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Dakota County Minnesota 
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Castle Rock Township Dakota County, Minnesota


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NOTE: The following history is from an 1882 publication, the term "town" is sometimes used when referring to the township.

TOWNSHIP OF CASTLE ROCK.

Castle Rock township is situated in the southern part of Dakota county. It is bounded on the north by Empire, on the east by Hampton, on the south by Sciota and Waterford, and on the west by Eureka. The township was formed by the board of county commissioners, at Hastings, April 6th, 1858. It consisted, as at present, of township 113 north, range 19 west of 5th principal meridian.

SURFACE AND SOIL.

The surface of the town is moderately rolling. Formerly a large slough extended east and west, across the northern part of the town, but latterly it has become valuable hay land. Another large slough, in the southern part, has also dried sufficiently to have been converted into pasture and meadow. The township is watered by the Little Vermillion river. It rises in the northern part, flows north-east and crosses the north line of the township, about a half mile west of its north-east corner. A small branch rises near the south-east portion of section twelve, flows north-west and empties into the larger stream near the southwest corner of section one.

Another small stream rises in the southern part of section twenty. It flows south-east, crossing the township line about eighty rods west of the south-east corner of section thirty-four. It empties its waters into Chub creek, a mile below.

When the town was first settled, it contained three groves; one in the north-east part of the town, extending into Hampton, Empire and Vermillion. This consisted principally of oak, elm and ash timber, and was formerly known as Virginia grove. Another, in the western part of the town, called Poplar grove, was several hundred acres in extent. Aspen, with some elm, oak, ash and soft maple, comprised its principal woods. Little Poplar grove, in the southern part of the town, contained the same varieties of timber as those given above. These groves have been grubbed out to make way for farms until their former extent has been greatly reduced.

The soil in the west and north parts of the township is principally a black loam, with a clay sub-soil. It continues of the same character, nearly, in the south part also, with occasionally a gravelly knoll. In the central and eastern portions of the township, the sub-soil is principally gravel. In the south-west portion, the surface is quite rolling, with numerous sandy knolls. Occasionally sandstone crops out. A ridge extends north-east and south-west, through the central and eastern portions of the township, containing both sandstone and limestone, which crop out in places, the limestone forming the upper stratum. At various places, along the ridge, good stone quarries have been developed.

The principal crop raised in the town is wheat, although not to the exclusion of considerable quantities of corn and other cereals. Since 1858, Ditus Day has been experimenting with sorghum. He is satisfied, after his long experience, that the soil and climate of the county and state are well adapted to the culture of amber cane. He has erected a convenient building for the manufacture of syrup, and last year produced about four thousand gallons.

CASTLE ROCK.

The surface of the town is marked by a peculiar rock formation, whence originated the township name. It is a sand rock, though its dryness gives it the appearance of limestone. It is situated about a mile and a quarter east of Castle Rock station, near the center of section 32. Looking at it from the west, it appears to stand upon a slight elevation, while from the east it stands upon a rocky precipice about thirty feet in height. Measuring from the point at which the rock leaves the general level its dimensions are about twenty-five feet north and south, and about fifteen feet east and west. It holds nearly these proportions to a height of about twenty feet. At that distance, a spur, five feet in diameter, juts from the northern end of tile rock and rises to the height of another twenty feet. Toward the top it gradually tapers and altogether presents the appearance of a mediaeval castle. Whether the rock drifted here in the waters, long since, or is the remaining center of a lake-washed ridge, is a matter of speculation only. Hunters, traders, and early visitants of the county, long before its permanent settlement, left their names in this rock, while numerous tourists of a later day have been equally enthusiastic.

SETTLEMENT.

