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Dakota County Minnesota 
Genealogy and History

Hastings 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.


The city of Hastings is older than the town, but their history is of necessity much the same, and their present limits identical; or rather the city has usurped the boundaries of the town. The proprietorship of the town site has already been described in connection with the agreement of 1852.

August 7th, 1854, Alexander Faribault transferred his undivided one-fourth interest to Gen. W. G. Le Duc for $4,000; but the quit-claim deed embraced some other lands as well. Alexis and H. G. Bailly, H. H. Sibley and W. G. Le Duc, like other settlers, had no other title than that which their occupancy gave them until 1855. In this year, Andrew G. Chatfield, as judge of the county courts of Dakota county, entered the following lands in trust to the use and for the benefit of the occupants thereof according to their respective interests under the provisions of the act of congress, passed May 23d, 1844, and known as the townsite act. That entry included the following described lands: Lots 1 and 2, in section 22, lot 1, and the south-east quarter of north-east quarter and east half of south-east quarter of section 28, and lots 1, 2 and 8, and the south-west quarter of north-west quarter of section 27, in township 115 north, of range 17 west; containing in the aggregate, 310 22-100 acres. February 13th, 1855, a receipt was given for this land, at the United States land office, then established at Red Wing, to the amount of $387.77.

In further execution of the trust, Judge Chatfield deeded to the above proprietors, all the lands described above, except lots 2 and 8, in section 27, those lying on Lake Isabel, at its western extremity. The date of the instrument was July 5th, 1855, and the aggregate of the parcels of land was 252 15-100 acres. The lots omitted in the deed, but contained in the entry, he afterward deeded in trust under the statute to other parties for the benefit of the town proprietors. The lands embraced by the deed of 1855, included what was known previously as the "Olive Grove Claim."


Was originally surveyed by John Blakely in 1853. The original town was replatted at the order of the city council by L. L. L. Bassford, C. E., and certified to in February, 1867. Its limits were the Mississippi river and a short distance of the outlet of Lake Rebecca on the north, Eighth street on the south, Bailly street on the east, and the inner edge of a strip of land, two lots deep, extending beyond Forest street on the west.

These boundaries thus given for ordinary convenience included only about 160 acres. In the second plat of the town, certified to by John Blakely, June 22, 1854, the strip of land lying north of Lake Isabel, and extending to the present western limit of Barker's addition, appears as "Bailly's addition," a name of which it has since been deprived. This plat included lot 3, in section 27, which was not entered by Judge Chatfield, in trust for the town proprietors, but was entered by Bruno Paul, now a city charge, at the Red Wing land office April 27, 1855. This was doubtless done in the real interest of Alexis Bailly, since Paul sold the amount of the entry, 29 9-10 acres, to him on the following day.

In a plat of the town, made by Benjamin Densmore, and recorded July 21st, 1855, the east half of the south-east quarter of section 28, which was deeded to the proprietors by Judge Chatfield, as above, was included as a part of the town, in addition to the lands which were given a place in the previous plats. The remaining parcels of land, which at present constitute the platted city of Hastings, were attached from time to time as "additions," bearing various names.

The south-west quarter of section 27 was entered by Alexis P. Bailly, February 15, 1855. This he subsequently sold to the town proprietors, and among them to H. G. Bailly, his brother. These parties sold to others, either in whole or in part, and the following additions were laid out and recorded: H. G. Bailly's, June 21st, 1856; T. B. Tripp's, January 7th, 1857; W. C. Herndon's, April 4th, 1857. H. B. Hancock and Oliver D. Russel's sub-division of Bailly's addition, January 2, 1858.

The quarter section adjoining the above, on the south, was entered by W. H. H. Graham March 3, 1855, and embraced the upper falls of the Vermillion. Subsequently, Graham sold to W. G. Le Duc, and Le Duc's addition was recorded June 19, 1856. It contained not more than two-fifths of the quarter section, however, and was all on the north side of the river.

Vermillion, south of the river, was added to Hastings April 23, 1856, and Truax's addition to Vermillion May 21, 1858. Both these additions are contained in the 160 acres of land entered October 19th, 1855, by Abraham Truax, and lying in the south-west quarter of section 34. Belden and Young's addition was attached to Hastings April 30, 1857, and Young's addition May 4, 1857. They were both included in the eighty acres of the one hundred and sixty, in section 33, entered by Pliny Stowell February 13th, 1855, and which had been settled upon by him the year before.

Allison's addition was recorded February 28th, 1856, and Hancock, Thomas and Company's June 6th, 1856. These were included in eighty acres, or the west half of the south-east quarter of section 28, which, together with the eighty acres adjoining on the west, was entered by William E. Allison, October 17th and 18th, 1855.

Addition number thirteen was recorded February 18th, 1858. This comprised the "Farm Claim" mentioned in the agreement of 1852, but not included in the entry for, nor the deed to, the town proprietors in 1855. It was entered by Henry G. Bailly, October 31st, of the latter year, and was described as the west half of northeast quarter and east half of north-west quarter of section 28, township 115, range 17 west.

