Dakota County Minnesota
NOTE: The following history is from an 1882 publication, the term "town" is sometimes used when referring to the township.
The township is bounded on the north by Eagan and Burnsville, on the east by Rosemount, south by Lakeville, and Burnsville on the west, and is in the north-western part of the county.
Lake Farquhar, in the north-eastern part of the town, on section 24, is the largest sheet of water lying entirely within its boundaries. The shore is partly a clean sandy beach, and the water pure and clear, containing good fish. Surrounding Farquhar are numerous smaller ponds of more or less value, as they are surrounded by land more or less marshy or arable. Lake Alimagnet, a "V" shaped body, lies with the apex toward the north, just west of the boundary line between Lebanon and Burnsville. The arms extend south-east and south-west, the former entering Lebanon on sections twenty and twenty-nine. The nature of this lake is similar to that of Farquhar.
In the southern part of the town the soil is rich and productive, a prairie, black loam with a good clay sub-soil, from one and one-half to two feet beneath the surface. Large crops of all kinds of grain are produced in this neighborhood. North of this the surface is very broken and quite hilly, covered with a dense growth of small timber, mostly scrub oak. In early times this was covered with large, valuable oak timber, which has been entirely used up. This neighborhood is better adapted for grazing than for tillage. The extreme north-western part of the town is very sparsely settled, on account of the brokenness and sterility of the soil, the land being very hilly and rocky in nature. The hills are covered with a valueless growth of scrub oak and brush.
In the spring of 1855 a party of New England families consisting of L. Morse and wife, H. J. and Charles Verrill and wives, G. Wilson and wife, J. Babb, K. Wilson and one other gentleman started for Minnesota. Babb settled in Northfield and K. Wilson in Rosemount, while the rest of the party came to Lebanon and located.
Henry J. and Charles Verrill, each took a claim of one hundred and sixty acres. One of these was prairie land, the south-east quarter of section 26; and the other, timber, was situated in the north-west quarter of section 23. Henry J. Verrill built a log shanty 12x14 feet, one story high, on section 26, where he lived until 1857, when he erected the first frame house built in the town. This was a story and a half structure, 12x21 feet. Mr. Verrill has resided here since, and at present is engaged in meat business.
Charles Verrill built on the claim in the timber, a similar cabin, and in 1857 built a larger log house, 18x24 feet. After a few years residence in this abode he erected a concrete house, 24x36 feet, two stories high, and lived in it until his death. The place is now owned by John Gilman, who married Mrs. Verrill, some time after her husband's death.
L. Morse, taking the south-east quarter of section twenty-five, built a small log cabin, in which he lived a number of years. Selling his farm, for some time he lived in different parts of the township, and finally removed to Castle Rock.
G. Wilson, another of the party, located on the south-east quarter of section 35, taking one hundred and sixty acres, on which he built the common log cabin. The place is now owned by John Gilman.
In the fall of the same year L. Nason, also arrived, took one hundred and sixty acres in the south-west quarter of section 26, and built his log cabin. The place is now owned by S. Delaney and M. Farrell, each having eighty acres. Mr. Nason lives in Lakeville.
About the same time, James Ryan, who had had previously, in '53 or '54, settled in Eagan, removed to Lebanon, pre-empting one hundred and sixty acres in section fourteen, and after building a log claim shanty of the usual size, lived here a number of years. An anecdote related of Ryan, shows the method adapted by many pioneer settlers to procure homes in a new country. R. Farquhar had taken a claim of one hundred and sixty acres in the south-west quarter of section fourteen, in the fall of 1855. At the beginning of winter he went to St. Paul to work until the next spring. Soon after his departure, a party of ten or twelve Germans arrived, and forthwith determined to "jump" Farquhar's claim. They erected a shanty in the center of the land, and began preparations to make improvements. Ryan, and a number of friends of Farquhar, emphatically objected to this proceeding, and visited the new settlers to remonstrate with them. This was effectually done by tearing the shanty down and driving the Germans away. Among the spoils was found a large jug of whisky. With this the victors celebrated their achievement by frequent and generous draughts on the contents. When found the next morning Ryan's hands and feet were terribly frozen, necessitating the amputation of the former. He, however, recovered and was able to do more work on the farm than ordinary men, fastening the implements to the stumps by means of straps.
