Yellow Medicine County, MN History - Chapter 58 yellowm.gif (5938 bytes)





    The first white people to live within the confines of what became Yellow Medicine county, were those connected with early missions and what was called the Upper Sioux Agency, established by the government, in 1853. The agency was located near the site of the present village of Yellow Medicine. A portion of the county being in the Indian reservation, no settlers came in until after the outbreak. The reader is referred to the chapters on the Sioux Massacre for particulars of the destruction of the agency. Rev. T. S. Williamson was in charge of a mission station four miles up the Yellow Medicine river from its mouth, and Rev. S. R. Riggs was stationed to the west some two miles at a place called Hazelwood; these men and others with them, escaped the massacre. In this county was fought the battle of Wood Lake, which decided the fortunes of Little Crow and practically ended the Sioux war.

    The first permanent settlers of the county came in 1865; they were John Winter and Mrs. Desire Sanders, who settled in the town of Yellow Medicine and repaired and occupied one of the brick houses built for the Indians. The next year Mr. Winter made a claim and built a log house where Yellow Medicine city is located. This house was the first built after the outbreak, and was subsequently occupied as a store by Joseph Fortier. In October, 1865, Geo. S. Johnson and D. P. Lister settled in Minnesota Falls: other early settlers of that town were J. A. White, J. Q. Parke, M. O. Castle, and Geo. H. Coburn. The first settlers of each township are given in the histories of the respective towns.

    Until 1871, Yellow Medicine county was a part of Redwood county, but in that year a legislative act was passed establishing Yellow Medicine county with boundaries as at present defined. The act required that notice of the proposed change should be given to the voters of Redwood county, that they might at the next general election cast their votes for or against the measure; the result was the ratification of the act and the election of three commissioners for organizing the new county. The county was attached to Redwood, for judicial purposes, and so remained until February 25, 1874, when an act was passed separating it, and providing for general terms of the district court on the first Tuesday in October, and placing it in the Ninth judicial district.

    The first meeting of the county commissioners was held at Yellow Medicine City, January 1, 1872, in a small brick building owned by George Cary; present, the three commissioners John Winter, Ole O. Lende and Leonard Hazelden; no business of importance was transacted. On the 9th of January a meeting was held and N. T. Hoxie elected clerk and John Winter, chairman of the board of county commissioners. Several places were desirous of obtaining the county seat and bonus bonds were presented by Messrs. Hill, Worden and Winter, to induce the county commissioners to locate the county seat at Granite Falls, Minnesota Falls and Yellow Medicine City respectively. At the meeting held January 27, at Minnesota Falls, Yellow Medicine City was selected by ballot as the county seat and the following officers appointed to serve until the next general election: N. T. Hoxie, auditor; T. K. Reishus, sheriff; J. M. Merriman, treasurer; George E. Olds, surveyor; J. W. R. Winter, register of deeds; Gorham Powers, attorney; J. A. White, superintendent of schools; J. Otis, coroner. At the next meeting of the board the county was divided into three commissioner districts; several school districts were also formed.

    At the November election in 1872 the following were elected: C. Bordewich, treasurer; N. T. Hoxie, auditor; Ole Joel, sheriff; P. J. Smoot, clerk of the court; J. S. White, H. S. Berg and Ole J. Dahly, commissioners.

    John Winter offered a block of land in Yellow Medicine City for the purpose of erecting thereon a court house; Gorham Powers and others had undertaken to have the necessary buildings erected. At a meeting of the county commissioners held May 21, 1873, the time for building the court house was extended to November 15, 1873.

    In 1873 the board assessed a tax of eight mills on the taxable property for county purposes, one mill for support of poor, one mill for roads and bridges, and one half mill for school purposes. The valuation of property in 1872 was $295,447, and the tax was $7,835. In 1881 the assessed valuation was $1,287,349, and the tax $29,475. In 1874 there were 11,227 acres of land cultivated; in 1881, the amount had increased to 48,308 acres, 37,650 acres of which were in wheat.

    Minnesota Falls and Granite Falls, both made continuous efforts to secure the removal of the court house from Yellow Medicine City. Granite Falls finally succeeded in obtaining the passage of an act of the legislature, removing the seat of justice which act was approved March 9, 1874. The question was submitted to the people at the following election and resulted in a majority of votes in favor of the change. The removal was effected but not quietly, however. An action at law was brought on behalf of the interests of Minnesota Falls, but in the name of a private citizen seeking an injunction to prevent the removal on account of an alleged informality in the act, which, it was alleged rendered it illegal. The case was tried before Judge M. G. Hanscome, and it was decided adversely to the plaintiffs.

    Pending the action of the court in the matter, some parties from Granite Falls made a trip to Yellow Medicine City and obtained possession of all the books and records of the county. These were taken and hidden securely in the town of Stony Run, the concealing place being a hole cut into a haystack. No one but those interested in the matter had any knowledge as to where the books were. When the decision of Judge Hanscome was recorded, one morning all the books and records were found safely deposited in the court house at Granite Falls. Three acres of ground had been donated by Henry Hill, and the citizens of Granite Falls had erected the court-house, which they built and had in readiness at the time of the election.

    The first meeting of the county board at Granite Falls was held December 10, 1874. At the November session of 1878 a petition from the town of Granite Falls, asking that a county jail be erected in their town, was presented, and to this extent granted, viz: that if the citizens of Granite Falls "will erect a good, substantial jail on the southwest corner of the court-house block in said town, such jail to cost not less than $200, the county commissioners will agree to issue county orders to the amount of $100, to assist the said town in paying for such jail." The proposition was not accepted by the people of Granite Falls, and nothing was done until 1879, when the county and town united in building a jail containing a double iron cell, the latter to be the sole property of the county, but the city and county each having equal right to the use of the jail; it was built at a cost of $500.

    The first term of the district court held in the county was opened on the 6th of October, 1874, with M. G. Hanscome as the presiding judge. It was then a part of the Ninth judicial district.

    There are forty-five school districts in the county, in which there are thirty-one schoolhouses, all of frame, the valuation of which is estimated at $21,630. There are thirty-three teachers and 1,403 scholars reported for purposes of apportionment. In 1879 Granite Falls was created an independent school district, and in the fall of the same year a substantial and handsome school house was erected, costing nearly $8,000. Three teachers are employed.

    M. J. Whipple and Martha Erickson were married in 1869, by B. H. Monroe, the first marriage in the county; it occurred in the town of Yellow Medicine. The saw-mill built by Jacob Fisk on the Yellow Medicine in 1871 was the first in the county; it was built at a cost of $5,000.

    Minnesota Falls is the head of navigation on the Minnesota river, the rapids, some three miles in length being situated there. The first boat to arrive after the county was organized, was the "Osceola," which landed in May, 1873, loaded with lumber and merchandise. The water-power at the falls is of considerable capacity.


    Pursuant to a call, the board of county commissioners met on October 16, 1873 at Yellow Medicine City, when township 116, range 39 was organized and named Otis. The boundaries were fixed and determined as follows: Commencing on the range line between ranges 39 and 40, where the Minnesota river crosses said line, running thence south to the south-west corner of said town, thence west on the south line of said town to the Minnesota river, thence up said Minnesota river to place of beginning. The election of officers was ordered to be held at H. J. Simpson's hall at Granite Falls and which resulted in the election of T. P. Hill, J. D. Todd and E. W. Howard, supervisors, the first named being chosen chairman; C. E. Clark was elected town clerk. The first taxes assessed were highway labor and road tax, real estate and personal property being assessed at the rate of fifty cents on every one hundred dollars worth in value and two days labor as legal commutation therefor assessed to each and every person liable to a poll tax. The second town election resulted as follows: J. D. Otis, W. C. Campbell, E. W. Howard, supervisors; O. B. Laird, town clerk; Ole Foss, treasurer; L. C. Laird, assessor and justice of the peace.


    A glance at the map of Minnesota shows that the Minnesota river, at this point, forms the boundary line between Yellow Medicine and Chippewa counties. That portion on the west side of the river, on which the village of Granite Falls now stands, was formerly a part of the Sioux reservation. A few years after the admission of Minnesota as a state, the reservation was abolished and the country opened to settlers; but owing to the presence of the Indians and their hostile tendencies, there was very little done in the way of settlement until about 1870.

    At that date, Henry Hill --- now deceased --- who was then register of the government land office located at Greenleaf, secured the ground and planned the village of Granite Falls. The plat now in use bears date of May 7, 1872, when the survey was made by G. W. Daniels. This plat states that "Said town of Granite Falls is located on lots 1, 2 and 3, of section 34, on the west side of the Minnesota river, owned by Henry Hill and Orange S. Miller, in undivided shares, in township 116 of range 39."

    That on the east bank of the river being in another county, it necessarily formed another corporation, and has been known as East Granite Falls. In the first few years of existence the two places were joined, for school purposes, and formed a single school district.

    It should be stated that previous to the improvement of the place, Mr. T. P. Hill, brother of Henry Hill, in 1868 made a claim to the property, which afterwards became the possession of Henry Hill. The first house was built in July, 1868, by T. P. Hill.

    The town is surrounded on three sides by a series of rapids which each furnish good water-power. Two of these are improved. As soon as he had made the settlement Mr. Hill set about the work of improving his town site by building a dam, reservoir and flouring mill. Operations were first commenced on the production of flour in this mill in the year 1872. This mill possessed three sets of buhrs, and had also an attachment for sawing lumber. The total cost of the mill and the improvements to the river, including the building of the dam, was $15,000. The location of the mill had quite an influence in helping to settle the town. It is the mill now owned and conducted by W. W. Pinney.

    Soon after the location of Mr. Hill a small wave of emigration rolled towards the new town and carried several families with it. Among the earliest settlers of the town after Hill were A. J. Luce and A. W. Dodge. A hotel was built soon after the erection of the mill, it being the second structure of any importance erected. Mr. Luce came in 1871, but did not erect for himself a residence until the succeeding year. The first store was opened in 1872 by Fortier & Davidson. A second store was opened the same year by H. J. Simpson, who arrived in this locality about a couple of years previous to the opening of the store. In 1874 a newspaper called the Granite Rock, was established and the village began to assume proportions of importance.

