frank 581 

Stone, Henry P 411 

Streator. Edwin 570 

Strom, Herman L 446 

Strong, Alhert H 356 

Struck, Henry 575 

Stude, Christ' 460 

Stride, Henry 463 

Stude, Lewis 465 

Stuermer. Reinhold 570 

Stumpf . Lorenz 451 

Sullivan, Atex 523 

Sullivan, .Terry 488 

Rwenson, Andrew H 418 

Swenson, Carl J 557 

S wenson, John O 401 

Swenson, Olof 435 

Tallman, Augustus 532 

Tank, Herman N 427 

Teig. Carl 558 

Teig. Edward 585 

Teig, 0. M 579 

Teigen. Anton 303 

Teigen, Lars 357 

TerHaar, Henrv 442 

Thielvoldt, Henry 384 

Thomas, James B 335 

Thomas, Joseph 336 

Thomas, Joseph E 378 

Thomson, John B 462 

Thoreson, Ole 560 

Thoreson, Tilbert 539 

Tollefson, Ben J 410 

Tolleff^on, Hans 352 

Toiider, Marius 477 

Tnrd-en. .John 565 

Tord?en. Peter 419 


Torilsen. William ..: 480 

Tramm. Albert F 576 

Trondson, Trond 362 

Trosin, Emil 522 

'I'rosin. Frederick W 557 

Tusa. John 572 

Uden. Henry W 500 

Ukosick, .lo^eph 443 

rptagraflt. Jolin ^ 445 

Vacek, .Joseph 525 

Vaeura, Edward F 434 

\'acura, .Tames 430 

\"agt. Otto 574 

\'algamore, Henry 1 527 

Vanduzeo. Bradford F 524 

Vavricbck. Anton 582 

Voehl, Adam 444 

Voelil. Henrv W , .556 

Vogt, Piter'j 361 

Von Behren, Henry 514 

Wade, Robert H 358 

\\';ulswortli. Isaac 562 

Wagner, Michael 474 

Wa'anild, Ole J 421 

Wallace, -John 1 416 

Ward. Albert W 437 

Washburn. Charles H 510 

Watland. Alfred 520 

Wazlahowsky, Frank 480 

Weaner. Reinhold C 584 

Weis, Nick W 578 

Wendelsdorf, John C 539 

Weppler. Balser 584 

Werner. August 447 

\Vbisne\ . ilike 534 

Wicbener. Claus 494 

Wiese, Gustav 520 

Wiser, (J. E 485 

Wilev, Albert 401 

Willford. Pert 533 

Winzer, Charles 348 

Withers. Charles W 501 

Withers. George 390 

Wold. Dr. W. W 467 

Wolff. Charles F 452 

Wood, Clark A 355 

Wood. George H 509 

Wood. Jonah H 377 

Wood. William 335 

Woolstencroft, John S 478 

Worshek. Wesley 479 

Wrede, William 552 

\ arns. Gf orge B 426 

Veadicke, Herman J 422 

Yonngren. Carl 567 

Zenor. Leland L 521 

Zinser. Leonard F 550 


Jackson County 





The First White Man to Set Foot on the Soil of Jackson County. 


ABORIGINAL DAYS— 1834-1855. 

IT WAS ouly a fuw hundred years ago 
that Christopher Columbus discover- 
ed America. That was a modern - 
event in the history of the world — and 
Jackson county — according to the meas- 
urements of time employed by the archae- 
ologists and geologists. We can, in ima- 
gery, go back to that time and let our 
fancy tell us what the Jacl<son county of 
th.qt day was like. Its topography was 
practically the same as we find it today. 
There were the same broad, rolling prai- 
ries, stretching as far as the eye might 
reach, presenting in summer a perfect 
paradise of verdure, with its variegated 
hues of flowers and vegetation ; in winter 
a di-eary and snow-mantled desert. The 
rivers and creeks flowed in the same 
courses as now ; tlie lakes occupied the 
same banks. 

But to get at tlie beginning of the his- 
tory of .Tackson county we must consider 
events that antedate the discovery of 
America by periods of time measured in 
eons — events which the most vivid imagi- 
nation cannot conceive, events which were 
never witnessed by jnortal eye. We are 
informed that ages before man was made 
our earth was a mass of molten, seething 
fire; that in time this huge ball of fire 
cooled and the earth's crust was formed. 
This transformation occurred, so geolo- 

gists estimate, 100,000,000 or more years 
ago during the Archean or Beginning era, 
viiiieh extended over a period of time 
roughly estimated at 50,000,000 or more 
years. The early part of this period is 
termed Azoic, from the absence of any evi- 
dence that the earth or the sea had eitlier 
plant or animal life. Following this came 
tlie Paleozoic time, covering a period of 
something like 30,000,000 years, an era 
cliaracterized by ancient types of life, un- 
Lnown today. 

The next period of time is known as the 
Mesozoic time, covering the comparatively 
shoi-t period of 9,000,000 years. Our 
county was laud area during the greater 
part of this time. The floras and faunas 
of this age were gradually changing from 
their primitive and ancient character of 
the Paleozoic time, but had not yet at- 
tained the comparatively modern forms of 
tb.e succeeding era. In late Mesozoic 
days the greater part of Minnesota was 
again depressed beneath the sea, as it had 
))een in ages past. 

The Cenozoic time, some 3,000,000 
}ears in length, followed, during which 
that part of the earth's surface now- 
known as ^Minnesota was lifted from the 
sea. and it has ever since remained above 
the water. During this time there came 
into existence the present types of life. 



replacing those of tlie earl}- periods. Man 
was created, dispersed over tlie eartii, and 
developed into the several colors and 

Most wonderful and most recent of the 
wonders occurring in the making of our 
earth was the Ice age, which began some 
7.5,000 or 100,000 years ago and ceased 
onlv from G,000 to 10,000 years ago. Prior 
to the beginning of this time the earth 
had been uniformly warm or temperate, 
but about the time mentioned the north- 
ern lialf .'if Xorth .Viiierica and northern 
Europe became enveloped witli thick 
sheets of snow and ice, probably caused 
by the uplifting of the land (the surface 
wa.« then from 2,000 to 3,000 feet higlier 
tlian now) into extensive plateaus, which 
received snowfall throughout the year. 
The lower latitudes retained the temper- 
ale climate, thus permitting the plant and 
animal life to survive until the melting of 
the ice sheets again permitted the occu- 
)>ancy of the northern latitudes. Under 
the weight of tlie vast glaciers the land 
sank to its present level, the surface was 
ground down and evened off and made 
juactieally as we find it today. Witli the 
sinking of the land came the rapid melt- 
ing of the glaciers, though with numerous 
pauses and probably slight readvances. 

During these millions of years many 
interesting things happened in Jackson 
county. From a part of the seething, 
molten mass that composed the earth dur- 
ing the millions of years about wliicli even 
the geologist dare not venture a guess it 
became a part of the earth's surface in the 
process of cooling. Thereafter it was suc- 
cessively covered with the waters of the 
sea, was raised from the depths to a high 
altitude, and was crushed back by vhe 
weight of the vast ice sheets. During 
these various periods its topngrapliical fea- 
tures were formed, many changes resulting 
before nature had tliem fashioned to lier 

liking. Itidges and hills were formed by 
llie action of the ice; depressions were left 
in which are now lakes; the water from 
the melting ice sought avenues of escape 
and formed the I'ivers and creeks; soils, 
KK-ks and minerals were spread over the 
surface; plant and animal life came into 

AVhen Jackson county was first inhabi- 
ted by tlie human species is unknown. 
.\i-(liaeiilo<.'ists cannot even hazard a guess 
wlieu the .Vmerican continent was first 
inbaliitcd. There has been discovered 
evidence that man lived upim North .Vm- 
erican soil during the decline and closing 
scenes of the Ice age,' some 6,000 to 10,- 
000 years ago, and jirohably had done so 
for a nuii-h longer period. Concerning the 
original peopling of North America, 
Warren Upliani. A. ]\r.. D. Sc, in Minne- 
sota in Throe Centuries, says: 

Till' original ppoplinj; of America appears to 
lii^vc taken place far longer ago liy migration 
hum nortlica^tcMi .\y\n dnring (lie early 
(^•iiatcrnary of (tairkiaii epoch of general up- 
lift of northern region-- which inimeiliately 
)ireceile<l the Ice age. and which conlinneii 
through the early an.l prohahly the greater 
part of that age. Then land nndonbtedly ex- 
tended across the present area of IJering sea. 

During Ozarkian time and the long early 
part of the Olacial perioil. wandering tribes, 
migrating for better food supplies or to es- 
I'.ipe from enemies, could have crossed on land 
from Asia to Alaska, and i-onhl advance south 
to Patagonia and Tierra del I'"uego. occupying 
iill the ground (excepting the ice covered 
area) that is now, or was in pre-Columbian 
limes, I lie home of the .\merican race. It is 
not improbable, too, that anotlier line of very 
ancient migration, in the same early Pleisto- 
cene or Quaternary time, passed from western 
JCnrope by the Faroe islands. Iceland, and 
lireeidand. to our continent. 

Winn civilized man first came to llie 

new world he found it peojiled with a 

savage race which he called Indians, 'i'iiey 

had no knowledge of their own ancestry 

nor of any peoples who may liave preceded 

them. Whether or nut this race supplanted 

one of a higher civilization is a ijuestion up- 

n'races of man's iir*'s(-n<'e durlnp this period 
ha\'<- been fnund In a flood plain of Ihe Mlssls- 
.slppl river at I.lttle Falls. Minnesota, and in 
other parts of the United States. 



on which archaeologists disagree.- The only 
sources of information available concern- 
ino' the earlv inhabitants are the imple- 
nicnts of warfare and domestic nse tliey 
made, found in burial places and elsewhere 
in the land. The jMississippi valley is pro- 
lific in mounds — the burial places of these- 
ancient people.s — many having been found 
and excavated in Minnesota. Scattered 
through the Des Moines valley and around 
the lakes of the vicinity have been found 
manv of these interesting works of pre- 
historic days. 

At least one such mound in Jackson 
county has been excavated. In 18T1 a solid 
stone ball, about two inches in diame- 
ter, made round liy primitive tools, was 
pldwed out of the ground on the farm of 
ilr. Hans Chestcrson, a short distance 
west of .Tackson. A mound in tlic vi- 
cinity was excavated by Jackson people 
two years later. The mound was semicir- 
cu.lar and several feet high, the outer line 
of the embankment l)eing broken in sev- 
eral places. In one of the larger mounds 
a part of a man's leg bone was found. The 
excavation was not pursued extensively 
and nothing else of interest was un- 

While we have little knowledge of the 
very early peoples who inhabited our state, 
from the middle of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, when white men first came to the 
northwest, we can trace the history quite 

The two principal tribes that inhabited 

-"It wa.s formerly thought bj' many archaeolo- 
gists, twenty-five to fifty years ago. that the 
mounds of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys 
were built by a prehistoric people, distinct from 
the IndiatiS and further advanced in agricul- 
ture and the arts of civilization. To that an- 
cient people the name of Mound Builders was 
given, and if was supposed that they were 
driven southward into Mexico by incursions of 
the Indian tribes that v/ere found in our coun- 
try at the first coming of w'hite 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 Centur- 

^Jackson Republic, August 30, 1S73. 

]\Iinnesota from tlie time of our first 
knowledge of the country, until they were 
su^jplanted by white men, and whose 
hunting grounds lung included all this 
area, until ceded by treaties, were the 
jib ways, ranging through the northern 
forest region, and the Sioux or Dakotas, 
who originally inhabited the southern and 
western prairie portions of the state. 
Bands from four other tribes of Indian 
2)eoples have temporarily lived in the state, 
these being the liurons, Ottaw-as, Winne- 
bagos and Crees. 

The Sioux tribe, which chiefly concerns 
us, came originally from the Atlantic 
coast, in Virginia and the Carolinas. Sev- 
eral centuries before the discovery of Am- 
erica they migrated from that eastern 
country, by way of the Ohio river, and 
eventually located on the prairies west of 
the Mississippi river. The name of this 
nation is a contraction of Nadouessis or 
Nadouesioux, which is the name used for 
the tribe by the very early explorers, and 
which was given to these people by the 
Ojibways and other Algonquins. The or- 
iginal name is a term of hatred, meaning 
snakes or enemies. Naturally the Sioux 
disliked this name, and they called them- 
selves, collectively, Dakotas, which means 
confederates or allies. 

When knowledge was first gained of the 
Sioux or Dakota Indians there were three 
great triljal divisions, namely, the Isantis, 
residing about the headwaters of the Mis- 
sissippi; the Yanl^tons, who occupied the 
region north of the Minnesota river; and 
the Titonwans, who had their hunting 
grounds of tlie I'anktons. 

When white men began making homes 
in this frontier country they gained more 
definite knowledge of the natives than had 
been secured by the Infrequent explorers. 
We, being chiefly interested in that branch 
of the Sioux nation which partially inhab- 
ited and wholly claimed the southern 



part of the state, are fortunate that defi- 
nite and reliable information of these 
bands was seeured and has been preserved. 
General II. II. Sibley, who was an authori- 
ty on Indian affairs because of his inti- 
mate relations witli tlie natives in his ca- 
pacity a£ head trader for one of the big 
fur companies, has described the Indian 
Ijauds of this soetion as lie found them in 

The M'daywakantons, or People of the 
Leaf, comprised seven bands who could 
bring into the field about six hundred 
warriors. Their summer residences were 
in villages, the lodges being built of elm 
bark upon a frame work of poles. These 
villages were situated at Wal)asha Trairie, 
where the city of Winona now stands; 
at Red Wing and Kaposia, on the Mis- 
sissippi river; on the lower Jlinnesota, 
below Sliakopco, where there were tliree 
Itands; and on lake Calhoun, near Minne- 
apolis. The Wahpakootas, or People of 
the Shot Leaf, were in villages on Cannon 
lake, a short distance from the present 
city of Faribault, and a few other points, 
and tliey numbered about one luindrcd 
fifty warriors. The lower Wahpatons 
were located at Little Rapids, Sand Prai- 
rie and on the banks of the ^Minnesota not 
far from Belle Plaiue. The lower Sis- 
setons occupied the regions around Tra- 
verse des Siou.x (near St. Peter), Swan 
lake and the Cottonwood river, their pos- 
sessions extending to tlie Coteau dcs Prai- 
rwvs of extreme southwestern Jlinnesota. It 
was this branch of the Sioux which claim- 
ed jurisdiction over and title to the prw-- 
cnt day Jackson county, although they 
did not have their permanent homes here. 
The upper Walipaton tribe had its villages 
on the shores of the Lac qui Parle. The 
ujippr Sissetons were on Big Stone lake 
and Lake Traverse. 

These tribes also claimed a generou.'? 
part of northern Iowa and portions of 

South Dakota. It was never entirely clear 
by what right the Sioux claimed this part 
of Iowa or even the extreme southwestern 
pari (ii .Minnesota. They had never made 
jiermanent location thereon, and, indeed, 
tlie only occasions when they had visited 
these districts were at the times of their 
excursions against the Sacs and Foxes of 
the upper Des Moines, or when they were 
in search of buffalo in that region or about 
lake Shetek.* Their muniments of title 
were vague and imperfect. After having 
been driven from the country east of the 
ilississippi l)y the Chippewas, they had 
crossed to the west bank and driven a band 
of Iowa Indians from the countrj- about 
Fort SncUing and established themselves 
along the 5Iissis.sippi and ^linnesota riv- 

In addition to the tribes of the Sioux 
nation mentioned above as inhabiting and 
ilaiming southern Minnesota was another 
small, outlawed band of Sisseton Sioux 
ancestry, under the leadership of Inkpa- 
duta, with whom we .«hall become well ac- 
quainted before this history closes. Ink- 
paduta and his band occasionally visited 
souHnveslern Minnesota, his favorite 
haunts during these visits being the Des 
Moines river country and the country 
about the Okoboji lakes. They were out- 
laws from the Sioux, were not partici- 
liants in any treaty, and had no rights of 
I'osscssion to laiul in any part of the 
country more than a pack of wandering, 
ravenous wolves might have to the same 
land. The band had no permanent abid- 
ing place or home, but roamed over north- 
we.-(ern Iowa and southwestern Minnesota 
from the present location of Des Moines, 
Iowa, to that of Redwood Falls, ^[inno- 

.\t the time of the earliest seltloment of 
Iowa and Minnesota this band was under 
tlie leadership of Sidoniinadota, a Sis.'^e- 

'W.irron Upham In Minncsntn in Three Cen- 



ton Sioux. Sidomiuadota was known far 
and wide for his audacity, bravery and dis- 
regard of the restraints of the wliite 
man's law and the rights of the Indians. 
Tills reputation caused the discontented 
and lawless element of the other bands to 
fiock to his standard, until at one 
time the band numbered three hundred. 
I!ut when treaties were made with the 
I'nited States and annuities were to be 
granted most of those who had forsaken 
the other bands returned to them, so as 
to be sure of their annuities, so that at 
the time of the settlement of northwestern 
Iowa and southwestern Minnesota the 
band of outlaws did not exceed fifty war- 

The whole of the state of Minnesota 
west of the Mississippi river was in undis- 
puted iinssession of the aborigines until 
1851. The fine, fertile expanse of coun- 
try of southern Minnesota was ground 
upon wdiich the white man dare not lo- 
cate. But the tide of immigration to the 
west set in and settlers were clamoring 
for admission to the rich lands west of 
tlie ilississippi. In time the legal bar- 
rier was removed. 

In the spring of 1851 President Fill- 
more, at the solicitation of residents of 
Minnesota territory, directed that a treaty 
with the Sioux be made and named as 
commissioners to conduct the negotiations 
Governor Alexander Eamsey, ex-officio 
Indian commissioner for Minnesota, and 
Luke Lea, the national commissioner of 
Indian affairs. These commissioners com- 
pleted a treaty with the Sisseton and Wah- 
paton 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, 18.51. Im- 
mediately afterward the commissioners pro- 
ceeded to Mendota (near St. Paul), where 
they were successful in making a treaty 

=Jareb Palmer in Lakefield Standard, Febru- 
ary 8, 1896. 

with the Wahpakoota and irdaywakanton 

The treaties were ratified, with import- 
ant amendments, by congress in 1852. 
The amended articles were signed by the 
Indians in September, 1852, and in Feb- 
ruary of the next year President Fillmore 
proclaimed the treaties in force. By this 
important proceeding the future Jackson 
county passed from the ownership of the 
Sioux to the United States government, 
and the former owners took up their 
residence on the north side of the Minne- 
sota river. 

The territory ceded liy 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 east of the following; line, to- wit: Be- 
iiinnint.' at the junction of the Buffalo river 
with the Ked River of the North [about 
twelve miles north of Moorhead. in Clay 
eoniity] : thence along the western bank of 
said Red River of the North to the mouth of 
tlie .'*ioux Wood river; thence along the west- 
ern bank of said Sioux Wood river to Lake 
Traverse; thence along the western shore of 
said lake to the southern extremity thereof; 
thence in a direct line to the juncture of 
Kampeska lake with the Tehan-ka-sna-du-ta, 
or Sioux River; thence along the western 
bank of said river to its point of intersection 
^vith the northern line of the state of Iowa; 
including all islands in said rivers and lakes. 

The territory purchased from the four 
Sioux bands was estimated to comprise 
about 23,750,000 acres, according to Mr. 
I'liomas Ilughes' computation, of which 
;uore than nineteen millions acres were 
in Minnesota, nearly three million acres 
in Iowa, and more than one million, seven 
hundred fifty thousand acres in what is 
now Soutli Dakota. The ceded lands in 
Iowa were north of Rock river, and also 
included the country around Estherville, 
Emmetsburg and Algona, extending east- 
ward by the town of Osage almost to Cres- 
co, the county seat of Howard county. 
The aggregate price paid was about twelve 
and one-half cents per acre. 

Wiite men first penetrated the north- 
west country to the present state of Min- 



nesota in the middle of tlie seveuteenth 
century (1055-50). In 1(583 the first map 
on whicli pliysical foatures of Minnesota 
are pictured was pub!i.<hed in connection 
witli Hennepin's writings. This iiui)) is 
verv vague and denioiutrates that very 
little was known of the northwest country. 
Five years later, in 1688, J. B. Franque- 
lin, a Canadian FiTncli geojiraplier. draft- 
ed for King Louis .\VI. of France a 
more detailed map of North America, 
making use of information gathered l)y 
Joliet and Marquette, LaSalle, Hennepin, 
DuLuth and others. Some of the princi- 
pal streams and lakes are marked and 
more or less accurately located, among 
others the R. des Moingeue (Pes Moines). 
There is no evidence to show that any of 
these had visited the upper Des Moines 
river country, and the data for the greater 
part of the map were doubtless secured 
from tlie Indians. 

A few French explorers, named above, 
had penetrated to several points within 
the present boundaries of our state, but 
none of thorn had explored the southwest- 
ern portion. In 1700 LeSueur ascended 
the Minnesota river and furaished data 
for a more or less authentic map of .south- 
western Jlinnesota, so far as the larger 
and more important physical features are 
concerned. This m'lp was made by Wil- 
liam DeT/isle, royal gengraphor of France, 
in 170.3. For the first time the Alinnesota 
river appeared upon a map. being labeled 
R. St. Pierre of l^Iini-Snta. Tlie Des 
^foines also has a place on the map, being 
marked Des Aloines or le 'Moingona R., 
and its source was definitely locatod. 
There is nothing in the writings of Le 
Suour,. however, to lead to the belief that 
he had visited the lies Aloines river coun- 
try, his explorations having been confined 
to the country along the Minnesota. 
Another map, made by Buache in 1751, 
was compiled from data furnished Sieur 

de la Verendrye by an Indian. The river 
which flows througli .lackson county was 
thereon marked Afoingona. 

.\fter Ix'Sueur had penetrated to the 
soutliwestern part of the state in 1700 that 
portion of the country was not again 
visited by white men until 60 years later, 
so far as we know. In November, 1766, 
Jonathan Carver ascended the Minnesota 
river and spent the winter among the 
Sioux in the vicinity of the present city 
of New Ulm. He remained with the In- 
dians until April. 1707, and learned their 
language. It is po.ssible, but not jirobable, 
that Carver during this time nuiy have 
visited the country which is now included 
within the boundaries of Jackson county, 
for he hunted with the Indians over some 
of the great plains of southwestern Alin- 
nesota which, "according to their account 
[the Indians], arc unbounded and ])rob- 
ably terminate on the coast of the Pacific 

From the very earliest days wandering 
and adventurous white traders, bartering 
weapons and trinkets of civilized manu- 
facture for the prized beaver furs of the 
Indian hunters, had penetrated to the 
wilds of the northwest, closely following 
the explorers. So early as 1700-01 when 
TjoSueur was on the Minnesota river a 
number of these adventurers were report- 
ed as having been encountered. It seems 
highly probalile that some of these reck- 
less frontiersmen had penetrated to the 
\ipper Dos Afoinrs region before the coun- 
try was known to (he world through the 
imblished reports of the explorers of this 
region. Rut these men were trappers and 
traders, not historians, and left no records 
of (heir doings. What wonderful tales of 
adventure could be recorded of the early 
history of Jackson county if the lives of 
these men could be learned ! 

^V^1en Joseph Nicollet visited the up- 
per Des Moines in the late thirties he 



nienlioiietl havin.u- lour.d evidence, or hav- 
ing been informed by the Indians, that 
the fur traders of an earlier day, after 
having wintered on tlie upper Des Moines, 
had departed from a point within the lim- 
its of the present Jaeteon county with 
their furs. It was their custom to leave 
tlie Des Moines near the northern line 
of Jackson county and strike the headwa- 
ters of the Watonwan, foHow down that 
stream, the Bkie Earth and th.e Minneso- 
ta to the IMississippi." When the first ix;r- 
manent settlors came to Jackson covmty 
in 185G there was very little evidence of 
the operations of these former day trap- 
pers and traders.' 

While a number of explorers had visited 
other pai-ts of Minnesota, and a few set- 
tlements hail been established, during the 
earlv part oC the nineteenth century, none 
of them penetrated to the southwest cor- 
ner. In 1S35 a government expedition, 
commanded by Lieutenant Albert Miller 
Lea, of the regular army, traversed the 
area of what is now the state of Iowa 
and advanced into the south edge of Min- 
nesota, although he did not visit Jackson 
eountv. With him were three companies 
(if infantry, five four-mule teams and sev- 
eral pack Lieutenant Lea trav- 
eled iioithwartl along the divide between 
the triljutaries of the Des Moines and Mis- 
sissipi^i rivers, passed the site of the Min- 
nesota city which now bears his name, and 
continued to lake Peppin. From tliero 
he started on the return trip, going in a 
southwesterly direction across the head- 
waters of the Cedar and Blue Earth rivers 
to the Des Moines river, which he came 
to south of the Jackson county line. Lieu- 
tenant Lea proceeded down the river in a 
canoe to ascertain if it were practicable 

"Report Minnesota Geological Survey. isS4. 

■Tlie Jacltson Repi-.lilic of March 19. 1S70, 
stated that when the first settlers came tliere 
was evidence to be found of an old French 
trading post, located about six miles up the 
river from Jackson, but I have been unable to 
find other sources of information to confirm 
this statement. 

to bring supplies up that stream for a 
fort. He sounded, meandered and plat- 
ted the river, and after his return to win- 
ter fjuarters published a book and map, 
giving the history of the journey. His 
trip led to the improvements that were 
afterward made in the Des Moines river 
by the government. 

It was not until the late thirties that 
our immediate vicinity became known and 
was mapped. Catlin, Schoolcraft, Fcath- 
erstonhaugh, Allen, Keating and Long 
were early explorers To the wilds of Min- 
nessota, but they confined themselves to 
the ready routes of travel, passing through 
the country in a single season. But in 
18;3r) appeared one who crossed the upper 
Mis.sissippi country in all directions, 
spending several years, winters included, 
ill preparing data for his map, which was 
published after his death in 1843. This 
was Joseph Nicolas Nicollet,^ who was the 
first white man, of record, to set foot on 
the soil of Jackson county.'' The princi- 
pal aid of Mr, Nicollet in his explorations 
in Minnesota was Lieutenant John C. 
Fremont, later the nominee of the repub- 
lican party for president of the United 

Nicollet gave names to many lakes, . 
streams and other ])hysical features or 
adopted those which were current, and the 
map shows the scope of his explorations. 
The country of which Jackson county 
forms a part was laljilcd "Sisseton Coun- 
try,"" he finding that branch of the Sioux 
in ])ossession. He specially mentions a 
visit to the red pipestone quarries, which 
he made in July, 1838. He found that 
tlie region west of tlie Mississippi had 

*Do not confound with Jean Nicollet, an 
American pioneer from France, who visited the 
country nearly two hundred years earlier. 

"It is possible that Nicollet did not in person 
visit J^>ckson county, but certainly some of his 
party did. Owing to his premature death much 
of a historical nature concerning thi.s region 
w.-is lost. He had notes for a work of several 
volumes, relating principally to what is now 
Minne.sota. and he had only fairly started the 
work when he died. 



several plateaus, or elcated prairies, 
wliich marked the limits of the various 
river basins. Tiic most remarkable of 
these he called Plateau du Coteau des 
Frairics (plateau of prairie heights) and 
Coteau du Grand Bois (wooded heights). 
Nicollet described tlic Coteau des Prairies 
as a vast plain, elevated 191G feet above 
the level of the ocean and 890 feet above 
Bijr Stone lake, lying between latitudes 43 
and 4G degrees, extending from north- 
west to southeast for a distance of two 
hundred miles, its width varying from fif- 
teen to forty miles. On the map he marks 
it as extending from a point a short dis- 
tance northwest of lake Traverse in a 
southeasterly direction into Iowa, and in- 
cluding tlie wes'ern jiart of tlio prc.'sent 
Jackson county. The explorer described 
it as a beautiful country, from whose 
summit grand views were afforded, said 
that at the eastern border particularly, 
the prospect was magnificent beyond de- 
scription, extending over the immense 
green turf that forms the basin of the 
Rod River of the North, the forest clad 
summit of the Hauteurs des Terres that 
surround the sources of the Mississippi, 
the gigantic valley of the upper Minne- 
sota, and the depressions in wliich arc 
lakes Traverse and Big Stone. 

Tiiat Nicollet or some of his parly visi- 
ted Jackson county is evidenced by the 
fact that several natural features of tlie 
county with which we are familiar were 
given names and quite accurately located. 
That he did not visit all parts of the 
county is also evident from liis failure to 
find Heron lake, that big body of wa- 
ter in the northwest part. His map locates 
•piite accurately the Jloingona (Des 
^toines) river and locates the source of 
that stream. He gives prominence to a 
lake which he calls Tchan-Shetcha, or 
Dry Wood lake (undoubtedly Fish lake), 

whicli is just to the east of the Des Moines 

ilr. Nicollet calls attention to tlie liy- 
drographical relation of the Des Moines 
river with the Blue Earth, the Minnesota 
and the Mississippi. He stated that the 
Blue Eartii, by means of its tributary, 
the Watonwan, liad one of its sources in 
lake Tchan-Shetcha and that the land sep- 
arating tliL; lake from the Des Moines was 
not more tlian a mile or a mile and a half 
in width." Thus, he stated, a short ca- 
nal would bring the Des Moines into com- 
munication with the Minnesota. He learn- 
ed that tJiis interesting fact had former- 
ly been taken advantage of by tlie fur 
traders, who, after wintering on the head- 
waters of the Des ^fi>ines, found it con- 
venient to bring their peltries by water 
communication through the Watonwan 
valley and the Blue Eartli to* tlie Minne- 
sota and thence to the mouth of that 
river. On the map the space between the 
river and the lake is marked "portage."' 

On this remarkable map of 1843 Sjiir- 
it lake is shown with its present name. 
One or two of the lakes in Minucota town- 
ship are shown but are not named. Other 
hikes in the vicinity which are shown and 
named are Okebene (Okabena), Ocheye- 
dnn. Talcot and Shetok. Nicollet's work 
was of ine.stimable value to Minnesota, by 
reason of the thoroughness of his explora- 
tion and the reasonable accuracy of his 
map, which became the official map of 
the country. 

The next record we have of white men 
visiting Jackson county was in 1844, when 
Captain J. Allen passed through it, up the 
Des Moines river. Upon approaching the 
region of the line separating Iowa from 
Minnesota Captain Allen speaks of becom- 

'»Tht> looatlnn of this Like as Klvoti by Mr. 
Nlpollft is liitUudi' ■(.■! (iegrrpes. 45 minutps, ami 
longitiidp Ot (loRrops. 12 mlnutps. which is thi> 
loc.Ttion of Heron l.iko acrording' to tho sur- 
veys. However, he eoiild. ])y no possibiUty. 
hTve mcJint Heron lake. 

"Fl.«h lake is about one and three-quarters 
miles from the Des Moines, 



ing ijenned among numerous lakes and of 
being compelled to cross a narrow strait 
by swimming two hundred yards. This 
place was probably a narrow spot in Swan 
lake, in Emmet -co luity, Iowa. From there 
he sent a party to examine the eoiintry 
to the east, and they proceeded to Iowa 
hike, on the boundary line, and explored 
its outlet toward the east and into the 
east chain of lakes in Martin county. They 
reached the conclusion that the water of 
these lakes was tributary^ to the Blue 

Allen and his party continued north 
tlirough Jackson county, camping at Eagle 
lake and at Independence lake. When 
lie reached what is now Christiania town- 
ship, near Windom, he described the coun- 
try as a "wonderfully broken surface, ris- 
ing and falling in high knobs and deep ra- 
vines, with numerous little lakes in the 
deep valleys, some of them clear and pret- 
ty and others grassy." A party visited the 
Blue Mounds and found an artificial 
mound of stone on the highest peak. 

At lake Talcott Captain Allen left his 
men in camp for a rest while he himself 
visited lake Shetek, which he named lake 
of the Oaks. By observation of the sun 
with a small sextant he located this lake 
in latitude 43 degrees, 57 minutes, 32 sec- 
onds, but as a matter of fact it is some- 
what above latitude 44 degrees. He de- 
scribed the lake as being remarkable for 
a singular arrangement of the peninsulas 
running into it from all sides and for a 
heavy growth of timber that covered these 
peninsulas and the borders of the lake. 
Allen pronounced lake of the Oaks to 
be the highest source of the Des Moincb 
worth noticing as such, though he also 
mentions an inlet coming in from the 
north, "but of no size or character." 

From lake Shetek the expedition con- 
tinued northward thirty-seven miles, 
crossing the Cottonwood and Eedwood 

rivers, and then proceeded eastward to the 
St. Peter's (Minnesota) river. From the 
mouth of tlie Eedwood the southern shore 
of the St. Peter's was explored for a dis- 
tance of several miles each way. Eeturn- 
ing to lake Shetek,- the expedition set out 
for the west, reached the Big Sioux river 
and proceeded down that stream to its 

Concerning the big game found on the 
upper Des Moines and other parts of the 
country visited. Captain Allen wrote : 

Fiom Lizard creek of the Des Moines to the 
source of the Des Moines, and tjience east to 
the St. Peters, is a range for elk and common 
deer, but principally elk. We saw a great 
many of the elk: they were sometimes seen 
ill droves of linndreds, hut were always dif- 
ticult to approacli and very difficult to over- 
take in chase, except with a fleet horse and 
over good ground. Xo dependence could be 
]ilaccd upon this game in this country for the 
subsistence of troops marching through it. 

Twenty-five miles west of the source of the 
Des Moines Ave struck the range of the buf- 
falo and continued in it to the Big Sioux 
river and down that river about eighty-six 
miles. Below that we could not see any re- 
cent signs of them. We found antelope in 
the same range with the buffalo., but no elk 
and very seldom a common deer. Wliile 
among the buffalo we killed as many as we 
wanted and without trouble. 

This completes the record of early ex- 
ploration of our county, and we find that 
when Minnesota territory was created in 
1849 the southwestern portion of the ter- 
ritory was a vteritable terra incognita. 
The land was still in undisputed owner- 
ship of the Sioux bands, and white men 
liad no rights whatever in the country. 
Eeturn I. Holcombe, in Minnesota in 
Tliree Centuiies, tells of the conditions in 
soutliern Minnesota at the time the terri- 
tory was formed : 

AVestward of the Mississippi river the coun- 
try was unexplored and virgin. There were 
wide expanses of wild and trackless prairie, 
never traversed by a white man, which are 
I'ow the highly developed counties of south- 
ern and southwestern Minnesota, with their 
fine and flourishing cities and towns and the 
other institutions that make Tor a state's 
eminence and greatness. Catlin had passed 
from Little Rock to the pipestone quarry; 
Nicollet and his surveying party had gone 



over tlic same inulc and liail traveled along 
the Minne-^nta. Sibley ^and Fremont had chas- 
ed elk over the prairies in wliat are now 
Steele, Dod-ie. I'reeliorn and Mower counties; 
llie Missouri cattle drovers hail led their herds 
In Kort Snellin;; and up to the I!ed river re<;- 
ions, hut ill all. not tifty white men had pass- 
ed over the tract of territory now comprising 
southern and southwestern .Minnesota when 
I lie territory wa.s orjianized in 1S49. 

The treaty witli the Sioux Indians, 
iii;i(k' in 1S51, ratified in 185-2, and prn- 
claiined early in ]S5;3, tlircw open to .<i't- 
t lenient tlio whole of gotithern Miiine.-^ota, 
and soon thereafter settlements hefran to 
make their appearance in the eastern por- 
tion, although it was some years later 
when white .settlers penetrated to the fu- 
ture Jaekson eounty. 

The lino between tlie state of Iowa and 
tiio territory of Minnesota was surveyed 
in lSo2. The engineers began at the 
southwest corner of Minnesota about the 
first of August and ran their line east- 
ward, reaching the southwest corner of 
Jackson eounty on August 8.'= They 
located the IJne along the southern boun- 
dary of Jackson coiiiiiy ami jiroceedetl on 
their way eastward. 

In 1853 Captain J. 1.. ilcim e.xccutotl 
a survey for a military wagon road from 
the mouth of the Big Siou.x river, at Sioux 
City, to Mendota, at the mouth of the 
Minnesota, hut the map of his survey was 
not luiblished. He crossed the Des Moines 
river in Iowa and after traveling ten miles 
farther entereil Minnesota and ])ossil)ly 
touched Jackson county. He creased 
branches of the Watonwan and Blue I'^arth 
rivers and laid out his road along the 
west bank of the Blue Earth to its un- 
ion with the Minnesota, thence to ^faiika- 
to and on to Mendota. 

The years 1854, 1855 ami 185G, were 
remarkable ones in Minnesota territory 
by reason of the iininensc tide of immi- 
gration pouring in and the consequent 
activity and legitimate and "wild cat" real 

"Surveyors" Field Notes. 

estate operations. So early as 1S52 the 
real estate speculative era had commence<l 
in St. Paul and the older settlements 
along the eastern border of the territory. 
Illustrative of the times in St. Paul at 
that early date is the lollowing, which was 
written by a correspondent of the Pitts- 
burgh Token who was in St. Paul in the 
fall of 1853: 

My ears at ever_\ iiiin iui- >aluted with 
everlastiu}; din. Land! Land: Money! Spec- 
ulation! Saw mills! Town lots! etc., etc. 
I turn away sick and disfjnsted: land at 
lircakfast. land nt dinner, land at .supper, aii<l 
until eleven o'clock, land: then land in bed 
until their vocal organs are exhausted, then 
they dream and gioan out land, land! Kvery- 
Ihing is artificial, lloating. the excitement of 
liade. s))eculation and expectation is now 
running liigh. and will perhaps for a year or 
so, but it must have a reaction. 

During 185;i and 1854 there were large 
accessions of population to the eastern 
]iart of the territory ; roads were construc- 
ted ; farms were opened in the wilderness; 
villages sprang into existence in many 
parts of the frontier. During these years 
1 be settlements did not extend to the west- 
ern and southwestern parts of the ter- 
ritory, bill during the next few years the 
huiiian flow |)oured in and S]iread out in- 
to nearly all ]iarts of Minnesota. The 
fever of real estate speculation, whiili had 
been only feebly developed before, now at- 
tacked all classes. Enormous and rapid 
profits were made by speculators who liad 
tlie fore-=ight and courage to venture. 
Thousands of acres of Minnesota lands 
which had been seen red from the govern- 
ment in 1854 for $1.25 per acre sold the 
following year for $5.00, 

Not only (o Jtinnesota, but to all parts 
of the U])per Mississippi valley, came the 
grand rush of homeseekers, who spread 
out over the rich lands of Iowa, Minneso- 
ta, ami Xcbraska. These hordes 
of immigrants did not take all the lands 
as they went along but were constantly 
|)iishing out onto the frontier. The reason 
of this is easily understood. Nearly all 



who were coming out to the northwest 
country were from the eastern and central 
states, where tiniber was abundant, and 
they were loth to settle on the prairie very 
far from timber and water. In fact, so 
discriminating were tliey that few were 
willing to settle where they could not 
liave timber and prairie land adjoining! 
In consequence the settlements in the 
new country were confined to narrow belts 
along the streams and around the lakes, 
where groves of timber were usually found. 
So soon as the desirable claims were taken 
in one locality some adventurou.? immi- 
grant would strike out across the track- 
less prairie in search of a place where he 

rnuld liave first choice of claims. He 
would soon be followed by others and a 
new settlement would be founded. By 
reason of this the settlements were often 
thirty or forty miles apart, while the dif- 
ferent inhabited portions of the .same 
stream were often ten or fifteen miles 
apart. In tliis way settlers were constant- 
ly pushing out onto the extreme frontier 
in search of suitable places to build homes 
for themselves and their families, many 
times not waiting for the Indians to leave, 
but moving among them. 

Under conditions such as tliese Jackson 
county received its first settlers. 



MTOH, LtftCX W«^ 



HUNDEEDS of immigrants had 
come to the upper Mississippi , 
valley during the first half of 
the fifties, suitable places of residence had 
been found to the east and south of the 
present Jaclvson county but none had pen- 
erated to the sightly locations on the up- 
per Des Moines. Jackson county was with- 
out a permanent settler until the summer 
of 185G.^ That year, from July to De- 
cember, some forty people, including wom- 
en and children, came to the Des Moines 
river country of Jackson county. They 
erected about a dozen log cabins along the 
river, extending from a point a few miles 
south of the present village of Jackson to 
a point seven or eight miles north of the 
village (most of the cabins being in the 
timber in the vicinity of Jackson) and set- 
tled as permanent residents. 

'Mr. D. S. Crapper, in an interview in the 
Jacltson Republic of August 30. 1873. claimed to 
tiave been the first white settler to locate in 
Jackson county, stating that he had come from 
the Boone river country, in Iowa, squatted on 
a claim just east of the Des Moines river near 
the Michael Miller farm on section 30. Wiscon- 
sin township, resided there three years, and 
left in December, 1S56. He said that he broke 
up ground and raised crops and that when the 
-settlers of 1856 came he assisted them in build- 
ing their cabins. He recounted many a tussle 
he had had with the Indians who infested the 
countr.v and stated that buffalo and elk were 
here in abundance. The reason I have not in- 
corporated this data in the text is because there 
is good cause to doubt its authenticity. If Mr. 
Crapper resided in Jackson county when he is 
made to say he did. the fact was unknown to 
the settlers who located in the vicinity in 1S5G. 
He may have been in Jackson county in an 
earl.v day but that he ever resided here is 
doubtful. He was known as a resident of the 
Boone river country. 

The credit of becoming the first white 
settlers of Jackson county is generally 
(and rightfully) given to three brothers, 
William, George and Charles Wood, who 
came during the month of July, 1856,- 
and located on land which now comprises 
the principal business and residence sec- 
tion of the village of Jackson. William 
Wood seems to have been the leading spir- 
it of the brothers.^ Early in the fifties 
he had left his Indiana home and gone to 
the new village of Mankato, where he 
joined Eobert Wardlow, a dealer in gener- 
al merchandise. Much of the trade of 
these days was with the Indians and Wil- 
liam Wood had ample opportunity to be- 
come acquainted with the aborigines, fre- 
quently making trips to the interior coun- 

On one such occasion, in 1854, Mr. 
Wood, in the discharge of his duties as 
Indian trader, and also while cruising and 
looking about for a location in which to 
make a future home for himself and his 
motlier's large family, came upon the 
sightly location of the present village of 
Jackson. Early in 1856 he returned to 
his mother's home in Eidgeville, Eandolph 

-'"I think Mr. [William] Wood was the first 
to take a claim in what is now Jackson count.v. 
for some time during the winter [of 1856-57] 
he told me that he had selected his claim some 
time in July." — Jareb Palmer in Lakefield Stand- 
ard, December 7, 1895. 

^See biographical section for sketches of the 
lives of the Woods. 




county, IndiaiKi. niui proposed that George 
Wood, wlio was then the head of the fam- 
ily, and Charles Wood, who was a boy of 
lifteen or sixten years of age. should go 
with liini to the new and promising coun- 
try which he had discovered and there 
prepare a home for themselves and their 
aged motiier and lur family. The sug- 
gestion was approved by the other mem- 
bers of the family, and in July the three 
brothers arrived on the banks of the Des 
Moines river to make their homes.' 

Believing that the site was one favor- 
able for trading with the Indians who 
roamed over tile country and with white 
settlers who would in time be sure to spy 
out and locate in this beautiful spot, the 
brothers decided to establish a trading 
post. In accordance with the custom of the 
times in Minnesota, it was also deemed 
the proper thing to lay out a town. Wil- 
liam and George Wood each took land 
claims. As the land had not yet been 
survej'cd it is impossible to tell exactly 
the boundaries of their claims, and it is 
doubtful if the brothers themselves had 
more than an indeHnitc idea of where 
their land was. A man by the name of 
Bakor, who came through the co\intry 
about the time the brothers were locating 
their claims, said that he was a surve)'or, 
and jiaving a compass he ran a line north 
from the state line between the townships 
of Middletown and Petersburg and be- 
tween Des Moines and Wisconsin, and 
from this line were located all the early 
day claims. In after years it was learned 
that this line was not within eighty rods 
of its proper location. The bulk of the 
Wood brothers' land was on the west side 
of the river and included portions of sec- 
tions 21, 2:?, 2f) and 2o, Des Moines 
township. The two brothers entered upon 
a full section of government land, each 

'Mr. K. B. Wootl. a brother of the Woods 
mentioned. Is my authority for these state- 

an individual farm claim under the pre- 
emption law (there was no homestead law 
at the time) of 160 acres, and in partner- 
ship a half section for a townsite. The 
townsite included the whole of the second 
bench — the residence portion of the pres- 
ent village — and the farm claims included 
the business jwrtion of the present Jack- 
son village and extended across the river." 

The Woods nameil their proposed town 
Springfield because of the fact that there 
was a spring on it near where they built 
tlieir cabin. The townsite was not platted 
liy surveyors, but was simply held in an- 
ticipation of the time when settlers should 
come in sufficient numbers to warrant the 
building of a town. A large, one-room log 
building was erected at a point near the 
river in the northwest part of the present 
day village upon what is now the Frost 
property. In this lirst building erected 
in Jackson county the three brothers lived 
and conducted their store, carrying a 
stock of goods of such kind and cliaracter 
as was most salable to the settlers, who 
came soon afterward, and the Indians." 

Almost immediately after the Wood 
brothers had located at Springfield (but 
not because of that fact) quite a number 
of settlers — all American born — came to 
the vicinity. Some selecte<l claims and 
erected log cabins, intending to become 
permanent settlers. Others, in the spec- 
ulative spirit of the times, selected claims 
and returned to their homes, intending 
to dispose of them later and thus realize 
on their visit to the frontier. It is im- 
possible to give the dates of arrival of 
those who came during the summer and 
fall of 1856, extending over a period of 
time from July to December, but much 

Miiii'li I'.alnur In Lakofleld Standard. Decem- 
ber 7, 1SSI5. 

""Thoy kept a very Rood assortment of goods 
for ,1 pioneer store, but a large part of It was 
intended for the Indian trade, as the Indians 
fished, trapped and hunted ali over the adja- 
cent coiHitry and of coin'se had mueh fur .and 
hides to sell at Ilsrures allowing the tiuder fabu- 
lous profits." — Jareb Palmer. 



of ;i historical nature concerning these pio- 
neers has been preserved, whicli makes 
the history of the early settlement of 
Jackson county interesting. The greater 
part of the settlers of this year came from 
Webster City, Iowa, and the vicinity, and 
tlie causes that led to their settling here, 
together with the story of their settle- 
ment and incidents of the early days, will 
now be recorded.' 

In tlie spring of 1850 a party of ex- 
plorers and honieseekers left the vicinity 
of Webster City in search of a desirable 
})lace to make a new settlement, most of 
the best claims in their vicinity having 
been taken. They proceeded northward and 
discovered Spirit and Okoboji lakes. On 
the banks of those lakes they staked 
claims and then returned for their fam- 
ilies and other adventirrous homeseekers 
whom they thought would accompany 
them on their return and assist in set- 
tling up the beautiful country they had 

Accompanied by others, as had been 
anticipated, these men returned, only to 
find that a party of men from Red Wing, 
Minnesota, had come during their ab- 
sence and "jumped" their claims, .^s 
the Red Wing party were armed and de- 
clared their intentions of figliting tor 
the claims if necessary, the Webster City 
people concluded to look elsewhere for 
homes. They had not long to search or 
far to go. They proceeded north and east 
and came upon the beautiful country of 
magnificent groves and rich prairie along 
tlie Des Moines river in Jaclvson county. 
Tliose wlio had families and some who did 
not staked claims and erected log cabins, 
the logs being cut from the woods along 
tlie river. Among the party were spee- 
ulatrirs, who did not intend to permanent- 
ly liicati' Imt who picked out the best 
claims thev could get and waited for some 

"Compiled largely from the writings of Jareb 

one to come along and buy their rights. 
ITsually, if they had a good claim, they 
did not have long to wait, for claim hunt- 
ers were plentiful. Before winter set in 
several of the claims had changed hands. 

Some of those who had come to the 
Springfield settlement, as it was called in 
honor of the Woods' townsite, returned to 
Weljster City in the fall, sold their claims, 
and induced a few others to locate in the 
new settlement. 

Among the first and most prominent of 
the settlers of 1856 was James B. Thom- 
as,^ who came from Webster City with 
jiiii family, consisting of a wife and six 
children, in August. Of all the settlers 
Mr. Thomas made the best preparation for 
winter. His claim was on the east side of 
the river, probably on the southeast quar- 
ter of section 25, Des Moines township, 
where he built a comfortable two-room log 
cabin with a fireplace in each room. He 
had a number of cattle and put up sufliic- 
ient hay to keep thcin through the win- 

John Dodson and Joseph Chiflin, bacli- 
eloj-s, were trappers who wBre also holding 
laud claims. They lived in a little cabin 
on Dodson's claim, a couple of miles 
northMe«t of Woods" store, probably on 
section 22. These men were pai'tners and 
kept a few goods for the Indian trade. 
Chifl'in's claim was on the east side of the 
river, northeast of the present day railroad 
bridge and on section 11. He built a 
cabin there, in which, during the first part 
of the winter, lived Robert Smith, an Eng- 
lishman, and his wife and John Hender- 
son, a Virginian, about whom the reader 
will learn more later in this chapter. Dur- 
ing the latter part of the winter they lived 
in the Wheeler cabin farther down the 
river. They took adjoining claims on the 
west side, above Woods' store, but did not 

"See biographical section for a sketch of the 
life of James B. Thomas. 



J. B. Skinner and wife located on the 
west side of Hit.' rivt-r, in the timber only 
a few rods from the river bank, proba- 
bly on section 3. Tliere ^Mr. Skinner 
erected a log cabin in wliicli he and his 
wife resided during- the early part of the 
winter, later moving down the river and 
moving into the Wheeler cabin. Farther 
up the river than Mr. Skinner, on the 
east side and probably on section 34, Bel- 
mont townshiiJ, wa.« the home of William 
Nelson, wath whom lived liis wife and one 
child. This family also spent the latter 
part of the winter in the Wheeler cabin, 
in the more thickly settled part of the 

William Clnircli and family early came 
to tiie settlement from Webster City, and 
he erected a cabin on the east side of the 
river, a few rods south of wlicre the ele- 
vators along the Milwaukee road bow 
stand. In this cabin lived Mr. and Mrs. 
Church, their one child, Mrs. Church's 
sister. Miss Drusilla Swanger, and a young 
Gennan, Henry Trets by name, who was 
employed by Mr. Church. Late in the fall 
Mr. Church went to Webster City to lay 
in supplies for the winter, but on account 
of the heavy snow he was uiialile to return 
and was absent all winter. 

-Vnother one of the early settlers was 
Joshua Stewart, who willi his family, con- 
sisting of a wife and three children, re- 
sided in a cabin about one-half mile 
north of the Thomas home, and there ho 
had his land claim. .\dam P. Shiegley, a 
trapper of French descent, came to the 
claim and lived in a cabin in a large 
grove in a ravine a short distance cast and 
south of the Thomas cabin. He showed 
his French proclivities by being quite 
friendly with the Indians. He was a wid- 
ower and brought to the settlement with 
him his boy of about two years of age. 
The child spent the greater part of the 
winter with the family of William Church 

and later was cared for by Mrs. Skinner. 

Among the other settlers who came to 
the Springfield settlement in 1856 were 
v.. B. N. Strong (sometimes referred to 
as Hr. Strong) and family, who had a 
claim and lived in a cabin in a large 
grove on the west side of the river on what 
is now the southeast quarter of section 
3G, Des Moines townshij). Here lived Mr. 
and Mrs. Strong, their one child, two or 
three years old, (during the winter a sec- 
ond child was born to them) and Miss 
Eliza Gardner, who had accompanied the 
family from the Okoboji settlement." 

Two other settlers of some promincn'^c 
in the community were David Carver an'' 
.Idhn Bradshaw, who were among the first 
to come from Webster City and build in 
the frontier settlement. Both these gen- 
tlemen erected cabins on the east side 
of the river, on section 19, Wisconsin 
township, north and east of Mr. Stewart's 
cabin, Jlr. Carver's being the farther 
noith. Messrs. Carver and Stewart com- 
menced building a dam across the Des 
Moines river (near the point where Major 
H. S. Bailey afterwards started a brick 
yard) but it was not completed. These 
;:i'iilli'incn expected to sell the improve- 
ments to ]v.irtics of means wlien they were 
lompleted. Both Carver and Bradshaw 
spent part of the winter in Webster City, 
hut retuincd on foot early in the spring. 
During their absemo their cabins were 

•"On one occasion, wlillo on a trip to Fort 
Dodge, father fell In with a Dr. Strong and 
prevailed upon him tn visit the l:il(<s with .a view 
to settlement; hut after stninilii); with lis a few 
days he derided to locate at Springlleld. His 
family consisteil of himself, wife and one child 
(two years old). His wife heiiiK in delicate 
health^ and he necessarily being away much 
of the time from home, she persuaded my sis- 
ter. Kliza. to whom she became attached, to 
accompany them. This was in the month of 
October, and owing to a heavy fall of snow on 
the first of December, followed by others In 
nniek succession, until the snow on the level 
was four or five feet and in the drifts sometimes 
nfteen or twenty, traveling impossible. 
Kliza was thus unable to return and so escaped 
the fate of the rest of the family." — Abble 
r.ardner-Sharp in HlstoiT of the Spirit Lake 



On Nuvoniber 27 Messrs. Jareb Pal- 
mer, Nathaniel Frost and Bartholomew 
McCarthy drove into the Springfield set- 
tlement from Webster City and became 
identified with the early history of the 
place, they being the last to arrive during 
the year 1856. As Mr. Palmer has writ- 
ten so entertainingly of this trip and of 
the events upon his arrival, I here give 
his account as it was published in the 
Jackson Republic of September 19, 1884: 

I was then residing' at Webster City but 
was not a member of the parties that left 
there in tlie spring and summer of 1856, 
though I was acquainted with some members 
of each party, but cannot pretend to give a 
complete list of their names. Late in the 
fall some of them returned to Webster City, 
and among tliem was Joseph Elliott, a young 
man who had taken a claim in Jackson coun- 
ty, then known as the Springfield settlement. 
As he wanted to sell his claim Nathaniel Frost 
and myself bought it and began making pre- 
parations for the long and lonesome journey 
to Springfield. Bartholomew McCarthy had 
also bought a claim of J. Griffith. 

We all three set out at the same time and 
journeyed together until the 27th day of No- 
vember, 18oti, we arrived at the house of 
James B. Thomas. . . . The next day we 
set about hunting up our claims. Mr. Frost's 
and mine was found to be the gi-ove next 
south of the large grove, being, I think, on 
section 1, Middletown. 

Mr. McCarthy found his up the river, being 
the grove where Ole E. Olson, of Bolmonl. 
now lives. But he found that a half-breed 
Indian by the name of Gaboo had built a 
shanty on it and was keeping an Indian trad- 
ing post there. He also claimed the grove. 
Mr. Frost accompanied Mr. McCarthy when 
he went to take possession of his claim. Ga- 
boo was unwilling to give up the claim, but 
hi, invited Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Frost to 
remain over night with him, which invitation 
they gladly accepted. 

Gaboo had a number of Indians camped out 
near his shanty, and in the evening they set 
up a great hubub of shouts and cries and 
lamentations and curses and imprecations. The 
two lonely white men began almost to feel 
their hair rise, and inquired of the half- 
breed what it all meant. They were informed 
tliat the Indians were mad because the white 
men were trying to get his claim away from 
him and that they were talking of killing 
them before morning. WHiether the whites 
were really alarmed or not I cannot say, but 
McCarthy finally compromised with Gaboo and 
entered into an agreement with him to pay 
lu'm a certain amount of money on his remov- 
ing from his claim, which he agreed to do in 

the spring. After the claim dispute was thus 
satisfactorily settled the Indians quieted down 
and the white men were glad to seek their 
repose. Whether their dreams were disturbed 
l!\ visions of tomahawks and scalping knives 
i have never learned. In the morning the 
half-breed told Mr. Frost of a claim up the 
river that had quite a good grove of timber 
on it; and so Frost and McCarthy hitched 
up their team and drove up to view it. Mr. 
Frost liked it and concluded to take it, giving 
up to me his half of the claim we had bought. 
His grove is the one near John Monson's, on 
section 6, Belmont township. 

Of these three arrivals Mr. McCarthy 
returned to hi.s home in Webster City ear- 
ly in December, with the intention of com- 
ing back in the spring and taking pos- 
session of his claim. Mr. Palmer built a 
small cabin on his claim on section 1, 
Middletown, but made liis home with Mr. 
Strong, working part of the winter for 
James B. Thomas and for the Wood broth- 
ers. Mr. Frost, who finally selected his 
claim up the river, did not build or live 
thereon during the winter but worked in 
the settlement further down the river. 

In addition to these white settlers there 
were in the settlement two Indian camps. 
One of these, already mentioned in Mr. 
Palmer's account, was located on the east 
.<ide of the river on what is now section 
22, Belmont. This camp consisted of 
til roe or four families gathered about the 
trading house of Josepli Coursalle, or Ga- 
1)00," as he was generally called, a well 
known half-breed Sioux who had come to 
the country from Traverse des Sioux. An- 
other camp of four families was located 
on the west side of the river a short dis- 
tance above Woods' store and directly east 
from Dodson's cabin. This camp was 
presided over by Smoky Moccasin, or Um- 
pashota," his Indian name, a medicine 
man with the authority of a sub-chief. The 
Indians of both these camps were an- 
nuity Sissetons and off-shoots from Sleepy 

"Return I. Holcombe, in Minnesota in Three 
Centuries, states that the name Gaboo, is a 
cnrruption of Godbout. 

"Hamp-pah-Shota is the spelling- given by 
Mr. Holoombe. 



Eye's band, whose headquarters were then 
at Swan lake. 

Besides the white settlers who liad be- 
come piTiuaiU'iit rosidents of the Spring- 
field comnnuiily and ^pent the winter in the 
new country, quite a number of others 
had been here during the summer and 
fall. Some of these came with the inten- 
tion of becoming permanent settlers, 
erected cabins, and then returned to their 
former homes to spend the winter. Others 
came for the purpose of staking claims 
to be disposed of later and liad no inten- 
tion of living in the country. 

William T. Wheeler, a lawyer from 
Jasper county, Iowa, was one who was 
in the settlement during the summer of 
185G. He came and selected a claim with 
the intention of laying out a townsite and 
built his claim cabin a little south and 
west of the present location of the Mil- 
waukee depot. This claim and cabin were 
afterwards purchased by Joseph Thomas. 
Mr. Wheeler remained only long enough 
to erect his cabin. As has been stated, the 
Wheeler cabin was occupied during the 
latter part of the winter by several of 
the settlers from up the river. 

Others who came but did not remain 
were Bartholomew McCarthy, already 
mentioned; Joseph Elliott, who sold his 
claim to Jareb Palmer and Nathaniel 
Frost; J. GrilTith,'= whose claim Mr. Mc- 
Carthy had l)ought; William Searles, who 
came from Iowa with his brother in-law 
William Nelson : and possibly a few others. 
A recapitulation .^hows us that there 
were the following named forty-two peo- 
ple residing in Jackson county during the 
fall and winter of 1856:" 

"Griffith was a professlonnl claim Iradei- and 
was ■lulto an advertising medium for the 
S|irlngtii-ld settlement. 

"It win lie remembered that of these Wil- 
liam Church was absent niarly all winter; 
Eliza Gardner was not a permanent resident, 
but was a visitor with the Strong famll.v: David 
Carver and John Bradshaw were absent the 
gi cater part of the winter. 

William Wood. 
George Wood. 
Charles Wood. 

James B. Thomas, wife and six child- 

John Dodson. 
Joseph Chiffin. 
Kobert Smith and wife. 
Jolin Henderson. 

J. B. Skinner and wife. 

William Nelson, wife and one child. 

William Church, wife and one child. 

Hrusilla Swanger. 

Henry Trets. 

Jdsliua Stewart, wife and three child- 

.\daiii l". Sliiegley and one child. 

K. 1>. X. Si long, wife and two child- 

Eliza Gardner. 

Jaiel) Palmer. 

Nathaniel Frost. 

David Carver. 

.Inhn Bradshaw. 

The settlement consisted of thirleen cab- 
ins, of which four or five were unoccupied 
the greater part of the lime. .\ll the cal)- 
ins were Imilt of logs, cut from tlie near- 
liv timber, and were covered with "shakes." 
lumlier being used only for doors. Some 
of the cabins had floors made of punch- 
eons, while others had earth floors. Most 
of them had at least one small window. 
All of the settlers were jwor so far as 
this world's goods are concerned. The 
Wood brothers and James B. Thomas were 
the most fortunate in the possession of 
property and were domiciled in the best 
cabins of the settlement. 

.Ml had come to the settlement too late 
in the season to raise a crop or even to 
plant gardens, and only one or two had 
so much as plowed a furrow of ground. 
A few. but not all. ha<l put uj) enough 
hay for the few head of stock they brought 
with them. In consequence of these con- 



ditions all kinds of provisions had to be 
hauled in from tiie nearest settlements, 
whicli were long distances away. These 
were mostly brougliL in from Webster 
City, Iowa, and from Mankato, Minnesota, 
where the mail for the settlers was also 
secured. In the early jjart of the winter 
flour sold for $8.00 to $10.00 per hun- 
dred weight, later went to $15.00 and in 
the spring was not to be had at any price. 
Potatoes were $3.00 per bushel, beef 15 
to 20 cents per pound and other staples 
in proportion. The last team aiTived 
from the outer world on November 2,1, 
and from that time until the last of 
Marcli the people of the Springfield set- 
tlement were isolated. 

The winter of 185G-57 was one of the 
most severe that was ever experienced in 
the northwest country and will always be 
remembered by those who were at the 
time living on the frontier, by reason of 
its bitter coldness, deep snows and violent 
storms. On the first day of December 
began a terrific blizzard wliich continued 
with unabated fury for three days and 
three nights. It left the level ground cov- 
ered with two feet of snow and all tlie 
hollows and ravines extending into the 
prairie were drifted full, in places to a 
depth of from twenty to thirty feet. The 
storms followed each other in quick suc- 
cession all winter and into the spring. The 
snow accumulated on the sides of the 
bluffs along the river until it would break 
off and fall in an avalanche to the bot- 
tom. It was absolutely impossible to get 
about with a team except on the ice on 
the river bed. The settlers were illy pre- 
pared for any winter, much less such a 
one as this, and there was much suffering 
during the long dreary season. 

It was during, and as a result of, this 
severe winter that the first death occurred 
in Jackson county. During the summer 
of 1856 a military mail route had been 

established between Mankato and Sioux 
City. This was a connecting link of a 
route extending from Fort Ridgely, in 
■Minnesota, to Fort Randall, in Dakota, 
and traversed a practically uninhabited 
country. The contract for carrying the 
mails over this part of the route was let 
to Marsh and Babcock, of Mankato, to 
whom were given, in addition to a money 
consideration, a half section of land every 
twenty miles along the route, upon which 
they were to build and maintain stations 
for the convenience of the carrier. There 
were no postoflices along the route. In the 
fall the contractors mapped out the route, 
selected their lands and built small cabins 
thereon, in which were stored hay for the 
carrier's pony and small supplies of pro- 
visions for the carrier. One of these sta- 
tions was built on the river on section 17, 
Belmont township; another was on Round 
lake, in the southwestern corner of Jack- 
son county. No one lived in these cabins 
and the carrier had to secure his fuel, 
make his fire and prepare his meals after 
having traveled, perliaps, thirty or forty 
miles through the winter storms. A man 
by the name of Hoxie Rathban was em- 
ployed as carrier, making the trip on a 
pony twice a month. 

Mr. Rathban met his death at the sta- 
tion in Belmont township on December 
26, 1856, after having been exposed to the 
teiTible storms since early December. He 
had Ijcen gone so long on the trip that the 
contractors feared tliere must be some- 
thing wrong, so they sent two men to look 
for the missing carrier. The story of the 
finding of this unfortunate man is told in 
the language of Mr. Jareb Palmer: 

Arriving at the mail station on the Des 
Moines river in this county on the SCith of 
December, they found the mail carrier there, 
but in a dying condition, being badly frozen, 
starving and unable to speak or move. He 
died a few minutes after he was found. He 
had evidently been there some time, but had 
not been able to build a fire, probably being 
loo badly frozen when he reached the cabin 



to have sufficient use of his bands to do so. 
lie liad lost liis pony, probably in some snow 
drift, but liad the mail sack all right, and in 
it was a letter postmarked at Sioux City on 
the 6th day of December. l''rora this circum- 
stance it was evident that he had been out 
twenty days before he was found. His suf- 
ferings during those dreary days must have 
been terrible indeed, without the company, 
assistance or solace of a single human being. 
He had a wife and family in ilankato who 
were left to mourn his terrible death. 

The men who found Kathban had come 
through with a horse and jumper. Tbey re- 
mained in the cabin over night and ne.xt 
morning commenced to retrace their lonesome 
;ind perilous journey, taking the frozen corpse 
with them. As it happened, William Wood 
and Nathaniel Frost had started to .Mankato 
the same day with ox teams to bring in sup- 
plies. The two parties met near Kln\ creek, 
about twelve miles northeast nf Springlield. 
They camped together for the night, and be- 
fore morning another terrible storm set in and 
they had to lay over all of the next day and 
night without a fire, the storm i)utting it 
out, but on the morning of the second day 
the storm had abated sulficiently for them to 
make their way back to Woods' store, and 
not till then did any of the settlers know of 
the death of the mail carrier. 

The party laid over at Woods' store until 
the 31st day of December, when thoy once 
more commenced their toilsome journey across 
the prairie and through the deeply drifted 
snow, taking the corpse with them. They 
were four days in reaching Mr. Slocum's, on 
the Watonwan, twenty-five miles this side of 
Mankato. his being the first house on the 
rouie. The weather was inti-nscly cold and 
the party suffered severely, some of them 
freezing their hands and feet. Mr. Frost was 
among the number that suffered from frost 
bites. Mr. Wood reached Mankalo and pro- 
cured his supplies, but was unable to haul 
them through the deep snow, even with ox 
teams. So he left Mr. Frost to care for the 
teams and returned alone and on foot to 

William Wood, who was a man of ex- 
traordinarv grit and ondurant-o, made two 
trips alone across tlie prairie to Manka- 
to durinfT this winter, in addition to the 
one mentioned. While on one of these 
journeys he was overtaken by a storm at 
Cellar lake which put out his fire and 
drifted him under, covering him with 
snow to a depth of two feet. In that con- 
dition he lay two days and two nights. 
The e.xperience was very painful as he 
was unable to turn over, but was compel- 

led to remain in one position until the 
.'iorm abated. Then with great dilfitulty 
ho dragged his benumbed and stilTened 
limbs from under the snow, made a fire, 
dried his clothes and blankets, prepared 
and ate a frugal meal, and hastened on his 
journey. It i.s such incidents as these that 
show what these pioneers of Jackson coun- 
ty endured. 

Another incident of the winter illus- 
trates the terrible conditions of the set- 
tlers about Springfield and brought forth 
an act of heroism by a self-styled doctor, 
who performed several successful amputa- 
tions with improvised instruments. 

About the first of February Robert 
Smitii and John Henderson, wiio, it will 
lie remembered, were living in the Chiffin 
caliin some distance up the river from the 
]Hinfipal .settlement, ran short of hay, 
and ratlier than see their stock perish for 
want of food, decided to drive them to n 
settlement on the Watonwan river near 
Mankato. Preparing themselves as well 
as they could, they started out on foot one 
bright sunny morning, carrying tiic 
necessary provisions and a few blankets, 
driving the cattle ahead of them. Their 
progress was slow and they did not make 
more than ten miles when night came up- 
on them. The cattle were somewhat weak 
and were unable to wallow through the 
deeps drifts, so Suiith and Henderson 
often had to go ahead and break a path 
for them. 

At night the men made camp on the 
bleak prairie and were without shelter and 
fire. To their dismay there came up one 
of those ever dreaded blizzards — the ter- 
ror of the jirairie. So violent had the 
storm become by daybreak that they aban- 
doned their cattle, nearly all of which per- 
ished, and sought to save themselves. They 
endeavored to find their way bark to the 
settlement, but owing to the blinding snow 
they could not tell in which way to pro- 



feed. They became completely lost and 
wandered about the prairie all that day 
and all the following night. They at- 
tempted to secure shelter by digging into 
the drifts of snow witli their hands. Re- 
alizing that tlieir only liope lay in trav- 
eling until the fury of tlic storm abated, 
tliey kept on, "going by gness" most of 
.the time. 

On the morning of the third day from 
the time they had left home the weather 
cleared and the unfortunate Smith and 
Henderson were able to discern the tim- 
ber on the Des Moines river. This gave 
them new hope and they struggled on until, 
about two o'clock in the afternoon, they 
arrived at the Wheeler cabin, badly froz- 
en and completely worn out. Fortunately 
Mr. J. B. Skinner, whose home was up 
the river, had just moved down to the 
Wheeler cabin and was on hand to ren- 
der what assistance he could to the poor 
men. Everything was done that kindlieart- 
ed neighbors could do. It was found that 
one of Mr. Smith's feet was badly frozen, 
as well as both of Jlr. Henderson's, whose 
hands were also badly frozen. 

There was no regular physician in the 
settlement and it was out of the question 
to attempt to send for one. Both Mr. 
Skinner and Mr. Strong bore the title of 
"doctor," though neither had practiced 
the profession. The latter cared for the 
unfortunate men as best he could for 
about tliree weeks, when it became appar- 
ent that if the men's lives were to be saved 
amputation of the limbs must be made 
at once. Mr. Strong had only a rudi- 
mentary knowledge of surgery, but he did 
not hesitate to take tlie only course which 
offered a possibility of saving life. Con- 
cerning the operation Mr. Jareb Palmer 
lias written : 

Dr. Stronj; had a large medical work and 
a few common drngs but no surgical instru- 
ments. However, he seemed equal to the oc- 
casion and never seemed to doubt his ability 

tij perform the necessary operations and set 
about preparing the instruments. He was a 
waj^onmaker by trade and had a chest of 
tools, and out of these he manufactured some 
instruments which he thought would answer 
the purpose. The back was taken off a car- 
penter's bucksaw, knives and nippers were 
made, thread prepared for tying arteries, etc. 
He talked freely of the ways and wherefores 
of the different steps in the operation. 

Finally, everything being in readiness, on 
the night before he was to undertake the 
operations, he administered to each patient a 
large dose of laudunum, as he said, to deaden 
the nerves and alleviate the pain. Everything 
being in readiness, we repaired to the house 
where the patients were staying and proceed- 
ed to undertake the unpleasant, painful and 
dangerous operations. The doctor had called 
to his assistance Mr. Stewart and Mr. Nelson. 
1 also assisted by holding the torniquet. It 
was about the most unpleasant experience of 
ni_v life. However, what must be done had 
to be done. With our assistance the doctor 
amputated Mr. Smith's leg below the knee, 
also one of Mr. Henderson's, but concluded 
the latter could not endure anotlier without 
a season of rest, so he postponed the further 
operations till the ne.xt day, at which time 
Henderson's other foot was amputated. Hen- 
derson's hands were so badly frozen that he 
lost about one-half his fingers. We hardly ex- 
pected he could survive the double operation, 
but he did, owing probably to youth and a 
strong constitution. From the time of the 
operation both men seemed to get along as 
well as could be expected and they ultimately 
recovered. Henderson becoming a minister of 
the gospel and Smith a baker in a hotel at 
Fort Dodge. Iowa. 

It was here in the month of February, 
18.57, on the banks of tlic Des Moines and 
in tlie midst of these primeval solitudes 
and such unpropitious surroundings that 
tlic first white cliild was born in Jackson 
county. The cliihl was Grace Strong and 
was born to Dr. aii.l :\rrs. E. B. N. 

Of the residents of the Springfield set- 
tlement oidy William Wood and Adam 
Sbiegley liad any extensive knowledge of 
tl:e Indians and their ways; the others 
•were igiiorant of Indian customs. None 
of tlie settlers had the least fear of the 
Indians camped near the whites or of 
lliose small bands whicli occasionally pas- 

"GracG Strong became a temperance worker 
of national prominence and was the author of 
"The Worst Foe." a novel of more than ordi- 
nary merit. She died at Atlanta, Georgia, in 



seel tlirougli." One siicli band passing 
tlirougli liming the winter was led by that 
noted cliief Sleepy Eye, who with a few 
warriors of his band took dinner at the 
home of Dr. Strong. None of these par- 
ties had ponies with them as the snow was 
too deep for them to travel. Whenever 
these roving bands stopped at the settle- 
ment the whites invited the red visitors to 
share their shelter and food and invaria- 
i)ly trnitod them with kindness. Xor did 
the Indians appear in worse than their 
normal mood. 

Iiikpaduta and lii.s outlaw band ]>a<si'd 
tlirough the scttlenient on their way south 
during the fall niid caiii])ed on the river 
bottom near the site of the lower bridge 
in Jackson. The members of the band 
visited from house to house and were 
everywhere received kindly by the settlers, 

'•■"The few settlers trusted the friendship of 
the Sioux implleitly. ;is they [the Sioux] at 
that time boasted that they had never shed 
white man's hlood. During the whole winter I 
never heard a slnsle expression of fear or doubt 
of their friendship." — Jareb Palmer. 

who shared with them their scanty fare, 
which had previously been transixirted 
over many weary miles of trackless prai- 
rie. The chief and his warriors were ac- 
quainted with the Wood brothers and dur- 
ing their stay they bought some goodE 
at the store, promising to make payment 
in the spring. 

The story of the Springfield settlement 
has been brought up to the month of 
March, 1857, at which time the little 
community was still snowliound, but ho))- 
ing and expecting that spring would soon 
ajipcar so that the work of farming and 
iiiipniving their claims might begin. Let 
us now interrupt tlie story of events at 
Springfield long enough to consider events 
that were taking place in other parts of 
the country — events which were to jjrove 
nf l('iril)le importance to our little band 
of frontiersmen, but of which they were at 
the time ignorant. 



*STOn, LE»»OX »»• 



T(i rJiOl'EKLY unclen^taiul the 
conditions that preceded, and the 
causes that led up to, the outbreak 
of Inkpaduta's little outlaw band of Sioux 
Indians, culminating in the massacres at 
the Okoboji lakes and at the Springfield 
settlement in March, 18.57, it is necessary 
to go back to a very early day for some 
of our information. WliiK' the Indians 
Y\ho participated in the massacres were 
Sioux, they were members of an outlaw 
band of that nation, and the outrages of 
1857 cannot properly be charged to the 
Sioux nation. 

Except for a brief time during the 
war of 1812 the Sioux of Minnesota had 
been faithful in their friendship toward 
the whites from the time of the treaty 
made with Lieutenant Pike in 1805. This 
was true with only a few individual excep- 
tions,^ which can not be charged to the 
nation as a whole or to any individual 
tribe. Although all of the recognized 
Sioux tribes were on friendly terms with 
the whites until the great outbreak of 
18G2, in the thirties there separated from 
the other tribes a lawless band which were 
enemies to all otlier Indians and in time 
came to be troublesome to the whites. This 

^The Sis.seton Sioux murdered two drovers 
near Big Stone lake in 1846: the same tribe 
l<illed Elijah S. Terry near Pembina in 1852; a 
drunken Indian killed a Mrs. Keener near 
Shakopee in 1852. 

was the beginning of the band which con- 
ducted the horrible butcheries at Okoboji 
lakes and at Springfield. The story of the 
origin of this band and its early history is 

During the thirties the greater part of 
the Wahpakoota branch of the Sioux lived 
in the Cannon river country, and its head 
chief was Tah-sah-ghee, or His Cane. Un- 
der him was a sub-chief named Black 
Eagle, who frequently had a small village 
in the Blue Earth country-. Black Eagle's 
band was composed largely of desperate 
characters who frequently made incursions 
against the Sacs and Foxes in Iowa. The 
latter retaliated by raiding not only Black 
Eagle's village on tlie Blue Earth, but al- 
so the main body of the Wahpakootas un- 
der Tali-sali-ghee in tlic Cannon river 

About 1839 Tah-sah-ghce was murdered 
1)y some members of his own band. It 
was commonly believed that the murder 
was done l)y Inkpaduta ;- at any rate that 
warrior was an accomplice. The killing 
of their chief caused great consternation 
and indignation among the Wahpakootas, 
and Inkpaduta and his accomplices were 
forced to floe. Thev went to the Blue 

inkpaduta. also spelled Inkpadoota. has been 
variously translated to mean Scarlet End. Red 
End and Scarlet Point. He was born on the 
Cannon river about 1800. Mrs. Abbie Gardner- 




Earth country, where Black Eagle and 
his little baud were then located, and took 
temporary refuge tiiere. The murderers 
were soon chased out, liowever, by the 
Cannon river Wahpakootas, who vowed 
vengeance. The coming of Inkpaduta and 
his fellow murderers broke \ip the band 
of Black Eagle and tliat chief with some 
of his warriors fled witli Inkpaduta to the 
northern Iowa country. 

The band was now outlawed and all In- 
dian tribes were its enemies. Black Eagle 
became chief and led his band to many 
adventures and over a large territory, they 
seldom comingling with other tribes. 
From time to time additions were made to 
the band by the arrival of some desperate 
character from one of the several Sioux 
tribes, who fled his own country by reason 
of some crime committed, and fought n f- 
nge with the outlaw.-. Among those who 
so joined the band nt an early date was 
Si-dom-i-na-do-ta,' or All Over Red, who 
fled from Sleepy Eye's band of Sisseton 
Sioux. Black Eagle was murdered after 
he had been chief only a short time and 
was succeeded by Si-dom-i-na-do-ta, the 
second in command being Inkpaduta. 

Wlien the outlaw crew began its career 
it is said to have consisted of only five 
lodges. The band gradually gained 
strength by the acquisition of disorderly 
and turbulent characters until at one 
time it is said to have numbered above 

Sharp, who wns taken prisoner by him. says 
hi her History of the Spirit Ijike Massacre: 

"As I remember Inkpaciuta, he was probably 
fifty or sixty years of age. about six feet in 
height, and strongly built He was deeply pit- 
ted by .smallpox, giving him a revolting up- 
penranoe .and distinguishing him from the rest 
of the hand. His family consisted of himself 
and squaw, four sons and one daughter. ITls 
naturai enmity to the white man. his desparate- 
ly bold and revengeful disposition, his hatred 
of his enemies, even of his ow*n race, his match- 
less success on the war path, won for him 
honor from his own people, distinguished him 
as n hero, and made liim a leader of his race. 
By the whites— especinllv those who have es- 
caped the scenes of his brutal carnage, to 
wear, within, the garh of deepest mourning, 
from the severing of social, parental and filial 
ties — Inkpaduta will ever be remembered as a 
savage monster in human shape, fitted only for 
the darkest corner of Hades." 

'Also spelled Sinommlnee Doola. 

five liundred and to have had eighty lodg- 
es. They were almost constantly at war 
with neighboring bands, notably with the 
Pottawattoniies, the Sax and the Foxes, 
and had several bloody battles with these 
tribes.'' This constant warfare greatly re- 
duced the renegade band, and when white 
settlers began to gatiicr in their territory 
tiiey had not tiie of former years. 
Later wars with tlif Winnebagoes reduced 
llicir figliting force still more. 

Of all the Sioux bands this was the 
only one that made trouble for early day 
white settlers, and they were uniformly 
hostile to all with whom they came in 
contact, fear of punishment being the 
only restraint upon their lawlessness.' The 
first instance of its hostility to the whites 
was in -184G, when the band broke np, 
plundered and drove away a party of gov- 
ernment surveyors. Two years later an at- 
tack was made on another party of sur- 
vej-ors under ^Ir. ^larsb. who was run- 
ning a correction line tlic state of 

*Kulton's Red Men of low.a tells of some of 
these battles: 

"Befoi^ the removal of the Pottawattomles 
and the Sax and Fox Indians this liand had 
several bloody battles with these tribes. The 
most noted of which, and that which proved 
most disastrous to the Sioux, took place near 
the headwaters of Raccoon river. The Sioux 
had waylaid and massacred "a party of Dela- 
wares who were on their way to visit their 
friends, the Sacs and Foxes, who were then 
holding a great dance and festival near tin- 
site of the present city of Des Moines. Only 
one Uel.Tware escaped. He hastened to the 
camp of his friends. An avenging party led by 
that noted chief. Pash-epa-ha. then eighty 
years old. was soon on the war path. After a 
Journey of a lumdred miles they overtook the 
Sioux and slew. It Is said, three hundred of 
them with a loss of only eight of their own 

"The Knnd also had several battles with the 
Pottawattomles. diU' of these took place at 
Twin takes, about fifty miles west of Fort 
I->odge. :ind another tin the Srtuth l.iziird. In 
what is now Wibsler county. The last battle 
between IiidiaTi tribes known to have taken 
place on Iowa soil was fought In 1852 between 
a part of this band and a band of Musquakies. 
The battle field Is not far from the present 
town of Algona. There the Sloux were again 

»" . . . ft small band of savages, rene- 
gades and outlaws from the Sioux, owing neith- 
er alleglence nor obedience to any chief or 
band, or other authority, white or red. They 
were IshmaelHcs whose hands were against all 
other men. anil who were particularly hated by 
their own kindred and nation." — Minnesota In 
Three Centuries. 



The surveyors of this party had just 
crossed tn the west side of the Des Moines 
a little below the present site of Fort 
Dodge when they were met by Si-dom-i- 
na-do-ta and a portion of his lawless band. 
The Indians forbade tlic surveyors to pro- 
ceed and ordered them back to the east 
side of the river, declaring that the land 
on the west side belonged to them. After 
making this declaration the Indians left 
while the whites conlinued with the work. 
They had gone but a short distance when 
the red men returned and broke the in- 
struments and wagons and robbed the sur- 
veyors of their horses and provisions. 
Marsh and his men then made the best of 
their way home. 

After this the few settlers along the 
Des Moines river were made the victims of 
repeated robberies and outrages. Such 
conduct on the part of Si-dom-i-na-do-ta 
led the government to establish the post 
at Foit Dodge, which was done in 18.50. 
For a time peace resulted along the Des 
^loines, but farther west, on the Eaccoon 
and Boyer rivers, the savages continued 
their old game. In October, 1852, they 
attacked and robbed a family on Boyer 
liver and took a young man and young 
woman prisoners. A detachment of troops 
from Fort Dodge overtook a portion of the 
perpetrators of this outrage and made 
prisoners of Inkpaduta and Umpa.shota, 
whom they held as hostages until the cap- 
tives and stolen property were returned. 
At another time two or three white pris- 
oners were taken l)y the renegades, but 
wei'o forced by the troops to release them. 

In July, 1853, Fort Dodge was aban- 
doned as a military post, the troops going 
north and establishing Fort Eidgely in 
what is now the extreme northwest corner 
of Nicollet county. Minnesota, on the 
Minnesota river above New Ulm. Si-dom- 
i-na-do-ta and his band were not slow to 
take advantage of tlie absence of the sol- 

diers and they became very troublesome 
to the settlers along the Des Moines, both 
above and below Fort Dodge. Eetribution 
overtook the red handed leader of this 
gang of outlaws in 1854. An e.x'cellent 
account of his taking off and the tragic 
events which preceded it has been given 
by ^Tr. Jareli Palmer:" 

There were also wicked and dissolute white 
men who lived otf the appetites and baser 
passions of the savages. Among these was a 
man by the name of Henry Lott, who in the 
fall of 1840 was living ami conducting a small 
trading station on the Des Moines river a 
short distance below the mouth of Boone 
river, about twenty-five miles south of where 
Fort Dodge now is, and I suppose his principal 
stock in trade was "firewater" or whiskey. 

Late in the fall of this year a party of 
Winnebagoes came to his. place with a span 
of Indian ponies which they wanted to sell, 
and they finally made a trade with, who 
got the ponies, presumably, for what is usual- 
ly termed a song. Lett's family at this time 
consisted of his wife, a stepson, about eigh- 
teen years old, an own son, thirteen years old, 
and probably two or three small children. Af- 
ter the Winnebagoes had gone Lott took the 
span of ponies and started for Fort Des 
]\Ioines to get supplies for liis family and for 
trade with the Lidians. A few days after he 
went a party of Sioux under Si-dom-i-na-do-ta 
came there and demanded tlie ponies, saying 
the Winnebagoes had stolen them, and when 
told that the ponies were not there they re- 
fused to believe it and ordered the oldest boy 
to go out and get tl:em. The boy left and 
immediately started down the river in the 
hope of meeting his stepfather. After wait- 
ing an hour or two and the boy not retuin- 
ir.g, the Indians oi'dered tlie younger boy to 
go and get the ponies, and lie, like his brother, 
started down the river to meet his father. 

By this time it was nearly night, and dark- 
ness soon setting in and a blinding snow 
storm coming on, the boy became confused 
and perished by freezing to death. The older 
boy succeeded in reaching his father and they 
scon reached home and found the younger boy 
gone. They, in company with some neigh- 
bors, immediately started a search and soon 
found the lifeless body stark and cold in 
death. Lott seems to have taken the loss of 
liis son very deeply to heart, and although 
there is no evidence of his seeking immediate 
revenge, he seems to liave brooded over it and 
awaited a favorable opportunity to do so. 

In the meantime [in IS.5.3] the soldiers had 
been removed from Fort Dodge to Fort Ridge- 
ly, and Lott himself, soon after that event, 
moved from the mouth of Boone river to 
near the mouth of Lott's creek, on the east 

''Compiled from Fulton's Red Men of Iowa and 
from personal interviews. 



liiancli of tlie Ues Moines river (in Humboldt 
loiinty, Iowa), where lie wiis liviiif; in the 
winter and early spring of 1854. His wife 
had died prcvions to the time and the sniiill 
ehildren were given in cliarge of his old nc-ifjh- 
hors, only his stepson. Jiow a young man, ac- 
companying liin\ to his new liomc. He was 
still intent on trading with the Indians, tak- 
ing with him a small stock of goods and two 
or three barrels of whiskey. I'poii his arrival 
he learned that there was a family of In- 
dians encamped a few miles above him on 
the river and conceived the idea of murdering 
the whole family in revenge for the Indians 
having unintentionally caused the death of 
his son. 

So, taking his stepson, he proceeded (o the 
Indian camp, which was occupied by Si-dom-i- 
i:a-do-la and wife, mother and si.v children. 
(In reaching the camp he told Si-dom-i-nado- 
ta lliat there was a drove of elk feeding only 
a short distance away. The unsuspecting 
Indian took his ritle. mounted a pony, and fid- 
lowed the white men up on to a prairie, where, 
sure enough, there was seen a herd of elk 
not far away. The Indian rode gladly away, 
anticipating a rare treat in killing a fine 
dk and thus replenishing his larder. He had 
gone but a few rods when botli men raised 
their guns and tired, killing the Indian instant- 
ly. They then returned to the cam)) and 
proceeded to murder the whole family, as 
they supposed, with the exception of one 
girl, some seven or eight years old, who sli])- 
])ed out under the walls of the tepee and 
made her escape. She hid in the bushes not 
far away until Lott and his son had com- 
pleted their bloody work and left; then she 
returned to the tepee and found her relatives 
all murdered. However, in looking them over, 
she discovered signs of life in her oldest 
brother, and, bringing sonu' water, she threw 
it in his face and brouglil him to. He had 
been knocked in the head with an ax or 
hatchet, hut was not seriously injured. The 
boy and girl remained two or three days at 
the tepee in the hope that some of their 
friends would come and find them, but none 
coming, they struck out for a family of white 
people wliom they knew lived on the west 
fork of the Dcs Moines, some fifteen miles 
distant. They reached this place in safety 
and tohl (heir terrible story. It was not long 
until the Indians became aware of the mur- 
ders and they demanded that the whites de- 
liver Lott and his son over to them, to be 
dealt with according to the Indian idea i>f rel- 

The settlers for thirty miles or more around 
cngageil in a hunt for T.olt and his son, luit 
they were nnalde to find them, for Lott well 
knew what would be his fate if he fell into 
the hands of the enraged red men. So, im- 
mediately after committing his atrocious deed, 
he hitched up his team and started for Fort 
Des Moines. There he joined a party of ilor- 
mons who were about to start across the 
plains for Salt Lake, and as he bad several 

days start before the murders became known 
he had no ditlicully in making his escape. 

f afterward learned from reliable authority 
that Lott finally reached Oregon, at that time 
a very sparsely settled territory, inhabited by 
several tribes of Indians who waged almcst 
incessant warfare against the white settlers. 
There he joined a band of Indians and fought 
llie whites with his red brethren. After one 
of the many lights the whites had with the 
Indians, in the spring of 18.">7. in whieh llie lat- 
ter were defeated, there was found left among 
the dead the body of Lott, it being recognized 
by a .vonng man who iiad known him while 
he lived on the Dcs Moines. The manner of 
his taking off seemed to be the execution of 
a not unriglitcous judgment. 

.\ftcr tlio iminlec of Si-dom-i-jiii-do-ta 
in 1854 Inkparliita became tlie recognizetl 
Iciulor of the outlaw Siou.x' and oontinucd 
ii])or:ition-: in .sontlnvc^tcni ilinne.sota and 
!ioitli\vo<torn Tona, and was very annoj'- 
in;r lo the settlers on the frontier. 

In July, 1854, there wa.* a l)i<j scare 
among the settlers of the whole of northern 

'There is a conflict of anthnrlt.v in regard to 
tlicse outlaws and esneclally In rcKard to tlieir 
leaders. Si-dom-1-na-do-ta and Inkpadiita. Iowa 
authorities convoy the iniprcssion that tliero was 
at all times only one band, of which Si-dom-1- 
na-do-ta was the leader, with Inkpnduta a.s 
second in command, and that the latter as- 
sumed the chieftanship upon the death of the 
former. Minnesota authorities state that after 
tlie removal of the Sacs and Foxes from Iowa 
ill ISJG there were two hands, one operatlnB in 
Iowa under Sl-dnm-i-na-do-ta. while a few- 
others remaiiK'd nn the upper Des Moines un- 
der the leadership of Iiikpadiita. Mr. lloicoinbo. 
in Minnesota in Three reiitiirie.<». very clearly 
explains the r.lilionshiii between the two no- 
torious outlaw leaders, and calls attention to 
errors made by Iowa historians: 

■'Now. certain misinformed people have been 
led lo bi-lieve that the Siilrit I akc and Sprlng- 
fleld murders were perpetrated by the Indians 
in rclallntion for the murder of Sintomminee 
Dciota fSi-dom-i-ua-do-ta] and his family hy 
llenry and his son. It Is asserted by some 
Iowa historians (Ma.ior Williams, before m*'n- 
lloiied. seems to have started the story) that 
Sintomminee Poota .nnd Inkpadiita were broth- 
ers, and that the latter when be sh-w the pco- 
l>le at Siilrll lake and riit off thiir heads, dash- 
ed out the brains of the Illtb- ones against 
trees and houses and ra\ished the women and 
Kirls of the Iowa settlement, was merely tak- 
ing \'eiijireance for the loss of his brother. 

"The truth Is. Inkpadiita was a Wahpakoot.a 
Sioux, his family were all memlH'rs of that band, 
from sraitheastern Minnesota, while All Over 
Red fSi-doni-l-iia-do-tal was a SIsselon. from 
the uiiper Minnesota. It Is doubtful whether 
Inkpadiita ever heard the parlleulars of ,\II 
Over Reds murder: it is certain that he would 
not have been concerned If he had. With him 
it was every man for himself, he never bad a 
si'iitlment so noble and dijinilied as that of 
revenpc. and would not turn on bis heel to re- 
taliate for the slauchter of his nearest friend. 
Of all the base characters amonp his fellow out- 
laws, his nature seems to have been the vilest, 
and his heart the blackest. ITe murdered his 
own people — even those of his own band. He 
killed one of his companions to have his wife 
In safety." 



Iowa, the trouble originating at Clear 
lake, where a party of three or four Win- 
nebagoes met a young Sioux alone and kil- 
led him. The murderers sought protection 
at the homes of two white settler.? at 
Clear lake, Messrs. Hewitt and Dickerson. 
who had settled there in 1851. These set- 
tlers were friendly to the Winnebagoes 
and assisted in getting them to a plaee 
of safety. The Sioux under Inkpa- 
duta were in an ugly mood over the occur- 
rence, searched the house of one of the 
\\hite settlers, and tlireatened vengeance. 
The whites became alarmed and gathered 
at the home of Mr. Dickerson. It was 
decided to form a company and drive the 
Sioux from the neighborhood. According- 
ly twenty-five whites, under the leader- 
ship of a man by the name of Long, pro- 
ceeded to the Sioux camp and demanded 
that the Sioux leave the vicinity at once, 
whicli the Indians reluctantly agreed tn 
do and did. 

After having been so summarily driven 
from the Clear lake country, Inkpaduta 
and liis band returned to his old hunting 
grounds on the upper Des Moines and 
about the lakes in Dickinson county, Iowa. 
They continued to annoy the few set- 
tlers along the Des Moines and its tribu- 
taries during the summer of 1855. During 
the year 1856 they were comparatively 
peaceful, and no fear seems to have been 
felt by the whites of the older settled por- 
tions of the country or by those who push- 
ed farther out on the frontier — among 
tliem those who came to the Springfield 

Now, having told of the origin and hav- 
ing given a brief history of 'this outlaw- 
band from the time of its organization, 
let us take a look at it as it was when the 
settlement at Springfield was founded in 
1856 and then consider some events that 
led to tlie terrible massacres in the spring 
of 1857. In 1855 Inkpaduta and his war- 

riors appeared at the Sioux agency and re- 
ceived annuities for eleven persons, al- 
though they were not identified with any 
regular band or a party to any treaty. They 
appeared again in 1856 and demanded a 
share of the money to he paid to the Wah- 
pakoota tribe. This time they wore re- 
fu.«ed and made a groat deal of trouble, 
but were forced to return to their haunts 
on the Bix Sioux river.* At the time of 
the massacre the band consisted of about 
a dozen warriors and their women and 

After having sjient tlie summer of 185G 
in the Big Sioux country, Inkpaduta and 
bis band set out on a trip to their Old 
luinting grounds and, as has been previ- 
ously stated, appeared at the Springfield 
settlement in the fall. From their camp 
at Springfield they proceeded to the lakes 
in Dickinson county, where they fished 
and hunted and visited the homes of the 
whites settlers, as they had done at 
Springfield, partaking of the whites' 
liospitality and thus gaining accurate 
knowledge of the number in each house, 
and making themselves familiar with the 
conditions and surroundings. From this 
settlement they proceeded to the Little 
Sioux river, camping a few days at each 
of the large groves. 

The Indians spent several days in the 
vicinity of the home of the Wilcox broth- 
ers, bachelors, who lived on tlie Little 
Sioux, and then went down tlic river to 
vvhat was known as the Bell and Weaver 
cabin, situated near the present location 
of Sioux Eapids, and occupied by Mr. 
Weaver and his wife and his brother-in- 
law, Mr. Bell. From that point they con- 
tinued down the river, stopping at each 
settlement a few days to hunt and trap 
and enjoy the hospitalities of the whites. 
They passed the settlements at Peterson 
and Cherokee and the few settlers between 

'Paper read by Judge Charles E. Flandreau 
before the Minnesota Historical Society. 



Iliem until thej- finally reached the town 
of Sniithlancl, which was located on the 
hank of the Little Sioux, just above where 
it merges fnnu the hluli's ;iiiil l\n\\s out 
into the wide Missouri bottom. .SmithlMiid 
was then a little town of alK)ut a do7.(>n 
buildings. It wa-; an older setlleiuciit 
than tliose the Indians had before visited 
and the whites tiicre knew, or at least had 
heard, something of the doings of this 
l)and in former years, so they did not e.\- 
teud hospitality, as had been done by the 
newer settlements. 

Ink|iaduta and liis outlaws camped 
near the own and i(uinneneed begging 
and stealing food for themselves and their 
ponies, much to the annoj'ance of the peo- 
ple of Smithland. Fort the first time on 
the trip the Indians were not received 
kindly and for the first time they became 
insolent. A number of incidents occurred 
which aroused the wrath of the whites 
and caused the Indians to become more 
sullen and disagreeable." Relations be- 
tween the white and red men had reached 
this stage when the settlere decided to 
order the Indians to leave. 

Four or five determined men armed 
themselves and proceeded to within a few 
rods of the Indian camp, when to their 
surprise they found Inkpaduta and his 
warriors armed and prepared to fight. 
They ordered the settlers not to approach 
and when the order was not heeded the 
Indians fired their sruns over the heads of 
the whites, who then returned to town. 
The subject of the actions of the Indians 
was discussed and the settlers concluded 

•One morning Mr, Smith, the founder of the 
town, einisht iin Tiullan steqlinp corn from his 
crih nnci nave the redskin n somid cufTinK. The 
Indians alleBeil that .tI another time while thev 
were In pursuit of ell< they had some dlfflcult.v 
with Ihf settlors. clalmlnK that the whites in- 
terrupted the ehase. It is .said that nn Indian 
was bitten by a dog belonKlng to one of thi' 
settlers, that the Indian killed the d"K. and 
that the owner of the dog then gave the Indian 
a severe lieallnK and took his gun from him. 
Another time. It is said, the settlers drove oft 
a party of squaws who were stealing hav and 

that they did not care to feed so many 
Indians when it was difficult to get 
enough food for their own families, and 
that notice should be given that they must 
leave.. Accordingly all the men gathered 
together and went to the Indian camp and 
disarmed the band, telling them they 
must leave the next morning, and that 
they might call for their <nms then. The 
Indians did not call for their weapons, 
but left without them. 

The Indians, who claimed that they 
were on their way to \-isit their friends, 
the Oniahas, who at that time lived just 
across the Missouri river, now changed 
their plans entirely and returned over the 
route by which they had come. Their 
fracas with the ]ieople of Smithland had 
put thoni in an ugly temper and they at 
once began depredations upon the e.xposed 
and scattered settlements, although thev 
did not shed human blood until thev were 
on the extreme frontier. 

At the house they came to after 
leaving Smithland, the occupants being 
ignorant of the troubles at the latter place, 
the Indians seized the guns of the inmates. 
They then rasacked the cabin, taking all 
the money they could find and what trink- 
ets pleased their fancy. Inkpaduta and 
his warriors and squaws continued in a 
iKU-lbeastcrly direction toward Cherokee. 
Iiel]iiiig thcmselve.s (o provisions and in 
some places killing cattle tn supply them- 
selves with meat. .Vs the settlers along 
this route were from fen to twenty miles 
apart, and as the snow was of enormous 
deiith, ])reventing trav(>l. one settler did 
not know what was happening to his 
neighbor, .so each in turn fell easy prey 
;o the vagalinnd': and none offered resis- 

Some fifty miles above Smithland was 
a little settlement of about a dozen houses, 
founded by a colony of adventurous men 
from Massachusetts and named Cherokee. 



The people of this village had, in some 
maimer, learned of the outrages commit- 
ted below and had hidden their guns, 
provisions and such valuables as the In- 
dians would be likely to take.'" This ac- 
tion caused the Indians to become very 
angry and they threatened to take the 
lives of the settlers unless the hidden 
property was produced. Only by a nar- 
row margin was a massacre averted. The 
whites were generally firm and the In- 
dians got but little from the settlement. 
They had the satisfaction, however, of 
killing most of the stock before leaving. 
At one cabin in Cherokee three bachel- 
ors who lived there did not hide their 
gTins, nor did they propose to give them 
up. This action resulted in threats to 
shoot by both parties and bloodshed was 
narrowly averted. When the whites re- 
fused to give up their weapons the Indians 
cocked their guns and pointed them at the 
men, sticking the muzzles almost in their 
faces. The whites acted instantly and 
brouglit their weapons to bear upon the 
reds in the same way. For a time it looked 
as though some one would surely get hurt, 
but neither party iired and finally the In- 
dians lowered their weapons. Before they 
left they succeeded in getting hold of one 
of the men, dragged him frorh the cabin, 
wrenched his gun away from him, and beat 
and kicked him severely, breaking several 
of his ribs. His companions finally got 
him inside the cabin and fastened the 
door. This so enraged the Indians that 
they fired several shots through the door, 
but none of the occupants was hit. The 
whites did not return the fire. 

""At this place the whites had heard some- 
thing of the trouble before the arrival of Ink- 
padula and his band, and, I presume, had they 
gathered together in one of the log houses, 
they might easily have defended themselves 
against this small band, but they were in the 
midst of an Indian country, and should they 
fire upon and kill any of the redskins, it was 
supposed that it would precipitate the whole 
Sioux nation upon themselves and other de- 
fenseless settlers. I might here remark that 
. the same idea and feeling prevailed among 
nearl.v all the people on the frontier at that 
time." — Jareb Palmer. 

As the savages proceeded up the Little 
Sioux they became still bolder and more 
insolent, stealing all the horses from the 
settlers, destroying all the property that 
was too bulky for them to take with 
them, and in several instances ravishing 
white women. From Cherokee they pro- 
ceeded to Peterson, in Clay county, where 
the story of their outrages having preced- 
ed them, the settlers had secreted their 
weapons, provisions and valuables. But 
by bullying and abusing the settlers the 
Indians compelled many to produce their 
hidden stores, of which the outlaws took 
what they wanted. At this place they took 
two girls, aged seventeen and twelve years, 
to their camp. The younger they released 
the next day, but the older girl they kept 
in their camp more than a week. When 
they were ready to leave the young lady 
was permitted to return to her home. 

From Peterson the red devils proceeded 
to the cabin of Bell and Weaver. Here 
they committed all kinds of deviltry, some 
so revolting as to be unfit to print. Among 
other things, the Indians amused them- 
selves by compelling Mr. Bell to stand 
against the wall while they threw their 
long knives and stuck them in the wall 
around his head. After the redskins had 
left, Mr. Bell and Mr. and Mrs. Weaver 
started out on foot across the trackless 
and snow-covered prairie in seeming fu- 
tile attempt to reach Fort Dodge, fifty 
miles away. After enduring the most in- 
tense suffering from fatigue, hunger and 
exposure, the fugitives reached Fort 
Dodge and were the first to bring intelli- 
gence of the dangerous situation on the 

Major William Williams, of Fort Dodge, 
had Ijeen authorized by the Iowa legislature 
to take measures for the protection of the 
frontier should he deem it to be in dan- 
ger. Therefore he at once organized a 
company of fifty men and was soon on his 



way to the settlements on the Little Sioux. 
Upon his arrival he found that the In- 
dians had gone. After learning tlie par- 
ticulars of the atrocities committed, Ma- 
jor Williams, instead of following the In- 
dians, as it would seem it was his duty 
to do, gave what relief he could to the 
people who had suffered at the hands of 
the Indians and tlien returned liome." 

From the Bell and Weaver cabin Ink- 
paduta and his Indians went to the Wil- 
lox lahin, where ihev conlinueil tlieir dep- 
redations, hut fortunately there were no 
women there. They took three horses be- 
longing to the Wilcox brotliore and then 
proceeded eastward to the Okoboji lakes 

Such was the gang of desperadoes ap- 
proaching tiie exposed settlements and the 
unsuspecting settlers on the extreme fron- 
tier at Okoboji lakes and at Springfield. 
No warning had they that Inkpaduta and 
bis riitnan band, wlio liad been peaceably 
inclined on their visit in the fall, was re- 
turning in a far different mood, bent on 

The Indians arrived in the vicinity of 
Okoboji lakes on the evening of March 
T'-' and went into camp near the cabin of 
Mr. Mattock, where Arnold's Park is now. 
The band consisted of fifteen warriors, 

"It is barely possible that Major Williams <1U1 
not know that there were white settlers in the 
direction in which the Indians had Kone. Mr. 
Jarcb Palmer has written of this possibility 
as follows: 

•On rea.hing the Little Sioux he I.Major Wil- 
liamsl found that the Indians liad left, they 
having gone In the direction of Spirit lake. The 
settlement at Spirit lake was of so recent date 
that I presume the major was ignorant of its 
existence .ind it is possilile that he had never 
• veil heard of Spirit lake itself, as it was only 
Just beginning to lie talked al)out." 

'=Thls is undoubttdly the date of their ar- 
rival an<l is tile one given by Mrs. Sharp. Judge 
Flandreau savs thev must have arrived on the 
Bth or 7th. R. A. Smith. In his history of 
Dickinson county, gives an earlier date and 
says: "A letter found upon the ground writ- 
ten by Dr. Harriot, dated March B (two days 
before tin- mass-irrt t. ri-fi-rrfd Ii) the fact that 
the Indians were camped tliere. that they were 
on friendly terms witli them and that they had 
done .Mome trading with them. Other matters 
were referr<'d to in the letter wliich showed 
that they had no suspicions of danger." It Is 
very probable that the Indians who arrived be- 
fore the 7th were members of some other band, 
or, possibly, scouts from the renegade band. 

including Inkpaduta, with the squaws, 
papooses and the u.sual complement of 
ponies, dogs and other appurtenances of 
an Indian camp. On the morning of the 
8th began the awful massacre. No white 
pereou knows tlie particulars of the be- 
ginning of the butcliery, for at the Mat- 
tock home, where it began, all were killed. 
The killing of tlie settlers continued for 
several days, at tlie end of which time 
every white person in the Spirit lake coun- 
try, witli the exception of four women 
captives, was murdered, while none of the 
Indians, so far as is known, was harmed. 

It is not my intention to go into the 
details of this butchery at Okoboji liikes, 
commonly called the Spirit lake mas- 
sacre,'^ but to simply give a few facts 
concerning it, that liie reader may gain 
an idea of the temper of the Indians when 
they attacked Springfield. In fact, tlic 
only approach to an authentic account of 
the massacre is that given by Mrs. Abbie 
(iiirdnor-Sharp. and her story is confined 
principally Id tlu' events at her father's 

When the Indians appeared in the set- 
tlement on tlic ludining of JIarch S they 
continued the insolent, overbearing man- 
ner tliey had employed on tlie Little 
Sioux, those of the whites who came in 
ccnitact with them noticing lliat they dis- 
played tlieir sullcnness and insolence to 
an unusual degree. Some of the settlers 
became alarmed, but others |)rofessed to 
lielieve thai (he Indians were simply in 
one of th.'ir pecvi.^h mnods. and scouted 
tlie idea of any serious trouble. At break- 
fast time an Indian came to the home of 
Rowland Gardner, one of the prominent 
settlers of the place, and was given his 
lircakfast. He was followed by others 

"Out of about forty people killed In this mas- 
.sacre only one was killed on Spirit lake; the 
others had their homes on the Okoboji lakes. 
.\t the time the whole lake country of Dickin- 
son county was known as the Spirit lake coun- 
try; hence the commonly applied name of the 



until the whole fighting force, including 
liilqjaduta and his fourteen warriors, with 
tiieir squaws and papooses, were in the 
house, and all were fed. Suddenly they 
became sullen, demanding ammunition 
and numerous other things, and not hav- 
ing all their requests granted, attempted 
to shoot one of the inmates. They prowl- 
ed around the place until noon and then 
went away, taking Mr. Gardner's cattle 
with them and shooting them on the way 
back to camp. 

The Indians returned to this home in 
the afternoon, took Miss Abbie Gardner, 
then fourteen years of age, prisoner, and 
murdered the rest of the family. Miss 
Gardner (now Mrs. Sharp) has graphi- 
cally described the murder of her family 
in her History of the Spirit Lake Mas- 
sacre, from which I quote : 

About three o'cloelc we heard the report of 
guns, in rapid succession, from the house of 
Mr. Mattock. We were, then, no longer in 
doubt as to the awful reality that was hang- 
ing over us. Two long hours we passed in 
this fearful anxiety and suspense, waiting 
and watching, witli conflicting hopes and fears, 
for Mr. Luce and Mr. Clark [who had gone 
to warn some of the neighbors] to return. At 
length, just as the sun was sinking behind 
the western horizon, shedding its brilliant rays 
over the snowy landscape, father, whose anx- 
iety would no longer allow him to remain 
witliin doors, went out to reeonnoiter. He, 
however, hastily returned, saying: "Nine In- 
dians are coming, now only a short distance 
from the house, and we are all doomed to 
die.'' His first tliought was to barricade the 
door and fight till the last, saying: "While 
they are killing all of ns, I will kill a few 
of them with the two loaded guns still left 
in tlie house.'' But to this motlier protested, 
having not yet lost all faith in the savage 
monsters, and still lioping tliey would appre- 
ciate our kindness and spare our lives she 
said: "If we have to die, let ns die innocent 
of shedding blood." 

Alas, for the faith placed in tliese inhuman 
monsters! They entered tlie house and de- 
manded more flour; and, as father turned to 
get them what remained of our scanty store, 
they shot him through tlie heart; he fell iipon 
his right side and died without a struggle. 
Wlien first the Indian raised his gun to fire, 
mother or Jlrs. Luce seized the gun and drew 
it down; but the other Indians instantly turn- 
ed upon them, seized them by tlie arms, and 
beat them over the head with the butts of 

tlieir guns; tlien dragged them out of doors 
and killed them in the most cruel and shock- 
ing manner. 

They then began an indiscriminate destruc- 
tion of everything in the house; breaking 
open trunks and taking out clothing, cutting 
open feather beds, and scattering the featliers 
everywhere. When the Indians entered the 
house, and during these awful scenes, I was 
seated in a chair, holding my sister's baby in 
my arms; her little boy on one side, and my 
little brother on the other, clinging to me in 
terror. Tliey next seized the children, tearing 
them from me one by one, while they reached 
tlieir little arms to me, crying piteously for 
piutection that I was powerless to give. Heed- 
Jess of their cries, they dragged them out of 
doors and beat them to death with sticks of 

All this time I was both speechless and 
tearless; but now, left alone, I begged them 
to kill me. It seemed as though I could not 
wait for them to finish their work of death. 
One of them approached, and roughly seizing 
me by the arm said something I could not 
understand, but I well knew, from their ac- 
tions, that I was to be a captive. All the 
terrible tortures and indignities I had ever 
read or heard of being inflicted upon their 
captives now arose in horrid vividness before 

After ransacking the house and taking 
whatever they thought might be serviceable, 
such as provisions, bedding, arms and am- 
munition, and after the terrible scalping knife 
had done its terrible work, I was dragged 
from the never-to-be-forgotten scene. No lan- 
guage can ever suggest, much less adequately 
portray, my feelings as I passed that door. 

With a naturally sensitive nature, tenderly 
and aft'ectionately reared, shuddering at the 
^■ery thought of cruelty, you can, my dear 
reader, imagine, but only imagine, the agony 
I endured when so suddenly plunged into 
scenes from which no element of the terrible 
or revolting seemed wanting. Behind me I 
left my heroic father, murdered in a cowardly 
manner in the very act of extreme hospital- 
ity; shot down at my feet, and I had not the 
privilege of impressing one farewell kiss upon 
his lips, yet warm with life and affection. Just 
outside the door lay the three children — so 
dear to me — bruised, mangled and bleeding; 
while their moans and groans pierced my 
ears and called in vain for one loving caress 
which I was prevented from giving them. A 
little farther on lay my Christ-like mother, 
who till the very last had pleaded the cause 
of her brutish murderers, literally weltering 
in her own blood. Still farther on, at the 
southwest corner of the house, in a similar 
condition, lay my eldest sister, Mrs. Luce, 
who had been so intimately associated with 
me from earliest recollections. Amid these 
scenes of unutterable horror I took my fare- 
\\ell look upon father, mother, sister and 
brother and my sister's little ones. 

Filled with loathing for these wretches 



whose hands were still wet with the blocd of 
those dearest to me, and at one of whose belts 
still hung the dripping scalp of my mother, 
with even the much coveted boon of death 
denied nie, wc plunged into the gli)oin of the 
forest and the coming nighl; hut neither the 
gloom of the forest, nor l!ie blackness of the 
night, nor both combined, could begin to sym- 
bolize the ilarknes- of niv Unor-strieken 
Another place of butchery was at the 

lioiue of Mr. Mattock, where an abortive 
attempt at defense had been made. Ap- 
parently the whites iiad been in the house, 
and the Indians, to drive them out, had 
fired the cabin — the only instance in 
which a cabin was burned. A few weap- 
ons were found near the bodies of some 
of the slain men, leading to the belief 
that a fight had been made. Mrs. Sharp 
describes the scenes at this point as she 

remembers them: 

A tramp of about one mile brought me to 
the camp of niy captors, whicji was the home 
of Mr. Mattock, llcre the sights and sounds 
that met the eye and ear were truly appall- 
ing. The forest was lighted by the camp fires 
and also by the burning of the cabins, and 
the air was rent with the unearthly war- 
wlioop of the savages and the shrieks and 
groans of two helpless victims conlined in the 
burning cabin, sull'ering all the agonies of a 
liery death. .Scattered upon the ground were 
a number of bodies, among which 1 recognized 
that of Dr. Harriot, rifle still in hand; as 
well as the bodies of :Mr. Mattock, Mr. Sny- 
der and others, with rilles near them, some 
broken. AH gave evidence that an attempt 
at resistance had been made, but too late. 

A few olliers were murdered during tiie 
day, making a total of twenty lives taken 
on that 8th day of JMaiLh. In the lan- 
guage of Mr*. Siiarp: 

All this must be celebrated by the war- 
dance — that hideous revelry that seems to 
have been borrowed from the lowest depths of 
Tartarus. Near the ghastly corpses and over 
the blood-stained snow, with blackened faces 
and fierce uncouth gestures, and with wild 
screams and yells, they circled round and 
round, keeping" time to the dullest, dreariest 
sound of drum and rattle, until complete ex- 
haustion compelled them to desist. 

On the 0th the demons completed their 
work of carnage in the immediate vicin- 
ity by the murder of the four remaining 
families and the taking of two more wom- 

en prisoners. Mrs. T^ydia Noble and Mrs. 
Elizabeth Thatcher. At one home they 
seizctl tiie ciiildren by the feet, dragging 
tJicm from their mother's arms, and dash- 
ed their brains out against an oak tree. 
On tlie lOtii (hey bn)ke camp and crossed 
West Okoboji lake on the ice, traveled to 
the west a distance of three miles, and 
went into camp. The savages broke camp 
again on the 11th and moved northwest- 
cily to tlie Marble grove on tlie west side 
(if Spirit lake. Tlicy were ignorant of 
the fact that there were any more whites 
in the vicinity and did not find it out 
until the 13th, when they murdered Mr. 
Marble and took his wife, Mrs. Margaret 
Marble, prisoner. This was the last butch- 
cry in the vicinty and tlu' event was ecle- 
b rated by a war dance. 

Friim tliis camp on Sj)iril lake, on the 
i:Uli, lnl<i)a(iuta and his bloodthirsty war- 
riors, with the booty and captives, set out 
in a northerly direction and entered Jack- 
sou county. They traveled in a leisurely 
manner, camping in the groves along the 
streams and by the little lakes, never stop- 
])ing more than one night in a place, feast- 
ing upon the provisions taken from their 
victims. During this journey they were 
])lanning the attack on the Springfield 
settlement and, according to Jfrs. Sharp, 
were negotiating with the Indians of Um- 
pashota's and Gaboo's cam])S for assis- 
t:ince in the work. On the 3()th of March 
lanip was pitched on the bank of Heron 
lake, some fifteen miles from tlie Spring- 
field settlement. 

Let ns, for the time being, leave this 
led-handed band of murderers at their 
camp on Heron lake, making preparation 
for future crimes, and again take up our 
story of the Springfield settlers as we left 
them, anxiously waiting for the opening 
of spring. 



THE massacre at Okoboji lakes had 
occurred without warning; the 
settlers there had no inkling that 
the redskins were on the warpath. At 
Spring-fiekl ample warning Iiad been given. 
During the winter the Indians of the 
Springfield settlement seem to have 
known, or at least expected, that tlierc 
was soon to be trouble between Inkpadu- 
ta's band and tlio wihtes. Some time dur- 
ing the winter Adam P. Shiegley, the 
trapper who made his home near the other 
whites of the settlement, had asked the 
daughter of IJmpashota to marry him, but 
she declined his offer, saying that there 
was going to be war between the whites 
and Indians and that if she were to mar- 
ry him the Indians would kill both of 
them. Mr. Shiegley did not mention the 
fact until after the mas,sacre, and the in- 
fonnation would probably have been con- 
sidered of little importance if he had. 

