Douglas County MNGenWeb: Alexandria Township

Alexandria Township

Compiled and written by Ginny Swartz

When the board of county commissioners held its first meeting on 15 June 1866, it was decided that all of Douglas County not included in Osakis Township should be known as Alexandria, or No. 2 Township. The commissioners appointed the first officers as follows: T. W. Sprague - assessor; George Cowing and N.B. Johnson - justices; John Johnson and Henry Blackwell - constables; J. Mont Smyth - clerk; H. S. Rutherford - treasurer. The present area of Alexandria Township includes only congressional Township128 Range 37.

The primary town located in the township is Alexandria, which is also now the county seat. In 1858, with the arrival of the Kinkaid brothers William and Alexander, together with other settlers, a small village was started on the south shore of Lake Agnes. The brothers established homes and farms on Lake Winona. Alexander was honored with having the town named after him; he left in 1862 and nothing further is known of him. William fought in the Civil War for MN and died in St. Cloud in 1868. Soldiers came and helped erect a stockade around the village; the few settlers who remained in the township during the Indian troubles sought safety in this stockade. The small village grew until, in 1860, there was a hotel operated by Charles Cook of England plus a number of other businesses. The entrepreneurs located in the village included Charles Canfield of CT was a tailor, David Shotwell of NJ, a hatter, Louis Jacob,Prussia, a shoemaker, William Watte, ME, a tailor, Joseph James, PA, a hatter, James VanDyke, NY, a merchant, Edward Wagner, a cooper, Roger Eastman, NH, carpenter, and Jerome Wheeler, VT, a teacher.

The village and surrounding area was vacated with the Indian Uprising of 1862. Most of the people returned the following year. In 1878, the railroad arrived in Alexandria and Douglas County. Prior to that time there was a stage run over what was called the government road which ran from St. Cloud to Sauk Centre, Osakis, Alexandria, Evansville, and then west to Fort Abercrombie.

School districts located in Alexandria Township were District #2 in Alexandria Village; District #15 in Section 2; District #50 in Section 27; and District #83 in Section 36.

Geneva Woods Cemetery is located in Section 9 and is the only cemetery in the township. Being one of the first towns in the county, there are a variety of church denominations, many of which were established in the early 1860's. They include Congregational, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, and Catholic Churches.

According to records located in the Recorder's Office at the Douglas County courthouse, the following individuals were the first owners who received a patent from the US Government on land in Alexandria Township. The year noted is the year the patent was recorded; often the individuals had been on the land one to three years prior to recording the patent.

Thomas McClure & Warrhum Warren, - Section 1, both in 1867
Edgar S. Way - Section 2, 1868
William B. Mitchell - Section 3, 1868
William B. Mitchell - Section 4, 1868
Thomas Aadson - Section 5, 1873
Wooster P. Wyman - Section 6, 1874
Joseph Gilpire - Section 7, 1870
Laura A. Kincaid - Setion 8, 1868
Aaron Doty - Section 9, 1867
Andrew Holes - Section 10, 1869
Edward O'Brien - Section 11, 1873
Peter T. Peterson - Section 12, 1869
Hans Rasmusson - Section 13, 1869
Edwin Fairfield - Section 14, 1869
Annie P. Smith - Section 15, 1868
Hill. H. Wilson - Section 16, 1882
Chester Wait - Section 17, 1869
Peter L. Gregory - Section 18, 1861
Margaret Campbell - Section 19, 1861
James S. Mitchell - Section 20, 1867
Thomas McClure - Section 21, 1867
Martin Debord - Section 22, 1868
Thomas White - Section 23, 1867
Lars O. Solum - Section 24, 1875
Mary Larson - Section 25, 1874
Morgan Roucke - Section 26, 1867
Robert Thomas - Section 27, 1868
Charles Walker - Section 28, 1868
L.W. Kilbourn - Section 29, 1870
Roderick D. Hathaway - Section 30, 1867
Jacob Labraud & Samuel M. Thompson- Section 31, 1865
Mary E. Latimer - Section 32, 1868
William E. Hicks - Section 33, 1870
Robert Smith - Section 34, 1868
Robert Walker - Section 35, 1872

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