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COLLECTIONS 

OP THE 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL 

SOCIETY 

VOLUME XVII 



MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Officers 

Gideon S. Ives^ President 
Frederic A. Fogg, First Vice-President 
William W. Folwell, Second Vice-President 
Solon J. Buck, Superintendent and Secretary 
Everett H. Bailey, Treasurer 



Executive Council 
Ex Officio 



J. A. A. BURNQUIST 

Governor 

Thomas Frankson- 

Lieutenant Governor 

JUUUS A. SCHMAHL 

Secretary of State 



Elected 



Everett H. Bailey 
Charles Bechhoefer 
Solon J. Buck 
Rev. William Busch 
Frederick M. Catlin 
Lmin Cray 
Oliver Crosby 
William W. Cutler 
Frederic A. FpGG 
William W. Folwell 
Guy Stanton Ford 
Harold Harris 
Frederick G. Ingersoll 
Gideon S. Ives 

Edward B. 



Jacob A. O. Preus 
State Auditor 

Henry Rines 

State Treasurer 

Clifford L. Hilton 
A ttomey-General 



Victor E. Lawson 
William £. Lee 
William H. Lightner 
William A. McGonagle 
William B. Mitchell 
Charles P. Noyes 
Victor Robertson 
j. f. rosenwald 
Edward P. Sanborn 
Rev. Marion D. Shutter 
Charles Stees 
Warren Upham 
Olin D. Wheeler 
Harry E. Whitney 
Young 



The Elxecutive Committee consists of the president, the secretary, 
the treasurer, and two appointed members, Frederic A. Fogg and Edward 
P. Sanborn. 



COLLECTIONS OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOQETY 
VOLUME XVII 



MINNESOTA 
GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

THEIR ORIGIN AND HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE 



WARREN UPHAM 

ARCHAEOLOGIST OF THB SOCIBTV 



PUBLISHED BY THE 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
SAINT PAUL, 1920 



^ 



L.Soc.iaoM'ni 5^ 



Fhb Colwbll Press, Inc. 

MiNNBAPOLIS 



PREFACE 

During sixteen years, from 1879 to 1894, of service for the 
geological surveys of Minnesota, the United States, and Can- 
ada, in travel over large areas of this state, the Dakotas, and 
Manitoba, my attention was often attracted to the origins of 
their names of places, partly received directly from the Indian 
languages, and in many other instances translated from the 
aboriginal names. Frequently our geographic names note re- 
markable topographic features, or are derived from the fauna 
and flora. Perhaps a gre?iter number commemorate pioneer 
white explorers, early fur traders, and agricultural settlers. 

Later work for the Minnesota Historical Society, since 
1895, has permitted and even required more detailed considera- 
tion and record in this field. Many memorials of our territorial 
and state history are preserved in geographic names, and each 
nationality contributing to the settlement has its share in this 
nomenclature. As the first immigrants of the state along the 
Atlantic and Gulf coast brought many place names from Eng- 
land, France, Holland, and Spain, so in Minnesota many geo- 
graphic names have come from beyond the sea. Here the in- 
fluence of a large proportion of immigration from Germany is 
shown by such names as New Ulm, New Trier, Hamburg, 
Cologne, and New Munich. Old Bohemia is brought to mind 
by the city of New Prague. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark 
are well represented by Stockholm, Malmo, Bergen, Trond- 
hjem, Denmark, and many other township and village names. 
In the early eastern and southern states, Plymouth, Boston, 
Portsmouth, Bangor, New York, Charleston, St. Augustine, 
and New^ Orleans, recalled tender memories of the Old World. 
Likewise, these German and Bohemian and Scandinavian 
names have a great meaning to the immigrants from those 
countries who have made their new homes here. 

To illustrate how this subject is like a garden of flowers, 
or like an epic poem, reference may be made to the names of 
the eighty-six Minnesota counties. Fifteen came directly, or 

lit 



iv PREFACE 

through translation, from the Dakota or Sioux language, eight 
being retained as Sioux words, Anoka, Dakota, Isanti, Kan- 
diyohi, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona. Six are 
translated into English, namely. Big Stone, Blue Earth, Cot- 
tonwood, Redwood, Traverse, and Yellow Medicine; and one ' 
is received in its French translation, Lac qui Parle. Twelve 
counties bear names of Ojibway origin; but only five, Chisago^ 
Kanabec, Koochiching, Mahnomen, and Wadena, are Indian 
words, and the first was made by a white man's coinage. The 
seven others are Chippewa (the anglicized form of Ojibway), 
Clearwater, Crow Wing, Mille Lacs (a translation in French), 
Otter Tail, Red Lake, and Roseau (another French transla- 
tion). 

Fifty-two counties have received personal names, which 
may be arranged in four lists. The early explorers of this 
area are commemorated by seven counties ; the fur traders of 
the early half of the last century, by four; citizens of Minne- 
sota as a territory and state have been honored by the names 
of twenty-six counties; and citizens of other parts of the 
United States are similarly honored in fifteen counties. First 
enumerating the seven county names from explorers, we have 
Beltrami, Carver, Cass, Hennepin, Le Sueur, Nicollet, and 
Pope. The four named for early fur traders are Aitkin, Fari- 
bault, Morrison, and Renville. The twenty-six counties named 
for Minnesota citizens are Becker, Brown, Carlton, Cook, Free- 
born, Goodhue, Hubbard, Jackson, Kittson, McLeod, Marshall, 
Meeker, Mower, Murray, Nobles, Olmsted, Pennington, Ramsey, 
Rice, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Swift, Todd, and Wilkin 
counties. Among the fifteen counties named for citizens of 
this country outside of Minnesota, five are in honor of presi- 
dents of the United States, these being Washingon, Polk, Fill- 
more, Lincoln, and Grant. The ten others in this list are 
Benton, Clay, Dodge, Douglas, Houston, Lyon, Martin, Scott, 
Stevens, and Wright. 

Six of our counties have names given by white men for 
natural features, in addition to the larger number so derived 
from the Indian languages. These are Itasca, taking the name 
of the lake, formed of two Latin words ; Lake county, named 
for Lake Superior; Pine county, so named for its extensive 



PREFACE V 

pine forests; Pipestone county, for the Indian pipestone 
quarry there ; Rock county, for the very prominent rock out- 
crop near Luverne ; and St. Louis county, for its river of that 
name. One county received its name, Norman, in honor of its 
large number of immigrants from Norway. 

The earliest systematic endeavor to trace the origins of 
Minnesota county names was published by John Fletcher Wil- 
liams, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, as an 
article in the St. Paul Pioneer, March 13, 1870. Another con- 
tribution to this subject, by Return I. Holcombe, of St. Paul, 
was in the Pioneer Press Almanac, 1896. Both these lists 
have been consultedu|;l9fth much advantage, for the present 
volume. * 

In ascertaining derivations and meanings of Dakota and 
O jib way names, very valuable aid has been obtained from a 
paper, "Minnesota Geographical Names derived from the Da- 
kota Language, with some that are Obsolete," by Prof. An- 
drew W. Williamson, of Augustana College, Rock Island, 111., 
published in the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Geological 
and Natural History Survey of Minnesota, for 1884, pages 104- 
112; and from another paper, in the Fifteenth Report of the 
same survey, for 1886, pages 451-477, "Minnesota Geographi- 
cal Names derived from the Chippewa Language," by Rev. 
Joseph A. Gilfillan, of White Earth, who also supplied in later 
letters many further notes of O jib way names. These two 
papers are the most important sources of information on Min- 
nesota geographic terms of Indian origin, supplementing the 
frequent references to origins of names by Hennepin, Carver, 
Mackenzie, Thompson, Pike, Long and Keating, Beltrami, 
Schoolcraft, Allen, Featherstonhaugh, Catlin, Lea, Nicollet, and 
other explorers of the area -which is now Minnesota. 

The narrations of these discoverers and explorers, and 
many later books, pamphlets, newspapers, atlases, and maps, 
have been examined in the Library of the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society. Special acknowledgments are due to the following 
books and authors : 

Grammar and Dictionary of the Dakota Language, edited 
by Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, published by the Smithsonian In- 
stitution, Washington, 1852; and a revised edition of the 



vi PREFACE 

greater part, a Dakota-English Dictionary, issued in 1890 as vol- 
ume VII, "Contributions to North American Ethnology." 

An English-Dakota Dictionary, compiled by John P. Wil- 
liamson, printed by the American Tract Society, 1902. 

A Grammar of the Otchipwe [Ojibway] Language, 1878; 
a Dictionary of the Otchipwe Language, Part I, English- 
Otchipwe, 1878; and Part II, Otchipwe-English, 1880. These 
are editions published in Montreal, of volumes by Bishop Fred- 
eric Baraga, the Grammar having been first published in De- 
troit, 1850, and the Dictionary in Cincinnati, 1853. 

A Glossary of Chippewa Indian Names of Rivers, Lakes, 
and Villages, by Rev. Chrysostom Verwyst, of Bayfield, Wis., 
in Acta et Dicta ... of the Catholic Church in the 
Northwest, published in St. Paul, volume IV, pages 253-274, 
July, 1916. 

Handbook of American Indians north of Mexico, edited by 
Frederick W. Hodge, published by the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion as Bulletin 30, Bureau of American Ethnology, two vol- 
umes, 1907, 1910. 

The Geological and Natural History Survey of Minne- 
sota, 1872-1901, by Prof. N. H. Winchell, state geologist, and 
assistants: Annual Reports, 24 volumes; Bulletins, 10 vol- 
umes, treating partly of the mammals, birds, fishes, and the 
flora ; Final Reports, 6 volumes, having chapters for all the 
counties and for the iron ore ranges. 

Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mississippi, 
by Hon. J. V. Brower, of St. Paul, eight volumes, 1898-1905. 
Four of these volumes relate to parts of this state, being III, 
Mille Lac, 1900; IV, Kathio, 1901; V, Kakabikansing, 1902; 
and VI, Minnesota, 1903. 

Minnesota Historical Society Collections, fifteen volumes, 
1850-1915. Biographic references for places bearing names of 
personal derivation have been supplied in the greater part by 
the fourteenth volume, Minnesota Biographies, 1655-1912. 

The Aborigines of Minnesota, a Report based on the col- 
lections of Jacob V. Brower, and on the field surveys and 
notes of Alfred J. Hill and Theodore H. Lewis, collated, aug- 
mented and described by N. H. Winchell; published by the 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, 1911. 



PREFACE vii 

The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States, 
second edition, by Henry Gannett, published in 1905 as Bul- 
letin 258 of the U. S. Geological Survey. 

Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer or Geographical Dic- 
tionary of the World, published by the J. B. Lippincott Com- 
pany, 1911, two volumes. 

A History of the Origin of the Place Names connected 
with the Chicago & Northwestern and Chicago, St. Paul, Min- 
neapolis & Omaha Railways, . . compiled by one [W. 
H. Stennett] who for more than 34 years has been an officer in 
the employ of the system ; Chicago, 1908. 

In the early progress of this research, a paper by the 
author, ''Origin of Minnesota Geographic Names," including 
quite full notes for each county name, was read at a monthly 
meeting of the executive council of the Minnesota Historical 
Society, May 8, 1899; and a second address, entitled "The 
Origin and Meaning of Minnesota Names of Rivers, Lakes, 
Counties, Townships, and Cities," was presented at an annual 
meeting of this Society, January 11, 1904. These papers were 
mainly published in a series of articles in the Office Blotter, 
a Minneapolis journal issued chiefly for the interest of Minne- 
sota county officers, April to August, 1904; and they were 
again published with slight changes and additions in the Maga- 
zine of History, New York, volume VHI, September to No- 
vember, 1908. More condensed and somewhat revised, they 
were embodied in a newspaper article, "Whence came the 
Names of • Minnesota's Counties," in the St. Paul Pioneer 
Press, November 19, 1911. After further revision, notes of 
origins of the county names were published in numerous Min- 
nesota daily newspapers, usually one county each day in alpha- 
betic order, in the spring and summer of 1916. 

For interviews with county officers, pioneer settlers, and 
others, twenty counties of northern Minnesota were visited by 
the author in the autumn of 1909; and in the year 1916, from 
April to October, all the eighty-six counties were visited. 
Such personal interviews, to some extent followed by corre- 
spondence, have been the chief sources of information for most 
parts of this work, except for the considerable list of counties 
having published histories. Dates of organization of town- 



viii PREFACE 

ships and villages are noted mainly from the county histories, 
so that comparatively few dates are given under other coun- 
ties. 

Published and personal sources consulted for each county 
are stated at the beginning of its catalogue of townships. To 
the many citizens who have contributed notes of the origins of 
place names, and of the names of streets and parks in our three 
great cities, the author and the people of Minnesota are endur- 
ingly indebted. Within the lifetime of pioneers who shared 
in the first settlement and in all the development of this com- 
monwealth, a careful record has been made of a very signifi- 
cant portion of its history. 

The first chapter of the book treats of general features, 
as districts bearing topographic names, the state name and 
sobriquets^ and the larger lakes and rivers. Eighty-six chap- 
ters treat of the place names of the counties in alphabetic 
order. The name of each county is first somewhat fully 
noticed; next the townships and villages are listed in their 
alphabetic series, preceded by the due mention of books and 
persons supplying information for the county; and last are 
records of lakes and streams, hills, prairies, and, in some of the 
counties, Indian reservations, iron ore ranges, state and na- 
tional forests, state parks, glacial lakes, beaches, and moraines. 
Localities of exceptional historic interest are found in nearly 
every county. Origins of the names of streets, avenues, and 
parks, in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth, are noted in the 
final three chapters, so that the whole volume comprises ninety 
chapters. 

To find notations of any city, township, village, lake, river 
or creek, hills and prairies, iron ranges, etc., the reader will 
consult the Index, at the end of the volume, which is the key 
to all its contents. An explanation of abbreviations used in 
the Index is g^ven on its first page. 

Warren Upham 

Minnesota Historical Society 
St. Paul 



MINNESOTA 
GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 



GENERAL FEATURES 

The most conspicuous geographic features of this state are its larger 
rivers and lakes, including the Minnesota river, whence the state is named, 
the Mississippi, largest of this continent, which here has its source and a 
great part of its course, the Red river, the Rainy, St. Louis, and St. Croix 
rivers, Lake Superior, adjoining Minnesota by 150 miles of its northwest 
shore, Rainy lake and the Lake of the Woods, Red lake, Winnebagoshish 
and Leech lakes, and Mille Lacs, each requiring mention as belonging 
partly to two or more counties. Likewise the origins and meaning of the 
names of many smaller rivers and lakes need to be given in this chapter, 
to which reference may be made under their several counties, unless their 
names, borne by counties, townships, or villages, are thus fully noticed. 

Districts bearing Topographic Names. 

Only limited areas <of Minnesota have low mountains or even any note- 
worthy hills that have received names. Such are hilly or somewhat 
mountainous tracts on the Vermilion and Mesabi ranges, names which 
designate belts having immense deposits of iron ores, noted under Itasca, 
St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties. The first of these ranges was named 
from the Vermilion lake and river in St Louis county. The second has 
an Ojibway name, spelled "Missabay Heights" by Nidollet, translated as 
Giant mountain by Gilfillan. It is spelled Missabe, pronounced in three 
syllables, by Baraga's Dictionary, which defines it as "Giant; also, a very 
big stout man." 

The third and more southern belt of iron ores, latest discovered but 
now having many and large mines, was named the Cuyuna range by its 
discoverer, Cuyler Adams, from his own name and from his dog, Una, 
who accompanied him in many prospecting trips. This iron range has no 
prominently hilly tract 

From Duluth to the northeast corner of this state, the land rises gen- 
erally 500 to 800 feet or more above Lake Superior within a few miles 
back from its shore, forming the southern margin of a high wooded area 
that reaches to the international boundary and is diversified by mostly low 
ridges and hills. Seen from passing boats, the eroded front of this high- 
land for about thirty miles in Cook county, from Carlton peak to Grand 
Marais, presents a peculiarly serrate profile and is therefore commonly 
called the Sawteeth mountains, more definitely noted for that county. 

Morainic hills of the glacial drift, amassed along the borders of the 
continental ice-sheet, are traced in twelve successive belts across this state. 
The most noteworthy development of these hills is found in Otter Tail 
county, where the eighth and ninth moraines are merged to form the 
Leaf hills, called "mountains" by the settlers in contrast with the lower 



2 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

hills in other parts of the state, rising in steep slopes to heights of 200 
to 350 feet ak)ng an extent of about twenty miles. Their name, more 
fully considered in the county chapter, is translated from the Ojibway 
name, which was thence applied by the Ojibways to the Leaf lakes and 
river, and by the white people to Leaf Mountain township. 

An important contrast is exhibited by the vegetation in different parts 
of Minnesota. Forest covers its northeastern two-thirds, approximately, 
while about one-third, lying at the south and southwest, and reaching in 
the Red river valley to the Canadian line, as also the part of this valley 
north to Lake Winnipeg, is prairie. Half of the state, on the northeast, 
had originally extensive tracts of very valuable white pine and red pine, 
which have been mostly cut off by lumbermen. Interspersed with these 
and other evergreen species, as the spruces, balsam fir, and arbor vitae, 
were tracts of maple, elm, bass, oaks, ash, and other deciduous trees. The 
Big Woods, a translation from the early French name. Grand Bois, oc- 
cupied a large area west of the Mississippi, including Wright, Carver, 
Scott, and Le Sueur counties, with parts of adjacent counties. Until its 
timber was cleared off for cultivation of the land in farms, this area was 
heavily wooded with the deciduous forest, shedding its leaves before win- 
ter, lying south of the geographic range of the pines and their allies.. 

In the great prairie region of southwestern Minnesota, and extending 
northward into the northeast part of South Dakota, a large elevated dis- 
trict is inclosed by the contour line of 1,500 feet above the sea. This area 
comprises Pipestone county and the greater parts of Lincoln, Murray, 
Nobles, and Rock counties in this state, having an entire length in the 
two states of about 160 miles. It was named by the early French voyag- 
eurs and explorers the Coteau des Prairies, as on Nicollet's map, meaning, 
in English, the Highland of the Prairies. 

The many beautiful lakes of Alexandria and its vicinity, of the ad- 
joining country southward to Glen wood and northwest to Fergus Falls, 
and their landscapes of alternating woods and small openings of prairies, 
have given the name Park Region to that district, lying between the un- 
broken northeastern forest and the limitless prairie on the west 

Another area of many lakes and streams, having somewhat similar 
features as the foregoing, but with a mainly less rolling and diversified 
contour, excepting the valleys and inclosing bluffs of its rivers, was named 
by Nicollet the Undine Region, comprising the country of the Blue Earth 
river and its tributaries, as moticed in the chapter of Blue Earth county. 

The Name of the State. 

Minnesota received its name from the largest river which lies wholly 
within its area, excepting only that its sources above Big Stone lake are 
in South Dakota. During a hundred and fifty years, up to the time of 
the organization of Minnesota Territory, in 1849, the name St. Pierre, tor 
St. Peter, had been generally applied to this river by French and Eng- 



GENERAL FEATURES 3 

lisK* explorers and writers. March 6, 1852, the territorial legislature 
adopted a memorial to the Pres-ident of the United States, requesting that 
this name should be discontinued, and that only the aboriginal name should 
be used for the river, the same as for the territory, by the different 
government departments; and this was so decreed on June 19 of the 
same year, by an act of Congress. 

The old name, St. Peter's river, of French derivation, seems prob- 
ably to have been given in commemoration of its first exploration by 
Pierre Charles Le Sueur. If so, however, his first journey up the Min- 
nesota river was more than ten years before his expedition upon it in 
the year 1700, when he mined what he supposed to be an ore of copper 
in the bluffs of the Blue Earth river, near the site of Mankato ; for the 
St. Peter and St. Croix rivers are mentioned by these names in Perrot's 
proclamation at his Fort St. Antoine, on Lake Pepin, taking possession 
of this region for France, dated May 8, 1689. 

The Dakota or Sioux name Minnesota means sky-tinted water 
(Minne, water, and sota, somewhat clouded), as Neill translated it on 
the authority of Rev. Gideon H. Pond. The river at its stages of flood 
becomes whitishly turbid. An illustration of the meaning of the words 
was told to the present writer by Mrs. Moses N. Adams, the widow of 
the well known missionary of the Dakotas. She stated that at various 
times the Dakota women explained it to her by dropping a little milk into 
water and calling the whitishly clouded water "Minne sota." 

Major Long in 1817 wrote that the Mississippi above the St. Croix had 
a name meaning Gear river, and Dr. Folwell in 1919 concludes that the 
Minnesota means this, contrasted with the very muddy Missouri. 

In the years 1846 to 1848, Hon. Henry H. Sibley and Hon. Morgan L. 
Martin, the delegate in Congress from Wisconsin, proposed this name 
for the new territory, which thus followed the example of Wisconsin 
in adopting the title of a large stream within its borders. During the 
next few years, it displaced the name St. Peter as applied in common 
usage by the white people to the river, whose euphonious Dakota title 
will continue to be borne by the river and the state probably long after 
the Dakota or Sioux language shalf cease to be spoken. 

Gen. James H. Baker, in an address on the history of Lake Superior, 
before the Minnesota Historical Society at its annual meeting in 1879, 
published in the third volume of its Collections (1880, pages 333-355), 
directed attention, as follows, to a sonjewhat comparable Ojibway name 
for the wooded northern part of this state. 

"In one of my expeditions upon the north shore, being accompanied 
by an intelligent Chippewa chief, I found the shrub. Balm of Gilead, a 
small tree of medicinal virtue, in great abundance. He gave me its 
Chippewa name as Mah-nu-sa-tia, and said it was the name given by 
their people to all that country west of the great lake, because it was 
the country yielding the Mah-nu-sa-tia. In conversing with other in- 



4 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES. 

telligent Chippewas, I found this statement was invariably confirmed. 
They claim it as the traditional name of the land to the west of the lake." 

This Ojibway word, however, had no influence upon the selection of 
our territorial and state name. Indeed, it was generally unknown to 
the white people here until more than twenty years after the Sioux name 
was chosen. 

The name Itasca, devised in 1832 by Schoolcraft with the aid of Rev. 
William T. Boutwell for the lake at the head of the Mississippi, was 
urged by Boutwell for the territory. Other names were suggested in 
the discussions of Congress, as Chippeway, Jackson, and Washington. 
Final choice of the name Minnesota was virtually decided in the con- 
vention held at Stillwater on August 26, 1848, which petitwned to Con- 
gress for territorial organization. 

Carver, who wintered with the Sioux on the Minnesota river in 1766- 
67, was the earliest author to record its Sioux name. He spelled it Mene* 
sotor in his Travels and Menesoter on the accompanying map. It was 
spelled Menesota by Long and Keating; Menisoth6 by Beltrami; Mini- 
sotah by Nicollet ; Minnay sotor by Featherstonhaugh ; Minesota by Hon. 
M. L. Martin and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, in bills introduced by them 
respectively in the House and Senate for organization of the territory; 
and Minnesota by Hon. H. H. Sibley at the Stillwater convention. 

Sobriquets of Minnesota. 

Like Michigan, which is frequently called the Wolverine state, and 
Wisconsin, the Badger state, Minnesota has a favorite sobriquet or nick- 
name, the Gopher state. Its origin has been given by the late Judge 
Flandrau, who, in his "History of Minnesota," says that the beaver, as 
well as the gopher, was advocated to give such a popular title. The latter 
gained the ascendancy, soon after the a<dmission of Minnesota to state- 
hood, on acoount of the famous "Gopher cartoon," published in derision 
of the Five Million Loan bill, which was passed by the first state legis- 
lature to encourage the building of railroads. The striped gopher, com- 
mon throughout our prairie region, is the species depicted by the cartoon. 
(Minnesota in Three Centuries, 1908, vol. I, pages 75-76.) 

Minnesota is also often called the North Star state, in allusion to the 
motto, "L' Etoile du Nord," chosen by Governor Sibley for the state 
seal in 1858. 

Another epithet for our fertile commonwealth more recently came 
into use from the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, N. Y., in 1901, 
where the superior exhibits of wheat, flour, and dairy products of Min- 
nesota caused her to be called "the Bread and Butter state." 

The Mississippi. 

The chief river of Minnesota, and indeed of North America, bears 
for all time the Algonquian name which it received from the Ojibways 



GENERAL FEATURES 5 

who paddled their birch canoes on its head stream, within the area of 
this state, and on the lakes at its sources. This name, Mississippi, means 
simply the Great River. Such it is, being the second among the great 
rivers of the world, surpassed only by the Amazon. 

Jean Nicolet, the first white explorer of Wisconsin, in the winter of 
1634-35, went from Lake Michigan and Green bay to Lake Winnebago 
and the upper Fox river, and learned there from the Indians that the 
sea, as he understood them to say, was within three days' travel farther 
to the southwest. What he heard of was the Mississippi river. 

It was first made known by name to Europeans in the Jesuit Relation 
of 1666-67, published in Paris in 1668, which mentions "the great river 
named Messipi." The Relation of 1670-71 gave a more definite descrip- 
tion as follows: "It is a Southward course that is taken by the great 
river called by the natives Missisipi, which must empty somewhere in 
the region of the Florida sea, more than four hundred leagues hence 
(from the upper Great Lakes) ♦ * ♦ Some Savages have assured us 
that this is so noble a river that, at more than three hundred leagues' 
distance from its mouth, it is larger than the one flowing before Quebec ; 
for they declare that it is more than a league wide [referring probably 
to its expansion in Lake Pepin]. They also state that all this vast stretch 
of country consists of nothing but treeless prairies." 

Earlier names had been given by the Spaniards to this river in its 
lower part, seen by their expeditions. Thus, on the map resulting from 
Pineda's exploration of the Gulf coast in 1519, the Mississippi is named 
Rio del Espiritu Santo (River of the Holy Spirit) ; and it continued to 
be commonly or frequently mapped under that name until its present 
Algonquian designation was generally adopted. 

Father Marquette, writing of his canoe voyage on this river in 1673, 
with Joliet, called it the Missisipi, but his map named it "R. de la Con- 
ception." 

Hennepin, in the first edition of his travels, published in Paris in 1683, 
called the Mississippi the River Colbert, for the great French statesman 
who died that year, and so mapped it; but later editions named and 
mapped it as "Le Grand Fleuve Meschasipi." 

La Salle, writing August 22, 1682, designated is as "the river Colbert, 
named by the IroqtK>is Gastacha, and by the Ottawas the Mississipy." 
Elsewhere, however, in the same and other writings, La Salle and his 
companions more commonly used only the latter name, spelling it 
MississipL 

Perrot, after spending many years on the upper part of this river, 
in his Memoir written in 1718 or within two or three years later, spoke 
of "the Micissypy, which is now named the Louisianne;" and a French 
map published in 1718 gives the name as "the Missisipi or St. Louis." 

Carver, who traveled into the area of Minnesota in 1766, described 
and mapped this river with its present spelling, Mississippi, which was 



6 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

followed by Pike, Cass and Schoolcraft, Long and Keating, Beltrami, 
and all later writers. Before this form became fully established, the 
name, as printed in books and maps, had many variations, which, accord- 
ing to an estimate by Dr. Elliott Coues, number probably thirty or more. 

The first part of the name, Missi, means Great, being akin to the 
modern Ojibway word, Kitchi, great, or Gitche, as it is spelled by Long- 
fellow in "The Song of Hiawatha"; and the second part, sippi, other- 
wise spelled sipi or sebe, or zibi, is the common Algonquian or Ojibway 
word for a river. This name, received from the Ojibways and other 
Algonquins by the earliest French missionaries and traders in the upper 
Mississippi region, though used by these Indians only for the upper part 
of the river as known to them, was extended by Marquette and Joliet 
and by La Salle to its entire course, displacing the numerous former In- 
dian names which had been applied to its lower part 

Rev. J. A. Gilfillan wrote: "Below the junction of Leech Lake river, 
it is called Kitchi-zibi, or Great river. I cannot find by inquiry that the 
Chippewas have ever called it Missizibi (Mississippi) or Missazibi. But 
I consider it very probable that in remote times they did, for Missa-zibi 
(Mississippi) would express the same idea in their language, and would 
be proper, as witness Missa-sagaiigun (Mille Lacs), meaning Great lake. 
It so exactly corresponds with tlieir language that it must have been 
taken from it." 

Endeavoring to translate more fully the aboriginal significance of 
Missi, Gannett says that Mississippi means "great water," or "gathering 
in of all the waters," and "an almost endless river spread out." 

The phrase, "Father of Waters," popularly given to this river; has no 
warrant in the Algonquian name. In 1854 Schoolcraft wrote: "The 
prefixed word Missi is an adjective denoting all, and, when applied to 
various waters, means the collected or assembled mass of them. ♦ ♦ ♦ 
It is only symbolically that it can be called the Father of American riv- 
ers, unless such sense occurs in the other Indian tongues." 

Red Lake and River. 

Red lake is translated from its Ojibway name, which, like Vermilion 
lake, refers to the red and vermilion hues of the smooth water surface 
reflecting the color of the sky at sunset on calm evenings in summer, as 
noted in the chapters of Red Lake county and St. Louis county. The 
Red river, named from the lake, is the boundary of Minnesota at the 
west side of six counties, flowing thence to Lake Winnipeg. Its more 
distinctive name, Red river of the North, was used by Nicollet to dis- 
tinguish it from the Red river tributary to the lower MississippL 

An exceedingly flat plain adjoins the Red river, having an impercep- 
tible descent northward, as also from each side to its central line. Along 
the axial depression the river has cut a channel twenty to sixty feet 
deep. It is bordered by only few and narrow areas of • bottomland, in- 



GENERAL FEATURES 7 

stead of which its banks usually rise steeply on one side, and by mod- 
erate slopes on the other, to the broad valley plain which thence reaches 
nearly level ten to twenty-five miles from the river. This vast plain, 
lying half in Minnesota and half in North Dakota, with continuation 
into Manitoba and so stretching from Lake Traverse and Breckenridge 
north to Lake Winnipeg, a distance of 300 miles, is the widely famed 
Red River Valley, one of the most productive wheat-raising districts of 
the world. 

Glacial Lake Agassiz and River Warren. 

The farmers and other residents of this fertile plain are well aware 
that they live on the area once occupied by a great lake ; for its beaches, 
having the form of smoothly rounded ridges of gravel and sand, a few 
feet high, with a width of several rods, are observable extending hori- 
zontally long distances upon each of the slopes which rise east and west 
of the valley plain. Hundreds of farmers have located their buildings 
on the beach ridges as the most dry and sightly spots on their land^ 
affording opportunity for perfectly drained cellars even in the most wet 
spring seasons, and also yielding to wells, dug through this sand and 
gravel, better water than is usually obtainable in wells on the adjacent 
clay areas. 

Numerous explorers of this region, from Long and Keating in 1823, 
to Gen. G. K. Warren in 1868 and Prof. N. H. Winchell in 1872, ob- 
served the lacustrine features of the valley; and the last named geolo- 
gist first gave what is now generally accepted as the true explanation of 
the lake's existence, namely, that it was produced in the closing stage 
of the Glacial period by the dam of the continental ice-sheet at the time 
of its final melting away. As the border of the ice-sheet retreated 
northward along the valley, drainage from it could not flow as now 
freely to the north through Lake Winnipeg and into the ocean at Hudson 
bay, but was turned southward by the ice barrier to the lowest place on 
the watershed dividing this basin from that of the Mississippi. The 
lowest point is found at Brown's Valley, on the western boundary of 
Minnesota, where an ancient watercourse, about 125 feet deep and one 
mile to one and a half miles wide, extends from Lake Traverse, at the 
head of the Bois des Sioux, a tributary of the Red river, to Big Stone 
lake, through which the head stream of the Minnesota river passes in 
its course to the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Detailed exploration of the shore lines and area of this lake was 
begun by the present writer for the Minnesota Geological Survey in 
the years 1879 to 1881, under the direction of Professor Winchell, the 
state geologist. In subsequent years I was employed in tracing the lake 
shores through North Dakota for the United States Geological Survey, 
and through southern Manitoba to the distance of 100 miles north from 
the international boundary to Riding mountain, for the Geological Survey 



8 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of Canada. For the last named survey, also, Mr. J. B. Tyrrell extended 
the exploration of the shore lines more or less completely for 200 miles 
farther north, along the Riding and Duck mountains and the Porcupine 
and Pasquia hills, west of Lakes Manitoba and Winnip^osis, to the 
Saskatchewan river. 

This glacial lake was named in the eighth annual report of the Min- 
nesota Geological Survey, for the year 1879, in honor of Louis Agassiz, 
the first prominent advocate of the theory of the formation of the drift 
by land ice. The outflowing river, whose channel is now occupied by 
Lakes . Traverse and Big Stone and Brown's Valley, was named, in a 
paper read before the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science at its Minneapolis meeting in 1883, the River Warren, in com- 
memoration of General Warren's admirable work in the United States 
Engineering Corps, in publishing maps and reports of the Minnesota and 
Mississippi river surveys. Descriptions of Lake Agassiz and the River 
Warren were partly given in the eighth and eleventh annual reports of 
the Minnesota Geological Survey, and in the first, second, and fourth 
volumes of its final report. Monograph XXV of the U. S. Geological 
Survey, "The Glacial Lake Agassiz," published in 1896, treats of its en- 
tire explored extent (658 pages, with many maps). Its area exceeded 
that of the state of Minnesota, being about 110,000 square miles, or more 
dian the united areas of the five Great Lakes that outflow to the St. 
Lawrence river. 

Lake Superior and other Lakes and Rivers. 

The name of Lake county refers to its adjoining the Grand Lac of 
Champlain'^s map in 1632, which was mapped under its present name. 
Lake Superior, by Marquette in 1673. Its being the greatest lake in the 
series flowing to the St Lawrence, or even the greatest freshwater lake 
in the world, was noted in the name used by Champlain, in translation 
from Kitchigumi of the Ojibways. Superior means simply the Upper 
lake in that series. 

Rainy lake and river are likewise translations from their aboriginal 
and early French names. From the narration of a French voyageur, 
Jacques de Noyon, who was there in 1688 or within a year or two ear- 
lier or later, we have the ^ame Ouchichiq or Koochiching, given by the 
Crees to this river and adopted by the Ojibways. Joseph la France, 
traveling there in 1740, noted the derivation of the name Lac de la Pluie, 
meaning in English the Lake of the Rain, from the mist of the falls of 
Rainy river at the present city named International Falls. Further con- 
sideration of these names is given for Koochiching county. 

On the sketch map drawn in 1730 by an Assiniboine named Ochagach 
for Verendrye, the Lake of the Woods is unnamed, but the country at 
its north side is shown as inhabited by the Crees. In 1737 and 1754 it 
was mapped as Lac des Bois, from which the English name is translated. 



GENERAL FEATURES 9 

La France, m 1740, recorded its aboriginal names, in translation, as 
'Take Du Bois, or Des Isles," that is, the Lake of the Woods or of 
the Islands. It is entirely surrounded by woods, though the border of 
the great prairie region is not far westward; and its second name was 
given for the multitude of islands in its northern part. The Ojibway 
name of its broad southern part, adjoining Beltrami and Roseau cotm- 
ties, as noted by Gilfillan and Verwyst, refers to the sand dunes of Oak 
point and Sable island, at the mouth of Rainy river, whence this part 
was frequently called Sand Hill lake by the early fur traders. 

The St Louis river is duly noticed for the county named from it, with 
mention of its earlier French name as the river of Fond du Lac, so called 
because there the series of falls and rapids along its last fifteen miles 
descends to the level of Lake Superior. The Ojibways name it Kitchi- 
gumi zibi. Lake Superior river. 

Cass lake, early known as Red Cedar lake in translation from the 
Ojibways, was renamed in honor of General Lewis Cass, who, with 
Schoolcraft as historian of his expedition, visited it in 1820, regarding it 
as the chief source of the Mississippi. He is also commemorated by Cass 
county, for which the names of this lake and of Winnebagoshish and 
Leech lakes are fully noticed. 

Thief river, lying mostly in Marshall county and having its source in 
Thief lake, is translated from the Ojibway name, which is explained for 
the city at its mouth. Thief River Falls, in Pennington county. 

Gearwater river, lying in three counties, one of which bears this 
name, is again a translation from the Ojibways, like Eau Qaire, of the 
same meaning, which designates a river, a county, and its city and county 
seat, in Wisconsin. 

The Wild Rice river, and the lakes so named near its source, are 
translations from Manomin or Mahnomen, the native grain much used 
and highly prized by the Ojibway people as a staple part of their food, 
noted more in detail for Mahnomen county. 

Crow Wing river and the county named from it present another 
translation from these Indians, for the outline of an island at the junc- 
tion of this river with the Mississippi, which they fancifully compared 
with the wing of a raven. Farther south, on the boundary between 
Wright and Hennepin counties, they applied to the Crow river a different 
name, correctly designating our American crow, the marauder of newly 
planted cornfields. These names, with the Ojibway words from which 
they were translated, are again noticed in the chapter of Crow Wing 
county. 

Sauk river in Todd and Steams counties, Osakis lake at its source, 
lying partly in Douglas county, and the villages and cities of Osakis, Sauk 
Center, and Sauk Rapids, the last being on the east side of the Missis- 
sippi opposite to the mouth of the Sauk river, derived their names from 
a small party of Sac or Sauk Indians, who came as refugees from their 



10 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

own country in Wisconsin and lived near Osakis lake, as related for the 
township and village of Sauk Rapids in Benton county. 

Mille Lacs, as named by the French, meaning "a thousand lakes," bore 
a Sioux name, 'Mde Wakan, nearly like Mini Wakan, their equivalent 
name which is translated Spirit lake in Iowa. Its Ojibway name is Minsi 
or Missi sagaigon, as spelled respectively by Nicollet in 1843 and De L' 
Isle in 1703, meaning Great lake, just as the Mississippi is the Great river. 
These names are more elaborately reviewed in the chapter for Mille Lacs 
county, which also notes the origin of the name Rum river, the outlet 
of this lake. 

Kettle river, in Carlton and Pine counties, is noticed for the latter in 
explanation of the name of Kettle River township. 

The Pine lakes and river and the Ojibway village of Qiengwatana, 
meaning Pine village, gave the names of Pine county and Pine City, its 
county seat. 

Snake river is translated from the Ojibway name, Kanabec sibi, which 
has several other spellings. Kanabec, retained as the designation of a 
county, with its accent on the second syllable, is widely different in both 
pronunciation and meaning from the Kennebec river in Maine. 

St Croix river, which, with the expansion of its lowest twenty miles 
in Lake St. Croix, forms the boundary of this state on the east side of 
Pine, Chisago, and Washington counties, was called the River du Tom- 
beau (Tomb or Grave river) by Hennepin in 1680, "R. de la Magdeleine" 
on Franquelin's map in 1688, and the River St. Croix (Holy Cross) by 
Perrot's proclamation in 1689 and by the Relation of Penicaut in 1700. 
A cross had been set at its mouth, as noted by Penicaut, probably to 
mark the grave of some French trader -or voyageur. La Harpe, writing 
of Le Sueur's expedition in 1700, which was the theme of Penicaut's 
Relation, described this stream as "a great river called St. Croix, because 
a Frenchman of that name was wrecked at its mouth." 

Lake Pepin bears this name on De L' Isle's map of Canada or New 
France, published in 1703. It may have been chosen, as stated by Gan- 
nett, in honor of Pepin le Bref , king of the Franks, who was born in 714 
and died in 768. He was a son of Charles M artel, and was the father of 
Charlemagne. Very probably the name was placed on the map by De L* 
Isle under request of his patron, the king of France. Pepin was an in- 
frequent personal surname among the French settlers of Canada, whence 
many explorers and traders came to this region, but history has failed 
to record for whom and why this large lake of the Mississippi was so 
named. Hennepin, in his narration and map, had called it Lac dcs 
Pleurs (Lake of Tears), because there, as he wrote, some of the Sioux 
by whom he had been taken captive, with his companions, "wept the whole 
night, to induce the others to consent to our death." Penicaut named it 
Lac Bon Secours, meaning Lake Good Help, apparently in allusion to 
the abundance of buffaloes and other game found in its vicinity. This 



GENERAL FEATURES 11 

name, Bon Sccours, and another, River des Boeufs, that is, River of 
Buffaloes, were early applied to the Chippewa river in Wisconsin, which 
was the geologic cause of Lake Pepin, by bringing much alluvium into 
the valley of the Mississippi below the lake. Its origin was thus like that 
of Lake St. Croix, and like Lac qui Parle on the Minnesota river. 

Cannon river, joining the Mississippi at the head of Lake Pepin, u 
changed from its earlier French name, River aux Canats, meaning Canoe 
river, which alluded to canoes frequently left in concealment near its 
mouth by Indians and by French traders, especially when going on the 
hunt for buffaloes in the adjoining prairie country. The present erro- 
neous name, losing its original significance, comes from the narratives of 
Pike's expedition in 1805-06 and of Long's expeditions in 1817 and 1823. 
Pike used both names. Canoe river when telling of his voyage up the 
Mississippi, and Cannon river in the journal of his return. Nicollet, in 
his report and map published in 1843, called it Lahontan river and also 
Cannon river, supposing it to be identifiable as the Long river of Baron 
Lahontan's "New Voyages to North America," which purported to relate 
his travel here in tlie winter of 1688-89. That stream, however, with later 
knowledge seems instead to be entirely fictitious (Minnesota in Three 
Centuries, 1908, vol. I, pages 239-241). 

According to Nicollet, the name given by the Sioux to Cannon river 
was Inyan bosndata, in translation Standing Rock. It referred to the 
unequally eroded rock column or spire called by the white settlers Castle 
Rock, whence a township and railway station near this river in Dakota 
county are named. 

Zumbro river bears a name more remarkably changed from its origi- 
nal form than the Cannon river, being derived from the early French 
name, River des Embarras, meaning River of Difficulties. Its surface in 
its lower course and on the Mississippi bottomland was obstructed by 
driftwood, as noted by Albert Lea in the expedition with Kearny in 
1835. This burden and embarrassment prevented or hindered its navi- 
gation by the canoes of the French voyageurs for the fur trade. Two vil- 
lages on the river are named Zumbrota and Zumbro Falls, respectively in 
Goodhue and Wabasha counties, for which these names are more fully 
considered. In St. Louis county, the large river whence it is named 
receives two tributaries that were likewise each named River des Em- 
barras by the French, because of their burden of driftwood, the upper 
one being now the Embarrass river, and the lower now called Floodwood 
river. Forsyth in 1819 noted this stream as Driftwood river. 

Beside the Zumbro in Goodhue county, the township and village of 
Pine Island recall its Sioux name, Wazi Oju, as the river is called on 
Nicollet's map, signifying Pines Planted, in allusion to the grove of large 
white pines adjoining this village. 

Root river, the most southeastern large tributary to the Mississippi 
in this state, rising in Mower county and flowing through Olmsted, Fill- 



12 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 



more, and Houston counties, was called Racine river by Pike, Root river 
by Long in 1817, and both its Sioux name, Hokah, and the English trans- 
lation, Root, are used in Keating's Narrative of Long's expedition in 
1823. With more strictly accurate spelling and pronunciation, the Sioux 
or Dakota word is Hutkan, meaning Racine in the French language and 
Root in English, while the Sioux word Hokah means a heron. Racine 
township and railway village in Mower county, and Hokah, similarly the 
name of a township and village in Houston county, were derived from 
the river. 

Tributaries of the Minnesota river to be mentioned here are the 
Pomme de Terre and Chippewa rivers, from the north ; the Lac qui Parle 
river, having the French name of a lake through which the Minnesota 
flows, and the Yellow Medicine, Redwood, Cottonwood^ and Blue Earth 
rivers, from the southwest and south; and Watonwan and Le Sueur 
rivers, which flow into the Blue Earth. Each of these streams, except- 
ing the first, is nwst fully noticed for a county bearing its name; and 
the Pomme de Terre lake and river, translated by the French from the 
Sioux, are noticed for a township so named in Grant county. It is note- 
worthy that our names of all these rivers, excepting Le Sueur, which 
commemorates the early French explorer, were originally received from 
the Sioux or Dakota people, who had long inhabited this part of Min- 
nesota when the first explorers and settlers came. Only Watonwan, 
however, retains its form as a Sioux word. 

Four streams that have their sources in this state and flow into Iowa, 
namely, the Rock, Des Moines, Cedar, and Upper Iowa rivers, will com- 
plete this list. 

Rock river, translated fix>m its Sioux name, refers to the prominent 
rock hill, commonly now called '*the Mound," which rises precipitously 
west of this river in Mound township of Rock county, the most south- 
western in Minnesota. Both the township and county, like the river, 
were named for this high outcrop of red quartzite. The same rock for- 
mation, continuing north in Pipestone county, includes the renowned 
Pipestone Quarry, whence came the names of that county, its county 
seat, and the creek that flows past the quarry. 

The Des Moines river flows through Murray, Cottonwood, and Jack- 
son counties, thence crosses Iowa, gives its name to the capital of that 
state, and joins the Mississippi at its southeast corner. Franquelin in 
1688 and De L' Isle in 1703 mapped it as "R. des Moingona,'' the name 
being taken from an Indian village, Moingona, shown by Franquelin not 
far from the site of the present village of this name in Boone county, 
near the center of Iowa. The na;me was spelled by Pike as De Moyen 
and Des Moyan ; Long called it De Moyen ; and Beltrami, Le Moine and 
Monk river. It has three names on Nicollet's map: "Inyan Shasha of 
the Sioux," meaning Red Stone, in allusion to its flowing through a gorge 
of red sandstone in Marion county, Iowa ; "Moingonan of the Algonkins," 



GENERAL FEATURES 13 

from the early maps; and '*Des Moines of the French/' meaning the 
River of the Monks. The third name, which has been too long in use 
to be changed, is in erroneous translation by the early traders, based 
merely on the pronunciation of the old Algonquian name. An interesting 
paper on its origin, by Dr. Charles R. Keyes, is in the Annals of Iowa 
(third series, vol. Ill, pages 554-9, with three maps, Oct., 1898). 

Cedar river, flowing from Dodge and Mower oounties in this state, 
is the longest stream of northeastern Iowa. Like the Missouri river, 
which exceeds the upper Mississippi in length, it is tributary to a shorter 
stream, the Iowa river, about twenty-five miles above the junction of the 
latter with the Mississippi. Red cedar trees, whose fragrant red wood 
is much esteemed fior chests and other furniture, growing in many places 
along the bluffs of this river, supplied its aboriginal name, translated 
by Nicollet and on present maps as Red Cedar river. Its upper part, in 
this state, is more commonly called simply Cedar river; and its two 
chief cities, in Iowa, are named Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls. The 
same name. Red Cedar, was derived in translation from the O jib ways 
for the lake of the upper Mississippi renamed as Cass lake, and for the 
present Cedar lake in Aitkin county, besides numerous other relatively 
small lakes, streams, and islands, in various parts of Minnesota. Far 
northward the full name Red Cedar was used in distinction from the 
arbor vitae, which often is called white cedar, having similarly durable 
wood of a light color. 

Upper Iowa river begins in Mower county, runs meanderingly along 
parts of the south line of Fillmore county, and passes southeast and east 
in Iowa to the Mississippi near the northeast comer of that state, which 
is named from the larger Iowa river flowing past Iowa Falls and Iowa 
City. The application of the name to a district west of the Mississippi, 
and later to the territory and state, as first used for the district by Lieu- 
tenant Albert M. Lea in 1836, has been well told by Prof. Benjamin F. 
Shambaugh in the volume of Annals of Iowa before cited for the Des 
Moines river (third series. III, 641-4, Jan., 1899), with fourteen refer- 
ences to preceding papers and books that treat of the origin of the state 
name. It was originally the name of a Siouan tribe living there, whose 
hunting grounds extended north to the Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers 
at the time of Le Sueur's expedition in 1700-01. Their tribal name, 
spelled in many ways, was translated "sleepy ones" by Riggs, being analo- 
gous with the name of the Sioux chief Sleepy Eye, who is commemo- 
rated by a city in Brown county. The Handbook of American Indians 
gives more than seventy-five variations in the former spelling of the 
name that now is'established in common use as Iowa (Part I, 1907, page 
614). 



AITKIN COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, and organized June 30, 1871, 
was named for William Alexander Aitkin, a fur trader with the Ojibway 
Indians. He was born in Scotland in 1785; came from Edinburgh to 
America in his boyhood ; and about the year 1802 came to the Northwest, 
being in the service of a trader named John Drew. Aitkin married into 
an influential Indian family; was soon a trader on his own account; and 
rapidly advanced until in 1831 he took charge of the Fond du Lac de- 
partment of the American Fur G>mpany, under John Jacob Astor, with 
headquarters at Sandy Lake, in this county, adjoining the east side of the 
Mississippi river. He died September 16, 1851, and is buried on the east 
bank of the Mississippi, opposite to the mouth of Swan river, in Morrison 
county, where he had a trading post during his last nine years, after 1842. 

The name of Aitkin county was at first erroneously spelled Aiken, 
with which it is identical in pronunciation, and it was changed to its pres- 
ent spelling in 1872 by an act of the legislature. 



Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of township names was received from 
Thomas R. Foley, Jr., real estate and insurance agent, and Carl £. 
Taylor, court commissioner, both of Aitkin, during a visit there in May, 
1916. 

Aitkin township bears the same name as the county. Its village, also 
bearing this name, was founded in 1870, as a station of the Northern 
Pacific railroad, which in that year was built through the county ; and the 
next year, in the county organization, it was made the county seat. 

Bain township, and its railway station of the same name, are in honor 
ot William Bain, the hotel owner, who is one of the proprietors of the 
station site. 

Ball Bluff township should be Bald Bluff, being for the conspicuous 
morainic drift hill so named, having a bald grassy top without trees, in 
section 32 of this township, at the east side of the Mississippi. 

Balsam township is from two species of trees that are common or 
frequent in this county, the balsam fir and the balsam poplar. 

Beaver was named for beavers and their dams, found by the earliest 
settlers on the head streams of Split Rock river, in the south part of 
this township. 

Clark township had ^arly settlers of this name, one being Frank 
Dark, who removed to McGregor. 

Cornish was named for Charles £. and Milo F. Cornish, settlers in 
section 34 of this township, coming from southern Minnesota. 



AITKIN COUNTY 15 

Davidson is for A. D. Davidson, senior partner in the Davidson and 
McRae Stock Farm Company, of Duluth, and later of Winnipeg, owners 
of numerous tracts of land in this township. He died in Rochester, 
Minn., April, 1916. 

Dick township was named in honor of Miss Mildred Dick, assistant 
in the office of the county auditor. 

EsQUAGAMAH townshjp derived its name from Esquagamah lake, 
crossed by its east side. This is an Ojibway name, meaning the last 
lake, given to it as the last and most western in a series of three lakes 
lying mainly in Waukenabo township, which is named for the most eastern 
of these lakes. 

Farm Island township is from its lake of this name, having an island 
of 29 acres, on which the Ojibways formerly had large cultivated fields. 

Fleming township has Fleming lake, in section 22, named for an early 
settler there. 

Glen bears a euphonious name selected by its settlers at the time of 
the township organization. 

Haugen township is named in honor of Christopher G. Haugen. 
former sheriff of this county. 

Hazelton is for Cutler J. Hazelton, a former county commissioner 
whose homestead was on Pine lake in this township. Cutler post office, 
on the south side of this lake, was also named for him. 

Nichols post office, beside Mille Lacs in the southwest corner of 
Hazelton, was named for Austin R. Nichols, its postmaster, who settled 
there in 1879. A biographic sketch is given under the city of Austin, 
Mower county, also named in his honor. 

Hebron township was doubtless named by settlers coming from a 
town of this name in some eastern state. The original Hebron is a very 
ancient town in Palestine. 

Hill Lake township, and its village, named Hill City, as also its Hill 
lake, are all so designated from the prominent hill of morainic drift in 
section 25. This is the culminating point of a very knolly and broken 
tract of the same moraine extending into the adjoining sections, to which 
locality, and especially to its highest part, the Ojibways applied the name 
Pikwadina (or Piquadinaw), "it is hilly." Hence came the common name 
"Poquodenaw mountain," used by the lumbermen and given to this hill 
on the map of Aitkin county in the Minnesota Geological Survey. 

Idun township is named for a place in Sweden. 

Jevne township bears the surname of a Scandinavian family early 
settling there. 

Jewett township honors D. M. Jewett, a pioneer in section 20. 

Kimberly township was named from its station established when the 
Northern Pacific railroad was built in 1870, in honor "of Moses C. Kim- 
berly, of St. Paul. He was born in Sandisfield, Mass., December 1, 1845 ; 
came to Minnesota in 1870, as a surveyor and engineer for this railroad; 
was during many years its general superintendent. 



16 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lakeside township is at the east side of Mille Lacs. 

Lee township was named in honor of Olaf Lee, a pioneer Norwegian 
farmer in section 18, 

Le May township was named for Frank Le May, one of the first set- 
tlers. 

LiBBY township is for Mark Libby, who long ago was a fur trader 
chere with the Indians, on the outlet of Sandy lake. 

Logan township was named for the long and narrow lakes, often 
shaped like a horseshoe or ox-bow, which lie in abandoned parts of the 
€^d channels of the Mississippi, occurring frequently in this and other 
townships. For these lakes of the alluvial land adjoining the river the 
name *1ogans" has been in common use in Aitkin county during the fifty 
years or more since the region was first invaded by lumbermen. (Geology 
of Minn., vol. IV, pages 26-27.) 

McGregor township was named after the station and village of the 
Northern Pacific railroad in section 31, which also became a station and 
junction of the Soo line. 

Macville township is for pioneer Scotch settlers there named McAninch 
and McPheters. 

Malmo township, is named for the large city of Malmo in southern 
Sweden, on the Sound opposite to Copenhagen. 

MiLLWARD township was named for one of its early settlers. 

Morrison township was named for Edward Morrison, one of its 
pioneer farmers. 

NoRDLAND township bears the name of a large district in northern 
Norway. 

Pliny township has the name of a celebrated naturalist of ancient 
Rome. 

QuADNA (each syllable having the sound of a in fall) is shortened from 
the earlier name of Piquadinaw, first given to this township on account 
of its tracts of knoUy and hilly drift extending eastward from the high 
hill so named by the Ojibways, as before mentioned, in Hill Lake township. 

Rice River township received its name from its being crossed by the 
head streams of the Rice river, named, like the large Rice lake, from wild 
rice (Zizania aquatica), which was harvested by the Indians as a very 
valuable natural food supply. 

Salo township was named by its Finn settlers for a town in south- 
western Finland. 

Seavey township was named for a family residing in Aitkin, one of 
whom, Frank E. Seavey, has been during many years the clerk of the 
county court. 

Shamrock was named by Irish settlers for the trifoliate plant long 
ago chosen as the national emblem of Ireland. 

Shovel Lake township and its railway station were named for Shovel 
lake, crossed by the south line of the township. 



AITKIN COUNTY 17 

Spalding township was named in honor of John L. Spalding, former 
treasurer of this county. 

Spencer township is for William Spencer, who was a druggist in 
Aitkin, but removed to Texas. 

Tamarack is a village of the Northern Pacific railroad in Clark town- 
ship. 

Turner township is for L. E. Turner, formerly a county commissioner. 

Verdon township and post office were named for Verdon Wells, son of 
t£. B. Wells, the postmaster. 

Wagner township was named for a former assistant in the office of 
the county register of deeds, Bessie Wagner, who now is Mrs. Hammond, 
living in Montana. 

Waukenabo township (accented on the syllable next to the last, with 
the sound of ah) has the Ojibway name of the eastern one of its series 
of three lakes. Gilfillan wrote it with a somewhat different spelling: 
"^akonabo sagaiigun, the lake of the broth of wakwug or fish milt, or 
eggs-broth lake; or Broth-of-moss-growing-on-rocks-or-trees lake. The 
Indians use the latter in case of starvation. Both the above explanations 
are given by different Indians." 

Wealthwood is a name proposed by Mrs. Daniel J. Knox, of- Aitkin, 
for the lakeside summer resort platted in section 20 of this fractional 
township, which previously was a part of Nordland. 

White Elk township bears the name of the lake crossed by its east 
line, translated from its Ojibway name. 

Williams township was named in honor of George T. Williams, of 
Aitkin, who during many years was the county judge of probate. 

Workman township is thought to be named for a pioneer settler there, 
who later removed from the county. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Nicollet's map, published in 1843, gives the following names of lakes 
4nd streams partly or wholly within the area of Aitkin county, as they 
have since continued in use: the Mississippi river. Willow and Little 
Willow rivers. West and East Savanna rivers. Lake Aitkin, Sandy lake, 
jind Mille Lacs. 

Other names which survive with slight changes from that map are 
Prairie river, tributary to the West Savanna, called Little Prairie river 
by Nicollet; Mud lake and river, tributary to the Mississippi at Aitkin, 
which were called Muddy lakes and river ; and Cedar lake, Nicollet's Red 
Cedar lake, which Pike in 1805-06 called the Lower Red Cedar lake (to 
distinguish it from the Upper Red Cedar lake, far up the Mississippi, 
renamed in 1820 Lake Cassina, now Cass lake). 

The very elaborate "Historico-Geographical Chart of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi River," published by Dr. Elliott Coues in 1895 with his annotated 
edition of Pike's Expeditions, includes interesting notes of successive 
geographic names and their dates in Aitkin county. 



18 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Willow river was called Alder river by Schoolcraft in 1820 and like- 
wise in 1855. It flows through a nearly level and largely swampy area, 
which bears abundant willows and alders. Its O jib way name is translated 
Willow river by GilflUan. 

West Savanna river was so called in 1820 by Schoolcraft The Savanna 
rivers, West and East, retain these names as given by the early French 
voyageurs; but this word, nearly equivalent to prairie, was originally 
of American origin. It was a Carib word, and was introduced into Euro- 
pean languages by Spanish writers near the middle of the sixteenth 
century. By the Ojibways the East Savanna river was named Mushki- 
gonigumi sibi, "the marsh-portage river," having reference to the very 
marshy portage made on this much used canoe route in passing to the 
West Savanna river and Sandy lake. 

The early French name of Sandy lake was Lac au Sable or du Sable. 
The French and English alike translated it from the Ojibway name, 
recorded by both Gilfillan and Verwyst as Ga-mitawangagumag Sagaiigun, 
*Hhe-place-of-bare-sand lake." The Northwest Company established a 
trading post on the west shore of this lake in 1794, which was visited by 
David Thompson in 1798 and by Pike in January, 1806; but before the 
time of Aitkin's taking charge there in 1831 the old post had been aban- 
doned for a new site at the mouth of the outlet of Sandy lake, on the 
narrow point between the outlet and the Mississippi river. 

Rice river and its tributary Rice lake (named Lake Dodge by Nicollet, 
probably for Governor Henry Dodge of Wisconsin), also another Rice 
lake, of very irregular outline, lying close south of Sandy lake, received 
their names, as before noted in connection with Rice River township, from 
their large and valuable supplies of the excellent native grain called wild 
rice. The Ojibway name of the wild rice, Manomin, is applied to this 
stream on Nicollet's map, in the common form of its spelling as given in 
Baraga's Dictionary. Another form is Mahnomen, given to a county of 
this state. Its French translation is FoUe Avoine, meaning in our lan^ 
guage "false or fool oat," nearly like the name, "Wild Oats river," used 
for this Rice river by Beltrami in 1823. 

White Elk brook or creek, like the township of this name, is so called, 
in the Ojibway usage, for the lake of its source. 

Moose river, tributary to Willow river, is translated from its Ojibway 
name, given by Gilfillan as Moz-oshtigwani sibi, Moosehead river. It 
receives the outflow of several small lakes, of which the most eastern, 
called Moose lake, in Macville, has been mainly drained. 

Little Willow river is named, like the larger stream that often is called 
Big Willow river, for its plentiful willows. 

Sisabagama lake (accented on the middle syllable, with the long vowel 
sound) and the outflowing creek or river of the same name, close east 
of Aitkin, have had various spellings. Gilfillan spelled and defined this 
Ojibway name as Sesabeguma lake, "Every- which -way lake, or the lake 



AITKIN COUNTY 19 

which has arms running in all directions"; but such description is not 
applicable to this lake, unless it be considered to include the group of 
several neighboring lakes which together are tributary to this stream. * 

Snake and Little Snake rivers, having their sources in the southeast 
part of Aitkin county and flowing south into Kanabec county, are trans- 
lations from their Ojibway names, as is noted in the chapter on that 
county, which bears the aboriginal name of the Snake river. 

Cowan's brook, in Williams township, tributary to the Snake river, was 
named for an early lumberman there. 

Pine lake and Big Pine lake, in Wagner, the latter extending east into 
Pine county, gave their name to the outflowing Pine river. These lakes 
and great areas around them, in both Aitkin and Pine counties, originally 
had majestic white pine forests. 

Dam lake and brook, in Kimberly, received this name from the low, 
ice-formed ridges of gravel and sand on the shores of this lake, especially 
at its mouth. 

Sandy river, flowing west and then north into the lake of this name 
and outflowing by a very crooked course of more than two miles, though 
its junction with the Mississippi is only about a half mile from the lake, 
follows the Indian rule of nomenclature, that a lake gives its name to the 
stream flowing through it or from it. 

Prairie river, like the West Savanna river, which unites with it, 
received its name from its small open spaces of grassy and bushy land 
without trees, in this generally wooded region. 

Savanna lake, adjoining the old portage of the fur traders, and the 
Lower Savanna lake, through which their canoes passed to Sandy lake, 
also have reference to such small savannas, which are more commonly 
called prairies excepting in the southern states. 

Tamarack river, flowing into Prairie river, was named for its plentiful 
growth of the tamarack, a very graceful species of our coniferous trees 
(the only one that is not evergreen). 

Aitkin lake, in sections 19 and 20, Turner, was named like this county 
for William A. Aitkin, the fur trader, who very probably often fished aixl 
hunted there. 

Bald Bluff lake lies at the southern base of the hill of this name. 

Birch lake, in section 19, Hazelton, is named for its yellow and paper 
birches, the latter being the species used for the Indian's bark canoe. 

Blind lake, in T. 48, R. 27, is mainly inclosed by a large swamp and 
has no outlet, as its name implies. 

Cedar lake, before mentioned, was named from the red cedars whicli 
in scanty numbers are found on its hilly shores and islands. 

Gear lake, in sections 28 and 33, Glen, is exceptionally beautiful, with 
very clear water and inclosed by high shores. 

Elm Island Ul^e, at the center of Nordland, has a small island bearing 
elm trees. 



20 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Farm Island lake gave its name to that township, in allusion to the 
farming by Ojibways. The outflowing Mud river passes in the next two 
miles through Pine, Hickory, and Spirit lakes, which in the latest atlas 
are shown to be connected by straits, so that they might be termed a series 
of three bays continuous with the first named large lake. 

Fleming, French, Jenkins, and Wilkins lakes, in Fleming township, 
are probably named for early settlers, trappers and hunters, or lumbermen. 
A larger lake of this group, now named Gun lake, was formerly called 
Lake Manomin (i. e.. Wild Rice). 

Hanging Kettle lake, translated from its Ojibway name, in sections 
13 and 14, Farm Island township, is connected eastward by straits with 
Diamond and Mud lakes. 

Horseshoe lake, in sections 23 and 24, Shamrock, is named for its 
curved shape. 

Island lake, in sections 11 to 14, Turner, has a large central island. 

Lone lake, in sections 29 and 30, Nordland, has no visible outlet ; but it 
probably supplies the water of large chalybeate springs which issue close 
south of the road near the middle of the south side of Mud lake. 

Mallard lake, in section 2, Hazelton, formerly called Rice lake, is 
named for its mallard ducks. 

Nelson and Douglas lakes, section 23, Clark, now drained away, were 
named for M. Nelson and £. Douglas, owners of adjoining lands. 

The name of Nord lake, in Nordland, is of similar origin with the 
township name, meaning north and given by Norwegian settlers. 

Pine lake, named for its pine woods, in Hazelton township, was earlier 
known as Hazelton lake or Echo lake. 

Portage lake, section 6, Davidson, was at the end of a portage on a 
former canoe route. 

Rabbit lake, in Glen township, has high shores of irregular outlines, 
an excellent hunting ground. 

Rat lake, in Workman, and Rat House lake, in sections 26 and 35, 
Cornish, are named for their muskrats. 

Sugar lake, in Malmo, is named for its sugar maple trees, this species 
having been much used by the Ojibways for sugar-making. 

Twenty lake, in Malmo, is named from the number of its section. 

Vladimirof lake, mainly in section 10, Nordland, was formerly known 
as Section Ten lake, but has been renamed for a settler who owns lands 
close north and east of the lake. 

This county also has the following names of lakes, which are of fre- 
quent occurrence elsewhere. 

Bass lake, in section 28, Aitkin; another of this name in section 10, 
Farm Island (lately renamed as Hammallake) ; and a third Bass lake 
in section 19, Turner. 

Long lake, in Glen township. 



AITKIN COUNTY 21 

Mud lake, in Nordland; another in the north part of Logan; and a 
third and fourth in section 10, McGregor, and sections 14 and 23, White 
Elk. 

Otter lake, in section 34, LeMay; and another in section 9, Logan. 

Pickerel lake, in section 27, Aitkin. 

Round lake, in section 31, Hazelton ; another in Jevne ; a third, crossed 
by the line between Haugen and Shamrock; and a fourth between Wau- 
kenabo and Esquagamah lakes. 

Glacial Lake Aitkin. 

In the village of Aitkin and westward a beach ridge of gravel and sand, 
having a height of three to five feet, marks the south shore of a glacial 
lake which existed during a geologically very short time in the broad 
and shallow depression of this part of the Mississippi valley. It was first 
described and mapped by the present writer in Volume IV of the Final 
Report of the Geological Survey of Minnesota, published in 1899, being 
then known to extend from the edge of Crow Wing county eastward and 
northward in Aitkin, Spencer, and Morrison townships. 

Later and more detailed examinations, by Leverett and Sardeson, show 
that this glacial lake reached northward along the Mississippi to the mouth 
of Swan river, in the north edge of Aitkin county (Bulletin No. 13, 
Minnesota Geological Survey, published in 1917). The length of Glacial 
Lake Aitkin was about fifty miles, but it had only a slight depth of water, 
nowhere exceeding twenty feet, above the Mississippi, Willow, and Rice 
rivers, and above the Sandy river and lake. 



ANOKA COUNTY 

The name of this county, established May 23, 1857, was taken from the 
town of Anoka, which was first settled in 1851-52 and was named in 1853. 
It is a Dakota or Sioux word, meaning, as Prof. A. W. Williamson wrote, 
"on both sides ; applied by founders to the city laid out on both sides of 
Rum river, and since applied to the county," of which this city is the 
county seat. Rev. Moses N. Adams, who came as a missionary to the 
Sioux in 1848 and learned their language, stated that, as a Sioux word, 
Anoka means "the other side, or both sides." 

According to the late R. I. Holcombe and others, including Albert M. 
Goodrich, the historian of this county, the Ojibways also sometimes used 
a name of nearly the same sound for the Rum river and for the site of 
Anoka near its mouth, meaning "where they work," on account of the 
extensive early lumbering and logHdriving on this stream. The Ojibway 
verb, "I work," is Anoki, as given in Baraga's Dictionary, with many 
inflected forms and compound words from this root, all referring to work 
in some way as their central thought. 

But the selection of the name Anoka had reference only to its use by 
the Dakota or Sioux people, whose language is wholly unlike that of 
the Ojibways. A newspaper article on this subject, written in 1873 by 
L. M. Ford, is quoted by Goodrich, as follows : "The name for the new 
town was a topic of no little interest, ^nd the writer had something to 
do in its selection. It was decided to give it an Indian name. The 
Dakota Lexicon, just published, and of which I was the owner of a copy, 
was not infrequently consulted and at length the euphonious name Anoka 
was decided upon. ... It was said to mean 'on both sides,' when 
rendered into less musical English, and to this day the name is by no 
means inappropriate, as the town is growing up and extending on either 
side of the beautiful but badly named river." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county has been gathered from the "History of 
the Upper Mississippi Valley," 1881, in which Anoka county and its civil 
divisions are treated in pages 222-293; from the "History of Anoka 
county and the Towns of Champlin and Dayton in Hennepin County," 
320 pages, 1905, by Albert M. Goodrich; and from Charles W. Lenfest, 
county treasurer, Frank Hart, clerk of the court, and Clarence D. Green, 
real estate agent, during a visit to Anoka in October, 1916. 

Anoka was founded by Orrin W. Rice, Neal D. Shaw, and others, by 
whom its name was adopted in May, 1853. The "City of Anoka" was 
incorporated by the state legislature July 29, 1858, and later the "Borough 

22 



ANOKA COUNTY 23 

of Anoka/' March 5, 1869, but both these acts failed of acceptance by the 
vote of the township. Finally, under a legislative act of March 2, 1878, 
this city was set off from the township of the same name, the first city 
election being held on March 12. 

Bethel was first settled in 1856 by Quakers, and was organized the 
next year. Its name is from ancient Palestine, meaning "House of God," 
and was selected for this township by Moses Twitchell, who settled here 
as an immigrant from Bethel, Maine. 

Blaine township, settled in 1862, was the east part of Anoka until 
1877, when it was separately organized and was named in honor of James 
Gillespie Blaine, a prominent Republican statesman of Maine. He was 
born in Pennsylvania, Jan. 31, 1830, and died in Washington, D. C, Jan. 
27, 1893; was a member of Congress from Maine, 1863-76, being the 
speaker in 1869-75 ; U. S. senator, 1876-81 ; and secretary of state, March 
to December, 1881, and 1889-92. In the presidential campaign of 1884 
he was an unsuccessful candidate. He wrote "Twenty Years of Con- 
gress," published in 1884-86. 

Burns township, settled in 1854 or earlier, was a part of St. Francis 
until 1869, being then organized and named, probably for the celebrated 
poet. This name was adopted on the suggestion of James Kelsey, who 
was elected the first township treasurer. 

Centerville, settled in 1850-52, was organized in 1857. Its village of 
this name, thence given to the township, was platted in the spring of 
1854, having a central situation between the Mississippi and St. Croix 
rivers. The settlers in the village and vicinity were mostly French, and 
this came to be known as the French settlement, while numerous Ger- 
man settlers in the western part of the township caused that to be called 
the German settlement. 

The village of Columbia Heights, a suburb of Minneapolis, in the 
south edge of Fridley tonwship, was platted and named by the late 
Thomas Lowry of that city. 

Columbus township, settled in 1855 and organized in 1857, was named 
for Christopher Columbus. 

Fridley, a fractional township comprising only about sixteen square 
miles, was established by legislative act as Manomin county (meaning 
Wild Rice), on the same date, May 23, 1857, with the establishment of 
Anoka county. "John Banfil settled in what is now Fridley in 1847, and 
kept a stopping place for the accommodation of travelers. Two years 
later Henry M. Rice acquired considerable land and built a country resi- 
dence at Cold Springs, giving his name to the creek which fk>ws through 
the town. ... A ferry across the Mississippi river was established about 
1854." (Goodrich, pages 162-3). This very small county continued 
nearly thirteen years, until in 1869-70 it was united with Anoka county 
as Manomin township. The name was changed to Fridley in 1879. 

Abram McCormick Fridley, in whose honor this township received its 
name, was born in Steuben county, N. Y., May 1, 1817; came to Long 



24 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Prairie, Minn., in 1851 as agent for the Winnebago Indians; was after- 
ward a farmer in this township, and in 1869 opened a large farm in 
Becker, Sherburne county; was a representative in the legislature in 
1855, 1869-71, and 1879. He died in Fridley township, March, 1888. 

Grow township, settled about 1853, was organized in 1857 with the 
name Round Lake, which in 1859 was changed to Grow, in honor of 
Galusha Aaron Grow, of Pennsylvania. He was born in 1823, and died in 
1907; was a member of Congress, 1851-63, and again in 18^-1902; was 
the speaker of the House, 1861-3. "For ten years, at the beginning of 
each Congress, he introduced in the House a free homestead bill, until 
it became a law in 1862." This grand public service has caused him to be 
remembered gratefully by millions of homesteaders. 

Ham Lake township, settled in 1857, was attached to Grow township 
till 1871, when it was separately organized. It had been previously called 
Glengarry, a name from Scotland, which its Swedish settlers found diffi- 
cult to pronounce. The county commissioners therefore named the new 
township Ham Lake, from its lake in sections 16 and 17, which had ac- 
quired this name on account of its form. 

LiNwooD township, first settled in 1855 and organized in 1871, received 
its name from Linwood lake, the largest and most attractive one in a 
series or chain of ten or more lakes extending from northeast to south- 
west through this township and onward to Ham lake. The name doubt- 
less refers to the lin tree or linden. Our American species (Tilia Ameri- 
cana), usually called basswood, is abundant here, and is common or fre- 
quent through nearly all this state. 

Oak Grove township, settled in 1855, was organized in 1857. "The 
name is derived from the profuse growth of oak trees, which are about 
equally distributed over the township." (Upper Mississippi Valley, page 
285). 

Ramsey, first permanently settled in 1850, was organized in 1857, 
being then named Watertown ; but in November, 1858, this township was 
renamed in honor of Alexander Ramsey, the first governor of Minnesota 
Territory, 1849-53, and later the second governor of this state, 1860-63. 

Itasca was the name given by Governor Ramsey and others to a town- 
site platted in 1852 on sections 19 and 30 in this township, near an Indian 
trading post; and the first postoffice of Anoka county was established 
there and named Itasca in May of that year. The name was copied from 
Lake Itasca, at the head of the Mississippi, which had been so named 
by Schoolctaft in 1832. It was later applied during many years, after 
the building of the Northern Pacific railroad through this county, to its 
station near the former Itasca village site. Both the village and the rail- 
way station have been abandoned, but a new station, named Dayton, for 
the village of Dayton at the opposite side of the Mississippi, has been 
established on the Northern Pacific and Great Northern railways about a 
mile southeast from the former lusca station. This old village name. 



ANOKA COUNTY 25 

which became widely known sixty years ago, is now retained here only 
by the neighboring Lake Itasca, of small size, scarcely exceeding a half 
mile in diameter. 

St. FRANas township, settled in 1855 and organized in 1857, bears the 
name given by Hennepin in 1680 to the Rum river. It was triainsferred 
by Carver in 1766 to the Elk river, and now is borne by the chief north- 
em tributary of that river. The name is in commemoration of St. Fran- 
cis of Assisi, in Italy, who was born in 1181 or 1182 and died in 1226, 
founder of the Franciscan order, to which Hennepin belonged. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Th^ Mississippi has been considered in the first chapter ; and the origin 
of the name Rum river, outflowing from Mille Lacs, is noted for Mille 
Lacs county. 

A noteworthy series of lakes extends through Columbus and Cen- 
terville, including, in their order from northeast to southwest. Mud lake, 
Howard, Columbia, Tamarack, Randeau, Peltier, Centerville, George 
Watch, Marshan, Rice (or Traverse), Reshanau, Baldwin, and Golden 
lakes. The second to the fifth of these lakes are now much lowered or 
wholly drained away. 

Peltier lake was named for early settlers, Charles, Paul, and Oliver 
Peltier, the first of whom built a sawmill. 

Rice lake probably received its name from its wild rice, but Rice 
creek, flowing through this series of lakes, was named for Hon. Henry 
M. Rice, of St. Paul, United States senator, who was an early resident in 
Fridley township, as before noted. This Rice lake has been also known 
as Traverse lake, for F. W. Traverse, living at its northwest side. 

Golden lake, the most southwestern in the series, lying in sections 25 
and 36, Blaine, was named for John Golden, owner of land adjoining it, 
who was one of three brothers, early immigrants to this county from 
Ireland. 

Another series of lakes, tributary in its northern part to the Sunrise 
river, and at the south to Coon creek, lies in Linwood, Bethel, and Ham 
Lake townships. This series includes, from northeast to southwest. Typo 
lake and Lake Martin; Island lake, named for its island; Linwood lake, 
giving its name to the township; Boot lake, named from its outline; 
Rice lake, having wild rice; Coon lake and Little Coon lake, named, like 
the creek, for raccoons, formerly much hunted here ; and Lake Netta and 
Ham lake, the latter, as before noted, being named from its form, and 
giving name also to its township. 

Cedar creek, and the adjoining Cedar station and village oi the Great 
Northern railway, are named for the white cedar or arbor vitae, grow- 
ing there in swamps. 

Seeley, Trott, and Ford brooks, on the west side of Rum river, are 
named for their early settlers. 



"i 



26 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

In Burns township, Norris lake, in section 1, was likewise named for 
Grafton Norris; and Hare lake, in section 21, now drained, for James 
U. Hare, who was formerly postmaster of Nowthen postoffice, lately 
discontinued, near this lake. (It is said that the name of this postofiice 
was recommended by Mr. Hare's neighbors, from his common use of it, 
"Now then," in conversation). 

Other lakes named for pioneer settlers are Minard lake and Jones 
lake, in Bethel, the latter (now drained) having been also known as Lone 
Pine lake; Lake George, in Oak Grove township; Bunker lake in section 
36, Grow township, named for Kendall Bunker, a homesteader there ; and 
Lake Amelia, in section 35, Centerville. 

The following lakes bear names that occur somewhat frequently in 
many other counties : 

Cedar lake, in sections ZZ and 34, Centerville. 

Crooked lake, in section 33, Grow, and section 4, Anoka. 

Deer lake, sections 15 and 22, Bethel. 

Fish lake, in the north part of Bethel. 

Goose lake, now drained, sections 15 and 16, Burns. 

Grass lake, section 11, Oak Grove. 

Mud lake, in section 16, Bethel; and another in section 13, Columbus. 

Otter lake, sections 35 and 26, Centerville. 

Pickerel lake, mostly drained, section 22, Burns. 

The two Rice lakes, occurring in the series before noted. 

Round lake, sections 20 and 29, Grow. 

Swan lake, now drained, in section 25, Oak Grove. 

Twin lake, section 19, Bums. 



BECKER COUNTY 

This county, established March 18, 1858, but not organized until thir- 
teen years later by a legislative act approved March 1, 1871, was named 
in honor of George Loomis Becker, of St. Paul. He was born in Locke, 
Cayuga county, N. Y., February 4, 1829 ; was graduated at the University 
of Michigan in 1846; studied law, came to Minnesota in 1849, and began 
law practice in St. Paul ; was mayor of this city in 1856 ; was Democratic 
candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 1859; was a state senator, 18'i8- 
71. He was commonly called General Becker, having been appointed by 
Governor Sibley on his military staff in 1858, with the rank of brigadier 
general. In 1862 he became land commissioner of the St. Paul and 
Pacific railroad, and was ever afterward occupied in advancing the rail- 
road interests of Minnesota, being a member of the state railroad and 
warehouse commission from 1885 to 1901. He died in St. Paul, January 
6, 1904. 

October 13, 1857, Mr. Becker was elected as one of three members of 
Congress, to which number it was thought that the new state would be 
entitled. It was afterward decided, however, that the state could have 
only two representatives; and, in casting lots for these two, Becker was 
unsuccessful. His generous acquiescence was in part rewarded by this 
county name. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been gathered from "A Pioneer History of Becker 
County," by Alvin H. Wilcox, published in 1907, 757 pages; from H. S. 
Dahlen, county auditor, George D. Hamilton, editor of the Detroit 
Record, and Charles G. Sturtevant, formerly county surveyor, interviewed 
during a visit at Detroit in August, 1909; and from maps in the office 
of J. A. Narum, county auditor, examined during a second visit in Sep- 
tember, 1916. 

Atlanta township, settled in 1871, was organized January 25, 1879, 
being then named Martin, perhaps for Martin Hanson, one of the first 
settlers. Two months afterward it was renamed Atlanta, "from the re- 
semblance its undulating surface bears to the Atlantic ocean." 

Audubon township was organized August 19, 1871, but was nimed 
successively Windom, Colfax, and Oak Lake, holding the last of these 
names from 1872 until 1881. The Northern Pacific station and village 
to be established here, also the small lake adjoining the village site, had 
received the name Audubon in August, 1871, in honor of John James 
Audubon (b. 1780, d. 1851), the great American ornithologist, celebrated 
for his pictures of birds. This name was proposed by his niece, a mem- 

27 



28 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ber of a party of tourists who "camped where the Audubon depot now 
stands." In January, 1881, the township name was changed to Audubon, 
and on February 23 of that year the village was incorporated. 

BuxLiNGTON, organized August 26, 1872, "was so named from the city 
of Burlington in the state of Vermont, by Mrs. E. L. Wright, a Ver- 
monter^ whose husband took a leading part in the organization of the 
township." 

Frazee village, on the Northern Pacific railroad in this township, was 
platted in 1873, but was not incorporated until 1891. It was named in 
honor of Randolph L. Frazee, owner of its lumber mill. He was bom 
at Hamden Junction, Ohio, July 3, 1841 ; came to Minnesota in 1866, and 
to this place in 1872; was a representative in the legislature in 1875; re- 
moved in 1890 to Pelican Rapids, and died there June 4, 1906. 

Callaway township, organized March 30, 1906, is named for William 
R. Callaway, of Minneapolis, general passenger agent of the Soo rail- 
way, which had previously established a station and village of this name 
in section 32. 

Caksonville township, organized September 20, 1881, was named by 
Alvin H. Wilcox, then county treasurer, in honor of George M. Carson, 
a prominent pioneer, who in June, 1879, took a homestead in section 18, 
Osage (the east part of Carsonville till its separate organization in 1891). 

Cormorant township, organized February 26, 1872, received this name 
from its Big Cormorant and Upper Cormorant lakes, which are translated 
from the Ojibway names. Our species is the double-crested cormorant, 
which nests plentifully about these lakes. 

Cuba, organized in the winter of 1871-72, was named for Cuba, Alle- 
gany county, N. Y., the native place of Charles W. Smith, who came as 
one of the first settlers of this township in 1871. 

Detroit township, settled in 1868 and organized July 29, 1871, derived 
its name from Detroit lake, which, according to the History of Becker 
county, had been so named by a French traveler here, who was a Catho- 
lic missionary. Having camped for a night on the north shore of the 
lake in full view of the kmg bar which stretches nearly across it and 
leaves a strait (detroit, in French) between its two parts, he thence ap- 
plied this name to the lake. It appeared on our state maps in 1860. The 
Ojibway name of this lake refers also to its strait, being translated by 
Gilfillan as "the lake in which there is crossing on the sandy place." De- 
troit has been the county seat of Becker county from its organizatkm in 
1871 ; but during the first year some of the meetings of the county com- 
missioners were held at or near Oak lake, a few miles distant to the 
northwest The first village election was held March 3, 1881; and the 
city charter was adopted February 23, 1903. 

Erie township, first settled in 1872-3 and organized August 18, 1878, 
was named for Erie county in New York by settlers who came from the 
city of Buffalo, which is in that county. 



BECKER COUNTY 29 

Evergreen, organized January 4, 1888, was named for its abundant 
evergreen trees, including the pines, spruce, balsam fir, and the red and 
white cedars. It is estimated that in 1880 this township had "about five 
million feet of standing white pine." 

Grand Park township, organized July 31, 1892, was so named for its 
beautiful scenery of rolling and hilly woodland, interspersed with lakes 
and traversed by the head stream of the Red river. 

Green Valley, organized May 3, 1886, received this name from the 
valley of Shell river, which crosses the northeast part of this township. 

Hamden township, organized September 19, 1871, was named for Ham- 
den in one of the eastern states, this being a town or village name in 
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Ohio. 

Height op Land township, organized January 26, 1886, bears the name 
of the large lake crossed by its north boundary. The Red or Otter Tail 
river flows through this lake, from which a former canoe route led east- 
ward to the Shell lake and river, tributary by the Crow Wing river to the 
Mississippi. Gilfillan translated the O jib way name, "Ajawewesitagun 
sagaiigun, the lake where the portage is across a divide separating water 
which runs diflFerent ways, or Height of Land lake." 

HoLMESviLLE township, which received its first settlers in 1871 and 
1873, was organized March 19, 1889, as East Richwood ; but this was soon 
changed to the present name, in honor of Elon G. Holmes. He was bom 
in Madison county, N. Y., in 1841 ; served in the 26th New York regi- 
ment in the civil war; came to Minnesota in 1865; settled in Detroit in 
1872, and was president of the First National Bank there; was a state 
senator, 1887-9. 

Lake Eunice township, settled in 1870 and organized September 3, 
1872, 'Vas named by the United States surveyors in honor of Eunice 
McGelland, who was the first white woman to settle near the lake. She 
was the wife of John McGelland." (He was elected the first clerk of 
this township, and was also the first register of deeds of the county, 
holding the latter office six years). 

Lake Park township, settled in 1870, was organized September 19, 

1871, being then named Liberty, which was changed to the present name 
in 1876. Its many lakes were collectively named by the O jib ways, as 
translated by Gilfillan, "the lakes where there are streams, groves, prai- 
ries, and a beautiful diversified park country." 

The name of Lake View, settled in 1870-71 and organized March 12, 

1872, was suggested by Mrs. Charles H. Sturtevant, "as there were so 
many lakes in the township and so many pretty views from them." 

Osage, settled in 1879, was united in township government .with Car- 
sonville until May 4, 1891, when it was separately organized, deriving this 
name from Osage, the county seat of Mitchell county, Iowa. It is also 
a geographic name in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma; but 
originally it was adopted for the Osage tribe of Indians, "the most im- 



30 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

portant southern Skman tribe of the western division" (F. W. Hodge, 
Handbook of American Indians). 

RicEViLLE, organized in 1912, derived its name from the South branch 
of the Wild Rice river, which flows through the northwest part of this 
township. 

Rich WOOD township, organized June 23, 1871, was named from Rich- 
wood in the Province of Ontario, Canada, the native town of W. W. 
McLeod, who settled on the site of Richwood village in May, 1871, being 
one of the owners of a sawmill there. 

RuNEBERG township, settled in 1882 and organized May 24, 1887, was 
named in honor of Johan Ludwig Runeberg, the great Swedish poet. He 
was bom at Jakobstad, in Finland, February 5, 1804; and died at Borgi, 
near Helsingf ors, May 6, 1877. 

Savannah township, organized October 12, 1901, was named for its 
several tracts of grassy meadow land along stream courses, "made in an 
early day by the backwater from the dams of the beavers." (The Ameri- 
can origin of this word has been noted for the West Savanna river in 
Aitkin county). 

Shell Lake township, first settled in 1881 and organized December 
7, 1897, bears the name of its large lake, the source of the Shell river. 
These English names were derived probably from the shells found along 
the shore of the lake. The Ojibway name means, as translated by Gil- 
fiUan, "the lake lying near the mountain/' having reference to the portage 
thence across the water divide to Height of Land lake. 

SiLVEB Leaf, settled in 1882-83, was organized March 3, 1888, receiv- 
ing its name ''from the silvery appearance of the leaves of the poplar, 
with which the township abounds." 

Spring Creek township, organized in 1912, is named for its small 
creeks and many springs, headwaters of the South branch of the Wild 
Rice river. 

Spruce Grove township, settled in 1880, was organized January 19, 
1889. "As the predominant timber in the town was evergreens, it was 
called Spruce Grove. The township was heavily timbered with pine 
(five million feet), spruce, balsam, oak, poplar, birch, elm, basswood, 
ironwood, and tamarack." 

Toad Lake township, settled in 1887 and organized January 5, 1892, 
received this name from its large lake, a translation from the Ojibway 
name, Mukuki (or Omakaki) sagaiigun. Thence also came the name of 
the outflowing Toad river, and of the prominent morainic drift hill in 
section 8, on the west side of this lake, called "Toad mountain," which 
commands an extensive view of the surrounding country. 

Two Inlets, settled in 1881 and organized September 20, 1898, was 
named from Two Inlets lake, in the east part of this township. It re- 
ceives two inflowing streams close together at its north end, the larger 
one being the Fish Hook river, which flows through this lake. 



BECKER COUNTY 31 

Walworth township, settled in 1879 and organized April 3, 1883, was 
named by Albert E. Higbie, one of its first pkmeers, for Walworth 
county, Wisconsin. He came from the adjoining Jefiferson county in that 
state. 

White Earth township, organized March 30, 1906, was named for its 
village of White Earth, the location of the United States government 
agency of the White Earth Indian Reservation, which lies in three coun- 
ties, Becker, Mahnomen, and Clearwater. The removal of the Ojibways 
to this reservation began in 1868, the first party coming to the site of the 
agency on June 14, which is celebrated there each year as a great anni- 
versary day. 

The reservation and its agency were named from White Earth lake, 
the most beautiful one of the many fine lakes in the reservation, lying 
about five miles northeast of the agency. Its Ojibway name is given by 
Gilfillan, "Ga-wababigunikag sagaiigun, the-place-of-white-clay lake, so 
called from the white clay which crops out in places at the shore of the 
lake." 

Ogema (with accent on the initial long o, g as in get, and a like ah), 
meaning in the Ojibway language a chief, is the railway village of this 
township. 

Wolf Lake township, first settled in 1888 by immigrants from Finland, 
was organized April 4, 1896, receiving this name from its large lake, 
which was so named by the settlers on account of its form. Many wolves, 
bears, and deer were killed here during the first years of settlement. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The Otter Tail or Red river, traversing this county, received its name 
from the large Otter Tail lake in the next county on the south, which is 
named from that lake and the river, as noted in its chapter. Pelican 
river, flowing through the Detroit series of lakes to Otter Tail river, is 
noted in the same chapter, for Pelican township and the village of Peli- 
can Rapids, named like this river, in translation of the Ojibway name 
for Lake Lida, which adjoins it and is tributary to it in Otter Tail county. 

The origins of the names of several lakes of Becker county are noticed 
in the foregoing list of its townships. These are the Cormorant lakes 
in the township of this name, to which may be added the Little Cor- 
morant lake in Audubon and Lake Eunice townships ; Detroit lake. Height 
of Land lake and Lake Eunice ; the many little lakes in Lake Park town- 
ship; Shell lake, Toad lake, Two Inlets lake. White Earth lake, and Wolf 
lake. 

Elbow lake, the most northern in the series through which the Red 
or Otter Tail river flows, is noted by Gilfillan as a translation of its 
Ojibway name, having reference to its sharply bent form. The next lake 
in this series is Little Bemidji lake, a mile long, this Ojibway word sig- 
nifying a lake that is crossed by a stream. 



32 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Many Point lake is translated from the aboriginal name, referring 
to the many bays and intervening points of the shore. Round lake, like- 
wise from the Ojibway name, requires no explanation, being one of our 
most common lake names throughout the state. The Upper and Lower 
Egg lakes, west of Round lake, and the outflowing Egg river, are again 
translations, referring to nests and eggs of water-loving birds. 

Flat lake is another name of Indian origin, which perhaps should be 
better translated as Shallow lake. Below the junction of the Round Lake 
and Shallow Lake rivers, as they are named by the Ojibways, the Red 
river passes through a small lake in section 16, Grand Park, which Gil- 
fillan translated as "the-blackbird-place-of-wild-rice lake." It has been 
more simply anglicized as Blackbird lake. 

West of Height of Land lake are Pine, Tamarack, and Cotton lakes, 
the last probably named for a pioneer. 

Other lakes whose Ojibway names are translated include Fish Hook 
lake (close west of White Earth lake). Big Rat lake, Big Rush lake. Ice 
Cracking, Green Water and Pine Point lakes, Basswood lake, Juggler 
lake. Lake of the Valley, Strawberry lake, the Big and Little Sugar Bush 
lakes (so named for maple trees and the making of maple sugar by the 
Indians), and Tulaby lake (named for a species of whitef^h, the tul- 
libee), these being in the White Earth Reservation. Straight lake and 
river are likewise translations from the aboriginal names. 

The Buffalo river received its name from the white people, for a 
tributary having its sources in Audubon, which was called by the Ojib- 
ways, as translated, "Buffalo river, from the fact that buffaloes were 
always found wintering there." The present Buffalo lake, in the nomen- 
clature of these Indians, is "the lake where it keeps crumbling away from 
the gnawing of beavers ;" and they apply the same name, as stated by Gil- 
fillan, to what we call Buffalo river, flowing into the Red river. In a 
word, therefore, the Ojibway name in translation would be Beaver lake 
and river. 

Boot lake, in Savannah, and Moon lake, in sections 2 and 11, Rich- 
wood, are so named for their outlines. Mission lake, in White Earth, 
is named for the adjoining Catholic mission and church. 

The following lakes, in the alphabetic order of their townships, were 
named for settlers on or near them: Balke lake and Lake Tilde, in At- 
lanta; Homstad, McKinstry, Marshall, and Reep lakes in Audubon; Chil- 
ton and Pearce lakes, in Burlington; Anderson and Fairbanks lakes, in 
Callaway; Floyd and Little Floyd lakes, in Detroit; Howe lake, in Erie; 
Collett lake, in Evergreen township; Momb's lake in Holmesville; Boyer 
lake. Lake Labelle, and Stakke lake, in Lake Park township ; Lake Abbey, 
Curfman, Monson, Reeves, and Sauer's lakes, in Lake View; Campbell. 
Houg, and Sands lakes, in Richwood; Bisson and Trotochaud lakes, in 
Riceville; Lake Garence, in Spring Creek township; and Du Forte and 
Morri9(Mi lakes, in White Earth. 



BECKER COUNTY 33 

Several lakes in the southwest part of this county were named for the 
wives or daughters of pioneer settlers, as Lakes Sallie and Melissa, 
through which the Pelican river flows below Detroit lake, Lake Eunice 
(giving name to its township), Lake Maud and Lake Ida. Excepting 
Lake Eunice, before noticed as named for Mrs. John McQelland, only 
one other of these has been identified with its surname, this being for 
Melissa Swetland, one of three daughters in the family of a pioneer from 
Canada, well remembered by Miss Nellie C. Childs, assistant county su- 
perintendent of schools. 

This county has other lakes bearing the following names, for which 
their origin and significance have not been ascertained: Acorn and Eagle 
lakes, in Burlington; Brandy lake and St. Clair lake, in Detroit, and 
another St. Gair lake in sections 13 and 14, Callaway; Pearl lake, in 
Lake Eunice township; Lake Forget-me-not, in Lake Park; Dead lake 
and Hungry lake, in Silver Leaf township; Chippewa lake, in Grand 
Park ; and Rock lake, in Holmesville. 

Common lake names which need no explanation, occurring here, are 
two Bass lakes, in the White Earth Reservation; Long lake, in Detroit; 
Oak lake, the locality of an early settlement, between Detroit and 
Audubon; Loon lake, in section 24, Lake Eunice township; Fox lake, in 
section 7, Lake View; Pickerel lake and Perch lake, in Erie, Island lake, 
in Shell Lake township; Mud lake, close south of Toad lake, another a 
mile west of Little Toad lake, and a third in section 2, Silver Leaf ; four 
Rice lakes, in Detroit, Erie, Grand Park, and Holmesville; Round lake, 
before noted, in the White Earth Reservation, and another in Holmes- 
ville; Turtle lake, in section 7, Cormorant; and Twin lakes, in sections 
11 to 13, Height of Land. 

Hills. 

In this large county wholly overspread by the glacial and modified 
drift deposits, with no outcnop of the underlying rock formations, most 
of the surface is only moderately undulating or rolling and in certain 
belts knolly and hilly, while other tracts in the northwest and southeast 
parts of the county have gentle and uniform slopes or are nearly level. 

Two marginal moraine hills of exceptional height, though ' rising only 
about 150 or 200 feet above the lowest depressions near them, are popu- 
larly named Detroit mountain, about three miles east from the city of 
Detroit, and Toad mountain, close west of Toad lake. The former was 
called by the Ojibways, as noted by Gilfillan, "Ashiwabiwin, Looking out, 
from the Sioux having been always there on top of the mountain looking 
out for the Chippeways." 

Smoky hill, in the north edge of section 15, Carsonville, is a steep hill 
of gravel and sand, about 200 feet above the mainly level surrounding 
country. It would be called by glacial geologists a kame, having been 
amassed where a drift-laden stream descended from the border of the 
melting and departing ice-sheet. 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 

Thirty years intervened between the estaUishment of Beltrami county, 
February 28, 1866, and its organization, when its county seat and earliest 
settlement, Bemidji, received incorporation as a village, May 20, 1896. 

The county name was adopted in honor of Giacomo Costantino Bel- 
trami, the Italian explorer in 1823 of the most northern sources of the 
Mississippi river, near the center of the part of this county lying south 
af Red lake. Anglicized, his name was James Constantine, and on the 
title-page of his published works, relating his travels, it is given by 
initials as J. C Beltrami. Except David Thompson in 1798, he was the 
first explorer to supply descriptions of Red and Turtle lakes, though 
undoubtedly they had been previously visited by roving traders and their 
canoe voyagers. 

Beltrami was born at Bergamo, Italy, in 1779. His father advised him 
to the profession of the law, and he held numerous official positions as 
a chancellor and a judge; but in 1821, being accused of implication in 
plots to establish an Italian republic, he was exiled. 

After traveling in France, Germany, and England, Beltrami sailed 
from Liverpool to Philadelphia, and arrived there February 21, 1823. 
About a month later he reached Pittsburgh, there made the acquaintance 
of Lawrence Taliaferro, the Indian agent at the new Fort St Anthony 
(two years afterward renamed Fort Snelling), and traveled with him by 
steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi, coming on May 10 to 
the fort 

From July 9 to August 7, Beltrami traveled to Pembina with the ex- 
ploring expedition of Major Long, to whom he had been commended 
by Snelling and Taliaferro. He left that expedition at Pembina, and went 
southeastward along an Indian trail, with two Ojibways and a half-breed 
interpreter, to the junction of the Thief and Red Lake rivers, whence his 
journey was by canoe up the latter river to Red lake. From an Ojibway 
village near the mouth of the lake, Beltrami traveled with a canoe along 
its southwestern shore to the Little Rock or Gravel river, where he 
stopped at the hut of a half-breed, who became his guide. August 26 
and 27 were spent in making long portages with the half-breed and an 
Ojibway, leaving the south shore of Red lake a short distance east from 
the site of the Agency and going south, passing small lakes and coming 
at last, by a few miles of canoeing, to Lake Puposky, now also called Mud 
lake. Proceeding still southward the next morning, Beltrami soon came 
to a lake named by him, f^M" a deceased friend, Lake Julia, which he 
thought to have no visible outlet, .but to send its waters by filtration 
through the swampy ground both northward and southward, being thus 

84 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 35 

a source both of the Red Lake river, called by him Bloody river, and of 
the Turtle river, the most northern affluent of the Mississippi The nar- 
rative of Beltrami shows that he arrived at Lake Julia by a short por- 
tage; but on the map of the United States land surveys it is shown as 
having an outlet into Mud lake, thus belonging to the Red river basin. 

On September 4 Beltrami reached Red Cedar lake, since known as 
Cass lake; and during the next three days he voyaged down the Mis- 
sissippi to the mouth of Leech Lake river. Thence he went up that stream 
to Leech lake, where he made the acquaintance of Cloudy Weather, a 
leader in the band of the Pillager Ojibways, by whom he was accompa- 
nied in the long canoe voyage of return to the Mississippi and down this 
river to Fort St Anthony. 

The next winter was spent by Beltrami in New Orleans, where he 
published his narration in 1824, written in French, bearing a title which 
in English would be "The Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi 
and of the Bloody River." In 1828 he published in London his most 
celebrated work, entitled "A Pilgrimage in Europe and America, .leading 
to the Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi and Bloody River; 
with a Description of the Whole Course of the former and of the Ohio." 
This work of two volumes is cast in the form of a series of letters, ad- 
dressed to an Italian countess. Eight letters, in pages 126 to 491 of Vol- 
ume II, contain the account of his travels in Minnesota. 

During his later years, until 1850, Beltrami resided in various cities 
of France, Germany, Austria, and Italy ; and his last five years were spent 
on his land estate at Filotrano, near Macerata, Italy, where he died in 
February, 1855. 

The city of Bergamo, his birthplace, in 1865 published a volume of 134 
pages commemorating his life and work, dedicated to the Minnesota 
Historical Society. In translation from this book, Alfred J. Hill presented 
in the second volume of this society's Historical Collections a biographic 
sketch of Beltrami, together with a communication from Major Talia- 
ferro, giving reminiscences of him. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information was received from John Wilmann, county auditor, during 
a visit at Bemidji in September, 1909; and from H. W. Alsop, deputy 
auditor, in a second visit there, August, 1916. 

Alaska township was named by settlers who had traveled to Alaska. 

Angle township received this name from its being bounded on the 
north by the inlet (about ten miles long) of the Lake of the Woods lead- 
ing to its Northwest Angle, or "most northwestern point," as it was 
described by the treaty of 1783 and by later treaties defining the boundary 
between this country and Canada. The area thus named Angle comprises 
about 120 square miles, bounded by the lake on the south, east, and north. 
Excepting Alaska, it is the most northern tract of the United States, as 
it lies between 10 and 26 miles north of the 49th parallel. 



36 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Arnesen is a fishing village on the shore of the Lake of the Woods in 
Lakewood township. Its site was formerly known as Rocky Point The 
village was founded by Bernard A. Arnesen, who settled there in 1897. 

Battle township is named for Battle river, flowing through this town- 
ship into the east end of the south half of Red lake. The stream was so 
named by the Ojibways on account of their having fought here with the 
Sioux. 

Baudettb township and village are named from the Baudette river, 
there tributary to the Rainy river. It is an early French name, probably 
in commemoration of a fur trader. 

Bemidji township and city were named for an Ojibway chief whose 
band of about fifty people had their homes on and near the south end 
of Lake Bemidji and around Lake Irving, including the site, where white 
settlers founded this town. The chief died in April, 1904, at the age of 
eighty-five years. His name was taken from the older Ojibway name of 
this lake, crossed by the Mississippi. Gilfillan translated it as "the lake 
where the current flows directly across the water, referring to the river 
flowing squarely out of the lake on the east side, cutting it in two as it 
were, very briefly Cross lake." 

Benville township was probably named for a pioneer settler. 

Big Grass is named from the South branch of Roseau river, which has 
its sources in the north edge of this township. This French name, Roseau, 
translated from the Ojibway name of the Roseau lake and river, means 
the very coarse grass or reed (Phragmites communis), which is common 
or frequent in the edges of lakes and slow streams throughout this 
northwestern part of Minnesota. 

Birch township has valuable timber of the paper or canoe birch, 
and also of the yellow or gray birch, the former species being greatly 
used by the Indians for making their birch bark canoes. 

Birch Island township, on the north side of the north half of Red 
lake, is named for its having a well wooded tract of canoe birch, elm, 
oak, ash, basswood, and other trees, along and near the lake shore between 
the Two rivers and for a mile eastward. This was a heavily timbered 
island, as it was called, rising 10 to 25 feet above the lake, in remarkable 
contrast with nearly all other parts of the north shore, which are a very 
extensive tamarack swamp only a few feet above the lake and reaching 
thence north 10 to 15 miles or more. 

Black Duck township received its name from its large Black Duck 
lake, the source of the river of the same name tributary to Red lake. The 
species popularly known by this name is, according to Dr. Thomas S. 
Roberts, the ring-necked duck (Marila collaris, Donovan), frequent or 
common throughout the state. 

Brook Lake township, the most southeastern of this county, is named 
from a small lake in section 27, Moose Lake township, adjoining this on 
the north, and a brook flows from it into section 3 of this township. 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 37 

BuzzLE township and Buzzle lake, in its section 21, were named in 
honor of an early settler beside the lake. 

Chilgren township was named for Albert Chilgren, of Swedish de- 
scent, who is a farmer and lawyer there. 

Clementson, a small village on Rainy river at the mouth of Rapid 
river, in Gudrid township, was named for Helec Clementson, owner of a 
saw mill there, formerly a county commissioner, who came in May, 1896. 

CoRMANT is shortened from the Comorant river which flows through 
this township, named by Beltrami (in translation of the Ojibway name) 
for the double-crested cormorant, frequent in many parts of Minnesota. 
The full form of the name had been earlier applied to a township of 
Becker county, preventing its use elsewhere in this state ; with the abridged 
spelling, however, it was admitted again into the list of our township 
names. 

DuRAND township is in honor of Charles Durand, a homesteader on the 
northeast side of Lake Puposky. 

EcKLES township bears the name of an early landholder interested in 
the building of its branch of the Great Northern railway. 

Eland township was named by the early settlers, perhaps for the eland 
of South Africa, a large species of antelope or elk formerly found there 
in immense herds. 

Eugene township was named probably for Eugene V. Debs, of Indiana, 
candidate of the Socialist Party for president of the United States in 
1904, 1908 and 1912. 

Farley, a railway station in Port Hope township, was named for a 
lumberman and merchant there, who removed west several years ago and 
has since died. 

Frohn was named for a district of Gudbrandsdalen, Norway, the for- 
mer home of immigrants in this township. 

Funkley, a railway station and junction in Hornet township, was 
named for Henry Funkley, a lawyer in Bemidji. 

Grant Valley township and its Grant lake, in section 4, with Grant 
creek, its outlet, were named for an early settler or lumberman. 

Gudrid township has a Norwegian feminine name, probably for the 
wife of an immigrant homesteader. 

Hagali was named for an early Norwegian settler of this township. 

Hamre township derived its name from a small district in Norway, 
whence some of its settlers came. 

Hines, a railway station in Black Duck township, was named for Wil- 
liam Hines, formerly a lumberman there. 

Hornet township was originally named Murray, a duplication of an 
older Minnesota township name, and the change and 'selection of the 
present name caused much contention. 

Island Lake, a village in the east part of Alaska township, at the end 
of a lumber railway branch, was named for the adjoining Island lake, 
which has a small island close to this village. 



38 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

JoiTES township was named for a pioneer there, who moved away many 
years ago. 

Keil township was probably named for a German settler. 

KxLLiSEM. township and its village, at the end of a branch railway 
boilt for lomberini^ were named for A. O. Kelliher, a former agent here 
for Imnber companies. ' 

KoHiG township was named for a settler there from Germany. 

Lakewood township was named for its timber, and for its situation oo 
the south shore of the Lake of die Woods. 

Lamkers was named for the Lammers Brothers (George A. and 
Albert J,)> of Stillwater, who engaged in real estate and lumber business 
in this township. 

Langor township received its name in honor of Henry A. Langord 
(the final letter being omitted), a settler of Norwegian descent, coming 
here from Wisconsin. 

Lee township was named for settlers from Norway, their original 
name having been changed to this spelling. 

LiBEBTr township received this name in accordance with the petition 
of its settlers. 

Mafix Ridge township was named for its sugar maple trees, and for its 
situation at the sources of streams descending north to Red lake. Sugar 
Bush township is also named for the maple trees and sugar-making, to be 
more fully noted in a later page. 

McDouGALO township was named for John McDougald, a member of 
the first board of county commissioners, now engaged in real estate busi- 
ness at Black Duck. 

Meaoow Land township is named for its grass lands along streams, 
open areas used for hay-making in this generally wooded region. 

Minnie township has the feminine name derived from the name of this 
state, perhaps chosen in honor of the wife or daughter of one of its 
pioneers. 

Moose Lake township is named for its Moose lake and Little Moose 
lake, which are probably translated from their Ojibway names. 

Myhse township was named for L. O. Myfare, of Norwegian descent, 
a former member of the board of county commissioners, residing near 
Bemidji. 

Nebish township and its lake of this name are from the Ojibway word 
anibish, tea, the much relished drink alike of the white settlers and the 
Indians. 

NoBTHESN township received this name because it includes the north 
part of Lake BemidjL 

NoBTHwooD township was named for its timber and its situation in the 
north part of this county. 

Nymore, the lumber manufacturing village near the city of Bemidji, 
was named for Martin Nye, a Bemidji pioneer, who was a veteran of the 
civil war. 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 39 

O'Brien township was named for a lumberman there, William O'Brien, 
from Stillwater, Minn. 

Pioneer township received this name in compliment to its pioneer 
settlers. 

PoNEMAH^ a village on the north shore of. the southern half of Red 
lake^ having a United States government school for the Ojibway children, 
bears a name used by Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha." Minne- 
haha in dying, and afterward Hiawatha, depart 

"To the Islands of the Blessed, 
To the Kingdom of Ponemah, 
To the Land of the Hereafter," 

Post Hope township was named by one of its first settlers, Captain 
William Wetzel, a veteran of the Mexican war and the civil war, probably 
for Port Hope, Canada, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. 

PoTAHO township has the name of a town on the east coast of the 
island of Corfu, Greece. 

Prosper township received this name of good promise in accordance 
with the petition of its settlers. 

PuFOSKY is a railway village in Durand township, on Lake Puposky, 
an Ojibway name recorded and translated by Beltrami,* signifying "the 
end of the shaking lands," that is, swamps whose surface is shaken and 
sinks when walked on. It has been also translated as Mud lake, with 
Mud river outflowing from it. 

Quiring township needs further inquiry to learn why it is so named. 

Rapid River township was named for the stream crossing it, a tributary 
of the Rainy river. It was mapped and described by Keating of Major 
Long's expedition in 1823 as the River of Rapids, "so called from the fine 
rapids which it presents immediately above its mouth." 

Reoby, a village on the south shore of Red lake and at the end of a 
railway branch, received its name from the lake. 

Roosevelt township, including the greater part of Qearwater lake, 
crossed by the west line of this county, and also the railway village of 
Roosevelt, 78 miles farther north near the Lake of the Woods, in the 
east edge of the adjoining Roseau county, were named in honor of 
Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States, 1901-09. 

RuLiEN township was named for William Rulien, who is engaged in 
real estate business in Baudette. 

Shooks township was named for Edward Shooks, who was a mer- 
chant there at a former station of the Kelliher railway branch. 

Shotley township was probably named for a lumberman on its Shotley 
brook, here flowing into the north half of Red lake. 

SoLWAY, a railway village in Lammers township, and the Solway 
Lumber Company, which formerly worked in its vicinity, were named 
after Solway Firth, the wide inlet from the Irish Sea between England 
and Scotland. 



40 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Spooner township is in honor of Marshall A. Spooner, of Bemidji^ 
who was judge in this Fifteenth judicial district, 1903-08. 

Sfeuce Grove township was named for its spruce timber, abundant 
on many tracts throughout northern Minnesota. 

Steenerson township was named for Hon. Halvor Steenerson, of 
Crookston, representative in Congress since 1903. 

Sugar Bush township was named, like Maple Ridge township also in 
this county, for its maple trees used by both the Indians and white people 
for sugar-making. Beltrami wrote of the Ojibway process of making 
maple sugar, as follows (in his "Pilgrimage," vol. ll, page 402) : "The 
whole of this territory abounds with innumerable maple or sugar trees, 
which the Indians divide into various sugaries. The sap of the trees 
flows through incisions made in them by the Indians in spring at the foot 
of the trunk. It is received in buckets of birch bark and conveyed to the 
laboratory of each respective sugary, where it is boiled in large cauldrons 
iill the watery parts are evaporated. The dregs descend, and the saccha- 
rine matter remains adhering to the sides of the vessel. When this process 
is completed the sugar is made." 

Summit township has the highest land crossed by the Minnesota and 
International railway, called therefore a "summit" by its surveyors. 

Swift Water received its name, like Rapid River township before 
noted, from the Rapid river flowing through these townships. 

Taylor township was named in honor of James Taylor, an early 
homesteader there, now a merchant at Tenstrike, the village on the west 
border of this township. 

Tenstrike, a railroad village on the line between Port Hope and 
Taylor townships, was platted and named by Almon A. White of St. Paul, 
alluding to the completely successful bowling which with the Rrst ball 
knocks down all the ten pins. 

Turtle Lake township bears the name of its large lake, translated, 
as also the outflowing Turtle river, from the Ojibway name. Thompson, 
who .traveled here in 1798, wrote of this lake that "its many small bays 
give it the rude form of a turtle." 

Turtle River township likewise is named for its Turtle River lake, 
and for the river so named flowing through this lake, the most northern 
tributary of the Mississippi. 

Wabanica township received its name from waban, the Ojibway word 
for the east and also for the twilight or dawn of the morning. 

Walhalla township is named from Norse mythology, for the hall of 
Odin, also spelled Valhalla, into which were received the souls of war- 
riors slain in battle. 

Washkish township, at the east end of the north part of Red lake, is 
from the Ojibway word, wawashkeshi, the deer, which is yet common 
or frequent there, though much hunted. 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 41 

Wheeler township, at the west side of the mouth of Rainy river, was 
named for Alonzo Wheeler, a pioneer farmer there. 

Wilton, a railway village and junction in Eckles township, was named 
for some one of the fifteen or more villages and towns of this name in the 
eastern states, Canada, and England 

WooDROw township is in honor of the president of the United States, 
Woodrow Wilson. 

