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Cottonwood County Minnesota 
Genealogy and History



TOWNSHIPS OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY.

Source: History Of Cottonwood And Watonwan Counties Minnesota Their People, Industries And Institutions
John A. Brown Volume 1 1916 Editor-In-Chief

Transcribed and Contributed by Friends For Free Genealogy BZ

 
MOUNTAIN LAKE VILLAGE.
 

The village of Mountain Lake received its name from the lake of the same name, located about two mites southeast of the village. In the center of the lake was an island almost circular in form, flat on top and rising out of the water about forty feet. The upper part of the island was covered with trees which could be seen for many miles. This spot served as a land-mark and a guide for many of the early settlers.

Near this lake and island the railroad station was first located. In time the station was moved to the present site arid the name of the village was changed to Midway, but the name proving unsatisfactory, was changed back to Mountain Lake.

The village was platted in 1870, but made little progress until after the building of the railroad in 1873. In this year, three general stores were doing business in the village and were owned by S. J. Soule, J. Lynch and Paul Seeger. The store owned by Seeger was probably the first and was located on the site of the State Bank. The store room was very small, but was quite adequate to the needs of the times. Mr. Seeger came from Cumea, Russia, in 1873, and settled on the first claim in the vicinity of Mountain Lake. He was also among the first postmasters. The first blacksmith was Carl Penner, who later moved away and died in California. Among other early business men in the village were Howard Soule, Jacob Reiner, John Janzen and Abraham Penner.

With the coming of the railroad, immigration set in rapidly and the village grew by leaps and bounds. In 1886 the village was incorporated with a population of three hundred people, mostly Mennonites from southern Russia.

Among other business factors in the village have been the following:

Jacob Heier, who began the furniture business in 1878 south of the railroad track, settled in Mountain Lake in 1874 and began work as a carpenter. David Ewert, who in 1880 opened a lumber yard and store in partnership with H. P. Goertz, came to the village in 1878. P. H. Goosen, the blacksmith, who came into the village in 1875. H. F. Goertz, one of the very earliest settlers and among the very few living in the town, started business with David Ewert and in 1882 started in the lumber business for himself. He also settled in the village in 1875. Henry Hammer located in the village in 1883 and opened up a harness shop in 1877. Mr. Hammer first settled on a tree claim, eight miles north of the village. Frank Balzer entered into the lumber business in 1886 and still operates his place of business. Balzer & Hiebert opened a general store in 1888. Mr. Balzer, the druggist, began the drug business in 1889. John C. Hiebert became a dealer in general merchandise in 1891. Abraham Nickel, the harness man, began business in 1891. Edward Rupp, merchant, began business in 1892. A. E. Woodruff opened a large merchandise store in 1894. Thiessen Brothers began their implement business in 1895 . In 1896 Julien Glasman opened a new meat market. John Jungas began the operation of a shoe store in 1897. In 1898 P. P. Goertzen a jewelry store and was quite successful.

One of the early physicians to locate in the village was Dr. John Watson, a graduate of Bellone Medical College, New York City. He began the practice of medicine in Mountain Lake in 1901.

Among other men who have contributed to the business welfare of the town are, J. D. Schroeder, J. J. Unruh, Theo. Nickel and G. D. Schroeder. Among other early settlers have been the following: Abraham Funk, 1875; HL Goosen and G. Gerdes in the early seventies; Abraham J. Fast, 1875; Henry J. Fast, 1875; Gerhard Neufeld, 1878; Jacob P. Harder, 1873; John Janzen, 1873; Henry Dickman and Peter Dick (Krim).

MUNICIPAL.

The village of Mountain Lake became separated from the township in 1886. A Penner was the first president of the town council and John Janzen, the first recorder. The present officers are inclusive of the following: President, J. H. Dickman; treasurer, F. F. Schroeder; recorder, M. S. Hanson; trustees, John Jungas, D. Heppner and A. Janzen; marshal, William Burk; justices, Herman Teichroew and John P. Rempel; constables, J. J. Brown and W. Burk; assessor, Herman Teichroew.

The town is very active in the way of improvements. Twenty thousand dollars have been spent in installing a water-works system. The town is furnished with water from a drilled well four hundred and fifty feet deep, three hundred feet of which is drilled through solid rock.

POSTOFFICE.

The postoffice at Mountain Lake was one of the first government offices established in the county and at the present time its receipts are the second largest in the county, amounting to four thousand three hundred dollars, exclusive of money orders, for the last fiscal year. Four rural routes serve the country people from this office. Among the postmasters who have held the office are the following: Howard Sonler, John Janzen, Abraham Siemens, Joe Wigton, J. D. Schroeder and I. I. Bargen. Mr. Bargen, the present postmaster, has served in the capacity continuously for the last fourteen years and although a Republican, received his last appointment under a Democratic administration.

THE COMMERCIAL CLUB.

The Mountain Lake Commercial Qub began its existence on March 1, 1915. In the beginning the membership numbered nearly one hundred, but since the number has decreased until there axe only about eighty members. The club is composed of business and professional men in Mountain Lake and neighboring communities. A great many public questions have been brought up and discussed at the meetings with the result that a great deal of good has been accomplished. Among the questions have been those of sewerage, roads, a public rest room, etc. The officers who were first elected still retain their offices. They include the following: President, Frank Balzer; vice-president, Henry P. Goertz; secretary, D. G. Hiebert; treasurer, F. F. Schroeder; executive committee, Dr. W. A. Piper, D. C. Balzer and A. A. Penner.

The purpose of the club is to bring into one organization, the business and professional men of Mountain Lake and vicinity, so that by frequent meetings and the full interchange of views, they may secure an intelligent unity and harmony of action, that shall result to their own benefit, as well as the future development of the community in which they live.

MENNONITE HOSPITAL.

The Mennonite hospital of Mountain Lake began its existence about 1905. The organization included only local men, among whom were, H. P. Goertz, D. Ewert, J. D. Hiebert, F. Balzer, J. H. Dickman, J. G. Hiebert. For a few years the institution was run without much success. Finally, in 1912, the company was reorganized and the institution sold to the Bethel Deaconess Home, of Newton, Kansas, and is now considered as a branch of it. The hospital is managed by a local board consisting of one member from each of the five Mennonite churches. H. P. Goertz is president of the board; D. P. Eitzen, secretary; Aaron Peters, treasurer.

The physicians in charge are Doctor Piper, of Mountain Lake, and Doctor Sogge, of Windom, who are assisted by three sisters and two or three helpers. In 1915 the institution had sixty-four patients and thirty-two operations were performed.

ELECTRIC LIGHT AND FIRE COMPANY.

In 1913 the Mountain Lake Milling Company installed an electric light plant which furnishes the town with electricity. However, arrangements have been made whereby connections are to be made with the Rapidan system and hereafter light will be furnished by that concern.

The fire company is composed of fourteen men, well supplied with a fire engine, hose, ladders, chemical tanks and other necessary fire equipment. The present indebtedness of the town is about thirteen thousand dollars.

INDUSTRIES.

David Hiebert, who came from Russia, started the Mountain Lake flour-mill in 1875. He conducted the business for a period of ten years of time. He sold to Neufield & Friesen, who after two or three years sold to Abraham Penner. Mr. Penner was not a miller and therefore was not very successful. He soon sold out to Diedricks & Hiebert, the present owners, who after running the business for four years, formed an incorporated company known as the Mountain Lake Roller Milling Company. The officers at present are: President, J. J. Diedricks; vice-president, J. J. Hiebert; secretary-treasurer, D. G. Hiebert. The company is incorporated for forty thousand dollars. The capacity of the mill is one hundred and twenty barrels per day. Their special brands of flour are "White Rose," a first-grade flour, and "Natural Patent," a second-grade flour. Besides they make rye, graham, wheat graham, corn meal and rye flour. An elevator is run in connection with the mill which has a capacity of ten thousand bushels.