    It was about this time, too, that the county seat was removed from Yellow Medicine City to Granite Falls. There had been quite a struggle between the latter and Minnesota Falls, a lively village about two miles and a half below, on the river, as to which should obtain the honor of becoming the county seat. Both were prosperous little cities in embryo, and each considered its claims the best. Granite Falls, however, managed to secure the prize, by donating ground and buildings for county offices.

    Among the earliest settlers should also be mentioned C. E. Clark, now county superintendent; R. H. Baldwin, proprietor of Baldwin's addition on the east side, who came to this neighborhood as early as 1868, and Mr. Pound, his son-in-law, who arrived about the same time. In 1873 a third store was started by Messrs. W. B. Winston & Son. The same year the Stoddard & Libbey flouring mill was built by a gentleman named Fuller. From the first settlement, in fact, the village of Granite Falls has experienced a steady and healthy growth. In 1880 J. W. Hixon & Bro. added a third mill to those already established within the place. These, together with the two large elevators, each with capacity for holding immense quantities of wheat, the largest, that of B. F. Pillsbury, having a storage capacity, including extra warehouse room of 225,000, give the village a high rank as a grain market. Situated as it is in one of the finest agricultural districts in the North-west, and with the rapid development now in progress, the excellent transportation facilities afforded by the Hastings & Dakota railroad, the traffic in produce and grain must necessarily become an important element in the business transactions of the locality, a foundation upon which the surest and most substantial prosperity will be built.

    A substantial bridge spans the river, connecting the two villages of Granite Falls and East Granite Falls. Since the completion of the Hastings & Dakota railroad, in 1878, a vastly increased growth has been apparent. A substantial and handsome school building has been erected, which, together with the usual good churches, five in all, speaks well for the interest taken in moral and intellectual welfare.

    The act incorporating the village of Granite Falls was approved March 17, 1879. Although in reality a village organization, the charter grants to it the right, title and style of the "City of Granite Falls." The territory embraced is all of section 33, and that part of 34, lying west of the Minnesota river, in township 116, range 39.

    The first officers of the corporation were: C. Burton, president; M. C. Sullivan, recorder; K. E. Neste, treasurer; W. M. Stratton, John Winter, and William Wallace, trustees; E. F. Baker, constable; E. F. Hilton, justice of the peace. Subsequently E. F. Baker resigned the office of constable, and Joseph Fortier was appointed to hold the office until the next election. At the extra session of legislature the city charter was amended, granting enlarged powers to the corporation.

    Churches. --- The first permanent church organization was the Congregational, November 3, 1872, the meeting for organization was held in a building erected of logs, with a sod covering, which stood on the prairie about a mile from town. Meetings were held there during the summer, and on December 4, of the same year, the church society was fully organized and the meetings held in the hall over the store of H. J. Simpson in the village. At that time there were thirteen members; the only remaining members of this first organization are A. J. Luce and his wife, the remainder having removed or died. The following summer it was intended to have erected a church edifice, but the society united with the village and erected a schoolhouse instead, which they used for the purpose of meetings and divine services. They erected their present church edifice, which was finished in the fall and winter of 1874,'5. The first pastor was Rev. J. D. Todd. G. W. Sargent is the present incumbent. The building of the church cost over $2,800.

    Methodist Episcopal. --- A class had been organized in 1871 of this denomination, but for some reason it was soon afterwards discontinued. Another organization was effected under better auspices which has continued until the present. This like the Congregational society, first met in the log house on the prairie. Meetings have since been held at different places until the erection of their present edifice, at an expense of over $2,000. It was finished and ready for occupancy in the early days of 1881.

    Baptist. --- This denomination has an organization in existence and possesses a very handsome little frame church.

    Episcopal. --- This organization is known as Trinity church society, and consists of about twenty members. Rev. J. Karcher, the pastor, arrived at Granite Falls in the June of 1880, and at once proceeded to gather together such as professed the doctrines of that church, with the view of forming a congregation. The edifice belonging to the Baptists is used for purposes of worship.

    Besides the above churches, the Norwegian Lutherans are engaged in the erection of a house of worship, where they will be able to celebrate services in their native tongue.

    The business interests of Granite Falls are of a varied and complete description. It is quite remarkable to find such an extensive amount of business transacted in a place of its size.

    Among the oldest and most prominent of the firms is that of K. E. Neste & Brothers. They keep on hand a large and well selected stock of general merchandise and do a very heavy business.

    C. Burton is largely interested in the handling of all kinds of lumber and building materials, fencing materials, sash, doors and blinds, builders' hardware etc.

    J. Olson has a large brick store in which dry goods, groceries, clothing, boots and shoes, are carried in large quantities. He has been in Granite Falls about three and a half years.

    Hawley and Orwoll deal in dry goods, clothing, etc. The former has been in business about nine years, the present firm is of recent date.

    H. J. Wilkinson has been for nearly three years engaged in the book and stationery line, in addition to which he deals in musical instruments.

    Wethern & Donaldson are located on the east side, where they are engaged in the grocery and flour and feed trade.

    Edward Crane has a large assortment of clocks, jewelry, etc. Johnson & Neste Bros. conduct an extensive business in agricultural implements, as also do the following: Goodenow & Winter, Letts & Johnson, W. H. Lyon, C. L. Jones and W. P. Baker. R. M. Clark has been for nearly three years in business as hardware dealer, carrying also stoves and tinware. F. Stoppe & Son deal in dry goods, clothing, groceries, etc., which firm has been established at Granite Falls about four years. Barnes & Ireland, successors to the firm of Barnes & Co. are dealers in drugs and furniture. L. J. Rice & Son are general merchants and have good stocks. I. O. Russell, dealer in groceries, has been for long identified with the locality; Hotchkiss & Foss established themselves in business in 1874, and have built up a heavy trade in general merchandise; the drug trade is well represented by F. J. Cressey, H. J. Simpson and K. T. Hazelburg; William Wallace is extensively engaged in the hardware trade, as also is the firm of Whitcher & Wilson; J. L. Putnam keeps a saddlery and harness store; Johnson & Diegan are also engaged in the harness trade and deal in boots and shoes; the furniture trade is well represented by Jensen & Olson and by E. Enos, the successor of Goodnough & Enos; Gregg Bros. conduct an excellent restaurant and confectionery business; W. A. Schweiger deals largely in flour and feed. There are many other firms and individuals in the village, but enough have been mentioned to show the extent and variety of the commercial interests of the place. The legal and medical profession are well represented by competent and successful practitioners.

    The Granite Falls Journal is the only newspaper published in the village. It is the official paper of the county and is very widely circulated. Being ably conducted it has a large influence which reaches beyond the confines of the county limits. It was originally established in the year 1874, when it was called the Granite Rock. In 1875 it changed hands and became the property of M. O. Hall, who changed the name to the Granite Falls Journal. It subsequently became the property of F. A. Wilson, who subsequently sold it to the firm of Bennett & Harroun. The latter only retained his share a few months when he sold his interest, and the firm became Bennett & Lathrop. The entire editing and management rest with Mr. C. A. Bennett, who fills the position with ability and enterprise. In connection with the paper there is a well equipped job office.

    The banking facilities of the village are excellent, the Granite Falls Bank of J. A. Willard & Co. being possessed of ample financial means and experience. The bank was established in June, 1878, and has since its inception proved itself well worthy of the support and confidence of the public. Mr. Willard is president of the First National Bank of Mankato, and resides in that city; the bank here is under the management of Mr. J. G. Dodsworth, an experienced and capable financier.

    The Commercial Hotel is a large, well constructed structure, nicely furnished and comfortable in all respects. It was opened about three years and a half ago by Messrs. Teachout & Allen, but has been for some time carried on by Mr. S. M. Teachout, under whose administration it has become one of the most popular places of resort of travellers in the western part of the state.

    The Merchants' Hotel is kept by Mr. John Winter, the first settler in the county. It was formerly kept by his son, Mr. J. W. R. Winter.

    Granite Lodge, A. F. & A. M., was organized under dispensation, Feb. 7, 1874. The first regular communication was held April 20, 1874. The names of the masters have been successively Henry Hill, G. W. Dewey, I. O. Russell, O. J. Foss.

    Blesser Lodge No. 59, A. O. U. W., was instituted January 6, 1879. The following were the first set of officers: A. J. Blesser, P. M. W.; A. J. Studeman, M. W.; W. Wallace, G. F.; O. J. Foss, O.; M. N. Rathbone, R.; C. Burton, F.; J. A. Weaver, Rec.; J. Swift, G.; Joseph Fortier, I. W.; C. E. Shannon, O. W.

    S. Anderson was born in 1847 in Sweden and in 1872 came to America. After staying a short time in Mankato, he began business as a railroad contractor. In the autumn of 1878 he came to East Granite Falls; built and conducted a hotel known as the St. Paul House; in 1881 he erected his large hotel near the depot. Mr. Anderson was married in 1879, to Sarah Mickelson who died in September 1880.

    W. R. Barnes, native of New York, was born in 1825, in Plattsburg. After receiving an academical education, he taught school a number of years; he lived at Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1855 to 1872, at which date he came to Minnesota and was engaged in the drug and furniture business at Minnesota Falls till 1877; since then has been at Granite Falls. J. F. Ireland became his partner in trade in 1878. Married in 1853, Miss R. M. Phelps.

    Charles A. Bennett was born July 21, 1845 in Baltimore, Maryland. Removed to Ohio and thence in 1856 to Minnesota; settled in Chatfield, where in 1860 he began learning printing. Enlisted in 1862 in Company I, mounted rangers, for one year; re-enlisted and served on the plains in Company D, Brackett's battalion; was mustered out in May, 1866. He was connected with the Glencoe Register until 1874; was employed in the government printing office at Washington until 1879, then resigned and bought the Journal at Granite Falls. Married in May, 1879 Maggie Lee who died March 25, 1872. Two children. July 12, 1875, he married Rhoda Kibbey; she also has two children.