The eighty acres lying immediately west, and also included in the addition, was entered by Michael McAvoy, the first blacksmith of the town proper, and previously mentioned. Whether both of these last entries were made under any private understanding with the town proprietors or not, it appears that McAvoy sold to them, or to the "Hastings Company," as they were sometimes called, August 7th, 1855, the same day that he made the entry.

Mr. Bailly likewise made a similar transfer in the following November.

Edward D. Barker's addition, at the north-east extremity of Lake Isabel, was attached to Hastings April 5th, 1856. The original entry was made May 7th, 1855, by John Barker, father of Edward D., and included lot five of section twenty-seven, containing 32 98-100 acres. This "Barker's addition" was the scene of much "claim jumping," and the cause of much contention, and some legal difficulties, in the early days.

As early as 1850, G. W. Campbell states that he obtained a license from Governor Ramsey to trade with the Indians on this side of the river, Mr. Campbell then, as now, residing at Point Douglas. This license, he states, did not permit him to establish a regular post, but to carry on a miscellaneous trade. It was obtained, however, simply for the purpose of making a claim, which was staked out in the fall of 1850 and comprised eighty acres, including "Barker's addition," and extending beyond the "slough."

This "claim" Mr. Campbell sold to the Bailys' in 1852 for $200. E. F. Parker soon entered upon the scene, and reports that at that time the claim was in controversy between Dr. Foster and Alexis Bailly. Bruno Paul also became concerned as a champion of the Baillys, and after something of an interval of general dissension, the Barkers proved the successful claimants, and the addition was made in their name.

Mr. Campbell, in company with a Mr. Norris, afterwards interested himself again in this tract, and bought twenty-seven lots for $480, a speculation which, lie states, resulted profitably to himself and partner. The lots and blocks into which the original townsite had been platted, found a ready sale, and were deeded by the proprietors, jointly to the various purchasers.

December 5th, 1855, deeds of partition were also executed between the Bailly's, Sibley and Le Duc, so that each took and owned in severalty his particular parcels as divided by said deeds. All of the town proprietors lived to see the realization of their plans and indeed their hopes, with regard to their early speculation. Sibley and Le Duc, it is needless to state, are still living, widely honored, and widely known. The early settlers, with one accord, express grateful remembrances of them. And the city which they founded, still bears their names. The Bailly's, Alexis and Henry G., like all men of their class, imbued with the characteristics of a free and roving life, were rich to-day and poor to-morrow, as chance and change might dictate. They have left honorable memories, but no wealth and did well their part toward the upbuilding and development of this great northwestern empire.

There is something romantic in the career of such men. They seem appointed in their day, to be the connecting links between the white race and the red. They are instruments, operated by the keener instincts of the white, rather than actors; and in the compass and termination of their careers, there is something of that indescribable melancholy which attaches itself to even the remotest branches of the Indian family.


The board of county commissioners met at Kaposia, July 4th, 1853, and organized Hastings as one of the three election precincts of the county, with the following boundaries; all in the county east of a line beginning at Phillip's claim on the Mississippi, about a mile below Pine Bend, thence running due south to the county line. The first election was ordered at the house of Henry G. Bailly, or the Buckhorn, and the judges were John Blakeley, Dr. Foster and E. F. Parker.

Hastings precinct was made school district number three, though other districts were formed afterward, and was divided into road districts. The county board were the principal governing officers, while one, and afterwards, two justices of the peace preserved the majesty and dignity of the law. Edward F. Parker was the first justice, appointed in 1852, and William Felton was elected for 1854-'56, and John Van Hoesen, for 1856-'58.

The early justice trials were full of incident, and often ludicrous in the extreme. The assessor was another official of the precinct and John Bassett an early settler of Nininger, was the first whose name appears in the records. The taxable property of the precinct reported July 10th, 1854, was $23,292. April 9, 1856, other precincts being formed in the county, that of Hastings was reduced to 113 and 114, range 17 west, and all in the county of 114 and 115, range 16 west, and 115, range 17, with two tiers of sections on the east side of townships 114 and 115, range 19 west, except sections 25, 26, 35, and 36 of township 114, range 18 west.

The election was held at the school-house in Hastings, and John Whaley, G. Thorne and H. Sprague were the judges of the same. January 6th, 1857, the precinct was reduced to all in the county of 115, ranges 16 and 17 west; also, north half of 114, range 17 west, and all in in the county of north half of 114, range 16 west. The last modification of the Hastings precinct, which disappeared altogether the following year, was made June 18th, 1857. It then consisted of the same district, as formed, or was bounded by, the corporate limits of the city of Hastings, viz., all of 115, 17 west, except sections 18, 19, 30, 31, 25 and 36.
[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

Read another history of Hastings Township. (Published Earlier)

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