The first settler in the town was T. P. Brown, who came early in 1854, and made his claim in the south-west quarter of section 1. His wife was the first white woman in the town. He lived there for some years, but sold his claim and settled in Le Sueur county. He is still a resident there. His son-in-law, Benjamin Harriman, also came in with Mr. Brown and made a claim near him. He changed his location, once in the township, going a little north and west, and finally left the town for new fields. B. R. Morrison came not far from the same time and made a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, a mile long, east and west, being the south half of the north half of section one. Mr. Morrison, like his predecessors, soon departed further west. Two brothers, Dawson, were also early comers, but they eventually settled in Hampton. One of them was shot in the hay-field in 1855. He attempted to draw a loaded gun from the hay wagon, and received a wound which proved fatal a week later at his home in Hampton.

These parties were from Virginia, and bequeath that name to the grove, near which they settled.

J. B. Stevens was the next actual settler, and came to the township in June of 1854. He improved his claim and brought his family to it in November. Barney Stevens, his son is still a resident of the town. F. G. Stevens, another son is a resident of Farmington. Mr. Stevens settled in the north-east quarter of section 18, where he lived until he died. He was an enterprising man, and improved his early opportunities for the accumulation of a competence. On the death of Mrs. Stevens, the homestead passed into the hands of the youngest son Leonard J. Stevens, who committed suicide by shooting, March 22d, of the present year. His family still occupy the farm.

In the summer of 1854, Leonard Aldrich, with two others, Alfred Bliss and Horace Boyce, made a claim in the north-west quarter of section 20, where they harvested a crop of hay. They then returned to Red Rock, Washington county, where for some two years previous, they had resided.

Leonard Aldrich bore a prominent part in the affairs of the town. During the war, he raised a company of soldiers, and entered the field as their captain. After the war, he went to Lake Shetek, in Murray county, where he still lives, having served one term as county attorney, and several as county auditor. When Mr. Aldrich returned from Red Rock, which he did in February, 1855, he was accompanied by Alonzo Aldrich, Horace Boyce, Coleman Bennett, Samuel Harnden, Joseph Fowler and Alfred Bliss.

Alonzo Aldrich made his claim in the northeast quarter of section 19, where he still lives. Colonel Bennett settled in the south-west quarter of section 18, his land lying partly in Eureka. He remained here a few years, and is now a citizen of Hastings. Mr. Harnden staked a claim in the north-west quarter of section 19.

In 1867 he removed to his present place of residence, in section 8. Mr. Fowler settled in the north-west quarter of section 17. In the spring of 1855 he sold his land to Peter Ayotte, who still owns it. Mr. Fowler then went back to Red Rock, but returned in about a year and located eighty acres in the south-west quarter of section 3, where he still lives.

Horace Boyce made a claim, first, in the western part of the town, but soon sold it and located another in the north-east quarter of section 13. He soon sold this also, and left the town. The year 1855 saw quite an increase in the population. Joseph Harris came early in the spring of that year and located in the south-west quarter of section 17, where he lived until his death in 1869. William More settled on the southeast quarter of section 7, early in 1855, but located later on the south-west quarter of that section, where he still lives. Another settler of this year was George Tripp, who made a claim where he now lives, in the south-east quarter of section 33. Andrew Brout made his claim in the northeast quarter of that section, where he now has a farm of 240 acres. Eli Jones came the same year, but remained only a short time. B. H. Barnes located a claim in the spring of 1855, in the north-west quarter of section 18. After a few years he removed to New Brunswick, or Nova Scotia. John Waldon came the same year and located near the Pott's estate; after a few years, he settled in Rice county. Thomas Wilson also made a claim in the south-east quarter of section 25, where he lived several years. He then took up his residence in Northfield. H. D. Child and Henry Douglass were also comers of 1855. Child made his location in the south-west quarter of section 35, but it was 1857 before he settled there. Douglass took up the south-east quarter, really for T. C. Child, who settled upon it in 1857, and still holds it in his possession. Mr. Douglass made no real settlement in the town. David Harris came in the fall of 1855, and settled on his present farm in the north-east quarter of section 20. Alfred Bliss, who located on the south-east quarter of section 17, in the summer of 1851, sold this property the succeeding year to Ditus Day. He lived with Mr. Day some two years, and finally bought a home in the south-east quarter of section 29. About twelve years since he removed to Meeker county. Mr. Day still retains the original claim made by Bliss. Eli Chapel also came in the fall of 1855, and made his claim partly in sections 8 and 9. He lived on his claim until he was killed August 24th, 1861. While drawing grain from his field, he was thrown from his wagon and his neck dislocated. Edward Chapel came at the same time, and made a claim just south of Eli Chapel's. In 1862, however, he went to Cordora, Le Sueur county.