John Gilman came next, and took a claim in the south-west quarter of section 35. After building a shanty, he returned to St. Paul and lived there until 1859. That year he brought his family, and for several years lived on the farm. Selling this place, he removed to Rosemount where he now remains, having a fine large farm in that township. At the same time his father, Moses B. Gilman, pre-empted 160 acres, eighty in section 34 and eighty in tile town of Lakeville. After residing here about eight years, he returned to the state of New York.
J. B. Gilman, brother of Moses B., took a claim in Lakeville, where he resided ten years. Then, in 1865, came to Lebanon, where he has since resided.
In 1856, J. W. Reed and John Farquhar, brothers-in-law, arrived, each pre-empting 160 acres, one of prairie in Rosemount, on section 30, and the other timber land, in the south-west quarter of section 13, in Lebanon. On the latter piece, they erected together a one and one-half story frame house, 16x18 feet. A few years later, they divided their property, and soon after the division, Farquhar sold to Reed, who soon after erected a house in Rosemount, where he has since lived, Farquhar stopping with him for some time.
During the same year, a person by the name of Armstrong pre-empted 160 acres on the southeast quarter of section 13, though he never lived on it, and soon after sold to Graham.
M. Casey pre-empted a quarter section in 24, and built the regulation claim shanty, where he remained until 1860, then removed to another part of the town.
This year, B. Verrill made his appearance in Lebanon, and took a quarter on section 14, erected his cabin, and there lived about twelve years. George Verrill, who came in company with B. Verrill, pre-empted the north-west quarter of section 26, but lived with the latter for a time, then returned to Massachusetts, since making his home in that state.
William Pool took one hundred and sixty acres in section 22, built his shanty and resided on the place until 1862, then purchased the north-west quarter of section 34.
Thomas Scott came to the town the same year, 1856, took one hundred and sixty acres in section 27, and built a log house somewhat larger than the usual size, 18x25 feet. Here he resided until his death; since that event, the widow and her sons have conducted the farm.
B. R. James arrived in the fall of 1856, preempted a quarter in section 35, and built the usual sized log cabin.
G. C. Elliott pre-empted one hundred and sixty acres in the same section, and after a time sold out. The farm is now owned by S. Delaney. A man by the name of Akers, settled on section 25, but dying soon after the land was proved, and the patent secured by his widow. A cabin 12x18 feet was built, and after living in it a few years, Mrs. Akers sold to E. W. Felton. Mr. Praver settled on the north-west quarter of section 33, taking one hundred and sixty acres. After living for a time in his claim shanty; he removed to the place now owned by L. H. Shave.
Theodore Fish improved the south-east one hundred and sixty acres of section 15, and completed his log shanty, moved into it soon after. Here he resided a number of years, then disposed of the farm, which has passed into the hands of C. Byder.
In 1855, F. C. Carpenter located one hundred and sixty acres in the east half of section 29, on which he built a dwelling and resided until 1810, then removed to Eureka, the farm now being owned by J. McQuillan. The same time H. Potter arrived, locating and improving a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in the north-east quarter of section 32. After living on this place some time, he removed to Hastings, subsequently to Vermillion, where he now resides.
In 1857, J. T. Converse erected a dwelling and for a few years cultivated the north-west one hundred and sixty acres of section 32, then disposed of the place and moved away. A settler named McDonald, pre-empted and improved one hundred and sixty acres of land in the east half of the same section. The next year B. McDermott settled on the south-east quarter of section 33. H. Proctor who had previously bought an eighty acre tract in that section, soon after McDermott's arrival sold it to him. P. Conway settled on one hundred and sixty acres, taking an eighty in each of sections 21 and 22. By this time all the arable land in the township had been secured. The remainder in the north-western corner of the township, being worthless save for grazing and the timber.
At a meeting of the county commissioners held at Hastings, April 6th, 1858, Union township was created as follows:
All of township 115, range 21, west of the fifth principal meridian, also all that portion of township 27, range 24, west of the fourth principal meridian, within the county.
At a subsequent meeting of the board, held April 26th, the boundaries of Union were changed and the town of Lebanon created out of the east three-fourths of township 115 north, of range 20, west of the fifth principal meridian.