At the time of incorporation, an electric plant was installed in connection with the mill and was very successful. Recently, however, an opportunity presented itself of securing better service by connecting with the Consumers Power Company. The Milling Company.has just entered into a ten-year contract with the above company, service to begin on October 1, 1916. The Milling Company continues to distribute light and power.

The Farmers' Co-operative Creamery at Mountain Lake was organized about June 1, 1908. The company owns their own building, which was built especially for the purpose and is doubtless the best and most completely equipped of any in the county. The plant has a capacity of about ten thousand pounds of butter per week, but the amount turned out at the present time amounts to about four thousand pounds per week, all of which has a ready market in the local community and Chicago. During the month of July, 1916, the creamery had one hundred and ten patrons.

SMALL CONFLAGRATIONS.

Mountain Lake has been very fortunate in not having many destructive fires. In 1897 the elevators belonging to H. P. Goertz and E. Q. Terwilliger were burned, causing a loss of six thousand dollars. It was the general belief at the time that the fire was of incendiary origin, but it was never proven.

In 1900 the creamery owned by P. C. Hiebert burned, causing a loss of four thousand dollars, covered by insurance to the extent of two thousand dollars.

On April 13, 1898, the Hubbard & Palmer elevator burned, causing a loss of six thousand dollars. Seven thousand bushels of wheat were destroyed.

Hiebert Brothers' elevator was burned on January 30, 1899. At the same time an attempt was made to burn the elevator belonging to Hubbard & Palmer. All the losses were covered by insurance.

 
MOUNTAIN LAKE TOWNSHIP.
 

The southeastern corner township in Cottonwood is Mountain Lake. It comprises all of congressional township 105, range 34, west, and is a full thirty-six section township. It is situated south of Midway township, west of the Watonwan county line, north from Jackson county and east of Lakewood township. It derives its name from the lake of that name within its borders, of which further mention will be made. The lake, as known to pioneers, is no more; it has long since been drained and grains and grasses grow in its old bed. There are a few small prairie creeks in the township, but none of any considerable size. Except the southern suburbs of the village of Mountain Lake, which is in Midway township, there are no villages within Mountain Lake township. It is excellent land and produces immense crops of all grains and grasses common to this latitude. It is settled very largely by Russians, who make first-class agriculturists, though many have methods peculiar to themselves.

The population of the township in 1895 was 612; in 1900 it was 561 and the United States census for 1900 gave it as having only 512.

ORGANIZATION.

Mountain Lake township was organized at a board meeting in 1871, by a petition presented the board by Daniel D. Bates and many more, asking that township 105, range 34 be set off and called Mountain Lake township. The prayer was answered and the township organized by calling the first election at the house of A. A. Soule, Saturday, May 6, 1871. Daniel D. Bates, A. A. Soule and M. Jacobson were appointed judges of such election, and S. H. Soule was appointed clerk. The legal description of the new townships was: "Commencing at the northeast corner of township 105, range 34, thence south to the southeast corner of said township and range; thence west to the southwest corner of said township, thence east to the northeast corner of said township and to the northeast corner of said township, thence to the place of beginning."

PIONEER AND LATER LAND ENTRIES.

The subjoined list of homesteads and pre-emption claims has been transcribed from the books in the register of deeds in the court house at Windom, and shows many entries, name of land office and by whom patented.

A homestead claim was filed on August 25, 1873, by William H. Drake in the northwest quarter of section 4, township 105, range 34, west, at the Jackson land office, and signed by President U. S. Grant.

Under the Soldiers Bounty Act of 1820, Abraham Mace, a private in Captain Wooster's company, Vermont militia, at the invasion of Plattsburg, during the War of 1812, was entitled to land, and his heirs laid claim to the southwest quarter of section 30, township 105, range 34, at the Jackson land office; the same contains one hundred and fifty-six acres.

President U. S. Grant signed the patent for a homestead on November 4, 1874, for Julia T. Knowlton, from the Worthington land office, the same being land in the southeast quarter of section 30, township 105, range 34.

Alfred A. Soule homesteaded, at the Jackson land office, the east half of the northwest quarter and the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 2, in 1872, the same being signed by President U. S. Grant.

Ed. O. Zimmerman homesteaded at the Worthington land office the southwest quarter of section 20, the patent being signed by President Hayes, July 23, 1878.

James Cooney claimed, as a homestead, July 23, 1878, the east half of the northeast quarter of section 4, the patent was signed by President U. S. Grant; the papers came through the land office at Worthington.

James B. Jones claimed a homestead in the southeast quarter of section 14, and had it patented to him by President Hayes and signed on February 10, 1881; it was secured at the Worthington land office.

Eliza C. Huntington homesteaded the east half of the northeast quarter of section 30; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and was patented by President Hayes and by him signed on December 13, 1880.

Simon Huntington homesteaded land in the west half of the northeast quarter of section 30; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and patented by President Hayes, who signed it on June 15, 1880.

Cornelius Quiring homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 28; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and patented by President Chester A. Arthur and signed by him on April 5, 1883.

Ole Christensen homesteaded the east half of the southeast quarter of section 12, at the land office at Worthington and had same patented to him by President U. S. Grant, who signed it on November 3, 1876.

Peder Christensen claimed, as his homestead, the east half of the north-east quarter of section 12, and the same was patented to him by President U. S. Grant, and signed on December 1, 1876; the entry was made at Worthington land office.

John Oglesby at the land office located at Worthington, claimed as his homestead the west half of the southeast quarter of section 34 and his patent was issued by President Hayes, June 15, 1880.

George Baumann, at the Worthington land office homesteaded the west half of the southeast quarter of section 18, and had same patented to him by President Hayes, who signed the papers on December 30, 1879.

Joseph Meixell claimed as a homestead at the land office at Worthing-ton, the northwest quarter of section 28, and same was patented by President Hayes, November 5, 1878.

William Weibe homesteaded the north half of the northeast quarter of section 22, the entry being made at the land office at Worthington and patented by President Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883.

Christian Reinert homesteaded the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 22; also the northeast of the southwest of same section, the entry being made at the land office at Worthington and the final patent issued to him by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883.

Charles F. Barnes homesteaded the west half of the northwest quarter of section 34, the entry being made at the land office at Worthington; the patent was issued by President Chester A. Arthur, March 15, 1884.

Samuel E. Ford homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 18, and it was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883; the land was entered at the land office at Worthington.

Heinrich Regehr, at the Worthington land office filed on the east half of the southwest quarter of section 34, and the same was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, June 5, 1884.

Henry H. Winter homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 26. The entry was effected at the land office at Worthington and was finally pat-ented to him by President U. S. Grant, November 5, 1874.

Thomas S. Potter homesteaded the north half of the northwest quarter of section 18, and the same was patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, April 20, 1885.

Martin Pepper homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 14 and his patent was signed by President Hayes, November 5, 1878; the entry was made at the land office at Worthington.

Andreas Heiler, at the land office, Worthington, filed on a homestead in northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 10, this township; it was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, January 10, 1885.

Jacob Dickson homesteaded the east half of the southeast quarter of section 28 and had the same patented to him by. President Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883. It was filed on at the land office in Worthington.

Wilhelm Holzrichter had patented to him a homestead by President Chester A. Arthur, October 26, 1883, the same being the south half of the southwest quarter of section 18. It was filed on at the Worthington land office.

David Wade homesteaded the south half of the northeast quarter of section 22, the same being entered at the land office at Worthington and finally patented by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883.

Jacob Neufeld entered as a homestead at the land office at Worthington, the northeast quarter of section 20, and had the same patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, August 10, 1886.

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS.