Warren Wilson and Morse McNutt, brothers-in-law, made claims also, in 1855. After about eight years Mr. Wilson removed to Stearns county; later he died at his home in Pope county. Morse McNutt remained only about a year, when He removed to Hastings. John McNutt, father of Morse, located in the north-west quarter of section twenty-five. In 1866 he removed to Pope county, where he died. When he came to the town, in July, 1856, he was accompanied by his son-in-law, Dr. T. C. Potts, who continued to live on the west half of the claim made by Mr. McNutt, after the latter's removal. Dr. Potts practiced medicine in the town until his death in 1863. His family now occupy the homestead.

Many other settlers came into the township in 1856, and its growth was considerably accelerated. In the spring of that year Calvin M. Rice arrived, with Luther Rice Jr., Nicholas Dubey, S. G. Odell, George Woodworth, P. J. Kamery, and Rev. William Sheldon. Mr. Rice made his claim in the north-east quarter of section 29, but after a few years went to Iowa. Luther Rice Jr. settled in section 30, but in 1869, removed to Hastings. Mr. Dubey located on the north-west quarter of section 29, where he died about ten years since. S. G. Odell located on the north-east quarter of section 15, though he has since exchanged a half of his original claim. George Woodworth settled in the south-west quarter of section 11. He has since added another quarter-section to his landby purchase. P. J. Kamery made his home in the north-west quarter of section 11, which he also has added to by purchase. Rev. Mr. Sheldon, after living several years on the south-west quarter of section 21, removed to Wisconsin.

Uriah, and his son L. R. Wellman came in the spring of 1856, Mr. Wellman senior, locating in section 6, where he died about four years since, and his son making a home in the town until 1862, when he entered the army. Jeremiah Sidwell also made a claim this year, in the north-east quarter of section 35. He sold a part of the claim to his brother, and is now a citizen of Indiana. A. P. Martin located in the south-east quarter of section 22, where he still remains. John Teachout came in the spring of this year and still lives on the south-east corner of section 9. A Mr. Vaughn also came in the spring and settled on section 3, but after three years returned to Ohio. Samuel Conkrite made a claim in section 11, where he lived until the breaking out of the war, when he sold his land and entered the field of war.

Seymour Foote, another settler of 1856, located on parts of sections three and ten. He soon bargained his claim to his brother, and is now in Ohio. Emanuel Stapf, took a claim in section two, and has extended it largely by purchase. Michael Miller, located, the same year, in the north-east quarter of section eleven, where he died not many years ago. Rev. Mr. Williams, a Presbyterian minister, made a claim in section five, during the summer of 1856, but never became a permanent settler. Isaac Rease came in the spring of 1856, and located a claim on the north-west quarter of section nine. He soon sold this to Eli Chapel, and returned to Massachusetts.

M. D. Green, settled in the township, in the spring of 1857, on the south-east quarter of section twenty-two, where he still resides. He was followed by still others, but they came so late compared with the early growth of the township that mention of their names is not essential.

During the settlement in the western part of the town, considerable feeling was aroused a various times by the "jumping of claims." Some hard words may have ensued, and possibly blows, but the troubles were not of a very serious nature.

Some German settlers also came into the township, at an early day, with a view of permanent location. But dissensions generated by claim jumping drove them elsewhere.

The first blacksmith shop in the town was put up by George Mosher, about 1858. It was situated on the south-east quarter of section eight. He did little business and maintained the shop only a few months. Mr. Mosher is at present a citizen of Northfield.

