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An Illustrated History 




By Arthur P. Rose 

Member of the Minnesota Historical Society f 


Author of the Histories of 

Northern Histc*,y Publishing Company 
Luverne, Minnesota 

Publishers * 

1911 ^ 

S ^r 


WHEN one considers the counties of Rock and Pi])estnne in tlieir present 
state of development, it is hard to realize that they have been broufjht 
to this stai;-o in so shoi-t a time. The white man's history of these 
counties has taken place in the lifetime of a man now forty-five years of age; 
when he was born there was not a resident in either county and there never had 
been. Yet, while their history extends back to no great antiquity, interesting 
events have occurred — events which slimild he recorded and preserved. 

It is for this purpose that this volume is put forth. It is the only history 
of Rock and Pipestone counties ever inil^lishcd, and the material for its c(uupila- 
liiiii has l>een secured frcnu original sources. Friendly coadjutors have assisted 
in its preparation. The autlior has consulted and quoted from the writings of 
Hon. Warren Uphani, secretary of the Minnesota Historical society, from George 
C'atlin's "North Americaji Indians,'"' from "Minnesota in Three Centuries," re- 
cently published, from the publications of the Minnesota Geological Survey, and 
from many other authorities. The files of the local newspapers have 
been of inestimable value in supjilying authentic data, especially tlic files of those 
pioneer journals, the Rock County Hci-ald .-ind the Pipestone County Star. 
Without them much of historical importance must have remained unrecorded. 
Scores of pioneer residents of the two counties have interested themselves in the 
work to the extent of devoting time to the detailing of early day events. Special 
mention is due the asisstance given, by Mr. C. H. Bennett, of Pipestone. 

For the purpose of revising and suggesting improvements, the manuscript of 
tlie historical section of the work was reviewed by committees in each county, those 
in Rock county being Messrs. E. N. Darlino-, Charles A. Reynolds and Niels 
Jacobson, and those in Pipestone county, Messrs. C. H. Bennett and Major D. B. 
Runals and Dr. W. J. Taylor. Those gentlemen read the manuscript, made sev- 
eral suggestions for improvement, and in(hirscd the work as an impartial, com- 
prehensive and sulista-ntially accui-ato record of events from tlie earliest days to 
the present time. 

In the work of gathering the data the author has been ably assisted by 
Messrs. P. D. Moore, J. P. Nelson and Stanley G. Swanherg. 

Probably no historical work .was. ever put to' ,'prftss which entirely satisfied its 
author. There are so many pitfallK/'iiJ the path 'of him who seeks to record the 
events of the past; the human nijud^ji^'fo ;]3i"bne to err in recalling names and 
dates of a former day. So it happens that the writer of local history, compiling 
his stoi-v from data of which onlv 3 iiart car. bi; verified, knows that there must 
be eiTors. albeit he may have e.ierciiJed 'the 'gi'eatest care. With no njiologies. but 
with this brief explanation and the realization that tlie work i^ not perfect, this 
liistory of Rock and Pipestone counties is put fortli. 

Tjuvei'iie, ^[innesoia. .lulw liHI. 





THE RED MAN'S DAY— 1838-1866. 

A Hundred Million Years Ago — Pre-Historic Times — The Earth in the Making — 
Geological Periods — Early Inhabitants — Mound Builders — Mounds in Rock 
County — The Indians — Origin of the Sioux — Tribal Divisions — Battle of Battle 
Plain — Early Explorers — Nicollet Explores Rock County — And Maps It — The 
"Inyan Reakah" — Other Streams — Indian Treaty — Immigration to Minnesota 
— lukpaduta Massacre — Rock County as French Territory — Sold to Spain — 
Resold to France — Bought by United States — Part of Louisiana — Missouri — 
Michigan — Wisconsin — Iowa — "No Man's Land" — Minnesota Territory — Coun- 
'ty Formations — Rock County Created — Original Boundaries — Surveyed — Im- 
permanent Settlement — Census of 1860 — Names of Inhabitants — Sioux War 
—Military Road — Trappers — Ready for White Occupancy 33 



Early Visitors — Robert Douglass — James A. Rice — Nathan C. Estey — Towers 
Stakes Claim — Edwin Gillhani — Philo Hawes Visits the Rock — His Account 
of the Visit — Estey Brothers Arrive — And Build a Shanty — Their Isolation — 
Mail Route Station Established — John Lietze Arrives — Hawes Builds a Dug- 
Out — Mrs. Estey's Arrival — First Christmas Dinner — Arrivals of 1868 — Their 
Claims — Celebration Nation's Birthday — Early Day Conditions — Settlers of 
1869 — First Births — Section Lines Surveyed — Grain Threshed — Census of 
1870— Statistics— Arrivals of 1870— Close of an Era 47 



Attached to Jackson County — Petition for Organization — Signers — Legislature 
Acts — Locating County Seat — Mass Convention — Governor Austin's Proclama- 
tion — First Meeting Commissioners — Celebration — Organization of Townships 
— Luverne — Petitioners — Statistics — Homesteaders — Grant (Clinton) — Naming 
— Early Settlers — Land Patents — Beaver Creek — First Officers — Pioneer Set- 
1 1 e r s — M a g n o 1 i a — Early History — Petitioners — Statistics — Kanaranzi — The 
Name — Martin Organized — Homesteaders — Gregory — A Big Township — Vienna 
— First Officers — Albion (Springwater) — Naming — Mound — Opposition to Or- 
ganization — Riverside (Battle Plain) — In Early Days — Rose Dell — Named 
By a Poet — Dover (Denver) — First Town Meeting — Gregory Wiped Oft 
the Map 57 



ER.\ OP DEVELOPMENT— 1871-1873. 

Settlers of 1871— First Schools— Early Day Teachers— Pupils— First Blizzard 
Victim— Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad— Big Immigration— Early Day Condi- 
tions—Wind Storm— .attempt to Enlarge County Boundaries— Assessment 
of 1872— .Agricultural Statistics— .\ Hard Winter— The 1873 Blizzard— -Ad- 
ventures in the Storm— Rapid Settlement— Tree Culture— Homestead Lands 
— Glowing Prospects — First Grasshopper Invasion — The Damage — Second 
Invasion — Myriads of Hoppers — 1873 Assessment — Schools and Teachers 69 

C ll.VPTER V. 

CALAMITOUS DAYS— 1874-1877. 

Destitute Settlers — Legislature Appropriates Funds — Local Committee — Distribu- 
tion — Governor Davis' Letter — Supplies Received — Free Seed Grain — District 
Court Established— Hoppers in 1874— Total Destruction of Crops— A Ter- 
rible Blow— Conditions Resulting— Why Not Desert County? — Relief Funds 
—Grasshoppers in 1875 — Modes of Fighting — Damage by Blight — Census of 
1875 — First Court House — Railroad Building — The Preliminaries — Bonus 
Voted — First Train to Luverne — Damage by Locusts in 1876 — A Setback — 
Day of Prayer — Good Crops in 1877— The Red Parasite and Its Good Work 
— Year of .lubilee — Grain Marketing — Land Seekers Arrive — Land Grant 
History — Railroad Extended — First Flouring Mill 79 



New Era Begins — Rush of Homeseekers — "Prairie Schooners" — Improvements 
— Doon Branch Built — Hoppers in 1879 — Harvest of 1880 — Population — The 
Long Winter— October Blizzard— Story of the Winter — Railroad Blockade — 
Famine — Out of Fuel — Burning Lumber and Out-Buildings — The Snowfall — 
Floods — Conditions in 1882 — Burlington Railroad — Bonds Voted — Road Con- 
structed — Hurricane — Story of the Storm — Death and Destruction — Prosper- 
ity in 1884 93 

c[i.\i''i'p:i; \ir. 


Conditions in 1885 — Census — Court House Bonds Defeated — County Seat Con- 
test — Beaver Creek's Ambition — Planning the Campaign — In the "Enemy's 
Country" — Luverne Fights Back — The Collapse — Old Settlers' Association — 
Blizzard of 1888 — .lohn Loy, Eric Olson and O. A. Hunt Perish — Adventures 
in the Storm— Illinois Central Railroad— The Willmar & Sioux Falls — Cam- 
paign for Court House— Bonds Carry — Building Erected — The Crops — Sioux 
City & Northern Railroad Comes — Rapid Settlement — Census of 1890 — Boom 
Times— Hail Storm — The Panic — Crop Failure — Rock Coimty in Spanish- 
AmeriQan War — Roster — Bounteous Times — Another Railroad — The Hail 
Storm of 1903 — Census Figures — Present Conditions 105 

■ Cn.M'TF.i; \ III. 

POLITICAL— 1870-1911. 

Organization — First Election Officers — Poll List — Congressional and Legislative 
History — First County Officers — Early Day Salaries — Republicans in Con- 
trol — The Independents and Bolters — Results in Figures — Exciting Campaign 
of 1878 — "Anti-Ring" Convention — "Peoples" Ticket — Democrats Enter the 
Field — Farmers .Alliance Enters Politics — .And Captures Some Offices — The 
Peoples Parly — Its Part in County Politics — Free Silver Issue — Clean Sweeps 
by Republicans — Primary H;iection Law — Democrats Carry County for Gover- 
nor — Also for Congressman — Later History — Voting Strength of Precincts 
— Summary 119 



LUVERNE— 1867-1911. 

Location — Natural Beauty — Philo Hawes Selects Site for Home — First Building 
— John Lietze — Pioneer Residents^Postoffice Established — McMurphy's Store 
— Naming the Town — P. J. Kniss Arrives — Made County Seat — McKay & 
Wold's Store — Townsite Platted — More Business Houses — Directory of 1873 
— Grasshoppers Stop Growth— Railroad Built — Activities Resumed— Incorpora- 
tion — Early Attempts — The License Question — Roster of Village Officers — 
Census of 1880 — Largest Town in Southwestern Minnesota — Boom Times — 
Directory of 1883 — Building Improvements— Fire — City Hall — Water Works 
—Electric Lights — The Panic — Prosperity Again— Becomes a City— Roster 
of Officers 137 



The Schools — First Teachers — Pupils — Pioneer Building — Independent District — 
Director s — Superintendents — High School Established — Graduates — The 
Churches — Methodist— Baptist — Norwegian I^utheran (Synod) — Catholic— Pres- 
byterian — United Norwegian Lutheran — Unitarian — Episcopal — German Evan- 
gelical — Christian — Norwegian Lutheran (Free) — Christian Science — The 
Lodges— Masons — Eastern Star— Odd Fellows— Rebekahs— Grand Army- 
Relief Corps — Workmen — Degree of Honor — Woodmen — Royal Neighbors — 
Knights of Pythias — Pythian Sisters — Yeomen — American Brotherhood — 
The Library — Rock County Library Association— Public Library— The Car- 
negie Building — Fire Department— Early Organizations — The Banks — Bank 
of Luverne — First National— Rock County Bank— Security Bank — Farmers 
National — City Bank — National Bank of Luverne — Manufactories — Luverne 
Automobile Company— Luverne Brick and Tile Company — Luverne Pressed 
Brick Company — Luverne Concrete Company 151 



Location of Hills — Its Trade Territory — Farmers Donate Townsite — Anderson 
Station — Platting — First Inhabitant — Change in Name — First Business Houses 
— Removal from Bruce — Early Day Celebration — Postoffice — Second Year's 
History — Directory — Improvements in 1892 — Illinois Central Station — Removal 
of Town — Current Events — Incorporation — Village Officers — The License 
Q u e s t i o n — School — Churches — P''ire Department — Banks — Hardwick — R a i I- 
road Reaches Site — Rumors of Station — Petition — Site Selected — Grain Buy- 
ers — Postoffice Established — Founding of Town — First Enterprises — One 
Year's Growth — Platted — Current Events — Incorporation — Officers — Municipal 
Improvements — School — Churches — Lodges — Fire Department — Bank 171 



Beaver Creek — Promoter Promises a Town in 1873 — Railroad E.\tends — Charles 
Williams Donates Site — Platting — Preparations for Founding — Colonel White 
Arrives — First Business Houses — Postoffice — Railroad Terminus — Lively 
Town — Early Directory — Prosperous Times — Incorporation — Officers — The Li- 
cense Question — Wants the County Seat — Fires — Losses — Retrogression — 
The Revival — Later Events — School — Churches — Lodges — Magnolia — Its Loca- 
tion — Drake Station Established — Business Houses — Change in Location — 
Governor Yale Founds Magnolia — Postoffice — Derivation of Name — Site Plat- 
ted — Early Business Enterprises — Captain Holbert — Progress — Incorporation 
— Municipal Officers — Later History — School, Church, Lodge and Bank His- 
tory 187 




Kenneth — Tlie Youngest Town — Railroad Reaches Site — Founding — Naming — Sur- 
vey — Early Business Houses — Failure to Incorporate — School and Church 
History — Steen — As Virginia — Town Established — Pioneer Business Men — 
Postoffice — Fire — Churches — Ashcreek — Old Postoffice — Selecting the Name 
— Railroad Station — Colonel Grey's Operations — Town Appears — Later 
History — Bruce — Prospects at Pounding — Surrender to Hills — Kjergaard 
Holds the Fort — Present Standing — Kanaranzi — Station Established — Town 
Founded — Us History — Manley — A "HasBeen" Town — The Boom — The Burst- 
i n g — I'resent Stat u s — Warner — Mound — Denver — Handy^Martin — Clinton — 
Kongsberg — Meadow — Pleasant Valley 203 



Richest County in United States — Location — Boundaries — Area — Surface — Effects 
of Glacial Action — Geological E.\amination — Soil Composition — Products — 
Elevation.s — Drainage — Rock River — Its Tributaries — Timber — Beaver Creek 
— Split Rock — Kanaranzi — Rock Outcrops — The Mounds — A Conspicuous Land- 
mark — Building Stone — Transportation Facilities — Telephone Lines — Mail 
Routes 217 

CHAP'l'EIJ X\'. 


Papers of Today — Suspended Publications — Founding the Pioneer Paper — Ar- 
rival of First Press— S. J. Jenkins Founds Rock County Herald— Subsequent 
Owners— H. J. Miller — Luverne Gazette — Times — Democrat — Rock County 
News — Western Literary Journal — Luverne Journal — Its Many Editors — 
Beaver Creek Graphic — Bee — News-Letter — Magnet — Banner — Magnolia Citi- 
zen— .Advance — Initiator — Hills Crescent — Bailey Tells of the Founding — 
Hardwick News — Star — Kenneth Pioneer 223 



Prairie Fires — Terrors of the Prairie — Methods of Fighting — Game in Early Days 
— First County Fair — The Awards — Squatting on Railroad Lands — Borrowed 
the County's Cash — The James Boys' Visit — Ten Dollar Land — When Rock 
County Soil was Cheap — Didn't Buy the Calves — An Experience in Borrowing 
Money — Hawking Coimty Orders — Sympathized With the County — Tramp 
Visits the Old Court House — A Prophecy — Early Mention of Building Stone 
—Signs of the Times — Illustrations of Early I^ay Conditions 231 




Place of Antiquity— The Indians' Garden of Eden— Where the Red Race was 
Born— Geological Age— Pipestone Quarried by Mound Builders— Hieroglyphics 
— The Pictograph Collection— White Explorers Hear of the Quarries— Indica- 
tions ol" Indian Villages— Struggles for Possession— Battle Fields of Pipestone 
County — Neutral Ground — George Catlin's Statement — The Sioux Take Pos- 
session — Legends— Creation of the Red Race — The Peace Pipe — The Flood 
—The "Three Maidens"— Interview with St rikethe-Ree— Early Explorers in 
Minnesota — The ('oteau des Pralines — Long — Keating — Featherstonehaugh — 
Catlin Plans a Visit— Possibility of Earlier White Visitation 243 



EXPLORATION— 1837-1872. 

First White Man Readies Pipestone County — George Catlin's Expedition — Ar- 
rested by tlie Sioux — Incidents of the Journey — The Country in 1837 — On 
Classic Ground — Catlin's Narrative — Nicollet's Expedition — His Route — De- 
scription — Opens a New Quarry with Gunpowder — First Initials (Carved on 
the Rocks — General Fremont's Letter — Places Visited — Captain Allen's Ex- 
plorations — Game P^ound — Rev. Ravoux Passes Through — Judge Swan's Visit 
— Women Captives at the Quarries — Pipestone County Created — Original 
Boundaries — The Yankton Treaty — Quarries Given to that Tribe — Reserva- 
tion Surveyed — Strike-the-Ree — County Re-Created — Surveyed — Sioux War — 
Visit of Dr. Hayden — Dr. White— The Gore Party— -Chased by Indians-!- 
Legislative Enactments — Surveying Section Lines — Quarries Homesteaded — 
Patents Annulled 251 



Settlers Pass By Pipestone County — Nearby Settlements — Fear of the Sioux — 
Trappers' Operations — C. H. Bennett Visits the Quarries — Selects Townsite 
— The Rock Rapids Promoters — Visit Pipestone County — First Claims Filed 
— First Building Erected — D. E. Sweet and John Lowry First Settlers — 
Sweet's Cabin — Dr. Taylor Arrives — First Breaking — Postoftice Established 
— A Lonesome Winter — Events of 1875 — New Arrivals — First Crop Sown — 
One Family Remains During Winter — Abortive Attempt to Organize County 
— Arrivals of 1876 — First Public Meeting — Townsite Surveyed — First Religious 
Services — Grasshoppers — New Comers Desert — Plan to Obliterate County — 
Permanent Homes Established — First Election — First Births — Boom in 1878 

— Rush for Lands — ^Improvements — Plans for Organization 261 


('[|.\PTK1! .\X. 


Steps to Organize County — Public Meeting — Electors Vote Favorably — Legislature 
Acts — The Bill — Organization — Selecting County Seat — Townships Organize 
— Sweet — Embraces Whole County — First Officers — Homesteaders — Osborne 
— Early History — Naming — Burke — Organized as Erip — First Town Meeting — 
Grange — Formerly Blaine — Fountain Prairie — First Named Upton — Rock — 
Early Settlers — Gray — First Officers — Elmer — Selecting the Name — Eden — 
Why So Named — First Officers — Troy — Named After a Cook Stove — Pioneers 
— Altona — The Homesteaders — Aetna — Last Precinct Organized 271 

CIl.M'TKK .\.\l. 

THE RAILWAY AGE:— 1879-1884. 

Change Wrought in Five Years — Progress in 1879 — Last of the Grasshoppers- 
First School Districts— Building the Southern Minnesota Railroad— Its His- 
tory—The Minnesota & Black Hills Road— Census of 1880— Old Settlers 
Society— The October Blizzard — Historic Winter— Blockades— Out of Fuel 
and Provisions — Burning Lumber — Great Depth of Snow— Crop Failure- 
District Court Organized— Statistics for 1882— Hail Storm— Cyclone— Close 
Bros. & Co.'s Operations — Era of Development — Events of 1883 — First County 
Fair — More Railroads — Omaha Branch Extends — The Burlington Builds — 
Bonds Voted— The First Train — Bonds for "Duluth" Road — Its Failure — Lands 
Sold in 1884— Prosperity -279 


CURRENT EVENTS— 1885-1911. 

Passing of Pioneer Days— Census of 188.5— Real Estate Sales— Rapid Settlement 
—The 1888 Blizzard— Adventures in the Storm— Willmar & Sioux Falls Rail- 
road—Bonds Voted— Celebration— Road Built— Towns Founded— Era of Pros- 


perlty— Census Returns— By Precincts — Last Railroad Built— The Panic- 
Cyclone— Mrs. Hicks Killed— The Damage— Crop Failures— Seed Grain Loans 
— Jail Building — Spanisli-Anierican War — The Pipestone County Company — 
Roster — The Losses — Return of Prosperous Times — Population in 1900 — Make- 
Shift Court Houses— Abortive Attempt to Build in 1894— Success in 1901 — 
Vote on Bonds — Hail Storm of 1903— Crop Damages— Late Census Figures 291 


POLITICAL— 1874-1911. 

First Political Convention — Only Three Men in the County Participate — Second 
Convention — Pipestone Delegate in State Convention — First Election — Poll 
List — Voters — Local Officers Chosen — Organization — First County Officers — 
Election of 1879— Contests in 1880— Democrats Organize in 1884— Results in 
1886 and 1888 — Farmers Alliance Enters Politics— .\nd Makes Clean Sweep 
— The Peoples Party — Dominates Politics — Bryan Carries County in 1896 — 
Republicans Win in 1898- Big Vote in 1900— The Primary Law — Later Elec- 
tions—Voting Strength of Precincts— Election of 1910 303 


PIPESTONE— 1874-1911. 

Ancient Pipestone — A Place of Antiquity — Location — Railroad Center — Selecting 
Site for Modern City — The Promoters — First Building — First Residents — 
Postoffice History — John Lowry Establishes Store — Townsite Platted — Addi- 
tions — Slow Growth — Pioneer Hotel — Enterprises in 1878 — In 1879 — Railroad 
Comes — Early Business Directory — Census of 1880 — A Town of Sixty-four 
Buildings — Incorporation — The License Question — Village Officers — Boom of 
1883 — Close Bros. & Co.'s Operations — Buildings Erected — Marvelous Growth 
in 1884 — Improvements Itemized — Directory of 1885 — Calumet Hotel Burns — 
*Electric Lights — Progress in 1892 — City Hall — A Prosperous Era — Under City 
Government — Officers — Census Figures — Later History 319 



The Public Schools — The Beginning — Six Pupils — First Building — Independent 
District Organized — Superintendents — Later School Houses — High School — 
Graduates — Indian Industrial School — Campaign for its Establishment — Its 
History — The Churches — Methodist — Rev. Suffron Writes — Presbyterian — Rev. 
Charles Thayer the Pioneer Preacher — Baptist — German Evangelical — Catho- 
lic — Episcopal — German Lutheran — Norwegian Lutheran — Christian Scientist 
— Seventh Day Adventists — The Lodges — Masonic — Odd Fellows — Grand 
Army — Workmen — Woodmen — Modern Brotherhood — Maccabees — E. F. U. — 
Yeomen — M. W. W. — Other Orders — Fire Department — Public Library — 
Banks — Pipestone State — First National — Farmers and Merchants — Security 
— Fire Insurance Company 331 



Jasper — Location — The Quarries — First Rumor of Town — Jasper Improvement 
Company — Its Operations — Townsite Platted — West Jasper — Founding the 
Town — First Business Houses — Postoft'ice — First Birth — Coming of Railroad 
— Improvements in 1888 — E^arly Business Directory — Petitions for Incorpora- 
tion — Beginning Municipal Life — License Question — Officers — Improvements 
in 1889 — Second Railroad — Census Figures — Fires — School — Churches — Lodg- 
es — Fire Department — Banks — Edgerton — First Settler on Site — Founding — 
First Buildings — Platted — Osborne Postoft'ice — Change to Edgerton — Railroad 
Comes — Lively Times — Pioneer Business Men — Incorporation — License Ques- 
tion — Village Officers — Current Events — Disastrous Fire — Water Works — • 
School — Church History — Lodges — Fire Department — Bank 347 

TAP.LK OF ('()X'I'F<:N'rS. xiii 


Holland — Founded by Moore & Sherman — Selecting the Site — The Name — Sur- 
veyed — First Lot Sold — First Building — Pioneer Business Men — Postoffice 
History — Slow Growth — Later Development — In 1898 — Incorporation — Village 
Officers — Census Statistics — The School — Churches — German Lutheran — Pres- 
byterian — German Baptist — Lodges — Fire Department — The Bank — Ruthton 
— Location — The Founding — Name — Surveyed — Early Business Houses — Post- 
office Established — The Boom — Early Day Business Directory — Incorporated 
— License Question — Roster of Officers — Fire — Population — Public Improve- 
ments — The School — Churches — Danish Lutheran — Norwegian Lutheran — • 
Methodist — Lodge History — Fire Department — Bank History 365 


Woodstock — Location — Hickcox's Prairie Postoffice — ^Woodstock Surveyed — First 
Building on Site — Naming the Village — First Business Houses — Land Compan- 
ies Start Boom — Directory of 1884 — Census of 1892 — Incorporation — Petition- 
ers — Voters — License Question — Roster of Officers — Later History — School — 
Churches — Lodges — Bank — Trosky — Cause of Founding — Selecting the Site — 
Platting — First Buildings — Pioneer Business Enterprises — Postoffice History 
— Development — L. P. Kenyon Secures Townsite — And Starts a Boom — Early 
Day Directory — Beginning Municipal Government — Voting on License — Vil- 
lage Officers — Fires — School — Methodist Church — Lodges — Fire Department — 
Bank 377 

{'IIAnM<:i! XXTX. 

Hatfield — An Old Village — The Naming — Founding — Postoffice — Platted — Fire^ 
Ihien— Selecting the Site — First Business Houses — Postoffice History — The 
Bank — Cazenovia — Demand for a Town— The Name— Early History— Airlie 
— The Border Town — Founded by Scotch Company — Its Development — De- 
stroyed by Fire — Cresson — Formerly Altoona — Platted — Luctor — As Church- 
ville — Other Places — Eton — Formerly Gray — The Nameless Site — North Sioux 
Falls— Meadow— Ridge— Converse— Heath— McVey 389 



Boundaries— Area— The Coteau des Prairies— What It Is— Its Western Slope — 
Pipestone County's Topographical Features — The Crest of the Coteau — • 
Elevations of Townships — Of Railroad Points — Rock Formations — The Ledge 
— The Pipestone — Descriptions by Catlin, Nicollet, Winchell — Analyses — The 
"Three Maidens" — Their History— Building Stone — Quarries at Pipestone — 
At Jasper — The Soil— Why It Is So Fertile — Drainage — The Streams— Rock 
River— Flandreau, Pipestone, Split Rock Creeks 397 


Eighteen Papers Founded— Those Now Published— Founding the Pipestone (boun- 
ty Star— I. L. Hart— The Daily Star— Edgerton News— Edgerton Enterprise 
—Its History— Pipestone Republic— Pipestone Republican— Woodstock .lour- 
nal— Jasper Journal— Minnesota Stjernen— Public Tribune— I'\armers Advo- 
cate—Farmers Leader— Woodstock Eagle— Trosky Advertiser— Pipestone In- 
dependent—Woodstock News— Ruthton Gazette— Pipestone Review— Holland 
Advocate — Holland News ■*'*5 

xiv TAiirj': or contents. 



Reservation Squatters — Whites Build on tlie Reserve — Efforts to Remove — Indians 
Threaten Outbrealt — The Outcome — A Railroad War — Burlington and Omaha 
Roads Fight Over Crossing — The Long Winter — Adventures in Storms — Out 
of Fuel — Prairie Fires — The Fires of 1879 — Historic Organ — "The Bachelor 
Homesteader" — Poem by Mrs. Bennett — Game in Early Days — Incident of 
Bonus Voting Days — The Town Pump — Its Use and Misuse — "The Medicine 
Sioux" — Legend of the Quarry — Letter from Longfellow — An Election Wager 
— Early County Finances — Shooting for Rain — An Early Day School — Hay 
Burners — First Automobile 413 


Rock County Biographical 425 

Pipestone County Biographical 659 


N'icoUet's map Frontispiece 

Joseph Nicolas Nicollet 38 

Map of Minnesota Territory 44 

Early County Maps 64 

Old Rock County Court House 86 

Rock County Scenes .126 

Main Street, Luverne 140 

Residence Street, Luverne 140 

Diagram Map of Luverne, 1883 146 

Luverne's Churches 156 

Luverne's Public Buildings 164 

Scenes at Hills 172 

Churches and School at Hills 178 

Scenes at Hardwick 182 

Scenes at Beaver Creek 190 

Scenes at Magnolia 198 

Scenes at Kenneth 204 

Scenes at Steen 206 

The Blue Mounds 220 

The Pipestone Quarries 246 

The Nicollet Inscription 256 

Typical Sod Shanty 266 

Cactus at the Quarries 266 

Map of Pipestone County 274 

Main Street, Pipestone 296 

Grand Army Post, Pipestone 296 

Pipestone County Scenes 306 

Pipestone in Early Days 322 

Pipestone's Churches 336 

Pipestone's Public Buildings 342 

Scenes at Jasper 350 

Churches and School at Jasper 354 

Scenes at Edgerton 360 

Scenes at Holland 366 

Scenes at Ruthton 372 

Scenes at Woodstock 378 

Scenes at Trosky 386 

The Jasper Quarries 402 

Winnewissa Fall 420 

Harrison White 424 

Jay A. Kennicott 444 

Edwin H. Canfield 464 

August Loose 482 

Home Automobile Company 500 

Henry Bierkamp 500 

Otto Bierkamp 500 

Philo Hawes 514 

Pierce J. Kniss 514 

Alexander Walker 514 

George Elbert Green 514 

Martin L. Wahlert 530 

Hans T. Hoi verson 530 

W. Orange Larson 530 

Ones H. Gravatt 530 

Samuel L. Carleton 544 

Charles E. Nelson 544 

Chandler N. Philbrick 544 

Carl J. Woodrow 544 

Knute K. Hellie 558 

James A. McCann 558 

Peter T. Petersen 558 

Arthur P. Rose 558 

Home of Charles J. Martin 572 

Home of A. D. LaDue ...584 

Home of Dr. J. W. Hawkinson 584 

Home of J. W. Gerber 596 

Home of A. J. Daley 596 

Home and Mill of J. P. Coffey 608 

Home of Herman Fitzer 608 

Home of Chris O. Nelson 620 

Home of T. G. Tammen 620 

Home of Otto K. Steen 632 

Family of Andrew T. Hauglid 632 

Home of H. O. Tuff 644 

Monument Works of James Home.... 644 

Charles H. Bennett 658 

Daniel E .Sweet 692 

Carl L. Engebretson 714 

Christian I. Ring 714 

C. S. Howard 714 

Robert E. Thomas 714 

Gustav Boehmke 736 

Pratt M. Seri'urier 736 

Dr. Henry C. Donis 736 

L. H. Moore 736 

Selah S. King 758 

Family of Henry D. Siebring 758 

Erick J. Aslesen 758 

Home of M. K. Steen 776 

Home of C. H. Bennett 776 



Apportionments — commissioner districts, 
121, 122, 124, 126; congressional, 120; 
legislative, 120. 

Area, 217. 

Ash creek, 220. 

Ashcreek village, 208-210. 

Assessments, early, 59, 62, 72, 76, 113, 117. 

Banks (see village headings). 

Battlefield, Indian, 36. 

Battle Plain township, 36, 66. 

Beaver creek, 61, 221. 

Beaver Creek township, 61. 

Beaver Creek village, 187-197; hank, 197; 
census returns, 192, 193; churches, 154, 
194; cyclone, 104; directories, early, 190, 
192; fire department, 197; fires, 193; 
founding, 188; incorporation, 190; li- 
cense question, 191; lodges, 196; officers, 
191; platting, 188; postotfice, 189; rail- 
road reaches, 87, 91, 188; school, 194; 
wants county seat, 106-108, 193. 

Bicycle craze, 239. 

Binder, first self, 239. 

Births, first — in Battle Plain township, 66; 
in county, 53; in Hardwick, 181. 

Blizzards, 54, 70, 72-74, 96-100, 109, 110. 

Blockades, snow, 73, 96-100. 

Bonds — for court house, 106, 112; for rail- 
roads, 87, 102, 112; for schools, 152, 154; 
for village improvements, 147, 148. 

Borrowed county's cash, 235. 

Boundaries — of ceded lands, 39; of Min- 
nesota territory, 43; of Rock county, 39, 
43, 44, 71, 72, 217; of townships, 59-68. 

Bruce, 171, 173, 210-212. 

Buildings, pioneer, 49, 50, 51, 139. 

Building stone, 222, 238, 239. 

Celehrations— after county organization, 
59 ; first Christmas dinner, 51 ; first fourth 
of July, 52; Norway's independence, 173. 

Census returns — county, 44, 54, 74, 85, 96, 
105, 113, 114, 116, 117; village (see vil- 
lage headings). 

Chanpepedan creek, 38, 220. 

Chanarambie creek, 38. 

Churches (see village headings). 

Clinton postoffice, 216. 

Clinton township, 60. 

Commissioner districts, 58, 121, 122, 124, 

Congressional history, 120. 

Contests — for county seat, 106-108; for of- 
fice, 124. 

Coteau des Prairies, 38. 

County formations, 42. 

County orders hawked, 238. 

County seat — selecting the, 57, 58, 119; 
contest for removal of, 106-108. 

Court houses, 85, 106, 107, 111, 112, 238. 

Courts (see judicial districts). 

Crops, damaged by weather, 85, 94, 95, 96, 
100, 114; (see also hail storms and cy- 

Cyclones, 103, 104, 113. 

Denver postoffice, 215. 
Denver township, 67, 68. 
Descriptive, 217-222. 
Drainage, 220. 
Drake station, 198. 

Elevations, 220. 
Elk creek, 220. 

Explorers— LeSueur, 37; Carver, 37; Nicol- 
let, 38. 

Fair, first county, 234. 

Fire departments (see village headings). 

Fires (see village headings). 

Floods, 100, 114. 

Free seed grain, 81, 83, 88, 114. 

Game, 36, 47, 48, 71, 137, 188, 233. 
Geology, 33, 34, 218, 219, 221, 222. 
Grasshopper scourge, 75, 76, 81, 82, 84, 87- 

90, 95, 142. 
Gregory township, 64, 67. 

Hail storms, 71, 95, 113, 114, 117. 

Handy postoffice, 215. 

Hardwick, 179-185; bank, 185; census re- 
turns, 179, 183; churches, 184; direc- 
tory, early, 181; fire department, 184; 
founding, 180; incorporation, 182; li- 



cense question, 182; lodges, 184; officers, 
182; platting, 181; postoffice, 180; school, 
183 : selecting the site, 179, 180; water- 
works, 183. 

Hills, 171-178; banks, 178; census returns, 
174, 175, 176; churches, 171, 177; direc- 
tories, early, 174, 175; fire department, 
178; founding, 173; incorporation, 175, 
176; license question, 176; lodge, 178; 
naming of, 172; officers, 176; platting, 
172; postoffice, 173; removal of, 175; 
school, 177; selecting the site, 171. 

Homesteaders, 55, 60-68, 74, 141, 239. 

Hopperdozers, 84, 90. 

Immigration, 40, 54, 69, 71, 74, 91, 93, 94, 

104, 113. 
Incorporation (see village headings). 
Indians — origin of, 34, 35; treaties with, 

39; tribal divisions of, 35; troubles with, 

36, 40, 45. 
Iron post (boundary mark), 39. 

Jail, 117. 

.lames Boys, visit of, 236. 

Judicial districts, 57, 81, 124. 

Kanaranzi creek, 38, 63, 220. 
Kanaranzi township, 62. 
Kanaranzi village, 212. 
Kenneth, 203-206. 
Kongsburg postoffice, 216. 

Land grant, 91. 

Land office, 57. 

Land sales, 39, 94, 104, 113, 116, 117, 237. 

Legislative history, 120. 

License (see village headings). 

Luverne, city of, 137-109; as a distributing 
point, 90; banks, 166-168; census returns, 
137, 142, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149; churches, 
154-160; city hall, 147; cyclone, 104; di- 
rectories, early, 142, 145; electric lights, 
148; fire department, 165; fires, 147, 148, 
152, 165; first buildings in, 50, 51, 138, 
139; first residents of, 50, 138; first 
store in, 53, 139; founding, 140, 141; 
homesteaders on land in, 141; incorpora- 
tion, 143, 149; library, 164; license ques- 
tion, 143; lodges, 160-164; made county 
seat, 58, 139; manufactories, 168; nam- 
ing of, 139; officers, 144, 149; platting, 
140; postoffice, 52, 138; railroad reaches, 
87, 142; resists county seat removal, 108; 
schools, 151-154; selecting the site of, 50, 
138; waterworks, 148. 

Luverne township, 59. 

Magnolia township, 62. 

Magnolia village, 197-202; as Drake station, 
198; bank, 202; census returns, 201; 
church, 201; founding, 198, 199; incor- 
poration, 200; license question, 200; 
lodges, 202; officers, 200; platting, 198, 
199; postoffice, 197, 199; school, 201. 

Mail routes, 48, 50, 141. 

Manley, 213. 

Martin postoffice, 216. 
Martin township, 63. 
Meadow postoffice, 216. 
Military road, 45. 
Militia companies, 114. 
Mound Builders, 34, 35. 
Mound creek, 220. 
Mound station, 215. 
Mounds, the, 43, 65, 221, 222. 
Mound township, 65. 

Newspapers, 223-229. 

Officers — county (see political); township 
(see township headings) ; village (see 
village headings). 

Old Settlers association, 108. 

Panics — of 1857, 40; of 1873, 76; of 1893, 

114, 148. 
Pleasant Valley postoffice, 216. 
Political, 58, 119-135, 239. 
Population (see census returns). 
Postoffices (see village headings). 
Prairie fires, 84, 90, 231. 
Prairie schooners, 71, 93, 94, 143. 
Products, 219. 

Railroad lands, 74, 235. 

Railroads— Burlington (Rock Island), 101- 
103, 116; Doon branch (Omaha), 94; Illi- 
nois Central, 110; Prospective, .40, 101; 
Sioux City & Northern (Great North- 
ern), 112; Sioux City & St. Paul (Oma- 
ha), 46, 70, 85-87, 239; Southern Minne- 
sota (Milwaukee), 86, 91; Willmar & 
Sioux Falls (Great Northern), 111; 
Worthington & Sioux Falls (Omaha), 85- 
87, 91, 94, 142. 

Relief measures, 79-81, 83, 85, 86. 

Religious service, first, 157. 

Reminiscent, 231-239. 

Rock county — creation of, 40, 43; organi- 
zation of, 57-59, 119-121; other names 
borne by, 43; sovereignty of lands in, 
41, 42. 

Reck river, 38, 220. 

Uoie Dell township, 67. 

Schools — county, 69, 77, 151; village (see 

village headings). 
Settlement, early, 40, 44, 47-55, 69. 
Soil, 219. 

Soldiers (see war I. 
Split Rock river, 221. 
Springwater township, 65. 
Squatters, 235. 
Steen, 206-208. 
Surveys, 39, 43, 53, 55. 

Taxes abated, 83. 
Threshing, first, 52. 
Timber, 74, 220, 221. 
Topography, 217, 218. 
Townships, 59-68. 
Trappers, 46, 47, 48, 138. 


Treaty, cf Traverse des Sioux, 39. 

Vienna townsliip, 64. 

Virginia (see Steen). 

Voters — by precincts, 1.34; first. 119. 

War — Inkpaduta massacre, 40; Sioux, 45; 

Spanisti-American, 114-116. 
Warner, 215. 
Winter of 1880-81, 96-100. 


Aetna townsliip, 277. 
Airlie, 392. 

Altona townsliip, 277. 
Altoona (see Cresson). 
Automobile, the first, 421. 

Bank-i (see village headings). 

Battlefields, 245, 246. 

Births— first in county, 268; first in Ed- 

gerton, 356; first in Jasper, 349; first in 

Osborne township, 273. 
Blizzards, 262, 282-284, 292, 293, 415. 
Blockades, snow, 282, 283. 
Bonds, vote on, 2SS, 289. 294, 299, 300, 418. 
Boom times, 268, 269, 279, 286, 289, 291, 

Boundaries, 257, 258, 397. 
Breaking, 264. 
Building stone — at Jasper, 401, 402; at 

Pipestone, 401. 
Burke township, 273. 

Cazenovia, 391. 

Census— county, 258. 281. 291. 294. 299, 301; 

village (see village headings), 
Chanarambie creek, 255, 403. 
Churches (see village headings). 
Churchville (see Luctor). 
Close Bros. & Co., 285, 286. 289. 
Commissioner districts, 306, 309. 
Converse, 395. 
Coteau des Prairies, 249, 252, 253, 397, 

398, 399. 
County seat, 272. 
Court house, 266, 272, 299, 300. 
Courts, 257, 260, 284. 
Cresson, 393. 
Crops, damage to, 265, 267, 269, 284, 285, 

297, 300, 301. 
Cyclone-., 285, 295, 296. 

Descriptive, 397-404. 
Drainage, 403, 404. 

Eden township, 276. 

Edgerton, 355-363; bank, 363; census, 355, 
357, 359; churches, 361; directory, 357; 
fire, 359; fire department, 362; found- 
ing, 281, 355; homesteaders, 355; incor- 
poration. 357; license question. 358; 
lodges. 362; officers, 358; platting, 355; 
postoffice, 356; school, 360. 

Elections (see political). 
Elevatious, 398. 
Elmer township, 275. 
Eton, 394. 

Explorers — Allen, 256; Bennett, 262; Car- 
ver, 245; Catlin, 249-254; Featherstone- 

haugh, 249; Fremont, 254, 255; Gore, 

259; Hayden, 259; LeSueur, 245; Long. 

248; Nicollet. 254, 255; Ravoux, 256; 

Swan, 256; White, 259. 
Fair, county, 287. 

Fire departments (see village headings). 
Fires — prairie, 416; village (see village 

Flandreau creek, 404. 
Fountain Prairie township, 274. 
F'ree seed grain. 297. 

Game. 256. 417. 
Grange township. 274. 
Grasshoppers. 265. 267, 280. 
Gray Siding (see Eton). 
Gray towmhip, 275. 

Hail storms, 285, 300, 301. 

Hatfield, 389, 390. 

Hay, for fuel, 421. 

Heath, 395. 

Hickcox's Prairie, 377, 378' 

Hieroglyphics, 244, 247, 253. 

Holland, 365-369; bank, 369; census, 368; 
churches, 368; directory, 366; fire de- 
partment, 369; founding, 294, 366; in- 
corporation, 367; lodges, 369; officers, 
367; postoffice, 366; school, 368. 

Homesteaders, 272-278. 

Homesteader, The Bachelor, 417. 

Ihlen, 390. 

Incorporation (see village headings). 

Indians. — adventures with, 251, 256, 259, 
260; Sioux, 246; superstitions, 253, 255, 
401; Yanktons, 246, 248, 249, 257, 258. 

Jails, 280, 297. 

Jasper, 347-354; banks, 354; building im- 
provements, 349, 352; census, 347, 349, 
350, 352, 353; churches, 353; directories, 
349, 350; fire department, 354; founding, 
294, 349; Improvement Co., 348; incor- 
poration, 350; license question, 351; 
lodges, 354; officers, 351; platting, 348; 
postoffice, 349; schools, 353. 

Jurors, first. 284. 

Land claims, 260. 272-278. 413. 

Land grants, 260, 280. 

Land sales, 279, 285, 286, 289, 291, 292, 294, 

Leaping Rock. 253, 254, 255. 
Legends, 247, 248, 255, 419. 
Library, Pipestone, 344. 
License (see village headings). 
Lodges (see village headings). 
Longfellow, letter from, 420. 
Luctor, 393. ;. 



Mail routes, 264, 265, 266, 356. 

McA'ey. 395. 

Meadow, 394. 

Meeting, first public, 266. 

Newspapers, 405-411. 
North Sioux Palls, 394. 

Officprs — county (see political) ; township 
(see township headings) ; village (see 
village headings). 

Old Settlers' society, 281. 

Organ, an historic, 417. 

Osborne township, 273. 

Panic, financial, 294. 

Peace pipes, 244, 245, 248. 

Pipestone (the stone), 244, 245, 249, 254, 
399, 400. 

Pipestone, city of, 319-346; banks, 344; 
building improvements, 326, 327; cen- 
sus, 323, 327, 328, 329, 330; churches, 
335-340; civic improvements, 328, 330; 
Close Bros. & Co.'s operations, 285; de- 
velopment, 279, 322, 325, 326; director- 
ies, 323, 327; fire, 328; fire department, 
343; first building, 263, 320; first resi- 
dents, 320; first store, 321; incorporation, 
324, 329; library, 344; license question, 
324; lodges, 340-343; officers, 324, 329; 
platting, 321; postoffice, 264, :,20; 
schools, 331-334; selecting the site, 
262, 320. 

Pipestone county — attempts to organize, 

265, 267; attempt to divide, 267, 208; 
creation of, 257, 258; finances of, 420; 
organization of, 271, 272, 305, 306. 

Pipestone creek. 255, 403. 

Pipestone quarries, 243, 245, 252-254, 255, 

266, 319, 338, 339; ownership of, 246, 
247, 249, 254, 257, 258, 260, 266. 

Political, 266, 268, 270, 272, 303-318. 
Poplar creek, 403. 
Postoffices (see village headings). 
Pump, the town, 418. 

Railroads— Duluth, 288, 289; Great North- 
ern, 293, 294; Milwaukee (Southern Min- 
nesota), 279-281; Omaha, 279, 281, 287, 
414; Rock Island (Burlington), 288, 
294, 414. 

Rain, shooting for, 421. 

Religious services, first, 267. 

Reminiscent, 413-421. 

Reservation, 260; squatters on, 413. 

Ridge, 395. 

Rock river, 255, 403. 

Rock township, 275. 

Ruthton, 369-375; bank, 375; census, 371, 
373; churches, 373; directory, 371; fire 
department, 375; founding, 294, 370; in- 
corporation, 371; license question, 372; 
lodges, 374; officers, 372; platting, 370; 
postoffice, 371; schools, 373. 

Schools— county, 280, 283; early day, 421; 

Indian, 265, 333; Pipestone, 331-333; 

village (see village headings). 
Settlement, early, 261-270. 
Signal Mound, 24ii, 
Sioux, The Medicine, 419. 
Soil, 402, 403. 
Split Rock river, 404. 
Surveys, 258, 260, 263. 
Sweet township, 272. 

Three Maidens, the, 243, 248, 401. 

Threshing, first, 267. 

Timber, 399. 

Topography, 397-399. 

Treaties — of Traverse des Sioux. 257; with 
Yanktons, 257, 258. 

Trosky, 383-388; bank, 388; census, 383, 
387; church, 388; directory, 386; found- 
ing, 288, 384; fire department, 388; in- 
corporation, 386; license question, 386; 
lodges, 388; officers, 386; platting, 384; 
postoffice, 385; school, 387. 

Troy township, 276. 

Villages (see village headings), 
voters — by precincts, 318; first, 305; high- 
est number of, 314. 

Wager, an election, 420. 

War — Sioux, 259; Spanish-American, 297, 

West Jasper, 348, 350. 

Winter of 1880-81, 282-284, 415. 

Woodstock, 377-383; bank, 383; census, 
380, 381; churches, 382; colonization 
companies, 379; directory, 379; founding, 
378; incorporation, 380; license question, 
380; lodges, 382; officers, 380; platting, 
378; postoffice, 377; school, 382. 


l.'Ut'K COUNTY. 


Aanenson, Aanen T 609 

Adams, Willard W 557 

Ahrendt, Albert 534 

Albert, John A 628 

Alink, .John 523 

Allen, William V 587 

Anderson, Andrew A 578 

Anderson, Nels 450 

Anderson, Willie S 477 

Andresen, Emil 592 

Arends, R 586 

Arneion, Lewis 519 

Amen, Hans T 492 

Ausen, Oscar M 561 

Axelsen, Gus 597 

Backer, Eli M 580 

Baer, Dana M 648 

Baker, Charles A 522 

Baker, Frederick A 467 

Baker, Thomas 583 

Barck, Eugene V 562 

Barclay, James H 577 

Beaubien, Mark 532 

Bell, George G 590 

Bendt, Ernest 591 

Bendt, George M 623 

Bendt, Nick 639 

Bennett, Bert W 622 

Benson, Nels 457 

Bergin, Michael 477 

Bierkamp, Henry 500 

Bierkamp, Otto 499 

Black, James E 495 

Bleeker, George 540 

Blocker, Fred 647 

Boe, Halvor J 626 

Bogenreit, Jacob E 576 

Bonnett, James W 576 

Borchers, Henry 571 

Boy-en, P. B 492 

Brauer, Charles 619 

Brown, E. A 457 

Brown, P. E 455 

Bruce, Charles S 463 

Bruemmer, Charles 620 

BruFEe, Hannah (Harbersl 597 

Buckley, Edward 591 


Cady, Ira M 511 

Cameron, John 598 

Canfield, Edwin H 464 

Carl, Gust 649 

Carleton, Samuel L 544 

Carter. Samuel A 627 

Chapin, Birch 441 

Chesley, Roy E 555 

Christensen, Jasper 526 

Christiansen, Hans 646 

Chri-tianson, Emil M 506 

Christianson, Nels A 582 

Christopherson, Carl E 613 

Christopherson, Conrad H 535 

Coffey, John P 608 

Colby, Charles E 592 

Colby, Thomas J 518 

Conway, Michael 616 

Cook, Alvin A 636 

Cooper, Benjamin W 631 

Coss, Louis E 526 

Cottrell, George W 568 

Cragg, Henry S '. 634 

Cragoe, S. John N 535 

Crangle, John 1 611 

Crawford, William 428 

Grossman, Biihop 1 434 

Croston, James 647 

Dahl, Einar C 497 

Dahl, Ole C 570 

Daley, A. J 596 

Darling, Eugene N 427 

Davidson, Charles C 638 

Davidson, James A 625 

Davidfon. William N 481 

Dean. William T 482 

Delate, George G 589 

DeRue, Ed 654 

Dc'g3, William 642 

Drew, Charles C 447 

Dunbar, Ed. J 598 

Dunbar, George 569 

Dunn, James B 445 

Eberlein, Andrew J 562 

Eberlein, Ed. S 599 

Egge, Nels 601 


BlOUl.'Al'iilCAL IXHEX. 


Eitreim, Iver D 446 

Ekman, Herman 649 

Ellefson. Kinit 463 

Ellsworth, Marion J 609 

Engebret-;on, Eric- 456 

Engebretson, John 488 

Engebretson, Martinus 520 

Engelson, Alfred P 482 

English, Lee 626 

Erickson, Alfred E 453 

Erstad, Edward 480 

Ferguson, Frank 523 

Finke, August C 454 

Finke, C. W 481 

Finke, William F 496 

Fitzer, Chris 568 

Fitzer, Herman 608 

Floden, Knudt K 631 

Foight, Sam 613 

Frahm, John 561 

Fresvik, Arne 601 

Gabel, Ed 640 

Gabrialson, John G 623 

Gainey, P 460 

Ganfield, George V 495 

Gehrke, Emil 634 

Gerber, Jacob W 594 

Gibson, Ralph L 560 

Giese, Henry 507 

Glenn, William C 601 

Goembel, Jeise L 557 

Goettsch, Henry 628 

Goettsch, William 595 

Graaf, Charles W 594 

Gravatt, Ones H 531 

Green, George Elbert 516 

Greene, W. E. E 553 

Groman, Gus 655 

Grout, Thaddeus A 471 

Gunderson, Gust 549 

Gunderson, Tobias 501 

Hafsaas, Andrew 615 

Hagedorn, Ben 649 

Hagedorn, Gus A 520 

Hagen, Jennie 621 

Halvorson, Halvor 489 

Halvorson, Rasmus 430 

Hansen, Ole 445 

Hansen, Thomas 615 

Hanson, Adolph A 593 

Haraldson, Hans 494 

Haraldson, Olaus 470 

Harroun, James A 502 

Hauglid, Andrew T 632 

Haugnese, Sever 551 

Hawes, Philo 513 

Hawkinson, Joseph W 584 

Hecht, Emil C 573 

Helgeson, Jens O., Jr 560 

Hellie, Knute K 557 

Helling, Andrew 604 

Hemme, Heinrich J 525 

Hemme, Herman 543 

Henton, Fred B 465 


Herreid, Amund H 487 

Herrmann, Fritz 583 

Hill, Charlie 552 

Hinkly, R. B 487 

H in?, William 652 

Hodgson, Lewis C .529 

Hofsommer, Adam 650 

Hogan, Joseph M 635 

Hoime, Andrew 582 

Hoime, K. S 527 

Hoime, P. S 478 

Holling, Henry M 547 

Holverson, Hans T 530 

Holverson Ole R 525 

Home, James 644 

Houg, Carl 558 

Hoven, Ben 539 

Hulett. Duane A 541 

Humphrey, William 640 

Ingelson, Andrew 451_ 

Iverron, John B 475 

Iverscn, Nels 438 

Jacobs, Ellen (Chapmani 552 

Jacobien, William 438 

Jacobsen, William, Jr 543 

Jatcbfon, Jacob N 478 

Jacobson, Jacob 627 

Jacobson, Niels 429 

Jacobson, Theodore M 546 

Jaycox, Abraham 439 

Jenning?. Walter E 650 

Jensen, Antlrew 534 

Jensen, Nels P 486 

Johnson, Eli B 569 

Johnson, Erland 494 

Johnson, W. A 540 

Joles, . James S 532 

Jones. Daniel B 602 

Jones, Willard A 610 

Josendahl, Sven 647 

Kahler. .John 577 

Kammerud, Iver , 613 

Kasch, William K 623 

Kennedy, James P 437 

Kennicott, Jay A 444 

Kille, Peter 459 

Kindt, Ferdinand 582 

Kittelscn, Sven 524 

Kitterman, J. H 537 

Kjergaard, Hans Nelson 508 

Kniss, George W 'J 451 

Knits. Pierce J 514 

Kno wlton. Grant A 497 

Knowlton, Jame? A 542 

Knudtson, Wilhelm T 585 

Koch, Anton 576 

Kohn, Jacob 630 

Roll, Matth 575 

KolEcheen, Emil F 578 

Kolsrud, Olat 581 

Kopp, Ferdinand 560 

Kornmann. Edward Pliilip 617 

Krantz, Amil 651 

Kreps, Fred 496 

llKXil.'Al'llK'AL INDEX. 



Krcgtnann, Julius '>9.'' 

Krohn, .John P fil2 

Kubitz, Francis A 614 

Kuehl, H. A 563 

Kuhnert, H 629 

Kundel, Nick 610 

LaDue, A. D 584 

LaDue, Jay 435 

Lamm, Joliii E 626 

Larson, I^ewis G 503 

Larson, Lewis 483 

Larson, Nels K 535 

Larson, W. Orange 531 

Lear, Lionel E 532 

LeCleir, Jacob 653 

Leech, Eli 636 

Lelcher, Fenton A 512 

Lein, Ole J 649 

Lemke, Ferdinand J 622 

Leslie, Earl S 636 

Leilie, George 588 

Lewis, Thomas Edwin 628 

Linnell, Chester H 528 

Linnell, Victor C 610 

Lohr, George A 490 

Loose, August 482 

Loose, Frank T 458 

Lowe, Charley C 607 

Lynch, Edward W 579 

Lynch, W. P 589 

Macfadden, William 587 

Maloney, Edward E 561 

Mannigel, John C 585 

Martin, Charles J 572 

Mathews, Harry W 622 

Mathiesen, Charlie G 486 

Maxedon, John R 605 

Maxwell, Austin 446 

Maynes, William A 474 

McCann, James Albert 558 

McCurdy, C. J 525 

McDermott, William E 461 

McKay, David W 587 

McKenzie, Gordon J 583 

McKisson, John E 639 

McKisson, William 581 

McLeish, John 637 

Meester, Albert H 527 

Merkel, Jacob 434 

Merkel, Lycurgus 503 

Meyer, Albert A 648 

Meyer, Earnest A 635 

Miller, Herbert J 442 

Millhouse, Samuel H 547 

Minard. William R 563 

Moe, Carl J S'lT. 

Moe, Christian C 554 

Moeller, Ferdinand H 606 

Moen, Halsten M 640 

Moerke. John 611 

Moon, Frank 603 

Moreaux, Amable 518 

Mork, Gus H 639 

Murray, Wilmer T 60.5 


Nash, Olaf J 536 

Nelson, Andrew J 646 

Nelson, Charles E 544 

Nelson, Chris 619 

Nehon, George D 560 

Nelson, John, Jr 604 

Nelson, Marcus C 509 

Nelson, Nels J 621 

Nelson, Samuel B 471 

Nergord, Ole 567 

Nerison, Neri 553 

Newton, W. E 571 

Norton, Dell 505 

Norton, Ray L 528 

Norton, Robert C 436 

Nuffer, Frederick C 504 

Nutting, Charles E 566 

Oestcrii, Adolpii G 574 

Oldre, Knudt G 488 

Olsen, Hogen 549 

Olson, Engebret 616 

Or=on. John 653 

Omorit, Carl 629 

Onerheim. Ingebret K 563 

Op?ata. Tollef 433 

Ordung. Philip C 633 

Ormseth, Ole 599 

Otto, Henry 641 

Oye, John 580 

Page, Madi~on 521 

Palmer, Charles A 588 

Parker, Albert D 550 

Paulsen, Henry M 497 

Pau'sen, Otto A 470 

Paulson, Theodore S 590 

Paustian, Frederick 524 

Pautsch, George 635 

Pedersen, John S 650 

Pederson, John 552 

Peet, Ed 654 

Pendergast, Mike P 652 

Percival, Lizzie (Knight) 605 

Peschon, Fred 634 

Peters, Howard H 571 

Petersen, Peter T 559 

Petterson, Mathias 651, 

Philbrick, Chandler N 545 

Piepgra", John D 499 

Preston, James 440 

Oua'lev, George 503 

Qualley, Gilbert J 540 

Qualley, Ole C 469 

Rademarher, .Mbert 527 

Rademacher, William C 554 

Raymond, Emmet E 541 

Raymiond, Vernie ' 589 

Rea, Samuel C 507 

Remme, Theodore C 604 

Reynolds, Charles A 431 

Reynolds, Nelson R 468 

Riedel, Paul 578 

Riss, Joseph 642 

Riste, Erirk 620 




Roberts, James E 612 

Rodman. Harry S 644 

Roen. Benhardt A 470 

Rogness, Andrew .1 533 

Rogne"s, Nels 573 

Rognley, Hans 475 

Rolfs, Henry 564 

Rolph, Charlie E 453 

Rose, S. W 575 

Rossum, B. E 452 

Rowland, T. D 570 

Rustad, John M 548 

Sanderson, Andrew 488 

Savold, Halvor 556 

Savold, Henry ' 588 

Schellhouse. Henry 615 

Schlueter, Henry 624 

Schneckloth, Arnold 633 

Scliroeder, Adolpli 502 

Schwartz, Edward C 539 

Scott, Amos 521 

Severtson, Ole 462 

Sexe Ammon T 463 

Sheriff, Chester W 603 

Shurr. Frank 480 

Shurr, George W ; . 519 

Sierks, Hans J 645 

Skovgaard. Charles F 472 

Skrondahl, Andrew L 496 

Skyberg, Olat 473 

Sky berg, Peder 461 

Smith, Albert D 550 

Snook, Henry Quinby 504 

Snook, Jame- F 616 

Snook, Joseph L 624 

Sodemann, Otto 654 

Solem, Ananias G 50S 

Scutar, Frank 618 

Soutar, George 479 

Spriesterbach, Emil A 505 

Staffler, Gus H 645 

Stager, A. E 570 

Stamman, John W 510 

Standish, Simon S 602 

Stearns, Charles R 455 

Stearns, Willis J 465 

Steen, Otto K 631 

Steen, Peter C ..466 

Steen, Peter N 447 

Steffen, William M 522 

Steinteldt, Adolph 633 

Stephen, Rutus J 551 

Stoakes, Drydcn J 600 

Stoltenberg, Hans 602 

Storv, Arthur J 618 

Story, Percy A 637 

Stralow, William L 645 

Straw, Ashlev 643 

Stroeh, Carl 638 

Stuckinbrokcr, Heinrich 564 

Suhl, Henry 653 

Sundem, Gullik G., Jr 581 

Sundem, Gullik G., Sr 49S 

Suurmyer, Benjamin G 586 

Swan, Robert Russell 548 

SwedberL', Mark 510 


Tammen, T. G 620 

Tangeman, A. G 614 

Tangemann, Andrew J 538 

Taylor, James 566 

Teskey, Arthur 579 

Thorn, Robert D 585 

Thompson, Albert T 648 

Thompson, John 617 

Tliompson, Oscar M 611 

Thompson, Theodore •. 595 

Thompson, William 484 

Thomte, Hans J 556 

Thomte, Herman 512 

Thorin, J. A 599 

Thorp. George 574 

Thorson, Edward 621 

Thorson, Emory T 443 

Tibbetts, Herbert C 600 

Todd. Samuel 506 

Tokheim, Tosten T 479 

Tollef-on, Ole T 533 

Tostenrud, Ole L 509 

Tostenrud. Ralph L 555 

Tower. Isaac W 630 

Trenhaile, John M 625 

Tuff, Annie M 625 

Tuff, Haagen 642 

Turner, George W 555 

Tvedt, Holden 607 

Tvedt, Mrs. Zigred 537 

Tweton, Mrs. Ole 567 

nirich, John W 586 

Utley. Charles R 618 

Varah, James E 538 

Vopat, James 655 

Wahlert. Martin L .529 

Walker. Alexander 515 

Walker, Chai-les H 449 

Walker, Edward A 566 

Wallenberg, Fred 641 

Walter, David S 652 

Webber, Christ 578 

Wolker, Frank E ,. 493 

Westlie, Halvor H '. 549 

White, Harrison 425 

White, William H 499 

Whitney. George B 500 

Whyte, P. D ." 542 

Wiese, Carl 476 

Wie-ie. Herman 638 

Wikner, Otto 596 

Willems, Henry 651 

Willers. Joseph 484 

AVinkler. William 643 

Wolf. George 543 

Woodle. Thomas P , 565 

Woodrow, Carl J 545 

Wright. Charles 491 

Wurm. Charles E 592 

Wynn. Marion 606 

Zenike, Ernest ' 646 

Zenker. J. H 517 

Zinn, Arthur G 574 





Abraham. Adolpli 732 

Alexander, J. William 767 

Amundsen, Christian 794 

Arend, John M 783 

Argetsinger, Elmer H 747 

Argetsinger, Ernest E 751 

Argetsinger, George F 754 

Arrow smith, James 679 

Ashbaugh, John P 753 

Aslesen, Erick J 759 

Aslesen, William C 781 

Aust, Amos 689 

Avery, Byron L 793 

Bailey, Tad A 763 

Baker, Arthur A 759 

Baker, William 785 

Banister, William J 726 

Barton, John M 801 

Bean, Alton E 734 

Beck, Jens M 727 

Beck, John 754 

Belland, Abraham H 724 

Bennett, Charles H 659 

Bertels-en, Soan 704 

Binnebose, Pred J 776 

Blomgren, Claus 709 

Boehmke, Gustav 735 

Bong, John H 783 

Bonine, Henry 744 

Bornhoft, Nick 765 

Both, H. Jacob 725 

Boyce, William 750 

Brake, Friend C 699 

Breiholz, William 730 

Brown, Jamei S 747 

Brown, Mrs. Luke M 775 

Brown, Warrington B 666 

Bruins, A. V. W 712 

Buchholz, Louis 709 

Buck, Winfield M 769 

Burg, Edward 750 

Butman, Eugene S 667 

Calderwood, Matt. J 756 

Calking, Charles A 774 

Campbell, John 770 

Campbell, Thomas 728 

Carlson, Andrew 763 

Carson, Samuel J 692 

Carstens, Theodore 783 

Chesley, G. L 751 

Christiansen, Cornelius 791 

Clausen, George 773 

Colburn, Robert W 777 

Cook, John W 732 

Corrigan, Hugh 755 

Crawford, Joseph H 663 

Danneker. John E 668 

Davies, Edward W 677 

Delaney, James F 676 

Demary, Ira Louis 789 

Denhart, Charles W 706 

Dickey, W. H 686 

Dietmeier, Lewis V 727 

Dietz, Albert H 782 

Dingier, W, J 712 

Ditmeyer, Charles F 686 

Dittmann, August 737 

Doan, Willis E 778 

Dock, Charles J 790 

Dodd, William J 673 

Doms, Henry C 737 

Doughty, Robert M 675 

Douty, Frank E 693 

Duea, Severt B 671 

Edsill, O, M 687 

Eggers, Gus 700 

Eggers, William P 711 

Einung, Thoma-3 731 

Ekern, Emil A 795 

Ells, Robert L 798 

Emery, John W 793 

Engebretson, Carl L 714 

Evans, David E 730 

Evarts, William C 767 

Even, Samuel 761 

Farmer, Howard J 682 

Feldman, E, J 769 

Peyereisen, J. P 746 

Fleming, George W 792 

Fletcher, W, W 734 

Flygare, Henry 779 

Foote, Howard W 689 

Ford, Fred 788 

Foss, Ole S02 

Prahm, John 762 

Frank, Victor F 786 

French, Charles 708 

Friedrich, Gustav 761 

Frit?, Albert 743 

Funk, Samuel W 709 

Gamber, Albert 710 

Gano. Harry A 766 

Garlich, William H 720 

Gilbertson, Christ 666 

Gilbertson, Gilbert G 684 

Giles, Fred W 691 

GiUiland, Samuel L 728 

Gilmore, C. W 680 

Gilmore, Horace H 672 

Glover, H. C 698 

Goodrich, Ira 792 

Grabschied, Sam 798 

Green, Oicar A 725 

Green, Winfred A 792 

Gregerson. Ole H 708 

Griffin, Clarence E.- 733 

Griffin, Harry M 695 

Grover, Curtis 1 778 

GuUickson, Severt 740 

Gunvaldsen, Gutterm 674 



Hagen, Tom 742 

Hall, Walter W 787 

Hand, Frank C 800 

Hansen, Henry J 722 

Hansen, Olat 772 

Harders, Henry 768 

Hart, Isaac L 670 

Hart, Ralph G 754 

Hartigan, Patrick James 723 

Harvey, John 669 

Hellwinckel, Herman H 712 

Hendren, James L 740 

Hermanson, Theodore P 735 

Hlllard, Frank 693 

Hirschy, Sam L 770 

Hitchcox, Jairus 698 

Holvig, Henry K 788 

Hoog, John 799 

Howard, C. S 715 

Kurd, Elmer E 777 

Hyde, R. A 780 

Jackson, Aaron S 754 

Jacob".on, Frank P 795 

Jaycox, Abraham L 703 

Jaycox, iGarrison L 685 

Jenckes, Herbert D..' 721 

Jensen, Thomas P 707 

Jepsen, Hans H 739 

Johannsen, August 765 

Johannsen, Jacob G 729 

Johnson, John S 789 

Johnson, O. B 669 

Jones, LlewUyn G 713 

Jurg;nsen, Detlef 707 

Kallsen, Auguit C 781 

Kellen, Henry 719 

Kelley, Matt 700 

Kendahl, Alfred M 795 

Kerr, Francis M 798 

Kiester, Quincy E 697 

King, Selah S 757 

Kingsbury, Charles H 693 

Kingsbury, Lorenzo W 679 

Klinker, Hans 796 

Klinsing, John A 677 

Lake, William H 700 

Lange, George F 680 

Lange, Henry Herman 768 

Lange, Otto F 727 

Lanyon, Paul 780 

Larson, Eric E 716 

La Valla, Joseph 800 

Lawhead, Melvin M 797 

Lincoln, Arthur A 702 

Lindsay, Charles 696 

Lockwood, Lee W 717 

Lomker, Fred 756 

Lowe, Thomas 744 

Ludke, \V. M 676 

Lund, Nels N 703 

Madsen, Christ 721 

Madsen. Peter 716 

Mabl, John F 745 


Malosh, Ed. B 748 

Manley, Ed. H 771 

Marquardt, Fred E 704 

Marshall, Samuel T 711 

Martinson. Ben D 797 

Matson, William F 796 

Maynard, Charles H 699 

McGlashen, Joseph G 753 

McKeown, Eugene G 791 

Meier, John H 799 

Menzel, Max T. G 756 

Meyer, Henry, Jr 769 

Meyers, Eugene L 786 

Milar, Ed 671 

Miller, George A 760 

Millis, Edwin A 766 

Minet, Harry 690 

Mitchell, Alex 741 

Morgan, John E 701 

Morley, Forest H 762 

Myhre, Peter 733 

Naeve, Barney F 801 

Nash, George W 683 

Na-h, Thaddeus E 729 

Nason, Orville P 694 

Natzke, John J 749 

Natzke, William A 723 

Nelson, Andrew H 751 

Nicholson, William T 728 

Nilson, Louis 766 

Nissen, Amil 773 

Norvold, Peter H 669 

O'Connell, Richard H 665 

Olson, Albert 774 

Oppen, Carl 772 

Patterson, William J 738 

Paulsen, Boje 722 

Persinger, Hollie R 799 

Petersen, Hans L 763 

Peterson, Gu" M 789 

Peterson, I ver 1 681 

Peterson, Julius P 763 

Pilling, Arnold 746 

Plank, Lewis A 701 

Powers, Patrick H 742 

Pratt, F. W 784 

Priester, John 768 

Quam, Samuel 760 

Rae, Alexander 688 

Rae, Andrew 705 

Rae, George 772 

Rae. William 719 

Ranheim, Ole E 762 

Raymond, Frank 726 

Reader, Edward L 724 

Rice, George D 770 

Rieck, Chris F 749 

Riffel, Horace E 732 

Ring, Christian 1 714 

Ripley, Charles R 791 

Ripley, Grant E 733 

Robson, James A 752 




Robson, Sidney 7S0 

Rockey, Samuel B 7,39 

Roscoe, William 683 

Rudd, John 716 

Rudebusch, William 730 

Runals, Major D. E 661 

Russau, Hans 752 

Sander?, Elmer R 782 

Schapler, John E 761 

Schroeder, William J 737 

Sellers, G. E 743 

Serrurier, Pratt M 736 

Shafer, Henry 755 

Shepherd, Richard S 702 

Shubert, Amel B 747 

Siebring, Henry D 758 

Sigmond, Charles J 764 

Slagg, Alexander H 765 

Sraallfield, Adolph 779 

Smith, Alva C 678 

Smith, Charles H 673 

Smith, Fred 771 

Smith, Perley H 691 

Sorenson, Paul 687 

Speth, Herman 792 

Steen, Magnus K 776 

Steinke, Albert L 784 

Stevens, George R 748 

Stewart. John 703 

Stoddard, Harry N 774 

Stone, George G 745 

Strecker, George M 796 

Stuart, Earl T 710 

Stude, Charles W 782 

Sturdy, John W 738 

Sturzl, Joseph 781 


Sweet, Daniel E 692 

Sweet, William A 697 

Tabor, Claire G 786 

Taylor, Ceylon E 692 

Taylor, William J 663 

Teltord, James 682 

Thomas, Robert E 715 

Thomssen, "William 787 

Thorndyke, Edwin S 741 

Turnbull, Bramwell A 790 

Tusia, Frank M 793 

Vaughn, Elmer C 706 

Viland, L. K 743 

Vining, James A 731 

Vinton, Edward F 794 

Vos, Nicholas 749 

Wagner, Frank 77.5 

Walter, Jesse C 779 

Weber, Anton 704 

Wehrman, John W 696 

Whigam, Daniel B 668 

Whitehead, Robert 1 696 

Wiegert, Fred 706 

Wiener, Jacob H 734 

Williams, David 672 

Williams, Ole 751 

Wilson, Lewis H 688 

Wilson, Samuel H 717 

Winter, Dietrich 742 

Woolstencrott, Mark D 785 

Wright, Robert F 759 

Zimmerman, Edward 720 

Zobel, Charles 718 

Zorgdrager, Harry 800 






CAN tiio render let liis imnginntinn 
tiike him hack some one huiulreil 
million years, when tlie histoi'v of 
Rock county Ijegins? If so, picture the 
earth as a huge mass of molten fire, 
seething, writhing and grinding for 
countless thousands of years before it 
should become a suitable abiding place 
for any living tiling. Contained in this 
vast caldron were many of the elements 
that form the present day speck on the 
esith's surface that we designate Koek 
county, Minnesota. 

Arcbaeologists and geologists tell ns 
that in time this huge ball of fire cool- 
ed and the earth's crust was formed, the 
eventful period in our liistory occupying 
a space of time roughly estimated at 
'50,000,000 years, designated as the Arch- 
aen or Beginning era. The early pai't 
of this period is termed Azoic, from 
the absence of any evidence that the 
earth or the sea had either plant or aninuil 
life. Following came the Paleozoic time. 
covering a period of something like ^(i,- 
000,000 years, an era characterized by 
ancient types of life, unknown today. 

The next period is known as the Mcs- 
ozoic time, covering the comparatively 
short time of 9,000,000 years, during 
the gi-eater part of which period our 
county was land area. The floras and 
faunas of lliis age were gradunllv chang- 

ing from tlieir primitive and ancient 
character of the I'alezoic time, but had 
not yet attained the comparatively mod- 
ern forms of the succeeding era. In late 
Mesozoic days the greater part of Min- 
nesota was depressed beneath the sea, 
as it had been in ages past. 

The Cenozoic time, some 3,000,000 
years 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 of the earlier periods. 
JIan was created, dispersed over the earth, 
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 75,000 or 100,000 years ago and 
ceased (Uily from C.dOO to 10,000 yeaj's 
ago. I'lior to the i»eginning of this 
time Ihe earth had been uniformly 
warm or temperate, but about the time 
mentioned the northern ]iart of North 
.V'merica and northern Kurope became 
enveloped with thick sheets of snow 
and ice, j^roliably caused by the uplifting 
r)f the land (the surface was then from 
-.'(1(10 to :300(l fee* higher than now) 
inio extensive ]ilatenns, which received 




snowfall throughout the year. The low- 
er latitudes retained the tempei-ate cli- 
mate, thus permitting the plant and ani- 
mal life to survive until the melting 
of the ice sheets again permitted the oc- 
f:upancy of the northern latitudes. Un- 
'I'.T the weight of the vast glaciers the 
'•'lid sank to its present level, the sur- 
face was ground down and evened off and 
made practically as we llnd it today. 
With the sinking of the land came the 
gradual melting of the glaciers, though 
with numerous pauses and prohahly slight 

During these millions of years many 
interesting things happened in Itock 
county — events which were never wit- 
nessed hy mortal eye, events which the 
most vivid imagination cannot conceive. 
From a part of the seething, molten mass 
that composed the earth during the mil- 
lions of years alxmt which even the geol- 
ogists hardly dare villi live a guess Kock 
county hecame a part of the earth's sur- 
face in the process of cooling. There- 
after it was successively covered with the 
waters of the .sea, was rai.sed from the 
depths to a great altitude, and was crush- 
ed hack by the weight of the vast ice 
sheets. During these various jieriods its 
topographical features were formed, many 
changes resulting before nature had tliem 
fasliioned to her liking. Soil was spread 
over the surface and the huge red rock 
formations were deposited where we now 
find tliem ; plant and animal life came 
into existence; ridges and hills were 
formed liy the action of the glaciers: a 
few depressions were left, where are now 
the lakes and ponds; the waters from the 
melting ice sought avenues of escape 
and rnrnu'd the rivers and creeks. 

'Tr.aoes of man's proscncf^ during this i^i^riod 
have Ijeen found in the flood plain of tho 
Mississippi river at T.ittlt^ Falls. Minnt-sota. and 
In other parts of the TInited States. 

="'It was formerly thoiisht by many archae- 
ologists. twenty-Tive to fifty years ago. Ih:il 
the mounds of the Ohio and Mississippi val- 

W'lien Rock co'unty was first inhabited 
hy the human species is unknown. Arch- 
aeologists cannot even hazard a guess when 
the American continent was first inhabited. 
There has been discovered evidence that 
man lived upon Xorth American soil 
during the decline and closing days of the 
Ice age,' some fiOOO to 10,000 years ago, 
and probably had done so for a much 
longer periml. Concerning the original 
peopling of North America, Warren Up- 
hani, A. M., D. Sc, in Minnesota in 
Thi'ce Centuries, says: 

The original peopling of America appears 
to have taken place lar longer ago by mi- 
gration from northeastern .Asia (luring the 
early Quarternay of Ozarkian epoch of gen- 
eral uplift of northern regions which im- 
mediately preceded the Ice age, and wliich 
continued through the early and probably 
tlie greater part ot that age. Tlien land 
undoubtedly extended across the present 
area of Behring sea. 

During Ozarkian time and the long early 
part of the Glacial period, wandering 
tribes, migrating for better food supplies 
or to escape from enemies, could have 
crossed on land from .Asia to .Alaska, and 
could have advanced south to Pategonia and 
Tierra del Fuego, occupying all the ground 
(excepting the ice covered area) that is 
now, or was in pre-Columbian times, the 
home of the Am.^rican race. It is not 
improbable, too, that another line of very 
ancient migration, in the same early Pleis- 
tocene or Qnarternary time, passed from 
western Europe by the Faroe islands, Ice- 
land and Greenland, to our continent. 

When ciNilizcd man first caiiie to the 
new world he found it jieoplcd with a 
savage race which he called Indians. They 
had III! knowledge of their own ancestry 
nor of any peoples who may have pre- 
ceded tliem. Whether or not this race 
supplanted one of a higher civilizatiiui 
i-; a ((ueslion upon which authorities disa- 
gree." The only sources of inrormation 
avaihiblo concerning the early inliabitauls 
are the iniiilciuent~ of wai-fare and ilo- 

leys were built by a prehistoric people, dis- 
tinct from the Indians and furtlier advanced 
in aRriculture and the arts of civilization. 
.'I'o that ancifot people the name of Mound 
Uiiilders was Kiven. and it was supposed that 
tliey were <iri\'eri southward into Mexico by in- 
cur.sions of IIh- Indian tribes that were found 
in our couhliy al I lie lirst coming of white 



mestic use tliey made, found in burial 
places and elsewliere in the land. The 
Mississip])i valle)' is prolific in mounds — • 
the burial phices of these ancient peoples. 
— many having been found and excavated 
in ]\Iinnesota. 

In Rock county a number have b(>en 
located and described, but if any have 
been excavated the fact is not known. 
\n August, 188!), Prof. T. H. Lewis, an 
archaeologist of St. Paul, visited the 
county and examined the works of the 
Mound Builders, so called. He found 
two mounds on the northeast quarter of 
section 8. Vienna township, two groups 
of ten mounds each on section 3G, Lu- 
verne township, a group of twelve on 
tJie west side of Rock river south of Ash- 
creek, and a grou]> of five on tlie east 
side of the same stream near the nld Ash- 
creek mill.' 

While we have little knowledge of 
the very early peoples who inhal)ited our 
state, from the middle of the seventeenth 
century, when white men first came to 
the northwest, we can trace the history 
of the Indian tribes quite accurately. 
When explorers first came to the upper 
Mississippi country tlie Sioux and Cree 
Indians ranged through the northern 
wooded country between Lake Superior 
and the Red river, whence they were 
driven during the next century, the Sioux 
to the south and the Crees to the north, 
by the aggi'cssive Ojibways or Chippowas, 
who had become first known to the 
French explorers as the tribe of the falls 
of St. ^Fary at tlie mouth of Lake Su- 

men. This view, however, has been generally 
given up. The researches of Powell and other 
specialists, inchuliiig Winchell and Brower in 
Minnesota, have well n-tVrred the building of 
the mounds to the ancestors of the present 
Indians." — Warren I'pham in Minnesota in 
Three Centuries. 

'Rocic County Herald, August 23. 1SS9. 

'The Sioux tribe came originally from the 
Atlantic coast, in Virginia and the Carolinas. 
Several centuries before the discovery of 

About a hundred yeai-s after tlie first 
coming of white men the Ojibways wrest- 
ed Mille Lacs and Rum river from the 
Sioux. TbencefortJi until the white man 
supplanted the red two tribes oc- 
cupied all the area of Minnesota, th(. 
Ojibways holding its northeastern wood- 
ed half and the Sioux^ its prairie half on 
the southwest. There wcrf three great 
tribal divisions of the Sioux, namely: tlie 
Isantis, residing about the headwaters of 
the ^[ississippi ; the Yanktons, who oc- 
cupied the region noi-tli (if the Minnesota 
river; and the Titonwans. wlio lived west 
of the Yanktons. These trilics were sub- 
divided into other, smaller bands. 

We have no knowledge that the red 
men had their permanent homes on Rock 
((uinty soil, although such may have 
licen the case. The Yankton liranch of 
the Sioux nation claimed the extreme 
southwestern portion of Minnesota and 
tr:ip]X'(l and hunted over it extensively 
jirior to the Sioux war of 18(52, when 
they were driven into Dakota. There- 
after until wliite men had made settle- 
ment in Rock county, bands of the Yank- 
tons made less frequent expeditions into 
the country in pursuit of game. 

Let us. in imagery, take a look at the 
Rock county of ycar.s gone by, when it 
was in primeval state, when it was as 
nature had formed it. Its topography 
was practically the same as we find it 
today. There were the same broad, roll- 
ing prairies, stretching as far as the 
eve might reach, presenting in sum- 
mer a perfect paradise of verdure, with 
its variegated hues of flowers and vege- 

America they migrated from that eastern 
country, by way of the Ohio river, and even- 
tually located in the upper Mississippi river 
country. The name of the nation is a con- 
traction of Nadouessis or Nadouesioux, which 
was the name used for the tribe by the very 
early explorers, and which was given to these 
people by the Ojibways and other .\lgonciuins. 
The original name is a term of hatred, mean- 
ing snakes or enemies. Naturally the Sioux 
disliked this name, and they called them- 
selves, collectively. Dakolas. wliich means 
confederates or allies. 



tation; in winter a drcarv and snow 
mantled desert. The rivers and ci'eeks 
flowed in the same courses as now; the 
mounds stood the same silent, gi'ini f];uard 
as at the present day. But what a con- 

Wild beasts and bird.s and wilder red 
men then reigned supreme. Vast herds 
of bison, elk and deer roamed tlie open 
prairies and reared their young in the 
more sheltered places along the streams. 
With that- wonderful appreciation of the 
beautiful wbirh nature has made an in- 
stinct in the savage, the untutored Sioux 
had selected the country as his hunting 
ground and roamed it at will. II' inani- 
mate things could speak wliat \^■ild tales 
of Indian adventure could be ]>iiured 
forth ! 

But inanimate things cannot speak and 
tbe animate aborigine is a notoriously 
worthless historian; so a very interesting 
pari of the history of Eock county must 
forever remain unrecorded. Only tri- 
Iting bits of history, intermingled with a 
pictlioi'a of legend, are preserved of the 
days Ix'fdvc Ibc Caucasian race took ]ios- 

It is said that the savages were wont to 
iDiiiid ii|i and drive over the precipices 
al Ihc mounds Icrds of bison, sending 
tlicin to an iiiilinu'ly death, and certain 
il is I lull IIk' lidiies of many of the noble 
anijuals of tbe prairie were found at the 
foot of the cliffs by the early wlnte set- 
tlers. At least one white man, probably 
some adventurous trapiicr. is known to 
have met his dcatli in K'nck idunly ai 
llic hands uf llir savages hrrmf sctlle- 

'AUilress uf R. O. Crawford, ISSS. 

•".\n interesting relic of times in the cfirly 
Vii.story of Kofl< county w:is found on tlie old 
buttle ground in Battle T>Iai)i township Tnes- 
day of last weelj and was brought to the 
Herald office last Monday by F. P. Hofgaard. 
It was an old flint-lock, single barreled shot 
gun, or r.athcr what was left of one — the bar- 
rel and the loi'k. Tlie relic was found on the 
bare prairie, where it had doubtless lain since 
the lime many years ago when it dropped from 
the hand of some doughty wariior, and the 

mcnt was made. His bones were found 
bleaching on the open prairie in the 
northwestern part of the county among 
bundi-eds of Ijiscju skeletons. In the tem- 
ple of the skull was indiedded the flint 
point of an ari'ow.^ 

The facts are meager concerning a 
battle between two tribes of Indians 
fought on the west bank of Eock river, on 
the southwest quaiter of section ]i'>, Biat- 
tle Plain township. An unknown author- 
ity states that the battle oceiirred in 1S40 
anil was laetween I lie I'onca and Yankton 
Indians, that after four day.s" fighting 
the latter were the victors. There can 
be no question that an engagement look 
place there, for in the early days the 
marks of earthworks and other evidences 
of conflict were distinct. There was an 
enclosure 200x175 feet — described as egg- 
shaped — surrounded by a series of irreg- 
ular pits from two to throe and one-half 
feet deep and ten to twelve feet in length, 
the earth removed in digging having 
been piled in front for breastworks. From 
tlic rudeness and irregularity of the out- 
line, those who have visited the site con- 
clude it must have been tlie work of 
Die Indians. Occasionally hiimaii bnncs 
and iiarts of weapons lia\r hci'ii found 
Oil the s|iiit.''' 

licfore introducing the llrsl white man 
who set foot on the soil of Hock count), 
let lis review briefly tlie explorations that 
hail hcfii iiiailc in other ]iaiis of Minne- 

White men lirst penetrated the nni-tli- 
wcst country to tbe present stab' of 
Mimicsota in the middle of the scvcn- 

\yoiidir is that it had not been (iiscoyered 
l>efore. It was found near the spot where a 
skull was discovered a few years ago. The 
barrel was loaded with BB shot and the ham- 
mer was cocked. The iKirrcl is forty-one 
inches long ami something sm.'illcr than a 
twelve bore. It was slightly bent and was 
broken near the center. Tlie lock bore the 
inscription in Knglish letters. 'Barnetl ISO".' It 
had evidently lieen silver plated, .and attached 
to it was .a bi'ass de\-ice wbicli had sei'ved 
as an ornament for the stock."— Uoek t'ounty 
Herald. June :!. 1S92. 



(crntli (vnlurv ( liiSS-.TH). In KiSlT tlio 
fii-sl iiKip oij wliicli pliysical fciitiirps (if 
J\lijui'_'siita were pictured was pulilisliiMl 
in cnnncctinn with Father Hennepin's 
writinus. The map is very vaoiie anil 
demonstrates that little was known of the 
northwest country. Five years later, in 
1688, J. J>. Franquelin, a Canadian 
French geographer, drafted for King 
Lonis XVI of France a more detailed 
map' of North America, making nsc of 
information gathered by Joliet and Mar- 
{piette, La Salle, Hennepin, DuLuth and 
others. Some of the principal streams 
and lakes arc marked and more or less 
accurately located, among others the E. 
des Moingene (Des Moines), which rises 
not far from our territory. The data 
for the greater part of the map were 
doubtless secured from the Indians. 

A few Fi'eneh explorers, named above, 
had penetrated to several points within 
the present boundaries of our state, but 
none of them liad explored the south- 
western portion. In 1700 LeSueur as- 
cended the Minnesota river and fur- 
nished data for a more or less authentic 
map of southwestern Minnesota, so far 
as the larger and more important jihys- 
ical features are concerned. This map 
w^as made by William DeL'islc, royal 
geograi)hcr of France, in 1703. For the 
first time the Minnesota river appeared 
upon a map, being labeled R. St. Pierre 
or Mini-Sota. The Des Moines also lias 
a place on llie map, being marked Des 
jroines or Ic Moingoiia li., and its source 
was definitely located. There is until- 
ing in the Avriting of I>2Sueur. Iidwcmm-, 
to lead to the belief that he extended his 
explorations to any country except that 
along the Minnesota river. Another map, 
made by Buache in 1754, was compiled 
from data furnished Sieur de la Veren- 
drye by an Indian. 

'Do not confound with Jean NicoUc-t. .111 
American pioneer from France, who visited the 
country nearly two hundred years earlier. 

.\flcr LcSuciir had |iciicl ralcil In Ihi' 
siiiithwcstci-n |i;iii of I he slate in I'TOO 
that portion nl' the cminti-y was not 
again visited hy while men until sixty- 
six years later, so far as we know. In 
Xovember, 17CiC>, Jonathan CarVer 
ascended tiie Minnei-ota river and spent 
the winter among the Sioux in the vi- 
cinity of the present city of New Ulni. 
He remained with the Indians tinti! 
April, 17G7. and learned their language. 
It is possible, hut not probable, that Car- 
\'er during this time may have visited 
the country which is now included within 
the boundaries of IJock county, for he 
hunted with the Indians over some of the 
great plains of southwestern Minnesota 
wdiich, "according to their account [the 
Indians], arc unbounded and probably 
terminate on the coast of the Pacific 

While a numher of e\]ilorers visited 
other jiarts of Minnesola and a few set- 
tlements had been established within the 
boundaries of the piesent state during 
the first part of the nineteenth century, 
none had penetrated to the southwestern 
corner and it was not until the late 
thirties that our immediate vicinity be- 
came known and was mapped. Catlin, 
who visited the Pipestone quarries in 
]S;;7; Schoolcraft, Featherstonhaugh, Al- 
len, Keating and Long were early ex- 
plorers to the wilds of Minnesota, but 
they confined themselves |o the ready 
roiiles of travel, jiassing through the 
country in a single season. V>\d in 1836 
iippearcd niic who crossed the upper 
.Mississippi country in all directions, 
spending several years, winters included, 
in ]ire]iaring data for his map, which 
was published after his death in 1843. 
This was Josepli Nicolas Nicollet,' who 
was the first white num, of record, that 


HlSTOh'V <) 

i;()('K COlIiXTY. 

visitud Kmk count}.'* Tlie principal aid 
of Mr. Nicollet in his explorations in 
Minnesota was Lieutenant John C. Fre- 
mont, later the nominee of the republi- 
can party for president of the United 

Nicollet gave names to many lakeS; 
streams and other jihysical features or 
adopted those which were current, and 
his map (a ])ortion of which is i-cpro- 
duced in this volume) shows tlie scope 
of his exjilorations. He described the 
region west of the Mississippi river as 
containing several plateaus, or elevated 
prairies, which marked the limits of the 
various river basins. The most remark- 
able of these he called Plateau liu Co- 
teau des Prairies" (plateau of prairie 
heights) and Coteau du Grand Bois 
(wooded heights). Nicollet described tlic 
Cotenn des Prairies as a vast plain, ele- 
vated 1916 feet above the level of the 
ocean and 890 feet above Big Stone bike. 
lying between latitudes forty-three and 
forty-six degrees, extending from north- 
west to southeast for a distance of two 
hundred miles, its width varying from 
fifteen to forty miles. On the map he 
locates it as extending from a ]ioint a 
short distance northwest of Lake Tra- 
verse in a southeasterly direction into 
Iowa, and including the present Pock 

With his parly Nicollet visited tbe 
Pipestone (|uiii-ries in July, IS.'iM, and 
carved his minic and Ibc initials of bis 
jiMi'ty. witb Ibr dale, in the rock at tbat 
place. 'I'bal be or some, of bis men visiteil 
Kock counl\ during tbe years he was 
prosecuting bis cxplnralions in ^liiinesofa 

is eviilenced by the fact that several 
natural features of the county with wbicb 
we are familiar were given names and 
quite accurately located for the first time, 
liock I'ivei- was labeled "Inyan Peakah 
or P. of tbe Poek." and is shown as 
flowing into tbe "Tcankasndata" (Big 
Sioux). Tbe |irinci|)al tributary of the 
"Inyan Pcakab" is called "Karanzi P. oi- 
R. whei'e tbe Kansas were killed," rec- 
ognized as Jvaiuiranzi creek. Farther 
north and also conurigin from the east 
are two other tributaries of tbe Pock, 
lalx'led ■■'i\]ian-Pepedan R. or '^rborny 
Wood !;."■ (spelled on a present day ina|) 
Cbanpepeilan), and the "Hidden Wood 
('. OI' Tcban-Narandie C." (which we now 
spell Cbanarandiie.) The Split Rock is 
sJKiwn but not named. Beaver creek is 
either not shown or is incorrectly located. 
In Pipestone c-ounty is shown "Red Pipe- 
stone C." "Indian Red Pipestone Quari-y" 
and north ol' tlic (piarry a stream flowing 
inio tbe Big Sioux named "Coteau Perce 
V." Other places which are recognized 
on a present day map in the vicinity 
are "L. Sbetek."'"'"L. Talcott," "Okebene 
Tj." and "Ochevedan 1^." Nicollet's work 
was of inestimable value to Minnesota 
by reason of the thoroughness of his 
exp|oi'ati(m and llie reasonable accuracy 
ol' bis map. \\bi<li became the official 
map of the couniry. 

I''or scMM-al years after tbe \isil ol' 
Xii'oliel tbe I'niure county of Pock was 
\isil('(l liv wliilc men onh' oceasionallv. 
We liiul Ibal when Minnesota territiu-y 
was cicaled in 1SI9 tbe southwestern 
linrliiHi \\as a \crilalili' lerra incounila.'" 
Ill fad all Ibc laiiil west of tbe Missis- 

»It is po.ssihlo tliat Nirollet rtij not in per- 
son visit Rock county, but certainly some of 
his party did. OwinK to his premature death 
much of a historical nature concerning this 
region was lost. He had notes for a work of 
several volumes, relating principally to what is 
now Minnesota, and he had only fairly started 
the worlt when he died. 

•The name had been given by the earlier 
French e.\plorers. 

'"■'W'i'sUvard of the Mississippi river the 
country was unexplored and virgin. Tlierc 
were wide expanses of wild and trackless 
prairie, never traversed by a white man. 
which are now tlie liighly developed counties 
of southern and southwestern Minnesota, with 
their fine and flourishing cities and towns and 
the other institutions tliat make for a state's 
emiru'ncc and gi-eiitness. Catlin had passed 
from l.ittic Rock to the Pipestone quarry; 
Nicollet and liis surveying party had gone over 


Who Explored Southwestern Minnesota in 1838 and Drew the First 
Authentic Map of the County. 


ms'r((i;v of k-ock couxtv. 


sippi was still in uiidisputeil o\\ iiL>rsliip 
nl' the SiiHix baiKls, and white men had 
no rights whatever in the eountj-y. But 
the tide id' iniinij;rati'in tn the west set 
in and settlers were elaiiioring lur admis- 
sion to the rieli lands west of the river. 
In time the le,i;al harrier was removed. 

In the spring of 1851 President Fill- 
more, at the solieit.ation of residents of 
Minnesota territoi-j', directed that a 
treaty with the Sioux be made ami 
named as eommissioncrs to eouduet the 
negotiations Governor Alexander Eam- 
sev", ex-otl'ieio commissioner for Minne- 
sota, and Luke Lea, the national com- 
missioner of Indian affairs. These com- 
missioners completed a treaty witli the 
Sisseton and Wahpaton bands — the up- 
per bands, as they were usually called — 
at Traverse des Sioux (near the present 
site of SI. Teter) during the latter 
part of ■U[\\, is.'il. 1 iiiiuedialely after- 
ward the commissioners proceeiled to 
Mendota (near St. Paul), where they 
were successful in making a treaty with 
the Wahpakoota and ilMaywakantiui 

The treaties were ratitied, with impor- 
tant amendments, by congress in 1852. 
The amended articles were signed by the 
Indians in Septendjer, 1852, and in Feb- 
ruary of the next year President Fill- 
more prochiinied the treaties in force. 
By this important proceeding the futuie 
Rock county passed from the ownei'ship 

the .same route and hail traveler! along: the 
Minnesota Sibley and Fremont had eh:i.sed 
elk over the prairie.s in wliat are now Steele, 
Dodge, Freeborn and Mower eonnties; the Mis- 
souri cattle drovers had led their herds to 
Fort Snelling and up to tlie Red river regions, 
but in all, not fifty wiiite men had passed over 
the tract of territory now comprising south- 
ern and southwestern Minnesota when the 
territory was admitted in 1S49," — Return I. 
Holcombe in Minnesota in Three Centuries. 

**The territory ceded by the Indians was de- 
clared to be: "All their lands in the state of 
Iowa and also all their lands in the territory 
of Minnesota lying east of the following line, 
to-wit: Beginning at the .iunction of the 
Buffalo river with the Red River of the 
North [about twelve miles north of Moorhead, 
in Clay county']; thence along the western bank 
of said Red River of the North to the mouth 

of the Sioiix li> the I'liitcd States j;o\- 
ernment, and the Iniiuer owners took up 
their residence on the north side of the 
MiniU'sota rixcr. The terrilnrv purclia.sed 
from the four Sioux bauds was estimated 
to comprise about •2;!,75ll.llOO acres, of 
whicli more than I'.i.iMiii.diH) acres were 
in Minnesota, 'i'he jirice paid wa.s alxmt 
twelve and one-half cents |)or acre, which 
is the lowest [irice Hock county land (>ver 
so hi for." 

'i'he next record we have of white men 
visiting the future Hock county was in 
]S5v', when surveyors under direction of 
\\'arner Lewis, surveyor general of Iowa, 
ran the line between Iowa and Minnesota 
territory. They staitnl at the southwest 
corner of the county aluuit the first of 
August, fdantei! an ii'on post marking 
the hounilarv line,'-' :ind proceeded on 
their way eastward, icuiipleting the line 
across the southern boundary of Rock 
county <ui August 5. 

Although Rock county did not receive 
permanent settlers until the late si.xties, 
iiiiuli earlier than that pioneers had 
pushed <iut to imfliy of the out-of-the-way 
places in Minnesota and located homes 
within less than a hundred miles of the 
county-to-be. The middle fifties were re- 
markalde ones in Minnesota territory by 
reason of the immense tide of immigra- 
tion pouring in and the consequent ac- 
tivity in real estate operations. So 
carlv as l.S5a the real estate sj^eculative 

of the Sioux Wood river; thenee along the 
western hank of said Sioux Wood river to 
1,,-ike Traverse; Ihence along the western shore 
of said lake to the southern extremity thereof; 
thence in a direct line to the .iunction of Kam- 
peska lake with the Tchan-ka-sna-du-ta. or 
Sioux river; thence along the western bTuk 
of said river to its point of intersection 
with the northern line of the state of Iowa; 
including all islands in said rivers and lakes." 

"This post, which still stands, is six feet in 
length of which three feet are embedded in 
the ground. It is hollow, twelve inches square 
at the base and seven at the top. On the 
north face in raised letters is "W. B. Minn," 
on the south face. "Iowa." while on the east 
and west faces are "43° 30' N. I>." Souvenir 
hunters have hacked a hole in the north side 
and carried away pieces of the cast iron. 



(Til LDiiiuieiicL'd in SI. raul and the 
ulilor settlements along tlie eastern border 
of the territory. 

During 18.53 and 1854 there were large 
accos.sions of population to the eastern 
portions ; roads were constructed ; farms 
were opened in the wilderness; villages 
sprang into existence in many parts of 
the frontier. During these years the set- 
tlements did not extend to the westci'ii 
and southwestern pai'ts of the territory, 
l)ut during the following few years the 
human flow poured la and spread out in- 
to nearly all parts of Minnesota. Tlie 
fever of real estate speculation, which 
had Ijeen only feebly developed hefoi'c, 
now attacked all classes. Enormous and 
rapid profits were made by speculators who 
had the foresight and courage to ven- 

These hordes of immigrants did not 
take all the lands as they went along but 
were constantly pushing out to the 
frontier, seeking desirable locations in 
timbered tracts. In fact, so discriminat- 
ing were many that they refused to lo- 
cate where they could 'not have tiin1)er 
and prairie land adjoining! It was dur- 
ing this period, in 1S."i(;. that settlement 
was made on Lake Okoboji, neai- the 
present site of Spirit Lake, Iowa, at 
Springfield, where is now situated the 
town of Jackson, Minnesota, and at the 
falls of the Big Sioux river, where is now 
situated the city op Sioux Falls. Had 
uiirorscen events ju)t taken place at this 
interesting period there can be no ques- 
tion that within a very short time Eock 
county would have been settled — nearh 
a decade earlier than was the case. 

One of the items that resulted in the re- 
tardation of the westward march was the 
panic of 1857. The influx of settlers al- 
most completely cea.sed, times were very 
bar<l lhi-iiugb(iul the country, and es- 
sjiecially «as this condition of afl'iiii's 

felt in the uortbwesl. Hut anolhcr c\cnl 
of that year had a more important bear- 
ing on the future lioek county than had 
tlie panic. This was tlie Inkpaduta 
massacre, the first Indian outbreak in 
Minnesota. A small band of outlaw 
Sioux under the leadership of Inkpaduta, 
one of the most ruthless and ti'cacher- 
ous characters in Indian history, went on 
the war-]iath in Mai'ch, murdered every 
man, woman and child in the Okoboji 
Lake settlement and seven of those at 

The massacre proved to be a serious 
Idow to the growth and development of 
this region. The counties in which set- 
tlement had been made w'ere depopulated. 
The pioneers fled for their lives; every- 
tliing was abandoned. Troops were soon 
stationed in the country, but it took time 
to restore confidence, and for some time 
all of those counties lying west of Fari- 
bault county remained almost wholly de- 
void of inhabitants. 

It seems strange that at a time when 
only a handful of men were braving the 
dangers of the Indian country by re- 
maining in southwestern Minnesota, the 
territorial legislature should see fit to 
create the political division known as 
l^ock county, together with several others 
in the vicinity. But such is tlie case, 
and l>ock county was for the first time 
entitled to a place on the map of Min- 
nesota on May 23, 1857, when (Jovernor 
Samuel Mcdary attached his signal lire to 
the bill creating it. 

Ccuidiliniis in Minnesota al the time 
uere ii]ii(|iii'. Thousaiuls of jieople were 
|iouriiig in and liuilding themselves homes 
ill the l'i-onlier sections. l-Maliorate 
schemes for big vcmtures were jilanned ; 
nothing was done in a niggardly manner ; 
frenzied finance reigned supreme. Rail- 
road I'uiiiniv niled the air, and it was in- 
deed an iiiit-o[-tlie-\\ay place that did not 



Idok fiifUMrd to ilie uoiuing ol' llic irnii 
horse in the immediate future, i'apcr 
railroads covered tlie territory from one 
end to tlie other, and s^outhweslcrn 
Minnesota was no e.xception to tlie rule. 
The territorial legislature caught the fe- 
ver and granted bonuses to various con- 
templated railroads. The townsite boom- 
ers eari-ied their schemes to the legisla- 
ture and largely for their benefit the 
Minnesota lawmaking body indiscrim- 
inately created counties in all parts of 
the territory — in many of which tlieic 
wjis not at the time a single residenl. 
And Eock county came into existence 
under these conditions. 

Investigation shows us that in addi- 
tion to the Indian title, which was quieted 
by treaty in the early fifties, the land now 
comprising Rock county has been in the 
possession of three different nations and 
has formed a part of six different terri- 
tories of the United States and of three 
different counties of Minnesota. Before 
taking up the story of the creation of 
the county I shall here break into the 
chronological order of events long enough 
to trace this matter of sovereignty. 

Our county formed a small part of the 
new world possessions claimed by France 
liy right of discovery 'and exploration. 
In 17(;.'>, humbled by wars in Europe 
and America, France was forced to re- 
linquish her province known as Louisi- 
ana, and all her possessions west of the 
Mississippi ri\er were ceded to Spain 
in that year. Amid the exigencies nf 
European wars Spain, in the year ISOd, 
ceded Louisiana back to France, which 
was then under the rule of Napoleon 
Bonaparte. On April 30, 1803, negotia- 
tions were completed for the purchase of 
Louisiana by the United States for the 
sum of fifteen million dollars. On 

"Heiu-.v H. Sible.v. who lived at Moiuiol.T. 
was a justice of the peace of tha.t county. 
The county seat was two huudfcd fifty miles 

that (lat(.' the I'utuie K'ock cdUiity became 
a part of the United States. 

Soon after the United States secured 
possession, in 1805, tliat [lai't of the 
mammoth teri'ilory id' |yi)uisiana which 
had been called Upjicr Louisiana was 
organized into Missouri territory, and had 
our county then had inlialiitants they 
would have been under the govci'imient 
of Missouri. Missouri was admitted as a 
state in 1820, and for several years there- 
after the country beyond its northern 
boundaries, comprising what is now Iowa 
and all of Minnesota west of the Missis- 
sippi river, was without organized gov- 
ernment. But in 1834 congress attached 
this great expanse of territory to Michi- 
gan territory. Two years later Wis- 
consin territory was formed, comprising 
all of Micliigan west of Lake Micliigan, 
and for the next two years we were a 
part of that territory. 

Congress did a lot of enacting and 
boundary changing before it got Rock 
county where it belonged. We liecamc 
a part of Iowa territory when it was 
created in 1838, because we were in- 
eluded in "all that part of the [then] 
present territory of Wisconsin wliicli 
lies west of the Mississippi river and 
west of a line drawn due north from the 
headwatei-s or sources of the Mississippi 
to the territorial line.'' Eock county 
was a part of Iowa tei'ritory until Iowa 
became a state in 1810. During this 
time settlers began to locate in pdrtinns 
nf what later became Minnesota, and they 
were put under the jurisdiction of Clay- 
ton county, Iowa." Before this the l\Iin- 
nesota country had been practically a 
"no man's land." The only laws en- 
forced were the rules of the fur com- 
panies and the law of the sword admin- 
istered by the commandant at Fort Snell- 

distant. and his jurisdiction extended over a 
region of country "as large as the empire 
of France." 



iii<r. By Uic ailiiiissioii of Iowa as a 
state in 1846 our county again became 
actually a "no iiian> land;" wc were a 
part of no territory or state. That con- 
dition existed until Minnesota territory 
was cveiited in IS |i). 

Wlicii the lii'st Ic^i-ishitun; (•(iincncd aft- 
er tlie organization of the teri'itory in 
1849 it divided Minnesota into nine coun- 
ties, named as follows: Benton, Dakota, 
Itasca, Cass, Pembina, Uamsey, Washing- 
ton, Chisago and Wabasha. The whole of 
sout.heni Minnesota was included in Wa- 
l)asha and Haknta. and (if these two Da- 
kota had the bulk of territory. Waliasha 
included tiiat part of the territory "lying 
east of a line running due south from a 
point on the ilississippi river known as 
Jlediciue Bottle village, at Pine Bend 
[neai- St. Paul], in the Lnva line." Da- 
kota county (created October 27, 1819) 
was "all that part of said territory west 
of the Mississi|i|ii ami ]\iug west of the 
countv of Wabaslia and south of a line 
beginning at the mouth of Crow river, 
and up said rivei' and the north branch 
thereof to its source, and thence due 
west to the Mis.souri river.'"* 

.Mthongh Dakota ccumty was larger 
tlian many (d' the ciisteni states, its pop- 
ulation was almost nothing and it was 
declared "organized only for the purpose 
of the ap|)ointinciil nf justices of the 
j)eace. conslablcs and sucli other judicial 
and ministerial olTicers as may be S[x;cial- 
1\ |ini\id(Ml for." 

'I'lic fidiM'i' Itiick roiiidy rcniaincd a 
part 111' llaknia iiiiint\ until March .">. 
ISoi), when there was a i-cailjustmcnt nf 
Dakota ami Wabasha county boundaries, 

"Minrn'S()t;i territory tlien extended west to 
the Mi.'^soviri river. In tliis mammotli county 
of D<il(ota were the following pre-sent day 
eoimties (or parts of countie.s) in Minne.sota. 
in addition to many in what is now the state 
of South Ual<ota: Rocl5. Nol)les. Jacl<son. Mar- 
tin. Fariliatiit, Freeliorn. Steele. Waseca. Blue 
Karth. Watonwan. Cottonwood, Murray, Pipe- 
stone. Lincoln, I, von, Keilwood, Brown. Nicollet, 
1-rSueur. Rice. Dakota (part). Scott, Sihley, 
Ilcnviltc. Yellow Medicine. Lac (|ui Parle, 

and lilue Earth county came into exist- 
ence. The lioundaries of the latter were 
described as follows: "So much terri- 
tory lying south of the Minnesota river 
as remains of Wabasha and Dakota 
counties undivided by this act." As the 
boundaries id' the two older counties as 
defined by the act were very indefinite, 
it is impossible to state e.xactly what the 
diiiieiisions of Blue Earth county were. 
It is known, however, that it included 
all of southwestern Minnesota. 

For two years the unknown I?oek 
county country remained a part of Blue 
Earth county, and then came another 
change. By an act approved February 
20, IS.").-), the county of Blue Earth was 
reduced to its present boundaries, Fari- 
bault county was created with the liound- 
aries it now lias, except that it e.xteiideil 
r)nc tx)wnshi]) fartlier west than 
now, and the new county of Brown came 
into existence. The last named was de- 
scribed as follows: "That _ so much 
of the territory as was formerly in- 
eluded within the county of Blue Earth, 
and has not been included within the 
boundaries of any other county as herein 
established, shall be known as the counly 
of Brown." All of the territory lying 
south of the Minnesota river and west 
of a line di'awn south from the western 
lioiiudary of llie present day Blue Earth 
eouiil\ now became Hi-owu c(')unty. and 
Rock county i-emaincd a part of t'iii> 
unlil two \eai's later, when it became a 
|iolitical division of itself.''' 

li'ock counly was only one id' nine 
counties in southwestern Minnesota ci'e- 

("hippewa. Kandiyohi (except small cornerl. 
Meeker (part). McLeod. Carver. Hennepin, 
Wrieht (partL Stearns (small part). Pope 
(pai-t). Swift. Stevens (part). Big Stone and 
Traverse (part). 

"•Brown countv was not organized at once, 
hut hv an act of the legislature lui February 
11, ISSH, it was permitted to iDganize. New 
rim was named as tl)e cou))ty seat. 



ated by lliu aii of May 23, 1857."' The 
section defining the boundaries was as 
follows : 

That so much of the territory of Minne- 
sota as lies within the following boundaries 
be, and the same is hereby, established 
as the county of Pipestone:" Beginning at 
the southwest corner of township one hun- 
dred and one, range forty-tour; thence north 
to the northeast corner of township one 
hundred and four, of range forty-four west; 
thence west to the northwest corner of 
township one hundred and four north, of 
range forty-eight (48) west; thence south 
to the southwest corner of township one 
hundred and one north, of range forty-eight 
(48) west; thence east to the place of 

n ti)e reader will take the trouble to 
trace these boundaries on a map of the 
pi'esent day he will find tliat tlie liound- 
aries of the county extended about ten 
miles into what is now Soutli Dakota, 
thus making tlie original Eock county 
(or Pipestone county, as it is designated 
in the act) of a size equal to the others 
created in 1857. It retained these di- 
mensions until Dakota territory was form- 
ed in 1861, when Minnesota's western 
boundary line wa^ moved eastward and 
Rock county was reduced to its present 
limited area.^' The name was given be- 
cause of the huge mounds Bear the cen- 
ter of the county.'" Of the nine counties 
created by the act only Martin, Jackson, 
Nobles and Big Sioux were declared to 
be organized and "invested with all the 
immunities to which organized counties 
are entitled by law." They wci'c attach- 

'"Minnesota territory at thLs time extended 
west to the Big Sioux river. The other coun- 
ties created by the act were Martin. Jack.son, 
Nobles, MuiTay, Cottonwood. Pipestone. Big 
Sionx and Midway. ''I'he four first named were 
given the boundaries they now have and Cot- 
tonwood was practieallj- the same. Big Sioux 
and Midway counties embraced parts of tlie 
present Minneliaha and Moody counties. Soutli 
Dakota, and extended from the Big Sioux 
river to the boundary lines of Rock and Pipe- 
stone counties. 

'^In this early legislative act the territory 
embraced within the boundaries of Rook coun- 
ty was given the name Pipestone and vice 
versa. The transposition may have been due 
to a lack of knowledge of the ph>'sical features 
in this part of the country or to a clerical 
error. Th" mistake was later rectified, for 
wc find that in the revised statutes of 1866 

cd to the third judicial district ant! to 
the tenth council district. 

It is needless to say that K'nck county 
was nut organized at this time. There 
were not only no residents in the coun- 
ty, but practically the whole of south- 
western Minnesota wa.s deserted. Per- 
manent settlement in I'ock county did 
not licgin until lS(i7 and county govcrn- 
iip'iit was not begun until IS";!); then it, 
was organized iindrr the oi'iginal act of 
1S.")7, supplemented by a s|iecial act nf 

After the legislature had divided soutii- 
western Minnesota into counties it was 
deemed advisable to establish tlieir bound- 
aries. A surveying party visited the 
county in September, 18.58, and ran the 
lines which marked its boundai'ies.-" In 
July and August, IS-'jO, another survey- 
ing party, headed by Snow & Hutton, 
visited the county and ran a line north 
from the iron post. Again in October 
and November, 18G4, Carl P. Meyer did 
some surveying along the western bound- 
ary of Rock county. 

So soon as confidence was restored 
after the Spirit Lake massacre, .settle- 
ment was begun again in portions of 
southwestern Minnesota, and in the late 
fifties and very early sixties quite a num- 
ber of settlers founded homes in ]\Iar- 
tin. Jackson, Cottonwood, Murray and 
Nobles counties. Some of the counties east 
of these had not been seriously afifected 

Rock county is described with its proper 
boundaries, as is also Pipestone. 

"An abortive attempt was made to enlarge 
Rock county's boundaries in 1S72. the history 
of which will be found in a later chapter. 

'"After the county was created, but before 
it was oreanized. there was talk of changing 
the name, and Grant and I^incoln were sug- 
gested as appropriate ones, in honor of the 
two great men of the hour, I have authority 
for the statement that the legislature of 1866 
did change the name to Lincoln, but I have 
been unal)le to find the act. If such a change 
was made, it was soon revoked. 

=°The township lines were run in 1866 but 
the section lines were not surveyed until 1S70, 
after settlers had come to the county. 


iirs'i'()i;v () 

i;o(K corxTY. 

Ii.v llic liiili;ii Iliic;ik ami hail sub- 
stantial seltlcmciitr;. From anotlier fli- 
luction came settlers almost to the vei-v 
threshold of Rock county, if they did 
not actually locate on Rock county soil. 
During the late fifties quite a number 
of men, some with their families, ad- 
vanced up the Big Sioux river from the 
Iowa settlements and established homes 
where Sioux Falls now stands, and there 
resided until the outbreak of the Sioux 
war in 18G2. Many of these were mem- 
bers of the townsite company which ])ro- 
posed to found a city at the falls of the 
Big Sioux. 

It will be remembered that the oriui- 
nal Tiock county extended westward ten 
miles into what is now South Dakota. 
Its western boundary was within a sliort 
distance of Sioux Falls, and a bend of 
the Biii' Si(uix river passed tlirouah the 

soutliwestern corner of it. So it is not 
remarkable that when the federal census 
of 18G0 was taken Rock county, Minne- 
sota, was credited with a population of 
23.-' I have no knowledge of the exact 
locations of these first settlers, but pre- 
sume they had their homes on the Big 
Sioux river, not far from Sioux Falls, 
and not in Rock county proper.-- The 
enumeration was made by Elias D. Bru- 
ner. of New Dim. on July 17. ISGO. Uo 
found ton dwelling houses in Rock coun- 
ty, occupied by as many families. Xoiic 
of those visited had title to real estate, 
but several had personal property, the 
total value of which was $S4."). Follow- 
ing Ar<^ the names of the inhabitants of 
Rock county (reported as Pipestone 
county) in 18G0, their ages, occupation, 
birthplaces and the value of their per- 
sonal property :-^ 






*Henry Henderson 























New York 


New Hampshire 


Jane Henderson 

Mary Henderson 

Thomas Henderson 

'Charles Henderson 



Ann Henderson 

WilMam Henderson 



Henry Henderson 

John Henderson 

Catherine Henderson 

*John Burgess 



*Eaven Johnson 

Thomas Johnson 

*WilIiam Tealand 

Mary Tealand 

James Tealand 

Henry Tealand 

John Tealand 

*Henry Churchill 






* William Henderson 

•Hamilton Colhy 

•Thomas Edgrrton 


•William Hendricks 

•Heads of families. 

-'Other counties of southwestern Minnesota 
liad population in ISGO as follows: Faribault. 
1335; Blue Earth. 4203; Brown. 2339; Waton- 
wan. 0; Martin. 151; Jackson. 181; Cottonwood, 
12; Murray. 29; Nobles. 35; Pipestone. 0. 

—As a matter of fact, the twenty- three in- 
habitants of the enumeration of 1S60 are cred- 
ited to Pipestone cnuiity in the records of 
the census department at Washington. Iiut 

there is no question that they have reference 
to the county south of that one. When Rock 
and Pipestone counties were created in 1857 the 
names were transposed, and, apparently, a 
chanso had not been made in ISGO. In a 
federal census report for 1870 I have found a 
notation to the effect that the census returns 
for Rock county in ISfiO were incorrectly cred- 
ited to Pipestone county. Pipestone county 
(named Rock) also originally extended into 






1>/ ■ A 





/«-t[' !^^?X|f^: 




l X "--^S.'' 



> 4 


From a Map Published in 1850. Note the Western Boundary Line of the Territory. 




The development of this frontier re- 
gion was destined to delay. It had only 
fairly recovered from the effects of tlie 
Tnkpadnta or Spirit Lake massacre and 
the hard times jteriod when the outbreak 
of the civil war in 18G1 again set a break 
on immigration. Then in August, 1862, 
was inaugurated the terrible Sioux war, 
wliich again depopulated the western 
]iart of Minnesota and crimsoned the 
fair soil with the blood of so many inno- 
cent men, women and children. Fiend- 
isli atrocity, blood-curdling cruelty and 
red-handed nnirdcr ran riot. At Xew 
ITJm was enacted one of the most atro- 
cious massacres recorded in the annals of 
Indian warfare. At Lake Shetek, in 
JInrray county, on the Des Moines river 
in Jackson county, and at other places 
in soutliwestern ^linnesota the murder- 
crazed redskins fell upon the settlers and 
enacted lesser tragedies — lesser only be- 
cause the victims were not so numerous. 
Those who had budded homes on the 
Big Sioux river and within the bounda- 
ries of the original I?ock county hastily 
departed to escape tlie fury of the" sav- 
ages. When the census of 18G.") was 
taken Ihcre were no iidiabitant* in Rock 

The growth of Minnesota received a 
setback from which it took many years 
to fully recovc)'. After tlie inaugiuniion 
of this fiendish warfare the western fron- 
tier line receded eastward, and the great- 
er portion of southwestern Minnesota 
was again left in the midst of the hostile 
Inilian country, and for many months 
n(i wliilc man ti'oil its soil. After tlie 

South Dakota and included the site of Flan- 
dreau. where a townsite had been founded 
in an early day. Concerning the possihilily 
tliat the 1860 enumeration might have I)epu 
for the Flandreau country. Doane Rol)>ii. 
.secretary of the South Dakota Hi-storical so- 
ciety, has written me, under date of December 
31. 1910. a.s follows: 

"I have yours of the 28th asking me if there 
wa.s a settlement in Flandreau in 1860. I 
doubt if any one was living there at that 
time. The Dakota Land company had town- 
sites at Med.'iry and Flandreau and other 

settlements in the eastern part of the 
state had partially recovered from the 
tirst rude shock of the Indian outbreak, 
which fell like a thunderbolt from a 
clear sky, steps were taken to defend the 
expo.sed settlements, to conquer the red- 
skins and drive them back. 'J'he (nvil 
war was in progress, and the majority 
of the able bodied settlers were in the 
south fighting for the union. It there- 
fore recpiired .some time to muster troops 
and place them in advantageous positions 
to cope with the wily red foe. In the 
meantime the Indians carried on their 
brutal warfare, murdering men, women 
and children, and burning as they went. 
After considerable delay the Indians were 
driven back, soldiers were placed all 
through this western country, and the 
prairies were constantly patrolled by 
companies whieJi were detailed for tlie 

The expeditions against the hostile 
Sioux resulted in Rock county being fre- 
(piently visited liy military parties. For 
convenience in ojjerating against the sav- 
ages, military roads were constructed in 
different parts of the country. One of 
tlie main tliorouglifares was through 
Iiock county, extending from Jackson 
to the present site of Ijuverne and on lo 
Yankton. From Jackson the road ran 
to the Graham Lakes country of north- 
eastern Nobles county, and then to the 
west, passing near tlie present site of 
Wilmont, and entered Rock county in 
Vienna township. Thence it ran to the 
|iresent location of Luverne and on to 
"^'aiikton. The road was a comparatively 

points on the Sioux river. They had a colony 
at Sioux Falls at that time, and it is possible 
that at the time the census was taken in 
.lune a few might have been making a bluff 
at holding the townsites at Flandreau and 
Medary. I find no record on tlie subject and 
can onl.y surmise that this might have been 
the case." 

■■"This list was obtained from the director 
of the census at Washington, through the kind- 
ness of Hon, W. S. Hammond. 



good one, and in after years it was used 
as the mail route from Blue Eaith City 
and Jackson to Luverne, Sioux Falls aiid 
Yankton. To this day evidences of the 
old road can be seen in places. 

The savages were soon subdued after 
troops were placed in the field, but lor a 
nunilier of years the settlers on the ex- 
treme frontier lived in a state of con- 
stant fear and anxiety, not knowing at 
what time tlie scenes of 1862 might be 
repeated. When peace was established 
(in the border, settlement again com- 
menced — destined this time to be perma- 
nent — and the frontier line moved west- 
Avard rapidly. 

During the first half of the sixties the 
settlement did not extend so far as Rock 
county, if we except a few trappers who 
plied their trade here. A few of these 
built shanties, which they occupied dur- 
ing the trapping season. At the close 
of the season it was their custom to de- 
part to their homes farther east or south 
and dispose of their catch. Sometimes 
tliey would return to the trapping 
grounds of Rock county the next season; 
sometimes they would not. In no sense 
of the word cnuid they be called perma- 
nent settlers. They neither laid claim 
to land (except under the unwritten 
law governing trapping rights) nor 
intended to make their homes here. 

During the late sixties a new order of 

things obtained, resulting in settlement 
being pushed west to Rock county. When 
the civil war ended, railroads — those 
great civilizers — began reaching out and 
interlocking through the northwest. For 
Minnesota this was the starting point of 
such an era of rapid growth and develop- 
ment as was the marvel of the times. 
The iron horse had reached the eastern 
part of southwestern Minnesota late in 
the sixties, and early in the next decade 
railroads were built to and 'beyond these 
counties. The line of the first railroad 
to the extreme southwestern part of the 
state was surveyed in 186G, although it 
was not built until 1871. This survey 
was made by the Minnesota Valley Rail- 
road company, which later liecame the 
Sioux City & St. Paul, and later still 
the Omaha road. The line as surveyed 
passed Okabena lake and on to the south- 
west, almost to the very door of Rock 
county — a county which at the time did 
not boast a single inhabitant. 

A country through which railway sur- 
veys are being made is not destined to 
long -remain without settlers. In 18G7 
pioneers builded homes in northeastern 
Nobles county and a few pushed out t(> 
the Rock river in Rock county and select- 
ed claims, there to establish permanent 
homes. Rock county, which had been 
the home of the aborigine for countless 
ages, was claimed by the whites. 



FTEN there is a tendency on the sohhers in pursuit of the redskins after 

the Indian uprising of the earlj- sixties. 
He reported many elk and deer in the 
country and was responsible for nainiiifi' 
Elk slough in Magnolia townshi]i. 

.lames A. Rice, later sheriff of Kock 
cminty, in c<ini|iany with G. JL Scott, 
trapped along Rock river and traded 
with tl)e Indians in the fall of ISfiH 
and s[H'iit over a iiiouth witinu the 
county's l)oundaries. He has tulil of 
this event and conditions as he fmind 
them at that early day, before any 
person had established a home so far nn 
the frontier.- I*^.ai'ly in the month rl' 
\ii\ciiilicr these iwo trappers, ti'aveling 
h(irsel)ack and liy ((unpass, were crossing 
the |)rairies of Jitirthwestern Iowa on their 
May to the Big Sioux river. They came 
to an unknown stream soon after cross- 
ing the Minnesota boundary line and 

Opart of the chronicler of local 
histciiv to ])aint, polish and 
vai'uish the stories of the early days, so 
that sometimes tliose who were tlie 
principal actors in the drama enacted 
are unable to recognize themselves or 
their part in the play. It is my in- 
tention to steer clear of this fault and 
avoid fiction in d<'aliiig with the early 
day events, and tn lely solely upon 
the facts to make the narrative inter- 
esting. There is always something con- 

nected with the settlement of a 
country that interests, and s(i it is 
Iidck ccnmly. 

Permanent settlement began 
southwestern corner county of 
sota in ISdT. A few year; 
that time, as has been previously tul 
trappers had begun to operate in Rock 

is with 

in the 



county, visiting the streams for the forded it near a point where another and 

taking of the ]ielts of the fur-bearing 
animals, wjiich were then to be fdund.' 
We liave data concerning the operaticms 
of only a few of these. Of those who la- 
ter l>ecame residents of tlie county, 
one of the first wdiite men that looked 
uprm its soil was Robert Douglass, who 
passed through Rock county with the 

'Owing to the smallnes.s of the stream.s. fur- 
bearing animals wero not found in great 
abundance in Rook county and the operations 
of the trappers were not extensive. After tlie 

smaller stream joined the larger one. 
The point was the forks of the Rock 
liver, a short distance below Luverne. 
IHseovering beaver signs along the 
stream, the trappers gave up their plan 
of going to the Rig Sioux and shajied 
their up the Rock. They pitched 
tbeii' tent in the grove of natural tim- 

county was permanently settled some beaver 
and a few otter were taken along Rock river. 

-As reported bv the Rock County Herald, 
May 23. 1.S73. 




ber on the east side of the stream on 
land which later became tlie jJi'operty of 
E. N. Darling. There they remained 
until December 20, wlien, having had a 
good run of luck, they dejaarted for Iowa 
witli their catch. Mr. Eice visited the 
locality again the ne.xt fall, Init re- 
mained only a few days. 

During their stay on the river in 
18G6 Messrs. Eice and Scott saw an 
occasional elk, deer and antelope, and 
one day they saw two buffalo, wliieh 
had come back once more to their stamp- 
ing grounds before bidding adieu for- 
ever. The trappers liked the looks of 
the country, and Mr. Eice in after years 
told of his and his companion's specu- 
lations as to the length of time before 
the country weuld be settled. "We knew 
it was as nic^e a countrv as ever 'laid out- 


he said, "but we had no idea 

that it would be settled in iil'ty years." 
During the autumn of 18GG Nathan 
C. Estey and James Johnson, of Spirit 
Lake, Iowa, visited the county for the 
])urpose of selecting claims on the un- 
surveyed lands for themselves and for 
Mr. Estey 's younger brothers, also having 
a few goods for bai'tcr with the Indians. 
They proceeded up the Eock river to the 
point where the Chanpepedan enters it 
in Vienna township and there built a 
shanty, in which they lived two months.' 
The first attempt to establish a per- 
manent home in Eock county was made 
early in the month of June, 18C7, by a 
Mr. Towers and was unsuccessful. On 
the southwest quarter of section 30, 
III' what is now Clinton township, Mr. 
T((\vcrs put up a hay shed, broke a small 
patch of ground, and planted potatoes. 

^Thls is given on the authority of Colin J. 
Rstev. who wrote of the event in ls:i;i. K. N. 
Darling, who settled on Roek river in 18<i8 and 
t>ecanie well acquainted with conditions in the 
early day.s. tliinks tliat the imint of ereoting 
the oahin was on section (i. Magnolia town- 
ship, on the east side of the river. At the 
tinie he came to the count,\- there was no 
cabin 111! the east side of the livi-r :iliove tlie 

beans and pumpkins. He staked several 
claims in the vicinity and remained 
more than a month. It was his in- 
tention to pass the winter in the fron- 
tier location, l)ut owing to the straying 
of his oxen he abandoned the idea and 
made settlement in Dickinson county, 
Iowa. It is said that while crossing the 
Little Sioux river, in his search for the 
missing cattle, he lost his clothing and 
found his way to the Spirit Lake set- 
tlement dressed only in a gunny sack.'' 
Edwin Gillham, who later became a resi- 
dent of the county, trapped along the 
streams in the summer of 1867. 