On the 11th day of May, 1858, the citizens met pursuant to notice, at the house of W. L. Hardick, situated on the southwest quarter of section 28, for the purpose of perfecting the organization of the township. H. J. Verrill was chosen temporary chairman, and H. Potter, moderator of the meeting, with F. C. Carpenter, clerk. They then proceeded to elect officers for the ensuing year with the following results: B. Verrill, chairman; B. M. James and C. R. Clough, supervisors; F. C. Clark, clerk; C. S. Verrill, treasurer; H. J. Verrill, assessor; W. Hardick and A. J. Elliott, constables; H. Potter and J. W. Reed, justices. The following is a list of the officers up to 1881:
* 1859. B. Verrill, J. Farquhar, J. T. Converse, supervisors; F. C. Carpenter, clerk; G. Wilson, treasurer; J. W. Reed, assessor; T. Nason, constable; H. Potter, D. Haines, justices.
* 1860. B. M. James, J. Farquhar, T. Stevenson, supervisors; James Thompson, clerk; G. L. Wilson, treasurer; J. T. Converse, assessor; J. W. Morse, A. A. Harker, constables; J. W. Reed, H. Potter, justices.
* 1861. D. Haines, J. Farquhar, A. R. Lester, supervisors; James Thompson, clerk; G. L. Wilson, treasurer; J. W. Reed, assessor; William Pool, constable; J. W. Reed, justice.
* 1862. F. C. Carpenter, J. Farquhar, J. T. Converse, supervisors; J. Elliott, clerk; A. B. Ives, treasurer; J. Gilman, assessor; A. A. Harker, P. Finerty, constables; H. Potter, A. R. Lester, justices.
* 1863. F. C. Carpenter, J. Converse, J. Farquhar, supervisors; John Gilman, clerk; C. S. Verrill, treasurer; J. Gilman, assessor; D. E. Haines, A. A. Harker, constables; H. Potter, A. R. Lester, justices.
* 1864. F. C. Carpenter, J. Farquhar, A. B. Ives, supervisors; J. Gilman, clerk; E. W. Felton, treasurer; H. J. Verrill, assessor; J. Potter, P. Finerty, constables; H. Potter, J. Thompson, justices.
* 1865. F. C. Carpenter, L. Nason, William Pool, supervisors; J. Thompson, clerk; S. Delaney, treasurer; A. B. Ives, assessor; J. Potter, P. Finerty, constables; H. Potter, J. Thompson, justices.
* 1866. F. C. Carpenter, William Pool, L. Nason, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk: E. W. Felton, treasurer; A. B. Ives, assessor; R. Farquhar, J. W. Morse, constables; P. T. Shave, William Pool, justices.
A special town meeting, April 24th, 1866, was necessary to elect town officers, in place of those who had failed to qualify, with the following result: P. Finerty, M. Farrell, supervisors; J. Casey, J. Scott, constables; J. Thompson, J. Ryan, justices.
* 1867. J. B. Gilman, M. Farrell, Jr., P. Finerty, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; E. W. Felton, treasurer; A. B. Ives, assessor; Henry Green, C. W. Stoddard, constables; E. Dunn, J. Scott, justices.
* 1868. J. B. Gilman, S. Parisee, M. Farrell, Jr., supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; E. W. Felton, treasurer; A. B. Ives, assessor; J. Scott, C. W. Stoddard, constables; J. W. McQuillan, E. Dunn, justices.
* 1869. E. W. Felton, M. Farrell, J. Thompson, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; S. Delaney, treasurer; D. Farrell, assessor; C. W. Stoddard, J. Scott, constables; M. H. Sullivan, M. Farrell, justices.
* 1870. E. W. Felton, M. Farrell, S. Finerty, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; S. Delaney, treasurer; M. Farrell, assessor; J. Hull, J. B. Gilman, constables; M. H. Sullivan, M. Farrell, justices.
* 1871. J. B. Gilman, E. Hogan, E. W. Felton, supervisors; E. Lambert, clerk; S. Delaney, treasurer; G. L. Wilson, assessor; J. B. Gilman, constable; M. H. Sullivan, M. Farrell, justices.
* 1872. J. Scott, L. Nason, A. B. Ives, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; J. B. Gilman, treasurer; T. Hogan, assessor; J. Hull, E. Lambert, constables; M. H. Sullivan and M. Farrell, justices.
* 1873. J. Butler, M. Farrell, J. Kennedy, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; J. B. Gilman, treasurer; M. Farrell, assessor; P. Ryan, constable; M. H. Sullivan, J. Thompson, justices.
* 1874. J. Butler, J. Kennedy, M. Farrell, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; T. Hogan, treasurer; M. Farrell, assessor; J. Scott, constable; M. H. Sullivan and J. Thompson, justices.