The first birth was that of Merritt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ayotte. He was born in June, 1856. He is still living with his parents on the homestead. Other births following were those of Willard, son of Leonard and Hannah B. Aldrich, born in September, 1856; and Harriet, daughter of David A. and Theodosia Harris, born October 1st, 1856, was the first female child born in the town. She is now the wife of C. G. Thyle.

The first death was that of Elizabeth Harris. She was about fourteen years old and a sister of Harriet, just mentioned. She died about the middle of October, 1855. About a week later, another daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harris died, and the two were buried on the farm. The family had been in the town but a few days, when these sad events occurred.

The first marriage in the town was that of Samuel Harnden and Lucy C. Stevens. They were married July 15th, 1856, at the house of the bride's parents. They were married by John Van Hoesen, justice of Hastings, and began house-keeping on the groom's claim in the northwest quarter of section 19. During the rebellion, Mr. Harnden entered the army, and returned with his regiment at the close of the war. Two years afterwards he bought a farm in the north-east quarter of section 29, where he still resides. His wife died about two years since. Six children were born to them, four of whom still survive.

Another early marriage was that of Barney Stevens and Miss Martha J. Stoddard April 12th, 1857, at the home of the bride's mother, Mrs. Thomas Smith. They began house-keeping on the groom's claim in the south-west quarter of section 8, where they still live. Mr. Stevens served nearly three years in the army during the rebellion. Nine of their eleven children still survive.

ORGANIZATION.

The first meeting for the organization of the town was held at the house of Leonard Aldrich, on section 20. The building where this important event took place was a cheap, frame structure, one story high, with a lean-to on one side. From seventy-five to eighty persons were present and about sixty votes were cast. At the precinct election in the autumn of 1857, some discussion arose on the subject of the name by which the town was to be known. Some thought it desirable to call it after the oldest man, when there arose the difficulty of discovering the individual bearing such distinguished honor. Before this point was settled, Peter Ayotte suggested the name of Castle Rock, which found immediate favor and was forthwith adopted. Action was taken upon the by-laws for the future regulation of the town, and the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: Leonard Aldrich, T. C. Child, L. R. Wellman, supervisors; C. M. Rice, clerk; Ariel Wellman, assessor; William More, collector; Ditus Day and T. P. Brown, justices of the peace; Wm. More and Geo. Woodworth, constables.

The supervisors met at the clerk's office June 2d, 1858, and divided the town into four road districts: No. 1 included sections 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, 36. No. 2: 1, 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24. No. 3: east half of 5, 8, 17, and all of 4, 9, 16, 19, 20, 21, 29, 30, 31, 32. No. 4: west half of 5, 8, 17, and all of 6, 7, 18. The overseers were George Tripp, of District No. 1; George Woodworth, of No. 2; Peter Ayotte, of No. 3; E. T. Barnum of No. 4. The annual meetings were held at the house of Leonard Aldrich until 1863, when the meeting was held at the house of Ditus Day. In 1864, the meeting was held at the school-house in what is now District 53, since which time all town meetings have been held at the school-houses.

The first justice in the present limits of the town was Joseph Harris. He was appointed late in 1855, or early in 1856, and served until his successor was elected in the fall of 1856. He had formerly for many years filled the same office in Ohio, and served as justice here with reluctance. However, the business in his office amounted to very little, as may be supposed, with the sparse settlement. He settled in the town in the spring of 1855, made his claim in the south-west quarter of section 17, but lived with his son on the northeast quarter of section 20 until he died September 30th, 1869, in the eightieth year of his age. He was buried in the cemetery belonging to the town on the east side of section 21.

Ditus Day has filled the office of town clerk continuously since the spring of 1859 to the present time, except the years 1868-'69, when he was a member of the board of county commissioners. The following is a copy of the minutes of a special meeting held January 16th, 1864, in accordance with a petition for the same.