The first intimation that the people of 
Springfield had that there was a possi- 
bility of trouble came from a member of 
Inkpaduta's band. It was one day early 
in March, only a few days before the Spir- 
it lake massacre, that Black Buffalo, one 
of the outlaw Indians with whom the 
Wood brothers were acquainted, came to 
tlie store at Springfield when George 
Wood and Jareb Palmer were there. In- 

stead of going up the river to the Indian 
campj as most wandering Indians were in 
tlie habit of doing. Black Buffalo remain- 
ed at the store and spent the night there. 
He came from the direction of Spirit lake 
and said the band was camped near there. 
The Indian bought a few cheap trinkets 
and a half bushel of potatoes, borrowed a 
sack to put them in, and promised to re- 
turn the sack full of feathers to pay for 
liis purchases. Before leaving, Black 
Buffalo told Mr. Wood that war had been 
declared against the whites and ilr. Wood 
told i\Ir. Palmer after the Indian had de- 

Black Buffalo was undoubtedly a spy, 
come to investigate conditions in the lit- 
tle -;ettlement, but why he told ilr. Wood 
of the intentions of tiie Indians is hard to 
understand, unless he jjersonally was 
friendly to the storekeeper and desired to 
give him an opportunity to escape. At 
any rate the warning was not heeded. Mr. 
Wood seemed to place no confidence in 
the statement and treated the incident 
liglitly. Mr. Palmer, in after years, wrote: 
"I must confess that for myself I regard- 
ed it merely a.s an Indian lie, or as we 
would call it, a canard, and I do not think 
that I ever thought of it again until sub- 
sequent events brought it vividly to my 




On JIareh 9 (the Spirit lake massacre 
had ooiiiiiieiuivl tlie day Ik'Toiv) tlireo In- 
dians with tlieii- squaws and three or four 
papooses, came to the settlcimiit from the 
direction of Spirit lake, all appearing to 
be very excited, to be in great iiaste and 
much fatigued. They came first to Dod- 
son's cabin and a little later, after having 
been fed, they went to I'lnpashotas camp. 
A little girl, seven or eight years of age, 
was coniiiletely worn out and fell down 
exhausted outside Mr. Dodson's cabin. 
She was unable to rise until a scpiaw gave 
her several energetic kicks, when she 
managed to get up and go into the cabin. 
Tlu'se Indians probably came from Spirit 
lake alter the massacre had started, either 
because they did not want to take part in 
it or for some other reason. They said 
nothing of the doings at Okoboji lakes to 
the whites, although they doubtless told 
their red brothers at l'mi)ashotaV. 

So far as 1 am able to learn, these were 
the only suggestions the people of Spring- 
field had that conditions were not normal 
— and these could not properly be constru- 
ed as warnings, except in the light of 
later events — until ^Mardi 11. In this 
day of railroads, telephone and telegraph, 
with a home on every {piarter .section of 
land, such an event as ilic Spirit lake 
massacre would lie known in the utter- 
most parts of the worhl within a few 
hours. Then the butchery of over forty 
people less than twenty miles distant was 
unknown in the Springfield settlement 
until ihrci' clays afterward, and it was 
only by chance that they learned of it 

On the eleventh of March' tlure ap- 
peared in the Springfield settlement Mor- 
ris Markliaiii. (ieorge Granger and a (rap- 
pi'r, wiiose name is unknown, bearing the 
awful intelligence tiial the entire Spirit 

'Mr. Hol<-i)mbp. in MiniU'»otn in Threo On- 
tiirles. sjiys tlint Mr. Markham did not arrive 
In the settlement until the seventeenth, lull in 
this tie is mistaken. 

lake settlement had been wiped out by 
the Indians, that not one was left to tell 
of the awful carnage.- Now, strange as it 
may seem, this news did not create any 
great consternation or alarm at first, and 
by some it was not even believed in its 
details. Those living on the frontier in 
the early days were accustomed to fre- 
(pient startling rumor.-, of uprisings which 
had no foundation in fact, and all talcs 
of Indian atrocities were received w itii al- 
lowance for future corrections. 

The Wood brothers, 2">i"ticularly, did 
lint pliui' full confidence iu the report, 
and as they were best acipiainted with the 
Iniliaiis, theii' judgmtnt was given due 
consideration." George Wood expressed 
the opinion that, although most people 
laid the Spirit lake murders to the In- 
dians, he thought it likely the whites had 
got in a (juarrcl over the claims and some 

=The Spirit lake mas.sacre wa.s lirst di.<ooveiid 
by Morris Markham on the evenlns of Mareh 
!• and he Ijore the tidlnB.s to the SprinKlield 
settlement. On March l."> the work of the In- 
dians was discovered by O. C. Howe. K. l'. 
Wheelock and B. K. Parmcnter. who carried 
th'^ news to Fon Uodge. 

Morris Markiiani was a trapper, who, late In 
the fall of 185(;, luul settled in the Spirit lake 
country. Soon after his arrival his two yoke 
of oxen strayed and he was not able to get ,iny 
track of them until early in .March. Mc then 
learned that they were in the vicinity of Mud 
lake, in lOinnict counl\'. and went after thi'm. 
He founil his oxen. ma<le pri>vision for their 
care by two bachelors who lived in the vicinity, 
and then relurned to his home. There he found 
the dead liodies of the settlers, whitm he cor- 
rectly believeil ti> havi' been murdered by the 
Indians, and his belief was sot>n verilled. U*v 
he ran into the In4lian camp. Fortunately he 
succeeded in retracinu his steps without at- 
tracting the attention of the savages, who were 
then In their tepees, and made his escape. He 
visited several cabins. In all of which he ft>und 
dead bodies. Not feeling like spending tile 
night in any of the cabins. Markham took a 
piece of lioard with which to build a lire and 
siicnt the night in a nearby ravine. He did 
not He down during the nigiit. but |ia.s.sed the 
wiary liours standing upon his alri'ady frozen 
and still freezing feet. 

In the morning Mr. Markham returned to a 
tr.iiniers' cami> where he had been looking for 
his cattle ami there spent the next night. On 
the morning of the 11th he and two traiMwrs 
went to the cabin of George Granjjer. who lived 
about six miles nortli of the present site of 
Kstln'rville. The same day Mr. Markham. Mr. 
Granger and one of the trapper.^ went up the 
river to the Siainglield setllemenl. It Is awful 
!■! tliink what might have hapi>ened had not 
this warning lieen given. 

■"• Besides William had known and 

traded with the renegade Sioux. Inkpaduta. 
whose band was then reiiorted to be commit- 
ti.iK crimes against the whites. ... In ad- 



of them liail been killed."' There seemed 
to be somi' plau.sibility for this in that il 
was generally known at Springfield that 
there had been considerable quarreling 
about claims at the lakes. 

But the majority of the settlers believ- 
ed the story of Mr. Markham and that 
the murders at the lakes was the work of 
the Indians. The necessity of doing some- 
thing for their own safety and of render- 
ing aid to any who might be left in the 
Spirit lake settlement became apparent 
and the whole settlement was aroused. All 
of the able bodied men except George 
Wood," who remained to care for the store 
and to look after the women and children, 
gathered at the Granger cabin, down the 
river, on the morning of the 14th, intend- 
ing to go to the Spirit lake settlement to 
the assistance of any who might be alive 
and to bury the dead. At Granger's the 
party was reinforced by the two trappers 
already referred to and a man by the name 
of Hashman, making the party fourteen 
in number. They crossed the river on the 
way to the lakes, and then abandoned the 
project and returned to Springfield. They 
had talked the matter over and decided it 
would not be prudent to make the trip, as 
it was impossible to know how manv In- 
dians they might encounter. They deem- 
ed it best to return and make arrange- 

dition to this WiUiam had treated Inkijaduta, 
as well as the other Indians, with uniform 
kindness, and. indeed, familiarity; such as In- 
dulging them in tobacco and joining them in 
their amusements occasionally. William, from 
his remarkable physical proportions, with dark 
features and eyes and hair as black as that of 
the Indians themselves, and with his courage 
and facility in speaking their language, and Be- 
ing well schooled in all their ways, was well 
calculated to inspire them with an admiration 
for him. They familiarly called him Pa-sa-pa, 
which in English means Blackhead; and fre- 
quently called to him at his cabin to come down 
the river, a distance of perhaps over one hun- 
dred yards, to talk and visit them when the 
river was too high for fording, as they would 
be passing upon their trail upon the opposite 
lank of the river," — E.xtract from letter writ- 
ten by Mr. E. B. Wood, brother of William and 
George Wood. 

*Jareb Palmer, 

'^There were absent from the settlement Wil- 
liam Wood, Nathaniel Frost and Jareb Palmer, 
who were on a trip to the Mankato countrj-. 

ments for the safety of themselves and 
their families. 

After returning to their homes from 
the trip to Granger's the settlers of 
Springfield held a consultation. The ad- 
visableness of removing from the settle- 
ment was discussed, but it was decided it 
would be impossible to move the families 
on account of the difficulty in traveling 
because of the great depth of snow. Then 
it was decided to draw up a petition, stat- 
ing the conditions, and send it by courier 
to Fort Eidgely, asking that soldiers be 
sent at once for the protection of the set- 
tlement. The petition was prepared, sign- 
ed by the settlers, and was carried to its 
destination Ijy Joseph Chiffin and Henry 
Trets. They started on their perilous 
journey on the 16th or ITth," being ac- 
companied as far as the Watonwan by 
Charles Wood." 

As the days pas.sed the settlers at 
Springfield became more apprehensive, 
and the suspense became awful. After 
the departure of Chiffin and Trets the 
settlers began to make preparations for 
defense, that they might be prepared if 
an attack should he made before the sol- 
diers arrived. It was decided that if the 
troops did not come the women and child- 
ren should be removed to a place of safety 
so soon as the snow should melt sufficient 
to permit travel. Most of the people gath- 
ered in tlie cabin of James B. Thomas and 
the Wheeler cabin, while the Woods re- 

"These couriers arrived at Fort Ridgely, after 
traveling one hundred miles, on the ISth, after 
incredible hardships, and almost blind from ex- 
haustion and the effects of the snow, and re- 
ported the conditions on the frontier. Judge 
Flandreau has written: 

■■-■Vt any rate the people of Springfield sent 
two young men to my agency with the news. 
They brought with them a statement of the 
facts as related by Mr, Markham, signed by 
some persons with who.m I am acquainted. They 
came on foot and arrived at the agency on the 
18th of March. The snow was very deep and 
beginning to thaw, which made the traveling 
extremely difficult. When these young men 
arrived they were so badly affected with snow 
blindness they could hardly see at all and were 
completely wearied out." 

■ChEirles Wood came back to the settlement 
with tlie soldiers, but soon after returned to his 
old home in Indiana. 



iiiained nt their store and Mr. Shieglev 
i-ontinued to ociupy his (.al)!!!. The Thom- 
as iiousc, whicli was the hirf^cst in the 
settlement and wliere were gathered the 
greater number, was put in a fair state of 

.\n incident wiiiuli occurred on the 19th 
and information secured the next day left 
no doubts in tlie minds of the people of 
Springfield that Inkpaduta's band was on 
the warpath — if any had existed l)efore — 
and added to the belief that an attak was 
intended. On the afternoon of the 19tli 
there came to Woods' store {(Jeorge Wood, 
Nathaniel Frost and .lard) Palmer were 
there at the time) two of Inkpaduta's In- 
dians, l)ig, ferocious lookiug bucks. They 
were fully armed and acted strangely, 
carrying their knives in tlicir hands all 
the tiini" llicy were in the store. They 
appeared sullen and not inclined to talk. 
They purchased a keg of powder, a sack 
of shot and a few Indian trinkets. For 
the;ie goods and to settle an old account 
the Indians paid !\lr. Wimil .$S-.' in gnhi 
coin, which had undoubtedly been taken 
from their victims' at the lakes. These 
Indians may have come to S])y out the 
situation at Springfield or they may have 
come witii the intention of murdering 
George Wood.* 

While the Indians were still at the store 
rm])ashota came in and commenced talk- 
ing to. or rather haranguing, the strange 
Indians. He was greatly excited and ex- 
liihited considerable emotion, .seeming so 
ahsorheil in wliat he was saying that he 
paid little attention to the white men 
present, who couhl not understand what 
lie was saying. The local Indian liad just 
Clime froni the Thomas cabin, where he 
had been told the soldiers were on their 

•"The.sf Indians had very likely cnmo to kill 
GeorKt* Woud. as hv liad !k^«mi staying alone 
since thi- departure of his hrother. t^'harlt's. Itiit 
as they did not llnd him alone, they eoneUided 
to make st)nie purehases for th*' purpose of 
disarmlns suspicion, and wait for a more aus- 
picious occasion to commit their nefarious 
crimes." — Jnreb Palmer. 

way to the settlement. One can imagine 
that I'mpashota was telling this to the 
other liulians and giving them some good 
advice. Upon the arrival of William 
Wood, who understood the Sioux lan- 
guage, the three Indians left, going in 
the direction of Uinpa.shota"s cam]i. That 
same evening Umpashota and his In- 
dians moved from their old camp, just 
above the store, farther up the river to 
Ciaboo's camp. This move may have been 
made through fear that the whites might 
do as the Indians were in the habit of 
doing — wreak vengeance upon the first 
of the race they came upon. 

On the '20th, the day after the stiange 
IndiaiLs had been at the store. William 
Wood went up the river to the eani]i of 
(iaboo and rinpasjinta. The latter ad- 
mitted that liie two Indians with whom 
he talked the day before had been engaged 
in the massacre of the peojile at Spirit 
lake, but said that those Indians claimed it 
bad been a fair fight, starting over a dis- 
pute in regard to some hay whicli the red- 
skins had taken without leave, 'i'he sav- 
ages boasted, so Umpa.«hota .said, that 
they had killed over thirty people and 
taken four women prisoners without the 
loss of a single wairior. The local In- 
dian did not say what were the intentions 
of the savages as to the future — whether 
they were to continue their bloodthirsty 
work or whether their Ibiist for Idood 
had been satisfied. 

Not knowing whether i>r not tiie Indiana 
had attaiked the Marbles, who were known 
lo have located "on the west hank of Spirit 
lake, and desirous of giving warning to 
tliem if still alive, llr. Morris Markbam 
and Jlr. Jareb Palmer set out from (lie 
Springfield settlement on the 21st to in- 
vt^stigate. The gentlemen reached the 
Marble cabin and found eviilenee that 
ll'.e Indians had been there ahead of them, 
but did not find (he dead bodv of ^Ir. 

THE NEWyork" 


fKOtN F00N£UT1€U)« 

Ch '-few 

o CAjrvfK 



Map Showing Location of Cal)ins at the Time of the Springfield 

Massacre. The east half of Des Moines and the south 

east quarter of Belmont Townships are Shown. 



Miirblo, wliicli the Indians had buried in 
the snow. Mocasin tracks, apparently 
only a few hours old, were found near the 
cabin and the hieroglyphics picturing the 
massacre at the Okoboji lakes were found 
blazed on a tree. The gentlemen return- 
ed the same day and reported their dis- 
covery. Mr. Palmer made a trip to the 
Granger cal)in on the 33rd, expecting to 
find the inmates murdered, but there ho 
found Mr. Granger and the Hashmans 
safe and ])repared foi- attack. The find- 
ing of these people alive raised ihe droop- 
ing spirits of the Springfi^eld settlers and 
led to the liope that the liustiles had left 
the \icinity anil that they iniulrt yet l)e 

The fighting force of tlie community 
was reduced on the 24th by the departure 
of Xathaniel Frost and William Nelson, 
who went to Slocum's, on the Watonwan, 
to try to In'ing in the load of provisions 
which William Wood had been obliged to 
leave on the prairie near there. 

At a conference of tiie settlers it was 
decided to organize a party to go to the 
lakes and bury the dead, as it seemed to 
them almost inliuman to leave the bodies 
uncared for and exposed to tlie ravages of 
v.'olves and other wild beasts. I'nipa- 
shota volunteered, tlirough William Wooil, 
to liecfiine one of a party to perform this 
duty." It was decided to make the trip 
on Thursday, ^Marcli 2C), but on the even- 
ing before the start was to have been 
tnade the expedition Avas abandoned, large- 
ly on the advice of Umpashota. That In- 
dian, who seems to have played an im- 
portant part in the affairs of the little 
community at this critical time because 
of his influence over William Wood, liad 
been down to the store on the 2.")th and 

""The Woods seemed to liave implicit ctmti- 
dence in him [tJmpashota] and thought it would 
be a good thing to have him go along, but most 
of the rest of us h::id less confidence in him and 
jirepared to make the trip withovit hi.s presence 
— but they did not make this fact known to the 
Woods." — Jareb Palmer. 

gave notice to Mr. Wood that he would 
not accompany the whites to the lakes 
and advised against going. He stated that 
he thought Inkpadnta's band was still in 
(he vicinity of the lakes, engaged in 
drying beef from the many head of cat- 
tle- they had slaughtered, and that it would 
be unsafe to make the trip. Concerning 
this advice Mr. Jareb Palmer has writ- 
ten: "Why Umpashota told this story is 
not quite clear, unless he wanted us to 
remain that we might all be massacred, 
for he surely knew that the band was at 
that time at Heron lake, not more than 
eight or ten miles from Gaboo's camp, 
where Umpashota was staying." The 
Woods refused to accompany the other 
settlers after receiving this advice and 
the trip was abandoned. 

When the morning of Thursday, JIarcIi 
2G, dawned it had been Just fifteen days 
since word of the massacre at the lakes 
had been brought to tlie settlement. They 
had been fifteen days of suspense to most 
of the settlers, but so long a time had now 
elapsed that hope was expressed tliat the 
Indians had left the country and that an 
attack was not to ])e made. The vigilance 
that had been employed at first was re- 
laxed to a certain extent ; soldiers were 
expected to arrive from Fort Kidgely at 
any time; a more optimistic view of the 
situation was being taken. 

On the fateful day there were eleven 
able bodied men in tlie settlement, divid- 
ed as follows: William Wood and George 
Wood at the store: Adam Shiegley at his 
iiwn caljin : Joshua Stewart at his own 
caljin :'" James B. Thomas. Jareb Palmer, 
David Carver, Jolm Bradshaw" and ^lor- 

^"The Stewarts had at the first alarm gone 
to the Thomas cabin, but owing to fear, the 
excitement and confusion consequent on so 
many being huddled together in one small house. 
Mrs, Stewart had become mentally deranged, 
and she and her husband and children had re- 
tiu-ned to their own cabin, where they were on 
the day of the massacre, 

"Messrs, Carver and Bradshaw had returned 
from Webster City a little while before the 



li- Maikliiun al tiic Tliomas cabin; l^r. 
K. H. X. Strong'- an'! J. B. Skinner at 
the Wlieeler cabin.'" All the women and 
cl'iltlrcu of the settlement, except the 
Stewart family, were at the Thomas and 
Wheeler lahins. The only house in the 
settlement whicli had been put in condi- 
tion to withstand attack was tiiat of Mi'. 

That •immediate allaik was not antici- 
jiatcd is evidenced l>y liie fact that on 
the morning of the 5()tii all the men at 
the Thomas cabin took their axe.e, went 
to the woods nearl)y and cut cniniirh fire-, 
wood "to last throuKli the war," as one of 
their nund)er expressed it. Their guns had 
Iieen left at the cabin, and had the attack 
been made during that time thei-e can be 
no douljt lliat the twenty people who were 
tem])m'arily living at the Tliomas cabin 
would all have been massacred. It was 
during this morning that ])r. Strong 
■arent to the Whcelci' cabin to make a 
settlement with Messrs. Smith and Hen- 
derson for the surgical operation.*. 

To return to the Indians camped at 
Heron lake. On tiie morning of the 2(!tli 
the warriors painted them.sclves in their 
most fierce and hideous fashion. They 
took special pains to communicate to the 
women captives, by signs and in their 
jargon, that they were about to attack 
tlie Springfield settlement. With ritlcs 
in their hands and with scaljiing knives 
in their l)elt.< they set out on their mur- 
derous mission. So tar as .\bbie Gardner, 
one of the captives, can remember, the 
names of the warriors comprising the 
band at this time were" Inkpaduta, or 

'-Dr. SlroiiK's f;'.mllv at the Thomas ciib- 
In: he happened to i)e at the Whepler eabhi at 
the time of tlie ma.ssacre. 

"Of tile other men who were re.sUlent.** of tlie 
seltli-ment :il the time. Rot)erl Smith an<i Ji>hii 
Hender.son were \n a eripnied condition at the 
■Wheeler cabin: Charles Wood had gone to the 
Watonwan: .Toseph CliitTIn and Henry Tret.s 
had Kone to Fort Rldiiely to notify the soldiers: 
William Nel.son and Nathaniel Frost had Rone 
to Slocum's: William Church had been absent 
all- winter. 

".\s published lu Mrs. Sharp's History of the 
Spirit i^uke Massacre. 

Scarlet I'oint; ilak-jie-a-ho-inan, or Roar- 
ing Cloutl; ^Iak-|)i-oj)-e-ta, or Fire Cloud 
(twin to Koaring Cloud) ; Taw-a-che-ha- 
wa-kan, or His Mysterious Father; Ba- 
ha-ta, or Old Man ; Ke-cho-mon, or Piit- 
ting-on-as-ho-walks; Ka-ha-dat, or Ratling 
(son of Inkpaduta) ; Fe-to-a-ton-ka, or 
I'ig Face; Ta-te-li-da-shink-.~ha-man-i, or 
< >iie - who -makes -a -crooked - wind -a.s-he- 
walks; Ta-chan-che-ga-ho-ta, or His Great 
(iun; llu-.<an. nr One Leg. 

]nk]iadut:i and bis warriors came down 
to the Springtield settlement by way of 
Gaboo's cam]) and halted, a little after 
noon, on the east side of the river oppo- 
site Woods' store. .Inst what took place 
there will never be delinitely known, ex- 
cept that both William and George Wood 
were murdered, as no whites except the.-ic 
two were witiusses. Hut various clews 
give us nil idea of thi> circninstanccs. .\p- 
parently, William Wood had not even yet 
lost confidence in the bloodthirsty demons, 
for when they a])peared upon the trail 
across the river he started to go to them — 
jierbaps in answer to a hail — as was his 
custom. While on the river liank be was 
shot from behind at close range with 
biick.<hot. Whether be had cro.<sed the 
river and talked with the Indians and was 
shot as ho returned or whether he was 
shot by Indians concealed in tlic grass on 
the west side, is not kimw n. So close had 
been his murderer ibat burnt ]iowdcr 
stains were afterward found upon his 
clothing. .\ficr the shooting the body 
was cut o))eii with a tomahawk (U' a knife 
from i)etwecii the shoulders, down the 
back, to lielwi^n the hips.''"' 

(ieorge Wood, fnun his position in the 
store, hail seen his brother shot down anil 
had started to nin to warn the other set- 
tlers and to seek protection for himself. 

"The conduct and actions of the Wood broth- 
ers, particularly William Wood, during the days 
of suspense before the massacre have at times 
been unfavorably cfunmented upon. The Woods 
did not join the other settlers in their efforts 
to fortify one or two of the cabins, but re- 



He succeeded in getting^ across tlie river 
on the ice, but, exhausted from running 
several hundred yards through tlie deep 
drifts, he sought a place of concealment 
and crawled under a lirush pile at a point 
a few rods from the river bank and some 
twenty or thirty rods above the location 
of the ]irescnt upper bridge in the village 
of Jackson. This point was near the In- 
dian trail, upon whicJi the Indians were 
running in jnirsuit, but liecause of a bend 
in the trail, surrounded by trees, brush 
and weeds, he was temporarily out of 
sight of his pursuers. The unfortunate 
man was soon found in the lirush pile 
and shot. So c'ose was the muzzle of the 
gun that tlie whole top of his head was 
blown off and powder stains were left on 
his cap.^° 

mained at the store, where aU their earthly 
posses.sions were. Believhig. as they certainly 
did. that the massacre of the whites at Okoboji 
lakes was the result of a quarrel and that the 
murders would not be continued, the.v saw no 
reason why they should desert the store. Of 
course, we can now see their mistake; their 
confidence in the red men led to their death. 

One or two of the settlers who did not lik" 
the Woods pretended to believe that they were 
over friendly with the Indians, that they be- 
lieved that e^"en if tlie other settlers were at- 
tacked, their friendship would save them. Ma- 
jor Williams, of the Iowa volunteers goes so 
far as to intimate treachery, saying that the 
Indians were informed of the contemplated 
arrival of the soldiers by Wood and Gaboo. I 
can find no evidence that would indicate treach- 
ery on the part of the Woods and believe that 
they were sincere in their actions. 

Mr. E. B. Wood, who often talked with his 
brother, Charles Wood, after the massacre and 
who made every effort to ascertain the- facts, 
wrote to Mr. Jareb Palmer under date of No- 
vember 23, 1S97, as follows: 

"I do not and never did lielieve that George 
or William ever gave information to the' In- 
dians of the coming' of the soldiers. I believe 
that my brothers watched and expected each 
hour of the later hours of their lives for tlic 
soldiers to come, that they aimed to let the 
Indians believe that they trusted them implic- 
itly, thinking this safest. Now, my friend 
and comrade, for forty years myself and my 
family have had our hearts pained not .inly 
Ijy the thought of their deaths and the dam- 
nable manner of their taking off, but mainly 
by this story of the possible treachery of my 
brothers in telling these Indians of the coming 
of the soldiers so as to receive benefits and 
safety for themselves to the possible damage of 
the other settlers. My brothers were noMe 
hearted fellows and I do not think them capable 
of this and I do not think there is a particle 
of truth in it. That Gaboo. the half-lireed, may 
have told them is possible." 

'".Another version of the killing of George 
Wood is to the effect that after he was shot the 
Indians piled brush on his body in an effort to 
burn it, but the best evidence points to his 
taking off as I have described it. 

After the killing of the Wood brothers 
the Indians replenished their stock of am- 
munition from the store and then pro- 
ceeded to attack the other inhabited cab- 
ins of the settlement. At the Thomas 
cabin, where were gathered the greatest 
number of settlers, a determined fight 
wa.s put up l)y the white men (with the 
possible exception of the Mattock caliin 
at Okoboji lake, the only place in either 
settlement where the Indians met with 
resistence) and they succeeded in standing 
off tlu' redskins. This was due to the prep- 
arations tliat had Ijeen made and to the 
fighting qualities of tlio men and women 

After the midday meal at the Thomas 
cabin all wlio were temporarily living 
there were sitting in the north room talk- 
ing, while two of ;\Ir. Thomas" children, 
aged seven and ten years, were ])laying 
in the yard. xVbout half past two o'clock 
Willie, the younger of the boys playing 
outside, came running into the house with 
the announcement that an Indian was 
coming down the road fi'oni the \\'hi'(']- 
er caliin, which was to the north. .\s the" 
people of the cabin were hourly expect- 
ing the return of Jo.seph f'hiff'in and Hen- 
ry Trets friiiii Fort Kidgely. some one 
of the party exclaimed, "I'll bet it's Hen- 
ry," meaning Heni-y Trets. From their 
location in the nortii room, the door of 
which faced the timber, the people could 
not see anyone coming from the direction 

^'The Thomas house stood on the edge of 
tlie timber, being surrounded on thi-ee sides by 
woods full of logs, ijrusli and stumps of trees: 
on the other side was prairie. Within six or 
eia-ht rods of the cabin were a log stable, an 
old fashioned hay rack for feeding stock and 
a cattle yard made of logs and poles, A log 
partition divided the cabin into two rooms, 
connected by a door: at opposite ends of each 
room was a fireplace. The south room had a 
door and a window, both facing the prairie, 
while the north room had a door and a window, 
facing the timber, and a window looking upon 
tlie prairie. The window on the timber side 
had been secured by nailing two thicknesses 
of oak stakes across it. leaving a space about 
four inches wide to serve as a port hole: on 
the prairie side the windows had been co^'ered 
with shutters that could be taken out and put 
in as occasion required. The doors were fasten- 
ed witli pins stuck in holes in the logs. 



indicated without goiug out doors. S<t 
tlicre was a rush for tho door. Miss 
Swanger, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Palmer and 
Mr. Carver went outside, wlicre the two 
boj-s still were. Jliss Swanger was the 
first one out and when she got to a point 
where she could see the person approach- 
ing she cried joyfully, "Yes, it's Henrv." 
But when Mr. Carver got out wliere he 
had a good view lie ri'iilicd, "No. it"s an 

No sooner were the words out of his 
mouth than a tremendous volley, fired 
at short range from rifles and shotguns. 
was poured into the little company in 
front of the house; th.c Indians liad crawl- 
ed up and hidden themselves behind trees, 
outbuildings and other ])laees of conceal- 
ment. Little Willie Thomas was killed 
instantly. James Thomas received a mus- 
ket ball in his left arm just below the el- 
bow, which broke both bones and made 
necessary the amputation of tlie mcnd)er. 
David Carver was wounded by a buckshot, 
wliich passed through the fleshy part of 
his arm above the elbow and penetrated 
his lung. Jliss Swanger was wounded by 
a rifle ball, which passed through the 
upper part of her shoulder, inflicting a 
])ainful but not dangerous wound. Of 
those outside. 5Ir. I'almer and the older 
Thomas boy were the only ones unharm- 
ed : it is a wi)nder that all were not killed, 
and can be accounted for oidy by the 
poor markman.ship of the Indians. 

.-Ml succeeded in getting into the cab- 
in, those who had received wounds being 
unaware of the fact until they were in- 
side. .Mthough the surprise had been 
complete there was no confusion. Each 
seemed to know instinctively what" was to 
i)e done and commenced doing it. Had 
the Indians followed their first volley with 
a rush they woidd probably have succeeded 
in massacreing tiie whole houseful with 
little, if any, loss to themselves. The 

doors and windows were closed and bar- 
red, while Mr. Markham and Mr. Brad- 
shaw, who had remained in the house, 
seized their rifles and commenced firfng 
at the Indians, whose guns could be seen 
])rotruding tlirough the hay rack. The 
battle was on. 

1 shall let ilr. Jareb Palmer, one of 
the defenders of the cabin and the his- 
torian of the ma.ssacrc, tell of the inter- 
esting events that took place in the Thom- 
as cabin during the next hour: 

At first I l)iisicil myself in lianioadinp tlic 
south room. .tiuI. as the shutters for the win- 
ihiw ill this room liad unfortunately t>een left 
on the outside, we had to improvise Ponictliin}! 
in its place. For this we used a talile and 
some eliairs. llaviiif; altendcd to this, I seized 
a ;;un. of which, fortunately, we had )deiity. 
and looked around for a place to pet a shot 
at the redskins, but found no chance, as they 
seemed to be all on the southwest side of the 
house, and there was no |)orthote in citlier 
the south end of the house or the west side 
of the south room. I seized an ax which was 
in tlie room and knocked out a piece of chink- 
inj; from lietween the lojjs on each side of 
the fireplace in the south end of the house. I 
watched the hole on the west side of the fire- 
place and tlie Thomas hoy the east side. It 
was not until I had completed these prepara- 
tions for defense that I learned the full ex- 
tent of our loss, and my heart fairly bled for 
Mrs. Thomas. 

When we rushed into tlio house at the In- 
dians" first fire we diil not notice that the 
Thomas boy was killed, and when he wu~ 
niisseil and we ascertained that his holy lay 
ill front of the door, the lamenlatiiuis of his 
mother were truly heartrending:, llcr husband 
was seriously wounded and blecdiuf; pri>fiiscly. 
her boy killed outside, and she was not able 
to have even the poor consolation of haviii;; 
his body hroupht into the house, for it would 
have been certain death for anyone to ven- 
ture out to pet it. Mr. Thomas and Mr. Car- 
ver were soon obli^eil to lie down, but Miss 
Swanger continued to render all the a.ssistanci> 
in her power and never once laid down dur- 
ing; the time we were in the house. 

.•\s it liappencMl. we had jilenty of guns and 
aiiimiinitinn and kept busy lihiziuR away at 
anything we could see that looked like a face 
or a hand, a glili or a pine of blanket, anil I 
assure you we burned a lot of powder and 
made a big noise wiielher we hurt anybody 
or not. The Indians continued to fire volley 
after volley at the house, some of the balls 
coming through the door, wc jiroteeting our- 
selves by taking up a portion of the puncheon 
lloor and standing it against the door. At 
only one time did 1 have a fair view of any 

HiSTOi^Y OF jackso:n" county. 


of tlu' ?uvflj;us, and tliat \v;is (limlitlfss utter 
they liad confludod to abandon the attack. 
Then I saw three at one time witli their backs 
toward tiie house and going as fast as tlieir 
logs would carry tlieni. and I was able to get 
only one shot at tliem before they were out 
of sight. As my duties kejjt me busy in the 
south room I didn't know much about what 
was going on in the north room except as 
I could hear the crack of the guns in the 
hands of Bradshaw and Markham. 

However, I passed into tliat room two or 
tliree times during the tight, once, I remem- 
ber, to make a porthole in the end of the 
house, and once to get a supply of ammuni- 
tion, as the guns and ammunition were all 
kept in that room. Once wlien I was in there 
I saw. Mrs. Church fire through the east win- 
dow at what she said was an Indian, and she 
said she s.iw him fall." Tliis was no doubt 
the one first seen by the boys,- as he was in 
nearly the same ])lace as that one when seen. 

I suppose I ought to tell you that after 
the e.Kcitement caused by the surprise had 
-omcwhat abated, some of the ladies be- 
thought themselves of the arm that is all- 
powerful to save and engaged themselves in 
earnest supplication to Him for help; and as 
tliere seemed nothing better for them to do, I 
think we were all glad to see them thus en- 
gaged, for I am sure none of us had much Ii0|)e 
of ever leaving the house alive, as we were 
but three able bodied men. contending, as we 
supposed, against the whole Sioux nation, anil 
Mith but faint hopes of any human help be- 
ing able to reach us. 

After a while — probably an hour after the 
attack was begun — the fire of the enemy be- 
gan to slacken, and then we saw sticks and 
clubs fiying in the air toward the three head 
of colts which were kc]it there. In this way 
the Indians succeeded in driving them up the 
road and out of sight of us people in the 
house. They accomplished this without ex- 
posing themselves to our view. We had no 
thought at the time why they had done this, 
uidess merely to see the horses run; but, as 
it afterward proved, they were about to aban- 
don the attack and took this way to get the 
horses out of our sight that they might 
(atch them and take them away. 

I presume the Indians left soon after, al- 
though Vi'e had no thought they were going 
to abandon the attack, and when the fire 
abated we supposed they w-ere lying in wait 
for some of us to e.xpose ourselves that they 
might shoot us down. Notwithstanding the 
fire had abated, we did not abate our vigi- 
I;ince, liut continued to watch through the 
|)ortlioles for lurking savages, expecting mo- 
nienlarily a renewal of the attack with larger 
force and in some tmexpected manner. But 
the fire finally stopped entirely. The Indians 
had slunk away as secretly and silently as 
they had come; but we had no idea they had 
gi'ne until just before nightfall, when we saw 

"It was afterwards learned that none of the 
Indians was wounded. 

someone coming from toward tlie Wheeler 

We at first supposed it to he an Indian 
and were holding ourselves in readiness to as soon as he came within gunshot, but 
before he came near enough to fire we discover- 
ed it was a boy dressed in white man's clothes. 
We still thought it might be another trick to 
draw us out of the house, so we remained in- 
side and hallooed at him through a porthole. 
He answered us and upon inquiring who he 
was, he told us he was .lohmiie Stewart. We 
called to liim, opened the door and took 
him in. He was friglitened nearly out of his 
v.its. and well he might be. 

llnring the tiiiip that tlie attack on tlie 
Thomas eal.iin was being made other 
members of the onthiws were meeting 
with better success in another part of the 
settlement. An Tmlian came to the home 
of Mr. Stewart, ^\•llo seems to have been 
ignorant of tlie attack on the settlement, 
and was liargaining for tlie purchase of 
a small hog, displaying a number of gold 
coins to be gi\-en in payment. Mr. Stew- 
art was shot down and killed hx otlier 
Indians wlio were lying in wait for him. 
His wife, who had been sitting in a chair 
in the house, holding the liaby, rushed to 
the door with the baby in her arms and 
with a three year old child clinging to 
her skirts. On reaching tlie door she was 
shot down and the baby and little girl 
were knocked in the head with tomaliawks. 
While the iiiotlier and two little children 
wt're lieing murdered, little Johnnie Stew- 
art, seven or eight years of age, slipped 
out of the house and eluded the Indians, 
hiding licbind a log, three or four rod.s 
from the cabin, where he remained until 
tlie Indians had completed their atrocious 
work and departed. Then he came out 
of his hiding place, viewed the dead bod- 
ies of his parents and little sisters, and 
made his way to the Wheeler cabin. In- 
side he heard voices, and, supposing the 
cabin was full of Indians, the little boy 
left and ^\•ent to the Thomas cabin, as 
lias been .stated. 

The Wheeler cabin, which was occu- 
pied at the lime of the massacre by Dr. 


llls■|•()l;^ <iK .iA( KsoN ((II \rv 

K. B. N. Strong, J. B. Skinner. Uoljcrt 
.Smith, John Henderson. Mr.*. Skinner. 
Mrs. William Nelson and baby, Jlrs. Rob- 
ert Smith ;in(l Mr. Shiegley's two year old 
boy, had not been put in a state of de- 
fense, but it was fortunately located, be- 
iuiT on the edge of the prairie. There 
were no shutters for the solitary window 
of the cabin, wjiich, however, fortunately, 
faced llie praiiie. nor luul any |iiirtholes 
been made. The Indians ajijjcared at the 
cabin, (ired sovcial .-hots Ihroujjfh the 
door, iiiit did nor make any dcli'i-iiiincMl 
attack. The bullets passed throujrh the 
thin boards of the door and into the wall 
opposite, one of then; barely missing "Mt. 
Henderson. .Vn ox was killed near the 
caijin and the '■est of the stock was driven 
off. Neither Dr. Strong nor .Mr. Skin- 
ner, the only able bodied nu>n there, lired 
a shot from the cabin. It is said the in- 
mates attempted to j)rotect themselves by 
ringing bells and beating (Ui tin pans, 
which seems to have answered the jiur- 
pose, for no one was injured. 

The cabin of Adam Shiegley was not 
attacked and that gentleman knew noth- 
ing of the attack until later in the day, 
wlien he went to the Thomas cal)in. He 
was much surpri-sed to learn of the fight- 

The bloody work was completed and 
the Indians i-clurned to llicir caiiiii near 

"Altlioiigli Mr. Shiegley did not leuni of Ihc 
tight until afttT it w:is over, he was Inclined to 
give evidence in regard to It. a.s well a.« every 
e\ent of which he had heard, and he often 
made himself the hero of startling situations 
In lSti5 he is reporl'^d to have said to a report' 
for the Mankato Morning News: 

"... When the Indians attacked Ih'- 
[Thomas] hous" they must hav<' erosseil the 
river not a hundred yards from where I was. 
But I couldn't s*'e them becatise there was a 
bend In Ihi- river li<-tween us. Tlie Hrst thing 
I ktiew was when 1 heard Ihem yelling and the 
shooting. Then 1 ran up (he hank, which was 
thickly wooded, and lay d<iwn liat on nij' face 
In the snow. Thi'ie were al)oul twenty of the 
Indians yelling and dancing and tiring into 
the house. Tliey didn't care ahout the people 
in there, though. What they wanted was the 
four horses In the stable and they Just flred 
to keep the folks Inside. . Well, I saw 

them olT and out of the way and then I went 
up to the house." 

Heron lake. t)wiiig to the knowledge that 
llie Indian.s were on the warpath and the 
determined tight |)ul up by the men and 
women of the Thomas cabin, the results 
were not nearly .so di.-astrous as they liad 
been at the lakes. For the first lime in 
the Indians' mad career .since leaving 
Smithland they encountered men who 
were not afraid to tight for their lives, 
and the ailcmpl to wijie out the settle- 
ment failed. .\t that, only at the Thomas 
cabin was any resistence made, and but 
for the opposititdi they encountered there, 
there can be in> doubt the Indians would 
liave persevered unt'l every white in the 
settlement was killed. But, iialfled in 
their attem]it to ■nias>acre those in the 
Thomas house, ignorant of the damage 
tlieir first volley had done and of the 
weakness of the fighting force left, anx- 
ious to take p'lrt in the looting of Woods" 
store, perhaps fearing the early arrival of 
the soldiers, they gave up the attack. 

The losses in the Sjiringfield settlement 
were : 

K 1 I. I. K l» 

William Wood 
George Wooci 
Joshua Stewart 
Mrs. Joshua Ste'wart 
Two Stewart Children 
Willie Thomas 

>« o I' >° I) ■•: II 

James B. Thomas 
David Carver 
Drusilla Swanger 



It is iiiiposjiible to say just how many 
Indians were engaged in the massacre — 
probably not more than the fifteen of 
Inl<j)aduta"s Ijand.-" It is not probable 
that Umpashota and his Indians took part 
in the actual killing, but there can be no 
ipiestion that that nominally friendly In- 
ilian assisted Inkj)aduta in his designs 
and preparations. Nothing more was 
seen of Umpashota or any of his Indians; 
they had gone to more congenial climes. 
Concerning the part this crafty Indian 
may have taken in affairs, Mr. Jareb. 
I'aliiier lias written : 

-^Major "William Williams, the leader of the 
Iowa volunteei'.s. among .several other mistake.s 
in matters of fa."!t and conjecture in his official 
report, says of the number of Indians taking 
part in the Spirit lake and Springfield mas- 

"As near as I could ascertain, the Indian 
force was from 150 to 200 warriors, judging 
from their encampments, etc. The number of 
Indians must be fifteen or twenty killed and 
wounded. From the number seen to fall killed, 
and judging from the bloody clothes and clots 
of blood in their encampments, the struggle 
at the lakes must have been \ery severe, paitic- 
ulaii,\' the one at the house of Esquire Mat- 
tock. ... I am satisfied that the greater 
number of these Indians were from the Mis- 
souri, as they were strangers to the settlers 
where they appeared, and a portion of them 
were half-breeds." 

Major Williams seems to have prepared his 
report with very little data to work from. 

"It has been reported that tlie Indians 
who had camped near the settlement dur- 
ing the winter were engaged in the at- 
tack and massacre at Springfield. Wheth- 
er this is a fact or not I am unable to 
say. Some of those in the Thomas house 
with me say tiiey saw and recognized Um- 
pasliota, but I did not see any Indian that 
I could recognize as one I had ever seen 
before. When Captain Bee arrived Um- 
pashota and his liand were gone and he 
found some of the goods that weje taken 
from Woods' store in the possession of 
Gaboo's Indians, but they claimed to have 
bought them of Inlqjaduta's Indians, and 
this mi.ght have been the, as Mrs. 
Sharp says when the Indians returned 
from tlie attack, they brougiit eleven 
hcn'ses and ponies with them, and I know 
they only got three from the whites at 
S])ringtield, so that it may be that Ink- 
paduta's band had traded goods for pon- 
ies. I have never since seen any of the 
Indians with whom I became aci|uainted 
diii'ing that winter" 



Till'] Jinliaiis bad done their liel- Woods" store, this little band of defenders 

lish work ;;ik1 returned to camp now thought that they were the only ones 

near Heron lake. The settlers sjiared. Although they assumed that the 

did not know that they had gone, how- Indians bad gone for the time being, they 

ever, believing them tn be still in the 
neigbltorbood, awaiting a favoralile op- 
portunity to complete the work of butch- 
ery. ,\11 the living persons in the Spring- 
field settlement were now gathered at the 
Wheeler and Thomas cabins. The peoj^le 
at each house believed that all the others 

had no iloubt they were still in the set- 
tlement, ready to I'euew the attack as 
soon as sutliciontly reinforced or when a 
favorable opportunity offered. 

So the vigilance maintained during the 
attack was not lessened. The men and 
women in the cabin continued to watch 
bad been killed and that they themselves through the portholes for lurking sav- 
were the only living whites in the settle- ages. From what tliey knew of the cliar- 
ment: each party considered the case al- actev of the enemy they had reason to 
most hopeless. The story of their flight suspect that the silence was only a scheme 
and tlie hard.ships they endured has sel- to draw the defenders out. The women 

dom been equaled in frontier liistory. 

When little Johnnie Stewart arrived 
at the Thomas cabin the garrison there 
wei'c led to believe that the savages had 
left llie iiiiinediate vicinity. When a lit- 
fli' later .\dani Sliiegley was seen going 
:uross the prairie from his cabin toward 
the Wheeler cabin and, in response to a 
hail, came to Mr. Th.omas' place unharm- 
ed, the belief was verified. Fi'oni the 
Stewart ])oy"s account of the killing of 
his family and his report that ilie Wheeler 
cabin was full of Indians, and from the 
aiinoiincement of ^jr. Shiegley that he 
had heard tirina' in the direction of 

of the party prepared something to eat 
and passed it to those who were on watch 
at the portholes, and these ate their .sup- 
jier out of their hands. WHien darkness 
rame on they feai'i^l lo keep a fire or light 
in the house. 

The situation of the beleaguered people 
aiul the possibility for deliverance were 
discussed. Some thought best to remain 
at the cabin in the hope that the soldiers 
from Fort Bidgely would soon appear, be- 
lieving that it would be better to remain 
behind the .sheltering logs of the cabin 
than to risk an encounter with the red- 
skins in the open. Others (and they were 




in the niajoritv) favored flifrlit. Those 
who most .■;tron<rlv favored ik'partinf; ar- 
jjuod tliat there was no ecrtaiiitv lliat re- 
lict' would ever eoiiic ; il Uii.- not kiin«n 
wlielher the eouriers had siieeeeded in 
leaehing Fort IJidgely. and if thev had 
there was no assurance that tiieir story 
Wduhl he iielieved or any lielji sent ; tliey 
feared the Indians wouhl ereep up durinj,'' 
the niglit ami lire the cabin. To realize 
the litter demoralization tlie people m\ist 
have hecn in to attcmjit tlijrht. let us look 
at conditions and try to iindeistand what 
such a decision meant. 

The nearest scttleM;ent that could pro- 
vide safety was .Mankato, seventy-live 
miles away. The |)oint next nearest that 
seemed to ollVr a reiuiic was Fort Dodj^e, 
Jowa, nearly a luuidred miles away. The 
snow was so deep ami tra\elinu so dill'i- 
cult that it seemed impossii)lc that a 
team could make any headway. Of the 
twenlv oi- more people who com])riscd the 
jiarty contemplatini; (liirht, only four were 
ahle-hoilied men; the rest were wonien, 
children, l)abies and wdimded men. Be- 
lieving, as they did, that the Indians were 
still in the vicinity ami determined to 
wipe them out. not knowing how many 
savages they might have to encounter, 
handicapjjed with so many incapacitated, 
knowing that the route was well nigh im- 
passible, it is hard to conceive by what 
process of reasoning these people decided 
to leave. But that is what was done. As 
many of tJie settlers liad originally come 
from the vicinity of Fort Dodge, that 
was (he point of refuge .^elected. 

As the Indians had not killed the cat- 
tle at the Thomas place, and as the snow- 
had settled somewhat during the preced- 
ing few days, it was decided to try tra' idl- 
ing by team, allliough few thought there 
was much hope of getting Ihnnigh. Jolin 
Bradshaw and l'"rap.k M. Thomas, the 
elder son of James B. Tlmmns. were the 

first to venture from tiie cabin. Tiiey 
went out to the barn, so lately occupied 
hy the savages, hitched the oxen to a sled 
an<l drove up to the cast door, whidi was 
the one facing the |.rairie.' The wonien, 
children and wounded men were hastily 
loaded into the sled, the dead body of 
Willie Thomas being left where it bad 
fallen, and at nine o'clock in the evening 
the refugees set out on the perilous jour- 
ney. No baggage, no i lothing except what 
was worn, no provisions were taken. Tlie 
only thought was to get away from the 
scene of the disasters of the day. 

Great haste, was made at the start to 
get out onto the prairie away from the 
timber, tlie fear being great that the sav- 
ages would return and shoot them down 
before they could get out of gunshot from 
the timber's edge. Altbongb the day had 
been fair and pleasant, there came u]) a 
I hick fog about dark, which nnide it im- 
|>ossililc to see more than a few feet away. 
Over most of the course it was necessary 
for the men to beat a path before the oxen 
could make any headway. 

.\fter having traveled in this nnmner 
for a couple of hours the fugitives became 
(•om])letely hewildcred and knew not in 
which direction they were going. It was 
then decided to stop and wait for dav- 
liglit. They found a knoll which was 
hare of snow, and there they unhitched 
the oxen and ])assed the rest of the night. 
There was no rest for this poor, cold, 

■'rhis l.s Kivin on the aiithoilty of Mr. Pnlmer. 
Mis. Sharp Rives tln' cniUI or |)prforining this 
st-rvloo lu M^irris Markhatn ami says: 

"Naturally no oiio wlshcil to be the first to 
venture outside the door, where little Willie's 
liody lay cold In death, the sad reminder of the 
consequence of a former ventiu'e. Rut some 
one must be the first. So. with true heroic 
courage characteristic of the man. Mr. Mark- 
hani volunteered to jjo to the stable, where the 
murderous Sioux had so lately been and where 
they perhai>s wi-re secreted, and hitch the oxen 
to the sb'd and brlnj^ them to the door, whibr 
thi' others made hasty preparations for fll»?ht. 
So, alone In the darkness, he sallied forth, over 
the blood-sl.alned snow, carrylnpr his Kun to 
fire as a signal should be find the enemy there. 
Rroped his way through the stable, silently 
brought out the patient oxen, put on the yoke, 
hileheil them to the sled and drove up to the 



sleepless and panic-stricken band of fugi- 
tives that niulit. When morning dawn- 
ed thev i'ouiid themselves to be about 
three miles. troni their starting point and 
not much out of their proper course. The 
fog had disappeared and no trouble was 
now encountered in keejjing a true course. 
'I'hey could see the different groves along 
the river, including the one at Granger's, 
where they wished to strike first. 

Tlie snow |)io\cd lo be so deep tiiat the 
oxen could scarcely pull the heavy load 
of those unable to walk and about noon 
the cattle became so e.xhausted that they 
could not proceed farther. It was then 
proposed that J\lr. Palmer should go on 
to Granger's for help while the rest of the 
l)arty camped with the team. Mr. Palm- 
er reached the Granger cabin in safety, 
stated the conditions to Mr. Granger and 
ifr. llashman, and those gentlemen start- 
ed back with their oxen to the assistance 
of the Springfield refugees. 

The three men had not proceeded far 
on the back track when they saw some 
])ersons on the prairie approaching from 
the direction of Springfield. They were 
too far away to make out whether they 
were Indians or whites, but the men pro- 
ceeded on their way. After a while tliey 
noticed that one was nearer than the rest 
of the party and that he was running for 
dear life, going in the direction of the 
Granger grove. Believing him to be an 
Indian and fearing that if he reached the 
Granger caljin lie would massacre the 
women, who were left without male pro- 
tection, ^fr. Palmer and Jlr. Hashman 
started out on a run to head him off. 
Mr. Palmer outran 'Mv. Hashman and 
succeeded in getting between the fleeing 
man and the grove. When he got within 
hailing distance the runner, who prov- 
ed to be Dr. Strong, liallooed to Mr. 
Palmer, giving the friendly salutation of 
the Sioux lauKuage. The doctor had mis- 

taken Mr. Palmer for an Indian and so 
had accosted him in, perhaps, the only 
Sioux word he knew. When he had first 
come in sight of the men he had taken 
them fiu' Indians, and had pulled off his 
boots and thrown tliem away that he 
miglit run the faster. 

Dr. Strong joined the other men of 
the party, who now anxiously awaited 
the coming of the people they saw in the 
distance. These proved to be the fugi- 
tives who had been left with the team. 
After Mr Palmer liad departed they saw 
a party of people pursuing them, whom 
they, of course, took to be Indians. Life 
is a precious thing to most people and 
the sight of approaching Indians — as they 
supposed — caused them to make an al- 
most superhuman effort to escape. Aban- 
doning the oxen and sled, all set out on 
foot in a mad plunge through the drifts 
toward Granger's. Messrs. Carver and 
Thomas, the most severely wounded, 
found themselves able to walk ; tJie men 
and women carried the children. 

The fugitives were again united, their 
force having been added to by Dr. Strong, 
ilr. (Granger and Mr. Hashnuin. But 
they did not consider themselves safe by 
any means. There now came into view 
the party of five or six persons who had 
so alarmed those left at the sled, but they 
were too far away to tell whether they 
were friends or foes. So the refugees 
held themselves in readiness for action 
should they prove to be Indians. Fear 
lends fieetness to the limbs and in a short 
time the party came up. They proved to 
be Mr. and Mrs. Skinner, Mrs. Smith and 
Mrs. Nelson with her year and a half old 
babe — a part of those who had been at 
the Wheeler cabin. 

Ijct us interrupt tlie story of the ttigjit 
long enough to tell what had happened at 
the Wheeler cabin. The night after the 
massacre had been spent in apprehension 


and terror; in the morning the situation 
was not relieved. Dr. Strong, one of tlie 
two able-l)odied men in the cabin, who 
hail pruvcd liiiiiscU' a liero in caring for 
the frozen men a month before, now prov- 
ed himself a veritable coward. During 
the forenoon of the day after the attack 
he began to worry about his family, who 
had been at the Thomas cabin, and. tried 
to get someone to go down to try to as- 
certain their fate. Finally he declared 
lie could stand the suspense no longer and 
that he intended to learn the fate of his 
family. He left the house with the avow- 
ed intention of going to the Thomas cab- 
in, but no sooner was he out of the 
than his valor dejiarliMl ami he struck out 
across the prairie, running for dear life, 
without a thought, apparently, for the 
safety of his family or niiyniic else except 

The desertion of Dr. Strong left the 
people of the Wheeler cabin in a deplor- 
able condition. There was now left only 
J. 1-5. Skinner to care for and protect two 
ci-ippled men, three women and two siuall 
children. He was nnt e(jual to the oc- 
casion. There can be no (|ucstiiin that 
the acliiin of Mv. Skinner and llie wnnuMi 
there on that 'i7t\\ day of ]^larch was cow- 
ardly. Perha])s their actions should be 
treated with lenitv and a less harsh term 
Ihan ciiwani aji|ilie(l. t'lu- no one knows 
exactly what he or she woidd do in a 
like circumstance; the fear of death in 
most of us is stronger than any other hu- 
man emoti(Ui. The occasion called for 
heroic action, but there was no response. 

Whetiier the dcserfion of Dr. Strong 
increased the fears of the reuuiining in- 
mates by reas{ui of lessening their num- 
ber and making tlTem more easy victims 
of the savages, or whether his ability to 
get away from the tindter unharmed de- 
termined them also to make the attempt 
is not known, but it was decided to make 

a swift run for safety in an effort to get 
to the Iowa settlements. As the Indians 
liad killed all the cattle on the place it 
was necessary to go afoot. Poor John 
Henderson, who was in bed with both feet 
olT from recent amputation, was aban- 
doned to whatever fate might overtake 
him, even without preparation being made 
for his food. Mrs. Nelson said she could 
carry her child and did so. One of the 
party also carried the Shiegley child for 
some distance. Robert Smith, who only 
a short time before had one leg ampu- 
tated, decided to accompany the others 
and stumped along on his one leg for a 
few hundred yards of the distance to Fort 
liodge. His wound soon began to bleed 
nnd he was unable to go farther. 

When Mr. Smith was obliged to give 
M]i, the party grew tire<l of carrying the 
Shiegley child and the two — a man in 
such condition that he ought to have been 
in bed, and a two year old child — were 
al)andoiu'd to their fate on the snow- 
covered prairie." The reader may in im- 
agination realize the feelings that surged 
through the breast of this poor victim left 
to his fate by one who was sujiposed to 
be bound to him by ties .stronger than the 
fe.ii- nf death — the wife who, to save her 
own life, must abaiuum her husband to 
what ajipeared almost certain death. Mr. 
Smith and the little boy crawled to the 
Thomas vabin in the hope of finding some 
line to care for them, but in this, of 
course, they were disappointed. They re- 
mained in the cabin until fouiul by the 
soldiers from Fort Kidgely.'' After the 
al):indonment the party, now consisting 
of >rr. and Jfrs. Skinner, Mrs. Nelson 
and child and Mrs. Smith, proceeded on 

-Mr, Holcombe, In Minnesota In Three Cen- 
Imirs. snys: "Smlth'.i wife wished to remnln 
with her hiisbnnd. but ho bmlo her save hersi-lf. 
siiylnK that she could do nnlhln); that would 
bo of so much service to him as to hurr.v for- 
ward to tile Iowa settlements and send him re- 

"The Shieglev child was adopted into the 
-fomil.v of Major William Williams. 


tlieir way aiul joineil the other refugees, 
as has been related. 

The newcomers told of their adventures 
and of the abandonment of ^Ir. Smith 
and the Shiegley eliild on the prairie. Up- 
on learning the particulars, Mr. Shiegley 
at once declared his intention to go back 
to take care of his boy, the love of his 
child overshadowing the fear of his own 
danger. The rest of the party tried to 
dissuade him, but to no avail, and after 
having been wished a hearty Godspeed, 
iie set out for the north at about the mid- 
dle of the afternoon. So well satisfied 
were the fugitives that the Indians were 
still at Springfield that they expressed 
the belief that they would never again 
see Mr. Shiegley alive. 

It is to be regretted that no reliance 
can Ix' placed in tlie statements- of this 
man, for he might have left recorded 
much of, historical value instead of the 
improbably stories he did leave. He re- 
turned to the settlement and visited the 
Wheeler cabin, but did not find his boy 
or Mr. Smith, and came back to join the 
refugees. He spent the night with Mr. 
Henderson in the Wheeler cabin, and be- 
fore he left the next day cut a piece of 
meat from one of the oxen slain by the 
I'cdskins and carried the meat in to the 
wounded man that he might not starve. 
He stated that he visited the Thomas cab- 
in ill liis search for the missing boy, but 
if lie had he surely would have found 

After Jlr. Shiegley left, the fugitives 
proceeded to the home of Mr. Granger 
to seek much needed rest after the terri- 
ble suffering incident to the trip. Food 
was supplied and tlien the thirty people 

*Mr. Shiegley also told of having met an In- 
dian in the settlement. He said that after hav- 
ing a talli with the Indian both agreed to turn 
their backs and walk away without turning 
around to look at one another. Mr. Shiegley 
said he broke the agreement by wheeling sud- 
denly and shooting the Indian in the head, re- 
marliing that the aborigine "Jumped like a rab- 
bit with his head cut off." 

endeavored to get a night's sleep in the 
one small room the cabin boa.sted. Some 
were able to lie down, while others were 
obliged to .secure their rest in whatever 
position the conditions afforded. The 
next day, the 28tli, Mr. Markham and Mr. 
Palmer went back and brought in the 
oxen, which were found quietly feeding 
on the dead grass within a few rods of 
the sled. 

The Springfield refugees remained at 
the Granger cabin that day and the next 
night, getting a much needed rest and 
awaiting the return of Mr. Shiegley. On 
Sunday morning, March 29, they set o.ut 
again on the way to Fort Dodge. The 
snow had by this time melted sufficiently 
to leave many bare spots, so the sled was 
left and two yoke of oxen were hitched 
to Mr. Granger's lumber wagon. The 
wounded, women and small children were 
loaded into the wagon, and all, including 
(jcorge Granger and the Hashman family, 
set out on the supposable long journey, 
most of the party going afoot. With 
fatigue and suffering they traveled all 
day. The wounds of those shot by the 
Indians had not been dressed, and, in- 
flammation having set in, every motion 
of the wagon caused excruciating pain. 
Of tills day's trip Mr. Palmer has writ- 
ten : 

The snow liad settled so mucli that we did 
not have much diflficulty on account of the 
drifts, but all the small ravines and sags 
were filled with shish two or three feet deep, 
wliich had to be w;rded by those who walked. 
Some two or three of the women and all of 
the men were compelled to walk, as the oxen 
were not able to haul all of the women even. 
It was heartrending to see the poor women 
]>lunge in and wade the cold slush, sometimes 
nearly to their waists; but when it is life or 
death we can make heroic efforts to save the 

Only twelve or fifteen miles were made 
tliat day. Camp was made on a slight 
elevation of ground on the bank of a 
small lake near Mud lakes, in Emmet 
county, Iowa. There were a half dozen 



small, scrubby oak trees wliich were cut 
down for lirewood, tbe branc-hos being 
use<l for bi'ds. Tbe ground was covered 
with water from the melting snow and the 
accommodations were anything l)ul lom- 
fortable. A fairly restful night was pass- 
ed, however, and on the morning of the 
30th the journey was resumed. 1'luit day 
was a repetition of the preceding one so 
far as discomforts were concerned. In 
addition, the party now began to feel the 
pangs of hunger, for they had had notli- 
ing to eat since leaving the Granger cabin, 
excepting a handful or two of sugar; all 
the vituals had been consumed while stay- 
ing at the cabin. 

About three o'clock in the altci-uodu 
the refugees sighted a party in the dis- 
tance in the direction in which they were 
going, and again did the terror-stricken 
people believe that lluy were to be at- 
tacked by Indians. The guns were ex- 
amined and preparations nuide for a light. 
Six men of the party went ahead to in- 
vestigate, leaving one man with tbe team. 
To their great joy tiiey found the party 
to be the advance guard of an expedition 
recruited by tlic people of Fort Dodge and 
vicinity to come to the relief of the fron- 
tier settlers.'^ The point of meeting was 
near tlie north line of Palo Alta county, 

-The Sprlnfrfiolcl refugee."! were, of course, ig- 
iiorant of the comnip of this expedition; they 
(lid not even Itnow tlint new.-; of the trouhle on 
the frontier h,id been r.Trried to the Iowa .•sel- 
tlemenls. On the 1-llh of Maroh. when the 
Springlield settlers had Kathcrod at Granfter's 
to go to the lakes, a Mi". Hashman.. father of 
the young man mentitined* iti the text, lieeame 
alarmed and set out on foot for Fort Hodge. 
There he told the story of the Spirit lake mas- 
-sacre as It had been related by Mori'is Mark- 
ham, but he being a stranger and having his 
Information second hand, very little credit was 
given to the story by the people of Kort Dodge. 
The news of the massacre was confirmed In 
that Iowa town on the 32nd. when O. C Howe. 
R. U. Wheelock and H. I'. Parmentcr came in 
and reported what they had foinid at the lakes 
on thr l.Slh. Tile people wi'r<' still skeptlcjil. 
but after these men had sworn to liielr state- 
ments they bestlred themselves. 

'riie direful news created Intense feeling. 
Tliree cnmp.'inies of vohuiteers were quickly re- 
cruili'd in Fort Poilge. Webster t'ity and Hom- 
er, and on the 25th. under command of Major 
William Williams, they set out for tiie frontier. 
The.v proceciled up the Di\s Moines river, and 
after terrible hardships came upon the Spring- 
field refugees on the afternoon of the SOih. 

Iowa. The advance guard was under the 
command o( William Church, a Spring- 
field settler and the husband of one of 
tbe refugees. The joy of the hungry, 
weary, bleeding fugitives on meeting the 
volunteers was indescriiiable. Xot until 
then, IVom the time of attack, liad they 
foi' a moment felt safe from their foes. 
Tliey knew that bad tiicy been attacked on 
the route they would have fallen an easy 

The main body of volunteers, consist- 
ing of about 115 men, soon came up. The 
refugees accompanied them to tlieir camp, 
four or five miles away, and for the first 
time since early in the morning of the 
day before had something to cat. Dr. 
Bisscll, the surgeon with the volunteers, 
dressed tbe W(ninds of Jfr. Thomas, Mr. 
Carver and Miss Swanger. As tiie injur- 
ies had liecn received four days before and 
had gone that lengtli of time without sur- 
gical attention, the wounds were in bad 
condition and were terribly inflamed. All 
lemained in the camp of tlie .soldiers tliat 
night. The next morning ^lajor Wil- 
liams made the neicssaiy ari-angements 
for the cai'e of the wounded and the wom- 
en and childivn. .Vccompanied by Messrs. 
(iranger, Ha.shman, Strong and Skinner, 
they went to the "'Irisli colony," a few 
miles below, and in course of time arriv- 
ed safely in Fort Uodge and other Iowa 

or tiie refugees, Messrs. Bradshaw, 
.Markham, Shiegley and Palmer did not 
go to the Iowa towns, Imt joined the vol- 
unteers.' They became memliei's of a 
scotifing ])arty and scouted over (]uite a 

"The fallacy of some of Major Williams' con- 
clusions Is illustrated in the following from his 
rcfiort of the expedition: 

".Vbout eighty miles up we met those who 
had escai>ed the mass,aere at Sprlngfleld. 

Tliey were about exhauste<l and the Indians 
on their trail pursuing them. Had not our 
.'couts discovered them and reported, there can 
lie no doubt they would have been murdered 
that night." 

■J. Grimth and William Church were also 
former Sprlngfleld residents who had joined 
111'- \-ninnt.'i'rs .-it Ihe linn- of reeriiiting. 



large tract of territorj-. Although they 
found fresh Indian signs, they were un- 
able to run across any of the savages. 
The main body of the volunteers jiro- 
ceeded north to the .Granger cabin. There 
they learned that United States soldiers 
had arrived at Springfield, and they de- 
cided to return home, and after detailing 
a party to bury the dead at the lakes, they 
departed. Some of the former Spring- 
field settlers who had joined the volun- 
teers went up to the camp of the regulars 
and assisted in straightening -up affairs 
in that disordered settlement. 

Let us now consider the part played 
by the United States soldiers from Fort 
Hidgely, whose coming had been so anx- 
iously awaited by the people of Spring- 
field, and whose earlier arrival would have 
saved seven lives and prevented the hard- 
ships endured by the refugees. 

When Joseph C'hiffin and Henry Trets 
arrived at the lower agency with the peti- 
tion on the 18th of March, Agent Charles 
E. Flandreau was fully satisfied of the 
truth of the report that murders had been 
committed* and took prompt action. He 
at once drove to Fort Ridgely, fourteen 
miles distant, and conferred with Col- 
onel F. B. Alexander, of .the Tenth in- 
fantry, then commanding tlie post, which 
contained five or six companies of that 
regiment. Witli commendable ])rompt- 
ness Colonel Alexander ordered D com- 
pany, commanded by Captain Bernard 
E. Bee, with Lieutenant Alexander Mur- 
ry second in command, to be ready to 
start for the scenes of the trouble at once 
for tlie purposes of protecting the set- 
tlers and to punish the Indians. 

Captain Bee received his orders at nine 
o'clock on the morning of March 19, and 
within three and one-half hours he was 
on his way with forty-eight men, trans- 
])orted in sleighs drawn by mules. It was 

"Speech of Charles B. Flandreau at unveiling 
of Spirit Lake monument in 1895. 

found impossible to march tlie troops in 
a direct line to the scene of the outbreak 
on account of the difficulty in traveling 
tlirough the deep snow with the army 
wagon and mules. The route traversed 
was down the Minnesota by way of New 
Ulm to Mankato, and thence up the Blue 
Iilarth and Watonwan to Isaac Slocum's 
cabin, a few miles southwest of the pres- 
ent town of Madelia. It was hoped to 
find a trail from that place to the exposed 
settlements, but for the last forty or fifty 
miles of the journey it was necessary for 
the soldiers to break a road for the muleb. 

Agent Flandreau and his interpreter, 
Pliilander Prescott, accompanied the 
troops as far as Slocum's; then, believing 
it useless to proceed farther, they turned 
back. At Little Eock a half-breed guide 
named Joseph LaFramboise, who was well 
acquainted with the country, was secured, 
but it was almost impossible for him to 
follow a road or trail covered with four 
feet of snow. 

So great were the difficulties of travel 
that Agent Flandreau advised Captain 
Bee to turn back, also, stating that he 
would justify such action before his com- 
manding officer. Captain Bee was a 
plucky officer, however, and replied: "My 
orders are to go to Spirit lake and to do 
what I can ; it is not for me to interpret 
orders, except to obey them. I shall go 
on until it liecome physically impossible 
to proceed farther."'-' So the plucky cap- 
tain continued on hi« way. At Slocum's 
the command was joined by Nathaniel 
Frost. William Nelson and Charles Wood. 

The little command waded through 
snow drifts up to their waists, often cut- 
ting through them with spade and shovel; 
extricated mules and sleighs from sloughs 
and drifts: dragged sleighs up steep hills 
and over l>are spots ; marched in close 
rank through the deep snow to break a 

"Charles E. Flandreau in The Inkpaduta Mas- 
sacre of 1857. 



road for the teams; were up from early 
inoruing until late at night; camped, ate 
and slept in the snow. It was after such 
a trip as this, on the evening of March 
28, nine days from the time he had start- 
ed from Fort Eidgely and two days after 
the butchery at Springfield, that Cap- 
tain Bee at the head of his command ar- 
rived at the trading post of Gaboo and 
the little Indian village there. 

Gaboo and his Indians professed friend- 
ship for the whites,'" and the half-breed 
was employed as guide." He gave the 
information that Inkpaduta and his In- 
dians had cleaned out the Springfield set- 
tlement and had retired to their camp on 
Heron lake. Learning this, Captain Bee 
decided to pursue the Indians at once, 
although his men were nearly exhausted 
from tlie long and wearisome journey. 
With the sounding of retreat on the even- 
ing of the arrival Captain Bee called for 
twenty volunteers to start early the next 
morning for the Indian camp, and the 
whole company ])romptly stepped for- 

So, early on the morning of Sunday, 
Mardi 29, the whole force of soldiers, ac- 
companied by the two half-breed guides, 
set out for Heron lake. The teamsters 
accompanied the soldiers, leading the 
thirteen mules of the company for nse in 
case the Indians attempted flight. Guided 
by Gaboo, they went straight across the 
country to the site of the recent Indian 
camp, which they surrounded. Said Cap- 
tain Bee in his report: ''The camp was 
there with all its traces of plunder and 
rapini^ — books, scissors, articles of female 

**It has been allesed the soldiers found 
goods nt Gabno's camp tliat had come from the 
settlers at SprlngHeld. Of the charge that 
GabOD's Indian wife was seen wearing a shawl 
belonglnR to Mrs. Church. Captain Bee said it 
"only existed in the imagination of one or two 
settlers." He stated that all the Indian squaws 
were robed In Indian blankets. 

""We i>rocured two lialf-breed guides. ,Toe 
Coursalle. Vietter known as Joe Gaboo. an<i Joe 
I.aFrambolse, both of whom I knew well .and 
felt no hesitancy In trusting on such a mission." 
— Charles E. Flandreau at Spirit Lake monument 
unveiling In 1895. 

apparel, furs and traps." The marks of 
seven tepees were found. Although this 
camp liad been deserted at three o'clock 
tliat same morning (the soldiers reached 
tiie place in the afternoon) the half- 
breed guides were of the opinion that the 
camp was two days old. 

From this circumstance some have 
formed the opinion that Gaboo did not 
want the soldiers to continue tlie pursuit 
of the Indians and that he deceived the 
officer in command. Captain Bee did 
not think so at any rate, for in a com- 
munii-ation to the Pioneer and Democrat 
of St. Paul of May 14, 1857, he said: 
"Gaboo was in front of my men, his dou- 
ble-barreled gun in his hand; iiis whole 
demeanor convinced me that he had come 
out to fight; his life, he told me, had .been 
threatened by the Indians."' 

Tlie guides pointed out anotlier grove 
four miles to tlie northwest, where they 
.-aid the Indians might be. Lieutenant 
Miiriy took ten men and Gaboo and 
.•^cardicd the grove, but found no Indians. 
I'poii receiving this report from the lieu- 
tenant. Captain Bee, believing that the 
Indians were two days' march away and 
knowing that liis men were in no condi- 
tion to make, a long campaign, decided 
that under tiie circumstances he would 
give up the pursuit. This he did and 
the command returned to the Des Moines 

Now, a.- a matter of fad, the soldiers 
were within a very sliort distance of the 
Indians on this trip and created great 
alarm among the savages. To get a fhor- 
ougli understanding of the events that 
Hucieedcd the massacre, let us keep the 
company of the Indians for a while. 

The looting of Woods' store was a 
great event with the savages and the war- 
riors returned in triumph to the camp 

'-'Major William Williams, of the Iowa volun- 
teers, with his usual careless handling of the 
truth, said of this campaign of the regular 



uear Heron lake, loaded down with plun- 
der. Mrs. Sharp says the Indians re- 
turned after an absence of two days. 
Camp was then moved from a small lake, 
believed to be Boot lake, to the creek near 
the south end of Heron lake." The In- 
dians brought with them as a result of 
the raid twelve horses, heavily loaded with 
dry goods, groceries, powder, lead, bed 
quilts, wearing apparel, provisions, etc. 
The whiLe captives were informed that 
(he Indians had been rejjulsed. but were 
given no particular? of the fight, except 
the statement tliat only one white wmnan 
had been killed. 

The return of the savages to camp is 
interestingly told by ]\Irs. Marble, one of 
the captives :'^ 

Perhaps you rememljer that wliile w^ were 

"On Friday, in the afternoon, the troops from 
Fort Ridgely arrived, all well mounted on 
mules. Those troops lay at Springfield all day 
Saturday and assisted in burying the dead. 
Their officers counseled with the half-breed. 
Gaboo, who was the only one unharmed, and 
known to be acting with, and identified with, 
the Indians, and whose squaw (he is married 
to a squaw) was at the time wearing the shawl 
of Mrs. Church, with other arHcles taken from 
the citizens. Said ■ off icers lay over from Fri- 
day evening till Sunday morning without pur- 
suing or making any effort to overtake the In- 
dians, who, they must have known, had taken 
off four white women as prisoners. 

"On Sunday morning he, the commanding of- 
ficer, set out on their trail, and followed them 
half the day, finding their campflres. overtaking 
three or four straggling squaws, let them go, 
and finding all sorts of goods thrown and 
strewn along their trail to lighten their load 
and expedite their flight. When he could not 
have been over half a day's march from them 
he stopped and returned the same evening 
(Sunday) to Springfield. When he ordered the 
men to return, they expressed a wish to foi- 
low on, and said they would put up with half 
rations if he would allow it. His reply was 
that he had no orders to follow them. 

"On Monday he set out for Spirit lake to 
bury the dead, etc. He went to the first house, 
that of Mr. Marble, found one dead body, bur- 
ied it a!id returned to Springfield. 

"It is certain such troops, or rather, such 
officers will afford no protection to our troubled 
frontier settlers. Think of his conduct! His 
men, all well mounted, turning back when he 
was not a half day's march off them; they 
loaded down with plunder and horses and mules, 
and carrying off with them four respectable 
women as prisoners." 

"Heretofore it has been generally believed 
that the Indian camp was on Heron lake when 
the attack on Springfield was made, but the 
camp at that time was doubtless on what is 
now known as Boot lake. The camp was mov- 
ed to Heron lake immediately after the return 
from Springfield. Early settlers of Jackson 
county reported finding large quantities of 
boots and other goods from the Woods store on 
the bank of this lake; hence the name. 

camped at a little lake the Indians went to 
Springfield and massacred the people and 
robbed the place. 1 do not know the name of 
the lake, but I remember it was surrounded 
witli large oak trees, in which there were a 
number of eagles' nests. I do not know 
whether you recollect their arrival in camp 
that evening or not, but I remember it well, 
and so long as reason retains her throne I 
shall never forget it. It was just about sun- 
down, and I had stepped out of the tent, when 
tlu-ougli the opening of the oaks my eyes 
caught the sight of a long line of dusky ob- 
jects coming across the prairie. A .=econd 
glance and I recognized the Indians of our 
camp. They came single file to the number 
of some twelve or thirteen. Each one led a 
horse, which with their drag-poles, on which 
they carry their loads, made a long line of 
men and horses. The horses were loaded 
with all kinds of goods and plunder. It was 
evident a dry goods store had been robbed. 
For, if you remember, each Indian wore a 
full suit of new. dark clothes, and with the 
r.ew dark cape drawn closely down over their 
brows they presented a singular and really 
gloomy appearance. Many of them even wore 
new gloves. They brought blankets, grocer- 
ies of all kinds, and whole bolts of prints. 
I with my own hands made up dozens of 
garments of the calico; dresses for their pa- 
pooses and shirts for the men, as well as 
dresses for the squaws. They had also, many 
of them, a young animal strapped to tlieir 
horses. I soon perceived that they were 
yoimg calves. You doubtless remember they 
feasted about this time on veal cookeii witii 
die hair and hide on. 

Mrs. Sharp also tells of the events in 
camp after the arrival of tlie warriors 
from Springfield : 

Among this plunder wei-e several bolts of 
calico and red llannel. Of these, especially 
the flannel, they were exceedingly proud, dec- 
orating themselves with it in fanta.-ilic fash- 
ion. Red leggings, red shirts, red blankets, 
and red in every conceivable way, was the 
style there as long as it lasted. Could any- 
tliing have amused me in those sad days, it 
would have been to see their grotesque at- 
tempts to wear the habiliments of the whites; 
especially the attempts of the squaws to 
wear the tight-fitting garments of the white 
women. Thej' would put in one arm. and 
tlien reach back to try to get in the other; 
but. even if they succeeded in getting both 
arms into the sleeves at the same time, tliey 
were too broad shouldered and brawny to 
get the waist into position or .fasten it; so 
after struggling awhile they would give it up 
in disgust. They were altogether too much 
tlio shape of a barrel to wear the dress of 
white women. So they cut off and threw 

"Letter from Mrs, M. A. Silbaugh (formerly 
Mrs. Marble) to Mrs. Sharp, dated February 
25. 1S85. and published in Mrs. Sharp's History 
of the Spirit Lake Massacre. 



away the waists and made the skirts into 
loose-fit tiiij,' sacks after the si|uaw fasliion. 
All this anuisid them greatly; they would 
laugh and cliatter like a lot of "monkeys. 

In the midst of tiie celebratiou of the 
sacking of Woods' store and the murders 
at Springfield came an alarm that the 
soldiers were coming. The wildest ex- 
citement prevailed. The squaws at once 
e.\tinguislied tlie fires by pouring on wa- 
ter, tliat the smoke might not be .■^een and 
that the asli heap.s would not have a fresh 
appearance if the soldiers came upon them. 
T! e tents were torn down, the good.-; lias- 
tily packed, and all proceeded down the 
creek upon wliicli tliey were camped. 

While the description of the camp ns 
remembered by Abbie Gardner, the cap- 
tive, is rather indefinite, it is believed to 
have been on the little creek which flows 
into the extreme south end of Heron 
lake, just northwest cf the present village 
of Lakeficld. She says the camp was on 
low ground and by a small stream of wa- 
ter, and that there was a high rolling 
prairie close by, and this corresponds with 
the high land upon which Lakeficld is 
built. Some rods from the camp, so Miss 
Gardner said, was a large tree, to wliidi 
an Indian crept. From the brandies of 
this tree tiie warrior watched tlie move- 
ments of the soldiers and reported to his 
comrades. This would seem to fuitlier 
establish the location, for it is highly 
probable that the tree mentioned is the 
famous ''Txine Tree," still standing a 
short distance from Lakeficld and visible 
for many tniles. 

"When the alaini v,as given (he savages 
jirepared tlieraselves for attack. First 
they discharged their guns into the earth 
to empty them of the loads of fine shot, 
firing into the eartli deadening tiie sound ; 
then they reloaded with liullets. The sav- 
ages hastened down the creek, "skulking 
like partridges among the willows," as 
the ciptive-historian expresses it. One 
warrior was detailed to .stand guard over 

the four women prisoners, with instruc- 
tions to kill them if an attack was made 
i)y the soldiers. 1 quote again from Jlrs. 
Sharp's hvstory : 

"The excitement manifested by tlie In- 
dians for a little wiiil<! was intense. 

Alter an liour and a half of this ex- 
citing siispi'iL^e. in wjiicli the S(juaws were 
skulking in the willows, the sentry watch- 
ing from the tici'-tnp, tlie warriors lurk- 
ing among the openings of the willows 
on the banks of the stream, and we cow- 
ering beneath the muzzles of the loaded 
rilios — a sudden change came to us. The 
soldiers, it seems, just here decided to 
turn back." 

Such was the situation of tlie Indians 
that the soldiers, had they followed the 
trail, would not have discovered the pres- 
ence of the enemy until in their midst — 
and then they would have discovered it 
with a volley. The captives wouM sure- 
ly iiave been murdered. But events did 
not so siiape themselves. The half-breed 
guides were either deceived themselves or 
they deceived the officers, and the sol- 
diers turned back. After the turning back 
of the trcxips, the Indians did not hesi- 
tate a moment, but set' out in all haste 
for the west. 

On the return from tlie )iursiiit of (he 
Indians. Captain Bee and his command 
Went diiwn the river to Springfield, aiul 
on Jloiiday, Jlarch .'iO, the dead bodies of 
the victims were buried. It was found 
llia( all the goods had been carried away 
from (lie store. William Wwid was bur- 
ied near where he was found, on the west 
bank of the river, just above the old ford, 
the exact spot being now unknown. The 
soldiers failed to find tlie body of George 
Wood, which was concealed in the brush 
]iile, but it was subsequently found and 
buried near the sjiot where he was killed. 
The Stewart family and Willie Thomas 
were buried near the Stewart cabin. In 



, /^- 

■4 ^ ■ 

- _N 

V 3 %^ i ''■ ' 


























Historic Landmark Near Lakefleld. 

-r^.oitt FOUND*-"" 



his report Captain Bee said : '"'It was one 
of the saddest moments of my life when 
I saw the Stewart family dead by their 
cold hearthstone, but then and there my 
conscience told me that they had mot 
tlieir fate by no fault of mine." At the 
Wheeler cabin, Mr. Henderson was found 
alive, not having been molested by the 
Indians. 'Sir. Smith and the Shiegley boy 
were found at the Tliomas cabin. 

While Captain Bee and his forces were 
still at Heron lake he detailed lieutenant 
]\Iurry and eight men to go to Spirit lake 
to bury tlie dead. The party went to 
the jMarble grove, buried the body of Mr. 
Marble, and then returned to Springfield. 
Tlie rapid melting of the snow and the 
consequent rapid rise of the streams made 
progress difficult and he did not go to the 
()kol){)ji lakes. The dead there were af- 
terward l)uricd by the Iowa volunteers, 
on April 3. 

While in Springfield Captain Bee ex- 
pressed much feeling over the massacre 
of the settlers. He said lie was sorry Ma- 
jor Williams had not continued his nuirch 
over the state line and taken summary 
vengeance on the ludian.s of Galwo's 
cam]), wlio professed such great friendship 
for tlie whites, remarking that the major 
was not tied u]) with orders as he was.'^ 
The coiiiuiaiiili'i- of the regular soldiers 
expressed the hope tiiat the fugitive fam- 
ilies would return, and went so far as to 
send a messenger after thciu with the 
information that the Indians were out of 
the country and that a guard of soldiers 
would be left at S]>ringfield for their 
protection; that all might now return in 

Captain Bee detailed Lieutenant Murry 

"Jareb Palmer. 

""On the strength of these assurance.s some 
returned and reported that if the guard was to 
be permanent all would return. I could give 
them no information on that head, but stated 
that I would take the responsibility of leaving 
an officer, two non-commissioned officers and 
twenty-six privates, but that further action 
must come from my military superiors." — Re- 
port of Captain Bernard E. Bee. 

and ,-eventeen men to remain in the set- 
tlement for the protection of any who 
wished to remain and those who might 
come in. Mr. Jareb Palmer, who was in 
llie camp when the order was read, says:. 
"I remember that the order stated that 
there .should not be any unnecessary bu- 
gling, and I heard him afterward remark 
while in conversation with the lieutenant 
that the less bugling they had the better, 
all of which went to show that he didn't 
think the danger was over." The next 
morning after the detail was announced 
Captain Bee and the main part of his 
command departed for Fort Eidgely, 
where he arrived April 8.'' 

Lieutenant Slurry'" and his seventeen 
men pitched their camp just south of the 
Wheeler cabin and not far from tlie Car- 
ver cabin. This force remained at Spring- 
field until about April 20. Then it was 
relieved by Lieutenant John McNab with 
a force of twenty men, who remained un- 
til fall. 

The subsequent history of Inkpaduta 
and his band can lie told in a Hew words. 
.\] I hough all the damage had been done 
by a dozen or. fifteen warriors of the out- 
law band, it was feared the whole Sioux 
nation was up in arms. There was great 

'^Captain Bernard E. Bee was a South Caro- 
linian and was about forty year.s of age in 
1S57. He was a West Point graduate and a 
tirave and determined officer. Soon after the 
exijedition to Springtield his regiment went 
west to help .suppress the Mormon uprising and 
he was in the west until the beginning of the 
ci\il war. When South Carolina seceded from 
the union Captain Bee resigned from the army 
and was made a brigadier general in the con- 
federate army. He was killed in the first bat- 
tle of Bull Run while endeavoring to hold his 
brigade in line. But before he was killed he did 
much to turn the tide of battle and bring about 
a confederate victory. 

During the hottest part of the battle, while 
his men and those of several other commands 
were fleeing in disorder, noting how firmly 
stood the brigade of General Thomas J. Jack- 
son. General Bee shouted to his men: "For 
CJod's sake,- stand, men: stand like Jackson's 
brigade on your right; there they stand like .a 
stone wall." General Beauregard and other 
officers, overhearing the remark, remembered it. 
rnd from this came the famous soubriquet of 
"Stonewall Jackson." 

"Lieutenant Murry was a Pennsylvanian by 
birth. He had attended West Point, but failed 
to graduate, and was appointed to the army 
from civil life. He remained true to tlie north- 
ern cause. 



alarm all over soutlieni Minnesota, al- 
thougli there was not a hostile Inrlinn in 
the vicinity. 

Immediately after the soldiers under 
Captain Rce had given up the pursuit, 
the Indians made all haste to get out of 
the country. They traveled westward in- 
to Dakota, taking the women captives 
with them. Of the four unfortunate wom- 
en, Mrs. Thatcher and Mrs. Xoble were 
cruelly murdered, Mrs. Marble and Miss 
Gardner were ransomed after considorahlc 

Inkpadula and his ham] df niurdcrers 
were never properly ])unishod, owing to a 
combination of circumstances. The chief 
himself became totallv blind within a 

few years and did not participate in more 
iMitcherics. lie and two surviving sons 
tle<l with Sitting Hull to Canada, finally 
locating at the Canadian red pipestone 
(|uarry, in southwestern Manitoba. Hero 
in 1804 Dr. Charles Eastman, a well- 
known Indian authority, found the dc- 
.^cendants of Inkpaduta, who gave him 
much interesting information. Tlie 
bloody-minded old savage himself had 
died miserably some years before.'" Two 
of Inkpaduta's sons. Roaring Cloud and 
Fire Cloud, were killed during the sum- 
mer of 1857. Two other members of the 
band were killed by Little Crow's In- 
dians. Probably the rest took part in the 
great Sioux outbreak of ISGS. 

"Minnesota In Three Centuries. 



IT SEEMS ^trann'e that in less tliaii nuses tn various contemplated railroads, 

two months after the terrible Inkpa- The towiisite boomers carried their 

duta massacre — at a time when only schemes to the legislature and largely -for 

a handful of men were braving the dau- their benefit the Minnesota law making 

gers of the Indian country by remaining body indiscriminately created counties in 

in what was then known as the Spring- all parts of the territory — in many of 

field settlement — the legislature of the 
territory- of Minnesota should see fit to 
create the political division known as 
Jackson county and make provision for 
its organization. But such is the case, 
and Jackson county was for the first time 
entitled to a place on the map of Minne- 
sota on May 23, 1857, when Governor 
Samuel Medary attached his signature to 
the bill creating it. 

Conditions in Minnesota territory at 
the time were unique. Thousands of peo- 
l)le were pouring in and building them- 
s-elvcs homes in the frontier sections. Elab- 
orate scliemes for big ventures were 
planned ; nothing was done in a niggardly 
manner ; frenzied finance reigned su- 
preme. Railroad rumors filled the air, 
and it was indeed an out-of-the-way place 
that did not look forward to the coming 
of the iron horse in the immediate fu- 
ture. Paper roads covered the territory 
from one end of the territory to the other, 
and southwestern Minnesota was no ex- 
ception to the rule. The territorial leg- 
islature caught the fever and granted bo- 

which there was not at the time a single 
resident. And Jackson county came into 
existence under these conditions. 

Investigation shows us tliat in addi- 
tion to the Indian title, which was quiet- 
ed by treaty in the early fifties, the land 
now comprising Jackson county has been 
in the possession of three different civiliz- 
ed nations and has formed a part of six 
different territories of the United States 
and of three difEerent counties of Minne- 

Our county formed a small part of the 
new world possessions claimed by France 
by right of discovery and exploration. In 
]7G3, iuimbled by wars in Europe and 
America, France was forced to relinquish 
her province known as Louisiana, and all 
her possessions west of the Mississippi 
liver 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 ruled by 
Xapoleon Bonaparte. On April 30, 1803, 
negotiations were completed for the pur- 
chase of Louisiana by the United States 



IllSlOliY OF .lAl'KSO.N COlN'rV. 

for tlie sum of $1.5,000,000. On lliat 
date the future Jackson county became a 
part of the UniteiT States. 

Soon after the United St-.iics secured 
pofsesiiion — in 1805 — that jiart of tlie 
mammoth territory of Louisiana wliich 
had been called Upjicr Lfluisiana was or- 
ganized into Jlissouri territory, and had 
our county then liad settlers they would 
have been nnder the government of ifis- 
souri. ^lissouri was admitted as a state 
in \S'Hk and for several years thereafter 
the country beyond its northern boun- 
dary, comprising what is now Iowa and 
all of Minnesota west of the ^lississippi 
river, was without organized government. 
But in 18,34 congress attached tliis great 
expanse of territory to Michigan terri- 
tory. Two years later Wisconsin terri- 
tory was formed, comprising all of Michi- 
gan Avest of Lake Michigan and for the 
next two years we were a ])art of that ter- 

Congi-ess did a iot of enacting and 
boundary changing before Jackson coun- 
ty got where is belonged. ^Ye became a 
part of Iowa territory when it was creat- 
ed in 18.38, because we were included in 
"all that part of the fthen] present ter- 
ritory of Wisconsin which lies west of the 
Mississippi river and west of a line diawn 
due north from the headwater.-; or sources 
of the Mississippi to the territorial line." 
Jackson county was a part of Iowa ter- 
ritory until Iowa became a state in tSK!. 
During this time settlers began to locate 
in portions of what later became Minne- 
sota, and they were put under the juris- 
diction of Clayton county, Iowa.' -Be- 
fore this the Minnesota country had been 
practically a "no man's land." The only 
laws enforced were the rules of the fur 
comjianies and the law of the sword ad- 
ministered by the connnandant at Fori 

'Henrv H. Sibley, who lived at Mcndola. wa.i 
a justice of the peace of that count.v. The 
cotinty seat was 250 miles distant, and his Jur- 
isdiction extended over a region of countr>' 
"as large as the empire of France." 

Snelling. By the admission of Iowa as 
a state in l.S4(5 our county again liecame 
actually a "no man's land/' we were a 
part of no territ<iry or state. That con- 
dition existe<l until Minnesota territory 
was iii':iti(l ill 184!)." 

Wlieii the lirst legislature convened af- 
ter the organization of the territory in 
18411 it divided Minnesota into nine coun- 
ties, named as follows: Benton, Dakota. 
Itasca. Cass, Pembina, Ramsey, Washing- 
ton. Chisago and Wabasha. The whole of 
.southern Jliuncsota was included m Wa- 
ija.sha and Dakota, and of these two. Da- 
kola had the bulk of the territiu-y. Wa- 
basha included that part of the territory 
"lying east of a line running due south 
from a point on tiie ilississipjii river 
known as iledicine Bettle village, at Pine 
Bend I near St. Paul], to the Iowa line.'' 
Dakota county (created October 27, 1840) 
\tas "all that part of said territory west 
of the ^[ississipjii and lying west of the 
county of Wabasiia and south of a line 
beginning at the mouth iif Crow river, 
and up said river and the north branch 
I hereof to its source, and thence due west 
to the ^[issouri river.'"'' 

=It may he of Interest to know that only an 
unfavorable act of rongr.-ss i>revent.*tl Jackson 
cnurUy from beinjc (ll\'ldc(l — part t.i go to Iowa 
and part to the future Miiui.-sota. In 1S14 a 
constitutional co!i\-ention prepari-ti a constitu- 
tion for tile state tif Inw.a which ]>rt>vi<lcd for 
boundaries in part as follows: From a point 
whore the Sioux or Calumet river enters the 
Missouri. In a straight line to a point wlu'rc 
the Watonwan enters St. Peter's (Minnesota) 
river (which it does not. but rath.T the Ului' 
KarthK and thence down the SI. I'.-ters to the 
Mississippi aiul down that river. 'I'his line de- 
fining th<. northwest bouiidarv woulil extend, 
on a present da\' map. from Si<Mix (Mty. Iowa, 
to Afankato. Minnesota, and woubl pass through 
Jackson countv. Had congress ratified this 
constitution, which it did not, the present Jack- 
son county would have been partly In Iowa 
and partl.v in Minnesota 

".Minnesota territory then extended to the 
Missouri river. In this mammoth county of 
Dakota there were the following prisent day 
counties (or parts of counties) in Minnesota. 
In addition to many in whiit is now the stjite of 
South Pjikola; Rock. NVdiles. Jackson, Mai'liji. 
Faribault. Freeborn, Steele, Waseca, Hlue 
Karth. Watonwan. Cottonwood, Murray, Pipe- 
stone, Lincoln, I, yon. Redwood, Hi'own, Nicfjllet. 
Lesueur. Kice. Dakota (part), Scott, Sibley. 
Renville, Yellow Medicine, I>ac qui Parle, Chip- 
pewa, Kandiyohi (except small corner). Meeker 
(part). Mcl.eod, Carver, Hennepin. Wright 
(part), Stearns (small part). Pope (part). Swift. 
Stevens (part), Big Stone and Traverse (part). 



Although Dakota county was lai-gcr 
than many of the eastern states its popvT- 
lation was almost nothing, and it was de- 
clared "organized only for the purpose 
of the appointment of justices of the 
jieacc. constaMe.-; ami sueli other judicial 
and miniriteiiid utficcrs as may be speci- 
ally provide(l for." 

The futiii'c .Iack;-i))i cdunty remained a- 
part of Dakota county until March .5, 
1853, when there was a readju.stment of 
Dakota and Wabasha county boimdaries, 
and Blue Earth county came into exist- 
ence. The boundaries of the latter were 
described as follows: "So much territoiw 
lying south of the Minnesota river as re- 
mains of Wabasha and Dakota 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, 
however, that it included all of south- 
western Minnesota. 

For two years the unknown Jackson 
county country remained a part of Blue 
Earth county, and then came another 
change. By an act approved February 
20, 185.5, the county of Blue Earth was 
reduced to its present boundaries, Pari- 
l)ault county was created with the bound- 
aries it now has, except that it extended 
one township farther west than now; and 
the new county of Brown came into ex- 
istence. It was described as follows: 
"That so much of the territory as was 
fonnerly included within the county of 
Blue Earth, and has not been included 
within the boundaries of any other coun- 
ty as herein establislied. shall be known 
as the county of Brown." All of the ter- 
ritory lying south of the Minnesota river 
and west of a line drawn south from the 
western boundary of the present day Blue 
Earth county now became Brown county, 
and .Jackson remained a part of this un- 

til two years later, when it became a polit- 
ical division of itself.^ 

Jackson county was only one of nine 
counties in southwestern Jlinnesota crea- 
ted by the act of May 23, 18o7.'' Section 
two of the act described the boundaries : 

That so much of the territory of ilinne- 
sola a.s lies within the followini;- liijimdaries 
he, and the same is liereby, establislied as the 
coiuity of .Jackson: Beginning at the south- 
east corner of township 101 north, of range 
34 west; thence due north to the northeast 
corner of township 104 north, of range 34 
west; thence due west to the northwest cor- 
ner of township 104 north, of range 38 west: 
thence due south to the southwest corner of 
township 101 north, of range 38 west; thence 
due east to the place of beginning. 

Of the nine counties created only Mar- 
tin. Jackson, Nobles and Big Sioux were 
declared to be organized coitnties and "in- 
vested with all the immunities to which 
organized counties are entitled by law." 
These four counties were attached to the 
third judicial district for judicial pur- 
poses and to the tenth council district 
for legislative purposes. Provision was 
made for the early organization of Jack- 
son county. Eesidents of the county were 
to be named by the governor as commis- 
sioners to perfect the organization." These 
ctnnmissioners were to meet during the 

'Brown county was not organized at once, 
but by an act of the legislature on February 11. 
1S5B, it was permitted tu organize. New "Ulm 
was named as the county seat. 

■"'Minnesota territory at this time extended 
west to the Big Sioux river. The cither coun- 
ties created by the act were Martin. Noble."!. 
Murray, Pipestone, Big Sioux, Cottonwood, 
Rock and Midway. The three first named were 
given the boundaries they now have. The 
boundaries ot Pipestone county were described 
as including the present Rock county and the 
eastern portion of the present Minnehaha coun- 
ty. South Dakota. The boundaries of Rock 
county were described as including the present 
Pipestone county and a small part of the east- 
ern portion of the present Moody county. South 
Dakota. This transposition of the names Rock 
and Pipestone in the description of their- boun- 
daries in the original act of 1857 may have been 
due to a lack of knowledge of the physical fea- 
tures of this part of the country, or it may 
have been due to a clerical error. The mis- 
take was corrected . later. Big Sioux county 
took in part of the present Minnehaha county 
and extended from the Big Sioux river east- 
ward to Pipestone (Rock) count.v. Cottonwood 
coimty had the same boundaries as now. except 
that it did not then have three townships in 
the northwest corner which it now has. Mid- 
way county included that part of the present 
Moody county which lies between the Big 
Sioux river and the western boundary of the 
original Rock (Pipestone) county. 



fiivt week in July, 1857, at the county seat 
aud set in motion llic niacliincry of tlio 
government. The county seat was tern- • 
porarily located at Jackson.' tlie town.<ile 
ol" Springfield iiaving been rcnaiiie(l Jack- 
son a short time before, as will be told lat- 
er. I'rovision for the j)i'rmanent loi-ition 
was made in sedion twelve, wliidi n-,\i\> 
as follows: 

On the petition of twenty legal voters in 
any of said eoimties, at any time after tlic 
passage of this aet, it shall be tlie duty of 
tlie county commissioners to order the legal 
voters of any of the said counties to vote at 
any general election for the location of the 
county scats of said counties, and the point 
receiving the highest nunilicr of votes shall 
be the county seat of sai(l county. 

Jackson couniy wa.< naineil in lionor of 
Ifon. Jlonry Jackson, the fiist mercliant of 
St. Paul, according to the be<t authori- 
ties.* The only dissension from this con- 
sensus of opinion is liy Hon. William P. 
.Nfurray. of St. Paul, who was a memi)er 
of the legislature that established the 
county. Mr. JIurray thinks the county 
was named in lionor of President .\ndrew 
Jackson, l)ut as he is not positive of this 
it Ls reasonably ceitam thr lionor belongs 
to Henry Jackson." 

Tt is perhaps needless to say that Jack- 
son county Avas not organized in July. 
1857, as tlie act provided. It is doubtful 
if there were enough men in the eounfy 
at the time, excepting the .soldiers, to iill 
the necessary county offices. But within 
a short time ))ermanent settlers again 
came to the county and the organization 

•Section eleven of the act reads: "The rov- 
ernor shall appoint three persons for each of 
the ri'spcctlve oritanlzed counties, bcinp resl- 
(Icnts aiul legal voters thereof, commissioners 
for each of siild counties, with full power and 
authority to do and perform all acts and duties 
dovolvlnK upon the board of county commis- 
sioners of any or^jariized county in this terri- 
tory, the said hoard of commissioners shall havi> 
power to appoint all other officers that may he 
required to complete the organization of their 
respecti\"u counties." 

'Section 12: "... an*! the f'(Mint\' seat 
of Jarkson county shall lie temporarily estab- 
lished at the town of Jackson In said county." 

"See article by R. I. Holcombe in I'loneer 
Press almanac for 1S9G: Warren I'pham's Min- 
nesota County names: Mliuicsota in Three Cen- 

was duly perfected, as will be told in due 
chronological order. 

'J'he presence of Lieutenant JIurry and 
his seventeen soldiers at Springfield was 
the only (liing that kept Jackson county 
from becoming entirely depopulated after 
the massacre. As it was, only a few spent 
the summer of 185; in the county. Of 
Jhc several families who were in the 
Springfield settlement at the time of the 

'■"On the night of June it. ist2, there landed 
from a steamboat at St. Paid's a man named 
Henry Jackson, whose advt-nt proved to bv 
epochal In the career and history of thf place. 
He vsas a Virginian and was born in 1811. He 
had served as oi'dei'ly sergeant In the 'I^atrlot 
.\rmy' of Sam Houston that achieved the In- 
dependence of Texas, In May. 1S38. at Burfalo, 
New York, he married -Xngellne Bivins, a modil 
wife for an enterprising and Intelligent charac- 
ter, such as he was. Soon after Ills marriage 
ho moved to Green Bay. Wisconsin, and thence 
to Galena, niinols, where he engaged in busi- 
ness, but was unsuccessful. He had learned 
of the situation at St. Paul's and determined 
to establish hlmsrlf there and with the rem- 
nant of his Galena stock to open a store for 
the sale of Indian and frontier goods. It wa.s 
a dark rainy night when he landed, he did not 
know a single person or n single foot of the 
territor>' in the place, and it required much 
search and effort to fiml a shelter for himself 
and wife imtil the morning. Quarters were 
rtnally found :il the house of James R. Clewctt, 
although his father-in-law's family, thi' Perrys. 
were at the time members of the hiai.sehold. 
Here Mr. and Mrs, Jackson remained for some 
days and then Jackson rented of Pierre Par- 
rant — 'Old Pigs Kvi-' — a <aljin on the levee. 
which was his residence for .some weeks. He 
soon purchased of Benjamin Gervals about two 
acres now lying in the block bounded by Jack- 
son and Robert on the east and west and 
Third aiul Bench streets on the snuth and 
north. The tract was then n high blulT bank, 
and on a point overlooking the river, Mr. 
Jackson built a, cabin of tamarack poles and 
r.nened a stock of goods especially selected for 
the local demand. In the summer of 1S4.1 he 
eidarged and sold a half interest in his busi- 
ness to Wiliiani Hartshorn, and in September 
of that vi'ar tin- ruin took Into their employ as 
elerk and French interpreter .Vuguste l.ouls 
I.arpenteur, a native of Baltimore, but of a 
prominent old French family and who Is (1!I0S> 
vet an honored and honoring citizen of St. Paul. 
"Henrv Jackson became very prominent and 
serviceable In the early affairs of St. Paid, His 
store was a creditable cst.iblishment, was In- 
dependent of the fur I'ompanv and popular 
among the settlers and the Indians. In 1S4S. 
while the Minnesota country east of the Mis- 
sissippi belonged to Wisconsin territory, he was 
appointed by Govc>rnor Heiu-v Dodge a Justice 
of the peace for St, Croix county. In lS4fi he 
was anpointed the first postmaster at SI. Paul's, 
In 1S47 and l.StS he was a member of the WIs- 
ronsin legislature, representing the cotmty of 
St, Croix. Ho was also a member of the first 
lerritorini legislature of Mliuiesola and of th(> 
lirst town council of St. Paul. In April, 1S52. 
he moved to Mankato. becoming one of thi' 
first four settlers of the place, where he died 
Jidv SI, IS.')", Jackson street In St. Paul and 
Jackson coimty are named for him and also 
Jnckson street in Mankato. His widow married 
John S. Hincklev. a pioneer of Mankato, and 
died in that city January 1. lS9t" -Minnesota 
in Three Centuries. 



massacre, only that of Dr. Strong ever re- 
turned to live, and Dr. Strong and family 
(lid not remain many years. The memory 
of the awful events was too clear in their 
minds to tempt back those families who had 
inade settlement along the Des Moines riv- 
er in the summer and fall of 1856. A few 
of the unmarried men of the settlement, 
however, remained during the summer. 
Among tliem were Nathaniel Frost, John 
Dodson, Joseph C'hifFin, Henry Trets and 
Adam Shiegley. 

A few others came in during the sum- 
mer of 1857 and took claims or bought 
from those who had departed. Alexander 
Wood, a brother of the murdered store- 
keepers, came to look after the claims. He 
fell in with a company of townsite sharks, 
who were operating extensively all over 
Minnesota at the time, and an agreement 
was made by the terms of which Mr. Wood 
was to come and iiold down his brothers' 
claims and they were to secure a half in- 
terest in the holdings by reason of im- 
provements which they promised to make. 
Elaborate plans were made for building 
a town on the townsite selected by Wil- 
liam and George Wood, which was to be 
called Jackson, instead of Springfield. A 
sawmill and grist mill were to be built, 
and work on these improvements was com- 
menced. The townsite company did not 
lulfil its part of the agreement by making 
the stipulated improvements, possibly be- 
cause of the panic of that year, and mis- 
understandings resulted which were after- 
wards settled in the courts to the benefit 
of Mr. Wood. . Mr. Wood did not wish to 
.stay on the claim during the winter, so he 
entered the land as a farm claim, instead 
of a townsite claim, and spent the winter 

Another abortive attempt to found a 
town in 1857 was made by Joseph Chiffin, 
John Dodson and James Whitchurch. 
Tlieir "town" ^vas located on Mr. Chiffin's 

claim on section eleven, Des Moines town- 
ship, and was named Odessa. About this 
time tiicre was a war between Eussia and 
Turkey, and the name of the Eussian city 
Odessa was much in the public prints. 
That furnished the name, and the name 
was all there was to Odessa. No improve- 
ments whatever were made, and Odessa 
as a Jackson county place name will be 
handed down simply as an interesting re- 
lic of the wildcat townsite days in Minne- 
sota's early history. The Norwegian set- 
tlers of 1860 report finding Odessa '"a 
\illage of sticks, but without any build- 
ings." The proprietors of the townsite 
were trappers; they spent the winter of 
1857-58 in the Skinner cabin. 

Thomas Johnson came to the county in 
1857, took a claim near Jackson, and 
some time later became a permanent resi- 
dent. Charles Mead came with Mr. John- 
son and became a resident of the county. 
Ned Lower took a claim on section 6, Bel- 
mont, in the summer but did not remain 
during the winter. Charles Kern, com- 
monly called "Dutch Charlie" (he was 
a Bavarian), was another arrival of the 
year 1857, and he spent the following win- 
ter in the settlement "holding down" the 
claim of Alexander Wood. Mr. Kern 
was a man of considerable ability — a news- 
paper correspondent and a physician as 
well as a trapper. He resided in the coun- 
ty several years. As indicated, only a 
few of these remained in the settlement 
during the winter; Jackson county was 
nearly depopulated during the winter of 

The mail route between Mankato and 
Sioux City, which had been discontinued 
after the death of the carrier, Hoxie 
Eathban, and which had not been resumed 
in the spring on account of the massacre, 
was opened during the summer of 1857. 
Marsh & Babcock sublet the contract to 
David Pease, who lived on tlie Watonwan, 



and that genlleiiiau carried the mail over 
tlic old route until ahout November 1. At 
ihal time the route was ehan<ied to {^o liv 
way of the Spirit lake ;-ettlement, and 
two carrier.* were enipUiveil, a Mr. John.-on 
lor tlic northern end and iMr. Jareh I'al- 
nier for the southern eixi. They carried 
the mail until .\i)ril. ISrjS, when Mi-. 
Pease again resumed the duties of carrier. 

The departure of ihe soldiers in the tall 
of 1857 and the removal of most of the 
white settlers for the winter left those who 
remained in some apprehension of Indian 
attack. Although none of Inkpaduta's 
hand came back, there were occasionally 
seen other Indians who created some 
alarm. In Bueua Vista county, Iowa, 
about the last of December, 1857, a party 
of eleven white men attempted to drive a 
hand of Indian.-; from the country. 
The Indians led the whites into an 
ambuscade and wounded one of the 
attackers, and the whites then with- 
drew and gave up the chase. A few In- 
dians appeared at the Spirit lake settle- 
ment during the winter and caused much 
uneasiness among the few families who 
were wintering there. A petition was 
drawn np, signed by every adult in the 
Spirit lake .settlement, and carried to Des 
Jloines by Jareb Palmer. The petition 
asked the Iowa legislatm-e to send a force 
of volunteers for their protection.'" 

Governor Lowe authorized the raising 
of a company of volunteers to go to tlie 
frontier, and ilr. Jaroh Palmer recrui- 
ted a company of thirty men, which was 
mustered in at \Vcb.>ter City and namcil 
Frontier Guard. JI. li. Jlartin. of Web- 
ster City, was captain, and William L. 
Church, the former Springlield settler, 
was first lieutenant, 'i'he Frontier Guard 
arrived in the exposed settlements on 
Marcli 1 and was divided into three squads 
— one at Spirit lake, one on the Des 
Moines, seven miles above Estherville, and 

one on the Little Siou.x, in Clay county. 

The guard remained on the frontier un- 
til the last of June, and then, as there 
apiieared to be no Indians near the settle- 
ments, the soldiers returned to tluir 
homes. Thi' country had been thorouglilv 
seari'hed, but no Indians fo\ind. On one 
occasion, at Skunk lake, in Sioux Valley 
townshi)) of Jackson county, tiiere was 
found the dead body of an Indian laid 
upon the nearly horizontal branch of a 
large but somewhat scrubby oak tree. From 
the profusion of ornaments found on Ids 
person he was supposed to have been a 
chief or warrior distinguished among liis 

Owing to the presence of these Iowa 

"••Spirit La1<e. Jaiiu.iry 9. 1S5S. To the Hon- 
orable, the General .Assembly of the State or 
Iowa. The uiider.'iiBneil citizens, residing- In 
the vicinity of Spirit lake, would resi>ectfully 
present for the consUleration of your honorable 
liody the condition of the iieople on the fron- 
tier in the northwest part of the state. We 
are exposed to the attack i>f nidians under cir- 
cumstances afrordinB little hope of relief. The 
settlemi'nts are sparse and widely se.ittered. 
with but little or no communication with each 
other. A hostile incursion has already been 
made and depredations committed in the vicin- 
ity where the outrages were committed last 
winter, .and with a restdt to encourage renewed 
attempts. .\t any hour this may be repeated 
at points ntlerly iinprot^-cted and but poorly 
supplied with means of ilefense. Some of the 
surrounding: settlem^-nts have already been 
abandoned for the winter, and ail are much 
Weakened in numbers by jiersons who have left. 
Many of the settlers remaining- cannot b>ave 
without ,'ibaiulonlnK tin-ir all antl cannot collect 
in sufficient numl)ers to withstand attack, and 
depending — as nearly all the remalninf? settlers 
do — upon their own exertions for sustetianci*. 
must either endure Kreat suffering or remain 
exp«,sed to danger. If we apply to the general 
go\'ernment. relief, if obtained, wouhl be too 
late. Help for us. to be efTiclent. must bp 
promjit. A small body of soldiers placi'd near 
the Little Sioux river, in the vicinity of the 
slate line, would afford protection to all the 
settlements on the 1. it tie Sioux, alxiut Spirit 
lake, and on the west fork of the Des Moines 
rl\er and their vicinity. We would respectfully 
pray that a law l->e passed authorizing the rals- 
iuK of one himdred volunteer troops for the 
term of three months, to be stationed in the 
north part of Ihe state, -i'our petitioners also 
pray for such other means of protection as cir- 
cumstances demand." 

Tlie petition was sipned hv Orlando C. Howe, 
William P. Oraylord. .larch Palmer. William D. 
Carsley. Joseph Miller. H. H. Packard. Dan 
f'olweil. T. S. Rtff. C. L. Richardson. Rosalvc 
KinRman. W. B. Brown. Charles F. Hill. Jos- 
eph M. Post. William I-amont. T-awrence Fos- 
leer. I.evi Daugherty. George Rogers. K. V. 
I onvfellow. James I.. Pi Urs. K. Thurstc.n 
Thomas Miner. James P. H.awklns. George S R. r. Wheelock. WllliMm Donaldson. 
crick .\. Smith. George tietrlck. Agnes I. Kim; 
man. Melissa A. Peters. Mrs. M. W. Howe. 
Elizabeth Thurston. Mrs. K. Massey. 


eiirrALO _kjll found in Petersburg 



guards there was quite a large immigra- 
tion to the Spirit lake country, to Jackson 
county, and to other nearby settlements 
in tlie spring of 1858. The appearance 
of small bands of Indians about the first 
of September again created apprehension, 
and the guard returned to the frontier 
about the middle of Novendjor and re- 
mained all Avintcr. 

During ihc spring and siiunner of 1S58 
many who had been in Ihe countv the 
year before returned to make permanent 
settlement and several new settlers arrived. 
Among the more prominent of the settlers 
of this year was Joseph Thomas, who be- 
came one of the best known niun of Jack- 
son county." It was during the month 
of March tliat Mr. Tliomas, accompanied 
liy his son, Lansing, then a youth of nine- 
teen years, James Palmer, his son-in-law, 
and P. P. Holland, drove into Jackson 
county by ox team from Newton, Iowa. 
Mr. Thonuis had Ijought the Wheeler claim 
and caljin from a man named Kellogg, 
and made his home there until his death. 
He returned to Newton for provisions and 
household goods, but came back at once. 
Lewis Thomas arrived at the new liojne 
in July. The rest of the family came 
tlie ne.xt spring. James Palmer took as 
a claim the southwest quarter of section 
19, Wisconsin township, and continued a 
resident of the county until his death. 

Nathaniel Frost came back early in the 
spring to bwomo a permanent settler. 
George Bradliury came from Newton, 
Iowa, and took as his claim the north half 
of tlie south half of section 30, Wisconsin 
township, upon which lie lived until liis 
death that fall. James Townsend also 
came from Newton with his family and 
located on the southeast quarter of section 
ST), Pes Moines township, making his 
home in the James B. Thomas cabin. Dur- 
ing the winter of 1858-59 he went to Man- 

"See biographical section. 

kato with two yoke of o.xen for provisions. 
On his way back, while near Elm creek, 
his wagon became stuck in a slough so 
that the o.xen could not pull it out. Mr. 
Townsend unhitched the o.xen, turned 
them loose, and c.unped in the slough for 
tlie night. In the morning he started 
out to look for his oxen, but a storm came 
up and he lost his way. When nearly ex- 
hau,sted from wandering about on the 
prairie, he came upon an empty cabin 
near the west chain of lakes, in Martin 
county, and sought shelter there. He was 
too badly frozen to make a fire and perished 
in the cabin. His body was found ten 
days later by trappers. In the spring of 
1859 Mrs. Townsend and the children re- 
turned to their old home in Newton. 

James Meddleson was another unfortu- 
nate man who came to the settlement early 
in 1858, only to meet a violent death. Soon 
after his arrival iie started down the river 
in a canoe to take a few traps to John 
Dodson and Charles Kern, who were trap- 
ping in Emmet county, Iowa, and never 
returned. He had been murdered and his 
head severed entirely from the body. From 
this circumstance it was thought that he 
had been murdered by Indians. 

Benjamin Hill, with his family of a 
wife and three children, came from Man- 
kato early in the spring, took a claim 
on the river in Belmont township, and re- 
mained several years. Charles Kern was 
also in the county in 1858 and remained 
for several years. John McEwen took a 
claim on section 30, Des Jloines township, 
remained only a few months, and then 
sold to a Mr. Miller, of Newton, Iowa. 
The latter remained only a short time. 
Adam Sliiegley, one of the trappers wlio 
had come before the massacre, was in the 
county again in 1858, and was an intei-- 
mittent resident for several years. Frank 
Wagner also came to the settlement from 
Webster City and remained a few vears. 



Jfessrs. Dodson, Chidin ami Wliitilmrcli, 
of "Odessa," continued to hold their hind 
claims and cngajic in trapping during the 
year. James Haugiiloii and wife came 
during the summer and located on section 
3{>, Des ^loines town.ship, hut remained 
only about one year. Bartholomew Mc- 
Carthy, who had been to the Springfield 
settlement before the niasiiaorc, returned 
in the spring of LS.'iS and became a per- 
manent resident. 

Israel F. Eddy, who had ])roviou.sly 
selected a claim near where the Milwaulvcc 
depot in Jackson is now, came with his 
family in April, 1858, and became a per- 
manent resident. Charles Clark came from 
Newton, Iowa, and took a claim in Bel- 
mont township. ]\rorris Lester came from 
JIankato in the spring and took a claim on 
the west side of the river in the southern 
part of the county', but remained (inly a 
short time. Elisha Hill took a claim in 
Belmont, hut de])artcd from the county 
in the fall. Dr. Iv B. N. Strong and 
his fanuly continued to reside in the 
county during 18.58 and for some time 
afterward. Joseph IMuck and his large 
family located near the present silo of 
Jackson, where he lived until 1802. '- W- 
e.xander ^\'(l^d retui-iied to Imik al'U'r his 

Probably a few other people came dur- 
ing the year 1858 to take claims and be- 
come permanent settlers, but as there is 
now none of the settlers of 1858 living 
in the county the record for the year 
must remain incomplete. 

