Cottonwood County MN History--Amboy Twp.

Amboy Twp. and the Village of Jeffers
Cottonwood County, Minnesota

Amboy township is one of the central townships in the county, being composed of congressional township 107, range 36, west. It is made up of thirty-six full sections, and is bounded on its north by Germantown, on the east by Delton, on the south by Dale and on the west by Storden township. Its surface, lakes and streams have already been covered in the chapter on Geology, hence need not be referred to here. Of its schools and churches special chapters will treat, in general. To one who has recently visited this part of Cottonwood county, it goes without saying, that this has come to be a veritable garden spot, where corn and cream are kind and queen. The branch line of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad traverses the southern portion of the township, with a station at the sprightly village of Jeffers.

The population of Amboy township in 1895 was 443; in 1900 was placed at 489 and according to the 1910 United States census it had decreased to 437. The inhabitants are a sturdy, painstaking class of good citizens, many of whom are foreigners who came to our shores many years ago without much means, save strong bodies and determined wills, and with these they have forged to the front and today are among the most independent, prosperous and contented people within southern Minnesota.


This township was formed by act of the county commissioners at their meeting held on October 10, 1872, when township 107, range 36 west, was declared to be organized and the first election called to meet at the house of C. M. Bywater, and the judges of such election were, John H. Nelson, Peter A. Wheeler, Milo T. DeWolf, and Charles M. Bywater was named clerk.


Jeffers is situated in section 20, township 107, range 36, west, and was platted by the Inter-State Land Company, September 19, 1899. In so far as the early history of Jeffers is concerned, there is not a great deal to be said. The site that is now occupied by the village was homesteaded by George Jeffers and Wesley Stoddard over forty years ago. When the Currie branch of the Omaha railroad was surveyed through the county, Mr. Whited, representing a townsite company, saw great possibilities in locating a village at this place. So the beautiful farms or parts of, belonging to the men mentioned above, were transformed into town lots and sold at auction. The village sprung up like a mushroom, over night and soon there were mechanics and tradesmen of all kinds on the ground.

Among the first on the ground to put up houses and open up for business were Mr. Loomis and A. A. Faust; Mr. Faust's building was where the co-operative store now stands. J. J. Duroe put up a building and started a bank in the lumber yard. In the spring of 1900 Cowan & Castledine built a business house on the site of the restaurant and Louie Dustin started a lumber yard in the spring of 1899, as did the Hayes-Lucas Lumber Company. The Peary elevator was also put up in 1899. The early professional men were Dr. W. N. Theissen and Attorney E. M. Duroe.

Jeffers has experienced two fires, each of which was rather serious. The more destructive one occurred in May, 1911, destroying four large buildings and causing an unusually heavy loss. The first fire happened in August, 1902, starting in the hotel which was consumed as were the buildings owned by A. A. Faust and Nels Anderson. The total loss was about twenty-one thousand dollars.

The first postoffice in Amboy township was known as the Red Rock postoffice and was located on the farm of D. M. Fairbairn, who was also the postmaster. After Jeffers became a village the Red Rock office was discontinued and the postoffice took on the name of the village. The first postmaster appointed to the Jeffers office was A. A. Faust. He died before his term expired and J. O. Querna was chosen to fill out the unexpired term. Miss Ida Faust, the daughter of A. A. Faust, received the next appointment and as Mrs. Ida Mertens succeeded herself. The present postmaster is Mr. J. H. Tofflemire. Through attention to business and with the help of appreciative patrons, he has brought the receipts of the office up to the point where it will soon graduate to the third class. The postal receipts for the last fiscal year amounted to two thousand one hundred and eleven dollars and seventy-four cents, exclusive of money orders. The money orders for June, 1916, amounted to one thousand and six dollars and ninety-six cents. A rural route, with Bert A. Crist, was established on October 15, 1904; he is still serving in that capacity.


Jeffers became an incorporated village on September 28, 1899. The first election placed in office the following men. President, L. P. Dustin; recorder, Lewis E..Streater; trustees, C. G. Fredricson, A. W. Singer, A. A. Faust. The present officers include the following: President, William A. Potter; trustees, E. F. Schmotzer, H. C. Schoper and J. M. Jackson; treasurer, C. 0. Castledine; clerk, Charles Grabert; justice, E. D. Helder. The following is a list of all the presidents who have served to date: L. G. Dustin, A. A. Faust (pro tem), H. H. Potter, L. A. Duroe, W. Gleason, S. M. Pratt, M. C. Vold, E. J. Viall, A. W. Mertens and W. A. Potter. At present the village is lighted with gas lanterns, but there is a movement on foot to install an electric system. The village is also badly in need of water-works, as now they have nbo ample means of fire protection except chemical engines. With these things added, the village would be as modern as any in the county. The village has about three miles of cement walks and building more all the time. The present indebtedness is about one thousand five hundred dollars.

Jeffers, the hub of Cottonwood county, is a beautiful, hustling little town of six hundred population, located on the Currie branch of the Omaha railroad, one hundred and fifty miles from the Twin Cities and sixteen miles from Windom, the county seat. It is one of the busiest trading centers in the state, according to size.. It is located in the heart of the beautiful, rolling plains of southern Minnesota. Its business people are up-to-date, progressive, courteous and accommodating. The farmers of the community are up to the times in their farming methods, and rank high in the citizenship of the community. Five years ago, good land could be procured in this community at sixty dollars per acre, while most land is now worth around one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre. Jeffers has a modern system of schools, fine churches and strong secret societies, all of which will be treated in their respective chapters.

In 1916 the business interests of Jeffers were represented by the following:

Auto garage-Iverson and Harrison
Banks— State Bank, Farmers State Bank.
Barber — Charles Grabert.
Blacksmiths— Krame M. Michiel, George J. Koess.
Creamery----H. E. Nimtz
Confectionery—L. J. Bastian.
Druggist—F. J. Armantrout.
Elevator----Benson Grain Company, Farmers Co-operative Elevator Company.
General dealers—Jeffers Co-operative Company, Thorne & Dustin, Malachi Vold.
Harness dealer—John M. Jackson.
Hotel—The Jeffers, The Leader.
Hardware dealer—L. A. Duroe.
Ice dealer—Charles Burmeister & Son.
Jeweler—F. J. Armantrout.
Livery—David E. Noble.
Lumber dealer—L, P. Dolliff and Company, Haynes-Lucas Lumber Company.
Milliner----Olga B. Grenwatz.
Meat market—H. C. Schoper
Moving picture show—M. B. Fish.
Newspaper—The Review, E. F. Schmotzer, proprietor.
Physician—George P. Panzer.
Produce dealer—City Produce Market.
Restaurant—W. A. Sargent, L. J. Bastian.
Real estate dealer—The Jeffers Land Company, W. H. Dhabolt
Shoemaker—Edward D. Helder.
Undertaker—Peter Aune.