"The meeting was called to order by the town clerk, and George D. Wheeler was chosen chairman. Motion by W. R. Henderson that we raise a bounty of one hundred dollars for each new volunteer, and fifty dollars to men already enlisted who have families, and who are not in possession of forty acres of land, and were married previous to the last call for volunteers. The motion was carried unanimously. It was moved and seconded that the bonds to be issued draw twelve per cent interest annually, and be made payable in one and two years. Motion carried."

Bonds to the amount of $1,100 were issued by the board at a session held January 21st, 1864. They were in denominations of fifty dollars each, and made payable one-half, April 1st, 1865, and one-half, April 1st, 1866.

Another special town meeting was held August 15th, 1864, in accordance with a petition from the people, for the purpose of acting upon the matter of raising money for the giving of a bounty of three hundred dollars to all who would enlist under the call of the president made July 18th, 1864, for 500,000 troops. It was agreed that the above-mentioned bounty be given to each man credited to the town, and bonds were issued at a subsequent meeting of the town board to the amount of $1,200 to meet the payments. These bonds were made payable in one, two, three and four years, with interest at twelve per cent per annum. Subsequently the tax levied upon the property belonging to those who were in the army was refunded to them by the town.

CENSUS AND VALUATION.

The census of 1880 gives the population of the town as 519; of the village, 119; total 708. The total valuation in 1860 was $95,109. In 1870, $229,750. In 1880, $404,133.

OFFICERS.

The following is a list of the principal town officers except the first, which have been already given, with the years of their service. The chairman of the board of supervisors is given first in the list for each year:

1859-T. B. Brown, chairman; B. H. Barnes, clerk.
1860-Eli Chapel, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1861-J. L. Thompson, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1862-W. E. Potts, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1863-W. H. Johnson, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1864-G. D. Wheeler, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1865-G. D. Wheeler, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1866-G. D. Wheeler, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1867-G. D. Wheeler, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1868-Edward Dampier, chairman; C. W. Watson, clerk.
1869-Edward Dampier, chairman; C. W. Watson, clerk.
1870-G. D. Wheeler, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1871-S.M. Slaight, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1872-B. R. Fellows, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1873-G. D. Wheeler, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1874-J. G. Woods, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk
1875-Alonzo Aldrich, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1876-S. G. Odell, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1877-Joseph Batson, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1878-Joseph Batson, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1879-H. E. Otte, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1880-E. D. Thompson, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.
1881-E. D. Thompson, chairman; Ditus Day, clerk.

SCHOOLS.

The first school taught in the town was organized in the district now known as district No. 53. A log building was erected for the purpose, which was 12x16 feet, and was located near the quarter post on the west side of section 17. During the winter of 1856-7, an Advent minister, by the name of William Sheldon, began the school and taught several weeks, but owing to the insubordination of some of the larger pupils, he resigned the position. Ditus Day was then hired to finish the term, which he did with such acceptance to the officers that they secured his services for the following winter.

The district at that time was very large and contained about forty scholars, which number was greatly increased a few years later. At the present time the number enrolled is only about the same as in the first school, owing to the division of the district. In the summer of 1857, the house was enlarged to twice its original size, and this building was used for two years, when it was torn down and a frame building was erected on the opposite side of the road and a little further south, principally through the efforts and by the generosity of J. B. Stevens and Eli Chapel. This was used a few years, when owing to the division of the district, it was moved about half a mile further north, on to the farm of J. B. Stevens, where it continued to be used until 1862, when the present house was built on the northwest corner of the north-east quarter of section 17. It is a frame structure, 18x26 feet, has patent seats, and a capacity for seating comfortably sixty scholars.

The second school was organized in what is now district number 55, and was taught by Miss Ball, during the autumn of 1858. The house, in size about 16x20 feet, was the first frame schoolhouse built with public money in the town, and was located in the north-west quarter of section 11. The district was divided a few years later, when the school-house was moved and located on the south side of the road near the centre of section 14, and became the property of district number 80. It was subsequently sold to the Baptist society for a parsonage, and moved to the northeast quarter of section 16, to the farm of A. A. Day, where it is still located. An addition was built, and it was used as a parsonage for two years, and still belongs to the society. District 55 now has a frame building about 18x24 feet, which is located in the south-west quarter of section 2. District number 80 has a good frame building about 18x24 feet, containing patent seats and a capacity for seating forty-five scholars.