During the month of June, 1807, 
Philo Hawes, who was to take a more 
active part in early day affairs of Eock 
county than any other man, accompanied 
by Joe Fields, passed through the county, 
selecting a route for a government mail 
line from Blue Earth City, Minnesota, 
to Yankton, Dakota territory. These 
men located the line from Jackson 
thi'ough the Graham Lakes country of 
Nobles county, and arrived at the Eock 
river, a short distance above the pi'csent 
site of Luverne, on June 1.", whei-e thev 
cani|M'(l fur the night. Their trip to 
this point had been over an uninhaliited 
|)rairie country, dotted here and there 
ainiig the streams and lakes by small 
groves of trees — ^Ijut no place so plea.s- 
ing to the eye was found as that along 
the Eock. Mr. Hawes has written as fol- 
lows of this visit: 

On the thirteenth day of June, 1SC7, 
about 5 p. m., I camped on the east side 
of Rock river, at or near the bridge that 
now crosses the river east of the iiioiiiids, 
oil the road to Ole Haga's farm. The river 
was very higli and I could not ford it. On . 
the tnorning of the fourteenth we crossed, 

site of Luverne, excepting one on section 6. 
Maunolia. The cabin was alx)ut 12x12 feet, 
built of logs and puncheons, and was in good 
(Condition in ISlJ.s. Above that point there was 
no timber on Rock river excepting a little 
about five miles above, the spot being de.sig- 
n;ited Lost Timlior. 

'Riick I'linnly Herald. .Siptinil..!- IS, IS73. 



swam our team over and drove to the 
mounds and camped near the spring just 
north of James Kelley's house. While tlie 
man that was with me put up the tent, I 
walked up to the top of the mounds to take 
a look at the surroundings. I could see 
down the river to Iowa, and the view was 
grand. The prairies were green, without 
a tree or shrub to be seen, except the tim- 
ber that skirted the river. I went back 
to camp and told Joe Fields (the man that 
I hired to go through with me for the rea- 
son that he was a good swimmer and I 
was not) that I had found the Garden of 
Eden and that I was going to lay my bones 
in this valley. I took one of the horses 
and rode down the river to the old Shaw- 
ver place on the west side, crossed over 
and back on the east side and got back 
to camp about dark. On my way back I 
crossed a track made by a buggy or light 
wagon. Afterwards I learned that it was 
made by Edwin Gillham, who afterwards 
carried the mail for me from here to Yank- 
ton. He was hunting and trapping in this 

I was very favorably impressed with 
this section as to its agricultural and stock 
outlook and declared in my own mind that 
the time would come when this section 
would be settled by a sturdy and thriving 
population, as we now see it, but hardly 
thought that it would come so soon. 

After .^peiidinu- a ]iart of tlic day ex- 
aniinini;' the cuinitry. these early vij^itors 
prnceeflcd mi fheir way westward, ar- 
riving: at tlie present site of Siotix Falls 
on tlie niorninji' of the fifteenth. There 
they found a iiiilittiry post, occupied hy 
part of a reuinient of soldiers. They 
continued their tri|i to Yankton and 
then returneil to Jackson liy way of 
Sioux City. Cherokee and Spirit Lake, 
arriving June 27. ^U\ Hawes secured 
a sub-contract for carrying the mail over 
tliks route and in Septenthet returned 
to the Rock and erected a stage station. 
Rut before tliis was done others liad conie 
to establish ]ici'inanent residence in Rock 
county and thus secure to themselves 

■'The Estej' family wort- from Wisconsin. 
Nathan Este.v. one of the brothers, was liv- 
ing on his homestead near Spirit Lake, and 
the f,ami]>' stojjped at that place a short time 
before talking up their home in Rock count>'. 
The family consisted of the widow. Deborah 
Estey. and her sons. Amos E.. CJrville C., 
Colin J., Byron. Alvord and others. 

""On August 12. 1S67, the writer and Amos 

(he honor of ha\iiiL; been (he first set- 

i''or the puiposc of making peiiiian.'iit 
settlement, on the third (hiv of August. 
ISi;:, .\inos K. Kstey and Orville C. 
Iv-I(y. bi(,theis. arrived In I'ock county 
ri'olii Ibc Spiril Lake sell leiiieni.' The 
next day Amos staked a claim on 
\\ha( proved to be, after (he survey was 
maile, section 2^k Clinton townshi]), 
s(une two tniles noi-lli o|' the state line. 
The brothers then rclui'iied to Spirit 
Lake, but came liack to (he Rock river 
country again on August 13. accom- 
]ianied liy Colin J. Estey." Upon tlie 
day of their arrival they commenced put- 
ting u\> hay and building a "pole shanty"' 
on Amos Estey's claim. This pioneer 
house of Rock county was nine feet wide 
liy sixteen feet in length, seven feet high 
a( the front and sloping down at the rear 
until the roof was only nine inches from 
the ground. The frame was constructed 
of poles cut along the river, which were 
placed u])on upright '•crotclied" poles. Aft- 
er the jioles had been placed in position, 
long slough grass was placed over the 
frame, taking the place of claphoards. The 
grass was woven about the poles ns the 
old fashioned willow baskets were woven. 
Over all were pileil brush, coarse hay, 
sods and loose dirt,' 

This ]iioiieei' home was decidedly on 
the fiiaitii'i'. The nearest settlers at Ihe 
time it was constructed were many 
miles away, the nearest being a family 
by the name of Kordwell at the head of 
Spirit lake. To the norlh there were 
no settlers for a greater distance, and 
Yankton was the nearest settlement on 

and Orville Estey landed in Rock county, two 
miles above the Iowa line, on the east side 
of the river, where we camped and pro- 
phiimed our residence to be from that date, 
and it was continuous from that on." — Article 
by Colin J. Estey, September. 1S99. 

'This primitive house was occupied bv the 
family during the winter of 1867-68 and was 
replaced the next year by a log house. 



the west, excepting the soldiers at the 
falls of the Big Sioux. The nearest 
settlement to the soiitii was at llie Big 
Siou.x mills, some seventy-five miles 
away. Jackson was the postoffice address 
of the Estey hoys, and Spirit Lake, Iowa, 
was the point from wliicli they secured 
their provisions. The throe brothers 
were joined later in the fall by their 
mother and uther brothers, but liefore 
they came the second building in the 
county was erected, on the present site of 

Philo TIawes. having secured the sub- 
contract r<u' carrying tlio mail over the 
newlv establishcil rnutc, caiiu' nut to 
ihr T\ock again on Septcmlicr IS, 18G7'. 
fill' the jiurpose of erecting a stal)le, e-;- 
tablisbiiig a stopping place for tiie mail 
carrier and putting up hay for tlie 
carrier's horses. Accompanying him wei'e 
fiiur men and three teams with an outfit 
for putting up the hay. Camp was again 
made in the grove near what later be- 
came the E. N. Darling homestead. 
Mr. Hawes has written of his selection 
of the site for the station: "The next 
day I Septemlicr lii] 1 went soulli to the 
state line and found that the mounds 
were sonic distance north of the center 
(if the ciiuiitv and that most of the tim- 
ber was in the soutbei'n half; for this 
reasfin I knew that the southern half 
woidd setth' iiiiub fa.ster than the 
nnrtbi'rn piii'l. When T made this dis- 
covery we moved down and camped near 
the present site of the Rock Island de- 

The men at once went to work putting 
up hay and building a staljle of poles 
and hay — a stable of a size sufficient to 
hold six horses. The slop on the IJoek 
was of short duration, the ciew cemtinu- 
ing on its wav to establish other stations 
alont.r the line. It was at this (iine 

that Mr. Hawes selected the site for 
his future home. The section lines had 
not yet been run, and, of course, he could 
not at that time file a legal claim to the 
hinil, but he did claim, under ".squatters* 
rights,"' what, when sui'veyed. was the 
east half of the uoi'tliwest {[uai'ter and 
tlie south half of the northeast (juarter 
of section 11, Luverne township — land 
upon wbii-h he later liled, ami laier 
still founded the town of Luverne. 

On the twenty-lifth day (d' November, 
1S(m, the station on the K'oek was again 
visited by ilr. ILiwes. He brought 
with him .lolin I.ietzc and family and 
;\Iiss Miianda d. Skinnei- (later ilie 
wife of Cieorge Pdasdell). who weie 
tn maintain a stojiping ])laee. or Half 
Way House, as it was called, im the 
mail route. The ''house" was of the 
half-cahin-half-cave style of architecture, 
located near the elevator sites of the 
l?ock Island road. .V cave was dug in 
the bank, and this was lined with logs 
and covi'red with ridge poles. Over 
all was piled hay and dirt. In this first 
Luverne house Mr. lActy.o and his fam- 
ily ]iassed the winlei-. lie returned In 
Ills home in ISlue Larlli City the next ■ 
spring when ^Ii-. Ilawis loeated pei ni,:- 
nently on his elaiin. 

On the day bef(U'e Mr. Lietze and 
his family arrived at the station, on No- 
\embei' -.'I, lS(i7, Mrs. Deborah Estey. 
aeiompanied h\' two of the xoniiL'cr chil- 
dren, Al\(ird and Byron, ari'ived al the 
home pre].iared for her. The new arri- 
vals brought a load of household goods 
and six chickens. In the pioneer "pcde 
shanty" the family of six s]ient the 
next winter.^ The winter was an ex- 
t'eptionall\ mild one, and so late as De- 
cendiei' II I he grass was green in the val- 
leys ami stock would leave the hay placed 
lud'ore them to cro]i the grass. .\I1 hough 

■"Mother did not see a white wnmnn for 
six montlis. and only two squnws. She w;ih 

pipnsi'd tii h.ive even those two sqnaws o.ill 
,111.1 ilinc with her."— Colin J. Estey, 1899. 



the Estey family were living in a world 
of their own, cut off from intercourse 
with tiie outside world, they seemed to 
enjoy themselves, husying themselves 
with the work of founding a home in the 
new country. On Christmas day, 18G7, 
they prepared a special spread aud did\' 
celehrated the day." 

Althougli hoth the Estey and Lictze 
families spent the winter of 1SG7-GS on 
the Iiock river, within ten miles of eacli 
other, neither knew of the presence 
of the other, each family helieving itself 
to he the only one in IJoek coiintv. At 
dackson. Mr. llawes hail l)eei) told tliat 
a family were spending the winter on 
tlic ]?f)ck. ])elo\v his station, and on Jan- 
nary .')!, ISCS, while on a trip over the 
line, he \\cnt down to see if it were 
true.i" He found that the ^steys had 
lost a day in the reckoning of time and 
that for o\('r two montlis had lieen rig- 
idly keeping ^londay for the Saljliath 

When once the trail has heen hlazed 
to a frontier country and actual set- 
tlement estahli.shed, it is not long before 
others follow. This was the case in 
Eock county, and we find tliat duriiio- 
18(!8 quite a nnmher of settlers pushed 
to the Eock river country and luiilded 
themselves homes. 

Among the first to come that year were 

"Colin J. Bstey has written of tlie difficulties 
encountered in securing tlie provisions: 

"Planning for Christmas dinner away out 
sixty-five miles beyond the last settler, eighty- 
one miles from a store or market (Jackson), 
one hundred sixty miles from a railroad or 
telegraph office (Waseca), and long before the 
teleohone was invented, was no small mat- 
ter, but we felt as though the day should be 
marked. So we boys strove to see who would 
trap the first beaver to supply us with roast 
meat, as we valued our hens too highly to 
kill one of them. Amos was the lucky 
trapper; he caught a fine kitten beaver that 
weighed about thirty-five pounds gross. Then 
we dressed it and put it out to freeze. We 
hoys wanted mother to make one of her 
famous Johnnie cakes, which anv of the old 
settlers can vouch were A No. 1. But mother 
said she was barred; 'Biddie' had not contrib- 
uted her share toward the Johnnie cake. Just 
as we were talking it over, off jumped 'Biddie' 
with a cackle as if to say, 'I haven't, hey? You 
spared my neck and here is your egg.' 

Jonathan I'helps and Lee VVhitsell, trap 
pel's who had spent part of the prei/ediug 
.season witiiin the county. T>i)th selected 
claims along the river ne;n' the lidund- 
ary line between Clinton and Luverne 
townships and built ealiins." Durins 
the month of March Pliilo Hawes ai'i'ived 
with his family and moved into the dug- 
out made vacant by the removal of John 
Lietze. He at once started the construc- 
tion of a log ca]>in. 1S.\S4 feet, moving 
into tlie new house in midsummer. The 
, building boasted no floors, and hay 
answered the purpose of a carpet. The 
partitions were of carpet and .sheetimi'. 
In the fall a 13.v24 feet addition was 
erected on the nortli side. With Mr. 
Hawes came George Mcf'Cenzie, who 
took as his claim the southwest quarter 
of section fl, Luverne township.'- In 
.V]iiil Edward McKenzie arrived and se- 
lected as bis claim the quar- 
ter of section f4, Luverne. Charles Hill- 
man was also an early arrival, .settling on 
section 5, Clinton township. In the 
spring also came Daniel Wilmot, A. E. 
'J'honi]ison and S. Tmil from Crc^co, 
Iowa, who took claims in the southern 
paj't of the county. They brought a 
bieaking plow with them and broke out 
a little land. Afer accomplishing this, 
they returned to Iowa, but came liack 
to their claims in November and spent 

•'.So we had our meat and Johnnie cake, but 
where was our cranberry sauce? Tlien long- 
headed Al suggested that we might pick some 
wild grapes, and we did. In tliose davs a 
kind of wild grape grew very large and clung 
to the vines until the buds crowded them 
off the next spring. I look back to that 
Christmas as one of the happiest in my life." 

'""The Estey family moved on their claim 
at .Ashcreek in .\ugust. 1867. but we did not 
know of tlieir being there until along some 
time in the winter of 1867-68, so you see how 
neighborly we were in those times."— Philo 

"Whitsell sold his claim soon afterward- 
Phelps, who had a family, remained until he 
secured title to the land. 

'^George McKenzie remained in Rock county 
until his death in 1S,S6. He was a New 
Yorker, but came to the county from eastern 


Ilic wiiifcr in the county. Edwin Gill- wclcoinc. The coininiinily was isohlteil. 
liara, wiio luul trapped tiiroiigh tiie coun- and the laet drew llie settlers in Id 
try the year hefore. eanie atrain in 186S closer bonds of friendship. Tl.e neaiest 
and carried the mail over tlie nude west settlements at the time were al Sion.x 
from the Luverne station. He took a Falls, whei-e were a few soldiers under 
<laim on section 10, Luverne townslii]i. coninnind id' ColoiKd i\no\ and one 
On ■ ()cl()ber 27 E. X. Darling and Ids family, and in ll;e (li-ahani Lakes conn- 
fanulv, aceonijianicd hv (ieorge W. Iiy of northeastern .Xohles county. 'I'lic 
Hlasdell, arrived at the little seltlenu'iil iieiiesl poiids Vi-om which supplies were 
on tiie liock, having come IVom eastern >eeiiied weie .laekson and Spirit Lake. 
Minnesota, ^[r. Darling selected a claim i'riiu- to the fall of ISiiS the n.'aiest post- 
on section (i. Magnolia, and .'!1. \'ieuna office was .laekson. Laic in the year a 
fownshi])S.'" and Mr. I'dasdell on sect inn postolfice named Lnvcine was established, 
]■.'. Lu\('ine. John 11. Ferguson came to with Edwaid AlcKenzic, who was then 
the county in X(.\emhcr. settled in cirrying the mail, designated as postinas- 
soutliern Clinton township and erected a Icr. E. X. 1 )arling, however, had charge 
claim shantv that fall." This completes of the office during the wintei-. londiict- 
the list (d' arrivals for the year 1S(;S. ing it at the Ilavves cabin. Of eoudi- 

Despite the fact that onlv a lew had lions in ISCS Philo ITawcs has writ- 
arrived in the e(umly dining the first ten: "As to our grub we never sulfcieil 
half of the year, those were jiatriotie mi account of lack of jirovisions; we did 
and duly celebrated the nation's birth- not have the courses that modern society 
(lav. .Ml gathered al the grove on d. ealls for. hut we only ome bad to grind 
C. riudp.s' claim and paitici])ated in eorn in the eotree-mill to make bread, and 
a picnic. Every man, woman and child that wa> (ui account of a delay in teams 
in the c(ninty, excepting Charley ITawes, .Setting in from .laekson." 
who was <in a Iri]) to Yankton with the During the winter of ISliS-G!) occurred 
mail, wcie present. I'hcy were Fbilo t'"' ^i''-^f threshing in Eock ccmnty. Fhilo 
Ilawcs and family, Mrs. Deborah Estey Tlawes raised a small amount id' oal-^. 
and family. Miss Mirand.i J. Skinner. '"I'l these were threshed (uil with a 
Kdward Mid\cnzie. Daniel Wiliuot and tlail bv F.. \. Darling. Tlie yield was 
tamilv. S. Tnul. A. C. Phelps and family 'i''''''" '"' twenty luislnds. part of whieh 
and Charles nilliuan.''' ^I'- H''"''-" ■'^"''l to |iartics traveling 

The arrivals .d' ISCS all took claims lln'ou-li at $1.00 per bu.-^bel. 

along Uock riviu', extending Ircun a Colin Estcy has also told cd' experiences 

■iborl distaiiee above laneiaie siudh to 

in the little settlement at this earlv dav: 

the stab' line. There wciv so few in I remember how kind and generous the 

settlers were during those pioneer days. 

the scttlemeid that the ai'iival of a 

If one were out of provisions any of tlie 

"prairie schonner" to the vallev of the neighbors would divide. At one time, when 

, , , . 1 . ,■ |. • tlie Kstevs, John Ferguson, wife and babe, 

hock awakened prolonnd leelmgs ol joy charles Hiilman, Daniel Wilmot, wife and 

at t'le th(um-ht of another neighbor, and daughter, Abbie and her husband, Al. 

each new arri\al \va< sure of a heart v 

Thompson, .Johnnie Wilmot and S. Tout 
were the only settlers in the southern 

"Mr. Darling spent the winter in the Hawes "Mr. Ferguson was a son-in-law of Mrs. 
cabin, moving to his claim the next April. Of Deborah Estey. ITe livefl with the E.stcy fam- 
uli the adult male settlers of 18(58 Mr. Dar- ily the first winter, localini? <n\ his ctom the 
ling is the only one now a resident of the next spring, 
county. Mrs. Fliilo Hawes and C. O. Hawes 
are older settlers. '''Hock County Hei-aUl. May 2:i. 1S73. 



tier of townships in the county, there was 
a shortage of flour. John Ferguson, Amos, 
Orville and Allie Estey tool? a yoke of 
oxen and a pair of horses, with a boat 
for a wagon box, wliile to the other wag- 
on they hitched two yoke of steers and 
started, just as the snow began to thaw, 
for Spirit Lake for provisions. 

John and Allie, at the end of twelve 
days, got back with twelve busliels of pota- 
toes and one hundred pounds of flour. 
Mother had just one biscuit each for her 
family when the boys came in with the 
provisions. We sent Mr. Wilmot one- 
half of the flour and some potatoes. After 
that, we could get only one hundred pounds 
of flour at Spirit Lake, so we had to go to 
the Woodland mill on the Blue Earth river, 
118 miles east of the Rock. 

liock ciiunly riH-eivcd a few new s-^et- 
tlcrs in isil'.t, most i>[ wlimii linmulit 
tlii'ii- raiiiilit'fi with tlic'iii. Mv. and jMi's. 
S. Wik-o.x came in the summer and lo- 
cated on scctidii 'Wt, Luverne. Sylvester 
Xotton Incaled on seeliim (i. MaLiunlia. 
and huill a shanty. ^I. (,'. Smith ai-- 
rived .lune ."> and located on section II!, 
Clinton township. .1. F. Shoemakei' and 
J. C. Kelley came to the county .lune \] 
and selected chiims under the mounds, 
on section ■.'."). .Mound township. Both 
erected loi;- ciihins,"' ,J. H. Loomis se- 
lected a chiiui on section 'M<. Clinton, 
and estahlished his home there. Henry 
^lartin houiiiit the Lee Whitsell t-laim 
(l(jwn the rivi'i' from Luverne and was 
a resident ol' the county For several 
years. .lames Siiawxci' came to the 
county and look a claim in ('Union 
township, close lo the Lu\etne township 
line. L. B. ^IcCollum loeateil in Clin- 
ton, as did also Frank Mason. Andrew 
ilcKeiizie took a claim on sections lo 
and 11. !>u\(M-ne township. A. McMuiphy 

'"Messrs. Sliriemaker n.nd Kollty camt- to- 
gether, and tlieir settlement in the oomit.\ 
was due largel.v to accident. They had t)eeii 
breaking land near the Indian reservation at 
Flandreau. Dakota territory, and in following" the 
ti-ail of a span of Mr. Shoemaker's mules, which 
had wandered away, the two men came to th<- 
claim of E. N. Darling, where they arrived 
June 17. Receiving no information regarding 
the lost animals, they proceeded up Rock 
river and next day were joined Ijy Mr. 
Darling, who had got track of the mules. 
Messrs. Shoemaker and Kelle.v captured the 
animals, and tlien decided to select claims 
and locate permanently. They chose sites over 

located neai' the picseiit site ol' Lincriie 
and ki'pt a h'W slaple articles for sale 
to the wliite si'ltlers. 'I'lii'se included 
practically all the arrivals of isc.ii. 

The lirst hirth in K'oek county occiiiTed 
lale ill the month of March, ISdi). It 
was a ilaui^hter, Kll'ie Feroiison, horn lo 
Mr. and ilrs. -loliii H. Ferguson at 
the home (d' Mrs. Dehorali Fsle\. Mrs. 
Ferguson's mother. 'I'he second hirlh 
occurred at the same place a week or two 
lalei- and was a daiiolitcr, Laiireiia lli-ad- 
I'ord, lioiai to anotlier daiiulder of Mrs 
Fstey, The third Idiili also occui-red 
the same year, a dau-litei-. Carrii' irawcs. 
Inning heen horn to Mr. and iirs, I'hilo 
llawes on August '■>. The ['(airth hirth in 
the eoiintv and tlic lirsl hov <iecui'red soon 
al'ler. The hahy was Charles Shoemaker, 
son ol' "Mr. and Mrs. .1. F, Shoemaker. 

'i'he section lines of the townships of 
Kanaranzi. Magnolia, \'ieiina, llattle 
I'lain, Clinton and Luverne were run 
during 1S()9, the first flir<'e named having 
heen surveyed by R. IT. L. .Tew'ett and the 
others hy .Tewett & Howe. Before this 
lime those who had located in the coun- 
(y ludd their claims onlv li\' ■'■S(|uatters" 
righls,"" hut when the plats of these 
townships were received h\ the loial land 
olfiee (.lime 1-"). ISTD) the .settlers were 
allie to lile legal claims to their lands. 

.\iiolhcr e\ent of (he \'ear ISIil) was 
the threshing of the second lot id' grain 
raised ill tlie count \', which took place at 
the I']stoy home in Clinloii (ownsiiip on 
Christmas dav,'' The wiiilcr was an 
exceptionally severe one and "lingered in 

whii'li till \ passed on their way ui) the river. 
Mr. Shiiemaker did not move liis family to 
the claim luitil June. 1S70. 

'■■'All during the Christma.s day of 1869 we 
bo,\'s and John Ferguson threshed wheat for 
mother. We had two flails. The bimdles were 
imliound and spread out so that twelve bun- 
dles covered a space about eight feet long 
by twice the lengtli of the straw, one-halt on 
each side, with the heads tm'ned to the cen- 
ter. We left an alley three feet wide out- 
side and eneircled it. Then we spread two 
rows of bundles clear ar<anid that with lieads 
to the center. We yoked our three yoke of 



the lap of s|ii-ing." Soiiiu of the settlers 
sufferL'(l I'luni the cold and Ihere were a 
few narrow escapes from death in the 
storms. Early in IMarch, 1870, oc- 
curred a six days" lilizzard. This \\as 
followed on the '^Ist and 'i'ind \\y an- 
other .severe storm. 

Several new settlers arrixcd in the 
sjn'ing of ISTO. and \\]\vn the ccns\is was 
taken by Aiken Miner, of Jackson, in 
the summer of that year the population 
of IJiick county was found tn lie 138,^* 
of wliich 1"^0 Mere Anicricaii Innn and 
eighteen foreign l)orn.^' Other interest- 
ing statistics were taken hy the enumer- 
ator. In Rock county were nineteen 
farms, of whicli seven were hetween 
ten and twenty acres in area, ele\cn he- 
tween twenty and fifty acres and one be- 
tween one hundred and five hundred acres. 
There were 4G3 acres of improved land 
and •.JT.'S acres of woodland. Tiie value 
of all the farms of liock county was 
$10,700, and the value of all farming 
macliinery in the county was $2200. 'J'he 
total (estinuited) \alue of all farm pro- 
ductions, including heltennents and ad- 
ditions to stock, was $()(;.")!) and the 
value of the live stock «as $CiO;."). Tbr 
enuuiei'atni- found live stock in the coun- 
ty a.s follows: Horses, 17; milch cows, 
34; working oxen. 31: other cattle. IS: 
sheep, !• : swine. II. l'ro(hi(ls 1-aiscil in 
Hock county weic as follows: Wheat, J3ii 
bushels; corn. UK) bushels; oats, (100 

cixcn :unl placed niir one i>air f>f h<>rye.s, har- 
nessed, heliind them; then two cows. wUh 
heads tied toi^etlier. were plaeed behind tin; 
rest, and we formed them all in a eirele 
.nronnd the o\Uside. After we had muzzled all 
the eattle. we pnt them in m<itic)n to thresh 
out the wheat, while we took turn.'^ usins: the 
tlail on the inside flooring. Thus did we thresh 
out the first six aeres of breaking in Roek 
eoimty. P'or dinner we had roasted racoon 
that the writer had caught a few days be- 
fore."— Colin Estey, 1900. 

^''Other nearby counties had population as 
follows: Pipestone. 0; Nobles, 117; Murray. 
203; Jackson, 1S25; Cottonwood, 534. 

bushels; potatoes, 480 bushels; butler, 
2000 pounds; hay, 43:j tons. 

Among the arri\als of the year 1870 
were (!eoiL;e \\ . Kniss, who came Jlay 
9, and P. .). Kniss, who arrived June 
(i ; ^\'illiam F. Hi'owii, who came_ in 
June; the ffregiuy family, consisting 
of H. C, J, ('„ K. 8., S, 1), and H. 
A, Gregory; O. II, Plum, T, J. Clark, 
M. ilcCarthy, Dennis McCarthy, P. F. 
Ke'ley,-" Cadwallder Jones, Ezra Pice, 
JIartiii Wchlicr, who arrived Scpteinber 
23 ; Swen Sanderson, Ole Nelson, Ole T, 
Berg, Ole T. Oj)sata,-' Jolm Martin, who 
was the lirst settler of ilartin township; 
Clarence Older, William Ward. If. C. 
Spalding and his father, Jacob Ander- 
son. Ole P. Steeii, who settled on see- 
linn :i2. Clinton: and many others. .\ 
Pock county correspondent to the Jack- 
S(ni Kepublic of December 1.5, 1870, 
wrote as follows: "Although we form 
a little world by ourselves, yet we 'live, 
move and have our being.' We have 
had a large increase of population this 
season and everything indicates a heavy 
immigration to the county next spring. 
Oiii' ])eojde are all cheerful and busy 
im|)roving this line weather in getting 
things really for improvements next 

The ])lats I'm- the six townships siii-- 
\{'\vi\ ihe yi';ir before were receiveil al 
llii' land oll'iii' at .Tackson on .liinc 1."i, 
IS7(), and on the 20th William F. Brown 
made the first homeslead entry to Pock 

'"'I'he places of birth of the native horn were 
as follows; Minnesota, 12; New York, 2:1; ^\*is- 
cousin. 19; Ohio, 12; Pennsylvania. 1: niiriois. 
12; other st.ites. 30. The countries of birlh of 
the f^ti'eign Itorn -were as follows; Hrilish 
.\meriea. 5; n-eland, 5; Germany, 1; Sweden and 
Norwa>'. 7. 

'-° been a soldier stationed at Sioux Falls. 
Upon his discharge in June he located in Roek 

='Mr. Opsata was accompanied by his wife 
and six children. Tollef O.. Thorston O.. Nels, 
Olem. Marget and (lust. Messrs. Opsata. San- 
derson. Nelson and Berg came in one party in 
September and all settled in Vienna township. 



counfy sciil.-- A little later in the sum- 
mer tlie towiishijjs of Mound, Denver, 
^lartin, Beaver Creek and Springwator 
were surveyed by S. E. Stebbins,--' the 
last township, Kose Dell, not being di- 
vided into sections until 1871, when Mcr- 
lilt. Austin & Van Soliu ran the lines. 
The passing of the year 18T0 marked 
Ihe elose of a most important era in 
the hi^tdry of Hock county. At the 
hegiiiiiiiig ij[ the year 1867 there was 
not a l)uilding within tlie confines of the 
county; there was not a living person 
wild miglil claim his residence therein; 

=^His claim v/as the east half of the north- 
west quarter of section 14, Clinton town- 
ship. In a letter to the Rock Count.v 
Herald in January, 1902. C. P. Shepard. regi-ster 
of the United States land office at Marshall, 
wrote as follows concerning this first entry 
and the first final proof made for Rock county: 

"In your issue of January 10, 1902. I notice 
the claim of William. F. Brown that he made 
the first final proof on government land in Rock 
county. The records of this office show that 
he made homestead entr.v No. 62.S7. June 20. 
1.S70. for the described tract and that he made 
final homestead proof No. 3778. October 2. 
1S75. His is probably the first homestead entry 
made in the county, but he did not make the 

lint an acre (jT land was iimler eultiva- 
tiou; it was a virgin country, many long 
miles from the nearest habilation. .\t 
I he close of the year 1,S70 the county 
was inhabited by probably ;i()0 people, 
who had made settlement and opened 
farms; the lands were surveyed and stak- 
ed; the ciiunty was organized and the 
Incal government had begun. From a 
uild, miinhabited wilderness I'ar out on 
the ri-diifiei', where only a few trappers 
liad penetrated, it had (levelope<l within 
I'luii' years into a civilized. ]irogrcssive 
and most ambitious community. 

first homestead proof. We find by the records 
of this office that there were several homestead 
proofs made in said county before ho made 
his. Charles W. Hillman made final i>roof No. 
2573. February 7, 1S73. for the noith half of 
the northeast quarter and the east half of the 
northwest quarter of section 2, township 101. 
range 45. This is probably the first proof 

"'"A party of surx't-yors camped in town over 
Sunday on their way to suNlivide tlic town- 
ships of Rock count.v not sui'X'cyed last sea- 
son. They were in charge of S. E. Stcbbins. of 
Blue Earth City." — Jackson Republic, Septem- 
ber 3, 1870. 


COUNTY AM) 'roWXSIIII' oUdAX lZA'ri().\^1,s;o-l,s?,s. 

WllI'LN I lie uirly day seltlcrs Id- 
eated ill til'' un()rii:anized county 
ol' Iidek. it was attached to 
Jackson county for civil and judicial 
purposes. What little oH'icial business 
the new settlei's had to attend to was done 
at the county seat village oi Jackson, 
where was also located the jfovernincnt 
land office. There was no ag-itation 
among the settlers in favor of county 
organization prior to the fall of l.S(i9-. 
In fact, up to that time the county had 
a populati(ni considerably less than one 
luindred people (including possibly 
twenty-five voters), the census taken in 
the suiiiiner of 1870 showing only l;iS iii- 

Although by the original act of 18.-)? 
Iiock county had been created, no pro- 
\isi(]n had been iiuule for its oi'ganiza- 
tion. Therefore, wdien tlie settlers decid- 
eil to b<'giii county goxerninent it was 
necessary to seeuri.' legislative action. 
Late in the fall (d' 18(i!) some of the 
settlers, notably J. F. Shoemaker, .loiia- 
than riielps, Amos Estey ami E. N. 
Darling, took the initiative in bring- 
ing about organization. A petition to 
the legislature was -written by Mr. Dar- 
ling, assisted by "Mr. Slioemakcr. and cir- 

^E. N. Darling furnishes fi'om niemor.s' the 
name.s of twenty of the signers, as follows: 
Daniel Wilmot. S. Toul. A. E. Thompson, 
Amos Estey, Colin J. Estey, Orville Bstey, 
John Ferguson, L. B. McCollum, Frank Mason, 

culated throughout the settled portions 
of the county. The petition was signed 
by vwvy \(iter,' and the pi-oposit ion met 
with the hearty approval <d' everybody. 
There was no jniblic meeting held to ra- 
tify the ste]), but it practically had a 
public endoi'semeiit, for at evei'v publie 
gathei'ing the proposed action was the 
subject of discussion among the set- 
tlei's, and none argued in the negative. 
The j)etition was sent to the lawmak- 
ers at St. Paul dui'iiig the session of 
18G9-70. That body lookeil with favor 
on the re(|uest of the settlers from the 
extreme southwestern corner of the state 
and jiassed an. act. approved liy the gov- 
ernor Jlarcb ."), 18i(). entitled "an act to 
organize Hoik countw" Secti(ni (Uie read 
as follows: 

Tliat the governor take sucli action un- 
der existing laws as may be necessary to 
organize the county of Rock, and appoint 
three disinterested persons commissioners 
to locate the county seat of said county. 
The place designated by said commis- 
sioners, or a majority of them, when re- 
ported to the governor, shall remain the 
seat of justice of said county until con- 
firmed or changed by a vote of the legal 
voters of said county when submitted to 
them in accordance with the provisions of 
the constitution of the state of Minnesota. 

A few months after the passage of this 
net the residents of the c'Uintv prepared 

.\iulrew MeKenzie. J. F. Shoem.'ilier. J. C. Kel- 
ley. Sylvester Norton. James Shawver. J. H. 
Loomis. E. N. Darling. Philo Hawes. G. W. 
Blasdell. Edward MeKenzie and Lee Whitsell. 




Mini |ii-('siMil.'il (n (Jiivcniiir Horace Austin 
a jictitiiin iiskinu' liiia to appoint J. F. 
Sliocniakcr, .loiiatliaii Plielps and Amos 
Estc'v conuiiissioncis to locate the coun- 
ty scat.- The governor took the neces- 
sary action and on Anr;iist 9, 1870, ap- 
poiiitcd the gentlemen whose names had 
lieeii suggested, instructing them to nioet 
ami select the seat of government for the 
new coiinly. The meeting was lie Id 

at tlie hoi if Jonathan Phelps, I'oiir 

miles south of l,ii\c:iie, on tlic first day 
of Se[)tend)er. all three commissioners 
being jn-esent. There was not much dif- 
liiiilty in selecting a site. Mr. Shoc- 
iiiakcr |ii-oposed Luvcrne, which was then 
the oiil\- pjaci' in Rock county lioast- 
ing a name, it having already heen 
namcil hy Philo ITawes, wdio had his 
home on the site. Messrs. Phelps and 
Kstey proposed a location fartlier south, 
hilt liiial]\- acceded to Mr. .Shoemaker's 
choice,' and all signerl tlie report whicii 
was written Iiy ]\lr. Shoemaker and 
was in the following language: "Aft- 
er line consideration we have agreed 
to locate till' county seat of Pock as fol- 
lows; .\t l.uNcrii/. on tlie southeast quar- 
ter of the iioithwc-i iiuarter of section 11, 
in liiwii one hiiiuh' (1 two. j'ange forty- 

When (oiNeiiKU- .\iistiii selected the 
lueii to locate the county seat he also 
rei|uesle(l that a mass convention he 
lii'hl to suggest the names of men suit- 
ahle 1(1 serve as coinmissioners to or- 
ganize till' couiil\. ills recpiest was com- 

-■"riiosc arc :ill rcsUlent.s of the county ami 
were a.ppointed agi'eeabl.v to petition of a ma- 
jority of tlie citizens." — Jackson Republic, Au- 
gust 20, 1870, 

"Rock County Herald, December IS, 1885. 

^The Jackson Republic of October 1, 1870, en- 
liKhtenetl its readers as to the whereabouts of 
llie new county seat, as follows: "This is said 
to be a beautiful place and is near where the 
VaTdcton road crosses the Rock river. It is at 
tlie point where Philo Hawes. Ksq., agent of 
the Minncsf)ta Stage company, settled two years 
ago and where he still resides." 

''As a matter of fact, there was not much 
(chance for political argument. All the voters 
who atleiKird the convention (and till the vot- 

jilicil \yilli. and a mass eoincntion was 
held at the home of Philo Hawes. 'J'ius 
iirst liock county convention was fairly 
well attended. K. X. Darling was made 
chairman ,iml .1. I''. Shoemaker, secretary. 
Politics did not eiilei- into the delib- 
erations, the only thought being to se- 
lect good men to recommend to the 
g(i\crnor.''' The voting was by ballot, 
and the tlii-ei^ men recommended were 
later named hy the governor. 

(ioyernor .\ustiii issued a jiroclamalioii 
on Septemlier 'M. declaring Lincriie the 
county seat of Hock county," He named 
lianicl W'ilmot, II. .\. ( egory and 
Alir.iliam .MeMiirphy coiiHty commission 
cr>. to ser\(' until their successors, chosen 
al the general election in Xovember, 
should (|iialify. They were eiupowcred 
to tike the initial steps toward organi/.a- 
lioii and to make ]>rovision for holding 
the Iirst county election. 

The commissioners named by the gov- 
ernor met for the first time at one 
o'clock on tlie afternoon of October 17, 
IS^O, at the liome of IT. A. Oregory. 
I)aiiiel W'ilmot was chosen chairniaii 
and I'. .1. Kniss clerk of the board pro 
tem. I'dection officers were chosen for 
the approaching election and the county 
was diyideil into three commissioner dis- 
tricts. This was the only meeting held 
by the Iirst iioard of county commission- 
ers of liock county, it being decided to 
adjourn until November 0. 1,^70. I'ro- 
vision was m;i(le for holding the iic\l; 
session al the limne of .\liraham ]\Ic- 

crs in the county) were repubiieaiis with the 
exception of Mike Mc(^irthy. He ahine con- 
stituted the democratic party in the earl,\' da.\'s 
and had the honor of casting the first vote of 
that party in Rock county. 

""Now, therefore, I, Horace .\ustin, g(tvern()r 
of the state of Minnesota, do proclaim and de- 
clare the said town of Luverne in the county 
of Rock, Minnesota, to be the legal county 
seat of said county, 

"In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my 
hand anrl caused the great seal of the stnte 
to be affixed at the capitol in St. Paul this 
24th day of September, A. D. 1870. 

"Hv the Covernor. 

■■|:. .M.NTTISON, Secretary of State." 



Murphy. A coinplute set of count}- olli- 
cors \v;is chosen in November nnd Rock 
couiily was at last rully organized, the 
new lioanl o£ county eoniinissioners and 
other county ofrieers taking oaths of 
ull'ice .January 7', 1871. 

Immediately fdllowing. the organiza- 
tion, about fifty residents of the countv 
met at the county seat and (hdy cele- 
bialeil tlie event. Tlie (hiy's festivities 
wiuiiid u|i with a grand dance at the 
home of I'hilo ITawes, at winch Ole I'. 
Steeii and Dudley Whileliead olViciideil 
US uiusicians. 

At the t', rUe of (iiganizatiiin the set- 
tlement was conliu('(l almost wholly to the 
southern half of the county and tlicre 
was no immediate call for the organiza- 
tion of townships in the northern part, 
but immediately after perfecting the 
county organization steps were taken to 
bring about township organization in 
some of the juore thickly settled poitions. 
Between the years 1S71 and 1878 all of 
tile townships were created and were gov- 
erned by township olVicers. While the 
story of the creation of the several town- 
ships under one chapter head will break 
into the chronological order of events in 
the general history of the county, it 
seems best to treat the matter in this 
place and tiike up the other items fol- 
lowing the county organization at the 
beginning of the riext chapter. The 
senioi'itv 'if the sexeral townshi|is as cre- 
ated by the lioaid, of rounty comnnssion- 
ers is as follows: Jjuvernc, Grant (Clin- 
ton ). Heaver Creek, ^Fagnolia. ]\anaran- 
zi, Mai'tin, (frei^ory (including the six 
uorthei'n townslii])s) , Vienna, Aliiion 
(Springwatcr), Mound, Riverside (Bat- 

'Tlio 1872 assessment for Luverne township, 
which then included the iirosent townships of 
Luverne, Vienna. Mound. Springwater. Rose 
Dell. Denver and Battle Plain, discloses the 
fact that there were three sheep in the town- 
ship, from which were clipped fourteen pounds 
of wool, and twenty-four milch cows; that filO 
tons of hav were put up and 24.56 pounds of 
butter were made. In the whole territory only 
351 acres of land were under cultivation. The 

tie Plain ), Rose Dell and Dover (Den- 


The petition asking for the ci'calioii 
of Rock county's tirst township was dated 
February 1.5, 1871, and was presented to 
(he county commissioners on that date. 
It was signed by F. N. Darling, Fd. Mc- 
Kenzie, R. J., William Blasdell, G. 
W. Daniels, lloi-ace rium. D. .\. Daniels, 
i'hilo llawcs. V.'illiam Greer, .lohn Jones, 
II. Sawyer. .). C. Rhelps, (!. Webber, S. 
Wilcox, S. D. Gregory and V. C. Jones. 
The commissioners took the requcsteil 
action on February IG and created Lu- 
verne township (named after the village), 
embracing the present townships of Lu- 
verne and ibnind and the cast half of 

Two days later the southern tier of 
townships was authorized to begin town- 
ship government under the name of 
Grant. The few settlers in other parts 
of Rock county were then without town- 
ship organization, and to bring all paits 
of the county under legal government 
the commissioners on May 27, 1871, de- 
clared Luverne township's boundaries 
extended to include all of the nine pres- 
ent day northern townships. The action 
was taken in response to a petition to 
that effect signed by J. F. Shoemaker, V. 
J. Kniss, E. S. Gregory, IT. \. Gregoi-y, 
G. W. Daniels, P. F. Kelley, L. A. Dan- 
iels. Tv. McDermott, James Kelley, 
Iforacc I'lum, Philo Hawes, -Toliii b'yaii, 
Fd. McKcnzie, J. C. Gregory and Slepli- 
cn Wilcox. Luveine township in- 
cluilcd all this territory until it was 
reduced by tlu' various acts creating 
other townshiiis.' Following is a list of 

acres sown and liushels harvested of the several 
crops were as follows: 

Product Acres. Bushels. 

Wheat 130 1783 

Oats 90 272S 

r-orn ; 7!l 2285 

Barley 3 30 

Potatoes 15 1923 

Beans 2 30 



settlers in Iju\ci'iir tnwnship proper wlio 
received palmls IVniii the Unitecl Stall's 
HiiverniiK'iil uikIit llie lioinestead ami 
iitlier ael.- I'oi- the urantinu' of govern- 
nieiit lands :" 

Edward McKenzie (lo-14), Elizabeth Git- 
tens (12), John Jones (12), Henry Sawyer 
(14), Lewis T. Cooley (4), Jonathan C. 
Phelps (35-34), James Ryan (4), Leonard 
A. Daniels (28-1), James Preston (IS), 
Joseph Jones (10), Charles F. Crosby (24), 
Christopher H. Spaulding (26-201, Miranda 
Skinner (25-36), Robert Donaldson (24), 
Charles M. Ellithorpe (6), Horace Plum 
t28), Samuel Spaulding (20), Philo Hawes 
(11), Gahr Anenson (24), Jacob Anenson 
(12), Perrin O. Needham (18), Horace A. 
Gregory (2), Joseph A. Forbes (22), George 
W. Daniels (22), Pierce J. Kniss (10), 
Levi Whitsell (22), S. D. Gregory (22), 
Martin Ryan (4), Jasper C. Gregory (26), 
Charles O. Hawes (10), Stephen Wilcox 
(26), Colin J. Estey (34), Herman Ohs 
(30), George W. Kniss (10), Catherina 
Weber (8), Anton Reder (2), Edwin Gill- 
ham (10), Nathan Benedict (28), James 
Wright (8), David Powell (6), Ann M. 
Loose (30), Henry Carner (18), Erastus 
G. Blodgett (8), Sears H. Scott (6), Thom- 
as J. Bailey (26), Prank Loose (30), 
Gecrge S. Adron (8), Alfred S. Marsh (4), 
Charles Benedict (28), James H. Lyttle 
(6), Caleb W. Matthews (34), James Soren- 
F-on (20), George W. Blasdell (12), Henry 
J. Putney (34). Willherm Nurnberg (32), 
Pauline H. A. Michelscn (32), Mitchell 3. 
Parker (14). 


(iiani |ii\\n^|ii|). .'iiihraciiig the pi'cs- 
ciil |)i-c'(iii(ls nf Cliiiinii and Kanaranzi, 
was crcalcil h\- (he i(iiiiiiiissi(iiu')'s Fehrii- 
:;i-v IS, is;i. hM) days after Ilic m-- 
ijaiiizal inn nl' l,n\i'ine to\vnslii|i had l)i'cii 
aullinri/.ed. The iirL;aiiiz<il imi id' Ihc 
(ciwnshi|i was iici-fccted soon al'lci', \>\\i 
it was (D'uaiiized i)i)der the name (it Cli))- 

"Dii.'! list w:i.s olitiiiiK-ci from the Index to 
ilccds ill till' iitTif' nf the regristcT of deeds. In 
this list for l.merne township and those for 
the other tovvnshiits whleh follow the seniority 
is maintained, those I'eeeivlng patents early 
belnj? at the heiid iif the list. The first pat- 
ents nre dated 1S72; the others extend from 
that date up to compar!iti\-e -recent times. Tin- 
figui-e in parentheses following eaeh name is 
the number of ihe section on which the land 
was located. 

"The name \\'ilinot. in honor ol Iianicl 
"W'ihnot. one of the early settlers of the 
townsltii'. had also been suggested as the 
name of lla- piecin'-l, t'linton was selected 
by ballot. 

tnii. after the tnwii of Cliiitnn. New York, 
and npon the sugoestimi id' one of the 
residents.'' Upon the in'titinn nf tlie 
settlers nf tlie new township, dated 
Oetoher 11, l.Si 1.'" the territory now 
riimprisino ^lartin townslii]) was given 
tn Clinti.n. makiiiL; that pieiiiut in- 
ehide the .-milhern tier ol' tow nslii|is. 
It retained tliese dimeiisiiins until Kan- 
aran/.i ami .Martin tnwnships were created 
earl\ in ls;;i. Tlmse w Im I'eirixeil title 
ti, o(>\eriimeiit lands in Clinlini tuwn- 

Colin J. Estey (2-11), Daniel Wilmot 
(36), George W. Kniss (14), Thomas J. 
Clark (35), Ben Evens (22-30), Christo- 
pher C. Berg (28), Albert E. Thompson 
(36), John McCollum (36-34), Charles W. 
Hillman (2). Joseph W. Warner (3), Abra- 
ham E. McMurphy (12), James B. Shaw- 
ver (18), John B. Martin (2), Bridget Mc- 
Keon (8-14), Jonathan H. Loomis (36), 
Zelora Bailey (12), Perry L. Fassett (4), 
Franklin S. Mason (26), John H. Ferguson 
(26), Morris C. Smith (23-24), William 
F. Brown (14), Henry Martin (2), John A. 
Spaulding (34), William A. Spracher (6), 
Amos Estey (24), Leroy B. McCollum (26), 
George E. Dike (20), Thomas Olsen (22), 
John McKeon (8), George H. Olds (10), 
Donald McNab (12). Hans Olsen (28), 
Chauncey H. Frost (10), Peter McKeon 
(8), Julius Zellmer (6), Nathan C. Estey 
(24), Joseph Knight (12). Frank B. Frost 
(10), Ole Finkleson (22), Frick Evens (28), 
Sylvester Johnson (10), William W. Brown 
(14), Christian Clemetson (18), Ole P. 
Steen (32), Emmett S. McCollum (34), 
John J. Fassett (4), Clinton S. Moe (30), 
Abraham Stahl (20), A. Sanderson (22), Jo- 
seph T. Woodrow (20), Charles Hotter 
(32), David Wolf (6), Frank D. Putney (4i. 
Ole S. Birkeland (2). Thomas S. Hotvedt 
(32), Benson S. Bullis (14), Ole O. Rue, 
Jr. (20), Tobias .'Kanenson (4), Niels 
Clemetson (18), John J. Thompson (34), 
John P. Steen (32), John C. Peterson (20). 

"'Signed hv 1.. B. McroUuin. F. S. Mason, 
John McCollum. John H. Ferguson, M. C. 
Smith. W. F. Brown. J. H. Loomis. O. P. 
Steen. H. O. Harnes. T. CI. Ilarnes. John P. 
Steen. Thomas Hadvedl. 1). MiicNalib. Ben 
lOvens, Erick Evens, C. t'. Berge and .\. 10. 

nGeorge W. Kniss furnishes from memory a 
list of some of the pioneer residents of Clin- 
ton town.ship. as follows: A. K. Thompson. S. 
•I'onl. n.iniel Wilmot. M. C. Smith. .Vmos Es- 
tey. Colin J. Estev, John II. Ferguson. Ben 
Kvens. .Abraham McMlirphy, Frank Mason. I.. 
B. McCollum. C. Hillman. I . Whitsell. J. C. 
Pheliis and George W. Kniss. 




Tlic tliinl town to hpijin local govcin- 
iiK'iit in Work county was Heaver Cieek. 
There was ipiile a laruc iiniiiiavation to 
this |iail of Ihe eoiint\ in ISV.'. inilinhiiL; 
;i i-oloii\ iKini Wisdinsin. anil in the 
liioiUh of Ali.uust of lliat yeai' tlie set- 
tlei^ L;alhi'|-e(l in VA'i (Iniiirs sod slianly 
to seleel a name am] |iie|iaie a |)eliiion 
foi- the oiuanization of the township. 
'I'lieie was <|uite a contest over tlie sele.?- 
tion of a name, am! many were pio- 
poseil. .lames Comai' |ii'opose(l the name 
r.eavi'i- Creek, in lioiior of the stream 
which Hows tlironuh the township, ami 
tliat was selected, a name which seemed 
to oivc entire satisfai ticni.'- The ]ietitiim 
was ]iresciiled and on Septemliei' 111. 
lSi'3, tlie lioard of eounly commission- 
ers authorized its oi'ganization, witli ihc 
lioundarii's it has vwv since lieM. On 
Septcinhei' ICi tlie eommissionei s named 
tlie followini;- officers to eonducl the 
lirst town nu-etinu: V.. T. Shchhm. chair- 
man : ('. Ii. llenton and .V. H. Oidut. 
sn]K'i'visors ; VA'\ (lioiil. (leik. It is said 
that at the time of oiuanizalion thci'e 
was not a frami house in the town- 
ship, all li\ini; in sod shanties or cov- 
eieil w a,i;oir<.' ' {•"oHow in<;- aie the names 
of tliose to \vliom i;(.\i'rnment hind was 
gran I I'd : 

Warren Howard (14), Charles Williams 
(28), Ira Crawford (29), Robert McDowell 
(9-17), William O. Crawford (20), Layton 
L. Hale (31), Nehemiah Marsden (2), Clar- 
ence E. Older (19), James Marshall (29- 
.32), Leander L. Bergess (21), Lorenzo D. 
Vickers (2), Wallace Searles (2), Edmund 
T. Sheldon (22), James Comar (14), Wil- 
liam E. Vary (12), Benjamin F. Comar 
(15), Chester H. Evarts (34), Joseph B. 
Evarts (33), Henry S. Lains (24r47), .lames 
E. Vermilyea (17), John Hofelman (31), 

John J. Hosier (35), John J. Conover 
(23r47), Toloof Toloofson (6-12r47), Rob- 
ert O. Crawford (20-29), Eugene R. Wilcox 
(30), Joseph H. Adams (22), Samuel C. 
Hendershott (8), John Brooks (35), Hiram 
Brooks (35), Eugene M. Swift (2), Al- 
mon Hulett (25r47), Charles Biggs (25r47), 
Moses Ferguson (23), Erick F. Norelius 
(14), Stephen E. Timmons (12), Warren 
L. Kerney (28), William Nurnberg, Jr. 
(32), Cyrus R. Henton (22), Arretta L. 
Sheldon (22), Edmund E. Ells (30), Na- 
thaniel F. Revell (4), Alfred H. Osborn 
(30-31), Frederick Miercort (26), Aldro 
H. Grout (24), Christian O. Rummeng 
(23r47), Ole Benson (2r47), Orlando H. 
Williams (27), Luther T. Bailey (17), Hor- 
ace A. Plnney (35r47), Deo Datus P. 
Bingham (26r47), Erick Olsen (8), John 
M. Allen (12), Charles H. Marshall (33), 
Thomas D. James (29), Levi C. Bennett 
(25r47), Elling Anderson (7), Almon Ells 
(19), Ole Jens Bjerkestol (13r47), George 
W. Webber (4), Charles Walkup (23), .John 
Swenson (10), Elsie Ellens (34), Joseph 
H. Stearns (25r47), Sam ToUefson (7), 
Maryctt Silver (27), William Ells (19), Wil- 
liam T. Henton (30), John Munz (33), 
Andrew Toloofson (6), Silas A. Pinney 
(35r47), Christopher Holfer (27), Jacob 
Merkcl (21), Mary C. Trindle (17), John 
Danielson (12r47), Jane Hendershott (8), 
Bishop I. Grossman (26), Albert E. Snow 
(23), Eli L. Grout (24), Karl Nelson 
(14r47), Charles Hitgenboeker (20), George 
W. Pinney (26r47), James D. Campbell 
(32), Lars Arneson (lr47), Tosten O. Tok- 
heim (Ir47-10r47), Albert A. Osmun (28), 
Howard T. Cummings (33), Ole P. Rollag 
(13r47), Thaddeus P. Grout (34), Louis 
Larson (14r47), Lars Benson (2r47), Jen- 
nie M. Grout (23r47), Christofter O. Forseth 
(23r47), John BoUman (21), Knudt N. 
Knudtson (7), Aslag T. Tokheim (14), 
James B. Dunn (24), William Grout (24), 
Nels Skarda! (2r47), Ole Arneson (0), Ed- 
ward H. Bronson (27), Royal D. Buchanan 
(35r47), Gilson M. Henton (18), Morgan 
Bennett (IS), Tver D. Iverson (llr47), Dan- 
iel Iverson (llr47). Abram Osmun (21), 
Gilbert H. Henton (21), George W. Hulett 
(2-lr47), Ira Crawford (29-32), Edmund T. 
Sheldon (15), Morris C. Smith (17), Hiram 
H. Strever (17-2U), John Williams (28), 
Eliza Munro (20), Hans Mickelson (18), 
Simon A. Tobiason (6), Mikkel Mickelson 
(9-10), George E. Henton (30), Daniel B. 
Olscn (12r47), Gunder L. Haugstvedt (12r 
47), Zane R. Biggs, (34r47), Peter Kille 
(4), Layton L. Hale (31), Heirs of Halvor 
Abrahamson (23r47), Ira H. Chapman 

'-G. H. 

14, 1906. 

Roc)! Cnunl.N- Hi-rald, 

"Amoiis the first sotDpr.-s of Beaver C'rpe)f 
tnwnshlii were E)i Grout, Frerl Miercort. Rishop 
Cros.snian. William Grout. Aldro Grout, Charles 
Walkup. Willard Walkup. J. B. Dunn. E. T. 
Shelilon. Moses Ferguson. Joseph H. .-Sidams. C. 
R. H.-uton. G. H. Heiilou. .A. E. Suow. E. 

H. Bronson. James Comar. Charles Williams. 
H. H. Strever. Robert McDowell, Ira Crawford. 
William O, Ci-awford, Robert O. Crawford, 
Charles H. Marshall, James Marshall. H. Cum- 
minss. Jacob Merkel, A. Osmun. Fred Norelius. 
John Swenson. .\lfrcd Erickson. .M-non HuleU. 
Arnold Hulett. George HuleU. Almon Ells. 
Stephen Timmons and Joseph H. Stearns. 



(26r47), Ole T. Tokheim (llr47), Lorenzo 
S. Welker (5-8), Ole I. Forseth (22r47), 
William H. Patterson (32), Willard Walkup 
(26), Horace A. Plnney (26r47), Elwood 
M. Percival (35r47), Bjorn Olson (lr47), 
Tosten Asbjornsen (]4r47), Charles Briggs 
(13r47), Ole J. Bjeik (18), Jacob H. Jelle 
(3r47), Johannes J. Vitterhus (lr47), Lizzie 
E. Jordahl (2r47), Cassius C. Olmstead 
(34r47), Martin Oppen (4), Anne Nord- 
vold (10), Moses Ferguson (23), Philip 
E. Brown (32), Eugene M. Swift (12), 
Fritz Hagedorn (12), John Reimer (8), Al- 
nion S. Chapman (24r47), Christ Hoefer 
(35), Polly McKisson (23r47). 


Tlip fourih l(i\\iisliiji to set up a gov- 
orninent of its own was Magnolin, wliieli 
was set ofT from the original Luvenic 
township ill tlie fall of 1812. There was 
practically no settlement in the township 
prior to the spring of that year, hut 
during the summer and fall many claims 
were tciken'^ and the residents asked for 
authority to organize. The petition was 
dated September 21, 1872, and was signed 
liy Sylvester Norton, Charles Cook, Thor 
Asleson, Quinhy Loveland, Stewart Young, 
S. S. Maxwell, Austin Maxwell, Hyr- 
eanus Griffith, T. F. Brockway, Michael 
Pickett, 0. 1). Tumor. C. V,. V,»]\<h. E. 
N. Darling, lioheit Douglass. Hiloy 
P.rooks, Thilandn- I'liinncy. W. II. llal- 
liert, James 11. Gillard, K. W. Shaw, 
Wallace Kearney and possibly others. 

The township was created by the board 
of county commissioners November 27, 
1872, and named ilagnolia, the name 
being suggested by Philo Hawes, one 
of Ihe commissioners. Magnolia liav- 
ing been the name of '^^r. Hawes" IVii- 
iiicr lidiiir ill Rock county, Wisconsin. The 
election to .select the first officers was 

"A Magnolia township correspondent, writing 
in .August, 1H73. said: "In April, 1872. we located 
our claim on tlie cold and bleak prairie, with 
))Ut one house in sight. On tlie third day of 
October. 1N72. we pitched our tent foi- the first 
time on our claim, with but tw'o houses to 
be seen. nr\(\ on the first day of November 
we could count from our own door seven new 
houses. aU permanently occupied hy a good 
class of .\merican citizens, and at the i)resent 
writing there iiave been twenty new ho\ises 
built and all ocr-iipied b>' a good, energetic 
class of farmers," 

held at the borne of Quinby Loveland 
on December 18, when the following resi- 
dents \wre chosen officers : Quinby Love- 
land, Charles Cook and Philander Phin- 
ney, sujiervisors ; S. S. 'Maxwoll, asse.ssor; 
Stewart Young, tren>urci-: II. W. Shaw 
and Quinljy Lovelaiub justices of the 
peace; J. dohnson and James Gillard. 
constables.'"' Land patents in Magnolia 
townsbip were granted as follows:' 

Eugene N. Darling (6), Stewart Young 
(32-28), Orlin Bassett (4), Charles Cook (32), 
Lucinda Norton (6), David Griffith (18), 
George D. Phinney (14), William C. Dean 
(24), Thomas McDermott (6), John Kir- 
win (24), Charles B. Rolph (22), S, Bailey 
(10), Henry Meier (10), Jacob Isaacson 
(24), Abram H, Turner (22), Polk Turner 
(20), Charles Chase (34), Theodore B. 
Gould (2), Oscar D. Turner (20), Robert 
Douglass (20), Riley Brooks (26), Quinby 
Loveland (22), Wallace Kenney (28), Wil- 
liam H. Halbert (12), John Hemniingson 
(18), Philander Phinney (14i, George B, 
Priestley (2), Thomas H. Williams (4), 
Austin Maxwell (34), Truman F, Brockway 
(S). Isaac Isaacson (30 1, Martin M. Smith 
(26), Thor Asleson (32), John Fugleberg 
(30), Ezra C. Abbott (8 1, Frank Henderson 
(28), Ole Olson (30), William McGee (10), 
Hiram Brockway (8), James Woodley (26), 
Luther F. Hovey (14), Alexander McNab 
(30), Owen E. Cotton (12), John T. Travis 
(12), Albert C. Croft (2), Michael Pickett 
(22), Engebrit Evenson (26), Hyrcanus 
Griffith (20), Stephen Conway (18), Rebec- 
ca Williams (4), Sylvester Norton (6), 
David Stephen (34), Peter Jordan (10), 
Arthur G. Dike (18), William Kienast (24), 
John Carlson (2), Christian J. Frabm (26), 
Webster R. Crosby (14), .\daline D. Gray 
(12), Timothy H. Hill (34). 


From early in ISH the residents of 
Ihe southeast ((irncr townshi|i had hceii 
iiudor the local goxei iiincnt of Cliii- 
loii t(iwn.-;hi]i. but mi .laiiuar\ 1 ."i. 1S73, 
upon the ])ctitioii of A. Iv Thoui]ison and 

'■'In 1872 there were under culti\'ation in Mag- 
nolia township 231 acres, sown as follows: 
Wheat, 81: oats. 62; corn, GO; barley, 4; buck- 
wheat. 'A; potatoes, 12; beans, li. Fi-om this 
crop was harvested a total of 6403 bushels. 
In .addition to the cultivated crop 215 .acres 
of wild hay were cut. from which wrve se- 
cured 480 tons. In 1873. according to the as- 
sessor's figures, the value f)f the personal prop- 
erty of the town was $1S.3)»2, and the number 
of culti\'ated acres had increased to 850. The 
live stock listed was as follows: Horses. 50; 
cows, G9; work cattle. 2S; sheep. 36: hogs, 39. 



otliers, their ten-itory was set off into a 
separate precinct and named Kaiiaranzi. 
A time and place for holding the first 
town meeting was selected by the board, 
and in a short time township government 
was begun. The creek which ttows throngli 
the eastern and southern part of the 
township furnished the name. Kannianzi 
is one of the oldest place names in liock 
county and is probably of Indian origin. 
It appears upon Joseph N. Nieollefs map 
of 1843 as the name of the creek, being 
then spelled "Karnnzi." Those wIki le- 
(cived government lands in Kanaranzi 
township are as follows: 

Henry G. Boydston (24), George W. 
Stoops (2G), Fielding F. Kitterman (8), 
Cliarles Older (30), George Ganfleld (14), 
John Crawford (28), Jacob Rush, Jr. (6), 
Ole Elefsen (8), Samuel H. Griffin (10), 
Victor C. Stoops (26), Hulda M. Bradford 
(30), Marquis F. Baker (4), Wilbur A. 
Kly (28), Mary J. Gallup (G), William H. 
Maxwell (2), Bennezett Sherwood (26), 
Zelora Bailey (20), Jens Hanson (32), 
James Mitchell (30), William McNab (18), 
Peter Munson (6), Stillman Toul (14), 
Niels Peder Jensen (8), Charles W. Hum- 
boldt (10), Aseph E. Bowen (10-14), Anders 
C. Sorenson (32), Benjamin T. Kitterman 
(18), Andrew Marcellus (28), James L. 
Colegrove (4), Thomas Ganfield (10), 
Charles Langenberg (2), William McKay 
(18), Nets S. Nesheim (18), James Chris- 
tian (1), J. K. P. Thompson (22), William 
H. Fabes (22), Loren M. Coon (10), John 
B. Shurr (34), Ole Hansen (30), Anders 
Rassmussen (20), Jerome E. Mitchell (34), 
Lyman L. Bryan (10), Henry Wellendorf 
(23), Peter Wiese (23), James A. Birkett 
(12), Byron W. Van Hoesen (34), John 
Huntington (2), George R. Kniipi) (12), 
Lawson L. Bryan (12). 


The southwestern corner township bad 
only one and one-luilf sections of rail- 
way lands within its borders and its 
settleuu'nt in the early days was quite 
ra|)id, most of the first settlers being 
X(U-wegians. It remained a pait i>[ Clin- 
ton township until March 13, l,S7;i, when, 
upon the petition of TTans Jenson and 
(itlici's. it was elected into a separate 

political division. .\( lliis time oidy 
township 104, range Ki, was organized 
as Martin township, the fractional part 
of range 4T, although a long distance 
from the mother t(iwnship, continuing 
to be a part of Clinton. Not until 
.liih '.'1. ls;(;. was the rracticuial strip 
given to Maitin. The township wa> 
named in honor id' .I'lhn ifartin. the 
first settler in the pieiiiu-t. lie located 
on section 13 in ISil!) and built the 
lii-st house in the townshi|i. The lecords 
show the following lo biuc U'lcived pal- 
cuts hi governmeni hind : 

Goodman Anderson (26-27), Asle Skattum 
(33), Frederick Baugert (29), August 
Winter (32), Osmund Berkland (21-23), El- 
bridge D. Hadley (12r47), Frederick Finke 
(26-28), Gorden R. Badgeson (28), William 
H. Glass (12r47), Paul Olsen (22-23), Wil- 
liam Gyke (30), Thomas B. Taylor (llr47), 
Calvin Denney (14), Charles J. Hadley 
(12r47), Haaver A. Tvanger (28), Sylvia 
Herrick (12r47), Erick Colby (10), Martin 
Benteeliet (12), Abraham Halvorson (24r 
47), George W. Hayes (2), Milo A. Bacon 
(2r47), Fred Nuffer (11), Robert Lucas 
(26r47), Nils Iverson (27), Charles C. Cox 
(8), Neils Arildson (30), John Miller (12), 
Christian Borchers (U), Walter M. Lee 
(28), Daniel R. Bowen (35), James Erik- 
son (32), Hector V. Hamlin (5), Charles 
O. Hartson (2), Gerd L. Thaden (2), Hans 
J. Hage (6), Nels O. Sjursen (31), Elwood 
M. Percival (2r47), William A. Johnson 
(25r47), Hans Z. Hvid (24), Joseph Jacob- 
son (24), Amund H.aaverson (17), Knut O. 
Egge (29), Mahlon South (24r47l, Julia 
Emson (19), Liberty Price (lr47), Hans 
Nireson (31), Anders Julson (9), William 
O. Crawford "(4), C. E. Halls (18), Nels 
Jacobson (20), Even Finkelson (9), Hans 
Jensen (30), William H. Doran (8), Ole 
Sevatsen (8), Ole Olson (23), Endre Haa- 
verson (21), Ole Olsen Blagen (35), Julius 
Thiel (12), Charles B. Trowbridge (18), 
Casper Taubert (4), Minerth Lukensmeyer 
(11), Lewis S. Sayre (34r47-35r47 ), Torgus 
O. Strandness (20), Ole H. Schien 
(14r47),E. B.Trowbridge (17). James Bedg- 
good (2r47), Erick E. Sevatson (8), Niels 
Johaneson (22), Nels GiiUickson (17), Gus- 
tav Pederson (24r47), Anna M. Aanenson 
(26r47), Ira H. Bowen (26), Andrew An- 
drewson (24), Sever Sjursen (24r47). Heirs 
of Gunder Sjursen (25r47). Julia Munger 
(lr47), Gilbert Thompson (19), Peter H. 
Tveten (13), Haagen Tuff (32), Henry Ol- 
sen (23), Louis Pederson (23r47), Osmund 
Berkland (20), Peder G. Tuff (33), Nels 
Anderson (24), Mary Niolson (21), Anne 



p. Somdiol (34), Heniich F. Kothe (11), 
Haldor Knudsen (35), Christian C. Moe 
(22), James Olescn (14r47), Heirs of 
Knut Gilbertson (19), Peder O. Skyber? 
(15), Ole O. Skyberg (10), John O. Strand 
(26r47), John O. Tyler (17), William O. 
Ellingboe (29), John O. Goldberg (15), 
Andreas Gunderson (21), Gyri Magnuson 
(25r47), Isabell Peterson (32), Lars O. 
Thoreson (9), Barnheart Jenssen (2), Hans 
G. Hoff (31), Cynthia Cox (5), Lars Enge- 
bretson (35r47), Engbret Larson (35r47), 
Maggie Peck (23r47), Bent Endreson (10), 
Knut H. Helgeson (31), Tollef Gilbert- 
son (IS), James Eschels (ll-10r47), Hiram 
Heath (5), Daniel T. Scofield (6-7), Hugh 
Stall (6), Augustus Robideau (34-30), Marit 
Kjos (34), Alonson C. Scofield (7), Jacob 
Jorgenson (3), Orlando S. Hathaway (14), 
Annie Johnson (llr47), Lars O. Kolsrud 
(2fi), William Jacobsen (7). Samuel H. 
Shoemaker (llr47), Ole M. Rudd (30), 
William Larson (15), Torgus O. Strand- 
ness (29), Bahne Bahnson (5), Aanen 
Gahrsen (13r47), Olivia O. Skyberg (33), 
Larine Evenson (26r47), Ole Thompson 
(13r47), Herman Lukensmeyer (14), Fran- 
ces B. Myrick (9), Gilbert Georgeson (4), 
Lewis Pederson (23r47), Lars T. Viste 
(35r47), Knud K. Dakken (26r47), Gustav 
Pederson (23r47), Amund T. Sexe (13r47], 
Ole Sandbo (22r47), Harrison White (3), 
DeWitt C. Prentice (3r47), Gullik G. Sundem 
(7), Henry F. Loeftler (lr47), Andrew An- 
derson (181, Heirs of Pedar Evenson (14r 
47), Alden O. Mudge (22r47), Ole A. Helge- 
son (25r47), Erik O. Loberg (15r471, Joseph 
Hathaway (3r47). 


Tlip wliiili- north half of the comity, 
whicli riciiii ihc earliest days had formed 
a pai'l III l,iivei'iie inwiishiji, seceded 
IViiin the mother township in the spring 
III' ISTI?, leaving Ltiverrie with the 
liiiiiMilai'ies il has at the present time. 
'I'he action was taken on April 10, when 
the hoard of county commissioners au- 
Ihiiri/.cil llic six northern congressional 
townships to organize under the name of 
riregory.'" The name was hestowed in 
hiinm- of the Gregory family. The first 
town nircting was held ]\ray 2. IST"^, in 
the stone house on tlie northeast quartci 
of section 35. in Ihc pre-ent Mnuml 

"'Thf' iji'tit loners as)<inff for the organization 
of tlii.^ niMmmoth townsiiip were J. F. Slioe- 
ni.'ilii'r. A\'illi:im Ward. Jiunrs Green. Jr.. J. A. 
Hire. K.zr.l Hire. Horaee Plum. O. O. HaKa. Ole 
T. Bern. 11. Kllis, Oren nill;iril. H. C. Wilson. 

townsiiip. then occupied hy Horace 0. 
(iregoiy. (iregory townsiiip is now a 
thing lit the pa>t. During the next 
few years after its organization the sev- 
eial townslii])s compiising the mainnioth 
prcciiicl wilhilicw and set iiji govcrn- 
iiicnis 111' their own. Tlic township he- 
iniiic iiiMilved financially and when il 
lost its last hit of territory and its name, 
iiiitliing was left to a])portion among its 
olfspiing except a good sized deht. 


The first .step in the disintegration 
of (iregory townsiiip took place earlv in 
1ST4. when Vienna withdrew. 1 ). .\. 
Hart, whose name headed the petition for 
oiganizalion, was resjionsihle for the 
iiMiiiing of the township. The coiinnis- 
sioiicis aulliiirized tlie organization on 
f'ehniaiy Id, ls;4, and named the resi- 
dence of I). .V. Hart as the jilacc and 
l'ehiiiar\ -.'S as the time for holding the 
lirst town meeting. On that date the 
liiunsliip's first officer.* were chosen, as 
follows: Seth :\ritcliell. chairman. W. 
It. Stowc. Ole O. Ilaga, supervisors; 
W. i;. Stowc, clerk: Nelson Mitchell, Sr., 
Ii'casurer : .7ose|ili McMulkin, assessor; 
I). .\. Ilai-t. Xels Attleson. justices of the 
peace; .\. (J. Lincoln. Ole (). Opsata, 
ciiiistahlcs. The government gi anted pat- 
ents to land in \'icniia tnwnsliip to the 
following jiersons : 

Eugene N. Darling (31), Arne Arneson 
(18), Patrick F. Kelley (30), Sarah Mc- 
Niel (28), Joseph McMulkin (34), William 
J. Moran (34), Henry Gastle (12), Levi 
Whitsell (32), Nelson Mitchell, Sr. (26), 
James Gillard (32), James H. Levery (26), 
Ole Nelson (18), Marget O. Opsata (18), 
Willis R. Stowe (24), Ole T. Opsata (20), 
Fred C. Pritsch (24), Knut Austensen (IS), 
Andrew Johnson (20), Ole Olson (20), Hal- 
vor Rasmussen (6), James Halley (32), 
Kittil Olsen (14), Rasmus Engebretson 

P. F. Kelley. P. .\. Kelley. L. McDermott. D. 
McCarthy. Seth Mitchell. O. O. Guldhagen, S. 
Anderson. T. O. Op.sata. J. F. Helm. James 
Kelle.\'. J. M. Helm. Hans Engebret.son, C. A, 
Hej'nolds and others. 




































(22), Mathilda Larson (4), Elisha B. Robin- 
son (20), Iver I. Peterson (14), Hosea El- 
lis (34), Oliver Lincoln (28), Nathaniel 
Lester (12), Alvey H. Lester (121, Nels 
Atleson (8), Engebret Frederickson (S), 
Ole S. Hagen (4), Iver Tastenson (8), 
William O'Donnell (32), Hans J. Thomte 
(14), William Maynes (2G-28), Gunder N. 
Remme (10), John Scully (12), Ole T. 
Berg (20), Tollef Opsata (22), Albert A. 
Campbell (28), Abraham H. Turner (2), 
William H. Glass (10), Hans J. Engebretsou 
(4), James E. Devy (6), Ole O. Haga (22), 
Ole Amundson (4), George Lytle (34), Kniid 
Nelson (14), Ole Helgeson (4), Ole Nelson 
(22), Rasmus Johnson (10), Sampson S. 
Start (30), Jacob J. Berg (8), Charles E. 
Kleine (24), Irving Smotel (6). 


Lair ill :\laivli, 1S;4, the citizens of 
t,(i\viislii|) lOo, range 4(5, and of llic 
fractional sti'i]i in range 47 |m'sent('il a 
petition, headeil l)y C. W. Cnrtis, asking 
to' be set ofl' from tiregorv and organized. 
The signers of the petition, with two 
exceptions, signified tlieir clioice ol' Al- 
bion as a name. Tlie township was cre- 
ated May 5 under that name and it was 
provided that the first town meeting 
should be held at the home of George 
Collett, on tlie nortkwest quarter of 
section 22, on May 18. The change in 
name from Albion to Springwater was 
made by order of the commissioners June 
15, 1874, in accordance with the request 
of the voters of the new township as ex- 
pressed by petition.'' Patents to Spring- 
water township lands have been granteil 
by the government as follows: 

William A. Hackley (24), Michael Mead 
(26), Samuel H. Shoemaker (26), William 
Murphy (12r47), Thomas Murphy (8), 
Ernest Curtis (28-32), Frances M. Trunkey 
(32), Asa Canfield (24), Jacob Ashcraft 
(2r47), Frank A. Hyke (34), John M. 
Allen (32), Nelson R. Reynolds (14), 
James A. Claudman (12r47), Henry Munro 
(2), John T. Ladd (4), Alvin P. Reynolds 
(20-24r47), Lynn B. Gate (30), Edgar \V. 
Eskridge (10), Wilber H. Spooner (20), 
George B. Collett (22), Myrta E. Curtis 
(28), Birch Chapin (22), Francis Rathbun 

""Prior to this Mike Mead had immigrated 
to the township from Springwater. New York, 
and wlien he discovered a large spring on 
section 32 it doubtless suggested to him the 
appropriateness of the name of Springwater 

(24r47), James Ryan, Jr. (12), William P 
Noble (2), Andrew Givens (12), Charles 
A. Reynolds (2r47), Lars Pedersen (llr47), 
Clause Nelson (32), Albert Barck (34), 
Lewis Barck (34-26r47), Oren R. Smith 
(14r47), Samuel Coss (34), John L. Mars- 
den (4), William Givens (12), Daniel 
Hoppes (10-22), Wallace Cochrane (26r47), 
James D. Ladd (14), Gary C. Farnum (4), 
ChaunceyL. Brock (2), Alfred Acheson 
(24r47), James Madison (18), Augustus R. 
Ladd (2), Perley Gillham (6), Nicholas E. 
Brennan (14r47), Augustus Birdsong (6), 
John A. Loeft'ler (8), Thomas Grimes (12), 
Ole Julson (26r47), Eliza A. Curtis (28), 
Nels Benson (30), James K. Chesley (30), 
Austine Grimes (10), Martin Williams (18), 
David Noonan (24r47), Alonzo C. Kimble 
(6), Oscar A. Headley (18-30), Patrick 
Gartland (8), Paul Ingleson (30), Martin 
Williams (24r47), Anthony B. Shroyer (14), 
John Halvorsen (26r47), William Cougb- 
lin (20), Timothy Bergin (8), John Hotel- 
man (2), Burnham M. Pengra (22), Hal- 
sten Tvidt (10r47), Isaac Olson (34r47). 
August Birdsong (6), Piatt Armstrong (28), 
Robert Pbelan (12), Heirs of Charles 
Hall (14), Patrick Brennan (18), Michael 
Bergin (12r47) Henrick E. Jordahl (22r47), 
Clarence E. Dike (10). 


The grasshopper scourge of the early 
seventies had a depressing effect on the 
.settlement of Eock county and it was 
three years after the creation of Spring- 
water township before there was any 
more township making. Mound township 
was tlie next to perfect an organization, 
and when that was done Gregory town- 
.sbip was reduced to the three northern 
townshi|)s. ]Mound township was named 
in honor of the vast pile of rock that 
lies within its boundaries and was created 
.\piil "31, 1877, after considerable discus- 
sion. .V iietition signed by J. F. Shoe- 
maker anil twenty-one others was jire- 
seiited to the county board April 21, ask- 
ing tJiat the board take the necessary ac- 
tion, and at the same time a remonstrance 
signed by Charles Helgeson and eigliteen 
otliei-s was presented. After considera- 
tion the commissioners decided tJiat the 

for the townshin. which throu^:h his eloquence 
he persuaded the majorit.v of the citizens to 
accept." — C. A. Reynolds in an ;irti<'le on t)ie 
origin of Rock count.v names. 



towiisliip wa;; ready for organizntion and 
named May 3, 187 T, as the date for hold- 
ing, the first town meeting, which was held 
on the northeast quarter of section 34. 
Title to Mound township lands have been 
given by the government to the follow- 
ing named persons: 

John F. Shoemaker (25-30), James Kel- 
ley (25-34), Cadawallader Jones (35), Mir- 
anda J. Skinner (28), Eugene A. Loomis 
(26), Joseph Dickson (36), Sarah McNeal 
(28), Tollef O. Tollefson (12-14), Charles 
F. Brannick (20), Lewis A. Lewison (32), 
James Green, Jr. (30), Clarence E. Older 
(34), Nelson R. Reynolds (30), William H. 
Patterson (32), S. Torgeson Omas (4), 
Francis Brannick (20), Ben Rice (32), 
Lawrence JIcDermott (26-36), Gerald Mc- 
Enery (IS), William H. Glass (34), Den- 
nis McCarthy (28), Edward E. Needham 
(18), John Kelley (32), George Mead (26), 
Henry C. Wilson (2), Halvor Larson (4), 
Andrew Torgeson (10), Mary Plum (24), 
Peder O. Froke (10), Thora Torgeson (4), 
Otter Knudsen (14), Anders Froke (10), 
Ole Olsen (12), Jens O. Plomason (2), An- 
drew Olsen (2), Terge Anderson (4), 
Andrew Erickson (26), Sven Olesen (12), 
Fallen Helgeson (8), Jens O. Helgeson (8), 
Cadwallader J. Lynch (24), Michael Mc- 
Carthy (20), Heinrich Hofe'.man (6), Ole 
Knudson (10-14), Rasmus Halvorson (12), 
Dennis Denovan (22), Serat .Anderson (14), 
William C. Davis (6), Jens Peterson (10), 
William Ward (34), John Green (30), 
Michael Chambers (22), Christopher Helge- 
son (8), Terence Lee (28), Frederick R. 
Wheareatt (22), Horace F. Kilgore (20), 
Andrew Olson (2), James Cady (22), Fred 
B. Redfield (24), Zane R. Biggs (24), 
Heirs of Nels Nelson (13), James C. 
Kelley (24), .lay R. Mason (2). Clarence 
A. Dike (18), Clarence B. Davis (6), 
Edward O. Krook (14), Lewis AVold (32). 


Tn llie early sunDiier of 1877 Major 
1). 10. Runals atid others asked that 
the northeast corner township be declared 
i))-ganized luider the nanie Eiverside. The 

"Major D. E. Runals. of Edgerton, funiislies 
me the foiiowing items eoncerning the eai'ly 
history of the township: Tlie first birth was 
a son born to Mr. and Mrs. C. N. Remme; 
the second c)iild born was Maud Cowan. daug]i- 
ter of ("liarles Cowan; the first scliool teach- 
er ill the precinct was Sarali J. MunhoOand. 
now Mrs. T. F. Brocl<wav, of Minneapolis. 

The Rocl< County Herald of June 7. 1S78,— 
less than a year after the organization — said 
of the new pre<dnet: "The town was organized 
in -August, last year, is out of debt, has a wide- 
awake, go-ahead, liberal minded class of citi- 
zens, wlio are alive to all improvements which 
go to make up a prosperous community, and 

commissioners created the township July 
IG, 1877, and provided that the first town 
meeting be held at the home of C. B. 
Rolph on August 11. The precinct wa^ 
duly organized and went under the or- 
iginal name until March 19, 1878, when, 
nnticp liiiving been received from the state 
auditdi- lliat another townshii) in Ibe 
stale had a |ii'ior claim to the nniue 
Kivei'side. the name was changed to 
P.attle riain, in honor of the Indian 
battlefield located within its boundaries." 
Government land patents have been is- 
.sned to claimants in Battle Plain town- 
ship as follows: 

Hugh A. Hoy (28), Frank Smith (14), 
James H. Mansell (2), Peter Landin (30), 
Nels Nelson (30), James P. Kirkham (30), 
Otis H. Rolfe (18), Howard F. Oliver (14), 
George A. Oliver (14), William Wall (26), 
Jasper Rolfe (18), Major D. E. Runals 
(321, Joseph W. Woodfield (10), David 
Hendershott (4), Daniel M. Hendershott (4), 
Charles Cowan (32), Francis L. Harrison 
(20), Charles A. Oliver (24), Christopher 
N. Remme (26), .\lfred Goodwin (22), John 
J. Gulin (30), William H. Thompson (22). 
,Tob Haskell (12), Heirs of James W. Caf- 
ferty (26), William Munholland (22-32), 
James Adams (10), William C. Brockway 
(S-34), John Boyes (12), Byron T. Huyke 
(12-32), Charles B. Rolph (28), George 
Cole (20), William F. Warner (14), Chester 
Warner (22), Heirs of Samuel T. Warner 
(26), Jerome Cowan (20), Nehemiah D. 
Gilbert (6), Charles Crippen (6), Thomas 
E. Fitzgerald (28), John R. Norton (34), 
Sarah Norton (34), Edward Harvey (IS), 
Hugh Mitchell (8), Fenninmore M. Snow 
(2), Dennis Harvey (6), Henry D. Sample 
(10), Frank O. Burhans (8), Sarah J. 
Brockway (6), Frank L. Cronk (8), Chester 
O. Wellman (4), Knute G. Oldre (24), 
Emory T. Thorson (30), Andrew Anderson 
(30), Stephen Cowan (34), William H. Gor- 
don (18), Ezra F. Cole (20), Lars Knudson 
(34), Ole G. Holme (24), Charles W. Mit- 
chell (4), James W. Mitchel (6). 

it is withal a section with which our people 
will speedily establish communication if they 
consult their own best wishes. The first 
dwelling was erected in Battle Plain township 
in 1876; one year ago there were five or six; 
now they number about fifty, witli severa) in 
course of erection. A school which affords 
instruction to about twenty pupils is in suc- 
cessful operation. Over one hundred acres, we 
are informed, are already planted to trees im- 
der tlie timber culture act. five hundred acres 
are in cro|), and the busy plow-share will turn 
over for cultivation several hundred acres more 
during the present season." 




• The petition for the organization of 
Hose Dell township was presented by W. 
T. Vickerman and others, and the town- 
ship was declared created by the county 
hoard August 17, 18TT. Mr. A'ickerinan 
suggested the name, giving it in lienor 
of a I'ocky gorge, filled in tlie siinimcr 
iiionths with hcaulil'ul wild roses. Tiie 
gorge is situated on section 2.5, of the 
Fraction, a few rods west of Mr. Yickcr- 
iiian's pioneer home.'" The meeting to 
organize and select tlie first officers was 
held at the home of William T. Vicker- 
man on September 4, 1877. Those who 
received government land titles in l^lse 
Dell townsliip: 

William D. Allen (IS), Wallace Searles 
(32), Joseph H. Craig (4), Eugene A. 
Loomis (36r47), Anton Larson (26), Charles 
H. Tinkham (32), Charles S. Bruce (20), 
William T. Vickerman (30), Nels O. 
Wemark (14r47), Charles H. Vickerman 
(30), Sherman E. Hawes (34), William E. 
Stark (4), Jerome T. Daggett (20), Gunder 
Hanson (12), Marthia Gilbertson (26), 
Frank Walsh (8), Knud K. Steen (14), 
Thomas E. Vickerman (IS), Henry B. Noble 
(34), Francis Weeliver (10), Horace E. 
Loomis (26r47), Peter H. Norvold (2), 
George A. Blanchard (20), John J. Vicker- 
man (6), Thomas McDermott (30), George 
W. Ganfield (12r47), Joseph Bell (22), 
Hans Larsen (12), William J. McGowan 
(2r47), Thorvold O. Holm (10), Olaf T. 
Engebretson (10), George Carnegie (12r47), 
Ole G. Twenton (4), Frank Walsh (22), 
Wilber H. Spooner (28-32), Thomas Gan- 
field (14r47), Engebret H. EUefsen (2), 
Ellef H. EUefsen (14), Ole Gulbranson 
(24), George Ganfield (14r47), Christian 
E. Lee (24r47), Engebret Lee (24r47), John 
Milne (2r47), Ludwig Schroeder (10), 
Lawrence Connelly (6), Merrick E. Kidder 

"A Rose Dell correspondent, signing the non 
de plume Slocum. wrote of the naming of the 
new township, the communication appearing 
in the Herald of AprW 16. 1880: 

".•^s it may not be generally known how 
the town derived its name, we shall try to 
give a feeble description of the dell itself 
and its surroundings. It would seem as though 
in the course of natural events a stream of 
water had formed itself and come meander- 
ing down through the \'alley and. coming in 
contact with the ridge and di.sdaining to go 
a round about way in search of a more ac- 
ceptable passage, had forced itself through, 
cutting a space about 200 feet wide between 
the rocks and forty feet in depth at its greatest 
altitude. Slocum came along one day and 
being struck with the natural beauty of the 
place. Rose Dell suggested Itself to his imag- 

(20), Ludvig M. Larson (26), George Bieber 
(2), Halvor EUefsen (14), Lars Haraldson 
(12), Anton Larson (26), Wells J. Willyard 
(24r47), Andrew Olson (12r47l, John J. 
V'ickerman (28), Thomas J. Vickerman (8) 
Howard Boice (24r47), William E. Stark 
(4), Martin H. Ansen (22), Ellen Halvor- 
son (28), George W. Vickerman (18), James 
Carnegie (2r47), William H. Storts (14), 
Josiah Kimble (32), Swain Kittleson (24-28), 
Isaac A. Vickerman (2), Henry B. Noble 
(34), Norman F. Phillips (6), Syver Har- 
aldson (12), George H. Carr (8), Marinuis 
Enger (8), Jane Hendershott (26r47), Ja- 
cob O. Tveidt (22r47), Ole A. Olson (12r47l, 
ToUef Knudson (10r47). 


(Jne by one the townships comprising 
the original Gregory township had se- 
ceded until with tlie organization of 
liose J)cll the name found lodgment in 
the territory now known as Denvei' town- 
sliip. As the several precincts with- 
di'cw no amingeinent was made for ap- 
portioning the del>t of the mother town- 
sliip, and the last one found itself sad- 
dled will) a good sized debt and not 
jtuuli to show for it except the name 
(iregory. The inhabitants of that ter- 
ritory asked for relief, presenting a 
pctiliiin. lieadcd liy Lars (i. Kartrude, on 
July 1."), 1878. The matter was referred 
to the county attorney at that time, 
and (Ui .hily 24 the commissioners made 
provision fill- the reorganization of the 
township under the name Dover."" 

Dove]' townsliip was organized and the 
liisl olTii-ci's chosen at the hmne of Lars 
(i. Kaitruili' on section 32 on August 
12, ls;,s. It went under this name 

inati\'e fancy, and from this humble ori- 
gin the name of Rose Dell was imparted to the 

"If you would see fair Rose Dell aright, 

Go visit in the bright sunlight: 
Go visit it late in the month of June. 

When her shrubbery's in leaf 
.And the roses in bloom." 

^•^''This wipes out the so-called town of Greg- 
ory and the county treasurer is instructed to 
pay out all funds in his hands belonging to 
the defunct township for the orders of the said 
ti)Wn and to cancel the same. Tlie outstanding 
debt of Gregory is to be charged to the 
tei'ritory originally included in said township 
according to the assessment of 1878." — Herald, 
July 26. 1S7S. 



until Januniy (i, 1880. wlicn tlio com- 
missioners flianged tlie iiamu to Denver, 
having been notitied by tlie state oti'icials 
that there was another Dover tn\\iishi|i 
in Minnesota and tiiat hiw or eusldiii fm- 
bade two ]irei-in(ts in tlie sliitr t(i bear 
the same nanii'. in Dcii\er ln\\n<hi]i the 
I'nitcil Stales has granted land lilK's a^ 
follows : 

Lars G. Kartrude (32), Mareii Anderson 
(30), Gottlieb Rogge (K), Andrew Peterson 
(30), John Gilbertson (?.0I, .^sle A. Thor- 
son (34), Terge .Jensen (32), Tobias Si- 
menson (34), Jolin M. Grant (2S), Jolin 
Sliertzer (12), Horace Goodale (10), Charles 
Gates (6), .\nton E. Anderson (28), 
James E. Black (8), James B. Andrews 
(20), James Larkin (12), Artemus Kimball 
(6), Robert J. Cobban (20), Knud H. Braat- 
en (6-18), John .A.Mills (4), Kleber Wilken- 
son (18), Peder O. Froke (2S), James Mur- 
phy, Jr. (24), Wilson Belknap (20), Mar- 
shall S. Blasdell (12), Jeremiah Tierney 
(26), Philo Hawes (4), Abagail Webber 
(2), Peter Von Levern (14), Ferdiiurnd 

Lemke (4-22), Herman Lenz (22), Andrew 
M. Helgeson (8-32), Torkel O. Sundre (34), 
George G. Qualley (S), Mikkel O. Bakke 
(20), Stephen Dockstadter (14), Johanne 
Houg (26), Ingre Riste (6), James Harding 
(14), Henry G. Brown (34), Torkel O. 
Bredbaken (IS), Joseph Wade (2), t;dwin 
\V. Devine (28), Lars Hanger (30), Syl- 
vester T. Wade (2), Otter Otterson (26), 
John W. Anderson (6), Heirs of Frederick 
Lenz (22), Reuben Williams (8), James 
Murphy (24), Dennis S. Murphy (24), 
Gilbert A. Williams (2), Ole H. EUefson 
(18), Heirs of Samuel K. Hovey (20), 
William C. Mead (10), Charles McEmery 
(34), George A. Maderson (10), Levi M. 
Grandy (14), Charles Hill (10), Thomas 
E. Jones (12), Thomas Gleason (22), 
Sam Anderson (24), Richard Streeter (26). 

Denver was the last of lioek nuinty's 
twel\e towiishi]is to oi'ga)ii/.r. Siiu-e the 
new name was bestowed (in thai in'e- 
i-inil all the townshijis ha\e t'unlinned 
nnili'i' local governineiif with the same 
names and Ixnindaries as described in 
(his chaiitei'. 


E1{A OF DKXKLUi'.MEXT— 1871-1873. 

THK (ii'giinization of Ivock county 
late in the year 1870 acted as a 
stimulus to settlement, and we 
find that more people located in Rock 
connty during 1871 than had done so dur- 
ing the entire period of former settlement. 
It has been estimated that there were 4<;0 
people living in the county at the close 
of the year.' A correspondent to the Jack- 
son paper, writing July .5, 1871, told of 
conditions in T{ock county: "Immigration 
to the county ha.s been very heavy this 
season. The weather continues dry and 
warm, yet crops are doing fine. T never 
saw better cui-ii for the time of year than 
we have here. Siiuill grain has been in- 
jured some ])y the dry weather." 

The arrivals of 1871 secured good loca- 
tions. The first choice of lands was along 
Rock I'iver, wlicre there wei-c palclies ol 
limber, and when they were all taken the 
[irairie sections were fiieil u|inii, 'I'he roll- 
ing prairie with its deep black soil ; the ]nc- 
luresipic P)lue mounds, rising '30(1 feet 
ab(j\e the genei'al level of the country; 

'.\moiis thn sottlcT.s of 1S71 were Stewart 
Young:, Dr. R. O. Crawford, J. O. Helgeson. E, 
1-. Grout, B. S. Wold, .41ex McKav. C. A, Rey- 
nolds, James H. I^yttle. Ole Guldhagen, D, 
Powell. Dennis MeCarthv. James Green, G. 
W. Green, John P. Steen. H. O. Harnes. T. O. 
Harnes. Thomas Hadvedt, .\lex MeNab, Ben 
Evens. Erick Evens. G. W. Daniels. T^. A. Dan- 
iels, L. MeDerniott, John R.van, M. R. Ryan, 
F, Mieret)rt, Josepli Knight. I,, h., Ole 
Huga, T, O. 'ruUefson, S. -Anderson, .\ndrcw 

the ri\er, skirted with liniln'r and abound- 
ing with tisb and fur; tlie long Indian 
summer day.s, la.^ting into the late fall; 
the climate so invigorating and healthful 
that a doctor's ser\iies were not needed — 
all appi'alecl tn tlinsc who had passed 
tliriiugii many niile> of slougliv, unat- 
tractive land in their search for new 
homes, and none sought farther. 

One of the first considerations of tlie 
settlers was tlie establishment of schools, 
and among the first official acts of the 
oll'icers of the new county was legislation 
along that line. On February l.j, 1871, 
the boaiMJ of county commissioners created 
scliiHil distrit-t No. 1, embracing the south 
half id' Clinton township,- and the ne.xt 
day it create(l district No. '.', emliracing 
LuM'rnc township, the west lialf dj' Mag- 
iiiilia Idwiisliip and flic sontli half ol' 
lAliiiiiid liiwiisiiip."' The (iist, public school 
in I he ciMinly was licld at the home of 
llrlinrah Mstey, in Clinlnn (dunship, and 
was begun in December, 187(1, lieforc 
the distiict was. legally organized. Mrs. 

Froke. Jens P. Houg, J. C, McCulUim, Thoma,s 
E. Hartwell. 

-On October 11, l.STl, in response to a petition 
of residents, the district was made to include 
the whole southern tier of townships. 

'District Ko. 2 was created upon petition of 
H. Sawyer. William Blasdell. J. C. Phelps. S, 
D. Oregory, C Jones, Philo Hawes. Ed. Mc- 
Kenzie. G. \V. Webber and S. Wilson. 




Ricliinond was tlie teacher.* Scliool was 
begun in district No. 2 tlie same winter 
and was taught in a sod shanty not far 
from Luverne by Heti. A'itkers. a uepliew 
of Sylvester Norton.'' 

Tlie first death in iicick cnunly liy reason 
of the winter storms of the prairie nci-ur- 
red January 27, IS?-.'. A Norwegian set- 
tler, Ole Ellingsmi liy name, living about 
nine miles north of Luverne, was the vic- 
tim. Ke had started to go to town nn 
sl-icr and when about two miles on liis 
journi'v be was nvi'itaken by the storm and 
turned and went back to witbin a short 
distance of his house, as his tracks showed. 
He was unalile to locate tb<' bouse, took 
off the sHcr wliieii he had been wearing. 
and started traveling with the wind. .\ 
searching party found liis dead body al:)out 
eighteen miles from his home, within a 
half miU^ of tlie Lnverne-rirabam Lakes 
stage roail and onci- ilie line in Nobles 
county. The body vas found a few days 
after tlie storm Init was not brought in 
for two weeks. The body was in a eroucli- 
ing posture, resting upon one knee, wilb 
the hands pres.sed together nnderneatli 
the body, apparently in a vain endeavor 
to keep them warm. Tbe ti'acks sbowcil 
that he had traveled liack luid fortli o\cr 
(be route several times. 

^Before this public school was bcj-uii 
two pri\'ato schools had been conflurtcd in the 
countv. Dlirinpr tlic pr-eatcr part tif the winter 
of ISfiS-fitI E. N. Darline- had a in-ivatc school 
in the cMbin of Philo Hawes with Charles O. 
Hawes. ICd. McKonzic. J. C. KcUey. Horace 
Plum. Frank Eeaty and one other young: man 
as impils. Mr. Darling w?is at the time residiiiK 
at the Hawes cabin, and at the yoiiriE;: men's 
sug:p;estion the school was orKanized. ''I'bis 
ttioneer scliool was a popular one. From No- 
vember. lS(7n. to March. 1871. Clarence F. Older 
conducted a private school in the Hawes cab- 
in. His pupils wcr'c Kd. McKenzie. at that 
time the county auditor: Charles O. Hawes. 
T^en Daniels and V. F. Kclley. 

'Cither early day school districts were or- 
ganized in Rock countv as follows; 

No. 3 — February 29, 1S72. The northeastern 
quarter of Clinton township. 

No. 4— June 29, 1872. Sections 22, 23. 24, 2!5, 
26. 34. 35 and 36. Luverne township. 

No. 5 — February ]. 1873. The northeast quar- 
ter of Magnolia township. 

No. 6 — February 1. 1S7.'!. The northwest (|uar- 
ter of Magnolia township. 

in llic .-Miiic Sim in Ivia .\libolt, wlio 
lived on section S, ^laguolia township, 
came near meeting death just over the 
state liii" ill Iowa on IJotk river. He 
was retiiniiiig from Kock Kapids, where 
lie bad liecn to mill, when the storm 
struck. He nubitchcd the oxen and set out 
to find slbdter. 'I'be cattle traveled faster 
Ibaii lie did and he became completely 
lost. He soon became overcome and sank 
down neai- a tree on the river bank. He 
was in the storm from three o'clock in 
tbe al'lcinooii until I wo o\-lock the ne.xi 
afternoon. A searcbing party found liis 
team and a little later they caine nji him. 
Mv. .Vhbott's legs were so badly frozen 
that both were ani]nitated Just below the 
knees and bis nose was frozen ofF. He 
recovered fi'om tbe terrible exposure and 
is alive today, making his home in Wis- 

The building ol" t1ie Sioux City & St. 
Paul railroad to sou tli western Minnesota 
late in 1S71 and the opening of the line 
tbe following spring had a decided effect 
upon Eock county, although the line was 
quite a distance from the county. Tmmi- 
granis ]ioured in and took claims in ('\cr\ 
|irc(ini(. ;iiid sod sbanlics and liille IVainc 
shiicks doltcd the )ii-airies in 1lirictof(nc 
iiiisetllcil poi-tions." •■Settler." in jbr 

No. 7— I'-cbruary 1. 1873. The southwest 
quarter of Masnoli.a township. 

No. 8— February 1. 1873. The .soulhcast c|uar- 
ler of Magnolia townsliip. 

No. 9— .\pril 10. 1873. Sections 20 to 29. in- 
clusive. 32 lo 36. inclusive. 13 to 17. inclusive. 
Beaver Creek township. 

No. 10— Apiii in. 1873. Sections 4 to 9. inclu- 
sive. 16. 17 and IS, I.uverne township. 

No. 11— April in, 1873. Sections 22 to 27. in- 
clusive. 34. 3,T, 36, and the cast half of sec- 
tions 21. 28 and 33, Mound township. 

No. 12— April in. 1,S73. Sections 19, 2(1, 29, 3n, 
31. 32 and tbe west half of sections 21, 2S and 
33. Mounil township. 

No. 13— May 1. 1873. Sections 19 to 21, inclu- 
sive, and 28 to 33, inclusive, Luverne town- 

""The prospect of coming spring seems to en- 
liven the homesteader to such an extent that 
all is stir here, and times are much easier than 
formerly. Here may be seen a load of logs 
going out upon one man's claim, there a load 
of lumber for another, then a load of wood 
for a third, wliile others keep time with their 
axes, saws and hammers." — Extract from a 
letter written March 24, 1872. 

HISTOID' ol' i;(»('K COU.NTY. 


Jackson IJepublit-, writing May 39, told of 
the cimdilicjns: "There is a very heavy 
inunigration to the comity this spring, far 
exceeding what we have liad any pre- 
vious season. Within the last ten days 
there have been no less than fifty-two 
prairie schooners cast their anchor in this 
lovely county and there are very few io 
leave it to Idok elsewhere fur homes al'lei' 
Uicy onee behold our lovely prairies."' 

Tiie immigration was so great this one 
ycai' that an estimate of the ])iipidaliuii 
made at its close gave 1030 as the niimliei- 
of people residing in the county, a gain 
of considerable over one hundred per cent 
in the year. Because there was this big 
immigration and the whole order of things 
was changed, it must not be imagined 
that the countiy was developed in a day. 
Most of the settlers arrived too late in the 
season to lu-eak their land and ]iut in a 
crop and consequently there was not a large 
harvest. Except for the fact that the 
prairies became dotted with the homes of 
settlers, it was largely the same virgin 
territory it had always been. 

The game lover found himself in a 
paradise. Birds abounded. There were 
ducks, wild geesse, brant, curlew, pelican 
and prairie chickens. Occasionally glimps- 
es were caught of some of the big game 
that foi-merly roamed the prairies in vast 
numbei's. The summer was fine. The 
days and nights were frequently glm-illed 
by electrical storms of terrific and innef- 
able grandeur. At night the settlers often 
sat till midnight watching the frulic (if 
slicct-lightning playing over miles (irebjinl 
banks, vividly suggesting tlie possible 
glories (d' another world. \'egeiati(in grew 
rank. The newcomers rode along the ci'eek 
bottoms or on the edges of tlie ponds 
through seas of wild bhiejoint grass up to 
the horses' backs. 

It was the ex]ierienee of a lite time, 
this breaking u]) the vii'gin lands ami 

building a eommiinilv I'mm the grouiul 
up, and many were the pi-obable and ini- 
])iobablc stories tolil of those days. Let- 
ters went back to the old homes in the east 
telling liuw the bomesteadei's planted corn 
with an ax and caught fish with a pitch- 
fork, and how tlie pianos were set up in 
the shanty and tin.' library stacked up un- 
der the bed. 

Tile county was \ isiteil by a si'\ere wind, 
lain ami hail stoim on .luly (i, 1873, 
\\liii'li did considerable damage. l''or an 
hour the wind blew with biirrieane force, 
ail (impanied by teri'ilie torrents of rain 
and hail. The growing crops were dam- 
aged considerably in ixntions of the county, 
some farmers not having enough crop left 
to pii\' for the 1 1 investing. A lew houses 
were moved off their foundations by the 
wind and one farm house was denu)!ished. 

Another event of the year 1878 was 
the effort to enlarge the county's bound- 
aries. It will be remembered that when 
IJock county was created in 1S.")7 its west- 
(!ni boundary line was some ten miles 
farther west than at present, so that it 
bad an area equal to tluit of the otlier 
counties of southwestern Minnesota. When 
Dakota territory was formed in 18(51 Min- 
nesota's western boundary was moved 
eastwai'd and part of the original Tioek 
comity was given to the new teri-itory, 
leaving the comity with its present limited 
iire:i. Ill nil ell'oi'l to lemeilv this dispi'o- 
]ioi'tioii. the legislature on 1^'ebriiMry 30, 
1873. iiMsseil two bills, on(^ proxiding that 
Ibe roiir lowiisliips in range I.'! id' Nobles 
loiinlv (Ibe |ircsent townships of F^eota, 
Lisiiiore. W'estside and (irand I'lairie) 
sboiild be given to 17oek county, the other 
that the four western townships of Jackson 
county be given to Nobles county. Neither 
act was to be put in force until both coun- 
ties interested in each case should, by a 
niMJority \dle. ratify the act~s at the gen- 
eral eli'itioii in November, 1873. 



'^riic pi-oposition was almost a farce. In 
order to arid tlie Jackson count}' townships 
to Nobles county both the counties must 
vote in the aft'irniative. Nobles county 
naturally favored the bill, but just as nat- 
urally Jackson county voted not to give 
away any of its territory. In order to give 
Eock county the \\'cstern tier of Noljles 
county townships, both these connties 
must so vote. Before election time, the 
Ohio colony had settled in Nobles county, 
and, knowing that they were outnumbered, 
the people of Eock county did not l)i-in,n 
the matter to a vote. In Nobles only eleven 
electors were found who favored the sur- 
render of territory. Eock county was 
destined to always remain one of tlie 
smaller divisions of the state. A few 
years after this abortive attempt to gain 
more territory another scheme failed, in 
which it was desired to bring about the di- 
vision of Pipestone county and pi'ocuve 
the southern half for Eock. 

The county assessment for 1873 gives 
lis an insiglit into conditions in that early 
day. When the assessment was made tlic 
onlv oTganized townships were Clinton, 
which included tlie southern tier of town- 
ships, and I>iivcrnc, which included ibc 
rest of the county. The valuations wcit 
nearly equally divided between the two 
jiieciucts. The valuation iilaced im all 
properly was $S4,110, of which $1.5.71'^ 
was on real estate and $68,407 was fur 
personal property. Of the latter figui-e 
$31,104 was exempt from taxalidii. In 
the whole county only 7925 acres (abdut 
(ine-lliircl nf one congressional township) 
were subject to taxation, the axcragc value 
op wdiich was placed at $1.9fi iK-r nci'c.' 

.\n agricultural statistics talil(> fur the 
year shows that 2189 acres were sown to 
crop in 1873, from which were harvested 
.54,-119 bushels iifgiain. The acres Sdwn, 

'Amonur thP items of personal property as- 
sessed: Horses, 271; cattle. SG8 (of which 265 
were under two years old, 313 milch cows, and 

the buslu4> prnduei'il and th.c ;neiagc yield 
per acre of ihe \aiiiius ero[is wcie as fol- 
lows : 



























'J'lie winter following the year of rapid 
settlement — the winter of 1872-73 — must 
go down in history as a most severe one. 
It lironght the most terrible blizzard in 
Ihe county's history Ijcfore or since, in 
which the settlers received their first ex- 
|ieiieni.'e of real hardsliips. 

Winter Ijcgan November 13. The day 
had been fine, but toward nightfall those 
who knew the northwest saw indications 
of a Idizzard. At dark a gale from the 
northwest struck the houses with a wdiack 
as distinct as if it had been a board in 
Ihe hands oF Old Boreas. One of the 
famous iiortliiTn blizzards was on. and 
(I cie was :\ seiies of sliii'ms until the 
arteriioon of the third day. Thencerortli 
il was winter. Snow fell to a gicat ilepth. 
prohabh- not less than two feet, iuit it 
was so blown about and di'il'ted by the 
wind that in some places there wcic dril'ts 
of twenty feci or more. From the time 
winter so set in there was liltle let-up in 
the sevcritv of the weather. OiU' storm 
followed another, and when not sloniiiiig 
(he weatlier was cidd and severe, while Ihe 
deep 'snows, almost eonstantly drirting, 
made travel dilVicult and sometimes dan- 
gerous. During that long winter the in- 
habitants of this part of the state wore 

290 fat and working cattle); mules. 25; sheen. 
72; hogs, 107; carriages, 2; watches, 32; pi- 
anos, 2. 



practically shut out from the world. At 
one time there were no' mails for six 
weeks. ^ Many peoj^le were inconvenienced 
for want of necessary food, fuel and cloth- 
ing. The sufferings and horrors of that 
long antl dreadful winter will never be 
effaced from the memories of those who 
experienced tliem. 

The ill-fated year 1873 began with the 
most violent storm in the history of the 
state from the time of its firet settlement 
to the present date. For three days, be- 
ginning January 1 , the blizzard raged, ex- 
tending over the whole northwest. Tiie 
temperature was about eighteen degrees 
below zero during the whole period of the 
storm. The air was filled with snow as 
fine as flnnr. Tlirnugh every crevice, 
keyhole and nailhole the fine snow pene- 
trated, puffing into the houses like steam. 
Seventy human Ii\'es woi-o Inst in tlie storm 
in Jlinnesota, but by a miraculous turn 
of fate none of these was in Rock county. 
It was the only county in the vicinity 
that escaped without loss of life. 

The forenoon of Tuesday, Januai-y 7, 
was mild and pleasant; the sky was clear 
and there was no wind. It seemed as 
though a "January thaw" was imminent. 
The pleasant weather had induced many 
farmers to start to ton-n on business or to 
the neighlioring farm houses with their 
families to visit. About 11 o'clock a 
change was appaient. The sky lost its 
crystal clearness and became a trifle hazy. 
Toward noon a white wall was seen bear- 
ing dnun fi-oni Ihc iioribwost. The front 
of the storm was distinct and almost as 
clearly defined as a great sheet. In a few- 
minutes a gale, moving at the rate nf 
thirty or forty miles an hour, was sweep- 
ing the country; a full-fledged blizzard 
had supplanted the bright sunshine in a 
few niinufa's. The air was so comjiletclv 

'"OwitiR to tlie snow lilorkade on the rail- 
road and the high water between here and 
there we have had a very irregular mail for 
the last two weeks and exjject to hn treated 

filled with flying snow that it was impos- 
sible to see olijects a short tlistance away. 

Forty men were in Luverne when tlie 
storm struck, and, although many of them 
had fiimilii's at home illy prepared to meet 
such a storm, none ventured to reach his 
own place but all remained in town until 
the storm abated. They found slieltcr 
witli rriend.^ or at the Imtels. Imcii sonic 
who were caught away from home in the 
village, only a few blocl': away, did not at- 
tempt to brave the dangers of getting 
home. All Tuesday night, Wednesday and 
Wednesday night the storm raged with un- 
abated fury. Not until Thursday was there 
any percepticle let-up, and not until Fri- 
day was the storm over. Several Rock 
county residents were caught on the prairie 
in the storm, and some were obliged to 
spend two or three days in deserted claim 
slianties, but all were round alive after the 

Several Martin to\\iislii|) I'armcis were 
caught in the storm while on a trip for 
wood on Rock river and had narrow es- 
capes from meeting death in the storm. 
One such paity was coinposed ol' Olc (>. 
Rue, Sr., Olc O. I!ui', Jr., Nels Ander- 
son and .lolin (ioldlierg. Just as they 
reached the edge of the timber the storm 
broke. Tlic incii got their cattle williin 
llir gro\e, and there the unrortunalc uicii 
were nliligcd to pass the night. Mr. Jtiie 
states that he bad all be could do |o kcc|, 
I lie (ither members of the |iar(y on the 
iiio\c; Ihcv begged to be permitted to sit 
down and rest, which, of course, would 
have been fatal. About daylight Messrs. 
.\iiderson and fjoldberg went out of the 
grove (o seek a place of shelter, bul Ihey 
could lind none and rcltirncd willi badl\' 
fi'ozen faces. 

About noon the weather cleared a little 
— enough to permit the storm-bound men 

in the same manner for some time to come." — 
Letter from I.uverne, dated Mareh 2H. 1873. 
(It was April 12 when the first mail arrived.) 



to see the sun and get their bearings. Tlien 
the)' set out for tlie west in an effort to 
reach llieir lionies. Ole 0. ]>ue, Jr., led 
one yoke of o.xen and the other members 
of the [larty elung to tlie taiLs of tlie oxen 
and kept close togetlier. In that iiiaii- 
ner tliey safely reached the home of Hen- 
ry Jtiirtin. where they secured shelter for 
tile night. J)uring tlie night ^Ir. fiold- 
lierg. who was mine hadiv \'vii/.vu than 
the others, was in gieat agony, amh be- 
lieving himself to be dying, he bade liis 
comrades good-h\i'. lie subsecjuently re- 
covered. All the iiicmljers of the |)arty 
reached iiome after sjiending the night at 
l\Ii-. Martin's. 

Erick Colliy was aiiolhcr ^lai'tin town- 
shi|i fanner who went to Hock liver allci- 
wiMid Ihat awI'Ld day. He I'eaeheo the 
tindier just as tlie storm struck, but, brav- 
ing the dangers of the blizzard, lie at once 
sel out for hoiiir and reached it in safety. 

Anotiiei' adventure that is worthy of 
record belell Jlis. (ioodiiian Anderson, ol' 
>Mai(in |o\vnshi|i. while her husband ^^a^ 
with Ihe party after wood on the Kock 
river. She was washing wdien the storm 
.slruek, and so intent was she with her 
Hiirk Ihat she failiMl In nntiee the severity 
of the storm iinlil tlie line snow com- 
meneed to drift in in'iicnth the door and 
lill the room. 1'licn she thiniglit of the 
cattle outside and made an attempt to 
get them into the stalile. .\ll v\eiil in 
willingly exeepi one lieadslrong two-yeiir- 
(dd eiiltei'. wlii(h iliased iilf dnuii Mini 
creek with M i>. Amiersdii in pursuit. She 
linally ga\e up (he chase, oiiU- In discover 
that sill' was Ins! in the tilizzard. .\fter 
half an hour's wandering, whither she 

""Bis loads of lumlier and good."! go through 
I.uverne every day for Beaver Creek and that 
part of the Beaver valley just this side of the 
state Hne." — Herald. June 20. 1S73, 

"We have Iivei>' times in our town now. Tlie 
west end is filling up fast. The houses of a 
substantial kind are springing up all over the 
prairie." — Beaver Creek Correspondent, June 27. 

"Mr. O. Anderson says that there are nearly 

knew not, she ran into the stove pi])e 
which extended from the root of the dug- 
out in \>liieh the lamilv lived. This acci- 
ileiital collision with the stove pi|)e saved 
the lady's life. She was then alile to find 
the dour nf the dug-nut and reach safety. 

Despite the ushering in of the year 1873 
with the terrible January storm, the 
year opened auspiciously. New settlers 
arrived in the spring, and the setlements 
of liock county were indeed in a flourish- 
ing condition. As estimate of the popu- 
lation made in the first issue of the Kock 
County Herald (May 2:5, 1873) placed 
the number of inhabitants at I'.'diL This 
would indicate an immigration of about 
l."i() during the early spring months. ^Inst 
i<{ the new comers located in the wi'stern 
part of till' county, principally in Beaver 
Cieek and .Martin townslii])s.'' Before this 
time all woodland claims had been taken, 
iind the choice prtiiric chiiins were sought 
out. On nearly all lands taken were 
planted fast-growing and hardy trees, 
including the Lombardy pojilar, cotton- 
wood, soft maple and other varieties. 
It was estimated that between eight liiiu- 
died thniisand and a millinii i-uttings were 
jilanted in iiock county during IS?:!. 

The settler arriving in the spring nf 
the year could secure hnmesteail lands in 
|iniiinns of the eoiinty farthest rrnni (I e 
earlier sellleinelits without cost,'" he cniild 
secure pre-emptiniis in the same localities 
fur .$1.".'.") and ^'l.'tO per acre, nr he enniij 
liiiv the railwav l;iiiil> (nijd niimlieied 
seetinii^ in Kanaraii/i. Magiinjia iiml ihe 
sniilh half nf \'ienmi townships) ai prices 
ranging from $.").t)ii tn !i?;.."i(i per aeie. ac- 
cording to location. 

21111 voters in the town of Martin, and nearly 
all are Norwegians." — Herald, October 10, 1873. 

'°"I saw a statement in the Roek Rapids 
Journal, saying that this county was all taken 
up by homesteaders. In justice to Rock county, 
I will state that there are yet thousands of 
acres of government land in this county sub- 
ject to homestead or pre-emption rights," — 
Rock County Ctu-i-cspondent to Jackson Repub- 
lic, April n,' 1S73. 



Tliose wlio liad fomo the preceding 
years set to work witli a will to break out 
the raw prairie land, and great were the 
cxpeetatious for the crop of ISTo, the 
first crop of any size planted in the 
county. The grain grew beautifully dur- 
ing the spring months; the faith in the 
soil was justified. Everybody was enthus- 
iastic over the prospects. Then came tlie 
uever-to-be-forgotteu plague — the grass- 
hoppers — and the country that hail looked 
so prosperous was wrapped in gloom. Ad- 
versity followed adversity. The frowns 
of fortune overwhelmed those who had 
come with so much hope and cast them 
into the slough of despond. Immigra- 
tion ceased ; farmers, mechanics, merchants, 
everybody, became discouraged at once. 
The picture could hardly be painted too 

Prosperous as Eock county is t(ida\-, 
one can imagine the suffering a series of 
almost total crop failure would bring. Pic- 
ture, then, a settlement of some 2000 peo- 
ple with practically no means — people who 
had come because they were poor and be- 
cause they believed the new country of- 
fered opportunities for securing a home 
and a competence — devastated liy a 
scourge which took away the only means 
of earning a livelihood. Some of ilie 
liock county settlers had left their old 
homes in the east with a raiii'oad licket 
as their only asset, and even before the 
grasshojiiier days a few were in sorry 
]ilight. For a series of years beginning 
with 18^:; the |)eo|ile of Koek county, in 
common with those of all southwestern 
Minnesota, sufl'ered as I'aw" jjioneer set- 
tlers in any country ever suffered. 

It was during the first part of June, 
187.3, that the plague came. A peculiar 
appearance was noted in the sky; the sun 
seemed to have lost some of its brilliancy, 
as though darkeneil by clouds of fine 
specks floating high in the air fnun west 

to east. Some believed that the specks 
were the fluff from cottonwood seeds. 
They kept increasing in number, and after 
a wliile a few scattering ones began fall- 
ing t(3 the earth, where they were found, 
to be grasshojipers, or Pocky ^lountain 
locusts — forerunners of a scourge that for 
several years devasted this part of the 
country and resulted in llie retai'dation 
of settlement for many yeais. The flight 
kept up several days, and a great many 
came down and feasted on the growing 
crops and deposited their eggs, although 
the damage done in this initial invasion 
was comparatively slight. The Eock Coun- 
ty Herald of June 13 announced the ar- 
rival of the first flight of grasshoppers: 

"The grasshopper shall be a burden." 
Possibly the writer of these words had his 
lettuce and sweet corn eaten by the ances- 
tors of these jerk-gaited insects which are 
now arriving on a visit to us and our neigh- 
bors. He knew them like a book. Some 
of our neighbors fear that the few millions 
which have put in an appearance here are 
but the scouts or advance guard of an over- 
whelming force which is coming to "occupy 
the land." They predict ruin and devasta- 
tion of the crops. We hope these forebod- 
ings are not to be realized. 

Witliin a week after tlieir arrival all the 
pests had disappeared. The gardens were 
nearly ruined and there was some snudi 
flamage to spring wheat ; otherwise the 
visitation i-csulted in little loss. 

On Tuesday, .luly "ill, the I'aidiiig lioi'des 
swooped down on the country in count- 
less millions, 'i'hcy sjiread out over the 
wheat, oat and corn fields and ate raven- 
ously, the oats being the worst (liHiiaged. 
Thanks to weather conditiiuis, their stay 
was only five days, and the daiuagi' to 
cio|is was not total. On the night td 
July ol thcie was a heavy rainfall, and a 
brisk breeze sprang up from the south- 
east. On the first of August the hoppers 
began taking flight with the wind, and on 
the following day all luid disappeared. 
Fainieis began to cut their grain to save 



it, literally siiatcliiiifr it out of the grass- 
lioppcrs' mouths. The outlook was gloomy. 
The Herald on August 1 told of the second 
invasion : 

The worst of Minnesota's pests is at last 
among us, and clouds on clouds of grass- 
hoppers are around us, and the air is filled 
with them, and tlie earth is covered with 
them. It is impossible to describe the in- 
jury they are doing to the crops. The only 
word we have heard yet that approximates 
the extent of this affliction was repeated 
to us last night — "awful." Today they are 
the only subject of conversation on our 
streets, and the question is. will they leave 
before everything is gone? This question 
finds a ready answer: Should they stay 
twenty-four hours longer, they will eat up 

We visited a number of fields of grain 
last night, and have just returned from 
visits to others this morning, and our pen 
is too feeble to give anything like a fair 
description of what they are doing. We 
saw grain that looked at a distance as 
though the black blight had enveloped it; 
on a nearer view nothing but grasshoppers 
was seen, the stalk and head being entirely 
covered. Corn we saw completely covered 
with them, and this morning we hear of 
many fields that present nothing but the 
bare stalks; in a few hours all had been 
destroyed. We learn that their lines ex- 
tend from Beaver Creek on the west to and 
beyond the east line of the county. They 
vary in numbers in different localities, be- 
ing thicker in and about Luverne and the 
Beaver Creek settlement than east of here. 

The damage done by the loeu.'^t.s in IST'l 
was great, but the loss was not total by 
any means. While the pests were in the 
fields the gloomy anticipations led to ex- 
aggerated reports, which were not verified 
later. On the other hand, the county 
newspaper, in accordance with the custom 
i)f pioneer Journals to report nothing that 
would tend to retard settlement, reported 
good crops and pro.sperons times." The 
^ntinued reiteration of these glowing ac- 
counts of Eock county's prosperity resulted 
in hardship to many of the needy the 
fiilliiwing winter when they a.^ked for as- 
sistance from the state relief organiza- 
tions. Added t<i the general desponilency 
was the stringency of the money market 
following the panic of IST.T. 

The assessment for the year IST;! fur- 
nishes figtires illustrating the conditions 
in the spi'ing of the year and the develop- 
ment (if the county. Wliile the total as- 
sessed valuation in 1S7'2 had been less 
than $.S."),00(), the following year showed 
over $1(1(1,000 valuation. Following is 
shown the number of acres of land taxed 
in each precinct, the assessed value of real 
estate, personal property and the total 
valuations :" 


Acres Taxed 

Real Estate 


Total Value 








Beaver Creek 










•Including north hnlf of the county. 

""T'l mI[ in Tici^hlMH-itig- counties who arc 
iirirnr-tuiinlf in liJiviriM" had their crops scorched 
witti the drouth, di'voured hy grasshoppers or 
ih-owncd hy tlfimi.'^, we will say that they oiiRht 
In ha\'»' sctth'd in Rock county, where ri<'h 
helds nf golden Rrain reward thf husban<lnian. 
\Ve want it to be remembered that while peo- 
ple not a hundred miles from us have no crops 
to speak of, owing to some of the causes afore- 
said, here in Rock county. Minnesota, are good 
crops generally, and especially of wheat. Oats 
are excellent, l>ut were somewhat damaged l>y 
thi- grasshdppers. It does one's heart good to 
ride over tin' praii-irs and see the rich grain 
liclds."— Herald, August 15. ISTU. 

"The fact is there were a great number nf 
grasshoppers here at one time. It was impos- 
sible to tell what the extent of their ravages 
would ]io, aufi people were badly frightened and 
rxaggt'i-ated the damage to the crop. After 
they had gone it was found that wheat was 
not materially injured and that there would 
be a two- thirds crop of oats. No injury was 
done to the grass and very little to the corn. 
In substance: The oat crop of Rock county 
is fully a two-thirds crop, and the wheat and 
rorn are not materially injured by the grass- 
hoppers or anvthing else." — Herald, September 
12. 1S73. 

'-Less the $100 exemptions. 



Otlier statistics gathered by the assessor 
show the (k'vehipment in one vear. In 
1873 there were 'id': farms. Tlie live 
stock consisted of 36.5 liorses, 499 niilcli 
cows, 39T heef and working cattle, l~yi 
sheep and ■^.")9 hogs. The wheat acreage 
was nearly four times as large as tlie jire- 
vious year, the oat acreage mure than 
ildiililc ami the coi'n ncarh' ddiihie. Fnl- 

'^Tho schools, te.ichers and number of pu- 
pils enrolled were as follows, according to tlie 
superintendent's report: No. 2 (Ijuvernel, Miss 
Jennie Grout, teacher, thirty pupils; No. 11 
(Gregory). Miss Rosa Farry, teacher. twel\-e 

lowing was the acreage of tlie several 
crops: Wheat, 3450; oats, 130G; corn, 
1140; barley, 153; buckwheat, 5G; pota- 
toes, 124; beans, 20; sorghiim, S'/.; flax, 
.34 ; other crops, GO. 

Five schools were ((imhiitnl in Ifock 
County during the siiiinin'i' of 1.S73, in 
which were enrolled a total ot ninrly-three 

pupils; No. 6 (Magnolia). Miss Ella A. Love- 
land, teacher, fifteen iiupils; No. 9 (Beaver 
Creek). Miss Elia Grout, teacher, twenty-four 
pupiUs; No. 3 (Clinton), Miss Jennie Knight, 
teacher, twelve pupils. 


CALA:\ii'r()rs days— i874-i8rr. 

NOT until winter set in did tlie pen- 
pie ol' Hook eonntj realize the 
,<;r;uity of the situation resulting 
from the grasshopper visitation of 1873. 
Then, even the local newspaper, whicli he- 
fore had maintained that Hoek eminty 
had harvested an ahundant i-rnp and that 
conditions were excellent, admitted that 
most rigid economy must he practiced 
to prevent suffering during the winter 
months.' As a result of the destruction 
of crops and the tightness of the money 
market ( pai'ticulai-ly in the grasslio])per 
devastated region-;), many families in 
Hock county were in destitute circiim- 
st-ances, although their miiiiher was not 
so great as in some of the neiglihoring 

Petitions from all the stricken counties 
were poured into the legislature, asking 
for appropriations for relief. Ttealizing 
the gravity of the situation, the ^linnesota 
law-making hody. late in January, 1S74, 
appropriated $5000 for the relief of the 
destitute in the frontier counties and en- 
acted a law extending the time of pay- 
ment of personal property taxes until 

'"We are not desirous of meddUng wUh our 
iieighboi-s' bu.siness or volunteering to give 
advice, tjut we tliink that a few words of cau- 
tion in one respect may not be amiss. Tiiere- 
lore, in view of the multitude of small debts 
outstanding against the citizens of Rock coun- 
ty and the scarcity of money wherewith to 
pay the same, we urge our readers to prudence 
in business matters and the use of caution in 
contracting debts. Better to economize and 

Novemher 1 in the counties of Jackson, 
Cottonwood, Hurray, Nohles, IJock, Wa- 
tonwan, Lyon and Jvac qui Parle. 