    Henry Bordewich was born in 1844 in Norway. After gaining a liberal education, he kept books until immigrating in 1864 to Chicago; entered the United States army and served until war ceased then after passing one year south, he was on the lakes three years. Visited Norway for one year then was in business in Iowa till removing in 1873, to Granite Falls, where he was in mercantile trade two years. Mr. Bordewich has been auditor of this county since 1875. Married in 1869, Miss B. Anderson.

    C. E. Clark, born in Anson, Somerset county, Maine, in 1839, went, when five years old, with his parents to Ohio. Entered the Western Reserve College, from which he graduated in 1862. He had enlisted in 1861 and served three months; after graduating he re-enlisted; was in the 86th Ohio infantry as sergeant; discharged in 1863, then served one year in the quartermaster department. Mr. Clark was in the mercantile trade four years in Ohio, farming the same length of time in Missouri, and in 1872 removed to Minnesota Falls; was in the lumber business there, and three years at Granite Falls; taught schools winters and has now been county superintendent several years. Married in 1866, Miss I. Hawk.

    William Dodge was born in 1834 in the state of New York. At the age of seventeen he went to Wisconsin, thence in 1853 to Red Wing, and from 1879 to 1880, was in the hotel business at Minnesota Falls; the hotel then burned and he went into the livery business. Mr. Dodge entered Company C, First Minnesota and served till the close of the war. Married at Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1855, Almira Conat; they have lost one child and have seven living.

    J. D. Dodsworth, native of England, was born in the year 1829. From 1834 to 1843 his home was in Canada; he then resided in Erie, Pennsylvania till 1855, when he returned to England and for six years was in commercial pursuits in London. He married at Mankato in 1861, Jennie, daughter of the late Rev. R. J. Sibley, of that town. Mr. Dodsworth came to this place in May, 1878, and opened the Granite Falls bank; firm name, J. A. Willard and company.

    Andrew Eckman, who was born in Sweden in 1840, immigrated in 1868 to the United States. Until the fall of 1876 he was engaged in the wagon making business at New London, Minnesota, then came to Granite Falls and erected the carriage shops where he has since carried on the trade. Miss Clara Grun was married to him in 1875, and has borne five children: Louis, Hjalmer, Phillip, Paul and James A.

    Joseph Fortier was born in 1835 in Montreal, Canada. Came to St. Peter in 1854 and in the spring of 1855 located at Yellow Medicine where he clerked in a dry goods store until joining the Renville rangers in 1862; was wounded twice at Fort Ridgely; passed the following winter in St. Paul, and in the spring of 1863 joined General Sibley's expedition; was afterward scout under General Thomas. After visiting Canada he was in the mercantile trade at Yellow Medicine till 1877; the following autumn was elected sheriff; married in 1868, Sarah E. Soward; two of their four children are living.

    O. J. Foss, born in 1844, in Norway, came in 1850 to America. Lived until 1861 in Texas; went to Wisconsin in 1862 and enlisted in the 2d regiment of cavalry; was mustered out in December, 1865. In 1873 he came to this county and since 1874 has been register of deeds; he is also in mercantile business with R. R. Hotchkiss. Emma Hazelbery was married July 25, 1869, to Mr. Foss and has five children.

    H. T. Goodnough was born in 1845 in Bakersfield, Franklin county, Vermont; went with his parents when a child to New York. He was in Canada a short time then returned, and from 1862 until May, 1865, served as a drummer in the army; enlisted in the 28th New York infantry. In 1868 he settled in Minnesota; farmed two years in Stearns county, and afterward was employed four years in New London; came to Granite Falls in 1875; has here been in the drug, furniture and the harness business. Married Lucretia Rice in 1878.

    Hon. M. O. Hall, born in 1853 in Norway, accompanied his parents to Dane county, Wisconsin, and when ten years old to Pierce county. At the age of fourteen he removed to Minneapolis to attend school; he was obliged to work for his board and saw wood evenings to pay for books and clothing; when twenty years old he attained a good education and began the study of law with Hon. Henry Hill, at Granite Falls. At the age of twenty-one he was elected judge of probate for this county; held the office six years. He published the Granite Falls Journal two and one-half years, then sold it; besides filling other offices he has been clerk in the senate two terms; is now with his brother in the insurance, collection and real estate business. Married in 1876, Julia O. Bruna.

    T. O. Hall, native of Norway, was born in 1846. When a child he immigrated with his parents to Dane county, Wisconsin, and at the age of ten began earning his own living; worked on a farm for three dollars per month summers, and attended school winters, until he acquired a good business education. At the age of seventeen he went to Pierce county, Wisconsin, where he was in the employ of Professor Wells, also clerked in a store and for a time attended school at Prescott, after which he taught school, clerked and engaged in the insurance business; is now in partnership with his brother at Granite Falls. Married in 1868, Anna Tarbenson; four children.

    Honorable Henry Hill, deceased, born in New Hampshire in 1879(?), acquired an academical education. In 1850 he went to Ohio where he taught school and read law; was admitted to the bar in 1854 and the next year began practice at Minneapolis. Mr. Hill married Mary Mills in 1858; in 1862 removed to the western part of the state and was on the frontier during the Indian troubles; settled at Granite Falls in 1871; laid out the town, built the first dam across the Minnesota, erected a mill and began manufacturing flour and lumber; was also in real estate business. He held numerous offices and was in the legislature three terms. He died March 3, 1879, at Lead City, Dakota.

    R. R. Hotchkiss, native of Indiana, was born in 1842, but in 1852 migrated to Minnesota and in 1859 removed to Wisconsin where he enlisted; was in service from May 1861 to July 29, 1864; he was wounded at the battle of Chancellorsville. Came to Rochester, Minnesota, and began farming; since coming to this county in 1874 he has been in mercantile business. Married at Rochester in 1867, Elizabeth Bostwick; there are four children.

    J. F. Ireland is a native of Maine, where he was born in 1851. Received an academical education and then entered a store as clerk. In 1872 he came to Minnesota; after staying a short time at Yellow Medicine, he clerked there and one-half years in a Minneapolis drug store. Returned to Maine but came to this state again in 1878 and settled at Granite Falls; is in the drug trade here in company with W. R. Barnes. Mr. Ireland has been mayor of this city. Married in 1877, Ellen Rowell.

    Lewis Jenson, born in 1848, in Norway, came with his parents in 1850 to America, and was brought up on a farm in Iowa. In 1871 he removed to Chicago; worked at the carpenter trade there four years and one at Minneapolis; continued the same business at Granite Falls until the autumn of 1880, when he began the furniture trade. In 1881 he married Miss H. S. Anderson.

    B. Johnson was born in 1847 in Norway. Came to America in 1869; worked at harness making about five years in Mankato and four years in Northfield; also attended the Norwegian College at the latter place. In 1878 he came to Granite Falls; engaged in the harness business with A. G. Diegan; since the summer of 1881 he has been alone. Married Caroline Fingalson in 1879. Bertha M. is their only child.

    L. H. Kramer, who is a native of Germany, was born in 1852. He immigrated to the United States in 1872; resided three years at Washington, D. C., then visited California and Oregon; in 1876 he came to Minnesota and located at Austin, but removed in 1878 to Granite Falls where he is engaged in the butcher business; married in 1880 Miss Katie Faber.

    Hans Larson "Ousdahl," was born in the year 1853 in Norway. Upon leaving that country and becoming a resident of America, in 1871, he settled in Wisconsin, but removed in 1878 to Minnesota and has since lived much of the time at his farm on section 10, town 112, Lincoln county, but spends his winters in Granite Falls. Married in 1878, Miss Caroline Knudson.

    Ole O. Lende, native of Norway, was born in 1839, received a common school education, and in 1860 came to America. He located in Fillmore county, Minnesota, but in 1867 came to Yellow Medicine county, where he was one of the first commissioners; he is now serving his fourth term as treasurer. In 1863 he married Anna Angels: they have six children.

    C. D. Lewis, born in Stafford, Connecticut in 1845, accompanied his parents to Indiana, and in 1855 to Ottawa, Minnesota. He went in 1868 to Minneapolis and worked three years at his trade, that of carpenter, then went to Michigan. From 1874 to 1877 he was in mercantile trade at Minnesota Falls, and returned there after spending two years at Ottawa; since July 1881 he has been in business at Granite Falls. Married in 1868 Miss Manda Smith.

    G. W. Lewis was born in 1849 in Indiana, and when a child went with his parents to Connecticut. In 1855 he located at Ottawa, Minnesota; learned blacksmithing and worked there until 1875, then in Minnesota Falls until the summer of 1881, when he came to Granite Falls and began business with J. S. Newell. Married in 1875 Miss Saphrona Brodughdon.

    J. A. Lewis, of Vermont, was born in 1825, in Franklin county. In 1852 he migrated to Iowa, but in 1855 came to Minnesota; was employed at carpenter work in Winona about eighteen months, then went to Olmsted county; removed in 1872 to Minnesota Falls; held the office of justice of the peace there till 1878; since coming to Granite Falls he has held several offices.

    A. J. Luce was born in 1820 in Ohio. He was employed as teller in a Dayton bank until coming west; went to Chicago, thence to St. Louis, where he was in mercantile trade until 1860, then went to Illinois, where he was farming and superintending mercantile business. Since 1872 he has been interested in real estate in this county, where he was among the first settlers; pre-empted 160 acres joining the present site of Granite Falls; his residence is in East Granite Falls. Married Miss F. L. Clough, January 1, 1850.

    E. W. Messer, native of Maine, was born in 1816. He worked there at farming and lumbering until 1856, was then in Pierce county, Wisconsin, till 1869, at which date he came to Minnesota; has since lived in Granite Falls, with the exception of two years in the Black Hills. Mr. Messer was one of the first settlers in the town, and was chairman of the first town board; he worked at farming until the fall of 1881, when he entered the grocery trade. Married in 1840, Adeline Jones.

    Ole Nelson, born in 1847 in Dane county, Wisconsin; in 1854, the family located in Lake Prairie, Nicollet county. He enlisted in 1862, in Company B, 1st Minnesota infantry; served a little more than one year; was afterward one year and eight months in the 1st Minnesota heavy artillery; was wounded three times. Left his farm in 1868 and was in the saloon business at St. Peter, till 1878m since then at Granite Falls. Married in 1867, Julia Sanderson; six children.