Paul Seeger, at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the northeast quarter of section 4, President U. S. Grant signing his final papers.

Martin Henderson pre-empted two quarters in this township at the land office at Jackson and the final papers were signed by President Chester A. Arthur, May 20, 1884.

William H. Race, at the Worthington land office, pre-empted west half of the southwest quarter of section 12, the papers finally being verified by President Hayes, March 20, 1877.

D. D. Olfert pre-empted at the land office at Marshall, the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 20, the papers being issued by President Benjamin Harrison, November 15, 1893.

William Leder, at the land office at Marshall, pre-empted the south half of the northwest quarter of section 6, the papers being signed by President William McKinley, September 9, 1897.

Frederick Maker pre-empted the east half of the southeast quarter of section 6, the papers being signed by President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874.

Keziah M. Tingley, at the Jackson land office, entered the north half of the northeast quarter of section 34; President U. S. Grant signed his papers on April 1, 1875.

Peter K. Voth entered land at the land office at Marshall, the same being described as the north half of the southeast quarter, and the south-east quarter of the southeast quarter of section 20; the final papers were signed by President Benjamin Harrison, March 1, 1892.

The business interests and professions of Mountain Lake were represented by the following in 1916:

Auto garage—H. P. Goertz Auto Company, Peter Stoesz.
Banks—First National, First State.
Barber shop—Rempel & Harder.
Blacksmith shops—Peter Goosen, Herman Kremin.
Confectionery-—J. J. Vogt, "The Pleasant Corner."
Clothing—Janzen Brothers, J. N. Fast.
Creamery—Farmers Co-operative Association.
Creamery station—Fairmount Creamery Company, Worthington Creamery Company, Hansford Creamery Company.
Drug store—S. Balzer.
Dray lines—J. P. E. Derksen, Dick & Heppner.
Dentist—E. A. Rieke.
Elevator—F. Schroeder, Hubbard & Palmer, Farmers Elevator Company, Schaefer Brothers.
Furniture dealer—Jacob Heir, J. J. Janzen.
Feed store—D. D. Enns.
General dealers—Balzer, Hiebert and Company, David Ewert, P. Geyerman & Sons, Ed. Rupp.
Hotel—The Commercial.
Harness shop—Mens S. Hanson.
Hardware dealers—J. J. Janzen, John Jungas.
Implement dealers—Schroeder & Becker, Thiessen Brothers, Mountain Lake Implement Company.
Jeweler—W. A. Nickel.
Lumber dealers—H. P. Goertz, Frank Balzer and Company.
Livery—George Hutgler.
Mill—Mountain Lake Roller Milling Company.
Milliners—Hiebert Sisters.
Meat markets—George P. Derkson, T. J. Eickholt.
Merchant tailor—Phil Nerstheimer.
Newspaper—Mountain Lake View and Unser Beuucher.
Physicians—Dr. P. W. Pauls, Dr. W. A. Piper. "
Photograph gallery—Cornelius J. Brown.
Produce dealers—Hanford Produce Company, Worthington Produce Company.
Real estate dealers—Aug Buche Land Company, J. C. Koehn, D. A. Lahart Land Company.
Shoemaker—Henry Fiel.
Tin shop—J. V. Dueck.
Telephone—North Star Telephone Company, Tri-State.
Veterinary—Sidney Meyers.

 
ROSE HILL TOWNSHIP.
 

Rose Hill township is situated on the western line of Cottonwood county and is the second from the southern line. It comprises all of con-gressional township 106, range 38 west. It is bounded on the north by Westbrook township, on the east by Amo, on the south by Southbrook and on the west is the county line between Cottonwood and Murray counties. Originally, there were numerous lakes and prairie ponds within the limits of this township, and there are still a few, but many of the lakes have been drained and their beds are utilized for pasture and field purposes. Among the lakes are Berry, Long and Carey lakes.

This is an excellent agricultural and dairy section and the farmers are rapidly becoming forehanded and wealthy. They have the modern conveniences of life, and are reaping the reward for the long years of struggle they had as homesteaders, against prairie fires and grasshoppers.

The population of the township in 1895 was 480; in 1900 it was 535 but by 1910, according to the United States census returns it had decreased to 510.

ORGANIZATION.

By an act of the board of county commissioners in the month of March, 1879, Rose Hill township was organized, and the board ordered the first township meeting and election of officers to take place on April 5, 1879, at the house of John Carey.

SOME EARLY LAND ENTRIES.

Maria Carey homesteaded land in the south half of the northwest quarter of section 24, at the land office at New Ulm, and had her patent issued to her from President Hayes, September 10, 1880.

Samuel Hoveland, at the Tracy land office, had a homestead entry on the northeast quarter of section 2, and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, May 15, 1884.

William Johnson homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter of section 22, and had the entry made at the land office at Tracy and his patent was issued him by President Chester A. Arthur, January 15, 1885.

Henry Olsen homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 14, in the land office at Tracy and the same was patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, April 27, 1885.

Frank White, at the land office at Tracy, was given his homestead right in the southwest quarter of section 14, and the same was patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, January 9, 1886.

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS.

Clark W. Seeley, at the land office at New Ulm, entered the southwest quarter of section 4. this township; his final papers were signed by President Hayes, January 20, 1881.

Martin Kaughbauns, entered land at the land office at Marshall, described as lot No. 3, in section 26. President Benjamin Harrison signed the final papers, granting the patent

George F. Robison, at the Marshall land office, entered the land known as lot No. 1, in section 12, the same having been signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, September 2, 1902.

 
SELMA TOWNSHIP.
 

The extreme northeastern congressional township in Cottonwood county is known as Selma; it comprises township 107, range 34 west, and is situated directly south of Brown county, west of Watonwan county, north of Midway township, Cottonwood county, and east of Delton township, this county.

A branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railway crosses this township, entering in section 3, running directly southeast, leaving the township and county from section 13. The Watonwan river and small tributaries are found flowing through this township. The soil is excellent and all the tillable land is now under a high state of cultivation. The village of Comfrey, Brown county, extends over into this township to a certain extent Of the churches and schools of the township other separate chapters will treat The population of the township in 1895 was 405; in 1900 it was placed at 427 and the United States census returns for 1910 gave it as having 530. There are no towns or villages within Selma.

ORGANIZATION.

Selma township was organized by the board of county commissioners at their regular meeting in March, 1874, and was then named Clinton township and why changed, or when, the records seem silent. It comprises township 107, range 34 west. The first election was called to be held at the house of D. T. Woodward, April 4, 1874.

"Ripley" township was organized at the same time and comprised township 108, range 34 west, which civil township has no history in this county, as it was immediately taken over by Brown county with another congressional township.

HOMESTEADS AND PRE-EMPTIONS. Just who was the first white man to set stakes and make for himself a permanent home in this township is not now well established, even by tradition. But a careful search through the books of the register of deeds of the county, shows that the following were the original land entry per-sons, either as homesteaders or pre-emptors: John W. Golden, homesteaded at the New Ulm land office, the south half of the southeast quarter of section 18, January 18, 1878, and his patent was signed by President U. S. Grant, and the entry was effected at New Ulm land office. Lewis Coville entered, as a homestead at the New Ulm land office, July 12, 1878, the south half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the southwest quarter in section 32, his patent being signed by President U. S. Grant. David Archibald claimed a homestead in the northeast quarter of sec-tion 12, October 6, 1878, and the patent was signed by President U. S. Grant Mathias Stoffel homesteaded on May 22, 1879, the south half of the southeast quarter of section 26, the patent being signed by President Hayes. The entry was made at the New Ulm land office. Charles Anderson homesteaded land under the Homestead Act of 1862, in the west half of the southeast quarter of section 10. It was entered at the land office in New Ulm and was patented by President Hayes and signed by him on January 20, 1881.