No concerted action for the relief of 
the destitute was taken locally until Janu- 
ary 11. 1874. On that day a meeting of 
residents of Rock* county was held in the 
school house in Luverne to devise means 
of caring for those suffering for want of 
the necessaries of life. George W. l\niss 
presided over the meeting and W. 0. 
('raw4'or(l was secretary. There was a 
general discussion of ways and means 
of meeting the crisis. For the purpose of 
soliciting, receiving and distrihuting con- 
trihutions, a committee composed of P. J. 
Kniss, W. O. Crawford and T. P. Ornut 
was named. Those gentlemen at once en- 
tered upon their duties. By conferring 
with the townsliip otl'icers in each precinct, 
they ohtained the names of all persons in 
the county requiring immediate aid. Ap- 
plication was made to the state relief com- 
mittee, of which General H. H. Sibley was 
chairman, for a share of tlie funds that 
had been privately donated. One hundred 
dollars, the first of the relief funds to lie 

deny ourselves the enjoyment of many de- 
sirable things than to get them on credit, 
trusting to the future for an easy pay day. 
The present winter will probably be the hard- 
est time we shall see in this part of the coun- 
try, and better times are in store for us. in 
common with the whole country, but the prac- 
tice of rigid economy now is of the utmost 
importance." — Rock County Herald, December 
fi. 1S73. 




sent to Hock county, were received by the 
local committee from General Sibley about 
January 33,- and distribution was coni- 
nicnccil at once. 

Other sums were I'eceived rroiii the state 
relief committee, the total aniouiit having 
leaohed .$.iOO early in February. Aceord- 
ing to the first report of the distributing 
coiiimiltee ( 'J\ 1'. (irout, treasurer), made 
Februai'v (>. the first one hundred dollars 
were divided among eighteen needy fam- 
ilies, by precincts as follows: Three fam- 
ilies in ]\[agnolia. $].">. 57; three in Greg- 
ory, $10.09; two in Clinton, $11.48: three 
in Beaver Creek, $].">. 00; two in Luverne, 
$14.4"); seven in ^fartin, $33.03.=' The 
funds handled by the state committee were 
raised by private subscription. 

Eock county's share of the $.-)00i;) ap- 
propriated by the state was received early 
in February. The following letter from 
Governor C. K. Davis gave instructions 
for the distribution of the meager por- 
tion of the funds apportioned to Eock 
county : 

To Messrs. P. J. Kniss and J. H. Loomis, 
Luverne, Minnesota: At a conference which 
was held at the executive office on the 
evening of the thirtieth instant, between 
the governor and the representatives and 
senators from the districts whpse peopfe 
are entitled to relief under the act appro- 
priating $5000 for that purpose, you were 
commended to the governor as proper per- 
sons to assist in the distribution of the 
appropriation in Rock county. 

The act makes no provision for your 
compensation, and it is taken for granted 
that your services will be rendered gra- 
tuitously in such a cause. 

="St. Paul, January 21. 1S74. 
"P. J. Kniss. Esq.. Luverne. Minnesota. 
Dear Sir: — I have received your appHcation 
for aid to your destitute sulferers through 
Senator Freeman. It is to be regretted that 
the condition of the people of your county 
had not been made known at an earlier period, 
while I had at my disposal large quantities of 
clothing and other supplies, of which a just 
proportion might have been furnished to the 
sufferers then. These .articles have been dis- 
tributed to a large extent in other localities. 
it having been understood here that your local 
paper denied that there was a state of things 
existing in Rock county calling for any outside 
interference or aid. and intimating that a prof- 
fer of assistance would l)e regarded ns imper- 
tinent and unsought for. Now that the facts 
indicate <nn ejitirel\' diffei-cnt condition of ,af- 
fllirs. we must do what we cnn in the way of 

A remittance will be made to you at 
once. This money is to be used to alleviate 
present suffering and is not to be diverted 
to the purchase of seed. The legislature 
is now engaged in maturing a bill which 
will meet that case. In performing your 
duties you will please observe the following 
general instructions: 

First. It is wished that you give relief 
only to persons whom you may know to be 
deserving, from personal inspection of their 
condition as far as practicable. To this 
end it is recommended that one of you 
go personally to the localities claiming aid 
unless they have be?n previously visited. 

Second. The sum remitted is to be ex- 
pended only for such articles of food as are 
of prime necessity and for medicines. Ex- 
pend no money for spirits, tobacco, tea, 
coffee or sugar. 

Third. Do not pay money directly to 
parties seeking relief. Purchase and deliv- 
er to them the specific articles which you 
think they may need. 

Fourth. So far as practical, make your 
purchases of the dealers doing business at 
or near the places to be aided, and in every 
case pay for what is bought and send to 
this office forthwith a receipted and item- 
ized bill of the articles purchased. 

Fifth. Deny all applications when you 
are satisfied that the applicants can do 
without the aid. In case persons are own- 
ers of surplus stock which they can sell, 
deny relief. 

Sixth. Take from each person aided, or, 
when this is impracticable, from the per- 
son to whom any articles are committed 
for distribution, a receipt upon the form 
which is herewith enclosed, and send the 
receipt to this office. You will please 
comply strictly with this request, for the 
reason that the governor is intrusted with 
the distribution of this fund, and he will 
require these receipts as his vouchers. Be 
particular to enter in the receipts the quan- 
tity and price of every article issued. 

Seventh. As this remittance is not in- 
tended to buy clothing or blankets, please 
send to this office at your earliest oppor- 
tunity a statement of the least number of 
blankets, cloth, thread, etc., which will be 

contributions. Today I send to your address, 
per express, a package containing $100 in 
currency, to be expended by your committee 
for the most effective relief of the most needy. 
You will please send me a receipt for the sum 
when it reaches you. and keep and dispatch 
to me an account of the manner in which the 
money has been employed. Send me also 
a statement of the number of families requir- 
ing aid and the particular articles of which 
the.v are in immediate want. 
"Tours truly. 

"Chairman Relief Committee." 

^The third report of the committee, dated 
February 19. showed distribution as follows: 
In Magiiolia township. $38.65: Gregory, $.')7.35; 
Clinton. $17. SI; Beaver Creek. $.3(5.7.'): Luverne, 
$:!li.22; Martin. $:;,';. ,^3: KMn,-irnnzi. $10.00. 



needed in the places to which your action 
extends. Please reduce this estimate to the 
lowest possible amount. 

Eighth. Make a report of your doings to 
this office on or before March 1, 1874, giv- 
ing names and places of residence of the 
persons who have received aid, accompany- 
ing such report with the vouchers required 
by instruction No. 6. The bills mentioned 
in the fourth instruction should be sent 
at the date of the purchase which they 

I have been thus explicit in these in- 
structions because there are many outside 
of your precinct who are to receive their 
share of this appropriation, and I am ex- 
tremely desirous that there shall be a fair 
and equal distribution of its proceeds. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
C. K. DAVIS, Governor. 

The amount received from the stat* ex- 
ecutive was $315. This was distributed, 
in supplies, among forty-one families, 
iiinl<ing an average of about $'3.2o to a 
family. In his report, dated February 
20, P. J. Kniss told of the amounts dis- 
tributed by precincts, as follows : Mar- 
tin, $51.08; Beaver Creek, $40.09; Mag- 
nolia, $40.09; Gregory, $32.29; Luverne, 
$32. 5C; Clinton, $10.15; Kanaranzi, 
$8.47. In addition to these amounts, Mr. 
Kniss reported having paid $25.00 to 
J. II. Loomis for disbursement, making 
a total of $239.3:1. 

Helief supplies were also received IVom 
other sources. Early in Mai'ch a box of 
goods, containing clothing, etc., was re- 
ceived from tlie governor and was distri- 
buted by ]\rrs. T. P. Grout. The National 
Grange donated $100(1 for memliers of 
the order in the grasshopper devastated 
counties, to be nsed in tlu^ purcliase of 
su])])lies and seeds. The Pock county 
committee made application for a share 

■""Now fliat .spring is here, it is ascertained 
that with the small approjiriation a great por- 
tion nf the plowed land will remain unseeded, 
as it is impossible for many of our extremely 
poor to obtain seed." — Rock Countv Herald. 
March 13, 1874. 

""Parties applying for seed grain will have 
to make affidavit that the grain is to be used 
for seed only, and that they have no means of 
their own with which to purchase seed, and 
that the.v have no seed. (Dated) March 2.5, 

of this donation, but its application was 
JCieived too late, and no supplies were re- 
ceived from that source, the niimev hav- 
ing been apportii.uied among the needy 
grangers of Cottonwuod. .lacksou, Maitin 
and Nol)les counties. 

it was early learned that many farmers 
would not have grain for seeding ])urposes 
in llic spi'iiig of 1874, and the legislature, 
in Febi'uary, appropriated $25,IMI() for 
supplying this want. This amount pioxcd 
insufficient to supply t!ie demands placed 
upon it.^ Pock county's share, 1200 Imsh- 
els, was received late in March, and the 
distribution was roni|ileted early in April."' 

An event of this disastrous period was 
the creation of the Pock county district 
coui't. The county was made a judicial 
district of itself upon the passage of a 
bill introduced by Senator E. P. Freeman 
in February, 1874." 

I r there had been' a belief that the grass- 
hoi:)per scourge was to be only a tempo- 
rary blight on the prospects of Rock coun- 
ty, it was rudely dispelled. The visi- 
tation of 1873 was as notliing compared 
with what followed. The story of the 
years to follow is i>uv of heartrending 
misei-y. From ]\Ianitoba to Texas the 
giasshoppers brought desolation and suf- 
leiing in 1874, the visitation being gen- 
eral along the whole frontier. Especially 
destructive were they in southwestern Min- 
u.',-()l I anil in Kansas and Nebraska. 

.V fairly large acreage was sown in Pock 
county in the spring of 1874. Then came 
anxious days. The grashopper eggs which 
had been deposited by the visiting hordes 
the year before began to hatcli during 

1S74. (Signed) P. J. Kniss. T. P. Grout. VV. 
O. Crawford. Committee." 

"When settlers first located in Rock county 
the -southwest corner coimty was attached to 
Martin county for judicial purposes. March 
7. 1S70, Jackson, Nobles and Rock counties 
were detached from Martin, and thereafter 
Rock county were tried in the Jack.son 
county district court. Ttie Nobles county dis- 
trict was created February 27. 1873. to whii'h 
Rock county was attached \mtil the following 



the first days of Miiv.' While the pests 
had been cousidcicd luuueruus the year 
before tliere were now more than ten times 
as many. The appetites of the ynungstei's 
were good, and tliey began tiieir ravages 
as soon as the first tender blades of gi'ain 
appeared. Whole fields were stripped en- 
tirely bare in those portions of the coun- 
ty where the young hoppers were most 
numerous. Had the ravages of the native 
hoppers been the only damage, the county 
could have borne the infliction. A fine 
growing season causeil the ciops in many 
places to get ahead of the young hoppers. 
Wheat and oats were growing splendidly, 
sod corn was an especially promising crop, 
and all garden vegetal)les were growing 
as they seldom have since. The wings of 
the young hoppers having fully developed, 
about the middle of June they began theii' 
flight out of the country. Fnv several 
days, from ten o'clock in Ihc iiioi'iiing 
until three in the afternoon, the air was 
filled with the winged emigrants, all trav- 
eling in a niH'theasterly direi'tion. It 
was hoped that the ravages for llic year 
were at an end, but it was not to be. 

Dui'ing the first days of .Inly came an 
invasion of ''foi'eign" hoppers out of the 
northeast, which made it evident that the 
country was not to cscajie with llic (hiinage 
done by the native justs. I'he destroying 
agents remained in Rock county several 
days, doing great damage. Rut the loss 
by this invasion was not total. 

About the middle of July the grasslnjj- 
pers were again seen coming out of the 
northeast, and this visitation resulted in 
almost totfil annihilation of crops. Be- 
fore they depailcil llic cuuiily was lilerallv 

•The proces.s of hatohin;^ wa.s interesting. In 
each nest, a half inch or more below the .sur- 
faee of the ground, invariably in hard earth, 
were from twenty to fifty eggs. WHien the 
sun warmed the ground sufficiently to hatch 
the eggs, the pith.v covering of the nest popped 
oft and a squirming mass of little yellow 
hoppers poured out. Each was encased in a 
sort of shell or skin, which It immediatel,\' 
began to pull off. Then, after taking a mo- 
ment's view of the world, each littli- liopiicr 

alive with them. And wjiat havoc they 
wrought! So thick was the air with the 
flying pests that at times the sun was par- 
tially obscurcil. They appeared to the 
people below like a vast cloud, sweeping 
sometimes in one direction, sometimes in 
another — always going with the wind, but 
never traveling any distance to the west or 
noithwest. At evening when they came 
down near the caitli, the noise they maili- 
was like a roaring wind. Those that 
alighted on the prairies seemed to know 
wliei-e the gi'ain fiehls and gardens were 
and gatheied in them frnm all diiections. 
k]very cornstalk bent to the earth 
with their weight. The noise they made 
eating could be heard from (|uite a dis- 
tance and resembled thai wliieli might 
have been made l:)y hundreds of hogs 
turneil into the fields. In faet. sufh was 
the deslnielioii that uilhin four hours 
after tliev came dow n, w hole lields of corn 
and small grain were as completely har- 
vested as though they liad been cut with 
a i'ea]ier and hauleil away. It was a dis- 
emiragiiig sight.'* 

.Vfter gorging themselves with the cro|)s. 
the ho]iper-s sometimes piled up in the 
fields and along the road often to a depth 
of (Hie or two feet. ITorses could hardly 
be ili'ivi'ii Hiroiigli Iheiii. Stories have 
been tohl of railway trains becoming block- 
aded by the pests .so as to be unable to 
move until the insects were shoveled from 
the track. 

This second successive crop failure was 
a terrible blow. A great many who had 
not been hard pressed by the conditions in 
1S73 were now reduced to the common 
le\('l; their savings had lieen spent ami 

hopped away in search of something to cat. 
At birth the.v were about a quarter of an incli 
long and bad no wings, but these developed 

^According to the report of the commissioner 
of statistics, the loss of the several croiis in 
twenty-eight counties of Minnesota in 1S74 
was as follows; Wheat. 2.646.802 bushels: 
oats. 1. 816. 733 bu.shels; corn. 738.415 bushels; 
barley. 58,962 bushels: notatoes. 221,454 bushels; 
llix seed. 52,833 bushels. 



they had iiu iiicniue. Those wliu were not 
compelled to live on charity were com- 
pelled to practice most rigid economy. 
Hay furnished the fuel; potatoes, pump- 
kins and S(juashcs — a few vegetables left 
by the hoppers — supplied the bulk of th" 
food. j\leat was not on tlie bill of fare, 
e.\ce]>t for those who could use a gun 
and bag the prairie chickens and ducks 
that were in great abundance. In this 
manner a large number of the settlers 
were obliged to jiass the wiulcr. 'I'hey 
bore their trials more cheerfully than 
jnight have been expected and made ])rep- 
arations to try their luck again next 

The question naturally arises : Why 
(lid the people of Rock county stay in a 
country in which the gra.sshoppers wrought 
such damage? It is doubtful if they 
would have remaineil couhl they have 
looked ahead and foreseen what they still 
had to go through, for this was not the 
end of the scourge l)y any means. A few 
discouraged ones did cK'pai't for their 
former homes. All who could went away 
each summer to woi'k in the harvest fields 
of more fortunate conununities and earn 
enough_to supply their absolute needs. 

The majority stayed with their claims 
and weathered the storms of adversity. 
Hope was abundant that each year's visi- 
tation would be the last. The fertility 
of the soil had been demonstrated, and 
it was known that once the country was 
free from the pests, it would become one 
of the richest spots in the west. The 
settlers had invesed all their accumula- 
tions of former years in improvements, 
and to desert the country meant that they 
must go as paupers. ]\rany were literally 

"The apportionment bv counties was as fol- 
lows: Pinewood. $200; Martin. $1,303.87; Rook. 
$1400; Cottonwood. $3237.02; Watonwan. $1808.83; 
J.ickson. $2817.82: Murray. $1902.82; Nobles. 
$1952.82; Brown. $300: others, $768.38. 

"The act was passed March 1. 1875. and pro- 
vided for the extension of time of payment of 

too j>oor to pay traiisport:d ion charges out 
id' the country. 

Those requiring relief during the win- 
ter of l.s;-|-7.5 were, of course, more num- 
erous than during tlie preceding winter. 
An appropriation t'or ndief was again 
made by the legislature, and $15,751.5(] 
was ilistrihuted among the needy in the 
grasshopper devastated counties." Rock 
county's share, $1400, fell short of the re- 
quirements. Clothing and other relief 
su]i|ilies were occasionally received during 
the Avinter from private sources — sup- 
plies which meant much to sutfering set- 
tlers. The TTnited States government, in 
a, small way, assisted in the care of the 
unfortunate people by the distribution of 
army lations and clothing. The distri- 
bution was made in the vacant Howard 
building on Main street, Tjuverne. Again 
the legislature granted an extension of 
time for the jiayment of ta.xes in some 
of the counties, and, of course. Rock coun- 
ty was among the number. Times im- 
proving hut slightly, the e.xtension was of 
little benefit. Peo])le who had not money 
to buy food and clothing could not pay 

Notwithstanding the terrible experien- 
ces of tlie two preceding vears, the farm- 
ers determined to jiut in a crop in 1875. 
The ground had been prepared, but the 
farmers were withont seed grain and with- 
out the means to purchase it. The legis- 
lature came to their rescue with an ap- 
propriation of $75,000, the act providing 
for the distribution of seed grain to that 
amount, with certain provisions for its re- 
payment. A state board of commissioners 
was appointed to conduct the distribution, 
and a local board was named in each of 

personal property taxes to November 1 in the 
counties of Martin, Jack.son, Nobles, Rock. Mur- 
ray, Cottonwood, Watonwan, Renville, I>yon 
and parts of Blue Earth, Faribault and Brown, 
In order to secure the extension it was neces- 
sary for the residents to give proof that they 
were imable to nay their taxes because of 
loss of crop in 1874 from grasshoppers or hail. 



the stricken counties to assist in the work. 
The money market was constricted, and 
tiie state was not able lo procure the casli 
to purchase more than $."10.(111(1 wortli of 
grain. Witli the seed received from the 
state and that wliicli was in the county, 
there was enough to seed a part of the 
prej)ared land in Eock county. 

Days of anxiety following the appear- 
ance of the grain above the ground. AVould 
the grassliopper scourge again come with 
its ruin and desolation ? As the season 
advanced the people with deep concern 
scanned the skies for the appearance of 
their old enemy. As eggs had not been 
deposited in Eock county the pieceding 
season, there were no young hoppers, and 
tlie only apprehension was in regard to an 
invasion by the "foreigneis." "^ridings 
soon came. On Monday. June "28, it was 
reported that a vast arniv was on its wav 
to the northwest IVoin h>\\:\ iiiid nthcc 
states to the south, headed, it was said. 
for the Bad Lands of Dakota. Tliey pass- 
ed over Sioux f'ity in great numbers and 
exteiidrd niii'tli to Sheldon. A few strag- 
glers along the right flank of the army 
were seen in Rock county and cieated some 
a)i)iri'hciisiiiii and caused a great deal o\' 
upward gazing. But the settlers thanked 
Providence that, so far, they were in the 
suljurbs of the movement. One curioiis 
feature of this movement was that it canu^ 
from the southeast; liefore, the hordes 
generally lame out of the northeast. What 
!c\v wece seen passing over Rock county 

'"'Williili the pnst fnittiight the hopper.s hnve 
(leployeil from the Miinn-sota river region. 

Ill Kock eount>- tlie ilamage i.s so trifling: 
as scarcely to deserve mention, tlie lioppers toe- 
ing comparatively few in nninlicr and confined 
to patches here and there." -Worlhington Ad- 
vance. .Tuly 23, 1875. 

'^There was really very little that the settlers 
could do to destroy or check the pests, al- 
though many schemes were tried. Nothing 
availed against the invading hordes, bnt in 
the case of the native hoppers tlie farmers 
waged a more or less successful war by the 
use of tar. "Hopperdozers." a sort of drag 
made of sheet iron and wood would he co\-- 
ered with tar and dr.age^ed o\er the ground, 
'riie >'oung hoppei-s would be caught in the tar 
and destroyed. .Another scheme was to pre- 

did no damage whatever. A report from 
J>iiverne early in July was to the effect 
that no damage had yet been done and 
that in Rock county the stand of grain 
was the largest ever known. 

The county was free from the pests un- 
til Saturday, July 10. Then a part of 
the ^linnesota valley hatcli came from the 
noitheast, feasted a few days on the grow- 
ing crops and departed, doing small dam- 
age." The settlers kept track of the movc- 
inenis of the grasshoppers as they would 
have those of an invading army of sol- 
diers. They knew that only by chance 
would they escape. They felt as though 
the sword of Damocles were suspended 
over them, ready to fall at any moment. 

The respite was not long. The dreaded 
pests appeared again about July 23 and 
for .'several days were engaged in eating 
grain and depositing their eggs. I^hey 
left the eiiiinty during the closing days 
(if .liilv ■iiid spi'cad out liver luirthw esterii 
Jowa. 'J'lie invading army of IS?.") was 
not so numerous as that of the year be- 
fore, neither did the jiests eat so ravenous- 
ly as formerly. They appeared to be of a 
degenerate breed, and bushels of thera 
died after ih'pusitiiig their eggs. It was a 
raganuiti'in, Kalstatfiii army (umparei! 
with that of isr4.' = 

In individual cases the loss xif croiis was 
quite severe, but generally in Rock coun- 
ty the ilamage was slight, and a big per- 
centage of the crop was saved.'" The 
farmers eagerly began the liarvest. and 

vent prairie fires during the summer and fall, 
conserving the grass until the hoppers had 
hatched in the spring. Then on a given day 
the county would be burned over and the pests 
destroyed. Ditches would be dug anil the hop- 
pers driven into them and burned; scoop nets 
were used, but little headway could be made 
with them. In some of the counties bounties 
were paid for their capture. In seven such 
counties ."iS.flig bushels were captured, upon 
which bounties aggregating $7(!,7S8.42 were paid: 
still no diminution vv.'is noticed in the damage 

""Reports from Rock eountj" say that most 
of the iioppers have left and that the ci-ops are 
but slighth' iniured." — AVorthington .Advance, 
July .'0. 1875. 



crops were well seeured. But the anxie- 
ties of the season wore not yet over. Dur- 
ing the entire week beginning August 31 
there was a continual downjiour of rain, 
wliich did much damage to grain in stack 
and shock. That in the shock sprouted, 
and all was more or less damaged. Blight 
injured some of the wheal, and instead of 
"jradinsr No. 1. it was second and third 

The conditions during the winter of 
187r)-7fi wore so much better than tlu\v 
liad been during the two preceding win- 
ters that vcr\' little relief was needed, and 
the county was able to supi>]y its own seed 
for the next crop. 

That there had been a marvelous in- 
crease in the population of Eock county 
during the two or three years of the dec- 
ade before the grasshopper came is 
shown by the census returns foi- 1875. Tn 
spite of the fact that there had been little 
immigration siiu-e 1873" and that a gi'oat 
many had moved away, there were found 
to be 1750 permanent residents in the 
county, an increase of about 1200 per cent 
in five years. By precincts, the popula- 
tion in 1875 was as follows: 

Luverne (township and village) 267 

Beaver Creek 226 

Vienna 121 

Kanaranzi 152 

Clinton 254 

Martin 320 

Magnolia '. 137 

Springwater H" 

Gregory"^ 163 

Total 1750 

"In 1S74 at least eighteen faniiUes, most i>f 
whom were from Winneshiek emnity. Iowa, 
settled in Martin and Beaver Creek townships. 

'included the present townships of Battle 
Plain. Rose Dell, Denver and Mound. 

'^Prior to the of this building the 
county business had been conducted in various 
places. For some little time after the rountv 
was organized in 1870 the various officers had 
their offices at their respective homes, the 
office of the register of deeds being within 
one mile* of the Iowa line. For a time after 
the construction of the Wold & McKay store 
building in 1S71 a desk for county officers was 
maintained there. Early in 187:! the upper 
room of the school house was fitted up and 

liock county came into possession of its 
(irst coiirt house .li;ly 28, 1875, when it 
jiurchased from A. C Croft for $625 lot 
seven of block eleven with tlie building 
occupying that lot. Tn this little frame 
structure the officers conducted the county 
business until tlie present I'ourl house was 
elected in 1888.'" 

The year lS7fi Ijrought the iHiilding of 
Eock county's first railroad — an event of 
the greatest importance to the people 
whose nearest railway points theretofore 
had lieeii Sibley and Worthington. The 
road, now a brancli of the Omaha system, 
was coni])leted to Luverne in the fall of 
187(1, to Beaver Creek in December, 1877, 
and to 8ioux Falls the next spring. 

The building of tho railroad was 
lirought about largely by the efforts of 
residents of Sioux Falls and vicinity. In 
(he fall of 1875 several public meetings 
wrvc held in that iiihiiul handet, the ob- 
ject of which was to secure the building 
of a road to Sioux Falls, either by local 
capital or by inducing the Sioux City & 
St. rail! railroad officials to construct a 
brancli from some point on its main line. 
'I'he point favored by tho Sioux Falls 
booiiicrs was Sibley or some other station 
in Iowa. Tho matter was taken up with 
President Drake, of the Sioux City & St. 
Paul road, who announced tliat his com- 
[ian\- was not at the time prepared to con- 
struct llic line, lull that he brlic\cd the 
propiT [ilacc to iinile with liis road was 

occuitied for county offices for a short time. 
In October, 1S73, the rear half of the .1. F. 
Howard store building was rented and occu- 
pied nine months. Then for a j'ear the front 
twenty feet of a building owned by S. J. 
Jenkins was rented for $120 per year. In 
May, 1S75, a committee consisting of J. H. 
Ferguson, E. D. Hadley and F. Howard was ap- 
pointed by the county commissioners to pre- 
pare plans for a court house and submit the 
same to the commissioners. As a result of 
this action the building was purchased, as de- 
scribed in the text. In August. 1879. a brick 
vault was built on the court house square at 
a cost of $.575. and the court house was moved 
to the new location. In the spring of 1880 the 
county authorities took steps to beautify the 
grounds by setting out trees. 



Worthiiij^tdii <ir tlio pdiiit where the rail- 
roiid crossed the Juwa state line.*' 

The c-oiniiiunication from President 
Drake was not satisl'aetory to the progres- 
sive people of Sioux Falls, for it promised 
no iininediate action. Thev continued the 
agitation, determined to construct a road 
themselves if necessary, and an associa- 
tion was formed, composed mostly of peo- 
ple of llinneliaha county, Dakota territory. 
President Drake had niven a hint as to 
the proper place fi'om which to build, and 
late in December, 1875, the Dakota boom- 
ers met and designated W'dithington as 
the eastern terminus of the proposed road. 
They made a preliminary survey IVdni 
Sioux Falls to the Eock county liiu' near 
Valley Springs and reported having locat- 
ed a favorable route. The Sioux Falls 
railroad committee virged the people of 
Rock and Noljles counties to unite with 
it in furthering the work.'^ 

During the month nf .tanuary, 1870, 
the Sioux City & St. i'aul Kaili-oad com- 

'■■•St. Paul. October 2.S. 1S75. 
"Sir: Your favor of the duly re- 
reived. Absence has prevented an earlier reply. 
It seems to me your proper line of road is 
from Worthington. or a point on our road at 
the state line. The great product of your 
country is to be wheat, and our route to Lake 
Superior is always to be the best route for it. 
Had the west escaped grasshoppers we would 
have long since taken up this project, but our 
stockholders have sunk in operating our road 
about as much as would be required to build 
to Sioux Falls. Foreign aid cannot he had un- 
til the state of Iowa, bv some act of lier legis- 
lature, can assure investors that they will be 
free from unfriendly legislation. I think, as 
matters now stand, our preference will be to 
build from some point in Minnesota. While we 
are not ready to I>egin to build, and would 
desire (in case we do) the co-operation of Sioux 
Falls, still we are not losing sight of tlie im- 
portance of the proposed route and will give it 
every encouragement in oui- power. I am of the 
opinion that the road can only be built iiy 
local aid, liberally voted. It will not be iii 
my power to be with you at your meeting, but 
whatever may be its result, and whatever 
route you may determine on, I shall wish you 
success. Your people are entitled to a road 
out in some direction, and when you develop 
your plans and determine what you wish to do. 
I shall be glad to have further correspondence. 
"R. F. DRAKE. President.' 

"In a private letter, dated Valley Springs. 
December 27. 1S75. M. S. Wood, chairman of 
the Sioux Falls committee, wrote; "Of coui'se. 
it is idle for this [Minnehahal county to at- 
tempt the enterprise unless the Nobles and 
Rock cotmty people will unite with it. By 
solicitation of the committee appointed to for- 

pany decided I" luiild the road. This ac- 
tion was taken l)ecause of the evident in- 
tention of the Southern Jlinnesota rail- 
road to invade the territory.'" The deci- 
sion was reached, ostensibly, through the 
efforts of the ]\linnehaha county commit- 
tee, who visited the officers of the railroad 
company and secured from them the 
promise to build the road.-" The railroad 
company a.«ked that the three counties 
through which the road was to run vote 
bonds as a bonus. 

'J'he comjiany was inccu'porated in 
:\laivh as th<' St. Paul & Dakota Railroad 
company-' by President E. F. Drake and 
his associates of the Sioux City & St. 
Paul. The caiiital slock was $600,000, 
there being (iOOd shares of $100 each. As 
told in the incorporation act, the company 
proposed to build a branch road "from 
some ]ioint on the line of the Sioux Citv 
\' St. Paul i-ailroad. in Nobles county, 
state of Miniiesoia. to the west line of the 
state of ilinnesota, in Rock county." 

ward the project. I write to a.scertain if we may 
expect prompt action on the part of your people. 
. I am confident that if Nobles and 
Rock counties will act with as much effect 
as our own people, and as jjromptb'. we can be- 
fore the next harvest show a line three-fourths 
of the entire distance graded and ready for 
the ties. Of coin-se this can only be done b>- 
the most active work in organization and in 
subsequent prosecution of the work." 

'"The Southern Minnesota, a part of the Mil- 
waukee sj'stem. which later built b>' wjiy of 
Pipestone, was at this time preparing to ex- 
tend its line westward from Winneliago (""ity, 
through Nobles and Rock counties, and was 
asking bonuses from the various counties 
through which it was to pass. 

-""Editor Advance: Permit me through the 
medium of your very excellent paper to state 
to .your people as a residt of a visit of 
the Minnehaha railroad committee we have the 
pleasure to state that our interview with the 
president and several of the directors of the 
Sioux City & St. Paid railroad was of a highly 
satisfactory character. 

"Brieflw let me say that as a result we 
bring with us a written proposition bearing 
the signature of President Drake, which we 
regard as highly reasonable, and. we may say, 
liberal, which, by prompt acceptance and ac- 
tion on the part of Nobles. Rock and Minne- 
haha comities, promises to give us a railroad to 
T.uvcrne in time to move the crops of this 
year, and final completion to Sioux Falls be- 
fore the close of the year 1S77. — M. S, Wood. 
Chairman." ' 

-'The name was changed to the Worthington 
& Sioux Falls Railroad compain- in July. 1K76. 
and a few years later the road became a part 
of the Omaha system. 


The people shown in the picture from left to right are (bottom row) : P. O. 
Skyberg, County Treasurer; Robert Cobban, County Commissioner; Wil- 
liam Maynes, County Commissioner; Stewart Young, Auditor; Goodman 
Anderson, County Commissioner; John Kelley, Register of Deeds; (top 
row), Martin Webber, County Commissioner; J. O. Helgeson, Clerk of 
Court; Hattie Shoemaker, Clerk in Register's Office; Mary Gillam, Clerk 
in Auditor's Office; C. A. Reynolds, County Commissioner. 




So soon as the Sioux City & St. Paul 
railroad interests decided to build the road 
they made known their wants. Rock coun- 
ty was asked to issue bonds to an amount 
of $.50,000 and the other counties to be 
traversed a proportionate amount. Gen- 
erally, tJie people of Rock county were 
entliusiastically in favor of issuing the 
bonds, despite the fact that they weic in 
the midst of the grassiiopper scourge. On 
JIarcli 21, ]S?(i, they i>resented a |ic'ti- 
tion to the board of county comniissinn- 
ers, asking tliat body to call an ck'eth)n 
to vote on the proposition. The county 
board, consisting of C. A. lie\nolds, V. 
J. Kniss and Niels Jacobson, took the re- 
quested action on tliat day and issued a 
call foi' a special election to l)e held April 
11. At the election bonds were cai'riecl 
iiy a vote of 333 to 153, tiie result by pre- 
cincts being as follows: 





Clinton . 

92 ' 












Beaver Creek 








Bonds to tlie ajnount of $l,v\7r)0 were 
delivered to the railroad company, in ac- 
cordance with the expressed wish of the 
voters and an agreement entered into be- 

--A state law at the time prohibited counties 
from issuing bonds to a greater amount than 
ten per cent of assessed valuation. The Rocl< 
county valuation in 1S76 was onlv $321,159. On 
the twenty-ninth day of April. iS76, the board 
of county commissioners entered into an agree- 
ment with the railroad company to issue bonds 
(when the worl< had reached a certain stage) in 
a sum equal to ten per cent of the assessed 
valuation for 1S77, which amount, however, 
should not be more than $50,000. The valuation 
that year was $-)27.503, and bonds to the 
amount of $42,750— three dollars less than the 
terms of the agreement called for — were is- 
sued. The first issue of $24,400 was made 
July 1. 1S76, and the second of $1*1,350 on Jan- 
uary 1, 1S78. 

tween the county board and the railroad 
officials in April, l.S7().-- 

'^I'he work of constructing the new line 
was rapid. The preliminary survey was 
staKed west from Worthington Marcli 31 
and the permanent survey was made a few 
weeks later. Grading was begun in May 
and track-laying wa.s commenced June 
■^0.-^ Tile grade was completed to Rock 
river in .\ugust, and tlie track was com- 
pleted to the same point late in Septem- 
ber, the wdi-k lin\iiig liceii delayed by 
heavy and continued rains. The first reg- 
ular train was run over the line to Lu- 
verne October 2,'-'^ and a few days later 
the first shipment of goods was made over 
the new line, Luverne was the terminus 
of tlie road until lafc in the year 1877, 
when it was extended to Beaver Creek; 
the following spring the line was extend- 
ed to Sioux Falls. 

Desiiite the forebodings of disaster 
from another grasshopper visitation, the 
people of Rock county were in good spir- 
its in the spring of 1870. Many obtained 
work with the construction crews on the 
railroad, and money was more plentiful 
than if hail been for a number of years. 
In those ])ortions of the county where 
eggs had been deposited the year before 
the hoppers hatched and late in May were 
up to tlieii' old tricks. They were, ap- 
parently, not so voracious as formerly, 
and very little damage was reported up to 
July 2'i. Then was repeated the experi- 
ence of former years. 

Vast clouds of the pests came out of 

^"The trackmen commenced laying the iron 
rails from the junction near Worthington last 
Monday, Several miles ha-ve been comjiletcd 
and the work is being pushed along with the 
same degree of energy that has characterized the 
undertaking from its Inception," — Rock County 
Herald, June 24, 1S76, 

-■•The train consisted of one coach and a ca- 
boose and carried a party of visiting railroad 
officials. Peter Becker was conductor; Frank 
Swandollar, engineer; Matt Dulan. fireman, John 
McMillan was roadmaster in charge of the 
branch line when it began operations. 



the iini-tliwi'st on the twenty-second and 
attacked the growing fields with their old- 
time vigor. The country was invaded 
again! The grasslmppers extended from 
Martin county, Minnesota, to Yankton, 
Dakota territory, and from Sihlcy, Town, 
to an indefinite distance to the iKuih. 
They remained in Tiock county in great 
numhers until the last of July, and it 
was August before all had disappeared. 
During this period they feasted contiini- 
ally and deposited their eggs. Oats, bar- 
ley, corn, vegetables, and all crops except 
wheat were badly damaged ;== wheat, by 
some strange turn of fate, was only a par- 
tial loss. That ultra-conservative chron- 
icler of the grasshopper scourge, the Eoclc 
County Herald, on July 39, 187G, told of 
the damage : 

We've had 'em, it is true, in large num- 
bers, and considerable damage has been 
inflicted upon the crops in various locali- 
ties, yet if we escape further injury, Rock 
county will produce a surplus of small grain 
in excess of that of 1875. 

Gardens and young trees have suffered 
severely by the visitation of our old enemy 
and corn fields in some localities have been 
stripped, while in others an abundant yield 
is promised. Oats are damaged on an av- 
erage, perhaps, to an extent of one-third of 
the crop, while the wheat crop, which is 
the main reliance of our people, has so far 
escaped with comparatively little damage. 
From the most reliable reports from all 
parts of the county, and from the state- 
ments of competent judges, we should say 
that if wheat escapes further injury it will 
not fall below three-fourths of a full crop. 
If the reports of various newspapers can 
be relied upon, we may congratulate our- 
selves on having escaped with so little dam- 
age. If no further accident befalls the crop, 
which is nearly ready for the harvest. 
Rock county will have "bread and to spare." 
Our people, with very few exceptions, are 
hoiii'ful of the future and confident of their 
ability to cope successfully with their wing- 
ed adversaries. They are not yet disposed 
to abandon pleasant homes to the piratical 

Again ou .\ugiist .-) the same jnurnal 

said : 

-•A I^uverne citizen, on ,Tuly i:,. ISTfi. wrote: 
"There never was a hotter prospect fni- an 
ahunrtant crop than tliere was here milil a 
few days ago, . . . hut our brilliant pros- 

The crops of this county will average With 
those of the state at large. It is true, the 
hoppers were here in countless numbers 
and worked injury to a considerable portion 
of the crops, but it is the opinion of com- 
petent judges throughout the county that 
we will harvest a two-thirds crop and have 
a greater surplus of small grain than ever 

There was no disguising the fact that 
liock county had met another damaging 
setl)ack. ^lany who had fought the scourge 
so long gave up and riuit trying to raise 
crops; some left the cotmty. The pros- 
pects were, indeed, discouraging. Tlic 
grasshoppers had again deposited tiicir 
eggs, and there seemed little prospect that 
the countrv would ever be free from them. 
:Many did not give up, however, but deter- 
mined to fight to a successful end or meet 
utter failure in the attempt. The result 
of the invasion of 1876 was a change in 
tactics. Instead of staking all on grain 
farming, many now turned to stockrais- 
inu'. To discuss means of contending 
with the common enemy, delegates from 
all the devastated counties of southwest- 
ern Minnesota met in convention at Wor- 
ihington on September 30, 1876. Meth- 
(kIr of fighting the pests were discussed 
and plans made for reducing the ravages. 
Eelief from the TTnited States govern- 
uu'ut was asked. 

The legislature of 1877 took measures 
to relieve sufPering in the devastated coun- 
ties. Oiii' hundivd thousand dollars was 
;ippr(i|iiiiilr(l t" be u>ed in bounties tn 
p;iv fdr (he deslriirtinii (if grasshuppcrs 
and (heir eggs. $1."i.iHl(l Id furnish ^ivA 
-i-iiiii. mill nniilher siiui for a cdiiiiiinii i-e- 
lief fund. l''arly in April llock county's 
^llll^e df the seed grain was distributed. 
.\s piddf that souu>tliing besides grasshop- 
pei's luul been raised in Eock county in 
l,sr(;. all the grain granted to Rock coun- 
ts iipplieiints was purchased within the 

poets are hliKhted, our hopes arc gone. I never 
saw so sudden a ehange from cheerful pros- 
perity to sad adversity." 



fdiiiily, till' pi-iccs pjiid being ^l.S.") per 
husliel I'm' wlient :uul firty-tliree cents lor 

Notliing else having been availed to 
lid tiie state of the locusts. Governor 
.lolin 8. Pillsbiiry named a day for fast- 
ing and prayer, and by proclamation re- 
(|iicsted every citizen to observe Thursday, 
Ajjril 3(), 1877, as a day on which to hold 
religious meetings and ask for deliverance 
from the scourge. 

The annual dread of grasshopper visi- 
tation was again felt in the spring and 
summer of 1877 — and this time the set- 
tlers were agreeably disappointed. The 
sea.son was admirably adapted to two 
ends : the best possible development of 
small grain, and the worst possible devel- 
opment of the locusts. The cool, rainy 
weather of the spring and early summer 
seemed to have been sent on purpose to 
give wheat and other small grain a rapid 
and healthy growth, and at the same time 
give iiie grasshoppers a slow and fc('I)le 
development. After the young grasshop- 
pers hatched, here and there a field was 
somewhat damaged by them, but the peo- 
ple knew that unless raided again by tiie 
invading hordes there could not be uni- 
versal destruction. And the invaders did 
not come. 

Contributing largely to the unexpected 
good fortune was a little red para.sitc. 

="'While here last week. Captain Blakeley 
made a mo-st searching examination of his vast 
area of breaking: to discover the presence of 
grasshopper eggs. The result convinced the 
gentleman that very few sound cocoons remain, 
and he considers the prospects of a good crop 
next season as fa\'orable. barring invasion by 
flying hordes of the pestiferous insects." — Roci< 
County Herald, October 21. 1876. 

""In many localities throughout the district 
infested with grasshopper eggs, there is a 
small, red bug. whose special mission seems 
to be to destroy the larvae of the grasshopper, 
and most encouraging reports are current re- 
specting the destructive habits of the strange 
insects. In certain localities in our own county 
where the ground was known 'to be thickly 
peppered with eggs, scarcely any have escapeil 
the vigilant search of these industrious para- 
sites. A shovelful of earth is frequently found 
to contain a.s many as fifty insects, all running 
hither and thither and delving in the loose soil 
in search of what appears to be coveted tidbits. 
the eggs of tlic locusts. We have Ijeen sliown 

which attacked and destroyed tlie gra,ss- 
liojtper eggs in their nests in the fall-" 
and early spring montiis. Later the par- 
asites attacked the young hoppers, load- 
ing down their frail wings and carcasses 
until it was almost impossible for thoiii 
to fly. ISushcls of the jwsts died Ijefore 
they developed sufCicieiitly to do dam- 

Early in May a few grasshoppers hatch- 
ed on the sunny slopes, but in such small 
numbers that the parasites made away 
with them before any damage was done. 
Later in the month there was a more gen- 
eral hatch. On a few farms they were in 
sufficient numbers to do some damage, es- 
pecially in Magnolia township, but prac- 
tically the loss was nil. Cool weather 
continued until the middle of June, hav- 
ing the effect of keeping the hoppers quiet 
and off the fields. In some localities the 
]>ests were reported dying in considerable 
numbers. In the latter part of Juno the 
hoppers becaiue more active and in a few 
localities went to work with sometliing of 
their old-tiiue vigor. During the latter 
part of July and the first part of August 
gi'assho]H)ers were constantly on the wing, 
driven about by brisk winds. Only occa- 
sionally did they settle long enough to 
attack the grain fields. While they contin- 
ued a menace during the entii'e season, 
the actual damage done was little,"' 

a quantity of earth taken from the farm of 
Com.missioner Reynolds, in Springwater. wliich 
at the time of removal contained at least ft 
score of the insects and a number of cocoons 
or sacks of grasshopper eggs. In two days 
from the date of digging, the red parasites re- 
mained, but not a single egg could be found, 
onl.v a few dr.y particles which a day before 
had constituted the covering of our worst 
enemy. At the present rate of destruction, if 
the weather continues conl and wet. ten da.vs 
will suffice to rid the earth of a host of em- 
bryo grasshoppers and insure a steady gi'owth 
of grain where it was thought a waste of time 
and seed to sow. If it should prove that these 
tiny insects are capable of exterminating an 
enemy whose ravages man has hitherto been 
powerless to stay, the little scarlet-coated fel- 
lows will be regarded with a feeling akin to 
reverence." — Rock County Herald. .April 27. 1877. 

^""Grasshoppers have been flying every day 
this week, sometimes in one direction, again 
taidtig tiie opposite coiu'se. according to the 
direction of the wind. Some have taken the 



Encouraged by the assistance given by 
tlie jjarasites, the i'ai-niers attacked the 
pests with all kiinwii modes of warfare. 
Under the supervision of a "superintend- 
ent of burning prairie grass" the prairies 
(the ileail grass lia\ing been conserved 
until this time) of a large portion of the 
county were liurncd on Wednesday, May 
16.-" .Some (lid uol apjily the torch on 
the date set, preferring to wait until 
warm weather should ln-ing foi'tli more of 
the insects, Ind inauy were dcslniycd in 
this HKUiuiT. '"liiiiiiierdozers" were put 
in genei'al use in llir spring, and a reli>nt- 
less war was waged. 

As the season advaiii-ed it became evi- 
dent iliaf if the ravages of the grasshop- 
pers could he held in check. Rock county 
would pi'oduce an cuiuiiimis ci(i|i. \\\ 
the middle of August the harvest was 
conij)lefed, and the fii'st cro]) in yeai's had 
been saved.-'" Tlic yicM id' the three prin- 
cipal cereals in IS'IT was as follows: 
Wheat, ■.' .-);!..■) 1)7 bushels, average, 1.5.81 
per acre: oats, !)1,!)04 bushels, average, 
36.97 per acre; coi'ii, ll,:i(i(i bushels, av- 
erage, ](i.77 pel' acre, li was a time of 

troubltj to aUght lor rest and rpfre.shments, 
but .so far we have not heard of any damage 
to props worth mentinninK. The fear of a 
visitation, however, will continue to harass the 
farmer until the harvest is over." — Rook Coun- 
ty Herald. August 3. 1877. 

-^"All persons who own. occupy or oversee 
any lands in Koci^ comity upon whicli any grass 
of last year's growth remains are hereby order- 
ed to burn the same on the sixteenth day of 
May, 1S77. or, if on aecount of rain on that 
or the previous day the grass shall be wet, 
as soon thereafter as the same shall become 
sufficiently dry. Please set the grass on fire 
early in the morning, around the fields of grain 
before the young hoppers go from the grass to 
the grain to feed. In this way nearly all the 
posts will be destroyed and will, I trust, obviate 
the necessity of spending any more time during 
the season for that purpose." — Ira Prawford, 
Superintendent of Burning of Prairie Grass. 

™" . . . Now it has been demonstrated 
that excellent crops can be grown along with 
millions of grasshoppers, tlicse pests will 
cease to be a constant terror, capital will flow 
in. oui- cbe.'ip lands will find occiiijants, our 
county will entci- upon a new era of pi'osperit.v, 
and the past wilh ils bitter lessons and unplea- 
sant memories will be forgotten in the new 
prosperous present." — Rock County Herald, 
August in. 1S77. 

"'"These are the days when the wily granger, 
inspired by a desire to get in first at the eleva- 
tor, cunningly gets up at 2:35 a. m. and 

jubilee: Every resident seemed imbued 
with new life. When the golden sjrain 
c-aiiu' pouriii*^ in, business men began in- 
creasing tlieir stocks; farjners began im- 
proving tlieir farms and getting their 
lands in readiness for next year's crop. 

Luverne, being the terminus of the rail- 
road, was tlie center of activity during the 
grain marketing period and tlie distrib- 
itling point tor a marninotli territory. 
(J rain was liauled from points only a few 
tiiiK'S froMi ^'ankton, Dakota territoi-y, 
and from long (]islani-os to Ihe north and 
sonth. The grain haulers invariably took 
back loads of luml>cr and provisions. The 
one elevator at Ijuverne was, of course, 
nnal»le to projjcrly handle tlie grain that 
jioured in and much confusion resulted.-"'' 
Diirin.u- the season ^SS,:^?!) bushels of 
wheat alone were marketed in T.nvcrni', 
which was sold at an avei'a,m' prici^ of 
eighty cents per bushel. I'his distributed 
cavsli to the amount of $;>1(),703, a great 
part of which was expended for lumber 
and iniplenuMits with which to develop tiie 

For the tirst time since the coming of 

slips into town to find himself the eighty- 
fdiirth removed from the hopper. . . . One 
hundred impatient teamsters in charge of as 
many loaded wagons remained over Thursday 
night to take Iheir places, in regular order, 
in the endless procession of wheat-laden 
veliicles waiting to discharge their cargoes at 
the elevator." — Rock County Herald, Novembtr 
2, 1877. 

"Our distant readers can have but faint con- 
ception of the vast amount of wheat handled 
at this point; indeed, it seems a wonder to 
those best acquainted with the country where 
all these processions of grain-laden wagons 
come from. On Monday evening of this week, 
after a hard day's work by the elevator men. 
there remained by actual count no less than 
170 loads of wheat to be disposed of. and by 
sunrise next morning this number had been 
augmented by new arrivals to upwards of 200. 
Of course, this amount of grain is far lieyond 
the capacity of the elevator to properly han- 
dle, and scores of impatient men were com- 
pelled to remain here two nights waiting their 
turn to unload. So great lins been the rush 
at the elevator that, notwithstanding its nui- 
ning time was incre:is<^d to thirteen hours per 
day last week, a string of 100 to 150 teams has 
been constant^v in waiting since that time, and 
in order to relieve the pressure the officers 
of the company have emT'lnyed an extra set 
of men. who arrived on the morning's train, 
and hereafter the elevator will be operated 
night and day. and we are authorized to say 
that henceforth grain brought to this market 
will be promptly unloaded. "^Herald. November 
IG. 1S77. 



the grasshoppers, imniigraiits arrived in 
Rock county in 1877. This was caused to 
a great extent by the buiUling of the rail- 
road. Pinching hard times in the older 
states and the opportunity to secure cheap 
lands in proximity to market in fertile 
Rock county added to the cause of their 
coming. Even during the summer sea- 
son, when the grasshoppers were threat- 
ening the destruction of crops, several ar- 
rived and selected homes. When it be- 
came evident that the croj) was safe and 
that Rock county could produce some- 
thing besides grasshoppers, the immi- 
grants poured in and located in all parts 
of the county.'"- These came prepared fo 
build on tlieir lands, and the lumber deal- 
ers were unable _to replace their stocks 

^-"Land seekers continue to arrive on every 
train, and hardly a day passes without inquiry 
for cheap lands. Day by day it becomes more 
apparent that we are on the thresliold of bet- 
ter times, and that an era of prosperity is be- 
ginning to dawn upon those who have possessed 
the pluck to stick to their farms." — Rock Coun- 
ty Herald, September 7, 1S77. 

'^Of the three hundred odd thousand acres 
of land in Rock county, over one hundred 
thousand acres— nearly one-third of the total 
area — were granted to railroad companies. Of 
this amount. 16,228 acres were granted to the 
Southern Minnesota (Milwaukee) railroad and 
84.170 acres to the Sioux City & St. Paul 
(Omaha) road. 

The history of the grant of Rock county 
lands, which were many miles from the rail- 
road, to the latter company is compiled from 
the records of the general land office and 
other records. 

In 1857 congress passed an act granting to 
the territory of Minnesota, for the purpose of 
aiding in the construction of certain railways, 
and among them a railroad from St. Paul and 
St. .\nthony to the southern boundary of the 
territory in the direction of the mouth of the 
Big Sioux river, every alternate section of 
land designated by odd numbers for six sec- 
tions of width on each side of such railroads 
and their branches. The act also provided 
that in case any of the lands so granted had 
been already settled upon, the railroads should 
select other unoccupied lands in lieu thereof, 
hut that such indemnifying lands should not 
be more than fifteen miles from the line of 
such road. Subsequently, by act of May 12. 
1S64. for the purpose of giving aid to' this 
particular road, congress granted to the state 
of Minnesota four additional sections per mile 
along the line of said road and extended the 
indemnity limits to twenty miles. 

The company originally organized to build 
the road in question was known as Ihe Min- 
nesota Valley Railroad company. This com- 
pany located its line of road so far as the 
northeast corner of Nobles county by Novem- 

fast enough to meet the demand. By this 
time nearly all tiie government lands had 
been taken, and tlie newcomers turned to 
the raih'oad lands, which were on the 
market at reasonalile prices.''^. 

Adding to tlie prevailing boom times 
was the extension nf the railroad from 
Tjuverne to the new t(i\vn of Reaver Creek. 
'I'be right-of-way was purchased in Au- 
gust, 1S77. grading was (Mimnieiiied in Oc- 
tober, track-laying in November, and tlie 
line was in operation l>y the first of the 
year. Another e\'ent nf importance in 
1877 was the construction of the first 
flouring mill, which was erected on Rock 
river in Clinton township by D. Estey & 

ber. 1858, and the remainder of the line to the 
southern boundar.v of the state was located in 
1866. The right of the railroad to the lands 
att:ached when the line was located, and imder 
the provisions of the law the lands were to be 
conveyed b.v the state to the company as fast 
as every twenty miles of road were built. 

Meanwhile, the Sioux City & St. Paul Rail- 
road company of Iowa had been organized. The 
company had its own land grant in Iowa and 
was organized for the purpose of connecting 
with the Minnesota Valley railroad, thus form- 
ing a continuous line from St. Paul to Sioux 
City. The compan.v was virtually the same as 
the Minnesota Valley company, and in order 
to equalize the length of the road to be built 
b.v each company, steps were taken to con- 
solidate, and to make the Sioux City & St. 
Paul company a Minnesota corporation. This 
was done by an act of the legislature in 18G!). 
by which, also, the Minnesota Valley company 
was authorized to transfer to the Sioux City 
& St. Paul company so much of its line and 
land grant as it might deem proper. In accord- 
ance with this act. in 1872. the Minnesota 
Valley company (which, by the way. by an act 
of the legislature, approved March 1. 1870, had 
changed its name to the St. Paul & Sioux Citv 
Railroad company) transferred its line and 
land grant lying west of St. James to the 
Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad company, and 
the road from St. James to the state line was 
built and owned by the last named corporation. 
Following the provisions of the law regulating 
land grants, the state of Minnesota, to whom all 
the lands lying along the located line of the 
railroad had been certified by the Tinited States, 
ti'ansferred the lands to the railroad company 
as fast as the road was built. 

A part of Rock county lying within the in- 
demnity limit, the odd numbered sections of 
a great part of the county became the pro|iertv 
of the railroad company when the line was 
constructed in 1871. This is the chain of title 
to these lands. The lands were virtually deeded 
b.v the I'nited States to the territory and state 
of Minnesota, and by the state of Minnesota 
to the railroad company. 



HENCEFORTH the story of Rock 
cDuntv is one of advancement. 
The (hirk and gloomy day.s are 
|ia.><t. No longer do the grasshoppers 
threaten the very existence of the settle- 
ment; no longer is it found necessary to 
solicit aid lor the relief of the inhahi- 
tants. The days of such adversity have 
hecome only a memory. It must not he 
understood tliat this change was \vro\iglit 
in a day, for it was not. Trials and trih- 
nlations were yet to assail those who hail 
home so much and so long, hut times 
were on the mend, and the year 18TS nsh- 
eifd in till' reconstruction era. I'eople 
lii'gan anew the work of progress that had 
Iji'cn interru|iteil when the first army nf 
grassllll|l[l^•r^' i-ame and placed a mnrt- 
gage iiH the counti'y in the sumnii'i' nl' 

In some ways the jieople of Wnrk coun- 
ty wciT in hetter condition than they had 
licen he fore the scourge. Most of those 
who had filed upon government land in 
the early .seventies now had title to their 
homes — and land hegan to have a value. 
.\ few had not met n'ith great losses dur- 
ing the ten-ilde scourge and were al- 

'Over eighty passengers, the greater num- 
her of whom wore in search of homes, arrived 
in I-.iiverne by rail February 27. The same 
class of people to the number of 112 arrivcil 
Mai'ch 19. and on the following day homeseek- 
ers filled the one coach the train affftrded. 

ready in position to begin the forward 
inarch. Jlany others, however, found it 
necessary to free themselves from debt be- 
fore the effect of the more prosperous 
times became apjiarent. 

The abundant crop harvested in 1877 
and the belief that the grasshopjier days • 
were a thing of the past were elements 
that aided largely in the start for better 
times. To all parts of southwestern Min- 
nesota and southeastern Dakota, but par- 
ticularly to Rock county and the Siou.x 
Falls country, the settlers flocked in the 
spring of 1878. Before the wagon roads 
became passable the settlers came by train, 
the great rush of homeseekers beginning 
during the closing days of Feliruary.' 
.\bont the middle of April the immigrants 
began to arrive in the well-remembered 
(to the pioneer .settlers) "prairie schoon- 
ers," or canvass-covered wagons, and these 
ciintinued to airivc in great and undimin- 
ished numbers until about the first of 
June. Twenty, forty, si.xty, per day they 
came, in many cases accompanied by 
droves of cattle, horses and sheep, house- 
hold goods and farming implements. Xol 
all of these stopped in Rock county, but 

the baggage ear, the platforms, and the tops 
of the freight cars. AH were men in search 
of land or business locations. The hotel.s were 
filled to overflowing, and livery teams were 
worked to skeletons taking the newcomers ovei* 
Ihc country to pick out the clioicc locations. 



HISTORY OF Rock county. 

a great many did." During the summer 
months the immigrants arrived in dimin- 
ished numbers, but in the fall the home- 
seekers again became quite numerous. 

As a general thing the newcomers were 
a well-to-do class. They came, not to 
take homesteads, but to purchase land 
and make improvements. Owing to the 
removal of so many settlers during the 
grasshopper years, there was much land 
on the market at reasonable prices, and 
all were given opportunity to become per- 
manent settlers. That the arrivals in the 
spring of 1878 came for the purpose of 
making homes is attested by the real es- 
tate sales during that period. Between 
the first day of April and the tenth of 
May the real estate transfers amounted to 
over a quarter of a million dollars. The 
transfers by deed covered 94,93.") acres, 
the aggregate consideration of which was 
•$i:i9,82n, or about $5.fiT per acre. The 
lfi,7()0 acres of schnol lands in the county 
were offered for sale on May 7, and 8941 
were sold for $(i7,T99.11, or an aver- 
age of $7.58 per acre. With the other 
sales the total for thi.s short period was 
over $350,000. Other statistics show prog- 
ress. The gross earnings of the new rail- 
road for the first six months of the year 
were $44,317.85, as against $6767.56 for 
the corresponding period in 1877. At the 
Luverne station for one week ending May 
31 there were received 1,747,150 pounds 
of freight. 

To make improvements on their newly 
acquired farms, the immigrants swamped 
the local lumber dealers with orders. Day 
after day lumber-laden wagon trains 
could be seen wending their way across 

'Here are a few figures showing the arrivals 
in Luverne during a part of .this period, only 
the covered wagons having been counted: Mon- 
day (April 29). IS; Tuesday. 12 ; Wednesday. 23: 
Thursday. 35: Friday. 25. From May 4 to 17, 
inclusive. 398 "sciiooners" arrived at the port 
of Luverne. wliic'h number did not include 
scores of open wagons which were arriving 
for the same purpose. On Monday. May 19. 
between sun and sun. sixty-one of the white- 
sailed vessels passed through Luverne, and be- 

the praii'ies to the new-found homes. The 
implement dealers also reaped a harvest 
supplying machinery, one Luverne dealer 
repotting the sale during the spring 
months of over one hundred harvesters 
and sixty self-binders. 

The acreage sown to the principal crops 
in 1878 was as, follows: Wheat, 25,434 
acres; oats, 4721 acres; corn, 2095 acres. 
Although the grasshoppers in diminished 
numbers visited N^obles county and some 
otiier portions of southwestern Minnesota 
ill 1878, Eock county was free from them. 
But the county was not destined to har- 
vest the mammoth crop to which it was 
entitled. Two weeks of excessively hot 
weather in the first half of July, followed 
by a week of excessive rain.s, injured the 
wheat crop. The damage was estimated 
at fi'oni fifteen to forty per cent, accord- 
ing to locality. Wien the grain was 
tlireshcd it proved of poor (puility and 
graded numbers three and four. 

The railroad was extended from Beaver 
Creek to Sioux Falls in this year of big 
immigration. Grading for the extension 
was begun in March and track-laying 
was commenced May 1. Trains were put 
in operation to Valley Springs during the 
closing days of May, and regular train 
service was established to Sioux Falls 
August 21. 

Rock county's second railroad, the Doon 
branch of the Omaha, was built in 1879. 
The survey for the road was made during 
the month of April, and the grading con- 
tract for the entire distance was let to 
Kniss & Brown, of Luverne, May 16. Ex- 
Gov. Stephen Miller at once began the 
purcha.^e of right-of-way, the grade stakes 

fore the week was over more than 200 had 
pas.sed through. A B^^aver Creek citizen, writ- 
ing early in May. said: "It has been a source 
of wonder to us. as we have watched the thou- 
sands of strangers passing through our village, 
where in the world they all come from. No 
less than 300 'schooners' have passed through 
here enroute 'to different parts of Rock and 
Minnehaha counties, ."^nd it is a notable fact 
that most of them come to stay, bringing with 
them their families and farming imi'lements." 



vVei'e set, and on ifay 28 grading was be- 
gun from tlie I^uverne end, the contract 
having been sublet by Messrs. Kniss & 
Brown to fanners along the new line. 
Track-laying was started July 30 and the 
line was completed to Rock Rapids about 
the first of October.^ Early in Xovember 
the railroad reached Doon, the terminus, 
and t.he first regular train over the new 
line was run November 10. 

Jn poi'tions of Rock county grasshop- 
pers did some little damage in 1879, be- 
ing confined to new breaking which was 
not back-set the fall before. The damage 
done was by native hoppers, and there was 
no invasion. About the middle of July 
they departed, never to appear again ; 
grasshoppers had eaten their last Rock 
county grain. The fact that they put in 
an ajipearance had a tendency to put a 
damper on the immigration, which other- 
wise would have resulted. Said the Rock 
County Herald of Xovember 38, 18711: 
"The reports so extensively circulated and 
exaggerated in proportion to the extent of 
their wide-spread circulation, respecting 
the grasshopper scourge in this section, 
have unrpiestionaldy injured this countv 
til an immeasurable extent." 

Early in tlie season prospects for a liig 
crop wore flattering. Over .5.3,000 acres 
were sown,' and line weatlier in the spring 
months promised a bountiful harvest. 
l»ut, while grasshoppers and storms 
brought little damage, the crop was light. 
Wheat was blighted, and the average yield 
was than ten bushels per acre ; corn, 
oats and flax did better. The local paper 
told of resultant conditions: "The times 
at present, owing to the failure of crops 
for two years past, arc hard, it is true, 

^".\ party of our citizens availed themselves 
of an opportunity to take a ride to Rock Rap- 
ids over the new road Saturday morning [Octo- 
ber 4] and enjoyed the trip amazingly. Tlie 
party consisted of M. McCarthy, his wife and 
his daughter Maggie; Mrs. Klein and children; 
Miss Delia Kimball and Will Langdon, The 
ladies above named may take to themselves 
whatever distinction lies in the fact that they 

but the drawbacks of the past two years 
are not of a local character or in any re- 
spect peculiar to this locality." In Mar- 
tin township particularly the settlers were 
hard hit. In addition to the other calam- 
ities of the season, a destructive hail 
storm, about half a mile in width, visited 
that township and brought great damage. 
Martin township in 1879 harvested the 
lightest crop in its history. 

Rock county harvested an excellent 
crop in 1880, as did all portions of south- 
western Minnesota, and more No. 1 wheat 
was raised than had ever been the case be- 
fore. The countv again became known 
as the "Land of Promise." Said the Rock 
County Herald on August 6: 

The memory of the oldest inhahitant re- 
calls no time in the liistory of the county 
when the growth of all kinds of grain was 
greater, the probable yield larger or the 
quality better. Wheat, with scarcely an 
acre throughout the county to break the 
uniform excellence, stands breast high, and 
heads are well filled to the top with large 
liUimp berries that will certainly be graded 
No. 1. Fax, of which the acreage is large, 
is equally good, and corn as a rule is liter- 
ally enormous. For once Rock county has 
escaped the scourges that have heretofore 
heset it and its incomparable, fertile soil 
has had an opportunity to give evidence 
of its productiveness. 

The acreage sown, the estimated yield 
in bushels and the average yield per acre 
of the several crops were as follows: 

































SuBar Cane 

Other ProductS- 



are the first ladies who ever rode over the Iowa 
division of the Worthington .>t Siou.\- Falls 
railway." — Rock County Herald. October 10, 

•The acreage was as follows: Wheat. 35,951; 
oats. 74S4; corn, 4806; barley, 1545; rye, 554; 
potatoes, 215; beans, 7; sugar cane. 13; tame 
hay, 320; flax 1399; total, 52,294. 


The farmers were not to realize to the nearly exhausted. People burned luiv and 
fullest e-\tent the fruits of the bountiful i^rain anil went witiiout lights. In some 
harvest. Frequent and heavy rains in jilaces theie was sulleiing for lack of 
August made it impossible to linish stack- food. Knads rcmniiiiMl unbroken all win- 
ing until about the middle of September, ter and the farmers obtained their sup- 
and thresliing had hardly commenced be- plies from the villages Ijy means of hand- 
fore the memorable winter set in, pre- sleds. The long, cold, boisterous, bliz- 
veuting further operations. The next zardous, weai'isome winter will never be 
spring weather conditions were no better, iorgotten by those who were then living 
and a large part of the 1880 crop had not in Rock county. 

been threshed on July 1, 1881. It was Before the farmers had fairly started 

impossible to market the grain that had their fall work, while the grass was yet 

been threshed because of the impassable green and tlie insect world active, winter 

roads and the railroad blockade. set in. Toward evening on Friday, Oc- 

The federal census of 1880 gave Rock tober 1.5, the wind, which had been blow- 
county a population of 3G69,'* of which ing from the north all day, brought with 
265-t woio native born, and 101.5 of for- it an occasional flake of snow. Wlren dark- 
eign birth. This was a gain of over ness came the wind and snow increased, 
one hundred per cent in five years and of and before midnight the elements were 
nearly 2700 per cent over the federal cen- thoroughlv aroused. Throughout the 
sus of 1870. By ]irocincts the popula- night the storm steadily increased, and 
tion of the county in ISSO was as follows: when morning came its furv was such as 

Battle Plain 142 had been seldum witnessed in the middle 

Beaver Creek 483 /■ i i i. ■ i C5 i i r 

pjjj^jjjij 237 "1 the severest winters. Saturday tore- 
Denver 104 noon the wind continued to blow witli tcr- 

Kanaranzi 192 •/■ ■ i ^ ■ ■ if -j. ai • n 

Luverne Township 221 '■'"'' vi'^lcnce. driving before it the rapidly 

Luverne Village 679 falling snow with such force that few dar- 

^^SnoUa 240 ,,,^ ^,^ ^.,,,^j,„.^ ^,^,^_ ^^ ^1^^,,^_ .^„ ,^ . f,,^ 

Martin 545 

Mound 244 blizzard raged, not calming down until 

^°^.^ ^"^l ]lt iil'fer nightfall. Satiirdav night the rag- 

Springwater 198 

Vienna 188 ing elements ceased their tempestuous 

q, J J og(.q frolic. Sunday the weather was calm, but 

^ !■ ii 1 1 J. , ■ I i- • cohl and wintry. The fall of snow was 

One ot the dales irom which time is 

reckoned in Rock county is the winter of S''^'"^ '^"^^ ^'>'' '''"^"''^ ^^'"'^'^ P''^"^ '^ ^" 

1880-81-the sea.son of Siberian frigid- ^''^^'i* The streets of Luverne 

ity. There have been worse storms than ■""! P'*"'!^'"'" ^'''^^^'^ ^^'■'■'' P'>''^'''1 I'""- ^'i^ 

any that occurred that winter; for short l'i>"ks in many places on the north side 

]ieriods of time there has been colder rising almost level witli the second story 

weather. But there never was a winter windows and roniplctcly covering from 

to compare with this one in duration, con- sight some of the smaller buildings. The 

tinned severity, depth of snow, and dam- Jmsiness houses in boih villages were for 

age to property. Blizzard followed hliz- tfie most part cIoxmI ,iiid the towns re- 

zard. The railroads were blockaded for senibli'd hcliuidic li;iiiilrts. Tln' snow 

weeks al a time. Fuel and food were ^^.|,j,.,, ,-.|| ,„ ,|,|. |,||,j.,| ,f,-„.„, ,|j,| „„t 

"Population of other southwestern Minnesntu 
counties: Pipe.stone, 2092: Nobles. 443.'i: Mur- 
ray. .1^09; .lacksiin. 47!15; Cottonwood. 55.'i4. 



entirely disappear until the following 

So Ijailly drifted was the snow thai tlic 
lailroads were completely hhickaded, and 
li'din the night of Friday, the tifteenth, 
iinlil the night of Tuesday, the nine- 
liTiith, no trains were able to get through, 
althiuigh large forces of men wore at work 
ch';n-ing the track. In (he cuuntiy dam- 
age hfcaiise of the stniiii was great. It 
\vas the first and imly hiizzard e.\]HMien- 
ct'd in llie (iiiiiii\ in Oitiihcr. ami, of 
ciuiise, the faianers were uii|]iepaied for 
it. The hiss of stock thidughout the 
cimnty was considerahle. many hogs and 
sheep, pan iiidarlv, having lieen frozen to 

For a shoit time after the initial sturm 
the weather was calm hnl wintry. Ahout 
the middle of Xovemher storms began to 
rage again, and wintry blasts continued 
from that time imtil late in April. For 
weeks at a time the people of Rock coun- 
ty were absolutely isolated. They spent 
long weeks of weary waiting in the midst 
of the dreariest, gloomiest and most dis- 
Jiially discouraging surroundings — wait- 
ing for the raising of the blockade and 
the arrival of the necessities of life, of 
which they were deprived. Because of 
the fuel and provision famine which en- 
sued there was consideraliie suffering in 
parts of the county. Severe cold weather 
began on Xovemher 10, and the following 
day the tbei'monieter registered nineteen 
degrees below zei'o. Fiecause of the inabil- 
ity of the railway company to provide a 
sufficient nundier of cars, a fuel famine 
resulted during the latter paid of Novem- 
ber, leaving the people illy supplied with 
the necessary article even before the rail- 
road bliickade began. 

•^"AUhough the freiglit blockade continues to 
pre\-ent the shipment of griOn. large (.luantities 
of wheat are daily brought to Lnverne and 
stowed away tinder ever.v availalile shelter. 
Every warehonse in the village is filled, all 
the bins in the elevator are full, and large cjuan- 
titie.s of wheat are stored away in sacks on the 
ground floor." — Rock County Herald, December 
24. 1880. 

Following is the storv of the winter, 
told in brief chronological (oder, trdin the 
lieginning of l)eceint)er until the breakup 
in the s|U'ing : 


1. Wood and hard coal again on tlie 
market, and fuel famine lifted, except soft 

4. Snow tailing, with wind. IVIain line of 
the Omaha road blockaded. 

5. Cold, windy and snow failing. 

6. Thermometer indicated twenty-seven 
degrees below zero. 

7. Windy, with snow squalls. 

10. Car famine and shortage of soft coal 

13. Light rain during the afternoon. 
17. Snow fell most of the day. 

24. Light fall of snow. Grain piling up 
in Luverne because of the freight blockade.' 

25. Windy and light snowfall. Last mail 
from the east until the thirtietli, due to 
snow blockade on main line of the Omaha. 

26. Blizzard. Mercury forty degrees be- 
low zero. 

27. Blizzard. Thirty-four below zero. 

28. Blizzard with furious gale from the 
north. Thirty-two below zero. 

29. Cold and stormy. 

30. Rise in temperature. First mail in 
several days received from Worthington. 
Main line still closed. 

31. Total number of stormy days in De- 
cember, 11. 


1. Wind changed to northwest. Snow at 

4. Mild weather. Fine sleet tell at night. 

5. Stormy. Snow drifting badly. 

6. Blizzard. Weather cold. 

7. Freight blockade reported disastrous.' 
9. Thermometer registered forty degrees 

below zero, where the mercury congealed 
and refused to register severer cold. Cold- 
est day of the winter. Air still. 

12. Blizzard with snow in the afternoon. 
Weather mild. 

13. Blizzard continued. Twenty degrees 
below zero. Train stuck in drifts at Beaver 

20. Storm from the north. No trains 
over the Worthington & Sioux Falls un- 
til the twenty-fourth. 

21. Blizzard raging. 

22. Still storming. 

23. Mild. Light snowfall. 
25. Cold. Snow drifting. 

""The circumstances under which the people 
of Luverne and -surrounding countr.v have been 
for a long time and are at the present time 
lilaced. in consef.pience of the freight blockade, 
the stagnation of Iju.siness. tlie low price of 
produce and the impossibilit.v of finding a 
market for grain occasioned thereby, are very 
luifortunate." — Rock County Herald, January 7, 



26. Blizzard from the north. No train 
until following day. 

27. Few empty freight cars received, 
and the elevator, after having been idle 
since December 20, resumed operations. 

28. Snow falling. Mild weather. 

30. Heavy snow storm at night. 

31. Heavy fall of snow, accompanied by 
north wind. No train until next afternoon. 
Total number of stormy days in January, 


1. Last mail from the east until Feb- 
ruary 18 received. Main line of the Omaha 
tied up. 

2. Boisterous storm. Snow falling. Last 
train over the branch until P^ebruary 18. 
Line completely snowed under. 

4. Blizzard from the southeast. Heavy 
snowfall all day. 

5. Blizzard. Few hours interruption and 
then began with increased fury. 

6. Blizzard continued. 

7. Blizzard until afternoon. Then rain- 
fall with mercury forty-eight above zero. 
South wind. 

8. Doon branch cleared of snow. 

10. Main line of the Omaha opened. 
After several days work the branch road 
nearly opened, expecting trains to begin 
operations on the twelfth. Plenty of fuel 
reported at Luverne. 

11. One of the worst blizzards of the 
season began, coming from the north. Rail- 
road again covered. 

12. Blizzard all day. 

14. Cold, with light snowfall. 

'"After a lapse of over two weeks without 
mail, the re-establishment of communication 
with the east will be hailed with the greatest 
lejoioing by tlie people along the line. Fortu- 
nately, thus far there has been but little, if any. 
suffering for want of fuel or provisions, but 
this state of affairs could not have continued 
much longer without supplies." — Herald, Febru- 
ary 18. 18S1. 

•"The entire line is even more effectiiallj- 
blockaded than at any time before this winter. 
Almost every day the engines with crews of 
men have been at woi'k at the east end at- 
tempting to clear the track, but every night 
tlie wind would fill up all the excavations and 
the work accomplished one day would ha\e to 
be begun again on the next. It is evident now 
that no regular trains can be expected imtil 
the snow is entirely gone, and it is even pos- 
sible that the road will not be opened at all 
until that time."— Herald. March 4. 1881. 

'""Since the first day of February one freight 
train has passed over the \Vi>rthington & Sioux 
Falls branch and only one mail has been re- 
ceived. During this time no wood has been 
brought in and only three carloads of coal have 
been received at this point. The first three 
weeks of the blockade occasioned no particular 
inconvenience in the matter of fuel and pro- 
visions and the ensuing two weeks have oc- 
casioned no suffering. At the present time, 
however, fuel is Ijecoming exceedingly scarce 
and merchants are running short of staple pro- 
vi.sions. Fuel dealers have been without hard 
coal since the first of February and their suij- 
plv of wood was exhausted three weeks ago. 
The condition of affairs at the present time is 
bad enough, but the worst it yet to come. 

17. Little snow in forenoon. Railroad un- 

18. Blockade lifted. First train over the 
branch arrived late at night, bringing 
eighteen days' mail.' 

19. Light snow. Main line again block- 
aded. Last train over the Doon branch un- 
til May 20. 

20. Train gets through from Luverne to 

21. Freight and passenger trains ran 
over the branch road on time. 

22. Hard snow storm. No train. 

23. Train from Sioux Falls to Worthing- 
ton, where it remained snow bound. Long 
blockade begun.'' 

24. Snow and south wind. 

25. Blizzard from the south. 

26. Blizzard from the northwest. 

■28. Total number of stormy days in 
February, 14. 


1. Mild weather, lasting two days. Fuel 
scarce.'" Car load of wood consigned to 
Luverne seized at Worthington. Railroad 
company authorized Luverne agent to sell 
railroad coal." 

3. Railroad's coal stolen. ''-' 

4. Fierce blizzard all day. Last car of 
railroad coal sold. 

5. Beginning five days of mild weather. 

6. Luverne churches hold union services 
to economize on fuel. 

10, Main line opened except small strip. 
Shovelers working on branch road, expect- 
ing line open on the twelfth. '■■ 

From the present outlook there is no reason 
to hope for fresh supplies for at least two weeks 
and it is even i)redicted l>y some that no freight 
will be brought in during the month of March. 
The situation is l),\" no means pleasant to con- 
template. Ma?iy [jeople in the village will be 
reduced sf)on to the extremity of using tlax 
straw for fuel, Mr, Ghar .\anenson offers to 
furnish fuel of this kind for the price of haul- 
ing — one dollar per load," — Herald, March 4, 

""Station Agent C. W. Held has received 
instructions from the railroad company to dis- 
pose of a fiuantit,v of coal left at this point 
last week for the use of the company. The 
coal is to be sold to the dealers at the invoice 
price to the company on condition that no deal- 
er shall sell more than 250 pounds to one person 
nor charge therefor more than one dollar," — 
Herald. March 4. ISSl. 

'="On Thursday night of last week [March 3] 
nearly four tons of coal were stolen fi'om the 
railroad company's liin. What was left in the 
bin was removed by Station Agent Held to the 
elevator and depot and sold. It was not the 
intention of the conu'any to sell this part of its 
stock, but tiu* agent prudently d<'enied it bet- 
ter to sell it than to have it stolen," — Herald, 
March 11, ISSl, 

""Another snow storm, just as the roads 
have been nearly opened at enormous expense 
and the people have begun to look forward with 
confidence to a speedy release fr(>m their six 
weeks' bondage, woidd be an afflictio?i on the 
part of the weather almost too ci'uel for en- 
durance."— Herald, March 11, ISSl, 



11. Blizzard from the east. 

12. Fierce blizzard. Heaviest snowfall 
of the season. All railroads buried. 

13. Fair weather. 

14. Severe blizzard, beginning at noon. 

15. Shovelers again attack drifts. 

17. Snow drifting. 

18, Worthington mail brought in over- 
land. Fuel famine serious." 

24. Snow drifting and undoing work of 

25. Sugar supply at Luverne exhausted; 
other supplies short.''' 

28. Main line clear between Sioux -City 
and Worthington. 

30. Main line open east of Worthington 
and first train from east in six weeks (lack- 
ing two days) reached Worthington. Branch 
line not open. 

31. Snow storm. Main line again closed. 

""Seven weeks shut out from communication 
with the out-side world; four weeks without 
mail or any information concerning the goings-on 
outside our own county; short of provisions and 
almost destitute of coal, besieged on every 
hand by the accumulations of snow piled up 
by almost innumerable blizzards; harassed and 
discomfited in almost every conceivable way by 
the omnipresent, interminable snow, with no 
more cheerful .source of comfort for the im- 
mediate future than the certainty of a long 
continuance of the same unpleasant circum- 
stances; this, in brief, is the unenviable state of 
affairs in Luverne and the country contiguous. 

"The outlook was rendered still more unin- 
viting [by last week's blizzard]. Few had more 
than two or three days' supply of fuel, many 
were still less fortunate, and others were 
even then reduced to the necessity of burning 
corn or flax straw. Tuesday Dr. Cullen tuined 
over to some who were destitute of fuel what 
wood he had at the elevator, but this, of 
course, supplied only a few and afforded them 
but temporary relief. The scarcity of corn, 
owing to the fact that most of the crop still 
remains in the field, makes it necessary to 
rely cliiefiy for future supplies of fuel upoii 
the timber along the river. Considerable quan- 
tities of this have been already cut and brought 
to the village. 

"Notwithstanding the discomfort above men- 
tioned, l.uverne is imquestionablv more for- 
tunate than most of the neighboring towns. Bv 
reason of the large stock of wood and coal 
our dealers had on hand at the time the block- 
ade began, we have been able to pass through 
a period of seven weeks without furtht^r sup- 
plies, and uji to the present time, so far as we 
can learn, all have been able to obtain fuel 
sufficient for their immediate wnnts. In so-i^p 
parts of the county it is more than proV)abIe 
that great hardships have been endured. Many 
farmers hnve depended solelv noon hny and 
flax straw for fuel. Others have found it neces- 
sary to tear down and burn portions of thr-ir 
out-buildings. In some instances farmers hnve 
been unable to get to mill and hove manufac- 
tured their own flour bv grinding wheat in 
coffee mills. How much worse may be the 
condition of affairs in districts- more remote 
from town remains to be learned." — Herald. 
March IS. 18!^1. 

^'^During this memorable winter Niels Jac- 
obson invented, manufactured and operated a 
feed mill of native stone, which proved to be 
of great benefit to the settlers of southwestern 
Rock county. The roads being impassable, the 
neighbors would bring sacks of wheat on their 
backs to be ground into feed for themselves 
and their stock. On grinding days the neigh- 
bors, traveling on snowshoes. would gather 
at Mr. Jacobson's farm and all assist in shovel- 


2. Provisions at tiie "big farm" sold.'" 
5. Main line opened. Train reached 
Worthington from Sioux City, carrying let- 
ters dated February 21. Road open three 

7. Train proceeded from Worthington 
to Adrian, expecting to reach Luverne on 
the eighth. Began snowing at two o'clock. 

8. Northeast bliz/ard and heavy snow 
fall. All roads blockaded. Lumber burned 
for fuel.'' 

11. Snowing. 

12. North wind drifts snow. Railroads 
again covered. 

13. Thermometer registered zero. 

17. Rock nver broke up. Main line 
opened entire length and trains running. 

18. Blockade raised and trains reach Lu- 
verne, bringing mail and groceries.'^ 

ing the snow from the power. After the grind- 
ing each would return to his home, carrying 
with him his sack of meal. 

'""The stock of provisions remaining on hand 
at the big farm has been disposed of to mer- 
chants in the village. A barrel of sugar sold to 
Landin & Nelson last Saturday was retailed 
bv them in half-dollar lots in less than an 
hour and a half." — Herald, April 8. 1881. 

''Some of the residents of Luverne burned 
lumber which cost them sixteen dollars per 
thousand feet. In the country out-buildings 
and furniture were frequently used to supply 
heat. On Rock river, below Luverne, a log 
house was torn down by its owner and the ma- 
terial sold for fuel. There was a ready sale 
for the logs, and the farmer realized hand- 
somely o'n his home. 

'^The Rock County Herald of April 22 told of 
this joyful event: 

"Last Sunday afternoon [April 17] informa- 
tion was received at the depot to the effect 
that the road had been cleared to Worthington 
and that a train would reach this place at 
6:3(1 p. m. The intelligence flew like wild-fire 
throughout the village, and long Ijefore the 
time at which the train was expected to arrive 
the people commenced flocking to the depot. As 
the most effective means of expressing the nub- 
ile gratification over the glad event the Rock 
Valley Cornet band turned out with its instru- 
ments and assembled on the depot platform to 
do honor to the occasion and greet the ar- 
rivnl of the train with appropriate ceremony. 
Owing to some delay the train did not arrive 
that evening. 

"Monday morning the depot platform was 
again thronged with people. The long-disused 
'buses were drawn up at their accustomed sta- 
tions and the depot again presented an appear- 
ance like that of time long passed. At 8:4^ 
the welcome neigh of the iron horse was hnnrd 
in the distance, and presently an engine which 
had been sent on ahead of the trains pulled 
up at the depot. This was closely followed by 
Conductor Tlerkheimer's train, which consisted 
of several freight cars, one coach and the 
mail cnr. Still later John Kline's engine with 
a train of freight cars under charge of Con- 
ductor Winegar brought up the rear. 

"The arrival of the trains was hailed with 
enthusiasm by the crowd at the depot and 
was watched with eager eyes by the populace 
throughout the village. With what feelings 
of pleasure and with what keen sense of re- 
lief this earnest of our deliverance from long- 
protractf^d exclusion from the outer world was 
regarded, none but the inhal)itants of the snow- 
bound district can fully understand. Even 
though, as subsequently proved to be the case, 




19. First shipment of coal since Febru- 
ary 19 arrived at Luverne. Road again 
closed to traffic because of washouts be- 
tween Luverne and Worthington. Traffic 
suspended until May 5. 

21. Branch road opened between Luverne 
and Valley Springs and first train run. 
Work of opening Doon branch begun, but 
progress stopped by washouts and no train 
run until May 20. 

22. Many fields reported still covered 
with snow.'" 

The long winter of 1880-81 was over, 
liut the blockade was not raised until sev- 
enteen days later. Even before the snow 
blockade was raised, on April 17, the rap- 
idly melting snows raised the streams 
from theii- hanks and flooded whole areas 
of country. Kuck valley, so far as the eye 
could .see, was one vast sheet of water. 
Uailroad bridges went out and trackr^ 
were washed away. The trains whicli ran 
ovei' the Wdilhington & Siou.x Falls line 
on April 18 and 19 were the only ones 
operated until May 5, on which date a 
train reached Eock river opposite Lu- 
verne. From that point mail and ex})ress 
matter were brought to the town. On 
May 11 the bridge across the Iiock was 
repaired and freight trains entered I.u- 
veriie. The damage to the bridges on 
the west end of the road was repaired and 
regular train service over the whole line 
was commenced May 10. One day later 
the lioun bi'anch was put in operation. 
During the first four days after the arriv- 
al of the first freight train to Jjuvcnic 
the freight receipts amounted tn over 

Owing to the floods and the late season 
tlie wdieat crop in 1881 was a disastrous 
failure. Some of lln' other crops wci'c 
fair and there was a good market for al! 
produce. The a.s.sessed valuation in 1881 

this e.stablishment of communication with the 
world at Inrge should prove of short duration, 
here at least was a temporary cessation of 
our grievances, and this was a matter of no 
.small moment. 

"The mail train brought thirty-fn'e sacks of 
mai! foi- l.uverne and the Ijuverne district. 
Till' suiipl>' of sugar, coffee. lver<isene oil and 

wa ; $l.l(i."i.ii(i8. an increase of nearly 300 
pel cent in live years. 

.Vii excellent crop of small grain was 
pi-o(luccil in 1883, the first crop in several 
years that was secured and marketed with- 
oiil soirie discouraging feature. The re- 
sult was a I'ise in the value of Rock coun- 
ty faruiino lands and an influx (if new set- 
tlers, who came to share in the prosper- 
ous times. Aiany debts contracted during 
the grassho|ipei' days and the lean vears 
following, brought on bv blight and un- 
favorable weather conditions, were liqui- 
dated. The local pa|)er on January 5, 
l.SS.'l, tiihl III' this mnrtgage-buridno' time: 

The drafts on the future upon which 
many people have been living for years past 
are coining due and are being paid. During 
the hard times when there was but little 
with which to pay, the time of payment of 
debts previously contracted was extended 
and what spare cash our farmers could 
raise was thus left free to be used for cur- 
rent expenses. Agricultural operations 
during the past season have been in the 
main so successful that creditors have 
demanded payment, and the greater part 
of the proceeds of the year's labor has 
been employed in paying old debts. This 
has left the majority of farmers short of 
means for current use; yet, while they have 
been harder pushed for money this fall 
when crops were good than when they have 
been in seasons of failure, it is plain that 
they are in the main in better circumstances 
and have made decided progress toward 
"better times." The circumstances described 
are the natural residt of hard times. The 
pinch, consequent upon the payment of old 
debts, must be passed before prosperity 
can be enjoyed, and the fact that this inevi- 
table stage of progress has arrived is an 
encouraging index of prospective improve- 

More farm bouses were erected during 
1883 than bad been put up in several pre- 
vious seasons. The heaviest crop of grain 
ever before raised in the county was pro- 
ibu-eil. and the advance to pros])erity con- 

(ithei- articles of wliicli tlie village has been 
destitute, received by the train Monday, was 
almost exhausted Wednesda.w" 

"*The snowfall in Minnesota during llie win- 
ter was 12.51 feet, of which H.6S was during 
lieeenibei'. January and February. 



tinned. Snid llir Ilixk County Hursild 
on Oetolicr lH: "'r\]v amount of grain 
to be tlireshed in Kock county is simply 
surprisinfi'. Thresiier.s stale that it will 
he atisolutely impossible to get it all done 
this tall and that threshing will he con- 
tinued all winter." 

During the prosperous times of the 
early eighties, in 1884, the r)urlinglnn 
railroad (now the Eock Islaiul) was built 
through Rock county. The construction 
of the road was an itciu of great import- 
ance. It passed through parts of the 
cdunly which liefore were long distances 
fnini iiuirkets and resulted in a more rap- 
id development of portions than 
would otherwise have been the case. As 
a result of its construction, two new vil- 
lages, Hardvvick and Kanaranzi. came into 

So early as 1889 it was rumored that 
the Burlington officials intended luiildiiig 
to Rock county, extending the branch 
road from Worthington. If such were 
at the time the intention, it was aban- 

In the fall of ISS.'i a party of survey- 
ors in charge of J. A. Divine ran a line 
from Sibley, Iowa, to Pipestone for a pro- 
posed extension of the Spirit Lake & 
Western railroad. The survey was said 
to have been uuide under the direction of 
Close Bros. & Co. The line as surveycil 
entered Rock county near the smithi'as!- 
ern corner of ifagnolia township, cross- 
ed the Omaha road on sei'tion 8 of that 
township, and continueil in a nortlieily 
direction to Pipestone. On the rcluru 
trip the surveyors ran a line close to the 
mounds. A little later in the same season 
the Burlington officials surveyed a line 
northwest from AVorthington, wdiich en- 

-'^" . , . If the Milwaukee company or tlio 
BurUngton sep tit to build it. all th^; hpttpr; if 
not, Luverne will act inrlependently in the mat- 
ter and proceed in the ppfing tfi build a branch 
line, either to a connection with the Burlinp^ton. 
Cedar Rapids & Northern at some point along 

lered Jfock could) on scclion :2\, Battle 
Plain township, ciosscd K'ock river on 
section 1(J of the same township, and con- 
tinued northwestwai'd to section 3, I)en« 
\er township, where it intersected a pre- 
vious survey. 

It became evident that one or more 
lines of railroad might be secured for 
K'ock cmmly in llie iieai' future. To take 
action to this end, and, incidentally, to .see 
that Luverne was not pa.sscd by in case a 
new road was built, the bvisiness men of 
that village held a meeting .January 18, 
188-1. The matter of the extension of the 
Hurlington from Worthington was speci- 
Ileal ly considered. Init there was also a 
general discussion of railroad projects 
that might eventuate. It was known that 
both the Burlington and Milwaukee in- 
terests were considering the matter of ex- 
tensions through the county. At the meet- 
ing in Luverne it was suggested that local 
capital be employed to construct a line to 
a junction with some road in case either 
of the companies saw fit to liuild.-" 

The peo|(le of Rock county hatl not long 
to wait for the "proposition"' which was 
the inevitable forerunner of railroad 
building in the early days. On Febru- 
ai-y 2. 1881, General Superintendent C. J. 
Ives and Captain S. L. Dows, of the 
Burlington road, appeared in Luverne to 
consult with the citizens. They stated 
that I he liui'lington company proposed to 
build a line from some poinl in Dickinson 
county. Iowa (probably Lake Park), by 
w.iyof Sibley to Pipestone, with a view- of 
extending the line to Bismarck, Dakota 
territory, and that if sufficient encourage- 
ment were given, the company would be 
plea.-ed to build by way of Luverne. A con- 
ference was held between the Luverne 

its Bismarck extension, or with the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul line at Edgerton. This 
plan is entirely feasible and it is now reason- 
ably certain that, in the contingency mentioned, 
it will be carried into effect." — Rock County 
Herald. February 1, 1884. 



railroad committee, composed of P. J. 
Kniss, William Jacobsen, W. M. Kay- 
mond and H. .1. Miller, and the railroad 
rej^resentatives. Then a mass meeting 
was held, at which the price asked was 
made known. 

lioek iiiuiily, l)y reason of aid given Uic 
Omaha road, was bonded to its limit, but 
the townships still had bonding privileges 
and it was asked that tliese be utilized. 
The terms agreed npon at the mass meet- 
ing wcie substantially as follows: The 
jieople of Luvcrnc promi.^ed that Luvcnic 
village and Luverne township bonds to 
the amount of $15,000 should be issued ; 
to donate suitable depot grounds within 
2500 feet of the court house square, or 
pay in lieu thereof $3500; to use their 
best efforts to secure the voting of a tax 
of five per cent of the assessed valuation 
in each of the townships of Kanaranzi. 
t'lintou. Magnolia, Mound, Vienna and 
Kose Dell; and also to their best 
efforts in assisting the company to s(*cnre 
the right-of-way through the county. On 
condition that the Luverne village and 
Luverne township bonds agreed upon were 
issued and tliat the tax in the other town- 
ships was voted, the Burlington company 
agreed tn have the road constructed to 
Luverne mi av liefore December 1. 188-1. 
A contract embodying these terms was 
drawn up and within the next few days 
was signed by 118 residents of Luverne 
and immediate vicinity, which practically 
assured the voting of the bonds in the vil- 
lage and in Luverne township. 

The Luverne residents upon whimi IVll 

^'■'Information has been received from Cap- 
tain Dows. of the BurHngton road, that the 
'people of Adrian are very active in their ef- 
forts to secure the proposed new road and arc 
getting up a proposition to the company which 
they feel confldent will oversize I.uverne.' Lat- 
er information confirms this statement and 
leaves no room for doubt that if I.uverne se- 
cures the road the condition of the company's 
proposition must be fully complied with. Adrian 
is on the direct line from Sibley to Pipestone. 
It is believed that the Close Brothers would 
be quite as well satisfied with that route as 
with the one through Luverne and it is reas- 
onable to suppose, therefore, that the road 
■will so where the greatest inducements are 

the burdens of maintaining the proper en- 
thusiasm to .secure the voting of the tax 
in the several precincts changed the orig- 
inal plans. They reasoned that all the 
township's in the county, with the possible 
exce|)tion of Martin and Beaver Creek, 
uiiiild di'iive direct benefit from the build- 
ing of the road, and they therefore asked 
that all the precincts except the two men- 
tioned should vote a tax proportionate to 
their assessed valuation, the total amount 
thus raised to be about $15,000. Consid- 
ci-able ci|)p<isition developed in parts of the 
countv to voting the tax, and the Lu- 
verne enthusiasts were obliged to wage 
an aggressive campaign. Early in March 
a mass meeting was held at Luverne, par- 
ticipated in by those favoring the bonus. 
'I'lie wi'll-wiirkcd plan to bring the voters 
to a bonus-voting frame of mind of pit- 
ting one town against another was em- 
ployed, Adrian in this instance being the 

In some of the precincts asked to vote 
aid elections were not held. On March 15, 
Luverne village, by a vote of 202 to 2, de- 
cided to issue $7500 bonds for the pur- 
pose, and on the same day Luverne town- 
ship voted the same amount. ]\Iounrl 
township voted a tax of $3000 on ^March 
15; Springwater, $1500 on March IS; 
Rose Dell, $1500 on March 19; Denver, 
$1300 on March 20. Clinton township 
wa.s asked to furnish $2000 on March 21, 
but the tax (lid not carry, and on March 
22 i\ragnolia township decided adversely 
(HI the pi-o)iosition of taxing itself $4000 
ns a bonus to the railway company." 

offered."— Rock County Herald. February 22. 


^-AU the bonds were turned over to the Ce- 
dar Rapids. Iowa Falls & Northwestern Rail- 
way company (the name of the Burlington 
auxiliary company which built the road through 
Rock county) during the fall of 1S.S4. the last 
ones being delivered November 22. To comply 
with the demands of a state law. the railroad 
company, in exchange for the township and 
village boiuls. issued its bonds in a like amount. 
On August 7. lHOn. the Luverne village coinu-il 
unanimously voted to accept an offer of twen- 
ty-five cents on the dollar for the $7500 worth 
of railroad bonds it had received In 1884, and 
received therefor $1875. 



Tlie railroad rnmpany evidently consid- 
ered that the amoimis voted were suffi- 
cient, for early in Api-il llie prcliiiiiiiai-y 
survey through Eoek county \va.s iii.itle. 
and in less than a month the line had 
iieen definitely located. The right-of-way 
through Kock county cost about $;?(),(I00. 
The contract for grading and bridging 
between Lake Park and l'i|)est(Uie was let 
to E. P. Reynolds & Son, and the work 
of grading between Luverne and 8ii)ley 
was begun late in May. Grading was com- 
menced on the line north of Luverne early 
in July. The track-layers reached the 
southern boundary of Rock county abcuit 
the middle of August and on September 
1 the road was completed to Luverne. The 
iirst shipment of freight was received on 
the third, although regvilar freight trains 
were not operated until the eleventh. The 
track was completed through the county 
on September 19. 'J'he same day the sta- 
tion at Luverne was opened and M. M. 
Knapp began his duties in a box car, 
which served for a temporary depot. Pas- 
senger train service was established Oc- 
tober 26. 

The most destructive wind storm in 
Eock county's history occurred on the aft- 
ernoon of Monday, July 21, 1884. The 
storm was general throughout the county, 
but was most violent in the townships of 
Rose Dell, Springwater, Beaver Creek, 
]\Iartin, Luverne and Magnolia. L. Las- 
sessen, a carpenter employed in construct- 
ing the lAitheran church in Martin town- 
ship, was killed and a few persons were 
injured. The storm did not take the form 
of a cyclone, or whirlwind, but in the 
less destructive form of a hurricane the 
tempest was terrific. It left in its course 
a scene of wreck, devastation and disaster 
unparalleled in the liistory of the county, 
before or since. 

Early in the morning indications of un- 
usual commotion in the elements were no- 

ticeable, and later in the day the excessive 
heat, coupled with tlie appearance of 
heavy banks of lowering clouds which 
darkened the western and northwestern 
horizons, presaged the proximity of a vio- 
lent storm. Gradually the clouds gather- 
ed toward a common center, gaining in 
darkness until the blackness was intense. 
The sky in the vicinity of the cloud took 
on a greenish tint. Toward four o'clock 
in the afternoon the outlines of the ap- 
jiroacliing tempest became clcai'ly defined 
in the northwest, and very soon after a 
huge mass of over-hanging clouds, plain- 
ly indicating the approach of a strong 
wind, rolled on with startling rapidity, ac- 
companied by a deep, rumbling noise. 

The appearance of the storm, though 
unusually threatening, was not such as to 
occasion serious alarm, and after the first 
vigorous gust the impression prevailed 
that the worst was over. In this the 
appearances were deceptive. After a lirief 
cessation of the first violent outbreak, the 
rain began to fall in torrents and the 
wind gathered strength. A moment later 
the wild tempest began its work in earn- 
est. The rain was driven before the wind 
in vast sheets, with appalling force, and 
the tempest steadily increased in fury. 
AVhen a cessation of the storm might have 
been expected, the force of the now thor- 
oughly maddened elements developed a 
frightful violence, and each moment the 
terrors of the tempest were increased. 
There was then good cause for general 
alarm. The strongest structures trembled 
to their foundations, others, racked and 
swayed in momentary danger of destruc- 
tion, while others, less substantial or more 
directly exposed to the wind, were blown 
into a thousand pieces. The tempest 
raged furiously for over half an hour, and 
the scenes during this period were inde- 
scribalily appalling. Houses, barns and 
outbuildings were demolished, and broken 



boards, doors, windows and even roofs frcmi 
wrecked buildinfis were driven through 
the air in wild confusion, crashing into 
buildings still standing and bringing ter- 
ror and confusion to the inmates; chim- 
neys tumbled down with fearful racket, 
and bricks were sent flying in all direc- 
tions. For a time it seemed that total de- 
struction must be the result, but the force 
of the tempest linally diniiuished, and l<i- 
wai'd five o'clock the stomi was over. 

The damage was great. There was 
none living in the path of the storm that 
escaped without loss. Hundreds of build- 
ings over the county were wrecked, grain 
fields were leveled to the earth, and hun- 
dretls of tons of hay were scattered to 
the four winds. The damage in Luverne 
was estimated at ^l.j.OOO, and in Beaver 
Creek a number of the business houses 
were demolislied. Many miraculous es- 
capes from death and scri(nis injury oc- 

Tlie year 1884 was one fd' the most 
pros|)erous in Hock county's early history 
and was a time of jiii)ilee. Several causes 
contributed to this conditinu: the liuild- 
ina: of the Burlington an excrl- 
lent crop, the thi'owing updii Ibc market 
of the railroad lands, and a liea\y iiiiini- 

=»In the village of Beaver Creek Mrs. Malhi-r 
and Mr.s. N'ess. with .si.x .small children, made 
their escape throngh a window of a hotel 
hnilding that was heing demolished and were 
canght bv the wind and prostrated in the mid- 
dle of the street. They Hnally made their way 
to safety. 

Miss Flora Mather was condneting school 
in distiict No. 20 when the storm str\ick. Slie 
and all the pnpils deserted the .school house and 
took refuge on the bare prairie, where they 

Nearly 80,000 acres of Rock county 
land were added to the ta.\ rolls that year. 
These revenue-producing additions were 
from the following sources: School lands 
purchased, -1280 acres; final proof on gov- 
ernment land-s, 9493 acres; Southern 
.Minnesota Railway Extension lands pur- 
chased, 85-i2 acres; Siou.\ City & St. Paul 
Railway company's lands purchased, 35,- 
879 acres; Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Raul Railway company's lands contracted, 
31.363 acres. 

Land seekers came to tlie county in 
large numbers and indications of prosper- 
itv were apparent on all sides. Exclusive 
wheat fanning had been found tinprofit- 
able, and only a limited acreage was sown. 
Instead of raising only wheat, farmers 
raised tlax and hay and turned their at- 
tention to stock raising and dairying more 
than formerly. Flax growing became one 
of the big industries. There was an iiu- 
nicnse crop in this year of jubilee, and it 
commanded a big price. The results of 
prosperous times were seen in building iin- 
provemenls in all parts of the county and 
in the |irnni|it payment of del:>ts. 

The farmers were at last firmly upon 
iheir feet, anil tlie high road to wealth 
was beneefiutb (ipeii. Tlie i-eenvcry frmii 
the gra.ssliop[)er scourge was at last com- 

remained during the storm, beaten hy the wind. 
rain and hail. .Ml escaped serious injury. 

(^olonel Harrison White was carried some dis- 
tance by the force of the wind and deposited 
in a ha'v stack. I^ater a building came down 
in ruins about him. but he escaped with slight 
injuries. . 

The Martin township church, m or 
construction, was demolished. burying the 
workmen in the debris. L. I^assessen was kil- 
led and another workman seriously injured. 


THE AGE OF IM.'oSI'KIM'rV— 1885-1911. 

FACTS supplying the context of pro- Xi'w I'iuins were opened in 18S."), and 
eeding chapters lead to the conclu- the demand for lands was good, many 
sion that the people of Eock conn- liomeseekcrs arriving during the spring 
ty had passed through many years of and fall months. One of the best crops 
hardship and bitter disappointment be- produced in the early days was harvested, 
fore a permanent condition of prosperity In a review of the events of the year, the 
was reached. This long period of travail Eock County Herald said: "The year 
was punctuated by an occasional year that just ended has been one of ihe most 
pidiiiised better times. In the earliest pi'osperous Eock county has e\'ei- known, 
days the settlers contended with olistaeles Our farmers have all made material pro- 
incident to the settlement of any new gress and our business men have pros- 
country, being far from railroads, markets, pered accordingly. lmpi-(i\enients have 
srliools. churches, and the many institu- been made in every portion of the county 
tions that in our present day civilization and the value of real estate has been 
are considered necessary to the enjoyment greatly enhanced." 

of life. Tlie lommunity had hardly The population of Eock county in 188.1 

emerged fi'om its frontier state wdien the was .-)23n. a gain of l.")7() in five years, 

grassliopjier scourge came with all its ter- The ))opulation (jf the several precincts 

ril'ving inflictions, and the country re- was as follows: 

ceiM'd a setback which took vears to over- „ _, „, . „„ 

Battle Plam 157 

ciinie. IVilldwing the depaiture of tlie Beaver Creek Township 531 

iihioiie were a few vears of partial emp 5f.=»yer Creek Village 165 

', . ' ■ ^ . ' Clmton 328 

failures lieeause of weather conditions. Denver 231 

Then came a period of better times—the K=^naranzi .... 236 

' Luverne Township 316 

reconstruct u:)n period — during which the Luverne Village ,^1346 

<lebts contracted during the dark davs Magnolia 242 

'^ Martin 743 

were paid and a new start was made. 1 n Mound 256 

the middle eighties the countv had de- ?°^.« °e'] 210 

". ■ Spnngwater 243 

veloped to a point where permanent pros- Vienna 215 

peritv w'as assured. Yet in that period. ^ ^ , ~~~ 

^ • 1 Total 5239 

at the beginning of the year 188.5, only 

about one-tifth of the land in Eock conn- The first attempt to huild a eoui-t house 

ty was under cultivation. • was made in 1885. Long before, the di- 




lapidatiMl nil] >]\v]] that for so long had 
answerod the purpose had oiiii^rown its 
usefulness and Avas utterly inadequate. 
In its one room weie located the offices 
of four county oll'ieers, while the other 
officials luul no puhlic ])lace of business. 
The matter oi a new court house was 
brought u|i early in the year. In order to 
construct a building- it was necessary to is- 
sue bonds, and to issue bonds it was neces- 
sary to receive aiithmity from the state 
legislature. Acconlingly, on January l.i. 
Senator Crosby introduced a bill authoi'- 
izing the county commissioners to sui)- 
mit to the electors a proposition to issue 
bonds to an amount not 'exceeding $20,- 
000 for court house purposes. The bill 
passed the senate the day it was intro- 
duced, under suspension of the rules, it 
passed the house the following day, and 
on the eighteenth a certified copy of the 
act was received by the county officers. 

The preliminaries were quickly attend- 
ed to. On January 21 the county board 
met and called a s))ecial election to be 
held Fcliruary IT, to vote on the ques- 
tion of bonds. The opposition to the 
issuance of bonds was general outside of 
Luvcinc village, and the ])roposition met 
disastrous defeat at the polls. Following 
was the vote : 


Battle Plain... 
Beaver Creek. 



Kanaranzi .... 





Rose Dell 













•The Minnesota legislature of 18S5 passed a 
county seat removal bill which provided for 
the course of procedure. The first step was 

Like nearly every county in the state of 
Minnesota, Rock county has had a county " 
seat removal contest. It came in the win- 
ter of 1885-8G, and Beaver Creek w^as 
the village which sought to wrest the 
honor from Luverne. The enterprising 
village on the "roaring Beaver" was at 
the zenith of its power and was peopled 
with an exceptionally progressive class of 
business men. The agitation for removal 
was started in a spirit of levity but ra])idly 
developed into a serious undertaking. Be- 
fore the contest was brought to a close 
much of the bitterness usually accom- 
panying contests between rival towns was 

The agitation for removal developed 
serious propensities early in December, 
1885.^ The sentiment of the people against 
the expenditure of funds for building a 
court had been strongly expressed 
at the polls within the year, and the Bea- 
ver Creek strategists were not slow to 
take advantage of this sentiment. They 
started their campaign with the promise 
that funds should be raised by subscrip- 
tion to an amount not less than $20,000, 
with which to construct a court house 
to be donated to Rock county when the 
i-emoval was accomplished. The promise 
i-esulted in gaining many adherents for 
Beaver Creek. 

The removal enthusiasts held their first 
public meeting at Beaver Creek December 
12. A permanent organization was per- 
fected by the selection of the following 
officers: F. S. Gibson, president; John 
Park, secretary ; A. J. Daley and E. A. 
Knapp, assistant secretaries; Harrison 
White, treasurer. Promises of financial 
support to the movement were made by 
manv present, and enthusiastic speeches 
were nuidc by Harrison White, Howard 
Cummings, Jacob Merkel, Frank Ciaw- 

to present a petition to the board of county 
commissioners, signed by a ma.iority of the 
freeholders who were also legal voters and 



ford, .Iciliii iMickclson, Fred Fiiike, 11. \V. 
Knapp, Eli Terry, A. J. Daley, Abram 
Osmun, G. H. Roderick, Frank Kessigieu, 
,1. D. Campbell, William Baird, J. 0. 
Tyler and Charles Pumpliries. Commit- 
tees were appointed on by-laws, finances, 
ways and means, and to prepare a pe- 
tition of protest against the expenditure 
of county money for improving the old 
county building. ]n each precinct in 
which it was believed there were Beaver 
Creek adherents, working committees were 
appointed as follows: 

Rose Dell — William Vickerman, K. K. 
Steen, C. S. Bruce, E H. EUefson, L. M. 
Larson, G. H. Vickerman. 

Springwater — Robert McDowell, Paul En- 
gelson, Charles A. Reynolds, B. Chapin, 
Nick Brennen, B. S. Pengra. 

Beaver Creek Township — James Marshall, 
Iver D. Eitreim, Howard Cummings, Aldro 
Grout, H. H. Streaver, Chris Hoetfer, Peter 
Kille, J. M. Leslie. 

Beaver Creek Village — Eli Terry, J. O. 
Brictson, G. B. Roderick, Abram Osmun, 
J. M. Bennett, F. D. Ressigieu, A. J. Daley, 
H. W. Knapp. 

Martin — George Anderson, Niels Jacobson, 
O. Berkland, John Nelson, Fred C. Finke, 
Paul Sandbo, F. B. Myrick, Thomas Weston, 
Fred Nuffer. 

Clinton — William Spracher, Colonel Wood- 
ruff, Ole P. Steen, Nels Clemetson, John 
Lund, Ed. Maloney. 

Luverne Township — Anton Reder,' R. Jay- 
bush, Henry Carner, Frank Loose, John 
Mickelson, T. P. Grout 

Another meeting was held January 3, 
at wliich further plans were put tinder 
way. It was decided to organize a stock 
company for the purpose of raising funds 
and building the Beaver Creek court house, 
and subscriptions were opened. The people 
of Beaver Creek pledged $10,000 (which 
was afterwards increased), and the peo- 
|ile of other precincts pledged liberal sub- 
scriptions. Arrangements were made for 

residents of the eounty, asking that change of 
the county seat to some flesignated place in the 
county be made. The conntj- commis-sioners 
were then required to submit the question of 
such removal to tlie qualified electors, at a gen- 
eral election for state and county officers. 
To be successful the jiroj^osition must be cnr- 
lied by a ma,jorit.v vote iu case the question 
had never been voted uijon. In case the ques- 
tion had been submitted before, three-fourths 
of the number of votes cast was required to 
carry the proposition. 

holding meetings in counti'y school hous- 
es, and thei'cafter an active campaign 
was waged throughout western Rock coun- 
ty. A glee club accompanied the cam- 
paigners, and large crowds turned out to 
hear the arguments for removal in speech- 
es and song. The petition asking that no 
money be spent for impi;ovenient of coun- 
ty buildings was presented to the county 
board January 7. A committee, composed 
of Harrison White, H. W. Knapp and A. 
.'. Daley, was named lui .Iniiiiarv Iti to 
draft a petition for removal, but not until 
Febi'uary 1 was the petition ready for 

The Beaver Creek campaigners extend- 
ed the field of their opei-ations to the 
"enemy's country," holding a meeting in 
Ijuverne January 2(>. which was attended 
by five hundred people. It was a novel 
and interesting occasion — a meeting held 
ill Luverne and attended by Luverne peo- 
ple, in the interests of a movement to take 
away the county seat from that village. 
Beaver Creek orators presented arguments 
in favor of the change and exhorted their 
hearers to sign the petition when it should 
lie ready for signatures. The subscrip- 
tion pa])ers were exhibited, sliowing that 
$33,000 had been subscribed, of which 
Beaver Creek had furnished $10,000. 

The crusade for signers to the removal 
petition was begun February 1. At an 
enthusiastic meeting at White's hall on 
that date, the first freeholders attached 
their signatures to the document. At 
the same time the organization of the 
association to construct the court house 
was perfrt-ted.^ 

^Refused to serve. Ira Chapman appointed, 
and he. also, refused the committee assignment. 

'The directors of the building association 
were Abram Osmun. John Park, G. B. Roderick 
and J. D. Campbell, of Beaver Creek village; 
James Marshall, C. R. Hcnton. Jacob Merkel, C. 
Hoeffer, Iver D. Eitreim and H. F. Cummings. 
of Beaver Creek township; Ole Sandbo. F. B. 
Mvrick. Fred Nuffer. Ole Ruud. F. Finke and 
O. Berklind. of Martin; B. F. Pengra, A. Ache- 
son. E, N, Curtis and N. P, Noble, of Spring- 
water; W. A, Spracher, of Clinton, 



Not until the (■;uiipiiif;n lijul roaelicd 
tliis stage did the people of Luverne and 
eastern Koek eounty lay defensive plans, 
refusing io take a serious view of the mat- 
ter until it boeanie evident that the Beaver 
Creek |)eople were in earnest and were 
ahmit to eireulati' their petition. Then 
those in favor of retaining the seat of 
government in Luverne prejiared a peti- 
tiiui of remonstrance against removal. 
They hcgan a crusade for signatures to 
tliat petition and against the signing of 
the Beaver Creek document.* 

To formulate plans for defense, a meet- 
ing was held at Luverne on the afternoon 
of February 8. It was called to order hv 
.1. I'\ Shoemaker, and W. M. TJayniond 
and .1. L. Helm were respectively elected 
chaiiiiian and secretary. Plans were dis- 
cussed and tlie following resolutions were 
ado]ited : 

WHEREAS: A petition lias been indus- 
triously circulated wittiin tlie county of 
Rock, Minnesota, praying tlie county com- 
missioners of said county to submit tlie 
question of removing from the village of Lu- 
verne the county seat to the village of 
Beaver Creek, and 

WHEREAS: We believe it is against 
the best interests of the whole county that 
said petition should be circulated for the 
reasons following: 

1. That the county seat is now located in 
the most central part of the county pos- 
sible for said purpose. 

2. That we believe that county seats 
are located, not with reference to the town 
or village offering the greatest amount of 
money therefor, but for their location with 
reference to the geographical limits of the 
county and the accessibility with reference 
to the people who desire to do business 

3. That said agitations retard the pro- 
gress of the entire community, unsettle 
values and result always in retarding the 
progress of the county. 

RESOLVED: We use our best efforts 
and do all in our power to bring said agita- 
tion to an immediate close. 

^" . . . Evo'ii after it became apparent 
tliat the projeetors of the enterprise were in 
eai-nest. they fthe peofile of lyiiverne] cherished 
the liope that the inifinitoii.s folly might tie 
abandoned. . The moyement has at last 

eome to a pass in which l.nverne and the 
eastern part of the eounty are eompelled to 
take measures for dcfen,se. . . . Compelled 

A jiernianent organization was perfec- 
ted. 'J'lie following vice presidents for 
the several tiiwn>liips were named, each 
vice [iresident vested with authority to 
name an executive coniiuittee, who should 
have charge of the work in their respec- 
tive townships: Ueorge L. Cole, Battle 
Plain; E. L. Grout, Beaver Creek; Jo- 
seph Knight, Clinton ; R. J. Cobban, Den- 
ver; J. E. Brown, Kanaranzi; A. Jaycox, 
Luverne: S. Y^oung, Magnolia: .L F. 
Shoeimtkcr. jMound ; Ole Maga. X'icuna: 
Thomas (iantield. Rose Dell. At the time 
of the meeting 380 freeholders liad signed 
the petition of remonstrance, and more 
were added at that time. 

I'lic cniitest came to a speedy close 
after the Luverne meeting. Within a 
lew (lays (■iiiuigh fi'echolders had signed 
the remonstrance to makr certain the de- 
feat of the I^eaver Creek petition, and 
about the middle of February those favor 
ing the removal ga\(' up the fight. The 
])etiti"n was not ])resented to the board 
of cdiinty commissioners. 

An old settlers" associati(Ui was organ- 
ized at Luverne February L^, ISSfJ. with 
the l'iilli)wing nfl'icers: Philo Hawe.-, 
president: K. X. Darling, iccurd lug secre- 
tary : (rcorgc W. Kniss. ciiri'espDiidiiig 
secretary: \']. !,. (iroiit. treasurer. A'ice 
|)residenls were chosen as fdllciws: P. J. 
Kniss. of Lincrne; .\mii> I^stey, id' Clin- 
liui : C. 11. Older, of Kiiuaranzi : 11. Brock- 
way, id' Magnolia: William Maynes, of 
Vienna: Frank ]\[itcliell, of Battle Plain: 
L. .\. Kartrude, of Denver: .T. F. Sboe- 
iiiaker. of Mound: C. S. Bruce, nf Rose 
Dell: W. H. Givens, of Springwater; F. 
^feircort. of Beaver Creek: Osmund Berk- 
lanil. of Martin. 

liy the force of unfortunate circumstances, the 
people of Rock eounty who are opposed to the 
removal of the eounty seat are organizing their 
forces for the best interests of the <'ounty. In 
the earnest hope that tlie tight might be a\'ert- 
ed. the\- ha\'e hesitated tn make this movement 
initil foi-bearance ceased to be a \'irtue." — 
Rock County Herald. February 5. 1SS6. 



The year ISSG was not a particularly 
fruitful iir prosperous one. There was very 
little niovenu'iif in real estate and times 
were dull. In the country some farm im- 
luovements were made, but in comparison 
with tile twii (ir three preceding years, 
the twelve-niDuth was an uneventful one. 

Tlie next \i':ir a splendid record in 
agricult\iral advancement was made. The 
acreage ol ci'ops in 188T was increased 
more than -^1,000 acres over ISSC). j\lany 
acres of prairie land were broken, many 
new farms were opened, a great amount of 
building was done, and tlie number of the 
livestocl'; greatly iiu'reased and the bi'eed 

In tlie history of the northwest tliere 
have been a few winter storms of such un- 
natural severity that they stand out as 
events of historical importance. The 
most severe of these awful storms was 
the blizzard of .lanuary 7, 8 and 9, 1873. 
an account of which has been given. Rank- 
ing second was tlie terrible blizzard of 
.Tanuarv 1"2, 1888, when scores of people 
perished. In Rock county three lives 
were sacrificed and many people became 
lost in the storm and liadly frozen. 

The conditions essential to such a de- 
structive storm as this jiroved to be had 
lii'en lilbd bv llic weather (hiiing the week 
previous. On January 5 a storin of sleet 
had frozen on tlie surface of the deep snow 
to an icv sinoiitlmess. On the evening of 
tlie eleventh there was a heavy snowfall, 
which continued until the blizzard began, 
the thermometer during this time register- 
ing about fifteen degrees above zero. 

At about five o'clock on the afternoon 
of Thursday, January 12, the wind sub- 
sided to a dead calm. Ten minutes lat- 
er a bowling, shrieking blizzard was rag- 
ing with blinding fury, rendering it haz- 
ardous to iindeitakc a journey of even 
a few blocks in towns and making it efpiiv- 
alent to almost ceitain death to be caught 

away from slielter on the prairie. The 
terrors of the storm were augmented by a 
lapidlv falling mercury, which soon reach- 
ed the region of the thirties and rendered 
infinitely small the chances that any un- 
fortunate being could survive who might 
he e.x'posed to its perils. Because of the 
mildness of the temperature which had 
characterized the weather during tiie early 
part iif the day, and because of the late- 
ness (if till' liniir «'lii'n till' stiii-Mi began — 
an hour wlini fai'iiieis were returning to 
IJicir homes and children coming lionie 
frdiii school. — many Rock county settlers 
were caught in the stdi-ni. The blizzard 
continued with unabated fury until eight 
o'clock Friday morning; then it lost much 
of its violence, but continued until Satur- 
day night. 

Of the three men who met death in the 
storm . in Rock county, all were elderly 
men, none of whom Iiad a family or rela- 
tives in the county. One of the victims 
was John Loy, sixty years of age, who was 
employed on A. M. Crosby's farm on sec- 
tion 16, Magnolia township. Before the 
storm began, Mr. Loy and Ed. Bullis 
started from the buildings with sixty head 
of cattle to drive them to Elk slough to 
water. ]\rr. Bullis went ahead to pump 
the water and his companion drove the 
stock. When the former reached the wa- 
tering place tlie blizzard struck, churning 
the snow with volcanic fury and obscuring 
the vision. Mr. Bullis filled the tank and 
waited some time for the arrival of his 
companion and the cattle. Concluding 
that Mr. Loy had returned to the house, 
^[r. Bullis started on the way back and 
succeeded in reaching home after wander- 
ing about in the blizzard two hours. A 
searching party at once set out to find 
the missing man. They kept within shout- 
ing distance of one annther and covered 
considerable territiu'y, but were unable to 
"et track of the lost man or the stock. 



The dead body of Mr. Loy was found the 
followiiii;- inoniinjr iimongthe cattle, about 
a ball' mile from tlie slougli. The stoek 
bad apparently stampeded and :\Ir. Lny 
had endeavored to brino- tlieni liaek until 
overcome with the cold. Hlcvin of the 
cattle perished in the storm. 

Another who lost liis life on that awful 
day was Eric Olson, a bachelor, sixty years 
of age, wlio lived two and one-half miles 
north of Beaver t'i-eek. Just before the 
storm struck, Sir. Olson luid gone to a 
straw s'tack, a half mile from bis home, 
after fuel. He became lost in the bliz- 
zard and after traveling abont for some 
time succumbed to the severity of the 
storm. After a search of several days, 
liis neighbors found the dead body about 
one and one-half miles fmm (be house. 
Excepting the feet, the entire Imdy was 
drifted over with snow. 

The third victim was 0. A. Hunt, a 
peddler who resided at Flandreau and 
who for a number of years had lieen en- 
gaged in selling goods in the country, it 
seems that when the storm struck, j\lr. 
Hunt al)andoned bis team ami set out (ui 
foot in search ut shelter. lie tra\eled a 
long distance before overcome by the 
storm, the place where he nu't death be- 
ing fifteen miles from where he left tlir 
team. The hmly was nut I'nuud until 
April I. It was discovcivd (Ui section ^iiS, 

'■Ole Ilaga and his son wcro caught in the 
storm in Vienna township, hut succeeded in 
reaching; a deserted house, where they .spent 
the night. Both were unite severely frozen. 

Charles Older was ohliged to spend the night 
in a haystack near -Vshcreek and escaped 
without injury. 

Thomas Ganfleld had a narrow escape in 
reaching his home in the northeastern part of 
Lnverne on the night of the storm. He made 
the latter part of the journey on his hands and 

Milon Pearson and William Hihlis had a 
rough ex|)ci-ience a short distance south of 
Luverne. They were hauling a of hay 
when the storm burst in all its fury. Hnhitch'- 
ing the team, they started with it for .lens 
C'hristianson's home, hut lost their way. After 
wandering about in tlie storm for a time, they 
came to a piU- of lialed hay. There thcv made 
a shelter for themselves and teanj and re- 
mained until miuning. Mr. Pearson's face, 
hands and feet were badly frozen, but Mr. 
Hihbs was only sUsrlUlv frost-bitten. 

Frank Loose and William Sprachev driv- 

K'ose Dei; township, hy Elof and Charles 
Lundquesl. .\s .Mr. Hunt had no family 
and even im penunnent place of abode 
when in Flandreau. his death was not 
known until the body was found. 

^lany h'oek county settlers liail nar- 
row escapes from death. Some were 
obliged to spend the night in snowbanks 
or haystacks, and there were several se- 
vere cases of freezing.'' 

Two I'ailways were constntcted througli 
Rock county in 18SS. These were the 
.Sioux Falls extension of the Illinois Cen- 
tral, which passed through the southwest- 
ern part of the county and • on whicli 
were founded tlie villages of Bruce and 
Virginia (Sleen), and the Willmar & 
Sioux Falls ((ireat Northern) road, which 
p;issed through the northwestern corner 
of Rock county. 

The survey for the Illinois Central line 
was made througli a corner of Clinton 
township and (he southern part of .Martin 
towiisiiip ill .Inly, 1887, grading was com- 
menced on (be Rock conhty part of the 
road .\ugust 27, track-laying was begun 
early in Dciembei'. and the rails were laid 
Ihroiioh Kock loiinty before the close of 
(he year. The line was opened earlv iu 
INSS. Iml regular ])assenger trains were 
not operated until June 2. 

So early as the spring of 188(5 sur- 
veyors in the employ of the Willmar & 

en through the storm to the school liouse for 
. their chUdren. The storm increasing, the gen- 
tlemen decided to leave the children at the 
school house and set out for home. Mr Loose 
reached tlie house of Mr. Nurnberg and spent 
the night there. His face was badly frozen 
Mr. Spracher lost his way and spenl the night 
in a stack. 

The children of Mr. Preston had .-i narrow 
escape on their way home fnmi school. 'I'hey 
had become lost in the storm anil wandered in- 
to a cornfield. There they found a wire fence, 
and. following it. reached home in safety. 

Miss Hattie Hadwick. school teacher in a 
Springwater district, recognized the danger 
which threatened, and did not dismiss school, 
but remained in the building all night with 
her pupils. 

George I.. Cole had a narrow escape at his 
farm in Battle Plain township. Ho was in 
the storm until dark, endeavoring to get his 
cattle to shelter and had great difficulty iu 
finding his way to the house after giving up the 
effort. Forty catle of his herd of seventy per- 
ished in the blizzard. 



Sioux Falls Kaihvay company were at 
work in Hose Dell anil Springwater town- 
ships, but the line was not definitely lo- 
cated until tlie following year. Grading 
was commenced on tiie line in the fall of 
1887, Init the traci< was not laid until 
October, 1888. 1'hc Willmar & Sioux 
Falls road, whicli is now a part of the 
Great Nortliern system, passes through 
Rose Dell township and touches tlie ex- 
treme northwest corner of Springwater 
township. The village of Jasper, on the 
north line of Rock county, was founded 
as a result of tlic construction of this 

The building of Rock county's court 
house was also an occurrence of 1888, agi- 
tation for its construction having been be- 
gun early in 1887. For years the little 
sliack that had served as a county build- 
ing had been unsuited for the purpose and 
an eyesore," but tlie sentiment of tlie 
country precincts liad been uniformly 
against the expi'inliturc of money to rem- 
edy conditions. 

Tlie initiative was t.iken liy residents of 
the county seat at a meeting held at Kniss 
Brothers' office February 19, 1887. At 
tliat meeting it was decided to draft a 
bill to be iuti'odiici'd in the legislature 
asking for authority to issue bonds to an 
amount of $75,000. For the purpose of 
drawing up the bill a committee composed 
of A. M. Crosby, A. Barck and R. B. 
Hinkly was appointed, and for the jnirpose 
of placing the matter before the voters a 
committee composed of J. B. Shawver, 
W. P. Preston, J. C. Kelley, R. E. More- 
land and George B. Brace. At once it be- 

°"The county building is fuU of business these 
d.iys. Almost every available foot of space 
is occupied with desks and tables, and with all 
the county officials crowded into one room and 
people coming in and going out constantly one 
can easily imagine what a pleasant place it 
is to do business. The couijty officials man- 
age to get along and do their work under the 
present disadvantages, but the tirne is not 
far distant when it will be absolutely impossible 
to do the county business in 'he old rookery 
now used for county offices." — Rock County 
Herald. January 28, 1S87. 

came apparent that the people of Rock 
county would not ratify the proposition 
to expend so great a sum, and another 
meeting was held February 31, at which 
the amount of bonds to be incorporated 
in the bill was placed at $.50,000. Even 
at the lower figure, opposition developed, 
which, however, did not extend to fighting 
the bill in the legislature, and the act was 

The failure of the county seat removal 
scheme the year before still rankled m 
the breasts of the people of Beaver Creek 
and vicinity,' and it became known that 
bonds to the amount of $50,000 would 
not be authorized by the voters. Therefore 
it was decided to again reduce the amount 
asked. A mass meeting of Rock county 
citizens, attended by more than 300 tax- 
payers, was held at Luverne May 7, when 
the following petition form was adopted 
without a dissenting vote: 

To the Board of County Commissioners of 

Rock County, Minnesota: 

We, the citizens of Rock county, each vil- 
lage and townsliip therein being represent- 
ed, assembled in mass convention, do this 
May 7, 1887, resolve as follows: 

First: That we are in favor of building 
a court house at the county seat of said 
county at the earliest time possible. 