ZiPFEL township was named for William M. Zippel, of German de- 
scent, who through many years has been a fisherman on the Lake of the 
Woods, living in this township, at the mouth of the creek which was 
earlier named for him. The aboriginal name of this stream, which con- 
tinued until recently in use, was Sand creek. Mr. Zippel first settled at 
Rat Portage in 1884, and removed three years afterward to the mouth 
of this creek, where the fishing village bearing his name has since grown 
up. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The names of the Lake of the Woods and Rainy and Mississippi rivers 
and Cass lake have been considered in the first chapter of this work; 
and Red lake will be later noticed in connection with Red Lake county. 

In the preceding list of townships, sufficient mention is made of several 
lakes, rivers, and creeks, these being Battle river, Lake Bemidji, Black 
Duck lake and river. Brook lake, Buzzle lake, Cormorant river, Grant 
lake and creek. Moose lake and Little Moose lake, Nebish lake. Lake 
Puposky or Mud lake and the outflowing Mud river, Rapid river, Shotley 
brook, Turtle lake and river and the Turtle River lake, and Zippel's creek. 

The longest southern tributary of Red lake on the canoe route of 
Beltrami is Mud river, the outlet of Lake Puposky or Mud lake, which 
he called "the river of Great Portage." This name, as he wrote, was given 
by the Indians, "because a dreadful storm that occurred on it blew down 
a vast number of forest trees on its banks, which encumber its channel, 
and so impede its navigation as to make an extensive or great portage 
in order to reach it." In accordance with the recommendation of Bel- 
trami, it is sometimes called Red Lake river, indicating it to be the upper 
part of the river that outflows from Red lake. 

Lake Julia, before noted as the highest source of this stream, was 
thought by Beltrami to send its waters partly southward, so that it sup- 
plied to him the title of "the Julian sources of Bloody river and the 
Mississippi." 

Schoolcraft, in the Narrative of his expedition to Lake Itasca in 1832 
(published in 1834), wrote the name of Lake Bemidji as "Pamitchi 
Gumaug or Lac Travers." On Nicollet's map, 1843, it is "Pemidji L." 

Lake Irving, closely connected with Lake Bemidji by a strait and 
forming the south boundary of the city of Bemidji, was named by School- 
craft for Washington Irving, the eminent American author (1783-1859). 



42 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

It was frequently called Little Bemidji lake by the early settlers, which 
name has passed out of use. 

Lake Marquette, in sections 29 to 31, Bemidji, was also named by 
Schoolcraft, for the zealous French missionary and explorer of the 
Mississippi (1637-75). It is on the Plantagenian or South Fork of the 
Mississippi, which Schoolcraft ascended on his way to Lake Itasca, now 
named Schoolcraft river (or Yellow Head river, for his Ojibway guide), 
more fully noticed in the chapter of Hubbard county. 

The Mississippi for about six miles next below Lake Bemidji has a 
series of rapids, which were ascended in 1832 by Schoolcraft and were 
described by him as follows in his ''Summary Narrative" (published in 
1855). "Boulders of the geological drift period are frequently encountered 
in ascending them, and the river spreads itself over so considerable a 
surface that it became necessary for the bowsmen and steersmen to get 
out into the shallows and lead up the canoes. These canoes were but 
of two fathoms length, drew but a few inches of water, and would not 
bear more than three persons. . . . There were ten of these rapids 
encountered before we reached the summit or plateau of Lake Pemidje- 
gumaug, which is the Lac Traverse of the French. These were called 
the Metoswa rapids, from the Indian numeral for ten" (Midasswi in 
Baraga's Dictionary). 

A few miles below these rapids, the Mississippi in the southeast corner 
of Frohn township flows through Wolf lake, which was called Pamitas- 
codiac by the Ojibways. It was thought by Schoolcraft to be so named 
for a tract of prairie adjoining it, "from pemidj, across, muscoda, a prairie, 
and ackee, land." 

One to two miles farther east the Mississippi passes through the south 
end of Lake Andrusia, named by Schoolcraft in 1832 for Andrew Jackson, 
who was president of the United States, 1829 to 1837. 

For the next two miles the course of this river is occupied by Allen's 
bay, which is connected with Cass lake by a short and narrow strait. This 
body of water was named also by Schoolcraft, for Lieutenant James Allen, 
a member of the expedition of 1832, "who, on his return down the Missis^ 
sippi, was the first to explore it." Allen was born in Ohio, 1806; was 
graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, 1829; was promoted to be 
captain. First Dragoons, 1837; conducted an expedition to the sources of 
the Des Moines and Blue Earth rivers in 1844 ; and died at Fort Leaven- 
worth, Kansas, August 23, 1846. He was author of a report to the gov- 
ernment on each of these two Minnesota expeditions. 

David Thompson's map of the international boundary survey from 
Lake Superior to the Lake of the Woods, in 1826, shows the mouths of 
Rapid river. Riviere Baudette, and) Winter Road river, flowing into the 
Rainy river from this county. The first was named, as before noted, 
for its picturesque rapids or falls, descending about 20 feet, close above 
its mouth; and the second is thought to be a French personal surname. 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 43 

The third of these streams received its name, as noted* by Nathan 
Butler, of Minneapolis, who during many years was engaged in survey- 
ing and land examinations in northern Minnesota, for "a winter road, or 
dog sled trail, leaving the Rainy river at the mouth of the Winter Road 
river and running about S. 20*^ W. fifty miles, to the middle of the north 
shore of the north Red lake. The whole distance is one continuous swamp, 
tamarack and open, except where the streams have cut down into the 
ground from six to twelve feet below the surface, thus draining the land 
on either side for forty or fifty rods." (Geology of Minnesota, voL IV, 
1899, page 160.) 

Winter Road lake, in Eugene township, is translated, like this out- 
flowing river, from their Ojibway name. 

Peppermint creek, tributary to the Winter Road river, is named for 
its native species of mint, including most notably the wild bergamot 
(Monarda fistulosa). 

The following lakes bear names of early settlers : Campbell lake. Lake 
Erick, and Peterson lake (also called Mud lake), in Liberty township; 
M3rrtle lake, in sections 4 and 9, Roosevelt; Buzzle and Funkley lakes, 
in Buzzle township ; Movil lake, in Turtle Lake and Northern townships ; 
Robideau and Gilsted lakes, in Birch township; and Swenson and Grace 
lakes, in Frohn township. 

Pimushe lake, in Moose Lake township, which we receive from Nicol- 
let's map, bears an Ojibway name, but it has not been identified in 
Baraga's Dictionary. 

Kichi lake, on the south line of the same township, also mapped with 
this name by Nicollet, now spelled Kitihi lake, means in the Ojibway 
language Big lake. Its approved form is Kitchi, in Baraga's Dictionary, 
or Gitche, in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha." It is thus of exactly 
the same meaning as a second Big lake, three miles distant on the west, 
in Sugar Bush township. 

Nearly all the other lakes of this county, not already noted, chiefly 
occurring only in its southern third part, have names of common or 
frequent use and evident origin, many indeed being translations of the 
aboriginal names. These include Moose and Turtle lakes, in Alaska town- 
ship ; Bass lake, in Nebish, also Bass and Little Bass lakes, in Turtle River 
township ; Gearwater lake and river, to be more fully noticed for Qear- 
water county; two White Fish lakes, in Hagali and Buzzle townships; 
Loon lake and Medicine lake, in Hagali, the latter of Ojibway origin; 
Gull lake, in Hagali and Port Hope; Deer, Pony, and Long lakes, in 
Liberty township, and another Long lake in Turtle River township ; Black 
lake, Fox, Gnat, and Three Island lakes, in Turtle Lake township; Twin 
lakes, in Taylor ; Grass lake, on the line between Eckles and (jrant Valley ; 
Rice lake, on the east line of Sugar Bush, and another in Jones township, 
the latter more commonly known by its Ojibway name, Manomin lake, 
each referring to the luxuriant growths of wild rice; Boot and Fern 



44 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

lakes, in Grant Valley, the former named for its outline ; and School lake, 
in Frohn, lying partly in the school section 16. 

Points and Islands, Lake of the Woods. 

The Rainy river enters the Lake of the Woods by flowing through 
Four Mile bay, so named for its length from east to west. This bay is 
separated from the main lake by Oak point, also four miles long, which is 
a narrow sand bar, bearing many bur oaks, a species that is common or 
abundant throughout Minnesota, excepting far northeastward. 

On the Canadian side, opposite Oak point, a similar wave-built sand 
bar or barrier beach, named Sable island, skirts the original lake shore 
for about six miles northeastward. Its French name, if anglicized, would 
be Sand island. The geologic origin or formation of Oak point and Sable 
island is the same with Minnesota point and Wisconsin point, which 
inclose the harbors of Duluth and Superior. 

The sand dunes of this island and of Oak point caused this large 
southwest part of the Lake of the Woods to be formerly often called 
Sand Hill lake. 

From the mouth of Rainy river, at the east end of Oak point, the in- 
ternational boundary runs nearly due north across the main southern area 
of the lake, passing close west of Big island, which belongs to Canada. 
As it approaches the Northwest Angle inlet (called "Angle river" in the 
latest Minnesota atlas), which has been noted on a preceding page in its 
relation to Angle township, the boundary sets off' to this state, on its west 
and south side. Oak, Flag, and Brush islands, in this orde/ from south- 
east to northwest, besides several unnamed islands of smaller size. 

Eight miles south of Oak island is Garden or Cornfield island, also 
belonging to Minnesota, named from its former cultivation by the Ojib- 
ways. John Tanner, the white captive who lived the greater part of his 
life among the Ottawas and Ojibways, had his home for some time on 
this island, as told in his Narrative, published in 1830. 

In coasting along the south shore westward from the mouth of Rainy 
river, Long point and Rocky point are passed at the north side of Lake- 
wood township. 

Cormorant Rock, about a mile north from Rocky point, is a small 
island of bare rock, named from its being the nesting place of multitudes 
of the double-crested cormorant, the same species for which lakes and a 
township in Becker county are named, as also a river and a township 
in this county. 

Next to the west, Muskeg bay, mostly adjoining Roseau county, is the 
most southwestern part of the lake, lying between Rocky point on the 
east and Buffalo point, in the edge of Manitoba, on the north. The bay 
received this Ojibway name from tracts of swamp on its shore, and the 
Buffalo point was named for its being on or near the northeastern limit 
of the former geographic range of the buffalo. 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 45 

The site of Fort St. Charles, which was established by Verendrye in 
1752 and named by him in honor of the governor of Canada, Charles de 
Beauharnois, was discovered in 1908, on the Minnesota shore of the 
Northwest Angle inlet, nearly three miles distant from the bend of the 
boundary at American point, the north end of a small island, where it 
turns from its north course to run westv^ard up the inlet From this 
fort the eldest son of Verendrye and a Jesuit missionary named Father 
Aulneau, with nineteen French voyageurs, started in canoes June 5, 1736, 
to go to Mackinac for supplies. Early the next morning, at their first 
camping place, they were surprised and murdered by a war party of the 
Prairie Sioux. This massacre, from which not one of the Frenchmen 
escaped) was on a small island of rock, since called Massacre island, in 
the Canadian part of the Lake of the Woods, about twenty miles distant 
from the fort by the canoe route. (Rev. Francis J. Schaefer, in Acta et 
Dicta, published by the St, Paul Catholic Historical Society, vol. 11, pp. 
114-133, July, 1909, with two maps between pages 240 and 241 in the same 
volume.) 

Tributaries and Points of Red Lake. 

In September, 1885, the present writer made a canoe trip for geologic 
observations along the entire shore line of Red lake, starting east from 
the Agency. The journey, more than a hundred miles in extent and occu- 
pying six days, was wholly within the Red Lake Indian Reservation, which 
has since been greatly reduced in its area. My canoemen were two 
Ojibways, Roderick McKenzie and William Sayers, each of whom had 
received a fair education and could converse well in English. Mr. 
McKenzie, by his acquaintance with the Indians about the lake, was spe- 
cially serviceable in obtaining information of the names applied by them 
to streams and points of land along the shore, and the translations of 
these are given in my report, published by the Geological and Natural 
History Survey of Minnesota (vol. IV, 18^, pp. 155-165). A sketch map 
of Red lake and its vicinity drawn during this travel and published by 
the U. S. Geological Survey, is Plate XII in Monograph XXV, 1896, "The 
Glacial Lake Agassiz." Much abridged from the report cited, the follow- 
ing are my notes of translations of the Ojibway names then in use. 

The stream at the Agency is Pike creek, rendered Gold Fish creek by 
Beltrami ; but by the English residents it is more commonly called Mill 
creek. A saw and grist mill, having ten feet head, is built on this stream 
about a quarter of a mile from its mouth. Its sources, according to 
Rev. F. W. Smith, are a series of three or four lakelets, the lowest of 
which, lying on the southwest side of the road to Cass lake, is called by the 
Indians Little lake, but by the white men Ten Mile lake, being about ten 
miles distant from the Agency. The highest, named Cranberry lake, has 
quite irregular outlines, lying mostly in sections 34 and 35, T. 150, R. 34, 
in the east part of Alaska township. 



46 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Near the chief's village, about five miles east of the Agency, is a 
slightly projecting point, called the Chiefs point It rises steeply 25 to 
30 feet above the lake. Indian cornfields were seen on its top, in small 
clearings of the forest 

Mud river, called the Red Lake river on former maps, and Great 
Portage river by Beltrami, enters the lake about a half mile east of the 
Chief's point. This is larger than Pike creek, but smaller than Sandy 
river and Black Duck river. Its head stream passes through Lake 
Puposky, named on the township plats Mud lake, and through two lower 
small lakes called Wild Rice lakes. 

Big point, a broad swell of the shore, standing out perhaps an eighth 
of a mile beyond the general outline westward, but little from that east- 
ward, is nearly a mile east of Mud river. 

In the distance of six miles from Big point to Black Duck river, four 
small creeks enter the lake, bordered by tracts of marsh grass along the 
k)wer part of their course. On these meadows we saw many stacks of 
hay which had been put up by the Indians, and the name Hay creek is 
applied to one of these streams. Hay is also cut by the Indians on the 
meadows of nearly all the streams about Red lake. 

Black Duck river flows into the most southeast part of the southern 
half of the lake. It is called Cakakisciou river on Beltrami's map, and 
Cormorant river on Nicollet's and later maps; but it is known to the 
English-speaking residents only by the name of Black Duck river. Its 
principal tributary, coming in from the northeast, is now named the 
Cormorant river. 

Battle river, from which a township is named, enters the lake about 
four miles farther north. It is of nearly the same size as Big Rock 
creek and Mud river. 

In canoeing thence to the Narrows, only one small tributary was seen, 
called Sucker creek. About three miles west of this creek is Elm point, 
and nearly two miles beycmd this we passed the more conspicuous Un- 
inhabited point, so named by the Indians because of ancient clearings 
along the shore for a mile to the east, where in some former time, prob- 
ably a century or longer ago, the Ojibway people had a village and cul-i 
tivated fields. Their bark lodges and more permanent log-houses, with 
patches of com and potatoes, were seen here and there all along this 
shore from its most eastern portion to the Narrows. 

Beyond the Uninhabited point the shore trends west-northwest past 
Pelican, Halfway, and Rabbit points, successively about three fourths of 
a mile apart About a mile northwestward from Rabbit point is Sand 
Giff point The base of this is the usual wall of boulders, derived from 
erosion of glacial drift ; but its upper part, rising steeply from near the 
lake level to a height of 75 or 80 feet, is levelly bedded sand and fine 
graveL 



BELTRAMI COUNTY 47 

Next to the northwest a plain of sand and gravel, bearing no forest, 
and perhaps in part natural prairie, about 25 feet above the lake, extends 
two thirds of a mile or more, diminishing from a third to an eighth of 
a mile in width. On this tract, about a mile south of the Narrows, is the 
principal Ojibway village of Red lake, consisting in 1885 of forty or fifty 
lodges. This village was represented on Nicollet's map (1843), which was 
of so early date that it does not show St. Paul, Minneapolis, nor any other 
city or town in Minnesota. 

A later note should be added, that, according to Miss Frances Dens- 
more, of Red Wing, Minn., who has visited these Indians to write of their 
music, this village is called by them "Wabacing (where the wind blows 
from both sides)." The name refers to the exposed situation, between 
the south and north parts of the lake. 

Big Sand Bar creek of 1885 is now named Shotley brook. At its mouth 
it has deposited a delta of sand and fine gravel, which projects fifteen 
rods into the lake. About three miles farther northeast is Little Sand Bar 
creek, in section 31, Washkish. 

Tamarack river, called Sturgeon or Amenikaning river on Beltrami's 
map, comes in at the extreme east end of the lake. It is 50 to 100 feet wide 
near its mouth, and is bordered by shores of alluvial sand only three or 
four feet high. 

Poplar creek, 15 to 20 feet wide and two or three feet deep, comes^ 
in about ten miles from the east end of the lake ; and three miles farther 
west the Two rivers, each 30 feet wide and three or four feet deep, have 
their mouths about a half of a mile apart. 

Some fifty rods west from the west one of the Two i*ivers is the be- 
ginning of the "winter road" to the Lake of the Woods, a trail used, as be- 
fore noted, by the Indians in winter, when^he vast swamps of the inter- 
vening country are frozen. 

Wild Rice river (Manomin creek of the Ojibways) joins the lake at 
the extreme northwestern portion of this nort^ half, where the shore 
turns in a graceful curve to the south. This is a large stream, 40 to 50 
feet wide and five to seven feet deep for a distance of at leas: fifty rods 
from its mouth. Wild rice grows along its banks for a width of six to ten 
feet. About a mile southwest from its mouth this river flows through 
the north end of a shallow lake, called Wild Rice lake from its rank 
growth of this useful grain, which supplies a large part of the winter 
food of the Indians. 

From the West Narrows point the north shore of the south half of 
Red lake trends west and southwest about four miles to Starting point, 
so named by the Indians because they gather there for starting in com- 
pany in canoe trips to the outlet and down the Red Lake river. 

Oak creek, about ten feet wide, comes in some six miles north of the 
outlet, deriving its name from the occurrence of several large oaks on the 
beach near its mouth. A marsh, destitute of trees, but with tamarack and 



48 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

spruce swamp beyond it westward, 1)orders the lak^ thence about two 
miles to Last creek, which is of similar small size, being the last tribu- 
tary passed in approaching the outlet. 

Red Lake river receives no tributary, excepting recent drainage ditches, 
till it reaches the mouth of Thief river, 45 miles distant by a straight line 
from this lake. 

Sandy river, which comes in at the most southwestern portion of the 
lake, is about 35 feet wide and four feet deep. 

Big Rock creek, flowing into Red lake next eastward, is also called 
Shell creek for Shell lake from which it issues, where it is crossed by 
the road» from the Red Lake agency to White Earth. It takes the for- 
mer name from two large boulders, each about eight feet in diame- 
ter, which lie some five rods apart on the lake shore, one on each side of 
the mouth of this stream. 

About four and a half miles farther east we passed Little Rock point 
and creek, a third of a mile apart, so called because of the beach of many 
little boulders, one to two feet in diameter, which extends an eighth of 
a mile each way from the mouth of the creek. It was called Gravel river 
by Beltrami, who visited and named a series of eight small lakes tributary 
to it. These lakes, which cannot now be exactly identified, he named 
for the children of a family endeared to him in friendship, Alexander. 
Lavinius, Everard, Frederica, Adela, Magdalena, Virginia, and Eleonora. 

Red Water creek, very small, probably named thus in allusion to the 
bog iron ore of its springs, enters the lake between the Little Rock 
creek and the Agency. A pretty lake tributary to this creek, beside the 
road to White Earth, is called Green lake, probably from its reflection of 
the foliage of the surrounding woods. 

It has been suggested that •the Ojibway name, translated Red lake may 
have been taken from this Red Water creek, or from other inflowing 
streams and springs whose beds are made reddish and yellow by the rust- 
colored bog ore of iron. Beltrami imaginatively translated it as Bloody 
lake, attributing it to blood shed in Indian wars. More reliably, Rev. 
Joseph A. Gilfillan, -through inquiries among the Indians, as noted for 
Red Lake county, learned that the aboriginal name was from the redness 
of the lake and sky reflected at evening from the bright red, vermilion, 
and golden hues of the sunset. 

Beltrami Island of Lake Agassiz. 

The only large island of the Glacial Lake Agassiz was between Red 
lake and the Lake of the Woods, in Beltrami and Roseau counties. The 
highest parts of that island, which was named in 1893 for Beltrami, are 
about 130 feet above Red lake and 1310 feet above the sea. When the 
glacial lake had fallen to the contour line of 1200 feet, the higher Bel- 
trami island had an area of about 1160 square miles. (Journal of Geology, 
Vol. XXIII, pages 780^, Nov.-Dec., 1915.) 



BENTON COUNTY 

This county, one of the first established in Minnesota Territory, Octo- 
ber 27, 1849, and organized January 7, 1850, was named for Thomas 
Hart Benton, who was United States senator from Missouri during 
thirty years, 1821 to 1851. He was born near Hillsborough, N. C, March 
14, 1782; and died in Washington, April 10, 1858. He studied law, and 
was admitted to the bar in 'Nashville in 1811 ; was an aide-de-camp of 
General Jackson in the War of 1812, and also raised a regiment of vol- 
unteers ; removed to St. Louis in 1815, and established a newspaper which 
vigorously advocated the admission of Missouri to the Union; and in 
1820 he was elected as one of the senators of the new state. In Congress 
his work for the original enactment of homestead land laws, in 1824-28, 
won the gratitude .of pioneer settlers throughout the West He is also 
honored by Benton township in Carver county, and by the name of Lake 
Benton in Lincoln county, applied by Nicollet in his expedition of 1838. 
Seven other states have counties named for him, and twenty states have 
cities, villages, and post offices of this name. In 1899 his statue was 
placed in the National Statuary Hall, at the Capitol, Washington, as one 
of the two representing Missouri. 

Benton was the author of "Thirty Years* View : History of the Ameri- 
can Government, 1820-1850/' published in two volumes, 1854 and 1856. 
During the last two years of his life, with singular literary industry, he 
iirepared the manuscript of his ''Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, 
from 1789 to 1856," which was published in sixteen volumes, 1857 to 
1863. Several biographies of him have been issued, one by Theodore 
Roosevelt in 1887 being in the "American Statesmen" series. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information* for this county was gathered from the "History of 
the Upper Mississippi Valley," 1881, pages 340-369; from records in the 
office of J. E. Kasner, county auditor, at Foley, in a visit there in May, 
1916; from William H. Fletcher, of Sauk Rapids, chairman of the board 
of county commissioners; and from Hon. Charles A. Gilman, of St 
Qoud, who was a prominent pioneer of Benton county. 

Alberta township, organized in 1868, was named for one of its earl> 
settlers, a farmer whose first name was Albert. 

DuELM, a hamlet in section 34, St. George, was named by its German 
settlers. 

East St. Cloud, in this county, is a part of the city of St. Cloud, which 
is mainly in Steams county, west of the Mississippi, but also reaches 
east of the river into Benton and Sherburne counties. 

49 



50 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Foley, a railway village and the county seat, was named for John 
Foley, its founder, one of five brothers who came to this state from Lan- 
ark county, Ontario. When this line of the Great Northern railway was 
built, in 1882-4, John and others of the brothers were contractors, camp- 
ing on the site of this village, and he acquired lands here. Later he 
led in the effort, 1901-02, of transferring the county seat from Sauk 
Rapids to this place. He died in St Paul, August 11, 1908. 

GiLMANToN township, organized in 1866, was named in honor of 
Charles Andrew Gilman, who was born in Gilmanton, N. H., February 
9, 1833; came to Sauk Rapids, Minn., in 1855, and renK>ved to St Qoud 
in 1861. He was receiver, and afterward register, of the U. S. land of- 
fice in St Qoud for several years; was a member of the state senate, 
1868-9,. and of the House, 1875-9, being speaker the last two years, and 
again was a member of the House in 1915 ; was lieutenant governor, 1880- 
7; andi state librarian, 1894-9. During about thirty years he was much 
engaged in lumbering in Benton and Morrison counties, and he located 
many permanent settlers in this township. 

Glendorado township, organized September 20, 1868, received this 
name (partly Spanish, meaning the golden glen) by petition of its settlers. 

Granite Ledge township was named for its granite rock outcrops in 
sections 17, 18, 20, and 24, the last being on the West branch of Rum 
river. 

Gbaham township was named for one of its pioneer farmers. 

Lanoola township, organized July 12, 1858, has a unique name, un- 
known elsewhere, proposed by its petitioners for organization. 

Mayhew Lake township, and also its lake and creek of this name, are 
in honor of George V. Mayhew, who was born in St Lawrence county, N. 
Y., February 18, 1824 ; served in the Mexican War ; came to Minnesota in 
1854, and settled in the present Mindien township of this county, beside the 
creek named for him ; was a representative in the legislature in 1861 ; and 
served in the Seventh Minnesota regiment in the civil war, becoming a 
first lieutenant 

Maywood township, organized in 1867, received this euphonious name 
on the request of its settlers. New Jersey, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, 
Missouri, and Nebraska, also have villages so named. 

MiNDEN township, organized in 1858, received its name from an east- 
ern state, or more probably it was given by immigrants from Germany, for 
the ancient city of Minden in Prussia. 

Oak Park, a railway village in Masnvood, is named for the oak groves 
of its vicinity. 

Parent, a small railway village in St George township, was named for 
Auguste Parent and others of his family there, farmers, of French de- 
scent 

Rice, a railway village in Langola, is in honor of George T. Rice, who 
kept a hotel about three fourths of a mile farther west for the stage travel 



BENTON COUNTY 51 

previous to the building of this railway. His name was also given to an 
extensive prairie that includes the western two thirds of LangoU and the 
]x>rthwest part of Watab. 

RoNNEBY, another railway village, in Maywood, was named from a town 
near Karlskrona in southern Sweden, on the River Ronneby near its mouth 
in the Baltic Sea. 

St. George township, organized September 27, 1858, was named in com- 
pliment to three prominent early settlers of the south part of this county, 
George V. Mayhew, George Mclntyre, and another who had the same first 
name. 

Saktell, a railway village, organized in November, 1907, adjoining the 
Mississippi in Sauk Rapids township, with extension west of the river in 
Le Sauk, Steams county, was named for Joseph B. Sartetl, who was the 
first settler of the west side, coming in 1854 as a farmer. Later he built 
and operated sawmills. He resided there, with seven sons, until his death, 
January 27, 1913, at the age of eighty-six years. 

Sauk Rapids township was organized in 1854, and the village was 
platted in that year but was not separately organized until 1881. This vil- 
lage was the oounty seat from the organization of the county in 1850 until 
1902, when the county offices were removed to Foley, as before noted 
Sauk Rapids derived its name from the adjoining rapids of the Mississippi, 
called Grand Rapids by Pike in 1805 and mapped by him as Big Falls, fall- 
ing about 20 feet in the first mile below the mouth of the Sauk river, 
mapped by Pike as Sack river, which comes in from Stearns county. 

The origin of the names of Sauk river and of Osakis lake and village 
at its source, in Todd and Douglas cotmties, as also of the Sauk lakes and 
Little Sauk township in Todd county, of Sauk Center and Le Sauk 
townships in Steams county, of %2x^i Raptds, and of Osauka, an 
addition recently platted at the northwest edge of this village, was from 
refugee Sauk or Sac Indians, who came to Osakis lake from the home of 
this tribe, allied with the Fox Indians, in Wisconsin. This was told in a 
historical paper by the late Judge Loren W. Collins, as follows. "Five 
Sacs, refugees from their own tribe on account of murder which they had 
committed, made their way up to the lake [Osakis] and settled near the 
outlet .upon the east side. . . On one of the excursions made by some of 
the Pillager bands of Chippewas to the asylum of the 0-zau-kees, it was 
found that all had been killed, supposedly by the Sioux." (History of 
Steams county, 1915, vol. I, page 24.) 

Watab township, organized in 1858, like its Indian trading post, which 
had been established ten years earlier, was named for the Watab river, 
called Little Sack river by Pike, tributary to the Mississippi from the west 
about five miles north of St. Cloud. This is the Ojibway word for the long 
and very slender roots of both the tamarack and jack pine, which were dug 
by the Indians, split and used as threads in sewing their birch bark 
canoes. Both these coniferous trees grow on or near the lower part of 
the Watab river. 



52 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Rev. F. W. Smith, an Ojibway pastor, of Red Lake Agency, informed 
the present writer in 1885, during my visit there, that in northern Minne- 
sota the Ojibways principally use the roots of the jack pine as watab, al- 
though the roots of both tamarack and arbor vitae are also somewhat used 
(Minn. Geol. and Nat. Hist. Survey, Bulletin No. 3, 1887, page 53). The 
name of this river and township doubtless refers to the jack pines there, 
this being at the southwest limit of that species, whereas the geographic 
range of the tamarack extends considerably farther south and west 

The trading post named Watab was about two miles and a half north 
from the mouth of this river and on the opposite or eastern side of the 
Mississippi. During about ten years next following its establishment in 
1848, Watab was the most important commercial place in Minnesota Terri- 
tory northwestward from St. Paul, but later it was superseded by Sauk 
Rapids and St Qoud, and before 1880 the village of Watab entirely dis- 
appeared. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The name of the Mississippi was fully noticed in the first chapter; 
the Elk and St. Francis rivers are considered in the chapter for Sher- 
burne and Anoka counties, which respectively have the village and towa- 
ship of Elk River and St Francis township; and a preceding page gives 
the origin of the name of Mayhew lake and creek. 

Donovan lake, in section 34, Minden, named for John Donovan, a farm- 
er near it, was formerly called Minden lake. 

Halfway brook, tributary to the Mississippi close north of Sartell, re- 
ceived this name for its being nearly midway between Sauk Rapids and 
Watab. 

The southern two thirds of Watab township has many outa'ops of 
granite and syenite, continuing from their much quarried area in Sauk 
Rapids and East St Cloud. At each side of the river road, in the vicinit>' 
of the Watab railway station, small hills and knobs of these rocks rise 
about 40 feet above the road and 75 to 90 feet above the river. One of 
these hills of rough, bald rock, called by Schoolcraft the Peace Rock, rises 
directly from the river's edge about a half mile south from the moulh of 
Little Rock creek, which, with its Little Rock lake, was thence so named. 
It is a translation of the Ojibway name, signifying, as more elaborately 
stated by Gilfiillan, "where the little rocky hills project out every once in 
a while, here and there.'' Pike noted the large prairie here and northward 
as favorite grazing for elk, and he therefore mapped these as Elk lake and 
Lake river. 

Peace Rock was named for its marking, with the Watab river, a part 
of the old line of boundary between the Ojibways and the Sioux, to which 
agreement was made by their chiefs in the Treaty of 1825 at Prairie du 
Chien. 



BIG STONE COUNTY 

This county, established February 20, 1862, and organized April 16, 
1874, derived its name from Big Stone lake, through which the Minnesota 
river flows on the west boundary of the county and state. It is a transla- 
tion of the Dakota or Sioux name, alluding to the conspicuous outcrops of 
granite and gneiss, extensively quarried, which occur in the Minnesota 
valley from a half mile to three miles below the foot of the lake. The city 
and county building in Minneapolis is constructed of the stone from these 
quarries, which also supplied four massive columns of the state capitol 
rotunda, on its north and south sides. The Sioux name, poorly pronounced 
and indistinctly heard, was written Eatakeka by Keating in his Narrative 
of Long's Expedition in 1823 ; but Prof. A. W. Williamson more correctly 
spelled it in two words, Inyan tankinyanyan, the first meaning stone, 
the second very great, as shown by the repetition of the first word and 
duplication of its final syllable. 

Big Stone lake extends in a somewhat crooked course from northwest 
to southeast twenty-six miles; its width is one mile to one and a half 
miles ; and its greatest depth is reported to be from 15 to 30 feet. 

De LTsle's map of Canada or New France in 1703 calls this the Lake 
of the Tintons, that is, the Prairie Sioux. The same name is given by 
the maps of Buache, 1754, and Bellin, 1755. Carver, who was on the 
Minnesota river in 1766-7, mapped this lake but left it unnamed. Long's 
expedition gave its earliest correct delineation, with its present name and 
the older equivalent Sioux and French names. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been gathered from "History of the Minnesota Val- 
ley," 1882, pages 973-986; and from Hayden French, of Ortonville, clerk 
of the court for this county, and Martin Irwin Matthews, who for many 
years was one of the county commissioners and later has been the muni- 
cipal judge in Ortonville, each being interviewed during a visit there in 
September, 1916. 

Akron township, first settled in 1872, and organized July 25, 1881, was 
named for Akron, Ohio, whence some of its pioneers came. 

Almond township, organized March 29, 1880, was named for the town- 
ship and village of this name in Allegany county, New York, or for Al- 
mond township and village in Portage county, Wisconsin. 

Artichoke township, whose first settler came in May, 1869, received its 
name from the former Artichoke lake, now drained, which was five miles 
long, stretching from section 11 south to section 36, This name was prob- 
ably translated from the Sioux name of the lake, referring to the edible 

58 



54 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

tuber roots of a species of sunflower (Helianthus tuberosus), which was 
much used by the Indians as food, called pangi by the Sioux, abundant 
here and common or frequent throughout this state. 

Bassy^ a railway village in Toqua township, was named in honor of 
the Barry brothers, homesteading farmers there, who came from Lowell, 
Mass. 

Beakdsley, the railway village of Brown's Valley township, was named 
for W. W. Beard sley, who platted it in November, 1880. He was bom in 
Schuyler county, New York, in 1852 ; removed to Pennsylvania at the age 
of twenty-one years, and to Wisconsin in 1875; came to Minnesota in 
1878, homesteading the farm which included the site of this village. 

Big Stone township, organized October 4, 1879, received its name, like 
the county, from the adjoining lake. 

Brown's Valley township, first settled in 1875 and organized April 5, 
1880, was named by Thomas Bailey, a homesteader there who came from 
Tennessee. The name was taken from the very remarkable valley be- 
tween lakes Big Stone and Traverse, in which a trading post and the vil- 
lage of this name had been established by Hon. Joseph R. Brown, situat- 
ed in the southwest corner of Traverse county. Brown county was named 
for him, and biographic notes are given in its chapter. 

Clinton, a railway village at the center of Almond township, was 
named probably for one of the many villages, towns, and counties bearing 
this name, which are found in our eastern and southern states. 

Correll, a village on the main line of the Qiicago, Milwaukee and St. 
Paul railway, bears a personal name given by the officers of the railway. 
Its more definite derivation has not been learned. 

Foster, a village of summer residences on the shore of Big Stone lake, 
in Prior township, was platted in 1880 on the pre-emption claim of M. I. 
Matthews, who settled there in 1872. It was named for Foster L. Balch, 
of Minneapolis, president of the Big Stone Lake Navigation and Im- 
provement Company. 

Graceville township and its village, which was founded by Catholic 
colonists in 1877-8, were named in honor of Thomas Langdon Grace, who 
during twenty-five years was the bishop of St. Paul, 1859 to 1884. He was 
bom in Charleston, S. C, Nov. 15, 1814, and died in St Paul, Feb. 22^ 1897. 

Malta township, organized February 14, 1880, was at first named 
Qarksville^ for David K J. Qark, its first settler, who came in June, 1876. 
It was renamed, after a town of New York and villages in Ohio and Illi- 
nois, for the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Moonshine township took its name from its Moonshine lake which was 
named by D. K. J. Qark, mentioned as a settler in Malta. On his first 
coming here in 1876 from Wabasha county, his first camp was beside this 
lake, which he then named, intending to call it Moon lake for the surname 
of his wife, Mrs. Mary A. (Moon) Qark; but in the evening the bright 
moonlight caused the name to be thus changed. 



BIG STONE COUNTY 55 

Odessa township, first settled in June, 1870, was named for the city o£ 
Odessa in southern Russia, whence seed wheat used in this vicinity was 
brought The railway village of Odessa was platted in 1879, when this 
railway was being built 

Ortonville township received its first settlers in 1871, and in Septem- 
ber of the next year its village was platted by Cornelius Knute Orton, for 
whom the village and township were named. He was of Norwegian de- 
scent and was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1846; came to Minne- 
sota in 1857 ; settled on a land claim here in 1871 ; engaged in real estate 
business, and was a banker, merchant, and a member of the board of coun- 
ty commissioners. He died in Ortonville, December 24, 1890. This village 
was organized as a city on January 28, 1881. 

Otrey township, first settled by Thomas and William Otrey from Illi- 
nois in June, 1869, was organized February 14, 1880. It was then named 
Trenton, but later was renamed in honor of these brothers, who had served 
in the civil war. 

Prior township, settled in 1870 and organized in 1879, was named in 
honor of Charles H. Prior, of Minneapolis, superintendent of this Hastings 
and Dakota division of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St Paul railway. 
He had large land interests in this township and in Ortonville. 

ToQUA township (formerly spelled Tokua), first settled in 1877 and or- 
ganized March 16, 1880, received its name from the two Tokua lakes in 
Graceville and the similar pair of lakes in this township, which latter were 
called by the Sioux, as translated, the Tokua Brothers lakes. This aborigi- 
nal name is spelled Ta Kara on Nicollet's map, 1843, Ta being the Sioux 
word for the moose, while Kara doubtless refers to the Kahra band of the 
Dakotas or Sioux. 

Keating, the historian of Long's expedition in 1823, wrote as follows 
(in his Volume I, page 403), describing this band "Kahra (Wild Rice). 
These Indians dwell in very large and fine skin lodges. The skins are well 
prepared and handsomely painted. They have no permanent residence, but 
frequently visit Lake Travers. Their hunting grounds are on Ked river. 
They follow Tatankanaje (the Standing Buffalo), who is a chief by 
hereditary right, and who has acquired distinction as a warrior." 

Nicollet also used the word Kara as the final part of other names, Plan 
Kara and Manstitsa Kara, given on his map to two points or hillocks of 
the valley bluff east of the northern end of Lake Traverse. Riggs, how- 
ever, in his Dakota Dictionary, published in 1852, rejected all use of the 
letter r in that language, so that the name Kahra or Kara may not be 
identifiable in that work. Tokua (or Toqua) was the white men's endeavor 
to spell the Sioux name for these pairs of lakes, which Nicollet spelled as 
TaKara. 

Samuel J. Brown, of the village of Brown's Valley, has stated that this 
namt "was taken from a picture carved on a tree, meaning probably some 
gn}nia) so pictured." This accords well with the meaning of the name given 



56 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

♦ 

by Nicollet, as the moose of the Kara or Kahra band of Sioux, perhaps a 
family totem or their mystic patron of the clan (as we might say, a 
mascot) . 

Lakes and Streams. 

Since the first coming of the homestead farmers, nearly fifty years 
ago, the area of this county has witnessed the drying up of many of its for- 
mer shallow lakes, partly because plowing and cultivation of the soil per- 
mit the rains and the water from the melting of the winter snows to sink 
in larger proportion into the ground, not running oft to the hollows, in 
recent years others of the lakes have been drained by ditches, the lake beds 
being allotted fractionally to the adjoining landowners. The map of Big 
Stone county published by the Minnesota Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, 
Chapter XXI) has more than fifty lakes; but the most recent Minnesota 
atlas, in 191:6, shows only four or five yet remaining, these )>eing unnamed. 

Artichoke and Moonshine lakes, and the Tokua lakes and Tokua Broth- 
ers lakes, noted in the foregoing list of townships, have disappeared by 
drainage. 

Only a few streams of noteworthy size and bearing names flow here in- 
to the Minnesota river and Big Stone lake. These include Five Mile 
creek, so named for its distance west of the Pomme de Terre river and 
the village of Appleton, in the adjoining Swift county; Stony run, in Big 
Stone and Odessa townships, named for the plentiful boulders along parts 
of this stream ; and Fish creek, tributary to Big Stone lake at the north- 
west corner of Prior. 

The Glacial River Warren. 

' Big Stone lake, flowing south in the Minnesota river, and Lake Trav- 
erse, flowing north in the Bois des Sioux and Red rivers, are on the oppo^ 
site sides of a continental water divide, one of these lakes sending its out- 
flow to the Gulf of Mexico, the other to Hudson Bay. But they lie 
in a continuous valley, one to two miles wide, which was evidently chan- 
neled by a great river formerly flowing southward. The part of Uie 
ancient watercourse between these lakes, a distance of nearly five miles, 
is widely known as Brown's Valley. As noticed in the first chapter the 
former river here outflowing from the Glacial Lake Agassiz in the Red 
river basin has been named the River Warren, in honor of General G. K. 
Warren. 

Fifteen miles below Big Stone lake, the Minnesota river flows through 
Marsh lake, on the south side of Akron, now mainly drained, which for- 
merly was four miles long and about a mile wide. It was so named from 
its being shallow and full of reeds and grass. 



BLUE EARTH COUNTY 

This county was established March 5, 1853, and took its name from the 
Blue Earth river, for a bluish green earth that was used by the Sisseton 
Sioux as a pigment, found in a shaly layer of the rock bluff of this stream 
about three miles from its mouth. 

The blue earth was the incentive and cause of a very interesting chap- 
ter of our earliest history. LeSueur, the French explorer, before his first 
return to France in 1695, had discovered the locality whence the savages 
procured this blue and green paint, which he thought to be an ore of cop- 
per, and he then took some of it to Paris, submitted it to L'Huillier, one of 
the king's assayers, and secured the royal commission to work the mines. 
But disasters and obstacles deterred him from this project until four years 
later, when, having come from a third visit in France, with thirty miners, 
to Biloxi, near the mouth of the Mississippi, he ascended this river in the 
year 1700, using a sailing and rowing vessel and two canoes. Coming for- 
ward along the Minnesota river, he reached the mouth of the Blue Earth 
river on the last day in September or the first in October. 

LeSueur spent the ensuing year on this river, having built a camp or 
post named Fort L'Huillier, and in the spring mined a large quantity of the 
supposed copper ore. Taking a selected portion of the ore, amounting to 
two tons, and leaving a garrison at the fort, LeSueur again navigated near- 
ly the whole length of the Mississippi, and arrived at the Gulf of Mexico 
in February, 1702. Thence with Iberville, the founder and first governor of 
Louisiana, who was a cousin of LeSueur's wife, he sailed for France in 
the latter part of April, carrying the ore or blue earth, of which, however, 
nothing more is known. 

Thomas Hughes, of Mankato, historian of the city and county, identi- 
fied in 1904 the sites of Fort L'Huillier and the mine of the blue or green 
earth, which are described in a paper contributed to the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society Collections (^ol. XII, pages 283-5). 

Penicaut's Relation of LeSueur's expedition was translated by Alfred 
J. Hill in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections (vol. HI, 1880, pages 
1-12) ; and a map showing the locations of the fort and mine, ascertained 
by Hughes, was published in 1911 by Winchell, on page 493, "The Abor- 
igines of Minnesota." From that expedition and the mine, we have the 
name of the Blue Earth river and of this county, and also of the town- 
ship and city of Blue Earth in Faribault county. 

This name was probably received by LeSueur and his party from that 
earlier given to the river by the Sioux. The Relation of Penicaut, how- 
ever, might be thought to indicate otherwise, as follows : "W^e called this 
Green river, because it is of that color by reason of a green earth which, 
loosening itself from the copper mines, becomes dissolved in it and makes 

67 



58 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

it green." In the language of the Sioux the same word, to, is used both 
for blue and green, and their name of the Blue Earth river is Makato 
(maka, earth, to, blue, or green). Keating wrote, in the Narrative of 
Long's expedition, 1823 : "By the Dacotas it is called Makato Osa Watapa, 
which signifies *the river where blue earth is gathered.'" 

The Sioux name is retained, with slight change, by the township and 
city of Mankato. On the earliest map of Minnesota Territory, in 1850, it 
appeared as Mahkahta for one of its original nine counties/ reaching from 
the Mississippi above the Crow Wing west to the Missouri. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of the local names has been gathered from 
"History of the Minnesota Valley," 1882, pages 532-637 ; from "The Stand- 
ard Historical and Pictorial Atlas and Gazetteer of Blue Earth County," 
1895, 147 pages; from the "History of Blue Earth County," by Thomas 
Hughes, 1909, 622 pages; and from Evan Hughes, judge of probate, An- 
drew G. Johnson, county treasurer, Thomas Hughes, and Judge Lorin 
Cray, during my visits in Mankato in July and October, 1916. 

Amboy, the railway village of Shelby township, was platted October 31, 
1879, and was named by Robert Richardson, its first postmaster and mer- 
chant, for the town of his former home in Illinois. 

Beauforo township was originally established under the name of Win- 
neshiek (the Winnebago chief for whom a county of Iowa is named), 
April 16, 1858, when it was in the Winnebago Indian Reservation. It was 
organized March 13, 1866, with the present name, suggested by Albert 
Gates, "after a town in the east, from which some of the settlers had 
come." (The U. S. Postal Guide formerly had one post office of this 
name, this being in Floyd county, Virginia ; but it was discontinued several 
years ago. Beaufort, nearly the same, is a frequent geographic name.) 

Braih^y railway station, five miles north of Mankato, was named for 
the Bradley crossing of the Minnesota river, established by the Bradley 
family, on whose farm this station was located. (Stennett, p. 169.) 

Butternut Valley township, established , January 6, 1857, organ- 
ized in May, 1858, was named in accordance with the suggestion of 
Colonel Samuel D. Shaw, who had come from the town of Butternuts, 
in Otsego county. New York. The butternut tree is common or frequent, 
especially in river valleys, through the southeastern part of Minnesota. 

CAMBiaA township, first settled in 1855, organized June 3, 1867, was 
named by Robert H. Hughes, a pioneer homesteader, who had come 
from Cambria, Wisconsin. This was the ancient Latin name of Wales, 
the native land of nearly all the settlers here, or of their parents. 

Ceresco township, established July 8, 1857, organized May 11, 1858, 
was named by Isaac Slocum, for his former home town in Wisconsin. 

Cray, a railway station eight miles west of Mankato, was named for 
Judge Lorin Cray, who during many years was the Mankato attorney of 
this Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha railway company. 



BLUE EARTH COUNTY 59 

DANynxE township, established April 6, 1858, was then named Jack- 
son ; but because an earlier township of Minnesota had that name, it was 
changed October 14, 1858, in compliment to Lucius Dyer, a settler who 
had come from Danville, Vermont. 

Decoria township, named April 6, 1858, was in the Winnebago reser- 
vation, and it remained without organization till October 8, 1867, being 
the latest organized township of this county. The name is in commem- 
oration of a Winnebago chief, called "One-Eyed Dekora," having lost an 
eye. This chief and the tribe aided the whites during the Black Hawk 
war of 1832, in which he displayed great ability and courage. He lived 
through the removals of the Winnebagoes from Wisconsin to northeast- 
ern Iowa in 1837n38, from Iowa to Long Prairie, Minnesota, in 1848, thence 
to Blue Earth county in 1855, next to a reservation in Dakota, 1863, and 
last to Nebraska in 1866. He was a renowned orator, and Irom his 
prowess in war and influence in council was known among his own peo- 
ple as Waukon Decorah, meaning in translation "Wonderful Decorah." 
Two important towns of Iowa, Waukon and Decorah, which are the 
county seats of its most northeast counties on the border of Minnesota, 
were named for him. This name, variously spelled* also as De Kaury, 
Day Kauray, Day Korah, De Corrah, etc., belonged to a Winnebago family 
of hereditary chiefs through four generations or more, who had descend- 
ed from a French army officer, Sabrevoir De Carrie. (Hodge, Hand- 
book of American Indians, vol. I, 1907, page 384; Sparks, History of Win- 
neshiek County, Iowa, 1877; Alexander, History of Winneshiek and Alla- 
makee Counties, Iowa, 1882.) 

Eagle Lake, a railway village in Le Ray township, was platted in 
November, 1872, and received its name from the neighboring lake, which 
had been so named by the United States land surveyors because many 
bald eagles had nests in high trees on the lake shore. 

Garden City township was established April 6, 1858, but was then 
named Watonwan for the river. The village had been platted in June, 
1856, being named Fremont for John C Fremont, the Republican can- 
didate for president in the campaign of that year. In October, 1858, 
it was replatted by Simeon P. Folsom, who renamed it Garden City, hav- 
ing reference to the native floral charms of the place. Steunett wrote of 
it, "Even to this day, in the spring the surrounding country is like a gar- 
den of wild flowers." In February, 1864, the township was changed to 
Garden City by an act of the state legislature. The name here ante- 
dates it on Long Island, N. Y., where the only town so named in the 
eastern states was founded in 1869 by A. T. Stewart, the multimillionaire 
merchant. 

Good Thunder, the railway village of Lyra township, platted in April, 
1871, and incorporated March 2, 1893, was named for a chief of the 
Winnebagoes, whose village was close east of this site. The ford of the 
Maple river here had been previously called Good Thunder's ford. He 



60 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

w^s a friend of the white people, and in 1862 refused the overtures of 
the Sioux for the Winnebagoes to join in their outbreak and massacre 
of the white settlers. He died several years later on the Missouri river, 
after the removal of his tribe to Dakota. 

This was also the name of a Sioux, Wa-kin-yan-was-te, in translation 
Good Thunder, who likewise was friendly to the whites, becoming Gen- 
eral Sibley's chief of scouts during his expeditions against the Sioux 
after the massacre. He was converted to be a Christian in 1861, and 
was the first Sioux baptized by Bishop Whipple, receiving then the name 
Andrew. He lived as a farmer at the mission of Birch Cooley, and during 
many years was the warden of its Sioux church. In 1889 he was a guest 
of the village of Good Thunder at its celebration of the Fourth of July, 
when he and many of its people thought the name of the village to have 
been given in his honor. To make it more sure, by the speeches of that 
day it was so rechristened. (Good Thunder Herald, Feb. 21, 1901.) He 
died at the Sioux Agency near Redwood Falls, February 15, 1901. Por- 
traits of this Good Thunder and his wife are given in "The Aborigines 
of Minnesota" at page 509, but he is there erroneously called a Winne- 
bago; and another portrait of him is in Whipple's "Lights and Shadows 
of a long Episcopate," at page 128. 

It seems most probable that when this name was first chosen for the 
village, although the greater number of those naming it had in mind 
the Winnebago chief, others of them and many in the county supposed 
it to be for the Sioux scout, the exemplary Christian convert. Both 
these Indians certainly were very well known by the people of this town- 
ship and county. 

Jamestown, half of a government township, first settled in 1856, and 
organized May 11, 1858, then including also Le Ray township, was named 
by Enoch G. Barkhurst, "in honor of the first English colony of Vir- 
ginia." The name there was given to honor James I, King of England 
in 1603-25. 

JuDSON township, organized May 11, 1858, was "named by Robert Pat- 
terson, in honor of the great Baptist missionary." Patterson had earlier 
platted and named Judson village, December 10, 1856. Adoniram Jud- 
son was born in Maiden, Mass., August 9, 1788; and died at sea, April 
12, 1850. He went to Burma as a missionary in 1812, completed the trans- 
lation of the Bible into Burmese in 1833, and completed a Burmese-Eng- 
lish dictionary in 1849. 

Lake Crystal, a railway village and junction, platted in May, 1869, 
incorporated by the legislature February 24, 1870, was named by Gen. 
Judson W. Bishop, of St. Paul, engineer of the survey and construction 
of this railway, for the adjoining lake, which, according to Stennett, 
"was named by John C. Fremont and J. N. Nicollet, who explored the 
country around it in 1838, because of the unusual brilliancy and crystal 
purity of its waters." (This lake and the others near are unnamed on 
Nicollet's map, 1843.) 



- BLUE EARTH COUNTY 61 

Lb Ray township, first settled in 1856, organized in 1860, was at first 
named Lake and was renamed Tivoli, but on September 5, 1860, received 
its present name. The only use of this name elsewhere is for a township 
of Jefferson county, N. Y., whence probably some of the settlers here 
had come. 

Lime township, organized May 11, 1858, was named by George Stan- 
nard for its extensive outcrops of limestone, which have since been much 
quarried. 

Lincoln township, settled in 1856, was at first named Richfield, April 
6, 1858; but it remained without separate organization until September 
26, 1865, when it was renamed for the martyred War President. 

Lyra township, at first named Tecumseh, April 16, 1858, was renamed 
Winneshiek in May, 1866; but at the time of its organization, September 
22, 1866, it was finally named Lyra, as proposed by Rev. J. M. Thurston, 
"after a town he had come from in the east." (It appears in our east- 
ern states only as a post office in Scioto cbunty, Ohio.) "It comes to us 
from ancient mythology and was originally used to designate a northern 
constellation, ... as it was supposed to represent the lyre carried by 
ApoUo." 

McPherson was at first named Rice Lake township, August 21, 1855 ; 
was renamed McQellan, for Gen. George B. McQellan, September 2, 
1863; and received its present name by an act of the state legislature in 
February, 1865, in honor of Gen. James B. McPherson. He was bom in 
Sandusky, Ohio, November 14, 1828; was graduated at West Point. 
1853; was appointed a major general in 1862; served with distinction in 
the siege and capture of Vicksburg; became commander of the Arhiy 
of the Tennessee in the spring of 1864; and was killed near Atlanta, Ga., 
July 22, 1864. 

Madison Lake^ a railway village in Jamestown, was named for the 
adjoining lake, which had been so named by the government surveyors 
in honor of James Madison, fourth president of the United States, 1809-17. 

Mankato township was established April 6, 1858, and was organized 
in connection with the present city of Mankato, May 11, 1858. The city 
charter was adopted March 24, 1868 ; and the first election of the township, 
separate from the city, was held April 7, 1868. The first settlement of 
Mankato and of this county was in February, 1852, by Parsons King John- 
son; and on the 14th of that month the Blue Earth Settlement Qaim As- 
sociation was organized in St. Paul by Henry Jackson, P. K. Johnson, 
Col. D. A. Robertson, Justus C. Ramsey, brother of the governor of the 
Territory, and others. Hughes writes of their choice of the name for 
the settlement to be founded, as follows: "The honor of christening 
the new city was accorded to Mrs. P. K. Johnson and Mrs. Henry Jack- 
son, who selected the name 'Mankato,' upon the suggestion of Col. Rob- 
ertson. He had taken the name from Nicollet's book, in which the French 
explorer compared the *Mahkato* or Blue Earth river, with all its tribu- 
taries, to the water nymphs and their uncle in the German legend of 



62 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

'Undine' . . . No more appropriate name could be given the new city, 
than that of the noble river at whose mouth it is located.** 

Mapleton^ first settled in April, 1856, was named Sherman in 1858 for 
Isaac Sherman, an old settler of Danville, or perhaps for Asa P. Sher- 
man of this township. It was organized, with its first town meeting, 
April 2, 1861, taking its present name from the Maple river, which re- 
ceived this name from the government surveyors in 1854, for its plenti- 
ful maple trees. The site of the railway village of Mapleton was platted 
January 21, 1871, and it soon superseded the older village which had 
been platted in June, 1856. 

Meoo, a township of the Winnebago reservation, was named by the 
county commissioners April 16, 1858, but it was not organized until 
September 2, 1863. This is a Sioux word, meaning a species of plant 
(Apios tuberosa), which has roots that bear small tubers much used by 
the Indians as food. It is common or frequent through the south half 
of this state, extending north to the upper Mississippi river. Dr. Parry, 
with Owen's geological survey in 1848, wrote of it as "Pomme de Terre of 
the French voyageurs; Mdo, or wild potato, of the Sioux Indians." It 
is also called ground-nut, and its nutlike tubers grow in a series along the 
root 

Perth, a railway station in Lincoln township, was named in 1905 from 
the city in Scotland. It had formerly been called Iceland, for the native 
island of some of its immigrants. 

Pleasant Mound township was first named Otsego, April 6, 1858; 
but on October 14 of that year it was renamed Willow Creek, "probably 
an eastern name familiar to some old settler." There is a creek of this 
name in the east part of the township, flowing northeast into the Blue 
Earth river. A post ofHce named Pleasant Mound was established in 
1863 at the home of F. O. Marks, near a series of hills of drift gravel, 
called kames, in section 25. The Sioux name of these hills, according to 
Hughes, was Ichokse or Repah Kichakse, meaning "to cut in the middle, 
perhaps from the fact that the ridge is divided into a number of mounds, 
or it may mean 'thrown down or dumped in heaps,' as the spelling is un- 
certain." September 6, 1865, this township was organized and was 
given its present name, on the suggestions of Mr. Marks and John S. 
Parks, taken like that of the post office from the knoUy gravel ridge. 

Rapodan township, which was in the Winnebago reservation, was at 
first named De Soto, April 16, 1858; but at its organization, April 15, 1865, 
it received the present name, suggested by C. P. Cook, from the civil 
war, for the Rapidan river of Virginia. This name is also given to rapids 
and a dam of the Blue Earth river in the northwest part of this town- 
ship, about two miles west of Rapidan village on the railway. 

St. Clasr, a railway terminal village in McPherson township, is on the 
site of the old Winnebago Agency, where after the removal of the In- 
dians a village named Hilton was platted on land of Aaron Hilton in 



BLUE EARTH COUNTY 63 

1865. Its name was changed to St. Qair by officers of the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee and St. Paul railway company. 

Shelby township, established by the county commissioners April 6, 
1858, was then named Liberty, but was renamed as now on October 14, 
of that year. Its village of Shelbyville had been platted in April, 1856, 
which was superseded by the more centrally located railway village of 
Amboy, platted in 1879, so that the Shelbyville post office was discontinued 
in 1881. This village name was given by Rev. John W. Powell, who came 
here in October, 1855, from Shelbyville, Indiana. 

Isaac Shelby, whose name is borne by nine counties in our central 
and southern states and also by numerous towns and villages, with sev- 
eral other cities and villages named Shelbyville, was born in Maryland, 
December 11, 1750; and died near Stanford, Kentucky, July 18, 1826. 
He served very honorably in the Revolutionary War, and again in the 
War of 1812; was the first governor of Kentucky, 1792-96, and also in 
1812-16; returned from each period of his governorship to the cultivation 
of his farm; was six times a presidential elector, but declined other pub- 
lic service. 

South Bend township "derived its name from the fact that the Minne- 
sota river makes its great southern bend on its northern boundary." 
This name was proposed by David C. Evans, by whom, with Captain 
Samuel Humbertson and others, the village of South Bend was founded 
in the summer of 1853, as a rival of Mankato. Its plat was recorded 
September 22, 1854. The township was organized May 11, 1858. 

Sterling township, first settled in 1855, was organized in April and 
May, 1858, then being named Mapleton ; but on January 3, 1860, the county 
commissioners granted the petition of the settlers in this township to re- 
name it Sterling. It was so organized, separate from the present Maple- 
ton, April 3, 1860. Robert Taylor proposed the name for the city and 
county in Scotland, spelled Stirling; but, as Hughes writes, ''William 
Russell contended for the name 'Sterling,' as more appropriate and ex- 
pressive of the quality of the soil and people, and the majority sided with 
him." 

Stone^ a railway station three miles north of Mankato, "was origin- 
ally called Quarry, owing to stone quarries in the vicinity. In 1902 the 
name was changed to Stone, and came from the same 'stone quarries' that 
had given it the earlier name.'' (Stennett, Origin of the Place Names 
of the Chicago and Northwestern Railways.) 

Vernon Center township, settled in 1855, was at first named Monte- 
video by the county commissioners, April 6, 1858 ; but ten days later they 
renamed it Vernon, and on October 14 of the same year they changed 
this to the present name. A village had been platted here in June, 1857, 
by proprietors who came from Mount Vernon, Ohio, two of whom, Col. 
Benjamin F. Smith and Benjamin McCracken, gave to it the name Ver- 
non. The many villages and cities of the United States that bear this 
name, including the home of Washington in Virginia, received it primar- 



64 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ily in honor of the distinguished English admiral, Edward Vernon, (1684- 
1757), the hero of the expeditions capturing Porto Bello in 1739 and at- 
tacking Cartagena in 1741. When the railway was built through this 
township in 1879, the first name given to the station here was Edge wood, 
for -its being at the edge of a grove ; but it was renamed in 1885 for the 
township, although neither the township nor tlie station is quite centrally 
situated. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Minneopa creek, its falls, and the State Park, are noted in a later part 
of the present chapter. 

In the foregoing notes of townships and villages, other streams and 
lakes have been noticed, namely, Maple river, Willow creek in Pleasant 
Mound township, Lake Crystal, and Eagle and Madison lakes. 

The United States surveyors named Washington, Jefferson, and Madi- 
son lakes, in commemoration of the early presidents. These are notably 
large in a group of many lakes, the first and second being in the south edge 
of LeSueur county, adjoining Jamestown, and the third in Jamestown 
and Le Ray. Hughes records the Sioux name of Lake Washington as 
Okapah, meaning the Choke Cherry lake, and of Lake Madison as Wak<Mi- 
seche, that is, the Evil Spirit, or Abundant Mystery, or the Sacred Shade. 

Government surveyors also named the Maple river, which the Sioux 
called the Tewapa-Tankiyan river (meaning Big Water-Lily root), and 
the Big Cobb river, which bore a Sioux name, Tewapadan (Little Lily 
root.) The names used by the Indians, copied thus from Nicollet's map 
(1843), referred to the roots which they dug for food in the shallow 
water of these streams and their tributary lakes. On the township plats 
the Big Cobb and Little Cobb rivers were spelled without their final 
letter, though probably named for some member or acquaintance of the 
surveying party. 

Lake Lura is said to have been so designated by one of the early 
settlers, from the name "Lura" found carved on a tree upon its shore, 
and thence »t was givtn to a neighboring township in Faribault county. 
It had two Sioux names, Tewapa (Water Lily) and Ata'kinyan or Ksan- 
ksan (crooked or irregular). 

Jackson lake, on the east line of Shelby, named for Norman L 
Jackson, the first settler of that township, who located on its shore, had 
the Sioux name Sinkpe (Muskrat). Hughes writes: "The southern half 
of its bed, being shallow, was thickly populated by these animals, whose 
rush-built homes literally covered that portion of the lake. The spot 
was noted among both the Indians and pioneers for trapping these fur- 
bearing rats." 

Wita lake, in Lime township, retains its Sioux name, meaning Island 
lake, for its two islands. 

The aborigines are also commemorated by two Indian lakes, in Le Ray 
and South Bend townships. 



BLUE EARTH COUNTY 65 

Names of pioneer settlers are borne by Ballantyne lake, in Jamestown, 
for James Ballantyne, a school teacher and homesteader; GilfilHn lake, 
in Jamestown and Le Ray, for Joseph Gilfillin, who left his home near 
this lake to join the Ninth Minnesota Regiment, Company £, and was 
killed only two weeks later in service against the Sioux near New Ulm, 
September 3, 1862; Kilby lake, on the line of Judson and Butternut 
Valley, for Benjamin £. Kilby; Armstrong, Dackins, Lieberg, Solberg, 
and Strom lakes, in Butternut Valley, for J(^n Armstrong, Edward 
Dackins, Ole P. Lieberg, Olens Solberg, and Andrew Strom, the largest 
of these, Solberg lake, and also Dackins lake, having been recently drain- 
ed by ditches ; Mills lake, in Garden City township, for Titus Mills, whose 
farm bordered on this lake ; Morgan creek, in Cambria, for Richard Mo^~ 
gan, also sometimes otherwise named for others of the settlers along its 
course; Rogers lake, in sections 7 and 18, Danville, for John £., Robert 
H., and Josiah Rogers, early settlers on its shore; Albert and George 
lakes, in Jamestown ; and Lake Alice, in Le Ray, and Ida lake in Shelby, 
each probably named for the wife or daughter of a pioneer. 

Other names are of obvious significance, as Cottonwood lake, in Medo ; 
Duck lake, and also Long and Mud lakes, in Jamestown; another Mud 
lake, in Le Ray; Fox lake, in South Bend; Perch lake, and Perch creek; 
Lily and Loon lakes, adjoining Lake Crystal, the first very shallow 
and filled with lilies, water grasses, and rushes ; Rice lake in McPherson, 
named for its wild rice, like many other lakes throughout this state; and 
Rush lake, in Judson. 

The Undine Region. 

Nicollet in 1841 gave to the area of Blue Earth county, with parts of 
other counties adjoining it, "the name of Undine Region . . . derived 
from that of an interesting and romantic German tale, the heroine of 
which belonged to the extensive race of water-spirits living in the brooks 
and rivers and lakes, whose father was a mighty prince. She was more- 
over the niece of a great brook (the Mankato) , who lived in the midst of 
forests, and was beloved by all the many great streams of the surround- 
ing country." 

The author of "Undine," entitled for its heroine, published in 1811, was 
Friedrich Fouqu^, who was born at Brandenburg, Prussia, in 1777, and 
died at Berlin in 1843. Her name is from the Latin unda, a wave, whence 
we derive several common words, as undulation and inundate, and speak 
of undulating prairies, where they have a broadly wavy surface. 

On Nicollet's map the Undine Region extends from the Redwood river 
east to the upper part of Cannon river, and from the Minnesota river 
south to the north edge of Iowa. 

MiNNEOPA State Park. 

The state legislature in 1905 provided for the purchase of land con- 
taining the Minneopa Falls on the creek of this name in South Bend 



66 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

township, about four miles west of liankato, for public use as a state 
park. Its area is about sixty acres, comprising the falls, two near to- 
gether, of 60 feet descent, with the gorge below. The railway station, 
and townsite, named Minneopa, close to the falls, had been platted in 
September, 1870. This name is contracted from Sioux words, minne- 
hinhe-nonpa, which mean "water falling twice" or "two waterfalls." An 
early name of this stream was Lyons credc, for a pioneer. It flows from 
Strom, Lily, and Crystal lakes. 

The Winnebago Reservation. 

Green bay, of Lake Michigan, was known to the French in Radisson's 
time as the Bay of the Puants, or Winnebagoes, an outlying tribe of the 
Siouan stock, mainly surrounded by Algonquian tribes. Their name, mean- 
ing the People of the Stinking Water, that is, of the Sea, or of muddy and 
ill-smelling lakes, roiled by winds, was adopted by the French from its 
use among the Algonquins. In 1832 the Winnebagoes ceded their 
country south and east of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers to the United 
States, and afterward many of the tribe were removed to northeastern 
Iowa. Thence, in 1848, they were removed to Long Prairie, in the cen- 
tral part of what is now Minnesota ; and in 1855 they were again removed, 
to a reservation in Blue Earth and Waseca counties of this state. In 1863, 
after the Sioux outbreak, they were removed to a reservation in Dakota ; 
and in 1866 to a more suitable reservation in Nebraska. 

The reservation that was provided here for this tribe by a treaty made 
at Washington, on February 27, 1855, included in Blue Earth county the 
townships of Rapidan, Decoria, McPherson, Lyra, Beauford, and Medo; 
and it continued six miles east in Waseca county, there including Alton 
and Freedom townships. By a later treaty at Washington, April 15, 1859, 
the Winnebagoes relinquished the west half of this Reservation, ''to be 
sold by the United States in trust for their benefit;" and by an act of 
Congress, February 21, 1863, the east half, comprising McPherson, Medo, 
Alton, and Freedom, was directed to be similarly sold, another reserva- 
tion having been provided in Dakota. 

Glacial Lake Minnesota. 

In the basins of the Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers, flowing north- 
ward from the edge of Iowa to the Mississippi at Fort Snelling, a glacial 
lake was held by the barrier of the departing continental glacier during 
its final melting. This temporary lake was mapped and named in my 
work for the United States Geological Survey (Monograph XXV, **The 
Glacial Lake Agassiz," 1896, plates III and XIII; pages 254 and 264). 
To the later and reduced condition of this glacial lake, when it outflowed 
to the Cannon river. Professor N. H. Winchell in 1901 gave the name of 
Lake Undine ("Glacial Lakes of Minnesota," Bulletin of the (^eoL Society 
of America, vol. 12, pages 109-128, with a map). 



BROWN COUNTY 

Established by legislative act February 20, 1855, and organized Febru- 
ary 11, 1856, this county was named in honor of Joseph Renshaw Brown, 
one. of the most prominent pioneers of this state. He was bom in Har- 
ford county, Maryland, January 5, 1805 ; and died in New York City, No- 
vember 9, 1870. 

In his boyhood he ran away from an apprenticeship for tlie printing 
business at Lancaster, Pa.; enlisted in the army as a drummer boy; and at 
the age of fourteen years came to the area of Minnesota, with the troops 
who built Fort St Anthony (in 1825 renamed Fort Snelling). In May, 
1822, with William Joseph Snelling, son of the commandant, he explored 
the creek and lake since named Minnehaha and Minnetonka. 

John Fletcher Williams, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
wrote in 1871, as follows, of Brown's varied life work and of his person- 
al qualities. 

"On leaving the army, somewhere about 1825, he resided at Mendota, 
Saint Croix, and other points in the State, and engaged in Ihe Indian 
trade, lumbering, and other occupations. His energy, industry and ability 
soon made him a prominent character on the frontier, ard no man in the 
Northwest was better known. He acquired a very perfect acquaintance 
with the Dakota tongue, and attained an influence among that nation 
(being allied to them by marriage) , which continued unabated to his death. 
He held, at different times during his life, a number of civil offices, which 
he filled with credit and ability. . . . He was also a leading member of tlie 
famous 'Stillwater Convention' of citixens held in August, 1848, to take 
steps to secure a Territorial organization for what is now Minnesota. 
He was the Secretary of the Territorial Councils of 1849 and 1851, and 
Chief Gerk of the House of Representatives in 1853, a member of the 
Council in 1854 and '55 and House in 1857, and Territorial Printer in 
1853 and '54. He was also a member from Sibley county in the Constitu- 
tional Convention ('Democratic Wing*) of 1857, and took a very promi- 
nent part in the formation of our present State Constitution. ... He 
shaped much of the legislation of our early territorial days, and chiefly 
dictated the policy of his party, of whose conventions he was always a 
prominent member. . . . 

"But it is as a journalist and publisher I desire principally to speak of 
him here. His first regular entrance into the printing business in Minne- 
sota was in the year 1852, though he had before written considerable for 
the press. Shortly after the death of James M. Goodhue, which occurred 
in August of that year, Major Brown purchased the 'Minnesota Pioneer,' 
and edited and published it under his own name for nearly two years. 
In the spring of 1854, he transferred the establishment to Col. £. S. 

07 



68 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Goodrich. During the period of his connection with the paper, he estab- 
lished a reputation as one of the most sagacious, successful and able 
political editors in the Territory, and as a sharp, interesting and sensible 
writer. 

"In 1857 he established at Henderson, which town had been founded 
and laid out by him a short time before, a journal called the ^Henderson 
Democrat,' which soon became a prominent political organ, and was 
continued with much ability and success until 1860 or '61." 

Joseph A. Wheelock wrote in the St Paul Press, November 12. 1870: 
"A drummer boy, soldier, Indian trader, lumberman, pioneer, speculator, 
founder of cities, legislator, politician, editor, inventor, his career — though 
it hardly commenced till half his life had been wasted in the obscure soli- 
tudes of this far Northwestern wilderness — ^has been a very remarkable 
and characteristic one, not so much for what he has achieved, as for the 
extraordinary versatility and capacity which he has displayed in every 
new situation." 

The village of Brown's Valley in Traverse county, founded by Jos- 
eph. R. Brown and others, was the place of his trading post and home 
during his last four years; and an adjoining township of Big Stone coun- 
ty also bears this name. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been, gathered from ''History of the Minnesota Val- 
ley," 1882, pages 698-762, and 'History of Brown County/' L. A. Fritsche, 
M. D., Editor, two volumes, 1916, pages 519, 568; from Benedict Juni, 
Richard Pfefferle, and August Schwerdtfeger, each of New Ulm, and 
from the county ofBces of the register of deeds, judge of probate, and 
clerk of the court, during a visit at New Ulm in July, 1916. 

Albin, settled in 1866, was organized Jtrne 23, 1870. *'The preliminary 
meeting for the organization of the town was held at the house of S. 
Rima; a name for the town could not be agreed upon, and Albin was 
suggested by Mrs. Rima." (History, Minnesota Valley, p. 758.) 

Bashaw township, organized in April, 1874, was named for Joseph 
Baschor (or Pascher), a Bohemian, who was the first settler, coming in 
the spring of 1869. He was yet living in 1916^ in the village of Spring- 
field The name was changed in spelling, to give a more easy English 
pronunciation. 

BuRNSTOWN, first settled in 1857, was named for J. F. Burns, one of the 
early settlers, who came in 1858. This township was organized October 
14, 1871. "In 1877 the village of Bums was surveyed ... on the line of 
the Winona and St Peter railroad. . . February 21, 1881, it was incorporat- 
ed under the name, of Springfield." 

CoBDBN^ a railway village, was originally named North Branch, from 
its location near Sleepy Eye creek, the principal north branch of Cotton- 
wood river ; but in 1886 it was changed to Cobden, for the English states- 



BROWN COUNTY 69 

man. The village was platted February 16, 1901, and was incorporated 
in 1905. Richard Cobden was born in Sussex, England, June 3, 1804; 
died in London, April 2, 1865. He entered Parliament in 1841 ; visited 
the United States in 1854; was especially noted as an advocate of free 
trade and of peace. During our civil war he was a supporter of the 
cause of the North. 

CoMFREY, the railway village on the south line of Bashaw township, 
was platted in 1902, taking its name from a near postoffice, which had 
been established in 1877. That had been so named "by A. W. Pederson, 
the first postmaster, from the plant, comfrey . . . that he had met with in 
his reading." (Stennett, Origin of Place Names of the Chicago apd 
Northwestern Railways.) 

Cottonwood township, first settled in 1855, organized October 24, 1858, 
was named for the Cottonwood river, on its north edge, and the Little 
Cottonwood river, flowing through its center, their names being transla- 
tions from the Sioux, as noted more fully in the chapter for Cottonwood 
couftty. 

DoTSON railway station, in Stately township, established in 1899, was 
named for Enoch Dotson, an early settler of the neighboring village ot 
Sanborn in Redwood county. 

Eden township, which was a part of the Sioux reservation till 18j3, 
was first settled by white immigrants in December, 1864, and was organ- 
ized April 2, 1867. Its name was chosen by the settlers because of the 
beauty of its scenery and fertility of the soil. Lone Tree postoffice was 
established in Eden township in 1869, being named for the neighboring 
lake, which had received this name from a large lone cottonwood tree, 
once a famous landmark. 

EssiG^ the railway village in Mil ford, "was named by C. C. Wheeler, 
then an officer of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, to honor one 
of the Brothers Essig, who erected the first business building in the 
place." (Stennett.) The name is for John Essig, a farmer here since 
1882, who was bom in Will county, Illinois, May 29, 1851. He came to 
Minnesota in 1866, with his parents, who settled on a farm in Milford. 
His father, John F. Essig, who was born in Germany, lived in Milford 
till 1886, and later in Springfield, where he died in 1896. 

EvAN^ a railway village in section 8, Prairieville, was first platted as 
Hanson station in May, 1887, by Nels Hanson, and became an incorporat- 
ed village March 22, 1904. A postoffice had been established in 1886. 
named Evan by the first postmaster, Martin Norseth, for his wife, Eva, 
and its name was transferred to this village 

Hanska^ the railway village in the east edge of Lake Hanska town- 
ship, bears as its name, like the township, the common Sioux word mean- 
ing long or tall, which these Indians gave to the remarkably long and 
narrow lake in this township and Albin. The village was platted October 
9, 1899, and was incorporated in May, 1901. 



70 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Home, the largest township of this county, settled in 1857, organized 
June 30, 1866, was so named in accordance with the petition of its set- 
tlers. 

Iberia, a small hamlet near the center of Stark township, bears the 
ancient name of the Spanish and Portugese peninsula. The postoffice of 
this name was established February 1, 1870, and was finally discontinued 
February 24, 1893. 

Lake Hanska township, first settled in 1857, organized June 21, 1870, 
was named for its long lake, as before noted for its village of Hanska. 

Leavenworth township, in which a village of this name was platted in 
October, 1857, was organized April 16, 1859. It was probably named in 
honor of Henry Leavenworth, commander of the troops who came in 
1819 to found the fort at first called Fort St. Anthony, renamed as Fort 
Snelling in 1825. 

Linden township, settled in 1856, organized in 1859, was named for its 
groves of the American linden, usually called basswood. The largest 
groves here bordered Lake Linden, which had been earlier so nam^. 

MiLFORD township, first settled in 1853, set apart by the county board 
for organization on June 28, 1858, was named from a sawmill built in 
1854-55 on a small creek, tributary to the Minnesota river, where it was 
crossed by a ford. This was the first sawmill in the upper Minnesota 
valley. 

Mulligan township, settled in 1865, organized April 26, 1871, was 
named for an early pioneer, probably from Ireland. 

New Ulm, the county seat, founded in 1854-55 by German colonists, 
coming from Chicago and Cincinnati, was named for Ulm in Gennany, 
near the village of Erbach, which was, according to the late Hon. William 
Pfaender, the place of emigration of twenty in thirty-two of the first 
company of pioneer settlers, who came in the autumn of 1854. It was 
incorporated as a town by an act of the legislature, March 6, 1857; as a 
borough, February 19, 1870 ; and as a city, February 24, 1876. It received 
its present charter on March 1, 1887. Ulm is an important city of Wur- 
temberg, in southwestern Germany, sitilated on the northwest side of the 
Danube at the head of navigation. Its population in 1,900 was nearly 
43,000. On the opposite Bavarian side of the Danube is Neu Ulm, which 
in 1900 had a population of 9,215. 

North Star township, first settled in ljB58, set apart for organization 
on January 9, 1873, received its name in allusion to the French motto, 
**L'Etoile du Nord," on our state seal, whence Minnesota is often called 
the North Star State. 

pRATRiEViLLE towuship, whosc first settlers came in 1866, was organ- 
ized in March, 1870, taking this name because it consists almost wholly 
of prairie land. 

Searles, a railway village in Cottonwood township, was platted Octo- 
ber 10, 1899, being named by officials of the Minneapolis and St. Louis 
Railway Company. 



BROWN COUNTY 71 

SiGEL township, settled in 1856, organized April 28, 1862, was named in 
honor of Franz Sigel, a general in the Civil War. He was born at Sins- 
heim, Baden, Germany, November 18, 1824; died in New York City, Aug- 
ust 21, 1902. He came to the United States in 1852 ; settled in St Louis, 
1858, as a teacher in a German institute; organized a regiment of U. S. 
volunteers, 1861, of which he became colonel ; won the battle of Carthage, 
Mo., July 5, 1861; was promoted to the rank of major general, March, 
1862, and took command of a wing of the army of Virginia ; was appoint- 
ed to the command of the army of West Virginia in February, 1864 ; was 
U. S. pension agent in New York City, 1885-89. About the year 1873 Gen- 
eral Sigel visited New Ulm and this township. 

Sleepy Eye, the city and railway junction in Home township, platted 
September 18, 1872, incorporated as a village February 14, 1878, and as a 
city in 1903, was named, like the adjoining lake, for a chief of the Lower 
Sisseton Sioux. His favorite home and village during some parts of many 
years were beside this lake. He was born near the site of Mankato ; be- 
came a chief between 1822 and 1825; signed the treaties of Prairie du 
Chien, 1825 and 1830, of St. Peter's in 1836, and Traverse des Sioux, 1851. 
Doane Robinson wrote : ''Sleepy Eyes died in Roberts county. South Da- 
kota, but many years after his death his remains were disinterred and re- 
moved to Sleepy Eye, Minn., where they were buried under a monument 
erected by the citizens." (Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, Part 
U, 1910.) The monument, close to the railway station, bears this in- 
scription, beneath the portrait of the chief in has relief sculpture: "Ish- 
tak-ha-ba. Sleepy Eye, Always a Friend of the Whites. Died I860." 

An interesting biographic sketch of "Sleepy Eyes, or Ish-ta-hba, which 
is very literally translated," by Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, in the Minnesota 
Free Press, St Peter, Jan. 27, 1858, is reprinted in the Minnesota History 
Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 8, pp. 484-495, Nov., 19ia 

Springfield, the railway village in Bumstown, platted in 1877, was 
then named Bums, but at its incorporation, February 21, 1881, received 
its present name. This is said by Stennett to be derived from the city of 
Springfield, Mass. ; but Juni refers its origin to a very large spring there, 
CO the north side of the Cottonwood river and high above it 

Stark township, settled in 1858, organized April 7, 1868, was named 
for August Starck, a German pioneer farmer there. 

Stately, settled in 1873, was the last township organized in this cotmty, 
April 7, 1879. The origin of its name has not been ascertained, but as an 
English word, of frequent use, it means "having a grand and impressive 
appearance, lofty, dignified." The west part of the south line of Stately 
crosses the highest land of this county, commanding a far prospect north- 
ward and eastward. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood rivers are noticed in connection with 
Cottonwood township, and most fully in the chapter on the county of 



72 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

that name. Lone Tree lake is mentioned under Eden township, and Lakes 
Hanska and Linden with the townships so named. Sleepy Eye lake and 
creek received their names, like the city, from the Sioux chief. 

Only a few other names of streams remain to be noticed. Big Spring 
creek, also called Spring Branch creek, in Eden and Home townships, 
takes its name from its large springs; Mine creek, in North Star town- 
ship, refers doubtless to prospecting or mining there; and Mound creek 
in Stately may have been named, as also this township, in allusion to the 
highland on its upper course. 

The following lakes bear names of early pioneers, whose homes were 
usually beside them or in their vicinity : George lake, named for Captain 
Sylvester A. George, and Rose lake, for Fred Rose, in Home township, 
the former having been earlier called Cross lake in allusion to its four 
bays having somewhat the outline of a cross ; Kruger lake, in Prairieville, 
for Louis Kruger, a German farmer; Lake Hummel, also named Gear 
lake, in Sigel; Lake Emerson, now drained, on the south line of Linden; 
Broome and Omsrud lakes, in Lake Hanska township; and Lake Alter- 
matt, in Leavenworth, for John B. Altermatt, a Swiss farmer. 

Lake Juni, in section 26, Sigel, is named in honor of Benedict Juni, 
of New Ulm. He was born in Switzerland, January 12, 1852; and came 
to the United States when five years old with his parents, who settled on 
a farm in Milford. In 1862 he was a captive of the Sioux, from August 
18 to the surrender of the prisoners at Camp Release, as narrated by him 
in the "History of Brown County" (vol. I, pages 111-122). During more 
than thirty years he was a teacher in the public schools of this county. 

School lake, also in Sigel, received this name from its lying mainly in 
the school section 16. 

Dane lake, in Linden, was named for its several Dane settlers in a 
a mainly Norwegian township. 

Bachelor lake, in Stark, was named for a lone homesteader there, un- 
married ; and Rice lake, mostly in section 29 of the same township, for its 
wild rice, a name that formerly was also applied to the present Lake Al- 
termatt 

The origin of the name of Boy's lake, in Leavenworth, was not learned. 

Reed lake, in section 6, Bashaw, was named for its abundant growth 
of reeds ; and Wood lake, crossed by the south line of Mulligan and lying 
mainly in Watonwan county, for its adjoining groves, the source of fire- 
wood used by the early settlers. 



CARLTON COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, with a further legislative act 
of February 18, 1870, and organized September 26, 1870, was named 
in honor of Reuben B. Carlton, one of the first settlers of Fond du Lac, 
at the head of lake navigation on the St. Louis river, near the line be- 
tween St Louis and Carlton counties. He was bom in Onondaga county, 
New York, March 4, 1812; came to Fond du Lac in 1847, as a farmer and 
blacksmith for the Ojibway Indians; was one of the proprietors of the 
townsite of Fond du Lac, being a trustee under the act of its incorpor- 
ation in 1857; and was a member of the first state senate, 1858. He owned 
about eighty acres adjoining that village and the river, on which he re- 
sided until his death, December 6, 1863. 

The village of Carlton, the county seat of this county since 1886, was 
also named for him ; and he is further commemorated by Carlton's Peak, 
near Tofte in Cook county, the most prominent point on the north shore 
of Lake Superior in Minnesota, forming the western end of the Saw- 
teeth Range. 

Fifty years after Carlton's death, James Bardon of Superior, Wis., 
wrote the following personal remembrance and estimate of him to Henry 
Oldenburg of Carlton, dated September 10, 1913. 

"'Colonel' Carlton, as he was called, was a man of large frame, fully 
six feet in height, a strong personality, of good looks and pleasing man- 
ners, a man of much intelligence. He became associated with the bright 
and enterprising men who laid out and established Superior, Duluth, and 
other places about the head of Lake Superior. An avenue here in Supe- 
rior was named after him. . . . Colonel Carlton was more prominently 
identified with the westerly part of St. Louis county, now Carlton county, 
in the early days, than any other man; and when the new county was 
projected it is likely that all men agreed that Carlton was the appropriate 
name for it, ... a really noble character." 

Townships and Villages. 

For the origins and significance of local names in this county, infor- 
mation was gathered from F. A. Watkins, judge of probate, visited at 
Carhon in September, 1909, and again in August, 1916; and also from 
Hon. Spencer J. Searls, in the second of these visits. 

Atkinson township was named for John Atkinson, an early settler 
there, who during many years was employed as a land examiner for the 
St. Paul and Duluth railroad company. 

AuTOMBA was named after the railway station of the Soo line in 
this township, but the origin of this name remains to be ascertained. 

78 



74 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Barnum township received its name in honor of George G. Barnum, 
now a resident of Duluth, who was paymaster of the Lake Superior and 
Mississippi railroad (later named the St Paul and Duluth), when it was 
being built 

Besemann township was named for a former German landowner there, 
Ernst Besemann, who removed to Chaska. 

Black Hoof was named for the creek which flows circuitously through 
this township to the Nemadji river. It is translated from the Ojibway 
name of the creek. 

Casltovi village, the county seat, took its name, like the county, in 
honor of Reuben B. Carlton. During about fifteen years from the build- 
ing of the Northern Pacific railway, in 1870, this place was called Northern 
Pacific Junction, being at the jtmction of that transcontinental line with 
the older Lake Superior and Mississippi line. 

Cloquet (retaining the French pronunciation of its last syllable, as 
in bouquet and sobriquet), incorporated as a city, was named for the 
Qoquet river, from which, and from other tributaries of the St. Louis 
river, came the logs of its lumber manufacturing. The map of Long's 
expedition, in 1823, shows that stream as Rapid river, and it is unnamed 
on the map by Thompson in 1826 for the proposed routes of the interna- 
tional boundary ; but on Nicollet's map, published in 1843, it has the present 
title, Qoquet river. It is not used outside of Minnesota as a geographic 
name, and here was probably derived from some fur trader. It is ap- 
plied also to an island of the Mississippi in section 10, Dayton township, 
Hennepin county. 

Corona, the Latin word meaning a crown, was first given to a station 
of the Northern Pacific railway, perhaps because it is near the highest 
land crossed between Lake Superior and the Mississippi; and thence it 
was given to the township, in accordance with tlie petition of the settlers. 

Cromwell, a railway village in the south edge of Red Dover township, 
was organized January 17, 1891, receiving its name from the Northern 
Pacific railway company. 

Eagle township was named for its Eagle lake. Our common species 
is the bald eagle, so called for his white head, found throughout Minne- 
sota, nesting in large trees, preferably on lake shores or islands. 

HoLYOKB township, organized in 1903, received its name from the 
earlier railway station, where it was given by the Great Northern rail- 
way company. 

IvERSON station was named by the Northern Pacific railway company 
for Ole Iverson, a pioneer settler there. 

Kalevala township has many Finnish settlers, by whom it was given 
this name of the national epic poem of Finland, meaning "the abode or 
land of heroes." English translations of it have been published in 1888 
and in 1907. "The elements of the poem are ancient popular sdngs. . . . 
The poem owes its present coherent form to Elias Lonnrot (1802-1884), 



CARLTON CO UNTY 75 

who during years of assiduous labor collected the material in Finland prop- 
er, but principally in Russian Karelia eastward to the White Sea. . . . The 
Kalevala is written in eight-syllabled trochaic verse, with alliteration, but 
without rime. The whole is divided into fifty cantos or runes. Its sub- 
ject matter is mythical, with a few Christian elements. Its central hero 
is Wainamoinen, the god of poetry and music. It is the prototype, 
in form and contents, of Longfellow's ^Hiawatha.' " (Century Cyclopedia 
of Names.) 

Kettle River, the railway village of Silver township, is named for the 
river, a translation of its Ojibway name, Akiko sibi. 

Knife Falls township is named for the falls of the St. Louis river, 
falling 16 feet, in the west part of section 13, close east of Cloquet On 
the canoe route used by fur traders during a hundred years, these falls 
were passed by a portage about a mile long on the south side of the riv- 
er, of which Prof. N. H. Winchell wrote: "It is well named Knife 
portage, because where it starts, and for some distance, the slates are 
thin, perpendicular, and sharp like knives." 

Lake View township, having Tamarack lake, nearly two miles long, 
adjoining tamarack woods, and several other lakes of small size, received 
this name by vote of the settlers. 

Mahtowa township has a name formed from the Sioux mahto and 
the last syllable of the Ojibway makwa, each meaning a bear. 

Moose Lake itownship has reference to its Moose lake and Moose 
Head lake, each probably translated from their original Ojibway names. 

Nemadji, the Soo railway station in Barnum township, received this 
Ojibway name from the Nemadji river, meaning Left Hand river. The 
name refers to its being next on the left hand when one passes from 
Lake Superior into the St. Louis river. 

Perch Lake township is named for its Perch lake, which is somewhat 
larger than its adjacent Big lake, each being very probably translations of 
the aboriginal names. 

Progress has a euphonious and auspicious name, selected by the peti- 
tioners for the township organization. 

Red Clover township was named similarly with the last noted. This 
beautiful and highly valued species of clover is of Old World origin, but 
it is nearly everywhere cultivated with grasses in the sowing of lands for 
hay. 

Sawyer, a railway station in Atkinson township, was named by the 
officers of the Northern Pacific railroad company. 

ScANLON, the lumber manufacturing village between Qoquet and Carl- 
ton, was named for M. Joseph Scanlon, president of the Brooks-Scanlon 
Company, Minneapolis. He was born in Lyndon, Wis., August 24, 1861 ; 
settled in Minneapolis in 1889, and has engaged in many large enterprises 
of logging, the manufacture of lumber, and building and operating rail- 
roads to supply logs. In addition to his company's very large lumber in- 



76 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

terests at this village, he has conducted similar lumbering and sawmills 
at Cass Lake, and also in Oregon and in Louisiana and Florida. 

Silver township has a euphonious name chosen by its settlers, for the 
Silver creek there tributary to Kettle river. 

Skelton township was named for two brothers, John and Harry E. 
Skelton, who lived in the village of Barnum. The former was the county 
surveyor in 1897-1901, and the latter was judge of probate for the county, 
1901-04, dying in office. 

Split Rock township was named for the small river flowing through 
it, on which ledges of slates and schists have been deeply channeled near 
its mouth, the rocks of the opposite banks appearing therefore as if split 
apart. 

Thomson township received its name from the station and village 
of the St Paul and Duluth and Northern Pacific railroads, built in 
1870.. This village was the county seat from that date until 1886. The 
name was given by officers of the former line, in honor of David Thomp- 
son, the Canadian explorer and geographer; but it has been generally 
spelled as if for James Thomson (1700-1748), the Scottish poet, author 
of 'The Seasons." 

David Thompson was born in Westminster (now a part of London), 
England, April 30, 1770; and died in Longueuil, near Montreal, February 
10, 1857. He was in the service of the Hudson Bay Company, 1784-97, 
and of the Northwest Fur Company the next eighteen years. In the 
spring of 1798 he traveled from the mouth of the Assiniboine river, the 
site of the city of Winnipeg, to Pembina; thence to the trading house 
of the Northwest Company on the site of Red Lake Falls ; thence by the 
Clearwater and Red Lake rivers to Red lake; thence by Turtle lake and 
river to Red Cedar lake (now Cass lake) ; thence down the Mississippi 
to the Northwest trading post on Sandy lake; thence by the Savanna 
rivers and portage to the St. Louis river, and down this river, past the 
ske of Thomson, to the trading post at Fond du Lac; and theqce along 
the south shore of Lake Superior to the Sault Ste. Marie. Thompson's 
account of this journey through northern Minnesota, with descriptions 
of the rivers and lakes and the country traversed, forms Chapters XVI to 
XIX in his "Narrative of Explorations in Western America, 1784-1812," 
edited by J. B. Tyrrell, published in 1916 as Volume XII (pages xcviii, 
582, with maps and sketches), Publications of the Champlain Society. 
This work is reviewed, with a biographic sketch of Thompson, in the 
"Minnesota History Bulletin" (vol. I, pages 522-7, November, 1916). 

Twin Lakes township was named for its two small lakes in section 
36, on the first road laid out from St. Paul, through Chisago and Pine 
counties, to the head of Lake Superior. A map of Minnesota in 1856, 
by Silas Chapman, shows this road with a small settlement named Twin 
Lakes, which was the only locality indicated as having inhabitants in (Carl- 
ton county. It was nominally the county seat until Thomson was so 
designated by the legislative act of February 18, 1870. 



CARLTON COUNTY 77 

Wrbnshall township was named from the railway station and village, 
which received this name from the Northern Pacific company. It is for C 
C Wrenshall, who during several years was in charge of maintenance and 
repairs of bridges for this railway. 

Wright^ a railway village in Lake View township, recalls the work 
of George Burdick Wright, who during many years was engaged in 
land examinations and locating new settlers in northern and western 
Minnesota. He was born in Williston, Vt., June 21, 1835; and died at 
Fergus Falls, Minn., April 29, 1882. He came to Minnesota in 1856 ; and 
first settled in Minneapolis; was the principal founder of Fergus Falls, 
in 1871; and secured the building of a branch of the Northern Pacific 
railroad in 1881-2 from Wadena to Fergus Falls and Breckenridge. 

The name also had a second and equal reason for being chosen, to 
commemorate Charles Barstow Wright of Philadelphia, Pa., who was a 
director of the Northern Pacific railroad company in 1870-74, and was its 
president from 1875 for four years, during a period of restoration of 
business credit and prosperity after the great financial panic and de- 
pression of 1873. For Minnesota, in 1877-78 he directed the construction 
of the Western railroad, a line between St Paul and Brainerd, which 
became a part of the Northern Pacific system. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding list has sufficiently referred to Black Hoof creek, Qo- 
quet river (north of Carlton county), Eagle lake. Knife falls and port- 
age of the St Louis river. Tamarack lake, Moose and Moose Head lakes, 
Nemadji river. Perch lake and Big lake, Split Rock river, and the Twin 
lakes. 

West and East Net rivers (or creeks) in Holyoke are probably trans- 
lated from their O jib way names, referring to nets for catching fish. 

Skunk, Deer, Mud, and Clear creeks, flowing into Nemadji river, need 
no explanations; and the same may be said of Otter creek, at Carlton, 
probably an O jib way name translaited, and of Midway and Hay creeks 
in Thomson, the former being midway between Thomson and Fond du 
Lac. 

Stony brook, the outlet of Perch lake. Tamarack river, flowing west 
from Tamarack lake. Moose Horn and Dead Moose rivers and Otter 
brook (now called Silver creek), each flowing from the west into the 
Ketde river, and Moose river, its tributary from the east, are likewise 
of obvious or simple derivations, some or all of them being translations of 
the Ojibway names. 

Portage river, an eastern branch of Moose river, refers to the portage 
from it to the head stream of Nemadji river, being an ancient aboriginal 
and French name. 

(jiUespie brook, in Silver township, bears probably the name of an 
early lumberman or trailer. 



78 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

This coun/ty has two Silver creeks, one flowing to Kettle river in Sil- 
ver township, the other a smaller stream heading about a mile south of 
Carlton and flowing three miles east to the St Louis river. 

In Ahkeek lake, Corona, lately called Kettle lake, we have the O jib- 
way name and its English translation, this lake being near the most north- 
ern sources of Kettle river. 

Other names of lakes in this county, some being translations, and near- 
ly all being of evident origin or meaning, include Dead Fish lake, in sec- 
tion 12, Progress; White Fish lake (lately called Big lake), one to two 
miles south of Barnum village; Bear lake, close east of Bamum, and an- 
other Bear lake in section 4, Black Hoof ; Coffee, Echo, and Sand lakes, 
in the south part of Moose Lake township ; Chub and Hay lakes, in Twin 
Lakes township; Rocky lake (now called Park lake), in Atkinson; and 
Island lake, on the Northern Pacific railway, whence the early name of 
its station there was Island Lake, later changed to Cromwell. 

Cole lake, in sections 7 and 8, Lake View, was named for James Cole, 
a civil war veteran, who was a homesteader there; and Woodbury lake, 
section 31, Red Qover, similarly commemorates an early settler. 

Hanging Horn lake, crossed by the west line of section 7, Barnum, 
translates its Ojibway name, as also probably Horn lake in section 3, 
Atkinson. 

Moran lake, in section 8, Atkinson, was named for Henry P. Moran, 
an early Irish homesteader and trapper. 

Venoah lake (formerly called Mink lake), three miles south of Carl- 
ton, received its present name in compliment to the daughters, Winona 
and Marie, of Judge F. A. Watkins, who kindly supplied much informa- 
tion for this chapter. The lake name was coined from their pet names 
as children about twenty years ago. 

Jay Cooke State Park. 

In the years 1915 and 1916, Minnesota received by donation from the 
estate of Jay Cooke more than* 2,000 acres of land, bordering each side of 
the St Louis river through its winding course of about ten miles, from the 
Northern Pacific railway at Carlton and Thomson, along it rapids and 
falls descending 395 feet in crossing Range 16, to the east line of the 
county and state. With additional adjoining lands of equal or greater 
area, expected to be obtained by further donations and by purchases, a 
large state park is planned, to preserve these Dalles of the St. Louis for 
the enjoyment and recreation of the people. 

Jay Cooke was born in Sandusky, Ohio, August 10, 1821 ; and died at 
Ogontz, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 16, 1905. In 1861 he 
founded in Philadelphia the banking house of Jay Cooke and Company, 
and during the next four years of the civil war he was the principal finan- 
cial agent of the Federal government, negotiating loans for the war ex- 
penses to a value of about $2,000,000,000. In 1873 his house failed, on 
account of too heavy investments in the Northern Pacific railroad bonds. 



CARLTON COUNTY 79 

"Before the financial crash of 1873, Mr. Cooke regarded himself as one 
of the richest men of the country. He built in the beautiful suburbs of 
Philadelphia a palace which, for size and costliness, had scarcely an equal 
on this side of the Atlantic In this palace, called 'Ogontz,' he dispensed 
a lavish 4iospitality. He had also a summer residence named 'Gibraltar,' 
on a rocky cape at the entrance of Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie. . . . After 
the crash came he lived for a long time in retirement in a little cottage, in 
the country, near Philadelphia, — ^to all appearances a broken man. But 
after getting through the bankruptcy courts, he reappeared in business 
circles in Philadelphia, occupied his old office on South Third street, and 
began to build up a second fortune. . . . His career offers the rare instance 
of a man losing one fortune and making another when past the meridian 
of life." (Smalley, "History of the Northern Pacific Railroad," 1883.) 

Sixteen years later than the writing here cited, his wealth "was esti- 
mated to be as large as at any period of his life." He was a generous 
patron of education, of churches, and of charities; and in his later years 
spent much of his time in the recreations of hunting and fishing. An ex- 
cellent biography, "Jay Cooke, Financier of the Civil War," by Ellis Pax- 
son Oberholtzer, was published in 1907 (two vols., pages 658, 590, with 
portraits and many other illustrations). 

Fond du Lac Reservation. 

The reservation for the Fond du Lac bands of the Ojibway people, 
established by a treaty at La Pointe, Wisconsin, September 30, 1854, com- 
prises the present Knife Falls and Perch Lake townships, with the edges 
of the adjoining townships in this county, and- thence reaches north to 
the St Louis river, thus including a tract in St. Louis county equivalent 
to about two townships. The name Fond du Lac, meaning the farther end 
or head of the lake, was applied by the early French traders and voyageurs 
to their trading post on the north side of the St Louis river, where its 
strong current is slackened by coming nearly to the level of Lake Supe- 
rior, which, in its extension of St. Louis bay, is about two miles away. The 
same name was given also to this river, called "R. du Fond du Lac" on 
Franquelin's map, 1688, renamed St. Louis by Vaugondy's map in 1755. 

Glacial Lakes St. Louis, Nemadji, and Duluth. 

Prof. N. H. Winchell, in the fourth volume (published in 1899) of the 
Final Report of the Geological Survey of Minnesota, gave the names 
St Louis and Nemadji to two early and relatively small glacial lakes in 
Carlton county, which successively outflowed to the Moose and Kettle 
rivers by channels in Mahtowa and Barnum townships, respectively about 
1125 and 1070 feet above the sea. They were followed by the slightly 
lower Glacial Lake Duluth, named by Frank B. Taylor of the United 
States Geological Survey, which in its maximum stage occupied a large 
area of the Lake Superior basin, with outlet at the head of the Brul6 
river in Douglas county, Wisconsin, to the Upper St. Croix lake and river. 



CARVER COUNTY 

This county, established February 20, 1855, was named for Captain 
Jonathan Carver, explorer and author, who was bom in Stillwater, now 
Canterbury, Conn., in 1732, and died in London, England, January 31, 
1780. He commanded a company in the French war, and in 1763, when 
the treaty of peace was declared, he resolved to explore the newly ac- 
quired possessions of Great Britain in the Northwest. In 1766 he trav- 
eled from Boston to the upper Mississippi river, and spent the ensuing 
winter with the Sioux on the Minnesota river in the vicinity of the site 
of New Ulm. On his return, according to statements published after his 
death, he negotiated a treaty. May 1, 1767, at Carver's cave, in the east 
edge of the present city of St Paul, by which the Sioux granted to him 
a large tract of land on the east side of the Mississippi. Carver continued 
his explorations by a canoe journey along the north and east coast of 
Lake Superior. He returned to Boston in October, 1768, soon sailed to 
England, and spent tiie remainder of his life in London. 

Carver's 'Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America," a 
volume of 543 pages, with two maps, was published in London in 1778, 
and new editions were issued the next year in London and in Dublin. 
After the author's death, his friend. Dr. John C. Lettsom, contributed 
to the third London edition, in 1781, a biographic account of Cap- 
tain Carver, in 22 pages, including the first publication of the deed or 
grant of land obtained by Carver from the Sioux chiefs. 

Several American editions of this work, with abridgment and changes, 
were published during the years 1784 to 1838 ; and translations of it into 
German, French, and Dutch, were published respectively in 1780, 1784, 
and 1795. 

The Minnesota river is noted on Carver's map of his Travels as "River 
St Pierre, call'd by die Natives Wadapawmenesoter," this being one of 
the earliest records of the Sioux name of this river and state. At its north 
side, nearly opposite to the site of New Ulm, three Sioux teepees are 
pictured, with the statement that "About here the Author Winter'd in 
1766.- 

Numerous endeavors made by heirs of Captain Carver and by others 
to whom tiieir rights were assigned, for establishing their claims and own- 
ership of the large tract deeded to him by the Sioux, have been narrated 
by Rev. John Mattocks in his address at the Carver Centenary cdebra- 
tion in 1867, published in Volume II of the Minnesota Historical Society 
Collections ; by John Fletcher Williams in his "History of the City of St 
Paul and of the County of Ramsey," forming Volume IV in the same series, 
published in 1876; and most fully, with many documents submitted to the 
United States Congress, relating to the Carver claims, in an article by 

80 



CARVER COUNTY 81 

Danid S. Durrie, to which Lyman C Draper added important foot-notes, 
in Volume VI, pages 220-270, o{ the Wisconsin Historical Society Collec- 
tions, published in 1872. 

Between forty and forty-five years after Carver's death, the supposed 
rights of his heirs under the deed were denied ^d annulled in Congress by 
the Committees on Public Lands and on Private Land Claims. One of 
the grounds for this decision was that no citizens, but only the state, 
whether Great Britain, as in 1767, or the United States after the treaty 
of 1783, could so receive ownership of lands from the aborigines. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of origins and meanings of geographic names in this 
county has been gathered from "History of the Minnesota Valley," 1882, 
pages 352-410; from ''Compendium of History and Biography of Carver 
and Hennepin Counties," R. I. Holcombe, historical editor, 1915, pages 
187-342; and from John Glaeser, judge of probate; Albert Meyer, register 
of deeds, and Hon. Frederick £. Du Toit, Sr., each of Chaska, interviewed 
during a visit there in July, 1916. 

AssuMpnoN, a hamlet in section 18, Hancock, received its name from 
that of the Catholic church there, referring to the ascent of the Virgin 
Mary into heaven and its anniversary, celebrated on August 15. 

Augusta, a railway station in section 3, Dahlgren, was named in honor 
of the wives of two settlers near, each having this name and having come 
from Augusta in Eau Claire county, Wisconsin. 

Benton township, first settled in May, 1855, organized May 11, 1858, 
was named, like Benton county, in honor of the distinguished United 
States senator, Thomas Hart Benton, whose life and public services are 
more fully noted in the chapter for that county. He died April 10, 1858, 
a month before this township was organized and named. The village of 
Benton, on the northeast shore of the little Lake Benton, and a half mile 
north of Cologne, platted in June, 1880, was incorporated in March, 1881. 

Camden township, settled in July, 1856, had a village platted and a post- 
office established in the same year; but this township was not organized 
until the spring of 1859. It was named doubtless for some one of the 
eighteen villages and cities of this name in the older eastern and southern 
states, of which the largest is the city of Camden, N. J., on the Delaware 
river, opposite to Philadelphia. 

Carver, a very small fractional township bordering on the Minnesota 
river, was named, like this county, in honor of Jonathan Carver. The 
first settlers came in 1851-52, and the township was organized May 11, 
1858. The village of Carver was platted in February, 1857, and was incor- 
porated February 17, 1877, comprising all the township. Carver creek, 
named by Captain Carver for himself, the outlet of Qearwater or Wa- 
conia lake and numerous other lakes of smaller size, here joins the Min- 
nesota river. On Nicollet's map it is "Odowan R.," which is the Sioux 
word for a song or hymn. 



82 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Chanhassen township received its earliest settlers in June, 1852, and 
was organized May 11, 1S58. The name, adopted on the suggestion of 
Rev. H. M. Nichols, means the sugar maple, being formed of two Sioux 
words, chan, tree, and hassem (for hasan, from haza or hah-zah, the 
huckleberry or blueberry), thus signifying "the tree of sweet juice." 

Chaska township and city, the cotmty seat, has, unlike the preceding 
name, the French sound of Ch like sh. This was the name generally 
given in a Sioux family to the first-born child, if a son, as Winona was 
the general name of a first-born daughter. The earliest permanent set- 
tlers came in 1853, and the date of the township organization was May 
11, 1858. The village was founded in June, 1854, by the Shaska Company 
"(the name was thus misspelled in the act of incorporation of the com- 
pany)." March 6, 1871, it was incorporated as a village, and on March 
3, 1891, as a city. A small lake at the southwest side of the city is named 
Chaska lake, and a creek here tributary to the Minnesota river is likewise 
called CThaska creek. 

This word is pronounced by the Sioux, and by Riggs* Dictionary, with 
the English sound of ch (as in charm), and with the long vowel sound in 
the last syllable, as if spelled kay ; but common usage of the white people 
has given erroneously the French pronunciation (ch as in charade), with 
the last syllable short, like Alaska. 

Cologne^ the railway village of Benton township, platted in August, 
1880, and incorporated in 1881, was named by German settlers for the 
large and ancient city of Cologne (the (German Koln) on the Rhine. 

Coney Island^ a railway hamlet and summer resort at the north iiide 
of Gearwater lake, was named from the island of thirty-seven acres 
in the southern part of the lake near Waconia village. The island had 
been named for the popular Coney Island beach of Long Island near 
New York City. The adoption of this name, however, was suggested by 
its similarity in sound with Waconia. 

Dahlgren township, settled in 1854, organized April 5, 1864, was nam- 
ed Liberty in 1863. "May 9, 1864, the name of the town was changed . . . 
to Dahlgren, at the suggestion of the state auditor, in honor of our dis- 
tinguished admiral, because the name Liberty had already been appropri- 
ated by another town in the state." (History of the Minnesota Valley.) 
John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren, of Swedish parentage, was born in 
Philadelphia, November 13, 1809; and died in the city of Washington, 
July 12, 1870. He became a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy in 1837 ; was as- 
signed to ordnance duty in Washington, 1847, and introduced important 
improvements in the naval armament, including the Dahlgren gun, which 
he invented. He was appointed chief of the bureau of ordnance, July 
18, 1862, became rear-admiral February 7, 1863, and gained renown for 
his service through the civil war. His biography, by his widow, was pub- 
lished in 1882 (660 pages, with two portraits). 

(jOTHA, a hamlet in section 1, Hancock, was named for the ancient city 
of C^otha, in central (Germany. 



CARVER COUNTY 83 

Hambuig^ a railway village in sections 28 and 33, Young America, was 
named for the great German city and port of Hamburg, on the River 
Elbe, which was founded and fortified by Charlemagne about the begin- 
ning of the ninth century. 

Hancock township, settled in the spring of 1856, organized March 23, 
1868, was named in honor of Winfield Scott Hancock. He was bom at 
Montgomery Square, Pa., February 14, 1824; died at Governor's Island, 
N. Y., February 9, 1886. After graduation at West Point, 1844, he served 
as lieutenant in the Mexican War; was a general during the Civil War; 
and was commander of the military department of the Atlantic, 1872-86. 
In tbe presidential campaign of 1880, he was the unsuccessful Democratic 
candidate. 

Hollywood township, settled in 1856, organized April 3, 1860, had a 
small village near it southeast corner, platted in the autumn of 1856 and 
named Helvetia by John Buhler, an immigrant from Switzerland, of 
which this was the ancient Laitin name. Matthew Kelly, an Irish settler, 
proposed the township name, saying that he had seen the shrub named 
holly, which is common in Ireland, growing here in the woods. After the 
name had been adopted, it was ascertained that the European holly does 
not occur in this country; but Minnesota has two species of this family, 
found rarely on bluffs of Lake Pepin, the St Croix river, and northward. 

Laketown, so named on the suggestion of John Salter, for its ten 
small lakes and the large Qearwater lake on its west boundary, was first 
settled in April, 1853, and was organized May 11, 1858. It was at first called 
Liberty, but was renamed as now on June 12, 1858, a month after the or- 
ganization. The Swedish community on the east side of Clearwater lake 
has been often called Scandia, the ancient Roman name for the southern 
part of Sweden. 

Mayer^ a railway village on the line between Camden and Waconia, 
was named by officers of the Great Northern railway company. 

MiNNEWASHTA, a village mainly of summer homes, on the northeast 
end of the largest lake in Chanhassen, received its name from the lake. 
It consists of two Sioux words, minne, water, and washta, good. 

New Germany, the railway village in sections 4 and 5, Camden, was 
named in compliment to the many German settlers in its vicinity. In the 
World War, 1914-18, this name was changed to Motordale, on account of 
popular indignation against Germany. 

Norwood, a village and railway junction in Young America, platted in 
1872 and incorporated in 1881, is said to have been "named by Mr. Slo- 
cum, an early banker there, for an eastern relative or friend of his wife.** 
Fifteen villages and postoffices in eastern and southern states have this 
name. 

PiXASANT View, a village and summer resort in section 1, Chanhassen, 
at the north end of Long lake, was thus euphoniously named by its pro- 
prietors. 



84 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

San FftANasco, a fractional township beside the Minnesota river, set- 
tled in 1854 and organized May 11, 1858, was named by William Foster, 
who in 1854 platted and so named a village site on his claim, taking this 
name from the metropolis of California. The village flourished only 
about ten years, and its site then reverted to be farming land. 

VicTQSiA, a railway village in sections 13 and 14, Laketown, was named 
in honor of the queen of England. 

ViMLAND^ a hamlet of summer homes in section 2, Chanhassen, at the 
south end of Christmas lake, was named for the region of temporary 
Norse settlement, about the banning of the eleventh century, on the 
northeast coast of North America. The name is Icelandic, meaning wine- 
land, bcause grapes were found there. 

Waconia township, settled in 1855, organized May 11, 1858, bears the 
Sioux name of its large lake, meaning a fountain or spring. The village 
of Waconia was platted and liamed by Roswell P. Russell in March, 1857. 
This lake is also called Qearwater lake. 'Tt has about eighteen miles of 
shore, most of which is high with a gravelly beach. The water is very 
clear, hence its name, and well stocked with fish." 

Watertown, first settled in 1856, organized April 13, 1858, received 
this name "because of the township's large water supply," by five or six 
lakes and the South fork of Crow river. The village of Watertown, 
platted in 1858, was incorporated February 26, 1877. 