Thomas Cullen claimed his homestead rights in the west half of the northeast quarter of section 6; it was entered through the land office at New Ulm and was patented by President Hayes and signed on March 13, 1879.

Caroline Knudson homesteaded the west half of the northeast quarter of section 34; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm, and was patented by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881.

Thomas Coen homesteaded land in the east half of the southeast quarter of section 6, and had the same patented to him by President Hayes, who signed it on March 13, 1879; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm.

Greta Jones Dater homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 14, at the land office at Tracy; the patent for this land was issued by President Chester A. Arthur, February 20, 1882.

Olf Peterson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quarter of section 26; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President Hayes.

John Cullen homesteaded the east half of the northwest quarter of section 6; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President Hayes, March 13, 1879.

Christian Anaker homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 24 at the land office at Tracy, and had the same patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, January 9, 1886.

Theodore P. Eickholt homesteaded the south half of the southeast quarter of section 26, at the land office at New Ulm, and received his patent from President Hayes, January 20, 1881.

Howard M. Goss homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 34, at the land office at New Ulm, and received a patent signed by President U. S. Grant, September 15, 1874.

Ogden D. Warner homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 34, at the land office at New Ulm, and received his patent from President U. S. Grant, March 20, 1876.

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS.

Theodore J. Brandt, at the Marshall land office, entered under the Pre-emption Act, the northeast quarter of section 20, and his final papers were signed by President Grover Cleveland, January 3, 1894.

Lemuel Randall, at the New Ulm land office, pre-empted the north half of the southwest quarter of section 8, and April 10, 1875; President U. S. Grant certified to his papers and signed the same.

 
SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP.
 

Springfield township is the second from the western line of the county and is on the south line, with Southbrook township at its west, Amo township at its north, Great Bend township at its east and Jackson county at the south. It comprises all of congressional township 105, range 37 west The main stream and south branch of the Des Moines river flow from the south-east to the northeast of this township, forming the great bend, after leaving and entering Great Bend township. This is an excellent township and the farming interests are good. The people are of the thrifty type, who always succeed in accumulating wealth. Once a barren prairie domain, it has, under the touch and labor of its settlers, come to be known as one of the finest in the county. Its groves, which were planted out by the thoughtful settlers, have come to be of great beauty and utility, both for the fuel and shelter they afford against the severe elements.

The population of Springfield township in 1895 was 35*n I9°° was 361 and in the United States census reports for 1910 its population was given as only 332.

ORGANIZATION.

Springfield became a separate civil township by an act of the board of county commissioners in 1870, when Great Bend and a few more townships were organized. By a petition of a majority of the legal voters within township 105, range 37, west, the county commissioners decided to form this township, and fixed the day for the first township election for August 27, 1870, and appointed John Wilford, George W. McGaughey and R. A. Nichols as judges of the election. This was done at the county commissioners' meeting at Great Bend, before Windom had been made the seat of justice, the exact date being August 15, 1870.

PIONEERS AND LAND ENTRIES.

The following is a transcript of the homestead and pre-emption entries in this township:

Charles L. Hecox claimed the west half of the southeast quarter and the east half of the southwest quarter of section 34, of this township, March 28, 1878; signed by President U. S. Grant, and entered at the Worthington land office.

Cyrus N. Peterson homesteaded land in the south half of the north-east quarter of section 12, this township. His patent bears the date of July 20, 1877, and is signed by President Hayes. The land office issuing the papers was at Worthington.

Legrand B. Rolph homesteaded at the land office at Worthington, land in the east half of the northeast quarter of section 4; it was patented on November 5, 1878, and was signed by President Hayes.

Augustus McNeely claimed a homestead in the west half of the south-east quarter of section 32, also in the east half of the southwest quarter of the same section. His entry was effected at the land office at Jackson, and the' patent was signed by President U. S. Grant, the date being February 1, 1873.

Marshall C. Cummings homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 14; his patent bears the date of December 30, 1880, and is signed by President Hayes. The land was secured through the Jackson land office.

Freeman Trowbridge claimed land in the northwest quarter of section 4; his patent was dated June 15, 1880, and is signed by President Hayes; it was issued from the land office located at Worthington.

William W. Frost homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of section 22; the patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur and dated March 15, 1882; it was secured at the land office at Worthington.

Abigail J. Green located a homestead in the east half of the southeast quarter of section 4. The patent was issued on November 5, 1878. and was signed by President Hayes. This was secured through the land office at Worthington.

William B. Williams homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of section 2. It was patented on June 15, 1880, and was signed by President Hayes; it was secured through the land office at Worthington.

Delia R. Norris homestead land in the southwest quarter of section 30. It was patented on June 15, 1879, and signed by President Hayes; the land was granted to the widow of William Norris and was secured at the land office at Worthington.

John W. Cummings homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 8, at the land office at Worthington, and his patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883.

William Kane claimed as his homestead the south half of the north-east quarter of section 30, the entry being made at the Worthington land office and the final patent papers were signed by President Hayes on December 15, 1880.

Thomas R. Brown homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 12; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and the patent was furnished and signed by President U. S. Grant, July 5, 1876.

Horatio M. McGaughey homesteaded at the Jackson land office, the north half of the northeast quarter and the west half of the northeast quarter of section 24; it was patented to him by President U. S. Grant April 15, 1874.

James E. Williams homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 20, at the land office at New Ulm; the patent was granted to him by President U. S. Grant and signed on June 13, 1876.

John Surratt homesteaded the east half of the northeast quarter of section 32; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and patented by President Hayes, June 15, 1880.

John H. Reisdorph had patented to him on November 22, 1877, a home-stead instrument signed by President U. S. Grant.

Charles F. Morley homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 30; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and patented to him by President Hayes, December 30, 1879.

Vinzing Fried homesteaded the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 32; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and his patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883.

Orrin Nasson, at the Worthington land office, entered as a homestead the west half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the northeast quarter of section 12; it was patented to him by President U. S. Grant, January 12, 1875.

Zadock Day homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 8, at the land office at Worthington, and had same patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, April 10, 1886.

Josef Neufeld homesteaded the south, half of the northeast quarter of section 32. at the land office at Worthington and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883.

George H. Aubrey, at the Worthington land office, entered a homestead in the north half of the southwest quarter of section 28, and had the same patented to him by President Hayes December 30, 1879.

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS.

Charles L. Hecox entered as a pre-emption claim at the land office at Jackson, the south half of the northwest quarter and the west half of the northeast quarter of section 34. His patent was granted him by President U. S. Grant, December 15, 1870.

Lewis L. Miner, at the Jackson land office, claimed under the Pre-emption Act of 1820, the north half of the northeast quarter of section 34, the same was patented to him by President U. S. Grant, September 17, 1872.

Jason Foss pre-empted the south half of the northeast quarter of section 28, at the Worthington land office, the same being patented by President U. S. Grant, November 3, 1876.

Polly Cone, at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the northeast quarter of section 10, the same being signed by President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874.

Mary L. Briggs pre-empted the southwest quarter of section 24, at the Jackson land office, the instrument was signed by President U. S. Grant and signed February 1, 1872.

Orrin Nason pre-empted the southwest quarter of section 4, the transaction was made at the land office at Marshall, and it was under President Grover Cleveland's administration and by him signed April 12, 1893.

 
SOUTHBR00K TOWNSHIP.
 

Southbrook township is the southwestern civil sub-division of Cottonwood county and comprises congressional township 105, range 38 west. It is bounded on the west by Murray county, on the north by Rose Hill township, on the east by Springfield township and on the south by the county line between Cottonwood and Jackson counties.

Besides two good sized lakes in the southwestern part of this township, the Des Moines river flows from the west out of Murray county, entering this township in section 6 and flows through the southern portion, leaving the township from section 31, entering Springfield township.