Second: That the structure be built of 
Rock county granite. 

Third: That the expense thereof shall 
not exceed thirty thousand dollars. 

Fourth: That the board of county com- 
missioners shall take all necessary steps at 
once to bring the matter to a vote of the 

The pciitinii, (piitc libei'ally signed, was 
presented to the board of county commis- 
sioners, and on May 1(1 that body passed 
a resolution, calling a special election for 

'At a mass meeting held at White's hall, in 
Beaver Creek. March 5. 1887. the following 
resolution was adopted: 

••WHERE.\S: The benefits accruing to the 
citizens of Luverne by the building, by the 
county at large, of such court house and jail, 
would, in our opinion, be such that they could 
well affoi'd to stand the larger portion of such 
expense Incurred thereby, therefore be it 

"RESfJLVED: That we will use our best ef- 
forts to secure a vote to bond the county for 
$20,001), upon the condition that the village of 
Luverne will donate $20,000 more and build a 
court house worth $40,000." 



June 18 to vote on the question of issuing 
$30,000 bonds for tlie erection of a court 
liouse, jail and sheriff's residence. At the 
election bonds were voted, the result by 
precincts being as follows : 
















Battle Plain 

Beaver Creek Township 
Beaver Creek Village ... 
Clinton . . .. 


Luveriie Township 

Luverne Village 


Rose Dell 





The county commissioners took prompt 
action to carry out the expressed will of 
the people. On June 24 the bonds were 
advertised for sale. T. D. Allen was select- 
ed as the architect, and the plans he 
submitted were accepted June 12. The 
contract for the erection of the building, 
of Luverne granite, was let to A. Tollcf- 
son on a liid of $'2:5,500 on August 11, 
1887. P. IT. Gillham was appointed su- 
perintendent of construction August 23, 
and two (hiys later ground was broken 
for the new building. The structure was 
turned over to the county August 4, 1888. 
and accepted by the commissioners on 
that date, conditional upon the perfor- 
mance of certain sjiccilied work," and ear- 
ly in ()<'li)brr till' building was occupied 
by the county officers. The old court house 
was sold on a bid of $75, in cash ! 

■A final settlement was made in the district 
court in Mareh, 1S90. The contractor brought 
suit for nearly $40(10. alleged to be due for 
extras, changes in plans and delays caused by 
the county board; the county set up a counter 
claim of $600(1 for alleged defects in the work. 
The case was dismisseil without recovery by 
either party to the suit. 

"Both Beaver Creek and Valley Springs were 
lively caiuiidates for stations on the new line 

Because of the activity in railroad build- 
ing and other lines of improvements, con- 
ditions were fairly prosperous in 1888. 
Grain was not an average crop, being in- 
jured by bliglit. Some fields were badly 
lodged by heavy rains and difficulty was 
encounteicil in barvesting the crop. 

.Vlthoiigb IJie growing season of ISS!) 
was dry, conditions were better than Ibe 
preceding year and a good crop was raised. 
A large acreage was converted from the 
prairie state into productive fields, and 
new Iiomes were established in every town- 
sbi]), Springwater being especially fortu- 
nate in receiving a large settlement of 
tliiifty farmers. 

Another railway, the Sioux City & 
Northern, later mergcil into the (!reat 
Northern system, was built through tbe 
southwestern part of Rock county in 1889, 
and the village of Hills was founded as 
a result. The company had been organized 
.several years before, had died and been 
buried several times, and had been res- 
urrected as often. It bad planned sev- 
eral routes north from Sioux City, and 
surveyors in its employ had run linos all 
over liock county. The last revival came 
early in lS8i), when the necessary funds 
were raised to construct a railroad from 
Siciux City to Palisades (Garrelson), 
South Dakota. Soon it became known 
tbat the road would jiass through Pock 
(ouiity, but it was sonic lime before tbe 
exact course tbe road won 1(1 take was 
loarne(h" 'I'lie grading ((Uilract was let 
in .lilly, ISSIi. and wmk' on (lie line was 
(•iininu'nc(Ml at (dice. Tbe railroad was 
com|ileted tliKuigli lvocl< i-oiiiil\ before 
the close of the year. 

of i-oad. A bill was passed by the legislature 
of 1S89, authorizing the village of Beaver Creek 
to issue bonds to aid in the purchase of right- 
of-way through Beaver Creek township, and 
on July 22 a committee of Heaver Creek citi- 
zens, consisting of A. J. Ualey, W. T. Berry 
and I. H. Burt, went to Sioux City to inter- 
vic'W the ;iuthorilies with regard to building 
Ihi- road thmiigb their village. Both candidates 
for the bono)- were passeil liy. the pass- 
inn' ali'nit equidistant hetwi'eii thorn. 



The first few years of the decade begin- 
ning with 1890 constituted one of the 
most active periods of development in 
the whole liistory of Rock county. Good 
crops were the rule, there was rilpid set- 
tlement, and in all lines of endeavor 
great progress was made. 

During the spring months of 1890 
many new settlers arrived. A bountiful 
harvest was gathered,'" and then came the 
lioom. Rock county real estate was much 
sought, and landseekers covered all parts 
of the county, having a tendency to ra- 
])idly increase the values. In the north- 
eastern townships, particularly, tlie new- 
comers invested, a special train from 
Orange City, Iowa, bringing 127 farmers 
in one day. An estimate placed the val- 
ue of building improvements for the year 
at $175,000. 

The federal census of 1890 gave Rock 

county a population of 6817, a substantial 

increase over the former enumerations. By 

jirecincts the population was as follows: 

Battle Plain 248 

Beaver Creek Township 633 

Beaver Creek Village 232 

Clinton 473 

Denver 290 

Kanaranni 343 

Luverne Township 394 

Luvenie Village 1466 

Magnolia 407 

Martin 1010 

Mound 325 

Rose Dell 307 

Springwater 415 

Vienna 274 

Total 6817 

""Rock county has produced an abundant 
harvest and furnished thereby still stronger 
foundation for its proud claim to the distinction 
nf being by nature the richest agricultural 
county in the west." — Rock C^ountv Herald, 
August 2, 1890. 

""The year 1892 will be notable in the history 
of Ijuverne and Rock county as one of splendid 
advancement in material prosperity. No single 
year in the previous history of eitlier can show 
a record of greater activity in the way of im- 
pi'ovements. The splendid natural advantages 
of this favored section have for years been at- 
tracting the attention of homeseekers in the 
east, and Rock county has won extended fame 
as the richest agricultural county in the north- 
west. As a result there has Ijeen a steady and 
constantly increasing immigration to this coun- 
ty, and during the past two years the demand 
for Rock county land has been unprecedently 

The year 1891 was even more progi'es- 
sive than 1890. A magnificent crop of 
.small giain was Jiarvested and there was 
a big increase in the acreage. The demand 
for land was active and many substantial 
Illinois and Iowa farmers settled in the 
county during the year. The Rock Coun- 
ty Herald of November 30, 1891, told of 
(■(uiditions: "Ihiring the past two years 
a niaivcliiiis change has been wi'ought in 
the county. A large share of the prairie 
land in the county — practically all in the 
southern pai't — has been bi'ought under 
cultivation. New homes in large numbers 
have been established, groves have been 
]ilanted, fences have been built, barns and 
granaries erected, and where but a short 
time ago there was nothing but bare 
prairie are now cultivated fields, well im- 
proved farms and comfortable homes." 

Flood-tide was reached in 1892. Great- 
er progress was made that year than in 
any single twelve-UKinth in the previous 
histoi-y of the county." The assessed val- 
uation reached $3,060,897, which was 
nearly a half million dollars more tlum 
that of 1891. 

A severe wind and hail storm brought 
destriictiiin and daiiiage to crops in a 
naiTow strip of counti'y in the southern 
pait of the county on the afternoon of 
June 20, 1892. I'he storm brought death 
to Mrs. Ole Nelson Toppol and serious in- 
juiy to her two year old daughter. The 
family resided six miles northwest of 

active. Well-to-do farmers have sold their 
high priced farms in eastern states, and have 
bought better land in this county at prices 
wliich have made the change a very profitable 
and advantageous one. Others with less means 
have bought farms in this section by making a 
small first payment, and in many cases have 
paid for the land from the proceeds of a single 

"The improvements made in the county at 
large and its several trading points during the 
past two years, and particularly during the 
present year, would be a source of wonder to 
those who might visit the county after an ab- 
sence of a few years. . . . ]j]ver>'where an 
appearance of thrift, enterprise and prosperity — 
the best possible e\'idence of the fertility of 
oui' soil and the value of our farming lands — 
is apparent." — Rock County Herald, December 
25. 1892. 



Hills. The tempest began its work in 
Rock county at the village of Manley, 
where nearly every building was wrecked. 
From that point the storm passed to the 
southeast through portion.-, of Martin. 
Clinton and Kanaranzi townships. 

Pi-osporous times continued up to the 
suiniiu'r of 1893. Then came the iiH'iiior- 
al)le jianic and a few years of hard times. 
Seveial firms failed, business was for a 
time paralyzed, and a ])cri(id ol' dull times 
set in, which was not entirely broken until 
the late nineties.'- The depression was 
not so keenly felt in Bock county, liowevei-, 
as it was in many of the less favored por- 
tions of the country. The panic was jire- 
ceded by several years of flourishing times, 
i'^verybody had pros]iered ami «as in a 
position to weather the hnauciai crash 
and its resulting period of depression. 

Adding to the severity of the times, in 
LSiM came the first Kock county crop fail- 
ure since grasshopper days. This was 
caused by drought. To supply seed grain 
to those wlio would be unable to purcliase, 
the legislature appropriated a sum of 
money. Eock countv applicants .-isked foi- 
$2,240.10 worth of seed, and tlu' aiiiounl 
was received llic following llarcb. Ihwil 
times in the midsl of plciitv snmmari/cecl 
the record fur ISli,"). \o previous yeai' was 
more ricliK' blessed li\ tbi' generositv of 
nature, and yet the cry of hard tinu-s 
was more frei|iu>iilly heard than in either 
of the two preceding years. The luirvest 
was of unusual bounty and undi>r imrmal 
conditions would have placed the peojilc 
(if Kock couidy in ccuufortable circum- 
stances, bid the prices for grain wei'c hard- 
ly sufficient to pay for threshing and haul- 
ing to nmrket. 

The several precincts bad population as 
follows in IS!).') : 

'-"There has been a change since the splendid 
record of 1892 was made, and the conditions 
this year have not been favorable to the en- 
couragement of enterprise and improvement. 
As a matter of fact, the year ,iust closing will 
go down in history as one of the hardest ever 

Battle Plain 430 

Beaver Creek Township 733 

Beaver Creek Village 175 

Clinton 594 

Denver 505 

Kanaranzi 473 

Luverne Township 435 

Luverne Village 1890 

Magnolia 543 

Martin 862 

Hills 195 

Mound 421 

Rose Dell 452 

Springwater 578 

Vienna 311 

Total 8,597 

An e\enl of ihc year I.SIKI was a heavy 
rain slium and Hood on .Tunc (i. 'i'be storm 
took the nature of a, G.TjI 
inches of water falling in one dav. Crops 
were damaged in the low places and all 
the railroads entering Hock county suf- 
Icrcd serious damage by washouts. 

A destructive hail storm visited portions 
of Hock county July 29, 1897, and brought 
big losses to farmers by reason of damage 
to crops. (Jrcat areas of growing fields in 
Springwater and Beaver Creek townships 
and smaller areas in Luverne, Clinton and 
\'ienna townships were swept bare by tiie 

dcsti-iiclive ele lit. Many fields were so 

badly damaui'(l that they were abandoned 
cut irch'. 

In l.SD.S Hock county furnished a com- 
pany of soldiers, who took ]iart ill the 
Spanisb-Anierican war, sei\ing a little 
less than ten months within the I'nited 
States. .\ i'ew months before the break- 
ing out of hostilities a militia company at 
[jUveriic had been luustcred out of the 
.service, and, the adjutant general having 
refused to consider the request for its re- 
eiilisliiiciit. the coiiipaiiv orgailizeil f(U' 
the war was purely volunteer, although it 
contiined many former members of the 
militia.'-' The voliinleers perfected an or- 
ganization June (i, 1898, when tliey elect- 
known in the countv." — Rock Countv Herald, 
December 29, 1893. 

"A reserve militia company was mustered in 
at Luverne bv Colonel Joseph Boblctter March 
10, 1SS6. with the following members: W. H. 



ed L. S. Nelson, captain; Frank Fergu- 
son, first lieutenant; and William E. Pres- 
ton, second lieutenant." 

President McKinley made his second 
call for volunteers May 25, but owing to 
the necessity of reeruiting the skeleton 
companies of the former Minnesota regi- 
ments, the troops waiting to respond were 
not mustered in at once. Finally, Gover- 
nor Clough issued the long-awaited orders 
for the mobilization of the Fifteenth Min- 
nesota regiment, and on July fi the Rock 
county coir,]iany departed for St. Paid. 
There was a l)ig demonstration at Luverne 
when the coni]>any took its departure. 

The Fifteenth Minnesota regiment, of 
which the Rock county company became 
company G, was mustered into the TTnited 
States service July IS. The company and 
regiment were stationed at Camps Ram- 
sey and Snelling, near St. Paul, until 
September 1.5. During that time the regi- 
ment went through a fearful typhoid fever 
epidemic, when many men of company G 
were ill with the disease, resulting in 
several deaths in thi' company and others 
in the regiment. From Minnesota the 
regiment went to Camp Meade, near Har- 
risburg, Pennsylvania, where it was as- 
signed to the third brigade of the first di- 
vision of the second army corps. There it 
leinaiiied until November 1."), wlien the 
ri'ginient was transferred to Camp Mc- 
Kenzie, near Augusta, Georgia. The regi- 
ment and couipany were mustered ou) 
at that camp j\Iarch 37, 1899. F(dlowing 
is the roster of the company at the time 
of mustering out, witli tlu^ rank of the 

Halbert. captain; P. E. Brown, fir.'^t lieutenant: 
J. yf. Gerber, second lieutenant; E. S. Warner 
S. B. Nelson, A. L. Stougliton. Thomas J. Mc- 
Uermott, Edgar S. Knowles, George W Baker 
H. W. Helm, W. S. Bronson, O. L Varney p' 
Peteler, John Kelley, Fred E. Henton, s' s' 
Walters, W. J, Jones, Jens E. Billington. C. O 
H;iwes, E. K. Rogness, K, K. Rogness. 

This company became company F, of the 
Third regiment, M. N. G., the following year 
and maintained its organization until it was 
mustered out in May, ISSH, A new company 
was at once organized and adopted the title 
"Luverne Guards." The Guards became F eom- 

soldier at Ihat time and his phice of resi- 
dence as given in the original muster roll: 

Commissioned Officers 

Louis S. Nelson (captain), Luverne. 

Frank Ferguson (first lieutenant), Mag- 

George W. Eckles (second lieutenant), 
St. Paul. 


William E. Preston (first sergeant), Lu- 

George P. Jones (quartermaster ser- 
geant), Luverne. 

Mathias Baldwin, Sherman, South Dakota. 

George A. Otis, St. Paul. 

Charles J, Becklund, St, Paul. 

Charles J. Solberg, Luverne. 


John H. McMillan, Luverne. 
Roy Ollson, Magnolia. 
George E. Munch, Edgerton. 
John W. Mueller, Luverne. 
Markus M. Chatfield, Kanaranzi. 
Frank Irvine, Luverne. 
Frank M. McKenzie, Redfield, Iowa. 
Walter H. Snook, Luverne. 
Harry D. Ayer, Luverne. 
John M. McCormick, Graceville. 
John H. May, Keokuk, Iowa. 
Emit Reddel, Aitkin. 
Dale R. Terrill, Edgerton. 
Ovey V. Shippey (musician), Alexandria. 
William Niederberger (musician). Mag- 

Patrick Miller (artificer), St. Paul. 
Luther J. Bush (wagoner), Kanaranzi. 


Halvor Arneson, Luverne. 
Prank E. Barclay, Magnolia. 
H, Delos Barnard, Chandler. 
Edward H. Bauer, St. Paul. 
Nick Bergerson, Luverne. 
William W. Birmingham, East Grand 

Hiram Brewster, Vassar, Michigan. 
Chauncey A. Campbell, Pine Island. 
Guy C. Chatfield, Kanaranzi. 
Carl E. Dahl, Luverne. 

pany, of the Tliird regiment, again May 9, 1S91. 
when forty-three men were mustered in by 
Lieutenant C. A. Van Duzee. Later the local 
company became company H, of the Second 
regiment, and maintained its organization, ex- 
cepting a short laiwe in lS9t, until it was 
fiuHlly mustered out of the seryice in January 

"Governor Clough reserved the appointment 
of second lieutenant, and when the troofis were 
mustered in Mr. Preston was made first ser- 



William A. Downs, Alexandria. 

John M. Duell, St. Paul. 

Joseph P. Dwyer, Graceville. 

Henry C. Eickmann, Alexandria. 

George Iveland, Luverne. 

George A. Pish, Alexandria. 

John A. Gant, Magnolia. 

Frank Gould, Des Moines, Iowa. 

Edward Groot, Rock Elm, Wisconsin. 

Frederick J. Robert, Chicago, Illinois. 

Aksel Hofgaard, Edgerton. 

Axtel P. Holstein, Minneapolis. 

Carl Hoven, Luverne. 

George W. Humphrey, Nevada, Missouri. 

Teeter Johnson, Ashcreek. 

Joseph E. Jones, Luverne. 

Daniel Kelly, St. Paul. 

Daniel J. Kelly, St. Paul. 

Jeremiah, Kelly, St. Paul. 

Carl J. King, Alexandria. 

Ingebrit G. Klungness, Beaver Creek. 

Herman A. Kreuger, Cottage Grove. 

Edward P. Lampman, Alexandria. 

Frank L. Lampman, Alexandria. 

Alexander G. Lundquest, Luverne. 

Charles J. Lundquest, Luverne. 

Thomas McLean. St. Paul. 

Michael Naylon, Adrian. 

Herman Oestreich, Hardwick. 

Carl J. Olson, Minneapolis. 

Ole M. Oleson, Luverne. 

William N. Olson, Willmar. 

Christian Peterson, Steel Center. 

Anton Peterson, St. Paul. 

Nick Peterson, Audubon. 

Charles Pickett, Magnolia. 

William D. Pickett, Edgerton. 

Scott G. Rogers, Luverne. 

Olof B. Running, Beaver Creek. 

Lee Rutter, Ashcreek. 

Eugene E. Scott, Luverne. 

Tonguin Senum, Fosston. 

George W. Shurr, Kanaranzi. 

Bendick P. Shuros, Highlandville, Iowa. 

Samuel Simpkins, Luverne. 

Harry H. Snook, Luverne. 

Steve Stephens, Luverne. 

Louis Sustacek, Havana. 

Nick Sward, Nelson Station. 

William A. Swenemson, Graceville. 

Martin Severson, Highland, Wisconsin. 

Henry Smuser, Luverne. 

Chris Thorsen, Luverne. 

Warner Townsend, Magnolia. 

Adolph Tshudden, Edgerton. 

Albert E. Vance, Winona. 

'■■G company sustained losses as follows: Ser- 
geant Severt O. Nelson, of Luverne, died Sep- 
tember 15. 189S: Cfd'poral Ove C. H. Knudtson. 
of I.uverne, died August 27. 1S98; Corporal 
Goiifrey Zimmerman, of St. Paul, died Septeni- 
tjer 21. 1S9S; Frederick D. Christian, of Kana- 
ranzi, died Octoljer 22. 1S98; William H. Din- 
ney. of Little Fails, died September 12. IS'JS; 
William .J. Keiniey died .\ugnst 25, 1S9.S; Wii- 
iani W. Blalser. of St. Paul, was discharged 
October 22. 1.S9.S. by order of tlie secretary 
of war; George H. Grossman, of Beaver Creek, 
was transferred to tlie signal corps Januar.v 20. 
1899; Ernest Wood, of Walker, was transferred 

William J. Welsh, Graceville. 
Harry N. Willett, Luverne. 
Wilmot O. Wilson, Browns Valley. 
John B. Wood, Luverne. 
Guy B. Woodle, Luverne. 
Joseph E. Zikmund, St. Paul.'" 

After a few years of hard times follow- 
ing tlie panic of 1893, Rock tonnty en- 
tered upon a prcispcrous era. During the 
years 18!)? lo 1!)02, inclusive, e.xeellent 
fioji.-: were the rule, and hundreds of new 
settlers came to 'share in the bounteous 
times. ].,and values jumped several hun- 
dred ]ier rem. It was a time nf unpiece- 
dentfd j>ios])ei'ily. Said the R(u-k County 
Herald dune 14, 1901: "A half decade of 
]ir()S[icrotis Acais, with good cro|)s and 
good price.*, has generously supplird the 
cuiicnt wants of producers and left a 
sui'plus I hat is being employed in improve- 
ments and development. The expeudi- 
tuies now being made clearly indicate a 
firm confidence in the permanency of the 
present pleasing conditions."' In ]9III) the 
county had a population of 9668.^'' 

Rock county's last railroad was built 
in 1900, and as a result the village of 
Kenneth was founded. Tlie extension of 
the Burlington road (now the Rock Is- 
land) fiiiiii Worthington t(i Tlaidwick was 
licgun in the fall of 1899, and in Decem- 
ber III' that year the road was completed 
to the new tuwn of W'iliiiniii and train 
.service was estnhlishcd. The surveyed 
line tliKuigh Rock ciuinty was made in 
October, 1899, and the following Mai'ch 
construction was begun westward fnmi 
Wilmont. The track w'as completed to 
Iliii-dwiik dime •.'(;. liino. and the event 
was pidpcrly celebrated in the village. 

to company C July ;il. 1S9S; Thomas J. Noonan, 
of lYior Lake, deserted .Angust 29, ISy.S; William 
\VilIiams. of Cleveland, Ohio, deserted July 19. 

"Distributed as follows: Battle Plain. 404; 
Beaver Creek township, 73G; Beaver Creek vil- 
lage, 186: Clinton, 624; Denver, 441; Hardwick. 
259; Jasper village (in Rock county). 112; Kan- 
aranzi. 512; I^uverne townsliip. 454; Luverne 
village, 2223; Magnolia tuwnsliip. :ii;:i; Magnolia 
village. 176; Maitin (including Hills). IIBS; 
Mound, 449: Hose Dell, r,r.\; Springwater, 5S0; 
Vienna, 378. 



Tlie J\'(!rk fininty jail aiul shcrifT's resi- 
lience was erected in 1900. The board of 
county conimisiiioners accepted tlie plans 
of W. E. E. Greene February 1, and on 
iMay 4 the contracts for the erection of 
the building, the cells and heating plant, 
the total contract price being $1.5,726, 
were signed. The building was accepted 
by the county board December 1, 1900. 

The year 1903 brought an interruption 
to the long series of big crop productions. 
This was caused by the most destructive 
hail storm in the county's history, wliicli 
occurred .Tuly 20. The storm extended 
from near Watertown, South Dakota, in 
a southeasterly direction to soutliern 
Iowa, passing through Pipestone county, 
the eastern part of Eock and the western 
part of Nobles counties. Along this part 
of its course it was about fifteen miles 

The storm continuued only ten minutes, 
but during that time it brought a loss of 
fully one million dollars to Eock county. 
l*>ery crop in the path of the storm was 
absolutely wiped out. Of the corn noth- 
ing was left except the roots, and trees 
were stripped bare of foliage. In the 
townships of Battle Plain, Vienna, Mag- 
nolia and Kanaranzi the loss was almost 

"By precincts as follows: Battle Plain, 435; 
Beaver Creek township, 694; Beaver Creek vil- 
lage, 202; Clinton, 614; Denver, 439; Hardwick 
269: Hills, 320; Jasper (in Rock county), 99; 
Kanaranzi, 512; Luverne township, 457; Luverne 
city, 2272; Magnolia township, 343; Magnolia 
village, 196; Martin, S37; Mound, 461; Rose Dell 
537; Springwater, 615; Vienna, 427. 

"A summary of census returns di.scloses the 
fact that since permanent settlement began 
each five year period has shown an increase 

total, it being re]ioi'ted that thirty-five 
sections in Magnolia township were en- 
tirely laid waste. In p;irts of Denver, 
Mound and Luverne townsliip.s the damage 
was also great. In Eock county 120 sec- 
tions of crop were maile 

The hail ,stf)rm was only a temporary 
check. The consideration for land pur- 
chased in Eock county during 1904 was 
over three-quarters of a million dollars. 
The census of 1905 showed a population 
of 9739." 

The last few years of Eock county's his- 
tory have, indeed, been prosperous ones. 
It has developed into the richest agricul- 
tural county in the state of Minnesota. 
The seasons of excessive rainfall, which 
l)rought disaster to many of the neigh- 
boring counties during the past few years, 
only made Eock county crops the more 
prolific. Bountiful crops and good prices 
prevail. Land values at the present writ- 
ing (1911) are the highest they have ever 
been, several sales at $130 per acre hav- 
ing been made in 1910. The federal cen- 
sus of 1910 gave Eock county a population 
of 10,222, the largest in its history.'* The 
assessed vahiation of the county in 1910 
was $7,261,41.5, an increase of moie than 
one million dollars over 1909.'^ 

in population in Rock county. The figures for 
the several enumerations are as follows- 1860 
23; 1865, 0; 1870, 138; 1875, 1750; 1880, 3669; 1885' 
5239; 1890, 6817; 1895, 8597; 1900, 9668; 1905, 9729; 
1910, 10,222. 

«Of the total valuation, $6,272,309 was on real 
property and $989,106 on personal propertv; of 
the real property valuation, $783,747 was on 
real estate in incorporated villages and $5,488,- 
562 on farm lands. The taxes to be collected 
from this assessment are $162,416,08, 



BEP'OEE takiiif,' up the pdlitioil his- 
tory of Kock county, let us resume 
hriefly tlie story of events thiit led 
uji t(i the organization of the county. 
liock county, it will be remembered, was 
created by legislative act in May, 1857, 

J. F. Shoemaker and K. S. Gregory, (poll- 
ing place at tlje hmni' of Iv S. (iregory) ; 
district No. 2, i\l. V. .Smith, .lonathan C. 
Phelps and ,J. ('. Gregory (polling place 
at the home of J. C. Gregory) ; district 
No. 3, John H. Ferguson, Frank S. Mason 

but was a political division in name only and A. B. Thompson (polling place at 

until many year.s later. In the fall nf 
18G9 tlie pioneer settlers jjctitioned the 
legislature to authorize the organization of 
the county, and the legislature, on Marcli 
5, 1870, gave the necessary permission. 
Under instructions from Governor Horace 
Austin, on Se|)teMd)cr 1, 1870, J. F. Shoe- 
nuiker, Jonathan I'helps and Amos Estey 

the lioiiie of John H. Ferguson). 

Office holding was not in style in 1870, 
and there was no scramble for the hon- 
or of being the first officers of Eock 
county. In fact, a nuinlier of those elected 
did not take kindly to the unsolicited hon- 
or and only after much persuasion con- 
sented to (pialify. Party politics diil not 
selected Luverne as the seat of government enter into the cpiestion of selecting local 
of the new county, and on September ^4 officers and no conventions were held. As 

Governor Austin issued a proclamation de- 
claring Eock county organized and naming 
Daniel Wilmot, II. A. Gregory and Abra- 
ham ^IcMurpliy county commissioners, 
with authority to bring alxiut the or- 
ganization and make pro\isiiui for liohl- 
ing the first election the following No- 
vember. The first meeting of the com- 
missioners was lield at the home of 11. 
A. Gregory October 17. 

At the initial meeting the commisssion- 
ers divided the county into voting pre- 
cincts for thfi election of November 8, 
and appointed judges iif election as fol- 
lows: Distiict No. 1, E. N. iJarlinu. 

a matter of fact, all the voters were re- 
publicans and it would have been a liard 
matter to start an ai'gumeiit on national 
issues. As there were no regularly se- 
lected nominees, Hici'e were no ballots, 
each voter casting a ballot of his own 
manufacture for his own candidates. 
Thirty-four votes were cast, which includ- 
ed the vote of every citizen of Eock coun- 
ty, witli the exception of C. Jones, who 
was absent at the time. The following 
gentlemen constituted a part of the poll 
list: .Toiiatbfin C. Phelps. Amos Estey, 
Daniel W'ilnmt, .Tames Shawvcr, Abraham 
McJlurphy, M. C. Smith, P. J. Kuiss, 




Geor<>o W. Kiiis.s, Edwin Gillliaiii, Lpg 
Whitscll, Philo Hawes, George W. Blas- 
deil, E. X. narling, Sylvester Norton, J. 
H. Ferguson, L. B. McCollum, Ed. Mc- 
Ivenzie, J. F. Shoemaker, Ezra Rice, S. 
D. Gregory, H. C. Gregory and J. C. 
Gregory. The result of the lialloting for 
congressman and legislative officers was 
as follows: 

^FVom the time of the admission of Minnesota 
to statehood until ISSl, Rock county was part 
of the first congressional district. During that 
period the representation in congress was as 

J. M. Cavanaugh (dem). May 12, 1858, to 
March 4, 1859. 

William Windom (rep), March 4. 1S59, to 
March 4. 1869. 

Morton S. Wilkinson (rep), March 4, lSo9. 
to March 4, 1S71. 

Mark H. Bunnell (rep), March 4, 1871. to 
March 4, 1S83, 

By the apportionment of 1881 Rock county 
became a part of the second district, which 
has been represented as follows: 

J, B. Wakefield (rep), March 4, 1883, to 
March 4, 1887, 

John Lind (rep), March 4. 1887, to March 4, 

James T. McClearv (rep), March 4. 1893, to 
March 4, 1907, 

W. S. Hammond fdem), March 4, 1907, to 
March 4. 1913. 

^The constitution of the state of Minnesota, 
adopted in 1857, pro\-ided that the counties of 
Nicollet and Brown (in the latter was included 
the present Rock and Pipestone counties) 
should form the seyenteenth legislatiye district, 
entitled to one senator and three representa- 
tives. This apportionment was in force until 
1860, TTnder it the district was represented as 
follows : 

1857-58 — Senate. Thomas Cowan: house, Enh- 
riam Pierce, .\lbert Tuttle, Frederick Rehfeld. 

1859-60 — Senate, Thomas Cowan: house, John 
Armstrong, Frederick Rehfeld, W. Pf-ienrier. 

By the legislative apportionment of 1860, the 
counties of Faribault, Jackson, Cottonwood. No- 
bles. Pipestone, Rock and a part of Brown were 
made to form the twentieth district, entitled 
to one senator and one member of the house. 
The district was so constituted until 1866 niul 
was represented bv the following legislators: 

1861 — Senate, Guy K, Cleveland; house. A, 

1862— Senate, Guy K, Cleveland: house, E, O. 

1863— Senate, D, G, Shillock: house, J. n, 

1864- Senate, D, c;. Shillock: house, J. .\. 

1865— Senate, D. G. Shillock: house, J. .\. 

1866- Senate, D. G. Shillock; house. J. H. 

In 1866 district No. 20 was changed to iiu-luile 
Faribault, Martin. Jackson. Murj-a.v, Pipestone 
and Rock (Noiiles county was not named in 
this apportionment, but it was doubtless in- 
tended that it should be a part of the district i. 
District No, 20 was entitled to one senator and 
one representative. The apportionment was in 
force until 1871, Tndcr it the district was rep- 
resented as follows: 

1867 — Senate, J, B, Wakefield; house, A. .An- 

1868— Senate. J, B. Wakefield; house. .\, B. 

1869— Senate, J, B, Wakefield; house, J. W. 

1870 — Senate, J, A, Latimer; house, M, !•;. L. 

Congressman' — Mark H. Dunnrll 
(rep), 34; Daniel Buck (dem), 0. 

Senator^— (;. \V. Whallon (rep), 20; C. 
W. Thompson (dem), .ii. 

Kepresentative — George C. Chamherlin 
(rep), 33; A. L. Patchin (dem), 2. 

The county officers chosen at the elec- 
tion in Noveml)er, 1870, and the first to 
serve as sucii were as follows : 

1871— Senate, C. W. Thompson; house. A, L, 

The legislature of 1871 reapportioned the 
state into legislative districts. Rock county 
became a part of the thirty-eighth, the other 
counties comprising the district being Martin, 
Jackson, Nobles, Watonwan, Cottonwood, Mur- 
ray and Pipestone. The district was entitled 
to one senator and three members of the house. 
The senator was elected from the district at 
large. Martin county was entitled to one repre- 
sentative. Watonwan to one. and the rest of 
the district to the other. Under this appor- 
tionment the district was represented in the 
several legislatures as follows: 

1872— Senate. William D. Rice; house. E. 
Berry. W, W, Murphy, G. C. Chamberlin. 

1873— Senate, William D. Rice; J. W. 
Seager. Edwin Berry. Stephen Miller. 

1874 — Senate, E. P, Freeman; house, J, F, 
Daniels, Ole O. How, N, H, Manning, 

1875 — Senate, E. P. Freeman: house. Charles 
F. Crosby, FJ, Berry, Thomas Rutledge. 

1876- Senate, I, P, Durfee; house, J, A. Ever- 
ett. Lee Hensley. W. H. Mellen. 

1877 — Senate, I. P, Durfee; house, H. N, Rice. 
Lee Hensley, Christopher H. Smith. 

1878 — Senate. Christopher H. Smith; house, 
Frank A, Day, L. H. Bishop, A\ex Fiddes, 

1879— Senate, A. D. Perkins; house, M. E. L, 
Shanks, T, Lambert, P, J, Kniss. 

1881— Senate, A. D, Perkins; house, J, A. 
-Armstrong, W, D, Rice, P, J. Kniss, 

A new apportionment was made in 1881, un- 
der which Nobles, Murray, Rock and Pipestone 
counties were made to form the seventh dis- 
trict, entitled to one senator and two repre- 
sentatives. In 1889 one more representative 
was given to the district. The seventh dis- 
trict was represented in the Minnesota legisla- 
tures as follows: 

1SS3— Senate, A. M. Cro.sby; house. W. H. 
Johnson, W, O, Crawford. 

1885 — Senate, .\. M. Crosby; house, Peter Pe- 
terson, W. B. Brown, 

1S87— Senate, W. B, Brown; house, J, F, 
Shoemaker, B, M, Low, 

1889- Same as 1887. 

1891 — Senate, Jay LaDuo; house, Larned Co- 
burn, William Lockwood, Patrick Gildea. 

1S93— Senate, Jay LaDue; house. Daniel Shell, 
William Lockwood. Ole O, Holmen. 

1895— Senate, H, J, Miller; house, Daniel 
Shell. William Lockwood. Ole O. Holmen. 

1897— Senate. H. J. Miller; house, Daniel 
Shell, Ole O. Holmen, A. S. Dyer, 

In 1897 Rock and Pipestone counties were 
made one district, the sixteenth, entitled to 
one senator and one representative. This 
apportionment is still in force. The district 
lias been represented as follows: 

1899 — Senate. H. J. Miller: house. A. S. Over. 

1001— Senate, H, J, Miller; house, J, H, Nich- 

1903— Senate. J. H, Nichols; house, Niels Ja- 

1905 — Senate, J. H. Nichols:, Niels Ja- 
cobson. t 

1907 — Senate, E. H. Canfield; house, Harri- 
son White, 

10119- Senate, E. H. Canfield; house. S. B. 

1911 — Senate, S, B. Duea; house, Harrison 



Ed. McKenzie, auditor.^ 

J. F. Shoemaker, treasurer. 

S. D. Gregory, slieriff. 

.lolm 11. Ferguson, register ol deeds. 

Jonathan C. Phelps,^ judge ot probate. 

L. B. ileCollum, attorney. 

II. A. Gregory, clerk of court. 

Amos E. Estey, court cnnunissioner. 

Jonathan C. Phelps,'^ coroner. 

P. J. Kniss, surveyor. 

E. N. Darling, commissioner first dis- 
t rict." 

Philo llawes," commissioner second dis- 

L. B. JlcColhun, commissioner third 

H. G. Gregory, justice of tlie peace. 

G. H. Plum, constable. 

T. J. Clark, constable.* 

On January 7, 1871, the newly elected 
hurti'd of county commissioners met and 
organized, tlie otlier officers cliosen in 
■ November took the oaths of office the 
I same day, and Rock county was fully or- 

.\t tlie general election in 1S71 the to- 
tal vote was increased to fifty-six. The 
result for governor and legislative can- 
didates was as follows: 

Governor — Horace Austin (rep), oG ; 
Winthrop Young (dem), 0." 

Senator — William D. Rice (rep), o2 ; 
C. C. Sylvester (dem), 4. 

^Tlio salary of the auditor of Houk county 
for the year 1S71 was $100. 

*Did not qualify. 

•■Did not qualify. 

"At the meeting of Rock county's first law 
making body, on October 17. 1870, the county 
was di\-i(ied into three commissioner districts, 
as follows: No. 1, all that part of the county 
north of an east and west line passing .iust to 
the north of the present business section of 
Luverne; No. 2, a strip of territory across 
Rock county nine miles wide, extending from 
the southern boundary of district No. 1 to 
within two miles of the Iowa line; No. 3. a 
strip of country two miles wide along the 
southern boundary. 

'Was chairman during 1871, 1872 and 1S73. 

'In the early days the office of county su- 
perintendent of scliools was filled by appoint- 
ment. J. H. Loomis received the appointment 
February 15. 1871. and served several years. 
His salary for the year 1871 was $5; in ,1872 
he received $25 for his services. 

Representative — (ieorge ('. ( 'haiiihi'rliii 
(rep), 5G; 0. Nason (dem), 0. 

The only county officer chosen in 1871 
was H. A. Gregory, who became county 
commissioner from the first district, suc- 
ceeding E. N. Darling.'" 

The vote was incrc.iscd to fsi; in 1S7"2. 
'I'hc county was found to be >till (hdrniigli- 
ly republican. The vote (nv [n'esident, 
congressman and rcprc,seutaii\(' : 

President— U. S. Grant (lep). I(i8 ; 
Horace Greeley (dem), 1(1. 

CongTessman — Mark H. Diinncll (rep), 
111: Jlorton S^ Wilkinson (dem), .5. 

Representative — Stephen Miller (rep), 
184; H. Anderson (dem), 2. 

The county officers elected were as fol- 
lows : Ed. McKenzie, auditor; J. F. Shoe- 
maker, treasurer; James A. Rice," sheriff; 
E. C. Abbott, register of deeds; C. ¥. 
Crosby, judge of probate; W. 0. Craw- 
ford,^'' attorney; J. H. Loomis,'^ coroner; 
P. J. Kniss, surveyor; J. A. Forbes," 
commissioner first district; Philo Hawes,^^ 
commis.sioner second district; L. B. Mc- 
Collnm, commissioner third district. 

The election of 1873 found 231 voters 
exercising their franchise. The result of 
the election : 

Governor — C. K. Davis (rep), SOI ; .\ra 
Baitoii (dem). 1."); Samuel Jiayall ((cm 
pc ranee), 1"..'. 

Senator — E. P. Freeman (ivp), •>2G. 

"Below governor, the nominees on the repub- 
lican state ticket received 52 votes, the demo- 
cratic nominees, 4. 

'"Mr. Gregory served as commissioner several 
years. He was chairman from Januar.v to 
October, 1874. His place on the board was 
filled by the appointment of C. A. Reynolds 
(October 24. 1874. Mr. Re.\'nolds was cliairman 
during the rest of 1874 and in 1S75. lS7fi and 

"Died September 27, 1S73, and his success'^r 
elected in November. 

"Did not qualify. C. F. Crosby appointed 
March 17, 1S74. 

'••Did not qualify. L. A. Daniels appointed 
January 15. 1873. 

"Did not qualify. H. A. Gregory continued 
to hold the office. 

'■'•Resigned in January. 1874. B. S. Wold 
aiipointcd January 31. 1874. He served as cbair- 
num for u few months iu the fall of 1874. 



Representative — N. H. Manning (rep), 
2a;!; Warren Smith (peo), 8. 

Sheriff— Ezra Rice (rep), 230. 

(_!ierk of Cdurt — George AV. KnLss (rep), 
111; H. A. Gregory (ind), 120. 

Court Commissioner — -E. D. Hadley 
(rep), 225. 

{'oinniissioncr Thin! District — L. P>. 
McCoUuni (lep), 9;. J. H. Ferguson (ind), 

lu ISTl j\lar]i H. Dunucli, republican. 
received 355 votes for congressman against 
37 for F. H. Waite, the anti-monopoly 
nominee. For representative, C. F. Cros- 
by, republican, received 386 votes, while 
his o|i|ioiu'nl. L. Aldrich. on the anti- 
juoiiopoly ticket, received not one. I). A. 
Dickinson, republican, for judge oE the 
district court, secured a majority of 328 
over his anti-monopoly opponent, Daniel 
IJuck. The following county officers were 
elected: Frank Howard, auditor; J. F. 
Shoemaker, treasurer; Ezra Rice, sheriff; 
Robert Herren, register of deeds; E. D. 
Hadley, judge of probate and attorney; 
J. 0. Helgeson, clerk of court ; C. A. Rey- 
nolds, commissioner first district; E. T. 
Sheldon, commissioner second district. The 
total vote was 392. 

Not a great deal of interest was taken 
in the election oF is;.") and oidy 170 votes 
were polled. For governor, John S. Pills- 
l)ury, republican, received 107 votes to 3 
for his democratic opponent. D. L. Buell. 
For senator. I. I'. Durfee, republican, se- 
cured a majoiily of lliO over G. S. Thomp- 
son, reform. For representative, W. 11. 
llellen, rejiiibiican. iiad a pluralily of 12? 
over E. L. BrowncU, reform. 1'. J. Kuiss'" 
was elected commissioner from the second 
district and Niels -lacobson from the 

During the eutir.' early history of Rock 
county the rcpulilican was the only party 

"Was chairman in 1878. 

'■Tlic county Ijoard. on July 28. 1875, rcdis- 
tricted tlie county, malting tiic commissioner 

that maintained an organization, but that 
fact did not prevent it from having fre- 
quent and strong opposition in local 
politics. In nearly every campaign there 
were many indej)endeut candidates or a 
"peoples" ticket, which occasionally wrest- 
ed the management of county affairs from 
the republicans. In 187t; there was a well 
organized brilt. Those who refused their 
support to the republican ticket alleged 
that the nominating convention was cou- 
ti'olled lai'gely by democrats and that old 
feuds and jealousies had been a deter- 
mining factor in the choice of nominees. 
There were independent candidates for 
nearlv all tlie oil'iccs ami the campaign 
was an exciting one, lilled with |>ersonal 
abuse. The total vote was .387. Ruther- 
ford B. Hayes cai-ried tlie county over 
Samuel J. Tilden by a vote of 518 to 69. 
For congressman, Mark H. Bunnell, re- 
publican, secured a plurality over E. C. 
Stacy, democrat, and for representative, 
C. H. Smith, republican, carried the coun- 
ty over B. N. Carrier, independent. The 
result lor county officers was as follows: 

Auditor— W. 0. Crawford (rep), 290; 
Frank Howard (ind), 284. 

Treasurer — George Anderson (rep), 
244; J. F. Shoemaker (ind), 2:i."i ; Niels 
Jacob.son (ind), 59 ; Joseph Knight (ind), 

Sheriir— Ezra Rice (rep), elecied. 

Register of Deeds — II. .\. Tuange 
(rep), 226; W. II. Ilalbert (ind), 350. 

Judge of Probale— E. D. Hadley (rep). 
109; :M. Weblier (ind), 27. 

Altorney— M. Webber (rep), 399; E. 
D. Iladlcy (ind), 172. 

Coroner — Charles Williams (rep), 577. 

Surveyor — P. J. Ivniss (rep), 187; 
II. E. Herren (ind). 378. 

Commissioner Third District — George 

districts as follows: No. 1, the north halt of 
tlio coiintv: No. 2. the tnwn.ships of T.uverne, 
Masnolia 'and Beaver Creek; No. 3. tlie town- 
ships of Martin, Clinton and Kanaratizi. 



II. Olds (rep), 11; William McKuy"* 
(ind), 133. 

Tlie campaign of 1877 was a tame af- 
fair. Only a few local officers were chosen 
and the vote was liglit. J. H. Loomis 
as an independent candidate defeated E. 
L. Grout, the republican nominee for su- 
perinten<lent of schools, the office having 
become an elective one. Nets Atleson,^" 
Independent, defeated C. A. Reynolds, re- 
publican, for commissioner from the first 

Differing greatly from it was the cam- 
paign of 1878. An opposition ticket, la- 
beled "peoples," was put in nomination 
October 13, and a most animated cam- 
paign followed, resulting in a victory for 
the republican ticket, with a few excep- 
tions. Eight hundred seventy-four votes 
were polled. The result: 

Congressman — Mark II. Bunnell (rep), 
(368; William Meighen (dem), 306. 

Senator— A. D. Perkins (rep), 663; 
William V. King (greenback), 163. 

Representative — P. J. Kniss (rep), 
334; J. H. Brooks (greenback), 338; scat- 
tering, 15. 

Auditor— W. 0. Crawford (rep), .530; 
R. Herren (peo), 389. 

Treasurer — Goodman Anderson (rep), 
:)36; J. P. Shoemaker (peo), 384. 

Sheriff— Edwin Gillham (rqi) , . .■iS4 ; 
S. D. Spragne (peo), 103; D. G. Shell 
(ind), 333. 

Register of Deeds — W. H. Halbert (re|)- 
peo), .591; Q. Loveland (ind), 234. 

Judge of Probate — W. N. Davidson 
(rep), 533; A. L. Marsh (peo), 288. 

Attorney— M. Webber (rep), 537; E. 
D. Hadley (peo), 183. 

Clerk of Court — N. R. Reynolds (rep- 
peo), 375; J. 0. Helgeson (ind), 441. 

"Was chairman in 1879. 

"Was chairman in 18S0. 

^"Did not qualify and R. A. Gove appointed 
May 21, 1S79. He resigned December 27. 1879, 
and M. Sullivan was then appointed. 

Court Conimissioner — M. Webber (rep), 
321; E. D. Hadley (peo), 487. 

Coroner — Frank Howard (rej>), 31.5; 
Alc.x. McNab^" (peo), 400. 

Surveyor — H. E. Henen (rep-peo), 

Comriiissioner Second District — .Tames 
Marshall (rep),^' 195; A. Eriekson 
(peo), 193. 

As usual in the "off" years, the elec- 
tion of 1879 was not punctuated by violent 
outbreaks of enthusiasm and the vote cast 
was only 444. Following was the vote as 
canvassed : 

Governor — John S. Pillsbury (rep), 
36G; Edmund Rice (dem), 78. 

Superintendent of Schools — R. 0. ( -raw- 
ford (rep), 359; J. H. Loomis (ind), 

Court Commissioner — N. R. Reynolds 
(rep), 368; W. E. Vary (ind), 7.3. 

Coroner — M. Sullivan^- (rep), 441. 

Commissioner First District — P. 0. 
Skyberg^^" (rep). 111. 

For the first time in the county's his- 
tory, in 1880 the democrats as a party 
decided to enter tlie field of local politics. 
A convention was held at Luverne Octo- 
ber 19, when it was decided not to place 
a democratic ticket, labeled as such, in the 
field, but to join with the voters who were 
opposed to the controlling power in the 
republican party and hold an "anti-ring" 
convention. This was done, and on October 
35 a county ticket, labeled "peoples," was 
])ut in nomination. In the election which 
followed the reiniblieans were entirely 
successful. The vote cast was 834, Fol- 
lowing was the vote received by each candi- 
date : 

President — James A. Gai-field (rep), 

"Was chairman in ISSl. 

-Resigned May 24. 1880, and A. E. Spalding 

=^Was chairman in 1S82. 



G53; Wiiifielfl S. Hancock (dein), 165; 
James B. Weaver (greenback), 'S. 

Congressman — Mark H. Bunnell (rep), 
(llC: II. R. Wells (dem), IGO; W. (i. 
\\';n-(l (iiiiJ), 4") ; C. H. Roberts (green- 
back), o. 

K'eprescntativo — I'. .1. Kniss (rep), 
?.").■); M. A. Strong (peo), 22. 

Auditor— W. O. Crawford (rep), (lOl ; 
C. S. Bruce (peo), 213. 

Treasurer — Goodman Anderson frr|i). 
IS'.i; A. Erickson (peo), 175; .1. M. 
(irant. l.")0. 

Sheriir— Edwin Gillbam (rep), (u Tl ; H. 
S. Wold (peo). 137. 

Regi.ster of Deeds— W. H. Ilalbeit 
(rep). 81G. 

.ludge of I'rnbati: — N. ]?. 
(rep), .")(•> 4 : \V. X. DavidRin (peo). 24S. 

Attorney — M. Webber (rep), G.j3 ; \\'. 
O. Crawford^^ (peo), 94; J. L. Coch- 
ran, 8. 

Coroner — J. L. Helm (rep), 818. 

Surveyor — H. E. Herren-^ (rep), 818. 

Commissioner First District-' — George 
L. Cole" (rep), 103. 

Comnnssioner Fourth District — E. D. 
Had]ey=' (rep), 192. 

Commissioner Fifth District — William 
McKay (rep). 74 ; Stewart Young, 29. 

While iiuly a few county officers were 
chiiseu ill ]SS], the election was an excit- 
ing one because of aggressive camjiaigns 

-'Had withdrawn his name. 

^^Re.signed Jul.v 26, 1882, and \V. N. Davidson 

-"The law provided that when a county polled 
800 votes it should have five commissioners and 
that the county board should redistrict the 
county. In 1878 Rock county polled over the 
recpiired number, but the commissioners did not 
take advantage of the law until October 7, 
1S80, just befof-e the election of that year. The 
districts were made to include territory as fol- 
lows: No. 1. Battle Plain, Denver, Rose Dell and 
Mound; No. 2, Beaver Creek and Springwater; 
No. 3. Martin and Clinton; No. 4. Luvcrne town- 
ship and I.uverne village: No. 5. Vienna, Mag- 
nolia and K.anaranzi, This apportionment was 
in force until 1886. 

At the 1880 election commissioners should 
have been chosen in each of the fi\'e districts, 
but this was not done. James Marshall, re- 
siding in the old second district, and P. O. 
Skyberg. in the old tliinl. retained their seats 
by virtue of former elections. Upon the be- 
ginning of a contest for the office of commis- 

waged by a few of the candidates, and 613 
votes were polled. The result: 

Governor — Lucius F. Hubbaid (icp), 
497; R. W. Johnson (dem), l(i7; I. C. 
Stearns (pro), 2. 

District Judge — M. J. Severance-" 
(rep), 162. 

Superintendent of Schools — C. A. Cris- 
sey (rep), 224; J. L. Helm (ind), 389. 

Coroner— C. A. Mead"" (rep). .594,. 

Commissioner First District — George L. 
Cole (rep), 88. 

Commissioner Second District — Abram 
Osmun (rep), 70: A. Barck (rep"). 68. 

Commissioner Third District — V. <). 
Skyberg (rep), 74. 

Two com])lete tickets were in the field 
of county (tolitics in 1882. The democrats 
again met in coiivciitiiui. only to ailjiuiiii 
in Older lo participate in the deliberations 
of a "citizens" convention. The latter 
declared that the republican convention 
was manipulated by a '"certain local ring" 
and that there was "pressing necessity for 
an entire change in county officers." A 
"peoples" ticket was nominated. \n ex- 
citing campaign followed, aiul in the 
election 789 votes were polled. With one 
exception the republicans elected every 
county ofl'icer. An independent carried 
the (iiunty for state senator, but ilid not 
carry the district. P^jllowing was the vote 
of 1.SS2 as officially canvassed: 

sioncr from the second district, the matter was 
referred to the attorney general of Minnesota, 
who advised that the two hold-over commissif)n- 
ers resign and that their places be filled b.v the 
appointing board. .Accordingly, Messrs. Mar- 
shall and Skyberg resigned in .January, 1881, 
On the same day the appointing board, con- 
sisting of the judge of probate, auditor and reg- 
ister of deeds, appointed Messrs, Marshall and 
Skyberg to the vacancies. 

-"Was chairman in 1884. 

-'*\Vas chairman in 1883. 

^In 1885 the sixth district was divided and 
Rock county l>ecame a part of the thirteenth 
district. A. D. Perkins was appointed judge 
for the new district March 14. 1885. 

'"Did not qualify. .\. E. Spalding appointed, 
but resigned July 26. 1SS2, when G. E. Bush- 
nell received the appointment. 

3'Two rcitublican conventions were held in the 
second distriil caused by a split and a ques- 
tion of auliiority. 



Congressman — J. B. Wakefield (lep), 
688; J. A. Latimer (dem), 19; Felix A. 
Borer (pro), 77. 

Senator— A. M. Crosby ^- (rep), 383; 
C. C. Goodnow (ind), 4.53. 

Representative — W. O.Crawford (rep), 

Auditor— W. Tl. iiiilli,M-t (rep), 4S() ; 
C. R. Henton (jieo). 301. 

Trea.surer — P. O. Skyliero- (vep). o24 : 
Niels Jacobson (peo), 203. 

Sheriff— Edwin GiUbam (rep). 5\: : V. 
Phinney (peo), 21)4. 

Register of Deeds — P. F. Kelley (rep), 
440; C. S. Brnce (peo), 337. 

Judge of Probate — C. A. Mead (rep), 
443; W. N. Davidson (peo), 341. 

Attorney— F. R. Reynolds^'' (rep), 4GR; 
E. H. Canfield (peo), 30.5. 

Clerk of Court — J. 0. Helgeson (rep), 
488; L. M. Larson (peo), 301. 

Court Commissioner — R. JF. Click 
(rep), 490; A. E. Patterson (peo), 289. 

Coroner — George Millhouse^* (I'ep), 
4()7; G. E. Bushnell (peo), 254. 

Surveyor— F. D. Putney '■' (rep), 400; 
C. W. Mathews (peo), 305. 

Commissioner Second District — L. D. 
Mosher'" (rep), 130. 

Commissioner Third District — Ole P. 
Steen (rep), 38; Ben Evens (peo), 98. 

The last election held in odd-numbered 
years was that of 1883. Four hundred 
fifty-eight votes were polled, with the fol- 
lowing result : 

Governor — ^T.,ucius F. Hulibard (rep), 
314; Adolph Bierman (dem), 132; 
Charles E. TTnlt {\no). 12. 

=^Was elected. 

'^Removed from the eounty find J.Tmiary 2. 
18S4, W. N. Davidson appointed. 

"Mr. Millhouse did not qualify, and January 
5. 1883. G. E. Bushnell refused the appoint- 
ment. The county commissioners then aji- 
pointed M. Webber and adjourned without gi\'- 
iner that p:entleman an opportunity to refuse the 
office. He did. however, at the first oppor- 
tunity. March 1. 1883. Mr. Bushnell was again 
appointed and on March 20 took office. 

^'Did not qualify and W. N. Davidson received 
the appointment January 5, 1883. 

Superintendent of Schools — J. L. Helm 
(rep), 437. 

Coroner— W. T. Berry" (rep), 425. 

Surveyor— W. P. Hiirlbiit (rep), 437. 

Commissioner Fiuirth District — M. 
Webber (rep), 20G. 

Commissioner Fifth District — P. Phin- 
ney^' (ind), 29; scattering, 12. 

For the first time in history, tlie demo- 
crats placed a ticket in the field of Rock 
county politics in 1884.^" Nominations 
were made for auditor, register of deeds 
and .sheriff; for the other offices the re- 
publican nominees were indorsed. The 
entire I'epublican ticket was elected. Nine- 
hundred seventy-two votes were polled. 
The result: 

President — James G. Blaine (rep), 
741 ; Grover Cleveland (dem), 163; John 
P. St. John (pro). 58; Benjamin F. But- 
ler (greenback), 10. 

Congressman — .7. B. Wakefield (rep), 
747; J. J. Thornton (dem). 171: Wil- 
liam Copp (pro), 54. 

Representative — W. B. Brown (rep). 
780; John Stuart (dem), 176. 

Auditor— AV. H. Halbert (rep), 780; 
A. C. Croft (dem), 186. 

Treasurer — P. 0. Skyberg (rep), 924. 

Slieriff— Edwin Gillham (rep), 765;' 
jr. McCarthy (dem), 179. 

Register of Deeds — P. F. Kelley (rep), 
720; E. M. EricLson (dem), 238. 

Judge of Probate — C. A. Mead (rep), 

Attorney— P. E. Brown-*" (rep). 897. 

Coroner— Ole Lund (rep), 778; M. F. 
Battelle (dem), 181. 

=«Was chairman in 188G. 

'^Did not qualify and G. II. Hentnn appoint- 
ed January 3. 18S4. 

^»Was chairman in ISSo. 

"The convention was held .iust before the 
election. October 30. Robert Herren was chair- 
man of the convention and .\. I.. Stoughton was 
secretary. Of the central committee named B. 
Knapp was the chairman and ,\. T.. Stoiighton. 

"Resigned August 1, 1885. and E. H. Canfield 



Surveyor — W. N. Davidson (rep), 917/ 
Coinniissioner First District"- — George 
L. Cole, 93; J. F. Shoemaker, 48; J. J. 
A'ickernian, 8. 

Party lines were drawn in 188G. The 
repnhlicans and democrats had complete 
tickets in the field, the proliihitionists 
a partial ticket, and there were several in- 
dependent candidates, making the election 
an interesting' one. Twelve hundred for- 
ty-one votes wtre cast. The prohibition- 
ists elected their nominee for superin- 
tendent of schools; the other offices went 
to tlie republicans. The detailed vote : 

C4overnor— A. R. McGill (rep), 839; 
A. A. Ames (dem), 2G7 ; James E. Child 
(pro), 135. 

Congressman — Jolm Lind (rep), 8(i9 ; 
A. IT. Bullis (dem), 237; George J. Day 
(pro), l-?4. 

District Judge— A. D. Perkins-*- (rc]!), 

Senator — AV. P.. Brown (rep). 903; 
Fred Bloom (ind), 184. 

Representative — Philo Hawes (rep), 
719; J. P. Shoemaker" (ind), 494. 

Auditor — Stewart Young (rep), 4'2G:' 
R. E. Moreland (dem), 143; W. 0. Craw- 
ford (pro), 351; C. S. Bruce (ind), 313. 

Treasurer — P. O. Skyberg (rep), lO-.'-.' ; 
Andrew Erickson (dem), 194. 

Sherii?— Edwin Gillham (rep), 750; 
James Kelley (dem), 451. 

Register of Deeds — P. F. Kelley (re|i), 
705; Gust Nelson (dem), 515. 

Judge of Pnilinte— C. A. IMead (I'ep). 

Attorney — W. N. Davidson (rr|i). 
1031; R. B. TTiiikly (dem). IS?. 

*'No noniiiiatiftns were made. 

*=Resigni-(] ami P. K. Brown appniritcd Febru- 
ary, 1S91. 

■"Was elected. 

"Wa."! sucoeeded in November. 1SS7. by J. O. 

"Did not qualify and H. H. .\ndrews ajipoint- 
ed January 7, 1SS7. 

Clerk of Court— J. 0. Helgeson (rep), 
594; L. M. Lar.son (dem). 175; H. A. 
'I'wange (ind), 454. 

Superintendent of Scliools- J. H. Ad- 
ams (rep), 470; L. M. Brock (dem), 209; 
Mrs. L. B. Kniss (pro), 575; E. N. Dar- 
ling (ind), 1G7. 

Court Commissioner — E. -D. IT; 


,.. 44 

733; R. M. Click, 1G3. 

Coroner— Ole Lnml (rep). (;!)-2 ; Ahi-am 
Osmun (dem), 295. 

Surveyor — W. N. Daviilson ''■'■• (rej)), 
GG7: J. IF. Furlnw (dem), 5C0. 

Commissioner First District^" — R. J. 
Cobban (rep), 130. 

Commis.sioner Second District — C. A. 
Reynolds (rep). 148; L. D. Mosher (iml), 

Commissioner Third District— Good- 
man Ander.son^" (rep). 107; C. E. Halls 
(ind), 20; F. B. Myrick (ind), 45. 

Commissioner Fourth District — M. 
Weliber-"* (rep), 199; G. C. Huntington 
(dem), 84. 

Commissioner Fifth District— William 
Maynes (rep). 172. 

The total vote in 1888 reached 1419, 
and again there was an interesting eain- 
jiaign. ()|)i)osing the republican ticket 
were a ]iartial democratic ticket, one pro- 
liiliilidnist, and several independent candi- 
dates, 'i'wo of the indeiiendents were 
elected, and the other offices, as usual, 
went to the republicans. Following wa.s 
the vote: 

President — Benjamin Harrison (re]i), 
9lt5: G rover Cleveland (dem), 325; Clin- 
(nn V,. Fisk (pro), 95; A. J. Streator 
( union labiir) . ). 

"Tlie county was redistricted July 2S. ISSC, 
and the commissioner districts made as fol- 
lows: No. 1. Battle Plain. Denver. Rose Dell 
and Mound; No. 2, Beaver Creek township. 
Beaver Creek village and Springwater; No. 3, 
Martin and Clinton; No. 4. I.uverne village: No. 
5, I.nverne townshi|). Magnolia. Kanaranzi and 
Vienna. There has been no change in the dis- 
tricts since ISSG. 

"Was chairman in 18S7. 

"Was chairman in 1S88. 




^lnl store 








Governor — William R. Merriam (lep), 
1)8^; Eugene M. Wilson (dem), 320; 
Hugh Harrison (pro), 101; J. 11. I'linl 
(union labor), 4. 

Congressman — .Tolin Lind (rep), 993; 
M. S. Wilkinson (dem), 327; D. W. 
Ivhvards (pro), 96. 

Hepresentative — Harrison White (rep). 
Si:;;. I. F. SlHieinaker^-' (ind), MW. 

Auditor — Stewart Young (rep), IDOS ; 
.1. ]{. MeDowell (dem), 391. 

'i'l'easurer— P. 0. Skyberg (rep), 108S; 
Andrew Tollefson (ind), 288. 

Shoriff~C. C. Cox (rep), 49.5; J. 11. 
iMirldw (dem), 319; Edwin Gillham'''' 
(ind), .570. 

Register of Deeds — John Kelley (rep), 
819; Gust Xelson (dem), .586. 

.Judge of Probate — A. Barck (re]i)- 
930; C. A. Mead (ind), 4G2. 

Attorney— E. H. Cantield (rep), 832; 
W. N. Davidson (ind), 548. 

Sujierintendent of Scliools — H. H. 
Wtdch (rep), 802; Mrs. L. B. Kniss 
(pro), 783. 

Coroner — Ole Lnnd (rep), 12G3. 

Surveyor— W. W. Snook'' (rep), 1269. 

('(immissioner First District — K. •! . 
Cobban" (rep), 132; E. T. Thors.m 
(ind), si;. 

Commissioner Third District — Good- 
man .\nderson (rep), 140; C. F. Halls, 
:>(;; V. 11. Peter.son, 68. 

Commissioner Fifth District — L. L. 
Hryan (rep), 106; William Maynes'''' 
(ind), i:i9. 

The election fif 1890 brought a radical 
change in Pock county politics, caused 
by the entrance of the alliance forces. The 
campaign preceding the election was bit- 
ter and one of the most hotly contested in 
the history of the county. Tlie repid>li- 

■"'Was elected. 

'"'Resigned .\iigust 5, 1SS9. and C. R. Henton 
was appointed. 

"Was succeeded January 9, 1890, by W. N. 

"W^as cliairman in 1890. 

cans n\u\ alliance forces liail lull tickets 
in the field, and many indcpi.'ndcnt can- 
didates entered the lists. The republicans 
carried the county for tlieir nominees for 
governor, congressman, senator and rep- 
resentatives by small pluralities and elect- 
ed auditor, treasurer, register of deeds, 
judge (if probate, attorney, court com- 
missioner and one county cuminissioiu'r ; 
the alliance party elected surveyor, cor- 
oner, clei'k of court, superintendent of 
schools and one commissioner; an in- 
dejiendent was elected sherilf. The total 
\ote was 1386. The official aljstract of 
the vote: 

Governor — AVilliam P. Merriam (rep), 
Ii26 ; Thomas Wilson (dem), 238; Sidney 
i\l. Owen (all), 500; James P. Pinkham 
(pro), 22. 

Congressman — .John Lind (rep), 758; 
James H. Baker (all), 600; Ira h'eynolds 
(pro), 19. 

Senator— H. J. Miller (rep), 718; A. 
M. Becker (dem), 6; ,Tay Lalhte''* (all), 

Representatives — George W. Wilson 
(re])), 746; Lamed Coburn (reii), 743; 
William Lockwood (rep), 760 ; C. P. Shep- 
anl (dem), 259; E. L. Rork (dem), 76; 
.(obn IVmberbm, (all), 557; Patrick Gil- 
dea (all), .504; C. Gu.stafson (all), 371.'^^ 

.\uditor — C. S. Bruce (re]i), 515; J. 
11. Croft (all), 365; Stewart Y(mng 
(ind), 213; J. H. Adams (ind), 290. 

Treasurer- P. O. Skyberg (rep), 1374. 

SheritT^W. II. Jones (rep), 329; Wil- 
liam Maynes (all), 152; J. E. Black 
(inil). 375; J. H. Furlow (ind), 171; 
Olal' J. Oestern (ind), 31; C. R. Hen- 
tnii (ind), 149; C. C. Cox (ind), 164. 

Register of Deeds — John Kelley (rep), 
859; .John Boyes (all), 520. 

■•'Was chairman in ISSl*. Removed from the 
district in 1892 and J. B. Crnft :ipl'"inted May 
28. 1892. 

■'■^Was elected. 

''■'■Messrs. Coburn, Lockwood and Gildea were 



Judge of Probate — A Barck (rep), 
803; E. k. Bronson (all), 572. 

Attorney— E. H. Canfield (rep). 71'.); 
W. N. Davidson (all). 652. 

Clerk of Court— H. A. Twauge (rep), 
r>10; Gust Nelson (all), 854. 

Superintendent of Schools — H. H. 
Welch (rep), 799; S. S. Start (all), 808. 

Court Commissioner — A. J. Daley'''" 
(rep), 717; Gust Nelson (all), G51. 

Coroner— S. C. Plummer '■' (all). 1381. 

Surveyor — W. N. Davidson'^* (all), 

Commissioner Second District — J. B. 
Dunn (rep), 93; Jacob MerkeP'' (all), 

Commissioner Fourth District — M. 
Webber"" (rep). 185; W. T. Gibson (all), 

The alliance party was succeeded by 
the peoples party iu 1892. The new or- 
ganization fused with the democrats in 
nominating some of the county officers, 
but was successful in electing only one 
officer. The vote polled for president was 
1859. The result was as follows: 

President — Benjamin Hari'isnn (rep). 
940; Grover Cleveland (dem), 383: J. B. 
Weaver (pp). 459: Silas TiidvM'll (]irn), 

Governor — Knute Nelson (rep), SOS: 
Daniel W. Lawler (dem), 351; Ignatius 
I)(innclly (pp), 2iH): W. J. DiMU dmi). 

Congressman — J. T. McCleary (rep), 
840; \V. S. Hammond (dem), 314; D. C. 
T-nng (pp). 211: E. H. Bronson dim), 


Kepresentatives — William Lockwood 
(rep). 9(10: nnnicl Shell (rep), 842; Ole 
(>. il.iliiicn ( ivp), S51 : Patrick Gihlea. 
( di'iii-pp) . 505 : ,1. II. MawM'll (ilcin-))p). 

"Was aucc.eeded bv J. O. Helgeson Octnhrr, 

'^Rpmoved from the oountv ,'tiu] K. J. Sbeiiilaii 
apiiointed July 14, 1S91. 

=^»Re.signed Jamiaiy G. 1892. 

488; George McGillivray (dem-pp), 470. 
District Judge — P. E. Brown, 1103. 
Auditor — C. S. Biuce (rep), looS; J. 

B. Croft (p|)), ;!;t;i. 

Treasurer — P. O. Skyberg (rep). 1122; 
Th. 0. Opsata (pp), 304. 

Sheriff-^T. E. Black (rep), 1125: C. 
H. Peterson (pp), 407. 

Eegister of Deeds — John Ivelley (rep), 
742; John Caveny (dem-pp), 577; C. J. 
Fugleberg (ind), 19G. 

Judge of Probate — A. Barck (rep), 
975; L. M. Brock (dem-pp), 540. 

Attorney— E. H. Canfield (rep), 892; 

C. A. Mead (dem-])p), G44. 
Superintendent of Schools — H. H. 

Welch (rep), 791: S. S. Start (dem-pp), 

Coroner — E. J. Sheridan (rep), 1107. 

Surveyor— W. N. Davidson,*" 0. 

Commissioner First District — A. M. 
Helgeson (rep), 101: Y. H. Pavmond 
(pp). 98. 

Commissioner Third District — C. Clem- 
etson"- (re])), 178; George IT, Griggs 
(dem), 30. 

Commissioner Fifth District — James 
I'rest.m (rep) 75: A. TI. Turner (pp), 

Eighteen hundred one votes were polled 
in Bock county in 1894. The fusion forces 
were not lepresented on the official bal- 
lot lint tlu'ic were independent candidates 
for most of the offices who received the 
democratic and peoples party support. Re- 
publicans were elected to all offices, with 
one exception. Following was the vote: 

dovci iior — Knntc Nelson (rep). 1I(V.': 
George L. Beckci- (dcni). 250: S. ^1. 
Owen (]ip). 3:!2 ; II. S. IlilU'lioe (]iro). 

Congressman — J. T. JlcCli-ary (rep), 

""Was in 1S94. 

'■'•yVafi cliairmnii in 1S92 and 1893. 

"Pid nol .lu.ilify initil October C, 1S9.'). 

«=Was cliairman in 1S96. 



1 l.");j ; James H. Bnkcr (dem), SC.;! ; L. C. 
Long (pp). -il"); II. S. Kelliini (pro). 

Senator— II. J. iMiUer (rep). I'.'Ol : .T. 
('. Jlarshall (dem-pp), 588. 

Heprepentatives — Ole 0. Hnlmen (rep), 
m::, : Daniel Shell (rep). 984; William 
l..i(ku<)nd (rep), g-ir; J. J. Rvder (dem), 
I 10 : .Inlm E. Kint;- (dem), 2r)3 : J. T. jMe- 
Kniiilit (,pp), 'Hi\ : ('. F. XorwcHid (pp). 
■.Ml ; \. Jaycox (pp), 41(1. 

.Viiditor — ('. S. Bruce (rep). ICiOS. 
Treasurer — P. (). Skyherg (re]>), ];!">."): 
.\iidre\v K. Steen (pp). 385. 

Sheriff— J. E. F.laek (lep). 1111: \V. 
II. Jones (ind), CTG. 

Register of Heeds — Jolin Keller (rep). 
'■>-ir>: J. H. ,\dams (ind), 84G. 

Judge of Probate — James ^Ini-shall 
(rep), 977; A. Barck (ind). 789. 

Attorney— E. H. Canfield (rep), 1014; 
\V. X. Davidson (ind), 743. 

Clerk of Court — O. E. Ferguson (rep), 
loSH; r4ust Nelson (ind), 715. 

Superintendent of Schools — Ellen 'M. 
Wright (rep), 1003: S. S. Start (ind), 

('iiui't ( 'oiumissioner — J. (). Helgesnn 
(rep), ir,2G. 
Coroner — ¥.. J. Sheridan"^ (rep). 148:!. 
Surveyor — W. N. Davidson (rep), 

Commissioner Second District — C. ^I. 
Ellifhorpe (rep), 89 ; Jacob Merkel ( ind ). 
99 ; Robert McDowell"' (ind). l:.'o. 

Commissioner Fourlh District — ^1. 
Webber"-^ (rep), 385. 

In 189G the free silver issue gained 
many adherents in Rock county, and Wil- 
liiiiii Jennings F)ryan, the democratic 
standard bearer, received a comparal i\'(4y 
bilge vote, as did, also, John Liiid 
for governor. The democratic and ]ico- 

"■■■Was succeeded by J. C. GUbert.'ion January 
11. lS9fi. 

"Was chairman in 1897. 

pies party did not Join forces in 189(), 
Init each party put I'orlb nominees for a 
part (if the county offices. The vote 
cast was •<III19. Tlie stoi-y of the ele(4iou 
in figures: 

President — William McK'inley (rep), 
1209; W. .1. Bryan (dem-pp), 7G5 ; Le- 
vering (pni). 59: Palmer (nat-dem), 18; 
:\latchett (soc-lab), 4. 

(uivcrnor— D. M. Clough (rep), 1038; 
John land (dem-p])), 89(i : W. J. Dean 
(pro). 59: A. A.. Ames (ind), 8: W. B. 
Hammond (soc-lab), 5. 

Congressman — J. T. ^IcC4eary (rep), 
1155; Frank A. Day (dem). 778; Rich- 
ard Price (pro), 30. 

Representatives — Ole O. Holmen (rep). 
1163; Daniel Shell (rej)). 1008: A. S. 
Dyer (rep). 983; Michael Sullivan (dem- 
pp), 7G7; P. M. Payne (dem-pp), 6GG; 
Thomas Lowe (dem-pp), 675. 

Auditor — C. S. Bruce (lep), 1745. 
Treasurei'— P. 0. Skyljerg (rep), 1393; 
.\ndicw K. Steen (pp), G05. 

Sheriff— J. E. Black (rep). 1132; J. 
IT. Sanders (dem). g:!8 : ^I. M. Jensen 
(ind), 299. 

Register nf Deeds — J. IT. Adams 
(rep). 15i;i: T, 11. :\l(L)ermntt (dem), 

Judge u( Pro)iate — James Marshall 
(rep), 1319: C. A. Reynolds (pp), G57. 
Attoriiev— S. C. Rea (rep), 1090; A. 
Barck (pp). 881. 

Superintendent of Schools — Ellen M. 
Wright (rep), 1G50. 

Coroner — J. C. fjilbertson, 58. 
Suiveyni' — W. X. Itavidson. 104. 
Commissioner First District — W. J. 
Willyanl"" (rep). 308. 

C(iiniiii-si(inci' Third District — F. B. 
^lyiiek"' (ivp). 517: C. Clemetson 
(dem), 119. 

'■'Was chairman in 1895. 
'^''W^as chairman in 1900. 
"Was chairman in 1899. i 



Commissioner Fifth District — L. E. 
Woodruff (rep), 191; Henry Rohlk'-' 
(dein), 22a. 

The off-year 1898 showed a falling off 
in the vote cast, the highest number for 
any one oti'ice heing 136T. The ticket in 
opposition to the republican was labeled 
democratic and was supported by tlie fu- 
sion forces. Tlie republicans made a 
clean sweep. Following was the vote of 

Governor— W. II. Eustis (rep), 780; 
Jolin Lind (dein-pp), 490; G. W. Hig- 
gins (pro), 33; W. B. Hammond (soc- 
lab), 3; L. C. Long (midroad pop), 39. 

Congressman — J. T. ilcCleary (rep), 
830; D. H. Evans (dem), 430; T. 1'. 
Grout (pn.), 67. 

District Judge_P. E. Biown. lloo. 

Senator— H. J. Miller (lep). 9:,1 -. 
Joseph Willers (ind). 3.")5. 

Representativ( — A. S. Dyer (rcp>, 
853; C. Cunningham (ind), 428. 

Auditor— C. S. Bruce (rep), 1201. 

Treasurer— P. (). Skyberg (rep), 983; 
C. W. Finke (dem), 371. 

Sheritf— J. E. Black (rep). 819; 
George Hoeck (dciii), .'J48. 

Register of Deeds — J. II. .\dams (rep). 

Judge of Probate — James Marshall 
(rep), 94(;: E. II. HronsdU, 389. 

Attorney— S. C. Hea (rep). 948; Guy 
Huntiiigtiiii (dem ), 377. 

Clerk of Cduil— (). E. Ferguson (rep), 

Sujieriufendent of Schools — Ellen ^I. 
Wrighl (ivp). 8ir): T\Irs. F. H. M. Eend;a 
(dem), (122; :\lrs. L. H. Kniss (ind), 

Court Commissioner — William Bateson 
(rep), 01; J. O. Helgeson, 13. 

Coroner — .\. E. Spalding"" (rep), (Ki. 

"'Was chairman in 1898. Resigned February 
1. 1900, and was succeeded )>y M. M. Chattield. 

"Did not qualify and R. N. Sisson appointed 
January 7, 1899. 

Surveyor— W. N. Davidson, 108. 

Commissioner Second District — Abram 
O.-inuii (rep I, 110; Robert McDowell 
(deiu), 94. 

Commissioner F o u r t h District — M. 
Webber'" (rej)), 22(1; .\. P. Adams 
(dem), 10.'"). 

Again in 1900 the rejiublicans made a 
clean sweep over the democrats, carrying 
the e(iunt\ Inr president, the state, con- 
gressional and legislative tickets, and elect- 
ing everv countv officer. The highest vote 
recorded for anv one (itliec was 19ii7. The 
result in detail : 

I'resident — William McKinley (rep), 
1234; W. J. Bryan (dem), 573; J. G. 
Wooley ( pro). 73. 

(ioverni.r— S. R, Van Sant (rep), 
107.">: Thnmas J. Meighen (dem-pp), 
O'.iO; R. B. Haugeii (pro), 57. 

Congressman — .T. T. McCleary (rej)), 
1194; II. Iv Matthews (dem), 004; S. 
1). Works (pro), 04. 

Representative — T. II. Nichols (rep), 
1038; S. B. Nelson (dem), 809. 

Auditor— C. S. Bruce (rep), 1417; A. 
Ratlijen (dem), 490. 

Treasurer— P. 0. Skyl)erg (rep), 1022. 

Sheriff— -T. E. Black (rep), 1350; B. 
T. Kitterman (dem), 551. 

Register of Deeds — I. II. Adams (rep), 
1372; R. E, Moreland (dem), 529. 

Judge of Probate — .Tames Marshall 
(rep), 1334; J, B. Obele (dem), 541, 

Attorney— E, H, Canllehl (rep), 985; 
S. C. Rea (ind). 848 

Suiierintendent of Schools — Ellen M. 
Wiight (rcji), 1344; S. S. Brock (dem), 

Coroner — E. N. Sisson (rep), 1445 

Surveyor— W. N. Davidson,'" 89. 

Ciiinmissioner First District — K. (!. 

■"Was clioirinan in lliOl and li>02. 

"Resigned October IS, I'.IO'.'. and it. V,. Harvey 



Oldre (rep), 217; J. N. Beaty (dera). 

(.'omniissioner Tliii'd District — J. M. 
I'aids.-ii (rep), 259; Ole P. Steen, 74. 

(.'onunissioiier Fifth D i s t r i c t — Alex 
\Viili<er- (rep), 1S7; J. B. Croft (dem). 

The first nominations rimli'i' tlic pro- 
visions of the iii'iniarv election law were 
iiuulc Septeniher Ki. llio2. 'i'here were 
iinly three contests I'oi- the i-epiihlican 
miniinntions and none for the democratic 
hdmimitions. Followinf;- was the result 
for places on the repnl)lican ticket where 
there were more tlian one candidate: 

Eepiesentative — Niels Jacol)son. :!92 ; 
Harrison White, 332. 

Sheriflf— .1. E. Black. .■•.73: TTalvor Sav- 
..Id, 167. 

Superintendent of Schools — Frank E. 
Older, 482 ; Ellen j\r. Wright, ")36. 

At the general election of 1902 the 
total vote was 1402. and every ri']iuhli- 
can was again elected. According to tlie 
official canvass the vote was as follows: 

Governor — S. R. Van Sant (rep), 
974; L. A. Rosing (dem), 368; Thomas 
J. Meighen (pp), 11: Charles Scanlon 
(pro), 44; Thomas Van Lear (soc-lah), 
4 ; Jay E. Nash, 1. 

Congressman — J. T. McCleai-y (rep). 
lolC; C. N. Andrews (dem). 376. 

Senator— J. H. Nichols (rep). 916; 
Jay LaDue (dem), 474. 

Representative — Niels Jacohson (rep), 
921; F. C. Mahoney (dem), 464. 

Auditor— C. S. Bruce (rep), 1263. 

Treasurer — P. 0. Skyherg (rep), 1270. 

Sheriff— J. E. Black (rep), 1226. 

Register of Deeds- .1. 11. Adams (rep), 

Judge of Prohate — ^I. Wchher (lep), 
844; S. C. Rca (ind). .537. 

•-Was chairman in 1903. 

"*Rpninved from the roiinty .Tnd .Tiily 12. 1904. 
\V- N. Davidson was appointed. 

Attorney— E. IT. Canfield (rep). 841; 
\V. N. Davidson (ind), .54(i. 

Clerk of Court — 0. E. Ferguson (rep), 

Superintendent of Schools — Ellen M. 
Wright (re]j), 1003; George L. Alder 
(ind), 795. 

Coiiit Commissioner — .1. O. Helgeson, 

Coi-onci' — S. J. Fi'iishaug. 97; E. N. 
Sissoii, 15; Dana Baer, 7. 

Sui'veyor— H. E. Harvey,'' 109; W. N. 
Davidson, 12. 

Commissioner Second District — B. M. 
Pengia'' (rep). Did; IJohert AfcDowell 
(dem). 111. 

Commissiiinei' Fourth I)istrict — J. P. 
Houg'-' (i-e|i). 2S(i; W. \. :\[(Dowell 
(drm), lis. 

'i'hei'e were five contests to decide in 
(lie 1904 re]Hihiican primary, with (he 
following result : 

Congressman — H. J. ^lillei', 652; J. 
T. j\IcC]eary, 355. 

Attorney — C. H. Christo]iherson, 589; 
J. A. Kennicott, 423. 

Superintendent of Schools — Ellen M. 
Wright, 713; Fi-ank Older, 724. 

Commissionei' First District — A. C. 
Finkc. 1S5: O. G. Qualley, 76. 

Commissioner Fifth District — Alex 
\VaH<er, IK: .Iwhii Hngehretson, 89. 

Foi' the first time in its history. Rock 
count\- letiuiied a majority for a demo- 
cratic nominee for governor in 1904, 
•lohii .\. .lolmson receiving a ]durality of 
nini'ty votes over R. C. Dunn. For presi- 
dent Theodore Roosevelt received a record 
lireaking vote, and all other republican 
nominees received suljstantial majorities. 
Fifti'en hundred sixty-eight votes were 
lor ])ii'si(lri]t. T'he otficial count gave 
the foUowing results; 

"Was chairman in lOO."). 

"Was in 1904 and 1900. 


President — Theodore Eoosevelt (rep). Auditor — C. S. Bruce. 9'>G: Otto A. 

1242; Alton B. Parker (deni), 241; Eu- Paulsen, 374. 

gene Debs (jio), 23; Thomas Watson I'leasurer — P. 0. Skyhera-, IK'iT ; J. ^l. 

(pp),.20; Swallow (pro), 42. .lacobsou, 432. 

Governor— P. C. Dunn (rep), G9.j ; Sheriff — 1. K. P.hick. !i-l.-i: A. A. 

John A. Johnson (deni), 785; Charles Pierr-e, 417. 

W. Dorsett (pro), .t3;.1. E. Nash (po). Superintendent of Schools — VA'v.i \. 

5; A. W. :\1. Anderson (soc-lah).:. llcadlcv. H'li'.': I'ctcr L. i'.ivdcn. (172; 

Congressnuiii — J. T. McClcarv (rep). Ellen M. Wnslit, 319. 

89."); G. P. Jones (dem), 638. Coinniissioner Second District — C. IT. 

District .lu.lue— 1". E. Brown. MOI. i'.al.lwiii. 1.".3: (). C. Jordald. .".1. 

Peprescntative — Niels Jacol)son (icp). Aiiain at the geneial election of 1900 

1110: John .Michelsen (])ro), 3.")3. John A. Johnson for go\erniu' received 

.\uditor — ('. S. Bruce (rep), 137(1. a majority. \\. S. I laiiiinonil. ilcniocratic 

Treasurer — P. (). Skylierg (icp), 1117. nominee for congress, also carried Pock 

Sheriif — J. E. Black (rc|i). IHM; .\. county — the first and only time in the 

A. Pierce (ind). 4()4. ' history of the county that other than the 

Register of Deeds — J. TT. Adams (rep), re]ml)]ican nominee had carried the eoun- 

13Stl. tv for congressman. On the county ticket 

.Judge id' I'roliate — ^1. Welilier (lep). the election weld to the republicans by de- 

1364. fault, there being not one candidate in 

.\ttornev — ('. 11. Cbristopherson (rep). o|i)iosition. 'i'he vote was 1311, diviiled 

1371. as follows: 

Superintendent of Schools — Ellen i\l. Governor — A. L. Cole (rep), 549; 

Wright (rep). 12 16. .lohn A. Johnson (dem). 718: Charles 

Coroner— S. .1. Froshaug (rep). 1299. \V. J)or.sett (pro), 38: O. Iv L<d'tlnis 

Suivevoi' — W. X. Davidson, 35. (po), 6. 

Commissiimer First District — E. T. Congressman — J. T. j\[cCleary (re]i). 

Thorson"" (lep). 164: d. F. Matthiesen 580 ; W. S. Hammond (dem). 651: Dav- 

( ilein ). 1-.' I. id .\. Tucker (pro). 48. 

Commissioner Tbinl District — A. I. Senator — E. H. Cantield (re]i), Pt4(l. 

Finkc" (rep),2Sl. Representative — Harrison White (rep). 

Comnd-^ioner Fifth District — .\ 1 e \ 726 : John ;\Iichelsen (pro). 148. 

Walker (lep). \'>', : Thomas E. Knowl- .Auditor — C. S. Bi'uee (rep), 1155. 

ton (ind), 141. Treasurer— P. (». Skyberg"" (rep). 

The contests for the republican noin- 1164. 

inations in liMid residted as follows: Sheriff — I. V. Black (rep). 1106. 

Congressman — .1. T. McCleary. 485: Pegistei' id' Deeds— J. II. .\ilams. 

Cdbert Gutlersen, 839. (rep). 1115. 

Senator- E. II. Caidiel.l. iioo : C. W. .Indue nf I'l-nliati — M. Webber (re]i). 

(Jilmore, 42!). 1111- 

Repvesent'itive-TTai risen White. 7:!6: Atlornev ('. II. Cliri-^topherson (reii). 

K'. (1. Oldie, 5011. 1099. 

■"Wa.s ch.iirni;ui in 1907. "Resigned in .laniiaiy. lltns. unfl was suc- 
ceeded by J. P. Houg. 
"Was cli.Tii-maii In lltOS. 


Clerk of Court — 0. I']. Fcrgiisdii (iV])), Congressiiiim — .1. 'I'. ^IrCleary (i'<'p), 

112-^. 973; W. S. irMiniiKmd (dem), 847. 

Supci'iiitc'iulcnl, ()[ ScliiMiIs — I'Idia A. Eoprescntiitive— S. I'.. Iiiica (I'i'p), 

llcadley (rep), 1154. 1:J31. 

Court Corrimissioucr — J. 0. Helg(\-;oii, Auditor — John Kdlcv (rep), 1499. 

l>i. Treasurer — 7. I'. Wdu^j; (rep), l.i34. 

Coroner— S. J. Fro.sliaug,''' 127; E. N. Sheriff— J. K. Hlacl< (rep), 15r.7. 

Sisson, 75. Register <>( Deeds — J. H. Adams 

Surveyor — W. N. Davidson, 85. (rep), 154.1. 

Comrnissioner Second District — C. Tl. Judge of Proliale— M. Wehei- (rep), 

Baldwin*" (rep), 175. 1518. 

Commissioner Fourth Disti-iet — J. P. Attorney — C. II. Ciirisiopherson (rep), 

Houg^' (rep), 313. 1499. 

There were a few contests in the repuh- Superintendent of Schools — Edia A. 

lican ])i-iuiary of 19(IS. wliieh resulted as Ilcadlev (rep), 1547. 

follows, so far as Rock county was con- Coroner — T. S. Paulson '218; scatter- 

cerned: iug, 141. 

Congressman — Gilhert Cutt^-rsen, 5(U ; Surveyor — W. N. Davidson. 38. 

•T. T. McCleary, '290 ; P. A. Ewcrt, 134. Comn'iissioner First District— E. T. 

Representative— Plarrison White, 479; Thorson (rep). 287. 

S. B. Dnea, 22G ; A. C. Finke, 295. Comniissioncr Third District- Otto A. 

Register of Deeds— J. 11. Adams, 720; Paulsen'" (rep), 182; C. W. Finke (ind), 

1. M. Cady, 274. l(i:i. 

Attorney — C. H. Christopherson, 5ii2 ; ('(uumissioner Fourth District — J. A. 

.\. J. Daley, 454. Keunicott*-' (rep), 232; C. A. Reynolds 

Commissioner First District — E. T. (deui), 206. 

Thorson, 98; Carl Wiese, 80. Commissioner Fifth District— Charles 

Commissioner Third District— Otto A. j._ j^Tpison (rep), 187; A. Rathjeu (dem), 

Paulsen, 1.52 ; P. N. Steen, 99. ^i;,. 

The election of 1908 proved anotlier ,^,^^^ ^^^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ republican nomi- 

complete victory for the republicans. The ^^.^^.^^^ .^^ ^^^q ^^^^ ^^^i^^^ ^^ f^l,^^^. 

total vote for presidential electors was 

_,,,.,., , ,, J. (■ .1 1 T Congres.sman — Frankhn ]•. Eliswortli, 

1833, and the vote ot the several canin- ^ 

, , „ ,, (ill; Albert L. Ward, 392. 

(hues was as follows: 

Pre,sident— W. H. Taft (rep), 1234; Di.strict Judge— L. S. Nelson. 311; 

W. J. Bryan (dem), 526; Eugene Chafin ^^i''""! '•'"■"'- ^^''' '• J- ^^- '''"^^'"- ^'''^ '• ^^ 

(pro), 5fi; Eugene Debs (po). 17; IDs- ^\'- •Jilmore. 136; D. A. Stuart, 70. 

gen (independence). 4. Seiuitor— E. PI. Canfield. 635; S. B. 

Governor — Jacob F. Jacolison (rep), Duca, 440. 

966; John A. Johnson (dem). 816; Representative— Harrison White, 740; 

George D. Plaggard (pro), 27; BeeehcT William Lockwood, 279. 

]\Ioore (po), 4; William Wallen (inde- Treasurer— J. P. Houg, 636; W. L. 

pendence), 2. Kartrude, 532. 

"Resisned .\\igust 5. 1907. and was succeeder] "Re.signed in January. 1008. to accept oftico 

bv B. O. Mork. The latter removed from the ot county trea.surcr and was succeeded by C. 

county and on July 13, 190S, P. D. Whyte was .y. Reynolds, 

appointed. ,,,^ chaiiman in 1911. 

s'Was chairman in 1909. "Was chairman in ItllO. 



Judge of Probate — M. Webber, 855; 
S. C. Rea, 260. 

Commissioner Second District — C. II. 
Baldwin, 131 ; John P. Ingelson, 57. 

For the first time since the primary 
law went into effect those voting the dem- 
ocratic ticlxct in 1010 had a clidicc be- 
tween two candidates wlio aspired td I he 
same olfice. For congress W. S. liaiu- 
mond received 51 votes to 2 for Oscar 
M. Qiiigley. 

At the last general election before Ibe 
]iublication of this volume, that of No- 
vember. iniO, the iiighest number of 
votes cast for the nominees of one olfice 
was for state senator. 1435 being polled.^* 
The ilcmocrats carried the county for 
tlicir nominees for judge of the distriit 
court and state senator; otherwise the re- 
publicans were successful, electing every 
county office without oppositon. The vote 
of 1910 as officially canvassed: 

Governor— .\. O. Eherhart (rep). 902; 
James Gray (dem), 408; J. F. Heiberg 
(pro), TO; George E. Barrett (po). IS; 
('. AY. Brandborg (soc-lab), 16. 

Congressman — Franklin F. KlUwurtli 
(re|0. "05; W. S. Haininond"' (dem). 
598; D. A. Thayer (soc), 20. 

District Judge — Tj. S. Nelson"" (rep), 
645; J. G. K'edding (dem), GOT: J. A. 
Cashel (ind). 66. 

Senator — S. B. lluea^' (i'e|i). 5."i."i ; S. 
B. Nelson (ilem). s;-i. 

I!epi'ese?ltali\(' — llairi>nn While (re|i). 
845; W. O. Crawford (pro). 510. 

Auditor— John Kellcy (rep), 119:!. 

Tiva-iurcr — I. 1'. iioiig (rep). Ills. 

Sberilf — I. K. Blaek (icp). IISI. 

Pcgistcr of Deeds — I. II. .\dams (icp). 

Judge (if I'robab — ^M. Webber (rep), 

"The votP was divided among the several pre- 
cincts as follnws: Battle Plain. .37; Beaver 
Preek township and village. 161; Clinton. "2; 
Denver. iJO; Hardwiek. 53; Hills, 7!); Kanaranzi. 
!)S; Luverne city, south ward. 250; north ward. 
209; Luverne township, 62; Magnolia township 

Attorney — C. II. Cbristopherson (rep), 

Clerk <d' Court — O. K. Ferguson (rcji), 

Sujieriutendent of Schools — Fdia A. 
Ileadley (rep), 119i). 

Court Commissioner — J. O. Ilelgeson, 

Coroner — J. E. Treat (rep), 10()5. 

Surveyor — W. N. Davidson, 13. 

Commissioner Second District — C. H. 
Baldwin (re|)). 191. 

Commissioner Fourlli I)is(riel — J. A. 
Kennicott (rep), 320. 

.Viid now the political liistjiry of Bock 
coiinly is brouglil to a close. It covers 
a perinil frniii the lime in 1870 when the 
lirst cMUiiity (ilficiiil took the oath of of- 
lice — when there was a mere handful of 
men in the county who availed themselves 
ol' tile privilege of voting — up to and in 
chilling the last general election l)cfore 
the date of pidilication of this volume. A 
brief ^uiumary of the conditions during 
tliis time may not lie out of place. 

The county has always been normally 
republican. In the early days it was con- 
sidered a di.sgrace, and almost a crime, 
to have other |iolitieal affiliations. There 
have been county elections at which every 
Mite was fur the republican ticket. Al- 
ihiingh the party of Jefferson polled fair 
sized votes ;it several elections, it has 
Me\('r earrieil the county for the national 
licl'.el; al (wo ciectiiHis it cari'ied the 
comitv for goveniiir and mi one nccasinn 
fur congressman. 

During the entire ciiriy bislory of the 
c-ouiity and up to the middle eighties, the 
icpublican party was the only one main- 
liiining an organi/zition. Rut during this 
time lliere was a strong independent move- 
ment, kept alive by one faction of the rc- 

. and village, 6S; Martin. ;i7; Mound. SC; Rose 
Dell. 60; Springwater. 50; Vioiuia. 63. 

"Was elected. 

•"Was elected. 

"Was elected. 



]iiililiciiti party and a few democrats, 
wliicli ii|i|)oscd the republican organiza- 
tion and on several occasions gained par- 
tial control of county politics. With the 
later settlement of the county came the 
organization of the democratic party, and 
since that time it has been a factor in 
county politics, although always as a mi- 
nority party. 

During the free silver days of the nine- 
ties the peoples party came into existence, 
and for a few years was a power in couii- 
f\ |iolitics. When its power began to 
wane. I'usioii was accomplished with the 
democrats, and for some time longer the 
combined forces furnished opposition to 
the dominant party. 

The prohibitionists have never been 
strong in Eock county. Jn one or two 
campaigns they placed nominees for coun- 
ty offices m the field, but they have not 
maintained a permanent organization. 
Socialists and other minor |iiirlics have 
little or no strength in the countv and 
ne\ei- had organizations. 

liocI,\ county has been rortiinate in its 
selection of county officers. Dui'ing its 
jiolitical history of forty-one years, there 
has not been a defaulting countv officer, 
so far as I am able to learn. Nor has 
there been a removal because of criminal 
action oi' incompetence, with one excep- 


LUVERNE— 1867-1911. 

LUVERNE, tlie capital of Eock 
countv, is the oklest <ancl most 
populous town in the county. It 
is located on Rock river, and its elevati(m 
ahove sea level is 1451 feet. It is on three 
lines of laihvay, the Chicago, Rock Is- 
land and Pacific, the Chicago, St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Omaha, and the Boon 
branch of tlie Omaha system, being a ter- 
minus of the last named. Otherwise de- 
scribed, Tjiiverne is within two and one- 
half miles, in a direct line, of the geo- 
graphical center of Rock county. The busi- 
ness center of the city is seven and three- 
(juarters miles from the eastern boundary 
of the county, thirteen and one-half miles 
froui tlie north line, twelve and one-half 
luilcs from the western border, and ten 
and one-half miles from the sonthern 

The popuhilinii of Luvorno, according 
lo the census of 1910, is 3540. It is one 
of the [irogressive and prosperous towns 
of southwestern Minnesota. All lines of 
business that are to be found in the towns 
iif the agricultural commnnities of the 
upper Mississippi valley are represented. 
It is noted for its beautiful homes, 
schools, churches and social organizations, 
and in these respects it is the peer of any 
city of its size in the state. 

Consideied in its natural folate, the lo- 
cation III' Luverne is one of unusual 

beauty ; southwestern Minnesota has not 
a more lovely spot. Through the eastern 
part of the city flows Rock river, skirted 
with a growth of natural timher, which 
foi'ins a series of pretty little parks. In 
its natural state and with the embellish- 
ments added by the hands of man, Lu- 
verne ranks as one of the prettiest little 
cities of a state distingaiished for its pret- 
ty towns. Especially is one cliarmed witli 
its loveliness in summer. Then the broad 
avenues and parks are clothed in bright- 
est green. Trees are everywhere. Due 
to the foresight of the pioneers of the 
town, the spot which was once barren 
])rairie is now a bower of beauty. 

One can hardly realize that less than 
a half century ago this spot was an un- 
charted wilderness, practically unknown 
to white men; yet such is the case. Time 
was wlien the dusky red man pitched his 
tepee where now Luverne's churches are 
located; vast herds of bison inliabitcd the 
Rock river country and made tlicir wal- 
lows, perhaps, where now the couits arc 
held; timid deer browsed wlieie at pres- 
ent the pupil studies his natural history; 
elk in countless numbers roamed the ad- 
jacent prairies and saw their antlers re- 
flected in the clear waters of the Rock 
as they bent down to drink. 

When the first white man set foot mi 
the present site of Luverne is not knuwn. 




Possibly ho \v;is sninc adventurous trapper 
wliii had pushed out beyond his associates 
in an endeavor to locate new grounds in 
uhiili to ])ly liis trade, and, liaving come 
to Boek river, proceeded up the stream tn 
the point where was later founded the 
city. Possibly the first man was a mem- 
ber of the Nicollet party, or some other 
explorer of southwestern Minnesota. Dur- 
ing the military operations against the 
Sioux Indians, following the outbreak of 
1SG2, the route of the white avengers 
across Eock river passed close to the city- 
l(i-be and was traversed occasionally liy 
jiartii'S of soldiers and scouts. T.atcM' still, 
during the middle sixties, trappers on 
Eock river occasionally passed over the 
site, but no record of the operations of 
these people is left. 

The history of Luverne may properly 
be said to begin in ISfiT. although it was 
some time later when the town was ac- 
tuallv founded. As has been told in 
chapter two of this volume, Philo Hawcs. 
accompanied by Joe Fields, arrived on 
Eock river and camped a short distance 
north of the present city on June 13, 
ISriT. on a trip to select a government mail 
I'oute from Jackson, Minnesota, to Yank- 
ton. Dakota territory. Accompanied by 
four workmen, Mr. Hawes again visited 
the Eock September 18, and on the fol- 
lowing day he .selected the site of Luverne 
as a jilacp on which to establish a stop- 
))ing |iImcc for llic nuiil carriers and as a 
I'lilurc home foi- biiiiscir. On September 
lit. 1S(m. the first buihling in Tjuvenic 
was crectcil. a .-tabh' built of [lolcs ami 
hay. Atti'i' making thi' iuiprovemcnt Mr. 
llawes and workmen continued on tbcii' 
way to establish other stations. IFc rc- 
tuincil again Xovemiier 2-"), accom|ianicil 

^Philo Hawes became postma.*5ter of Luverne 
in 1871 and served until December. 1874. He 
was succeeded by C. O. Hawes, during: whose 
service the office was raised to the tliird class. 
in December. 1879.. C. O. Hawes was jiostmastcr 
luitil September 1. 1887. when he was succeeded 
by L. H. Way. Philo Hawes again took charge 

by .lohn Lictze and faiuily and ^liss ^li- 
randa J. Skinner, who wci'e the first 
white persons to claim residence in T,u- 
verne. Mr. Lietze uas in the employ of 
ilr. Ifawes and came out to the frontier 
for the purpose of "holding down" bis 
employer's claim and to maintain a "Half- 
Way House" on the mail idute. For the 
accommodation of himself aiul family a 
dug-out was constructed in a bank near 
where the lioik Island elevators now 
stand. In this building the Lietze fam- 
ily and Jliss Skinner passed the winter of 
1 8(57-08. 

Philo Hawcs moved on his farm 
with his family in :\[arch, 1808, and Mr. 
Lietze and his family departed for their 
former home in Blue Earth City. Mr. 
Hawes erected an 18x24 feet log cabin 
and in the fall built a 12x24 feet addi- 
tion. For two years this was the only 
building on the townsite. and in it center- 
ed the activities' of the immediate neigh- 
l)orhood. With Mr. Hawes came George 
McKeuzie, who took an adjoining claim ; 
Edward McKenzie came in April, 1868, 
was a mail carrier in the employ of Mr. 
Hawes, and made his home in tbe pioneer 
cabin ; E. N. Darling and family and 
George Blasdell came in October and dur- 
ing the next winter Mr. Darling's family 
resided in the Hawes cabin; Edwin Gill- 
ham was also employed as a nuiil carrier 
and made his head(|uarters tlicic. In the 
pioneer log cabin the mail foi- all flic resi- 
dents of l!(i(k county was iKiinlIrd, fl.e 
work being atteiidc<l to bv Mr. jlarling, 
who, although not a regularly commission- 
cil postmaster, mailc out tbe reports and 
did the other clerical work. In lS(i!) Hd- 
ward ilcKenzie was commissioned posl- 

of the office .Tuly 1, 1S90. and served a four- 
year term. L. H. W'ay again received the com- 
mission under the democratic administration 
;ind served until Mark Swedherg was appointed 
in tlie summe»* of 1898. Mr. Swedberg lias ever 
since that date been postmaster of Ijuverne. 
Five rural mail routes are supplied from the 



At tliis early period there seems lo linve 
l)ecn no intention on tlie part of Mr. 
11 awes or any one else to found a town 
where later Luverne was built. But the 
ITawcs home gradually became recognized 
as the social and business center of the- 
little community that grew up along Bock 
I'ivcr. TTere were located the postoificc 
iiiid iimil I'ciiite station and a gonial I'mii- 
ily, and here transpired most of tlie neigh- 
liorliood gossip and business transactions. 
In a cahin on an adjoining claim, in ISGO, 
■Miraham McMurphy put in a small stoek 
of staple goods, which he retailed to tlie 
ni'ighliors. His stock consisted principal- 
ly of sugar, tobacco, calico and a few 
other articles of common necessity, the 
total value of the stock never exceeding 
$100. The goods were brought in at vari- 
ous times from the nearest trading points 
hy Mr. McMurphy or his neighbors, and 
he continued to conduct this primitive 
and pioneer store nearly two years. The 
enterprise added to the importance of the 
place, and for two years before a town 
Mas started the little community was 
known as Luverne, in honor of Philo 
Hawes" daugliter, Eva Luverne. = 

An important addition to the Luverne 
settlement was P. J. Ivniss, who arrived 
June 6, ISTO, took a claim on the north- 
east quarter of section 11, and there erect- 

l.iiNcTiip (iffiro. The dates of establishment 
;iriil Iho first fnrriPrs on these routes are as 
fallows: No 1. .\pril 1. 1002. Horace Goodale, 
'■arrior; No. 2. Septemher 1, 1902. Ira B. f'rosbv. 
larrier; No. ;!. April 1. 1004. William r. John- 
son, narrier: No. 4, June 1, 1905, William H. 
Goodale. carrier; No. 5. June 1. 1907, Rex J. 
Kennedy, carrier. 

-Eva Luverne Hawos was born at Cannon 
Falls, Ooorthue county. Minnesota, November 
14, 1S57, accompanied her parents to the Rock 
river home in lSfi,S, was married to P. F. Kel- 
Icy September 5. 1,S76, and died at I-uverne 
June 9, ISSl. In the early days the commonlv 
accepted form of spelling the name of the town 
was with the capital V. The Luverne corre- 
spondent to the Jackson Republic, writing July 
21, 1S72, said: "You will please notice the change 
in spelling the name of our town: it is not Lu- 
verne any more, but LuVerne." The Rock Coun- 
ty Herald, in its first issue. May 2.3. 187,3, 
said: "The correct way to write LuVerne i.=) 
with a capital V. not Luverne." For a, num- 
lur of years that form was used, hut the style 
was gradually reiilaeed by the present form. 

ed a log cabin, the second huilding on the 
future townsite.^ Then came an event of 
the greatest importance — no less than the 
selection of Luverne, boasting building 
improvements to the e.xtent of two log 
houses, as the county seat of Eock county. 
'i'liis important step was taken September 
1. isTO, Mdien J. F. Shoemaker, Jonathan 
I'lirlps and Amos Estey, the commission- 
eis named for the purpose by (Jovernor 
.\iistin, decided that Luverne (described 
as situated on the southeast i|uarler of 
the northwest quarter of section 11) 
should be the seat of government of the 
new county. Upon the consummation of 
this selection, with the organization of 
Rock county an a.ssured fact, came the 
certainty that a town would be founded 
at Luverne to uphold the dignity bestow- 
ed upon the site.* A correspondent writ- 
ing from Luverne December l.T, 1870, 
said: "Tlierc is an e.xcellenl o|ipoi tiinity 
lor some enterprising merchant to estab- 
lish himself in business here, as a store 
is needed xery much. .\ winicr school is 
about to commence at l.,uvci'iie."' 

The organization of Eock county was 
perfected in January. 1871, and a short 
lime later came the ostalilishnient of the 
pioneer business enterprises. Philo Tfawes 
brought in a .small stock of merchandise 
early in the year, and a little latei- S(uif|]- 

^"P. J, Kniss" old log house, ei-eeted on his 
hrmiestead in the west part of town in 1,^70, tias 
been torn down. . . . By the destruction of 
this old log house one of the pioneer landmarks 
of Luverne and Rock county has been rlestroyed. 
The house wlien built was the finest in Rock 
county and tlie logs for its construction wei'e 
cut along the banks of Rock river. Old settlers 
will recall many happy gatherings in pioneer 
days in this pleasant old house and many will 
regret that so familiar a landmark has been 
sacrificed for a structure of more modern times." 
— Rock County Herald. February, 1S95. 

'".V correspondent from Rock county, in writ- 
ing us on business, says that things are looking 
bright and prosperous there and that several 
buildings are in contemplation next spring on 
the townsite of Luverne. This is one of the 
picasantest locations in the west and Rock 
county one of the best counties in the state,"— 
Jackson Republic, December 10, 1870. 



wieli Brothers, of Freeborn, brought to 
the site a fair sized stock of dry goods and 
groceries,'^ but apparently did not long 
remain in business. B. S. Wold and Alex 
McKay erected a frame store building 
during the summer months and opened 
the town's first permanent general mer- 
chandise store, conducting the business 
under the firm name of McKay & Wold. 
A gentleman who passed through Luverne 
in the spring of 1871 in after years tolil 
of the visit as follows :" 

From Graham Lakes to Rock river, now 
Luverne, a distance of forty-five miles, there 
was not a sign of a house or habitation of 
any description — nothing but the wild 
prairie, without even a tree or bush. We 
made the journey across to the Rock river 
in a day and camped at the ford for tiie night. 
Philo Hawes had a log house just com- 
pleted, and another man — I think his name 
was Shoemaker — had a little hovel erected, 
and a firm from Jackson had the foundation 
for a store laid and was waiting for the 
lumber to come from ,Tackson for the store. 
After leaving Luverne there was no sign of 
a settlement until we came to the Sioux 
river at Ivevson's crossing, seven miles east 
of Sioux Falls. 

The construction of ^IcKay & Wold's 
store building was the only iinjiinvcnieiil 
made in 1ST], am! tlic capital of Rock 
coiinly certainly did not boast metropoli- 
tan greatness. 0. M. Ilenton. who came 
lo Rock cnunty early in 1ST2. has wiit- 
(cn <if the conditions in Luverne as he 
I'duiid tlicin at tliat early day: 

'>"G." in a letter, dated July 5. 1S71, to the 
Jackson Republic. 

"T. J. Mill.s in Kinux Falls Press, April, IsnO. 

'"But. in passing, I cannot forhear to notice 
the earliest of all old settlers, who gladly and 
cheerfully welcomed all newcomers and who oc- 
cupied a very unpretentious log cabin, in which 
be kept th" hotel and postoffice. and who with 
the late lamented P. J. Kniss and Edward Mc- 
Kenzie was surveying the original town plat 
of this beautiful city on May 20, 1S72. and then 
watched and prayed fur people to come and oc- 
cupy the site he harl selected, and so make a 
town. That man was Philo Hawes."— Ira Craw- 
ford in an address delivered at an old settlers' 
reunion, June S, 1S9S. 

".Additions to I.uvernc have been platted as 



Warren & Kniss', bv A. J. Warren and P. J. 
Kniss. July S. 1.S74: surveyed by P. J. Kniss. 
\'an Eps & Vary's, by William Van Eps and 

I came to Worthington by rail. From 
there we staged it to Luverne, which then 
had three buildings— P. J. Kniss' log house 
in the west part of town, Philo Hawes' log 
house near the present site of the Bur- 
lington depot, and a part of Mrs. Wold's 
house, as it now is, which contained mer- 
chandise and was owned by McKay & Wold. 
There were no shade trees as now, and no 
shade trees had been planted in the town. 
Grain was growing on the north side of 
Main street, where now stands the First 
National Bank and Rock County Bank. The 
trees along the river had suffered by prairie 
fires. But we were delighted with the view 
that presented itself as we came over the 
hill where now stands the beautiful home 
of John Jones. 

Luverne was not destined to long rc- 
iiiaiii a Idwn n( three hiiildings. Belicv- 
im;- that a good town wmild eventually be 
Iniilt al the county seat. Pliiln Hawis 
joined with William Van Kps and Mil- 
ward ^FcKenzie in platting the Lnvernc 
towiisite ill the spring of 1872. The plat 
was surveyed by P. J. Kniss on ^lay '.'n 
and 2\. and he was assisted in the work 
hv ilr. ITawes and Mr. McKenzic.' 'I'he 
deilicatinn of the plat was dated July L">. 
1ST3, and was signed by William A'an 
Eps. Inez Van Eps. Philo Hawes. Jial- 
vina Hawes and Edward McKcnzie: the 
plat was filed for record the following 
day. The site was divided into sixteen 
blocks. The north and south streets were 
named Cedar. McKenzie, Spring. Oakley 
and Blue ^Mound; east and west streets 
were named Luverne, Lincoln. ^lain. 
]\Iaplo and Fletcher.' A citizen cd' the 

William B. Vary, August 2G, 1S76; surveyed by 
F. P. Dobson. 

Kniss <<t Brown's, by P. J. Kniss and O. U. 
Brown. Mav 21. 1878: surveyed by J. A. Ogden. 

P. J. Kniss', by P. J. Kniss. June 5, 1878: 
siu"\'eved bv J. A. Ogden. 

Warren & Kniss' Second, by A. J. Warren ami 
P, J. Kniss, November 15. 1878; surveyed by 
J. A. Ogden. ^ „ 

Charles O. Hawes', by Charles O. Hawes. 
Mav 29 ISSR: surveyed bv W. N. Davidson. 

Thompson's, by S. W. Thomjison and .\mos 
Dow June 9. lS8fi: surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

Crawford's, by Williarri O. Crawford and T.. F. 
I.averty. May 25. 1891; surveyed by W. N. 
Davidson. , ,, . ^ 

Randall & Holbert's. by W. H. Randall and E. 
H Holbert, June 18, 1S92; surveyed by M. S. 
Smith. ^^ , _ 

Kniss Park, bv P. J. Kniss and Charles O. 
Hawes. June 22. 1892; surveyed by W. N. 
Davidson. . „- 

Greenvalc. bv P. J. Kniss. .kprd 19. 189:!; sur- 
veyed by W. N. Davidson. 






little villao-e wrote on May 29, 1872: 
"Messrs. llawes and Van Eps, proprietors 
of the townsite, are replatting it ami mak- 
ing the streets wider; they ai-e now eighty 
feet wide. They have a fine location for 
a town on the hanks of the Roek river. 
The\- offer as an inducement to hiisiness 
men to locate here froni one to three lots 
fire if thev will erect a hiiilding on the 

The belief of the townsite ownei's was 
verified. Early in the spring of 1872 came 
e\idence of activity in the emliryo village. 
In :\rav V. J. Kniss and C. F. Crosby 
ereited a real estate office building, tlie 
dimeir-^ions of which were 10x20 feet. Late 
in ihi' summer Dr. W. E. Vary opened a 
lidtel, having commenced the construction 
of the building early in tlie season.'" 
Ifofehnann Brothers started a blacksmith 
shop during the summer season and elect- 
ed a residence. William H. Glass ])iit u|i 
a building oji East Main street and estab- 
lished tlie second general merchandise 
stoi'e. Wilson i.*t Howard established a 
drug store in a litlle shanty, which they 
erected." John and -lames Helm built 
a sl(ire-house and engaged in the grain 
linsiness, buying 2<lll(l bushels of wheat 
an{| oats befiu'C the close of the year at 

Barck, Adams & Howe's, by AUiert Barrk. 
A. P. Adams and S. H. Howe, June 5. 18H3; 
surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

Kniss Outlet Annex, by executors estate of 
P. J. Kniss, deceased, and E. L. Johnson, June 
30. 1S97; surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

Whitney's, by County Auditor, May 28, 1S9S; 
surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

Parriotts, by Martha Jane Parriott and 
others, July 1, 1901; surveyed by W. N. David- 

County Auditor's Outlots, by County Audito^, 
July 7. 1903; surveyed by D. E. Harvey. 

"The lands within the present incorporated 
limits of the city were secured from the gov- 
ernment by the following named persons and 
on the dates given: 

George W. Daniels, .\pril 1, 1872. seVi 2. . 

Horace A. Gregory. April 1. 1875. svi% 2. 

St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad company. seVi 
3. s% 11, wi^nwi4 11. 

Joseph Jones. June 25. 1873, s>/4nw'A 10. 

P. J. Kniss, July 12, 1876, n%sei4, s^^ne'^ 10. 

fTharles O. Hawes, November 10. 1877, n^^nei/j 

Charles O. Hawes, November 10, 1877. nVs 
neVj 10. 

George W. Kniss. October 1. 1878. sVzseVt 10. 

Philo Hawes. Fohi-uarv 25, 1875. e%ne>A. 
s'/4nei4 11. 

seventy-five cents per bushel for wheat' 
and thirty-live cents for oats. Several 
other business buildings were started in 
1872, but the early coming of winter in- 
terrupted the work. Howard Brothers 
■ordered part of a stock of hai'dware, but 
were unable to complete their building 
in time to open in 1872. Mike McCarthy 
laid the foundation for a saloon building, 
which he was unable to complete until 
the following spring. 

Tlie little village made pi'ogress in 
other matters besides the establishment of 
business houses during this prosperous 
year. In the summer mail routes were 
iu operation between the youthful town 
and Worth ington, Sioux Falls, Dell Rap- 
ids and LclMars','- lionds to the amount 
of $700 were voted to erect a school house 
in T.uverne; there was talk of building 
a court house: inducements were offered 
any one who would start a flouring mill. 
There was a ing imniigTation to T!ock 
county in 1872 and the pioneer business 
men enjoyed a lively trade. 

Activities were resumed early in the 
spring of 187.'i. Howard Brothers com- 
pleted llieii- doiibli.' stoic building and en- 
gaged in the general merchandise and 
liard\vare hnsiness; Mike McCarthy coin- 

'""The largest and most conspicuous building 
in Ijuverne is the Luverne house. Much of the 
present and prospective development of the 
town is attributed to the energy of Dr. Vary in 
getting his house in running order last season 
and to his unwavering confidence in the noble 
future of Luverne and vicinity. He carries the 
same energy into this new occupation, hotel- 
keeping. Let every traveler approach with per- 
fect confidence that as long as a pound of pro- 
visions remains in town he wiU be well fed. and 
as long as there is a square inch of room left 
in the 'school section' the doctor will not cease 
to sav. 'Rest, traveler, rest,' " — Rock County 
Herald. May 23, 1S73. 

"There were several changes in the owner- 
ship of the pioneer drug store, L. A. Daniels 
bought W. Howard's interest, and for a time 
the lousiness was conducted under the firm name 
of Wilson & Daniels; in March. 1S73, Edward 
McKenzie bought Dr. Wilson's interest, and 
he and L, A. Daniels in May sold to I. Craw- 
ford & Co. 

^-Mail was received daily from Worthington: 
on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 
Sioux Falls and Yankton; on Thursdays from 
Dell Dapids; and on Saturdays from LeMars. 



■ pleted his building during the summer 
and engaged in tiie saloon and restaurant 
business; A. J. Bartlett and William Jac- 
obsen arrived in the spring, put up a build- 
ing, and started another general store;" 
Crawford Brothers r-ame to the new town, 
erected a building, and engaged in tlie 
drug business, buying the stock of Dan- 
iris i^' ^foKcnzie : Philo Hawes bought the 
lilil drug store building and moved his 
postoffice to the more central location : 
the school house was completed and ready 
for occupancy in the spring; a church 
was founded : a bi-idge was constructed 
across Rock river in the town by private 
subscription : S. J. Jenkins brought a 
printing jilant and on May 23 founded 
the Rock County Herald. The Lnverne 
business firms represented by advertise- 
ments in the first issue of the pioneer 
journal were as f<illows: 

^fcKay & Wold, general merchandise. 

William H. Glass, general 

Howard Brothers, general merchandise 
and hardware. 

Bartlett & Jacoliscn, general merchan- 

Dr. W. E. Vary, Luverne hotel. 

I. Crawford & Co., drugs and groceries. 

S. J. Jenkins, Rock County Herald. 

Helm Brothers (Joliii nml James), 
feed store. 

Hofelmann Brothers, blacksmith shop. 

W. H. Patterson, shoe repair sliop. 

Crosby iS.' Kniss, real estat<> and insur- 

I^. J. Kniss, nolary jniblic, county sur- 
veyor and locator. 

R. 0. Crawford, doctor. 

Charles P. Crosby, attorney. 

E. D. Hadley, attorney. 

'■■"'Mesiiirs. Bartlett & Jacobsen. of Iowa, havp 
been traveUng over the country, looking for 
a business location, and. like sensible men, 
liave conrludpd to cast their lot with us. They 
are going to erect a store. 2i)x.'i0 feet, to be 
stocked with a general assortment of mer- 
cliandise." — Correspondence, dated .April 5, 1S73, 
in Jackson Republic. 

James H. Lyttle, contractor and build- 

McKenzie & Gillham, stage line. 

In less than two years Luverne had 
developed from two log cabins into a 
flourishing little village, in which were 
represented many lines of liusiness, con- 
ducted by an exceptionally progressive 
class of men. The surrounding farm lands 
were rajiidly becoming settled and devel- 
ojjcd. 'I'he prospects seemed, indeed, flat- 
tering for the continued growth and ad- 
vancement of the little hamlet on the Rock. 
But the prospects were not fullilli'd. Came 
the ruinous grasshopper days, and for 
three years Luverne was at a standstill. 
It was (luring the summer of 1873 iliat 
this calamity befell. At once the gi-owth 
of the town was checked, business was dull 
and there was a general feeling of dejec- 
tion. A town depending solely upon an 
agricultural community for support is 
left in pretty bad circumstances when the 
country lias had a succession of nearly 
total cro]) failures, and Luverne was no 
exception to the rule. Business men ex- 
tended credit until they lost their own ; 
sevei'al failed and inoved away. There 
was not only a cessation of progress, there 
was retrogi'ession. Luverne townshi]). in 
which the little village of Luverne was 
situated, had a population of 267 in 187o. 

Altbough the bard times had not disafi- 
pcared or the grasshopper visitat^ions ceas- 
ed, in 1S7G came a revival of business in 
Luverne. This was caused by tlie com- 
ing of the fii'st railroad. The first train 
was run into the village October 2, but in 
anticipation of the event times had been 
lively all summer. The work of building 
the town was taken up where it had been 
suspended three years before." 

""Work on the many buildings in course of 
construction al>out town is progressin.g as rap- 
idly as the necessary mat<*rial can be ilelivered 
on the .sjround, . . . And altogether things 
are lively these dav.s." — Rock County Herald, 
June 24, ISTfi. 



A great life-awakeniug agency was tlie 
coming of the railroad, and when it be- 
came apparent that the 1877 crop was to 
he saved, the town began life anew. There 
was some advancement in 1877,'^ but it 
was not until tlie following year that the 
hoom came. From early in the sjiring 
nntil late in the fall new buildings were 
erected in all jinits of the village. The 
sound of the hammer and saw was the 
music which attended the founding of 
new business enterprises ; the streets were 
thronged with new arrivals. Thousands 
of families arrived in the white-topped 
'•'prairie schooners," seeking new homes in 
tlie land of promise, and the merchants 
of Luverne earned the reward that had 
been so long coming. It was during these 
tlirlving times that the residents of the 
conntv seat village decided to take u|i tlie 
Inirdens of municipal government. 

The first steps toward securing incor- 
poration were taken in January, 1877, 
when the draft of a bill was made and 
presented to the legislature by a few in- 
terested parties. After this action had 
been taken, a mass meeting of the citizens 
was called for the jiurpose of discussing 
(he matter. The meeting was held at the 
liUverne school house on the evening of 
January .'10. There developed gi'cat op- 
positiiiM to the project, and tlio.-ic wlifi 
had taken u))on themselves the burden of 
liaiiiing the bill and presenting it to the 

"^The first brick biiikling erected in Luverne 
was put up by W. H. Wilson in the summer of 


'"During the years of village government the 
question of licensing saloons in Luverne was 
an issue. Even before incorporation, the ques- 
tion was decided by ballot in the Luverne town- 
s-hip elections several times. In 1876 and 1877 
the against-license advocates won by small ma- 
jorities, and in the spring of 1S78 they were 
successful Ijy the overwlielming vote of 148 to 
o5. Pi'ior to 1881 there was no provision in 
the charter for voting on the question, the 
matter being left in the hands of the village 
council. At each election during that period li- 
cense and against-license tickets were in the 
field and the issue was sharply defined. The 
first village council, which served less than two 
months, granted license, having been elected 
by an average vote of 115 against 67 for the 
prohibition candidates, l)ut the second one, 
elected January 7, 1S79, was against license. 

legislature without first consulting the 
wishes of the citizens were severely ar- 
raigned. ISo vote was taken at that mass 
meeting to determine public sentiment, 
but with the understanding that imme- 
diate action should not be taken, the bill 
was allowed to pass the legislature with- 
out opposition. The bill "to incorporate 
the village of Luverne. in Rock county," 
was approved by the governor February 
]A. 1S77. It provided for the incorpo- 
ration of sections 2, 3, 10 and 11, of Lu- 
verne township, and named R. D. Iladley, 
P. J. Kniss and William Jacobsen as the 
persons who should call tlie first election 
and conduct the preliminaries. 

Out of deference to public sentiment, 
the gentlemen named in the incorporation 
act did not take steps to put the act into 
effect before the fall of 1878. Then, 
there having been such large accessions of 
)io|iulation and material growth, on Oc- 
tober 31 they gave notice of an election 
to organize under the provisions of the 
act, naming November 13 as election day. 
Village officers were chosen on that date, 
and on the evening of November 1.") the 
Luverne municipal government was be- 
gun, wlien the village council met for the 
first time. For twenty-six years Luverne 
was under this form of government and 
iheii became incorporated as a city. Those 
who held office under the village govern- 
iiieiit were as follows:'" 

having been elected over the license faction tiy 
an average vote of 109 against 76. In 1880 a 
license council was elected, and the following 
year a no-license ticket was chosen by an 
average majority of 17. Direct local option was 
extended to Luverne by legislative act in 1881. 
and thereafter until the form of government 
was changed in 1904. the license question was 
an issue at nearly every election, with the fol- 
lowing results; 

1882— For. 74; against, 23. 

1SS3— For, 46: against, 2. 

1884 — License council by 8 majority. 

1885 — License council elected. 

1886— For, 174; against, 75. 

1887 — License council elected. 

ISSS— For. 191; against. 124. 

1889- For. 163; against, 134. 

1890— For. 178; against. 128. 

1891- For. 179: against. 117. 

1892— For, 236; against, 136. 

1893 — For, 191; against, 110. 

1894- For, 291; against, 137. 



1878 — President, R. Herren; trustees, W. 
E. Vary, J. P. Landin, W. H. Wilson; record- 
er, P. F. Kelley; treasurer, A. Erickson; 
justice, N. R. Reynolds; constable, D. G. 

1879— President, P. F. Kelley; trustees, 
Daniel Stone, E. D. Hadley, S. Walters; re- 
corder, N. R. Reynolds; treasurer, A. Erick- 
son; constable, Horace Plum. 

1880 — President, R. Herren; trustees, Dan- 
iel Stone, W. H. Wilson, A. A. Clifford; re- 
corder, R. O. Crawford ; treasurer, A. Erick- 

1881 — President, E. D. Hadley;" trustees, 
M. 'Webber, W. O. Crawford," W. H. Glass; 
recorder, A. E. Patterson; treasurer, B. S. 
Wold; justice, N. R. Reynolds;'" constable, 
G. E. Bushnell. 

1882— President, W. H. Halbert; trustees, 
A. Ross, P. R. Schuyler, P. F. Kelley ;=» 
recorder, J. L. Helm; treasurer, B. S. Wold. 

1883 — President, Ezra Rice;-"" trustees, A. 
Ross, P. R. Schuyler, F. S. Gibson; recorder, 
J. A. Harroun; treasurer, A. Erickson; jus- 
tice, R. M. Click; constable, F. D. Putney. 

1884 — President, P. J. Kniss; trustees, A. 
Ross, H. J. Miller, F. S. Gibson; recorder, 
J. H. Gray; treasurer, A. Erickson; justice, 
E. D. Hadley. 