The townsitc .schemers of Jfinnesota 
appeared before the legislature early in 
1858 and succeedcil in inducing that body 
to provide for the establishment of over 
ninety state roads in dilTercnt parts of 

"In 18G2 Mr. Muck .nnd his family moved to 
Spirit l.ako. Thi-ro his wife died and his son, 
Stephen, became blind. The same year he en- 
listed In the Sioux niy civnlrv and served In 
the army until 18G4. In 18fi7 Mr. Muck located 
In the Graham lakes country. Nobles county, 
and became the first resident of that county. 

tlie new state, most of them leading to 
towns which existed only in the minds of 
the promoters. The provision for the 
cstablishnieiit of these roads was incor- 
porated in one bill, approved by Charles 
1.1. Chase, acting gcivenior, on March 1!», 
1858, Mr. Wood and his jissociates in 
the scheme for the building of a town at 
.laekson were not forgotten. Section 8(; 
of the act reads as follows: 

That E. E. Sraitli, J. S. Fislier ami .Mexaiulii- 
Wood arc lierc'l)y appointed coiiiinis^ioiiers In 
survey, locate aiiJ cMablisJi the following slate 
■ (■ads, viz: Itoiu lilue Earlli t'ily, via Fair- 
mont, county r-cat of .Martin county, to Jackson, 
county seal of Jackson county; also a road 
from Alankato, via Arcadia, in JJrown couiilv. 
to Jackson, in Jackson county; also a road 
from Fairmont in a soutlicrly direction to the 
slate line of Iowa 

It was during the year 1858 that a 
company of promoters from Owatouua, 
Minnesota, founded the town of Belmont 
on the south half of the southeast quar- 
ter of section 34, Belmont township, and 
the northeast quarter of section 3, Dcs 
-Moines township, on a Hat on the east side 
of the river. To such an extent had real 
estate speculation, especially townsite spec- 
ulation, progressed at this time that some 
wit of the time suggested a petition be 
sent to congress asking that a law be pas- 
sed providing for the reservation of some 
of the government domain for agricul- 
tural entry. To illustrate the condition 
tlial permitted the I'ouuding of BeliiKHil 
and other towns on the frontier and their 
more or less successful exjdoitation, 1 
quote from a Minnesota state historx- : 

The real estate speculation reached its crisis 
in the early part of 183": everybody seemed 
inoculaleil with the m.^nia. from the capitalist 
to tlie humble laborer. Townsites and adili- 
tinns to towns were laid out by the score. 
M:iny were piirely iniapinary. never having 
been surveyed, and lots in these paper cities 
were sold by the hundreds in the east at 
exorbitant prices. .■\f;ricullure was nei;lert- 
ed. fanuers. mechanics anil laborers forsook 
their occupations to become operators in real 
estate. The number of real estate dealers 
was innumeral)Ie. but many of them were 
shysters, hnvin;; no olTices but the sidewalk, 
their stock in trade being a roll of townsite 



maps and a package of blank deeds. Tlicse 
opeiators, by sharp maneuvering, would manip- 
ulate unsuspecting strangers and fteece them 
of their means by selling them lots in moon- 
shine towns for several liundred dollars each 
that were not actually worth as many cents. 
Such operations were repeated again and 
again until St. Paul and Minnesota had a 
name abroad that was anything but enviable. 

In sucli times and under such condi- 
tions the town of Bcliuont was founded. 
While Springfield and Jackson and Odes- 
sa had made no material jn'ogress. Bel- 
inont did, boasting a number of buildings 
and one or two business enterprises — 
probably to the greater loss of lot pnr- 
cliasers. tUiarles Mead and D. P. Corn- 
ell seem to have been the leading spirits 
of the enterprise, although a number of 
others were interested with them. 

The Belmont townsite boomers went 
farther with their schemes than most of 
the speculators of the day, and secured 
tiie incorporation of tlieir town by the leg- 
islature, the act being signed by Governor 
Henry H. Sibley July 27, 18.58. The first 
two sections of the bill read as follows : 

An act to incorporate the town of Bel- 

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

Section 1. That so much land as is con- 
tained in the town of Belmont, according to 
the survey and plat of said town, as made by 

C. C. Mead, for the proprietors of Belmont, 
and situated in the county of Jackson, and 
state of Minnesota, shall be a town corporate 
by the name of Belmont. 

Sec. 2. That for the good order and im- 
provement of said town, .Joshua Dyen" is 
hereby appointed president. S. B. Westcott, 

D. P. Cornell, George A. Bardwell and Fred- 
erick Noble be and are hereby appointed trus- 
tees, Charles G. Berry, secretary, E. W. Nortli- 
rup, attorney, and S. A. Farr'ington. treasur- 
er, and George E. Leary, marshal. The presi- 
dent, trustees and secretary shall constitute 
the council of said town. 

Some of the officers of the town — per- 
haps all of them — located in the new town. 
At least two of them became permanent 
settlers of the county, for we find the 
names of Joshua Dyer and Frederick No- 
ble listed as residents of Jackson county 
when the federal censu-- of 1860 was taken. 

"Joshua Dyer. 

Section three of the charter provided 
that the officers named in the act should 
enter upon their duties on the first Wed- 
nesday in January, 18.59, and made jjrovis- 
ion for the holding the first town elec- 
tion at the ne.xt general state or county 
election. The fourth section stated the 
duties and defined the corporate powers 
of tlie officers. Among other items : 

The officers of said town shall have a right 
of action against all trespasses on the prop- 
erty of said town; and any person trespass- 
ing upon any lands within the limits of said 
town, or occupying said lands without a con- 
veyance from tlie proprietors of said town, or 
their trustees, agents or assignees, shall for- 
feit all improvements he may make on such 
lands, and shall be liable to "pay damages to 
twice the amount of actual injustice done to 
said lands. 

Other sections of the charter provided 
for keeping a record of the proceedings of 
the council, for filling vacancies, defined 
the powers of the council, provided for 
authority to assess and collect taxes for 
municipal purposes, and for the delivery 
of records to successors in office. The 
charter does not definitely locate the town, 
and, as the county had not yet been sur- 
veyed, neither the legislature nor the town- 
site proprietors kne\i- the exact location 
as it would appear on a present day map. 
The land was still government property, 
Init provision was made for securing title 
under the townsite act of 184-1. Section 
eleven of the incorporating act reads: 

It .shall be the duty of the said council of 
said town to apply for a preemption of the 
land within the limits of said town, not ex- 
ceeding three hundred and twenty acres, un- 
der the provisions of an act of congress, en- 
titled an act for the relief of citizens of 
towns upon lands of the United States, xni- 
der certain circumstances, approved May 23, 
]844; and as soon as the title to said' land 
shall be obtained as aforesaid, to ascertain 
the persons entitled to the various lots and 
blocks within said town, who may have a 
valid right to the same, either by original 
claim, or by transfer by the person having 
made such original claim, and to deed under 
hand of the president and secretary, and to 
seal with the seal of said corporation, to such 
persons so entitled, the lots or blocks to 
whicli such person may be entitled: provided 
that no street or alley, or other public ground 



shall be go deeded; and provided also, that 
every person or persons to whom such lots or 
blocks shall lie deeded as aforesaid, shall rir>t 
pay to the treasurer or secretary of said town, 
liir smh lots or blocks the cost of entry, and 
incidental expenses of the same. 

the court liouse was a store building, and 
just over the line in Belmont township 
was a hotel. It is believed that a brick 
yard was located on the northwest quarter 

The proprietors of the village of Bel- of the southeast quarter of section 3, for 
jnont were successful in inducing quite a there was found a large quantity of burned 
number of people to locate on their land brick. Besides tlie saw mill, court iiouse, 
and actually spent considerable money in brick yard, store and hotel, there were a 
an effort to build a town. The people who number of log houses on the townsitc. All 
located in Belmont were trappers, traders the buildings were of log, nearly all of 
and farmers. A mnnlicr of patches of which had floors of sawed lumber. There 
prairie land were iiroken up in the vi- is evidence to show that tlie inliabitants of 
cinity and sown to crops ; surveyors' stakes the town moved out of their hou.scs dur- 
covered over a quarter section of the finest ing the winter and took refuge from the 
farming land. 

That the promoters were sincere in their 
intentions to build a little city on the 
frontier is evidenced by the number of 
enterprises put under way. Among the 
first improvements was the building of a 
dam across the river at what later became 
the Holsten Olson place. It is said that 
this dam was built during the winter on 
top of the ice. In the spring, instead of 
sinking and forming the dam, as the 
builders expected, the materials were 
swept away. A dam was then built across 
the river lower down, but the promoters 
decided to install a steam mill, and, at 
great expense the machinery for the coun- 
ty's first sawmill was brought overLind 
with ox teams from St. Paul. The 
mill was set up on the east side of the riv- 
er, very close to tlic center of section three 
and just west of the residence which was 
the home of the late Judge Simon Olson 
for so many years." 

It was, of course, proposed to make Bel- 
mont the county seat of Jackson county, 
and to this end a two story log court 
abo\it 18x20 feet, witli roof of shakes, was 
built on the southeast quarter of the 
northeast quarter of section three.'" Near 

"This miU was .stancUnR when the settlers of 
ISRl arrived. Later It was removed to Spencer. 
Iowa, and later still to Emmet's Grove. 

"At this late day some of the logs that form- 
ed the rnnrt house building are to be found In 
the vicinity. 

cold weatlicr in caves dug close to the riv- 
er in the timber. .\ number of these caves 
were found wliicli had the appearance of 
liaving Ijeen occupied by the Belmont vil- 
lagers. SI) settlers of i few years lnt<T re- 

When the enumerator took the census 
of 1S()0 lie reported finding six unoccupied 
iniihlings in the town of lidmont. The 
Norwegian settlers who came in lS(iO 
found most of the buildings sl;niiliiig. 
There were also one or two of the promot- 
ers present who exerted every effort to 
sell tlie new comers lots. But as tliey 
had all out-doors to select from the Nor- 
wegians did not invest in Belmont town 
lots, and were accordingly coolly received 
by the townsitc agents. 

Like its rival, Jackson, Belmont was 
able to secure the pa.ssage of an act by the 
legislature providing for the establishment 
of state roads to the town. On August 
."i, 1S.5S, a bill was a])proved proviiling for. 
among others, the establishment of three 
loads to Belmont with commissioners to 
oversee the work, as follows : 

Blue Earth City to Belmont ; D. P. Cor- 
nell. C. G. Berry and O. N. Gardner, com- 

South Bend, in Blue Karth county, to 
Belmont : J. T. Williams. S. B. Westcott 
and F. W. Northrup, commissioners. 



Vernon, in Blue Earth county, to Bel- 
mont; James Cornell, Frederick G. Noble 
and D. r. Cornell, commissioners. 

The iiaymcnt for this work was to he 
made by the several organized counties 
through which the roads would run. 

Despite the etTorts of the promoters, 
Belmont was doomed, and within a feu- 
years not a sign of the village was to be 
seen; it had passed into history.'" 

The boundaries of Jackson county were 
surveyed in September, 1858, but town- 
ship and section lines were not run until 
later. The mall route during the lat- 
ter part of this year was under the man- 
agement of Orrin Nason and a Mr. Be- 
dow, of Mankato, under the firm name of 
Nason and Bedow, and those gentlemen 
carried the mail between Mankato and 
Siou.x City from that time until 1862, 
when the service was abandoned. The 
route was across Jackson county by way 
of the little settlement of Jackson. 

During the year 18.58 Jackson county 
was organized under the act of the legis- 
lature of May 2.3, 18.37. John B. Fish, 
Alexander Wood and a gentleman by the 
name of Britton were chosen commission- 
ers by the citizens to perfect the organi- 
zation, but owing to some informality 
the governor, who had the appointing pow- 
er, did not recognize these commissioners, 
but appointed others.'" The commission- 
ers appointed other residents to fill the 
various county offices and the machinery 
of county government was set in motion. 
These appointees served until their suc- 
cessors, elected in the fall of 18.58, quali- 

This county organization was maintain- 
ed until August, 1862, when it was dis- 
continued because of the Sinux outbreak 

"" . . . Belmont for a time promised to 
oustrip its competitors, Odessa and Jacltson, 
down the river, but its metropolitan march was 
brief, and better wheat cannot be grown than 
John and ,\ndrew Olson now raise on these 
same lots and avenues of the old townsite of 
Belmont." — Jackson Republic, March 19, 1870. 

"Jackson Republic, March 19, 1870. 

and the consequent depopulation of the 
county. It is greatly to be regretted that 
so little is known of the county govern- 
ment under this iirst organization. With 
a very few exceptions, all records have 
been lost, only a few miscellaneous rec- 
ords having been preserved — enough 
to make certain that the government was 
maintained during these years. 

There wa.s another Indian scare during 
the winter of 1858-59. Scouts of the 
Frontier Guard, which was stationed at 
the Spirit lake settlement all winter, 
found a tew Indians near the head oi 
Spirit lake, and a detachment of troops 
was sent out to capture them. The sol- 
diers found two warriors and a half-breed 
with their families camped -in a grove on 
the east shore of Little Spirit lake, in 
Minneota township, Jackson county, and 
took them with their camp equipage to the 
soldiers' camp. The Indians made no re- 
sistence and professed friendship for the 
whites and intense liatred for Inkpaduta 
and his Indians. 

A few of the settlers at Spirit lake be- 
lieved tbev recognized in tiiese Indians 
former followers of the noted outlaw, and 
the captives were kept under guard. Gov- 
ernor Lowe of Iowa ordered the Indians 
to be taken to Des Moines for trial for 
the Spirit lake murder.'^. In charge of a 
non-commissioned officer and two privates 
the Indians were started on their way to 
trial. When Palo Alta county was reach- 
ed both Indians made their escape and 
wore never seen afterward, .\lthough 
the captives had now gotten away, then- 
arrest had a salutary efEcct upon the Sioux 
of the vicinity. Straggling bands of In- 
dians were occasionally seen in the coun- 
trv after that, but they never pitched 
their camps in the vicinity. The Iowa 
guards returned home in May, 1859, anil 
were disbanded. 

The vear 1859 was not an eventful one 



in tlic liiiftoiy of Jackson county. Among 
tlie new settk-rs of tlie year wa.s a jiaity 
who came during the summer, consisting 
of D. ilortimer West, wife and sons — 
Stiles M.,, M. F.. and H. F.,— James K. 
West, a hrother of 1). ^Fnrtimer West, Ed- 
ward Davies and Jiciny Pease. All ex- 
cept the two younger West hoys took land 
claims, Afr. Davirs in nnrtiiern He? ^loiiics 

township, the others south of the present 
site of Jackson. A few other settlers came 
and took claims, hut others moved away, 
and at the close of the year there were 
jjrobahly not one hundred men, women 
and children in the county. Tlie settle- 
ments were confined solely to the. country 
aliinjr tlu' Des Moines river. 



"|^>ACTS supplying the context of pre- 
l~i ceding chapters lead to the con- 
-■- elusion that fear of the treacher- 
ous red man was responsible for the slow 
settlement of Jackson county. Had it 
not been for the uprising of Inkpaduta's 
little band of renegade Indians in 1S5T, 
there can be no question that by the be- 
ginning of the year 18G0 Jackson county 

Alone and on foot, with his pack on 
hi is back. Anders Olson Slaabaken, who 
was a sort of leader of the Norwegian 
immigrants who had come from the old 
country and settled in Wisconsin, set out 
from Eock county, Wisconsin, in 1858 to 
explore the great western country and lo- 
cate a suitable place for himself and 
friends to build homes. He traveled 

would have boasted considerable popula- through parts of Minnesota, Nebraska and 

tion. As it was, only a few were found 
willing to brave the dangers incident to 
building homes in the Indian country. 
But by degrees the fear of Indian attack 
was lessened, and during the first three 
vears of the decade beginning with 1860 

Dakota, and then returned to his friends 
and advised them to move farther west. 
It has been stated that ilr. Slaal>aken, in 
his travels in 1858, visited the Belmont 
country and was charmed with the loca- 
tion, but the best evidence is to the effect 

quite a number pushed out onto the fron- ^j^.^^ j^^, ^^j,) j,„|- yi^\i Jackson county. But 
tier to become pernuinent settlers of Jack- 
son countv and other sections of 
southwestern ilinnesota. 

Prior to 18G0 nearly all the settlers of 
the county were American born and came 
from Iowa and the older settled portions 
of ]\Iinuesota. The larger part of the 
settlers of the early sixties were Norwe- 
gians, who came in small colonies and set- 
tled along the Des Moines river in what 
are now Des Moines and Belmont town- 
ships. The first of these came in 1860, 
upon the rejirescntations of Anders Olson 
Slaabaken, wlio was generally known as 
Anders Olson or Anders Belmont. 

he did return home and pili)t his friends 
til the Jackson county country. 

in the spring of 1860 a parly of ten or 
a dozen of these Norwegian families start- 
ed out in covered wagons drawn by oxen 
from their Wisconsin homes. They went 
first to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and 
then pushed on westward to Jackson coun- 
tv, where they arri^ed during the sum- 
mer. The naiues of the men of this col- 
ony and the locations they selected for 
their homes were as follows: 

Anders Olson Slaabaken,^ swi^ 34, 
Belnmnt (east of river). 




Hiirrc Olson niiil familv,- swVi 11, 
Dcs Moines. 

Kiuitc Midstiid and wife, neVi 28, l?ol- 
ninnt (west of river). 

Ole 0. Folire and family, nwV4 22, 

Lars Fumes, nwi j 1(>. Helmonl. 

Tanil Kaiiilo and liiiiiily, section 1.").^ 

Lars .\skclsoii and family. i^wVy 21, 

T^ans Bradvold and family, sei/4 ;>, Dcs 

Ole Peterson and family, swi4 2, Des 

Hans H. LJen and family, sw 14 l'"»- T^' ~ 

Englebret Olson Slaabaken and family,- 
seVi 22, Belmont. 

When families came tiicy had 
their pick of the land.< in that part of 
the county in whioh they located, ^fost 
of the wliitp sott'.ci-- at the time lived 
farther down the river, in the vicinity of 
the present village of .lackson, only a 
few townsite boomers and trajipers having 
located so far up the river. Indians were 
occasionally seen in the vicinity, but they 

'AikIpps Olson Sl.iabikcn becamp oiip of the 

most hlRhly respecterj citizens of the .settlo- 

ment. He devoted his time and enerjo' largely 

to looking after thi' Interests of the people 

whom he had advised to build homes In the 
frontier country and others who came ialer. 
He assisted his people in 
claims, gave many fa\'ors. 
satistied with a "thank vou' 

locating desirabl«- 
aiul was always 
for his pay, Mr. 

Slaabaken was a single man when he c;i 



larried the widow 

His eldest son. 

resides upon the 

Jacksnn county, but he later 

of Mikkel Olson Slaabaken. 

Peter f>lson Slaabaken. now 

old Relmont homestead. Three children of Mr. 
and Mrs. Mikkel Olson Sliibaken. Olava. Chris- 
tiana and Karina. nrc now married and resi- 
dents of Jackson county. 

=One of the sons of Burre Olson Is Rersvend 
fWilllamI Burreson. who resides upon the old 
homestead. Of all the Norwegians who came 
to the county In ISfiO. only William Burreson 
and wife and Mrs. Burreson's sister. Mrs. 
Gillie, are living. 

'In 1S61 Mr. Ramlo took as his claim the 
southwest ouarter of section 34. Belmont, on 
the west side of the river, and removed to that 

'Two of Englehret Olson Slaabaken's daugh- 
ters are still residents of Jackson county. They 
are Mr.s. William Burreson. of Dcs Moines, and 
Mrs. Olof Gillie, of Belmont. 

irave the new arrivals no trouble. The 
lu'w-comers builded their log cabins in 
the woods along the river, prepared their 
lands for cultivation, and became a val- 
ued addition to the population of Jackson 
county. Another settler of 1860 who be- 
came quite proinincni in the county was 
Iiev. Peter Baker, who came in the fall 
and began preaching to the scattered set- 
tlers, taking a claim in Petersburg town- 

In the fall of 1800 the settlers, feeling 
that they were insecure from the ravages 
of the Sioux Indians, organized a com- 
pany of home guards, of which' nearly 
all the men became members. David M. 
West was chosen captain, the state fur- 
ni.'hed arms, and the guards drilled every 

The federal census of 18G0. taken by 
Assistant United States ^larshal Elius 
D.- Bruner on July l."5 and 14,'" showed 
the county to have a population of 181 
|H'ople.° The enumerator visited 60 houses 
in the county. He found .'52 families 
and eight unoccupied dwellings, most of 
the vacant houses being in the village of 
Belmont. The only township in the coun- 
ty at the time was named Jackson, and 
all the residents lived therein. Of the 
total population only two persons had 
title to real estate. These were Samuel 
Brow 11. who placed a value of $700 on his 
real pro])erty. and Thomas John.«on, who 
valued his at $1.'')0. 

Following are the names of the inhabi- 
tants of 1860, their ages, occupations, 
birthplaces and the value of their per- 
sonal property :" 

'Only those were listed who were residents on 
June 1; consequently the names of only a few 
of the arrivals of 1S60 appear. 

•Other southwestern Minnesota counties in 
ISfiO had populations as follows: Blue Earth. Farlhault. l.a.lS: Watonwan. 0: Martin. 
I.'.l; Cottonwood. 12: Murray. 2S: Nobles. 35; 
I'Ipestone. 23: Rock. 0. 

'This list was obtained from the director of 
the census at Washington through the kindness 
of Hon. W. S. Hammond. 








*Samuel Brown 

Amelia Brown 

Joseph Kester 

Eliza Kester 

John Kester 

*Truman Wolbridge 
•Frederick Noble... 

*Joshua Dyer 

*Israel Eddy 

Adilia Eddy 

William Eddy 

Francis Eddy 

Perry Eddy 

*Benjamin Hill 

Hannah Hill 

William Hill 

Mai-y Hill 

Franklin Hill 

Andrew Hill 

Mary Davy 

Buchanan Davy.... 

*Charles Kern 

•Samuel Bartel 

*John Byers 

Vallina Byers 

*Allen Day 

Sarah Day 

William Day 

Franklin Day 

LeRoy Day 

*Senior Kingsbury.. 

Maria Kingsbury... 
*Henry Thomson.... 

Maiy Thomson 

'Charles Mead 

*James Whitchurch 

*John McBee 

*John Dodson 

"Joseph Chiffin 

*George Hoffman... 

Eliza Hoffman 

Matilda Hoffman... 

Eliza Hoffman 

*Thomas Johnson... 

Amy Johnson 

'Nathaniel Frost 

*Adam Shiegley 

Nancy Shiegley 

* Frank Waggaman 
*Jarvis Harton 

Polly Harton 

'Joseph Muck 

Sally Muck 

William Muck 

Mary Muck 

Stephen Muck 

Martha Muck 

Elizabeth Muck 

Sarah Muck 

Simmon Muck 

Richard Muck 

Arminta Muck 

'Joseph Thomas 

Jane Thomas 




































New York 

New York 




New York 






New York 







New York 

New York 



New Jersey 
New York 

*Heads of families. 








LansincT Thomas 




























New Jersey 


New Jersey 



New Jersey 

New York 
New York 









New York 




New Jersey 









Elizabeth Thomas 

Roxanna Thomas 

Joseph Thomas 

*Lolan Stevens 

John Stevens 

Carrie Stevens 

Louis Stevens . . 

•Bartholomew McCarthy.. 

*James Palmer .. . 

Arminda Palmer 

•David West 

Edward Davies 

William Daffield 

Stiles West 

Henr\' West 

•Ezra Strong 

Mary Strong 

James Strong 

Grace Strong 

Auther Strong 

'Harrison Andrews 

Anna Andrews 

Eliza Andrews 

Daniel Andrews 

•Ira Camfield 

Levi Camfield 

Elizabeth Camfield 

Mary Camfield 

Eliza Camfield 

Nancv Camfield 

Eugenia Camfield 

George Camfield 

*Rosanna Fuller 

Elizabeth Fuller 

Ezra Fuller 

Emeline l-uller 

George Fuller 

Daniel Fuller 

•David Rogers 

'George Hogan 

Farmer i ."^on 

Ann Hogan 





Charles Hogan 

*George McMath 

Nancy McMath 

Minnie McMath 

Nettie McMath 

'Knute Olson 

Betsv Olson 

•Thomas Hanson 

Mar>' Hanson 

Hans Hanson 

•Burre Olson 


John Olson 

Ole Olson 

William Olson 

•Hans Johnson 

•llcadsof fainlll.- 




















' * 









• ' 







' ' 







































































New York 





Julia Johnson 

John Johnson 

Burre Johnson 

*Benjamin Johnson..., 

Jane Johnson 

John Johnson.... 

John 0. Johnson 

*01e Peterson 

Betsy Peterson 

Ole Peterson 

*John Swenson 

Caroline Swenson.... 

Mary Swenson 

*John Trunson 

Alvina Trunson 

Betsy Trunson 

*John Larson 

Ann Larson 

*01e Larson 

Caroline Larson 

Ole Larson 

Ole Larson 

Martha Larson 

John Larson 

""Andrew Anderson.... 

Maria Anderson 

Ole Anderson 

John Anderson 

Elizabeth Anderson 

Marie Anderson 

Andrew Anderson.. 

Ann Anderson 

*John Johnson 

Mary Johnson 

Henry Johnson 

Betsy Johnson 

*Peter Pomerson 

Ann Pomerson 

Peter Pomerson 

Ole Pomerson 

Callie Pomerson 

William Pomerson.. 
*James Westerwelt.. 

Ann Westerwelt 

Henry Westerwelt.. 
*George Pompeii 

Christina Pompeii.... 

Maria Pompeii 

Jane Pompeii 

Even Pompeii 

•William Evans 

Ann Evans 

Thomas Evans 

*Heads of families. 

In 1861 the Norwegian colony was 
joined by others of the same nationalitj'. 
The first to arrive were Anders 0. Kirke- 
Yoldsmoen^ and family, who located on 

^Anders O. Kirkevoldsmoen died while in the 
army, and his widow later became the wife of 
Englebret Olson Slaabaken. Many of his de- 
scendants are now residents of Jackson county. 

the northwest quarter of section 3, Des 
Moines township ; Anders Monson and 
family, who took a claim on the southeast 
quarter of section 13, Des Moines, just 

One son. Ole Anderson, resides in Jackson: 
another son. Anders Olson Slaabaken, is dead. 
Bertha, who became the wife of Simon Olson 
Slaabaken. and Christiana, who married Ole E. 


lllSToltV (t|- .lACKSON COUNTY. 

west of tlie Mihvankfic depot at Jackson ; 
and K. Torreson and family, who settled 
on tlio nortliwei-t quarter of section 14. 
Des Moines. Several more of the name 
of Slaabakeu, commonly known by the 
name of Olson, came in 18G1. These in- 
cluded John Olson Slaal)akcn.» Mikkel Ol- 
son Slaabakcn and Tollef Olson Slaabak- 
en with their families and Simon'" and 
Peder, single men. Part of these drove 
throufih from Jefferson Prairie, Wiscon- 
sin, with ox teams, the voyajre taking 
two months" time. The others drove 
through from Fillmore cnuniy. ^liiinc- 
sota. Mikkel settled on Die northeast 
quarter of section 28, Belmont, on the 
west side of the river; Peder took as his 
claim the northwest quarter of section 23. 
Ues Jloincs; the others took claims in 
Belmont, the exact location of their first 
claims being unknown. Others who came 
during 1861 were Ole Estensou and Ole 
Torgeson and their families, who located, 
on sections (i. liclmont, and :M. Chris- 
tiania;'* Lars Olson and family, who set- 
tled on the northeast quarter of section 
30. Christiania — the most northern settler 

Olson Slaaliaken. oldest son of KiiKlebrpt Olson 
Slanbakcn. are dead. The only lIviiiB daushter 
of Anders O. Kirkcvoldsmoen Is Bertha, who 
now lives with her hii.sband. Melian Johnson, 
In Belniont. Her tirst nr.arrlaRe was to Ole E. 
Olson. Jr., son of Knglebret Olson Slaabaken. 
and her second marriage to Anders Olson Sla:i- 
baken. also a son of ICnBlebret Olson Slaabaken. 
both of whi>ni died. 

•The widow of John Olson Slaabaken .-itlll 
lives In Belmont township, and many of his 
descendants are now residents of Jackson coiin- 
tv. Ills daiiBhter, Anna, married Ole Brown, 
who built the mill at Brownslnirn, and now 
lives In Tennessee. Another daUBhter. Lena. 
Is the wife of P. H. Berge. of Jackson, Ole J. 
and Peter live upon the old homestead In Bel- 
mont, Two dnuKhters, Petria and Engebera. 
are married and live In Wisconsin. 

"After comhiK to the county Simon Olson 
Slaabaken married Bertha, the daughter of 
Anders O, KIrkivoldsmoen, The living children 
of these parents are .Christina (Mrs. George 
Omber.'«ont. of Murray county; Maria (Mrs. TT. 
H. Herge). of Minneapolis; Helen, of Jackson; 
Emma iMrs. Martin Olson), of Jackson; Olierl. 
of Jackson. During his life Simon Olson Slaa- 
baken held si-veral ililTerent county ofTices and 
was a prominent man In the early days of 
Jackson county history. 

"The claim of one of these men was the 
northeast ouarter of section fi. Belmont; the 
other was the southe.iat quarter of .section 31. 
Chrlstlnnln. both on the side of the river. 
Their cabins were close together, but it Is un- 
known which had the Belmont property and 
which the Christiania. 

(it that time: Hans Kgostolson (Chester- 
son) and family, who liuilt a cabin on the 
southwest quarter of section 15, Des 
>roincs; Lars Ci. .loriievik and family, 
who settled in Belmont : Lars Halverson 
and family, who took as a claim the south- 
east ()uarter of section 2."), Dcs Moinis — 
the southernmost of the Xorwegian set-* 
tiers; Moisten Ol.son and family, who 
.settled on the northwest quarter of section 
:i4. Bclmniit : Kmul Langcland ami fnni- 
ilv, wlio took uj) their residence on the 
southeast quarter of section Hi, Belmont. '- 
A few .Vmcricau liorn settlers also caim- 
to Jackson county in 18<!1 and located at 
dillVrent jiuiiits along the river. 

Tlic breaking out of the civil war in 
1S(;1 vitally alfettcrl the jicoplc in this 
frontier .settlement and gave .lackson 
county a reputation lor patriotism equal- 
ed by few eommunities. Nearly all the 
ai)le bodied men in the county enlisted 
and fought witii the union forces during 
Ihc war. Captain 0. ^L West, of the 
liome guards, enlisted twenty-two of his 
company in the Tiiited States army in 
September, .\sonly thirty-lhiee votes were 
east in the loiinty al the fall elec- 
tion, it will be .seen that (his with- 
.Irawal left the people of the frontier set- 
tlement in poor circiimstance.s to with- 
stand an Indian attack, as they were 
called upon to ilo the next ytar. The com- 
piiiiv. |iartlv enrolled from Jackstm coun- 
ty and commanded by 1>. ^I. West, served 
for a time as the second company of 
Minnesota cavalry, hut later becnme com- 
]ianv 1 of the Fifth Towa cavalry. Of 
the twenty-two enrolled from Jackson 
eountv following are the names of nine- 
teen of the lunnber:" D. ^f. West, caji- 
tain; Ole Hurreson. Edward Davics. Hans 

'=.\mong the Norwegian settlers of ISC.l no 
one of the heads of families is living in Jack- 
son county, although many of their children 

"The list Is furnished me by Stiles M. West, 
now of Faribault. Minnesota. 








2 J 
a o 

I § § 

g » s 

"^ o o 

^ .S W 

^ ca ^ 

S S o 
<« •§ 5 

J= 03 .2 


•- o <* 
c i2 • 

a> o) o 

o . O 

Ph o c 

to X 

X O H^ 

E~* a) 

- O M 

c a> 
^ '5 £ 
H <j S 

S c 
o o 

c <: 

O o 





TH.atM fc 



Jolmson, Ole Larson, Bartholomew Mc- 
Carthy, Andrew Monson, Andrew Olson, 
Andrew Olson ( Kirkevoldsmoen) , Tollef 
Olson, Peter Olson, Simon Olson, Ole E. 
Olson, William H. Pease, Henry E. Tro- 
bridge, James E. West, Stiles j\I. West. 
jr. F. West and H. F. West. 

Pev. Peter Baker held protracted re- 
ligious services in the log house of Jo- 
seph Tliomas during the winter of 1860- 
61, and afterwards organized a Methodist 
class. During the summer of 1861 lie 
organized a Sunday school in the Wood 
brothers" store building. For many years 
this good man attended to tlie religious 
wants of the people of Jackson county 
and became a highly respected and in- 
fluential man in the community. This 
he did largely without pay. In after years 
he stated- that during the first two years 
of his service his only recompense was 
tlie kitting of a pair of socks ! 

There are very few items of interest 
to record for the year 1861. Except the 
enlisting of so great a proportion of the 
able bodied men. nothing occurred to in- 
terrupt the even tenor of the lives of the 
frontier settlers. The new arrivals of 
the year selected their claims, built log 
cabins and engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits on a small scale. At what was known 
as Evans' ford, on the southwest quarter 
of section 14, Des Moines township, the 
erection of a sawmill was commenced, but 
it was never finished.^'' 

An interesting historical document is 
the assessment list of Danby township, 
which included the whole settled portion 
of the county, for the year 1861. The 
total tax levied was $161.68 and was di- 
vided as follows: 

"At thi.s point, in 1862, was lield the first 
fourth of July celebration in the county. The 
work of constructing the mill was in progress 
at the time, and many of the settlers were 
assisting with the work. On the open ground, 
on the east side of the river, a few of the 
neighhors gathered in honor of the nation's 
birthday. A flag pole was erected and the 
American colors were flown. 

State taxes ■. $20.13 

Interest on public debt 15.55 

School tax 26.13 

County tax 31 .29 

Town.ship tax 31 .29 

Other special tax 31 .29 

Total $161.68 

Tile names of tlio.^e who were assessed, 
the value of the property owned and the 
amount of the individual taxes were as 
follows : 


D. P. Cornell 

S. T. Johnson 

E. D. Shore 

Alex Wood 

S. D. Brown 

B. McCarthy 

A. L. Crane 

Ira Camfield 

Gelden Carter 

Marcellus Clough .. 

Joshua Dyer 

Louis Eskerson 

Ole Eskerson 

Lewis Estenson 

Nathaniel Frost.... 
Lewis Halverson ... 
Knud Halverson.. .. 

Thomas Holston 

Add Halverson 

Hans Johnson 

Lewis Jameson 

John Knudson 

L. H. Landaker 

Lewis Lewison 

Joseph Muck 

Andrew Monson 

Jacob Nelson 

Knud Nelson 

Burre Olson 

Englebret Olson 

Simon Olson 

Ole Olson 

F. Andrew Olson ... 

John Olson 

Tollef Olson 

Jared Palmer 

Ole Peterson 

William H. Pease... 

D. S. Perkins 

John Swenson 

Joseph Thomas 

H. L. Thomas 

Christian Torreson.. 

Ole Torreson 

H. R. Trowbridge... 

John Trunson 

D. M. West 

S. M. West 

Ole Anderson 

I. F. Eddy 






$ 685 

$ 10.64 




































































































$ 161.68 


lOti , HISTORY OF.l 

Tax paying soonis to luivo l)i?en out of 
fashion in tliat early Jay, for we find 
among the records a settlement sheet dated 
Fel)ruary 28, 1862, signetl by Ole Peter- 
son as county treasurer and Joseph 
Thomas as county auditor, in which it is 
stated that out of the total tax of $101.08 
levied only $47.08 had been paid, while 
$114.00 was delinquent.'"' The treasurer's 
fees of $2.35 were deducted from the tax- 
es collected, leaving the magnificient to- 
tal of $44.73 as the amount of taxes re- 
ceived i)y Jackson county for the year 
ISCl ! 

The as.sessment for tiie year 1802 was 
made by James 1"]. Palmer. He found 57 
people ill the ciumty jjossessed of personal 
property, and the total amount of the tax- 
able property was found to lie $12,192 — 
a small gain over (hat of the year l)c- 
fore. In the county of Jackson there 
were at the time (so the assessor rc- 
])orted) three watches, manufacturing in- 
dustries to the value of $40, no jiianos, 
twelve head of hor.^es. no mules, 25) .sheep, 
134 hogs, 320 cattle, 43 wagons, and 
moneys and credits to the value of $1,351. 
Following are eight of the names a|)])ear- 
ing on tiie list and the a.ssessed value of 
their prcipcrty : 

TCihvanI havics .$(14 4(1 

Natliani.O Frost 123.00 

Lewis llalvorsoM !()(!. 30 

Kii^'li-lirot Olson 77 .50 

Simon Olson lOfl.OO 

.lanios !■:. Talnier (iiOl) 

.larod I'alnior 331 .30 

Joseph Tliomas 349.50 

Tiie year 1802 o)icned aus]iiciously. A 
few more settlers came and located claims 

"Those who had paid tholr tnxe.s hi full be- 
fori' thi.s settlement were S. T. Johnson. IJar- 
Iholomew MeCarlh.v. Marcellus Cloutth. Lewis 
Estenson. Nathaniel Frost. Lewis Halver.son. 
Thomas Holston. Atld Halverson. Knud Nelson. 
Ole Olson. F. .\ndrew Olson. D. S. Perkins. 
John Trunson and I. F. Edd.v. 


along the Des iloines river. Crops nf h .rcat, 
corn and vegetables were jjlanted, the ricii 
virgin soil, warm sun and copious rains 
hastened the growth of vegetation, and 
the prospects for a bounteous harvest were 
favorable. The ])eo])le were happy and 
contented in their new found homes. Had 
a census of the county been taken tliat 
year there would have been found between 
2110 and 300 people. 'J'he residents had 
little communication witli the outside 
world. There was no postolfice, no tele- 
,i;iapli line, no stage lines. The nearest 
>(iiliiiiiiiis were at Estherville and Spirit<i'. Idwa. and the nearest point from 
which must of the su))])lics could !)!■ pro- 
cured was Mankato. 

.\loiig the river from the ]iresciit site 
III' Jackson down were American born 
lamilics. .\loiit; the river above the site 
of Jackson, in Des Moines, Helmont iuul 
Christiania townships, the settlers were all 
Xorwegians, arrived only a few years be- 
fore from their native land, understand- 
ing and s]ieaking very little English. They 
had few dealings with the outside world 
Mini very little intercourse with their Am- 
erican liorii iieighhors down the river: 
their interests were centered in their 
homes. Altiuuigh these Norwegian settlers 
had loc!ite(l on the exposed friuilier, al- 
most in the heart of the rndian country, 
they knew nothing of the linliMii cusloms 
or Indian warfare. They were unaccus- 
tomeil to the use of lireanns and many of 
them had proliahly never lired a gun in 
their lives; many of the able bodied men 
were absent, fighting their ado])ted coun- 
try's battles. 

So much for the condition of the pon- 
])le of Jackson cminty in 1802, liefore the 
outbreak of the terrible Sioux war. 



IT IS not my intention to tell of the ilrove ott' the savajies. They killed an In- 
Sio\ix war of 1863, except so far as rlian named Big Head and wounded three 
Jackson ^county enters into the his- others. The testimony of the Indians wa.s 
tory. But it may be of interest to learn that they found the Minnesota settlers 
the magnitude of this famous Indian war. ";,s easy to kill as sheeiD.'"' 
The outbreak was the most remarkalile and The attack on the Norwegian settle- 
noteworthy incident of the kind in Amer- j^ent of Jackson county occurred on Sun- 
ican history. More white people perished ,].^y^ August 24, 1863, and for the second 
in that savage slaughter than in all the time in its history the soil of Jackson 

other massacres ever perpetrated on the 
North American continent. Add the 
number of white victims of the Indian 
wars of New England during the colon- 
ial period to the list of those who perish- 
ed in the Wyoming and Cherry valleys, 
and to tlie pioneers who were killed in 
the early white occupation of the middle 
west and the soutli, and the aggregate 
falls far short of the number of the peo- 
ple of Minnesota wdio were slain hy the 
Sioux ill less than one week in that meiu- 
orable month of August, 1862.^ Al)out 
eight hundred people were killed within 
a few days, before any efJective resist- 
ance could be brought against the red 
demons. Only two Indians were killed 
outside the battles and legitimate skir- 
mishes. One of these was at a point below 
Jackson, near Spirit Lake, where three 

county was crimsoned with the blood of 
its citizens as the result of Indian at- 
tack; for the second time the county was 
abandoned by white men. Thirteen whites 
were murdered, a few others were wound- 
ed, ami many narrowly escaped with their 

So early as June reports reached the 
Belmont settlers that there was likely to 
be trouble with the Indians. On only 
one occasion, however, did the Indians 
who sometimes visited the settlement show 
any signs of hostility; the exception was 
the wanton killing of an ox belonging to 
Ole Larson, of Christiania township. 
Finally the rumors of an outbreak were 
confirmed. A German fleeing from New 
Ulm brought news of the attack on that 
village, which had occurred only a few 
days before. He could not impart the de- 

settlers were attacked by a superior force tails of the tragedy on account of his in- 
but won tlie fight by their bravery and ability to speak English, but the settlers 

could understand enough to know that 

'Minnesota in Three Centuries. 




New Uliii had had Iroublc with the lii- 

The Rohnont .settlors seem to have been 
undecided wliat eour.«e to jnirsue. Nijihts 
tliev gatliered at the ditrereiit eabins that 
.seemed to offer better protection or wliere 
tlie firearms and ammunition were kept ; 
their fears wore not so groat during tlie 
day time, and generally they returned to 
their homes in the morning to attend to 
the farm work. .\ decision was fimilly 
reached that stockades should be built, 
and ^londay. Augu.^t 25, wa^ rhe date sot 
for the settlors to get together and select 
the sites. On the day before this was to 
have been done the attack was made and 
there had been enacted the drama of bru- 
tal and beastly bloodshed -which depo])u- 
latod the county. 

It was a few days after tlie attack on 
the Lower Agency and four davs after 
the massacre at Lake Shetek, in Murray 
county, that about fifty of White Lodge's 
band of Sisseton Sioux proceeded down 
the Des Moines river, apparently to repeat 
the performance of Inkpaduta of five 
years before." They proceeded as far south 
as Englebret Olson Slaabaken's home on 
the eoutheast quarter of section 22. Bel- 
mont townshiji. without making their pres- 
ence known.' Then instead of proceed- 
ing down tlie river, they began the at- 

=The route of the Indians into Jackson county 
Is not known dclinitoly. but it is supposed thiy 
came by way of Fisii lake. I^ower's lake and 
Independence lake. tbey followed the river 
bank. It Is almost certain they would have been 
discovered before reaching the point where the 
attack was begun. 

'So far as Is known. T.ars Olson was the 
only man In the settlement who saw the In- 
dians in a body; consequently he was the only 
-competent authority as lo the number particl- 
paling. He estimated the number at fifty. Mr. 
Olson, who was an old man living on section 
30. rhrisllania. had been down into Belmont 
township on Sunday, and while returning, when 
a little north of the Ole Fohre home, he came 
upon the party of savages in the woods, before 
the attack was begun. He was not seen by 
tile Indians, nor were the Indians recognized as 
such i>y him. He supposed they were soldiers, 
come to the defense of the settlers, and was 
accordingly thankful for their arrival. Mr. 
oison continued his Journe.v home, and neither 
he nor his wife saw the Indians afterward, al- 
though the red men must have passed close 
to his house. 

tack and retraced their steps up the river. 
The attack was begun at ten o'clock in 
the forenoon. 

The attacking savages divided into small 
))artics. and, going swiftly from cabin Ui 
cabin, they took the inmates by surprise 
and encountered no resistance except in 
one instance. The men, women and cliiM- 
ren were shot down without warning and 
without an effort to save their lives ex- 
cept in flight. 

.\t the Ole Fohre home, on the north- 
west quarter of section 22, Belmont, sev- 
eral families had gathered, namely, Jo- 
hannes Axe and wife, Lars G. Jornevik 
and wife, Mrs. Carrie Fohre, the wife of 
Ole Fohre, and her twelve year old son, 
Ole Olson Fohre, and eight small children 
l)elonging to the several families. Here 
the massacre was begun at ten o'clock in 
the forenoon. When the Indians were seen 
a])proaching, Mrs. Fohre, Mrs. Jornevik 
and Mrs. Axe with the eight small child- 
ren wont into the cellar, the tra|) door 
was closed, and twelve year old Ole Olson 
Fohre ])iled clothing, l)oxes and trunks 
over it. The others remained upstairs. 
They barricaded the doors, but being with- 
out anus, their efforts to guard the cabin 
wore futile. 

The Indians approached the cabin from 
tlie east and burst in the east door. All 
who were in the cabin, except the boy. 
were instantly killed, and no one know.s 
the particulars of their taking off. Jo- 
hannes Axe was evidently pounded to 
death, as no bullet woumls were found on 
his body. Lars Furnes and Lars O. Jorne- 
vik' were shot. 

*Lars G. Jornevik w.i.'^ a oiao with a violent 
temper and In some particulars lacking In 
Judgment. When he was advised, some days 
previous, that It w:»s proltnltb- the Iiuli:ins 
would come and to prepare himself. Mr. Jorne- 
vik flew Into a violent rage, staling that he 
was ready for thi- Indians any time they wanted 
to come. He lllled his i>oekets with stones and 
considered himself amply protected. When his 
dead- body was found, his pockets were filled 
with the missiles which he had not opportunity 
to use. 



When the east door was broken down 
and the Indians entered the cabin, Ole 
Olson Fohre, the boy, who was standing 
guard at the west tloor, bolted out that 
door and ran down a trail that led to a 
spring. Hearing the door slam, the boy 
looked over his shoulder while running 
and saw an Indian taking aim at him. 
With presence of mind he made a quick 
jump to the left into the brush. He dodg- 
ed Just in time to save his life, for the bul- 
let struck him, tearing away the tip of his 
right elbow. Ole hid in the brush, and the 
savage who bad fired followed and search- 
ed for him. When the Indian was only 
about three feet from the boy's hiding 
place, he gave up the search and returned 
to his companions at the cabin — the In- 
dian's love of "firewater" saved a life. One 
of the first acts of the savages was to search 
the wagons, which had been brought from 
Mankato the day before, loaded with pro- 
visions, and just as the Indian was about 
to discover the boy in the brush, the 
others at the cabin found a jug of whisky 
in one of the wagons and raised such a 
shout of joy that the one after the boy 
gave up the hunt and hastily rejoined 
the others. Safe from imuiediate pursuit, 
Ole ran through the timber down the riv- 
er to find a place of refuge and to notify 
the other settlers of their dang-er. 

About the time these events were tak- 
ing place at the Fohre home, Ole Fobre, 
the owner of the cabin, was found by the 
Indians in the timber, between his house 
and the river, and killed. The place of 
this murder was on section 21. 

The an.xiety of the fugitives in the cel- 
lar while the murders were being commit- 
ted over their heads cannot be described; 
so still were they they scarcely breathed. 
Their fears were made worse bv the cry- 
ing of the two year old babe of ^[rs. Lars 
(!. Jornevik. That lady, -with beroi.-m 
seldom equaled in the annals of Indian 

warfare, knowing that the painted de- 
mons surrounded the, deliberately 
came out of the cellar to accept her fate. 
To the other ladies she said: "I under- 
stand my time has come; I must go up 
again. Y'our children are smaller than 
mine and they keep quiet; if I stay here 
the Indians will find us." She came up 
from the cellar with the child and was 
killed, her body being horribly mutilated. 
Fortunately the Indians were busy with 
their whisky and did not learn from 
whence Mrs. Jornevik had come. 

The child was unharmed, but soon it 
began to cry. The door of the cabin had 
been left open, and the baby was fright- 
ened at tlie hogs, which came into the cab- 
in. One of the ladies came up, found 
the child in its mother's blood, and took 
it back into the cellar "and cared for it. 
Then it was learned for the first time that 
the savages had left the vicinity. For the 
time being let us leave the two women and 
the children in the cellar, debating the 
course of action to pursue, while we con- 
sider events that were taking place in 
others parts of the settlement. 

Close to the Fohre home, ilikkel Olson 
Slaabaken was killed and his nejDhew, An- 
ders Olson Slaabaken, the thirteen year 
old son of Englebret Olson Slaabaken, 
was seriously wounded and left for dead. 
The Englebret Olson Slaabaken home was 
half a mile south of the Fohre home, and 
also on section 22. About the time the 
attack was begun, Mikkel and his nephew 
started from that place for the home of 
Ole Fohre. They heard the firing but 
thought nothing of it, as they supposed 
the neighbors were shooting blackbirds. 
They soon, became aware of the serious- 
ness of their condition. The Indians were 
stationed along the trails in the tim- 
ber, and the unfortunate white men 
were soon discovered. The savages fired 
and the white men set out on a run 



tliroujrli tlie tiiiilior. ^likkel was hit at tlic 
(ii^t liiL' and oxclaiiiietl : "1 am wouiidod 
and cannot nm any I'artlier." Immediate- 
ly lie was hit a<,'ain and killed instantly. 

A bullet from the first volley pa.ssed 
through tlie hat hrim of the boy, and a 
moment later another one inflieted a 
slight scalj) wound, plowing a furrow 
through his hair. Anders was not stun- 
ned or ba<lly hurt, but he was so seared 
that he fell and lay with his faee to thi^ 
ground. The savages lanie up and one 
of them plunged a knife into his left 
side and, a.s the victim described the event 
in after years, "twisted it around before 
he pulled it out." The Indians left him 
for dead and Anders lost consciousness. 
When he came to his senses he crawled 
to his father's home. There was no one 
there; the Indians had visited the ])lace 
and taken everything in the line of ]iro- 
visions. The wounded lioy made liis way 
to the log stable and hid in a manger, 
where he remained three day.« witli noth- 
ing to eat except two raw eggs. When the 
cows came home at night he tried to milk 
them, but they would not allow him to 
approach them nn account of ihc Mood on 
his clothes. From the time of the attack 
on Sunday until Wednesday Anders re- 
mained in the manger ; then he was found 
by a rescuing party and taken to Esther- 
ville, where he slowly recovered from his 

From the Fohre house the Indians went 
to the honu' of Knglebref Olson Slaabaken. 
a half mile south, but all the whites tlu-rc, 
e.vcept the two mentioned, had gone to 
church. Here, after ransacking the ]irem- 
ises, the Indians gave up the idea of go- 
ing farther south, and began their trip to 
the north. Had it not been for the fact 

'.■\nilir.') Olson Sla.-ibiikrn Uitcr rptiirned to 
Jack.son county, and nftor hl.s father's death 
became the owner of the Belmont farm. He 
became a respected resident of the county and 
died on the old homestead on September 26, 

that many of the settlers were away from 
home, gathered at the Rainlo house and 
other places in religious worship, there is 
every reason to believe that the massacre 
would have been much more terrible than 
it was. When the murdering savages 
came to the house of Englebrct Olson Slaa- 
baken and the houses of others who were 
ai the meeting and found thfin unoccu- 
pied, they feared the settlement was 
aroused and that the people had gathered 
at some place to put up a fight. As an 
Intlian detests a fair fight more than 
anything else, they decided not to go far- 
ther south, but to begin their bloody work 
and make their escape before it became 
necessary to fight. 

On their trip nurlh (jirobably), at a 
point a few rods west of the Ole Fohre 
home, the Indians came upon Knud Miil- 
stad and his wife Breta and murdered 
them. These nnfortenate people lived on 
the west side of the river, and were on 
their way to Ole Fohre's when thev were 
ambu«hed on the trail. 

To return to the women and children in 
tbe cellar of the Ole Fohre cabin. When 
it was learned that the Indians had left 
tbe immediate vicinity, Jlrs. Fohre and 
Mrs. Axe decided to seek another place of 
concealment. Accordingly they came 
forth with the children and hid in a corn- 
field. The savages, returning from their 
visit to the Slaabaken home below, again 
came to the place of the original attaek. 
and when they fouiiil that refugees hail 
been hidden in tbe cellar at tbe time of 
the first attack but had now escaped, (bey 
were very angry and spent considerable 
time searching for them, .\fter the mur- 
derers had gone the second time the wom- 
en started out with the children for the 
south and spent Sunday night in a black- 
smith shop on the Englebret Olson Slaa- 
baken farm. The ne.xt morning, not hav- 
ing ba<l anything to eat since the attack. 

#Lf«Nf 0( ivN 

<inh£vui Ol»^»/*l 


Map Showing Cabins of J^orwejrian Settlers at the Time of the 

Belmont Massacre and the Route of the Indians. Des 

Moines, Belmont and part of Christiania 

Townships Shown. 



tlipv started out again for the south in an 
endeavor to tind a phice of safety. The}- 
liad jn'oceeded to a jioint soiithwe.'^t of tlio 
present site of Jackson wlien they met 
Knud I.nniiehnid returning- from Spirit 
J.ake, and were piloteil to a place of 

After tlie second visit to the house of 
Ole Fohre, the Indians (at least a part 
of tliem) crossed the river to the west 
side, but did not encounter any whites and 
returned." Then the band proceeded up 
tlie river to the lionve of Knud Langeland, 
\vli(} resided with liis family on tlie south- cpmrter of section 16. There no warn- 
ing had been received, and five human 
lives were taken. ]\Ir. Langeland was 
down liy tlie river rounding up his cat- 
tle at the time of the attack and so escan- 
ed. At the house his wife, Anna Lange- 
land, and four children, Anna, Aagaata, 
Xicolai John ami Knud Langeland, were 
iiiiirilered. Jlartha Langeland escaped the 
fatc'of the rest of the family by hiding 
in a corn field. Two of these children 
who were killed were hid in the corn field 
at the time of the attack, but when they 
saw the Indians attack their mother they 
rushed out to her assistance and were mur- 
dered, ^[r. Langeland went to the house 
after the Indians departed and viewed the 
terrible work of the monsters. He thought 
he witnessed signs of life in two of his 
children. Gathering them in his arms, he 
carried them all tlie way to Spirit Lake. 
One of the children, died soon after his ar- 
rival ; the other recovered.' 

'It not be understood that the move- 
ments of the Indians are given from deHnite 
knowledge or that tlie chronological order of 
events is strictly observed. It is known to 
what homes the savages came, but the exact 
time at which they appeared and the definite 
course they took are unknown. For instance, 
the only evidence we have that the Indians 
crossed to the west side of the river is the fact 
that one of their guns was found at a point 
opposite the Fohre home, twenty rods from the 
river. .4s it is known that none of the homes 
on that side was visited, we conclude that the 
red men soon after returned to the east side. 

'The name of the child who recovered is un- 
known, and may have been included with those 

From the Ijangehind home the Siou.x 
proceeded on their way up the river to the 
homes of Ole Estenson and Ole Torgenson, 
where they arrived in the evening about 
dark. Tiiese men were the only ones in the 
settlement to make any effort to save their 
lives except in flight; they had the old 
Berserker blood in them and put up a 
good fight. Messrs. Estenson and Tor- 
genson barricaded one of their houses sit- 
uated on the southeast quarter of section 
31, Christiania tow-nship. and made other 
preparations to defend their families. 
They had guns and ammunition and the 
knowledge and disposition to use them. 
When the Indians appeared, they called 
til the white men to come to them. In- 
stead, the white men ordered their fam- 
ilies to lie down and returned the fire of 
the enemy so successfully that they fought 
off every attack. Volley after volley was 
poured into the house, and the bullets 
penetrated the walls and roof, knocking 
down several articles that were on shelves.* 
Tlie white men loaded their army mus- 
kets with slugs, and, as it had become 
dark, they fired only at the flashes of the 
Indians" guns. No one within the cabin 
was hit, and the attackers finally de- 
parted. The defenders did not know 
whether or not they hit any of the sav- 
ages, and had no evidence that thev did." 

mentioned as having been killed. If that is a 
fact, only twelve met death in the Belmont 
massacre. Mr. Ole Anderson, who has fur- 
nished me much of the data concerning the 
massacre, places the number killed at thir- 
teen, but is uncertain in regard to the Lange- 
land children. 

"An amusing feature of this attack was the 
rage of one of the Norwegian women. A cook- 
ing utensil was knocked from its place on the 
shelf, and the lady of the house became so 
angry she jumped up vowing vengeance on 
the redskins. Had she not been restrained it is 
possible she would have rushed out and put the 
savages to flight. 

'This statement is made on the authority of 
Ole .\nderson, who interviewed Messrs. E.sten- 
son and Torgenson a short time after the mas- 
sacre. The author of Minnesota in Three Cen- 
turies, recently published, was incorrectly in- 
formed in regard to the result of this fight, for 
he said the defenders believed that they had 
wounded several of the savages and knew that 
they had killed one. because his carcass lay 
fifty yards from the cabin for anyone to see. 



After tlieir repulse tlie Indians went 
down the river and made camp Sund;i\ 
night on the southeast quarter of section 
8, Belmont township.'" Tlie next day 
thej' proceeded up the river on the east 
side without renewing liostilities. The 
Des Moines river was crossed, and Mon- 
day night camp was made on the south- 
west quarter of section 24, Delafield town- 
ship. Thence the Indians continued their 
journey to the nortii and out of Jackson 

The Belmont massacre was over. Thir- 
teen innocent people had been murdered 
in cold blood. Several of the bodies were 
mutilated, but no scalps were taken. 
None of the cabins and no property was 
burned. The savages carried away much 
property, and some of this was abandoned 
or destroyed on the march out of the 
country; otherwise there was no destruc- 
tion of property. 

A recapitulation gives us the following 
as the losses in the Belmont massacre:" 

"The statement has been made that the at- 
tack on the Christlania home was not made 
until Monday, after the Indians had left this 
camp, but the best evidence Is to the effect 
that the attack was made Sunday evening. 

"For some reason no authentic account of 
the Belmont massacre has heretofore been 
written, and there is a wonderful lack of gen- 
eral knowledge of the details of the terrible af- 
fair. There are differences of authority even as 
to the date of the massacre In Jackson county. 
1 he inaccuracies of the printed accounts of the 
affair are shown in the following extract from 
Norwegian Settlers History. i>ublished In the 
Nurweglan language in I'.IOS by J. M. Ilnlland, 
A. M.. of Ephriam, Wisconsin: 

"On Sunday morning, August 24. 1SG2, be- 
fore any preacher ever found his way to this 
wilderness, the new settlers, after having an 
al)undant harvest, felt thankful and happy to 
God and gathered to a prayer meeting In Mrs. 
Holstin Olson's house. She had a sweet voice 
and had just finished a hymn when the door 
flew open and a half-grown boy. the son of 
Ole Forde. entered, dripping with sweat and 
blood. 'HuiTy up! Hurry upl' he screamed, 
gitsping for breath, 'the liullans are coming!* 
Thi-y were so astonished and frightened that 
they rushed to the door to escape, but were 
too late. The Indians had surrounded the cabin. 
Then followed a hopeless light with bare fists 
again-st the Indians' bright tomahawks and 
bullets. The women's praying for mercy was 
mixed with the Indians' yells of exultation over 

K 1 1.1. Kit 

Johannas Axe 

Lars Fumes 

Lars G, Jornevik 

Mrs. Lars C. Jornevik 

Ole Fohre 

Mikkel Olson Slaabaken 

Knud Micistad 

Hreta Midstad 

Mrs. Anna LanReland 

Anna Langeland (child) 

Aapaata Langeland 

Nicolai John Langeland 

Knud Langeland 


Ole Olson Fohre 

Anders E. Olson Slaabaken 

Langeland (girl) 

Fortunately some of the settlers Avere 
gathered in religious worship at the house 
of Taral Ranilo, on the southwest quarter 
of section 34, on the west side of the 
river, and so escaped the awful carnage, 
as the Indians did not go farther south 
than section 2'-?.'= Hol.-:ten Olson was 
presiding over the meeting. The congre- 
gation was just beginning a hymn when 
Ole Olson Fohre, the boy who had been 
wounded but who had escaped from the 
savages, arrived with the startling intel- 
ligence that the Indians were murdering 
the settlers on the east side of the river.''' 

their victory. The women were compelled In 
stand while the Indians took the children by 
their lulls ai.d crushed their skulls against Ih. 

"This meeting had been called at the Instance 
of Holsten Olson and was for the purpose of 
attempting a consolldalion of the two n-ligious 
factions in the Norwegian settlement. Holsten 
Olson was the leader of one faction and Burre 
Olson of the other. Burre Olson did not at- 
tend, but he and a few of his friends held 
another meeting at his house on the southwest 
•luarter of section 11. Des Moines township, at 
Ihe .same time. 

*^01e .Vnderson. now n resident of Jackson, 
was a playmate of the Fohre bo>* and was th<' 
first to see him as he came running to gi\'e th*- 
alarm. He met him .some distance from th' 



The bloody condition of the boy added 
to the alarm his words conveyed, and all 
was confusion. The people were panic 
stricken and huddled in groups around 
the log building. Excepting one gun, 
they were without arms or ammunition. 
Like the pioneers of the Springfield set- 
tlement had done five years before, the 
panic stricken people decided on fliglit to 
tlie Iowa settlements. Some of the peo- 
ple had come to the meeting with ox 
teams. These were quickly hitched up, 
the elderly people, the little children and 
the wounded boy were loaded into the 
wagon boxes and hay racks, and the start 
for the south was begun. The main party 
was preceded by Ole E. Olson Slaabaken, 
son of Englebret Olson Slaabaken, and 
■ Sigur Chestersoa, son of Hans Chester- 
son (Kgostolson), who ran ahead and noti- 
fied the settlers on both sides of the river, 
thus performing a daring and (if the 
Indians had come) valuable service. The 
boys spent Sunday night at the home of 
Henry Olson, on tlie state line, and Mon- 
day carried the news of the massacre to 

AVhcn the party had proceeded only a 
short distance on the way south, at some 
point on section 3, Des Moines, they saw 
someone in tlie distance to the north, 
and their fears were redoubled. Holsten 
Olson, the only gi-own man in the party, 
deserted the others at this point and 
started off across the prairie alone." 
Simon Olson, who in later years was Jack- 
son county's judge of probate, went from 
Mr. Ramlo's house to that of Holsten Ol- 
son, three-quarters of a mile north, secur- 
ed what guns and ammunition were there, 
and then hastened soutJi, going down the 

meeting house and ran with him to warn those 
gathered at the houi^e. When thev got within 
hailmg distance it was Ole Anderson's liistv 
voice that gave the alarm. 

"A little son of Holsten Olson followed his 
father and overtook him. Mr. Olson and the 
boy went to his house and then struck off 
across the prairie and in time reached Mankato 

east side of the river. When he had pro- 
ceeded on his way nearly a mile he dis- 
covered that he had forgotten the percus- 
ion caps. Although haunted by the 
fears of danger from lurking savages, he 
bravely retraced his steps, .secured the 
caps, and again hastened on his way. 

When Holsten Olson left those who 
were going down the west side of the river, 
that party consisted of three or four wom- 
en and many cliildren, and it was a badly 
frightened, terror stricken little band of 
refugees that sought safety in flight that 
Sunday afternoon. They continued their 
journey to a point where the business cen- 
ter of Jackson is now located ; then forded 
the river and arrivei! at the house of 
Joseph Thomas. Before the party went 
up to the Thomas home, Mrs. Kirkevolds- 
moen sent her two children, Ole (Ander- 
son) and his little sister, to reconnoiter 
while the rest remained hidden in a ra- 
vine. Tlie children silently climbed the 
hill through the woods and when they 
came in sight of the premises were over- 
joyed to see Simon Olson, who had arrived 
a little before, on top of one of the build- 
ings on tile watcli for Indians. The chil- 
dren returned to the others and all pro- 
ceeded to the house. 

Other .settlers of Belmont who had es- 
caped the tomahawk and rifle of the In- 
dians made their way south on tlie east side 
of the river in little groups. On the way 
through Des Moines township other 
settlers, till tlien ignorant of the danger 
tliat tlireatened, joined the fleeing groups, 
all instinctively going to the Thomas 
liome. Most of these parties had arrived 
by four o'clock. A few of the settlers 
farthest up the river did not get out of 
the country until the next day, and, as has 
Ijeen told, the women and children who 
had been at the Fohre home spent Sun- 
day night at the Englebret Olson Slaabak- 



pn fariii. and then starti'il nut on fonr 
for Spirit Lake. 

Wlicn the fleeing refugees readied the 
Tlionias idaco that gentleman advis^ed 
them to stop there, offering to turn his 
house into a tort and to help build a sloek- 
ade. He believed they hail enough arms 
and ammunition to hold the i)laee until 
soldiers who were staliniicd at Iv-^llier- 
ville could be summoned. .Mrs. Thoma.< 
(ires.sed the wounds of the injured hoy 
and distrJluiUd food to the hungry and 
frightened people. .\1 ter siijiper had ijeen 
eaten the Norwegians decided to continue 
the journey south. As Jlr. Thomas could 
not hope to defend his place alone if the 
Indians came he decided to accompany 
the others. Accordingly they helped him 
hitch up his o.xen to a wagon, a few 
goods were loaded in, and the whole party 
set out down the river a little before dark, 
traveling together. Darkness came upon 
them when they were in Petersburg town- 
.sliip, and a rain came up. Camp was 
made near the state line and a restless 
night was passed in tJie rain. The ne.xt 
morning they proceeded on their way to 
Esthervillc and met a rescuing party near 
that town. None of the refugees got as 
far as Estherville on Sunday. 

News of the hostility of the Indians 
and the massacre in Belmont townsliip 
was carried to Spirit Lake, and on Mon- 
day, August 2o, a deiaehmcnt of mounted 
men proceeded to the Indian scourged 
country."' After reacthing the Des Moines 
river this party wa.s joined by another winch 
had started from I'sthervillo on the same 
mission,"' and all jirocecded to tJie seenn 
of the ma.-isacre, which was reached either 
M(uulay evening or Tuesday. 

'J'hc sight that met the eyes of this re- 

".\mnng the p.Trty from Spirit I.akr wrri> R. 
A. Smith. Daiili'l Bpiinitt. John I'hlpplii. .ludKe 
Conpl<?tpii. John Gilbert. 1.. K. KInK. (). t". 
Howe and several others. 

'•I.ansinK Thomas. James Palmer. Simon Ol- 
son and John Olson accompanied this party. 

lief expedition beggars description. Ly- 
ing here and there on the prairie and in 
the woods, jiLst as they had fallen, were 
the bodies of the victims. The dead were 
buried where they were found," and the 
twelve or fifteen men, women and chil- 
dren who had been unable to get away 
were cared for. These were found hiding 
ill various places, almost too frightened to 
recognize their friends. The grief and 
distress of the survivors was heart i-end- 
jiig. Of one family only one helpless 
child, too young to fully realize its con- 
dition, was left; of another, only the falh- 
er, who had escaped by being in some 
distant field, had returned to lind his 
dear ones lying about, murdered and hor- 
ribly mutilated; of one or two families 
not one was left to tell of the awful deeds. 
The relief party scouted the country for 
Jiidiaiis. but foiiiiil none. They s|iciit a 
few days Iniiiting for and assisting tlie 
frightened survivors out of the country. 
Some of the stock was rounded up and 
driven to the owners at Estherville and 
Sjiirit Lake. When it was learned that 
the savages had left the vicinity a few 
of the settlers came back for their live 
stock and goods, but they made haste to 
again get out of the country, leaving cvciy- 
iliing that was not easily moved. Many 
of these stopjied at the home of l?ev. I'cler 
Baker, in Petersliurg township, <ui 
tlieir way to the Iowa towns. Phina Bak- 
er, in a li'lirr wriitrn .Fainiary l!i, 1S!I!I. 
said : 

Many of tlic'se wi-re vrrv lmn;;ry. 
os|)ocially those whom the soliliers foiiml liiil- 
iiig in tlie woods. A party of nine wlio were 

"In November. 1899, the bodies of the vic- 
tims were disinterred by Ole Anderson and reln- 
terrcd in the eity park in Jarkson. ThronKh 
the effftrts of Mr. Anderson and other residents 
of Jaeks()n ronnty and of Rei)resrntative Jnlni 
Baldwin and Senator 11. K. ilansiin the .Min- 
nesota leglsl:iture of 1909 appropriated $2.0ijo. 
available July 31. 1909. for the erection of a 
monument in the villaKe of Jackson to the 
nienKU'j* of those killed in this massacre and 
those in the massacre of IS.ST. Ole Anderson. 
T. J. Knox and Henry .\nderson were named a 
commission to superintend the erection. The 
monument was erected in the fall of 1909. 



in the cellar when the Indians came and look- 
ed down, but who were so still that they 
were not found and escaped, came to our 
house; some that were in hiding fled from 
the soldiers, thinking they were Indians. For 
the first two days I think mother's tal)Ie was 
never cleared, for as soon as one lot left an- 
other took its place. Field corn was just 
large enough to cook, and the big wash boiler 
was kept full and boiling all the time. 

For a short time tiie county was en- 
tirely deserted ; not a human being had 
Iiis habitation within the boundaries of 
Jackson county. The county gOTernment 
■was suspended^ the officer.s fled, and most 
of the records were lost. Jackson county 
was put back to where it had been before 
1850. ilost of the Norwegian families 
went to AVinneshiek county, Iowa, and 
Houston county, Minnesota; the other 
settlers made temporary homes at Sjiirit 
Lake and in otiier nearby settlements. 
Xews of the great Siou.x war, which was 
being carried on in all parts of Minnesota, 
came to the settlements on the frontier 
and the greatest alarm prevailed. Con- 
cerning conditions in the Spirit Lake set- 
tlement, Mr. H. L. Bennett in 188.5 
wrote : 

This intelligence created the most intense 
excitement. The settlements in the county 
[Dickinson] at this time were Spirit Lake, 
Tusciilum. Okohoji and two or three families 

on the Little Sioux_, southwest of ililford. 
Messengers were soon sent to all these points, 
and the settlers, greatly alarmed, hastily 
gathered their most needful and valuable arti- 
cles and hastened to Spirit Lake, where prep- 
arations were alread_v being made for defense 
against the Indians. The court house win- 
dows were bricked up. leaving portholes to 
shoot through. All guns and ammunition 
were gathered up and everything was done 
to make the defense as complete as possible 
considering our numbers and the limited 
moans at our disposal. A company was or- 
ganized for defense, composed of every man 
capable of liearing arms. Officers were chosen, 
and everything was done in as military a 
manner as possible. Pickets were kept out 
at all times at various distant points to pre- 
vent a surprise. 

The ])eople of this county remain- 
ed at the court house most of the time for 
about three weeks. The loss to settlers in 
various ways by this mode of living was very 
gn'at. A good deal of stock was left to run 
at large, and as a consequence nearly all the 
cro])S were destroyed, causing considerable 
suffering. In doing chores, looking after stock, 
etc., two or more young men would make the 
tour of the various neighborhoods, being care- 
ful to be well mounted and armed and to 
keep a good lookout to prevent siu'prise from 
any Indians who might be lurking about. 

One or two families attempted to leave the 
county during these trying times, but were 
detained, as it was determined that all should 
stay and helj) make a defense till help came 
from some direction. About this time the 
>oMiers arrived from Sioux City, 

and a blessed relief it was to the settlers, who 
now returned to their homes. Quite a number 
of families left about this time, and but few 
came in. 



TTIUS struggled the pioneers of 
Jackson county. They not only 
had to endure the ordinary hard- 
ships and privations of frontier life, they 
had to experience the horrors of Indian 

hcnnes in Belmont, traveling in a little 
caravan of ox teams. Their return was 
hrought al)out largely for the purpose of 
taking care of tlie cattle, which were re- 
ported to be roaming about witliout food. 

wars. j\Iany met death at the hands of ]\[ost of the cattle had been driven off by 

the Idoodthirsty savages, homes were pil- 
laged and laid waste, all were comjielh'd 
to flee for their lives. For the second time 
in its history Jackson county was depopu- 
lated. The few years succeeding the Bel- 
mont massacre constitute a reconstructiim 

the Indians, but the stock got away and 
returned to Belmont. 

Disaster overtook the little company 
when it had reached a point a little south 
of where the Milwaukee depot in Jackson 
now stands — on land now owned bv Matt 

In it the county was again reclaimed ToUefson. When tliat point was reached 

from the savages; the white man Ijecame 
the undisputed possessor. 

I)es])ite the terrors of living in a country 
exposed to Indian attack, there were sev- 
eral of the former settlers who would not 
gi\e up their homes in the new country. 
Jo.scpli Thomas, who had moved with his 

it was decided to make preparation.s for 
the night's camp, and, because of fear of 
possible lurking savages, the camp was to 
have been pitched on the prairie, instead 
of in the woods. The teams were left on 
the trail in charge of the women while the 
men A\ent to get water. While thev were 

family to vSpirit Lake, came back to take gone a terrific prairie tire swept down 

care of his crop, but returned to Spirit from the northwest at race horse speed 

Lake so soon as that was done. A nuin- and enveloped the little caravan. The 

ber of the Slaabaken or Olson family did oxen whirled and overturned the wagons, 

not accompany the other Norwegians to and before the men could reach the dan- 

Winneshiek county, Iowa, but remained ger point the women were in a perilous 

at Estherville until the latter part of Oc- condition, all of the wagons being on fire, 

tober. Then Englebret, John, Simon and When the oxen whirled, Miss Olava 01- 

Holsten Olson Slaabaken, accompanied son (now a resident of Jackson), the 

by their families and the widow of tlie twelve year old daughter of the murdered 

murdered Mikkel Olson Slaabaken, set Mikkel Olson Slaabaken, was thrown from 

out to take possession of their deserted one of the wagons into the flames. The 




girl was badlv liiirnoil about tlie knees and 
hands, Imt a heavy soldier overcoat saved 
her life. ills. Enfjlehret Olson Slaahaken 
with her baby juni})cd from one of the 
wa^jons and Iteeanio separated from the 
rest of the party, llolsten Olson Slaa- 
haken was burned so badly that the flesh 
fell off his hands and face, and he bore 
the marks of his injuries until his death. 
Miss Lena Olson, now the wife of P. H. 
Berge, of Jackson, was in tlie fire, but 
was uninjured. 

Witli the wagons on fire a retreat wa.< 
made to the Thomas home, where, fortu- 
nately, the family was living for the time 
being. Seeing the danger the unfortunate 
people were in, Mrs. Thomas ran with 
water and extinguished the flames on the 
first wagon to approach, which was that 
driven by Simon Olson Slaahaken. ifr. 
Thomas and his son started back to as- 
sist the others. They u])set the wagon of 
John Olson Slaahaken and extinguished 
tlie flames, thus saving the running gear: 
the rest of the wagon was destroyed. Has- 
tening still farther back to where it was 
known that ifrs. Englebret Slaahaken liad 
jumped from the wagon, ^Ir. Thomas 
found her dead body. On her breast, still 
living, was the baby. The infant lived 
until midnight and then passed away — 
one more victim to the dangers of frontier 
life. The dead were Imrii'd in the Michael 
Miller cemetery.' 

The Thomas homestead was thrown 
open to the sufferers, and there the 
mournful hand tarried two weeks, 'ifrs. 
Tbiiiuas nursed the injured back to life, 
and then all pushed mi to their foniur 
homes. They found nearly everything 
except the cabins destroyed and all the 
loose property removed. Wliite men from 
other settlement.s had completed the rav- 
ages begun by the Indians. Wagon load 

'The Bccount of this rtlsristor Is written large- 
Iv from an article written by the lato Judge 
Simon Olson In May, 1890. 

after wagon load had been hauled from the 
deserted cabins. Clothing, cooking uten- 
sils, machinery, grain and everything lliat 
could he moved had been taken, A thresh- 
ing machine had been brought up to Bel- 
mont from Spirit Irfike and iiiiuli of the 
small grain had been threshed and hauled 
away. The Slaabakciis made what iiii- 
l>rovements they could and spent the win- 
ter of 18G2-G3 there. Possibly S(uiic trap- 
]ier pitched his tent temporarily along the 
river or ou the l)ank of some lake; other- 
wise these were the only ones to brave the 
dangers of the county. 

Again in the spring of ISO;? came In- 
dian alarms; a trapper was killed and 
another wounded by the hostile Sioux 
some sixteen miles up the river. The 
Slaabakcns again deserted their homes 
and took refuge at Spirit Lake, where 
they lived under the protection of the sol- 
diers until the spring of 18(i4. Jasejih 
Thomas returned again in the spring of 
liSfi.'?, hut remained only a short time. 
Jarcd Palmer- came at the same time, 
took a claim a little south of the Thomas 
home, but left temporarily the same yt^ir. 
During the suiiniier of 18t!3 they were 
the only settlers in the vicinity. In the 
fall of that year came Tra C'amfield with 
his mother and a few orphan children. 
He took a claim a couple of miles south 
of Jackson, in Middletowu towushi]), and 
spent the winter of 1S63-G-1 there, being 
the only residents of Jackson county (hat 

Before military ]irotection was given 
Jackson county a small parly of Nor- 
wegian settlers returned to reside perma- 
nently in their former homes. They came 
early in June, 1864, and were the first to 

'Two men with similar names took part In 
the early hl.stor)' makine of Jaekson eoimty. 
Jareb Palmer was one of the SprlncfleUi set- 
tlers, fought at the Springfield ma.'^.saere. and 
now livei at T.akefield. .Tared Palmer eame a.«» 
deserlbed In the text and wa.s one of the first 
county olTlcers. 

'Major H. S. Bailey in Republic, March 10, 



MTOft, LEfH)X ANt 



make permanent settlement after the 
massaere. The party drove throvigh from 
Houston t-ounty. ilinnesota, ami was com- 
posed of the following people: Anders O. 
Slaahak-eii (single), who had jnst hcen 
discharged from the army; Simon Olson 
Slaabakeu and wife;' Mrs. Anders 0. 
Kirkevoldsmoen and. her three small chil- 
dren, Ole (Anderson), Christina and Bcr- 
tlia. Witliout having knowledge that steps 
were being taken to protect Jackson coun- 
ty, they decided to jnisli on to their for- 
mer homes in the frmitier regions. The 
first night in Jackson county they camped 
at a point a little south of the present 
site of Jackson. There they met a small 
party of men. including some of the Slaa- 
haken family, who were on their way 
from Spirit Lake to Mankato for provis- 
ions, and were informed that Lars Hal- 
verson and family intended to move im- 
mediately onto their claim, near their 
camping place. 

The little party from Houston county 
continued the journey the next morning 
and arrived at the claim of Simon Olson 
Slaal)aken. wlio had earlier in the S]n-ing 
hnught of Taral IJando that gentleman's 
claim to the southwest quarter of section 
34, Belmont. A lesson had been learned, 
and now all carried guns and were pre- 
pared to make defense against the In- 
dians. On the second night after their 
arrival a child was born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Simon Olson Slaabaken — the first child 
li(n-n in the connty after the massacre.'^ 
At the time of this event came an Indian 
scare. All night long the dogs barked, 
and the people were in constant fear of 
attack by Indians. The men of the party 

■'Simon Olson Slaabaken had departed from 
Spirit Lake in the fall of 1863 and gone to 
Spring Grove. Houston connty. Minnesota, 
where some of the Norwegian refugees had 
gone, and there married Bertha, the daughter 
of Mrs. Anders O. Kirkevoldsmoen. 

''This child was named Christina and is now 
Mrs. George Ombei-son, of Murray county. 

stood guard all night, but they failed to 
discover any Indians. 

Two days after the birth of the child, 
their fears continuing to increase, the 
alarmed people could stand the suspense 
no longer, and all set out for the settle- 
ments. They proceeded down the river 
to Lars Halverson's place, where they 
found that gentleman and his family. 
After a few days sjjent tliere, the whole 
party went to Spirit Lake. A little later, 
accoinpanic<l by several others of the 
Slaaliaki'n family, tlic reliirn tn Belmont 
was made. 

Bravely they dctcimined to hold their 
claims and made such preparation for de- 
feiLse against attack as best they could. A 
fort, the main building of which was 18x 
20 feet, surrounded hy a stockade, was 
erected on the southwest quarter of section 
34, Belmont. The stockade was built of 
logs and covered with sods, through which 
holes were left to serve as portholes. For 
two summers all the settlers of the com- 
munity lived witliin its protecting walls, 
spending only such time outside as was 
necessary to work the farms; during the 
winter months the .settlers generally lived 
in their own cabins. At no time during 
this period were they entirely free from 
fear of attack. 

Except for the cahins, most of which 
were yet stnnding, these settlers of 18(i4 
found the country in practically a wild 
state, and were obliged to begin again at 
the beginning to improve their claims. 
When the sudden departure liad been 
made in 1862 most of the hogs of the 
settlement had been left. The people re- 
turning found these roaming the woods 
in a wild state. For several years the 
hunting of wild swine furnished sport for 
the settlers, and many of the former do- 
mestic animals were killed. 

It will be seen that the Belmont mas- 
sacre resulted in the practical abandon- 



niont of Jackson county for nearly two 
* years, only a few having the liardihood to 
attempt resettlement, and they only in- 
termittently. But events were so shaping 
themselves that protection was to be af- 
forded and the county again inade safe for 

1 luring the year 18G3 United States 
soldiers continued ojicrations against tlie 
Sioux Indian?, driving them licyond tlic 
ilissouri river. In the fall of (hat year 
most of tlie ilinncsota regiments were 
sent soutli to figlit the battles of the civil 
war. l)ut the Sixth legiment of ilinue- 
sota volunteers remained in the state to 
liold the land that liad been freed from 
savages. 'I'd lucitect the immediate vicin- 
ity Major (then Captain) H. S. Bailey's 
company of tliat regiment was stationed 
at Fairmont and at Elm creek, in ^lartin 
county. 'J'hey were supplied witli Iiorses 
and were instructed to scout and patrol 
as much country as they could cover. In 
the month of Manh. ISfil. some of the 
Scouts came so far west a.s the Des ^foines 
river, and upon their return rciiorted that 
they lind found aS nice a country as tliey 
ever saw. Major Bailey accompanied an- 
otlier party to Jackson county the same 
month and was so well pleased with the 
location that Ije selected a claim just south 
of the ]n-esent village of Jackson proper, 
tiled his claim in the land oiTice, and de- 
cided to make his home tliere as soon as 
he slunild leave the army. Sergeant John 
Hutchinson and possibly other soldiers se- 
lected claims at the same time. 

JIany of the former residents of Jack- 
son county were anxious to return and 
were ready to do so if military ])rotection 
were given. In the month of Ai)ril. 1)^(il, 
Joseph Thomas took a petition, signed by 
several of tlie former residents, to Fair- 
mont and ]iresented it to Major Bailev. 
They asked that a force of soldiers he 
stationed at some point in Jackson coun- 

ty. Major Bailey endorsed the petition 
and forwarded it to his commanding offi- 
cer, (icneral II. II. Sibley. The general 
referred the matter back to the company 
commander witli instructions to send part 
of liis company to Jackson county and 
establish a post if he thought it advisable. 
Majni- Bailey accordingly sent a force of 
twelve men. commanded l)y a sergeant, to 
tlie ])resent location of Jack.'Jon. The sol- 
diers took possession of a vacant house. 
which was used for quarters, and chris- 
tened it Fort Bailey. The .soldiers re- 
mained at Fort Bailey only a few weeks. 
Then orders were received for the com- 
pany to proceed to Fort Snelling to join 
tli<' regiment, preparatory to going south. 
Fort Bailey was abandoned and never 
heard of afterward." 

Upon his arrival at Fort Snelling Ma- 
jor Bailey liad a conference with General 
Sibley in regai'd to the Jackson county 
country, and as a result the couipany 
wliich rclii'vi'd ^lajor Bailey was ordered 
to take its station on the Des ^Moines riv- 
er. Lieutenant II. J. I'liillips was the 
commanding officer of this company. Tic 
erected a log stockad.' with a building at 
either end at a ])oint on the hill on the 
east side of tlie river about eighty rods 
southeast of Joseph Thomas' This 
stockade was occupied by the soldiers until 
September, 18(55. 

.About the same time, or a little lati r 
than, the troo])S were stationed on the Des 
Moines, two small bodies of Cnited States 
troops were stationed in (dlier parts of 
Jackson county. 1'art of a eom)iaMv of 
the Second ]\!innesola cavalry took post 
nil the west .«hore of Little Spirit lake. 
one-i|Uarter mile north of the state line. 
Thev eanic late in the fall of isr)4 Cl- 
early in the .-priiig oC 1S(!.") and remained 
aiiout a year. 'J'lie post was e^Iahlishcil 
on n little jieninsnla and was nearly sur- 

"Fiom the wiitiiigs uf Major II. S. Bailc-y. 



rounded by water. Tlie headquarters were 
in a large log house which was erected for 
the purpose. 

The other post was established in 1865 
on the east shore of Heron lake, ou sec- 
tion 13, West Heron Lake tow^nship. The 
fort building was 32x24 feet and was 
built of large logs. It contained one door 
and two small windows. There were also 
five smaller buildings, built of logs and 
all located some forty rods from the lake 
shore. The fort was occupied by a few- 
soldiers until danger from the Indians 
was past." 

The presence of these troops resulted in 
the return of a few of the former resi- 
dents late in 1864. A number of the 
Norwegian families came back and re- 
claimed their lands in Belmont, a few 
others reclaimed their homes along the 
river farther south, and a few new settlers 
came in an<l took claims. 

A new era in the history of Jackson 
county began in 186-5. The Indians had 
Ijeen driven from the country; the civil 
war was brought to a close and thousands 
of soldiers had been discharged from the 
service and sent forth to engage in peace- 
ful occupations. It is a noticeable trait 
of discharged soldiers that they are not 
content to accept the quiet lives they en- 
joyed before their army service, but in- 
variably push out into new countries. All 
parts of the great northwest were rapidly 
settled, and to Jackson county came many 
of the discharged soldiers looking for new 

A census of the county, showing the 
number of inhabitants on the first day of 
June, 1865, discloses the fact that there 
were 234 residents,* divided among 47 

'When Abraham Johnson took the site of the 
post as a homestead chiim about 1S70 the build- 
ings were still standing. He tore down the 
fort building and used the logs in the erection 
of a stable, which was put up on the lake shore. 

'Other counties in southwestern Minnesota 
had population as follows: Blue Earth, 9,201; 
Faribault, 4,735; Watonwan, 248; Martin, 1,4.30; 

families. Of these 123 were males and 

111 females. The census was taken by 

Joseph Thomas." Following are the names 

of the inhabitants as listed by him :^° 

Joseph Thomas, 
Jane Thomas, 
H. L. Thomas, 
E. G. Thomas, 
E. J. Thomas, 
.Joseph Thomas. Jr., 
M. A. Thomas. 
William Webster, 
John JlcConnie, 
Aaron Hollenback, 
Frances Hollenback, 
John R. Hollenback, 
•Tames Hollenbaclc, 
Ransom Woodard, 
. Ursula Woodard, 
Emily Woodard, 
Ellen Woodard. 
Jlay ^^'oodard, 
Bennett Woodard, 
Charles Belknap, 
Lydia Belknap, 
Minnesota Belknap, 
Sarah Bland, 
Henr.v Haley, 
Harriett Haley, 
Alexander Haley, 
William C. Haley, 
Martha E. Haley, 
George R. Haley, 
E. A. Haley, 
O. 0. Hale.v. 
Henr.v K. Evans. 
Elmira Evans. 
Heorge Evans, 

Rock, 23. In Cottonwood. Murray. Nobles and 
Pipestone there were no inhabitants. 

"'County auditor's office, Fairmont. August 
4, 1865. 

"I. Albert L. Ward, auditor of the county of 
Martin, state of Minnesota, do hereby certify 
that Joseph Thomas, the within named assist- 
ant assessor, was by me appointed as such on 
the 24th day of June, 1S65, for the county of 
Jackson, the same being attached to the coun- 
ty of Martin for judicial purposes. And I do 
further certify that the within is a true and 
correct duplicate of census rolls as returned by 
the said Joseph Thomas to me, and that he is 
entitled to three cents for each person en- 
rolled. Total. 233x3 cts.. $6.99. 

"Witness my hand and seal of office. 

".ALBERT L. W.\RD." 

"The list is obtained from the office of the 
secretary of state. On it many of the names- 
are improperly spelled; in some cases to such 
an extent is the spelling incorrect that the 
name is hardly recognizable. Through the kind- 
ness of Mr. Ole .\nderson and other residents 
of 1865, I have changed the orthography of 
such and give the list as i-evised. In addition 
to the names contained in the census return. I 
am informed that there were liviii.g in Jackson 
county at the time of the enumeration Mr. and 
Mrs. Nels Larson and their familv of nine child- 
ren, named as follows: Ole. Lewis. I.evina. 
Marie. Bertha, Isabel, John. Lena and Carolme. 
It is said also that Thrira Halverson. wife of 
Lars Halverson, should be on the list. 



Laura Evans, 

May Evans, 

Emily Evans, 

IWnjamin Dayton, 

.Mini. I Dayton. 

I-a\irk' Dayton, 

EiiinunJ W. Dayton, 

.Spcnocr Dayton. 

William Daylon. 

Sanuipl Hall, 

I.ouisn Hall. 

Enoin Hall. 

Luciptia Hall. 

.Tames E. Palmer. 

.Anninila I'almcr. 

(ii'oifie Palmer. 

Eecinidas Palmer. 

-Andrew Monson. 

Jfetret Monson. 

iTolin ifonson (Anilersim). 

Mons Monson, 

Doretliy Jlonson, 

Mary ilonson. 

Anna Monson, 

Christena Monson, 

Herret Monson. 

Kreileriek Lyman, 

Martlia E. Lyman. 

Xaomia Lyman. 

Lewis Ijvman. 

Israel F". Eildv, 

Kollv U. Eddv, 

William D. Eddy, 

Kraneis Eddv, 

Perry E. Eddy, 

Emma M. Eddv. 

Clark Baldwin,' 

Martha Baldwin, 

Solomon Dickenson, 

May .1. Dickenson, 

Catherine Peters, 

San ford Peters. 

Stephen Dickenson, 

David Dickenson, 

Sarah Dickenson, 

Electa Dickenson, 

Harris Dickenson, 

Lydia Di<'kenson, 

.lolin Dickenson, 

.lames S. Peters, 

Stenrench Wood, 

Anna Wood, 

William S. Wood, 

JIarquis Loncks, 

David Brifiht. 

May A. Bright, 

.Innier Bright. 

Martha Bripht. 

Nancy Bripht. 

Xoah Brichl. 

Victoria Bripht, 

Frederick Bright. 

Charles Brown. 

Minnie Brown, 

"forpe Brown, 

May William, 

Oliver Lee (Brynildson), 

Martha Loe, 
Brownell Lee, 
Henry Lee, 
Martin Loe. 
• lolin Lee. 

I'ctcr P. }laverlierp, 
Marion Havcrlierg, 
Eiipehor Haverherp, 
Marpucrite Marren, 
Andrew Olson, 
Enpebret Olson, 
Kristi Olson, 
Ole E. Olson. 
Andrew E. Olson, 
Anne Olson, 
Kristri Helpcson, 
Simon Olson, 
Betsey Olson. 
Anna C. Olson, 
Oliver Stall, 
Helen Stall, 
.John Olson, 
Anna Olson, 
Kristi Olson, 
Anna Olson. 
Lena Olson. 
Olc Olson. 
Pethria Olson, 
Peter Olson, 
Lars Halversoii. 
Sarah Halverson. 
Halvor Halverson, 
.Anna Halverson. 
Lars Halverson, .Ir.. 
.Idlin Halverson. 
Kair Halverson, 
-Vrtlinr Halverson. 
.\nn Olson. 
Christina Olson. 
Bertha Olson. 
Ole Olson (Anderson), 
Peternilla Olson, 
Olive Olson. 
Kistrie Olson. 
Karc'na Olson. 
Isabella Olson. 
Ole Olson. 
Kistri Olson. 
Mille Olson. 
Nntie Olson, 
.•\nn Olson. 
Orin Belkiia|i. 
Xaomia Belknap. 
Henry Lynnin, 
\sM\i- Belknap. 
.Tune Belknap. 
Elijah Bidknap. 
,Tohn .1. Udkiiap. 
Eilninnd Belknap, 
Isaac Bidknap. 
Elizahelh M. Canlidd. 
,Iolin Cantidd. 
Lewis A. Canlicdd. 
Nancy Canlicld. 
I'pcnia Tailor, 
(ieorpc Tailor. 
Baldwin Kirkpatrick. 
Minehab Kirkpatrick, 



Tliomas Kiikpatrick, 
Amancla Kiikpatrick, 
Adaliiip Kiikpatrick, 
Jlilo Kirkpatriok. 
Jute Kirkpatrick, 
James Palmer, 
Nancy M. Palmer, 
.Joseph Palmer, 
George Palmer, 
Eliza Palmer, 
William Palmer, 
Miles J. Jletcalf. 
Fanny M. iletcalf, 
Emerv d. Mctcalf. 
Harriet K. Metcalf, 
Arnold S. Jletcalf, 
Charles H. Metcalf, 
Joseph Price, 
Sarah Price, 
Almea Price, 
Peter J5aker, 
.Marion C. Baker, 
Lon .J. Baker, 
Sofroiiia X. Baker. 
Harriet E. Baker, 
May J. Baker, 
Eliza A. Baker, 
Daniel Baker, 
Eliza Baker, 
Cheeny M. Cormick. 
Lafayette Cormick, 
Emma Cormick, 
Erviii Helberon, 
Hogan Gilbert, 
Engebret Olson, 
Carney f)lson, 
Ole Oisoii, 
Lanilen Olson, 
Holsten Olson, 
Ingebri Olson. 
Ole H. Olson. 
Enor H. Olson. 
Xels H. Olson. 
Tina H. Olson. 
Cornelius H. Olson. 
Martinus H. Olson, 
Julia H. Olson, 
Betsey H. Olson, 
Nelson 0. Huron, 
Len Olson. 
Ole Nelson. 
Lor Nelson. 
John Nelson. 
Levena Nelson. 
May Nelson, 
Betsey Nelson. 
J. Mabella Nelson, 
Lena Nelson. 
Cornelia Nelson, 
Nicholas Olson. 
John N. Olson. 
Samuel N. Olson. 
Lenah Olson. 
Betsey C. Olson, 
May A. Olson. 

Many nioro came durino; the siinimor 
and fall, and the choice lands along the 

Des Moines river were all staked. A few- 
families took claim? this year on the banks 
of Loon lake and the other lakes in that 
vicinity, l)eing the first to locate any dis- 
tance from the river. Quite an addition 
to the county's j^opulation tliis year were 
Major H. S. Bailey and family and twen- 
ty men of his company." The newcom- 
ers favored the lands upon which there 
was timlier, a.s had the earlier settlers, 
and the greatest population was along 
that part of the river which sustained the 
most timber. Consequently the most 
thickly settled portion of the countv was 
in the vicinity of the present village of 
Jackson. At that point, in 1865, William 
Webster began the election of a sawmill, 
which, however, was not finished until the 
next year." 

Despite the large increase in population 
and the presence of the soldiers, appre- 
hension of Indian attack was again mani- 
fest in the spring of 1865. Indians ap- 
peared in the north part of the county 
and attacked two trappers in their shanty. 

"The company had left Fairmont in June, 
1864. with 101 vigorous and healthy men. It 
went south and was stationed at Helena. Ar- 
kansas. Within six weeks the health of nearly 
everyone was ruined by malaria, and eighteen 
men later died from its effects. Of the eigh- 
teen, seven were among those who located in 
Jackson county. 

'-George C. Chamberlin. writing in 18SS. gave 
the following history of this pioneer .sawmill: 

"In these historical sketches we must not for- 
get Jackson's first enterprise. I allude to the 
old .sawmill that so long did duty at the east- 
ern end of the mill dam. 

"It was in 1S64 or 1S65 that a man by the 
name of Webster commenced its construction, 
but so many obstacles intervened that he soon 
sold out to Mr. Welch Ashley, who in 18B6 put 
it in condition for duty. He and B. W. .\shley 
operated it for two or three years, and here 
from morning until night would farmers await 
their turn for a few rough boards and dimen- 
sion lumber, which readily roid for $25 per 
thousand. Here the neighbors became ac- 
quainted, discussed with newcomers as they 
appeared upon the scene, and talked of the 
prospective town, the crops and the country. 

"Mr. Ashley sold the mill to PnilPmon FRrr. 
a brother of O. S. Farr, and Mr. Farr sold to 
an eccentric old bachelor named David Card- 
well, who afterwards was found dead upon 
the prairie near Le Mars. Iowa, and it is sup- 
posed committed suicide. "When railways near- 
ed the vicinity the occupation of the old mill 
was gone, and the site was purchased b.v Hunt- 
er & Strong for a flouring mill, and the ancient 
structure, I presume, was converted into stove 



Tlie alarm wa.'^ given by a boy named Kirk- 
patiiek, who had been trapping in north- 
ern Bolmont townsliip witli a man named 
Hnskins, of Eslherville. Ilaskins was 
isliot through the hip, luii managed to 
erawl into liiding in the brush above 
]<rownsbiirg. The boy made his escape 
and notified the soldiers down the river. 
A Seoul ing party found Haskins and 
brouglit him in. Init no Indians could be 
fiuind. Tlio Mikiieis notified the settlers 
and assisted them to the stockade, where 
most of them reiuiiined for a few days. 
Then, being satisfied that the Indians had 
left, all departed lor their lioines. .\ per- 
sonal incident of tlie alarm has been told 
by Mr.s. Clark Baldwin (now Mrs. A. B. 

Allen) : 

The spring [of I8Gr>| iilso broiif;lil an unoasi- 
nf-ss about tlic Indians, as tliis was on tlie i'.\- 
treme frontier. We liad the soldiers stationed 
here, to be sure, but the stockades were far 
apart and there were so few settlers that we 
V. ere but a handful in comparison with the 
hordes that niifjhl eonn' upon us. And at one 
time we thonf;lit they were upon us. 1 think 
it was in May. .About three o'clock one morn- 
ing we heard a rap at the door and on in- 
quiring found it to be a squad of soldiers 
who had been sent out to warn and take into 
the stockade all the settlers for protection 
from the Indians, and it was supjioscd theic 
were many in the vicinity. Wiien 

the warning came to us we were not long in 
responding. One of the soldiers afterward 
said he had always heard it took a woman 
so long to dress, but he knew of one that'l long about it. After that knock on 
tlie door it wasn't three minutes before I was 
ready and on the horse behind a soldier, ready 
to march to the stockade, where it was 
lliought best we stav for a few davs. which I 

The poimlation of Jackson comity jiad 
reached such a point in the fall of 18G5, 
with such excellent prospects of a con- 
tinuation of immigration the following 
year, that it was decided to bring ahout 
the reorganization of the county govern- 
ment. The legislature had. early in the 
year, attached the county to Jlartin co\in- 
ty for judicial purpo.oes," but there was 

".\ll JiirUrlnl orricers of Martin county wire 
prantt'd fviM .iurlsdictlon over Jackson county. 
the same as if it were a part of that county. 

necessity for other branches of govern- 
ment than the judicial. 

At the request of some of the residents, 
(itjvernor Stepiien ililler named Israel 
r. Eddy, Charles Belknap and Jared 
Palmer commissioners to call and preside 
over an election for tiie purpose of choos- 
ing county officers. The election was held 
at the home of Jared Palmer on Novem- 
ber 7, thirty-si.\ ballots were cast, and a 
.set of county officials was chosen.'* Ow- 
ing to difficulties in having the returns 
canvassed and election certificates issued, 
it was not until January 27, 18G6, that 
the machinery of county government was 
set in motion. On that date the first 
meeting of the board of county commis- 
sioners was held at the home of Major H. 
S. Bailey. 

The second meeting of the board was 
held on March 13, when the county was 
divided into commissioner districts and 
tlie three most thickly settled town.ships 
were authorized to begin township gov- 
ernment. These townships were Peters- 
burg, Jackson (Des Moines) and Bel- 
mont. The first township meeting was 
held April 2, 18GG. 

Petersburg townsliip wa.s naineii in 
honor of Rev. Peter Baker, the pioneer 
minister of the gospel and a .settler of 
18G0. To it were attached, for townsliip 
and election purjioses, the other four, 
spar.sely settled townships of the southern 
tier. Among the early residents of Pet- 
ersburg township who secured land pat- 
ents from the government, with the year 
in which the patent.* were issue<l, and the 
number of the section upon whicii the 
settler had his claim, were the follow- 

The net was approved by the governor February 
in. 1.S65. 

'*For the names of the first officers and other 
items concerninK the orpanizatlon the reader Is 
referred to the political chapters of this volume. 

•'The year the patent was issuecj precedes the 
name; the section numlier follows the name 
and Ik in parentliesis. 



1866, Isaac BelUiiap (0): 1868, M. W. 
'Ilionipson (U-7), diaries W. Belknap (18); 
ISOy, Men/.o L. Asliley (18); 1870, Ira Cam- 
field (6-7), Samuel Hall (7), Miles J. Metcalf 
(27), Josepli Trice (27), Peter S. Baker (27- 
28), Daniel Baker (28); 1871. Ole Johnson (2), 
Epliriam Eby (14), John C. Hoovel (33), Ho- 
gan Gilbert (34); 1872, Stephen E. Ford (6), 
John Loi;ue (8), Eric Sevatson (34), Even 
llerbrandson (34); 1S73, Albert D. King (4), 
Edward F. Mather (4), J. N. Thompson (6), 
.lames W. Dunn (6), .Jtsse A. Patterson (7), 
Andrwv J. Patterson (8), John L. Ashley (12), 
Chancy \V. Cornish (20), John Haniiey (24), 
(George D. Stone (34) ; 1874, Solomon Mid- 
daugh (20). George L. Fortner (28), Edward 
Gruhlke (30), Bottol (Jlson (.32), Bjorn Bjorn- 
son (32): 1875, Samuel Clayton (12), Lyman 
W. Seely (22); 1876, Edward Bolter (14), Nel- 
son Graves (20), Hebrand Bjornson (22), 
James N. Xe^vton (24), Eugene Logue (26), 
Martin Logue (26), August Gruhlke (30) ; 1877, 
.Jared Haskin (24), James H. Baker (28); 1878, 
Assor Olson (26); 1880, Sever Knudson (26). 

Jac-k.siin township (lenaiiifd Ues Moines 
by act of tlie board of county eonnnis- 
sioners May IG, 18(jG) had the otlier town- 
ship.* of the tier attached to it at the time 
of organization, as well as the tier nortli 
of it. It hist tJie northern tier early in 
1867 by the organization of Belmont 
township, Wisconsin in 18G9, and the 
townships to the west in 1872. Follow- 
ing are the early settlers of Des Moines 
who received titles from the government 
and the years the patents were issued : 

I860, Daniel P. Cornell (2-3). Alexander 
Wood (24); 1802. .Joseph Arthur (14-22-23), 
Israel F. Eddv (24); 1S63. James E. Palmer 
(24-2.5): lS(i4,' Stephen F. Johnson (13-23-24); 
186.5, Hans Johnson (15-22), Jo-^eph Muck (15- 
22), .Joseph Thomas (24), Stiles M. West 
(25), D. M. West (25); 1866, Artlrar L. Crane 
123), Bartholmew McCarthy (24), Isaac 
Wlieeler (27), Wilson C. Gari-att (34); 1867, 
Ann Olson (3). Edward Davies (10-11), Nathan 
J. Woodin (10), Ole Larson (12), Henrv Haley 
(22). Henry K. Evens (34); 1868, Simon Olsoii 
(3-4), (Jle' Burreson ( 10-11-14-15). Heirs of 
John Olson (11), Palmer Hill (14). Abram 
Kalder (20), Lewis L. Miner (22), Nathaniel 
Frost (23-24); 1860, John Olson (3), Mary D. 
Ashley (26); 1870. Clark Baldwin (13).'0tis 
S. Farr (26), .Jeremiah Prescott (30). Benja- 
min W. Ashley (34|, .James S. Williams (35): 
1S71. Oliver Stall (2). William Burreson (11- 
14). Sylvester Kingsley (10), Thaddeus Puck- 
er (20), Alonzo Blake (21), Ahimaaz E. Wood 
(23-26), Lars Halverson (25), Philip Yates (28- 
20); 1872, Halver B. Lee (2), Darby Whelan 
(4), George W. Woodin (10), Andrew Monson 
(13), William A. Stewart (18), Henry A. Wil- 

liams (20). Hiram S. Bailey (23-24-25), Ben- 
jamin D. Dayton (26), Charles H. B. Greene 

(20), Matthew Smith (21)); 1873, Milton Ma- 
son (4), Martin L. Bromaghim (12), Alpheus C. 
Marshall (12), Welch Ashley (12), Hans Ches- 
terson (15), Stanton F. Stone (18), Hiram II. 
Stone (18), Emmet Miner (20-21), Joseph E. 
Fields (26-27), Horace L. Trumbull (27), Levi 
Bennett. Jr. (28), Henry Blakey (28), Edward 
J. Orr (29), .Jesse E. Prescott (30), Orson Cook 
(30), Michael Smith (30), William R. Maddock 
(33), Edward Davies (34); 1874, Hans Stall 
(2). Hans Hanson (2), Erick Christianson (2), 
Edward Blakey (27-28) ; 1875, Harvey Page 
(4), Patrick Dailey (14), .James Kerr (28); 
1876, Alfred H. Cady (4), Hiram Samson (10), 
Michael Riley (20);" 1877, George P. Lee (.35); 
1878, John 11. Willing (18); 1879, Jacob Bas- 
tedo (18). 

Belmont townshiiD was created by the 
board of county commissioners March 13, 
18G6, at the same time as Jackson and 
Petersburg, but the organization was not 
perfected until January .5, 1867. At the 
time of oi'ganization the other townships 
of the tier were attached to it, and on 
.\pril 10, 1869, all of the townships of the 
northern tier were given it for township 
purposes. The name was given in honor 
of the old Belmont townsite. Almost 
without exception the early settlers were 
Norwegians. The following were granted 
land patents in Belmont in the years 
named : 

I860, Edward S. Love (6); 1868, Heirs of 
Lars Larson (8-17), James Murry (32); 1869, 
Simon Olson (33-34), .John Olson (34); 1871, 
S. Amundson (22), Nicholas Olson (28), Hol- 
sten Olson (34); 1872, Ole .Johnson (8), Milo 
Larson (28). Anders Olson (.34); 1873, Ole An- 
derson (4). Thomas Larson (4), .John Hanson 
(4), Paul Hanson (4), Knud Johnson (6), Nube 
Olson (8), Peter Amundson (8), I^ars I. Brata- 
ger (20), Englebret Olson (21-22-27), Peter 
Larson (22), Peter .Johnson (22). Thron Thom- 
son (26). Peter P. Haverterg (34); 1874. Heirs 
of .Joseph Thompson (14), Samuel Nelson (14), 
Andrew .Johnson (20), Anders R. Kilen (20), 
Iver Thompson (24), Christian Olson Lilleherg 
(28), Ole 0. Sandager (30), Even Larson Kjels- 
ven (32). Hans Stall (34): 1875, Nils Larson 
(2), Ole Peterson (12), Anders L. Kjelsven 
(20), Erick Rasmussou (20), Johan Fransen 
(20), Ole Olson (24), Beret Olson (26); 1870, 
•John .Johnson Scrove (2), Claus Hanson (2), 
Jjars J^arson (2), Kriste Olson (22): 1877, En- 
glebret L. Thomson (12), Segar H. Chester 
(18) : 1878. Marie Halverson (20), Ole E. Olson, 
Sr. (22): 1880, Ole S. Sogge (10). Andreas 
.Johnson (18), John H. .Johnson (24); 1881, 
Thore O. Fladgard (14), Bereth Olson (22); 



1SH:». (tie Jl. Lee (241. Taul 11. raiilsmi CiO) ; 
1885, U. Tolli'fs<>ii (IS): lS8(i, 'J'liroii L. Tliroii- 
son (2ti|. 

.MiiiiKMita lownsliip was (luiti' uarly 
settk'il on account of (ho miincnuis lakes 
within its bonler.s. 'J'lic residents jieti- 
tioned for township government, ami on 
October 1."), 18()(i, the commissioners 
granted the request. Bv tlie same act 
there were attached to it the west lialf of 
the ])re.seftt ^fiddle-town townshiji and 
all of the jiresent towii.sjiips of Sioux \'al- 
lev and Koiiud Lake. Minneota is a Sioux 
word meaning- "much water," and was .«i() 
named because of its group of lakes. An 
early settler by the name of Chandler 
suggested the name. Titles to land in 
Jiinneota were issued to the follnuiiiir 
early settlers in the years indicated: 

18(i!t, Martin 1). McUulf (2.j) ; 1870, Ca-orj-c! 
Kllct (14), .laiiU's S. I'eters (24-25); 1871, 
ia)ciiezer U. .Milliiril (Id). SunuicI \V. l!inf;i'ss 
( 14-2:!). < 'Lilian liuivji'ss \-l'.i), .lolin Kii-lianlsoii 
(2.3-2(!), Tiiiiolliy t'. .lolinsoii (24), Siimtu'l 
Hiowii (:t4-:t5l. Abner H. Stimsoii (35): 1872, 
(iulcoii K. TilVanv (8). l.-.a(lor A. .Moioaux (10), 
Kraiuis Iti'rrahaiii (.'U): 187:!, Walter A. Davis 
(12), Isaae Circt'nwood (24), lleniian 1'. Willn-r 
(26), Lucius Bonlwcll (20); 1874, Samiirl Dav 
is (12), Henry Sliapley (22), William C. Hates 
(22); 1875, lienrv S. 'Ciaves (4i, Xatlianiel li. 
Fletcher (4), II.' P. Hallanl (14); 1877. .lolin 
Lucas (22), Hiram II. Siiudmls (20). Ole Wil- 
son (28), .lolui -Xnio (:i4l: 1878, .lolin I'". Baker 
(0), Hans ('. (ivcrson (28). .lolin Cillillan (28|. 
Ahnim (lilfillan (28), Ole Olson (:!2); 187!t, 
.lolm K. Bunker (20), .lacoh Larson (.•»()). Lars 
t'lnistensoii (:t2) : 1881. Lodawick Kailer (2). 
Lvman Wilcox (30): 1884. Charles L. Stoihhud 
(18): 1,88.-). fieorge Ttaker (18). 

There was a large immigration in lS(i(i. 
and Jackson county received new settlers 
from Jill parts of tlic east. Nearly all of 
those were poor peo])lc who came for the- 
]mrpose of bettering their condition in 
the new country, ■\\iiere they miglit be- 
come land owners. Conditions were as 
unlike those of the present time as night 
is from day. There were no wagon roads, 
and traveling was a difTicult and often 
dangerous undertaking. The newcom- 
ers found only three or four .schools in 
the whole coimty and no churches, al- 

though traveling ministers of the gospel 
occasionally preaciied at private 
Frame buildings were scarce. In the tim- 
IxmimI districts log were built: in 
the prairie ,seclions sod houses or dug- 
outs'" furnished the home?. 0.\ teams, or 
perhaps an o.v and a cow, attached to a 
lumber wagon provided the means of con- 
veyance. The scythe corresponiled to our 
mower and the cradle and rake to our 
binder. There were no railri>ads. no tele- 
graph and t('lc|ih(inc lint's. and oiilv one 
poslolfice in the county. The pwiplc were 
not blessed with ihe advantages thev now 
enjoy: their energies were exerted in the 
strife for exi.«tence: their andiition was to 
become the owner of a ])iece of land. John 
Da vies, a pioneer settler, in after years re- 
called early day conditions and said: 

How well <lo T rememlier seeiii}; tlieni clothed 
in dilapidatcil <.Minieti|s ,iii(l out at their toes. 
(Irivinf; their ox teams hitched to rickety huck 
hoard vehicles to town and elsewheii'. and 
whenever I see their (dd roads which nn-amier- 
ed over these nndnlilinj; plains (over which 
they mogffcd alon;:, oft.'ii with liunps in their 
throats, hut larpe hopes in their hearts) liein;; 
obliterated by the pl.iw I can hardly ri'frain 
from tears. 

The records of the county go\ciiiii]eiil 
lor the year ISdd liirnish us mauv in- 
teresting items of the conditions and 
times. We learn from the.«e that the first 
.school district was created on ^larcb l.'i. 
lS(i(i, and included pait of Des Jfoines 
Inwnship east of the river and several sec- 
tions in Wi.sconsin town.«hip.'' 

'"••'I'o the pioneers of dav.s llial word 
lihiKoiitl would explain Itself, but to the r.-ad- 
ers of this worthy iiaiier. who live in i-leKant 
city homes and have never seen or been famil- 
iar witli frontier life, perhaps a word of ex- 
lilan.illon will bi' necessary as to how these 
were l.iilll. Kirsl a lellar was diiR with steps 
JeHclinu therefrom: thi-n Iors were lalil aliotil 
the tops of this and a roof placed on tlu' top 
of those; gable t nds and a door were m.ide: a 
sipiare was diiK into the side of the walls and 
a dry Roods box inserted for a cii|iboard: an- 
other made an excellent clothes press. No 
need of a lire escape In n house like thisi The 
roof Itself was of dirt."— Thomas Goodwin In 
Repiihllo. March 1., 

''The first twelve school districts were or- 
Kanizc'd on the dates (tlven and with boundar- 
ies as follows: 

No. 1— March 1.1. lSf.6. Commencinc at the 
northeast corner of section 17. Wisconsin: 
thence running west on that section line to 



The total taxable joroperty in 18G6 was 
less than $3G,0U0, and was assessed ia the 
names of 73 owners. The tax levied 
amounted to -$718. "lO. The names of those 
assessed and the amount of each one's tax, 
as equalized by the county board, were as 
follows : 


Peter Baker .$6 . 82 

W. C. Garratt 3 .4.5 

Samuel Hall 3.82 

Even Herbrandson 6 . 00 

Samuel Brown 1 . 50 

Solomon Dicken.son 2 . 83 

Hogan (iilbert 2.39 

Levi C'amfield 1 . 00 

.Jolm Hoovel 7.10 

James 8. Peters 5 . 00 

M. J. Metcalf 

Martin Metcalf 

Erwin Hall 2 . 06 

Ira C'amfield 3.21 

Charles W. Belknap 1.77 

Jo.seph Price .02 

L. H.. Lyman 7.97 


the Des Moines river; tlience running in a 
soutlierly direction, following the river, to the 
section line of 25 and 36; thence east to the 
southeast corner of section 29; thence north to 
the place of beginning. 

No. 2— September 4. 1866. All that territory 
in Des Moines township which lies west of the 
Des Moines river. 

No. 3 — September 4, 1866. Commencing at 
the northeast corner of section 32. Wisconsin; 
thence running south to the southeast corner 
of section 17, Petersburg; thence west to the 
southwest corner of section 14, Middletown; 
thence nortli to tlie township line between Des 
Moines and Middletown; thence east on tlie 
township line to the Des Moines river; thence 
following the river in a northerly direction to 
the section line of sections 25 and 36, Des 
Moines; thence east to the place of beginning. 

No. 4— November 7. 1866. The south half of 
Petersburg township. 

No. 5— March 17. 1S67. The townships of 
Belmont, Enterprise, Heron Lake, West Heron 
Lalie and Alba. 

No. 6— May 25, 1867. Sections 22. 23, 24, 25. 
26, 27, 34, 35 and 36, Minneota township. 

No. 7— September 20. 1867. Sections 15. 16, 
21 and 22, Des Moines township. 

No. 8— September 25. 1867. Sections 17, IS. 
19 and 20. Des Moines township. 

No. 9— December 21. 1867. The east half of 
sections 20. 29 and 32 and all of sections 21, 28 
and 33 and the west half of sections 22, 27 and 
34, in Wisconsin township, and the north lialf 
of section 4 and the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 3 and the northeast quarter of section 5, 
in Petersburg township. 

No. 10— December 24, 1S67. Sections 1. 2, 3, 
4. 9, 10, 11 and 12, Des Moines township. 

No. 11— January 7, 1868. Sections 28, 29, 30, 
31. 32 and 33. Des Moines township. 

N'o. 12— March 10, 1868. The west half of 
Minneota township. 