    J. S. Newell, native of Maine, was born in 1847, and lived on a farm until 1863. He then entered the 12th Maine infantry, Company F; one year later he returned to Maine; resided there and in Massachusetts until 1877, at which time he came to Minnesota and entered the blacksmithing business, in company with G. W. Lewis; came to Granite Falls in 1881. Married in 1871, Sarah A. Peper.

    F. T. O'Donnell, who was born in 1857, is a native of New York city. When he was two years old his parents migrated to Wisconsin, and settled on a farm; while quite young he began to learn blacksmithing, and has been employed at that trade since. Mr. O'Donnell came in 1878, to East Granite Falls, where he is carrying on his business as blacksmith.

    S. Olander, born in Sweden in 1846, came to America in 1869. He worked at the blacksmith's trade three years in West Mitchell, Iowa; in 1872 came to Minnesota and took claim in Granite Falls; since 1874 he has been employed in blacksmithing. Ellen Anderson became his wife in 1870; their children are Emil, Willie, Elida, Minnie, Alford and Hulda.

    H. L. Olson was born in Norway in 1849. He immigrated to the United States in 1872, and engaged in photography in Iowa; has continued in that business at Granite Falls since 1879. Married in 1875, Miss G. Olson; have two children: John E. and Anna M.

    C. S. Orwoll, native of Wisconsin, was born in 1854 in Dane county. After living in Adams county twelve years he came in 1868 to Minnesota; lived on a farm in Sandnes three years, after which he was employed as clerk in stores at Yellow Medicine and Granite Falls; since 1880 he has been engaged in business in company with K. A. Hawley. Mr. Orwoll married Miss Carrie Hawley in November, 1878.

    B. F. Pillsbury was born in Merrimac county, New Hampshire, March 29, 1831. He attended the common schools, after which he followed lumbering, farming and mercantile pursuits; came in September, 1878, to Granite Falls, where he is engaged in elevator and lumber interests. Married in March, 1871, Susan Wright.

    W. W. Pinney, born May 8, 1834 in Crawford county, Pennsylvania. In 1844 he went to Wisconsin, in 1864 to Iowa, and in 1866 came to New London, Minnesota; he engaged in mercantile business; was appointed county auditor and in 1868 elected for two years; also practiced law. Removed to this place in 1876 and bought the Granite Falls flouring mill; has been postmaster since 1877. He married Kate Jesmer, December 13, 1857; Leslie H. and Will J. are the children.

    A. L. Poole was born in 1854 in Philadelphia, where he acquired his education. In 1874 he went to Detroit and thence to Chicago where he learned telegraphy; came in 1880 to Minnesota; was for a time at Shakopee, Renville and Sacred Heart; is now located at Granite Falls in the office of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul company.

    Gorham Powers was born in September, 1840, in Somerset county, Maine. In 1862 he enlisted in the Fourth Maine battery; two and one-half years later was transferred to 13th United States colored artillery; served as second lieutenant until October, 1865; was wounded in 1863 and disabled for life. In 1866 he graduated from the Albany law-school; practiced at Minneapolis two years in company with Alonzo Plummer. He located in 1868 in Yellow Medicine; was attorney of this county five years; since 1876 he has been in practice at Granite Falls; firm name is now Powers & Rathbone; he was elected to the legislature in 1878; married in 1866 Addie Ireland; the children are Minnie, Mantie and Edward.

    J. L. Putnam, born in Chautauqua county, New York, in 1850, lived in his native state and Pennsylvania until moving in 1865 to Olmsted county, Minnesota. He learned harness-making, and in 1873 came to Granite Falls; his was the first harness shop in the town. Mr. Putnam has officiated as constable, town clerk and justice. Married in 1875 Josephine Vermilya; Pearl and Madge are the children.

    A. B. Regester, born in 1820 in Columbiana county, Ohio, removed in 1847 to Indiana, in 1856 to Iowa, and from 1857 to 1870 lived in Fillmore county, Minnesota. After going to Minneapolis and to Rice county, he came in May, 1871, to Granite Falls; was on his homestead five years, and has since resided in East Granite Falls. His daughter Addie taught the first school in town; he has been notary public and justice; also postmaster since 1880.

    B. Roessler, native of Austria, was born in 1840, and since 1865 has been a resident of America. He clerked in a store three years at Faribault, then lived at St. Paul, Mankato and many other places; since 1878 he has been in the saloon business at Granite Falls. Married in 1870 Johanna Harde; they have five children.

    G. J. Rolfstad, whose native land is Norway, was born in the year 1856, and in 1868 accompanied his parents to the United States. Until 1873 he lived at St. Peter. In 1878 he came to Granite Falls; after clerking two years in a drug store he bought the business, but soon after sold, and has since been in the saloon business.

    I. O. Russell was born in 1840 in Bartlett, New Hampshire. In 1852 the family went to Illinois; from 1857 till 1872 lived in Faribault county, then came to Granite Falls; drove stage from here to Willmar three years, and for five years was interested in mail contracts, then embarked in the grocery trade at East Granite Falls; has been town clerk several years. Married Miss J. E. Russell in 1858; four children: Elva, Charlotte, Ira and Josephine.

    Charles E. Shannon, born in Brown county, Indiana, in 1848, went with his parents to Illinois, thence at the age of seven year to Shelbyville, Minnesota. In 1865 he removed to South Bend; from 1867 to 1869 he was in Hamline University, and in 1870 graduated from Groveland Seminary. Mr. Shannon studied law with Daniel Buck; was admitted to the bar in 1872, after which he was recorder one year at Mankato; from 1873 till 1876 he practiced at Minnesota Falls, then came to Granite Falls, and has since been attorney for this county. Married in 1872 Martha Gibson.

    M. C. Sullivan was born in 1842 in Indianapolis, Indiana. His home was at Dayton, Ohio, from two years of age until the year 1859, and then at New Haven, Connecticut, till 1861, when he enlisted in the First regiment heavy artillery of that state; served three years, then re-enlisted; was in service till the war closed; came to Minnesota; removed from Rochester to St. Paul, where he clerked till 1874, then began mercantile trade at Minnesota Falls, but in 1878 came to Granite Falls. Married in 1869 Ellen Carr.

    S. M. Teachout was born in 1842 in Racine county, Wisconsin. Accompanied his parents to Minnesota in 1860, and located in Olmsted county; in 1874 he removed to Granite Falls and engaged in the grocery business two years, then went to Owatonna, but returned in 1878; enlarged his building, and has since used it as a hotel. Adelaide Kemp was married to him in 1864; they have three children.

    William Wallace, native of New York, was born in 1832 in Essex county. After clerking one year in Burlington, Vermont, he worked four years at the tinners' trade; removed to Wisconsin and shortly after returned to New York, but soon went to Cleveland, Ohio, where he was in the tin business; continued that line of trade at Winnebago City, Minnesota, from 1863 to 1875, then came to Granite Falls; his was the first hardware store here. Married in 1854, to Miss A. F. Kidd.

    Dr. F. H. Wellcome was born in 1856 in Wisconsin, and at the age of two years accompanied his parents to Minnesota. Lived three years in Zumbrota, twelve years in Garden City and five years in New Ulm. After attending high school at Mankato two years he entered Rush Medical College, Chicago; graduated in 1879 and the same year settled at Granite Falls. Mary Taylor became his wife in 1879; they have had one child: Mamie, now deceased.

    Benjamin Wethern, who is a native of Maine, was born in the year 1801, and resided in that state till 1851. Mr. Wethern was in mercantile trade in Pierce county, Wisconsin, from 1851 until 1872, when he came to East Granite Falls. He has married three times; in 1872, Mahala Putnam became his wife.

    H. J. Wilkinson, born in 1858, is a native of West Virginia. When he was nine years of age he accompanied his father's family to Minnesota, and until 1879 lived in St. Peter. In 1879 he came to Granite Falls and has since been engaged in the book and stationery business. He married Miss Mina Ripley in 1880.

    Andrew Winter, native of Germany was born in 1847. Upon coming to America in 1866 he located in Wisconsin, where he worked until 1873 at his trade, that of tinner; he was employed for a short time in St. Paul, after which he resided at Prescott, Wisconsin, till 1878, the date of his coming to Granite Falls; he built the store where he is engaged in the hardware business. Married in 1874, Frances Ferner; Joseph and Theodore are their children.

    John Winter was born in 1868, in England. When thirty years old he embarked in the mercantile trade in Canada, but removed in 1858 to Minnesota; was interested in grist and saw mills in Le Sueur county, until 1865 when he located at the Upper Agency; he was the first settler in this county. In 1878 he removed to Granite Falls and became proprietor of the Merchants' Hotel. Priscilla Parr, married to him in 1846, died in 1856; his second wife, Victoria Walker died in 1864, and in 1871 he married Mrs. Jane Winter; they have six children.


    This town was set apart for organization September 4, 1886, while it was yet a part of Redwood county, and named Yellow Medicine. In 1872 its boundaries were cut down by the establishment of Yellow Medicine county. In March, 1877 the present boundaries were fixed and the name changed to Sioux Agency. Upper Sioux Agency was established in 1853 and placed in charge of Mr. Robinson; it was located on the Yellow Medicine river about three miles above its mouth. Besides the necessary government buildings there were several stores and the village had at one time, sixty-two inhabitants. During the Indian outbreak of 1862, the buildings were destroyed; two kilns of brick were left partly burned, which were appropriated by John Winter.

    The first settlers, John Winter and Mrs. Desire Sanders, came in 1865. The latter with her son Benjamin and two daughters, located on the site of the old agency, and Mr. Winter located on the bottom lands and became the founder of Yellow Medicine City; the first store in the county, after the later settlement, that of Joseph Fortier, opened in 1866, was located at the old agency. In 1868, N. T. Hoxie started a store on the site of the village, which was laid out in 1869. Mr. Fortier moved his goods to the village, which at one time had two stores, a steam grist-mill, a hotel completed in 1874 by Mr. Winter, blacksmith shop and a few dwellings; when the county was organized this was the county seat, but that being removed and other villages cutting off its trade, Yellow Medicine City soon lost its standing and the buildings were removed to other places, leaving little to show at the present time.