In Young America a village of this name was platted in the fall of 
1856, which was incorporated March 4, 1879. The same name is also 
given to a small lake there. At the organization of the township in 1858, it 
was first named Farmington, but later in that year was renamed Florence ; 
and in 1863 it was again changed to the present name, like its village. 
This name is a familiar expression for the vigor i^d progressiveness of 
the young people of the United States. Its only use elsewhere as a geo- 
graphic name is for a village in Cass county, Indiana. 

Lakes and Streams. 

At the Little Rapids of the Minnesota river, adjoining the southeast 
quarter of section 31, Carver, a ledge of the Jordan sandstone running 
across the river bed causes a fall of two feet ; and again about a quarter 
of a mile up the river its bed is similarly crossed by this sandstone, having 
there a fall of slightly more tiian one foot In the stage of low water, 
these very slight falls prevent the passage of boats ; but at a fuller stage 
the river wholly covers the ledges, with no perceptible rapid descent, be- 
ing then freely navigable. Fur trading posts were located there during 
many years. A lake there, dose west of the river, is named Rapids lake. 

In the list of townships and villages, the origins and meanings of the 
names of several lakes and streams have been noted, including Lake Ben- 
ton, Carver creek, Chaska lake and creek, Qearwater or Waconia lake 
and its Coney Island, Lake Minnewashta, Long lake in Chanhassen, and 
Young America lake. 



CARVER COUNTY 85 

Names given in honor of early settlers, mostly having taken home- 
steads on or near the lake or stream so designated, include Bevins creek, 
flowing through San Francisco to the Minnesota river ; Lakes Lucy, Ann, 
and Susan, in Chanhassen, the first and second being named respectively 
for the wives of Burritt S. and William S. Judd, and the third for Susan 
Hazeltine, who taught the first school in Carver county and is also com- 
memorated here, with her father, by Hazeltine lake; Virginia lake, in 
section 6, and Bradford lake, in sections 24 and 25, Qianhassen, and 
Bavaria lake, crossed by the west line of that township, named for the 
native land of settlers near it; Pierson, Reitz, Schutz (or Goldschmidt), 
Stieger (or Herman), and Watermann's lakes, in Laketown, commemor- 
ating John Pierson, Frederick Reitz, Matthias Schuetz, Carl Stieger, and 
Michael Wassermann, settlers near these several lakes; Buran's lake, for 
a German farmer adjoining it, Adolph Burandt, Lake Donders, and Hyde, 
Patterson, and Rutz lakes, in Waconia, the last three being for Ernst 
Heyd, the first county surveyor, who owned land there, William Patter- 
son, one of the earliest settlers, and Peter Rutz; Berliner lake, in section 
12, Camden, for a German settler from Berlin; Campbell lake, section IS, 
Hollywood, for Patrick Campbell and his two brothers, Irish settlers; 
Miller's lake, in section 8, Dahlgren, for Herman Mueller; Gruenhagen's, 
Heyer's, Hoeffken's, Maria, and Winkler's lakes, in Benton, the first for 
H. F. Gruenhagen, the second for Louis Heyer, the third for Henry Hoeff- 
ken, and the last for Ignatz Winkler ; and Barnes, Brandt and Frederick's 
lakes, in Young America, respectively for William Barnes, the earliest 
homesteader there, Leroy Brandt, and Frederick Ohland. 

Eagle lake, in section 34, Camden, was named for an eagle's nest there, 
in a very great Cottonwood tree. 

For Lake Auburn and Parley and Zumbra lakes, in Laketown, no in- 
formation of the origin of their names has been learned. 

Swede lake, in Watertown, was named for its several Swedish settlers 
by the earliest of them, Daniel Justus, in August, 1856. This neighbor- 
hood was known as C^otaholm (Gota, a river of southern Sweden, holm, 
a grove). The same name, Swede lake, was also formerly borne by the 
present Maria lake, section 36, Benton. 

Tiger lake, in Young America, has reference to a "mountain lion," also 
named the cougar or puma, seen there by the first settlers. This species, 
very rare in Minnesota, more frequent in the region of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, was mentioned by Carver in the narration of his Travels as **the 
Tyger of America," one having been seen by him on an island of the 
Chippewa river, Wisconsin. 

Several other lakes of this county have names of frequent occurrence 
and evident significance, as Rice lake on the north line of Benton, and a 
second Rice lake, section 36, Chanhassen, both named from their wild 
rice; Marsh lake, in section 26, Laketown; Mud and Oak lakes, Water- 
town; and (joose and Swan lakes, in Waconia. 



CASS COUNTY 

Established September 1, 1851, but having remained without organiza- 
tion till 1897, this county commemorates the distinguished statesman, 
Lewis Cass, who in 1820 commanded an exploring expedition which start- 
ed from Detroit, passed through lakes Huron and Superior, and thence 
advanced by way of Sandy lake and the upper Mississippi as far as to 
the upper Red Cedar lake. This name, a translation from the Ojibway 
name, was changed by Schoolcraft, the narrator of the expedition, to be 
Cassina or Cass lake, in honor of its commander. He was born in Exeter, 
N. H., October 9, 1782, and died in Detroit, Mich., June 17, 1866. At the 
age of eighteen years he came to Marietta, the first town founded in 
southern Ohio, and studied law there; was admitted to the bar in 1803, 
and began practice at Zanesville, Ohio ; and was colonel and later brigadier 
general in the War of 1812. He was governor of Michigan Territory, 
1813 to 1831 ; negotiated twenty-two treaties with Indian tribes ; was sec- 
retary of war, in the cabinet of President Jackson, 1831-36, including the 
time of the Black Hawk war; minister to France, 1836-42; United States 
senator, 1845-48; Democratic candidate for the presidency in the cam- 
paign of 1848; again U. S. senator, 1849-57; and secretary of state, in the 
cabinet of President Buchanan, 1857-60. 

To voyage along the upper Mississippi river and to describe and map 
its principal source were the motives for the expedition undertaken m 
1820 by Cass. At this time Michigan Territory, of which he was governor, 
included the northeastern third of Minnesota, east of the Mississippi ; and 
Missouri Territory extended across the present State of Iowa and west- 
em two-thirds of Minnesota. 

The report of this expedition, published the next year, is entitled 
"Narrative Journal of Travels from Detroit northwest through the Great 
Chain of American Lakes to the Sources of the Mississippi river in the 
year 1820, by Henry R. Schoolcraft. . . Albany, . . 1821" (424 pages, 
with a map and eight copper-plate engravings.) This title-page is en- 
graved and is followed by another in print, which states that the author 
was "a member of the Expedition under Governor Cass." The explora- 
tions of the upper Mississippi by Cass and Schoolcraft, of whom the lat- 
ter visited and named Lake Itasca in 1832, are related in a chapter of 
'Minnesota in Three Centuries" (1908, vol. I, pp. 347-356, with their por- 
traits.) 

Several extended biographies of General Cass were published during 
his lifetime, in 1848, 1852, and 1856, the years of successive presidential 
campaigns. In 1889 a marble statue of him was contributed by the State 
of Michigan as one of its two statues for the National Statuary Hall at 

86 



CASS COUNTY 87 

the Capitol in Washington; and the proceedings and addresses in Con- 
gress upon the acceptance of the statue were published in a volume of 106 
pages. Two years afterward, in 1891, a mature study of his biography, 
entitled "Lewis Cass, by Andrew C. McLaughlin, Assistant Professor of 
History in the University of Michigan" (363 pages), was published in the 
"American Statesmen'' series. 

Townships and Villages. 

For the origins and meanings of these names, information has been 
ga/thered in October, 1909, from Iver P. Byhre, county auditor, and in 
September 1916, from Nathan J. Palmer, clerk of the court. Mack Ken- 
nedy, sheriff, James S. Scribner, former county attorney, and M. S. Mori- 
cal, all of Walker, the county seat, during my visits there. 

Ansel township received the name of an earlier postoffice, which was 
given by its postmaster, Mjrron Smith, this being the first or christening 
name of one of the pioneers there. 

Backus, the railway village in Powers township, was named in honor 
of Edward W. Backus, of Minneapolis, lumberman, president of the 
Backus-Brooks Company, and of the International Falls Lumber Com- 
pany. 

Barclay township bears the surname of one of its pioneers. 

Becker township was named for J. A. Becker, an early settler there. 

Bena, a railway village adjoining the most southern bay of Lake Win- 
nebagoshish, is the Ojibway word meaning a partridge, spelled bin6 in 
Baraga's Dictionary. This game bird species, formerly common through- 
out the wooded region of this state, is the ruffed grouse, called the '*part- 
ridge" in New England and in Minnesota, but less correctly known as the 
"pheasant" in the middle and southern states. Longfellow used this 
word in his "Song of Hiawatha," 

"Heard the pheasant, Bena, drumming." 

Beulah township received its name in honor of Mrs. Olds, the wife 
of an early homesteader there, this being her first name, a Hebrew word 
meaning married. 

Birch Lake township was named for its lake adjoining Hackensack 
village. It is translated, as noted by Gilfillan, from the Ojibway "Ga-wig- 
wasensikag sagaiigun, the-place-of-little-birches lake." On the map of 
the Minnesota Geological Survey it is called Fourteen Mile lake, indicat- 
ing its distance by the road south from the Leech Lake Agency. 

Boy Lake and Boy River townships were named from their large lake 
and river, which are translations of the Ojibway names. Gilfillan wrote 
that Woman lake and Boy lake "are so called from women and boys, re- 
spectively, they having been killed in those lakes by the Sioux during an 
irruption made by them." The date and origin of the name of Boy lake, 
whence by Ojibway usage the outflowing river was likewise named, are 
stated by Warren in his "History of the Ojibway Nation" (Minnesota 



88 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Historical Society Collections, vol V, pages 222-252), to have been about 
the year 1768, within a few years after the Ojibways had driven the 
Sioux southward from Mille Lacs. A war party of Sioux invaded the up- 
per Mississippi region, by way of the Crow Wing and Gull rivers, and by 
a canoe route, with portages, through White Fish, Wabedo, and the Little 
Boy and Boy lakes, to Leech lake. At Boy lake they '^killed three litde 
boys, while engaged in gathering wild rice. . . . From this circumstance, 
this large and beautiful sheet of water has derived its Ojibway name of 
Que-wis-ans (Little Boy)." Warren's narration shows that this attack 
was on the lower one of the two Boy lakes, lying partly in the township 
named for it Gilfillan's list of Ojibway names and translations has ex- 
actly the same Ojibway name for this lake, on the lower part of Boy river, 
and for the lake about ten miles south on the upper part of the river, 
which our maps name Little Boy lake. 

Nicollet mapped the lower Boy lake under the name of Lake Hassler, 
in honor of Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler (b. in Switzerland, 1770, d. in 
Philadelphia, 1843), who was superintendent of the U. S. Coast Surv^. 

Bull Moose township was named in compliment to the Progressive 
or "Bull Moose'' division of the Republican party, which supported form- 
er President Roosevelt as its candidate in the presidential campaign of 
1912. 

Bunco township was named for descendants of a negro, Jean Bonga, 
who, according to Dr. Neill, was brought from the West Indies and was 
a slave of Captain Daniel Robertson, British commandant at Mackinaw 
from 1782 to 1787. His family intermarried with the Ojibways,. and the 
name became changed to Bungo. George Bonga was an interpreter for 
Governor Cass in 1820 at Fond du Lac, and he or another of this family 
was an interpreter for the Ojibway treaty in 1837 at Fort Snelling. Rev. 
Joseph A. Gilfillan wrote in 1897 (M. H. S. Collections, vol. IX, page 
56) : "About Leech lake there are perhaps a hundred descendants of the 
negro Bungo; nearly all these are very muscular, and some have been of 
unusually fine physique." This township has a Bungo brook, which was 
earlier so named, flowing out at its northeast comer. 

Byron was named for Byron Powell, the first white boy born in this 
township, son of Philo Powell, who later removed to northwestern Can- 
ada. 

Cass LAiCE> a large railway village, received its name from the adjoin- 
ing lake, which, as before noted, was named, like this county, in honor of 
General Cass. 

Crooked Lake township took this name from its Crooked lake, half 
of which extends into Crow Wing county. It is a translation of the abor- 
iginal name, Wewagigumag sagaiigun. By a resolution of the state 
legislature, March 6, 1919, this lake was renamed Lake Roosevelt, in honor 
of President Theodore Roosevelt, who two months previously, on Jfl^iM* 
ary 6, died at his home. Oyster Bay, N. Y. 



CASS COUNTY 89 

Cuba and Schley, stations of the Great Northern railway, commem- 
orate the Spanish-American war of 1898. 

Cyphers, a railway station five miles south of Walker, was named for 
a former resident, who removed into Hubbard county. 

Deekfield township was named, on request of its people, for the plen- 
tiful deer there ; but it also is a common geographic name, borne by town- 
ships, villages and postoffices in fourteen other states. 

East Gull Lake township was named for its comprising the greater 
part of the northeast end of Gull lake, with its continuation north to Up- 
per Gull lake. 

Fairview township received this euphonious name in accordance with 
the petition of its people for organization. 

Federal Dah is the railway village at the reservoir dam built by the 
United States government on Leech Lake river. 

Gould township was named for M. I. Gould, logger and farmer, who 
owned hay meadows there. 

Gull River station of the Northern Pacific railway, formerly a place 
of great importance for its lumber manufacturing, was named for the 
Gull lake and river, each a translation of the name given by the Ojibways, 
the latter, in accordance with their general rule, being supplied from the 
name of the lake. This aboriginal name is noted by Gilfillan as ''Ga-* 
gaiashkonzikag sagaiigun, the-place-(of-young-gulls lake." 

Hackensack, a railway village, was named for an earlier postoffice 
there, which derived its name from the town of Hackftnsack in New Jer- 
sey, on the Hackensack river, given by James Curo, who was the first 
postmaster, ranchman, and merchant there. 

HntAM township was named by the petition for organization, in honor 
of Hiram Wilson, an early settler, who was yet living there in 1916. 

Home Brook township received the name of a postofiBce earlier estab- 
lished, which had taken the name of the brook, given by lumbermen. 
(Brook and creek have the same meaning in this state, the latter being 
the more common, or the only term in use, through the greater part of the 
state; but lumbermen and settlers coming from Maine and others of the 
eastern states have in many cases named the small streams as brooks, 
especially in the wooded northeastern third of Minnesota.) 

Inguadona township has a name of probably aboriginal derivation, but 
its significance has not been learned. It was given to the township from 
its lake so named. If it is of the Ojibway language, its original form and 
pronunciation may have been so changed as to be now unidentifiable. 
Gilfillan gave the name of this lake as ''Manominiganjiki, or The-rice- 
field." It was called Lake Gauss on Nicollet's map, for the celebrated 
German mathematician (b. 1777, d. 1855). 

Kego, the name of a township here, is a common Ojibway word, mean- 
ing a fish, used as a general term for any fish species. This is spelled 
Gigo in Baraga's Dictionary. 



90 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Leech Lake township was named for the lake, translated from the 
Ojibway name, noted by Gilfillan as "Ga-sagasquadjimekag sagaiigun, 
the-place-of-the-leech-lake ; from the tradition that on first coming to it, 
the Chippeways saw an enormous leech swimming in it." Nicollet wrote 
that this aboriginal name "implies . . . that its waters contain a remark- 
able number of leeches." 

Lima township (pronounced here with the long English sound of i, 
unlike Lima in Peru) was named probably for the city of Lima in Ohio, 
where the pronunciation has been thus anglicized. Ten other states have 
towns and villages of this name. 

LooN Lake township was named for its lake in section 20. This large 
water bird was formerly frequent or common throughout this state, and 
is yet common in its wooded northeast part 

McKinley township was named in honor of our third martyr presi- 
dent, William McKinley, who was born in Niles, Ohio, January 29, 1843, 
and died in Bu£Falo, N. Y., September 14, 1901, assassinated by an anar- 
chist. He was president of the United States, 1897-1901. 

Maple township received this name on the petition of its people for 
organization, referring to its plentiful sugar maple trees, a species that is 
common or abundant throughout Minnesota, excepting near its west side. 
The sap is much used for sugar-making, in the early spring, both by the 
Indians and the white people. Warren wrote of this Ojibway work about 
Leech lake : ''The shores of the lake are covered with maple which yields 
to the industry of the hunters' women, each spring, quantities of sap which 
they manufacture into sugar." 

May township was named in honor of May Griffith, daughter of a 
former county auditor, Charles Griffith, in whose office she was an assist- 
ant Lake May, formerly called Lake Frances, in the southwest edge of 
Walker village, is also named for her. 

Meadow Brook township took its name from a brook where a school-, 
house was built and so named before the township was organized. 

Mildred, a small railway village in Pine River township, was named 
in honor of Mrs. Mildred Scofield, first postmistress and wife of the 
merchant there, who, with her husband, removed to the west. 

Moose Lake township was named for its small lake in sections 10 
and 15. 

Mud Lake township was named for its Mud lake, mostly shallow 
with a muddy bed and having much wild rice, through which the Leech 
Lake river flows. The Ojibway name is translated by Gilfillan, "meaning 
shallow-mud-bottomed lake." Nicollet mapped it as Lake Bessel, in honor 
of Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (b. 1784, d. 1846), a distinguished Prussian 
astronomer. 

NusHKA, a Great Northern railway station in the Chippewa Indian 
Reservation, is an Ojibway word of exclamation, meaning "Look!" It 
is used by Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha." 



CASS COUNTY 91 

Pike Bay township includes the large Pike bay, more properly a 
separate lake, which is connected on the north with Cass lake by a very 
narrow strait or thoroughfare. The name commemorates Zebulon Mont- 
gomery Pike, the commander of the expedition sent to the upper Mis- 
sissippi in 1805-06 by the United States War Department Pike came 
to Cass lake (then known as the upper Red Cedar lake) on February 
12, 1806, by a land march from Leech lake and across Pike bay; spent 
a day at the Northwest Company's trading post there; and returned on 
the 14th by the same route. His biography is presented in the chapter of 
Morrison county, where he is honored by the names of a creek, a town- 
ship, and rapids of the Mississippi, beside the site of his winter stockade 
camp. 

Pillager, a village of the Northern Pacific railway, the adjoining 
Pillager creek, and the lake of this name at its source, are derived from 
the term. Pillagers, applied to the Ojibways of this vicinity and of the 
Leech Lake Reservation. According to the accounts given by School- 
craft and his associate, Dr. Douglass Houghton, in the Narrative of the 
expedition in 1832 to Itasca Lake (pages 111, 112, 254), this name, Muk- 
kundwais or Pillagers, originated in the fall of 1767 or 1768, when a 
trader named Berti, who had a trading post at the mouth of Crow Wing 
river, was robbed of his goods. 

Warren gave, in the "History of the Ojibway Nation," written in 
1852, a more detailed narration of the robbery or pillage, referring it 
erroneously to the year 1781. The name Pillagers, given to the Leech 
Lake band of the Ojibways, had come into use as early as 1775, when 
the elder Henry found some of them at the Lake of the Woods. 

Pine Lake township, bordering the most southern part of the shore 
of Leech lake, contains eight lakes, with others crossed by its boundaries. 
It had abundant white pine timber, and thence came this name of its 
lakes, in sections 17 and 18, later given to the township. Its largest lake, 
in sections 28, 32, and 33, is called Boot lake, from its outline. 

Pine River township is on the upper part of Pine river, which flows 
eastward through White Fish lake and joins the Mississippi near the cen- 
ter of Crow Wing county. This township has, near Mildred station, a 
second but smaller Boot lake, named for its having a bootlike shape. 

PoNTX) Lake ' township has a lake of this name, in sections 3, 9, and 
10; and an adjoining postoffice is named Pontoria. These are unique 
names, not in use elsewhere, and their derivation and significance remain 
to pe learned. 

Poplar township had an earlier postoffice of this name, referring to 
the plentiful poplar groves. 

Portage Lake, a station of the Soo line, in the Chippewa Indian 
Reservation, and the lake of this name, a half mile distant to the north, 
as also the neighboring Portage bay of the large north arm of Leech 
lake, refer to the canoe portage there between the waters of Leech and 



92 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Winnebagoshish lakes. On Nicollet's map this Portage lake is named in 
honor of Duponceau (b. in France, 1760, d. in Philadelphia, 1844), author 
of a "Memoir on the Indian Languages of North America," published 
in 1835; and the Portage bay bears the name of Pickering bay on this 
map, for an American writer of another work on the same subject, pub- 
lished in 1836. 

Powers township was named in honor of Gorham Powers, of Granite 
Falls, who was a landowner there, having a summer home on Sanborn 
lake, in section 27. He was born in Pittsfield, Maine, September 14, 1840 ; 
served in the civil war, 1862-5 ; was graduated at the Albany law school, 
1866, and in the same year came to Minnesota, settling in Minneapolis; 
, removed in 1868 to Granite Falls ; was county attorney of Yellow Medi- 
cine county, 1872-7, and 1884-6; was a representative in the state legis- 
lature, 1879; and was judge in the Twelfth judicial district from 1890 
until his death, at Granite Falls, April 15, 1915. 

Remer township, and the earlier Remer postoffice and railway village, 
were named in honor of E. N. and William P. Remer, brothers, of whom 
the former is treasurer and manager of the Reishus-Remer Land Com- 
pany, of Grand Rapids, and the latter was the first postmaster here. 

Rogers was named in honor of William A. Rogers, who had a home- 
stead in this township, coming, as also his brothers Nathan and Frank, 
from St John, N. B. He engaged in logging as a contractor, resided in 
Walker, and was killed by an elevator accident in Duluth. His son, 
Edward L. Rogers, has been the county attorney of Cass county since 
1913. 

Salem was named by its settlers in their petition for township organ- 
ization. It is the name of townships, cities, villages, and postoffices, in 
thirty-two states of our Union. 

Schley, a Great Northern railway station, was named in honor of 
Winfield Scott Schley, rear admiral of the United States Navy. He was 
bom in Frederick county, Maryland, October 9, 1839; was graduated at 
the U. S. Naval Academy in 1860, and was an instructor there after the 
civil war; commanded the "Flying Squadron" in the Spanish-IAmerican 
war, 1896, and directed the naval battle off Santiago, Cuba; author of 
an autobiography, **Forty-five Years under the Flag" (1904, 439 pages) ; 
died in New York City, October 2, 1911. 

Three successive stations and sidings of this railway in the north 
edge of Cass county, established in 1898-99, are commemorative of our 
short and decisive war with Spain, named Schley, Santiago, and Cuba.. 

Sbingobee township received this name from its creek, being the gen- 
eral Ojibway word for the spruce, balsam fir, and arbor vitae, species of 
evergreen trees that are common or abundant through northern Minne- 
sota, excepting die Red River valley. It is spelled jingob in Baraga's 
Dictionary. 

Slater township was named for David H. Slater, a homestead fanner 
in section 6. 



CASS COUNTY 93 

Smoky Hollow was named by Levi Morrow, a settler who came from 
Missouri, in remembrance of his former home in the state of New York, 
near a locality so named (or perhaps for Sleepy Hollow, a quiet valley 
near Tarrytown, on the Hudson, of which Irving wrote in "The Sketch 
Book"). This township has in part a surface of marginal morainic drift, 
remarkably diversified with knolls, ridges, and hollows. 

Sylvan township is named for its Sylvan lake, which refers to the 
woods or groves on its shores. The Ojibway name, noted by Gilfillan, 
means Fish Trap lake. 

Thunder Lake township is derived likewise from its lake of this 
name, which is probably a translation of the aboriginal name. 

Tbeufe township (pronounced in three syllables, with accent on the 
first, and with the short sound of each) is named, with variation of spell- 
ing, for the tullibee, a very common fish in the lakes of northern Minne- 
sota, having a wide geographic range from New York to northwestern 
Canada. This species, Argyrosomus tullibee (Richardson), closely re- 
sembles the common whitefish. The word was adopted, as noted by 
Richardson, from the Cree language. Tulaby lake, crossed by the line 
between Becker and Mahnomen counties, was also named for this fish, 
supplying another way of its spelling. 

Turtle Lake township is named for its two lakes in sections 22, 23, 
26, and 27, called by the Ojibways, as recorded by Gilfillan, "Mikinako- 
sagaiigunun, or Turtle lakes." 

Wabedo township (accenting the first syllable) received its name 
from its Wabedo lake. Warren, writing in 1852 in his "History of the 
Ojibway Nation" (M. H. S. Collections, vol. V, page 224), related that 
an invading war party of the Sioux, about the year 1768, came "into 
Wab-ud-ow lake, where they spilt the first Ojibway blood, killing a 
hunter named Wab-ud-iow (White (jore), from which circumstance the 
lake is named' to this day by the Ojibways." The same party, advancing 
northward, killed three boys gathering rice, whence Boy lake and river 
received their name, as noted on a preceding page. Gilfillan spelled 
Wabedo lake as "Wabuto sagaiigun, or Mushroom lake." 

Wahnena (with accent on the second syllable) was named for an. 
Ojibway chief who died about the year 1895. 

Walden township bears the name of a pond near Concord, Mass., 
beside which Henry D. Thoreau, the author, built a hut and lived about 
two years, 1845-47, as told in his book, "Walden, or Life in the Woods," 
published in 1854. This is also the name of a town in northern Vermont, 
and of a large manufacturing village in Orange county, N. Y. 

Walker village, the county seat, was named in honor of Thomas Bar- 
low Walker, who has large lumbering and land interests in (3ass county 
and in several other counties of northern Minnesota. He was bom in 
Xenia, Ohio, February 1, 1840; came to Minnesota in 1862, and was the 
surveyor of parts of the St. Paul and Duluth railway line; commenced 



94 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

in 1868 the purchase of great tracts of pine lands, and later built and 
operated, in Crookston and elsewhere, many large lumber mills. He 
resides in Minneapolis, and maintains a very valuable and choice art 
gallery to which the public are freely welcomed. An autobiographic 
paper by Mr. Walker is published in the Minnesota Historical Society 
Collections (vol. XV, 1915, pages 455-478, with his portrait). 

Wilkinson township commemorates Major Melville Gary Wilkinson, 
who was killed in a skirmish with the Bear Island band of the Pillager 
Indians, at Sugar point on Leech lake, October 5, 1898. He was born in 
New York, November 14, 1835; served as a volunteer in the civil war, 
and in 1866 entered the regular army. The '^battle of Sugar point," and 
dealings with these Ojibways preceding and following it, are narrated in 
Flandrau's '*History of Minnesota" (1900, pages 229-234), and more fully 
by Holcombe in ''Minnesota in Three Centuries" (1908, vol IV, pages 
245-254). 

WooDROW township received its name, by petition of its citizens for 
the township organization, in honor of President Woodrow Wilson. He 
was born in Staunton, Va., December 28, 1856 ; was graduated at Prince- 
ton University, 1879; was professor there, of finance and political econo- 
my, 1890-1902, and president, 1902-10; author of several books on United 
States history and politics; was governor of New Jersey, 1911-13; presi- 
dent of the United States since March 4, 1913. 

Bays^ Points^ and Islands of Leech Lake. 

The origin of the name of Leech lake has been noted for the township 
so named. It was translated from the Ojibway name, the French trans- 
lation being Lac Sangsue (which in English is a bloodsucker, that is, a 
leech). 

This lake has a very irregular outline, with numerous bays and pro- 
jecting points, and it contains several islands. On the east is Boy River 
bay, named for its inflowing river, with Sugar point at its west entrance, 
named for its sugar maples, the site of the battle in 1898, when Major 
Wilkinson lost his life, as noted for the township of his name. Bear 
island stretches three miles from north to south, lying in front of this 
bay and of Rice bay at the southeast, and Pelican island lies far out in 
the southern central part of the broad lake, these names being translations 
from those given by the Ojibways. 

Big point and Otter Tail point, respectively on the southwest and 
northwest borders of the main lake, guard the entrance to the more 
irregular western part. The Peninsula juts into that part from the south, 
having itself a small Peninsula lake, and bounded on the southeast by 
Agency bay and on the west by the South arm and West bay. At the 
south end of the Peninsula, a passage called the Narrows leads from 
the South arm to Agency bay ; and on the north the Peninsula is sepa- 
rated from the main shore by the North Narrows, and it terminates 



CASS COUNTY 95 

northeastward in Pine point Nearly all these names are self-explana- 
tory, having an obvious significance. The Otter Tail point, at the end of 
a tapering tract of land about five miles long, is a translation of the O jib- 
way name, referring to its outline, which resembles an otter's tail, simi- 
larly as the large lake and county of this name have reference to a taper- 
ing point of land adjoining the eastern end of that lake. 

On the north end of the Peninsula, at the North Narrows, was the 
village of Eshkebugecoshe (Flat Mouth, b. 1774, d. about 1860), the very 
intelligent, friendly, and respected chief of the Pillager Ojibways; and 
close east of this village, at the time of Schoolcraft's visit there in 1832, 
was the trading house of the American Fur Company. In the time of 
Pike's visit, 1806, the Northwest Company's trading post was about two 
miles distant to the northeast from the North Narrows, being opposite 
to Goose island. 

West bay in its north part branches westward to the Northwest arm, 
entered by a very narrow and short strait, and opens northward, opposite 
to tiie North Narrows, into Duck bay, which is entered with Prairie point 
on the right, and with Aitkin point, succeeded westward by the small 
Aitkin bay, on the left. Proceeding five miles up the Duck bay, past 
Duck island (called in the latest atlas Minnesota island), one comes at 
the northwest corner of this bay to the mouth of the Steamboat river, 
"fringed with extensive fields of wild rice," whence a canoe route through 
several little lakes, with portages, leads to Pike bay of Cass lake. 

Four years after the southward journey of Schoolcraft through Leech 
lake in 1832, Rev. William T. Boutwell, his companion of that travel, who 
a year later had established a mission here for the Ojibways, befriended 
Nicollet on his exploration of the upper Mississippi country, in his rela- 
tions with these Indians. Nicollet spent a week on Leech lake in the middle 
of August, 1836, having his camping place generally on Otter Tail point. 
Boutwell's mission house was on or near the isthmus that connects the 
Peninsula with the mainland of the present Leech Lake Agency. On 
Nicollet's return from Lake Itasca, by way of the Mississippi and Cass 
lake, he again camped on Otter Tail point during the first week of Sep- 
tember, visited with Boutwell, and had long interviews with Flat Mouth. 

Sucker bay lies west and north of Otter Tail point, and receives Sucker 
brook at its north end. Flea point, called Sugar point on Schoolcraft's 
map of Leech lake, juts into the southern part of the western side of the 
bay ; and the present Sucker brook is designated on that map by the nearly 
equivalent name of Carp river. The Sucker Family of fishes, Catostomi- 
dae, includes "some 15 genera and more than 70 species," wholly limited 
in geographic range to the fresh waters of North America, excepting 
that two species occur in eastern Asia. Ulysses O. (3ox, in his "Pre- 
liminary Report on the Fishes of Minnesota," published in 1897, wrote 
of this family that "five genera and eleven species" were then known in 
this state. Our most plentiful species, known as the "common sucker," 



96 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

found in nearly all large lakes of Minnesota, "attains a length of 18 
inches or more, ... a food-fish of considerable importance." 

On the northwest side of the northern part of the main lake are the 
Two points and Noon Day point ; and this part ends in the little Portage 
bay, called Rush bay on Schoolcraft's map, whence this map notes the 
"Route to L. Winnipeg^' (that is, Winnebagoshish). The present name 
of the bay, refers, as before mentioned, to that canoe route and its port- 
age. Nicollet named this most northern bay of Leech lake as Pickering 
bay, in honor of John Pickering (b. 1777, d. 1846), of Massachusetts, a 
philologist, who in 1836 published "Remarks on the Indian Languages of 
North America." This is the only name connected with Leech lake as 
mapped in much crude detail by Schoolcraft and Nicollet, which they be- 
stowed otherwise than by translation of the Ojibway names. 

Islands of Cass Lake. 

Of the Ojibway name of this lake, with its translation, GilfUlan wrote: 
"Cass lake is Ga-misquawakokag sagaiigun, or The-place-of-red-cedars 
lake, from some red cedars growing on the island ; more briefly, Red Cedar 
lake." The same name was given also by these Indians to Cedar lake in 
Aitkin county, as noted in the chapter for that county. Until the adop- 
tion of the new name, Cassina or Cass lake, these were discriminated 
respectively as the upper and lower Red Cedar lakes. 

Gilfillan further wrote: "The large island in the lake was anciently 
called Gamisquawako miniss, or the island of red cedars. It is now 
called Kitchi miniss, or Great island." Schoolcraft in 1832 described 
and mapped it as "Colcaspi or Grand island," having coined the former 
word from parts 'of the names of its three explorers, Schoolcraft, Cass, 
and Pike. "The town of Ozawindib" (Yellow Head, who was the guide 
of Schoolcraft and his party in their expedition to Lake Itasca) was on 
this island, being a village of 157 people, with "small fields of com and 
potatoes, cultivated by the women." It is now commonly called Star 
island, and it has a small lake, about three-fourths of a mile long, whidi 
is called Lake Helen, this name having been given in honor of Miss Helen 
Gould, of New York City, on the occasion of her visit here about the 
year 1900. 

Having set aside the Ojibway name of Red Cedar island for the new 
name, Colcaspi, Schoolcraft gave the name, "R. Cedar I." on his map, 
to a small island on the southeast Garden and Elm islands of Allen's 
bay, in Beltrami county, each of very small area, are also mentioned by 
Schoolcraft, the former doubtless so named for its having been culti- 
vated by the Indians. 

Lake Winnebagoshish. 

Thompson in 1796 gave this name as Lake Winepegoos in his Narra- 
tive, published under editorial care of J. B. Tyrrell in 1916; but on 
Thompson's map, reproduced in facsimile in that work, it is Winnipeg 
Lake. 



CASS COUNTY 97 

Schoolcraft's Narrative Journal of the Expedition in 1820 under Gen- 
eral Cass, published in 1821, called it Lake Winnipec in the text, while 
the map spelled it Lake Winnepec. An island of boulders in its western 
part, not shown on maps but probably lying off a narrow projecting point, 
had large numbers of various species of waterfowl, one of which, a 
pelican found dead, caused it to be named Pelican island. 

The map in the Narrative of Long's expedition, 1823, notes it as 
"Lit Winnepeek L.;" Beltrami in the same year called it Lake Winne- 
pec ; and Allen, in 1832, spelled this name Lake Winnipeg, the same as the 
lake in Manitoba. Warren, writing in 1852 in his "History of the Ojibway 
Nation," called it Lake Winnepeg. 

In Nicollet's Report, from his exploration in 1836, published in 1843, 
it appears both in the text and on the map as Lake Winebigoshish ; and 
this form has continued from that time in prevalent use, excepting that 
the letter n has been doubled. The accent is placed by the white people 
on the syllable next to the last, with the long o sound. 

By the Ojibways of that region, however, this lake name is generally 
pronounced like the etymologically cognate name of the Winnebago In- 
dians and Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin (which is accented on the next 
before the final syllable and has the English long sound of the a), with 
addidon of another syllable, shish. GilfiUan followed the orthography 
introduced to cartographers by Nicollet, and defined the meaning as 
"miserable-wretched-dirty- water (Winni, filthy; bi, water; osh, bad, an 
expression of contempt ; ish, an additional expression of contempt, mean- 
ing miserable, wretched)." The whole lake is shallow, with a mostly 
muddy bed at a depth probably nowhere exceeding 20 or 25 feet, so that 
the large waves of storms stir up the mud and sand of the lake bottom 
and shores, roiling the water upward to the surface upon nearly or quite 
all its area. 

Similar shallowness and general muddiness of Lakes Winnipeg and 
Winnipegosis, in Manitoba, also caused them to receive these Ojibway 
names, the former meaning muddy water, as noted by Keating in 1823 
(vol. II, page 77), and the latter meaning "Little Winnipeg," according 
to Hind's "Narrative of the Canadian Exploring Expeditions" (vol. II, 
page 42). 

The spelling received from Nicollet, mispronounced by our white peo- 
ple, has been corrected, in accordance with the Ojibway usage, to Win- 
nebagoshish, by treaties of the United States with the Ojibways under 
dates of May 7, 1864, and March 19, 1867, and in an executive order of 
President Grant, May 26, *1874. Rev. S. R. Riggs, in a paper written in 
1880, spelled the name as "Lake Winnebagooshish or Winnipeg" (Minne- 
sota Historical Society Collections, VI, 157, 158). The orthography in 
the treaties here cited was also used by the present writer in the U. S. 
Geological Survey Monograph XXV ("The Glacial Lake Agassiz"), 



> 



98 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

published in 1896, and was recommended by me in 1899 for general adop- 
tion (Final Report of the Minn. Geol. Survey, vol. IV, page 57). It still 
seems to me desirable that the corrected spelling and pronunciation be 
adopted by Minnesota writers and speakers. 

Other Lakes and Streams. 

The fist of townships and villages has included sufficient mention of 
numerous lakes and streams, including Birch lake. Woman lake, the Boy 
lakes and river, Cass lake. Crooked lake, Gull river and lake, Home brook, 
Inguadona lake. Leech lake. Loon lake, Lake May, Meadow brook. Moose 
lake (in ithe township of this name). Mud lake and the Leech Lake river, 
Pike bay of Cass lake, Pillager creek and lake, Pine and Boot lakes (in 
Pine Lake township) , Pine river, with the second Boot lake in Pine River 
township, Ponto lake. Portage lake, Shingobee creek, Sylvan lake. Thun- 
der lake, the Turtle lakes in the township named for them, and Wabedo 
lake. 

On the canoe route from Cass lake and Pike bay to Leech lake, School- 
craft named the first lake, in sections 2 and 3, Wilkinson, Moss lake, for 
the mosslike water-plants seen growing in large masses on the lake bot- 
tom, which the canoemen "brought up on their paddles." Thence they 
made a portage of about two miles soutiiwest into a lake at the center 
of this township, which Schoolcraft named Lake Shiba, spelled by "the 
initials of the names of the five gentlemen of the party, Schoolcraft, 
Houghton, Johnston, Boutwell, Allen." About a mile farther southwest, 
they came into "a river of handsome magnitude, broad' and deep but with- 
out strong current," since named Steamboat river because it is ascended 
by steamboats from Duck bay of Leech lake, some three miles distant. 
Steamboat lake, crossed by the west line of this county, lies a quarter of 
a mile west from the junction of the outlet of Lake Shiba with this river. 

Going from Leech lake southwest to the Crow Wing river, School- 
craft took a somewhat frequented canoe route, starting from West bay 
near the site of Walker and first portaging to the present Lake May 
(formerly called Lake Frances), then named the Warpool by the O jib- 
ways, who there began their war expeditions to the country of the Siotix. 
N^t and very near was the Little Long lake, in sections 33 and 34, May, 
and section 4, Shingobee. Thence they passed up a little inlet, through 
its four lakelets, and by portages through a series of three small lakes, 
each without outlet, coming next to the Long Water lake in Hubbard 
county, at«ihe head of the Crow Wing, beginning its series of eleven 
lakes. Schoolcraft's Lake of the Mountain and Lake of the Island, passed 
on this route before coming to the Long Water, remain unnamed on later 
maps. 

Distances of travel south from the Leech Lake Agency, on the road 
to Hackensack and Brainerd, are noted by Three Mile lake. Four Mile 
lake. Six Mile lake. Ten Mile lake, Fourteen Mile lake at Hackensack 



CASS COUNTY 99 

(called now Birch lake, translated from its Ojibway name), with the 
outflowing Fourteen Mile creek, the head of Boy river, and Twenty-<four 
Mile credc, which outflows from Pine Mountain lake, being the head 
stream of Pine river. These names are recognized' as given by white 
pioneers, being unlike the majority derived by translations. 

Gilfillan wrote that the long lake of the northwest part of T. 144, R. 
27, in the Chippewa Reservation, between Leech Lake river and Lake 
Winnebagoshish, is named "Kitchi-bugwudjiwi sagaiigun, meaning big- 
lake-in-the-wilderness or big-wilderness lake." 

Bear river (also called Mud river), in Salem, flowing into the south 
end of Mud lake, and Grave lake at its head, in sections 10, 14, and 15, 
Slater, may be aboriginal names translated, but they are not identified in 
(xilfillan's Hst. Little Sand lake, section 28, Slater, and its larger com- 
panion, Sand lake, crossed by the south line of this township, probably 
origihated as white men's names, for Gilfillan gave the Ojibway name 
of this Sand take as "Mikinako sagaiigun, Turtle lake." Its outlet is 
noted on the map of the Minnesota Geological Survey as Swift river, 
flowing northwest through the long and very narrow Swift lake, which 
the Ojibways name "Ningitawonan sagaiigun, Separating-canoe-route 
lake," 

Big and Little Vermilion lakes, the Upper Vermilion lakes, and the 
larger Sugar lake (on recent maps noted as Little Sugar lake), and Ver- 
milion river outflowing from them to the Mississippi, are translations 
from their Ojibway names. 

Willow river, Birch brook and lake in Lima township. Big Rice lake. 
Thunder, Little Thunder, and Turtle lakes, and the long and narrow 
Blind lake in Smoky Hollow township, are partly or all of Ojibway 
derivation. 

Lakes George and Washburn, Lawrence, Leavitt, and Morrison, in 
Crooked Lake and Beulah townships, also the Washburn brook, were 
named for lumbermen who formerly cut pine logs in these originally well 
forested townships. 

Little Norway lake, named for its red or Norway pines, lying five 
miles south of Wabedo lake, outflows westward to Ada brook and Pine 
river. This brook and Lakes Ada and Hattie, also Mitten lake and Lake 
Laura, outflowing by Laura brook to Lake Inguadona, need further in- 
quiries for the origins of their names. 

Mule lake, a mile west of Wabedo lake, is said to have been named 
by the lumbermen for its outline, resembling a mule's head. Goose lake, 
next on the west, was named for the wild geese. 

C&tI lake, in sections 33 and 34, Kego, and Baby lake, in sections 13, 
14, 23, and 24, Powers, are names suggested probably by Woman and Boy 
lakes, which latter are of Ojibway origin, referring to persons of that 
tribe slain by the Sioux, as noted in the foregoing list of townships. 

Whitefish and Little Whiteflsh lakes, on the Fourteen Mile creek near 
Hackensack, are named, like the larger Whitefish lake on the Pine river 



J 



100 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

in Crow Wing county, for their highly valued fish of this species, common 
or abundant in many lakes of northern Minnesota. The Ojibway fisheries 
of Leech lake are mentioned by Warren as follows: "The waters of 
the lake abound in fish of the finest quality, its whitefish equalling in 
size and flavor those of Lake Superior, and they are easily caught at all 
seasons of the year when the lake is free of ice, in gilUnets made and 
managed also by the women.'' 

The Jack Pine lakes, two of small size near together, in sections 28, 
32, and 33, Hiram, the outflowing Pine Lake brook, the large Pine Moun- 
tain lake, which receives this brook, and its outlet, called Twenty-four Mile 
creek or Norway brook, flowing through Norway lake, are lumbermen's 
names of the headwaters of Pine river. 

On the west side of section 31, Bull Moose, is Township Comer lake, 
so named from its 'location; and on the west line of sections 18 and 19, 
Bungo, is Spider lake, named from its irregular and branching shape. 

Stony creek, flowing into the eastern end of Wabedo lake, Stony brook, 
tributary to the Upper Gull lake, and Mosquito brook and Swan creek, 
respectively emptying into Crow Wing river about seven and fourteen 
miles west of Pillager, are names that need no explanations for their 
significance. 

A few other names of lakes remain to be noted, including Lake Kil- 
patrick, through which Home brook flows, probably named for a former 
lumberman there; War Qub lake, in sections 9 and 16, Deerfield, named 
for its shape; Island lake, in section 7, Powers; Portage lake, in section 
28, Shingobee, smaller than the other Portage lake near Lake Winneba- 
goshish; Bass lake, in sections 24 and 25, Shingobee; Duck or Swamp 
lake, a mile west from the north end of Duck bay of Leech lake; and 
Long lake, in the east half of Kego township. 

PiLLSBURY State Forest. 

In 1899 a tract of 1,000 acres of non-agricultural land, from which 
the pine timber had been cut, was donated to the State of Minnesota 
from the estate of the late Governor John S. Pillsbury, to be adminis- 
tered by the Forestry Board as a State Forest. In honor of the donors, 
this tract, lying near the west shore of Gull lake, has been named the 
Pillsbury Forest, In 1904 and later years, parts of this area, not natur- 
ally reseeding to pine, have been planted with white, red or Norway, jack, 
and Scotch pines, and with Norway and white spruce. 

Minnesota National Forest. 

By an act of Congress approved May 23, 1908, the Minnesota National 
Forest was established, comprising an area of about fourteen government 
survey townships. It lies mainly in the north part of Cass county, north 
of Leech lake and river, extending to Cass lake^ and including Lake 
Winnebagoshish, with about four townships at its north and northwest 



CASS COUNTY 101 

sides in Itasca county. This large tract covers the Chippewa, Cass Lake, 
and Winnebagoshish Indian Reservations, which had been long previously 
established. The text of the law for this national forest, fully safe- 
guarding the rights of the Indians to whom it had been reserved, is 
published in the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Forestry Commissioner 
of Minnesota, Gen. C C. Andrews, for the year 1907. 

. Indian Reservations. 

Cass county has the Chippewa Indian Reservation, as it is officially 
named, and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. The former name is 
not clearly definitive, for all the reservations now remaining in this state 
have been set apart for bands of the Chippewas (Ojibways), excepting 
only the very small reservation, a mile square, at the red pipestone quarry 
in Pipestone county. 

The Chippewa reservation adjoins the north side of Leech lake and 
its outlet, the Leech Lake river, extending thence north to the Mississippi, 
Cass lake and Lake Winnebagoshish, and it also extends east across the 
Mississippi to include a tract equal to about four townships in Itasca 
county. It was set apart for the Ojibways of the Mississippi, in a treaty 
at Washington, March 19, 1867. 

The Leech Lake reservation, which has an earlier date, borders the 
south and east shores of this lake, between Shingobee creek and Boy 
river. It includes the village of the Leech Lake Agency, at the east side 
of Agency bay. This reservation, and another at the north side of Lake 
Winnebagoshish, whence it is named, also a third reservation, on the 
north side of Cass lake and including all its islands, named therefore the 
Cass Lake reservation, were set apart for the Pillager and Winneba- 
goshish bands of the Ojibways by a treaty at Washington, February 22, 
1855 ; but their areas were enlarged, by executive orders of the President, 
in 1873 and 1874. 

Boutwell wrote of the Pillager band at Leech lake in 1832, during 
the expedition with Schoolcraft to Lake Itasca : "This band is the largest 
and perhaps the most warlike in the whole Ojibway nation. It numbers 
706, exclusive of a small band, probably 100, on Bear Island, one of the 
numerous islands in the lake" (Minn. Hist Soc. Collections, vol. V, page 
481). The national census in 1910 enumerated . 1,172 Ojibways in this 
county, showing decrease of 257 from the census of 1900. 



CHIPPEWA COUNTY 

This county, established February 20. 1862, and organized March 5, 
1868, is named for the Chippewa river, which here joins the Minnesota. 
The river was called Manya Wakan (of remarkable or wonderful bluflFs) 
by the Sioux. Its present name was also given by the Sioux, because 
the country of their enemies, the Chippewa or Ojibway Indians, extended 
southwestward to the headwaters of this stream, at Chippewa lake in 
Douglas county. As the Chippewa river of Wisconsin received its name 
from war parties of this tribe descending it to the Mississippi, likewise 
the river in Minnesota was named for this tribe, whose warriors some- 
times made it a part of their "war road" to the Minnesota valley, com- 
ing with their canoes from Leech lake and Mille Lacs by the Crow Wing, 
Long Prairie, and Chippewa rivers. The earliest publication of the name, 
Chippewa river, was by Keating and Nicollet, though only the other 
Sioux name, Manya Wakan, is given on Nicollet's map. Ojibway is more 
accurately the aboriginal tribal title, which is anglicized as Chippewa, 
with the final vowel long. The form Ojibway has been used in nearly 
all the publications of the Minnesota Historical Society. It is asserted 
by Warren, the Ojibway historian, that this name means '*to roast till 
puckered up," referring to the torture of prisoners taken in war. 

By the early French vojrageurs and writers the Ojibways were com- 
monly called Saulteurs, from their once living in large numbers about 
the Sault Ste. Marie. Their area, however, also comprised a great part 
of the shores of lakes Huron and Superior, with the adjoining country 
to variable distances inland. During the eighteenth century they much 
extended their range southwestward, driving the Sioux from the wooded 
part of Minnesota, and also spreading across the Red river valley to the 
Turtle mountain on the boundary between North Dakota and Manitoba. 

William W. Warren, whose mother was an Ojibway, prepared, in 
1851-53, an extended and very valuable "History of the Ojibway Nation," 
chiefly relating to its part in Minnesota and Wisconsin, which was pub-- 
lished in 1885 as Volume V of the Minnesota Historical Society Collec- 
tions. In Volume IX of the same series, published in 1901, Rev. Joseph 
A. Gilfillan, who during twenty-five years was a very devoted missionary 
among the Ojibways in the White Earth Reservation and other large parts 
of northern Minnesota, contributed a paper of 74 pages, vividly portrasdng 
the habits and mode of life of this people, their customs and usages in 
intercourse with each other and with the white people, their diverse 
types of physical and mental development and characteristics, and much 
of their recent history. The next paper in the same volume, 14 pages, is 

102 



CHIPPEWA COUNTY 103 

by Bishop Whipple, entitled "Civilization and Christianization of the 
Ojibways in Minnesota." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the derivations and meanings of names in this county 
has been gathered from "History of the Minnesota Valley/' 1882, in 
pages 913-937; from "History of Chippewa and Lac qui Parle counties," 
by L. R. Moyer and O. G. Dale, joint editors, two volumes, 1916; and 
from Frank E. Bentley, judge of probate, J. J. Stennes, county auditor, 
and Elias Jacobson, clerk of the court, also much from the late Lycurgus 
R. Moyer, court commissioner and editor of the recently published county 
history, each of these being interviewed during my visit to Montevideo 
in July, 1916. 

AsBURY, a Great Northern railway station, was named, like the villages 

and postoffices of this name in nine other states, in honor of Francis 

-^jAghiiry the first Methodist Episcopal bishop in the United States, who 

was bom in England, 1745, and died in Virginia, 1816. He was sent by 

John Wesley as a missionary' to the American Colonies in 1771. 

Big Bend township, first settled in July, 1867, organized April 7, 1874, 
received its name for the bend of the Chippewa river in the north part of 
this township. 

Claka City, a railway village on the line of Rheiderland and Stone- 
ham, founded in 1887, was named in honor of the wife of Theodor F. 
Koch, one of the managers for a Holland syndicate buying farm lands 
and establishing colonies here. 

Crate township was at first named Willow Lake, for the lake, now 
drained, which was crossed by its south boundary. That name, however, 
could not be accepted by the state auditor, because it had been previously 
given to another township of this state. The present name was selected 
by the citizens July 23, 1888, in compliment to Fanning L. Beasley, an 
early homesteader in section 4ythis being a nickname by which he was 
generally known. It had reference to his middle name, Lucretius. 

Grace township, first settled in October, 1869, and organized August 
9, 1880, was named in honor of Grace Whittemore, daughter of Augustus 
A. Whittemore, a homesteader in section 8, who was the contractor and 
builHer of the court house in Montevideo. 

Granite Falls township, settled in 1866, set apart for organization 
March 9, 1880, received its name from the rock outcrops and falls of the 
Minnesota river here. This name is also borne by the adjoining city of 
Granite Falls, which is the county seat of Yellow Medicine county, and 
which extends across the river to include a part of section 34 in this town- 
ship. 

Havelock township, settled in June, 1872, organized October 6, 1873, 
was named by John C. and Aaron J. MuUin, brothers, and other settlers 
from the eastern provinces of Canada, in honor of the English general. Sir 
Henry Havelock (b. 1795, d. 1857), the hero who in 1857 relieved the 
siege of Lucknow, India. 



104 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Kragebo, first'permanently settled in 1867-68, organized April 7, 1873, 
was named for Hans H. Kragero, a pioneer farmer here, whose surname 
was taken from his native town, the seaport of Kragero in southern Nor- 
way, on an inlet of the Skagerrak. He was bom June 17, 1841 ; was a 
sailor, and afterward lived in Chicago, 1866-69; and came to Minnesota 
in 1870, settling in section 12 of the south part of this township. 

The trading post of Joseph Renville, and the early Presbyterian mis- 
sion for the Sioux conducted by Williamson and Riggs, 1835-1854, were 
in what is now section 13 in the southern corner of Kragero, nearly 
opposite the mouth of the Lac qui Parle river and dose southeast from 
the foot of the lake. The site of the old mission station is marked by a 
granite block, inscribed "Lac qui Parle Mission, 1835." 

Leenthrop township, settled in 1870, organized January 20, 1872, has 
probably a Swedish name, anglicized in spelling. 

Lone Tree township, organized August 5, 1878, received it name for 
a lone and tall cottonwood tree near the west end of Bad Water or Lone 
Tree lake, which tree was a landmark for the first immigrants. 

LouRiSTON, settled in 1867, organized September 18, 1877, was named 
in compliment for Laura Armstrong, daughter of Henry Armstrong, who 
was a homesteader on section 8, and who was elected in the first town- 
ship meeting as one of its justices and a member of its board of super- 
visors. 

Mandt^ first settled in 1869 and organized June 13, 1876, was named in 
honor of Engelbreth T. Mandt, an early settler in section 30, at whose 
house the first town meeting was held, in which also he taught the first 
school in the spring of 1875. 

Maynard^ a railway village in Stoneham, was platted in 1887 by John 
M. Spicer, of Willmar, superintendent of this division of the Great 
Northern railway, and was named "in honor of his sister's husband." 

MiLAN^ the railway village of Kragero, was platted December 1, 1880, 
and was incorporated March 15, 1893. This name of the great city in 
northern Italy is borne also by villages in twelve other states of our 
Union. 

Minnesota Falls, a railway station in the southern corner of this 
county, established in 1879, bears the name of a township and former 
village in Yellow Medicine county, on the opposite side of the Minnesota 
river, where on a fall or rapids of the river a dam and a sawmill and a 
flouring mill were built in 1871-72. 

Montevideo^ the county seat, was platted May 25, 1870, was incorpo- 
rated as a village March 4, 1879, and as a city June 30, 1908. This Latin 
name, signifying "from the mountain I see," or "Mount of Vision," was 
selected, according to the late L. R. Moyer, by Cornelius J. Nelson, a 
settler who came here in 1870 from the state of New York, platted addi- 
tions to the village in 1876 and 1878, and was its president in 1881 and 
1885-7. The village and future city "was given its high-sounding appella- 



CHIPPEWA COUNTY 105 

tion by its romantic founders, who were so delighted by the wonderful 
view gained from the heights overlooking the interlocking valleys of the 
Minnesota and Chippewa rivers at that point, that they translated their 
feeling into good, mouth-filling Latin." But this name, while very appro- 
priate on account of the view here, was derived by Nelson from the 
large South American city, the capital of Uruguay, whence the mayor of 
that Montevideo about the year 1905 presented the Uruguayan flag to this 
municipality. 

Another good reason for the choice of this name, in allusion to the 
grand prospect seen from the river bluffs, may have been found in the 
aboriginal Sioux name of the Chippewa river, before noted as Manya 
Wakan (meaning wonderful bluffs), quite probably so named by these 
observing people in their admiration, like our own, for the beautiful and 
noble panorama here spread around them. 

An earlier settlement on the opposite side of the Chippewa river had 
been platted and named Chippewa City in the autumn of 1868, and the 
county seat was there tmtil 1870, when it was changed to the new town of 
Montevideo by an act of the state legislature. 

Rheiderland township, organized August 15, 1887, was named by early 
settlers from Holland, probably taking this name from Rheydt or Rheidit, 
a city of Rhenish Prussia, about twelve miles east of the Holland boun- 
dary, which had a population of 34,000 in 1900. 

Rosewood, first settled in 1869, organized September 2, 1871, was, named 
for a village in Ohio, whence several German settlers of this township 
came. 

Sparta, settled in 1868-9, organized March 22, 1870, was earliest called 
Chippewa, for the river ; was renamed by petition of its people, several of 
whom had come from Sparta in Wisconsin. The name belonged to a 
renowned city of ancient^ Greece, extremely heroic in wars, and it is re- 
tained by a modem city 'partly on the same site, which has about 4,000 
people. This township ''received the first permanent white settlement in 
the county, it being within its limits that Chippewa City was situated, and 
a little later Montevideo." 

Stoneham, organized August 9, 1880, was so named on the suggestion 
of a settler who came from the town of Stoneham, Mass., near Boston. 
A further motive for adoption of this name was to honor another of its 
citizens, Hammet Stone. 

TuNSBBRG, first settled in the spring of 1865, organized March 21, 1870, 
is thought to have been named for a locality or a farm in Norway. 

Watson, the railway village of Tunsberg, platted in August, 1879, was 
named by <^cers of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway com- 
pany. 

Wegdabl, a railway village in the southeast comer of Sparta town- 
ship, was named in honor of the pioneer farmer on whose land it was 
platted. Hemming Amtzen Wegdahl, who was the first postmaster there. 



106 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

His surname was probably derived from the farm of his native place in 
Norway. 

Woods township, settled in 1876, was organized in 1879. "Most of 
the odd sections were sold to a land syndicate headed by Judge William 
W. Woods, of Ohio. It was for him that the township was named." 
(History of Chippewa County, vol. I, page 214.) 

Streams and Lakes. 

The origin and significance of the name of the Minnesota river, 
adopted by the state, are presented in the first chapter ; the lake of this 
river, named Lac qui Parle, will be considered in the chapter for the 
county of that name; and the Chippewa river, giving its name to this 
county, is fully noticed at the beginning of the present chapter. 

Hawk creek is translated from the Sioux name, "Chetambe R.," given 
on Nicollet's map. 

Palmer creek was named for Frank Palmer, one of the first settlers 
there in 1866, and Brof ee's creek was likewise named for an early settler, 
these being tributary to the Minnesota river between Granite Falls and 
Montevideo. 

Spring creek,. Dry Weather and Cottonwood creeks, flowing into the 
Chippewa river, need no explanation. 

Shakopee creek and lake, in the north part of Louriston, flowing to 
the Chippewa river in Swift county, received their name, the Sioux word 
meaning six, from the Six Mile grove, which borders the river along that 
distance and reaches from the mouth of Shakopee creek northward into 
Six Mile Grove township at the center of that county. Another name 
of the Shakopee lake, in somewhat common use, is Buffalo lake. 

Black Oak lake, which was mostly in section 12, Sparta, four miles 
east of Montevideo, has been drained. It was mapped by Nicollet with 
its equivalent Sioux and English names^ "Hutuhu Sapah, or Black Oak 
L" A grove of about forty acres bordered it, as stated by the late L. R. 
Moyer, comprising many large bur oaks, but no black oaks, although the 
latter is generally a common or abundant species of southeastern Minne- 
sota. 

Willow lake, previously mentioned in connection with Crate town- 
ship, as now drained, was named for its willows, of which eight species 
or more are found frequent or common throughout the state, ranging in 
size from low shrubs to small trees. Three shrubby willow species and 
one of tree size are listed in Chapter III of the History of Chippewa 
County, by the late L. R. Moyer, entitled "The Prairie Flora of South- 
western Minnesota." 

Lone Tree lake, which gave its name to a township, as before noted, 
has also been known as Bad Water lake, being somewhat alkaline. 

Epple lake, in sections 20 and 29, Woods, and Norberg lake, in section 
26, Stoneham, bear the names of adjacent pioneer settlers. 



CHISAGO COUNTY 

Established September 1, 1851, and organized October 14 of that year, 
this county bears a name proposed by William H. C Folsom, of Taylor's 
Falls, who wrote of its organization and the derivation of the name, as 
follows ("Fifty Years in the Northwest," 1888, on pages 298-9 and 306). 

"The county takes the name of its largest and most beautiful lake. 
In its original, or rather aboriginal form, it was Ki-chi-sago, from two 
Chippewa words meaning Icichi,' large and 'saga,' fair or lovely. For 
euphonic considerations the first syllable was dropped. 

"This lake is conspicuous for its size, the clearness of its waters, its 
winding shore and islands, its bays, peninsulas, capes, and promontories. 
It has fully fifty miles of meandering shore line. Its shores and islands 
are well timbered with maple and other hard woods. It has no waste 
swamps, or marsh borders. When the writer first came to Taylor's Falls, 
this beautiful lake was unknown to fame. No one had seen it or could 
point out its location. Indians brought fish and maple sugar from a lake 
which they called Kichi-saga sagiagan, or large and lovely lake.' This 
lake, they said, abounded with 'kego,' fish. . . . 

"The movement for the organization of a new county from the north- 
em part of Washington commenced in the winter of 1851-52. A formid- 
able petition to the legislature to make such organization, drawn up and 
circulated by Hon. Ansel Smith, of Franconia, and the writer, was duly 
forwarded, presented and acquiesced in by that body. The writer had 
been selected to visit the capital in the interest of the petitioners. Some 
difficulty arose as to the name. The writer had proposed 'Chi-sa-ga.' 
This Indian name was ridiculed, and Hamilton, Jackson, Franklin, and 
Jefferson, were in turn proposed. The committee of the whole finally 
reported in favor of the name, Chisaga, but the legislature, in passing the 
bill for our county organization, by clerical or typographical error changed 
the last 'a' in 'saga' to 'o,' which, having become the law, has not been 
changed." 

In Baraga's Dictionary the second of the two Ojibway words, saga, used 
by Folsom to form this name, is spelled sasega, or sasegamagad, being 
defined, "It is fair, it is ornamented, splendid." In pronunciation, this 
name Chisago has the English sound of Ch, and it accents the second 
syllable, preferably with a as in father (but in prevailing use taking the 
broad sound as in fall.) 

Townships and Villages. 

The sources of information for this county have been "Fifty Years in 
the Northwest," by William H. C. Folsom, 1888, pages 298-354; and 
Edward W. Stark, judge of probate, Alfred P. Stolberg, county attorney, 

107 



108 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

and John A. Johnson, sheriff, interviewed during my visit at Center City, 
the county seat, in May, 1916. 

Almelund, a hamlet in the south part of Amador, founded about 
1887, means, in the Swedish language, Elm Valley. The name was 
adopted in compliment to the first postmaster there, Mr. Almquist, whose 
name means an elm twig or branch. 

Amador, settled in 1846, organized in 1858, bears a name which means, 
in the Spanish language, a lover, a sweetheart. It is the name of a county 
and a village in central California, whence it was adopted here by settlers 
of this township who had previously visited California. In the same way, 
probably, came also this name as applied to small villages in Iowa, Kan- 
sas, and Michigan. 

Branch, named from the North Branch of Sunrise river flowing 
through this township, "was set off from Stmrise and organized in 1872." 

Center City, a village in Chisago Lake township, was platted in May, 
1857, and has been the county seat since 1875. Its name refers to its 
central position, between Chisago City and Taylor's Falls. 

Chisago City, also a village in Chisago Lake township, was platted in 
1855, taking its name from the lake. 

Chisago Lake township, likewise named for the beautiful lake, was 
settled in 1851 and was organized in 1858. This name, given to the 
county, has been fully noticed on a preceding page. 

Fish Lake township,- organized in 1868, having formerly been a part 
of Sunrise, is named for its lake in section 25 and the outflowing creek, 
both of which are translated from their Ojibway names. 

FbANCx)NiA township, organized in 1858, received its name from the 
earlier village, which was first settled and named by Ansel Smith, who 
came from Franconia, N. H., in the region of the White Mountains. The 
village was platted in 1858, and was incorporated in 1884. This is an 
ancient name of a large district in Germany. 

Harris township, first settled in 1856, and organized in 1884, received 
its name from its earlier railway village, which was platted in May, 1873, 
and was incorporated in 1882, being named in honor of Fhilip S. Harris, 
a prominent ofHcer of the St Paul ^d Duluth railroad company. 

Kost, a small village in the south part of Sunrise, was named in honor 
of Ferdinand A. Kost, who built a flouring mill there in 1883. 

Lent township, organized in 1872, was named in honor of Harvey Lent, 
one of its first settlers, who came in 1855. 

Lindstrom, a village platted in 1880 on the central part of Chisago 
lake, including many summer homes of city residents, was named for 
Daniel Lindstrom, a pioneer farmer. He was born in Hdsingland, 
Sweden, in 1825; came to the United States, settling here; sold the 
greater part of his farm in 1878, which became the village site, and con- 
tinued to reside here until his death in 1895. 

Nessel, set off from Rushseba and organized in 1870, bears the name 
of its earliest pioneer farmer, Robert Nessel, who was born in Germany, 



CHISAGO COUNTY 109 

1834, came to the United States in 1847 and to Minnesota in 1854, and 
settled here in 1856. 

North Branch, the railway village of Branch township, named for the 
North branch of Sunrise river, was platted in January, 1870. 

Rush City received this record by Folsom: "In 1868, at the com- 
pletion of the St. Paul and Duluth railroad, a depot was built and a 
station established at the crossing of Rush river, around which rapidly 
grew up the village of Rush City. It was surveyed and platted by Ben- 
jamin W. Brunson, surveyor, in January, 1870, . . . was incorporated in 
1874." 

RusHSEBA township, organized in 1858, is in its second part an Ojib- 
way name, seba or sippi, meaning a river. Both the Rush lake, in Nessd 
township, and its outflowing Rush river, are translated from the aboriginal 
name. Several species of bulrushes and other rushes are common 
throughout this state, one of which (Scirpus lacustris), abundant in the 
shallow borders of lakes, was "in common use among the Indians for 
making mats." 

St. Croix River, a railway station in the east edge of Rusheba, is 
named for the river crossed there, of which an extended notice in respect 
to the origin of the name has been given in the first chapter. 

Shafer toMmship is noticed as follows by Folsom: "A Swedish 
colony settled here in 1853. . . The town organized first as Taylor's Falls, 
but the name was changed to Shafer in 1873. ... A railroad station . . . 
bears the name of Shafer, derived, together with the name of the town- 
ship, from Jacob ^af er, who, as early as 1847, cut hay in sections 4 and 
5. He seems to have been in no sense worthy of the honor conferred upon 
him, as he was but a transient inhabitant and disappeared in 1849. No 
one knows of his subsequent career. The honor ought to have been given 
to some of the hardy Swedes, who were the first real pioneers, and the 
first to make substantial improvements." 

Stacy, a railway village established in 1875, was named in honor of 
Dr. Stacy B. Collins, an early resident 

Stark, a small village in section 26, Fish Lake township, was named 
in honor of Lars Johan Stark, who was the first postmaster there. He 
was born in Westergotland, Sweden, July 29, 1826, and died in Harris, 
Minn., May 5, 1910. He came to the United States in 1850, and settled 
at Chisago Lake, Minn. ; engaged in mercantile business and farming ; was 
a representative in the state legislature in 1865 and 1875. His son, Edward 
W. Stark, born in Fish Lake township, December 5, 1869, was a merchant 
at Harris, 1890-1905; was a representative in the legislature in 1901-03; 
and has been judge of probate for this county since 1905, residing at 
Center City. 

Sunrise township, organized October 26, 1858, had earlier a village 
of this name, on the Sunrise prairie, where in 1853 a hotel and store were 
built by William Holmes. The name is received from the lake and river, 



no MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

whose Ojibway name, Memokage (pronounced in four syllables), is 
translated by GilfiUan as "Sun-keep-rising/' 

Taylor's Falls, a village at the head of the Dalles of the St Croix 
river, platted in 1S50-51, incorporated in 1858, during many years the 
county seat, was named for Jesse Taylor, who came in 1838, and Joshua 
L. Taylor, to whom the former sold his claim in 1846. Jesse Taylor, 
pioneer, was bom in Kentucky; was employed as a stone mason at Fort 
Snelling; was the first settler here, in 1838^ and owned a sawmill; removed 
to Stillwater in 1846, and resided there until 1853; was a representative 
in the territorial legislature, 1851-2. Joshua Lovejoy Taylor was born in 
Sanbornton, N. H., in 1816; and died in Ashland, Wis., April 27, 1901. 
He came to Minnesota in 1840, settling at Taylor's Falls ; engaged in lum- 
bering; pre-empted a part of the site of this village; lived in California, 
1849-56; returned here in 1856; removed to Ashland in 1896. 

F(Hsom wrote of this village and the adjacent part of the river, at 
the Interstate bridge: "'Many of the later residents query as to why it 
was ever called Taylor's Falls. It takes a keen eye to discover any fall 
in the river at the point named. The falls indeed were once far more 
conspicuous than they are now, owing to the fact that a large rock rose 
above the water at the ordinary stage, around which the crowded waters 
roared and swirled. That rock, never visible in later days, was called 
Death Rock, because three hapless mariners in a skiff were hurled against 
it by the swift current and drowned." 

Wyoming township, organized in 1858, derived its name from the 
Wyoming Valley in Ltueme county, Pennsylvania, which is traversed by 
the North branch of the Susquehanna river. A colony from that region 
had settled in the western part of this township in 1855, and the eastern 
part had been earlier settled by Swedes. The village of Wyoming was 
platted in 1869, the next year after the completion of the St. Paul and 
Duluth railroad^ and ten years later the branch from Wyoming to Tay- 
lor's Falls was built 

This name, given also to the Territory of Wyoming, organized in 1868 
and admitted to the Union as a state in 1890, is from the language of 
the Delaware or Lenape Indians, formerly a large branch of the Algon- 
quian stock, signifying 'large plains," "extensive meadows." 

Lakes and Streams. 

In the preceding pages attention has been given to the names of 
several lakes and streams, including Chisago lake, the Sunrise river and 
its North branch, Fish lake, and the Rush lake and river. The St Croix 
river, belonging to several counties, is considered in the first chapter 
with the large rivers of this state. 

Names commemorating pioneer settlers include four in Fish Lake 
township. These are Alexis lake, in sections 5 and 8, for John P. 
Alexis; Mandall lake, in the northwest quarter of section 15, for Lars 



CHISAGO COUNTY 111 

Mandall; Molberg lake, in the northwest quarter of section 22, for Erick 
Molberg; and Neander kke, section 11, named for Nels P. Neander. 
All of these settlers came as farmers, themselves or their parents being 
immigrants from Sweden. 

Browning creek, in Harris, was named for John W. Browning, a 
pioneer farmer from the eastern states and of English descent 

Colby lake, about a mile northwest of Taylor's Falls, was named for 
an early farmer who likewise came from the eastern states. 

Bloom's lake, in section 7, Franconia, was named in honor of Gustaf 
Bloom, from Sweden, whose son, David Bloom, has been since 1909 the 
county register of deeds; and Ogren's lake, in section 12 of this town- 
ship, for Andrew Ogren, who was a soldier in our civil war. 

Linn lake, adjoining the south end of the eastern body of Chisago lake, 
was named for a family living at its west side. 

Lake Comfort, in sections 22 and 27, Wyoming, bears the name of 
I^. John W. Comfort, a physician who lived there and had a wide 
country practice. It is also very frequently called 'Hhe Doctor's lake." 

Heim's lake, in sections 29 and 50, Wyoming, mostly drained, received 
its name for families living there, especially for Conrad Heim, the 
pioneer. 

Martha and Ellen lakes, beside the railway in sections 1 and 12, 
Wyoming, and nearly adjoining the north end of Green lake, are also 
commemorative of early pioneers, but inquiries have failed to supply 
their surnames. 

Other lakes and creeks in this county, mostly bearing names that 
scarcely need explanations of their derivation, are Asp lake, in the north- 
west quarter of section 21, Fish Lake township, having aspen or poplar 
groves; Pine lake, in sections 23 and 26, Nessel, for its white pines; 
another Pine lake, about a mile south from the most southwestern arm 
of Chisago lake, situated, like the foregoing, near the southwestern lunit 
of the geographic range of our pines ; Grass lake, about two miles north- 
east of Harris, shallow and having much marsh grass on its borders; 
tiie Little Duck lake in section 19, Franconia; the much larger Goose 
lake, and Goose credk, flowing thence eastward to the St. Croix river; 
Spring creek, tributary to the St Croix three miles farther north; Rock 
creek, flowing through the northeast part of Rushseba, named for the 
conspicuous rock outcrops on the St. Croix river about a half mile 
northeast from ks mouth; Dry creek, in section 2, Shafer; Hay creek, 
flowing into the Sunrise river three miles from its mouth; the Middle, 
West, and South branches of Sunrise river; Leech lake, sections 35 and 
56, Nessel, named, like the great Leech lake in Cass county, for its 
plentiful leeches; Horseshoe and Little Horseshoe lakes, respectively 
in sections 23 and 22, Fish Lake township, named for their form ; Horse- 
shoe creek, their outlet; Chain lake, in section 6, Branch, named for its 
form or outline, and for the small lakes connected with it southward in 



112 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

a chainlike series; Mud lake, in section 28, Lent, shallow, with muddy 
shores and bottom; School lake, in the school section 36, Lent; Spring 
lake, one to two miles west of Lindstrom ; Little lake, a misnomer as it is 
nearly a mile long, lying a mile and a half northeast from Center Qty; 
Ice lake, in section 30, Franconia ; Swamp lake, sections 14 and 23, Fran- 
conia; Spider lake, named for its branched outline, in section 27, near 
the south end of Chisago Lake township ; First, Second, and Third lakes, 
consecutive in an east to west series, in sections 34 to 32, about a mile 
south and southwest of Spider lake; Green lake, after Chisago lake the 
second in size in this county, named for the clearness and beauty of its 
water, reflecting the verdure of the grass and trees on its banks; and 
White Stone lake, in sections 11 and 14, Wyoming, named for its white 
pebbles or boulders. 

Interstate Park at the Dalles of the St. Croix. 

The Legislative Manual of Minnesota, for 1907 and ensuing sessions, 
gives the following statement of the origin of this public park. 

"In 1895 the State of Minnesota, by a legislative act, set aside a tract 
of about 110 acres in the town of Taylor's Falls, Chisago county, as a, 
public park, to be called the State Park of the Dalles of the St Croix. 
An act was also passed by the Wisconsin legislature of the same year, 
which provided a commission to ascertain the probable cost of acquir- 
ing a larger tract for a state park on the opposite side of the St. Croix 
river; and in 1899 and 1901 the State of Wisconsin passed acts for the 
purchase of lands there, amounting to about 600 acres. The original 
park on the Minnesota side of the river has been extended to an area 
of about 150 acres, and plans are under consideration for further 
extension to a total of about 500 acres in Minnesota. The two states 
have thus established an Interstate Park, including the grand and pictur- 
esque rock gorge called the Upper Dalles of the St. Croix, where the 
river for a distance of two-thirds of a mile, at and just south of the 
village of Taylor's Falls, flows through a chasm walled by cliffs of rock 
75 to 150 feet high. 

"The first suggestion for devoting this tract of remarkable natural 
beauty to such public use was made by George H. Hazzard, a pioneer 
of Minnesota Territory, to members of the Minnesota legislature in 
1893. His idea was welcomed with enthusiasm by newspapers, com- 
mercial bodies, and the people of the State." 

The name Dalles, applied by the early French vo3rageurs to rock- 
walled gorges of the Wisconsin river, the St. Croix and St. Louis rivers 
in Minnesota, and the Columbia river on the boundary between Oregon 
and Washington, came from a French word, dalle, meaning a flagstone 
or slab of rock, referring in this name to the vertical and jointed rock 
cliffs enclosing the rivers at the localities so named, where in most in- 
stances (though not in the case of the St. Croix) the river flows 
through its gorge in rapids and falls. 



CHISAGO COUNTY 113 

In the Upper Dalles, at Taylor's Falls, and again in the Lower 
Dalles, situated two miles farther down the river and reaching a third 
of a mile, close above the village of Franconia, the rock walls of trap, 
Keweenawan diabase, rise almost or quite perpendicularly on each side 
of the river, inclosing it at each place by a very picturesque gorge. 

A paper entitled "Giants' Kettles eroded by Moulin Torrents," con- 
tributed by the present writer to the Bulletin of the Geological Society 
of America (vol. 12, 1900, pages 25-44, with a map), was partly quoted 
as follows by the Legislative Manual in 1907 and 1909. 

"To nearly every visitor the most interesting and wonderful feature 
of the Interstate Park consists in many large and small waterwom 
potholes, which are also, in their large examples, often called Veils.' 
The languages of Germany, Sweden, and Norway, give the name 'giants' 
kettles' to such cylindric or caldron-shaped holes of stream erosion, 
which are everywhere characteristic of waterfalls and rapids, especially 
in crystalline rocks. These potholes, occurring most numerously near 
the steamboat landing of Taylor's Falls, at the central part of the Upper 
Dalles, anJ^ within a distance of fifty rods northward, are unsurpassed 
by any other known locality in the world, in respect to their variety 
of forms and grouping, their great number, the extraordinary irregu- 
larity of contour of the much jointed diabase in which they are eroded, 
and the difficulty of explanation of the conditions of their origin." 

Like the giants' kettles of the Glacier Garden at Lucerne, Switzer- 
land, these larger and deeper potholes are ascribed "to erosion by torrents 
of water falling through crevasses and vertical tunnels, called moulins, 
of an ice-sheet during some stage of the Glacial period. In this park 
they seem referable to the stage of final melting and departure of the 
ice-sheet from this area." 



CLAY COUNTY 

This county, established March S, 1862, and organized April 14, 
1872, was named for the greatly admired statesman, Henry Clay, of 
Lexington, Kentucky. He was born in Hanover county, Virginia, April 
12, 1777; died in Washington, D. C, June 29, 1852. He began to study 
law in 1796, and in the next year, being admitted to practice, he removed 
to Kentucky; was U. S. senator, 1806-7 and 1810-11; was a member of 
Congress, 1811-21 and 1823-25, serving as speaker in 1811-14, 1815-20, 
and 1823-25; was peace commissioner at Ghent in 1814; was candidate 
for the presidency in 1824; secretary of state, 1825-29; again U. S. 
senator, 1831-42 and 1849-52; was Whig candidate for the presidency 
in 1832 and 1844; was the chief designer of the ''Missouri Compromise," 
1820, and of the compromise of 1850; was the author of the compromise 
tari£F of 1833; said in a speech in 1850, "I would rather be right than 
be President." 

Among the numerous biograi^ies of Henry Gay, the most extended 
is by Rev. Calvin Colton, six volumes, containing speeches and corre- 
spondence, published in 1846-57; its revised' edition, 1864; and its repub- 
lication in 1904, ten volumes, with an introduction by Thomas B. Reed, 
and a History of Tariff Legislation, 1812-1896, by William McKinley. 

Carl Schurz, on the final page of his "Life of Henry Gay," pub- 
lished in 1887 (two volumes, in the "American Statesmen" series), 
pointed to his greatest political motive: "It was a just judgment which 
he pronounced upon himself when he wrote, 'If any one desires to know 
the leading and paramount object of my public life, the preservation of 
this Union will furnish the key.'" Near the end< of the dark first year 
of our civil war, and nearly ten years after Gay had died, this county 
was named. Minnesota had then raised four regiments for the defence 
of the Union. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of names in this county 
has been received from "History of the Red River Valley," two volumes, 
1909, pages 796-830; from Hon. Solomon G. Comstock, of Moorhead, 
and Andrew O. Houglum, county auditor, interviewed during my visit in 
Moorhead in September, 1916; and from Nathan Butler, of Minneapolis, 
who was formerly a resident in Barnesville during twenty years, 1883- 
1903. 

Alliance township was named for the Farmers' Alliance, a political 
party of considerable prominence in Minnesota during the campaign 
of 1890. Hon. George N. Lamphere, in a paper entitled "History of 
Wheat Raising in the Red River Valley" (Minn. Hist. Soc. Collections, 

114 



CLAY COUNTY 115 

vol. X, 1905, pages 1-33), stated that the agitation for lower railroad 
freight rates, which was the cause of the formation of the Farmers' 
Alliance, began in 1883-4 in Clay county, spread thence throughout the 
wheat-raising districts of this state, and developed into the People's 
or Populist party. 

AvERiLL, a railway village on the boundary line of Moland and Spring 
Prairie, was named in honor of Gen. John Thomas Averill, who was 
born in Alma, Maine, March 1, 1825, and died in St Paul, Minn., October 
3, 1889. He was graduated at Wesleyan College; settled in Lake City, 
Minn., 1857; served during the civil war in the Sixth Minnesota regi- 
ment, becoming its colonel in 1864, and was brevetted a brigadier general 
in 1865. After the war he founded and conducted a wholesale paper 
house in St Paul, under the name of Averill, Carpenter and Co. In 
1858-60 he was a state senator; and in 1872-5 represented his district in 
Congress. 

Baker, a railway village in section 1, Alliance, was named for Lester 
H. Baker, a farmer there, who removed to the State of Washington. 

Barmesville township was named after its railway village, which 
was established in 1874 by George S. Barnes, a farmer and wheat 
merchant, who owned and managed a very large farm near Gl3mdon 
and died there about the year 1910. The village was incorporated 
November 4, 1881, and received its charter as a city April 4, 1889. 

CoMSTOCK, the railway village of Holy Cross township, was named 
in honor of Solomon Gilman Comstock, of Moorhead, for whom also 
a township in Marshall county was named. He was bom in Argyle, 
Maine, May 9, 1842; came to Minnesota in 1869, settling in Moorhead; 
was admitted to the bar in 1871 ; was a representative in the state legis- 
lature, 1876-7 and 1879-81; a state senator, 1883-7; and a representative 
in Congress, 1889-91. 

Cromwell township, settled partly by immigrants from England, 
was named, in accordance with the petition of its citizens, for Oliver 
Cromwell (born 1599, died 1658). 

DiLWORTH, a village and division point of the Northern Pacific railway, 
three miles east of Moorhead, was named by officers of that railway 
company. 

DovGLAS, a Great Northern railway station two miles south of 
Georgetown, was named in honor of James Douglas, one of the first 
settlers of Moorhead. He was born in Scotland, March 13, 1821 ; came 
with his parents to the United States in 1832 ; came to Minnesota in 1871, 
settling in Moorhead, where he was a merchant, built the steamboats 
Manitoba and Minnesota in 1875 for the Red river trade, and secured 
the building of a flouring mill. 

Downer, the railway village of Elkton township, was named by 
officers of the Great Northern railway company. 

Eglon township bears the name of a city of ancient Palestine, also 
of postoffices in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Washington. 



116 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

m 

Elkton township refers to the elk formerly common or frequent 
here and in many parts of Minnesota. 

Elm WOOD township received this euphonious name in accordance with 
its petition for organization, alluding to its abundant elm trees along 
the South fork of Buffalo river. 

Felton township was named, after its railway station, in honor of 
S. M. Felton, by the officers of the Great Northern railway company. 

FiNKLE, a railway station four miles south of Moorhead, was named 
in honor of Henry G. Finkle, an early pioneer, of the firm of Bruns and 
Finkle, merchants in Moorhead. 

Flowing township has chiefly Scandinavian settlers, by whom this 
name was adopted, but its significance remains to be ascertained, unless 
it refers to artesian or flowing wells. The many flowing wells in the 
Red river valley, of which Qay county and this township have a good 
number, are the subject of a chapter in "The Glacial Lake Agassiz," 
(Monograph XXV, U. S. Geological Survey, 1896, pages 523>581, with 
a map). 

Georgstown waff established as a trading post of the Hudson Bay 
Company in 1859; was abandoned in September, 1862, during the Sioux 
outbreak; and was reestablished in 1864. The township received its 
name from the trading post. 

Glyndon was platted as a railway village in the spring of 1872, 
being named by officers of the Northern Pacific railroad company, and 
thence the township was named. It is also the name of small villages 
in Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

Goose Praxris township was named for the wild geese formerly 
plentiful in its lakes and sloughs. 

Hagen township commemorates an early Norwegian settler of this 
surname. A large manufacturing city in western Germany bears this 
name. 

Hawley^ a railway village settled by an English colony in 1871, 
incorporated February 5, 1884, and its township, at first called Bethel, 
were renamed in honor of Gen. Joseph Roswell Hawley, of Connecti- 
cut, one of the original stockholders of the Northern Pacific railroad 
company. He was born in Stewartsville, N. C, October 31, 1826; died 
in Washington, D. C, March 17, 1905. He was graduated at Hamilton 
College, 1847; was admitted to practice law, 1850; became editor of the 
Evening Press, Hartford, Conn., 1857; served as a brigade and division 
commander in the Union army during the civil war, and was brevetted 
major general in 1865; was president of the U. S. Centennial Com- 
mission, 1873-77; was member of Congress, 1872-75 and 1879-81; was 
U. S. senator, 1881-1905. 

Highland Grove township received its name for its location on the 
high ascent eastward from the Red river valley, and for the groves 
beside its lakes and on the Buffalo river, the surface all about being mainly 
prairie. 



CLAY COUNTY 117 

HiTTESDAL^ a railway village on the line between Goose Prairie and 
Highland Grove, is named for a valley and lake in southern Norway. 

Holy Cross township was named for a conspicuous wooden cross set 
on the prairie at a cemetery about a half mile west of the Red river, 
in North Dakota, amid a Catholic community of French Canadian farm- 
ers. This township on the Minnesota; side was settled by Norwegian 
farmers, Lutherans, and both sides of the river were comprised in the 
"Holy Cross neighborhood." 

Humboldt township, settled by a German colony, is named in honor 
of the celebrated German scientist, traveler, and author, Alexander 
von Humboldt, who was born in 1769 and died in 1859. In the years 
1799 to 1804 he traveled in South America and Mexico, and later he 
published many books on his observations of natural sciences, history, 
and political affairs of this continent. 

Keene township was named for a homesteader there, who was a 
veteran of the civil war. 

Kbagnes was named in honor of A. O. Kragnes, a prominent Nor-i 
wegian farmer, one of the first settlers of that township, who came 
from Houston county in 1872. He was born in Norway and came to 
the United states in 1852, with his parents, who two years later settled 
in Houston county. 

Kurtz township was named for Thomas C. Kurtz, formerly cashier 
of the Merchants' Bank, Moorhead, who removed to Portland, Oregon. 
He is a son of Colonel John D. Kurtz, of the United States Engineer 
Corps, who served with distinction during the civil war, and later was 
superintendent of the engineering works of Delaware bay and river. 

Lambs^ the railway station in Oakport, was named for John and 
Patrick H. Lamb, brothers from Ireland, who were early settlers and 
engaged extensively in farming, brick-making, railroad construction, 
and banking. 

MoLAND township was named by its Norwegian settlers. 

MooRHEAD, first settled in 1871, when the building of the Northern 
Pacific railroad reached its site, was named in honor of William G. 
Moorhead, of Pennsylvania, who was a director of that railroad com- 
pany. He was a partner of Jay Cooke, the Northern Pacific financial 
agent, and his first wife was a sister of Cooke. He was president of the 
Philadelphia and Erie railroad, and his brother, Gen. James Kennedy 
Moorhead, was likewise much interested in railway development, espe- 
cially in the Northern Pacific finances. Moorhead was incorporated as a 
city February 24, 1881, and the township also bears this name. 

The adjoining city of Fargo, in North Dakota, was named for William 
George Fargo, (b. 1818, d. 1881), of Buffalo, N. Y., founder of the 
Wells, Fargo Express Company and prominent as a Northern Pacific 
director. 

Cass county. North Dakota, adjoining Gay county, and. also its city 
of Casselton, are named for Gen. George W. Cass, of Pennsylvania, 



1 18 MINNESO TA GEO GRAPHIC NAMES 

9 

who was president of the Northern Pacific raUroad company in 1872-75. 
He was born in Ohio, and was a nei^ew of Governor Lewis Cass, of 
Michigan; was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, 
in 1832; was president during twentynfive years of the Pittsburg, Fort 
Wayne and Chicago railroad company; purchased a large tract adjoin- 
ing the Northern Pacific line between fifteen and twenty miles west of 
Fargo, and, employing Oliver Dalrymple as farm superintendent, was the 
first to demonstrate in 1876 the high agricultural value of the Red river 
valley lands for wheat raising on a large scale. 

MoRK£N township was named in honor of T. O. Morken, its first home- 
steader, who came here from Houston county in 1875. 

MusKODA, a former station of the Northern Pacific railway in the east 
edge of section 7, Hawley, had an Ojibway name, meaning a meadow 
or tract of grass land, a large prairie. It is spelled Muskoday in Long- 
fellow's "Song of Hiawatha," with accent on the first syllable. In 
Baraga's Dictionary it is spelled mashkode, to be pronounced in three 
syllables nearly as by Longfellow. A few miles east of Clay county, 
the traveler on the Northern Pacific line passes out from the northeast 
forest region, and thence crosses an expanse of prairie and plain, mainly 
treeless, for eight hundred miles to the Rocky mountains. (By a 
relocation of the railroad to secure an easier grade in the next seven 
miles west of Hawley, the site of Muskoda is left now about two-thirds 
of a mile distant at the north.) 

Oaxpobt township has many oaks in the narrow fringe of timber 
along the navigable Red river. 

pAiucE township was named probably in honor of a pioneer settler. 
A county in western Indiana bears this name. 

RiVEBTON township has reference to Buffalo river, which flows across 
its northern part 

RusTAD, a railway village in Kurtz, was named in honor of Samuel 
Rustad, a Norwegian merchant there. 

RuTHRUFF^ a railway station in section 36, Moorhead, was named for 
an adjoining settler. 

Sabin, a railway village in Elmwood, is in honor of Dwight May 
Sabin,' who was born in Manlius, 111., April 25, 1844, and died in Chicago, 
December 23, 1902. ile came to Minnesota in 1867, and the next year 
settled in Stillwater, where he engaged in the lumber business, and in 
the manufacture of machinery, engines, and cars. He was a state sena- 
tor, 1871-3, and a United States senator, 1883-9. 

Skree was named for Mikkel Skree, a Norwegian farmer, who was 
the first settler of this township. 

Sfbing Prairie township, a euphonious name selected in the petition 
for organization, refers to its springs and rivulets. 

Tansem township was named for John O. Tansem, one of its pioneer 
fanners, a highly respected citizen. He was bom in Eidsvold, Norway, 



CLAY COUNTY 119 

in 1842; came to the United States in 1961; settled here, in the most 
southeastern township of this county, in 1862. 

Ulen township was named in honor of Ole Ulen, its first settler* 
He was bom in Norway, April 18, 1818, and died in Ulen village Janu- 
ary 19, 1891. He came to the United States in 1851, and to Minnesota 
in 1853, settling in Houston county; was a farmer there until 1867; 
removed to this county in 1872. 

VmiNG township was named for a Swedish settler there. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Bu£Falo river is translated from the Ojibway name of its southern 
tributary flowing from lakes in and near Audubon, in Becker county, of 
which Rev. Joseph A. GilAUan wrote that it "is called Pijikiwi-zibi, or 
BufiFalo river, from the fact that buffaloes were always found wintering 
there." Hence the white people have erroneously called the whole 
river Buffalo river. On Nicollet's map it is named "Pijihi or Buffalo KT 
The name used by the Ojibways for our Buffalo lake in Becker couficy^ 
and for the Buffalo river, flowing thence to the Red river, would be 
correctly translated as Beaver lake and Beaver river. 

Near the middle of the west side of Kragnes township, on the Red 
river opposite to the mouth of the Sheyenne, a townsite named LaFay- 
ette was surveyed in March, 1859; and there in April of that year, '^tlie 
first steamboat on the Red river was built . . . the materials for whkh 
were transported across the country from Crow Wing on the Mississippi^' 
where the steamer North Star was broken up for that purpose. The 
new boat was named the Anson Northup." (Lamphere, M. H. S. Collec- 
tions, vol. X, 1905, pages 16, 17; History of the Red River Valley, 1909, 
pages 569-572.) 

The Sheyenne river (here spelled unlike the Cheyenne river of South 
Dakota and the city Cheyenne, capital of Wyoming), flowing into the 
Red river from North Dakota, received this name, given by Nicollet as 
''Shayenn-oju R.," from the Sioux, designating it as the river of the 
Cheyenne tribe, meaning "people who speak a strange language." Rev. 
T. S. Williamson wrote (M. H. S. Collections, vol. I, pages 295-301) that 
when the Sioux first came to the Falls of St. Anthony, the lowas occu- 
pied the country about the mouth of the Minnesota river, and the Chey- 
ennes had their villages and cultivated fields "on the Minnesota between 
Blue Earth and Lac qui Parle, whence they moved to a western branch 
of Red river of the North, which still bears their name." Thompson 
recorded the narration in 1798 by an Ojibway chief, of an Ojibway 
war party who attacked and destroyed the Cheyenne village west of the 
Red river, probably about 1775 or 1780, but perhaps five or ten years 
later. (Thompson's Narrative, edked by Tyrrell, 1916, pages 236, 261-3). 
Next this tribe removed to a second Cheyenne river, west of the Missouri 
in South Dakota, and yet later they migrated farther across the plains to 
the west and south. 



120 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Wild Rice river, whose South branch runs through Ulen and ELagen, 
and the river of the same name in North Dakota, tributary to the Red 
river nine miles south of Fargo and Moorhead, are translated from the 
Ojibway names, referring |to their valued native grain, the wild rice, 
much harvested by the Indian women for food. It also gave the name 
of Mahnomen county, and is more fully noticed in the chapter for that 
county. 

No explanations seem needed for the names of Hay creek, tributary to 
the Buffalo river in section 33, Highland Grove, and a second Hay 
creek in Skree and Elkton; Spring creek, tributary to the last and join- 
ing it two miles southeast of Downer; and Stony and Willow creeks, 
flowing through Barnesville township to the South branch of Buffalo 
river. Each of the two creeks last named has been sometimes called 
Whiskey creek, in allusion to a great spree of the railway graders when 
the former railway line from Breckenridge to Barnesville was com- 
pleted. Another name for Stony creek, crossed Sy the railway two miles 
north of the city of Barnesville, is Sieber's creek, for Rudolph Sieber, 
who had a milk farm at its north side. 

Deerhom creek, in Alliance township, flowing northwestward from 
Wilkin county to the South branch of Buffalo river, received its name 
from antlers shed by deer and found by the pioneer settlers. 

The east margin of Gay county, above the Glacial Lake Agassiz, has 
numerous small lakes, but only a few have received names on maps. 
These bearing names are Silver lake, in section 26, Hawley, in allusion 
to its placid and shining surface; Moe lake, in sections 2, 11, and 12, 
Eglon, for Nels R. Moe, the farmer on its west side; Sand lake, in 
the east half of section 12, Eglon, for its sandy shore; Solum lake, in 
the' southwest quarter of the same section, for H. H. Solum, whose 
farm adjoins it; Lee lake, in sections 9 and 16, and Perch lake in section 
17, Eglon; Turtle lake, crossed by the east line of section 12, Parke; 
and Grove lake, partly in section 36, Tansem, lying mostly in Otter Tail 
county. 

Buffalo Delta of Lake Agassiz. 

Where the Buffalo river enters the area of the Glacial Lake Agassiz, 
a delta of stratified gravel and sand was deposited during tiie earliest 
and highest stage of the ancient lake. The Herman or first beach and 
the east edge of the delta were crossed by the Northern Pacific rail- 
road at Muskoda, and the extent of the delta from north to south, on 
both sides of the river, is seven miles, with a width from two to three 
and a half miles. (U. S. Geological Survey, Monograph XXV, 189^ 
pages 290-292, with map and section.) 



CLEARWATER COUNTY 

This county, established December 20, 1902, received its name from 
the Qearwater river and lake, which lie partly within its area. For the 
formerly great industry of pine lumbering, this was a very important 
river, the logs being floated down from the head stream and its tribu- 
taries into Qearwater lake and thence to the Red Lake river and the 
sawmills at Crookston. Another Clearwater river, likewise flowing 
through a lake of the same name, empties into the Mississippi at the 
town of Qearwater in Wright county. Both of these rivers, with their 
lakes, and also the Eau Qaire or Qearwater river in Wisconsin, derive 
their names by translation from those given by the Ojibways and other 
Indian tribes long before the coming of white men. According to Rev. 
Joseph A. Gilfillan, the Ojibway name of this river and the county, mean- 
ing Qearwater, is Ga-wakomitigweia. The name Qear Water river 
was used by Thompson in 1798, and on Nicollet's map, 1843. It was 
called Qear river on the map of Long's Expedition, 1823. 

The quality denoted by this term, Qearwater, is in contra3t with the 
more or less muddy and silty waters of the Missouri, Minnesota, and 
most other rivers, especially when they are in high flood stages, caused 
by the melting of winter snows at the return of spring or by exception- 
ally heavy rains, the inflowing drainage having washed down much mud, 
clay, and sand. 

Another very remarkable contrast to clearness in river and lake 
waters is surprisingly shown by other streams of the northern woods 
and swamps, colored dark and yellowish by the drainage to them from 
deca3ring leaves, fallen branches and trunks of dead trees, and peaty 
soil, but most of all where extensive peat swamps and bogs supply 
water in any time of considerable drought, long saturated with the peat 
and decaying vegetation. In some cases, as the Rat Root river and 
Black or Rat Root bay of Radny lake, in Koochiching county, seen during 
my travel in August, 1916, the very dark water, nearly or quite stagnant, 
although containing almost no mud or silty matter, is yet the antithesis of 
clearness or transparency, being too dark for one to see into it even to 
a depth of only two or three feet. From frequent acquaintance with 
similar peat-rstained streams, the observant Ojibways were wont to dis- 
tinguish other streams of opposite character by naming them for their 
crystal clearness. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of names was gathered 
from F. A. Norquist, county treasurer, Frederick S. Kalberg, editor 
of the Qearwater Crystal, and Albert Kaiser, banker, of Bagley, during 

121 



122 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

my visit in September, 1909; from T. L. Tweite, county treasurer, in 
my second visit, September, 1916; and for the Itasca State Park, lying 
mostly in this county, from Volumes VII and XI, Minnesota Historical 
Society Collections, 1893 and 1905, by the late Hon. J. V. Brower. 

Alida (accented on the second syllable, with the long English sound 
of its vowel), a village in section 10, Bear Creek, was named by Governor 
John Lind. Indiana and Kansas also have postoffices of this name. 

Bagley village, the county seat, was named in honor of Sumner C 
Bagley, an early lumberman of this part of the Clearwater river, who 
removed to Fosston in 1885 and died there in 1915. 

Bear Ckeek township is named for its Bear creek, flowing into the 
Mississippi river in section 26. 

Churnes^ a former postoffice in section 35, Greenwood, was named 
for its postmaster, Alexander Churnes, a Norwegian pioneer farmer. 

Clearbrook, the railway village in Leon, took its name from the 
brook there. 

Clover township, organized in 1914, received this name on the sug- 
gestion of James N. Vail, an early settler. 

Copley township was named in honor of Lafayette Copley, one of its 
first pioneers, who removed in 1916 to western Oregon. He came from 
Massachusetts; was the builder of five dams on the upper Clearwater 
river, used by T. B. Walker for log^riving. 

Dudley was named in honor of Frank E. Dudley, who was a county 
commissioner of Beltrami county when this township was organized, 
before the establishment of Qearwater county. He was born in Geauga 
county, Ohio; came to Minnesota in 1881 ; was mayor of Bemidji, 1900-02. 

Ebro, a railway station seven miles west of Bagley, has the name of 
a river in northeastern Spain. 

Eddy township was named in honor of Frank M. Eddy, of Sauk Cen- 
ter, Minn. He was born in Pleasant Grove, Minn, April 1, 1856; was 
a school teacher, and later a land examiner for the Northern Pacific 
railroad company; was clerk of the district court of Pope county, 1884- 
94; was a representative in Congress, 1895-1903. 

GoNViCK, the railway village of Pine Lake township, was named for 
Martin O. Gonvick, an early Norwegian settler there. 

Greenwood township was so named in its petition ^or organization, 
probably in allusion to the verdure of its woods. 

Hangaard township was named for Gunder G. Hangaard, its first 
homesteader, who came from Norway. Gunder postoffice, at his home 
in section 19, was also named for him. 

Holst township received its name in honor of H. J. Hoist, a Norwe- 
gian pioneer farmer there, who was sheriff of this county in 1904-06. 

Itasca township lies next north of Itasca lake and the State Park. 

Leon township is for Leon Dickinson, the first white child born there, 
son of Daniel S. Dickinson, who later removed to Montana. 



CLEARWATER COUNTY 123 

Leonard^ the railway village of Dudley township, was named for 
Leonard French, first child of an early settler, George H. French, who 
became a merchant of this village. 

Mallasd, a village in sections 5 and 8, Itasca, received it name for 
the adjoining lake, having many mallard ducks. 

Meadows, a former postoffice in Greenwood, now discontinued, was 
named for the wide natural meadows of the Qearwater river. 

Minerva township was named for the Roman goddess of wisdom, by 
Frederick S. Kalberg, owner of the Pinehurst farm on the southeast 
side of Lake Minerva, section 13. 

Moose Creek township has the small creek so named, flowing from 
section 21 to the northeast and east. 

Neving, a postoffice near the mouth of Clearwater lake, in Sinclair 
township, was named for a lumberman and farmer there, Robert Neving, 
who removed to Saskatchewan about the year 1910. 

Nora township was named in honor of Knut Nora, a Norwegian 
pioneer farmer there, who was a member of the first board of county 
commissioners. He removed to North Dakota several years ago. 

Olberg, a former small village in the north edge of section 22, Leon, 
named for Anton Olberg, a pioneer from Norway, was superseded by 
Qearbrook when the railway was built there. 

Pine Lake township has the large lake of this name, outflowing by 
Pine river, a tributary of Lost river. The original wealth of this region 
consisted in its timber of the white and Norway pines, but the timber 
lands are now largely changed into farms. 

Popple township was named for its plentiful poplar woods, misspelled 
and mispronounced, by quite common usage, in this name. 

Rice township refers to the headwaters of the Wild Rice river, with 
the Rice lakes. This river flows through the northwest corner of this 
township. 

Shevlin township and railway village were named in honor of the late 
Thomas Henry Shevlin, of Minneapolis. He was born in Albany, N. 
Y., January 3, 1852; died in Pasadena, Cal., January 15, 1912. He came 
to Minnesota in 18S6, settling in Minneapolis; was president of several 
logging and lumber manufacturing companies, cutting much pine timber 
in this county. He was donor of the Alice A. Shevlin Hall, University 
of Minnesota, built in 1906. 

Sinclair township received its name in honor of an early land sur- 
veyor. 

Weue (pronounced in two syllables), a small hamlet in section 18, 
Eddy, was named for Hans Weme, a Norwegian merchant, who was its 
first postmaster. 

WiLLBORG, a former postoffice in the south part of Eddy, was named 
for a Swedish farmer, Mart E^Willborg, who was the first postmaster 
and was the county judge of probate in the years 1904-09. 



124 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

WiNSOR township is in honor of Hans C. Widness, a Norwegian 
farmer, who was the first postmaster there. The name of the postoffice 
(now discontinued) and township was thus changed and anglicized in 
accordance with his suggestion. 

Among names of discontinued postoffices, two of fanciful or romantic 
significance were Moonlight, in section 3, Eddy, and Starlight, in section 
21, Sinclair. 

Lakes and Streams. 

In the foregoing list of townships and villages, attention has been 
given to Bear creek, Gear brook, Mallard lake, Moose creek, and the 
Pine lake and river. 

Rice lake and the Upper Rice lake, and the Wild Rice river, have 
probably borne these names in four successive languages, the Dakota or 
Sioux, the Ojibway, French, and English. The oldest printed reference 
is in the narrative of Joseph La France, a French and Ojibway half- 
breed, who in 1740-42 traveled and hunted with the Indians of a large 
region in northwestern Minnesota and in Canada northward to Lakes 
Winnipeg and Manitoba and Hudson bay. In the story of his wandering, 
given by Dobbs in "An Account of the Countries adjoining to Hudson's 
Bay," published in London in 1744, La France described the Upper Rice 
lake, in Bear Creek and Minerva townships of this county, as follows: 
"The Lake Du Siens is but small, being not above 3 Leagues in Circuit; 
but all around its Banks, in the shallow Water and Marshes, grows a 
kind of wild Oat, of the Nature of Rice; the outward Husk is black, but 
the Grain within is white and clear like Rice; this the Indians beat off 
into their Canoes, and use it for Food." (Minnesota in Three Centuries, 
1906, vol. I, pages 299h302.) This French name, Du Siens, seems proba- 
bly to be from the Dakota word, psin, meaning wild rice. 

Gilfillan gave the present Ojibway name of this Upper Rice lake as 
"Ajawewesitagun sagaiigun, meaning the lake where there is a portage 
from water running one way to waters running the opposite way, or 
briefly, Height-of-land lake." The portage was from the Mississippi 
river through this lake into the Wild Rice river. 

Seven miles distant westward, lying on the course of the Wild Rice 
river, is the larger Rice lake, in T. 145, R. 38, of this county, where our 
names of both the river and lake are received from the Ojibway name, 
noted by Gilfillan as "Ga-manominiganjikawi zibi, The river where wild 
rice stalk or plant is growing; so called from the last lake through 
which it flowed." According to the prevalent usage of the Ojibways, 
they gave to the river their name of the lake whence it flows. 

Nearly all the area of this lower Rice lake has only shallow water, 
one to five feet deep, so that the lake is filled with a luxuriant growth 
of wild rice. It presents in the late summer, when viewed from a 
distance, the appearance of a grassy marsh. The greater part of this 



CLEARWATER COUNTY 125 

valuable grain gathered for food by the Indians of the White Earth 
reservation is obtained from this lake and the Upper Rice lake. 

Thompson's map, from his field notes in 1798, has Wikl Rice river; 
Long's map, 1823, has this name, and also Rice lake; and Nicollet's map, 
1843, has "Manomin R. or Wild Rice R." and "Rice L." 

Four-legged lake, in Dudley, is a translation of its Ojibway name, 
given by Gilfillan as "Nio-gade (pronounced in four syllables) . . . 
from an old Indian of that name who liyed there." Its outlet flows west 
into Ruffee creek, called by the Ojibways Four-legged creek, which flows 
north to the Qearwater river. Our name of tJiis creek is in honor of 
Charles A. Ruffee, of Brainerd, who was appointed in 1874 by Governor 
Davis to make inquiries and report on '^he condition of the several 
bands of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota," with recommendations for 
state legislation toward their "ultimately becoming citizens of the State." 
("Aborigines of Minnesota," 1911, pages 671-3.) 

Lost river, flowing from Hoist and Eddy northwest and west to join 
the Qearwater river in Red Lake county, received its name for its 
formerly passing in section 17, Winsor, and for several miles onward, 
beneath a floating bog in a spruce swamp ; but its course has been opened 
by a state ditch, with reclamation of adjoining lands for agriculture. 

Peterson lake, in sections 4 and 5, Hoist, was named for Nels M. 
Peterson, owner of the land on its south side. 

Popple township has Minnow lake, named for its little flshes, in 
section 22, near the sources of Qearwater river; and Sabe lake, a 
name whose origin was not ascertained, on the south side of section 24. 

Lake Lomond, adjoining the north end of Bagley village, was named 
by Randolph A. Wilkinson, of St. Paul, general solicitor of the Great 
Northern railway company, for the "bonny Loch Lomond" of Scotland, 
the largest and most beautiful lake in Great Britain. 

Walker brook, flowing into the Qearwater river at the southeast corner 
of Bagley village, was named for Thomas B. Walker, of Minneapolis, 
who engaged extensively during many years in lumbering on the Qear- 
water river and its branches. He is also honored by the name of the 
county seat of Cass county, as noted, with a biographic sketch, in its 
chapter. 

Nora township has Walker Brook lake, in section 1 ; Mud lake, crossed 
by the east side of sections 25 and 36; and Mosquito creek, flowing west 
and southwest, tributary to Rice lake. 

Little Mississippi river, beginning in the north part of Shevlin, on 
a nearly level tract within a mile south of the Qearwater river, runs 
south and southeast to Manomin or Rice lake and the Mississippi in 
the southeast part of Jones township, Beltrami county. It was called 
Piniddiwin river by Schoolcraft in 1832, an abbreviation of the Ojibway 
name, meaning "the place of violent deaths, in allusion to an inroad and 
murder committed at this place, in former times, by the Sioux" (that is, 
at or near the mouth of this stream). 



126 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Tamarack lake, in sections 26 and 35, T. 146, R. 38, is named for 
the inclosing woods, consisting largely of the tamarack, our American 
larch. 

Long lake, in section 24, Rice, extending southeast into Itasca town- 
ship, and Heart lake, in section 25, Rice, are named from their shape. 

Gill and Sucker lakes, in sections 20 and 29, Itasca, are named for 
their species of fish, caught in gill nets. 

Big La Salle lake is crossed by the east line of sections 12 and 13, 
Itasca, lying partly in Hubbard county. It is tributary, with the smaller 
La Salle lake, a mile and a half farther north in that .county, to the 
Mississippi by a short stream flowing north, which was named La Salle 
river by Glazier in 1881. These recent names, in the latest atlas of 
Minnesota, are adopted to preserve in this region one of the historic names 
used by Schoolcraft and Nicollet, who described and mapped a Lake Mar- 
quette and a Lake La Salle on the Schoolcraft or Yellow Head river, 
two to three miles south of the site of Bemidji. Only one lake is there, 
although nearly divided into two by a strait, and both parts are now 
named together as Lake Marquette. 

Itasca State Park. 

Lake Itasca, the head of the Mississippi, and the greater part of the 
State Park inclosing this lake lie in Qearwater county. Oldest of our 
state parks, its place at the source of the greatest river of North America 
gives to it national significance and value, geographic, historic, and 
educational. 

The first expedition seeking to reach the head of the Mississippi 
was that of General Lewis Cass in 1820, penetrating the northern forest 
to Cass lake, which seems to have been regarded for some years after- 
ward as the principal source of the river. A few years later, in 1823, 
Beltrami traversed the country between the Red River valley and the 
upper Mississippi, crossing Red lake and entering the Mississippi basin 
above Cass lake by way of the Turtle lake and river, which, from his 
giving the name Lake Julia to a little lake at the water divide, are called 
the Julian sources of the Mississippi. But another stream, somewhat 
larger than the Turtle river, was known to come from the west and 
southwest, and in 1832 Schoolcraft, under instructions from the govern- 
ment, conducted an expedition up that stream, which has ever since 
been rightly considered the main Mississippi, to the lake at its head, 
which the Indians called Omushkos, that is, Elk lake. Schoolcraft 
then named it Itasca, from tiie Latin words Veritas, truth, and caput, 
head, supplied to him by Boutwell, the name being made by writing the 
words together and cutting off, like Procrustes, the first and last sylla- 
bles. Four years later, in 1836, Nicollet more fully explored this lake, 
and claimed that its largest tributary, the creek or brook Rowing into the 
extremity of its southwest arm, is ^'truly the infant Mississippi." 



CLEARWATER COUNTY 127 

Here the question rested until Captain Willard Glazier in 1881, six 
years after the Government sectional survey of that area, made his 
expedition to Itasca and to the lake in section 22, T. 143, R. 36, called 
by the Government survey plats Elk lake, lying close southeast of the 
southwestern arm of Itasca, and thence voyaged in a canoe to the 
mouths of the Mississippi. His ridiculous re-naming of Elk lake for 
himself, with assertion that it should be regarded as the main source of 
this river, in his subsequently published books and maps, directed the 
attention of geographers anew to the determination of the source of 
the Great River. 

Willard Glazier was born in Fowler, N. Y., August 22, 1841; and 
died in Albany, N. Y., in 1905. He served in New York regiments in 
the civil war, attaining the rank of captain, and published several books 
on the history of the war. His biography, entitled "Sword and Pen," 
by John Algernon Owens (written in large part by Glazier), was pub- 
lished in 1884, 516 pages, including 80 pages on his expedition in the 
summer and autumn of 1881 by the canoe route from Leech lake to 
Lake Itasca and Elk lake and thence down the Mississippi, with a 
map of the sources of this river. His later books on the Mississippi, 
are "Down the Great River," 1887, 4^3 pages, with the map redrawn, 
several names on it being changed; and "Headwaters of the Mississippi," 
1893, 527 pages, with six maps, including the narrative of Glazier's 
second expedition, going again in 1891, with a large party, to the head 
of the river for reinforcement of the claims that Lake Glazier, as 
named in 1881, is the geographic head and chief source. In this expedi- 
tion -the route, both in going and returning, was by the wagon road 
from Park Rapids to Lake Itasca. 