1885— President, H. J. Miller; trustees, 
W. T. Gibson, N. Nelson, J. D. Robinson; 
recorder, M. Webber; treasurer, W. P. Hurl- 
but; justices, R. W. Cooley, R. M. Click; 
constable, H. H. Andrews. 

1886— President, H. J. Miller; trustees, J. 
H. Gray, J. L. Spencer, G. C. Huntington;-' 
recorder, M. Webber; treasurer, William 
Jacobsen; justice, A. Barck; constable, W. 
H. Maxwell. 

1887 — President, H. .1. Miller; trustees, G. 
W. Snook, J. W. Gerber, Philip Peteler;-'' 
recorder, S. B. Nelson; treasurer, W^illiam 
Jacobsen; justice, R. M. Click."' 

1888 — President, William Jacobsen ;-= trus- 
tees, J. W. Gerber, Philo Hawes, G. W. 
Snook; recorder, M. Webber; treasurer, 

1S95— For, 237; against, 141. 

1896 — For, 219; against, 118. 

1S97 — Not an issue. 

1S98— For, 240; against, 146. 

is;)9— For, 258; against, 192. 

i:iOO — Not an issue. 

1901 — For. 269; against, 115. 

1902 — Not an issue. 

190.3 — For, 227; against, 16G. 

1904— For. 269; against. 160. 

Under the city charter no provision is made 
for voting on the question and license has since 
been granted. 

••Resigned. The council on M.ay 6 elected H. 
J. Miller to fill the vacancy. 

"Removed from the village and was succeeded 
by Daniel Stone on May 13. 

"Succeeded by R. M. Click October 17. 1.X.S2. 

^Resigned to accept appointment as street 
commissioner. C. O. Hawes was elected to the 
vaeanev but he resigned ..soon after. William 
Jacobsen was elected to .serve out the term in 
June, 18S2. 

"'Resigned Mav 1 and was succeeded by V'. T>. 

Mark Swedberg; justice, A. Barck; consta- 
bles, Edward McKenzie, W. H. Marshall. 

1889— President, W. A. Wright; trustees, 
W. T. Goodhue, J. A. Kennicott, Henry 
Hofelmann; recorder, M.Webber; treasurer, 
Mark Swedberg; justice, M. Webber; con- 
stable, F. D. Putney. 

1890 — President, J. A. Kennicott; trustees, 
Henry Hofelmann, W. T. Goodhue, W. F. 
Kendall; recorder, Jens Billington; treas- 
urer, Mark Swedberg; assessor, W. T. Gib- 
son; justice, A. Barck; constable, J. J. 

1891 — President, J. F. Mahoney; trustees, 
W. F. Kendall, P. J. Kniss, S. W. Thomp- 
son ;-'' recorder, A. Barck; treasurer, Mark 
Swedberg; assessor, C. R. Henton; justice, 
M. Webber; constable, H. Henderson. 

1892— President, W. F. Kendall; trustees, 
E. L. Dobell, Henry Hofelmann, J. W. Ger- 
ber;" recorder, A. Barck; treasurer, Mark 
Swedberg; assessor, William Macfadden; 
justice, J. O. Helgeson; constable, A. E. 

1893— President, W. H. Wilson; trustees, 
John H. Sanders,-" E. H. Bronson, E. L. Do- 
bell;-" recorder, C. R. Henton; treasurer, 
Mark Swedberg; assessor, William Macfad- 
den; constable, J. J. Myers. 

1894 — President, A. P. Adams; trustees, 
L. L. Bryan, H. J. Thomte, T. E. Jones; re- 
corder, W. F. Kendall; treasurer, A. Ross; 
assessor, Thomas Barck; justice, J. O. Hel- 
geson; constable, M. M. Jensen. 

1895 — President, A. P. Adams; trustees, 
L. L. Bryan, T. E. .Tones, C. Heinz; recorder, 
E. S. Rogers; treasurer, A. Ross; assessor, 
V. C. Mead; justice, M. Webber; constable, 
J. J. Myers. 

1896 — President, A. P. Adams; trustees, 
L. L. Bryan, T. E. Jones, C. Heinz; recorder, 
E. S. Rogers; treasurer, A. Ross; assessor, 
V. C. Mead; justice, William Bateson; con- 
stable, W. C. Turner. 

1897 — President, John Kelley; trustees, 
L. L. Bryan, W. E. E. Greene, E. J. Schmidt; 

--Uid not ii'ialify. Hemy Hofelmann ap- 

="Re.signed Febrnarv 7. ISSS. Was succeeded 
by G. H. Henton. 

='r)ied in July. 1SS7. .\t a .special election held 
August U N. R. Reynolds elected to the va- 

-•Resigned and on May 1 was succeeded by 
Philo Hawes, Mr. Hawes. who had been elected 
trustee, was succeeded in thai canaeity by 
G. H. Henton. 

=«Resigned January !>. 1892. G. W. MJUhonse 
appointed to the vacancy. 

='Dja not qualify. J. H. Graat appointed to 
the vacancy May 6, 1S91. 

^Resigned December 5. 1S93, and was suc- 
ceeded by J. A. Kennicott. 

=»Did not qualify, and on March l.'i M. Web- 
ber appointed. Mr. Webber resigned as trus- 
tee Sepli^mber 5, whereniion V. C. Mead was 
named his successor. 



recorder, E. S. Rogers; treasurer, A. Ross; 
assessor, V. C. Mead; justice, M. Webber; 
constable, J. J. Myers. 

1S9S — President, John Kelley; trustees, J. 
P. Houg, S. L. Chapin, P. A. Christianson; 
recorder, E. C. Scliwartz; treasurer, A. 
Ross; assessor, L. J. Okre; justice, William 
Bateson; constable, W. C. Turner. 

1899— President, John Kelley; trustees, S. 
L. Chapin, O. S. Myhre, Benjamin Dodds; 
recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, A. 
Ross; assessor, L. J. Okre; justices, M. 
Webber, N. R. Reynolds; constable, J. J. 

1900 — President, William Bateson; trus- 
tees, James Purlow, B. F. Woodrow, E. B. 
Uoolittle; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treas- 
urer, A. Ross; assessor, W. N. Davidson; 
constable, W. C. Turner. 

1901 — President, James Furlow; trustees, 
B. P. Woodrow, C. A. Yaeger, E. B. Doo- 
little; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, 
A. Ross; assessor,^ J. S. Joles; justices, M. 
Webber, N. R. Reynolds; constable, J. J. 

1902 — President, B. F. Woodrow; trus- 
tees, C. A. Yaeger, E. N. Sisson, W. J. Kin- 
ne; recorder, E. W. Backer; treasurer, A. 
Ro-s; assessor, J. S. Joles; constable, Char- 
les Crego. 

1903 — President, James Furlow; trustees, 
W. J. Kinne, George Leet, S. A. D. Ken- 
nedy; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, 
A. Ross; assessor, J. S. Joles; justices, W. 
H. Armstrong, N. R. Reynolds; constable, 
Ira M. Sanders. 

1904 — President, E. A. Brown; trustees, 
W. J. Kinne, George Leet, S. A. D. Kei 
nedy; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, 
A. Ross; assessor, J. S. Joles; constables, 
Charles Crego, J. J. Myers. 

After the boom days of ISTS, came 
three years of companitively (|uii'L limes, 
tlu' year 1879, particularly, being classed 
as "dull."' The crops of 1880 and 1881 
were blighted, having the effect to huld in 
check the activities of the lown, allhoiigli 
tliere was no decline. But so great had 
been tlie growth dnring th.e late seventies 
that when the I'edeial census of ]SS() was 
taken I.uverne had a population of iu'J 
and was the largest town in southwestein 

The three years of quiet times preced- 
ed an uii|irecedented era .of prosperity in 
llie history of Lnvorne. Duiing ISS'i to 
ISSii, inchisivc, tlu- village made rapid 

"Other towns in southwestern Minnesota had 
population as follows: Woithington. fiSii; Fair- 
mont. 5-11; Jackson, 501; Mailelia, iaS; Windom, 

strides toward the goal of greatness, more 
llian doubling its ]io|iulation (hiiing (iiat 
period, adding largely to its business in- 
terests; and taking rank as the best town 
(d' soutliwesterii J\nnnesota, as well as the 
largest. The acrmiiplishments were made 
possible b\' ll'e lajiiil settlement and de- 
\-elopmeiit of the idch lands of Itoek eoun- 
l\'. bv abundant hai'vests, by the building 
r.\' a new liiii' of raihvay through the town 
and bv the geiieial prosperous times. 

The first year of this cycle of advance- 
ment was 188".^. There was great activity 
in building operations, among the ]irin- 
cipal items being a creamery, a new school 
house and a business block, i)0,\75 feet, 
at the coiiiei' of Main and Cedar streets, in 
which were iioused a new bank, the ]:)ost- 
oirid.' ami a drug store. Said the Rock 
County lleratil June !). 1882: "Luverne 
is enjoying a boom of a pattern the num- 
berless towns of northern Minnesota and 
Dakota that are forcing themselves so 
conspicuously upon pulilic attention would 
do well to consider ami emulate. Tliere 
is greater activity in building operations 
tliis year than at anv ]iievious time in the 
history of tiUverne."' 

The following directory of the busi- 
ness firms in Ijuvenie in the spring of 
1883 gives us a liirdseye view of the town 
at that time and is interesting in compari- 
son with the directory of just ten years 
before, whiih has iieeii reproduced on pre- 
ceding pages : 

Banks — Bank of Luverne, P. J. Kniss, 
president; Rock County Bank, William Jac- 
obsen, president. 

General Merchandise — Landin & Nelson, 
B. S. Wold, W. H. Glass, S. S. Walters, M. 
F. Battelle, H. W. Helm & Co., A. Erick- 
scn & Son, A. L. Stoughton. 

Groceries — P. R. Schuyler, D. Stone, L. 
HoUis, E. E. Ells, J. B. Kelley. 

Hardware — Gerber & Ross, Peteler Broth 

Drugs— Dr. R. O. Crawford, Mead & Mill- 

443; St. JamPS, 434: Heron Lake. 22(1; ripestone, 
222; .\drian. 193: Edgerton, 86. 



Books & Stationery — Hairoun & Hawes, 
Mead & Millhouse. 

Hotels — Merchants Hotel, M. McCarthy, 
proprietor; Luverne House, Joles & Johnson, 
proprietors; Freeman Avenue House, J 
Redfield, proprietor. 

Furniture — Saxton Brothers, C. C. Drew. 

Millinery— H. W. Helm & Co., Mrs. N. A. 

Clothing — P. R. Schuyler and the general 

Jewelers — Harroun, Hawes & Swedberg; 
R. M. Click. 

Lumber Dealers — Herren & Wadleigh, J. 
L. Spencer. 

Wood and Coal — Patterson & Walters, F. 

A. Hyke, Peavey Brothers, M. Pedrick, M. 
F. Battelle, Gibson Brothers. 

Farm Machinery — Gibson Brothers, Stone 
& Wold, Kzra Rice, M. F. Battelle. 

Grain Dealers — Ezra Rice, Stone & Wold, 
F. A. Hyke, Patterson & Walters. 

Harness Makers — F. M. Scheble, Albert 

Shoemakers — C. Millhouse, C. Erickson. 

Meat Markets— Putney & Goethel, J. T. 
Brennan, Charles Andre. 

Livery Stables — Gibson Brothers, A. J3. 

Saloons — A. McGrath, B. B. Champion, M. 
McCarthy, D. Powell, Ralph Jaybush, R. 

B. Cosgriff, Eugene Winegar. 
Physicians — Dr. A. E. Spalding, Dr. R. O. 

Crawford, Dr. F. H. Kilgore. 

Attorneys — E. D. Hadley, N. R. Reynolds, 
M. Webber, S. A. Mead, E. H. Canfield, J. 
F. Cornish, W. N. Davidson. 

Dentist — Dr. C. A. Palmer. 

Carpenters and Builders — Jones & Soutar, 
Minard & Dixon, J. H. Lyttle, G. S. Adron, 
I. A. Moreaux. 

Masons and Contractors — P. N. Gillham, 
O. A. Bullett. 

Barbers — Hurd & Lewis, T. J. McDermott. 

Dray and Express Lines — John Green, H. 
F. Oliver. 

Restaurants— N. J. Click, A. Kimball. 

Flour Mills— Luverne Mills, W. H. Wil- 
son, proprietor; Estey Mills, A. R. Hilde- 
brandt, proprietor. 

Flour and Feed — W. H. Wilson, Patterson 
& Walters, L. Hollis, F. A. Hyke. 

Photographer — F. N. Robinson. 

Real Estate Agencies — Bank of Luverne, 
Rock County Bank, Kniss & Gray. 

Farm Loan Office — ^^Edward P. Brooks. 

Creamery — Rock County Creamery, Ray- 
mond & Welker, proprietors. 

Blacksmiths — G. H. Henton, Hofelmann 
Brothers, A. B. Wellman, Abraham Oleson. 

Wagon Makers — W. F. Kendall, Hofel- 
mann Brothers. 

"'•'.\t no time in the history of I-iivernc WPre 
the indications of solid prosperity nio*-.' abun- 
dant or the pi'ospt'ots for future growth and de- 
velrtpnieul more manifest and unmistal^abl*:' 
than tlii>se which confront tlie spectator on every 
hand at llie iiresent time. There is everywhere 
manifest a general awal<ening from the lethargy 
conse(iuent upon hard times and ei-op failures 

Iaivitiu' (iiiitiniicil Id opdw aiul iin|ircivt' 
ill ISSM with a steady certainty that indi- 
ciiti'd fiiKUicial iicaltii and prosperity."' 
.\ii aiitlimity cstiiiuiti'd liic \aliie cif the 
hiiilding iiiipiovemcnts (hiring the sea- 
sons of ISS-i and ISS;', at over $S.-).()(10. 
Must (if the new Iniililings were creditahli' 
stiuetuies, and viihige leal estate a])]ire- 
eiated in vahie rajiidly. But this was only 
the heoiniiino. Duriiio- 1SS4 enrpentei:-, 
hiiihiers and inas'ins were in .^te.idy de- 
mand and liad far iiioi-e wmk tlian tliey 
eouhl handle, anil striieliire.-; tn the value 
(it $.")(), not) weie ]nit up. The Burlingtiin 
railroad was Iniilt to the village in late 
snniiner and added to the general activity. 

The yeiir of greatest advancement in 
the hooni days of the eighties was ISS."). 
The (()uiilr\ siirrminding was developing 
at a ia]iiil rale, and T.nverne kejit pace 
with the geneial advaiU'einent. The 
Siiiiix Falls I'ress in October said this 
grind word for the neighboring village: 
''.\s an illustration nf the thrift and en- 
terprise of the peo]ile of Luverne. may be 
mentioned the luiilding hooiii which has 
ta]<en jilaee this year. It is doubtful 
whether any town of its sisie can show as 
o(i(id a record for iiii(> ye;ii' as LineriK-. 
The people (d' that \illaL;e may wtdl feel 
pVDiid 111 llieir push and en(er])rise." 
Maii\ of Ihe handsinne brick and stone 
business hloeks which today adoiii the 
principal street^ w<'i'e erecled. The value 
of (he building iiniii'inrnienls during ISS,") 
was mine Ihan .$1(11). (I(l().'-- The census of 
thai veai' sliDWed a population id' \'Mi'<. a 
i^ain id' neaih mie hundred pel' icnl in 
li\e years. 

'Idle village was hanilicap]ied I" some 
extent dining ISS.") and ISSII hy a diph- 

aud a new era has lu'en ushered in." — KoeU 
County Herald, June lli. ISS;!. 

■i^Among the items of expenditure were the 
followius; B. B- Champion, tiriek building and 
other iniprovi'meuts. Jlfi.OOll; addition to the 
school building. S75I1II; P. J. Kniss. jasper front 
stone buililing. ifTiiOU; (". C. Drew, jasper frynt 


Diagram of th" Business Center of Lu Verne, Rock County, Minn. 




: Public School. 

t. U V K R .'« K 




F : = ■, 

: ; 



9 T B IS E T. 

— — 






- — K 



• T K b fci T . 

N-^J o- 

; t.X!~\ I JJTBE. I 

WHEN luvbrnf: was young 

DiaKi'am of the Villase Piililislunl in tlio Rock County Herald in ISSo 




tlieria opidemic. In the village and sur- 
niundiiig (Huintrv were many cases, and 
sevtM'al deaths from the disease resullcd. 
Stringent njeasiires were adopted to stamp 
out the disease and the preeantionarv pro- 
ceedings had a tendeney to hamper the 
advancement. The e.xperience was an un- 
fortunate one. 

I'liiililing o|)ei'ations on a diniinisheil 
scale coutinned during 1.S8G. Most id' 
tlie itniu'ovenients that year were resi- 
dences, and the tcital exi>enditures were 
ahout $-10.11(10. Thereafter for a feu- 
years, until 1890, was a .sea.son of (luiet. 
During 1SS7 was a complaint of husiness 
depression, common to all southwestei'n 
irinnesota. The next year was a hetter 
one, though not a particularly husy one. 
Among the impidvements were tlie I'ock 
county court house, a city hall, railroad 
huildings and several residences. The 
year also lirought the town's most disas- 
trous fire. Ahout two o'clock in the moi'u- 
ing of i3ecember i:), 1888, a tire started 
which destroyed four bnildings in the 
husiness center of the town, entailing a 
loss of about $15,000. The buildings 
burned were Kilgore's drug store, a cigar 
store, Graaf's clothing store and ^Tead & 
Company's hardware store. 

The preliminary steps toward the con- 
struction of a city hall wei-e taken early 
in 1887, when a bill was introduced in 
the legislature by Senator W. B. Brown, 
authorizing tlie village to issue $^0,0(10 
bonds fill' the purpose."' Xothing fur- 
ther was done nntil the following neceni- 
ber, when a petition was presented to the 
village council, asking that body to call a 
special election to vote on the question of 
issuing city hall bonds, not to exceed 

stone building. $70nn; Rnck County Heralil. lirielt 
building, $3.'!(i0; Jones iSr Gillham. briok build- 
ing. $.3000; Harroun & Hawes. briok building. 
$L'0(I0; Roc-k County Bank, brick building. $1200; 
Gibson & .Shawyer. business house, $2000; Hur- 
lington. Cedar Rapids & Northern Railway eom- 
panv. eoal sheds, stock yards, etc., $4000; John 
Kiiger, h.ptel, $2500. 

$.5000. The election was held -lanuary 
10, 1888, and every one nj' the i:io voles 
ea-t was ill favor of bonds, in Miiy the 
village autliorities called another (dec! ion 
to vote on the question of issuing $:'.(I00 
additional bonds for the jiurcbase of 
grounds, vaults, heating a])paratus and 
rurnitnre for the proposed city hall, but 
at the election June 7 tlie IkjikI issue was 
defeated by a vote of 94 to 57. 'I'lien the 
village authorities proceeded to ei'cct the 
building with the funds originally aiitliin-- 
ized. The contract for the construction 
of the city hall was let August l.'S, 1888, 
to P. N. Gillham on a bid of $4385, 
ground was broken for the foundation 
.\ngust 1(), and the building was complet- 
ed before the close of the year. 

There was little progress in building 
operations or the establishment of new 
enterprises in 1889, but the town was 
then on a linn b;isis; it IkuI settled down 
to normal conditions, and prosperity 
abounded. A statement was made in the 
fall of the year by an official of the 
Burlington road that T^uverne did more 
business than any town on the line of the 
load between Cedar Kapids and Water- 
town. I'he census of 1890 showed only a 
small gain over the enumeration of five 
vears befiue, the ]iopulation being 1460.^'' 

Another jieriod of expansion included 
the years 1890 to 18i)8, during which 
the village on the h'ock developed into a 
greater Luveine. The first year of the 
series witnessed the construction of one 
business block and several residences. In 
1891 building o])erations multiplied, and 
l.uverne took front rank as a center of 
activity. Among the important achieve- 
ments id' the year was the installalion of 

'•■■"'The Herald is convinced that the measure 
is not sanctioned by the men of this 
town. Luverne needs a town hall and ought to 
t'liild one next season, but the- idea, of putting 
$20.1100 into such a building is simply preposter- 
ous." — Rock County Herald, February IS, 1SS7. 

''^Population of neighboring towns in 1890: 
Woithingtnn. n(;4; Adrian, 071; I'ipestone, 1232. 



a S3>teiii of wntcr ^ovks at a coat nf 
about $3r),000.-'=^ 

The greatest advanri' in LuveineV liis- 
toiy up to that time was mnde in 1892 ; 
no otlier year innlil iie tdiiipaicil wilh ii. 
iMghtv new i)ui!iliiigs were erected in tiie 
twelve-month, inchuling tliree hnnrlsoma 
business blocks, and the total expenditures 
amounted to $185,000.=" A marvelous ' 
eliange in the a])pearance of the town oe- 
enri'cil in tliis mie year: it tixik (Hi a dc- 
eidedly melrojiolitan appearance in inm- 
pai'ison with its former condition. It 
now lioastcil a ciiy hall, hail a watc- 
works system and was ]ii;lited by electric- 
ity.^" The Herald, in it-; last issue of 
1892, e.xulted over the progi'css made: 
"No inland town in the state can equal 
the impi'ovemcut record made liy T.u- 
\i'vnc (lurinij the present year. If lias 
taken undisputed raidc as Ihc leadinu 
(own of southwestern Jliuucsota and as 
I! e liest. must enterprising and most pros- 
perous county si':d town in the state un- 
der a ])i)]>u]ati()n of TiOOO. No town in 
tl'c state of the class named can boast of 
liner bnsiiic-s lihicks. better )iublic liuild- 
ings, baudsiinii'r piixalc lesidenees, bet- 
ter streets, inmi' |iiihlic improvements, 
more shaiiC tlics or a nmre lieantiI'Ml !(■- 
cation; none is more sulislaiit iai linaii- 
cially or more prosperous, mine does a 
large)' business or has brighter prospects.'' 

^The legislature of 1S91 passed an act au- 
thorizing the voting on the issuance of $30.- 
000 bond-s for a water worljs system. At a 
special election May 5, 1S91. the proposition was 
carried by a vote of 155 to 33. Fearing that 
the bonds authorized by this election might not 
have been legally voted, the council 'called an- 
other election for July 2S. when the former 
result was sustained by a vote of 41 to 50. C)n 
September 1 the contract for putting in the 
plant was let to Harrison & Hawlcy for $22,- 
575. The plant was completed and in worlving 
order in January, 1892. 

^'.•\ few of the items we!'e as follows; Nt-lson 
Uros & Co.. department store, $27,000; electric 
light plant. $UO00; Barck. Oanfield & Stephen, 
liusiness block. $N,000; II., P. Blasdell, business 
house, $7000; R. H. Ilinkly. residence, $G00O; 
residences by C^aptain Holbert, A. D, TjfiDue, 
Eliner HuntingtOJi. William Maynes and othens. 

■"In the .summer of 1SS9 the T^uverne Electric 
light company was organized and secured a 
franchise from the village, but failed to make 

.\lmost in a day. without warning, the 
pio-peious times were brought to a close 
ill the summer of 1893. Came the ])anic 
with its accompanying evil times, and 
Lu\'erne's age of advancement ceased. 
Business was ])aralyzed ; the town was 
witliout life. 'I'he crop failure of 1891 
and the ruinously low jirices i)f,189.'') add- 
ed to the (ith.i'r disagreeable features of 
the times, iuid liusiness life was at low- 
chh. Si't until the late nineliis was there 
(nm|ilile recovery. The pii|iulatiiin in 
is:i.") liail increased to 1890. 

For the tii'st time siuie {he |i:inic. th.e 
i;ry of bard times was not lieard in Lu- 
veine in 1898. Jloney was again in cir- 
culation, mechanics wercjjusy, tiade was 
good. Building-s were again erected in 
tlie (own, the value of (he im])rovements 
in that year amounting to about $3G,000. 
liii|irovemeiits continued during the next 
(\\(i years. The county jail was erected, 
the wooden sidewalks on Main street were 
replaced by cement pavements, and in 
1900 a sewerage system was put in.^'* The 
population of Luverne in 1900 was 2223. 

The building improvements during 1901 
were valued at $108,775.''^ A (ire caus- 
ing a ]n'operty loss of nearly $1 .").()()() ot- 
I'Ui'ied (in liie night nr.lanuary ".';. 1911'.', 
when the Krook & Nelson and an adjoin- 
ing liuilding wi're destroyed.'" The e\- 
peiulitures for new liuililings reached 

the promised improvement. The electric light 
system was installed during 1S92 by the 'tt'est- 
ern Electric company and was accepted by the 
village on the last day of January. 1S93. Wilh- 
in a few years improvemetits to the value of 
$5000 were made. The plant was paid for in 
"^'illage' orders, the last of the debt being wiped 
out early in 1S9C. 

''Bonds for the sewerage system to the amount 
of $10,000 were authorized by the voters July 
10, 1900, by a vote of 142 to 111. The system 
was installed by A, L. Jones. 

■i^Some of the items of expenditiu'c: Manitou 
hotel. $25,000; McGrath block. $5000; J. W. r,er- 
ber's residence, $8000; S. A. D. Kennedy's resi- 
dence, $5000; Jargo's elevator, $3500. 

"The losses were as follows; Krook & Nel- 
son, building and stock. $12,000; K. B. Bur- 
leigh, grocery stoi-k. $1300; R. B. Hinkly. build- 
ing, $500; Mjss O'ConneU, dressmaking cslab- 
lishment, $400; W. I. Teetor.' office, $100, 

Tiis^roitv OF i;o('K county. 


l)i<ili-\\;iler iiiaik in liKi".'. wlirii iionvly 
$20(),0!i() wc'c spoilt in iinprnveniciitK. in- 
cliirling nioic than tliirty resirlences. The 
next vear tlie totnl rost nf new hnililini;>' 
was $100,000.-" 

'J'hc clian^ir in I.iivcrne's i'urni of ^ov- 
eninifnt was made in ]0(i4. wlien it as- 
sumed the responsibilities of city gnvei'n- 
nient. An effort to hi'ino- atiiml lliis 
change was made in 1900. On NnvrniUrr 
5 of that year, in response to a petition. 
.Inline I'. K. Brown, of tlie district courl. 
appointed a commission/- of whicli A. J. 
Daley became chairman, to prepare a 
charter under the provisions of the consti- 
tution of Minnesota and the laws of 1S!19. 
After due deliberation, the charter com- 
mission decided tliat it was inadvisalile to 
incorporate under a special charter such 
as the board had authority of prepare, 
and com])letcd its work liy lecommendiuo- 
that 1lie necessary action be taken to cre- 
ate a city government under the provisions • 
of the general statutes of the state. 

There the matter was allowed to rest un- 
til 1D04. On July 1 of that year a peti- 
tion, bearing the signatures of 347 voteis. 
was presented to Judge of Proliate ^1. 
Webber, asking that official to issue tlie 
order necessary to bring about the incor- 
poration of Tjuverne as a city under title 
two of chapter ten of the general statutes 
of 1S94. Jiulge Webber made the neces- 
sary order cai'ly in August; on Septonihci' 
i; the fii'st eh'ction was licjil. anil on llie 
riillowiiig day Ijiiveriic l)i'gan its cxistrinc 
a> a lih, the cily council oi'gani/.ing al 
that liini'. ]''oilov,-ing lias been the re- 

•"liicluding ^in.onn for the Carnegip Hluai-.v: 
$20,000 for A. D. LaDue's residence: Jllj.OOO for 
improvements on P. E. Brown's residence. 

'-The commi-ssioners . were A. P. Adams. J. 
W. Gerber (who succeeded William Bateson). 
K. H. Oanfield. M. W. Chunn. A. J. Daley. 
W. N. Davidson. R. B. Hinkly. B. H. Holbert. 
T. E. Jones. Frank Johnston. J. A. Kennicott. 
John Kelley, H. J. Miller. C. A. Mead, S. B. 

suit of the .s'M'ial rlirlionH under the city 
toi'm of government : 

1904 — Mayor, E. A. Brown; aldermen," 
south ward, George Leet, W. J. Kinne, north 
ward, C. N. Phllbrick," J. L. .Tarchow; 
recorder, E. C.Schwartz; treasurer, A. Ross; 
justices, N. R. Reynolds, W. H. Armstrong. 

1905 — Mayor, E. A. Brown; aldermen, 
sotith ward, C. O. Wright, north ward, S. L. 
Chapiu; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, 
A. Ross; justices, N. R. Reynolds, W. H. 

1906 — Mayor, E. A. Brown; aldermen, 
south ward. Axel Berg, north ward, .John 
H, Sanders; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; 
treasurer, A. Ross. 

1907— Mayor, C. O. Wright: aldermen, 
south ward, B. S. Dodds, north ward, S. L. 
Chapin; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, 
A. Ross; justices, N. R. Reynolds, W. H. 

1908— Mayor, C. O. Wright; aldermen, 
south ward, H. Bierkamp, north ward, John 
H. Sanders; recorder, E, C. Schwartz; treas- 
urer, A, Ross. 

1909— Mayor, S. L. Chapin; aldermen, 
south ward, B. S. Dodds, north ward, W. H. 
White; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, 
A. Ross; justices, N. R. Reynolds, W. H. 

1910— Mayor, C. O. Wright; aldermen, 
south ward, H, Bierkamp, north ward, Henry 
Arp; recorder, E. C. Schwartz; treasurer, A. 

1911— Mayor, C. O. Wright; aldermen,, 
south ward, B. S. Dodds, north ward, W. 
H. White; recorder, E. C. Schwartz: treas- 
urer, A. Ross; justices, N. R. Reynolds, W. 
H. Armstrong. 

1 hiring the last few years Lin erne has 
had an uninterrupted journey on the mad 
to ])rosperity. In 100.") the |iii|iiihitiiiii 
was '.''2T".'. and this was iiiereaseil In '.'."iio 
in 191(1. making it rank liftb in size 
aillDllg the cilies nf Ihe seeoml eoiigrcs- 
siiinal lli^i.l•i^t. 'I'l.e cilies ]ia\iiig a great- 
er |ii>|iiilaliiiii are Maiikalo. New IMin, 
Fairmnnt and Winnebago.'"' 

'•'.\klermcn serve two-year terms. After the 
first election one alderman was elected from 
each ward each year. 

"Resigned November 7. 1905. At a special 
election November 21 John H. Sanders was 
named his successor. 

'"'Population of some of the other cities of the 
congressional di.striot. according: to the 1910 cen- 
sus, are as follows: Fairmont. 2958; Winnebago. 
2555; Pinestone. 2475: Worthington. 2.'!85; Blue 
Earth. 231S; Sleepy Eye. 2247; Jackson. 1907; 
Windom. 1749; Slayton, 850. 





TIFK i'liiiiiiliiii;- oi' a piihlif scliool in 
a new settlement is always a niat- 
tor of primary importanec ami 
one thai is yiNcn early eonsideration. So 
it was in laiverne. Even before tjiere was 
tlioii^lit (if a town, in the period when the 
only hiiildini!- marking the site of Itoek 
county's leading town was tlie Philo 
Hawes log cabin, the teacher was in evi- 
dence. So early as the winter of 18G8- 
G9, a class of young men met at irreg- 
ular intervals to receive the fundamentals 
of knowledge from E. N. Darling, who 
spent that season in the Hawes cabin. 
The young men who formed the primitive 
Luverno school were Charles 0. Hawes, 
Edwai'd JliKenzie, J. C. Kellcy, Horace 
Plum, Fi'ank Bcaty and a young man who 
lived with Sylvester Norton. 

T^eforc the first pulilic school in Ihp 
counly \\as cirganizcd, the Hawes cabin 
was again put to use in the interests nf 
educalidii. In Novemljer, 1870, C. K. 
Oldci'. a lieu arrival to the cminty, was 
IM'i.-uadrd 1(1 bold a h'l'ui of school, the 
fnui- pupils ciinillcd guaranteeing his sal- 
aiy. On the roll of this school, which was 
in continuous session until March, 1871, 
were Edward McTCenzie, at the time coun- 
/ ty audiioi : Charles O. Hawes. Ticn. Dan- 
iels and 1'. V. Kellcy. :\ri-. Oldei's pri 

\a(c schiiiil may riulill) be dcsigualed the 
iirst organized ed\icatiiuial bddy in Lu- 
vcrne and liock county. 

Several months aftei' the opening of 
^Ir. ()liii'i'"s school, the first public school 
Ibat imluded the settlement at Tjiiverne 
and vicinity was started. It was conduct- 
ed for a short term during the winter of 
1870-71 in a sod blacksmith shop on the 
farm of George Blasdell, a mile east of 
town, near what is known as Norton's 
ford. TJcn. Yickcrs was the teacher em- 
ployed, and the enrollment numbered six 
buys and girls. This school was in oper- 
ation several months before the county 
commissioners created the district, an ac- 
tion that was taken in February, 1871. 
During the following summer Miss Ella 
Webber cimducted n school in tlie same 
district in a sod hut near the imiumls. 
District No. 2, as originally created, in- 
cluded all of Luvenie township, (lie west 
ball of Magnolia township and Ihc south 
h.df of Mound township. 

With the increase in the population of 
T>uvcrne during the year of its founding, 
came the necessity for a suitable public 
school building. The original edifice was 
erected late in the year 187? and was built 
1)1' lumber liauled from Woithington. The 
luiildili" w;is crcrtcil (HI block •">. 'iriuinal 



IllS'l'()i;V OF ItOCIv COUNTY. 

j)l;i(. four lois in wliirh bad been ilimatorl 
for llic iiiii-i)o.<e by tlie townsite proprie- 
tors.' Tbc first term of scliool in the new 
bnilrlino; was commenced in April, 1873, 
with .Aliss Jennie (ii'nut as teacber, and 
witb an enrollment of twenty-five pupils. 
Tlie seliool building was a two-story struc- 
ture. 22x38 feet in size. As it was not 
necessary to utilize tbe second story for 
school purposes at once, that room was 
leased to the county for offices and i)c- 
came the first seat of Kock county aovern- 
]nent. Luverne's first school building 
was destroyed by fire in December. 1875. 
A party of grain haulers on their way 
fi-oin Sionx Falls to Worthington canipeil 
in tbe liuilding over night and were re- 
sponsible for the disaster. - 

Preparations were at once made to re- 
]ilace the old building, luit the resulting 
action jnoved most unwise. With an eye 
only to the conditions of tlie present, th.e 
electors appropriated funds for a one- 
storv building, of only one a|i:irtiuent. 
The plan was carried into e.xecutiim, but 
not without manv protests. The growth 
of ibe town within one year exhibited the 
folly of tbe proccduie. Accommodations 
could be found for only a limited jiortion 
of the .school populalion, and \intil the sit- 
uation M'as relieved in 1882, when the 
present Central building was openiMl. the 
public school system was an unenviable 
one. In addition to the edifice designated 
as tlie School house." the basemeul of the 
Methndisi eliiiicli and vai'ious |)ublie halls 
were utilized for school purposes. 

Tntil the summer of 1878 tbe LnveriU' 
seliool< were maintained under the oi'di- 
nary district organization. Thrn it was 

'The so\('a foinailiins lot? nf the block that 
at the time onnstitiitrd the school groimrls. near 
the present point of intersection of the Omaha 
and Rock Island railroad tracks, were a little 
later purchased by the district for $100. 

-This second school building is now a part 
of the I-.ynch harness shop on Main street. 

'Owing; to the loss of the early school records 
it is impossible to Kive a complete list of those 
who have served as membci's of the laneriin 

decided to adopt llic indejiendent district 
plan, uliieli bad Ijeen provided liv tbe leg- 
islature of 18 i 2. An election was held 
.Vugust 2(i, 1878. at which it was decided 
unaniinousl\ to make the change to tbe 
new form of organization. Seventeen 
votes were cast. On September 13, a 
biiard of six directors was chosen as fol- 
lows: .7. S. Wheeler, E. D. TTadley. 0. 
]». Brown. 1!. O. Crawford, J. A. Har- 
idun and \V. J. Taylor. At the meet- 
ing of the board ^Ir. Hadley was chosen 
president, Mr. Harroun, clerk, and Mr. 
Crawford, treasurer.' The first problem 
witb which the new body was confronted 
was how to dispose of 200 students with a 
school house having a capacity for ninety. 
The building of a serviceable school 
house, which necessity demanded, became 
a live issue in 1880. A meeting was luld 
.\|u-i! to decide whether or not the dis- 
trict should vote $2,500 for the erectu.n 
of a new school house. The measure was 
lost, but at the same meeting another res- 
olution, pro\Tding for the sum of $6000. 
was carried. The matter, however, devel- 
oped no further that year, and the ohl 
build in<r was used the next term. On 
February 8, 1881. the electors of the di.s- 
trict expressed their approval of a ])lan 
to erect a new building, but failed to vole 
the bond-, the necessary two-third- ma- 
jorilv not assenting. .\t another meeting 
cm ^lareh 23. the proposition to biiihl an 
addition to tbe old building failed to ear- 
rv, and the year 1881 passed without tbe 
needed iniprovement. Definite^ act inn was 
taken Febiiiary 21. 1882. when, by a xnle 
of |."i to ll), ii was decided to issue bonds 
in the sum of $10,000 to cari-y out the 

lio-u'd of education. The followinpr have been 
members at different times since 1SS6: W. M. 
Raymond. K. H. Canfield. R. O. Crawford. R. D. 
Kadlev. .1. T . Helm, Nels Nelson. W. H. Halhert. 
F. C. 'Mahoney. Mrs. E. C. Crosby. Mrs, Z, E, 
Wilson. E. H. Rronson. J, A. Harroun, William 
.Taeob.sen. T/. C. Hodcson, 11. J. Thomte, C. 
Heinz. .A, T> Adams, Dr, .\, R. Snaldinp. .lohn 
Kellev. IT, H. Gray, Harrison White. .\. D, T.a- 
Due. C. O. Hawes. S. B. Nelson. J. A. Kenni- 
cott. O. E. Ferguson. H. W. Bertram. 



plans. A few weeks later aa additional 
appropriation oL' $1100 for the purchase 
of a site was made. The brick structure 
erected in 1883 by Contractor Frank 
'rha\cr is the south wing of the present 
(Vnlinl liuililiuL;-. Jt conlained tlirce 
school rooms and a Ijasement and was 
occupied for tlie first time on Jlonday, 
Noveuilier 13. 188"^. Three years Inter it 
became imperative to again increase tl'.e 
school facilities. An addition, corre- 
sponding in style to the original, was an- 
nexed to the Central bnilding, at a cost 
of .$7000, including a new heating sys- 
tem. .1. H. Lyttle and P. N. Gillham were 
the contractors. They completed the Cen- 
tral building as it stands today in Janu- 
ary, 1886. 

'The superintendents of the Luverne schools 
who have succeeded Prof. Folensbe. with the 
date of service, have been as follows: W. P. 
Crannell, 1.SS3-S4; S. A. Merritt, 1S84-S7; Z. N. 
Vaughn. 1S87-S9; George B. Leslie, 1889-91; E. 
H. Roberts, 1891-94: C. E. Guthrie, 1894-98; 
Fi-auk B. Dean, 1898-01; C. E. Young. 1901-05; 
George B. Halverson, 1905-08; J. L. Torrens, 

"The graduates of the Luverne high school 
are as follows: 

1888 — Laura Huntington. Sampson Start. 

1889 — .Arthur B. Huntington, George ]j. Hunt- 
ington, Abbie P,arriott, Eiva Powers. 

1890 — Emily Brown. Lucius Heailloy. 

1801 — Blanche Burlev, .\nna Crawford, Frank 
Hinkly, Kate Ryals. 

1892 — Guv Huntington, Myra Kilpatrick, IVIary 
Jones, Belle Moreiand. 

1893— Albert Adams, Mary Blodgett, Ophelia 
Oestern. Gertie S.ixton. Abbey Mather. Nellie 
Strever. Marie A. Roberts. 

1S94— May Fasset, Clifton Glass, Effie Jacob- 
sen. Margaret Jones, Jesse Kilpatrick. James 
McCarthy. Minnie Mieroort, Thurman Moreiand, 
Charles Olds. Jessie Preston, Buel Way. Ben 

1895— Edia A. Headley 

1896- Bertha Bogue, Lillian Gilbert. Robert 
Gilbert. Nellie Hodgson. Raymond Kilpatrick. 
Laura Mahoney, Alice Olds. Sadie Parriott. Fred 

1897 — Robert A. Crawford. Blanche Gillhnm. 
Reeda M. Hazard. C, Clinton Ho^iglaml. Wil- 
liam Jacobsen. Jr.. Inga M. Knrtrude, TInttie P. 
Jones, Ella M. McCarthy, John H. McMillan, 
Eva B. Moulton, Frank E. Older, Arthur B. 

1898 — Matt Baldwin. Norma Bates. Lillian 
Burleigh. Phoebe Cnon, Walter Crawford. Court- 
ney Glass, Matie Hcnton. Carrie Hurd. Ethel 
Hyke. Adam Jargo, Minnie Kilnatrick, Nellie 
Morse, Bessie Mvrick. Hattie McCarthy, Ho- 
mer Preston. Lottie Rice, Karl Way. Clara 

1899— Mona A. Berry, Laura B. Hinkly. B. 
Fi-anziska McDermott, Cleon D. Smith. Alice I. 

1900 — Leon R. .Adams, Anna M. Armstrong. 
Edwin A. -Ayer. Maude M. Brockway, Royden 
M. Broekway, Luvena L. Brockway. Alice D. 
Burleigh. Guy H. Burlingame. Leonard H. 
Jacobsen, Mabel Kilpatrick, Harriett McKay, 
Katie E. Teetor, Grant .A. White, Herbert E. 

In tlie spring of 1881 the Luverne puli- 
lic schools were reorganized under the 
state grading systeni. with four deparl- 
ment.s. This work was accomplished un- 
der the superintcndency of L. E. Folens- 
be, who was in charge of the schools 
from 1880 to lSs;i.* In July. 1883, the 
I>uverne school lidiiid made application 
for state aid under the legislative act of 
ilarch 3, 1881, for the encouragement of 
higher education. The ap]ilication was 
granted and resulted in tlie establislnncnt 
of the Luverne high school, an institution 
unexcelled in the slate. Two hundred 
tliirty-nine pupils have, up to the present 
writing, been graduated from the high 
school.'^ An alumni association was form- 
ed in January, 1893. 

Doolittle. Frank M. McCarthy. Franklin R. 
McMillan. Fannie A. Minor, Rosa M. Oestern. 
1901— James H. Armstrong. Ruth Bron.son. 
Harry M. Burlingame. Lillian M. Crane. A. C. 
Croft. Lerov E. Doolittle. Hattie E. Grout, Sara 
M. Jones, Edna E. Miller, Mildred C. Ryan, 
Emma J. Willard. Carl J. Woodrow, Maud E. 
Che.slev. Tillie C, Dietrich, Vernon Ganfleld, Wil- 
liam B. Hieklv, Walter J. Jacobsen, May C. 
Marsden, Thomas V. Sheehan. R. May Wallers. 
1902 — James Brady. Lynn Gillham, Edward 
Hawes, Thomas Kellev. Ida G.' Jones. Myrtle 
Jones, Amelia Steinfeldt. 

1903 — Theodore Berry, Blanche Abbey, Mary 
Connell. Nina Farrington, Mamie Gavin. .Alma 
Hagedorn. Rae Hyke. Florence Kennedy, Lewis 
Norelius. Eleanor Harroun. 

1904 — Lee Abbey, Alice Anson. Alvah Brock- 
way, Rollo Cobban. Mary Innes. Thomas Lar- 
kin, Effie McMillan. William Norelius. Emit 
Norelius. Jessie Vickerman, Lennie Woodrow, 
Emily Soutar. 

1905 — Sprague Chapin. Edith Gittens, Inde 
Greene, Nora Jacobsen. Vera McGrath, .Anna 
Mickelson. Jessie Philljrick. Clare Philbriek. 
Luella Swcdberg, Hazel F>urcell, .Augusta Nore- 
lius. Maude Walters, Viola Woodrow. 

1906— Bdvthe C. Brockway. Jennie B. Gittens. 
Lillian A. Hvid. Luella I. Jones. Lucy J. AVhite, 
Lavina R. Adams, Edmund S. Adams, Amice H. 
Cobban, Ellen B, Crowe, Gladys E. Fink. Jes- 
sie O. Halbert, Nellie H. Kennedy. M. Roy 

1907 — Ida M. Broten. Hazel F. Brown, Susan 
K. Brown. Harold E. JJunn. Maude B. Chimes, 
Margaret E. McCirath. Ellabert Miller. .AUhea 
Reid. Agnes Anson. Ora M. Beaty. Walter O. 
Daley. Henry S. Greene. Lucy M. ,Adams, (Tar- 
ence B. Swenson, Floy M. Gibson, Margaret A. 

190S — Elmer F. Cummings, Melkeor V. S. Kjor- 
laug. Jessie L. Jacobsen. Margaret Inncs. B. 
Elinor Sheehan, Grace A. Soutar, Hulda C. 
Swedberg. Laura B. Fassett. Beatrice M. Hyke, 
Llovd D. Long, Cleo M. Stanton. Dot N. L. 
Weijber. Truma F. Brockway. Myrtle Brewer, 
Susie C. Farrington. Elmer J. Kennedy, Alice M. 
Lemka, Paul J. Preston. 

1909 — AVinnifred .Anderson, Clarence Txiose, 
Gcne\-ie\'e Carver, Verra Tangeman. Edna Nore- 
lius, Lilli:ui Jones. Mary Noonan, Fern Philbriek, 
Kenneth Krnnicott. Mamie Pease, Charles Sipes, 
Jessie Wiggins, Irving Cummings, Willard John- 



lu time llic Central building, too, bc- 
fniiio iiiadiMjiiatu to tlie needs of tbe grow- 
inu' ti)\\n for educational purposes. It 
was nct-essarv to secure rooms in different 
lialls of tlie town only a few years after 
the addition was completed. In JIay. 
1893, the proposition to issue bonds to 
the amount of $3000 to build another ad- 
dition was defeated by a vote of 4() to 
19. In the course of anotlier year deci- 
sive measures for the erection of a second 
building- were taken. Bonds in tlie sum 
of $20,000 were voted Se|itemlier 24, 
1891, 123 electors t.allotin;;- in fa\'or of 
the proposition, and 37 ajjainst. 'I'he 
board of education ])urchased a site for 
$1750 in Octol)er; in Xovomber W. D. 
^FcLanglilin was employed as architect: 
and in ilarcli. 1S95, the contract for tlie 
erection of the liuilding was awarded to 
Greene & Gillliani. The liandsome stone 
building, now iise{l almost entirely as the 
high school, was ready for occupancy in 
November, 1895. Witbin the last ivw 
years holh of tiie Luvenie puhlic school 
buildings have been remodeled and enlarg- 
ed and are modern and fully equipped in 
every particular. Luverne has a pul)lic 
school system unri\aleil liv an\' other city 
of its i-lass in the ;-tatc. 


l';ic\'en church societies maintain or- 
gani/at i<ins in I,uverne, and of these all 
except one are e^tahlished in their own 
houses ot \\(ii>hi|i. The societies repre- 
sented in the county seat city are Metho- 
dist, ISaplist, I'l-eslivterian. Catholie, Nor- 
wegian Lutheran (Synod). Norwegian 

son, Marif KpeK;oi. Ra,\' Hnd^snli. Marietta 
.riilinson, Kstt'lle Phillprick. lOva KiiiK- 

lillO^Guy W. MiM^i'. ('. Kdwiii lialicr. Mary E. 
Byrne. Roy H. OinimitiKs, Nina M. I-'ergusun. 
Earl K. Strever. Ksmnnde I/. CotuhII, Bernioe 
E. Davidson, I.ily K. Franklin. H. Stanley 
Loffler. I^illian E. l.ynoli, Met.i Rathjen, Eunice 
E. Wooflrow. 

"■'It is annoiniced that a session of the 
fiuartei'ly oonforenoo of the Methodist chiu'ch 
will he held in llie sehool house in this place 
nil the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth of this 
inoiitli. in charge "f Rev. Wright, of Mankato. 

Lutheran (T'nitcd), Unitarian, Episcopal, 
German Lutheran, Norwegian Lutheran 
(Free) and Christian Science, 

The pioneer chiii'eh of Lu\frnc is the 
Methodist, which has now arrived at the 
thirty-eighth year of its existence. In- 
cluded among the early settlers in Beaver 
Creek township was a company of de- 
vout followers of John Wesley, who in 
the summer of 1ST2 brought about the 
organization of a Sunday school and ■\Ieth- 
odist class. It was at the re(|uest of this 
I'eligious company that Rev, F, 11. ISron- 
son came from Wisconsin to su])ervise the 
cause of tlie Methodists iij Rock county. 
The announcement of the elder's coming 
jiromjited tbe few Methodists in Ijuverne 
to make plans for a cliurcb organization, 
to which Rev, Bronson would minister. 
Through the activity of those interested 
a conference, in charge of Presiding El- 
der Wright, was held in the village school 
house May 24 and 25, 1873. to discuss 
tlie feasibility of tbe undertaking,® 

Rev. Bronson arrived June 17, 1873, 
and three days later, on Sunday, preached 
to his new congregations, holding ser- 
vices in the Beaver Creek settlement and 
in Luvei'iie, .Vt the close of the meetings 
of the day the minister completed the 
work of organization, tlie members of ihe 
two congregations uniting to form one 
eliureb society. 

The lot of a pioneer clergyman in a new 
and uiiteinpered country is always one 
that can onlv demand hardihood of fli(> 
strongest libre. The experience of Koek 
county's earliest established pastor is a 
casi' ill point. For six weeks the "[larson- 

Ijresiding elilcr of the conference. We under- 
stand that one or more preachers, liesidcs the 
presiding elder, will he present. We are to 
liave a minister of thi.s denomination located 
in the community al an early day. We arc re- 
liably informed that he i.s now on his way 
hither. We hope he does not imagine that he 
is a mi.ssionary going to spread the gospel 
among the heathen, for in times past we have 
been accustomed to the 'sound of the church- 
going liell' and will again re.ioice to obey Its 
summons to the housi- of worship. We have 
a scliool house, and now let us have a meet- 
ing house." — Rock County Herald, May 23. 1873. 



n<fiir which .y'ave shelter to Eev. Bronson 
wiis a \\agon cover, utilized from tlie 
equipment of some emigrant train. He 
organized churches and classes in Spring- 
water, Kanaranzi, Ellsworth, Ashcreek, 
jMagnolia and other places, all being 
grouped under the general name of tlic 
Luvcrne circuit, and for a number ol' 
years the one man supplied tlie luiiiy 

Each separate organized churcli in the 
Luvernc circuit elected delegates to sit 'on 
the hoard of trustees and stewards for 
the whole, which convened at stated in- 
tervals in Luverne to take up matters of 
church importance. Such an organization 
existed for four and one-half years, when 
the union was dissolved and the churches 
given the privilege of developing as in- 
dependent units. 

Late in December, 1873, the Luverne 
Methodist church became a corporate 
body as a result of the recording of the 
certificate of organization with the reg- 
ister of deeds. The first board of trus- 
tees, elected the first Sunday in Novem- 
lier, consisted of C. E. Henton, Bishop L 
Grossman, Charles Williams, T. P. Grout, 
Joseph Forbes, J. Gillard, Philo Hawes, 
Amos Estey and Joseph Knight. The 
(|ues(ion of erecting a church edifice in 
ISTo was a matter of discussion, but re- 
sulteil in no action, although one of tlie 
townsite |)i'oprietors pledged a suitable 
site and a donation of $100 to tlie first 
church society to build in Luverne. 

For a period of four years following or- 
ganization the Metliodist society worship- 
ped in the school building. On July 31. 
1S77, the project for a church building 
was successfully launclied. Subscrip- 
tions to the amount of $3000 were secur- 

'James Preston. T. P. Grout. James Gillard 
and W. H. Glass contributed the first one thoii- 
sand dollars to the building fund. 

*'The foltnwinK have been succeeding pastors 
iif the Methodist church: J. W. Lewis. 1S77-7.S; 
Peter Claire. l.S78-7n; H. W. Pease, 1S79: .1. 
Thomas Murrish. 18S0-S1; W. F. Means. ISSl-Si;, 

ed.' A building committee was appoint- 
ed, and the work of construction com- 
menced soon after. The season was one 
of hard times, and the committee was forced 
to solve some grave financial problems 
in order to continue the work. The brick 
churcli, which still serves the society, 
was sufficiently completed by December 1, 
is;";, to permit the holding of services in 
the basement. On Sunday, August 5, 
].s8;.i, the cburrh was dedicated free of 
debt. The dedication was made by Bisli- 
iij) Foss, of Minneajiolis, assisted by 
Bishop Samuel Fallows, of Chicago. The 
cost of the completed structure approxi- 
mated ifioOOO. Improvements and altera- 
tions amounting to about $3000 were 
made in 1905, following which, on June 
18, the church was impressively rodedi- 
cated by Kev. G. H. Bridgeman, D. D., 
president of Hamline university. 

Eev. Bronson served the church as pas- 
tor from 1873 to 1877, and was assisted 
during the final year of his active minis- 
try by Eev. J. M. Bull.« 

For several years the Methodist was 
the only church organization in Luverne, 
although from time to time ministers of 
other faiths preached to their following 
among the population. The year 187"i 
witnessed the beginning of the Luvei-ne 
Baptist church. 

At a Sunday school [)iciiic, on Siiliii- 
day. July 3, 1875, Elder A. \\ . Ililloii, 
(if Turner county. South Dakula, Icaincd 
from three tncmbers of the Tieavet ('reek 
settlement who were present, O. A. Iliil- 
(■II, William Ells and 'I'homas Jones, of 
the (■xistciice in Eock count)' (d' a strong 
liaplist following that was desirous of 
jierteeting a closer union. An appoint- 
ment was made with Mr. Hilton to hold 

Samuel Cates. 1SS2; T. W. Butler. 1S83-84; E. 
R. T.athrop. 1884-S5; D. Seymour. 1SS5-S6; Noah 
B. Foot. 1SS6-S9; Oliver Williams. 1889-92; Rev. 
Harris. 1892-93: T. H. Scheckler. 1893-95; J. W. 
rornish. 1895-97: T. A. Jones. 1897-01: C. A. 
Anderson. 1901-03; William Burns. 1903-04; E. Z. 
Durham. 1905; I,. H. Wondworth, 19(ifi-0,S: Ross 
I,. Kinney, 1908-09; C. W. Morse. 1909-11. 



scrviiT's oil Suiiilay. .Iiilv 11. On tlie aft- 
ernoon of that day Mr. Hilton preached 
at the liome of J. IT. Stearns, near Val- 
ley Springs, and in tlie evening at Lu- 
verne. Two week.s later, on June 2"), Mr. 
Hilton again conducted services at Lu- 
vernc. At the close of this meeting, 
which wa.s lield at the school house, a 
church organization was decided upon, 
and the f<illo\ving eleven persons were re- 
ceived as mendiers: Mrs. Elizabeth Nor- 
ton, Mrs. Cordelia Brockway. William 
Ells, Mrs. Lydia Ells, Alhert E. Snow. 
Sidney Hulett. O. A. Hulett, Mrs. A. C. 
Croft, Estella Ells, Mrs. Emily -lames 
and Mrs. Laura Spalding. Mr. Ells was 
chosen deacon and Mrs. A. C. Croft, 
church clerk. Mi'. Hilton was elected to 
the jiastorate and eonsenleil to come from 
his home in South Dakota to preach every 
two weeks. Over twenty-five additions 
were made to the nieml)erslii|j hefore the 
close of the year lSr.5. 

.\t an election held in October, 1875, 
a hniid of trustees, consisting of Sylves- 
ter .N'orton. n. F. Roderick. IT. Hall, V. 
J. l\ni-s and A. C. Croft, was elected as 
a |ueparalory step to incorporation and 
the erection of a church building. Tn 
May, 187r), a committee of seven was 
appcu'nted to canvass Rock county for 
fuuils with whii-h to eri'ct a Ijuilding. l^ots 
were donated hy 1*. .T. Kniss and A. -f. 
Wai'ren. Bv (he ii|ieniiig of winter the 
foiiiidafion of (he iiioposcd st iiictui'e was 
laid. The building was slow in reaching 
cnni|)lel ion, owing to the de]iression iru-i- 
drill (ci (he grasshop|X'r scourge. wlnVh 
seriously afl'ecled the payuiciit of suhscrip- 
(ions to the building fiiiul. 'I'iuiclv aid 
in the form of a cniinad of lumber was 
received from Ibiiace Tliompson and E. 
F. Drake, of St. Paul. The winter of 

"Thf list of p-islors whii h;\ve llllifl thi' Hflp- 
tist pulpit i.s as follows: A. VV. Tlilton. IST.S-T": 
,1. \V. Rcosc. 1S77-7.S: J. F. Mi'iriMiii, IS7!)-S1: ,T. 
\V. Repsc. JSXl-.SL'; Cvriis 'riinm;is. 1SS2-.SS; O. 
K. Vanicy, ISS.S (Jiuir lo .\iikiisU; W. K. IIo|i- 

18~7-7S found (l:e house of worship en- 
closed an<l jjlastered, but without seats 
or means of heating, Imt these necessities 
were supplied befon; the eiul of spring. 

The constitution and articles of incor- 
])oration were adopted by the church 
body on -lune 24, 187 7. One year later, 
in June, 1878, tlie Luverne church was 
admitted into mendiership by the Jlinne- 
sota Valley association. The cost of the 
cliurch edillci' approxinuited .$.'i.")Ofl. and 
the deilicaiinii cei'emony was postponed 
until the entire indebtedness had been 
paid. The event occurred on July 2(), 
188."), V hen was celebrated the tenth anni- 
versary of Ihe church's organization. The 
services on this occasion were conducted 
by Eev. J. Sunderland, state Ba])tis( 
missionary. .V noi-th wing was added to 
the church huilding in 1903 at a cost of 
about $2500. The money for this pur- 
pose was donated by the Baptist society 
of J'lcaver Cre(<k, which on disbanding 
sold its church liuilding and donated the 
proceeds to the sister society in TiUverne. 
T\\o present membership of the Baptist 
cliurch is 130. Since its organization 
tliei'c have been 427 names recordeil on 
the iiieml)eislii|i roll. ^Trs. L. B. Kniss 
has heen the churcli cler]< without inler- 
ruption since 1879." 

Of the three Norwegian Fudieian 
churclies in Luverne, the Synod society is 
the oldest. So far back in the countyV 
hisbiry as 1872 can lie traced (he hciiu- 
niiigs of this organization, .\iiiniig t!ie 
|iioiieers of Itock county wvw quite a 
niimlier of Norwegians \\ ho had been 
liroiight up ill the Tjutheran faith in their 
native land and were desirous of jierpetu- 
a(iiig the faitberan form of service ii! 
th.eir new home. .\n informal cluireh or- 
ganization was maintained hy several 

kins. ISSS-Sil; niissell S. SarK'finl. ],s.«n-ni; .T. 
P. ('nffm;\ii. 1802-0.'?; C. W. Lisk. isn.3-n(: C. F. 
Ri-rin.soii. isns-ii7: J. Y. M'ontaKrf>. lS0S-n2: 
Cliarlrs Kirlh. in02-07; J. C. Ciiiry. l',)07-10; W. 
ir. I'crliMin. 1010-11. 




families, services were held from time to 
time at CMjuvenieiit places, and occasional- 
Iv a minister of their denomination was 

li'ev. (). (). Sando, who came to Lnverne 
in ls7o, and preached frequently there- 
after 1(1 llie little congregation, was in- 

I strnmental in eifecting a regular cluirch 
organizatiiin. The society was organized 
,lniie I, IS^li, as t]:e IvU\erne Norwegian 
iMaugelical congTegati(ni, and tlie follow- 
ing were received as first members: ]>. 
S. Wold, JMigebret Rvensen, Gahr Aanen- 

i sen, 0. A. Plomasen, Isak Isaksen, Jacob 
Aanensen and Tlalvorson. liev. 
Sando was dulv instnlli'd as the fir.'^t })as- 

For ten years the Synod church was 
without a home of its own and held ils 
-iTvices in diflfercnt halls of the town. The 
corner stoiic for the [iresent edifice, on 
(he corner of Freeman avenue and Lu- 
verne street, was laiil Octolier 3, 188(5. 
The building committee consisted of Rev. 
A. (J. Thnrmo, K. Egge and Andreas 

r Erickson, T'he strmtuiv, erected at a cost 
of $3.5(^0, was first oc(ni]iied for services 
J\rarch 2.", 1887. In 1882, before the 

i church was built, the society purchased n 
dwelling to lie used as the manse. Two 
iithci' cliurclies are served by the ivistor of 
llir Lu\ciiic church : I he une at Kenneth, 
and (he Trefoldighed cliuich of TJoso Tell 

St. Catherine's Catlidlic chuich of Ln- 
verne is aiu)tiier organization wdiose his- 
tory begins in the seventies. Among the 
early day settlers were the Catholic fam- 
ilies of McDermotts, Ryans, McCarthys, 
Lynchs, Fitzgeralds. Hykes, MeKeons and 
others, who banded themselves together 
for till' puipose of worshi)!. A ]ietitiou 
fur :i regidnr pastor addressed to Bisboji 
Tri'hind in 1873 was answered. Father 
Kn-nif was assigned to the field. 

'"The p.istors of the .Ev.iort chin-cIi have heen: 
II. O. Siindo. 1876-78; C. A. Naeseth, 1878-81; 

Many of the early day services of the 
society were held at the home of Lawrence 
McDennott, at the mounds, ajid in the 
public halls of Luverne. Under the pas- 
torate of Father Fox, late in 1880, the 
first church edifice was erected at a cost of 
several thousand dollars. The pastors in 
charge of the parish since Father Fox 
have been Fathers Tveefe, Dowling, Dwyer, 
jMigelbert, ;\Iid )i)ii(.ugh, Uaiilirb, Walsh 
and Mangan. 

St. ('atherine's church of today is the 
largest and handsomest iii the county. 
The first steps toward its erection were 
taken in April, 1908. The corner stone 
of the building was laid September 8. 
1908, and it was brought to completion 
in December of that year. The cost, of 
the imposing structure was $20,000 and 
it was dedicated free of debt on Wednes- 
day, August 18, 1909. Sixteen visiting 
clergymen were in attendance at the cere- 
monies, and the dedicatory sermon was 
preached by Rev. Father William Griffin, 
of Ellsworth. The foundation walls of 
the edifice are of red jasper from the 
mound quarries and are overtopped l)y 
a superstructure of bnff colored pressed 
brick, trimmed with white stone. 

The very first religious service held in 
Rock county was conducted by a Presby- 
terian minister, Dr. Rice, and occurred 
in the summer of 18G8. Dr. Rice had 
accompanied a party of government sur- 
veyors which was operating in Rock coun- 
ty that year and found there a few scat- 
tered settlers. To an audience numbering 
scarce a dozen, including members of the 
visiting party. Dr. Rice, on August 13, 
preached from a position on the summit 
of the Blue mounds, and in these most 
charactei'istic surroundings gave an ex- 
position of Christ's SI rmon on the moinit. 

The initial steps in llic formation of a 
Pr<'-bvtcrian church in Tjuverne were 

A. O. Thiirmo. 1882-94; J. H. I.unde. 1894-02; 
S. Bervin. 1904-09; I^. P. Lund, 1909-11. 



tnkeii iluring the liite seventies. Among 
the pioneer ministers of that ileriomina- 
tion to visit the town and pioniote the 
agitation for a eluirch organization were 
Revs. D. C. Lyon and Edward Savage. In 
May, 1878, Rev. Charles Tliayer was sta- 
tioned l)y tlie state synod as missionary 
in Rock county. As a result of a few 
months' lahor, on October 28, 1878, Eev. 
Thayer received a petition signed by nine 
jiersons, requesting Inm to proceed witli 
the regnhir organization of a Presbyterian 
ihurcji in Lnverne. To this end a meet- 
ing w-as held November 17, which result- 
ed most successfiilly. The following thir- 
teen persons entered into fellowship with 
one another and were received as mem- 
bers of the first Presbyterian church : 
Mrs. Mary J. Loomis, Mrs. Lucy A. 
S|]alding. Mrs. Belle Rice, Lafayette 
Palmer. Pardon E. Brown, wife afad 
(hnighter. Nelson R. Reynolds and wife, 
Rev. Charles Thayer, wife and son ^lartin, 
and Mrs. Bullis." 

Under the direction of Rev. John ^Mun- 
ro. who succeeded Rev. Thayer, a clnircli 
building, the fourth in Luverne, was 
erected in 1881 at a cost of $1730. The 
sanctuarv was dedicated, uncncumliercd, 
on Sunday. A])ril 10, 1882, by Rev. 
Thomas Campbell. This original build- 
ing served the purposes of the society for 
sixteen yeai's. The present handsome 
ch.urcli edifice of the Presbyterians was 
erected in 1809, and cost, complete, 
^.'i.'iOO. The corner stone of the struc- 
t\irc was laid November 20, 1898, by Dr. 
'i'haycr, the first pa.stor. and the dedica- 
tion took place September 17, 1899. The 
building is well appointed, with gallery 
and large lecture room, and has a seating 
capacity (d' 5,50. The present member- 
sliip n\' tile I'roshytcriaii church is about 

"ThP pastors who have occupied the Presby- 
terian pulpit, witli dates of service, have Ijeen: 
Charles Thaver. Joliii Miuu-o. 1.SS0-S3; 
Itev. Laverty'. ]88,'i-S4: John C. Henderson. 1SS4- 

As the result of a call, signed by seven- 
teen persons, for a meeting of those in- 
teiested in the organization of a United 
Norwegian Lutlicran church and the re- 
sultant meeting, whicli was held July 19, 
1884, Luverne became tlie home of a sec- 
ond Norwegian speaking church. At the 
initial meeting a committee w-as appointed 
to secure a pastor for the congregation. 
Prior to the organization, services had 
been conducted from time to time by 
Rev. II. Z. Hvid. 

Our Saviour's United Norwegian Evan- 
gelical Lutheran church was incorporated 
in July, 1S8G, the trustees elected to carry 
out this design being J. 0. Helgeson, O. 
Lund and 0. J. Oestern. The society 
woi'shipped in private homes and in the 
court house for many years, until 1898, 
when the cliurc]) on the corner of McKen- 
zie and Luverne streets was erected at a 
cost of $2000. The building was occupied 
for the first time on Sunday, August 7, 

The first regular pastor of the church 
was Rev. II. Wang, who served from 1881 
to 1890. Tie was succeeded in the latter 
vear l)y Rov. Th. Fos.sum, who was in 
charge for fifeen years. From 19(1.5 to 
19118 the pastor was N. O. Rogver. The 
]iresont minister. Rev. J. Mundahl, locat- 
ci] in Luverne in August, 1909. 

On Sunday. October 31. ISSC. the first 
TTnitarian service in Luverne was con- 
ducted by Rev. J. R. EITingcr, of Chicago. 
Interest in the movement was awakened, 
and a seiie.-, of meetings was arranged, 
licld under the leadership of Rev. S. S. 
Ihmliiig. "t \U'^ Moines. .\s an outcome 
the T"iiit\ ('(ingicgalioiial clmnii of Lu- 
\enie was oiganized Heeembcr 10, 188(1. 
'I'lic (ir-t board of trustees, consisting of 
!■:. II. Ciinlield. i;. K. Moieland. (ieorgc 

v.->; William Miller. 1SS5-87: S. A. Jamison. l.SST- 
IIL" Artiiuv M. Smith. 1S92-94: John Me.\rthnr. 
1S!i4-1h;; William J. Johnson. 18il6-93; Frank 1.. 
rraser. lS!l!l-n3; .Augustus H. Carver. 1903-11. 



n. Brace, F. C. .MMlioney and A. :\r. Cro?- 
l)v, was elected at that time. 

Rev. Hunting served as missionary pas- 
iiir of the new society until July, 1887', 
when he was succeeded liy Rev. Mary 
Wilke.-i. The "Unity Society" of Luverne 
liccamo a corporate liody July 21, 1SS8. 
.lust ]irior to this a Iniilding- committee 
dl' three memhers, F. C. Malioney, A. M. 
< 'rosl)y and E. H. Canfield, was chosen. 
Till' erection of a cliuich wa-^ conDiicnccd 
ill .Vpril, 1899; tiie corner stone was laid 
^iay 10; the first service therein was licld 
.Inly 14; and the foi'inal dedication occur- 
red Sunday, Octoher "20, that event occa- 
sioning a noteworthy gathering of emi- 
nent Unitarian ministers. The lot and 
liuilding complete cost $476.5. Of this 
amount the pastor, IMrs. Wilkes, raised 
.$20nO in the east, and $2.50n nf the bal- 
ance was contributed by fifty-one citizens 
of Luverne, in suljscriptions ranging from 
•$.") to $200 each. 

The Unity church has not held regular 
services since the last pastor. Rev. B. A. 
Hills, removed from the field in October, 
1908. A Sunday school was organized 
simultaneously with the church and is 
slill continued. Ten years ago the Sun- 
day school at Tjuvcrne was distinguished 
as being the largest ITnitarian Sunday 
school in the state. The societv was be- 
(|iK'atlu'd the house and lot adjoining tlie 
cliiirch on the west liy the late George 
W. Snook, and the income from that 
property is to be forever used in the sup- 
port of the Sunday school. 

The first event to mark the birth of 
liiily Trinity Episcopal church <ir T.n- 
verne was the visit of Rev. D. OrifTin 
(iMiin, of Worthington, in March, 1883. 
.\t that lime lie conducted a service of 
the Kpiscopalian form in the Presbyte- 
rian church. Interest in the matter of 

'-Tlip Kpisonpal chiiroh has been ministered 
to by the following six regularly installed rector.s: 
<:. a. Ware, 1S91-94; K. VV. White, 18!M-96; \V. 

organizing an Episcopal church was arous- 
ed during the few succeeding years, and 
services were held from time to time by 
visiting ministers. 

Holy Trinity Parisli was organized 
June 25, 1891, at which time Rev. C. S. 
Ware, who had supplied at intervals, was 
chosen as the first rector. The first ves- 
try, elected at this time, consisted of N. 
R. Reynolds, senior warden ; T. E. Jones, 
juiiinr warden; W. H. Wilson, J. W. Ger- 
ber, J. W. Millhouse and R. B. Hinkiy. 
The erection of a church home was agreed 
upon, and on August 19, 1891, Bishop 
Gilbert and Rev. Ware laid the corner 
stone of the structure. The building, of 
stone construction, was completed late in 
the fall, at a cost of $6000. The dedica- 
tion ceremonies did not eventuate until 
six years later, when it was accomplislied 
with the indebtedness cleared. The event 
took place Monday, November 7, 1897, 
Bishop Gilbert officiating. The parish 
owns a rectory, bought in 1906 with 
funds raised for the most part through 
the efforts of the ladies' guild. '- 

St. John's German Evangelical Lutlier- 
an church commenced its life on July 12, 
1891. Services had been held prior to 
that time. Init not with any regularity 
or as a united congregation. At the or- 
ganization nweting ten persons were re- 
ceived into memljcrship. They were John 
.\hrendt, Bernhard Ahrendt, Albert Ah- 
leiidt, Henry Meyer, Anton Boeder, Wil- 
liam Stelling, Carl Kurth, William Mann, 
Carl Mannigel and Henry C. Sodemann. 
The first board of trustees was made up 
of Bernhard Ahrendt, William Stellinff 
and Henry Meyer. 

The Synod Norwegian Lutheran church 
was employed as a house of worship by 
the German organization until the society 
eii'ited a building of ils own in the fall 

E. Couper, 18;i7-00; W. Parry-Thomas, 11101-04; ' 
W. A. Dennis, I:tii5-0S; J. D. Salter, 1910-11. 



of 1895 at a cost of $1000. The dedica- 
tion took place December 10, 1S95. In 
190(J a commodious parsonage was added 
to tlie clmrcli property. In its history of 
twenty years St. John's churcli has luid 
„nlv Uvo pastors: Rev. H. C. Brink- 
man, the organizing minister, and Rev. 
II, \V. I'.aumann. the present incumbenl. 
uj,., succeeded to the charge in 1898. 'J'he 
,,;i.|or also lias under his charge Trinity 
,;,,,„, ail LuthiTan cliuich at Stecn and a 
mission post at Ber.ver Creek. A paro- 
chial school is maintained, in charge of 
Ihc jiastor. 

A church of the Christian society ex- 
isted in Luverne for a few years in the 
late nineties. The organization was per- 
fected on January 8, 1897. During the 
following year a small church huildmg, 
valued at $1100, was erected. The dedica- 
tion occurred December 12, 1898. At 
tlie time of its gi-eatest prosperity the so- 
ciety had a membership of forty. Owing 
largely to removels. the number became 
depreciated to such an extent that the or- 
ganization was disbanded after a few 
years' life, and the chuivh Iniilding was 

Tlic third Norwegian Dutheran church 
i„ Luverne dates its existence from VdM. 
This is the Free church, incorporated as 
the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran 
Zion's Society. Six or seven former mem- 
bers of the local United church formed 
. thp nucleus of the organization. A frame 
structure, 30x40 feet in size, was erected by 
the society for a church home in 190o. 
Three years later when tlieCaihohcs moved 
into their new church, tl.c building vacat- 

,„1 bv (hem was purchased by the Free 
Lutherans and moved to the site of the 
oiiuiiial church home it supplanted. There 
,,,,: ;,l„„it lifteen families ivpivs.'.itrd mi 
ll„. incnibcrshiii of the churcli. 

The t'lii-isliaii Science society is Ihc 
only established ivligions organi/alioii in 

Luverne without a home of its own. This 
society was reorganized in 19()5. Services 
are held everv Sunday in A. O. 1'. W • 


The lii'st lodge organized in Luverne 
was the iMasonic, which began its exist- 
iMice wiieu the town was in its infancy, a 
(.ommunitv thirty miles from the nearest 
railroad. ' In October, 1873. the initial 
steps toward the organization of the pio- 
neer lodge were taken, and at a meeting 
lield on March 4, 1874, the lodge was 
placed under dispensation by the Grand 
lodge of Minnesota. Officers to serve 
duidng this period of its existence were 
chosen as follows: E. N. Darling. W. 
M.: W. E. Vary. J. W. ; E. D. lladley, 
S. W.; Cliaik's F. ('vosby, S. D. ; R. 0. 
Crawf.u-d. .1. D.: .\. L. March. T. : Wil- 
liam Jacobsen, C. 

The charter for Ben Franklin E<idgc 
No. 114, A. F. & A. M., was granted Jan- 
uary 13, 1875, and following its formal 
organization the following officers were 
installed: Charles F. Crosby, W. M.: 
l!ol,ert Ileiren, S. W.; E. D. Hadley, J. 
W ■ v. L. i\larsh, secretary; TT. F. Flinds. 
treasurer: E. N. Darling, S. D. : William 
Jacobsen. J. D. ; R. 0. Crawford, S. S. : 
Stewart Young, J. S. : J. F. Shoemaker, 
tyler- A. J. Bartlett, chaplain. The pres- 
ent membership of Ben Franklin lodge is 

A second Masonic order, Luverne Coin- 
manderv No. 22, Knights Templar, dates 
its existence from 1891. The dispensa- 
tion for its establishment was ordered in 
Fehruarv. and in June the charter was 
received'. Tlie lii^t regular meeting (d 
tl,, t'oinmandery was held March 3:!, 
1891. ]\fark Swedberg served as the first 
eminent commander. 

On October II. 1892. a petition signed 
l,v Masons and their wives 

IllS'l'OltV Ol' KOCK COl'X'I'V. 


n'questcil M ;hMi1(.M' I'lir a lod^r (if tlu' Kasl- 
t'lii Star. I'l-diiipt actiiin was taken liy 
the state autlioi-itios and on Deeeniber 1 t, 
1S!)5. T.uverne Chapter Xo. 47. (). E. S., 
was instituted by l)v. W. S. W(>bli. of 
Wcitthiniiton. I'be first ott'icers and cliav- 
ter iiieiiilK'i's, nundieriiiii' twenty, were 
Olivia A. ilalbert. worthy matron; iMyi'a 
i'>i-oiisiiii. associate nititron ; B. H. Hinkiy. 
pnlroii: l.'eUa V]. Halbei't, eoiKhictress : 
Ilattie S. Kelley, associate conductress: Iv 
('. TTiid<lv, treasurer: Ella T. IJandall. 
secretary: ,1. E. Darlino. elect. ir: M. A. 
Hinds, warden: R. ]\nap|i. sentinel: 
Sophia Kr^an, ilartlia; Lizzie C'. Swed- 
ber.o', Kate E. Bruce, Adah: Xan- 
cv A. Meyers, lluth : L. L. Bryan. J. .(. 
Mvers, U. F. Hinds. John Kelley. E. X, 
Jiarlino-. Mrs. J. E. Darling. 

The Independent Oiiler of Odd Fellows 
has a strong following in F-uverne. Three 
branches of the order are maintained, the 
fiist of which. Myrtle Lodue Xo. (iT, was 
instituted by Past (irand Master D. A. 
^lorrison on the evening of Xovemher 7. 
ls;s. The ffdlowini;- officers were install- 
ed on that occasion: C. ('ond>s. X. (J.: 
i;. :\r. click, v. C: ll. J. Cone, R. S.: 
W. J. Taylor. P. S. : C. W. Held, treasur- 
er: C. C. Drew. P. S. to X. a.; P. E. Kel- 
lev. L. S. to N. G. ; J. ]\Iarvin, warden: 
D. Stone, conductor; Jaines Crowell, I. 
(1.: Pev. Charles Thayer, chaplain. The 
Indge has a ju'esent membership of ](i7. 

Luvernc Encampment Xo. 11 was or- 
.traiiized xVugust 27, 1.S9G, tlie work being 
cniiductcd by (irand Chief Patriarch W. 
W. Trafton. The charter nicudjers and 
first officers were ^lartin Webber. C. P.; 
P. It. Way. S. W. : Christian Heinz, J. 
W.; B. S. Dodds, F. S.: E. S. Pogers. 
i;. S. ; Flenry Frofelmann. IP P.: H. J. 
Stephen, treasurer: U. V. J'.lasdell. W. 
:\1. Hewett. W. T. Condlm... V.. .P 
Sd-.midt. W. .\. :\rcDo\vell. 

Tilt: vounsest of the branches in ()(hl 

l"\dlowship is Canton l,uverne Xo. 19, 
which was instituted February 2-1. PHO, 
with thiity-tive charter members. The 
initial meinb.ers ami the first officers were: 
d. Jj. Snook, di.. ensign; \\. C. Schwartz. 
ca|itain : C. \. I'liilbrick. lieutenant; J. 
v.. Panim. guard; IP C. Heinz, .sentinel: 
T. .\. Faulk, standard bearer; H. H. 
Hagedorn. cleik; P>. S. Dodds, account- 
ant; Sam li'oight. picket; John Biss, John 
Meintz. William P. Sli-alow. W. A. ilc- 
Dowell. IP \V. Matthews. FeiiPnaiid 
Bcndf. d. W. Hawkinson. W. H. White, 
Martin Webber. J. W. iP'Dowell. John 
Kiehl, H. Ivabler, C. H. Peterson, John 
W. Tatge, J. X. Grapes. S. Jones, Arthur 
Pcrnnin. John Coniiell. ('. J. Zinn, Bert 
Congers, Carl Stroeh. Henry Pambosky, 
K. P'. Vasey. Charles F. Steffen. G. W. 
Cottrcll. C. E. Xutting. The Odd Fel- 
lows own the brick block on ]\rain street 
ill which are located their lodge rooms. 
The propi'ity was jiurcliased in October, 
lOOG, and is valued at $7000. 

A strong Pebekah lodge, auxiliary to 
the Odd Fellows, is maintained. An at- 
templ (o roiin su<-b an organization was 
made so early as the summer of 1880. but 
the plans made at tliat time were not ful- 
lilled. Jasper Stone T^odge Xo. 80 be- 
came an organized body December 1. 1803. 
The instituting officers were Grand Secre- 
tary A. P. Fiolton. J. A. Kaiiiey and Mrs. 
Hammniid. grand warden of South Da- 
kota. The charter memhers and first offi- 
cers of the order were as follows: Emma 
:\linard. .V. (i.: Floretta E. Webber, V. 
(i. : ^lar\- Blodgctt. secretary ; T,ouise Diet- 
rich, frcasuriM': K'atic iferkle. T. S. ; Em- 
ma Stephen. F. S. ; Sarah Snook, con- 
ductress; Hannah Minard. L. S. X. G. ; 
Martha Blodgett. P. S. Y. G. ; F. H. Fritz, 
O. S. G.: M. C. Dietrich. P. S. Y. G. ; 
Fred .1. Miiiaid. P. S. X. (',.: MavWu 
^Vcllller. warden: P. J. Sli'plien. V. A. 
Parkin. (Ins. Webner. W. II. Andrews, 



E. G. Rlndgott. W. ]I. Snook, J{. Mcrklc. 
William Minaid. IT. H. Welch. 

Luverne has been the home of a post of 
the Grand Army of the Republic since the 
spring of 1884. Largely through the en- 
ergy of Captain E. D. nadley. n pclitinn 
requesting the cstablislimeiit of a po<( 
was circulated in April. It was signed 
liV a representative uumlier nf the civil 
war veterans of the town. The petition 
was favorably received and on Friday 
evening, Ma\- •2. twenty-nine comrades 
were mustered in as the nucleus of Joe 
Hooker Post of Luverne, by Deputy Mus- 
tciing OlVicpr L. iM. Lauge. of Woitliiiig- 
toii, and ]?. R. Miller, juniiu' vice depait- 
nient commander of Minnesota. The fol- 
lowing (ifl'icers were chosen at the initial 
meeting: E. D. Hadley, commander; A. 
0. d'oft. senior vice commander: W. H. 
Halbert. j\inior vice commander ; Ed- 
w^ard McKenzie. adjutant: P. d. Kniss. 
quartermaster: Ezra Rice, otVicei' of the 
day : Edwin Gillham. officer of tlie guard ; 
V. R. Schuyler, surgeon ; G. M. Henton. 
quartermaster .sergxant ; James Preston, 
sergeant major. 

On rc|>orting the organization to the 
state department, it was discovered that 
there was a piiov claim to tlic name Joe 
Hooker ])ost. and. accoi'dingly. a month 
after its organization, the Luverne branch 
of the G. A. R. was given the name John 
A. i>i\ Post No. !».">. The man thus lion- 
ored was General Jolin .V. Dix, seci'ctary 
of the treasury under President Ruchan- 
an, who at tlic oiitbicak of hostilities 
issued the famous order: "if any man 
attempts jo haul down the .\merican tlag, 
shoot liiiii on llie S])ot.'" No oi'dcr is 
nmrc rcs|)eclc(l in tlic cit\ than is John 
\. l)i\ Post No. D.V 

The Luvci-ne order of the G. .\. P. was 
a \i'ai- old w bell its auxiliary, the Women's 
Relief Corjis, took its place among the 
woitbv organizations of the citv. Inter- 

est iu the movement was first awakened at 
a meeting held in the Methodist church 
on August 22. 1885, presided over by W. 
H. Halbert. senior vice commander of 
John A. Dix Post, who explained the 
aims and lienefits of the Women's Relief 
Corps. M the meeting fourteen names 
weie enrolled on the application for a 
charter, and the balloting for officers who 
should serve wdien the organization was 
])erfected resulted as follows: ^Irs. Mary 
R. Crawford, president: :\1 rs. A. W. Ros- 
well, senior vice president: ills. Kate ilc- 
Kenzie. junicu' vice president : 'Sim. Stel- 
la T. (iillbam. secretary: ilrs. il. Hawes, 
treasurer: .Airs. James Preston, chajilain ; 
]\lrs. M. A. Hinds, director; Mrs. Delia 
Iv Halbert. conductor. The institution 
of the corps took place on Wednesday. 
September 2, 1883. 

During the early eighties a lodge of the 
Ancient Order of United Workmen was 
organized but was later disbanded. The 
organization of Luverne Lodge No._ GO 
was effected December lil, 1890, when the 
following first officers were elected : 
Jens Rillington, past nuister workman; 
Olaf J. ()estern, master workman; Henry 
.\. Stone, foreman: William J. Teetor, 
overseer: Charles A. linker, recorder; 
Ilenrv Lai'son, financier; Pohert 0. 
Cb'awford. receiver; James E. Black, 
guide: Peri-y L. Fa.ssett, inside watchman: 
^Villiam P.erry. outside watchman. From 
twenty members at the start the lodge has 
])rogressed until now it has a membership 
of over Kit). 1']! to .\ngiist, PUii, Lu- 
verne Lodge had lost Ibirleeii of its nu>iu- 
bers by death. 

Rlue iloiiml I.ddge Xo. 43, Degree of 
Honor, became an organized body "May 
1 I. 18i).'i. Mrs. l\Iary Daley, of St. Paul, 
was the instituting olficer. The first of- 
ficers of the oriler. elected at the initial 
meeting, were Mrs. .leiinie D. Walters, 
P. C. of II,: Mis, Lois V. McMillan, L. 



ol H. ; Mrs. Nettie Baker, recorder; Mrs. 
Oiplin Klasilell, receiver; Mrs. Mary Co- 
ney, I. W.; j\Iis. Cora E. Fender, C. of 
H.; Mrs. Flla A. Carletoii, C. of C; Mrs. 
Martha Oestern, financier; Mrs. Dora 
T?, S. v.; Miss Kate Merkle, 0. W.; 
(). .T. Oestern, advisor; Mrs. Retta Clegg 
and ^liss Etta Beers, maids of honor. 

Due of tlie largest and strongest fra- 
ternal organizations in Luverne is Red 
.las|icr Caiiip No. l.'ij, Modern Woodmen 
of Aiiici ica, wliicli numbered 32S mem- 
bers (111 its rods at the last report. 'I'lic 
lodiie was institnted June 15. 1811] , with 
llic rolliiwiiig first officers and chailcr 
members: 1,. S. Nelson. Y. C. : ]). 1']. 
irermon. \V. A.; W. 11. Randall, clerk: 
C. A. Delameter, watcliman : F. A. Bakei-. 
sentry; J. B. Croft, banker: M. J. riiiii- 
ney, C. N. Philbrick and I. I\rimbill. 
managers; L. J. Pbill)iick, Henry Meyers, 
,M. G. Pearson, A. (J. Honnett, E. E. 
Aney, L. 1\. Lee, D. N. ICutsforth, J. H. 
Graaf, E. G. Schmidt. E. M. Griffith. 
Oscar Kilgorc, Henry Ferguson, I. ^I. 
Cady, Henry Fisher and G. H. Hen ton. 

The Royal Neighbors of America, an.x- 
iliary to the Modern Woodmen, is an ac- ■ 
live organization. 

A Luverne fraternal order with a rec- 
ord for noteworthy achievement is T>n- 
verne Lodge No. 113, Knights of T^y- 
tliias, which was organized Novendier 15, 
1S92, with twenty-two charter members. 
The lodge was instituted by Fred E. 
Wheaton. grand chancellor of ^finnesola. 
Following is the initial membership i-oll. 
including the fir.«t officers of the order : 
E. S. Rogers, P. C. : F. PI. Helener, Y. 
('.: W. TI. Randall, V.: F. E. .Tohnston, 
K. U. and S.: W. A. Sbawver. :\r. F. : N. 
C. (iundei-son. ^f. Y. : J. I!, dohnson, 'S\. 
.\. : S. B. Nelson, I. G. : T. J. McBermott, 
l>. G.: F. E. Shafcr, C. H. Pumphrey. 
Harper Sliafer, C. W. Orvis. TI. W. Rog- 
ers, Henry Mever. E. (). Krook, ;\Iark 

Swedberg, J. C. (ilynn, L. S. Nelson, J. 
W. (ieii)er, ( '. A. ^'aegci'. 

'J'lie Knights ni' I'yihias possess one of 
tlie most (inely appoinieil lodge rooms in 
the state. The chambers occupy most of 
tlie second lloor of an elegant business 
block erecleil by the lodge in liKlS. at a 
cost of .$l(i,()(iO. The formal dedication 
of I'ytbian Castle hall occurred Julv ■-'>, 
liH)!i. A distinguishing feature of the 
event was the fact that the dedicalioii 
cerenioides were couducled by Supi'enu^ 
National Chanct'llor II. 1*. Iirown, of 
Texas. The home of the r^uvernc Ivnigbts 
is the first one in the Grand Domain of 
^linncsota to be so signally honored. 

The I'ytbian Sisters jjodge (an order 
nntil a few years ago known a= the itath- 
bime Sisters) is a floui'ishing organiza- 
ti(ni. Luverne Temple No. 41 was grant- 
ed its charter :Nrarcb 17, 19(1(5. The sev- 
enteen cbai'ter members and first officers 
weie as follows: Emma Johnston, M. 
E. C; Myra Davis. P. C. : Etta Gerber, 
E. S.; Irene Cottrell. E. J.; Carrie 
Jones, manager; Nina Canfield, J\L R. C. : 
Addie Delate. M. of F. ; Ada Mae Bell, 
P.; Libbie Yaeger, G.; Cora Nutting. 
.Mice Birch, Charity Hirghes, Gcorgenia 
ifyhre, Sarah Hafsoos, Belle Davis. Nel- 
lie Canfield, Laura Dohell. 

On l\ray 28, 190S, was organized the 
Luveiiie Honiestead No. ISr-iC. Brother- 
hood of .Vmerican Yeomen, by J. H. 
^Inrphy, of Owatonna. The first officers 
and chai ter members were C. L. Sherman. 
^1. id" .\. : .\iilen Canfield, foreman; Nel- 
la Canlicdd. corresjwndent ; Alice Cocroft, 
chaplain; Christian Boisen, 'SI. of C; 
George Cottrell, Irene Cottrell, James 
Wiggins. Edith Wiggins. 

,V lodge of the American Brotbcrhooil 
of Amei'ica. L\iverneTjodge No. 2.58, com- 
menced an existence March 14. 1<S9S. The 
following eight jiersons made u]) the in- 
ilial niendM.'isbip : (iiMirge W. Cottrell, 



Eniil SpriesterbcK-li. lleiiiy t'. lirauiluii- 
berg, Carl Johnson, Frank G. Loose, J. 
H. W. Koelm. ilarie Koolm. George C. 
Vh'W. The lodge was defum-t for a num- 
licr of vears, but was renewed in May. 


There is no town of its size that ean 
boast of better liiii-ary advantages than Lu- 
verne. Ani|)k' jirovision is made for the 
siippiii't nf the institution, Inmsed in a 
connnodious buihling, the gil't of Andrew 
Carnegie, and the liberal patronage it is 
aceoi'ded ntli'sts its hcnelits to the ((nn- 

The first attein]it to found a library in 
I.\iverne was made in Fel)ruary. 1S82, 
when a soeiety known as the Rock County 
TJbraiy assoeiation' was formed, with N". 
If. Ueynolds as president and V.. H. Can- 
Held secretary. The plan was that each 
member of the assoeiation should pay 
twenty-five cents a month, the funds tluis 
obtained to be used for the purchase of 
books. ^Ir. Canfield kept the liooks in 
ills office and sciveil as liltrarinu. Alter 
an existence of several years the librai'v 
ceased to be an active institution and the 
assin-iatiim was disbanded. 

.\ ]ierMianent library system was inaug- 
urated in Mav, ISSr. at which time a jieti- 
tion was piesmtcd t<i the village co\nicil 
hv ;i iiuinbcr nf Ijincrnc ladies, request- 
ing the establishment of a public library. 
The council took immediate action, '■■ ami 
a library board, consisting of F.. 11. Hi'on- 
-nii. A. 1.. Stnuglitiui. K. 11. Canlield. R. 
I!. I'.urley. Mesdaines William .Tacobsen, 
George B. Tluntingtnn. W. X. Davidson, 
F, ]'.. Kniss and F. C. Mahouey. was ap- 

''The fcillowiiig re-^iolution. making provision 
for ;i library, was passed by the oouiioil .\ugust 
1SS7: "On motion it was ordered by 
tfie village counoil of the village of r.uverne 
that a pnhlio library and reading room be es- 
tablished and maintained in said village for the 
ime and benefit of the inhabitants thereof, 
pnrsuant to chapter 106 of H'e, '"ws of the 
state of Minnesota for the year 1S,!I. Ordered 


f\irtber. that 

tax of oni''mill on the dollar 

piiiiilcd." with autliiiiity I" pioceed iiiidei 
the jirovisious of tl'.e law. The library 
as established was conducted tor a year in 
rooms over the old i)ostofl'ice building, 
then in necember, ISSS, was given space 
(111 the second tlnnr ol' the new city liall. n 
loeation oecupied uiilil the removal t(i the 
Carnegie building in 1 )ei ember, tihil. 

A fiirmal reipiest tor a donation for a 
library building \yas addressed to ^Ir. 
Carnegie in Manh. \W.\. The pliilan- 
thio]>ist ]es])iinded in a few weeks, agree- 
ing to donate .$1().iHin \\,v the ]nir])ose :>{' 
a library building, pnivided the city 
wiiuld liiinisli a suitable site and guaran- 
tee an annual maintenance fund of $11100. 
The proposition was at once accepted by 
the village council. The ])lans for the 
building prepared by W. F. F. Greene 
were accepted by tlic library board nu Sep- 
tember S, liliKi; the contract for its erec- 
tion wa< awarded t<i 1'. X. (iillham on 
October 1 ; and one year later the struc- 
ture was completed. With impressive 
ceremoiiv tlie new library building wa- 
dedicated Wednesda\, December -.'1. VM)\. 
The library board at that lime c(nisisted 
nf Messrs. George F. Alder, jiresidenl : C. 
11. Chi-ist()phci'S(in, secretary, iiev. \\ . IF 
I'.auinann, .1. II. Graaf. :\lesdaines F. !'.. 
Kniss. F. .\. lirown. .lay A. Kciinicotl, 
Charles .Idhnston and 1". X. Gillbam. The 
lirst libraiian oi the FiMcnie public li- 
biai V wa> Mr.-. W. X. Davidson, who bebl 
the (illice cMiilinuaUv. wilb the exccptmii 
,,|- ., |„i,.r period in ISiH ami ISil'.', when 
yirs. I. v.. CiMwIiv was in charge, until 
1 ),,.,., „|,c,-. I'.Mio. Ml-. llcUa llalbeit. the 
present libiariaii. Iia> served since that 

he levied and the same is hereby levied for 
^he pirpose of establishing and maintanung 
said library." 

"The first library board organized January 4 
18SS. by ele<-ting E. H. Bronson president and 
A L Stonghton. secretary. 1 he toimei ooti 
tinned in office until .Augnst f.. U.02. when he de- 
clined re-election. 








l)iiriiij;- tile Inity yciirs ol' its I'.xistciicu 
l,iiM'i-iU' has siitTcrcil to <inly a limitcil cx- 
tt'iil rrmii tlir i'a\aji('s of the liir liriid. 
'I'lii' must serious eoiiflaf;i-ation in its liis- 
tovv ocfurrcd in Dcfcnilici-. ISSS, wlirn 
t'oiii- l)iiil(linL;s ill tlic liiisiness st'ctioii 
wvvr laid low by tlic "Jurid lcvc>]er," en- 
tiiilinu' a loss not exceeding fifteen thou- 
sand dollai's. Experience is a stern teadi- 
er and is (oo often awaited before resort 
to |ireM'nti\e measures is taken. Ilefecis 
in the arranueineiits I'oi- fire iirotection 
are iie\cr excusable. Should tlie oeeasioii 
deiiianil, the excellent condition of the 
Lu\eriie lire depaii iiiriil . wiili Ihe ade- 
(jiiate facilities at its coiiiiiiand. would be 
[iroof of the expediency of cM-r being pre- 

Provision for tire pi'otection in r,u\erne 
was made an issue at an early day. 'i'he 
iieecl was realized so early as 1878, wlien 
an effort was made to organize a hook ami 
ladder company, a movement that did not 
at the time lead to successful action. A 
step in the right direction was made by 
the village council in ^[arch, 1883. when 
the owners and lessees of liuildings in the 
business section were ordered to provide 
at their own expense suitable ladders, to 
be ke[it on the premises for use in case of 

The village took further action early in 
18S1. During the months of January 
and February the work of digging five 
wells al advantagenu.s points was provided 
lor. .\ supjily of water was fouiul at 
(Icplhs ranging IVom fifteen to Iwciily 
feet. The prolilciii of a water su]i|i]\' solv- 
ed. |iro\isi(in was made late in the same 
year for tlie jiurchasc of suitable fire- 
tigliting apparatus. .\t a cost of .$;V>.") a 

"The roster of the tour companies follow.s: 
Fire Engine Compnny — Philo Hawes. Robert 

Wil.son. O. A. Palmer. H. J. Miller. David Clegg. 

Ed. Coney. Irving Smntel, Milon Pierson. Henrv 

Hofelmann, Z. H. P.ailey. W. C. Johnson. E. J. 

SchmicU, William Maefadden, David Stenhen. 

William .Tarobsen. W. H. Wilson. G. W. Kniss. 

hook and ladder truck, willi all the neces- 
sary accompaniiuenls. was purchased. With 
the (M-ganization of a \oluiil<'cr hook and 
ladder eompany on .\o\eiiiber vJll. \a\- 
\i'rne felt its position serine from attack 
b\ the ('c\(iiiring tbimcs. M. F. Bat- 
telle was made foreman of this primitive 
pi'otecli\c lii-JLiade. anil he had as assist- 
ants .lames II. (Iiay and (icni-v W. .Mill- 

Special attention was direeled toward 
the improvement of the lire lighting facil- 
ities dui'ing the winter id' 1SS7-88. A 
ei.stcrn id' ."idii barrels capacity, fed by the 
previously constructed wells, was made in 
the center of .Main street at the intersec- 
tion with Cedar stnt't at an expense of 
•$;!1(). In December. ls8r. the council 
addeil to the e<|uipment by the purcliase 
of a hand file engine, a loO gallon tank 
chemical, hose eai't and ■)()() feet of hose. 

Having made proxision in the wa\- of 
equipment, the council, on June 0, 1888, 
authorized the organization of a fire de- 
])artment and ajijiointed four citizens to 
proceed with the enlistment of volunteers. 
The organization was jterfected on ISo- 
vember If). Edwin Gillham was elected 
Hrst eliief i>{ the department: J'. !,'. Kel- 
ley, first assistant; J. .\. Cameron, sec- 
ond assistant : H. J. Miller, secretary; and 
E. S. Warner, treasurer. The ninety 
charter memliei-s of the department wvvi; 
divided into four companies: the tire 
engine company, composed of thirty-three 
men with .1. II. Graaf, cai)taiii: the cIkmii- 
ii al eiiiiiiie I ompany of cIcNcn members,.). 
W. (lerber. (aptain: hook and laddei' com- 
pany willi twenty-three men, K. S. War- 
ner, foreman : and the ho>c company, sev- 
enteen >tidm;', led by .\. ,1. Weliber.'"' 

During the early ninetiis the Luverne 

W. T. Gibson. N. Nelson. John A. Cameron, D. 
E. Westfield. M. McCarthy. P. A. Brestrup, A. 
H. Osborn. J. .A. Harroun, E. B. Burley. R. fi. 
Crawford. H. J. Thomte. C. A. Mead,' K. W. 
Jargo. P. O. Skyberg. I. A. Moreaux. J. Lar.son. 
Chemical Engine Company — F. H. Fritz. Gu.s 
Wehner. Frank Smelser. A. (i. Herbert. W. F. 



fire (lopartnienl became a member of the 
Columbian Inter-state Firemen's associa- 
tion, an organization comprising depart- 
ments in parts of Iowa, Minnesota and 
Soulb Dakota. Annually this association 
held toui'namcnts, always of gi'eat splen- 
doi-, in which stirring competition ajnong 
the running teams of the departments 
represented was a chief feature. The IjU- 
\erno team established a world's record ai 
tlie LSOT) toui'nament at Pipestone, by 
running 300 yards, laying 150 feet of 
hose and making the coupling in twenty- 
six and one-fifth seconds. For several 
succeeding years tlic Lu\ciiic department 
produced a championship team. Luvernc 
entertained the teams of tlie association 
in 1897. 

A reoi'gnnization of the fii'e department 
u])on a more effective basis was consum- 
mated in 1898. The constitution and by- 
laws under which the department of today 
operates were adopted January IG, 189f). 
The membership was limited to fifty, on 
the following ap]io]-tionment : twelve mem- 
bers in each of the two hose companies, 
fourteen in the hook and ladder company, 
and twelve in the chemical company. 
Since the reorganization George AV. Cott- 
rell has served as chief of tlie department 
with the c.xcejition of the years 190.^), 
1900, 1908 and l'.H)9.'" In .Tanuary, 
19().'i, the Lu\eriie dcpaitineiit \\ as admit- 
ted to memliei'sliip in the State Firemen's 

thf: b.\nks. 

As a tinaiicial cenlei'. IVw towns of it.^ 
class in the stiitt' can conipai-e with Lu- 
xciiie. I'x'ing the liiili of one of ^linnc- 

Hnlrli-n, G. H. SiiiKlcm. R. O. Kroiik, T. .). 
MoDei-mott, F. E. Hentoii, R. E, Young. J. AV. 

Hnok and Ladder Company — Edward McKen- 
zie. N. R. Reynolds. Will Bronson. Lee Philbrlck. 
F. M. Bailey, M. W. Pinger, V. C. Mead. O. 
P. Huntington J. M. Stranalian. W. C. Colby, 
Jolin M. Thrane, C. E. AWiitnev, John F. Flicli- 
man. C. C. Thompson. A. D. LaDue, Mat Mc- 
Carthy. R. .;. Stephen, J. J. LaDvie, W. F. Johns, 
P. R. KelUn-. George I.eet. Ole I.uiid, A. C, 

sota's wealthiest counties, it is only nat- 
ural that it should attain such a dis- 
tinction. J?y the latest authoritative re- 
jiorts, announced in January, 1911, the 
deposits in the four banks of Luverne ag- 
gregated $1,270,924.70, with assets at the 
.same time of $1,. 588,075. .53. Three of 
linverne's financial concerns are national 
banks anil one a state bank. They arc tlu! 
I'irst National Bank, Farmers National 
ISank, National Bank of Luverne and the 
Iiock County Bank. 

The First National Bank is the succes- 
sor to the first banking concern establish- 
ed in Iiock county. This was the private 
bank opened by 1'. .1. Kniss and 0. D. 
Brown, under the name of Bank of Lu- 
verne, in the fall of 1876. The partner- 
sbi]i between the original proprietors ex- 
isted until January, 1881, when Mr. 
Brown withdrew his interests and a reor- 
ganization was effected. The officers un- 
der the new regime were P. J. Kniss, 
president ; G. AV. Kniss, vice ]iresident : 
and v.. T>. Iladley, cashier. AV. P. ITurl- 
but succeeded Mr. TTadley as ea.shier in 
November, 1883, and the banking firm 
look- tlie name P. J. Kniss & Co. 

The Bank of Luverne commenced Ijusi- 
i;ess as a state bank November 1.5. 1881. 
and was capitalized at $.30,000. paid in 
by seventeen stockholders. A A'car later a 
riiitber reorganization was caried out, 
which resulted in the conversion of the 
institution into a, national bank. The 
capital stock was incrca.sed to $50,000, 
ami under its new charter 'the First Na- 
tional ]5aiik opened its doors January 7, 
1880. The tli'st officers and membei's of 
the board nf directors were: P. J. Knis.-, 

Hose Company— T. E. Jones. J. R. Wrighl. 
N. J. Hoagland. H. .-V. Hanson. J. P. Hong. II. 
Woodruff. .A. Murray. John H. Jones, .\ndrew 
Gordon, E. L. Dobell, Henry Olson. Jens Billing- 
ton. E.Bron.son, A. Bnger. Charles Slater, Wil- 
liam Mills, Lewis Moulton. 

'"The chiefs during Ihesi' periods were: .\. 
Stcinfcldt in niOl), Bert Hcnton in lliml, Eugene 
Barok in 190S and 190Q. 



|iresidpiit ; P]. D. Hiulley, vice pvpsident; 
W. P. Hurlbut, casliier; H. J. Miller, N. 
Nelson, W. H. Halbeit and E. A. Brown. 

A numlier of important changes in ilic 
iiianagcnient of the institution occurred in 
issr. On .Tanuar3- 27 W. H. Hallieit suc- 
eecdcd \\ . P. Hurlbut as cashier, and in 
August the majority stock was pnnliased 
by S. "W. Thomi)son, of East Kandolpb. 
New Y'ork, who tliercupon succeeded to 
the vice presidency, vice E. P. Hadley. 
Cbarles C. Thompson was installed as 
cashier on Xovond)er S, 1S8S. In Deconi- 
bei-. ISIIO. P. J. Kniss withdi'ow from the 
liank, and as a result S. W. Thompson 
was elevated to the presidency and N. 
Nelson became vice president. 

The First National's fourth cashier 
was C. E. Huntingion, who succeeded 
t'harles C. Thompson in January, 1891. 
Late in the same year a most important 
change in the bank's management was 
negotiated. President Tliompson and 
Cashier Huntington both retired, and the 
stock they controlled was transferred to 
William Jacobsen and A. D. LaBue. 
both formerly connected with the 17ock 
County Bank. Mr. Jacobsen became pres- 
ident and Mr. LaDue cashier, and those 
officers served tliirteen years. E. A. 
?>rown. the present vice president, suc- 
ceeded N. Nelson in 1894. 

The final change in the personnel of 
(he I''irst National's management was 
iiiiidc by reason of the death of President 
Jacobsen in 1905. Since then tlic olfi- 
cn-s have Iwen : A. 0. LaDue, pi'esident : 
K. .\. lirown, first vire president: (). !'. 
liiiiilington, second vice pi'csidenl : W'ih 
Ham Jacobsen, Jr., cashier; D. M. l\'Iain. 
assistant cashier. On the same occasion 
the board of directors, then consisting of 
A. T). LaDue, E. A. Brown, 0. P. Hunt- 
.ington, (t. C. Huntington and P. E. 
l>rowii. was increased to seven iiiciiibcrs, 
and \Villi;iiii .laciibscn. .U\. and .1. .\. 

K'ennicott were cbusen as Ibc new direc- 
tors. On Januai'v 1, l!t()(;, the capital 
stock was increased to $100,000, to which 
«ere accumulated a surjilus and reserved 
jirofits III' nearly .$.")(), ()l)(l. '\'Uv brick bhick 
occupied ()y the First Naiidiial liank was 
erected in 1878. 

The Rock County liank. the second li- 
iiancial institution established in Luverne, 
lias always lieen ojierated under the one 
name. It wa.s organized May 2, 1882, 
aiul iiu'orporated the same month as a 
state bank, with a paid up capital of $3.'),- 
000. The following were the original olTi- 
cers and stockholders: William .lacol)- 
sen, ]iresident : R. P.. TTinkly, cashier; 0. 
P. Miller, J. K. I'. Thompson, William 
Larabee, Frank Larabee, B. H. Hinkly, 
W. R. Kinnard, Daniel Stone. Ezra Rico 
and V,'. H. Wilson. 

In July, LSSf), the capital stock nf the 
bank was increased to $50,000. William 
Jacobsen was succeeded as president in 
:May, 18S8, by B. H. Hinkly. R. B. 
Hinklv. the first cashier, continued in 
that olfice until April, 1899, when he was 
elected to the presidency and C. J. Mar- 
tin, the present incumbent, became cash- 
ier. The final change in the management 
of the Rock County Bank, effected August 
14, 1909, resulted in a complete reorgani- 
zation. The Hinkly and Larabee inter- 
ests were withdrawn, and tlie l)ank passed 
into the hands of a new com]iany, C. J. 
Mai'tin being the only meml)er of the old 
bciiiid iif directors to I'etain his c(ninec- 
tion with the instituticin. The capital 
>tn(k was placed at $■^■"),(l()() and tlie fol- 
hiwing were the officers .and directors 
tdeeleil: C. L. Sbej'man, ]UTsident; Er- 
nest Kiebacli. vice president; C. J. Mar 
tin, cashier; L. E. Coss, J. P. Coffey, J. 
P. Houg and S. A. D. Kennedy. The ' 
Keek County Ban]< is located in its own 
hricl'; him k. elected in is.s:|. on thi' ni)ifli- 

168 hist(»i;y or ijock conxTY. 

west corner nf the inter^eciion of Miiin MANUFACTORIES. 

and Cediir streets. -Witliiii (lir pnst tew vears llieiv liavc 

Tlie FiUiners Xalioiial liniik Ikis l.eeii |,^,^,„ ,|,.,,.|,,|„,,| ., niiiiil)cr of iini,..rtiinl 

established for Iwfiit.v-thne \ears. It i,,.,iiu lad iiiiii- cniHcrii^ in Luvcrne. and 

was or.uani/.ed in 1SH8 under flie stale j^^ ^,^.^,,.^. i„,taiur n.uie hut hieal capilal 

hankin.u- hnvs as tiie Security Hank of Lu- ^^.^^ i^^.^.j^ ,.|,||,|„y,.d. 'I'liese imlustrial eii- 

verne. and ..jiriied l\,v business Mav S. of j^,|.|,j.j„.^ i,.,^,, |„.,,„ iHiudieial a.ueiieies in 

that year, in tlii' hriek huibhii- it still ^j^^, |,|.,,|,|,,| j,,„ ,,f t|„, ,.itvV pmsperity. 

(leeupies on tlie soutlieast corner of tlie rpi^^. .j,,,,,.,,,,! i,,,, |,,iv,.nie-niade products 

intersection of Main and Cedar streets. |^.^g pxten.led .(.nsidcrahh lu'voiid a local 

The original olTieers were Angus Eoss. j;^,,^^ ^^^ distril)uti(.n. 

president: Ezra liiee. vice president: and rj,||^_, ];„^.j,,.,„, automohile. inanii tarl ured 

W. II. Ilalherl. cashier. On tlic death .d' |^^. ^|^^, ,_„^.,.,,,n, .\„i,,„„.l.ilc n.nipanv. is 

W. U. llalhert. 15. E. Schuck became .,' ,nachine whose nirrils liave attracted the 

cashier. attentinn nt huyi'is in all parts of the 

The change fr<,in tlie Security Bank to „„|.^], „.,.,(_ Luvcrne is one of tlic few cit- 

the Fanners Xational Bank o;enrr,'d .^,, -^^ j,^^, ^^^-^^^^^^^ ^^.^,^|. ^,,^^ ^,.^,, 1,,,,,,^ „|- 

June n. 100.-.. The capital stock of Ibc ,^ eonipletelv e(piipped automobile nianu- 

instituti.m is .$-3.-..O0O. Angus Ross, the |..,^.^^,.^._ rp,,^, |„,i,„trv developed from 

l)rincipal organizer, is still the president. „^,ai] 'beginnings. In ISiK^, F. .\. and E. 

and B. E. Schuck is cashier. The |uvs- ^^ l,,;,!,,,,. ^„„i,,, th,. (Imi name of Leich- 

ent board nf directors consists of the Inl- ^._. |.|.,,.,|„,,,,_ ,.stab]islied a wagon-making 

lowing: P. E. Brown. J. A. Harroun. J. i,^,^;^^,^, ^^,],j(^^], „,.^,„. tr, substantial pro- 

(). Ilelgeson. J. TI. Graaf. J. W. Gerbcr. |„„,^j,„,^ rp,^p Leiehers in 190;? eonstruet- 

J. H. Sanders and B. E. Schuck. ^,^^ .^^^ automobile in their shop, which on 

The youngest of Luverne's hanking ^^.j.^, |^^,_^^.^,,-, ^,. ,,^, ., ,„e„,,j,. Tliis led 

concerns, the Xational Bank of Luverne. ^,^^,^^^ ^^^ i^^..^^^^.,^ ^^^^ ^,^ .^ liroader scale, 

is an outgrowtli of the luverne City .^^^^^ |.,^,, .^ f^^^. ^.^.^.^ ^|„-,^. ^„,.,„,i ,,„j ,„.,. 

B>ank, a ]irivate institutiDii founded bv ,^||iii(.^ to siipplv a local ileinand. 

Fi-cd n, r>urley. Jlr. r>url(\v opened bis ^^ numlier of 1/Uverne business men, 

bank for luisiness .Tunc 10. IMiii;. I n He- realizing the impor.tance of developing 

, ,,„,. ■ i; ,, „., . !• , ,1 the cnfcrpiisc the Lcicher Brothers had 

ccndici'. I.Hli, an association wa?- loimro. i 

, . , comnienced, in Xovember, 190G, incorpor- 

wilb Mr. I'>url<'\' as prime mover, whu-li -t i 4. ,i. „p 

' ateil a comiianv with a capital stock ol 

absorbed 11... Eiiverne Ciiv iSaiik and wa> ^.,^_, ^ ^^^^^^ siu-eeedcd to the rights of 

granteil a cliartcr liv the treasury ilrpail ji^^, Lm,.,-!,,, Automobile companv. whirli 
ment to i-ombirt a national bank. The |,ai| previously been established by F. A. 
inrorporab.r. and lirst otTircrs of the Xa- Leicher. E. E. Eeicher. J. A. Ecnnieotl 
ti„„al liank of Euvernc were V. O. Skv- and A. P. EaDue. These gentlemen to- 
., / ,, , „.. ^. . -elber with E. A. Brown, S. H. Nelson, 
berg i)rcsi(('nt; (ail W icse, iirst vice ■ 1 ,■ n 
"' ' S. C. Kca. \\illiani .lacobseu. dr., (. O. 
president: .lames McKeoii, second vice ^y,,j„.,,j .„^,^ _, y^r (-.p,he,., l,ecanie stock- 
president: Fii'd li. Burli-y, cashier: A. )|,,i,-i,,|.^ j„ (i,,. i-c. organized company. \ 
IT. O.-lioni, K. <i. Olilre, C. L. Sherman year later the present two-story brick fac- 
anil 1*;. IL Canlield. lory building was erected and eipiippcd 


\\itli iii'w aiiil iiiiiilcrn iiiacliiiicrv. Xcarlv was Ini'iiicd ami iiu m |i(iialcil in 11107 as 

twcnlx iiicii arc ciiiplnyril ami tlic aiiiiiial the Linciiie I'lrsscd I'.i'ick ciinipaiiv, 

(iii(|iiil (if (he plant ave'ra,i;es scveiity-fnc uliicli cstalilislR'd a lli(iniiif;lily iip-lci-ilak' 

cars. 'I'lic factoi'v is under the niana.n'c- ]dan1 Tor the manuracture nf sand and 

nii'lit of T.eielier Brothers. lime prndiids. The ra(tii|-\ is loeateil (in 

.Vnether firmly estaldished TvUverne en- an cxtensiim nF (lie Dnialia raih'nad Iraeks 

li rpi'ise is the Lnvevne Brick & Tile cdni- iicai- a lai.t;c i^ia\cl pil nf inexhansl ihle 

pan\ . an industry which f;'i\es emphiyment snpplv. The tacililies Ini- nianii I'acI ui'- 

lii innrc Ihan thirty men the entire \ear. inu ai'c mndciii. and (he plan! is capahle 

The r<uiniler nf thi? institution, which has <>[' an iiii(pu( nl' •.'(i.oiiii hrick pci' dav. \a\- 

liad an I'xistenee oi^ thirteen years, was \i'rnc pressed hrick has wnn wide Favor 

l(. 11. llinkly. On the advice of e.xperls (lii-ou,uli i(s excellence and is hciiiL: u>ri\ 

in clay analysis who examined the soil or. in (he c(ins(ruc(ion id' main id' (he hest 

Mr. Ilinkly's farm and jirononnccd it ((. hnildinus in this section o[ the s(a(e. ('. 

he (he very hest for briekmakinji' purposes. W. Slieriff is the superintendiad (d' (he 

I hat Liciitlenmn at mice established a jilant. plant. The present officers of (he Lu- 

sinall at first, to utilize the resonrccs. Tn verne Pjesscd Brick company are !•'. A. 

(he course of a few \ears it was found nee- lirown. president: S. B. Xidson, vice 

essary to increase the facilities, and the president; W. E. E. (ireene, secretary: 

industry was placed on a firm footing;. and A. D. LaDue, tvea.«uvci'. 

The Lu\erne Brick and Tile eom]iany The Luverne C'onci'ete compan\ . mann- 
as a coi'poi'ation began its existence in faclnrcr of l)uildinn' blocks, di'aina;^c (ile, 
I'M)]. Ill (he same year was IniiK the ciirbiiii; and odier ceincnl pid(luc(s. was 
piv-eni plan(. a four story stnicture, oit;anizcil in April, lilfii. with (he fol- 
whicli, with the several additions and iowiiiu' olVicers and board of directors: 
other buildings subsequently erected, cov- ],. K. t'oss, |)resident: C. L. Sherman, 
ers a plot of ground SO.xlOO feet in extent. viie president: C. J. Martin, secretary 
The i(uiipaiiy manufactures brick and hoi- and treasurer: E. R. Coss, V. H. Petei'- 
low ti'iracotta building blocks and all son, H. E. ('(U-nish and S. A. t'oss. The 
sizes of draiii tile and lias an equiinnent success of the enterprise was guaranteed, 
for this purpose unexcelled by any similar (10111 i(s bir(h. The manufacturinL:' 
insfitutimi in the state. The present oITi- piant, tlie largest of its kind in south- 
cci's of the concern are E. B. Hinkly, pics- western ilinnesota, extends over nine acres 
iileiil : dohii ( 'oniicll, secretary : and !>. S. (d' land, has excellent facilities bir ship- 
llinkly. siipei intcudcnt. pin,;:, and is cipii]ipcd with 1 Icrn nui- 

l.u\ei lie IS (he home of two brick iiianii- 1 liincrw The main building has a floor 

faidories. A company of local capi(alis(s space of l-2,(l(i(l sipiare fee(. 




RAXKIXG second in size among 
K'ock county villages is Hills, sit- 
uated in the southern part of 
^lartin tou-nship, two miles from tlie 
Iowa state line. It is located at the junc- 
tion of the Great Northern and Illinois 
Central railroads, giving it transporta- 
tion fai'ilities excelled by no other town 
ill tlic county excepting Liiverne. As re- 
gards trade territory, Hills lias a strate- 
gic h)cation, drawing its trade from an 
area of exceptionally prosperous country 
— a finer agricultural country tlian wjiich 
it has never been the fortune of tJie autli- 
oi- of this volume to see. The village it- 
,-elf is in keeping with the cimntry sur- 
iDunding. It is compactly built and pre- 
sents an attractive appearance, being gen- 
eiiilly regarded as the neatest looking 
miiiiicipalily in I'oek county. It has broad 
streets, biied with substantial brick and 
I'rame business houses and handi^ome resi- 
dences, anil shaib/ and ornamenlal trees 
en\cr the I'ntire townsite. 

Althougii Hills takes a high rank in 
tlie matter of size and importance, it is 
one of the younger villages of Rock coun- 
ty, having come into existence after, and 
as a result of. tlie building of the Sioux 

*The first mention of a possible new town I 
have been able to find in tlie local press ap- 
peared in the Beaver Creek News-Letter of 
August IR, 1SS9. The item was as follows: 
"New towns are springing up around us likc^ 

City & Xortiiern (now a braneli of the 
Great Xortliern) railroad from Sioux 
City to Garretson. The fii'st building 
erected on the townsite was put up prior 
to this time, however, — long before the lo- 
cation of a village tliere was thougbt of. 
Tliis building was a church, the house of 
worship of, the Immannel, Norwegian 
Evangelical Fnion "(Synod), which was 
erected in 1885. From tliat date until 
late in the year 1881) tlic ehiirch alone 
occu|iied the townsite of Hills. 

The Illinois Central railroad was hiiill 
tlirough the neighborhood in the fall id' 
1887. and men who were following the 
fortunes of that road founded the town 
of Bruce, a couple of miles west of the 
I'litiire town of Hills, which, of course, 
jirecliided any idea of foninling a town in 
such cliise |iroximity by the Illinois Cen- 
tral intert^sts. But when the lino of the 
Sioux (^ity & Northern was definitely lo- 
raleil anil grading was eoininenred late in 
.Inly, 188'J, the farmers living in the vi- 
rinity of the jjoint wliciv the new road 
wmihl ei'nss the Illinois Ceiiti'a! iideicslnl 
themselves in inducing the railway coni- 
l)any to locate a town at that point.' In 
August, before track laying was begun, a 

mushrooms in a hotbed. Another town, five 
miles south of us on the Sioux City & North- 
ern, will soon launch into the booming process 
that is necessary to build up towns in the 




luinilier of Martin township farmers rais- 
ed $10(10 liy siiliscription. with which they 
piirehaseil of F. ('. Fjnkc :i Iniiy ;ure 
tract on the nortlieast i|iiartcr of seetimi 
28. Tills tliey tuineil over to the railroail 
autliorities, witli tlie iincierstan(hn<;- that a 
station shdtihl he hn-aleil thereon and a 
townsite ]datte(h The matter of the cs- 
tal)iishnient of the new town luuif; iire for 
snnie ti)ne,- hnl the repiesmtative of tiie 
railroad company accepted the forty acre 
tract and in Septendier |)urcliased a seven- 
teen acre tract adjoininj^' from William 

The farmers resiilinj;' in tlic vicinity 
were i;i\'en the pi i\ ile,i.;e of christenin;;' 
the new town. Thev chose the name Osln. 
hut het'ore the site was platted, late in 
Octoher. it was learned that there was a 
tiiwn iif the same name in ^larshall cimn- 
ty. Minnesota, and those interested de- 
cided on (irant for the name. That name 
was also short lived. f(ir when the 
local ])assenger tariff of the new road 
was issued early in Itecemher, the new 
station was listed Anderson, in honor of 
(ioodman Anderson, then a resident of 
Martin township, now of Hills. The sta- 
tion was known \iv this name until the 
following spring. 

The townsite was siii'\e\ed in Nii\em- 
her. ISSO. \,\ (). C. I'itkin. The dedica- 
tion was made Fehi'uary 17. l.SilO, hy K. 
W. Skinner, and the instrument was filed 

-"There appear.s to be -some (luestion as to 
whether or not a new town wiU be started at 
the crossing of the Sioux City .t N'orthein ami 
the Illinois Central near Bruce, in Martin town- 
ship. .\ tract of fort>' acres has been tlonatetl 
to the eompanj' for a townsite at the ptiint men- 
tioned, but il appears tliat the C'enti-al road is 
npposcd to the scheme and it is stated on what 
aiijiears to be pr<-tty good authorit>' that the 
Sioux City *: >.ortiiern company has no in- 
tention of putting In a depot theie." — Rock 
County Herald, .\ugust 30. 1889. 

■'The original plat consisted of sixteen blocks. 
North and south the a\'enues were named Main. 
Water and Church: east and west the streets 
were nnmliered P'irst to Sixth. .\dditions to 
Hills havi' been platted as follows: 

Lars O. Kolsrud's. by Lars O. Kolsrud and 
Andrew Gunderson. July 21. 1893; surveyed by 
W. N. Davidson. 

F. C. Finke's. by Fri'derick C. Finke, May 12. 
1S93; surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

for record Jlay .'U nf (he same year." 
'I'he track was laid tn and hcyond the site 
of the tow 11 in the fall of ISS!), and liefore 
the lirst of the next year a de[)ot, .section 
house, windmill and tank were erected. 
Xn one made his home there, however, 
and prim- to the year ISIlO Hills (or .\iid- 
erson, as it was then callcil) did not ha\e 
a single inhahitant. 

The liist inhahitant of .Viidcrsmi wa- 
Olaf .\or(lh\. will) came in January. ISiiO, 
as section foreman. The section house 
was occupied hv one of his iiu'ii who had 
a familv. and ilr. Xordhy hoarded with 
them, i'airly in Fehi'uary 15. F. Heastand 
came to .Vndcrsoii as agent for the Sioux 
City & Northern and opened the station. 
The matter (d' selecting a permanent name 
for the to\Ml-to-he hecanie a li\e issue 
earh in the year and the matter was ar- 
gued for several weeks heforc any luisi- 
ness enterprises were started.* On Maicii 
I a puhlic meeting was hehl. at which the 
name Hills was decided upon. This was 
given ill honor id' Frederick C. Hills, who 
was at the time the president of the Sioux 
Cit\ & Xorthern railroad." 

In the s]iring of 181HI Hills liiramc a 
town in fact as wi'll as in name. Sexcral 
husiness enterprises were started, and he- 
fore the close of the summer season there 
were ipiitc a iiuniher of stores, shops and 
waiehou.-^es. the greater numher of whii-h 
had come in their entirety from the neigli- 

Helgeson it Quallev's, bv John Helgeson and 
O. G. Qualley. May 28. 1902; surveyed by W. 
N. Davidson. 

County Auditor's Outlets, by County .\uditor. 
October IC. 1909; stirveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

e'The parties interested in the new town of 
.\nderson in Martin township are having a lit- 
tle siruabble over the name — some are for and 
some against the name." — Bea\'ci" Creek News- 
Letter, February 21. 1890. 

■'Frederick C. Hills was born in Kngland Jan- 
uary 23. 1842. and came to America with his 
pai'etits at the age of seven years. He served 
three months in the civil war, lieing discharged 
because of ph,\-sie;il disability. He located in 
Sioux City, Iowa, in 18(54, was one of the or- 
ganizers of the Sioux City & Northern, and for 
.seven years served as president and general 
manager of that road. He died from poisoning 
in Sioux City. November 23, 1899. 


niSToliV OF I.'OCK COlfNTV. 


borinsi' villajje of Hnicc. 'I'o William 
Thoni]isnn, wiio lived on his fanii ailjoiii- 
inu' the town.sitc. and Orval Iv MrClarey 
beioiifr tlio honor of beinji' tiip first to en- 
onge in bnsini'ss in Hills. In iEarch the>^e 
gcntlcnu'ii rrectod the first Inisiness house 
in the town, on ^[aiii street, one block 
from the ilepot, and on April "^8 opened a 
groeerv and hardware store, also engag- 
ing in sliip])ing live stock." While Thomp- 
son & _.Met'larev were establishing the 
first business house others were putting 
up liuildings in the new town, and immc- 
diati'lv after the pioneer store was started 
other business enterprises were founded. 

Tn .Vpril the store building of Jacobson 
I'v Sexe was moved across the fields from 
]^)ruc(', and caily in May that firm opened 
a general store one block north of the 
Thompson store. The same month .V. T. 
Sexe moved his lumber yard from Biuce 
and installed P. II. Illy as manager. At 
the same time Ole Lund, the Bruce black- 
smith, moved to the more promising vil- 
lage with liis family — the first familv to 
locate in Hills — and erected a sh(i]i and 

^lany of the settlers of ^lai'tin town- 
ship and most of the first business men 
of TTills were Xorwegians. When the 
seventy-sixth anniversary fif the independ- 
ence of Norway. .May IT. lSi)(). occurred. 
all living in the vicinity joined in cele- 
brating the event, although only the above 
mentioned people were residents of the 
town. A bowery was erected and the exer- 
cises were held in a downpour of vain. 
Xiels Jacobson was juesiclent of the day ; 
Nels Tverson, vice president: Charles Nel- 
son and Oeorge Anderson, marshals. Tlie 
advertising matter jiromised one hundreil 
guns at sunrise and a mammoth ]iarad<', 
headed by two brass Ijands. 