'"It will be remembered that Petersburg and 
Des Moines were the ordy townsliips in which 
the township organization had been perfected 
in the summer of 1866, the other territory be- 



il. S. Bailey $32.60 

A. E. Wood 27.10 

Nathaniel Frost 14.40 

Asa Southwell 16.00 

H. R. Trowbridge 17.60 

H. K. Evans 4.52 

A. Miner 50.48 

E. S. Love 20.80 

D. P. Cornell 10.00 

Clark Baldwin 20.68 

Welch Ashley 110.80 

I. F. Eddv 38.46 

M. Cloiigh 29.72 

F. R. Lvman 4.71 

.Joseph Thomas 43 . 88 

B. H. Johnson 10.00 

James E. Palmer 16.24 

D. M. West 16.80 

Jared Palmer 3 . 06 

P. P. Haverberg 1 .96 

I, Wheeler 2.00 

Lewis Lyman -90 

R. N. Woodward .86 

Hans Stall 2.96 

Simon Olson 4.40 

Edward Orr 4.30 

H. L. Thomas 14.38 

Holsten Olson 6.80 

John Young 4.22 

H. H. Stone 4.22 

Knute .Johnson .96 

Nicholas Olson 17.86 

B. W. Ashley 2.56 

Orrin Belknap 7 . 30 

Lars Halverson 5 . 20 

Henry Haley 4.28 

Englebret Olson 17 . 86 

H. A. Williams 1.20 

Anders Monson 5.26 

Peter Johnson 2.20 

.John Hanson 4. 14 

John Olson 3.32 

Oliver Stall 5.40 

John Johnson 2.48 

J. N. Thompson 8 . 20 

Andrew Olson .28 

Englebret Olson 4.96 

Nels Larsman 3.28 

Peter A. Aas 9 . 98 

Thomas Larson 3 . 50 

Nube Olson 3.28 

Cieorge Palmer 2.44 

B. Kirkpatrick 1 . 84 

Lars Rasman 3 . 64 ■ 

N. J. Woodin 80 

J. H. Lvman 3 . 00 


Total for county $718.59 

According to tlic leturn of products as 

ing attached to them. The lists for these two 
townsliips include the names of all the tax 
payers in the countj', the southern tier of town- 
ships being listed under Petersburg and the 
rest of the comity under Des Moines. 



prepared l)_v Auditor C'lurk Baldwin frdiii 
returns made by the townsliip assessors, 
tliere were only 270 acres of land ])ut 
into crop in Jackson county in 186G. The 
abstract of tbe acres under cultivation 
and tbe yield by townships of the variou-^ 
crojis is shown in tlie next column. 

An act of the niitional conj^ress in 180(1 
had a disastrous effect upon the far olV 
county of Jackson — an act which resulted 
in rctardinj; the settlement of tbe county 
to a great extent and for a <;reat many 
years. By the act, approved July 1. lS(!(i. 
entitled "an act making an additional 
grant of lands to the state of Minnesota, 
in alternate sections, to aid in the con- 
struction of railroads in said state," cer- 
tain lands were granicd to the state of 
Jlinnesota for tbe purjjose of aiding in 
the construction of tbe Southern .Minne- 
sota railroad from its then western termi- 
nus, Houston, to tbe west line of tbe state. 
Tbe Minnesota legislature on February 
25, 18fi7, accepted tbe trust created by 
this act of congress and granted tbe lands 
to the Southern Minnesota Hailroad com- 
])any, binding tbe ctin[)any to complete 
tbe road to the state's western boun(biry 
by February 25, 1877. As .«oon as the 
bill became a law, the railroad eomi)any 
put surveyors in the field and located a 
line. Tben tbe company selected tbe odd 
numiiered sections for a distance of ten 
miles on each side of the surxeyed line. 
and tbe land was withdrawn iVom home- 
stead and preemption entry. .Viiout tbe 
same time another large grant was made 
to assist in building tbe .Sioux City & St. 
Paul road, the two grants taking from 
I lie government nearly one-half the ter- 
ritory of Jackson county. The same year 
(iit.OOtt acres of internal improvement land 
was selected by tbe slate. The hinds in 
.Tackson coxmty which were left for tbe 
bomeseckers were therefore greatly re- 
duceil. Had the granted lands been placed 

;. _'. 

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upon tlie market at a reasonable price the 
results would not have been so disastrous. 
The railroad lands were not placed on the 
market until years afterward. 

By 1806 the settlement had reached 
such a point that its permanency was as- 
sured. Not again could a handful of In- 
dians cause the abandonment of Jackson 
county. The most thickly settled com- 
nnmity was along that part of the Des 
Moines river which flows through Pes 
Moines townshijj, and here, in the latter 
pari of the year, was founded the village 
of Jackson by Welch Ashley and Major 
H. S. Bailey. The sawmill began opera- 
tions, a store was started, stage lines be- 
gan operations, and a few of the conveni- 
ences of the outside world came to the 
heretofore isolated settlers. 

Time is required to put a new country 
on a self-sustaining basis, and the prod- 
uct returns for the year 1866 show that 
Jackson county had not yet readied that 
point. The bulk of the immigration had 
come in 1866 and the big majority had, 
of course, not raised a. crop. Supplies 
were from necessity brought in from the 
outside — principally from Mankato and 
Garden City — and as there were no roads 
or bridges and the streams almost im- 
possible to cross in time of liigli water, 
much difficulty was encountered in pro- 
viding the necessary supplies. What is 
known as the "starvation period" in Jack- 
son county's history resulted. 

The snow was very deep and the weath- 
er severe during the winter of 1866-67, 
and the new settlers were illy prepared for 
it. Many had come late in the season, 
bringing but few supplies with them and 
with small means to purchase more. Dur- 
ing the fall and early winter most of the 
provisions that had been brought in were 
e.\hausted, and on account of the difficul- 
ties of travel it was almost impossible for 

even people who had the means to obtain 
the necessities of life. Starvation stared 
many in the face. The abundance of fish, 
wliich the lakes and streams supplied, 
saved many from actual starvation. For 
weeks some families lived on absolutely 
notiiing but fish and milk. Major H. S. 
Bailey has written of the conditions that 
winter : 

I know of some families who became so 
weak they could scarcely move around. One 
woman was so weak before relief came to 
her that she could not even sit up, and one 
William McClelland, who lived on the state 
line near Spirit Lake, when going past, saw 
the condition of this woman, acted the part of 
the Good Samaritan, and took her to his own 
home and had her nursed and supplied with 
such food as her appetite craved, and thus 
saved her life. 

The state came to our rescue and furnished 
us some flour and provisions, but the condi- 
tions of the road were such that it was almost 
impossible to get supplies here, as they all 
had to be hauled from Jlunkato and (iarden 
City. However, we got something they called 
flour from lake Shetek that was destined to 
starve Indians upon; but it got left there 
and our commissioners sent teams and got 
some of it. It was not much of a luxury, but 
it kept soul and body together until we could 
get something else. 

George C. (!hamber]in also told of per- 
sonal experiences during the .starvation 
winter : 

What provisions were brought in were left 
at llr. Thomas' on the east side of the river, 
and the settlers on the west side brought their 
little parcels in a boat. Every day, and 
nearly every hour of the daj', I | wlio was liv- 
ing on the Jackson townsite] went over to help 
across parties in a small boat and often en- 
countered danger in the swiftlv running wa- 

Around Loon lake was quite a settlement, and 
I shall never forget the disconsolate look of 
the lank and cadaverous man from there as he 
emerged from the boat, held up his sack and 
remarked, "Twenty-five pounds of Hour, seven 
children — nine of us in the family — and I 
know not where the next mouthful is coming 
from." RulValo fisli without salt was a fre- 
i|uent meal during that starvation season. Al- 
though many came out '"spring poor" that sea- 
son, there were no cases of actual starvation. 

When the snow went off in the spring, 
traveling was even worse than it had been 
in tlie winter. All the streams were swol- 
len and out of their banks, and the ground 



was so soft that even empty wagons niireil. 

Realizino: tliat somethin<j must be done to 

prevent starvation, iho settlers held a 

meeting, raised monuv to puivhase flour 

and other supplies, and sent teams and 

men t<> make an effort to get them into llie 

eoiinly. Jesse F. Ashlev, who was one of 

tlie men to undertuke this ditfieiiit task, 

tells of the trip: 

Ijiiit Thomas, Pete Kiiipsk-y and myself 
started for (iarden City for Hour April 20, 
1807. The snow lieinv; about four feet d( cp 
lint melting rapidly, we went with wagons. 
When we got to the Hlue Karth river, the ice 
had gone out on the west side, so we drove 
to the center and cut a chaiiiiel through for 
our teams to cross, all getting wet to our 
waists. We reached Shelliyvillc about eight 
o'clock with our clothes frozen. Pete and I 
roomed together that night, and he piled into 
bed with his breeches on. giving me knowledge 
of how to dry clothing without a fire. He 
said he learned that in the pinery. We reach- 
ed (iarden City next day, and the next morn- 
ing loaded our wagons and started home. 
When We got back to the Hlue Earth river it 
was nearly half a mile in width and full of 
floating ice. Here we camped with oiu- teams 
and wagons three days, waiting for the ice to 
move and for tlie ferry boat, which was at 
Blue Earth City, to come down. While there 
we saw a man on tlie opposite side trying to 
cross in a row boat. When quite a way from 
shore his boat capsized near a tree. He was 
able to grasp a limb and saved himself by 
climbing the tree. This was in the afternoon, 
and he was there all night calling for help. 
The next morning another man was seen go- 
ing out to him. When he was near the tree 
the current became so swift that it upset his 
lioiit. too, and he climbed the same tree. By 
this time the first man had nearly )ierished 
from hunger and cold. When up the tree No. 
2 cut a whip and began whipping \o. 1. which 
he continued until the other was aroused and 
warmed. They were rescued by two men go- 
ing up the stream in a boat with aimtiicr 
boat tied behind. After securing their own 
boat to a tree, they let the other float down 
to the captives, holding it by lines. The lines 
were cut after the captives had got into the 
boat, and the men rowed themselves ashore. 
The ferry boat came down that evening and 
ferried us over, one team and wagon at a 
time, the work taking nearly all day. The re- 
maining part of the tiip was rough, crossing 
creeks without bridges, taking thirteen days 
for the roimd trip. 

Then I went back for another load. By this 
time the ferryman had a rope across the river, 
so I had no trouble in crossing. I got through 
very well and my Hour vas put in grain sacks, 
the weight, varying from 12."> to 1,10 pounds 

per sack, being marked on the sacks in red 
elialk. 1 had no trouble until I got near \er- 
non. There the country was flat and the 
frost was coming out of the ground, so that 1 
soon got stuck in a slough. I managed to gel 
the team through the mud and water. 1 then 
unloaded my flour and I'arried it on my back 
to a dry phu'c. I had this to do seven times 
before I reached Winnebago. I was a lad of 
seventeen and weighed ninety pounds. When 
1 got to Winnebago City 1 found A. Miner 
there after a load of seed wheat: then I had 
company the rest of the way home, lie had a 
balky team, so we could not double teams, 
and both had to unload and carry the loads 
through the sloughs. The Hour cost ,?1,1 per 
hundred laid down in Jackson. 

Better times came, and a short time aft- 
er, the starvation period of 186t)-(iT was 
only a bitter memory. New settlers came 
in IHiu and selected claims, some ventur- 
ing onto tlie prairie lands away from the 
river and lakes, ilany hardshijis were en- 
dured by the new settlers during the bite 
sixties — hardships which arc incident to 
the settlement of any new country. Owing 
to the long distance from railroads, staple 
articles as well as luxuries ruled high in 
price. Following were the prices paid for 
.some stajile articles during the years ISGT- 
()8-(iJ), as recorded in the diary of an early 
day settler:'" 

Four pounds brown sugar. iisi.OO. 

One pound tea, $2.,50. 

One gallon kerosene. .'?1.2fl. 

Flour, per cwt., $11.00. 

One gallon syrup, $1.00. 

One paper corn starch. 10c. 

One pound raisins, 40c. 

One clothes line, 75c. 

One paper pins, l.'ic. 

One spool thread, lOe. 

One package envelopes. 2.w. 

One pound salaratus. 20c. 

One ponn<l nails, 12'..c. 

One bar soap, l.'ic. 

One pound rice. 20e. 

Lamp cbinini'V, 20e. 

One ]iounil salt. Oc. 

Calico, per yard. .Tic. 

Beef, per pound, 17c. 

January r^, 18(ir. tlic countyV 
cburcli was organized. It was olTici 
named the Evangelical T-ntheran Con 


"M. S. Harney in Jack.son County Pilot, 1895. 



gation in Jackson and it wa.s located in 
Belmont township. 

In October, ISGT, the report of the 
county superintendent of schools shows us 
that there were eight organized districts 
in the county. The amount of money ap- 
portioned for school purposes was $156.49. 
Of this tlic permanent school fund provid- 
ed $102.81 and the county two mill tax 
g-avc $53.68. 

The tax levied in 1867 was $884.86, di- 
vided as follows : State, $24i'.98 ; county, 
$495.96 ; school, $99.31 ; township, $28.87 ; 
special school, $1-3.84. Of the total tax 
levied, $543.86 had been collected at the 
date of settlement on April 11, 1868. On 
January 8, 1868, the board of covmty com- 
missioners examined the accounts of Jack- 
son county and found in the county treas- 
ury the sum of $30.83. 

For the first time in its history Jackson 
county furni.?hed jurors for the district 
court in 1867, the drawing lieing made 
April 1. Following fire the names of the 
residents selected for this duty : 

Grand — William V. King, WeU-li A.sliley, H. 
S. Bailey, B. W. Asliley, H. A. Williams, Sim- 
on Olsoi'i, H. K. Haley. A. Miner. .Toscph Thom- 
as, Edward Davies, .J. C. Hoovel. C. W. Cor- 
nish, Erwin Hall, George W. Woodin, A. C. 
Marshall, C. H. Heth. 

Petit— P. P. Haverberg, Holsten Olson, 
Martin Bromaghim, Marcelhis Clongli, .J. C 
Young, H. I,. Thomas, L, E. Porter, Charles 
Tuttle, Ira Camfield, K. N. Woodward, A. E. 
Wood, H. R, Lvraan, Nathaniel Hall, A. L. 
Blake, E. Henkley, J. .J. Smith, Mitehel Bar- 
ney, Miles iletcalf, .J. E. Palmer. Richard 
Band, R. D. Laniid, L. Rucker, J. N. Woodin, 
H. L. Ev.'ns. C. W. Belknap, J. X. Thompson, 
.J. E. Fields, .James Williams. Emett Miner, 
Wesley Adamson. J. Chandler, George Palmer. 
Jared Palmer, Henry Ashley. 

The statistical return of products for 
1867 is an interesting document. Tt is 
learned that nearly four hundred acres of 
land were under cultivation that year. Fol- 
lowing is the complete return as certified 
to by Auditor George C. Chamberlin : 



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Des Moines 





THAT agriL'ulture was not tlic 
principal industry during the late 
sixties is attested b}- the poor show- 
ing disclosed in the returns of products. 
During the era of wliicli we are writing 
flouring mills and markets were long dis- 
tances away. It was not profitable to raise 
crops for wliicli tliere was no market, so 
each settler raised vegetables and grain for 
his own use only, and as a means of in- 
come turned his energies in another direc- 

The country was literally alive with 
small fur-bearing animals, including mu.s- 
rats. .skunks, mink, foxes, martens and 
badgers, and the taking of their furs offer- 
ed profitalde employment. So the farmer 
.settlers became trappers. Inexperienced 
at first in the art of trapping, they had no 
easy task. They were often caught in the 
blizzards miles from home, sometimes be- 
ing on the- prairie during a storm of sev- 
eral days' duration, where nothing but 
courage and physical strength could save 
them. But in time all became expert trap- 
pers. Generally the market for fur was 
good, and the pelts passed as legal tender. 
Thousands of dollars worth would lie tak- 
en during the season.^ 

'On the 14th day of May. 1870. there were 
shipped frorn Jack.'son to Mankato fiS.OOn musk- 
rat and mink hide.s. The shipment was made 
by a man named Barkman, of Spirit Lake. 

The value of all taxable property in the 
county in 18()8 was $57,293, divided 
among the four organized townships as 
follows: Belmont, $9,132; Des Moines, 
$34,408; Minneota, $7,876; Petersburg, 
$5,877. The taxes levied that year amount- 
ed to $1,781.21, divided among the diifer- 
ent funds as follows: State, $279.88; 
school, $111.96; county, $577.91; town- 
ship, $194.21 ; special school, $617.35. 

A healthy is noted in the agri- 
cultural products for 1868, whicli were as 
.shown on the following page." 

Jackson county made rapid strides for- 
ward in 1869. There was a large increase 
in population, numy of the new settlers 
])enetrating to theretofore unsettled por- 
tions of the county. It Ijecanie known that 
the country would produce bountiful 
crops of wheat, and the prairies became 
dotted with the sod shanties and dugouts 
of the new settlers. The increase in the 
cultivated area was large, 3,549 acres be- 
ing listed as sown to crop. The organized 
townships had cultivated areas as follows: 
Belmont, 332 : Des Moines, 1.200; Minne- 
ota, 131; Middletown, 343; Petersburg, 
244 ; Wisconsin, 355. The taxable proper- 
ty in 1869 was valued at over $73,000. 

The w-estern part of township 102, 

=Althoiigli Middletown and Wisconsin town- 
ships had not yet been fully organized their re- 
ports are included in the return. 






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Des Moines 

.\I iddletown ... 

Minneota ;. 



liiii^H' :>A, lying to the east of Des Moiucs 
ti)\vn?lii]). received many of tlie settlers of 
tlic si.xtie.-!, the niiijorily of them coming 
from the >tate of Wisconsin. This town- 
.sliip hiul been attached to Jackson, or Des 
Muino.'J. township at the time of the or- 
ganization of the county, but in the s|)ring 
of ISO!) its residents believed their popula- 
tion had reached a point where tliey could 
support a separate organization. Tiiey. 
Ihcreforc. petitioned the county board, 
and on April 10 were granted a separate 
organization under the name of Wisconsin 
(ownhhii), the name being given in lionor 
of the state from which so many of the 
settlers had come. Those who received 
land patents from the government in Wis- 
consin township in the early days were as 
follow.s : 

lS(i2. Jar.a r^iliiur (101: 1865, Joseph Tlioin- 
as (l!)).' U. Mortim.T West (.lO-Sll: ISlUi, 
.Miiiiiaaz K. Wood (l!)-.'tO). Ocorfr*" rinioriston 
(10). Baitliolomew McCarthy (10). Isaac Bel- 
knap (.'SD: 18t>7. Ccnr^ic K. Cornish (17). Chris- 
tian Kn<.'Icl)rctsnn (30): ISOS. Ri.-hanl linn.l 
(•10). Robert II. Kill); (28) . Crcorjie II. Kin}; 
(■20): 1.870. rrc<lcrick T?. I.vman (18). Kihv;inl 
C. llinklcv (221. Irviii;; H.'Portcr (20). Henry 
■■<. I.vman (20), Orriii IVlknap (30.11): ISTl. 
Kolliii K. Craiduc (2). Ptillman K. Trask (18). 
Kansom N. Woodard (IS). Marcellus Cloiit;h 
(18), Israel V. Eddy (20), Mitchell S. liarncy 
(32): 1872. Kllen M. Porter (.33): 1873. .lohn 
A. Myers (0). Lucius K. Marshall ((1). .Inhn 
C. Yonn'T (7). William .S. Knnwlton (8). .Tohn 
]s]icrwood (10). Andrew .1. Ihirlaml (17). Kicli 
;ird K. Howden (20). Charles II. Ilialli (211. 
Williiini S. Curtis (21). Trceniau T. IVers (24). 
Ilincis'in P. Peers (2ti. William Isinp (28). 
Ah'xamlcr Hall (31 ). .Tolin .T. Smith (32). Knud 
M. Peterson (34): 1874. Hiram Simpson (Ii). 
Alex Galliraith (0). Amos X. Tompkins (2fi), 
Harrison L. Thomas (30). Charles H. Sandon 
'30). .Tohn K. Johnson (34): 187r>. Trancls J. 
KidL'wav (14). Allen S. Prooks (20): lS7fi. 
IJohcrt L. IlincliflTe (4). Myron Cuttim' di). 
Clnirles B. Tnltle (22). Elijah M.<lslcy 
(2(1). .Tohn W. Miller (.30): 1877. Havid Hard 
man (10). Isaac X. Hutibard (14). John M. 
rttcr (21): 1878. Ram V. Russell ffil. James 
Islierwood (10), .Toseph C. Davis (12). 

Middletown township was also organiz- 
ed in 1SC9, the connr.issioners taking the 
iK^cessary action on May 10. This ]iolit- 
ical division had originally been attach- 
ed to Petersburg township, but when ^lin- 



neota was organized in the fall of 18GG 
the v>cst half hail been bestowed upon 
that precinct while the east half remained, 
under the jurisdiction of Petersburg. The 
commissioners named the township in ac- 
cordance with tlie expressed wish of the 
petitioners. The fact that the township 
was .situated between the two older or- 
ganized townships suggested the name. 
The following were granted government 
patents to land in Middletown in the 
yeans indicated : 

ISGC, Isaac Belknap (1); 1S69, William B. 
.N'orman (2). William H. Ashley (.3), Simou 
Jenson (10), Salmon Dickinson '(19-30), Mar- 
tin B. Metcalf (.30): 1870, Ira Camfield (I), 
Orhuulo E. Bennett (8), .John M. C. Patterson 
(12), William Miller (22), Walter Davies (26), 
.Tnlm Brigham (34): 1871. Levi A. Camfield 
il); 1872, .Joseph B. Walling (4), Gilbert Ol- 
son (10), Nathaniel B. Hall (12), George A. 
Busli (ID), Ermead Bordwell (20); 1873, Lewi.s 
Parker (1). Edward P. .Skinner (2), George G. 
Ashley (2), Rufus D. Earned (4), Thomas 
(ioodwin (0). Isaac 8. Barrett (8). Clarion C. 
Dunbar (12), .Jolin Cliandler (20), Andrew Jluir 
(22), Oliver .J. Rnssell (24), Sylvenus Allen 
(30), Thomas T. Brooks (32), William Allen 
(.32): 1874. AVilliam P. Lecocq (6), Robert 
iluir (22); 1875, William Henderson (4), 
James C. Henderson (4), Samuel Metcalf (28). 
Horace Chandler (30): 1876, Clark Lindslev 
(24), John Davies (26); 1877, Lydia Honghto'n 
(18), George Beimas (18), Joshua Kidney 
(28); 1880, Walter Withers (2), Robert W. 
Kidney (22). 

The winter of 1869-70 was an excep- 
tionall}- severe one an'd "lingered in the 
lap of spring." The scattered settlers 
suffered many hardships during the long 
winter. Two Jackson county residents 
met death in the storms, and otliers had 
narrow escapes. The severest blizzards 
occurred during the month of March. 
Tuesday and Wednesday, the 1.5th and 
Ifith of that month, were the stormiest 
days of the season. The roads tiecame 
blockaded and impassable, many of the 
houses were drifted ever with the snow, 
the winds liowled and the snow blew over 
the bleak prairies. All who could re- 
mained in doors ; the merchants of Jackson 
closed their shops. This storm was fol- 

lowed on March 31 and 22 by another 
blizzard of frightful violence. 

One of the victims of the storm was Ole 
Sime. He had a claim in Enterprise 
township, and on Jlonday, March 14, 
started from the timber along the river, 
wliere he had spent the winter, for a load 
of hay on his claim. He secured the hay 
and returned with it to a point in Des 
iloines township near the home of Clark 
Marshall. There he was overcome by the 
storm and perished. The oxen were found 
dead about forty rod.s front Mr. Sime's 
body. The body was found on the ITth by 
i\r. L. Bromaghim and Clark Marshall. 
Its condition gave evidence that the un- 
fortunate man had suffered terribly be- 
fore succumbing to the storm. 

Another who lost his life that month 
was Archie Lee, who lived on Heron lake. 
He started from Jackson with a load of 
timber on his wav home on tlie 11th in an 
intoxicated condition. He arrived within 
a few miles of his home, and tlien all 
trace of him was lost. The day was 
stormy, but not exceptionally so. He is 
supposed to have abandoned his load and 
tried to reach home witli Iiis team, Init in 
the storm and darkness wandered from 
his course and was lo.=t. His horses were 
found a few days later, but his l)ody was 
not found until the 'ioth. He had wan- 
dered way to the soutji, and his body was 
found lying on a snow drift twelve miles 
southwest of Jackson. 

Eighteen hundred seventy was a ban- 
ner year. During the spring months many 
wlio had come the previous year and filed 
on claims and then gone away for the 
winter came back to take possession of 
their land, make improvements and begin 
farming. Many new settlers came to 
make Jackson county their future homes. 
Prairie schooners began to arrive early in 
the spring and continued to bring in the 
new settlers all summer. Tlie new arriv- 



als generally brought cattle, horses, sheep, 
hogs and farming implements with them, 
|)ro])are<l to at once Iiegin the cultivation 
of the soil. A fair crop of wiicat and 
other grain was raised. The weather was 
ideal for crops in the spring, but in July 
a drouglit reduced what had promised to 
be an enormous yield. Corn was an ex- 
cellent crop, and wheat was quite up to 
the average. 

The census of 1870 gave the county a 
population of 1,825, an increase of nearly 
800 per cent in five years.' 

Three new townshijjs were organized 
during the year 1870 — Heron Tjake, 
Round Lake and Delafield. Heron Lake 
township had received its first settlers in 
the spring of ISG'i,^ but so great was the 
settlement on its fertile lands that the 
question of detachment from Belmont 
and its organization as a separate town- 
ship was taken up in the .spring of 1870. 
The matter was postponed until later in 
tlie year, and on September 7 the county 
commissioners otTicially declared the 
township organized. To it were attached 
for township purposes the two townships 
lying to the west. The name was supplied 
by the immense body of water which pene- 
trates the township.'' The organization 
of the townshi]) was perfected Se])tember 
24, when the first town meeting was held 
at the liome of D. F. Cleveland. Follow- 
ing were the first officers of Heron Lake 
township: F. Ebert, chairman; Abram 
Johnson and D. F. Cleveland, supervis- 
ors; W. H. .Ashley, clerk: William Wiley, 
treasurer: C. B. Hubert and Charles ^lal- 
ehow, ju-stices of the jieace; Newton F. 

'The population of other countle.<< of south- 
wo.storn Minnesota In 1870 was as follows: 
Blue Karth. 17. .W2; Failhaiilt. !).S<0; Watonwan. 
2.4'.'B: Martin. .1.S«7; Cottonwood. 534; Murray. 
20ft: Nolle.x. 117: Pipestone. 0: Rock. KK. 

'The first settlers were Pharles Malchow. Fred 
Ebcrt and Albert Hohcn.stcln. who located on 
lake Flaherty. 

•On June 21. 1871. the township was enlarged 
by the addition of that portion of West Heron 
I..akc township which lies east of the lake, and 
It Is the largest township in the county. 

West and .lolin B. Johnson, constables. 
Following is the list of those who early 
rei-eived patents to land in Heron l>ake 
towiishi]) : 

ISTi. Daniel K. Clevelaiul CJIM. David .\. 
Clevelan.l (liO): 1S7."), .Miehacl Kislier «i). Al- 
bert Iloliensteiii ((>». Vied Kbert (S). Ole N. 
Larson (241: 1S7«. \Villiaiii Doll (4). Kreil 
Hret/ninnM l4j. Carl Sletler (0). John A. 
\isc0Mti (li). Carl Ilolieiistein (K), CImrles 
Maleliow (K). .Anders Kirkeliy (li). Clirislo- 
plier I!. Kiiliert CM): iS77. William Hos^ow 
(4). John llolieii.-tein (t'-). -lolin Leilson (14), 
John Kohson (IS), John Olsen (24). Magnus 
Johnson (281, Hans I'elerson (2S). (JjiirjiPn 
H.-lf;eson (2S). Kdward K. Herfjh (:12I: 1S78, 
Carl Hrelzniann (4», .losejdi Manyolil (IS|. Ole 
V. Jolinsoii i24): ISSd. Martin tl. Saiiil;«;;er 
(2). Peder I. lirakke ,2). .loliii Ilan.-en Nes- 
trud (2(1). Mans Hanson (20). Hans Christian- 
son (20). I,eif I.eifson (22). Olai Johnson (241, 
Matliias H. Uoveland (.S4); 1S81, Peter Aii- 
ilerson (12). Thomas .Johnson (.10). Carrie 
Tronson (30). Rasmus Larson (32). Neils Kn- 
frlebretson (34): 1882. Nils Jaeohsen (14). 
Jolianes H. Ilovelaiul (34): 1SS3. Iiif-vold Kn- 
erson (10). Christian Lewis (lOK Kiuidt oUon 
(12). liernt II. Hovel (22). Lars (tison Aas 
(20): 1H84. Kdwin N. (iolpin (.'14): lS8.i. Hans 
H. Knudsoii (22). H:ins (Innderseu (20). Trond 
O. Tronson (3(i(: ISHG. t>le Simenson il4l. 
Hans Hiidmun.seii (2li). 

Round Lake township was another 
whose settlement was rapid ami which 
early jirepared itself for organization. J. 
N. Dodge was the first settler, locating 
on the north bank of Round Lake in the 
sjiring of 18(i0, when there was not an- 
other settlir in the whole southwestern 
portion of the county. In the spring of 
the following year only thr(>e claims were 
taken in the township, but a few months 
later nearly every quarter was filed upon." 
The township was organized in October 
and named iiiuind Lake, after the beauti- 
ful sheet of water within its boundaries. 
The following received ]>atents to land 
from the gnvernmeiit in Round T/ake : 

1,S73. Henry Hal! (20): 1874. Charh's Seek 
(8). William A. Anderson (14). William 11. 
Skinner (IS): l,S7.-). Klhridse (J. Lord (22). 
Herhert \\ . Kinil.all (31); 1870. -laeoh N. 

"■■We understand that nearly all the vacant 
claims in ranse 38. town 101 — the .southwest 
corner township in this county — have ben tak- 
en. The citizens are about pelilioninK for 
township orpanization and are also about brldff- 
iuE the Little Sioux.'^— Jackson Republic. Oc- 
tober 8, 1870. 



Dodge (8), Hiram Barrott (8); 1877, William 
\V. Bailey (4), Ole H:ilversoii (12), Everett 
W Scovil'le (20), Judah Phillips (20), Lewis 
Ilensliaw (28). H. J. Phelps (30), William A. 
Mosher (30); 1878, Thomas L. Twiford (10), 
Osmund T. Handelan (26), .Joseph C. Carter 
(.32), Ezra W. Hopkins (34); 1879. Matthew 
Riley (2). Samuel Edwards (4); Daniel W. 
Lounsbury (32); 1880, Hugh Riley (2). George 
Morgan ('(i), Andrew L. Skoog (h). Endre 01- 
sen'(12); 1881. Hans Hanson (24), Ole Aush- 
am (26); 1882, Thoro .Johnson (24); 1885, 
Joseph Clark (20), Knud Olson (28), Samuel 
Fenstermaker (33) ; ISSS, Eilert A. Loiien 

When the county's first townships were 
organized, township 104, range 36, had 
been attached to Belmont, and it was un- 
der Behnont's jurisdiction until October 
11, ISTO, wlien the county commissioners 
organized it into a separate political divi,s- 
ion under the name of Pleasant Prairie. 
This name had soon to be changed be- 
cause it was learned that there was a 
tnwnshi|i of the same name in ]\Iartin 
county, and law or custom forbade two 
townships in the state to bear the same 
name. Orwell was then decided upon as 
the name, but this had to be changed for 
the same reason. On January 4, 1871, 
the co)nmissioners named the township 
Bergen, bttt s'oon it was learned that Mc- 
Leod county had a copywright on that as 
the name of a township, and the name 
Delaficld was finally designated on March 
4, 1871. Fortunately, no previously or- 
ganized township in the state had thought 
of that name, and the township was at 
last permanently named. Titles to land 
in Delafield town.ship were granted to 
early day settlers as follows: 

1870. Henry S. Pomerov (18); 1871, Aaron 
G. Chatfield (10), Sylvester Chandler (12), 
Anton Miohelson (18): 1872. Edward Savage 
(4), Hans Olsen (8); 1873, Abram B. Frisbie 
(4). Cliarles Mickels (22), Christian Nelson 
(28); 1S74, Willis AV. Cotton (6), James W. 
Hayes (6), Charles Miller (22), Gertrude E. 
Orwelle (22), Christian Carlstrom (28), Ole 
Hanson (30), Hans Christianson (30): 1,875, 
Isaac M. Moss (4), Orin Phelps (6), .John 
Frederickson (8), Andrew Laird (12), John 
Olsen (20), Anders Larsen (24); 1876, .John 
Baureson (2), Edward F. Fjelset (2), Olous 
Olson (2), James M. Jloore (8), Svendt Vi- 

berv (10), Ebenezer B. Millard (10), Hans 
0. Elstad (24), Lars B. Sathe (24), .Joseph 
Aupperle (26), Norbert Kronier (26), August 
Lorenz (32), Stefan Relmelt (32), Ignatz F. 
Blumburg (32), John P. Brakke (32); 1877, 
Martin Hansen (12), Jens J. Johnson (12), 
Peter Christiansen (12). Die Nelson (12), 
Gund .Johnson (18), Michael A. Foss (18), 
Gustaf Thoniblom (20). Gabriel Olson (20), 
Lars Mattriassen (24), Erick Johnson (24), 
Knudt Saxwig (24), Annie E. Uekestad (24), 
Henry Riese (30). Wilhelm Schwartz (.32), 
Ferdinand Hohenstein (32), Benjamin F. 
Semmans (32) ; 1878. Ingra Andres Dotter 
(10), Hans .Johnson (12), Andrew Swenson 
(18), Andrew Anderson (18). Lars Anderson 
(20), John P. Esklund (20), Anders C. Quevli 
(22); 1879, Ernst W. Pietz (28). Jonathan W. 
Rost (34); 1880, Peder Olson (2), Ole Fred- 
erickson (8), Anders Olson (8), Hugh M. 
Clark (10), Ole -J. Hofland (14), Andrew Lar- 
son (14). Andrew .Johnson (14), Adonriram 
J. Frost (26), August Lindstrom (28), Ole 
Hansen Nestrud (30), Frederick Malchow 
(32); 1881, Daniel Gallagher (6); 1882, Hans 
Olson (S), Maria Hammerstad (28); 1883, 
.John .Svendson (10), Lars Johnson (14), 
Sackariah Swanson (26). Charles Mickelson 
(28) ; 1885, John J, Swesind (30) ; 1886, 
Lars Larson (14); LSSS, Lars Throndson (14). 

The following item? from the report of 
the county superintendent of schools for 
the year 1870 give an idea of the school 
conditions at that early date : 

Whole number of organized districts, IS. 

Number reporting, 14. 

Whole number of persons between 5 and 
21 years, 455 (233 males. 222 females). 

Pupils enrolled in winter schools. 74. 

Average dailv attendance winter schools, 

Number teachers winter schools, 2. 

Pupils enrolled in summer schools, 210 (101 
males. 109 females). 

Average dailv attendance .-ummcr schools, 

Number teacliers summer schools, 10. 

Whole number school houses in county, 7 
(2 frame, 5 log). 

Value all school liouses, .$867. 

Money received from state funds, $440.38. 

Money received from tax, .$964.03. 

Money paid for teachers' wages. .$711.68. 

Money on hand. $44.99. 

The assessed valuation of the county, 
as left by the board of equalization, reach- 
ed a total of $1-?S..343 in 1870. This was 
divided among the precincts' and between 

'Heron Lake. Delafield and Rnund Lake town- 
ships had not been organized when the assess- 
ment was made. The assessT'ent for the first 
two was included in that of Belmont and the 
Round Lake assessment was included in that 
of Minneota. 



liio rp;il mill porpnnal property a« follow."!: 


Real rersuiial 
Estate Property 


$ 4,86o' $28,308 






6 941 







Tlio piixiiK'ts rclunis I'm- ISlii ^ive a 
total of 4,230 acres cultivated. This 
acreage was divided into precincts as fol- 
lows:* Belmont, 543; Christiania, 74; 
Des Moines, 1,705; Enterprise, 77; Heron 
Lake, 77; Minneota, 263; Middletown, 
395; Petersburg, 52(i : Kound Lake. 3\^\ 
Wisconsin, 557. 

By an act of the icgislature, approved 
Zilarch 7, 1870, Jackson county was de- 
tached from ^lartin county, to which it 
had been attached for judicial purposes 
since 1865, and was separately organized 
for judicial purposes. Provision was made 
for holding court at Jackson, and the 
counties of Nobles and Hock were attach- 
ed to it for such purposes. These coun- 
ties were detached in 1873, when Nobles 
county was organized for judicial pur- 

From tlic time or reorganization early 
in 1866 until 1872. Jackson county did 
not have a court house. During these 
\ear5 the duties of the county officers were 
not many, and what business it was nec- 
essary to transact was done in the homes 
of the various officials. The first agita- 
tion for the erection of a court house was 
made in 1870. Then the population had 
increased to such a size and tlic county 
busine.«s had reached a stage where many 
people believed the primitive ways of pio- 
neer days should be discarded, that Jack- 
son county wa.s rich enough" to build a 

"AUhniiith rhrlstlnni.-i and Entorprlsr town- 
slilp.x h.Td lint yet br-n orRMiilZ'^d I" lt>"0 they 
nrp Included In the report, which, .apparently, 
was not tabulated until the year following. 

court house. Accordingly a bill was pn - 
sented to the legislature and became a 
law Jfarch 1, 1870, authorizing the com- 
Inissiouers of Jackson county to issue 
bonds in an amount not to exceed $10,000 
for the purpose of building a court house 
and jail. But there was a proviso to the 
act, to the effect that the people of tlic 
county by their ballot.s must ratify the 
act before it became effective. The peo- 
ple of Jackson, the county seat, were nat- 
urally heartily in favor of the projtii. 
and Jackson people offered to donate hw: 
rent for all county offices until October 
I. 1871, should the people ratify the ait ' 
But in other parts of the county there 
was strong opposition to the measure, and 
at the election held in .Vpril tlie liomK 
were defeated. 

The county officers were still obliged \'< 
transact the county's business at tlnii 
home* or in rented buildings. That tin v 
did not .<quander a great deal of the coun- 
ty's money for office rent is evidenced by 
the fact that on May 11. is:i. the board 
of eountv lommissionors unanimously 
passed tlie following resolution: ''Ke- 
solved that we shall allow no more than 
one dollar and (ifty cents to each county 
olfii'i'r entitled {•> rrnt for nfficc rent ]ier 

During its entire early history .laikson 
connty an.xionsly awaited the coming of a 
railroad, and much (f the setlleiuent of 
the early days came as. the result of the 
belief that a railroad would soon l)e built 
into such a |>romising territory. In 1870 
hope ran high. The Soulliern Minnesota, 
which was acquiring llie lands under the 
generous grant of 1866 as fast as its line 
was extended, that year com]iIi'tiMl its road 
to Wells, and Jackson county jieople be- 

•■'PartWs stand ready to donate to the coun- 
ty FRKK RRNT for all county officprs until 
October 1. 1S71. In case the voters ratify the 
law authorizing the county commissioners to 
issue bonds for eountv liuildinBs." — Jack,son Re- 
public. April 2, 1870. 



lieved that tliG line would be extended 

But they did not pin their faith to a 
single road. During tlie summer rail- 
road enthusiasm was rife, owing to the 
proposed building of the Des Moines Val- 
ley railroad, which was to come from the 
south and continue up the Des Moines 
river, by way of the village of Jackson. 
Mass meetings were lield and promises of 
financial support were made should the 
promoter.? decide to build. Prospects for 
the road coming seemed favorable, and 
everybody was happy. But, as is so often 
the case with proposed railroads into a 
new country, it did not come. 

AVhile a railroad did not come in 1870, 
in the fall of the next year one was budd- 
ed into and beyond the county. Wlien it 
became definitely known that the road was 
to be constructed there M-as a rush of 
landseekers, who soon filed claims to all 
the government land in that part of the 
county through which tlie I'oad was to 
run. In May, 1871, the immigration be- 
gan, and from then until fall prairie 
schooners weie to be seen every day wend- 
ing their way to the choice locations in 
the western part of the county. The new- 
arrivals invariably brought live stock and 
farming implements with them, indicat- 
ing tliat they intended to become perma- 
nent settlors. The Jackson land office 
«as overwhelmed with the work of at- 
tending to the filings. The center of at- 
traction was along the right of way of ihe 
proposed railroad in the northwestern 
part of the county, but in all parts of the 
county where there was still government 
land open to entry the newcomers lo- 

""On Thursday last [June 1], from nine 
o'clock in the morning- until noon, thirty immi- 
grant wagons passed through Jackson, having 
with them 156 head of stock of different kinds. 
There lias been a continual rush during the 
entire week, and probably it will continue 
during the montVi. The western part of Jack- 
.son county is receiving a good portion of this 
immigration."— Jackson Republic. June 3. 1871. 

WHiile the Des iloines river country 
was by this time a comparatively old set- 
tled country, the western part of Jackson 
county was still frontier land. Because 
there was an enormous immigration in 
1871 and the whole order of things chang- 
ed, it must not be imagined that the coun- 
try was subdued in a day. Most of the 
settlers arrived too late to get a crop in 
the ground, and very little was raised the 
first season. Except that the prairies be- 
came dotted with the homes of the settlers, 
it was largely the same virgin country it 
had always been. 

The game lover found himself in a 
paradise. Birds abounded. There were 
ducks, geese, brant, curlew, pelicans and 
prairie chickens. Occasionally glimpses 
were caught of some of the big game that 
formerly roamed the prairies in vast num- 
bers. The summer was fine. The days 
and nights were frequently glorified by 
tiumder storms of terrific and ineffable 
grandeur. The newcomers often sat till 
midnight watching the frolic of sheet- 
lightning playing over miles of cloud 
banks, vividly suggesting the possible glor- 
ies of another world. Vegetation grew 
rank. The farmer rode along the creek 
l)ottoms or on the edges of the lakes and 
sloughs through sea.s of wild bluejoint 
grass up to the horses' backs. 

It was the experience of a lifetime, this 
breaking up of virgin lands and building 
a community from the gi'ound up, and 
many have been the probable and improb- 
able stories told of those days. Letters 
went back to the old homes in the east, 
telling how the residents of Jackson 
county planted corn with an ax and 
caught fish with a pitchfork, and how the 
pianos were set up in the shanty and the 
libraries stacked up under the beds. 

During the first part of the year, as 
the result of the immigration, three town- 
ships gained population sufficient to war- 



lant the re.-;itlent.s asking for township 
organization. Tliiw were Cluij^tiania Kn- 
ti-rprisi' and Weinior. 

Christiania to\vnsiii|) hail Ixn^n attached 
to Belmont to\vnshi]i <in .Vpiil in. ISO!), 
and remained under il^ jiirisdietinn until 
Jlarch -1, 1.S71, when the eimnty eonimis- 
sioner.s declared it an organized township, 
with the township to the east (Kimball) 
under its jurisdiction. The aitiou was 
taken in accordance with a |ictitii>n nf the 
residents dated .lanuarv •<?.■), 1871." Near- 
ly all the residents were Norwegians, and 
they selected the name of the capital city 
of their native country as the name of 
their township. Ti'.e government granted 
patents to land in Christiania to the fol- 
lowing persons in an early day: 

180i). Ilinrnm M. Doiiblcilay (-22): 1S72, 01c 
.lohnson (IS). Anne J. Rasimisnn (32). I.ars 
Rasimison (32): 1873. Ariip Anderson (4). 
Leonard Miller (IJ), Christopher .1. Hejerkey 
(30): 1874. ln<,'l)or<,' Olson (30): 1875. Nils 
Larson (2-12). Karl Olsen (2-4). D. JI. Shel- 
don (fl), llulvor llalvorson (8). Ole Anton 
(8), Ole Kriekson (IS). .Tolin Olson (2(1|. 
John Amunson (30); 1876. Hjorn Olson (4). 
Lars Ander.son (10), Anders Tobinson (10). 
.James W. Jacobs (12), Infrebor}; Cliristenson 
(12), Christen Svend-ion (12), John T. 
Mitehell (14), CiUierl S. Hell (14), Ceorge K. 
Davidson (14). Ezra 1!. Jliller (22), Ole A. 
Wood (22). Frederiik llallason (2(1). Ole 11. 
Lokkon (32), Ole Kri.kson (34|: 1H77, John 
P, Aasnas (22), Peter Onnderson (24), Siverl 
Olsen (24): 1878, Sumner W. Jacobs (14), 
.John II. llomnes (22). Arnt Olsen (24). An- 
drew Peterson (28), Peler Olsen (.34): 1870, 
Limy (ireenlield (0), Jainps (ireenlield ((i). 
Thomas Larson (8). Ole Siverson (2(i). Tlionias 
■Johnson (2(i) : 1880. Caroline Johnson (2l.llal- 
vor Olson (2). Oilbort Hanson l2). Charles H. 
Injjalls (ti). Oiindinimd Syverson (8). Simon 
.MeCall (10). Uyar Olsen (12). I.ars Krick-nn 
(18-28). Menrikii Olsd.iter (201. Hans TcdlefMiii 
(20). Petter O. Pedersen (20). Sarah K. I'ar- 
ley (22). Svenil O. .Moe (28) , Ole Jaeobson (28). 
Annind .Johnson (30). ICnfjebor;; Peterson (.30). 
Thomas 11. Chesters.m (30): 1881. ICIlin;; X. 
Ellness (20|. John Vrederickson (24). Ole Olson 
Solnn.H (30). Peter AmUrson (34): 1883, John 
Franson (4), Betsy Swenson (8), Kllinjj Olsen 
Mvhrn (10). Frederick Olson (18). Petsy T. 
Olson (34): 1884. Mons Anderson (30): 1885, 

"The petitioners were Mans Knudson. Ole 
Erickson. Arne Anderson. Ole Anton. Halvor 
Halversnn. Karl Olson. HJuren Ol.sen. Halvor 
Ol.son. Jacob Olson. Gllbnind Hansen. G. Syver- 
.son. Ole A. Wold. Halvor Christiansen and Lars 

Johan Lei)|) (2), Juhan Tiessen (2), John A. 
.Johnson (2), Korneliiia Wiens (14). 

Enterprise, like all the northern town- 
ships, liad been attached to Belmont in 
the early days. It was organized starch 
4, 1871, in response to a petition of the 
residents dated February 12.'- The orig- 
inal petition asked that the township hf> 
named Loud Lake, but many olijocted to 
the name because there was no hike of 
that name or any other name in the town- 
slii|). Messrs. Samuel D. Lockwood and 
Anders Hoe suggested Enterprise, and aft- 
ir .•;ome wrangling that name was decid- 
ed upon. The first township board con- 
sisted of Jo.«eph Benjamin, Samuel 1). 
Lockwood and J. J. Tagley, supervi.sors; 
Charles B. Lillie, clerk. Following were 
among the township's early settlers who 
took claims and received patents from the 

government : 

1872. John P. Ford (2(1): 1873. Lewis Eckel 
(2): 1874. .Jacob Klein (2). (ieorfje Benjamin 
(14). Halvor Thompson (201. Thomas Clippi-r 
ton (22-20). Ole Johnson (32): IS7.'>. Hiram 
L. Benjamin (I0|. Klijah Benjamin 1 10). 
Charles B. I^illie (12). .losepji K. Bc-njamin 
(22), (Jeorce K. Moore (2ti), Levi Horn (2(i), 
Levi H. Chandler (21!). Peler Peterson (28), 
Anders Roe (.30). Otto Thompson (.30). Nils 
Nelson (32). Ole Olson (.32). Ole Johnson (34); 
187(1. Arnt Mo<'n ((i). Samuel I). I/ockwood 
(KM. Klizabeth Skrove (30), Cecelia Slim (.30); 
Ole Olson Nesvold (32). John J. Birkland (34): 
1.SS7. Herman Krii'ksou ((1). Olin .lolinson (14). 
.lames Ranilall (22l. Krick Paulsen (2S|. Thore 
(llsen Stetner (28); 1878. Nils Olson (01. 
Thomas Olson (ti(. .-Vndrew Jolinsun (30). 
.Iidian A. Krof;stad (30) : 187)1. Jidui Kn;;an 
((■>). (iultorm Inirebrifitson (24), .lames Taylor 
(2(i), Martlia Taylor (2(1), Peler (iunderson 
(28): 1880, Bersvenil Thoreson (IS), ,lohn 
Simpson (22), Hans Kolfson (30), John C, 
Aiilhen (.32): 1881. L.irs N. Ilajien (4): 1882. 
Kli N". Hafien (4): 18S3, Ciiness LaRue (8), K. 
L. Bripwiiell (24): ISS.'i, (JiiDcrins Tollefsoii 
(IS), (Juiider Andei—.n (18). .Inlin Taj^ley 

Early in JFay residents of township lOK 
range 37, petitioned the hoard of county 

"The signers to the petition were S. D. Lock- 
wood. S.imuel .\. Kllza Renjamln. 
Joseph K. Renjnmln, ritorRe nenjnmln. CliarloB 
n. Lillie. Adolpli Mailer. Lewis Kek.l. Jiieob 
Kh'ln. Hiram Renjamln, Marlln Thompson, 
Hnlver Thompson. Thomas Olsnn. Toris Skrove. 
Otlo Thomson. Erick I'aul.scn. Peter Paulsen. J. 
J. Tanley. Stephen liaujamin. William .Mon- 
tague and Richard Shanon. 


Log Cabin Erected by John Johnson Egge in 1868 and Still Occupied by Him and His 
Wife. It is the Oldest Building in Christiania Township. 

Also Erected by Mr. Egge in 1808. It is a Typical Building of Pioneer Days. 



commissioners for township organization 
under the name of Eden, and the board 
toolv tiie required action on May 11. The 
organization of Eden towaship was per- 
fected on 5Iay 27, when the following 
were selected as the first precinct officers: 
('liarles Winzer, chairman; William Peter 
and Peter Johnson, supervisors; L. 0. 
Beck, clerk ; Andrew Peter.sou, assessor ; 
Christian Knudson, treasurer; Henry 
Knudsou and A'els Johnson, justices of 
the peace; Siborn Rugland and Otto 
Johnson, constables. It was soon learned 
tliat a townsliip in Brown county boasted 
I he name of Eden, and the citizens peti- 
tioned that the name be changed to Wei- 
iner, which was done by the commission- 
ers October 20, ISTl. Cliarles Winzer, 
the township's first settler, selected the 
name in honor of his home town in Ger- 
many — iSaxe-Weimar. On the petition 
asking that this name be l)estowed the 
spelling of the name was Weimar (which 
is correct), but through a mistake the of- 
ficial spelling of tlie name of the town- 
sliip was Weimer. Following are the 
names of the early settlers of Weimer 
townshi]) who received patents to land 
and the dates the titles were secured : 

1873, Stener Bilstad (4), Henry Knudson 
(10). Anders Xilson (20); 1874. .John Finney 
(4), Thomas (iiirvin (IS), Theodore B. Caster- 
line (.30); 1875. .JonatJian Myers (2), Charles 
Krause (8). Brede Evenson (IS), Etliermer V. 
Foster (28); 187fi. Emma M. Passmore (2), 
■John Heern (C), Jergen Schovlen (6), Chancy 
W. (.{reenman (14), James A. iloSehooler (18), 
Cliristoplier Dohereiner (26), Johannes Ander- 
son Torp (30). William McDonald (.32); 1877, 
.Tames C. Vonglit (4), Christian Knndson (12); 
1878, Ranson A. Nichols (ti). Sigar Larson 
(10), Ann J. Buckeye (18),' .Jens A. Moe (22), 
Lemik Larson (30), John T. Smith (30), Lewis 
Tagland (30), fieorge Cope (32); 1870, .Johan 
■ lust ((i), August Peter (14), Otto Hanson (20), 
Peter Johnson (20) ; 1880. Florian Nimerfroh 
((>). Louis Olson Beck (10), Albert Nichols 
(10), Tollef 0. Beck (10), Anders Peterson 
(22), .John Olson (24), Johan Fielder (24), 
Charles Winzer (26); 1881, il A. Berg (4), 
Franz Jarmar (8), George Erbes (24). George 
H. Freemire (32); 1882. Monroe Mcl^aird (2), 
Ole 0. Selves (24); 18S3. Martin Blixseth (4), 
Hoovel Iverson (8), Ole 0. Homme (18); 188.1, 

Franz Nimmereuichter (8), Su.sanna Gjerraun- 
son (12), Joseph B. Price (12). Adelia A. Pratt 
(14), Christian Borgei'son (22), Mary O. Rog- 
nas (22), Zebina Judd (32); 1886, .Josef War- 
schotka (S), Lewis C. Wood (32); 1888, George 
Albert Winzer (22). 

The survey for the line of the Sioux 
City & St. Paul railroad tlirough Jackson 
county was made early in April, 1871, 
grading was commenced during the sum- 
mer and track laying was begun in Sep- 
tember and completed to Worthington in 
October. It had been the intention of the 
company to begin the operation of trains 
at once, but the heavy snows kept the line 
covered all winter, and it was not nntil 
April, 1872, that regular train service 
was established. The road was opened to 
Sioux City in the fall of 1872." As a 
result of the building of the county's first 
railroad the village of Heron Lake was 

"This line of railroad— now the Chicago, St 
Paul. Minneapolis & Omaha— is one of the old- 
est in the state of Minnesota. Its construction 
was begun in 1S65 by the Minnesota Valley 
Railroad company, which was organized under 
an act of the legislature approved March 4 
1S64. Ten .sections of land per mile of road was 
granted the company as a bonus. Its author- 
ized capital was $500,000, of which $473,000 was 
at once subscribed and paid in. The first board 
of directors and principal stockholders were H. 
H. Sibley. Russell Blakelev. R. H. Hawthorne 
George Culver, W. F. Davidson. E. F. Drake, h! 
M. Rice, J. L. Merriam, Horace Thompson. 
Frankhn Steele, J. E. Thompson. J. C. Burbank, 
T. A. Harrison, John Farrington, W. D Wash- 
burn and C. H. Bigelow. 

In 1S65 the road was located and construc- 
tion comn-enced between Mendota and Shako- 
pee. That part of the road was opened for 
traffic November 16. 1865. In 1S66 the line was 
completed to Belle Plaine. in 1S69 to Lake 
Crystal, and in 1870 to St. James. 

At the time of the organization of the Min- 
nesota Valley Railroad company, and at the 
instance of its inco-porators. there was or- 
ganized the Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad 
company, to build a railroad from Sioux City 
to the south line of Minnesota. On April 7, 
1S69, the name of the Minnesota Valley Rail- 
road company was .-hanged to St. Paul & Sioux 
City Railroad company, organized with a capi- 
tal stock of $2,400,000. In 1S71 a contract was 
made between these two companits by the 
terms of which the Sioux City & St. Paul" com- 
pany completed the line of road from St. James 
to LeMars. Iowa, where connection was made 
with the Iowa Falls & Sioux City railroad for 
Sioux City. For several years the line was 
operated by the two companies — from St. Paul 
to St. James by '.he St. Paul & Sioux City 
Railroad company, and from St. James to 
Sioux City by the Sioux City & St. Paul Rail- 
road company — both companies controlled by 
the same interests. May 25, 1880, a reorgani- 
zation was brought about and the line, to- 
gether with others, became known as the Chi- 
cago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha. In De- 
cember. 1882. the line became a part of the 
Northwestern system. 



founded in the fall of 1871 and the north- 
west i);irt (if tiie i<uinty was rapidly set- 
tled and developed. 

Etforts were made to have a branih line 
of the new road built into eastern Jackson 
county. On Felinuuy li, 1871, a mass 
meeting was held at Jackson to discuss 
the advisability of issuing bonds for the 
purpose of aiding in the construction of 
a 1) ranch line from Bingham Lake or some 
point in the vicinity to Jackson. Almost 
a solid alVirnuuive vote was given. In 
May E. F. Drake, president of the Sioux 
City & St. Paul Railroad company, went 
to Jackson and submitted a delinite prop- 
osition. He- gave the choice of two lines 
—one from Bingham Lake, the other 
down the west side of the Des Moines riv- 
er—and stated that his company was 
ready to commence building such a line 
when a bonus of $80,000 was raised. The 
n\oney was not raised and the road was 
not built." 

The year 1871 was a prosperous one, 
due to the immense immigration and the 
bountiful harvest. 'J'hc wheat croii liad 
never been better, oats ami barley were 
an extra crop, and corn was far ahead of 
that of any previous year. With the com- 
ing of the railroad came markets for the 
grain, and all the claim holders turned 
their attention to farming. In the fall a 
few farmers were damaged to some extent 
by prairie fires. The state legislature ap- 
propriated money for the relief of the 
sufferers from hail and fire in the frontier 
counties, and in January, 1S72, Jackson 
county ofl:icials received $100 of this 
money, which was divided among those 
who had sustained loss. According to the 
assessors' figures for 1871 there were 19.- 
057 acres of land subject to taxation. The 

"■'Drake olTcrcd to furnish vis a rond for 
JSO.OOO. but wo didn't hnve quite- that amount 
lylnK around Ioosp. so wo didn't got the road." 
.1-M. A. Strcne. ISSO. 

total assessed valuation of the county was 

From the report of the superintendent 
of schools it is learned that in 1.S71 tiiore 
were nineteen organized districts, of which 
thirteen reported. There were 4Ci5 chil- 
dren of school age in the county, and there 
were enrolled in the summer schools 231 
pupils, while 15() were enrolled 'in the 
winter schools. Six teachers were em- 
ployed to conduct the winter schools and 
eleven the summer schools. In the coun- 
ty there were three frame school houses, 
one of stone and four of logs. The value 
of all the school buildings was $1,589. 

The unwise legislation which withdrew 
from homestead entry nearly one-half of 
.Tackson county's lands began to have its 
eft'ect in 1872. The bulk of the govern- 
ment lands had been taken before, and 
now homeseekers passed through Jackson 
county on their way farther west, where- 
as numy would have stopped could Ihey 
have secured free lands. To Nobles coun- 
ty thousands came in 1S7'2 as the result of 
(he operations of the National Colony 
iiim])any, which had secured thousands of 
acres of the railroad lands nn<l was sell- 
ing them at low prices. 

Hespite the lack of immigration, rapid 
strides forward were made. Those who 
had come in 1871 broke out their land, 
erected buildings, and added to the pros- 
perity of the county. The number of acres 
of taxable land in 1872 was 44.014. The 
assessed valuation reached $202.845 — 
nearly twice the assessment of 1871. 

I'^our new towhships were organi-/.ed 
during the year, namely: Hunter, Kim- 
ball, Alba and IjaCrosse. 

Hunter town.ehip, which since March 13, 
18(;(i, had been attached to Des Aloines 
township, was created February 13. 1872, 
and to it were attached for townshi|i ])ur- 
|)oses the present townships of Rost and 
Rwington. The precinct was named in 



honor of J. W. Hunter, a pioneer mer- 
chant of Jackson and county treasurer at 
the time the township was created. Among 
the early .settlers of Hunter were the fol- 
Inwino-, who received patents to land in 
the ycai's mentioned : 

1870. jr. Ware (28). .Tolin .S. Ware (28); 1S71. 
Daniel 0. Reed (26), Ira G. Walden (30): 1872, 
.Solon C. Tliayer (32). Charles H. Stewart (2(1); 
1873, George A. Tnia.\ (4), Wilbur S. Kimball 
(18). Milton B. Parker (22), Roliert H. l!uiker 
(22). ilarfiaret Topping (24), Edward Orr (24). 
Enoch S. Wave (20): 1874, Otis B. Kliodes 
(2-14). Andrew Simmons (10). Ale.xander 
Fiddes (18). Thaddeus Rucker (20), William 
(ireer (.34); 187.5, .Tames W. Forrest (4),. Hart- 
son H. Bryant (8); 1870, .Tolin Gallaglier. ".Jr., 
(6), Daniel Harrington (14), Francis Bran- 
nick (14), .Tames E. McMillen (20); 1,S77. 
.lames H. Rol)iiison (10), Levi A. Larned (12), 
S. D. .'^umner (34); 1878. .Tohn (iallagher (6). 
Isaac a. Reed (30); 1870. .Martin I^ilver (2), 
.■\nios D. Palmer (30); 18S0, ^ Lansing W. 
Crowl (2). Alfred Bedient (8): 1881, William 
V. King (2(i) ; 1883. Lcniis .T. Lecocq (12| ; 188.i, 
Isaac S. Barrett (12). Helge K. Rue (30). 

The corner township was 
created on the same day as was Hunter, 
it heiug detached from Belmont and made 
a separate political division under the 
n^me of Eosendahl. The organization was 
[lerfected in March. The name was chang- 
ed to Kimball by action of the board of 
county commissioners on ]i[arch 33. 1872, 
it being named in honor of W. S. Kim- 
hall, the pioneer hardware merchant of 
•laekson. Land patents were i.ssued to 
Kimball settlers m an early day as fol- 
lows : 

1873, Charles K;ressler (14); 1874, George R. 
Hall (4), .Tohn W. Garner (12). George I^ellogg 
(26); 1875, Edgar Stacey (2). .Tohn S. Porter 
(4). .John Middlebrook (6); 1876. Hiram S. 
Schlott (2): .Joseph (2), Christian 
Sorgerson (6). William C. Xourse (10), George 
S. Kendall (12). Carl .J. Erickson (14); 1877. 
Charles W. Phelps (2). Sarah .J. .Alitchell (0), 
■Fames E. Mitchell (6), Ole (31.son (8), Charles 
Kellogg (10), Carl C. Frovorp (14). Antoin 
Storkerson (14), C. A. Rakkestad (14). .John 
Peterson (18), Peter (iunderson (18), Robert 
H. Wade (24), Christian Erickson (28). Nicolas 
S. .Julin (28), Erick Erickson (28), Just H. 
Erickson (32); 1878. .Joseph Hastings (8), Ole 
■Johnson (18), .John J. .SHnd (18). Elias S. 
■Tulin (32). Gustave Kossach (.34); 1879. Carrie 
Peterson (IS), Otto Erickson (32); 1880, .John 
Peterson (8). Ole Bjornsen (20), Edward 


Schoewe (26) ; 1881, Carl Gustav Erickson 
(12); 1882, Peter Thompson (18), Ellef Ben- 
son (20). 

Town.ship 103, range 38, was authoriz- 
ed to begin township government Septem- 
ber ■'!, 1873, the eonnnissioners naming 
the township Baldwin. The name was 
changed to Alba a few days afterward, 
and the first town meeting was held Sat- 
urday, September 21, at the home of the 
first settler, Ole Thompson. Following 
were the names of the first officers : Sam- 
LU'I I'mphrey. chairman; William Blais- 
dell and (Jle Thompson, supervisors; Tor- 
ge Omberson, treasurer; Dr. J. F. Force, 
assessor; George Umphrey and Dr. J. F. 
Force, justices of the peace; Ole Thomp- 
son and Lawrence Eeadle, constables. The 
following were early day settlers of Alba 
township who received title to lands from 
the government : 

1872, William Blaisdell (30l ; 1873, Ole 
Knudson (2), .James W. Nelson (4). Henry 
Humplirey (10), Cornelius .Johnson (20), 
Amanda J. ilerrian (30); 1874, .John E. Lyons 
(2), (ieorge Kline (10). Ole E. Thompson (20). 
■John A. Olsen (22); 1875. William N. Strong 
(4). James T. Clark (8). F:zekiel C. 15ickford 
(12), Abram Freer (24), Calvin R. Gray (30), 
Burns Wiltse (32) ; 1876. .James M. AIcNair 
(4), James L. Howie (6), Jacob F. Force (8), 
Samuel Umphrey (18). John Wilson (22), 
Sila3 G. Smith (28); 1877, Ole Olson Rognas 
(2), Edward Rogers (14). Henry Umphrev 
(18), .Johannes D. F'reer (24); 1878, Kjale Her- 
mansen (2). Joseph Readle (6). Ijawrence 
Readie (8), Clark A. Wood (10). .John Benson 
(14), Hallick Seversoii (20). Obed Omberson 
(22), Newton Freer (24). Peter F. McNair 
(26), Armond R. Bechand (28), Julia Severson 
(32); 1879, Gudman .Johnson (12), Hellick 
Anderson (18), Emma Anderson (20), Hans 
Charleston (24), Terge Armson (28); 1880, 
(Jeorge Umphrey (18); 1881, Peter Vogt (8), 
John W. Benson (14), Obed Ormson (22), Anna 
M. Rindy (32); 1882. Joseph W. Lidick (10), 
Henry Schumacher (12). Donald Montgomerv 
(32). Duncan McNab (32); 1883. Anna Frit- 
scber (6); 1884, Walter L. Freer (24); 1885. 
John Olson (14); 1887. Sever Severson (32): 
1888, Samuel J^ord (2), .Johann Fritscher (6), 
.John I'eterson (12), .John Besser (14). 

LaCxosse township wa.s also organized 
in September, 1872. _ In the early days 
a party of claim seekers, among whom was 
Benjamin J. Svennes, moved from La- 
Crosse, Wisconsin, to tlie northwest cor- 



ner township of Jackson county and bf- 
ciune pennanent settk-rs. Wliun the town- 
ship was organized tlic name of the Wis- 
consin town from whicli manv of the set- 
tlers liad come was bestowed upon the new 
township. Following are the names of 
many of the early settlers of LaCrosse 
townsliip and the dates they received land 
])atents from the jjovernment. with the 
nu!Hl)er of the sectinns iipnn which thoy 
had their claims: 

1S7I, .Jolian Mai.xiu'r (201: IS73, .lames \V". 
Maokiiison (14), .James IIo))kins (28). .Jacol) 
Drill (.-iO). .lolin H. Allen Cii) : 1S74. .lul (ill- 
hcrtsoii (2(>). Oliver Paiip (;!2). Mieliael Trern- 
iiier (34). Eber S. OsImmii CU). Hen C. San- 
born (34); l.ST.i. .Tolin O'N'eil (10|. Samuel 1!. 
Kstes (22): 1870. .Tolni .Tdlinson (8). Peter 
Peterson (10). .Tolin Ilalfonl (10). .lolin Lin- 
liard (12). Cliristoplier Kiinsmiin (141. Cliris- 
tian Ander.^ion (ISl; 1877. Karine Wikstrum 
(10). Ferdinand Powlitsdiek (12): 1878, Don 
J. Handy (4). Daniel K. Kisli (0), .lule .1. Svon- 
nes (10), Ferdinand llaliermnn (12). l?en J. 
Svenncs (24). Albert (iilbertson (2()), Ole A. 
Fauskee (guardian) (20): 1870. Orman W. 
Fish (0). Xils Dahl (8). John Behrenfeld (.30). 
Franz Piesoliel (32): 1880. Edward .1. Thew 
(0). Franz Hejier (12)..lolian (iehr ( 12). .Joseph 
Servus (14). .Jolian Powlitsehek (14). Frank 
Ximerfroh (28): 1881. .Joseph Wenkler (2). 
.John MeCall (8), Franz Prosser (8), Anton 
llffier (12). Franz llaberman (12). .Joseph 
S<'hreiber (20). .John P. Peterson (20). Fer- 
dinand llaberman l30): 1882. .lolinn Ileger 
(2). Franz Zellner (8), .John Rostomily (10). 
Ferdinand llaberman (20), .John llaberman 
(20). Henry A. Parker (32): 1883. Franz Lie- 
pold (2). .Joseph .Jann (4). Katarina Haberman 
(18), Ipnatz Haberman (18), Godfred Haber- 
man (18). .lolian Maixner (20). Ole (i. SJalaas 
(24). Ole Fodness (20). Peter Hohbanm (20). 
Henjamin JJepold (28). Joseph IlalnMinan (28). 
Franz Pelzl (28), Josef I'elzl (34), Alois 
I'Vied (2), Johan .Jones (0). Alois Sontnj; (8); 
188.). Ij-naz Zellner (8). Johan Hedrieh (18), 
Franz Winkler (22). Cliristine NeNon (241: 
188(1. Johan Habernum (20). Johan Harlos (28). 
Edward Prosser (28). John F. IJehrenfeld (30|: 
1888, Ferdinand Powlitsehek (2). Mary Sulli- 
van (4). Frank IVlzl (10). A|..ilina Winkler 
(IS), Victor 0. Mott (22). 

The ever-dreaded winter stornus claim- 
ed the victims early in tST2. In the 
southeastern part of Dclafield town.<hip C. 
D. Carlestrom and his son, Clarice, met 
death in a blizzard on .Tanuary lO wliile 
hatding wood. The body of JFr. Carle- 
strom was found throe davs later. The 

boy's body was not found until the next 

On Tuesday, Kchiuary i;{, 18?2. tiic 
county experienced the most severe bliz- 
zard since the terrible storm nf Manli, 
1870. Tlie storm raged from four o\liick 
on Monday afternoon until midnight 
Tuesday. On Monday the weather was 
warm and fine. In the afternoon a warm 
snow fell until four o'clock. Then the 
wind instantaneously whippet! around to 
the northwest and came in freezing gusts, 
filling the air with blinding snow and 
making it impossible to sec more than a 
few yards. The change was so sudden 
that many were overtaken and lost in the 
lilinding storm. Three human lives were 
.sacrificed to the fury of the stcirin. and 
many were the narrow escapes. 

One of the unfortunate men was Mr. 
Garner, of Enterprise township, who was 
oveitaken by the storm while on his way 
home from Cedar lake with a load of 
wood, lie was unable to find his house, 
although he passed within a hundred rods, 
of it. At that point l;c unlonded his wood 
and began traveling with tiic .sIodo. His 
dead body was found on tiic .lackson-Win- 
neljago City stage road. Mr. tiarucr's 
team was found in the vicinity of Twin 
lakes, one of the animals frozen to dc;ith. 

Terrible sulfering must have precciled 
the deaths of John Johnson Buckeye and 
(^le Hognaes, of Heron Lake. They were 
on the way home from their timber lot 
when struck by the storm, within two 
miles of Heron Lake station. Unyoking 
their oxen, the men started out on foot 
for the nearest house, traveling with the 
storm. The tracks of the unfortunate 
men found by a searching jiarty Wednes- 
day di.sclosed the fact that they had 
passed house after house, sometimes going 
within four rods of a l)ou?e. but tinal)le to 
fee it through the wind-driven snow. The 
liodv of Mr. Eognaes was found near Boot 



lake, a distance of sixteen miles from tlie 
point where the men started. The ap- 
]iearance of the snow showed that Mr. 
Bnckcye liad carried his companion some 
distance alter the hitter had given np. Mr. 
Buckeye pushed on v>ith the wind. After 
traveling a long distance, he Ijecame so 
hadly frozen that he was unable to walk; 
then he crawled for a considerable dis- 
tance farther. His body was found in a 
thicket near the Des Moines river at the 
foot of a hill, down which he had slid. 
Unable to rise, he perished there. This 
was at a point about four miles north- 
west of Jackson and twenty-four miles 
from tlie place where he began his wan- 
derings. The body was found on Friday. 

Several other people were known to 
have been caught in the storm. On AVed- 
nesday morning, which dawned bright and 
clear, searching parties were sent out to 
loiik for them. Tlie dri\er of the Win- 
nebago City stage was one of these, Init 
he had been able to secure shelter for him- 
self and team. The storn^ resulted in 
many deaths in other parts of southwest- 
ern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa. 

The progress nuide in Jackson county 
during 18T2 is illustrated by the increase 
in school facilities and school attendance. 
According to the county .superintendent's 
report for the year, there were twenty-six 
organized districts, of which twenty-one 
made report. There were 610 children of 
school age. Of these 82 were enrolled in 
winter schools and 323 in summer schools. 
Four teachers were employed during the 
winter and fourteen during the summer. 
There were six frame and five log school 
houses, the total value of which wa.s 

A question of vital importance, relating 
(o the diminution of the county's area, 
was decided at the general election in No- 
vember, 1873. The legislature, on Feb- 
ruary 29, passed a bill providing that the 

townships of La Crosse, Alba. Ewington 
and Kouud Ijake should be detached from 
Jackson county and given to Nobles coun- 
ty. At the same time another bill was 
passed which provided that the four west- 
ern townships of Nobles county should be 
given to Eock county." The proposition 
was to enlarge Kock county at the expense 
of Jackson county. The act was not to be 
put in force until both Jackson and No- 
bles county should ratify it by ballot. 
The election on the question was almost a 
farce. Nobles county decided in favor of 
the proposition by a vote of 131 to 101), 
but Jackson county naturally voted no. 
Only thirty-six voters in Jackson county 
registered in favor of the surrender of 
territory, and all except one of these re- 
sided in Alba and Iiouiid Lake town.ships 
— townships which were closer to Nobles 
county villages than they were to those 
of Jackson county. The result bv town- 
sliips was as follows: 



■> 00 

c ca 










Des Moines 


Heron Lake 



La Crosse 




Round Lake 






Jackson county's first court house was 
built in 1872. After the defeat of the 
court house bonds in 1870 the matter was 



allowed to rest two years. Then, on Feb- 
ruary 12, 1872, citizens of Jackson met 
at the office of iViulcrson & Tiffany to 
take steps to secure a county building. A 
petition was drawn u|> and forwarded to 
St. Paul a.-;kin<; the legislature to enact 
another law allowing tlie coniini.^sioners to 
issue bonds for this ]nir])osi'. In an in- 
foniial manner 't was agreed that Jack.'Jon 
jieoplc sliould (Innate ]iart of the necessary 
funds. In accordamr witli tlie expressed 
wisiies of the ])eople who signed the peti- 
tion, an act was jia.sscd and approved Feb- 
ruary 27, 1872. It authorized the coni- 
niissioners to issue Ijonds not to exceed 
$(>,00(), but, again, tiio act to become op- 
erative must be ratified by the electors. 

A special election for this jiurpose was 
held March 12, when the act was ajiprov- 
ed by a vote of 22G to 1.5(i. Owing to se- 
vere weather, a light vote was polled, and 
no elections were held in the lownshijis 
of Weimer, LaCrosse and Ko.sendahl 
(KiiMliall). The norlii part of the county 
was almost solidly against the bonds, as 
the vote shows: 







Dcs Moines 











HiTim Lake 




Pe tersbu rg 

Round Lake 





To assist in the erwtion of the build- 
ing the people of Jackson liound them- 
selves to the county by promissory note to 

pay the sum of $1,480, providing the 
court house siiould be erected during the 
year 1ST2.''' All of this amount was not 
paid into the county treasury, however, 
and suit was brought to collect sonic of 
the contributions. A statement of tiie 
standing of these accounts made Decem- 
ber 2(i, 1878, shows the standing at that 
late day: Amount paid, $SG.") ; partly 
paid and considered collectable, $liiO; in 
suit $85; uncollectable, $370. 

The $(),()()0 bonds were quicklv disposed 
of, and on June 10 the contract for the 
erection of the building was let to T. L. 
Twilfni-d, of Spirit Lake, on a casli bid 
of $.'),800."' The building was rusiied to 
completion and was accepted from the 
contractor Decend)er 28. Faulty construc- 
tion was alleged, and tliere was consider- 
alile tiouble ovei' the matter before a final 
settlement was made. For thirty-four 
years this building erected in 1872 served 
as the coimty court house, and was dis- 
lilaeed l>y the handsome edifice recently 
dedicated. ■■ 

'^ who so liound themselve.s and tlu- 
amount e."ich aBrftd tn oonliihutc wi-n- as fol- 
lows: .\n(Iirs()n * 'I'Iffanv. $liiO; W. .\shlev. JISO; 
\V. S. Kimhall. JlOO: ChambiTUn * .\shlo.v (cash). 
J.'iii: ('h;niilHilin iSi .\shlov (hluek 25. Jarksonp. 
J4ii(i; .M. .\. StroriK. J25: Jamis \V. Hinit.-r. $50: 
J. \V. Cowing, $50; Kdw. P. Sklniu-r, $6(1; I. .-v. 
Morcaiix. $25: R. M. Wmxlwaiil. $25; Simeon 
.\ver.v. $25; Michael MilUr. Jld; .\. K. Wood. 
$10; C. Baldwin (In workl. $25; II. Miner. $25: 
W. C. Garratt, $25; H. .M. .Vverv. $2:i; A. H. 
Strong. $25; John H. Grant. $25; H. S. Ballev, 
$150; H. H. Johnson. $25; S. M. Clark. $25: 
.Mexander KIdde.s. $25: J. K. Thomas. $25; S. K. 
Kord (in work). $5; Menno Kby, $5. 

'■lithiT liids sulimltlod were; \V. S. Kimball, 
cash, $(;.00O. bonds, $6,500; H. S. Bullcy, cash, 
$ti.500, bonds, $7,000; Farmer & Hallett. cash. 

''.Vniom? the judpes who h<*KI co\irt In this 
old liiilldlni; w.-re Franklin II. Walte. Daniel 
.\. Dickinson, afterwards for m.-iny >'ears a jus- 
tice of the supreme court; J. 1.. M<'Donald. 
Charles M. Start, the present chief justice nr 
Minnesota; M. J. Severance. A. D. Perkins. P. 
H. Brown. I.orin Cray and James H. Quinii. 
.\monB the eminent law.vers who practiced at 
Its bar were T. J. Knox, who tried the first .and 
Inst lawsuits in the 1)Uitdin>;: John It. Sanlxirn. 
W. n. Sanborn. Yomig \- l.itjhtner. W. B. Douk- 
las. Savage * Piirdy. J. W. l.osey. H. II. Fic^ld. 
James .\. Tawne\-. M. J. Severance. John l.lnd. 
II. F. Webber. John .\. I.ovcly. I.orin Cray, An- 
drew C. Dunn and Daniel Rohrer. 



TltOEN FOU«DATia«jg, 


■ V 




iirlR'ufll^Aii^i'^'''' "^ vai.i.kV • MiN H: OTAdjin n;i»i:iJ^6N »*'Hi;Ki{si!ri; (. j^ 

' <"-yitr\<-' 

Reproduced from an Old i'riiit. 

In Buildings Such as These Many of Jackson County's Pioneers Had Their Homes. 



NOW come the dark days of Jack- 
son comity history — the fjrass- 
hopper days. For several years, 
beginuiug with 1873, grasslioppers, or 
Eocky Mountain locusts, swept down upon 
the country in countless millions, devour- 
ing the cultivated crops and bringing dis- 
aster to nearly every citizen. The people 
of Jackson county, in common with those 
of all southwestern Minnesota, suffered 
as few pioneer settlers in any country ever 
suffered. Adversity followed adversity. 
The frowns of fortune overwhelmed those 
who had come with such high hopes in 
the preceding years and cast them into 
the slough of despond. The picture can- 
not be painted too dark. 

The country became bankrupt. Immi- 
gration ceased : migration began. All 
who could mortgaged their property and 
many left the county. Some got into 
such straighted circumstances that they 
were actually without the means to pay 
their railway fare out of the country. 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; otheT'S attempted to earn a livelihood 
by trapping. In time land became value- 
less ; it could not be sold or mortgaged.^ 

^Arthur M'. Dunn, a former Jackson county 
boy. now the famous Washington correspond- 
ent, has added his testimony to the conditions. 

After the first or second year eastern capi- 
talists refused to consider loans in the 
grasshopper infested country. 

Before taking np the story of the first 
grasshopper invasion, let us consider a 
few other events that occurred during 
18^3, and look at tlie country as it was 
before the devastation came. 

The population hr.d increased to per- 
haps between 3.000 and 4,000 people, and 
everv part of the county was settled. All 
except four townships were organized. A 
line of railroad was operated through the 
county, and many stage lines carried "mail 
and passengers to and from all the neigh- 
boring communities.- Two villages, Jack- 
son and Heron Lake, were enjoying pros- 
perous times and a healthy growth as a 
result of the immigration and the develop- 
ment of their tra(ie territories. The fer- 

He has written: "Many a time have I seen 
a farmer who came to Jaclison full of hope, who 
had taken a homestead, acquired title and 
seemed ready to enjoy prosperity, sell as fine 
a hundred and sixty acres of land as the sun 
eyer shown upon for a broken down team and 
wagon and enough money to get back beyona 
the hoppers." 

=In August. 1873. seven stage lines were oper- 
•Tted from the village of Jacksor,. as follows; 
Windom (daily). B. "VV. Ashley, contractor; St. 
James (twice a week). William Barnes, con- 
tractor; Winnebago City (three times a week). 
Tom George, contractor: Blue Earth City (three 
times a week). O. S. Farr, contractor; Esther- 
ville (weekly). Welch .Ashley, contractor; Spen- 
cer (daily;). I>. E. Holcomb. contractor; Worth- 
ington (twice a week). William Greer, contrac- 
tor. All of these linjs had been in operation 
a year or two before this date and some of 
them longer. 




tility and value of tlic J'ariniiig' lamls hatl 
been proven by excellent erops. The pros- 
pects seemed good im- .lackson county 
cnntinuinir it-; onwarii march to prosper- 

Ewiugton township was organized in 
the spring of the year. A ])etition was 
cireulatetl in ilarcii, anil on the "^'^th of 
that month the board of county cnnunis- 
sioner.s jjassed a resolution declaring the 
township organized under the name of 
Ewington, in honor of the Ewing family, 
the township's first settlers.^ The first 
town meeting was held at the homo of 
Nancy Ewing on April l-"). when the 
township's first officers were chosen. They 
wore as follows: G. E. Perry, chairman; 
E. K. Dunn and Orsenms Farnlian), su- 
pervisors ; T. ('. Ewing, clerk and treas- 
urer; Frank Grim, assessor; W. F. Ew- 
ing, justice of the ])eace ; Thomas Fitzger- 
ald, constable. Early day land jiatents 
were granted to the following in lOwing- 
ton township : 

1872. Walter S. Brndford (14), Alsoii T.. 
Bailov (24): IST."!, JIntl;ew Snivth (6). Clinrles 
\V. Ciiilis (14). Kiuly J. Stiles (28): 1874, 
Kranl<lin fJriiii (2), Ku(li>lpli Boekor (12), 
.Iiimcs II. Wped (24). Cornelius .Toliiisoii (2(>l; 
1875,' Robert (i. Deatlie (12); lS7(i. Or.semus 
Fnrnl'am (2), fleorec Periv (li); 1877. Tliiiniiis 
E. Filz<;eral(l (4).'c. Ewiiif: (.SO), Wil- 
liam I'. Kwin^' (.S2): 1878. James W. .Matliews 
(10), Aa^e ClnistiaiisDi! (181. .Inim A. SpalTonl 
(20), Fred A. Barton CM): 187il. Oiristian 
Olseii (8), Hans Olsen (10). William N. Davios 
(22). Susan K. Barton (2S|: 1880. Soren Iver- 
.son (10). Arllinr \. .Toiilan CiO). W-irr W'liip 
key (34): 1881. .Tolin McCall (8): 1882. Hans 
Soi-cnson (8): 1883. Charles }'. Handall (20). 
Andrew Oqrrie (.30), .lames XA'alker (32l: 18.^4. 
James H. Ewing (22); 188(1. ll«Tnr.ui Pinz (4i. 

Willi the possible e\cc])lion of the win- 
ter of 1856-57. thai of 18:2-73, was the 
most severe in tli(> history of Jack.son 

'"Along In Mareh Fllmoro EwhiK came to our 
house In town with a petition to have the toviii- 
ship organized, naming U after the family, who 
were the first settlers — and the honor was not 
misplaced, for they were a very worthy f.imllv. 
Intelligent, neighborly, hospltnhli'. and we h:i\-c 
always l)een sorry they could not hiivi- ahldid 
wheri' their early residence created so favorabh' 
an impression and their imfortunate denai-tiire 
kindled .so many regrets." — J. A, SpafTord I" 
Jackson Republic, March 1. 1895. 

county. Concerning this memorable sea- 
son, Mr. ']'. .1. Knox, of .lackson, has writ- 
Icii : 

The winter of 1872-73 will lonn lie reniendier- 
ed as the longest and severest that this coun- 
try Inis ever experieiKed. It lie}.'an on the 
I2t!i ilay of Noveniher with a lilizzard that 
continne<l for tliree days, during wliieli time 
snow fell to a jireat deptli. prolml)ly not less 
than two feet, hut which was so blown about 
and drifted by the wind that in some jdaees 
lliere were drifts of twenty feet or more. The 
newly constructed railway was hopelessly 
Idockaded. and remained so imtil the following 
spriiiff. From the time winter so set in there 
was llllle let up in tlie severity of the weather. 
One storm followed anotlier. and when not 
stormini; the weather was cold and severe, 
while the deep snows, almost constantly 
drifting', mule Ir.ivei dillieult and .■•omi'l inu-s 
danjjerinis. Durinj; that Ion;; winter 

till' inliabitai'ts of this part of the state were 
practically sliut out from the world. At times 
there were no mails for three weeks at a 
stretcli. Many people suffered for want of 
necessary food, elotliin;; and fuel. Tlie siUTer- 
inf;s and horrors of that Ion;; and dreadful 
winter will never be effaced from tlie memories 
of those who experienced them. 

The ill-fated year isr;i began with the 
iiiosi violent winter storm in the hi.story 
of the state from the time of its fii-st set- 
tlement to the present date. F^or three 
days, beginning January 7. the blizzard 
raged, extending over the whole north- 
west. The tempcralurc was about eigh- 
teen degrees below zero during the whole 
|)eriod of tlic storm. The air was fiileil 
with snow as fine as llmir. Through every 
crevice, keyhole and nailhole the fine snow 
|ienetrated, i)ufTing into the house like 
steam. Seventy liuman lives were lost in 
the storm in ^finnesota. but by a miracu- 
lous turn of fate none of these was in 
.lackson county. It was the only county 
ill the vicinity that escaped without loss 
of life. 

The forenocm of Tuesday. .January 7. 
was mild and ]i]ea-.\n( ; the sky was clear 
and there was no wind. It seemed as 
ihoiigh a "January thaw" was imminent, 
'i'he pleasant weather had induced many 
farmers to start to town on business or to 
the neighboring farm houses with their 



families to visit. A little after noon a 
change was apparent. The sky lost its 
cTvstal clearness and became a trifle hazy. 
Towaril two o'clock a white wall was seen 
bearing down from the northwest. The 
front of the storm was distinct and al- 
most 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 bliz- 
zard had .supplanted the bright sunshine 
in a few moments. The air was so com- 
pletely filled with flying snow that it was 
impossible to see objects a short distance 

The siorm began with such fury that 
nearly all who were in the villages or at 
neighbors" homes abandoned the idea of 
reaching their own firesides and found 
shelter witli friends or at the hotels. Even 
some wlio were caught away from home in 
the villages, only a few blocks away, did 
not attempt lo brave the dangers of get- 
ting home. All Tuesday night, Wednes- 
day and Wednesday night the storm raged 
with unabated fury. Xot until Thurs- 
day wa.s there any perceptible let-up, and 
not until Friday was the storm over. Sev- 
•eral Jackson county residents were caught 
on the prairie in the storm, but there was 
not a single case of severe freezing. Some 
were obliged to spend two or three days 
in deserted claim shanties, but all were 
found alive after the storm. 

Anders I'. Kilen, of Belmont township, 
had a narrow escape. He wa.s returning 
home from Heron Lake when the storm 
struck, and when about three miles from 
his house he took refuge in a board claim 
shanty. The furniture of the shanty con- 
sisted of a coffee pot partly filled with 
screenings, a plow, a hammer and a liitle 
hay. From Tuesday afternoon until Fri- 
day morning Mr. Kilen battled for his 
life in the lonelv cabin. He tried to kin- 
dle a fire l)y striking sparks from the plow 

with the hammer, but the plow was too 
hard and he was unsuccessful, so he kept 
from freezing by physical exercise, spend- 
ing three days pacing back and forth with- 
in the narrow confines of the cabin. He 
utilized the hay to fill the cracks in the 
shanty and to make hay ropes, with which 
to bind his benumbed limbs. He ate the 
streenings and used snow for dessert. 
When the storm liroke he found his way 
home, not much the worse for his experi- 

A large acreage of small grain and corn 
was sown in the spring of 1873, and the 
grain grew luxuriantly during the spring 
months. Everybody was enthusiastic over 
the prosjjects — a state of mind wliieh was 
soon to be turned to gloom. 

The first grasshopper invasion of Jack- 
son county was on Saturday, June 14, 
1873. People noticed something floating 
through the air from west to east, at a 
great height and apparently drifting with 
the wind. At first ."^ight it was taken 
to be the fluff that comes from cottonwood 
trees, but before long a few scattering ob- 
jects began coming to the earth from the 
floating clouds, and they were found to 
be gra.s.shoppers — forerunners of a scourge 
that for several years devastated this part 
of the country and resulted in the retar- 
dation of the county's progress for many 

The flight kept up for several days, and 
then tlie pe-sts took their departure. A 
great many came down and feasted on the 
growing crops and deposited their eggs 
in the ground."* Great damage was done 
to the crops, but not so great as in later 
years, and a light harvest was gathered.^ 
I'he storv of the invasion was told bv the 

'Egp.s were deposited preferably in solid 
frround and to a depth of from one-half inrh to 
r>^p inch. The tail of the female grasshopper 
is a hard. honv. cone-shaoed .substance, and 
this was easjlv bored into the solid ground and 
the ej;:gs deposited. 

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



Jackson Republie in it? issue ol Juno 21 : 

Our curiosity is siatiatwl. We have always 
Iiail a desire to see one of t'.iosc "clouds" of 
fjrasslioppers. of wliicli «e Imvc read from time 
to time. Tlii'V liave Iiieii here for a week in 
countless millions ami yet we liave failed to 
discern any (liminution of strenfjtli of the 
sun's rays.' To he sure there were plenty of 
them in the air. hut were only visihle in a 
small radius around the sun. As a matter of 
coursi'. sonu' of the timid settlers want to 
.sell and get away, takin;; it for };ranted that 
their crops will all he eaten oil' and a famine 
ensue. Many lields of wheat and harley were 
mercilessly j-ohhlcd hv the ho])pers. at least to 
jud<:e from appearance, hut careful examina- 
tion shows that the injury is comparatively 
.slight. The pests have taken their departure 
and the fields are making rapid |)rogress in 
gaining the growth the crops lost. 

A fanner iesi(lin<? in the nortlicin jjnrt 
of the county told of the ravages of the 
pests in his ncijihborhootl ami the at- 
tempts to jiiotcet the grain: 

The all engrossing siibject in this vicinity 
at present is the grasshopper question. They 
made their appearance here last Saturday af- 
ternoon and immediately hegaii their aggres- 
sive niovenu-nls. Ne.\t day they ate five or six- 
acres of my wheat. Their numhers rapidly in- 
creased, the air seeming to he full of them. 
They resemlded large Hakes of snow in a 
snow storm, ami they smm took possession ol 
all the grain lields in the ni'ighhorhood. Iheak 
iiig teams had a general holiday: men travel- 
ed their fields, not knowing what to do. so suil 
den and unexpected was the general imslaughf. 
A few with small fields and large families 
marshaled all their available forces, who, with 
long poles and switches, walked their fields a 
few rods apail and thus tried to chase otf the 
invaders, hut their numhers increased so fast 
that the ceaseless elTorts proved of little avail. 
A fi'W of the more despondent are olTeriiig 
their ilaims for sale at ruint)Us figures ami 
starting in searih of some region where grass- 
hoppers are unkmiwii. Hut it is really en- 
couraging to see how cIm erf nl and (ouragcovis 
the great majority are. The earlier sown oats, 
so far as I have heard, are as yet compara- 
tively safe. 

Grjisshoppers were .^een in the air again 
on .\iigust 2, but they pa.ssed over with- 
out stopping to feed. At liarvest time it 
was found tlnit tliose fields whiili had 
not been molested yielded abundantly. 
The hoppers seenieil to prefer wlieat. and 
the oats were not badly damaged. Corn 
Ihat had been well put in was a fine crop. 

(In .\ugust 23 the Jackson Republic said 
id' tile harvest: 

Some men have no grain worth cutting, while 
their neighhors' fields lying alongside have a 
large yield, and on other farms some piews 
or parts are poor ami the rest good. As 
a general rule, those who have high rolling 
land on their farms have heavy crops, while 
some whose farms are wet were unable to get 
their seed put ill well ill the spring, and. being 
backward, was nice and tender for the hop- 
pers. Those who have lost their crops mu-t 
not dc'spair, but rather jirofit by the experi 
cnce anil give more attention to stock raising. 

In addition to the gras.sho]ipfr dcvasta- 
lion, liie jianie. which held the cnuntry 
in its grip in 1ST;], added m the hard 
times which followed. The loss of their 
erojjs left many' families in destitute cir- 
cumstances, and there was much sulTer- 
ing. When winter came it was known 
that some measure for the relief of the 
ilestitute must be taken. During the clos- 
ing davs of De(^cniber mass meetings to 
discuss the situatimi were held at Heron 
Lake and at Jacksnn. 

'I'lie lleiiin Lake meeting was held De- 
i-eiiilier '.'(1. Dr. IJ. K. Foster was the 
chainiian and John T. Smith swretary. 
.\ cimiiiiittee composed of J. W. Heii.son. 
John T. Smith. .1. V. i'le.scotl. John Weir 
and K. Johnson was named to make an 
investigation as to the neetls of the citi- 
zens. E.\-Ciovernor Stephen stiller ar- 
rived at Heron Lake the next day and 
left some funds which he bad obtained 
from the relief committee at St. Paul tn 
relieve the immediate wants of the desti- 
tute. On the 29th the committee divided 
!j;(il_onc-half the amount in the treasury 
— among ten residents who applied for 
aid. A Heron Lake citizen, writing on 
that date, said: "Today there were ten 
])ersons here for aid. Some of them were 
in actual starving condition. They did 
not know where the bread to eat was com- 
ing from two days hence." 

The mass meeting at Jackson was held 
December 29. T. J. Kno.x was chairman 


anil Alexander Fiddes was secretan'. A ern portions of the countv, and Alexander 

central enmniittee was appointed, com- Fiddes and J. AV. Hunter who should 

posed of the following named gentlemen : make the distribution in the southern and 

W. S. Kijiihall, M. A. Strong, E. L. eastern portions. Each committee receiv- 

Hrouiiell. (i. P). Franklin and George C. ed $270. 

('lianil)erlin, of .Jackson: J. T. Smith, of General H. H. Sibley, the head of the 

IFeron Ijake : H. J. Phelps, of Kound state relief work, reported on July 9, 

Lake: Ole E. Olson, of Belmont. The 1874, that he had turned over to Jackson 

committee was instructed to correspond county committees the sum of $1,007 for 

with parties in St. Paul and elsewhere the relief of settlers up to that time. The 

with regard to obtaining I'elief for those dates, amounts and parties to whom he 

in want and to ascertain liow much seed luid sent the money were as follows:" 

wheat was needed for the next season. Dec. 24, 1S73: Heron Lake committee, 

The committees at once entered upon' '^^ ^o' '^l^-*',''- 'tT'*"*'"',- ', :' ■ ■*'-'" 

' .Jan. 2, 18^4: Heron Lake committee, 

tlieir duties. They canvas.sed the county J. T. Smith, secretary 150 

east and south of Heron Lake, where there •^""- .l'^- J^'f'- "<''■''" ^^"'^'^ committee, 

■L 1 . Smitli, secretary 100 

was the greatest suffering, and reported .Jan. 27, 1874: Heron "Lake committee, 

findino- 86 pensons in need of aid. The ^^- ^- ^''"'' secretary pro tem 100 

- Jan. 30, 1874, Heron Lake committee, G, 

authorities m St, Paul were notihed and H. Carr, secretary pro tem 150 

asked to send supijlies at once. The arti- -^I""- ^^' l^"*= H^"'"" Lake committee, J. 

1 1 1 J. ii 1 ., ■ ,■ ^'^'^"'' treasurer 50 

eles asked tor were mostly clothing lor Apr. 16, 1874: Heron Lake committee. 

women and children. Three articles of J- "^^^eir, treasnrer 100 

,. , ,-1 „ , June 24, 1874: Heron Lake committee, 

I I wi'V lounii necessary — tiour, pnric ,J. Weir, treasurer 50 

and beans. About the middle of January •^""- ^f*' ^^^■^- 0'*= Tollefson, postmas- 

, , r: , • ,. , . ter. Belmont ,50 

tile hrst consignment of supplies was re- A,)r. 16, 1874: Jlajor H. S. Bailey, .Jack- 

ceived and distributed by the committee at s°" ' I'lO 

,r T 1 13 ^ 4- j-i V i? ■ ■ J""<" -''• 1'^"-': Major H. 8. Bailey, .Jack- 

lieron Lake. Part ot the relief ^vas m son .' . 50 ' 

cash, the balance in clothing. On the 21st 

oi January the Jackson committee receiv- ° ^ ' 

ed 19 sacks of ilour and three boxes of ''''''' Heron Lake committee, composed 
clothing sent by the citizens of Stillwa- "'' ''• ^^'- Benson, chairman; J. T. Smith, 
ter. The ^u))plies were distributed the *=ecretary ; John Weir, treasurer; and J. 
next day. ' I"- Prescott, reported the ilivision of its 
Petitions were poured into the legisla- ^^^^'^ °^ ^'"* amount as follows: Two 
ture from all the stricken counties, a,sk- h"n<^red dollars were spent for garden 
ing for appropriations. Eealizing the grav- •'^''''''^' A""'' ''>'^'l corn meal and distribut- 
ity of the situation, the legislature, late '^'^ ^° ^'^'^ different persons; $C0G.89 was 
in January, appropriated $.3,000 for re- distributed in cash. Major Bailey spent 
lief in the frontier counties, and in Feb- ^^^^ ^1°° "*^°* ^" ''"" f°r flour and pork, 
ruary appropriated $3.5,000 to be expend- ^"^ '^^^^y ^^^ I'eported the distribution of 
ed for seed grain to be furnished to those ^^''^^'^ articles to the yalue of $111,07 and 
unable to procure seed. Of the cash ap- *''"* '^'^ '^''"'' "" '''^"'^ $:?8.9.'5. 
p.-opriatinn, .$.540 was Jackson county's ^^ *'*'' '"^^^r part of March. 1874. the 
share. John Weir and J. T. Smith were ^^^'^ ^'^*^''* distribution was made. Jack- 
named as the parties who should conduct ^"" county's share was 3,500 bushels, and 
Ibc distribution in the northern and west- oLetter h. h. SiWey. ji.iy 9. iS74. 



there were so ninny applicants that the 
average to eaeli person was only seven 
flBfl one-half hiishol-. and many liad to 
go without.' Part of the wheat was tlis- 
tribulecl hy the CDiinnittoe at Heron I^ake 
ami jiart hy Major U.S. Bailey and Hans 
Kmidsun at Windom. 

During the harrowing times in the 
winter of 1873-74, when hundred.-; of 
.lackson eounty eitizens were living on 
eharity, the last three townships of the 
eounty began township government. 

During the fore part of the winter resi- 
dents of township 103, range 37. peti- 
tioned the county CDmmissioners, asking 
that they he detached fnim Heron Tiake 
town.-ihip and granted a government of 
their own. The ]);'tition was granted Jan- 
uary 7, 1874. and tiie new township was 
named West Heron Lake, its geographical 
location suggesting the name. li\ the lat- 
ter part of the same month the township 
was organized with tiie following (par- 
tial) list of officers: Kohcrt Johnson, 
chairman : John Christie, clerk ; Johannes 
ToUefson. treasurer; Evan Pederson, jus- 
tice of the peace; Xils Olson, constable. 

Owing to the fact that Heron lake 
divided the township into two parts, those 
living in the northeast corner — to the east 
of the lake — were not so closely associat- 
ed with the people of the re.=t of tlir Inwn- 
ship as tJicy were with those of Heron 
Lake township, and they petitioned, early 
in February, 1874, to lie attached to llie 
latter township. N'o action was taken at 
that time, but in April, 187.5. another 
petition was presented to the county board, 
a.sking for the same legislation. On June 
21 the desired action was taken, and the 
northeast corner of West Heron Lake 

'"Thesf .-iro busy days In Heron Lake. The re- 
lief rommlltce. Me.ssr.-i. Ben.son. Wolr iin<l Smith, 
have recefveil iiver .1.000 Iiiishels nf whe:it tn 
Uo distributed In Jaek.Mon eounty. mthI the i>eo- 
ple are eomIn>T l»i In jrreat numbers after It. 
The amount each will receive will be quite 
small, there being so many applicants." — Heron 
I.akc Correspondent. March 25. 1S71. 

township was given to Heron I^ake town- 

The following were early day residents 
of West Heron I^ake township who sccur- 
eil laud from the government in that pre- 
cinct : 

1872. t'lunles Kiselier (12). Jolin Kiibson 
(241 : 187:», Rot)ert .lolin.son (22); 1874. ller- 
num Peler (2). (Jeorjie II. ("arr (ti). Unniaine 
Slieire 1 1) I. Charles C. Lanpwiirtliv I lOi. William 
Wiley (12): 1875. William II.' Ashley (12). 
Thomas C. Di.von (22): I87(i. Newton K. West 
(2). ("laus Liir-son (Si. tlirisl()|il;er H. Kiihert 
(I2:i2). Andrew 1-. .laekson (ISi. David l". 
Cleveland (.14): 1877. Isaac Christy (4). Chris- 
ten Isakson (8): 187S. John Christy (18), 
Sever Severson (20). .Tohan L. Ilatifje (.30). 
Severt A. !,. Ilausie (.id): 1.S7!). Henry H. .lohn- 
son (6). JInrtin R. -lolmson (t!) : 18,sn. Carl (J. 
Piter (2). Ole O. Seleen (8). ()U> Hanson (18). 
Kveii Peterson (20), Andrew C. Serum (28): 
1884. (jeortie Schneidler (2). (leorfie .lolmson 
(12-:i4): 188.i, Nils Olscui (4|, Iver Ilaun-lsiui 
(18): 188fi. Tollef Mieliaelson (81. Ilalvor 
Ilendriekson (24): ISSR. Kari Tollefson (8). 

K'ost township came into existence Feb- 
ruary 3, 187 I. Tt was named in honor of 
Frederick Host, who was one of the early 
day settlers of the precinct, locating there 
in 18(59. ' 'i'hc names of some of the early 
homesteaders of Uost township, as shown 
iiy the patents to land graiited, were as 
follows : 

1872, Cliarli's Sniilli (22). Krancis (i. Kay 
mond (24): 187(>. Ch.irles Host (2(i). William 
Kromroy (:14). Charles Hoss (:14): 1877. Wil- 
liam Uiisl (141. Herman Kosl (22). Frederick 
Host (2(i). Helnuit Kilsl (28). Albert Kusl(2S). 
Henry Wcyner (30); 1878. .Iiilius Dicker ((». 
I'lcilerick Schultz ( 12).- l-udwiii'; Wevncr Cloi. 
Willielm Haiike (32): lS7!t. .lames 15. Hahliill 
(lil. I'ranz Meister (20): 1880. Krederick Mil 
tle-(adt (IS). Louise I.udtki' (2lll. Louisa Mil- 
liralli (.32): ISSl. Iticliard Sucker (2): 1883. 
.-Viiyust Wclibi r (2l: 1SS4. Tyiidwii; l.uenebiirp 
(Idl. Will'elminc Kno.'pp (loi: 188."). (o'ortje 
lleiser (8): 18S8. I'erdinand .Milhrath (18): 
ISSn. Gustnve A. Andors-on (4). 

Sioux Valley was the last Jackson coun- 
ty township to bt>gin township govern- 
niiiil. Ill accordance with the prayer of 
petitioners, the commissioners created the 

•The offlfilal of the board of 
county commissioners show thai the township 
was created ns "Kust." In fact, that was Ih^- 
acceptcd spelllnB of the name for several yeprs 
Later, without any offlcl.-il procedure, the 
correct spelllnB was adapted. The name of the 
family was also often spelled "Rust." 

One of the Oldest Log Cabins in Jackson County. 


The Engraving is Reproduced from a Tintype Taken During Grasshopper Times. The 
Men shown are (Back Row, Standing, from Left to Right) Wallace Bailey, L. F. Ashley, 
Menzo L. Ashley, Than Hall, Jr., Joseph E. Thomas, Jr., John Tagley, A. D. King, L. P. 
Cook, Thad Rucker, M. S. Barney, 0. F. Ale.xander, B. W. Ashley; (Lower Row, Sitting), 
Clark Baldwin, C. H. Sandon, J. F. Ashley, A. C. Wood (Between Rows), William V. King, 
J. J. Smith, Henry Blakey, Than Hall and Ira G. Walden. 



•'■""OH, LEtMX «N0 



township Ffliniaiv 3T, 1874, naming it 
Sioux Yailev after tiie river which flows 
through it. The early day liome.<teaclers 
who receiveil title to their lands from the 
government were: 

1S7.3. Levi.M. Bridell (10), Wasliington Sliaf- 
t'lT (12), John Spencer (2(i) ; 1S74, Ichabod Dyer 
(10-12), Jareb I'almer (10): Kernev C. Lowell 
(32); 1875, Edwin E. Myrick (24)', Abednego 
Davis (26); 1870, Levi H. Stratton (34); 1877, 
Renben Tivey (14), Cliailes H. Greer (14), Nel- 
son Willfox (24), William ISarnett (31): 1878, 
.lolin Tiutterfield (2), .Tuliiis Dreger (6), Charles 
K. Reiter (8), Ezra A. Hopkins (18), Carlos M. 
Hardy (20); 187!t, Jlartin Reiter (8); 1880, 
George A. .Johnson (32); LSSl. Gustaf Xvstrom 
(31); 1SS3, Krank Benoil (2), (^reoi-ge o'. Bord- 
well (4). Car] Lidberg (28), Anna Moberg (31). 
Abraliani Mcr'ulja (34) ; 1884, Francis JL Hor- 
tnn (12); 1885, Detlef Hollmer (10), Helge 
Tuison (30), Bengt 8taaff (30): 1888, Eliza- 
betli L. Stone (4)^ Fred Jlead (28). 

If there had been a belief that the grass- 
liopper scourge was to be only a temporary 
bliglit on the prospects of Jackson coun- 
ty, it was rudely dispelled. The visita- 
tion of 18T3 was as nothing compared 
with what followed. The story of the 
years to follow is one of heartrending mis- 
ery. From Manitoba to Texas the grass- 
ho])pers brought desolation and suffering 
in 1874, the visitation being general along 
the whole frontier. Especially destnic- 
tive were they in southwestern Minnesota 
and in Kansas and Nebra.ska. 

In Jackson county the eggs which had 
been deposited by the visiting hordes in 
1873 began to hatch during the first days 
of May." While the pests had been con- 
sidered numerous the year before, there 
Avere now more than ten times as many. 
The appetites of the youngsters were good, 
but no great damage was done until the 

"The process of hatching was interesting. In 
each nest, a half inch or more below the sr.r- 
lace of the ground, were from twenty to fifty 
eggs. When the sun warmed the ground suf- 
ficiently to hatch the egfs, the- pithy coyering 
ot ttie nest popped oft and a stiuirming mass of 
little yellow hoppers poured out. Each was en- 
cased in a sort of shell or skin, which it im- 
mediately began to pull off. Then, after taking 
a momenf.s yiew of the world, each little hop- 
per hopped awav in search of something to 
eat. At birth they were about a quarter of 
an inch long and had no wings, but these de- 
veloped rapidly. 

last days of May. Said the Jackson Ke- 
]iul)lic on May 30 : 

It was not until this week that the devasta- 
tion by tills scourge commenced in earnest, but 
in tlie few days they have been harvesting the 
crops, they have put in full time and done 
clean work. Whole iields in many places have 
been stripped of the growing grain and in 
others large spots liave Ijeen scooped out. Xot 
satisfied with eating the green leaves, they eat 
right down in the ground to the roots. 

It was at this stage of the proceedings 
that many people left the county. In 
many instances those who had not secured 
title to tiieir farms deserted them, never 
more to return. ;\Iany who had title sold 
for what they could get or mortgaged 
their farms if they could locate an east- 
erner unsophisticated enough to loan 
money on such security. These, too, left 
the county. The greater number of the 
able bodied men who decided to stay 
sought work in the eastern part of the 
state to earn enough money to carry them 
and their families through the winter. The 
local paper on June G said : '•'Settlers 
are turning back to t.he older counties to 
get work to support their families, and 
the ruling question is, 'Are you going east 
to get work?'" The general land office 
made a ruling that homesteaders in the 
gra,^.shopper infested counties miglit de- 
sert their claims for certain lengths of 
time to earn a livelihood without taking 
the chance of losing the claim. 

During the latter part of June the dam- 
age was great, and in the parts of the 
county most numerou.sly infested little 
wa,s left growing but the wild prairie 
grass. The wings of the young hoppers 
became fully developed on June 19, and 
three days later they began their flight 
out of the country. For several days, from 
ten o'clock in the morning until three in 
the afternoon, the air was tilled with the 
wdnged immigrants, all traveling in a 
northeasterly direction. It was hoped 
that they would go and leave the little 



that had escaped, but it was not to be. suits for yoa.s to .ome .an only be rei.rfs..Mt- 

' i-(l bv millions of dollars. lakinp: .lackson 

The Jackson Republic, which liad always (.,„i„ty in wbolr. wlu-at will probably not 

before spoken cncomajjement, on July 4 "verajie two bnsin-U per or ono-.Mjji.tb of 

'. „ , .1 " a crop; oats will not bo rniicn betti-r. wliile 

bailey is an entire failine: eorn may be half 
a I'lop and potatoes about tlio same. 

gave n|i linjie for any crop and said: 

All f;cine'. Not the niasslioppers. as was 
hoped, but the oats, eorn and potatoes that 
had been left until tliis week. The eban<;inn 
winds liave brou-;!!! baek all the };ra~>1ioppers, 
with myriads of reinfonemoiits, and they have 
mowed riown aliout ererytliinj; before them. 
Xow thai all - hope for a erop is ■;one, the 
only prayer of the people is that they may be 
taken away before they commenee depositing 
their eggs, wljieh will no dcmlit be not lon^r 

Tlic (lest roving- Mgcnts rciiiaiiied in 
Jaek.son county until the middle of July, 
anil then all took their departure. They 
(lid not deposit CiTg- in tiie county, al- 
though they did in many other parts of 
Minnesota. Before (lieir departure the 

This sectiud successiye crop failure was 
a terrible blow. A great many who liad 
not been hard pres.-cd by the conditions 
in IST;') were now reiluced to the common 
level : their savings liad been spent and 
they Jiail no income. Those who ^ve^e not 
compelleil to live on charity were com- 
])eiled to ]iractice tiie most rigid economy. 
Hay furni.slied the fu(d ; potatoes, ]iiimp- 
kiiis and s(|uashe.s — a few vegetables left 
by the hoppers — supplied the bulk of the 
food. Jleat was not on the bill of fare ex- 
county became literally alive with them. eei)t for who could use a gun ami bag 

So thick was the air wifli tlie flying pests 
that at times the sun was jiartially ob- 
scured. They appeared to the people be- 
low like a vast eloud,. sweeping sometimes 
in one direction, sometimes in another — 
alwavs going with tlie wind. .\t even- 
ing, when they came down near tiie enrtli. 
the noise they made was like a roaring 
wind. After gorging themselves with the 
cro])s, the hoppers became stupid and 
piled up in the tields and along the roads, 
often to a depth of one or two feet. Horses 
eoiihl iiardly be driven through them. 
Stories have been told of railway trains 
becoming blockaded by the pests so as to 
be unable to move until the iiLseets were 
shoveled from the track. Concerning the 
losses the Keiniblic, in the latter part of 
July, said : 

The aetnni loss from the seonrge in this 
year's erop will afjfirepn t e more than .1-2nO,nOO," 
while the loss arisinj; from abaniloned farms, 
removal of settlers with their pi'rsonal prop- 
erly, and the sta-{natioii piveii to fanning pur 

"AecordiiiK lo the report of the roTomlssiniu'r 
of slatl.xtlis. the liiss iif the .several erojis In 
twontv-eljiht eouoltes of Minnesota in IST-l was 
as fiillows: Wheat. 2.046.8112 bushels: oat-s, 
l.Slfi.T.IS InKshels; eorn. 73S.415 bushels: barley. 
58,962 bushels; potatoes. bushels; llax 
seed, 62,S33 bushels. 

the jjraiiie chickens and diieks tiial were 
in great aimndance. The people boit> their 
trials more cheerfully than might have 
been e.xpecteil and made jireparations t" 
try their luck again tiie next yeir. In 
plowing for their next year's cmi). llic 
I'armcis nearly ruined their horses, being 
without the necessary grain to feed them. 
.\s has been slated, money and siip])lies 
for relief were sent to .lackson county dur- 
ing the whole winter of lS7:?-7^ and inl ■ 
the spring months. In addition lo tlioM 
ilc'us mentioned, (Ui .lanuary IT. 1S7 I. 
(he i(itinl\ eommissitmers received from 
(iovemor Davis 1!)0 sack.* of flour and 
ten barrels of ]iork. which were dislrib- 
nted at once. 

li'ealizing the gravity of the situation, 
in the midst of the devastation of ISTl. 
Governor Ciishmaii K. Davis issued a stir- 
ring apjieal. stating the conditions ami 
tlie need of large contributions to prevent 
many of the residents of the state from 
perishing. Ills ajjpeal was adilressed to 
the Grange organizations and was as fol- 
lows : 



state of Minnesota. Execntive Department, 

St. Paul. July 1, 1874. 

To tlie (iranges: I am compelled to ask the 
cooperation of eacli grange of your powerful 
organization in relieving tlie destitution of 
our fellow citizens in southwestern counties. 
Tliat region has been traversed by trustwortliy 
men, sent out by me for that purpose, and 
tliey report unanimously a destitution wliich 
lias no parallel in our history as a state. The 
time for silence as to the condition of affairs 
has passed by. and the time for prompt and 
liberal action byall who are willing to do as 
tliey would lie done by lias arriveil. 

Tlie counties of Martin, JIurray, .Jackson, 
Cottoiiwood, ])ortions of Nobles and Waton- 
wan, and possibly to some extent in other com- 
munities, have been swept by grasshoppers of 
all crops as comjiletely as by fire. 

Women and children are suffering for food. 
The implements and stocks of tl;e settlers are 
under mortgages given to tide over the priva- 
tions of last year. 

I have told these people that their fellow- 
citizens, whom a kind I'rovidence has blessed 
witli abundance, will stand by tliem in this, 
tlieir dire extremity. 

Contributions in money are most desiral)le. 
Provisions and clothing scarce less so. Send 
contributions to (ieneral H. II. Sibley. St. Paul, 
Minnesota. C. K. D.WLS^ Governor. 

The boai-d of couDty commissioners 
took cliarge of the relief funds in 1874. 
A distribution of cash was made in July. 
Also 19,G10 jjounds of Hour and 1,93.5 
pounds of jjork were apportioned by the 
coiumissioners to the needy in every pre- 
cinct in the county. The distribution 
averaged si.x pounds of flour and ten 
ounces of pork to each needy person, 
which certainly could not have gone far 
toward meeting the demand." Those two 

"The supplies were divided among tlie sev- 
eral townships as follows: Flour Pork 

r>„t V, Lbs. Lbs. 

Petersburg 1 0(IS 105 

Middletown S16 S5 

M'""eota 648 67 

**""'^J 660 68 

Des Moines 2,sno 187 

Wisconsin 9m, 94 

Belmont 1 ■'0-' I'^s ' 

Enterprise WW, '978 j^g 

Kimball 750 ^g 

Chnstiania ■ 1,374 143 

"5™" Lake 660 68 

5.'^'»fl<'l'3 • 1.374 143 

Sioux VaUey 496 49 

g?st 560 60 ■ 

^\est Heron Lake 714 74 

;^^er 1,314 137 

Lap-osse 732 75 

^^^^ ■ 756 78 

Ewington 975 io2 

Round Lake 960 100 

'^'^^^ 19,610 1,935 

had departed to work in the harvest fields 
in the eastern part of the state returned 
in August. The conditions in tlieir homes 
led many to take their families and de- 
part for more congenial surroundings. 
Some secured work during the fall and 
winter and remained away from Jackson 
county until tlie ne.xt spring. 

On the "last day of September the com- 
missioners received. $300 from General H. 
it. Sibley. This was invested in supplies, 
which were distributed among the needy. 
The same was done with $500 received on 
December Vi. Eighteen barrels and twen- 
ty-nine sacks of flour Avere received De- 
cember 21, and the cnmmi,¥.sioners turned 
Hiat over to those in the most destitute 
circuuistances. Clothing and other relief 
supplies were frequently received during 
tlie w'inter from private parties — supplies 
which meant much to suffering settlers. 
The United States government, in a 
small way, assisted in the care of the 
unfortunate people of the grasshopper dev- 
a.statcd counties by the distribution of 
army rations and clothing. Lieutenant J. 
F. Huston was in the county April 30 
and May 1, dealing out provisions, boots 
and overcoats to the most needy. 

In all, Jackson county received $3,- 
817.83 as its sliare of the slate appropria- 
tion, all of which was distributed by the 
board of county commissioners.^- The 
legislature granted an extension of time 
for the payment of ta.xes in some of the 
counties, and, of course, Jackson was 
among the numiier. Times not improv- 
ing, the exten.sion was of little benefit. 
People who had not money to buy food 
and clothing could not pay taxes.''' 

'=The total amount of state funds distributed 
as a result of the 1874 appropriation was $15.- 
751.56. divided among the devastated counties 
a^ follows: Pinewood, $200; Martin, $1.363 87- 
Rook. $1,400; Cottonwood, $3,237.02; Watonwan 
$1,808.83; Jackson, $2,817.82: Murray, $1,902 82- 
N'obles. $1,952.82; Brown, $300; Others. $768.38. 