    Yellow Medicine post-office is in charge of John Jacobs, postmaster; John Winter was the first postmaster. April 2, 1867, the first town meeting was held. First officers: O. N. Castle, chairman; B. F. Sanders and J. Q. Parke, supervisors; J. A. White, clerk; Joseph Doncaster, assessor; G. S. Johnson, treasurer; G. E. Olds and Henry Pratt, justices; Ingebrit Johnson and O. N. Castle, constables; Mr. Pratt did not qualify.

    The first school was taught by J. W. R. Winter, in the fall of 1871 in a house belonging to Joseph Harper.

    T. C. Ellingson was born in 1853 in Norway. He was sailing about a year and was once shipwrecked on the St. Lawrence river. After visiting Chicago and Milwaukee he came into Minnesota in 1872 and settled in Sioux Agency township. Mr. Ellingson has served his town in various offices. In 1864 his widow mother married Lars Haagenson who was born in 1840 in Norway. He and his step-son reside together.

    Joseph Falkingham, born in 1819 in England, came to America in 1842. Remained about twenty-one years in Canada, three years in Winona county Minnesota, and finally settled in Sioux Agency; has been supervisor and justice. Married in 1844 Mary Wise; eight living children: Elizabeth, William, Mary, Ann, Jane, Joseph, Alfred and Alice.


    This town is named for the creek that courses through it. It includes all south of the river of townships 116 and 117, range 40; the latter fraction was taken from Lac qui Parle county, October 16, 1873. The first settlers, Charles and John Mooney, came in 1869; they were followed by L. M. Jensvold, Mathias Olson, Christian Christianson, Torger and John Anderson.

    The first town election was held September 26, 1871, while the town was yet in Redwood county; officers elected: O. N. Nelson, chairman, John Helgeson and Rasmus Knudson, supervisors; Leonard Hazelden, clerk; A. J. Sundahl, treasurer; L. Hazelden, and O. N. Nelson justices. L. M. Jensvold and Halver Swenson, constables.

    The Synod branch of the Norwegian Lutherans held services in 1871, and a society organized under H. Solseth; in 1874 the church was built on section 18, at a cost of $400. Rev. Ole Lokengaard is pastor. Catholic services were conducted in 1873, by Father Brennan, of Birch Cooley, at Charles Mooney's. The first school was taught by Leonard Hazelden in the winter of 1871; the district was organized in Sept. of that year, but funds not being available, the expense was paid by subscription. There are now five districts in the town and four frame school-houses.

    A store was opened by K. E. and K. O. Neste, in 1872, and moved to Granite Falls about three years ago. Stony Run post-office was established about the same time, with K. E. Neste as postmaster; Rollof Rollofson is now in charge and has the office at his house on section 17. Hans Blix and Mary Olson were the first married; it occurred in 1873. Anton Jensvold, born in 1870 was the first birth. The first death was in the fall of 1870, that of Mrs. Marie Nelson.

    Gustave Anderson was born in Norway in 1848, and came with his parents to America when six years old. In the spring of 1872 he came to this town; been assessor and supervisor. May 11, 1872, he married Mary Watson, in Wisconsin; Peter, Joseph, Gensina M., Gilbert and James M., are their children.

    P. A. Anderson, native of Norway, was born October 6, 1848. At the age of four years he came with his parents to this country; lived in Wisconsin and in Fillmore county, Minnesota, until June, 1872, when he came to Stony Run; has 200 acres and has filled town offices. In 1872 he married Caroline Johnson; children: Eliza, John, Anthony, Annie.

    Henry Benson was born in 1840, in Norway, and came in 1866 to America; lived in Winneshiek county, Iowa, until he came to this town in June, 1871, and settled on 180 acres, sections 18 and 19; has been school treasurer. Married in Norway, in 1866, Jane Anderson; Lena, Bertha, Jane, Elert, Albert, Matilda and an infant are the children.

    Judge Halvor S. Berg, native of Norway, was born March 16, 1843. At the age of ten years he came with his parents to Minnesota and lived in Fillmore county. In August, 1864, he enlisted in the 11th Minnesota, and served until the end of the war. In 1872 he came to Stony Run and owns 275 acres. In 1874 was member of legislature; has been county commissioner and is at present probate judge; has also held town offices. His wife was Torborg Rollefson, married in 1872; they have four children.

    Erik Christenson, born in Norway in 1842, came to Dodge county, Minnesota, in 1866. In June, 1869, he came to this town; has 160 acres on section 31, and also the same amount in the town of Tyro. Married in Norway, in 1863, and has eight children.

    John Christensen was born in Norway in 1860, and came with parents to Minnesota in 1863; lived in Dodge county six years then came to this town. Married Annie Tollefson in 1879 and has two children. His father, Christian Erickson, was born in Norway, and is one of the oldest settlers in this town, where he came, in 1869, with his family.

    Torger Christensen, native of Norway, was born in 1845; came to Minnesota in 1863 and lived in Dodge county till June, 1869, then came to Stony Run. His wife was Anna Ellingson Baarnaas; Ranil, Elling, Mary and Christian are the children.

    Ole L. Enstad was born in Norway in 1848 and came to Freeborn county, Minnesota in 1869; lived there three years then came to this town and took 160 acres on section 6. Married Julia Kvam in 1872; Louis, Ellen, Mary and Henry are the children.

    Johannes A. Farse was born in Norway, in 1841, and in 1869 came to America; lived two years in Floyd county, Iowa, one year in Meeker county, Minnesota, and in 1873 made a claim of 160 acres in this town. He married Annie Johnson Stremmen in Norway, in 1869; six children: John, Albert, Coren, Helmer, Annie and Berthina.

    Ole Hansen, native of Norway, was born in 1845 and came to America in 1866; worked in Iowa and Wisconsin two years, and in the fall of 1869 came to Minnesota and worked two years in Chippewa county, then took a claim in Stony Run township; has been school treasurer and town supervisor. Married in St. Peter, in 1870, Mary Anderson; they have one child living: Hannah, born in 1881. Hannah, Louisa, Elizabeth, Martin and Knudt died of diphtheria.

    L. M. Jensvold was born in Norway in 1843, and in 1866 came to Minnesota; lived in Fillmore county two years; in June, 1869, came to his present farm; was among the first settlers and the first of those now here, to bring his family; has been supervisor and school director. Annie Frederickson became his wife June 24, '62, in Norway; they have ten children living and have lost two.

    Chr. Lockrem was born in Norway in 1831; immigrated in 1849 and settled in Dane county, Wisconsin, afterward worked at tinner's trade in Chicago, Cambridge and Janesville; moved to Independence, Iowa, and followed his trade three years. In 1856 he began farming in Rice county, Minnesota, and ten years later moved to Goodhue county; in 1873 he came to this town, and bought 160 acres on section 36. He has held various town offices in this and other counties. In 1858 he married Gertrude Lien, in Rice county; they have nine children living.

    Charles Mooney was born in county Armagh, Ireland, about 1816. Came to New York in 1850, and from there moved to Virginia; after farming there about seventeen years he moved to Camp, Renville county, Minnesota, and early in the spring of 1869 came to this town. Married in Scotland, in 1850, Jane Reid; they have nine children living.

    John G. Olson, born in Norway in 1837, came to America in 1868; spent one year in Iowa, and came to Stony Run, July, 1869. He has 139 acres on sections 33 and 5; has been school director and road overseer. Married in Chippewa county in 1871 Christina Blix; Annie, Louis, Georgina and Ellen are the living children.

    Wentworth Paine was born in Ireland in 1855, and in 1877 came to Stony Run and bought 160 acres on section 26. In 1877 he married Mary Watson. Susanna and Mary Jane are the children. His father, Enoch Paine, died in Wicklow, Ireland, in 1871, aged about 76 years.

    Knud Rollefson was born in Norway in 1826. Emigrated in 1861 and settled in Fillmore county, Minnesota. In June, 1876, he moved to Granite Falls and engaged in merchandise business, and continued four years. In the fall of 1879 he bought 320 acres in the town of Stony Run; has also 160 acres in Lisbon. In 1848 he married Susan Olson. Roleff, Ole, Tilda, Isaac, Susan and Charles are the living children; six are dead.

    Joseph H. Watson was born in Ireland in 1858. When a child his parents moved to England, and from there to New Zealand, then returned to England. Came with parents to America in 1872 and settled in the town of Stony Run. In 1880 he married Anna Amelia Peterreins, and has one child, Isabella Anna.

    Samuel Watson was born in Ireland in 1856 and with his parents went to England and New Zealand and finally settled in this town, when about fifteen years of age. In October, 1877, he married Inga Jenson; Samuel and Martha are their children. Samuel Watson Sr., was born in England in 1817; he died in this town, on the farm now occupied by Samuel, January 17, 1875.

    O. C. Wilson was born in Dodge county, Wisconsin; at two years of age he moved with his parents to Columbia county and at the age of seventeen began clerking in a store at Columbus; worked in Rio and Oconomowoc; in the spring of 1872 he came to this town; has been town clerk and county commissioner. In 1875 he married Carrie Jurgensen; Clarence E., Ella, George H. and Alfred J. are their children.


    The first settlers in the town were Ingebrit Johnson, Gerharth Garman, and Hallek Glaim, who came in 1866. Most of the settlers are from Norway. The town was set apart for organization in 1871, while in Redwood county, but the election was not held until March 12, 1872; first officers: O. J. Ochly, chairman; L. Lorwold and T. K. Reishus supervisors; O. S. Reishus, clerk; Tennis Hanson, assessor; Ingebrit Johnson, treasurer; O. E. Stevens, justice; Knut Kjemhus, constable.

    The Yellow Medicine congregation of the Norwegian Lutherans, built a church in 1879 which cost $2,300. Rev. Thomas Johnson conducted the first services in 1868 and the society organized the same year; there are now 550 members and Rev. Knud Thorstenson is pastor.