This township has neither village nor railroad station, but is settled by a thrifty class of people, who are fast becoming independent. Many of the early homestead and pre-emption claims of the county were selected from parts of this township.

The population in 1895 was 318; in 1900 it was 350, but in 1910 it had decreased, on account of removals, to 303.

ORGANIZATION.

This township was organized by the county commissioners at their meeting in July, 1871, as comprising all of congressional township 105, range 38, west.

EARLY SETTLERS.

The records show the following persons to have been among the first to claim lands within this township:

Francis H. Moon, homesteaded the east half of the southwest quarter and the west half of the southeast quarter of section 32, of this township,

December 7, 1877, the patent being signed by President U. S. Grant; the transaction was at the Jackson land office.

Manley T. White claimed the south half of the southeast quarter of section 26, on March 1, 1878, under President Grant's administration, the papers being issued from the Worthington land office.

Joseph Kane claimed a homestead in the northeast quarter of section 6, at the Jackson land office, the same being signed by President U. S. Grant, September 9, 1878.

Peter Olson homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 20, at the land office at Worthington, and his patent is signed by President Hayes, June 10, 1879.

Ole Rued claimed, as his homestead, at the land office at Worthington, the east half of the southwest quarter and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 20, also land in the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 20, same township. The patent was signed by President Hayes and dated November 5, 1878.

Lyman W. Oaks claimed as his homestead right land in lots 2 and 3 of section 8; he secured it at the land office at Worthington and the patent was signed by President Hayes, December 13, 1880.

William McPheeters homesteaded land in the northwest quarter of section 30, at the New Ulm land office; the patent was signed by President U. S. Grant, October 5, 1875.

Thomas A. Jones secured a homestead in the east half of the northeast quarter of section 22, the patent was signed by President Hayes, June 15, 1880; the entry was made at the Worthington land office.

John Crapsey homesteaded, at the Worthington land office, the south-east quarter of the northeast quarter of section 30 and the lot known as No. 2, of the same section, all being within section 30. The date of the patent was November 20, 1880, and the papers were signed by President Hayes.

Norman Freeman homesteaded land in section 32, the entry was made at the land office in Worthington and the patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883.

Josef Lerk homesteaded land in the north half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the northwest quarter of section 18, the date of the patent being April 5, 1883, signed by President Chester A. Arthur; the same was secured through the Worthington land office.

Charles Robbins homesteaded land in the east half of the southeast quarter of section 30, this township. It was entered at the land office at Worthington and the patent is signed by President Hayes, December 30, 1880.

Roswell Dunsmore homesteaded land in the south half of the northeast quarter of section 26; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and was patented by President U. S. Grant, March 1, 1876.

John Erickson claimed the southwest quarter of section 34 this township and his patent for his homestead was issued June 5, 1884, and signed by President Chester A. Arthur; the entry was effected at the Worthington land office.

Watkin H. Jones homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 22, his patent being signed by President Chester A. Arthur, June 5, 1884; the entry was made at the land office at Worthington.

Charles W. Aldrich homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 32; it was patented to him by Persident Chester A. Arthur and entered at the Worthington land office and signed on June 5, 1884.

Charles B. Handy, June 5, 1884, had patent issued to him for a homestead in the lots numbered 3, 4 and 5 of the section 30, the same being issued by President Hayes.

Annie K. Jentjen, at the Worthington land office, had issued to her as a homestead the land contained in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 2. The papers were signed by President Hayes, February io, 1881.

Stephen Miranowski homesteaded land in the north half of the south-east quarter of section 10, the same being patented by President Hayes and signed on February 10, 1884; it was entered through the land office at Worthington.

James M. King homesteaded the land in northwest quarter of section 12, this township and same was patented to him by President Hayes and signed on June 10, 1879; the entry was made at the land office at Worthington.

John Kane homesteaded the east half of the southwest quarter of section 6, at the land office at Worthington, the same being patented by President Chester A. Arthur, April 10, 1880.

Thomas A. Jones homesteaded the west half of the northeast quarter of section 22, at the land office at Worthington, and had his patent issued by President Hayes, February 10, 1881.

Anton Reidl homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter of section 10, at the land office at Worthington, and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, April 10, 1882.

John Mathias entered as a homestead at the land office at Worthington the east half of the southeast quarter of section 2, and the tract was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, August 1, 1883.

John Schneider, at the Worthington land office, entered as a homestead the west half of the northeast quarter of section 10, and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883.

Florian Liepold entered, as a homestead at the land office at Worthington, the west half of the southwest quarter of section 12, and it was later patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, April 10, 1886.

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS.

Henry G. Conrad pre-empted land at the land office at Worthington, described as the south half of the southeast quarter and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 28, the papers being signed by President Hayes, September 4, 1879.

Bertha M. Johnson pre-empted the land known as lot No. 7 in section 30. The entry was effected at the land office at Worthington and the final papers were executed by President U. S. Grant, May 10, 1875.

Peter Jentzen, at the Worthington land office, entered under the pre-emption act, the northwest quarter of section 14; the final papers were signed by President Hayes, November 1, 1880.

Adam Fabe, at the Marshall land office, entered lot No. 1 in section 8, the papers being signed by President Benjamin Harrison, March 1, 1892.

Andrew J. Streeter, at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the east half of the northwest quarter of section 26, the papers being executed and signed by President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874.

 
STORDEN TOWNSHIP.
 

Storden is situated in the northwestern part of Cottonwood county, it being the second from the north and the second from the western line of the county, with Highwater at the north, Amboy at the east, Amo at the south and Westbrook township at the west. It comprises all of congressional township 107, range 37, west. The Scandinavian people are the largest landowners in this part of the county. The village of Storden is within this township.

Like many parts of the county, Storden originally had many low tracts of land, and small lakes abounded, but they were really little more than prairie swamps or sloughs, which, with the advent of the settlers, soon vanished by draining, until today the waste land in this township is quite small. The soil is of a rich quality and the grains and grasses grow in great luxuriance.

The population of the township in 1895 was 439; in 1900 it was 548 but by the taking of the Federal census in 1910 it was placed at 659.

ORGANIZATION.

This township was set apart as a separate civil township at the meeting of the county commissioners in March, 1875, and was first named Norsk, but subsequently changed to Storden. It comprises township 107, range 37, west, and was detached from Westbrook township. The first election was held at the house of Martin Hallan, March 30, 1875.

ORIGINAL SETTLERS.

The county records show the following to have entered land either as homesteaders or pre-emption claimants:

Jorgen Jensen homesteaded land in the lots known as Nos. 1 and 2, of section 21, the same being entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President Hayes, February 10, 1881.

Soren Sorenson claimed a homestead in the northwest quarter of.the northwest quarter of section 30; it was patented to him by President Hayes, February 10, 1881.

Christian A. Kaihor homesteaded in the north half of the northeast quarter of section 30, the same being entered at the land office at New Ulm; it was patented to him by President Hayes, February 10, 1881.

Halver E. Lohre homesteaded land in the east half of the southeast quarter of section 6; it was patented to him by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881.

C. Swenson claimed a homestead in the southeast quarter of the north-east quarter and the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 4. It was patented by President Hayes, February 10, 1881; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm.

Eston Erikson, claimed his homestead rights under the act of 1862, in the west half of the northeast quarter of section 6. It was entered at the land office at New Ulm and was patented by President Hayes, January 20, 1881.

Nels Gunderson homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 2, at the land office located at Tracy, and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883.

Samuel S. Wheeler claimed as a homestead the southwest quarter of section 24 at the land office at Tracy and had the same patented by President Chester A. Arthur, February 10, 1883.

John Nelson homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 20, at the land office at Tracy and the same was finally patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, May 31, 1884.