"The act was passed March 1, 1875. and pro- 
vided for the extension of time of payment of 
personal property taxfs to November 1 in the 


The question natuially iiiLses: Why did seed a large part of the prepared land.'* 
the people of Jacicson county stay in a The seed grain furnished by the state was 
country in whicli the grasshoppers a Godsend. Said the Jackson Republic 
wrought such damage? It is doubtful if nn May 1.5, 1875: 'That the gra.sshopper 
many would have remained could they jjhigui? for the last iwo years in tliL; viiin- 
liavc looked ahead and foreseen wiiat they ity has sapped the life blood out of the 
still had to go through, for this was not hanl working farmers of the county is ad- 
the end of the scourge by any means. But initted, we think, on all hands; that a 
the majority did .-.tav with their claims, good portion of the people could not have 
'^nd they weathered the storms of adver- remained to cultivate their farms without 
sity. Hope was abunc'ant that each year's aid from abroiid is also generally con- 
visitation would lie the last. The fertility ceded." 

of the soil had been demonstrated, and it A severe blizzard visited Jackson county 
was known that once the country was free on ^farch l.j and 16, 1S7."), and adde<l an- 
from the pests, it would become one of the other victim to tho.«o who iuive perisheil 
richest spots in the west. The settlers by winter storms. The unfortunate man 
had invested all their accumulations of was Ileinrich Tubbike, an insane man 
former years in improvements, and to who lived in Heron Lake township. He 
desert the country meant that they must had been pronounced insane by the pro- 
go as paupers. Many were literally too bate court, and his removal to the asylum 
poor to pay transportation charges out of ha<l been delayed on account of the bliz- 
thc country. zard. Mr. Tubbike escaped from the niem- 

Xotwithstanding Llie terrible experi- hers of his family on the Ifith after a 

ences of the two preceding years, the hard fight and wandered otT on the prairie, 

farmers determined to put in a crop in lie ]icrished in tlie storm, and his body 

1875. The ground had been prepared, was found the next day about three miles 

but the farmers were without seed grain from the house. 

and without the means to purchase it. That there had been a marvelous in- 

The legislature came to their rescue with crease in the population of Jack.son county 

an appropriation of $75,000, the act pro- during tlie two or three years of the de- 

viding-for the distribution of seed grain cade before the grasshoppers came is 

to that amount, with certain provisions shown by the census returns of 1875. 

for its repayment. A state board of com- ...^he number of acres sow,, ... crop m is;!",. 

mi.«sionerS was appointed to conduct »ccor<llnK to the tlBures olUniiu-d by the varlou;. 

1 ' township iisse.ssors. was, divided iimoni; 

the distriliution. and a local board was 'he township.s as follows: 

.\lbjl 6<0 

named in each of the stricken counties neimont i.b98 

, . Chrlstianla 1..21 

to assist in the work. Ihe monev market Deiaheid 3.2U 

, ,, , , ", , 1 . Rfs Molnes) 2.260 

was tight, and the slate was not able to Knierprise S92 

,, . , ., IvwhiKton 380 

procure the money to purcha.«e more tlian ii..,on i.ake i.i'o 

$.iO.OnO worth of grain. With the grain \^\',".,\Z\ ".'.'.[[[['.[[[\'.\\'.[[['.'.['.]'.'.l\'.'.'.'.'... 7«2 

received from the state and that which ^i|Iuu'etown "'!!'.'.!'.!'."!!'."'."!!'. '.''.'.'"'•'■ mt 

was in the country, there was enough to ^vi'.'rsbuV ::::::::::::::::: i! ::::::::::::: i.??8 

Knund I.ake •'05 

counties of Martin. Jackson. Nobles. Rock. Rost «5. 

Murray. Cottonwood. Watonwan. Renville. Lyon Sioux ^ alley <"J 

snd parts of BIuo ICarlh. Karlbault and Brown. W elmer '-i"" 

In order to secure the extension it was neces- West Heron Lake i»- 

sar>- for the residents to give proof that they Wisconsin '" 

were unable to pay their taxes because of loss ., 

of crop in 1874 from grasshoppers or hail. Total ii.iiv 



In spite of the fact that there had been 
no immigration since 1873 and that a 
great many had mo\ed away, there were 
found to be 3,.50G permanent residents in 
1875 — a gain of nearly 100 per cent in 
five year?. The population of the various 
townships was as follows : 

Alba 142 

Belmont 287 

Christianiii 310 

Des Moines 388 

Enterprise 106 

Ewington 89 

Heron Lake 125 

Hunter 61 

Kimliall 1.59 

LaCrosse 265 

Middletown 139 

Minneota 112 

Petersburg 167 

Eost 105 

Round Lake 104 

Sioux Valley 80 

Weimer 287 

West Heron Lake 117 

Wisconsin 118 

Total 3,.506 

The free seed grain was sown in the 
spring of 1875; it germinated and appear- 
ed above the ground. Then came the 
days of anxiety. Would the grasshopper 
scourge again come with its ruin and des- 
olation ? As tlie season advanced the peo- 
ple with deep concern scanned the skies 
for the appearance of tlie pests. As eggs 
had not been deposited in Jackson county 
the preceding season, there were no young 
hoppers, and the only apprehension was 
in regard to an inva.sion of "foreign" 
hoppers. Blackbirds and gophers were 
quite numerous early in the season and 
did a lot of damage to crops, especially 
corn, but n(it a grasshopper put in an ap- 

Tidings of approaching invaders came 
on Monday, June 28. It was reported by 
wire that a vast army was on the way to 
the northwest from Iowa, that a number 
of them were passing over Sioux City and 
that they extended as far north as Shel- 
don. A few stragglers on the right fianlc 

of this army passed over Jackson county, 
but as a general thing they kept high in 
the air. Only a very few alighted — not 
enough to do any damage. 

The county was free of the pests until 
Saturday, July 10. Then they came in 
great droves out of the northeast. They 
were not full grown and were those which 
hatched in the Minnesota river valley. 
They attacked the growing grain with 
their old time voracity and brought de- 
spair to the hearts of the settlers.^' They 
feasted on the green fields Sunday and 
^londay, but their numbers were not 
nearly so great as they had been the year 
before. Many farms swarmed with them, 
while upon others there was none at all. 
Even some of those fields upon which the 
grasshoppers were tlie thickest were not 
entirely destroyed. Monday the hoppers 
showed signs of a desire to migrate, but 
unfavorable winds and tempting grain 
were sufficient reasons for their lingerins 
another day. About eleven o'clock on the 
forenoon of Tuesday they took up their 
line of flight to the north ; the county was 
again free of the pests. 

The settlers kept track of the move- 
Tnents of the grasshoppers in different 
parts of the country as they would have 
those of an invading army of soldiers. So 
far, a large part of the crop was saved, 
liut they knew that only by chance could 
they escape total destruction. They felt 
as though the sword of Damocles was sus- 
pended over them, ready to fall at any 

The respite was not long. The hoppers 
appeared in the north part of the county 

""Had an earthquake shaken up our people, 
or a cyclone swept destruction over our com- 
munity, neither would have excited and dis- 
couraged our citizens so much as it did to 
see those hungry, hopping' pests slashing awav 
at the grain fields. After two years of de- 
struction the sight of luxurious crops had been 
a fascinating one. and now to see the third 
crop going was certainly enough to make strong 
men surrender. It was a discouraging mo- 
ment to farmers and an anxious one to business 
men." — Republic. July 17, 1S75. 



(in Tuesday, July 2'i, about noon. In the 
Heron Lake country they lighted in the 
lields and coninieneed eating voraciously. 
Thf 1'arnicr.<, who were beeoniing well ae- 
([uainted with tlieii' mode of warfare, 
look a defensive attituile and began ply- 
ing them with smoke, fire and brimstone.'" 
The hoppers slowly worked southward, 
and on Friday, Julv 'i'-i. had enieied the 
second tier of townships. As they jiro- 
ceeded they deposited their eggs. This 
invasion was confined almost entirely to 
the north half of Jackson county, only a 
few getting into the southern townshijis, 
and those doing but little damage. 

The hoppers remained in the northern 
part of the county until early in August; 
tiien they departed. Considerable damage 
was done in Christiaiiia township and in 
the country aluuit lli ron hake. They also 
entered the lownsiiip.; of l-'nterprise. Bel- 
mont and Iferon Lake. Hut these ]iii]>- 
pers were not so numerous as they had 
been formerly. It was a ragamuiTin, Fal- 
stafl'in army compared with that of ]S7^. 
Their appetites appeared to be poor, and 
they were of a degenerate breed : bushels 
died after laying their eggs, and the ex- 
hausted remnant departed from the coun- 
ty. A big jiercentage of the crop was 
saved, and the farmers eagerly began the 
harvest. On August 7 the Republic sized 
up the situation as follows: 

Our farnuTs are now oii}»a>;*'(i in liarvcstinj; 

"There was really very little that the settlers 
could do to destroy or oheck the pests, al- 
thoiiRh many schemi'S were tried. Nothing 
availed aKaliisI the InvadhiK hordes, hut In the 
('.ise of the native hoppers tlie farmers waffed 
a more or less successful war by th<' use of 
tar. "Iloitperdozers." a si>rt of drag, made of 
sheet Iron and wood, would be covered with 
tar and draKKi-d over the ground. The young 
h(tppers would be caught In the tar and de- 
stroyed. Another scheme was to prevent prai- 
rie fires during the summer ami fall, conserv- 
ing the grass until aflir the hoppers had 
liatched In the spring. Then on a given day 
the count.v would be liurned over and the pests 
destroyed. Dllches would hv dug and the hop- 
pers driven into them and destroyed: scoop nets 
were used, but little headway could be made 
with them. In some of the comities Imunties 
were paid for them. In seven such counties 
liS.OlS Ini.shels were captured, upon which Ijoun- 
tles aggregating J76.788.J2 were paid: still no 
difTerence was noticed In the damage done. 

the finest crop ever yrown in .laeksoii county. 
This tuwiisliip I Des Muines|. and perhaps 
otlier-. will undoulttedly tlie present season 
produie a> niiieh as was ever before raised in 
one year in the entire county. True, in sev 
era] towns the hinifiry lioppers have injured 
the crops, lint in the county at larye there is 
a liountil'ul vieM. We may he wronjilv informed 
as to the amount lefi. !iut by fre(|uenl ini|iliries 
in rcfjard to crops in the localities tlic worst 
ilevastated we find that portions ot the crop 
are saved and in instances lielils are in)t in- 
jnre<l at all. Hut if I here is an approach to n 
total loss in any township we have yet to 
learn of it. Not only wheat and onts are im 
mense. hut corn, to use Donnelly's favorite 
word, is "enormous." 

The crop was well secured, all working 
with a will in gathering the yield. It was 
a new experience — the harvesting of a 
ci-op. But the an.vieties of the .season were 
not yet over. During the entire week be- 
ginning .\ugust .■)! there was a continual 
diiwn])our of rain, which did much dam- 
age to grain in shock and stack. That in 
the shock sprouted, and all was more or 
les< damaged. Blight damaged .•^omc of 
I lie wheat, and instead of grading No. 1. 
it was second and third grade. 

The .conditions during the winter of 
lS7.")-76 were so much better than they 
had been during the two pi-eceding win- 
ters Ihat very little relief was needed, and 
the county wa.« able to siipjily its own seed 
for the ne.xt crop. 

In 1875 for the first time a united ef- 
foil was made to fight the grasshoppers. 
On .\ugust 24 a county grasshopper con- 
vention was held at Jackson to devise 
means of fighting thi' common enemy the 
next season. II II. Stone was cliairman 
of the convention and E. V. Skinner was 
seeretarv. A general committee was 
named. compa«ed of the following named 
genllemen : Alexander Fiddes, Edward 
Orr, Hans Knudsnn, Henry Kntidson, H. 
J. Phelps. .J. V. I'rescott and E. B. Mil- 
lard. gentlemen were delegated with 
jiower to have general supervision of the 
campaign and to appoint three persons in 
each township to work with them. The 





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principal object to be attained was the 
preservation of the prairie grass until the 
following spring. 

The year 1876 opened auspiciously. 
Despite the forebodings of disaster from 
another grasshopper visitation, the people 
were in good spirits. This was caused 
largely by the prospects of the extension 
of the Soutliern Minnesota railroad into 
and through the county, from Winnebago 
City to Worthington. Surveyors appear- 
ed in the field during the closing days of 
ISTf) and ran a line to Jackson and from 
tJiat point westward. It was generally un- 
derstood that the railroad company would 
ask a bonus, and on December 28, 1875, 
a mass meeting was held at Jackson and 
largely attended. It seemed to be the 
luianimous desire of those attending that 
the people should give a liberal bonus and 
furnish the right of way. 

Officials of the road went to Jackson 
February 27, 1876, and stated that if the 
ten townships of the southern half of 
the county would issue bonds to an amount 
equal to ten per cent of their assessed valu- 
ation to aid in the construction of the 
road, tlie line would be built to Jackson 
by December 31, 1876, and to Worthing- 
ton by September 1, 187 7.'' The question 
of issuing the bonds was voted iipon at 
the regular March township elections. 
Petersburg, Wisconsin, Middletown, Des 
Moines and Sioux Valley townships re- 
turned majorities in favor of the bonds; 
Hunter, Minneota, Eost and Round Lake 
voted against them ; in Ewington the vote 
was a tic. During April special elections 
were held in Minneota, Hunter and Ew- 
ington, and each of the townships then 

"•The bonds to have been issued by the Jack- 
son county townships would have amounted to 
about $37,000. the assessed valuation of the 
townships at that time being: Petersburg, 
$34,594; Wisconsin. $3S,47S; Des Moines, $100,749; 
Middletown. $40,336; Minneota, $55,314; Hunter 
$23,0.S2; Rost, $5,712; Sioux Valley. $33,346; 
Round Lake. $9,949; Ewington, $8,68". The 
counties of Martin and Noliles were also asked 
to vote subsidies. 

gave a majority for the bonds. But the 
road was not built that year, and the 
bonds were not sold. During the summer 
the financial affairs of the railroad com- 
pany got in a bad way, and the promoters 
found themselves unalde to proceed with 
the extension. 

In tlie northern part of Jackson county, 
where grasshopper eggs had been deposit- 
ed in 1875, very little grain was sown in 
1876, but in the southern townships, 
where no eggs had been deposited, the 
usual acreage was put in. Late in April 
the pests began to hatch, and the hatch- 
ing continued until in June. So soon as 
they attained sufficient size the young 
hoppers attacked the fields. The fanners 
drew up in battle array against them, and 
many of the pests were destn.iyed. The 
ravages were confined to the northern 
townships until July 5. Then a gentle 
wind from the nortji swept clouds of them 
to the other portions of the county, and 
every precinct reported damage. There 
« a.< no further movement of the hoppers 
until July 13. On that date another 
breeze from the north gathered immense 
numbers of them and wafted them over 
the line into Iowa. On July 24 came the 
worst visitation of grasshoppers ever 
known in Jackson county. Vast clouds 
of them came down from the northwest 
and destroyed all small grain left and in- 
jured the corn. They remained two or 
three weeks and deposited tJieir eggs. 

It was not until the fore part of August 
that the county was entirely free from the 
destroying agents. During this time they 
feasted continually and deposited their 

The prospects were discouraging. Many 
who had fought the scourge so long gave 
up and quit trying to raise crops. The 
Jackson Republic voiced the feelings of 
the people when it said on July 29 : 

Tluit the grassliopper question lias assnm- 



ed a more serious aspeitt lliiiii eviM' before there 
is no denying, l-'our successive crops liav.' 
been destroyed in a good portion of southwest- 
ern .Minnesota and the lifth assured of destruc- 
tion. It is useless to recapituhite tlie trials 
our jjcople liave passed through, or tell how 
patiently they have waited with the vain hope 
that the pest would leave us finever; it is use- 
less to theorize or moralize on the past — it is 
the dark future witii which we have to deal 
and most interests our stricken people. \Vc 
know that our crops have been nearly all 
destroyed and that eggs are deposited in every 
direction sufficient to hatch grasshoppers an- 
other year to co\er every inch of ground in the 
county, and that is all that need be said on 
that point. 

Mauy did not give up, liowever, but re- 
newed the fight. A mass convention was 
called to be held at Jackson August 23,'* 
to "have a general interchange of ideas 
as to the best policy to pursue in our pres- 
ent unfortunate circumstances caused by 
the ravages of grasshoppers." The con- 
vention adopted the following resolutions: 

Resolved that the state and general gov- 
ernments be petitioned to make appropriations 
to reimburse us for money expended to pre- 
vent prairie grass from burning and in catch- 
ing young hoppers in the spring. 

Kesolved that the county commissioners be 
requested to make an appropriation not ex- 
ceeding $1,000 for the purpose of making a 
fire guard suiricient to preserve the grass in 
each town. 

Kesolved further that a committee be ap- 
jiointed to correspond with the governor and 
with parties in other counties to the end that 
a general organization be had for the purpose 
mentioned in the above resolutions. 

Kesolved that we reconinu'nd a general con- 
vention for the grasshopper district be held at 
Worthington at nji early day. to be called by 
the governor of the stale, who is hereby in- 
vited to be present. 

In accordance witii the .suggestion of 

the Jackson county convention, a grass- 

"The call was signed by A. D. Palmer. W. V. 
King, J. J. Johnson, Ilrnry Knudson. Edward 
Orr, Dr. E. L. BrowiicH. Ira G. Waldin, Jareb 
Palmer, G. C. Chamberlln. J. W. Cowliig. G. K. 
TIlTany, Lucius HordwcU. \V. Kiirrcson. \V. 
Ashley. Euneiie I.okuc. Thomas J. Knox. C. II. 
Sun('../n. M. A. StrouB, .lames \V. Hunter. John 
J. Smith. William A. James E. Palmer, 
II. A. Williams, .\kxaiul.r Fitkles. iMIUnn Ma.son 
and John Juiigbaucr. The mass ronventlim 
was called largely through the elTorts of Cap- 
tain Jarel) Palmer. Me and several others 
were In the office of the county auditor one 
day, discussing conditions, when he suggesttd 
holding n convention to discuss ways and means 
of overcoming the pests. A petition was (Jrawn 
up by County Auditor William V. King and was 
circulated by Mr. Palmer. 

hopper convention, containing delegates 
from all the devastated counties of south- 
western Minnesota, met at Worthington 
September 20, 187G. Methods of light- 
ing the common enemv were discussed and 
jilans made for reducing the ravages, lie- 
lief from the United States government 
was asked. 

The legislature of 1877 approi)riated 
money for the relief of the destitute and 
$75,000 for the purchase of seed grain, 
'i'hc 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 affi- 
davits as to their condition, and the coun- 
ty commissioners and county auditor acted 
as a board to determine the worthiness of 
the ai)plicants. Two hundred eleven ap- 
plications were granted in Jackson county 
and thirty rejected. From LaCrosse 
township came 31 ajiplications — the 
largest number from any one township. 
There was none from Hunter. On March 
29, 1877, the county auditor received a 
check for $4,431 — Jackson county's share 
of the appropriation — and this was dis- 
tributed in grain, giving $21 worth to 
each successful applicant. 

Every plan to rid the st«tc of the lo- 
cu.<ts having failed. Governor John S. 
rill.-^hury named a day for fasting and 
prayer, and by proclamation requested 
every citizen to observe Thursday, April 
2(i, as a day on which to hold religious 
meetings and ask for deliverance from 
the scourge. In Jackson the day was aj)- 
])ropriately observed, the Kcpublic report- 
ing the services as follows: 

Fast day (Thursday, April '2t!) w-as duly ob- 
served in town by a general recognition of the 
governor's proclamation. In the forenoon quil« 
a large congregation assembled at the church, 
where the services were conducted by Rev. K. 

. In the afternoon there was an in- 
teresting social meeting at the church, in 



which many of our leading Christian citizens 
participated, and wliicli was attended by a large 
number who ought to be Christians. Certainly 
the governor's fast day was well observed in 
Jackson by our business men not only, but by 
our citizens generally. Two large congregations 
were present, many of whom are seldom seen 
inside the church. 

The annual dread was felt again in the 
.spring of 1877 — and this time the set- 
tlers were agreeably disappointed. The 
reason was admirably adapted to two 
ends: the best possible development of 
small grain and the worst possible develop- 
ment of the locusts. The cool rainy weath- 
er of the spring and early summer seem- 
ed 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 grasshopper:- a slow and feeble 

The hoppers hatched during the month 
of May and began eating on a few fields, 
but not enough to do any great damage. 
The farmers early commenced fighting 
their enemy witli kerosene oil and the tar 
"hopperdozers." But the most satisfac- , 
tory destroying element proved to be a 
little red parasite, which attacked and 
destroyed the eggs in the fall and early 
spring and later the young hoppers, load- 
ing down their frail wings and carcasses 
until it was almost impossible for them 
to fly. Bushels of the pests died as soon 
as their wings were grown. 

Early in June the press reported little 
damage to small grain, Imt that the corn 
was suffering to some extent. Cool weath- 
er continued until the middle of June, 
having the effect of keeping the hoppers 
quiet and off the fiekls. Said the Republic 
on June IG : "Many people begin to 
take courage and actually are hopeful of 
a part of a crop." In the latter jDart of 
June the grasshoppers became more ac- 
tive and did some injury to small grain, 
they having confined themselves almost 
e.xolusively to corn and garden truck be- 

fore. But about the first of July they be- 
gan taking their departure, flying gener- 
ally to the northwest, and within a few 
days all had left the county. None but 
tlie Jackson county hatch had visited the 
county, and it became apparent that un- 
less there was a raid of "foreign" hoppers, 
the bulk of the crop was safe. And the 
invaders did not come. Swarms of them 
were occasionally seen flying high in the 
air afterwards^ but they did not alight. 
The cheering situation was reported by 
the local press on July 21 : 

Certainly the situation about us is cheer- 
ing. The grasshoppers have gone, and there is 
a feeling apparent that they have left us 
permanently. Crops are in the main good. We 
do not think there are a half dozen farmers in 
the county who have lost their crops during 
the season, though of course more than that 
n\unber liave been damaged more or less. But 
generally wheat, oats, barlej-, peas and pota- 
toes are looking well, but corn is backward. 
. It is truly encouraging to have such 
cheering reports come in from the farmers and 
we gladly make note of their success. 

It was a year of jubilee. Every resi- 
dent seemed to be imbued with new life. 
Business men began increasing their 
stocks of goods ; farmers began getting 
their lands in readiness for the ne.xt year's 
crop and putting up hay for the increa.sed 
herds of stock that grasshopper times com- 

Yet conditions were not so rosy as one 
might imagine. The several years of dev- 
astation had discouraged the farmers of 
Jackson county to such an extent that 
each year saw less and less grain sown. 
The spring of 1877 witnessed the planting 
of a very limited acreage, and the com- 
paratively big yield per acre did not re- 
sult in the bountiful times that would 
liave come had the fanners sown as in 
former years. 

Of the sixty-one counties Minnesota 
contained at that time, Jackson ranked 
thirteenth in the yield of wheat per acre. 
Sixteen hundred forty-one acres were 



sown ; 33,208 bushels, or 20.22 bushels per 
acre, were harvested. In tlif production 
of oats tlie county ranked lourtli, being 
surpassed only by Goodhue, Polk and 
Steele counties. The total yield of oats 
was G6,00.") bushel.*, or -13.33 bushels per 
acre. The corn crop amounted to 7T,G23 
bushels, or 19. G3 bushels per acre. 

Because of tlie bettered condition, in 
the fall of 1877, a lew land seekers— tlie 
first in five years — caiiu' to the county to 
spy out and purchase choice tracts of land. 
A seed grain appro])nation was again 
made in 1878, and Jackson county ])cople 
received 1,575 bushels.'" 

So far as Jackson county is concerned 
the terrible grasshopper scourge was prac- 
tically ended. In its whole liistory up to 
tliis time there had been only a few years 
when the county had been free from 

"NeighboriiiK coimtfcs recpived .seed grain In 
biishoLs as fullow.s: Cottonwood. 4,600; Waton- 
wan. 2,7!t0; Martin. 2.300; Nobles. 3.44.'i; .Mur- 
rav. 800. 

sources of devastation. For years the 
savage red man laid a heavy hand on the 
county and retarded its settlement; for 
anotlier period of years the grasshoppers 
])erformed a like service. Hundreds of 
good citizens had been forced to leave; 
otlier hundreds had been prevented from 

The condition of tiie county at the close 
of the year 1877 has been told l)y a gentle- 
man who made a trip over tlie Sioux City 
& St. Paul railroad in November, lie said: 

The coiiiitry {lives eviilence of tlie sad elFeets 
of tlie ;;rasslio|>per [ilafjiie in Hie llioiisiinils of 
acres ol laiiil tliat liave oiiee been broken anil 
perliajis a crop or two taken from tlieni. Tlic 
owners have left them to {jrow up to weeds, 
not daring to risk tlie ehanees of liarvestin}; 
their ero|)s. Xothing so foreilily brinjis to thi' 
minil of the visitor the reality of the {{rassliop- 
per seourj;e as the sijiht of these desolate, 
weed-grown fields, with oeeasionally a deserted 
home standing cheerless and lone in tin' midst 
of the broad prairies. 

Tlie lii.slory of Jackson cmintyV dark 
days are ended, llenceforlh the story is 
one of advancement. 




NEW era iu the history of Jack- 
son coimly begins with the year 
1878. Three events of that year 
II. ark the turning point to better times: 
the disajjpearance of the grasshoppers, the 
building of the county's second railroad, 
and the revival of immigration. 

It will l)e remembered that so early as 
18(j6 preparations had been made for e.x- 
tonding the Southern ilinne^ota railroad 
from Houston to the west line of the state. 
The United States government had 
granted large areas of land to the state of 
Minnesota to aid in the construction of 
railroads, and the state had in turn given 
these lands to the Southern Minnesota 
Railroad company, m consideration that 
it should e.xtend its road to the west line 
of the state on or before February 2-5, 
1877. Owing to financial embarrassment 
and the terrilile gras.shopper scourge, the 
railroad company had not been able to 
complete its line, although it had buildcd 
a considerable distance to tlic westward, 
and many of the lands were about to re- 
vert to the state as forfeiture for non- 
compliance with llie terms of the grant. 
For many long years the people of south- 
ern Jackson county had anxiously awaited 
the coming of this road, which meant so 
much to them.^ 

^■"Every now and then surveynr.s of railroads 
have come and gone, railroad officials from dif- 

The road was built to Winnebago City, 
and late in 1877 u was announced that 
the companv had sufficient funds and the 
inclination to extend the road 45 miles 
further, to Jackson, providing the lapsed 
land grant were renewed. N^early every- 
body was in favor of renewing the grant, 
and on March 6, 1878, the Minnesota leg- 
islature, in a memorial to congress, asked 
for a four years' extension of the grant. - 
The sentiment of the people of Jackson 
countv is shown bv the following' resolu- 

ferent lines have eoaie and made propositions 
to supply us a road, and they would go. Thus 
tile long years have rolled away, and our little 
town and struggling community have survived 
without a road, our merchants have hauled in 
their goods on wheels, slow coaches have 
brought our mails and transported passengers 
and express packages." — George C. Chamberlin 
in Republic. November 30. 1878. 

=" . . . That if said grant is extended 
to this state for the purposes aforesaid, this 
state will be able to secure the speedy construc- 
tion of said entire line of railroad, and thereby 
meet the just expectations of the settlers who 
have purciiased said even numbered sections, 
and afford to the people of the counties of 
Martin. Jackson. Nobles. Murray and Pipestone 
the means of transportation from the large and 
increasing products of their industry. 

"Wherefore your memorialists respectfully 
urge upon congress an extension of said grant 
for four years to the state, and not to such de- 
faulting company or any other railroad com- 
pany, to the end that the speedy construction 
of said entire line of road may be assured; and 
we hereby urgently request our senators and 
representatives in congress under no circum- 
stances to permit any extension of said grant 
to be made which does not vest the .same in 
the state of Minnesota, with full authority to 
convey the same to such company as it may 
see fit. subject to such conditions as it may 
desire to impose, consistent with the objects of 
the original grant." — Extract from Memorial to 
Congress, March 6, 1878. 




lion, whicli was adopted at a mass meet- 
ing lield at Jackson January 26, 1878: 

Resolved tliat it is tlio sense of this niccl- 
iiiff that an act he passed eoiitinuin;; tlie 
Soutliern .Minnesota liailroad land prant with 
said roati or its aiixili:>ry, the "Southern Min- 
nesota Kxtension company.' and tliat our deh'- 
pation in the legislature he rei|uested to favor 
said act and urpe its passage during the present 
session, provided that said road he built to the 
village of Jackson by the first of January, 1879. 

The legislature took the action which 
seemed to be desired by the people of 
southwestern Minnesota, and on Marcli C, 
1878, passed an act transferring and 
granting the lands to the Southern Min- 
nesota Railroad Extension company, on 
condition that tlie line of road be com- 
pleted to Fairmont before September 1, 
1878, to Jackson before tl)e close of the 
year 1879, and to the west line of the state 
before the close of the year 1880, 
/ Construction was begun at once. The 
company still asked a bonus from Jackson 
county, and at a railroad meeting held at 
Jackson, called at the instance of J, C. 
Easton, president of the Southern Minne- 
sota, it was the sense of those present that 
the township of Des Moines should vote 
bonds to an amount of ten per cent of the 
assessed valuation, provided the road 
should be in operation and the Jackson 
depot built that season. The line was ex- 
tended to Jackson without the aid of 
bonds, however. The road was completed 
to Fairmont and train service established 
on July 1. The construction work pro- 
gressed rapidly, and on November 27, 
1878, the iron horse reached Jackson, 
tiiereby causing great rejoicing. Jackson 
was the terminus until the next year, 
when it was extended to the northwest. 

A countr}' into which it is known a 
railroad is to be built is always a goal for 
immigrants. Tlie belief that Ihe grass- 
hopper scourge was a thing of the past 
also added to the inpouring of new set- 
tlers. Early in March the immigrants be- 

gan arriving, looking for land, and they 
continued to pour in during the whole 
.sj)ring and summer.' As a general thing 
the newcomers were a well-to-do class. 
They came, not to take homesteads, but 
to purciuise land and make improvements. 
Owing to the removal of so many settlers 
during the grasshopper jears, there was 
much land on the market at reasonable 
prices, and all were given opportunity to 
become permanent settlers. Thousands 
of acres of wheat and other grain were 
sown that spring. Tlie old sod shanties 
were replaced by frame structures, and in 
other ways the advancement was marked. 
Not only in the southeastern ])art of 
the county was the revival noticed, but 
all parts of tlie county responded tn the 
changed conditions. .\ gentleman writing 
from Heron Lake in April said : 

The amount <if freiglit received al this depot 
is surprising. Car load after car load continues 
to come, and there seems to be no end of it. 
Old settlers as well as new are coming and 
shipping in their lioiisehold goods, and mer- 
chants are receiving freight almost daily. Al- 
together it makes business lively around the 
depot every time the eastern freight comes in. 

Although grasshoppers in diminished 
numbers visited Nobles county and some 
iither portions of southwestern Minnesota 
ill 1S7S, Jackson county was free from 
ilierii. But the county was not destined 
to harvest the mammoth crop to which 
it was entitled. Two weeks of excessive 
liot weather in the first half of July, fol- 
lowed by a week of excessive rains, injured 
the wheat crop so that the yield was not 
up to expectations. Some fields yielded 
an ordinary crop, but ntliors fell as low 
as a half crop. 

More railroad building in 1S79 added 
to the activities and prosperity of Jack- 
■son county. From the first it had been 
till' intention of the Southern ^Minnesota 

'■'Still Ihe.v come — new men hunllnR new 
homes. We see new faces all around us until 
we l)ej;rhi to feel as thntiK:h we had got away 
from home." — Republic, March 30, 1878. 



Railroad company (now the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul) to extend the line due 
west from Jackson to the state line, pass- 
ing through the village of Worthingtou/ 
l)ut early in the spring of ISTO the plan.s 
were changed and the line run to the 
northwest, diagonally across the county. 
The survey was made, the point of cross- 
ing the Sionx City road designated as the 
southwest quarter of section 3-5, LaCrosse 
township (Miloma), and on April 22 
work on the extension from Jackson was 
begun. Tracklaying was completed to 
the junction on August 1, and regular 
train service was begun to Fulda IvTovem- 
ber 3. As a result of the extension many 
new settlers located in the central and 
western parts of the county and the vil- 
lage of Lakefield was founded. 

Tlio Sioux City & St. Paul Eailroad 
company resented the encroachment on 
what it considered its own territory by 
the extension of the Southern Minnesota 
to the northwest. In an effort to head off 
the Southern Minnesota, the Sioux City 
road, in May, made a hurried survey for 
a branch line from Heron Lake to Pipe- 
stone, paralleling the survey of the 
other road. Then began a lively race 
in construction. Side by side the con- 
struction crews of the two roads worked. 
At times violence was narrowly averted 
between the workmen, so bitter had be- 
come the strife between the two companies. 
It was admitted that it was a cut-throat 
policy to continue the building of the par- 
allel roads, but neither would give in. 

'"It is stiU a question nt doubt wliere tlie 
Snutiiern Minnesota railroad will cross the 
Sioux City road, and we understand the com- 
pany itself is undecided upon this point. The 
officers are already discussing the question 
and investigating- the 'lay of the land." We are 
quite certain it is the desire of the company to 
cross at W'orthington. and if engineering olj- 
stacles do not intervene we are inclined to 
think that will he the point; then the road will 
strike a due northwest course for Pipestone 
county."— Republic, June S. 1S7S. 

liate in May a conference was held in St. 
Paul between representatives of the Mil- 
waukee and Sioux City & St. Paul in- 
terests, when an attempt was made to 
come to an under.~tanding and to recon- 
cile differences. The conference served 
only to make matters worse, and the work 
of construction on both roads was rushed 
to completion. Kot only did they run 
their roads side by side; they laid out 
their towns almost within a stone's throw 
of each other. 

During this activity in railroad build- 
ing the village of Heron Lake and its sur- 
rounding territory advanced with rapid 
strides. Being guaranteed ample rail- 
road facilities and good markets, people 
improved many farms whicli had there- 
tofore been unbroken. 

In the extreme northwest corner of the 
county grasshoppers did some little dam- 
age in 1879 but other parts were entirely 
free from the p&sts. About the middle of 
July they departed, never to appear again ; 
grasshoppers had eaten their last Jackson 
county grain. While grasshoppers, hail 
and storms fortunately passed the county 
by, crops were only fair. In some locali- 
ties wheat was blighted ; corn and oats 
were good. 

The federal census of 1880 gave Jack- 
son county a population of 4,80(>,'' a gain 
of 1,300 in five years. Of the total popu- 
lation, 2,920 were native born, while 1,886 
were foreign born." The population was 
divided by precincts as follows: 

^Population of other southwestern Minnesota 
counties: Blue Earth. 22.889; Faribault. 13.016; 
Watonwan. 5.104; Mai-tin. 5.249; Cottonwood. 
5.533; Murray. 3.604; Nobles. 4,435; Pipestone, 
2.092; Rock, 3,669. 

"Of the native born the classification by 
principal states of birth was as follows: Min- 
nesota, 1,703; Wisconsin, 352; New York, 275; 
Illinois, 94; Penn.sylvania, 82; Ohio, 79. The 
countries which furnished the bulk of the for- 
eign population were as follows: Sweden and 
Norway. l.nS4; Germany. 186; British .A.merica, 
89; England and Wales, 52; Ireland, 40; Scot- 
land, 21; France, 4. 


A'bft ■ 130 county in October. All day Saturday the 

Belmont 36!) , ,. •, , ^ , ,, ,, 

I'liristiaiiia 433 ''lizzanl raged; Sunday the weather was 

DilaiicM 32.'> calmer, but cold and wintry. When the 

Kiitcrprise 17!) •-lori" subsided great drifts of snow filled 

Kwintjtiiii 88 the roads and other places, which did not 

lie™! Lake village' ::;:".::: :'.■.:::::::::: ml 'ii««prea'- ""t'l the following May. ah 

Hunter ■ 80 .Tack.^on county railroads were blockaded, 

/'i'fwl .^-^ nu'l the Sioux City road did not get a 

l.*Il\. 1 OSt'P .....................0(0 * 

Middlftown 154 train through until Tuesday, the 19th. 

l^''""<'f-' 119 Stock in different iiarts of tlie county be- 

rctersbiug 243 ' 

Rost 124 came lost and frozen. 

Round Lake 110 p^j. ^ j,^qj,j.,^ .jj^p,. j,,g ■^^■^^^^ gi^,.„^_ 

Sioux \ alley 8!) 

Weimer . . ." 2!)0 n'cc weather preyailcd ; then winter set 

West Heron Lake 90 j„ ]„ earnest, and from that time until 

W iseonsin 157 

Jackson .TOi late in A])ri], it was winter every minute 

; of the time. Friday, November 19, a cold 

snap set in, and on the night of the 20th 

Jackson county harvested an excellent the thermometer went to 10 degrees below 
crop in 1880, siilTicient in many cases to zero. .\ blizzard struck the country De- 
clear up the debts contracted during grass- ceniber 3, which blockaded the Sioux City 
hopper days. More No. 1 wheat was liar- railroad from the east until the 5th. An- 
vested in southern T^Iinnesota that year otiier blizzard began Sunday noon, Deceni- 
than had ever been the case before. The ber 26, and continued its boisterous ways 
days of adversity l)ecame but a memory: until Wednesday night. Cold weather 
the prospects were bright, indeed. accompanied the .storm, the thermometer 

One of the dates fi'om which time is during the three days ranging from 10 to 
reckoned in Jackson county is the win- "'-1 degrees below zero. The Sioux City 
ter of 1880-81 — the season of Siberian Milwaukee was closed until January 3. 
frigidity. There have been worse slorm.i road was blockaded until the .30th ; the 
than any that occurnd that winter; for Time hundred men and a half dozen en- 
short periods of time Uierc has lieen cold- gines were required to break (lie 'Milwau- 
er weather. Rut tiieie never was a Avinter kee blockade. 

to compare wilji tjiis (,iu' in duration, con- Thereafter tlie winter was an extreme- 

linued severity, depth of .snow and dam- ly severe one, the thermometer frei|uently 

age to property — possibly excepting those registering .'?0 to 3o degrees below the zero 

of 1856-57 and 1872-7:!. jy.avk. Rlizzard followed blizzard. The 

While the was yet green and the railroads were clo.^ctl for weeks at a time, 

insect world active, winter .set in. On the Fuel and food became nearly exhausted, 

afternoon of Friday, October 15, ISSO, a People burned hay and grain and went 

heavy thunder storm began. During the without lights. In some places there was 

night a strong, chilling wind came down fufTering for lack of food. Wagon roads 

from the north, turning the rain into a remained iinbroken all winter, and the 

fine snow. A severe blizzard then took farmers obtained their supplies from the 

the place of the rain, and winter weather villages by means of hand sleds, 
continued three days. It was the first Following is the story of the winter, 

and only blizzard ever experienced in the told in brief chronological order, from the 



lieginning of tlie year 18S1 until the 
biL'akup in the spring: 

January '■). Milwaukee road opened. 

January 4. Eain. 

January •">. Terrific blizzard. ;\lil\vau- 
kcc Idiickailed. 

Jaiiuar\- IS. ^Mihyaukce road cleared." 

January liJ. Snow storm. Milwaukee 
blockaded. - 

January 31. Snovv istorni. Sioux City 
road tied up till the 23rd. 

.lanuary 20. Blizzard. All trains 

January 29. train <>i the winter 
(jyer the ililwaukee. 

P'ebruary 1. Sioux City road tied up. 
Weather changeable — from one stormy 
day to one a little more stormy. 

February 3. Longest snow storm of 
season begins, coming from the southeast 
and lasting four days. Fifteen days' 
I'lockade on Sioux City road begins. Mil- 
waukee road buried from AVells to Dell 

'"Last Tui?.sday night fJanuary IS], blockade 
No. 3 was effectual^' and expensively removed. 
Hundreds of men were employed in the work, 
thousands of doUars were spent, and almost 
the entire enginery of the road was on the 
snowy field of battle against the blizzards. The 
prospects were again encouraging for a resump- 
tion of work along the line." — Republic, Janu- 
ary 22. 18S1. 

'"Wednesday night. [January 19] the trouble 
began again, and drifts upon drifts once more 
enveloped the railroad. The state of affairs is 
indeed discouraging. The company had re- 
solved to hasten forward the tons of delayed 
freight as rapidly as possible, and five heavily 
loaded freight trains put in an appearance at 
this point within one day after the blockade 
had been lifted. The earliest train left Jack- 
son for the west at about eight o'clock Wed- 
nesday evening, the 19th, but a drift about one 
mile west of tile bridge prevented further prog- 
ress. Three trains followed in rapid succes- 
sion, but were unable to move the one ahead 
or back down to the station, and at this writ- 
ing, Friday night [January 21], are wedged in 
!iorth of town, with a fair prospect of staying 
there for several days. .\nother freight and 
one passenger train are laid up at the Jackson 
depot and two passeuger trains are at Fulda. 
Fortunately, through the indefatigable en- 
ergy of the hardy knights of the throttle, all 
of these snow bound iron horses are yet alive 
and snorting." — Republic, January 22, 1881. 

""The storm which commenced on Thursdav 
of last week [February 3] and continued with 
scarcely an intermission until last Monday came 
from the southeast — blinding in its fury, pow- 
erful in windy force, and awful in its aspect — 
but, thank heaven! lacking the one element 
which would have made it terribly and, perhaps, 

February 8. Lakefield short of pro- 

February 11. One of the worst bliz- 
zards of the season begins. Lasts two 

February 12. ]\Iany farmers reported 
out of fuel.'" 

February 16. First train from the 
east in fifteen days reaches Heron Lake. 

February 18. Blizzard. Last eastern 
train reaches Heron Lake. 

February 32. Snow storm. 

March 1. Mild weather for two days. 

March 4. Fierce lilizzard all day." 

]\rarcli .J. Fair weather, lasting five 
days. Sioux City road opened except be- 
tween St. James and Windom.'- 

^larch 11. Terrible l)lizzard, lasting 
two days, coming from the east. Heaviest 
snowfall of the season. All railroads 
blockaded worse than eyer. 

to some of God's creatures, fatally complete. 
The storm was one of miraculous warmth, and 
throughout its dreary prevalence the thermome- 
ter did not register below 20 degrees above zero. 

"During those three days the fall of snow- 
was the heaviest ever known in this section 
of the state. It swooped down in vast clonds 
which fairly darkened the air and blanketed 
the level of the earth to a depth of nearly two 
feet- Drifts almost mountainous in size sprang 
up like mushrooms o\er fences .and groves, 
stables and stacks, rail and wagon roads, com- 
pletely suspending all travel across the prairies. 

"On Monday [Februarv 7] a sudden halt was 
called on the elements, and then followed four 
days of warm pleasant weather, beautified with 
occasional glim))ses of Old Sol's smiling face, 
and the universal prophesy was that there had 
come a jiermanent 'let-up.' " — Republic, Feb- 
ruary 12, ISSl. 

'""Scores of prairie fei'mers are known to be 
without fuel, and the present storm will drive 
them to dire extremities to protect their fami- 
lies from the cold. It is a bad — a terrible — state 
of affairs and is made worse by the fact that 
it is impossible to send help to the needv." — 
Republic, February 12. ISSl. 

""As we go to press on^ Fridav [March 4] 
the elements are actively "engaged in getting 
up the biggest blizzard of the year. The air 
is thick with snow and the wind is blowing a 
perfect gale. Of such things as these are bliz- 
zards made, and so well developed is this one 
that at times it is impossible to see across 
the streets of the village, so dense are the 
clouds of snow." — Republic, March 5, 1881. 

"The depth of snow was very great. It was 
estimated that the average depth in the cuts 
on tlie Milwaukee line between Jackson and 
Fulda was ten feet. During the w'inter the 
Minneapolis Tribune printed letters from Heron 
Lake correspondents, telling of the wonderful 
depth of snow. One said it would be impos- 
silile to give an idea of the appearance of the 
prairie country except by imagining that the 
ocean, when lashed by a terrible tempest. 



March 10. ^lihvaiikec opened east of 

ilarch 30. Siou.x City line clear east 
of Wortliinfiton antl first train in six weeks 
(laikinii; two davs) readies Heron Lake. 

March 31. Storm. Three hundred 
sliovolers attack drifts on the Milwaukee. 

.Vjiril 1. Milwaukee road open. 

.\[)ril 5. First train from Sioux Citv 
arrives. Carries letters dated February 
21. Road open three days. 

A])ril T. Fuel and food staples meafrcr 
at Heron Lake. Reports only one train 
in five weeks. 

-Vpril R. Siiiiw. .\11 inilroads again 

.\pril 11. ^loiv snow. 

April 1?. North wind drifts snow and 
completely fills railroads. 

April 13. Theniiometer registers zero. 
■ April 16. Train roaches Heron Lake 
from the east. 

April 17. Sioux City road opened 
whole length. First freight train in elev- 
en weeks ilelivers fieiglit at Heron Lake. 
Milwaukee road opens and freight is re- 
ceived at Jackson and Lakefield." 

For a few days there was fairly regu- 
lar trafi'ic on the railroads. Then came 
the floods, caused by the melting snow, 
and traffic was again suspended. For ten 
days not a train ran over the Sioux City 
& St. Paul road and it was May 2 before 
regular train service was established. Near- 
ly 1,000 feet of the :Milwaukcc track was 
swept away by Okabena creek, but the Des 

could be suddenl.v congealed — waves, breakers 
and llyInK .spray — and hold white and Icy. The 
same writer said that a Bro\ e of trees near hi;- 
place (the trees being nearly 'J5 feet high) was 
completely covered by a Kri'at snow drift, which 
was so heavily crusted that his children coastea 
down the drift and had high frolics over the 
burled trees. Another correspondent told of 
houses along the Des Moines river being bm-ied 
In snow so that the occupants had to cut holi'S 
in the roof for Ingress and egress. 

'^"Freight is plenty now. Merchants have 
been out of nearly all kinds of supplies. At one 
time they were out of oil. candles, sugar, soap 
and many more useful articles. It has been 
almost Impossible to get meat." — I.Akefleld Cor- 
respondent, April 23. 1881. 

Moines river bridge stood the test, and 
train service was established after a few 

The Des Moines river suddenly became 
a raging torrent, leaped out of its banks, 
and inundated and destroyed valuable 
property. The river began to rise Sun- 
day, April 17, and continued to increase 
iu volume until Saturday, April 23, when 
it was 24 feet above low water mark — 
the highiest point in its history. It left 
its channel to sweep over meadows ami 
fields, covering with a terrific current 
nearly one-half the valley, and in some 
places lapping the very foothills a quarter 
of a mile from its former bed. 

The greatest damage was done in the 
village of Jackson. The 100-foot iron 
span bridge that hai! been erected two 
years before at a cost of $2,000 was brok- 
en from its mooring on the night of the 
21st by the immense cakes of ice that were 
battered against it. It was reduced to a 
mass of broken timbers and bent steel. 
Imt was rescued and anchored in the south 
part of town. .\ wild waste of raging 
water lapped the very dooryards in the 
eastern part of the village. Several houses 
had to he vacated, and many barns were en- 
t'\w]\- fioodcil. Coliiiiiirs hinilier yard was 
iu many places covered with eight feet of 
water, and hard work was done to save the 
stock. Paul's liiiiihcr yard was also dam- 
aged with water t>> some extent. On Sat- 
urday and Sunday Jackson hail the aji- 
pearance of a lumbering camp. Thirty or 
more men were engaged at the bayou haul- 
ing out luml)er and jiiling it on shore. 

Bridges at Brownsburg, Okabena :in(l 
in Sioux Valley were carried away by 
the railing waters. Skinner's mill was al- 
so harmed to some extent. Otherwise the 
damage caused by the floods was not great ; 
there were a few losses in Jackson, be- 
sides those mentioned, of a few hundred 
dollars each. 



An average crop was raised in 1881, 
anil tlie fanners were placed in better con- 
dition that they had been, perhaps, at any 
previous time in the county's history. 
I'rii-cs ranged good and there was a mar- 
ket for everything i-aised. 

'.riie last built railroad to touch Jack- 
sun county soil was the Burlington, Ce- 
dar liapids & Northern (now the Chicago, 
liock Island & Pacific), which was builded 
from Spirit Lake to Worthingtou during 
the summer of 1882, the road reaching 
A\'orthington Octolier T. The road passes 
thriiugli the extreme southwestern corner 
of the county, only about four miles being 
in Jackson county. 

There was a health}- increase in popu- 
lation during 18S'2. There was no rush, 
such as characterized the early seventies, 
but each week during the spring and sum- 
mer months witnessed the arrival of a few 
settlers. A county immigration associa- 
tion was formed in the spring, which set 
forth the advantages of the county in 
printed matter and resulted in bringing a 
few new settlers. The 1882 crops was a 
good one, and all parts of the county en- 
joyed prosper Dus limes. Thirty-six hun- 
dred sexenty-six acres were sown to wheat 
that year, from which were harvested 46,- 
3G1 bushels, an average of twelve and two- 
thirds bushels per acre. Sixty-five hun- 
dred seventy-four acres were planted to 

Another death in the winter storms — 
the first since the fatalities of 1872 — oc- 
curred in Wisconsin iownship January 19, 
1883. The victim was Henry Curti.s, an 
aged man who made his home with Mrs. 
Miles Lindsley. He was proceeding home 
from John K. Johnson's place, three-quar- 
ters of a mile distant, when he evidently- 
became fatigued, and, lying down to rest, 
was overcome by the cold and perished. 

Scores of land buyers visited Jackson 
county in the fall of 1883, and invested 

and became permanent residents. Crops 
were good. Corn was slightly injured by 
an early frost, but small grain and vege- 
tables yielded abundantly. According to 
the official returns, the cereal acreage for 
1883 was as follows: Wheat, 5,009; corn, 
.■").043; oats, 0,977-; barley. 1,4.52; flax, 

In the whole history of Jackson county, 
up to tlie late nineties, there never was 
such a year for advancement as 1884. It 
was a jubilee year. Several causes added 
to the effect. Principal among them was 
the rapid settlement caused' by throwing 
on the market the railroad lands and other 
lands withdrawn from settlement in 1866. 
There can be no doubt this boom would 
have occurred years before and the coun- 
ty become thickly settled and divided into 
small farms had these lands been available. 
The lands were placed on the market at a 
reasonable price, considering their eligible 
location and the richness of the soil. The 
Jackson Eepublic of August 15, 1884, 
told of the changed conditions : 

Land is no lonsjer a drug in the market but 
is rapidly rising in value and .is passing from 
tlie ownersliip of tlie state and of railroad com- 
panies into tlie hands of hundreds of settlers; 
farms are no longer deserted, but new estates 
are lieing opened in every township: people are 
not leaving — they are locating in this county 
daily and by the score: liig crops are the result 
of better farming by encouraged farmers; 
thousands of cattle and sheep graze on the 
])rairies, and nearly every farmer yearly sells 
enough fat stock of some kind to give him 
plenty of cash ; mortgages are lieing lifted from 
the farm and new houses and barns built there- 
on ; creameries and hay presses are returning 
splendid profits to the farmers from sources 
which have hitherto yielded them little or noth- 
ing; beautiful groves surround their homes and 
diversify the surface of a once unbroken prairie. 

The rush for the newly opened lands 
of Jackson county began early in the 
spring, the buyers spreading out into every 
township. Cto where one might, one found 
farms, once deserted on account of n-iisfor- 
tunes, showing fresh furrows, found smoke 
arising from chimneys of new houses, 



found landseekers spying out clioice pieces 
of land. Sioux Yallev to\vnslii]i, wliitli 
bad been one of tbo least densely popula- 
ted townsbips, was especially fortunate in 
securing .settlers; the township became 
rapidly settled witli progressive German 
families. Very little of the land passed 
into tbo hands of speculators; nearly all 
buyers were farmers who at once took pos- 
session and made improvements. As a 
writer of tlie time expressed it: "The 
growth of Jackson county this year is 
ba.sed upon the healthful pulsations of nat- 
ural and genuine merit and appreciated re- 
sources. Tt is a hearty bloom of vigorous 
youtli. not a feverish bloom of fickle spec- 
ulMtioii. It has romo in stay." 

Adding to the [irevailing prosperity 
was an enormous crop, wliich commanded 
a big price. It had hccn fnuiid that ex- 
clusive wheal f:;rniii;g ckuIiI nut he de- 
pended upon, aiKi farmers had turned 
iheir attention largi ly to the raising of 
flax, hay and livestock. Flax growing be- 
cnme <me of the big industries, and it 
yiel(k^d a liig jn-ofit in this year nf jnliilce. 
Hay also ruled liigli in price, and large 
quantities were put up. Hundreds of car 
loads of flax. Jiay and livestock were ex- 
ported during tbo ycai." 

The rusli of landsr(kers continued dur- 
ing tiic rid! months, and the land agents 
were kept bu.M- until wiiiler piloting pros- 
pective buyers over the count v.'"' Over 
TO.OOO acres of land, ciiuivalent to more 
than three full townsliijis, were juii ^n 
tlie tax rolls for the lirst time in l.ssi. 
The 70,000 acres of added lands were di- 
vided as follows: 

"The acreage sown In 1884 was as follows: 
WTieat. 4.81B; corn. 3..S4S; oats. 8.546; barley. 

a.asi; nax, 7.241. 

''W. T. Hansen, of Chicago, became the own- 
f'l' of larKP tract.<< of Jack.son county land, and 
the bulk of the sales in 1SS4 wore made by him 
through his agent. G. A. Albcrtus. 


IntiMiial Improvement hiiuls >iilil :t0.78t; 

Sri 1 lands sol.l 0.208 

I'inal entries <;overnment lanils 4,085 

SI. Paul i ('liiia}.'o l!y. hunls ileeded 80 

Soutliern Minnesota Uy. lands deeded.. 2,681 
St. I'aul & Sioux City lly. lands deeded. .21. :124 
Sioux City & St. Puil Ky. lands deeiled. , 104 
Southern Minnesota Ky. eontraeted lands 1.080 
St. Paul & Cliieago contracted land- 40 



The icsults of prosperous times were 
seen in building iinproveintnts in all parts 
of the county and in tlie prompt payment 
of debts. The fanners were at last firmly 
nil their feet, and the high mad to wealth 
was henccfortli open. The recovery from 
the grassho|)per scourge was almost com- 
)il(te. In Di'ceiniH'r, lf<8-l, the Jack.son 
liepublic said of the )irogress during the 
twelve-month just closing: "The year 
ISSI is dying. Let it pass away honored 
and beloved by the people of Jackson 
enmity. It has liroiight them more peace, 
prnsperily and happiness than any cycle 
since the county was organized." 

In .hily, 1884, came the promise of an- 
other railroad. This was the Iowa (.<.• Min- 
nesota Nnrtliein. whiih agreed to build a 
rnad from some ])nir.l in nnrtliern Iowa to 
the village <d' .lacksnii. Secretary Hub- 
bel. nf the I. i.V M. N., staled on behalf of 
the corporation thai the road would be 
liuilt provid4Ml llie Inwnsbips of l'eter,s- 
liiirg, ^liddlctown, De.- Moines and \\'\»- 
consin would vole the company a bonus of 
five per cent of Ihcir a.s.'^e.ssed valuation for 
1883, less till- amount of Ibeir indebted- 
ness. Tiiis wimld make the amount each 
would have In fiiini.-h as follows: Peters- 
!niig, $:?,0(lli: :Middletowii. $1,000; Des 
.Moines. $9,-200 ; Wisconsin, $1,000. Elec- 
tions were held and Ibe bomls voted in 
fbrec of the town.shijis. In lies Moines 
the bnnds carried. 95 to 3: in Middlcfown. 
22 to (i : in Petersburg, 1:5 to '.) ; while they 
were defeated in Wisconsin, 50 to .l.'i. For 
lack of capital or some other reasni), the 



company failed to carry out its plans, and 
nothing more was heard of the road. 

The year 188-") was noted for its im- 
provements. Those who had purchased 
laud in the fall of 1884 built their houses 
and began farming the next spring. A 
good crop was raised, a.lding to the finan- 
cial standing of Jackson county farmers. 
The crop statistics for the year were as 
follows : 










15 85 
38 40 
26 03 
12 72 








The populatiuu in 1885 was G,11U, a 
gain of 1,30-4 in five years. By precincts 
the population was as follows : 

Alba 136 

Belmont 419 

Cliristiania 485 

Delafield 401 

Des Moines 348 

Enterprise 163 

Ewington 61 

Heron Lake 440 

Heroii Lake Village 280 

Hunter 216 

Jackson 608 

Kimball 295 

LaCrosse 374 

Middletown 281 

Minneota 138 

Petersburg 358 

Round Lake 1.53 

Rost 171 

Sioux Valley 208 

AVeimer 278 

West Heron Lake 96 

Wisconsin 201 

Total 6,110 

Prosperous titues continued during the 
first half of 1886. During the spring 
niontlis many new settlers came and 
bought Jackson county farms, the western 
part of the county receiving the bulk of 

the immigration. The Minnesota Citizen 

(Lakefield) said on March 26, 1886: 

More settlers are coming in this spring than 
any two before. It seems that almost every 
freight train brings from two to three car loads 
of goods. And the new arrivals are the very 
best farmers. A goodly number of them are 
from Illinois, and they are bringing with them 
good teams, farming implements and consider- 
aide money. Load after load of lumber is be- 
ing hauled from this place this spring, and the 
building boom is liveh'. 

The county received a set-back that 
fall — the first in a number of years. Ow- 
ing to a drought only about a half crop 
was raised. Not since the grasshopper 
days had the cry of hard times been so 
general. In addition to the crop failure, 
what was raised had to be offered on a low 
market. The cattle and hog market was 
also ruinously low. 

The first contest for the removal of 
the county seat from Jackson to Lakefield 
— the beginning of a twenty years contest 
for county seat honors — come in 188G. It 
was the forerunner of some of the most 
bitter contests ever waged for county seat 
removal in Minnesota, contests which en- 
gendered ill feeling between the people 
of the two towns interested and caused 
a division between the east and west ends 
of the county in many things. 

Prior to 188.5 there had been no satis- 
factory county scat I'emoval law on the 
ilinnesota statute books. That year, on 
March .5, the legislature passed an act 
providing that when a majority of the 
freeholders who were legal voters and res- 
idents of a county shoidd present to the 
county commis,sioners a petition asking 
for a change in the location of the county 
seat it became the duty of the county 
board to submit the question at the next 
genera] election. If a majority of all 
electors voting cast their ballots for re- 
moval, the county seat should be moved. 
If the question of removal was not decid- 
ed in the afi'irmative, the question could 
not be voted upon again for five years, and 



if the question should once be decided neg- 
atively it rcqiiin'il ii tliieo-liftlis vote to 
accomplish a rciiioval at any subsequ'rnt 

Soon after the passage oi' this bill the 
people of Lakefield began to agitate ihc 
niattei" of removal to their town. During 
the early eighties the bulk of the immigra- 
tion had been to the western part oi ihe 
county, and Lakefield. situated almost in 
the exact center of the county, had grown 
to be a vijlage of considerable importance. 
The fust moulion in tlic press of a pos- 
sible attempt being made to remove the 
county seat was made on duly 31, 1885, 
wlicn a writer signing himself "Brutus'' 
published an article in the Minnesota Citi- 
zen (Lakefield), calling upon the people 
of the north and west [)arts of the county 
to bestir themselves in an attempt to se- 
cure the county seat for Lakefield under 
the provisions of the now law. Among 
other things, "Brutus" said : 

Now, you that arc iiitcrestoil in t^akofiold 
want to go to Work and organize a socioty tn 
put this thing througli, make arrangements 
witli yowr lieavy hmdiiM iiers to sceiire tlie eoiin- 
ty from loss on buildings, have tlic fool killer 
to operate on anyone who proposes an nnder- 
haiid measure of any kind. Meet sophistry and 
cries of delay with sound reasoning and patient 
but determined explanaliim: in due tinu'. when 
the question has been thoroughly diseussed and 
understood, eireuhite yoiu' petitions and pre- 
sent them to the eoniniissioners at their nu>et- 
ing next January, showing sueli .a majority in 
favor of the ehange that the matter is prae- 
tieally settled at once. 

From the very earliest days, until the 
eighties, Jackson hail been the county's 
center of population and business life. 
On its townsite the first settlement had 
been made, and for years jiractically all 
the settled portions of Jackson county 
were in close proximity to tluit village. 
While in later years the bulk of the set- 
tlement had been made in other portions 
of the county, Jackson continued to hold 
the position of leading town in the county. 
Therefore, when removal agitation was 

begun the people of Jackson did not be- 
come much alarmed. The Republic treat- 
ed the matter in a spirit of levity and said 
(July 31, 1885) : 

The Lakefield Citizen, it is reported, will 
eome out this week with a vigorous light in il> 
eolumns fur the removal of the »-ouuly seat, and 
about 1,000 copies will be circulated througliout 
the county. If this is true, the Citizen is cruel 
beyond expression of words. What are the 
sweltering .lacksonites down in this breathless 
valley going to do witli a county seal light on 
their hands and the Iheruiomeler 100 in the 
shade'; lie merciful, lirother Seely. 

Formal action was not taken until the 
spring of 1886. On February 20 a meet- 
ing was held at Lakefield, at which it was 
decided to try for the honor. On. March 
9 the townships of Hunter and Heron 
Lake, in which the then unincorporated 
village of Lakefield was located, each voted 
to issue and donate $1,000 bonds to aid in 
the construction of a court house at Lake- 
field, the same proposition being lost in 
Rost township by a vote of IT to 10. The 
Citizen of March 12 reported that the 
owner of the Lakefield townsite olfered to 
donate $3,000 for the same purpose and 
that other citizens of the village would 
give $1,500. 

During the month of May petitions 
were circulated, asking that the county 
commissioners submit the question of the 
removal of the county seat at the general 
election on November 2, ISSG. The pe- 
tition received 604 signatures, and it was 
]ircsented to the board of county commis- 
sioners July 27. T«o days later the com- 
missioners considered the ijctition. A pe- 
tition a.sking that the Itoard do not take 
favorable action was jircscntcd, and .lohn 
K. Brown, of Jackson, presented a writ- 
ten objection to having the petition filed 
with the county auditor — a necessary step 
if the question were to be submitted at the 
Xovendicr election. The connuissi<mers, 
by a vote of three to two, decided to de- 
liver the petition to tiie county auditor for 



publication. Those wiio voted in the affirm- 
ative were Christian Lewis, J. CI. Fod- 
nes and A. E. Kilen ; tliose in the negative, 
J. W. Cowing and John Baldwin. The 
last two named explained their reasons 
for so voting as follows : That no proof 
had been produced to show that the peti- 
tion had been signed by a majority of the 
county's freeholders who were legal voters. 

The filing of the petition did not close 
the question, however, and the matter was 
again taken up in September. The Jack- 
son people decided to contest the petition 
before the board of county commissioners 
and prevent the question from coming to 
a vote, using the argument that many of 
the signers were men who were not free- 
holders, but men who held land under 
contrael ; that as a matter of fact tlie pe- 
tition did not contain the names of a ma- 
jority of the freeliolders. as the law pro- 
vided. For three days of the week ending 
September 24 there was a lively discus- 
sion before the county board. Attorney T. 
J. Knox appeared for the Jackson jjeople 
and analyzed the weak points of the pe- 
tition. x\ttorncy Betzer appeared for Lake- 
field in defense of the petition. The situ- 
ation was complicated by the resignation 
of Commissioner A. E. Kilen. H. C. 
Sether was appointed to the vacancy, and 
an adjournment taken to September 38. 

On the 28th the commissioners decided 
that the petition did not comply with the 
law, in that it was found that only 330 
freeholders v.'ho were legal voters had 
signed the petition, while 433 had not 
signed. On the final vote Commissioners 
Lewis and Fodnes voted to have the ques- 
tion submitted, while Commissioners Cow- 
ing, Baldwin and Sether voted not to 
submit it at the general election.^" 

^"The official proceedings of the board for 
September 28 are as follows: 

"4:30 p. m. Moved by Mr. Lewis and second- 
ed by Mr. Fodnes tliat the board now proceed 
to count the names of the legal voters and 
freeholders on the list for and against the re- 
moval of the county scat. ■ 

Not much of historical importance oc- 
curred in the county during the late eight- 
ies. The people were blessed with good 
crops, and prosperous times resulted. A 
few new settlers arrived each year, new 
farms were put under cultivation, and 
tlie country otherwise improved. 

One event that should be recorded for 
this period was another — and the last — 
severe blizzard. 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 im- 
portance. The most severe of these awful 
storms was the blizzard of January 7, 8 
and 9, 1873, an account of which has been 
given. Banking second was the terrible 
blizzard of January 12, ISSS, when scores 
of people perished in Minnesota and the 
Dakotas. Fortunately, there was no less 
of life in Jackson county, although sev- 
eral were caught in the storm. The Lake- 
field Standard of January 19, 1888, told 
of the blizzard: 

Tliursday of last week [January 12] one of 
tlie worst snow storms known for years raged 
over the entire northwest. AH day long there 
was a heavy snow-fall and a mild wind from 
the south. In the evening the wind suddenly 
changed to the northwest, and the temperature 
grew colder. The air seemed filled with all 
the snow banks of the country and it was not 
safe to venture out of doors, as objects could 

"The motion was lost. 

"S p. m. All present. 

"Two petitions, containing the names and 
signatures of 26 freeholders who had signed 
the petition for the removal of the county seat 
from Jackson to I.akefleld, were presented, 
withdrawing the names of said 26 freeholders 
from said petition for all purposes whatever. 
Said petitions, after being presented, were tak- 
en by the attorney representing Lakefleld and 
subsequently lost. All parties admit that such 
petitions were so presented and contained the 
names of such number of freeholders withdraw- 
ing their names xrom said petition tor the re- 
moval of said county seat. 

"The board then proceeded to count the 
names on the lists of freeholders and legal 
voters within the county for and against the 
petition to remove the county seat from Jack- 
son to Lakefleld and found that 330 legal vot- 
ers and freeholders had signed the petition for 
the removal and 433 who had not signed said 

"It was moved by Mr. Lewis and seconded 
by Mr. Fodnes that the question of the removal 
of the county seat from Jackson to Lakefleld be 
submitted to the ""'oters of Jackson county at 
the next general election. November 2, 1886. 

"The motion was lost." 



not be dUtiiiju'iiishod twenty feet away. 

.Jackson cimiity. so far as lieard 
from, escaped luekily, as no luinian lives have 
been reported lost. A number of farmers were 
overtaken on tlic prairie by tbe storm but es- 
caped alive. 

The county seat removal question was 
not again opened during the late eighties, 
hut preparations were made to take up 
the fight again at some future time. The 
legi.«lature on April 13, 1889, passed a hiw 
authorizing tlie townships of Heron Lake 
and Hunter to issue bonds, in sums not 
exteeding five per cent of the assessed 
valuation, for the purpose of raising funds 
to apply on the erection of a court house 
at the point the voters of the county might 
select as the location for the county seat.'" 
As the people of Heron Lake and Hunter 
townships had no intention of furnishing 
money to build a court house at Jackson 
— where the county seat remained — the 
i)onds were not issued. 

The federal census of 1890 gave Jack- 
son county a population of 8,924. This 
was a gain of 3,814 in five years, the larg- 
est gain in numbers during any previous 
five year period. I'rosperous times con- 
tinued during the first few years of the 
decade beginning with 1890. Good crops 
were raised, and many new settlers from 
the middle states came to Jackson coun- 
ty to purchase the comparatively cheaji 
lands. Said the Jackson ]?ppublic of Au- 
gust 14, 1891: 

A little in()uiry among tlie real estate men 
develops tbe faet that tbe ovitlook for Jaekson 
county was never bri;;btcr than at tbe present 
time. Tbe bountiful crops bave attracteil tlie 
atfentif)n of eastern pco|>le. and the demand for 
wild land is unprecedented. Tbe greater por- 
tion of this land is being sold to newcomers 
for actual settlement next spring and the bal- 
ance is taken by resident farmers wbo desire 
to increase the size of their farms— a sure in- 

"A proviso of th<- law was as fullow.s: 
■'Said boarrt of supervisor.* sball not pul such 
l>onds upon the market, nor sell anv part there- 
of, until the site of said court house Is legallv 
eslalMlshed at the location designated in sucli 
petition. And if said court house site be not 
cslalilishid at such place within two years after 
such tionds are voted such bonds shall l>ecome 
null and void and shall be canceiled hv such 

dication of prosperity. . . . Register Bald- 
win says the number of transfers is increasing 
rapidly, while the number of mortgages filed 
shows a bealthy decrease. 

'J'hfie was a slight ripple in county 
seat removal matters during the winter 
of 1892-93. In Nobles county the village 
of Adrian was trying to wrest tlie county 
seat from Worthington, when someone de- 
veloped a plan to settle the matter in both 
Nobles and Jackson counties. The plan 
was to form three counties from the two, 
with Jackson. Worthington and .\drian 
as the county seats. That would have <;iv- 
eii both Nobles county towns county seat 
liDiiors. and, by taking part of western 
Jackson county for the new county, it 
would undoubtedly have given Jackson 
such an advantage that the question of 
removal to Lakefield would never have 
been brought up again. Nobles -county 
people seriously discussed the question of 
taking such a proposition to. the legisla- 
ture of 1893, but Jackson county people 
never .seriously considered the matter, and 
the project "died a bornin'."' 

\n event of the year 1893 was a cv- 
clone which visited the county on the even- 
ing of Wednesday. Jtdy 5, and wliich re- 
sulted in the destruction of many ihoii- 
saiid dollars' wi.rtli of property. The 
I>rincipnl damage was in (he villages of 
Ileioii lijtke and Lakefield and in the 
townships of Heron Lake. West Heron 
Lake and Hunter. Barn.«, outhou.ees. 
fences, chimneys and, in some instances, 
houses were demoli.shed by the fury of the 

In the summer of 1893 came the mem- 
orable panic, followed l)y a few years of 
hard times. Business was for a time para- 
lyzed, several business houses failed, and 
a period of depression followed, which 
was not entirely broken until tlie latter 
part of the nineties. But this period of 
hard times was not so keenly felt in Jack- 
son county as it was in inanv of the less 






favored portions of the country. The panic 
was preceded hy a decade of flourishing 
timefi. Nearly all had prospered ami were 
in a position to weather the financial crash 
and its resultant period of depression. 

The second contest for the removal of 
the county seat to Ijakefield came in the 
spring of 1S94. The Minnesota county 
seat removal law at that time (as it does 
now) pnividiMl that the petition for re- 
moval must contain the signatures of at 
least sixty per cent of the number of elec- 
tors voting at the last preceding general 
clectiun; that if the board of county 
commissioners found that the required 
number of signatures had been oljtaincd 
ihey should call a special election to vote 
upon the question: that if fifty-five per 
cent of the voters at such special election 
should declare in favor of removal, the 
county seat should be changed. Ever 
since the contest of eight years before tlie 
people of Lakefield had been making jjrep- 
arations and laying their plans for i-enew- 
ing the conflict when the conditions were 
)iropititious. They believed tlic time had 
iiiine in 189-4. 

The opening gun was fireil in February, 
when a number of prominent citizens of 
Lakefield and vicinity issued a call for a 
mass meeting to decide u))on tlie advisa- 
bility (d' reopening tlie conflict. The meet- 
ing was lield at Lakefield Feljruary '^4. at 
which time it was unanimously decided 
lo proceed. The following were chosen 
an executive committee to have charge of 
the campaign: N. J. Scott, John Freder- 
ickson. 11. J. Hollister, M. E. Cluss, C. 
Young, William Searles, George Sawyer, 
('. Govp, John Crawford and C. Trade- 
well. In a platform adopted it was stat- 
ed that the removal forces intended to 
conduct a clean and honorable cauipaign 
aiul on the merits of the issue. The of- 
ficial notice to circulate tlie petition was 
drawn up on Februa'y 2-1 and signed by 


John Crawford, X. J. Scott and W. A. 

The work of circulating the petitiim 
was begun on ilarch I'i, and on the 27th 
the petition, containing the signatures of 
1.431 voters, was filed with the cotinty au- 
ditor. The board of county commission- 
ers, composed of Henry Thielvoldt, J. W. 
Cowing, H. K. Eue, George Erbes and 
Thomas Chesterson, met in special ses- 
sion April 16 to determine the standing 
of the petition. No nnited effort was made 
by the people of Jackson to secure with- 
drawals from the petition or to fight the 
instrument at this meeting of the board, 
although W. B. Sketch, of Jackson, filed 
olijoctions to eai-h and every aft'idavit con- 
tained in the petition, maintaining that 
there was no evidence that the names on 
the petition constituted sixty per cent of 
the legal voters at the last general election, 
or that the notices of publication had been 
legally published. On the seventeenth the 
board took favorable action and issued 
the necessary certificate, calling the elec- 
tion for May 15. 

So soon as the action was taken that 
made an election certain, the people of 
Lakefield opened the campaign with a 
clever piece of work — the building of a 
court house at Lakefield. A special meet- 
ing of the Lakefield village council was 
lield on the evening of April 17, when it 
was decided to build at once a city hall 
of bi-ick and stone, the free use of which 
should be given to Jackson county for 
court house purposes in the event of the 
removal of the county seat. Lots one and 
two, in block five, were purchased for a 
site. Architect Thayer, of Mankato, was 
telegraphed for, and he arrived on the 
evening of the 18th. Plans for a build- 
ing, .50x60 feet, .30 feet high, were drawn, 
and the contract, calling for the comple- 
tion of tlie building by ^lay 10, was made 
with .V. W. Schwe]ipe & Company, of St. 



.lames. Construction was begun on tlu' 
morning of the 19th, and it was rushed to 
completion. After tlic work was started 
a special village election was held and 
bonds to the amount of $8,000 were vot- 
ed to pay for the building. This struc- 
ture, much praised, much maligned, play- 
ed an important jwit in the history of 
Jackson county. Witii the possible ex- 
ception of the old court house, it is the 
most thoroughly di.scusscd building ever 
erected in the county. 

That the offer of (liis buililitiir lor court 
house jjurposcs should lie known to he 
made in good faith, a i]uit chiini di'cd to 
the lots upon which the ImililinL'' wms be- 
ing erected was given to II. .1. lloUistcr, 
(!. G. Sawyer and N. J. Scott, and these 
gentlemen executed a bond and signed a 
lease to the board of county commission- 
ers, binding themselves to provide the 
Lakefield court house for county purposes 
for a term of ten years for a nominal ren- 
tal price of one dollar per year. The ma- 
jority of the board of county commission- 
ers agreed to accept the lease in case llic 
county seat was moved. The olVrr of this 
building doubtless won many votes for 
Jyakcticld in the election. One of tlie prin- 
cipal aru'unu'nts of .lackson bail been Ibat 
removal would necessarily cause the ex- 
penditure of considerable money to build 
a court house. 

The campaign which followed was an 
exciting one and very close. When the 
votes were counted on the evening of ilay 
1"). it was found that Jackson was the 
victor by forty votes. The total vote was 
•.i,S03. of which Lakefield received 1,502 
and Jack-son 1,301. To have won. Lake- 
field must have received 1,542, or fifty- 
five per cent of the total vote. The vote 
bv prociticts wa.-^ as follow-; : 






Des Moines 



Heron Lake Township, 








Round Lake 

Sioux Valley 


West Huron Lake 




Heron Lake Village.... 


Lake- Jack- 
field son 































CURRENT E VENTS— 1895-1910. 

THE progress of a community is re- 
tieetcd to a considerable extent in 
its census returns. That Jack- 
son county's progress had been steady is 
attested by the fact that from 1800, when 
enumerators found inhabitants in Jaclv- 
son county for the first time, up to the 
]n-escnt time, eacli five year census had 
shown a gain in population. The great- 

West Heron Lakr 





Total 12,324 

Considerable railroail history was made 
in Jackson county during 1895 and 1896, 
but no railroads were built. For many 
years the people of the county had tried 
to secure the building of a mu-th and 

est increase during any of these five year t;outh j'oad ; they had approached every 

periods occurred from 1890 to 1895. Ac- 
cording to the state census for the last 
uientioned year, the population of Jack- 
son county was r2,324. Thi.s was an in- 
crease of 3,400 in five years. During the 
decade the couniy liad more than doubled 
in population. Divided by precincts the 
jiopulation of 1895 was as follows: 

Alba 308 

Belmont 680 



Des Moines 



Heron Lake Township 
Heron Lake Villap;e . . . 



Kimball 501 

LaC'rosse 510 

Lakeiield 51" 

Middletown 553 

Jlinneota 431 

Petersburg 659 

Rost 400 

Round Lake 457 

Sioux Vallev 496 

Weimer . . ." 391 


company in the country to the south — 
both those with lines of railroad and those 
withiiut: they liad oft'ered inducements to 
ciini]>any after coiui.nuiy, but none was 
fiiuud who would build into the Milwau- 
kee territory. Finally, several capitalists 
of Jackson formed a company and obtain- 
ed a charter with tlie hope of some day 
being able to nuike arrangements to build 
a north and south road. The proposed 
road was named the Jackson Southern. 

In 1895 the promoters decided to un- 
dertake the work of building the first sec- 
tion, from Jackson south to some point on 
the Burlington. Several of the precincts 
in the southwest corner of the county, 
whicli would be most benefited, were ask- 
ed to issue bonds to aid the work, and on 
October 8 the following voted bonds : Des 
]\Ioines, $8,000; Wisconsin, $8,000: Mid- 
dletown, $9,000 : Jackson, $11,000. Bonds 
(lid not carrv in Petersburg, which was 




asked to give $9,0UH. A iiieetiug of the 
stockholders was held October 11, when 
preliminary arrangements for securing 
right-of-way and commencing grading 
were made. Another meeting was held 
at Jackson Octol)er 1!». which was report- 
ed by the Jackson County Pilot a.s fol- 
lows : 

On last Satuiilay. OcIhIiit 111. tlic liouid of 
ilirci-tors of the .Soutlicin lailioiul lield 
an impoitiiiit sisriinn in tliis i-ity. .Xmon;; those 
present were Messrs. .1. K. !!niwn, K. K. Car- 
penter, Ah'xaiiihM- I'i.ldes, 1>. H. l?erf;e. .J. W. 
Cowing, T. J. Knox, of .laikson: .1. .1. Itell, of 
Ues Moines, Iowa: and Mah-olm .lohnson. of 
Galveston, Texas. 

Ainont; other important bnsiness transaeted. 
an assessment of ten jier eent was ma<ie on the 
stoekhohlers. wliieli it is presumed will meet 
with a liearty response, as it is newssary to 
have funds to carry on the work. Arranjie- 
mcnts were also perfected for building the road, 
work on whieli has already l)e"un. and dirt 

will be llvin" alonj; 

line bv next week. 

The company Inis made arraiifjements to 
push the work to completion at as early a chite 
as possible, and if December shall be an open 
montli. like last year, the iron horse will neigh 
upon the suburbs of .Jackson before the dawn- 
ing of the new year. 

The road will not prove so great a blessing 
to Petersbiug township as it would have done 
had the bond proposition carried in that town. 
It is the intention of the company to locate a 
station in Middletown and build up a little 
village there. This will certainly ]>rove a boon 
to the farnu'rs of Middletown and will amply 
repay them for the aid voted. 

Befdi'o the close f»f October a large part 
of the right-of-way had been secured and 
surveyors had run the line. Early in Xo- 
vemi)er the contract for grading live of 
the eight mili^s between Jackson and tlip 
state line was let. and by the middle of 
the month a large force of graders was at 
work. The winter was an open one, and 
the making of the roadbed was continued 
nearly all winter, and most of the heavy 
grading was completed. The company 
was liandicajiped for lack of funds, but 
early in March. lSi)6. Ti contract for the 
sale of $"2r).000 worth of the township 
bonds was made, and the work was con- 
tinued. In May the grading was com- 
pleted, and the next month tracklaying 

was begun. Then, suddenly, the work 
ceased ; lack of paid-up capital was re- 
sponsible for the failure. 

On the evening of Friday, August 19, 
1898, the county was visited by a destruc- 
tive wind storm, which resulted in two 
deaths and destruction to property to the 
value of $100,000. The storm came from 
the nortii and did its first damage in the 
village of Wilder. There the roof df tlie 
main building of I'reck college was Idown 
olf. the church and Woodman's hall were 
demolished, and D. I.. IMcv's lumber 
shed was wrecked, as well as several other 
building.s damaged. 

The storm then lifted, going over Deia- 
(ield and Ilenui Lake townsliijis. but 
flroppcd down again at Lakelield. There 
th.e Jackson County State Bank building 
was partially unroofed, the Norwegian 
Lutheran churcji was moved from its 
foundation and wrecked beyond rejiair, 
William Searles' brick store building was 
struck by lightning and damaged. Charles 
Nelson's house was completely demojislietl, 
iii.iny outhouses and barns were blown 
down. At Okabena a box car was blown 
from a sidetrack onto the main line and 
thence eastward on tin- main line i>f the 
Milwaukee eleven miles. The wiml then 
seemed to change to the o]iposite direction, 
for the car was blown back llic saiiic dis- 
tance, without any damage whatever hav- 
ing iieen done it. 

From Lakefield the storm |iroceednl 
south through Hunter and Minncota 
l"ivnshi])s. Much dannige was done alonn 
its course through lho.«e precincts, some 
farms being swept entirely clear of build- 
ings. In Minneota the tornado turned 
east, al right angles. Nearly every bit ol 
property along the course of the st<irm in 
Middletown was destroyed. In Petersburg 
the damage also was great, and in that 
township occurred the deaths. Tlu' vir- 
lims were ^Ir. and Mrs. Herman Kggen- 


steiu, who were temporarily living iu Uie ol tlie county seat of Jackson county 
upper part of their barn, their house he- came in 1900. The five years which the 
ing under construction. The barn was law provided should intervene between 
conipletelv blown to pieces, and Mr. and elections for the removal of county seats 
Mrs. Eggenstein were killed instantly, had then passed, and the people of Lake- 
Xeighboring counties suffered some loss field and their friends in the western and 
as a result of the storm, hut its main northern parts of the county believed they 
strength seems to liave been expended in stood an excellent show' of secui-ing the 
Jackson county. lemoval from Jackson, basing their be- 
After the hard times period following lii'i' "h ^h' fact that Lakefield was located 
tlie panic of 189:5, Jackson county en- i" almost tiie exact center of tlie connty, 
tered upon a prosperous era— the most "l"!'' ''ackson \va,- far rroin the geograph- 
prosperous iu its whole history, before or i'al center and no longer could claim 
since. During the years 1897 to 1903, in- '" 1>^' t'le center of population.' 
elusive, excellent cro]jt were the rule, and Eaidy in the spring .ionie [ireliminary 
hundreds of new settlers came to .^hare work was done in the way of finding out 
in the bounteous times. Laud values the sentiment of the people, and on Wed- 
jumped several hundred per cent; farm ncsday evening, April 4, the business men 
lands that liad sold for $10 to $20 per of Lakefield met and fornuiUy started the 
acre advanced to $35 to $100 per acre. It contest. The next day a committee corn- 
was a time of unprecedented prosperity, posed of IL J. Hollister, iL H. Evans 
and continued until the disastrous year and E. T. Smith gave notice that the peti- 
1903. tion for removal would be circulated on 
The census of 1900 showed the county A])ril ■3.'!. This was published officially 
to have a population of 14,793, divided April 7. and the contest was started. On 
among the several precincts as follows: April Kl the people of Jackson, reprcsent- 
^P^^ 411 ed by T. J. Knox. Alexander Fiddes, 
Alpiia' ".'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'..... 20!) Xiels Hande\ itt. J. C. Edlin, R. S. Eob- 

chriitl!^ia ■;■'::::::;::::::::;::::::::: 5G0 *-rt-""- r- "^^'^ Ashiey, g. g. Arontson, c. 

Delafield 4.53 Tichacek and ^M. B. Hutchinson, gave no- 

^,"1 ■"*'".""■" t>n tice that thev would contest the removal, 

bntfriiiisc 0.20 

Ewiiifiton 478 this notice being published April 13. 

Heron Lake Townsliip 580 ,-, ^i ii t i ^ 1 n . !.„,.„ , ,^ 

Tj , , ,-|, - noa lor a month the Lakeneld workers can- 
Heron Ijake \ illage 'JiH 

Hnnter -iTi vassed the county securing signatures to 

•,l"'''V",'i ''ro- the petition and were very successful. On 

Kniuiall y<'ii ^ 

I.aC'rosse .>17 Tuesday, ilay 23, the petition was filed 

'^f.';';';'''^^ ^I'i; with the countv auditor. It contained 

.Midclletown otO 

Minnenta 506 1,(348 namcS' — 321 riiore than the number 

Petersburg u3 i^equired to bring the question to a vote.- 

Rost 401 1. '^ ^ 

Round Lake 513 Xoticc was at once given of a special ses- 

Sionx Valley 503 

Weinicr 410 'The center of population at the time was 

,,. . TT ' ' ' T 1 ■J-- on the northwe-st quarter of section two. .Hunt- 

wesl Heron l^alce ,ii^o ^^ township. The census of 1900 showed that 

Wilder 174 there were 7,118 people in the north half of 

Wiscousiu .525 the county and 7,675 in the south half. In the 

two western tiers of townships the populntion 

_, , , , , _„„ was 4,725; in the two eastern tiers. 6,912: in 

iotal 14,70.i „,,p middle tier. 3.156. 

=The total vote in 1898 was 2.211. and sixty 

The third struggle for the possession Per^ceiU^of that was 1,327-the number requlr- 



sidii of tlic county l)oar(l to be liekl June 
11, to take aetion in the matter of the 

Wlien the eoniniissioners nut. \\ . i'>. 
Sketch, of Jackson, filed a written ol)jee- 
tion to tlie consideration of the petition 
on the ground that tin- notice of intention 
to circulate petition was not in tlic fnrtn 
required hy law. He filed furtiier olijei- 
tion on the ground that Coniniissioner 
Crawford was disqualified from sitting as 
a member of the board of county comnns- 
sioners: also on the ground of lirilieiy 
having been offered by the village of Lake- 
field : also that County .Vltorney V.. 'V. 
Smith was dis(|Uiilifiod from acting as 
legal advisor to tiie board on account of 
being directly interested in the removal 
of the county seat. Tiie commissioners 
decided that they liad jurisdiction, and, 
after having stricken tliroe names from 
the ])etition, they held that the required 
number of signatures had been obtained 
and that it was in accordance with tlic 
law. The proper certificate was made and 
filed, and July 10 was named as the date 
for holding the election. 

The campaign which ensued was spirit- 
ed. Workers for both towns canvassed 
the county thorougidy. Ill feeling de- 
veloped between the two communities, and 
mud slinging was not bnrred ; in many 
instances personal aliiisc was used in place 
of argument, .\gain the peo]dc of Lake- 
field offered their public building to the 
county for a rental price of one dnllnr 
per year, providing tiu^ jieople voted them 
the county .seat. A bond in the sum of 
$30,000 guaranteeing this was exeiiiicMl 
July 3.' 

Jack.son was again succcssfid at the 
polls, winning by the narrow margin of 

'The milkers of the homl were M. II. ICviiiis. 
John Fretlericksnn. Wlllliim Searles. .7. W. 
Dinilinev. H. J. Hollister. Thoma.s i^rawford. C. 
M. Oage. G. W. Curtls.x. A. F. Haiif. Adolph 
Bettin. C. H. Wood, George Brltsch. t". S. HeuU. 
S. Searle.s. W. F. TImm. D. I-. Riley. F. I., 
l/oonard. H. A. Rhodes. .X. A. Fo.sness and Wil- 
Jlam Kaiidcr. 

twenty-seven votes. The total vote count- 
ed was :{,.")58/ of which Lakefield received 
l.'.i.Sii and JacLson l,(i".i8. To have won 
Lakclicld must have received 1,957 votes 
— the .J.") ])er cent of the total vote. Fol- 
lowing is the result by jirociiirls: 







Des Moines 



Heron Lake Township 







Rest . . 

Round Lake 

Sioux Valley 


West Heron Lake . . . 




Heron Lake Village . . 
















.\ lelcbratioli in hoiinr of llic \icloiy 
was held at Jack.son on .luly 1L when 
the exercises were held in a downpour of 
rain. Fifteen hundred visitors were ]ires- 
cnl to assist in tlu' jollification. 

'I'lie vote had been .so close that the 
|)eople of Lakefield decided to take the 
iiuiiter into the courts, and on August ID 
notice of a ciuitest was served on the board 
of county commi.ssioners. It was alleged 
on the ])art of Tiakeficid that the form of 
ballot u.sed was misleading and did mis- 
lead voters, that voters were required to 
vote the .\ustralian system when the law 
did not provide for so voting, that .«ev- 

*The tola) numher of liallot.s e.-isl was S.STfl. 
but several were improperly marked, so that 
only 3.55S wire eounti'd. If the per cent should 
be flRiired from the number of ballots put 
in the Uillot box. Lakefield was short thirty- 
eight votes of winning. 



era! elector.s were kept from voting be- 
cause of threats and intimidations, that in 
Middlotowu township voters were allowed 
to take ballots away from the polling 
place before voting, that in some precincts 
the judges counted fewer votes for Lake- 
fii'ld than had been cast for tliat town, 
that money was paid certain specified per- 
sons for voting against removal. A re- 
count was demanded, and the people of 
Lakefield asked the court to declare the 
election void if it was found that fraud 
had been practiced. 

In their answer to the charges the peo- 
]ile of Jackson, hy M. B. Hutchinson, filed 
iu August, denied all the charges and al- 
leged irregularity and fraud on the part 
of the people of Lakefield. 

The case came to trial in the district 
court before Judge James H. Quinn on 
November 27. Attorneys George W. Wil- 
son and IT. G. Latourell appeared for 
Lakefield and Attorneys T. J. Knox and 
George W. Somerville for Jackson. A few 
witne.sses were examined, and the case 
was submitted by briefs. 

In his decision dated January 30, 1901, 
Judge Quinn disnii^^ed the proceedings 
and said : 

LpDii tile trial im cvideiu-i' was ollcifil in 
support of the allegations contained in the no- 
tice of contest or answer of the contestee as to 
fraud, brihery or other misconduct upon the 
part of the electors or others interested in 
said election. But the contestant urges that 
the election in i|uestiou is void, for the reason 
that the ballot used was not such a ballot as 
the law provides shall be used in case of a re- 
moval of a county seat; that the Australian 
system is not tlie law u.nder which the vote for 
the change of a county seat should lie con- 
ducted, and tliat there has never been a legal 
canvass of the votes polled at such electi<ui. 
and that therefore the election so held should 
he declared null and void by an order of this 
court, for the reasons above set forth. 

The contestant further insists that if the 
foregoing referred to order is refused, that sec- 
tion one of article eleven of the constitution is 
still in force, and that under it a bare majority 
vote is sufficient to change a county seat, not- 
withstanding the several amendments tliereto, 
and that an order should be made for that 

reason changing the county seat from tlie vil- 
lage of Jackson to the village of Ijakefield. 

The last contention on the part of the con- 
testant, I am satisfied, is not well taken, and 
that the legislature has power to pass an act 
fi.\ing the number of votes required to remove 
a county seat. 

As to the proposition that such election 
should be declared void, it appears from the 
petition, as well as the evidence and admis- 
sions of tlie parties, that the election was duly 
called, and that it was held under and pui- 
suant to chapter one of the general statutes 
of this state: that the ballot used was such as 
is provided for in that chapter and that it 
clearly informed the elector for what he was 
voting, and I am unable to see how he could 
have been mislead or in anj- manner deceived 
by the use of such ballot, nor is the manner of 
the return by the judges of election to the 
county auditor questioned. 

The county commissioners canvassed tiie 
vote on the 13tli day of July, three daVs after 
the holding of the election, presumably under 
tiie jirovisions of section (i.50 of the general 
statutes of 1894. 

Xo claim was made ujioii the trial that any 
fraud was ])erpetrated at any stage of the 
election or in canvassing the returns, and it 
clearly appears from the evidence had upon 
tlie trial that there was a total of 3,570 votes 
cast at such election, less than 55 per cent 
of which, viz: 1931, were cast in favor of the 
proposition to change the county seat. 

It is therefore found as a conclusion of law 
that the contestant is not entitled to the re- 
lief asked for, and that such proceeding should 
be dismissed. 

Let judgment 1h> entered accordingly. 

There was talk of appealing the case to 
the supreme court, but for several months 
no action was taken. Then exigencies 
ai-oso. in connection with the campaign 
against tlie erection df a jail building, 
\\hicli demanded an appeal, and in July, 
liidl, Lakefield gave notice of appeal. 
The case was disposed of in the supreme 
court January 32, 1902, the decision be- 
ing favorable to Jackson. 

The construction of the county jail 
building at Jackson in 1901 and 1902 
was an event of im]iortancc ijecause of its 
bearing on the cotinty seat removal ques- 
tion and because of the fact that it paved 
the way, to a certain extent, for tlie future 
construction of a court house. That those 
who favored the removal of the county 
seat to Lakefield realized its importance 



is altfstcd l)y tiie strenuous iiglit put up 
against its coiistruttirm. Several injunc- 
tions were secunMl and a liitter fight con- 
tinued until the building actually jjassed 
into the hands of ihe county. 

The people of Jackson, realizing tliat 
the construction of a jail building would 
have a favorable influence upon the next 
county seat contest — which was sure to 
conic — donated to the county a site for a 
jail building, with the proviso that title 
should revert to the village of Jackson in 
case tlie site should ever cease to be used 
for county jail purpa-es. The first of- 
ficial step toward erecting the building 
was taken early in July, 1001. when the 
county commissioners (Commissioners P. 
H. Berge, John il. Olson and Henry 
Thielvoldt voting yes. and Commissioners 
David Crawford and George lu-bcs voting 
no) passed a. resolution that a j:iil lie 1)uilt 
according to plans furnished by Archi- 
tect Kinney. On the same day a contract 
was made with the Pauly Jail & Manu- 
facturing company, of St. liouis, for the 
erection of the building, to be completed 
:March 1, 1902, and to cost $17,450. 

This procedure brought the friends of 
Lakefield to immediate activity. It was 
then thfit the appeal ol the county seat re- 
moval case was made to the supreme court. 
An injunction, jirohibiting the county 
commissioners from building a jail, was 
asked froiii tlic district cmiit.' ;ind Judge 
Quinn granted a temporary restraining 
order. Tlie defemlants niovc<l to dissolve 
the writ of injunction, and nn July 27 
Judge Quinn did so. 

After the court had removed the legal 
liarrior. the county commissioners, in spec- 
ial session July ^0 and :il. nuide ar- 
rangements to proceed with the work. It 
was decided to raise $10,000 bv bonding. 

'The case wa.s entitled A. M. St. Jnlin. plain- 
tiff, vs. P. D. McKcllar. county aiulltor. David 
CYawford. P. H. BcrKC Honry Thielvoldt. 
Oeorge Krbp.s and John M, Olson, lunnty com- 
missioners, def^ndants. 

and to utilize cash in tlie treasury for the 
balance. The former contract was n - 
scinded and bids were called for. to be 
o])eiied September 11. Again the Lakc- 
ticld people appealed to the district court. 
l-larly in Sei)teniber they went liefore 
.hidge Quinn and askid for an injunction 
restraining the commissioners from spend- 
ing county money for a jail building and 
for other relief. This hearing was held 
at Fairmont September 10 before Judge 
Kingslev. Ili> ilccision was to the elTect 
that the commissioners had perfect legal 
audiority to carry out their proposed 
plans: the injunction was refused. 

Bids for the construction of the jail 
iiuilding were opened, and on Scptenilier 
r.* a new contract was made wilii the 
I'aulv Jail & Manufacturing company at 
a price of $1-1,2(10. On January 7. 1!I02, 
the specifications were ciianged and $3,2iiO 
was added to ihe contract jiricc The 
supiemc court decision of January 22, 
[W2. on the matter of bond.* furnished 
by the Lakelielcl people, elTectually dis- 
po.sed of the claim tliat the injuiution 
against the commissioners building a jail 
was still in force. For the time being all 
legal objection to proceeding with the jail 
Iiuilding was Tcmoved. 

Having received nothing but unfavor- 
able ilecisions in their efforts to pp-vent 
the building of the jail, the Lakcficld peo- 
])le next demanded an injunction |H-ohib- 
iting the commissioners from issuing the 
$10,000 bonds, and in this they were sur- 
cessful. The case was entitled William 
D. Hill vs. the county commissioners, and 
was brought Itefore Judge Quinn in 
March, 1902. On the 2Sth of that month 
the judge made an order, holding, among 
other things, that the county .seat was at 
Jackson, that the county commissioners 
were vested with authority to contract for 
the building of a jail to the extent of all 
inonev in the troasurv availalile for that 



]nirpose, but that they must not enter into 
,iny contract that required the expendi- 
ture of mure money than wa? so availalile. 
Tliis, of co"iirse, prevented the bond is- 
sue, but the majority of the county board 
found a way out of the difficulty. Oil 
April 18. in special session, on the prop- 
osition of the I'auly Jail & Manufactur- 
in,;;- company, the commissioners abro- 
gated the contracts before made and en- 
tering into a new contract with the same 
company for the erection of the Ijuilding 
(without tlie steel cells, etc.) at a price 
of $9,000. wliich amount was 
The building was completed, accepted by 
the commissioners July 24, 1902. and a 
^\■a^rant drawn for the contract price. On 
Septemlier 2.'^) the contract for the cell 
'work was let to the same company for 
$7,800, that aniount then being available. 
The completed jail was accepted July 13, 
190.J, and a full settlement nvas made at 
that time. 

As has been stated previously, prosper- 
ous times continued in Jackson county 
until the -year 1903. That was a year of 
disasters and marked the beginning of a 
short era of depression, due to partial 
crop failures because of excessive rainfall. 

The disasters of the 3"ear began May 
22. . For several days succeeding there 
Kcve continual aiuj awful rain, wind and 
electric storms that did great damage in 
all parts of the county, as well as in all 
southwestern ^lionesota. Creeks and riv- 
ers overflowed and sloughs Ijecame vast 
lakes. Bridges were washed away, tele- 
phone and telegraph lines were destroyed, 
and the railroad lines were put out of 
commission. The damage to crops was 
great, and many buildings were wrecked 
by the wind. 

The most disastrous wind storm, in the 
luatter of of life and destruction to 
property, in the history of Jackson coun- 
ty occurred Tuesday evening, June 30, 

11)03. The death dealing tornado trav- 
ersed portions of LaCrosse and Weimer 
townships and entered the northeast cor- 
ner of Delafield, killing seven people and 
destroying property to the value of $100,- 
00(1. The killed were: 

Mrs. Joseph Fritscher 
Miss Aurelia Fritscher 
Mrs. Fritscher's baby girl 
Joseph Mathias 
Daniel Gallagher 
Ellen Gallagher 
Nettie Gallagher 

The Jackson County Times of July -4, 
1!HI3. tells of the storm as .seen from 
Heron Lake : 

About seven o'clock Tuesday evening a dense 
lilack cloud was seen to form on the lower hori- 
zon northwest of town that was perfectly 
stationary, but almost immediately after its 
formation a white loud, which appeared to 
come from beyond the vision somewhere in the 
northeast, started towards it and was appar- 
ently engulfed in the heavier mass. This pro- 
cess continued for about ten or fifteen minutes, 
when all at once the dense black mass appear- 
ed to leap upward, leaving a clear space of a 
bright red tint between it and the horizon. 
After this sudden move it again became sta- 
tionar.v for a few seconds, when it started 
again at a terrific speed directl.y towards Heron 
Lake, but in less time than it takes to descrilie 
it, in fact one might sa.v the twinkling of an 
eve, it chan.eed its course to almost direct 
northeast, when the work of destruction to life 
and property commenced. 

The tornado struck the earth at the 
farui of Jcry Sixllivun, on the southeast 
(juarter of section 1-5, LaCrosse township, 
threr and one-half miles northeast of Her- 
on Lake. There the only damage was 
the destruction of a A\indmill and a hen 
house. .Terry Sullivan and Martin Lar- 
son, who were in the barn at the time, 
stated that the air was as hot as a blast 
from a furnace. From the Sullivan farm 
the storm traveled northeast to John 
Beichner's place, where it demolished the 
barn, granary, engine house, three bug- 



gies and farm niachinery and did consid- 
erable damage to the iioiise. The family 
were in the hou-se but escaped injury. The 
home of Chris Krieger, on the I'owlit- 
cheek I'ann. \va> struck, but the damage 
there was not gnuu. The hog house was 
torn to piece.- and the barn moved off its 
foundation. The family sought shelter in 
an out-door cellar. 

Tlie tnrnailn hnil gained great force 
when it icailird ihe farm home of John 
Mathias, and nothing but splinters of 
ruin were left of the barns, granaries and 
otlier outbuildings, while the largo resi- 
dence was almost a total wreck, altliougli 
it was left on the fnundation. A num- 
Ijcr of hogs wen' killed. With one c.n- 
ceptioii all the ini'iiihei's <if the family 
were in the house during the storm and 
ci^caped injury. Jose])li ^lathias, twenty 
years of age, was in the field when the 
storm came up and was killed when (m 
his way to the h.ouse by being struck by 
Hying timbers. The Hager school house, 
nearby, was entirely destroyed and its 
ruins scattered over a large area. At 
Henry Meyers' home all sought shelter in 
the cellar. The house was not injured, 
but all the other buildings were destroyed. 
Cottonwood trees, 12 to lo inches in diam- 
eter, were twisted nil" and hurled in :il! 

'j'hree human live.' were lost at Joseph 
Frit.sclier's home on (he Louis Hager farm, 
where the storm next appeared. Here the 
house, barns and siieds were blown to 
jjieces and all the machinery on the jilaee 
piled in one heap, while many of the trees 
in the grove were twisted oif. The Kritscher 
family saw the storm approaching and 
were preparing to seek safety in the cel- 
lar, but the storm struck the house be- 
fore they got down. Mrs. Frit-scher was 
killed instantly, her head being nearly 
severed from her body. Her little baby 
girl was also killed, its skull having been 

crushed. Aurelia Kritscher, another child, 
bad her back broken and died soon after 
found. Mr. Krit.scher"s father, who was in 
the liarn at the time of the storm, had 
his jaw liroken and was Ijadly injured. 
The childien of tiie family. e.\ce])ting the 
two killed, were not badly hurt. Mr. 
Frit.sclier was rendered unconscious i)y in- 
juries received, and wlien he came to his 
senses found himself lying in a grove. 

From the Fritscher home the storm 
crossed the township line into Weinier and 
struck Bernard iliranowski's home, blow- 
ing down the l>arn and corniribs and tear- 
ing .some of the shingles olT the iiini>c. 
^fr. iliranowski received a slight ga.-li in 
the head and was the only one on the 
place injured. Wiicn he saw thi' storm 
a|)])roach he sought .-afety by lying lint on 
tiie ground in a driveway between the 
corncribs. Ai Mrs. Chepa's place the 
house and all the other buildings were en- 
tirely destroyed and some stoek was kill- 
ed, ilrs.. Chepa and a daughter sought 
shelter in the grove, where they clung to 
a tree, iliss Chepa was struck by a fly- 
ing board, wliicii tore off a piece of her 
scalp and a braid of hair. The braiil was 
later found a half mile away. 

After leaving the Chepa place the storm 
broadened its course. It destroyed a barn 
and hog at Frank Stenzefs and 
l)roke most of the windows out i>f the resi- 
dence. About a half mile from there, at 
Clement SIcn/elV. I he iiarn was destroy- 
ed. At F. l"'.. Streator's farm a new barn 
and granary were destroyed and several 
cattle killed, some of them being carried 
to the Little lies ^loines river, a half mile 
awav. The bridge over the l)es Moines 
east of Streator's was destri>yed. 

.\bou( a mile I'a.-t of the bridge the 
storm .-fruek tii.' hmne of Dr. Westernian 
and demoli.'ihed everything on the place 
excepting a threshing machine engine. 
This was an exceptionally fine farm home, 


[public LIBRARY 



iuul lliL' liissL's amounted to over $20,000. 
I'j^lit liiiildiiigs were entirely demolished, 
luuoli macJiinery and several vehicles were 
destroyed, se\eral head of stock were kill- 
ed, and the fields were .stripped as clean 
a.~ tliougii they had been plowed. The 
twehe peojile who «ere on the place es- 
caped injuiy liy crouching in the cellar. 

The ne.xt jjlace to feel the hand of the 
destroyer was the home of Daniel GalJa- 
glier, on tlie south bank of String lake, 
and here the three inhabitants on tlie 
place were killed. The house was blown 
into the lake and tlie other Inuldings torn 
to iiieces. Mr. Gallagher and his daugh- 
ter, Ellen, were blown into the lake and 
drov.-ned. Nettie Gallagher, another 
daughter, was found on the bank of the 
lake, a mutilated cor])se. Wilder, a mile 
south of the scene of this disaster, was 
unharmed. From the Gallagher place the 
storm continued eastward toward Win- 
dom, but soiui lost its force. 

While the whole season of lIlOo was 
rainy, it was not until Septeml)er that the 
deluge came. Beginning with Friday, 
September 11, and continuing several 
days, came an awful downpour of water, 
the greatest in the history of the county, 
and thousands of dollars worth of dam- 
age was done. The Des Moines river and 
the many creeks rose to great heights, 
carrying away bridges in all parts of the 
county. Heron lake was reported to be 
rising at the rate of eight inches an hour 
on Sunday, the ISth — sometliing entirely 
without precedent. Two thousand feet of 
Milwaukee track were washed out between 
Okabena and Jliloma, and the grade at 
the Ijridge at Okabena was washed down 
from three to eight feet. Whole sections 
of the county were nnder water, the north 
part of Alba township and the south part 
of LaCrosse township being a vast lake. 
Grain and hay stacks in many parts of 
the county were nnder water, and in 

places the water was so high the stacks 
floated away. Heavy winds accompanied 
the rains in some townships, and many 
wrecked buildings resulted. The losses 
from all causes were enormous and had 
a disastrous efl:ect on the county's prosperity. 

The first official step toward the erec- 
tion of Jackson county's new court house 
was taken July 23, 1903, when the board 
of county commissioners in special ses- 
sion resolved to raise the sum of $50,000 
for the purpose of erecting and furnish- 
ing the building and provided for hold- 
ing a special election to vote on the ques- 
tion of bonding for that amount. The 
division of the voters on the question was 
about the same as it had been on the 
county seat removal question. The west 
side of the county a]id the country tribu- 
tary to Lakefiold voted almost solidly 
against the bonds, while the people fav- 
orable to Jackson retaining the county 
seat voted as solidly for the bonds. The 
bonding proposition was defeated by a 
vote of 1.551 to 1,316. By precincts the 
vote was as follows : 








Des Moines 


Ewington. . .... 

Heron Lake Township 











































Round Lake 

Sioux Valley 


West Heron Lake 




Heron Lake Village 








again early in 100(> there was available 

Uiirinj; the ])erii)(l of stngnation canned 
hy the nnfavoral)le eroj) conditions dur- 
inj: tile few yeai>; of the last deeade, 
the eensus of l!t(l."> — llie hist before the 
j)ublieation of this volume — was taken. 

of only 1.") in five years — the only five year 
period in the countyV history when a 
sidjstiintial gain was not recorded. ' Of 
the till d |po|)u!iitiiin, 7,S44 wen- nialo 
,ind (>,!l!»4 females. By townshijis the di- 
\ isioii was as follows : 

Althoiigji the i)ond proposition was de- 
feated, the majority of the county board, 
su.stained by the sentiment of the people 
(d' Jackson and southeastern Jackson 
county, decided to^ go on with prepara- 
tions for securing the county building. 
The ])eople of Lakefield (who had not 

given up the idc-a of trying again for The population was then 14,838. a 
county scat honors, by any means) and of 
other ])ortions of tiie county naturally 
did everything in their power to l)lock the 
moves made liv tlie countv boai'd, am! a 
lively contest ensued. In July, 1!>0I!. the 
commissioners bad voted a tax of $10,000 
for court house ]mr])oses. but when Couu- 
ty Auditor P. 1 ). M, Kelhir extended the 
taxes on the tax book^ he did not include 
tliis court house tax. The commission- 
ers on .huuutry o, 1904. took action to 
cnm])el him to do so. a.skiiig a writ of 
mandamus from the district court. On 
^larcb 3 Judge Quinn denied the motion 
for mandamus. h<dding that it was prop- 
er that the counts auditor should not ex- 
tend the $lfi,000 upon the tax books. 

In consequence of this decision, tlie 
county was witho\it court hou.«e funds, 
and the matter was of necessity dni])ped 
temporarily. In Jidy. I'.hii. the commis- 
sioners passed a resolution declaring the 

old court house unsuital)le and inade(|uate W iUli-r- ... 
,. ,, f 1 • 1 i. 1 Wisconsin 

lor the purposes tor wliieh it was used, 

and providing for tiic erection of a new 

building to cost not over $ri."),00(l and for 

the procuring of plan.* and specifications 

for such a building." Keejiing within the 

amount ])rovided by law, the connnission- 

crs in 1904 levied a lax of $9,000 for 

court house purposes and the next year 

levied $14,000 for the same purpose, so 

thai when the matter was brouirbl un 



I'elmont . . . 


l)rs Moines 



Heron Luke Towns!ii|>. 
Heron Luke Village .... 

Hunter ..: 

LaC'rosse . . 
Liikeliel.l . 




Hound Lake 

Sicmx Valley 


W'i'st Heron Lake 


■J 11 






I i.sss 

"CommfssUiner.** MeinT Ci. .Vndersnn. Henry 
Georse Erlje.s in Ihc pepatlve. This was the 
ThIelvolcU and J. M. Olson voted In the aftlrm- 
atlve, Commlssioner.s David Crawford and 
vote alway.** recorded in eourl house matters 
while this board wa.s in office. 

Ill tile matter of leiiglh of icsideiice in 
the state the census showed Jackson coun- 
ty to be well represented with |)ioneers. 
There were 10") persons who had resided 
in ilinnesota since before it was admit- 
ted as a state in l.sJ.'iS — a period of over 
47 years. There were l.S4!i who had been 
continuous residents of Minnesota for he- 

'The population of Jackson eountv in census 
years "since the dale of settle-neni ha.*« been jo* 
follows; ISGO. ISl: ],<J65. 2.H : ISTfl. 1.S25: IST"'. 

3S0fi; issn. 4. SOS: (i.iio: issn. g.!i24: is:"r.. 

12. .324: 1900. 14.703; 1005. 14,838. 



tween 25 and 47 years, 8,415 for between The places of birth of the residents of 
five and 25 years, and 3,569 wlio came Jackson county enumerated in the 1S105 
less than five vears before. census are shown in the followine; table: 





















































. 23 



































Dps Moines 



HeronLake Twp. 
Heron Lake Vil. 































La Crosse 























Round Lake 

Siou.v Valley 

Weimer - 















West Heron Lake 


























The building of the cnurt house again 
liecame a live issue at the beginning of 
the year 1906. The coniniissioners then 
had $23,000 in the court house fund and 
decided to begin the woiiv. At the first 
meeting of the lioard that year — on Jan- 
u.i'.y 4 — it was resolved that a court house 
shmilil lie built at once which should cost, 
including furnishings, not over $100,000. 
The resolution was carried by the affirm- 
iiiive \(ites (if t'oininissidiu'is .Vnderson, 
'I'iiielvoldt and Olson, Coniniissioners ]\Ic- 
Xab" and Crawford voting no. Arrange- 
ments were made to secure ]dans and' 
specifications, and on February 2 the 
board accepted the plaa^^ of Buechner & 
Orth. who estimated the cost of the pro- 
posed building at not over $80,000, not 
including vault fixtures, electric light fix- 
tures or decorations. 

~Diincan McNab had .succeeded George Brbes 
as commissioner. 

The action of the county board in de- 
claring for immediate construction of the 
building precipitated another county seat 
removal contest," which proved to be one 
of the most bitter and hardest fought con- 
tests for county seat honors ever waged 
in ^Minnesota. Over five years had elapsed 
since the (juestion had been voted upon 
and there was no legal liarrier to jiring- 
ing another contest.'" Tlie people of the 
west end of tlic county had been success- 
ful in didaying the commencement of 
work on a new court house until sucli 

■■"■Thi.s movement i.s the logical result ot the 
action ot the majority of the members of the 
board of county comniissioners at their annual 
meeting a month ago, when they passed a 
resolution for the erection of a new court house 
at Jackson to cost $100,000. It is very appar- 
ent that the taxpayers of the count.v do not 
approve the action of the board; and as we 
said three weeks ago. the only way to prevent 
them from carrying out their plans is to move 
the county seat to Lakefleld." — Lakefleld Stand- 
ard, February 1, 1906. 

'"The Minnesota law governing county seat 
removals provides that Ave years must elapse 
after a vote has been taken on- the question be- 
fore it can again be brought to a vote. 



time as they were free to try agaiq for 
removal to LakctieUl. 

Inimoiliately after the lommissioners 
ret^olved to proceed with the huihling the 
eontest was started. On January T.i tlie 
following notice was served "n tl>'' ci'unly 
board : 
To the Hoanl of County Coniiiiissioiiers ot tlu' 

County of Jackson. State of .Minni-sota: 

We, the undersigned, legal voters of the 
county of .lackson. state of .Minnesota, inay 
that tlie county seat llieieof he cliaiif-ed to the 
vilhif,'!' of Lakelield. in said .laekson county. 

To all whom it may concern: 

Notice, is heiehy fiiveii by t!ie undersi-;]!!!! 
legal voters of .lackson county, Minnesota, that 
the foregoing petition will he circulated, hegiu- 
ning not earlier thaji I'ehruary 13. l!H)fi. nor 
later than February l.i, I'.XHi. in said .lackson 
county. Minnesota, for signatures of the legal 
voters of said county for a change of the 
county seat thereof to the village of Lakelield. 
Jackson county. Minnesota. 

Dated at Laketiekl. Minnesota, this I'Md day 
of .lanuary. l!)m>." 

The people of Jackson on Febriiiuv 1 
gave legal notice of ilieir iiUriilidn to inii- 
test the removal of the eoiinty seat,'- and 
the hitter contest was on. In two of the 
former contests the question had lieen 
hrought to a vote without much clTort on 
the part of Jackson to pi'evcnt it. In 
this conflict tactics were changed. .lack- 
son determining to tight the petition and 
prevent, if jjossible, the qucjition from be- 
ing submitted to the voters, by securing 
withdrawals of signatures from the origi- 
nal petition and by attacking the validity 
of the petition.'^ Jacksim's line of action 

"This notice was signed by L. F. I.ammers. 
G. C. Buckeve. Jerry Sullivan. G. E. Morrl.son. 
John Bcsscr. S. Dahl. August Seheppnian. J. C. 
Ruthcnbpck. F. C. Ahrens. Ferdinand Mllbnith. 
C. F. Uossow. G.- B. McMurtry. S. R. Dubetz. 
Fred \V. Eder. John FivdiTlekson. Joseph F. 
Golllko. Henrv Hohensteln. Charles Wlnzer. 
■William A. Bleter. E. J. Grimes. F. J. Stcnzel. 
C. R. J. Kellam. J. F. LIcpold and F. A. Cooley. 

"The notice was signed by \V. C. Portmann. 
Henry Cook. H. G. .Xnderson. I.ouls Iverson. 
John!-. Dunn. W. D. Hunter. H. H. Bcrge. M. 
D .\shlev. O. M. Ashley. Dan McNamarn. Jos- 
eph Smvkal. l.eon Davis. Harry Sandon. Charles 
L Coll.V. John I.. King. W. E. Manchester. P. 
C Nelsim. A. C. Serum. C. \V. Withers. Ray- 
monil Biirloseh. F. J. Hruby, J. S. FIddes and 
A. H. Strong. 

"I'nder the law. sixty per cent of the num- 
ber who voted at the last general election must 

in the early part of the contest v*as t<i 
prevent people favorable to Jackson from 
signing the Lakelield petition. "Refusr 
to sign the petition," was the slogan. "If 
vflu refuse to sign, there will be no vote." 
.\i\ agreement, of no legal standing, how- 
ever, was drawn up and circulated for th' 
signatures of those who would agree not i" 
sign the Lakelield petition, and many s- 
bound themselves." 

The workers for each town dccland 
their intentions ot conducting an honor- 
able campaign, but each seemed to think 
ijic other side was not going to. Early 
in the campaign — on January 30 — the 
people of Lakelield olVered a reward of 
three liundred dollars for evidence that 
would lead to the conviction of any par- 
ties for bribery or corrupt practice in the 
election, the offer being signed by many 
of the leading men of Lakefield. The 
people of Jackson countered by proposing 
ihal the people <d" each town deposit five 
hundred dollars in a Windom bank, to be 
paid on the order ol the district jud-. 
after the conviction of anyone for briiieiv 
or corruption in connection with the con- 
test. There were ivi lonvictions. 