On account of the claims of Glazier and his friends, for Elk lake, 
renamed Lake Glazier, to be regarded as the head of the Mississippi, 
Hopewell Qarke, of Minneapolis and later of St Paul, made in October, 
1886, for Ivison, Blakeman, Taylor and Co., publishers, New York, a 
reconnoissance of Lake Itasca and its basin. His report, which appeared 
in Science for December 24, 1886, fully sustained the work and con- 
clusion of Nicollet, before noted. 

The Minnesota Historical Society next took up an investigation of 
the sources of this river, and the report of its committee, presented by 
Gen. James H. Baker at a meeting on February 8, 1887, repudiated 
Glazier's claims, and refused the substitution of his name for Elk lake. 
But a good result from this controversy was the great increase of 
public interest in the geography and history of the Itasca region, which 
brought within a few years the establishment of this State Park. In 
October, 1888, Hon. J. V. Brower began his explorations and surveys 
of Lake Itasca and its environs, which continued through four years, 
being commissioned in February, 1889, to this work by the Historical 
Society; and he was the chief factor in securing the establishment of 



128 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

the Park by an act of the state legislature, April 20, 1891, followed by 
an act of Congress, August 3, 1892, which granted to the state for this 
Park all undisposed lands of the United States within its area. 

The earliest printed proposal for the Itasca Park was a letter of 
Alfred J. Hill, in the St. Paul Dispatch, March 28, 1889. Throughout 
the work of Brower in examination and surveys of the park area. Hill 
was a colaborer with him concerning^ the history of the early Spanish 
and French explorers of the whole extent of the Mississippi, contribut- 
ing much of his excellent Volume VII of the Minnesota Historical 
Society Collections, entitled "The Mississippi River and its Source" 
(1893, pages xv, 360). 

The claims of Glazier are effectually cancelled by Brower in this 
work. Emile Levasseur in France, and N. H. Winchell, state geologist 
of Minnesota, followed with papers indorsing Brower's conclusion, that 
Nicollet's "infant Mississippi ... a cradled Hercules," in the southern 
part of the State Park, above Lake Itasca, is the veritable, highest, and 
farthest source of this river (Minnesota Historical Society Collections, 
vol. VIII, Part II, pages 213-231, published December 1, 1896). 

Jacob Vradenberg Brower, archaeologist and author, was born in 
York, Mich., January 21, 1844; and died in St. Cloud, Minn., June 1, 
1905. He came to Long Prairie, Minn., in 1860 ; served in the First Minne- 
sota cavalry, 1862-3; served in the U. S. navy, 1864-5; studied law and 
was admitted to the bar in 1873; was a representative in the legislature, 
1873; was register of the U. S. land office in St. Cloud, 1874-9; was the 
first commissioner of Itasca Park, 1891-95; explored and mapped many 
aboriginal mounds. He was author of Volume VII, M. H. S. Collec- 
tions, before cited; Volume XI in the same series, entitled "Itasca 
State Park, an Illustrated History" (1905, 285 pages); "Prehistoric 
Man at the Headwater Basin of the Mississippi" (1895, 77 pages) ; "The 
Missouri River and its Utmost Source" (1896, 150 pages, and a second 
edition, 1897, 206 pages) ; Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the 
Mississippi, a series of eight quarto volumes : I. Quivira, 1898, 96 pages ; 
IL Harahey, 1899, 133 pages ; III. Mille Lac, 1900, 140 pages ; IV. Kathio, 
1901, 136 pages; V. Kakabikansing, 1902, 126 pages; VI. Minnesota, 
Discovery of its Area, 1903, 127 pages; VII. Kansas, Monumental Per- 
petuation of its Earliest History, 1541-1896, 1903, 119 pages; VIIL Man- 
dan, 1904, 158 pages. Biographic sketches and portraits of Brower and 
his associates in archaeology, Alfred J. Hill and Theodore H. Lewis, 
are given by Prof. N. H. Winchell in "The Aborigines of Minnesota," 
1911, pages vi-xiv. 

The people of this state will forever remember Brower with gratitude, 
as the founder of Itasca Park, and its defender and guardian, amidst 
many difficulties and discouragements, through his last years. His 
heavy cares and efforts for truthfulness of the river history, and to 
protect the Park and Lake against ruthless damage by lumbermen, are 



CLEARWATER COUNTY 129 

shown througihout his latest book, the M. H. S. Volume XI; but in 
the darkest hour, when the biennial session of the state legislature in 
1893 adjourned without providing for the maintenance of the Park, with 
unfailing courage he exclaimed, "Itasca State Park shall live for- 
ever !" 

The Itasca Moraine. 

Another subject of much interest is presented by the admirable 
development of a belt of marginal moraine hills, knolls, and short ridges, 
traversing the south and west edges of the Park. This is part of a very 
extensive course of such irregularly hilly deposits of glacial and modi- 
fied drift crossing Minnesota, named the Itasca or Tenth moraine. It 
is one of twelve similar marginal moraines traced in this state by the 
present writer, formed at stages of temporary halt or readvance during 
the general recession and departure of the continental ice-sheet. 

Nomenclature of the Park. 

Most 6f the information for this list is from Brower's M. H. S. 
Volumes VII and XI, supplemented with various details from other 
sources. 

The Ojibways call Itasca lake Omushkos, as before noted, meaning 
Elk lake, which also is their name of the river thence to Lake Bemidji, 
as similarly they call it Bemidji river thence to Cass lake. In translation 
of the Ojibway name, the early French fur traders called Itasca Lac 
La Biche, and Beltrami in like manner named it "Doe lake, west source 
of the Mississippi." Boutwell wrote in his Journal, 1832: "This is a 
small but beautiful body of water. ... Its form is exceedingly irregfu- 
lar, from which the Indians gave it the name of Elk, in reference to its 
branching horns." (M. H. S. Collections, vol. I.) Brower wrote in 
Volume VII, page 119: "The topographical formation of the locality in 
its physical features, — the shape of an elk's head with the horns represent- 
ing the east and west arms, — ^no doubt gave it the name *Elk.' " 

Gen. James H. Baker, surveyor general for Minnesota, transferred 
the name Elk lake on the plats of the government survey, in 1875-76, to 
the lake at the east side of the Southwest arm of Itasca, designated by 
the Ojibways, as noted by Gilfillan, "Pekegumag sagaiigun, the water 
which juts off from another water." The same name was also used by 
the Ojibways, and is retained without translation by the white people, 
for a lake and falls of the Mississippi in Itasca county, and for a lake 
and Indian battle-ground in Pine county, being for those places com- 
monly spelled Pokegama. 

This lake had been visited by Julius Chambers in 1872, who then 
called it "Dolly Varden" from the name of his canoe; and in 1881 
Captain Glazier's party applied to it his name, which he endeavored 
strenuously but unavailingly to maintain, as related in preceding pages. 
A short time previous to Glazier's visit. Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan, going 



130 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

there in May, 1881, had named it "Breck lake, in honor of the distinguished 
first missionary of the American [Episcopal] church to St Paul and 
vicinity, who was afterwards first missionary of the church to the 
Chippewa Indians around the sources of the Mississippi." Although 
worthily renamed for James Lloyd Breck (b. 1818, d. 1876), the name 
Elk lake is yet more desirably retained, because it preserves 'in trans- 
lation the aboriginal title which was superseded by Schoolcraft's Itasca. 

The only island of Itasca was named for Schoolcraft by his party, 
1832. The three branches or arms of Itasca are called by Brower the 
North, East, and West arms; but the latter two are also known as the 
Southeast and Southwest arms. 

The largest affluent, Nicollet's "infant Mississippi," is mapped by 
Brower as "Mississippi River" in "Nicollet Valley." This stream is 
also often called Nicollet creek, as by Winchell, in 1896, and the map of 
the Mississippi River Commission, 1900. Three lakelets noted there 
by Nicollet, 1836, are "Nicollet's Lower, Middle, and Upper lakes." The 
head' stream flowing into the Upper lake rises from the "Mississippi 
Springs," above which, with underground drainage to them, is Floating 
Moss lake; and close above, and flowing into it from the south, is 
Whipple lake, at the head of the visible surface drainage. This last 
name was given by Gilfillan in 1881, to honor Bishop Henry B. Whipple 
(b. 1822, d. 1901), renowned for his interest in missions for both the 
Ojibways and Sioux of this state. 

Southward from Whipple lake, and ensconced in hollows among 
the low hills and ridges of the Itasca moraine, are the three little Triplet 
lakes; the much larger Morrison lake, named by Brower in honor of 
William Morrison, the early trader who was at Elk lake (since named 
Itasca) in 1804; Little Elk lake; Groseilliers and Radisson lakes, named 
by Brower for the first white men in Minnesota, whose travels here, 
in 1655-56 and again in 1660, are the theme of a paper by the present 
writer (M. H. S. Collections, vol. X, Part II, 1905, pages 449-594, with 
a map) ; the Picard lakes, named for Anthony Auguelle, "called the 
Pickard du Gay," a companion of Hennepin, 1680; Mikenna lake, named 
by Alfred J. Hill, of undetermined meaning; and the large Lake Her- 
nando de Soto, commemorating the Spanish discoverer of the Mississippi, 
1541, with its Brower island, named in honor of J. V. Brower by a com- 
mittee of the Minnesota Historical Society. These many lakes of the 
morainic belt in the southwest part of the Park, with several smaller 
lakelets there remaining unnamed, are believed to send seeping waters 
northward to springs, rivulets, and creeks, which are tributary to the 
Mississippi above the West arm of Itasca and to Elk lake. For this 
reason their area is named on Brower's maps as "the Greater Ulti- 
mate Reservoir Bowl at the source of the Mississippi river." 

Elk lake receives four small streams. At the west is Siegfried creek, 
named by Brower for A. H. Si^fried, a representative of the Louis- 



CLEARWATER COUNTY 131 

ville G)urier-Journal| who with others made a recreational expedition 
to Itasca and Elk lakes in July, 1879. Hall lake, on the upper part of 
this creek, was also named by B rower, in honor of Edwin S. Hall, the 
U. S. surveyor in 1875 for several townships here, including the Park 
area. These names displace the Eagle creek and Lake Alice, names given 
in 1881 by Glazier, the latter being for his daughter, who ten years 
afterward, in 1891, was a member of the second. Glazier expedition. 

The three other tributaries of Elk lake are from the south, namely. 
Elk creek, on the southwest; Clarke creek, commemorating Hopewell 
Qarke, before mentioned as' a surveyor here in 1886, with its mouth 
at the head of Chambers bay; and Gay-gued-o-say creek, named for 
Nicollet's Ojibway guide to Itasca in 1836. Qarke lake and Deer Park 
lake flow into the last of these creeks at stages of high water. 

Chambers bay on the south side of Elk lake, and Chambers creek, 
its short outlet to Lake Itasca, honor Julius Chambers, the journalist 
and author, whose expedition here in 1872, before noted, probably became 
a chief incentive for his publication of a historical and descriptive book 
in 1910, entitled "The Mississippi River and its Wonderful Valley" (308 
pages, with 80 illustrations and maps). 

At the south end of the East arm of Itasca, Mary creek brings the 
inflow from a series of lakes. The lowest, Mary lake, is named like the 
creek, in honor of the wife of Peter Turnbull, a land surveyor and civil 
engineer from Canada, who opened the northern part of the road from 
Park Rapids to Itasca in 1883, and resided during the next two years on 
the east side of its East arm. In 1885 they removed to Park Rapids, 
where Mrs. Turnbull died in May, 1889. 

The higher lakes of Mary Valley, in their order from north to south, 
are the small Twin lakes; Danger lake, so named by Mr. Turnbull on 
account of water "flooding the ice surface in winter at its south shore," 
renamed Deming lake for Hon. Portius C. Deming, of Minneapolis, a 
friend and promoter of the interests of Itasca Park, who later was the 
president of the Minneapolis Board of Park Commissioners; Ako lake, 
named for one of Hennepin's companions, 1680, whose name is also 
spelled Accault ; and Josephine lake, in honor of a daughter of Commis- 
sioner Brower, who has been a teacher in the State Normal School at 
St Qoud, and in the public schools of Minneapolis. The upper part 
of Mary Valley, holding these lakes, was called by Brower "the Lesser 
Ultimate Reservoir Bowl." This valley, excepting its mouth and west 
border, lies, with all its lakes, in the edge of Hubbard county, into which 
the Itasca Park extends a mile along its east side. 

South and southwest of Josephine lake, and beyond the water divide, 
several small lakes lie in the southeast corner of the Park, mostly having 
no surface outlets but tributary by underground seepage to the basin of 
Crow Wing river. These include Sibilant lake, named for its form 
resembling the letter S; Ni-e-ma-da lake, of which Brower stated that 



132 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

''the name is composite in form, not of Indian origin ;" a narrow northern 
arm of Little Man Trap lake, so named, like the larger Man Trap lake a 
dozen miles eastward, because many peninsulas and the tamarack swamps 
at the head of its bays baffled the hunter, or in former times the "cruiser" 
in search for pine lands, when attempting to pass around it ; Gilfillan lake, 
in honor of Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan (b. 1838, d. 1913), Episcopal missionary 
to the Ojibways in northern Minnesota during twenty-five years; and 
Frazier lake, named for a homesteader whose cabin was beside it 

Other streams flowing into Lake Itasca include Island creek, tributary to 
the west side of the North arm, opposite to Schoolcraft island; French 
creek, between Island creek and Hill point, named for George H. French, 
of the survey for the Mississippi River Commission, 1900 ; Boutwell creek, 
named for Rev. William Thurston Boutwell (b. 1803, d. 1890), who accom- 
panied the Schoolcraft expedition in 1832; Sha-wun-uk-u-mig creek, com- 
memorating the O jib way guide of Rev. J. A. Gilfillan in his visit to the 
Itasca basin in 1881 ; and Floating Bog creek, emptying into the bay of this 
name about a half mile east of the island. 

Tributaries from the west to the Mississippi river above Lake Itasca 

# 

are Demaray creek, named in honor of Mrs. Georgiana Demaray, daughter 
of William Morrison, Spring Ridge creek, and Howard creek, named for 
Mrs. Jane Schoolcraft Howard, daughter of the explorer and author, 
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. 

Named points and bays of the Itasca shore, especially observed in 
canoeing, are Bear point, at the west side of Floating Bog bay ; TurnbuU 
point, on the west wde of the East arm, commemorating Peter TurnbuU, 
before mentioned ; Comber bay and point, next on the north, for W. G. 
Comber, assistant in the survey of the Park area for the Mississippi River 
Commission, 1900; O'Neil point, a little farther northwest, for Hon. John 
H. O'Neil, of Park Rapids ; Chaney bay and point, next south of TurnbuU 
point, in honor of Josiah B. Chaney (b. 1828, d. 1908), newspaper librarian 
of the Minnesota Historical Society, who visited the Itasca Park in 1901 
and 1903; Ray's bay and point, nearly a half mile farther south, for Fred 
G. Ray, of the Mississippi River Commission survey, 1900 ; Ozawindib or 
Yellow Head point, at the entrance to the West arm, for the Ojibway 
guide of Schoolcraft's party in 1832 ; Tamarack point, a quarter of a mile 
southwest from the last ; Garrison point, on the west side of the West arm, 
commemorating Oscar E. Garrison (b. 1825, d. 1886), who examined the 
Lake Itasca region and the river below in 1880, for the Forestry Depart- 
ment of the United States Census ; and Hill point, on the west side of the 
North arm, named in honor of Alfred J. Hill (b. 1823, d. 1895), the archae- 
ologist, who, as before noted, was the first to propose the establishment 
of this State Park. 

Several additional names of lakes are to be noted: Bohall lake, for 
Henry Bohall, an assistant with Brower in 1889 ; Hays lake, for an assistant 
in 1891 ; Kirk lake, for Thomas H. Kirk, author of an "Illustrated History 



CLEARWATER COUNTY 133 

of Minnesota" (1887, 244 pages), who visited Itasca and Elk lakes in 
1887 ; Lyendecker lake, for a comrade of Brower in his first visit to Itasca, 
1888; Allen lake, for Lieut. James Allen (b. 1806, d. 1846), who accom- 
panied Schoolcraft's expedition in 1832, and whose very interesting report 
of it was published twenty-eight years afterward in the American State 
Papers (vol. V, Military Affairs, 1860, pages 312-344, with a map) ; Budd 
lake, "after an Ohio family name;" McKay lake, for Rev. Stanley A. 
McKay, of Owatonna, Minn., "who in the month of June, 1891, celebrated 
the ceremonies of baptism at Itasca lake ;" Green lake, close west of Chaney 
bay; Iron Corner lake, near the iron post that marks the northeast corner 
of Becker county; and Augusta, Powder Horn, and Musquash lakes, 
named by the Mississippi River Commission, 1900, adjoining the southwest 
side of Morrison lake. The last of these lakes. Musquash, has the Algon- 
quian name of the muskrat, a fur-bearer whose houses dot many of our 
shallow lakes. 

Crescent springs. Elk springs, Nicollet springs, the Mississippi springs, 
and Ocano springs, the last bearing a name "found in Schoolcraft's Nar- 
rative," arc shown on Brower's maps of the Park. 

Rhodes hill was named for for D. C. Rhodes, of Verndale, Minn., 
photographer of the Brower survey; Morrison hill, like Morrison lake, 
for the first recorded white visitor at Itasca; Morrow Heights, in honor 
of A. T. Morrow, director of the survey of the Itasca basin for the 
Mississippi River Commission, 1900 ; Ockerson Heights, for J. A. Ockerson, 
also a surveyor for that Commission ; Aiton Heights, after Prof. George 
B. Aiton, of Minneapolis and later of Grand Rapids, who made botanic 
examinations of the Park in 1891 ; and Comber island in Morrison lake, 
for W. G. Comber, who has thus threefold honors, of this island and 
of a point and a bay on the Itasca shore. 

The Lind Saddle Trail was named in honor of Governor John Lind, 
who visited Itasca in 1899, then ordering this trail to be cut through the 
woods, as his personal donation for the improvement of the Park. 

Qose north of the Park limits. Division creek (also called Sucker 
creek) flows into the Mississippi from the heights on the west, "which 
divide the waters flowing to Hudson's Bay and the Gulf of Mexico." 

McMullen lake (formerly known as Squaw lake), close outside the 
Park at the northwest, was named by Brower in honor of William 
McMullen, the first permanent settler at Itasca lake, in 1889, on the east 
side of the North arm. The former name is from the Algonquian word 
meaning a woman, anglicized as "squaw," used commonly among the 
Ojibways as the ending, qua, of feminine names, like the final syllable, 
win, of the same use among the Sioux. 

Kakabikans rapids, noted by Schoolcraft in 1855 as a name from the 
the Ojibway language, meaning Little falls or rapids, are formed by very 
abundant glacial boulders in the channel of the Mississippi a few miles 
below Itasca lake. 



134 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Several names which had their origin from the expedition of Glazier 
in 1881 are retained by popular use in Hubbard county, but only one has 
been so retained within the limits of the Itasca Park, this being La Salle 
river, in the northeast comer, named, with the lakes on its course to 
the north, in honor of the renowned early French explorer. It was 
called Andrus creek by Brower in 1892, "after the treasurer of the Min- 
nesota Game and Fish Commission." Schoolcraft in 1832 had mapped it 
as "Cano R." and on the map of his "Summary Narrative," published 
in 1855, it was called "De Witt Clinton's R.," but in the text it is named 
"Chemaun or Ocano." The former word, Chemaun, is Ojibway for a 
birch canoe, as used in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha;" and the latter 
word, Ocano^ is from the French "aux canots," -that is, at or of canoes, 
which was the ancient and original form that became anglicized into the 
name of Cannon river, in southeastern Minnesota. 

A glacial lake was held temporarily in the Itasca basin by the barrier 
of the departing ice-sheet at the end of the Ice Age, with an area "several 
times the present size of Itasca lake," named by Brower in Volume XI, 
Winchell lake, in honor of Prof. N. H. Winchell. This may be preferably 
called Glacial Lake Winchell, to distinguish it from Winchell lake in 
Cook county. 

Newton Horace Winchell was born in Northeast, Dutchess county, 
N. Y., December 17, 1839; and died in Minneapolis, May 2, 1914. Com- 
ing to Minnesota in 1872, and residing in Minneapolis, he was state 
geologist twenty-eight years, 1872-1900; was editor of the American 
Geologist, 1888-1905; and was the archaeologist of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society, 1906-14. His contribution to the Itasca Park literature, 
entitled "The Source of the Mississippi," is in the M. H. S. Volume VIII 
(pages 226-231) ; a biographic memorial of him, in Volume XV (pages 
824-830, with a portrait) ; and a more full memorial, in the Bulletin of 
the Minnesota Academy of Science (Volume V, pages 73-116). 

Like the majestic progress of an epic poem or a grand drama, the 
history of the gradual discovery of the Mississippi river runs through 
four centuries. Begun when Amerigo Vespucci in 1498 mapped the delta 
and mouths of this mighty stream on the north shore of the Gulf of 
Mexico, it continued till Brower in 1889-92 mapped the shores and islands 
of Lake Hernando de Soto, in the south edge of Itasca Park. The 
moving picture of this history is portrayed in words and in maps by the 
volumes of the M. H. S. Collections. In the nomenclature of the Park 
a good number of the great explorers of the river are recalled, De Soto, 
Groseilliers and Radisson, La Salle, Schoolcraft, Nicollet The vain 
endeavors of Glazier to link his name with those heroes aroused the just 
indignation of geographers and the officers of the Minnesota Historical 
Society. During a decade or longer a great strife raged concerning the 
true head of the Mississippi and the rightful name of Elk lake. In 1905 
Glazier and Brower, chief opponents in the strife, died; but the Itasca 
State Park, which grew from it, "shall live forever." 



COOK COUNTY 

This county, established March 9, 1874, was named in honor of Major 
Michael Cook, of Faribault, a prominent citizen and a brave soldier in 
the civil war. He was bom in Morris county, N. J., March 17, 1828; 
came to Minnesota, settling in Faribault, in 1855, and, being a carpenter, 
aided in building some of the first frame houses there; and was a terri- 
torial and state senator, 1857 to 1862. In September, 1862, he was 
mustered into the Tenth Minnesota regiment, in which he was appointed 
major, and served until he fell mortally wounded in the battle of Nash- 
ville, December 16, 1864, his death occurring eleven days later. 

Colonel Charles H. Graves, the state senator from Duluth, introduced 
the bill to establish this county and to name it in honor of Verendrye, 
the pioneer of exploration on the northern boundary of Minnesota ; but 
the name was changed before the bill was enacted as a law. It has been 
thought by some that the name adopted was in commemoration of John 
Cook, who was killed by Ojibway Indians, as also his entire family, in 
1872, his house at Audubon, Minn., being burned to conceal the deed. 
Colonel Graves has stated, in a letter, that this name was selected to 
honor Major Cook. 

It may well be hoped that some county, yet to be formed adjoining the 
north line of Minnesota, will receive the name Verendrye, in historic 
commemoration of the explorations, hardships, and sacrifices of this 
patriotic and truly noble 'French explorer. He was the founder of the 
fur trade in northern Minnesota, in Manitoba, and the Saskatchewan 
region, where it greatly flourished during the next hundred years; and 
two of his sons were the first white men to see the Rocky mountains, 
or at least some eastern range or outpost group of the great Cordilleran 
mountain belt 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of geographic names in Cook county 
was gathered during my visit in August, 1916, at Grand Marais, the 
county seat, from Thomas I. Carter, the county auditor; Axel £. Berg- 
lund, county surveyor; George Leng, clerk of the court; William J. 
Qinch, superintendent of schools; and John Drourillard and George 
Mayhew, of Grand Marais. 

Each of the organized townships in this county comprises several 
government survey townships ; and Grand Marais and Rosebush are very 
irregular in their outlines, stretching from areas adjoining Lake Superior 
to areas on the international boundary, with narrow strips connecting 
their southern and northern parts. 

CoLvnxE township, organized in 1906, was named in honor of Colonel 
William Colvill, to whose name a silent e is added for the township. He was 

135 



136 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

born in Forestville, N. Y., April 5, 1850; and died in Minneapolis, June 
12, 1905. He came to Red Wing, Minn., in 1854, and the next year 
established the Red Wing Sentinel, a Democratic newspaper. He served 
as captain and colonel of the First Minnesota regiment, 1861-4; was 
colonel of the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, 1865, and was brevetted 
brigadier general. He was a representative in the legislature in 1865, 
and again in 1878 ; and was attorney general of the state, 1866-8. In the 
battle of Gettysburg, 1863, he led his regiment in a famous charge, one 
of the noblest sacrifices to duty in all the annals of warfare. In his 
later years. Colonel Colvill homesteaded a claim on the Lake Superior 
shore in this township (section 9, T. 61, R. 2 E.), but his home previously, 
and also afterward, was near Red Wing. In 1909 his statue in bronze 
was placed in the rotunda of the state capitol. 

Grand Marais township received this French name, meaning a great 
marsh, in the early fur-trading times, referring to a marsh, twenty acres 
or less in area, nearly at the level of Lake Superior, situated at the head 
of the little bay and harbor which led to the settlement of the village 
there. Another small bay on the east, less protected from storms is 
separated from the harbor by a slight projecting point and a short beach. 
In allusion to the two bays, the Ojibways name the bay of Grand Marais 
as "Kitchi-bitobig, the great duplicate water; a parallel or double body 
of water like a bayou" (Gilfillan). 

Grand Portage, a village and formerly a very important trading 
place, at the head of the bay of this name, and at the southeast end of 
the Grand portage, nine miles long, to the Pigeon river above its principal 
falls, has the distinction of being the most eastern and oldest settlement 
of white men in the area of Minnesota. Probably during the period of 
Verendrye's explorations, this place became the chief point for landing 
goods from the large canoes used in the navigation of the Great Lakes, 
and for their being dispatched onward, from the end of this long portage, 
in smaller canoes to the many trading posts of all the rich fur country 
northwest of Lake Superior. In 1767, when Carver went there in the 
hope of purchasing goods, Grand Portage was an important rendezvous 
and trading post. At the time of the Revolutionary War, as Gen. James 
H. Baker has well said, it was the "commercial emporium" of the north- 
western fur trade. 

Fort Charlotte was the name of the trading post and station of the 
Northwest Fur Company at the western end of the portage, on the Pigeon 
river. 

HovLAND, the oldest organized township of this county, is in compli- 
ment to a pioneer settler named Brunas, for his native place in Norway. 

LuTSEN township was named by its most prominent citizen, Carl A. A. 
Nelson, for a town in Prussian Saxony, made memorable by the battle 
there, 1632, in which the renowned Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, 
lost his life. 



COOK COUNTY 137 

Mafle Hill township has extensive sugar maple woods, on the high- 
land five to ten miles back from Lake Superior. 

Rosebush township, organized in 1907, took its name from Rose Bush 
river, as it is popularly known, in translation of its Ojibway name, 
Oginekan, though called "Fall river" on maps, in the east edge of T. 61, 
R. 1 W. The creek a mile farther west, mapped as "Rose Bush river," 
has no recognized name among the settlers. 

ScHROEDER towuship and village are in honor of John Schroeder, presi- 
dent of a lumber company having offices in Ashland and Milwaukee, 
Wis., for whom pine logs have been cut and rafted away from the neigh- 
boring Temperance, Cross, and Two Island rivers. 

ToFTE, Ukewise the name of a township and village, founded in 1896, 
is in honor of settlers having this surname, derived from their former 
home in the district of Bergen, Norway. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Gilfillan, in his list of "Minnesota Geographical Names derived from 
the Qiippewa language," wrote: "Pigeon river is Omimi-zibi, Omimi 
meaning pigeon, and zibi .... river." The accent of Omimi is on the 
second syllable, and i has the sound of the English long e, "The Song 
of Hiawatha" correctly anglicizes it, 

"Cooed the pigeon, the Omemee." 

Until 1870 or later, the passenger pigeon was common or abundant 
throughout Minnesota, coming early in April, breeding here, and returning 
southward in October and November. During the next thirty years they 
became scarce, and about the year 1900 they perished utterly from all 
that great region, eastern North America, where from time immemorial 
they had been very abundant. The species, once represented by countless 
millions, undoubtedly is extinct. 

This river, which is the boundary between the United States and 
Canada, was delineated on '^he oldest map of the region west of Lake 
Superior, .... traced by a chief of the Assiniboines, named Ochagach, 
for Verendrye, in 1730," which is published in the Final Report of the 
Geology of Minnesota (vol. I, 1884, pages 18, 19). A series of twelve 
lakes is shown by this map on the canoe route from the mouth of Pigeon 
river to "Lac Sesakinaga" (Saganaga), the fourth and eighth being 
named respectively "Lac Long" and "Lac Plat." Hence came the name 
"Long lake," given to the lower part of Pigeon river on the map of John 
Mitchell, 1755, which was used by the British and American commis- 
sioners in the Treaty of Paris, 1783, providing that the international 
boundary should run "through the middle of the said Long lake and the 
water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the said 
Lake of the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most north- 
western point thereof." (M. H. S. Collections, vol. XV, 1915, pages 379- 
392, with map.) 



138 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

In 1775 this stream was called "the river Aux Groseilles/' that is, 
Gooseberry river, by the older Alexander Henry. 

Pigeon Falls, 70 feet high, on the Pigeon river about two miles 
from its mouth, are pictured in the "Geology of Minnesota" (vol. IV, 
1899, plate PP, also page 509). About a mile up from these falls, the 
river has a sharp angle in its course, pointing northward, called "The 
Horn-" 

In Split Rock Canyon, noted on the map of Cook county by Jcwett 
and Son, 1911, about a half mile to one mile below (northeast from) 
the western end of the Grand Portage road, Pigeon river has "Falls, 
144 feet" These falls were called "the Great (Cascades" by Norwood in 
1852, who stated, in his report for the Owen Geological Survey, that 
the river there descends 144 feet in a distance of 400 yards, through a 
narrow gorge formed by perpendicular walls of rock, varying from 40 
to 120 feet in height 

Partridge falls, an upper fall 30 feet high, and a lower fall, very close 
below, falling 10 feet, are on this river about two miles westward, by the 
zigzag course of the stream, from the end of the Grand portage. The 
height of these falls was exaggerated by Mackenzie, in his "Voyages 
from Montreal," published in 1801, to be 120 feet, probably confounding 
the Partridge falls with the much higher falls last mentioned. Dr. 
Alexander Winchell in 1887 called these falls "the Minnehaha of the 
boundary." 

Fowl portage, and the South and North Fowl lakes, lowest in the 
series of lakes on the Pigeon river, are translated from their early French 
name, Outarde (a bustard, here in the usage of the voyageurs applied to 
the (Canadian goose, Branta canadensis, our most common wild species), 
which was probably a translation from the aboriginal Ojibway name. 
More definitely, therefore, these would be (joose portage and lakes. 

Next are Moose portage and Moose lake, which Mackenzie called 
Elk portage and lake, but which Thompson mapped, on the survey for 
the international boundary, 1826, as "Moose lake, d'Original." Both 
the English and French names came from the Ojibway, "Mozo sagaiigun" 
(Gilfillan), 

Big Cherry portage, named for the wild cherries growing there, the 
Lower and Upper Lily lakes, "where there is plenty of water lilies," and 
the Little Cherry portage, translated from the Erench names used by 
Mackenzie, lead to Mountain lake, called Hill lake by Norwood, trans- 
lated from its Ojibway name, given by Gilfillan as "Gatdiigudjiwegumag 
sagaiigun, the lake lying close by the mountain." This refers to Moose 
mountain, shown on the Jewett map, at the south side of the east end 
of this lake. 

"The small new portage" of Mackenzie, next west of Mountain lake, 
was called Watap portage by Thompson, on account of the growth of 
jack pines, which also are referred to in the names of Watab river and 
township (previously noted in the chapter for Benton county). 



COOK COUNTY 139 

Rove lake, called Watab lake by Norwood and by Dr. Cones, through 
which the canoes next passed, was called by Mackenzie ''a narrow line 
of water," and it was so mapped later by Thompson, very narrow and 
somewhat crooked, whence probably came the name, to rove or wan- 
der; but it is erroneously mapped as a rather broad lake in ''Geology 
of Minnesota" (vol. IV, plates 69 and 83), which error is retained on 
the maps of Cook county in our latest atlas. The Ojibway name of 
tiiis lake means "the lake lying in the burnt wood country." 

A very rugged and difficult portage, about a mile and a half in length, 
called by Mackenzie "the new Grande Portage" (on the Geol. Survey 
map, "Great New Portage"), leads to Rose or Mud lake, which out- 
flows eastward into Arrow lake and river in Canada, being thus tribu- 
tary to the Pigeon river. In the language of the Ojibways, "Rose lake 
is Ga-bagwadjiskiwagag sagaiigun, or the shallow lake with mud bottom." 

From Rose lake westward two short portages, named Marten and 
Perch portages, with an intervening "mud pond covered with white 
lilies," as noted by Mackenzie, lead to South lake, as it was named by 
Thompson, where, wrote Mackenzie, '^he waters of the Dove or Pigeon 
river terminate, and which is one of the sources of the great St. Law- 
rence in this direction." 

■ 

North lake, the first in the series flowing west to the Lake of the 
Woods, was so named by Thompson, his South and North lakes having 
that relationship to the portage across the continental water divide. 
Mackenzie called North lake "the lake of Hauteur de Terre" (Height 
of Land), and by Norwood is was named "Mountain lake.** 

Thence the canoes went down the outflowing stream into Gunflint 
lake, named from flint or chert obtained in its rocks, also occurring 
abundantly as pebbles of its beaches, sometimes used for the flintlock 
guns which long preceded the invention of percussion caps. The English 
name is translated from the earlier Ojibway and French names. 

Northward in a distance of ten miles from the mouth of Gunflint 
lake to Saganaga falls and lake, the international boundary has Mag- 
netic lake, Pine or Gove lake, Granite bay. Gneiss lake, and Maraboeuf 
lake, with intervening stretches of the stream, broken by frequent rapids 
and low falls, past which portages were made. The varying characters 
of the outcropping rocks supply a majority of these lake names. The 
most northern is a Canadian French name, used by Mackenzie, 1801, and 
on the latest maps of Cook county, 1911 and 1916, apparently for "marsh 
deer or buffalo" if it were anglicized; but this name, Maraboeuf, is not 
found in dictionaries. Thompson in 1826 mapped it, with no name, as a 
narrow and quite irregularly branched lake, nearly four miles long from 
south to north, its jagged eastern shoreline in Canada being wholly 
unlike its representation in our Cook county maps. 

Maraboeuf lake was called Banks' Pine lake by Prof. N. H. Win- 
chell in 1880 (Ninth Annual Report, page 84), for its forest of jack 



140 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

pine (Pinus Banksiana) ; but in the later reports of the Minnesota 
Geological Survey it is mapped as Granite lake, for its l3dng within the 
area of Saganaga granite. 

Mackenzie wrote that Lake Saganaga "takes its name from its 
numerous islands." Thompson mapped it as "Kaseiganagah lake." Gilfil- 
lan wrote, "Saganaga lake is Ga-sasuganagag sagaiigun, the lake sur- 
rounded by thick forests." (The pronunciation places the principal accent 
on the first syllable, and a secondary accent on the last.) 

Winchell, from information given by the Ojibways, wrote in the 
report before cited: "The word 3aganaga signifies islands, or many 
islands, and seems to be the plural of Saginaw." Verwyst, however, 
defines Saginaw in Michigan (the river, bay, city, and county), as from 
an Ojibway word, "Saging or Saginang, at the mouth of a river." Accord- 
ing to Gannett, Saginaw means "Sauk place," referring to the Sauk or 
Sac Indians. The Michigan name and our Saganaga, therefore, are 
probably not alike in their origin and meaning. 

Three miles from Grand Portage village and bay, the Grand Portage 
road crosses Poplar river, tributary to Pigeon river. 

Dutchman lake lies two miles west of Grand' Portage, and Teal 
lake is two miles northeast of that village. 

"Mesqua-^awangewi zibi, or Red Sand river," as it was called by 
Gilfillan, and a lake of the same name, form the greater part of the west 
boundary of the Pigeon River Indian Reservation. This stream is also 
called Reservation river, and the lake is named Swamp lake on the 
latest maps, 1911 and 1916. In the treaty of September 30, 1854, which 
established the reservation, this stream is mentioned as "called by the 
Indians Maw-ske-gwaw-caw-maw-se-be, or Cranberry Marsh river." 

Tom lake, near the center of T. 63, R. 3 £., is at the head of Kamesh- 
keg river, meaning Swamp river, which flows north to Pigeon river. 

Devil Fish and Otter lakes outflow by the next tributary of Pigeon 
river, called Portage brook, and a mile farther northwest it receives 
Stump river. Greenwood lake, west of the Devil Fish, flows south to 
Brule river. 

West of the Fowl lakes, the northern tiers of townships in this county 
have a multitude of lakes, mostly narrow and much elongated from 
east to west, lying in eroded hollows of the bedrocks. These include 
Royal lake, John lake, McFarland lake, the East and West Pike lakes. 
Pine lake, Long lake, and Lakes Fanny and Marinda; Crocodile, East 
Bear Skin, Caribou, and Clearwater lakes, in Ts. 64 and 65, R. 1 E., lying 
south of Rove lake; Morgan lake, Misquah (Red) lake, Cross, Horse- 
shoe, and Swamp lakes. Aspen and Flour lakes, Hungry Jack lake, 
Leo lake, Poplar lake, tributary by Poplar river to the North brandi 
of Brule river, Daniels lake. Birch or West Bear Skin lake, Duncan's, 
Moss, and Partridge lakes, in Ts. 64 and 65, R. 1 W., lying south of 
Rose lake; Winchell lake, Cxaskan and Johnson lakes, Henson lake, 



COOK COUNTY 141 

Pittsburg lake, Stray lake, another Caribou lake, Meeds lake, Moon 
lake, Rush, Lum, and Portage lakes, No Name or Birch lake, Dunn 
lake, Iron and Mayhew lakes, Pope lake. Crab lake, and Lakes Emma 
and Louise, in Ts. 64 and 65, R. 2 W., lying south of the South and 
North lakes; Kiskadinna or Colby lake, Nebogigig or Onega lake, 
Davis lake. Trap and Cliff lakes, Ida, Jay, and Ash lakes. Long Island 
lake, Finn lake, Banadad or Banner lake, Ross, George, and Karl 
lakes. Tucker lake and river, and Loon lake, in Ts. 64 and 65, R. 3 W., 
being south of Gunfiint lake; Frost, Irish, Don, Tuscarora, Snipe, and 
Copper lakes, in T. 64, R. 4 W., and Ham, Round or Bear, Brant or 
Charley, Cloud, Dingoshick, Akeley, Chub, Arc, and Larch lakes, in T. 
65, R. 4 W., south of Maraboeuf lake; Hub or Mesabi, East and West, 
Crooked or Greenwood Island, Bullis or Gill's, Little Saganaga, Rattle, 
and Fern lakes, in T. 64, R. 5 W., and Gabimichigama, Howard, Peter 
or Clothespin, French or Kakfgo, Bat or Muscovado lake^ Fay or Paul- 
son lake and Chub river outflowing from it, Jap lake, Ray, Jasper or 
Frog Rock, Alpine or West Sea Gull, and Red Rock lakes, and the large 
and very irregularly outlined Sea Gull lake, with many islands, the 
largest being named Cucumber island, in T. 65, R. 5 W., south of Lake 
Saganaga. 

Many of the names of lakes in this list are of obvious derivations, as 
from the fish in them, the animals and birds and trees adijoining them, 
or from their outlines, as long, round, crooked, or having the form of 
a horseshoe, the crescent moon, or an arc. 

The origins of only a few of the personal names borne by others of 
these lakes, as next noted, have been ascertained by the present writer. 

Hungry Jack lake refers to an assistant on the government surveys, 
Andrew Jackson Scott, a veteran of the civil war, who for some time 
at this lake was reduced to very scanty food supplies. 

Winchell lake was named for Prof. N. H. Winchell, state geologist, 
who is also honored by the Glacial Lake Winchell in the Itasca State 
Park. 

Meeds lake was named in honor of Alonzo D. Meeds, of Minne- 
apolis, who was an assistant in the Minnesota Geological Survey. 

Mayhew lake is for the late Henry Mayhew, of Grand Marais, who 
aided for this survey in Cook county. 

Charley lake and Bashitanequeb lake, the latter renamed on recent 
maps as Bullis or Gill's lake, are for an Ojibway, "Bashitanequeb 
(Charley Sucker), Indian guide, cook, and canoeman," in this survey 
("Geology of Minnesota," Final Report, vol. IV, 1899, page 522, with 
his portrait). 

Howard lake was named for one of the Howard brothers, mining 
prospectors, of Duluth, and Paulson lake for the owner of iron mines 
near it, on the Port Arthur, Duluth and Western railroad, a branch of 
the Canadian Northern railway. 









142 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

GilfiUan recorded the following Ojibway names for several of these 
lakes, which have been translated to their present names used by the 
white people. 

"Pine lake, Shingwako sagaiigun . . . Shingwak is a pine; o, a con- 
nective vowel ; sagaiigun, lake/' 

"Near Rove lake is Ga-wakomitigweiag sagaiigun, or Clearwater lake." 

"Iron lake is Biwabiko sagaiigun," the same with the town of Biwabik 
on the Mesabi iron range in St. Louis county. 

"Ushkakweagumag sagaiigun, or Greenwood lake," has been some- 
times called East Greenwood lake, to distinguish it from another of 
this name in Lake county. 

"Muko-waiani sagaiigun, or Bear-skin lake." 

Baraga's Dictionary has "Kishkadina . . . there is a very steep hill, 
very steep ascent" This name, with slight change of spelling, is applied 
on recent maps«to a lake that was not named by the maps of the Minne- 
sota Geological Survey ; and the lake called Kiskadinna by that survey is 
now Long Island lake. 

The two Caribou lakes have the Canadian French name of the Ameri- 
can reindeer, dianged from kalibu of the Micmac Indians, meaning 
" *pawer or scratcher,' the animal being so called from its habit of shovel- 
ing the snow with its forelegs to find the food covered by snow." The 
reindeer was formerly common in the north half of Minnesota. 

Flour lake, which received its name on account of a cache of flour 
placed there during the government surveys, is erroneously spdled 
Flower on recent published maps. The Ojibways call this lake Pakwe- 
jigan (Bread or Flour), in allusion to this cache. 

Sea Gull lake, like the Gull lake in Cass county, is a translation from 
the Ojibway name, referring to the American herring gull and three 
other species, which frequent the large lakes throughout this state. 

Turning to the streams and lakes tributary to Lake Superior from 
Cook county, in their order from southwest to northeast, we have first 
the Two Island river, named for Gull and Bear islands, near its mouth. 

Cross river, at Schroeder, was so called by Thomas Clark, assistant 
state geologist, in 1864, but later was named Baraga's river by Whittle- 
sey in 1866. It had previously been named by the Ojibways, as GilfiUan 
relates, "Tchibaiatigo zibi, i. e., wood-of-the-soul-or-spirit river; they 
calling the Cross wood of the soul, or disembodied spirit." The origin 
of this name was from a cross of wood erected by Father Baraga, who, 
as Verwyst relates, "landed here after a perilous voyage in a small fish- 
ing boat, across l^ake Superior, 1845-6." Whittlesey, in his report of 
explorations, published in 1866, wrote: "At the mouth of this creek 
there was in 1848 a rough, weather-beaten cross nailed to the tall stump 
of a tree, on which was written in pencil the following words: Tn 
commemoration of the goodness of Almighty God in granting to the 
Reverend F. R. Baraga, Missionary, a safe traverse from La Pointe to 



COOK COUNTY 143 

this place, August, 1843/ ... I have endeavored to perpetuate this inci- 
dent, and the memory of Father Baraga, by naming the stream after 
him." Bishop Frederic Baraga was bom in Austria, June 29, 1797; and 
died in Marquette, Mich., January 19, 1868. He was a Catholic missionary 
to the Indians in northern Michigan and Wisconsin and northeastern 
Minnesota, 1835-68; author of an Ojibway grammar and dictionary, often 
quoted in this book, and of various religious works. 

Temperance river was called Kawimbash river by Norwood, of Owen's 
geological survey, 1848-52, and it retained that name, meaning "deep 
hollow," in Whittlesey's report, 1866; but it had received its present 
name in Qark's geological report, 1864, and was so mapped in 1871. 
Qark explained the origin of the name Temperance as follows: "Most 
of the streams entering the lake on this shore, excepting when their 
volumes are swollen by spring or heavy rain floods, are nearly or quite 
dosed at their mouths by gravel, called the bar, thrown up by the 
lake's waves; this stream, never having a 'bar' at its entrance, to incom- 
mode and baffle the weary voyageur in securing a safe landing, is called 
no bar or Temperance river." Its sources include Temperance lake, 
close west of Brule lake, which has two outlets, the larger flowing east 
to Brul^ river, and the other flowing west to Temperance lake and river ; 
Cherokee lake, as it is named on recent maps, called Ida Belle lake by 
the Minnesota Geological Survey, in honor of a daughter of Prof. 
Alexander Winchell, who became the wife of Horace V. Winchell; 
Saw Bill lake, named for a species of duck; and Alton, Kelso, and Little 
Saw Bill lakes. 

Below Temperance lake, the river of this name flows through Jack, 
Kelly, Peterson, and Baker lakes. Other lakes near its course and tributary 
to it include Vem lake, Pipe lake, named for its outline, Moore, Marsh, 
and Anderson lakes, on the east; and Cam lake. Odd, Java, Smoke, and 
Burnt lakes, on the west 

Near the west side of the county, and ranging from the northern* 
watershed down the general slope toward Lake Superior, are Mesabi lake. 
Dent, Bug, Poe, Wind, Duck, and Pie lakes; Grace, Ella, Beth, and 
Phoebe lakes; and Frear, Elbow, Whitefish, Twohey, Four Mile, and 
Cedar lakes. 

Gilfillan wrote that, in the Ojibway language, "Poplar river is Ga- 
manazadika zibi, i. e., place-of-poplars river." Qark in 1864 definitely 
translated it as "Balm of Gilead," a variety of the balsam poplar, common 
or frequent along rivers in northeastern Minnesota. Lakes tributary to 
this river include Gust lake, named for Gust Hagberg, a Swede home- 
steader near it ; Long, Beaver, Pine, Rice, Haberstead, and Barker lakes ; 
Elbow or Tait lake; and Lake Qara, Big, and Sucker lakes, the last 
recently renamed Lake Christine, in honor of the daughter of William 
J. Qinch, county superintendent of schools, who has a homestead there. 
East of Poplar river, mostly tributary to it, are the Twin lakes, Mark, 
Pike, Trout, Bigsby, and Csuibou lakes, and Lake Agnes. 



144 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Small streams next eastward, flowing into Lake Superior, are named 
False Poplar, Spruce, and Indian Camp rivers. 

Cascade river, named from its series of beautiful waterfalls near its 
mouth, has Cascade and Little Cascade lakes, Swamp lake, Eagle and Zoo 
lakes, and the large Island lake. About six miles above its mouth, it 
receives an eastern tributary named Bally creek in honor of Samuel 
Bally, a member of the board of county commissioners, who has a home- 
stead there. 

Cut Face, Rose Bush, and Fall rivers, small streams between Cascade 
river and Grand Marais, have no considerable lakes. 

"Devil Track river," wrote Gilfillan, "is Manido bimadagakowini zibi, 
meaning the spirits (or God) walking-place-on-the-ice river." The Ojib- 
ways applied this name primarily to Devil Track lake, and thence, accord- 
ing to their custom, to the outflowing river. The name implies mystery 
or something supernatural about the lake and its winter covering of ice, 
but without the supremely evil idea that is given in the white men's 
translation. The wild rock gorge of the river below this lake may have 
suggested the aboriginal name, which was used by Norwood in 1851 
and Clark in 1864. Its translation, as now used, dates from the settle- 
ment of Grand Marais by Henry Mayhew and others in 1871. 

Tributary to Devil Track lake and river are Swamp lake and creek, 
Gearwater lake. Elbow lake, named like numerous others, from its out- 
line, and Monker lake, named for Claus C. Monker, a Norwegian home- 
steader on its south skle, who has been later a fisherman, living in Grand 
Marais. 

Next eastward are Durfee and Kimball creeks, the latter having 
Kimball and Pickerel lakes. Durfee creek was named in honor of George 
H. Durfee, judge of probate of this county. Kimball creek was named 
by Thomas Clark, in the geological exploration of 1864, for Charles G. 
Kimball, a member of the party, who lost his life near this stream by 
drowning in Lake Superior. 

Diarrhoea river, which receives the outflow of Trout lake, has this 
name on Norwood's map in the Owen survey, 1851, referring to illness 
thought due to drinking its water; and it is so named by Jewett's map, 
1911. The maps of the Minnesota Geological Survey call it Green- 
wood river. 

Brule river, called Wisacode by Norwood, is given by Gilfillan as 
'Wissakode zibi or Half-burnt-^ood river." Its largest lake, at the 
source of its South branch, is Brul6 lake, which, as before mentioned, 
has another outlet to Temperance river. One of the islands of Brule 
lake is called Tamarack island, for an old Ojibway, John Tamarack, 
who lived on it. (Brule, the French word meaning burnt, has two syl- 
lables, the second having the English sound of lay ; but it is often printed 
without the mark of accent on ;the e, so that it is liable to be mispro- 
nounced in only one syllable, the e becoming silent.) 



COOK COUNTY 145 

Juno, Homer, Axe, and Star lakes, the last probably named for its 
radiating arms, lie close south of Brule lake. 

The Soudi branch flows through Brule bay, which is a separate small 
lake, Vernon, Swan, and Lower Trout lakes. It receives from the north 
the outflow of Echo, Vance, and Little Trout lakes; and on the south 
are Abita, Keno, or Qubfoot, Pine, and Twin lakes. Abita lake, on the 
southern slope from Brule mountain, has the distinction of being the 
highest lake in Minnesota, 2,048 feet above the sea. 

The North branch of Brule river receives the outflow from Poplar, 
Winchell, and Meeds lakes, and a large number more, in the list of lakes 
before noted for the nwst northern townships of the county. 

Below the junction of its South and North branches, Brule river 
flows through Elephant lake, as it is named on our maps, more commonly 
known by the people of the region as Northern Light lake; and it 
receives Greenwood river, the outlet of Greenwood lake. 

Little Brule river is tributary to Lake Superior about a mile west of 
the large Brule river. 

Between Brule and Pigeon rivers, only small streams enter Lake 
Superior, including, in order from west to east. Flute Reed river, Swamp 
river. Red Sand or Reservation river, and Hollow Rock creek. 

Points, Bays, and Islands of Lake Superior. 

Sugar Loaf point is two miles northeast from the southwest corner of 
this county. 

Gull and Bear islands gave the name of Two Island river, as before 
noted. At the mouth of this river the village of Saxton was platted by 
Commodore Saxton, Lyle Hutchins, and others, in August, 1856, but was 
abandoned two years later, as related by Robert B. McLean, of Duluth. 

Between Poplar and Devil Track rivers are Caribou point, Black 
point. Lover's point and bay. Terrace point and Good Harbor bay, and the 
two bays at Grand Marais. 

Cow Tongue point, as named in the Minnesota Geological Survey, a 
half mile southwest of Kimball creek, is more commonly known as 
Scott's point, for Andrew Jackson Scott, who is commemorated also by 
Hungry Jack lake in this county, before noted. 

Fishhook point is about two miles and a half southwest of the mouth 
of Brule river. 

Chicago bay, into which the Flute Reed river flows at Hovland village, 
was called Sickle bay in the Geological Survey. 

Thence northeastward are Horseshoe and Double bays, Cannon Ball 
bay. Red Rock bay. Red point, and Deronda bay. The last was named 
by Prof N. H. Winchell in 1880, from George Eliot's novel, "Daniel 
Deronda," published in 1876, read partly in camp there. 

Two small unnamed islands lie about a half mile and one mile east 
of Cannon Ball bay, and Arch island is off the southwest point inclosing 
Deronda bay. 



146 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Between Red Rock bay and Red point, a craggy part of tiie shore is 
called the East Palisades. 

Grand Portage island, which lies in front of the bay of this name, is 
now often called Ganon island, for Peter Canon, who has a supply store 
on its northern point. 

Hat point, in front of Mt Josephine, projects into the lake between 
Grand Portage bay and Waus-wau-goning bay. The name of the latter 
bay, considerably changed from its proper Ojibway form, was translated 
by Gilfillan as ''making-a-light-by torches," having reference to the 
spearing of fish at night, whence Qark in 1864 called it "Spear-fish bay," 
a more free translation. 

East of this bay, within about three miles, Qark enumerated twelve 
islands, which he compared, in beauty of scenery and attractiveness for 
sportsmen, with the Apostle Islands near La Pointe, Wisconsin. The 
largest was named Governor's island by Dr. Augustus H. Hanchett, of 
New York City, state geologist of Minnesota in 1864, in honor of Gov. 
Stephen Miller, and this name is retained by maps; but it is more com- 
monly known as Susie island, a name used by the later state geologist. 
Prof. N. H. Winchell, in 1880. The next in size, whidi rises highest, 
named by Qark as High island, was called Lucille island by WinchdL 
Others of this group were named Magnet and Syenite islands by dark, 
and Birch, Belle Rose, Little Brick, and Porcupine islands, by Winchell. 

Northeast of these islands are Morrison and Qark bays, the latter 
named by Hanchett in honor of his assistant, Thomas Qark, author of 
valuable reports on the geology of parts of Minnesota, published in 1861 
and 1865. Qark was bom in Le Ray, Jefferson County, N. Y., January 
6, 1814; removed to Ohio about 1835, settling in Maumee; removed to 
Toledo in 1851 ; was a civil engineer, and came to Superior, Wis., in 
1854; surveyed the orig^inal site of that city; later surveyed and settled 
at Beaver Bay, Minn., his home when a state senator, 1859-60; died in 
Superior, Wis., December 20, 1878. 

Pigeon point and bay, named from the river, are the most eastern 
part of this state. 

Mountains and Hills. 

In voyaging along the north side of Lake Superior, the highland in 
Cook county within one to two or three miles back from the shore is 
seen as a succession of serrate hills and low mountains, the peaks being 
generally about two miles apart for distances of many miles. The 
visible crest line thus presents a remarkable profile, resembling the teedi 
of an immense saw. Between Temperance river and Grand Marais, 
through nearly thirty miles, a somewhat regular series of these sharp 
outlines on the verge of the interior plateau has received the name of 
Sawteeth mountains. 

The most conspicuous and highest summit of this range, at its west 
end dose back from the village of Tofte, was named Carlton peak in 1848 



COOK COUNTY 147 

by Colonel Charles Whittlesey, in honor of Reuben B. Carlton, of Fond du 
Lac, Minnesota, who in that year ascended this mountain with Whittlesey, 
for the geological survey of this region by David Dale Owen. He is 
likewise honored by the name of Carlton county. Another peak is called 
Good Harbor hill, rising about a mile west of the bay so named. 

Farquhar peak, similarly situated near the lake shore two miles west 
of Reservation river, was named in honor of an officer of the U. S. 
Survey of the Great Lakes. 

Mt. Josephine, at the east side of Grand Portage bay, was named 
for a daughter of John Godfrey, of Detroit, Mich., who had a trading 
post at Grand Marais during several years, up to 1858. With a party of 
young people, she walked from Grandf Portage to the top of this moun- 
tain, about the year 1853. 

Mountain lake, on the international boundary, has Moose mountain 
close south of its east end, and Mt. Reunion a mile west of its west end, 
the latter being a name given for its being a place of meeting for parties 
on the Minnesota Geological Survey. 

Brule mountain is the summit of the highland close south of Lower 
Trout lake on the Brul^ river. 

Eagle mountain is about five miles southwest of Brule mountain and 
a mile east of Eagle lake. 

Prospect mountain is between the west ends of Gunflint and Loon 
lakes. 

The highest lands of Minnesota are the Misquah hills, an east to west 
range south of Cross and Winchell lakes, whose hilltops within four 
miles east and seven miles west of Misquah lake are about 2,200 feet 
above the sea, the highest being 2,230 feet. The name of the Misquah 
lake and hills is the Ojibway word meaning red, in allusion to their red 
granite rocks which are exposed in extensive outcrops. Prof. N. H. 
Winchell wrote in 1881 : "Misquah lake is flanked on the northeast and 
east by high brick-red hills, some of them being 500 or 600 feet high. 
The trees, being nearly all fire-killed and even consumed, allow a perfect 
view of the rock." 

In the west edge of this county, the Mesabi lake marks the eastern 
extension of the Mesabi Iron Range, which passes by Little Saganaga 
lake and northeast to Gunflint lake. This Ojibway name was given on 
Nicollet's map in 1843 as "Missabay Heights." It has been spelled in 
several ways, Mesabi being its form in the report^ and maps of the 
Minnesota Geological Survey. Gilfillan translated it as "Giant moun- 
tain," with an additional note: "'Missabe is a giant of immense size and 
a cannibal. This is his mountain, consequently the highest, biggest 
mountain." Winchell wrote of it, "The Chippewas at Grand Portage 
represent Missabe as entombed in the hills near there, the various hills rep- 
resenting different members of his body." Gunflint and North lakes lie 
in the course of continuation of the Mesabi Range, about ten miles north 
from the range of the Misquah hills, with which it is parallel. 



148 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Superior National Forest. 

Large tracts in Cook, Lake, and St Louis counties, exceeding a 
million acres, deemed chiefly valuable for forestry, were set apart by th^ 
United States government as a public reservation and named the Supe- 
rior National Forest, in a proclamation of President Roosevelt, February 
13, 1909, to which subsequent additions through similar proclamations 
have been since made. The initial recommendation for forestry reser- 
vation of these Minnesota lands was addressed to the commissioner of 
the U. S. General Land Office by Gen. C. C. Andrews, chief forest fire 
warden of this state, in 1902 ; and the authority for such national reserva- 
tions had been vested in the President of the United States by an act 
of Congress in 1891. 

Pigeon River Indian Reservation. 

An area of about 65 square miles, including the trading post and 
village of Grand Portage, the portage road to Pigeon river, and the tract 
southward to the lake shore and west to Cranberry Marsh or Red Sand 
river, now commonly known as Reservation river, was set apart in a 
treaty with the Ojibways at La Pointe, Wis., September 30, 1854, for the 
Grand Portage band of these Indians. In the national census of 1910 the 
number of Indians in Cook county, nearly all of whom have their homes 
in this Reservation, was 220. 

Glacial Lakes Duluth and Omimi. 

The great glacial lake which was held by the barrier of the depart- 
ing ice-sheet in the western part of the basin of Lake Superior, forming 
beach lines at Duluth 535 and 475 feet above Lake Superior, was named 
by the present writer in 1893 as the "Western Superior glacial lake." In 
1897 and 1898, respectively, this cumbersome name was changed by Frank 
B. Taylor and Arthur H. Elffman to be Glacial Lake Duluth. The heights 
of its strand lines on Mt. Josephine had been determined by leveling in 
1891 by Prof. Andrew C. Lawson, as 607 and 587 feet above Lake Superior, 
which is 602 feet above the sea. 

A somewhat higher and much smaller glacial lake, existing for a 
relatively short time in the Pigeon river basin in eastern Cook county and 
extending slightly into Canada, was described and named Lake Omimi 
by Elftman, as follows (Am. Geologist, vol. XXI, p. 104, Feb. 1898) : 
"Before the ice had receded beyond mount Josephine it retained a lake 
of about 40 square miles in area lying in the upper valley of the present 
Pigeon river. The lake bed has an altitude of 1,255 to 1,360 feet above 
the sea. Its lowest point is thus about 50 feet higher than the upper 

stage of Lake Duluth When the ice receded from the vicinity 

of Grand Portage, Lake Omimi disappeared. The name Omimi is taken 
from the Chippewa name for Pigeon river." 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, organized July 29, 1870, de- 
rived its name from the Cottonwood river, which touches the northeast 
corner of Germ^town in this county, and to which its northwest town- 
ships send their drainage by several small streams flowing northward. 
It is a translation of Waraju, the Dakota or Sioux name, noted by 
Keating and by Nicollet's report and map. Keating wrote that the river 
was so named "from the abundance of this tree on its banks," and Nicollet 
stated that the most important village of the Sisseton Sioux was on its 
north bank near its junction with the Minnesota river. The cotton wood, 
also called the necklace poplar, is a fast-growing, tall tree, common or 
frequent through the south half of this state and along the Red river 
valley, but reaches its northeastern limit on the headwaters of the St. 
Croix and the Mississippi. It is extensively planted for shade, as a 
shelter from winds, and for fuel; but at its time of shedding the seed 
from its tassels, which is in the spring, "the cotton from the seeds proves 
a source of much annoyance to the tidy housewife." 

The Canadian French traders and voyageurs gave to the cottonwood 
the name Liard, meaning a farthing, perhaps in allusion to the nearly 
worthless quality of its lumber for constructive uses. Their translation 
of this Dakota name was "Riviere aux Liards," as recorded by Keating 
in 1823. In the Journal of the younger Alexander Henry, published in 
1897 as edited by Dr. Elliott Coues, Henry wrote in 1803-04 of another 
Riviere aux Liards, a tributary of Red Lake river, probably the Clear- 
water river, ivhich also has given its name to a county of Minnesota. 

Townships and Villages. 

The information of origins and meanings of geographic names in this 
county was received from **History of Cottonwood and Watonwan 
Counties," John A. Brown, editor, two volumes, 1916; from "A History 
of the Origin of the Place Names connected with the Chicago and North- 
western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railways," by 
W. H. Stennett, 202 pages, 1908; from S. A. Brown, county auditor, 
S. J. Fering, register of deeds, and' A. W. Annes, judge of probate, during 
a visit in Windom, July, 1916; and from E. C. Huntington, of St. Paul, 
who for thirty-six years, 1871-1907, was editor of the Windom Reporter. 

Amboy township, organized October 10, 1872, was named by settlers 
from the eastern states. Townships or villages of this name are in Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York. 

Amo township, organized March 4, 1873, was named by W. H. Ben- 
bow, then clerk of court for the county, to inculcate the principle of 
friendship, the meaning of the name, in Latin, being "I love." 

149 



150 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Ann township, organized in 1876, was named in honor of the wife 
of Hogan Anderson, then a member of the board of county commission- 
ers, who was a homestead farmer in this township, wagonmaker and 
merchant 

Bingham Lake, a railway village, platted July 28, 1875, and incor- 
porated in 1900, "was named from a nearby lake. The lake was named 
by the United States surveyor, for Senator K. S. Bingham, of Michi- 
gan." Kinsley Scott Bingham was born at Camillus, N. Y., December 
16, 1808; removed to Michigan in 1833, and engaged in farming; was a 
representative in the state legislature^ 1836-40; was a member of Con- 
gress, 1847-51 ; governor of Michigan, 1855-59 ; and a U. S. senator, 1859- 
61, until his death at Oak Grove, Mich., October 5, 1861, 

Carson township, organized in July, 1871, bears the name of the 
widely known frontiersman, trapper, guide, soldier, and Indian agent, 
Christopher (commonly called Kit) Carson (b. 1809, d. 1868), for whom 
Carson City, the capital of Nevada, was named. 

Dale township was organized March 30, 1872, having a name sug- 
gested by its valley and lakes. "When first discovered, there was a beau- 
tiful chain of lakes in the central eastern portion of this township. 
These were filled in their season with wild fowls, and many fish abounded 
in their waters. With the settlement of the country, several of these 
lakes have been drained out and are now utilized for pasture and field 
purposes by the farmers who own the property. Some of the lakes are 
still intact and are highly prized by the citizens of the county." 

Delft, established as a railway station in 1892 and platted as a village 
June 18, 1902, "was named for the city in Holland by John Bartsch and 
Henry Wieb. Previous to adopting this name the village was called 
Wilhelmine, a female name common in Holland." 

Delton township, organized September 17, 1872, bears the same name 
with villages in Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

Germantown, organized January 24, 1874, received its name from its 
many German settlers, who were a large majority of the early home- 
steaders in this township. 

Great Bend township, organized August 27, 1870, "derives its name 
from the big bend in the Des Moines river within its borders." More 
exactly the apex of this bend or angle of the river is in the extreme 
southeast comer of Amo township. 

Highwater, organized January 24, 1874, is named for Highwater creek, 
which crosses the east half of this township, so called by the pioneer 
settlers "on account of its quick rising after a rain storm." 

Jeffers, platted and incorporated in September, 1899, was named in 
honor of George Jeffers, now a wealthy landowner, from whose home- 
stead a part of the site of this railway village was purchased. 

Lakeside township, organized August, 1870, received its name for 
its several fine lakes, including Bingham, Clear, Cottonwood, Fish, and 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 151 

Wolf lakes, of which the third and fifth nearly adjoin the village of 
Windom. Fish lake has been renamed Willow lake. 

Midway township was organized March 16, 1895, having previously 
been a part of Mountain Lake township. Its name refers to its situation 
on the railway, equidistant between St. Paul and Sioux City. 

Mountain Lake township, organized May 6, 1871, derived its name 
from its former large lake, in which a mountain-like island rose with 
steep shores and nearly flat top about 40 feet above the lake, having 
similar outlines to those of the surrounding bluffs and general upland. 
"The upper part of the island was covered with trees, which could be seen 
for many miles. This spot served as a landmark and a guide for many 

of the early settlers The lake, as known to pioneers, is no more ; 

it has long since been drained, and grains and grasses grow in its old bed" 
Mountain Lake village, on the railway in the south ^ge of Midway 
township, was platted May 25, 1872. 

Rose Hill township, organized April 5, 1879, received its name for its 
plentiful wild prairie roses and its low ridges and hills of morainic drift 

Selma township, organized April 4, 1874, bears a Scandinavian fem- 
inine Christian name, given to the first child born there. 

SouTHBROOK, the most southwestern township of this county, was 
organized in July, 1871. It is crossed by the Des Moines river, to which 
this township sends small brooks and rivulets from springs in the river 
bluffs. 

Springfield, organized August 27, 1870, was named by settlers from 
eastern states, many of which have townships, villages, and cities of this 
name. 

Storden township, organized March 30, 1875, was first named Norsk, 
for its many Norwegian pioneers, but later was renamed in honor of its 
first settler, Nels Storden, an immigrant from Norway. Its railway 
village of the same name was platted July 8, 1903. 

Westbrook, organized September 17, 1870, was named for the west 
branch of Highwater creek, which flows across the southeast part of this 
township. The railway village of Westbrook was platted June 8, 1900. 

Windom, the county seat, was platted June 20, 1871 ; was incorporated 
as a village in the spring of 1875, the first ordinance of the village council 
being passed April 15; and was re-incorporated September 9, 1884. It 
was named by Gen. Judson W. Bishop, of St Paul, chief engineer for 
construction of the railway, in honor of the distinguished statesman, 
William Windom, of Winona. He was born in Belmont county, Ohio, 
May 10, 1827; and died in New York City, January 29, 1891. He received 
an academic education, and studied law ; came to Winona, Minn., in 1855 ; 
was a representative in Congress, 1859-69, and U. S. senator, 1871-81 ; was 
a member of the cabinet of President Garfield, in 1881, as secretary of 
the treasury, but retired on the accession of President Arthur ; was again 
U. S. senator, 1881-83. On the inauguration of President Harrison, in 



152 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

1889, Windom was re-appointed secretary of the treasury, and held the 
office till his death, which was very sudden, from heart failure, just after 
making an address at a banquet of the New York Board of Trade. A 
volume entitled "Memorial Tributes to the Character and Public Services 
of William Windom, together with his Last Address," 161 pages, was 
printed in 1891. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Little Cottonwood river, and several streams flowing to the Cotton- 
wood, namely. Mound, Dry, and High water creeks, and Dutch Charley's 
creek, receive the drainage of the northern part of this county. Mound 
creek was named in allusion to the massive ridge of quartzite, mainly 
overspread with the glacial drift, whence it derives its highest springs; 
Dry creek, because it becomes very small, or is wholly dried up, in severe 
droughts; Highwater creek, as before noted, for its sudden rise after 
heavy rains ; and Dutch Charlesr's creek, for the earliest settler of Cotton- 
wood county, Charles Zierke, whom the government surveyors found 
living beside that creek when they first came^ 

Several lakes have been sufficiently noticed in the foregoing list of 
townships, including Mountain lake, Bingham lake, and others in Lake- 
side. 

The former Glen and Summit lakes, about two miles east of Windom, 
are now dry. 

Bartsch, Eagle, Long, Maiden, and Rat lakes are in Carson, the first 
named for Jacob Bartsch, a farmer there, and the last named for its 
muskrats. 

Swan, Lenhart's, and Wilson's lakes, in Dale, have been drained. The 
latter two, named respectively for John F. Lenhart and Samuel Wilson, 
settlers adjoining them, and a third, named Harder's lake, were formerly 
called "the Three lakes." Arnold's lake, close north of these, was named 
for a settler who came from Owatonna. 

Lake Augusta was named in honor of the wife of a pioneer home- 
steader adjoining it. The outlet, Harvey creek, flowing south to the 
Des Moines, commemorates Harvey Carey, like the lake to be later 
mentioned. 

Hurricane lake, now drained, had reference to a tornado which pros- 
trated trees on its shore. 

Bean lake was named for an early settler, Joseph F. Bean, who had 
remarkable talent of memorizing what he read. 

Double lakes, a mile south of the last, are separated only by space 
for a road. 

Berry and Carey lakes were named for settlers near them, the latter 
for the brothers Harvey, John, and Ralph Carey. 

Long lake, a half mile west of Carey lake, was formerly called the 
Twin lakes. 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 153 

Oaks lake may have been so called by the early surveyors, to preserve 
the name, "Lake of the Oaks/' which Allen in 1844 applied to Lake 
Shetek, sixteen miles distant up the Des Moines river. 

The two String lakes, in the southwest part of the Great Bend town- 
ship, are named for their lying in a single winding string-like course, 
scarcely separated. 

Gear lake, crossed by the south line of Southbrook, like another Gear 
lake before mentioned in Lakeside, refers to the clearness of its deep 
water, not covered by grass and water plants as many shallow lakes. 

Talcott lake, through which the Des Moines river flows in Southbrook, 
is one of the names placed by Nicollet on his map, published in 1843, 
to commemorate friends and prominent men of science. His generous 
use of such names in the upper Mississippi region has been noticed in the 
chapter of Cass county. On and near the upper Des Moines river, he has 
Lakes Talcott and Graham, of which the latter is preserved as the name 
of two lakes and a township in Nobles county. These names are in honor 
of Andrew Talcott and James D. Graham, who, with James Renwick, 
were commissioners, in 1840-43, to survey the disputed northeastern 
boundary of the United States. Andrew Talcott was born in Glastonbury, 
Conn., April 20, 1797; and died in Richmond, Va., April 22, 1883. He was 
graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, 1818 ; was engineer 
on many government works ; was astronomer in surveys of the boundary 
between Ohio and Michigan, 1828-35 ; was chief engineer of railway work 
in Mexico during the civil war. 

The upper Des Moines river and adjoining region were explored in 
1844 by Captain James Allen and a company of dragoons, of which he 
presented a report and journal, published by Congress in 1846. Morainic 
drift hills along the southwest side of the Des Moines, two to five miles 

northwest of Windom, were noted by Allen as "high bluffs, 150 

or 200 feet above the general level of the country." These are named 
Blue Mounds in the description and map of this county by the Minnesota 
Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, chapter XVI). 



CROW WING COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, organized March 3, 1870, was 
named for the Crow Wing river, translated from the Ojibway name, 
spelled Kagiwigwan on Nicollet's map, and Gagagiwigwuni by Gilfillan, 
who would preferably translate it, following Schoolcraft, as "Raven 
Feather river." 

Pike in 1805 and Schoolcraft in 1820 and 1832 used the French name 
of this river, de G)rbeau, meaning of the Raven; but its more complete 
name in French was riviere i TAile de Corbeau, river of the Wing of the 
Raven, as translated by the voyageurs and traders from the Ojibway 
name. In the "Summary Narrative," published in 1855, Schoolcraft 
referred to the somewhat erroneous English translation. Crow Wing 
river, as follows: "The Indian name of this river is Kagiwegwon, or 
Raven's-wing or Quill, which is accurately translated by the term Aile 
de Corbeau, but it is improperly called Crow-wing. The Chippewa term 
for crow is andaig, and the French, corneille, — ^terms which are appro- 
priately applied to another stream, nearer St Anthony's Falls." 

Mrs. E. Steele Peake, widow of an early missionary in 1856-61 to the 
Ojibways at the mission stations of Gull Lake and Crow Wing, wrote 
in a letter of her reminiscences in the Brainerd Dispatch, Septemiber 22, 
1911, concerning the aborigmal name of Crow Wing river: 'Where the 
river joins the Mississippi was an island in the shape of a crow's wing, 
which gave the name to the river and the town." 

The North American crow, common or frequent throughout the United 
States, has been confounded in this name with "his regal cousin, the 
raven," a larger bird, not addicted like the crow to uprooting and eating 
newly planted com. Our American variety of the raven inhabits the 
country "from Arctic regions to Guatemala, but local and not common 
east of the Mississippi river." Dr. P. L. Hatch, in "Notes on the Birds 
of Minnesota," 1892, wrote of ravens, '*they are rarely seen in the vicinity 
of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but from Big Stone lake to the British 
Possessions they seem to become increasingly common." Probably be- 
cause the early English-speaking travelers and employees in the fur trade 
came from the eastern states, where the raven is practically unknown, 
they anglicized this name as Crow Wing, used only once by Schoolcraft 
in his "Narrative" of 1832, and criticized by him in 1855, as before cited. 

After the adoption of the English name of the river, and twenty 
years or more before the county was outlined and named, the import- 
ant Crow Wing trading post was established on the east side of the 
Mississippi opposite to the mouth of the Crow Wing river north of its 
island, and was surrounded by a village of the Ojibways and white men. 

154 



CROW WING COUNTY 155 

The earliest record of a trader near this site is in the list of licenses 
grranted in 1826 by Lawrence Taliaferro, as Indian agent, one of these 
being for "Benjamin F. Baker, Crow Island, Upper Mississippi/' in 
the service of the American Fur Company (Minnesota in Three Cen- 
turies, 1908, vol. II, p. 54). Among the traders licensed in 1833-34, 
none is mentioned for that post, which seems to have been abandoned. 

There was again a station of the fur traders at Crow Wing, facing 
the northern mouth of the Crow Wing river, "about the year 1837," 
and it became a few years later "the center of Indian trading for all 
the upper country, the general supply store being located at this place. 
... In 1866, the settlement and village contained seven families of 
whites, and about twenty-three of half-breeds and Chippewas, with a 
large transient population. . . . The entire population was, from reliable 
estimates, about six hundred. . . . Crow Wing, as a business point, has 
passed away, most of the buildings having been removed to Brainerd, 
and the remaining ones destroyed." (History of the Upper Mississippi 
Valley, 1881, pages 637-a) 

By an act of the Legislature, February 18, 1887, which was ratified 
by the vote of the people of the county at the next general election, the 
part of Crow Wing county west of the Mississippi river, previously 
bdonging to Cass county, was annexed to this county, somewhat more 
than doubling its former area. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from "History of the 
Upper Mississippi Valley," 1881, pages 637-659; from Anton Mahlum, 
city clerk of Brainerd, Samuel R. Adair, county treasurer, and William 
H. Andrews, during my visit in Brainerd, May, 1916; and by corre- 
spondence from John F. Smart, former county auditor, now of Fair- 
hope, Alabama. 

Allen township was named for its first settler, a pioneer from the 
eastern states. 

Barrows railway station and the Barrows mine, five miles southwest 
from Brainerd, are named for W. A. Barrows, Jr., of Brainerd. 

Baxter township commemorates the late Luther Loren Baxter, of 
Fergus Falls, who during many years was an attorney for the Northern 
Pacific company. He was bom in Cornwall, Vt., in 1832; was admitted 
to practice law, 1854, and soon afterward settled in Minnesota; enlisted 
in the Fourth Minnesota regiment, served at first as captain, and was 
promoted to the rank of colonel ; was a state senator in 1865-8 and 1870-6, 
and a representative in the legislature in 1869 and 1877-82; was judge 
in the Seventh judicial district, 1885-1911. He died at his home in Fer- 
gus Falls, May 22, 1915. 

Bay Lake township received its name from its large lake, which 
was so named for its irregular outline, with many bays, projecting 
points, and islands. Its Ojibway name, like that of another lake of 



156 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

similar form in Aitkin county, was Sisabagama (accented on the third 
syllable), meaning, according tp Gilfillan, "Every-which-way lake, or 
the lake which has arms running in all directions." 

Brainerd, founded in 1870, when the Northern Pacific survey deter- 
mined that the crossing of the Mississippi should be here, was organized 
as a city March 6, 1873; but an act of the legislature, January 11, 1876, 
substituted a township government. It again became a city November 
19, 1881. "The name first suggested for' this place was *Ogemaqua,' in 
honor of Emma Beaulieu, a woman of rare personal beauty, to whom 
the Indians gave the name mentioned, meaning Queen, or Chief Woman. 
The present name was chosen in honor of the wife of J. Gregory Smith, 
first president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, Mrs. Smith's 
family name being Brainerd." (History, Upper Mississippi Valley, p. 640.) 

Mrs. Ann Eliza (Brainerd) Smith was a daughter of Hon. Lawrence 
Brainerd, of St. Albans, Vt. Her husband, John Gregory Smith (b. 
1818, d. 1891), also a resident of St. Albans, honored by the name of 
Gregory Park or Square in Brainerd and by Gregory station and village 
in Morrison county, was governor of Vermont, 1863-65; was presidient 
of the Northern Pacific company, 1866-72; and later was president of 
the Vermont Central railroad until his death. Mrs. Smith was author 
of novels, books of travel, and other works. Her father, Lawrence 
Brainerd (b. 1794, d. 1870), was a director of the St. Albans Steamboat 
Company, a builder and officer of railroads in northern Vermont, a 
noted abolitionist, and was a United States senator, 1854-5. 

Portraits of Mrs. Smith, for whom Brainerd was named, and her 
father, with extended biographic notices, are in "The Genealogy of the 
Brainerd-Brainard Family in America" (three volumes, published in 
1908), The biographic sketch of her is in Volume II, pages 162-3, from 
which the following is quoted : "She was president of the board of 
managers for the Vermont woman's ex<hibit at the Centennial Exposi- 
tion of 1876, at Philadelphia, and was frequently chosen in similar capaci- 
ties as a representative Vermont woman. Her patriotic feeling was 
shown in the Civil War, at the rebel raid on St. Albans and the plunder 
of the banks, Oct. 19, 1864, and a commission as Lieutenant-Colonel 
was issued to her for gallantry and efficient service on that occasion by 
Adjutant-General P. T. Washburn." She was, born in St. Albans, Vt., 
October 7, 1819 ; and died at her home there, January 6, 1905. 

The Northern Pacific railroad ran its first train to Brainerd, a special 
train, on March 11, 1871; and its regular passenger service began the 
next September. The first passenger train from the Twin Cities, by way 
of Sauk Rapids, came November 1, 1877. Crow Wing, the former trad- 
ing post, was soon superseded by Brainerd, which the Ojibways named 
"Oski-odena, New Town." 

Crosby, a mining village on the Cuyuna Iron Range branch of the 
"Soo" railway, was named in honor of George H. Crosby, of Duluth, 
manager of iron mines. 



CROW WING COUNTY 157 

Crow Wing township was named for its including the site of the 
early Indian village and trading post of this name. 

CuYUNA, a mining village, and the iron ore range on which it is situ- 
ated, were named by and for Cuyler Adams, of Deerwood, prospector, 
discoverer, and mine owner of this range, and for his dog, Una, who 
accompanied him in many lone prospecting trips, so that he affirmed 
that the discovery of workable ore deposits here should be credited 
jointly to himself and the valuable aid of Una. This iron range is more 
fully noticed at the end of this chapter. 

Daggett Brook township was named for the brook flowing through 
it meanderingly to the Nokasippi river, which brook commemorates 
Benjamin F. Daggett, an early lumberman who cut much pine timber 
there. He was born in Wiscasset, Maine, September 31, 1821 ; and died 
in Sauk Rapids, Minn., August 31, 1901. He came to Minnesota in 1855, 
settling at Elk River, and engaged in lumbering; afterward resided at 
Little Falls and Sauk Rapids. (Another Daggett brook, likewise named 
for this lumberman, is in the north part of this county, outflowing 
from Crooked lake, through Mitchell, Eagle, Daggett, and Pine lakes, 
to Cross lake.) 

Davenport township has the name given by Nicollet to Cross lake 
on the Pine river, in honor of Colonel William Davenport of the U. 
S. Army. He was a captain in the war of 1812; was promoted to the 
rank of lieutenant colonel, 1832, and colonel, 1842; was brevetted colonel 
in 1838, for meritorious service in Florida; resigned from the army, 1850; 
died April 12, 1858. He was commandant of Fort Snelling in the summer 
of 1836, and there became acquainted with Nicollet. 

Dean Lake township, with its Dean lake and brook and the Upper 
Dean lake, bears the name of a pioneer lumberman, Joseph Dean of Min- 
neapolis, who cut its pine timber. 

Deerwood railway station and village, at first called Withington, *'after 
the maiden name of the wife of one of the railway officials," was 
renamed for the plentiful deer in its woods, the name being thence given 
to the township. This change was made to avoid confusion with Worth- 
ington, Nobles county. 

Emily township was named from Emily lake, one of its group of 
four lakes having feminine names, Anna, Emily, Marj', and Ruth; but 
whether they were of one family,, or what was the surname of any of 
them, has not been ascertained. Probably they were the daughters or 
wives of early lumbermen. 

Fairfield township has a euphonious name, perhaps derived from the 
township and large manufacturing village of this name in Maine. It is 
the name of counties, villages, and cities, in many states. 

Fort Ripley, a railway village near the east bank of the Mississippi, 
bears the name of the fort formerly on the opposite bank of this river, 
from 1849 to 1878, named in honor of Gen. Eleazar W. Ripley, more 
fully noticed in the chapter for Morrison county. 



158 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Garrison township was named in honor of Oscar E. Garrison, a land 
surveyor and civil engineer, who was born at Fort Ann, N. Y., July 21, 
1825, and died on his farm in this township, April 2, 1886. He came to 
Minnesota in 1850; explored Lake Minnetonka, and platted the village 
of Wayzata in 1854; removed to St. Qoud in 1860; served in the Northern 
Rangers against the Sioux, 1862; was agent of the United States Census, 
Department of Forestry, 1880, examining the region of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi, on which his observations were published (49 pages) in the 
Ninth Annual Report of the Minnesota Geological Survey. He took his 
homestead claim here in 1882. 

Ideal township, a fancy name, was originally called White Fish, for 
the large lake of that name comprised almost wholly in this township. 

Ironton is a mining and railway village of the Cuyuna Iron Range. 

Jenkins railway village and township were named for George W. 
Jenkins, a lumberman, who platted this village. 

Klondike township was named from the Klondike placer-gold region 
in the Yukon district, Canada, discovered in 1896, which took its name 
from the Klondike river (Indian, "Throndiuk, river full of fish"). This 
name was adopted in allusion to the large and valuable deposits of iron 
ore in the Cuyuna Iron Range, discovered by Cu3der Adams in 1895 as 
the result of magnetic surveys, several of the best mining locations being 
in this township. 

Lake Edward township bears the name of the largest one of its num- 
erous lakes, given at the time of the government survey, probably in honor 
of a member of the surveying party. 

Leaks, a station of the Minnesota International railway about three 
miles north of Brainerd, was named for John Leaks, a locomotive en- 
gineer of that railway. 

Little Pine township received its name for its lake and river of this 
name, tributary to the Pine river. 

Long Lake township received its name from its Long lake, through 
which the Nokay river flows. Our name of this lake is a direct transla- 
tion of its Ojibway name, "Gaginogumag sagaiigun." 

Manganese, a mining village in Wolford, has reference to its man- 
ganiferous iron ores, which have from 1 to 25 per cent of manganese. 
These mines are on the northern border of this Cuyuna district. 

Maple Grove township has groves of sugar maple, interspersed with 
the other timber of its general forest. 

Merrifield, a railway village seven miles north of Brainerd, bears 
the name of the former owner of its site. 

Mission township and its two Mission lakes were named for an early 
missionary station there for the Ojibways. 

NoKAY Lake township has the lake of this name on the upper course 
and near the head of the Nokasippi or Nokay river, as it is spelled on 
Nicollet's map. This was the name of an Ojibway chief and noted 



CROW WING COUNTY 159 

hunter, whom the "Handbook of Anierican Indians" (Part II, 1910) 
mentions as follows: "A chief of the western Chippewa in the latter 
half of the 18th century, who attained some celebrity as a leader and 
hunter. The chief incident of his life relates to the war between the 
Mdewakanton [Sioux] and the Chippewa for possession of the banks 
of the upper Mississippi. In 1769, the year following the battle of Crow 
Wing, Minn., — ^where the Chippewa, though maintaining their ground, 
were hampered by inferior numbers, — ^they determined to renew the 
attack on the Mdewakanton with a larger force. This war party, under 
the leadership of Noka, referred to as 'Old Noka' evidently on account 
of his advanced age, attacked Shakopee's village on Minnesota river, the 
result being a drawn battle, the Chippewa retiring to their own territory 
without inflicting material damage on their enemy." Warren, the his- 
torian of the Ojibways, wrote of Nokay's skill in hunting (M. H. S. 
Collections, vol. V, page 266). 

Oak Lawn township was named for its "oak openings," tracts occu- 
pied by scattered oak trees with small grassed spaces, somewhat like 
a prairie, interrupting the general woodland. 

Outing, a small village on the southeastern shore of Crooked lake, 
in Emily township, was platted in 1907 by William H. Andrews, as a place 
for "outings" or short visits of dty people and sportsmen 'in summer. 

Pelican township was named for its large Pelican lake, which was 
first mapped by the United States government surveys, about the year 
1860. The remarkably fine group of large lakes m this county between 
Gull and White Fish lakes was represented on earlier maps only by several 
quite small lakes, one of which is named Lake Taliaferro on Nicollet's 
map, in honor of the Indian agent at Mendota. As Pelican lake is the 
largest in this group, it may be thought to be the one so designated. It 
is translated from the Ojibway name, given by Gilfillan as "Shede sagaii- 
gun. Pelican lake." Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha" spells this Ojibway 
word Shada, which has the long a sound in both syllables. The pelican, 
our largest bird species of Minnesota, was formerly common or frequent 
here^ as attested by its name given to rivers, lakes, and islands. 

Pequot, a railway village in Sibley township, bears the name of a 
former tribe of Algonquian Indians in eastern Connecticut This village 
is the sole instance of its use as a geographic name. 

Perry Lake township and its lake of this name probably commemo- 
rate an early lumberman. 

Platte Lake township received its name from the lake at its southeast 
comer, the central and largest one of a group of several lakes forming 
the headwaters of Platte river. This is a French word, meaning flat 
The translation of the Ojibway name of this lake, according to Gilfillan, 
is "Hump-as-made-by-a-man-lying-on-his-hands-and-knees." 

Rabbit Lake township similarly took the name of its Rabbit lake, the 
head of Rabbit river, a short tributary of the Mississippi. The Ojibway 



160 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

name of the lake, given by Gilfillan, is "Wabozo-wakaiiguni sagaiigiin, 
Rabbit's-House lake." 

RiVERTON is a mining village of the Cujruna Iron Range, beside Little 
Rabbit lake, through which Rabbit river flows just before joining the 
Mississippi. 

Roosevelt township was named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, then 
President of the United States. 

Ross Lake township and its lake of this name are in honor of a pio- 
neer lumberman there. 

St. Mathias township was named from its Catholic church, dedi- 
cated to Christ's disciple who was chosen by lot to be one of the twelve 
apostles, in the place of Judas. 

Sibley township was named from its Lake Sibley, a name given by 
Nicollet on his map, published in 1843, in honor of Henry Hastings 
Sibley, for whom also Sibley county was named. 

Smiley township, having a common English or American surname, 
remains of undetermined derivation. 

Timothy township, at first called Clover, received the popular name 
of a European species of grass, much cultivated in Europe and America 
for hay, more commonly called "herd's grass" in New England. The 
seed of this grass was carried from New England to Maryland about 
the year 1720 by Timothy Hanson, whence came its prevalent American 
name. It grows very luxuriantly under cultivation in Minnesota, and 
frequently is adventive by roadsides and about logging camps. 

Watertown has many lakes and the Pine river. In the central part 
of the west half of this township, the river flows into the west side of 
Cross lake and out from its east side, whence the lake received this 
name. It is translated from the Ojibway name, meaning the same as 
Lake Bemidji, "the lake which the river flows directly across." This 
lake was named Lake Davenport on Nicollet's map in honor of Col. 
William Davenport, of the United States Array, for whom also a town- 
ship in this county is named. 

WoLFORD township, recently organized, comprising the mining villages 
of Manganese and Iron Mountain, at the north edge of the Cuyuna 
Range, was named in honor of Robert Wolford, a pioneer farmer there. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding pages have noticed a number of the lakes and streams, 
including several given by Nicollet's map. Other names thus applied 
by Nicollet are Lake Plympton, now called Rush lake, crossed by the Pine 
river between White Fish and Cross lakes, in honor of Captain Joseph 
Plympton (b. 1787, d. 1860), who was commandant of Fort Snelling in 
the years 1837-41; Lake Gratiot now Upper Hay lake, a mile east of 
Jenkins village, named in honor of Gen. Charles Gratiot (b. 1788, d. 
1855), in charge of the U. S. engineer bureau and inspector of West 
Point; Manido river, the Ojibway name for Spirit river, outflowing from 



CROW WING COUNTY 161 

Lake Gratiot to White Fish lake; Lake Stewart, in Timothy township, 
for the gallant U. S. naval officer, Charles Stewart (b. 1778, d. 1869), 
famous for his services in the War of 1812 ; and Lakes Enke and Chanche, 
now respectively Lakes Washburn and Roosevelt, the former wholly and 
the latter partly in Cass county, tributary by the northern Daggett brook 
to Cross lake. 

White Fish lake is called Kadikomeg lake on Nicollet's map, an 
attempt to record the aboriginal name, which Gilfillan noted more fully, 
''Ga-atikumegokag, the place of white fish." Another lake of this name, 
much smaller, is crossed by the east line of Roosevelt, lying partly in 
Mille Lacs county. The next lake across which Pine river passes below 
White Fish, named Lake Plympton by Nicollet, now known as Rush lake, 
is called by the Ojibways "Shingwakosagibid sagaiigun, the lake of the 
pine sticking up out of the water." Their name of the Pine river, which 
we retain in translation, is "Shingwako zibi;" and Serpent lake is trans- 
lated from "Newe sagaiigun, Blow-Snake lake." Pike or Borden lake, 
named for David S. Borden, an adjacent settler, in sections 10, 11, and 14, 
Garrison, is called "Wijiwi sagaiigun, the lake full of muskrat houses 
or beavers," as noted by Gilfillan; and the aboriginal name for Round 
lake, through which the Nokay river flows in sections 11 and 14, St. 
Mathias, is Nokay lake. * 

The larger Round lake, in Smiley township, is translated from **Ga- 
wawiiegumag ;" and the Ojibway name of Lake Hubert, recorded by 
Gilfillan, is "Ga-manominiganjikag sagaiigun. Wild Rice lake." Gull 
lake, a- translation from the Ojibways, has been more fully noticed in 
the chapter on Cass county. 

In this region of plentiful game, finny, furred, and feathered, Lake 
Hubert, and the adjoining village of this name, may well have been so 
designated in honor of St. Hubert, the patron saint of huntsmen. 

An enumeration of other lakes and streams in this county, not pre- 
viously noticed, is as follows, taking first the part southeast of the Missis- 
sippi, in the order of townships from south to north, and of ranges from 
east to west, and next, in the same order, taking the northwest part of 
the county. Personal names, applied to many of these lakes, are nearly 
all commemorative of early settlers. 

Camp or Crooked lake, Erskine, Mud, Bass, Rock, and Bull Dog 
lakes, in Roosevelt township. 

Sebie, Mud, and Crow Wing (or Thunder) lakes, in Fort Ripley 
township. 

Qearwater, Miller, Barber, and Holt lakes, in Garrison. 

Chrysler lake, in Maple Grove township. 

Russell lake, in Long Lake township, named for T. P. Russell, a settler 
Ijiere at its north side. 

Buffalo creek, in Crow Wing township, named for buffaloes frequent- 
ing its oak openings and small tracts of prairie. 



162 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

A second and larger Qearwater lake, Crooked, Hanks, Portage, Rice, 
and Birch lakes, and a small Long lake in section 1, Bay Lake township. 

Eagle, Pointon, Perch, and Grave lakes, in Nokay Lake township. 

Sand and Whitely creeks, and Rice or Whitely lake, in Oak Lawn 
township. 

Agate and Black lakes, Cedar creek and lake, Shine or Shirt lake, and 
Hamlet, Portage, Rice, and Reno lakes, in Deerwood. The last was 
named in honor of Gen. Jesse Lee Reno, who served in the Mexican and 
Civil wars, and was killed in the battle of South Mountain, Md., Septem- 
ber 14, 1862. 

Manomin, Portage, Blackhoof, Little Rabbit, Rice, Crocker, and 
Wolf lakes, in Klondike. 

Black Bear lake, in Wolford 

Little Sand or Perch lake, White Sand, Red Sand, and Whipple lakes, 
in Baxter, the first township northwest of the Mississippi. The last is 
in honor of the eminent Bishop Whipple, under whose direction and 
care were many missions for the Ojibways and Sioux in Minnesota*, 
including the Ojibway mission of St Columba, at Gull lake in the adjoin- 
ing edge of Cass county. 

Long lake, Love lake, Bass, Carp (or Mud), Gilbert, and Hartley 
lakes, in Township 134, Range 28 and the east half of Range 29. 

The two Mission lakes, named for an early Ojibway mission near 
them, and Perch, Silver, Bass, Fawn, Spider, and Camel lakes, in T. 
135 N., R. 27 W. 

Markee* and Twin lakes, Garden, Rice, Qark, Hubert and Little 
Hubert, Gladstone, Mollie, and Crystal lakes, in Lake Edward township. 

CuUen, Fawn, Fish Trap (or Marsh), Roy, and Mud lakes, in Smiley. 

Nelson lake, in Dean .Lake township, named for H. M. Nelson, the 
first settler having a family in that township. 

Bass lake, Fool's lake, and Indian Jack lake, in Perry Lake township. 

Lizard, Sandbar or Horseshoe, and Bass lakes, and the northern Mis- 
sion lake, in Mission township. 

Long, Schaffer, and Upper Cullen lakes, in Pelican. 

Twin lakes, in Sibley. 

Island, Mud, and Rogers lakes, Upper Dean lake. Twin lakes, and 
Stark lake, in Ross Lake township. 

Grass, Pickerel, and Trout lakes, Dolney's lake, Mud, Bass, and Adney 
lakes, in Fairfield. 

Ox, Island, Hen, Rush, Daggett, Bass, Goodrich, O'Brien, Phelps, 
Big Bird, and Greer lakes, in Watertown, with two Pine lakes, one in the 
northeast part of this township, and the other in sections 32 to 34. 

Big Trout, Mud, Bertha, Pig, Star, Bass, Kimball, Long, and Gear 
lakes, in White Fish' township. 

The Upper and Lower Hay lakes, and Nelson lake, in Jenkins. 

Little Pine lake. Low's, Duck, Moulton, Bass, and Birchdale lakes, 
in Little Pine township. 



CROW WING COUNTY 163 

Papoose, Butterfield, and Dahler lakes, in Emily township. 

Mitchell, Eagle, East Fox, West Fox, and Kego lakes, in Allen, the 
last an Ojibway name meaning Fish lake. 

Jale, Big Rice, and Swede lakes, in the east half of T. 138, R. 29, the 
most northwestern in this county. 

The Mississippi has "an island in the mouth of Pine river, well tim- 
bered with pine, elm, and maple," as described by Schoolcraft in 1820; 
French rapids, shown on Nicollet's map, about three miles north of 
Brainerd; Whitely island, close below these rapids; three or four other 
small islands between this and the Crow Wing river; and, at the mouth 
of that river, Crow Wing island. Another name sometimes given to 
the last is McArthur's island, as on the map accompanying the chapter 
for this county by the Minnesota Geological Survey, having reference 
to a Scotch trader, named McArthur. 

In the vicinity of the Buffalo creek and the mouth of Crow Wing 
river, as Schoolcraft wrote in 1820, "the Buffalo Plains commence and 
continue downward, on both banks of the river, to the falls of St. An- 
thony. These plains are elevated about sixty feet above the summer 
level of the water, and consist of a sandy alluvion covered with rank 
grass and occasional clumps of the dwarf black oak." 

Ahrens Hill. 

A remarkable series of gravel knolls and ridges, called kames and 
eskers, borders the Mississippi on its northwest side at Brainerd and for 
a distance of about three miles up the river. Its culmination and north- 
em end is a hill that rises about 175 feet above both the river on its 
east side and Gilbert lake on the west, being 100 feet higher than the 
mainly level sand and gravel plain of the river valley. This high and 
short esker was named Ahrens hill in the Geological Survey (vol. IV, 
1899, p. 73), for Charles Ahrens, the farmer of its southern and western 
slopes. 

CuYUNA Iron Range. 

The origin of the name of this belt of iron ore deposits has been 
noted for the village of Cuyuna, in the preceding list; and the date of 
discovery of these beds of ore by Cuyler Adams, in 1895, was mentioned 
in the notice of Klondike township. Mining and shipments of ore from 
the Cuyuna range were begun in the years 1910 to 1912, and its production 
in 1915 was 1,137,043 tons. The explored extent of this iron ore district 
lying in Crow Wing and Aitkin counties, has no prominent hills or high- 
lands, and only very scanty outcrops of the bed-rocks, which, with the 
ore deposits, are deeply covered by the glacial and modified drift 



DAKOTA COUNTY 

This county, established October 27, 1849, was named for the Dakota 
people, meaning an alliance or league. Under this name are comprised a 
large number of allied and affiliated Indian tribes, who originally occu- 
pied large parts of Minnesota and adjoining states. The Dakotas called 
themselves collectively by this name, but they have been more frequently 
termdd Sioux, this being a contraction from the appellation, Nadouesioux, 
given with various spellings by Radisson, Hennepin, and LaSalle, a term 
evidently of Algonquian origin, adopted by the early French explorers 
and traders. 

Radisson says (Voyages, p. 154) that the first part of the Algonquian 
name, for the Dakotas, spelled, in the translation of his manuscript, 
Nadoneceronons, means an enemy. 

Rev. Moses N. Adams informed me that the Dakotas dislike to be 
called Sioux, and much prefer their own collective name, borne by this 
county, which implies friendship or even brotherly love. 

Townships and Villages. 

For the origins and meanings of the names of townships, villages, 
post offices, lakes, creeks, etc, in this county, we are mainly indebted to 
its three published histories: "Dakota County, Its Past and Present, 
Geographical, Statistical, and Historical," by W. H. Mitchell, 1868, in 
162 pages; "History of Dakota County," by George E. Warner and 
Charles M. Foote, 1881, 551 pages ; and "History of Dakota and Goodhue 
Counties," edited by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, 1910, two volumes, the 
first, in 662 pages, being for this county. Especial acknowledgment is 
due to the excellent contribution by the late Judge Francis M. Crosby, 
of Hastings, entitled "Origin of Names," in the third of these historie.s, 
pages 131-133. 

BuRNsviLLE township, organized May 11, 1858, was named for its 
first settlers, "William Burns and family, consisting ot his wife and 
five sons, who emigrated from Canada the same year [1853]. He settled 
in the northwest corner of the town, near the mouth of Credit river." 

Castle Rock township, organized April 6, 1858, was named, on the 
suggestion of Peter Ayotte, an early settler, for a former well known 
landmark, a pillar or towerlike remnant, spared by erosion and weath- 
ering, of "a sandstone rock which stands alone on a prairie in that town. 
This geologic formation, before its partial disintegration which left it in 
ruins, . closely resembled a castle." Nicollet's Report, in 1843, gives its 
Sioux name, Inyan bosndata. Standing Rock, which, he adds, on the 
authority of LeSueur in the year 1700, was the Sioux name also of the 

164 



DAKOTA COUNTY 165 

Cannon river. Prof. N. H. WincheH's Final Report of the Geology of 
Minnesota, in Volume II, 1888, has a good description and historical 
notice of Castle Rock, pages 76-79 in Chapter III, "The Geology of Dakota 
County," with three pictures of it from photographs. Its height was 44 
feet above the ground at its base, and 70 feet above an adjoining hollow ; 
but the slender pillar, 19 feet high, forming its upper part, has since 
fallen, about twenty years ago. 

Douglass township, established April 6, 1858, "was named for Stephen 
A. Douglas, the statesman." Its earliest spelling by the petitioners and 
county commissioners has been continued, though differing from that 
of the great politician and orator. He is also commemorated by the name 
of Douglas county. 

Eagan township, established by legislative act in 1861, was named for 
Patrick Eagan, one of the first settlers, coming in 1853. 

Empise was named "for Empire, N. Y., the native place of Mrs. A. J. 
Irving, wife of one of the early settlers." This township, organized and 
named May 11, 1858, had previously an early neighborhood settlement, 
which in 1854-55 was called "Empire City." 

Eureka township, organized May 11, 1858, has for its name a (jreek 
word, meaning "I have found it !" This was the exclamation of members 
of its "Indiana settlement," when they first arrived, in 1854. 

Green VALE, also organized May 11, 1858, "probably received its name 
from the name given to a Sunday School in the southern part of the 
township. The name was doubtless inspired by the picturesque surround- 
ings." 

Hampton township, established April 6, 1858, was named for "a place 
of that name in Connecticut. This appellation was suggested by Nathan- 
iel Martin in honor of his birthplace." 

Hastings, the county seat, platted as a village in 1853 and. incorporated 
as a city in 1857, was named in drawing lots by its several proprietors, 
this second name of Henry Hastings Sibley, later governor and general, 
having been his preference. "Judge Solomon Sibley, of Detroit, Mich., 
studied law in Massachusetts with Judge Hastings, whom he greatly 
admired, and gave this name to his son." 

Before the platting and naming of Hastings, this locality had been 
known during thirty-three years as Oliver's Grove, often ignorantly 
changed to "Olive Grove." The origin of this early name is told by 
John H. Case in Volume XV of the Minnesota Historical Society Col- 
lections (page 377) f as follows: "The site of the city of Hastings was 
earlier called Oliver's Grove, after Lieut. William G. Oliver, who was 
ascending the Mississippi with one or more keel boats in the autumn of 
1819, but was prevented from going farther by a gorge of ice in the bend 
of the river opposite to this city. The boat or boats were probably run 
up to the outlet of Lake Rebecca, to be out of the way of the ice when the 
river broke up in the spring of 1820. Lieutenant Oliver was on his way 



166 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

from Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien with supplies for the soldiers 
at St Peter's camp, now Fort Snelling, among whom was the first settler 
of Hastings, Joe Brown, the drummer boy, then about fourteen years of 
age." 

Inver Grove township was organized May 11, 1858. "The town was 
named by John McGroarty, the name Inver Grove being given in recollec- 
tion of a place in Ireland from which many of the settlers came." 

Lakeville township, established April 6, 1858, was named for Prairie 
lake, which about fifteen years ago was renamed Lake Marion, as is 
further noted in the list of lakes of this county. 

Lebanon received its name "from Lebanon, N. H., from whence came 
Charles and H. J. Verrill, early settlers." It was organized May 11, 1858. 

Marsh AN township "was named for Michael Marsh and his wife, 
Ann." Previous to its organization. May 11, 1858, it was known as Bell- 
wood, for Joseph Bell, who took a claim there in 1854. It then had a 
small village, called Bellwood, with the first hotel of the township and 
a Catholic church ; but the site "soon was abandoned." 

Mendota township, established in April, 1858, bears a Sioux name, 
meaning the mouth of a river, because here the Minnesota river joins 
the Mississippi. This name was adopted about the year 1837, instead 
of the former name St Peter's, taken from the St. Peter's or Minnesota 
river, as applied to the early settlement of traders opposite to Fort 
Snelling. 

NiNiNGER township, established April 6, 1858, was named from its 
earlier "city of Nininger," which was platted in the summer of 1856 by 
John Nininger, for whom it was named. He resided in Pennsylvania, 
and was a brother-in-law of Governor Ramsey. In the winter of 1857-8 
an act of incorporation of this city was passed by the legislature. In the 
spring of 1858, when it reached the height of its progress, Nininger 
"numbered nearly, if not quite, 1,000 inhabitants, and cast a vote of 
over 200." 

Randolph township, established April 20, 1858, was then named 
Richmond, "in honor of John Richmond, the first settler within its limits." 
This name was rejected September 18, 1858, because there was another 
Richmond in the state; and on October 30, 1858, it was renamed Ran- 
dolph. "D. B. Hulburt, an admirer of the Virginia statesman, John 
Randjolph, suggested that his distinguished surname be given to the 
town." This was "Randolph of Roanoke," as he was generalb'^ known, 
who was bom in 1773 and died in 1833. 

Ravenna township, separated from the city of Hastings on June 5, 
1860, was named by Albert T. Norton for Ravenna, Ohio, where his 
wife had taught school. 

Rosemount township, established April 6, 1858, "was named by Andrew 
Keegan and Hugh Derham, from the picturesque village of that name 
in Ireland." 



DAKOTA COUNTY 167 

SaoTA township, organized May 11, 1858, '*was named from Sciola, 
Ohio," as related by Judge Loren W. Collins. 

South St. Paul and West St. Paul, recently incorporated cities, 
received their names from their situation "in reference to the city of St 
Paul." West St Paul township was organized May 11, 1858, and by an 
act of the legislature, approved March 9, 1874, its village (as it then was) 
of this name was detached from Dakota county and annexed to Ramsey 
county, being made a part of St Paul. 

Vermillion township, organized April 5, 1858, was named for tlic 
Vermillion river, which bears a translation of its Sioux nam<*, as more 
fully noted on an ensuing page. 

Waterfchu) township, established April 20, 1858, "received its name 
from the fact that there was a ford across Cannon river within Its 'imits. 
This ford was on the old trail from St Paul to Faribault" 

The villages of this county, in alphabetic order, are as follows : 

Castle Rock, a railway station, named like its township. 

Etter, a railway station, named for Alexander Etter, its first merchant 

Farmington, incorporated in March, 1872, an impoitant railway town, 
"received its name from its situation in a district exclusively devoted 
to farming." 

Hampton and Inver Grove railway villages are named for their town- 
ships. 

Laxeville, named like the township, received its first settlers in 1855. 
When the Hastings and EHikota railroad was built there, in 1869, a new 
village site was chosen, at first called Fairfield. This village superseded 
die older Lakeville and adopted that name in its act of incorporation, 
March 28, 187a 

Mendota^ the oldest village of this county, gave its name to a town- 
ship. 

MiESViLLE was named for John Mies, by whom this little village was 
founded in 1874. 

New Trier was "named for Trier, Germany, the native place of some 
of the early settlers in this vicinity." 

NicoLS^ a railway station, was named for John Nicols, of St Paul, 
the former owner of its site. 

NiNiNGER, once a large village and incorporated as a city, but now 
nearly deserted, has been noticed for the township named from it. 

Pine Bend, on the Mississippi river, includes the site of the village of 
a Sioux chief, Medicine Bottle, who seceded from the Kaposia village. 
"It is named from the fact that pine trees stand on the banks where the 
river makes a decided turn or bend." This is also the name of a station, 
on the upland, of the new St. Paul Southern electric railway. 

Randolph, a railway junction, is named for its township. 

Rich Valley was named "from its location in a valley of very fertile 
soil." 



168 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

RosEMOUNT, Vermillion, and Waterforo^ railway villages, bear the 
names of their townships. 

Wescott, a railway station, usually spelled Westcott, was named for 
a prominent pioneer, James Wescott, who settled there in 1854. He served 
in the First Minnesota heavy artillery in the civil war; was treasurer of 
this county in 1860-62 ; and died on his farm near this station, May 4, 1910. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Three small lakes lying within about a mile south of the village of 
Mendota were named lakes Charlotte, Lucy, and Abigail, on the earliest map 
of the vicinity of Fort St. Anthony, which in 1825 was renamed Fort SncU- 
ing. These names were given respectively in honor of the wives of Lieu- 
tenant Nathan Gark, Captain George Gooding, and Colonel Josiah Sndl- 
ing. None of these names is retained at the present time. The most 
northeastern and largest of these lakes now bears the name Lake Augusta, 
which was given to it probably more than fifty years ago, in honor of 
the eldest daughter of General Sibley, who later was married to Captain 
Douglas Pope. It is the lake that was named at first for Mrs. Abigail 
Snelling. 

Chub lake and Chub creek (or river) are named for the well known 
species of fish, being quite probably a translation of their Sioux name. 

Of Crystal lake it is said that "when the government survey was made, 
its clear shining surface led to the adoption of its present name." 

Black Dog lake, four miles long, lying in the bottomland of the Min- 
nesota river and occupving a deserted rivercourse, was named for a 
Sioux, Black Dog, whose village was near the northeast end of the lake. 

For the Big Foot creek and Black Hawk lake, apparently translations 
of ancient Sioux names, no definite information has been obtained. 

Lake Farquhar was named for John Farquhar, a pioneer who took 
a land claim near it. 

Lake Isabel, adjoining the east edge of the city of Hastings, was 
stated by the late Gen. William G. Le Due to be named in honor of a 
daughter of Alexis Bailly, one of the original proprietors of this city. 
The Sioux name of this lake was Mahto-waukan, Spirit Bear. 

Keegan lake was named for Andrew Keegan, owner of a farm there. 

Le May lake commemorates settlers who lived near it. 

Lake Earley was named for "William Earley, who settled on its 
western shore in 1854." 

Orchard lake, formerly called Round lake, is named for the native 
crab-apple trees and wild plum trees in the woods of its vicinity. 

Lake Marion, formerly Prairie lake, was renamed in honor of the 
late Marion W. Savage, owner of the famous trotting stallion "Dan 
Patch," and president of the Minneapolis, St Paul, Rochester and 
Dubuque Electric Traction Company, whose railway line, (commonly 
called "the Dan Patch line") passed by the east side of this lake. At its 



' DAKOTA COUNTY 169 

southeast end are summer homes and pavilions for picnics and for boat- 
ing, fishing, and hunting parties, this station being named Antlers Park, 
in allusion to the former abundance of deer in this region. For the vil- 
lage named Savage, beside the Minnesota river in Scott county, a bio- 
graphic sketch of Mr. Savage is presented, with a note of the recently 
changed ownership of this electric railway. 

Rice lake, on the west line of Eureka apd crossed by the line dividing 
Dakota and Scott counties, was named for its wild rice. 

Lake Rebecca, nearly two miles long, lying close northwest of Hast- 
ings, occupying a deserted channel of the Mississippi, was named, as told 
by General Le Due, for Miss Rebecca Allison, daughter of a pioneer 
settler, who, after a few years residence here, returned to the east. 

Spring lake, on the southwest edge of the Mississippi bottomland, is 
named for its contiguous springs issuing from the base of the river bluffs. 

Sunfish lake is named for this species of fish; and Pickerel lake, 
similarly, for its large and abundant pickerel. 

Rogers lake commemorates E. G. Rogers, who owned a farm on its 
southeast side. 

Vermillion lake, quite small, in section 18, Eureka, and the Vermillion 
river, which lies wholly in this county, are a translation, first published 
by Nicollet's map in 1843, of the Sioux name. Its origin was probably 
from the very bright red and orange-colored ocher obtained by the Sioux 
in seams of Chimney Rock in Marshan, more fully noted on an ensuing 
page, and of other outcrops of the St. Peter sandstone beside or near 
the course of this river. 

The lower parts of the Vermillion river, after it reaches the Mississippi 
bottomland, there flowing in two streams northwestward and southeast- 
ward to the great river, are named the Vermillion slough. Four miles 
southeast of Hastings, this slough or river is joined by the Truedell 
slough, named for a pioneer settler, by which it is connected with the Mis- 
sissippi. Thence southeastward these two rivers, the Vermillion and the 
Mississippi, inclose Prairie island, ten miles long, lying mostly in Good- 
hue county, under which its name and history arc again noticed. The 
name is a translation of its earliest French name, Isle Pelee, called by 
Radisson ''the first landing isle." (Minnesota Historical Society G)llec- 
tions, vol. X, part II, pages 4^-473, with a map oi this island.) 

Dudley island, in the Mississippi between one and two miles cast 
of Hastings, belonging to Ravenna township, was named, as stated by 
Irving Todd, Sr., for John Dudley, of Prescott, Wis., owner of sawmills 
adjoining the mouth of the St. Croix river. 