The first school taught in district number 54, was in the summer of 1861, by Miss Cornelia Cummings, afterwards Mrs. Samuel Slaight. The school was opened in the rear room of the house of Leonard Aldrich in the north-west quarter of section 20. In 1866, the district erected a frame building about 18x26 feet, which has patent seats, and will accommodate comfortably fifty scholars. It is located on the north side of section 29.

District number 56 was the last district, but one, organized in the town. Their present house is of stone 18x24 feet, with patent seats, and a capacity for seating comfortably from thirty-five to forty scholars. District number 99, was the last organization in the town. Their house is a small frame building located at Castle Rock station. The town now has six entire and four joint districts.

CHURCHES.

The first religious services held in the town were conducted by the Rev. William Sheldon, an Adventist, at the house of Leonard Aldrich, in the spring of 1856. He continued them there, and then at various private residences, until the school-house was built in the district the following winter, when services were conducted there irregularly for a year. A church organization was then effected, and a series of nightly meetings were held for about three weeks, after which for a time services were held weekly at the schoolhouse and at private houses of the members. The meetings then became irregular and ceased altogether about the beginning of the rebellion.

During the winter of 1858, the Methodist denomination held services at the school-house in district 53, and at private houses, under the auspices of Rev. Charles Smith; J. O. Rich and others. Services were held once in two weeks, and were continued until about the close of the war, when they were conducted at Farmington. The Baptist denomination began holding services once in two weeks during the winter of 1858-59, under the preaching of Rev. J. F. Wilcox, at the private houses in the community. Services were also held in the school-house in district 53, and an organization was effected at the house of Leonard Aldrich, October 20th, 1861 by Rev. J. F. Wilcox and Rev. Lyon, with about a dozen members. After this services were held principally at the school-house, until the church was built, in the summer of 1874. It is a frame building about thirty-two feet by forty-four, with spire, is plainly furnished and will hold comfortably three hundred persons. It was dedicated October 25th, 1874, and the following Sabbath a Sabbath-school was organized, with A. A. Day as superintendent. It held regular sessions for over a year, then meetings were held at irregular intervals, and finally ceased altogether for a season, but were again renewed and are continued at the present time under the superintendency of George Woodworth.

March 6th, 1867, the Free Will Baptist denomination formed a church organization with eleven members, at the school-house in district No. 54. Previous to that time meetings had been held at that school-house, and in district No. 53, for about four years. The Rev. J. D. Batson has officiated as pastor from the beginning of the organization to the present time. The membership increased to fifty-two in 1878, when the church was divided and a new organization was formed, holding services at Haven Chapel in Sciota, near the line between the two towns of Sciota and Castle Rock, on the Northfield and Hastings road.

A German Evangelical church in section 2 was completed in 1866. One in section 20 was completed in 1876. These are the only complete church organizations which have existed in the town, although very early in its history Rev. Rounce, a Congregationalist, preached occasionally at the house of David Harris, and during the past year the Rev. Charles Rollitt, Episcopalian, has been holding services once a month at the school-house in district No. 80.

The first Sabbath-school organized in the town was during the summer of 1858, in David Harris' granary, with Ditus Day as superintendent, and a membership of thirty. It continued only through that season.

The Poplar Grove Union Sabbath school was organized during the summer of 1862 at the school-house in district No. 53. There were about forty-five pupils in attendance and William Fowler was superintendent. The first two years the school was conducted only during the summer, afterwards through the entire year. Its membership increased and it became a prosperous school, continuing to meet at the school-house until the autumn of 1874, when the Baptist church was dedicated and the sessions were transferred to that place.