.Vgaiii Lakelield (dlercd its city hall for 
court house uses if the removal should he 
accomplished. This was done by resolu- 
tion of the village council February ■>. 
The building was offered for a term of 
ten years at an annual rental of one dol- 

slgn the petition In order to bring the (lueatlon 
to a vote. .\t the general election In Unit thti. 
had been .1.055 votes; therefore il was ii. ■ 
essary for l.S:;i legal voters t» sign the p.ii 
tlon liefore the commissioners were autboriZ' I 
to call an election ami submit the iiuestloti. 

"The agreement was as follows: 

"In view of the fact that Jackson e.iunly hi' 
alreadv bail three eontests for tbi' removal ••< 
the county seat to l.aketleld. and that such coii- 
te.<its are a cause of heavy expensi' to the tax- 
pavers of the county and stir up strife, en- 
geiider bitter feelings and ti-nd to demoralize 
the people, we, the undersigned, legal voters 
of Jackson countv. Minnesota, hereby state 
that we are not in fav ir of another comity .seal 
contest and for that reason we hereby pi>om- 
ise and agree with each other that we will not • 
sign a iietitlon for th- ihange of the county 
seat, notice of the intention to circulate whiih 
is now being published. 

"Dated Jannar>- 29, 1906," 



Inr, with privilege of renewal for another 
ten year period at the same price. Pri- 
vate parties also agreed that "if the vaults 
in the above mentioned building are not 
sufficient to contain all the records of said 
Jackson county, wo will build onto the 
a!)Ovc mentioned building additional 
vaults, fire-proof and water-proof, neces- 
sarv for the use of the officers of Jack- 
son county, Minnesota, without any cost 
to Jackson county.'"' This oifer was char- 
acterized as l)ribery by the opposing work- 
ers, and authorities were cited to show 
that sncli an offer constituted hriliery of 
the voters. 

The Lakcficld workers covered all parts 
of the county in their campaign for sig- 
natures. The newspapers waged a mnd- 
slinging campaign, full of personalities, 
and charged rank corruption and irregu- 
larity on the part of the opposing forces.'" 
On Mai'ch 30 the Lakefield workers com- 
]ileted their campaign and filed the peti- 
tion with the countv auditor. It con- 

'■■'The offer was .signed by J. M. Putman. S. R. 
Dubetz. Thomas Crawford, C. B. Edwards. H. 
M. Clark. Fred W. Eder. R. .-Vrtman. G. R. \'an 
Dike. A. Jackson. H. A. Rhodes. George Mil- 
burn. .\. Bettin. E. Schumacher. A. J. Sparks. 
Gilbert Rue. M. McGlin. Hans J. Hauge. J. G. 
Hellen. .\ugust Blankenburg. Sr.. R. D. Pietz. 
J W. Daubnev. E. Erickson. Emil Zarling. Hen- 
rv .\lbers. .Albert .Armstrong. E. E. Collins. C. 
M. Gage. L. J. Britsch. George J. Britsch. C 
M. Tradewell. Ross W. Daubney. Joseph Kolash. 
E. Lewis. James D',-\rcy. J. A. Anderson. L. K. 
.\nderson. John G. Gage. George Payne. Martin 
Dahl. Lars J. Johnson, William Lockner. Jos- 
eph J. Jones. William Frees. J. W. Crisman. 
Andrew J. Johnson, F. R. Hansen, Lo Fader, 
John Frederickson. Edward Kolander. A. L. 
Baehus. D. Crawford. J. A. Mansfield. H. L. 
Bond. B. Weppler. B. W. Payne. M. B. Hotstad. 
J. G. Christie. John G. MiUer. J. C. Caldwell. 
H P. Thompson. Joseph F. Golitko. A. A. Fos- 
ness. William Hecht. Claus Wiese, .\ugust 
Lockner. G. B. McMurtry, Henry Comnick. Au- 
gust Blankenburg. Charles Blankenburg. F. F. 
Rilev. William Rost. .A. M. St. John. O. Thore- 
son. E. p. Maldaner. Ed. .\rnold. J. A. Leven- 
ick. S. Searles. John McGlin. E. A. Gage. George 
Winzenburg. George .\. Wesner. Z. M. Turner. 
John Grein. D. L. Riley. A. S. Foslie. Herman 
Schnltz. James Rost. F. B. White. H. P. Stone. 
C. .\. Bell. Henry Tank and G. H. Wood. 

"Said the Jackson County Pilot on February 
22: "Well founded reports of men known not 
to be yoters being urged and in many instances 
induced to sign the petition for removal are 
common. In several instances men have de- 
liberately been made intoxicated and while in 
'that condition induced to sign. Bulldozing 
seems to be a favorite method and has become 
so common as to cease to excite com- 

tained the names of 3,000 persons — 339 
more than the sixty per cent recjuired by 
law to bring the matter to a vote. April 
y was the date set for the consideration of 
the petition by the county board. 

With the filing of the petition came the 
campaign of the Jackson workers to se- 
cure withdrawals from the petition. ''' 
They also went to all parts of the count}' 
in their efforts to secure enough with- 
drawals to beat the petition. These work- 
ers were openly charged with bribery by 
the press favorable to Lakefield.'* 

When the board of county commission- 
ers met on April 9 to act on the petition 
intense excitement prevailed ; the nerves 
of everyone were at high tension. George 
W. Somerville appeard before the board 
for the petitioners and T. J. Knox and 
H. H. Dunn for the contestants. The 

''The withdrawal is a legal document provid- 
ed for in the county seat removal law. It is 
acknowledged before a notar.v public, justice of 
the peace or other public official, and when pre- 
sented to the county board at the consideration 
of the original petition removes the name of 
the signer from the petition. After the with- 
drawal is presented it may be revoked by the 
proper legal procedure. Following was the form 
used by Jackson in this contest: 

"Having heretofore signed the petition pray- 
ing that the county seat of Jackson county, 
Minnesota, be changed to the village of Lake- 
field in said county, the circulation of which 
petition was begun on or about February 13, 
1906, I desire to and do withdraw my name 
from said petition and request the county board 
of said county to strike my name therefrom, 

and I hereby authorize to appear 

for me before the county board of commission- 
ers of said county and in my name and stead 
and as my attorney but without expense to me, 
to withdraw and strike my name from said 
petition and to act in and about said matter as 
fully to all intents and purposes as I could do 
if personally present, hereby ratifying and con- 
firming all that my ,said attorney shall do or 
cause to be done by virtue hereof. 

"Witness mv hand this day of 


"Witnessed by " 

"Said the Lakeiield Standard: "The Jackson 
workers are out through the country using the 
most dishonest tactics to get the yoters to 
withdraw their names from the petition. If you 
know of anyone who has been induced by Jack^ 
son's dishonest tactics to sign a withdrawal, 
bring him to Lakefield AT ONCE, or let us 
know who it is. so he can have a chance to 
sign a paper putting his iiame back on the 
petition. . . . Out in Round Lake township 
the Jaci<son canvassers have tried to make the 
signers of the Lakefield petition believe that it 
is against the law to pay more than five dol- 
lars for withdrawals. We have consulted the 
revised statutes, but can find no such provis- 


attonu'vs lor the people of Jack- tract lor tlie new court house. On tli.' 
son offered to prove fraud and l)rihery in !>tli of May a resohstioji was passed l.y 
ohtaininj; signatures to tiic i)etition and the hoard to advertise for bids for tlie 
revocations of withdiawals; tlie attorney ere-tion of the building iu accordance 
for Lakelield offered to prove fraud and «ith the plans selected, the bids to he 
bribery in securing witi!<lrawals. Hut opened June. 11. On that date, there be- 
this evidence was not introduced, tlie ing no satisfactory bids, the board rea.l- 
board ruling that it had power only to vertised for bids, to be openc^d July 9. Be 
consider those matters committed to its fore the new bids were opened the conn- 
consideration by the statute and that it again took a hand in the proceeding, 
had not power to consider matters not so Oii June 9 papers were served on the 

defined.'" For one >\eek the boan! was in hoard of county commissioners, giving no- 
scssion determining the standing of the tiee of injunction proceedings, brought in 
])etition. Five hundreil twelve names tbe name of John Nestrud. asking that 

they be forbidden to let the contract for 
the erection of a court house. The ea>' 
came to trial June 2."> i)efore Judges Jaim - 
H. Quinn and Lorin Cray, sitting tn- 
gcthei-. In a decision dated June 2!> anil 
tiled July 5 tiie injunction was dissolved, 
the court holding tlial the commissioner- 
would not be exceeding their rights in 
proceeding with the building of a court 
iiouse or any part of it. .so long as i\u\ 
did not make the pecuniary liability ■■; 
the county exceed .$2;i.00(l. the am<iunl 
then available for the purpa-;e: that be- 
yond that aiiiouni lliey could not ccnitract 
until miu-e funds were available. 

Court bouse building and county simi 
removal matters were eomidieated at tin- 
st.ige of the procc^'dings by llie temporary 
suspension from office of Commissioner 
Henry (!. .Vnderson. ("barges were (iUhI 
againsi Mr. .\ndei.-on before (;r)vernor 
Jolm .\. .lolmson i.n .lulv .".,-- and tlio 

were stricken from the jietition for va- 
rious reasons,-" leaving 1,.")48. or ^TS less 
than the sixty per cent of voters as re- 
ipiired l)y law. The roniini.ssioners denied 
tlie ]iraver of the petiticmers ; another 
county seal contest was ended. 

No sooner did it liecome evident tiiat 
the petition would (ail before the board 
of county commissioners than steps were 
taken to circulate a new petition anil re- 
open the contest. Official notice to this 
etTect was given \\m\ IS. it being an- 
nounced that the jietition would be cir- 
culated beginning not earlier than May 7 
nor later than May 9.=' While this new 
petition was being circulated during the 
months of ;May and Juno the county 
board was taking steps to let the c(ui- 

"Spotlon 3»S revised code reads as follows: 
■•Dulles of the roimt>- board at the time and 
place speiltUd in the notice, proof of its service 
havlnK been liUil: the board shall meet to act 
on said petition and shall in.iaire ami deter- 
mine which, if any. i>f the sinners thereof were 
not. at the time of siKoiiiB tiie sjimc. legal 
voters of said count.v. and which, if any. of the 
sienatures thereto were not attached within 
«ixtv days preceding the tilliiB thereof; and 
which If any. have been wllhilrawn. all snch 
slKnatures shall be stricken from the petition 
iind deducted from the count, and a list there- 
of certltled by the board, shall be filed forth- 
with with the county auditor. . . ." 

=»These 512 names stricljen off were tabulated 
as follows: 1!« duplicate siitnatures. 22S with- 
drawals. 8S minors, non-residents and aliens. 1 

"The notice was signed by John Nestrud. G. 
T. Juveland. ll.-rman I'ohlman. N. A. Johnson. 
Jan S'tinar. John Koch. John M. Hovelsrud. F. 
F. Murphv. B. M. Hovelsrud. Ole O. Sandager. 
Tronil O. Trondson. B. V. Elverum. W. 1.. Frost. 
Wilhelm Hohenstein. .\ugust Hubner. Matt 
Gentrv. .Vxel Sandberg and C. F. Rossow. 

=^Jackson people contended that the IllitiB "f 
the charges against Mr. .Vndersoa was a ilc- 
liberate attempt on the part of l.akefield to at- 
tain advantagi's which the court denied them. 
The Republic on July 13 .said: 

".Vfter the Ijikerteld county seat removHl 
schemers failed in Iheir ambition to induce the 
courts to interfere by injunction to prevent the 
building of a new c<uirt house, they proceeded 
to carry out a prearranged scheme to carry 
the matter before the governor and under the 
guisi- of lUlng charges againsi County ("ommls- 
sloner H. (i. Anderson, and securing his tem- 
porarv susp.usicui from office until after the reg- 
,il:ir Julv meeting of thi- county l)oard and 
the meeting called for July 23 to consider and 
act upon the second removal i"iitiMn they at- 



same day the governor suspended Mr. An- 
derson, pending the determination of the 
iliarges in a final hearing August 1. On 
.Inly G a delegation went from Jackson 
to St. Paul and interviewed the governor, 
with the result that the state executive 
revoked his order and reinstated Mr. An- 
derson. At the hearing of the Jackson 
county officer before Commissioner Pow- 
er.s on July 13 the proceedings were dis- 
missed on tlie motion of George W. Som- 
erville. Lakefield's attorney. 

The l)ids for the construction of the 
court house were opened July 9. Charles 
Skooglum, of St. Paul; was the successful 
bidder, his bid for the building complete 
being $91,082. Because of tlie injunction 
of the court not to contract for a greater 
sum than was available in cash for the 
jnirpose, the commissioners let the con- 
tract only for the fonndation, up to and 
including the water table, the bid for this 
part of the building being $10,330.=^ July 
10 another levy for conrt house purposes 
of $13,000 was made. The work of tear- 
ing down the old court house was begun 
July 2.5, the county officers utilizing the 
Jackson city liall for offices. Excavation 
work for the new building was begun Sep- 
ten;!ber 4. 

Before the court house program had 
lieen carried tliis far, however, the last 
county seat contest liad been brought to 
a close. The county scat removal people 
fded their petition July 3. It contained 
1,881 names — sixty more than the num- 
ber required by law. The date of consid- 
ering the petition was July 23. The Jack- 
son forces again canvassed the county for 
withdrawals and were successful in se- 

tempted and nearly succeeded in ending the 
decision of the court and securing tlie same re- 
sults that they attempted to secure in their 
injunction suit." 

^Owing to failure to post the proper notices, 
the letting of the contract was found to be in- 
valid. Bids were again called for. and on .Au- 
gust IS a new contract was entered into with 
Charles Skooglum on a bid of $10,225 for the 

curing more than enough to defeat the 

At the meeting of tiie county board on 
July 23 to detcrniinc tlie sufficiency of the 
petition Attorneys J. A. i\lansfield and 
Ole Thoreson i-epresented Lakefield and 
Attorney T. J. Knox represented Jackson. 
The work of striking names from the 
petition because of withdrawals was con- 
tinued until the 24th. Then it was an- 
nounced tliat 106 names had been taken 
off, leaving 1,775 on the petition — not 
enough to warrant bringing the question 
to a vote. ProceeJirgs were discontinu- 
ed. The twenty years county seat war 
was at an end. 

There not being enough funds available 
to complete the court house Iniilding, on 
January 7, 1907, the county commission- 
ers decided to again put the question of 
issuing bonds to the people.-' The special 
election was held Febnuiry 19, the ques- 
tion at issue being the issuance of $65,000 
worth of bonds. A majority of 129 in 
favor of the proposition was given, the 
precincts voting as follows : 



















































Des Moines 



Heron Lake Twp ... 





Round Lake 


West Heron Lake 

.Jackson . 


Heron Lake Vil 





='A similar resolution was passed July 25, 




From that time all was smooth sailing. 
Contracts were let April 16, 1907, as fol- 
lows: Charles Skooglum, court house 
above basement, $7-J,438; Cuddy & Cav- 
anaugh, lieating plant and plumbing, 
$7,317; Nemis & Nemis, electrical work, 
$740; Diebold Safe & Lock company, 
vault doors and shutters, $1,700. March 
3, 1908, a contract was let to Crown Elec- 
trical Manufacturing company for elec- 
tric light fixtures, on a bid of $1,475. 
This brought the contract price up to a 
little less than $100,000. When the build- 
ing was finally completed and furnished 
the total cost, excluding sidewalks, was 

The corner stone of the court house was 
laid with ceremonies July 9, 1907, United 
State Senator Moses E. Clapp and Hon. 
T. J. Knox being the principal speakers. 

1906, but on the same day the resolution was 

=^Statement of cost made by Henry G. An- 
derson, chairman of the board of county com- 
missioners, at dedication. June 22. 1909. 

The building was finally completed early 
in 1909 and the dedicatory exercises werf 
held June 22, 1909. The dedicatory ad- 
dress was delivered by Judge P. E. Brown 
and the other speakers were Judge James 
ir. Quinn, T. .1. K\\o\ and Henry 0. An- 

The events of the last few years of 
Jackson county's histoiy can be told in a 
few words. For thice or four years fol- 
lowing 1903 the cumparative dull times 
continued. Then came better times. A 
bountiful crop was rai.sed in 1907, good 
prices prevailed, and the financial flurry 
that fall caused no anxiety among the 
people of Jackson cr,\in(y. .V good crop 
was raised in 1908, and in 1909 the most 
bountiful harvest of a decade was gather- 
ed. The year 1910 opens witli the people 
of Jackson county liappy, contented and 
])rosperous. They inhabit the best county 
the bright light of heaven ever shown 







POLITICAL— 1858-1882. 

JACKSON county's political history 
covers a period of time from 1858 to 
tlie present, excluding the years 1863 
to 1865. The county was organized in 
1858 and its organization continued until 
tlio Siou.x massacre of 186"2 ; then the 
county became deserted and, of course, 
the government was discontinued. The 
second organization was brought about in 
1865 and has continued without interrup- 
tion to the present. 

As has been stated before, very little is 
known of the first organization or of the 
government under tliat organization. With 
only a few exceptions, all its records have 
been destroyed, and there is no one now 
living wlio was intimate enough with the 
local political affairs of that day to give 
us any reliable data; we must content 
ourselves with the meager records that 
have been saved. 

When the first settlers came and found- 
ed the Springfield settlement they were 
under the local government of Brown 
county, but there is no evidence to show 
that these pioneers had any county busi- 
ness to attend to, and it is doubtful if the 
county officials at New Ulm, the county 
seat, even knew of the exi.stence of the lit- 
tle settlement on tlie extreme southern 
edge of their county. The act of the leg- 
islature of May 23, 1857, created Jackson 

county and removed it from tlie jurisdic- 
tion of Brown county. 

There were only a few residents of 
Jackson county at the time of its crea- 
tion, and no effort was made to bring 
about its organization until some time in 
1858. Then the people of the new coun- 
ty chose John B. Fish, Alexander Wood 
and a Mr. Britton to act as commissioners 
to perfect the organization under the act 
of 1857. But that act had provided that 
the governor should name the commis- 
sioners, and the state official did not rec- 
ognize the commissioners named, but ap- 
pointed others, and these, in turn, named 
the other county officers, and the political 
machinery of Jackson county was started. 
Who the first officers of the county were 
is unknown; in fact, tlie names of only a 
few of the officers under the first orsrani- 
zation are known. 

The first election was held in the fall 
of 1858, when a full set of county officers 
was chosen, who succeeded those holding 
office by appointment. Of these officers 
the name of only one is known — Charles 
W. Clark, the sheriff.^ By the time the 
presidential election of 1860 came, there 
were thirty-two electors in tlie county 

'Jackson county order No. 89, dated Septem- 
ber 9, 1862. a short time after the massacre, 
was for $28.50 and ^as drawn in favor of 
Charles W. Clark "for services as sheriff of 
said county for 1859." 




who voted (out of a total populiitiou of 
181) — and all were cast for Abraliam Lin- 
coln for jirc^ridcut.- Tiie polling place was 
at (he village of llelniont, which (lieu 
served as the coun(y seat. \ full 
set of county olTiccrs was chosen at 
thai time, including the following: 
II. i?. Trobridgc. chairman of the 
hoard of county coniniissioncrs; Edward 
Davies, commissioner; Simon Olson, com- 
missioner; Stiles JI. West, sheriiT (al- 
Ihongh he was only nineteen years of 
age) ; ('. 0. Whitney^ clerk of llic hoard; 
and James E. Palmer, assessor of Danby 
township. Those officers, according to a 
sera]) of record preserved, were serving 
during the summer of 18(il. The same 
record would indicate that the following 
were (he election officers for the 18(j0 
election: U. M. West, H. \l. Trobridge, 
James E. Palmer, B. ]\IcCarthy and ('. 0. 
Whitney, judges; Edward Davies and C. 
(). Whitney, clerk.-. .\notlier election 
seems to have been held in IStil, for dur- 
ing the months of Xovembcr and Decem- 
ber of that year bills were paid to (^le 
Burreson and .Tosepii Thomas lor ser- 
vices as judges of election, and to S. T. 
Johnson as clerk of election. During 
18()2 Joseph Thomas was county auditor 
and Olo Peterson was treasurer. 

When the massacre occurred in .\ugust, 
18(!2, (he countv officers tied with the 
other settlers, and their records were eith- 
er lost or destroyed. At the time of the 
attack the treasurer buried the county's 
money in the timber and fled without it. 
However, he returned at night and secured 
i(. From that time until late in the fall 
of 180.5 (when there were 2.3-1 people in 
Jackson county, according (o the census 
of that year) the residents of the county 
were without loial government. 

15i'foic t:ikin'_' up till storv of the scc- 

=Simi'M nisiin in J.Tiksmi li.-piil'Hi', August L'1, 
1891. Stiles M. \Ve.>!t. 

ond organization, let us consider (he icg- 
islativi^ history of Jackson counfy. 

Under the legislalive appor(iounien( of 
18G0 (lie counties of Faribault, llartin, 
Jackson. Cottonwood, Nobles, Pipestone, 
Rock and a jjart of Brown were made (o 
form (he (wentieth district, entitled to 
one senator and one meml)er of (he hoibe. 
The district was so coiistitutcd until iJStiC) 
anil was represen(ed iiy the following leg- 

IStil Sonalc. I.wy K. (■j.'vciaiiil: liinisi". .\. 

18(52- Senati'. Ciiv l\. (Ii'vi'lanil : liiiiisi-. H. 
(). Kciiipfcr. 

ISIi.i Si'iiatc. I), i;. Sliill.uU; liotis.-. .1. It, 

ISill Sciial.'. 1). C.; li.iusr. .f. A. 
I.a timer. 

l,Sli.">- Senate. I), i;. .Sliilloi-k ; lioii-e. J. A. 

lS(i(i .S,-iiate, I). C. Sliilloek: liou^e. .1. II, 

.\ sliglit change was made in district 
No. 20 in 18(i(i, i( being then made (o coiu- 
prise the counties of- Faribault, Martin, 
Jackson, Pottonwood, Murray. Pi|>estone 
and Rock,'' and entided to one senator 
and one representative. Tlii- ,ippoi|ion- 
meni was in force until ISTl. I'ndcr it 
the district was represented as follows: 

ISliT -Senate, .J. H. Wakeliel.l: Imiise. A. 

lSt!.S- Senate. .1. 1!. Wakelield: lioiise. A. H. 

ISCll S-nate. .1. U. Wakelield: lion>e. .7, \V. 

1S7I1 Senal.'. .1. .\. I.atinier: lnuise. .\1. K, I-. 

1S71 -Senate, C. U". ■JlionipMUi; Inni-e. .A, I.. 

In 1871 the counties of Martin, Jack- 
son, Nobles, Rock, Watonwan, Cotton- 
wood, ^lurfay and Pipestone were forniod 
into the tliirty-eighlh district and so re- 
mained until 1881. The district was giv- 
en one senatcu- and (hree reprcscn(a(ivef 
and was served by the following gentle- 
U'cn : 

1S7-2 -Sinale. \\ illiaui 1). IJiee: liouae. K. 
Iterry, W W. Murpliy. (;eor;ie (', Clinnilierlin. 

"N'llibs iiiiintv is not nanieil in this «i)|>or- 
tlonmont, but It became a part nf the district. 



1S73— Senate, William D. Rice: liouse, J. \\ . 
Seager, E. Berry, Sleplieii Miller. 

1.S74 — Senate, E. P. Freeman; house, J. F. 
Daniels, Ole 0. How, N. H. Manning. 

1875 — Senate, E. P. Freeman; house, Charles 
!•'. Crosby, E. Berry, Thomas Rutledge. 

1S7G — Senate, I. P. Durfee; house, J. A. 
Everett. Lee Ilensley, W. H. Mellen. 

1877 — Senate. 1. P. Durfee: H. N. 
Kiel'. Lee Hensley. C. H. Smith. 

1878— Senate. C. H. Smith: liouse, Frank A. 
Dmv. L. H. Bishop, Alexander Fiddes. 

1S7'.I — Senate, A. }). Perkins; house, M. E. 
L. Slianks, T. Lambert, P. J. Kniss. 

ISSl — Senate, A. D. Perkins; house, J. A. 
Armstrong. W. D. Rice. P. J. Kniss. 

I'lic ajipiirtiiiiiiniiit oE 1881 created 
.lacksnn and ^lartin counties into the sixth 
district, entitled to one memlier of each 
house. Tliev remained in tliis district un- 
til 18;)9 and were represented as follows: 

1883— Senate. H. M. Ward; liouse. J. E. 

]SS.>— Senate. R. J[. \\'ard; house. Alexan- 
ilcr Fiddes. 

1887 — Senate. Frank A. Day; house, E. Se- 

1880— Senate. Fraid< A. Day; house. E. Se- 

Jackson and Cottonwood counties were 
made to form the eighth district in 1889, 
and that district was represented as fol- 
lows ; 

1SI11 — Senate, E. Sevatson; house, Henry F. 

1803 — Senate, E. Sevatson: house. .Tolin 

1S0.> — Senate, E. Sevatson; house, E. .J. 

1SII7 — Senate, E. Sevatson; house. Ceorge iL 

The present foiii'tcenth dislrict, com- 
|iiising Jackson and Cottonwood counties, 
was formed in ISOT, is entitled to one 
seiuitor and two representatives, and has 
heeu represented hy the following: 

1899— Senate, E. J. Meilicke; house, D. L. 
liiley. .John E. .Johnson. 

1901— Senate.. E. J. Meilicke; house, D. L. 
Uilcv, W. A. Potter. 

inns— Senate. W. A. Smith; house, A. M. 
Schroeder, .J. D. Schroeder. 

190.5— Senate, W. A. Smith: house, L. O. 
'i'cigen. R. H. .JeflFerson. 

1907— Senate, H. E. Hanson; Ikiu.-c. Charles 
Winder. R. H. .Jefl'erson. 

1909 — Senate, H. E. Hanson; house. John 
Baldwin, D. A. Stuart. 

In the fall of 186.j the population of 
llie unorganized county of Jackson had 
reached nearly three Inmdred people, and 
])rospects for a large immigration the fol- 
lowing year were so good that steps were 
taken to hring about a reorganization un- 
der the original act of 1857. Another rea- 
son that led to the undertaking at that 
time was the desire of the voters to par- 
ticipate in the state and district elec- 
tions that fall. Upon the petition of the 
residents, Governor Stejjhen ^Miller ap- 
pointed Israel F. Eddy, Charles Belknap' 
and Jared Palmer commissioners, vested 
witli authority to call an election for No- 
vember 7, 18()."). for liie purpose of choos- 
ing county officers and of voting for state 
and district officers. These commission- 
ers were not to net as a law-making body ; 
their duties were simply to call and pre- 
side over the first election. 

Events so shaped themselves that elec- 
tion day very nearly passed without an 
election being held. So isolated was this 
settlement in Jackson county that it ac- 
tually did not know the date of the gen- 
eral election, and only for a fortunate cir- 
cumstance were the people of the new 
county kept from being disfi'anchised. Ma- 
jor 11. S. Haily has written of this circum- 

but instead of calling the election 
for t]ie 7th, as the governor directed, they 
called it fcM- the 17th of November. I hap- 
pened to go down to Winnebago City in the 
first week in November and learned that out 
in civilization the election was to be held on 
Tuesday, the 7th. T arrived home on Satur- 
day evening, the 4th. On Sunday I went to 
see Mr. Eddy and asked his authority for call- 
ing the election for the 17th. and he replied 
that the governor directed it. He brought the 
governor's letter and was surprised to find 
that lie had read it wror.g. So on Monday he 
went through the settlement and notified the 
voter.s that there would be an election the 
next day. 

'Major H. S. Bailov, in an article written in 
ISSS, .stated that I. N. Belknup was the com- 
missioner; the recnrcls show that Charles Bel- 
knap served as judge of the election, indicating 
that he was the commissioner. 



^lauy tlitricultio;; beset these pioneers iu 
tlii'ir clforts to organize the county. The 
election was to be liekl at the home of 
.Tared Palmer, who liveil on a farm a-short 
distance soutli of the jjrescut village of 
Jackson. When it came time for the open- 
ing of tlie polls, Jfr. Eddy, one nf the com- 
missioners, was absent. In his place Jla- 
jor H. S. Bailey was chosen by the other 
commissioners to act as one of the judges; 
W. C. Garratt was selected clerk of the 
election board. In the whole of Jackson 
county there was not a man who had au- 
thority to administer an oath, and the 
judges were confronted with the serious 
question of how to qualify. Some time 
previoTis Major Bailey had held the office 
of justice of the peace in another county, 
and he took the responsibility of swear- 
ing in the other two judges and dork of 
election, although he had no legal authori- 
ty lo do so. One of the other judges then 
administered the oath to JIajor Bailey. 

No convention had been held, no can- 
vass made, and the election was a quiet 
affair. Thirty-.six votes were cast and the 
following officers elected: H. S. Bailey, 
Simon Olson and M. S. Clongh, county 
commissioners; Clark Baldwin, auditor; 
William Webster, treasurer; W. C. Gar- 
ratt, register of deeds; Orin Belknap, 
judge of probate; I. V. Eddy, shcrilf; 
James E. I'alnier, surveyor; John McCor- 
mick, county attorney; Joseph Price, clerk 
of court; Peter Baker, coroner. 

After the cleciion the question of what 
to (lo with the returns arose. No pro- 
vision had been made for canvassing the re- 
turns or issuing certificates to the success- 
ful candidates. There was no person in 
Jackson county authorized to do so, and, 
as the county had once been organized, it 
was now attached to no other county, the 
officers of which might perform this ser- 
vice. It was finally decided to send the 
returns to Martin county, and Major 

Bailey was chosen to take them to the 
county officials at Fairmont. The auditor 
of Martin county, Galiten Brown, at first 
refused to accept them, but he was per- 
suaded to do so, and Jackson county's vote 
for state and district officers was counted. 
Tlic auditor, however, refused to issue 
certificates of election for the new offi- 
cers of Jackson county, believing that 
such a course would be exceeding his au- 

There was nothing to be done but wait, 
and the formal organization of the county 
was postponed until there had been leg- 
islative action. James B. Wakefield, wlm 
had been elected to the lnwcr luauih 
of the legislature, was informed of the 
situation, and he promptly introduced a 
liill to legalize the election of November 
T and to authorize the auditor of Mar- 
tin county to issue the necessary certifi- 
cates. The bill was passed and became 
effective in .Tanuary, ISOfi, being among 
the first bills passed by the ilinnc^ota 
law making body that session. Upon re- 
ceiving notice of the passage of this bill 
Ifajor Bailey made another trip to Fair- 
mont, took the oath of office as commis- 
sioner, and brought back with him the 
election certificates of the other officers. 

So, after many discouraging setback^. 
everything was in readiness for the formal 
beginning of county government. The first 
meeting of! the l)oanl of county conunis- 
sioners was luhl at tiie home of Jlajni- 
11. S. Bailey, dated Des Moines, Minnesota, 
on January 27, ISCC. ]\Fajor Bailey pre- 
sided as chairman. The (Uily business 
transacted at this initial nu'cting was the 
ajipoinlmcnt of a few officers "to fill va- 
cancies of the officers not yet qualified." 
Nearly all the officers elected took the 
oath and entered u])on their duties, but 
a few did not, William Webster, who had 
been elected treasurer, refused to have 
anything to do with so responsible an 



office, and F. E. Lyman was appointed 
to the position, holding the office two 
years under the appointment. Joseph Price 
did not qualify as clerk of court, and B. 
H. Jolmson was appointed to the office. 
Peter Baker did not qualify as coroner, 
and Jared Palmer named. 

There were but few duties for many of 
these first county officials, and some of 
them had absolutely no duties during their 
entire term. One blank book was piir- 
chased for county use, and that sufficed 
for all the records. The principal duties 
fell upon the county commissioners, Clark 
Baldwin, the auditor, wlio drew a salary 
of $50 for his services for 1866; I. F. 
Eddy, the sheriff; James E. Palmer, the 
surveyor, who took the oath of office Feb- 
ruary 12, 1866 ; W. C. Garratt, the regis- 
ter of deeds, who gave bond on February 
23, 1866 ; and the justices of the peace, 
H. S. Bailey, Martin D. Metcalf and Si- 
mon Olson, who took their oaths early in 

The second meeting of the board of 
county commissioners was held March 13, 
1866, at which time the county was divid- 
ed into three commissioner districts. The 
first district was composed of the south- 
ern tier of townships: the second, the tier 
just north of it : the tliird district com- 
prised the whole north half of the coiTnty. 
When the division was made it was found 
that all three of the commissioners were 
from the same district. They continued 
to serve, however, until the first of the 
year 1867. 

To choose new commissioners and a 
few officers who were then elected in even 
numbered years, provision was made for 
holding an election on November G, 1866. 
A county convention was held at Joseph 
Thomas' hotel on the hill in September, 
when a partial set of candidates was put 
in nomination. At the election Eev. 

Peter Baker,^ of Petersburg, was chosen 
commissioner from the first distict;" B. 
H. Johnson, of Des Moines, from the sec- 
ond; and Simon Olson, of Belmont, from 
the third. Mr. Johnson became chair- 
man of the board and served during 1867 
and 1868; Mr. Olson served a two year 
term; Mr. Baker resigned after serving 
less than one year and John Bichardson, 
of Minneota, was appointed to fill the va- 
cancy. Mr. Johnson's election as commis- 
sioner caused a vacancy in the office of 
clerk of court, and Joseph Price, who had 
been elected in 1865 but had failed to 
qualify, was named for that office. H. S. 
Bailey was appointed "examiner of teach- 
ers and visitor of schcmls" for the year 
1867, and thus became the first superin- 
tendent of schools for Jackson county, the 
oft'ice not being an elective one at that 

As the majority of county officers were 
chosen in odd-numbered years during the 
early days, the election of November 5, 
1867, was an important one, and many 

="I well remember the first time I ever saw 
that good man [Rev. Peter Baker]. Where, 
friends, do you think it was. Actually presid- 
ing at a political convention instead of a pray- 
er meeting-. It was up at the old log hotel in 
Jackson. I remember him as he sat by the 
table — had on his blue army overcoat with 
brass buttons, I presume all the coat he had 
in the world. There were but four organized 
towns in the county — Petersburg, Minneota. Des 
Moines and Belmont. Major Bailey was mak- 
ing the motions, the elder putting the questions, 
and they were conducting the convention by 
very fair parliamentary principles or rules. The 
delegates occupied the chairs and benches, and 
the rest of us stood up or sat on the floor. I 
remember I sat flat upon the floor, close to 
the muddled-up fireplace, when, imagine how 
suddenly puffed up I became— actually nomi- 
nated for county attorney of Jackson county. 
Three weeks a resident of the county, and knew 
just about as much of law as Allen of the Re- 
public knows of theology: and Jackson county 
at that time needed a county attorney about as 
much as a Methodist minister needs a safe." — 
George C. Chamberlin in speech delivered Sep- 
tember 5, 1S89. 

"In after years Rev. Peter Baker told of this 
board (his memory failed him in regard to 
some of the facts): 

"As I was the first settler in the town of 
Petersburg, I well remember when the county 
was organized. Mr. Johnson. Mr. Wood and 
myself were the first commissioners. As Mr. 
Baldwin was auditor, we met at his house to 
transact business. How wise and dignified we 
'county dads' looked. I must confess that I 
knew nearly as much about law as a horse 
does about grammar." 



lU'W county olficors were cliosen. Those 
elected were: tieorgc C. Cliainbcrlin, aii- 
(iitor; Joseph Tlionias, treasurer; Joseph 
S. Kiiton, ^ofri^te^ of tleed? ; Williiim V. 
KiiifT, judue of probate; A. Miner, sheriif; 
Jame-s E. Palmer, surveyor; W. S. Kini- 
ball, clerk of court. 

There were a few changes iu adminis- 
tration during the ne.\t two years. George 
C. Chamberlin resigned tlio office of au- 
ditor October !), 1869, and M. A. Strong 
was appointed to complete the slioit un- 
e.xpired term.' Owing to the removal of 
Joseph S. Eaton from the county, the of- 
fice of register of deeds became vacant, 
and Jojin \X. Cowing was appointed Sep- 
tember 22, 1SC8, fo serve until the first 
of the next year. William V. King served 
by appointment as superintendent of 
schools during ISfiS. and I'm. E. Savage 
during ISG!). 

M the election on November 3, 18G8, 
an entire change was made in the board 
of county commissioners. O. J. l?ussell 
was elected from the first district; Nathan- 
iel Frost, who served as chairman in 1869 
and 1870, from the second : and P. P. llav- 
erberg from the third. W. C. Garratt, 
who had been the first register of deeds, 
was chosen for that office at this election, 
the election being held in an even num- 
bered year on account nf the removal of 
Joseph S. Eaton. 

■Jlany new men took office at the begin- 
ning of the year 1870 as a result of the 
election of Novend)er 2, ISfiO. There were 
two tickets in the field at that election, 
and the result on some of the principal of- 
fices was close. Those elecled were: M. 
A. Strong, auditor; J. W. Hunter, treas- 
urer; W. C. Garratt, register of deeds; 

'There had been a contest between Mr. 
Chamberlin and WilHam V. Klnft for the office 
nf county auditor, which was tried under the 
title. C'hamlierliii vs. KliiK The commissioner.'* 
declared the office va.-ant March '>. isfis. and 
appointed Mr. Kinc. but a little later Mr. rham- 
herlln was sealed. On .Tune 27. ISfiS. Mr. King's 
bill of JT'l.oO "for disbursements in cotii(>;tiiii,' 
title to auditor's office" was allowed. 

Anders Koe, sheriff; William V. King, 
judge of i)robate; James E. Palmer, sur- 
veyor; W. 8. Kiinliall. cliik of c.iurt; !'. 
P. llaverlwrg, commissioner third dis- 
trict. Of these otTicers, all served their 
terms of two years except Anders Roe. He 
resigned September .1. 1870, and A. E. 
Wood wiLs appointed sheriff Septemlier Ki. 
to serve until the first of the year. Of tln' 
ajjpointive offices. Dr. C. P. Morrill wa> 
chosen superintendent of schools January 
4, 1870. rie served under the appoint- 
ment until May 11, 1871, when he re- 
signed : then William ^'. King was ap- 
pointed and served nearly one year. J. W. 
Seager was named county attorney liy iIk 
commissioners February 1, 1870, to sei\' 
the balance of the year. He resigned 1" - 
fore that time, however, and on Septein- 
ber 16, 1870, Emery Clark was ajipoinfi'l 
and served under the appointment init^ 
he took the office at the beginning of ih. 
year 1871 as a result of the election "f 
1870. There having been previou.-;ly n- 
court commissioner, G. K. TitTany wii- 
appointed in May, 1870. 

During the entire early political history 
of Jackson county there was only one |in- 
litical organization maintained, and U'' 
until 1886 was there organized oppo.^i- 
tioii to it. Nearly all the first settlers W( n 
republicans, as were the first settlere "f 
all tiie neighboring counties. At most "f 
the early day elections there were t«" 
tickets in the field, one nominated by the 
regular republican organization, the other 
put up by bolters, the candidate's i)eing 
eilher nominated in an independent con- 
vention or ])laeed on the ticket by those 
interested. Many exciting contest.* for 
political honors occurred under this ar- 
rangement. The few democrats generally 
allied them.«elves with the independents 
and were occasionally rewarded with a 
county office. 

fn 1870 the democrats formed an or- 



ganizatioii and named candidates for a 
(cw county offices, but the organization 
was not made permanent. This was ac- 
complished on July IG, 1870, when a few 
(if tile minority met at Jackson. Milton 
Mason was ehairnuni of tlie meeting and 
J. J. Porter was secretary. Tlie follow- 
ing county central committee was named : 
1?. X. Woodward, of Wisconsin; George 
]). Stone, of Petersburg; R. D. Lamed, of 
Middletown: H. M. Doubleday, of Bel- 
mont; I. A. iloreaux, of Minneota; J. 
A. Myers and William Xorman. of Des 

At the 1870 election o!)3 votes were cast. 
The republicans were successful in carry- 
ing the county for congressional and leg- 
islative officcis and elected their county 
ticket with one excejition. The official 
vote : 

Congressman — ^1. If. Dunnell (rep.). 
:!29; Daniel Buck (dem.), 04: 

Senator— G. W. Whallon (rep.), -208: 
C. W. Thompson (dcm.), 1().5. 

Eepresentative — G. C. Chamberlin 
(rep.), 2G5; A. L. Patchin (dem.), 102. 

Sheriff— B. W. Ashley (rep.), 123; 
ilichael Miller (dem.), TG : E. Sevatson 
(ind.), 17G. 

Clerk of Court— W. 8. KimbalP (rep.), 
witliout opposition. 

Court Commissioner — H. S. Bailey 
(rep.), 274; Milton Mason (dem.), 98. 

County Attorney — E. Clark" (rep.), 
without opposition. 

Coroner — A. E. \\'o(id, without opposi- 

Commissioner First District — William 
C. Bates'" (rep.), oO; George D. Stone 
(dem.), 21. 

"Clerk of court is elected for four year term. 
Mr. Kimball resigned in 1874. and on October 7. 
of that year. Alexander Fiddes was appointed 
to complete the short i:nexpired term. 

"County .Attorney CTark was arrested at Jack- 
son February 17. 1871. and taken to Wisconsin 
to answer the charges of forgery and jail 
breaking.' He was exonerated and returned to 
bis duties early in March. He served until Oc- 
tober 4, 1871. when he resigned; his successor 
was elected the next month. 

There wa.s a large increase in tlie vote 
in 1871, there being 531 votes polled. The 
dominant party carried tlie state and leg- 
islative tickets by overwdielming majori- 
ties. In county politics there were sev- 
eral close contests, although the organ- 
ized party again elected all but one officer. 
Nearly all the independent candidates 
were republicans ; their names were placed 
on the opposition ticket by their friends 
and thev were not nominated in conven- 
tion. The result according to the official 
canvass : 

Governor — Horace Austin (rep.), 447; 
Winlhrop Y'oting (dem.), 48. 

Senator— William D. Pice (rep.), 430; 
C. C. Sylvester (dem.), 94; O. Nason, 7. 

Eepresentative — G. C. Chamberlin 
(rep.), 315; 0. Nason (dem.), 175. 

.Vuditor— M. A. Strong (rep.), 3G0; L. 
(). Beck (ind.), 1G2. 

Trea.surer— J. \V. Hunter (rep.). 2G8; 
E. P. Skinner (ind.), 243. 

Eegister of Deeds — W. C. Garratt 
(rep.), 309; J. A. Myers (ind.), 198. 

County Attorney— William V. King, 
(rep.), 234; G. K. Tiffany (ind.), 283. 

Sheriff — Henry Knudson (rep.), 358; 
C. H. Sandon (ind.). IGO. 

Judge of Probalc — William Y. King 
(rep.), 423; J. C. lloovel (ind.), G4. 

Surveyor — J. M. Tanner" (rep.), 397; 
James E. Palmer (ind.), li;. 

Commiscsioner Second District — \\ . A. 
Fields'" (i-ep.). 8^: J- "^^^ Tompkins, 15. 

The political complexion of the coun- 
tv at the time is well shown in the result 
of the presidential election of 1872, when 
out of a total of G20, Horace Greeley re- 
ceived only 5G votes. For county offi- 
ces there was no opposition to the re- 
publican ticket. Tlie vole: 

^''Was chairman in 1871-72-73. 
"Resigned October. 1S72. and successor elect- 
ed next month. 
'-Was chairman during 1874. 



President— U. S. Grant (rep.), 5fi4 ; 
Horace Greeley (dem.), oG. 

Congressman — M. H. Dunnell (rep.), 
56C: M. S. Wilkiasou (dem.). 33. 

Eepre^entative — Stephen ililler (rep.). 
283: JI. Anderson, 284." 

County Attorney — (I. K. Tiffany (rep.), 

Coroner- — J. F. Force (rep.). (>13. 

Survej'or — James E. Palmer (rep.), 

Commissioner Tliird District — Tlan;; 
Knudson'* (rep.), 308; W. Jacobs, 14. 

The opposition to the republican nia- 
cliine liad gained such strength by 1873 
that the organized party met with a par- 
tial defeat in the election of that year. 
The independents elected four of the prin- 
cipal county officers and the other can- 
didates gave a good account of them- 
selves at the voting. Five hundred sixty- 
five votes were polled, a slight falling 
off from tlio last election. Following is 
the vote each candidate received : 

Governor — C. K. Davis (rep.), 47"> : 
Ara Barton (dem.), 90. 

Senator — E. P. Freeman (rep.), 552. 

'Representative — X. H. Manning (rep.), 
409: Warren Smith (dem.), IG. 

Auditor— M. A. Strong (rep.), 197: 
William V. King (ind.). 359. 

Treasurer — Henry Knud.«on ( rep.) . 
381: Clark Baldwin (ind.). Kl. 

Slieriff— C. H. Sandon (rep.). T-U : A. 
C. Scrum (ind.), 329. 

"Register of Deed.s — Edward Orr (rep.). 
240: W. C. Garratt (ind.). \->.0: Hans 
Knudson (ind.), 20."i. 

Surveyor— E. P. Skinner (rep.), 274; 
James E. Palmer (ind.). 281. 

Judge of Probate — John Davies" 
(rep.). 559. 

"Mr. Miller was elected. 

"Was chairman during 1875. 

"ReslKned January 7. 1S74. In June. 1S74. T. 
J. Knox was appointed by Governor Davis to 
complete the term. 

(-'ourt Commis.sioner — John Davies 
(rep.), 559. 

Commissioner First District — J. W. 
Dunn (rep.). 37; H. J. Phelps'« (ind.). 

Tiie grasshoppers and the prevailing 
hard times had an effect on the politics 
of tile county iu 1874. Owing to these 
causes and the fact that only a few officers 
were to be chosen, not a great deal of 
interest was manifested, and there was 
another falling off in the vote — 551 being 
the highest number cast for any one of-, 
tice. Two independents were elected ; 
otherwise Tcpublicans were chosen for 
county office. In place of the democratic 
ticket, for congress and the legislature ap- 
jieared tlic ticket of the anti-mono])oly 
])arty. wliicli made a fair showing against 
the repul)liean forces. The vote: 

Congressman — ^I. H. Dunnell (rep.). 
379; F. H. Waite (a-m). 1G4. 

Judge Sixtli District— D. A. Dickinson 
(rep.). 431: Daniel Buck (a-m), 120. 

Senator— E. P. Freeman, 149; Neill 
Curric, 112. 

Ke])resentativc — Charles F. Crosby 
(rep.), 34G; L. Aldrich (a-m). 166. 

County .\ttorney — T. J. Knox (rep.), 
239: William V. King (ind.), 308. 

Court Commissioner — W. W. Hamilton 
(rep.). 485. 

Probate Judge — Henry Knudson (rep.), 

Clerk of Court — Alexander Fiddes 
( lep.), 247 ; 0. A. Brown (ind.). 304. 

Coroner— J, F. Force (rep.). 530. 

Commissioner Second District — A. D. 
Palmer'' (rep.). 82: William A. Fields 
(ind.). 48. 

Political conditions were unique in 
1875. For several years many republicans 
had refused to affiliate with the regular 
party organization and had been responsi- 

"Was chairman during 1876. 
"Was chairman from July IB. 1877, to Jan- 
uary 1, 1878. 



ble for the independent candidates that 
made tlie race eacli year; in 1875 the 
party organization refused to affiliate 
with itself. After the committee on cre- 
dentials of the republican county con- 
vention. Avhich was Jield at Jackson in Sep- 
tember, Jiad made its report, the conven- 
tion broke ii]j in a row. without naming a 
candidate. Tiie Jackson Kepublie, in its 
report of the convention, said: 

Upon that report commenced a disgraceful 
and disreputable wrangle as to tlie admission 
of a set of contesting delegates from several 
towns, and as to who is the guiltj- party or 
parties for this we for the present remain 
silent. Suffice it to say that, after a long fight 
over the admission of delegates, the conven- 
tion adjourned sine die, and candidates are 
free to go in on their muscle as independents. 

From that time on it was each one for 
himself, ilany announced themselves 
as candidates for the several offices, no one 
of whom had an organization back of him 
or the prestige that goes with a party 
nomination. Six hundred twenty-three 
votes were cast — the largest number ever 
voted in the county up to that time. The 
republicans had their old time majorities 
for state officers. ' Following is the vote . 

C4overnor — J. S. Pillsbury (rep.), 563; 
I). L. Buell (dem.), 52; R.' F. Humiston 
(reform), 8. 

Senator— I. P. Durfee (rep.), 568; G. 
S. Thompson (reform), 54.^* 

Representative — W. H. ilellen (rep.), 
322; E. L. Browndl (reform), 290. 

Auditor— AVilliam V. King, 358; G. B. 

Franklin, 257. 

Treasurer — Henry Knud.'^on, 436 ; Hans 
Knudson, 183. 

Register of Deeds— Edward Orr, 463; 
W. H. Ashley, 156; Ira G. Walden, 4. 

Sheriff— Jens J. Johnson, 293; Wil- 
liam Rost, 147; H. A. Williams, 36: I. 
A. Moreau.\, 78; John Richardson, 62. 

"Mr. Durfee received a majority of the votes 
in the district, but owing to the failure of 
some of the county auditors to make return 
to the .state authorities Mr. Thompson was 
seated. Mr. Durfee began a contest before the 
senate, and in January, 1876. was given the 
seat by a unanimous vote. 


Surveyor — James E. Palmer, 609. 
Court Commissioner — Carl Hirdler, 
419: Charles Winzer, 188. 

Commissioner Third District — A. C. 
Serum,'" 278; A. Quivili, 90; Charles 
Winzer, 2. 

Tlic presidential election of 187G was 
a very (juict one in Jackson county, owing 
largely to the hard times caused by the 
grasshopper invasion. Only 591 votes 
were cast. The result in figures : 

President — Rutherford B. Hayes (rep.), 
522; Samuel Tilden (dem.), 69. 
Congressman — M. H. Dunnell 
520; E. C. Stacy (dem.), 64. 

Rcpre-sentative — C. H. Smith 
474; B. N" Carrier (iud.), 97. 

County Attorney — W. W. Hamilton 
(rep.), 535. 

Judge of Probate — W. A. Fields (rep.), 
164: Anders Roe (ind.), 369; Hans Rolf- 
son (ind.), 12. 

Coroner — J. F. Force (rep.), 551. 
Court Commissioner — G. R. Moore 
(rep.), 498; A. H. Strong, 18. 

Commissioner First District — A. B. 
Stimson-" (rep.), 69: Jareb Palmer 
(ind.), 25. 

Five hundred forty-three votes were 
polled in 1877. A few independent can- 
didates made the race against the repub- 
lican nominees. An independent com- 
missioner and county treasurer were elect- 
ed, there being no republican nominee for 
the latter office. The official vote: 

Governor — John S. Pillsljury (rep.), 
512; William L. Banning (dem.), 31. 

Senator— C. H. Smith (rep.), 437; W. 
R. Bennett (dem.), 67. 

Representative • — Alexander Fiddes 
(rep.), 497; C. T. Clifford (dem.), 6. 

Auditor— G. B. Franklin (rep.), 291; 
William V. King (ind.), 251. 

Treasurer — John Paulson (ind.), 314; 

"Was chairman from Januarj; 1, 1877. to July 
18; 1877, and during the year 1878. 
^Was chairman during 1879. 


IIIS■|'(M;^ n|- JACKSON (Ol N I ^ 

Olo E. Olson (iiitl.). 1st ; Jareb Palmer 
(iml.). 36. 
Ki'jLfistcr of Doecls — Edward Orr (np."). 


SlierilT— .1. J. Joliiison {n'|).). :M2; 
diaries llic-helson (iud.~). 117: V. TT. 
Paulson (ind.), 18. 

Surveyor — Jaines ¥.. 1 'aimer (lep.), 

Superintendent of Schools^' — ,1. F. 
Force (rep.), 515. 

fommissioner Second Pistriet — II. S. 
liailev (rep.). 3:5: :\r. S. Barney (ind.), 9; 
.loliii Cowing' (ind.), 34; C. P. Randall" 
(iml.). IP. 

In 1ST8 the republicans were a,i,'ain 
jrenerally successful, electinjr the wliole 
county ticket witli one exception. Five 
liundred forty-.^ix votes were cast, and the 
vote in detail was as follows: 

('on<iressnian — Jf. II. Bunnell (rep.). 
413: William Meiglien (deni.), 55. 

Senator — A. D. Perkins (rep.), 533; 
William V. King (greenback), 10. 

l\epre.«entativo — P. J. Kniss (rep.), 
47": J. TI. Brooks (greenback), 43; Wil- 
liam v. King, 27. 

County Attorney — E. Y). Brigg.< (rep.). 
318; W. W. TTamilt(m (ind.), 22S. 

('lri-l< (if Court — George \l. Mnore 
(ic]).), 22S: E. \V. Davies (ind.), 2 15. 

Judge of Probate — Simon Ol.-on (re|i.). 

Coroner — L. L. Tidball (re]i.), 53(). 

Commissioner yPliird District — Chris- 
tian Lewis (re]).), SI : A. I'^ Kiicn (ind.), 
IKi: Obed Omberson (ind.), 47; Ole Tol- 
lefson (ind.). 52: Charles Winzer (ind.), 

There were indepcndciil candidates for 

"The olTIci" of superlnlcMUlent of school.s liiul 
now become :in elprtlvo one. Upon t]ie reslgrna- 
llon of V. King ii.s siiiierintondeiil 
Miireli 21!. 1S72. Dr. E. 1^. Hiownill hnd been 
niMH>lnte<l and .served until tlie first tif the year 
1876. Then Dr. J. F. Fone i-eeeived the ap- 
pointment and served nnder the .appointment 
until after this election of 1877. 

==\Vas chairman during 1880. 

most ot the county offices in 1H70, and 
an interesting election wa.e the result. 
There was a large increase in the vote, 802 
ballot- being cast, altlKUigh the highest 
number for any one olTice was 790. This 
was a larger vote than that cast l)y any 
other county of the thirly-cigbtii legisla- 
tive district. With the exception of the 
nominees for superintendent of schools 
and county commissioner, the republican 
titket was elected. The vote: 

(iovernor — J. S. Pillsbury (lep.), 523: 
Edmund IJice (deiii.), 00: Scattering, 12. 
.Vuditor — \^'illiam \ . King (rep.), 528; 
v.. !'. Skinner (ind.), 2(!7. 

'I'lcasurer — dobn Paulson (rep.), 795. 
Iiegister of Deeds — Edward Orr (rep.), 
3S2 : Obed Omberson (ind.), 311: Sam- 
ma LaPue (ind.), 97. 

SlierilT — Cliarles Malchow (rep.). iS7: 
:\liciKicl Miller (ind.), 30(;. 

Suijerintendent of Schools — .1. F. Force 
(rep.), 315: T. J. Knox (ind.), 408. 

Surveyor — James E. Palmer (rc]).). 

Court Commissioner — 11. S. Bailey 
(rej).), 753. 

CoiiHiiissioncr l-'iist District — Peter 
Baker (icp.), 24: II. W. Chandler (iml.). 
37: Martin Eooiie find). :>i; :'b 
I'lilmiT (ind.). 22. 

Tlic law provided that wlini a i-nmtv 
pnllcil SIMI vdlis it should liav(< i'wv enun- 
ty ciimmissioners. .\s that number had 
been cast at the l.s;9 eli^etioii. tiic board 
of .county commissioners, on July 23, 
1880. redistricted the county in accord- 
ance with that law. as f(dlows : No. 1. 
I'ctcr.'burg, 'Middlclown, ^Minneota, Sioux 
Valley and IJotind Lake: No. 2. Dcs 
^[oim-i and Wisconsin; No. 3, Hunter, 
1,'ost. luvington. .\lb.i. We>l Heron Lake 
and Heron I^akc: No. I, La('ro.<se, Weiin- 
er and Dclafield ; No. 5, Belmont, Cliri-s- 
tiania, Kimball and Enterprise. .\t the 



succeeding eiectiou an entire new set of 
commissioners was elected. 

There was aimtlu'r increase in the vote 
.in 1880, and 914 votes were cormted for 
presidential electors. In national politics 
the coinitv was found to be again strongly 
lepublican. In local politics the party 
did not fare so well. Of the five com- 
]nissionors elected, three were independ- 
ents, and an independent was also elect- 
ed judge of probate. The result: 

President — James A. Garfield (rep.), 
767; Winfield S. Hancock (dem.), 126; 
James B. Weaver (greenback). 11. 

Congressman — W. G. Ward (ind.), 
1.54; H. R. Wells (dem.). 12.5; :\r. II. 
Bunnell (rep.), 619. 

Reiiresentative — P. J. Kniss (rep.), 
270; M. A. Strung (peoples), 586.=^ 

Judge of Probate — W. W. Hamilton 
(rep.), 355: Simon Olson (ind.), 517. 

County Attiii'ney — J. I). Bowditch-^ 
(rep.), 845. 

Court Commissioner — Jareb Palmer 
(rep.), 857. 

Coroner — E. P. Gould (rep.), 875. 

Commissioner First District — H. W. 
Chandler (rep.), 60; JMartin Logue 
(ind.), 66. 

Commissioner Second District — A. C. 
Whitman-"' (rep.), 119; Joseph Thomas 
(ind.), 79. 

Commissioner Third District — William 
Host (rep.), 56; Cliristian Lewis (ind.), 

Commissioner Fouitli District — L. 0. 
Beck (rep.), 94: J. G. Fodues (ind.), 

Commissioner Fiftli District — A. E. 
Kilen (rep.), 124: .f. J. Tagley (ind.), 

The election of 1881 almost went bv 

^Mr. Kni.s.s was elected. 

^'Resigned November 1. ISSl. L. W. Seely 
was appointed January -f, 1SS2. to complete the 

^Was chairman from 1S81 to 1S85. inclusive. 

default and was the quietest one ever held 
in the c-ounty. There'were only two in- 
dependent candidates against the nomi- 
nees of the republican convention^ and 
only 489 votes were cast. Although state 
officers were voted for, in only one pre- 
cinct (Ewington) was there a vote cast 
for the democratic nominee for governor. 
The vote follows : 

Governor— L. F. Hubbard (rep.), 467; 
P. W. Johnson (dem.), 7. 

Judge District Court-" — JI. J. Sever- 
ance (rep.), 477. 

Auditor — William A'. King (rep.), 482. 

Treasurer — John Paulson (rep.), 483. 

Slieriff — Charles Malchow (rep.), 478. 

Register of Deed.s — A. C. Serum (rep.), 
303;. Samuel LaRire (ind.), 120. 

Superintendent of Schools — T. J. Knox 
(rep.), 470. 

Surveyor — James E. Palmer (rep.), 

Commissioner First District — Martin 
Logue (rep.), 53; H. W. Chandler (ind.), 

For the first time in history Jackson 
county gave a democratic nominee for con- 
gress a majority in 1882. There was no 
opposition to the republican county ticket. 
Six hundred fifty votes were cast, as fol- 
lows : 

Congressman — J. B. Wakefield (rep.), 
238; J. A. Latimer (dem.), 392; Felix 

A. liorcr (pro.), 19. 

Senator— R. M. Ward (rep.), 308; J. 

B. Dukes (ind.),. 340.=" 
Representative — James E. Child (rep.), 


Clerk of Court — George R. Moore 
(rep.), 394; E. J. Orr (ind.), 249. 

-''Judges were elected for six year terms, hut 
the legislature of 1885 created a new district — 
the 13th — composed of the counties of N'obles, 
Rock, Pipestone. Murray. Cottonwood and Jack- 
son. In March. 1885. Goyernor Hubbard ap- 
pointed .\. D. Perkins judge of the new dis- 
trict, and Judge Severance served only until 
that date. 

-'Mr. Ward was elected. 


HISTdRV III' .lACKSdX { nlNI ■^• 

County Attorney— L. \V. Sooly (rep.), 

Judge of Probate — Simon Olson (lop.), 

Coroner— E. P. Gould (rep.), GoO. 

Court Commissioner — C. L. Campbell 
(rep.), 634. 

Commissioner Second District — A. C. 
Whitman^" (rep.), 103. 

Commissioner Third District — Ciiris- 
liaii Lewis (rep.), 109. 

="ReslKned October. 1S85. nnd loft the county. 
J. W. Cowlnjr was then appointed and served 
as chairman durlnB 1S86 under the appointment. 



POLITICALf— 1883-1910. 

ANOTHER abortive attempt was 
made to organize the democratic 
party of .Jackson county in 1883. 
A call for a mass convention was issued 
liy a few of tlie party leaders on October 
11/ and tlie convention was held in Jack- 
son Tuesday evening, October 23. D. M. 
LeVore was chairman of the meeting and 
F. Jj. Driggs was secretary. A county 
committee was named, but no candidates 
were placed in nomination. 

The election of 1S83 was quite hotly 
contested for the few ofEices for which 
there were independent candidates. A 
pretty four cornered tight for the office 
of sheriff developed among independent 
candidates. The republican convention 
had deadlocked over. the nomination and 
had adjourned without selecting a nomi- 
nee for that important office. Seven hun- 
dred forty-four votes were cast. Under the 
new plan of holding elections only on 
even-numbered years, the officials elected 
in 1883 served three years. The vote : 
Governor— L. F. Hubbard (rep.), 560; 

'"The democrats of Jackson county are here- 
by called and requested to meet in mass con- 
vention at Owens' hall in Jackson, Minnesota, 
on Saturday, October 20, 1SS3, at one o'clock 
p. m., for the purpose of organizing for the 
coming campaign. Let every democrat who has 
the love of hir- country at heart rally and lend 
his voice to strengthen and upbuild his party 
in Jackson county. (Signed) F. L. Driggs, D. 
M. DeVore, R. K. Craigue, M. Miller, G. A. 

Adolph Bierman (dem.), 173; Charles E. 
Holt (pro.), 11. 

Auditor— William V. King (rep.), 713. 

Treasurer — John Paulson (rep.), 727. 

Sheriff— Charles Malchow (ind.), 332; 
C. A. Wood (ind.), 174; H. W. Peck 
(ind.), 141; P. E. Bailey (ind.), 78. 

Register of Deeds — A. C. Serum (rep.), 

Superintendent of Schools — T. J. Knox 
(rep.), 706. 

Surveyor — James E. Palmer (rep.), 

Court Commissioner — M. A. Strong 
(rep.), 724. 

Commissioner Fourtli District — Jul G. 
Fodnes (rep.), 106; John P. Brakke 
(ind.), 56; Charles Winzer (ind.), 25. 

Commissioner Fifth District — A. E. 
Ivilen- (rep.), 148. 

James G. Blaine carried Jackson coun- 
ty over Grover Cleveland for president by 
a large majority in 1884. There were 859 
votes east, and with one exception, the re- 
publican ticket was elected. The vote as 
officially canvassed: 

President — James G. Blaine (rep.), 
652; Grover Cleveland (dem.), 146; Ben- 
jamin F. Butler (a-m.), 43; John P. St. 
John (pro.), 18. 

^Resigned September 20, 1886, and H. 
Sether appointed in his place September 23. 





Congressman — 1. li. Wakelield (rep.), 
est; .J. J. Thornloii (.loin.). l.")8; Wil- 
liam Copp (pro.), li. 

h'l-presontative — -Me.xander Fiddcs 
(rop.), liOO; Eric Olson (ind.), 1-J7. 

County Attorney— E. D. Briggs (rep.), 
■.i2-i; D. M. DeVore (ind.), 514. 

Judge of Probate— Simon Olson (rop.), 


Coroner- E. P. Gould (rep.), 848. 

Commissioner First District — C. ^I. 
Tlardy' (rep.), I'O. 

For llie lirst time in the political hi;^- 
tory of the county, in 1886 the democrats 
had reached a point where they believed 
they had sufficient strength to warrant 
entering the field of county politics and 
put up a ticket. Accordingly a conven- 
tion was convened at Lakefield October 3 
and organized. Then it was found that 
there were many present who did not care 
to participate in a democratic convention, 
labeled as such, but who were opposed to 
the republican organization and would 
take ]iart in the deliljcrations of the con- 
vention if another name were given. So 
the following resolution was adopted : 

Tliat. inasmuch as there are many imle- 
pendent voters present and many persons not 
identilied with the democratic i.arty. but who 
are united with us in our opposition to rings 
and ring ruh>. now be it resolved tliat \ve do 
not, as a democratic convention, nominate 
anvone for (ounty olTicc. but that we invite 
all" independent voters and all such as arc in 
sympathy with the common people and against 
rings and bossism. to join with us in nominat- 
ing a proper ticket, laying aside all political 

After the passage of this re.-ohitiou tlie 
democratic convention adjourned and im- 
mediately reconvened as the "peoples" 
convention. A full county ticket was 
placed in nomination, a pcrnutnent or- 
ganization nuidc, and a determined can- 
vass made. The election was hotly con- 
tested and exciting. All the nominees of 
the new party polled fair votes and three 

'Re.slgTied and John Baldwin appolntiil March 
4. 1S86, to complete the term. 

of them were elected. By far the largest 
vote ever polled was cast, l,3:iG being the 
liighesl fur any one olTice. 'i'he stoiy in 
figures : 

Governor — .\. li. iktiill (rep.). '.Mii ; 
A. A. Ames (dem.). :J.V.' : J. E. Ciiild 
(pro.), 3G. 

Judge District Couil— A. D. I'crkins* 
(all parties), elected. 

Congressman — .John Lind (rep.), 
I.iiii.'): A. H. Bullis (dem.), 2.57; George 
.i. iJay (pro.), 1. 

Senator — Frank A. Day (rep.), 01)3; 
W. 11. Giliiert (dem.), G:?!. 

IJeiircsentative — Erick Sevatson (rep.), 
I.IISS: Elder Berry (dem.), 22G. 

Auditor- William V. King (rep.), 908; 
J. A. Spafford (peo.), -110. 

Treasurer — John JV.ulson"' (rep.). !U.'; 
John Frederickson (peo.), 413. 

Sheriff— C. A. Wood (rep.), T!).-); Ole 
.Anderson (peo.), ."jSO. 

Register of Deeds — .\. C. Sennn (rep.). 
S,S0: L. B. I^ernd (poo.). 44G. 

J\idgc of Probate — Simon Olson (rep.), 
-ll."); llcnry Kniidson (pi'ii.). y.Vi : II. S. 
Kailey (ind.), 3G2. 

County Attorney — T. J. Knox (np.), 
S.53; D. M. DeVore (peo.), 4iio. 

Surveyor — L. L. PaliiuT (rep.), elect- 
ed ; John G. Miller (peo.) 

Coroner — E. 1'. Gould" (rep.), elected. 

Clerk of Court — \. II. Strong (re]).). 
';G!t: John P. Brakke (peo.), .').')1. 

Court Commissioner — S. C. K'ca (rep. 
and peo.), elected; 1?. D. Ijjirned (ind.) 

.Superintendent of Schools — E. F. Lam- 
mers (rep.), .^IS; Flora J. Frost (peo.), 
i:!3: W. B. Sketch (ind.). 194; Joseph 
J. Jones (inil.1. 1i;3: J. W. Dnnn (ind.). 

'Kc^ignert February. 1S91. and ]'. K. Tlrown 
appointed liy fJovernor Merrlam to llnish the 

"Reslitneii in November. ISSS. 

"Remnveil from the i-ounty .ind \V. i '. I'eil- 
mann appointed January li. 1.>>S7. The latter 
also removed from the rounty. and on Mnrcn 
21. 1S8S. W. AV. Heffellinger received the ap- 

Commissioner First 
Baldwin (peo.), elected. 

Commissioner Second District — J. W. 
Cowing" (rep.), elected. 

Commissioner Third District — William 
]?ost (rep.), elected; A. D. Palmer (peo.) 

Commissioner Fourth District — J. J. 
Johnson (rep.) ; Jolin Powlitschek** (peo.), 

Commissioner Fifth District — H. C. 
Sether (rep.), elected; Gustav Meilicke 

Fifteen hundred seventy-eight votes 
were cast in Jackson county for president 
in 1888. For national, state and district 
officers the democrats made the best show- 
ing in the county's hi.<tory up to that time, 
(i rover Cleveland receiving 475 votes for 
president. The republicans, democrats 
and prohibitionists each had tickets in the 
field of local politics, the prohibitionists 
having for the first time met in conven- 
tion at Lakefield September 2. The re- 
publicans were generally successful, al- 
though a few met defeat. The vote: 

President — Benjamin Harrison (rep.), 
1,017; Grover Cleveland (dem.), 475; 
Clinton B. Fi.-k (pro.), 8G. 

Governor — William E. Merriam (rep.), 
032; Eugene M. Wilson (dem.), 519; 
Hugh Harrison (pro.), 120. 

Congressman — John Lind (rep.), 
1,025; Morton S. Wilkinson (dem.), 4G4; 
D. W. Edwards (pro.), 88. 

Representative — Erick Sevatson (rep.), 
1,029; C. W. Hall (dem.), 330; Babcock 
(pro.), 95. 

Auditor— William V. King (rep.), 924; 
J. A. SpafEord (dem.-pro.), 652. 

Treasurer — Christian Lewis (rep.), 
805; H. H. Berge (ind.), G55; Anders 
Roe (pro.), 100; H.J. Hoovcl (dem.), 5. 

Register of Deeds— S. 0. Hagen (rep.). 

District — John 


(180; John Baldwin (dem.), 701; E. J. 
Orr (pro.), 113. 

County Attorney— T. J. Knox (rep.), 
848: W. A. Funk (ind.), 717. 

Sheriff— C. A. Wood (rep.), 1,078; M. 
:\liller (dem.), 487. 

Judge of Probate— Henry Knudson 
(rep.), -848; A. D. Palmer (dem.-pro.), 
3()0; Simon Olson (ind.), 358. 

Superintendent of Schools — L. F. Lam- 
mers (rep.), 88G : Flora J. Frost (dem.), 

Coroner— W. W. Heffelfmger" (I'ep.), 
883; W. C. Portmann (dem.), 603 ; Nath- 
aniel Frost (pro.), 80. 

Surveyor— L. L. Palmer (rep.), 1,431; 
J. 0. Miller (pro.).' 94; G. A. Albertus 
(dem.), 24. 

Commissioner First District — Oriin 
Jones'" (rep.), 159: Robert Gruhlke 
(dem.), 126. 

Commissioner Third District— William 
Post (ind.), 47; Matt Tollefson (pro.), 
6: Richard Suker (dem.), 49; H. K. 
Rue (ind.), 114; Olson, 30; Lufron 
(in<l.), 73. 

Commissioner Fourth District — J. E. 
Jones (dem.-rep.), 137; Frank Wazlahow- 
sky (ind.), 84; Henry Hohenstein (ind.), 

Commissioner Filth District— Hans 
Sether (rep.), 278; B. A. Brown (pro.), 6. 

There was a political revolution in 
1890, caused by the entrance into politics 
of the farmers' alliance. The result was 
the almost complete overthrow of the re- 
publican party, which had been in control 
since the organization of the county. The 
alliance candidate for governor carried 
the county; the alliance candidates for 
state senator and representative carried 
the county and were elected ; the alliance 
candidate for congress lost the county by 

'Served as chairman from 1S86 to 

1894, in- 

•Died February 23. 1887. J. E. Jones appoint- 
ed to the vacancy April 6, 1887. 

'Resigned and W. 
coroner April 30, 1SS9, 

'"Resigned and Walter 
July, 1891. 

C. Portmann appointed 
Withers appointed 



only a small plmalit}. Of tlie county of- 
ficers only two or three were elected who 
liad not been nominated or endorsed by 
the alliance party. The legislative situa- 
tion was complicated by a bad split in the 
republican convention. The delegates from 
Cottonwood county, which was then for 
tlie first time districted with Jackson 
county. r<'fustHl to participate in tlic con- 
vention. Tlie Jackson county delegates 
proceeded to place in nomination T. J. 
Kno.x for senator and 8ilas Blackman for 
representative. 'I'he Cottonwood county 
delegates met and nominated i-hick Sevat- 
son for senator and 11. F. Tucker for rep- 
resentative,, and tliese were later endorsed 
by the alliance party. Fifteen liundred 
si.xty-eight votes were polled. Tlie result : 

Governor — William 11. Jlerriam (rep.), 
434; Thomas J. Wiison (dem.), 504; Sid- 
ney M. Owen (all.), 595; J. P. Pinkham 
(pro.), 35. 

Congressman — Joliii Lind (rep.), 781; 
James 11. Baker (all.), 754: Tra Reynolds 
(pro.), 20. 

Senator — T. J. Kno\ (,itli.), 594; 
i:iick Sevati^on (all.), 737; W. C. Port- 
niium (dcm.), •.'19;J. 1. Wallace (pro.), 7. 

L'eprcsentative — Sihis Blackman (rep.), 
503; Edward Savage (dem.), 314; H. F. 
Tucker (all.), 680. 

Auditor — .\. C. Scrum (rep.), 591; 
William V. King (all.), 937. 

Treasurer — Christian Lewis (rep.-den).- 
all.), 1,507. 

Sheriff— C. A. Wood (rep.). 099; S. J. 
Moe (all.), 843; L. O. Bock (pro.). 22. 

Register of Deeds — John Baldwin 
(dem.-rop.-all.), 1,505. 

Judge of Probate— C. IT. Sandon 
(rep.), 739; J. G. Miller (dem.). 189; 
Ole 0. Engen (all.). 007. 

County Attorney — W. A. Funk (re]i.- 
all.). 1,207. 

Surveyor — L. L. Palimv ( np.-ilrm.- 
all.), 1.531. 

Coroner— C. 11. J. K.41am. (190: W. C. 
Portmann, 820. 

Clerk of Court— A. H. Strong (rep.), 
803: II. J. Hollister (dem.-all.). 757. 

Court Comniissioner — J. .\. (iooilridi 
(all.-dem.), 1.333: T. A. Alexander 
(rep.), 220. 

Superintendent of School* — Eugene 
IJuckor (re]).). 'III. : l-"loia .1. Frost 
(dem.), 1.180. 

Commissioner Second District — '. W. 
Cowing (rep.). 127: .'. \\ . lliintcr 
(ind.), 97. 

An outgrowth of tlie alliance party was 
the peoples party, otherwise known as the 
populist party, which made its first ap- 
pearance in Jackson county p(ditics in 
3 892. Now only a memory, the peoples 
party was an importiint factor in the poli- 
tics of the county iluring the nineties. Its 
strength was such that during several 
cam[)aigns, by forming alliance with, and 
cn<lorsing nominees of, the democratic 
party, it was able to dominate county poli- 

The county was carried by the ri'pub- 
licans in 1892 for jiresident by the snuill- 
est ]ilurality the nominee of tiiat ]iarty 
ever reci'ived, before or since. The nomi- 
nees of that party for governor and con- 
gressman also carried the county by small 
pluralities. Fusion Itetween the demo^ 
crats and peoples party was alTected for 
re]tresentative. and the nominee of those 
jiarties carried the county ami was elected. 

In county politics the democrats and 
peoples party also combined, their con- 
ventions being liehl on the same day. By 
mutual understanding the democrats 
named the nominees for register of deeds, 
superintendent of schools, judge of pro- 
bate, coroner and county commi.<sioners 
from the first and fourth districts, while 
the peoples party selected the nominees 
for auditor, treasurer, county attorney, 
sheriff, survevor and commi.ssioners from 



the third and fifth districts. At the elec- 
tion the fusion forces elected auditor, sher- 
iff, register of deeds, .surveyor, coroner and 
commissioners from the first, third and 
fifth districts. The republicans elected 
treasurer, judge of probate, count)' attor- 
ney and commissioner from the fourth 
district. The nominee for superintendent 
of schools wa.s endorsed by all parties. 

The vote had now increased to ■,',(i'.iCi, 
a far greater number 1han had ever bef(n'e 
been cast. The Australian ballot system 
was employed for the first time in this 
election. The vote in detail : 

President — Benjamin Harrison (rep.), 
900; Grover Cleveland (dem.), 852; 
James B. Weaver (pp.), 370; Silas Bid- 
well (pro.), Hi. 

Governor — Knute Nelson (rep.), 839; 
Daniel W. Lawler (dem.), 680; Ignatius 
Donnelly (pp.), 313; Dean (pro.), 54. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep.), 883; W. S. Hannnond (dem.), 
G90; L. C. Long (pp.), 344. 

Judge District Court— P. E. Brown" 
(non-partisan), 1,339. 

Kepresentative — John Paulson (rep.), 
933; E. J. Meilicke (dem.-pp.), 1,017. 

Auditor— J. D. Wilson (rep.), 814; 
William V. King (dem.-pp.), 1,156. 

Treasurer — Christian Lewis (rep-). 
1,116; Charles Malchow (dem.-pp.), 835. 

Sheriff— D. S. Stoddard (rep.), 653; 
Die Anderson (dem.-iip.), 856; S. J. Moe 
(ind.), 431. 

Register of Deeds — Jarcb Palmer 
(rep.), (M4 ; Jolin Baldwin (dem. -pp.), 

Judge of Probate — C. H. Sandon 
(rep.), 1,143; E. Babcock (dem.-pp.), 

County Attorney — W. A. Funk (rep.), 
9S3: W. B. Sketch (dem.-pp.), 975. 

"In 1897 the legislature changed the boundar- 
ies of the Judicial districts, and Jackson coun- 
ty became a part of the 17th. James H. Quinn 
became judge of the 17th and presided over his 
first Jackson county court in April, 1S97. 

Surveyor — A. C. Serum (rep.), 749; 
C. W. Gove (dem.-pp.), 810; L. L. Pal- 
mer (ind.), 377. 

Coroner — Scott Searles (rep.), 779; 
W. C. Portmann (dem.-pp.) 1,143. 

Superintendent of Schools — Flora J. 
Frost (rcp.-dem.), 1,797. 

Commissioner First District — W. H. 
.\uslin (rep.), 134: Henry Thielvoldt 

(drill. -pp.), 334. 

Commissioner Thud District — W. C. 
Hauer (rep.), 139; H. K. Eue (dem.-pp.), 

Commissioner Fourth District — George 
Erbes (rep.), 181; J. E. Jones (dem.- 
pp.), 141; G. T. Juvland (ind.), 58. 

Commissioner Fifth District — Thomas 
Chesterson (pp.), 383. 

The election of 1894 was one of great 
excitement in local circles, and the cam- 
paign was one of tlie most bitter ever 
waged in the county. All three parties 
were in the field with tickets, the demo- 
crats and peoples party combining on only 
a few officers. In addition to the regular 
party iiominees tliere were a number of 
independent candidates, who added their 
sliare to the liitterness of the strife. The 
republican county ticket was generally 
successful, although a few offices went to 
the other parties. The peoples party 
nominees for senator and representative 
carried the county and were elected. 
Twenty-four hundred nineteen was the 
higliest number of vote.s cast for the nomi- 
nees of one office. Tlie result: 

Governor — Knute Nelson (rep.), 1,243; 
George L. Becker (dem.), 438; Sidney M. 
Owen (pp.), 701; Hans S. Hilleboe 
(pro.), 43. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep.), 1,195; James T. Baker (dem.), 
416 ;L. C. Long (pp.), 685; H. S. Kel- 
1am (pro.), 53. 

Senator— H. F. Tucker (rep.), 1,086; 
Erick Sevaston (])p.), 1,326. 



Representative— C. K. J. Kellnm (rep.), 
997; E. J. Meilickc (pp.), 1/2S1. 

Auditor— V. E. Butler (rep.), «37; 
Joseph J. Jones (deni.), 403 ; J. A. Spaf- 
fonl (pp.). 538; William Y. King (ind.), 

Treasurer- John Paulson (rep.), 580; 
G. A. Albertu.? (dcm.), 559; Malt Tollef- 
son (pp.), ;558; Christian Ia-wIs (ind.). 
560; Charles Malchow (ind.), 'M\-l. 

Register of Deeds— John P. Biakke 
(rep.), 555; John Baldwin (doiu.), 1,103; 
C. W. Gove (pp.), 729. 

Sheriil— Clark A. Wood (rep.), 999; 
M. Miller (dem.), 489; Ole Anderson 

(pp.), 930. 

Clerk of Court— Eugene Rucker (rep.), 
1,081 ; John M. Voda (pp.-dom.). 712 ; A. 
H. Strong (ind.), 494. 

Judge of Probate— C. H. Sandon 
(rep.), 1,521; Marvin Ilollister (dcm.), 
535; Isaac Durham (pp.). 300. 

Surveyor— J. L. Hoist (rep.), 1,018: 
John G. Miller (dem.), 587; James Pal- 
mer (ind.), 748. 

Coroner — W. ('• P'>ilin;inn (dcm.). 

1,G93. I I 

Count.v Attorney— W. .\. Funk'- (rep.), 

1,049; T. A. Alexander (dem.), 380; W . 

B. Sketch (pp.), 975. 

Superintendent of Schools— Lizzie A. 
Price (rep.), 1,350; Flora J. Frost (dera.- 
pp.), 1,543. 

Court Commissioner — I. .\. Goodncli 
(rep.), 1,345; S. D. Sumner (dem.), 82G. 
Commissioner Second District— Alex- 
ander Fiddes" (rep.), 426. 

In 1896 tlie free silver issue gained 
many adherents in Jackson county, and 
Willian\ Jennings Bryan, the democratic 
standard hearer, received a large vote, 
although William McKinley had a ma- 
jority. The democratic and peoples party 

"Left the countv In November. 1895. and L. 
F. Lammers was appointed to the vacancy in 
January. 1896. 

"Wa.i chairman from 1S95 lo 1898. Inclusive. 

nominee for governor came witiiiii two 
votes of carrying the county; the congres- 
sional and legislative offices were also 
carried hy the republicans. Twenty-eight 
hundred fitty-eight votes were cat^t. 

As in 1892, the democratic and peoples 
parly combined on their county ticket. 
The nominees for representative and 
sheriff were named in joint convention ; 
the other nominees were selected by sep- 
arate conventions, the democrats naming 
candidates for register of deeds, judge of 
probate, county attorney, coroner and com- 
missioners from the first and fourth dis- 
tricts, and the peoples party candidates 
for auditor, treasurer, superintendent of 
schools, surveyor, court commissioner and 
commissioners from the third and fifth 
districts. The fusion forces elected reg- 
ister of deeds, coroner, superintendent of 
schools and two of the four commission- 
ers ; the other offices were captured by the 
republicans. The vote as canvassed : 

President— William McKinley (rep.), 
l..").".S; William J. Bryan (dem.), 1.1.50; 
Levering (pro.), 29; Palmer (nal. dem.), 
21: Matchett (soc.-dem.), 0. 

Governor — David M. Clough (rep.), 
I.:i28: J„hn Lind (dem.-pp.), 1.326; Wil- 
liam J. Dean (pro.), 26; A. A. .\mee, 
(ind.), 5; William B. Haiinnnnd (foc. 
lab.), 4. 

Congressman — .lames T. MiCleary 
(rc|i.). 1,555; Frank A. Day (dem.-]>p.), 
1.21i;: Richard Price (pro.). 38. 

Representative — George M. Laing 
(rep.), 1,438; E. J. Meilicke (dem.-pp.), 
1 ,368. 

Auditor— Y. E. Butler (rep.), 1,4.30; 
William V. King (dem.-pp.), 1,428. 

Treasurer — John Paulson (rep.). L477; 
11. K. Rue (dem.-pp.), 1,377. 

Register of Deeds— G. T. .hi viand 
(rep.), 1,344; John Baldwin (dem. -pp.), 



Sheriff— C. A. Wood (rep.), 1,615 ;01e 
Anderson (dem.-pp.), 1,230. 

Judge of Probate — C. H. Sandon(rep.), 
1,843; George C. Cooley (dem.-pp.), 970. 

Surveyor— J. L. HoM (rep.), 1,514; F. 
E. Stanley (dem.-pp.). 1,299. 

Coroner — C. E. J. Kellam (rep.), 
1,328; W. C. Portmann (dem.-pp.), 1,524. 

County Attorney — E. T. Smith (rep.), 
1,623; F. B. Faber (dem.-pp.), 1,205. 

Superintendent of Schools — Lizzie A. 
Price (rep.), 1,663; Flora J. Frost (dem.- 
pp.), 1,664." 

Commissioner First District — T. J. 
Russell (rep.), 250; Henry Thievoldt 
(dem.), 256. 

Commissioner Third District — D. Craw- 
ford (rep.), 438; Alex Brown (pp.), 272. 

Commissioner Fourth District — George 
p]rbes (rep.), 455. 

Commissioner Fifth District — Thomas 
Clipperton (rep.), 214; Thomas Chester- 
son." (pp.), 268. 

The off-year 1898 showed a falling off 
in the total vote, the number being 2,145. 
The two free silver parties again combined 
their forces against the republican ticket, 
but they were not very succassful at the 
polls. The fusionists carried the county 
for representative and elected the register 
of deeds ; otherwise the republicans were 
successful. Following was the vote: 

Governor — William H. Eustis (rep.). 
1,502 ; John Lind (dem.-pp.), 964; George 
W. Higgins, (pro.), 35 ; William B. Ham- 

"Miss Price served notice of a contest for 
the office of superintendent of schools on No- 
vember 23. 1S96. The case came to trial before 
Judge P. E. Brown of the district court on 
Monday. December 27. Attorney \V. A. Funk 
appearing for the contestant and Attorney T. J. 
Knox for the contestee. Over thirty witnesses 
were examined and many votes were thrown 
out as illegal. Twenty ballots that had been 
cast for Miss Price were thrown out and five 
or six that had been cast for Miss Frost met 
the same fate. After the case had reached 
this stage Miss Price aslted that the contest 
be dismissed, which was done. 

"In February. 189S. Charles Tichacek was 
chosen commissioner from the fifth district to 
succeed Mr. Chesterson. 

mond (soc.-lab.), 11; L. C. Long (middle 
of the road populist), 8. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep.), 1,188; D. H. Evans (dem.-pp.), 
803; T. P. Grout (pro.), 61. 

Judge District Court — James H. Quinn 
(rep.-ind.), 1,270; Andrew C. Dunn (ind. 
and non-partisan), 789. 

Senator — Alexander Fiddes (rep.), 970; 
E. J. Meilicke (dem.-pp.), 1,142. 

Representative — D. L. Riley (rep.), 
1,330; James Manning (dem.-pp.), 740. 

Auditor— V. E. Butler (rep.), 1,340; 
William V. King (dem.-pp.), 805. 

Treasurer — .John Paulson (rep.), 1,099; 
H. K. Rue (dem.-pp.), 1,041. 

Sheriff— M. B. Dunn (rep.), 1.422; 
John W. Muir (dem.-pp.), 703. 

Register of Deeds — S. N. Olson (rep.), 
1,017; John Baldwin (dem.-pp.), 1,115. 

Judge of Probate — C. H. Sandon 
(rep.), 1.360; Y. B. Crane (dem.-pp.),760. 

County .Attorney — E. T. Smith (rep.), 
1.163; W. B. Sketch (ind.), 921. 

Coroner — F. J. Ledbrook (rep.), 1,045; 
W. C. Portmann (dem.-pp.), 1,018. 

Clerk of Court — Eugene Rucker^® 
(rep.), 1,360; J. F. Laumann (dem.-pp.), 

Superintendent of Schools — David 
Brown (rep.), 1,303; Flora J. Frost, 
(dem.-pp.), 1,181.. 

Court Commissioner — J. A. Goodricli, 
(rep.-dem.-pp.). 1,733. 

Surveyor— J. L. Hoist (rep.), 1,723. 

Commissioner Second District — P. H. 
Berge^' (rep.), 255; J. I. Wallace (dem.- 
pp.), 223. 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. ^I. Ol- 
son (rep.), 206; Charles Tichacek (dem.- 
pp.), 161. 

The higli mark in total vote cast, in the 
entire history of the county, was reached 

"■•Resigned and William D. Hunter appointed 
by Judge Quinn in June, 1902. 

''Was chairman from January, 1809, to July, 



in 1900, when 2,988 ballots were cast for 
the candidates for one office. The repub- 
licans carried tlie county afjainst the fus- 
ionists for all state and district ofTicers 
and elected the county ticket with the ex- 
ception of treasurer, register of deeds and 
one commissioner. The vote: 

President— William ^McKiiilev (rep.), 
1,757; William J. Bryan (dem.-pp.), 9!)3 ; 
John G. Wolley (pro.), S3: Eugene V. 
Debs (soc. deni.), '24: :\ralloney (soc. 
lab.), 7. 

Governor — S. E. VanSant (rep.), 
1,433; John Lind (dem.-pp.), 1,303; 
Bernt B. Haugen (pro.), 45; S. M. Fair- 
child (middle of the road), 6 ; Thomas H. 
Lucas (soc.-dem.), 39; Edward Kriz (soc. 
lab.), 4. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep.), 1.799: 'SL E. Matthews (dem.- 
pp.), 1,059: S. D. Works (pro.), 72. 

Representative— D. L. Riley (rep.), 
1,609: William V. King (dem.-pp.). 

Auditor— P. D. McKellar (rep.) , 1,52G ; 
Jo.seph J. Jones (dem.-pp.), 1,421. 

Trea.surer — John Paulson (rep.). 1,475; 
H. K. Rue (dem.-pp.), 1,513. 

Sheriff— M. B. Dunn (rep.), 1,911: S. 
J. Moe (dem.-pp.), 1,070. 

Register of Deeds— T. A. Dieson (rep.), 
1.35S: John Baldwin (dcni.-pp.). 1,008. 

Judge of Probate- C. TT. Sandon (rop.), 

County Attorney— E. T. Smith (rep.). 
1.803; W. B. Sketch (ind.), 1,042. 

Surveyor— J. L. TTolst (rep.). l.r..">9; 
J. J. Babcock (dem.-pp.). 1.209. 

Coroner- F. J. Tx'dbniok"" (rep.). 

Superintendent of Schools — Laura T. 
Olson (rep.), 1,404; Flora J. Frost 
(dem.-pp.), 1,38G; David Brown (ind.), 

"Rfmovfcl from county and ofTlcf- flpcl.ircd 
vacant July 10. 1901. W. C. Portmapn appoint- 
ed to complete the term. 

Commissioner First District — ^Dennis 
Stoddard (rep.), 240; Henry Thielvoldt 
(dem.-pp.), 289. 

Commissioner Third District— David 
Crawford (rep.), 445; Herman Tank 
(dem.-pp.), 291. 

Commissioner Fourth District— George 
Erbes'" (rep.), 309; Jerry Sullivan (dem.- 
pp.), 185. 

The primary election law went into ef- 
fect in 1902, and since that time party 
nominations have been made by direct 
vote of the people instead of the old style 
comity conventions. This has resulted in 
revolutionizing county politics. Jackson 
county being normally strongly republi- 
can, the principal campaign is now nuide 
for the republican nomination. Fnder 
the law anyone can become a candidate 
liy jiaying a small fee and filing his name, 
and there are often several candidates for 
one office. Generally there are only a 
few contests for county office at the gen- 
eral election. 

At tlie first primary election, held Sep- 
tember 16, 1902, the following were named 
on the republican ticket without opposi- 
tion : Congressman. James T. McCleary ; 
representative, L. F. Lammers; register of 
deeds, Ole E. Olson : judge of probate. C. 
n. Sandon: commissioner second dis- 
trict. P. H. Berge: eommissioner fifth dis- 
trict, J. i[. Olson. The result where 
tlicrc was more tluin one candidate wtis as 

Senator— D. L. Riley. V.'?: W. .\. 
Smith, 621.=" 

Auditor— P. D. :^rcKcllnr. S79: E. O. 
Hanson, 459. 

Shoriff— M. B. Dunn, 711; C. M. 
Tradcwell, 647: R. H. Austin, 38. 

Clerk of Court— William Crawford, 
722 : R. H. Lueneburg, 519. 

"Rc^ienrd .\prll IS. 190J. T. J. Egge named 
to complete the term. 
=«Mr. Smith carried the district. 



Superintendent of Schools — Laura T. 
Olson, 1,111; W. E. Bertels, 298. 

All tlic democratic nominees were chosen 
without opposition, as follows : Congress- 
man, Charles N. Andrews; representative, 
A. M. Sehroeder; treasurer, H. K. Eue; 
register of deeds, John Baldwin ; clerk 
of court, John M. Voda. 

At the general election 3,350 votes 
were polled. The republicans elected their 
ticket with the exception of representa- 
tive, treasurer and register of deeds, and 
carried the county for state and congres- 
sional candidates by big majorities. The 
peoples party went out of existence, so far 
as county politics was concerned, with the 
election of 1900. The vote of the 1903, 
general election in detail : 

Governor — Samuel E. VanSant (rep.), 
1,493; Leonard A. Eosing (dem.), 690; 
Thomas J. Meighen (pp.), 26; Charles 
Scanlon (pro.), 70; Jay E. Nash, 4; 
Thomas Van Lear (soc. lab.). 9. 

Congressman — James T. McClearv 
(rep.). 1,.536; Charles N. Andrews, 
(dem.), 737. 

Senator— W. A. Smith (rep.), 1,713. 

Eepresentative — L. P. Lammers (rep.), 
899: A. M. Sehroeder (dem.), 1,433. 

Auditor— P. D. McKellar (rep.) , 1963. 

Treasurer— H. K. Eue (dem.), 1,8.59. 

Eegister of Deeds- Ole E. Olson (rep.), 
797; John Baldwin (dem.), 1,134; J. E. 
Foss (ind.), 3S3. 

Clerk of Court— William Crawford 
(rep.), 1,191; John M. Yoda (dem.), 

Judge of Probate— Charles H. Sandon 
(rep.), 1,834. 

County Attorney— E. T. Smith (rep.), 

Sheriff— M. B. Dunn (rep.), 1,839. 

Superintendent of Sehools^ — Laura T. 
Olson (rep.), 1,793. 

Surveyor— J. J. Babcock (ind.), 1,631. 

Court Commissioner — .J. A. Goodrich 
(ind.), 1,.578. 

Coroner— D. P. Maitland (ind.), 1,623. 

Commisioner Second District — P. H. 
Berge-^ (rep.), 446. 

Commissioner Fifth DL'^trict — J. M. 
Olson (rep.), 323. 

At the 1904 republican primary elec- 
tion the following were chosen without 
o]iposition: Judge district court, James 
H. Quinn; auditor, P. D. McKellar; 
county attorney, E. T. Smith; commis- 
sioner second district, Henry G. Ander- 
son; commissioner third district, Dacid 
Crawford. The result for those offices 
where there were more than one candi- 
date : 

Congressman — James T. McCleary, 
1,13.5; H.J. Miller, 747. 

Eepresentative — L. F. Lammers, 432; 

B. P. St. John, 629 ; L. 0. Teigen, 788. 
Eegister of Deeds— Ole E. Olson, 738; 

0. J. Wagnild, 897. 

Judge of Probate— B. P. Elverum, 739 ; 

C. H. Sandon, 1,08.5. 
Superintendent of Schools — E. B. Mc- 
Colm, 508; Laura T. Olson, 1,080 ; Eliza- 
beth Eouse. 879. 

Sheriff— M. B. Dunn. 1,050; Dan Mc- 
Namara, 318; C. M. Tradewell, 659. 

Coroner— H. L. Arzt, 738 ; D. P. Mait- 
land, 1,005. 

As in 1903, there was no opposition to 
those who filed for the democratic nomi- 
nation.?, and the following were chosen: 
Judge district court, Frederick A. Math- 
wig ; congressman, George P. Jones ; audi- 
tor, Joseph J. Jones; register of deeds, 
John Baldwin ; treasurer, H. K. Eue ; sur- 
veyor, J. J. Babcock ; commissioner first 
district, Henrv Tbielvoldt.^^ 

^'Resigned July, 1904, and Henry G. Anderson 
wa.': appointed to serve until January 1, 1905. 
He was cliosen chairman July 11. 1904. 

-The highest number cast for any one office 
on the democratic ticket was 7.3. The small- 
npss of tliis vote is easily accounted for. Ttiere 
being no contests in their own party, the dCTno- 
crats assisted the republicans In the selection 



'I'wn tliou.Siind nine Inindn'rl t'i>rty-si.\ 
votes were cast at the general election of 
1904. Tiieodore Roosevelt received a rec- 
ord-breaking majority for president, and 
the republicans carried the county for all 
state and di.strict officers. Of tlie county 
offices only treasurer and one commis- 
sioner went to the democrats. Tiie vote : 

President — Theodore Ro(wevelt (rep). 
•2M2: All. Ill n. Tarkcr (.Iciii.). .").')4.-- ' 

Governor — Kohcrt ('. I'linii (rf|i. ). 
1,505; .Inlin A. Johnson ((Iciii.), l,l!Mi; 
Charles Dorsett (pro.). 4;{: J. E. Nash 
(pub. own.), 13; A. W . M. .\iuIerson (soc. 
bib.), 13. 

Congressman — James T. Met "U>ary 
(rep.), 1,S"1; George V. Jones (dem.), 

Judge District Court — James If. 
(Juinn (rep.), 1,817; Frederick A. Matli- 
wig, (dem.). 1,000. 

Rci)resciitative — L. 0. Teigen (rep.), 
1,460; A. M. Scliroeder (dem.), 1,413. 

Auditor — P. T). ^fcKcllar (rc]!."). 
l.(!3S; Jo.scpb J. Jones (deui.). 1,308. 

Treasurer— n. K. Rue (dem.), 2,330. 

Register of Deeds — 0. J. Wagnild 
(rep.). 1,738; .Tnlni Baldwin (dem.). 

Sheriff— :\I. I'.. Duiin (rep.). 2.408. 

Judge of Proliate — ('. 11. Sandoii 
(rep.), 2,3fi5. 

County Attorney— E. T. Smith (rep.), 

Surveyor— J. J. Bnbcock (dem.). 2.007. 

Coroner- 1». 1'. Maiilninl (ivp.). 2.1S1. 

Supcrinfendent of Scliools — Laura '1". 
Olson (rep.), 2,257. 

Commissioner First llistrict-* — Henry 
Thielvoldt (dem.), 323; Charles Fried 
(ind.), 125. 

Commissioner Second District — llcury 
(!. .\nder.~on-'' (rep.), 485. 

Commissioner Third District — David 
Crawford (rep.). 555. 

Coiiiiiiissioner Fiiiirlb District — Duii- 

iMli MrXab ( rr]i.). 

The IJMKi republican ])riniary resulte<l 
in selecting the folh.wing without oppo- 
sition: Treasurer. FT. 1\. Rue; register 
of deeds. (). .1. Wngnilil : judge of probate, 
John Woolsteneroft ; county attorney. L. 
F. Lamniers ; coroner, D. P. Maitland ; 
clerk of court, William Crawford ; com- 
nii.'^<ioner second district. Henry G. Aii- 
der.son. Those selected widi opposition 
were as follows : 

Congressman — .latnes 'I". MiClcary. 
835; Gilbert Gutter,scn. 799. 

Senator— L. O. 'I'eigen. 931 ; Henry K. 
Hanson, 494 ; C. W. Cillam. 213. 

Representative — Charles Winzer, 87(! ; 
Jolin E. Kilen. 531. 

Auditor— P. 1). .MiKrllar,; A. H. 
SI long, 502. 

Sheriff- G. W. Kveland, 453; Emory 
Olson. 2S2; Henry Beck. 352; J. J. Egge. 

Sii|)eriiit('ndent of Schools — .1. .\. 
Mansfield. S73 ; Gilbert Hovelsrud. 530. 

Commi.ssiouer Fifth District — A. C. Ol- 
son. 330; A. J. Lindberg. 182. 

Tli(^ democrats cliosc the following with- 
oiii o|)]io<itioii : Congressman, W. S. 
Ihinimond; representative, A. P. Van- 
Dam; treasurer, Bruno Poppitz: sheriff. 

of their noniinoos. and undor tho primary law 
they are Icpally entttlt-d tn do .so. For in- 
stance: Thr law provkles that a primary voter 
shall vote the ticket of that party, the major- 
ity of whos.' nominees he supj>orled at the pre- 
eedlntr Keneral election. A democrat might 
have voted for every nominee of his party In 
the ceneral election of 1902 (also votitiR for the 
republicans who had no opposition) and yet 
vote the republican ballot at the primary elec- 
tion of 1904. 

"Vote of other candidates not given. 

='The county commissioners on July 22, 1904. 
ri'dlstricted tlie county into commissioner dis- 
tricts as follows: No. I. Sioux Valley. Min- 
neota. MIddletown. retersburir. Wisi-onsin and 
Alpha; No. 2. Pis Moiaes, Hiinlir and Jackson: 
No. S. Kost. Wcsl Hiroii lake. Welmer. Heron 
Lake township. Lakdleld and Wilder; No. 4. 
Hound Lake. KwinRlon .Mba. LnCrosse and 
Heron Lake villaR.-; No. 5. Delandd. Chris- 
tlania. Kimball, Belmont and Enterprise. 

"Has served as chairman from July H. 1904. 
to the present time. 



Henry TerHaar; clerk of court, A. M. 
Schroeder; surveyor, J. J. Babcock. 

The prohibitionists selected David A. 
Tucker for congressman, and Charles M. 
Fornian for representative. 

So far as county politics were concern- 
ed, party lines were ignored at the elec- 
tion of 190(). The election closely follow- 
ed the bitter county seat contest, and the 
jiolitical affiliation.s of the candidates had 
little weight with the voters. But the ac- 
tions and sympathies of the various nomi- 
nees during the iiglit and their geographi- 
cal location had considerable weight; resi- 
dents of the north and west parts of the 
county voted almost solidly for men who 
had been in sympathy with Lakefield in 
its attempts to remove the county seat, 
while those of the east and south part of 
tlie county voted as solidly for men who 
had favored Jackson. Many political ob- 
ligations were paid at the election of 
190fi ; friends were rewarded, enemies were 

For tlie first and only time in the his- 
tory of Jackson county a democrat car- 
ried the county for governor, John A. 
Johnson receiving a plurality of 102 over 
A. L. Cole. The republicans carried the 
county for the other state and district of- 
fices. In the county election the republi- 
cans elected seven nominees, the democrats 
three, and two independent candidates 
were chosen. Twent\ -seven hundred for- 
ty-seven votes were cast. The official vote 
was as follows : 

Governor — A. L. Cole (rep.), 1,3.53; 
John A. Johnson (dem.). 1,355. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep.), I,4(i9; W. S. Hammond (dem.), 

Senator — Henry E. Hanson (rep.), 

Representative — Charles AVinzer (rep.), 
iA2-i: A, P. VanDam (dem.). 1,037; C. 
M. Forman (pro.), 191. 

Auditor— P. D. Mclvellar (rep.), 1,549; 
John Baldwin (ind.), 1,198. 

Treasurer— H. K. Rue (rep.), 1,453; 
Bruno Poppitz (dem.), 1,198. 

Register of Deeds — 0. J. Wagnild 
(rep.), 1,380; L. J. Dostal (dem.), 

Clerk of Court — William Crawford 
(rep.). 1,138; A. M. Schrocder (dem.), 

Sheriff — Henry TerHaar (dem.), 
1,403; M. B. Dunn (ind.), 1,310. 

Judge of Probate — John Woolstencroft 
(rep.), 1,311 ; C. H. Sandon (ind.), 1,375. 

County Attorney — L. F. Lammers 
(rep.), 1,377; E. T. Smith (ind.), 1,335. 

Superintendent of Schools — J. A. 
Mansfield (rep.), 1.117: J. B. Arp (ind.), 
1,830; Laura T. Olson (ind.), 773. 

Coroner— D. P. Maitland (rep.), 3,047. 

Surveyor — J. J. Babcock (dem.), 1,999. 

Commissioner Second District — Henry 
G. Anderson (rep.), 457. 

Commissioner Fifth District — Andrew 
C. Olson (rep.), 397. 

At the primary election of 1908 the fol- 
lowing republicans were nominated 
without opposition : Auditor, P. D. Mc- 
Tvellar; sheriff, 0. C. Lee; superintendent 
of schools, J. B. Arp ; commissioner fourth 
district, Duncan McNab. Where there 
was more than one candidate for the same 
office the results were as follows : 

Congressmae — Paul A. Ewert, 317; Gil- 
bert Guttersen, 583 ; James T. MeCleary, 

Representative — A. A. Fosness, 966; 
Charles Winzer, 541. 

Treasurer — Henry Knudson, 486; H. 
K. Rue, 1,131. 

Register of Deeds — A. J. Nestrud, 
834; Peter J. Reinen, 693. 

Judge of Probate— C. H. Sandon, 950; 
T. H. Stall, 597. 

County Attorney — L. F. Lammers, 633 ; 
J. A. Mansfield. 955. 



Corouci — ir. T.. Ar/t. TKi: Tver S. IV'ii- 
6on, 635. 

Coiiimissioaor Tliinl DistriuL — David 
Crawford. 258; William Eost, 157. 

Again a few democrats filed for I he 
nomination and were selected without op- 
j)o.sition. Tlicy were: Congressman, W. 
S. Hammond ; representative, Jolin Ralil- 
win ; sheriff, Henry Tcrllaar: register of 
deeds, L. J. Doslal ; surveyor, J. J. Bab- 
eock ; superintendent of schools, !Mrs. Del- 
ia Best; commissioner first district, Hen- 
ry Thielvoldt. 

At the last general election lu'l<l in 
Jackson county before tlic ])ul)lication of 
this liistorv, that held in Xoveniber, 1908, 
2,831 was tlie higliest number of votes for any one office. The republicans 
carried the county for the national and 
state tickets and elected the auditor, treas- 
urer, judge of probate, county attorney, 
.superintendent of schools, coroner and two 
commissioners; the democrats carried the 
county for congressman (the second time 
in the county's history) and elected the 
representative, register of deeds, sheriff, 
surveyor and one commi.s.sioncr. The of- 
ficial vote of the general election of 1908: 

President— William H. Taft (rep.), 
1,575; William J. Bryan (deni.). 1.013.=" 

Governor — Jacob F. Jacobson (rep.), 
1.364: John A. Johnson (dem.). 1.289. 

Congressman — James T. McCleary 
(rep.). 1.187: W. S. Hammond (dem.), 

Representative — .\. A. Fosness (rep.), 
1,340; John Baldwin (dem.). 1.481. 

Auditor— P. D. 'McKcllar (rep.). 2.433. 

Treasurer— H. K. IJue (rep.), 2,352. 

Register of Deeds — Albert J. Nestrucl 
(rep.). 1.337; L. J. Dostal (dem.), 1.13S. 

Sheriff— 0. C. Lee (rep.), 1,099; Hen- 
ry TerHaar (dem.). 1.709. 

Judge of Probate — C. H. Sandon 
(rep.). 1,863; Eafdabl (ind.), 810. 

=»Thc vole is given for only the two leading 

County Attorney — J. A. .M:iiisfield 
(rep.), 2,378. 

Surveyor— J. .1. Haiicock (dem.). 1,919. 

Superintendent of Schools — J. B. Arji 
(rep.), 1,885: Mrs. Delia Best (dem.). 

Coroner- 11. !.. Arzt (rep.), 2,077. 

Commissioner First District — Henry 
Thielvoldt (dem.), 384. 

Commissioner Third District — David 
Crawford (rep.), 474. 

Commi.-sioner Fourth Distrct — lluncan 
McNab (rep.), 375. 

And now the political history of Jack- 
son county is brought to a close. H cov- 
ers a period from the time in 1858 when 
the first county official took the oath of 
office — when there was a mere handful of 
men in tlie county who availed themselves 
of the ]irivileges of voting — up to and in- 
cluding the last general election before the 
date of publication of this volume, at 
which time the total vote reached nearly 
3,000. A brief summary of the condi- 
tions during thi.« time may not be out of 

The county has always been normally 
republican. In the early days it was con- 
sidered a disgrace, and almost a crime, 
to have other political affiliations. There 
liavc 111 in county elections held when every 
vole was for tlie re])ul)lican ticket. .M- 
though tlie party of Jefferson polled 1,150 
votes at one election, it has never carried 
the county for the national ticket : the 
nearest it came was in 1892, when the 
Cleveland electors were only 48 votes be- 
liind those of Harrison. 

During the entire early history of the 
county and up to 1886, the republican 
party was the only one maintaining an 
organization. But during this time tliere 
was a strong indeiicndent movement, kept 
alive by one faction of the republican par- 
ty and tlie few democrats, which opposed 
the republican organization and on sev- 



eral occasions gained control of county 

With the later settlement of the coun- 
ty came the organization of the demo- 
cratic part}' — in the middle eighties — and 
since that time it lir.s been a factor in 
cimnty ])olitics, although always as the 
minority jjarty. On one occasion it car- 
ried the county for its candidate for gov- 
ernor; at two elections it has returned 
majorities for its nominees for congres.s- 
man ; on several occasions it has secured 
majorities for legislative candidates. 

During the free silver days of the nine- 
ties the people* party came into existence, 
and for a few years was a power in coun- 
ty politics. Wlien ils power began to 
wane, fusion was accomplished with tlio 
democrats, and for some time longer the 
combined forces furnished strong opposi- 
tion to the dominant party. 

The prohibitionist- liave never been 

very strong in Jackson county. In one 
or two campaigns they placed nominees 
for county offices in the field, but they 
liave not maintained a permanent organi- 
zation. The socialists and other minor 
parties have little or no strength in the 
county, and have never had organizations. 

While the county is normally republi- 
can, normal conditions are rarely normal 
(if such an expre.ssion may be used). 
There is a strong independent vote, not 
bound to any party, which sways the 
county from the dominant party frecjuent- 
ly when it is believed better candidates 
npi)ear u]ion another ticket. 

Jackson county has been fortunate in 
its selection of county officers. During its 
political hi.story of 51 years, there has not 
been a defaulting county officer, so far as 
I am able to learn. Xor has there been a 
removal Ijecause of criminal action or in- 



w «, 


^ si 










JAC'RSOX— 185(;-1869. 

JACKSON, the capital of Jackson 
county, is the oldest and largest town 
in the county. It is located on the Des 
.Moines river, and its elevation ahove sea 
level is 1,353 feet.' It is on tlie Southern 
Minnesota division of the CHiicago, Milwau- 
kee it St. Paul ladroad, and is a division 
l)oint of that roaih Otherwise described, 
Jack.'^on is in tlie soutlieastern part of 
Jackson county, the business center of the 
village being fifteen and one-half miles 
from the northern boundary, eight and 
one-half miles from the southern bound- 
ary, six and three-quarters miles fronr the 
eastern liorder, and twent3"-three and one- 
quarter miles from the western boundary 
line of the county. 

The population of Jackson, according 
to the census of 1905, was 1,776, but there 
has been an increase since that, and a 
census today would sliow a population of 
about 2,000. Jackson is one of tlie progres- 
sive and prosperous towns of southwestern 
Minnesota. All lines of business that are 
to be found in the towns of the agricultur- 
al communities of the upper Mississippi 
valley are represented. It is noted for 
its schools, churches and social organ- 
izations, and in this respect it is the peer 
of any town of its size in the state. 

'This is the elevation of the business part of 
town. The elevation of Depot hill is 1,446 feet. 
while the Des Moines river at Jackson is 1.288 
feet above sea level. 

The location of Jackson, considered in 
its natural state, is one of unusual beauty; 
southwestern Minnesota has not a more 
lovely spot. Here the Des Moines river 
forms a semi-circle, and on the hills and 
benches on either side of that stream is 
Iniilded the city. On the east side are 
Iiills and bluffs, covered with a heavy 
growth of natural timber ; on the west side 
are a succession of benches. On the lower 
bench is the business part of the city, 
while on the higher ground of the ne.xt 
rise is the residence portion. The bluffs 
and hills surrounding protect the little 
city from the wintry winds of the prairies. 
In the summer season, when the beau- 
tiful natural parks that surround the town 
are clothed in emerald foliage, even he 
who has not the esthetical nature is moved. 
Tlie lover of landscapes, as he stands 
upon one of the tree-crested hill tops of 
the east side and gazes upon the little city 
of Jackson, nestling in the valley and 
perched upon the sunny hillsides, with 
the sparkling water of the Des Moines 
flowing below him, sees a picture of beau- 
ty and is led to exclaim, "What a beauti- 
ful sight!"' In its natural state and with 
the embellishments added by the hands of 
man, Jackson stands at the present time 
as one of the prettiest little cities of a state 
distinguished for its pretty towns. Especi- 




ally !.•; one clianiu'd with its lovcliiuss in 
the punimor. Tlu'ii tlic hroad avcnuo.s and 
|iark.< art' ilntlicd in liiiijlitest fn't'i'"- Trees 
are everywhere. 

One can liardly rcidize that only a lit- 
tle over a lialf c-entury ago this spot was 
an iineharted wilderness, praetieally un- 
known to white men; yet such is the case. 
Time was when the red man pitch- 
ed his tepee where now our churches are 
located ; vast herds of bison inhal)itcd the 
Des Moines river country and made their 
wallows where now our courts are held ; 
timid deer browsed whore now the pupil 
studies his natural hi.^tory: elk in count- 
less numbers roamed the adjacent prai- 
ries and saw their antlers reflected in the 
clear waters of the I)es Moines as they 
bent down to drink. 

When the tirst white man set foot on 
the soil of the present site of Jackson is 
unknown. Probably he was some adven- 
turous trapper who liad pushed out beyond 
his associates in an endeavor to locate new- 
grounds in which to ply his trade. Possi- 
bly he was one of the early explorers of 
southwestern l^Iinnesota. 

When the first ])ermancnt settler came 
to Jackson county he selected the spot u])- 
on which Jackson now stands as a town- 
site, haviiifT practically the whole of south- 
western ilinncsota to choose from, ft was 
durinj: the summer of 18.")(i that the Wood 
brothers — William, (ieorge and Charles — 
selected their claims, built a cabin, opened 
a store and clirisfened the site of their pro- 
posed town Springfield. The store was 
built in the northwestern part of the pres- 
ent incorporated town, but their claims 
took in practically all of the present Jack- 
son west of the river and a part of that on 
the cast .side. The same year other pio- 
neers settled along the Des Jloines river 
in Jackson county, but none of them lo- 
cated on the Wood l)rotliers' claims. A few, 
however, took claims and built their cab- 

in.-; within the jiivsent corporate limits of 
the town, on the east side of the river. 
Among these wnv William Church, who 
l(X-ated with his family just south of the 
present location of tlie elevators; Josluia 
Stewart, who with his family lived in the 
southeastern part of the present town; 
William T. Wheeler, who erected a cabin 
south of the Jackson dcjiot and then de- 

It is not necc.=sary lo tell again of the 
tragedies that occurred on the Jackson 
townsite on that eventful 2Gth of JFarch. 
IS,") 7 — of the murder of the Wood l)rothers 
and the sacking of their store, of the other 
murders in the vicinity, and of the flight 
from Springfield. On that day the ,«oil 
of Jackson was drenched in human blood. 
Very soon after the massacre Ale.xander 
Wood, a brother of the murdered storekeep- 
ers, came to take ])ossession of his broth- 
ers' claims. He formed a partnership with 
a company of townsite boomers, with the 
intention of building a town on the land. 
Elaborate plans were made for the new- 
town, which was to bo named Jackson. Mr. 
Wood was to hold the land claim, the 
other members of the company were to 
make certain stipulated improvement', 
and they were to acquire a half interest in 
(he site. On the .>;(rength of these i)ro- 
posed improvements, Jackson — then only 
a name — was designated the county .^eat 
of .Tack.*on county when it was created by 
act of the legislature on May 2:], 1857. 
Des])ite the jirestige (his legislation gave, 
the townsite company did not fulfil its 
promises by making the improvements. 
Jfr. Wood did not care to endure the bard- 
ships incident to a w-inter jja.^sed on the 
frontier, go he gave up the idea of becom- 
ing the founder of a tow-n and filed on a 
(piarter section only of his brothers' claims, 
not as a townsite claim but as a farm 

-Tlii.s claim included the north part of the 
present business and residence part of Jack- 



F(iv several years thereafter immigra- 
tion to Jackson count}- was not great, and, 
Mlthmigh the belief was often expressed 
that a town would some day he liuilt on 
the site, no attempt to found a town was 
made until after the war. Mr. Wood con- 
tinued to hold !iis claim and made some 
nnprovemcnts on it. It is said that the 
first plowing on (iie townsite was done by 
Stephen ^[uck, «ho aftei'wards became 

blind. He was the son of Joseph ]\Iuck 
and was employed by Mr. Wood. 