Belanger island, in Nininger, south of the main channel of the Mis- 
sissippi, bears the name of the first settler in this township, a French 
Canadian, whose cabin was on the bank of Spring lake. 

Pike island, at the mouth of the Minnesota river and adjoining Men- 
dota, is named for Lieutenant (later General) Zebulon M. Pike, who in 
1805 on the west end of this island made a treaty with the Sioux for the 



170 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

tract on which Fort St Anthony, later named Fort Snelling, was built 
in the years 1820-24. 

Kaposia, the village of the successive hereditary Sioux chiefs, named 
Little Crow, was situated from 1837 to 1862 on a part of the site of South 
Park, a suburb of South St Paul. Previously, in the time of the expedi- 
tions of Pike, Cass, and Long, this movable Indian village had been located 
on the eastern side of the Mississippi, as noted for Ramsey county. In 1820 
and till 1833 or later, it was on the upper side of Dayton's blu£F, within 
the area of St Paul; but earlier, during a dozen years or more, in 1805 
and in 1817, it was at the Grand Marais, one to two miles south of that 
bluff. * Concerning the name Keating wrote: "The Indians designate 
this band by the name of Kapoja, whidi implies that they are deemed 
lighter and more active than the rest of the nation." (Minnesota in 
Three Centuries, vol. I, pages 366-368.) 

Hills and Rocks. 

««. 

The hilly tracts or belts of Dakota county consist of moratnic glacial 
drift, amassed in abundant knolls, short ridges, and small hills, of which 
only a few rise to such prominence that they are named. 

The most conspicuous hill, rising to about 1175 feet above the sea, 
being about a hundred feet above any point in the view around it, is Buck 
hill, near Crystal lake, described as follows in the History of this 
county published in 1881 : "At the west end of the lake is a high hill, . . . 
called by the early settlers 'Buck Hill.' From the top of this high emin- 
ence the Indians would watch the deer as they came to drink from the 
cool waters of the lake." 

Another conspicuous height, near Mendota, is commonly called Pilot 
Knob; but on the oldest map of the vicinity of Fort Snelling, before 
mentioned, it is more properly named Pilot hill. 

In section 1, Marshan, are two prominent drift hills, which have been 
long known as '^e Mounds." 

Besides the Castle Rock, in the township so named, this county has 
several other somewhat similar castlelike or columnar rock masses. One 
of these, about ten miles north of the Castle Rock, is called Castle Hill 
on Nicollet's map, but since the settlement of the county it is named 
Lone Rock. About a mile and a half east of this is a Chimney Rock. 
Again, about eight miles distant east-southeast from the last, ihere is 
another and more remarkable Chimney Rock. This is in the east edge 
of section 31, Marshan, about seven miles south of Hastings. As de- 
scribed in 1905 by the present writer (Bulletin of the Minnesota Academy 
of Sciences, vol. IV, page 302, with a view from a photograph which well 
shows the reason for its name), this Chimney Rock "is the most pictur- 
esque and perfect example of columnar rock weathering in Minnesota. 
. . . It is a vertical pillar, measuring 34 feet in height and about 6 and 
12 feet in its less and greater diameters, being no thicker near the base 
than in its upper part" 



DODGE COUNTY 

Established February 20, 1855, this county received its name in honor 
of Henry Dodge, governor of Wisconsin, and his son, Augustus C 
Dodge, of Iowa. 

Henry Dodge was born in Vincennes, Indiana, October 12, 1782; and 
died in Burlington, Iowa, June 19, 1867. He served in the war of 1812; 
was a colonel of volunteers in the Black Hawk war, 1832; commanded 
an expedition to the Rocky mountains in 1835; was governor of Wiscon- 
sin territory and superintendent of Indian affairs, 1836-41; delegate in 
Congress for Wisconsin, 1842-6 ; agam governor of that territory, 1845-8 ; 
and was one of the first U. S. senators from the state of Wisconsin, 
1848-57. 

Governor Dodge on July 29, 1837, at Fort Snelling, then in Wisconsin, 
made a treaty with the Ojibways, by which they ceded to the United 
States all their pine lands and agricultural lands on the upper part of 
the St Croix river and its tributaries, in the present states of Wis- 
consin and Minnesota. The tract ceded also reached west to include 
the upper part of the basin of Rum river, and onward to the Mississippi 
between Sauk Rapids and the mouth of Crow Wing river. In Septem- 
ber of the same year, under direction of Governor Dodge, about twenty 
chiefs and braves of the Sioux went with the agent, Major Taliaferro, 
to the city of Washington and there made a treaty ceding all their lands 
east of the Mississippi, together with the islands in this river. By these 
treaties a large tract of eastern Minnesota (then a part of Wisconsin), 
including the sites of St. Paul and St. Anthony, was opened to white 
settlement. 

Augustus Caesar Dodge was born. in St. Genevieve, Missouri, Janu- 
ary 12, 1812; and died in Burlington, Iowa, November 20, 1883. He was 
the delegate in Congress for Iowa territory, 1840-7; was one of the first 
U. S. senators of Iowa, 1848-55, his father being also a senator at the 
same time; and was minister representing this country in Spain during 
four years, 1855-9. 

Biographies of both the father and son, with their portraits, by 
Louis Pelzer, have been published, respectively in 1911 and 1908, by the 
State Historical Society of Iowa, in its Iowa Biographical Series. 

Townships and Villages. 

For the origins and meanings of the geographic names of this county, 
information has been gathered from "An Historical Sketch of Dodge 
County," by W. H. Mitchell and U. Curtis. 1870, 125 pages ; ''History of 
Winona, Olmsted, and Dodge Counties," 1884 (this county having pages 

i7i 



172 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

769-1266) ; "Atlas of Dodge County," by R. L. Polk and Co., 1905, having 
pages 61-129 of text, historical and biographic, with illustrations; and 
from the offices of George L. Taylor, county auditor, and George H. 
Slocum, editor of the Mantorville Express, visited in April, 1916. 

Ashland township, first settled in May, 1854, organized June 15, 
1858, was named from its original village plat in 1855 by William Windom, 
Thomas Wilson, and Daniel S. Norton, of Winona, with others. Each of 
the three proprietors here noted, then new immigrants to this territory, 
afterward attained great prominence in Minnesota history. This name, 
applied to townships, villages, cities, and counties, occurs in twenty-six 
other states of our Union. 

Bern, a former post office in Milton, established in 1858, was named 
for the capital of Switzerland. 

Buchanan, formerly a small village having a sawmill, on the North 
Middle branch of the Zumbro river, was named in honor of James 
Buchanan, elected in 1856 to the presidency of the United States. 

Canisteo township, settled in 1854 and organized in 1858, was named 
by its numerous immigrants from Canisteo, a village and a township in 
Steuben county, N. Y., on the Canisteo river, which is about sixty miles 
long, flowing to the Tioga and Chemung rivers, the latter a tributary 
of the Susquehanna. An early village there, of the Delaware tribe of 
Indians, was called Canisteo, being the origin of this name, said to 
mean ''board on the water." This Indian village was described as "the 
largest of the Delaware towns, consisting of sixty good houses with 
three or four fire-places in each." (Roberts, Historical Gazetteer of 
Steuben County, 1891, pages 15-17.) 

Cheney, the post office at Eden railway station, in Wasioja, was named 
in honor of B. P. Cheney, a farmer there. 

Claremont township, first settled in September, 1854, organized May 
11, 1858, was named for the town of Claremont, N. H., whence several 
of its settlers came, including George Hitchcock, its first postmaster. 
Claremont village was incorporated in 1878. 

Concord township, settled in April, 1854, organized May 11, 1858, 
was named in like manner for the city of Concord, N. H., the capital of 
that state. The village plat was recorded June 7, 1856. 

Dodge Center, the railway village in the south edge of Wasioja, 
founded in 1866, was platted in July, 1869, and was incorporated Febru- 
ary 29, 1872. This name was proposed by D. C. Fairbank, on account of 
the location at the center of the county. The first passenger train arrived 
here, on the Winona and St. Peter railroad, July 13, 1866. 

Eden, the railway station and village having Cheney post office, was 
named by officers of the Chicago Great Western Railway Company. 

Ellington township, settled in July, 1855, organized May 11, 1858, 
had been at 6rst named Pleasant Grove, but was renamed for the town 
of Ellington in Connecticut. Mrs. John Van Buren, who proposed this 
change of name, "wrote the votes by which the matter was decided." 



DODGE COUNTY 173 

Hayfield township was organized March 30, 1872, having previously 
been a part of Vernon. Its name was adopted from a township of Craw- 
ford county in northwestern Pennsylvania. The railway village of Hav- 
field was incorporated January 7, 1896. 

Kasson, a railway village in the south edge of Mantorville, was 
named in honor of Jabez Hyde Kasson, owner of the original town site. 
He was born in Springville, Pa., January 17, 1820, and came to Minne- 
sota in 1856, settling on a farm in this township. When the Winona and 
St. Peter railroad reached this place, in the fall of 1865, this village was 
laid out by Mr. Kasson and others, the plat being recorded October 13, 
1865, and in November the first passenger train came. 

Mantorville township was first settled in April, 1854; was incor- 
porated under legislative acts of 1854 and 1857 ; and was organized under 
the state government. May 11, 1858. The village was platted March 26, 
1856, by Peter Mantor, H. A. Pratt, and others, and in 1857 it was desig- 
nated by a vote of the county to be the county seat. This name was 
adopted in honor of three brothers, Peter, Riley, and Frank Mantor, 
who came here in 1853 and 1854 from Linesville, Crawford county. Pa. 
Peter Mantor, the oldest of these brothers and the leader in founding 
this town, was born in Albany county, N. Y., December 15, 1815 ; settled 
on the site of the village of Mantorville, April 19, 1854, and built a saw- 
mill and gristmill there; was a representative in the legislature, 1859-60; 
was captain of Company C, Second Minnesota Regiment, 1861 ; removed 
to Bismarck, Dakota, in 1874, where he was register of the U. S. land 
office until 1880; died in Mantorville, September 23, 1888. 

Milton township, settled in May, 1854, organized May 20, 1858, had 
been successively called Watkins, Buchanan, and Berne. Georgia has 
a Milton county, ahd thirty other states have townships, villages, and 
cities of this name, honoring the grand poet and patriot of England 
(b. 1608, d. 1674). 

OsLO^ a hamlet at the center of Vernon township, was made a post 
office in 1879, lately discontinued. This name is now borne by a village 
of the Soo railway in the southwest comer of Marshall county. It was 
the name of the original city founded in 1048 by Harald Sigurdsson near 
the site of Christiania, the capital of Norway. Oslo (or Opslo) became 
the chief city of Norway, but it was built mainly of wood, and after a 
great conflagration the city was refounded on the present site by the 
king. Christian IV, who gave his name to it in 1624. 

Rice Lake, a village in the northwest corner of Claremont, received 
its name from the neighboring lake, crossed by the west line of this 
county. It refers to the growth of wild rice in this shallow lake, which 
was used as an important food supply by the Indians. 

Ripley township, first settled in September, 1854, organized May 14, 
1858, may probably have been named for some eastern township or vil- 
lage, as in Maine, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, or West Virginia, 
in each of which states this name is found. 



174 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Sacramento was a village platted in the fall of 1855, on the Zumbro 
river in the west edge of Mantorville, against which it was a rival for 
election as the county seat, but it was defeated by the popular vote in 
1857. Within the next decade its buildings were removed, and its site 
reverted to farm use. The name, from California, had reference to scanty 
occurrence of placer gold in the drift of some localities on branches of 
the Zumbro and Root rivers, as noted in reports of the Minnesota Geolog- 
ical Survey. One of the places of ill repaid gold washing by the early 
settlers was near the site occupied a few years by this "deserted village.** 

Vernon township, settled in October, 1855, organized March 4, 1858, 
was named from Mount Vernon, Virginia, the home of Washington, 
for Admiral Edward Vernon (b. 1684, d. 1757), of the British navy. 

Vlasaty^ a railway station in Ashland, was named by officers of the 
Chicago Great Western railway. 

Wasioja township, settled in October, 1854, organized in 1858» bears 
the Sioux name of the Zumbro river, spelled Wazi Oju on Nicollet's 
map in 1843. It is translated as "Pine river** by Nicollet, and is defined 
as meaning "pine clad." Large white pines, far west of their general 
geographic range, grow on the Zumbro bluffs in the east part of this 
township, as also in Mantorville, and at Pine Island in Goodhue county. 
The village of Wasioja was platted May 24, 1856. 

West Concord, a village of the Chicago Great Western railway, was 
platted June 1, 1885. 

Westfield township, settled in 1855, organized March 22, 1866, proba- 
bly commemorates an eastern village or township whence some of its 
settlers had come. The name is so used in a dozen eastern states, and 
it is also borne by a river in Massachusetts. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The North Middle branch of Zumbro river, its South Middle branch, 
and its South branch, gather their head streams in this county; and 
from Hayfield and Westfield the Cedar river, a long and large stream 
of Iowa, receives its highest sources, its East, Middle, and West forks. 

Milliken and Harkcom creeks, in Concord and Milton, flowing into the 
North Middle Zumbro, were named for pioneer settlers, as also Maston*s 
branch, flowing northeastward past Kasson to the South Middle fork. 

La Due's bluff, the site of the quarries in Mantorville, was named for 
Hon. A. D. La Due, a prominent early citizen, who died at Mantorville 
on January 12, 1899. 

On the South branch of the Zumbro, in the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 12, Vernon, was the Indian Grove, named for a large number of 
Sioux who had their camp there in the winter of 1856-7. 

Hammond or Manchester lake and Prince lake, in Ripley, were named 
for adjoining farmers. 

The origins of the names of Zumbro and Cedar rivers are noticed 
in the first chapter, treating of the large rivers of this state. 



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DOUGLAS COUNTY 

This county, established March 8, 1858, and organized June 15, 1866, 
was named in honor of Stephen Arnold Douglas, statesman and leader 
in the Democratic party, eminent in his patriotic loyalty to the Union at 
the beginning of the Civil War. He .was bom in Brandon, Vermont, 
April 23, 1813; and died in Chicago, June 3, 1861. He lived in Vermont 
to the age of seventeen years; studied law, and was admitted to practice 
in Illinois in 1834; was elected to the state legislature in 1835, and won 
there the sobriquet of "the Little Giant," by which he was ever afterward 
well known; was elected a judge of the state supreme court in 1841; 
was a member of Congress, 1843-47; and U. S. Senator, 1847-61. On the 
application of Minnesota to be admitted as a state, in 1857-58, Douglas 
earnestly advocated it, being then chairman of the Senate Committee on 
Territories. 

In a series of debates in Illinois in 1858, with Abraham Lincoln, his 
Republican opponent, nominated for the United States senate, Douglas 
defended his view that Congress had no authority for exclusion of 
slavery from territories not yet received into the Union as states. Each 
of these great political leaders then aroused extraordinary interest 
throughout the nation, and two years later they were opposing candidates 
for the presidency, Lincoln was elected, the southern states seceded, 
and in 1861 the great Civil War began. 

Several biographies of Douglas have been published, in the presidential 
campaign of 1860, again new editions of one of these in the midst of the 
Civil War and at its close, and more complete and dispassionate studies 
in recent years. The influence of his loyalty for preservation of the 
Union was an inestimable contribution to the making of history and the 
welfare of the world. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from the ''History of 
Douglas and Grant Counties," Constant Larson, editor, 1916, two volumes, 
509, 693 pages ; 'Tlat Book of Douglas County," 1886, 82 pages, includ- 
ing a "Historical Sketch" in four pages; and from George P. Craig, 
judge of probate, Gustav A. Kortsch, president of the Douglas County 
Bank, R. C. Bondurant, local editor of the Alexandria Post News, Mrs. 
Charles F. Canfield, and Mrs. James H. Van Dyke, interviewed during 
a visit at Alexandria, the county seat, in May, 1916. 

Alexandbia, settled in 1858, established as a township, June 15, 1866, 
was named in honor of Alexander Kkikaid, because he and his brother 
William were its first settlers, coming from Maryland. The form of 

175 



176 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

the name follows that of the large city in Egypt, which was founded 
in the year 332 B. C. by Alexander the Great. Fifteen other states have 
villages or cities of this name. The village of Alexandria was incorpo- 
rated February 20, 1877; and its charter as a city was adopted in 1908. 
The first passenger train on the railroad reached this place November 

5, 1878. 

Alexander Kinkaid removed to California, and additional record of 
him has not been learned. William Kinkaid was born in Elkton, Md., 
December 3, 1835; came to Minnesota in 1856; served in the Second 
Minnesota Battery, 1862-3; was afterward chief clerk in the hospital at 
Washington for returned prisoners of war; died in St. Goud, Minn., 
May 22. 1868. 

Belle River township, settled in 1865, was established March 8, 1870, 
being then named Riverdale. January 4, 1871, the present name was 
chosen by vote of the people. Each of these names was suggested by 
the Long Prairie river, which flows meanderingly through the north half 
of this township, on its way toward the Long Prairie that borders it in 
Todd county, being what the French first word of the township name 
signifies, beautiful. 

Brandon, settled in 1860, was established as a township September 3, 
1867, and was then called Chippewa, for its lakes and river of that name, 
used as a "road of war" by the Ojibways in their forays to the Sioux 
country. Previously it had a station, named Chippewa, of the Burbank 
stage route from St. Goud to the Red river, at the home and hotel of 
Ole Brandon, on a low hill about two miles north of the present railway 
village, which received his nkme, whence also the township was renamed. 
The village was incorporated November 22, 1881. 

Cari^Ds, first settled in 1863, was made a township May 1, 1868. Its 
railway village was incorporated July 7, 1904. The name was adopted 
from the beautiful, large and deep Lake Carlos, which had received it 
before 1860, given by Glendy King, a homesteader adjoining Alexandria, 
who had been a student at West Point. Lakes Carlos and, Le Homme 
Dieu were named by him for two of his friends in the eastern states. 

EvANSViLLE, permanently settled in 1865, established as a township 
January 7, 1868, commemorates the first mail carrier, named Evans, of 
the route opened in 1859 from St. Goud to Fort Abercrombie, who had 
a log cabin here for staying over night He was killed in the Sioux out- 
break of 1862. The village of Evansville was platted in the fall of 1879, 
with the coming of the first railway train, and was incorporated in 1881. 

FoRADA, the railway village in Hudson, platted in July, 1903, by Cyrus 
A. Campbell, of Parker's Prairie, Otter Tail county, incorporated April 

6, 1905, has the first name of Mrs. Campbell, Ada; but that name was 
already widely known as the county seat of Norman county, and there- 
fore it received the prefixed syllable. 

Garfield, the railway village of Ida township, platted February 17, 
1882, incorporated September 9, 1905, was named in honor of President 



DOUGLAS COUNTY 177 

Garfield, who was shot July 2, 1881, by the assassin Guiteau, and died ai 
Elberon, N. J., our second martyr president, September 19, a few months 
before this village was founded. 

Geneva Beach, a village of summer homes at the south end of Lake 
Geneva, received its name from this lake, which, as also the adjoining 
Lake Victoria, was named by Walter Scott Shotwell. The former name 
was derived from the lake and historic city in Switzerland; the latter is 
in honor of Queen Victoria. The sponsor of these names was a son of 
Daniel Shotwell from New Jersey, whose homestead claim, taken in 1859, 
was between these lakes. The son studied medicine, traveled to Cali- 
fornia, and died many years ago. 

Holmes City^ settled in 1858, established as a township October, 4, 
1866, was named in honor of Thomas Andrew Holmes, leader of its 
first group of settlers. He was born in Bergerstown, Pa., March 4, 
1804; and died in Cullman, Ala., July 2, 1888. He established an 
Indian trading post in 1839 at Fountain City, Wis., and in 
1849 removed to Sauk Rapids, Minn.; was a member of the first terri- 
torial legislature; fotmded the towns of Shakopee and Chaska in 1851. 
Before engaging in the Indian trade, he had been one of the founders of 
Janesville, Wis., in 1836. Following the receding frontier, he went to 
Montana in 1862, and there participated in founding Bannack City, 
at an early locality of placer gold mining, which became the first capital 
of Montana Territory. 

Hudson township, first settled in 1864, organized April 16, 1869, 
was named from Hudson, Wis., whence some families of ks pioneers 
came, including Mrs. S. B. Childs, who proposed this name. 

Ida township, settled in 1863, organized April 7, 1868, received the 
name of its large Lake Ida, which had been so named by Myron Coloney, 
one of its first settlers, for a friend, probably residing in an eastern state. 

Interlachen Park, a summer village in Carlos township, bordering 
the north shore of Lake Le Homme Dieu and having its western end 
beside Lake Carlos, derived this name, with a slight change of spelling, 
from Interlaken, Switzerland, much visited by tourists, between Lakes 
Thun and Brienz. It means "between the lakes." 

Kensington, the railway village of Solem township, was platted by 
Hon. William D. Washburn in March, 1887, and was incorporated June 
6, 1891. This is the name of a western section of the city of London, and 
it is also borne by villages and townships in seven other states. On the 
farm of Olof Ohman, about three miles northeast from this village, the 
famous Kensington rune stone was found in November, 1898. It is 
described in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections, volume XV, 
pages 221-286, with illustrations and maps. 

La Grand township, first settled in 1860, was organized September 
23, 1873, being then called West Alexandria; but in December of that 
year it was changed to La Grand, taking the name of an early resident 
of Alexandria. 



178 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lake Mary township, settled in 1863, established September 3, 1867, 
was named for its large lake, which commemorates Mary A. Kinkaid, 
a homesteader of 1861 in section 24, La Grand, sister of Alexander and 
William Kinkaid, before mentioned as the first settlers in Alexandria. 
Her homestead adjoined Lake Winona, which she probably named. 

Leaf Valley, to which the first settler came in 1866, was established 
as a township November 23, 1867. Its name refers to its situation at 
the southern border of the Leaf hills, commonly called "mountains," which 
rise conspicuously in the adjoining edge of Otter Tail county. 

Lund, first settled in 1866, made a township March 1, 1872, is named 
for the very ancient city of Lund in southern Sweden, which has a 
famous university founded in 1666. In pagan times Lund attained great 
importance, and during a long period of the Middle Ages it was the 
seat of an archbishopric and was the largest city of Scandinavia. 

Melby, the railway village of Lund, was platted in April, 1902, being 
named probably for a farming locality in Sweden, whence some of the 
adjoining settlers came, receiving from it their own personal surnames. 

MiLLERViLLE, established as a township November 23, 1867, was named 
for John Miller, an early and prominent German settler. Its village was 
incorporated June 29, 1903. 

Milton A township was established December 19, 1871, receiving its 
name from the large Lake Miltona, which occupies more than a sixth 
part of its area. The lake was named for Mrs. Florence Miltona Road- 
ruck, wife of Benjamin Franklin Roadruck, who had a homestead in sec- 
tion 22, Leaf Valley, at the west end of this lake. In 1877 they returned 
to their former home in Indiana. (Letter from George L. Treat, of 
Alexandria.) Tradition tells that her family washing was often done on 
the lake shore. 

MoE, settled in 1863, was established as a township September 3, 1867, 
being at first called Adkinsville in honor of Thomas Adkins, one of the 
first settlers. "Later the name was changed to Moe, in memory of a 
district in Norway, from which a number of the pioneers came." 

Nelson, a railway village on the east line of Alexandria township, 
founded about the year 1875, was incorporated August 31, 1905. The 
post office and village were at first named Dent, in honor of Richard 
Dent, who settled at Alexandria in 1868, and died in Spokane, Wash., 
May 19, 1915. The name was changed to Nelson, after 1881, in honor of 
Senator Knute Nelson, the most eminent citizen of this county. He was 
born in Vossvangen, Norway, February 2, 1843; came to the United 
States when six years old, with his mother; served in the Fourth Wis- 
consin Regiment, 1861-4 ; was admitted to the bar in 1867 ; came to Minne- 
sota in 1871, and settled on a farm near Alexandria; practiced law in 
Alexandria after 1872; was a state senator, 1875-8; representative in 
Congress, 1883-9; governor of Minnesota, 1893-5; and resigned to accept 
the office of U. S. senator, which position he has since filled with very 
distinguished ability and grand loyalty to this state and the nation. His 



DOUGLAS COUNTY 179 

biography is in "Lives of the Governors of Minnesota/' by Gen. James 
H. Baker (M. H. S. Collections, vol. XIII, 1908, pp. 327-355, with portrait). 

Orange was settled in 1863-4, and was established as a township 
January 7, 1868. Eight states have counties of this name, and it is borne 
in twenty states by cities, villages, and townships. 

OsAKis, first settled in 1859, was established June 15, 1866; this and 
Alexandria being the oldest townships»of the county. The name was 
received from Osakis lake, which, as also the Sauk river outflowing from 
it, has reference to Sauk Indians formerly living here, as narrated in 
connection with Sauk Rapids in the chapter of Benton county. In 1859 
the stages running to Fort Abercrombie had a station on the site of 
Osakis village, and the earliest settlers took claims; but the Sioux out- 
break in 1862 caused these claims to be abandoned. The village was 
founded in 1866, and was incorporated February 21, 1881. The date of 
the first passenger train was November 1, 1878. 

SoLEM^ settled in 1866, was established as a township March 10, 1870. 
"The township takes its name from a district in Norway, from which 
place many of the pioneers came." 

Spruce Hill township, the latest established in this county, was organ- 
ized March 9, 1875. Its low timbered hills of morainic drift bear the 
black spruce, balsam fir, white pine, paper or canoe birch, balsam poplar, 
and blueberries, with other trees and shrubs, the several species thus 
named reaching here the southwestern limits of their geographic range. 
This township has two hamlets, named Spruce Hill and Spruce Center. 

Urness, first settled in 1862-3, was established as a township, March 
22, 1869, to be called Red Rock, from its lake of that name, referring 
to reddish boulders on its shore, one being especially noteworthy on the 
northeast shore of the main lake. On February 7, 1871, the commission- 
ers received a petition requesting that the name of the township be 
changed to Urness, "in memory of a certain district in Norway." Two 
of its pioneer farmers, Andrew J. and Ole J. Urness, respectively in 
sections 24 and 12, coming in 1865, were immigrants from that district. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing list of the names of townships has included sufficient 
references to several rivers and lakes. 

Only a few other names of streams are to be noticed, as Spruce and 
Stormy creeks in Spruce Hill township, and Calamus creek named for 
its growth of the calamus or sweet flag (Acorus Calamus, L.), in Osakis 
and Belle River townships. More recently the last has been named Fair- 
field creek, in honor of Edwin, George, and Lloyd D. Fairfield, early 
settlers in Osakis and Orange, having homesteads near the farthest 
sources of this stream. 

But there remains a multitude of lakes, unsurpassed in beauty and 
diversity. Some of these are named for pioneers whose homes adjoined 
the lakes; others for their outlines, as Horseshoe lake. Moon lake, two 



180 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Crooked lakes, Lobster lake, and several Long lakes; and othcfrs for 
their trees and animals, as Maple lake, Elk, and Turtle lakes. 

The complex and recurving series or chain of lakes, large and small, 
through which the head stream of Long Prairie river takes it course, 
consists in descending* order of Lake Irene, earlier called Reservation 
lake ; Lakes Miltona and Ida, respectively the largest and the next in size 
in this series ; Lakes Charlie and Louise, named for a son and a daughter 
of Charles Cook, who settled in Alexandria in 1858, had been a fur 
merchant in London and a member of the Hudson Bay Company, was 
the first postmaster of Alexandria, and after a few years returned to the 
eastern states and later to London, where he spent the remainder of his 
life; Union lake, where this series receives an important inflowing stream 
from another large series of lakes at the west and south; Stone and 
Lottie lakes; Lake Cowdry, named for Samuel B. Cowdry, a pioneer 
farmer in Alexandria, who removed in 1862, later attended the Seabury 
Divinity School, Faribault, and became an Episcopal rector in southern 
Minnesota; Lake Darling, commemorative of Andrew Darling, a pioneer 
who settled on the shore of this lake in 1860, an exceptionally successful 
farmer; and Lake Carlos, lowest of this series, sounded by Rev. C. M. 
Terry and found to have in some places a depth of 150 feet, being the 
deepest lake of this state. 

Lake Irene, in sections 14, 22, and 23, Miltona, is in honor of Irene 
Roadruck, for whose mother Lake Miltona is named, as noted for this 
township. 

A second series, mentioned as tributary to Union lake of the preceding 
series, has, in like descending order. Lake Andrews, named probably in 
honor of the first physician of Alexandria; Lake Mary, largest in this 
series; Mill and Lobster lakes, the latter having numerous arms or 
claws; and Lake Mina, Berglin's lake, and Fish lake (the last formerly 
called Mill lake). Lake Mina is again noticed on page 182. 

A third series of lakes, tributary to Lake Carlos, includes another 
and smaller Union lake, covering parts of four sections in Hudson: 
Burgan's lake, named for William P. Burgan, a farmer who settled near 
its southwest shore in 1869; and Lakes Victoria, Geneva, and Le Homme 
Dieu, each having many summer homes along the shores. 

To the eastern arm of Lake Victoria a fourth series sends its out* 
flow, comprising Lover's lake, Childs lake, and Lake Jessie, the second 
being for Edwin R. Childs, who came there as a homesteader in 1867. 

Many lakes yet remain, not hereinbefore noticed. In the order of 
townships from south to north, and of ranges from east to west, these 
are listed as follows, so far as they have names on our maps and atlases. 
A goodly number having relatively small areas lack published names. 

Swims or Clifford lake, Myer's, O wings, and English Grove lakes, 
in Orange, the last named for its grove on the homestead of William 
T. English, who settled there in 1863. These lakes are shallow, and in 
the latest atlas, of 1916, they are mapped as drained. 



DOUGLAS COUNTY 181 

Maple lake, in Hudson. 

Turtle, Long, and Mud lakes, in Lake Mary township, the last recently 
drained. 

Van Loon's lake, Grubb lake, Lake Rachel, Echo lake. Grant's and 
Blackwell lakes, Holmes City lake, Oscar lake, South Oscar lake, and 
Freeborn, Mattson, and Olaf lakes, in Holmes City township. Early 
settlers commemorated in these names include Noah Grant, who settled 
on section 2 in 1858,; George Blackwell, on section 3, 1868; Miner Van 
Loon, section 24, 1865; John Freeborn, section 30, 1868; and John Matt- 
son, sectipn 32, 1868. (For the origin of the name of Lake Oscar, see 
the end of this chapter.) 

Long lake, Eng, Hegg, and Roland lakes, in Solem. Among the 
pioneer settlers in this township were Erick Pehrson Eng, Erick Hegg, 
and John Roland, for whom these lakes were named. 

Lake Smith, Bird lake, Crooked and Han ford lakes, in Osakis town- 
ship, the last two now drained. 

Lakes Agnes and Henry, close north of the city of Alexandria, the 
former named for the eastern "lady love" of William Kinkaid by Mrs. 
Caroline Cook, wife of Charles Cook, the merchant pioneer from Lon- 
don, and the latter for one of their children, brother of Charlie and 
Louise Cook (for whom other small lakes, previously noted, are named), 
and of Fanny Cook, who became the wife of James Henry Van Dyke, 
first merchant of Alexandria; Lake Winona, at the west side of Alex- 
andria, and extending into La Grand, for which lake and for this county 
the first white child born here was named Winona Douglas James, 
daughter of Joseph A. James, a settler who came from Philadelphia in 
1858; Lake Conie, at the southeast edge of the city, and Shadow lake in 
section 23, these all being in Alexandria township. 

Lake Alvin, Lake Latoka, (of origin and meaning yet to be ascer- 
tained). Nelson lake (for O. W. Nelson, an adjoining farmer), and 
Lake Cook, in Le Grand, the last being in honor of Charles Cook. 

Elk lake. Lakes Elizabeth, Gilbert, and William, Crooked lake, Lake 
Brandon (named for John Brandon, a farmer whose home is at its east 
side), Thorstad and Minister lakes, in Moe, the last being near a Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church. 

Amos lake, for Amos Johnson, Thorson lake, Barsness lake, for Albert 
and Oscar Barsness, Holleque lake, Quam lake, for P. J. Quam, and 
Lake Venus, with the much larger Red Rock lake, before noticed, in 
Umess. 

Mud lake, at the comer of sections 27, 28, 33, and 34, Carlos. 

Baumbach, Hunt, Stowe's, and Grassy lakes. Long and Moon lakes, 
Lakes Aldrich and Nelson, Burrows, Whiskey, and Devil's lakes, in 
Brandon. The first was named in honor of Frederick von Baumbach, who 
was born in Prussia, August 30, 1838 ; and died at his home in Alexandria, 
Minn., Nov. 30, 1917. He came to the United States with his father in 



J 



182 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

1848 ; served in the Fifth and Thirty-fifth Wisconsin regiments during the 
civil war, attaining the rank of major; came to Minnesota, settling at 
Alexandria, in 1867; was auditor of this county, 1872-78, and again in 
1889-98; secretary of State of Minnesota; 1880-87; and internal revenue 
collector for this state, 1898-1914. Lake Mina, before noted in the second 
series tributary to Long Prairie river, was named for his mother. 

Others of these Brandon lakes were named for Joseph Hunt, home- 
steader on section 6 in 1867; Martin Stowe, on section 18 in 1862; John 
D. Aldrich, section 23, 1868; and John Nelson, section 26, 1865. 

Another Long lake, Jennie, Erwin, Alberts, Solberg, Hubred, Davidson, 
Mahla, and Fanny lakes, in Evansville. Adjacent farmers commemorated 
by these names include George Erwin, Ole Alberts, A. H. Solberg, Oliver 
Hubred, D. J. Davidson, and M. H. Mahla. 

Vermont and Wood lakes, in Miltona, the former named by settlers 
from that state. 

Spring and Kelly's lakes, in Leaf Valley, the latter in honor of Patrick 
Kelly, an Irish homesteader at its east side in 1873. 

Lakes Moses and Aaron, Lorsung, Wilken, Stockhaven, and Stock- 
housen lakes, in Millerville. The first two were named for the great 
Hebrew lawgiver and his brother, deliverers of their nation from 
Egyptian bondage and leaders toward the promised land of Palestine. 
The third and fourth of these lakes, named for Joseph Lorsung and 
John and William Wilken, have been drained, the bed of each being 
subdivided to the adjoining farms. The last was named, with change 
of spelling, in honor of Hans G. von Stackhausen, who took a home- 
stead claim there in 1870. 

Lund, the most northwestern township, has the large but shallow 
Lake Christina, the small Lakes Anka and Ina, bordering the south 
shore of that large lake, and Horseshoe lake and Lake Sina. The last, 
in section 25, bears on maps of thirty to forty years ago this name of 
Mount Sinai (called Sina in the seventh chapter of the Acts), where the 
Decalogue and other laws were received, the name being suggested by 
Lakes Moses and Aaron, a few miles distant. 

Lake Christina and its companion, the large Pelican lake in the adjoin- 
ing comer of Grant county, appear, though with inaccurate outlines, on 
an early map of this state, dated January 1, 1860, their names being given 
as Lakes Christina and EUenora. These were probably names of pioneer 
women, the first and perhaps both being from Sweden. It may be true, 
however, that the first was bestowed in honor of Queen Christina, who 
was regent of Sweden in 1632-44 and queen during the next ten years. 

Similarly the name, of Lake Oscar, in Holmes City township, though 
a common christening name, was quite surely not adopted to honor any 
settler there, but for Oscar I, the king of Sweden and Norway in 1844-59, 
father of Oscar II, who was the king in 1872-1907. 



FARIBAULT COUNTY 

This county was established February 20, 1855, being named in honor 
of Jean Baptiste Faribault, who was engaged during the greater part of 
his long life as a trader among the Sioux, at first for the Northwest 
Fur Company. He was bom at Berthier, Province of Quebec, in 1774, 
and came .to the Northwest in 1798, taking charge of a trading post on the 
Kankakee river near the south end of Lake Michigan. During the years 
1799 to 1802, he was stationed at the Redwood post, situated on the Des 
Moines river, "about two hundred miles above its mouth," being in what 
is now the central part of Iowa. Coming to Minnesota in 1803, he took 
charge of a post at Little Rapids, on the Minnesota river a few miles 
above the present sites of Chaska and Carver, where he remained several 
years. Afterward he was a trader on his own account at Prairie du 
Chien, Wis., whence he removed to Pike island, at the mouth of the 
Minnesota river, in the spring of 1820, having been promised military 
protection by Colonel Leavenworth, who had come there with troops in 
the preceding August for building the fort which in* 1825 was named 
Fort Snelling. After 1826 Faribault and his family lived in Mendota, 
having built there a substantial stone house, the first in Minnesota, and 
in the winters during many years he traded with the Sioux at Little 
Rapids. His influence with the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi, 
from the Missouri to the Red river, was very great He endeavored to 
teach them agriculture, and was the first white settler to cultivate the 
soil in this state. He spent bis last years in the town of Faribault, in 
Rice county, founded, at first as an Indian trading post, by his eldest 
son, Alexander Faribault, for whom it was named. He died at the home 
of his daughter there, August 20, 1860. 

An appreciative memoir of him, by Gen. Henry H. Sibley, in the Min- 
nesota Historical Society Collections (vol. Ill, pages 168-179), closes 
with these words: "Among the pioneers of Minnesota, there are none 
whose memory and whose name better deserve to be respected and per- 
petuated." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of the geographic names in 
this county was received from "The History of Faribault County . . . 
to the close of the year 1879," by Judge J. A. Kiester, 1896, 687 pages ; 
and from John Siverson, register of deeds, and Henry P. Constans, 
proprietor of the Constans Hotel, interviewed at Blue Earth during my 
visit there in July, 1916. 

Barber township, settled in June, 1857, established September 27, 
1858^ and organized June 10, 1864, was named in honor of Chauncey 

183 



184 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Barber, whom the commissioners supposed to be a resident of this town- 
ship. He came from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, and in 1S56 to this 
county, settling in Minnesota Lake township, was its first hotelkeeper, and 
platted its railway village on his lands in 1866. About twelve or fifteen 
years later he removed to Oregon. 

Blue Earth township, first settled in May, 1855, organized October 
20, 1858, derived its name from its village, called Blue Earth City, which 
had been platted in July, 1856, and has ever since been the county seat. 
The village was named from the river, which the Sioux called Mahkahto, 
meaning green or blue earth, as more fully noticed in the chapter of 
Blue Earth county. By an act of the legislature, March 1, 1872, 
the village was incorporated; it received a new and improved charter by 
a second act, January 27, 1879; and it adopted the city form of govern- 
ment in 1900. 

Bricelyn, the railway village in Seely township, was named for 
John Brice, who owned and platted it. 

Brush Creek township, settled in May, 1856, and established Sep- 
tember 27, 1858, received the name of its small creek which joins the 
East fork of Blue Earth river in section 26. The reason for the applica- 
tion of this name to the creek was "the thick growth of small trees, 
thickets and brush along its banks." 

Clark township, settled in June, 1862, and organized September 7, 
1869, had been named Cobb by the county commissioners in 1858, from 
their erroneous supposition that the Cobb river (of Blue Earth county) 
received a portion of its headwaters in this township. At its organiza- 
tion, in 1869, the name was changed to Thompson, in honor of Clark W. 
Thompson, "the largest land owner of the town and county." Because 
that name, however, was already in use for another township in Minne- 
sota, it was renamed Qark, March 24, 1870, taking his first name. He 
was bom near Jordan, Canada, July 23, 1825; and died at Wells, the 
railway village of this township, October 11, 1885. He came to Minne- 
sota in 1853 ; engaged in milling in Houston county until 1861 ; was 
Indian agent, by appointment of President Lincoln, 1861-5; built the 
Southern Minnesota railroad from the Mississippi river to Winnebago 
City, and afterward owned an extensive farm at Wells; was a repre- 
sentative in the territorial legislature, 1855; member of the state con.- 
stitutional convention, 1857; a state senator, 1871; and president of the 
State Agricultural Society, 1880-85. 

Delavan, settled in May, 1856, organized October 20, 1858, was at 
first named Guthrie, in honor of Sterrit Guthrie, one of the pioneer set- 
tlers. May 1, 1872, the name was changed to Delavan, to agree with 
that of the railway village which had been platted October 11, 1870, in 
the southeast corner of this township. The proprietors of the village 
were Henry W. HoUey, chief engineer of this Southern Minnesota rail- 
road, and Oren Delavan Brown, in whose honor the village name was 



FARIBAULT COUNTY 185 

suggested by Mrs. Holley. He was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., in 
1837; came to Minnesota in 1856 with his father, Orville Brown, a promi- 
nent newspaper editor; was an engineer on the surveys for the Southern 
Minnesota railroad, 1865-75, and later for the St. Paul and Sioux City 
railroad; afterward resided in Luveme, Minn. The first passenger train 
arrived here December 19, 1870. The village was incorporated February 
7, 1877. 

Dunbar, settled in 1856, organized April 3, 1866, was named Douglas 
by the county commissioners September 27, 1858, in honor of Stephen A. 
Douglas, for whom also Douglas county had been earlier named in the 
same year. But this name had been previously given to another Minne- 
sota township, hence it was changed January 4, 1859, to be in honor of 
William Franklin Dunbar, then the state auditor. He was born in 
Westerly, R. I., November 10, 1820; and died in Caledonia, Minn. He 
came to Minnesota in 1854, settling in Caledonia, and opened a farm near 
that itown; was a member of the territorial legislature, 1856; and was 
the first state auditor of Minnesota, 1858-60. 

Easton, the railway village in Lura township, patted in September, 
1873, and incorporated March 9, 1874, was named for Jason Clark Easton, 
one of the original proprietors. He was born in West Martinsburg, N. 
Y., May 12, 1823; and died in La Crosse, Wis., April 25, 1901. He came 
to Minnesota in 1856, and settled at Chatfield. There and in several other 
towns of southern Minnesota he had extensive interests in banking, farm 
lands, and railways. He removed to La Crosse in 1883. 

Elmore, first settled in November, 1855, and organized in 1858, was 
then named Dobson, in honor of James Dobson, who came from Indiana, 
settling here as a homesteader in April, 1856. This name was changed to 
Elmore in 1862, commemorating Andrew E. Elmore, a prominent citizen 
of Wisconsin, who numbered among his friends several early settlers of 
this township. He was born in Ulster county, N. Y., May 8, 1814; and 
died at Fort Howard, Wis., January 13, 1906. He came to Wisconsin in 
1839, settling in Mukwonago, Waukesha county, where he was a merchant 
during twenty-five years. In 1864 he removed to Green Bay, and after 
1868 he resided at Fort Howard, near Green Bay. He was a member of 
the Wisconsin territorial legislature, 1842-44; of the first constitutional 
convention, 1846; the state legislature, 1859-60; and was during many 
years president of the State Board of charities and reform. He was 
commonly called "the Sage of Mukwonago." 

Emerald, settled in 1856, organized April 3, 1866, was named by the 
county commissioners for Ireland, the "Emerald Isle," supposing erron- 
eously that it had Irish settlers. 

Foster, settled in June, 1856, organized September 24, 1864, was named 
in honor of Dr. Reuben R. Foster, one of the earliest settlers of the 
county. He was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., in 1808 ; came to Minne- 
sota in 1856, settling in Walnut Grove township; removed in 1858 to 



186 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Blue Earth City, and was its first resident physician; removed to Jack- 
son, Minn., in 1869, and to St. Paul, about 1880, where he died. 

Frost, a railway village in the north edge of Rome, "was named for 
Charles S. Frost, an architect of Chicago." (Stennett, Place Names of 
the Chicago and Northwestern Railways, 1908.) 

Huntley, a railway village in Verona, founded in August, 1879, is 
named for Hon. Henry M. Huntington, a pioneer farmer. He was bom 
in Yates county, N. Y., in 1835; came to Minnesota in 1857, settling in 
this township; served in the Sixth Minnesota Regiment during the civil 
war; was a representative in the legislature in 1872; removed to his old 
home in New York in 1879, but returned in 1892, and afterward resided 
in Winnebago City. Because the name Huntington was previously in use 
in Minnesota, this shorter form was adopted. 

Jo Daviess township, (pronounced as Davis, and on recent maps so 
spelled erroneously), settled in 1855, organized January 26, 1864, was 
named Johnson in 1858 by the county commissioners, in honor of James 
and Alexander Johnson, who were early settlers of the county. It was 
found, however, that this name had been before given to another Minne- 
sota township, and it was accordingly changed, the present name being 
adopted Janu^u^ 4, 1859, on the suggestion of James L. McCrery, one 
of the commissioners and the first settler in this township, a native of 
Kentucky. It is the name of the most northwestern county of Illinois; 
and Kentucky, Indiana and Missouri have each a county named Daviess. 
It commemorates Joseph Hamilton Daviess, a brave soldier and an able 
lawyer and orator, who ''in the early days of Kentucky ranked with her 
most gifted and honored names." He was born in Bedford county, Vir- 
ginia, March 4, 1774; and was killed in the battle of Tippecanoe, Novem- 
ber 7, 1811. 

KiESTER township, settled in May, 1866, organized in January, 1872, 
was named Lake by the county commissioners in 1858, from their sup- 
position that it had a number of lakes. Because another Minnesota town- 
ship had previously received this name, it was changed January 4, 1859, 
in honor of Jacob Armel Kiester, who later became the historian of this 
county. He was born at Mount Pleasant, Pa., April 29, 1832; and died 
in Blue Earth City, December 13, 1904. He was a student in Mt Pleas- 
ant and Dickinson colleges. Pa.; studied law, and was admitted to prac- 
tice, 1855 ; came to Minnesota in 1857, settling in Blue Earth City, which 
ever afterward was his home; was a representative in the legislature in 
1865, and during many years was an officer of this county, being succes- 
sively cotmty surveyor, register of deeds, county attorney, and from 
1869 to 1890 was judge of probate; was a state senator, 1891-3. He col- 
lected materials during more than twenty years for "The History of Fari- 
bault County," before mentioned as the source of much information for 
this chapter; and he also wrote a continuation of that work, from 1880 
to 1904 inclusive, of which typewritten copies (717 pages) are in the 



FARIBA ULT CO UNTY 187 

Etta Ross Memorial Library, Blue Earth, and the Library of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society, St. Paul. 

LuRA, settled in May, 1856, organized September 7, 1864, derived its 
name from .Lake Lura, crossed by the north line of the county about a 
mile west from the northwest corner of this township. Its name is said 
to have been given 'Ijy one of the early settlers, from the name *Lura' 
being carved on a tree upon its shore." In the chapter of Blue Earth 
county, its Sioux names are also noted. 

Minnesota Lake township, settled in 1856, was organized in 1858, 
and was then named Marples by the commissioners, in honor of Charles 
Marples, an early settler. He was an Englishman, and had served seven 
years in the British army. After long residence here, he removed to 
Missouri. This township name was changed February 23, 1866, to Minne- 
sota Lake, for the former large lake, which has been lately drained and 
apportioned to the adjoining farms. It is a name received from the 
Sioux or Dakotas, meaning slightly whitish water, which they also applied 
to the Minnesota river, thence adopted by this state. The railway village 
of Minnesota Lake was platted in October, 1866, and was incorporated 
February 14, 1876. 

Pilot Grove township, first settled in June, 1856, organized in Janu- 
ary, 1864, "was so named because of the fine grove of native timber on 
the northern boundary of the town; and this grove was named Pilot 
Grove because in the early days, before roads were established, this 
grove was a sort of landmark, on the wide prairies, by which the immi- 
grant was piloted on his way westward. It may be added, too, that this 
grove, with its fine lake of sparkling waters and rich grasses surrounding 
it, was, in the days of immigrants, a sort of- capacious inn, or caravansary, 
or camping ground." (Kiestcr's History.) We regret to note that Pilot 
Grove lake has in recent years been wholly drained away. 

Prescott> settled in September, 1855, organized September 16, 1861, 
received its name in 1858 for a settler who soon afterward moved away. 
"All that has been ascertained of him is, that he was a carpenter by 
trade, and that he was known by the name of *01d Honesty.' " 

Rome township, settled in March, 1863, organized in 1868, was named 
Campbell by the commissioners in 1858, for James Campbell, one of the 
first settlers in Elmore township. At its organization, it was renamed 
Grant, in honor of General Grant, who later in that year was elected 
president of the United States. This name, however, had been earlier 
given to another Minnesota township, wherefore it was again changed 
in March, 1868, the present name being adopted, for the city of Rome, N. 
Y., on the suggestion of Fred Everton, the second settler in this town- 
ship, who during many years was chairman of its board of supervisors. 

Seely, settled in June, 1856, organized in 1858, commemorates Philan- 
der C. Seely, one of its earliest settlers. He was born in Cayuga county, 
N. Y., in 1823; came to Minnesota and to this county in 1857; was 
elected sheriff in 1861, receiving every vote polled; served in the civil 



188 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

war; resided several years in this township, and later in Blue Earth 
City. 

Verona^ settled in June, 1855, organized in October, 1858, was named 
after its post office, established in 1856 at the home of Henry T. Stod- 
dard, in the southeast quarter of section 11, the name having been pro- 
posed by A. B. Cornell, of Owatonna, for this terminus of the mail route. 
It is the name of an important province in northern Italy, and of its chief 
city, whence came the title of the Shakespeare drama, *Two Gentlemen 
of Verona." Seventeen other states of our Union have villages or town- 
ships of this name. 

Walnut Lake township, settled in June, 1856, organized in 1861, 
bears the name of its large lake, referring to its butternut trees, also 
called oil-nut and white walnut. It is translated from the Sioux name 
Tazuka. 

Walters, the railway village of Foster, was named by officers of the 
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railway company. 

Wells, the railway village of Gark township, was founded and 
named July 1, 1869, receiving the maiden surname of Mrs. Gark W. 
Thompson. The Southern Minnesota railroad was completed to this 
place in January, 1870, and the railroad from Mankato to Wells in 1874. 
This village was incorporated March 6, 1871. Within the next few years 
numerous flowing wells, twenty or more, were obtained in and near this 
village, by boring through the glacial drift to depths of 110 to 120 feet, 
securing excellent water which rises from the bottom to a height of five 
to fifteen feet above the surface. These are the most remarkable wells 
of a large region in southern Minnesota, but the presence of artesian 
water here was unknown when the village was named. 

Winnebago township, settled in June, 1855, organized in October, 
1858, was then named Winnebago City, after the village of this name 
which was founded here by Andrew C. Dunn and others in September, 
1856. The townsite was platted in January, 1857, being named for the 
Winnebago tribe of Indians, whose reservation during the years 1855 to 
1863 was in the adjoining Blue Earth county. It was named ''City" for 
discrimination from the Winnebago Agency near Mankato, but this part 
of the name was discontinued in 1905. 

Lakes and Streams. 

In the preceding list, sufficient mention has been made for the Blue 
Earth river. Brush creek, Cobb river (flowing through the northeast 
comer of this county), Lura lake, Minnesota lake, and Pilot Grove and 
Walnut lakes. 

Maple river, named for the maple trees along its course, flowing 
northward into Blue Earth county, gave the name there of ' Mapleton 
township and village. Rice lake, in Delavan, near the head of the west 
branch of this river, was named Maple lake on the state map of 1860. Its 
present name refers to its wild rice, like another Rice lake in Foster. 



FARIBA ULT CO UNTY 189 

Bass lake, in section 9, Delavan, was named for the well known fish, 
and it gave the name of the first post ofHce in this township, Bass Lake, 
which was established about the year 1859, but was discontinued after the 
Delavan railway village was founded. An oak grove overlooking Bass 
lake is named ''Camp Comfort/' much used in summers for picnics, 
reunions of the old settlers, and other meetings. 

Hart lake, in section 28, Delavan, commemorates John and George 
Hart, who were pioneer farmers there. 

Gorman's lake, now drained, in section 17, Jo Daviess, was named m 
honor of Patrick Gorman, an early Irish settler beside it. 

Goose and Swan lakes were in sections 11 and 14, Brush Creek town- 
ship, but have been drained. Another Swan lake, in section 15, Barber, 
was called Lake Kanta in 1860, a Sioux name, meaning Plum lake, for 
its wild plum trees. 

The two largest lakes of this county, Minnesota lake, before noticed, 
and Ozahtanka lake in Barber and Emerald townships, have been drained, 
their beds being now cultivated farm lands. Both these names are on 
the map of 1860, each being the Sioux language. Tatfka, like tonka, means 
great, but Ozah is not defined in Riggs' Dakota Dictionary. 

The former Mud lake in section 23, Lura, is now traversed by a ditch 
and drained. 

Jones creek, in Foster, commemorates a settler or a trapper. 

Coon creek, tributary to the Blue Earth river from the east, and 
Badger creek from the west, are named for fur-bearers, the first formerly 
common here, but the latter rare in Minnesota, though common in parts 
of Wisconsin, giving its name as the sobriquet of that state. 

Elm, Center, and South creeks, in Verona, flowing to the Blue Earth 
river from Martin county, are to be noticed in the chapter for that 
county. 

The Kiester Moraine and Glacial Lake Minnesota. 

The fourth in the series of twelve terminal and marginal moraines 
formed in Minnesota by the continental ice-sheet during its wavering 
departure, at the close of the Glacial period, is called the Kiester moraine, 
from its prominent Kiester hills in the township of this name. These 
marginal drift hills and the continuation of their morainic belt north- 
westerly in this county and onward through the state, probably passing 
into South Dakota in the vicinity of Big Stone lake, were noted in Volume 
I of the Final Reports of the Minnesota Geological Survey, published in 
1884. 

At the time of formation of the Kiester moraine, the Glacial Lake 
Minnesota, described in the chapter of Blue Earth county, overspread 
the greater part of Faribault county, reaching thence northwestward 
along its ice border, and outflowing south by the Union slough in Iowa, 
at the headi of the Blue Earth river, being thence tributary to the Des 
Moines river. 



FILLMORE COUNTY 

This county, established March 5, 1853, was named for Millard Fill- 
more, who was president of the United States, 1850 to 1853, retiring from 
office on the day previous to the approval of the act creating this coimty. 
He was born at Summer Hill, Cayuga county, N. Y., February 7, 1800; 
and died at Buffalo, N. Y., March 8, 1874. He studied law, and was 
admitted to practice in 1823; was a member of Congress, 1833-35 and 
1837-43; was comptroller of the state of New York, 1847-49; was elected 
vice president on the Whig ticket headed by Zachary Taylor, 1848; and 
succeeded to the presidency by the death of Taylor, July 9, 1850. Fill- 
more visited St. Paul in a large excursion of eastern people, June 8, 
1854, as noted in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections (vol. VUI, 
pages 395-400). 

Biographies of Fillmore were published in 1856, when he was nomi- 
nated as presidential candidate of the American party; and in 1915 
Rev. William Elliot Griffis published a memorial review of his life and 
character, 159 pages, entitled "Millard Fillmore, Constructive States- 
man, Defender of the Constitution, President of the United States." 
He is also commemorated by Fillmore county in Nebraska, by Millard 
county in Utah, and by villages named Fillmore in a dozen states. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of these names has been gathered from "History of Fill- 
more County," by Ellis C. Turner and others, 1882, 626 pages; the later 
History of this county, compiled by Frankljm Curtiss-Wedge, 1912, two 
volumes (continuously paged), 1170 pages; and from Archibald D. Gray 
and Andrew W. Thompson, of Preston, and Calvin E. Huntley, of 
Spring Valley, interviewed in April, 1916. 

Amherst, settled in 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named by one 
of its pioneer colonists, E. P. Eddy, "in honor of the place in which his 
wife was born." This was Amherst in Lorain county, Ohio, where her 
father, Henry Onstine, leader of these colonists, formerly lived. The 
settlers of the Ohio township came from New England, where towns of 
New Hampshire and Massachusetts had been named Amherst in honor 
of General Jeffery Amherst, the English commander and hero of the 
siege and capture of Louisburg from the French in 1758. 

Arendahl, first settled in 1854, organized April 1, 18611, was named 
by Isaac Jackson, a Norwegian immigrant, who had lived twelve years 
in Dane county, Wisconsin, and came to this township in 1856, ihe name 
being for the seaport city of Arendal on the southeast coast of Nor- 
way. "He named the town in remembrance of old associations, secured 
a post office, and was the first postmaster." 

190 



FILLMORE COUNTY 191 

Beaver, settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, received its name 
from the Beaver creek (doubtless a home of beavers), which flows 
through this township, joining the Upper Iowa river in section 34. A 
former post office near its center, established in 1859, was called Alba, 
meaning white, because the name was ''short, eastern, and ancient." 

Bellville, a former village in Newburg township, was founded in 
1853 by two brothers, Edmund and Henry Bell. 

Bloomfield, first settled in 1854, was organized May 11, 1858. Eighteen 
other states have villages or cities of this "spring reminding name." 

Bratsberg, a hamlet in the southeast corner of section 10, Norway, 
bears the name of a district in southern Norway, comprising an area of 
about 5,500 square miles. 

Bristol, settled in July, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, has the name 
of a large city in England, near the head of the Bristol channel. It is 
also the name of counties in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and of 
villages and townships in twenty other states of our Union. 

Canfield, a hamlet on the east line of section 21, York, was named 
for S. G. Canfield, who established a store there in 1876. 

Canton, first settled in March, 1851, was organized May 11, 1858. 
"There was a spirited contest over the name, and quite a number were 
suggested, but the struggle was finally narrowed down to two names, 
*El3rria,' suggested by E. P. Eddy, and that of 'Canton,' proposed by 
Fred Flor. The vote declared in favor of Canton, but the Elyria party 
gave up reluctantly. .... On the records up to 1860, the name Elsrria 
is carried along in the town books, when it dropped out of sight." These 
are names of cities in northeastern Ohio, near the former homes of many 
settlers in this township. Canton is a large and very ancient city of 
southeastern China, and thence twenty-three states of our Union have 
given this name to villages, cities and townships. The railway village 
of Canton was incorporated April 29, 1887. 

Carimona, first settled in 1852, organized May 11, 1858, has the village 
of this name, founded in 1853-4, which was the county seat in 1855-56, 
being succeeded by Preston. During several years this village was a 
busy station of the stage route from Galena and Dubuque to St Paul, 
as shown by the hotel register of the Carimona House, 1855-59, pre- 
sented to the Library of the Minnesota Historical Society. This was the 
name of a prominent chief of the Winnebagoes, who signed by his mark 
seven successive treaties of the United States with this tribe, in 1816, 
1825, '27, '28, '29, 1832, and 1837. His name, borne also by his son, had 
much variety of spellings, and is translated as "Walking Turtle." Dr. 
L. C Draper wrote of him: "Naw-Kaw, or Car-a-mau-nee, or The 
Walking Turtle, went on a mission with Tecumseh in 1809 to the New 
York Indians, and served with that chief during the campaign of 1813, 
and was present at his death at the Thames." (See Wisconsin Historical 
Society Collections, vols. II, III, V, VII, and VIII; Minnesota H. S. 



^4 



192 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Collections, vol. IV, Williams* History of St. Paul, page 256; and "Wau- 
bun, the 'Early Day' in the North-West," by Mrs. John H. Kinzie, 1856, 
page 89.) 

At a grand council held by Governor Ramsey in St. Paul, March 14, 
1850, with Winnebago chiefs who had come from their reservation at 
Long Prairie, Carimona was one of the seven chiefs whose names are 
given by Williams. This chief, doubtless a son of the older Carimona, 
removed from Wisconsin to Iowa, later to Minnesota, and died, after 
1850, on the Yellow river in Allamakee county, Iowa. For him this 
village and township were named. 

Carrollton, settled in the spring of 1854, organized May 11, 1858, 
received its name in honor of Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, in Maryland, 
the last survivor of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He 
was born in Annapolis, Md., September 20, 1737; and died in Baltimore, 
November 14, 1832. 

Chatfield, settled in 1853, organized in 1858, was named in honor of 
Judge Andrew Gould Chatiield, who presided here at the first court 
held in the county, June 27, 1853. He was born in Butternuts, Otsego 
county, N. Y., January 27, 1810; and died in Belle Plaine, Minn., 
October 3, 1875. He was an associate justice of the supreme court 
of Minnesota Territory, 1853-7; was one of the founders of the town 
of Belle Plaine, and practiced law there, 1857-71 ; was judge of the 
Eighth judicial district, 1871-5. The village of Chatfield, platted in 
the spring of 1854 and incorporated in 1857, was the first county seat 
for two years, but was succeeded in 1855 by Carimona, and by Preston 
since 1856. This village was incorporated as a city, by the legislature, 
Februry 19, 1887. 

Clear Grit, a former hamlet on the South branch of Root river, in 
section 21, Carrollton, took the name given by John Kaercher to a flouring 
mill operated there by him with much success, 1872-81, retrieving ill for- 
tune and losses that he had experienced through panics, fire, and flood, 
from 1857 onward in Preston, Chatfield, Fillmore, etc. (M. H. S. Collec- 
tions, vol. X, page 42.) 

Elliota, a former village in section 32, Canton, was laid out in 1853 
by Captain Julius W. Elliott, its earliest settler and first postmaster and 
blacksmith. He was born in Vermont in 1822 ; came to this county from 
Moline, Illinois, in 1853, bringing thence a company of the first settlers. 
In 1871 he removed to Missouri, where he died in 1876. 

Etna, a hamlet in section 25, Bloomfield, received its name, from 
several that were suggested, by drawing lots when its post ofHce was 
established in 1856, now discontinued. This name of the lofty volcano in 
Sicily is borne by villages and post offices in sixteen other states. 

Fillmore township, settled in August, 1854, organized May 11, 1858, 
was named, like the county, in honor of President Fillmore, taking this 
name from its village, which had been founded in 1855. 



FILLMORE COUNTY 193 

FoRESTViLLE township, first settled in 1852 and organized in 1855, re- 
ceived its name in honor of Forest Henry, the first probate judge of the 
county, who settled here in 1854 and in the next year was the first post- 
master here. He was also one of the proprietors of the village of Forest- 
ville, platted in 1854. 

Fountain, settled in 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named for its 
large "Fountain Spring" in section 4, whence the railway village of Foun- 
tain, platted when the railway was built, in 1870, derives its water supply. 
The village was incorporated, by an act of the legislature, in 1876. 

Granger, a village in the south edge of Bristol, was platted in 1857 
by C. H. Lewis and B. Granger, of Boston, Mass., who also opened its 
first store. 

Greenleafton, a little hamlet in section 1, York, "was named in honor 
of Miss Mary Greenleaf, of Philadelphia, who generously gave three 
thousand five hundred dollars to build the Dutch Reformed Church 
edifice." 

Hamilton, a small village in the southwest corner of Sumner, was 
platted in 1855. Ten states have Hamilton counties, and twenty-six 
states have townships, villages, or cities of this name, mostly in honor of 
Alexander Hamilton, patriot in our American Revolution, and first 
secretary of the treasury of the United States, 1789-95. 

Harmony township, settled in the fall of 1852, was organized. May 
11, 1858. Its village was founded in 1880. This name is borne by villages 
and townships in fifteen states of our Union. 

Henrytown, a hamlet in Amherst, platted in 1854, was named in honor 
of Henry Onstine, who was the leader in the settlement of that town- 
ship, as before noted. 

Highland, a hamlet in sections 35 and 36, Holt, received the name of 
its former post office, established in 1857, referring to its elevation which 
gives broad views over the valleys on the north and south. 

Holt, settled in the spring of 1854, organized May 11, 1858, was at 
first called Douglas, in honor of the statesman, Stephen A. Douglas, for 
whom a county of this state is named. Because that name had been 
applied to another Minnesota township, it was changed to Holt in 1862, 
honoring Gilbert Holt, a pioneer farmer in section 30, who "early in the 
seventies" removed to Dakota. 

IsiNouRS, a railway station in Carrollton, established about 1870, was 
named, with change of spelling, for George Isenhour, on whose land it 
was located. 

Jordan township, settled in 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named 
for its North and South Jordan creeks, which unite and flow into the 
Middle branch of Root river. The name was given to these small streams 
by John Maine, one of the first settlers, who came from New England, 
fancifully deriving it from the River Jordan in Palestine. 

Lanesboro, the railway village in Carrollton, was platted in the spring 
of 1868. Some of its early settlers came from Lanesboro township in 



194 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Berkshire county, Mass., and F. A. Lane was one of the stockholders in 
the townsite company. 

Lenora, a village in sections 2 and 11, Canton, was founded in 1855 
by Rev. John L. Dyer. It was named by him for one of his family or 
for a friend. ^ 

Mabel, a railway village in Newburg, was platted by Frank Adams, 
chief engineer of this railway, giving it the name of his little daughter 
who had died. 

Newburg, first settled in 1851, was organized May 11, 1858, taking the 
name of its village in section 8, which had been founded and named in 
1853 by Hans Valder, a native of Norway, who with others came to this 
place from LaSalle county, Illinois. Eighteen states of our Union have 
villages and post offices of this name. 

Norway, settled in 1854, was organized April 3, 1860. '^The name of 
the town is said to have been suggested by John Semmen, in honor of 
the native country of almost every inhabitant of the township." 

OsTRANDER, the railway village of Bloomfield, platted in 1890, was 
named for William and Charles Ostrander, who gave to the railway 
company parts of the village site. William Ostrander was bom in the 
state of New York, in 1819; and came to Minnesota in 1857, settling here 
as a farmer. 

Peterson, a railway village in section 30, Rushford, was founded in 
1867, when the railway was built, on land donated for this use by Peter 
Peterson Haslerud, who settled here in July, 1853. It was incorporated 
in February, 1909. He was born in Norway, July 21, 1828; came to the 
United' States in 1843; was a representative in the legislature, 1862; died 
September 23, 1880. 

Pilot Mound township, settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, is 
named for a flat-topped limestone hill in the southwest part of section 
11. "It forms a prominent and striking object in the landscape, and 
formerly guided many a weary traveler as he wended his way toward 
the West." 

Preble, settled in 1853-4, organized May 11, 1858, was named in honor 
of Edward Preble (b. 1761, d. 1807), of the United States Navy, com- 
mander of the expedition against Morocco and Tripoli in 1803-4. 

Preston, first settled in 1853, organized May 11, 1858, received the name 
which had been given to its village, platted in the spring of 1855, by John 
Kaercher, its founder and mill owner, "in honor of his millwright, Luther 
Preston." In the same year a post office bearing this name was estab- 
lished, and Preston was appointed the first postmaster. This village, 
situated at the center of the county, has been the county seat since 1856. 
It was incorporated March 4, 1871. 

Prosper is a railway village in sections 35 and 26^ Canton, auspiciously 
named. 

Rushford, settled in July, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named 
on Christmas day, 1854, by unanimous vote of the pioneer settlers, tak- 



FILLMORE COUNTY 195 

ing the name from Rush creek here tributary to the Root river. The 
men and women so voting numbered nine, these being all the settlers at 
that date. "Rush creek was so called on account of the tall rushes that 
grew along its banks, where cattle and ponies could obtain a subsistence 
all winter." The village of Rush ford, founded in 1854, was named at 
the same time with the township. It was incorporated as a city in 1868, 
and often was called "the Trail City, on account of the intersection of 
several Indian foot paths." 

Spring Valley township, settled in 1852, organized May 11, 1858, was 
named for its several very large springs, one being about a mile east of 
the village, and two nearly as large within the townsite limits, one of 
these being walled up and used as a pumping supply for the water works. 
This village, founded in 1855, incorporated in 1872, has become a junction 
of railways. 

Stungtown village, begun in 1860, in section 27, Amherst, has its 
name "from the fact that all the settlers built their houses along the 
road in the ravine in which the would be village is located, thus stringing 
it out for some distance." 

Sumner^ settled in May, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named 
by the earliest settlers in honor of the statesman, Charles Sumner (b. 
1811, d. 1874), United States senator for Massachusetts from 1851 till 
his death, an uncompromising opponent of slavery, and during and after 
the civil war chairman of the senate committee on foreign affairs, 1861-71. 

Waukopes, a former hamlet in section 25, Carimona, founded in 1853, 
derived its name "from an Indian chief, who used to have a fishing and 
hunting camp at this place." 

Whalan, the railway village in Holt, founded in 1868, is on land 
previously owned by John Whaalahan, "but usage dropped the redundant 
a's and an h, and it became Whalan." It was incorporated in March, 1876. 

Wykoff, another railway village, in Fillmore, platted in 1871, and in- 
corporated March 8, 1876, commemorates Cyrus G. Wykoff, of LaCrosse, 
Wis., who was the surveyor for construction of this railway and was, one 
of the proprietors of this townsite. 

York, settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, bears the name of a 
very ancient walled city in England, which was one of the principal seats 
of Roman dominion there. Thence came the name of the city and state 
of New York, and numerous villages, cities, and counties, in seventeen 
states of the Union are named York, this being the Saxon form derived 
from Eboracum, the Latin name. 

Rivers and Creeks. 

A large area of southeastern Minnesota, comprising Fillmore county, 
also Houston county on the east, Winona and Olmsted counties on the 
north, Wabasha and Goodhue counties, farther north, and Mower county 
on the west, has no lakes, being strongly contrasted with the abundance 



196 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of lakes in nearly all other parts of this state. The southeastern lakeless 
area includes the edge of the great Driftless Area of Wisconsin, which 
reaches into Houston and Winona counties. On its other and larger 
part, in Fillmore county and the other counties named, the formations of 
glacial and modified drift, spread by the continental ice-sheet and by 
waters from its melting, are relatively ancient and thin, not dominating 
the surface outlines. The region therefore lacks the more or less uneven 
contour of alternate swells and depressions, or sometimes more noteworthy 
ridges, hills, and hollows, which elsewhere are characteristic of the drift, 
causing it generally to have plentiful lakes. 

Root river, more fully noticed in the first chapter, is translated from 
the Dakota or Sioux name, Hokah, both being used on Nicollet's map in 
1843. This river may be said to be formed by the union of its North and 
' Middle branches in Chatfield township. A mile and a half below Lanes- 
boro it receives the South branch. Another large southern affluent, called* 
the South fork of Root river, drains southeastern Fillmore county and 
joins the main stream in Houston county. 

On the state map published in 1860, the Middle and South branches 
and the South fork were respectively called Fillmore, Carimona, and 
Houston rivers, taking these names from the three villages. 

Tributaries of the Root river from the north in this county include 
Rush creek, before noted, in Rushford; Pine creek, in the north edge of 
Arendahl, which is a branch of Rush creek; and Money and Trout creeks, 
in Pilot Mound township. 

Houston county has another Money creek, for which .a township is 
named. There it originated from an incident of the early history; but 
the reason for its duplication in Fillmore county has not been ascertained, 
though the two are believed to have some relationship. 

Lost creek, tributary to the Middle branch, is so named because it 
flows underground in the creviced limestone beds for two miles, through 
sections 14 and 13, Jordan. 

The North and South Jordan creeks, before mentioned as giving the 
township name, and the Brook Kedron, flowing into the Middle branch 
in Suipner, are names from the Bible, the latter being a very small 
stream with a deep valley at the east side of Jerusalem. 

Bear, Deer, and Spring Valley creeks flow into the Middle branch 
from the southwest 

Sugar creek, named for its sugar maples, is tributary to Root river 
in section 13, Chatfield. 

The South branch receives Watson creek near the center of Carroll- 
ton, commemorating Thomas and James Watson, pioneers of Fountain 
township; and from the south it receives Canfield, Willow, and Camp 
creeks, the first (which in two parts of its course flows underground) 
b^ing named for S. G. Canfield, of York, and the last having been a 
favorite camping place for immigrants. A small eastern tributary of 



FILLMORE COUNTY 197 

Camp creek was formerly called Duxbury creek, for pioneer families 
there; but on recent maps it is named Partridge creek, for the well known 
game birds. 

Weisel creek, flowing into the South fork of Root river in Preble, 
was named for David Weisel, who in 1855 built a sawmill and gristmill 
near its mouth. The mill was carried away, and himself and family 
were drowned^ by a flood of this stream, August 6, 1866. 

Beaver creek, before noticed as the soured of the name of Beaver 
township, was called Slough creek on the map of 1860. 

The head stream of Upper Iowa river, to which Beaver creek is 
tributary, flows meanderingly past the south side of Beaver, York, and 
Bristol, several times crossing the state boundary. Its name, previously 
considered in the first chapter, like that of the state of Iowa and of the 
larger Iowa river, farther south, commemorates a Siouan tribe who lived 
on these rivers, nearly related with the Winnebagoes. 

Eagle Rocks and Chimney Rock 

are craggily eroded and weathered forms of the limestone strata, left in 
the process of very slow channeling of the valley of the South branch 
of Root river in section 27, Forestville. The Eagle Rocks are pictured 
in the Final Report of the Minnesota Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, page 
296) ; and on the same page the Chimney Rock is described, "on the 
side of the bluff of a ravine, . . . having a fancied resemblance to an 
oven with a low chimney." 



FREEBORN COUNTY 

Established February 20, 1855, this county was named in honor of 
William Freeborn, member of the Council in the Territorial Legislature 
for the years 1854 to 1857. He was born in Ohio in 1816; came to St 
Paul in 1848, and removed to Red Wing in 1853, where he had large 
interests, as also at Cannon Falls; emigrated in 1864 to the Rocky moun- 
tains, and spent the next winter as a gold miner in Montana ; was engaged 
three years in fruit culture in Oregon; and finally, in 1868, settled in 
California, on a ranch at Santa Margarita, in San Luis Obispo county. 
He was the second mayor of Red Wing, in 1858, but resigned before the 
end of the year. Although he had traveled much, he wrote in 1899 from 
his California home that he had never ridden on a railroad train. New- 
son, in his "Pen Pictures of St. Paul" (1884), wrote of Freeborn as fol- 
lows: "He was a man of progressive and speculative ideas, energetic, 
always scheming, and had a happy faculty of getting other parties inter- 
ested in his enterprises. He was a quietly spoken man, of rugged appear- 
ance; self-possessed, and never was afraid to venture." This county 
was organized March 4, 1857, with Albert Lea as the county seat. 

Townships and Villages. 

Notes of the origins of geographic names have been gathered from 
"History of Freeborn County," 1882, 548 pages, including the "Centen- 
nial History," by Daniel G. Parker (forming pages 281-292) ; the later 
History of this county, compiled by FranWyn Curtiss- Wedge, 1911, 883 
pages; and from Martin Van Buren Kellar, of Albert Lea, interviewed 
in April, 1916. 

Albert Lea township, first settled in the summer of 1855, organized in 
1857, took the name of its village, which was platted in October, 1856, 
and was incorporated as a city March 11, 1878. The name was adopted 
from the large adjoining lake on the southeast, to which Nicollet gave 
it in honor of Albert Miller Lea who in 1835 explored and mapped streams 
and lakes in this county. 

Lea was bom in Richland, Grainger county, Tennessee, July 23, 1808; 
was graduated at West Point in 1831 ; aided Major Long in 1832, in 
surveys of the Tennessee river; was an assistant on surveys of Lake 
Michigan in 1833 ; was in military service on the Missouri and Mississippi 
rivers during 1834; and in the summer of 1835 was second lieutenant 
of a company on the exploring expedition here noticed, in which he was 
designated as ordnance officer and volunteered his services as topographer 
and chronicler. 

The expedition, under the command of Lieut. Col. Stephen Watts 
Kearny, traveled along the northeast side of the Des Moines river from 



FREEBORN COUNTY 199 

the Mississippi to the mouth of Boone river, thence northeast to the 
Mississippi at the mouth of Zumbro river, (named Embarras river by 
Lea, because it was encumbered by a raft of driftwood near its mouth), 
thence southeast to Wabasha's village and the site of Winona, and thence 
westward to headwaters of the Cedar and Blue Earth rivers, and south- 
westward through the present Winnebago and Kossuth counties in Iowa, 
to the Des Moines river. Descending the Des Moines in a canoe from 
the site of the city of this name to its mouth. Lea mapped it and described 
it in his journal of the expedition, which was the basis of an unpublished 
report to the War Department, and of a pamphlet in 53 pages, with a 
map, published the next year in Philadelphia. In this publication, Lea 
first gave the name Iowa to the district obtained by treaty at the close 
of the Black Hawk war, in 1852. It was an eastern part of the large area 
later called Iowa as a territory and state, having reference to the Iowa 
Indians and the river bearing their name. 

An extended autobiographic sketch, written by Albert M. Lea for the 
Minnesota Historical Society, was published in the Freeborn County 
Standard, March 13, 1879. He resigned from the army in 1836; resided 
in Tennessee, was a civil engineer, and in 1838 was U. S. commissioner 
for the survey of the southern boundary of the Territory of Iowa ; was 
professor of mathematics in the East Tennessee University, at Knox- 
ville, 1844-51 ; removed to Texas in 1857 ; was an engineer of the Confed- 
erate service during the civil war; lived in Galveston, 1865-74, and later 
in Corsicana, Texas, where he died, January 17, 1891. Two of his broth- 
ers were Pryor Lea, a member of Congress, and Luke Lea, who, as 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, was associated with Governor Ramsey 
in 1851 in making the treaties of Traverse des Sioux- and Mendota. 

Further details of this expedition, and notes of the names applied by 
Lea to lakes and streams in Freeborn county, are given in the later part 
of this chapter. 

Alden, settled in 1858, was organized April 3, 1866. The railway vil- 
lage was platted in 1869, and the track was completed tp this place Janu- 
ary 1, 1870. It was incorporated in 1879. This name is borne by villages 
and townships in seven other states. 

Armstrong^ a railway station in section 4, Pickerel Lake, was estab- 
lished in 1878, and was named for Hon. Thomas Henry Armstrong, 
who in that year erected a grain elevator there. He was born in Milan, 
Ohio, February 6, 1829; was graduated at Western Reserve College, 
1854; came to Minnesota in 1855, settling in High Forest, Olmsted county; 
and in 1874 removed to Albert Lea, where he died, December 29, 1891. 
He was a representative in the legislature, 1864-5, being speaker in 1865; 
was lieutenant governor, 1866-70 ; and a state senator, 1877-8. 

Bancroft, first settled in July, 1855, organized May 11, 1858, had a 
temporary village of this name, platted in the fall of 1856, in sections 28 
and 29, which on March 4, 1857, was an unsuccessful candidate for the 



200 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

county seat. The name was chosen in honor of George Bancroft (b. 
1800, d. 1891), who was author of "History of the United States," ten 
volumes, published 1834-74; U. S. secretary of the navy, 1845-6, and 
founder of the Naval Academy, Annapolis; minister to Great Britain, 
1846-49, and to Berlin, 1868-74. 

Bath, settled in the spring of 1856, was organized in January, 1858, 
under the name of Porter, but was renamed Bath, April 15, 1859, after 
the name of the county seat of Steuben county. New York, the native 
town of Frederick W. Calkins, who had settled here in 1857. 

Carlston, first settled in August, 1855, was organized in January, 
1858, being then named Stanton, in honor of Elias Stanton, a settler on 
the shore of Freeborn lake, who had suffered amputation of his feet 
because of their being frozen, and who died in the spring of 1858. This 
name was earlier used for another Minnesota township, so that in Sep- 
tember, 1859, it was changed, the present name being adopted "in respect 
to the memory of a distinguished Swede of that name, who settled in 
that town in an early day, and who was drowned in Freeborn lake." 
He was Theodore L. Carlston (or Carlson), the second settler, drowned 
in 185a 

Clark's Grove, the railway village in^Bath, was founded in 1890, ten 
years before the railway was built. Its name had been long borne by a 
grove a mile east of the present village, in which grove J. Mead Qark 
settled "in the early days." 

Conger, a railway village in the east edge of Alden, was named by 
officers of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railway. 

Emmons, a railway village in the south edge of Nunda, on the state 
line, was incorporated March 14, 1899. Here Henry G. Emmons settled 
in 1856, and "in 1880 his sons started a store on the present site of the 
village." He was born' in Norway, October 16, 1828; came- to the United 
States in 1850, settling at first in Wisconsin ; was postmaster of the State 
Line post office here fifteen years ; was a representative in the legislature, 
1877-8 ; died in this village, October 2, 1909. 

Freeborn township was first settled in July, 1856, and was organized 
May 11, 1858. Its village, platted in June, 1857, and the lake beside which 
it lies, were named like the county, in honor of William Freeborn, whence 
also the township received this name. 

Freeman, first settled in 1854, organized April 2, 1861, was named in 
honor of John Freeman, a native of Northampton, England, who in 1855 
"secured, under the pre-emption law, the whole of section fifteen for 
himself and three sons." 

Geneva, settled in 1855-6, was organized May 11, 1858. Its village, 
platted in the winter of 1856-7, had been named by Edwin C. Stacy, the 
first postmaster here and the first probate judge for the county, "in 
remembrance of Geneva, N. Y.," whence the large adjoining lake and 
the township received the same name. 



FREEBORN COUNTY 201 

Glenville, the railway village and junction in Shell Rock township, 
was named by officers of the railway company. It was incorporated in 
1898. Previous to the building of the railway here in 1877, this had been 
the site of a smaller village, platted in 1856, bearing the name Shell Rock, 
for the river on which it is situated, thence given also to the township. 

GoROONsviLLE, a railway village in section Z2, Shell Rock, platted in 
1880, received its name from a post office that was established about 
1860 or earlier, of which T. J. Gordon and his son, W. H. H. Gordon, 
were successively postmasters after 1865, residing as farmers in section 
28, near the site of this village. 

Hartland, settled in the spring of 1857, organized May 11, 1858, was 
named for Hartland in Windsor county, Vermont, whence some of its 
early settlers came. This name was proposed by the wife of O. Sheldon, 
the first postmaster. The railway village of Hartland was platted in 
1877, and was incorporated in 1893. 

Hayward^ settled in 1856, organized April 5, 1859, was named in honor 
of David Hayward, one of its earliest settlers, who came from Postville, 
Iowa, and returned to that state after living here only two years. The 
railway village, founded in 1869, was replatted in 1886. 

Itasca was a small village or hamlet in section 31, Bancroft, platted in 
the winter of 1855-6, adjoining a lakelet which also was named Itasca. 
In 1857 it was an aspirant to be designated as the county seat, but, failing 
in that ambition, it lasted only a few years. The name was derived from 
that given by Schoolcraft to the source of the Mississippi river. 

London, settled in 1855, organized in 1858, received its name for the 
city and county of New London, Connecticut. It was proposed by William 
N. and James H. Goslee, natives of Hartford county in that state, who 
settled here respectively in 1856 and 1857. The railway village of Lon- 
don was platted in October, 1900. 

Manchester, first settled in June, 1856, organized in January, 1858, 
was then named Buckeye, but in May it was renamed Liberty. In October 
of that year it received the present name, suggested by Mathias Ander- 
son, who came here in 1857 from a township of this name in Illinois. Its 
railway village, founded in 1877-8, was platted in 1882. 

Mansfield, settled in June, 1856, was organized in January, 1866, being 
the latest township of this county. Its name, suggested by Captain George 
S. Ruble, founder of the city of Albert Lea, is borne by a city in Ohio, 
near his former home, and by villages and townships in fourteen states 
of our Union. Originally the name is from a town of Nottinghamshire 
in England, whence the first Earl of Mansfield (b. 1705, d. 1793), a dis- 
tinguished British jurist and statesman, received his title. The History 
of this county (1882) refers to him as commemorated by tlhis township 
name. 

Moscow, first settled in May, 1855, was organized in January, 1858. 
"Some years previous to settlement, the heavy body of timber which 



202 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

covered section seventeen, in Moscow, was set on fire in a dry season, 
creating such a conflagration as to suggest scenes in Russia under the 
great Napoleon. From that time it was known as the Moscow timber, 
and thus the name of the town had its origin." (History, 1882, page 
292.) The little village of this name was platted in June, 1857. 

Myrtle, the railroad village in section 7, London, was founded "in 
1900, when the railroad came through." 

NEWRYy settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, was named on the 
suggestion of Thomas Fitzsimmons, who was the first township clerk, 
for a seaport and river in northern Ireland, whence several pioneers of 
this township came. 

NuNDA, settled in 1856, organized May 11, 1858, was named by Pat- 
rick Fitzsimmons, a native of Ireland, who was one of the first settlers 
and a prominent citizen, '*in honor of towns of the same name in which 
he had lived in New York and Illinois." This name is "derived from the 
Indian word nundao, meaning 'hilly,' or according to another authority, 
'potato ground.'" (Gannett, The Origin of Certain Place Names in the 
U. S., 1905.) 

Oakland, settled in 1855, organized April 5, 1857, received its name 
from the small and scattered oak trees, with occasional groves, which 
originally occupied fully half of its area, commonly called "oak open- 
ings," while the remainder consisted of prairie land and grassy sloughs. 

Pickerel Lake township, first settled in 1855, organized September 
8, 1865, bears the name of the lake crossed by its east boundary, widely 
known for its abundance of this fish. The lake had been called Bear 
lake by the Indians because previous to the coming of white settlers they 
killed a large bear near it. The present name was given by Austin R. 
Nichols, through whose mistake in 1854 the former names of Pickerel 
and Bear lakes became transposed. (History, 1882, page 291.) 

Riceland, settled in August, 1856, organized in January, 1858, was at 
first named Beardsley, in honor of Samuel A. Beardsley, one of the first 
pioneers, who "came by ox team from Illinois, brought considerable 
stock, and settled on the south side of Rice lake." This large but shallow 
lake, well filled with wild rice, for which the township was soon renamed, 
covered some 2,000 acres, but it has been wholly drained away, the lake 
bed being now farm lands. 

St. Nicholas was the first village in this county, platted in the sum- 
mer of 1856, on the south side of Lake Albert Lea, in sections 25 and 26 
of Albert Lea township. In March, 1857, it aspired to be elected as the 
county seat, but, after the failure of that hope, its buildings were removed 
and the village site became farming land. 

Shell Rock township, settled in June, 1853, organized in 1857, received 
the name of its river, the outlet of Lake Albert Lea, which along its 
course in Iowa is bordered by rock strata containing fossil shells. 
The early village of Shell Rock has been noticed in this list as Glenville, 
its present name. 



FREEBORN COUNTY 203 

Twin Lakes, a railway village in section 12, Nunda, was partly platted 
in 1858, being the site of a sawmill and a flouring mill many years previ- 
ous to the building of the railway in 1877-^. The fall of Goose creek, 
outflowing from the neighboring Twin lakes, supplies valuable water 
power. 

L>AK£s AND Streams^ with Notes of the Expedition in 1835. 

The pamphlet before mentioned as published by Lieut. Albert M. 
Lea, entitled "Notes on the Wisconsin Territory, particularly with refer- 
ence to the Iowa District or Black Hawk Purchase" (53 pages, 1836), has 
a folded map of the country extending from northern Missouri to the 
foot of Lake Pepin and from the Mississippi to the Missouri river, com- 
prising the present southeast part of Minnesota and nearly all of Iowa. 
In the area- of Freeborn county Lea mapped and named five lakes, each 
of which is clearly identified on the present more accurate maps. 

Fox lake, doubtless named for a fox seen there, is the largest of these 
lakes, to which Nicollet's map in 1843 gave its present title, Lake Albert 
Lea." The outflowing Shell Rock river received this name on Lea's map, 
which Nicollet copied but called it a creek. Where Lea crossed it on the 
outward journey of the expedition, "limestone filled with petrifications 
was abundant," whence he derived the name. (Iowa Historical Record, 
vol. VI, page 548.) 

Chapeau lake, meaning in French a hat, so named by Lea for its out- 
line, which reminded him of the old-fashioned three-cornered hat, left 
unnamed by Nicollet, is now White Lake, commemorating Captain A. W. 
White, an early settler who lived beside it till 1861, then removing into the 
village of Albert Lea. 

Fountain lake, adjoining the north side of the city of Albert Lea, 
is produced by a dam, so that it does not appear on early maps. 

Council lake of Lea's map, referring to some parley there with "a 
few straggling Indians," as mentioned in his autobiographic letter to the 
Minnesota Historical Society, is now Freeborn lake, outflowing by the 
Big Cobb river northwesterly to the Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers. 
This lake and two others continuing northward are mapped by Nicollet 
as Ichiyaza lakes, a Sioux name meaning a row or series. 

Trail lake, named probably for an Indian trail passing by it, mapped 
too large by Lea, copied by Nicollet, but without a name, is the Upper 
Twin lake, outflowing by Lime creek, which was also named by Lea, now 
Goose creek. A very little lakelet of Lea's map, northwest of Trail lake, 
represents the Little Oyster lakes in sections 23 and 26, Pickerel Lake 
township, "so called because of their shape." 

Lake Boone, named by Lea in honor of Nathan Boone, captain of one 
of the companies of dragoons in this ocpedition,. is now Bear lake in 
Nunda, which was at first called Pickerel lake in 1853 by the white settlers, 
as noted in the History of this county (1882, page 291). Lea mapped it 



204 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

erroneously as the source of Boone river in Iowa, named on his map 
likewise for Captain Boone. In this error he was followed by Nicollet, 
whose map, however, leaves both the lake and river unnamed. Nathan 
Boone (b. 1780, d. 1857), was the youngest of the nine children of the 
renowned frontiersman, Daniel Boone. 

"Paradise Prairie," noted by Lea, northward of his Chapeau lake, 
was described in the History of the county in 1882, that it enters Ban- 
croft township "in the southwestern corner and extends northeasterly 
almost across the entire town, gradually disappearing towards Clark's 
Grove, in the northeast corner." 

In the list of townships, sufficient reference has been made to several 
lakes, besides those noted by Lea, namely, Geneva lake, Itasca lake, 
Pickerel and Rice lakes, and the Twin lakes. 

Nicollet's Ichiyaza lakes, before noticed, doubtless included Lake 
George, and Spicer and Tren>ton lakes, in Freeborn, named for and by 
early settlers. Another, the little Prairie lake, also named Penny lake, 
is in section 31 of this township. 

Le Sueur or Mule lake, in the east part of Hartland, lies at the head 
of Le Sueur river. Its second name alludes to the loss of "a fine span 
of mules belonging to B. J. Boardman," drowned there in 1857. 

Lake George, in section 22, Bath, was named in honor of George W. 
Skinner, Jr., son of a prominent pioneer there. 

Newry lake derived its name from its location, in section 2, Newry 
township. 

Deer and Turtle creeks, in Newry aad Moscow, Goose lake in section 
3, Albert Lea, and Elk lake, section 21, London, need no explanations. 

Spring lake, in the city of Albert Lea, and Fountain lake at its north 
side, the latter a mill pond, are named for springs on their shores. 

Bancroft creek is in the township of this name. 

Manchester had a notable group of small lakes, namely. Lake Peter- 
son, Silver, Sugar, and Spring lakes ; but the first two have been drained. 

Peter Lund creek, in Hayward, commemorates a pioneer farmer, an 
immigrant from Norway, who came to America in 1850, settled here in 
1856, and was the first township treasurer. 

Steward's creek, in Alden and Mansfield, was named in honqr of Hiram 
J. Steward, who was bom near Bangor, Maine, September 21, 1831 ; served 
in the civil war, 1862, being severely wounded; came west, and in 1869 
settled as a farmer in section 12, Mansfield. 

Lime creek is the outlet of Bear lake and State Line lake, flowing 
into Iowa and there tributary to Shell Rock river. It was thought by 
Lea to be the head stream of Boone river, as before noted. 

Grass lake, in sections 26 and 35, Freeman, now drained, was named 
for the grasses and sedges growing in its shallow water. 

Woodbury creek, in Oakland and London, flowing into Mower county, 
received the name of a settler there. 



GOODHUE COUNTY 

This county, established March 5, 1853, was named in honor of James 
Madison Goodhue, who was the first printer and editor in Minnesota, 
beginning the issue of the Minnesota Pioneer on April 28, 1849. He was 
born in Hebron, N. H., March 31, 1810, and died in St. Paul, August 
27, 1852; was graduated at Amherst College in 1833; studied law in New 
York City, and was admitted to the bar about 1840; afterward was a 
farmer three years in Plainfield, 111. ; practiced law in Galesburg, III., and 
in Platteville and Lancaster, Wis. ; became editor of the Wisconsin Herald, 
published in Lancaster; removed to St. Paul in the spring of 1849, and 
was a most earnest and influential journalist here during the three remain- 
ing years of his life. 

Goodhue was a man of very forcible character and of high moral 
principles. .As a vigorous writer, he did much to upbuild St. Paul and 
Minnesota, and made strong personal friends and enemies. Because of 
his scathing editorial against the U. S. marshal, Alexander Mitchell, and 
Judge David Cooper, a brother of the latter attacked Mr. Goodhue, 
January 15, 1851, on the street in front of the building in which the 
legislature was in session, and stabbed him twice, severely wounding him, 
and being shot in return. From that injury he never fully recovered. 

Biographic sketches of Goodhue as founder and editor of the first 
newspaper of the new Minnesota Territory are in the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society Collections, by Col. John H. Stevens (vol VI, pages 492- 
501) and D. S. B. Johnston (X, 247-253). His successor as editor of the 
Pioneer, Joseph R. Brown, wrote of him in an editorial tribute a year 
after he died : "J^n^^s M. Goodhue was a warm and fast friend of Min- 
nesota to the day of his death. He will be remembered with the small 
band of sturdy men who labored constantly and with iron resolution to 
establish the pillars of society in our Territory upon a sound moral basis. 
His press was always found on the side of law, order, temperance, and 
virtue." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of origins and meanings of these names has been gathered 
from the "Geographical and Statistical Sketch ... of Goodhue County," 
by W. H. Mitchell, 1869, 191 pages ; "History of Goodhue County," 1878, 
664 pages ; "Goodhue County, Past and Present, by an Old Settler" (Rev. 
Joseph W. Hancock), 1893, 349 pages; the later History, edited by 
Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, 1909, 1074 pages; and from Dr. William M. 
Sweney, Albert £. Rhame, city engineer, and Charles S. Dana, clerk of 
the court, interviewed at Red Wing in April, 1916. 



206 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Belle Creek township, settled in 1853, organized in 1858, received 
this French name of ks creek, meaning beautiful. 

Belvidere^ settled in the spring of 1855, organized May 11, 1858, was 
at first called York, and later Elmira, the present name being adopted 
December 28, 1858. Illinois has a city of this name, which also is borne 
by villages and townships in seven other states. 

BuRNsiDE^ settled in 1854, organized in 1858, was known at first as 
Union, and in 1859-61 as Milton, but was renamed as now in March, 
1862, in honor of Ambrose Everett Bumside (b. 1824, d. 1881), a dis- 
tinguished general in the civil war, 1861-65, governor of Rhode Island, 
1866-9, and United States senator, 1875-81. 

Cannon Falls township, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, derived 
its name from the falls of Cannon river, as it was named by Pike in 1806, 
by Keating's Narrative of Long's expedition in 1823, and on Nicollet's 
map, 1843, erroneously changed from the early French name, Riviere 
aux Canots, which alluded to canoes left near its mouth by parties of 
Indians on war or hunting expeditions. Cannon Falls village, platted 
August 27, 1855, was incorporated March 10, 1857, and adopted its city 
charter in February, 1905. 

Central Point, a township of very small area, settled about 1850, 
was organized in 1858. Its name refers to a point of land here extending 
into Lake Pepin, about midway between the head and foot of the lake. 

Cherry Grove, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, received its name 
from a cherry grove in the central part of this township, where a log 
schoolhouse was built in 1857. The wild red cherry (also called bird 
cherry) and the wild black cherry are common throughout the greater 
part of this state. 

Clay Bank, Clay Pits, and Belle Chester, in Goodhue township, 
are railway stations for supply of pottery clay, used extensively in Red 
Wing for manufacture of stoneware and sewer pipe. 

Dennison, a railway village in the west edge of Warsaw, on the 
county line, was named in honor of Morris P. Dennison, a settler near 
its site in 1856, on whose land the village was located. 

Eggleston, a railway station in Welch, was likewise named for an 
early settler and laiid owner. John £. and Joseph Eggleston settled in 
the adjoining township of Burnside in the spring of 1855, and Harlan 
P. and Ira E. Eggleston were volunteers in the civil war from that town- 
ship, which included Welch until 1864. 

Fairfoint, a small village euphoniously named, in section ZZ, Cherry 
Grove, was platted in 1857. 

Featherstone, first settled in 1855, organized in 1858, "derived its name 
from William Featherstone, who with a large family settled there in 
1855." 

Florence, settled in 1854, organized 1858, was named in honor of 
Florence Graham, oldest child of Judge Christopher C. Graham, of Red 
Wing. She was married January 8^ 1872, to David M. Taber, who died 



GOODHUE COUNTY 207 

April 1, 1880. Mrs. Taber, yet living in Red' Wing in 1916, "is known 
for her interest in all matters which tend toward the betterment of the 
city and county." Her father (b. 1806, d. 1891) served in the Mexican 
war ; came to Red Wing in 1854, as receiver of the U. S. land office, and 
filled that position until 1861 ; was the municipal judge after 1869. 

Frontenac, a railway village and neighboring lakeside village of 
summer homes, in Florence township, had the early Indian trading post 
of James Wells, before 1850, and was permanently settled in 1854-57. 
The name commemorates Louis de Buade de Frontenac, who was born 
in Paris, 1622, and died in Quebec, November 28, 1698. He was the French 
colonial governor of Canada in 1672-82 and 1689-98. There is no record 
of his traveling to the Mississippi river. 

Goodhue township, settled in 1854, organized September 13, 1859, was 
then named Lime, but was renamed as now in January, 1860, honoring 
James M. Goodhue, like the county name. The village was incorporated 
April 26, 1897. 

Hay Ck£&k township, settled in the spring of 1854, organized in 1858, 
received its name from the stream, which had natural hay meadows. 

HoLDEN, settled in 1854-5, organized in 1858, has a name that is borne 
by townships in Maine and Massachusetts, and by a city in Missouri. 

Kenyon, settled in 1855, organized in 1858, was named for a pioneer 
merchant, who in 1856 built the first store there. The village, now a 
railway junction, was also originally platted in 1856. 

Leon, settled in the fall of 1854, organized in 1858, bears a for^igrn 
name, that of a medieval kingdom, which was later a province of Spain. 
It is also the name of townships in New York and Wisconsin. 

MiNNEOLA, settled in May 1855, organized December 15, 1859, has a 
name from the Dakota or Sioux language, meaning much water. 

'Pine Island, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, took the name of its 
village, which was platted in the winter of 1856-7. "The island proper 
is formed by the middle branch of the Zumbro, which circles around 
the present village, enclosing a tract once thickly studded with tall pine 
trees. . . . This spot was one of the favorite resorts of the Dakota 
Indians. They called it Wa-zee-wee-ta, Pine Island, and here in their 
skin tents they used to pass the cold winter months, sheltered from the 
winds and storms by the thick branches of lofty pines. The chief of 
Red Wing's village told the commissioners of the United States, when 
asked to sign the treaty that would require his people to relinquish their 
home on the Mississippi river, that he was willing to sign it if he could 
have his future home at Pine Island." (Hancock, page 288.) "Between 
the two branches of the Zumbro river, which unite a short distance 
below, there was quite a forest of pine, which could be seen for a long 
distance over the prairie, giving it quite the appearance of an Island in 
the sea." (Mitchell, page 118.) 

Red Wing, the location of a mission to the Sioux in 1837 by two 
Swiss missionaries, Samuel Denton and Daniel Gavin, was first settled 



208 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

for farming and Indian trading in 1850-52; was chosen to be the county 
seat in 1853 ; was incorporated as a city March 4, 1857 ; and received new 
municipal charters on March 3, 1864, and February 21, 1887. 

Doane Robinson, historian of the Sioux, writes in the "Handbook of 
American Indians" (Hodge, Part II, 1910, page 365) : "Red Wing. 
The name of a succession of chiefs of the former Khemnichan band of 
Mdewakanton Sioux, residing on the west shore of Lake Pepin, Minn., 
where the city of Red Wing now stands. At least four chiefs in suc- 
cession bore the appellation, each being distinguished by another name. 
The elder Red Wing is heard of as early as the time of the Pontiac war, 
when he visited Mackinaw, and was in alliance with the English in the 
Revolution. He was succeeded by his son. Walking Buffalo (Tatanka- 
mani), who enlisted in the British cause in 1812. The name was main- 
tained during two succeeding generations, but disappeared during the 
Sioux outbreak of 1862-65. The family was less influential than the 
Little Crows or the Wabashas of the same tribe." 

Colonel William Colvill, in a letter to Prof. N. H. Winchell, wrote 
(Geology of Minnesota, Final Report, vol. II, 1888, page 60) : "Red 
Wing's titular name was Wacouta — 'the shooter.' This was always the 
head chief's title, — the same as that of the chief who captured' Henne- 
pin. He had the name of Red Wing, Koo-poo-hoo-sha [Khupahu, wing, 
sha, red], from the swan's wing, dyed scarlet, which he carried." 

Pike in 1805-06 called the second of these hereditary chiefs Talanga- 
mane, which should be more correctly written Tatanka mani, meaning 
Buffalo walking ; and he also gave his titled name in French, Aile Rouge, 
with its. direct English translation, Red Wing. 

The Sioux name of this place was Rhemnicha or Khemnicha, applied 
by Nicollet's map to the present Hay creek as Remnicha river. It means 
the Hill- Water- Wood place, formed by three Sioux words, Rhe, a high 
hill or ridge, mini, water, and chan, wood, referring to the Barn bluff 
and other high river bluffs, and to the abundance of water and wood, 
which made it an ideal camp ground. 

« 

RoscoE, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, was named by Charles Dana, 
one of the pioneers, "from the township of Roscoe, Illinois, where he 
had previously lived." 

Stanton, settled in the fall of 1854, organized in 1858, was named in 
honor of William Stanton, who, with his son of the same name and 
others, immigrants from New Elngland, came in 1855, settling on Pnairie 
creek. Rev. J. W. Hancock, who conducted the first religious services 
of this township at his* home in the winter of 1855-6, wrote: "The 
log house built by William Stanton, Sr., near the road leading to Fari- 
bault from the nearest Mississippi towns, was for several years the only 
place for the entertainment of travelers between Cannon Falls and 
further west. Mr. Stanton's latch string was always hanging out, and 
every civil appearing stranger was welcome to such accommodations as he 
had. He frequently entertained fifty persons the same night." 



GOODHUE COUNTY 209 

Vasa, settled in 1853, organized in 1858, ''was named in honor of Gus- 
tavus Vasa, king of Sweden, more generally known as Gustavus I, the 
Christian king, and the founder of the Lutheran Church." (History, 
1878, page 428.) He was bom in Lindholmen, Upland, Sweden, May 12, 
1496, and died in* Stockholm, September 29, 1560; was king 1523-60. 

Wacouta, settled in 1850, organized 1858, was named by George W. 
Bullard, the first settler, who was an Indian trader and in 1853 platted 
a village around his trading post, which was a rival of Red Wing for 
designation as the county seat. Hancock wrote as follows of the last 
chief bearing this name, commemorated by this little township. 

"The nephew of Scarlet Wing [Red Wing] was the last reigning 
chief of this band of Dakotas. His name was Wacouta, the shooter. 
It was this chief who informed the writer that his uncle, the Scarlet 
Wing, was buried on a bluff near Wabasha. Wacouta was a man of 
peac^. He was not accustomed to lead in the warpath, although his 
braves had the privilege of forming war parties and making raids against 
their enemies whenever they desired. 

"Wacouta was very tall, straight, and dignified in his demeanor. He 
was also a man of good judgment. His authority was not absolute. He 
rather advised his people than commanded them. He encouraged in- 
dustry and sobriety; was a friend to the missionaries, and sent his own 
children to their schools when he was at home himself." 

As before mentioned by Colvill in the notice of Red Wing, this name 
was borne as a title of chieftaincy. With slight difference, it was the 
name of the head chief of the Issati Sioux about Mille Lacs at the time 
of the captivity of Hennepin and his companions in 1680. Hennepin wrote 
of him as "Ouasicoude, that is, the Pierced-pine, the greatest of all the 
slati chiefs." 

Keating in 1823, as historian of Major Long's expedition, gave this 
name, under another spelling, "Wazekota (Shooter from the pine-top)," 
for the old Red Wing chief. Walking Buffalo, whom Pike had met 
eighteen years before. It is from two Dakota words, wazi, pine, and 
kute, to shoot. 

Wai^amingo, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, is almost wholly 
occupied by prosperous Norwegian farmers. The origin and meaning of 
the name remain to be learned. It appears to be of Indian derivation, "the 
name of a heroine of a novel popular in those days." (History, 1910, p. 222.) 

Warsaw was first settled in June, 1855, and was organized in 1858. 
Indiana has a city of Warsaw, and twelve states of our Union have 
villages and townships that bear this name of the large capital of the 
former kingdom of Poland. 

Welch, settled in 1857, organized March 23, 1864, was then named 
Grant, in honor of (General U. S. Grant; but it was renamed as now in 
January, 1872, to commemorate Abraham Edwards Welch, of Red Wing. 
He was born at Kalamazoo, Mich., August 16, 1839; and died in the army 
at Nashville, Tenn., February 1, 1864. He volunteered at Lincoln's first 



210 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

call for troops, and was first lieutenant in the First Minnesota r^ment; 
was taken prisoner, paroled, and served as major against the Sioux 
in 1862. Later he was major in the Fourth Minnesota regiment, and died 
from the effect of wounds received at Vicksburg. He was the son of 
William H. Welch, jurist, who was born in Connecticut about 1812, was 
a graduate of Yale College and later of its law school, came to Minne- 
sota in 1850, and resided at first in St. Anthony and afterward in St 
Paul. He was chief justice of the supreme court of Minnesota Territory, 
1853-58, removed in 1858 to Red Wing, and died there January 22, 1863. 

ZuMBROTA, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, received the name of 
its village, platted in September, 1856, on the Zumbro river, which flows 
across the southern part of this township. The Sioux named this river 
Wazi Oju, meaning Pines Planted, having reference to the grove of 
great white pines at Pine Island, before noticed; and it bears this name 
on Nicollet's map, 1843, and the map of Minnesota Territory in 1850. It 
was called Riviere d'Embarras and River of Embarrassments by Pike, 
1805-6, adopting the name given it by the early French traders and 
voyageurs; Embarrass river by Major Long, 1817; and Embarras, the 
more correct French spelling, by Lea's map, 1836. From the reminis- 
cences written by Lea in 1890, of his explorations, we learn that the 
French name referred to obstruction of the river near its mouth by a 
natural raft of driftwood. Pronounced quickly and incompletely, with 
the French form and accent^ as heard and written down by the English- 
speaking immigrants, this name, Riviere des Embarras, was unrecogniz- 
ably transformed into Zumbro, which is used on the map of Minnesota 
in 1860. The village and township name adds a syllable, the Sioux 
suffix, ta, meaning at, to, or on, that is, the town on the Zumbro, being 
thus a compound from the French and Dakota languages. 

Lakes, Streams, Islands, and Bluffs. 

The Mississippi river, which has the large Prairie Island at -its west 
side above Red Wing and extending into Dakota county, and the en- 
largement of the Mississippi named Lake Pepin, adjoining Goodhue and 
Wabasha counties, have been considered in the first chapter. * 

Cannon and Zumbro rivers are also noticed in that chapter, the 
former especially in its presumed identification with the fictitious Long 
river of Lahontan ; but the origins and significance of the names of these 
streams are again mentioned in the foregoing pages for Cannon Falls 
and Zumbrota townships. 

Other names of streams, etc., whose origins are presented in the list 
of townships, include Belle creek. Central Point of Lake Pepin, Hay 
creek, and the so-called Pine Island of Zumbro river. 

Excepting Lake Pepin, Silver lake (very small) in Red Wing, and 
the few small lakes on Prairie Island, this county is destitute of lakes. 

Several streams need no explanations for their names, as Pine creek, 
tributary to Cannon river from the north in Cannon Falls township. 



GOODHUE COUNTY 211 

Prairie creek in Stanton, Little Cannon river, Spring creek in Feather- 
stone and Burnside, and the North and South branches of the Zumbro. 

Bullard creek, in Hay Greek township and Wacouta, was named in 
honor of George W. Bullard, early trader, founder of the former village 
of Wacouta. 

Wells creek commemorates James Wells, often called "Bully" Wells, 
an early fur trader on Lake Pepin near the site of Frontenac, who was a 
member of the Territorial Legislature in 1849 and 1851. 

"Rest Island," at the west side of Lake Pepin near the Central Point, 
was the location of a home for reform of drunkards, founded in 1891 
under the earnest work of John G. Woolley, of Minneapolis, who in 1888 
entered the lecture field as an advocate of national prohibition. 

Prairie Island, translated from its early French name, Isle Pel6e, 
visited by Groseilliers and Radisson in 1655-56, as narrated in the M. H. 
S. Collections (vol. X, part II, pages 449-594, with maps), has Sturgeon 
lake, Buffalo slough, North lake, Clear and Goose lakes, and the Ver- 
milion river or slough, continuing from this river in Dakota county and 
being the western boundary of this large island, which forms mainly the 
northern parts of Bumside and Welch townships. Buffalo slough recalls 
the old times, long before agricultural settlements here, when buffaloes 
sometimes grazed on the extensive prairie of this island. 

Sturgeon lake was named for the shovel-nosed sturgeon, frequent in 
the Mississippi here and in this lake, a very remarkable and large species 
of fish, esteemed for food, having a projecting snout, broad and flat, 
resembling a shovel or a canoe paddle, which was particularly described 
by Radisson and Hennepin, the first writers on the upper Mississippi. 

Assiniboine bluff in Burnside, nearly isolated from the general upland 
by the erosion of the Mississippi and Cannon valleys, commemorates 
the former presence of Assiniboine Indians here, of whom Col. William 
Colvill wrote in the Final Report of the Geological Survey of this state 
(vol. II, 1888, pages 57-60). 

Bam bluff, at Red Wing, is translated from its early French name, 
La Grange, meaning the Bam, which refers to its prominence as a 
lone, high, and nearly level-crested bluff, quite separated from the side 
bluffs of the valley, and therefore conspicuously seen at a distance of 
many miles up the valley and yet more observable from boats passing 
along Lake Pepin. Major Stephen H. Long in 1817 ascended this hill 
or bluff, called in his journal "the Grange or Bam," of which he wrote: 
"From the summit of the Grange the view of the surrounding scenery 
is surpassed, perhaps, by very few, if any, of a similar character that the 
country and probably the world can afford. The sublime and beautiful 
are here blended in the most enchanting manner." (M. H. S. Collections, 
vol. II, page 45.) 

Other bluffs in Red Wing, adjoining the western border of the river 
valley or forming a part of it, include Sorin's bluff, named in honor of 



212 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Rev. Matthew Sorin, who settled here in 1853, was the first treasurer of 
this county and the second president of the trustees of Hamline Uni- 
versity, later was a pastor in Missouri and Colorado, and died in 1879; 
the Twin bluffs, on opposite sides of a street leading southwestward ; 
and College hill, the site of the Red Wing Seminary. 

Jordan bluff in Wacouta, and a short stream and ravine called Jordan 
creek in Red Wing, were probably named for a pioneer. 

Post bluff, next eastward in Wacouta, commemorates Abner W. and 
George Post, early settlers there. 

Waconia bluff, in Florence, rising on the valley side west of Frontenac, 
bears a Sioux name meaning a fountain or spring, from a spring at 
its base. 

Near this southeastward is Point No-point, "from whose summit one 
may see the whole length of the lake. . . . Persons going in boats down 
the river see this point for six or eight miles, while the boat seems all 
the time approaching it, yet none of the time getting any nearer till just 
as they arrive at Fronteriac." (Mitchell, 1869, pages 96-97.) 

Sand point, translated from the French name, Pointe au Sable, is a 
wave-built spit of sand and gravel, a narrow projection of the shor^ine 
jutting half a mile into Lake Pepin, adjoining Frontenac. Wells creek, 
here flowing into the lake, was called *'Sand Point R." on Nicollet's. map in 
1843. 

Westward from Point No-point, the large and high area of Garrard 
bluff in the northern part of Florence, between the railway and the lake, 
was named in honor of the Garrard brothers, who founded and named 
Frontenac village. After they had first visited this place in 1854 on a 
hunting trip, they purchased large tracts of land here, several thousand 
acres. 

Louis H. Garrard settled at Frontenac in 1858, and engaged in farm- 
ing and development of this estate; was a representative in the legisla- 
ture in 1859 ; removed to Lake City in 1870, and was for three years presi- 
dent of the First National Bank there; resided in Cincinnati, Ohio, his 
native city, after 1880; and died at Lakewood, N. Y., July, 1887, aged 
fifty-eight years. 