The summer of 1866, a Sabbath school was organized at the school-house in district No. 54, as a Union school. During the first few years the school was conducted only through the summer, but has since been held throughout the year. The average attendance is about sixty, the superintendent is J. D. Batson. Other superintendents have been: Charles Livingston, B. R. Fellows, and Ditus Day. The other wing of the Free-Will Baptists hold their school in connection with the Methodists in Haven Chapel.

CEMETERY.

At the annual town meeting held April 7th, 1863, a committee was appointed to select a site for a public cemetery. A special meeting was held June 9th following, to act upon their report. The committee reported having selected six acres in the north-east corner of south-east quarter of section twenty-one, which could be purchased for five dollars per acre. The report of the committee was accepted, measures were taken to secure the ground, and a committee was appointed to prepare it for the purpose intended. A surveyor was employed, and the ground was laid out and fenced. A vault was constructed in 1872, at an expense of two hundred and fifty dollars. Upwards of a hundred interments have been made. Previous to the establishment of the cemetery, the dead were buried in different parts of the town, on the farms of relatives of the deceased. A number of these bodies have been removed and placed in the public cemetery.

PRAIRIE FLOWER GRANGE.

This was organized about 1874 as Prairie Flower Grange No. 120. It continued in operation several years, with a membership of about fifty.

POST OFFICES.

Vermillion post-office was established early in 1856, and Leonard Aldrich was appointed postmaster. He kept the office at his house on the north-west quarter of section twenty, for nearly two years, when R. J. Chewning was appointed and the office was moved to his place July 15th, 1858, and the name was changed to Castle Rock. In the following October, Ditus Day took charge of the office and held it until his resignation in 1866, when William Norris was appointed. He kept the office in his house on south-west quarter of section eighteen, about a year, then resigned, and Hugh Sullivan, on the next farm south, received the appointment. He kept the office until 1868, when it was moved to Castle Rock station, and Stillman Meeker appointed. The succeeding postmasters have been Royal Plummer, Matthew Meeker and H. J. Curtis, the present incumbent.

EAST CASTLE ROCK POST-OFFICE.

The name of this office was originally South Hampton, and was established about 1858, with Uriah Sherd as postmaster. He retained the office about seven years, at his house in the north-west quarter of section thirty, then Jesse Rice was appointed, and the office moved to his place in Castle Rock, in the south-west quarter of section thirty-six, with the name changed to East Castle Rock. He was succeeded by Leonard Johnson, and the office was located at his house in the south-west quarter of section thirty-six. He held the office until 1873, when T. C. Child, the present incumbent, was appointed and the office removed to his place in the south-east corner of section thirty-five.

RAILROAD AND ELEVATOR.

The Iowa and Minnesota division of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway extends across the township, running through all of the western tier of sections. Castle Rock elevator was built in 1866, at a cost of about $12,000 by W. F. Davidson, of St. Paul. In the fall of 1877, it was sold to Pratt and Robinson, of Faribault, and in August, 1879, became the property of Matthew Meeker.

CASTLE ROCK STATION.

In 1867, a station was established here, and the elevator built the year previous was used as a depot. Stillman Meeker was the first agent. Last year a fine building was erected for the purpose. The first store in town was built by Royal Plummer in 1868, and about a year later another was erected by Matthew Meeker. At the present time one general store, kept by W. J. Wheeler, furnishes the necessary supplies. In addition, there is one shoe shop by Hugh Sullivan, and one blacksmith shop, owned by James Badger. The first private house at the station was built by Stillman Meeker, which number is now increased to seven. The amount of grain handled in the elevator amounts to about 100,000 bushels annually. Steam was introduced about 1878.

There were shipped eastward from this station for the year ending June 30th, 1880: Wheat, 5,837 bushels; miscellaneous freight, thirteen tons. Westward, wheat, 2,758 bushels; other grain, 3,177 bushels; miscellaneous freight, 191 tons.
[History of Dakota County and the City of Hastings, by Edward D. Neill, North Star Publishing Co. Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1882, transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman] Return to top of page


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