"This pioneer bu.'^ firm dis.solved pnrtnej'- 
ship six months later. Mr. Thompson continu- 
ing the business and closing out the grocery 

So early as Febi'uary a petition liad 
lieen ciicidaled among the farmei's in the 
vicinity of (be pj-oposed town, asking foi- 
the establishment of a ]iostotrice, and dui'- 
ing the summer the otfice was established 
with .1. X. .lacobson as postmaster.' 

Besides the Inrsiness enterprises men- 
lioned, a few others were put in opei'ation 
liefore the close of the year ISIK). Ware- 
houses were put up by Anderson & Finke, 
who also engaged in the stock business, 
and A. T. Se.xe, am] an t'le\ator was b\iilt 
by the J. Q. Adams company. A. Hen- 
di'ickson, a carpenter, erected a residence 
late in the_year. A correspondent writing 
November IT said: "We have evei'v |iros- 
[lect for making a good town. 
We have three elevators, one general store, 
one large hardware store, one blacksmith 
shop and one large luiuber yard, also two 
stock firms and two coal and wood fii'iiis."" 
Fi-om the time the station was opened until 
the first of the next year over $T(lOO worth 
of fieight business was done at the Hills 
station, according to a statement by the 
agent, B. V. Heastand. The growth dur- 
ing the first yeai' of its bistoi'y liad been 
substantial, and the year IS'.H opi'iied 
with more improvements in ])rospect. 

I)ui'ing the second year of the town's 
hisloi'y a two-story town hall costing 
■$l."ii)il was put u|i by a stock eoin|iany. 
composed pi'iiicipally of farmers residing 
in the vicinity anil a few business men of 
the town: a $;!ill)() bi'ick chui'ch was ei'ect- 
ed : Frick Colby established a liverv and 
feed stable: Olaf Skybei'g rented a part 
of the town hall and founded the seciuid 
genei'al store: Dr. C P. Bissell put in a 
stock of di'ugs in .Tacobson & Sexe's store 
and iiracticed his pi'ofession : L. A. (lil- 
berts and the Midland Elevatoi' companv 
erected warehouses: W. P. King estali- 

"Mr. Jacobson served a four year term, being 
succeeded in 1S94 liy F. H. Fritz. Olaf Skyberg 
received the appointment in I.SIIS and has held 
the office since. One rural mail route is in 
operation from Hills. It was established .April 
1, 1904. 



HsIumI a jilintograph pillerv; and six resi- 
flences were built."* A Imsiness ilirectorv 
i)f Hillt; on Xovcmher "iO, lSi)l. shows tlie 
foilowini;-: ./aeolisDii & Sext', general 
iiici'clianilise; Olaf Skyberg, general mer- 
c-liandisc; William Tluimpson, hardware; 
A. 'I'. Scxc, luniln'r. fuel, feed and grain, 
1'. II. i;iv. manager; C. P. Bissell, phy- 
i^ieian and drug .';t(n'e ; Erick Colliy, liv- 
ery barn; Ole Lnnd, blacksmith; A. Hon- 
rlrickson, carpenter: ?>. F. Heastand. rail- 
road agent; J. Q. Adams & Company, ele- 
vator. .\. J. Barbour, agent ; L. A. (!il- 
berts. grain dealer, John Helgeson, jnana- 
ger; Midland Elevator company. W. F. 
Johns, manager. 

The growth of Hills during 1S9-2 was 
substantial and its permanency was assur- 
ed. It distanced some of the neighbor- 
ing villages and boasted a larger growth 
than its rivals.' Among the new enter- 
prises of the year were tlie town's first 
hotel by T. 0. Strandness. a bank under 
the management of J. B. Wright, a har- 
ness shop by H. Julson and a pool luiU 
l)y H. 0. Bue. The building improve- 
ments amounted to over $17,000 and were 
as follows: 

A. T. Sexe. store building $4000 

Sandbo Brothers & Skattum, drug 

store and liarness shop 3000 

A. T. Sexe, residence 2000 

J. Helgeson, residence 1500 

H. Nerison, residence 1500 

T. O. Strandness, hotel 1200 

Olaf Skyberg, residence 1000 

P. H. Bly, residence 1000 

O. Rue, residence 800 

Iver Hey me, residence 600 

M. Olson, residence 300 

W. P. King, photograph gallery 200 

Total 117,100 

""To say that Hills is booming is not saying 
much at present. The fact is. we lack words 
to express the enterprise and thrift noticeabh^ 
in all lines of liusiness. ,\]1 our business men 
are kri)l so busy that the.v must put out of 
consideration both comfort and repose to keep 
pace with tlie progress of the town. Lots and 
building materials go like hot cakes. Houses 
So up and new business enterpi'ises are estab- 
iislied. Hills is destined to become the metropo- 
lis of Rock cnunt.N'. to say the least, and the 
present unllook warrants us in predicting that 

Despite tiie fact that tliere had been so 
much activity dni-iug the first few years 
of its exi.stencc. when the Hills Crescent 
was founded in August, 1893, it is learn- 
ed that the total population of the village 
was not over forty. There was some ad- 
vancement duiing the (irst half of the 
year 189:!. and the report of the railroad 
business at the station for the year indi- 
cated a healthy bnsiness. Three Imndred 
twenty-seven carloads of grain and forty- 
three of stock were shipped from the sta- 
tion ; there were received twenty-one car- 
loads of lumber, forty-four of coal, thirty 
of merchandise, two of salt and thirty- 
two of miscellaneous goods. The jianic 
of 1893 and the few years succeeding hard 
times had a depre-ssing effect on the little 
village and not nni^h progress was made 
until the late nineties. 

.Vu item- of the greatest importance in 
the history of Hills was the establishment 
of the station on the Illinois Central road. 
Ever since the founding of the tnwn its 
citizens had endeavored to bring about 
this much desired action, but the Illinois 
Central iuteiests had lieen moie intei'est- 
ed in their town of Bruce and had stead- 
fastly refused to entertiiin the idea. The 
jieoplo of Hills raised if!4(iO bv s\ibscrip- 
tion to donate toward the building of a 
depot and during the winter of lS!i.3-9-l 
the station was established and the depot 
built, i-csulting. practically, in giving the 
town a ncnv railroad. The occasion was 
duly ci'lcliralcil in a jollification hclil (Ui 
the evening of .I.-inuaiT .3. 1894. 

The next item we have to consider in 
the hi-^tniv <if Hills was also an im|iiiilant 

such will be the case In the no distant future." 
— Hills Correspondent, September 2, 1S91. 

■'"Hills, in its march of progress, is crushing 
the liopes and aspirations of some older towns, 
passing on over the dead and burled remains 
of the neighboring \'iUages, It is the eternal 
law of life and growth. Something must die 
that otber things may live. There is a 'sur- 
vival of the fittest.' " — Correspondent, Septem- 
ber, 1S!)2. 



one — no less than the removal of the en- 
tire business section of the town. The 
village was originally located three blocks 
west of the present location, on low 
ground. In 18!:)3 F. C. Finke platted an 
addition on the liighcr ground, and early 
in the year IS!).") he submitted a proposi- 
tion for the removal of the business 
Imuscs to Summit avenue of his addi- 
tion, which would place it about midway 
between the two depots. A meeting of the 
propel tv owners on ilain street was hold 
early in .\pril, when Mr. Finke made his 
proposition, to the effect that in case tht 
move was made each property owner 
should receive free a lot of relative loca- 
tion to the one on ^[ain street and that 
each building should be moved fi'ee of 
cost to the owner. On .\pril "20, at an- 
other meeting, the proposition was accept- 
ed. Ole Sandl)o, William Thompson and 
A. 0. Skattum were appointed a com- 
mittee to represent the business men in the 
legal transaction. To the committee Mr. 
Finke delivered a hond, signel by himself, 
Goodman Anderson, .T. (". Steensen and 
J. T?. Wright, pledging the removal of the 
buildings free of cost and damage. The 
contract was signed on '\ray 4, and at 
once the fourteen buildings comprising 
the business jiortion of tlie town were 
moved to the piesent site. 

After the hard times period, during flu- 
closing years of the decade which had 
ushcreil in Hills, steady improvement was 
made. In l.SiXi. although a full recovery 
from the hard times had not been made, 
the building improvements amonnted to 
$l".',(i40, according to the figures of the 
Hills Crescent. Among the principal 
l)ui]dings were the Hills creamery, imple- 
nu'nt house and residence of Ole Sever- 
son and a residence by P. H. Ely. In 
]Sn7 the iniprovements reached a total of 

'"Signed by .^iiKu.'it C. Finke. O. F. St.Trr. W. 
J. Kinne. F. f. Niiffer, A. V. Greene. I.. Quam. 
W Jennings. Han.s Nel.sun. John Helge.son. Mar- 
tin B. Hippi. S. S. Biovaid. D. S. Waltei-. .\u- 

•$13,000, including the Presbyterian 
church; in 18!:)8 they were placed at the 
same figure; and in 1899 at $11,5.50, in- 
cluding the Rock County Banking com- 
])any's brick block, Wright & MnnsonV 
elevator and .1. I!. W'light's residence. 

The year 1903 was an exceptionally 
pi-osperous one in Hills, the building im- 
])rovements for the year amounting to 
i};.5:),.")0(l, including many handsome resi- 
liences. On March 13. 1903, the Crescent 
boasted of the following enterprises: two 
banks, two dcpai'tmcnt stores, two hard- 
wai'c stores, two hotels, five elevators, two 
lumber yards, two implement houses, two 
harness dealers, three fuel dealers, three 
wall paper dealers, one furniture stoi'c, 
one machine repair shop, two stock yards, 
one feed mill, one restaurant, one real es- 
tate firm, one meat market, one drug 
store, one confectionery store, one stock 
buyer, one laundry, one millinery store, 
one newspaper, one photograph gallery, 
one barber shop, one shoe repair shop, one 
bicycle shop, one billiard hall, three dress- 
making establishments, two I'ailroads, two 
express agencies, one undertaker, one cai'- 
penter shop, seven carpenters, two dray 
lines, one bakery, five insurance agencies, 
thi'ee painters, one physician, a detention 
hospital, a telephone system, three 
cbui'ches and tlii'ce lodges. 

Hills became an incorporated munici- 
|iality in 1904. It had a population to 
warrant taking the step ten years befoi'e, 
but the fear of many of the residents that 
incorporation would result in the licensing 
of saloons precluded taking any action at 
that time. In the fall of 1899 the matter 
was made an issue and came to a vote. A 
census of the village was taken, showing 
a population of ?83. A petition was cir- 
culated'" and pi'esented to the county 
board, asking for action looking toward 

fin Osboe. O. T. Rovnng. S. Hagen. Ole T.nnd. 
K. W. Mini.son. Halvor Julson, P. H. 
Bly. H. E. Wyiim. J. F. Jordan. John Rudd. F. 
W. Purcell. Helge Rue. G. Rue. J. N Jacobson, 



iiiriii-p(iraliiiii. 'riie cniiuiiissioiK'rs took 
favoral)le action and named Xoveinl)ev '-lU 
ii>; the date and tlie ojiera house as the 
])hu-e for liohlinir an election to decide the 
question, 'i'he I'esult was a tie, thirt\- 
votes being- cast for and the same niuuhci' 
against incorporation. This defeated Ihe 
pi-oposition. Almost every yeai' thereaftei 
until incorporation was effected in 1904. 
the question was agitated, but sentiment 
was aijainst taking the step becanse of 
fear that it wonld lead to the ojienina of 

.\ census of the proposed incorporati(Ui 
(including :if)0 acres on sections 31 and 
2S), taken September lo. 1904, showed a 
|iopulalion of .3r)l. On that date another 
petition was circulated," asking the re- 
quired steps to be taken by the connly 
comniissi(niei's. The petition was pre- 
sented September 14, and two days later 
was acted upon favorably, the comniis- 
siimers naming Jolm Ilelgeson, William 
F. Finke and Ole ^f. llund inspectors to 
conduct an election Xoveniber 15, 1904. 
.\t the incorporating electioii sixty-eight 
votes wci'e cast, of which fifty-three were 
iu fa\oi- of anil ei.ghteen against incor- 

1'he first municipal election was held 
Decendiei' S. 19iil, v lien the village's first 
officers were chosen. A tew days later 
those elected (pmlilied and entered upon 
their duties. Tlie results of the annual 
elections have lieen as follows: 

1904 — President, O. B. Severson; trus- 
tees, W. A. Larson, J. N. Jacobson, .1. C. 
Steensen; recorder, Olaf Skyberg; treasurer, 
S. A. Christiansen; justices, P. B. Myrick, 
O. T. Rovans; constables, Oswald Ruud, Gu- 
lick Rogness. 

M. .Ander.TOn. G. B. Anderson. Ole Severson. F. 
H. Fritz. Ole O. Rue. Jr.. J. R. Wright. F. 
A. Webster and Ole M. Ruud. 

"Signed bv John HeIge.son, P. Tj. Breden. 
R. G, G.Trner. A. C. Finke. O. T. Rovang. J. H. 
Finice, O. J. Nash. J. H. Cox, C. W. OlanUer. Ed- 
ward lyarson. G. Rogness. Fred York, J. F. Jor- 
dan, F. B. Myrick. O. B. Severson. W. Jennings. 
I.ars Kiigebretson. A. H.vndcn. Iver Thompson. H. 
A. 'Pwange. Jacob Nerison. ,Tohn Thorson. Carl 
Ix)ftness, Kvan Sather. D. S. Walter, J. N. Jac- 
obson. Malvnr Julson. Nels G. Sundem, W. F. 
Finke, K. O. Rue. \V. .\. Larson, S. S. Bro- 

1905 — President, O. B. Severson; trustees. 
W. A. Larson. J. N. Jacobson, K. K. Hel- 
lie; recorder, Olaf Skyberg; treasurer, S. A. 
Christianson; justices, A. C. Finke, O. M. 
Ruud; constables, Edward Larson, J. H. 

1906 — President, O. B. Severson; trustees, 
J, N. Jacobson, W. A. Larson, K. K. Hellie; 
recorder, Olat Skyberg; treasurer, S. A. 
Christiansen; assessor, F. C. Nuffer; jus- 
tices, A. C. Finke, H. A. Twange; constables, 
Henry Nelson, F. E. York. 

1907 — President, AV. F. Finke; trustees, 
J. N. Jacobson, W. A Larson, .\nton Hyn- 
den; recorder, Olaf Skyberg; treasurer, O. 
J. Nash; assessor, F. C. Xuffer; justices,'- S. 
J. Freshaug, A. C. Finke; constables, H. A. 
Nerison, M. P. Halverson. 

1908'' — President, W. F. Finke; trustees, 
G. O. Rue, Otto Nelson, K. K. Hellie: re- 
corder, Olaf Skyberg; treasurer, O. J. Nash; 
assessor, K. N. Knudtson; justices, B. O. 
Mork, A. C. Finke; constables, M. P. Hal- 
verson, H. A. Nerison. 

1909— President, W. F. Finke; trustees, 
H. M. Moen, K. K. Hellie, Otte Nelson; re- 
corder, Carl Omodt; treasurer, O. J. Nash; 
assessor, F. C. Nuffer; justices, K. N. Knudt- 
son, Niels Jacobson; constables, H. A. Neri- 
son, Oscar Qualley. 

1910 — President, J. N. Jacobson; trustees, 
W. F. Finke, K. K. Hellie, William Thomp- 
son; recorder, J. B. Stordahl; treasurer, O. 
J. Nash; assessor, F. C. Nuffer; justice, K. 
N. Knudtson; constable, A. G. Qualley. 

1911 — President, J. N. Jacobson; trus- 
tees, K. K. Hellie, W. F. Finke, P. P. Sun- 
dahl; recorder, J. B. Stordahl; treasurer, 
C. J. W'oodrow; assessor, F. C. Nuffer; 
justices, Niels Jacobson, H. A. Twange; 
constable, E. Nerison. 

Since Hills has become an inc(U'piH'atcd 
town it> growth has been steaih. Over 
$:;o.(l(Hi wcic expended on building im- 
proM'uii'nls ill r.Hil. The state census of 
19(1,") gave the town n population of :;-,'ii. 
Ill 190S; th(i building improveiiicnl- foot- 
ed up over $i:>.i)0() and in lIMiii t(, the 
same liguic, 'I'lie census of 1910 showed 
a population of 39S, giving Hills second 
place aminig Ttoek county towns. 

void. A. T. Sexe. William Thompson. A. E. 
Cleveland. H. E. Wyum. Martin Nelson. Ole O. 
Rue. T. Nigaard. Peder Hoh'erson. T. I.ien 
and K. K. Hellie. 

'-Were appointoil. 

"Hills has never had a licensed .saloon. Prior 
to l!t08 the (jiiestion was not put to a vote 
and the ef>iincil dirl not grant license. In lilOS 
the vote was twentv-three for to forty- 
seven against. In liliut the (luestion was not an 
is.sue and in 11110 the vote was twenty-eight 
for to sixty-two against. 




The first school taught in Hills was 
condiu'ted hy Jliss Jennie Wright. The 
district had not heen organized and the 
expenses were paid witli mnney raised hy 
suhscription. The district, comprising five 
sections, was organized in 1893, and the 
school that year was taught by Miss Myra 
Ferguson in tlie town hall. The members 
of the firsl board of education were Olaf 
Skyherg, P. H. Rly and Nels Iverson. Tn 
1894 a block of land was purchased hy the 
district and a two-room frame Imilding 
«as put up at a cost of .$3000. A. S. 
■lohnson and Betsey Itovang conducted the 
first school in the building. As the town 
grew the old Imilding liecame too small to 
accommodate the district and in the fall 
of 1903 an addition was built at a cost of 
.$3000. Just after its completion, Janu- 
ary 7, 1904, the building was totally de- 
stroyed by fire. Steps were at once taken 
to rebuild, and early in September the 
present four-room school house, 32x73 
feet, was completed at a cost of $7800.- 


Hills has three active church organ- 
izations, the Immanuel Xorwegian Evan- 
gelical Union (Synod), tlie United Nor- 
wegian Futheran and the Trinity Norwe- 
gian Futheran Free. For many years the 
Presbyterian society also maintained an 
organization, and the chureli building of 
that society still stands. 

The Immanuel Norwegian I*]vangelical 
T^uion cliurch of Hills antedates the town 
hy several years. The original organiza- 
tion is the oldest of the Norwegian Lutii- 
eran churches in IJock county, having Ijeen 
organized at the liomc of Ole P. Steen, in 
Clinton township, on July 10, 1872." 
Pev. Flof Olson was the first pastor of the 
congregation and assisted in the organiza- 

^^The voting membei'.s who signed the con- 
stitution were Ole P. Steen. Sven Sanderson. Ole 
Rud, Asle Skattum, Peder Tuff. Christopher 

tion. He was succeeded by 0. Sando 
(1873-1878), C. A. Naeseth (1878-1882), 
A. Thurmo (1882-1894). and J. H. 
Lunde (1894-1911), who also served all 
the other synod churches in the county. 
The church was incorporated October 11. 
1881. Services were held at the homes 
of the members until 1886. 

During the summer of 1884 a church 
edifice was started on the site where was 
later built the town of Hills. When it 
was nearing completion it was struck by 
the terrilile cyclone of July 21, 1884, and 
entirely destroyed, causing a loss of $1800. 
One of the carpenters at work on the 
building was killed and another seriously 
injured. At a meeting on July 2fi, 188.i, 
it was decided to erect another church 
edifice on the same site. The new buikU 
ing was completed late in December, 1885, 
at a cost of $2 GOO. An addition was made 
in 1900, making the total value of the 
building about $4000. A parsonage was 
com])]eted in November, 1902, at a cost of 
$3500. The Immanuel church of Hills 
is one of the strongest, as well as oldest, 
in Rock county. The congregation of this 
church and the one, at Beaver Creek num- 
bers at the present time about 525. 

The United Norwegian Lutheran 
church of Hills is also one of the pioneer 
religious societies of Rock county. It 
was organized as a Norwegian Lutheran 
church in July, 1878, under the direction 
of Rev. 11. Z. Hvid, and on May 5, 1879, 
the congregation allied itself with tlie 
United Norwegian Lutheran society. The 
first officers of the society were Ole Sand- 
bo, secretary ; Paul 0. Sandbo, C. C. 
^loe and Joseph Jacobson, trustees; John 
Nelson, treasurer; A. Gunderson and 
Friek Fvenson, elders; Ole 0. Blegen, 

The first regular ]iasfor of the church 

Berge. .\nders .Vnderson. Thore Schiilzen, John 
Steen. Christian Clemet.sen. Hans Olsen. Ole 
Finkelsen. Goodman Anderson and John Nelson. 




was Rev. I. C. Jacobson, who accepted 
the call on September 24, 1878.'= He 
was succeeded October 2.5, 1880, liy Rev. 
H. Wang, who served until 1890. Rev. 
Theodore Fossum took the pastorate at 
that time and served fourteen years. He 
was succeeded by Rev. C. S. Salveson, 
who served six years. Tlie ])resent pastor, 
Rev. H. 0. Bjorlie, tiwk charge of tlie 
church in 1910. One of the early day 
Iniildings of II ills was the lirick church of 
this denomination, erected in 1801 at a 
cost of .$3000 and dedicated in the fall 
of 1892. 

The Ti'inity Norwegian Lutheran Free 
church of Hills is a comparatively new 
organization, but one of considerable 
strengtli. The Lutheran Free faction wilji- 
drew from the United church in 1903, 
and Rev. K. J. Wang accepted the call as 
])astor. In October of the same year it 
was decided to erect a church edifice. C. 
C. Moe, Chris Sandbo and Charles Nel- 
son were appointed a conimittfe to solicit 
funds and John Nelson, L. (). Kolsrud, 
C. F. Skovgaard, Thomas .Johnson and 
Ojaf Skyberg were named the liuilding 
committee. A church costing $(5000 was 
erected and dedicated September 2r>, 1904. 

The only English-speaking church that 
ever maintained an organization in Hills 
was the- Presbyterian, wiiich was organ- 
ized in the nineties. Tender tlie pastorate 
of Rev. W. F. Finch, a church building 
costing .$2000 was put up in 1897, and it 
was dedicated June .5, 1898, by Rev. R. 
N. Adams. T). D. For several years the 
organization was ijuitc prosperous, l)ut f(U' 
the hist five years of its existence was 
poorly sup]iorted. In 1908 it had not a 
resident member, Ijut services were held 
until the next year, when service was dis- 

''•Rev. .Taoob.'^oii's salary was fixed at J125 in 
cash, anil he was also to be the recipient of a 
certain number of free will offerings evei-.\* 
year: in addition each member of the con- 
gregation was expected to assist the pastor 


Hills is not a good lodge town. It has 
only one secret society, and that is not in 
a very flourishing condition, although it 
holds its charter. The lodge is Hills 
Camp No. ;!924. M. W. A., ami was or- 
ganized in 1890. 


An efl'icient tire department is main- 
tained and has l)een since the incor])ora- 
tion of the town, in April, 190."), fire 
fighting a])paratus was received and tem- 
porary conqianies were organized. A per- 
manent organization was made in August, 
190,'), wlicii the following officers were 
elected: O. .1. Nash, chief; Otto Nelson, 
assistant chief; Carl \\'(mii1i-ow, secretary; 
Thomas Sundal, treasurer; O. B. Sever- 
son, K. K. Hcllie and C. H. Sandberg, 


Ill Hills ai'e two banking institutions, 
the First National and Farmers State. 
The fiiriiii'i' is the Outgrowth of the town's 
first fiiuuicial institution, a ])rivate bank 
doing liusiness under the title Rock Coun- 
ty Banking ci)iii|iany. II began business 
.\ugust 1, 1892, with a capital stock of 
$.'iOOO. being owned by R. B. Hinkly. B. 
11. llinklv. W. II. Wil-oii and J. R. 
W'lighl. The bank was under the man- 
agement iif ^Ir. Wright, and in Decemlier, 
189(i, that gentleman boiiglil bis partners' 
interests. He erected a fire-proof brick 
banking house in 1899, and conducted the 
bank until it was succeeded by the First 
National in 1902. 

The $2.''),000 stock r..r the First Na- 
tional was subscribeil largely by local cap- 
italists, and nil ^fav ■"). 1902, llie new in- 

witli one day's ]ilowinK and to furnish him 
with one bushel of oats e\-ery year. F'"or this 
remuneration the pastor agreed to conduct at 
least thirteen preaching services during the 


III I ,^ I 511 




stitution took over the business of the pio- 
neer banJv. Its first officers were A. C. 
Croft, president; J. N. Jacobson, vice 
[iresident; J. K. Wriglit, casliier; P. K. 
I'.rown, A. T. Sexe, J. N. Jacobson, A. C. 
Ciiift anil J. E. Wrioht, directors. In 
Derenibcr, IDOT, the First National Bank 
look over the business of tlie State Bank 
of Hills, wliicli had liivn orsjanized a few 
vears before. 

The Farmers State Bank was organized 
with a capital stock of $10.ilOn in Au- 
gust, IflOll, by local linsiness men and fai-ni- 
ers of the vicinity. The first board of di- 
icctors and ofl'icers were as follows : \V. 
F. Fiid\c, president; P. O. Skybei-.s, vice 
pii'sidcnt; ^1. Fngebretson, cashier: A. C. 
Finke, assistant cashier; G. D. Nelson, 
H. Holverson and Olaf Kolsrnd. 


According to the last census figures, 
Hardwick ranks third in size among Eock 
county villages. It is a compactly built, 
neat a]ipeai'ing, prosperous little mnnici- 
])ality located nine miles north of the 
county scat, at tlu' junction id' two lines 
of the Eock Island railroad. Otherwise 
described, it is in the southeast corner of 
Denver to\vnshi]i, the platlcd portion of 
the village Ijeing on sections 3(1 and 3."). 
Like Hills, it is a comparatively new town 
but has outstripped some of the older 
places in the county. 

An a town, Ilardwick's history dates 
back only to the year 1803, but the actual 
history of the place began .several years 
before that time. Prior to the fall of 
1SS4 the site of the present village was 
unoccupied by human habitation, and 
the honor of erecting tlie first building on 
the site belongs to a young Norwegian 
emigrant, Knute Taamasgaard l)y name. 

'""Nothing definite can t>e learned coneernins 
the location of a station between this point and 
Trosky. but there i.s still reason to believe that 

At that time Mr. Taamasgaai'd, who was 
employed on the farm of Ottei' Otterson, 
made '"siiuattcr's'" settlement mi the land 
in i[ucstion and constructed a diminutive 
dug-out and sod .--lianly. in which he and 
his wife resided abont two years. 

On the eleventh day of Septemliei'. 
1.SS4, the tracklayers of the liui-liugton 
railroad, Iniilding from the south, reached 
the site of the present town. Eumors at 
once became rife regarding the establisli- 
niciit of stations on the new road between 
LuM'Mie and Pipestone. During the 
month of September it was announced 
that one station would be located near 
I'oplai' creek in Pipestone county, to be 
named Ti'osky ami another on Otter Ol- 
tcrson's farm, the northwest quarter of 
section 3(1, Denver township, to be called 
Denver. During the next month the town 
lot com|)any connected with the Burling- 
ton road started the town of Trosky, but 
no steps were taken toward the building 
of the village in Denver township, the 
name of wliich, it was announced in Oc- 
tober, was to lie changed in Jasper. Al- 
though land for depot gi'ounds was deeded 
to the company by ilr. Otterson, the offi- 
cials took no action in regard to found- 
ing the new station during 1884.'° 

The people of northern Eock county, 
being long distances from market, were 
anxious for the opening of a station at 
^omc ]ioiiit along the line. The railway 
officials taking no action during the sum- 
mer of 188."), the residents of Denver, Eose 
Dell and ^Inuiid townshipis circulated a 
petition in .\ugust, asking that the Bur- 
lington officials establish a station on Ot- 
ter Ottersou's farm — the location previous- 
Iv selected. The petition was signed by 
sixty-nine settlers. Within a few days after 
it was pi-esented, on August 19, 1885, E. S. 
Kllswiiilli. the P>iirlingtoii townsite agent, 

the site originally selected on section 2fi will be 
adopted." — Rock County Herald. November 21. 



came to the site and iniilt'r liis dii'ection a 
seetidii house was huilt nii Mr. OttersonV 
farm. Mr. Otterson was eniphned by tlie 
railway company to look aftei' the sliip- 
ment of iii'ain I'mm tliat point — ami that 
was the extent of the jiroparations for 
founding a town at that time. The mat- 
ter of platting' a townsite wa.s under con- 
sideration by the authcu-ities for a few 
weeks, hut no action was taken. 

Rumors of the establishment of the sta- 
tion were revived in the spring of 18SG. 
but no action was taken iintilthefallof that 
year. In Octoher the station was definite- 
ly located on the line between sections 35 
and '2(>^' and a side track was constructed. 
In Xovember a depot platform, 16x"20 
feet, was built. Iiut the station was not 
named or ])iit ou tiie time card of the 
comjiany until ]ah'v. The grain buying 
fii'm of Cudahy & Butler bought grain at 
the new station that season. In.tbe spring 
of 1S87 the station was named Hardwick, 
ill Imnoi' of J. L. Hardwick, the master 
builder of the Burlington road, and the 
next fall it w'as placed on the railroad 
time table. Otter Ottei'son bought grain 
and stock for E. A. Brown, who had suc- 
ceeded to the business at the new station, 
during the season of ISST, anil did a 
thriving business.'* 

There was practically no change at the 
station during the next few years. Otter 
Otterson continued buying grain for E. 
A. Brown, and later John Otterson bought 
for the Iowa. Minnesota & Dakota Grain 
compaiiv. which succeeded Cudahy & But- 
liT. Ill ISS!) Engebret Olson opened a 
small hhicksmith shop on what is now the 
iiiiiilicasi conici' of block lour of Ihc orig- 

^""It apponrs to bi- deltnitoly i]ftcrinliiod tli.-it 
the new station in I.ienvei- towiii^hip will he lo- 
oatetl on the north line of section :i5. The loca- 
tion is certainly not the best that e(aiUl have 
been chosen to secure the most Itiisiiiess tor 
the {-omiianv. but the location selet-teil is proba- 
bly more advantageous than an.v other for the 
town lot eompan\'."' — Rock County Herald. (Oc- 
tober 2!l. ISSti. 

'""Since the crop of 1SS7 began to come into 
the market E. A. Brown has shipped fifty car- 

iiial plat, and he continued in Inisiness 
iinlil after the founding of the town. 

Several items of importance occurred 
during 1891. That year John Otterson 
(M'ecteil the first liuilding of permanent 
character in Hardwick. It is the build- 
ing on the lower end of Main street now 
occupied as a restaurant, and was oc- 
cujiied by Mr. Otterson as a residence; 
when the postoffice was established it was 
opened in this building. During the sum- 
mer the depot was ]nit up and it was 
opened September 1 with William Littel 
in charge. Early in the year the farmers 
in the vicinity petitioned for the establish- 
ment of a postoffice at Hardwick, and in 
December the office was put in operation 
with John Otterson as postmaster.''' 

By this time Hardwick had developed 
into an exceptionally good gTain market, 
and toward the close of the year came the 
announcement that the following year 
would see the founding of the town, with 
stores, shops and other enterprises that 
make a town. 

.\lmost with the beginning of the year 
18i)'3 came the first busiiu'ss men to start 
the new enterjirises. In February Herman 
Lenz, a farmer residing in the neighbor- 
hood, conijileted a small store building and 
put in a stock of general merchandise. 
The next month A. A. Walvatne erected a 
building adjoining Mr. Lenz. in which 
Thomas Trenliaile opened the second gen- 
eral store. Before the spring was over Eii- 
gehrel Olson moved his blacksmith shop 
closer to the new village ami William 
Olson came from Larchwood. Iowa, and 
opened a shop in o-pposition ; T. Staven 
came riom Trosky and built a wagon 

loads of grain from TTanlwick. the station in 
Denver township, and has sliipped in all since 
that time over two hundred carloads of srain 
and livestock."— Rock Cminty 11. -raid. .January 
U. 1S88. 

"Mr. Otterson conducted the postoffice until 
1SM4. 10. II. AlhriKht served until .\pril, 1XS7. 
since which time John B. Iverson has been 
postmaster. One rural route is supplied from 
the Hardwick office. It was established .Janu- 
ary 15. 190-4. 



shop; .Tdhii Sclinrnhcri;' crui'ti'd a IkiLu! 
and a liillc \ntvv ojienod a saloon in uon- 
nrrfiiin. Diiriini' the suninicr Ilcni'v ]\1('- 
larchy (i|h'iu'(1 a moat market: .lnhii II. 
Dresden erected a huildinj; and started 
the town's third general store; Jolin Nie- 
nier started the livery barn. During 
the fall J. C. Johnston & Co. erected 
slied? and olFipo huih"ling and started a 
liiiiilici' \anl, iiiidei' the management of 
Dunk Wills; a new grain buying firm ajv 
|ii'ai-('(l ; .lojin Otterson added flour and 
Icrd (ii his stock of fuel; a school house 
was erected ; and several of the new com- 
ers built residences. The first child l)orn 
in the village was a son born to Mr. and 
Mrs. John Otterson on June 20. 

At the close of the year 1893 we find 
tiiat there were in the new town thi-ee 
general stores, one liotel, one lumber yard, 
one fuel yard, two grain warehouses, two 
blacksmith shops, one saloon and one liv- 
ery stable. Within the year Hardwick 
had developed into a hustling little vil- 
lage.-" The list of building improvements 
for 1892 as reported by the local press 
was as follows : 

John Scharnberg, hotel $3000 

School building 1000 

J. H. Dressen, store building 1000 

Herman Lenz, store building looo 

Thomas Trenhaile, residence 800 

H. T. Holverson, livery barn 800 

W. E. Littel, residence 650 

J. C. Johnston & Co., lumber sheds 

and office 600 

A. A. Walvatne, store building 500 

William Olson, blacksmith shop. . . . 500 

Charles Anderson, residence 400 

J. B. Reed, residence 300 

E. Olson, blacksmith shop 300 

Henry Melarchy, butcher shop 200 

Total $11,050 

=^""No town in Rock county of equal age has 
come to the front more rapidly and developed 
brighter prospects of becoming' a prosperous 
business point than Hardwick. It is surround- 
ed by a splendid farming countrj-. which until 
recently has been spar.^^ely populated, but it is 
now rapidly coming into the hands of well-to-do 
and enterprising farmer.^." — Rock C'oimtv Her- 
ald. December 30, 181)2. 

"The land on section 35, upon which the or- 
iginal plat was located, was originally the prop- 
erty of the Western Land company. In ISno 
it came into the jiosscssion of .\. A. 'Walvatne. 
who in the summer of isri2 disposed of pait of 
it to A. W. Sleeper. 

'i'hc survey of the townsite was made 
September 1 and 2, 1892, ])y \V. N. Dav- 
idson. The dedication was made Septem- 
ber 12 by A. A. Walvatne and A. W. 
Sieej)er, and the instrument was filed for 
record September 24.-' The original plat 
consisted' of only four bhicks. The streets 
east and west were namcil l<"irsl, IMaiii and 
Third ; north and soutli the site was di\ id- 
eil by Suiiiiiiit street.^" 

'I'he rounding of new en(cr|ii-iscs con- 
tinued during the early part ni' lSli;{. A 
i)uiiding was erected and a bank founded, 
under the management of 1). J. Hawley, 
who in May was succeeded by (ieorgc O. 
]\oss; D. J. Stoakes opened a liardware 
store ; tlie first grain elevator was erected 
by Otter Otterson; Hauger & Sackctt put 
up a building and opened a feed mill. 
Tliereaftcr for several years there was 
little advancement in Hardwick. The 
town maintained an excellent grain mar- 
ket, and hundreds of carloads were ship- 
ped each year; the few business houses 
were well supported and the village con- 
tinued to hold its own with the neighbor- 
ing hamlets during the lean years of the 
middle nineties. A directory published 
in tlie fall of 1898 showed the following 
business enterprises;-^ J. B. Iverson, Hu- 
lett Brothers & Co. and Heckt Brothers, 
general merchandise; Q. Stark, hardware; 
Stephen Brothers, meat market; J. C. 
Johnston & Co., lumber yard, L. M. Lar- 
son, manager; T. 0. Tollefson, livery, 
grain and live stock; August Stroehbcen, 
Hardwick hotel; Hardwick Elevator com- 
])iiny, grain ; Holvereon & Jargo, grain; E. 
A. Browu. grain and live stock; Daven- 

--.\dditions to Hardwick have been platted as 

Ross', tjy George O. Ross. May 10. 1S99; sur- 
veyed by W. N. Davidson. 

Kennedy's, by Thomas F. Kennedy and James 
P. Kennedy. April 2S. 1900; .surveyed by W. N. 

Houg's, by Johanna Houg. July. 1900; sur- 
veyed by W. N. Davidson. 

County Auditor's Outlots. bv County Auditor, 
April 30, 1902: surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

Ross' Second, by George O. Ross. January 1, 
1901: surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

-'"'Hardwick has maintained a steady and sub- 
stantial growth and is destined to become one 



port -Millino; company, grain, J. Case, 
manager; A. T. Martinak, restaurant; T. 
F. Lange, barber shop; Engebret Olson, 
blacksmith shop; Jolm Overland, black- 
smitli sliop; August Stroehbecn, saloon; 
P. E. ifatthieson, saloon. 

Ilardwick became a numicipal corpor- 
ation ill ISOS. So early in its history as 
IS!);;, liowever, the firsi attempt to l>ring 
al)oiit this desired condition was made. 
On .Tidy 20, 189;), a petition was ]ircsent- 
ed to the board of county commissioners, 
asking it to take the necessary steps to 
bring about the incor])oration of ten 
square miles of territory as tjic village 
of ITai'dwick, it being necessai-y to take 
in that much tei'ritory to secure the num- 
ber of inhal)itants re(|uired by law. 'J'he 
commissioners referred the matter to the 
county atfairney, who held that the facts 
set foi'lh in the jietition did not satisfy 
the r(M|uireiiK"nis of the law. and the coun- 
ty board refused to graid. the petition. 
The residents of Hardwick employed A. 
J. Daley as their attorney and .secured an 
altci'uaie writ of mandamus from the dis- 
trict court, demanding that the commis- 
sioners either grant the jietition or show 
cause in court why it should not be grant- 
ed. .\t the hearing, which was set for 
August 4, Judge Brown quaslied the writ. 
U|iliolding the action of the countv board, 
and llarilwick continu(>il under tbc local 
goyernment of Denyei' township. 

The matter of iucor]iorating was again 
tak( n u|i in llir fall of l.Si)S. and on Oe- 
toliei' "i tbe county eommissioners called a 
special electi(Ui. to he lield October 10. to 
decide the maltei'. ( )nl of a lolid of thii'- 
ty-seyen votes, twenty-six were in favor of 

of tho most important Imsiness points in Rocli 
county outside of T-u\'erne. It lias an excellent 
grain and stock markr't and has a large and 
increasing trade from a section of the county 
which is rapidly increasing in population. Sev- 
eral new buildings have been erected this 
season and more are contemplated." — Rook 
County Herald, October 14, 189S. 

-*Saloon licenses have always been gi'anted 
in H.'irdwi<'k. l-")urinK its municipal career the 
question ot license has been yoted on three 

and eleven against incorporating the four 
southeast corner sections of Denver town- 
ship into the village of Hardwick. The 
first village officers were chosen at an- 
other elect ioji, on October 2.'), and soon 
tlierenfter ITardwick began its municipal 
career. Fidlowiiig is a list of those elect- 
e(l Id ofl'ice diii-ing its history:"* 

1898 — President, J. B. Iverson; trustees, 
H. T. Holverson, .James P. Kennedy, John 
Overland; recorder, George O. Ross; treas- 
urer, L. M. Larson; justices, William Ross, 
F. W. Case; constables, C. J. Moe, Thomas 

1899 — President, J. B. Iverson; ti-usteos, 
H. T. Holverson, James P. Kennedy, John 
Overland; recorder, L. M. Larson; treasurer, 
George O. Ross; justices, J. F. LaDou, Wil- 
liam Ross; constables, Thomas Kennedy, 
D. J. Stoakes. 

1900 — President, J. B. Iverson; trustees, 
H. T. Holverson, James P. Kennedy, F. W. 
Case; recorder, J. D. Thompson; treasurer, 
L. M. Larson; justice, Thomas Trenhaile; 
constable, Thomas Kennedy. 

1901 — President, J. B. Iverson; trustees, 
H. T. Holverson, James P. Kennedy, Q. 
Stark; recorder, J. D. Thompson; treasurer, 
L. M. Larson; justices, Thomas Trenhaile, 
F. W. Case; constables, Thomas Kennedy, 
H. Schroder. 

1902 — President, W. T. Berry; trustees, 
R. A. Heckt, F. W. Case, John Overland; 
recorder, J. n. Thompson; treasurer, L. M. 
Larson; justice, William Ross; constable, 
K. I. Harding. 

1903— President, Q. Stark; trustees, R. A. 
Heckt, D. J. Stoakes, James P. Kennedy; 
recorder, H. T. Holverson; treasurer, L. 
M. Larson; justice, A. H. Higley; consta- 
bles, Thomas Kennedy, C. J. Moe. 

1904 — President, Q. Stark; trustees, James 
P. Kennedy, D. J. Stoakes, L. M. Larson; 
recorder, H. T. Holverson; treasurer, R. 
A. Heckt; justice, William Ross; constable, 
Thomas Kennedy. 

1905 — President, E. C. Heckt; trustees, 
John Overland, Otto Bargenquest, F. W. 
Case; recorder, A. J. Hemmings; treastirer, 
R. A. Heckt; justice, O. E. Fellows;'' con- 
stable, William Ryan.=" 

1906— President, H. T. Holverson; trus- 
tees, John Overland, Adolph Carl, F. W. 
Case;^' recorder, T. S. Hartley; treasurer, 

time.s — in 1S99. luno and 1903. License carried 
each time, tlic vote being, respectively. 29 to 
21. 37 to IS. and 42 to 20. 

=-"'In April, 1905. H. T. Holverson and .\ H. 
Higley were appointed justices. 

-'"Thomas Kennedy was aiipointcd constable 
in .'\prii. 1905. 

='Resigncd in May and was succeeded by M. 
L. Wahlert. 




R. A. Heckt; justices, M. L. Wah1ert,=« E. 
T. Thorson; constables, W. T. Murray, O. 

1907— President, H. T. Holverson; trus- 
tees, John Overland, R. A. Heckt, James 
P. Kennedy; recorder, D. J. Ross; treas- 
urer, E. C. Heckt; justices, T. O. Tol- 
lefson, T. S. Hartley; constables, Emil 
Paustian, Will Mannigel. 

190S — President, James P. Kennedy; trus- 
tees, Thomas Trenhaile, D. J. Stoakes, R. 
A. Heckt; recorder, H. T. Holverson; treas- 
urer, E. C. Heckt: justice, E. T. Thorson; 
constable, Albert Sodeman. 

1909 — President, James P. Kennedy; trus- 
tees, Thomas Trenhaile, D. J. Stoakes, R. A. 
Heckt;-' recorder, H. T. Holverson; treas- 
urer, E. C. Heckt; justices, P. T. Petersen, 
W. F. Ihde; constables, W. T. Murray, Emil 

1910 — President, James P. Kennedy; trus- 
tees, D. J. Stoakes, F. G. Hartley, O. H. 
Gravatt; recorder, H. T. Holverson; treas- 
urer, E. C. Heckt; justice, P. T. Petersen; 
constable, W. T. Murray. 

1911 — President, James P. Kennedy; trus- 
tees, T. S. Hartley, O. H. Gravatt, J. H. 
Johnson; recorder, J. B. Iverson; trc'i surer, 
E. C. Heckt; assessor, M. L. Wuhlert; jus- 
tices, P. T. Petersen, H. T. Holverson; 
constables, W. T. Murray, Henry Hoffman. 

With the prosperous times in the coiin- 
ti'v a decade ago Hardwicic kept pace and 
made rapid strides forward. The town's 
second railroad — tiie hrauch I'mm \Voi-- 
(hinuton — was completed in IDtid. 'I'ho 
federal census of that year gave the vil- 
lage a population iif ;i.59. A systeiu of 
water works was installed by ihe village in 
that year at a cost of $l.-)!)0.'"' The year 
irifll was iin exceptionally active one in 
liuildiiig operations. The village author- 
ities purchased shade trees, with which 
th('\ liucd the streets nnd (itliei'wise made 
arrangements for nuiking a ''city beauti- 
ful." Each year wituessed an increase in 
the business bloi'ks and residences erected. 
Several brick blocks wei'c put up in IDO.'i. 
and later most of the board walks of the 
town were replaced with cement. A city 
hall was erected in 1008. 

The Hardwick of today differs vastly 
from the site a quarter of a century ago, 

^'Succeeded by John Matthiesen in May. 

^"Resigned in June and was succeeded Ijy O. 
H. Gravatt. 

whcu the few jieopic I'cslding in mu'tliern 
Rock county were vainly endeavoring to 
have the raili'oad coiu|)any do something 
in regard to locating a town on "section 
2G." Tlu! growth of this ((jwn vividly il- 
lustrates the changes that have occurred 
in northern Rock county during the last 
twenty-five years. Tbc popidatioii of 
Hardwick in 1010 was '..'!)•.'. a substantial 
gain over f(U'nier enumerations. 


Fdv several years before a school was 
conducted in Hardwick. the school of dis- 
trict No. 48 was inaintaineil ab(ud a mile 
fi'om the townsite. Among the teachers 
of this (Muiutry sch'iol were Sarah Maher, 
Fldi'a Mather, Emma .\. Wright, Elma 
Ciossnnin aiul Jlyra Ferguson. In 1802 
tbirty-sexen ]Hipils were enrolled. At a 
school meeting of the district on August 
13, 1802, it was decided to erect a school 
house in the new village, and the old 
building was sold to J. B. Reed for $00. 
The sauu' fall a one-rooui building, 24.\32 
feet, was ei'ected, but school was not be- 
gun in it until November, 180.3, wlien E. 
W. 1 1 iiiiiiicutt was employed as teaclier. 
.\ ycai- later another story was added to 
the building. 

This |)ioneer building served the district 
nuiny years. In the spring of 1006, by a 
vote of .33 to 21, the electors decided to 
bond for $7000 for the purpose of raising 
money to build a new .scliool house. Fol- 
lowing this action the present building — 
one of the finest in the smalliu' towns of 
the I'ouuty — was put up at a cost of $10,- 
0(1(1. It is a four-room building, was 
built of Luverne pressed brick, and was 
constructed by Greene & Gilham. The 
present enrollment is about one hundred, 
and three teachers are employed. 

^"This was replaced in 1901) by modern equip- 
ment at a cost of several thousand dollars, and 
Hardwick now has one of the best water works 
plants in the county with water and power suf- 
ficient to supply the wants of a town many 
times its size. 




Fdiir rliuixli societies have oi'ganizM- 
tions in I lard wick, of wliich two liave 
houses of worship. Tiie Presliyterian was 
one of the first nrpmized and tliat society 
was tlie first to erect an edifice. Tlie 
l)uilding was dedicated January 2:5, 189S, 
by IJev. \\. J. Jolmson and Eev. J. P. 
Uibbs. Tlie totai cost of the buihling was 
about .lil-lOO. Services are now not reg- 
idarly bcbh Kev. 1!. IT. :Moodie is tbr 
present pastor. 

The (ierniaii Lotbcran Synoil cbiircb 
was organized in tbc iiinclies by Itev. 
Brinlvman with only hve or six nieinber>. 
For several years services were held in 
the school house, but in l!Hll the rliurcb 
edifice, costing nearly $2000, was put up. 
Services are held every two weeks by Ecv. 
H. AmEnde, of Jasper. 

The Independent German Lutheran 
church was organized several years ago. 
Services are lu'ld every third Sunday in 
tbe Presbyterian eburth building by Eev. 
E. C. H. Pcitbniann, of Webster, South 

The United Norwegian congregation 
maintains an organization. Services aic 
(•(inducted every third Sunday by Kc\-. O. 
.1. Minidahl, of Luverne. 


Four lodges ba\c active urgani/.alions 
iu Hardwick, the Modern Woodmen of 
America, Eoyal Neighbors of .\mcrica. 
Odd Fellows and Kcbekahs. 

The oldest of these is Hardwick Camp 
No. ;i,sr)l, M. W. A. It was iiistitulcd 
May 11, 189(5, by M. H. Carlchm. Fol- 
lowing were the first officers and ( barter 
members: d. V. LaDou. A'. ('.: J. P. 
Kennedy, W. A.; E. H. Albrecbt, clerk; 
II. T. ilolverson, banker: L. M. Larson, 
escort: Thomas Kennedy, watchman: D. 
J. Stoakcs, sentry; T. E. Kirby. 11. F. 

Heiden, II. N. Warner. S. A. Dailcy, C. 
J. ]\[oe, Henry ileycr, Ule J. Foss, S. 
Sanderson. George 0. Boss. 

Valentine Lodge No. 1993, E. N. A.. 
was instituted February 16, 1901, with 
tbe following ebailer members: Pet- 
ra Aloe. .Minnie T. Case, Emma Piepgras, 
Marie LaDou, Liza Abbott, W. L. Arm- 
strong, Stella Fellows, Mina C. Dailcy, 
Ella S. Bcaty, Lydia Groen, Ella Eeed, 
E. 0. Bredekken, S. A. Dailey, L. M. 
Larson, Florence Bruce, J. F. LaDou, 
|)a\id Fellows, George Piepgras, Clara 
I'et-erson. Mary Harding. 

Hardwick Lodge No. 90, I. 0. 0. F., 
wbieb now lias a membership of abmitfiffy. 
began its organization February 12, 1909. 
with the following named nine members: 
Al. L. Wahlert, Herman Tlemme, 0. H. 
Gravat.t. Jolm Oye, Hans IT. Hansen, Wil- 
liam F. C. Krohn, John F. Krohn, John 
Holmbeck, j\L L. Hatch. 

Evangeline Lodge No. 125, Eebekahs, 
reecivcd its charter March 1-5, 1910. Its 
first officers and charter members were: 
Louise Wahlert. noble grand; Nina Hage- 
dorn. vice noble grand; Tena Hatch, see- 
i-efary: Dora Ahrendt, treasurer; John 
Ove, chaplain: M. L. Wahlert, AI. L. 
Hatch, P. D. Wiyte, Bertha Whyte, W. 
O. Larson, T. H. Marxon, Carolyn Paus- 
tian, Lillian Paustian, Anna Heckt, Ma- 
ria Ove, II. J. Hemme, Anna Hemnie, 
I'hiima Will, Nora Piepgi-as, Anna Wiese. 


Ii;ii-(lwiek lias an efficient lire ih'part- 
ineid willi an active organizaliou. So 
e:irlv as llie spring of 1899, before tlie 
water \\(irks system was installed, we 
liiid tbe city council investing $25 for 
tbree jjatent fire extinguishers. This c(m- 
stituted the fire department of the village 
for about two years. After the water 
works plant was installed, in January. 
1901, a carl and hose were purchased and 



a (li'piirtiiient orgaiiizeil. A n_'(ir,i;Miii/.n- 
(idii w.-is cft'c'cted in 1905, wliuii E. Olson 
was cliosun cliief. Since tliat time the de- 
pa rliueiit has maintained an active oi'gan- 
ir-.aliiin. TIic present ofTiccrs are W. 'V. 
Murray, uiiief; L. A. Tollefson, assislaiil 
ciiiof; E. Y. Iverson, secretary; 0. 11. 
(ii'a\att, treasurer. 


'i'lic i''ariners State Bank nf llardwiik 
is tlic only liiiaiicial instilutinn of the 
town. It was organized as a private liank 
in January, 189:?, by A. W. Sleeper, E. 
E. Brintnall and D. .J. Hawloy. It open- 
ed its doors in a lumber office and was un- 
der the local management of Mr. Hawley. 
In Slav, 1893, it passed to the control of 
]■]. E. Taylor and George 0. Ro«s, and 
during the next eleven years Mr. Ross 
conducted the bank. From June, 1904, 
until al'liT the reorganization I). .1. Koss 
was the cashier and local manager. 

'i'hc Farmci's State Uank succeeded the 
pri\at<' institution Dcceniher l:!, \<.H)7, 
when it liegan business with a capital 
stock of $10,000. 'J'iic officers of the new 
concern were E. E. Taylor, |)rcsident; 
llarrv H. Buck, vice pi'esideiil ; I). J. 
lioss, cashier. Othei- iiicorpoi'aloi's were 
B. B. Van Stecuhurg, \. K. liuck, 
(). H. Gravatt, H. 'J\ Ilolverson and ('. 
II. Clirislopherson. Mr. Boss was suc- 
ceeded as cashier April .'iO. 19()S. by O. 
II. Gravatt. tlie ]ircsent olficer in charge. 
Ill .laiiiiary. IDlo. the stock owned by U. 
H. Buck was purchased by local parties, 
and Ihe stock is now owned almost entirelv 
liy residents of Hardwick and vicinity. 
The officers and directors in l!ll() were as 
follows: H. T. Holverson, jiresident; C. 
li. Cliristoijlierson, vice president; 0. H. 
Gravatt, cashier ; M. L. Wahlert and E. E. 
Taylor. In December, 1910. the ca[iital 
stock was increased to $1--),(I(I0. 



ON THE liaiik.s of the "i-utiriiig" 
Beaver creek, eight, ami one-half 
miles southwest of the capital 
cit\ of Rock count}', is the little village 
of Beaver Creek, a. village which has 
played an important part in tlie history 
(>( Rock county. Excepting Luvernc, 
Beaver I'l'eek is the oldest municipality 
in the county. Founded during the clos- 
ing days of the great grasshopper devas- 
tation, it rapidly grew to a place of ini- 
]>ortance, and hcfore it had reached years 
of discretion was contesting with Luverne 
for county seat honors. For a dozen years 
after its founding Beaver Creek continued 
t(i pros|ier: then came a bad fire, followed 
li\' the lean years of the early nineties, and 
the town took a backward stej). At one 
time its very existence was threatened by 
the establishment of a rival town a few 
miles away. Better times came, and dur- 
ing the last decade Beaver Creek has ad- 
\ a need until it again takes rank among 
tlH> progressive places of a prosperous 

Situated Ln the midst of a fine farming 
country that is thickly settled with an in- 
telligent class of people, Beaver Creek has 
an exceptionally good, thougli limited, 

'". . . In response to this demand it has 
been deemed the part of prudence and good 
judgment to start another town, and the val- 
ley of the Beaver is the locality selected, at a 
point about ten miles west of Lu\'ernG. It is 
situated on the northeast quarter of the south- 

trade tciTJtiiry. It is served by the Worth- 
ington-ilitchell bi'aiicli of the Omnha rail- 
road, of which road it was at one time the 
terminus. The village has substantial 
liusiness houses and line residences, as 
well as the public enterprises and insti- 
tutions that make a c<mimunity a desir- 
able one in which to live. 

The site on which Beaver Creek is lo- 
cated was recognized from the very ear- 
liest days as a desirable one on which to 
locate a town, and so early as 1873 a plat 
for a town only a stone's throw from the 
present village was surveyed, with the in- 
tention of founding a city. 1\. I). Bu- 
chanan, the promoter of a colony of New 
Yorkei's who located in the vicinity, con- 
ceived the iilea (and started to put into 
execution his ]>]an) of founding a town 
at a point just southwest of the present 
village. During the month of May he 
had the site surveyed"^ and promised the 
early founding of the town. Mr. Bu- 
chanan came out to Eock county with an- 
other colon V in August, with the an- 
nounced intention of giving liis attention 
to the new enterprise, but that is the last 
mention in the local press we have of 
the city. Like many another city con- 
east quarter of section 29, township 102, range 
46, upon land donated for the purpose by Ira 
Crawford, Esfiuire. The survey has been made 
and the town platted by P. J. Kniss, county 
surveyor,"— Rock County Herald, May 30,-' 1873. 




coiveil in (he wcslrrn cnunti'v in ;iii eiiiiy 
(lay, it "(lied ahdrnin'."' 

Beaver Creek iiad its liirlli in the lull 
ol 1S?7, aiul eame inlo existence as a re- 
sult of the extension of the Wnrtliini^tidi 
it Sioux Falls (now the Omaha) road 
to that point. Tlie year before this the 
road iiad been built from Worthinjiton to 
Luverne and the survey extended west- 
ward to Sioux Falls. Jii August, ISTV. 
Ex-Governor Stephen ^Miller, then in the 
employ of the railroad eompany, bej^an 
purchasing rijziit-of-way for the road west 
of Luverne, woi-k of eonstrui'tiiif;- the line 
was commenced in October, track laying 
was completed to th': site of Beaver Creek 
eai'ly in December, and in the first part of 
danuary train service was established to 
the new station. 

Before the line was conijileted to the 
site, however, the town of Beaver Creek 
had made its debut. Charles Williams, who 
ow-ned a farm on section 28, Beaver Creek 
township, donated eighty acres of land to 
the railway company for townsite pur- 
poses (reserving one block of the plat 
for liimself), the selection of the site be- 
ing aiHKninced aliout the middle of Sep- 
tember. '"' From the eighth to the eleventh 
day of October, iiu-hisive, 0. D. Brown, 
a surveyor, was engaged in plating the 
townsite for the Worthington & Sioux 
Falls Eailroad company; the dedication 
was made October 27 by Horace Thomp- 
son, j)resident, and George A. Hamilton, 
secretai'y, of the railroad company, and 
the plat was filed in the oll'ice of the 
register of deeds Octcibci- ;!0. The orig- 
inal plat consisted of nineteen blocks.'' The 
name first jiroposed for tlic ]irospective 

="Mr. Williams whs among tliu rarliest set- 
tlers on that wide reacliing prairie, and now, 
after a brief period, he finds himself located al- 
most in the path of the iron horse and his 
dwelling in the ver.v heart of a prospective 
village." — Rock County Herald. October 5. 1877. 

'Additions to Beaver Creek have been platted 
as follows: 

First, by Daniel Shell and C. H. Smith. July 
1, 1SS6; surveyed by Orrin Na.son. 

town was Bishop, in honor of General J. 
W. Bishop, manager-in-chiof of the Sionx 
City & St. Paul railway lines, bid bcd'orc 
the plat was put on record the new town 
was named Beaver Creek, after the creek 
and township of that name.^ 

liai'illy had the location of the site 
been announced in September when prep- 
arations were made by se\cral persons to 
engage in business in the prospective 
town. Colonel Harrison White, who was 
destined to play such an important |>art 
in the history of the |>lace, was one of 
the finst. At the time he was emptoyed 
as a clerk in the St. Paul office of the 
Sioux City & St. Paul Pailway com- 
pany and determined that lie would en- 
gage in business in one of the new towns 
to be established along the road when 
built. In October. 1S77, he ship|wd a car- 
load (d' lumber for a store building from 
St. Paul, which arrived before the road 
was completed to the town. It was brought 
by train to the farm of E. H. Bronson. 
(uie mile east of the proposed town, and 
from that point was liauled by team. 
He set the stakes for his building on 
Thanksgiving day. Before Colonel Whit.e 
got hi< building under way, several oth- 
ers had jnit up buildings in the town and 
established business liouses. 

The lirst building was started late iii 
October. It was a lwic\ by Charles Wil- 
liams, and its dimensions were Slix.")".? feet, 
with "'11 foot ]iosts. It was not com|deteil. 
bow ('\ CI', until later. Several other busi- 
ness hiiiises were established and buildings 
put up before the close of the \car. The 
depot was erected and late in iS'ovemlier 
.1. L. Helm arrived on the site as agent; 

Crawford's, by J. F. Crawford, Daniel Shell. 
C. H. Smith and F. S. (libson, February !i. 
1887: siirve,\-cd by Ori'in Nason. 

County .Auditor's Outlets, by Count.v Auditor. 
October 16. 1909; surveyed by W. N. Davidson. 

^The creek was so named because of the many 
beaver and theic dams which lined the stream 
when the first settlers I'ame. The township was 
named after tlir creek at a meeting of the 
settlers held in .Vugust, 1S72. 



C. K. Howard erected a wareliouse and W. 
H. Bryan began l)uying grain for liim 
late in Xnvenilier; R. F. Roderick com- 
pleted a wareliouse, 'J'^xoO feet, with a 
eaparitv "f 10,11(10 liusliels, early in De- 
ceiidiei'; Oeorge Ilenlun creeled a sliii|i 
and engaged in the lilacksniitli l)usiness 
al)ont the same time: ('(]h)nel White es- 
tablished the third grain waM'h<insc: he 
received the first shipment over the road 
to Beaver Creek — fifteen cars of lumber, 
— built a shed ami established the first 
lumber yard, which was in charge of Wil- 
liam Strong: W. If. (ilass started a store 
building in wliidi he later began busi- 
ness: a Mr. livers opened a boarding 
bouse. These, so far as I am aide to ascer- 
tain, constituted the activities in the little 
town up to the beginidng of the year 

During the winter and early spring 
months the activities in the little village 
continued. Two other lumber yards were 
t'stablishe(l during the winter. One was 
by a gentleman named Bates: tlie other 
was by the Van Eps interests of Sioux 
Falls aTid was in charge (d" Tom Dilfen- 
dolV. Both were fempoiai'y anil wei'C 
niovcil awav within a shoit time. C'olonel 
Wbiti' o|iened bis general store in .Tan- 
uarv and was followed the same month 
by C. K. Howard and W. IT. Class, who 
dealt in general merchandise, .1 . (). Brict- 
son being in charge of ]\Ir. Class" store.'' 
Culli(d< Sundem, a Martin township home- 
steader, opened a harness repair shop in 
('(donel White's lumber office. Mr. ilyers, 
who bad eondiicli'il the first boarding 
house, Ud't Beavei- Creek and in the build- 
ing left vacant K. Kinidtson opened a har- 

^The Glass store buiunng is now the postoffioe 
building and is tile oldest one on the townsite. 

"Tlip Benver Creek postoftice was established 
in June, IS":!, at the home of Charles Williams, 
three-duarters of a mile east of the present 
village, and Mr. Williams was the first post- 
master. He was succeeded by C. R. Hcnton, 
who served until March, ISSn. J. O, Tyler was 
postmaster from that date until May. ISRB. 
when he was succeeded Ijy John B, Obele, In 

ness shop, later admitting Cullick Sun- 
dem as a partner. William Wilson built a 
small learn-to to the Glass store build- 
ing, in which he opened a hardware store 
as a branch to his Luverne business: in 
the same building Al. Atchison ojiened a 
shoe rc])air sho]>. William Mead con- 
structed a building on the north side 
of the track, in which b(> establisJied the 
Beavei' hotel. In the rear of this building 
was put up another blacksmith shop, 
which was conducted only a short time. 
The Williams hotel, the first structure be- 
gun on the site, w'as completed early in 
the year. Daniel Shell, of Worthington, 
operated a stage line between Beaver 
Creek and Sioux Falls and opened a livery 
liarn, wbieli was under the management of 
Leonard McClintock. Dr. W. T. Berry 
came early in 1878 and for a number of 
years practised his profession. Besides 
these business houses put up, Colimel 
White erected a number of dwelling houses 
for his employes and a few other resi- 
dences were erected. The postoffice was 
moved from the country to the village 
in the ,spring of 1878 with C. R. Hen- 
ton as iiostmaster." 

For a few months the youthful vil- 
lage was the terminus of the railroad 
and it at once came into prominence as 
one of the most lively eomnmnities in 
this part of the state. Being the end 
of the railroad, it became the distribut- 
ing point for the frontier towns of east- 
ern Dakota, and the business transacted 
by the pioneer firms was marvelous. Hs 
trade territory extended so far north as 
Flandreau; west, lialfway to Sioux Falls, 
and south fm' many miles. With tlie 

February. 1890. James Marshall took the office 
and served a four year term. John B, Obele 
again i>ecame postmaster in February. 1894. and 
served until 1S9S, He was succeeded by I>. B, 
Sage, who held the office only until the next 
year, Herman Ohs postmaster from 
18911 until his deatli ten years later, H, R. 
Ohs, his son. succeeded to the office in April, 
1909, and is the present postmaster. Beaver 
Creek has one rural route, established in 1902, 



extension of tlie railroad westward in the 
summer of 1S7S tlie village was shorn of 
some of its former activity, and the busi- 
ness houses that had been established teni- 
)ii)rarilv weu' removed. Thereafter it set- 
tliMl down to nonnal conditions, and, 
althougli there were few new business en- 
terprises launched in the next few years, 
the town continued to be a prosperous one, 
drawing trade from a very rich and ra|i- 
idlv dcvcliiping territory, almost illimit- 
able to the north and south. The census 
of 1880 gave the village a population of 

.V directory of the business enterprises 
of the village in the summer of 1881 
shows only the following: Ha.rrison White, 
general merchant and grain dealer: Cox 
& Knudtson, general merchandise (es- 
tablished in June. ISSl) : Berry & White, 
drug store : T)r. W. T. Berry, physician : 
J. O. Tyler. ]iroprietor of a cheese fac- 
tory, landlord of the Beaver Creek hotel 
and postmaster. From this directory it 
will be noted that there had been a falling 
off in the l)usiness houses of the town 
from the first year of its existence. But 
in ISS-i began a more prosi>erous era, 
which extended over a period of several 
years and in which Beaver Creek advanced 
to a point never before attained. 

.\mong the new enterprises started in 
ISS-.' were a harness shop by John Obcle. 
a hardware .store by J. 0. Brictson, a gro- 
cery store by B. F. Roderick & Co., and 
a drug store by J. M. Fark. A directory 
of ]\[arch. 1883, furnislies this list: A. 
(J. Seney. general merchandise: K. N. 
Knudtson, dry goods and gi'oceries: Har- 
rison While, lumber, fuel, grain and live 
stock: .). (). Brictson, hardware: J. M. 
Park, drug stoi'e : A. Obele, hotel : John B. 

•"Beaver Creek, in respect to general im- 
pro\'enients nnfl the erection of new biiilding.s. is 
cominB r.ipidly to tlie front. The growth of 
the town iluring the past year lias been con- 
siderably greater Ihaii that of the previous 
year ami it enters iipoii the iiresent season with 

Obele, harness shop; Kiffe & Ohele, black- 
smith and wagon shop: Mrs. J. (). Tyler, 
millinery store. 

The year 188;i was a very prosperous 
one and many new buildings were |iut up. I 

including three store buildings, a ware- ■ 
bouse and several residences. The Herald 
at the close of the year told of a visit: 

A visit to Beaver Creek, after an absence J 

of a year, will discover to the visitor nu- I 

merous changes and improvements. In- 
deed, he will find that the town has nearly 
doubled in size, and that its importance as , 

a business point has materially increased. I 

There is no mistaking the tact that 1 

Beaver Creek is enjoying a very substan- 
tial "boom" and that its prospects are 
brighter than ever before in its history. 
As a matter of fact, there is no town of its 
size that receives more grain and stock, 
and no town of its size that does, in a 
general way, a larger business. 

The activity continued during 1881 and 
almost took the nature of a boom. New 
buildings went up all over the town and 
several new business houses were estab- 
lished. "Rock county in general was en- 
joying pi-os]ierous times and good crops, 
and Beaver Creek kept i>ace with the gen- 
eral advance.' At this time five ware- 
bouses were required to take care of the 
grain that poured in. 

It was while these conditions prevailed 
that B<'aver Creek liecanie an incor- 
porated village. In the summer of 1884 
the residents petitioned .Tudge Severance 
of the district court for an order dechir- 
ing the village incorporated. The court 
heard the j-ietition August 27 and on Sep- 
tember 10 issued the necessary order. Col- 
onel Harrison Wiite, J. M. Park and 
Abram Osmun were named a committee 
to call the first election, which was set for 
October 3. Forty-two votes were cast at 
the first election. Following is a list of 
Beaver Creek residents who have been 

increased vitality and enterprise. There is no 
reason apparent why Beaver Creek should not ■ 
become a town of no inconsiderable impor- 
t;i lice."— Rock County Herald. September l!l. 




elected to office from the clat^ of incorpor- 
ation to tlie present time :* 

1884 — President, Harrison White; trus- 
tees, Abram Osmun, C. C. Cox, Andrew 
Obele; recorder, John Park; treasurer, 
James D. Campbell; justices, Oliver A. 
Hume, George B. Roderick; constable, John 

1885— President, Harrison White; trus- 
tees, A. C. Goltz, C. C. Cox. Andrew Obele; 
recorder, George B. Roderick; treasurer, J. 
O. Brictson; justices, Oliver A. Hume, J. 

B. Obele;" constable, John Carney.'" 

1S86 — President, Harrison White; trus- 
tees, A. C. Goltz, Andrew Obele, John Car- 
ney; recorder, George B. Roderick; treas- 
urer, J. O. Brictson. 

1887— President, R D. Ressegieu; trus- 
tees, J. H. Gibson, p'red Ward, A. W. Had- 
wick; recorder, C. H. Humphrey; treasurer, 
J. O. Brictson; justice, Sam Henderson. 

1888— President, P. D. Ressegieu; trus- 
tees, J. H. Gibson, Fred Ward, J. A. Shaver; 
recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer, J. O. Brict- 
son; justice, W. H. Leavens;" constable, C. 

C. Cox.'- 

1889— President, Harrison White; trus- 
tees, Fred Ward, J. W. Leslie, Thomas Wes- 
ton; recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer, I. H. 
Burt; justice, A. J. Daley; constable, B. F. 

1890— President, Fred Ward; trustees, J. 
W. Leslie, Thomas Weston, G. C. Tuns- 
tall; recorder, Olaf Skyberg; treasurer, J. 
P. Richardson; justices, J. H. Adams, Leon 
Carr; constables, C. C. Cox, R. Reetz. 

1891— President, Harrison White: trus- 
tees, Theodore Winchell, Thomas Weston, 
G. C. Tunstall; recorder, J. B. Obele; 
treasurer, J. P. Richardson; justice, James 
Marshall; constable, G. C. Mather. 

1892— President, Fred Ward; trustees, E. 
H. Moreland, Jacob Hettinger, Andrew' 
Obele; recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer, J. 
P. Richardson; justices, J. H. Adams, James 
Marshall; constables, C. C. Cox, A. B. 

1893 — President, Harrison White; trus- 
tees, E. H. Moreland, Jacob Hettinger, E. 
F. Baker; recorder, H. J. Smelser; treasur- 
er, J. P. Richardson; justice, L. H. Owen; 
constable, A. E. Jordahl. 

1894— President, Harrison White; trus- 
tees, E. H. Moreland, Jacob Hettinger, G. 

'The license que.stion hns a number of times 
been submitted to the voters. So early as the 
spring of 1S7S, when the town had been 
-Started, the matter of license or no license was 
submitted to the voters of the townshin. no- 
lieense winning by a vote of 79 to 34. During 
most of its incorporated history Beaver Preek 
has granted license. Following is the result 
of the vote on the questimi at tlie times it 
was submitted (perhaps not complete): ].S87. 
for license by 15 majority; 1S88. for. 39. against. 
27: 1.S91. for. 21. against, 17: 1893. license car- 
ried: 1899. for. IS, against. 21; 1900. license by 
6 ma.iority; 1907. for. 14. against. 35. 

'A. J. Daley and J. O. Tyler were elected 
justices at a special election Novcmlier 17. 1SS5. 

H. Worley; recorder, L. B. Sage; treasurer, 
I. H. Burt; justices, J. H. Adams, A. B. 
Vines; constable, Theodore Winchell. 

1895— President, Abram Osmun; trustees, 
W. T. Berry, Ira Crawford, Theodore Win- 
chell; recorder, J. H. Adams; treasurer, 
O. B. Bratager; justice, L. B. Sage; con- 
stables, A. E. Jordahl, E. C. Conant. 

1896 — President, Abram Osmun; trus- 
tees, Ira Crawford, Theodore Winchell, G. 
C. Pluedeman; recorder, A. B. Vines; treas- 
urer, O. B. Bratager; justices, J. H. Adams, 
Seth Crawford; constables, .\. E. Jordahl, 
John Carney. 

1897— President, Abram Osmun; trustees. 
Theodore Winchell, G. C. Pluedeman, E. J. 
Dunbar; recorder, A. B. Vines; treasurer, 
O. B. Bratager; justice, E. C. Brooks; con- 
stable, F. E. Welker. 

1898— President, E. J. Dunbar; trustees 
Theodore Winchell, J. S. Crawford, John 
Carney; recorder, W. J. Kinne;'' treasurer, 
O. B. Bratager;" justice, J. B. Obele; con- 
stable, F. E. Henton. 

1899— President, E. J. Dunbar; trustees, 
Theodore Winchell, J. S. Crawford, John 
Carney; recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer, 
F. E. Welker; justices, E. C. Brooks, J. S. 
Crawford;'' constable, F. E. Henton. 

1900— President, E. J. Dunbar; trustees, 
Theodore Winchell, J. S. Crawford, H. R 
Ohs; recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer F 

E. Welker. 

1901— President, E. J. Dunbar; trustees 
Theodore Winchell, J. S. Crawford, John 
Carney; recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer 

F. E. Welker; justice, E. C. Brooks. 
1902— President. E. J, Dunbar; trustees. 

John Carney, Samuel Loe, W. A. Speed; 
recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer, G. F. Chis- 
holm; justice, Ira Crawford; constable, 
Knudt Loe. 

1903— President. H. J. Ferguson; trustees, 
Samuel Loe, W. A. Speed, F. A. Welker: 
recorder, J. B. Obele; treasurer, M. O. 
Page; justice, E. C. Brooks; constable, W. 
A. Weaver. 

1904— President, H. J. Ferguson; trustees, 
Samuel Loe, F. E. Welker, A. J. Tange- 
man; recorder, L. Misener;'" treasurer, M. 
O. Page; justice, L. Misener; constable. T. 
N. Adams. 

1905— President. F. E. Welker; trustees. 
A. J. Tangeman. S. L. Todd. F. E. Henton; 
recorder, P. M. Jones; treasurer. M. O. 

'"Resigned February 4. IS.SC. and was succeed- 
ed by J. B. Obele. 

"At a special election in July. ISSS H 
Kifte and A. W. Hadwick were elected. 

"-B. F. Gibson elected at a special election 
in July, 1888. 

"Resigned in September, 1.S9S. and was suc- 
ceeded by J. B. Obele. 

"Resigned in September. 1S9S. and was suc- 
ceeded by F. E. Welker. 

'■■■Did not rnialifj'. 

'•^Resigned in June. 



Page; justices, E. C. Brooks, G. B. Whit- 
ney; constable, O. H. Hazel. 

1906— President, F. E. Wellier; trustees, 

A. J. Tangeman, S. L. Todd, F. E. Henton: 
recorder, W. E. Leeman; treasurer, M. O. 
Page; justices, G. B. Wliitney, E. C. Brooks; 
constable, T. N. Adams. 

1907 — President, F. E. Welker; trustees, 
H. R. Ohs, J. C. Claussen, T. A. Grout; re- 
corder, J. R. Doan;'' treasurer, M. O. Page; 
justice, E. C. Brooks; constable, G. B. Whit- 

1908— President, F. E. Welker; trustees, 
J. C. Claussen, F. E. Henton, L. M. Merkel; 
recorder, B. R. Page; treasurer, M. O. 
Page; justice, E. C. Brooks; constable, G. 

B. Whitney. 

1909— President, F. E. Welker; trustees, 
J. C. Claussen, F. E. Henton, L. M. Merkel; 
recorder, H. S. Cragg; treasurer, M. O. 
Page; justice, E. C. Brooks, constable, James 

1910— President, F. E. Welker; trustees, 
L. M. Merkel, James Vopat, A. G. Gilbert; 
recorder, H. S. Cragg; treasurer, M. O. 
Page; justice, E. C. Brooks; constable, G. B. 

1911 — President, H. S. Cragg; trustees, 
James Vopat, Henry Nowka, Frank Loose; 
recorder, E. J. Dunbar; treasurer, M. O. 
Page; justice, F. E. Welker: constable, N. 
L. Merkel. 

The banner year in Beaver Creek's 
whole history was 1S8."). A correspondent 
writing in October said: "Business lots 
on First avenue are in demand. An addi- 
tion to the town i>lat is talked of in 
order to supply the increasing want. Build- 
ings are going up in every direction and 
we haven't nicchanies enough to supply 
the orders for work." The Herald on 
June 12 told of the jirogress the town 
was making: 

There is no mistaking the fact that Bea- 
ver Creek is enjoying a lively "boom." To 
one who has not visited the place for a few 
months the transformation wrought during 
that time is surprising. In fact, Beaver 
Creek of a year ago is practically a thing 
of the past, and in its stead a new town 
has appeared. New buildings appear in 
all parts of the village and the business 
lots which but a short time ago were vacant 
are now, particularly along the portion of the 
business street east of the corners occu- 

'■Succeedcd in May hy E. C. Brooks, 

'"Figures liv the Siniix Falls Prcs.s. January. 

^".\mong thosP who freoted hu.'^iness houses 
were L. C. Mittclst;ult * Co.. John P.. Ohcle, 
Henry Kiffe. K. N. KninUson. .1, .M. Bennett. 

pied respectively by Colonel White and K. 
N. Knudtson, covered with substantial busi- 
ness houses. Moreover, the town authori- 
ties have been active and enterprising in 
the matter of public improvements. The 
streets have been graded, the public build- 
ings and grounds improved, and new side- 
walks have been built along the entire 
length of First avenue, as well as ujion other 

An even thirty buildings, the total val- 
ue of wliicli wa.s $30,000, were erected 
during the year 1S8."), '* of which sixteen 
were Inisiness houses.'" A business di- 
nx'tory pidilislied in June (after whicli a 
newspaper, liank and several other enter- 
prises were started) gave the following 
list of Inisiness men: L. C. Mittelstadt & 
Co.. lumber yard (A. C. Goltz, manager) ; 
J. (). Brictson. hardware and implements; 
John Obele, harness shop; Harry Kiffe, 
waoon shop: Dr. W. T. Berry, physician 
and drug store; A. E. Patterson, imple- 
ments; J. M. Park, drug store; George 
B. Roderick, groceries and provisions; K. 
X. Knudtson, general merchandise; J. 
M. Bennett, saloon and billiard liall ; Pat 
Toohey, saloon and billiard hall ; (icorge 
Tunstall, carpenter and cabinet maker : 
Dr. Cummings, physician ; Jacob Hetting- 
er, blacksmith shop; A. Hess, shoe sho]) 
and l)oavding house; L. S. Welker, meat 
"market; J. 0. Tyler, postmaster; Mrs. 
J. 0. Tyler, millinery store; Mr. Rvans. 
temperance saloon; Colonel Harrison 
White, general merchandise, grain and 
live stock; Hume & Canipiiell. lumber and 
furniture; A. Obele, blacksmith shop; 
.John Gassoway, barber shop ; Fred Scott, 
dray line. 

During tin's ]iei'i<id in tjie career of the 
town, uhrii i( boaslcd a |io|ndatiiin of l(i."). 
according to the census of 1885, in the 
winter of 1S8.')-S(), its residents sought 

Pal Toohey. Dr. Cummings. H. Hess. J. O. Tyler 
and J. A. Hettinger. Among those who erected 
residences were E. C. C^'onant. J. D. Campbell. 
Abram Osmun. C. C. Cox. O. \. Hume. Wil- 
liam Cai'ney. Tiioinas C.Trney. R. Reitz. John 
Mickclson. G. B. Roderick. Will I^eavans. A. C. 
(joltz. J. O, Brictson :ind Harrison White. 



to wrest the county seat from Luverne. 
An active campaign was waged for a few 
weeiss, luit the obstacles to be overcome 
were too great and tlie effort was aban- 

During the latter lialf of the eighties, 
befoie the railroads Ijrought competing 
tiiwiis, Heaver Creek continued to be a 
thriving and progressive village. The fast 
developing countrv suri'ounding In'ought 
pros)>eritv to its merchants, and the lit- 
tle town continued its forward march until 
a series of events occurred which put a 
damper on all progress. The building 
of two new lines of railwa}-, both of which 
passed close to the town, and the founding 
of Bruce, ilanley and Hills in its former 
territory were serious blows. Then came 
two fires, destroying many of the busi- 
ness houses and entailing losses of many 
thousand dollars, which added to the re- 
t regression. 

The first fire occurred April 9, 188!). 
when the roller mill, an elevator and sev- 
eral sheds, in addition to several thousand 
bushels of grain, were entirely destroyed 
by the "lurid leveler." The destruction 
of the town was threatened, but by hard 
work the flames were confined to the struc- 
tures mentioned. The loss was $2.t,000. 
Following the fire came agitation for In- 
stalling a system of waterworks, Init at 
an election to vote bonds for the purpose 
on September 5, the proposition was de- 
feated by five votes out of a total of forty- 

The next conflagration came early on 
the morning of December :?, 188!), when 
seven business houses on the north side of 
Main street with tlieir contents were con- 
sumed. Tlie fire is .supposed to have been 
of incendiary origin and was started in a 

-'""Just so long as every or scheme 
for the improvement of Beaver Creelt Is made 
subservient to personal preferment, just so long 
will Beaver Creek retain its present high rank 
among the few imbecile towns of the state. It 
is high time that the spirit of jealousy is sub- 
ilueil and everyone join in a united effort to 
boom the town. In fact, it is imperatively 

vacant store building owned by .7. O. 
Tyler, .\lthough the alarm was sounded 
at oiu'e. the ])eople were not able to stay 
the progress of the flanies with the force 
puuip and the one line of one-inch hose, 
which constituted the town's fire fighting 
ajjparatus. The total loss was placed at 
$i)OOU, covered by only .^li.^On insurance. 
The losses were as follows: Harrison 
White. sh)re building, machine shed and 
outbuildings, .$1000: E. C. Conant, dam- 
age to general merchandise ,stock in Col- 
onel White's building. .$1(1(1(1; L. S. Wel- 
ker, meat market building, $400; E. A. 
Baker, fixtures and meat stock, $'200; .1. 
0. Tyler, vacant store building, $1200: 
T. 0. :\Ieyers, vacant stxire building, $.'iO0 ; 
Nels Clemetson, hotel building, $1000; 
Thomas Evans, .saloon building, $600. 

'i'he burned district was not rebuilt: 
the new town of Hills, six miles south, 
cut off a valuable part of its trade terri- 
tory ; the promoters of the town of Man- 
ley, only three and one-half miles away, 
were boldly planning the removal of the 
unfoitunate town to their site; local jeal- 
ous v divided the town into factions in con- 
sidering matters of public benefit.-" — and 
Beaver Creek came upon evil days. Dwel- 
lings became tenantless and some were 
moved away; store buildings became va- 
cant and dilapidated, and the business in- 
terests of the town were threatened. 

The census of 1890 gave Beaver Creek 
a population of 232 people. In the spring 
of the next year the business portion of 
the town consisted of a hotel, lumber yard, 
cheese factory and creamery, three general 
stores, a bank, three warehouses, wagon 
shop, two blacksmith shops, drug store, 
two saloons, hardware store, harness shop, 

nece.ssary in the present and unless a pol- 
icy different from tliat heretofore pursued is 
adopted, little good will be derived from the 
enterprise, however promising the outlook. 
Lav aside all matters of pique and work tor 
Beaver Cieek."— Beaver Creek News-Letter, De- 
cember, 18S9. 




shoe repairing shop, liverv stable, barber 
shop and meat market. 

Not until 1898 did Beaver Creek show 
signs of gaining its former prestige. Then 
came the turning of the tide. It had 
weathered the days of adversity and was 
onee more gaining gr<mnd, starting out 
on a new era nf gniwtli and development 
which lias not since been cheeked. A 
directory in the fall of 1898 listed the 
following business firms: F. E. Welker. 
Dunbai' Brothers and G. F. Chisholm, gen- 
eral inei'chandise stores; Sage Brotiiers, 
hardware store; Dr. W. T. Berry, di'ug 
store; John B. Obele, harness shop; Wil- 
liam McCurdy, meat nmrket; Tuthill 
Lumber company, E. C. Brooks, manager; 
Lnkensmeyer & Hettinger, Idacksmith and 
wagon shop ; F. E. Henton, blacksmith 
shop; Colonel Harrison White, imple- 
ments, A. E. Jordahl, manager; Henry 
Olson, shoemaker; William J. Weston, 
saloon; St. -John Hi'others, grain, M. C. 
Reeder, manager; Hubliard & Palmer, 
grain, George Dnnbar, manager; Peavey 
Elevator company, grain, Sol. Sage, man- 
ager ; E. C. Pluedeman, depot agent. 

The population of Beaver Creek in 1900 
was ISd. and this was increased to 20'? in 
190."). 'i'bc 1910 census showed a pojni- 
lation of 19."). Within the last decade 
many public and ]>i'ivate improvements 
have been made, 'i'lir xilhige has bniad 
streets, lined with shade trees, and cement 
walks. It has church buildings and one 
of (he liiir,-( scliiKil hmises in the county. Tt. 
has mercantile establishments that woidd 
be a credit to a town many times its size. 


When Beaver Creek was founded late 
in the year 1877 it was in tlie lerritciry 
of schndl district No. 1."). the scIiikiI bmisc 
of which was located one-half mile west 
of liiwn. In 1S78 the old building was 
sold to amitbci' {listrict and a iiiir-Minm 

building was erected in the village. The 
school was opened in September, 1878, 
with nearly fifty pupils in attendance and 
with Miss Jennie Grout as teacher. Other 
early teachers of the school were A. IT. 
Grout, O. E. Fergusiin, W. TT. Hmnmell, 
Robert Ord and Laura Ord. .\u addition 
to the school house was nuule a few years 
after its erection, making a two-room 
building. This ]iioneer structure served 
the distiict until the present school house 
was erected, twenty-seven years later. 

I^ate in 1904, by a vote of (U to 10. the 
electors decided to erect a two-story, four- 
room brick building the following year. 
The contract for its erection was let in 
July. 1905, to Otto Miller on a bid of 
$()r)00, and the building was dedicated 
Novendier 11 of the same year. The total 
cost of tlie building, heating plant, and 
furnishings was about $10,000. A two 
year high school course was established 
in 1909. There are now four departments, 
the enr(dlment, according to the annual 
I'cport in June, 1910, lieing as follows: 
High schoiil, ".'7: gi'amnuir department, 
Li; intermediate department, '^'9 ; pri- 
mai'v de]iartmenl. Ii>; tntal eni'nilmcnt, 


The cliurch history of Beaver Creek 
antedat<'> thai (if the Inunding of the 
tiiwn by a number of years. 'J'liree church 
organizatidiis have been founded diii'ing 
the forty years that have elapseil since 
the lirsl i-eligidus si'i'vices were held. Two 
of these organizations, the Metliodist and 
Presbyterian, are still represented at 
I'>ea\er Creek. The r.a|itist society gave 
\ip its oiganization nine years ago. 

The ilethodist society was the first or- 
ganized. The ■buich nf thai deimmina- 
tion came intn being Inllnwine the first 
relii>i(nis ser\ ice< liehl in Tieav<'r Ci'eck 
liiwn.-liip. A lent, pitchi'd near the liabi- 



tation of A. H. Grout, was the temple 
of neighborhood devotional services so 
early as the summer of 1871. New set- 
tlers, most of wiioiu had left chureh affil- 
iations in the east, became memliers of the 
Beaver Creek settlement in the course of 
anotlier year, and one of tlie first concerns 
of tlie pioneers was to provide regular 

On Sunday, June 2, 1872, a meeting 
held at the sod house of B. I. Crossman 
resulted in the organization of a Sunday 
school. On the same occasion a Methodist 
class was also formed witli William Grout 
as leader. Until the fall of 1872 the oc- 
casional services of tlic little congregatidU 
were conducted by the lay members. Tlie 
first minister of the gospel to visit the 
Beaver Creek settlement was Rev. William 
Bear, of Worthington, who preached tlie 
first sermon in the township in the sod 
house of E. L. Grout. Rev. Bear at that 
time gave his official sanction to the class 
already organized. That same fall Dr. 
B. IT. Crever, also of Woi-thington, preach- 
ed to a large gathering at the home of 
William Grout. 

The congregation became anxious for 
tlie services of a regular ]iastor, and in 
accordance with this desire a petition was 
prepared asking for the transfer of Rev. 
E. H. Bronson, the pastor of several of 
flie settlers in their former home, from 
the Wisconsin conference to serve the new 
charge. The request was granted and Rev. 
Bronson, on the first Sunday following 
his arrival in the new country. .Tune 2fl, 
1873, conducted the first pastoral services 
in the open air before the home of William 
Grout. At the close of this meeting a 
formal church organization was perfected 
with a large membership, .\mong those 
most influential in bi'inging this event to 
fulfilment were William Grout, E. E. 
(irout, Charles Williams, F. Miercort. B. 
L Crossman, Moses Ferguson and G. FT. 

Henton. Rev. Bronson, later assisted bv 
Rev. .1. M. Bull, continued in official 
charge of the Beaver Creek chuich, in 
connec'tioii with his other ministration.-; in 
Rock and adjoining counties, for a period 
III' fiiui' ami one-half years. 

The first permanent house of worship 
was the school house erected in the Grout 
neighborhood during tlie spring of 187.5. 
Services were later held in a newer school 
building closer to Beaver Creek village. 
The present church edifice was erected 
during the summer of 1886. It was dedi- 
cated free of debt by Rev. J. N. Tjscomb, 
presiding elder of the Mankato district, 
on Sunday, .Tune 10, 1887. 

The Presbyterian church of Beaver 
Creek dates from May, 1878. During 
that month, at the solicitation of a num- 
ber of followers of that denomination who 
had settled in the young village and vi- 
cinity, services were conducted in the 
old school house west of town by Elders 
D. C. Lyon and Edward Savage. Sev- 
eral weeks later Rev. Charles Thayer, 
who had been assigned as state synodical 
missionary for Rock county, made arrange- 
ments for services at Beaver Creek at 
stated intervals. It was through Rev. 
Thayer's efforts that a deputation from 
the ]\rankato presbytery came to Beaver 
Creek and organized the Presbyterian 
cinirch on June .5, 1S80, with about a 
dozen iiu'iiibers. 

In November of the same year it was 
ilecided to erect a church edifice. To this 
end a board of trustees, consisting of 
James i\larsliall, J. H. Stearns and J. D. 
Campbell, with Harrison Wliite as treas- 
urer, was elected. Within a few months 
a sum sufficient to build and furnish 
a church costing in the neighborhood of 
$1400 was siibscrilicd, and the railroad 
comiiauy dcmated a site of three blocks, 
P>iiil(ling operations were commenced earlv 
the next suininer. The corner stone of 



the chiiiT-h — the first erected in Beaver 
Creek— was laid on June 27. 1881. The 
first service in the church was conducted 
hy tlie pastor, Eev. J. J. Munro, on Sun- 
day, Octoher 9, and the formal dedication 
occurred December 14. 

The Baptist church of Beaver Creek 
was also established early. Kev. .V. W. 
Hilton, the first pastor of the Luverne 
society, during the closing years of the 
seventies, organized a branch of that 
church. A formal organization was later 
perfected by Rev. Cyrus Thomas, and in 
1886 the Beaver Creek Baptists erected 
a church edifice. The society was for man\ 
years in a flourishing condition, but in 
190"2, because of great loss in membership, 
principally by removals, it was deemed 
advisalde to give up the organization. The 
churcli building was sold to a Yallev 
Springs congregation and moved to tliat 
place. The proceeds of the sale were do- 
nated to the Luverne church, with whom 
most of the remaining members allieil 
themselves, and were used for building 


Three secret societies maintain active 
orsranizations in Beaver Creek. Thev 
are the Ancient ()r(bi' of I'nited Work- 
men, Degree of Ilonm' and Hnitbei'liood of 
American Yeomen. 

For fifteen years Beaver Creek was the 
home of one of the leading posts in the 
county of the (irand Army of the Repub- 
lic. John r.iifoid Post,-' Xo. 16G, G. A. 
R., was mustered in August Ifl. ISST. Ii\ 
Inspector \V. 11. Ilalbert, assisted by Com- 
rade IMiiln llawes. The new post cmii- 
menced its existence with thirteen niiiii- 
bers and the following officers: Col. Har- 
rison White, commander; Abram O.smun. 
senior Nice coiiniKiiider : .1. .V. llulett. 

='Namo(l ill honor of G.-ii. John Buford. who 
was the rommander of Ihc New York regiment 
to which Col. Harrison White was attached. 

junior vice commamlcr : .\. W. iladuick, 
quartermaster: .1. 'S\. Park, surgeon: 0. 
.•\. iluictt, chaplain: A. (i. Cilbert. officer 
of the day; Theodore Winchell, officer of 
the guard: C. li. llenton, adjutant; Niels 
.lacobson, ((uaitermaster sergeant: E. C. 
Conant, sergeant major. Death and remov- 
als caused a depletion in the rank of 
members, and on Xovember is. I'.iii'.'. the 
post surrendered its charter. 

Beaver Creek Lodge No. 121, .\. O. T'. 
W., was granted its charter of organization 
July liO, 1890. The following were the 
first officers chosen: Harri>on White, 1'. 
M. W.: F. C. Conant, M. W. ; Edwin F. 
Baker, foreman : .John H. Williams, over- 
seer : George E. blather, recorder: George 

B. Whitnev. financier: Frank F. Welkt-r, 
receiver: Frank J. Babbitt, guide: An- 
drew G. Gibbest, inside watch; Clarence 
\. Dike, outside watcli. The lodge has 
a membersliip of al)out thirty at present. 

An order of the Degree of Honor, arrx- 
ilarv to file Workmen. Beaver Lodge No. 
2f)3, was instituted irarcli 19, 1903. _The 
first officers were: llary C. Chafiin. P. 
L. of H.: Bertha Henton. L. of :\i.: Ida 
Carney, recorder: Amy Perry, receiver; 
Jennie Carney. I. W. : Nannie B. Welker, 

C. of H.; ^lary C. Lukensmeyer. C. of 
C. ; A. Gilbert, finaiu-ier: Helen Toss. 
S. r.: :\lary J. Raw, 0. W. 

The most recent society organized was 
tlie Beaver Creek Homestead N'o. 19.")8. 
B. .\. Y.. which was instituted Septemlier 
•23, 1908, and which at present has thir- 
tv-five members. The lodge was organized 
with the following fen cbaiter members- 
Cliarles A. Baker, Otto A. Bowen, Delnier 
J. Bowen. Fi-ed Connell. Edward J. Dun- 
bar. Walter J. Feuihcliu. II. 1.'. Olis. IVr- 
cv .V. Stoi\. Jaiiir- \'o|ial and CliailfS II. 




The niiiltcf (if securing' lire proteetinii 
Idi- l!(M\cr Ci-eek wns first cnnsidered by 
the xilhige eouneil at a nieetine- lield May 
(i. ISS."). Harrison White was apiiointed 
lire warden, and authority given to a 
eoniniittee to purehase a complete outfit of 
hooks and ladders, hose and accessory 
c(piipiucnt. A water supply was secured 
fnnu a large torce ])unip placed in the 
public well. A volunteer fire department 
was organized Octolier 2.'), 1S85, with 
Harrison White as chief and A. J. Daley 
as assistant. The facilities have since 
been improved, and now Reaver Creek is 
well i>repared to combat the destructive 


Two Ijanking institutions have found a 
home in Beaver Creek but at different per- 
iods of the town's history. F. S. Gibson 
opened a ])rivate bank in the village Oc- 
tober 14, 1885. In the summer follow- 
ing this concern was merged into the Bea- 
ver Creek State Bank, which commenced 
business September 1, 1880, with a paid- 
up capital of .$-i.),()On. The first olficers 
and directors of tlie State Bank were F. S. 
Gibson, president: E. D. Iladley, vice 
president: J. 0. Brictson. casliier: P. .1. 
Kniss, (iforge 1>. Dayton, Daniel Shell, 
C. H. Smith. The bank was ojierated I'oi' 
a numiier of years. 

The First National Bank of Beavei- 
Creek, incorporated for $2."),()0(). has been 
o|ierated since January 1, liHii). At that 
time it siu-cceiled to the business of the 
Bank of Beaver Creek, a pri\ate insti- 
tution founded in Se]itemlH'i', 10(12, by 
11. 0. Page, Charles Shade, B. L. Bich- 
ards, S. S. Wold and W. H. Bradley. Fol- 
lowing the reorganization the following 
first ott'icers and board ol" directors were 
chosen: Charles Shade, president: .7. S. 

Crawford, vice president; M. 0. Page, 
cashier: E. J. Dunbar and Andrew In- 



Magnolia, an incorporateil village of 
eastern Rock county, is a statiim on the 
Woi-tliingtiui-ilitchell lii-ancb of the Chi- 
cago, St. Paul, Minneapolis fr Omaha 
railroad, seven miles east of Luverne. The 
line separating sections 11 and 14, Mag- 
nolia township, passes through the center 
of the village, which is situated one mile 
from the boundary line between Rock 
and Nobles counties. Magnolia has kept 
pace with the development of the coun- 
ty in general. In a Imsiness way it is well 
represented by lines usually found in 
towns of a few hundred inliabitants. 

Though the JIagnolia of today has been 
the development of the past two decades, 
the town was in the process of formation 
for apju'oximately fifteen years before it 
received the im|ietus wliicli ushered it in 
as a promising Rock county village. Its 
career has since been one of continued pro- 

We may go back so far as 1872, sev- 
eral years before the first railroad found 
its way into the county, to commence 
tracing the course of events which have 
dii'ectly concerned the b\iilding of this 
Rock county village. In the spring of 
that year a postoffice, which the Mag- 
nolia office later succeeded, was established 
just oM'r the county line cui section 18, 
Westside township. Nobles county. This 
office was in charge of Eensellear Sim- 
mons and was known as Westside. It was 
a st(ition on the old Worthington-Sioux 
Falls nuiil route, and for a number of 
years numbered as its patrons the early 
day settlers of the territory in wliicli 
the future town was to be located. 



Tlie liraiu-h road oi' the Sioux City & 
St. Paul railway from Wortliington to 
Sioux Falls was built into l?ock county 
during the s\unnier and fall of 1876. Lu- 
verne was the only established town and 
for awhile remained the only station on 
the line in the county. Before a year 
wa.s over, however, the railroad officials 
selected a site for a second station on 
section 1.3, Magnolia township,' in close 
proximity to tlie large farm owned liy 
Hon. E. F. Drake, the president of tlie 
company. In Iiis honor this "town" was 
christened Drake, or as it Ijecamo more 
commonly known, Drake station. There 
was no idea at the time of founding a 
town, not even the first step of making 
a survey given a consideration. And dur- 
ing the eight years of its existence Drake 
developed but little beyond its original 

A dejiot was never l)uilt at that point, 
simply a platform. During its histiu'v on- 
ly two business cntei-priscs were established 
there, and then not until it was about to 
lie forced to resign in fa\or of a newer 
rival a half mile to the west. 'Wlicn 
trains were put in 0]ieralion on the new 
railroad the overland mail route from 
Worthington to Sioux Falls was discon- 
tinued, and after the estaldishment of 
Drake station, that was made the receiv- 
ing point for the mail consigned to the 
Westsidc postofFicc. 

There were signs of actixity at l)ral<" 
station during the winter of 1882-8.'i. In 
its issue of December ]. 188?. the Rork 
(^Kinty llci'ald said: "The allegXMl village 
of Drake, commonly known as Drake 
station, i.s- enjoying a real estate booui. 
The first lot ever sold in the place was 
transferred this week for the princ?l\ sum 
of $1." In the course of Ibe year 188:'. 

^"Kx-Cov. W. II. Valr arri\r-ii ,-u Drake sta- 
tion Wednesday evoiiiliK. bl'ingiri^ with him the 
plat of a new station whieh tlie Sionx City 
railroad <»ffit'ials haye contdnded tr> locate on 
the <ild irnvoy farm. The enp:ineers will arrive 
at Drake Tluirsday evening, July 17, to stake 

'J'liompson Bros, erected a grain ware- 
house at Drake, and on October 1, oT lb • 
same year, its only store opened for busi- 
ness. It carried a general stock of mer- 
chandise, flour, feed, wood, coal, etc., and 
was established as a branch store l)y Pat- 
terson & Walters, of Luverne. This firm 
conducted the business only a few months, 
selling to Philander Phinney, who later, 
in turn, transferred the business to Ira E. 
Crosby, who placed George Crandall in 
charge. 'J'here wa,s some talk of moving 
the Westside postofEice to the Drake store, 
but the plan did not mature. 

During the summer of 1884 an event 
occurred which resulted in the death of 
one ])r(iposcd town and the birth of an- 
iitlicr. The victim in this case was Drake. 
That point bad ])roven to be an undesir- 
able location for any expansion on the 
part of the railroad company, in the way 
of building side tracks, as it was Rituated 
at the end of a long cut. So when a 
movement to found a town a half mile far- 
ther west was launched the railroad au- 
thorities oft'ered their co-0])eration. The 
jilan for the new town was largely the idea 
of Ex-Lieut. Gov. W. H. Yale, of Winona, 
wild hail large farming interests in ]Mag- 
niilia and X'icnna tmvnships. and who was 
desirous nf founding a convenient market. 
He came fo the site on July Ki, 188-1, 
prepared to plat the site of the ]n'oposed 
tnwn.== .\ny plat that may have been iiuule 
at tlii< time, however, was never placed 
oil iTciird. Yet there was a start made of 
the town. The railroad company secured 
oioiiiid al Ihr new liicalimi and rrcclod a 
depot building in October, 1884. The sta- 
tion was oi)encd March 13, ISSrj, and a 
Ml'. Cook, formerly of Asliton, Iowa, in- 
stalled as agent. 

The vear lSS."i witnessed the complete 

out III!' Inwii plat. This will, indeed, be a 
benelit to the eitizens of our township in the 
wiiv of raisins the valuation of ad.ioining lands, 
and will be a help to the county generally. "— 
Conesponricnce in Rock County Herald. .July 
IS, 1SS4, 

if-Ev/fe : 





;ili:iniliimii(Til (if all |iriv:ili' and railniml 
intcic>ts al iM-akc station. 'I'lic ui-ain 
warelinusc was iiinvcd to the iicwi'i' l)ialo' 
(as it was known for awliile), and in 
Octolipr I la ('i'()sl)y moved his storr huild- 
inff. There was one builflinK on the 
townsite selected, a building that had 
lieen tlierc for many years prior to 
tlie more recent activities, '{"hat was 
liio residence of George Phinney, who had 
taken as a liomestead tlie land on section 
11, Magnolia township, which was in- 
cluded in the townsite. At the close of 
the year 188-5 a correspondent reported 
two elevators, a depot and a store in the 
new town. The Peavey company put up 
the second grain house. 

Every indication for healthv growth was 
evident in 1886. The postotficc, which 
succeeded the old Westside office, was es- 
tablished in February with Ira E. Crosby, 
the pioneer merchant, as postmaster.^^ A 
third grain warehouse was erected in the 
spring by Jones Bros., of Adrian, and in 
the same season the railroad companv es- 
tablished stock yards on its property. On 
May 3 an order was issued by the rail- 
road authorities which officially changed 
the name of the station from Dake to 
Magnolia.^* M. T. Hough estalilished a 
Idacksmith shop in May, and during the 
year residences were erected by P. Phin- 
ney, M. Pickett, .T. Rill and C. E. Rolph. 
Early in 1887, (). 11. Brooks, grain buyer 
for the Peavey company, engaged in the 
fuel and flour business, and in May A. 
.'. Bonnet t opened the town's second gen- 
eral store. Beyond that tlie town ex- 
perienced no growth for se\'eral years, or 

'"Succeeding postmasters of MagnnUa with 
dates of service have been: A. V. Lyle. De- 
cember, 1890, to July. 1801; M. J. Pliinnev. Julv, 
1891. to March. 1894; A. J. Bonnett, March. 1894, 
to March, 1898; M. Piclsett. March. 1.S9S. to 
1911. One rural route, established in June. 
1907, is in operation. 

-*The town was named from the township in 
which it is located. The township was named 
Magnolia at the time of its organization, No- 
vember 27, 1872. The name was selected bv 

until the awakening which tlii' carlv nine- 
tics held in store. 

The new ordei' of things in the his- 
tory of Magnolia dates from tin- tall <il' 
isni, when the platting of the town he- 
came an actuality. The townsite was still 
in the possession of E.x-Gov. Yale, and 
it; was by him, with the eo-operation of 
Frank A. Johnston, that this important 
action was taken. The survey was made 
in October liy W. N". Davidson, and on the 
10th of that month the j)lat was tiied 
for record in the office of the register of 
deeds. ''J'lie original townsite was made 
to consist of nine blocks and four outlets. 
Tlie streets running north and south were 
named Gai-field, Broadway, Wa.shington 
and Lincoln, and they were intersected 
by Lucerne, State and Main.-^ 

Within two weeks after the plat was 
recorded. Gov. Yale had sold ten lots 
in the new town, more were sold a little 
later, and the promoters predicted a lively 
boom during the season of 1893. And 
they were not altogether disappointed in 
their hope. One of the first men to become 
interested in the promotion of the town 
and to lay plans for its future was Capt. 
E. H. Holbert, of Luverne. He became 
the owner of the townsite and at once 
started Magnolia's career of improvement. 
The Eandall-Holbert Lumber company 
had a branch yard, managed by Ezra Hart- 
well, in full operation by the opening of 
spring, and a blaeksniith shop was opened 
about the same time liy Teller iV .lohnson. 
Capl. K. H. Holbert, in cDUiiiany with 
W. II. Ii'aiidall and W. A. Douglas, un- 
der the tirni name of \V. A. Douglas & 

Philo Hawes. after his old home in Rock coun- 
ty. Wisconsin. That place was named di- 
rectly or indirectly for Pierre Magnoi. in whose 
honor the Magnolia tree was named. 

-■^Two additions to Magnolia have been plat- 
ted, as follows: 

Kleine's, by William Kleine, July 11, 1894; sur- 
ve>'ed by W. N. Davidson. 

Gutzler's, by Harriet Gutzler. May 1, 1899; 
surveyed by \V. N. Davidson, 


Co., erected a store l)uilcling, in which a mcnts of tlie year wore a $2000 sehnol 
well stocked genei-al merchandise store house and the Farmers elevator, 
was in full operation by ^May 1, niakint; ;Nragnolia liccaiue an iiu-nrpnraleil inii- 
the second general store in the town. Mici|iality in the fall of 1894. A census 
During the summer of ISiV-^ a hotel and taken in .7 uly showed that there was a pop- 
livery barn we're iniilt by John Carlson. ulation within the limits cif tlio pioposed 
A church was erected by pnVilic suliscri]i- iinniicipiilil\ that wmilil all(i\\' its iiicm-- 
tion and dwelling houses sprung up in all poratinn. At a meeting of the county 
parts of the village. The total improve- comuiissioiiers on July 30. a petition ask- 
ments for the year ajiproxiuiated .^l^.dOO. ing I'nr the iiicdiporation of the village of 
Itemized they weie as follows r" ilagnolia was received with favor by that 
W. A. Douglas & Co., store building $1500 '"'tlv. It nuide provision lor linlding a 

Church 1300 special election on September 4 at the 

w'"A'^Sas°';!s;dence; ::;:::::: IIZ .>tficc ,.f the Magmdla MereamUe con,- 

C. E. Rolph. residence 800 p;inv to bnllnt on the question of creating 

Joseph Miller, residence 800 ,„^,„i,.i,„|itv. and named M. J. I'hinnev. 

Ezra Pockett, residence sou i . 

Fred Pinchers, residence 700 V. .1. Calkins and John Carlson inspcctoi's 

Ed. Teller, residence^^ 500 ^|^^, ^^^^^^.^.^^ 

Chris. Johnson, residence oua 

W. H. Randall & Co., lumber shed and 'I'l^, pi (ip(i>itiiin was carried li\ a ma- 

ofiic^ .■■■ ;■ ^00 . 1^^^^.^ being twentv 

I. E. Crosby, residence oon ,i '".' ' ^ . ' 

W. M. Pickett, addition to residence 450 ,ast in I'aviir of the project and sixteen 

Ezra Hartwell barn 400 The election to select the Tirst 

A. Bonnett. addition to store 400 

Mrs. E. Knowlton. residence 350 nfficers under the new government was 

Teller & Johnson blacksmith shop.. 300 (),.t„ber ■.'. Followiui;- is the result 
F. G. Domrese, addition to residence 300 

I. M. Cady, residence 300 of the fii'st and suliseipient elections held 

C. L. Premo, barn -^ 100 .^^ ^,^^^ ^.j,,,^^.^, ,,, 

Total $12,700 1894— President, L. E. Woodruff; trus- 

^ ,. , I ,1 „ vt ov tees, P. Phinney, E. L. Hartwell, G. W. 

Trogress continiieil (Inrmg Ihe next se\- Qigggon- recorder, F. A. Baker; treasurer, 

eral years Frederick Baker estalilislied a. J. Calkins; justices, A. Walker, John 

•,",,. ,, r •. i^.c! .,,,,1 Carlson; constables, S. Pokett, C. Johnson. 

a meat market in Magnolia in i^.i.i and 1895— President, L. E. Woodruff; trustees, 

was tlu' liist business man to locate on a. Walker, C. E. Kleiiie, J. K. Wiegel; re- 

„ , ,, , J 1 ; I II, i.n i colder, W. W. Pickett; treasurer, M. J. 

Broadway, the street upon Ihe l)U>i- p^j^^gy. j„sUce, I. M. Cady; constable. 

ness interests of the town have .-incc ecu- p-. g. Domrese. 

1 T ivr 1 f +I,.,t ,.,,.,,• M.i.,noli'i 1896— President, L. E. Woodruff; trustees, 

tered. Tn Marcli of that \eai Magnolia ^^ y^^^^^^^ c. K. Kleine, J. K. Wiegel; re- 

liiiastcd of a local newspaper, the Cili- corder, G. W. Turner; treasurer, S. L. 

-... "I-I ""V was s,„. led bv the -o.^Jn.U.s. ^ M^C..dy, O. W. Turner; 

Advance, a |iiililical ion which lias since 1S97— President, L. E. Woodruff; trustees. 

• , ■ I I- ,; I..,,,.,, <,.> (' K Kleine A. P. Prescoll, Joseph Mueller; 

nv,un\:uuvA ,-. coidinuou^ ,.M^Ie,i,c. So- j.^^;-.];;.^";^?; \y burner; treasurer, Frank 

eral oilier new liiisincss enterprises were Ferguson; justice, P. Phinney; constable, 

I,,,,,,, and among Ihe building improve- F. G. Domrese. 

.„. ,,vi.wl,. U.. events c;f J,.-^V™^^,^^ ['^^ ':^..^"^. ^;li;\^r ^e";;Sta,:^° sM 

J.^cl TtZ^rS'SveS^X Ma^niVla 7^^l sIL l^nXrt has .old forty-two ,o,.. in Magnolia." 

son makes an excellent showing .Mthougli 3, , j o,,,^ ^ few of the annual village elections 

Magnolia has been a railroad station for a good MagnnL lias the question of issuing licenses 

many years, very little, building has been done .^'^^'fi',"^^, „ to th" voters, .^t each of Ibe 

in tlio place until the present year_ V cr> o - '^'^ 4^ ^H o ,s so held the victory has been for 
tunatcly for Magnolia, the towii 1'':'' ™.r'" , " wh Hccnse. in ISM by a v,.tc of .It to 19. in 
ry^'^:\n^ ^^S^ei^-isJ^r^nei^cU^ 1"^ 't to .1, and in 1907, 35 to 9. 



1898— President, L. E. Woodruff; trustees, 
C. E. Kleine, Will Soutar, M. Pickett; re- 
corder, G. W. Turner; treasurer, Frank Fer- 
guson; justice, I. M. Cady; constable, W. 
W. Pickett. 

1899— President, L. E. Woodruff; trustees, 
C. E. Kleine, Will Soutar, M. Pickett; re- 
corder, G. W. Turner; treasurer, M. J. 
Phinney; justice, E. Pokett; constables, R. 

B. Pickett, W. H. Baker. 

1900— President, L. E. Woodruff; trustees, 

C. K. Kleine, M. Pickett, A. Walker; re- 
corder, G. W. Turner; treasurer, M. J. Phin- 
ney; justice, N. A. Christianson; constable, 
W. F. McGee. 

1901 — President, M. Pickett; trustees, A. 
Walker, H. Dickey, M. J. Sheeran; re- 
corder, G. W. Turner; treasurer, M. J. 
Phinney; justice, I. M. Cady; constable, W. 
T. Dean. 

1902— President, L. E. Woodruff; trustees, 
A. Walker, H. Dickey, J. Miller; recorder, 
G. W. Turner; treasurer, M. J. Phinney; 
justice, Calvin Ott; constable, M. J. Ells- 

1903— President, A. Walker; trustees, J. 
Miller, John McLeish, H. Dickey; recorder, 
G. W. Turner; treasurer, W. V. Kennedy; 
constable, M. J. Ellsworth. 

1904 — President, A. Walker; trustees, John 
McLeish, H. Dickey, J. K. Wiegel; recorder, 
G. W. Turner; treasurer, W. V. Kennedy; 
constable, F. G. Domrese. 

1905 — President, A. Walker; trustees, John 
McLeish, H. Dickey, J. K. Wiegel; recorder, 
W. Innes; treasurer, Alex. Brown; justice, 
I. M. Cady; constable, W. T. Dean. 

1906 — President, A. Walker; trustees, John 
McLeish, H. Dickey, A. Bird; recorder, W. 
Innes; treasurer, Alex. Brown; justice, I. M. 
Cady; constables, George Trowbridge, E. 

1907 — President, A. Walker; trustees, John 
McLeish, E. L. Hart well, G. W. Turner; 
recorder, R. H. Adams; treasurer, Alex. 
Brown; constable, H. M. Rider. 

190S — President, .John McLeish; trustees, 
A. Bird, E. L. Hartwell, H. M. Rider; re- 
corder, R. H. Adams; treasurer, Alex. 
Brown; constable, D. M. Hileman. 

1909 — President, .John McLeish; trustees, 
A. Walker, R. H. Adams, F. A. Baker; re- 
corder, I. M. Cady; treasurer, Alex. Brown; 
justice, I. M. Cady; constable, F. G. Dom- 

1910— President, A. Walker; trustees, R. 
H. Adams, John McLeish, F. A. Baker; re- 
corder, L M. Cady; treasurer, Alex. Brown; 
justice, 1. L. Ackley; constable, Henry Wie- 

1911 — President, A. Walker; trustees, 
.Tohn McLeish, F. A. Baker, R. H. Adams; 
recorder, L M. Cady; treasurer, Alex. 
Brown; justice, L M. Cady; constable, T. 
G. Domrese. 

SiiKc ini(ii'|)iir:ition Maffnolin li;is ad- 
vuiiccil ,<(c;|ililv iiiiil itii UTowtli lias been (if 

a siilistaiitial nature. The lirsl few years 
I'dlldwing the dawn (if tlir new century 
were especially importaut ones. 'I'lic build- 
iufi' improvements for 1902 e.\ceeded -^l.").- 
(H)(i, in which was included the one hiick 
block in the town, the building- iiccii|iii'd 
by the bank, an institution whirli ciunc 
intci existence the preceding ycai'. The 
federal census takei' (iF liHMi fiHind 17(5 
inhal)itants in the village. An increase 
of 3(1, a total of 19G, was revealed by the 
state enuniei-ation of lOUS. In I'.HO (he 
|iiip\ilati(in was 18fi. 


A eonipletely equipped, nine grade 
school is maintained in Magnolia. It is 
conducted in a two-story building, erected 
in IftOo at a cost of several thousand dol- 
lars. Before that year the site was oc- 
cupied by a small district school house, 
in which a school was established at a time 
>\ hen there was little prospect of Magnolia 
c\er attaining pro|)ortions above that <>f a 
small railroad station. This original iiuild- 
ing, 1().\24 feet in dimensions, was sold 
and made over into a business house. The 
iiist teacher to conduct .school in the new 
building was Frank Ferguson. 


Magnolia's only chureli is styled the 
Ilolbert Methodist church of IMagnolia. 
it was so nanie(l in ii(iniu' of ('upt. \']. U. 
Ilolbert, who took the initial steps toward 
the erection of the church building in 
IS'.I-.'. It was the (uiginal intentinn to 
use the building for a union churcli, but 
at the dediiation it was taken over by the 
Metb.ndist society, mendjcrs of which were 
in a majority. The first lioard of trustees, 
elected in March, 189o, consisted of P. 
Phinney. D. Aney, George Ott, A. C. 
Crawlord, W. W. Bullis, P. 0. Ooeudiel, 
K. 11. Ilolbert, U. M. Ileiitoii aud E. 11. 



Bronsoii. Tlic cliurdi is now witliout a 
resilient ]>:istor. 


The Modern Woodmen of America lodge 
and its auxiliary, the Royal Neighbors 
of America, maintain organizations in 
llagnolia. The Woodmen own their own 
hall, a two story frame building. ercct('<l 
in 1900. 

Magnolia Camp No. 3911. M. W. A., 
was granted its charter of organization 
on Slav 27, 189G. Tlie names of the nine- 
teen charter members were F. E. Ayers, 
T. H. Bennett. William Brittson, H. V. 
BuUis, A. C. Crawford, W. E. Dunbar. C. 
Jorgenson, W. F. Kleine, C. P. Ix>onard. 
G. A. Lohr. John McGee, J. S. Oleson, 
Charles Pickett, A. P. Prescott. W. Sou- 
tar, A. K. Turner, D. W. Turner. 0. W. 
Turner, Alexander Walker. 

Marguerite Lodge No. 1332, R. N. A., 
was instituted January 25. 1899. with 
the following list of first members: Dora 

Dunn. Ilattie V. Kleine, .Mcxander Walk- 
er, F. A. Baker, Mary G. Knowlton, Lena 
M. Kleine, Anna Carlson, (i. W. Turner, 
Hattie B. Baker, Martha A. Crawford, 
Clara Nordene, Eva C. Fergu,son, Eliza- 
betli Tepler, Anna Bonnett, Ella A. Rolph, 
Nora B. Turner, Annie Knowlton, Emma 
Bethel. Caroline Ekman. Xellie Knowlton. 
W. F. Kleine. 


The one banking house in 'Magnolia, 
the Magnolia State Bank, has been in 
operation since October. 19ol. It was or- 
ganized at that tiiiH' with a capital stock 
of •$l.">.00n. with Charles Jlyliiis, W. R. 
Mansel. .Mcxander Walker. Thomas R. 
Roach and Albert 1.'. Brooks as the priu.- 
cipal stockholders and W. V. Kennedy 
as cashier. R. II. Adams, the present 
cashier and active manager of the institu- 
tion, succeeded to the position of .Mr. 
Kennedv in January, 1905. 




LOCATED on tlie line between sec- 
tions 1 and 2, Vienna townsliip. 
on tlie Worthington-Hardwitk 
brancli of the Roclc Island railroad, seven 
miles southeast from Hardwick, is Ken- 
netJi, the joungest of Eock county's towns. 
Although it was the last to come into ex- 
istence, it lias outdistanced some of the 
other villages, and today is the largest 
of the county's unincorporated towns. 
kSince is founding, Kenneth has been dis- 
tinguished as a leading grain market and 
derives its support from a rich farming 
section. It is well supplied with the va- 
rious business enterprises that go to make 
a prosperous country community. 

Kenneth came into being as a direct re- 
sult of the building of the Burlington 
road extension [I'om Worthington to Hard- 
wick, during the year 1899-1900, and was 
one of the four towns, three of which were 
located in Nobles county, that were cre- 
ated by this agency a decade ago. Plans 
for the new town of Kenneth were in the 
making for several months before the 
rails were laid to the proposed location. 
The track-layers reached Lismore, the 

'"The npw town on the Burlington extension 
has at last been definitely located. The site 
chosen is twenty acres on the farms of Nel- 
son & Wold. A. B. Turner, Eric Engebretson 
and Ben Hoven, on the line between sections 
1 ami 2 in Vii-nna township. ,\hout five acres 
is taken resnectivel.v from the northwest and 
southwest quarters of section 1 and the north- 

nearest station on the east, June 9, IIHIO, 
and from that point continued tlieir wa\ 
westward into Eock county, passing 
through tlie Kenneth townsite during the 
month of July and reaching the terminus 
at Hardwick on the 4(h day of August. 

Before the spring of 1900 opened, ne- 
gotiations were under way by T. H. Brown 
& Co., the townsite company connected 
with the Burlington road, for the pur- of a desirable site for the new town 
it had been decided to establish in A'icn- 
na township. The deal as finally closed 
in April for the promoters by their agent. 
J. A. Kennicott, resulted in the transfer of 
twenty acres on sections 1 and 2. It was 
decided at that time to name the town 
Kenneth, for the eldest son of Mr. Kenni- 
cott, in recogiiition of that gcnllcnian's 
efforts in the company's behalf.' 

The townsite was surveyed by t'ounty 
Surveyor W. N. Davidson, the dedication 
was made by Thomas H. Brown July 20, 
1900, and the papers filed for record ten 
days later, on Julv 30. Tlie ])lat created 
from this survey formed the town into 
four blocks. The streets running east 

east and southeast quarters of section 2. The 
new town has been named Kenneth, in honor of 
the son of Jay A. Kennicott. Mr. Kennicott 
owns a section farm half a mile south of the 
new town and ha.s been instrumental in secur- 
ing the location of the town." — Rock County 
Herald, .\pril 20, 1900. 




iiinl west \v(.>re named First, Second and 
Tliird. and were intersected hy First Ave- 
nue west. Main a\eniie and First avenue 
east. .\ .second ]il,d nl' Keiuielli was sin-- 
veyed liy W. .\. |)a\idsiin for .\ndrew 
ilessner- on .Vprii v'. i!)ll'2. 'I'liis survey 
was tiled for record in May. 1!I0"^. No 
additions to tlie original towusitr liave 
been platted. 

Simultaneous witli tiie arrival of tlie 
connecting iron band to tbe undevelopeil 
townsite of Kennetb, (hiring the latter 
j)art of July. llHin. building (iperations 
were conunenced and the town a.ssured 
of a reality. Before the month of August 
bad passed three elevators had been com- 
pleteil and were i)rei>ared to handle the 
season's bu.siness. The three grain firms 
initially represented were Beniis & How- 
ard, Ryan i.^- Berg and E. A. Brown. 

Although the greater part of the yeai 
l!H)(i was over before activity in the pro- 
motion of the new town was commenced, 
it saw the estalilisliment of a number of 
enterprises. Early in October James A. 
Palmer opened his saloon. The ])ioneer 
merchant and first ])i)stmastci- was J. L. 
Hogiin. He was not long to lia\c an un- 
opposed lirbj ill tlic gcaieral niercbandis(! 
business, fur diMJiig the winter .\. I ). 
Parker becaiiic a nsidi'iit of Kenneth and 
established a second general store. Mr. 
Parker at once erected a building, ()0.\2'-3 
feet in size, to house Ids luisiness. .\bout 
llie >aii]c lime 1lie liim of TroHer iV Trot- 
ter, hardware dealers, commenced busi- 
ness, 'i'he St. Croix jjumber company, 
iliiring tbe same season, established a 
braiicb \aid in Keiinetb and inslallecl 
Frank I'mlerwond a- ageiil. The depot 
was also erecieil in lIHlll. and .lames Cos- 
lello liec'ame the lirst station agent. 

The year T901 was one of substantial 

=Mr. Mcssner purchased the Kenneth townsite 
from its original owners in June. 1901. and was 
responsible for its later development. 

improxt'iiieiit. The town's first black- 
smith, E. M. Newell, came from Edgerton 
in February, erected a shop and was ready 
to serve bis patrons by the twentieth of 
tbe month. Thomtc i!t Johnson were on 
the ground in March and commenced the 
erection of a livery barn. In the course 
of the ne.\t month tiie same firm^ saw a 
hotel building, a two story structure, 
24x50 feet in size, well under way. The 
hostel rv was ojiened the second week in 
May. The first sidewalk in the town was 
constructed early in .\pril. .Vnothcr 
business enterprise was added to the vil- 
lage dui'ing the same month by Walter 
Bemis, one of the grain buyers, who en- 
gaged in the farm implement business in 
connection with his otlier interests. Tli^ 
first dwelling liousi' in the village was 
brought to eompletion early in IMay and 
was occuiiied by Section Forman Solen. 
This was only the beginning of other 
improMMiicnts of the same nature that 
were consummated during the course of 
the year. 

A visitor to Kenneth, writing in the 
h'ock County Herald of May 3, 1901, pic- 
ture-^ tbe condition of the ilourishing ham- 
let at that date: 

Unostetitatiously, but none the less surely, 
a new town, small but enterprising, has 
grown up in Rock county and gives promise 
of many gootl tilings in the future — greater 
growth, population, business and impor- 
tance. One year ago Kenneth, Minnesota, 
had no existence, today it is a bustling 
burg with every eqviipment for transforma- 
tion into a city. Peopled by enterprising, 
thrifty and progressive citizens, its business 
enterprises in the hands of public spirited 
and far-sighted men, and surrounded by a 
rich and productive agricultural country, 
Kenneth enters the list of Rock county 
towns with every promise of growth and 
prosperity. Where one year ago was but a 
fertile field are now two well stocked gen- 
eral merchandise stores, a hardware store, 
a commodious hotel, a lumber yard, a black- 

"Herman Thomte and Ole Johnson, who in 
partnership established the Kenneth hotel and 
liverv barn during the sprine of liml. disposed 
of tlicir interests to E. J. MoMulUin, of Iowa, in 
November of the same year. 


tttSTORY oV' Hoot!: COttOTY. 


smith shop, three elevators, livery stable, 
restaurant, two dray lines, a farm machin- 
ery and implement biisiness — all housed in 
handsome and substantial buildings. 

There wa.s n iiinrked and steady orowtli 
thrduu'liiiut tile whole of 1901. The popu- 
hiiidii iif the vilhine h:id rciielieil a point 
where the election of a eoniinodious two- 
story selionl l)nihlinij heeame advisahle 
and tlie hnildina- was completed hite in 
the year. The Inisiness interests of tin' 
younp: town continued to prosper, and a 
nuinher ot enterjjrises were added. Anions^ 
these wa.s a hank, an institution mueli de- 
sired. The hank o]iened for Imsiness July 
1 in the A. D. Parker t)uilding, with Mr. 
Parker in charge. In September the town 
was supplied with a physician. T)i'. Van 
Krevelen, formerly of Holland. ihovimI to 
Kenneth and o])('ii('d a drug store whicli 
he conducted in connection with his 
practice. A numher of new business build- 
ings were brought to coniijletiou during 
the season of 1901. 