The older brother, Israel Garrard, was born in Lexington, Ky., Octo- 
ber 22, 1825; and died at his home in Frontenac, Minn., September 21, 
1901. He was graduated at the Harvard law school ; settled here in 1854, 
and after the completion of the land purchase, in 1857-8, built the family 
home, St. Hubert's Lodge, named for the patron saint of huntsmen. At 
the beginning of the civil war, he raised a troop of cavalry in Cincinnati ; 
served as colonel of the Seventh Ohio Cavalry regiment, and was pro- 
moted to be brigadier general; returned here in 1865, and was widely 
known for his liberality. 



GRANT COUNTY 

This county, established March 6, 1868, and organized in 1874, was 
named in honor of Ulysses Simpson Grant, whose generalship terminated 
the Civil War, in 1865, with preservation of the Union, after which he 
was president of the United States, 1869 to 1877. He was born at Point 
Pleasant, Germont county, Ohio, April 1^^ 1822; and died at Mount Mc- 
Gregor, near Saratoga, N. Y., July 23, 1885. Having been graduated at 
West Point in 1843, he served through the Mexican war of 1846-48; left 
the army in 1854, and settled in St Louis ; and removed to Galena, Illi- 
nois, in 1860. He entered the Civil War in June, 1861, as a colonel, and 
on April 9, 1865, received the surrender of Lee, which ended the war. 

On the occasion of the completion of the building of the Northern 
Pacific railroad across the continent. General Grant visited Minnesota, 
and was present at the g^rand celebration held in St. Paul and Minne- 
apolis, September 3, 1883. 

Many excellent biographies of Grant have been published. One of his 
latest biographers, Louis A. Coolidge in 1917, writes: "His success as 
President in setting our feet firmly in the paths of peace, and in estab- 
lishing our credit with the nations of the world, is hardly less significant 
than his success in war." 

The grand courage displayed in his last severe and incurable illness, 
when during the final months of his life he diligently toiled with the 
pen in the completion of his Memoirs, to win a competence for his family, 
and to aid toward payment of creditors after great financial disaster, 
revealed heroic traits of his character which could never otherwise have 
found expression. 

In twelve states of our Union counties have been named for him. In 
New York City his Tomb, completed in 1897, has been rightly called 
"the most imposing memorial structure on the Western Continent." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names in this county has been gathered 
from the "Illustrated Souvenir of Grant County," by W. H. Goetzinger, 
1896, 42 pages ; "History of Douglas and Grant Counties," Constant Lar- 
son, editor, 1916, two volumes (pages 361-509 in Volume I being descrip- 
tion and history of this county) ; and from C. M. Nelson, county auditor, 
and Hon. Ole O. Canestorp, interviewed during a visit at Elbow Lake, 
the county seat, in May, 1916. 

AsHBY, the railway village of Pelican Lake township, platted in 1879, 
was named in honor of Gunder Ash, a pioneer farmer from Norway, 
who lived close east of the village site. 

213 



214 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES- 

Barrett^ a railway village in section 12, Lien, platted in May, 1887, 
and incorporated in 1889, and the adjoining Barrett lake, commemorate 
Gen, Theodore Harvey Barrett, who after the civil war owned' and con- 
ducted an extensive farm in Grant and Stevens counties, residing near 
Moose Island station in Stevens county. He was born in Orangeville, 
Wyoming county, N. Y., August 27, 1834 ; and died in this county at Her- 
man, July 20, 1900. He settled in St Qoud, Minn., 1856; was a captain in 
the Ninth Minnesota regiment, 1862-3; was colonel of the 62d U. S. 
Colored Infantry, 1864-5, and was breveted brigadier general, March 
13, 1865. 

Canestoslp, a railway station one mile west of Elbow Lake, platted 
in March, 1887, was named for Hon. Ole O. Canestorp, who was born 
in Sweden, May 21, 1847; came to the United States in 1862, and to Min- 
nesota in 1871, settling at Elbow Lake; was judge of probate of this 
county, 1878-82, county treasurer, 1882^, and a state senator, 1891-3 and 
1907-09. He died at his home March 24, 1917. The place is also frequent- 
ly called West Elbow Lake. 

Delaware township, organized October 6, 1879, was named by pioneer 
settlers from that state. 

Elbow Lake township, organised April 3, 1877, received its name from 
the adjacent lake in Sanford, shaped like an arm bent at the elbow, to 
which this name had been given many years previously by early traders 
and immigrants. Major Samuel Woods and Captain John Pope, in their 
expedition in the summer of 1849, were the earliest to apply this name, 
which they each, in their official reports, derived from the shape of the 
lake. 

Elbow Lake village, on a site chosen in 1874 to be the county seat, 
in Sanford township, was also named from this lake, was platted October 
28, 1886, and was organized September 13, 1887. 

Elk Lake township, organized January 4, 1876, was named for its 
Elk lake and Lower Elk lake, tributary to the Chippewa river, where elk 
were plentiful before agricultural settlers came. The route of Woods 
and Pope in 1849 passed this Elk lake, named by the former in his report, 
writing "Here we saw an elk, . . . the first one that crossed our path." 

Erdahl, organized July 30, 1877, was ''named in remembrance of a 
district in Norway, from which some of the early settlers had come." 
The same name was borne also by a pioneer Lutheran pastor of this 
county, Gullik M. Erdahl, who was born in Hardanger, Norway, October 
5, 1840, and came to America at the age of seven years with his parents 
who settled in Madison, Wisconsin. He was graduated at Luther College, 
Decorah, Iowa, 1866, and at the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, 1869; 
was a missionary and founder of churches in Kansas, Nebraska, and 
Iowa; was pastor of five congregations in this county, 1875 to 1900, and 
later of two until his death at his home near Barrett on March 25, 1914. 
The railway village of Erdahl was platted in October, 1887. 



GRANT COUNTY 215 

Gorton, organized July 21, 1879, received the name given by officials 
of the railway to a former siding in this township, northwest of Nor- 
cross. 

Hereford, a railway village in section 1, North Ottawa, was platted in 
September, 1887. The History of the county notes the origin of this name 
as follows : "In 1886, when the railroad was about to establish a station 
at this point, it was the intention to call the place Culbertson, in honor of 
the man who owned a tract of land there, but the modest man said that 
if they wished to compliment him in any way to call the place 'Hereford,* 
after his beautiful herd of white-faced cattle kept on his farm, 'Hereford 
Park,' near Newman, Illinois. Accordingly the place was so christened." 
The breed of cattle came from a county so named in western England. 

Herman, the railway village in Logan, platted in September, 1875, 
was incorporated March 15, 1881, and would doubtless have been chosen 
as the county seat if its location were near the center of the county. In 
1914 it was selected by the State Municipality League, on account of its 
civic merit, as the "model town" of Minnesota. Its name was given by 
the railway officials, in honor of Herman Trott, land agent of the St. 
Paul and Pacific railroad company. He was born in Hanover, Germany, 
February 25, 1830 ; and died in St. Paul, December 29, 1903. He came to 
this state in 1856, an-d settled in St Paul two years later ; removed to the 
state of Washington in 1890, but returned to reside in St Paul after 1899. 

Hoffman, a railway village in Land township, platted in April, 1887, 
incorporated June 23, 1891, was named in honor of Robert C. Hoffman, 
of Minneapolis, who durjng many years has been chief engineer of the 
Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sauk Ste. Marie railway. 

Land township, organized March 6, 1878, was named, on the sugges- 
tion of Erik Olson, a Norwegian farmer there, "for the town of Land, 
Wisconsin, whence some of the early settlers had come." In the Nor- 
wegian language, it is a general word meaning land or country. 

Lawrence was organized March 29, 1880. "The first settlers . . . 
came here in 1870 from St. Lawrence county. New York. It was they who 
gave the township its name in remembrance of their former home." 

Lien, organized July 28, 1874, was named in honor of Ole E. Lien, 
who was one of its first settlers, coming in 1867 or 1868. He was born 
in Norway; came to the United States in 1861, settling in Minnesota, 
and served during the civil war in the Tenth Minnesota regiment 

Logan, first settled in 1871, organized July 29, 1874, commemorates 
John Alexander Logan, who was born in Jackson county, Illinois, February 
9, 1826, and died in Washington, D. C, December 26, 1886. He served in 
the Mexican war ; was a member of Congress from Illinois, 1859-61 ; was 
a general in the civil war, 1861-5 ; was again a representative in Congress, 
1867-71, and a senator, 1871-77 and 1879-86. In 1884 he was the Republican 
candidate for vice president. 

Macsville, organized September 23, 1878, was named in compliment 
for Francis McNabb, an early settler and chairman of the first board 



216 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of supervisors, and for John McQuillan, another early settler, who was 
the first township clerk, also for Coll McClellan, who in 1875 was chair- 
man of the board of county commissioners. 

NoRCRoss, the railway village in Gorton, platted in December, 1881, 
and incorporated in 1903, received its name from Henry AUyn Norton 
and Judson Newell Cross, of Minneapolis, proprietors of the village site. 
Norton was born in Byron, 111., October 17, 1838; died in Minneapolis, 
February 3, 1906. He served in the army, 1861-5, attaining the rank of 
major; resided in Chicago until 1882, when he r^oved to Minneapolis. 
Cross was born in the state of New York, January 16, 1838; died in 
Minneapolis, August 31, 1901. He was a student at Oberlin College 
when the civil war began; enlisted in the Seventh Ohio regiment, and 
during the first year in service was promoted to the rank of captain ; in 
1864 was made adjutant general of the military district of Indiana. After 
the war he studied law, and in 1875 settled in Minneapolis. 

North Ottawa was organized July 24, 1882. "Thomas H. Toombs, 
from Ottawa, Illinois, gave the township its name." The first township 
meeting was held at his house, an<i he was then elected chairman of the 
supervisors. 

Pelican Lake township, organized January 4, 1876, has an extensive 
lake of this name, which "was noted for the large flocks of pelicans found 
there in the early days." It was named Lake EUenora on the earliest 
sta(e map, in 1860. 

Pom ME DE Terre township, organized July 17, 1877, took the name of 
the large lake at its southeast border, whence also the Pomme de Terre 
river, flowing from it to the Minnesota river, was named. It is received 
from the early French voyageurs and traders, meaning literally apple of 
the earth, that is, a potato; but it was here applied to the edible ovoid- 
shaped root of the Dakota turnip (Psoralea esculenta), called Tipsinah 
by the Dakota or Sioux people. This much esteemed aboriginal food 
plant, very valuable to these Indians, formerly was common on dry and 
somewhat gravelly parts of upland prairies throughout southwestern 
Minnesota. The old village of Pomme die Terre, in section 24, platted in 
1874, was the first village in the county, now superseded by railway towns. 

Roseville was organized July 24, 1878. "Many names were suggested 
. . . but the settlers finally decided upon a name which would remind 
them of the appearance of the virgin prairie when they located there, 
beautiful with thousands of wild roses." (History, 1916, page 383.) 

Sanford, organized July 24, 1882, was named by the county commis- 
sioners in honor of Henry F. San ford, who was the first settler in the 
township, coming here in 1869. He was born in Pleasantville, Pa., June 
2, 1845 ; came to Minnesota, and served in Hatch's Battalion of cavalry 
against the Sioux, 1863-6; was chairman of the first board of county 
commissioners, 1873; and was county auditor in 1875-8 and 1887-91. He 
was killed by an accident in New Mexico in 1914. 



GRANT COUNTY 217 

Stony Brook township, first settled in 1870, organized July 30, 1877, 
derived its name from the small Stony brook and lake in its north part, 
which are headwaters of Mustinka river. 

Wendell, the railway village in Stony Brook, platted in July, 1889, 
and incorporated in April, 1904, received its name from the railway 
officials when the road was being built, with location of a depot here, in 
1887. It is also the name of a town in Massachusetts and a village in 
North Carolina. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noticed Barrett lake, Elbow and Elk lakes, 
Pelican lake, the Pomme de Terre river and lake, and Stony brook. 

Mustinka river has a Dakota or Sioux name, meaning a rabbit, the 
reference being to the common white rabbit, which also is called the 
"varying hare," because its fur is gray in summer and white in winter. 
The Dakota dictionaries by S. R. Riggs (1852) and John P. Williamson 
(1902) give it as Mashtincha. The larger jack rabbit or hare, also 
formerly common on the prairies of western Minnesota and on the great 
plains farther west, was called mashtintanka, which means great rabbit. 

Another stream of this county is named Rabbit river, having its sources 
in Lawrence and flowing west in Wilkin county to Bois des Sioux river. 

Two early routes or trails of traders, traveling with trains of Red 
river carts from the Selkirk and Pembina settlements, in the lower Red 
river valley, to St. Cloud and St. Paul, passed across the area of Grant 
county. Both are delineated on the state map of 1860, the more northern 
passing by Pelican lake, then called Lake Ellenora, and the central route 
by Elbow lake. A more southwestern route led from the Red and Bois 
des Sioux rivers to the Minnesota valley and past Swan lake and 
Traverse des Sioux to St. Paul. 

Woods and Pope, in the expedition of 1849, before mentioned, took 
the middle route, passing Elk lake, the Little Pomme de Terre lake (now 
named Barrett lake), and onward northwest, having on the left hand, 
successively. Long, Worm, Elbow, and Lightning lakes. Three of these 
last have been named for their shape or outline, the most remarkable 
being Worm lake, of very irregular and wormlike form. 

Lightning lake, in Stony Brook township, and Upper Lightning lake, 
a few miles farther northwest, in the edge of Otter Tail county, perhaps 
derived their names from an incident during the expedition of Woods and 
Pope, when they so named two lakes where they had camped, in reference 
to "a stroke of lightning, which tore in pieces one of the tents, and pros- 
trated nearly all the persons who were in the camp." (Pope's Report, 
1850, pages 18-19.) But the detailed narration of Pope shows that their 
Lightning lakes were those now named Grove lake and McGoud's lake, 
in Pope county, on a more southeastern part of the route, distant about 
two or three days' journey from these fakes. In a paper by D. S. B. 
Johnston, who went over this route in 1857, it is stated that the Light- 



218 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ning lake of Grant county, according to Pierre Bottineau, the famous 
guide, "took its name from a man in a former expedition being struck 
by lightning and killed." (M. H. S. Collections, vol. XV, 1915, page 
417.) In the tradition of guides, possibly the experience of the expedi- 
tion in 1849 had given origin to a misplaced Lightning lake in 1857, which 
has been permanently retained. 

A large number of other lakes are named mostly in honor of early set- 
tlers near them, or for trees, as Cottonwood lake, birds, as Cormorant lake, 
or other animals, as Turtle lake ; or for their size or outlines, as Big, Horse- 
shoe, and Round lakes. These are noted in the following list, arranged 
in the numerical order of the townships and ranges, but omitting many 
lakes of relatively small size, for which the maps have no names. 

Patchen, Shauer, and Silver lakes, in Roseville. 

Big and Cottonwood lakes. Burr, Johnson, Olstrud, Neimackl, Bar- 
rows, Graham, and Nelson lakes, in Macsville. 

Pullman lake, adjoining Herman, named for Charles Pullman, pro- 
prietor of the first hotel there. 

Lake Katrina or Sylvan lake, (bordered by a grove), Peterson, Thomp- 
son, Torstenson, Ellingson, Olson, and Retzhoff lakes. Round lake. Spring 
and Turtle lakes, Church lake (beside a church), and Island lake, in Elk 
Lake township. 

Cormorant lake, Eide, Huset, and Jones lakes, in Lien. 

Moses lake or slough, in Delaware. 

Island and Round lakes, in San ford. 

Four Mile lake (so far from the old Pomme de Terre stage station), 
Field, Horseshoe, and Scott's lakes, in Pomme de Terre township, of which 
the second and fourth were named for adjacent farmers. 

Stony Brook lake, in sections 3 and 10 of Stony Brook township. 

Stony lake, in section 12, Lawrence, and Ash lake in sections 24 and 25 
of this township, the last being named for an early immigrant farmer 
from England. 

Herman and Norcross Beaches of Lake Agassiz. 

From their excellent development near Herman and at Norcross, the 
first and uppermost beach and the second* beach, which is next lower, of 
the Glacial Lake Agassiz, received their names as respectively the Her- 
man and Norcross beaches or shore lines. Along northern parts of this 
great ancient lake, which filled the Red river valley, as more fully noticed 
in the first chapter of this volume (pages 7, 8), each of these beaches is 
divided, on account of the northward uplift of the land during the existence 
of the lake, into two or several beaches, distinct and separate strand lines 
at small vertical intervals, which there are distinguished as the upper and 
lower Herman beaches, or the first, second, third, etc., and likewise the 
upper and lower Norcross beaches. The earliest published use of these 
names is in the Eleventh Annual Report of the Geological Survey of 
Minnesota, for 1882. 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 

This county, established March 6, 1852, commemorates Louis Henne- 
pin, the Franciscan missionary, explorer, and author, who was born in 
Ath, Belgium, about 1640, and died in Holland about 1701. He entered 
the order of the Recollects of St. Francis, probably in his early youth; 
spent many years in services of that order in France, Belgium, Holland, 
Italy, and Germany; and was present, as a regimental chaplain, at the 
battle of Senef, in 1674. The next year he sailed to Canada, in the same 
ship with Laval, ^>t)i5hop of the newly established see of Quebec, and 
La Salle, destined to be the grealest French explorer of the New World, 
arrivii^g.at Quebec in September. In 1678 Hennepin joined La Salle's 
expedition for exploration of lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Michigan, 
and the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. 

By direction of La Salle, whom he left near the site of Peoria, Hen- 
nepin descended the Illinois river with two companions in a canoe, and 
thence ascended the Mississippi. On their way up the Mississippi they 
were captured by a band of Sioux, living near Mille Lacs, spent eight 
months with them, and were rescued by Du Luth, who enabled Hennepin 
to reach Green Bay. In the midsummer of 1680, after the early part of 
their captivity by the Sioux in the region of Mille Lacs, Hennepin and 
one of his French companions, Anthony Auguelle (also called the Pickard 
du Gay), were the first white men to see the Falls of St. Anthony, which 
Hennepin named in honor of his patron saint, Anthony of Padua. 

He returned to Quebec in 1682, and to Europe soon afterward. In 
1683 he published in Paris an account of his explorations, entitled "De* 
scription de la Louisiane." A translation of it, by John Gilmary Shea, 
was published in New York in 1880, with dedication to Archbishop Ire- 
land and John Fletcher Williams, who were respectively the president 
and secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society. This volume has an 
introductory notice of Father Hennepin and an account of his published 
works, in 45 pages; and the main translation is followed by others from 
La Salle and Du Luth, and by a bibliography of Hennepin's works and 
their many editions and translations. 

Extensive quotations from Shea are given in chapter VII (pages 205- 
241) in volume I of "Minnesota in Three Centuries," published in 1908, 
which narrates the explorations of Du Luth and Hennepin in the area of 
this state, with biographic sketches of these great pioneers of New France. 

Two hundred years after Hennepin visited and named) the falls of 
the Mississippi at the center of the present city of Minneapolis, a great 
celebration was held there by the Minnesota Historical Society and the 

210 



220 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

people of the Twin Cities, on the grounds of the State University, within 
view of the falls, on Saturday, July 3, 1880. The description of this Hen- 
nepin Bi-Centenary celebration, and the addresses of Governor C. -K. 
Davis, Governor Ramsey, General W. T. Sherman, and Archbishop Ire- 
land, with a poem by A. P. Miller, are published in the M. H. S. Collec- 
tions (vol. VI, pages 29-74).. 

The name of Hennepin, instead of Snelling, which latter had been 
proposed by Colonel John H. Stevens in the original bill, was adopted 
for this county on request of Martin McLeod, member of the Territorial 
Council. 

Townships, Villages, and Minneapolis. 

The origins and meanings of these names have.«bi^i| gathered mostly 
from the "Geographical and Statistical Hfstoi^ of the C^ouJUjjof Henne- 
pin," by W. H. Mitchell and Col. John H. Stevens, 1868, R9 e^ges; 
"History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis," by George 
E. Warner and Charles M. Foote, 1881, 713 pages ; "History of Minneapo- 
lis, edited by Judge Isaac Atwater, and Hennepin County, edited by 
Colonel John H. Stevens," 1895, two volumes, continuously paged, 1497 
pages ; "Compendium of History and Biography of Minneapolis and Hen- 
neoin County," by Return I. Holcombe and William H. Bingham, 1914, 
584 pages ; and from Hon. John B. Giliillan, Dr. Lysander P. Foster, and 
Major Edwin Qark, each of Minneapolis, the second and third being 
respectively president and secretary of the Hennepin County Territorial 
Pioneers* Association. 

Bloom iNGTON township, first settled in 1843, organized May 11, 1858, 
was the home of bands of the Dakotas, "those of Good Road and Man 
of the Clouds. They occupied the bluff on the river near the residence 
of Rev. G. H. Pond." The name was given by settlers from Illinois, 
who came in 1852. Twelve other states have villages and cities of this 
name, the two largest being in Illinois and Indiana. 

Brooklyn township, settled in 1852, organized May 11, 1858, was 
named by pioneers from southern Michigan, who came in 1853, for the 
former township and present railway village of Brooklyn in that state, 
about twenty miles northwest of Adrian. 

Brooklyn Center is an incorporated village, mainly a farming area, 
adjoining the northwest corner of Minneapolis. 

Champlin, first settled in 1852, organized May 11, 1858, was named 
from its village, platted in 1853, opposite to Anoka and the mouth of 
Rum river. It bears a personal surname, but why it came to be applied 
to this village and the township remains to be learned. No other place 
in the United States is so named. A farmer of Vernon Center, in Blue 
Earth county, Ezra T. Champlin, born in Ferrisburg, Vt, April 2, 1839, 
came to this state in 1860; served in the Third Minnesota regiment in 
the civil war, attaining the rank of captain ; and was a representative in 
the legislature in 1875, 1887, and 1891, being speaker of the House in 
1891. 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 221 

CcACORAN, settled in 1855, organized May 11, 1858, was named in honor 
of Patrick B. Corcoran, who was the first school teacher here, the first 
merchant, and first postmaster. He was highly commended as a good 
oitizen by Colonel Stevens. He was born in Ireland, 1825; came to the 
United States in 1847, and to this county in 1855, being one of the earliest 
settlers of this township. 

Crystal village, as it is now named, incorporated January 11, 1887, 
would be more suitably termed a small township, under which form of 
government it was organized April 3, 1860, being then called Crystal 
Lake. It has the Twin lakes and the smaller Crystal lake, which boasts 
"a good depth of water and better shores." Besides the title of the town- 
ship and village, its Crystal prairie, four miles long and a mile wide, but 
dotted originally with many small groves, like islands, was also named 
from the lake. 

Dayton township, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, was named, 
like its village, platted in 1855, in honor of Lyman Dayton, of St. Paul, 
one of the original proprietors. He was born in Southington, Conn., 
August 25, 1810; and died in St. Paul, October 20, 1865. He came to 
Minnesota in 1849, and invested largely in real estate; was the projector 
and president of the Lake Superior and Mississippi railroad (later named 
St. Paul and Duluth). 

Deephaven,, a village in Excelsior and Minnetonka, founded about 
1880, was named for its excellent harbor. 

Eden Prairie township, settled in 1852, organized in 1858, had a fine 
natural prairie in its southern portion. *'The town was named, in 1853, 
by a Mrs. Elliot, who gave it the name Eden, in expressing her admir- 
ation of this beautiful prairie." (History, 1881, page 231.) The reference 
should be for Mrs. Elizabeth F. EUet, an author of national reputation, 
who visited Lake Minnetonka in August, 1852, less than three months 
after it was visited and named by Governor Ramsey. Other names 
proposed by her, for bays and a point of Minnetonka are noted on a later 
page in this chapter. 

Edina, a southwestern village suburb of Minneapolis, was incorpo- 
rated December 18, 1888, having been previously a part of Richfield. Its 
name was derived from the Edina flouring mill, owned by Andrew and 
John Craik, who so named the mill in memory of their boyhood home, 
in or near Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Excelsior, organized May 11, 1858, "owes its name and settlement to 
a colony, under the title of the Excelsior Pioneer Association," which 
was formed in New York City, November 12, 1852. "They were headed 
by George M. Bertram and arrived in the summer of 1853." The colouy 
adopted this name in allusion to Longfellow's world-famous short poem, 
"Excelsior," which was written September 28, 1841, and was published a 
few days later. 

(jOLDEN Valley, a western suburb of Minneapolis, euphoniously named 
for its beautiful valley inclosing a small and narrow lake, was incorpo- 



222 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

rated December 17, 1886, under a village charter, though it is chiefly a 
farming community. It had been formerly the northwest part of Min- 
neapolis township. 

Greenwood, settled in 1855, organized May 11, 1858, took fhe name of 
a former village, which aspired to be a city, platted by Thomas A. Holmes 
(founder of many towns) and others in the winter of 1856-7. It was 
soon superseded by Rockford, on the Wright county side of the Crow 
river about a mile below the Greenwood city site. "The origin of the 
name was the charming appearance of the woodlands, as seen by the first 
settlers, in the early days of summer." (History, 1881, page 311.) 

Hamel, a railway village in section 12, Medina, founded in 1886, was 
named for J. O. and William Hamel, merchants there. 

Hassan, first settled in 1854, organized April 3, 1860, received its name 
from a Dakota or Sioux word, chanhasan, meaning the sugar maple tree 
(chan, tree; hasan, from haza, the whortleberry or huckleberry, also 
blueberries; that is, the tree having similarly sweet sap). Carver county 
has a township named Chanhassen, close south of Lake Minnetonka, set- 
tled two years earlier and organized in 1858. Not to conflict with that 
name, the syllable meaning tree was here omitted. 

Hennepin, a short-lived village platted in 1852, in sections 34 and 35, 
Eden Prairie, on the Minnesota river, was during several years a shipping 
point for grain. 

Hopkins, a railway village in St. Louis Park, Edina, and Minnetonka, 
was named in honor of Harley H. Hopkins, its postmaster. He was bom 
in 1824; came to this county in 1855; engaged in farming on a part of the 
village site; diied in Minneapolis, February 19, 1882. 

Independence, settled in 1854-5, organized May 11, 1858, bears the name 
of the largest one of its several lakes. 'The lake derived its name from 
a party of Fourth of July excursionists. Kelsey Hinman, one of the 
party, named it Lake Independence, in honor of the national holiday." 
(History, 1881, page 263.) 

Long Lake, a Great Northern railway village in Orono, was named 
for the adjoining Long lake, one of our most abundant lake names. 

LoRETTo, a Soo railway village in section 6, Medina, founded in 1886, 
was named from a Roman Catholic mission for refugees of the Huron 
Indians near Quebec, Canada, called Lorette, founded and named in 1673, 
and from the village of Loretto, Kentucky, where a society of Catholic 
"Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross" was founded in 1812. Many 
schools are conducted by members of this society in the central and 
southern United States. The original source of the name is Loreto, a 
small town in Italy, which has a noted shrine of pilgrimage. (Catholic 
Encyclopedia, vol. IX, 1910, pages 360-361 ; vol. XIII, 1912. pages 454-6.) 

Maple Ghove township, first settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, 
and Maple Plain, a railway village in Independence, platted in 1868, 
when the railway construction was completed to that station, were both 
named for the abundance of the hard or sugar maple in their forests. 



HENNEPIN CO UNTY 223 

Medina, settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, had been previously 
called Hamburg by the county commissioners, which name was then 
changed to Medina by a unanimous vote of the thirty-seven settlers 
present This name of a city in Arabia, where Mohammed spent his 
last ten years and died, is borne by villages and townships in eight states 
of our Union, and by counties in Ohio and Texas. 

MiNNEAP(».is, founded by Col. John H. Stevens, builder of the first 
house on the west side of the Mississippi here in 1849-50, organized as a 
township May 11, 1858, was transformed in 1886 to the village organiz- 
ations of Golden Valley and St. Louis Park, excepting the eastern part 
of the township, which had been comprised in the city area. On the 
original site of this city, platting of village lots was begun in the spring of 
1854 by Stevens, to which other plats were added in 1854-5. The state 
legislature, in an act approved March 1, 1856, authorized a town govern- 
ment with a council, which was inaugurated July 20, 1858. The city of 
Minneapolis was incorporated under an act of March 2, 1866, and its 
first election of ofHcers was held February 19, 1867. It was enlarged, 
through union of the former cities of Minneapolis and St Anthony, by 
a legislative act approved February 28, 1872, and the new city council 
was organized April 9, 1872. 

The earliest announcement and recommendation of this name was 
brought by Charles Hoag to the editor of the St Anthony Express, 
George D. Bowman, on the day of its publication, November 5, 1852. 
It was then published, without time for editorial comment, which was 
very favorably given in the next issue, on November 12. Soon this new 
name, compounded from Minnehaha and the Greek "polis," city, dis- 
placed the various earlier names which had attained more or less temporary 
acceptance, including All Saints, proposed by James M. Goodhue of the 
Minnesota Pioneer, Hennepin, Lowell, Brooklyn, Albion, and others. 

The distinguished parts borne by both Hoag and Bowman in this oppor- 
tune coinage of the name Minneapolis have been many times related, with 
gratitude to Hoag for the bright idea and to Bowman for his effective 
advocacy of it by his newspaper. 

But a new claim, for the origination of the name by Bowman during 
a horseback ride from St Anthony to Marine Mills, on the St Croix 
river, was published in the summer of 1915 by a posthumous letter of 
Benjamin Drake, Sr., a cousin of Bowman, printed on page 1583 in 
Volume III of the late Captain Henry A. Castle's History of Minnesota. 
The circumstantial evidences of truthfulness there shown for Bowman, as 
the first to receive the inspiration of uniting "Minnehaha" and "polis" 
to form this city name, seem quite conclusive. 

It is probable, however, that Bowman had mentioned this idea to his 
friend, Mr. Hoag, and that some days or weeks later, when Hoag had 
entirely forgotten tiiis, it may have come again to his mind arid been 
thought new and original with himself, immediately before his writing 
the short article by which this name was proposed in November, 1852. 



224 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

So each of these excellent early citizens of Minneapolis may have honestly 
believed himself the favored first originator of the city's name. They 
worked together unselfishly and successfully for its adoption, and they 
seem equally deserving of enduring fame for this service to the young 
city. 

The claims for each are quite fully stated and discussed in the Min- 
neapolis Journal, by Hon. John B. Gilfillan, January 7, 1917, and by the 
present writer a week later, on January 14. 

MiNNETONKA township, first settled in the spring of 1852, organized 
May 11, 1S58, received the name of the adjoining large lake. The earliest 
recorded exploration of this lake by white men was in 1822, by two youths, 
Joseph R. Brown, who became a leading figure in Minnesota history, 
and William Joseph Snelling, son of the commandant of the fort, accom- 
panied by two soldiers. From their meager and magnified description, 
Keating, the historian of the United States exploring expedition under 
Major Stephen H. Long, in 1823, mentioned this lake, though it was not 
named nor shown on their map. 

Twenty years later, in 1843, Nicollet's map and report of this region, 
based on preceding maps and. filled out by much information from his 
own explorations and from Indians and white voyageurs whom he ques- 
tioned, had no intimation of the existence of Minnetonka. It seems to 
have been entirely forgotten by the officers of the fort, with whom Nicol- 
let was intimately acquainted. Because it was in the Sioux country, not 
ceded for white immigration until the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and 
Mendota in 1851, ratified by Congress the next year, this fairest one of 
our myriad lakes remained to be named and published when its first white 
settlers came. 

In the chapter on this township, contributed by Judge Henry G. Hicks 
to the History of the county in 1895, the exploration of the lower part 
of this lake by Simon Stevens and Calvin A. Tuttle in April, 1852, is 
well narrated. Two days after their return, the St. Anthony Express, 
for April 16, published an article entitled "Peninsula Lake," in which it is 
truly remarked that "almost the entire shore appears to be a succession of 
bays and peninsulas." 

The present more felicitous name was coined about six weeks later 
by Governor Alexander Ramsey, when, near the end of May, he made 
a journey to this lake in a company of several prominent citizens from St. 
Anthony and St. Paul. An article by Goodhue in his newspaper, the 
Minnesota Pioneer, for July 1, says : "The lake was named- by Governor 
Ramsey, Minnetonka, or *Big Water,' who expressed great admiration 
of the beauties of the country surrounding." 

Minne (also spelled mini) is the common Sioux word for water, and 
tonka (also spelled tanka) is likewise their common word meaning big or 
great ; but the name thus compounded seems not to have been used by the 
Sioux till Ramsey coined it for the lake. So far as we have records, in- 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 22S 

deed, the Sioux or Dakota people appear to have had no term for this 
large and many- featured body of water. 

MiNNETONKA Beach IS a railway village of summer hotels and homes, 
on the north side of the lake, between Crystal and Lafayette bays, in 
Orono. 

MiNNETsisTA^ Settled in 1854, organized in the spring of 1859, was at 
first named German Home by the county commissioners, but was changed 
to the present name by vote of the settlers at the date of organization. 
"Several names were proposed and rejected. The name of Minnetrista 
was finally proposed and accepted, Minne (meaning waters) and trista 
(meaning crooked) ; and from the fact that the town contained so many 
crooked lakes, this name was considered a$ the most appropriate." (His- 
tory, 1881, page 260.) ' * 

To be more definite, this name seems to have been chosen primarily in 
allusion to the very irregular and curiously zigzag outline of Whale 
Tail lake, which thus not only suggested its own name, but also this 
name for the township. Another lake of curious crookedness, in sections 
5 and 6, is called Ox Yoke lake, from its shape. Minnetrista is partly of 
Dakota derivation, in its first half; but trista is not found in either the 
Dakota or Ojibway languages. It is another example of words coined 
by white men, as if used by Indians. The letter r, occurring in trista, is 
not employed by Riggs or Baraga in their dictionaries of these aboriginal 
languages; nor are their words meaning crooked similar in sound with 
trista, which we may therefore think to be of Yankee invention, to signify 
twisted or twister. 

Mound, a railway village of summer homes, with other homes of per- 
manent residents, in Minnetrista, on and near the northwestern shore of 
Lake Minnetonka, is named for its aboriginal mounds. Three groups of 
these mounds within the area of the village, mapped by Winchell, have 
respectively four, eighteen, and nine mounds ; and at the distance of about 
a mile westward is a remarkable series of sixty-nine mounds, on the 
north side of Halsted's bay. (Aborigines of Minnesota, 1911, pages 224-6, 
with maps of these mound groups.) 

Around all the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and on some of its islands, 
are many mounds, mostly in groups. The aggregate number of these 
mounds mapped and described by Winchell, in the work cited (pages 224- 
242, with 36 maps or plats), is 495, in more than thirty groups, which 
range in their separate numbers from two or three up to 98 mounds. 

Okono township was organized in 1889, having previously been the 
south half of Medina. The name, adopted from the township and village 
of the same name in Maine, was suggested by citizens who had come to 
Minnesota from that state. Several years before this township was organ- 
ized and named, George A. Brackett, of Minneapolis, purchased for his 
summer home a point on this part of the lake shore, before called Star- 
vation point, which he then renamed as Orono point. In an address by 
Hon. Israel Washburn, Jr., at the centennial celebration of Orono, Maine, 



226 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

on March 3, 1874, this name is stated to have been borne by a prominent 
chief of the Penobscot Indians, who was bom in 1688 and. died February 
5, 18Q1, aged 113 years. Washburn wrote: "Orono was always inclined 
to peace and good neighborhood . . . What the grand and sonorous 
name he bore signified, or whence it was derived, I have never heard," 

OssEO^ a village in Brookl}^ and Maple Grove townships, platted in 
1856, occupies a part of Bottineau prairie, where Pierre Bottineau, the 
noted half-breed guide, took his land claim in 1852. The village "remained 
under the township governments . . . until the spring of 1875, when it 
was incorporated by act of Legislature." The source of the name is 
"The Song of Hiawatha," by Longfellow, published in 1855, which pre- 
sents the story of Osseo, "son of the Evening Star," told by lagoo at the 
wedding of Hiawatha and Minnehaha. This name, received likewise 
from Longfellow, is borne also by villages in Michigan and Wisconsin. 

Plymouth^ first settled in October, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, took 
the name of its village previously platted* on Parker's lake, in 1856; but 
the village was only of short duration, in contrast with the township 
name, which, however, some of the settlers at first wished to change to 
Medicine Lake. Like all the many Plymouths of the United States, it 
commemorates the city of Plymouth at the mouth of the River Plym in 
Devonshire, England, whence the Pilgrims in the Mayflower sailed in 
1620 to the site of Plymouth, Mass., landing there on a boulder of world 
renown, called Plymouth Rock. 

Richfield, settled in 1849-52, organized May 11, 1858, was then so named 
by vote of the people, in preference to Richland, its previous name. 
Twelve other states have Richfield townships, villages, or cities. 

RoBBiNSDALE, a Suburban village adjoining Minneapolis on the north- 
west, was named for Andirew B. Robbins, who purchased lands there in 
1887 and platted the village, which a few years later was incorporated. 

Rogers, the railway village of Hassan, was named by officers of the 
Great Northern railway company. 

St. Anthony, incorporated as a city March 3, 1855, and its outlying 
area which was organized as a township May 11, 1858, received the name 
of the adjacent falls of the Mississippi, which Hennepin in 1680, as he 
wrote, "called the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua, in gratitude for the 
favors done me by the Almighty through the intercession of that great 
saint, whom we had chosen patron and protector of all our enterprises." 
St Anthony was born in Lisbon in 1195, became a Franciscan friar at the 
age of twenty-three years, and spent his last five years in a convent at 
Padua, Italy, where he died in 1231. 

St. Anthony Falls was platted as a village in 1849, and was included 
in Ramsey county until March 4, 1856. Another plat, in 1848-9, named 
St Anthony City, comprised the site of the State University and adjoin- 
ing area southeastward, which later was popularly called "Cheevertown," 
in honor of William A. Cheever, a pioneer who settled there in 1847, 
builder of an observatory tower. 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 227 

An act of the Legislature, "consolidating the cities of St. Anthony 
and Minneapolis, and incorporating the same into one city by the name 
of Minneapolis/' was approved February 28, 1872. 

St. BoNiFAcrus, a railway village in Minnetrista, was named from its 
Catholic church, consecrated to St. Boniface, the Apostle of the Germans. 
He was born in Devonshire, England, about 680, the son of a West 
Saxon chieftain; was ordained to the priesthood in 710; went as a mis- 
sionary to Bavaria in 720, and became archbishop of Mentz ; resigned that 
position as primate of Germany at the age of seventy-four years, resumed 
his missionary work, and in the next year suffered "martyrdom at the 
hands of the pagans of Utrecht." The name Bonifacius is Latin, mean- 
ing "of good fate or fortune." 

St. Louis Park, a suburban village adjoining the west side of Minne- 
apolis, was formerly included in Minneapolis township. It was incor- 
porated October 4, 1886, being named in allusion to the Minneapolis and 
St. Louis railway. 

Tonka Bay, a summer village having a large hotel, north and west 
of Gideon bay, in Excelsior, bears a name abbreviated from Minnetonka. 

Wayzata, a village in sections 5 and 6, Minnetonka, l3ring on the north 
side of Wayzata bay, was platted in 1854, and was incorporated in 1884. 
This name was formed by slight change from Waziyata, a Dakota (Sioux) 
word, meaning "at the pines, the north." Wazi is defined as "a pine, 
pines"; and Waziya, "the northern god, or god of the north; a fabled 
giant who lives at the north and blows cold out of his mouth. He draws 
near in winter and recedes in summer." The suffix ta, denotes "at, to, 
on." (Riggs, Dictionary of the Dakota Language, 1852, pages 192, 239.) 
The name Wayzata, originated by white men, refers to the location, at 
the north side of the east end of Lake Minnetonka; not to pine trees, 
which are found nearest, in very scanty numbers, on the Mississippi 
bluffs at Dayton, and on Bassett's and Minnehaha creeks in Minneapolis. 

Fort Snelling^ at first named Fort St. Anthony. 

The naming of Fort Snelling was preceded by three or four other 
names. First, when the troops came in August and September, 1819, 
with Colonel Leavenworth, for construction of the fort, they spent the 
fall and winter, as also two succeeding winters, in a cantonment or 
barracks of log-houses, on the southeastern or Dakota county side of the 
Minnesota river, about a third of a mile southeast from the site of the 
fort. St. Peter's Cantonment took the French and English name of the 
river. It was also called New Hope, noting cheer and trust for the 
future of this outpost in the wilderness, far from civilized settlements. 

At the time of high water of the river in the spring, they were com- 
pelled to remove to another camping place, which was selected on the 
upland prairie, about a mile northwest from the fort site. Copious 
springs of clear and cool water issue on the face of the river bluff below 



228 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

that second camp ground, which was mostly of tents, named Camp 
Cold Water. 

After three years of alternation in cabin and tent life .at New Hope 
and Camp Cold Water, the troops moved into their barracks within the 
indosure of the fort, in the late autumn of 1822. Its comer stone had 
been laid September 10, 1820, soon after Colonel Snelling succeeded 
Leavenworth in the command; and its construction was well completed 
in 1824, when General Winfield Scott visited it in May or early June, 
on a tour of inspection of western army posts. Up to that time and till 
the beginning of 1825, it was called Fort St Anthony, in allusion to the 
neighboring St Anthony falls. 

In the report of the tour of review and inspection, dated at West 
Point, November, 1824, General Scott wrote in part as follows, concern- 
ing Fort St Anthony: "I wish to suggest to the general-in-chief, and 
through him to the War Department, the propriety of calling this work 
Fort Snelling, as a just compliment to the meritorious officer under whom 
it has been erected. The present name is foreign to all our associations, 
and is, besides, geographically incorrect, as the work stands at the junc- 
tion of the Mississippi and Saint Peter's rivers, eight miles below the 
great falls of the Mississippi, called after Saint Anthony. Some few 
years since the Secretary of War directed that the work at the Council 
Bluffs should be called Fort Atkinson in compliment to the valuable 
services of General Atkinson on the upper Missouri. The above propo- 
sition is made on the same principle." 

In accordance with this recommendation, "it was directed in War 
Department General Orders No. « 1, dated January 7, 1825, that the mili- 
tary post on the Mississippi at the mouth of the Saint Peter's, theretofore 
called Fort Saint Anthony, be thereafter designated and known as Fort 
Snelling." (Letter of Gen. Henry P. McCain, U. S. Adjutant General, 
Sept 24, 1915.) 

Josiah Snelling was born in Boston, Mass., 1782; and died in Wash- 
ington, D. C, August 20, 1828. He was commissioned first lieutenant in 
the Fourth Infantry, U. S. Army, 1808; served in the War of 1812; was 
promoted to be colonel of the Fifth Infantry, 1819; took command of 
Fort St Anthony in 1820, and in the next three years erected its perma- 
nent buildings. In 1827 his regiment was removed to St Louis. (Much 
history of the officers and their families at Fort St. Anthony, especially for 
Col. and Mrs. Snelling, is given in a paper contributed by the present 
writer to the Magazine of History, vol. XXI, pages 25-39, July, 1915.) 

Lakes and Streams. 

The first chapter has given attention to the origins of the names of the 
Mississippi, Minnesota, and Crow rivers, which together form two-thirds 
of the boundary inclosing this county. 

Islands of the Mississippi in the area of Minneapolis, in their descend- 
ing order, include Boom island, where log booms formerly retained the 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 229 

lumbermen's logs until they were gradually supplied to the sawmills; 
Nicollet island, a residential portion of the city, named, like an avenue, 
in honor of the French explorer and geographer, Joseph Nicolas Nicollet ; 
Hennepin island, named also like an avenue and like this county; Catar- 
act island and Carver's island, just below the falls, the latter being named 
for Captain Jonathan Carver, who visited the falls in 1766; Spirit island, 
close below the preceding, formerly a high remnant of the rock strata, 
held in awe by the Indians ; and Meeker island, an alluvial tract between 
the Franklin Avenue bridge and the Milwaukee Railway bridge, which 
was owned by Judge Bradley B. Meeker, for whom also a county is 
named 

In the preceding list of townships, sufficient mention has been made 
for Crystal lake and Lake Independence, Long lake in Orono, Lake Min- 
netonka. Whale Tail and Ox Yoke lakes, the Falls of St. Anthony, and 
Wayzata bay. 

The earliest detailed map of any part of this state was drafted during 
the building of the fort, in 1823, entitled "A Topographical View of the 
Site of Fort St. Anthony," as described in the historical paper before 
cited. Lakes Harriet and Calhoun and the Lake of the Isles, in the 
series at the west side of Minneapolis, are there mapped and named, with 
numerous others of the lakes, rivers and creeks, in the contiguous parts 
of Hennepin, Ramsey, and Dakota counties. The region east of the Mis- 
sissippi river was designated as Michigan, and that on the west as Mis- 
souri. 

Lake Harriet was named for the wife of Colonel Leavenworth. Her 
maiden name was Harriet Love joy, her home being in Blenheim, Scho- 
harie county, N. Y. She was born in 1791 ; was married to Leavenworth 
in the winter of 1813-14; and died at Barrytown, N. Y., September 7, 
1854. She came here with her husband and the first troops, August 24, 
1819, and was here about one year. Leavenworth received the brevet 
rank of brigadier general in 1824, and died at the age of fifty-one, July 
21, 1834, in an expedition against the Pawnees and Comanches. Fort 
Leavenworth, in Kansas, and a city and county there, were named in his 
honor. 

Lake Calhoun commemorates John Caldwell Calhoun (b. 1782, d. 
1850), the eminent statesman of South Carolina, who was Secretary of 
War from 1817 to 1825. He was vice president of the United States, 
1825-32; was U. S. senator, 1833-43; and was Secretary of State under 
President Tyler, 1844-5, when he was again elected to the Senate, of 
which he remained a member until his death. The Dakota or Sioux name 
of this lake is given as "Mde Medoza, Lake of the Loons," by Major T. 
M. Newson in his "Indian Legends of Minnesota Lakes" (No. 1, 1881, 
page 18). 

The Lake of the Isles was named for its islands (now two, but form- 
erly fot^r, as mapped in Andreas' Atlas, 1874) ; and Cedar lake, for the 
red cedar trees of its shores. 



230 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Minnehaha Falls received the name of Brown's Falls on the Fort map 
of 1823, in honor of Jacob Brown, major general and commander in chief 
of the army from 1814 until his death, February 24, 1828 ; but Minnehaha 
creek on that map, quite erroneous in its course, bears no name. A jour- 
ney up this creek to Lake Minnetonka, which was made, as before men- 
tioned, by Joseph R, Brown and William J. Snelling in May, 1822, when 
they were each only seventeen years old, could scarcely have caused the 
name of that Isubsequently prominent citizen of Minnesota to be so applied 
on a map drafted by an army officer. 

The name Minnehaha is cited by Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," 
published in 1855, as used by Mrs. Mary H. Eastman in the introduction 
of her book, "Dakotah, or Life and Legends of the Sioux around Fort 
Snelling," published in 1849. She there wrote : "The scenery about Fort 
Snelling is rich in beauty. The Falls of St. Anthony are familiar to 
travelers, and to readers of Indian sketches. Between the fort and these 
falls are the 'Little Falls,' 40 feet in height, on a stream that empties into 
the Mississippi. The Indians call them Mine-hah-hah, or laughing 
waters.' " 

The common Sioux word for waterfall is "haha," which they applied 
to the falls of St. Anthony, to Minnehaha, and in general to any water- 
fall or cascade. To join the words "minne," water, and "haha," a fall, 
seems to be a suggestion of white men, which thereafter came into use 
among the Indians. 

The late Samuel W. Pond, Jr., in his admirable book, "Two Volunteer 
Missionaries," narrating the lives and work of his father and uncle, 
Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond, wrote: "The Indian name, 'Little 
Waterfall,' is given ... in speaking of the falls now called by white 
people 'Minnehaha.' The Indians never knew it by the latter name, be- 
stowed upon it by the whites." 

Somewhat nearly this name, however, was used in 1835 by Charles 
J. Latrobe, in his book, "The Rambler in North America," telling of his 
travels in 1832-3, in which he wrote as follows, applying it, with parts of 
the name transposed, to the larger falls of the Mississippi: "But the 
Falls of St. Anthony! ... the Hahamina! 'the Laughing Water,' 
as the Indian language, rich in the poetry of nature, styles this remote 
cataract." 

.Another early book of travel using the same form of the name, under 
a different spelling, is "A Summer in the Wilderness ; embracing a Canoe 
Voyage up the Mississippi and around Lake Superior," by Charles Lan- 
man, 1847 (208 pages). He described the present Minneh?iha creek as 
"a small river, without a name, the parent of a most beautiful waterfall." 
Of the Falls of St. Anthony he wrote : "Their original name, in the Sioux 
language, was Owah-Menah, meaning falling water." The same spelling 
and translation had been given in Schoolcraft's Narrative, 1820. 

Soon this Sioux or Dakota name took its present form, an improve- 
ment devised by white people, probably first published in Mrs. Eastman's 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 231 

book, in 1849, previously quoted. It was more elaborately presented by 
Rev. John A. Merrrick, in a paper describing the Falls of St Anthony, 
contributed to the Minnesota Year Book for 1852, published by William 
G. LeDuc. Merrick wrote: "By the Dahcota or Sioux Indians they are 
called Minne-ha-hah or Minne-ra-ra (Laughing water), and also Minne- 
owah (Falling water), general expressions, applied to all waterfalls; but 
Par eminence Minne-ha-hah Tonk-ah (the great laughing water). By the 
Ojibways they are termed Kakah-Bikah (the broken rocks)." 

The noble American epic of Longfellow, in which he pictured Hiawa- 
tha, "skilled in all the crafts of hunters," and 
. . . "the Arrow-maker's daughter, 
Minnehaha, Laughing Water, 
Handsomest of all the Women," 
so well appealed to the imagination of both the United States and Great 
Britain, indeed of all where English is spoken, that soon after its publi- 
cation, in 1855, this name became known around the world, the most wide- 
ly honored and loved name in Minnesota history and legends. 

The names of other streams and lakes in this county are noted in 
their order from south to north and from east to west, this being the 
numerical order of the townships and ranges in the government surveys. 

Rice lake, through which Minnehaha creek flows, was named for its 
wild rice, formerly gathered for food by the Indians. 

Lake Nokomis was called Lake Amelia by the Fort map in 1823, 
probably for the wife or daughter of Captain George Gooding, who came 
with the first troops in 1819. The name was changed to Nokomis by 
the Park Commissioners of Minneapolis in 1910, for the grandmother of 
Hiawatha. 

Next to the south and southwest are Mother lake (lately drained). 
Diamond, Pearl, Mud, and Wood lakes. 

Nine Mile credc received its name from its distance southwest from 
Fort Snelling. 

Long lake (now mostly drained). Grass lake (on a recent map named 
Terrell lake), and Rice lake (having wild rice), are on the bottomland of 
the Minnesota river in Bloomington and Eden Prairie. 

On the upland in these townships are another Long lake (also named 
Bryant's lake), Anderson, Bush, Hyland, Neill, Staring, Red Rock, and 
Moran lakes. Lake Riley, Mitchell, Round, and Duck lakes, mostly named 
for farmers adjoining them. 

Minnetonka township has Shady Oak lake, in section 26, and Glen 
lake in section 34. 

In Excelsior are Galpin's lake, Christmas lake, and Silver lake, the 
first named for Rev. Charles Galpin, the first pastor there, and the second 
for Charles W. Christmas, of Minneapolis, the first county surveyor. 

Minnetrista, named for its two remarkably crooked lakes, has also 
Dutch lake, adjoining a German settlement; Lake Langdon, which com- 



232 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

memorates R. V. Langdon, the first township clerk; and Long lake, in 
sections 9, 15, and 16. 

Minneapolis, in addition to its western series of lakes before noted, 
has Sandy lake, northeast of the Mississippi; Powderhom lake, named 
for its original shape, now changed as the center of a park; and Loring 
Park lake, named in honor of Charles M. Loring, who was prominent 
during more than thirty years in the development of the Minneapolis 
system of parks and public grounds. Glenwood park, on the west border 
of this city, includes Glenwood and Brownie lakes. 

Bassett creek, flowing through the village area of Golden Valley and 
the city of Minneapolis, was named for Joel Bean Bassett, an early settler 
and lumberman, who was born in Wolf borough, N. H., March 17, 1817, 
and died in Los Angeles, Gal., Feb. 1, 1912. He came to Minnesota in 
1849, settling in St Paul, but soon pre-empted a tract adjoining the Mis- 
sissippi in Minneapolis, near the mouth of this creek; removed there in 
1852, and afterward engaged in lumbering and flour milling ; was a mem- 
ber of the Territorial Council, 1857; was Indian agent for Minnesota 
1865-^. 

The village area of Golden Valley has Virginia lake, Sweeney lake, 
and Twin lake. 

Again Twin lakes are found three to four miles farther north, in the 
area of Crystal village, which was named, as before noted, for its Crystal 
lake. 

Shingle creek, which crosses Brooklyn township and the Brooklyn 
Center village, joining the Mississippi in the north edge of Minneapolis, 
had near its mouth the first shingle mill in this county, built in 185Z 
It flows through Palmer lake, named for a pioneer. 

Plymouth has Bass lake, Pomerleau, Smith, and Turtle lakes, in its 
northern half. The much larger Medicine lake, in its southeastern part, 
was named by the Indians after one of their number was drowned there 
by the capsizing of his canoe in a sudden storm. This name, in their use, 
means mysterious, and was given to the lake because they could not find 
his body. Parker's lake, and Gleason and Kraetz lakes, in the southwest 
part of Plymouth, were named for adjoining settlers, the first being for 
six Parker brothers who came from Maine, in 1855 and later, opening 
farms around this lake. 

Medina township has Medina lake in section 2; Lake Peter in sections 
4 and 5 ; School lake in the school section 16 ; Seig and Half Moon lakes, 
in sections 17 and 18; Hausmann lake, in section 24; Wolsfeld lake, in 
sections 22 and Z?\ and Lake Katrina, in sections 19, 20, 29, and 30. 

Orono has Lydiard lake, close east of Long lake; Gassen lake, a 
mile and a half west of Long Lake village ; and French and Forest lakes, 
adjoining the bays and arms of Lake Minnetonka. 

Independence has Mud lake, Haughey, and Fox lakes; and Pioneer 
creek, the outlet of Lake Independence, flows south westward across this 
township. 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 233 

Elm creek flows through Rice lake, at the center of Maple Grove town- 
ship, and Hayden's lake, in the southeast corner of Dayton. Midway 
between these lakes, Rush creek is tributary to it from the west 

Maple Grove also has Mud lake, in section 2 ; Weaver lake, in sections 
17 to 20; and Fish lake, Cedar Island, and Eagle lakes, the last being the 
largest in the township. 

Corcoran has only very small lakes, the largest (which alone is named 
on maps) being Jubert's lake, in sections 29 and Z2. 

Lake Sarah, the largest in Greenwood, outflowing to the Crow river 
by Edgar creek, was named in 1855 for the wife or sweetheart of a pio- 
neer; and in the same year Lake Rebecca received its name in honor of 
Mrs. Samuel Allen. Sections 23 and 24 of this township had a series of 
small lakes, recently drained, which were named Hafften, Schendel, 
Schauer, and Schnappauf lakes, for German farmers. 

Besides Hayden's lake, before mentioned, Dayton has French lake, 
named for a settlement of French families there, who came in 1853 ; Grass, 
Diamond, and Lura lakes, next northward; Goose lake, at the southeast 
comer of this township ; and Powers lake, in section 34. 

Hassan has Lake Harry, Sylvan lake, and Cowley lake. The last is 
also known as Parslow's lake, in honor of Septimus Parslow, who in 1856 
was appointed the first postmaster of Hassan, and held the oflice twenty- 
five years or more. 

Bays, Points, and Islands of Lake Minnetonka. 

The origin of the name of this lake, and also the story of its early 
white explorers, have been told for Minnetonka township. Shortly after 
its exploration and naming in 1852, it was visited on August 11 of that 
summer by a prominent author, Mrs. Elizabeth Fries Ellet, of New York 
City, who gave to Minnesota and Minnetonka nearly twenty pages in 
her "Summer Rambles in the West." Besides her notes of the journey to 
this lake, she named Eden Prairie, which gave its title to a township. 

Her name for the first water sheet at the east end of Minnetonka, 
now named Gray's lake or bay, was Lake Browning, for the poet, Eliza- 
beth Barrett Browning. The next part, wider and larger, which was soon 
afterward named Wayzata bay, as before noted, Mrs. Ellet called Lake 
Bryant, for our American poet, from whom she "read aloud a few lines 
. . . appropriate to the scene." 

Between her Lake Bryant and the third large sheet of water, "an ex- 
tremely narrow . . . headland half a mile in length, running out from 
the southern shore," since named Breezy point, was by her named Point 
Wakon, "the Dakota term for anything spiritual or supernatural." There 
an oval stone, a waterworn boulder about a foot in diameter, had been 
found, which the Dakotas had "painted red, and covered with small yel- 
low spots, some of them faded to a brown color," around which stone the 
Dakota or Sioux braves were accustomed, after raids against the O jib- 
ways, to celebrate their scalp dance. 



234 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Cedar point projects into Wajrzata bay from the south, named for its 
red cedar trees. 

Proceeding westward along the south side of the lake, we pass Robin- 
son's bay, with Sunset point southwest of it ; Carson's bay at Deephaven ; 
and St Alban's bay and Gideon's bay, respectively east and west of Ex- 
celsior. 

Hotel Keewaydin, a name from Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," 
meaning "the Northwest wind, the Home wind," war at Cottagewood, 
close west of Carson's bay. Keewaydin is the same name as the differ- 
ently spelled Keewatin, a former large province of northwestern Canada, 
lying west of Hudson bay. 

Gluek's point and Solberg's point are passed southwestward, before 
coming to Excelsior. 

A summer village that failed to grow, called St Albans, was platted in 
1856 on the north shore of the bay which thence took its name. 

Gideon's bay (also called Tonka bay) commemorates Peter M. Gideon, 
the horticulturist, who there originated' the renowned Wealthy apple, 
named by him in honor of his wife. He was born in Champaign county, 
Ohio, February 9, 1820; came to Minnesota in 1853, settling beside this 
bay, where later he was superintendent of the State Fruit Farm. A small 
memorial park and a tablet in his honor, at Manitou Junction, about a 
mile west of Excelsior, were dedicated June 16, 1912. 

Hull's Narrows, joining the lower and upper parts of Minnetonka, 
received this name for Rev. Stephen Hull, who settled on a farm there in 
February, 1853. Originally a short creek, it was widened and deepened 
as a canal, and was opened to steamboat navigation in 1873. 

On the south side of the upper lake are Lock's point, Howard's point, 
and a less noteworthy projection of the shore at Zumbra Heights, west of 
Smithtown bay. 

Hard Scrabble point on the west, and Cedar point on the east, divide 
this upper lake from Cook's and Priest's bays, at the west end of Minne- 
tonka. 

Yet farther west, connected by a strait with Priest's bay, is Halsted's 
bay, named for Frank William Halsted, who was born in Newark, N. J., 
in 1833, and died here in June, 1876. He came to Minnesota in 1855; 
served in the U. S. navy during the civil war; resided in a picturesque 
house near the shore of this bay, called the Hermitage. His older 
brother, George Blight Halsted, was born in Elizabethtown, N. J., March 
17, 1820; and died here September 6, 1901. He was graduated at Princeton 
college; studied law; served in the navy, and later in the army, through 
the civil war; came to this state in 1876, and afterward resided in the 
home where his brother had lived. 

Phelps island (originally a peninsula) lies east of Cook's bay, and 
is indented on its southeast side by Phelps bay. These names were given 
in honor of Edmund Joseph Phelps, of Minneapolis, who was bom near 
Brecksville, Ohio, January 17, 1845. He came to Minnesota in 1878, set- 



HENNEPIN COUNTY 235 

tling in Minneapolis; organized, with others, the Minneapolis Loan and 
Trust Company in 1883, of which he was secretary and treasurer. 

Pelican point and Casco point are respectively west and east of Spring 
Park bay, on the north side of the upper lake. 

Carman's bay, named for a farmer, John Carman, who settled here in 
September, 1853, and Lafayette bay, named from the Hotel Lafayette, 
arc respectively west and east of the Narrows, on the north side. 

Huntington point and Starvation or Orono point jut into the lower 
lake from the north, respectively west and east of Smith's bay. 

Branching off from Smith's bay westward is Crystal bay, and con- 
nected with the latter are Maxwell and Stubbs bays, the Nortii Arm, and 
the West Arm and Harrison's bay. 

East of Orono point is Brown's bay, and next east are Lookout point 
and an upland with fine residences, named Ferndale, which, with the 
opposite Breezy point, before noted, are at the entrance of Wayzata bay. 

So we have traversed the entire shore line, with its multitude of in- 
denting bays and projecting points, of this exceedingly attractive lake, 
of which I wrote in 1917 that it "may well be called the Kohinoor of Min- 
nesota's ten thousand lakes." For the archaeologist and historian, this 
lake has great interest in its many groups of aboriginal mounds, before 
noticed in connection with the village named Mound. For the naturalist, 
in addition to its beautiful scenery, it has treasures of the native flora 
and fauna, notably its abundant species of trees and shrubs' and its many 
kinds of fishes and birds. Two points, one near the east end of the lake 
and another near the west end, are named for their red cedars; and 
islands in the upper part of the lake received names from their formerly 
plentiful cranes and more rare nests of the bald eagle. 

The islands of Minnetonka include Big island in the lower lake, which 
at first was known as Meeker's island, for Judge Bradley B. Meeker, of 
Minneapolis, who visited this lake with Governor Ramsey and others in 
1852; Gale island, near the southwest shore of Big island, named for 
Harlow A. Gale (b. 1832, d. 1901), of Minneapolis, whose summer home 
was there; and, in the upper lake, Wild Goose island. Spray island, 
Shady, Enchanted, Wawatasso, Eagle, and Crane islands. The longest 
of these names may be akin with one in Longfellow's "Song of Hia- 
watha," 

"Wah-wah-taysee, little firefly." 

"Picturesque Lake Minnetonka," published in yearly editions by S. £. 
Ellis (1906, 102 pages), referred the name of Enchanted island to its 
being long ago a favorite place of Dakota or Sioux medicine dances, 
■with wierd incantations ; and related that Wawatasso was a young Dako- 
ta brave who rescued the daughter of a white pioneer trapper from drown- 
ing. Other Dakota legends about Minnetonka have been written in prose 
by Thomas M. Newson, in 1881, and in poetry by Hanford L. Gordon ("In- 
dian Legends and Other Poems," 1910, 406 pages). Like Hiawatha and 
Minnehaha, and like the geographic names in this county that are partly 



236 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of Dakota derivation, these writings present more white than red ways 
of thought and imagery. 

The Fort Snelling Military Reservation in 1839. 

A map of "Fort Snelling and Vicinity," surveyed and drafted by Lieut 
£. K. Smith in October, 1837, comprises the near vicinity of the fort, 
Camp Cold Water, and the post of the American Fur Company, on the 
site of Mendota, having probably been made mainly to show the cabins 
and fields of settlers permitted to locate on the Military Reservation. 

Two years later a more extended survey and map, for the U. S. War 
Department, by Lieut James L. Thompson, showed the boundaries estab- 
lished or adopted for the Military Reservation, "done at Fort Snelling, 
October and November, 1839, by order of Major Plympton." 

This mai^, on the scale of two inches to a mile, is limited to the 
Reservation area, reaching west to the Lake of the Woods (now called 
Wood lake), the series of Harriet, Calhoun, and the Lake of the Isles, 
and northwest to the lower part of Nine Mile creek (now Bassett's 
creek). On the east the Reservation was bounded by the middle of the 
channel of the Mississippi to the island next below the present Meeker 
island. From the upper end of that island, the boundary on the north side 
of the part of the Reservation east and north of the Mississippi extended 
due east five miles, to a point near the present intersection of St Peter 
and Tenth streets in the city of St. Paul. Next it extended due south 
two miles and ten chains, crossing the Mississippi very close west of the 
upper end of Harriet island, to a point near the present corner of Annapo- 
lis street and Manomin avenue in West St Paul. Thence the south- 
eastern boundary of the Reservation ran eight miles and 42 chains south- 
westward, nearly in parallelism with the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers 
and about a mile distant from them. Finally the most southern line of 
this area ran due west one mile and 75 chains, to the Minnesota river at 
the place of beginning, about six miles distant from the fort. 

Reserve township of Ramsey county, now included in the city of St 
Paul, had its north boundary very near the north line of the Reservation, 
whence the township was named. 

The history of the opening for settlement of the greater parts of the 
Reservation, in 1852-55, including the southwestern areas of St Paul and 
Ramsey county, and the area of Minneapolis west of the river, has 
been related by Dr. Folwell in a paper, "The Sale of Fort Snelling, 1857/' 
in the M. H. S. Collections (vol. XV, 1915, pp. 393-410). 

On the Reservation map of 1839, "Land's End" is a part of the bluff 
on the northwest side of the Minnesota river, nearly two miles south- 
west from the fort, where the bluff is intersected by a tributary ravine; 
Minnehaha falls and creek were called Brown's falls and Brown's creek; 
an "Indian Village" adjoined the southeast shore of Lake (Calhoun; and 
the "Mission." with three cultivated fields, comprising probably 30 acres, 
was on the northwest side of Lake Harriet 



HOUSTON COUNTY 

Established February 23, 1854, this county was named in honor of 
Samuel Houston, who was president of Texas before its annexation 
to the United States and afterward was a senator from that state. He 
was born near Lexington, Virginia, March 2, 1793; and died in Hunts- 
ville, Texas, July 26, 1863. In his youth he lived several years with the 
Cherokee Indians, near his home in eastern Tennessee; later he served 
in the Creek war, 1813-14, winning the admiration of Gen. Andrew Jack- 
son by his bravery in a battle, after being severely wounded ; studied law, 
and was admitted to practice, 1818-19; was a member of Congress from 
Tennessee, 1823-7; and was governor of that state, 1827-9. 

On account of an uncongenial marriage, he resigned the governorship, 
retired to savage life in the Arkansas Territory, whither the Cherokees 
had been removed, and again lived with them, becoming an Indian trader. 
In December, 1832, he went to Texas under a commission from President 
Jackson, looking toward its purchase for the United States. In 1835 
he was elected commander-in-chief of the Texans, and in the battle of 
San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, he defeated the Mexicans and captured their 
general, Santa Anna, ending the war. 

Houston was president of the Texas republic, 1836-8 and 1841-4. 
Texas was annexed to the United States in 1845, being admitted as a 
state, and Houston was elected one of its senators, which position he held 
by re-elections for thirteen years, until 1859. Later he was governor of 
Texas, 1859-61, being an opponent of secession. 

In the years 1854-6, when antagonism between the North and South 
on slavery questions gave presages of the civil war, Houston aspired to 
nomination as the Democratic candidate for the national presidency; and 
in October, 1854, the general Democratic committee of New Hampshire 
earnestly recommended him to be "the people's candidate" for the cam- 
paign in 1856. His popularity ih Minnesota at that time is attested by 
the name of this county ; and he is likewise commemorated by counties in 
Tennessee and T^as, and by names of cities and villages in Texas, Mis- 
sissippi, Missouri, and other states. 

Several biographies of Sam Houston, as he always styled himself, 
have been published from 1846 to 1900. 

Marble statues of him and Stephen F. Austin, sculptured by Elisabet 
Ney, of Texas, and erected as the gift of that state in Statuary Hall of 
the national capitol, were accepted February 25, 1905, with memorial 
addresses by members of Congress representing Texas, Tennessee, Mis- 
souri, and Arkansas. 

237 



238 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for the origins of geographic names in this county has 
been gathered from the "History of Houston County," 1882, 526 pages; 
and from Charles A. Dorival, judge of probate, interviewed during a 
visit at Caledonia, the county seat, in April, 1916. 

Black Hammer township, first settled in 1852, organized in April, 
1859, received this name, meaning Black Bluff, from an exclamation of 
Knud Olson Bergo, an early Norwegian settler in the adjoining township 
of Spring Grove, on seeing a prairie bluff here blackened by a fire. It 
was the name of a bluff at his birthplace in Norway. Hammer, as a 
Norwegian word, has the same spelling and meaning as in English. 
Doubtless the name was suggested, both in Norway and here, by the 
shape of the bluff or hill. 

Brownsville, first settled in November, 1848, organized ' May 11, 1858, 
was named for its steamboat landing and village, platted in 1854, by 
Job and Charles Brown, brothers, who came to Minnesota in 1848 from 
the state of New York. Biographic notes of both are in the M. H. S. 
Collections, volume XIV. , 

Caledonia, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, took the name of 
its village, which was platted and named in 1854-5 by Samuel McPhail, 
who had served in the Mexican war and later was colonel of the First 
Minnesota mounted rangers in the Sioux war, 1862-3. This was the 
ancient Roman name of Scotland north of the firths of Clyde and Forth, 
and in modern use it is the poetic name of Scotland. Caledonia village 
was incorporated by a legislative act, Feb. 25, 1870. 

Crooked Creek township, settled in 1852-3, organized May 11, 1858, 
was named for the creek which flows through it in an exceptionally 
crooked course, entering a western channel of the Mississippi at Reno. 
Its valley is the route of the railway from Reno nearly to Caledonia. 

EiTZEN, a village in section 32, Winnebago, was named for a place in 
Germany whence some of the early settlers came. 

Freeburg, a railway village in section 30, Crooked Creek township, 
was named by German settlers, for the city of Freiburg in the Black 
Forest region of Germany. 

HoKAH township, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, bears the 
Dakota or Sioux name of the Root river, which is its English translation. 
Hutkan is the spelling of the word by Riggs and Williamson in their Da- 
kota dictionaries, 1852 and 1902; but it is spelled Hokah on the map by 
Nicollet, published in 1843, and on the map of Minnesota Territory in 
1850. A part of the site of the village, which was platted in March, 1855, 
had been earlier occupied by the village of a Dakota chief named Hokah. 
This railway village was incorporated March 2, 1871. 

Houston township, settled in 1852 and organized in 1858, was named, 
like the county, for General Sam Houston, of Texas. The village was 
incorporated April 7, 1874. 



^ 



HOUSTON COUNTY 239 

Jbpferson township, organized in 1858, received its name, on the sug- 
gestion of Eber D. Eaton, of Winnebago township, for Jefferson county, 
New York, whence he came to Minnesota. Jefferson village, on the west 
channel of the Mississippi, was at first called Ross's Landing for John 
and Samuel Ross, brothers, who came here as the first settlers in 1847. 

La Crescent township, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, was 
named, like its village, platted in June, 1856, in allusion to the town of 
La Crosse, Wisconsin, which had been previously founded on the oppo- 
site side of the Mississippi. That French name, meaning the bat used 
in playing ball and thence applied to the ball game often played by the 
Indians, had been given to La Crosse prairie before the settlement of the 
town, because the ground was a favorite place for their meeting to play 
this game. The origin and meaning of the Wisconsin name, however, 
were disregarded, if known, by the founders of La Crescent, who con- 
fused it with La Croix, the Cross. "Recalling the ancient contests of 
the Crusaders against the Saracens and Turks in their efforts to recap- 
ture the Holy Sepulchre, where the Cross and the Crescent were raised 
aloft in deadly strife, and being mindful of the fate that overtook those who 
struggled under the banner of La Crosse, they resolved to challenge their 
rival by raising the standard of La Crescent, and thus fight it out on that 
line." (History of Houston County, 1882, page 426.) 

Mayville^ settled in 1855 and organized in 1858, was named for May- 
ville, N. Y., the county seat of Chautauqua county, whence Dr. John E. 
Pope and others of the early settlers of this township came. 

Money Cseek township, settled in 1853-4, organized May 11, 1858, 
and its village, which was platted in the autumn of 1856, received their 
names from the creek here tributary to the Root river. "Some man 
having got his pocket-book and contents wet in the creek, and spreading 
out the bank notes on a bush to dry, a sudden gust of wind blew them 
into the water again, and some of it never was recovered, so this 
circumstance suggested the name of the stream, after which the town 
was named." (History, 1882, page 436.) 

Mound Prairie township, settled in 1853-4, was organized in April, 
1860. "The name of the town was suggested by Dr. Chase, an old resident, 
in remembrance of a remarkable rounded bluff in section four, surround- 
ed by a wide valley on all sides." 

Reno, a railway village and junction in Crooked Creek township, at 
first called Caledonia Junction; was renamed by Capt. William H. Harries, 
of Caledonia, in honor of Jesse Lee Reno. He was born at Wheeling, 
West Virginia, June 30, 1823; was graduated at West Point in 1846; 
served in the Mexican war; was a brigadier general, and later a major 
general, of United States volunteers in the civil war; was killed in the 
battle of South Mountain, Md., September 14, 1862. 

RiCEFORO, a village in section 6, Spring Grove township, platted in 
1856, was named in honor of Henry M. Rice, of St. Paul, who also is 



240 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

cooimcmorated by the name of Rke county. He visited this place in 
18S6» followmg an Indian trail and fording the crcdc here, which thence 
is called Ricef ord creek. 

Shixoon, settled in June, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, took the name 
of its village, founded in 1854-7, of which Jnlins C Sheldc«, who came 
from Stiffield, Conn., was one of the proprietors. 

Sfring Gsove township, settled in 1852 and organized in 1858» received 
the name of its first post ofi&ce, which was established in 1854 at the 
home of James Smith, the earliest settler, beside a spring and a grove. 

Union township, settled m 1853, was organized April 5, 1859. Thirty 
other states have townships and villages of this name. 

Wilmington, first settled m June, 1851, organized May 11, 1858; has 
a name that is likewise borne in fourteen other states by townships, 
villages, and cities. 

Winnebago, settled in March, 1851, organized May 11, 1858, is drained 
by Winnebago creek, which, with the township, received its name from 
the Winnebago Indians, many of whom, after the cession of their Wis- 
consin lands, in 1832, were removed to northeastern Iowa. Their hunting 
grounds then extended into this adjoining edge of Minnesota, until they 
were again removed in 1848 to Long Prairie, in central Minnesota. 

The head chief of the Winnebagoes, Winneshiek, for whom an 
adjacent county in Iowa is named, lived and hunted much in this county. 
"His principal home was about seven miles west of the village of Houston, 
on the Root river, Houston county, Minnesota; here he lived, during the 
winter, in a dirt wigwam.'* (History of Winneshiek County, Iowa, by 
Edwin C Bailey, 1913, vol. I, p. 34.) 

Yucatan, settled probably in 1852 and organized in 1858, was at first 
called Utica; but to avoid confusion with other places of that name, 
which are found in sixteen states, one being Utica township in Winona 
county, it was changed to the present name of somewhat similar sound, 
which is used nowhere else in the United States. It was taken from the 
large peninsula of Yucatan, forming the most southeastern part of Mexi- 
co, and from the Yucatan channel, between that country and Cuba. 

Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, and Bluffs. 

Houston county lies in a large Driftless Area, exempted from glacia- 
tion and therefore having none of the glacial and modified drift for- 
mations by which it is wholly surrounded. This area also includes 
parts of several other counties of southeastern Minnesota, but its great- 
est extent is in Wisconsin, with small tracts of northeast Iowa and north- 
west Illinois. Its length is about 150 miles from north to south, with a 
maximum width of about 100 miles. It is characterized by absence of 
lakes, excepting on the bottomlands of rivers, where they fill portions of 
deserted watercourses. Such lakes occur in this county along the Mis- 
sissippi and Root rivers, one of which, two to three miles southeast of 
La Crescent, is named Target lake, from former rifle practice there. 



HOUSTON COUNTY 241 

-The preceding pages have noted the origins of the names of Crooked 
creek, Root river, Money creek, and Riceford and Winnebago creeks. 

Pine creek, flowing through La Crescent to the Mississippi, has here 
and there a few white pines on its bluffs, this region being at the south- 
western limit of this tree. 

Tributaries of the Root river from the north are Storer, Silver, and 
Money creeks; and from the south, in similar westward order, Thomp- 
son creek (formerly also known as Indian Spring creek). Crystal creek, 
and Badger, Beaver, and Riceford creeks. Thompson creek was named 
in honor of Edward Thompson and his brother, Clark W. Thompson, 
the principal founders of Hokah, for whom - biographic notices are given 
in the M. H. S. Collections, volume XIV. 

A prominent blu£F of the Root river valley at Hokah is named Mt. Tom. 

Wild Cat creek flows into the Mississippi at Brownsville, and Wild 
Cat bluff is a part of the adjacent high bluffs forming the west side of the 
Mississippi valley. These names, and those of Badger and Beaver creeks, 
tell of early times, when the fauna of this region included many fur- 
bearing animals that have since disappeared or become very scarce. 



HUBBARD COUNTY 

This cotinty, established February 26, 1883, was named in honor of 
Lucius Frederick Hubbard, governor of Minnesota from 1882 to 1887. 
He was born in Troy, N. Y., January 26, 1836 ; came to Minnesota in 1857, 
established the Red Wing Republican, and was its editor till 1861 ; enlisted 
in December, 1861, as a private in the Fifth Minnesota regiment; within 
a year was promoted to be its colonel; and in December, 1864, was 
breveted brigadier general. In the Spanish-American war, 1898, he again 
served as brigadier general. In 1866 he engaged in the grain business at 
Red Wing, and after 1870 also in flour milling. From 1877 to 1890 he 
took a leading part in the construction and management of new railway 
lines, built to promote the business development of Red Wing and Good- 
hue county. He was a state senator, 1872-5; and was governor, 1882-7, 
his second term consisting of three years on account of the change to 
biennial sessions of the legislature. He removed to St Paul in 1901, 
and afterward lived there, except that his home during the last two 
years was with his son in Minneapolis, where he died February 5, 1913. 

In the Minnesota Historical Society Collections, volume XIII ("Lives 
of the Governors of Minnesota," by Gen. James H. Baker, published in 
1908), pages 251-281 give the biography and portrait of Governor Hub- 
bard, with extracts from his messages. 

By an act of the Legislature, April 16, 1889, Hubbard was appointed 
a member of a board of commissioners for preparing and publishing a 
history entitled "Minnesota in, the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-1865." 
In this work of two volumes he contributed the "Narrative of the Fifth 
Regiment," forming pages 243-281, and followed by the roster of this regi- 
ment in pages 282-299, of volume I, published in 1890. 

Five other papers by Hubbard, relating to campaigns, expeditions, and 
battles of the Civil War, are in the M. H. S. Collections, volume XII, 
1908, pages 531-638; and the same volume has also an article by him, in 
pages 149-166, entitled "Early Days in Goodhue County." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for these names, and for lakes and streams in this county, 
was gathered from Joseph F. Delaney, who was the county auditor from 
1907 to 1915, M. M. Nygaard, register of deeds, and Dr. Pearl D. Win- 
ship, a resident since 1887 at Park Rapids, the county seat, interviewed 
during visits there in October, 1909, and September, 1916. 

Akeley township and its railway village were named in honor of 
Healy Cady Akeley, who built large sawmills here and during many years 
engaged very extensively in logging and manufacture of lumber. He 
was born in Stowe, Vt, March 16, 1836; and died in Minneapolis, July 

242 



HUBBARD COUNTY - 243 

JO, 1912. He was admitted to practice law in 1858; served in the 
Second Michigan cavalry in the civil war; settled in Minneapolis in 
1887, as a lumber merchant; was president of the Flour City National 
Bank, and of the Akeley Lumber Company. In 1916 these sawmills 
were closed, having exhausted the available supplies of pine timber. 

Arago township received its name from Lake Arago on Nicollet's map, 
of 1843, at the place of the present Potato lake, in the southeast part of 
this township. The name commemorates Dominique Francois Arago, 
an eminent French physicist and astronomer, who was born at Estagel, 
France, February 26, 1786, and died in Paris, October 2, 1853. 

Badoura township was named for Mrs. Mary Badoura Mow, wife 
of David Mow. They were pioneer settlers on the Hubbard prairie, 
where she died a few years ago, after which he removed to southern 
Minnesota. This was the name of a princess in "Arabian Nights." 

Benedict, a railway station in section 35, Lakeport, and Benedict lake, 
about two miles distant to the south, were named for a homestead farmer. 

Clay township was named for its generally clayey soil of glacial drift, 
in contrast with other tracts having more sandy and gravelly soil. 

Clover township derived its name from its abundance of white clover, 
growing along the old logging roads of the lumbermen. 

Crow Wing Lake township was named for its group of nine lakes 
on and near the Crow Wing river, in its course through this township. 

Dorset^ a railway village in sections 10 and 11, Henrietta, was named 
by officers of the Great Northern railway company. This is the name of 
a county in southern England, a town in Vermont, and a village in Ohio. 

Farden township was named for Ole J. Farden, a Norwegian home- 
steader there, who removed to West Hope in Saskatchewan. 

Farris is a railway village of the Great Northern and Soo lines in sec- 
tions 14 and 15, Farden. ^ 

Fern township was named in honor of Richard Fern, who owned a 
homestead in Lake Emma township, but in 1916 removed to Park Rapids. 

Guthrie township, named after its railway village, commemorates 
Archibald Guthrie, a contractor for the building of this Minnesota and 
International railway. 

Hart Lake township was named for its heart-shaped lake in section 
17, but the names of the lake and township are misspelled. 

Helga bears the name of a daughter of John Snustad, probably the 
first white child born in that township. 

Hendrickson township commemorates John C. Hendrickson, the 
former owner of a sawmill there, who removed to Sauk Center. 

Henrietta township was named for the wife of William H. Martin, 
whose homestead adjoined the southwest end of Elbow Lake. He served 
during the civil war in an Ohio regiment, attaining the rank of lieutenant 
colonel; was a member of the board of county commissioners when this 
township was organized; and later returned to his former home in Day- 
ton, Ohio, where he died several years ago. 



244 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

HoRTON, a station of the Great Northern railway in section 34, 
Straight River township, was named for Edward H. Horton, a cruiser 
selecting lands for lumbering, who lived many years in Park Rapids, 
but removed to Montana in 1908. 

HuBBABD township, notable for its large prairie, was named, like the 
county, for General Hubbard. 

Lake Alice township received its name from a lake which was called 
Lake Elvira by Captain Willard Glazier, in memory of his eldest sister, on 
the maps of his expeditions to Lake Itasca in 1881 and 1891. The lake was 
renamed by the pioneer settlers to commemorate Alice Glazier, who 
accompanied her father in the large party of his second expedition, and 
to whom his book, "Headwaters of the Mississippi" (1893, 527 pages), 
was dedicated. 

Lake Emma township was named for a beautiful though small lake 
in the north half of section 23, which is much surpassed in size by several 
others in this township. 

Lake George township has a large lake at its center, which was thus 
named by Glazier in 1881 for his brother, a member of his first expedi^ 
tion to Lake Itasca, in July of that year. 

Lake Hattie township bears the name of its largest lake, derived from 
Glazier's map in 1881. 

Lakeport township was named, with a change of spelling, for its rail- 
way village, Laporte (meaning, in French, the door or gate), which is 
the name of a city and county in Indiana, and of villages in seven other 
states. 

Latona was the name of the post office, now discontinued, at Horton 
railway station. 

Mantrap township was named for the large Mantrap lake at its north- 
west corner, whichpby its many bays and peninsulas, entrapped and baffled 
travelers through this wooded country in their endeavors to pass by it or 
around it. Crooked and Spider lakes, in this township, were also named 
for their similarly winding and branched outlines. 

Nary, a railway station in Helga township, was named for Thomas J. 
Nary, of Park Rapids, who during many years was a cruiser selecting 
timber lands for purchase by lumber manufacturers in Minneapolis. 

Nevis township and its railway village were probably named for Ben 
Nevis in western Scotland, the highest mountain of Great Britain. 

Park Rapids, the county seat, was named by Frank C. Rice, proprietor 
of the townsite, who came from Riceville, Iowa, a railway village which 
he had previously platted. The name was suggested by the parklike 
groves and prairies here, beside the former rapids of the Fish Hook river, 
now dammed and supplying valuable water power. 

Rock WOOD township was at first named Rockwell, in honor of Charles 
H. Rockwell, a homesteader there. A lake also bears his name in sections 
16 and 17, Henrietta, where likewise he had a farm. 



HUBBARD COUNTY 245 

RosBY^ a station of the Great Northern and Soo railways in the north- 
east corner of Helga township, was named for Ole Rosby, an adjoining 
Norwegian farmer. 

Schoolcraft township was named for its river, along which Henry 
Rowe Schoolcraft and his party canoed in 1832, ascending and portaging 
to Elk lake, which he then renamed Lake Itasca. He was born in Albany 
county, N. Y., March 28, 1793; and died in Washington, D. C, December 
10, 1864. He was educated at Middlebury college, Vt, and Union college, 
Schenectady, N. Y., giving principal attention to chemistry and mineral- 
ogy. In 1817-18 he traveled in Missouri and Arkansas ; in 1820 was in the 
expedition of General Lewis Cass to the upper Mississippi river, which 
turned back at Cass lake, regarded then as the principal source of the 
river ; in 1822 was appointed the Indian agent for the tribes in the region 
of the Great Lakes, with headquarters at the Sault Ste. Marie, and after- 
ward at Mackinaw; and in 1832 he led a government expedition to the 
head of the Mississippi in Lake Itasca. He published, in 1821, 1834, and 
1855, narrative reports and maps of the two expeditions up the Mississippi, 
which supplied many geographic names. During the greater part of his 
life, Schoolcraft held various official positions connected with Indian 
affairs; and in 1851-57, under the auspices of the United States govern- 
ment, he was the author and compiler of a most elaborate work in six 
quarto volumes, finely illustrated, entitled "Historical and Statistical 
Information respecting the History, Condition, and Prospects of the 
Indian Tribes of the United States." 

Straight River township was named for the river flowing from 
Straight lake in Becker county eastward through the north part of this 
township. In the usage of the Ojibways, from whom these are trans- 
lations, the river took the name of the lake whence it flows. 

Thorpe was named for Joseph Thorpe, an early schoolteacher of Hub- 
bard county, who took a homestead claim in this township. 

Todd was named, as proposed by Frank C. Rice, of Park Rapids, which 
is situated in this township, for Smith Todd, a homesteader here. He 
served during the civil war in the Eighth Maine regiment; removed 
about 1910 to Spokane, Wash., and died there in 1915. 

White Oak township was named for this species of oak, having 
"strong, durable, and beautiful timber," which is frequent or common in 
southeastern and central Minnesota. Its geographic range continues 
northwest through this county to the upper Mississippi river and the 
White Earth reservation. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noted the names of Benedict lake and rail- 
way station, and of Hart lake. Lakes Alice, Emma, George, and Hattie, 
Mantrap lake, and Straight river, for each of which a township is named. 

The remarkable series or chain of lakes along the head stream of 
Crow Wing river, in the southeast part of this county, was mapped by 



246 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Schoolcraft in 1832. On his return from the expedition to Lake Itasca, 
his party traveled by canoes from Leech lake southwest to the head of 
the Crow Wing and through its lakes, this being a route well known to 
the Ojibways and frequently used in their war raids against the Sioux. 
In the descending order, these eleven lakes on Schoolcraft's map, pub- 
lished in 1834 with his Narrative of this expedition, are Kaginogumag, 
Little Vermilion, Birch lake, Lac Pie, Ossowa lake, Lac Vieux Desert, 
Summit lake. Long Rice lake, Allen's and Johnston's lakes, and Lake 
Kaichibo Sagitowa. Two of these names were given in honor of Lieu- 
tenant James Allen and George Johnston, members of the expedition. 

On the map of Hubbard county by the Minnesota Geological Survey 
(in Volume IV, 1899), this series of names is copied, excepting that the 
first is Longwater lake, as it was translated by Schoolcraft's Narrative^ 

Lac Pie (or Pele) was named in allusion to its being partly bordered 
by a prairie. Lake Ossowa of the map is named Lake Boutwell in the 
Narrative, in honor of Rev. William T. Boutwell, of this expedition. 
Lac Vieux Desert is there translated from its French name, as "the Lake 
of the Old Wintering Ground." Summit lake was named "from its 
position," where the river turns southeastward from its previous southwest 
course. The lowest lake of the series is translated as "the lake which the 
river passes through at one end." 

In the latest atlas of Minnesota, published in 1916, these original names 
are replaced by a numerical list, which came into use by lumbermen and 
the pioneer settlers. The lowest is called First or Sibley lake, and the 
Third and Fourth lakes are also named respectively Swift and Miller 
lakes, these names being for early governors of Minnesota. The other 
lakes are designated only by their numbers, up to the Eleventh lake, 
which, as noted by Schookraft, is called Kaginogumag by the Ojibways, 
meaning Longwater lake. 

The stream now named Schoolcraft river was called by him the 
"Plantagenian or South fork of the Mississippi." Lake Plantagenet, 
through which it flows in the north edge of this county, retains the name 
that he gave in 1832. These names, for a line of kings of England, who 
reigned from 1154 to 1399, were derived from the flowering broom (in 
Latin, planta genista), chosen as a family emblem by Geoffrey, count of 
Anjou, whose son was Henry II, the first of the Plantagenet kings. An- 
other name sometimes given to this river is Yellow Head, for School- 
craft's guide, whose Ojibway name, Oza Windib, has this meaning. It 
was called River Laplace by Nicollet's map in 1843, for the great French 
astronomer, who was born in 1749 and died in 1827. 

Hennepin lake and river. La Salle river, and its Lake La Salle, tribu- 
tary to the Mississippi from the northwest part of this county, bear names 
given in honor of these early French explorers by Glazier in his first 
expedition to Lake Itasca, in 1881. 

Other names received from Glazier's map of his route in that year, 
passing from Leech lake west to Itasca, are Garfield lake, for the presi- 



HUBBARD COUNTY 247 

dent, James Abram Garfield (b. 1831, d. 1881) ; Lake Sheridan, in sec- 
tions 24 and 25, Lake George township, for Philip Henry Sheridan, (b. 
1831, d. 1888), the renowned cavalry commander in the civil war; and 
Lake Paine, for Barrett Channing Paine, who accompanied Glazier in that 
expedition. 

Steamboat river and lake were named for their being ascended by 
steamboats from Leech lake. 

Fish Hook river and lake are translations from their Ojibway name, 
given by Rev. J. A. Gilfillan as Pugidabani. 

Elbow lake, named by the white settlers for its sharply bent outlines, 
has -an Ojibway name which means, as translated by Gilfillan, "the lake 
into which the river pitches and ceases to flow, — dies there." It has no 
visible outlet, the inflow being discharged south to the Crow Wing 
river by springs, or perhaps westward to the north part of Long lake, in 
Henrietta and Hubbard townships. 

Kabekona, the Ojibway name of a lake and river tributary to Leech 
lake, is defined by Gilfillan as "the end of all roads," which may be nearly 
equivalent with Schoolcraft's earlier translation, "the rest in the path." 

Many other lakes remain to ])e noted as follows, in the order of the 
townships from south to north and of ranges from east to west. 

Badoura has Wolf lake in sections 17 and 18, and Tripp lake on the 
south line of section 20, the last being named for Charles Tripp, an early 
settler beside it 

Crow Wing lake township, in addition to the four lower lakes of the 
Crow Wing river series, has another Wolf lake ; Bladder and Ham lakes, 
named for their shape; Palmer lake, in section 29; and Duck lake, in 
section 31. 

Hubbard has Stony lake in sections 1 and 2, and Little Stony lake on 
the east side of section 1, named for ice-formed ridges of boulders and 
gravel on their shores; Long lake, extending north from the village six 
miles; and Upper Twin lake, partly in section 31, Ijring on the Wadena 
county line. 

Straight River township has Lake Moran, nearly three miles long and 
very narrow, reaching from section 13 to section 27, named for an early 
settler; and Bass lake and Hinds lake in section 24, the last being named 
for Edward R. Hinds, of Hubbard, representative of this county in the 
legislature in 1903-S, 1909, and 1915-19, who about thirty years ago had 
a logging camp at this lake. 

White Oak township has Williams lake in section 13, Hay lake in 
section 10, and Loon lake in section 30. 

Nevis has the Fifth to the Eighth lakes of the Crow Wing series; 
Elbow lake, before noted; and Deer lake. Shallow lake, and Clausen's 
lake, in sections 4, 5, and 6. 

Henrietta has Bull lake, named by the Ojibways for a bull moose 
killed there; and Swietzer, Rockwell, and Peysenski lakes, named for 
pioneer farmers. 



248 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Portage lake, in Todd township, was named for a portage from it 
westward on an Ojifoway canoe ronte. 

Shingob lake, in sections 25 and 26, Akeley, and the cxeek flowing 
thence to Leech lake, are named, like the adjoining Shingobee townsh^ 
in Cass county, from die Ojibway word, jingob, applied as a general 
term to several species of evergreen trees, including the balsam fir, 
spruce, and arbor vitae: 

Mantrap township, with its Mantrap, Crooked, and Spider lakes^ be- 
fore noticed, has Waboose lake in section 2, meaning a rabbit in die Ojib- 
way language; and Dead lake in section 18, which, though receiving an 
inlet from Crooked lake, has no outlet. 

Lake Emma township, besides the small lake of diis name, has 
Botde lake, named for the narrow strait, like the neck of a bottle or 
hourglass, connecting its two broad areas; Stocking lake, named for its 
shape ; Pidcerel lake, having many fish of this species ; Rice lake, having 
much wild rice; Blue lake, named for its d^th. and color; Big Sand 
lake, and Little Sand lake ; and Gilmore and Thomas lakes, the last being 
named for the owner of a hotel there, frequented for hunting and fishing 

Arago has Potato lake, named for the wild artichoke, a species of 
sunflower with tuberous roots, much used as food by the Indians; Ea^e 
lake, named by timber cruisers for a nest in a large tree near the middle 
of its east shore; Island lake; and Sloan lake, in section 52, named for 
John Sloan, an adjacent farmer. 

Mud lake is in sections 19 and 30, Thorpe. 

Qay township has Schoolcraft lake, crossed by its north line, near the 
highest sources of Schoolcraft river; Fawn lake, on the west side of 
section 6; Skunk lake, in sections 29, 30, and 22-, and Bad Axe lake, in 
sections 26 and 35. 

Qover township has Little Mantrap lake on its west boundary, named 
for its irregularly branching bays, lying about ten miles west of the 
larger Mantrap lake. 

Lakeport, with Garfield and Kabekona lakes, before noted, has also 
Mirage lake. 

Lake Alice township, including the eastern edge of the Itasca State 
Park, which reaches one mile iuto this cotmty, has Lake Alice in sectioiis 
2 and 11, Beauty lake in section ,28^ and numerous other litde lakes not 
yet named. 

Dow's lake, in section 32, Schoolcraft, was named for William Dow, 
who built a sawmill on the Schoolcraft river near this lake, taking a home- 
stead there, but later removed to Laporte. 

Farden has Midge, Grace, Wolf, Mud, and Long lakes, all lying in the 
northeast part of this township. 

Rockwood, with the large Plantagenet and Hennepin lakes^ befcure 
noticed, has Spearhead and Little Spearhead lakes, probably named for 
their shape. 

Fern township has Diamond lake and Lake La Salle. 



ISANTI COUNTY 

Established February 13, 1857, this county bears the former name, 
now obsolete, of a large division of the Dakotas or Sioux, anciently 
Izatys, now Santees, who lived two hundred years ago in the region of 
the Rum river and Mille Lacs, called by Hennepin respectively the river 
and lake of the Isantis. Under different forms of spelling, this name 
was used by DuLuth, Hennepin and La Salle, the first two seeing these 
Indians in 1679 and 1680; and the name, spelled Issati, appears on Fran- 
quelin's map of 1688. 

Prof. A. W. Williamson wrote of this word, and of its probable 
derivation from the Sioux name of Knife lake in Kanabec county: 
"Isanti (isanati or isanyati), — isan, knife; ati, dwell on or at; the Dakota 
name of the part of the nation occupying Minnesota, and comprising the 
Sissetons as well as those now known as Santees; it is supposed the 
name was given as this lake was their chief location for a time on their 
westward journey." 

Neill's History of Minnesota (page 51) mentions the Isanti division 
of the Dakota people as follows : "From an jearly period, there have been 
three great divisions of this people, which have been subdivided into 
smaller bands. The first are called the Isan3rati, the Issati of Hennepin, 
after one of the many lakes at the head waters of the river marked, on 
modem maps, by the unpoetic name of Rum. It is asserted by Dahkotah 
missionaries now living, that this name was given to the lake because 
the stone from which they manufactured the knife (isan) was here ob- 
tained. The principal band of the Isanti was the M'dewakantonwan. 
In the journal of Le Sueur, they are spoken of as residing on a lake east 
of the Mississippi. Tradition says that it was a day's walk from Isan- 
tamde or Knife lake." The two lakes so referred to are doubtless Mille 
Lacs (the lake of the Isantis) and Knife lake, on the Knife river, fifteen 
miles distant southeastward. 

Hon. J. V. Brower has shown that the Knife lake and the Isanti or 
Knife Sioux probably derived their name from the first acquirement of 
iron or steel knives there by these Indians, in the winter of 1659-60, 
through their dealings with Groseilliers and Radisson, and with the 
Hurons and Ottawas of their company. (Memoirs of Explorations in 
the Basin of the Mississippi, Volume VI, entitled "Minnesota," 1903, 
pages 119-123.), 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was received from Hans Engberg, presi- 
dent of the First National Bank of Cambridge, who was the county audi- 
tor during the years 1878-88, from Sidney S. Bunker, an early pioneer, 

349 



250 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

and G. G. Goodwin, county attorney, each a resident of Cambridge, the 
county seat, interviewed during a visit there in August, 1916. 

Athens township bears the name of the most renowned city of ancient 
Greece, which is now the largest city and capital of that country. An 
Ohio county and its county seat, townships in Maine, Vermont, and New 
York, and cities and villages in fourteen other states of our Union, are 
also named Athens. Probably settlers coming from one or more of these 
states proposed this name. 

Bradford was named by Rev. Charles Booth, an Episcopal pastor 
who took a homestead claim in this township, for his native city of Brad- 
ford in Yorkshire, England. 

Braham, a railway village in Stanchfield, was named by officers of the 
Great Northern railway company. 

Cambridge township was named by settlers from Maine, for the town- 
ship of Cambridge in the central part of that state. The village was 
incorporated in 1876. The old university city of Cambridge in England, 
whence we have the names of several cities and villages in the United 
States, is built on both sides of the little River Cam. 

Dalso township has a Swedish name, meaning the home of people 
from the former province of Dalarne, also called Dalecarlia, in central 
Sweden. 

Grandy is a Great Northern railway village in Cambridge. 

Isanti township and its railway village were named, like the county, 
for the eastern Sioux who inhabited this region when the first white ex- 
plorers and traders came. 

Maple Ridge township was named for its broad low ridge and the 
plentiful maples of its original forest. 

North Branch township is crossed by the North branch of the Sun- 
rise river. 

Oxford township was named by its settlers, for Oxford county, town- 
ship, and village in Maine. Twenty-five states of our Union have Oxford 
townships or villages, the earliest having derived the name from the 
ancient city and university of Oxford in England. It is of Anglo-Saxon 
origin, meaning the oxen's ford. 

Spencer Brook township received the name of its brook, on which a 
pioneer from Maine, commonly called Judge Spencer, opened a farm. 

Springvale township has a euphonious name that is also borne by a 
village in Maine, and by townships and villages in seven other states. 

Stanchfield township, the Lower Stanchfield brook and lake, and 
Stanchfield creek or upper brook, with its two Upper Stanchfield lakes, 
are named in honor of Daniel Stanchfield, who was the first, in Septem- 
ber, 1847, to explore the extensive pineries of Rum river. He was born 
in Leeds, Maine, June 8, 1820; and died at Fort Logan, Colorado, May 
23, 1908. He settled at St. Anthony in 184>^; engaged in logging on this 
river, and in mercantile business at St. Anthony ; was a representative in 
the territorial legislature in 1853 ; removed to Iowa in 1861 ; and returned 



ISANTI COUNTY 251 

to Minneapolis in 1889, which was afterward his home. He contributed 
to the Minnesota Historical Society Collections, volume IX, 1901, a paper 
entitled "History of Pioneer Lumbering on the Upper Mississippi and its 
Tributaries, with Biographic Sketches" (pages 325-362, with his portrait.) 

Stanford township has the name of a township in New York, villages 
in Indiana and Illinois, and a small city in Kentucky. 

Wyanett township was Jiamed after a village in northern Illinois, 
which was platted in 1856. It is noted by Gannett as an Indian word, 
meaning beautiful. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing list has referred to the North branch of the Sunrise 
river, Spencer brook, and the Stanchfield brooks and lakes. 

Sunrise river is translated from its Ojibway name, given by Gilfillan 
as "Memokage zibi. Keep sunrising river." 

Rum river is noticed in the chapter on Mille Lacs county, the name of 
this river having been suggested by the Sioux name of Mille Lacs. 

Oxford has Horse Shoe lake and Horse Leg lake, the latter extend- 
ing into North Branch, each named for their shape; Twin lakes, and 
Upper and Lower Birch lakes ; and Hoffman, Tamarack, Long, and Typo 
lakes. 

Athens has Stratton lake in section 18, named for an early settler. 

Marget lake, of section 3 in the east part of Stanford, named for 
farmers adjoining it, has been drained. Seelye creek, flowing south 
from section 12, Stanford, was named for Moses Seelye, a pioneer settler 
who came from New Brunswick. 

North Branch has Big Pine lake in sections 4 and 9, named for a large 
white pine there, near the southern limit of its geographic range. 

Isanti township has Lakes Fanny and Florence, named for wives or 
children of pioneers. 

Bradford has Lakes Elizabeth and Francis, Long lake, and German 
lake, the last being named for German settlers there. The second and 
third have been also called respectively Lake St. Francis, from the old 
French name of Rum river, and Lake Henrietta. 

In Spencer Brook township are Tennyson, Baxter, Blue, and Mud lakes. 

Cambridge has Skogman's lake, named for an early Swedish settler 
beside it. This township has two Long lakes, one in sections 4 and 9, and 
another in sections 12 and 13. 

Green lake in Wyanett is mainly shallow, named for its green scum 
in summer; and the smaller but deeper Spectacle lake is named for its 
shape, like a pair of eyeglasses. 

Troolin and Linderman lakes, in Stanchfield, were named respectively 
for a blacksmith and a farmer near them; Mud lake, for its muddy 
shores ; and the Upper and Lower Rice lakes, for their wild rice. 

Lory lake, in section 5, Maple Ridge, was named for H. A. Lory, the 
former owner of the east half of that section. 



ITASCA COUNTY 

This county, established October 27, 1849, having originally a much 
greater area than now, derived its name from Itasca lake, which was 
named by Schoolcraft in his expedition to this source of the Mississippi 
in 1832. The translation of its previous Ojibway and French names is 
Elk Lake. Schoolcraft gave no explanation of the origin and meaning of 
the name Itasca in his narrative of this expedition published in 1834; but 
in his later book, on the Cass expedition of 1820 and this of 1832, pub- 
lished in 1855, the following statement is made, relating to the meaning 
of Itasca lake. "I inquired of Ozawindib fhe Indian name of this lake; 
he replied Omushkos, which is the Chippewa name of the Elk. Having 
previously got an inkling of some of their mythological and necromantic 
notions of the origin and mutations of the country, which permitted the 
use of a female name for it, I denominated it Itasca." 

The existence of this lake, and its French name, Lac la Biche, were 
known to Schoolcraft by information from Indians and voyageurs, be- 
fore this expedition ; an-d the actual history of his coining this new word, 
as narrated fifty years afterward by his companion in the expedition. 
Rev. William T. Boutwell, is told by Hon. J. V. Brower in the Minnesota 
Historical Society Collections (vol. VII, pp. 144, 145). 

''Schoolcraft and Boutwell were personal associates, voyaging in the 
same canoe through Superior, and while conversing on their travels along 
the south shore of the great lake, the name 'Itasca' was selected in the 
following manner, in advance of its discovery by Schoolcraft's party. 

"Mr. Schoolcraft, having uppermost in his mind the source of the 
river, expecting and determined to reach it, suddenly turned and asked 
Mr. Boutwell for the Greek and Latin definition of the headwaters or 
true source of a river. Mr. Boutwell, after much thought, could not 
rally his memory of Greek sufficiently to designate the phrase, but in 
Latin selected the strongest and most pointed expressions, 'Veritas,' and 
'Caput,' — ^Truth, Head. This was written on a slip of paper, and Mr. 
Schoolcraft struck out the first and last three letters, and announced to 
Mr. Boutwell that 'Itasca shall be the name.' " 

The origin of this name had perplexed experts acquainted with the 
Ojibway and Sioux languages, as related by Charles H. Baker in the St. 
Paul Pioneer, May 26, 1872. Three weeks later the same newspaper for 
June 16 published letters received by Alfred J. Hill, from Gideon H. 
Pond, the missionary to the Sioux ; Mrs. Mary H. Eastman, citing a sup- 
posed Ojibway myth or tradition in her "Aboriginal Portfolio ;" and Rev. 
William T. Boutwell, telling how Schoolcraft coined the name by using 

252 



ITASCA COUNTY 253 

parts of the two Latin words, Veritas, Caput. Twenty years later, 
Brower's publication of his interview with Boutwell, as here cited, settled 
this very interesting question beyond any further doubt. 

The chapter of Qearwater county contains a review of the explora- 
tions of the sources of the Mississippi, which were completed by detailed 
surveys of the Itasca State Park, lying -mainly in that county. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the names in this county was received from Edward 
J. Luther, deputy county auditor, and John A. Brown, county surveyor, 
during a visit at Grand Rapids, the county seat, in September, 1909; and 
from Hugh McEwen, deputy auditor, during a second visit there in 
August, 1916. 

Alvwood township is mainly occupied by Swedish settlers, and the 
first part of its name is probably derived from Sweden. 

Arbo township was named for an early lumberman, John Arbo, who 
settled there. 

Arden HURST, at first called Island Lake township, was renamed by its 
settlers from England. The first part of this name refers to the ancient 
Ardennes forest, which covered a large area in northern France, Bel- 
gium, and western Germany; and hurst is an Anglo-Saxon word, mean- 
ing a grove or a wooded hill. 

Ball Club is the name of a railway village at the south end of Ball 
Qub lake, which is translated from its Ojibway name, suggested by the 
form of the lake. The Indians were fond of playing ball, and their club 
or bat used in this game was called La Crosse by the French, being the 
source of the name given to a city and county in Wisconsin. 

Balsam township was named for the; Balsam lake and creek, and 
for its abundance of the balsam fir, which also is common throughout 
northeastern Minnesota. The bark of this tree supplies a transparent 
liquid resin or turpentine, called Canada balsam, used in mounting objects 
for the microscope and in making varnish. 

Bass Brook township and Bass Lake township were named for their 
brook and lake, having many fish of our well known bass species. The 
Ojibway name of the lake is noted by Gilfillan as Ushigunikan, "the place 
of bass," and the outflowing brook, according to the Ojibway usage, bears 
the same name. 

Bearville township is named for its principal stream. Bear river, flow- 
ing from Bear lake. 

Big Fork township and its railway village are named from their loca- 
tion on the Big fork of Rainy river. 

Blackberry township and its railway station are similarly named for 
the Blackberry lake and brook. 

Bowstring, township adjoins the east side of Bowstring lake, which is 
a translation of its Ojibway name, noted as Atchabani or Busatchabani 



254 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

by Gilfillan. This name is also applied by the Ojibways to the Big fork, 
because the Bowstring lake is its source. 

BusTicoGAN, a township name, is probably of Ojibway derivation. 

Calumet, a mining railway village of the Mesabi iron range, bears 
the French name (from the Latin calamus, a reed) of the ceremonial 
pipe used by the Indians in making treaties or other solemn engagements. 
Assent was expressed by smoking the calumet, which, from treaties pre- 
venting or terminating wars, was often called the peace pipe. 

Carpenter township was named in honor of Seth Carpenter, an aged 
homesteader, who in 1906 headed the petition for its organization. 

CoHASSET, the railway village of Bass Brook township, received its 
name from the town of Cohasset on the east coast of Massachusetts. It 
is an Indian word, meaning, as noted by Gannett, "fishing promontory," 
"place of pines," or **young pine trees." 

Gx-ERAiNE, a mining railway village at the west end of the Mesabi 
range, bears the name of a township in western Massachusetts. It was 
chosen in honor of Thomas F. Cole, who was prominent in the early 
development of these iron mines, but later removed to Arizona, becoming 
president of a copper mining company there. 

Deer Lake township and Deer River township and railway village 
are named for this lake and river, which are translated from the Ojib- 
way name, Wawashkeshiwi, as noted by Gilfillan. 

Dewey township was named in honor of George Dewey, victor in the 
battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898. He was born in Montpelier, Vt, 
December 26, 1837; was graduated at the United States Naval Academy, 
1858; served in the civil war; was promoted as lieutenant commander 
in 1865, captain in 1884, commodore in 1896, and admiral in 1899. 

Effie, a station of the Minneapolis and Rainy River railway, was 
named for Efiie Wenaus, daughter of the postmaster there. 

Fairview township has the euphonious name chosen by its settlers in 
their petition for organization. 

Feeley township was named for Thomas J. Feeley, of Aitkin, who had 
logging camps there during several years. He has lived in this township 
since 1899. 

Franklin township, like the counties of this name in twenty-four 
states of the Union, and townships, villages, or cities, in thirty states, 
commemorates Benjamin Franklin, philosopher, statesman, and diplo- 
matist, who was born in Boston, January 17, 1706, and died in Phila- 
delphia, April 17, 1790. 

Good Hope, named by the settlers of this township, is also the name 
of villages in eight other states. 

GooDLAND township has another auspicious name, found likewise in 
Indiana, Michigan, and Kansas. 

Gran township was named for an early settler. 

Grand Rapids township received its name from the location of its vil- 
lage, the county seat, beside rapids of the Mississippi, having a fall of 



ITASCA COUNTY 255 

five feet in a third of a mile. The river is ascended to this place by 
steamers from Aitkin. 

Grattan township was named for the Irish orator and statesman, 
Henry Grattan (b. 1746, d. 1820). 

Green WAY township was named for John C. Green way, who formerly 
had charge of iron mining at Coleraine for the Oliver Mining Company, 
but removed to be a superintendent of copper mining in Bisbee, Arizona. 

Harris township was named for Duncan Harris, who took a homestead 
claim there, on which he has a fruit farm. 

Inger township was named for one of its pioneer settlers. 

Iron Range township contains the iron mining railway villages of 
Colerane, Bovey, and Holman, which have the most western mines of 
the Mesabi range. 

Keewatin, an iron mining town in the east edge of this county, has 
an Ojibway name, spelled giwedin by Baraga's Dictionary, meaning north, 
also the north wind. It was the name of a former large district of Can- 
ada, at the west side of Hudson bay. This word is spelled Keewaydin, 
as it should be pronounced, in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," with 
translation as "the Northwest wind, the Home wind." 

KiNGHURSt township, formerly called Popple (a mispronunciation of 
the poplar tree, very abundant here), was renamed in honor of Cyrus M. 
King, of Deer River, who during many years was a member of the board 
of county commissioners. (See also Ardenhurst, before noted in this 
list) 

Lake Jessie township has a lake of this name, and another called 
Little Jessie lake, probably in commemoration of the wife or daughter 
of one of the early lumbermen. 

La Prairie, a railway village and junction, is near the mouth of 
Prairie river, which flows through Prairie lake. 

Long Lake township is similarly named for one of its lakes, this 
name and also Round lake being of very frequent occurrence among the 
almost countless lakes of Minnesota. 

McCoRMiCK and McLeod townships, and McVeigh railway station, 
were named for pioneers. 

Marcell township was named in honor^of Andrew Marcell, the first 
conductor of trains on the Minneapolis and Rainy River railway, which 
was originally built for transportation of logs to sawmills. 

Moose Park township received this name by the suggestion of C. H. 
Harper, a pioneer farmer there, who was one of the petitioners for its 
organization. 

Nashwauk township has an Algonquin name, from Nashwaak river 
and village, near Fredericton, New Brunswick. It is probably allied in 
meaning with Nashua, "land between," the name of a river and a city 
in New Hampshire. 

Nore township was named for Kittil S. and Syver K. Nohre, immigrant 
settlers from Norway. 



256 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Orth is a railway village of Nore, in the north edge of this county. 

Oteneagen was named by William Hulbert, a farmer and lumberman 
of this township, who came from Michigan. In a different spelling, 
Ontonagon, it is the name of a river in northern Michigan, tributary to 
Lake Superior, and of its village and county.* Gannett has defined the 
Michigan name as an Ojibway word, meaning "fishing place," or, in 
another account of its origin, adopted because an Indian maiden lost a 
dish in the stream and exclaimed "nindonogan," which in her dialect 
meant "away goes my dish." 