During the late fifties and the sixties all 
of the land now included in the corporate 
limits of the village was filed on, but ti- 
tle was not received fiom the government 
to the last tract until early in 1873. Fol- 
lowing are the names of those who re- 
ceived patents to tlic land, the date of the 
patents, the 'description and acreage of 
the claims : 





Stephen F. Johnson 

Sept. 15, 1864 
June 1. 1868 
May 1, 1863 
Dec. 1, 1865 
Aug. 1, 1872 
April 20, 1862 
May 1, 1866 
Sept. 1, 1860 
Sept. 15, 1864 
April 2, 1866 
June 1, 1868 
Aug. 1, 1872 

March 4, 1865 
May 1. 1863 
Aug. 1, 1872 
Aug. 1, 1872 
Feb. 1, 1873 







nw 14 of nw 14 24 

sw 14 of nw I4 24 

se 14 of sw ti 24 1 

n !'2 of seU 24 

sw 14 of sw '4 24 

ne U 24 

s tj of se '4 24 

n 1 7 of sw 1 4 and e ^7 of n w 

ne I4 of ne 4 23 

nw 14 of se 14 23 

s '2 and "w \i of ne 4 23 

s V2 of se I4 23 

ne 4 of se 4 23 

s ! 2 of ne I4 and s ',2 of nw 

n 1 2 of ne 4 and ne 4 of nw 

nw 14 of nw 14 25 

e 1 , of ne 4 26 

w 14 of ne 4 26 


14 25 

Hiram S Baitev 

Israel F Eddy 

Bartholomew McCarthy 

Stephen F. Johnson 

Arthur L Crane 

State of Minnesota < .... 
Stiles M. West 

Hii'am S. Bailey 

Benj. D. Dayton 

Wilson C. Garratt 

During the time these claims were being- 
filed upon and before Jackson was . plat- 
ted a few cabins were erected. On the 
east side of the river stood the old fort 
whicli had lieen erected by the soldiers after 
the massacre of 18(52 : the Joseph Thom- 
as cabin, whicli had been erected by 
William 'r. Wheeler in lS5<i ; and the cal)- 
in ol' Israel F. Eddy on Depot hill. The 
iirst Iniilding erected on the west side, ex- 
cej)t Wood brothers' store and a cabin built 

son. described a.s the north half of the south- 
west quarter and the east half of the north- 
west quarter of section 24. Mr. "W^ood received 
his patent from the government September 1. 

^The oldest deed on record in Jackson county 
is dated May 2S. 18S4. when James B. Palmer 
and his wife. Aminda Palmer, conveyed this 
land to Jane R. Bailev for a consideration of 

'This tract was conveyed by the state of 
Minnesota to the Southern Minnesota Railroad 
company as a part of the grant. 

near by in 1858 by Dr. E. B. N. Strong, 
was a house built by Major H. S. Bailey 
in 1865, on his claim just south of the 
town proper. 

After the civil war there was quite a 
large immigration to Jackson county, 
nearly all settling along the river. Among 
tliose w-ho came to the immediate vicinity 
of Jackson was William Webster, who 
constructed a dam across the river and 
began the erection of a saw mill in 1865. 
Owing to lack of capital, he did not com- 
plete it that year, but in 1866 AVelch Ash- 
ley took over the property and completed 
it. In this mill was sawed nearly all the 
lumber used in the construction of Jack- 
son's first buildings. 

Two arrivals at the site in 1865 who 
were to play an important part in the ear- 



ly history of Jackson were Major Hiram 
S. Bailey, who filed upon a claim now ly- 
ing within the corporate limits of the 
town, and Welch Ashley, who came from 
Pennsylvania looking for a location in the 
western country. They were impressed by 
the beauties of the site and decided that 
the prospective immigration to the vicin- 
ity would warrant the founding of a town. 
Accordingly they bought the Alexiuider 
Wood farm, platted it in the fall of 1866, 
and named their town Jackson.' 

The dedication, which was acknowl- 
edged December 1, 1866, and recorded a 
few days later, was made in the follow- 
ing language: 

Tlie towiisite of Jackson, in Jackson county, 
in tlio state of .Minnesota, as it is laid out 
and platted by Messrs. \V. Ashley and II. S. 
Bailey is described as follows, towit: Com- 
mencing at a point (3;)) thirty -five rods west 
of the center of section No. ('24) twenty -four, 
in town Xo. (102) one hundred and two north 
of range No. (35) thirty-live west; thence 
running south (110) one hundred and ten 
rods; thence west 7.5 rods; thence north (110) 
one hundred and ten rods; thence east (75) 
seventy-five rods to place of heginninf?, con- 
taining (51 11-10) fifty one nine sixteenths 
acres, all on land owned by W. Asliley and II. 
S. nailey. The above described land is divid- 
ed into" (35) thirty-five blocks of (8) eight 
lots each. Each lol is (3 by 5) three by five 
rods. The streets between the blocks are 
four rods wide. There are also alleys between 
the lots running north and south of one rod 
in width. 



Jackson, Minn., Deccnibcr 1. ISCili. 

I hereby certify that the within is a correct 
description of the townsite of Jackson, in 
Jackson county, and state of Minnesota, as it 
is survevcd and platted. 

Notary Public. Jackson County, .Minnesota. 
Recorded December 10, 9 o'clock a. m., 1860. 

'The name of the county was prolKibl.v re- 
sponsible for the name of the town. It will be 
rememlierod that so early as the spring of 1857 
Alexander Wood had named the site Jackson 
and that the Minnesota legislature of that 
year had designated "Jarkson" as the rounty 
seat of Jaek.son county, .so that the name of 
the townslte Is. In fact, older than the county. 
Possibly the fact that n township near Welch 
Ashley's old home In Pcnn.sylvania was so 
named had Its Innucnce In the selection of the 
name by Messrs. Ashley and Bailey. 

The original plat con.sijtcd of tliirty-five 
blocks. The streets running east and west 
were named Sheridan, Grant, Sherman, 
-Vshley, White, I^aiicy and South. Those 
running north and south were named Kiv- 
er. Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and 
Si.xth. A stone was .'^et in the ground to 
mark the center of the southwest quarter 
of section 21, and this was at the inter- 
section of Fourth and White streets.' 

Some two or three months before the 
plat became of record the tirst building 
was put up and the Jackson townsite 
boasted its inliabitants. These were 
Thomas H. WJiite and George C. Cham- 
berlin. They first came to the site one 
(lay in the month of August, 1866,' in- 
vcstigatetl the prospects of the new town, 

'.Vddltlons to Jackson have been platted a.i 

Baileys— Surveyed by C Chamberlln; dedi- 
cated by Hlmm S. Bailey October 27. 1S69. 

Dum()nt's Subdivision — Surveyed l)y James E. 
Palmer; dedicated bv John B, Dumont Septem- 
ber II. 1S84. 

P. Brown's — Surveyed by L. L. Palmer; dedi- 
cated by P. Brown August 13, 1885. 

Ashley & Moore's Subdivision— Surveyed by 
L. I.. Palmer; dedicated by Benjamin W. Ash- 
ley and George R. Moore October 8, 1892. 

Anderson & l.lndsley's— Surveyed by J. I-. 
Hoist; dedicated bv H. G. Anderson and F. W. 
l.indsley June 19, 1895. 

Krause's — Surveyed by J. L. Hoist; dedicated 
by William Krauso June 21. 1895. 

Highland Park — Surveyed bv J. L. Hoist; ded- 
icated by George W. Priest and William C. 
Portmann September 30. 1895. 

Owens' — Surveyed by J. 1.,. Hoist; dedicated 
by Even Owens October 17, 1899. 

Louis Klesel's Second — Surveyed by J. L. 
Hoist; dedicated by Louis Klesel January 9, 

Ashley & Moore's Second — Surveyed by 
(ieorge E. Sawyer; dedicated by B. W. Ashley 
and George R. Moore December 4, 1900. 

Central Park — Surveyed by J. L. Hoist; ded- 
icated by John Paulson July 8, 1901. 

Brown's Terrace — Surveyed hy J. L. Hoist; 
dedicated by J. K. Brown June 16, 1902. 

'" . . . Previous to making Jack.son my 
home I bad resided for a short time at Blue 
Earth ("ity. and it was here I first met my 
friend t'liamberlin in Minnesota, although I had 
known him for sevi-ral >'ears In the east. Dur- 
ing our tlrst interview I told him of a recent 
trip to Jackson and of my determination to lo- 
cate there. I described the townslte as one of 
nature's wonders — the surroundings as all that 
could be desired — and expressed the opinion 
that Jackson would at no distant day be a 
prosperous and growing town. I also informed 
him that I had engaged Jim Pratt to take out 
,1 load of building material and that I would 
return in four or Hvc days to erect a buildlnp 
and prepare for winter. It was soon arranged 
that he should me to the promised 
land."— Thomas H. White In Jackson Republic 
March 9. 1888. 



and returned to their temporary homes at 

Blue Earth City the next day.* Mr. 

Chamberlin was absent two weeks and 

then came back to Jacksou on September 

1. lie tells of the new town as he found 

it on that date: 

1 found tliat during my absence, by virtue 
of tlie surveyors' eliain, Jackson liad made a 
wonderful advancement toward metropolitan 
iniiportions. It now actually contained 150 or 
20U corner lots, several hundred lot stakes. 
street stake's and alley stakes. 

Mr. White returned to his new home 
some time in September, bringing with 
him more stock for the store which he 
]iro posed to open. He also brought a wife, 
having been married since his previous 
visit to Jackson. Welch Ashley's saw mill 
li.i\ iui; bi'i'ii )int in operation by this time. 
.Mr. Wliite at once began the erection of 
his store building, the first load of lumber 
having lipcn hauled in the site by ^lenzn 
Ashley. For temporary quarters a shelter 
wa.s made by taking four joists and nailing 
rough boards around tlu"'m six or seven 
fi'ct liigli: two shelter tents provided the 
roof. When this was completed Mrs. AVhite 
prepared sup])er. a table was made by 
]ilaeing a board on a tool chest and box, 
and Mr. and Mrs. White and Mr. Cham- 
berlin sat down to partake of the first re- 
]iast served in the village of Jackson. 

The store, which was erected at the cor- 
ner of Second and White streets, where 
Robertson's implement house now stands, 
was completed in October. It still stands, 
forming a part of the implement house. It 

'"We [Chamberlin and White] arrived in 
Jackson the next afternoon [in August. lS6fi] 
and stopped at Thomas' old log hotel, the only 
stopping place of the kind in the country. The 
next morning we went down through the tim- 
ber, crossed the river lo Jackson — yes. to Jack- 
son. All there was then of Jackson was tall 
prairie grass, but we pronounced the surround- 
ings and situation good and left. The next day 
we set out on our return to Blue Earth. Some- 
where on the prairie after we started out we 
met a company of engineers on their way to 
survey a line for the Southern Minnesota rail- 
road. I was unsophisticated then and supposed 
that surveying a railroad meant a railroad In 
the near future, and right then and there decid- 
ed to cast my lot in the new town. . . ." — 
George C. Chnmlierlin in a speech delivered 
September 5, 1889. 


is built entirely of native lumber and is 
about 18x20 feet in size, with a small up- 
stairs rocnn. The store was opened as .soon 
as the building was completed, and soon 
customers came with their muskrat, mink 
and other pelts to exchange for calico and 
groceries." Mr. White conducted the store 
until February, 1868. Then J. W. Hunter 
Ixiught the stock at sheriff's sale and con- 
tinued the store. 

The White store was the only building 
erected in Jackson in 1866, and during the 
following winter Mr. and Mrs. White were 
the only residents on tlie town, Mr. Cham- 
berlin having spent the winter in St. Paul. 
Upon his return to Jackson he took charge 
of the store while the proprietor and his 
wife s|)ent two months visiting in the east- 
ern part of the state. Mr. Chamberlin 
has written: "Hence from the "^'^nd of 
March to the 'i'^nd of Mav, 1867, I was 

"Concerning events of this time Mrs. W. L. 
White in 1S95 wrote: 

•■Twenty-eight years ago last September I 
left my old home in Faribault county for the 
wilds of the west — even as far out as Jackson 
county. We took but few household goods 
with us. expecting to have them come later 
with a small stock of goods for the store. It 
was our intention to board at Mr. Thomas' 
hotel until our store and dwelling combined 
could be built; but when we arrived we learned 
to our disappointment that the lumber was not 
all sawed yet. I have forgotten now what 
was the cause, but think it was either the 
great demand for lumber or they were waiting 
for the timber to grow. Anyway, our plan 
of getting plenty of help and rushing the build- 
ing rl.ght along had to be given up. After stay- 
ing at the hotel a few days, we decided to go 
to house-keeping in a tent pitched on the 
bcaiuiful townsite of Jackson. 

"The weather favored us. being perfectly de- 
lightful during October. Not having been in 
the house-keeping business very extensively for 
some time previous, and necessarily having very 
few conveniences in so small ciuarters, I did 
not find it the all-absorbing pleasure it is sup- 
posed to be — by the men. Of course, if I could 
have washed windows and doors and scrubbed 
floors, and so kept real busy all the time. I 
might have enjoyed tenting better tnan I aid. 
Finally, after taking the boards as they dropped 
oft the logs as the saw plowed through them, 
we got our building enclosed, the roof on. the 
loose boards down for the floor, and moved 
into the up-stairs of the first building in Jack- 
son. But in spite of our late fall, the whole 
structure was so very green that it was badly 
frost-bitten. I wonder quite frequently at the 
present time how we managed to exist in the 
building that winter, unfinished, as it was; but 
I remember how our sheet-iron stove used to 
blaze with heat, and I presume the parties who 
sold us the wood we burned realized that we 
were not at all economical in that line. 

"There was no necessity for night-watchmen 



tho only inliaMtniit of Jackson. Certainly 
society circles were select (luring those 
two months, waiving iill ilainis to respec- 
tahility." During these early tlays of 
Jackson's history Mr. C'iianiherlin acted in 
the ca])acity of advertising agent, and (juite 
a number nf the town's early residents 
came as a result of his representations. He 
opened u]) a correspondence with thirteen 
newspapers in different parts of the coun- 
try from Minnesota to the far east, telling 
nf the vacant government lands to be se- 
cured and advantages in the new country, 
with a view to attracting new settlers. 

During the winter of 186t)-G~ the first 
bridge at Jackson, located where tlie low- 
er bridge is now, was built. It was built of 
oak piles and hewn himlier, furnished by 
Welch -Vsldey, and tiie work of building 
the structure was donated. The bridge 
was not long in commission, for the ice 
took it out in the spring of 1867.'" 

In those days. We had quite a number of 
boxes of goods outside our tent (from which we 
sold to an occasional customer Ihrnugh the 
da.v). and they never were disturbed in any way. 
. *. Jackson in those days was noted for 

one thing — scarcity of money — and as a conse- 
quence too much credit was asked to insure a 
successful business. While some asked credit 
with the assurance of millionaires, once In a 
while a man offered some security. I have in 
mind one case; a man with a large share of 
the alphabet for Initials came Into our store 
one day and asked for a few things on time, 
insisting on leaving as security a couple of 
plated wine goblels. They might have cost 
$2.50 wholesale. .-Vfter this, on one promise or 
another, he ran that little bill up to J25.00. and 
the goblets were all we ever had for it. As 
soon as he ran out of securities he left the 
county. And yet in many other cases men were 
not able to give any security. So. as some of 
the present residents well know, our venture 
In business was not a success. 

"In the spring of 1S67 we went oft on a 
sort of a wild goose chase and left mir Jolly 
friend Chamberlln to look after our interests 
during our absence; and he did it well. loo. 
judging from one Item I now remember we 
found on the book: 'To one darning needle, ten 
cents.' 1 do not recall other mistakes. If there 
were any. and being 'booked' could easily be 
corrected, and our few cash customers did not 
suffer to any great extent. Mr. Chamberlln 
used to tell the Joke on himself, so probably 
remembers It. Having lived there three and 
one-half years. 1 became attached to the peo- 
ple and place and was loth to leave." 

"The second brlilge over the Des Moines riv- 
er at Jackson was put ui) during 186!) and 1870 
where the upper bridge is now. It was a bent 
bridge and the stringers were whipped out by 
hand. The county stood pari of the expense 
of its construction and residents of Jackson 
the rest. It was in commission about ten 

In the sjiring of ISfiT Thomas H. 
Wliiti' wa> appointed pa<tmaster of Jack- 
son, and at once entered ii|)oii his duties. 
Previous to this tiim- the postolfice had 
been at the Thomas hotel on the east side 
of the river, and Joseph Thoina.'' hail been 
the postmaster. During those time.< the 
office was ^upplied iiy weekly mail from 
Emmet (Estherville). the carriers iieing 
Major II. S. Bailey and his son, Frank 
Bailey. .\t the old hotel on the hill the 
settlers were wont to congregate every 
Thur.sday to witness the arrival of the 
mail, which contained the St. Paul Week- 
ly two weeks old, as the latest in- 
telligence from the outside world. What 
letters anil ])a|)ers were not handed out on 
the s|)ot to the owners would l)e laid back 
on a shelf to await the call of tlie owners. 
Mr. White has wrilton nf his appointment 
as postmaster : 

It was a laniental)le fact tliat while we liv- 
ed in tlie city we liail to po three-quarters of 
a mile into the country for our mail. A 
friend of Mr. .\iken iliner. from Killmorc 
county, had stopped at my place for an hour 
or so durinj; the winter and liud comprehended 
our wants. On his return to Fillmore county 
lie immediately took steps to have the writer 
appointed postmaster, and this was apiinst 
my wishes at that lime. However, the ap- 
pointment came, and in due time the olTicc was 
moved to town." 

Jackson's second building was erected in 
the spring of 18(u. It was built by Welch 
.\shley for his son-in-law. Palmer Hill, on 
the site nf the ]>ri'Si'nl .iaikson National 
H.iiik liiiililiiig on Scmnil .-Irert. It was a 

years. A combined Iron and wood bridge took 
its place, and that was washed away during 
the high water of ISSl. From its wreck an- 
other was consiriHlid. The jiresent ui>per 
bridge was put in tin or more years ago by 
the county and township. The iireseni lower 
bridge was built by the county and village 
about 1889. 

"Mr. White served as postmaster until ISGS. 
Then J. W. Hunter received the appointment 
and conducled the ofTlce at his store until IS7il. 
On April li; of that year Moses A. Strong be- 
came postmaster and served until October 4. 
1877. In May. 1S71. the Jackson office was des- 
ignated a nioniy order office, but it was not 
until July that this department began oT>era- 
tlons. Alexander FIddes succeeded Mr. Strong 
and served until March. ISSfi. That month 
John Fiddes became the Jackson postma.ster. 
He .served until his death, which occurred May 



two-story building, built of native lumber, 
and was occupied by Mr. Hill for a wagon 
shoi3 for three or four years. The family 
lived up-slairs. It was in this building 
that Jackson's first banlc was started. It 
now stands on Third street and forms a 
part of one of the buildings of the K. S. 
Robertson lumber yard. 

The season of 1867 was wet and back- 
ward, and it was not until July or August 
that the little saw urill could furnish suf- 
ficient hnnber for the few contemplated 
buildings of that year. Every board was- 
taken possession of almost as soon as' it 
left the .saw. The cause of the activity in 
the building line was tlie arrival of two 
families in July, who came to engage in 
business and become permanent residents 
of the village. These were the families of 
VV. S. Kimball and Samuel M. Clark, who 
increased the population of the Jackson 
townsite from three to eleven — a gain of 
over 200 per cent in one day. 

Owing to the scarcity of lumber, these 
new arrivals were obliged to take tem- 
porary quarters in an improvised board 
shanty located where the Ashley house 
now stands. George C. Chamberlin, who 
was about to erect a building, generous- 
ly surrendered lumber and carpenter priv- 
ileges, and those gentlemen began the con- 
struction of business houses. Mr. Kimball, 
who later became one of the best known 
business men of the village, erected a .store 
building on the corner south of the Ashley 
house and opened a hardware store. His 
was a two-story liuilding, and he and his 

24. 1S87. D. M. DeVore served under appoint- 
ment bv President Cleveland from August. 
18S7, to August 1. 18S9. From that date until 
November. 189,3. Alexander Fiddes was again 
in charge of the oftice. From that time until 
November 2, 1S97. the office was under demo- 
cratic admini-stration and V. B. Crane was the 
postmaster. Herman Strom then became the 
postoffice official and served until February 1. 
1902. He resigned and Alexander Fiddes again 
received the appointment. Mr. Fiddes has since 
conducted the office. He has served nearly 
twenty-three years as Jackson's postmaster. 

family resided upstairs.^- Mr. Clark erect- 
ed a dwelling house on the site of the 
jjresent Cowing block, and a blacksmith 
shop just to the ca?t of his house. An- 
other building erected in Jackson in 1<SG7 
was the office and dwelling house put up 
by .Ml'. Cliaiiibci'liu. This stood at tlie 
corner of -Second and Ashley streets. When 
it was moved in 1889 to make room for 
llic IJcrge block, ilr. Chaiiilicrliu gave 
the history of the liuilding, as follows: 

Conseciuently this miniber foiu' in tlie 
order of areliiteetiu'al enterprises during the 
starvation season of 1807. Tlie half iiicli bass- 
wood boards used as siding were unloaded on 
tlie grass just south of Cowing's old store, and 
nearby stood a carpenter's bench, where one 
side of those boards was smoothed by the 
acting carpenter. I suppose one hundred 
teams now pass to and fro within the time 
then occupied by that brevet carpenter in 
dressing one-half dozen boards, but he gave 
as a reason for the slow progress that the 
l]oards should be thoroughly seasoned before 

^-Mrs. Frances M. Kimball, wife of W. S. 
Kimball, in 1S95 wrote of her arrival to Jack- 

"The little cottage in the village of Austin 
had been sold, tlie last goodbyes spoken, and 
we had started on our westward journey in 
the good, old-fashioned way. hoping to build 
our fortune by supplying the early settlers 
with the stock of hardware that had been pur- 
chased for the new town. On the outskirts of 
the city which had 'oeen our home for years, 
we were joined by the family of an honest 
blacksmith, familiarly known as Sam Clark. 
The season was an unusually rainy one. the 
newly laid out roads almost impassable and 
the streams unbridged. Only those who have 
traveled in like manner can realize the joy we 
felt as our train drew up before the log cabin 
of Uncle Joe Thomas, and, although almost 
twenty-eight years have elapsed since we 
reached the wooded bluffs on the Des Moines, 
I remembei' still the good warm meal that was 
set before us, and that bed! It may not have 
been down, but it seemed as such to us after 
those long nights of camping. 

"But where was Jackson? This was the 
ciuestion I asked my husband as we stood on 
the banks of the bridgeless river. Silently he 
pointed to the little sawmill at our feet and 
the small, unfinished dwelling in the valley. 
These were the only signs of habitation as far 
as the eye could see; not a roadway to tell of 
neighboring villages; only the redman's path, 
a too vivid reminder of the terrible mas.sacre 
that had so recently swept our borders. Trees 
were felled, and soon the little mill had pro- 
vided us with boards enough for a small one- 
room shanty, which we shared In common with 
the blacksmith. September came, and the north 
half of the building now owned and occupied 
by Ole F-. Olson was ready for occupancy, and 
the two families were moved to the second 
stor.v. To be sure it was neither lathed nor 
plastered. There were no partitions, and the 
roof rose like the dome of a church over our 
heads, but we did not complain though the 
winter was long and severe, for such is the life 
of pioneers." 


iiisi()i;v (ti- .i.\( i\S()N corxTV. 

It was the home of ulie wrili-r for sevi-nil 
years; eoiinty olTiiers and comity commission- 
ers here transacted their duties; dilTcrent 
business yatherings were wont to convene 
within its walls; social chit-chats, town gos- 
siping, and local loafing generally seemed for 
a tirae to drift to that building as headquar- 

At one time Kev. Peter IJaker lield pro- 
tracted meetings there, and the tunes and 
))salms sung on that occasion were far more 
sacred tlian those sung by the carpenter boys, 
who almost every evening during the autumn 
of 1808 assembled tlicre for intiTchange ol 
songs and stories. That was a busy season, 
and every room was occupied. The boys would 
not only remain during the evening, but 
brought "in their blankets and covered the Hoor 
(luring the night. ... 

.Justice courts were freciucntly held in this 
building, and in this connection many curious 
coincidents have already been recorded. The 
first land trial after the United States land 
oll'ice was moved to Jackson in 1869 was 
licld in this building and laste.l until long 
into the night. As rather a strange circum- 
stance in this connection, tlie one before whom 
the trial was had, the two contestants and 
the h.ilf ilo/en or more witnesses have all lell 
for distant parts. The two who acted ns at- 
torneys, however, are still residents of Jack- 
gon— "one of whom can appear on your streets 
only with the aid of two crutches, while the 
other is infirm and blind. 

In the autumn of ISti!) another building 
formed an addition to this structiue, where 
early in 187(1 the Kepublic was born and llour- 
isheil until 1874. . . . The ol.l .puirtcrs 
were then used for a justice office and pea- 
nut stand— as a gentleman crossing the street 
read the sign. "".lustice and Peanuts for Salel" 
In IStJfl this building was the nIVicc of conn 
tv auditor anil register of deeds; in 18S!t it 
serves the same purpose for court commission- 
er and county surveyor; and I in 1 !•()!• 
it will be occupied by whoever may be the 
scholastic and cultured persons filling the of- 
fices of superintendent of schools and county 
attorney, and the same oak shingles split and 
.shaved "by JI. S. Clough in lSil7 "ill ].nilc,l 
them from rain and storm. 

Millun Masciii has described .linksnn as 
he found it in the fall of 18(57: 

In October. 18t)7. myself and family landed 
nt Jackson, on the 20th. The first persons 
whom I met were .losepli Thomas. Jr., and R. 
1). Larnard. They assisted me down the sleep 
embankment just" below the mill. We crossed 
the river and made straight for Aiken Miner's. 
I found ipiite a change in the townsite. 1 
found a general store, well stocked. W. S. 
Kimlmll's hardware store, Clark's blacksmith 
shop, anil Joseph Thomas' hotel near by. I 
also found the following families living near 
by: .Major II. S. Uailey. Welch Ashley. Clark 
Baldwin. R. X. Woodward. W. V. King. Darby 

\\h;ileii. Hen .lohnson, Henjamin Dayton, Wil 
~on tiarratt, Simon Olson and S. S. Ilregg. 

During these pioneer times evcrv addi- 
tion to tiie town wa.s cause for niui-ii coin- 
iiienl and tonifralulation. 'Die residents 
would jialiter around tlie carpenters as 
thov would begin some little liuilding. and 
that would be the princijial re.sort until 
the building was completed. 

.\u iinportaiit addition to the communi- 
tv in tiic spring of ISCS was John W. 
Cowing, who founded the town's second 
general store, erecting a building in the 
middle of tlie block between the jiresent 
locations of the Kobert.son iniplement 
house ami the .\lbcrlus clothing store." 
.\nother arrival in IStiS was John A. 
.Mvcrs. who o|icncd a store in a building 
sitiiaU'd wlure the First National Hniik 
now stands. This building was one and 
one-half stories high and was erected ilur- 
ing the summer by Welch .\shley. It was 
llic first lath and plastered edifice erected 
in Jackson county, the lime and lath hav- 
ing been hauled by ox team from Mankato 
by Menzo L. Ashley. This old store build- 
ing si ill stands, to the east of the First 
N'ational Raidc. 

Duriiiii the late si.xties rivalry .sprang 
up between the communities of the east 
and west sides of the liver. It was learned 
tliat the original jihit as laid nut by 
Messrs. Ashley and Bailey wa.s. defective 
for some cause or other, and in Jlay. 18t>S. 

''■•Tliirtv years nRo last sprliiR a slim young 
man drove over the hrow of the hill in front 
of the Thomas place and tool< a look at the 
lownslle of Jackson. He liatl liccn traveling 
In a covered wagon and camping by the road- 
side, looking for a location to commence life 
for himself. The .sight was a pleasant one. 
and before descending the steep hill to the ford 
he lind decided that this was the place he had 
heeii looking for. lie had live hundred dollars 
In cash and some property. Securing 
a lot he milnadid his plunder, and. Inlying an 
ax he starled out to Iniy trees enougli to tinild 
a store. Cutting and hauling the logs himself, 
he soon had enough lumber to put up ;i small 
liullding lf.x24 feet, on the lot now occupied 
liy .\. K. Ol.son'.s store. It was .in Immense 
store iHiildIng at that time, and Juhn \V. Cow- 
ing soon had a small stock of goods displayed, 
and his career as a merchant commenced." — 
Republic. Octolier II. 1S98. 



Joseph Thomas platted a townsite on the 
east side of the river, \vhich he also named 
Jackson. Tliereafter for a year or more 
there was some feeling between the two 
communities and much speculation as to 
wiiich would finally become "the town."' 
The plat of the east side Jackson was dedi- 
cated in the following language : 

I. Joseph Thomas, do hereby certify this 
May 2(5, 1868. that I have oavised a survey and 
plat to he made of lands belonging to me and 
situated on the north half of the southeast 
quarter of section 24, town 102, range 35, to 
be called the town of .lackson. 



The plat was surveyed by James E. 
Palmer. It extended from the Des Moines 
river to the Wisconsin township line and 
consisted of eight blocks, in addition to 
a Jiomestead reservation by Mr. Thomas 
and small unplatted areas in tlie names 
of P. Brown and C. Chamberlin. The east 
and west streets were named Front street 
and Oakland avenue : those running north 
and south were River. First. Second, 
Tliird, Fourth. Fifth and Sixtli. The plat 
was filed for record May 26, 1868. 

To rectify the errors of the original 
plat of the west side Jackson, Messrs. Ash- 
ley and Bailey had a new survey made on 
October 30, 1868, by J. A. Dean. It was 
practically the same as the old plat, but it 
complied with the law, and was filed in 
the office of the register of deeds Novem- 
ber 4, 1868. That there might be no ques- 
tion as to the validity of town property 
titles, tlic matter was taken before the 
state legislature, and on March 3. 1869. an 
act was approved whicli legalized all deeds 
and conveyances made, by the townsite 
proprietors under the old plat.''^ 

"Section one of the act reads as follow.s: 
■'That the plat of the town of Jackson, in the 
county of Jackson, as offered for record by- 
Welch Ashley and Hiram S. Bailey and re- 
corded in the office of the register of deed.s of 
said county on the first day of December. 1S66. 
and as resuryeved and corrected by a plat made 
by John A. Dean on the 30th day of October. 
1S68. and filed for record in the office of the 
register of deeds of said county on the 4th d^y 

Moses A Strong, wlio came to the vil- 
lage in January, 1869, has entertainingly 
described the town as he found it at that 

Tliere was then strife between east and 
west .Jackson, and it was mixed which would 
come out aliead. The cast side had the hotel, 
and the west side the postofTice. In some re- 
spects it looked as if the west side had the 
adyantage and a little blue for the east siders. 

After dinner we went "over the river;" they 
did not call it "over town'' then. On the way 
I took in the towns. On the east side was — 
or, rather, had been — a store kept by one Rad- 
ford, then retired, played out. closed out, lock- 
ed out. He still liyed in an old house near by, 
waiting for something to turn up. Charles 
Chamberlin. a big mugwump of the east side, 
had an unfinished house in the suburbs. One 
Arkle was a shoemaker and pegged away in a 
small house at the foot of the hill. Philander 
Brown owned a patch of land on eacli side and 
didn't care whicli way the cat jumped. Do\vn 
at the river at the end of an old mill dam was 
an old saw mill, and the proprietors, Cardwell 
& Wiltsie, lived in an old house near by. This 
was about all tliere was to the east side [ex- 
cept .Joseph Thomas' hotel]. 

We crossed the river on the ice, there being 
no bridges then. 'When there was no ice and 
tlie water was low they crossed at the ford 
lielow the pond; when it was high they didn't 
cross at all. 

Up on the west side, toward where the 
bridge is now located, was a house owned by 
B. W. Ashley. " Xext. the house of Palmer 
Hill; across the way, Sam Clark's residence 
and blacksmith shop: then a small store kept 
li,v .J. A. Myers, a one-armed ex-soldier; across 
the street was the hardware store of W. S. 
Kimball. His family — wife, two young daugh- 
ters and wife's sister — lived over the store. 
Then came George Chamberlin's little oflfice 
and bedroom combined. It was occupied by 
Chamberlin and Garratt, as county auditor 
and register of deeds office, and when both 
were in there was no room for others. Mr. 

01 Noyember. 1S6S. be, and the same is hereby, 
legalized and established and declared to be 
of the same force and effect in the law as if 
the same was in strict conformit.v with the 
statutes upon the subject of the laying out of 
towns and the suryey thereof, and of the mak- 
ing, certifying and recording of the plats 
thereof: and the said plats are hereby de- 
clared to be lawful and competent eyidence of 
the contents thereof in all courts and places in 
the same manner and with the same force and 
effect as if the same had been in all respects 
certified, acknowledged and recorded in strict 
conformity with the statutes upon that subject 
in force at the time when said plats were re- 
spectiyely made. Proyided. that whenever the 
said two plats differ from each other in any 
respect, the said plat made by the said John 
A. Dean for the said Welch Ashley and Hiram 
S. Bailey, town proprietors, shall be deemed 
paramount, and .shall to that extent supersede 
the former plat." 
"Published in Jackson Republic .\pril 25. 18S9. 


lll.sT(ti;Y oy .IAL'K8U.\ I'UlW'TV. 

Chamlicrliii was tlioii in .St. Pinil. a rlcrk in 
till' li';;is!atiii«'. 

Across 1)11 till' (ippiisitc loriu'r was tin- stori.' 
f)l" llimtcr Hriitlicis -.1. \V. ami Daviil. Tlie 
family, tlioii coiisistiiif; of .1. W.. David, Agnes 
and tlieir motlier, lived in an addition to llie 
store. .Tame.s W. Hunter was postmaster. 
Elder |K(hvard| Sjivage assisted David and 
had a room over llie store. Dr. Foster had a 
little drug shop aiross the way and he and 
his wife lived in one end. A little farther 
along was the store of Cowing & White. They 
lived over tlie store. Then came the residemc 
and photograph gallery of T. II. White and 
wife. Across the way was the feed store and 
harness shop of Male & M\inger and wife. 
Down at the en<l of the street lived Alex Hall, 
who ran the .lacksim & Blue Earth t'ity stage. 
Down by the bayou was the V.xft frame school 
house. Xearby lived Chris, a half-<Ta/.y Nor- 
wegian. This love-crackeil old man lived alone 
and ma<lc furniture. 

A little out of town lived Major Hailey and 
family in a log house, and Wilson (Jarratt and 
the Dayton families a little farther up the 
creek. Pliilandir Brown and wife lived on the 
bench, and Nathaniel Frost and family near 

This, if I remember correctly, was all llieri' 
was to the west side. 

An event of the greatest importance oc- 
eiirrwl in the spring of 1809 ; then the 
T'nitod Slate.s land office was moved from 
Wiimcbago City to Jackson U])cin :iu order 
issued hy ('omniissioner Wil.son."' That 
event brought iiapi) to (he liearts of 
the people of the little idiniininity : tliey 
knew then that JaeKson was to become 
a town. It also settled the matter of the 
supremacy of the two towns of Jackson, 
as tlie office was located in the west side 
village. A number of new residents were 

"This office hail luen opened at Brownsville, 
on the Mississippi river. In 1S.')4. with Messrs. 
McKlnna and Welch In charge. In IS.Sfi It was 
moved to rhaltielrt. and In ISiil to Winnebago 
Citv. When the last named change was maile 
Mr." HolUy receiver and Mr. RuUis regis- 
ter. When till' office was movi'il to Jackson 
in 18BSI !•;. 1". I'recman went In as register and 
J. B. Wakellilil as receiver. After the colony 
Immigranis began to arrive and settle In the 
Wiirthlnglon countr.v. the bulk of the huBlnesa 
was In the west end of the district, and In the 
spring of 1874 the government ordered the re- 
moval from Jackson to Worthlngton. 

Soon after the removal Mr. Kreeman retired 
as register. He was succeeded b.v Dr. Leonard, 
of Rochester, who held the office for a lime. 
Thi' latler's appointment was not conllrmcd. 
however and Captain ilons Grinager became 
register in August. 1S74. He resigned June 1. 
l.ssi;. having lield the office nearl.v tw<lve years. 
In Januarv. 187.5. J. P. Moulton look the place 
of Mr. Wakefield as receiver, and held It until 
June. 1881. C. H. Smith was the next receiver, 

added to tlie town iu 180!). Among them 
were Moses A. Strong, who opencnl a drug 
store: I>r. ('. 1*. .Morrill, the town's first 
doctor: AltxaniKr Kiildes and several 

During the year Jackson became the 
trading center of an immense territory. 
Settlers from twenty miles up the river 
and the same distance down came to .lack- 
son for their mail and to do their trad- 
ing: from thf numerous lakes and stream.* 
lo the west am! northwest, around which 
homestoaders were locating, came the 
settlers frtuii long distances: those on 
llenui and (iraliam lakes did all their 
trading in Jackson; from beyond the west 
line, of the state they came. The few 
people living in the Siou.x Falls country 
came lo .lackson to mill, and it is said 
that riiilo llawe.-, who then lived on the 
present .site ol' l.iivirne, once made the 
little trip to Jackson to have a sickle re- 
jiairetl. Jackson became a great market 
for fur, which was in-actically the only 
iiieiliuni of exchange in the country and 
brought good prices. 

W. S. Kimball was llie leading business 
man of the town, and be carried (Ui an 
enormous hardware tra<le. His goods were 
shipped to the end of the railroad, at 
Owatonna, Mankato or Winnebago City, 
in ear-load lots. Fi-om those points they 
were hauled to .Jackson by ox or horse 
teams, it taking a week or more to make 
the trip. The freighting teams would ar- 
rive at their destination, looking like a 

occui>vlng the office until Septcml)cr 1. 1885. 
when August Peterson, of Albert lea. took the 
office. Me held it nnlil after the remiival from 
Worlhinglon. C. V. Shepherd succeeded fai>- 
lain Griiiiiger as register In June. lSSt>. and 
held the position whil.' the office was located 
in Wi>rlhington. The land office was closed 
Februarv 28. 18SB. there having been a con- 
solidation among the .iffices in Minnesota. Thosi- 
al Benson. Worthlngton and Redwood halls 
were discontinued and the jiapers turned over 
to the office at Tnicy. The Tracy office was 
then moved to Marshall. The land office was 
under democnitic management from 18S4 to 
1861- the republicans were In charge from ISfil 
to 1885 Then each )iarty had one official in 
the office until 1SS6. when .Mr. Shepherd look 
office; thereafter it wa.s democratic. 



circus procession. .Moses A. Strong, in a 
;5peech made at a .Masonic banquet in 
Jackson in January, 1S.S4. told of "Mr. 
Kimball's business : 

People wondered wliere lie sold so many 
goods, but to those who knew him it was no 
wonder. A settler from Graham or Heron 
lake, or somewhere away up north or west, 
would hitch up a yoke of steers to an old 
wagon, pile in a lot of fur, and start for 
.Tackson. Wliere he came in sight of town over 
the hill Mr. Kimball would see him and com- 
mence striking up a trade, and the first thing 
you knew he would have the wagon loaded 
with hardware, a stove, plow. cofTee mill, jack 
knives, etc., take all the money he had and 
notes for the balance. He would embrace his 
customer heartily, shake his hand warmly, ask 
liim to come again, send his love to all the 
neighbors, and bid him adieu. 

When the first number of the Jackson 
Republic was issued on February 2G, 1870, 
the following local business and profes- 
sional firms were represented by advertise- 
ments : 

]\r. A. Strong & Co., drug store. 

Hunter Brothers, general store. 

W. S. Kimball, hardware. 

H. S. Bailey, general store. 

J. W. Cowing & Co., general store. 

Cluinilierlin & Avery, Jackson Republic. 

J. W. ]\Iyers, general store. 

J. \V. Seager, attorney. 

G. K. Tiffany, attorney. 

C. P. ^lorrill, doctor. 

John H. Grant, notary public. 

James E. Palmer, surveyor. 

G. C. Chamberlin, notary public. 

Charles Frisbie, cabinet maker. 

Joseph Thomas, Jackson House. 

William C. Jackson, livery stable. 

I. A. Moreaux, saloon. 

In addition to this list there were in the 
little village a feed store, two blacksmith 
shops, a second eating house, a shoe shop, 
a meat market, a saw mill, the United 
States land office, a school house and a 
churcli. Several mail and stage routes 
were operated to the town, as follows: 
The through line from Blue Earth City 
to Yankton, the line from Winnebago City, 
another from iladelia, connecting with 
one from Sioux City and forming a 
through route from Mankato to the Union 
Paeifie railroad. 







JACKSON— 1870-1910. 

DUEING tlie first six years of its 
liistory Jackson was the only 
town in Jacl^son county. Dwt- 
ing tiiis time it was also without a rival 
in many neighboring counties. Thousands 
of settlers were pouring into the country 
and locating upon the government lands. 
Because of this extensive settlement, be- 
cause of the fact that it was the only town 
within many long miles in all directions, 
and because of the progressive spirit of 
the founders and first business men 
(nearly all of whom were American born), 
Jackson developed into a place of impor- 
tance. During tlie years 18G5 to 1869 
its growth had been slow, but beginning 
with 1870 it took a start, and its growth 
continued until tlie beginning of tlie ter- 
ribble grassliopper scourge. 

The year 1870 was a lively one in all 
lines of business. Several new Ijusiness 
houses were started and many new build- 
ings were* erected. The improvements for 
the year footed up to $17,()r)0, itemized as 
follows : 

J. A. Myers, store .$ 800 

Dr. C. P. Morrill, residence 750 

Miss T. M. Rice, residence 4.50 

Ilnnter Brotliers, improvements 200 

E. P. Freeman, improvements 100 

W. S. Kimball, store 1,500 

J. W. Cowing & Co., improvements 200 

Ashley & Co., liotel 3.500 

Ashlev & Co., stable 200 

H. S." Bailey, store 1.700 

I. A. Moreaiix, improvements 350 

Methodist church, parsonage 700 

S. M. Clark, improvements 1.50 

Chamberlin & Avery, improvements.... 150 
Dr. K. K. Foster, hotel and improve- 
ments 2,200 

D. Cardwel!, improvi^nients on saw mill 1,500 

J. H. Grant, improvements 300 

Griggs & Chubb, steam mill 1,.500 

St. Paul & Sioux City Ry. Co., otTice.. 150 

I. <;. Walden, imi)rovements 50 

D. Kirkpatriek, residence 200 

Freeman & Wakefield, improvements.. 250 

Nathaniel Frost, improvements 100 

P. Brown, residence and stable 2.50 

Welch Ashley, improvements .50 

R. K. Craigue, residence 2.50 

Milton Mason, stable 100 

Total $17,650 

Business was better in 1871 than it 
had been the year before, and several new 
enterprises were put under way. We gain 
an idea of the size of the little town that 
year from the writing of a resident, who 
declared tliat in June the village con- 
tained a total of about fifty buildings, in- 
cluding residences, shops and public build- 

With tlie building of the St. Paul and 
Sioux Cily railroad in the fall of 1871 and 
the founding of the towns of Windom, 
Heron Lake and Worthington, the im- 
mense trade territory of Jackson was 
greatly reduced. This was offset, how- 
ever, by the rapid settlement and develop- 
ment of the immediate surrounding coun- 
try, and Jackson continued to advance 



lll> Tdin' (»l' .IA( KS()\ CulN'rv 

(luiiii,ir till' .vi'iir 1.S7-J. K'cal ost;itp sales 
had never before been so lively, l^'mtv or 
fiftv residence and biisines-s lots weru sold 
diirinfj the siiinnier. The building im- 
provements for llie yeai- amounted to over 
$5J3,(1(I0. many of tiie struetures erected 
l)ein<i superior to those of former j-ears. 
'i'lie impro\eiiients of 18~3 were as fol- 
lows : 

.Jackson (.'oiinty, luiirt liiiiise $ r),4()0 

\V. S. Kimball, ri'sidpnce S.Odd 

1 .sou 
I .r>no 


.1. W. C'Dwiii};. store and liall... 

Simon Avery, resiilciui' 

I. A. Moieaiix, hilliiir.l ImII 

Dr. K. I,, lirownell, residenie and stable 
V. M. Sniitli, residence and ffranary.... 
S. M. flark. blacksmith shop ' .'iOO 





.1. !•'. Ashley, residence. 

."scliool Dist. \o. 2. furniture 

.\. H. Tompkins, residence 

•I. II. (irant. improvements 

-Mexandcr Kiddi's. wareliousc and stable 

1 1. Anderson, imjiroveraents 

(.'lark .Marshall, residence 

Simon Avery, barn 

Other ilcins 

'I'olal $2^,140 

So far the history of Jackson had been 
one of prou'res.s. Kacl. year, from the date 
of founding, there had been additions to 
the po])ulation and to business enterprises. 
Befrinninj; with ]S7:i came a eomjilete re- 
versal of conditions. .From that time un- 
til 187S there was iiol oiil\ a eessatioii 
of projjrcss, there was retrogression. This 
chanfie was brought about wholly by the 
terrible conditions caused by the ravages 
of the grassho])pers. .V town depending 
solely upon an agricultural country for 
its su])port is left in ]n'elty bad eircmn- 
stances when ibe enuntry has had a siu'- 
ce.ssion ol' nearly cro]i failui-es, and 
.lackson was no e.\cc])tion In (be rule. 'I'lu 
country was cdose to the starvation point, 
and .lackson soon came to the same condi- 
tion. Business men exteiuled credit until 
they lost tlieir own; several failed ami 
moved away. The depression continued 
several years, and Jackson received a set- 
back which it took years to overcome. 

However. Jackson sutlered less severely 
than many of tin. neighboring towns. It 
was the center of an older settled country 
than weie jnost of the town? of .southwest- 
em Minnesota, and many of the farmers 
had lived in the country long enough to 
make some headway toward financial in- 
dependence. The other towns had been 
founded as a result of the immigration of 
IS'".', and not one crop had been harvested 
b(liire the devastation. Therefore Jack- 
son withstood the awful calamity better 
than those towns less fortunately situated. 
.\s the story of the grai^^hopper times has 
been told in previous chapters, I shall not 
eiitiT into its details in this history of 

.Mlhough the bard times liad not dis- 
apjieared. in l.STS came a revival of busi- 
ness in Jackson. This was caused by the 
building of the Southern .Minnesota rail- 
i"ad (now the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
I'aul). which reached the county -seat No- 
vendier ",.';. It was a time of rejoicing. 
-Ml fall times were lively in the little vil- 
lage, due to definite knowledge that the 
road was coming. The arrival of the iron 
horse caused the .Iacl<son Hepublic (No- 
\ember -.iO, is:s) to e.xult as follows: 

.\fter twelve Ion',' years of waitinj; .Jackson 
has a ri};ht to exult over the auspiiions opcn- 
inj; of so excellent a line of road. Sitnated on 
one of the grandest lhoro\ij;hfares in the west, 
surrounded by as line a country as was over 
inhabited by men. environed by its {jrand old 
blutt's. in easy reach of a succession of l)c- 
witching lakes, containing a population noted 
for in<lustry. inlclliiience. thrift and responsi- 
bility, it is sure to march olV in rapid strides 
to prosperity. In adversity, even, we have 
lii'cn reasonably prosperous, and now. with the 
liri;.'hles! outlook, let everyone rcjoii'c that 
l;is lines have fallen here and put forth re- 
ncwiil elVorts to nnike onr town surpass in 
every fealiui' that jjoes to make U)> a lively, 
moral, enterprising, cooperating, happy, benev- 
olent, peaceful and industrious community. 

Owing to the topographical features of 
the town's location, difficulty was encoun- 
tered in getting the road built into the 
town, and the depot was located nearly 



a mile from the Ijusiness center. It was 
later movetl still fartlier away. The rail- 
road e.xtended from Jackson in 18T9. 

The coming of the road proved a great 
like-awakening agency. Before, the town 
had been scattered over a large area, with 
several vacant lots intervening between 
the business houses and residences. 
Many of these vacant places now be- 
came iilled with new buildings. The sound 
of the saw and hammer was heard all day 
long: the streets were thronged witb new 
arrivals. During the five months from 
September 1, 1878, to February 1, 1879, 
the following new buildings were erected: 
Sargent & Collins, store building; Lars 
Nelson, saloon building: Vandaworker & 
Seip, blacksmith shop ; Brewster Bros., 
store building; F. T. Brayton, livery barn : 
C. L. Colman, lundier office, sheds and 
barn ; John Paul, lumber office and sheds ; 
A. N. Tompkins, John Paulson, F. A. 
Chittenden, George C. Chamberlin, E. 
Owens, Jesse Wood, W. J. Case, Mr. Moe, 
Welch Ashley and H. White, residences ; 
Thoma.s O'Neill, boarding house; M. H. 
Smith, harness shop; Dr. Tidball, office 
building; E. A. Hatch, ice house; railroad 
company, engine Louse ; Bonner & Hyde 
and Cargil & Van, warehouses. 

During the same .''eason the following 
new business enterprises were started in 
Jackson : JI. H. Smith, harness shop ; 
Vandaworker <!t Scip, blacksmith shop;- 
Clark & Hartness, hardware store; Sar- 
gent & Collins, clothing store ; Olson Bros., 
general store ; Ole Eognas, furniture store ; 
Brewster Brothers, grocery store ; J. A. 
Rhodes, photograph gallery ; Thomas 
O'Neill, boarding house ; W. E. Powers & 
Co., saloon ; Ira Walden, butcher shop ; E. 
A. Hatch, saloon ; A. Haskins, barber shop : 
A. N. & I. D. Converse, real estate and 
insurance office; W. N. Brayton, meat 
market; 0. A. Sathe, wheelwriglit's shop; 
F. T. Brayton, livery barn; John K. 

Brown, bank ; C. L. Colman and John 
Paul, lumber yards; M. B. Odell, jewelry 
store; O. \j. Patch, paint sho]) ; F. Quon- 
tin, F. il. Smith, F. A. Chittenden, R. 
Hanson, carpenter shops. 

So great had been the increase in popu- 
lation that at the beginning of the year 
1879 steps were taken to bring about the in- 
corporation of tlio village. On January 
(I a mass meeting was held at the court 
house to take the preliminary steps. The 
meeting was ])resided over by Major H. S. 
Bailey, and George C. Chamberlin was the 
secretary. When tiie question was discus- 
sed, it was found that there was consider- 
able oppo.'^ition to taking the important 
step at that time. It appeared, however, 
Ihat a majority was in favor of beginning 
munici]ial government. A committee, 
composed to T. .1. Knox, J. W. 
Cowing, Alexander Fiddes, P. Brown and 
Joseph Thomas, was selected to draft a 
charter. A charter was drawn up and re- 
))orted to another meeting hchl January 

The matter was placed before the legis- 
lature, and on March 6, 1879, the Min- 
nesota law making body enacted into law 
a bill providing for the incorporation of 
Jackson, with the boundaries it now has. 
The act provided that before it should 
become operative it must be ratified by 
a vote of the people residing within the 
proposed limits of the village. For the 
jnirpose of calling and presiding over such 
election the act named J. W. Hunter, B. 
W. Ashley, M. A. Strong, Alexander Fid- 
des and J. W. Cowing as commissioners. 

There the matter was allowed to rest for 
two years, and the village of Jackson 
was governed by the board of county com- 
missioners and the Des Moines township 
board of supervisors until 1881. Why im- 
mediate action was not taken is lucidly 
explained by the Jackson Republic of 
March 20, 1880, as follows : 



Why siioli meeting wns not called 
is all on acconnt of llic oondition upon wliidi 
our town bonds were voted for the IVs Moines 
river liridye and in conscqnenie of a derision 
of the supreme emirt. lioliliu}; thai wlien towns 
I townships I liad voted bonds and sulise(|uent- 
!y a ninni(i|ial iiu'orporation was created with- 
in such town limits, the townsliip outside of 
the incorporation was compelled to pay the 
full amount of the bonds so voted. Now, the 
village lias no desire to shirk the obligation 
of its portion of the bonds voted and we nnike 
this public explanation. 

Tlio building activity pontinucfl ciur- 
iiiff 1879. From early spring until late in 
llic tall carpcntcr.s were lui.sily engaged 
in erecting the new struetiire.s. Unlike 
tlie cliea|) iitnicture.? .soinetiines ])ut iij) 
ill iiiiislirooni towns I'nlldwing the cniniiig 
(if the railroad, niaiiy siih.stantiiil edifices, 
costing several thousand dollars, were add- 
ed to the village. The iinprcivi'mciits I'nr 
the year aniouiiled to $.'!7,l)."iO, itemized 
as follows : 

John K. Hrown. brick IkuiU tiuililing . i? 4,0111) 

.1. W. Cowing, house'iO 

A. C. Whitman & Co.. brick store build- 
ing ,3.000 

Southern Minnesota Railway Co., depot 2.r)00 

Des Moines river bridge 2.200 

CoUis i Laniont, addition to Ashley 

house 1 .SOO 

E. Owens, business block 1.400 

Mrs. if. B. Bowditch. house 1.000 

:^r. A. Strong, addition 1.000 

Olson Bros., store building 1.000 

Ole Tiognas, store b\iilding SOO 

M. 11. Smith, harness shop SOO 

T. .1. Knox, house 72."i 

(). K. Olson, house 700 

C. A. CanipbiOl. house TOO 

U. S. liiiilcv. improvements at brick 

yard .....' TOO 

.1. li. Tjindsay. hotise 000 

Jesse Wood, house fiOO 

Tlionnis O'Neill, improvements on hotel HTH 

Alexander l'"iddes. postoffice building. . .WO 

.1. W. Hunter. im])rovements grist mill, .WO 

O. A. Sathe. bouse .lOO 

U. W. Ashley, improvements and stahh' ")00 

Honner & Hyde, warehouse "lOO 

Cargill & Van, warehoiise .WO 

Fred Qnentin. house tiOO 

(J. fJnnderson. house 400 

C. Sei)!. house 400 

Brewster Uros.. improvements on store. 400 

Mrs. C. Haldwin. house 32."> 

K. A. Hatch, barn 300 

P. Brown, house .300 

Peter Kvenson. house 2.iO 

Rev. J. K. .\lexaiidcr. parsonage MOO 

W. S. Kimball, house .300 

1. D. Converse, house. 275 

(ieorge C. Chaniberlin, imjirovements. . 2.50 

J. !•". Ashley, house 250 

I'", 'r. Hrayton. improvements 200 

-Mrs. K. h! Wilson. rcsta\uant 200 

(uorge 1). Stone, addition 200 

Ashley Bros., livery barn 200 

Charles Cutting, house 150 

A. \. Tompkins, improvements 150 

F. A. Chittenden, improvements 150 

Dr. E. P. Gould, addition 125 

Mrs. Rost, addition 125 

John Paulson, improvements 125 

Nathaniel Frost, barn 125 

Moore & Kummcr, improvements 110 

Other items 1,190 

Total .. $.37,650 

According to the federal census of 1880 
— the first in which the population of 
.lackson was enunterated separately from 
tlie tnwnslii]) — the town was found to have 
:i pnpidaticin of 501, making it rank 
I'liurtli anintig the towns of soutlnve.stern 
M iiiiicsdta.' 

Tile matter of incorporation again bo- 
raiue a live issue during the winter of 
l,S8fl-Sl. A mass meeting was held on 
the last day of the year ISSO. of which 
M. .\. Strong was chairman and J. W. 
i I lintel- secretary. Tiiere was luore un- 
animity of opinion than there had been 
two years before, and it was the 
of the meeting that immediate steps shotild 
lie taken to incorporate, freorge C. Cham- 
berliii. T. J. Knox and J. T. Bowditch 
were ap|viinted a committee to draft a 
rliarter, and .T. W. ITunter. .7. \V. Cowing. 
II. S. r.ailev. W. S. Kimball, V>. \V. Asli- 
lc\, .Icix'pli Thomas and 11. II. Hughes, a 
<oiiimitlee to decide on the boundaries. 

.\ charter was prepared, and, in order 
to obtain the views of the citizens an in- 
formal election was held at the postoffice 
on .lanuary 12, at which time 55 votes 
were registered in favor of incorporation 
Milder the charter, while ten voted against 
it. The charter was introduced as an act 
in the legislature. It passed both bouses, 

'Population of other towns in the vicinity was 
:is follows: Windom. 443; Fairmont. 541; St. 
.Irim.s. I.'i4: Mridclia. 4.<;»; Heron I-ake. 22fi; 
Worthlngton, 636; Luvcrne. 697; Pipestone. 222. 



and then, in some unaccountable mau- 
8q; JO aoiyo aqj uioaj paaeaddBsip 'ida 
secretary of state and was never seen 
again. It is pos.-^ible that it was burned in 
the capitnl fire, which occurred about that_ 

Tlie disappearance of the bill put mat- 
ters back to where tiiey liad been before 
the legislature took action, but the people 
of Jackson were determined to incorpor- 
ate as a municipality and took other meas- 
ures. Messrs. Hunter, Strong, Fiddes and 
Cowing, of the commissioners named in 
The act of 18T9. posted notices for an elec- 
tion to be held April 12, 18.81, to decide 
the question as to wliether or not Jackson 
sl'.uuhl be incorjiorated under the provis- 
ions of the general hiw pi-nvided fur in- 
corporating villages. There was no elec- 
tioneering either for or against the qucvs- 
tion, and of the 80 vot&s cast, 08 were in 
favor and 13 against incorporating. 

The first village election was held on 
April 19, when a seL of village officers 
was chosen. Those who were chosen at 
this initial election and at each succeed- 
ing election were as follows: 

1881=— President. J. W. Cowing; trustees, J. 
W. Hunter, Ole E. Olson, C. A. Campbell; re- 
coixler, M. A. Strong; treasurer, John K. 
Brown; justice. H. S. Bailey; constable, Ira G. 

1882— President, M. A. Strong; trustees, G. 
C. Cliamberlin, Paul H. Berge. J. W. Hunter; 
recorder. C. L. Campbell; treasurer, .John Paul- 
son; justice, M. A. Strong; constable, R. P. 

1883'— President. M. A. Strong; trustees, J. 

^Eighty votes were polled at the first election. 
There were contests lor only two offices: C. 
A. Campbell defeated M. A. Strong for trustee 
by a vote of 42 to 35: M. A. Strong defeated A. 
C". Whitman for recorder by a vote of 44 to 35. 

"Before the incorporation of the village the 
matter of licensing saloons had been in the 
hands of the county commissioners. Some 
years they had granted license tor the opera- 
tion of saloons in Jackson; some years they 
had refused license. After incorporating, up to 
18S3. the matter had been left in the hands of 
the village council, which had granted license 
during ISSl and 1SS2. In 1S.S3 the question was 
submitted to the voters for the first time. 
Thereafter up to the present time, it has been 
voted on nearly every year. The following 
shows the results of these elections, a vote not 
having been taken in the years not given, but 
license having been granted during those years: 

\V. Cowing, Ale.xander Fiddes, .Jolui Paulson;* 
recorder, C. A. Cani|)l)ell; treasurer, .John K. 

1884 — President, Ale.icander Fiddes; trustees, 
A. C. Wliitman. tile Kognas, C. A. Campbell; 
recorder. K. P. Skinner; treasurer, .John Fid- 
des; justices, H. W. Peel:, J. A. Goodrich; con- 
stable, F. Quentin. 

188.5— President. .J. W. Hunter; trustees, H. 
H. Huglies, A. C. Wliitman.''' S. Swenson; re- 
corder. Ole Rognas; treasurer. .Jolin I'iddes; 
justice, H. S. Bailey. 

1880— President, "i'aul H. Berge; trustees, S. 
Swenson, !•'. Quentin, H. H. Hughes; recorder, 
Burt W. Day;' treasurer, J. W. Hunter; jus- 
tice, H. W. Peck; constable, M. L. Ashley. 

1887 — President, Ale.xander Fiddes; trustees, 
Ole E. Olson, J. W. Cowing, George C. Cham- 
berlin;' recorder, E. J. Orr; treasurer, J. W. 
Hunter; justice, -J. A. Goodrich; constable, R. 
.J. Henderson. 

1888 — President, Alexander Fiddes; trustees, 
H. H. Berge, .Jr., A. H. Strong, G. A. Albertus; 
recorder, !•'. Quentin; treasurer. J. W. Hunter; 
justice, H. W. Peck; constable, Henry Olson. 

1889 — President, Alexander Fiddes; trustees, 
W. A. Conrad, H. H. Berge, G. A. Albertus; re- 
corder, E. .J. Orr; treasurer, .J. W. Hunter; jus- 
tices, Josepli Bushnell, J. A. Goodrich; con- 
.stables, R. J. Henderson, Rasmus Hanson. 

1890 — President, J. W. Cowing; trustees, H. 
G. Anderson, B. W. Asldey, George R. Moore; 
recorder. M. B. Hutchinson; treasurer, .J. W. 
Hunter; assessor, W. R. Ellsworth; justice, A. 
C. Serum. 

1891 — President, Alexander Fiddes; trustees, 
H. (i. Anderson, J. K. lirown, Henry Hoovel; 
recorder, II. B. Hutcliinson; treasurer, .J. W. 
Hunter; assessor, W. R. Ellsworth; justices, J. 
A. fioodrieh, V. B. Crane; constables, R. Han- 
son, I. S. Barrett. 

1892— President, M. B. Hutchinson; trustees, 
A. E. Olson, H. H. Berge, W. R. Ellsworth; 
recorder, Henrik Strom; treasurer, J. Iv. 

1883- For, 46; against, 64. 

1884— For, 65; against. 67. 

1885 — For, 59: against, 53. 

1886— For. 86; against. 48. 

1887- For, 62; against, 56. 

1888 — License by 4 majority. 

1889 — License by 5 majority. 

1890 — For. 73; against. 110. 

1891- For. 81; against. 94. 

1892 — License by big majority. 

1894- For, 164; against. 64. 

1896- For, 200; against. 115. 

1897— For. 132; against, 103. 

1899— For. 208; against, 87. 

1901 — For, 242; against. 63. 

1902- For. 202; against. 104. 

1903— For. 243; against. 94. 

1909— For, 192; against. 171. 

"Resigned June 5. 1883. No successor selected. 

'Did not qualify. John Fiddes appointed 
June. 1883. 

"Removed from county. C. B. Tuttle appoint- 
ed December 15, 1885. 

•Resigned January 10. 18S7. and E. J. Orr 

'Resigned June 7. 1887. and O. A. Sathe ap- 



1893— President. \V. V. rorliiiaiiii: tnistfos, 1!M)5— Presi.l.'iit. (.'. I,. Miiki-v: tnihiU-cs, 11. 

H. (i. Anderson. \V. II. .larvis, t». A. Siitho; U. i;illes|>ii-. C. A. AiUi-n.'= F.' H. KaUer;' re- 

recorder, lleurik .'^triini: treasnrer, .1. \V. Ilnn- cordi-r. .lolin liiirnliani: treasurer, .1. K. Hrown- 

ter; a.ssessor, C. 11. Sandon. assessor, K. A. Cnildke: justiee. .Iiisepli .Sniy- 

18'J4 — President, li. (i. Anderson; trustees, kal; eonstalde. Hen -Matteson. 

U. \V. Priest, (;eor};e liurnliam. \V. H. Sketeh; llMIt; President. C. L. .Miekey : trustees, H. 

reeorder, Alexander l-iddes; treasurer, .). K. H. (;ill<'s|iic, K. H. Kalier. A. S. Kinj;; recorder, 

Hrown; assessor. Neils Ludviijsen; justice. .1. .lohn Hurnliani: treasurer..!. K. Itrown: asses- 

J. Walhicc; constal>li'. A. .1. Patt<Tson. sor. I!. .A. tiruldke: justices. W. P. Kinj;, Jo- 

1K!I.") I'resident, W. H. Sketch; trustees. (Hi •-epli Sniykal. 

ver Hrown. II. H. lier^'C, .Ir., K. \V. Lindslc\ ; l!l(i; President, K. T. Sinitli; trustees, .lolin 

recorder, Alexander Kiddes; treasurer, J. K. .\lc.\lartin, Clarence (ireenwood, Ceorge Kel- 

Hrown: assessor, A. H. Strong; justices, James sey; reeorder, .John Hnrnham;" treasurer, W. 

Burnliani, .J. A. Coodrich: constables. J. \V. D. Hunter; assessor, .lohn Haldwin:" justice, 

iluir, (lie Anilcrson. .Iose|)h Sniykal; constables, .M. li. Du I'rank 

1891)— President. \V. B. Sketeh; trustees, Oli- tiillespie. 
ver Brown, K. W. Lindsley, 11. 11. Herge. .Ii.; liMlH President. II. M. Burnliam; trustees, 
recorder. Alexander Fiddes; treasurer, .J. K. lolin .\lc.\lartin. C. W. (.reenwood. Frank Phil- 
Brown; assessor, C. H. Sandon. Ii|is; rcccmler. .J. (i. Robertson; treasurer, W. 

1897— President, John L. Uann; trustees, U. Hunter; justice, \V. P. King; asses,sor, Wil- 

Frank Phillips. .lames Lowe. A. il. Strong; re- liam \'. King. 

corder. F. B. Faber; treasurer, .1. K. Brown; 19119- President, Chris Ludvig.scn: trustees, 

assessor, C. il. Sandon: justices, .1. A. (lood- John Mc.Martin, C. W. (ireenwood, \V. H. An- 

rich, JIark D. Ashley; (onstables, .1. \V. .\Iuir. nis; recorder, J. (i. Kobertson; treasurer, W. I). 

.Joseph Trca. Hunter; assessor, J. \'. Beyer; ju.stiee, F. E. 

1898 President. John L. Dann; trustees. A. Bailey; constables, II. B. Dunn, O. C. I^ee. 

H. Strong, .lames Lowe. Charles \Vasld)urn: re- n,, i i -n 

corder, F. B. Faber; treasurer. .1. K. Brown. ' '"" .'ncksou Vllla<;e govemnient was 

1899 -President. .lohn L. Uann; trustees. (!. liojillll nl nine o'c'loi'k in till' morililli; of 

11. Sawyer, F. F. Harlow. .Jolin X'oda; recorder, li--; i.,,. 4,,,.;i o.i looi i ii -i 

F. B. Faber: treasurer. J. K. Brown; assessor! *"''">• ^'nl i^, IShl, when the council 

William V. King: justices. J. A. (Joodrich. met for the first tiiuo. The first o(ricial 

Mark I). Ashley;" constables, Benjamin llarri- „_f „<■*„_ +.,|.:„ , »i, , „.,ti., t it- 

son. J. W. Sluir. takinjj tlie oatiis of otlue, wa.s 

1900— President. M. B. Hutchinson; trustees, to appdilU 1". T. Ilnntiin. Street COinniis- 

r,: M!r["';r\''nV'7'"' '''•''• r'r'-,r'"''*' ^'""<'>-- -^ c-.tninituv was appointed to 

er, Mark I). Ashley; treasurer. .1. 1\. Brown: '' 

a.ssessor. William V. King: <(instalih's. .loseph notify the saloon keepers that tlicv must 

^T^i'^'lV '"r^V I , M V I . . .- '■'■'''*'' sellinjj intoxicating liquors until li- 

liHll — President, .lohn M. \ cnhi ; trustees. 1'. p- i 

F. Harlow," H. II. Bcrge, Chris Ludvigsen; cen.sed hy the vilhl-^e council. At a SCC- 

recorder, Mark »• A-^l<le.v; treasurer, J. K. nml meet in- of tiie council, held on the 

Hrown; assessor, William \. King: justices. .1. . 

A. (Joodrich, C. J. Wethe: constable. Ben Mat- cvenincr of the Same day, ordinance Xo. 1, 

^'^umo T. I , A^- 1) fi . . . . Ti fi-^ing liquor licenses at $200 ]K>r annum, 

1902— Presidi'iil . \\ . H. Skctih: trustees, H. ' ' 

H. Berge. II. .M, Ihiniham. F. II. Phillips;" "'1*^ passed. 

recorder. W. II. Miller: treasurer. J. K. Brown; The first village linaiuial Statement 

assessor, William \. King: constable. M. L. . 

Frost. shows the receipts and expenditures from 

ino.s-Presidcnt. K. K.; trustees. M. the date of organization, April 22, 18«1, 

L. Frost. II. .\I, Burnliam. John Peterson. Jr.; ., , , , , ,, , • , „ 

recorder. W . II. Miller: treasurer. J. K. Brown: ''^ Deceniiier .iO. l.SSl, and is as follows: 

assessor. William V. King; justices, J. A. KKCEIPTS. 

fJoodricli. C. .1. Wethe; constables, Ben Matte- Fcrrv fees $242.90 

son, V. W. Avery. Sale" of boat '.3o!oO 

1904 — President. II. M. Burnhani; trustees. Liquor 243.2,5 

H. B. Cillespie. .lohn Peterson. .Ir.. M. L. Frost ; Peddler 0.00 

recorder. W. II. .Miller; treasurer, J. K. Hrown; Butcher license 20.00 

assessor. \\'illi;im \'. King: justici', W, P. King, Dog license 30,00 

.Auctioneer license 2.00 

•Resigned March H. liiOO. to accept olTice of 
recorder. C. J. Wethe appointed March 27. 

'"Resigned, and on May 31. 1901. F, II, Phil- 
lips a|>polnted. 

"Resigned June 20. 1902. and .Andrew Nelson 
appointed June 2t, 1902. Mr. Nelson resigned 
January 5. 19n3. and Jf)hn Peterson. Jr.. was 

$589.1. 5 

"Died In June. 1905. and on June 6 A. S. King 

'■'RcslKned and Gordon Robertson appointed 
September 3. 190". 

"Resigned in April. 1907. and R. A. Gruhike 




Books .iml bliiiiks $ 3.51 

Kerry boat 50. (X) 

liunnini! ferry boat 110.50 

lielmikliiis bridge 250.00 

Saving old bridge .'i . 50 

Planks for bridges 47 110 

Lumber and nails for crossings 71 30 

Work on streets and crossings 44. 50 

Attorney's fees 5 . 00 

Doctor's fees 5.00 

Recording 7.50 

Cash overpaid by Heiiter 12.00 


There was not such great activity in 
I)uik1ing operations during 1881 as there 
liarl been for a few years preceding, and 
the town .settled down to a normal basis, 
(iood times came upon the country, and 
Jackson developed into an excellent trad- 
ing point in consequence. An indication 
of the town's business is shown by a state- 
ment of tlic impoiti and exports by rail. 
During the year 1881 there were imported 
7^893,912 pounds of freight. This in- 
cluded 42 cars of coal and 169 cars of 
lumber. The exports reached a total of 
3.:)02,TT4 pounds, including 40 cars of 
wlieat, 32 of oats, 8 of barley, 5 of flax, 
31 of iiogs, 2T of cattle and 3 of butter. 
The following table shows the exports by 
pounds : 

Wheat 842,830 

Barlev 171.340 

Oats ■ 072.040 

( Jrass seed 2,800 

Kla.v seed 106,370 

Flour 11,350 

Egg.s 13,260 

Butter 61,2.37 

Tallow 1,330 

Wool 10,045 

Hides 32,226 

Horses 3,.500 

Cattle .546,000 

Hogs 632.000 

Sheep 32,000 

Other items 119,844 

Total 3,302,774 

Over $17,01)0 wortli of l)uilding im- 
provements were made in 1882, as follows: 

.John K. Brown, five cottages $ 4,500 

.J. Gould, millinery store 1,000 

S. Swenson, residence 1,000 

Ole Anderson, residence 1,000 

.lackson mill, addition.' 700 

Ely & Brooks, improvements on mill... 2,000 

Berge Bros., store 1,800 

U. W. Stone, residence 1,000 

K. >I. Ward, residence 900 

Krick Olson, cottage 225 

K. .1. Henderson, blacksmith shop 200 

F. W. Lindsley, barn 200 

W. 1'". Turner', barn 500 

Scliool District, improvements 250 

I!. P. ilatteson. addition 200 

B. W. .\shley, improvements 450 

O'Connell & Joyce, saloon 500 

W. A. Pepper, residence 300 

0. A. Sathe. addition 150 

Levi Davis, improvements 60 

M. S. Clough, residence 400 

Total .$17,535 

A business and prolessional directory of 

Jackson, jirepared in tin- sju'ing of 1884. 

was as follows: 

.J. W. Cowing. 
(). E. Olson. 
Berge Brothers. 
.1. W. Hunter. 
H. W. Peck. 

A. C. Whitman. 
A. E. Olson. 
William Smith. 

A. C. Whitman. 
,T. W. Cowing. 
Berge Brothers. 

Alexander Fiddes. 

E. P. Skinner. 

Swenson & Sathe. 
R. .J. Henderson. 
.John Jiuigbauer. 

Ashley House, William Lamont. 
American House. .Jacob Hoesli. 

Colman Lumber Company, H. H. Hughes, 

Paul Lumber Company, C. A. Campbell, 


F. W. Lindsley. 
Ale.xander Fiddes. 
E. P. Skinner. 

A. H. Strong. 

George R. Moore. 
Fredericksen & Company. 
W. T. Hansen. 
Horton. Gillerup & Horton. 
Willis Drummond. 

T. J. Knox. 
D. M. DeVore. 


IIISTOIiY dl' .IA( KSON ('(»! NTY, 

Joliii K. Uriiwii, Hank of Jackson. 
K. I', (ioiiki, iilivsiiian. 
Hrooks & Kalv, lloiiiiiif,' mill. 
Koiitliil t'leaiMoiy (-'iiiiipaii_v, crcainory. 
-Miss K. II. Gould, niillinciy. 
Olo Ixogiias, fiiiiiitiiie. 
Swenson & Sallie, wa{;oii fai'tory. 
G. \\'. Arcntsoti, shoo .shop. 
Oeoige A. Stark, coo|i('r shoj). 
Levi Davis, tailor shop. 

I. (1. Waldeii, iiuNU iiiaiki't. 
<:. .\. Alhcrtiis. harness shop. 

II. W'hiti'. dray line. 

!•'. 1.. l!raylon, livery anil Ims linr. 
I. Kvcnson. paint shop. 
Krcd (^uciilin. carpenter. 
14\irt W. Day, newspaper. 
Henry Iloesli, barher shop. 

During tlie iiiiddli! and later eighties 
Jaek.son (tdiitimied to grow slowly, and 
prosperous times were enjoyed. Tiie iiii- 
proveiiieiits for tile year IS.St amounted to 
a little over $l.").l)00. The jjopidation in 
1885 was 608. 

ivirly in ISS.S Jaekson beeame a divis- 
ion point of the t'hieago, Jlilwaukee & 
St. Paul railroad, and thereby added lo 
its impoiiaiire. This event was brought 
about largely through the elVorls of ,Iaek- 
soii citizens, j)artictilarly. .1. K. Brown, 
Alexander Fiddes, V. II. Berge, T. J. 
Knox and .7. W. Cowing. Over $100,000 
worth of rnilroail buildings were ereeted, 
including an eight-stall round hmise. 'J'he 
securing of the divi.sion point was not 
accomplished without a concession on the 
part of the village. This was the permis- 
sion given the railway company to move 
the passenger and freight depots from the 
original location to a point farther from 
the business part of town. 

By the term? of an agreement nuide in 
187!), incorporated in a legislative act, the 
railroad ciimpnny had agreed to forever 
maintain its de])ot on the spur track wliore 
it had been originally located, but when 
the proposition of establishing a division 
|>oint at .lackson arose, the company de- 
nuinded the right to move the depot to 
the main line. A mass meeting of the citi- 

zens of .lackson decided to permit this, 
and on .\iigust «. iN.s;. the village coun- 
cil jiassed an ordinance granting the de- 
itiand of the railroad company, provided 
the town be made division headquarters 
and an eight-stall round house built and 
maintained. 'J'he ae.xt spring the Minne- 
sota legislature legalized the municipal act, 
and the depot was moved. 

Among the improvements of the early 
nineties wa.s the water works system, 
which was put in during 1892. The year 
before the legislature had authorized the 
village to vote on the question of issuing 
l)onds for the purpose, and at the election 
on Xovend)er ;i, 1891, by a vote of 81 to 
19, the electors authorized the council to 
issue $10,000 bonds. The bonds were .sold 
in the fall of 1S9'..' at a premium of $:?.")9, 
and the system was installed. 

Prosperous limes ciiiue upon the village 
in 1892. and great strides forward were 
made. More building improvements were 
made that year than in the five years pre- 
ceding and were of a total value of $9;?,- 
17"), A few of the principal items were 
as follows: Water works system, $13,000; 
.\shley house, $10,000; Harlow house. 
$9,000; Boston block, $6,500; P, H, 
Berge, residence, $4,000 ; C. L. Colby, resi- 
dence, $3,500; G. B. Paddock, residence, 
$3,000; Catholic church, $3,000; C. A. 
Portmann, residence, $3,200 ; J, V. Ma- 
kovicka saloon luiilding $3,100; Presby- 
terian parsonage, $1,600; William V. 
King, residence, $1.50(); Sakcdik & Co., 
store building. $1,500: I'. 1'. Ifaverberg, 
residence, $1,100; Hiiiry llixivel, resi- 
dence. $1,300. 

In 1893 the improvements amounted to 
$71,300, and among the principal items 
were the State Bank of Jackson building 
at $15,000 and the J. W. Hunter brick 
block at $7,000. Tn the summer of 1893 
came the memorable panic and the result- 
ant hard times period, and the village 


was at a standstill for a few years. Busi- sewerage begun. The improvements for 

ness was jjaralyzed ; the town was without Ihe year amounted to $103,0G.5., Among 

life. The setback proved only temporary, those wlio contributed to this amount 

and within a few years, owing to the were: 

laising of magnificent crops and the big .Jackson Village, light plant $15,000 

TL«e in real estate values. Jackson was ^""'^ ^^''""^^ lO'^f 

Oliver Brown 8,000 

again on the forward march. Ilieleman Brewing Company 7,000 

The town had reached a population of f" Matteson . . " 

^ J^ Raymond Bartosch G.OOO 

1,3.5G when the census of 1895 was taken. Alexander Fiddes 5^000 

Despite the fact that complete recoverv ^^- «■ Rol^f-rtson 4,000 

' . ^ - .Joseph Berry 3.500 

from the hard times period had not been Berge Brothers 3,000 

reached and that times were considered V'V" ^'"l^!" ■■■.• -300 

.Jackson village, city sewer 2.000 

dull, the record of improvements for 1895 Ross JJvengood 2.000 

was flattering. An estimate made by the '^^'■«- Hamlon 2,000 

Pilot placed the total at $81,330. This The first steps toward installing the 
included $31,000 for two new school electric lighting system were taken on 
buildings, $11,000 for the Jackson Queen ilarch 16, 1899, when, at a special elec- 
mill, $7,400 for the Livcngood & Co. mill tion, by a vote of 194 to 38, it was de- 
aiiil $3,500 for city improvements. Busi- cided to issue $10,000 bonds for the pur- 
uess depression and commercial stagnation |iose. The contract for the construction 
continued during 1S9G. The improvements of the plant was let September 8, 1899, 
for the year were valued at $35,800. By to the Northwestern Electric Light com- 
1898 times had become much better. That pany of St. Paul, and to the Ideal En- 
year were erected the .\nderson & Lindsley gine company of the same city. The plant 
block at a cost of $14,000 and the M. B. was completed within a few nionth.s, and 
Hutchinson block at a cost of $11,000. Jackson was lighted by electricity for the 
Other improven.ents brought the total to first time in January, 1900. 
$58,375. Building operations were not prosecu- 
The years 1899 to 1903, inclusive, con- ted so vigorously in 1900. The principal 
stituted a most prosperous era in Jackson, buildings put up that year were the M. 
as well as in the county and the whole J. Olsen block, $9,000; the H. G. Ander- 
nortliwest country. Land values soared son block, $3,000 ; the Oliver Brown block, 
and hundreds of new settlers came to $3,000; and several fine residences. I'he 
Jackson county. The effect on Jackson population in 1900, according to the fed- 
was a healthy growth in all lines of busi- eral census, was l,75fi. 
ness. New enterprises came into existence Nineteen hundred one was a good year 
and prosperity abounded. The first year in the building line, the expenditures 
of this era was the most prosperous one amounting to $84,400. Some of the prin- 
in the history of the village and almost cipal items were as follows : Presbyterian 
took the nature of a boom. Many brick church, $13,000 ; J. K. Brown, business 
blocks were erected and the main street block. $10,000 ; A. C. Seniin, residence 
was in a state of confusion all summer as $5,500 ; W. E. Manchester, residence, $5,- 
a result of building operations. In addi- 000 ; Lind.sley & Anderson, business block, 
tion to other enterprises, a municipal elee- $4,500 ; H. H. Berge, residence, $4,000 ; 
trie lighting system was installed, a tele- Y. W. Avery, residence, $3,500; Episcopal 
phone system was put in, and a system of church, $3,000; F. B. Faber, residence, 



HISTOJ;\ ol 


$3,000; John Muir. residence, $3,000; 
John A'acek, shoji and residence, $2,000; 
Ross Livengood. mill improvements, $2,- 
000: T. T. Thniiip>on. residence, $2,000; 
]-"rani< Koli'ran, residence, $2,000. 

In 1902 the money expended in Jackson 
on new buildincs was $!)r).G00. some of the 
larger items being: Jackson county, jail, 
$17,750; Jackson flour mill, $15,000; H. 
]\I. Burnham & Co., brick block, $12,000; 
T. J. Knox, residence, $10,000; Jackson 
Telephone compam, $6,000 : H. B. Gilles- 
pie, residence, $3,400. 

The prosperous times which Jackson 
had lieen enjoying for a nundrer of years 
tcruiiuaii'd in lOO.'J. and fur a few years 

thereafter tlie advancement was slower. 
I)ue to an abnormal rainfall, there were 
a few years of partial crop failures, and 
but little progress was made. The census 
of 1905 gave a population of 1776, a gain 
of only twenty in five years. This was 
a better showing than most towns of 
southwestern Minnesota made during 
those five years, many showing a loss. 

Conditions returned to a normal basis 
in 1908, and in thus year of our Lord 
191(1 Jackson is again in prosperous cir- 
cumstances. Among the events of re- 
cent year.s is to be recorded the completion 
of the Jackson county court house in 1909 
at a cost cif over ^llT.iiOd. 




OXE of the first institutions to be 
provided after the founding of a 
town is the public school. In 
Jackson the school came two years before 
the town. The first school conducted with- 
in the limits of the village was taught by 
iliss Anna Thomas, daughter of Joseph 
Thomas, in 1864. The term was a short 
one, just long enough to secure the money 
of the state appropriation. The students 
who attended this initial school were Hal- 
vor Halverson, Lewis Halverson, Annie 
ilalverson, John Halverson, Joseph Thom- 
as, Mary Thomas, Alice Tucker, Weda 
Woodard, Mary Woodard, Lucina Wood- 
ard and George Palmer. 

During 1865 and 1866 quite a number 
of families located in the vicinity, and in 
the latter year the village of Jackson was 
founded. Although the platted town was 
on the west side of the river, for some 
time the Jackson school was conducted in 
district No. 1, on the east side.^ Mrs. B. 
H. Johnson taught the school during the 
winter of 1866-67 at her home in the old 
stockade, south of tlie Thomas home. The 

*The county commissioners created district 
No. 1, including: several sections in Wisconsin 
township and in that part of Des Moines east 
of the river, on March 13. 1S66. No 2, including 
all of Des Moines west of the river, was created 
September 4, 1S66. 

pupils attending were Ida Clough, Joe 
Clough, Joe Thomas, Johnnie Halverson, 
Leonard F. A.shle_y, Halvor Halverson, 
Lewis Halverson, George Palmer, Perry 
Eddy, Frank Bailey, Wallace Bailey, Eol- 
lin Johnson, John Charles Ashley, Lee 
Palmer, Mary Earned and Will Dayton. 
The next winter William V. King taught 
the school at his home on the east side 
of the river. 

In the fall of 1868 a school house was 
built on the west side of the river, near 
the bayou at the foot of Third street. It 
wa.s built of native lumber and its di- 
mensions were 16.xl8 feet, with eight foot 
posts.- Major H. S. Bailey provided the 
money to build it, and he was later reim- 
bursed by the school district. School was 
taught in the building during the winter 
of 1868-69 and the summer of 1869 by 
Miss Mandy Mario, who received a salary 
of $1.5 per month. The winter terra was 
of three months duration, and there were 
enrolled thirty-four pupils — nineteen boys 
and fifteen girls; the average daily at- 
tendance was twenty-five. There was also 
three months school during the summer, 
and the total cnroliment was twenty-eight 
— nineteen boys .ind nine girls — with an 

=This building still stands in the village and 
is now used as a chicken house. 




averajre daily attendance of twent}'.^ There 
wcrr li:! ell ill! run bciwccn tlie ages of 
(ivo and twenty-one years in tlie district 
at the close of the school year in Scpluni- 
bep-, 1869, according to the report of the 
clerk, W. S. Kiniball.| The financial state- 
ment for the lirst year of the scliool's his- 
tory, made hy W. S. Kimball, clerk, Sep- 
tember 30, 1869, is an interesting docu- 
ment. It is as follows: 

.Aiiiount on liaiid September 30, 

Received from coiuity treasurer 

Received from tax voted l)y dis- 

fioneral sinking fund 

Amount received from otlicr 

$ 00.00 



Total amount received. 


'According to a list of property owners in 
the district made by the school clorlt Septem- 
ber la. lS6ii. there were fifty-two residents lia- 
l,le to school district tax. They were as fol- 
lows: B. W. .Vshley. Mcnzo Ashley. P. Brown. 
H. S. Bailey. C. HaUlwii.. Orin Belknap. A. J. 
Borland. Richanl Bowden. S. M. Clark. J. W. 
Cowing. G. C. Chamberlin. M. S. Clough. Ed- 
ward Davics. B. D. Dayton. Hi-nry K. Kvans. 
I. F. Eddv. Nathaniel Frost. S. E. Ford. R. R. 
Foster. \V. C. Garratt. Palmer Hill. J. W. Hun- 
ter. I.ars Halverson. B. H. Johnson. W. S. 
Kimball. Baldwin Kirkpatrick. F. K. Lyman. 
Lewis Lvman. Gimubo P. Lee. H. Lyman. J. M. 
Miller. .Michael MilUr. J. .\. Myer. Munger & 
Hale Andrew Monson. J. R. Palmer. Jaretl 
Palmer, C. H. Rcdford. Edward Savage. C. H. 
Sandon. Joseph Thomis. H. L. 'IMiomas. A. B. 
Tompkins. H. T. Trnmblc. Joseph F,. Thomas. 
S. E. Trask. .\ E. Wood. Willard Wiltso. T. H. 
White, Isaac Wheeler. B. N. W'oodard. J. C. 

'The names and ages of these were as fol- 
lows: RoUa Johnson 10. Joseph Thomas. Jr.. 
■m. Alonzo Wilsev 9. Edwin Wilsey 11. Elmer 
Wllsey G. Lewis Halverson in, Ilalvor Halver- 
son 20, .Mva Clough. George Palmer 11. Lee 
Palmer S, Harrv Fields 8. John Fieliis 5. Ben 
Woodard. I, H, Barnes 18. John ll.alverson 12, 
Arthur Halverson .■>, William Smith 15, Perry E. 
ICddv 8, Joseph Palmer 17. Frank Bailey 1,^, 
Wallace Bailev 12, Nett Wood C. Rollln Trum- 
bull 7, R. Trumbull 12, Orin Lindsley 12, Leon- 
ard Ashlcv 16. William C. Trumbull U. George 
Evans 17. John Davis 12. Oscar Alexander 7, 
J B Frost 5. F. W. Lindsley IS. Delanny Linds- 
ley !1 W. W Topin 12. W. S. Dayton 17. S. F. 
D.ayton 19. Louis Miner 20. Gus Wood Ifi, David 
Reed Ifi Ellas Reed 12. Adelbert Reed 11. GIr- 
shim Foster 19. D. K. Bard. Richard Bowden 
14 Daniel Bowden 10. Samiiel Peter Bowden S, 
Ira A Walden Ifi, Marv Thomas IS, Ida Clough 
12, Maggie Baldwin 5. Mary Woodard, Doratha 
Mon.son 7. Marv Monson 11, Anna Monson 7, 
Christina Mon.son 5, Anna Halverson IS, Carrie 
Halverson 10, Lorlnda Fields In, Marian Fields 
1" Kate Fields 10. Emma Lee 13, Hattie Lee S. 
Flora Frost 7, M, E. Trumbull IS. Winifred 
Llndslev S. Edith Lindsley fi, Mary Lindsley S, 
Eva Eddv 7, Mnrv A. Miller S, Agnes Davton 
20 Ida Peterson 17, Laura Evans 10, May Evans 
8 Emma Evans fi. Frances Davis 10. Jane 
Davis S, F. A. Lindsley 16. Laura Lindsley 14. 
A B. Lindsley 12, Alice Lindsley. Ada Llnds- 

Paid for teacher's waj^es durinj; 

year GO on 

Paid for rejjairs on scliool house 

and jiremises 411.71 

I'aiil for fuel, etc .5!). 41 

Paid for all other purposes 42,50 

Total paid durinp year $212,12 

Money on lian.l . .$ 41 .73' 

For several years after tlie little Imild- 
ing (the seating capacity of which was 
about 25) had outgrown its usefulness it 
was used for school purposes. In the fall 
of 1869 Miss Theresa Rice was employed 
as teacher, and in 1870 A. H. Strong was 
employed to conthict the school. As is so 
often the case, efforts to provide ample 
scliool facilities met with discouragement. 
On December A, ISIO. the voters of ilie 
district decided to build a new school 
house at a cost of not over $4,000. On the 
•.^(itli of tlie same montli another meeting 
was held, wbeii a building coniniittee was 
named to construct a .school house at a 
cost of not more (ban $4,500 or less than 
$l,.")(in. Hut for \arious reasons, the prin- 
cipal one being the opposition of some of 
the tax payers, the work was not prosecu- 
ted. As a result no school was held dur- 
ing the winter months, the old building 
being declared unfit for school purposes. 

Early in 187-2 the question of budd- 
ing a school house again became a live is- 
sue. The building committee named in 
1870 made preparations to begin constnu- 
tion. but at a school meeting held in Feb- 
ruarv the voters reconsidered the action 
taken and decided to jiostpone the work. 
'{'be action was taken (Hi account of strong 
opposition because of dread of increased 
ta.xes. Wiien the court house was complete 
ed in December, 1872, arrangements wer(> 

lev 5. Ella Topin S, Ida Topin 6, Amelia Kel- 
logg IB, Hnttle Benton 15. P. M, Kimball 11, 
Lizzie Kimball 5. Minnesota Freeman Tt. Hat- 
tie G,irralt S, IL'.nna (^lwlng 19, Luenea A. 
Foster IS. Laura B. Hill 20. Sarah Bard Ifi, 
.\ima S. B.ird 14. Ruhmina Bard S. Bard 10, 
Sarah A. Bowden fi. Jenia Lyman 19, Freeman 
Sweden 12, Emma Gilbert 6, 

'The ability of the clerk to add and subtract 
Is open to doubt. 



made to occupy one of the rooms in it, but 
dissensions arose, and the idea was aban- 
doned. Then the hall over J. W. Cowing's 
>toTe was rented and school was begi.m 
there December 30, 1872. 

Again in tlie spring of 1873 the dis- 
trict decided to Iniild a frame house at a 
cost, including grounds and furniture, of 
not more than $4,000, but because of the 
stringency of the money market, funds 
-•ould not be obtained, and the work was 
postponed. Favorable action was again tak- 
en February 5, 1874. wlicn the school of- 
ficers were authorized to bond for $3,600 
for the of providing Jackson with 
a suitable school house, and this time the 
work was accomplished. The contractor 
was J. 0. Grout, and he completed the 
building (now used as the city hall) late 
in November. Its cost was $3,600, and it 
i.s said to have been the finest school 
building in southwestern Minnesota, out- 
side of Mankato, at the time. 

By act of the legislature in 1881 school 
district No. 2 was made an independent 
district, and it was organized May 10, 
1881." The first board of education, chos- 
en on that date, consisted of J. W. Hun- 
ter, H. H. Hughes, J. W. Cowing, Alex- 
ander Fiddcs B. W. Ashley and A. H. 

For twenty-one years the iiuilding erec- 
ted in 1874 served as Jackson's school 
house. Then the population had so far 
outgrown the accommodations that a new 
building became necessary," and the hand- 
some brick structure now in use was erec- 
ted. The matter of a new school house 
was first officially discussed in June, 1893, 
but on account of the panic then in force 
it was decided to postpone building until 
the next year. In March, 1894, the vo- 
ters decided against bonding for $25,000 
for a new school house by a vote of 63 

•"The district included all of sections 13. 24, 
25. 26 and 35 and parts of sections 12, 14, 23, 
27, 34 and 36, all in Des Moines township. 

to 91, but there was a change of senti- 
ment the next year, for at the regular 
school meeting in March, 1895, bonds to 
the amount of $35,000 were carried by 
a vote of 131 to 39. The structure was 
erected during the summer of 1895 by 
Decks & Company, contractors. The same 
season a ward school house was built on 
Depot hill, the cost of the two buildings 
being $28,500. 

A high school course was added to the 
common branches taught, and the Jack- 
son schools rank among the best in the 
state of Minnesota. 


Of the many church organizations in 
Jackson, the oldest i.> that of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal. So early as 1860 or 1861 
Kev. Peter Baker, that pioneer preacher 
of the gospel, organized a Methodist class 
fi-om the scattered settlers residing in the 
vicinity of the present day village of Jack- 
son, and ever since the organization has 
been maintained. For years the class was 
without a regular pastor and without 'a 
house of worship. For a time in the late 
sixties seiwices were held only every third 
Sabbath, the pulpit being occupied by Eev. 
l\ichardson, of Okoboji. 

A quarterly conference was held at 
Jackson on May. 1, 1869, presided over 
by Norris Hobart, presiding elder, with 
T. H. White acting as secretary, at which 
time the following persons were named 
trustees of the First Methodist church 
of Jackson: Aiken Miner, H. S. Bailey, 
Welch Ashley, M. S. Clough, Stillman S. 
Barrett, Chancy W. Cornish and William 
C. Campbell. From that time a strong 
organization was maintained, and in the 
spring of 1870 the church had a member- 
ship of over one hundred. During its 
entire early history the Methodist church 
was without a house of worship, but after 


ins'i'oin' oi' .lAcKsox corx'i'V. 

the Presbvterian chuvcli was erected in 
1869 the Methodists worshipped tliere. 

Not until 1880 was the Methodist 
church building erected. In the spring of 
that year the church members solicited 
money from the people of Jackson,' the 
building was erected during the summer, 
and the dedication exercises were held Oc- 
tober 3. The cost of the building was 

Jackson's second oldest church organ- 
ization and the first to erect a house of 
worship in the village is the First Presby- 
terian clnircli. which was organized in 
18G8. During the summer of that year 
the Presbyterian Synodical missionary, 
"Rev. David C. Lyon, accompanied by Eev. 
Edward Savage, who had just been gradu- 
ated from college and who was looking 
fur a local inn, came to the little village 
of Jackson. Here, in J. W. Cowing's un- 
finished store building, on June 14, 18fi8, 
the first Presbyterian sermon was preach- 
ed.' Rev. Savage made preparations for 

'FoHowlnjr Is the list of rnntrllnitlons roreivod 
In M.-irrh, ISSO: Wplcli .Ashley. J150; "Friend 
of the r.iuse." R. W. .AshUv and J. .\. Russell. 
JlOO: Simeon .\verv. $75; .\. C. VVhitm.Tn. F. M. 
Smith. K. Owens and H. H. Hnshes, $50; F,d- 
ward Oir. .T. VV. Hunter, T. J. Knox. .Mexander 
FIddes. IX. M .\verv. S. F. Krskine. P. F. Rrown 
& Son and William Y. Kim;:. $:.'>: H. A. Mor- 
gan V. \V. Smith. $2n: G. C. Chamberlin. n. F. 
Chandler and K. P. Gould. JIB; T. A. Camphell. 
W. J. Case. John JiinRbauer. A. H. StronK. John 
Paulson. H. W. Chandler. G. R. Moore. Alfred 
A-shdown, O. I. I.indsley and M. L. Ashley. JIO. 

"Rev. Kdward Savapre. in 1S95. wrote as fol- 
lows of his eomlnir to Jaekson and the hegin- 
ninc of his serviee; 

"My eomlnp to J.iekson was, to use a Tliber- 
niclsm. almost 'unbeknownst to mesilf.* Rev. 
D. C. Lynn, then Synodieal missionary for the 
old school of the Presbyterian ehurch. had vis 
ited me at the theolopleal seminary at Alle- 
gheny. Pennsylvania, and had talked Minne- 
sota to me. .\s he was an old friend of our 
family and eall.'d himself one of my father's 
bovs. I naturally notified him when I was ready 
with mv mustang ponv and buggy for a field 
of labor. Tnder his direetlons I was to meet 
him at T.aCrosse and strike west until we came 
to unnecunled ground. This was about January 
1. 18fiS. Mr. T.ynn. having other work, rear- 
ranged to meet me later at .\ustin. ^vhleh he 
did. and together we Journeyed on in the 
oourse of the star of the empire, finding Pres- 
byterian or Congregational organizations until 
w-e passed Fairmont. Mr. I.yon renewed eaeh 
day Greeley's eounsel. 'Go west, young man." 
We reaehfd Jaekson on June 11. IStlS. and found 
J. W. Tinnier In a modest store, with Thomas 
White residing in>-st,iirs. G. C. Chamberlin. 
as I remember, was the prinoiiial legal light. 
Mr. Lvon. In his happy way. soinided the char- 

tlie early organization of a church so- 
ciety, and on August 30, 1868, the First 
Presbyterian church of Jackson was for- 
mally organized. At the time there was 
not another church of the old school west 
or south of Waseca and none of the new 
school west of Blue Eartii City. 

Kev. David C. Lyon, Rev. Sheldon Jack- 
son, then pastor of the Presbyterian 
iliurch of Roche.ster, and Rev. Edward Sav- 
age conducted the organization services. 
John W. Cowing was ordained ruling el- 
dor, and the following persons were re- 
ceived into membership: John W. Cowing, 
William Miller, Mrs. Mary Miller, M. A. 
Seymour, Jlrs. Mary Seymour, Jfrs. Sally 
]\r. Bailey, all by letter; Mrs. Frances ^I, 
Kimball, Miss Helen A. Dunn, Mi.s.s Eu- 
phrasia A. Cook and George H. Vinall." 

Tlie early services of the church were 
held in the little school house which stood 
near the bayou in the south part of town.'" 
Inif in ISi'iD tlio congregation raised mon- 
ev and erected Jackson's first church 

aeter of the place. . , Mr. Hunter was 

found to he a T'nited Presbyterian. The hotel 
keeper. Mr. Hall, stated that Mr. Cowing, n 
young man who had started a store building 
and was then away aftc goods, was a Pres- 
byterian. Major Bailey was a Free Will Bap- 
tist, but had a christian .sympathy for a tired 
horse and loaned us a large hay marc to can- 
vass the crnintr>' W'^st of town. 

"On Sabbath. Jtme l-l. our first service was 
held in Mr. Cowing's I'.nfinished store building. 
Mr. Cowing not yet having arrived. Mr. l.von 
pr'\ached In the morning and the subscriber 
In the .ifternoon. .Vfl.'r service Mr. I.yon stat- 
ed that the young man he proposed leaving had 
nothing Inil himself and his mustang pony, and 
he hoped the people would stand by him In his 
work. The next morning he said to me; 'Here. 
Rd. is your place. It is a clear field. The 
Methodist brother comes onlv once in three 
weeks. Oceupv the vacant Sabbaths. Po your 
best, and the lord be with you.' .\nd leaving 
me ten dollars, he took the stage for Winne- 

"James W. Hunter and family were members 
of another Presbyterian church and had not 
received their letters of dismissal at the time. 
A little while after the organization the fol- 
lowing were received Into memhershi|): Mrs. 
.\gnes T-Iunter. Miss Agnes Hunter (now Mrs. 
.Mixander FIddesV Pavid Hunter and James 
W. Hunter. 

•""One more word for the Inspiring environ- 
ment that T neglected to mention It was the 
pulnit It was a boot case that Mr. Cowing 
and I dhe session of the Presbyterian church^ 
gohbbd from the front of Mr. Hunter's store 
one Sunday morning on our way to chinch, 
carried It between u.'!i to the school house, stood 
It on end and covered It with a copy of the 


/"iTCn, L- 



building. In tliis building (now trans- 
formed into the D. W. Pulver residence) 
the members of the Presbyterian church 
worshipped until the present beau I if ul 
church took its place in 1902. The build- 
ing was put up largely through the un- 
tiring efforts of Rev. Savage, assisted by 
J. W. Cowing, J. W. Hunter and others." 
The board of trustees at the time the 
fluireh was built consisted of James W. 
Hunter, John W. Cowing, W. S. Kimball, 
George C. Chamberlin, Everett P. Free- 
nuiii and John H. Grant. 

At tJie time the church was built all 
finished products, such as shingles, brick 
and other building material, had to be 
hauled from Mankato at an expense of 
$1.00 to $3.50 per hundred pounds. Na- 
tive lumber was used, and was cut in the 
woods along the Des Moines river. A single 
walnut log furni.^hed ibe sills of the en- 
tire building — 40x24 feet. This log was cut 
just north of the I\. S. Robertson farm, 
about two miles from town, and it took 
Rev. Savage and Elder John W. Cowing 
two days to roll this log up the steep ra- 
vine. Five ox teams were required in per- 
forming this feat. The cost of the build- 
ing was $2,500, and it was dedicated Sep- 
tember 18, 1870. Ten years later im- 
provements to the value of $500 were 

The Presbyterian church society was 
incorporated February 12, 1877, at which 
time the following trustees were elected : 
James W. Hunter, Thomas J. Knox, M. 

Northwestern Presbyterian, a Chicago paper 
edited by Rev. Ebenezer Erskine. Mr. Hunter 
came to church and got his return for lost 
property Ondeed it was quite valuable as a 
seat for the politicians of the day. outside the 
store) in the improved sermons." — Rev. Edward 
Savage. 1895. 

^'"He [Rev. Savage] succeeded in securing 
funds for building the church. He gave notice 
one Sunday that he would preach no more for 
a time, but proposed to go to work and help 
build the church. . He 'rigged up' for 

work, got a yoke of oxen and an old wagon and 
went to hauling material for the building." — 
M. A. Strong. April 18, 1888. 

A. Strong, Alexander Fiddes, George C. 
Chamberlin and A. H. Strong. 

Rev. Savage remained the pastor of the 
church for eleven years, with the excep- 
tion of one year while he was in Wisconsin. 
During that year, 1872-73, the church was 
served by Rev. Edward J. Hamilton, a 
professor of Hanover college, Indiana. In 
1879 Rev. Savage was .succeeded by Rev. 
J. K. Alexander, who was pastor four 
years. In 1883 Rev. H. C. Cheadle be- 
came pastor and served the church eight 
years, until the close of the year 1891, 
when he resigned. During the next five 
years, from 1891 to 1896, the following 
three pastors served th^e church in the or- 
der named : Rev. W. E. Morgan, Eev. W. 
Weatherstoue and Rev. E. S. McClure. 
During Mr. Morgan's pastorate the manse 
was erected. In 1896 Rev. Russell B. Ab- 
bott, D. D., was called to the pastorate, 
and he remained until the summer of 
1900. During the five years pastorate of 
his successor. Rev. T. N. Weaver, the pres- 
ent beautiful brick church edifice was con- 
structed at a cost, including furnishings, 
of about $16,000. It was built in 1901 and 
was dedicated free of debt June 22, 1902. 
In the fall of 1905 Rev. Weaver resigned, 
and March 1, 1906, the present pastor. 
Rev. Walter M. Swann, began his minis- 
try in Jackson. 

At the present time the Presbyterian 
church of Jackson has an active member- 
ship of 138, and the Sunday school 180. 
The trustees are Fred D. Sawyer, presi- 
dent ; H. L. Arzt, secretary; W. D. Hun- 
ter, treasurer ; George R. Moore. A. H. 
Strong and J. E. Barrett. The elders are 
John W. Cowing, Joseph Bushnell, W. 
A. Pepper, J. B. Arp, clerk of session ; C. 
C. Baker and H. R. Laugen. 

The Norwegian Lutheran Evangelical 
church was organized May 5, 1880, and 
several vears later a church edifice was 
erected at a cost of $2,500. 



The Xonveginn Lullieiaiis, early iu 
lSS(i, decided to erect a building in 
.Jackson on a lot owned in the western 
part of town. Enougli money was raised 
l)y subscription to warrant beginniiifj work, 
wliich was done in the summer. The liard 
times prevailinji; that year prevented its 
furnishing, but the bare building was used 
as a house of worsliip so soon as it was 
completed — in November, 1886, for the 
first time. 

St. Wcuccslaus Catholic church was 
built in 1893. So earlv as 188-2 Catholic 
services were held in Jackson, and in 188.") 
the first efTorts to raise money to put up 
a building were made. In .\pril, 1889, it 
was announced that a church would be 
built that year, but it was not. Again in 
May, 1891, a meeting was held at Jack- 
son, presided over by Fathers Legday, of" 
Winona, and Reichel, of Heron Lake, 
v.hen it was decided to commence build- 
ing operations at once. A finance com- 
mittee, composed of Father Reichel, Frank 
Motl and Frank Skalisky. and a building 
committee, compo.sed of William HulTman. 
Martin Klarncr and Tuni Vancura. were 
ajijiointed. The foundation wa.* laid that 
fall, but work on the superstructure was 
not begun until tJie spring of 1892. (in 
June I."), of that year, a wind storm blow 
down the building, then in course of con- 
struction, entailing a loss of about $500. 
Tlie Catholic cluirch was finally complet- 
eil in tiie spring of 189;?. The church 
edifice is valued at $2,400 and the parson- 
age at $1,.500. 

The German Lutheran church was erec- 
IimI in 1898. 

The Episcopal church was erected in 
1901 at a cost of $3,000. In 1898 the 
Ladies Guild of Christ church was or- 
ganized with ten members, witii the object 
of purchasing a lot upon which to build 
so soon as a church should he organized. 
Bishop Whipple organized the mission and 

appiiinlcd tlic bishop's committee, com- 
pa*ed of the following: 1{. F. Robertson, 
.\. E. Serum, F. B. Fabcr. W. A'. King 
and Eugene Rucker. 

Tin: i.otKiKs. 

The first secret order to be organized in 
Jack.son wa.< the Masonic. On February 
■.*;5, 1871, a number of JIasons met and 
took the ])reliminary steps toward or- 
ganizing, .^electing as the name of their 
lodge Des Moines ^'alley Lodge. Over 
twenty members were enrolled, and the 
rolloA\ing were chosen officers to serve 
V. bile the lodge was working under dis- 
pensation: E. P. Freeman. W. M. : Alex- 
ander Fiddes. S. W. : G. C. Chamberlin, 
J. W. ; H. 'Wliite, treasurer: J. W. Cowing, 
secretary: S. C. Thayer. S. D. : Harvey 
Klock. .1. 1).: Willian King, Thomas 
Ilumpjircy. stewards: W. S. Kind)all, ty- 
Icr. The dispensation arrived in .\pril, the 
lodge being named Good Faith Lodge No. 
90, and having thirteen members. 

The charter for Good Faith Lodge was 
granted in Februarv, 1872, and on Febru- 
ary 1.5 the following officers were installed : 
E. P. Freeman, W. M. : Alexander Fiddes, 
S. W. : J. H. Wakefield, J. W. : J. J. Por- 
ter, treasurer: J. W. Cowing, secretary ; 
William King. S. D. ; Thomas Humph- 
reys, J. D.: jr. A. Strong. S. D. ; C. B. 
Tuttle. J. S. : W. S. Kimball, tyler. 

The Grand Army of the Republic also 
began its local organization in 1871. Au- 
gust 15 veterans of tlie civil war met and 
decided to petition the authorities for the 
establishment of a post in Jackson. The 
|in,-;t. naiiieil Wa<lswor(b Post No. 30, was 
niustcnMl in l)y Major .T. C. Hamilton, 
comniandcr of the department of Minne- 
sota. Tuesday evening. September ."). 1871. 
'i'licre were thirty-two charter members, 
and the ])ost was the largest ever before 
mustered in by Jlajor Hamilton in the 
state. Following were the first officers 



and charter members: John A. Myers, 
commander; H. S. Bailey, senior vice com- 
mander; W. A. Fields, junior vice com- 
mander; William King, adjutant; M. A. 
Strong, quartermaster; Dr. E. L. Brown- 
ell, surgeon; Charles Frisbie, chaplain; C. 
H. Sandon, sergeant : Henry Knudson, 
quartermaster sergeant ; W. S. Kimball, 
officer- of the day; A. E. Wood, officer 
of the guard ; 0. F. Alexander, A. S. 
Brooks, E. E. Bowden, G. C. Chamber- 
lin, S. jr. Clark, S. E. Ford, A. 0. Hoov- 
da, Alex Hall, N. B. Hall, C. H. Heath. 
J. K. Johnson, A. D. King, M. Miller, H. 
Miller. I. A. Moreaux, J. J. Smith, I. G. 
Walden, Walter Withers, M. L. Ashley, J. 
J. Patterson, M. S. Barney. 

Wadsworth post flourished for a time and 
rapidly increased its membership. Then 
interest lagged iu the organization and it 
become dormant. A reorganization was 
effected February 7, 1875, the lodge was 
active a short time, but the organization 
was disbanded in 1877. Commanders of 
Wadsworth ])ost were John A. Myers, E. 
L. Brownell, M. A. Strong, H. S. Bailey 
and G. B. Franklin. 

Interest in G. A. R. matters was revived 
during the prosperous days of the early 
eighties, and during that period a local 
organization came into existence which 
has ever since been maintained. The in- 
itial meeting was held December 29, 1883, 
when it was decided to organize a lodge 
to be named John A. Myers post, in hon- 
or of the first commander of the earlier 
organization who had since died. John 
A. Myers Post No. 60 was mustered in 
January 23, 1884, by Commander L. M. 
Lange, of Worthington. Following were 
the first officers and charter members : H. 
S. Bailey, commander ; G. C. Chamberlin, 
senior vice commander; C. II. Sandon, 
junior vice commander; M. A. Strong, ad- 
jutant; M. L. Ashley, quartermaster; E. 
J. Orr, chaplain; I. 6. Walden, surgeon; 

Fred Quentin, oll'icer of tiie day; 0. F. 
Alexander, officer of the guard; W. S. 
Kimball, sergeant major; H. W. Peck, 
ijuartermaster sergeant ; W. Y. King, Wil- 
liam Lamont, J. A. Goodrich, N. Hall, W. 
\. Fields, John Paulson, Levi Davis, I. 
S. Barrett.'- Duiing tlie twenty-six years 
the post has maintained an active organi- 
zation, the officers have been prompt in 
the discharge of their duties, and the post 
has frequently been mentioned by the de- 
partment off'icers and its ott'icers com- 
mended. The post has a membership at 
present of about thirty-five. 

John A. Myers Corps No. 34, Woman's 
Relief Corjjs, was organized August 23, 
1887, with the following officers and char- 
ter members : Mrs. Lizzie M. Dunn, presi- 
dent ; Mrs. A. Wilson, senior vice presi- 
dent ; Mrs. A. Sandon, junior vice presi- 
dent: ilrs. E. A. Barney, secretary; Mrs. 
A. L. King, treasurer ; Mxi^. Joseph Bush- 
nell, chaplain : ]\Irs. Anna Dunn, conduc- 
tor; Mrs. 0. Alexander, assistant conduc- 
tor; Mrs. Ann Miller, guard; iliss Lelia 
Nourse, assistant guard ; ]\Ie.*dames E. H. 
Pepper, Anna L. SmitJi, JIartha V. Allen, 
Ruth R. Orr, Helen A. Logue, Thomas 
Clipperton, Anna Thomas. 

Among the pioneer secret societies of 
.Tackson is Jackson Lodge No. 49, Ancient 
Oj-der United Workmen, which was organ- 
ized July 8, 1879, with the following first 
officers and charter members : Alexander 
Fiddes, past master workman ; Robert 
Sergant, master workman ; T. J. Knox, 
foreman; A. H. Strong, overseer: A. C. 
AVliitman, recorder; L. 0. Randall, finan- 
cier; P. H. Berge, receiver; E. P. Gould, 
guide; G. K. Tiffany, inside watch; Fred- 
erick Quinlin, outside watch ; J. A. Rob- 

'=Others who became members within a few 
months after the organization were M. L. 
Bromashim. W. A. Pepper. J. A. Wilson. G. 
Cole. Edward Gruhlke. J. A. Patterson. Jareb 
Palmer. S. MiddauRh. Charles B. Rouse, M. S. 
Seelv. C. M. Hardv. Walter Withers. George 
Biewer. J. C. Davis. H. S. Schlott. William 
Ballard. J. B. Moses, M. S. Barney and Alexan- 
der Spencer. 



inson, U. F. Alo.xiuuler, II. II. lluglies, F. 
M. Smith, Evan Owens, E. A. Hatch. M. 
H. Smith. 

Tlie present nienibership of A. 0. U. 
W. lodge is si.xty. Following are the offi- 
cers: .7. H. Nourse, P. M. W. : John Ean- 
(lall. M. W.: E. W. Broniagliim, F. ; R. \V. 
Brown, 0.; John Qualev. recorder; Alex- 
ander Fiddes, financier; Y. W. Avery, re- 
ceiver; Charles R. Gee, guide; Robert 
Bartoseh, I. W. ; li. .\. Husbv, 0. W. 

Des Moines Yalley Lodge No. I'iG, In- 
dependent Order Odd Fellows, was organ- 
ized May 20, 1889, with si.x charter mem- 
bers as follows: A. H. .Mien. W. A. Funk. 
W. \. Conrad. .\. .1. Patterson, R. Van 
Orniau and H. .Vudrewsen. The follow- 
ing were chosen as the first officers: A. B. 
Allen, noble grand ; W. A. Conrad, vice 
grand; H. Andrcwsen, secretary; R. Van 
Orman, treasurer. At the present time the 
lodge has a membership of forty-seven. 
It owns real estate and lodge property to 
the value of $3,500. 

:Maplc Grove Camp No. 1069, Modern 
Woodmen of America, was organized Feb- 
ruary 5, 1891. with seventeen charter 
members. Following w-ere the first offi- 
cers: \. B. Crane, consul; H. H. Hughes, 
advisor; John Muir, banker; E. C. Wilson, 
clerk; William Trumbull, escort; A. 
Gruhlke. watchman; A. O. Berg, sentry; 
Douglas Pulvcr, H. 11. Hughes and T. 
'I\ Gronland, managers. 

I Idly Trinity Court No. 694. Catholic 
Order Foresters, was granted a charter 
June 2T. 189T, and it has ever .since main- 
tained an organization. The first officers 
and charter members were as follows: J. 
M. Voda. C. n.; Jo.-eph Klemm. V. C. R. ; 
Kev. P. I'. Kloss. P. ( . 1!.: .1. .T. Pribyi. 
I{. S. ; Wensel .Motl, F. S. ; .Martin Arndt. 
treasurer; John ^lagyar, Louis Kiesel, 
J. .\. Timko. John Hassing, William Motl, 
Bernard C. Lilly. Frank Benda. Frank J. 
Bertels, Emii Calta, Henry J. Hassing, 

Frank Svoboda, Henry Wilhalm. Edward 
Willialiii. J. \'. Makovieka, John Steiner. 
'i'lie lodge has a present membership of 

Jackson Lodge No. Hin. Knights of Py- 
thias, was instituted :\rareli 22, 1900, with 
the following first officers: A'. I". P.\itler. 
C. C; W. P. King, V. C. ; W . ( . ilait- 
son. P.; Charles F. Albertus. M. W.: Bert 
tjillespie, K. R. S.; M;nk 1). Ashley, M. 
v.: Frank Phillips, .\1. .\.: William Bal- 
lan). 1. G.; Joe Trca, 0. G. 

TllK 1S.\NKS. 

Ill Jackson are three banking institu- 
tions, all organized under the national 
banking laws. These are the Brown Na- 
tional Bank, the First National Bank and 
the Jackson National Bank. 

The first financial institution to begin 
business in Jackson — and in .lackson 
county — was the Bank of Jackson, a pri- 
vate institution ojiened by John K. Brown, 
who had formerly been ciniuected with the 
Southern Minnesota Railroad company, 
late in January. ISIO." ^Mr. Brown was 
sole owner of the Bank of Jackson until 
]\[arch 1, 1892, when the owners became 
John K. Brown & Company. Cashier Hen- 
rik Strom having taken an interest. In 
litOl Herman L. Strom purchased the in- 
terests of Henrick Strom, the firm name 
remaining the same. In 1905 the institu- 
tion was reorganized under the name of 
Brown National Bank, with a capital stock 
of $40,000. and began business under the 
new title July 1. The officers at that 
time were John K. lirown. president; J. 
W. Cowing, vice president ; IT. L. Strom, 
cashier. The present officers of tlie Brown 

'■'••The Rink of Jackson, is now one of onr 
proud Instltiitions nnH i.s li.v far the neatest 
anil nobbiest istablishmcnt in town. It may 
be found in the hulUlinc north of the Ashley where the Rood lookinp. courteous and 
centlemanlv presidinp Renins. Mr. John K. 
Brown will be Rlad to accommodate patrons in 
his line and transact a strict IjankinK business 
on strict business principles."— Jackson Repub- 
lic. February 1. 1879. 