* 1875. J. L. Butler, J. Kennedy, M. Farrell, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; J. B. Gilman, treasurer; M. Farrell, assessor; F. Sing, C. M. Perkins, constables; M. H. Sullivan and J. Thompson, justices.
* 1876. J. B. Gilman, M. Farrell, J. Kelly, supervisors; M. H. Sullivan, clerk; J. B. Gilman, treasurer; J. Kennedy, assessor; M. Farrell, J. Thompson, constables; M. Farrell, J. Thompson, justices.
* 1877. H. Connoley, J. Scott, J. B. Gilman, supervisors; M. H Sullivan, clerk; J. B. Gilman, treasurer; M. Farrell, C. Perkins, constables; M. H. Sullivan, M. Farrell, justices.
* 1878. H. Connoley, J. B. Gilman, J. Kelly, supervisors; M. Farrell, clerk; J. B. Sullivan, treasurer; J. Kennedy, assessor; H. Connoley, constable; M. Farrell, J. B. Gilman, justices.
* 1879. H. Connoley, J. B. Gilman, J. Kelly, supervisors; M. Farrell, clerk; J. Kelly, treasurer; J. Kennedy, assessor; Wm. Scott, P. Ryan, constables; J. B. Gilman, justice.
* 1880. H. Connoley, J. B. Gilman, J. Kelly, supervisors; M. Farrell, clerk; J. Kelly, treasurer; J. Hemed, assessor; P. Ryan, constable; M. Farrell, J. B. Gilman, justices.
* 1881. H. Connoley, M. Milvey, J. B. Gilmnan, supervisors; M. Farrell, clerk; J. Kelly, treasurer; T. Hogan, assessor; H. Connoley, P. Dieson, constables; M. Farrell, J. B. Gilman, justices.
School was first taught in what is now district number 28, in a small log house on the south-west quarter of section 28 during this term, which lasted three months, the number attending frequently reached as high as thirty-five scholars. In 1857 lumber was procured from Hastings for the purpose of building a house. At that time the district was known as number 2, but by the board of county commissioners was changed to number seventeen. One-half an acre of ground was purchased in the north-east quarter of section 32. Money was procured and a frame structure 20x28 feet was erected, and did duty until 1865, when it was destroyed by fire. The present board of trustees are: J. Lester, director; J. Scott, clerk; P. L. Shave, treasurer.
School was first taught in district number 8 in the log house of Henry J. Verrill, on the southeast quarter of section 26. Miss Converse was the first teacher, her school lasting three months. In 1859 one-half an acre of land was donated by Charles Verrill, lumber was brought by the citizens from Nininger, money and work donated by the citizens and a house 16x24 feet was erected. The officers of the district are: D. Sullivan, director; J. B. Gilman, clerk; S. Delaney, treasurer.
The first services held in the town were conducted in 1857 at the house of H. Potter in the north-east quarter of section 32, by Lorenzo Brown. The next year Revs. Elliott and Williams, Free-will Baptists, held services at the residence of B. R. James. Previous, and as early as 1855, services had been held at the house of Dr. Knight in Rosemount. In 1859, the schoolhouse of district number eighteen was used by all classes. A church was built in Rosemount by the two towns of Rosemount and Lebanon. This is now used principally by the Methodists.
December 5th, 1863, a meeting of the citizens was held to organize a cemetery association. The following were the officers elected: J. Farquhar, chairman; J. Thompson, secretary; H. J. Verrill, J. Gilman, H. Potter, J. Thompson, E. Knight, trustees; J. Gilman, treasurer. The corporate name of Lebanon Cemetery Association was adopted. Two acres in the north-west quarter of section 36 were purchased of J. T. Converse, and surveyed and platted by D. F. Akin in 1863. There are now about fifty graves in the enclosure. The officers are the same as elected at the organization. Of late years no meetings have been held.
The growth of Lebanon has been gradual and permanent. The township has been remarkably free from the spasmodic and unnatural semblance of prosperity, which marks the career of many of our western townships. No would-be founder of a great metropolis has left his finger marks in the record of abandoned plats of villages within its boundaries. The population of the township is two hundred and fifty-two. In 1860, the total valuation of property was $24,012; in 1870, $70,475; and in 1880, $116,810. The first child born was that of Mr. Chillicotte, in 1856. The first marriage. G. Elliott to Dora Morse, occurred in 1857.
[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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