PoKEGAMA township derived this Ojibway name from the Pokegama 
lake, translated by Gilfillan as "the water which juts off from another 
water," and "the lake with bays branching out." This large lake, having 
a very irregularly branched shape, nearly adjoins the Mississippi river. 

The Pokegama falls of the Mississippi, named from this lake, about 
three miles above Grand Rapids, had a descent of fifteen feet in a sixth 
of a mile ; but the dam built there in the Upper Mississippi reservoir sys- 
tem increases the fall to twenty-one feet, raising also the level of the 
lake. Schoolcraft, in his Narrative of the expedition with Governor Cass 
in 1820, wrote : "The Mississippi at this fall is compressed to eighty feet 
in width and precipitated over a rugged bed of sand stone, highly inclined 
towards the northeast. There is no perpendicular pitch, but the river 
rushes down a rocky channel." 

Round Lake township and railway station are named for the central 
and smallest one of the three Round lakes in the north half of this county. 
The next in size closely adjoins Long lake, and the largest is at the east 
side of Good Hope. 

Sago township received this name after several others had been suc- 
cessively chosen but found inadmissible, being previously used elsewhere 
in Minnesota. It was suggested by one of the county commissioners be- 
cause sago pudding was served at their dinner. 

Sand Lake township bears the name of its large lake, through which 
the Big fork flows, next below Bowstring lake. 

Spang township was named in honor of Matthew A. Spang, a lum- 
ber manufacturer at Grand Rapids, who was the county auditor when 
this township was organized. . 

Sfi.it Hand township received the name of its principal lake and 
creek, translated from the Ojibway name as "Cut Hand" on Nicollet*s 
map. 

Swan River, a railway village and junction, is named for the river 
near it, which flows from Swan lake. This is a translatibn of the Ojib- 
way name, Wabiziwi, noted by Gilfillan. 

Third River township is crossed by the river of this name, the third 
in the order from east to west, tributary to the north side of Lake Winne- 
bagoshish. 



ITASCA COUNTY 257 

Trout Lake township is named for its largest lake, translated from 
Namegoss or Namegosi, as the Ojibway word is spelled respectively by 
Baraga and Gilfillan. 

Wakba, a railway village in Feeley township, was formerly called 
Verna, but was renamed by officers of the Great Northern railway com- 
pany, probably for Waiba, the Ojibway word meaning soon. 

Wawina, the most southeastern township of this county, received the 
name of its earlier railway village, an Ojibway word, meaning "I name 
him often, . . . mention him frequently," as defined in Baraga's Diction- 
ary. 

Weller's Spur is a railway village five miles southeast of Deer River. 

WiNNEBAGosHiSH is a towuship of the Indian Reservation at the north 
side of the large lake of this name, which has been fully noticed in the 
chapter for Cass county. 

Wirt township was named by O. £. Walley, its first settler, probably 
for a township in New York or a county in West Virginia, where the 
name was given in honor of William Wirt (b. 1772, d. 1834), who was the 
attorney general of the United States in 1817-29. 

Zemple village needs further inquiry for the origin of its name. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding pages have given sufficient mention of Ball Qub lake, 
Balsam lake and creek, Bass brook and lake, Bear river and lake, the Big 
fork of Rainy river. Blackberry lake and brook, Bowstring lake, a name 
that is also given to the Big fork by the Ojibways, Deer lake and river, 
Lake Jessie and Little Jessie lake, Prairie river and lake, Long lake, 
Pokegama lake and falls, the three Round lakes, Sand lake. Split Hand 
lake and creek. Swan river and lake. Third river, and Trout lake. 

Lake Winnebagoshish, as it should be spelled in accordance with its 
Ojibway pronunciation, lies in the course of the Mississippi on the boun- 
dary between Cass and Itasca counties, so that it has previously received 
attention. 

In addition to the southern Deer lake and river, which gave their 
names to townships and a large village, this county has a second lake 
and river of this name, tributary to the Big fork. 

The following lakes remain to be mentioned, in their order from south 
to north, and from east to west. 

Cowhorn lake is named for its shape. 

Lake Siseebakwet, as spelled on recent maps, but given by Gilfillan 
as Sinzi-ba-quat, is a name received from the Ojibways, meaning Sugar 
lake, having reference to their making maple sugar. 

Rice lake, in Bass Brook township, is named for wild rice. 

Southeast of Swan lake are Hart, Helen, and Beauty lakes. 

Trout Lake township has Mud lake, one of our most frequent lake 
names. 



< 



258 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Grand Rapids township has Horseshoe lake, Lily, Hale, and Crystal 
lakes. The third was named in honor of James T. Hale, a member of 
the State Tax Commission, who formerly lived here. 

White Oak point on the Mississippi, a lake of the same name, and the 
little White Oak Indian Reservation, are translated from the Ojibway 
name of this point, Nemijimijikan, as noted by Gilfillan. 

Northwest and west of Swan lake are Ox Hide, Snowball, and Panasa 
lakes. The last is an Ojibway name, meaning a young bird. 

Shoal lake lies between Prairie and Bass lakes. 

Chase lake, near the west end of Deer lake, was named for Jonathan 
Chase, who was bom in Sebec, Maine, Dec. 31, 1818, and died at his home 
in Minneapolis, February 1, 1904. He came to Minnesota in 1854, engaged 
in lumbering in Mille Lacs county, and later owned an interest in the 
large sawmills at Gull River, Cass county. 

Crooked lake has very irregularly branched outlines. 

Lawrence lake was named for Hugh Lawrence, a Minneapolis lum- 
berman who had a logging camp there. 

Wabano lake and the Little Wabano lake are nearly like an Ojibway 
word, waban, the east, the morning twilight Wabun is its spelling m 
"The Song of Hiawatha," and Waupun as the name of a city in Wiscon- 
sin. Longfellow also used another word, wabeno, a magician or juggler, 
spelled Wabanow by Baraga, which is more directly the source of the 
name of these lakes. Wabeno is a village name in northeastern Wis- 
consin, defined by Gannett as "men of the dawn" or "eastern men." 

Next westward are Blue lake, Johnson, Moose, and Island lakes. 

Buck lake was named for a male deer. 

Pioneer lumbermen, or their forest cruisers who selected tracts of 
timber for purchase, are commemorated by Lake Buckmarf, King, Gunn, 
Dick, and Smith lakes. 

A further list of lakes, with those last named and westward, com- 
prises another Island lake. Ruby, Spider, and Little Long lakes; Wolf 
lake, Carriboo lake (more correctly spelled Caribou), Dead Horse and 
Grave lakes. Little Bowstring lake, and Potato lake; and Portage lake, 
Ijring between Bowstring' and Sand lakes. 

Northward are Eagle, Coon, and Fox lakes; Turtle and Little Turtle 
lakes ; Cameron and Sandwick lakes, the second named for John A. Sand- 
wick, a pioneer farmer; Bustie's lake and Shine lake, close north of the 
most eastern bend of the Big fork; Lakes Bella and Dora; Spring. 
East, and White Fish lakes ; and Four Towns lake, of small area, named 
for its lying in the corner of four townships. 

Cut Foot Sioux lake is translated from its Ojibway name, referring 
to a maimed Sioux who was killed there in a battle in 1748. (Warren, 
•history of the Ojibway Nation," M. H. S. Collections, voL V, p. 184; 
Winchell, "The Aborigines of Minnesota," 1911, p. 534.) The outlet of 
this lake is the first stream found flowing into the north side of Lake 



ITASCA COUNTY 259 

Winnebagoshish, in the order from east to west Next are Pigeon river 
and Third river, the last giving its name to a township. 

Downes creek, flowing into the west part of Round lake, is the most 
western stream of the Big Fork basin. 

Island' lake in Ardenhurst, the third so named in this county, has Elm- 
wood island, which is more than a mile long, but very narrow, indicating 
by its mapped outline that it is an esker gravel ridge of the glacial drift. 

Maple Ridge. 

The highest point of Itasca county is a hill four miles west of Grand 
Rapids, in sections 22 and 23, Bass Brook, adjoining the north part of 
Pokegama lake, above which it rises about 350 feet. It is commonly 
called Maple Ridge or Sugar Tree Ridge. Other hills or ridges in this 
county rarely have even a third of this height, being so low that they have 
not been named. 

Indian Reservations. 

In a treaty made at Washington, February 22, 1855, a delegation of the 
Ojibways of the upper Mississippi ceded to the United States large areas 
of their lands, but reserved other tracts. The Winnebagoshish reserva- 
tion, lying at the north side of the lake of this name, was set apart by 
this treaty for Pillager and Lake Winnebagoshish bands of these Indians. 
Its boundaries reached from the mouth of the lake north to the head of 
the first river tributary to it, thence west to the Third river, down this 
river to the lake, and thence in a direct line across the lake to the place 
of beginning. 

Another reservation for these bands, on the north side of Cass lake, 
also made in the same treaty, was later extended eastward to the west 
side of Lake Winnebagoshish and to Third river, including about fifty 
square miles in the present Itasca county. 

Again in a treaty at Washington, March 19, 1867, a large tract at the 
south side of these lakes and reaching to the Leech lake and river, was 
reserved to the Ojibways. This reservation, lying mainly in Cass county, 
continues east across the Mississippi to include an area in Itasca county 
nearly equal to four townships. 

The Winnebagoshish reservation, enlarged under executive orders by 
the President in 1873 and 1874, is wholly in Itasca county. The other 
two areas, known as the Cass Lake and Chippewa reservations, extend 
partly into this county, so that the three together reach from its western 
border past Winnebagoshish an<l Ball Gub lakes to Deer River village. 

Adjoining the southeast corner of the Chippewa reservation, an execu- 
tive order of October 29, 1873, reserved a small area of about sixteen 
square miles, through which the Mississippi flows, including White Oak 
point and the lake of this name, whence it is known as the White Oak 
reservation. This lies in Itasca county, excepting about a quarter part in 
Cass county, on the southwest side of the river. 



JACKSON COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, is stated by its best informed 
old citizens, as also by J. Fletcher Williams, who from 1867 to 1893 was 
secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, and by Return I. Hol- 
combe, writing in the Pioneer Press Almanac of 1896, to be named ''for 
Hon. Henry Jackson, the first merchant in St. Paul." He was bom in 
Abingdon, Virginia, February 1, 1811; came to St. Paul in June, 1842; 
was appointed the first justice of the peace, 1843; was the first postmaster, 
1846-49; was a member of the first Territorial Legislature, and a charter 
member of the Historical Society; removed to Mankato in 1853, where 
he was one of the first settlers; and died there, July 31, 1857. In the 
summer of 1842 he opened the first store at St. Paul, in a cabin built of 
tamarack logs on the river bank near Jackson street, which was named 
for him. 

The late William P. Murray, who was a member of the legislature 
in 1857, at the time of formation of Jackson county, dissented from this 
derivation of the name, asserting that according to his recollection it was 
their intention to commemorate Andrew Jackson, the seventh president 
of the United States. 

The county seat also has this name, with which its site was christened 
a few weeks before the legislative act forming the county was passed. 
So it appears that the name was first adopted by pioneers on the ground, 
but whether they meant to honor Andrew Jackson, the military hero and 
statesman, or Henry Jackson, a founder of St. Paul and Mankato, on 
their route from the east to this area, is not certainly determined. 

Counties in twenty other states of the Union are named Jackson, which 
with only one exception, are noted by Gannett as in honor of the presi- 
dent Twenty-four states have townships, villages, or cities of this name. 
Pennsylvania, the previous home of some of the pioneers of this county 
and of Jackson, its county seat, has seventeen townships thus named, in 
so many different counties, surpassing any other state in such expression 
of admiration of Andrew Jackson. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from "An Illustrated His- 
tory of Jackson County, Minnesota," by Arthur P. Rose, 586 pages, 1910; 
and from I. W. Mahoney, county abstractor, at the office of the register 
of deeds, and Alexander Fiddes, an early settler, who was the postmaster 
many years at Jackson, interviewed during a visit there in July, 1916. 

260 



JACKSON COUNTY 261 

Alba township, organized September 21, 1872, has a Latin name, 
meaning white, which is also the name of villages in Pennsylvania, 
Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Oregon. 

Alpha, a railway village in Wisconsin township, platted in 1895, and 
incorporated July 25, .1899, bears the name of our letter A in the Greek 
alphabet, which word is formed from the first and second Greek letters. 
It is also the name of villages in Maryland, Indiana, Illinois, and other 
states. 

Belmont township was organized January 5, 1867, receiving its name 
from a settlement of Norwegian immigrants who came here in 1860. One 
of their leaders, Anders Olson Slaabaken, was also often called Anders 
Belmont, probably for a locality in Norway. This is also a frequent 
English name of villages and townships in many other states. 

Christiania township, organized March 4, 1871, was named by its 
settlers for the capital city and chief seaport of Norway. This name was 
given to the city in honor of Christian IV, king of Denmark and Norway, 
by whom it was founded in 1624. 

Delafield township, finally so named March 4, 1871, was organized 
October 11, 1870, being then called Pleasant Prairie and afterward Orwell 
and Bergen, which names were not accepted because they had been earlier 
given to townships elsewhere in Minnesota. This name is borne by vil- 
lages in>Illinois and Wisconsin. 

Des Moines township, organized April 2, 1866, was at first called 
Jackson, for the county seat thus named in the eastern part of this town- 
ship. About six weeks later, on May 16, it was renamed as now by the 
county commissioners, for the river which flows through the township 
and county. The very interesting origin of this name has been noted in 
the first chapter. 

Enterprise, organized March 4, 1871, was named in accordance with the 
suggestion of Samuel D. Lock wood and Anders Roe, early settlers of 
this township. 

EwiNGTON, organized March 2&, 1873, was named in honor of Thomas 
C. Ewing and family, who were its first settlers. 

Heron Lake township, organized September 7, 1870, was named for 
the large lake on its west side, which, as noted by Prof. A. W. Williamson, 
is translated from its Sioux or Dakota name, Okabena, (hokah, heron; 
be, nests ; na, diminutive suffix) , meaning the nesting place of herons. Min- 
nesota has three common species, the great blue heron or crane, from 
which Crane island of Lake Minnetonka was named, the green heron, and 
the black-crowned night heron. The last, found by Dr. Thomas S. Roberts 
in considerable numbers at Heron lake, was formerly plentiful or fre- 
quent through the greater part of this state. 

Hunter, organized February 13, 1872, was named in honor of James 
Wilson Hunter, a pioneer merchant of Jackson, who at that time was the 
county auditor. He was born in Scotland, August 16, 1837; came to the 



262 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

United States in 1855, and to Minnesota in 1858; settled at Jackson in 
1868, where he died August 13, 1900. He was a representative in the 
state legislature in 1869. 

Jackson village, the county seat, is on the site of the earliest white 
settlement within the area of this county, founded and named Spring- 
field in the summer of 1856. It consisted of a log store building on the 
west side of the Des Moines river and a few cabins, quite scattered, on 
the east side. Several of its settlers were killed, March 26, 1857, by a 
marauding band of Sioux under the leadership of Inkpaduta, coming 
from their massacre of many settlers at Spirit Lake, Iowa. Soon after- 
ward the site of Springfield was renamed Jackson, and on May 23 of that 
year it was designated to be the county seat by the act establishing this 
county. But the financial panic of 1857 checked immigration, the civil 
war followed, and the village wa§ not platted until the fall of 1866. It 
was incorporated April 19, 1881. The origin of this name, which was 
adopted for the county, is discussed at the beginning of this chapter. 

Kimball township, organized March 23, 1872, was named in honor of 
Wilbur S. Kimball, the pioneer hardware merchant of Jackson. He was 
born in Chelsea, Vt, in 1835; came to Minnesota at the age of twenty- 
one years, engaging in hardware business at Austin; served in the 
Fourth Minnesota regiment during the civil war; removed to Jackson 
in 1867, and was a merchant there many years; was later a traveling 
salesman; and died in Jackson, December 13, 1892. 

La Crosse township, organized in September, 1872, was named for the 
city of La Crosse, Wisconsin, whence many of its settlers came. This 
name refers to the favorite game of ball often played there by the Indians, 
the stick or club used to catch and throw the ball being called la crosse 
by the French. 

Lakefield, a railway village founded in 1879 with the completion of 
the railway to this point, was named for the adjoining Heron lake. It 
was incorporated September 1, 1887. 

.MiDDLETOWN, lying between Petersburg and Minneota, was organized 
May 10, 1869. "The fact that the township was situated between the two 
older organized townships suggested the name." 

MiLOMA, the station at the intersection of the Milwaukee and Omaha 
railways, has a compound name, recently formed by putting together the 
first three letters of each. This crossing was laid August 1, 1879, and for 
about twenty-five years it was called Prairie Junction. 

Minneota township, organized October 15, 1866, has a Sioux or Dako- 
ta name, meaning "much water," given partly for its group of several 
small lakes, but mainly for the adjoining large Spirit lake and Lake 
Okoboji in the edge of Iowa. 

Okabena, a railway station in West Heron Lake township, was found- 
ed in September, 1879, taking the Sioux name of the lake, which means, 
as before noted, "the nesting place of herons." 



JACKSON COUNTY 263 

Petersburg, organized April 2, 1866» received its name in honor of Rev. 
Peter Baker, a pioneer Methodist minister, who settled in this township 
in 1860 and was its first postmaster. 

RosT township, organized February 3, 1874, was named in honor of 
Frederick Rost, an early settler who came there in 1869. It was at first 
erroneously spelled RuU in the record of the county commissioners and 
on maps. 

Round Lake township, organized in October, 1869, was named for the 
beautiful lake in its western part. 

Sioux Valley township, organized February 27, 1874, the latest in 
this county, was named for the Little Sioux river, which flows through 
it and continues south across northwestern Iowa to the Missouri river. 
The Little and Big Sioux rivers,- the latter forming the northwest bound- 
ary of Iowa, were named for the Dakota or Sioux Indians, who inhabited 
this region. The name Sioux is the terminal part of Nadouesioux, a 
term of hatred, meaning snakes, enemies, which was applied by the 
Ojibways and other Algonquins to this people. 

Weimer, organized May 27, 1871, was then named Eden, which was 
changed to the present name October 20, 1871. "Charles Winzcr, the 
township's first settler, selected the name in honor of his home town in 
Germany, Saxe-Weimar.*' It was correctly spelled in the petition for its 
adoption, but was copied erroneously in the county records. 

West Heron Lake township was organized January 7, 1874, "its geo- 
graphical location suggesting the name." 

Wilder, a railway station in Delafield, was located and named in 
November, 1871, in honor of Amherst Holcomb Wilder, of St. Paul. 
He was born in Lewis, N. Y., July 7, 1828; and died in St Paul, Novem- 
ber 11, 1894. He came to Minnesota in 1859, and engaged in mercantile 
business ^nd also, in stage and steamboat transportation. Later he was 
interested in building numerous railways in Minnesota and adjoining 
states. By his will, and by the later wills of his widow and daughter, 
the Amherst H. Wilder Charity was founded, providing a fund of about 
$3,000,000, of which the income is used to aid the worthy poor of St. 
Paul. The building of this village was begun in 1885. It was platted 
December 7, 1886, and was incorporated March 28, 1899. 

Wisconsin township, organized April 10, 1869, was named in honor of 
the state from which a majority of its settlers came. This name, given 
to the state from its large river, is noted by Gannett as "a Sauk Indian 
word having reference to holes in the banks of a stream, in which birds 
nest" 

Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding pages have noticed the Des Moines river. Heron lake. 
Round lake, and the Little Sioux river. 

Elm creek, draining the northeastern part of this county, flows east 
across Martin county to the Blue Earth river. 



264 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Independence lake, on the south line of Christiania, was named by 
the United States surveyors, who came to it on the fourth of July. Long 
lake and Fish lake are crossed respectively by the east and north bound- 
aries of this township. Lower's lake, in sections 15 and 22, has been 
drained. 

The east part of Wisconsin township has small creeks flowing into 
Martin county, which are sources of the East fork of Des Moines river. 

Minneota has Loon lake, Pearl, Rush, and Little Spirit lakes. The 
last is named in contrast with the much larger Spirit lake in Iowa, which 
is translated from its Sioux name, Mini wakan, noted by Nicollet. In 
its most northern part. Spirit lake touches the boundary of the state and 
of this township at the south side of section 36. 

Tributary to the West fork of the Little Sioux river are Skunk and 
Rush lakes in Spring Valley, Round lake in the township bearing its name, 
and also Illinois lake, Plum Island lake, named for the grovt of native 
plum trees on its island, and Iowa or State Line lake, crossed by the 
Iowa boundary at the southwest comer of this county. 

Des Moines township has Clear lake at the middle of its west side, 
remarkable for the depth and purity of its water. 

Heron Lake township has Lake Flaherty, an early name, but for whom 
it was given remains to be ascertained. 

Timber lake, named for its lone grove in this broad prairie region, 
adjoins the south side of Wilder village. It has been also called Lake 
Minneseka, a Sioux name meaning "bad water.'' 

Lake Carroll, formerly mapped in section 4, Delafield, has been drained. 

Jack and Okabena creeks flow into the west side of Heron take, the 
former being probably named from jack rabbits, and the latter bearing 
the Sioux name for Heron lake. 



KANABEC COUNTY 

Established March 13, 1858, and organized in 1882, this county bears 
a name proposed by William H. C Folsom, of Taylor's Falls, who, as a 
member of the state senate in 1858, introduced the legislative bill for the 
formation of the county. Kanabec is the usual word for a snake in the 
language of the Ojibways, given by them to the Snake river flowing 
through Kanabec and Pine counties to the St. Croix. It has a heavy 
accent on the second syllable, with the English long sound of the vowel, 
being thus pronounced quite unlike the name of the Kennebec river in 
Maine. The latter name, accented on the first syllable, is of different 
etymology, meaning "long lake, — ^a name of Moosehead lake transferred 
to the river." 

This Ojibway word is variously spelled, but has only slight difference 
of pronunciation. On Nicollet's map it is Kinebik; in Wilson's Manual 
of this language, kenabig; and in Baraga's Dictionary, which is followed 
by Gilfillan and Verwyst in their lists of Ojibway names, it is ginebig, 
but this is pronounced, in French style, nearly like our English form of 
the word in the county name. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names in this county has been received 
from "Fifty Years in the Northwest," by W. H. C. Folsom, 763 pages, 
1888; and from A. V. Sander, county auditor, A. M. Anderson, register 
of deeds, Olof P. Victorien, judge of probate, and Hon. J. C. Pope, 
each of Mora, the county seat, interviewed during a visit there in May, 
1916. 

Ann Lake township, its lake of this name, and the outflowing Ann 
river, tributary to the Snake river, commemorate an Ojibway woman 
who lived beside the lake. ("Kathio," by J. V. Brower, 1901, page 114.) 

Arthur township, organized in 1883, was named by Charles E. Wil- 
liams, of Mora, in honor of Chester Alan Arthur, the twenty-first Presi- 
dent of the United States, who was born in Fairfield, Vt., October 5, 
1830, and died in New York city, November 18, 1886. He was graduated 
at Union College in 1848 ; practiced law in New York city ; was inspector 
general of state troops during the civil war ; was collector of the port of 
New York, 1871-78; was elected Vice-President in 1880, and succeeded 
Garfield, who died September 19, 1881. His term as President extended 
to March 4, 1885. 

Brunswick township, organized in 1883, received its name from Bruns- 
wick village and township in Maine, at the head of navigation on the 
Androscoggin river, whence many pioneer lumbermen came to the pin- 

265 



266 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

eries of the St Croix and Snake rivers. A village of this name, platted in 
1856 in section 1 of this township, was the first county seat. 

Comfort township bears a surname of early settlers. 

Ford township, organized in 1916, the latest in this county, was former- 
ly included in Peace township. It was named for Henry Ford, of Detroit, 
Mich., a wealthy manufacturer of automobiles, who conducted a large 
delegation from this country to Europe in December, 1915, to confer 
with the nations at war and to intercede for restoration of peace. 

Grass Lake township, organized in 1883, formerly had a small lake 
of this name, now drained, in sections 13 and 24, which was mostly filled 
with tall marsh grass, the water being very shallow. From this lake was 
also derived the name of Grasston, the railway village in section 12. 

Hay Brook township was named for the brook flowing through it, 
having meadows which supplied hay for winter logging camps. 

HiLLMAN township was named in honor of William F. Hillman, a 
pioneer farmer there. 

Kanabec township, like the county, bears the Ojibway name of the 
Snake river. 

Knife Lake township received its name from the Knife lake and 
river, which are translated from their Sioux and Ojibway names. The 
first knives of iron or steel obtained by the Sioux, in the winter of 1659- 
60, were brought here by Groseilliers and Radisson and the Huron and 
Ottawa Indians who accompanied them, as noted for Isanti county. 

Kroschel township was named in honor of Herman Kroschel, one 
of its first settlers. 

Mora, a village on the railway in Arthur township, was platted in 
1882, when by popular vote it succeeded Brunswick as the county seat 
It was named by Myron R. Kent, owner of its site, for the city of Mora 
at the northwest end of Siljan lake in central Sweden. 

Ogilvie, the railway village of Kanabec township, commemorates Oric 
Ogilvie Whited, for whom also Whited township was named. 

Peace township was named by vote of its people, this name being sug- 
gested in contrast with its village of Warman. 

PoMROY township was named, as also Pomroy lake, crossed by its west 
line, in honor of John Pomroy, a pioneer lumberman who had a logging 
camp beside the lake. 

QuAMBA, a railway village in Whited, was named by officers of the 
Great Northern railway company. 

South Fork township is crossed by the South branch or fork of the 
Ground House river. 

Warman, a village in sections 5 and 6, Peace, having granite quarries, 
was named in honor of S. M. Warman, a quarry owner there, who was 
killed by the fall of a derrick. 

Whited township, like Ogilvie village, was named in honor of Oric 
Ogilvie Whited, of Minneapolis. He was bom in Fitckville, Ohio, Janu- 
ary 20, 1854; was graduated at the State Normal School, Winona, Minn., 



KANABEC COUNTY 267. 

1872; taught school several years in Olmsted county, and later was the 
county superintendent of schools; was admitted to practice law, 1884; 
settled in Minneapolis in 1890, engaged in real estate business and law 
practice, and owned numerous tracts of land in this county. He died in 
Minneapolis, August 6, 1912. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noted the Snake river, Ann lake and river, 
Grass lake. Hay brook. Knife lake and river, Pomroy lake, and the South 
fork of Ground House river. 

A tradition among the Sioux and Ojibways, cited by Winchell in "The 
Aborigines of Minnesota" (page 67), told of Hidatsa Indians, a branch 
of the great Dakotan stock, anciently living in Minnesota, who were 
driven westward to the Missouri river by the coming of the Sioux. These 
Indians lived in wooden huts covered with, earth, whence probably came 
the aboriginal name that we retain in translation as the Ground House 
river, draining the southwest part of this county. It is called Earth Fort 
river on the map of Owen's Geological Report, published in 1852. 

Tributaries of the Snake river, in their order from south to north in 
this county, include, on its east side, Mud creek, flowing through Mud 
lake, Chesley brook, also called Little Snake river, and Cowan's brook, 
the second and third being named for pioneer lumbermen; and, on the 
west side. Rice creek, named for its wild rice, Ground House, Ann, and 
Knife rivers, previously noticed. Moccasin brook, into which Snow Shoe 
brook flows. Hay brook, and Bergman's brook, near the north line of the 
county. The last bears the name of a lumberman whose logging camp 
was on this brook. 

The picturesque . Upper falls and Lower falls of the Snake river are 
respectively about two miles and three miles south of the north boundary 
of this county. 

Among the few lakes that remain to be mentioned, Brunswick has 
Devil's lake, in section 4; Pennington lake, in section 13, now drained, 
named for James Pennington, who near it opened the first farm in the 
county; and Lewis lake, in the southwest corner of this township, named 
for a pioneer settler beside it. 

Arthur township has Spring lake, in sections 1 and 12 ; Lake Mora, in 
the village of this name; Kent lake, in sections 16 and 21, commemorating 
Myron R. Kent, who platted and named this village; and Fish lake, 
through which Ann river flows, in sections 33 and 34. 

A lake beside Snake river in sections 10 and 15, Peace, is mapped 
as 'Tull of Fish lake," a translation from its Ojibway name. 

Kroschel has Bass lake, in section 1 ; Loon lake, in sections 3 and 4 
Long lake and Bland lake, in sections 4 and 5 ; Beauty lake, in section 10 
Lake Eleven, in the section having this number ; Pike lake, in section 13 
Feathery lake and Muskrat lake, in section 24; and White Lily lake, in 
section 27, named for its abundance of the fragrant white water-lily. 



KANDIYOHI COUNTY 

This county, established March 20, 1858, bears the Dakota or Sioux 
name of one or several of its lakes, meaning "where the buffalo fish 
come." Williamson states that it is from "kandi, buffalo fish ; y, euphonic ; 
ohi, arrive in." Our three species of buffalo fish, Ictiobus cyprinella, 
I. urus, and I. bubalus, at their spawning season in May and June 
leave the large rivers, in which they live the greater part of the year, and 
come, sometimes in immense numbers, to the lakes at the head of the 
small streams. The first named species, when mature, often attains the 
weight of 30 to 40 pounds ; and the second and third are about two thirds 
as large. 

Lawson, the historian of the county, writes : 

**It is believed that in early times the Indians applied this name to the 
entire group of lakes which form the sources of the Crow river. Until 
very recent years buffalo fish and other kindred species came up the 
rivers and small streams every spring to find spawning places in these 
waters. . . . 

"The name Kandiyohi was first made known to white men by Joseph 
Nicholas Nicollet, who in 1836-41 explored the region now comprising 
Minnesota. . . . He did not personally visit this section, but secured his 
information about the sources of the Crow from Indians. ... It was 
not until 1856 that white men acquired any definite knowledge as to the 
extent and character of these lakes. In that year four different parties 
of townsite promoters visited the region now embraced within the boun- 
daries of our county and gave separate names to the different lakes which 
attracted their attention. The name Kandiyohi was appropriated by one 
of these companies, and two of the lakes in the southern group were by 
them named Big and Little Kandiyohi. When a new county was organ- 
ized the historic Indian name was adopted." 

In the accepted pronunciation, which differs somewhat from the Dako- 
ta usage, this name accents its first and last syllables, the last having the 
English long sound of the vowel. 

At first the area of this county was divided under legislative acts of 
March 8 and 20, 1858, in two counties, each comprising twelve congres- 
sional townships. The north half was named Monongalia county, and 
during twelve years Kandiyohi county had only the south half of its 
present area, until in 1870 they were united. The name Monongalia was 
derived from the county so named in Virginia (now in West Virginia), 
being Latinized from the Delaware Indian word, Monongahela, "river 
with the sliding banks," given to the stream which unites with the 
Allegheny at Pittsburg, forming the Ohio river. 

268 



KANDIYOHI COUNTY 2l&) 

Townships and Villages. 

The origins and meanings of the geographic names in this county have 
been learned from the "Illustrated History and Descriptive and Biograph- 
ical Review of Kandiyohi County," by Victor E. Lawson and Martin E. 
Tew, 446 pages, 1905; and from interviews with Samuel Nelson, county 
auditor, and Mr. Lawson, editor of the Willmar Tribune and principal 
author of the admirable folio History here cited, during a visit at Will- 
mar, the county seat, in May, 1916. 

Arctander township, organized April 4, 1879, was named in honor of 
John W. Arctander, who during ten years, 1876-86, was a resident of this 
county, being an attorney in Willmar, and thence removed to Minneapolis. 
He was born in Stockholm, Sweden, October 2, 1849; was graduated at 
the Royal University of Norway, 1870, and the same year came to the 
United States; came to Minnesota in 1874, and soon afterward was ad- 
mitted to practice law. In 1875 he published a handbook of the laws of 
Minnesota in the Norwegian language. 

Atwater, thtf railway village in Gennessee, founded in 1869, was named 
in honor of E. D. Atwater, secretary of the land department of the St. 
Paul and Pacific railway. It was incorporated February 17, 1876. 

BuRBANK township, organized in August, 1866, was named in honor 
of Henry Clay Burbank, a well known merchant in St. Paul and St. Qoud 
"held in high esteem by the early settlers for favors extended." He was 
born in Lewis, N. Y., May 4, 1835 ; and died in Rochester, Minn., February 
23, 1905. At the age of eighteen years he came to St. Paul, and with his 
brother, James C. Burbank, engaged in forwarding and commission busi- 
ness and wholesale grocery trade. The firm transported supplies and furs 
for the Hudson Bay Company, and owned wagon trains and steamboats 
on the Red river. He was a state senator in 1873. 

Colfax township, organized June 24, 1871, was at first called I^ke 
Prairie, but in September of the same year it was renamed in honor of 
Schuyler Colfax (b. 1823, d. 1885), who in 1869-73 was Vice-President 
of the United States. 

DovRE township, organized April 6, 1869, received its name from its 
prominent morainic hills in sections 20 and 21, which the early Norwegian 
settlers called the Dovre hills, in remembrance of the Dovrefjeld moun- 
tains and high plateau on the boundary between Norway and Sweden. 

East Lake Lillian township, organized March 6, 1893, had been since 
1872 the east half of Lake Lillian, named for the lake crossed by the 
boundary between these townships. 

Edwards township, established September 7, 1871, was named in honor 
of S. S. Edwards, a pioneer settler who was the leader for its organiza- 
tion. 

Fahlun, established March 20, 1877, bears "the popular name of the 
home county in Sweden of a number of the early settlers." The chief 



270 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

city of that district, also named Fahltin or Falun, is sometimes called 
'^e Treasury of Sweden," having mines of copper, silver, and gold. 

Gennessee, organized in 1858, was named (with changed spelling) 
for the Genesee river in New York, whence several of its first pioneers 
had come in 1857. This name means, according to Gannett, "shining 
valley" or ''beautiful valley," in its native Indian language of New York ; 
but the too liberal spelling here used, yet without change in pronunciation, 
came from Tennessee. 

Green Lake township, established in January, 1868^ received its name 
from the large lake on its north boundary, which was named August 10, 
1856, by the first party of settlers. On that day they selected a town- 
site on the southwestern shore of this lake, now occupied by the village 
of Spicer, in sections 3 and 4 of this township. "They were enraptured 
by the beautiful sheet of water, and from its peculiar shade of bottie 
green christened it Green lake. To their future city they gave the name 
of Columbia." 

Hakeison township, established April 25, 1858, was named in honor 
of Joseph D. Harris, who setUed here in August, 1857, and was the first 
postmaster and the first town cleric He was bom in Nova Scotia in 
May, 1834, and died May 7, 187a 

Holland township was established July 23, 1888. Its settlers "w^re 
principally Hollanders, or of Holland descent, but with a sprinkling of 
Swedes and Germans." 

Ieving township, organized March 2!7, 1868, took its name from a 
townsite platted on the east side of Green lake in 1856 by Eugene M. 
Wilson, of Minneapolis, who later was a congressman, and others. This 
name was probably selected in honor of the distinguished American 
author, Washington Irving (b. 1783, d. 1859). 

Kandiyohi township was established March 1, 1868, then including 
also the present townships of Fahlun, Whitefield, and Willmar. It was 
named, like the county, for the Kandiyohi lakes. The railway village, 
named for the township, was founded when the railway was built, in 
1869, and was incorporated May 7, 1904. 

An earlier townsite of this name, platted in October, 1856, in section 
25 of this township and the adjoining section 30 of Gennessee, at the 
north side of Lakes Kasota and Minnetaga, aspired to become the capital 
of Minnesota, for which purpose a bill was passed by the legislature in 
March, 1869, but was vetoed by Governor Marshall. This project was 
again brought to the attention of the legislature in 1871, and also in 1891 
and 1893, but received no favorable action. In 1901 the "capitol lands," 
which had been acquired here by the state in 1858, were sold for use in 
farming. 

Lake Andrew township, organized March 19, 1872, received the name 
given to this lake in the summer of 1857 by Andrew Holes, one of the 
first two settiers, being carved by him "in large, plain letters upon one of 
the Cottonwood trees" of its south shore. 



KANDIYOHI COUNTY 271 

Lake Elizabeth township, organized April 16, 1869, bears the name 
of the lake crossed by its north boundary, given "in honor of the wife of 
A. C. Smith, the early lawyer and receiver at the United States land 
office at Forest City." Lakes Ella and Carrie, closely adjoining the north 
side of this lake, in Gennessee, were named for her daughters. 

Lake Liluan township was organized January 2^, 1872. The lake 
was named in honor of the wife of an artist and author, Edwin White- 
field, who accompanied the first exploring party to the Kandiyohi lakes 
in the summer of 1856. 

Mamre township, organized April 6, 1870, took the name given in 1866 
to the lake in sections 11, 12, and 14, by one of the first three settlers, 
John Rodman, whose homestead claim was on the southwest arm of this 
lake. "He gave the name Mamre to his new home locality, from the 
Biblical reference to the home of Abram in the Promised Land." 

New London township, organized August 25, 1866, derived its name 
from the village, which was founded in 1865, by building a sawmill, and 
was incorporated April 8, 1889. The name was chosen by Louis Larson, 
"from a similarity he saw with the location of New London, Wis., a 
prospering village of his old home county." 

Norway Lake township, organized in August, 1866, at first included 
also the present townships of Arctander, Lake Andrew, Mamre, and 
Dovre. It was named for the largest lake of its original area, lying main- 
ly in Lake Andrew township, around which many Norwegian immigrants 
settled. 

Pennock^ the railway village of St. John's township, founded in 1870- 
71, with the building of this railway, ait first bore the township name. In 
the fall of 1891 it was renamed in honor of George Pennock, of Willmar, 
superintendent of this division of the Great Northern railway. 

Prinsburg, a hamlet at the center of Holland township, platted in 
1886, commemorates Martin Prins, member of a land firm in Holland, 
who came here and in 1884 acquired about 35,000 acres of railroad lands, 
mostly in this county. He died in 1887. 

Raymond, a railway village in Edwards, platted in 1887, was named 
for Raymond Spicer, a son of John M. Spicer, of Willmar, who was the 
founder of Spicer village. 

RosELAND township was organized March 16, 1889, its name being 
chosen by Peter Lindquist, the first settler, who same in the spring of 
1869. "In Swedish the name is the usual designation for a flower gar- 
den." 

RosEvnxE township, organized August 25, 1866, was named as sug- 
gested by Joseph Cox, "on account of the profusion of wild roses growing 
and in bloom upon the prairie." 

St. John's township, first settled in 1868, was established by a special 
act of the legislature, February 77^ 1872, and was organized a month 
later. It bears a name given to a locality on its north line by an early 



272 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

map of the state, published in 1860, probably noting a proposed site for a 
Catholic colony, whence the lake in sections 1 and 2 became known as 
St John's lake. 

Spicer, a railway village in the north edge of Green Lake township, 
was platted in 1886, on the deserted early townsite of Columbia, and was 
named in honor of John M. Spicer, its founder and owner of the site, 
who was the president of the company building this railway line. Ray- 
mond village was named for his son, as before noted. 

Whitefield township was established June 6, 1870. Its name is from 
a proposed townsite selected by an exploring party in the early autumn 
of 1856, on the northwest shore of Lake Wagonga, in sections 1 and 11, 
named in honor of Edwin Whitefield, a landscape artist, who was a 
member of the party. Lake Lillian, named for his wife, is the source of 
another township name, as before noted. 

WiLLMAR township, established January 4, 1870, took the name of its 
village, platted in 1869 when the railroad here was built. The townsite 
was selected and named by George F. Becker, president of the railroad. 
"Leon Willmar, a native of Belgium, at that time residing in London, 
was the agent for the European bondholders of the St Paul and Pacific 
railroad company, and it was in his honor that the town was named. He 
af<terwards secured several hundred acres of land around the northeast- 
ern shores of Foot lake, and presented the same to his son, Paul Willmar, 
who a few years before had served as a soldier of fortune under Maxi- 
milian, the adventurous invader of Mexico." Expensive buildings were 
erected in 1871 for the Willmar farm, on section 1 of this township, 
where during ten years Paul Willmar conducted operations on an ex- 
tensive scale. In 1881 he sold this large farm and returned to Belgium, 
his native land. Willmar village was incorporated January 16, 1874; and 
its city charter was adopted November 19, 1901. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noted the names of the Kandiyohi lakes, 
Green lake, Lakes Andrew, Elizabeth, and Lillian, Lakes Ella and Carrie, 
Lake Mamre, Norway lake, and St. John's lake. 

Shakopee creek, flowing west to the lake of this name in Chippewa 
county, is noticed in the chapter for that county ; and Hawk and Chetamba 
creeks, having their sources here, are noticed under Renville county. 

Many lakes remain to be mentioned, but a considerable number have 
names that require no explanation, and others of small size are unnamed. 
The list follows the numerical order of the townships from south to 
north, and of the ranges from east to west. 

Dog lake, in East Lake Lillian township, and others smaller and with- 
out names, have been drained and are now farm lands. 

Fox lake, crossed by the south line of Lake Lillian township, and 
Grove lake on its west side, named for the grove on its island, have been 
drained. 



KANDIYOHI COUNTY 273 

Lake Elizabeth township has Johnson lake in sections 10 and 11, and 
Otter lake in sections 10 and 15. Lakes Charlotte and Mary, now drained, 
were in its southwest part. 

Fahlun has Lake Fanny and Wagonga lake, which was formerly called 
Grass lake, in translation of this Dakota or Sioux name. The latter, 
reaching west into Whitefield, is erroneously spelled Waconda by some 
maps. 

Lake Milton was in sections 7 and 18, Whitefield, and Stevens lake in 
section 20, but both are drained. 

Edwards has Bad Water lake, through which Hawk creek flows at 
Raymond; Olson lake, in section 26; and Vick lake, drained, in sections 
29 and JO. 

Gennessee has Summit lake, in sections 9 and 10, referring to the 
building of the railroad, which very near the west line of this township 
crosses its highest land between St. Paul and Breckenridge ; Pay lake, 
of smaller size, in section 10, where the paymaster in that work had his 
camp; Lakes Ella and Carrie, before noticed in their relationship with 
Lake Elizabeth; and Lake Minnetaga, compounded of Dakota words, 
mifme, water, and taga, froth, foam. 

In Kandiyohi township are Lake Kasota, a Dakota name, meaning a 
cleared place, and Swan lake, each lyitfl^ close to the north side of Little 
Kandiyohi lake, with which Lake Kasota is connected by a strait. 

Willmar has Foot lake, adjoining the city, named in honor of the first 
settler here; Willmar lake, which adjoins the former Willmar farm, be- 
ing a northeastern bay of Foot lake, connected therewith by a narrow 
passage; and Grass lake, which was shallow and mostly filled with 
marsh grass, but is now drained. 

Solomon R. Foot, commemorated by the lake bearing his name, was 
bom in Dover, Ohio, May 30, 1823; came to Minnesota in 1857, and in 
June took a homestead claim on the shore of this lake, being the first 
settler of Willmar township; removed about six years later to Melrose, 
in Steams county, where he built a hotel and was the first postmaster; 
removed to Minot, N. D., in 1888; spent his last few years in California, 
with his children, and died March 15, 1903. Another lake, in Dovre, is 
also named for him. 

The largest lake in Harrison was visited in September, 1856, by a 
party of explorers who came from St. Peter. "The crystal brightness 
of the lake impressed them, and they named it Diamond lake." Other 
lakes in this township are Jessie lake, crossed by the north line of section 
6; Rieff and Swenson lakes, drained, in section 15; Sperry lake, section 
16; Tait's lake, section 19; Thomas lake, drained, in sections 21 and 22; 
Schultz lake, in sections 23 and 26 ; and Wheeler lake, in sections 26, 27, 
and 34. 

Green Lake township has Henderson lake in section 6; Twin lakes, 
sections 7 and 8; Elk Horn lake, sections 9 and 16, where a pair of very 



274 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

large elk antlers were found in 1857; Eagle lake, crossed by the west line 
of this township ; and Bur Oak lake, in section 33. 

Dovre has Ringo lake, Florida Slough lake, and Long or Nevada lake, 
each of large size, in its northeast part; Point lake, King, Skataas, and 
Swan lakes, at the southeast, the second and third being named for pioneer 
farmers; and Solomon lake at the southwest, named, like Foot lake in 
Willmar, for Solomon R. Foot, who often visited this lake as a hunter 
and trapper. 

In Mamre township, besides the lake of this name, are Swan lake, 
of clear water, in sections 9 and 10, and Church and Lindgren lakes, 
respectively in sections 23 and 26, which are shallow and grassy. 

Irving has Calhoun lake, named for an early settler who raised cattle 
there; Otter lake, very small, in section 4, and Shoemaker lake, crossed 
by the south line of section 6, both drained; and Long lake, in the north 
part of section 6, extending into Roseville. 

New London has Bear lake, in section 7; Cedar Island lake, in section 
17, named for its red cedar tree$; Nest lake, in sections 28 and 29, re- 
markable for the former abundance of nests of double-crested cormor- 
ants,' commonly called 'l)lack jacks,'^ on the trees of its larger island; 
and George and Woodcock lakes, respectively in sections Z2 and 33, ex- 
tending south into Green Lake township. The last was named for Elijah 
T. Woodcock, the first settler near it Lake Eight, in sections 5 and 8, 
translated from the name given by Swedish settlers, is a marsh, only 
covered by water in wet seasons. 

Lake Andrew township, with its lake so named, has also Middle lake 
and Norway lake; Lake Mary, on the west line of section 19; Norstedt 
lake, small and shallow, in section 24; and, near the south side of the 
township. Lake Florida and Crook lake, the last being named from its 
crooked outline. ''Lake Florida is said to have been first so designated 
by the early settlers of Norway Lake on account of its location to the 
south." 

Arctander has Swenson lake, in sections 24 and 25. West and Sand 
lakes, in sections 16 and 17, have been drained. 

Burbank has Lake Twenty, in the section so numbered-, and Mud lake, 
on the south line of this township. 

Colfax has Prairie and Stauffer lakes, shallow, or sometimes dry, in 
its southeast part; Timber lake, Skull and Swan lakes, find Games lake, 
at the southwest; and Sand, Thompson, and Hystad lakes, in its north 
half, the last being named for Andrew O. Hystad, an early fanner there. 

In Norway Lake township are Lake Bertha and Even's or Glesne lake, 
near its center; and Deer lake, Lake Ole, Lake of Hefta, and Brenner 
lake in its north part, with Crook lake on its north line. Glesne lake was 
named for Even O. Glesne, a pioneer farmer beside it, and Lake Bertha 
for his daughter. "Lake of Hefta was so called in honor of Mrs. Marie 
Hefta, . . . who was born on a place of that name in Norway;" and 



KANDIYOHI COUNTY 275 

Brenner lake was named for Andreas Hanson "Brenner," the added 
surname having reference to 'liis vocation in Norway as manufacturer 
of tar." 

When the first pioneers came, their settlements or small neighborhoods 
preceding the organization of townships were designated by the adjoining 
lakes, as the Diamond Lake, Eagle Lake, and Nest Lake settlements. 
Finally nine townships, among them being Kandiyohi, Mamre, and Si 
John's, were thus named for their lakes. 

Hills of the Waconia and Dovre Moraines. 

The north half of this county is crossed by two belts of morainic 
drift hills, very irregular in contour and attaining heights of 100 to 200 
feet above the lowlands and lakes. Names applied to parts of these 
hilly tracts, and to some of the more conspicuous separate elevations, are 
Cape Bad Luck and Sugarloaf, in the south edge of Roseville; the Blue 
hills, culminating in Mount Tom, about a mile north of Lake Andrew; 
the hills before noted as . giving their name to Dovre township ; and 
Ostlund's hill, in section 22, Mamre, named for Lars Ostlund, a farmer 
at its west side. 

Derived from the hills in Dovre, this name is extended to the seventh 
or Dovre moraine in the series of twelve marginal moraine belts formed 
successively along the receding border of the continental ice-sheet during 
its final melting in Minnesota. 

Eastward in New London, Irving, and the edge of Roseville, the drift 
hills are referred to a somewhat earlier stage of the glacial retreat, being 
a part of the sixth or Waconia moraine, named from Waconia in Carver 
county. At Mount Tom, and thence northwest for about twenty-five 
miles, the Waconia and Dovre moraines are merged in a single belt of 
drift hills, knolls, and short ridges. 

Sibley State Park. 

Adjoining Lake Andrew with a shore line of one and a half miles, 
this park, named in honor of Governor Henry Hastings Sibley, was pro- 
vided through purchase by the state in July, 1919. It is a tract of 3S6 
acres, consisting of high morainic hills, short ridges, and hollows, sprinkled 
with drift boulders and covered with hardwood timber. Its acquirement 
as a state park was advocated by Victor E. Lawson, of Willmar, and 
Peter Broberg, of New London; and its supervision and development 
are to be directed by Carlos Avery, state game and fish commissioner. 



KITTSON COUNTY 

Forming the northwest corner of this state, Kittson county was estab- 
lished by being thus renamed, March 9, 1878, and by reduction from its 
area, making Marshall county, February 25, 1879. Previously it had been 
a part of Pembina county, one of the nine large counties into which the 
new Minnesota Territory was originally divided, October 27, 1849. It 
was named in honor of Norman Wolfred Kittson, one of the leading 
pioneers of the territory and state. He was born in Sorel, Canada, March 
5, 1814 ; came to the area that afterward was Minnesota in 1834, and dur- 
ing four years was engaged in the sutler's department at Fort Snelling; 
was later a fur trader on his own account, and became manager for the 
American Fur Company in northern Minnesota; engaged in transporta- 
tion business, at Fort Snelling, Pembina, and St. Paul; was a member 
of the territorial legislature, 1851-55, and mayor of St. Paul, 1858; be- 
came director of steamboat traffic on the Red river for the Hudson Bay 
Company, in 1864; and established a line of steamers and barges known as 
the Red River Transportation Company, whence he was often called 
"Commodore." He died suddenly. May 11, 1888, on ja railway train in 
his journey of return to Minnesota from the east. The Catholic Cathe- 
dral in St. Paul is built on the site of his home. 

With the adoption of the present name of Kittson county, the former 
Pembina county ceased to exist in Minnesota, but it is still represented 
by a North Dakota county bearing that name, on the opposite side of the 
Red river. It was first the name of a river there, was thence applied to 
an early fur trading post at the junction of this stream with the Red river, 
was given in 1849 to the great Pembina county, and later to the town 
that became the county seat of its part in Dakota Territory, near the site 
of the old trading post. Keating wrote, in his Narrative of Long's expedi- 
tion in 1823, that it was derived from the Ojibway word for the fruit 
of the bush cranberry, "anepeminan, which name has been shortened 
and corrupted into Pembina." This tall bush (Viburnum Opulus, L.) is 
common along the Pembina and Red rivers, as also through the north half 
of Minnesota, and its fruit is much used for sauce by the Ojibways and the 
white people. Neill translated the name as follows (History of Minne- 
sota, p. 868) : "The Pembina river, called by Thompson 'Summer Berry,' 
was named after a red berry which the Chippeways call Nepin (summer) 
Minan (berry), and this by the voyageurs has been abbreviated to Pem- 
bina, which is more euphonious." 

276 



KITTSON COUNTY 277 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been gathered from "History of the Red River Val- 
ley," two volumes, 1909, the chapter for this county, by Edward Nelson, 
former register of deeds, being pages 923-966; and from interviews with 
Mr. Nelson and Axel Lindegard, a merchant in Hallock, the county seat, 
during a visit there in August, 1909, and Edward A. Johnson, clerk of 
court, and again with Mr. Lindegard, in a second visit there, September, 
1916. 

Arveson township, organized July 14, 1902, was named in honor of 
Arve Arveson, a settler in Davis, who was then chairman of the county 
commissioners. 

Bronson, a railway village in Percy, was named for Giles Bronson, an 
early farmer in section 32 of that township, well known for entertaining 
sportsmen at his home. 

Cannon township, organized July 11, 1904, was named for Thomas 
Cannon, a merchant in Northcote, who was one of the county commis- 
sioners. 

Caribou township, organized January 8, 1908, had a few reindeer, of 
geographic limitation in the wooded and partly swampy region of northern 
Minnesota and Canada, named Rangifer caribou. The second word of the 
name is of Algonquin Indian origin, meaning a pawer or scratcher, in 
allusion to the habit of this animal in winter, pawing in the snow to eat 
the reindeer moss beneath. 

Clow township commemorates several brothers of that name, early 
settlers there, who came from Prince Edward Island. 

Davis township, organized July 24, 1882, was named in honor of Ed- 
ward N. Davis a settler in section 30, who was a county commissioner, 
but removed to Georgia. 

Deerwood was organized July 23, 1888, -receiving this name from its 
deer and its tracts of woodland. 

Donaldson^ the railway village of Davis township, was named for 
Captain Hugh W. Donaldson, a veteran of the civil war, manager of an 
adjoining farm of several thousand acres, owned by the Kennedy Land 
Company. 

Granville township, organized July 27, 1885, took a name that is borne 
by villages and townships in twelve other states. 

Hallock township, which includes the county seat, was organized 
August 2, 1880, and was named in honor of one of the founders of its 
village, Charles Hallock, the widely known sportsman, journalist, and 
author. He was born in New York city, March 13, 1834; was graduated 
at Amherst college, 1854; was during many years editor of 'Torest and 
Stream," which he founded in 1873; erected a large hotel here in 1890, 
which was a noted resort of sportsmen until it was burned in 1892; is 
author of many magazine articles and books on hunting, fishing, travel 



278 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

in Alaska, Florida, etc. ; now resides in Washington, D. C Hallock vil- 
lage, platted in 1879-^, was incorporated June 11, 1887. 

Hal^a is the railway village of Norway township. 

Hampden township was the earliest organized in this county, July 28, 
1879. It was named on the suggestion of officers of its railway, for John 
Hampden (b. 1594, d. 1643), the celebrated statesman and patriot of Eng- 
land. 

Hazelton township, organized July 23, 1888, was probably named for 
its plentiful growth of wild hazelnut bushes. Minnesota has two species, 
each being common through its northern part. 

Hill township, organized January 11, 1901, is named in honor of the 
distinguishd railway builder and president, James Jerome Hill, who owned 
.and farmed large tracts in and adjoining this township. He was bom 
near Guelph, Ontario, September 16, 1838; and died at his home in St. 
Paul, May 29, 1916. He came to Minnesota in 1856, and engaged in 
steamboat and railway transportation. In 1871 he consolidated the trans- 
portation business, of Norman W. Kittson in the Red river region with his 
own; and Donald A. Smith (since Lord Strathcona) managed the com- 
pany jointly with himself. He was the prime mover in the effort to secure 
the bonds of the St. Paul and Pacific railroad, successfully accomplishing 
this in 1878, with reorganization under the name of the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis and Manitoba Railway Co., of which he was general manager, 1879- 
82; and president, 1883-90. This railway and its new branches were again 
changed in name in 1890 to be the Great Northern railway system, of which 
Mr. Hill continued as president till 1907, becoming then chairman of its 
board of directors. His biography, by Joseph G. Pyle, in two volumes, 
with portraits, was published in 1917. The extensive Hill fatm, compris- 
ing about 15,000 acres in Hill and St. Vincent townships, was sold during 
the summer of 1917, in 127 parts, to make small farms for settlers. 

HuMB(X.DT is a Great Northern railway village in the southeast part of 
St Vincent township. This name, borne by counties in Iowa, Nevada, 
and California, and by villages or small cities in seven states, commem- 
orates Baron Alexander von Humboldt (b. 1769, d. 1859), an eminent 
German scientist and author, who in 1799 to 1804 traveled in South Ameri- 
ca and Mexico. 

Jupiter township, organized November 10, 1883, was named for the 
planet Jupiter by Nels Hultgren, an early Norwegian settler there, who 
had been a sea captain. 

Karlstad, a Soa railway village in the east edge of Deerwood, was 
named for the city of Karlstad in Sweden. 

Kennedy, a Great Northern railway village, was named in honor of 
John Stewart Kennedy (b. 1830, d. 1909). From his former home in Scot- 
land he came to America in 1856, settled in New York city, and was an 
iron merchant, banker, and railway director. He was a generous donor to 
many public charities, and for educational and religious work. 



KITTSON COUNTY 279 

Lancaster is a Soo railway village in the east edge of Granville. 
Eighteen states have villages, cities, or townships of this name, derived 
from a city and county of England. 

McKiNLEY township, organized July 14, 1902, was named in honor of 
William McKinley (b. 1843, d. 1901), who was a member of Congress from 
Ohio, 1877-91 ; governor of Ohio, 1892-6 ; and president of the United 
States, 1897-1901. 

NoRTHCotE, the railway village in Hampden, was named in honor of Sir 
Stafford Henry Northcote (b. 1818, d. 1887), an eminent English statesman 
and financier. He was a commissioner at the treaty of Washington in 
1871, which referred the Alabama claims of the United States against 
England to an international tribunal of arbitration. 

Norway township, organized January 9, 1901, was named for the coun- 
try from which nearly all its settlers came. 

NoYES, a station of the Great Northern and Soo railways adjoining 
the international boundary, was named in honor of J. A. Noyes, the U. S. 
customs collector there. 

Orleans^ a Soo railway village in the east edge of Qow, was named 
by officers of that railway. Derived from the city of Orleans in France, 
this name is borne by counties in Vermont and New York, and by town- 
ships and villages in Massachusetts and seven other states. 

Pelan township, organized April 20, 1900, was named for Charles H. 
Pdan, a pioneer settler there. 

Percy township, organized July 9, 1900, was named for Howard Percy, 
an early trapper axKl hunter. 

PoPFLETON^ organized April 8, 1893, received its name, by a common 
mispronunciation, for the plentiful poplar trees and groves in this town- 
ship. 

Red River township, organized January 5, 1881, having a length of 
twelve miles from south to north, is named for the river that is its 
western boundary. 

RicHARDvnxE township, organized January 8, 1895, was named for 
George Richards, one of its first settlers, whose homestead claim is the 
southwest quarter of section 30. 

St. Joseph township, organized January 9, 1901, was named by its set- 
tlers, including Catholic immigrants from Poland, for St. Joseph, hus- 
band of the Virgin Mary. The north part sends its drainage west to the 
Joe river, a small stream so named by the early fur traders and voyageurs. 

St. Vincent township, organized March 19, 1880, is opposite to Pem- 
bina, N. D. Its name had been earlier given, before 1860, to a post of 
fur traders here, in honor of the renowned St. Vincent de Paul, founder 
of missions and hospitals in Paris, who died September 27, 1660, at the 
age of eighty years. 

Skane township, organized May 10, 1887, was named for the old 
province of Scania, the most southern part of Sweden. 



280 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Spring Brook township, organized January 2, 1884, received the name 
of a brook flowing through its southern part 

SvEA township, organized February 15, 1884, bears a name given in 
poetry to Sweden, the native country of many of its settlers. 

Tegner, organized July 24, 1882, was named in honor of Esaias Teg- 
ner (b. 1782, d. 1846), a famous Swedish poet. In 1811 he was awarded 
the prize of the Academy of Sweden for a long poem entitled "Svea;" 
and in 1825 he published his most celebrated' work, 'Trithjofs Saga," 
based on the old Norse saga of this name. 

Teien, organized April 5, 1882, was named for Andrew C Teien, an 
early Norwegian homesteader in section 4. 

Thompson, organized July 24, 1882, was named for William, Robert, 
and George Thompson, brothers, who took homestead claims in this town- 
ship as pioneer farmers. 

Townships 161 and 162, in Range 45, are yet unorganized. 

Lakes and Streams. 

This county, lying wholly within the great area of the Glacial Lake 
Agassiz, has now only very few and very small lakes. These are the 
Twin lakes in Arveson, Scull lake in section 22, St. Joseph, and Lake 
Stella (a star), adjoining the village of St. Vincent. The last was called 
"Lac du Nord Quest" on the map of Minnesota in 1860, meaning, in its 
use by the French voyageurs, "Lake of the Northwest" corner of this 
North Star State. 

Spring brook, giving its name to a township, is one of the sources 
of Tamarack river, (a translation of the Ojibway name), which, after 
flowing through large swamps, joins the Red river in the southern half 
of Red River township. 

The South branch of Two rivers receives the Middle branch at Hal- 
lock, and it unites with the North branch about two miles above the 
mouth of the united stream. The Ojibway name, given by Gilfillan, 
''is Ga-nijoshino zibi, or the river that lies two together as in a bed; no 
doubt, from its two branches running parallel." 

Joe river, before noted, deriving its headwaters from St. Joseph town- 
ship, and flowing through Richardville, Clow, and the northeast part of 
St. Vincent, reaches the Rod river about three miles north of the inter- 
national boundary. In Qow the channel is lost for several miles in a 
wide swamp. 



KOOCHICHING COUNTY 

This county, established December 19, 1906, bears the Cree name 
applied by the Ojibways to Rainy lake, and also to the Rainy river and to 
its great falls and rapids at International Falls. It is translated by Rev. 
J. A. Gilfillan as Neighbor lake and river, or, under another interpretation, 
a lake and river somewhere. He remarked that this word is of difficult 
or uncertain meaning, and that, although in common Ojibway use, it does 
not strictly belong to that language. 

Jacques de Noyon, a French Canadian voyageur, who was probably 
the first white man to traverse any part of the northern boundary of Min- 
nesota, about the year 1688, found this name used in the Cree language 
for the Rainy river. As narrated by an official report of the Intendant 
Begon, written at Quebec, November 12, 1716, published in the Margry 
Papers (vol. VI, pages 495-8), DeNoyon, about twenty-eight years pre- 
vious to that date, had set out from Lake Superior by the canoe route of 
the Kaministiquia river, under the guidance of a party of Assiniboine 
Indians, in the hope of coming to the Sea of the West. He passed 
through Rainy lake, called the Lake of the Crees, and wintered on its 
outflowing river, the Takamaniouen, "otherwise called Ouchichiq by the 
Crees," evidently the Koochiching or Rainy river and falls, from which 
this county is named. 

Another early narrative of travel, 1740-42, by a French and Ojibway 
half-breed named Joseph la France, containing a description of the Rainy 
lake and river, is given in a book published by Arthur Dobbs in London 
in 1744, entitled *'An Account of the Countries adjoining to Hudson's 
Bay." La France passed through Rainy lake in the later part of April 
and early May, 1740, and staid ten days at the Koochiching falls on the 
Rainy river near the outlet of this lake. For the purpose of fishing, the 
Moose band of Ojibways had "two great Villages, one on the North 
Side, and the other on the South Side of the Fall," being respectively on 
or near the sites of Fort Frances and International Falls. The narra- 
tive tells the origin of the French name, Lac de la Pluie (Lake of the 
Rain), which in English is Rainy lake, that it "is so called from a per- 
pendicular Water-fall, by which the Water falls into a River South-west 
of it, which raises a Mist-like Rain." This refers to the outflowing 
Rainy river, in its formerly mist-covered falls, since 1908 dammed and 
supplying water-power in the city of International Falls for the largest 
paper-making mills in the world. 

The original meanings of Ouchichiq (for Koochiching,) the Cree 
name of Rainy river two hundred years ago, and Takamaniouen, vari- 
ously spelled, an equally ancient Indian name of the Rainy river and lake, 

281 



282 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

are uncertain ; but it may be true that one or both gave in translation the 
French and English names, which refer to the mists of the falls, resemb- 
ling rain. 

Takamaniouen, as written by Begon in 1716, placed in another spelling 
on the map drawn by Ochagach for Verendrye in 1728» was received 
from the Assiniboines. It is thought by Horace V. Winchell and U. S. 
Grant (Geology of Minnesota, vol. IV, p. 192), that this name was trans- 
lated to Lac de la Pluie. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from Louis A. Ogaard, 
county surveyor, during a visit at International Falls, the county seat, in 
September, 1909; and from L. H. Slocum, county auditor, during a second 
visit there in August, 1916. 

Baldus is a recently organized township, probably named for a pioneer 
settler. 

Bannock township received this Gaelic name from Scotland by vote 
of its bachelor settlers, for their bannock bread, "in shape flat and round- 
ish, . . . baked on an iron plate or griddle." 

Bear River township is crossed by a little river of this name, flowing 
north to the Big fork. 

Beaver township had formerly many. beaver dams on its Beaver brook, 
a tributary of the Little fork. 

Big Falls township includes the railway village of this name near its 
northeast comer, at the Grand falls of the Big fork. Its north side 
adjoins Grand Falls township. 

Bridgie township was named for a girl, Bridgie Moore, the first white 
child born there. 

Caldwell township and the Caldwell brook, flowing to the Big fork, 
were named for an early pioneer. 

CiNGMARS township was named for £. F. Cingmars, a French settler 
there, who removed to the west. 

Cross River township was named for this small stream, flowing north- 
eastward through it to the Little fork. 

Dentaybow township uniquely honors three of its homestead farmers, 
named Densmore, Taylor, and Bowman, each represented by a syllable in 
the name. 

Dinner Creek township is crossed by a creek so named, where timber 
cruisers and estimators had a meeting place for dinner, tributary north- 
westward to the Sturgeon river. 

Engelwood township received its name in compliment to its numerous 
settlers named Engelking, who came from the vicinity of Fort Ridgely, 
Nicollet county. 

Ericsburg, a railway village on the Rat Root river, was named in 
honor of the late Eric Franson, of International Falls, a real estate 
dealer, by whom it was platted. 



KOOCHICHING COUNTY 283 

Evergreen township has a general forest of the evergreen trees, in- 
cluding black and white spruce, balsam fir, arbor vitae or white cedar, 
and our three species of pines. 

Feldman, a township organized in 1916, is named for one of its first 
settlers. 

Forest Grove township received this descriptive name by the vote of 
its people. 

Gei£mell, the railway village of Evergreen township, was named in 
honor of W. H. Gemmell, of Brainerd, general manager of the Minne- 
sota and International railway. 

GowDY township commemorates its several pioneers of this name, 
who took homestead claims on and near the Big fork. 

Grand Falls township is crossed meanderingly by the Big fork. Its 
Grand falls, in the southeast edge of this township, with descent of 29 
feet over ledges of gneiss and mica schist, gave also the name Big Falls 
to the adjoining railway village and township on the south. 

Harrigan and Henry were named for prominent pioneers in these 
townships. 

Indus township received this name of a great river in western India 
by the suggestion of Rev. M. F. Smootz, a homesteader beside the Rainy 
river here, who had been a missionary in that country. 

International Falls, the county seat, founded as Koochiching vil- 
lage in the township of this na,me, was incorporated as a city in 1909. Its 
name notes its location on the international boundary at the Koochiching 
falls of Rainy river. The descent of the river here, in broken rapids on 
irregularly jutting ledges of granitoid gneiss, was 23 feet, mainly within 
a distance of about 300 feet ; but a dam close above the falls, completed 
in 1908, increased their head to 26 feet, raising the river to the level of 
Rainy lake and permitting the lake steamboats to come to this city. Be- 
fore the stream was thus used for its water-power, operating the great 
paper mills of International Falls, the plentiful mists and spray of the 
falls, which nearly always formed a rainbow in the sunshine, well account- 
ed for the aboriginal origin of the names of Rainy lake and river. 

Fort Frances, the village on the Canadian side of Rainy river opposite 
to this city, was built around a former fur trading post, which was so 
named in honor of Frances Ramsey Simpson (d. 1853), wife of Sir 
George Simpson (b. 1792, d. 1860). He was governor for the Hudson Bay 
Company in Canada nearly forty years, from 1821 until his death, Sep- 
tember 7, 1860, at his home in Lachine, near Montreal. 

Jameson township was named in honor of Charles S. Jameson, a home- 
steader on the site of the village of Little Fork in this township. He came 
from Northfield, Minn.; founded the first newspaper of Koochiching 
(now International Falls) ; is editor of the Little Fork Times. 

Kline township, recently organized, was named for a pioneer settler. 

Koochiching township, like the county, took this name from the falls 
of Rainy river. 



284 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

LiNDFOHD township was named in honor of L. A. Lindwall, a Swedish 
farmer beside the Big fork in section 13, who also owned a store and 
was the Lindford postmaster. 

Little Fork, the railway village of Jameson, is named for its location 
on the Little fork of the Rainy river. 

Manitou received its Ojibway name, meaning a spirit, from the Mani- 
tou rapids of Rainy river, which forms the north boundary of this town- 
ship. The river falls about three feet in these rapids, "a short pitch over 
solid rock on the bottom and in both banks." 

Meadow Brook township has a small stream of this name, tributary to 
the Bear river. 

Meding township was named for Paul Meding, an early German farm- 
er here. 

MizpAH, the name of a railway village in Engelwood, is the Hebrew 
word for a watchtower. It is used as a parting salutation, meaning *'The 
Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another" 
(Genesis, xxxi, 49). 

Murphy township was named in honor of an Irish pioneer, whose 
homestead farm here nearly adjoined the Rainy river. 

Net Lake township and Net River township border on the Bois Fort 
or Net Lake Indian Reservation, which is more fully noticed, with the 
origin of these names, at the end of this chapter. 

NoRDEN township and its earlier Norden post office were named for 
Norwegian settlers. 

NoRTHOME, a railway village near the southwest corner of the county, 
was named North Hon^ by Harris Richardson, of St. Paul, who with 
others platted this village. The name was changed to its present form 
by request of the U. S. Post Office Department. 

Pelland, a hamlet at the mouth of the Little fork, was named for 
Joseph Pelland, a French farmer, who was its postmaster. 

Pine Top township was named for an exceptionally tall white pine, 
which had at its top a peculiar cluster of small branches. 

Plum Creek township has a little stream so named for its wild plum 
trees. 

"Rainy Lake City" was a gold mining station, during a few years, at 
the east side of the strait between Rainy lake and Black bay (also called 
Rat Root lake). A stamp mill was built there in 1894 for crushing the 
ore mined on the southwest end of Dryweed island, less than a mile dis- 
tant; but the work failed to repay its expenses, and about fifteen years 
later the proposed city site was abandoned. 

Ranier is a village of the Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific railway at the 
mouth of Rainy lake, named by officers of this railway. 

Rapid River township contains the sources of the East fork of the 
river so named, flowing thence north to the Rapid and Rainy rivers. 

Rat Root township is crossed by the circuitous course of the river so 
named, tributary to Rat Root lake, which also is very commonly called 



KOOCHICHING COUNTY 285 

Black bay, connected with Rainy lake by a strait The name of the 
river and lake, adopted for the township, is a translation of the Ojibway 
name, referring to roots eaten by muskrats. All the streams in this dis- 
trict become somewhat darkly stained by the peaty swamps through 
which they sluggishly flow, so that they give the same dark color to the 
water of the Rat Root lake, whence came its other name. Black bay. 

The muskrat is the most abundant fur-bearing animal of the northern 
United States and Canada, a small brother or cousin of the beaver, which 
it almost equals in its industry and skill for house-building. Its favorite 
food, stored for winter use in the houses of mud and rushes built in shal- 
low lakes, consists of the roots of the common yellow water-lilies, which 
gave the name of Rat Root. Another place named for the muskrat is 
Rat Portage, now Kenora, at the mouth of the Lake of the Woods. 

Ray township was named for Edwin Ray Lewis, of Grand Rapids, who 
was a land surveyor and timber cruiser, often traversing this region. 

Reedy township commemorates David Reedy, its first settler, an immi- 
grant from Ireland, who took a land claim at the west side of the mouth 
of the Big fork. 

Sault township received its name, the French word for a leap or 
jump, from the Long Sault rapids of Rainy river, which is its north 
boundary. The rapids are about a mile long, falling about seven feet. 

Scarlett and Steffes townships were named in honor of pioneers. 

Sturgeon River township is traversed in its south part by this river, 
flowing east to the Big fork. The name, probably translated from the 
Ojibway s, refers to the ascent of the lake or rock sturgeon to this stream. 

SuMMERViLLE township was named by vote of its people. There are 
villages or townships of this name in Pennsylvania, North and South 
Carolina, Georgia, and other states of the Union, and also in Nova Scotia 
and Ontario. 

Warren township, organized in 1916, has a name that is borne by 
counties in fourteen states, and by townships, villages and cities in twenty- 
four states, a large majority being in commemoration of Joseph Warren, 
who fell in the battle of Bunker Hill. 

Watrous township was named for Charles B. Watrous, from Pennsyl- 
vania, who was a farmer here and owned a large sawmill on the Rainy 
river near the east line of this township. 

White Birch township has an abundance of the paper or canoe birch, 
used by the Indians to make their birch bark canoes. 

Wicker township was named for Harry Wicker, a homesteader in its 
sections 10 and 11, on the Big fork. 

WiLDWOOD township received this name in the petition of its people 
for organization. 

Williams township was named in honor of James Williams, well 
known for his operating a portable sawmill, whose homestead farm on the 
Rainy river is in sections 6 and 7, at the northwest corner of this town- 
ship and of the county. 



286 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lakes and Streams. 

Foregoing pages have sufficiently noted the names of the Rainy lake 
and river, the Koochiching or International falls, the Big and Little forks 
of Rainy river, Bear river, Beaver brook, Caldwell brook, Cross river, 
Dinner creek, the Grand falls of the Big fork, the Manitou and Long 
Sault rapids of Rainy river, Meadow brook, Plum creek, the East fork 
of Rapid river, the Rat Root river and lake (this lake, united to Rainy 
lake by a strait, being also named Black bay), and the Sturgeon river. 

Names of islands, bays, and points of the part of Rainy lake belonging 
to this county, in their order from east to west, are Dryweed island before 
mentioned for its gold mining, Sha Sha point and Black bay. Grindstone 
island. Grassy island and Grassy narrows separating it from the soulJi 
shore. Red Sucker island, Jackfish island and bay. Stop island, Kingston 
island, and Sand bay and Pither's point at the mouth of the lake. 

The Big fork is known by the Ojibways as Bowstring river, from its 
source in the large Bowstring lake, which is translated from the name 
Atchabani or Busatchabani, given by them to the lake and its outflowing 
stream, before noticed in the chapter for Itasca county. 

The Little fork bears a peculiarly descriptive Ojibway name, recorded 
by Gilfillan as Ningtawonani zibi, *'the river separating canoe routes," 
which name is also applied, with a slight change, to the Net river. In the 
thought of these Indians, expressed by the name, canoe vosrageurs ascend- 
ing the Little fork may go forward to its source or may turn aside and go 
up Net river, having thus the choice of separate routes. 

The Ojibway name of Net lake was written Asubikone by Gilfillan, 
meaning ''taken or entangled in the net." Its origin, as told by the Bois 
Fort Ojibways, is presented in the notice of their reservation. 

Only a few other names of streams and lakes in this county remain 
to be listed. 

South of Net lake, Prairie creek and Willow creek flow into the 
Little fork from the east; Reilly creek is a small eastern tributary of the 
Big fork, about ten miles south of Big Falls ; Black river, named for its 
peat-stained water, joins Rainy river about three miles west of the Big 
fork; Tamarack river flows from Gemmell northwestward to the north 
part of Red lake; and the headstream of Battle river, (formerly mapped 
here as Armstrong creek) , tributary to the south part of that lake, crosses 
Bridgie township, in the southwest corner of this county. 

Among the few and little lakes, limited to the south edge of the county 
above the highest shoreline of Lake Agassiz, only Bartlett lake, at North- 
ome, and Battle lake, through which the Battle river flows, are named on 
maps. 

Bois Fort or Net Lake Indian Reservation. 

This small Ojibway reservation, comprising the whole or parts of nine 
surveyed townships and inclosing Net lake, lies in Koochiching and St. 



KOOCHICHING COUNTY 2&7 

Louis counties. By a census in 1909 the number of the Bois Fort band 
was 641. They call themselves Sugwaundugah wininewug, meaning "Men 
of the thick fir woods;" but the early French traders named them Bois 
Forts, "Hard Wood Indians." 

In the treaty at Washington, April 7, 1866, providing this reservation, 
thp name given to Net lake by the Ojibways was spelled As-sab-a-co-na. 
Albert B. Reagan, who was the United States agent here in 1909-14, writes 
the traditional origin of this name, received as a myth of the Bois Fort 
medicine men. The Ojibways, coming first by the route of Vermilion and 
Pelican lakes, are said to have found on the little island of Net lake many 
strange beasts, 'lialf sea^lion and half fish," who fled westward by swim- 
ming and wading though the shallow and mostly rice-filled lake. ''On 
coming to the island the canoemen paddled around it, and by the track of 
the muddied water pursued the beasts across the lake and up a creek 
till they found where the earth had swallowed them, as if they had been 
caught in a net." The myth is thought to refer to the flight and escape 
of a party of their enemies, the Sioux, whom the Ojibways by many raids 
and battles drove away from the wooded north part of Minnesota. 

The northeast side of this island, which is named Picture island by 
the white people, but Drum island by the Ojibways, has a smoothly 
glaciated rock surface, as described by Reagan, "covered with crudely 
made pictographs of human beings, dance scenes, and outlines of the 
animal gods worshipped by the men making the pictures. . . . The draw- 
ings seem to be similar to those at Pipestone, Minnesota, which are 
known to be Siouan. Furthermore, the Ojibways say that their people 
did not make the rock pictures." 

COUTCHICHING RoCK FORMATION. 

Reports on the geology of the parts of Canada and Minnesota sur- 
rounding Rainy lake, published in 1889-1901, give the name Coutchiching 
to a large series of Archaean mica schists, outcropping in this county on 
Rainy lake, around Black bay, and southward on the Little and Big forks 
and at and near Net lake. (Geology of Minnesota, Final Report, vol. 
IV, 1899, chapter VIII, pages 166-211, with maps and sections ; vol. VI, 
1901, plate LXV.) This name is a variant form of the Cree and Ojib- 
way name of Rainy lake and river, which is applied to this county and a 
township, the pronunciation in the two forms being alike. 



LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY 

This county was established March 6, 1871. Nine years earlier a county 
bearing this name, but of entirely different area, situated north of the 
Minnesota river, had been authorized by a legislative act, February 20, 
1862, but it was not ratified by the people. This French name, meaning 
"the Lake that Talks," is translated from the Dakota or Sioux name, 
Mde lyedan (mde, lake; iye, speaks; dan, a diminutive sufiix), applied 
to the adjacent lake, which is an expansion of the Minnesota river. The 
lake, nearly ten miles long with a maximum width of one mile and a 
maximum depth of twelve feet, owes its existence to the deposition of 
alluvium from the Lac qui Parle river, which enters the Minnesota valley 
near the foot of the lake. Its name most probably was suggested to the 
Indians by echoes thrown back from its bordering bluffs. Prof. Andrew 
W. Williamson wrote: 'Tt is very uncertain how it received the name; 
one tradition says from an echo on its shores, but it is doubtful if any 
such existed ; another tradition is that when the Dakotas first came to the 
lake voices were heard, but they found no speakers ; some think the word 
has changed its form." The Qu* Appelle river in Saskatchewan, also a 
French translation of its Indian name, having nearly the same significance, 
''the River that Calls," is similarly inclosed by somewhat high bluffs, 
likely to reply to a loud speaker by echoes. 

Rev. Moses N. Adams, who during our territorial period resided as a 
missionary at Lac qui Parle, told of a very remarkable creaking, groan- 
ing, and whistling of the ice on the lake in winter and spring, due to 
fluctuations of the water level allowing the ice to rise and fall, grating 
upon the abundant boulders of the shores. At the same time these 
strange sounds are echoed and reverberate from the inclosing bluffs. To 
these "voices" he ascribed the Dakota and French name. 

In the History of the county (1916, page 99), a different explanation 
is offered, "that at times when the wind was from the right quarter the 
breaking of waves against the stones on the shore gave off a distinct 
musical note, or sound, which accounted for the giving of the name to 
the lake by the early voyageurs." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of these names has been gath- 
ered from "History of the Minnesota Valle/' (1882, 1016 pages), in which 
pages 937-955 relate to this county; "History of Chippewa and Lac qui 
Parle Counties" (1916, two volumes, 605 and 821 pages), edited by Lycur- 
gus R. Meyer and Hon. Ole G. Dale; and from interviews with these 

288 



LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY 289 

editors and Hon. J. F. Rosen wald, of Madison, the county seat, during a 
visit there in July, 1916. 

Agassiz township, settled in 1870, organized April 12, 1887, was named 
for the Glacial Lake Agassiz, in the basin of the Red river and of Lake 
Winnipeg, which outflowed by the River Warren along the Minnesota 
valley at the north side of this township. Jean Louis Rudolphe Agassiz, 
in whose honor that ancient lake received its name, was born in Motier, 
Switzerland, May 28, 1807, and died in Cambridge, Mass., December 
14, 1873. His observations of the Swiss glaciers and his principal writings 
concerning them and the glacial origin of the drift were during the years 
1836 to 1846. In the autumn of 1846 Agassiz came to the United States, 
and the remainder of his life was mostly spent here in zoological researches 
and in teaching in Harvard College, where he founded the Museum of 
Comparative Zoology. 

Arena, a Latin word meaning sand, is the name of a township settled 
in 1878, organized January 3, 1880. Its earliest pioneers came from south- 
em Wisconsin, where this name was earlier given to a township and vil- 
lage on the Wisconsin river in Iowa county. 

Augusta township, organized February 5, 1880, was named for Augus- 
ta in £au Claire county, Wisconsin, the former home of its first settlers, 
a party of eleven families, who came in April, 1879. 

Baxter township, settled in the summer of 1870 and organized Sep- 
tember 30, 1871, was named in honor of Hiram A. Baxter, at whose 
home the township meeting for organization was held. 

Belungham, a Great Northern railway village, platted September 12, 
1887, was named for Robert Bellingham, one of the original owners of its 
site, who came from Dane county, Wisconsin. 

Boyd, a railway village in Ten Mile Lake township, platted in 1884 
and incorporated in 1893, was named by officers of the Minneapolis and 
St. Louis railway company. 

Camp Release township, first settled in 1868, organized April 5, 1871, 
has the site of Camp Release, marked by a monument, where the captives 
taken by the Sioux in the outbreak of 1862 were surrendered on Sep- 
tember 26 to General Sibley. 

Cerro Gordo township, settled in the spring of 1868, organized April 
7, 1871, received this Spanish name, meaning "Big Mountain," in accord- 
ance with the suggestion of Cdlonel Samuel McPhail, who participated 
in the battle of Cerro Gordo in the Mexican war, April 18, 1847. 

Dawson, a railway city near the center of Riverside township, platted 
in 1884, incorporated as a village in 1885 and as a city in 1911, was named 
in honor of William Dawson, a banker of St Paul, who was one of the 
proprietors of its site. He was born in County Cavan, Ireland, October 
1, 1825; came to America in 1846; settled in St. Paul in 1861, was its 
mayor, 1878-81, and died there February 19, 1901. 

Freeland was settled in 1877 and organized in March, 1880. The peti- 
tioners at first requested that the name Freedom be given to the new town- 



290 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ship, m compliment to J. P. Free, one of its pioneers ; but this was change 
ed, because another township of the state was earlier so named. 

Garfield township, settled in 1873, organized January 24, 1881, was 
named in honor of James Abram Garfield, President of the United States. 
He was born at Orange, Ohio, November 19, 1831 ; was an instructor and 
later president of Hiram College, Ohio, 1856-61; served in the civil war, 
and was promoted major general in 1863; was a member of Congress 
from Ohio, 1863-1880; was elected President in 1880, and was inaugurated 
March 4, 1881 ; was shot at Washington by Guiteau, July 2, and died at 
Elbcron, N. J., September 19, 1881. 

Hamlin township, settled in April, 1874, and organized September 10, 
1879, commemorates its first settler, Jdhn R. Hamlin, who died in 1876l 

Hantho township, organized November 4, 1878, was also named lor its 
first settler, Halvor H. Hantho, an immigrant from Norway, who took a 
fcomestead on section 15 in 1872. Later in the same year his brothers, 
Nels and Ole, located on section 13. 

Haydenville, a railway station in section 20, Arena, platted October 
10, 1910, was named in honor of Herbert L. Hayden, owner of the site. 
He was born in Onondaga county, N. Y., March 23, 1850; and died in 
Madison, Minn., November 20, 1911. He came to Minnesota in 1875; 
settled at Lac qui Parle in 1878; was admitted to practice law, 1881; re« 
moved to Madison in 1884, was secretary and treasurer of the townsite 
company, and engaged in banking and farming; was county attorney, 
1891-2 and 1895-6. 

Lac qui Parle township, first settled by homesteaders in 1868^ organ- 
ized January 12, 1873, took its name, like the county, from the lake on its 
northern boundary. Its village was the county seat until May, 1889, when 
the county offices were permanently located in Madison. 

Lake Shore township, settled in 1874, organized March 11, 1879, re- 
ceived this name because it borders on Marsh lake, four miles long, 
through which the Minnesota river flows, a body of shallow water, or 
more generally in the summer a grassy marsh. 

LouiSBURG, a Great Northern railway village, platted September 12, 
1887, was named by officers of that railway company. 

Madison township, first settled in 1877, organized in October, 1879, 
was named on the suggestion of C. P. Moe, "in memory of his former 
home at Madison, Wisconsin." Its railway village, which became the 
county seat in 1889, was platted in October, 1884, was incorporated in 
1886, and adopted its city charter March 12, 1902. 

Mantred township, settled in 1876, was organized March 11, 1879, 
being then named Custer, in honor of General George A. Custer (b. 1839, 
d. 1876). The name was changed to Manfred in 1884, for the principal 
character in a wild and weird dramatic poem by Byron, having its scenes 
in the Alps of Switzerland. 

Marietta, a railway village in Augusta, platted in 1884 and incorpo- 
rated in 1899, was named by officers of the Minneapolis and St. Louis rail- 



LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY 291 

way company. This name is borne by cities in Ohio and Georgia, and by 
villages in eleven other states. Pioneers from Marietta, Ohio, had settled 
here. 

Maxwell township, settled in 1871 and organized in 1878, was named 
in honor of Joseph Henry Maxwell, one of its earliest pioneers. He was 
born in West Virginia, March 5, 1840; served in a West Virginia regiment 
during the civil war; came to Minnesota in 1871, taking a homestead claim 
in this township; died in Minneapolis, January 27, 1916. 

Mehurin township, organized October 14, 1879, was named in honor 
of its first homesteader, Lucretia S. Mehurin, and her father, Amasa 
Mehurin, who each came to this township in 1877. He was born in Rut- 
land county, Vermont, June 28, 1806; lived in Iowa twenty-one years, 
1833-54, and later in Freeborn county, Minn. ; came to Lac qui Parle county 
in 1873, being the first settler in Garfield. 

Nassau, a Great Northern railway village in the west edge of this 
county, was platted in December, 1893. This name, received from Ger- 
many, is borne by counties of New York and Florida. 

Perry township was settled in 1878 and organized in 1880. Its name 
is borne by counties of ten states of our Union, and by townships and 
villages or cities in nineteen states, mostly in honor of Oliver Hazard 
Perry (b. 1785, d. 1819), victor in the celebrated battle of Lake Erie, 
September 10, 1813. Some of the first settlers here had come from a 
township of this name in Dane county, Wisconsin. 

Providence township, settled in 1877, organized October 31, 1878, re- 
ceived its name from the large city and capital of Rhode Island, founded 
by Roger Williams in 1636. Villages and townships in twelve other 
states also bear this name. 

Riverside, settled in 1868 and organized September 21, 1872, took its 
name from Lac qui Parle river, which traverses this township, being 
formed here by the union of its West and East branches. 

Ten Mile Lake township, first settled in 1876, organized November 
4, 1878, was named for its former lake, now drained, which was ten miles 
distant from the Lac qui Parle mission and trading post. The lake out- 
flowed by Three Mile creek, so named because it joins Lac qui Parle 
river about three miles south of the mission site. 

Walter township, settled in 1878 and organized October 18, 1884, was 
named in honor of Henry Walter, who was its first settler, served as a 
county commissioner, and after living here about thirty years removed 
to the state of Washington and died there. 

Yellow Bank township, organized January 28, 1878, received the name 
of Yellow Bank river, referring to the yellowish glacial drift seen in its 
newly eroded bluffs. This stream, having its sources on the high Coteau 
^es Prairies, was called by Keating the Spirit Mountain creek, trans- 
lated from its Sioux name, in the narrative and map of Long's expedi- 
tion in 1823. It is Yellow Earth river on the map of Minnesota published 
in 1860. 



292 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lakes and Streams. 

Keating mapped Lac qui Parle river as Beaver creek, adopting this 
name from the fur traders. His narrative adds that the Sioux called it 
Watapan intapa, 'the river at the head," because they considered Lac qui 
Parle as the head of the Minnesota river, probably referring rather to 
the limit of favorable canoe travel during the usually low stage of water 
in the summer. Its name on Nicollet's map, published in 1843, is Intpah 
river; and this is repeated on maps of Minnesota in 1850 and 1860. 

Canby or Lazarus creek, which flows past Canby in Yellow Medicine 
county, crosses several sections in Freeland and Providence, thence being 
tributary southeastward to the East branch of the Lac qui Parle river; 
and Cobb or Florida creek, from sources in Florida township. Yellow 
Medicine county, flows north to the West branch. 

Salt lake, also called Rosabel lake, is crossed by the state boundary at 
the west side of sections 5 and 8, Mehurin. 

Emily creek, in Hantho township, flows to Lac qui Parle. 

Yellow Bank river has South and North forks. 

Whetstone river flows from South Dakota through the northmost 
comer of this county, being tributary to the Minnesota at Ortonvllle. It 
is a translation of the Sioux name, given as Izuzah river by Nicollet. 

Antelope Hills and Moraines. 

Through the west border of this county runs a narrow belt of low 
morainic bills, knolls, and irregular short ridges. In Freeland the most 
prominent of these glacial drift accumulations are named the Antelope 
hills. Northward in Mehurin and Augusta the belt is called Stony Ridge, 
one of its knolls or hillocks at the north side of the West branch of Lac 
qui Parle river being styled Mt. Wickham. Farther north it is known as 
Yellow Bank hills, cut through by the river of that name. 

It is a part of the Antelope or Third moraine of the continental ice- 
sheet, in the series of twelve mapped in Minnesota. At its west side in 
this county a wider tract of lowlands is known as the Antelope Valley, 
^named, like this moraine, for their once frequent antelope herds. 

The only American species of these graceful deerlike animals is 
Antilocapra americana, the prong-horn antelope, proverbially timid and 
fleet in escape from pursuers. Prof. Clarence L. Herrick wrote of their 
geographic range as follows, in his "Mammals of Minnesota," published 
in 1892. **The habitat is limited to the temperate parts of North America 
west of the Mississippi river. Formerly their range included all of the 
territory between the tropics and about fifty-four north latitude and from 
the Mississippi to the coast, except in the wooded and mountainous por- 
tions. At the present time they are restricted to the less accessible and 
arid regions between the Missouri river and the Mountains and south- 
ward. Southwestern Minnesota once furnished them congenial pastur- 
age, but they have long since retired beyond the MissourL" 



LAKE COUNTY 

This county, established March 1, 1856, received its name from its 
being bounded on the southeast by Lake Superior, which the Ojibways 
call "Kitchigumi, meaning great water/' as spelled by Gilfillan, or ''Gitche 
Gumee, the Big-Sea-Water," of Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha." 
Its very early French name, Lac Superieur, used by Marquette, Henne- 
pin, and Franquelin, denotes its situation as the highest in the series of 
five great lakes tributary to the St. Lawrence river, which are named 
collectively the Laurentian lakes. This largest body of fresh water in 
the world has a mean level 602 feet above the sea, and a maximum 
depth of 1,026 feet. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of origins and meanings of the geographic names was 
gathered from John P. Paulson, county auditor, and A. E. HoUiday, 
assistant superintendent of the Duluth and Iron Range railroad, each be- 
ing interviewed during a visit at Two Harbors, the county seat, in August, 
1916. 

Algeh, a railroad station and junction, nine miles north of Two Har- 
bors, was named for Hon. Russell A. Alger, senior member of a lumber- 
ing firm in Saginaw, Mich., formerly owning much pine timber in this 
county and large sawmills in Duluth. He was bom in Medina county, 
Ohio, February 27, 1836; served in the Union army during the civil war, 
and was breveted major general in 1865 ; was governor of Michigan, 1885- 
87; was secretary of war, 1897-9, and United States senator from 'Michi- 
gan, 1902-07; and died in Washington, D. C, January 24, 1907. 

Beaver Bay township, the first organized in this county, before 
1885, received its name from Beaver Bay village, platted in 1856 by 
Thomas Qark, on the west side of the small bay bearing this name, 
where the Beaver river flows into Lake Superior. The Ojibway name 
of this bay is noted by Gilfillan and Verwyst alike, "Ga-gijikensikag, the 
place of little cedars." The village was the first county seat until 1888, 
when it was succeeded by Two Harbors. 

Button^ a railroad junction eight miles northwest of Two Harbors, 
was named for a superintendent of logging in its vicinity. 

Cramer township, organized July 14, 1913, and its railway village, 
were named in honor of J. N. Cramer, a homesteader and later a 
merchant in the village, who removed to Pennsylvania. 

Crystal Bay township, organized April 26, 1904, received this name 
from a very little bay of Lake Superior, having such crystalline rocks as 
were formerly worked at two localities farther southwest on the lake 

293 



294 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

shore in this county to supply emery, a variety of corundum, used for 
grinding and polishing. 

Drum MONO, a railroad station twelve miles northwest of Two Har- 
bors, was named for the owner of adjacent logging camps. 

Fall Lake township, organized April 4, 1899, comprising the northern 
quarter of this county, received its name from Fall lake, in the southwest 
part of the township area. The Ojibways apply the name Kawasacfaong 
to this lake, meaning mist or foam lake, referring to the mist and spray 
rising from rapids and falls of the Kawishiwi river, which descends 
about 70 feet in a short distance between Garden lake and Fall lake. 
This aboriginal name of the falls and lake, noted by Prof. N. 11. Win- 
chell (Geology of Minnesota, vol. IV, p. 408), is in origin and meaning 
like the French and English names of Rainy lake* and river, and in form 
it is somewhat like Koochiching, their Cree and Ojibway name. 
, Finland^ a railroad village in Crystal Bay township, was named for 
the native country of many of its settlers, including some whose parents 
came there from Sweden. 

HiGGiNS^ a railroad station in Two Harbors township, was named for 
a former owner of an adjacent tract of pine timber. 

Highland, a Duluth and Iron Range railroad station, is near the highest 
land crossed between Lake Superior and the Cloquet river. 

Knife River, a railroad village in the southwest comer of this county, 
incorporated October 2, 1909, is at the mouth of the river of this name, 
which is translated from Mokomani zibi of the Ojibways. 

Larsmont, a railroad station between Knife River and Two Harbors, 
was named for an adjoining settler, who is a farmer and fisherman. 

Lax Lake, a railroad station in Beaver Bay township, and its lake of 
this name, commemorate John Waxlax, a Swedish immigrant from Fin- 
land, whose homestead farm adjoined the lake. 

Little Marais, a small village port of Lake Superior, in Cramer town- 
ship, was named by the early French voyageurs for its little marsh, in 
contrast with the larger marsh of Grand Marais, in Cook county. 

Silver Creek township, organized May 3, 1905, received the name of 
a creek flowing into Lake Superior four miles northeast of Two Harbors, 
translated from the Ojibway name. 

Two Harbors township, organized February 20, 1894, was named after 
the lake port of the Duluth and Iron Range railroad, bearing the same 
name, which was incorporated as a village March 9, 1888, and as a city 
February 26, 1907. The city lies on two little bays, natural harbors, named 
Agate and Burlington bays, the ore docks being on the western Agate 
bay. Beach sand and gravel here contains frequent pebbles of banded 
chalcedony, called agate. 

Walix) township, organized August 3, 1909, took its name from an 
earlier Duluth and Iron Range railroad station. This is also the name of 
a county in Maine, and of villages and townships in nine other states. 



LAKE COUNTY 295 

Lakes and Streams. 

Much aid for the following pages has been received from the de- 
scriptions and maps of the Minnesota Geological Survey, which in the 
fourth volume of its Final Report has a long chapter on Lake county 
and three other chapters on its parts of the Vermilion and Mesabi iron 
ranges. 

The coast of Lake Superior in this county has the following islands, 
points, bays, and tributary streams bearing names, in their order from 
southwest to northeast: Knife island and Granite point, near the mouth 
of Knife river; Agate and Burlington bays, before mentioned, at Two 
Harbors; Burlington point, at the east side of the latter bay, which re- 
ceived its name from a townsite platted on its shore in 1856; Flood bay, 
named for a man who took a land claim there in the same year; Stewart 
river, where likewise in 1856 John Stewart and others took claims ; Silver 
creek, which gave its name to a township; Encampment river, and an 
island of this name, about a mile and a half farther east, named in Nor- 
wood's geological report, as assistant with Owen, published in 1852; 
Gooseberry river, a name given on the map of Long's expedition in 1823, 
noted by Gilfillan as a translation of the Ojibway name; Split Rock river 
and point, named from the rock gorge of the stream near its mouth; Two. 
Harbor bay (not to be confounded with the bays at the city of Two Har- 
bors) ; Beaver river and bay, whence the village and township of Beaver 
Bay are named; the Great Palisades, turretlike rock cliffs, rising verti- 
cally 200 to 300 feet at the lake shore ; Baptism river, named Baptist river 
on Long's map; Cathedral bay, bordered by rock towers and pinnacles; 
Crystal bay, source of the name of a township; an unnamed bay and 
point at Little Marais; Manitou river, retaining its Ojibway name, which 
means a spirit; and Pork bay, in notable contrast with the grandeur and 
awe of some of the preceding names. 

Lakes tributary to Lake Superior include Stewart lake and Twin 
lakes, sources of Stewart river; Highland lake, close west of Highland 
station; Thomas, Christensen, Amberger, Qark, Kane, and Spruce lakes, 
mostly named for cruisers selecting tracts of timber, or for lumbermen 
in charge of logging camps; Bear lake, three miles northwest of Beaver 
Bay; Lax lake (formerly called Sohaff's lake), for which a railroad 
station is named, as before noted; Nicado, Micmac, and Nipissiquit lakes, 
having aboriginal names; Moose, Nine Mile, and Echo lakes, outflowing 
south to Manitou river; Long lake, Shoepack, Crooked, Artlip, and East 
lakes; and, farther north, Harriet lake, Wilson lake and Little Wilson 
lake. Windy lake, Elbow, Lost, and Frear lakes, the last three being 
crossed by the east line of the county. 

On the north, the basin of Rainy lake comprises about three fifths of 
Lake county. Its chief streams, sending their waters to the series of 
lakes on the international boundary, are Isabella river, Stony and Birch 



296 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

rivers, and Kawishiwi river. The last is an Ojibway name, meaning, 
as defined by Giliillan, "the river full of beavers' houses, or, according to 
some, muskrats' houses also." 

The abundant lakes of this nor^ern district include Bellissima or 
Island lake, Parent and Syenite lakes, Lake Isabella, Gull, Bald Eagle, 
and Gabbro lakes, ^e last being named from the rock formation of its 
shores; Copeland's lake, Clearwater, Pickereland Friday lakes; Green- 
wood lake, named for George C. Greenwood, who was a hardware 
merchant in Duluth, often called West Greenwood lake, in distinction 
from a lake of this name in Cook county ; Sand, Slate, Birch, White Iron, 
Farm, and Garden lakes, the last two noting that the Ojibways had culti- 
vated ground adjoining ^em; Fall lake, called Kawasachong lake by 
the Ojibways, noticed on a preceding page for the township named from 
it; Boulder lake, Lake Polly, Lake Alice, and Wilder lake; Fraser and 
Thomas lakes, named for John Fraser and Maurice Thomas, who selected 
timber lands and engaged in lumbering near these lakes; Gabimichigama 
and Agamok lakes, each extending into Cook county; Ogishke Muncie 
lake, somewhat changed from its Ojibway name, meaning a king^sher, 
spelled ogishkimanissi by Baraga's Dictionary; Cacaquabic or Kekequabic 
lake, translated by Gilfillan as "Hawk-iron lake;" Marble lake. Cherry, 
Currant, Doughnut, Spoon, Pickle, and Plum lakes ; Lake Vira and Ima 
lake, the latter named in honor of the eldest daughter of Prof. N. H. 
Winchell, the state geologist ; Illusion lake, Jordan, Alworth, Disappoint- 
ment, and Round lakes; Ensign lake, named in honor of Josiah D. En- 
sign, of Duluth, judge in this district since 1889; Snowbank lake, a 
translation of its Ojibway name, which means, as Gilfillan defined it, 
"snow blown up in heaps lying about here and there;" Newfound lake, 
Moose, Jasper, Northwestern, and Crab lakes; Manomin lake, meaning 
wild rice; Wood or Wind lake, Pine, Sucker, Oak Point, and Satur- 
day lakes; Triangle and Urn lakes, whose names were suggested by 
their outlines; Newton lake, named by Dr. Alexander Winchell in 
honor of his brother, Newton H. Winchell; and, near the northwest 
comer of the county. Horse lake and Jackfish lake. 

Snowbank lake has Boot and Birch islands, the first being named for 
its shape; and a small lake between Ensign and Snowbank lakes is for 
a like reason named Boot lake. 

During the examination of this region for the Minnesota Geological 
Survey, much care was taken to secure correctly the Ojibway names of 
the streams and lakes. Their translations were commonly used in 
that survey, as also by the earlier explorers and fur traders, govern- 
ment surveyors, and lumbermen. But nearly all the lakes of relatively 
small size lacked aboriginal names, and in many instances they yet 
are unnamed. The need for definite description and location of geo- 
logic observations led frequently to arbitrary adoption of names, where 



LAKE COUNTY 297 

none before existing couM be ascertained. For example, Dr. Alexan- 
der Winchell in 1886 gave to six little lakes on the canoe route between 
Kekequabic and Ogishke Muncie lakes, occurring within that distance 
of less than two miles, the names of the first six letters of the Greek 
alphabet, the series being Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and 
Zeta lakes. When farmers and other permanent settlers come, new 
names will doubtless replace some that have been llius used or pro- 
posed without local or historical significance. 

The lakes on the north side of this county were surveyed and mapped, 
with full details of their shores and islands, by David. Thompson in 
1822-3, for determination of the course of the international boundary, 
following a canoe route that had been long used by the fur traders. 
An excellent description of this route, from Grand Portage to the 
Lake of the Woods, was published in 1801 by Sir Alexander Mackenzie 
in his "Geperal History of the Fur Trade from Canada to the North- 
west" 

Cypress or Otter Track lake is the most eastern in this series bor- 
dering Lake county. Its first name, used by Thompson, refers to its 
plentiful cypress trees, now commonly called arbor vitae or white cedar. 
Otter Track is for the Ojibway name, noted by Gilfillan, "Nigig-bimi- 
kawed sagaiigun, the lake where the otter make tracks, from four tracks 
of an otter on the rocks by the side of the lake, as if he had jumped 
four times there." More probably, however, the name alludes to peculiar 
slides where otters took amusement by sliding into the water from a 
bank of snow or rock or mud, as described in Herrick's "Mammals 
of Minnesota" (pages 129-135). 

Next westward is Knife lake, having several branches or arms, trans- 
lated from Mokomani sagaiigun of the Ojibways. Prof. N. H. Winchell 
in 1880 wrote of their reason for this name, derived from an adjoining 
rock formation, "a blue-black, fine-grained siliceous rock, approaching 
flint in hardness and compactness, with conchoidal fracture and sharp 
edges; sometimes it is nearly black. It is this sharp-edged rock that 
gave name to Knife lake. It is only local, or in beds, or sometimes in 
ridges." 

The outlet of Knife lake flows through three little lakes, which Dr. 
Alexander Winchell named in 1886, from east to west. Potato, Seed, and 
Melon lakes. Next are Carp lake (also called Pseudo-Messer lake) 
and Birch or Sucker lake, named for their fish and trees, succeeded west- 
ward by the large and much branched Basswood lake, on the northern 
limit of the geographic range of this tree, which is generally common 
throughout Minnesota and is very abundant in the Big Woods. 

For the last of these lakes Mackenzie used the French name of the 
basswood, Lac Bois Blanc (white wood), adding, "but I think improper- 
ly so called, as the natives name it the Lake Pascau Minac, or Dry 
Berries." This Ojibway name was spelled Bassimenan by Prof. N. H. 



298 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Winchell, and Bassemenani by Gilfillaii, whose translatioii of it is 1>ried 
blueberry lake" Althou^ the first sjilable may have suggested the 
Knglish name, Basswood, which is a translation from that given fagr the 
early French voyagenrs, the Indians had no reference to the tree, but 
only to their gathering and drying berries here for winter use. 

Adjoining the northwest part of Lake county, the river flowing from 
Basswood lake along the boundary enters Crooked lake, translated from 
its old French name, with reference to its very irregularly crooking and 
branching ontliDes. 

Hunter's Island. 

Nicollet's map, published in 1643, shows a more northern route of 
canoe travel from Saganaga lake west to Lac la Croix, which follows 
the stream and series of lakes outflowing from Saganaga, whereas the 
international boundary crosses a water divide between Sa^^uiaga and 
CjTpress or Otter Track lake, thence passing westward along a continnoas 
stream and its lakes. The tract between that northern route of water- 
flow and the southern or boundary route, bordering the north side of 
Lake county, is named Hunter's Island by Nicollet's and later maps. It 
is estimated by Dr. U. S. Grant to have an area of about 800 square miles. 
(M. H. S. Collections, voL VIII, 1896, pages 1-10.) 

Greenwood Mountain and other Hills. 

This county is traversed from southwest to northeast by the con- 
tinuations of the Vermilion and Mesabi iron ranges, belts of rode for- 
mations more fully noticed in the chapter for St Louis county, where 
they contain vast deposits of iron ores. These belts are not marked by 
ridges or hills along large parts of .their course, and they nowhere attain 
heights worthy to be called mountains. 

The general highland rises about 1,000 feet above Lake Superior, or 
1,600 feet above the sea, within eight or ten miles north from the lake 
shore. Onward this average height, much diversified by valleys, low ridges, 
and hills, reaches nearly to the international boundary^ on which Otter 
Track and Crooked lakes are respectively 1,387 feet and 1,245 feet above 
the sea. Names have been given to only a few of the highest lulls. 
Thou^ these vary in their altitude to about 500 feet above the adjoin- 
ing lowlands and lakes, they are unduly dignified by being called moun- 
tains and peaks. 

Greenwood mountain is only 145 feet above the lake of this name at 
its north side. 

Disappointment hill, a mile east of the lake so named, has a height 
of 350 feet above it 

Mallmann's peak, named for John Mallmann, employed by the Min- 
nesota Geological Survey, situated dose north of the east end of Kdce- 
quabic lake, rises steeply to the height of 230 feet 



LAKE COUNTY 299 

About two miles southeast from the last are the Twin peaks, and 
nearly two miles farther east is Mount Northrop, named in honor of 
Cyrus Northrop, president of the University of Minnesota from 1884 
to 1911, attaining altitudes about 2,000 feet above the sea, or 500 feet 
above Kekequabic lake. 

Superior National Forest. 

A great part of the north half of Lake county is included in this 
National Forest, which also comprises considerable areas in Cook and 
St. Louis counties. The date of its establishment, in 1909, and the steps 
taken by an act of Congress and by a special recommendation from Min- 
nesota, leading to the designation of these lands as a public reservation 
for forestry uses, have been noted in the chapter for Cook county. 

Glacial Lake Elftman. 

When the continental ice-sheet of the Glacial period was finally 
melting away from this area, its northwardly receding border held tem- 
porarily an ice- dammed lake in the basin of Kawishiwi river, with out- 
flow southward and westward. This ancient Ilike, first described by 
Arthur H. Elftman, an assistant of the Minnesota Geological Survey, 
was named in his honor by Prof. N. H. Winchell in the Bulletin of the 
Geological Society of America (vol. XII, 1901, page 125). "It had an 
area of about 100 square miles at the time of its greatest extent and an 
elevation of about 1,700 feet above the sea.** 



LE SUEUR COUNTY 

Established March 5, 1853, this county commemorates a Canadian 
French trader and explorer, Pierre Charles Le Sueur, before mentioned 
in the chapter for Blue Earth county as mining a supposed copper ore 
there in 1701, whence the name of the Blue Earth river and of that 
county was derived. He was bom in 1657, of parents who had emi- 
grated to Canada from the ancient province of Artois in northern 
France. At the age of twenty-six years, in 1683, he came to the Missis- 
sippi by way of the Wisconsin river. The remaining years of the cen- 
tury, excepting expeditions for the sale of furs in Montreal and absence 
in voyages to France, he spent principally in the country of the Sioux or 
Dakotas. He was at Fort St Antoine, on the eastern shore of Lake 
Pepin, with Perrot at the time of his proclamation in 1689, which he 
signed as a witness. At some time within a few years preceding or fol- 
lowing that date he made a canoe trip far up the Mississippi, this being 
Uie first recorded exploration of its course through the central part of 
Minnesota. 

Within the first few years after Le Sueur came to the area of this 
state, he had acquired acquaintance with the language of the Sioux, and 
had almost certainly traveled with them along the Minnesota river. 
From his first Christian name, Pierre, as Neill and Winsor think, came 
the French name St Pierre, in English the St Peter, by which this river 
was known to the white people through more than a century and a half, 
until its aboriginal Sioux name was adopted for the new Minnesota 
Territory. 

A letter of Cadillac, written in 1712, cited in the Margry Papers, 
states that after the appointment of Iberville, a cousin of Le Sueur's 
wife, to be the first governor of Louisiana, LeSueur had his family re- 
move there, and that his wife and children were then living in Louisi- 
ana, where he had died. Another account indicates that he died during 
the return voyage from France, after his visit there in 1702, carrying 
the green or blue earth, supposed to be an ore of copper, which he mined 
on the Blue Earth river. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for these names was gathered from "History of the Min- 
nesota Valley" (1882, 1016 pages), having pages 477-532 for this county, 
and "History of Nicollet and Le Sueur Counties" (1916, two volumes, 
544 and 538 pages, edited by Hon. William G. (jresham; and from Ed- 
ward Solberg, register of deeds, who has made many land surveys 
throughout the county, Frank Moudry, former register of deeds, and 

300 



LE SUEUR COUNTY 301 

Patrick G. Galagan, former judge of probate, each being interviewed 
during a visit at LeSueur Center, the county seat, in July, 1916. 

CLEVELAND township, organized in 1858, was named for the city of 
Cleveland, Ohio, several of the first settlers here, in 1855-6, having 
come from that state. The village, founded and thus named in 1857, 
was the county seat during one year, 1875-6, being succeeded by Le 
Sueur Center. In Ohio this name refers to General Moses Cleaveland 
(b. 1754, d. 1806), agent of the Connecticut company that colonized 
the Western Reserve, under whose direction the site of the city named 
in his honor was surveyed in 1796. 

CoBDovA township, settled in 1856 and organized in 1858, bears the 
name of an ancient city of Spain, renowned for its Moorish antiquities, 
which in the middle ages was "the most splendid seat of the arts, 
sciences, and literature in the world." The village of this township 
was platted September 28, 1867. 

Derrynane township, organized in 1858, was settled partly by immi- 
grants from Ireland. Its name was derived from Derrynane Abbey 
beside the little bay of this name on the southwest coast of Ireland. 
It is also borne by a village in the province of Ontario, Canada. 

East Henderson, platted December 22, 1877, and East St. Peter, 
platted October 1, 1856, are small villages with railway stations at the 
east side of the Minnesota river, opposite to Henderson in Sibley 
county and St. Peter in Nicollet county. 

Elysian township, organized in 1858, received this name from its 
village which had been platted September 20, 1856, and was incorporated 
in January, 1884. It was adopted from Greek names, Elysium and the 
Elysian Fields, "the dwelling place of the happy souls after death, 
placed by Homer on the western margin of the earth, by Hesiod and 
Pindar in the Isles of the Blessed in the Western Ocean." The village 
adjoins the northeast end of Lake Elysian, called Okaman lake on 
Nicollet's map in 1843, which is crossed by the county line and lies al- 
most wholly in Waseca county. 

Heidelberg, platted December 4, 1878, is a hamlet four miles south- 
west of New Prague, named by its German people for the city of Heidel- 
berg in Germany, widely known for its great university which was 
founded in 1386. 

Kasota township, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, took the 
Sioux name of its village, which was platted March 23, 1855, and was 
incorporated in April, 1890. It means, as noted by Prof. A. W. Wil- 
liamson, "clear, or cleared off; the name sometimes applied by the 
Dakotas to the naked ridge or prairie plateau south of the village." 
This Kasota terrace of the valley drift, three miles long from north to 
south and averaging a half mile wide, is about 150 feet above the river 
and 75 feet lower than the general upland. 