Ole Christopherson homesteaded the north half of the northeast quarter at the land office at Tracy, and the patent was issued to him by President James A. Garfield, June 21, 1881.

Hans.Anderson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quarter of section 18, at the land office located at Tracy, and had his patent granted him by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881.

Leopold Hansen homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 2, and had the entry made in the land office at New Ulm, while his patent was granted by President Hayes, December 30, 1879.

Julia A. Khurd homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 28, at the land office located at Tracy and her patent was issued and signed by President Chester A. Arthur, January 15, 1885

Albert N. Jeffers, at the Tracy land office, entered a homestead in the south half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the southeast quarter of section 12, and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, May 5, 1884.

Christian O, Mikkelson claimed as his homestead the northwest quarter of section 18, at the land office at New Ulm; President Hayes signed his patent on February 10, 1881.

Charles H. Reipke homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 26, the entry being made at the land office at Tracy and the patent was signed by President Grover Cleveland, May 20, 1885.

George Downs homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 10, the entry being effected at the land office at Tracy and his patent was issued by President Chester A. Arthur and by him signed on January 15, 1885.

Peter M. Paulson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 34; the patent was issued by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881.

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS.

Charles Dietz, at the New Ulm land office entered the west half of the northwest quarter of section 24, the papers being signed by President Hayes, January 20, 1881.

Rasmus Anderson, at the land office at New Ulm, entered the south-west quarter of the southwest quarter of section 8, this township; his final papers were signed by President U. S. Grant, April 10, 1875.

Andrew P. Fortstrom, at the land office at Marshall, entered the land described as lot No. 9 in section 20, and had the same patented to him by President Benjamin Harrison, August 24, 1891.

August Pufahl, at the land office at Tracy entered the southwest quarter of section 12; the final papers were signed by President Grover Cleveland, January 20, 1886.

 
VILLAGE OF STORDEN.
 

Storden was platted by the Inter-state Land Company, July 8, 1903, and is situated in the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 29, township 107, range 37, west It is on the Curry branch of the Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad. Among the first historic events of this village were the following:

The auction sale of lots in what is now the village of Storden took place on July 9, 1903. The village is located in the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 29. The village, although quite young, shows great signs of growth and prosperity, new and modern buildings being erected as fast as workmen can put them up.

The first man on the ground to do business was Mr. C. H. Shaner, who conducted a general store, where the confectionery store now stands. Nelson & Redding came next and occupied the store room now used by Mr. A. H. Anderson.

The first school teacher to teach in the village was Laura Iverson, who taught in the school building moved in from the Kahoi Anderson farm, about three-fourths of a mile north of the town.

John Sorenson built the first residence in the village, the one now occupied by the postmaster, James Morris. The house now occupied by Andrew Skoby was built about the same time.

The first brick building was erected by the Fanners' State Bank in the summer of 1916.

The first concrete building in the village was constructed in the spring of 1916 and is now occupied by Nelson & Christopherson as a garage, the first of its kind.

Among the very first business men and mechanics of the village were: C. H. Shaner, grocer; A. P. Frederickson, hotel; Roy Egger, blacksmith; John Skovley & Son, livery; A. M. Gark & Son, hardware; Henry Peterson, drayman; L. Dolliff, lumber company; St John, elevator.

The depot at Storden was erected in 1904. The first business was that of C. H. Shaner; the first residence was erected by John N. Sorenson.

John Sorenson formerly owned the land now occupied by the village. The town was platted by the Inter-state Land Company, of Minneapolis, to whom Mr. Sorenson gave a one-half interest in the lots.

The plat of Storen is high, dry and sightly and not a finer and more natural business site exists on the Curry branch. The village is surrounded by hardy and industrious farmers, whose land is under a high state of cultivation. The main products of the farms are corn and oats, although an abundance of wheat, rye and barley are marketed each year. Five years ago, land could be procured in the community at sixty dollars per acre, while most of the land is now worth around one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre.

POSTOFFICE.

The Storden postoffice was established in 1903, with John Sorenson as the first postmaster. He served until December 1, 1905, when James Morris, the present postmaster, was appointed. The large postal receipts, which are larger than towns several times its size, bespeak credit for the post-master and the community. For the past year they amounted to four thousand five hundred and eighty-seven dollars and twenty-six cents. One rural route serves the rural community.

BUSINESS INTERESTS.

In 1916 the business interests of Storden were in the hands of the following:

Auto garage—Nelson & Christopherson.
Bank—First State, Farmers' State.
Blacksmith—Andrew Jorgenson, Edward Smestad.
Barber—Roy Smestad.
Creamery—Storden Creamery Association.
Confectionery—John Rongstad.
Dray line—Adolph Olsoa
Elevator—Farmers' Elevator, Olaf Lande.
Grocer—Farmers' Coo-perative Store.
General dealers—A. H. Anderson, Storden Co-operative Company.
Hardware dealer—Storden Hardware Company.
Harness dealer—A. H. Nacarinus.
Hotel—Prime Hotel.
Implement dealer—Saleen & Jenson Company.
Lumber dealer—L. P. Dolliff & Company.
Livery—Adolph Olson.
Meat market—John Spiecker.
Newspaper—Storden Times.
Produce dealer—C. H. Shaner.

 
WESTBROOK TOWNSHIP.
 

The second township from the county line on the north is Westbrook, which comprises all of congressional township 107, range 38, west It is bounded on the north by Ann township, on the east by Storden, on the south by Rose Hill township and on the west by Murray county. Westbrook village is within this civil township and is mentioned at length in this chapter. Originally, the township had many lakes and ponds, with several creeks, most of which water-courses have disappeared from the surface of the county as time has changed the conditions; ditches have been cut, tiling carried on for a number of years and, today, the waste land within the territory is small. The soil is very fertile and produces all the grain and grasses common to this latitude.

The school and churches have ever been prominent factors in the township and those are treated with others of the county in special chapters in this volume.

The population of the township in 1895 was 599; in 1900 it was placed at 688 and in the United States census returns for 1910 it is given as 579.

ORGANIZATION.

Westbrook township was organized at the meeting of the county board, September 6, 1870, upon the petition of thirty legal voters in township 107, range 30, west, and township 108, ranges 37 and 38, west, they asking that four congressional townships be organized into one civil township and that it be named Westbrook, and the board of county commissioners ordered it done and called the first election for the township to be held at the house of Morton Engebriztson, Saturday, September 17, 1870, with election judges as follow: John Hanson, John Rotte and Hogan Anderson; the clerk was George W. Walker.

PIONEER SETTLEMENT.

The first comers to this township were very largely homesteaders and pre-emption claim men and women, who selected at some one of the Minnesota land offices such lands as they wanted on which to locate and build homes. Among such land entries the following is a complete list, as shown in the records at the Cottonwood court house:

Nels Engebretson, homesteaded the east half of the northwest quarter of section 12, July 9, 1878, and the patent for the same was signed by President U. S. Grant

Hernt Johnson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quarter of section 20, at the New Ulm land office, November 7, 1879, and his patent was signed by President R. B. Hayes.

Erick Anderson claimed a homestead in the southeast quarter of section 18, this township, the same being secured at the land office at Tracy, and the patent is signed by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881.

Ole Sorenson homesteaded land in the northeast quarter of section 24, and the patent is dated February 10, 1881, and signed by President R. B. Hayes.

Olof Johnson homesteaded land in the east half of the northeast quarter of section 12; also in the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 12. This was entered at the land office at Tracy, and bears date of June 20, 1881, and is signed by President James A. Garfield.

Ole Anderson homesteaded land in the west half of the southeast quarter of section 10, and it was secured at the land office at New Ulm and the patent is signed by President Hayes, February 10, 1881.