The question of the incorporation of 
Kenneth became an issue in 1902. Tlie 
substantial and increasing growth of the 
town, together with the splendid material 
advancement that it had been privileged 
to enjoy during the short time of its ex- 
istence, seemed in the eyes of the town's 
])usiness men to justify the desire to as- 
sume the privileges and obligations of 
local self government. Several obstacles 
confronted the promoters of the plan for 
incorporating. It was found necessary to 
e.xtend the bounds of the proposed corpo- 
ration for a number of miles in each di- 
rection from the village in order to secure 
the population required by law before any 
village is entitled to form itself into an 
independent niiiiiici])ality. There was con- 
siderable opjiosition to the scheme, es- 
))('cially liy many farmers whose lands 
it was jn-oposed to include within 
llic i-or|)(iratioii. .\ petition signed by 
A. 1). Parker and thirty-seven others. 

asking for the incorporation of Kenneth, 
was presented to the board of county com- 
missioners and was considered by that 
body at its regular meeting on Deceniliev 
l!t, 1902. A petition of remonstrance 
signed by B. Halverson and seventeen 
others was sulimitted to the commissioners 
on the same occasion, and the matter was 
brought to a focus. ISotli sides to the 
controversy were represented by authorized 
representatives and arguments for and 
against incorporation were made. 'I'he 
board ordered that the ])etition lie referred 
to the county attorney for his opinion as 
to its legality, especially in regard to the 
quantity of territory wliicli had been in- 

The matter was brought to a conclusion 
at the meeting of the commissioners on 
January 8, 1903, when a request signed by 
twelve of those interested in the projiosed 
incoriioration, asking for a withdrawal 
of their original petition, was presented. 
Although no later atteni]it has been made 
to bring about the incorporation of Ken- 
netli. there is .every reason to believe that 
in the near future the town in Vienna 
township will lie in a iMnidition to suc- 
cessfully inaugurate such a movement. 

Kenneth's growth has been slow but 
sulistantial. It ex]ierienced a setback dur- 
ing the years 1903 and 1904 because of 
the destruction, by hail and rains, to the 
crops in that section which finds its mar- 
ket in Kenneth. Since that time, liow- 
ever, the town has maintained its ow'u 
and is still unsurpassed as a grain market 
and trading point. 

Kennetli'.s school history began almost 
with the founding of the town. In April, 
1901, a iietition asking for the creation 
of a new school district to include the 
town of Kenneth was favorably acted up- 
on liy (lie hoard of ciuinty coiiimissioners. 
Follow inn this action, on j\lav 2. a meeting 
of llir ritizens of Kenneth was held and 



the organization of tlie district perfected. 
B. Halverson was elected direc'tor, J. L. 
Hogan, clerk, and George Watson, treasur- 
er. At a meeting held later in the same 
Tnonth it was voted to raise ifi>2'>()0 for the 
erection of a school huilding. The edifice, 
two stories, in height, 38x40 feet, was 
erected hy llackett & Robinson, of Ln- 
verne, and was completed in time for the 
opening of the winter term on Decemlier 
6, 1901. School opened on that date 
with Nellie Morse as teacher and with an 
enrollment of thirty-two pupils. 

Two church organizations are main- 
tained in Kenneth, the Catholic and Evan- 
gelical Lutheran, and both possess church 
edifices. The Catholic church building, 
whicli formerly occupied a site in Lis- 
more township. Nobles county, was moved 
to Kenneth early in 1903. The Evangeli- 
ical Lutheran church was erected during 
the season of 19(17. 

The Kenneth State Bank is an out- 
growth of a private institution which be- 
gan business July 1. 1901, as the bank of 
Kenneth, with R. B. Hinkly. president, 
and A. D. Parker, cashier. The bank 
erected a building of its own during the 
summer of 190:i. The Kenneth State 
Bank, following the reorganization, com- 
menced business July 10, 1907, with ca])i- 
tal stock of $12,000. The incorporatoi's 
were Andrew Messner, A. D. Parker, John 
Engebretson, John Wonderle, L. W. 
Johnson, Chris. Haiback, B. Halverson, 
Kittil Olson and Ij. Kreun. The first of- 
ficers and board of directors consisted of 
Andrew Messner. president; B. Halverson, 
vice ])rcsident; A. D. Parker, cashier; 
Jolin Engebi'ctson, assistant cashier: Chris 

*.\t the time application was made for a post- 
offiop at this point, in ISSS. the name asked 
for ))V the petitioners was Virginia, 'rhis re- 
(|uest' the postmaster general wonid not grant 
because a iiostoffiee previousiy estalilislied on 
the Iron Kange in the northern part of tlie 
state bore lliat name. It was then deeided to 
name the postoffice Steen. The statitin located 
Ijv the lilinois Central, however, was designated 


In the list of Rock county's unincorpo- 
rated villages Steen ranks among the fore- 
most, both in size and importance. It 
is located on the northwest quarter of 
section 33, Clinton township, near the 
southern boundai'v of the county, and is 
a station on the line of the Illinois Cen- 
tral railroad connecting Sioux Falls with 
Chicago. Steen makes no pretense of 
metropolitan greatness but is content with 
being a prosperous and substantially built 
hamlet, surrounded by a rich farming 
countrv. Several lines of business are 
represented, including a bank, general 
store, hardware store, drug store, furni- 
ture store, hotel, blacksmith shop, harness 
shop, pool hall, lumber yard, two eleva- 
tors, livery barn, fuel dealer and stock 
buyers. The town also has a town hall, 
two churclies and a tirst grade pulilic 
school, employing two teachers. 

The land on which the town of Steen 
is located was taken as a liomestead in 
1871 by John P. Steen. A brother, Ole 
P. Steen, filed a homestead claim to the 
quarter section adjoining the year be- 
fore, and it was in hcmor of these two 
pioneers that the village was given its 
IMMiiiancnt name.'' 

The last few years ol" the eighties wit- 
nessed the fonndiiig id' tlii'cc towns in 
Mdithcrn Rock county as a direct result 
of the i-onstruction of two new lines of 
raih-oad. the Illinois Central and the Sioux- 
City & Northern. Included in this num- 
hiT was Steen. or Virginia, as it was 
originally known, on the Illinois Centi'al, 
which commenced liiyiiig i'nils lui the ex- 
tension fi'om l\ocl< l.'a|ii(ls to Sioux Falls 

as 'Virginia and was known as such for a num- 
ber of years. The name of the station was then 
made to agree with that of the postoffice. The 
last mention of tlie town as Virginia in the lo- 
cal press was mole in thi' summer of 1^9.".. In 
July of that vear reference was made to the 
town of Steen. and Virginia. Rock county, be- 
came an incident of history. 




in September, 1887. The station of Bruce, 
seven miles to the west in Martin town- 
ship, was the first of these to be located, 
the site being selected in December. 

Early in the year 1888 the Illinois Cen- 
tral authorities announced their intention 
to plat and develop a town on the line be- 
tween Bruce and Rock Rapids, in Clin- 
ton township. A number of the residents 
of that precinct at once became interested 
in the project and lent their assistance 
in its furtherance. It was the offer of 
John r. Steen to donate twenty acres of 
Ills homestead for townsite jnirposes that 
influenced the railroad company to lo- 
cate the proposed station on his land. 

The track-laying on the extension was 
completed so as to permit the operation 
of the first passenger train on June 2, 
1888. In the course of the same month 
the townsite of Virginia was surveyed by 
J. F. Whalcn. The plat, made to com- 
prise thirteen lilocks, was dedicated on 
June 13 by N^. T. Burroughs, president, 
and W. A. Sanford, secretary, of the Cher- 
okee & Western Town Lot is Land com- 
pany, and it was placed on record Sep- 
tcTiilier 3. 

The farm house of John P. Steen was 
llie Didy building on the Virginia townsite 
jiridi' til the activities of the railroad vtnu- 
jiany at that point. Xo sooner had the 
survey been completed than work was com- 
iiieiici'd on a depot building and a Hat 
grain, and before the summer 
of 1888 was over there were signs of a 
promising village.''' Two grain warehouses, 
one erected by John Butler, and the other 
by F. M. Dickey, had been established, 
and the |iioneer merchant, C. C. Clemetson 
was actively engaged in business. A pe- 
tition signed by residents in the vicinity 

^"Virginia, the new town in Clinton townRhip, 
on the line of the Illinois Central, is getting 
to the fi-ont. It two warehouses, a depot 
and a stoi-e." — Rock Countv Herald. Septenilier 
14, ISSS. 

"Steen has been served by five postmaster.-?! 
since the office was established. Those who 

of the new town asking for the cstaiilisli- 
ment of a postoffice was granted, and be- 
fore the year had closed an office was be- 
ing operated in the store with l\lr. Clem- 
et.son as postmaster." 

For several years following its founding 
Virginia was at a standstill so far as any 
material growth was concerned. It jnoved 
its advantage as a grain market fiom the 
start, but it was not until the early nine- 
ties that development along broader lines 
commenced. Among the early business 
enterprises was a lumber yard established 
by J. H. Zenker in March, 1890. The 
town experienced the most pronounced era 
of progress in building operations and 
expansion during the period which in- 
cluded the years 1891 to 1894. Early in 
1891 the pioneer store was taken over by 
the firm of Miller & Roan, formerly of 
Rock Rapids. A second general store was 
established later in the same year by Hens- 
ing & Thorstad.' C. C. Berge was the 
first hardware merchant. The E. M. Dickey 
Co., which established the first grain ware- 
house in tlie year of founding, was the 
first to erect an elevator, which was done 
during the sixmmer of 1892. The year 1893 
was an especially active one and witnessed 
a number of substantial building and 
business improvements. 

In 189.') a town hall was built by a stock 
com]5any organized by the citizens of 
Steen. A business directory compiled in 
July of that year contained the names of 
the following men : C4eorgc J. Roan, gen- 
eral store ; W. E. Bauer, general store ; 
C. Clemetson, billiard and pool hall ; T. L. 
Peyer, harness shop: George Heath, black- 
smith; 0. A. Helg^son, livery and feed 
barn ; C. Brant, manager Edmonds Co. 
elevator; Dickey & Co., elevator; J. II. 

have succeeded Mr. Clemetson. in the oi-dei- of 
their succession, are J. P. Steen, George J. 
Roan. C. H. Peterson and Chris Clemetson. 

^This partnership did not exist long. E. J. 
Thorstad, the Junior partner, became .sole pro- 
prietor in October, 1S91, 



Zenker, lunil)er and fuel; C. C. Berge, 
hardware: U. N. Graves, agent Illinois 
Central railroad : ('. H. Peterson, post- 

On Febniary 2-1, 1!)00, Steen was visited 
by a fire wliieli consumed the two elevators 
of the tdun and destroyed -20,000 bushels 
of grain contained therein. For a time 
the depot building was threatened with 
destruction, but the energetic woi-k of 
the citizens preventeil fuither spread of 
the conflagration. Hoth of the elevators 
were rebuilt. 

In late years Steen has enjoyed with 
others of her sister villages the jirosjicr- 
ous times that have been incident to lloik 
county's nuirvelous agric\iltural devtdop- 

One of the finest little school iiouses in 
the county is found at Stien. It was 
erected in 190.5 and was occupied for the 
first time at the beginning of the Septem- 
ber term. This building replaced a for- 
mer one, erected in the ilays of ilie town's 

There are two church organizations that 
maintain houses of worship in Steen — the 
German Evangelical and German Luther- 
an. The Lutheran cliurch was organized 
in the summer of ISDO with si.xteen char- 
ter members by Eev. Theodore Maesse, of 
Fulda. The present church edifice, the 
first in the village, was erected in 1895 at 
a cost of $1800 and was dedicated on 
October ?0 of that year. Eev. IT. W . 
Kallmann, nt I.uverne, is the present pas- 


Tlic little village of Ashcieek. the first 
station south of Luverne on the Doon ex- 
tension of the Omaha railway, is one of 
the two Ivock coiuilv haiulrts in t'linton 
townshi]!. The platted town is on section 
V':i of that precinct. Though it has never 
assiuufd prcijiortinii- (hat wnnld wananl 

its being set off as an indeiiendeiit munici- 
pality, Ashcreek for many years has justi- 
fied its existence as a trading point and 
grain market for a licli farming com- 

The building of the Doon branch and 
the subsequent location of a station on sec- 
tion 2;!, ( 'liiitoii, were conditionsundreamed 
of wlien Ashcreek was first placed on the 
maj) as a country postofCice, the second 
po.etotfice established in the county. The 
southern part of Eock county, especially 
Clinton and ]\Iarlin townsbijjs, was an 
early field for settlement. By the sum- 
mer of 1871 the po]iulation of these two 
]irecincts exceeded that of all the rest of 
the county, and a demand was made for 
better postolfice facilities. The only of- 
fice in the county at that time was located 
at Luverne, and the trip to tliat point was 
much of an undertaking for a majority 
of the settlers living in southern Eock 
county in the days when ox teams were 
practically the only mode of conveyance. 

The agitation for a second postoflfice 

bore immediate fruit. Out of several aji- 

plicants for the position of postmaster, 

^[rs. L. B. Kniss v/as cliosen and the office 

was established on -the George W. Kniss 

homestead, one half mile distant from the 

future Ashcreek station. The office was 

named for the creek flowing near by. 

To mcml)crs of the jiioneer Estey family 

was given the naming of this stream. The 

incident of the christening, which occurred 

on Christmas day, 18G7, has been told in 

Colin .T. Kstey's own words: 

In tlie forenoon Byron and I went to 
tend our traps. He had one set for a fox 
near where Saint's Rest now stands, and on 
that day he caught a coyote. Byron was 
about eight years old then. As we went out 
to look at the traps we crossed Rock river 
at a point about where M. C. Smith's ford 
was eventually located and followed up 
what is now known as Ash creek. Byron, 
boy-fashion, asked the name of the creek, 
and I told him it had no name and that he 
might name it. He looked the surroundings 
over carefully and said: "Well, there is a 



lot of small ash growing at the mouth, so 
I guess we will have to call it Ash creek." 
Next summer when the government survey- 
ors were sectionizing Rock county we gave 
the name in to them and the stream has 
been so called ever since. 

The .Vslicrt'ck j)ostoffice wa.< located on 
tlif iiiiiil route I'oniieetino- Luverne witli 
J)(i(iii and Li'Miii-s. Town, wliirli was first 
operated hy Sam Bellesfield. ilrs. Kiiiss 
contiiined in charo-e of the office until 
1S7:!.'' wlii'n she removed fi'om tlie locality 
and was succeeded as postmistress Ijv JMrs. 
Susan ^r. Brown, wlio held the ofTice seven 

So, Asjicreek. which nominally came in- 
t(i lieina: in the early seventies, advanced 
no further tlum the country ]iostoffice 
stage until ahout a dozen years later. 
Then it was through the agency of the 
railroad that it was enahled to assume a 
more pretentious air. 

The hranch road from Luverne to Pooti 
was built ill 1879, the first trains heing 
operated in Xovendier. The rudiment of 
a station was established on what then 
was the Kniss tjc Brown farm, on section 
2.3. Clinton, which was to develop grad- 
ually, but with a certainty, into the vil- 
lage of Ashcreek. The initial improve- 
ment in the ti)wn-to-be, and the onlv one 
recorded for the year 18T9, was a small 
grain warehouse erected by Truax & Co. 
This firm had e.\tensive farming interests 
in the immediate vicinity, and the ware- 
house erected was solely for the purpose 
of taking care of the products of its own 

In the fall of ISSO a side track was con- 
structed, and a correspondent predicted 

•Mrs. Kniss has given .some interesting sta- 
tistics relating to this early day postoffice: 

"Our local paper was then the Jackson Re- 
public, as those who wished to prove up on their 
liaims had to go to Jackson, the nearest land 
Dftioe. and so their names and their witnesses 
were published in the paper. .\ paper was also 
printed at Rook Rapids. There were six 
subsoribers to the paper and nine to the Jack- 
son Republic. The total number of regular sub- 
scription papers was twenty-three, and one 
magazine w.ts taken by a patron of the office, 
ilthnugh a great many were sent by friends 
n the east. 

that .\shcreek was about to shajie il.s(>lf 
iiitci a metropolis. The extent of the suli- 
sei]ueiit building (ipcratiiius. linwcxci'. \\as 
the erection of a second grain warclHiusc. 
l(i.\-;?0 feet in size, put by E. A. Brown, 
who at that time commenced his successful 
career as a IJock county grain mei-chant. 
A bo.x car was placed at the new statinn 
io answer the purposes of a depot liuilding. 
An event of the year ISS'i pnimiscil 
great things for the embryo town. This 
was the sale of the Kniss & Brown farm, 
upon which the station was located, to 
Col. Alfred Grey, an English capitalist 
and a large owner of real estate in this 
section of the state and Iowa. Col. Orev 
proposed to build a flourishing town at 
.\shcretk, to l)e the liead(|uarters foi' his 
various interests, much after the English 
baronial system. A year elapsed l)eforc 
tlie ])romoter commenced the execution 
of his ]dan. A survey of a townsite was 
completed in August, 1883, by James P. 
Oilman, and the dedication of the site 
was made September 6, 1883, by James B. 
Close, Col. Grey's agent. The plat in- 
cluded eight blocks. The owner was fullv 
honored in the names bestowed upon the 
streets running east and west, -ivliich were 
Colonel. Grey and Alfred. The intersect- 
ing streets were designated as First. Sec- 
ond and Third." 

Coincident with the platting, three dwel- 
lings, each a two-story structure covering 
a gi'iiiind s|)acc of ■24x:M\ feet, and three 
barns were built by Col. Grey for the 
accommodat ion of theemployeson his near- 
by farms. There was persistent talk of 

"The receipts for stamps sold during the 
fjuarter ending September. 1872, were $6.47. ami 
that was when postage on a letter amounted to 
three cents. Notwithstanding the fact that 
the postmistress was expected to be at home 
any time a patron should happen to call, the 
department paid the munificent sum of $12,0U 
a year for services rendered." 

'One addition to Ashcreek has been platted: 
Kitterman's. by Benjamin T. Kitterman and 
William Lemka. December 12, 1S9G; surveyed by 
J. P. Oilman. 



a store on the site, but it remained I'm- 
other than tlie Grey interests to supply the 
want. J. T. Woodrow, whose store was 
completed in October, 1884, was the first 
merchant and foi' a number of years the 
only one in Ashcreek. The Ashoreek post- 
office was moved to the new store and 
^fr. Woodrow commissioned ])ostmaster. 

Tliere was some proaress during the half 
dozen years followinaf the opening of the 
pioneer store. In ISSri the railroad com- 
pany established stockyards at Ashcreek, 
and one year later erected a serviceable 
depot. Early in 1880 the lielievers in 
Ashcreek's future greatness beeame con- 
vinced that the dawn of a new era was at 
hand liecause of the proposed Iniildino; of 
the Burlington railroad to Sioux Falls 
from Ellsworth. At an enthusiastic meet- 
inj; held February 20, plans to induce the 
new railroad to change its route so as 
to pass through Aslicreek were considered. 
It was proposed to offer $15,000 as a bonus 
to secure this change of route, but the at- 
tempt to make of Ashcreek a railroad cen- 
ter came to naught. 

The ( 'iingrcgalioiial cluircli society, or- 
ganized in the s|)ring of ISSil, erected a 
neat church edifice in the village the same 
vear. Thr (liiiirh. built at a cost of 
.$1100. was dedicated Sunday, February 9. 
ISIH). Kov. William Fitch was the pastor 
at the time. 

I,. S. Welker succeeded to the business 
of .]. T. Woddrow in the summer of 1888. 
A grist mill was established by C A. 
Delamater in January, 18!li). but it con- 
tinned in operation only a few monlhs. 
'The .\sli(. i'cck fai'ni (if S!)l acres was sold 
by Col. Grey in 1891 to Ezra Rice ami 
James IT. Gray, and this transfer was the 
commencement of bett(>r days for the hum- 
ble village. The new nwnci's wore men iu- 

"*"A new station been located by the Il- 
linois Central comi»any on J. H. Helgeson's 
farm on section 30, Martin township. Mr. Hel- 
geson has sold 100 acres to the company, for 
the purposes of the townsite, tor $2200. and 

tensely interested in the advancement of 
Kock county. Progress commenced at 
once. In September, 1891, J. T. Fort, a 
blacksmith, located in the town, and E. .\. 
Rrown erected a second elevator. The 
year following E. C. Palmer came from 
Sioux t'iiv and establi.<hed a new store 
and luniber yard. 

-Vshcreek in more recent years has been 
added to gradually, and at no particular 
period has experienced a Imidui or un- 
natural condition to force the extension 
of its limits. A creditable school building 
was erect cil in 19i):!. A piililic ball is main- 
tained, and in the village are to be found 
residences that would do credit to a more 
pretention* conini unity. 


On section 'MK Maitin town>hi]i, two 
miles west of Hills, is located the Illinois 
Central station of Riuce. In addition to 
the depot the business houses of the unpre- 
tentious hamlet are confined to a general 
store and two elevators. Bruce has known 
lietter days. .\t the time of its founding 
it gave iirnniise of eventually taking high 
rank among the communities of Bock 
countv. Its season of glory was short 
]i\rd. liii\\('\('r. and il \\a> I'lU'ci'd to l"i\v 
(ii I lie stern deci'ee of I'ate while yet an 

The first intimation of a Bock county 
town on the ]\Iartin township prairies was 
received in Xovember, 1887, when the Il- 
linois Cenlral authorities, whose railroad 
had just made entry into the county, lo- 
cated il station on .1. II. Helgeson's farm, 
nil sect inn :'i(i."' Before December was 
over the company had liuilt a side track 
on the site of the town-in-be, which it pro- 
|joseil to name Marl in. The station bore 
that ap|icllaliiin (Uilv a few months, and 

tile conipnny has secured twenty acres ad- 
joining from file Rnud and J. Nerison." — Cor- 
respondetu-e in Rock Countv Herald. December 
L>. l.SST. 



then was christenerl Bruce, in honor of 
one of the chief officials of tlie Illinois 

Unlike some of Rock county's towns, 
there was no lon^ lapse of time hefore it 
responded to the hopes of its sponsors. Ac- 
tivity lieg'an with a rush in Briuc during 
the first year of its existence, which was 
also the one of its fullest devclojmient. 
The survey of the townsite was made in 
May, 1888, hy J. F. Whalen. The plat, 
indicative of the expectation of the pro- 
moters, was made to include ^^ixtcen hlocks. 
The dedication by John Butler and Char- 
les E. Moore took place ^lay 2'2 and the 
day following record was made in the of- 
fice of tiic register of deeds." 

The hoom commenced at once. Hickey 
& Co. were the first on the ground and 
built a prain warehouse. The depot was 
erected about the same time, in tlie month 
of June, and G. B. Tlartley was installed 
as the first agent. John Butler, one of 
the owners of the townsite, was esjicciallv 
active in the promotion of building- opera- 
tions. During the summer he erected a 
hotel, which was first conducted by M. Mc- 
Carthy and later in the same year by 
Andrew Xelson : a store l)uilding. in which 
the first merchants. Fransen & iMiller, 
were located ; and a second warehouse, with 
a capacity of 30,000 bushels of grain. A 
second general store was established bv 
Jacobson & Sexe before the year was over, 
as was also a blacksmith shop by 01c Tund. 
r)nring the .summer an attempt was made 
liv George Bollinger to conduct a saloon 
ill Bruce. He was refused the necessary 
license by the county commissioners, Imt 
proc-eeded. nevertheless, in violation of 

""Bruce, the new station in Rock connly 
Mninesota, midway between Sioux FalLs and 
Kricl< Rapi.l.s. nas been platted and no doul't will 
ne a town of two hundred souls before the 
j^avys begin to fall."— Rock Rapids Reporter. 

""The little town of Bruce on the Sioux Falls 
branch of tlie Illinois Central, in Martin town- 
ship. Rock county, is about depopulated on 

the law. This action led to his arrest 
ami conviction in December. 

The piistoH'ice was established in tlie 
store of Jacobson & Sexe in 1888. J. X. 
Jacobson condncted the office as deputy 
until Sc|if('iiilK>r. ISSIl, when lie was reg- 
ulaily commissioned postmaster. Bruce 
progressed to a noticeable degree during 
the second year of life. 

Farly in tlie spring of ISOO the exist- 
ence of Bruce was threatened, because of 
the founding of the town of Hills, two 
miles away at the intersection of the Il- 
linois Central with the new Sionx City 
& Xorthern railroad. It became evident 
to the business men of Bruce that their 
interests were certain to suffer in competi- 
tion with the rival favored liy a more stra- 
tegic location. In February the hotel closed 
its doors and March witnessed the re- 
moval across the fields of Bruce's leading 
business establishment, the Jacobson & 
Sexe store, as well as the lilacksmith 
shop.i- What few Iniildings remained in 
the once jn'omising community of Bruce 
were deserted. 

But Bruce refused to cntirelv forfeit its 
lease of life. There were a few signs of 
activity during 1S90, but none, of a nature 
that assured a regeneration. J. N. Jacob- 
son, ujion moving to Hills, resigned as 
jiostiiiaster of Bruce, and was succeeded in 
:\ray by F. T. :\Iiller. Mv. Miller laid 
]ilans for the opening of a general store 
hut did not put them into execution. A 
store was established, jiowever, by Hans X. 
Kjergaard. Postmaster Miller served only 
a few months in that capacity and with- 
drew in favor of Mr. Kjergaard, who has 
ever since held the office. For six months 

account of its people movinfr. bag and baggage, 
over to Hills, the new town on the Northern 
named after the general manager of the road. 
Hills is about a mile and a half east of Bruce, 
and the only blacksmith shop, grain buying 
establishment and general store In Bruce have 
been moved to Hills. The postoffice will prob- 
ably follow in short order." — Sioux City Jour- 
nal. March. IHOO. 


iiis'roi;^" (IF K'ocK corx'i'Y. 

during 1S90 Kruce caiiie into ]ii'(iiiiiiiciK-e 
as a wholesale eenter, Twn li(|Uiii- linns, 
Hickev & ^leckneniai' anil the North Star 
Drug fonipany. wliieh were forced I'rom 
South Dakota hy jjrohihition laws, located 
for business at Biiice, the first town ovei 
the state line, but their career was run 
within a short jieriod. 

All later efforts to -'boost" Bruce have 
ended in failure. During the S])ring of 
1893, X. T. Burroughs, of Cherokee. Iowa, 
who was interested in the townsite, pro- 
posed to once more establish the place on 
a firm footing.'^ But the lio]ies thus 
awakened never saw fulfdment. A year 
pi'ior to this the two grain warehouses at 
Bruce became the proi)erty of Edmonds 
& Londergan, and were converted into 
elevators. Disaster visited Bruce on the 
morning of October Hi. liHiO. when fire 
destroyed the Illinois Central depot, whicli 
was later rc^lmilt on a smaller scale. 

The town of Bruce is today vii'tually 
cout lolled by one man. ffans X. Ivjer- 
gaard, who is postnuister, only merchant. 
)>ro]Mietoi' of the two elevators, stock buy- 
ei- and .-lation agent. He was one of the 
few who refused to leave Bruce in the 
dav of i+s crisis, and largely through hi-^ 
detcrniiiiatioii to stay, Bruce has main- 
taineil \i< ]ilace on the map. 


N'unilHMvd nmiing the hall' dozen small- 
er villages of Hock county is Kanaraiizi. 
named after the townshi|) within whicli it 
is located. Stated specilicallv, it is situ- 

13. .rp F. Shannon and T. E. Miinger, ufticials 
of the ininois Central- railroad, and N. T. Bur- 
roughs, of Cherokee, were in town I uesday 
on townsite Mr. Burrough.s pro- 
noses to start Bruce up again and will make a 
Hrst-class countr.v town of it. Mr. Burroughs 
is a man of great wealth and h,e intends to 
offer everv inducement he can to business 
enterprises which he can get started at this 
place and there is no doubt that m a short 
time Rrui-e will be one of the best country 
towns in this section of the country. \\ e 
will have three good general stores running 
within :■ month from now."— Correspondence 
in Rock County Herald, .Apiil 21, 1S93. 

aled on the southeast (|uarter of section .'5. 
seven miles from the county seat on the 
Wateitown-Ellsworth biaiicb of the Kock 
Island railroad. The business town con- 
sists of a store, elevators and shops that 
derive their support from the agriciilturiil 
ccuintry adjoining. 

The building of the liurlington rail- 
roail into Hock county in 18Sf brought 
with it the possibility of new towns, and 
among the places to materialize was the 
.station in Kanaranzi township. The grad- 
ino of the ]iro])osed line wa> hardly coni- 
menced befoie there were negotiations be- 
tween the raihoad authorities and repre- 
sentatives of the farmers and landowners 
of Kanaranzi township in regard to locat- 
ing a town, which it was expected would 
satisfy a long felt want for a more con- 
venient market." 

But a whole year was allowed to pass 
before the agitators" hopes were realized. 
In .Vusust. fSS."). the townsite company 
connected with the railroad took action. 
A survev was made dui-ing that month 
by LeEoy Grant, from which a town iilat 
of nine blocks was made. The dedication 
oiTuried September -.'S. IfiS.-). and on Oc- 
tiibci- 11 the instruiiiciil was placed on 
record." The himl on which the town was 
located was originally the ]iropeity of 
Charles Thompson. 

Xo sooner was the town-to-be laid out 
than activity in its ]iroinotion became evi- 
dent, 'i'he first to build on the site was 
.v. K. I'attcr.^.ui. who completed a grain 
warehouse about the first of September, 

""The people here have not yet given up 
all hopes of obtaining a depot in Kanaranzi 
township. The distance from Luverne to some 
good location will be about ten or eleyen miles, 
and the country around here will support a 
good town, as it will get much of the trade 
that now goes to .-Vdrian and Rock Rapids. «e 
believe the company is working tor 
its own interest, and, allowing this to be a 
fact we see no reasor why we should feel in 
doubt "—Correspondence in Rock County Her- 
ald, May IG. 1SS4. 

"•'One addition has been attached to the origi- 
nal townsite of Kanaranzi: T<anaranzi Village 
(lutlots, bv O. S. Suover, December 27. 1901, 

11 IST()i;V OF l.'oi'K COUNTY. ^ 213 

ISS.-). Kzni K'icf put, up the .secoiul oraiii ' MANLBY. 

housr iMlrr in the same u.onth. whici, was jj^,,,i^^._ ^, ^.j„^,„,^, ^^.ij,,,,,,^ ^, ,.^^i,|^,,_^_ 

nponed Inr l, uill, Tlmmas (lanlieM j, t,„, j^,.^,^ „,. .,|| ^i,,, |,„|„,, ^.,,^,^\,.,^ ,„ ., 

in c'hai-r. 'I'll,. ,],.p„t was also vivrtvA j, ],„.,, „„ tli,. map o( Umk counlv. Lo- 

(luriii.u thr rail (if iss:,. Iiiit it was imt ^^,.,t,-,,| ,„j ji^, s„utliuast (|uarl(M- of' sec-ti..ii 

iinlil (h-lnhcr IS. ISSii. that llic station ;i5, in the fraction of Beaver Creek town- 
was foiiiiallv opened. (J. T. Handy, for-* ship, at the intersecdioii of the Onialia with 

riy nf ('azeiio\ia. was installed a.s agent. the Great Northern railway, it is a has- 

.V nuinhcr of I'esideiiees covered the ini- heen town. At present it is not even dis- 

proveuii'iits of the lattei' year. 'Slv. lianily tingnished as a railroad station, despite 

hecanie KanaranziV lirst postmastei', as- it* favorahle location. Its sole enterprise, 

suinint;- charge at the ()[ii'ning of the of- is a grain elevator, conducted during a cer- 

fice on .lanuary "^S, ISST. As a result of tfiin jmrtion of the year. 

Ihe heavy wind storm on .Vugust 2, 1887, Time was when Manley occupied a more 

Kanaranzi was for a time with only one prominent position in affairs. The Sioux 

grain warehouse,' the estahlishnient of E. City & Northern railroad (later to heeome 

A. Hrown, who had succeeded .\. K. Pat- a part of theGreat Northernsystem ) linihl- 

lerson. sufl'ering complete destruction. It ing through the county in 188i), simulta- 

was iuimediatclv rehuilt. In Octoher. 1887, neously located two towns in Eock eoun- 

a correspomlenl hoasted lor the town two ty, Hills an<l JIaidey (originally known 

grain hnyers, a newly estahlished stock as Hornick). Rotli were placed at inter- 

vard and a ])hotogra])her.''' sections of the new line with roads already 

Kanarair/.i was without a mei'cantile in operation. Of the two towns the great- 

estahlishnient for the Hrst thri'e years lA er hopes for future prominence were cen- 

its e.xistence. The first store was opi'iicd tered in llanley. The turn of events 

hy C. Northrup and K. Milne in a Iniilding proved the contrary. At the time the 

they erected early in October, 1888. Sev- railroad was laying its course through the 

ri-al months later this firm sold to 0. T. county substantial inducements were of- 

ISandy. tlii' station agent. wIkj during the fercd liy the i-esidents of both Reaver 

season of issi) also engaged in the lum- Creek and Valley Springs to include their 

her business. ^Ir. liandy ilispospd of respective towns on the route. But instead 

his interests in 18!»1 to Klias 11. Blakeslee, nf accepting stu-h offers, the townsite 

who in dune succeeiled him as postmaster. promotei's coiini'cted with the new road 

With the aildition ol' a liimhi'i- yaid, entertained visions of a small city at the 

blacksmith shop and saliMiu late in the M'ar junction of the Sioux City it Xorthern 

18!)-^, Kanaranzi ri'achi'd tbi'bigh point in with the Chicago, SI. Paul, Minneapolis 

its development. 'i'lic last \\\i> deca<les & Omaha, a city that would reach out and 

have ehangeil but little tln' ap]iearance absorb both Beaver Creek and \'a!lev 

of the \ilbige, but it has cxpcrienceil all Springs. 

the liealthful lendencies of im|n'ovemrnt A (piai-fer section of lan'd, for wdiich 

which a community of its size can I'x- was paid .$411(10, was bought of E. M. Per- . 

hibit. A substantial .$]-^(ii) school building cival in September, to be laid out into the 

was erected in the village in 1899. townsite of Ilorniek. The survey was 

""VVho says our town i,s not ha\'ing a boom? ereek. and Mr. BanUy represents E. Rice, of him who says so come and see the new Luverne. We also have a photographer here." 

stf)ck yards. We also have two grain buyers. .— C^orrespondence in Rock County Herald Octo- 

Mr. Mitchell represents E. .\. Brown, of .4sh- her 7. 1SS7. 


IllS'l'olfV OF h'OCK CorXTY. 

iiiaile uiiiler the direitioii (it L. K. I'xiw- 
iiuiii. Tun blocks were incliuled in the 
original plat, whirh wa.s dedicated Oc- 
tober 35, 1<S8!), Iiy E. W. Skinner, and 
recorded on Xovember ?.'^ The Sioux 
City & Northern erected a depot biiildinji' 
early in Xovember and laid out stock ' 
yards, and before the station was <>;i\en a 
place on the company's time table, the 
name was chanfjed from llornick to ^Ian- 
Icy, in lionor of W. P. Maiilcy. who was 
easliici' of the Security National Bank, of 
Siou.x City, and one of the leadinjr stock- 
holders of the Sioux City & Northern com- 

At this early stage of Jlanley's devel- 
opment an invitation was extended to both 
Beaver Creek and Valley Springs to join 
forces w'itli the new town, before circum- 
stances should force such a procedure.'* 
The boom that was expected to eventuate 
in ISDO did not materialize so fully as 
anticipated. In Ajjril an elevator was 
erected by C. N. Bell, of St. Paul, and 
F. C. Bell was placed in charge. After 
much bargaining, T.. T\. T^ee was induced 
(ii liuild a roller mill at Manley. The 
enterjirise was launched early in August. 
Tjatc in July a posloffice was established 
and .Miss ^lai'y E. McCallcn appdinlcd 
postmistress. The office was housed in 
a small building erected for the purpose. 

Til encourage the development of the 
liiwu the tdwnsifc (iwners cxtensivelv ad- 
vert i>cd and lii'ld an auction sale of ln\\ii 
lilts ihal i-csulti'il successfullv so fai' as 
tlirir piickets weie cciuciTncd. '{'he sale 
was held on duly ;i(i. ISlKl. lAir the oc- 

''OTie addition was iilaltrd to Manley; First, 
by E. W. Skinner, Jiilx 30. 1S90: .surveyed by 
W. N. Davidson. 

""A representative of the Northern Land 
company, which ovms the towns .along the 
Sioux City & Northern railway, lias been in- 
terviewing the merchants and residents of the 
towns of Beaver Creek and Valley Springs, 
with a \'icw to induce the two towns to unite 
and form a thriving town at the junction of 
the Sioux Cit.v & Northern and Omaha rail- 
ways." — Beaver Creek N'ews-Lcttcr. November, 

casiiin a fi'cc excursion ti'ain was run 
from Siovix City, which canicd prospec- 
tive investors, the majority of whom were 
laboring men. It was re|iorted that 588 
persons were enteitaincd by the company 
on the (hiy of the sale and that seventy- 
(1m' lots were sold.'" The many promises 
of building projects that were made be- 
fore the wholesale disposal of lots w'ere not 
fulfilled. The activities of the year 1890 
rniui the first nf .Viigust may be sum- 
mai'ized: .\. small bottling works was ]iut 
in operation ; several small residences, one 
by E. il. Pcrcival and anotlier by Mr. 
Sturtexant. were erected; the first and on- 
ly store in the town was established by II. 
H. Loefflei- in December: the firm of Eood 
Ijrns. enga.oeil in llir fuel Inisiness and 
stock buying: an ice house with a storage 
capacity of 1(10 tons was completed by 
Allicrt .Iiiliiison ill December. 

There wric a tew additions to ilanlev 
in 1891. .Idlin Butler erected a 31x5(1 
feet grain warchnuse in time fur the fall 
season, and in Decemljer a lilacksmith and 
wagon maker located in the town. The 
Manlc\ mill was closed in ilarch, 1893, 
and from that time the decline of tlie junc- 
tion city was rapid, while Beaver Creek 
and A'ailcy Springs continued to pros- 
piT. In the course of the next few yeai> 
c\ci\ iiulu^frv ill the town, with flie ex- 
ception of the grain elevafors. were witli- 
diaw 11. 

The .-tore building and the few resi- 
deiiecs leiiiaiiied iinoccupicil lor a period 
and w nc e\rlituall\ iiiii\ed a\\a\.-" ,\ fire 
on the inorning ot Octolicr S. 19(11. de- 

"■■The sale of town lots at Manl.-y last week 
is said to have been a liig affair, tlie pur- 
chases aggl'egating about $400(1, at prices rang- 
ing fi-om $.50 to $150 a lot. The free excursion 
from Sioux Citv drew a big crowd." — Rock 
Rapids Review, .\ugust, 1890. 

-■"'Manley will soon be a has-beeii town. One 
by one the buildings of that place are being 
taken away. The last building to be removed, 
and about all that remains of Manley, will be 
the two story store Imiiding. The building was 
sold this week to A. N. Nerison. of Hills. 
The building will be removed to Hills and used 



stroyefi one of tlie two I'levntnrs, ontniling 
a loss of $-^V)(). In 11)0 1 tlu- station was 
c-los('(l liui \\:is latei' oprnril Uiy a pe- 
I'ind. No agent is niainlaineil at Manlrv 
at tiic present time. 


Warner is the name fiiven to a grain 
station, three miles east of Jjiivei'iic. on 
seetion 7, Magnolia townsliip. on (he 
W'orthington-Mitehell hranch of the C)ma- 
lia raih'oad. Tt lias never advanced be- 
hind the (iindition originally intended. 
Late in .Inly, 1877, a grain warehouse, 
20x40 feet iu dimensions, was erected at 
this point to house the products of the 
farms of Capt. Blakely and Messrs. 
Thom|ison and Seney. capitalists who 
I'oiilrollcil \ast agricultural interests in 
Jlaguolia l(i\\-nslii|) at that eai'h dav. For 
a year tliis point was designated as Hill 
Siding, then came by its present name 
A\'arner. in honor of Eling F. AYarner, one 
of the original directors of the Sioux City 
& St. Paul railroad. An elevator nuirks 
the site of Warner today. It was built 
ill .Vugust, 1!)01. by the Itulibard & I'al- 
nici' company. 

During the eighties plans for a lowii 
at the foot of the Blue mounds, a shoit 
distance north of Luverne, were made. 'I"he 
iHiari'ving industry had developed to ipiite 
an extent, and it was a scheme of J. F. 
Shoemaker, the bead of the controlling 
(•iiiii|iany. in Fnimd a small lown or colonv, 
where the men employed in Ibe (piaii'ies 
might establish convenient homes. 'I'he- 
first activity toward this end was the con- 
struction of ■iooo feet of side track to Ibe 
pr(i|iosed site in Xovemhei'. ISSl. For a 

as a dwelliriK."— Valley Spring.s Vidette. March 

""The delay in laying out the proposed town- 
iite on section 26. Denver, coupled with the 
character of the work in progress at the mounds, 
has excited the suspicion that the town of Jasper 
[Hardwick], instead of being located at the 
point originally proposed, will be located at the 
toot of the mound."— Rock County Herald. 
October 31, 1884. 

time appearances leil to the belief that the 
station the Kurlinglon comjiany bad de- 
cided to locate in Ifock county north of 
Luverne (Hardwick) was to lie at the foot 
of the mounds.-' In the spring of ISS.") 
Mr. Shoemaker made preparations to |)lat 
a townsite,^- hut the intention was never 
carried into elfect. A station at Mound, 
establishc(l in .June, was maintained for 
a sborl period, hut no agent was located 
there. A few temporary dwelling 
were erected, hut heycuid that no improve- 
ments were ever made in the "town." 

In the days of star mail routes it was 
the custom to maintain country postoffices 
at convenient ])oints. There were a num- 
ber of such in Eock county prior to the 
founding of villages and the establishment 
of rural mail nmles, which carry daily 
mail to all parts of the country. With 
the modern methods of distributing the 
mail came the abandonment of country 
postoffices, and there is now none main- 
tained in Rock county. 

Denver was the name of one count rv 
jiostoffice. 11 was located at the residence 
of IF Goodale, on section 10, in the town- 
ship of the same name. The office, es- 
lahlisheil in February, IRS."), with i\rr. 
(Joodale as postmaster, existed f(u- a niiin- 
lier of years. The Burlington railroad 
traversed section 10, and a "mail catcher" 
was put up at the most convenient point 
to the Denver postoffico in May, 1880, and 
thereafter mail was received at the ofl'ice 
Monday and Friday mornings of each 

ilamly postolfice, located on the east 
line r)f Kariai-anzi township, came into 
existence during the first decade of the 

""J. F. Shoemaker has decided to plat a 
portion of his land in the vicinity of the quarries 
for the use of employes of the quarry com- 
pany, and it is understood that a copsiderable 
number of residences will be built. The plat, 
however, will not be recorded, and none of the 
lots will be sold, as Mr. Shoemaker i.s deter- 
mined that no saloons shall be established 
there."— Rock County Herald, March 20. J8S5. 


lIlS'roK'V OF i;()('K ('(M'XTY. 

cjounh's liistoi-y. The first poslinastcr, 
Mr. Meris, was succeeded in Dccemhei'. 
1877, by O. D. Bryan. The office was 
maintained several years. 

A postoffice in JMartin townsliip, ]<nowii 
as Jlarlin. was cstablislied in June, lS7(i. 
.Iiihii J). Tyli'i' was the first imstiuaslrr. 
With the coming of railroads Martin |in>t- 
iill'ice was discontinued. 

Clinton |iostoffice, in tlie townshi|i of 
that name, was established the same monlli 
as Martin and Nets Clemetson commis- 
sioned postmaster. In April, 1877. tlie 
name of the office was changed fi'om VVni- 

lon to Kniigsl)t'rg. It was di:~<-ontinued m 
\oM'ml»'r. issj. and tlie mail formerly 
consigned tn ihat nll'icc was sent to Ash- 

In eastern l!ose Dell township was lo- 
cated ileadow postotl'ice, established in 
the early eighties. K. K. Steen was post- 
ma>tcr foi- many years. 

I'lcasant \'allcy postoffice had an e.xist- 
cnce id' a lew xears in the late seventies. 
It was discontinncil in Decemlier. 188(1, 
and the pidi'ons thereafter received theirl 
mail at Luverue. 



ROCK county pirkeil its Icu-atinn in 
till.' oxtri'iiic simtlnvostei'ii ronicr 
ol' ^[iiuK'Sdta and rhoso well. 
Without detracting in tiie least from the 
reputations of the other excellent counties 
of JliniR'sota. let it he known that Eock 
county's farniin<i' lands, in point of fer- 
tility and topographical perfectness, are 
die ijest in the state: they are the master- 
piece of the all-wise Creator's making. 
In fact, the undisputed claim has been 
made that Rock county is the richest agri- 
cultural county in the United States.^ 

The county is bounded on the north by 
Pipestone county, on the east by Xobles 
county, on tlie south by Lyon county, Iowa, 
and on the west by Minnehaha county. 
South Dakota. Its geographical center 
is in latitude 4:') degrees, 47 minutes and 
.'JO seconds north, and it lies between me- 
ridians !)() and !»7 west froni (ireenwich. 
IJock county is rectangular in form, twenty 
and one-eighth miles in width and 
twenty-four miles in length, north and 
south. It contains twelve congressional 
townships and a fractiiuial sti'ip id' land 
two and one-eighth miles in width and 
twenty-four in length. Its area is 4S"2.()7 
square miles, or 308,910.1.5 acres, of which 

'"Rock county, in the extreme southwestern 
corner of the state, holds the enviable position 
of being the richest agricultural county in the 
I'nitefi St.ates. According to the census of lf*0li. 
the per capita deposits in Rocit county were 
found to be $82.79. or $413.18 for each fam- 
ily in the county. The census of 1900 gave Rock 

4S(1.S:! s(|Uiire miles, or ;!07,7;5(j.ll acre?, 
are land, and only 1..S4 square miles, or 
1174.04 acres, are water.- Of the land 
area, with the exception of small tracts 
of waste lands on the mounds, every foot 
is tillable. 

.\ glance at the ma|i of Jlinnesota and 
the political division designated thereon 
as TJock county will furnish most of the 
information given above. But there will 
be founil nothing to distinguish Hock 
county from the other divisions in the 
vicinity except the presence of many water- 
courses, indicating excellent |)ossibilitics 
for drainage. The lithographed piece of 
paper docs not ciuivey much idea of the 
country: personal inspection is required to 
learn what it really is. 

In general the surface of Rock county 
is a liigli, broadly undulating plateau, 
th(uigli considerably diversified by streams, 
some of which have bluffy shores and scan- 
ty growths of natiii-al tinilicr. The undula- 
tions of the jirairie are gradual, in no 
places being suft'iciently abru|)t to inter- 
fere with c-nHi\ation. except at tlic mounds 
and along the streams. 'I'here are no 
lakes and sloughs and no flat ex|)anses of 
territory such as characterize some por- 

county a population of 9668. There are de- 
posited in the various banks $800,405.59. Prac- 
tically all of this belongs in the county." — Min- 
neapolis Times. February. 1902. 

^Minnesota Geological Survey. 1884. 




tions of soutlnvestern Minnesota ; conse- 
r|iiently tlicrc is no waste land from this 
source. The only exceptions to the general 
description are the mounds, located near 
the center of the county, and the strip of 
cniinti'v extending northwestward there- 
IVoiii. in w hich are frequent rock outcro])^ 
and (i\('r wJiich soil is thin. 

(Jc'ilogists tell us that the [jhysical fea- 
tures of liock county were fasliioned to 
a considcrahle extent l)y the action of the 
ice during the glacial period thousands of 
years ago. "Basing an estimate on the 
known resisting force of the red quartzitc 
found at the mounds and the marks made 
on the rocks hy the action of the ice, it is 
figured that the ice-sheet that at one time 
covered Rock county may have l)cen eleven 
miles thick. But the markings left on 
the rocks are not the only things to l>e 
considered in making the calculation. 
Prof. X. II. Winchcll has written of this 
estimate: "The import of this calcula- 
ti(m, thercr(U'e. cannot he much more than 
fo «arrani tlie statement that the ice 
was \cry thick, perha])s several miles." Of 
the e\ idcnces of glacial action in Eock 
counl\. the Minnesota Geological iSiirvey 
flS.'^t) says: 

There is evidence of glacier action, or 
what has been recognized as evidence of 
glacial action, in Rock county south of 
the coteau. The quartzite is polished, stri- 
ated and sculptured superficially on the tops 

■'Hon. WiuTiMi T'pham has told of specific in- 
vestigations in Rock county. He wrote as fol- 
lows (Oeological Survey, 1884); 

"Ver.v interesting glacial striae were seen on 
the (piartzite. one rod east of the road about 
a mile north of where the east road from Iai- 
verne to Ki[)estf)ne City rises upon the quart- 
zite of the mounil. jtroljably in the southwest 
quarter of section 23. Mound. At its west 
edge a widtli of two fi'ct ... is striated 
from north to south, while the rest is striated 
soutil 35 degrees west. The line (Hviding these 
areas marks a dehnite change of plane in the 
rock surfac^e. which is inclined downward at 
the west 4 or 5 degrees, and at the east about 
lialf as much; making a beveled angle of 5 de- 
grees or perhaps 7 degrees. It seems to me 
that these striae were probably engraved at 
different dates by one ice-sheet which had con- 
stantlv covered the district. When the ice at- 
tained its maximum area, the current of this 
portion would he nearly from north to south: 
but during the final melting, as its retreating 

of the ridges in the central part of the coun- 
ty as only glacier ice is known to do. 

At another point, about ten miles 
north of Luverne, glacial marks were ob- 
served running south 10 degrees west. On 
the rock at the mound they run 25 degrees 
to 30 and 35 degrees west. In many places 
they are conspicuous and abundant, and 
perfectly preserved, covering considerable 

It seems almost impossible that in so 
level and open a country, and on the same 
rocks, without apparent cause, the glacier 
which must have been hundreds of miles 
wide, if it existed here at all, could have 
taken such diverse directions in so short 
distances. It cannot be doubted, however, 
that this marking was done by the force that 
exerted a great pressure at the same time 
that the marks were made. This pressure 
is evinced not only in the marking itself, 
which is on the hardest formation found in 
the state, but in the minute cross-fractures 
that cover the surface where this rasping 
has taken place, and yet leave it in the main 
a smooth and nioutonned surface. These 
cross-fractures run curvingly downward at 
varying angles with the surface, and to all 
depths less than an inch, but usually to 
less than one-sixteenth of an inch, and 
indicate perhaps an incipient crushing to 
the depth of at least an inch. They show in 
what manner the rasping reduced the orig- 
inal projecting knobs. Where the natural 
seams or planes of jointage cross the rock, 
causing the quartzite to chip off sooner 
and deeper with a curving and conchoidally 
fracture, these little checks are larger. 
Their prevailing direction is transverse to 
the rasping force, so that the rock, along 
some grooves, has short conchoidally frac- 
tured structure traverse to the grooves, 
penetrating it to a depth of a quarter to 
half an inch, exhibited now in a series of 
little curving furrows where the laminae 
broke oft successfully, the convexities of 
the laminae being toward the north. . 

western border came nearer and neai'cr to tins 
placp. tile current must ha\-e been deflected 
southwestwju'd. approximating to a dii-ection 
Ijcrpendicular to the ice-border. That the striae 
bearing south 35 degrees west belong to a 
later date than those from north to south, is 
made quite certain by the fact that tiie former is 
approximately' the jire\'ailing course of striation 
in this region; for the last glacial erosion upon 
an>' area must oliviously efface the greater part 
of the eai-iier striae. 

"Al>out a mile farther north, perhaps in the 
southe;ist nuarter of .section 1.5. Mound, on a 
similar small, low exposure of quartzite. ;dsr> 
one rod east of the same road, similar striation 
was observed, the larger (west* part of the ex- 
posed rock surface being striated from north 
to south; and the smaller (east) portion, south 
35 degrees west. .-V slight difference in slooe 
of these differently striated portions of the 
rock surface is also seen here, forming a 
beveled angle. observations agree in 
all respects with the preceding." 



The soil of Eock county is a rlrift de- 
posit. It is darli-colored, fine-tcxturcd, 
abounds with organic matter — ingredients 
derived from tlie accnniulation of decom- 
posed vegetable matter tlirougli long ages 
of growth and decay — and is of unexcelled 
fertility. It has a wonderful capacity for 
the absorption of moisture and an equally 
wonderful, and perhaps conscc]uent, 
ability to withstand drougiit. It has come 
to be recognized as a distinguishing char- 
acteristic of Rock county that its soil will 
stand nioie wet weallicr and iiKire drougbt 
— and produce good crops under cithci 
condition — than most any other known 
agricultural country.^ In tlie northwest 
portion of the county, particularly in parts 
of Mouiul, Denver and Rose Dell town- 
ships, rocks a])pear on tlie surface and the 
soil covering is thin, but only in occa- 
sional spots is tlie land unsuited to cul- 
tivation. All thrcnigli the northern purt 
occasional stones are found in the soil. 
but these become less frequent toward (he 
south, and in the southern part no stone= 
at all appear on the surface. 

The soil composition of Eock and Pipo- 
stone counties presents some peculiaritie- 
not ronunon in the neighboring counties 
of southwestern ]\Iinnesota, they lyinf! 
mainly outside of what in geology is termed 
tlie morainic belt, which includes most of 
S(Hitliwcstern ]\rinnesota. Rock county is 
till-covered. the deposit exhibiting a thick- 
ness and general uniformity in its fea- 
tures equal to, if not greater Iban, most 
of the counties tliat lie witbin the mo- 
rainic belt. Its composition does not 
change so frequently to gi-avel and sand. 

*'*... These counties [Rook ami Pipe- 
stone] are among the best in the state for all 
farming." — Minnesota Geological Survey. 1SS4. 

"Prof. N. H. Winchell has mapped Rock 
county as to its soil formation. On the map 
the different formations are made to include 
territory as follows; AW of Rose Dell and 
Springwater. nearly all of Mound and about 
one-tliird of Denver townships are Potsdam 
'Utartzite formation; nearly all of Battle Plain. 
Vienna. Magnolia, about two-thirds of Den\-cr 
and the greater part of Kanaranzi. I.uverne 
and Beaver Creek townships are till, smooth 

and its upper surface is not so fre(|iiently 
broken by hillocks or depressed liv sliort 
valleys. Toward the south, however, the 
soil exhibits features that seem to indi- 
cate a greater age than that of the nortb. 
There the gravel stones, particularly tliose 
of lime stone, are rotted. Its boulders 
become less conspicuous and less numerous 
and it assumes a pebbly, rather than stony, 
composition. Witbin it appear limy concre- 
tions that are common to the Mississi])|ii 
and Missouri valleys. These concretions 
accompany tliis |iebl)]y composition, iiiilil 
by gradual witlidrawal of the pcliblrs, 
there is found a fine clayey loam which 
cannot bo distinguished from the loess 
loam of the Slissouri valley. This tran- 
sition does not involve the whole thick- 
ness of the fill, but ])ertains to its upper 
portions. At a few feet below the sur- 
face the till, even in the southern part of 
Rock county, is stony." 

The soil analy,ses indicate exceptional 
fertility and durability, but the magnifi- 
cent crops which the soil of Rock county 
produces speak more ehi(pu'ntly than the 
scientist can. The testimony of farmers 
who have accumulated wealth and inde- 
pendence affords unquestionalile proof of 
the richness of the soil. Rock is an agri- 
cultural county. Tbc principal products 
are corn, barley, oats, wheat, rye, flax, bay, 
livesfock, dairy products, poultry, fruit 
and vegetables. In the early days the 
settlers ciuifined tlieir energies almost ex- 
cliisix'ely to grain farming and largelv to 
wiiriit i-;nsing. .\ow diversitied farming 
is tlie rule.'' Every rarmer raises stock 

and undulating; small parts of Battle Plain. 
Vienna. M?ignolia. Kanaranzi, I.uverne and 
Beaver Ci'eek townships — along the streams — 
are loess, magnified drift; practically all of 
Martin and Clinton townships are loess, mag- 
nified drift. 

"Said N. H. Winchell in the publication of the 
Minnesota Geological Survey, edition of 1884; 
"The main material product of these coimties 
[Rock and Pipestone] is now. and will always 
remain, wheat, of which they will produce as 
much to the acre as any county in the .state." 


I!1st()i;y or rock corxTY. 

and many engage in dairving on a large 

The estimated mean cdevation of Rot-k 
eounty above sea level is 1510 feet. 'I'lic 
mean elevations of the sevei'al townships 
ill feet are as follows: Battle Plain. l.").")0 ; 
\'i<'iiiia, I.'c-'O; Magnolia, 1490: Kana- 
raiizi, 1475; Denver, l(i20; Monnd, 1575: 
Liiverne. IISO: Clinton, 1440; Eose Doll, 
KKiO; S|iriiig\vater. 15'^5 ; Beaver Creek, 
1150; Martin. 1440. The height of the 
sevei'al points on the line of the l?oek Is- 
land lailrnad. as determined Ijy the sur- 
veyors, is as follows: Kanaranzi river. 
14-27 ; divide. 15:.': ; Elk creek, 1444 ; sum- 
mit K'oek railroad grade, 1527 ; Eoek river, 
1111: Lu\erne depot, 1472; foot cd' Ulue 
iiKninds. 15:i2: ITonnd creek, 14'.>(), sum- 
mil Mniinil creek grade, 1012; highest 
|)oint on ilivide. 1();)5 ; headwaters 
ilound ci'eek-. 1722: divide (near county 
line), 1727. On the line of the Omaha 
the altiludi> are as follows: Drake 
(Jiagnolia), 151(;: l-^lk slough (grade), 
14()!l: >uiiiiiiit (ui'ade), 1515; Rock river 
(water). 112:!: i.u\ei-ne. 1451: suniunt 
(live miles west of Luverne), 1543; Bea- 
\(M- Creek de|iot. 144.'!; Beaver creek (wa- 
ter). i;iS5: state line. l^So. The eleva- 
tion III' .Vslirici'k station is i;i!t() feet above 
sea le\el, and where llic Doon hraut-h 
crosses the state line the (devation is 1;574 

IJocdi eounl\ has one of the most pei'- 
feet svstems of drainage of anv section of 
llie \\est, llieie being i'Imm's or creeks of 
imporlaiiee in e\er\ township. All the 
streams \\hi(4i enlei' the eonnt\- disrharge 
their waters to llie Missouri river, and 
Ilmk eiiunfy is the iiid\ one in the state of 
Miiinesiila of wliiili Ibis is true.' 'i"he 
principal slreanr-; ai'c Knck i-i\ei-. Kana- 
laiui creek, ('han])epedan creek. Split 
Rock rivei' and Beaver creek. 

■Nparly all iif tlic stri'Htns of Pipestone county 
ami a iiait nf ttinso of Nohle.s and Jackson 

The largest and most imjxirtant of tliese 
streams is Bock river — the Inyan Reakah 
of the explorers. The Bock river system, 
which is tributary to the Missouri river, 
through the Big Siou.x, includes about 
1702 scpiare miles of territory. The Rock 
has its sources in Pipestone. ^Murray and 
Nobles counties. It enters Rock county at 
an elevation of 1500 feet above sea level, 
flows in a southerly direction through 
Battle Plain, Vienna, Luverne and Clin- 
ton townships, and leaves the county at 
an (de\atioii of i:?50 feet. Its volume is 
augmented by springs and it is a stream 
of clear water, i.vith a gravelly bed. It 
varies in wiiltli rmm fifty to one hundred 
feet and its depth is from two to five 
feet. It meanders through a beautiful 
vallcv. iiiie-hair mile in width, and is 
enclosed bv blidfs along a part of its 
course. In the soutlu lai part of the county 
the bliilVs ilii not ha\e the risiial steepness, 
but rise by moderate slopes to the general 
level of the undulating upland. Flowing 
into Rock river within the county are the 
Chaiipepedanand Klkcreeks, fromtheeast, 
and ^Immd and Ash creeks, from the west. 
The two former flow through deeply cut 
vallevs ami are from fifty to one hundred 
feet below the general level. Another trib- 
utarv of the l»ock. which, however, enters 
it b(>voiid the boundaries of Rock coiintv. 
is the Kanaran/.i. flowing through the east- 
ern and soutliern parts of Kanaranzi 
towiishi|) in a deep-cut dianiiel. 

From the vieinitv ol' Luverne to the 
state line and farther south timber is near- 
ly continuous in a narrow belt along Rock 
river. Its most abundant species are Cot- 
tonwood, soft ma]ile. white elm and white 
ash; box-elder and bur oak ociMir less fre- 
i|ueull\ : and bass is absent. Wild plums, 
grapes and gooseberries are plentitful. 
Many beautifully spreading elms, fully six- 

conntlfs do, but Rock is the only one which 
.sends all its water.s to the Missouri. 





tv IV'i't in lipiglit, gTow beside the river 
near Luvenie. Farther t(3 the iKirth tim- 
ber is foiinrl sparingly and in occasional 
oroves along tlie lioek river. On the trih- 
utai'iis dl' tliis stream in T^oek county, 
and iin Split .Rock and Heaver creeks, 
timber is absent or vei'y scanty." 

HiMver creek drains a large part of the 
western portion of Rock county, and. like 
iiearlv all the streams of the county, is 
cut deep below the general surface of the 
land. It lias its sources in Rose Dell and 
lleiiver to\vnshi]is. flows south and south- 
west and eni])ties into the Rig Sioux be- 
yond the county's boundaries. In its course 
it receives the waters of several unini- 
])ortant streams. ^lud creek drains a 
small territory of southwestern Rock coun- 
ty and empties into tlie Rig Sioux. 

A picturesque stream is the Split 
Rock river, which drains the northwestern 
part of Roek county and finds its way to 
the R>ig Sioux. It is formed in Dell 
townshi]) by several small streams — Rose 
Dell, ^lud and Pipestone creeks. It has 
a swift curi-cnt and has worn its way many 
feet below the level of the surrounding 

Rock county was so named because of 
immense (|iiaiitities of rock within its 
borders. The mind is inclined to associate 
a rockv country witli a barren, unproduc- 
tive one, but this can not lie done with 
Rock county. Although millions and mil- 
lions of tons of rock are exposed to view, 
its area on the surface is limited and re- 
sults in little waste land. The whole of 
Rock county is underlaid with rock. The 
exposures, which terminate in the Rlue 
mound near Luverne, are from the same 
source as those at the Pipestone ipiarries. 
The rock disappears from the surface at 
the Pipestone quarries and does not ap- 
pear again until near the village of Jas- 

»J. F. Shoemaker in an early day reported 
having observed the following trees and shrubs 
in Rock eoiintv: White elm, white ash, eotton- 
wood, willow, spft maple, box-elder, haekberry, 
bur oak, prickly ash, smooth sumach, frost 

per. On the S])lit Rock are frequent ex- 
piisiires. while in the townships of Hose 
Dell. Spring-water ami Mniiiiil, mek ap- 
pears above the ground in niaii\ places. 
There is a verv large rock\ dutci'op in the 
noi t Investci n part id' Mound tnwii-liip. 
till' rock di]iping noilhwesl with a tlii-nw 
oi' twist, which, changing slightly, smui 
biings it below the surface. 

At a point about ten miles north of Lu- 
verne this rock becomes frequently ex- 
posed, both in the valleys and on the hills, 
and continues so to the mound near Lu- 
verne, where it suddenly breaks off, along 
the west side of Rock river, and is not 
known to the south of that place. 
Throughout this distance it forms a high 
plateau, three or four miles wide and 
about a hundred feet higher than the 
prairies east and west, l)ut the surface, 
though frequently rocky, is not rough. It 
is undulating, and the plateau sinks grad- 
ually down to the level with the rest of 
the country on either side. This plateau 
terminates abruptly in the rocky and ])re- 
cipitous bluff facing southeastward, three 
miles north of Luverne, in what is known 
as "the mound." On the ])lateau which 
terminates in "the mound" are a succes- 
sion of lidges, or swells, with low, change- 
able dip, though the most observable is to 
the northwest. These ridges are not cov- 
ered with gravel or sand like some ridges 
in southwestern Minnesota, under the 
operation of glacial forces (ice and wa- 
ter), Init, while they occupy the grand 
divide of the county, they are nearly bare 
on their tops and along their slopes, or are 
thinlv covered with a giavilly biani. while 
the dritt. e\<'n the stony tday that has 
been attributed to ice. occupies the val- 
leys between to the thickness of at least 
thirty or forty feet. 

grape. Virginia creeper, climbing bittersweet, 
wild plum, choke-cherry, black raspberry (com- 
mon on the mound), wild rose, thorn, June 
berry, prii'kly wild gooseberry, black currant, 
wolf- berry, elder. 



All over these ridges, which vary 
from a quarter of a mile to three or four 
miles in length, and are for the most part 
thinly covered with soil and turf, there 
arc little nests of large blocks of quartz- 
ite so piled together that they seem to 
have been thrust up from below hy some 
force. The edges of these blocks nre 
squarely broken off and slope toward each 
other, i. o. toward the center of the pile, 
while the blocks themselves lie so their 
upper surfaces slope in all directions away 
from the center. These upheaved spots 
vary from five to fifteen feet in diameter, 
or perhaps more. They may have been 
caused bv ice, i. e. alternate freezing and 
tliawing with the change of seasons, aided 
by tlie force of vegetation and a little 
soil gradually getting into the openings. 

'{'he high table land terminates abrupt- 
ly at a jiiiint about three miles north of 
Luverne and foruLs a precipice — the Blue 
mound — a wonderful work of nature. The 
precipice, facing the east, is about 
two miles in length and is a vast wall of 

ugged rocks. The elevation is about 175 

feet above Rock river, which flows not far 
from its base, and the perpendicular blulT 
is from forty to sixty feet high. Owing 
to a dip of about ten degrees from the 
horizon, nearly west, and to the breaking 
otT of the upper layers, causing a gradual 
slope from the brow of the hill backward 
througli several rods, the actual thickness 
of beds visible may be 150 feet. The 
rock here idso appears to be almost en- 
tirely a reddish or pink, heavy-bedded 
(piartzite. The main bluff curves west- 
wardlv at both ends, and by reason of the 
dip and ravines that enter the valley from 
the west, its exposed layers gradually dis- 
a])pear under the soil in that direction, 
and the rock is lost on the prairie. From 
the base of the ]ier]ieiulicular wall of rock, 
wliicli is abiuit a hundred feet above the 
Rock river, a talus of blocks and frag- 

ments of tpuirtzite, mingled with the gla- 
cial drift, curves gracefully down to the 
bottomland. At points in this slope the 
(|uartzite beds are seen in place. 

I'he mound is a conspicuous landmark 
from the cast, south and north. From 
its suiiimit a grand view nf tlie sui-i-o\iiiil- 
ing i-ountry can be obtained and its ro- 
mantic fastnesses have been the scenes of 
many ]iicnic parties. 

The red quartzite has been quarried for 
building purposes from early days, and 
manv of the finest buildings in Luverne 
and Jasper are built from Rock co\inty 
stone. During the eighties, quarries at 
the mound near Luverne were operated 
quite extensively, and some of the ma- 
terial was shipped to the cities for build- 
ing and paving purposes. Where the rock 
outcrops in the northwestern part of the 
r(nuitv, at Jasper, the rock has been quar- 
ried extensively since 1S8S, the industry 
being the leading one in Jasper. T>arge 
forces of men are constantly emidoyed 
and there is a big payroll. 

Rock I'ounty is developed beyond the 
]ioiut i-eacbed bv many counties of south- 
western ^Minnesota. With transportation 
facilities it is well supplied, every town- 
sliip in the county being touched by one 
or more railways. The Chicago. St. Paul, 
Jfinncapolis & Omaha railroad traverses 
the (diintv from east to west and a branch 
of that road extends southward from Lu- 
verne. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pa- 
cilie railroad passes through the county 
iKii'lli aiKJ ,-outb and is fed by a branch 
line from ilardwick to Worthingtoii. The 
countv has excellent wagon roads, ami 
local and buig distance telephone lines 
form a complete network, reaching every 
eoiiimuuitv. F.acli village has from one 
1.1 live rural deliveiy mail rcuites, and 
theie are few tarm~ to wliieli mail is not 
delivered dailv. 




AT THE (Iflte of tlu' piililicntinn df 
tliis volume six wi't'kly newspa- 
pers are piihlislicil in Hock coun- 
ty, namely: Rock County Herald at Lu- 
verne by the estate of the late H. J. MU- 
ler, A. 0. Moreaux, editor and manager; 
Luverne Journal by R. H. Ross, nianiin;- 
in<j editor; Magnolia Advance by I. M. 
C'ady, Beaver Creek Banner by H. PI. 
Peters, Hills Crescent by A. A. Hanson, 
and Hardwick Star by W. R. Jfinard. 
Only these six journals survive out of a 
total of nineteen that have been founded 
since the newspaper lustory of Rock coun- 
ty began. Of the nineteen, seven were 
county seat joui'iials. liie Herald, (iazette. 
Times, Democrat, News. .lournal and 
Western Literary Journal ; five were jnili- 
lished at Beaver Creek, the (Jraphic, Bee, 
News-Letter, Magnet and Banner; one, 
the Crescent, at Hills; three, the Citizen. 
Advance and Hiitiator, at Magnolia ; the 
News and Star at Hardwick ; and the Pio- 
neer at Kenneth. The jieriod of life (d" 
these iia])ers varied from a few weeks to 
thirty-eight years. 

In ]>ioneer communities of tlie west the 
establishment of the first paper was al- 
ways an item of great imiiortance. A new 
settlement required a champion, and not 
until the settlement boasted a news jour- 
nal was its permanency assured. After 
the founding of the pioneer journal it be- 

came "niir paper" to all the residents — an 
institution in whi( h to lake pride — and 
evei'ybody assumed the duty of seeing that 
it was properly supported. Sentiment 
entered largely into the new enterprise, 
and it has seldom occurred that the pio- 
neer paper did not have a long life of use- 
fulness. Notable examples locally are the 
Rock County Herald, Windom Reporter, 
Jack-son Republic, Worthington Advance 
and Pipestone County Star. 

'J'he little settlement at Luverne was no 
exception to the general I'ule, and I find 
that in the spring of 1S73, when the town 
boasted little except a determinati(m to 
become greater, the jieople wore clamor- 
ing I'oi', anil offering a bonus for. a news- 
jjapcr. A ccH-respondent signing himself 
"Settler" wrote the following, which aji- 
peared in the Jackson Repul)lic of ilay 
•39. 1S7-?: 

The citizens are very anxious to have a 
county paper established here and there is 
no doubt that it would receive good support. 
There is a bonus offered of about $400. One 
gentleman offers $150 cash and will sub- 
scribe for fifty copies; many others will 
take from three to ten; therefore come 
along, Mr. Editor, and we will cordially 
welcome you, one and all. 

The efforts of the residents of Luverne 
to induce some one to east his fortunes 
and his printing press with the new settle- 
ment weie not successful until the spring 
of 1S7:!. Uuring the nnudli of May a 



lllSToUY ol" 1M)('K CorX'I'Y 

|iriiitiiiM (Uilfit. roiisistiiii;- ]ii'iiicipally of 
nn old Wash iuLiti 111 luuul press nnd a few 
eases of worn o\il type, was liauleil in 
fiiiiii llie >oiilli ill a liiiiiliei- waunii ilrawii 
liy oxen. The mitfit heeanie iuired in (he 
tmiil a few iiiih's from the town, and P. J. 
Kiiiss and |-',. I). Iladh'V wont down to 
assist in extrieatini; ii. S. .1. Jenkins, the 
owner of tlio outfit, announeed that lie 
was lookins for a loeation to laimeli a 
paper, and lie was heaitih' wideomed.' Ho 
sel lip sho|) ill one corner of a real estate 
olfiee. and on Afay 2.'!. 1S73, ho issued the 
first ininiher of tlie Tioek County Herald. - 
The Herald was foimded a.s a seven 
column folio and only two of its pages 
were jirinted at home. Its politics wore 
re)niblican and its subscription price was 
$".'.00 per year. ]\Tr. Jenkins employed 
Charles F. Crosby as manaoinn; editor 
and E. D. Hadley as local editor, who 
were connected with the paper less than 
a year. H. A. Grcijory became interested 
in the publication of the pajier on No- 
vember 28, IST.", the firm of ])ublishers be- 
ing Jenkins & Gregory and ^Ir. Crosi)y 
lelaiiiing editorial control. The latter's 
eonneetion witii the Herald ceased at the 
beginning of the next year, the owners, as 
a measure of economy, attemling to the 
editorial lealure. On .\pril Id. IS'; i. :\lr. 
(iregory sold his interest lo his partner, 
and thereafter ihe rounder eondiuteil the 
pa|)er alone. Keviewing Ihe first year's 
history of the Herald, llr. Jenkins wrote: 

With this number the Herald completes 
its first volume. One year ago, in answer to 
a want profoundly felt by the people of 
this vicinity, we tried the experiment of 
publishing a newspaper in Rock county. Ex- 
perience in other localities of the far west 
had taught us enough to prevent our en- 
tertaining any idea of suddenly becoming 

'".\ no\'el incident oociuTt'd .Tlioiit INT?,. A 
man came into town barefooted. lagKed and in 
his shirt sleeves. As usual in those days, 
we corralled him to find out his name and busi- 
ness. He said that his name was Jenkins and 
that he wanted to start a paper in Ijuverne. 
Thinking him a tramp or lunatic, we asked 
where his printing outtit was. He replied that 
it was eotning at a wlloa. haw. see gait 
uj) the valley, hehinil a iiair of oxen. He did 

rich at the newspaper business in so new 
a country among a population of pre-empt- 
ors and homesteaders. Aided at the out- 
set by the energy of Judge Crosby, who 
enlisted the business men in our enter- 
prise, and by the pen of Mr. Hadley, we 
started off with a generous patronage in the 
line of local advertising and a fair subscrip- 
tion list, and we proceeded to business. 
Since that time we have regularly issued 
the Herald in spite of storm, oppressive 
heat and wintry cold, in spite of all op- 
posing elements, never missing a number. 
While it is the custom of many frontier 
papers to suspend publication through the 
winter months, the Herald has not failed to 
visit the fireside of each subscriber once 
a week through the long winter. Our 
anticipations have not failed pecuniarily; 
although we have not become bloated 
capitalists, we have had our "meat in due 

The founder of the [ferald sold in Feb- 
ruary, is;,-), to .\. C. Croft, ami tliat gen- 
tleman sold a half interest, on June .'i. 
ISKI, to bis fiu'mer foreman, A. Tj. 
Stoiighlnii. The |ia])er was published un- 
der the firm name of Croft & Stoiighton 
until Se])teni]ier 1.'!, 1S7S, wluui the jun- 
ior nienil'er of fbe lirni l)eeame sole pro- 
]u-ietor. ^Ir. Stoughton presided over the 
destinies of the Herald alone until the 
s]iring of 1S79, when Hcrliert J. :Millei, 
who was deslined lo he the juihlislier of 
(he |i:iper over tliirty years and to play 
an important jiart in the affairs of the 
eomniiinity. was admitted as a jiartner. 
On :\Iav •.', l.Sli), the Herald printed this 
modest announcemefit of the transfer: 
"Tn accordance with a long cherislied 
plan, we take pleasure in introducing (o 
(iiir read<'rs as associate editor and pro- 
priefor Ml-. II. J. ^liller, lormerly of 
Stoughton, Wisconsin, lecenlly of the 
Heinlieck (Iowa) Ifirald. and a geiifle- 
iiian whose aii|iiirenieiifs and expei'ience 
will ledound (o (he interest of our pa- 

not ask a bonus, liut wanted a shelter in which 
to run a machine and make a first-class pa- 
per. Sure, enough, the founder of the Rock 
(^ountv Herald proved a better man than he 
looked and he gave us a very good paper, one 
which now has a wide reputation." — R. O. 
Crawford in an address. bSSS. 

^George Bla.sdell received the first copy taken 
from the press. 



The publishing firm now became 
Stougliton & Miller, but almost immedi- 
ately the managemeut devolved upon the 
junior member, Mr. Stoughtou leaving in 
the fall of 187'J to attend the university 
of Wisconsin. Under the direction of Mr. 
Miller the Herald began to improve and 
continued to do so until it developed into 
one of best and most liberally quoted 
country journals of the state. Mr. Mil- 
ler wielded a trenchant pen and he made 
the Herald a powerful influence in the af- 
fairs of the city, county and state. In 
January, 1883, J. W. Hardwick, wlio 
had lieen engaged in teaching school at 
Drake station, bought Mr. Miller's inter- 
est in the Herald, the latter taking a po- 
sition on the editorial staff of the ]\Iinne- 
apolis Evening Journal at that time. 
Early in June of the same year Mr. Mil- 
ler was obliged to foreclose a mortgage on 
Mr. Hardwick's interest in tlie Herald, 
and he again became one of the publish- 
ers. A few months later, on September 
1, 188-3, Mr. Stoughton sold his interest 
to Mr. Miller, who then became the sole 
owner and publisher. 

Herbert J. Miller continued to pub- 
lish the Herald until his death. May 8, 
1909. From July 8, 1884, to November 
26, 1889, it was published semi-weekly, 
and for a few months during the Span- 
ish-American war in 1898 the Daily Her- 
ald was issued. Owing to ill health, in 
May, 1907, Mr. Miller announced his 
withdrawal from active management of 
tlie paper and installed A. 0. Morcaux as 
manager and editor. Since Mr. Miller's 
death the Eock County Herald has been 
published by his estate, Mr. Moreaux con- 
tinuing in charge. Under that gentle- 
man's control the Herald has maintained . 
its former high standing and is one of 
the best and most liberally (|uoted coun- 
try journals in the state. 

Tlie pioneer journal has always been 

repuljlican in politics. Its size has varied 
from a five column paper, with onlv two 
pages printed in tlie home office, to a 
twelve page, six column papei-, nil prinled 
at home, which is the present form. 

Rock county's second newspaper was 
the Luverne Gazette, whose career was 
short. W. A. Hutton, formerly of Web- 
ster City, Iowa, brought a newspaper out- 
fit to Luverne and on August 20, 188-1, 
put out the first number of the paper, an 
eight column folio, with two "patent" 
pages. W. A. Hutton & Co. were the pub- 
lishers. Two months after the founding 
C. H. Craig leased the plant, got out one 
or two numbers, and then gave up the 
lease. Publication was discontinued un- 
til the first day of the year 1885, when 
the Gazette was revived by E. Savage and 
AV. A. Hammond, who leased from W. A. 
Hutton & Co. Mr. Savage became the 
manager and conducted the paper until 
May. Ho, too, gave up the effort of pub- 
lishing a second paper in Luverne and 
departed. The proprietors of the plant 
made one or two unsuccessful attempts 
to find some one who would revive the 
Gazette, and early in 188G sold the 
plant to H. M. Bruner, who removed the 
plant to Iowa. 

The Times was the name of the next 
Luverne paper to be launched. It was 
democratic and appeared for the first time 
February 18, 1880. Buchanan Brothers, 
sons of R. J. Buchanan, a well known 
Iowa journalist, were the founders, W. T. 
Buchanan having the active management. 
The Times was not a financial success. 
The last number was printed April 28, 

The Luverne Democrat, a six column 
quarto, was founded June 14, 1888, by 
Irving Bath and D. W. Bath, the latter 
having the management. Its life was 
short, the last number being issued on 
October .j of the same year. The plant 




was not moved, however, and immedi- 
ately following its suspension appeared 
the Eock County News, printed from the 
Democrat office. 

For the purpose of puhlisliing the 
News, the Bock County News company, 
composed of prohihitionists, was organ- 
ized and the plant of the Democrat was 
purchased October 3, 1888. N. R. Rey- 
nolds was selected to edit the paper and 
Clifford Reynolds wa.s for a time associ- 
ated with him in the business manage- 
ment. Harmony did not dwell among 
the stockholders of the company and there 
were several changes of stock within the 
next few months. Jlr. Reynolds conduct- 
ed the News as a prohibition paper until 
October, 1889, when he was succeeded by 
F. N. Yanlhizee. The latter leased the 
plant for a time and then became one of 
the stockholders, later still. becoming sole 
owner and conducting the paper in the 
interests of the alliance party. 

Mr. VanDnzee published the News un- 
til August, 1893, when he sold to John 
E. King, publisher of the Nobles County 
Democrat, and S. S. Bellesfield, who was 
the local representative. They made the 
paper a democratic organ. In the latter 
part of October, 1893, the News was pur- 
chased by a syndicate styled the Rock 
County News Publishing company and 
composed of John J. Ryder, Ma.x H. 
Voelz and W. M. Cutcheon. The com- 
pany was ca])italized at $3000. Messrs. 
Ryder ,& Voelz, who had previously been 
connected with tlie St. Paul Globe, took 
the local management and ])ublished a 
democratic jiaper. Later Mr. Voelz be- 
came the sole editor. 

Early in .lanuary, 1898, F. N. Van- 
Duzee, the rornier proprietor, foreclosed 
a mortgage on tlie plant and at once sold 
to E. S. Hoi man. The latter conducted 
the News as a democratic paper (for a 
short time in partnership with Edward S. 

Peterson) until November 28, 1900, when 
publication was suspended. The subscrip- 
tion list and good will were sold to the 
Ijuvernc Journal, whii'b had then been 
founded, and the plant was moved to 
Hardwick, where it did duty in publish- 
ing the Hardwick News, which had been 
founded the year before but which had no 
])lanf of its own. During a part of its 
career the Rock County News was ably 
edited and enjoyed a state wide reputa- 

Western Literary Journal was the name 
of a little monthly magazine devoted to 
literature which was issued a few times 
in the fall of 1889. F. M. Bailey and F. 
L. Hinkly were the publishers. 

The last papt'r founded in the county 
seat was the Luverne dournal, which is 
still published. The Journal came into 
existence August 18, 1898, and was 
founded by W. H. Workman. It was 
founded as a five column quarto and as a _ 
republican paper, but at tlie end of two I 
vears became a disciple of the democratic 
faith. Mr. Workman presided over the 
new paper four years and eight nuuiths, 
selling in .\.pril, 19l")3, to Daniel Gagen. 
The latter managed the Journal only a 
few inontlis, selling in November to 1'. 1. 
Niester and J. Edward Jensen. The lat- 
ter took charge of tlie ofTice but remained 
only a short time. 

In .\pril, IIHII. H. R. Hickie located 
in Luverne and assumed control of the 
.Journal under contract with ^Ir. Niester, 
wlin was the owner, the two pulilisliing 
the paper together. The |)lant was sold 
under a moi'tgage in .Fuly, 1904, being 
bid in b\ tlie rnriner owium-. W. II. Work- 
man. The following day he sold to R. R. 
Hickie and A. II. Osborne, Jr., and in 
September the latter became sole owner 
by pui-chasing his partner's interest. Mr. 
Osljorne published the paper until July, 
190."'), when W. Y. Olin took the manage- 



ment, liciiig assisted by J. L. Marsliall. 
Later A. E. Snialley was the manager. 
The ownership became vested in A. C. 
Finke, A. J. Daley and C:. D. Fikliff. Mr. 
Finke bouglit liis partners' interests and 
on Febi-uary 1, 1!I09. sold to C. C. Lowe. 
The latter greatly im|iroved the Journal 
and made it an excellent pidjlicatiori. 
.Air. Ijowc sold the Journal in August, 
1910, to E. D. Luni, who published it un- 
til the following spring. 1!. II. Ross be- 
came the managing editor in February, 

The third newspaper founded in Rock 
county and the first of the five that have 
had an existence in Reaver t'reek was the 
Beaver Cieck (iraphic. The little village 
on the Beaver had developed during the 
early eighties into a lively place and its 
citizens offered support to a paper which 
would champion its cause. A plant was 
installed, and on August 27, 1885, ap- 
peared the Beaver Creek Graphic, found- 
ed by Charles Y. Knight and F. A. Knapp. 
Tlie new journal started ott' like a winner 
and received liberal support during the 
early part of its history. Three months 
after its founding Mr. Knight sold his 
half interest to Rev. H. W. Knapp, and 
the publishing firm became H. W. Knapp 
& Son. They conducted the Graphic with 
indirt'erent success until January, 1887, 
when Mr. Knight secured the interest of 
the elder Knapp and the founders of the 
paper again became the publishers, Mr. 
Knight becoming the editor. John I'ark. 
who had been in business in Beaver Creek, 
took charge of the paper in July, 1887, 
and managed it until it suspended in 
September, 1888, to be revived a few 
weeks later as the News-Letter. 

In opposition to the (iraphic, on ilarcli 
27, 1880, appeared the Beaver Creek Bee, 
published by the Beaver Creek Publish- 
ing company and edited by Col. Harrison 
White. Tiie Bee was pi-inted froni the of- 

fice of the Rock County Herald. After 
the election in November, 188(), jiuldica- 
tion was suspended. 

Early in October, 1888, Frank X. Rob- 
inson bought the old Graphic plant and 
commenced publication of the Beaver 
Creek News-Letter. He conducted it one 
year and then sold to Leon F. Carr. The 
News-Letter under Mr. C'arr's administra- 
tion was "published for fame, not for 
lucre" and succeeded in living under that 
motto until July, 1890. Publication was 
then discontinued, the proprietor having 
received an offer of support for a paper at 
Siou.x Center, Iowa. After a month spent 
in raising the mortgage from the plant, 
Mr. Carr moved it to the new location. 

For a little over a year Beaver Creek 
was without a paper. Then A. B. Vines 
ino\('d a |)lant from Highniore, South Da- 
kota, and (ni September, 2o, 1891, issued 
the first number of the Beaver Creek Mag- 
net. ^^n• a time the Magnet drew well 
and in June, 1892, was enlarged to a six 
column quarto, in which form it was pub- 
lished until January, 1897, when it was 
made a folio. Mr. Vines conducted the 
Magnet without much success or ability 
until August, 1897, when he moved tlie 
plant to Rushmore and founded the 
Rushmore Magnet. 

The Beaver Creek Banner, the last pa- 
per founded in Beaver Ch'eek, has liad a 
life of eight years. This publication was 
started by Howe & Misener early in May, 
190:!, a.s a six column quarto. Lincoln 
Misener edited the paper until Novem- 
ber, 1905, when he departed and the 
plant wab bought liy 0. J. Nash at mort- 
gage foreclosure sale. That gentleman 
conducted the paper until February IG, 
19iiC), when J. Roland Doan leased the 
]>lant and conducted the Banner until 
^[ay 10 of the next year. The next two 
months Fred W. Gluck edited the journal. 
On July 5, 1907, A. E. Caldwell took 



charge of the paper for the Beaver Creek 
Publishing eompajiy, which was controlled 
by Finke & Nash, of Hills. 

Mr. Caldwell bought the Banner plant 
in September, 1907, and (■Duducted the 
paper until February, 1909. lie was un- 
successful in putting the pa|ier on a sound 
financial basis, and on February 3(i an- 
nounced that the plaiit had passeil into 
the hands of the following named Beaver 
Creek business men : S. L. Todd, F. E. 
Henton, E. C. Brooks, E. W. Timm, Wil- 
liam T. Jennings, H. Ohs, J. C. Claussen 
and M. 0. Page. Mr. Howe, of Valley 
Springs, was employed to conduct \ho pa- 
per, which he did until April 9. 19(19. At 
that time H. H. Peters, wlm had bougid 
the plant a few weeks before, took posse- 
sion and he lias since presided over it^ 
destinies. He changed the form to a fiM 
cohinin ipiarto, added macliinery and m-i- 
terial, and has brought the Banner up ti 
a prosperous condition. 

Magnolia's first paper was the Magnolia 
Citizen, founded in February, 1893, by T. 
M. Cady. It was printed in the office of 
the .-Xdrian (Juai'dian and was published 
only a short time, discontinuing in April. 
The town was not destined to long vc 
main without a newspaper, however. In 
April, 1893, publication of the Adrian 
Citizen, a peoples party organ, was discon- 
tinued, and in May the plant was purchas- 
ed by I. M. Cady and G. E. Green, who on 
June Ifi issued the first number of the 
Magnolia Advance. In October, 1893, Mr. 
Green sold Ins iidcrcst in the paper to S. 
S. Smiley, but purchased it again the next 
month, and the Advance was published 
by Cady & Green until 1895. That year 
Mr. Green retired, since which time Mr. 
Cady has been the owner and publisher. 
The Advance is a seven cohiniii (|iiai'to. It 
is independent in politics but has always 
supported the republican national ticket. 
For a time Magnolia bad a second pa- 

per, the Initiator, which was published as 
a peoples party journal by L. C. Long, at 
one time the nominee of his party for con- 
gress. In February, 1900, he discontin- 
ued the publication, moved the plant to 
the new town of Wilmont, and on March 
3, 1900, started the Wilmont Initiator. 

The only paper ever establislied in the 
town of Hills is the Hills Crescent, which 
began life on August 17, 1893, and which 
has ever since been ]iuljlished. F. M. 
Bailey and Orrie Ilaislet were the found- 
ers. Hills had foi' some time wanted a 
iit'\\s|>a|i('i- and final] \ inducements were 
oti'ered Mv. Bailey to launch the enter- 
prise. Mr. Bailey has told of the founding 
of the Crescent in the issue of that paper 
of August 20, 1903: 

Mr. Bailey had at that time $95 in cash, 
which tie at once put into a first payment 
on type and material, but he hadn't enough 
to buy a press. It so happened that S. S. 
Haislet, of the Adrian Guardian, was friendly 
to the long gander-shanks and agreed to 
furnish the press if Bailey would take his 
son Orrie along as a partner in the en- 
terprise. This press was an old Ramage. 
It had been used by Ben Franklin, and later 
the Deeorah Posten was printed on it when 
Mr. Amundsen had no more money than 
Mr. Bailey. It was the oldest press in use 
in the United States, printed one page at a 
time, and was used for the Crescent for 
nearly three years. Saturday the outfit 
reached Hills and Mr. Bailey started on his 
wheel early and rode to Hills. That after- 
noon he rented a building, made up a dum- 
my of the paper and hustled eight or ten 
columns of ads. . . . Sunday Orrie 
Haislet arrived by team from Adrian with 
the press. Monday they carried the outfit 
from the depot. . . . The new firm of 
Bailey & Haislet couldn't raise the $5 freight 
due on the outfit, but Frank .Jordan came 
to the rescue and paid in advance for five 
papers for a year, and Thursday the first 
issue of the Hills Crescent came out. 

Six weeks after the founding the junior 
member of the firm sold his interest to B. 
F. Heastand for $5, and a few months 
later Mr. Bailey became sole proprietor. 
For two nu)nths in 189.') Mr. Bailey is- 
sued a Daily Crescent, and fi'om Septem- 
ber 19. 189."i. until March 4, 1890, when 
he sold nut, the Crescent was a semi- 



weekly. On this date the plant was pur- 
chased hy a ci)iii]Kiny of Hills Inisincss 
iiion, nf which J. R. Wright was pi'esident, 
and 11. K. Wyum, secretary. James W. 
Simmons was employed to conduct the pa- 
per. On April 15, 189G, the outfit was 
purchased by A. C. Finke and James W. 
Simmons, who conducted the paper under 
the firm name of Finke & Simmons until 
the next July. Mr. Simmons then sold 
to liis partner, and Mr. Finke conducted 
tlic paper alone until August 11. On that 
date Olaf Nash hought a half interest, 
iind for more than fourteen years the Cres- 
cent was ]iuhlishcd by Finke & Nash. Dur- 
ing the greater part of the time under this 
regime Mr. Nasli had charge of the paper. 
He conducted it in an able manner, made 
many improvements, and built it up to its 
present high standing. Messrs. Finke & 
Nash sold the Crescent September 1, 1010, 
to A. .\. Hanson, formerly of Dccorah, 
liiwn, who has maintained its former high 

Hardwick's first news Journal was the 
Hardwick News. It was a six column fo- 
lio and was founded by A. M. and T». .1. 
Ross May IS, 1899, tlie mecjianical work 
being done in the office of the Rock Coun- 
ty News at liUverne. The News celebrated 
its first birthday by changing manage- 
ment, A. H. Higley being the purchaser. 
When the Rock County News suspended 
publication the plant was moved to Hard- 
wick, and thereafter it was used in putting 

forth the Hardwick News. A partnership 
was formed between E. S. Holman, the 
former publisher of the Rock County 
News, and Mr. Higley, who continued 
publication in partnership, the latter be- 
ing editor and manager. With this change 
came a change in politics — from republi- 
can to democratic. When the plant was 
installed the size of the paper was increas- 
ed to a five column quarto. From Au- 
gust to December, 1903, the News was con- 
ducted under a lease by J. S. Randolph, 
and thereafter by the former publishers. 
Holman & Higley suspended publication 
of the News July fi, 1906, alleging lack 
of support. An effort was made to form a 
company of local business men to take 
over the plant and continue publication, 
but the attempt was unsuccessful. 

December 1.5, 1909, C. C. Lowe, of the 
Luverne Journal, and Charles J. Olsen 
began publication of the Hardwick Star. 
A few months later Mr. Lowe became sole 
]niblislier and installed C. Milton Schultz 
as editor and local manager. The Star 
was purchased by William R. Minard, for- 
merly of Little Rock, Iowa, and that gen- 
tleman took possession August 3, 1910. 
Mr. Minard has since conducted the paper 
in a creditable manner. 

The Kenneth Pioneer, established May 
-•5, 1902, liy B. H. Berry. Iiad an existence 
of a few miinths. It was n five column 



IN GATHERING data I'or a volume of covering of highly inflaiiiiualilp material, 
this kind one runs across many stories which "hurned like a prairie fire" wlien it 
of the early days for which no place became ignited, 
can be foimd in the historical part hut When a heavy wind accompanied one of 
which are truly interesting and in many these conflagrations the effect was thrill- 
instances throw vivid light on early day ing. The flames would race over the prai- 
conditions. These have been preserved and rie with the speed of the wind, leaping, 

are here incorporated under the chapter 
heading "Reminiscent." Some of the 
stories have been written by early day resi- 
dents; some are taken from the files of the 
local press ; others are original, prepared 
by the author from data gathered from 
personal interviews. 


Those who livnl in Rock county during 
the years of its early settlement, and up 
into the eighties, will never forget the 
alarm caused by the approach of a prairie 
fire. Many of the present generation are 
skeptical of the dangers to life and prop- 
erty from this source. Others can but mar- 
vel at the conditions that made a prairie 
fire dangerous or even possible. But con- 
ditions in the early days differed greatly 
from those of the present time. Then 
there were vast stretches of sparsely set- 
tled and unbroken prairie, covered with a 
dense growtli of grass, which in I he low 
places often grew to a great height, in 
the fall the ^rass died and foiiued a thick 

bounding, rushing on their fiery way. By 
day the air would be filled with smoke and 
cinders and the atmosphere would be- 
come hazy ; at night the heavens would be 
illumined by the blaze, and the bright 
lines of the raging fires could be seen, 
often miles in length. After the pass- 
ing, the prairie would be loft a blackened 

The few scattered settlers were in the 
greatest danger- when one of these fires 
approached. Many settlers lost their whole 
belongings, and but few escaped without 
loss from this source. "Firebreaks," 
made by plowing furrows around the 
buildings or hay stacks, sometimes served 
as a check to the flames, but witli a strong 
head wind the flames often jumped hun- 
dreds of feet, and in such cases the breaks 
were no protection. The favorite method 
of fighting fire was by "back-firing." When 
one of the terrors of the prairie was seen 
approaching « ith the wind, a fire would be 
.-^ei near the property to be saved. This, 
small at first, could be controlled and whip- 




ped out on tlif leeward side, leaving the 
flames to slowly eat their way windward 
to meet the coming lurid destroyer. Some- 
times a space of sufficient width was thus 
burned over in time to prevent the de- 
struction. In case of a big conflagration 
fire fighting companies would be organized 
to go out and contend with the flames, 
using dampened sacks, quilts, or whatever 
was handy, to whip out the blaze. 

Prairie fires continued a menace to the 
people of Eock county many years, or un- 
til the county had become quite tliickly 
settled and subdued. Seldom did an au- 
tumn pass in the early days without one or 
more disastrous conflagration in some part 
of the county. Several times Luverne 
was threatened with destruction, and com- 
panies had to be formed to go out and 
fight the ajiproaching fires. 

One of the first recorded conflagrations 
occurred October li). 1872, when nearl\- 
the whole of Eock county was burned over. 
The wind was blowing a gale and the fires 
swept over the prairies at a fearful rate, 
jumping fire guards several rods in width. 
Considerable loss was sustained l)y the 
few settlers living on tlie prairie, about 
one hundred tons of hay having been 
burned. Among the losers were L. Mc- 
Dermott, whose stable containing three 
horses and some machinery was destroyed, 
and C. A. Eeynolds, who lost all his house- 
hold goods and winter's snp]ily of pro- 

In the spring of 1878 almost the en- 
tire county was blackened by the demons 
of the prairie, the heavens being iiightly 
aglow willi fiery flames for a week or more. 
One o|' tlie fires was started about two 
miles north of Luverne. This swept 
nortliward along JFound Creek valley and 
made lively work for the settlers in that 
vicinity. '^Phe same fire ran over the sum- 
mit of Bhic ini>und at nightfall, present- 
ing a gorgeous aspect. On .\pril 20, 1879, 

a fire driven by a terrific wind swept up 
through the rank vegetation of the Eock 
river bottom, and for a time threatened 
tlie destruction of Luverne. A general 
alarm was turned in and nearly the entire 
population of the town turned out to pro- 
tect the village. Men and teams took sta- 
tion at various defensive points and were 
successful in staying the flames with the 
loss of nothing e.xcept a quantity of hay. 

Concerning a conflagration which burn- 
ed over the northwestern part of the coun- 
ty on April 18. 1880, a Eose Dell town- 
sliip farmer wrote : 

Much prairie fire! Most people know what 
a prairie fire is in this country, but we had 
one here on Sunday of a rather peculiar 
type. Everything was as dry as tinder. The 
peculiarity was in the wind, which blew at 
intervals from every point of the compass 
or whirled in eddies, lashing the fiery de- 
mon in all directions into a most majestic 
fury; roads, fire breaks, etc., seemed to 
offer no impediment to its prowess, and it 
would seem at times almost beyond the pow- 
er of human ingenuity to stay its terrible 
progress. With the assistance of two of 
our neighbors we managed to save, by 
almost superhuman efforts, our hay and 
stables; it was only by taking advantage 
of the changes of the wind that we suc- 
ceeded in this connection. 

The county commissioners, on October 
fi, 1880, took measures to protect the coun- 
ty buildings in Luverne from the ever 
dreaded danger, instructing the county at- 
torney to have fire guards plowed around 
all buildings belonging to the county. The 
Herald of October 8 said : "Our village 
is al)solutely defenseless against danger 
from prairie fires. Something slKuild be 
done about this matter at once." 

A fire of c(uisiderable fury s\\c|)t across 
the northern portion of the counlv Octo- 
ber 28. 1882. It had started on the prai- 
ries of Dakota some three or four days be- 
fore and when it reached Eock county was 
coming at race horse speed. In conse- 
quence (if the ferrilile gale blowing the 
strijj binned o\cr was narrow. The fire 
swept across the county with fearful ra- 



pidity, leaping over creeks and fire breaks, 
and all efforts to check its progress were 

One of the most extensive and destruc- 
tive fires in the history of the county swept 
over a large tract of country in the north- 
western part of the county on Sunday, 
November 11, 1883, and carried with it 
loss of property of considerable value. The 
fire was reported by the Eock County Her- 
ald of November 16 as follows: 

Early Sunday morning the smoke from the 
fire was plainly seen in a northwesterly 
direction from this place, and later in the 
forenoon as the northwest wind, which had 
been blowing a gale for several hours, 
increased its fury, it became evident that 
the fire was approaching the town at a 
rate which threatened danger. A consider- 
able company gathered upon the high ground 
in the northwest part of the village to watch 
the course of the tire and assist, if need 
be. in fighting it, while others went to work 
with teams and plows to make firebreaks. 
At times the indications were really alarm- 
ing, and the general apprehension was in 
no wise diminished by the reports of those 
who had driven out toward the fire to ascer- 
tain what was best to be done. Fortunately, 
however, owing in part to the efforts of 
those who had been at work at some dis- 
tance from the village, and partly to the 
obstruction to the progress of the flames 
occasioned by the plowed fields, the main 
line of the fire was broken within two miles 
of town and its direction was turned toward 
the north. During the afternoon and even- 
ing the fire worked its way toward the 
mounds and burned over a large tract of 
land north of town, including the sum- 
mit of the mounds. During the niglit the 
wind changed to the south and the fire was 
driven northward and continued to burn all 
the following day. 

The fire originated Saturday afternoon in 
the northwest corner of Beaver Creek town- 
ship. At this time the wind was blow- 
ing from the south, but during the night 
it changed to the northwest and the fire 
took the course above described. It is un- 
derstood that the greater part of the central 
portion of Springwater township was burn- 
ed over and that much property was de- 

The northeastern part of the county was 
visited by one of the destroyers October 
in, ISSl, the fire having been started by 
sparks from a Turlington engine near the 
Norwegian church nortli of Luverne. A 

strong southwest wind soon fanned the 
fire into a resis-tless current of flame, 
which swept with disastrous results over 
a considerable portion of the east part of 
Mound township and all that portion of 
Battle Plain lying west of the river. To- 
ward evening the wind changed to the 
north and drove the fire southward. At a 
late hour in the evening, when the flames 
had reached Devil's run, they were extiii- 
gui.'^hed by rain. The damage was con- 
fined to a few farmers, but was quite 


In the days before white men came, 
Kock county was the home of several spe- 
cies of big game, including bison, elk and 
deer, and many fur bearing animals. On 
hunting and trapping expeditions the 
al)origines visited the county from time 
immemorial, and later, when settlement 
had been extended to the frontier regions, 
white trappers were wont to visit the 
streams with their traps and were richly 

The bison was among the first of the 
big game to depart after the arrival of set- 
tlers. The very first settlers occasionally 
saw stray members of this noble aniuutl of 
the prairies and many evidences of his 
fni-iner presence in the shape of wallows 
and his bleaching bones scattered over the 
]irairie. The elk also departed early, al- 
( hough a few were seen by the Eock coun- 
ty pioneers. So late as May, 1879, one 
traversed a portion of the county, having 
been .seen crossing the farms of Messrs. 
Ellithorp and Green and making for the 
Eock river valley to the southeast. 

Deer remained in the county for a long- 
er period, and during the period of deep 
snow in the Avinter of 1880-81 r|uite a 
number were driven from their retreats 
and were seen; a few were captured. Soon 
after the well remembered October bliz- 



zaril tliu ivpiirt nf llio presence of three or 
four of the animals on the mounds l)roup;lit 
forth a do/cn mounted huntsmen from 
Liiverne. wlio. with a paclc of fleet footed 
dogs, were soon on the trail. The game 
was located, and after a pursuit of several 
miles one was brought to bay and shot by 
Sheriff Edwin Gillham. The next Febru- 
ary one was captured by a farmer in Vien- 
na township, the frightened animal having 
fled to the farm house to escape dogs 
which were in pursuit. 

Beaver and other fur bearing animals 
were taken along the streams for many 
years after the county was settled. Dur- 
ing the early seventies quite a number of 
beaver were trapped by the settlers along 
Bea\er creek in the township of the same 
name. A pioneer settler of the precinct 
tells me that at the mouths of the many 
deep holes, which are a feature of the 
stream, these cunning animals would cut 
down the willows and build formidable 
dams within a few days if unmolested. 
The local press in the fall of 1876 re- 
poi-ted Rock river lined with implements 
of destruction for tlie taking of the valu- 
able pelts.' Beaver were taken along this 
.stream up into the eighties. In the spring 
of 1885 "I?attlesnakc Dick," a well known 
trapper of the frontier, stopped in Luverue 
and reported that from the preceding No- 
vember lie bad taken over seventy beaver 
between the inmitli of Rock river and Lu- 
verne. In ten i\n\> lie took eighteen of 
the aninuils lictwecii the villa,i:c and Hai-- 
ling's ford. 

"•An ancient ;in(l rnspectabln family "f beaver 
that have flammed the liver above Rolfe s ranch 
and made extensive preparations for passing 
the winter in n"iet comfort are soon to l)e 
called on to furnish material for warm caps 
collar.s etc.. while their paddli- shaped caudal 
appendages will he ma.le to yield delicious soup 
for R. who has had an eye to then 
movements for some weeks."-Herald, October 
21. 1876. 


A more primitive and informal func- 
tion was [irobably never witnessed than 
Rock county's first fair, held at Luverne 
in November, 1873. Within one month an 
agricultural society was organized, the tan- 
advertised and held and the awards made. 
The first step was taken in October, when 
a number of people interested themselves 
in the formation of an agi-icultural so- 
ciety and issued a call for a meeting.^ On 
October 18 the' meeting was held and an 
organization perfected, T. P. Grout being 
chairman and 0. ^Y. Kniss secretary of 
the initial meeting. The following offi- 
cers were elected: T. P. Grout, presi- 
dent: Tv. P.. :Mc('ollum. vice president; H. 
C. Spalding, secretary; Philo Hawes. 
treasurer. The executive committee was 
composed of the following named gentle- 
men: G. H. Olds. E. L. Grout. I. Craw- 
ford, E. D. Hadley, A. E. Thompson, H. 
C. Wilson, R. W. Shaw and D. R. Bowcn. 

The fair was held in November and al- 
though the notice had been short there 
was a large attendance. The Herald of 
November 21 reported the fair, in part 
as follows: 

The display in tlie different departments 
was much better than could have been ex- 
pected. On account of the extreme youth 
and the financial condition of our society, no 
cash premiums were offered. This step seem- 
ed to give general satisfaction, all believ- 
ing it better to use the funds of the so- 
ciety for the improvement of grounds, build- 
ings etc. Owing to the lateness of the sea- 
son 'and the uncertainty of the weather, 
we consolidated the business of three days, 
dispensed with horse racing, made this a 
purely agricultural show, and commenced 
and ended our fair in one day. Fortune 
favored us and gave us a beautiful day. 
The forenoon was occupied in making en- 

="To the Farmers: We. the undersigned farm- 
ers of Rock county, hereby mvite the other 
farmers of Rock county to meet with us at 
the school house in Luverue at 2 o'clock p. m^ 
of Saturday. October IS, 1S73. for the purpose 

o exchanging views on the I'r"P'-t'',^"''^amrTf 
tion of a county agricultural socl.•t^. and if 
deemed advisable to organize the same (Signed! 
t^harle" Williams. James M:irshall. Abram Os- 
munSeth Mitchell. Philo Hawes. P. J Kniss. 
GW kniss Amos E. Estey J. HartLoom.s. 
C.' R. Henton and Thomas Williams. 



tries, and early in tlic afternoon the jurtges 
brought in their reports, after which a short 
speech was made by T. P. Grout, president 
of the society. He was followed by C. 
Williams, E. L. Grout, B. H. Bronson and 
William Grout. At the close of the remarks 
the secretary read the list of awards, when 
our citizens began to disperse, feeling that 
this, our first effort, was a success, the first 
of a series, humble in itself, but the be- 
ginning of grand results. 

The following were awarded premiums : 
H. C. Spalding, E. T. Sheldon, Everett 
Grout, G. W. Kniss, S. Norton, Ira Craw- 
ford, B. S. Wold. T. P. Grout, C. Wil- 
liams, P. Phinney, C. E. Older, 0. O. 
Haga, J. Knight, L. McDermott. P. J. 
Ivniss, William Grout. J. Gillard, Mrs. J. 
Gillard, Miss Vinnie Williams, Miss E. 
Hawes, Mrs. J. Knight, Mrs. T. P. Grout, 
Mrs. E. D. Hadley, Miss Fannie Grout, 
Mrs. Lina B. Kniss, Mrs. E. H. Bronson, 
Mrs. L. Comar. 


A great deal of excitement was occa- 
sioned in Rock county in the spring of 
188.5, when the rumor was hrought that, 
owing to the failure of the Sioux City & 
St. Paul Railroad company to fulfil the 
conditions upon which the grant of lands 
was made, all the lands which had origi- 
nally hecn included in the grant were ahout 
to revert to tlie government. On the 
strength of tlic I'liinor, which it was re- 
ported came direct from Washington and 
was authentic, there was a general rush 
for the railroad lands in Mound, Vienna 
and Magnolia townships and within a 
few days over fifty quarter sections were 
"jumped," upon each of which a claim 
shanty was erected. 'J'he lands upon whicli 
the land-hungry located included not only 
tlie railroad lands hut also those of Close 
Brothers & Co., wlm liad purchased from 
ilie railroad ooiii|iiiny. 

Within a few days it w;is autlioritativelv 
announced that no action had been taken 
by congress or the general land office de- 

claring tlie land forfeited, tluit idle rumor 
had been the basis for the rush to the rail- 
road lands. I'pon this aiinnunccment the 
excitement subsided and most of those 
who had joined in the rush gave up tlie 
idea of obtaining free lands. A few, how- 
ever, maintained that the railroad com- 
pany had secured more lands than it was 
entitled to under the terms of the grant 
and determined to stay by tbcii- lands. 
Filings were refused by the land office, 
and in time a ruling of the general land 
office made clear that there had been no 
warrant for the excitement. 


In the early days of Rock county's his- 
tory incidents sometimes occurred which 
may be classed as remarkable in the light 
of present conditions. Should the county 
treasurer of this day loan the county's 
funds to a private individual without au- 
thority from anyone, one can imagine that 
such action would be considered highly 
improper. Yet an event of this kind oc- 
curred in the early days without causing 
a ripple of excitement. The man who 
negotiated the loan — still a resident of 
Rock county — told me the story. 

It was during the terrible grasshopper 
scourge that the wife of the settler in ques- 
tion was taken ill and it was decided to 
have her go to her old home in Iowa. In 
comnion with nearly all the residents of 
Rock county of that day, the family were 
without means, but the desire to give his 
wife the benefits of the more congenial 
surroundings of her old homo led this 
homesteader to make an effort to raise 
the money among the neighbors. He 
spent a day canvassing the country in a 
futile atliMupt to borrow cnougli money 
to pay tlic railroad fare, but not a cent 
did he obtain. Disheartened, he proceeded 
on iiis way home, but on tlie way stopped 
to ciiat with a neighbor who was also tlie 



treasurer of Eook couniv. The county 
official sympatliizcfl with his friend, but 
was likewise without means. He stated 
that he had in his possession the funds of 
Book county, which reached a total of just 
about enough to meet the necessary ex- 
pense of the journey, and remarked that it 
was a shame this money could not be put 
at his disposal. 

"What security could you give if I 
should loan you this money?" asked the 
county treasurer. The settler replied that 
he had fourteen sacks of seed wheat, and 
then and there the loan was made. The 
wheat was hauled to the county treasurer's 
liome with the understanding that it was 
to be sold in case there was a call for any 
of the county's funds ; otherwise it was to 
l)e returned when the loan was paid. With- 
in a short time money was secured from 
Iowa and the county treasurer of Eock 
county was again in possession of funds. 

The credit of the settler who made the 
loan is as good today as when he borrowed 
the county funds, and he could today give 
security to the extent of several choice 
(juarter .sections of Eock county land. 


After the Nortlilicld bank robljcr}', 
which occurred September 7, 1876, two of 
the most noted of the robbers, Frank and 
Jesse James, in escaping from the scene 
of their ( rinii'. caine west and |iassed 
througli I{ock county. News of the dep- 
redations were carried all over the country 
bv the newspapers, and wherever mendjers 
of the liand apjieared in their flight out of 
the country efforts were made to capture 

After participating in a fight at Madelia 
the James l)oys rode southwest, reaching 
Rock ciiuiitv (iiic SiiiKhiy iiKiriiiug. I'hey 
were lieadeil for tjie mounds, almut which 
they had heard, in the hope lliat the rocky 
ridge Hould I'lirnish them a place of ref- 

uge. They appeared about ten o'clock in 
the morning at the home of Charles 
Eolph, in Battle Plain township, some 12 
miles north of Luverne, and asked for 
lireakfast, explaining their presence and 
a]ipearance by stating that they were land- 
seekers and that they had been traveling 
in a wagon until the conveyance was de- 
stroyed by an accident. Mrs. Eolph serv- 
ed the meal to the strangers, who exhibited 
no signs of apprehension, they sitting with 
their backs to the door. Tlie pictures of 
tlie James boys had been seen in the news- 
papers Ijy Mrs. Eolph and she suspected 
tluit her guests, were the famous outlaws. 
TTer suspicions were strengthened by the 
fact that tlie men inquired the direction of 
the mounds and asked if there were any 
large crevices or caves in tlie stone for- 
mation. Upon her telling them that there 
was none, after finisliing their meal, the 
strangers rode away. Mr. Eolph was away 
from home at the time but returned at 
the noon hour. Immediately after dinner 
he went to Luverne and notified the au- 

Sheriff Ezra Eiee with a posse started 
in pursuit, going to tlie Davis farm on 
Beaver creek. Later another party, in- 
cluding Charles Eolph, Billy Patterson, 
T\rike McCarthy, Jack Dement and others, 
followed in the same direction. Near the 
state line a Norwegian farmer was found 
from whom the James boys had taken fresh 
horses, leaving their two jaded animals. 
The farmer reported tliat tlie outlaws liad 
ridden south. The po.sses returned to Lu- 
verne, wliere another party was made up, 
augmented bv Several recruits from Wor- 
tJiington, to intercept the robbers in Iowa. 
All went to Tjarchwood, where it was 
learned thai the men wauled were on the 
Sioux river at "Uncle Dan's ford." 'I'he 
pursuers divided so as to cover both sides 
of the river and apiu-oaehcd Ihr ford. ,1. 
Dement, one of the Luvernt' party, caine 



upon the outlaws, who fired, liitting tlie 
horse he was riding. The robbers esca])ed 
before other members of tlie party ar- 
I'ived on the scene. 


It is interesting to note at this day and 
age, when Rock county lands are transfer- 
red at $130 per acre, that not so many 
years ago the prices were ridiculously low. 
This prediction was made by the Rock 
County Herald on May 30, 1884: 

The demand for town lots and Rock coun- 
ty real estate Is increasing steadily and 
prices are rapidly advancing. Wild land in 
Rock county at $15 per acre will be con- 
sidered a bargain one year from this time. 

Apparently the prediction did not come 
true, for we find in the Herald's issue of 
April 20, 1888, this wail: 

The proposition may seem at first a doubt- 
ful one, but it is probably true that Rock 
county land would sell more readily if the 
prices asked for it were increased at least 
titty per cent. There is no doubt about the 
fact that the prevailing price of land in 
this county is too low. The Creator couldn't 
afford to make such land as ours for $10 an 
acre. The price wouldn't pay for the first 
cost. Land in Lyon county, Iowa, adjoining 
Rock county geographically, but widely re- 
moved from it in point of value and desir- 
ability, is held at from $15 to $18 per acre, 
and at this price finds ready purchasers, 
while land in Rock county, very much su- 
perior in every way, goes begging for buy- 
, ers at from $7 to $10 per acre. 

During the prosperons years of the early 
nineties land prices jumped, as the fol- 
lowing from the Herald of February 12, 
1892, shows: 

Our people must accustom themselves to 
higher prices than those which have pre- 
vailed heretofore. It is no longer an un- 
usual thing to get $25 to $27 per acre for 
Improved farms and the prices are certain 
to go higher. 


During the terrible grasshopper scourge 
of the seventies the opportunities to bor- 
row money were limited. Interest rates 

were high and the few who had money to 
loan were not modest about getting their 
dues. The late A. 0. Skattum, of jVfartin 
township, a number of years ago told the« 
Hills Crescent man an experience he once 
had along this line. 

Mr. Skattum, like the rest of Rock coun- 
ty settlers at the time, had a crop failure 
by reason of the voraciousness of the grass- 
hoppers and found he had pressing debts 
to the amount of $250. Having no funds 
to meet these bills, he applied to a Lu- 
verne man for a loan. The Luverne man 
was the agent for an eastern capitalist 
who was loaning money in the grasshop- 
per devastated country, the capitalist, 
however, coming to the country person- 
ally to close the deals. 

The day the money lender arrived Mr. 
Skattum went to town. When he arrived 
the agent informed him that he would be 
unable to secure $250, but tJint he could 
have either $200 or $300, to make it even 
h unci reds. As before stated, Mr. Skattum 
had debts of $250 to meet, so he told the 
agent he would take $300 and with the 
extra $50 buy calves; that by the time 
the money became due he would have cat- 
tle enough to turn off to liquidate the ob- 
ligation. The agent went out and in came 
the man who was furnishing the money. 
He asked what the borrower intended do- 
ing with the money. Mr. Skattum told 
him — not forgetting the calf scheme. 
The money lender retired and in came the 
agent again with the information that the 
money could be had. The question of the 
terms then came up, and Mr. Skattum 
found lie would be obliged to pay the agent 
a commission of fifteen per cent, pay 
twelve per cent interest (one-half in ad- 
vance), and $5 for making out the papers. 

Kicking didn't help matters and when 
he counted over the money he had just 
$235, less than enough to pay his debts, 
and nothing left for calves. 




Private individuals were not the only 
ones whose iiuanees were at a low ebb dur- 
ing the grasshopper days. The following 
from the Rock County Herald of May 4, 
1877, gives an idea of the stranded cir- 
cumstances of the county government of 
that day : 

Some time ago mention was made in 
these coUinins of a plan whereby it was 
hoped to plate Rock county on a sound 
financial footing, such as would enable the 
county treasurer to pay cash for county 
orders as soon as issued — a state of affairs 
"devoutly to be wished." But it is not 
likely soon to be realized. The measure 
was discussed at the late meeting of the 
commissioners and a resolution concerning 
the same voted down. The principal ob- 
jection arose from the fact that the salaries 
of our county officials, which form a con- 
siderable item in the annual budget of ex- 
penses, are payable in orders, at par, and 
the twenty or twenty-five per cent shrinkage 
in value is a matter that in no way con- 
cerns the county. This, doubtless, is true; 
but there are other considerable items that 
go to swell county expenses, in which the 
county is made to bleed rather freely for 
the benefit of a few bondholders. If Rock 
county can save money in the long run by 
permitting orders to be hawked about the 
street at seventy-five cents on the dollar, 
we shall be glad to know by what process 
of reasoning such a happy result it reached. 
Let us have more light on this subject. 


For years Rock county otficials occupied 
the little, squat building that served for 
a cnuit house — admitted by all to have 
been a disgrace to the county. Illustra- 
tive of the contempt in which the build- 
ing was held, the story is told that late 
one cold winter night a seedy, sad and 
wayworn wreck nf ]ioverty. otherwise 
known as a tramp, knockiMl thnidly at the 
outer anil luily dmir of the rickety, warp- 
ed and weather beaten county building. 
John Kelley admitted him and the tramp 
asked if he might stay there all night. 

"Hut," replied Mr. Kelley, "this isn't 
a hotel ; this is a court house." 

"Well," said the tramp as he surveyed 

tiie bare walls and decrepit furniture of 
the |ilace, '"I'm pretty hard up myself but 
this county seems to be worse off than I 


The Jackson Republic of August l;i, 
1870, printed the following prophecy con- 
cerning the rock formation of Rock coun- 
ty, and the uses to wbii-h it would some 
(lay be put: 

Mr. Aiken Miner, while taking the census 
of Rock county, obtained several pieces 
of the celebrated rock in that county and 
has left a few specimens at our office. 
It has some properties of granite and will 
some day be of incalculable advantage to 
that section, both for buildings and for 
bridges when railroads shall reach" the vi- 
cinity. The rock is capable of a very fine 
polish and will be used for many purposes 
aside from building. The inexhaustible sup- 
ply and the scarcity east will make it a 
valuable possession to that county. 


Indicative of the times, there are found 
in the files of the Rock County Herald 
many interesting items. Under existing 
conditions the events recorded could hard- 
ly liave happened. In many respects tii" 
residents of Rock county of thirty and 
flirty years ago lived in a ditl'erent world : 
not one of the little items cpioted below 
was considered extraordinary at the time, 
but they would he if published in the same 
paper today. "The world do move." 

Butcher Wanted. — Why can't we have a 
butcher shop in Luverne? Or if the time 
is deemed premature for the establishment 
of such a business to be depended upon 
solely for a livelihood, why cannot some one 
make arrangements to slaughter an ox or a 
cow or some sort of beef once or twice a 
week and sell the meat out to the citizens? 
(June 6, 1873). 

Indians About.— There are said to be near- 
ly one hundred Indians hunting elk some 
twenty-five miles to the north of us. That 
is near enough, and enough of them. 
(August 8, 1873). 

To Buy a Safe.— A good sign. The coun- 
ty commissioners are talking about getting 
a safe for the use of the county. (Novem- 
ber 7, 1873). 



Holding Homesteads. — How amusing to 
see men, who apparently live in Lnverne, 
show their caution at election time by re- 
fusing to vote here and going out to vole 
where they have homesteads. They don't 
live here after all. (November 7, 1S7;^). 

The Editor's Appeal. — We would like to 
put our subscribers in mind that we are 
out of wood and have no money to buy 
more. Will those who have been threaten- 
ing to bring us wood on subscription put 
their threats into execution. (February 2U, 

The First Harvester. — On Wednesday, in 
company with a number of citizens, we visit- 
ed the farm of H. C. Spalding for the i)ur- 
pose of witnessing the performance in the 
harvest field of a new candidate for public 
favor — the Harvester King, with Gordon's 
self-binder attached. . . . It is plainly 
evident that a complete revolution in the 
matter of harvesting small grain is at hand, 
and the never tiring arm of iron sinew 
will soon take the place of the softer muscle 
of weak humanity, and the husbandman, 
mounting his automatic machine, will march 
through the luxuriant fields of grain, laying 
the golden sheaves right and left, without 
the aid of uncertain and costly help. (July 
29, 1876). 

A Bargain. — Battelle sells kerosene at 
thirty cents per gallon. (November 2, 1877). 

Reduction in Fare. — The St. Paul & Sioux 
City and Sioux City & St. Paul railroads will 
celebrate the coming in of new year by a 
general reduction of local ticket fares from 
five cents to four cents per mile on all di- 
visions of their roads, to take effect Jan- 
uary, 1878. (January 4, 1878. Advt). 

Luverne Advertised. — The fact that Lu- 
verne is about to have street lamps has 
been widely circulated by the newspapers, 
daily and weekly, and Luverne has gained, 
in the way of prestige and free advertising 
by reason of this enterprise, more real 
benefit than can be measured by the actual 
cost of the improvement. (April 6, 1883). 

Sowing Grass in Luverne's Streets. — A 
short time ago the village purchased six- 
teen bushels of grass seed and Wednesday 
the sowers went forth to sow it on tlie prin- 
cipal streets of the town. The harvest will 
be ultimate destruction to the weeds and 
a wonderful improvement in the appearance 
of the village. (April 27, 1883). 

Some Excited. — The excitement on the 
streets Wednesday over the election returns 
was intense, and the crowd which gathered 
about the Herald bulletin board was de- 
cidedly enthusiastic. The reports Tuesday 
night and early in the morning were rather 
discouraging to the republicans, and the 
democrats wore smiling faces. Later in 
the forenoon, however, reports indicating 
republican success in New York, Indiana 
and Virginia were received and the repub- 

licans went about the streets rejoicing. A 
number of flags were put out, but in the 
midst of the uncertainty which existed the 
display of bunting was made more as an 
indication of hopefulness than as a token of 
victory. (November 7, 1884). 

Celebrate Blaine's Election! — While the 
democrats in Luverne were rejoicing at 
a bonfire over the election of Cleveland last 
Saturday evening the republicans of Bea- 
ver creek were making a similar demonstra- 
tion in honor of the election of Blaine. 
Evidently one party or the other was re- 
joicing at a political funeral. (November 
14, 1884). 

F'irst Shipment of Rock. — The first car 
load of rock from the mound quarries was 
shipped Tuesday, P''ebruary 25, to Sibley, 
Iowa, for building purposes at that place. 
(F'ebruary 27, 1885). 

Trees for the Court Yard. — The improve- 
ments made this spring in the court house 
block will some time make these grounds 
very attractive. Three rows of trees have 
been set out around the block and the ar- 
rangement of the trees is calculated to 
shade the entire block except in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the court house. (May S, 

Bronson for President! — E. H. Bronson 
& Son got a complimentary vote in Mag- 
nolia township for president and vice presi- 
dent of the United States. It happened in 
this way: A citizen of Magnolia town- 
ship who was working in Luverne drove out 
to Magnolia to vote. It was a long drive 
and he had but little time to spare, but he 
was a good democrat and determined to get 
in a vote for Cleveland at any sacrifice. 
By making a vigorous effort he succeeded in 
getting to the polls in time. He had his 
ticket all prepared and properly folded. In 
the same pocket with it he had a statement 
of account from E. H. Bronson & Son, made 
out on a narrow slip of paper about the 
size of a ticket, and folded like the ticket. 
In his haste to get in a vote for Cleveland 
our democratic friend got hold of the wrong 
ticket. And when the votes were counted 
one ballot was found bearing this inscrip- 
tion: "Mr. Blank, to B. H. Bronson & Son, 
Dr., to Mdse., ,|2.40." (November l(i, 1888). 

A Dirty Shame. — Think it would be a good 
idea if the people of Hills would try to get 
some sidewalks in town so that when the 
people come into town to do their trading 
they will not have to wade in mud a foot 
deep. (February 24, 1892. Hills Correspond- 

Not a Fad. — The bicycle craze has struck 
Luverne in earnest. Several of our citizens 
have purchased new wheels this spring and 
many others are planning to do so. The 
bicycle is not a temporary fad, but is rapidly 
becoming a practical necessity. The vheol 
has come to stay. (April 21, 1893). 






OF ALL the politital divisions of 
.-^mithern Minnesota, Pipestone 
county is tlie youngest in point 
of white occupation; historically, it is the 
oldest in ilinnesota. I dare say there is 
no spot on the Xorth American conti- 
nent which was better known or had o-reat- 
er fame among tlie jieoples who inhabited 
the country before the coming of the Cau- 
casian race than the Great Red Indian 
Pipestone quarry, located not far from 
the center of Pipestone county. The spot 
was the Indian's Garden of Eden; all the 
legends point to the fact that here the red 
race had its origin. Legend, tradition, 
hieroglyphics, all proclaim the spot one of 
great antiquity, a spot where were signed 
the Magna Clhartas, where were fought the 
Indian battles of Bunker Hill and Water- 
loo, where were held the deliljerations of 
The Hague (Indian) tribunal, centuries 
before the white race came to take control 
of atfairs under a higher civilization. The 
mind wearies with the contemplation of 
what may have taken place in Pipestone 
county in the long ago. 

Even the region itself is of earlier crea- 
tion than the surrounding countrv. Geol- 
•ogists tell us that the rocks of the quarry 
are of the Huronian formation, antedat- 
ing tlie Glacial jieriod. The knowledge is 
obtained from the marks the ice made on 
the rocks when the vast fields of snow and 


ice, miles in depth, dragged their weary 
way southward. The scratches arc easily 
discernible upon the upper surfaces of 
the cliffy. .Mementos of this visit are 
also found in the vicinity in the form of 
huge granite boulders, which were torn 
from their original resting places, long 
distances to the nortlieast, and deposited 
where we tind them today. The "Three 
Maidens" are notable examples of this 
agency; they have occupied their present 
location for at least 6000 years, and pos- 
sibly for the last 100,000 years. 