Kilkenny township, settled in 1856, was named by its Irish people 
for a city and county of southeastern Ireland. Its village on the Min- 



302 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

f 

neapolis and St. Louis railwsQr was platted ia 1^77, and was incorporated 
June 3, 1883. 

Lanesbubg township was named in honor of its first settler, Charles 
Ia Lane, who came in 1854 and opened a farm in section 33. 

Le Sueuk township and dty were founded in 1852, with the village 
plats bearing this name, which in the next year was given to the new 
cotmty. Two rival villages, one called Le Sueur and the other Le Sueor 
City, were incorporated respectively on June 10 and 17, 185&. Nine 
years later, by an act of the state legislature, March 9, 1867, they were 
united in a borough town, Le Sueur, which was incorporated as a city 
March 16, 189L It was the first county seat until 1875, being then 
succeeded by Cleveland for (me year, and by Le Sueur Center since 
1876. 

A stream here tributary to the Minnesota river is called LeSoeur 
creek or river, and its northern branch is known as Little LeSueur 
creek or "Forest and Prairie creek." The last name refers to its course 
through an originally wholly wooded area, but near its mouth coming 
to the north end of the extensive LeSueur prairie, five miles long and 
two to four miles wide, which is a terrace of valley drift similar to the 
much smaller Kasota prairie terrace, previously noted. 

Lb Subuk Center, a village platted December 2, 1876^ at the geographic 
center of the county, in sections 28 and 39, Lexington, has been the 
county seat from that date, its site being "cut out of a dense forest 
growth in 1876-77." It was incorporated in the spring of 1890. 

Lexington township, settled in 1855 and organized in 1858^ was named 
after its village, which was platted by pioneers from New England in 
1857. This name is borne by a village of Massachusetts, where the 
battle of Lexington was fought, beginning the Revolutionary War, 
April 19, 1775, by cities in Kentucky and Missouri, and villages and 
townships in nineteen other states. 

Mastsbueg, a hamlet in the south edge of Washington township, 
platted January 24, 1859, was named by its first settler, John L. Meagher, 
an immigrant from Ireland, who was its postmaster during many years 
and was also the probate judge for this county. 

Montgomery township was settled in 1856 and organized in 1&S9. 
Its city, incorporated in 1902, was platted as a village September 5, 
1877, when the Minneapolis and St Louis railway was built there, its 
site being ''in the midst of a dense forest of very heavy timber." Fif- 
teen states of the Union have counties of this name, and it is borne also 
by a similar number of villages and townships, commemorating Gen- 
eral Richard Montgomery, who in the American Revolution command- 
ed an expedition invading Canada, in which he was killed December 
31, 1775, while leading an attack on Quebec. 

New Prague, incorporated as a village in March, 1877, and as a city 
in April, 1891, is crossed akmg its main street by the line of Le Sueur 



LE SUEUR COUNTY 303 

and Scott counties. It was named for the ancient cHy of Prague, the 
capital of Bohemia, from which part of Austria many immigrants came 
here. 

Okaman, at the east side of the northern end of Lake Elysian, was 
aa eariy village, platted March 30, 1857, lying partly in Waseca county. 
Its site was vacated in 1867 and reverted to farm uses. The name 
Okaman, supplied by the Sioux, was given to this lake by Nicollet, de- 
rived, according to Williamson, from hokah, heron, man, nests. It thus 
had the same meaning as the Okabena creek and lakes in Jackson and 
Nobles counties. 

Ottawa township was settled in 1853 and organized in 1858. Its 
village, platted April 4, 1855, was then named Minnewasbta, from Sioux 
words meaning water and good, in allusion to its excellent springs. 
June 20, 1856, it was surveyed anew and renamed Ottawa, for a tribe 
of the great Algonquian family, nearly related to the Ojibways. Their 
name, originally meaning traders, is given to the Ottawa river and the 
capital of Canada, to cities in Illinois and Kansas, a village in Ohio, and 
a township in Wisconsin. 

Sbaron township was settled in 1854 and organized in 1858. Its 
name, derived from the fertile plain of Sharon in Palestine, is borne 
also by villages and townships in nineteen other states of the Union. 

Tyrone township, settled in 1855-6 and organized in 1858, was named, 
on the suggestion of Irish immigrants, for a county in northern Ire- 
land. New York and Pennsylvania have townships of this name. 

Washington, first settled in 1858 and in the same year designated 
as a township, has two large lakes which the government surveyors 
had named in honor of Washington and Je£Ferson, presidents of the 
United States. 

Wateryille township, settled in 1855 and organized in 1858, received 
this name from its village platted December 5, 1856, which was incor- 
porated as a village in 1878 and as a city in 1898. It is also the name 
of a city in Maine, and of villages and townships in ten other states. 
The choice of the name had reference chiefly to the adjoining Lakes 
Tetonka and Sakata (Sioux names, used by Nicollet), through which 
the Cannon river flows, and to White Water creek, here tributary to 
Lake Sakata. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Lakes Elysian, Washington, Jefferson, Tetonka, and Sakata, Le Sueur 
creek or river, the Little Le Sueur creek, and White Water creek, are 
noted in the preceding list of townships. 

Other lakes and creeks of this county are as follows, in the order 
of the townships and ranges, from south to north and from east to 
west 

Horseshoe lake is crossed by the east line of Waterville, and Goose 
lake is in its section 2. 



296 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

rivers, and Kawishiwi river. The last is an Ojibway name, meaning, 
as defined by Gilfillan, "the river full of beavers' houses, or, according to 
some, muskrats' houses also." 

The abundant lakes of this northern district include Bellissima or 
Island lake, Parent and Syenite lakes. Lake Tsabella, Gull, Bald Eagle, 
and Gabbro lakes, the last being named from the rock formation of its 
shores; G>peland's lake, Qearwater, Pickerel and Friday lakes; Green- 
wood lake, named for George C. Greenwood, who was a hardware 
merchant in Duluth, often called West Greenwood lake, in distinction 
from a lake of this name in Cook county ; Sand, Slate, Birch, White Iron, 
Farm, and Garden lakes, the last two noting that the Ojibways had culti- 
vated ground adjoining them; Fall lake, called Kawasachong lake by 
the Ojibways, noticed on a preceding page for the township named from 
it; Boulder lake, Lake Polly, Lake Alice, and Wilder lake; Fraser and 
Thomas lakes, named for John Fraser and Maurice Thomas, who selected 
timber lands and engaged in lumbering near these lakes; Gabimichigama 
and Agamok lakes, each extending into Cook county; Ogishke Muncie 
lake, somewhat changed from its Ojibway name, meaning a king^sher, 
spelled ogishkimanissi by Baraga's Dictionary; Cacaquabic or Kekequabic 
lake, translated by Gilfillan as "Hawk-iron lake;" Marble lake. Cherry, 
Currant, Doughnut, Spoon, Pickle, and Plum lakes; Lake Vira and Ima 
lake, the latter named in honor of the eldest daughter of Prof. N. H. 
Winchdl, the state geologist; Illusion lake, Jordan, Alworth, Disappoint- 
ment, and Round lakes; Ensign lake, named in honor of Josiah D. En- 
sign, of Duluth, judge in this district since 1889; Snowbank lake, a 
translation of its Ojibway name, which means, as Gilfillan defined it, 
"snow blown up in heaps lying about here and there;" Newfound lake. 
Moose, Jasper, Northwestern, and Crab lakes; Manomin lake, meaning 
wild rice; Wood or Wind lake. Pine, Sucker, Oak Point, and Satur- 
day lakes; Triangle and Urn lakes, whose names were suggested by 
their outlines; Newton lake, named by Dr. Alexander Winchell in 
honor of his brother, Newton H. Winchell; and, near the northwest 
corner of the county. Horse lake and Jackfish lake. 

Snowbank lake has Boot and Birch islands, the first being named for 
its shape; and a small lake between Ensign and Snowbank lakes is for 
a like reason named Boot lake. 

During the examination of this region for the Minnesota Geological 
Survey, much care was taken to secure correctly the Ojibway names of 
the streams and lakes. Their translations were commonly used in 
that survey, as also by the earlier explorers and fur traders, govern- 
ment surveyors, and lumbermen. But nearly all the lakes of relatively 
small size lacked aboriginal names, and in many instances they yet 
are unnamed. The need for definite description and location of geo- 
logic observations led frequently to arbitrary adoption of names, where 



LAKE COUNTY 297 

none before existing could be ascertained. For example, Dr. Alexan- 
der Winchell in 1886 gave to six little lakes on the canoe route between 
Kekequabic and Ogishke Muncie lakes, occurring within that distance 
of less than two miles, the names of the first six letters of the Greek 
alphabet, the series being Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and 
Zeta lakes. When farmers and other permanent settlers come, new 
names will doubtless replace some that have been thus used or pro- 
posed without local or historical significance. 

The lakes on the north side of this county were surveyed and mapped, 
with full details of their shores and islands, by David Thompson in 
1822-3, for determination of the course of the international boundary, 
following a canoe route that had been long used by the fur traders. 
An excellent description of this route, from Grand Portage to the 
Lake of the Woods, was published in 1801 by Sir Alexander Mackenzie 
in his "Gejieral History of the Fur Trade from Canada to the North- 
west" 

Cypress or Otter Track lake is the most eastern in this series bor- 
dering Lake county. Its first name, used by Thompson, refers to its 
plentiful cypress trees, now commonly called arbor vitae or white cedar. 
Otter Track is for the Ojibway name, noted by Gilfillan, "Nigig-bimi- 
kawed sagaiigun, the lake where the otter make tracks, from four tracks 
of an otter on the rocks by the side of the lake, as if he had jumped 
four times there." More probably, however, the name alludes to peculiar 
slides where otters took amusement by sliding into the water from a 
bank of snow or rock or mud, as described in Herrick's "Mammals 
of Minnesota" (pages 129-135). 

Next westward is Knife lake, having several branches or arms, trans- 
lated from Mokomani sagaiigun of the Ojibways. Prof. N. H. Winchell 
in 1880 wrote of their reason for this name, derived from an adjoining 
rock formation, "a blue-black, fine-grained siliceous rock, approaching 
flint in hardness and compactness, with conchoidal fracture and sharp 
edges; sometimes it is nearly black. It is this sharp-edged rock that 
gave name to Knife lake. It is only local, or in beds, or sometimes in 
ridges." 

The outlet of Knife lake flows through three little lakes, which Dr. 
Alexander Winchell named in 1886, from east to west, Potato, Seed, and 
Melon lakes. Next are Carp lake (also called Pseudo-Messer lake) 
and Birch or Sucker lake, named for their fish and trees, succeeded west- 
ward by the large and much branched Basswood lake, on the northern 
limit of the geographic range of this tree, which is generally common 
throughout Minnesota and is very abundant in the Big Woods. 

For the last of these lakes Mackenzie used the French name of the 
basswood, Lac Bois Blanc (white wood), adding, "but I think improper- 
ly so called, as the natives name it the Lake Pascau Minac, or Dry 
Berries." This Ojibway name was spelled Bassimenan by Prof. N. H. 



296 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

rivers, and Kawishiwi river. The last is an Ojibway name, meaning, 
as defined by Gilfillan, "the river full of beavers' houses, or, according to 
some, muskrats' houses also." 

The abundant lakes of this nortiiern district include Bellissima or 
Island lake. Parent and Syenite lakes, Lake Isabella, Gull, Bald Eagle, 
and Gabbro lakes, the last being named from the rock formation of its 
shores; Copeland's lake, Clearwater, Pickerel and Friday lakes; Greta- 
wood lake, named for George C. Greenwood, who was a hardware 
merchant in Duluth, often called West Greenwood lake, in distinction 
from a lake of this name in Cook county ; Sand, Slate, Birch, White Iron, 
Farm, and Garden lakes, the last two noting that the Ojibways had culti- 
vated ground adjoining them; Fall lake, called Kawasachong lake by 
the Ojibways, noticed on a preceding page for the township named from 
it; Boulder lake. Lake Polly, Lake Alice, and Wilder lake; Fraser and 
Thomas lakes, named for John Fraser and Maurice Thomas, who selected 
timber lands and engaged in lumbering near these lakes; Gabimichigama 
and Agamok lakes, each extending into Cook county; Ogishke Muncie 
lake, somewhat changed from its Ojibway name, meaning a kingfisher, 
spelled ogishkimanissi by Baraga's Dictionary; Cacaquabic or Kekequabic 
lake, translated by Gilfillan as "Hawk-iron lake;" Marble lake. Cherry, 
Currant, Doughnut, Spoon, Pickle, and Plum lakes; Lake Vira and Ima 
lake, the latter named in honor of the eldest daughter of Prof. N. H. 
Winchell, the state geologist; Illusion lake, Jordan, Alworth, Disappoint- 
ment, and Round lakes; Ensign lake, named in honor of Josiah D. En- 
sign, of Duluth, judge in this district since IB89; Snowbank lake, a 
translation of its Ojibway name, which means, as Gilfillan defined it, 
"snow blown up in heaps lying about here and there;" Newfound lake, 
Moose, Jasper, Northwestern, and Crab lakes; Manomin lake, meaning 
wild rice; Wood or Wind lake, Pine, Sucker, Oak Point, and Satur- 
day lakes; Triangle and Urn lakes, whose names were suggested by 
their outlines; Newton lake, named by Dr. Alexander Winchell in 
honor of his brother, Newton H. Winchell; and, near the northwest 
corner of the county. Horse lake and Jackfish lake. 

Snowbank lake has Boot and Birch islands, the first being named for 
its shape; and a small lake between Ensign and Snowbank lakes is for 
a like reason named Boot lake. 

During the examination of this region for the Minnesota Geological 
Survey, much care was taken to secure correctly the Ojibway names of 
the streams and lakes. Their translations were commonly used in 
that survey, as also by the earlier explorers and fur traders, govern- 
ment surveyors, and lumbermen. But nearly all the lakes of relatively 
small size lacked aboriginal names, and in many instances they yet 
are unnamed. The need for definite description and location of geo- 
logic observations led frequently to arbitrary adoption of names, where 



LAKE COUNTY 297 

none before existing couM be ascertained. For example, Dr. Alexan- 
der Winchell in 1886 gave to six little lakes on the canoe route between 
Kekequabic and Ogishke Muncie lakes, occurring within that distance 
of less than two miles, the names of the first six letters of the Greek 
alphabet, the series being Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and 
Zeta lakes. When farmers and other permanent settlers come, new 
names will doubtless replace some that have been thus used or pro- 
posed without local or historical significance. 

The lakes on the north side of this county were surveyed and mapped, 
with full details of their shores and islands, by David Thompson in 
1822-3, for determination of the course of the international boundary, 
following a canoe route that had been long used by the fur traders. 
An excellent description of this route, from Grand Portage to the 
Lake of the Woods, was published in 1801 by Sir Alexander Mackenzie 
in his "Geperal History of the Fur Trade from Canada to the North- 
west" 

Cypress or Otter Track lake is the most eastern in this series bor- 
dering Lake county. Its first name, used by Thompson, refers to its 
plentiful cypress trees, now commonly called arbor vitae or white cedar. 
Otter Track is for the Ojibway name, noted by Gilfillan, "Nigig-bimi- 
kawed sagaiigun, the lake where the otter make tracks, from four tracks 
of an otter on the rocks by the side of the lake, as if he had jumped 
four times there." More probably, however, the name alludes to peculiar 
slides where otters took amusement by sliding into the water from a 
bank of snow or rock or mud, as described in Herrick's "Mammals 
of Minnesota" (pages 129-135). 

Next westward is Knife lake, having several branches or arms, trans- 
lated from Mokomani sagaiigun of the Ojibways. Prof. N. H. Winchell 
in 1880 wrote of their reason for this name, derived from an adjoining 
rock formation, "a blue-black, fine-grained siliceous rock, approaching 
flint in hardness and compactness, with conchoidal fracture and sharp 
edges; sometimes it is nearly black. It is this sharp-edged rock that 
gave name to Knife lake. It is only local, or in beds, or sometimes in 
ridges." 

The outlet of Knife lake flows through three little lakes, which Dr. 
Alexander Winchell named in 1886, from east to west, Potato, Seed, and 
Melon lakes. Next are Carp lake (also called Pseudo-Messer lake) 
and Birch or Sucker lake, named for their fish and trees, succeeded west- 
ward by the large and muoh branched Basswood lake, on the northern 
limit of the geographic range of this tree, which is generally common 
throughout Minnesota and is very abundant in the Big Woods. 

For the last of these lakes Mackenzie used the French name of the 
basswood, Lac Bois Blanc (white wood), adding, "but I think improper- 
ly so called, as the natives name it the Lake Pascau Minac, or Dry 
Berries." This Ojibway name was spelled Bassimenan by Prof. N. H. 



308 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lake Benton township, the first organized in the area of Lincohi 
county, and its village, which was the county seat for twenty years, 
1882-19Q2, succeeding Marshfidd, bear the name given to the lake on 
Nicollet's map, published in 1843. In his journey to the Pipestone Quarry 
and to this lake in the summer of 1838, Nicollet was accompanied by 
John C. Fremont, then a young man, who afterward was known as '^e 
Path Finder," for his explorations of the Rocky mountains, and who in 
1856 was the presidential candidate of the newly organized Republi- 
can party. Lake Benton was named by Fremont and Nicollet for Sen- 
ator Benton, whose daughter Jessie was married to Fremont in 1841; 
and a lake in North Dakota was named Lake Jessie in honor of her on 
this map. Thomas Hart Benton was bom near Hillsborough, N. C, 
March 14, 1782; and died in Washington, D. C, April 10, 1858. He was 
United States senator from Missouri during thirty years, 1821-1851. 

The depth and area of Lake Benton vary much with fluctuations of 
average moisture or dryness during successive years. At its high 
stage the water surrounds an island in the east part, called Bird island. 

Lake Stay township has a lake, adjoining Arco village, named in 
honor of Frank Stay, who was wounded there in 1865, near the end of 
his service of three years in campaigns against the Sioux after their 
outbreak in 1862. He was bom in Canada, June 10, 1837; came to Min- 
nesota in 1854; was farming on the site of Hanley Falls, Yellow Medi- 
cine county, at the time of the Sioux massacre, in August, 1862, and 
only escaped after great exposure and suffering. Since 1868 he has 
lived on his homestead farm in the township of Camp Release, Lac 
qui Parle county, where he was the first settler. 

Limestone township, occupied in its greater part by the knolly and 
hilly glacial drift of the Gary moraine, which is more fully noticed near 
the end of this chapter, received its name in allusion to the plentiful 
limestone boulders, with many others of granite and gneiss. 

Marble township, likewise mainly belonging to the Gary moraine, 
was similarly named for its light yellowish magnesian limestone boul- 
ders, some of which resemble marble an hardness, durability, and adapta- 
tion to be polished for building or ornamental uses. 

Marshfield township received the name of its village, previously platted 
in 1873 in the northeast quarter of section 30, which was the first county 
seat until 1882, being then succeeded by Lake Benton. It was named in 
honor of Charles Marsh and Ira Field, pioneer settlers. The former, who 
came here in 1871, was the owner of its site, and was appointed the first 
auditor of the county in January, 1874. ^ The village site is now farming 
land. 

Royal township was so named, signif3ring kingly, to express the satis- 
faction and pride and loyalty of its people for their new homes here. 

Shaokatan township has the Sioux name of its lake, found on an 
early map of this state, before mentioned for Lake Hendricks, published 
January 1, 1860. Its origin and meaning remain to be learned. 



LINCOLN COUNTY 309 

Tyler, a railway village platted in 1879, was named in honor of C 
B. Tyler, who was bom in Montrose, Pa., September 2, 1835; came to 
Minnesota in 1857; was register of the United States land office in New 
Ulm after 1873; owned and edited the New Ulm Herald, 1875-8; removed 
to Tracy in 1880 and later to Marshall, where he engaged in banking. 

Vekdi township was named for the renowned Italian operatic compos- 
er, Giuseppe Verdi (b. 1813, d. 1901). This name means verdant or 
verdure, descriptive of the greenness of the township, which in all its 
extent is during the spring and summer a far-reaching green prairie. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding pages have noticed Ash and Diamond lakes ; three lakes 
of special geological interest, named Benton, Shaokatan, and Hendricks, 
which will be again noticed at the end of this chapter; and Lake Stay, 
which in dry seasons is represented by two lakelets. 

Other lakes bearing names to be listed are Swan lake, a mile south 
of Tyler ; Cottonwood lake, which has been drained, close north of Tyler ; 
Lake Nova or Dead Coon lake, in the northeast corner of Marshfield; 
Blackman and Rush lakes, in sections 9 and 16 of Diamond Lake town- 
ship; Perch lake in section 17, Rojral, and Eagle lake in sections 25 and 
36, which are the only lakes named among the several of that township, 
most of them, however, being marshes or mainly dry in years of deficient 
rainfall; and the Twin lakes, in sections 28 and 29, Hansonville. 

The streams of this county are named only as branches of the Red- 
wood, Yellow Medicine, and Lac qui Parle rivers. 

Altamont and Gary Moraines. 

The description and map of Lincoln county in the Final Report of 
the Minnesota Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, chapter XX, pages 589- 
612) direct attention to its two well developed belts of marginal drift 
hills and short low ridges and knolls, abundantly sprinkled with boulders. 
The western or outer moraine, lying on the crest of the great highland 
called the Coteau des Prairies, extends north-northwestward through the 
southwestern part of the county, past the western ends of Lakes Benton, 
Shaokatan, and Hendricks; and thence it continues in South Dakota, to 
cross the Chicago and Northwestern railway at Altamont, a dozen miles 
west of the interstate boundary. Parallel with this and about fifteen miles 
distant to the northeast, the similar but broader second moraine passes 
across the northeast part of this county, where its profusion of limestone 
boulders gave the names of Limestone and Marble townships. It crosses 
the same railway at and west of Gary, in the east edjge of South Dakota. 

From these localities, described by the Minnesota reports, these first 
and second marginal moraines of the continental ice-sheet, in a successive 
series of twelve traced partly in this state, were named in 1883 by Prof. 
T. C. Chamberlin as the Altamont and Gary moraines. Next north- 



310 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

eastward, being also parallel with these, is the Antelope or Third moraine, 
also named by him in- 1883, noted in iht chapter for Lac qui Parle county. 

The Hole in the Mountain. 

The outer or Altamont moraine belt, and the thick sheet of till thai 
descends thence westward, are cut in the west part of Lake Benton town- 
ship by a deep channel or valley, which is called, translating the Sioux 
name, the ''Hole in the Mountain." The railroad between Lake Benton and 
Verdi village goes south-southwest four miles through this gap, bounded 
on each side by picturesque bluffs. Its depth, wholly in the glacial drift, 
is from 150 to 200 feet below the knolly surface of the moraine, and its 
highest point is about ten feet above Lake Benton, which has its outlet 
eastward into the Redwood river. This valley, from an eighth to a fourth 
of a mile wide, was evidently excavated by a river that flowed from north- 
east to southwest across this great ridge, which is the highest land in 
southwestern Minnesota, being 1,000 feet above the Minnesota river on 
the northeast, 350 feet above the Big Sioux river on the west, and about 
1,960 feet above the sea. 

At three other places, 11, 14, and 18 miles northwest from Lake Ben- 
ton, similar channels have been eroded through the massive ridge of this' 
moraine and through the smooth sheet of drift that slopes downward 
from its west side. The first of these channels begins at the southwest 
end of Lake Shaokatan, and extends about two miles southwest in the 
same course with this lake, through the knolly belt of the moraine, be- 
yond whidi its course for the next three miles is northwest along its 
west side, crossing the state line. Lake Shaokatan outflows northeast- 
ward to the Yellow Medicine river, but the highest part of the valley 
that extends from it westerly is only slightly elevated above the lake; 

The most northwestern of these remarkable channels or valleys, lying 
in Brookings county. South Dakota, and extending southward from the 
southwest end of Lake Hendricks, was called by the Sioux '^e Brother 
of the Hole in the Mountain," because of its close likeness to the pass 
southwest from Lake Benton. 

While the ice-sheet covered the basin of the Minnesota river and deep- 
ly overspread all the country northward, rising high above the Coteau 
des Prairies, streiams outflowed from its meking border in the courses of 
these channels, at the same time with the accumulation of the Altamont 
moraine. Much glacial drift was borne away by the streams from the 
lower part of the ice in which it had been held, producing hollows when 
that drift was deposited, in which lie the Lakes Benton, Shaokatan, and 
Hendricks, respectively about 10, 15, and 20 feet in depth. The general 
surface of the drift is about 10 feet above these lakes, showing that the 
drift inclosed in the basal part of the ice-sheet adjoining the outermost 
moraine, measured by the action of the glacial rivers and the resulting 
hoUows of the three lakes, was equal to a thickness of 20 to 30 feet. 



LYON COUNTY 

This county, established by two legislative acts, March 6, 1868, and 
March 2, 1869, was named in honor of General Nathaniel Lyon, who was 
born in Ash ford. Conn., July 14, 1818, and was killed in the battle of 
Wilson's Creek, Mo., August 10, 1861. He was graduated at the United 
States Military Academy in 1841 ; served in Florida during the later part 
of the Seminole war, 1841-2, and also served in the Mexican war, 1846-7; 
was promoted captain in 1851, and was on frontier duty during the 
years 1853-61 in Kansas, Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska. At the be- 
ginning of the civil war he took a prominent part in the contest against 
secession in Missouri, rendered efficient aid to the national government 
as commander of the United States arsenal in St. Louis, and was appointed 
general of the Department of Missouri in June, 1861. 

A series of his letters in 1860, in which he advocated the election of 
Lincoln as president, entitled "The Last Political Writings of Gen. Nathan- 
iel Lyon," was published in 1861, soon after his death (275 pages, includ- 
ing a memoir of his life and military services). His biography was more 
fully written by Dr. Ashbel Woodward (360 pages, 1862) ; and his devo- 
tion to the Union, for which he gave his life, is the theme of a volume 
by James Peckham, "Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861, a Mono- 
graph of the Great Rebellion" (447 pages, 1866). He is also commemo- 
rated by the names of counties in Iowa, Kansas, and Nevada. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of names was gathered from "History of 
the Minnesota Valley" (1882, 1016 pages), having pages 848-882 for this 
county, "History and Description of Lyon County," by C. F. Case, (1884, 
98 pages), and "An Illustrated History of Lyon County," by Arthur P. 
Rose (1912, 616 pages) ; and from interviews with Mr. Rose, author of 
the later work, and Richard R. Bum ford, former register of deeds, visited 
at Marshall, the county seat, in September, 1916. 

Amiret township, settled in 1868 and organized March 17, 1874, was at 
first called Madison, which was changed in 1879 to the present name, taken 
from its railway village. The name was chosen in honor of Amiretta 
Sykes, wife of M. L. Sykes, vice president of the Chicago and Northwest- 
em railway company. The first townsite in the area of Lyon county had 
been platted in 1857 about three miles southwest from the site of this vil- 
lage and was named Saratoga, which name was given in 1874 to the rail- 
way village then platted. When the railway was being built, in 1872, a 
post office had been established here and naoied Coburg, in honor of Wil- 

811 



312 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Ham Coburn, the pioneer merchant and first postmaster. In 1879 the 
name Amiret was chosen, superseding both these names and the former 
township name of Madison. 

Balaton, the railway village of Rock Lake township, platted in July, 
1879, and incorporated in 1892, was named for the large and picturesque 
Lake Balaton in western Hungary. 

BuRCHARD, a railway station in Shelburne, received this name in 1886, 
in honor of H. M. Burchard, a Chicago and Northwestern land agent at 
Marshall. 

Clifton township, settled in 1872 and organized October 7, 1876, bears 
a name proposed by Christopher Dillman, which is also borne by villages 
and townships in twenty-one other states. 

Coon Creek township, organized August 4, 1883, has a creek so named 
from Dead Coon lake near its source, in Lincoln county, to which that 
name was given by the early government surveyors because they found a 
dead raccoon there. 

Cottonwood, a Great Northern railway village in Lucas township, 
platted in July, 1888, received its name from the adjacent lake, which has 
Cottonwood trees on its shore. 

Custer township, settled in 1868 and organized October 14, 1876, was 
named in honor of George Armstrong Custer, who was bom in Ohio, 
December 5, 1839; was graduated at the United States Military Academy 
in 1861 ; served through the civil war ; was brevetted a major general in 
1866; commanded an exploring expedition to the Black Hills in 1874; and 
was killed with all his attacking troops, by the Sioux in Montana, June 
25, 1876. 

Dudley, a railway station in Qifton, platted December 20, 1901, was 
named for Dudley village and township in Massachusetts. 

EmsvoLD township, first settled in June, 1871, and organized September 
20, 1873, was named by vote of its Norwegian settlers for a parish in Nor- 
way, noted as the meeting place of the National Assembly in 1814. 

Fairview, settled in June, 1870, organized April 1, 1873, was described 
by Case in 1884, "as its name implies, a beautiful prairie township, which, 
especially in early summer, spreads out a landscape of loveliness nowhere 
else equalled but on the green, rolling prairies, and under the clear atmo- 
sphere of Minnesota." 

Florence, a Great Northern railway village in Shelbume, platted Octo- 
ber 9, 1888, was named for Florence Sherman, daughter of its founder. 

Garvin, a Chicago and Northwestern railway village in Custer, platted 
April 30, 1886, was at first called Terry and afterward Kent, which was 
changed to the present name in July, 1891, in honor of H. C Garvin, trav- 
eling freight agent of this railway. 

Ghent, the railway village of Grandview, platted in June, 1878, and 
incorporated May 15, 1899, at first bore the name of the township, but 
was renamed in September, 1881, for the ancient city of Ghent in Bel- 



LYON COUNTY 313 

gittm, in compliment to Belgian colonists coming in 1880-81 , who were led 
by Bishop Ireland to settle in this part of the county. 

Grandview township, first settled in Aiigust, 1871, and organized two 
years later, was named, like Alta Vista in Lincoln county, for the exten- 
sive outlook northeastward from the Coteau des Prairies. 

Green Valley, a railway village in Fairview township, platted in May, 
1888, refers to the vast green prairie there traversed by the Redwood river. 

Heckman, a station of the Chicago and Northwestern railway, five 
miles southeast of Marshall, was named for a dining-car superintendent 

Island Lake township, first settled about the year 1868, organized in 
March, 1879, was named for its lake in section 34, having a small wooded 
island. 

Lake Marshall township, settled; in 1869 and organized March 8, 
1872, received the name of its lake, given in honor of Governor William 
Rainey Marshall, for whom also a county is named. 

Lucas was settled in 1871. "The town was set o£F for organization in 
July, 1873, as Canton, which was changed to Lisbon, and again to Moe, 
and lastly to Lucas. The first town meeting was held August 5, 1873." 
(History, Minnesota Valley, p. 865.) This name is borne by counties in 
Ohio and Iowa, a township in Wisconsin, and villages- in these and other 
states. 

Lynd township, settled in 1867, organized January 9, 1873, was named 
in honor of James W. Lynd, who had a fur trading station in section 5, 
Lyons, during 1855-57, and afterward removed one or two miles down 
the Redwood river to the northeast quarter of section 33 in this town- 
ship. He was bom in Baltimore, Md., November 25, 1830; and was killed 
in the Indian massacre at the Lower Sioux Agency, August 18, 1862. 
He came to Minnesota about 1853, and lived among the Sioux to learn 
their language, habits, and characteristics, on which he intended to pub- 
lish a book. The manuscript for it was completed, but was mostly de- 
stroyed in the Sioux outbreak, of which Mr. Lynd was the first victim. 
He was a state senator in 1861. L3md railway village, near the site of 
his second trading post, was platted November 6, 1888. 

Lyons township, first settled in January, 1868, organized April 1, 1873, 
received its name from that of the county, with an added letter which gives 
to it the English form of the name of the ancient and large city of Lyon 
in France. 

Marshall^ the county seat, platted in August, 1872, with the building of 
the Chicago and Northwestern railway, incorporated as a village March 
18, 1876, and as a city February 20, 1901, was named for Governor Mar- 
shall, like Lake Marshall township, in which it is situated. 

Minkeota, a railway village in Eidsvold, platted in 1881, has a Sioux 
name, meaning "much water." Prof. A. W. Williamson wrote of its origin, 
that it is "said to be so named by an early settler on account of an abun- 
dance of water flowing into his well." 



314 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Monroe township, first settled in 1871, organized January 5, 1874, 
was named by Louis and Ole Rialson, pioneers who came from Monroe, 
the county seat of Green county in southern Wisconsin. Seventeen states 
of the Union have counties of this name, and a larger number have town- 
ships and villages or cities, including eight townships in Pennsylvania, all 
being named in honor of James Monroe (b. 1758, d. 1831), who was the 
fifth president of the United States, 1817-25. 

N0RIH.AND township, settled in 1870, organized May 9, 1873, has the 
name of a northern district of Norway, crossed by the Arctic circle. 
Nearly all its settlers came from that country. 

Rock Lake township, organized October 26, 1876, took its name from 
the lake in its northwest corner, which refers to the abundance of boul- 
ders around the shore, pushed up in some places by the lake ice to form 
a rock wall. 

Russell^ a Great Northern village in Lyons, founded in May, 1888, 
and incorporated August 30, 1898, was named for Russell Spicer, son of 
a promoter of the building of this branch railway. 

Shelburne township, settled in 1871, organized September 6, 1879, has 
a name that is borne also by townships and villages in New Hampshire, 
Vermont, and Massachusetts, and by a county and its county seat in Nova 
Scotia. 

SoDus township, first settled in the spring of 1871, organized October 
27, 1876, was named for Sodus township and village in Wayne county, N. 
Y., adjoining Sodus bay of Lake Ontario. This name is of Indian origin, 
but its meaning is uncertain. 

Stanley township, settled in 1867, was organized in March, 1877. 
A city in Wisconsin, villages and post offices in a dozen other states, and 
a county in South Dakota, bear this name. 

Taunton, a Chicago and Northwestern railway village in Eidsvold, 
platted in April, 1886, and incorpora/ted June 5, 1900, was named by C 
C. Wheeler, an officer of this railway company, for the city of Taunton 
in Massachusetts. 

Tracy, a village and junction of the Chicago and Northwestern rail- 
way, platted in 1875, incorporated as a village February 5, 1881, and as a 
city August 3, 1893, was named in honor of John F. Tracy, a former 
president of this railway company. 

Vallers township, organized October 7, 1876, was named by Ole O. 
Brenna, a pioneer settler from Norway. **His desire was to name it 
Valla, a Norwegian word, meaning valley, but because of incorrect spell- 
ing in the petition or illegibility the county commissioners made the name 
read Vallers." (History of Lyon County, by Rose, p. 57.) 

Westerheim township, first settled in June, 1871, and organized May 
9, 1876, received this Norwegian name, meaning western home, by vote of 
its people, mostly immigrants from Norway. 



LYON COUNTY 315 

Lakes and Streams. 

Coon creek, Cottonwood lake, Island lake, Lake Marshall, and Rock 
lake, giving their names to townships, a city, and a village, have been duly 
noticed in the foregoing list. 

Meadow creek is a name given on a recent map to the stream flowing 
from Lake Marshall to the Cottonwood river. 

Three Mile creek is a northern tributary of the Redwood river, with 
which it is nearly parallel and three to five miles distant along all its 
course. 

Monroe has Lake Sigel and the shallow or sometimes dry Twin lakes, 
the former being named in honor of General Franz Sigel (b. 1824, d. 
1902), distinguished for his service in the civil war. 

The Lake of the Hills, often dry, is in sections 20 and 21, Custer. 
Long lake, on the south line of this township, and Lake Yankton, named 
for a division of the Sioux or Dakota people, adjoining Balaton, outflow 
southeastward to Lake Shetek and the Des Moines river. 

Black Rush lake, recently drained, was in Lyons ; Marguerite or Wood 
lake is in Coon Creek township ; and Goose lake lies about a mile west of 
Island lake. 

Swan lake is on the east side of section 12, Stanley. 

School Grove lake was in the school section 36 of Lucas ; Lady Slipper 
and Lady Shoe lakes were in the south half of this township, having 
species of the Minnesota state flower, commonly known by these names, 
also called moccasin flower; and Sham lake was in section 3. These 
former lakes, however, have lately been drained. Only Cottonwood 
lake, beside the village named from it, and Lone Tree lake, in sections 5 
and 6, remain in Lucas township. 

Between the lakes of Stanley and Lucas, in the northeast comer of this 
county, and the numerous lakes before mentioned, in its higher south- 
west part, a wide tract extending from southeast to northwest through 
its center is destitute of lakes, excepting Lake Marshall, named for a 
governor of this state and giving his name to the county seat. 



McLEOD COUNTY 

Established March 1, 1856, this county was named in honor of Martin 
McLeod, a pioneer fur trader of Minnesota, who was bom in Montreal, 
August 50, 1813, of Scotch parentage, and there received a good education. 
In 1856 he came to the Northwest, voyaging in an open boat on Lake 
Superior from its mouth to La Pointe, Wisconsin, and thence walking 
more than six hundred miles to the Pembina settlement on the Red river, 
where he arrived in December. The next March, having set out with two 
companions, young British officers, and Pierre Bottineau as guide, he 
came to the trading post of Joseph R. Brown at Lake Traverse, arriving 
March 21, after a journey of nineteen days and a most perilous experi- 
ence of hunger and cold due to successive blizzards, by one of which the 
two officers perished. Coming forward to Fort Snelling in April, 1857, 
he was afterward during many years engaged as a fur trader for Chou- 
teau and Company, under the direction of General Sibley, being in charge 
of trading posts successively on the St. Croix river, at Traverse des Sioux, 
Big Stone lake, Lac qui Parle, and Yellow Medicine. 

McLeod was a member of the Council in the Territorial legislature, 
1849-55, being president of the Council in 1855. With Colonel John H. 
Stevens and others, he was one of the founders of Glencoe in 1855. He 
died November 20, 1860, on his farm to which he had removed his family 
in 1849, at Oak Grove, in Bloomington, Hennepin county. He was a 
charter member of the Minnesota Historical Society, and was one of its 
two vice presidents elected at the time of its organization, November 15, 
1849. (The name is pronounced as if spelled McLoud, with English sound 
of the diphthong.) 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of geographic names has been received from 
an address by R. H. McQelland at the fiftieth anniversary of the found- 
ing of Hutchinson, October 4, 1905; "History of McLeod County," 862 
pages, 1917, edited by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge and Return I. Holcombe; 
and interviews with Captain Axel H. Reed, Henry L. Simons, and Henry 
Wadsworth, each of Glencoe, the county seat, during a visit there in 
July, 1916. 

AooMA township was named by Dr. Vincent P. Kennedy, for the In- 
dian pueblo village of Acoma in western New Mexico, about fifty miles 
west of Albuquerque. 

Besigen township was named by its Norwegian settlers, for the large 
city and seaport of Bergen in southwestern Norway. 

316 



MCLEOD COUNTY 317 

Biscay, a railway village in Hassan Valley township, received its name 
from the large Bay of Biscay adjoining Spain and France. 

Brownton, a railway village in Sumter, platted October 15, 1877, in- 
corporated February 12, 1886, was named in honor of Alonzo L. Brown, 
whose farm included this townsite. He was bom in Auburn, N. Y., 
November 8, 1838; and died at his home in Brownton, October 11, 1904. 
He came to Minnesota in 1857, settling here ; served in the Fourth Minne- 
sota regiment in the civil war, and became captain in a colored regiment ; 
was author of the History of the Fourth Regiment, Minnesota, 594 pages, 
published in 1892. 

Collins township was named in honor of one of its early settlers. 
This name is borne by a township in New York, and by villages in ten 
other states. 

Glencoe township received the name of its village, founded in June 11, 
1855. It was chosen by Martin McLeod, for whom this county was named, 
and who was a member of the townsite company, in commemoration of the 
historic valley called Qencoe in Scotland, where the MacDonakis were 
massacred in February, 1692. This village was incorporated in 1873 and 
adopted its charter as a city March 4, 1909. From the beginning of the 
county, it has been continuously the county seat. 

Hale township "was named either for an early settler or for John P. 
Hale, of New Hampshire, a distinguished American statesman and the 
Free Soil candidate for president in 1852. It is said that the Hutchin- 
sons and other anti-slavery men of the county induced the county board 
to name the township for the eminent New England Free Soiler.-' (His- 
tory of this county, page 264.) John Parker Hale was born in Rochester, 
N. H., March 31, 1806 ; and died in Dover, N. H., November 19, 1873. He 
was a member of Congress from New Hampshire, 1843-45 ; United States 
senator, 1847-53 and 1855-65; and was minister to Spain in 1865-69. 

Hassan Vallby township, the last organized in this county, is crossed 
by the Hassan river, as it was named on maps of Minnesota in 1860 and 
1869, but on later maps called the South fork of Crow river. This Sioux 
word, hassan, is derived from haza or hah-zah, the huckleberry or blue- 
berry. With another Sioux word, chan, tree, it supplied the name of the 
sugar maple, chanhassan, "the tree of sweet juice," whence came the name 
of Chanhassen township in Carver county, and Hassan township in Hen- 
nepin county. 

Helen township was named in honor of Mrs. Helen Armstrong, its 
first white woman resident, whose husband, J. R. Armstrong, was sheriff 
of the county. 

Hutchinson township took the name of its village, founded November 
19, 1855, by the brothers, Asa, Judson, and John Hutchinson, with others. 
These brothers were members of the famous family of many singers, born 
in Milford, N. H., who gave concerts of popular and patriotic songs 
throughout the United States after 1841 until the close of the civil war. 



318 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Hutchinson was incorporated as a village Febroary 9, 1881, and as a 
city in 1904. 

Asa Burnham Hutchinson, youngest of the brothers founding Hutchin- 
son, where he afterward lived, was born March 14, 1823, and died at his 
home here November 25, 1884. Adoniram Judson Joseph Hutchinson, 
commemorated by the name of Judson lake, recently drained, about a auie 
north of this city, was born March 14, 1817, and died in Lynn, Mass^ 
January 10, 1859. John Wallace Hutchinson, born January 4, 1821, re- 
sided many years in Lynn, Mass., and was author of the ''Story of tfaf 
Hutchinsons," two volumes, 495 and 416 pages, published in 1896. 

KoNiSKA^ a village platted in 1856 on the South fork of Crow river, 
for utilization of its water-power, has been mainly superseded by the vil- 
lages and cities on railways. 

Lester Prairie, a railway village in Bergen, platted in 1886 and incor- 
porated in 1888, was named in honor of John N. Lester and his wife, 
Maria Lester, whose homestead farm included a part of its site, 

Lynn township was named probably by recommendation of the 
Hutchinson brothers, for the city of Lynn in Massachusetts. 

Penn township, settled largely by Germans from Pennsylvania, was 
named for William Penn, the founder of that state. 

Plato, a railway village of Helen township, bears the name of a re- 
nowned Greek philosopher (d. 347 B. C), who was a disciple of Socrates 
and the teacher of Aristotle. This is also the name of small villages in 
New York, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri. 

Rich Valley was named on the suggestion of A. B. White, an early 
settler at its village of Koniska, for the fertility of its soil and for the 
South fork of Crow river flowing through this township. 

Round Grove township was named for the large grove in the north- 
west quarter of its section 6, adjoining the east side of Round Grove 
lake, less than a mile southwest from Stewart village. 

St. George is a hamlet on the South fork of Crow river in the east 
edge of Rich Valley. 

Silver Lake^ a village platted in 1881 and incorporated in 1889, is situ- 
ated at the north side of Silver lake, in sections ZZ and 34, Hale, about a 
mile north of its Great Northern railway station. 

Stewart, a village on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St Paul railway in 
section 31, Collins, platted in 1878 and incorporated in 1888, was named in 
honor of its founder. Dr. D. A. Stewart, of Winona. 

Sumter township was named for Fort Sumter, built on a small arti- 
ficial island three miles southeast of Charleston, S. C, as a defence of its 
harbor. The bombardment of this fort by the Confederates, April 12 and 
13, 1861, with its evacuation by Major Anderson on April 14, began the 
civil war. 

Winsted township, its village, and the adjoining Winsted lake, received 
their name from Winsted in Connecticut, one of the county seats of 



MC LEOD CO UNTY 319 

Litchfield county, the native place of Eli.F. Lewis, founder of this 'vUlage. 
The lake was originally named 1^ him Lake Eleanor, in honor of his wife. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Crow river, belonging to several counties, has been considered in the 
first chapter. McLeod county lies mostly in the basin of its South fork, 
whdch in early years of the county was called Hassan river, as before 
noted. That name, received from the Sioux and meaning sugar maple, 
is applied to a township, Hassan Valley; and the next township on this 
stream, also named from it, is Rich Valley. Its chief tributary, flowing 
across the south half of the county, is Buffalo creek, named for abundant 
buffalo bones found throughout the area when it was first settled and 
brought under cultivation. 

Silver creek, in Bergen township, is a smaller southern tributary of 
the South fork; and from the north it receives Crane, Otter, and Bear 
creeks, the last being the outlet of Bear lake, Lake Harrington, and Silver 
take. 

High Island creek, crossing the two most southern townships, flows 
eastward through Sibley county to the Minnesota river, passing High 
Island lake, whence came its name, as noted for that county. 

The list of townships and villages contains due notice of Judson lake, 
near Hutchinson, Round Grove lake, Sdlver lake, and Winsted lake. 

It is noteworthy that the long and narrow Otter lake, intersected by 
the course of the South fork or Hassan river. Lake Marion in the north- 
east edge of Collins, Lake Addie at Brownton, and Baker's - lake, crossed 
by High Island creek in Penn township, form together an almost straight 
series, extending seventeen miles from north to south, more than half of 
which is water. This series of lakes may be of similar origin with the 
three very remarkable series or chains of lakes in Martin county, de- 
scribed and named in its chapter. 

Lakes Addie and Marion were named before 1860 by Charles Hoag, 
for his two daughters. He lived here during a few years, though previous- 
ly and also afterward his home was in Minneapolis, where in 1852 he 
bore a principal part in naming that city. 

Baker's lake was named in honor of Augustus C. Baker, who settled 
here as a farmer in 1865. He was born in Freedom, Ohio, December 
19, 1838; came to Minnesota, and served during the last year of the civil 
war in the Fourth Minnesota regiment ; engaged in mercantile business in 
Brownton after 1878^ and in recent years was its postmaster. 

King's lake, in sections 10 and 15, Penn, and Ward's lake, crossed by 
the south line of Round Grove township, were named for 6arly settlers. 

Helen township formerly had Kennison lake in sections 1 and 12, and 
Bear and Brian lakes in section 32, but they have been recently drained. 

Glencoe has Rice and Swan lakes in sections 7 and 8, and Brewster and 
Thoeny lakes in its southwest part. Mathias Thoeny, for whom the last 



320 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

is named, was born in Switzerland, September 28, 1837; served through 
the civil war in the Second Minnesota regiment, rising to the rank of 
captain ; was a merchant in Glencoe, 1865-70, auditor of this county in 1873- 
83, and afterward was cashier of the First National Bank of Glencoe 
during thirty years. 

Sumter, with Lake Addie before noted, has Lake Mary in section 17, 
Clear lake in section 13, and Nobles lake adjoining Sumter village. The 
last was named for three brothers, Alexander, Daniel, and Jeremiah 
Nobles, whose homesteads were on or near this lake. 

In Collins, with Lake Marion, are Eagle lake and Lake Whitney, the 
last being named for a pioneer farmer. 

Lake Barber, similarly named, is in sections 26 and 27, Lynn ; but Lake 
Allen, formerly in its sections 22 and 23, and another shallow lake, un- 
named, in section 34, have been drained. 

Winsted has South lake, lying a half mile south of Winsted lake; 
Roach and Higgins lakes, each recently drained, in the east edge of this 
township; Grass lake in sections 3 and 10; Coon lake, crossed by the 
north line of section 5 ; and Qoustier lake, in section 31. Crane and Otter 
creeks, in the south half of Winsted, flow southeastward to the South 
fork of Crow river. 

With Silver lake, beside the village of this name in Hale township, 
are Mud lake, on the east, and Swan lake, about a mife distant northwest- 
ward. Another Mud lake, in sections 23, 24, and 26, Hale, has been 
drained, as also the former Bullhead lake, in section 21, named for its 
small species of catfish, called the bullhead or horned pout. 

Hutchinson township has Lake Byron,* in section 2, and a group of a 
dozen other lakes in its northern half, including Bear and Little Bear 
lakes, Emily and Echo lakes. Lakes Harrington, Hook, and Todd, and 
Loughnan's lake, with others unnamed. 

Lewis Harrington, honored by one of these lakes, was born in Greene, 
Ohio, November 22, 1830; was surveyor of the townsite of Hutchinson, 
1855-56, and its first postmaster; was captain of a company defending 
this place against the Sioux in 1862 ; was a representative in the state legis- 
lature, 1866-68; and died by an accidental fall, August 14, 1884, while en- 
gaged on government surveys in the state of Washington. 

Lake Hook was named for Isaac Hook, who came in the spring of 
1856 and lived beside this lake many years as a recluse. 

Lake Todd commemorates Daniel S. Todd, a pioneer farmer. 

Walker's lake, two miles northeast from the city of Hutchinson, and 
Judson lake, before noticed, have been drained for use of their beds as 
farming land. 

In the north half of Acoma are Cedar and Belle lakes, crossed by the 
north line of the township and county, and Stahl's lake, in sections 10 and 
11, named for Charles Stahl, a German farmer, who settled there in June, 
1857. Ferrel lake, formerly in sections 16 and 17, is drained. 



MAHNOMEN COUNTY 

This county, established December 27, 1906, was previously the east 
part of Norman county. It comprises half the area of the White Earth 
Indian Reservation, which also extends south into Becker county and east 
into Qearwater county, the name of the reservation as noted in the chap- 
ter for Becker county, being derived from White Earth lake. The south 
line of Mahnomen county crosses the north end of this lake, and its out- 
let, the White Earth river, flows through the south half of this county 
to the Wild Rice river. 

Mahnomen is one of the various spellings of the Ojibway word for 
the wild rice. From this excellent native grain we receive the English name, 
through translation, of the Wild Rice lakes, in Clearwater county, and of 
the Wild Rice river, which has its source in these lakes and flows across 
Mahnomen and Norman counties to the Red river. The same word has 
been more commonly written Manomin, as in Baraga's Dictionary of the 
Ojibway language, and in this spelling it was the name of a former very 
small county in this state, between Anoka and St. Anthony (the east part 
of Minneapolis), existing from 1857 to 1869. With other orthographic 
variations, it gave the names of the Menominee tribe of Indians, Menom- 
inee river, county, and city, in Michigan, and Menomonee river, as well 
as the towns of Menomonee Falls and Menomonie, in Wisconsin. 

The county seat of Mahnomen county has the same name, which was 
given to this railway village before the county was established. Its spell- 
ing here adopted is similar to Mahnomonee, written by Longfellow in 
"the Song of Hiawatha." 

In the Dakota or Sioux language, according to its Dictionary by Riggs, 
wild rice is called psin. From that word probably came the earliest pub- 
lished name, Du Siens, for the Wild Rice lake and river, given by the 
narration of Joseph la France in 1744, as noted in the chapter for Qear- 
water county. He described the plant as "a kind of wild Oat, of the Nature 
of Rice." It was commonly known by the early French traders and voy- 
ageurs as folle avoine, meaning fool oat or false oat; and thence their 
name for the Menominee tribe, living in the north part of Wisconsin and 
Michigan, was Folles Avoines, and that region of many lakes and streams, 
having abundance of wild rice, was named the Folle Avoine country. 
Dr. Douglas Houghton, writing in 1832 as a member of Schoolcraft's ex- 
pedition to Lake Itasca, defined this term to comprise '^hat section of 
country lying between the highlands southwest from Lake Superior and 
the Mississippi river." 

A very interesting monograph, entitled "The Wild Rice Gatherers of 
the Upper Lakes," was contributed by Prof. Albert E. Jenks in the Nine- 
teenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, for 1897-98, 

321 



322 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

published in 1900, forming its pages 1013-1137, illustrated with thirteen 
plates. Derived mainly from that elaborate work, a summary notice of the 
wild rice and its use by the Ojibways was given by Prof. N. H. Winchell, 
in part as follows. "The plant is an annual, springing from seed every 
year, growing in lakes and slow-flowing streams which have a mud-alluvial 
bottom. The grain is from about a half an inch to nearly an inch in 
length, cylindrical, dark slate color when ripe, and is embraced in glumes, 
or husks, arranged in an appressed panicle at the top of the long stem. . . . 
Its leaves are broad (for a grass) and numerous. Its botanical name 
in Zizania aquatica. The fruit is ripe in September. While it is per- 
petual when once established in favorable situations, it becomes necessary 
to sow it artificially when it is destructively gathered either by wild fowl 
or by Indians. ... In August the green, standing, rice stalks are tied 
into bunches by the women. This is for protecting the grain from injury 
and loss by water-fowl as well as by winds, and also to facilitate the sub- 
sequent harvesting. The twine used is the pliable inner bark of the bass- 
wood. . . . Much rice is gathered, however, without previous tying. 
When it is ripe it is gathered in canoes which are pushed through the 
rice-field, one woman acting as canoeman and the other as harvester. The 
stalks, whether tied in bundles or hot, are bent over the gunwale and beat- 
en with a stick so as to dislodge the grain. As the fruit is easily loosened, 
whether by the wind or by birds, as well as by handling, it is neces- 
sary to gather it just before maturity, and subsequently subject it to a 
process of drying and ripening." (The Aborigines of Minnesota, 1911, 
pages 592-4.) 

About 10,000 bushels of wild rice were formerly harvested yearly by 
the Ojibways in northern Minnesota, being an average of a bushel or more 
for each of the population. Since many have adopted in later years the 
ways of civilization, making farms and permanent homes on the White 
Earth reservation, the amount of wild rice used is much diminished. Its 
salable value, as partly purchased by white people, is five to ten cents per 
pound, or from three to six dollars per bushel. 

Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan, in his paper on "The Ojibways in Minnesota" 
(M. H. S. Collections, vol. IX, 1901, pp. 55-128), presented a vivid de- 
scription of the gathering of wild rice, as seen at a large rice lake in the 
north part of this reservation. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of names in this county was 
received from Alfred Aamoth, auditor, and Arthur J. Andersen, treasurer, 
during a visit at Mahnomen, the county seat, in September, 1909 ; and from 
John W. Carl, auditor, and Martin M. Bowman, clerk of the court, in a 
second visit there in September, 1916. 

Beaulieu township and village were named for Henry and John 
Beaulieu, who served in the civil war and afterward owned farms here. 



MAHNOMEN COUNTY 323 

* 

John Beaulieu was during many years the village postmaster. Records 
of the Beaulieu family and allied families, prominent in the history of the 
Ojibways in this state, descendants of a French fur trader, Bazille Beau- 
lieu, and his Ojibway wife, "Queen of the Skies," are given by Winchell 
in "The Aborigines of Minnesota," page 722. 

Bejou township and its railway village received this name, changed 
in pronunciation and spelling, from the French words, Bon jour ("Good 
day"), of the former fur traders and voyageurs. It is the common 
Ojibway salutation on meeting friends or even strangers, used like the 
familiar English and American greeting, "How do you do?" 

Chief township was named in honor of May-sha-ke-ge-shig (also 
spelled Me-sha-ki-gi-zhig) , the principal chief of the Ojibways on the 
White Earth Reservation, described by Winchell as "a man revered for 
many noble qualities and for his distinguished presence." He died "nearly 
100 years old," August 29, 1919, at the Old Folks Home in Beaulieu ; had 
Uved as a farmer on this reservation since 1868. 

Gregory was named for Joseph Gregory, an early farmer here, who was 
one of the first taking an allotment of land in this township. 

Heier township commemorates Frank Heier, who was teacher of an 
Ojibway school in this township, and later was superintendent of the 
government school at Pine Point, Becker county, near the southeast cor- 
ner of the White Earth Reservation. 

Island Lake township has a large lake of this name, containing an 
island of many acres. • 

Lagarde township was named for Moses Lagarde, who served in the 
civil war, received a farm allotment here, and was owner of a hotel in 
Beaulieu village. 

Lake Grove township is mostly a broadly undulating and rolling prairie, 
but has several small lakes bordered with groves. 

Mahnomen, the county seat, is a railway village close north of the 
Wild Rice river, whence came tJhis Ojibway name, later given to the 
county. 

Marsh Creek township bears the name of the creek flowing across it. 

Pembina township, like Pembina river and county in North Dakota, is 
named from the bush cranberry, excellent for making sauce and pies, called 
by the Ojibways nepin ninan, summer berry. The Ojibway words were 
transformed into this name by the French voyageurs and traders. 

Popple Grove township has mainly a prairie surface, interspersed with 
occasional groves of the common small poplar, often mispronounced as in 
this name. 

Rosedale township, consisting partly of prairie and partly of wood- 
land, was named for its plentiful wild roses.' 

Schneider Lake township has a lake of this name, beside which Frank 
Schneider, a German married to an Ojibway, formerly lived as a farmer, 
but later removed to Waubun village. 

Twin Lakes township is named for its two lakes, separated by a nar- 
row strip of land with a road. 



324 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Waubun, a railway village, has an Ojibway name, meaning the cast, 
the morning, and the twilight of dawn. It is spelled waban in Baraga's 
Dictionary, and wabun by Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha," with 
definition as the east wind. Another spelling of this name is borne by 
Waupun, a city in eastern Wisconsin. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have sufficiently noticed the White Earth and 
Wild Rice rivers. Island lake. Marsh creek, Schneider lake, and the Twin, 
lakes. 

The origins of the names of White Earth and Tulaby lakes, crossed by 
the south line of this county, are given in the chapter for Becker county. 

Numerous other lakes are to be here listed, in the order of townships 
from south to north and of ranges from east to west; but many lakes of 
relatively small size are yet unnamed. 

Big Bass lake was named for its fish, and Little Elbow lake for its bent 
form. 

Simon lake, crossed by the middle part of the east boundary of the 
county, commemorates Simon Roy, who had a cattle farm there and died 
many years ago, leaving several sons yet living in the White Earth Reser- 
vation. 

Lake Erie is in section 7, Lagarde. Why it received this name re- 
mains to be learned. 

Rosedale has Gardner, Sandy, and Fish lakes. The first was named 
for Charles Gardner, who was a log driver on the Snake and Pine rivers 
and later was a successful farmer at this lake. 

Lone lake is two miles north of Simon lake, and Washington lake lies 
four miles northwest of Lone lake, being close north of Wild Rice river. 

Aspinwall, Vanoss, and Warren lakes, in Chief township, were named 
respectively for Henry Aspinwall, a farmer beside the lake of his name, 
Francis Vanoss, of Canadian French and Ojibway descent, who in his old 
age took a land allotment, and Budd Warren, a nephew of William W. 
Warren, the historian of the Ojibways. This township also has Chief 
lake, named, like the township, for the Ojibway chief. 

Sugar Bush lake, in section 7, Island Lake township, received its name 
from its maple trees used for sugar-making. 

Gregory township has Lake Beaulieu and Church lake. The first was 
named for Alexander H. Beaulieu, who long ago was allotted land there, 
which he farmed until 1916, then removing to Fosston. Church lake was 
named for Charles Church, an American farmer there, having an Ojibway 
wife. 

Tamarack lake, in section 29, Bejou, is partly bordered by tamarack 
woods. Sand Hill river, flowing through the northwest part of this town- 
ship, is named from the dunes or wind-blown sand hills of its delta, in 
Polk county, which was deposited at the highest stage of the Glacial Lake 
Agassiz. 



MAHNOMEN COUNTY 325 

White Eablth Reservation. 

Because Mahnomen county is wholly included within this Reservation, 
special attention should be here directed to the concise notice of its name 
and date before given for Becker county, in which are the Reservation 
Agency, at White Earth, and the lake whence the name is taken. It is 
the largest of the several Ojibway reservations that remain in this state, 
having an area of thirty-two townships. Aside from its many lakes, most- 
ly of small size, it has space for about 4,000 farms like the usual home- 
stead of white settlers, measuring 160 acres or a quarter of a section In 
the government survey. 

The Ojibway name of the White Earth lake, which is retained in its 
translation, being given also to the Reservation, is noted on page 31 of 
the Becker county chapter. 

The White Earth reservation was established by a treaty at Washing- 
ton, March 19, 1867. In the summer of the next year many Ojibways 
of the Mississippi and Gull Lake bands, led respectively by their chiefs, 
Wa-bon-a-quot (White Cloud) and Na-bun-ash-kong, removed there. 
June 14, 1868, was the day of arrival of the pioneers in the removal, and 
its anniversary is celebrated at White Earth each year. Twelve town- 
ships in Becker county, the entire sixteen townships of Mahnomen county, 
and the next four of Range 2^ in Gearwater county, are included in the 
reservation area, being as fertile farming land as is found in any part of 
Minnesota. 



MARSHALL COUNTY 

This county, established February 25, 1879, was named in honor of 
William Rainey Marshall, governor of Minnesota. He was bom near 
Columbia, Missouri, October 17, 1825; but his boyhood was spent in 
Quincy, Illinois, to which place his parents removed in 1830. At the age 
of fifteen years, in company with his older brother Joseph, he went to 
the lead mines of Galena, where he worked several years and learned 
land surveying. 

In 1847 he came to St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and in 1849 to Minne- 
sota, settling at St. Anthony Falls and opening a general hardware busi- 
ness, with his brother Joseph. For Franklin Steele and others he sur- 
veyed the St. Anthony Falls townsite, his plat being dated October 9, 
1849. Two years later he removed to St. Paul, which thenceforward was 
his home, and became its pioneer hardware merchant. In 1855 he founded 
a banking business, which failed in the financial panic of 1857; and sub- 
sequently he engaged in farming and stock-raising, and brought to Minne- 
sota its earliest high-bred cattle. 

Marshall was commissioned in August, 1862, as lieutenant colonel of 
the Seventh Minnesota regiment; aided in the suppression of the Sioux 
outbreak, and- in the expedition of 1863 against the Sioux in North Dako- 
ta; and afterward served through the civil war in the South, being pro- 
moted colonel of his regiment in November, 1863, and brevetted briga- 
dier general March 13, 1865. He was governor of Minnesota during two 
terms, 1866-70, being "one of the best chief magistrates the state has ever 
had." In 1876-82 he served as the state railroad commissioner. 

In 1893 he was elected secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
of which he had been president in 1868; but he resigned in 1894, on ac- 
count of ill health, and went in hope of recovery to Pasadena, California, 
where he died January 8, 1896. An obituary sketch, by Rev. Edward C. 
Mitchell, was published in the eighth volume of this society's Historical 
Collections (1898, pages 506-510, with a portrait) ; and the thirteenth 
volume of this series, "Lives of the Governors of Minnesota," by General 
James H. Baker, published in 1908, has a more extended biography (pages 
145-165, with a portrait), including extracts from his addresses and mes- 
sages as governor. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of names was received from "History of 
the Red River Valley," two volumes, 1909, having pages 831-859 for this 
county; from August G. Lundgren, county auditor, and Peter Holan, 
deputy auditor, John P. Mattson, editor of the Warren Sheaf, and Hon. 

326 



MARSHALL COUNTY 327 

Andrew Grindeland, district judge, each being interviewed during a visit 
at Warren, the county seat, in August, 1909; and again from Mr. Lund- 
gren, also from Alfred C. Swandby, clerk of the court, R. C. Math wig, 
Albert P. Mclntyre, and Charles L. Stevens, editor of the Warren Regis- 
ter, during a second visit there in September, 1916. 

Agder township, organized in 1902, has the name of a district in south- 
ern Norway, southwest of Giristiania. 

Alma^ organized in 1882, was named for Alma Dahlgren, the first 
child born in this township, daughter of Peter O. Dahlgren, who during 
several years was the county treasurer. 

Alvasado, a railway village in Vega township, has the name of a sea- 
port and river in Mexico, about forty miles southeast of Vera Cruz. It 
is also the name of a small city in Texas, and of villages in Indiana and 
California. 

Argyle^ a large railway village in Middle River « township, bears the 
name of a county in western Scotland, which is borne also by a township 
in Maine and by villages in nine other states. This name was proposed by 
Hon. S. G. Comstock, for whom a township of this county is named. 

Augsburg township, organized in 1884, was named by its Lutheran 
people for the ancient city of Augsburg in Bavaria, Germany. The chief 
Lutheran creed, called the Augsburg confession, was submitted to the 
Diet of Augsburg in 1530; and a treaty was made there between the 
Lutheran and Catholic states of Germany, September 25, 1555, which 
secured the triumph of the Reformation by granting authority for the 
separate states to prescribe the form of worship within their limits. 

Big Woods township, organized in 1882, has a wide border of timber 
along the Red river. 

Bloomer township, also organized in 1882, received its name from the 
village of Bloomer in Chippewa county, Wisconsin, whence some of its 
settlers came. 

BoxvnxE township, organized in 1884, was named for William N. 
Box, an early homesteader there, who removed to Northfield, Minn., and 
later to the Pacific coast. 

Cedar township, organized in 1892, has groves of the arbor vitae, more 
often called white cedar. 

Couo township, organized in 1900, received its name from Lake Como 
in St. Paul, as probably proposed by George F. Whitcomb, a land owner 
here who lived in that city. Seven states of the Union have villages of 
this name, derived from the Italian city and province and their moun- 
tain-bordered lake so named at the south side of the Alps. 

Comstock township, organized in 1881, was named in honor of Solomon 
G. Comstock, an attorney for the Great Northern railway company, who 
named the village of Argyle. He was born in Argyle, Maine, May 9, 
1842; came to Minnesota in 1869, settling in Moorhead; was admitted to 
practice law in 1871 ; was a representative in the state legislature, 1876-7 



328 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

and 1879-81 ; a state senator, 1883-7 ; and a representative in Congress, 
1889-91. 

Donnelly township, organized in 1895, commemorates Ignatius Don- 
nelly; who was born in Philadelphia, November 3, 1831, and died in Min- 
neapolis, January 1, 1901. He was admitted to practice law in his native 
city ; came to Minnesota in 1857 ; was lieutenant governor, 1860-3, and a 
representative in G)ngress, 1863-9; later served several terms in the 
state legislature, and was a national leader in the Farmers' Alliance 
movement, and in the Populist party; author of many published speeches 
and addresses, and of numerous books. He lived many years at Nininger, 
a few miles west of Hastings, and was often called "the Sage of Nin- 
inger." 

Eagle Point^ organized in 1890, was named from an eagle's nest near 
the center of this township, at a point of the woods which reached east- 
ward from the Red river. 

East Paiik, organized in 1899, is the second township east of Nelson 
Park) previously organized, whence this name was suggested. 

East Valley township, organized in 1896, crossed by the Thief river, 
had settlers from the earlier West Valley township on the Middle river. 

EcKVOLL township, organized in 1901, received this .Norwegian name, 
meaning "Oak Vale," in allusion to its abundant oak groves. It was 
proposed by Nels K. Nelson, previously a resident of Warren, being taken 
from a former Eckvoll post office in Oak Park township. 

Espelee township, organized in 1903, is likewise named from Norwegian 
words, meaning "Poplar Slope," for its many groves of poplars. 

Excel township, organized in 1884, was named from the village and 
township of Excelsior in Hennepin county, being shortened to avoid exact 
repetition of that name, which was taken from the well known poem en- 
titled "Excelsior," written by Longfellow in 1841. 

FoLDAHL^ organized in 1883, is named for a locality in Norway, the 
country from which most of the settlers in this township came. 

Fork township, organized in 1896, was so named because the Red 
river receives the Snake river at its west side. Boatmen ascending 
the Red river may here take either one of two routes, like prongs or tines 
of a fork. 

Grand Plain township, organized in 1898, is in the nearly level and 
plainlike east part of the county. 

Holt township, organized in 1890, and its railway village, were named in 
honor of a pioneer Norwegian settler. This is an ancient Anglo-Saxon 
and Scandinavian word, meaning a grove or a wooded hill. 

Huntley township, organized in 1902, having been a noted hunting 
ground for moose, was at first called Huntsville, which was changed be- 
cause an earlier township in Polk county had received that name. 

Lincoln township, organized in 1892, was named in honor of the 
martyr president of the United States in the civil war. 



MARSHALL COUNTY 329 

LiNSELL, the most northeastern township of this county and one of the 
latest organized, in 1908, was named by its Swedish people for the town 
of Linsell in central Sweden. 

McCrea township, organized in 1882, was named for Hon. Andrew 
McCrea, farmer and lumberman, who had land interests in this county, 
and whose sons were residents of Warren during many years, thence 
removing to the west. He was bom in New Brunswick in 1831 ; came to 
St. Paul in 1854; afterward lived in Colorado and other states, but in 
1870 settled in Perham, Minn. ; was a representative in the legislature in 
.1877, and a state senator in 1879. 

Marsh Grove township, organized in 1884, formerly had. numerous 
marshes and poplar groves, now mostly changed to well cultivated farms. 

Middle River township, the earliest organized in this county, Octo- 
ber 14, 1879, and the railway village of this name, in Spruce Valley town- 
ship, are on the stream so named, which flows through the central and 
western part of this county, being tributary to the Snake river near its 
mouth. 

Moose River township, organized in 1904, took the name of its river, 
flowing into Thief lake. 

MoYLAN township, organized in 1902, was named for Patrick Moylan, 
an Irish settler, who removed to Oregon or Washington. 

Mud Lake township, organized in 1914, includes the east half of th^ 
area of Mud lake, tributary to Thief river, now mainly drained. 

Nelson Park township, organized in 1884, was named for James Nel- 
son, a Yankee hunter and trapper, who was its earliest homesteader, 
and for several other settlers named Nelson, immigrants from Sweden 
and Norway. 

New Folden township, organized in 1884, and its railway village, re- 
ceived their name from a seaport in northern Norway, on the south branch 
of the Folden fjord. 

New Maine township, organized in 1900, was named in compliment to 
settlers from the state of Maine. 

New Solum township organized in 1884, is named for a district in 
Norway. 

Oak Park township, organized in 1883, has many oaks in its woods 
bordering the Red river. The name of a discontinued post office of this 
township, Eckvoll, meaning "Oak Vale," was transferred, as before noted, 
to a township in the east part of this county. 

OsLO^ the railway village of Oak Park, bears the name of a large medie- 
val city which occupied the site of Christiania, Norway. The old city 
was mostly burned in 1547 and again in 1624, and the new city was 
founded and named at the later date by Christian IV, king of Denmark 
and Norway. 

Parker township, organized in 1884, was named for George L. Parker, 
a pioneer settler there, who after several years moved away. 



330 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Radium is a small village of the Soo railway in Comstock township, 
named for the very wonderful metallic element, radium, discovered in 
1902 ; and Rosewood is another station of the Soo railway, in New Solum. 

RoLLis, organized in 1899, was named for Otto RoUis, formerly of 
Warren, who became a storekeeper in this township, but later removed to 
Colorado. 

SiNNOTT township, organized in 1883, had two settlers of this name, 
J. P. Sinnott in section 8 and P. J. Sinnott in section 20. 

Spruce Valley township, organized in 1888, is named for its spruce 
trees along the Middle river, which are common or abundant throughout 
northeastern Minnesota, but here reach their southwestern limit 

Stephen, a village of the Great Northern railway in Tamarac town- 
ship and close north of Tamarac river, was named in honor of George 
Stephen, a prominent financial associate of James J. Hill in the building 
of this railway system. He was born at Dufftown, in Banffshire, Scot- 
land, June 5, 1829; came to Canada in 1850, settling in Montreal, and en- 
gaged in dry goods business and manufacturing cloth; was president of 
the Bank of Montreal, 1876-81, and president of the Canadian Pacific 
railway company, 1881-87; was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1886; was 
a founder in 1887, with Sir Donald Smith, of the Royal Victoria Hos- 
pital, Montreal; removed to England in 1888, and has since resided in 
London. In 1891 he received the title of Baron Mount Stephen, referring 
to a peak of the Rocky mountains named for him during the construction 
of the Canadian Pacific railway. 

Stbakdquist^ a Soo railway village in Lincoln township, was named in 
honor of J. £. Strandquist, a merchant there, who was born in Sweden 
in 1870 and settled in this county in 1892. 

Tamarac township, organized in 1879, received its name from the 
Tamarac river, here crossed by the Great Northern railway. 

Thief Lake township, organized in 1896, is named for its large lake, 
the source of the Thief river. The origin of these n'ames, related by War- 
ren in the "History of the Ojibways," is given in the chapter for Pen- 
nington county, which has its county seat at Thief River Falls. 

Valley township, organized in 1900, is crossed by Mud river or 
creek, tributary to Mud lake by a valley scarcely below the general level. 

Vega township, organized in 1883, bears the name of the ship in which 
Baron Nordenskjold, the Swedish explorer, in 1878-9 traversed the Arctic 
ocean along the north coast of Russia and Siberia, passed through Bering 
strait to the Pacific, and returned around Asia and through the Suez canal. 

Veldt township, organized in 1902, was at first called Roosevelt, for 
the president of the United States. Because that name had been earlier 
given to another township of Minnesota, it was changed to this Dutch 
word, used in South Africa, meaning "a prairie or a thinly wooded tract** 

Viking township, organized in 1884, was named by Rev. Hans P. Han- 
sen, a Norwegian Lutheran pastor in Warren. This Scandinavian word, 
often translated as a sea king, more correctly denoted any member of the 



MARSHALL COUNTY 331 

early medieval pirate crews of Northmen who during several centuries 
ravaged the coasts of western and southern Europe. 

Wangek township, organized in 1882, was named for a German hunter 
and trapper who lived there before the coming of agricultural settlers. 

Wasren, the county seat, platted in 1879-80, incorporated as a village 
in 1883, and as a city April 3, 1891, was named in honor of Charles H. 
Warren, general passenger agent of the St Paul, Minneapolis and Mani- 
toba railway company, which in 1890 was renamed the Great Northern 
company. The railway was built to the site of Warren in the summer 
of 1878, and in November of that year trains ran through to Winnipeg. 

Wasrenton township, organized in 1879, has a name of the same ori- 
gin as the city of Warren, which is at its southeast corner. 

West Valley township, organized in 1884, is named from the Middle 
river, which here is inclosed by low bluffs. 

Whiteford township, organized in 1910, has a name that is borne also 
by small villages in Maryland and Michigan. 

Wright township, organized in 1884, probably received this name in 
honor of one of its first settlers. 

Streams and Lakes. 

Middle river was named by the fur traders, whose trains of Red river 
carts crossed it on the old Pembina trail about halfway between Pembina 
and their crossing of the Red Lake river. 

Snake river is translated from its Ojibway name, written by Gilfillan 
as Ginebigo zibi. 

Tamarac river is also noted by him as a similar translation, from Ga- 
mushkigwatigoka zibi. Tamarack is elsewhere the common spelling for 
the tree and geographic names derived from it. 

In the place of these three streams, only one is found on the map of 
Long's expedition in 1823, named Swamp creek, where the present Tam- 
arac ditch in Donnelly and Eagle Point townships carries to the Red river 
the drainage of a large swamp area, in which Tamarac river was formerly 
lost, thence emerging northward and joining the Red river in the south- 
west part of Kittson county. Swamp creek, translated from the Ojib- 
way name of Tamarac river, was copied on Nicollet's map in 1843 and on 
the map of Minnesota Territory in 1850; but the state map of 1860 has 
the present Tamarac, Middle, and Snake rivers, although their courses 
are erroneously drawn. 

Preceding pages have noticed Moose river. Thief lake and river, and 
Mud river and lake, whence three townships are named. 

Green Stump lake and Elm lake, each shallow and drained for use as 
farm lands, were respectively about one mile and three miles southwest 
of Mud lake, which, as before noted, is also mainly drained. 

Whiteford has two little lakes, about midway between Thief and Mud 
lakes, of which the eastern one is named Olson lake. 

Marshall county is wholly in the area of the Glacial Lake Agassiz. 



MARTIN COUNTY 

This county was established May 23, 1857, being named, according to 
the concurrent testimony of its best informed early citizens yet living, 
in honor of Henry Martin, of Wallingford, Conn., who then was a resi- 
dent of Mankato, having land interests here and probably expecting to 
live permanently in Minnesota. He was born in Meriden, Conn., Febru- 
ary 14, 1829; went to California in 1849, and engaged in auction business 
in San Francisco until 1851 ; returned to Connecticut, and was state bank 
commissioner, 1854-56; came to Minnesota in 1856, and selected and 
purchased, for eastern associates and himself, about 2,000 acres of lands 
in Mower, Fillmore, and other counties, including the area, then in Brown 
county, which in 1857 was set apart as Martin county; resided temporarily 
in Mankato, and visited the chains of lakes in this county for hunting 
and fishing, one of which, Martin lake in the northwest comer of Rut- 
land township, was named for him. Beside this lake he built a house, and 
partly planned to settle here. Within about one year he returned to Wal- 
lingford, Conn., where his family had continuously resided, and that 
town was ever afterward his home. He engaged in manufacturing there, 
was deputy sheriff of New Haven county, 1884-87, and after 1895 was 
assistant town derk. (These biographic notes are in a letter and personal 
sketch received from him in 1905.) He died in Walling£ord, July 18, 
1906, in the home to which he brought has bride in 1853. 

Members of the Territorial legislature, who passed the act establishing 
Martin county, may have been partly influenced in favor of this name by 
remembering that Morgan Lewis Martin, of Green Bay, Wis., as delegate 
in Congress from Wisconsin Territory, on December 23, 1846, introduced 
the bill for the organization of the Territory of Minnesota. He was born 
in Martinsburg, Lewis county, N. Y., March 21, 1805; was graduated at 
Hamilton College, 1824; came to Green Bay in 1827, and during his long 
Hfe resided there, being, as a lawyer and judge, prominently identified with 
the history of his state. He died December 10, 1887. An autobiographic 
narrative by him, with notes by R. G. Thwaites, was published in the Wis- 
consin Historical Society Collections, vol. XI, 1888, pages 580-415; and 
his portrait is given in vol. IX of that series, facing page 397. 

The honor of the county name, ascribed to Henry Martin by William 
H. Budd (History, page 114), was again so stated, with historical details 
given by (George S. Fowler, in an article published by the Martin County 
Sentinel, July IS, 1904. Two weeks later, a second 'article on this subject, 
by A. N. Fancher, presented the rival claim that the honor belongs in an 
equal or larger degree to Morgan L. Martin. 

332 



MARTIN COUNTY 333 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names has been gathered from "History of 
Martin County," by William H. Budd, published in 1897, 124 pages ; from 
George S. Fowler and Christian N. Peterson, interviewed during a visit 
at Fairmont, the county seat, in October, 1910; and from R. M. Tyler, 
clerk of the probate court, Hon. Albert L. Ward, state senator, Hon. 
Frank A. Day, and Miss Minnie Bird, librarian, during a second visit at 
Fairmont, in July, 1916. 

Cedar township, established January 2, 1872, was named for Cedar lake, 
at its east side, which has red cedar trees on its shores. 

Center Creek township bears the name of the creek flowing through it 
from the Central Chain of lakes. 

Ceylon, a railway village in Lake Belt township, has the name of a 
large island adjoining India. It is also the name of villages in Pennsyl- 
vania and Ohio. 

Dun NELL, the railway village of Lake Fremont township, was named 
in honor of Mark H. Dunnell, congressman, who was born in Buxton, 
Maine, July 2, 1823, and died in Owatonna, Minn., August 9, 1904. He 
was graduated at Waterville college in 1849, and was admitted to prac- 
tice law in 1856; was appointed United States consul to Vera Cruz in 
1861 ; came to Minnesota in 1865, settling at Winona, ^nd later removed to 
Owatonna; was a representative in the legislature in 1867; state superin- 
tendent of public instruction, 1868-71 ; and a member of Congress, 1871- 
83, and again in 1889-91. 

East Chain township was named for the East Chain of lakes, described 
in the later part of this chapter. 

Elm Creek township, established in March, 1867, is crossed by the 
creek of this name, which flows through the north half of the county, 
having many elms in the woods along its course. 

Fairmont, the county seat, platted as a village in October, 1857, from 
which the township also took this name, was incorporated February 28, 
1878, and adopted its city charter in 1902. It was at first called Fair 
Mount, referring to its situation beside and above the Central Chain of 
lakes, having a fine outlook across the lakes and the adjoining county. 

Fox Lake township, established January 2, 1872, is named for the long 
and narrow lake at its south side, which also gave this name to the railway 
village at its east end, platted in 1899. 

Fraser township was named in honor of Abraham N. Eraser, who took 
one of its first homestead claims, on Elm creek. 

Galena township was named by settlers from the city of Galena in 
Illinois, which received this name from mines of galena, a lead ore. 

Granada, the railway village of Center Creek township, bears the 
name' of a renowned medieval Moorish city and kingdom in Spain. 

Imogen, a railway village in Pleasant Prairie township, platted in 1900, 
has the name of the daughter of Cymbeline, in ohe of the Shakespearean 
plays. 



334 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Jay township, established January 2, 1872, has the name of a county in 
Indiana, and of villages and townships in Maine, Vermont, and New York, 
commemorating John Jay (b. 1745, d. 1829), who was an eminent states- 
man of the American Revolution, first chief justice of the United States 
supreme court, 1789-95, and governor of New York, 1795-1801. 

Lake Belt township, established in March, 1867, was named for its 
series of three lakes, to be again noticed in the later part bf this chapter. 

Lake Fremont township, established January 2, 1872, formerly had a 
small lake, now drained, in the west part of section 34, which was named 
in honor of John C. Fremont (b. 1813, d. 1890), assistant with Nicollet in 
his expedition through this region in 1838. He was later called ''the 
Pathfinder," from explorations of the Rocky mountains and the Pacific 
slope in 1842-45, and was the Republican candidate for the presidency of 
the United States in 1856. 

Manyaska township bears a Sioux name, given to lakes of this vicin- 
ity on Nicollet's map, probably meaning white bank or bluff, but to be then 
more correctly spelled mayaska. It has been otherwise translated as 
"white iron" or silver, from maza, iron, ska, white. This name is also 
borne by a lake in section 19, and by a railway station. 

Monterey, a railway village on the south line of Galena, has a Spanish 
name, meaning "king mountain," from the city of Monterey in Mexico, 
captured September ^4, 1846, after severe fighting, by the United States 
army under General Zachary Taylor. Thence a city and county in Cali- 
fornia are also named, and villages in fifteen other states. 

Nashville was named in honor of A. M. Nash, a pioneer farmer, at 
whose home this township was organized. May 3, 1864. 

Northrop^ a railway village in Rutland, platted in 1899, was named in 
honor of C)rrus Northrop, who was born in Ridgefield, Conn., Sept. 30, 
1834 ; was prof e;5sor of rhetoric and English literature in Yale University, 
1863-84; and was president of the University of Minnesota, 1884-1911. 

Ormsby is a railway village on the north line of Galena. 

Pleasant Prairie township, organized March 7, 1865, has a euphoni- 
ously descriptive name, chosen by its settlers. 

R(X.LiNG Green township bears a name similarly chosen, for its undulat- 
ing and rolling contour of the green and far-viewing prairie, 

Rutland township was named, on the suggestion of one of its early 
settlers, Amasa Bowen, register of deeds, for the city and county of Rut- 
land in Vermont. 

Sherburn^ a railway village and junction, was named in honor of the 
wife of an officer of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway com- 
pany, living in McGregor, Iowa. 

Silver Lake township has the South and North Silver lakes in the 
Central Chain. 

Tenhassen township, established March 7, 1865, received this Sioux 
name, changed in form, from the "Tchan Hassan lakes," mapped in this 
vicinity by Nicollet More correctly spelled, it is the name of Chan- 



MARTIN COUNTY 335 

hassen township in Carver county, meaning the sugar maple, from chan, 
tree, and hassen, related to haza, huckleberry or blueberry, thus denoting 
"the tree of sweet juice." 

Triumph, a railway village platted in 1899, on the line between Galena 
and Fox Lake townships, was named by John Stein, in compliment for 
the Triumph Creamery company. 

Truman, a railway village in Westford, platted in 1899, was named for 
Truman Clark, a son of J. T. Qark, who was then the second vice presi- 
dent of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha railway company. 
Several families named True live near this village. 

Waverly township was named by a pioneer settler, from the large vil- 
lage of Wavtrly in Tioga county. New York. 

Welcome, a railway village eight miles west of Fairmont, was named 
in honor of Alfred M. Welcome, whose farm lies at its southwest side. 

Westford township has a name that is borne also by villages and 
townships in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Wisconsin. 

Chains of Lakes. 

Three remarkable series of lakes in this county, named the East, Cen- 
tral, and West chains, are of great interest in glacial geology, because they 
give evidence of a prolonged warm or temperate interglacial stage or 
epoch, preceded and followed by long stages of severe cold, when the 
continental ice-sheet covered this area and extended far to the south. 

The East chain extends in a somewhat irregular northerly course for 
12 miles from the Iowa line, with outflow northeastward by South creek. 
This chain comprises eight lakes, varying from a half mile to two miles 
in length, with a half to two-thirds as great widths. The lakes are bor- 
dered by rolling areas of till, to which their shores ascend 30-40 feet, 
mostly by quite steep slopes. Between the lakes are, in some cases, marshes 
as wide as the narrower parts of the lakes; but some of the adjoining 
lakes are connected by contracted channels, such as may have been cut by 
the outflowing stream. Thus the series does not occupy depressions in 
any well-marked continuous valley. 

About 20 lakes form the Central chain, which extends 22 miles in an 
almost perfectly straight course from south to north, lying three to six 
mile»west of the East chain. Its outlets are South, Center, Elm and Perch 
creeks, all flowing eastward. The shores and the country on both sides 
consist of till, which rises to a moderately undulating expanse 30 to 40 
or 50 feet ab6ve the lakes. Though forming a very distinct, straight series, 
these lakes do not occupy a well-defined valley, for its width varies from 
one mile or more to less than an eighth of a mile, and it is interrupted in 
three places by water-divides, their lowest points being 10 to 15 feet above 
the adjoining lakes. 

The West chain is less distinctly connected than the East and Central 
chains, from which it also differs in having the longer axes of some of 



336 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

its lakes transverse to the course of the chain, and in having shorter series 
of lakes joined with it as branches. Tuttle lake at the south end of the 
chain lies on the state line, about four miles west of Iowa lake, the south 
end of the Central chain. Thence the West chain reaches 20 miles north- 
westerly, then nine miles northerly, and then northwest and west for eight 
miles to Mountain lake in G>ttonwood county, its whole extent being 37 
miles. Its successive portions from south to north are tributary to the 
East fork of Des Moines river, to Center and Elm creeks, and to the 
South fork of Watonwan river. This West chain comprises about 25 
lakes, extending through a region of undulating till, the direct deposit 
of the ice-sheet, with no noteworthy areas nor unusually thick included 
layers of water^eposited gravel and sand, as is true of all this county. 

A series of three lakes in Lake Belt township lies somewhat west of 
the direct course of the West chain, and may be regarded as a branch of 
it; and three miles east of this lake belt, another series of seven lakes, 
very plainly a branch of the West chain, diverges from it, and reaches 
almost due north 12 miles from Tuttle and Alton lakes. To these, as a 
continuation of the same branch, ought perhaps to be added four other 
lakes, which are situated four to nine miles farther north. 

The explanation of these series of lakes which appears most probable 
is that they mark interglacial avenues of southward drainage and occupy 
portions of valleys that were excavated in the till after ice had long 
covered this region and had deposited most of the drift sheet, but before 
the later Glacial stage or epoch again enveloped this area beneath a lobe 
of the continental glacier, partially refilling these valleys, and leaving 
along their courses the present chains of lakes. 

In the order from north to south, the East chain includes Lone Tree 
lake, named for a tall Cottonwood tree beside it, which was a landmark 
for travelers; Lake Imogene, whence the neighboring railway village 
was named; Rose lake, having many roses along its shores; Sager lake, 
named for a pioneer settler; and Gear lake and East Chain lake. This 
chain also has two lakes of small size that are mapped without names. 

In the same order, the Central chain has Perch lake, outflowing north- 
ward by Perch creek; Murphy lake, named for John Murphy, an early 
Irish homesteader; Martin lake, named for Henry Martin, as before 
noted ; High lake, Lake Charlotte, Twin lakes, Canright lake, and Buffalo 
lake, in Rutland, the last being named for its buffalo fish; Lake George, 
named for George Tanner, a settler there in the north edge of the present 
city of Fairmont ; Lake Sisseton, bearing the name of a tribal division of 
the Sioux, this region being noted on Nicollet^s map as the "Sissiton 
Country;" Budd lake, named in honor of William H. Budd, historian 
of the county, who took a land claim here in July, 1856 ; Hall lake, com- 
memorating E. Banks Hall, who also came in the summer of 1856; Amber 
lake, Mud lake, and Bardwell and Wilmert lakes; North and South Sil- 
ver lakes, the former also called Summit lake ; and Iowa lake, crossed by 
the Iowa line. 



MARTIN COUNTY 337 

The West chain comprises in this county, besides several nameless 
small lakes, Fish, Buffalo, and North lakes, the second named for the 
buffalo fish; Cedar lake, which gave the name of a township; Big Twin 
lakes, the smaller one of which has been drained ; Seymour and McGowan 
lakes, the latter now dry, named respectively for W. S. Seymour and 
Daniel McGowan, pioneers; Fox lake, naming a township; Temperance 
lake, Munger lake, now drained, named for Perry Munger, an early 
farmer, and Manyaska and Prairie lakes, the latter lately drained, in 
Manyaska township; Smith lake, formerly called Goose lake,* and 
Holmes lake, each recently drained, on the north line of Lake Belt; 
and Alton or Inlet lake and Tuttle lake, in Tenhassen. The last, crossed 
by the state line, is named in honor of Calvin Tuttle, one of the earliest 
settlers in Martin county, who came in March, 1856. This lake was called 
Okamanpidan lake on Nicollet's map, a Sioux name referring to its nests 
of herons. 

A western branch of the West chain, before noted, giving the name 
of Lake Belt township, consists of Susan, Fish, and Gear lakes. 

Between the Central and West chains, a longer but less continuous 
branch of the latter includes, with several small lakes unnamed and sev- 
eral lately drained. Long and Round lakes in Waverly; Patten lake in 
section 25, Galena, and Creek lake on Elm creek, crossed by the south 
line of section J6; Eagle and Swan lakes, in Eraser; Pierce and Mud 
lakes, in Rolling Green; and a second Mud lake or Rice lake, Babcock 
or Bright lake, and Clayton lake, in Tenhassen. 

Other Lakes and Streams. 

Only a few lakes and fewer streams remain to be noted, in addition 
to the chains of lakes and the streams outflowing from them. 

Burnt Out lake, adjoining a burned peat bed, in sections 21 and 28, East 
Chain, was formerly called Calkins lake, for pioneer farmers of this 
name at its east side. Ash lake, shown by early maps in sections 26 and 
27 of this township, has been drained. 

Timber lake or marsh, mostly in section 2, Rolling Green, is named 
for its grove. 

The head stream of the East fork of the Des Moines, flowing across 
Jay and Lake Belt townships, and through Alton lake to Tuttle lake, has 
given to the former of these lakes a second name, Inlet lake. 

Lily creek, having water lilies, is the outlet of Fox lake, flowing east 
into Swan and Eagle lakes. 

Qam lake is in sections 15 and 16, Fox Lake township. 

Badger lake, shallow and to be drained, in sections 17 to 20, Galena, 
now crossed by a road, was named for its badgers, formerly frequent 
here, but more common in Wisconsin, "the Badger State." 

Duck lake, once noted for its wild ducks, in sections 2 and 11, Elm 
Creek township, and Watkins lake, in sections 8, 9, and 16, have been 
drained. 



MEEKER COUNTY 

Established February 23, 1856, this county was named in honor of 
Bradley B. Meeker, of Minneapolis, who was an associate justice of the 
Minnesota supreme court from 1849 to 1853. He was born in Fairfield, 
Conn., March 13, 1813; studied at Yale College; practiced law in Rich- 
mond, Ky., 1838 to 1845, and later in Flemingsburg, Ky.; was appointed 
judge in the new territory of Minnesota in 1849, and presided at the first 
term of court on the site of Minneapolis, which was held in the old 
government grist mill on the west side of the river below the falls, August 
20, 1849. Judge Meeker was a charter member of the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society, 1849; and was one of the first Board of Regents of the 
University of Minnesota, elected by the Territorial Legislature in 1851. 
After leaving the bench, he engaged in real estate business and was a 
member of the constitutional convention, 1857. He purchased a large 
tract of land on the Mississippi below St. Anthony, including Meeker 
island and extending eastward; and he foresaw and often spoke of the 
coming great prosperity of Minneapolis. He died very suddenly in Mil- 
waukee, where he had halted on a journey to the east, February 20, 1873. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origin and meaning of names has been gathered 
from "A Random Historical Sketch of Meeker County," by A. C. Smith, 
1877, 161 pages; "Album of History and Biography of Meeker County," 
1888, 610 pages ; and from Norris Y. Taylor, who during many years was 
county surveyor, J. W. Wright, who was county superintendent of schools, 
1879-87, and a state senator, 1907-09, and William H. Greenleaf , for whom 
a village and township are named, each being interviewed during a visit at 
Litchfield, the county seat, in May, 1916. 

Acton, organized in April, 1858, was named for the village of Acton 
in Ontario, Canada, whence the Ritchie family came to settle in this 
township in 1857. 

Ceoar Mills township, organized January 25, 1870, received the name 
of its village founded in 1860, which was named from the large Cedar 
lake, about two miles distant to the east. This lake has many red cedars 
on its shores and islands, as noted by its name on Nicollet's map, Rantesha 
Wita or Red Cedar Island lake. 

CoLLiNwooD, organized May 8, 1866, bears the name (changed in spell- 
ing) of Collingwood, a port on the southern part of Georgian bay in 
Ontario. This township was at first called New Virginia, but was re- 
named as now in 1868, taking the name of the village platted in its north- 

338 



MEEKER COUNTY 339 

east corner by Canadian settlers in 1866, beside Lake CoUinwood, Y/hich 
is crossed by its east line. 

Cosh OS township, organized January 25, 1870, has a name proposed 
by Daniel Hoyt, one of its first settlers, who came in 1867, was a sur- 
veyor, and was elected the first township clerk. It is an ancient Greek 
word, meaning order, harmony, and thence the universe as an orderly and 
harmonious system. 

Danielson, settled in 1857, organized March 12, 1872, was named for 
Daniel Danielson, its first township clerk and assessor, and for Nels 
Danielson, an immigrant from Norway, wha took a land claim here in 
1861 and died in 1870. 

Darwin township, organized April 5, 1858, was then called Rice City, 
which was changed in 1869 to the name of its railway village, platted in 
October of that year. It was chosen in honor of £. Darwin Litchfield, 
of London, England, a principal stockholder and promoter of the St. 
Paul and Pacific (now the Great Northern) railroad, for whom also, as 
well as for his wife and his brothers, the village and township of Litch- 
field were named. 

Dassel township, first settled in 1856, was organized in the fall of 
1866 under the name of Swan Lake, from the Big Swan lake in its north- 
east part; but it was renamed in 1871 for its railway village, platted in 
1869, which was incorporated March 4, 1878. The village and township 
thus commemorate Bernard Dassel, who in 1869 was secretary of the 
St. Paul and Pacific railroad company. 

Eden Valley, a railway village in the north edge of Manannah, platted 
in 1886, was euphoniously named by officers of the St. Paul, Minneapolis 
and Sault Ste. Marie railway company. 

Ellsworth township, first settled in June, 1856, organized September 
1, 1868, was named at the suggestion of Jesse V. Branham, Jr., in honor of 
Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, colonel of a Zouave regiment from New 
York city, who soon after the beginning of the civil war was killed in 
Alexandria, Va., May 24, 1861. 

Forest Crrv township, on the west border of the Big Woods, organ- 
ized April 5, 1858, received the name of its village, platted in the summer 
of 1857, which was the county seat until the autumn of 1869, being then 
succeeded by Litchfield. 

Forest Prairie township, consisting mainly of woodland but having 
a small prairie nearly a mile long in its northwest comer, was organized 
in the summer of 1867. 

Greenleaf township, settled in 1856 and organized August 27, 1859, 
was named, like the village on its east border, in section 30, Ellsworth, 
platted in 1859, in honor of William Henry Greenleaf, one of the founders 
of the village. He was born in Nunda, N. Y., December 7, 1834 ; came to 
Minnesota in 1858, settling here; was county treasurer, 1860-2; county 
surveyor, 1864-70; and a representative in the legislature, 1871-3. He 
removed to Litchfield in 1872, where he has since lived, excepting several 



340 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

years, next after 1S78, of absence as receiver of the United States land 
office in Benson. 

Grove City, a railway village in the north edge of Acton and adjoin- 
ing Swede Grove township, was platted in the sumraer of 1870 and was 
incorporated February 14, 1878. 

Hasvey township, settled in the spring of 1856, organized in 1867, was 
named for James Harvey, who took a homestead claim here in 1860. 

Kingston, settled in 1856 and organized April 5, 1858, took the name 
of its village, platted in the fall of 1857, proposed by George A. Nourse, 
a lawyer of St. Anthony. Twenty-five other states, and also the Canadian 
provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick, have villages or cities and 
townships of this name. 

Litchfield township, organized April 5, 1858, was at first named Ness, 
in honor of Ole Halvorson Ness, one of its original party of Norwegian 
settlers, who came in July, 1856. It continued to bear that name until its 
village was platted in 1869 on the St. Paul and Pacific railroad, then being 
built By petition of its citizens, the township received the village name, 
Litchfield, in honor of a family who prominently aided in the construc- 
tion and financing of the railway, including three brothers, Egbert S., 
Edwin C, and E. Darwin Litchfield. They were the contractors by 
whom the line from St. Paul to St. Goud and Watab was built in 1862 to 
1864, and later they aided to provide the means for building this more 
southern line through Meeker county to Breckenridge. (Life of James 
J. Hill, by J. G. Pyle, 1917, two volumes.) Partly in appreciation of the 
honor of the name given to the village and township, generous donations 
to the Episcopal church here were received from Mrs. E. Darwin Litch- 
field in London. Another of this family, William B. Litchfield, was in 
1869 the general manager of this railroad ; and his son, Electus D. Litch- 
field, was the architect, in 1915-17, of the new building of the St. Paul Pub- 
lic Library and the Hill Reference Library. Litchfield village succeeded 
Forest City as the county seat in the fall of 1869, and was incorporated 
February 29, 1872. 

Man ANN AH township, organized October 13, 1857, took the name of 
its early village, which was platted and named by Ziba Caswell and J. W. 
Walker in December, 1856. ''Search in an old Scottish history gave them 
the name of Manannah." (Album of History, 1888, p. 554.) The present 
village of this name was platted in 1871. 

Swede Grove township, organized March 15, 1868, bears the name of 
a post office established there in 1864, referring to its many Swedish set- 
tlers and the frequent tracts of woodland. 

Union Grove township, settled in 1856 and organized April 18, 1866, 
received its name from the grove where a union church had been built, this 
name for the settlement being proposed by Lyman Allen, one of its pioneer 
farmers, who came from Massachusetts in 1856 and returned there in 1860. 

Watkins, a railway village in Forest Prairie township, was named by 
officers of the Soo railway company. 



MEEKER COUNTY 341 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noticed Cedar lake, crossed by the south 
line of Ellsworth, which gave a part of the name of Cedar Mills town- 
ship; Collinwood lake, adjoining the township of this name; and Big 
Swan lake, whence Dassel township was originally named. 

Crow river, having its North, Middle, and South forks in Meeker 
county, is considered in the first chapter, treating of rivers and lakes that 
belong partly to several counties. 

In the order of the townships from south to north, and of the ranges 
from east to west, this county has the following many lakes and creeks. 

The north line of Cedar Mills crosses Harding, Coombs, and Atkinson 
lakes, named for pioneers, extending also into Greenleaf, the first being 
in honor of Rev. W. C. Harding, who later was a Presbyterian pastor in 
Litchfield. Vincent Coombs and John Atkinson were farmers beside the 
lakes bearing their names. Hoff lake is in section 1, and Pipe lake, named 
for its shape, was in sections 16 and 21, but has been drained. Mud lake, 
also drained, was crossed by the west line of this township. 

Cosmos has Thompson lake, named for an early homesteader, and the 
greater part of the dry bed of Mud lake. 

Collinwood has Butternut lake, named for its trees, in section 3 ; Wash- 
ington lake, on the northwest, named for the first president of the United 
States, extending into Dassel, Darwin, and Ellsworth; Pigeon or Todd 
lake and Spencer lake, each lately drained; Maple, Long, and Wolf lakes, 
and Lakes Byron and Jennie. Silver creek flows into Collinwood lake 
from this township. 

Belle lake and Cedar lake, named for its red cedars, as before noted, 
are crossed by the south line of Ellsworth, continuing into McLeod 
county. Fallon lake, mostly drained, a small Long lake, in section 23, Lake 
Erie, Sioux lake, and Greenleaf and Willie lakes are in the south half of 
the township, the last two being named for William H. Greenleaf, like the 
next township, and for U. S. Willie (or Wiley), a young lawyer, a mem- 
ber of the legislature in 1859, who lived a year or two at Forest City and 
died there. In the north half are Birch, Hurley, Benton, and Manuella 
lakes ; and Stella lake is on the north line, reaching into Darwin. 

In Greenleaf, besides the three lakes on its south side, l3ring partly in 
Cedar Mills township, are Goose and Mud lakes, the second now drained. 
Lake Minnie Belle, Evenson lake, Hoosier lake, and Star lake, the last, 
extending into Litchfield, being named for its arms like rays of a star. 

Danielson has King lake, beside which Hon. Williatn S. King, of Min- 
neapolis, had a large stock farm, raising Durham cattle, later called March 
lake for a subsequent owner of this farm, with King creek outflowing 
to the South fork of Crow river ; and Bell lake and creek, similarly named 
for another farmer. 

In Dassel township are Spring and Little Spring lakes. Long lake, 
Sellards lake, named for Thomas Sellards, a settler from Kentucky, Big 



342 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Swan lake, before noted, Lake Arvilla, and Maynard lake, with Washing- 
ton creek, outflowing from Washington lake to the North fork. 

Darwin township has Lake Darwin, Stevens and Casey lakes, Rush 
lake, Mud lake (drained), and Round lake, the last being crossed by the 
west line of sections JO and 31. 

Adjoining Litchfield village is Lake Ripley, which commemorates Dr. 
Frederick N. Ripley, frozen to death there in the winter of 1855-6. The 
township has also Stone lake, in section 3, and Lake Harold, in sections 
19 and 30, with five or six other small lakes mapped and named, which 
are merely marshes or dry lake beds, excepting in the spring or in very 
rainy summers. 

Acton has a large Long lake, most frequent of our geographic names ; 
Hoop lake (mapped wrongly as Lake Hope), named because its water, 
like a hoop, surrounds a central island; and fully a dozen marshes that 
sometimes become shallow lakes, including Kelly, Butter, and Lund lakes. 

Lake Francis, outflowing by Eagle creek to the North fork, and Lake 
Betty, on the Qearwater river, are in Kingston. 

Powers, Dunn, Richardson, Plum, Rice, and Mud lakes, are in Forest 
City township, besides the Mill pond, formed by a dam on the North fork 
of Crow river. Michael Powers, Timothy Dunn, and William Richard- 
son, were pioneer farmers adjoining the lakes named for them. 

Harvey has Schultz lake, Lake Mary, Half Moon lake, named for its 
shape, and Tower lake. The flrst was named for three brothers, C^erman 
farmers, and the last for an early homesteader who was killed by the 
Sioux in 1862. Jewett and Battle creeks here flow to the North fork of 
Crow river, the second being translated from its Indian name. 

In Swede Grove township are Helga lake or marsh, Peterson lake, and 
Wilcox, Miller, and Mud lakes, the last two being shallow and mainly 
drained. Peterson lake was named for Hans Peterson, an adjoining set- 
tler, father of the late Hon. Peter £. Hanson, of Litchfield, who was a 
state senator, 1895-7, and secretary of this state, 1901-07. 

Gear lake, named for its deep and clear water, situated in the center 
of Forest Prairie township, is the chief source of Clearwater river, which 
flows thence eastward to the Mississippi. This is a translation from the 
Ojibways, who named the river for the lake at its source, their name of 
each being Kawakomik, as spelled on Nicollefs map, Ga-wakomitigweia 
in the lists of Gilfillan and Verwyst. It was a frequent Ojibway name, 
being retained in Wisconsin by the equivalent French name of the Eau 
Qaire lakes, river, city, and county. 

Manannah has Swift's lake, in section 33, and Pigeon lake, crossed by 
its west line. Stag creek runs south in this township to the North fork. 
Horseshoe lake, formerly in section 23, nearly adjoining the north side 
.of Tyrone prairie, has been drained. 

Union Grove township comprises a part of Pigeon lake, on its east side ; 
Lake Emma and Mud lake, mostly in section 10; and a part of the large 
Lake Koronis on the north, which lies mainly in Paynesville, Steams 
county. 



MILLE LACS COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, was named for the large lake, 
called Mille Lacs, meaning a thousand lakes, which is crossed by the north 
boundary of the county. It was named Lac Buade by Hennepin in 1680, 
for the family name of Count Frontenac. By the Sioux it was called 
Mde Wakan, that is, Wonderful lake or Spirit lake. Le Sueur's journal, 
written in 1700 and 1701 and transcribed by La Harpe, states that the large 
part of the Sioux who lived there received from this lake their distinctive 
tribal name, spelled, by La Harpe, Mendeouacantons. The same name, 
with better spelling, was given by Keating in 1823, and the lake, on the 
map accompanying his Narrative, is named Spirit lake ; but this group of 
the Sioux, the Mdewakantons, had before that time been driven from the 
Mille Lacs region by the Ojibways, and then lived along the Mississippi. 

Wakan island, noted on a following page for the present village of 
Wahkon, was the source of the name Mde Wakan, given to the lake and 
to this great subtribe of the Siouan people, and was also accountable, by 
a punning translation, for the Rum river, the outlet of this lake. 

The Ojibway name of the lake, as given by Nicollet, is Minsi-sagaigon, 
which is also applied to the adjoining country, ''from ffttn^', all sorts, or 
everywhere, etc., sagaigon, lake." He adds that the first is an obsolete 
word, "pronounced mist or rnvsi" Gilfillan gave the meaning of the 
Ojibway name as "Everywhere lake or Great lake." This name, spelled 
Mississacaigan, appeared on Delisle's map in 1703. It is evidently of the 
same etymology as Mississippi (great river). 

The French voyageurs and traders, as Nicollet states, following their 
usual practice of translating the Indian name, called the country, having 
"all sorts of lakes," the Mille Lacs [Thousand Lakes] region; whence this 
name came to be applied more particularly to this largest lake of the 
region. It was used by Pike, in application to the lake, being well known 
at the time of his expedition in 1805; and Carver learned much earlier, 
in 1766, of the name, but supposed it to refer to "a great number of small 
lakes, none of which are more than ten miles in circumference, that are 
called the Thousand Lakes." 

Dr. Elliott Coues discussed this name somewhat lengthily in his edi- 
tion of Pike (vol. I, pp. 311-314). 

Mille Lacs has an area of about 200 square miles, slightly exceeding 
Leech and Winnebagoshish lakes, but much surpassed by Red lake. It is 
shallow near the shore, and there it is often made muddy by the waves 
of storms ; but its large central part is always clear water, varying mainly 
from 20 to 50 feet in depth, with a maximum depth of 84 feet 

343 



344 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names ha& been received from "History of 
the Upper Mississippi Valley/' 1881, having pages 663-680 for Mille Lacs 
county; "Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mississippi/' by 
Hon. J. V. Brower, vol. Ill, Mille Lac, 1900, pages 140, and vol. IV, 
Kathio, 1901, pages 136, each having maps and many other illustrations; 
and from Hon. Robert C. Dunn, Judge Charles Keith, and Joseph C. 
Borden, deputy county treasurer, each being interviewed during a visit 
at Princeton, the county seat, in October, 1916. 

Bock, the railway village of Borgholm, was named by officers of the 
Great Northern railway company. 

Bogus Brook township bears the name of its large eastern tributary 
of Rum river, derived from the early Maine lumbermen; but the reason 
for the adoption of this name, meaning spurious and originally referring 
to counterfeit money, remains to be learned. 

Borgholm township has the name of a seaport of Sweden, on the island 
of Oeland, whence some if its settlers came. ^ 

Brickton, a railway village about two miles north of Princeton, has 
several brickjrards, making excellent cream-colored bricks. 

Dailey township was named in honor of Asa R. Dailey, an early settler 
there, who removed to Montana. 

East Sii^ township adjoins the east shore of Mille Lacs. 

Foreston, a railway village about three miles west of Milaca, is partly 
surrounded by a hardwood forest. 

Greenbush township, settled in 1856, organized in 1869, was named for 
the township of Greenbush adjoining the east side of Penobscot river in 
Maine. Many of the settlers in this county, both for its pine lumbering 
and for farming, came from that "Pine Tree State/' being therefore com- 
monly called "Mainites." 

Hayland township was named for the natural meadows on its several 
brooks, supplying hay for oxen and horses of winter logging camps. 

Isle, a railway village and port of Mille Lacs, and its Isle HARBcxt 
township, are named from their excellent harbor, partly inclosed and 
sheltered in storms by Great or Big island. 

IzATYS, a lakeside village of summer homes in South Harbor town- 
ship, has the name given by Du Luth in the report of his service to France, 
writing of his first visit to the Sioux at Mille Lacs : "On the 2d of July, 
1679, I had the honor to plant his Majesty's arms in the great village of 
the Nadouecioux, called Izatys, where never had a Frenchman been." It 
is a variation of Issati or Isanti, noting this division of the Sioux. 

Kathio township, adjoining the southwest shore of Mille Lacs and 
including its outlet. Rum river, here flowing through three small lakes, 
bears an erroneously transcribed form of the foregoing name, Izatys, 
published by Brodhead in 1855 (Documents relating to the Colonial His- 
tory of New York, vol. IX, page 795). In the original manuscript of 



MILLE LACS COUNTY 345 

Du Lath's report, before cited, Brodhead copied Iz of Izatys as ''K," and 
ys as "hio/' giving to that name a quite new form, Kathio, which error 
was followed by Neill, Winchell, Hill, Brower, Coues, and others. It has 
been so much used, indeed, that it will be always retained as a synonym 
of Izatys or Isanti. (Minnesota Historical Society Collections, vol. X, 
Part II, 1905, page 531.) 

Long Siding, a railway village about four miles north of Princeton, 
was named for Edgar C. Long, a lumberman and landowner. 

MiLACA village and railway junction, at first called Oak City, and 
MiLACA township, organized after the village was platted, have a shortened 
and changed name derived from Mille Lacs. 

MiLo township, settled in 1856 and organized in 1869, received its 
name from a township and its manufacturing village in the central part 
of Maine, on the Sebec river. 

MuDGETT township, organized in 1916, was named in honor of Isaiah 
S. Mudgett, who was born in Penobscot county, Maine, June 7, 1839, came 
to Minnesota in 1858, settled at Princeton in 1865, and was during several 
years the county auditor. His son, Harold Mudgett, is a farmer in section 
30 of this township. 

Onamia township bears the name given on the government survey 
plats by Oscar E. Garrison, surveyor, to the third and largest of the three 
lakes through which Rum river flows next below the mouth of Mille Lacs. 
A railway village on the south side of Onamia lake also has this name. 
It was received from the Ojibways, but its meaning is uncertain, unless 
it be like Onamani, noted in Baraga's Dictionary, whence Vermilion lake 
in St. Louis county is a translation. 

Opstead is the name of a post office and a hamlet of Swedish settlers 
in East Side township. 

Page township was named in honor of Charles H. and Edwin S. Page, 
lumbermen there, who came from Maine. . ^ 

Pease^ a railway village in section 13, Milo, was named by officers of 
the Great Northern railway company. 

Princeton village, the county seat, which received its first permanent 
settlers in 1854, was named in honor of John S. Prince, of St. Paul, who 
with others platted this village in the fall or winter of 1855, the plat being 
recorded April 19, 1856. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 7, 1821 ; 
came to St. Paul in 1854 as agent of the Chouteau Fur Company; after- 
ward engaged in insurance, real estate, and banking; was a member of 
the constitutional convention of Minnesota, 1857; mayor of St. Paul, 
1860-2 and 1865-6; was president of the Savings Bank of St. Paul for 
many years ; and died in that city, September 4, 1895. Princeton township 
was organized in 1857, and the village was incorporated March 3, 1877. 

South Harbor township was named for its good harbor on the south 
side of Mille Lacs. 

ViNELAND^ a village and port of Mille Lacs near it