Syver Nielson homesteaded land in the west half of the northwest quarter of section 12, the patent being signed by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881; the entry was effected at the Tracy land office.

Jacob Hansen homesteaded land in the west half of the northwest quarter of section 10; it was entered at the land office at New yim and was patented by President Hayes, January 20, 1881.

Forjus T. Einertson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 2, at the Tracy land office, and the same was patented by President Grover Cleveland, August 5, 1884.

Bernt Johnson homesteaded the south half of the northeast quarter of section 20, at the land office located at Tracy; his patent was granted by President Chester A. Arthur, February 10, 1883.

Edward Erickson homesteaded the west half of the northwest quarter of section 8, at the land office at Tracy, the same being patented by President Chester A. Arthur, January 15, 1885.

Peter G. Lundman homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 18, at the land office at Tracy, the patent being granted by President Chester A. Arthur, May 15, 1884.

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS.

Albert Olson pre-empted, at the St. Peter land office, the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section i, this township. President U. S. Grant signing the papers, April I, 1872.

Jacob A. Anderson, at the land office at New Ulm, pre-empted the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 2, President U. S. Grant signing the papers, May 20, 1874.

Ole Andreas Pederson, at the land office at New Ulm, entered the east half of the southeast quarter of section 8, the papers being signed by President Hayes, May 24, 1879.

Olf Jonsson, at the land office at New Ulm, entered land in the north-west quarter of the northeast quarter of section 12, President U. S. Grant signing the papers, May 20, 1874.

John Christenson entered the south half of the northeast quarter of section 2, the papers being signed by President Hayes, November 10, 1877.

Nels Engebretson entered land in the southwest quarter of section 12, at the New Ulm land office and his papers were certified by President Hayes, January 20, 1881.

 
THE VILLAGE OF WESTBROOK.
 

Westbrook was platted June 8, 1900, by the Inter-State Land Company, in section 29, township 107, range 38 west.

Westbrook township contained the first settlers of the county, one authority stating that the first settler after the Indian massacre of 1862 was Joseph F. Bean and next, George B. Walker, followed by other families settling in Westbrook township. Thus it was that when the Currie branch of Omaha railroad was built through here in 1900, it tapped a magnificent farming region, well settled, rich and productive, the trade of which for many years was far from market. On nth of July, 1900, the sale of lots was held for the now prosperous town of Westbrook, the buyers wading around in an oats field, which yielded forty bushels per acre, looking for corner stakes. This was the beginning of Westbrook. Previous to this time there had been an effort made to have the town started on what is now known as the west side, and for a while there was a restaurant, store and several "blind pigs." The present site of the town was the result of a disagreement between the townsite company and Adolph Peterson.

At the lot sale the highest price paid was six hundred dollars for the corner lot, now occupied by the First National Bank. The first people on the ground to do business was the L. P. Dolliff Lumber Company, with G. F. Streates as manager, and the Laird-Norton yards, with H. E. Daffer as manager. Sivert Norum had moved a shed from Storden in which he started a boarding house for the workmen, until he got up the building known as the Commercial Hotel, later occupied by the saloon of John Stitz. This was the first building in town and in addition to keeping boarders, Mr. Norum also sold the first groceries of the town in one room and was also the first postmaster. At that time, before the railroad was built, he carried the mail three times a week from Storden.

The next building was that of J. E. Nelson, the harness man, and about this time the town got busy and was a veritable beehive of all kinds of mechanics.

Schippel & Malschke started their large two-story brick block, twenty-five by one hundred feet, and the State Bank, later the First National, rushed to completion the finest two-story brick and stone building in the town, at a cost of five thousand five hundred and eighty dollars. This bank was organized, December i, 1900, with an authorized capital of two hundred thousand dollars, twenty-five thousand of which was paid up. The first officers were: President, J. W. Benson, of Heron lake; vice-president, B. N. Bodelson, of Dundee; cashier, J. O. Pearson, of Heron lake. Farmers and business men took an active interest in the bank and very soon it was among the strongest in the county.

St. John Brothers were the first in the field with a first-class store building, forty-six -by seventy-two feet, with a storage house thirty by forty feet, all of which was opened for business on September 30. The post-office was moved into this building, January 7, 1901, and M. A. Johnson was appointed postmaster, Mr. Norum having resigned.

Wild & Spaulding built a large two-story frame building, together with a large warehouse for buggies and farm machinery. Other improvements made during the fall of 1900 were the Erickson two-story building, the Theo. Miller building, later occupied by J. E. Villa; the Dick Needhaus city meat market building, John Holland's saloon, Dorster & Fritsche's two-story implement house, later owned by Peterson & Norum; Silliman Brothers' big store and hall building, J. J. Hubin's furniture store and residence, the building occupied by O'Neill & McCormick's saloon and the building occupied by Rehnelt's pool hall. The city drug store and building was moved here from Dundee by E. F. Fricke.

The Kane-Slice Implement Company was the first to engage in the implement business. They constructed a large two-story warehouse, twenty-four by sixty feet, just west of the First National Bank.

Peter Anderson conducted the first livery in the barn to the rear of the hotel. Very soon afterwards Frank G. Myres put in the Westbrook livery and early on the ground witb a well equipped blacksmith shop was John Bendixen.

Brown & Roberts had the barber shop, Getty & Green conducted a real estate office, W. G. Owens, attorney, and Dr. C. P. Nelson were the professional men.

At this time Dolliff & Company and Laird-Norton Company erected mammoth lumber sheds which were necessary in order to keep a sufficient supply of lumber on hands for the numerous buildings that were being constructed. Four large and first-class elevators were put up to meet the demands of the farmers, they being the ones of the St. John Brothers, Hubbard & Palmer, Renke Brothers and K. Krueger.

Evidently anticipating the rush of business the railroad company put in commodious yards and sidings connecting with the elevator and stockyards, dug a deep well and installed a large water' tank and just west of town opened a gravel pit from which they ballasted the line from Currie to Bingham Lake.

Schueller & Welter, of Morgan, bought the Commercial Hotel, which was conducted by Frank Scheffert until April, 1902, after which time the town was several months without a hotel.

The west side continued to make show for business and J. D. Bevier and family had a restaurant and boarding house, a small general store and blacksmith shop. There was also a full fledged "reading room" besides several "restaurants." The county attorney closed the last named places and business on the west side declined until nothing is left except some of the buildings and the Krueger elevator. The west side is now one of the fine resident districts of the town and no longer is there any feeling of separation or distinction from the rest of the town.

Two large ice houses were built, one operated by Chris Hanson for the Westbrook Ice Company and one by Peterson & Carlson,

Up to May, 1901, some sixteen or eighteen residences had been built B. E. Low was the first to move to town to live as a retired farmer, he coming from his farm near Lake Eliza. Johnson Brothers built and occu-pied the first good residence, later the property of Walter Larson. The homes of J. A. Pearson, Chris Hanson, George Spooner, S. Norum, P. D. Peterson, J. J. Christy, I. C. Freeman, Frank Meyers, W. F. Wenholz, B. E. Low, K. Krueger and Gustav Grams were among the principal residence improvements of the fall and winter of 1900.

INCORPORATION, ETC.

Previous to March, 1901, the village had no officers, and every man was a law unto himself, but at this time incorporation was made, an election held and the first set of officers chosen. They were as follow: Mayor, M. A. Johnson; councilmen, August Wild, W. H. Wenholz, G. A. Schippel; recorder, G. F. Streater; treasurer, J. A. Pearson; justices of peace, George Spooner and D. Needham; constable, D. J. Green; assessor, S. B. Stockwell; I. C. Freeman, marshal; attorney, W. D. Owen. The work of the first council for the good of the town will ever stand as a monument to their business sagacity and wise administration. At this time three saloons were licensed, at one thousand dollars each.