National Bank are J. W. Cowing, presi- 
dent; T. J. Knox, vice president; H. L. 
Strom, cashier; J. J. Pribyl, assistant 

Jackson's second bank was a private 
bank opened by George E. Moore De- 
cember 1. 1887, under tlie title, G. E. 
Moure, Banker. J. K. Skarberg was the 
cashier. It was reorganized as the State 
Bank of Jackson with a capital stock of 
$25,000 April 1, 1890, beginning business 
under the new style May 15. The incorpor- 
ators were George E. Moore, P. H. Berge, 
J. W. Cowing, T. .1. Knox, Alexander 
Fiddes, G. A. Albertus, A. H. Strong, F. 
W. Lindsley and M. B. Hutchinson. The 
State Bank of Jackson was reorganized as 
the Fir.?t National Bank in June, 1901, 
with the following board of directors : 
George E. Moore, 0. B. Olson, T. J. Knox, 
Alexander Fiddes and P. H. Berge. The 
capital and surplus of the First National 
is $45,000. The present- officers are George 
R. Moore, president ; P. H. Berge, vice 
president; A. B. Cheadle, cashier; 0. B. 
Olson, assistant casliier. 

The Jackson National Bank was organ- 
ized in 1903, beginning business January 
4, 1904, with tlie following officers and 
board of directors: H. G. Anderson, presi- 
dent ; W. C. Portmann, vice president ; A. 
W. Quinn, cashier ; W. D. Hunter, assist- 
ant cashier ; F. W. Lindsley, J. H. Quinn 
and H. H. Berge. The officers at present 
are H. G. Anderson, president; W. C. 
Portmann, vice president ; W. D. Hunter, 
cashier; Asher 0. Nasby, assistant cash- 

Another financial institution of Jack- 
son is the Jackson Building and Loan As- 
sociation, which was organized in 1891, 
and which has been instrumental in tlie 
building of many of the beautiful liomcs 
of Jackson. 


Prior to 1883 Jackson was absolutely 
without protection from fire. Then the 
village council began to consider the mat- 
ter of affording protection. The Jackson 
Republic of October 13, 1883, reported a 
meeting of the village council as follows: 

At tlie meeting of tlic village council last 
Tuesday [October 9] the subject of fire pro- 
tection in Jackson was discussed at length. 
Councilman Fiddes was requested to corre- 
spond with dealers as to the cost of buckets, 
hooks, ladders, etc., and W. S. Kimball was 
appointed fire warden with instructions to ex- 
amine chimneys and enforce the provisions of 
ordinance No. 8. Upon motion of Councilman 
Cowing it was proposed that the residents or 
owners of every l>lock who would put in a 
well be supplied with a pump and hose by the 

From this legislation developed the 
Jackson fire department. In 1885 more 
advanced measures were taken. In April 
the contract was let for tlie digging of 
four wells on Second street, at tlic corners 
of Grant, Sherman, Ashley and White 
streets, and in May the council purchased 
of Baldwin Brothers, of Winona, a hand 
fire engine, 300 feet of common hose and 
25 feet of suction hose, the total cost of 
which was $ti27. To handle this equip- 
ment a fire coiiipany with 48 members 
was organized July 23. The first officers 
of this pioneer company were as follows: 
H. H. Hughes, fire warden ; A. C. Serum, 
captain ; S. Swenson, chief engineer ; Gil- 
bert Seilstad, hose foreman ; J. W. Jen- 
son, secretary. The company was given of- 
ficial recognition August 8, when the vil- 
lage council approved the officers. This 
organization was not long maintained. 
Witli few duties to perform, the members 
soon lost interest, and the company was 
finally disbanded. 

When the water works system was in- 
stalled in 1892 came the demand for an 
up-to-date fire department. The village 
authorities purchased new equipment, and 
on January 2, 1893, there was organized 



the present department. Following were 
the first officers and the charter members: 
H. G. Anderson, foreman; Georfjo Burn- 
ham, assistant foreman ; 0. A. Sathe, sec- 
ond assistant foreman : S. J. Dunn, sec- 
retary ; H. O. Brown, treasurer; V. W. 
Avery. L. Leeocq. H. M. Burnham, Ed. 
Bophi. Alhert {iriililkc. 'SI. L. Asjiloy, Sam 
Wooiworth, 1). P. Maitlaiid. Henry Iloe.^li. 
Clarence Ellsworth. .\rt l-",lls\Mirlh, i''rMiii< 
Gerlach. John (Jualey. Lewis Iverson and 
Nels Ludviffseii. l-'niire new equipment 
was bought in ilarch. 18!)."), including 
hose cart, hook and ladder truck, Imse and 


The agricultiiral MH-iety cd' dack-son i? 
one of the oldest in southwestern Minne- 
sota. It was organized in IScif). when the 
first county fair was held. For years the 
society was maintained with meager finan- 
cial support, and tiie annual fairs were 
l)rimitive aflFairs, held generally in some 
vacant Imildiiig in tiic vilhig(\ 

A reorganization was brought about in 
1897, and an effort was made to put tlie 
society on a .sound financial footing. Life 
memberships were sold at fifteen dollars, 
and over one hundred people subscribed, 

but only a small number were paid for. 
The same year twenty-five acres of laud 
were purchased from B. \V. Ashley and 
George R. lloore, south nf the depot, 
indldings were erected, and a race track 
was built, the total cost of which wa& 
about $2,500. The society went into debt 
for nearly all the improvements and the 
land, hoping to wipe out the indebtedness 
later by successful fairs. Weather condi- 
tions were unfavorable, and as a result no 
headway was made. The conditions had 
reached such a stage at the beginning of 
tlic year 1908 that bankruptcy threatened, 
and then it was the new society was 

The agriiultural society wa.s reorganized 
anil incorporated in May, 1908, with a 
capital stock of $20,000 and with the fol- 
lowing officers and board of directors: W. 
\V. Wold. ]iresident ; Noah Uaniey, vice 
pnsiiicnt : II. B. Gillespie, secretary: H. 
L. Stuck, treasurer; George Weise, Harry 
M. Burnbani. ('. 1'. Xisscn. llans Sether. 
II. .1. Yeadicke and II. L. Strom. The 
sdciciy is now on a sound financial basis, 
recently improvements have been made at 
the grounds, and the fairs in recent years 
have lieeii highlv successful. 




*«T0»1, LENOX AMO 
T«- = £N FOu,-.-D*T„ 


main:street, lakefikld 



LAKEFIELD— 1879-1910. 

RAXKING second in size, according 
to tlie last census, among Jackson 
county towns is Lalcefield. The vil- 
lage is situated in Heron J.ake and Hun- 
ter townships and is in almost the exact 
geographical center of the county, its busi- 
ness center being less than one mile from 
the central point. It is only a short dis- 
tance from the head of Heron lake, that 
great expanse of water which is noted tlie 
country over as a hunters' paradise. Lake- 
field is on the Southern Minnesota divi- 
sion of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul 
lailroad, and is twelve miles west and 
north of Jackson. The population in 190.T 
was 91G, inn the census of 1910 will un- 
doubtedly show an increase. 

As regards trade territory, Lakefield has 
a stragetic location, drawing its trade from 
an immense area of exceptionally prosper- 
ous country. To the north, northeast, south 
and southwest there are no towns for many 
miles, and to Lakefield comes the trade 
from long distances in those directions. 
The town is compactly built and presents 
an attractive appearance. It has broad 
streets, lined with substantial busine.~s 
houses and handsome residences. 

No more beautiful site for a town could 
be found. It is located on high, rolling 
ground, of a greater elevation than the 
surrounding country, exactly on the divide 

or watershed which separates the two great 
watercourses of the west — the Mississippi 
and the Missouri.^ There is plenty of room 
fin' the town to grow without taking in a 
foot of low or swampy ground. All the 
improvements to bo found m Minnesota 
towns of its size are in Lakefield. It ha.s 
an excellent waterworks system, electric 
light plant, good schools and churches. 

Of the three principal towns of Jackson 
county, Lakefield was the last to come in- 
to existence. Jackson had been founded in 
1866, Heron Lake in 1871, as a result 
of the building of the Sioux City road; 
Lakefield did not take its place on the map 
until 1879, when the Southern Minnesota 
(later the Milwaukee) railroad extended 
to the northwest from Jackson. 

During the early seventies quite a num- 
ber of homesteaders had located upon the 
government lands surrounding the future 
town of Lakefield, but during the terrible 
grasshopper days no improvements were 
made, many people moved away, and the 
actual settlement of that part of the coun- 
ty may be said to have begun only in the 
late seventies. In 1878, when it was be- 

'"Nearly seventeen years ago [1S67] we first 
traveled the road between Graham lakes and 
Jackson, and on the route, about one and one- 
half miles from lake Heron, was a piece of 
country elevated above that surrounding it and 
known as 'the first mound,' We little thought 
that it would be as it is today the site for a 
flourishing little village." — Judge B. W. Wool- 
stencroft in Fulda Republican, June, 1S84, 




lieved tlie grasshoppers had left the coun- 
try for good aud it was kuowu that the 
railroad was to be pushed on to the west, 
come a change in conditions. New settlers 
poured in, bought lands in the theretofore 
thinly settled townships, made improve- 
ments and became permanent settlers. 
When, in the spring of 1879, the line for 
the extension west of Jackson was defi- 
nitely made, came more settlers, who lo- 
cated upon the choice lands along the right 
of-way. The work of grading the roadbed 
M'as begun April 22, the track was laid to 
tlie junction with the Sioux City road Au- 
gust 1, and regular train service was es- 
tablished November 3. But some months 
before tlie road was completed two towns 
had been founded near the liead of Heron 

Henry Knudson, wlio owned the north- 
west quarter of section 32, Heron Lake 
township, which was crossed by the sur- 
veyed line of the new road, laid out a tow^n 
on his land early in May, which he named 
Jackson Center.^ The plat of the town- 
site was drawn on paper, but the land 
was not surveyed. Mr. Knudson made prep- 
arations for building a little town at that 
point, expecting tliat the railway company 
would put in a side track and establisli a 
station there. He erected a store building, 
in which he opened a general store, and 
built a residence, which were the only 
building improvements made on the site, 
and he and his family and Knud Thoreson 
and his family wore tiie only inhabitants. 
Late in September the Jackson Center 
postoffice was establisiied with Mr. Knud- 
son in charirc. The postoffice was main- 
tained until the spring of 1880; then the 
Lakefield ofTico was established and Mr. 
Knudson resigned, the office being then 

'"Henry Knudson has commenced platting a 
town at the .south end of Heron lake, near the 
Southern Minnesota railroad. It Is located on 
the northwest fiuarter of section 32. Heron 
t.ake township. We learn he l.s nhout to erect 
a. hotel bulldini; on the plat." — Jackson Repub- 
lic, May 10. 1879. 

discontinued. In the spring of 1882, Mr. 
Knudson moved his store building to the 
new town of Lakclield, and the history 
of Jackson Center came to an end. 

Differences between Mr. Knudson and 
the Southern Minnesota railway officials 
were responsible for the failure of the com- 
pany to locate a station at Jackson Center 
and also the building of a town at Lake- 
field, a mile southwest of Jlr. Knudson's 
site. J. C. Easton, of the railroad com- 
pany, was willing to locate a station at 
Jackson Center providing he could pur- 
chase Mr. Knudson's 210 acre farm for 
five dollars per acre. The owner refused 
to sell at that figure, but he offered to deed 
to Mr. Easton and the other officials a half 
interest in forty or eighty acres for rail- 
road purposes free of charge, the balance 
of the farm to bo divided into lots to be 
owned jointly by Mr. Knudson and the 
officials. These terms were refused, and 
negotiations were brought to a close early 
in the summer. 

A. IJ. Kilen, who was in the vicinity, 
learned of the rupture between Jlr. Knud- 
son and the railroad officials and was not 
slow to take advantage of the conditions. 
He looked over the ground and decided 
that the west half of the southwest quarter 
of section .'53, Heron Lake township, would 
make an excellent location for a townsite. 
Not knowing who was the owner of the 
.-ightly eighty acre tract, "Sir. Kilen walked 
to the county seat, consulted the records, 
learned in whose name the land was as- 
sessed, and then walked to Windoni, where 
he boarded a train for St. Paul. There he 
located the owner of the site, bought the 
])roperty, and rpturuod with the deed in 
his pocket. 

The prospective town founder mailc 
terms with the railroad officials, and in 
the latter part of July the company lo- 
cated a side track on the land.' Mr. Kilen 

'"The side track next west of Jackson has 
been located on the west half of the southwest 



at once set about having the land sur- 
veyed, and in a short time a little village 
appeared on liie prairie. 

The original townsite of Lakefield, locat- 
ed on the west half of the southwest quar- 
ter of section 33, was surveyed by James 
E. Palmer September 3, 1879, and the 
dedication was made by Anders K. Kilen 
September 5. It consisted of eight blocks 
only, the streets running north and south 
being named Bush, Main and Plum, and 
the east and west streets, Broadway, Sec- 
ond and Third.' The land upon which it 
was located was a part of the grant to the 
St. Paul & Sioux City Eailway company.* 

Before the site was surveyed there was 
considerable activity at the new station 
and several had made arrangements to en- 
ter into business in the new town. The 
name lirst selected for the village was 

quarter of section 33 and the south half of the 
southeast quarter of section 32. in Heron Lake 
township. It is on land belonging to Anders 
R. Kilen, about a mile east of the head of 
Heron lake, and about twelve miles from Jack- 
son A town is already being platted, and soon 
a good business point will spring up at that 
station."— Jackson Republic, July 26, 1879. 

'.Additions to Lakefield have been platted as 

South Lakefield. November 28, 1882; surveyed 
by James E. Palmer. 

Griffin's, by Joshua H. Brady November li, 
1SS5; surveyed by L. L. Palmer. 

Funk's, by Louis F. Menage August 10, 1S92; 
surveyed by L. L. Palmer. 

Frederickson's Addition to South Lakefield, 
by John Frederickson April 5, 1894; surveyed 
by C. W. Gove. 

Hollister's, by H. J. Hollister June 17, 189a; 
surveyed by J. L. Hoist. 

A. R. Kilen's. by A R. Kilen September li, 
1898; surveyed by J. L. Hoist. 

Park, by W. A. Funk August 8, 1899; sur- 
veyed bv J. L. Hoist. 

Mrs. Bergh's, by Mrs, A. M. Bergh May 13, 
1901; surveyed by J. L. Hoist. 

=Titles to lands embraced within the present 
boundaries of Lakefield were received from the 
government as follows: Rasmus Larson home- 
steaded the southeast quarter of the northeast 
quarter of section 32, Heron Lake township, and 
received his patent December 20, 1881. Chris- 
topher B. Rubert received his patent to the 
northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of 
the same section October 10, 1876. Edward E. 
Bergh received his patent to the southeast 
quarter of the southeast quarter of the same 
section March 1, 1877. The west half of section 
33 was railroad land, granted to the St. Paul & 
Siou-x City company. The northwest quarter of 
section 4, Hunter township, was homesteaded 
by James W. Forrest, and he received title June 
20. 1875. The northeast quarter of the north- 
east quarter of section 5 was received by the 
St Paul & Sioux City company from the com- 
missioners of the state land office March 31, 

'"Bethauia," by v/hich it was known for 
only about one week, however." Then 
'■Lakefield" was substituted by the town 
proprietor, and that was the name used 
in making the dedication. So early as 
the latter part of July the Colman Lumber 
company and the Paul Lumber company 
selected sites for lumber yards, and sev- 
eral others made arrangements to build 
and engage in business. 

The first building erected was the of- 
fice of the Colman Lumber companj, 
which war^ put up in August. E. W. 
Davies was the first local manager. This 
first building was also used as the tele- 
graph office until the depot was erected. 
A few other buildings were started about 
the same time, and before the close of the 
year 1879 there were five or si.x business 
houses in operation. The Paul Lumber 
company had its sheds completed early in 
September, and both companies had lum- 
ber in stock to supply all the demands. 
Lewis Chesterson and Charles Chesterson 
opened a general store in September, which 
they conducted under the firm name of 
Chesterson Brothers. John Kilen put up 
a building and engaged in the hotel busi- 
ness. Bonner & Hyde built a warehouse 
and engaged in the grain business. The 
railroad company erected a depot. M. A. 
Foss erected a store building late in the 
fall, but did not open his general store 
until the ne.\t spring. This concludes the 
list of improvements for the year 1879, 
and Lakefield did not assume metropolitan 
proportions that year. John Davies, writ- 
ing from the little town October 21, 1879, 
said: "There are only two ladies in the 
town to absorb the smiles of about twen- 
ty bachelors." 

The people of Lakefield petitioned for a 
postofl'ice in the fall of 1879, and an of- 

«"A change has come over the dreams of 
Bethanians. It has been decided to call the 
new town out west Lakefield." — Jackson Re- 
public, August 16, 1879. 



fice was granted them the next spring. 
It was opened in April witii M. A. Foss 
as postmaster.' A few new en- 
terprises were started in 1880: M. A. Foss 
opened his general store, Johnson & Ho- 
henstein started tlio town's third general 
store, Cargill & Van built the second grain 
warehouse, Obed Omberson engaged in the 
general merchandise and hardware l)usi- 
ness, Barney Froelinger opened a saloon, 
a blacksmith shop was started, and K. B. 
Wood worth was installed as the depot 

The growth of Knkfield during the lirst 
three or four years was not groat, but each 
year witnessed ihv ii|>(>ning of one or two 
new business houses;, and the small growth 
was healthy. Conrad & Snure engaged in 
the general merchandise business in 1882, 
and Larud. ^lorland i1- Company engaged 
in the hardwari' liusiness the same year. 
.\ninng tlcc other improvements of the 
same year were the hay jiressing and tow 
manufacturing establishments of M. A. 
Foss. In IS83 X. J. Scott started a 
liardware store, and the same year witness- 
ed the founding of the town's first newspa- 
per, the Minnesota Citizen by Carl S. 
Kastwood. There were .several changes in 
the proprietorship of the several stores and 
shops, and we find the business houses on 

•Mr. Foss sprvod as T iikedpld's postmaster 
until March. 1.SS2. when he was succeeded by 
ITenry Knudson. who moved down from Jack- 
son Center. Mr. Knudson sold out his business 
a short time later and resigned the office, be- 
ing succeeded in July. l.SS2i by H. G. Conrad. 
The latter served until Noveml)er, ISSH. when 
K. Lewis received the appointment. There was 
quite a contest for the honor In 1884. which was 
won b.v Carl S. Eastwood, the editor of the 
Minnesota Citizen, he receiving the appointment 
In June. Mr. Kastwood sold his paper and re- 
moved from I-akedeld In the latter part of 
1885. and from that time until his successor 
was named In February. ISSfi. the olTlce was In 
charge of Deputy I.. \V. Seely. John G. Miller 
succeeded Mr. Eastwood .as postmaster .-ind 
served until January 17. 1S8S. On that date S. 
J. Mop became T>ake(b'Id's postmaster, serving 
until January. 1S90. Then W. I.. Funk was ap- 
pointed and held the office until 1803. H. J. 
Jlollister served from that lime until October. 
ISfiT. under the democratic administration. John 
Crawford was appointed at the expiration of 
Mr. Holilster's term and held the office until 
his death, which occurred by drowning in June. 
1904. Mrs. John Cr.iwford was then appointed 
and has ever since conducted the office. 

Xoveniber 30, 1883, as represented in the 
advertising columns of the first i.ssiie of 
(he local paper, to be as follows: 

(Jeneral stores— A. Hohenstein, K. Lewis, 
William Snure. f). Oniborson. 

Ilolel .J. U. Stone. 

Implement dealer— John Krcilerickson. 

Newspaper and real estate— Carl S. East- 

IJver.v - A. Hohenstein. 

Waeksmitlis— H. 1'. Pietz. T. A. .Sanders. 

Harness simp— W. 11. Randall. 

I>awyer and real estate—!.,. Walter Seely. 

Hay press — Omberson Brotbers. 

The general prosfiority which bles,<ed 
Jackson county in 1884 brought rapid ad- 
vancement to tlie little town of Lakeficld. 
It was a season of solid and prosperous 
growth. A resident of Jackson who visi- 
lecl the village in July wrote as follows: 
"A few hours spent by the writer in Lake- 
field this week convinced him that Jack- 
.'^on's sister village is up to the tiincj;. 
Xiw buildings are going up, a large acre- 
age of prairie turf is being reduced to a 
state of cultivation near by, and prosperity 
prevails. Within the past year Lakeficld 
has seen a newspaper, a creamery, a hard- 
ware store, a drug store and doctor 'spring 
u]) in her midst.' " 

Factors in the increased activity were 
the [lurchase of the townsitc by James T. 
Griffin and the platting of South Lake- 
field by John Frederickson. These gentle- 
men placed lots on (lie market at reduced 
in-ices and induced men with capital to 
locate and invest in the new town. The 
Lakeficld Citizen boasted that more new 
buildings were erected in Lakeficld that 
yt^ir than in any otiicr town in the county, 
and that the business interests and popu- 
lation more than doubled in the twelve 
months. Despite the ,«howing made, an 
estimate of the town".- population in 1884 
placi^d the figure at between seventy-five 
and one hundred. A business directory 
for 1884 listed the following business 
houses in operation: 







William Snure, general merchandise. 
E. Lewis, general merchandise. 
Obed Omberson, general merchandise. 
Albert Hohenstein, general merchandise. 
E. J. Viall, Viall hotel. 
J. D. Stone, Lakefield hotel. 
N. J. Scott, hardware store. 
J. M. Strickler, drug store. 
John Frederickson (Colman Lumber Co.), 
lumber and machinery. 

C. M. Tradcwell, agricultural implements. 

Charles Randall, harness shop. 

L. W. Seely, land agent. 

Carl S. Eastwood, newspaper. 

Robert Pietz. blacksmith shop. 

Thomas Sanders, blacksmith shop. 

Hiss Tilda Hamerstad. millinery store. 

John Sr.rber, coal dealer. 

Omberson Brothers, hay dealers. 

G. A. Stanton, Lakefield nursery. 

W. W. HefTelfinger, ]diysician. 

John G. ililler, contractor. 

S. Christenson, contractor. 

B. .Johnson, contractor. 

Lakefielcl's first confiagration occurred 
February 12, 1884, when the depot with 
all its contents was burned to the ground. 

The progress in 1884 was onh' the be- 
ginning of the forward movement in 
Lakefield's history. During the later eigh- 
ties every year was one of increase. In 
1886 building improvements to the value 
of $19,160 were made, the items of this 
amount being as follows : 

F. E. Wesner, residence $ 800 

E. D. Briggs, improvements 1,100 

A. M. Johnson, warehouse 300 

Standard office 700 

C. L. Colman, addition 725 

Fred Nestrude, feed mill 425 

A. W. Ward, residence 365 

Julius Broeger, residence 400 

John Lueiieburg, furniture store 1,100 

Rhoda Pollock, residence 450 

N. J. Scott, residence and barn 1,075 

Jackson Countv Bank 1,800 

E. J. Viall, barn 600 

Burgess Jones, residence and coal house 1,150 

Frank White, residence and barber shop 700 

T. A. Sanders, residence and barn 500 

William Britsch, residence 400 

Ludwig Lueneburg, residence 775 

C. M. Trade well, office and machine 

shop 700 

.J. H, Luse, hardware store 800 

E. D. Briggs, improvements 175 

H. P. Stone, addition 250 

Matt Schram, addition 100 

0. Omberson, addition 800 

Minor improvements 2,000 

Total $19,160 


A census of Lakefield, taken July 14, 
1887, showed a population of 260. It was 
then the residents petitioned the board 
of county commissioners for incorpora- 
tion.* The county board took favorable 
action on the petition July 25, 1887, when 
it provided for holding a special election 
September 1 to vote on the question of in- 
corporation. The election was held in 
the Lakefield school house," and "for in- 
corporation" carried by a vote of 26 to 
2." The first election for the selection 
of village officers was held October 1, when 
forty-five votes were cast. The council 
elected at that time met and organized 
October 21, and the municipal government 
of Lakefield began on that day.^^ Fol- 
lowing is a list of tliose who have been 
elected to municipal office in Lakefield 
from tlie date of incorporation to the pres- 
ent time.'- 

'The petitioners were L. J. Britsch. H. J. 
HoUister. M. E. Lawton. N. J. Scott, Burgess 
Jones, William Britsch. E. Lewis, W. W. Hef- 
felflnger. S. Christiansen. Carl Omberson, Gust 
Goplin. D. Crawford. R. A. MeUmber, C. O. 
Tradewell, F. B. White. William Snure. T. A. 
Sanders. H. P. Stone, Hans J. Hauge, S. J. Moe. 
J. N. Edwards. John Hale, James Keenan. R. 
H. Lueneburg. A. Hohenstein. A. Ellison, J. I. 
Anderson. A. Norgrant. J. H. Luse, C. H. 
Young, L. W. Crowl. E. J. Viall. Robert Pietz, 
R. S. Luse, John Frederickson, F. E. Wesner, 
W. A. Funk. W. L. Funk. F. W. Weeks. T. 
Omberson, C. M. Tradewell. 

■■■John Frederickson. John G. Miller and N. J. 
Scott were the inspectors of the election and 
F. W. Weeks was the clerk. 

•John Frederickson, John G. Miller and N. J. 
Scott, H. J. HoUister, W. W. Heftelflnger. W. 
L. Funk. W. A. Funk, C. L. Bratager. Alfred 
Ellison, Andrew Norgrant, John Miller. R. H. 
Lueneburg, C. P. Carlson, M. E. Lawton, L. J. 
Britsch. R. A. McUmber. C. H. Young. Burgess 
Jones. John Frederickson. F. W. Weeks, Wil- 
liam Snure. David Crawford. William Viall. R. 
S. Luse, E. J. Viall. T. A. Sanders. Frank 
White. August N. Goplin. S. J. Moe, Robert 

"Lakefield remained a part of Heron Lake 
and Hunter townships for assessment and elec- 
tion purposes until 1SS9. On April 22 of that 
year the legislature provided for its separation 
tor all purposes. 

'=At many of the annual village elections the 
license question been submitted to the vot- 
ers. Following is the result In those years 
when the question was submitted, the question 
not having been voted upon in the years omit- 

ISSS— For, 40: against. 19. 

1889 — For license by 9 majority. 

1890 — For. 51: against. 15. 

1892— For, 53; against, 20. 

1894 — For. 71; against, 20. 

1895 — For, 67; against, 70. 

1896 — For license by 26 majority. 



1887— Prosident. W. A. Kiiiik;" trustees, N. 
J. Scott. William Smirc. Hiirgcss Jones;" re- 
corder, a. II. l,ui-iicbiir{.'; treasurer, Jolin Fred- 
erickson: justices, K. Lewis, \V. L. Funk; con- 
stables. K. Krickson. .John [. .Anderson. 

1888— President, L. W. Crowl; trustees, F. 
E. Wesner, E. J. \iall, W. \V. HeirelUnger; re- 
corder, R. H. Lueneburg; treasurer, M. E. 
Lawton; justices, E. Lewis, John G. Miller; 
constables, R. P. Pietz, E. D. Sanders. 

1889- President, IL J. liollister; trustees, 
John Frederickson, .\els Olson, S. J. Moe; re- 
corder, Frank White; treasurer, X. J. Scott; 
justices, E. Lewis, John Ci. .Miller; constables, 
II. P. Stone, R. P. Pictz. 

18U0— President, Jolin Frederickson; trus- 
tees, J. X. Co.\, (.-. .\1. Xiadewcll, Nels Olson; 
recorder, Cieorge Sawyer; treasurer, M. J. 
Scott; assessor, S. J. iloe; justices, John G. 
Miller, O. 11. Spofford; constables, George Win- 
ter, 11. P. Stone. 

1801— President, John Frederickson; trus- 
tees, M. 11. Evans, William Searles, Xels Ol- 
son; recorder, R. li. Lueneburg; treasurer, N. 
J. Scott; constables, George Winter, E. Erick- 

1892— President, L. W. Crowl; trustees, S. 

D. Sumner, C. W. Gove, Joe Winter; recorder, 
J. W. Calta;" treasurer, X. J. Scott; assessor, 

E. J. Viall; justices, X. B. Spiceard, G. G. Saw- 
yer; constable, R. P. Pietz. 

1803— President, L. W. Crowl; trustees, W. 

F. Timm, A. A. Fosness, F. E. Wesner; re- 
corder, John Crawford; treasurer, John Fred- 
erickson; assessor, A. Park; constables, S. J. 
Moe, Ed Hanson. 

18D4— President, X. J. Scott; trustees, W. F. 
Timm, A. Xorgrant, F. B. White; recorder, 
John Crawford; treasurer, John Frederickson; 
assessor, D. Crawford; justices, John G. Miller, 
George Sawyer; constable, James Kula. 

18'J5— President, X. J. Scott; trustees, Wil- 
liam Searles, Henry Winter, W. D. Hill; re- 
corder, F. E. Wesner; treasurer, John Freder 
ickson; assessor, J). Crawford; constable, L. M 

1896— President, N. J. Scott; trustees, Wil- 
liam Searles, W. C. Bauer, N. P. Heintz; re- 
corder, F. E. Wesner; treasurer, John Freder- 
ickson: assessor, O. Crawford: justices, John «. 
.Miller. Jar.?b Palmer: constable. .lames Kula. 

1. S!I7— President, M. H. Evans: trustees, S. 
I). Sumner, W. F. Timm. .T. E. McGill; recor- 
der. 'J'homas Crawford; treasurer, John Fred- 
erickson; assessor, F. B. White; constable, L. 
-M. White. 

1898- President, David Crawford; trustees, 
A. U. Palmer, S. D. Sumner, E. Erickson; re- 
corder, J. M. Thompson; treasurer. John Fred- 

1S97— For. 77; against, 49. 

1898— For. 99; against. 47. 

1899— For. 106; ngalnst, 70. 

1901— For. 105: against. 79. 

1902— For. 120; against. 60. 

1903— For, 128; against. 43. 

"Resigned and M. E. Lawton appointed. 

"Did not qualify; L. W. Crowl appointed. 

"Did not qualify; H. J. Holllster appointed. 

crick.son; as.sessor, S. J. Moe; justices, William 
Crawford, Jarcb Palmer; constables, A. L. 
Bachus, August Milbrath. 

1899- President, Oavid Crawford; trustees, 
X. J. .Scott. John Frederickson, J. E. McGill- 
recorder, S. R. Dubetz: treasurer, William 
Searles; assessor, S. J. Moe; constable, Henry 

1900— President, A. M. St. John: trustees, C. 
M. Gage, Emil Erickson. W. F. Timm: recor- 
der, G. W. Curtiss; treasurer, William Searles; 
as.sessor. S. J. Moe; justices, M. liollister, 
.Jareb Palmer; constables, J. L. Rakerd, .Mil- 
ton Morse. 

1901— President, A. M. St. John: trustees, C. 
M. Tradewell, A. A. Fosness, August Olson: 
recorder, Charles Xorgrant: treasurer. William 
Searles: assessor. S. J. Moe. 

1902— President. David Crawford; trustees, 
II. J. liollister. A. A. Fosness. C. M. Gape; re- 
corder, Charles Xorgrant : treasurer, F. L. 
Leonard: justices, M. Hollister, John G. Mil- 
ler: constables, J. L. Rakerd, George H. Win- 

1903— President, David Crawford: trustees. 
C. if. Gage, A. A. Fosness. James Rost : re- 
corder, Charles Xorgrant: treasurer, A. Bettin: 
assessor. S. J. Moe: constable, F. L. Grannis. 

1904— President, H. J. liollister: trustees, 
James Rost, S. R. Dubetz, G. B. McMurtrie; 
recorder, Charles Xorgrant: treasurer, Adolph 
Bettin: assessor, S. J. Moe; justices. John G. 
-Miller, Jareb Palmer; constable. Albert Rue. 

190.5- President, D. L. Riley; trustees, 
George Winzenburg, J. C. Caldwell, James 
Rost; recorder, Ed Arnold; treasurer, Adolph 
Bettin; assessor, S. J. Moe: justice, Henry 
Wood: constables, Ed Collins, II. G. Latourell." 
1906— President, J. W. Daubney: trustees, 
George Wood, f^orge Britsoh, John Anderson; 
recorder, W. I. Alcott: treasurer. Adolph Bet- 
tin; assessor, S. J. Moc; justices, John G. Mil- 
ler, Jareb Palmer; constables, Ed Collins, 
George Milburn. 

1907— President. A. M. St. John; trustees, 
-M. Mctilin. James Rost, H. L. Bond: recorder, 
W. I. Aloott: treasurer, Adolph Bettin: asses- 
sor, S. J. Moe; constables, Charles Blankcn- 
burg, Henry Tank. 

1908— President. M. McGlin; trustees, J. A. 
Anderson. .J. J. Jones, John Grcin: recorder, 
Ed .\riiold: treasurer. Adolph Bettin: asses- 
sor. S. J. Moe; justices. John G. Miller. Jareb 
Palmer; constables, J. B. Wagner, G. R. Van- 

1909- President. M. McGlin; trnstees, John 
Grein, J. M. Putman, William Hecht: recor- 
der, Ole Thorcson: treasurer, Adolph Bettin; 
assessor, S. J. Moe: constables, Charles Blan- 
kenbnrg, IL A. Rost. 

Lakefield continued' its forward move- 
ment until the panic year 1R93. During 
these years it advanced from the little 
hamlet of pioneer days to one of the im- 
portant towns of Jackson county. The 



year 1895 was one of exceptional progi-ess. 
Many new buildings were erected and sev- 
eral new enterprises were put under way, 
principal anumg them being the flouring 
mill. Tlie panic put a temporary stop 
to the progress of the town, and for a few 
years there was little advance. The popu- 
lation in 1895 was 519. 

Beginning with 1896 came improved 
conditions, and the town once more took 
up its forward march, entering upon the 
most prosperous era in its history. The 
building improvements in 1896 amounted 
to nearly $.50,000, and the ne.xt year they 
exceeded that amount, the items of im- 
provement for 1897, being as follows: 

High school building $23,000 

Norwegian Lutheran i-hurch 1,800 

E. Schumacher, brick Ijuihling 2,000 

St. John Brothers, elevator 3,000 

Leonard & Company, furniture store... 1,700 

Pietz & White, livery barn 1,200 

M. E. church, addition 800 

M. E. churcli, parsonage 1,500 

L. L. Stewart, residence 1,300 

C. M. f^ge, residence 1,800 

D. L. Riley, residence 2,000 

Thomas Crawford, residence 1,200 

0. Orleski, residence GOO 

H. .T. Hollister. residence 600 

E. T. Smith, residence 1,200 

A. E. Skillingstad, residence 800 

John Milbrath, residence 700 

S. D. Sumner, residence 600 

Fred Bergman, residence 2,000 

Milton Morse, residence 1,200 

V. McColm, residence 500 

F. B. White, residence 1,300 

J. F. Montman, residence 1,400 

Mrs. S. H. Beall, residence 1,800 

Henry Wood, residence 1,200 

A. J. Johnson, residence 500 

W. F. Timm, residence 1,200 

L. N. Duchaine, office and residence.... 300 

August Olson, addition 200 

William Host, addition 200 

George G. Johnson, machine shed 500 

C. L. Colman, addition 300 

Lakefield village 600 

Sidewalks 600 

Total $59,600 

Again in 1898 the residents of the vil- 
lage spent large sums in erecting new 
homes and business houses. In 1899 the 
total amount so expended was nearly $70,- 
000, divided as follows : 

Citizens State Bank, building $ 8,507 

L. J. Britsch, business block 4,800 

N. J. Scott, business block 4,800 

Frederickson & Gage, business block. . . . 3,.500 

Baptist church 1,800 

John (jrussing, residence 800 

P. E. Olson, residence 1,500 

H. A. Rhodes, meat market 800 

John Wefel, residence 1,400 

A. E. Norgrant, residence 1,200 

H. Schultz, residence 800 

A. E. Guertien, residence 1,300 

Eugene Bedient, residence 800 

Rev. D. Swanson, residence 1,200 

J. N. Bradley, residence 1,600 

Norwegian Lutheran church 2,500 

Ole Sandager, residence 1,800 

Henry Timm, residence 1,500 

J. K. Turner, residence 1,800 

Laketield Village, electric light plant.. 10,500 

Joe Winter, residence 1,200 

W. F. Timm, residence 1,500 

D. Timm, residence 1,500 

J. Kalash, residence 1,200 

Henry Rost, residence 1,500 

Mrs. J. B. McClintock, residence 1,000 

Globe Milling Co., addition 500 

S. R. Dubetz, addition 400 

William Lochner, residence 1,500 

William Bertels, residence 600 

M. Sandager, barn 200 

A. Hagerson, addition 500 

Albert Rue, residence 1,000 

L. Lueneburg, addition 500 

Julia Johnson, residence 600 

C. L. Colman, addition 200 

George Britsch, improvements 300 

A. Hohenstein, improvements 400 

German Lutheran parsonage 1,500 

Total $69,267 

In May, 1899, by a vote of 96 to 44, the 
electors declared in favor of bonding for 
the installation of an electric lighting and 
water works plant. The electric lighting 
plant was installed, and the lights turned 
on for the first time in January, 1900. 
The water works system was added in 
1902. The population of Lakefield, ac- 
cording to the federal census of 1900, was 

At two o'clock on the morning of De- 
cember 1, 1900, a fire was started that 
did considerable damage and threatened 
the destruction of the town. The town 
liad no fire department, and the flames 
were fought with bucket brigades. After 
lieroic work the conflagration was sub- 
dued. The losses were as follows : 


Lakefield Mercantile Compuny (S. R. meet till' (Iciiiniids, a special election was 

Diilietz. XIaiirt<'er). stock $14,000 . ,, , . , ,oi>,> i i ii 

E. Schumacher, siori- building 4,000 '"eW f''"l> I" -'une- 18S)6, to vote on tlie 

K. Schuniiuhcr, saliMiii liuildin^' nnd stock 1,000 questioii of issuing $20,000 bonds for the 

Jacob Kalf, saloon buildiiiL' and stock.. 350 . ,. i i i- mi i 

A. Uoass, tailor shop. ... 600 ^Tectioii ol a new building. 1 he vote was 

"2 in favor of tiic bonJs to (j9 against, but 

Total loss $19,950 ., . , , .i • i • -i. a 

as it required a (v.o-thirds majority to 

Again on July 25, 1904, fire visited the carry the proposition it was lost. On June 

town, destroying the building occupied by 2'>, 189(5, the question was again subinit- 

Otto Brothers, general monluints, and ted, and this time it carried by a vote of 

an $18,000 stock of goods. -^liT to 48. The contract for the erection 

THK scaiooLS "^ *'^^ "^^^' '^"'''''"S ^^"* 1^' August 15, 

. , ,, . ' ' . ., ' T , n , . I'^OC, to Fred Norlander, of St. Paul, at 

In till' fall ot 1881, wliile Lakefield was . , . ,*,.,.„. hm i c 

' ., , .^ 3 a contract price of $lo,()2.'). The work of 

vet in its infancy, Messrs. John Fredcr- , ^. , ■ . i ,>..n~ 

■" ,, . „ T , ,-, construction was begun in April, ls9i, 

ickson, Anders Roe. M. A. loss, John d. , ,, i -n- i v . i x- 

,, and the new building was dedicated iSo- 

.Millcr and Ole Anderson called a meeting , ^^ ,„,_ , , , ,„,,,, 

, , viMiilior 19. 1897. In .August, 1900. a 
for t lie purpose nl taking steps towards the ,. , , , ,, , 
' ' , . . _ , high school was added, 
organization of a school district at Lake- 
field. Their efforts were successful, and the cm kciies. 
that same fall school district No. 38 was Lakefield supports seven church organ- 
organized. Among the first members of ^.-itions, one to each 131 inhabitants. They 
the school board were M. A. Foss, John .,j,p_ j^ ^be order of their organization: 
Frederickson and John G. Miller. A one- Swedish ]>utheran, Presbyterian, Jletho- 
room school house, 24x36 feet, was erected ^y^^^^ German Lutheran, Norwegian Lu- 
and Lakefield's first school was taught ,]„,,..,„. Norwegian Lutlieran. Raj.tist and 
during the winter of 1881-82 by Miss War- ('.itholic. All liave clnirch edifices. During 
ner, only a few pupils being in atten- ^^^^ fl,.g(. ^^^ yg^^g ^f j^s e.xistence Lakefield 
dance.'" The little one-room building ^..^^ witjinut" a church building, although 
served as Lakefield's school building until ,.eiigious services were fixHiueiitly licld in 
1890, when a two-story, four-room build- (he "school house. 

ill" was put up, which was used until tlie rpv /> i. i- • ■ i i. t ^t 

" ' " The first religious societv to perfect 

handsoine brick structure now in was ... ■ t i c ii " no ^ 

an organization in Lakefield was the bweil- 

'^^^^ ^ ' . , . ish Lutheran, which was organized un- 

Tbo district wa.? rcor;;anized as an in- , n i- i- i- r> a n i? „ „ f 

'^ .,11 '''■'' "'"' direction ol Rev. S. C. Iranzen, of 

dependent district at a school meeting held ,,. ,, . , .>- , „ oo ioq~ t^ «.„, 

' " \\ orthington, November 2.i. 1887. It wa.s 

April 20, 1895, the change being made bv i ■ i i . . ■ ^i t- „ „f „ i „„„i, 

' ' ' e> b . decided to begin the erection of a church 

a vote of 67 to 6. On May 3 the following ^^^.^^^ ^,^^ ^^^^ ^^^.^^^ ,^^^^ .^ ^^.^ .^ ^^^^,^ 

were chosen as the first school board under ^^^^^ ,^^f^^.^ Lakefield's first church build- 

the new organization: D. L. Rilev, chair- 11*1 

" .... ing was dedicated, 

man: F. E. Wesner. clerk: \\ illiam , ,. , , r, , , ,„„,^ 

„ , , 4 \ 17 T 1 About (ho first of September, 1890, a 

Searles, treasurer; A. A. Fosncss, John . , , , ^ ,, <■ i- 

„ , . , T 1 /^ -nr-ii meeting was held for the purpose of dis- 

Fre<lerickson, John G. Miller. . " , . ,. ' ' „ ,. 1 

~, n , -IT • -1 i i.„ cussing the organization of an Lnglish 

The old building proving inadequate to p f . , , „ , , . ^ 

speaking church in Lakeheld. A vote 

"Other early day terichers of the l-nkencld i,p|„n. »«!;„« if „.«, found the sentiment 

.school were I.. Wniter Sceiy. Dora M. niiid. "eing laKcn, 11 was louno me seuiimcui 

Julln Stone. Jarcb Palmer. John G. Miller, Miss nlniost imnnimOlIS in favOF of a PfCS- 

Standwlck. Julia Hammer.stoek. Will Marou.-ie. " ''•* aimosl unanimous in ia\or 01 a 1 ira 

Warren Funk. Elmer Best. Maria J. Schrelncr hyterian cliurch. A requcst for the OT- 

and Laura Cooper. -" ' 







ganization of a church of tliat faith was 
signed by nineteen persons who declared 
their desire to nnite with such a church. 
About thirty other people signed an agree- 
ment to aid a Presbyterian church with 
their moral and financial support and to 
identify themselves with a society connec- 
ted with the church. The state organiza- 
tion was conferred with, and on November 
7, 1890, the Presbyterian church was for- 
mally organized by Eev. E. N. Adams, 
assisted by Eev. H. C. Cheadle and K. F. 
Sulzer. Tlie follo\ving members were ad- 
mitted by letter on the day of organization : 
Mrs. Sailie H. Beall, W. A. Funk, Mrs. 
Nettie L. Funk, Mrs. Hattie Evans, Emil 
Erickson, Mrs. A. Erickson, Hart N. 
Douglas. W. A. Funk was ordained el- 
der. The first election of trustees was 
held November 11, IS'JO, the meeting be- 
ing presided over by M. H. Evans, with 
W. A. Funk as secretary. The board of 
trustees chosen at that time was composed 
of Emil Erickson, Hart N. Douglas and 
M. H. Evans. 

Funds were raised by subscription, and 
on January SI, 1S91, the following build- 
ing committee was appointed to superin- 
tend the erection of a church edifice: N. 
J. Scott, M. H. Evans and Emil Erick- 
son. Building operations were begun in 
June and the building was completed in 
October, the total cost, with furnishings, 
being $1,880. The dedication of the 
house of worship occurred February 38, 
1892, conducted by Eev. N. H. Bell, of 
Minneapolis, assisted by Eev. H. C. Chea- 
dle, of Blue Earth City. 

Following are the names of the pastors 
who have supplied the Presbyterian pulpit 
at Lakefield with the dates of their minis- 
try : H. C. Cheadle, November 7, 1S90, to 
December, 1894; Hugh Alexander, 1894- 
95; M. B. Myers, 1895-96; J. F. Mont- 
man, 1890-98 ; 0. G. Dale, 1898-99 ; C. C. 

HofEmeister, 1899-03; S. E. P. White, 
1903-05; J. S. P. Pinney, 1907-08. 

The next church organized in Lakefield 
was the Methodist Episcopal, which erec- 
ted a church building in 1892. The build- 
ing was dedicated May 28, 1893, the ser- 
vices being conducted by Presiding Elder 
Hare, of Manlvato. The building was 
dedicated free of debt. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran so- 
ciety was organized during the nineties, 
and the church building was erected dur- 
ing the summer of 1896. It was dedicated 
September 27, 1896. 

Another religious organization that 
came into existence in the nineties was 
the Norwegian Lutheran church. For sev- 
eral years the members worshipped in the 
other church edifices, but in October, 1897, 
the contract was let for the erection of a 
building at a cost, excluding furnishings 
and heating plant, of $1,300. The build- 
ing was destroyed by a cyclone in August, 

1898, but it was rebuilt in 1899 at a cost 
of $3,500. 

The Baptist church society wa.s organ- 
ized May 11, 1S9S, with the following 
cluirter members: Mr. and Mrs. Milton 
Meltchert, Mr. and :Mrs. James Kilen, Mr. 
and Mrs. Henry Shaw, Mr. and Mrs. Wil- 
liam Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Palmer, 
Mrs. Frederickson, Mrs. Z. M. Turner, 
Eev. and Mrs. George MacDougall. In 
September, 1898, the call of recognition 
and ordination was issued, and in June, 

1899, the church was admitted to the 
Minnesota Valley association. For a year 
services were held in the council room of 
the city hall; then in March, 1899, it was 
decided to erect a liouse of worship. The 
l)uilding was erected that summer and was 
dedicated October 22. The cost of the 
building was $1,620.50. The following 
have served as pastors of the Baptist 
church of Lakefield: George MacDougall, 
1898-00; F. C. Peck, 1900-03; Charles 



Walsh, 1902-03; Rev. Pengally, 1903-04. 
Owing to the removal of so many of the 
members, church services are not new 
held, although tiie Sunday school is still 

The Catholic cluncli was the last to 
organize in Lakefield. So early as August, 
1898, steps were taken to bring about the 
erection of a house of worship, Messrs. 
Hugli Gallagher, Albert Vancura aiul Jo- 
seph Cirhan being appointed a committee 
to solicit funds. Services were held in 
the city hall for several years, and in the 
spring of 1902 the church edifice, costing 
$2.50n, was completed. It was dedicated by 
Right Kev. Bishop Joseph B. Cotter, of 
Winona, September 26, 1902. 

Tin: i.ODOES. 

Tn the matter of secret societies Lake- 
field is well represerted. The following 
societies maintain organizations: Odd Fel- 
lows, Rebekalis. Workmen, Modern Wood- 
men, Royal Neighbors, Maccabees, Modern 
Brotherhood, Masons and Eastern Star. 

Lakefield Lodge No. 178, Independent 
Order Odd Fellows, was organized Feb- 
ruary 19, 1891, with twenty members. A 
prosperous Rebekah lodge is also nuiin- 
tained, it having been organized July 19, 
190.", with 20 members. 

Lincoln Lodge ^o. Kii, Ancient Order 
United Workmen, was organized March 9, 
189;?, hv Deputy (irand Master Workman 
0. H. Mason with the following first of- 
ficers and charter members: W. A. Funk, 
P. W. M. ; N. J. Scott, M. W. ; John Fred- 
orick.son, foreman ; A. A. Fosness, overseer ; 
C. W. Gove, recorder; CM. Tradewell. 
receiver; A. Park, financier; Joe Winter, 
uuide ; N. B. Spieeavd, I. W. ; E. E. Col- 
lins. 0. W. ; A. Bedient, S. M. Child, Sam 
Fader, C. M. Cage, W. \. Ludtke, IL K 
l?ue, Scott Searles. Fred Winter, Calvin 
Young. The first trustees were C. M. 
Gage, Fred Winter and 11. K. Hue. 

Prairie Camp No. 1970, Modern Wood- 
men of America, wa.' organized May 13, 
189;?, with the following first officers and 
charter members: Jlrs. F. J. Ledbrook. 
JL White, advisor; Henry Winter, bank- 
er; Thomas Crawford, clerk; C. TI. 
Young, watchman; R. Willing, escort ;^L 
C. Bcdient, sentry; Scott Searles, phy- 
sician; N. J. Scott, M. R. and C. 
M. Tradewell, managers; W. V. Bout- 
well, .loliii Crawford, A. E. Ilolmberg, 
Eriek Kilen, W. F. Ludtke, A. Phelps, H. 
A. Rhodes, William Searles, A. J. Solo- 
monson, G. G. Sawyer. The camp has a 
present membership of 10(1 with the fol- 
lowing officers: S. J. Moe, consul; Wil- 
liam Bertels, advisor; J. A. Mansfield, 
banker; A. Dahl. clerk; H. Sucker, es- 
cort : J. B. McMurtrie, sentry ; George 
Sfeiner. watchman; William Taylor, Mike 
]\IcGlin and C. ]M. Tradew^ell, managers. 

Piairio Lilly Camp No. 808. Royal 
Xeiglibors. was organized November 2fi, 
1897, with the following first officers and 
charter members: S. J. Aloe, consul; L. 
"racle; Mrs. Calvin Young, vice oraelo-. 
Mrs. .T. T. Johnson, recorder; Mrs. .T. M. 
Thompson, receiver; Airs. C. V. Trade- 
well, chancelor ; Airs. George Sawver. 
marshal; Mrs. J. E. McGill. inner 
sentinel ; Mrs. IT. J. Hollister, outer sen- 
tinel ; D. F. Ledbrook, diysician ; Mrs. 
Frank White, Mrs. Albert Nieman and 
J. E. McGill, managers; J. T. Johnson, IT. 
J. Hollister. George G. SSawyer. J. M. 
'riioiiiiisnn. C. M. Tradewell, William 
Searles. Thomas Crawford, Mrs. Thomas 
Crawford, Mrs. Fred White. Only three 
of tiie charter members are residents of 
Lakefield at the present writing. 

Lakefield Tent No. 4A, Knights of the 
Maccabees, was organized August 1.5, 1901. 
Iiy State Commander I. N. Chellew. Fol 
lowing were the first officers and charter 
memi)ers: Charles M. Tradewell, past 
commander; Robert 11. Lueneburg, Sir 



Knight Commander; William Kerr, lieu- 
tenant; S. E. Dubetz, record keeper; James 
W. Daubney, finance keeper; Joseph Cir- 
han, chaplain ; Orma E. Nevitt, physician ; 
Edward S. Lader. sergeant; Charles E. 
Cooper, master at arms; Otto Weise, first 
master of guard; Fred H. Healey, second 
master of guard ; Henry W. Eost, sentinel ; 
F. E. Peffer, picket; James W. Daubney, 

A. E. Dubetz and E. H. Lueneburg, trus- 
tees; F. W. Weise, Martin J. Frederick- 

The Masonic order was organized in 
1902, was conducted under dispensation 
one year, and received its charter March 
26, 1903. There were twenty-six char- 
ter members. Following were the first 
officers: F. L. Leonard, W. M. ; W. E. 
Haukey, S. W.; E. A. Gage, J. W.; D. 
L. Eiley, treasurer ; W. D. Hill, secretary ; 
Ed. Arnold, S. D. ; M. M. Moore, J. D.; 

B. W. Payne, S. S. ; Hoken Eamsborg, J. 
S. ; A. A. Fosness, chaplain ; S. D. Sum- 
mer, tvler. An eastern Star lodge is also 


Two banking institutions are conducted 
in Lakefield. They are the Jackson Coun- 
ty State Bank and the First National 
Bank. The town's banking history an- 
tedates the founding of either of these in- 
stitutions, however, by several years. The 
Jackson County Bank, a private institu- 
tion, was the first to open its doors. It 
began business September 8, 1886, with 
the following officers: J. S. VanWinkle, 
president ; T. F. Barbee, vice president ; 
M. E. Lawton. cashier. Mr. Lawton was 
in charge of the bank and conducted it 
until April, 1889, when it went out of 
business. In August, 1889, the Bank of 
Lakefield was opened by Graves, McClin- 
tock & Company, with Wyatt H. Graves in 
charge. It did not have the confidence 
of the people, and its life was short. 

The first permanent banking institution 

organized was the Jackson County Bank 
(succeeded by the Jackson County State 
Bank), which opened its doors September 
2, 1890, with subscribed and pledged capi- 
tal of $50,000. The officers and board of 
directors consisted of the following named 
gentlemen : A. L. Ward, president ; H. J. 
Hollister, vice president; M. H. Evans, 
cashier; E. Sevatson, N. J. Scott, John 
Frederickson, James Kilen. The incor- 
porators and stockholders were W. A. 
Funk, David Crawford, C. M. Tradewell, 
N. J. Scott, H. J. Hollister, James Kilen, 
Calvin Young, -James Kula, John Freder- 
ickson, A. E. Kilen, L. J. Britsch, E. 
Sevatson, A. L. Ward and M. H. Evans. 

The Jackson County Bank was conduc- 
ted as a private institution until May 8, 
1893, when it was reorganized as the 
Jackson County State Bank, with a paid 
up capital of $25,000. The officers and 
board of directors under the new organi- 
zation were A. L. Ward, president; N. J. 
Scott, vice president; M. H. Evans, cash- 
ier; David Crawford, H. J. Hollister, Cal- 
vin Young and John Frederickson. There 
was a change in management in May, 
1895, when the following officers and di- 
rectors were chosen : N. J. Scott, presi« 
dent; Calvin Young, vice president; M. 
H. Evans, cashier; F. L. Leonard, 
assistant cashier ; John Frederickson, 
David Crawford, D. L. Eiley, William 
Searles. The handsome brick building, 
which is still the home of the bank, was 
erected in 1896. 

In July, 1901, Messrs. J. M. Putman 
and H. L. Bond bought the majority 
stock of the bank from M. H. Evans and 
have since had the active management. 
The present officers are J. M. Putman, 
president; A. A. Fosness, vice president; 
H. L. Bond, cashier; J. G. Branch, as- 
sistant ca.«hier. That the business of this 
financial institution is increasing is shown 
by the fact that in 1901 the deposits were 



$133,000, while according to the state- 
ment of February 5, 1909, they were 

The Citizens State Bank (succeeded 
by the First National Bank) was organ- 
ized May 30, 1899, witli a paid up capital 
of $26,000 and with the following officers 
and directors: F. W. Thompson, presi- 
dent; J. W. Daubney, ea.shier; N. J. 
Scott, H. J. HoUistor, Scott Searle-s B. 
Bear and C. J. Weiser. The Citizens 
State Bank was the name of the institu- 
timi until Januarv. 1903. when it was re- 

organized as the First National Bank of 
I^jikefield. January 17, 1907, J. C. Cald- 
well was made president and P. W. Blan- 
ker! cashier, the latter being succeeded 
by A. .T. Nestrud a year later. Through 
the efforts of the president most of the 
stock passed into the hands of farmers re- 
siding in the vicinity of Lakefield, so that 
it is now practically a farmers' l)ank. 
From the date of Mr. ('aid well's aciejit- 
ing the presidency, the deposits have in- 
creased from $180,000 to about $250,- 

*«T0. U^^ *M0 






HEKON LAKE— 1871-1910. 

HERON Lake, an incorporated vil- 
lage of about 1,000 inhabitants 
(898, according to the 1905 cen- 
sus), is the second oldest town in the 
county. It is in the northwestern part 
of the county, in Weimer township, not 
far from the foot of the lake after which 
it is named. It is on the main line of 
the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & 
Omaha railroad and is the terminus of the 
Black Hills branch of that line. As a 
railroad point Heron Lake surpasses 
every other town in Jackson county. The 
village is surrounded by a very fertile 
farming country, and it has always been 
a prosperous municipality. 

While the country along the Des Moines 
river in Jackson county was settled in 
a very early day, the prairie country re- 
mained unsettled until long afterward. In 
fact, only a few had builded homes in 
that part of the county surrounding the 
future village of Heron Lake until a year 
or two l)ef ore the town was founded. 
When, in 1870, there was great activity in 
railway circles and it was rumored that the 
St. Paul & Sioux City road would extend 
its line through southwestern Minnesota, 
passing just to the north of Heron lake, 
some far sighted people began to locate 
homesteads in the prairie country about 
Heron lake. Said the Jackson Republic 

of April 2, 1870 : "At Heron lake, in the 
northwest corner of the county, there is 
quite a settlement; the prospect of the 
early completion of the St. Paul & Sioux 
City railroad and the possibility that it 
will pass in this vicinity have called here 
a good number of settlers." 

The track of the Sioux City & St. Paul 
railroad was not laid through Jackson 
county until the fall of 1871. but in the 
spring of that year the route was selected 
and sites for stations chosen. It was ap- 
parently the first intention of the com- 
pany to locate the principal town on sec- 
tion 9, Alba township, which was to be 
called Sibley. The first mention the press 
makes of this site was on June 10. A little 
later the Heron Lake site was chosen and 
the intention of establishing the Sibley 
station was given up.^ The Heron Lake 
site was selected late in June,= but nothing 
was done toward platting or building a 
town there until a short time before the 
tracklaying was completed in the fall. 

The roadbed was gi-aded to the site in 

'■■.\t Siblev. the new railway town on section 
9 township 10,3. range 3S, we learn a store has 
been built and filled with a stock of goods. Thus 
is the 'wilderness made to blossom as the 
rose.' " — Jackson Republic, July 29, 1871. 

="West of Heron lake, three miles, another 
station has been located, and from here it is 
expected will be accommodated the Graham 
Lakes community, and the large settlements 
that are now, and destined to be, made west 
and northwest will make an important town 
here." — Jackson Republic, July 1, 1871, 




September, and surveyors appeared late in 
that month to survey tlie townsite, al- 
though the plat was not put on record 
until the next spring. The town was sur- 
veyed by Alex L. Beach and the dedica- 
tion was made by the Sioux City & St. 
Paul Railway company, by Elias F. Drake, 
it.'! president. The dedication was made 
April 22, 1872, the original plat consist- 
ing of eleven blocks.'' It was located on 
.■section 19. Weiiucr townsliip, which was 
included in tlie land grant to the Sioux 
City & St. Paul Railroad company.* 

While the surveyors were yet dividing 
the land into blocks and lots and before 
the railroad was completed to the pros- 
pective town, in the month of October, 
the first inhabitants came. They were 
John T. Smith and C. H. Carroll, who 
had been conducting a store at Big Bend, 
in Cottonwood county, to which place it 
had been believed the railroad would 
build. The route having been changed 
and Heron Lake selected as a site 
for a town, Jfessrs. Smith and Car- 
roll abandoned their location at Big Bend 
and came to engage in business in the new 
town. They found the site raw prairie 
land, without a stick on it, and had to 
burn a strip of prairie grass to get a 
place to pile thoir lumber. Mr. Smith 
bought a lot on ]\Iain street— the first 
lot sold in (he new town — but had to 

'Addition.s to Heron Lake have been platted 
as follows: 

First, by the S. C. & St. P. Rv. To. Julv 15. 
ISSO; siirve.ved by John O. Brunlii.s. 

Smith's, by John T. Smith Janiinrv 30. 1S94- 
siirvcvert by I.. I,. Palmer. 

Iirakes First, by Harry T. Drake. Alex M 
Unikf and William H. LiKhtner. as executors 
of the will of Ellas F. Drake. November 7 
1S!I4; surveyed by Orrln Na.son. 

Benson's, by John W. Benson August 31 
1S95: surveyed by J. I,. Hoist. 

Wood's, by riark A. Wood May 19. 1S9B; .siir- 
veved by J. I,. Hoist. 

Smiths Subdivision of Blocks 1. 10 and 11, 
First .Addition, by John T. Smith May 4. 1897: 
surveyed by Orrln Nason. 

'The l)oundaries of Heron Lake now Include 
the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter 
of section .10. as well as the whole of section 
19. Thai forty-acre tract was homcsti'aded hv 
John T. Smith, who received his patent Decem- 
ber 30, 1878. 

wait for the surveyors to subdivide block 
seven before he could locate his lot, which 
was number fifteen. The partners haul- 
ed hiniber from Mankato to start tlieir 
store building, but before it was finished 
the railroad was completed and luiiil)cr 
was shipped in. 

.\Imost simultaneously the three first 
buildings were put up. These were the 
general store of Smith & Carroll, tlie 
drug store of Dr. R. R. "Foster, which 
was located on lot fifteen of block seven, 
and the depot, which occupied the present 
location of the Heron I^ke depot. Only 
two other business houses were started be- 
fore tiie close of the year 1871. The lum- 
ber yard of Crocker Brothers & Laiiior- 
eaux, with J. A. Town as manager, was 
opened for business early in November. 
.\ little office building was erected, but 
the lumber stock was piled in the open. 
The other enterprise wa.« the Pioneer ho- 
tel, which was built by John Robson on 
the present site ■ of the Farmers State 
Bank building and which was opened for 
l>usiness late in the fall. The Heron 
Tiake postoffice was established in Novem- 
ber. John T. Smith was the pastmaster, 
and he cojiducted the office in his store." 
The village of Heron Lake had been 
founded too late in the fall to make much 
progress during 1871. and the four busi- 
ness houses before nieniioned were the on- 
ly enterprises started in the year of found- 
ing. But in 1872, when train service was 
e.i|ablished on the new road and the sur- 
rounding country was rapidly settling 
with new arrivals, the little village was 
the scene of much activity. During the 
summer months nearly every train 

-John T. Smith served as postmaster from 
November. 1871. to May. 1ST7. He wa.s suc- 
ceeded by Dr. J. F. Force, who served several 
years, GeorRe C Cooley was the next post- 
master, holding the office \intll K. D. BrlgRs 
took eharpe September I. ISS.'). Carl S. East- 
wood was appointed in AuRust. 1889. served 
several ye irs. and was succeeded by B. Pop- 
pllz. C. A. Wood became postmaster In March. 
1SS9. and served until Carl S. Eastwood was 
appointed on his present term. 



brought new comers to locate iipou the 
fertile lands in the vicinity, and the town 
grew in proportion. A correspondent to 
one of the twin city papers, writing in 
September, said: "This village, which 
sprang into existence last fall, is rapidly 
growing and becoming the center of trade 
for a large tract of country. New build- 
ings are constantly being erected, and the 
place bids fair to be a town of consider- 
able importance ere long." 

Knute Thompson opened a small hard- 
ware store — a branch for H. L. Parker, 
of St. James— in the spring of 1873, 
which was under the management of Mr. 
Thompson for a time and later of ]\Ir. 
Graves. The stock was bought by Smith 
& Carroll in September. J. W. Benson 
& Company erected a commodious two- 
story building during the summer and 
opened a general merchandise store in 
September. Smith & Carroll built a four- 
teen foot addition to their store to meet 
the increasing demands of their trade and 
erected tlie town's first warehouse, which 
was ready to receive grain in September. 
Pixley & Stone opened a saloon where 
the First National Bank building now 
stands in August, Mr. Pixley becoming 
sole owner next month. Dr. Foster bought 
the Pioneer house and made improve- 
ments on it. Mr. Jones became the land- 
lord. Ealph Town became the manager 
of the Crocker Brothers & Lamoreaux lum- 
ber yards. George Hubbs opened the 
town's second lumber yard in November 
and erected a residence. J. B. Pixley 
opened a furniture store. H. J. Bosworth, 
the station agent, took tlie agencv for 
agricultural implements and vehicles and 
put in a small stock. William Dahl built 
a residence and ran a boarding house. 
John Weir erected a building next to 
John T. Smith's store late in the fall and 
engaged in the hardware business. So far 
as I am able to learn this completes the 

list of jH'ivate impro\ements in the youth- 
ful town during 1872. During the year a 
mail route was established between Heron 
Lake and Currie, by way of the Graham 
Lakes country, which was in operation un- 
til 1879. The citizens dug a public well 
in the middle of Main street, which was 
considered quite an improvement at tliat 
early date. The fir.-t birth m the village 
occurred in 1872, when a child was born 
to Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Bosworth. Heron 
Lake had a population of about fifty peo- 
ple when it was one year of age. 

The number engaged in business and 
the population of the town during the 
first year of its history does not convey 
a trutliful idea of its importance as a 
trading point. Its merchants drew trade 
from an immense territory. For long 
distances nortli and south Heron Lake was 
the only railroad town, and retail trade 
came there from countries now tributary 
to Slayton, Avoca and Fulda, from half 
way to Worthington, half way to Windom, 
half way to Jackson, and for a time from 
tlie Big Bend country. In addition to 
having the retail trade of this large ter- 
ritory, Heron Lake was the distributing 
point for a much larger territory, much 
of the goods sold to merchants of Jackson, 
Spirit Lake, Iowa, and other interior 
points coming by way of Heron Lake. 
During the first two years of the town's 
history its merchants did an immense bus- 
iness and prospered. 

Several new business houses were 
founded in 1873. N. Dahl opened a sa- 
loon in the hotel building. Mrs. Fremer 
opened a photograph gallery. John Jung- 
l)auer started a blacksmith shop in July. 
Johnson & Dieson started the third gener- 
al store in August. A directory of the 
business houses in September, 1873, listed 
the following: 

.John T. Smith, general store. 

J. W. Benson & Company, general store. 

Johnson & Dieson, general store. 



.lolin Weir, liardwaie. 

R. U. Foster, drug and furniture store. 

K. E. Town, lumber yard. 

Mr. Larson, lumber vard. 

.1. P. Prescott, hotel.' 

.1. F. Koree, pliysician. 

.T. H. Pi.vlcy, saloon. 

Mr. .Johnson, shoe shoii. 

As (lid tlio other towns of soutlnvestern 
Minnesota during the terrible grasshop- 
per scourge, Heron Lake suffered severely. 
During tliese years — 1873-1878 — no prog- 
ress was made : the town was at a stand- 
still and tiie merchants lost their profits 
of former years. In 1875 the population 
was estimated at nearly 100, and the fol- 
lowing lines of business were represented : 
Three general stores, one hardware store, 
two hotels, warehouse, photograph gal- 
lery, shoe sho]), furniture store, macliin- 
ery depot, two lumber yards, one fuel 

The year 1879 marked the turning 
point to better times. The disappear- 
ani'o of the grasshoppers and the build- 
ing of two new lines of railroad in the 
vicinity were the causes of the return of 
prosperity and advancement. The failure 
of the Southern Jlinne.sota railroad to 
cross the Siou.x City road at Heron Lake 
was a disapixjintmcnt," but the building 
of the Black Hills branch of the Sioux 
City & St. Paul fioni Heron Lake to the 
northwest more than offset this. While 
the roads were building new settlers came 
to locate upon lands along the new roads, 
and the effect ujion the t<iwn was good. 

"■•It has been suKTSestcd that should the South- 
ern Minnesot.i railroad cross l>etween this plare 
and Hersey 1 Brewster] the two towns 
would be moved to the crossing. As for Her- 
.sey we are not able to sav. but as for Heron 
Lake, we think the idea absiu-d. and we are 
quite sure It will not affect the town In the 
least. It will cut i>IT but a small ami>unt of 
the trade now tributary to this town, which will 
be more than supplied by the Increase In sef- 
tlemi'iit. The country surroundInK is fertile, 
and We think this town will be sustained, and 
whether the Southern Minnesota here 
or not this town will hold Its own at least and 
will undoubtedly Increase In Importance."— 
Heron Lake Correspondent. April 19, 1879. 

A Heron Lake correspondent, writing in 
November, 1879, said : 

Twelve new buildings to represent nearly as 
many departments of business are now in pro- 
cess of construction. Never in the history of 
this place have its merchants experienced "such 
business activity as the past summer and 
present fall. Week in ami week out since early 
spring have they been taxed to their utmost 
to procure help and stock to supply the im- 
mense demand for merchandise. 

During the last half of the year ISTO 
nearly $2.5,000 were spent in building im- 
provements, as follows: 

Chapman & Drake, hotel building .* S.OOO 

.T. T. Smith, hay pressing establishment ^.'tOO 
.7. AV. Benson & Co., hay pressing es- 

tablisliment 3.000 

St. P. & S. C. Ry. Co., depot, engine 

house, ete 3.500 

IT. S. Oraves. hotel building 1. 000 

•T. P. Prescott, residence 1.000 

K. T). Prigtrs, residence and oflTiec 1.000 

M. TTazelton, residence and -ihop 1.000 

Mikelson. residence and barn 800 

B. .J. Svennes. residence and shop 300 

rjeorce Cope, residence 300 

Catholic chtirch ,300 

Sidewalks : 300 

•T. F. Force, improvements ZaO 

T,. C. Wood, improvements 2.50 

T. A. Dieson. store IO.t 

f!radinff streets 100 

Iv. B. Foster, improvements 75 

Total ft24.740 

In 1880 a census of the town showed a 
population of Ifi,"?. The building improve- 
ments ke])t pace with the growth in pop- 
ulation. It was reported in .Inly, 1880, 
that twenty now buildings had been erec- 
ted since spring opened. One of the most 
important events in Heron Lake's historv- 
occurred in the fall of 1881, when .Tolin 
T. Smith l)uilt the first tow mill in the 
state of Minnesota and established a busi- 
ness which has added much to the town's 
jirosperity. The main building was 84x 
100 feet, and it was said to have been 
the largest tow mill in the world. 

.Vltbough their town was yet a mere 
hamlet, the citizens of Heron Lake, in 
the fall of 1881. asked the legislature for 
a charter granting tliein municipal gov- 








ernuient. An act was approved Novem- 
ber 17, 1881, providing for the incorpo- 
ration of section 19, Weimer township/ 
and naming T. A. Dieson, C. A. Wood 
and J. F. Force commissioners to conduct 
the preliminaries. The first village elec- 
tion was held January 3, 1882, and the 
first village council met and organized 
January 9. 

Following is a list of all who have been 
elected to village office from the date of 
incorporation to the present time:' 

1882— President, E. J. Graves; trustees, G. 
H. Perry, John Weir, E. D. Briggs; recorder, 
S. S. Haislett; treasurer, L. F. Lammers; jus- 
tice, -J. E. .Tones; constable, B. J. Svennes. 

1883— President, C. A. Wood; trustees, E. D. 
Briggs, Ole SeJeen, J. W. Benson; recorder, 
Jliles Hazelton; treasurer, L. F. Lammers. 

1884— President, E. D. Briggs; trustees, B. 
J. Svennes, A. J. McSehooler, W. S. Freer; re- 
corder, T. A. Dieson: treasurer, L. F. Lam- 
mers; justices," C. A. Wood, P. F. McNair; 
constable, R. E. Dickens. 

1885- President, E. D. Briggs; trustees, E. 
J. Graves, A. J. McSliooler, A. A. Lommerland ; 
recorder, T. A. Dieson; treasurer, L. F. Lam- 
mers; constable, A. J. McShooler. Joseph 

1886— President, E. D. Briggs; trustees. E. 
J. Graves, T. A. Jones, A. A. Lommerland; re- 
corder, G. C. Cooley; treasurer, T. A. Dieson; 
justices, C. R. J. Kellam, J. E. .Jones; con- 
stable, J. F. Knott. 

1887- President, T. A. .Jones; trustees, J. D. 
Wilson, C. A. Wood," A. A. Lommerland; re- 

'-■it a special election held June 27. 1899, 
the corporate limits were increased by the ad-^ 
dition of Smith's addition- the northeast quar- 
ter of the northeast quarter of section 30. The 
vote was ten in favor of annexation to six 

'The license question has often been voted 
upon at the annual village elections under the 
local option law. With the exception of the 
year 1SS3 license was granted during all the 
early history of the town. Since 1893 the vote 
has been as follows: 

1893— For, 73; against, 55. 

1894 — License carried. 

1895 — License carried. 

1896— For, 91; against. 69. 

1897— For. 62; against, 73. 

1898— For. 64; against, 104. 

1899 — License carried by 36 majority. 

1900 — License carried by G majority 

1901— For. 135; against. 72. 

1902— For, 111; against, 73. 

1903 — Tie vote; license granted. 

1904— For, 115; against, 92, 

1905— For. 95; against. SO. 

1906— Fo»i 96: against. 108. 

1907— For, 84: against, 78. 

1908— For, 123: against, 74. 

1909 — Not an issue. 

'At a special election in Ma.v, 1884, C. R. J, 
Kellam and J. E. Jones were elected justices. 

corder, C. S. Eastwood; treasurer, T. A. Die- 
son, assessor, J. E. Jones; constable, W. S. 

1888— President, J. D. Wilson; trustees, 
Henry Knudson, H. J. Arnold; John Trimble; 
recorder, C. S. Eastwood; treasurer, T. A. Die- 
son; justices, C. R. J. Kellam, J. E. Jones; 
constables, W. S. Freer, !Mike Larson. 

1889- President, J. D. Wilson; trustees, 
Jienry Knudson, H. J. Arnold, John Trimble; 
recorder, C. S. Eastwood; treasurer, T. A. Die- 
son ; constable, W. S. Freer. 

1890— President, J. D. Wilson; trustees, T. 
A. Jones, Henry Knudson, H. J. Aronld: re- 
c;order, C. S. Eastwood; treasurer, T. A. Die- 
.son; justices, John E. Jones, Joseph J. .Jones; 
constable. D. N. Miller, W. S. Freer. 

1891— President, H. j. Arnold; trustees, T. 

A. Jones, B. Poppitz, ^^'. J. Jones; recorder, C. 
S. Eastwood; treasurer. T. A. Dieson; con- 
stable, D. N. Miller. 

1892 — President, Joseph J. Jones; trustees, 

B. Poppitz, W. J. Jones, T. A. Jones; recorder, 
Henry Knudson; treasurer, T. A. Dieson. 

1893— President, Joseph J. Jones; trustees, 
T. A. Jones, B. Poppitz, John McGlin; recor- 
der, T. A. Alexander; treasurer, T. A. Dieson; 
justice, John McCarvel; constable, John Nor- 
ton, R. H. Kidney. 

1894 — President, John L. Gessel; trustees, B. 
P. St. John, J. F.' Humiston, W. N. Williams; 
recorder, W. J. Jones;" treasurer, J. S. Kib- 
bey; justice, G. C. Cooley; constables, C. A. 
Wood, E. O. Auberg. 

1895 — President, John McGlin; trustees, P. 
D. McKellar, B. P. St. John. W. N. Williams; 
recorder, F. A. Stenert; treasurer, C. H. Ca- 
liot; justice, .John Woolstencroft. 

1896 — President, John McGlin; trustees, Jos- 
eph J. .Jones, .John McCarvel, B. B. Sontag; re- 
corder, F. A. Steuert; treasurer, C. H. Cabot; 
justice, C. R. J. Kellam; constables, W. E. 
Spaulding, £. O. Auberg. 

1897— President, D. Brown; trustees, J. F. 
Humiston, G. A. Fairfield, B. B. Sontag; re- 
corder, William J. .Jones; treasurer, C. H. 
Cabot; justices, W. E. Spaulding; constable, 
Elmer Spaulding. 

1898— President. B. B. Sontag; trustees, B. 
P. St. John, W. N. Williams, John McGlin; re- 
corder, W. J. .Jones; treasurer, C. H. Cabot; 
justices, G. A. Fairfield, W. H. Kessler; con- 
stables, Elmer Spaulding, Erick Auberg. 

1899— President, John McGlin; trustees, B. 
P. St. .John, B. B. Sontag, Frank Humiston; 
recorder, W. J. Jones; treasurer, Bruno Pop- 
pitz; justices, W. H. Kessler, John Woolsten- 
croft; constables, Fllmer Spaulding, E. 0. Au- 

1900— President, J. J. Jones; trustees, B. B. 
Sontag, B. P. St. .John, E. J. Grimes; recorder, 
W. J. Jones; treasurer, B. Poppitz; assessor, 
W. L. Callison; justice. C. R. J. Kellam; con- 
stables, Mike Wood, Elmer Spaulding. 

1901— President, B. P. St. John: trustees, B. 
•"Resigned April 17, 1887; T. E. Hill appointed 
April 19. 

"F. A. Steuert appointed recorder February 
19. 1895. W. J. Jones having left town. 



B. Soiitng, C. H. Caliot, V. K. Hansen; recor- 
der, J. K. Koss; treasurer, 15. I'oppilz; justiee, 
G. A. Fairfield. 

1902— President, B. P. St. John; trustees, B. 
B. Sontag, C. U. Cabot, William Bieter; re 
corder, J. E. Foss; treasurer, C. A. Kobsoii; 
assessor, W. L. Caliison; justico, C. R. J. Kel- 
1am; constables, Jl. Jl. Wood, W. S. Freer. 

1903— President, C. 11. Cabot; trustees, B. 
P. St. John, William Bieter, B. B. Sontag; re- 
corder, J. K. Foss; treasurer, C. A. Robson; 
assessor, Frank Uumiston; justice, J. J. Jones; 
constables, Peter MikUclson, E. F. Bartholo- 

1904 — President, \'. K. Butler; trustees, J. 
J. Jones, E. J. tirinies, B. Poppitz; recorder, 
F. J. Humiston; treasurer, J. F. Liepold; as- 
sessor, Albert Dieson; justices, C. R. J. Kel- 
Uim, C. S. Eastwood; constables, G. J. Alexan- 
der, W. S. Freer. 

1903 — President, L. F. Lammers; trustees, 
John L. (iessell, 15. Poppitz, Joseph J. Jones; 
recorder, Frank Humioton; treasurer, J. F. 
Humiston; assessor, Chris Johnson; justice, C. 
R. J. Kellani: constable. J. E. Rider. 

190G — President, L. F. Lammers; trustees, 15. 
B. Sontag, T. A. Behronfeld. S. H. Berkness; 
recorder, J. W. Young: treasurer, C. A. Rob- 
son; assessor. Chris Johnson; constables, W. 
S. Freer, Elmer Spaulding. 

1907 — President. L. F. Lammers; trustees, C. 
H. Cabot, John Woolstencrnft. B. B. Sontag; 
recorder, Fred Cooley; tieasurer. Albert Rob- 
son; assessor, Chris .Johnson: justice. C. R. .1. 
Kellam; constables, W. H. Myers, Max Hart- 

1908— President, J. F. Liepold; trustees, A. 
J. Moe. W. J. Ross, B. B. Sontag; recorder, F. 
A. Cooley: treasurer. Albert Robson; assessor, 
Chris Johnson; justice, John Woolstencroft; 
constables. (!. J. Alexander, Ernest Rippon. 

1909— President. J. F. Liepold: trustees, A. 
J. Moe, B, B. Sontag, Will Drews: recorder, F. 
A. Cooley; treasurer. Albert Rnhson; assessor. 
Chris Johnson; justice, C. R. J. Kellam; con- 
stables, F. .Jarmer, Max Hartneck. 

The e.«tiiblis1imcut of the tow mill and 
the prevailing prosperous times made the 
year 1882 a memorable one in Heron 
Lake's history. Said a writer who visited 
the town in March: "We were consider- 
ably surprised at the many evidences of 
thrift, enterprise and go-aheadativeness 
displayed in Heron Lake, and we doubt 
if any town of like size in southern ^lin- 
nesota can surpass or even equal the town 
in these respects. Many new buildings 
have made their appearance within the 
past year and evidences of thriving trade 
are plentiful," The building improve- 

ments completed during the year amount- 
ed to over $17,000 jhuI were itemized as 

• I. \V. Benson & Co., creamery (includ- 
ing fixtures) " $ 5,000 

John T. Smith, fourteen tenement 

houses 4,200 

T. A. Dieson, residence 1,500 

L. F. Lammers, residence .000 

L. F. Lammers, millinery store 300 

tJohn Robinson, residence 600 

John Woolstencroft, billiard hall 850 

.1. F. Force, store 1,500 

Mrs. Nelson, residence 300 

T. A. Dieson, tenement house 500 

J. F. Force, tenement house 600 

E. 1). Briggs, addition 200 

Johnson &, Dieson, store improvements. 300 
C. R. J. Kellam, drug store improve- 
ments 200 

J. T. Smith, improvements 200 

P. McNair, residence 500 

L. Readle, barn loii 

N. Edbamer, barn K'li 

J. E. Jones, improvements 200 

Total $17,750 

But the amount expended in improve- 
ments gives little idea of the voluuio of 
busine.«s done. Three thousand tons of 
llax straw were marketed in the village, 
manufactured into tow. and shipped to 
tlio eastern markots, while four thous;ind 
ton.- of )ny were baled and sliippeci. The 
vohime of business done during the year 
(not including professional business) 
amounted to a quarter of a million dol- 
lars, divided among the several firms as 

John T. Smith, general merchandise. 

baled tow, hay, etc $100,000 

.T. W. Benson & Co.. general merchan- 
dise, creamery, hay. etc tiO.Oiin 

.Tohnson & Dieson, general merchandise 2(1,000 
J. F. Force, drugs and general mer- 
chandise 16,000 

Hazelton & Frecmire, general mer- 
chandise 6,000 

C. R. J. Kellam. drugs, notions, etc. . . 2..500 

E. J. Craves & Co., lumber 18,000 

J. E. Jones, grain 2.000 

J. S. Titus, saddlery 2.0(>(» 

Wood & Freer, liverv 1,00(1 

C. E. Marsh. Chapman hotel 6,000 

C. A. Wood, Pioneer hotel 3,500 

,Tohn Woolstencroft. billiard hall <. 5,000 

C. O. Michelson, meat market 3,000 

L. Sitzcr, meat market 2,500 

"As prepared by a Heron I^kc resident In 


B. J. Svennes, shoe shop, boarding min and a hay barn, coal sheds, stock 

T. A. Jones^ blacksmith shop.' '.'.'....'.'.'. 900 J^^d and oil house burned, entailing a loss 
John Robson, blac-ksmitli shop 900 of $75,000, of which only $20,000 was re- 
Total $249,300 covered in insurance. The fire was a fierce 

one, and only the favorable direction of 
During the entire decade of the eighties ^j^^ ^^.j^j ^^^^j ^j^^ ^^^^,^ ^^^^^ destruction. 
Heron Lake prospered, as did the country g^^j^g ^f ^^g buildings on the north side 
at large. There was no feverish boom, „f t^^ ^rack took fire from flying sparks, 
but the growth was steady and of a sub- b,,^ th^ flames were extinguished before 
stantial character— keeping pace witli the j^.^ggg resulted. The second disastrous 
progress of the .surrounding country. In fi,^ occurred in October, 1904, when the 
1884 the following were engaged in busi- ,0^3^, amounted to al)out $6.5,000. The 
ness m Heron Lake : John T. Smith, gen- g^. John elevator, the Benson elevator and 
era! merchandise and tow mill; J. W. ^^g Western Implement company's store- 
Benson, general merchandise and cream- jj„„,g ,^.gi.g g^tirely destroyed with all 
ery: Johnson & Dieson, general merchan- their contents. Eighty thousand bushels 
dise; John Weir, hardware; Lammers & „f g^^ij, ^^j gj^^ggj, f,gight g.^^.^ ^^.g^e also 
Wood, general merchandise; J. F. Force, i^urned 
drug store; C. E. J. Kellam, drug store; 

E. J. Graves, lumber and real estate; C. the schools. 
E. Marsh, Chapman house; W. S. Freer, During the first year of its history Her- 
Pioneer house; B. J. Svennes, La Crosse on Lake had only a private school. On 
house; E. D. Briggs, attorney. December 17, 187?, a meeting of citizens 
In 1885 the population of Heron Lake was held at John Weir's store to take steps 
reached 280. That year there was some toward the organization of a district and 
advance, the building improvements the building of a public school house. Eev. 
amounting to $9,500. Comparative dull John Benson was chairman of the meeting 
times prevailed in 1886, but the next year and John Dalziel was secretary. As & 
the Heron Lake News reported the expen- result of this meeting the next session of 
diture of $48,000 in new buildings in the the legislature passed a bill authorizing 
village. The hard times period following the organization of an independent dis- 
the panic of 1893 temporarily checked the trict at Heron Lake — the first independ- 
growth of the town, but the recovery was out district in Jack.'ion county. The or- 
quick, and we find that in 1895 the pop- ganization of the district was perfected in 
ulation had increased to 646. During the March, 1873, when the following named 
next five years there was another increase, gentlemen were elected as the first board 
the census of 1900 giving the town a pop- of education : E. C. Sanders, George 
ulation of 928. There has been but little Hubbs, A. McSchooler, Ralph Town, John 
increase since that census, but in a busi- Weir and Zebulon Judd. 
ness way Heron Lake has prospered and A school election was held at Jones' 
today ranks as one of the most progressive hotel April 12, 1873, at which time a ma- 
little cities of southern Minnesota. jority of the voters declared in favor of 
In the history of the town there have bonding the district in the sum of $2,000 
been two bad fires. The first of these to raise funds for the immediate construc- 
occurred Tuesday afternoon, November tion of a school house. The bonds were 
10, 1898, when the John T. Smith tow issued and a building erected, in which, 


iTT^^Trnn' of .t atkron county. 

liowc'ver, the B!)])tist cliurth soiicty Ima an 

Jn the spring ol' 188G the district de- 
cided to sell the nld school lioii.-;e to the 
village and issue honds to the amount of 
$3,000 for the purpose of erecting a suit- 
able building on the lots donated by E. 
F. Drake. At an election in June the bonds 
were voted, C7 to 52. \ school building 
costing about $5,000 was put up during 
the suninier of 188?. It was used as a 
public school house until 189G, w'hen it 
was sold to the Catholic church society, 
and it is now utilized, with additions, as 
a parochial school building by that church. 

By a vote of 258 to 59, at a special 
election April 1, 1896, bonds to the 
amount of $20,000 were voted for a new 
school house. The contract for the erec- 
tion of the building wa.s let May 19, 1896, 
to J. D. Carroll on a bid of $18,-147, the 
corner stone was laid with ceremonies 
July 18, and it was dedicated in Novem- 
ber. This handsome ])rick structure, one 
of the finest public school buildings in 
southwestern Minnesota, was totally de- 
s.troyed by fire Decendier 31, 1901, to- 
gether with about $5,000 worth of equip- 
ment. It was insured for $18,300. There- 
after for several months school was con- 
ducted in the various cliurches, halls and 
.=tore buildings. The school house w^as re- 
built during the summer of 1002 and 
was occujiied for the first time lato that 


Four cluirch societies maintain active 
organizations in Heron T^ake, namely: 
Methodist Episcopal, Catholic, Salem Lu- 
tiieran and Norwegian Lutheran. Several 
other church societies have been formed 

""The Baptist church Is all enclosed and Is 
a fine bulldlnR. It Is to be used as a school 
house for three venrs. when It will become ex- 
chislvelv a church. All denomlnntions will wor- 
ship In' It for the present. thouRh It Is controll- 
ed by the Baptist society."— Heron Lake Cor- 
respondent, July 9, 1873. 

at diU'ereiil times in the town's history, 
but aiv now dormant. Very soon after tiie 
founding of the village the residents took 
steps to secure religious worship, and in 
tiie summer of 1872 some money was 
raised to help build a church, but it was 
the next year before a house of worship 
was erected. 

The oldest church organization is the 
.Methodist l'>i)iscopal. Services were held 
as early as 1872, conductetl by Rev. W. 
yi. Bear, but it was not until June 9, 
1873, that an organization was perfected. 
On that date, Presiding Elder G. W. T. 
Wright appointed as trustees Rev. J. Ben- 
son, P. M. Jones, J. F. Force, (i. H. 
liublis and John T. Smith, ''they to be a 
body corporate under the name and style 
the First Methodist Episcopal church of 
Heron Lake." .\mong the charter mem- 
hers were C. A. Wood, Lucinda Wood, J. 
T. Smith, Sarah J. Smith, J. F. Force, 
Sarah J. Force, J. Benson, Mrs. J. Ben- 
son, David W. Edwards. Martha Edwards, 
Sarah (iibbs, Elizabeth Parish, Mrs. 
Rupert, George Aldrich, V. G. Mott, 
Edward Rodgers, ^Martha iL Rodger?, Eli 
11. Bowman and EIroda Bowman. 

For several years the society worship- 
ped in the Baptist church building, which 
was the first erected in the town. Through 
the efforts of Rev. H. S. Eldied and oth- 
ers, $1,000 toward the erection o( a church 
edifice had been raised in January, 1SS(>. 
One-half of this was secured by sub- 
scription, the balance from the church ex- 
tension society. In June, 1S87, the build- 
ing was completed, and the Methodists 
liad a hnme of their own. .V jiarsonage 
was erected in 1895. The old church 
Uuililing answered the purposes until 1902. 
when it was replaced by the present hand- 
some building, which cost $8,000. The cor- 
ner stone of the new structure was laid 
July 21, 1902, and the dedication services 
were held December 7, 1902, conducted 






by Bishop 1. W. Joj-ce. The Methodist 
society has prospered and has a large 
membership. It maintains a Sunday school, 
Epworth League, Ladies' Aid Society and 
Womens' Foreign Missionary society. Rev. 
W. H. Irwin is the present pastor and the 
following constitute the board of trustees : 
J. W. Benson, J. I). Wilson, E. L. Ecker, 
C. A. Wood, C. K. Willard, B. B. Sontag, 
B. P. St. John, ]\[ilo Smith and Pascal 

Following is a list of tlie jjastors who 
have supplied tlie pulpit of the Methodist 
Episcopal cluirili of Heron Lake and the 
dates of their appointment: W. j\I. Bear, 
1873; W. H. Mock, 1873; D. Stone, 1874; 
W. M. Bear, 1876; H. J. Vanfossen, 
1877; W. L. Demorest, 1878; J. C. Ogle, 
1879; F. Smith, 1880; W. M. Bear, 1881; 
L. Glea.son, 1882.; W. Wilkinson, 1883; 
H. S. Eldred, 1884; M. J. Godfrey, 1886; 
J. Haubridge, 1887; D. P. Olin, 1888 
(part); William Gibson, 1888; E. W. 
Haley, 1891; G. W. Burtcli, 1893; L. A. 
Wilsey, 1894; J. F. Porter, 1896; J. 
W. Raveille, 1897; J. F. Van Camp, 
1900; D. C. McColm, 1903; C. W. Morse, 
1904: W. C. Sage, 1905; W. H. Irwin, 

The Baptist society was the second to 
perfect an organization. On July 21, 
1873, a meeting was lield, presided over 
by R. E. Town, at which the organization 
was completed with the selection of E. C. 
Sanders, John AVeir and R. E. Town as 
trustees. The society erected a church 
building the same year, which was used as 
A house of worship by all denominations, 
as the public school building, as a place 
for public entertainment, and by all so- 
cieties. The church society was main- 
tained for several years. 

The Scandinavian Lutherans had a 
church organization in Heron Lake in tlic 
early seventies, but it was later when the 
organizations were perfected. In 1886 

money was raised for the erection of a 
church building. For several years the 
Salem Lutheran and Norwegian Lutheran 
congregations, although maintaining sep- 
arate organizations, worsliipped in the 
same church alternating Sundays. This 
continued until Se23tember 3, 1894, when 
the Norwegian Lutherans separated from 
the other church and selected Candidate 
0. C. Mylire as their pastor. Shortly aft- 
er its organization it was admitted as 
■one of the congregations of the United 
church of America. A church edifice was 
erected in 1898. The church society now 
consists of about thirty families. Servi- 
ces are held every other Sabbath, con- 
ducted by Rev. IT. H. Holte. Sunday 
school is held every Sunday with an at- 
tendance of about thirty-five. 

The Catholic church was organized in 
the early eighties, and the church building 
was erected in the fall of 1884. In con- 
nection with the church is maintained St. 
Cyril's parochial school, which was es- 
tablished in 1896 by Rev. Fr. Von den 
Berg. It is conducted by the Sisters of 
St. Francis, of Rochester, and is in a 
flourishing condition. 

The Episcopal cliurch also maintained 
an organization in the eighties. 


The Grand Army post at Heron Lake, 
No. 148, was mustered in March 31, 1886, 
by the chief mustering officer. General 
ifark D. Flower. Following were the"s first officers : C. R. J. Kellam, com- 
mander; William McNair, senior vice 
commander; John Behrenfeld, junior vice 
commander; John Woolstencroft, quarter- 
master; C. M. Merly, adjutant; Rev. H. 
S. Eldred, chaplain ; B. J. Svennes, offi- 
cer of the guard; A. H. Freer, officer of 
the day; V. G. Mott, sergeant. 

A Wonians Relief Corps was organized 
April 2, 1887, of which Mrs. Kellam was 
president and Miss Beede secretary. 




Heron Lake Lodge No. 93, Ancient Or- 
der United Woricmen, was organized Oc- 
tober IG, 188G, witli twenty-ciglit cliartcr 
members and tlic following first officers : 
J. D. Wilson, master workman; W. E. 
Daniels, overseer; IT. A. Robinson, fore- 
man; L. F. Lammers, recorder; T. A. 
Dieson, financier; J. W. Benson, re- 
ceiver; John Hubcr, guide; W. J. Jones, 
inside guard; Lawrence Readle, outside 
guard ; C. A. Wood, past master workman ; 

B. A. Swartout, J. T. Smith, C. D. Urc, 

Manzanita Camp No. 125G, ilodern 
Woodmen of America, was instituted Feb- 
ruary 17, 1891, with twenty-six cliarter 
members and the following officers: A. 
H. Clark, V. C; L. F. Lammers, W. A.: 
T. \. Dieson, E. B.; C. S. Eastwood, C; 
J. E. Foss, E.; T. A. Alexander, watcli- 
man : W. E. Kiessel, sentry; A. H. Clark, 
physician; T. E. Hills, L. B. Lerud, and 
J. Trimble, managers. 

Columbian Lodge No. 210, A. F. & .\. 
yi., began its organization under dispen- 
sation in 1893. On February 14, of that 
year, a petition w^as forwarded to the 
grandmaster asking for a dispensation. It 
was signed by thirteen persons, namely, L. 
F. Lammers, John L. Gessell, John F. 
Humiston, LeRoy Brown, C. E. J. Kellam, 
W. X. Williams, L. B. Lerud, S. A. Pease, 

C. M Doughty, G. C. Cooley and Davict 
Brown. The petition was approved liy 
tlie grandmaster April 24, and the dispen- 
sation was issued the next day. On July 
13, 1S93, a special session was held for the 
purpose of organizing under dispensation. 
Deputy Grandmaster John Hutlass pre- 
siding. TJie following were chosen as the 
first officers: LeRoy Brown, W. M. ; J. S. 
Kibbey, S. W.; J. F. Humiston, J. W.: 
L. F. Lammers, secretary; L. B. Lerud, 
treasurer; C. R. J. Kellam, S. D.; C. M. 
Doughty. J. D. ; G. C. Cooley. tyler : J. L. 
Gessell, S. S.; W. N. Williams, J. S. 

The charter was granted and the lodge 
was instituted March 1, 1894. Tlie fol- 
lowing have held tlie office of pastmaster: 
LeRoy Brown, John L. Gessell, John F. 
Humiston, J. H. Dudley and C. R. J. 

St. Cyril Court No. 970, Catliolic Or- 
der Foresters, was organized April 20, 
1899, by William A. Bieter. Following 
were the first officers and charter mem- 
bers: William A. Bieter, C. R.; John ile- 
Glin, V. C. ]{.; V. \\. Lynch, recording 
secretary; Herman J. Rader, financial sec- 
retary; George G. Gelir, treasurer; John 
I^IcCarvel, P. C. R.; Frank Haa.s, Jerry 
Sullivan and Frank Liepold, trustees; Jo- 
seph Thnmas. Xichola.^ Wcinant. Joseph 
J. Mirg.l, William X. Klaur, Edward D. 
Flanagan, Joseph E. Fritschir. |[. ('. 
Herreau. John G. Liepold, X. J. Ihnkcls, 
Richard Burke, Alex Sullivan, Joseph H. 
iCnott. Joseph F. Hartman, Adolph Rei- 
chel, F. R. Heger, X. J. P. Murphy, Ed- 
ward Wienicke. The order has a present 
membership of about fifty-five. 

Tiii: haxks. 

Heron Ljike has two banking institu- 
tions, the Farmers State Bank and the 
First National Bank. The former is the 
older, having been organized as a private 
bank by P. E. Hill in the fall of 1S8G— 
the first financial institution of the town. 
It continued to be conducted as a private 
bank mitil June 1. 1892, when it was re- 
organized under the state banking laws 
as the bank of Heron Lake, with a capital 
stock of $25,000. T. A. Dieson was presi- 
dent and J. S. Kibbry vice president at 
the time of reorganization. January 1, 
1894, there was a change in management 
when J. N. McGregor became president, 
B. Poppitz, vice president, and E. J. 
Grimes, cashier. In 1896 B. Poppitz be- 
came president, and J. N. JIcGrcgor vice 
president. L. F. Lammers was made 



president June 1, 1898, and one year later 
15. Poppitz became vice president. Tlie 
name of the institution was changed to 
State Bnnli of Heron Lake July 30, 1900, 
and on January 1, 1901, W. P. St. Jolm 
l)eeame president and held the office until 
his death, October 21, 1905. John T. 
Smith was made vice president June 1, 
1901. After tlie death of Mr. St. John, 
\V. A. Bieter became president and W. P. 
JJrews was made assistant cashier. 

The State Bank of Heron Lake was 
reorganL-^ed in July, 1906, when the ma- 
jority stock, wliich had been held by Mr. 
St. John, was bought by the farmers of 
the surrounding country and the business 
men of Heron Lake and the name of the 
institution changed to the Farmers State 
Bank. The profits and surplus were paid 
over to the old stockholders, and the new 
owners took over the business of the bank, 
continuing- it under tlie old charter. Tlie 
otficers renuiined the game except that 
John Mathias succeeded John T. Smith 
as vice president. January 1, 1907, offi- 
cers were clioseu as follows: John Math- 
ias, president; 0. E. Dieson, vice presi- 
dent; W. A. Bieter, cashier; W. F. Drews, 

assistant cashier. One year later the fol- 
lowing officers were chosen: Jerry Sulli- 
van, president; N. J. Henkels, vice presi- 
dent; W. F. Drews, cashier; P. W. Moore, 
assistant c:i.shier. From the date of reor- 
ganization into the Farmers State Bank 
the deposits have increased from $60,000 
to $1.50,000 and a surplus of $3,000 has 
been accumulated. The bank was moved 
into its present commodious quarters in 
June, 1901, the cost of the building and 
furnishings being $12,000. 

The First National Bank was organ- 
ized as the Peoples State Bank in Sep- 
tember, 1892, with rl. W. Benson as presi- 
dent. The organization into the 'First 
National Bank was made June 9, 1900. 
The new institution started with a capital 
stock of $2.5,000, but this was later in- 
creased to $35,000. The capital and sur- 
plus at the present time are $45,000. The 
officers are : J. W. Benson, president ; C. 
M. Doughty, vice president; W. H. Jar- 
mutli, cashier; Paul Benson, assistant 
cashier. The bank building now occupied 
was erected in 1901 at a cost, including 
fixtures, of about $15,000. 




IN WISCOiSrSlN (ownsliiji, on the east 
line of .Jackson county, is the little 
village of Alpha, an incorporated 
town of about 250 inhabitants. It is on 
the Milwaukee railroad and is five and 
one-half miles east of Jackson. Several 
lines of business are carried on here, and 
its merchants enjoy a prosperous trade 
from a limited area of Jackson and Mar- 
tin counties. Alpha is the -youngest of 
Jackson county towns. 

In 189'2 a country postoffice named 
Earl w-as established near the point where 
the village of Alpha was afterwards built, 
but it was not until the closing days of 
1894 that it was announced a town would 
be founded in the vicinity. Then the 
Milwaukee road placed the name Wiscon- 
sin on its time card as the name of a new 
station on section thirteen, Wisconsin 
township. At the same time it was an- 
nounced that Messrs. Williamson and 
Paddock, the owners of the site, were 
about to survey a townsite and that prep- 
arations had been made to build an ele- 
vator and establish a lumber yard. Not 
much j^rogress toward town building was 
made during the winter, but early in the 
spring of 1895 several buildings were put 
up, a few business houses were established 

and the town — known for a time as Wis- 
consin — came into existence. 

The name of the Earl postoilice was 
changed to Irwin, in honor of the super- 
intendent of the Southern Minnesota di- 
vision of the Jlilwaukee road, in April, 
and for a few months the town was known 
by that name.^ During the spring and 
summer the following gentlemen engaged 
in business at Irwin : Charles Ean- 
dall, grain buyer and lumber dealer; 
Edward Schoewe, general store; Eack- 
ness & Ellis, general store; M. 
A. Rhodes, general store; I. D'Mersse- 
man, elevator. In August the postofiice 
wa.s reestablished and named Alpha, with 
P. 0. Rackness as postmaster, and late 
in the year a school house and church were 

The plat of the townsite, also named Al- 
]iha, was put on record November 27, 
1895. It was surveyed by Arthur Gibson 
for George B. Paddock, who made the 
dedication. The original plat was on the 
north side of the railroad track and con- 
tained only eight blocks. The streets run- 
ning north and south were named Hunter, 

'" . We visited the little town of Ir- 

win, six miles east, and found it small but 
busy. The city has six families at present. 
The town has no postoffice. One was estab- 
lished a short time ago. but the postmistress is 
at present teaching: school thirty miles west of 
town." — Jackson Republic, May 31, 1895. 




Knux. Miiiii. riiliner nnd Bcacli : tlie east 
anil west avenues were naiiH'il Railroad. 
Pacldoek and Williamson. - 

Durinjr the next three years the {:rowth 
of Alpha was not great, although a few 
new enterprises were started. But hegin- 
iiing in the fall of ]898 and continuing 
during the year 1899 the village enjoyed 
a l)Ooni. due to the prosperous times and 
bountiful crops, and advanced rapidly to 
the front. JIany new buildings were erec- 
ted and many new business enterprises 
were started. Au Alpha correspondent 
stated that the building improvements for 
the year 1899 amounted to over $35,000, 
itemized a'' follows : 

Cliiist store !? 2,800 

Alplia liiuik Imildiiig 3,000 

A. (;ii>tli. iMiilwiue store 2,500 

L. Colli), liardware store 1,500 

W. h. Cobb, bhicksmilh shop 400 

W. L. Cobb, addition 800 

Bohlander & Boelil, addition 000 

L. II. llafieman. livery barn I.IKIO 

.1. T>. Yoiinji iSc Co.. improvements 2(10 

Frcy & Klein, store 4,000 

C. C. Xorgren, store 1.000 

.'<. M. Olson, bntelier shop .WO 

C. H. Whissemore. wapon shop :tOO 

L. Hageman, Sr.. rosidcnee 800 

Tj. Hafienian, .Jr.. residence 1 .000 

Henry Belini, residence 1,000 

Chiiries Combes, residence 1.200 

Henry finslafson. residence 800 

K. Krii-kson. residence 1.200 

I. D'Mersseman. residence l.HOO 

William L. Hull, residence. 1.200 

William Hintborn. residence 1.100 

William E. Carr. residence . .100 

Conrad Freeman, residence. . 000 

.Tohn Warliter. residence 600 

K. Kodeck. improvements .^OO 

A. 1). Packard & Son. improvements.... fiOO 

A. 1). Packard & Son. (wo stores l.SOO 

P. (1. Hackness. improvements 200 

Theodore Jasper, improvements 100 

Depot 2,000 

Frey & Klein, improvements 200 

Total !f.35.IOO 

So great was the growth of Alpha that 
the residents believed the time had come 
to incorporate. In April, 1S99, a petition 

'Additions to Alpha have l)een platted as fol- 

Louis Klosel's First, b.v I.ouis Klesel Septem- 
ber 2fi. ISflfi: survcved liv Orrin Nason. 

A. P. Packard's, by A. Tt. Packard &• Son 
Mav 5. 1S99: survcved bv .1. I.. Hoist. 

Packard's. l>v A. U Packard and G. D. Paclf- 
nrd July 12, 1899; surveyed by J. L. Hoist. 

was circulated asking the county commis- 
sioners to take tlie necessary steps to bring 
iili'iut tlie desired change in government. 
The ]jetition was granted ^lay 25, it was 
ordered that a special ek>ction to vote 
on the question of ineoiporalion be held 
July 3, and P. 0. l?ackncss. J. S. Rhodes 
and Charles P. Pandall were named as the 
inspectors of the election. "For incor- 
poration" carried.' and the first village 
officers were chosen at another ela-tion 
held July 25. 

Following is a list of all who have been 
decled to office during the time Alplia 
ha.s been a municipal corporation: 

1809 — President. Charles Combes; trustees, 
William Carr. Auj;nst flroth. L. Hapeman: re- 
corder, William l\ni<;er: treasurer. E. A. 
Poehl: justices. P. M. Getty. .1. S. Rhodes; 
constables. L. Cobb. Theodore Jasper. 

1000 -President, C, L. Combes; trustees. 
William Carr. Theodore Jasper. I,. Ha'-eman: 
recorder. E. C. Kru<;er: treasurer. E. A. Hoeld : 
justice. L. Cobb: constable. C. II. fJustafson. 

1001— President. F. J. Hassing; trustees, 
Theodore .Jasper. Henry Behm. L. Hapeman; 
recorder. P. M. Oetty: treasurer. E. A. Boehl: 
assessor. H. E. Bohlander; justices, Nels N<'1- 
son. I. D'Mersseman; constables, R, Cormack, 
Oscar Rackness. 

1902— President. I. D'Mersseman; trustees, L. 
Ilaseman, C. P. Hartwij;. Henry Belini : recor- 
der, P. M. fJetty; treasurer. II. E. Bolilamler: 
assessor. Georpe Becker: justices, W. H. Hass- 
inp. C. A. Portmann; constables. H. Leverson. 
Gust Bork. 

100.'?— President. I. D'Mersseman; trustees, 
F. J. Hassinp. C. P. Hartwip. Theodore Jas- 
per: recorder, P. M. Getty; treasurer. H. E. 
Bohlander; assessor. A. A. Kruper; justices, 
C. yi. Packard. L. Burton: constables. Gust 
r>ork. C. IT. Gustafson. 

1004 President. T. D'Mersseman; trustees. 
II. H. Ilapcman. Theodore .Jasper. Otto Bor- 
chardl: recorder. P. M. Getty: treasurer. .John 
Waswo: assessor. Charles Evers: justice. 
Christ Geddie; constables. A. K. Simms, Tom 

1005— President. B. K. Ellis; trustees. J. J. 
McXiimara. Theodore .Jasper. Frank Matson; 
recorder. W. F. .Vuten; treasurer. John Was- 
wo: assessor. Charles Evers; justices. C. M. 
Packard. John Diers; constable. Gust Bork. 

mot;- President. F. J. Hassinp; trustees. 
Theodore .Jasper. C. H. Gustafson. J. T- Ober 
ineyer; recorder. P. ^t. Getty; treasurer. John 
W:is\vo; assessor, Charles Evers; justices. Otto 

'By a vote of 50 to 11. in 1901. the vlllafrc was 
separated from Wisconsin township for all pur- 



Kackncss, J. S. Crawle.y; constables, A. K. 
Sinims. John Steincr. . 

1007— President, V. J. Hassing; trustees, C. 
H. Gustafson, Tlieotlore Jasper, E. A. Boehl; 
recorder, H. E. Bolilander; treasurer, John 
Waswo: assessor, Charles Evers; justice, Carl 
J. Swonson; constable, L. A. Dorr. 

mos— President, E. C. Klatt: trustees, E. A. 
Boehl, Gust Bork, E. H. Vickerman: recorder, 
H. E. Bohlander: treasurer, E. A. Boehl; as- 
sessor, Charles Evers: justice. Otto Rackness; 
constables, A. K. Simms. Carl J. Swenson. 

1909— President. F. J. Hassing; trustees. E. 
A. Boehl, John Steiner, C. Whismore; recorder, 
H. E. Bohlander; treasurer, J. S. Crawley: as- 
sessor, P. M. Getty; justice, J. J. Kukliik. 

The federal census of 1900 gave Alpha 
a population of '309; five years later the 
number of inhabitants had increased to 
241. Since its boom days Aljiha's growth 
has been slow, but there have been a num- 
ber of additions. For several years a 
newspaper was supported, and a bank has 
been conducted there for several years. 
Tills was founded as the Bank of Alpha, 
but in July, 1904, it was reorganized as 
the State Bank of Alpha, with a capital 
stock of $10,000 and with George E. 
Moore as president and J. S. Crawley as 
cashier. Bonds to the amount of $4,000 
were voted in 1904 for the purpose of in- 
stalling a water works system. 


Wilder is an incorporated village on the 
main line of the Omaha railroad, seven 
miles northeast of Heron Lake. It is lo- 
cated on section seven, Delafield town- 
ship, near the north line of Jackson coun- 
ty. Here is a little town of perliaps two 
hundred inhabitants, in which are car- 
ried on several lines of business. It is 
situated on a slight elevation, sloping in 
all directions, and is surrounded by an 
excellent farming country. 

The village of Wilder is about a quarter 
of a century old, but AVilder as a Jack- 
son county place name was bestowed in 
1871. During the month of June of that 
year, while the grade for the Sioux City 
&: St. Paul railroad was being made, the 

officials selected the site of tlio present vil- 
lage of Wilder as a station on the new 
line of road. The Jackson Eepublic of 
July 1, 1871, .said of the selection of this 
point for a station : 

In the township of Delafield, in the north 
part of this count}-, a sidetrack has been grad- 
ed where it is no doubt intended to plat a 
town. No better farming country can be found 
in our whole state than in the same township 
of Delafield and the townships adjacent. Tlie 
Heron lake community. Big Bend and even to 
lake Shetek. in Murray county, are naturally 
tributary to the station to Ije located here. 
Excellent roads in every direction tend to draw 
business to this point,' and although the set- 
tlement in the vicinity is of comparative re- 
cent date, the farms ah'eady being opened and 
in contemplation will make this one of the 
most im])ortant shipping points on the line. 
. We predict jicre will grow up one of 
the best towns on the road. 

The sidetrack was laid during the 
month of September, but no depot was 
put up, and the railroad officials made 
no effort to found a town at that point. 
For a short time the station was known 
as Timber Lake, but in November it was 
officially designated Wilder, in honor of 
A. H. Wilder, who was connected with the 
new railroad. For fourteen years Wilder 
was nothing but a name, and retained that 
only by virtue of the railroad company's 
time card. 

The awakening came in 1885. Then it 
was announced that a fai'm college was to 
be built at Wilder by the Episcopal church 
and that a town was to be founded un- 
der the mauageriient of Close Brothers 
& Company. The effect of this announce- 
ment was to make Wilder a magic word; 
it was on everybody's lips.* The ac- 
tivity was Ijrouglit about through the ef- 
forts of Eev. D. n. Gunn, of the Episco- 
pal church, w-lio had for several years had 
in mind the founding of a farm school. 
Early in 1885 Colonel John L. Merriam, 
A. H. Wilder and Mrs. Carrie Thompson 

'■'Wilder is the magic word we often hear 
to lie the shrine to which pilgrims 

now. It 

to the northwest will wend their way 
rest and plenty in its happy precincts. 
Lake Correspondent, June 26, 1SS5. 

and find 



offered to donalo two-tnirds of their land 
lioldiiior,s on scetioii <evcn, Dolafield, to the 
Kiii.-.((i|ial church of Minnesota, on condi- 
lioii thai a .■ollcfrc he Iniilt tliere. A cor- 
poration was formed witii Bislioj) Whipple 
as president and Ifev. (Jnnu as secretarv. 
and the secretarv at once set ahont rais- 
in;,^ money to hnihl tlie scliool. The exc- 
cntion of Ihi' ]ilans for the foundiii-r of tlie 
town ipf Wihicr was phieed in otlier liands. 
Concerning' tlie selection of tlic site and 
the early history of the movement. Die 
Windom Citizen in June, l.SH."), said: 

Rev. v. OrifTiii (iuiiii. wlio has within tlir 
past five years l)uilt and liad direot cliaif;p of 
six churches in the lilue (Jiass refjion. has 
ever since his arrival anionj; us hpen jahorin;; 
for the PstaMislinient of a honu- and farm 
school for iiis l.oys. His first idea was to 
huild the scliool on Cottonwood lake, adjoin- 
ing Windom, hut upon priicinj; the land found 
that east of the lake to he '$10 per acre and 
that on the west $2.'). He soon afterwanl 
houfiht tlie I'omcroy tree claim, the southwest 
cpiartcr of l\w nortlii'ast (unirter of section (i. 
IJelalield township, and took occasion to look 
over Wilder wliil,. waitiuf; for a train. He was 
struck with the heauty of the nortliea^t i|uar- 
ter of section 7, and upon inipiirv found it 
to be held hy Messrs. .Mcrriam and Wilder and 
Mrs. Thompson, of S(. I'aul. The |)rice was 
put at $!) per acre, hut when it was known 
for what purpose it was intended they promj)!- 
ly anil generously otVered not only this hut all 
their interests in section 7 free." Hut Uishop 
Whipple did not feel justified in acceptin;.' at 
that time. 

.\fter thi, not hill-; was done for ahont two 
years; then the matter was ajjain lirou;;lif ]„.. 
fore the hishop. who approved it. hut nothin<r 
was to he done hefore his return from Kiirope. 
Since his return the friends have hecn linsy 
pi<'parinf; for the work. 

The site for the school and farm contains 
.1.'),1 acres on Timlier lake, and the doners are 
well known here as intensive land owners in 
Cottonwood and .lackson counties. The spot 
selected for the school linildintr is on a heau- 
tifnl rise of ground, whiili overlooks the whole 
snrroundin/,' country, imludin;; tin' piitur- 
CMjUc Tiniher hike. I'rom the summit can also 
he seen Uw village of Heron Lake, six miles 
distant, and on ilear days l.akcfield. twelve 
miles distant. 

The school building when completed is to 
coat .$1.5,000. . , . The main or uprifjlit 
part is to he completed hefore llecember ,T1, 
work to be eommeiueil at once. The trustees 
are Hishop Whipple, Rev. K. S. Thomas, rector 
of St. Paul's church. St. Paul; l?ev. .lames Dob- 
bins, rector of the Shattuek school, Karihault: 
Kev. U, G. Gunn, S. M. Cnrev, of thp firm of 

Hobinson.& Carey, St. Paul; George H. Chris- 
tian, of the Minneapolis mills. 

.Mr. tiunii will he resident supervisor and 
general superintendent of the school. Kcsidcs 
tlie .school building' there will follow helonj;- 
in;; to the Kpiscopil eliurch the nssoc-iale 
mission school, Kpiscopal c-hurch and rectory. 

The movement is now ready. !•'. H. Close & 
Company will look the business interests, 
while .Mr. liunn <;oes alieail with the school 
buildinf;. .Mr. Gunn has been appointed by 
the trustees to select the sclioid buihlin<; and 
town site. The town will be jdattcd and de- 
pot ^'rounds located in a few days. 

We are authoritatively informed that the 
f(dlowinf; business buildinjjs, besiiles numerous 
residences, are only awailin;; the plaiting; 
hotel, harness shop, hank, elevator, general 
store, shoe shop, hanhvare store an<l land of- 

The ])arties interested in the town besides 
the doners (who reserve luie-third of the gift 
lots) are: Frank .M. Rookwaltcr, of the Uook- 
walter Kn;;iiic lonipany. Sprin^'t'ield. Ohio: 
Fuller Trump. Sprin;;lield. (Ihio; Senator A. 
-M. Crosby. Adrian. .Minnesota: V. I!. Close i 
Company. Pipestone, and a host of others. 

.Mr. (.'mill attributes his suec-oss at Wilder 
mainly to the ell'orts of Jlessrs. ,T. J. Kendall 
and E. S. Thomas. 

'i'iic liuildiiiir of liio school and of the 
town was begun in the suininer of ISS.'j, 
and times were lively.'^ The foundation of 
the college was completed in the fall, and 
work on the superstructure was hegun 
early in Decemher. Before the <lose of 
liic year the following had erected build- 
ings and engaged in l)u.<iness: Dufour & 
Fiiidjey. o<.|,(.riil merchandise ; J.