Without taking into consideration the 
Indian traditions, it can be stated on au- 
thority that the red pipestone, which is 
found in no other place on earth, has been 
quarried for several thousand years. In 
the mounds of the ancient peoples who 
have l:>een classed as Mound Builders, and 
who are supposed to have been a race pre- 
ceding the Indian, have frequently been' 
found articles manufactured of the red 
pipestone. or catlinite. Specific instances 
are mounds exhumed in Ohio by Messrs. 
Squire and Davis and by others in Iowa. 
Tn each case the pipestone was associated 
with implements of copper and other ob- 
jects characteristic of the so-called Mound 
Builders, but not of the later, or Indian 
race. Pipes of this material, however, are 
rarely found in the mounds, even in the 
vicinity of the quarry, although pipes of 



other varieties of stone have been fre- 
quently discovered in tliese historie burial 

Succeeding- the ^[ound Builders, or ile- 
scending Ironi them (as soiiie authorities 
believe), the Xorth American Indians 
continued the (luarrvino; of the red pipe- 
stone and held the s])ol in great reverence 
and superstition. Here, for ages, genera- 
tion after generation, the redman reconl- 
ed the liisloi-v of his iribt- and his individ- 
ual adventures, carved in the red (|uarl/,ile 
with rude instruments in tiie form of sym- 
bols or hieroglyphics. These rude in- 
scriptions alone pi-oclaim the anti(|uity of 
the place. They were made on the glaciat- 
ed surfaces of the red stone located near 
the "Three :Maideus,"' and were kept clear 
by the winds. .\]i|)arently they were made 
by pecking oul the rock with sharp-point- 
ed instruments, or ])ossihly with other 
pieces of quartzite. The figures are of 
different sizes and dates, the latter being 
evinced by their manner of crossing and 
interfering and by the evident difference 
in the weight of the instruments used. 
They generally represent some animal, 
such as the liirtle, bear, wolf, buffalo, elk. 
dog, and the Indian himself. The crane's 
foot is the most common : next is the im- 
age of man: third the turtle; and lastly 
the octopus, or devil fish. It seems to 
have been the custom for a warrior or 
hunter who had been successful in battle 
or the chase to leave a tribute of his thanks 
to the (ireat Sjiirit in a rude representa- 
tion of his victory or his prowess about 
the boulders: perhaps, in a similar wvay, 
lie invoked the gooil offices of the spirits 
of his tribe when about to enter upon some 
expedition. Occasionally several figures 
are joined by a line scratched in the rock, 
as though some adventure were luirrated. 
The |)ublication of the Minnesota (ieolog- 

i\ll but two or threo of tin- stones bearing 
these Indian ..i.^tographs l;"^-"'-^." «;{ ,f' ■';j 
into a coUe.-lii.n by Charles H. Bennett, nt 
Pipestone. Tliey were exhibiteil at the T.ouisi- 

ical Survey says of the hieroglyphics near 
the (juarry : 

This is the "sacred ground" of the locali- 
ty. Such markings can be seen at no other 
place, though there is abundance of bare, 
smooth rock. Tlie excavation of the surface 
of the rock is very slight, generally not 
exceeding a sixteenth of an inch, and some- 
times only enough to leave a tracing of the 
designed form. The hardness of the rock 
was a barrier to a deep sculpturing with 
the imperfect instruments of the aborigines, 
but it has effectually preserved the rude 
forms that were made. The fine glacial 
scratches that are abundantly scattered over 
this ciuartzite indicate the tenacity with 
which it retains all such impressions, and 
will warrant the assignment of any date to 
these inscriptions that may be called tor 
within the human period. Yet it is proba- 
ble that they date back to no great anti- 
quity. They pertain at least to the dynasty 
of the present Indian tribes. The t9tems 
of the turtle and the bear, which are known 
to have been powerful among the clans of 
the native races of .■\merica at the time of 
the earliest European knowledge of them 
and which exists to this day, are the most 
frequent objects presented. The "crane's 
foot," or "turkey foot," or "bird track," 
terms which refer perhaps to the same to- 
tem sign, the snipe, is not only common 
on these rocks but is seen among the rock 
inscriptions of Ohio, and was one of the 
totems of the Iroquois of New York.' 

While there is no data from which to 
determine the date that the aborigines first 
began the digging of the red pipestone. it 
is known tliat the Indians of the northwest 
have resorted to the place ever since their 
acquaintance with Europeans, for the 
luirpose of getting material tor then- 
pipes. Over two centuries ago, in KiSU, 
Fattier llcnncpiu, a Franciscan priest, 
visited the wilds of what is now :\Iinue- 
sota and found the pipes of red stone in 
possession of the natives. In his writings 
he describes the Indians and tlieir |)ipes 
minutely, stating that some of the jiipes 
were white, some black, and some red. but 
that the red were the most highly val- 
ued. Four years later, in 1(')S4. I^aron La-. 
Ibniton, a French officer and explorer, 
\isiteil llie Mississip|)i river country and 

ana Purchase Kxpnsition at St. Louis, in 1904 
.and Ml. Rennett was awarded a silver medal by 
the superior jin-y for this exhibit. 



in his report nientinnod the fact that the 
Indians used jiuai-c pipes. He said that 
tiiose ni" a red color were most esteemed 
and that their use aiuonjr the savajjes had 
(he same effect tliat the flap of friendsliip 
had anionu- tlie wliites. Neither Father 
Hennepin nor Baron Lallonton mention- 
ed tlie locality from which the material 
of the red pipes came, hut there can he no 
(|uestion it was from the red pijiestone 

A liltle later we find definite nienlion 
of the (|uarry. In 1700 Pierre Charles 
LeSneur ascended tlic Minnesota river, 
and in the account of his explorations he 
states that he heard of a tribe of Indians 
called Hinahantons who were said to in- 
habit the region of the red pipcstone quar- 
rv. and of a village of the Dakotas located 
at tlie qnarries. On the map of the ex- 
pedition, made by William PeL'isle in 
lTO:i, (lie (piaiTv has no place. We receive 
further evidence of the revered spot in 
176(). Jonathan Carver ascended the Min- 
nesota river that year and spent seven 
montlis during the winter of ITfifi-HT at 
the mouth of the Waraju. or Cottonwood 
rivei', near the present city of New I'liii. 
In his writings Carver said: "Near the 
liranch which is termed the Marble river 
is a mountain, from which the Indians 
get a sort of red stone, out of which (bey 
hew the bowls of their pipes." 

That Indians not only visited the quar- 
ries for the purpose of securing the stone 
for their pi|ies, but (hat in ages past they 
had their permanent homes there, seems 
to be an established fact, although when 
white men first visited the site in the 
first half of the last cendiry there was 
no village at the (|uai'ries. In (he wi'it- 
ings of (icorge Catlin, who is supposed to 
have been the first white man at the quar- 
ries and who visited the site in is;i7, is a 
reference (o "graven, mounds and amient 

fortifications that lie in sight." .Tose]ih 
N. Nicollet, wdio was at the quarry the 
following year, spoke (d' finding nearby, 
to the east, two large, circular enclosures 
or breastworks, about two thousand feet 
in circuml'ei'eiice, with walls then remain- 
ing largo enough to protect bodies on tlie 
inside from enemies on the outside. He 
stated tliat the main entrances to these en- 
closures were then still marked enough to 
show where the principal personages had 
their lodges or dwellings. After .settlers 
located in Pipestone county, in the spring 
of 1S7S, one of these works mentioned by 
Nicollet was found and examined by C. 
IT. Bennett ami I). F. Sweet, who also 
discovered many evidences in the vicinity 
which led tbem to' believe (hat the Indians 
formei-lv had their homes near the quar- 
ries. ]\rr. Bennett wrote in 1878: 

AnionK other things which attracted my 
attention were hundreds upon hundreds ot 
places within a mile of here of circular 
form, surrounded by stones of from six inch- 
es to two feet in diameter, some of 
which were sunken in the ground so as to 
be scarcely visible, all indicating unmistak- 
ably that some time in the years or cen- 
turies gone by, they were the habitations 
of Indians, and that they constituted vil- 
lages of considerable size. 

^tiicb is left to conjeclure concerning 
the eai'lv claims to the quarries. If the 
complete history of the Pijiestone quarry 
were known, what stories of W'onderful 
struggles for its possession might be writ- 
ten ! Indian tradition is filled with ac- 
counts of battles and campaigns that took 
place (o secure it fm- (he ilifi'd-eiil nations, 
but so interwoven wilb legend are the 
lales as to lie wholly iiiireliahle. But there 
are evidences of these ciuifiicts that are re- 
liable — (he battle fields. There are many 
places in Pipestone county indicating sites 
of Indian battles. Besides those men- 
tioned as having been found at the quarry 
bv Catlin and Nicollet, there was a battle 
field (wii miles eastward of the pre-^ent 



site of Pi])estone,- ami sevi'ral in Oshornc 
township. On the northwest quarter ot 
section 34, Osborne, were found the out- 
lines of old earthworks, semi-circular in 
shape, of a size sufficient to liold .•iOOo 
men. Nearby were piles of stone, indicat- 
ing Indian graves, play grounds and trails. 
There may yet be found on the i>lace ar- 
rowheads and stone ham niers. Concerning 
some of the battle fields of Osborne town- 
ship -Major I>. E. Hunals has written as 
follows : 

The evidence still visible of pits, earth- 
works, arrowheads, stone hammers, etc., 
near the junction ot the Chanarambie and 
Rock creeks, at the head of the Rock river 
in Osborne township, indicates that it has 
been the scene of many fiercely fought bat- 
tles between different tribes of aborigines. 

On the southeast quarter of section 33, 
on a small plateau near the mouth of a ra- 
vine on the left bank of the river, is a 
series of pits, nearly connected, in the form 
of a circle; there has not been any percep- 
tible change in them since the settlement 
of the county. 

On the northwest quarter of section 34, 
on the highest plateau on the north side 
of a large ravine, can be seen a long, nearly 
obliterated, line of breastworks in a modified 
form, facing the northwest toward the val- 
ley. I had traveled over the ground many 
times, thinking it was an old trail of the 
buffalo, elk. deer and antelope passing over 
from the Chanarambie to the Rock valley, 
until one day in crossing it I noticed the 
pebbles were above the supposed trail, 
which struck me as being entirely out of the 
usual order of things, and at once began 
an investigation which resulted in the dis- 
covery of earthworks of a date so long ago 
that no reliable data can be given of their 

Signal mound, situated on the northeast 
quarter of section 24, is believed to be the 
third highest point of land in the state. It 
is easily reached from the south, but on the 
north it is precipitous to the Chanarambie 
and the valley below. When first settled by 
H. O. Gates there was conclusive evidence 
that it had been a great place of rendezvous 
for the Indians. Beds of ashes and bits of 
charred wood were to be seen all around 
about, as well as the decaying bones of the 
buffalo, deer, etc. Chippings of flint and 

-"Chiuios H. Rpiuiott hR(l a lonp: iiitervit-w 
and tMlk with ciUl Strikf-lhn-Rcp. tiPtid chief 
nf thi' Yanklnns, and Kal Maniiiin, one of the 
sub-chi<'fs. one dny week, ami thniiiRh the 
interpreter, ^'harles Ka.slnian. gleaned a num- 
ber of interesting facts coiieeruins tlvt'ir lives 
and points of interest pertaining to tlie quarry. 
It was learned that the old line of breastwork.s. 

partly-made arrowheads, with specimens of 
Pipestone, could be picked up on either 
hand. From this mound one can have a 
most magnificent view of the whole sur- 
rounding country and valleys below. 

After many fierce struggles for the pos- 
session of the sacred Pipestone quarry, a 
truce seems to have been declared, and for 
a long period of time all the Indian na- 
tions held it in cniiimon. When the ])oet 
Longfellow let his imagination see Gitche 
Manitou. the niighty, standing on the red 
crags of the quari\v. calling the tril)es of 
men together, he was not entirely vision- 
ary. Hut in time the |i(iwerful Sioux ffibc 
di'ove out tl'c other nations and laid claim 
to the (|uarry, succcssfullv defending their 
claim. Whi'ii Hie first white men visited 
the spot they found the 8isseton branch 
(if the Sioux in ])ossession. Later, by what 
right is unknown, the Yankton Indians, 
whose lands were to the west of the Rig 
Sioux river, laid claim to the exclusive 
right to (|uarry the reil |iipestone, and 
their claims were lecognized by ti'eatv 
with the United States government in 

In substantiation of the statement that 
the qiuirry M'as in the past neutral ierri- 
t(U'y, 1 (|uotp at length from the writings 
of (ieoi-ge Callin ( Xorth .Vmei-ican In- 
dians. Milunic two), who emphatically 
states that such was the case. George Cat- 
lin, than w Imui lliei-e is iin heller author- 
it\ on the Xnrlh .\nieric:m Indians, was 
tlie lirst while inau to \isil the (juarries 
and wroti' the rullowing while on his vi,-it 
t hci'e ill l.s:!? : 

I had long ago heard many curious de- 
scriptions of this spot given by the Indians, 
and had contracted the most impatient de- 
sire to visit it. It will be seen by some of 
the traditions inserted in this letter, from 
my notes taken on the upper Mississippi 

two miles east of town, was built about ninety 
t)r one huTidred years .ago b>' the Sissetons, 
who at tliat time wei-e at war with the Oma- 
has, who then claimed the ^inarry. one of the 
causes of the wai- being a strife for the pos- 
session of the (luarry." — Pipestone County Star, 
.luly 2t. 1X70. 




four years since, that those tribes have 
visited this place freely in former times; 
and that it has once been held and owned 
in common, as neutral ground, amongst the 
different tribes, who met here to renew 
their pipes under some superstition which 
stayed the tomahawk of natural foes, al- 
ways raised in deadly hate and vengeance 
in other places. It will be seen, also, that 
within a few years past (and that, probably 
by the instigation of the whites, who have 
told them that by keeping off other tribes 
and manufacturing the pipes themselves, 
and trading them to other adjoining na- 
tions, they can acquire much influence and 
wealth) the Sioux have laid entire claim 
to the quarry; and as it is in the center of 
their country, and they are more powerful 
than any other tribes, they are able to suc- 
cessfully prevent any access to it, 

That this place should have been visited 
for centuries past by all the neighboring 
tribes, who have hidden the war-club as 
they approached it and stayed the cruelties 
of the scalping-knife, under the fear of the 
vengeance of the Great Spirit, who over- 
looks it, will not seem strange or unnatural 
when their religion and superstitions are 

That such has been the custom, there is 
not a shadow of doubt; and that even so 
recently as to have been witnessed by 
hundreds and thousands of Indians of dif- 
ferent tribes now living, and from many 
of whom I have personally drawn the in- 
formation, some of which will be set forth 
in the following traditions; and as addi- 
tional (and still more conclusive) evidence 
of the position, here are to be seen (and 
will continue to be seen for ages to come 
the totems and arms of the different tribes 
who have visited this place for ages past, 
deeply engraved on the quartz rocks, where 
they are to be recognized in a moment (and 
not to be denied) by the passing traveler 
who has been among these tribes and ac- 
quired even only a partial knowledge of 
them and their respective modes. 

I am aware that this interesting fact may 
be opposed by subsequent travelers, who 
will find nobody but the Sioux upon the 
ground, who now claim exclusive right to it; 
and for the satisfaction of those who doubt. 
1 refer them to the Lewis and Clark tour 
thirty-three years since, before the influence 
of traders had deranged the system and 
truth of things in these regions. 1 have 
often conversed with General Clark, of St. 

'Regarding the creation of the world ami 
man the traditions are far from uniform. The 
following was current among the Sioux of the 
upper Missouri and was reported bv George 

"Before the creation of man. the Great Spirit 
fwhose tracks are yet to be seen on the stf>nes 
•it the quarry, in the form of traekH of a large 
bird) used to slay the buffalo and eat them 
'in the ledge of the red rocks, on tbe top of the 
Coteau des Pi-airies. and. their Iiiood. running 
on to the rocks, turned them red. One day 

Louis, on this subject, and he told me ex- 
plicitly, and authorized me to say it to the 
world, that every tribe on the Missouri 
told him they had been to this place, and 
that tlie Great Spirit kept tlie peace 
amongst his red children on that ground 
where they smoked with tlieir enemies. 

The thousands of inscriptions and paint- 
ings on the rocks at this place, as well as 
the ancient diggings for the pipestone, will 
afford amusement for the world who will 
visit it, without furnishing the least data, 
I should think, of the time at which these 
excavations commenced, or of a period at 
which the Sioux assumed the exclusive 
right to it. 

'I'd imc who knows the Indian's cus- 
tiiiiis. superstitions and heliel's, it does 
not ajjpear strange tliat the Pipet^tone 
quarry sliould he vested witli all manner 
nf legends. Here was one s])ot held in 
reverence h)- all the nations. The blood- 
red stone, the large granite boulders, every 
tree and shrub even, became an object of 
vencraf inn. Ilei'e lor centuries jiast tlie 
warlike tribes had gathered and smoked 
the calninet and dug the pipestone in 
]ieaee, some of the excavations being so 
old tliat no one has an idea of their age. 
Here tlic prairies had been dotted with 
tliiuisands III' wigwams, and tens of thou- 
sands of savages had visited the site since 
first the flight of years began. Eelics of 
camps ale indicated l)y stones placed in 
circles, laid so long ago tliat the .slow ac- 
cumulations of centuries bave almost bur- 
ied them beneath the surface. This was 
the aborigine's religious, social and polit- 
ical center of the universe, and his leg- 
ends concerning it are wonderful and nu- 
mrniiis. Ilcre, in llie must remarkable 
manner, was born the Indian race. Here, 
toil, iiappened tbe mysterious hirth of the 
I'cd pipe.'' 

when a large snake had crawled into the nest 
of the bird to eat her eggs, one of the eggs 
hatched out in a elap of thunder, and the 
Great Spirit, catching hold of a piece of the 
pipestone to throw at the snake, moulded it 
into a man. This man's feet grew fast in the 
gi'ound. where he stood for man,y ages, like a 
great ti'ce, and therefore he grew very old: 
he was older than a hundred men at the present 
da\'; ami at last another tree grew up b.\' the 
side of him, when a large snake ate them 
both off at the roots, and they wandered oft 



Indian tradition is not history, and not 
until the nineteenth century does the 
■\vliitc man's knowledtj^e o( the quarries and 
Pipestone county hegin."* We have learned 
that prior to that century a fe^v e.xpkirers 
and voyageurs liad visited the Minnesota 
river, but none had ventured so far from 
tlio broken path? as Pipestone county, so 
far as any records sliow. In 1823 a scien- 

together; from these have sprung all the people 
that now inhabit the earth." 

The legend concerning the birth of the peace- 
pipe is reported by Mr. Catlin as follows. 
That Longfellow utilized the legend reported 
by Catlin in his "Hiawatha" seems to be cer- 
tain from the wording of this tradition: 

"The Great Spirit at an ancient period here 
called the Indian nations together, and, stand- 
ing on the precipice of the red pipestone rock, 
broke from its wall a piece, and made a huge 
pipe bv turning it in his hand, which he smoked 
over them, and to the north, the south, the ea=;t. 
the west, told them that this stone was red— 
that it was their flesh — that it belonged to them 
all. and that the war-club and scalping-knife 
must not be raised on its ground. At the last 
whifT of his pipe his head went into a great 
cloud, and the whole surface of the rock for 
several miles was meUcd and glazed; two great 
ovens were opened beneath, and two women 
(guardian spirits of the place) entered them 
in a blaze of fire; and they are heard there vet 
(Tso-mec-cos-tee and Tso-me-cos-te-won-dee>. 
answering to the invocations of the high nriests 
or medicinf^-men. who consult them when they 
are visitors to this sacred place. 

"Near this spot. also, on a high mound, is 
the Thunder's nest fmid-du-Tonnerel. where a 
very ."tmall bird sits upon her eggs during fair 
weather, and the skies are rent with the holts 
of thunder at the approach of a storm, whir-h 
is occasioned by the hatching of her hroodl 
This bird is eternal and incanible of rpnro- 
ducing her own species; shn lias often been 
seen tiy the medicine-men. and is nbout as Inrge 
as the end of the little finger. Tier mate is a 
serpent, whose fierv tnngue destroys the yomig 
one's as thov are hatrhed and the fiery noise 
darts through the skies." 

Another version of this legend is nubb'sh<-d. 
in Mrs. Abbie Gardner-Sharp's "Histni-\- of the 
Spirit I>ake Massacre." When a girl Miss Gard- 
ner was taken prisoner by the Si'^ux and w-is 
with the Indians several months, during whir-h 
time they visited the Pipestone quarrv. She 
iiad an excellent opportunity to learn th*^ Intr- 
ends of the Indians, but her version, which f<tl- 
lows. is largelv in the language of Catlin. who 
ascribed the legend to the Sioux who resided 
in the vicinity of the quarry and on tlie upper 

"Manv years ago the Great Spirit, whose 
tracks in the form of those of a Inrge I>ird 
are yet to he seen upon the rocks, descending 
from the hea\'ens. stood unrni the rliff at thp 
Red Pipestone. A stream issued frfmi beneath 
his feet, which, falling down the cHff. passed 
away in the plain below, while near him. on 
an elevation, was the Thimder's nest, in wli-'-h 
a small bird stiU sits upon her eggs, the hatch- 
ing of every one of which causes a clap of 
thunder. He broke a piece from the ledgt^ 
and formed it into a huge pine and smoked it. 
the smoke rising in a vast cloud so hiirh th-if 
it could be seen throughout the earth and 
became the signal to all the tribes of men to 
assemble at the spot from whenee it issued 
and listen to the words of the Groat Spirit. 
They came in vast numbers and filled the pUiin 
below him. He blew the smoke over them all 
and told them that the stone was human flesh, 
the flesh of their ancestors, who were created 

tific expedition under the command of 
Major Stephen II. Long, of tlie United 
States army, passed u|t the ]\Iinne.sota riv- 
er, but its investigations did not extend 
io tlie quarrv or to Pipestone county. A 
vakiable re^iort of the expedition, written 
cliiefly by the party's geologist, Pi'of. Wil- 
liam H. Keating, was published in 1825. 
It contained the earliest definite descrip- 

upon this spot; that the pipe he had made from 
it was the symbol of peace; that although they 
should be at war, they must ever after meet 
upon this ground in peace and as friends, for it 
belonged to them all; they must make their 
calumets from the soft stone and smoke them 
in their councils and whenever they wished 
to appease him or obtain his favor. Having 
said this, he disappeared in the cloud which 
the last whiff of the pipe had caused, when a 
great fire rushed over the surface and meUed 
the rocks, and at the same time two squaws 
passed through the fire to their places beneath 
the two medicine rocks, where they remain to 
this day as guardian spirits of the place and 
must be propitiated by any one wishing to ob- 
tain the pipestone hefore it can be taken away." 

Another very interesting legend in which the 
Pipestone quarry figures was told George Cat- 
lin in 1R3S bv a distinguished Knisteneaux 
on the upper Missouri. The Indian told of hav- 
ing visited the quarry and described the place. 
He said: 

"In the time of a great freshet, which took 
place many eenturies ago and destroyed all the 
nations of tlie earth, all the tribes of the red 
men assembled on the Coteau des Prairies 
to get out of the way of the waters. After 
thev had all gathered here from all parts, the 
waters continued to rise until at length it cov- 
ered them all in a mass, and their flesh was 
converted into red ni pest one. Therefore, it has 
alwavs been considered neutral ground — it be. 
longed to all tribes alike, and nil were al- 
lowed to get it and smoke it together. While 
they were all drowning in a mas^. a vou"tr 
woman. K-wap-tah-w fa virgin V eansrht hold 
of the foot of a verv large bird that wa« flvin.'- 
over and was eairied to the ton of a high eijff. 
not far off. that was above the water. Here 
she had twins, and their father was the w^r 
eagle, and her children have since neonled the 
earth. The pipestone. which is the flesh of 
their ancestors, is smoked bv them as the svm- 
bol of neaep. and the eagle's quil! decorates 
the head of the brave." 

The "Three Maidens." the great granite bould- 
ers whii'h lie elose to the quarry and whifh are 
1') this day worshipped by the Indian^, havp 
been made the scene of ati interesting storv hv 
the Indians. According to them, manv ren- 
tiH'ies ago all the Indian tribes of the earth as- 
sembled in the vallev of the pipestone and en- 
gaged in deadiv conflict to avenge the supnosed 
wrongs in their resper-tive tribes. The battle 
lasted many days, and the blood flowine oier 
(he valley gave its color to the rocks. Finajlv 
there wei-e onlv two sur\'ivoi-s. each a leading 
Chieftain, of all who composed the Indian race. 
These brained each other with their tomah'iwks 
and the race woidd have been extinct had not 
three Indian maidens htd beneath three hup"e 
Tocks of the valley and lived to perpetuate 
their race. 

*An interview obtained in 1879 bv Charles 
H. Bennett from Strike-the-Rce. the head chief 
of the Yanktons. and Fat Mandan. a suh-cbief. 
furnishes a little information of conditions at 
the quarry in the early years of the ninc-teent^' 
century. Slrike-tbe-R^c. who was then an old 
man. .said that one of this first recollections as 
a ciiild was of having been brought to the Pipe- 



tion of tlic Coteau rles Prairies, the great 
elevated praiiie country extending; from 
Lalve Traverse in a southwesterly direction 
into Iowa and embracing Pipestone 
county.'' .\nother explorer and author 
was in the region in 183.3, but did not ex- 
tend Ids explorations to Pipestone county. 
This was George W. Featherstonhaugli, an 
Engiisli geologist, temporarily employed 
by the T'nitcil States bureau of topo- 
gra|)liical engineers. He traveled by canoe 
lip the Jlinnesota river and ascended the 
northern ])ai't of the Coteau. The geolog- 
ical report of the expedition was iniblished 
by order of the senate in 1S.'?6, and in 
l!~147 Featherstoidiaugh issued in London 
n itiipular narrative of the journey, enti- 
tled "A Canoe Yovage up the ilinnav 

We now iipiiroarli the time when the 
first white man visited the famous Pipe- 
stone (|iiai'iy anil lirst set foot on tlir soil 
of Pipestone county. ITp to the year ls:!7 
there is no record of any white man hav- 
ing had the courage to venture upon the 
sacred sjjot. The country was overrun 
with the savage Sioux, who guarded zeal- 
ously the place where they believed their 
race originated. The Sioux at this time 

stone nuarry by his father, who then lived with 
the Yanlttons on the upper Jim river, in Daltota. 
A few years later tlie trihe moved to near the 
month of Jim river where it empties into the 
Missonvi river. .Ahont the year lSi\\ five hun- 
dred lodges or families of the Yanl<tons visited 
the <iuarry and spent three months dissinn 
Pipestone, wliieh was a tedious job witli only 
the stone implements they had. The oM ehief 
said that dnrlns this visit he wa.s m.ari-ied to 
the first of his foin- wives with mucli i)omi> 
and ceremon\'. Fat Mandan was a boy five 
years old. but stated that he remembei''-f] the 
vi.sit distinetly. He said that his grandfather 
frequently spent the winters at the tiuarry and 
that there was a large grove theie and thai th" 
edge of the cliff was much more regidar and 
sharp and seemeil higher than at the time of 
the interview. 

'•This elevated streteh of eoiuitry. forming the 
watershed between the Minnesota and Missouri 
river systems, was the wonder of all the early 
explorers. It was referred to by the very ear- 
liest white men to Minnesota, being discernible 
for great distances, and was named by the 
French voyageurs and fur traders of the preced-, 
ing century. The Pinestone quarries are situated 
on the highest point of the divide. The Coteau 
was sometimes called a mountain, and I^ongfel- 
low's "On the mountains of the prairie" was 
derive*! fi'om the de.scriptions of the explorers. 

maintained the exclusive right to the quar- 
ry and received handsome revenues from 
traffic in the sacred stone with the other 
Indian tribes; they regarded with enmity 
any of the explorers who even hinted at a 
visit, and all tlie early travelers gave the 
spot a wide lierth. The first white man of 
I'ccord to enter Pipestone county was 
(ieorge Catlin." 

George Catlin was tlic greatest Indian 
delineator of the country. Prior to his 
\isit to the Pipestone quarry he had been 
among almost every tribe of aborigines 
in America. In almost every country he 
had found the red pipes and heard de- 
scriptions and legends of the country from 
which the red material came. He formed 
an irresistible detennination to visit the 
spot from which it came. When at Fort 
Snelling in 183.5 on one of his tours to 
the northwest, he laid plans for a trip to 
the quarry, but hearing of the govcinnicnt 
cxpi'dition under ^fr. Fcathcrstonbaiigb 
to explore the Coteau des Prairies, he 
abandoned the project. Learning subse- 
quently that that gentleman did not visit 
the ipiarry, in 1837 he made the trip 
from Xew York city, "a distance of 2-100 
miles, for which purpose I devoted eight 

"Concerning the possibility that white rnen 
might h.ave been at the quarry before Catlin. 
ITon. Warren Upham. secretary of the Minne- 
sota Historical society, in a paper on the early 
explorations at the Pipestone <iuarry. said: ". 
During the next himdred years rif exteii- 
.sion of the fur trade by the French throughout 
the northwest, previous to the cession of New 
France to Fngland in 1763. doubtless some rif 
the adventuro\is traders, crossing the great 
prairie region witli roving bands of Indians, 
saw their q\iarrying of the pipestone; but I 
am unable to cite any record of white ex- 
plorers coming to this place until a consider- 
ably more recent time, about seventy years 

General H. H. S'blev. in a letter to the 
Minnesota territorial legislature, written in Sep- 
tember. 1S40, objected to the name catlinite for 
the red pipestone. because it was apparently 
given in honor of George Catlin on the assump- 
tion that he was the first man who h-id visited 
the region. .An extract from Mr. Sibley's let- 
ter is as follows: ". . . whereas it is no- 
torious that many whites had been there 
and examined the ouarrv lone hefo>-e he came 
to the eountrv. This designation, therefore, is 
clearly improper and uniust. The Riouv term 
for the stone is E-van-shah. bv which T co- 
ceive it should be known and classified." Mr. 
Sibley did not name an earlier visitor to the 
quarrv. .and I have never heard one named. 


iiKintli,--. ti'Mveliiif;- ;it cDiisidiTalilo oxpcrise. across the cuntiin'iit. Iln' jnurni'v beiiij; at- 
aiid I'or part of the way with much fa- tended not only "witli niucli fatij^uc ami 
tigue and exhaustion.'' Of the thousands 
who have visited the sacred land of the 
Indians, tlie first was so much interested 

exhaustion." hut alsn with the danger of 
liaving ills scalp lifted im several occa- 

in the spot that he traveled half way sions. 


EXi'LUlJATlUX— 1S37-1875?. 

GK0H(;K Ciitlin organized his o.\- 
peilition at the falls of St. An- 
tlidiiy and set out on horseback, 
following the usnal route up the Minne- 
sota river on the south side. He was ac- 
companied only by Robert Serril Wood, 
"a young gentleman from England of 
line tasic and education," and an Indian 
guide. O-kup-kee by name. At Traverse 
des Sinux, near the present site of St. 
Peter, ^Ir. Catlin and his companion halt- 
ed at the cahin of an Indian trader, and 
there received the first warning of (rouble 
fiMiii the Indians. The incident is re- 
lated bv Jfr. f'atlin:' 

On our way to this place, my English 
companion and myself were arrested by a 
rascally band of the Sioux and held in dur- 
ance vile for having dared to approach the 
sacred fountain of the pipe! While we had 
halted at the trading-hut of LeBlanc, at 
a place called Traverse des Sioux, on the 
St. Peters [Minnesota] river, and about 150 
miles from the Red Pipe, a murky cloud 
of dark visaged warriors and braves com- 
menced gathering around the house, closing 
and cramming all its avenues, when one be- 
gan his agitated and insulting harangue to 
us. announcing to us in the preamble that 
we were prisoners and could not go ahead. 
About twenty of them spoke in turn, and we 
were doomed to sit nearly the whole after- 
noon, without being allowed to speak a word 
in our behalf, until they had all got through. 
We were compelled to keep our seats like 
culprits and hold our tongues until all 
had brandished their fists in our faces and 
vented all the threats and invective which 
could flow from Indian malice, grounded on 

'See "North American Iiiaiaps," vnlume two. 
by George Catlin. 

the presumption that we had come to tres- 
pass on their dearest privilege — their re- 

During this scene, the son of Monsr. Le- 
Blanc was standng by, and, seeing this 
man threatening me so hard by putting his 
fist near my face, he several times stepped 
up to him and told him to stand back a re- 
spectful distance, or that he would knock 
him down. After their speaking was done, 
I made a few remarks, stating that we 
should go ahead. 

LeBlanc told us that these were the most 
disorderly and treacherous part of the Sioux 
nation, and that they had repeatedly threat- 
ened his life, and that he expected they 
would take it. He advised us to go back 
as they ordered; but we heeded not his 

There was some allowance to be made 
and some excuse, surely, for the rashness of 
these poor fellows, and we felt disi)osed 
to pity, rather than resent, though their un- 
pardonable stubborness excited us almost 
to desperation. Their superstition was sen- 
sibly touched, for we were persisting, in 
the most pre-emptory terms, in the deter- 
mination to visit this, their greatest medi- 
cine (mystery) place, where, it seems, they 
had resolved no white man should ever be 
allowed to go. They took us to be "offi- 
cers sent by the government to see what 
this place was worth," etc. "As this red 
stone was a part of their flesh, it would 
be sacrilegious for white man to touch or 
take it away — a hole would be made in their 
flesh, and the blood could never be made 
to stop running." My companion and my- 
self were here in a fix, one that demanded 
the use of every energy we had about us; 
astounded at so unexpected a rebuff, and 
more than ever excited to go ahead and 
see what was to be seen at this strange 
place, in this emergency we mutually agreed 
to go forward, even if it should be at the 
hazard of our lives. 




Tlic cletorinincil men saddled their 
liorses and I'nde oft' tlirough the midst of 
the scowling savages, without molestation. 
They crossed the river at Traverse des 
Sioux, proceeded in a westerly direi'liiui. 
and crossed the Minnesota to the south 
i)ank near the mouth of the Waraju (Cot- 
tonwood), close to the pi'esent city f>f Now 
TTIni. Thence they left the river and jonr- 
neved "a little north of west" for the Co- 
tean des Prairies. On the journey the ex- 
plorers passed througii sevei-al Indian vil- 
lages, at several of which they weic noti- 
fied that they must go hack: hut, un- 
daunted, they continued tl'eir journey. 
Catlin states in one place that he ti'aveled 
one hundred miles or more from the 
month of the Cottonwood, and in another 
place "for a distance of one hundred and 
fwentv or thirty miles" hefore reaching 
the hase of tlic Coteau. when he was still 
"forty or fifty miles from the Pipestone 
quarry." In either case lu' overestimated 
the distance. He declared tliis part of his 
jolirnev was over one of llie most iH'aulifid 
prairie countries in the woi'ld." 

.\t the hase of the Coteau, Catlin canu'' 
upon a trading house of the Aniei'ican 
l'"ur company, in charge of ]\f(msieur La 
P'ramliois(\ whom ^li'. Callin I'efcrred to 
as an old acqiriinhince. This point, said 
to have heen foitv nv fith mihs I'ldm the 
(piarrv. was pi'ohahly in I.Acm c(uinty, east 
of the Iti'ilwiMiil ii\cr."' l<"i-om llie trading 
|)osi the iulicpiil traM'lers journeyed to 
the rpiarrv, guidi'il h\ Ihi'ir Indian. Callin 
descrihed the land as a scries of swells or 
terraces, gently rising one ahove the other. 
There was mil a tree nr hush In he seen 
in any directimi. and the ground every- 
where was covci'cil uilh a green turf of 

-"This tract of country, as well as that alons 
thp St. Peters [Minnesota] river, is mostly eov- 
ci-cd witll the richest soil and furnishes an 
abundance of Kood water, which feeds from 
a thousand livinp springs. For many miles 
we had the CV>teau in view in the distance l>e- 
forc us. whicli lool<cd like a l)lue cloud set- 
tling down in lln' horizon, and wc were scarce- 
ly sensible of the fact wIicti we had arrived 
at its base, from the graitcful and almost im- 

grass, five or six inches hiirh. On t!;e 
very top of the mound Callin and Wood 
found their far-famed quarry. Catlin 
wrote upon Iiis arrival: "... 
and, having arrived u|)on this interesting 
ground, have found it (piile equal in inter- 
est and beautv In mii' sanguine expecta- 
tions, ahundantly repaying us for all our 
trouble in traveling to it." 

The first white man in Pipestone cnun- 
tv grew eldcpient as he viewed the wonders 
spread out lieror<> liiin. In his charming 
stvie, wi'iting nil the sjioi which lie had 
made a jdiirney of 21110 miles to reach, 
Mr. Callin described tlie rormatinns. told 
i/f the traditions and legends of llu' In- 
dians and his adventures on the trip. I 
(|uotc at length from ^Ir. Catlin's "North 
.Vmerican Indians:" 

My excellent and esteemed fellow-traveler, 
like a true Englishman, has untiringly stuck 
by me through all difficulties, passing the 
countries above mentioned, and also the up- 
per Mississippi, the St. Peters, and the 
overland route to our present encampment 
on this splendid plateau of the western 
world. . . . Thus far have I strolled, 
within the space of a few weeks, for the 
purpose of reaching classic ground. 

Be not amazed if 1 have sought, in this 
distant realm, the Indian Muse, for here she 
dwells, and here she must be invoked — nor 
be offended if my narratives from this mo- 
ment savor or appear like romance. 

If I can catch the inspiration, I may 
sing (or yell) a few epistles from this 
famed ground before I leave it; or at least I 
will prose a few of its leading character- 
istics and mysterious legends. This place is 
great (not in history, for there is none 
of it, but) in traditions and stories, of 
which this western world is full and rich. . 

Such are a few of the stories of this far 
famed land, which of itself, in its beauty 
and loveliness, without the aid of tradi- 
tionary fame, would be appropriately de- 
nominated a paradise. Whether it has been 
an Indian Kden or not, or wliether the thun- 
derbolts of an Indian ,Iupiter are actually 

perceptible swells witli wliich it commences its 
elevation ahove the country around it."— 
"North .\merican Indians." by fJeorge Catlin. 

'A Joseph Iva Framboise was living in Yellow 
Medicine county so early as ls:i5. When the 
first permanent settlers of I.yon county came 
in the sixties they bought claims from Joseph 
and Alexander I.a Framboise. 



forged here, it is nevertheless a place re- 
nowned in Indian heraldry and chronicle, 
as explanatory of many of my anecdotes 
and traditionary superstitions of Indian 
history, which I have given, and am giving, 
to the world. 

With my excellent companion, I encamped 
on, and am writing from, the very roclv 
where "the Great Spirit stood when he 
consecrated the pipe of peace, by moulding 
it from the rock, and smoking it over the 
congregated nations that were assembled 
about him." 

Lifted up on this stately mound, whose 
top is fanned with air as light to breathe 
as nitrous oxide gas, and bivouacked on its 
very ridge (where naught on earth is seen 
in distance save the thousand treeless, bush- 
less, weedless hills of grass and vivid green, 
which all around me vanish into the infinity 
of blue and azure), stretched on our bear- 
skins, my fellow-traveler, Mr. Wood, and 
myself have lain and contemplated the 
splendid orrery of the heavens. With sad 
delight, that shook me with a terror, have I 
watched the swollen sun shoving down (too 
fast for time) upon the mystic horizon, 
whose line was lost except as it was marked 
in blue across the blood-red disc. Thus have 
we lain night after night (two congenial 
spirits who could draw pleasure from sub- 
lime contemplation) and descanted on our 
own insignificance; we have closely drawn 
our buffalo robes about us, talked of the 
ills of life — of friends we had lost — of proj- 
ects that had failed — and of the painful 
steps that we had to retrace to reach our 
own dear native lands again. We have 
sighed in the melancholy of twilight, when 
the busy winds were breathing their last, 
when the chill of sable night was hovering 
about us, and naught of noise was heard 
but the silver tones of the howling wolf 
and the subterraneous whistle of the busy 
gophers that were ploughing and vaulting 
the earth beneath us. Thus have we seen 
wheeled down in the west the glories of 
the day, and at the next moment, in the 
east, beheld her silver majesty jutting up 
above the horizon, with splendor in her face 
that seemed again to fill the world with joy 
and gladness. We have seen here, too, in 
all its sublimity, the blackening thunder- 
storm, the lightning's glare, and stood 
amidst the jarring thunderbolts that tore 
and broke in awful rage about us, as they 
rolled over the smooth surface, with naught 
but empty air to vent their vengeance on. 
There is a sublime grandeur in these scenes 
as they are presented here, which must be 
seen and felt to be understood. There is 
a majesty in the very ground we tread upon, 
that inspires with awe and reverence: and 
he must have the soul of a brute, who 
could gallop his horse for a whole day over 
swells and terraces of green that rise con- 
tinually ahead and tantalize (where hills 
peep over hills, and Alps on Alps arise). 

without feeling his bosom swell with awe 
and admiration, and himself, as well as his 
thoughts, lifted up in sublimity when he 
rises the last terrace and sweeps his eye 
over the wide-spread blue and pictured 
infinity that lies around and about him. 

Man feels here, and startles at the thrill- 
ing sensation, the force of illimitable free- 
dom — his body and his mind both seem 
to have entered a new element, the former 
as free as the very wind it inhales, and the 
other as expanded and infinite as the bound- 
less imagery that is spread in distance 
around him. Such is (and it is feebly told) 
the Coteau des Prairies. The rock on which 
I sit to write is the summit of a precipice 
thirty feet high, extending two miles in 
length, and much of the way polished, as 
if a liquid glazing had been poured over 
its surface. Not far from us, in the solid 
rock, are the deep-impressed "footsteps of 
the Great Spirit (in the form of a track of 
a large bird), where he formerly stood when 
the blood of buffaloes that he was devouring 
ran into the rocks and turned them red." 
At a tew yards fi'om us leaps a beautiful 
little stream, from the top of the precipice 
into a deep basin below. Here, amid rocks 
of lovliest hues but wildest contour, is seen 
the poor Indian performing ablution; and at 
a little distance beyond, on the plain, at the 
base of five huge granite boulders, he is 
humbly propitiating the guardian spirits of 
the place by sacrifices of tobacco, entreat- 
ing for permission to take away a small 
piece of the red stone for a pipe. Farther 
along and over an extended plain, are seen, 
like gopher hills, their excavations — ancient 
and recent, — and on the surface of the 
rocks, various marks and their sculptured 
hieroglyphics — their wakons, totems and 
medicines — subjects numerous and in- 
teresting for the antiquary or the merely 
curious. Graves, mounds and ancient for- 
tifications that lie in sight, the pyramid or 
leaping rock, and its legends, together with 
traditions, novel and numerous, and a de- 
scription, geographical and geological, of 
this strange place, have all been subjects 
that have passed rapidly through my con- 
templation, to be given in future epistles. 

The medicine (or leaping rock) is a part 
of the precipice which has become severed 
from the main part, standing about seven 
or eight feet from the wall, just equal in 
height, and about seven feet in diameter. It 
stands like an immense column of thirty- 
five feet high, and is highly polished on its 
top and sides. It requires a daring effort 
to leap on its top from the main wall and 
back again, and many a heart has sighed 
for the honor of the feat without daring to 
make the attempt. Some few, have tried 
it with success and left their arrows stand- 
ing in the crevice, several of which are seen 
there at this time; others have leaped the 
chasm and fallen from its slippery sur- 
face, on which they could not hold, and 



suffered instant death on the craggy rocks 
below. Every young man in the nation 
is ambitious to perform this feat, and those 
who have successfully done it are allowed 
to boast of it all their lives. In the sketch 
already exhibited there will be seen a view 
of the leaping rock, and in the middle 
of the picture, a mound, of conical form, 
of ten foot height, which was erected over 
the body of a distinguished young man who 
was killed by making the daring effort 
about two years before I was there, and 
whose sad fate was related to me by a 
Sioux chief, who was father of the young 
man and was visiting at the Red Pipestone 
quarry, with thirty others of his tribe, when 
we were there, and cried over the grave as 
he related the story, to Mr. Wood and my- 
self, of his son's death. 

Catlin pursticd his operations solely Ijo- 
caiise of love of discovery, travel and ad- 
venture, and paid his own expenses. lie 
was hest known as an Indian delineator, 
but he also devoted some of his energies 
to historical research and geological de- 
scription. At the Pipestone quarry and 
at other places on the C'oteau he collected 
samples of the rock, most of which he 
was obliged to throw away before he again 
reached civilization. He carried with him 
a sample of pipestone and took measures 
to have it subjected to chemical examina- 
tion. Such examination was made bv Br. 
C. T. Jackson, of Boston, who gave the 
substance the mineralogical name of cat- 
linite, after the first man to visit the 

The next white men to penetrate to 
Pipestone county were a party of explor- 
ers in the government employ, who visited 
the quarry in .July, 1838. In the party 
were six men under command of Joseph 
Nicolas Nicollet, with .lohn ('. Fremont 
second in command.* Nicollet and Fre- 
iiiiint traveled from Washington to St. 
Louis and thence up the Mississippi river 
to IT. IT. Sibley's trading post, near the 
iiiiiuth oF the Minnesota river. Thence 

<From 183G to 184.'i Nicollet, most of the time 
assisted by Fremont, prosecuted a geographical 
surve.v of the upper Mississippi country. He 
explored nearly all portions of Minnesota and 
ma!iy other parts of the country tlieretofore 
unvisited. He iliscuvered and nain<^il man>' lakes, 
creeks and other physical fe;itin-fs, and the map 
he made was of inestimalile value. His opera- 

thcy journeyed over the general route of 
travel up the south side of St. Peters or 
.Miiiuesola river, cro.ssing at Traverse des 
Sidux. I'hey proceeded west across the 
"ox-bow," stopping at Big Swan lake in 
Xicollet county, and crossed the Minnc- 
S(ila again al the nioulh of the W'araju 
( ('otliinu(iod). They proceeded up the 
willcy lit the I'ottonwood, on the north 
side of the river, to a jioint near the pres- 
ent site of I.,aniLiertoii, and then crossed 
f'l the south side of the river and struck 
across country to Lake Shetek, in Mur- 
ray county. They went around the north 
side of that lake, passed between Bear 
lakes and thence west and a little south 
to the quarry.^ 

Nicollet described the elevated plateau, 
of which Pipestone county forms a ]iarl. 
in some detail. "Whatever jieople may 
tlx their abode in this region must," wrote 
the explorer, '"necessarily, become agri- 
culturists and shepherds, drawing all their 
resources ti'om the soil. They must not 
only raise the usual agricultural products 
for feeding, as is now but too generally 
dune in .-oiiic parts of the west, but they 
will have to turn their attention to other 
ruial occupations, such as tending sheep 
lor their wool, which would greatly add to 
their resources, as well as finally bring 
aliout a more extended application of the 
industrial arts among them." 

The commander of the little expedition 
wrote as l^dlows of the arrival at the 
quan'v and cd' his impressions of the abode 
of the (treat Spii'it : 

The Indians of all the surrounding nations 
make a regular pilgrimage to it, unless pre- 
vented by their wars and dissensions. The 
quarry is on the lands of the Sisseton tribe 
of Sioux. 

The idea of the young Indians, who are 
very fond of the marvelous, is that it has 

tions extended to all parts of southwestern 

■^On Nicollet's map. which appears in this vol- 
ume, the r(uite to the quarry is designated by 
a. very fine, dotted line, which, however, can be 
<iuite plainly traced. 



been opened by the Great Spirit, and that 
whenever it is visited by them, they are 
sahited by lightning and thunder. We may 
site as a coincidence our own experience 
in confirmation of this tradition. Short of 
half a mile from the valley, we were met by 
a severe thunder storm, during which the 
wind blew with so much force as to threaten 
the overthrowing of Mr. Renville's wagon, 
and we were obliged to stop for a few 
minutes during the short descent into the 

If this mode of reception was at first to 
be interpreted as an indication of anger 
on the part of the Great Spirit for our 
intrusion, we may add that he was soon rec- 
onciled to our presence; for the sun soon 
after made his appearance, drying both the 
valley and our baggage. The rest of the 
day was spent in pitching our tent on the 
supposed consecrated ground and in admir- 
ing the beautiful effects of lights and shad- 
ows produced by the western sun as it illu- 
mined the several parts of the bluff, compos- 
ed of red rock of different shades, extend- 
ing a league in length and presenting the 
appearance of the ruins of some ancient 
city built of marble and porphyry. The 
night was calm and temperate, of which we 
took advantage to make astronomical ob- 

Nicollet and party remained at tlie quar- 
ry three days. Indians were present at 
the time and tlie whites assisted tliem in 
openiii<r a new (|uarry, blasting the rock 
with gunpowder." On a .slab of the red 
quartzite near tlie leaping rock, the mem- 
bers of the paity carved their initials and 
the date. The carving, which is distinct 
to this day, was made in the following 


C. A. G. j^ >< 

J. E. F. S 2 

J.K. s-<3 



The C. F. was for Joiin C. Fremont, 
wJio at that jieriod signed his name diar- 
ies Fremont;" tlie 0. A. 0. was for Cliar- 
ies A. Geyer, tlie botanisi ol the e.xpedi- 
lion; whom the J. L. represents 1 am 
unable to state: the J. 1"'-. F. was for J. 
I<]ugene Flandin; and tlie J. U. for .lames 

After departing finm tlic (puiiTy tlie 
expedition explored the adjacent country. 
On the map made a few years later, sev- 
eral features of Pipestone county have a 
place. The Inyan Eeakah, or River of the 
Kock, is quite accurately located, as is 
also Hidden Wood creek, or Tchan-Xar- 
ambe (Chanarambie) creek. Eed Pipe- 
stone creek is made to rise a short distance 
east of the quarry, flow in a southwesterly 
direction and empty into the Tchan-Kasn- 
data (Big Sioux) river. A stream, labeled 
Coteau Perce creek, liaving its source 
near Lake Benton, is also shown as flow- 
ing through Pipestone county in a south- 
westerly direction to the Big 8ioux. Nic- 
ollet and his party visited and named T.ake 
Benton and then proceeded westward into 
Tlakota, visiting and naming T.akes Pres- 
ton (for Senator Preston), Poinsett (for 
.]. E. Poinsett, secretary of war), Ahert, 
Thompson, Tetonkaha, Kampeska, and 
Hendricks. The location of each of these 
places was determined by celestial obser- 
vations, and the elevation of each place 
was obtained. Before returning to civili- 
zation Nicollet visited Big Stone Lake 
and other places to the north. He re- 
turned to the falls of St. Anthony by 
way of the Renville camp on the Lac qui 

•Nicollet stated that it was a rule among 
the Sissetons to go through a three days' puri- 
fication by offering prayers and sacrifices to 
the Great Spirit before digging the precious 
stone, and if. perchance, in digging, one of 
them found an inferior piece he lost caste with 
the others and was obliged to withdraw in 
disgrace and let the honor of digging f.Tll upon 
one more worthy. 

'In a letter to Charles H. Bennett, dated Sep- 
tember ;;, 1SS5. General Fremont wrote: 

"I had hoped to disinter some data which 

might throw some light upon the ob.scuritv of 
now nearly half a century ago. But fire and fre- 
quent change of residence have made havoc 
among my papers, and I can only give you the 
meager outline which memory retains o( those 
journeys. The hut [at Lake Benton] you men- 
tion was not ours. We passed no winter there. 
Our campaigns were summer ones, and the 
green of the prairies and the herds of buffalo 
are leading features which remain in my mind. 
We made a camp at the Red Pipestone' quarry 
and met tliere a. band of Sioux Indians. i 
wonder if chimney rock, which stood in front 


lllS'l'ol.'Y OF riPESTOXE COUNTY. 

The next record we have of white men 
in Pipestone eDiiiity is in 1S4 t. That year 
a governiiu'nt t'\]HMlitioii umlrr Captain 
J. Allen, operating chiefly to chart the 
l)es jMoines river anfl other streams, pro- 
ceeded up the Des iloines and entered 
jMinnesota in Jackson county. The course 
was through Jackson, Cottonwood and 
Murray counties. Captain Allen found 
that Lake Shetek was the source of tin- 
Pes Moines river, and witli that lake as 
temporary headquarters lie exjilored the 
country in several directions. He then 
set out for the west, passing through Pipe- 
stone county, and pi'oceeded down the Big 
Sioux river to its mouth. Apparently, lie 
missed the Pipestone quarry, but he de- 
scrii)ed the country, and wrote in regard 
to the big game he encountered on the 
trip through Pipestone county: 

Twenty-five miles west of the source of 
the Des Moines (Lake Shetek) we struck the 
range of the buffalo and continued in it to 
the Big Sioux river and down that river 
about eighty-six miles. . . . We found 
antelope in the same range with the buffalo, 
but no elk, and very seldom a common deer. 
While among the buffalo we killed as many 
as we wanted, and without trouble. 

During the forties and lifties the Pipe- 
stone quarry was visited infrequently by 
white meii. Trading jiosts and sottlements 
were established in uumy parts of the 
frontier ; trappers and hunters pushed out 
to many out-of-the-way places in plying 
their trade; traders with the Indians fre- 
quently went far from the civilized por- 
tions of the country; missionaries occa- 
sionally made pilgrimages to the Indian 
villages. There can be no doulit that fron- 
tiersmen of this class at times traversed 
Pi])cstone county and were at the famous 

of the escarpment, is still standing. It re- 
quired a sure foot to jump from the main rock 
to the top of it. The two sets of initials in- 
scribed to which you particularly refer are 
for C^liartes Fremont, as I then commonly wrote 
my name, and J. Eugene Flandlin. a young 
gentleman from New York, who was attached 
to the partv. The names of Lakes Jessie and 
Benton were given by me, and were for my 
wife and her father, Senator Benton." 

•Rock County Herald, December 7, 1ST7. 

quarry. Unfortunately, these people sel- 
dom left records of their adventures, and 
so it is that we knovv' .of only a few such. 

Rev. Augustus Eavoux, attended by a 
single while man, accompanied a ])arty of 
Simix in liS4.") on an extended journey 
through the western wilderness. He visit- 
ed Iicdwood, the Pipestone quarry, Xcv- 
niillion and F(U-t Pierre, returning to Du- 
buque Ijy way of Des ^loines. He report- 
ed tlie country which later became south- 
western ^linnesota as swarming with buf- 
falo and dusky red men,** 

In 1853 Judge Swan, who later became 
a prominent citizen of Sionx City, Iowa, 
passed through Pipestone county while on 
a hunting exjjedition. He was with /a 
party of Indians, who were enroute from 
Lake Slu'tek to the Dakota country. His 
camp was nnidc one night on the site now 
oceupii'd bv the government school at 

The next recorded visit of white people 
to Pipestone county was in April, 1857, 
when ;\[iss .\l)bie GardiuM-, l\[rs, Margaret 
ilarhle, ilrs. Lydia Noble and Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Thatcher passed through as prison- 
ers of an outlaw Indian, Inkpaduta, and a 
reiu\<i'ade band of Sioux Imlians, 
women had been taken prisoners a few 
weeks before at Okolioji hikes. Iowa, in 
the butchery commonly called the Spirit 
Lake massacre, perpetrated by the blood- 
thirsty Inkpaduta, The flight of the In- 
dians with their captives was by way of 
the quarry. They spent one day there,'" 
and then )iroceeded westward to the Big 
Sioux n\cv. coming to that stream at about 
the point where now stands the city of 
Flandreau. They liad then been on the 

•Interview with Judge Swan in Pipestone 
County Star, January 19, 1894. 

""Our captors rested themselves here for 
about a dav. in which time they were engaged 
in the delightful task of gatliering the pipestone 
and shaping it into pipes, which were formed 
in the manner foretold ages ago." — Mrs. Abbie 
C.ardner-Sharp in "History of the Spirit Lake 



march for six weeks, over a trackless prai- 
I'ie, through deep snow, across creeks, riv- 
ers, sloughs and lakes." 

At this interesting period iu history, at 
a time when only a few explorers and ad- 
venturers had had the liardilmod to pene- 
trate the wilds of the county-, when women 
captives were held with impunity Ijy tlie 
degenerate Sioux where later was Imilded 
the city of Pipestone, wlien there was not 
a white settler within many long miles, 
Pipesdme county was created hy legis- 
lative act. It was entitled to a place on 
the map of Minnesota for the first time 
May 3;i, 1857, when the bill creating it 
was a]jproved by the territorial governor. 
So little did the lawmakers know of south- 
western Minnesota at that time that they 
named the county Eock and the one to the 
south of it Pipestone.'^ Its original di- 
mensions were twenty- four miles north 
and south hy thirty miles east and west, 
and within its limits were the site of the 
present city of Flandreau, South Dakota, 
and the big bend in the Big Sioux river, 
north of that city.*-'' No provision was 
made for the organization of the county, 
its boundaries were not even surveyed, and 
f(H- many years its territory remained the 
same wild country it had always been. 
Antiei]iating the time when the country 
should have inliahitants, the lawmakers 
inserted a clause in the original bill to 
the effect that Eock (read Pipestone) 

"Of the four women captives. Mrs. Thatcher 
was murdered upon reaching the Big Sioux; 
Mrs. Noble was murdered some weelss later- 
Mrs. Marble and Miss Gardner, who was theii 
a girl thirteen years of age, were ransomed 
after considerable delay. On September '>2 
1892. Mrs. Abbie Gardner- Sharp, for tlie first 
time since she passed through a.s a captive 
visited the Pipestone quarry. She identified 
the site of the lodges occupied by the captives 
of 1857. It was on the reservation, on ground 
sloping westward from the low jasper ledge, 
about a quarter of a mile south from the falls 
This was the only point on the whole journey 
which the former captive recognized. 

J-See Rock county history, page 43. The 
change to the proper names was made bv legis- 
lative act five years later. 

"A section of this act was in the following 

"That so much of the territory of Minnesota 


county should be attached to Murray 
county for judicial and election purposes. 
An event that proved of great future 
importance to Pipestone county was a 
treaty with the Yankton Indians in 185S, 
by which that branch of the Sioux nation 
was guaranteed by the United States gov- 
ernment the unrestricted use of the Pipe- 
stone (|uarry for the digging of pipestone 
to make their pipes, etc. It is a matter 
oil doubt by what right the Yanktons laid 
claim to the quarry and by what process of 
reasoning the government officials reacheil 
the determination to grant the band the 
unrestricted use of the sacred grounds of 
tlie Indians. Tlieir lands were entirely 
west of the Big Sioux river; they had 
never previously claimed the lands about 
the quarry, more than a right to quarry 
the red pipestone; all the lands east of 
the Big Sioux river had passed into the 
possession of the government by treaty in 
1851, with the Sissetons, who from very 
early days had held undisputed possession 
of the quarries and the surrounding 

At any rate, the Yanktons were shrewd 
enough to secure the coveted prize before 
ceding any of their lands. The treaty was 
concluded at the city of Washington April 
19, 1858. Charles E. Mix was the prin- 
cipal representative of the United States, 
and the Indians were represented by Pa- 

as is embraced in the following boundaries be 
and the same is hereby, established as the 
county of Rock: Beginning at the southeast 
corner of township one hundred and five north 
of range forty-tour (44) west: thence north to 
the northeast corner of township one hundred 
and eight north, of range forty-four (44) west • 
thence west to the northwest corner of town- 
ship one hundred and eight, of range forty-eight 
(48) west; thence south to the southwest'corner 
of township one hundred and five north of range 
forty-eight (48) west; thence east to- the place 
of beginning." 

"The treaty with the Sisseton and Wahpaton 
bands of Sioux was made in the latter part 
of July, 1851, at Traverse des Sioux, was ratified 
by congress the next year, and in February 
185J, was proclaimed in force by President Fill- 
more, AH the lands of southern Minnesota, in- 
cluding those of Pipestone county and the 
Pipestone quarries, were ceded by the terms of 
that treaty. See Rock county history page 39 



da-ni-pa-pa (Strike-the Kee)'' and other 

chiefs and delegates. Article eight of the 

treaty was as follows : 

The said Yankton Intlians shall be secur- 
ed in the tree and unrestricted use of the 
red Pipestone quarry, or so much thereol 
as they have been accustomed to frequent 
and use for the purpose of procuring stone 
for pipes; and the United States hereby 
stipulate and agree to cause to be surveyed 
and marked so much thereof as shall be 
necessary and proper for that purpose, and 
retain the same and keep it open and free 
to the Indians to visit and procure stone 
for pipes so long as they shall desire. 

The treaty was ratified by the senate 
February 2(i. 1859. and later in the year 
the Indian bureau had a reservation ai the 
quarries surveyed, the marks of which 
were later ohliterated. 

During the late fifties a few scattered 
settlements had been made in southwestern 

'^Strike-the-Ree visited the (luarrles in July. 
1879 at which time the Pipestone County btar 
said' of the old chief of the Yanl<tons: 

■•Pa da-ni-pa-pa, or Old Strike, as he is 
called, it a man of medium .statin-e. havmg he 
appearance of having once been P°«.^essed o a 
mind of superior order. He is rapidly on tlie 
dec ine and his present feeble state shows that 
he will ere long be gathered to the Happy Hunt- 
ing Grounds." 

"In the archives of the census office at Wash- 
ingfon is a list of the names of twenty-three 

.Minnesota, in fact, in all the counties ex- 
cepting Pipestone — in Lincoln, Murray, 
Nobles and Eock. Pipestone county alone 
remained exclusively Indian country. The 
census of 1860 gave the county no jiopu- 

By the creation of Dakota territoiy in 
isni. :Minnesota's western boundary line 
was moved eastward to its present loca- 
li(in. anil pari of the original Pipestone 
county (it was still designated Koek coun- 
ty) was losl to ^Minnesota. Fegislative 
action was retjuired, and on February 20, 
1862, Pipestone county was cieatcd anew, 
with the boundaries it now has, and with 
the name of Pipestone. The act also au- 
thorized the surveying id' the boundary 

persons who were reported living in Pipestone 
county in 1S60. A later census, however, con- 
tained the information that these were incor- 
vectlv credited to Pipestone county; they be- 
onged ?o Rock county, which, it will be reinem- 
be rid was named Pipestone county at the time 
of its creation in 1857. For a more extended 
explanation see page 44 of the Rock county 

■ "According to the Minnesota Oeological Sur- 
vey the township and section lines of Pipestone 
county were run as follows: 









Fountain Prairie 





IIMI— 47 

s. Sept. .5,s 

n. e. w. .luly— AuK.61 

.July— Aug. lU 

July— AuB. Ill 

n. Sept..')S 

e.s. w. July— Aug. 1)1 

s. w.. Sept. 58 

n. e. July— Aug. tU 

w. Sept. 58 

n. e. 5. July— Aug. iSl 

w. Sept. ."iH 

n. e. s. July— .\u(r. rl 

11. w. Sept..5N 
s. July— Aug. Ill 
. Sept. .'>'< 

s. Sept. Ill 

n. Sept. 70 

w. July 71 

e. Sept. -58 

n. w. s. Sept. 711 

e. Sept. S-* 

n. w. s. Sept. 711 

e. Sept. •''►'< 

n. Sept, 111 
s. Sept. 711 
w, July 71 
w. July ■'I'.i 
s. Sept. Ill 
11. Sept. 711 
p. .Inly 71 
w. July 5!l 
11. e. s. Sept. 711 
w. .Inly 511 
n. e. 9. Sept 711 
w. July 511 
n. Sept. Ill 
s. Sept. 70 
e. July 71 


Aug. 117 

Aug. 1)7 
Aug.— Sept. 117 
Sept, 117 

Sept. 1)7 

Sept. 70 

Sept. 711 

July 71 

July 71 

Sept.— 0)-t. 7(1 
Oct. 70 
.Inly 71 

.luly 71 

Oct. 70 
Oct. 70 
July 71 



If there liadbeeii a belief tluit tliere 
was urgent necessity for the surveying of 
Pipestone county it was rudely dispelled. 
Not only did no settlers come, all those 
at the time residing in western Minnesota 
fled for tiieir lives upon the outbreak of 
the Sioux war late in the summer of 18G2. 
Pipestone county was as destitute of white 
people as it had been when Gitehe Mani- 
tou I'asliioned the first peace-pipe. When 
the white settlers of Minnesota rallied 
their forces and undertook to drive the 
I'edskins from the state for all time, Pipe- 
stone county was again visited, this time 
by soldiers in pursuit of the red demons. 
One pai'ty of 800 volunteer soldiers camp- 
ed (in the quarries one niglit in ISli-.',"* 
and possilily others pa.ssed through the 

After peace was obtained and tlie fron- 
tier regions were once more safe, visitors 
again came to the famous quarries. In 
October, IStiO, Dr. F. V. Hayden was at 
the (|uarries for the purpose of examina- 
tion from a geological standpoint. He 
published a dcscri|ition of tlie quarries in 
the American Journal of Science and 
Arts, January, 1867.'" 

Dr. r. A. While made a trip to the fa- 
mous region in 1 868, and in the American 
Naturalist for 18()8-fi9 gave a description 
of a "trip to the great red Pipestone cpiar- 
ry." Doubtless other people — trappers, 
traders and curiosity seekers — visited the 
renowned «pot during the late sixties, for 
its reputation as a place of beauty and 
the scene of Indian siipcrstitiou bccauK^ 
widely known. 

In the summer of 18iiS a small [larlv 
of Sioux City gentlemen visited the fpiarvy 
and one of their number had an exciting 
experience with Indians. The party was 
composed of Mahlon Core, then editor 

"Interview wUh Judge Swan in Pipestone 
County Star. January 19, 1894. 

"Prof. James Hall read a paper on the geol- 
ogy of the rocks at the Pipestone quarry be- 

and proprietor of the Sioux City Journal, 
now a retired capitalist of Orlando, Flor- 
ida; Hon. .\. W. Ilulibard, then congress- 
man from the Eleventh Iowa district: 
Charles Kent, a Sioux City druggist; and 
a young man named Tripp, who was em- 
ployed as cook, teamster and utility man. 

The party spent several months on the 
trip and visited Sioux Falls, Luverne, the 
Pipestone quarries. Lake Shetek, Graham 
Lakes, Spirit Lake and intermediate 
points. They took witli them two saddle 
horses, a light spring wagon hauled by 
two other horses, a camp outfit hauled by 
a yoke of oxen, and a cow. They spent 
two or three days at the quarries, secured 
several specimens of the stone, and then 
proceeded to Lake Shetek. Of the events 
which occurred during this part of the 
trip Mahlon Gore has written:^" 

We left Pipestone early in the morning, 
going in a northeasterly direction, following 
an old trail made by teams hauling corn 
and other supplies from the settled portion 
of Minnesota to the outposts on the Mis- 
souri river. We had proceeded some seven 
or eight miles when we espied a band of 
five or six elk half a mile ahead of us on 
the prairie. 

Seeking a little depression on the prairie 
which would partially conceal our wagons 
and animals, Mr. Kent and I prepared to 
stalk the game by shedding all superfluous 
clothing and pocketing some extra car- 
tridges. While we were doing this the judge 
looked in its accustomed place for our ax. 
It was not there. A hasty search through 
the wagons revealed the fact that it had 
been overlooked and left at our last camp- 
ing place, at the quarry. Kent instructed 
Tripp to take his horse and ride back for 
it while he and I went ahead and killed an 
elk. We all left the outfit at the same time, 
and after a couple of hours the hunters suc- 
ceeded in getting a fine stag. We returned 
to the wagons to make ready to care for 
our meat. 

As we approached within a quarter of a 
mile of the outfit we saw Tripp coming 
from the opposite direction, Kent's horse on 
a dead run, the rider leaning far forward as 
the horse did not go fast enough and he 
seemed to think it he leaned far out in 

fore the .\merioan Philosophical society in 
June. 1866. He did not see the quarry, having 
proceeded, in 1865, only so far as La1<e Shetek. 

=»In a letter to C. H. Bennett. April 23, 1911. 



front he would get there sooner. Kent was 
very careful of his horse. He also some- 
times indulged in language. In this in- 
stance he seemed to desire to make Tripp 
baldheaded. I looked for a scrap when 
the two should come together. But just 
then three other persons on horseback rode 
up to the top of a ridge behind Tripp: we 
saw a puff of smoke from a gun and saw 
the dust fly close to Tripp, where the bullet 
struck the ground; then another and an- 
other shot followed. Then the three Indians 
who were after Tripp evidently saw us, for 
they wheeled their horses and took the 
back track. 

Wild eyed, Tripp rode into camp and Mr. 
Kent was considerate enough not to say a 
word derogatory of Ti'ipp's character, par- 
entage or judgment. Tripp explained that he 
had secured the ax and had covered about 
a mile of the return trip when his peace of 
mind was disturbed by a shot from an In- 
dian on horseback, and from that time un- 
til he came in sight of us he had a run 
for his money. He dropped the ax and 
could not be persuaded to go back for it. 

Our party went on almost a mile, when 
we came to a creek where we halted, 
brought in our meat and spent the remain- 
der of the day in caring for it. 

"Fur the purpose of ciifureinn; civil 
rights anil criminal Justice" on tlie fron- 
tier, Pipestone county anil tliii'teen otliev 
unorganized counties were organized into 
a judicial district by an act of March 1. 
1866, and attached to P>rown county.^^ 

Surveying parties visited Pipestone 
county on several occasions liom 1867 to 
1872. T. P). Wal!<er, a United States 
.surveyor, ran tlie section lines for a few 

^By legislative acts, Pipestone county was 
attached tor judicial purposes to Watonwan 
county in 1872. to Cottonwood county in 1873, to 

of llie townships in 1867. The Southern 
^liiiiiesota Paihoad cniu[iany in IH'd) ran 
a line through the county, passing between 
the quarries and the site of the city of 
Pipestone, and estal)lished their ten and 
twcnly-iiiih' limits. In 1871 iMcssrs. 
Walker and Miller completed the survey 
ol till' section lines: Pipestone county was 
ready for settlers. 

The surveycus who ran the section lines 
id' Sweet township neglected to mark the 
re.^ei'vatinii limits nn their plat, which be- 
canu' the oft'icirtl map of the h:ind office. 
Oil dulv 1"'. 1871. August t'lauson was 
liermitted tn fde a claim to land upon 
which the famous quarries are located, 
and later he received a government patent 
to the tract. The Indian's Garden of 
Filen passed to the ownership of a white 
man. despite the provisions of the Indian 
treaty! Put only for the tiiue being. 
Clauson sold the quarries to Herbert M. 
Carpenter. When the Wa.shington au- 
thorities Icni-ned the cimilitinn of affairs 
they revoked the patent. The found 
its way to the courts, and the Indian's 
lights weie maintained, and have been to 
this ilav. In lS7-i the hiuindaries of the 
reservaiiiin, one mile sipiare. were resur- 
veveil and phiiidy staked. 

Rock county in 1876. anrl was formed into a dis- 
trict of itself in ISSl. 


FKOM BAi;i?Ai;iSM TO WWAAVY H()X~ls;;M8r8. 

FROM tiiuu immemorial Pipestone 
count}' was the red man's land. 
Foi- centuries it was the rcndez- 
vdiis fill' all the trilies nf the ncirlhwest. 
For nearly two Jiundred years civilization 
had known ol' the existence ol" tlie Pijie- 
stone (jiiarries and for nearly forty years 
white men liad been in tlie habit of visit- 
ing it on flying trips. But no move had 
been made looking to its recovery from 
the wild state that had existed since its 
creation — if we except the attempt of the 
wily pre-em]itor lo obtain title to the 
famed qiiaiTies in ISTl. Pipestone was 
behind all the jieigjilioring counties in 
receiving settlers. In 1870 settlements 
had i)een established on all sidescif it; 
Lyon connty was sn far develojied thai 
the ccmnly was organized ; in the future 
Lincoln county wei'c settlers, on Lake 
Benton and at other ]i()iid-s; there were 
flourishing settlements at P'landreaii and 
Sioux Falls; liock county had a popu- 
lation of i:i8 ])eople; Nobles, 117; Mur- 
ray, 209. FiVen tlie great rush of home- 
seekers of 187'^, when all the surrounding 
territory was rapidly settled and develop- 
ed, did not bring a single inhabitant to 
Pipestone connty. There was a reason. 

The I'l'pulation of the (|iuirries as In- 
dian headiiuarters. the legeiuls and tradi- 

tions eonnecteil willi the spot, the writ- 
ings of the explorers, the fact that within 
its boundaries was a reservation, all tend- 
ed to delay its occupation. The very 
nauH' of the county suggested Indians, 
and the ]iioneers had not yet so complete-' 
l\ loigoltcn the terrible days of 1862 
that tliey cared to take the chances of lo- 
cating in close proximity to the treacher- 
ous Sioux. So, while the newcomers lo- 
cated to the north, south, east and west, 
the Pipestone county boundary lines were 
a veritable wall, over which none had the 
haidiliooil to climb. Not until 1874 was 
a human lialiilation established within the 
county. Even then, unreasonable fear of 
the savages and ignorance of the condi- 
tions prevailing held in cheek its settle- 
ment, and it was not until the iron horse 
— that great instrument of civilization — ,, 
was seen approaching that Pipestone 
county came into its own. 

Not so timid as those who founded 
hiunes were the eai'ly trappers, and dur- 
ing the sixties and early seventies those 
n(uuadic jieoplc frequently found their 
wav to the ''Inilian country." The rec- 
ords they left, however, are meager. Only 
occasionalU do we lind evideiu^e of their 
opei'ations, in the form of ruins of rude 




shelters or (he hones of some uiil'ortuiuite 
one of their class.' 

The plan for Ijrinjiiiig about the settle- 
ment of tlie country adjacent to the Pijje- 
st<iue quarry was conceived hy, and the 
lirst nioveiuent toward its execution was 
made Ijv, C. H. Bennett. Foi- many years 
previous to his lii'st visit lu the (|uarrics. 
I\Ir. Bennett, wlio was engaged in the dru;j 
business at Ix'ilars. Iowa, had conteui- 
jilated a ti'ip to the ici;iiui. aliout winch 
he had read, for tlie purpose of seeing the 
siglits and possibly of securing land for 
a townsitc.- .\bnut the middle of Sep- 
teml^er, 1873, llr. Bennett, accompanied 
by Frank Flint, then of Lcilars, and 
their wives and a sister of Mr. Bennett, 
Mrs. Silas B. Wright, and jier infant son. 
set out from the Iowa town for the ro- 
mantic' region. They passed through 
Sioux Falls and over the site of the pres- 
ent village of Dell Rapids, whence Mr. 
Bennett piloted the party, over a region 
of unbroken prairie without road or track, 
to the quarries, where they arrived about 
dusk on September 20. The i^arty camp- 
ed for the night, and the next day inspect- 
ed the charms of the falls and the rocky 
formations. Mr. Bennett, after examin- 
ing manv sites in the vicinity, selected the 
one on which the city of Pipestone now 

*In ttie spring of ISTS tlie skeleton of a man 
was found under a steep bank on section 2. Rock 
township, by Major D. K. Runals, who was 
guiding a party of land seekers, including 
Noah Bisbj'. Charles Bisb.v. Andrew Henderson 
and Scott Tiu'ner. .\pparently the bod.v had 
lain there for years. Beside tlie skeleton were 
found twch-e steel traps, a tobacco box and 
some buttons from a soldier's Iilouse. In the left 
side of the skull was a short piece of iron, about 
one-eighth of an inch in length, wllich liad prob- 
ably been a nail point inserted b\' accident 
>'ears befoi-e his death. 

It was afterwards learned that the skeleton 
was that of a member of a family, three of 
whom met death in the blizzard of 1ST3. 
.\ widow li\'inp: near Lake Benton lost her hus- 
band, son RTid son-in-law in the blizzard of 
.January. 1S73. The husband was found frozen 
to deatli in Nobles count\' on his way to 
Worthington; the son had been to the timber 
at Lake Benton for a load of wood. and. re- 
turning, was caught in the storm and perished 
with Ills ox team; the son-in-law had started 
for Flandreau to trade his traps for Hour and 
when the storm struck h;id apparently .sought 
shelter in the lee of the hill where his skele- 
ton was found in 1S78. 

In in04 a mail carrier on a Woodstock route 
found a field-glass which had been embedded 

stands as the most favorable one in j)rnx- 
imity to the quarries, deciding that there 
he should found a city. 

Only one day was spent at the ipuirries, 
the parly returning to LeMars by way of 
Luvernc and the newly founded town of 
Rock Jfapids. In the latter place ^Ir. 
I>cnuctl met several ac<juainlauccs, who 
wcrr destined to play a most important 
pail ill the future of Pipestone county. 
Tlir\ wci-c Haiiicl F. Sweet, D. C. White- 
head and John Lowry. Mr. Bennett in- 
tercsteil them in the new-found land, and 
Jlr. \\'hitcliead stated tliat for some time 
he had intended making such a trip. 

The casual meeting between Mr. Ben- 
nett and the Rock Rapids residents re- 
sulted in the eai'lier settlement of Pipe- 
stone county than might otherwise have 
been the case, the plans of Mr. Bennett 
being delayed by illness and death of his 
wife and their infant boy at LeMars that 
spring. On March 3.-5, 1874, D. C. White- 
head, D. E. Sweet, Job Whitehead and J. 
F. Eckleston left Rock Rapids for the 
Pipestone quarries.^ At Luverne they 
were joined by Mike McCarthy. They en- 
countered severe storms on the way, but 
spent parts of three days at tlie quarries, 
located some of the government stakes, and 
decided to take u|i their residences at t1ie 

inider a three-inch la.ver of sod. Tlio leather 
had long since rotted" away, and the instru- 
ment bore eyidence of haying lain in its resting 
place for many long years. It had probabl.y 
been lost by one of the early explorers. 

-Much of the data from which I haye compiled 
the story of the earb' settlement of Pipestone 
eoiHity is secured from a thorough and reli- 
niile accoTult written hv C. H. Bennett in 1S78 
;ind read b\- him at a Fourth of Jul.y celebration 
at the quarr,\' that year. This data has been 
supplemented by numerous inter\"icws witli Mr. 
Bennett and tlie perusal of numerous public 
and pri^■atc documents in his possession, as well 
as added to from other sources of information. 

"•March 23. 1S74. started from Rock Rapids 
with n. r. Whitehead. Job WTiitehead and J. 
F. Keklcston to yisit the Pipestone quarry, 
where we arrived on the twenty-fourth and 
staved two nights."— D. E. Sweet's Diary. 

"Mr. D. ('. Whitehead &- Co.. of Rock Rapids, 
lown. passed through this place one day this 
week to Pipestone county. Mr. WHiitehead in- 
formed us that they intended to establish a 
mission up there, organize tlie coimt.y and make 
numerous improvements for the benefit of gen- 
erations vet unborn." — Rock County Herald 
CLuvcrne), March 27, 1874. 



vomantie and pictiiresquc spot later in the 
seasiin. Tlu'v aprpcd tliat the site smith 
of the (|uarrirs selectcil hy Mr. 
was the most favorable one for the hxa- 
linii of a lownsitc. Messi's. Sweet iinil 
liOWl'V a^aiii made the I rip in l'ipi\..l(iii(> 
eoiinty April 2'i ,' and Mr. Sweet, w hn was 
a surveyor, ran the i|iiarti'r-seetiiin linen 
of .seetion I".', Idwnship lOti, range 4() 
(Sweet tnwiiship). whiih was the section 
selected for the sile nf the future city of 

Upon the return of the |iar(\ whirh 
visited (he (|uarries in ]\Tarch, H. V. 
Whitehead wcnl (o LeMars ami cniicluded 
ncuiitialiiiiis wilh ('. H. BennctI, wherel'iy 
that jivntleinan associated hiiiiself wilh 
the others for the purpose nl' |ihittiii;4 a 
Inwnsite at the i|uarrii's and liriiigiui; 
ahout the settlement (d' Pipestone county. 
The beginninj;- of operations was not long 
delayed. Early in j\ra.y, 1874, C-. H. Ben- 
nett anil ]iis brother, 0. W. Bennett, went 
from LeMars to Rock Rapids, and on ^lay 
8 they, in company with U. ('. Whitehead, 
.Inh Whitehead, D. E. Sweet and John 
Liiwry, set out for Pipestone county.'' 
The little caravan, traveling with two o\ 
teams, went by way of Tjiiverne, where 
(•ach of the Bennett In'others purchased a 
load of hiMihei', witli which to erect 
cabins. At Luverne John (Jillard was em- 
ployed to help haul the hunbei', and he 
accompanied the party to Pipestone. All 
spent the night under the projecting sides 
of the granite boulders known as the 
"Three Maidens." Tlie next morning the 
whole paidy. excepting C. H. Bennett and 
.lobn'tiillard, set out for New Ulni, wdicre 
was located the government land office, to 

*".\pril 27. in company with John Lowry. 
started tor Pipestone. DeU Rapids, etc. Gone 
one week." — D. E. Sweet's Diary. 

"D. E. Sweet and party, of Rocit Rapids. 
Iowa, passed through this place on Monday 
[April 27] for Pipestone county, this state, 
for the purpose of making a permanent loca- 
tion. Mr. .Sweet informs us that twenty fam- 
ilies will follow soon." — Rock County Herald, 
May 1, 1874, 

make filing on the claims selected. The 
claims were all in the vicinity of the (juar- 
I ies. From New I'lm Ihi' lirst Piiiestone 
(ounly liomesli'aders returned to their 
Iowa homes. 

rpon the morning of Ihi' ilcpai-ture of 
|lic rest of the |iai-ty for New Ulm, C. 
II. Ilenih'tt. with the assistance of John 
(Jilhird, .set to wnrk to erect the first build- 
ing i'\('i' |Mit up in Pipestone county.' 
The buihliiig was a pine shanty, six feet 
wide, eight feet long anil five feet high. 
I f had no windows ami only one small door. 
This pioneei- claim shanty was in the 
exact (•(■liter of section \'i. township Idfi, 
range Id, on the present lot fourteen of 
block twelve, of the original plat of Pipe- 
stone City. Otherwise described, it was 
the iioi-thcasf ciu-ner of the inlersccfion 
of Hiawatha and C'entennial streets, just 
east of the I'uins of the old Calumet hotel. 
The construction of the house is said to 
have taken the two men nearly the whole 
forenoon! They ate dinner in it and then 
set out for Ijuverne, Mr. Bennett continu- 
ing the journey to LeMars. 

The work so far done was preliminary 
to actual settlement. June 4, 1874, was 
the first day in history on which a white 
person could justly lay claim to the honor 
of being a resident of Pipestone county. 
At tliat time D. E. Sweet, his wife and 
little son, Henry, and John Lowry, by 
consent of the owner, moxed into the Ben- 
nett cabin and established the fii'st fem- 
]iorarv houic in the county. In Mr. 
Sweet's diary is this modest announce- 
ment of tlie arri\al of the fii'st settler: 
"June 4. iloved to Pipestone with J. 
Lowry." D. C. Whitehead also came at 

^"May S. started on the third trip and went 
to New Ulm. Present, D, C. and Job White- 
head, J. Lowry, O. and C. Bennett and self. 
Gone nine days." — D. E. Sweet's Diary. 

°"In April, 1874. there was not a soul liying 
in the county, nor a house or other sign that 
there ever liad been, save the spots which 
marked the camping places of Indians, trappers 
and tourists as they tarried a few days in 
their visitation of the quarries." — Pipestone 
County Star, June Iti, 1879, 



the same time, assisting Mr. Sweet in 
haulinn; lumijer from Luverne, but he re- 
mained only a short time. Messrs. Sweet 
and Lowry at once commenced the erec- 
tion of a house for the former on the pres- 
ent lot one of block twentv-one, original 
plat (now occupied by Denhart's gi'ocery 
store on Olive street). Mr. Bennett do- 
nated the lumber in his claim shanty, 
which was torn down and the material 
used in the new home. On August 1. 
according to Mr. Sweet's diary, "moved 
in new house."' 

During the month of June, while the 
Sweet family and Mr. Lowry were living 
in the Bennett cabin. Dr. W. J. Taylor, 
who later became, and still is, a resident 
of Pipestone county, came to the quarries 
accompanied by his brother-in-law. Rev. 
E. H. Bronson.' The new arrivals made 
iheir camp beside the shanty. Dr. Taylor 
became enamored of the country and 
determined tn make settlement at some 
future time. He selected as a claim the 
northwest quarter of section 18, Gray 
township, adjoining the other claims, and 
made his filing in August, becoming one 
of the earliest homesteaders of the county. 

Several of those who had filed on claims 
sent men up to their possessions during 
the season of IS?! ami had breaking done. 
C. II. Bennett and (). \V. Bennett, to- 
gether, had eighty acres hrokcii nii sec- 
tions |(l. 1 I and 10. Sweet township, and 
3v', Triiy townshij)," I). ('. Whitehead 
had ten acres plowed,'" and 1). Vl. Sweet 

'The Swoot house was the first habitable and 
pernianetit hiiildins in Pipestone county and was 
orenpiefl l>.\" the family for sex'eral years. The 
ViuilditiK still stands and is occupied as a resi- 
dence, being the second house west from the 
southwest corner of the intersection of r'atlin 
and Frances streets. 

*Dr. Taylor was on a return trip to his olrl 
home in Wisconsin from Nebraska. He had 
stopped off at Beaver Creek for a visit with 
his sister, and there heard of the beautiful 
and romantic country at the Pipestone quarry 
and decided to visit the spot. 

•These were the first pieces of land broken in 
Pipestone county. C. H. Bennett paid five dol- 
lars per acre for his breakinR. To pay for it 
he borrowed $ino of a I.eMars banker, on which 
he paid interest at the rate of sixty per cent a 
year until he paid the same. 

the same amount. Xo grain was sown un- 
til the following year. Through the repre- 
sentations of Mr. Sweet, in August, 1874, 
a postoH'ice was established at Pipestone 
with Mr. Sweet as postmaster, and a mail 
route established from Liiverne to the 
new otfice, and thence to Lake Benton. 
The postotYice building being the only 
house of any description in Pipestone 
county, the mail carriers were not over- 
burdeiKMl with woi'k. A man named King 
infrequently brought the mail from Lake 
Beiilon by ox team, but there was no reg- 
ular mail service until July, 1875. An- 
other event of the year 1874 was no less 
important than the erection of the coun- 
ty's second building, erected not far from 
Mr. Sweet's cabin by .John Lowry. It 
was completed December 8. 

D. E. Sweet and family and John Low- 
ry spent the winter of lS74-7.'> in their 
new homes, and they were the only per- 
sons in the county that winter, their near- 
est neighbors being at Flandreau. They 
laid in a stock of provisions for the win- 
ter, and Mr. Sweet contracted witli a 
man at Ijakc Benton to deliver a supply 
of fuel, 'i'hc fuel was not delivered, and 
the lonely pioneers were obliged to burn 
liay. ('. IT. Bennett in 1878 wrote of the 
experiences of his friends that long win- 
ter : 

Who can picture the loneliness, tlie anx- 
iety, tlie monotony, of such a life as they 
lived here tlnring the rigid winter of 1S74-75, 
(liuMns wliicli for two inontlis they saw only 
two trappers, who became lost in a storm 
and wandered to this place?" Few of you 

'"W^herc the Milwaukee depot and elevators 
now stand. W. W. Whitehead and Henry White- 
head did the work. 

"In an old hotel resistor IVIr. Sweet reconieci 
the names of the visitors to I'ipcstone during 
tliat winter and tlic next spring. TTndcr date of 
JaTHiary s. 1.S7.5. is this entry: "Frank T. Lam- 
bert and Ivn W. Gibson, of Worthington. — snow- 
bound two da>'s." In the book are also recorded 
the facts that the last day of the year 1874 was 
warm enough to thaw, and that on March !1. 
1S75. was a thaw, tlie first in ninety-one days. 
"J. K. Chamberlln. of Granite Falls, — bound 
for the Black Hills." was recorded imder date 
of April 17. lS7ii. and on June 1. IS?."), "minis- 
ter's party of nine camped at Pipestone." 



who are before me know anything of what 
it is to pioneer. For two months they had 
nothing to burn except hay, as it was at tlie 
risk of one's lite to ventnre far away from 
one's home, for fear of being caught in a 
blizzard. The spring of 1875 found the four 
actual settlers who had wintered in the 
county alive and well, and poor prospect 
ahead for immigration to the county. 

Pipestone county'.'; jwpiilatioii was not' 
greatly inoroased during 1875, but events 
occurred tliat year which promised new 
settJers for 1876. Dr. W. J. Taylor, who 
had paid a brief visit to tiie new county 
in 1874 and luid spent the winter in his 
old home in Wisconsin, organized a party 
of men and in tiie spring drove to Pipe- 
stone. The new arrivals were Dr. Taylor, 
II. D. Sanford, Fred Rogers, Col. J. M. 
Bull, Hiram Flick and Mr. Main. The 
doctor built a cabin on his claim and 
l)roke some land. Some of the others took 
rlninis and broke land, about 100 acres 
bciiig iiriikcM in the county in the spring 
ol' is;.",. Al'lcr this work most of the 
|i!ii'ty, in .lune, returned to their olil 
bnmcs, leaving Mr. Sweet and hi.s family 
and Mr. Lowry the only inhabitants. I\Ir. 
Sweet sowed ten acres of his land on 
section la to corn and oats. This was 
the crop planted in Pipestone county 
ami the (inly one planted in 1875. The 
grasshojipers did the harvesting. In .Tulv. 
1875, a weekly jnail service was establish- 
ed between Pipestone and Lake Benton, 
the mail being eai'ried under rcinti'ai-l bv 
a Mr. Snyilcr, of Lake Benton. During 
the same sununer Messrs. Sweet and Low- 
ry made a diagonal rnad across the coun- 
ty, it Hu'iuing a pari (if the projected rnad 
from Marshall (n Sidux Falls. 

When winter set in it found m Pipe- 
stone county only Mr. Sweet and his fam- 
ily, determined to spend the winter sea- 
son in the new country aiul prevent it 
I'rnni being said the county was deserted, 
'•wini: to the stringency of the times, the 

'=Iii Mr. Sweet's aim-y is found the iiiforma- 
Uuii that the first hard frost of the season 
occurred September 10, 1875, and the second one 

head of the family was obliged to make 
occasional trips to adjoining neighbor- 
hoods to earn money for the maintenance 
of his family. During these periods Mrs. 
Sweet with her child renuiined alone in 
the lonely home, many long miles from 
the nearest neighbor.' - 

Those wdio came to Pipestone county 
with the intention of later becoming per- 
manent residents were a determined set 
of men, and many schemes for the ad- 
vancement of the conununity were dis- 
cussed. So early as 1875 D. C. White- 
head, who was interested in the proposed 
town at the quarries, and who the follow- 
ing year sold his interests to Mr. Ben- 
nett, suggested to his co-workers that 
they should try to secure from congress 
an appropriation of $50,000 fur found- 
ing an Indian school, similar to that at 
Carlisle, to be constructed of native stone. 
From this early day suggestion developed 
the plans which later led to the founding 
(if the school. Several other jjropositions 
which the boomers thought would tend to 
bring settlement to the county were seri- 
ously discus.sed. Among them was one 
of no less importance than the organi/.a- 
ti(i]i lit Pipestone county. It was Ibrdiigh 
the activities of Dr. Taylor, ('. II. Pxui- 
nett, D. E. Swett and II. 1). San ford that 
I he plan developed fartbei- than S(ime of 
I be III hers. i\lr. Bennett spent two weeks 
in SI. I'aiil, Idbbying in the inteiests of a 
bill \\bicli provided that the county 
should lie organized at any time when 
I here wci'e twenty legal voters residing in 
Hie ciiuniv. The bill was intriiihiced in 
I he lidiise by Representati\e W, 11. Mel- 
len. Ill' :\]urray county, and pa.ssed that 
IhhIv. ilr. Bennett, having been assured 
that the bill would pass the senate, return- 
ed to Ix!Mars, but it met defeat in the 
senate, owing largely to the efforts of a 

September 25: that on October 10 theic were 
one and one-half inches of snow on the groinid. 



senator, presidont nf a railrnarl cniiipany 
oppo.sing settk'nicnt in new rcgicnis, cx- 
crjit, iniincdiately adjacent to its l-oii- 
strui'tcd lino. 

Karly in tlic sprinn' of is^C scvcriil nf 
those who hafi hoForc (aki'U idaiins I'el lim- 
ed, and several new settlers arrived. 
Among the number were Dr. W. J. 1'ay- 
lor, H. D. Sanford, Col. .1. M. Hull, Fred 
Rogers, William Brown, C. H. Bcnnetl, 
Job Whitehead, Miram Flick and Joseph 
Tilleston. Most of these came with the 
intentiiin of residing |)ermanently in the 
connty, built on their claims, broke land 
and pnt in crops, Messrs. Sanford and 
Taylor seeding more land than the 
others.'^ Messrs. Bennett and Whitehead 
brought a large number of cuttings, whieh 
thej' set out, starting the first groves in 
Pipestone county. 

Although few in numbei-s, the pioneers 
of 18-7G were progressive and were con- 
tinually planning ways to bring about the 
settlement and development of the com- 
munity. To this end a i)ublic meeting 
was iicld at the home of 1). E. Sweet Ap- 
ril 13, 187G, participated in by all who 
were in the county, namely, D. E. Sweet, 
C. H. Bennett, Col. J. M. Bull, Dr. W. 
J. Taylor and H. D. Sanford. The meet- 
ing had an important bearing on the fu- 
ture history of Pipestone county. The 
secretary's minutes of the meeting were 
in the following words: 

At a meeting held at Pipestone on .-ypril 
13, 187fi, Col. Bull was made oliairman, and 
C. H. Bennett, secretary. Motion by W. .1. 
Taylor, seconded by D. E. Sweet. Carried. 
Tliat secretary prepare a petition to [the 
proper authorities] for immediate mail ser- 
vice from Luverne to Pipestone City. 

Motion carried that as soon as possible 

"The first grain nf the sea.son wa.s sown by 
H. D. Sanford .\prll 19. The exhibition of the 
seeder and corn planter which were used in 
planting the erop. twenty-five year.s later, cre- 
ated conslderalile interest in Pipestone. 

"These early settlers realized that to bring 
about the settlement of Pipestone county the re- 
lations between the Indians and the whites 
must lie peaceable. They knew that none ex- 
c-ept the I'nitcd .States government and the In- 
dians had rights at tbe ciuairies. and they re- 
resolved to respect those rights and to use 

direct route be established to Worthington. 

Motion carried that we respect and en- 
force to the best of our ability the rights 
of the Indians to the Indian reservation." 

Motion carried that committee consisting 
of chairman, H. D. Sanford and \V. J. Tay- 
lor be appointed to proceed to inquire as to 
the best and speediest method of provid- 
ing justices of the peace, constable and as- 

Motion carried that D. K. Sweet be ap- 
pointed committee to act in the matter of 
transferring records from Cottonwood coun- 
ty to Rock county. 

Motion carried tliat offer on behalf of the 
settlers in Pipestone county of Bennett & 
Sweet to donate a block in the townsite of 
Pipestone City for court house purposes be 

(Signed! CHARLES H. BENNETT. Sec. 

Fiftv-two land claims of vai-io\is kinds 
were taken iluring 187(1, but on only a 
W'w were iiuprovenicnts made, and less 
than a dozen people spent the summer in 
Pipestone county. Nevertheless many 
items of importance occurred that year. 
C. H. Bennett and D. E. Sweet surveyed 
the Pipestone City townsite, ^Ir. Bennett 
erected an office building on the site in 
June, and the same month John T>owry, 
who had returned after spending the win- 
ter abroad, opened a little store in the 
building he had erected in 1S74. The 
store was conducted only a few months. 
As the first step toward establishing a road 
from Pipestone to Worthington, three of 
the settlers, D. E. Sweet, W. J. Taylor 
and C. H. Bennett, made the trip across 
the country to the northwestern end of 
the diagonal wagon road that led {<< W'uv- 
ihingliiu. erecting sod MKUind^ almig the 
most direct route. Weekly mail service 
was established beluceu l'i|)estone and 
Luverne the latter part id' September, the 
colli rati lieing secured by |)i'. Hmek. 

their influence toward having who would 
follow take the same view. The greatest, and 
practically the only, difficulty encountered in 
inducing settlers to locate in the county was 
the fear of Indians. Not knowing the con- 
ditions, many people censured the men who 
were endeavoring to found a settlement on the 
edge nf an Indian reservation — only one mile 
.square. The promoters had to contend not 
only with the trials Incident to the settlement 
of any new eountrv, but also with the preju- 
dices of many well-meaning people. 


In Such Homes as These Hundreds of Pipestone County Residents Had Their Homes. 
This Was the Conly Home Near Jasper. Photograpli Talien in 1889. 


Containing Specimens o£ "Opuntia Missounenses" (Here First Found and Analyzed by 
Mrs. C. H. Bennett) and "Opuntia Fragilis." 




Heavy snows came, oud tlie service was 
very irreoulnr.'''' The first religious ser- 
vices held ill I'iiiestmu' county were con- 
ducted b}' iiev. E. 11. Bronson, of Lu- 
verne, .hine 'Z'k l.ST(i, in ('. H. Bennett's 
little office liiiilding (now a part of his 
residence).'" Fourteen persons participat- 
ed in the services. '^ 

So far as material atlvanccnient was 
concerned the year 18?G was almost a 
blank. In August the grasshoppers came 
in niyi-iads and devoured almost every- 
thing, including the grain crops, gardens, 
young trees, cuttings and every thing ex- 
cept about sixty acres of wheat on H. 1). 
Sanford's claim." No grain was threshed 
in Pipestone county that season, but (he 
next spring Dr. Taylor secured a machine 
at Luvcrne and threshed out the little 
grain the grasshoppers had left. He did 
the work more as an advertisement and to 
show Ihal Pipestone county was a grain 
|U'odiicei- than with an idea of realizing 
a profit. In fact, the hire of the machine 
amounted to more than the grain was 
worth. It had stood in stack all winter 
and was unfit for seed. 

The grasshopper visitation was almost 
a fatal blow to the little settlement. By 
the last of September practically every- 
body had left the county. But the pro- 
prictoi-s of the new towiisite did not pro- 

'■•J. G. Bennett secured the contract in Jinic. 
1X77. Semi-weekly service was established Au- 
gust 16. 1878, and that year Hamilton Wells 
secured the contract. 

""The first sermon ever heaid in Pipcstoni' 
county, if we except the thrilling exordium of 
'Gitche Manitou, the mighty.' when he assem- 
bled the nations on the 'mountains of the prai- 
rie,' will be delivered tomorrow (Sunday, June 
25) by Rev. E. H. Bronson. We congratulate 
the wicked in that locality on the spread of the 
gospel to remote lands, and trust its much need- 
ed influence may be felt to the uttermost lim- 
its of the settlement,"— Rock County Herald 
(Luverne). June 24. 1876. 

".\t this service. Col. J. M. Bull, who later 
became one of the best known ministers of 
southwestern IVIinnesota and a presiding elder of 
the Methodist church, was converted. 

""Although evidently incompatible with the 
essential attributes of anything so manlfestlv 
saccharine, it is nevertheless true that friend 
Sweet, of Pipestone City, has lots of 'sand' in 
nim. He watched the last hopper buckle on 

pose to give up tlie fight, and an arrange- 
ment was made whereby C. H. Bennett re- 
mained at Pipestone the half of the 
winti'r and I). K. Sweet the second half. 
Accordingly, .Mr. Bennett remained at 
Pipestone until just before Christmas, at- 
tending to the postoifice, when he departed 
for his old home.'" Mr. Sweet, after an 
extended business trip in Iowa, returned 
to Pipestone in January, 1877, liis wife 
and child having spent .several weeks as 
the only residents of Pi|ieston(^ county. 
The Sweet family were the onl\ people 
who sjient the entire winter iii the county. 
In the legislature of 187G-77 a bill for 
the organization of Pipestone county was 
again introduced, only to meet defeat. In 
the arguments pi'csented against, the 
measure it was alleged that there was a 
single white inhabitant in the county, and 
that a woman. In the house the bill re- 
ceived one affirmative vote. That legis- 
lature not only failed to authorize the or- 
ganization of the county, it seriously con- 
sidered the matter of wiping Pijiestone 
county off the map. The jilan of the pro- 
moters of this scheme was to divide the 
county in c(pial parts, by an east aiwl west 
line, giving the north half to i^incohi 
county and the south half to Rock c(nm- 
ty.-" It was argued that the popula- 
tion of some of the frontier counties 

his knapsack, pull down his vest and 'climb,' 
and then sat down and wrote the following: 
" 'Editor Herald: — Thinking you may have 
heard that there was a total failure of crops 
in Pipestone county on accovmt of the festive 
hopper, I wish to contradict it. The wheat crop 
was hurt but little, and IMr. Taylor has as good a 
lot of potatoes as one genei-ally sees. The 
greatest damage was done to the oats. Rut one 
or two fields of corn were damiiged. and but 
one of barley.— D. E. Sweet.' " — Rock County 
Herald. August 12, 1876. 

""C. H, Bennett, tiring of the beauty of 
Pipestone county and becoming surfeited with 
the charms of the 'Three Maidens,' came down 
on Tuesday [December 19] and proceeded to 
LeMars via the new railroad." — Rock County 
Herald. December 22. 1876. 

-""If this measure becomes a law. Pipestone 
City, together with the historic quarry, will 
fall to Rock county, and the position of our 
Pipestone friends will become somewhat anal- 
ogous to that of our Saviour, whose persecutors 
parted His garments and divided the spoils." — 
Rock County Herald, February 2, 1877. 



was so small tliat taxation for tlie 
support of the county organizations en- 
tailed liarclsliips upon the people; tliere- 
fore, the counties should have more ter- 
ritory, and the unfortunate Pipestone 
county offered a field for exploitation. A 
petition for the division was largely sign- 
ed in Lincoln county, and a bill was in- 
troduced in the legislature. By the 
prompt resif^tance of a few of those in- 
lerested in Pipestone county, the hill 
came to an inglorious end.-' 

'J'he spring of 1877 opened auspicious- 
ly, and there were indications that at 
last the efforts to permanently settle 
Pipestone county would meet with success. 
.1. (i. Bennett returned with his family 
anil put in a crop;-- A. O. Gray and wife 
came and heeanie jiernianent residents; 
Owen Whitelicail and wife arrixcil and 
settled on a claim: l>i-. Taylor, t'ol. Bull, 
C. H. Bennett ami .loh \\'liitidiead rctui'n- 
ed, set out groves on their claims, and 
put in crops; John Lowry returned; Dun- 
can Stuart, with his son and daughter, 
Nancy, was a lU'W arrixal, brought con- 
sidei-able stock, ci'ccli'il a ho\ise and found- 
ed a ue»' home;-' William It. Wheeler 
and Frank G. George located in the new 
county; among the other ari'ivals weie J. 
H. Nichols, William .lones, Adelbert Sis- 
son and .\sa \'an .\llstine. At the close 
of the season over 100 claims had been 

="'C. }I. Bi'iiiutl. .jf i'iiHsldiic I'ity, liiriii'il 
hero \\'ednpsflav nisht and put on hi.s war paint 
preparatory to interviewing the 'Three Maidens", 
who sednouslj* guard the sacred riuarry of red 
pippstone. Rennett rejoiceth muclily over the 
diseomfiture of tlie unregeni'i-ate sons of Rock 
who proposed to swallow lip Pipestone county 
and tlius riithlessl\' distmii 'vested rights.' " — 
Rocls County Herald, April, fi, 1S77. 

'■^"J. G. Bennett has removed to Pipestone 
City, where he has landed Interests. Mr, Ben- 
nett will sow Dr. Taylor's plantation with small 
grain, hoping to receive an abundant harvest." 
—Rock County Herald, .Vpril 13, 1877. 

'-■^"Among the recent arrivals of those seek- 
ing locations in this part of the west is Duncan 
Stuart, of Fillmore county, this state, who has 
secured a large tract of land near Pipestone City 
and will engage extensively in stock raising. 
Mr. Stuart brought with him forty-seven head 
of cows and \'oung rattle and fifteen horses, 
which form tlie inicleus of wliat will soon be- 
come a valuable herd of stock. Mr. Stuart pur- 
chased the necessary materials for house and 

filed upon, several claim shanties had been 
erected, and a large amount of breaking 
had been done. Grasshoppers did not put 
in an appearance, and about 300 bushels 
of grain were threshed in the fall. Truly, 
Pipestone county was on the advance. 
-Permanent settlement had at last even- 

To select local peace officers, the first 
election in the county was held .Tune 12, 
1877, when a dozen voters east their bal- 
lots for township officers — in a townshi]) 
that had no legal existence.-'"' The first 
Fourtli of July celebration was also held 
in 1877. Settlers to the numlier of fifteen 
or twentv gathered at the quarry in an 
old-fasliioned picnic. 

The birth of the first white child in the 
county occurred November Hi, 1877, when 
a son was born to Mr. and Mrs. A. 0. 
Gray at their farm three miles east of 
Pipestone.-" The second child born in 
the county was Lilly Sweet, born to Mr. 
and Mrs. D. E. Sweet at Pipestone No- 
vember 24, 1877. 

Many of the arrivals of 1877 passed the 
winter in their old homes, but five or six 
families remained in the new-roiiml land 
and establislicd the permanency of the 

The boom iiegan in I87S. It became 
kii(i\\n that white people had actually I'l'- 
sidi'd within a stoma's throw of tlu' In- 

ollirr builcUngs at this poinl. and .several loads 
went forward yesterday."— Rock Ciunity Herald. 
June 1.^, 1S77. 

-'"The earlier settlers found here a rough 
and wild wilderness, and their settlement was 
attended with hardships, trials and tribula- 
tions sufficient to deter the most resolute. The 
sod shanty was their habitation, the red men 
their neighbors, and their sinewy arms and 
level heads their capital. What a transfor- 
mation thev have witnessed! How like a mir- 
acle it must seem to them! Hitlier they came in 
hope. Behold the fruition! They were in 
search of a beautiful place wherein to dwell. 
They found it — rough and unpolished though it 
was" Now the.v look around and bchol'l it in 
all its glory." — Pipestone County Star. ISJI4, 

"■•For an account of this first election sec 
the political chapter. 

^""Pipestone enterprise knows no bounds. This 
time it is an eleven pound gi-anger at the resi- 
dence of A. O. Gray, of that city." — Rock 
Countv Hcralii. N-Qvember 24. 1877. 



(lian rGservation and lived to tell the tale; 
(■(liiditions became better known; govern- 
ment lands were all taken in neighboring 
counties : immigrants turned their atten- 
(itin to I'ipotonc connty. The newcomeri; 
licLiiiii aiii\iiig ill Fcbniiirv, and during 
;\l;ircli. Api-il and May there was an uii- 
prccedeiited rush, hoinestenders seeking lo- 
cations in every township. It was Jm- 
jiossiblc to su|i]ilv accommoilations t(U' 
halt of those who came. During the 
spiing months thiity or foity new houses 
were erected in the cruinty. and l*ipcst(m(> 
City becanu' a tdwn in fact, as well as in 
name. Tn an address at the Fourth of 
•luly celebration, in 1S78, held at Pipe- 
stone falls and the quarries — the scene of 
the biifli of the peace pipe — C. H. Ben- 
nett told of the activities in the s]iring of 
that year as follows : 

So tar this year 550 filings liave been 
made upon government lands in Pipestone 
county, and 247 contracts have been entered 
into for the purchase of railroad lands, ag- 
gregating over 5000 acres of land filed upon. 
Mr. Sweet and myself estimate that there 
have been broken on wild land (govern- 
ment) 5U00 acres, on railroad lands, 2500 
acres, total breaking in the county this year, 
7500 acres. Approximate acres in crop, 
500. Approximate number of trees set out 
this spring, 40,000. The improvements 
which have taken place this spring far out- 
weigh that which has been done in the 
county previously. 

Most of the new settlers came by way 
of Luverne, among them F. L. I'ease and 
family, Dr. E. M. Carr, who came in 
:\rarch: J. H. Austin. Charles H. Smith, 
W. B. Brown, Dr. (1. W. Morrill. Riley 
French and II. I). Sanfoi'd. who returned 
to locate permanently. From that village 
to Pipestone a tri-wcckly stage and ex- 
]>ress line was [lut in operation April S 
by J. G. Bennett and Levi Shell. The 
same firm kept rigs at Pipestone to con- 
vey landseekers to the surrounding coun- 
tiy and did an extensive business. 'J'he 
following items from tlie Bock (.'ounty 

Herald give an idea of tlie activities dur- 
ing the spi ing months of 187S : 

March 1. For two or three years Pipe- 
stone county has been the Mecca of those 
in search of timber claims. It is now stated 
that the chances are nearly or quite all 
taken, and thousands of acres are being 
taken under the homestead law. 

March 8. The house of D. K. Sweet, the 
bold pioneer of Pipestone county, is fairly 
overrun with land seekers these days, and 
Sweet prays for an enterprising Boniface to 
erect a hotel of capacity sufficient to accom- 
modate at least a score of people, and thus 
relieve him of a burden that is becoming 
decidedly oppressive. Three in a bed, with 
the softest spots in the second floor pre- 
empted, is the status frequently nowadays. 

May 3. Twenty-six breaking teams, with 
plows and camping outfits, passed through 
town Saturday enroute to Pipestone county, 
Minnesota, and Moody county, Dakota. 

May 17. Parties from Pipestone City who 
came down yesterday report meeting no 
less than twenty-two covered wagons en- 
route to that place. . . . Two droves 
of cattle, ninety head in all, passed through 
town Monday enroute to Pipestone county, 
of which number sixty-nine belonged to Mr. 
Stuart, who has a goodly herd there, driven 
out last year. His herd now numbers about 

May 24. Land hunters are still flocking 
into Pipestone county in crowds. 

In the early settlement of every west- 
ern county there has always been a "big 
year'' — one in which the dreams of the 
pioneers have come ti'ue. Tn Pipestone 
connty it was the year 1878. Before that 
time little headway had been made. The 
few who had put their faith in the new 
country had endured many hardships, 
had seen their crops destroyed, and had 
been considered visionary for attempting 
to settle the "Indian country." But 
tliey had clung on with the idea that bet- 
ter times were coming; that Pipestone 
county would yet be reclaimed from its 
wild state. Their beliefs had now been 

The crop of 1878 was slightly injured 
bv hot winds, but in general a good yield 
was reported. The promise of the Iniild- 
■ ing of the Southern IMinnesota railroad 
lhr(Uigli the c(uintv the following year 
added to the activities of the community, 



and new settlers arrived in the fall months. 
Without authority, the residents held an 
election in November and chose a set of 
count}' officers, and then set to worlc to 
secure the necessary action to brins nl>oiit 

the organization of the county. The gov- 
ernment of the land over which Gitche 
Manitou had ruled for so many centuries 

was about to pass into the hands of white 



S<» fiREAT had been the immiora- 
tion to Pipestone county during 
1ST 8 that the residents decided to 
again make the effort to interest the Min- 
nesota legishiture in the matter of organ- 
ization. The matter was talked over in- 
formally (luring the summer, and on No- 
MMiihcr 1 a ]inl)lie meeting was held at 
the iill'icc III' Sweet & Nichols in l'i|ii'- 
stone. 'I'lieic it was decided to make a 
united elTdit tn bring about the much de- 
sired condilinn. In antici]iati(in of fa- 
V(u-able aition by the legislatui'e, county 
oH'iccrs were |ilaced in nomination, and 
the decision was leaclitMl to hold an elec- 
tion iin tlu^ day of the general state elec- 
tion, at which time the question of or- 
ganization should ije decided by liallot. J. 
II. ?\ichi)ls was chosen to go to St. Paul 
and appear before the legislature in the 
interests of the bill which it was proposed 
(o inlriiduce. At th.e election one hun- 
dred votes were cast, fif wliich sixty-six 
were in favor of organization and thirty- 
four against. 

A bill pi'oviding the organization of 
Pipestime county and the legalization of 
the election lield in November was intro- 

'"The people of this county owe J. B. Wake- 
field a debt of giatUude for the faithful manner 
in which he stood by our interests during the 
last legislature, when the question of organi- 
z.ation came up. in which he showed no nar- 
rowness of feeling, but was willing to give 
Pipestone county an equal show with the other 
counties of the state." — Pipestone County Star, 
August 14. 1879. 

diiced in the legislature, and largely 
thi'oiigh the intlnence of J. B. Wakefield 
became a law.' The bill passed the house 
under suspension of the rules January 33, 
1879;- in the senate it met with some 
opposition, but was passed on the twenty- 
fourth under suspension of the rules. The 
act, whicli was signed by Governor John 
S. I'illsbiiiT .January 37, 187!l, was as 
follows : 

An act to organize the county of Pipe- 
stone and to legalize the election of county 
officers chosen at the general election in 
November, 1878. 

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

Section 1. The county of Pipestone is 
hereby declared to be a legally organized 
county, with all the rights, privileges, pow- 
ers and immunities of organized counties 
witliin the state of Minnesota. 

Section 2. The persons who were chosen 
by a majority of the votes cast in said Pipe- 
stone county on the day of the general elec- 
tion in November, 1878, to the offices of 
auditor, treasurer, register of deeds, sheriff, 
surveyor, judge of probate, county attorney, 
clerk of the district court, coroner, court 
commissioner, superintendent of schools and 
coimty commissioners of said county are 
liereby declared to have been legally elected 
to said offices respectively, provided said 
persons were at the time of their election 
eligible to office in said county, and upon 
qualifying as required under existing laws 

-'"Wasn't the house just a Meedle bit' fast 
in passing under suspension of rules the bili 
organizing Pipestone county? In the session of 
1S77. when a bill for the purpose was before the 
house, it received but one vote. . . . Two 
yetirs later the bill was rushed through under 
suspension of rules, but perhaps this is all right 
and merely illustrates the rapid filling up of one 
of our frontier districts." — St. Paul Dispatch, 
January 23, 1879. 



ITTs'i'oiiY OF ptPEStoxE cotrxTY. 

regulating the qualifying of county officers, 
at any time prior to April 1, 1879, shall be 
deemed to be lawfully in possession of the 
said offices, and shall enter upon the dis- 
charge of their duties as such. 

Section 3. If any person chosen to office 
as aforesaid shall not have qualified as such 
officer prior to the first day of April, ISTil, 
such office shall be deemed vacant and may 
be filled by appointment as provided by law 
in case of organized counties. 

Section 4. The county commissioners of 
said county when qualified may, by vote of 
said board, locate' and establish the county 
seat of said county, and when so established 
the county seat shall not be removed to 
any place except in the manner provided 
by law. 

Section 5. This act shall be a public act 
and be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved, January 27, 1879. 

Witliin less than a month after the pas- 
sage of the hill, on February 19, 1879, 
the organization of Pipestone county was 
perfecteri. The first meeting of the hoard 
of county commissioners, composed of S. 
L. Bailey. K. L. Pmk and W. R. Brown, 
v/as held at the ntfir-e of Sweet & Xiehols, 
in Pipestone, on that date.^ The next 
(lav the county authorities accepted as a 
gift from D. E. Sweet two Idocks of laml 
for court house purposes. On j\Iarch 1'? 
the county board passed a resolution, de- 
claring Pipestone the county seat of Pipe- 
stone county. 

The matter of township organizations 
was an early consideration, and before 
the close of the year 1879 all except two 
of the townships had been granted local 
government : the other two were created 
in 1880. Tlie several townships were au- 
thorized to organize in the following or- 
der: Sweet, Osborne, Burke, Grange, 
Fountain Prairie, Pock, Gray. Elmer, 
Eden. Troy, Altona, Aetna. 


Sweet township, embracing the whole 
of Pi])estone county, was created by the 

^iS. U Bailey was elected chairman of the 
board on the sixth ballot; the bonds of .some of 
the county officers were approved: the cinnily 
wa.s divided into two assessment districts; the 
whole county was created into one township 
and named Sweet; the motion prevailed that 
all deeded lands be assessed at $:i.OU per acre 

board of county commissioners at the sec- 
ond meeting, February 20, 1879. It was 
mimed by the county board in honor of 
the county's first settler. Asa Van All- 
stine, A. O. (Jiay and Samuel Harrison 
were appointed a board of election to pre- 
side over the llrst tnwn uiecfing on the 
second 'i'uesday in ^larcli, when were 
chosen the township's first officers. At 
the ele.tion. wliich \va^ lield in the village 
of Pipestone JIarch 11. tlic following were 
chosen the first officei's : 1). I-]. Sweel. 
chairman; Isaac N. Converse and .lobii 
Pearson, supervisors; John Stuart,'' clerk; 
Frank Pork, constable. The township or- 
ganization was perfected when the board 
of supervisors met for the first time on 
March 23. 

From time to time new townships were 
created until the original Sweet township 
was nearly legislated out of existence. In 
Decend)er, 1S79, its territory had been 
reduced to land comprising the present 
townships of Sweet, Altona and Aetna. 
On the eighth day of November the resi- 
dents of township 106, range 46 and the 
fraction of range 47, petitioned the coun- 
ty board for organization under the name 
Sweet townsliip. leaving the other town- 
ships to shift for themselves. The peti- 
tion was considered December 3, but be- 
cause it did not contain the signatures of 
a majority of the legal voters of the pre- 
cinct, the board did not at that time au- 
thorize the organization. However, the 
matter was remedied later, and Sweet 
township with its present boundaries was 
created. Following is a list of those wlio 
received title to land in Sweet township 
under the homestead and timber culture 
acts (not including pi'e-emptions) :' 

James M. Bull (2), Sarah A. Craig (8), 
Silas Judd (20), Asa Van Allstine (10), 

except such as were in the vicinity of Pipestone, 
which were to be asses.sed at $5.00 per acre. 

<Did not qualify and C. H. Bennett was ap- 

''This list and those for the other townships 



Adalbert G. Sisson (2), Thomas H. Kinney 
(30), George E. Beebe (34), George F'eeney 
(8), Tliomas E. Hosman (14), Charles L. 
Lockie (14), Maggie Colson (26), Charles 
H. Bennett (10), Emily T. Bennett (14), 
George \V. Morrill (24), Heirs of Charles A. 
Sherwin (2()), Samuel Hartley ((!l, Henry O. 
Whitehead (IS), Job Whitehead (2), James 
Deverant (IS), James C. Newburg (10), 
Garrison L. Jaycox (28), John W. Thomas 
(32), Donald M. Stuart (22-34), Joseph H. 
Crawford (6), Theodore W. Staples (18), 
Ernest L. Rork (6), John Clark (34), Asa 
Lawrence (S), Allen D. Ferris (2(i), Horace 
Gilmore (34), Ichabod B. Smith (28), John 
M. Poorbaugh (24r47), Joshua L. Odell (20), 
Jeremiah Harrison (22), Heinrich Winter 
(6), Duncan Stuart (22-4), Henry J. Conlin 
(I4r47), John Klinsing (32), Miles Fleming 
(30), Newton Kinyon (10), William E. 
Wheeler (14), Frank G. George (14), John 
Glembin (32), Thomas Halpin (12r47), 
Theodore W. Staples (18), Wheeler Nesbit 
(28), Gottlieb Zellmer (24r47), Julius H. 
Nichols (26), John Stuart (S), William W. 
Whitehead (20), Thomas McNaughton (4), 
William Passer (30), Allen G. Lincoln (32), 
John A. Talbert (12r47), James Karney 
(20), Nelson W. Brown (18), Fred Nuffer 
(12r47), Theodore L. Malder (26r47), Oren 
D. Brown (24), Andrew Burch (2r47). 


The first township organized with tl)e 
botindaries as at present established was 
Osborne. In response to a petition of 
the residents, the commissioners declared 
it organized at a meeting on March 31, 
1ST!). Tlie first tow)) meeting was held 
at the residence of E. W. Day on section 
vio .\pi-il 1."). The na)ne was suggested 
bv William J. I)odd and was given in 
honor of that gentleman's cousin, J. C. 
Osborne, of Newark, New .Jersev. Mr. 
Osborne presented the township with a 
large flag and a pennant upon which the 

are taken from the records in the office of the 
register of deed.s. The numJier in parentheses 
fo))owing- the name designates the section on 
which the land was located. Tiie seniority of 
title is maintained — the earliest appearing first 
on the list. The earliest title under the home- 
stead and timber claim acts was received in 

°Ma.ior D. E. Runals. of Osborne township, 
furnishes the following items concerning the 
early history of the precinct: The first breaking 
was done by George Ganfleld in 1876. He also 
erected the first building in the township, a 
sod hut on the northeast quarter of section 32. 
in 1S78. The same year another sod hut was 
erected hv another settler on the northeast 
quarter of section 8, The first frame building 
was put up in the spring of 1877 by A. D. 
Kingsbury on the southeast quarter of section 

name was insci'ibed." The following re- 
ceived land ])atents in Osborne town- 
ship : 

Albert A. Dodge (28), Peter E. Bradshaw 
(14), Ann H. Day (32), John Casserly (10), 
Hiram Allen (34), George D. Dodd (2), 
George M. Wright (IS), Samuel M. Web- 
ster (20), Cornelius Delaney (14-12), Percy 
Cole (20), Samuel Cook (30), Valoo Moore 
(12), Alonzo D. Kingsbury (28), Elizabeth 
Dockstader (32), Leander Dickey (18), Ed- 
win W. Day (20), William F. Stockdill (8), 
William A. Moulton (12), John Harvey (24), 
Sardis H. Turner (8), Carlton C. Fuller (IS), 
Henry K. Bateinan (4), Havilat O. Gates 
(24), Charles Crippen (4), Justus C. Hatha- 
way (24), Charles E. McCall (30), Charles 
H. Kingsbury (32), Nelson R. Brayton (34), 
Harry R. Lamb (14), George H. Richardson 
(26), James Maniner (8), William Dodd 
(12), Willis Humphrey (30), Marcus H. Cox 
(6), Sarah J. Chapman Runals (34), George 
Premo (12), Charles E. McCall (30), Major 
D. E. Runals (22), Thomas J. Butterfield 
(20), William Lockwood (22), Willis E. 
Dailey (10), Johnson W. Stone (20), Myron 
H. Perrigo (6), Edward H. Hart (10), Wil- 
lis R. Terrell (22), Norman S. Toban (4), 
Carlton C. Fuller (18), Marie A. Baker (14), 
Charles W. Mitchell (34), Roy E. Gunsolus 
(32), John P. Ashbaugh (24), Herbert E. 
Stone (2). 


Township 10(i of range 4-1 was created 
by action of the cfiunty commissioners 
.\pril -2(1, is:9, and named Erin. The 
first town meeting was held at the resi- 
dence of Jficbaol Jloriaiity on the north- 
west quarter of section 1.5. At a subse- 
quent meeting in the claim shanty of 
John Shea, on tiie southwest quarter of 
section ".'(i, it was decided to change the 
name to Burke, in honor of Rev. Thomas 
N. Biirko." The change was ratified by 
the county co)umissioners June 2, 1879.* 

28. Ann Day taught the first school (private! 
in the township, and West Webster was the first 
public sclioo) teaclier. The first church ser- 
vices were held at tlie home of E. W. Day. 
and that gentleman was the superintendent of 
the first SatilDath school in Pipestone coimtj'. The 
first white child born in tlie township was Kittie 
Finnegan. Ijorn in 1879. The second child born 
was Frank Kingsbur.v. born the same year. 

'Rev. Thomas N. Burke, O. P.. was born in 
Galway, Ireland. He was a renowned orator 
and famous lecturer in defense of Ireland. He 
visited .\merica on a lecturing tour in 1871. 

^Five hundred sixty acres of sod were turned 
in Burke township in 1878 and 940 acres in 1879. 
In tile last named year the acreage sown to 
crop was as follows: Wheat. 460 acres; sod 
corn, 250 acres; oats, 85 acres; barley, 5 acres. 



Those who received laml fnnri tlu' uovriii- 
ment in Burke township were as foiknvs: 

John Rice (26), John McNallon (26), Mag- 
gie J. Ditten (4), Henry King (30i, Edwin 
Wilkins (4), Owen Kinsella (24), Benjamin 
H. Conrad (24 I, Ludwig Doms (12), Granger 
Hickcox (2), Isaac N. Converse (32), Jolin 
H. Councilman (24), Patrick Saunders (34), 
Warren A. Prall (S), Rieliard Shea (26), 
John Shea (26), George A. Miller (4), Au- 
gust Luhde (12), John Moriarity (10-18-22), 
Benjamin Rogers (32), Edward W. Bowers 
(14), Patrick Hartigan (34), John Wingie 
(10), Michael C. Mahouey (S), William H. 
Ryan (14), Thomas Shea (28), Cornelius 
Ryan (26), George W. Gleason (18), Daniel 
Dnggan (20), Lorenzo D. Ishmael (18), Wil- 
liam H. Walker (10), William Doms (12), 
David Deits (10), Kasson Hickcox (2), 
John Delaney (30), James C. Delaney (30), 
Dennis Hennessy (8), John W. Smiley (20), 
Charles M. Pease (18), James Ryan (28), 
Phillip Brown (18), George W. Nash (24), 
Michael C. O'Mahony (IS), James Delaney 
(28), John H. Larne (20), Heirs ot William 
Ware (14), John C. French (4), Heirs of 
Ardin P. Goodman (12). 


The township of CTrange was put uiulcr 
local o-oveininent only after a lengthy 
squabble over a name. Among the i)a)nes 
suggested were Upton, HeybuDi and 
Clai-y. At an election for the puj'pose 
the na]ne Clary was chosen, in hoioi' of 
an early settler, but when the to\vnshi|i 
was created by the con))nissioners A|i]il 
•^G, is;!), in response lo a petilion by W. 
R. Brown and others, it was named Blaine. 
On June "i the commissioners changed the 
name to (i)ange. The township was or- 
ganized at the first town )neeting, held at 
the home of J. T^. Huniphrey on section 
20 May 17. The foll(iw))ig were g)'a))icd 
bir)d patcntr^ in (Ji'ange low)isl)ip: 

Hamilton Wells (28), Sarah A. Frost (6), 
Lewis B. Melcalf (4), Stillnian J. Perkins 
(26), Robert Hislop (18), Andrew F. Jack- 
son (32), Martin J. Easlaud (26), Bristow S. 
Clark (20), William W. Gray (34), Lorentz 
V Ackermann (IS), Andrew F. .lohnson 
(32), James L. Humphrey (26), Ira Kiddell 
(14), Warren McCarter (22), Nelson Minet 
(24) Joseph Hatfield (2), Henry Montville 
(6), John Gilson (20), James T. Suffron 
(30), James Hall, Jr., (28J, Henry H. Raph 
(10) Harrv J. Hall (24), Addie J. Hoagland 

(S), W. B. Brown (30-32), Luke Brown (20), 
Frank Montgomery (2), Silas E. Wharton 
(32), John W. Wells (28), Louis Zarn (22), 
John E. Dannaker (28), Carl Bourn (4), 
Christopher Buchholz (2), Charles C. Drew 
(20), Heirs of John D. George (8), Hosea T. 
Humphrey (34), Christopher J. Ross (10), 
James .M. Bull (30), Flavia Montville (6), 
Joseph B. Fate (8), John Lafferty (10), 
Samuel J. Hamilton (14), Thomas Ollerton 
(12), Ceylon E. Taylor (14), Sanford A. 
Montville (30), Jacob Zimmerman (12), .An- 
son Pike (6), George A. Clark (32), Loski 
D. Peck (28), Peter Thornton (24), Hiram 
W. George (S), John Weinkaut (2), Alexan- 
der T. Serrnrier (10), Elizabeth .A.rrowsmith 
(12), Leon H. Moore (IS), Steplien Rice 
(4), John Weighill (26), Edwin F. Cheney 
(6), Nathaniel Lesher (4), Elmer Hatcli