About May 1, P. H. Rupp built a shoe store, F. H. Fricke also put up a small shoe store. Among other improvements was the completion of Doctor Nelson's corner drug store at a cost of two thousand dollars; Schippel's two-story brick block, adjoining the First National Bank, in the fall, at a cost of three thousand dollars; Sampson's restaurant, twenty by thirty-six feet, at a cost of five hundred dollars. D. H. Flynn bought and finished the two-story frame building started by John Kaeding. The Sentinel built a home, twenty by forty-eight feet, at a cost of nine hundred dollars. Linschied's two-story building, used as a photograph gallery, constituted the business improvements of the year. The Standard Brewing Company put up a large cold storage house the same year.

In 1902 the Commercial Club was formed and as a result of their hustle the town secured a splendid one hundred barrel flour-mill, costing sixteen thousand dollars. Land for the mill was secured between Hubbard & Palmer's and Krueger's elevators and the first active work was begun on May 8, by Bert Milligan, who started the mill. Mr. Gress, of the Sleepy Eye Milling Company, was at the head of the new enterprise. The mill was later destroyed by fire, and never rebuilt

The following is a record of the tons of freight and car-load lots received and forwarded from January 1, 1902, to May 1, 1902. When these figures are compared with those of the same period of time today, it may be seen how great has been the growth of trade.

Freight forwarded.
Total tonnage, merchandise, 5,981,125 pounds.
Live stock —160
Car loads. — 45
Total ----205
Freight received. Car loads. -115
Total tonnage, merchandise, 4,861,033 pounds

A glance at the village will show that it has been quite active in the way of improvements. In 1002 the town installed a complete water-works system, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. The water is furnished by a well sixty-three feet deep, resting in lake sand. At one time a test was made to ascertain the strength of the well. Water was pumped out at the rate of forty-five gallons per minute, with the result that the water in the well was lowered only twelve feet, after which it was impossible to lower the supply. Water is pumped into a tank holding thirty-five thousand gallons and thereby the town is furnished with an abundance of water by means of strong pressure.

In January, 1915, an electric plant was put in at a cost of eight thousand dollars. The plant runs from about dusk in the evening until midnight. In the way of fire protection, they have an organized fire company of twenty-six men and an ample supply of fire equipment, such as hose, ladders, etc. The town has five miles of cement walks and each year more are added. The order in the town must be pretty good, because no marshal or policeman is on the pay roll and the "lock up" has a deserted appearance.

The presidents that have served the village are herein given in their order of service: M. A. Johnson, C. A. Zieske, D. H. Flynn, I. D. Annis, V. T. Miller, R. C. Soil, 6. C. Anderson, J. E. Villa and W. F. Mead.

The present officers are inclusive of the following: President, W. E. Mead; trustees, M. J. Breen, Reinhold Ewy and A. L. N. Christianson; recorder, Jos Budish.

POSTOFFICE.

The Westbrook postoffice was established at about the same time the town was incorporated, Mr. Sivert Norum being appointed the first post-master. Other men who have served in the same capacity are Andrew Lorson, M. A. Johnson, Gark W. Seely and John L. Sammons. The receipts for this office are the largest in the county, with the exception of Windom. Three rural, routes distribute mail through the rural districts from this office. The receipts for the last fiscal year, exclusive of the money department, amounted to three thousand three hundred and sixty dollars.

WESTBROOK STREET FAIR.

On October 1, 1901, a meeting was held in Ancient Order of United Workmen hall for the purpose of organizing a street fair association. William G. Owens was made the temporary chairman. The meeting proceeded to elect officers and the following were chosen: President, William G. Owens; vice-president, M. A. Johnson; secretary, W. B. Leo; treasurer, J. A. Pearson; executive committee, J. E. Villa, Ed. Loomis and J. J. Christy. Six hundred dollars were offered in premiums. The first fair was a success, as were those which followed. It was estimated that five thousand people attended and enjoyed the features usually found at a county fair: such as the baby show, wild west, merry-go-round, vaudeville, etc.

BUSINESS DIRECTORY FOR 19l6.

The business interests of Westbrook in July, 1916, were in charge of the following:

Auto garage—Pederson & Ludwickson, E. Paetznick, Grant Ross.
Attorney—John L. Sammons.
Banks—First National, Citizens State.
Barber—Edward Dietchman.
Blacksmith—E. A. Paetznick, James Sorenson.
Clothing—Cohrs & Ewy.
Dray line—John Simning.
Drugs—Walter E. Mead.
Dentist—F. M. Miller.
Elevator—John J. Christy, Farmers Elevator Company, C. Krueger, F. Romke.
Furniture—Hans J. Christianson.
General dealer—George Woodward, Westbrook Co-operative Company.
Grocer—G. A. Scheppel.
Hotel—The Westbrook.
Harness—J. E. Nelson.
Hardware—Footh Brothers, Bengton & Sons.
Ice dealer—John Simning.
Implement dealer—Westbrook Implement Company, R. Ewy.
Jeweler—Theo. J. A meson.
Lumber dealer—Botsford Lumber Company, L. P. Dolliff & Company.
Livery—John E. Anderson.
Milliner—Anastacia Travel.
Meat market—Falk Brothers.
Motion picture show—The Dixie.
Newspaper—The Sentinel
Physician—H. A. Schmidt.
Produce dealer—Hansford Produce Company.
Photograph gallery—T. F. Leavitt.
Restaurant—T. P. Anderson.
Real estate—R. L. Eckert Land Company.
Stock dealer—Westbrook Stock Buyers Association, Charles Pasmore.
Veterinary—E. R. Tillisch.
Telephone—Windom Mutual and Northwestern.

Westbrook, although in its infancy, impresses a stranger as being the most city-like village in the county. It has wide and well-improved streets, which are clean and unusually well lighted with electric lights. It is one of the very few towns of its size in southern Minnesota that owns its own power and water plant. It can boast of a newspaper that has a wide circulation, a model of its kind and one which does credit to the town and the community.

Westbrook is a town of beautiful homes and well-kept lawns; a place especially well suited and inviting to the homeseeker, because there is found almost any religious denomination one may seek and a school system that would do credit to a town many times its size.

In the western part of town is a park that the town board bought of Whited, the townsite man, a short time after the town was laid out, for the nominal sum of one thousand dollars. The park is not merely a square lot With a few trees scattered here and there, but, instead, one sees trees of various species, symetrically placed and of a uniform size. The park is well supplied with inviting seats and chairs and is thorowghly lighted with electric lights. Westbrook's first annual chautauqua, held July 9 to 14, 1916, was held in- the park, which made an ideal location. Up to this time there were many people in the village and vicinity who did not realize what a fine place for such a gathering the town has. The chautauqua was a success in every detail.

It has been stated upon good authority that Westbrook has as much business as the other towns on the Currie branch combined, which, if true, we predict that in the next decade she will be second to none in the county as a business center. At the time the townsite was laid out, it was considered the best on the Currie branch, as it was surrounded by a magnificent territory of rich farming lands, which had been settled for many years by thrifty and progressive farmers, many of whom were homesteaders twenty-five to thirty years ago. The location of Westbrook is an admirable one from a business standpoint, speaking geographically. It is on the west side of Cottonwood county, a little over a mile from the Murray county line and is about the center of the county on a north and south line, twenty-eight miles from Windom and has a wide trade territory in every direction.

As an index of the growth and improvements in the town from July 11, 1900, to May 1, 1901, one need notice only the assessed valuations. The assessed value of building improvements was forty-four thousand dollars. On May 1, the personal property valuation was seventy-four thousand five hundred and twenty-two dollars. These values did not include real estate.

Townships of Cottonwood County Minnesota 1916 (Previous Page)
See also: History: Organization of Cottonwood County
 


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