    The first school was taught in district No. 15, by T. S. Nordgard; there are now four frame school-houses in the town. Silliard post-office was established about 1872 and located at Johnson and Veldy's store in the northern part of the town; the store was opened about the same time and is now owned by Mr. Veldy, the present postmaster. Vineland post-office was established about the same time with O. S. Reishus in charge; S. O. Reishus now has the office at his house.

    The first marriage in the town was Helen Glaim to O. E. Stevens, January 10, 1867.

    Hanry Anderson was born in Norway in 1840, and in 1857 emigrated to Wisconsin, and from there to Freeborn county, Minnesota, the same year; moved to Fillmore county in 1861, and in February, 1862, enlisted in the Second Minnesota light artillery; was engaged in all principal battles, and discharged in 1864. He farmed near Winona till 1868, then came to Sandnes. In 1860 he married Anna Johnson; they have five children: Fred, Henrietta, Julius, Amandus, Milo.

    Ole T. Anderson, native of Norway, born in 1840, came to America in 1861, and worked for farmers in Wisconsin two years, then moved to Goodhue county, Minnesota, and in 1868 came to Sandnes; on section 14 he has 160 acres. In 1862 he married Miss Gunnellson Johnson. Christine, Susanna, John, Anton, and Mary are the children.

    H. K. Beetlend was born in Norway in 1845. In 1860 he came to Fillmore county, Minnesota, and in 1867 to Yellow Medicine county. In 1868 he married Liva Jacobson; six children: Julia, Knut, Lewis, Josephine, Sarah O., Henry O.

    Ole J. Dahly, born January 17, 1841, in Norway, came to America in 1859; lived in Illinois and Iowa; came to Minnesota, then returned to Iowa, and again moved to Fillmore county, Minnesota. In 1867 he came to Sandnes; has been chairman, assessor, justice and town clerk; was also county commissioner two terms. In 1865 he married Julia Olson, who bore three children: Betsey and Anna are living; his wife died in 1875, and in 1876 he married Thoma A. Trydal; Marget and John are the children.

    Siver Helkson was born in Norway in 1855, and located in Rock county, Wisconsin, in 1866. He learned the trade of blacksmith of his father, Helleik Siverson, who was born in Norway in 1828. He learned the trade of blacksmith, and in 1866 emigrated to Rock county, Wisconsin; came to Sandnes and lives on section 24. He married Isabel Kittleson in 1854, and has seven children.

    C. H. Nellie, born in Norway in 1852, came to America in 1869; he landed at Quebec and went to Columbia county, Wisconsin; he lived also in Dunn and Chippewa counties, and in 1875 came to Yellow Medicine county. November 17, 1877, he married Jennie Bestland; two children; Dina and Anna.

    Isaac Johnson was born in Columbia county, Wisconsin, March 15, 1853. He was raised on a farm and in 1879, came to Sandnes and lives on section 25. In 1878 he married Maria Nordgood; they have one child, Elmer G.

    K. S. Kjemhus was born in Norway in 1838 and came to this country in 1854 and lived in Illinois till 1858; in 1859 he came to Fillmore county, Minnesota, and the next year returned to Norway, but came again in 1861. He enlisted in 1862 and was sick until his discharge in 1863; in 1864 he enlisted in the First Minnesota heavy artillery and served through the war. In 1867 he came to Sandnes. Married in 1868, Olnia G. Stevens; seven children.

    Ole S. Kolhei was born in Norway in 1845. In 1860 he came to Fillmore county, Minnesota; was there five years, then moved to Iowa, and the next year came to this town; married Anna Simmondson in October, 1873; Annett, Laurits, Elizabeth, Ollai S. are the children.

    Ed. Knudson, native of Norway, was born in 1848, and came to Fillmore county, Minnesota, in 1861; came to Yellow Medicine county in 1867 and located in Sandnes; is supervisor. His wife was Julia Olson, married in 1867; one child, Jane A.

    O. G. Veldey was born in Norway in 1845 and came to this county in 1867; he lived in Fillmore county Minnesota until 1872, then came to this town, built a shop and worked at his trade, blacksmith, two years, and has kept the only store in the town since; has been postmaster since 1873; has also been justice and treasurer. In 1877 he married Dena Hanson; three children, Enoch G., Tidlef A., Laurets O.

    Rev. K. Thorstensen, native of Norway, was born September 6, 1839; he received his education in a religious school and taught for two years; in 1860 he came to America and after teaching in Wisconsin and Minnesota, went to Lutheran College in Decorah, Iowa, and Concordia College in St. Louis. In 1866 he took charge of a Lutheran church in Wisconsin and in 1874 came to Sandnes and is pastor of the Yellow Medicine congregation. November 2, 1866 he married Aasne Aslaksen; four children: Margaret, Thorsten, Thone, Anna.

    O. E. Stevens was born in Norway in 1844. Came to America in 1860 and lived in Racine, Wisconsin, and then in Adams county. Came to Sandnes and has 200 acres on section 8; has been town clerk and justice. In August, 1863, he enlisted in Company K, 50th Wisconsin, and was in the army of the Potomac; had a narrow escape, bullets passing through his clothing and grazing his ears. January 10, 1872, he married Helen Glaim. Children: Rodnia, Clara, Helena, and Petrina; his wife died April 9, 1880.

    Andrew O. Lende, born in Norway in 1845, came to America in 1864 and to Fillmore county, Minnesota; he lived there one year then went to Winona and kept saloon two years; went back to Fillmore county, then moved to this town and located on section 10. He deals in stock; has been chairman, supervisor and constable. In 1872 Mary Hanson became his wife; five children; Olai, Tennes, Mina A., Amanda and Mette.

    J. J. Stevens, native of Norway, was born April 12, 1846, and at the age of three came with parents to Wisconsin and lived near Milwaukee and in Adams county. In 1867 he came to Sandnes and located on section 10. January 29, 1871, he married Anna Barnson; their children are: Rebecca L., Peter C., John O., Ella, Benjamin, James A., Ida M.

    Ole Simundson was born in 1844 and came to America in 1863; located in Fillmore county, Minnesota, and in 1865 enlisted in Company D, as a recruit; served four and a half months; in 1867 he came to Yellow Medicine county, and located 160 acres on section 10, Sandnes. Married Hannah M. Johnson, December 9, 1869; Simund, Julius, Arent O., Elizabeth S. and Amelia are the children.

    S. L. Orwoll, native of Norway, was born in 1829. He learned the trade of tailor and came to America and worked at farming in Dane county, Wisconsin; in 1855 moved to Adams county; in 1868 he came to Sandnes. He has held nearly all the town offices and is now county commissioner. Married Martha Christianson in 1851; they have seven children living: Christian, Lasse, Emma, Sarah L., Esther, Martha, Sylvester M.

    G. S. Reishus, native of Minnesota, was born in Rushford, Fillmore county, April 8, 1869. He attended the St. Olaf College, at Northfield, in 1876, then went to the Lutheran College at Decorah, Iowa, three years, and is now engaged in teaching school; at present he is teaching in district number one, Sandnes township.


    Was organized while a part of Redwood county, under the name of Ree, and the first town meeting held March 12, 1872; first officers: Ole O. Lende, chairman, O. O. Brusnee and P. J. Berre, supervisors; I. L. Kolhei, clerk; Halvor Gullikson, assessor; O. A. Oraas, treasurer; Ole O. Lende and I. L. Kolhei, justices; M. T. Myhre, constable. The name was changed to Normania by the legislature in 1874.

    The first settler was Halvor Gullikson, in 1867; Ole O. Lende, Ole Brusreen and Ole Maller came the next spring. School district number 2 was organized in 1872, and the first school was taught by C. Christenson; there are now four organized districts. The Norwegian Lutherans have a church organization; their first minister was Rev. Thorsten Johnson. Stavenger post-office has been established several years; Reier Swendson is postmaster.

    John N. Bisseberg was born in 1839, and resided in Norway, the land of his birth, until 1867, at which date he removed to Michigan, and soon afterward to Minnesota. Until 1870 his home was in Dakota county, he then came to Normania. Married in 1874, Miss P. Bratberg; they have four children.

    A. O. Dotseth, who was born in 1853, is a native of Norway. From 1868 to 1872 his home was in Steele county, Minnesota; he then removed to Normania and located at his present place, on section 6. Lizzie C. Fredrickson was married to him in 1879 and has borne two children; Anna C. is living.

    Halvor Gullikson, born in 1844, lived in Norway, his birthplace, until 1861. Went to Chicago, thence to Wisconsin, where in January, 1862, he entered Company K, 15th infantry; was discharged in 1863 because of sickness. Came to Normania and has held town offices. Married in 1865, Christiana Martin: the children are Olous, Carl, Ola, Hannah, Clara, Emma, John and an infant.

    John J. Kise, who was born in Norway in 1843, was reared to manhood in his native country. In 1870 he immigrated to Clayton county, Iowa, but removed in 1879 to the town of Normania. His marriage took place in 1878 with Stena Larson; the children are Eli, Loutis and Nellie.

    Osmend Knutson, whose native state is Minnesota, was born in the year 1836 in Fillmore county. When only five years old he came to Normania and now lives on section 27.

    I. Kolhei, born February 18, 1847, in Norway immigrated with his parents in 1860, to Fillmore county, Minnesota. Went to Iowa in 1866 but the next year settled in Sandnes, this county, and in 1870 came to Normania. From the organization of the town till 1881 he was clerk; has also been justice and county commissioner; is director of the Norwegian Mutual Fire Insurance Company and treasurer of the St. Lucus church. Married in 1872, Miss C. Hareldson; three living children: Noken, Hagbert and Carlina.

    O. L. Lovsner, native of Norway, was born in January, 1843. At the age of thirteen removed to Illinois for one year, then lived until 1872 in Fillmore county, Minnesota; at that date he came to Normania. Mr. Lovsner has held some town offices. In 1871 he married Ranny Tolifson; Anna, Eliza, Louisa, Olof and Edward are their children.

    M. T. Myhre, was born November 8, 1837 in Norway. In 1860 went to Michigan and to Chicago; until 1863 he was in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad; his trade is that of boiler maker and engineer; he worked in several states and finally deafness compelled him to give up a position as railroad engineer. Bought a farm in this county, but sold and went to Dane county; since 1871 has lived at his place in Normania. In 1865 he married Maria Nelson; they have lost one child; the living are Martin T., Marte M., Caroline L., Albert B. and Fritof A.

    Tobias K. Reishus was born May 10, 1843, in Norway. When eight years old he went with his mother to Dane county, Wisconsin, and three years later to Fillmore county, Minnesota. Enlisted in Company D, Eighth infantry and served from August, 1862, till war closed. In 1868 he removed to Sandnes, but now lives on his farm in Normania. He has held town offices and was the first county sheriff. Married February 5, 1867, Anna Kolhei; the children are Alata, Knut, Maria, Laures, Anna T. and Ametia E.

    Reier Swendson, who was born in 1844, lived until twelve years of age in Norway, the land of his birth, then immigrated to Iowa. He enlisted and served over two years in a regiment of Iowa cavalry. Mr. Swendson migrated to Fillmore county, and that was his home until 1874 when he came to Normania. He has held different town offices and is postmaster at Stavenger. Married in 1866, Julia Thompson.


    This town is in the eastern part of the county and contains about thirty square miles. The mission stations of Revs. T. S. Williamson and S. R. Riggs, previously mentioned, were located in this town. The first actual settlers, George S. Johnson and D. P. Lister came in October, 1865; other early settlers were J. A. White, J. Q. Parke, John Doncaster, J. Soward, John Fuszard, O. N. Castle, G. H. Coburn and Isaac Willey.

    Julius a son of Mr. White, born in 1866, was the first birth in the town.

    The village of Minnesota Falls is located on a point of land made by a bend in the Minnesota river, and was laid out in 1871. The first settlers on the site were J. H. Coburn, in 1870 and G. L. Letts in 1871. G. H. Fuszard opened a store in the spring of 1872, and S. S. Russell opened in August; a hotel was built by Wm. Dodge. In 1871 a saw-mill was built by Horace Austin and Park Worden, the original proprietors of the town site; a grist-mill was added in 1872. S. M. Yearly started a store in 1874. The Methodists began holding services at the hotel in 1872, under the leadership of S. S. Russell; a church was begun in 1875 but not completed. The town proved a failure; the hotel was moved to Granite Falls, the mills were burned, and the only store now in the place, is Mr. Yearly's. The post-office was established in 1872 with G. M. Coburn as post-master; J. M. Barkey, now has the office.

    During the winter of 1872, E. H. Sorlein and Bros. built a grist-mill on the Yellow Medicine river in section 35; it is a two story mill with four run of stone. Sorlein post-office was established in July, 1878, with E. H. Sorlein in charge.

    The first town meeting was held April 5, 1873; officers elected: T. O. S. Minthorn, chairman, C. E. Clark and W. A. Monroe, supervisors; W. A. Dodge, assessor; S. S. Russell, treasurer; J. A. Lewis and Frand Everson, justices; L. Barrett and D. Dibble, constables; C. P. Griswold, overseer of poor; W. A. Dodge, poundmaster.

    A. Buffum, native of New Hampshire, was born October 31, 1826, in Cheshire county. He removed to Sheboygan county, Wisconsin and enlisted from that state in Company E, 36th Wisconsin; was discharged at the close of the war at Washington, D. C. In 1874 he came to Minnesota Falls.

    Scott Bundy, who is a native of Otsego county, New York, was born February 27, 1853, and after leaving the common schools, studied several terms in a seminary. He removed to Minnesota and in the spring of 1876 came to Minnesota Falls. Mr. Bundy has been town clerk several terms. In 1879 his marriage occurred with Julia Kelehan; one child: Catherine Luella.

    Lewis Dibble, a native of New York, was born October 8, 1829, in Delaware county. In 1856 he located in Cottage Grove township, Washington county, but removed in 1867 to section 26 of Minnesota Falls. In 1848 Mr. Dibble married Hannah Franklin who died in 1867; she has borne him seven children; five are living.

    Joseph Doncaster was born September 16, 1823, in England, but since 1853 has been a resident of America. After residing two and one-half years in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, he removed to Crawford county. In 1862 he enlisted in Company K, 12th Wisconsin, and in 1863 was discharged for disability. He located on section 15, of Minnesota Falls in 1866. He married in 1854, Caroline Fuszard.

    George S. Johnson was born December 18, 1838, in Newark, New Jersey. From 1861 to 1863 he served in Company F, 57th New York, and from January to August, 1865, in Company E, 33d New Jersey. In October, 1865, he located on his farm on section 24 of this town. Married in 1859, and his wife died in 1862. Mary Sharp became his wife in 1866.

    Peter Kelehan, who is a native of Ireland, was born in 1826. He emigrated from there in 1849 and became a resident of America; his home was in Bridgeport, Connecticut, until 1872, at which date he came to Minnesota Falls, and in 1874 took a claim of 160 acres on section 8. Catherine Gelshon became his wife in 1854, and six of the eight children she has borne him are living.

    J. F. Langmaid was born in April, 1836, in Merrimac county, New Hampshire. When eleven years old he removed to Grafton county, and at the age of sixteen went to New Jersey; he taught there and subsequently in his native county, also engaged in farming. Since the spring of 1880 he has lived on section 24, of Minnesota Falls. Married in 1859, Mary Ann Morden. They had three children: one died in infancy; Josie was murdered October 4, 1875, in New Hampshire, while returning from school, and Waldo died of grief.

    George L. Letts, native of England, was born June 28, 1846. He served seven years at blacksmithing, also learned locomotive blacksmith work; upon coming to America in 1868 he located at Meadville, Pennsylvania; worked at his trade some time there and was afterward employed eighteen months in car shops at Minneapolis; followed blacksmithing at Minnesota Falls until 1881 when he began in the machine trade at Granite Falls; Mr. Letts is town treasurer. Married Myra Palmer in 1866; they have seven children.

    B. H. Monroe was born July 31, 1823, in Alfred, New York. After being in business there four years he engaged in farming for some years, was also in the lumber business in Wisconsin; in 1865 he settled in Dodge county, Minnesota, then kept a store eighteen months, after which he was employed in farming and clerking; finally opened a hotel at Minnesota Falls, but it burned. Mr. Monroe has been county commissioner and sheriff, also held town offices. Married in 1843 Samantha Hunt; three living children. Martha Rood was married to him in 1861.

    J. Q. Parke was born August 1, 1824, in Lee, Oneida county, New York, and remained there until 21 years old. He was employed four years as clerk in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and eight years in Springfield. From 1859 to 1862 he was in Missouri; on a farm at Springfield; afterward went to Illinois and New York. From the fall of 1864 till the war closed he served in Company L, 115th New York engineers. In 1866 he came west, and has a farm in Minnesota Falls. He has been town supervisor and treasurer. Married in 1861 Sarah Jane Reed; one child, Henry, is deceased.

    D. W. Sherman was born in Oswego county, New York, March 4, 1834. At the age of five he went with his parents to Illinois, where he lived in Fulton county and Chicago until 1853, then went to California and stayed six years; he returned to Illinois, and two years after came to Minnesota and located at Rochester. In 1862 enlisted in Company B, 10th Minnesota, and took active part in the Indian war; served until the close of the war, and in 1868 settled in Minnesota Falls. Married Caroline Young in 1861; they have three children living.

    E. H. Sorlien was born in Norway January 16, 1846. In 1857 he came to this country and after one year at LaCrosse, Wisconsin, moved to Watonwan county, Minnesota, and from there to Linden, Brown county. In 1876 he came to Minnesota Falls and started a mill. Was supervisor two years and is county commissioner. Josephine Christine Holdorson became his wife in 1876; two children living.

    Andrew Steele, native of Scotland, was born in February, 1848. Emigrated to Canada in 1856, learned the miller's trade and in 1872 came to Minnesota; worked at his trade in Dundas three and one-half years, then came to Minnesota Falls and worked in a mill until it burned; since then he has been farming. Married in 1872, Julia H. Sabin, who has four living children.

    James Walker was born in Ireland, in October, 1849. In 1850 his parents emigrated and settled at Mentor, Ohio; he lived there until he came to Minnesota Falls in 1872; is chairman of town board. In 1864 he enlisted in Company I, 23d Ohio, and served till the close of war. In 1870 he married Mary Thompson.

    S. M. Yearly was born in Cheshire county, New Hampshire, October 15, 1827. Accompanied his parents to Vermont where he studied law, and was admitted to practice in Wisconsin in 1850; he began practice in Boston, Mass., and continued till 1856; came to Owatonna, Minnesota, and was appointed county attorney before the first term of court in that county; practiced there until 1874 then came to Minnesota Falls. Has been court commissioner six years and justice of the peace. Married in 1851, Clara Culver; she died December 25, 1870. In 1874 he married Lydia Glasgow; two children living.


    This town is composed of township 116, range 41. The first settlers were H. J. Holtan, Ole Amundson, Ingebrit Ingebritson, B. E. Molstad, Mrs. Mary Bakken and Ole Halverson; they came in June, 1871, and later came Iver Larson, Halvor Lee, Axel Falch and Jacob Olson. The first town meeting was held September 20, 1873, at which were elected: B. E. Molstad, chairman, N. O. Norman and John Dronen, supervisors; Iver Larson, clerk; H. J. Holtan, treasurer; Theo. Stoltenberg and F. Johnson, justices; Ole Amundson and Paul Iverson, constables.

    The first school was taught by Hans Christianson in 1872. A school-house was built in 1878 in district No. 28. There are four organized districts and three buildings.

    The conference branch of the Norwegian Lutheran church was organized in 1871; Rev. Erickson conducted the first services and Rev. O. N. Berg is present pastor; the society owns eighty acres of land on section 24, where the parsonage is located.

    The first marriage was that of Iver Lund, in 1872. John N., son of Theodore Stoltenberg, born January 21, 1874, was the first birth. In September, 1872, occurred the first death, an infant son of Kudt. Solomenson.

    Gust. Halvorson was born in Norway, October 13, 1853. After the age of sixteen he was dependent upon his own exertions; came to America and lived in Wisconsin and Iowa until settling in Minnesota; since March, 1878, his home has been in Lisbon. Married in 1875 Anna Ottoson. Mr. Halvorson has taught school since coming to Lisbon; they have two boys and two girls.

    Ole S. Heimark, native of Norway, was born January 5, 1846. He came to this country in 1866 and lived on a farm in Winneshiek county, Iowa, until coming in the spring of 1875, to his farm in Lisbon. Martha Johnson, was married to Mr. Heimark in 1871; they have six children.

    Lewis E. Larsen was born April 28, 1857, near Rochester Minnesota; his father was among the first settlers of Olmsted county; lived on the farm with his parents until coming in October, 1881, to Lisbon, where he keeps a general store, the only one in the place. Mr. Larsen has one brother and one sister, Stark J. and Martha E. who live with their parents in Olmsted county.

    Timan H. Lee, a native of Norway, was born May 19, 1849. At the age of nineteen he came to the United States. Was employed on a farm in Wabasha county, Minnesota, but has lived since 1870 in Lisbon where he has held some town offices; Christiana Foss became the wife of Mr. Lee in January, 1880; they have one child, Oliver.

    N. J. Nelsen was born August 30, 1845 in Norway; while he was a young boy his father died and his mother still lives in Norway. Mr. Nelson immigrated to Wisconsin in 1867, but removed in 1870 to Minnesota, and since 1873 has been a resident of Lisbon; he has served his town as chairman of the board. In 1875 he married Louisa Olsen, a native of Wisconsin, and has three children.

    Ole Olson was born September 13, 1850, in Norway; came to America in 1870; was in Michigan, also in Wyoming and Utah territories, mining. Returned in 1875 to Norway but the next year immigrated to Wisconsin and remained in that state until coming to Minnesota; in 1879 he came to his farm in Lisbon. Married in March, 1877, Emma Rosse.

    Theodore Stoltenberg was born March 19, 1832 in Norway, and was ship's mate on the seas for a number of years. In 1866 he immigrated to Olmsted county, Minnesota and in 1873 moved to Lisbon. Mr. Stoltenberg has been county commissioner, also justice of the peace and supervisor. Anna Johnson, became his wife in 1866. They have seven children.


    The town of Wood Lake is situated in the eastern part of the county and includes all of congressional township 114, range 39. It was here that the decisive battle of the Indian war between the forces of General Sibley and those of Little Crow, was fought. The remains of the trenches used by them, are still visible.

    The first settlers were William Churchill and Samuel Ferguson, and came in 1868. Other early settlers are Prof. S. A. Hall and brothers, Rinaldo and Benjamin, James Cohglan, H. N. Tibbils and Jacob Barr.

    The first election was held November 1, 1873, and S. A. Hall elected chairman, Daniel Smith and H. N. Tibbils, supervisors; B. G. Hall, treasurer; Evan Hegland and J. A. Cohglan, justices; William Cook and James Purington, constables. The town has four school districts, one entire and three joint with other towns. The Methodists have an organized society and hold services in the schoolhouse in district number 7.

    A. H. Cook, born September 14, 1832, in Canada, went to New York when twelve years old, in company with his parents. Seven years later removed to Washington county, Minnesota, which was his home for twenty-seven years, he then came to Wood Lake. Enlisted in Company F, Hatch's battalion and served one year. Married in 1861 Melissa Palmer; Mary E., Henry R., George S., Cornelia A., Jennie E. and Ettie O. are their living children.

    R. B. Cooley, native of New York, was born in 1837. Enlisted in Company M, 10th New York artillery, and served nearly three years. In 1867 he came to Minnesota; lived two years in Steele county and three years in Waseca county, then settled in Wood Lake where he has filled various town offices. Married in 1861, Sarah Kenney; Rosa Belle is their only child.

    Hon. S. A. Hall, native of Jefferson county, New York, was born in 1835. In 1845 accompanied his parents to Wisconsin and in 1861 graduated from the Madison University; immediately afterward took charge of the Wesleyan Seminary at Eau Claire. He raised a company in the 5th Wisconsin, and became its captain; was mustered out in 1865. Since 1869 he has lived in Minnesota; is now located in Wood Lake; has served in the state senate and was chairman of the board of education. Married in 1868, Miss E. L. Knapp; the children are Charles F., Addie L., Mary R., Benjamin and Albert H.

    J. F. Hannah was born March 24, 1847, in Canada. Went to Michigan at the age of thirteen, and seven years later to Cleveland, Ohio; after living several years in Faribault and Hastings, Minnesota, he located on section 12 of Wood Lake. Married in 1877, Mary McCulloch; they have two children: William J. and Robert T.

    L. W. Olson, native of Illinois, was born in 1851. Accompanied his parents to Wisconsin, thence to Minnesota and located at Red Wing; his home is now in the town of Wood Lake. The marriage of Mr. Olson with Betzie Harrison took place in 1881; they have a daughter, Esther C.

    John Purington was born in 1844 in Massachusetts. While he was a boy his father died and he went with his mother to New Hampshire. Enlisted in Company C, 1st heavy artillery of that state; served about two years. Came to Minnesota and lived in Owatonna until 1872, then came to Wood Lake. Cornelia Dix, born in 1845 in Wisconsin, became his wife in 1868; two children: Jay and Merton.

    F. Robson, born in 1833, in England, came in 1856 to America. Lived in Olmsted county, Minnesota, until coming in 1874, to Wood Lake; he owns a farm here, has served in different town offices and since 1879 has been postmaster. Mr. Robson was in the federal army three years; enlisted in Company F, 9th Minnesota. He married in 1860, Mary Potter, who has have five children; Eunice C. and Sarah L. are living.

    Lorenzo Satchwell was born in 1839, in New York. When twenty years old he went to Wisconsin; four years afterward he came to Minnesota and stayed about five years then returned to Wisconsin; since 1878, his home has been in the town of Wood Lake. Miss Sarah Barr, native of Wisconsin, was married to him in 1861, and has borne him seven children: the living are Theodore H., Mary A., Ernest R., Sherman D., Ransom E. and Roscoe E.

    Daniel Smith was born in 1814, in Vermont, and when twelve years old went with his parents to New York. From 1837 to 1841 he was in Ohio, and then till 1870 in Illinois, at that time he came to Minnesota; his home is now in Wood Lake, where he has filled various town offices. Married, in 1845, Eliza James; she was born in 1823, in England. They have an adopted son, George A.

    Henry T. Sowl, deceased, was born in New York, in 1803. The children by Mr. Sowl's first marriage were Polly, William R., Charles W., Phoebe M., Henry D., Cynthia, Lydia M. and Dela Verne. His second wife was Rhoda B. Newton, born in 1823, and married in 1849. They came to this county in 1870 and located in Wood Lake, where his widow and family now live. The children are Joseph B., Benjamin F., Samuel S., and Abraham L. The death of Mr. Sowl occurred June 9, 1881.

    O. J. Swan, native of Maine, was born August 27, 1839. From 1850 till 1861, his home was in St. Anthony; he then enlisted in Company K, 5th Iowa, and served over three years. After living fourteen years in Dakota county, he removed to Wood Lake. Miss O. V. Nichols became his wife in 1868; they have three children: Frederick R., Albert B. and George L.

    H. N. Tibbils was born in 1836, in Auburn, New York. He went to Wisconsin, and in 1869 came to Minnesota, and lives on section 22, Wood Lake. Mr. Tibbils has served his town in different offices. He was married in 1858 to Anna Hall, she was born in Jefferson county, New York; they have an adopted child, Isabelle.


    The town of Echo was originally called Empire. It is in the south-eastern corner of the county, and was first settled in 1869 by Robert Houston, G. B. Miller, W. J. Radford, D. S. Brown and Eli Broughton. The first town meeting was held March 31, 1874, at which were elected: Thomas Mather, chairman; J. W. Atkinson and James Brown, supervisors; Samuel Mather, clerk; A. H. Yarns, assessor and treasurer; Samuel Mather and G. B. Miller justices; John Kitson and D. S. Brown, constables; Robert Atkinson, overseer of poor. The first religious services were conducted by Prof. S. A. Hall, in 1873, at the house of Robert Houston. The first school was taught by Jennie Grimmer in the summer of 1875. There is now only one district in the town.

    Friedrig Machlanburg was born in Germany in 1828. In 1858 he came to America and located in Watertown, Wisconsin; twelve years later he went to Columbus, and in 1872 removed to Brown county, Minnesota; in 1877 came to Echo. In January, 1865, he enlisted in Company A, Third Wisconsin, and served till the war closed. In 1852 he married his first wife, who died in 1869; in 1870 he married his present wife; he has eleven children, five by his first wife.

    Samuel Mather was born in England, August 23, 1829; he learned the trade of machinist; in 1850 he removed to Virginia, and in 1855 to Hastings, Minnesota, where his father ran a machine shop until his death, in 1868. Samuel Mather went on a farm in 1858, and in 1865 enlisted. In 1873 he came to Yellow Medicine county, and owns 1,200 acres of land in different towns, with about 500 acres under cultivation. In 1853 he married Catherine De Pue, who has borne him six children; three are living. Echo post-office was started in 1878 at his place.

    G. B. Miller was born in Lanark county, Canada, February 8, 1839. He came to Wabasha county, Minnesota, at the age of twenty-six years, and lived there and in Goodhue county until 1869, when he came to this town. Married in June, 1866, Miss Ann Radford: Martha E., Thomas A., Mary E., Ella J., Sadie M. and William G. are their children.

    William J. Radford was born in Canada in 1843, and at the age of eighteen began working in the lumber woods; in 1869 he moved to Minnesota, and in May of that year took homestead in this town; he was one of the first settlers. He has been chairman, supervisor, justice and assessor. In 1868 he married Isabella Robinson; their children are William, Wallace, Jennie A., Maggie and Anabell; one child died in Canada.

Source - History of the Minnesota Valley, including the Explorers and pioneers of Minnesota - North Star Publishing Company, Minneapolis - 1882.
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