Dakota County Minnesota
NOTE: The following history is from an 1882 publication, the term "town" is sometimes used when referring to the township.
TOWNSHIP OF MENDOTA.
The township of Mendota, as designated by the county commissioners at their first meeting at Hastings, in April, 1858, comprised all that portion of townships 27 and 28 north, of range 23, west of the fourth principal meridian, lying within the boundaries of Dakota county. September 20th, 1858, the board of county commissioners set off the south half of township 27 as Montgomery, but not being satisfactory to the residents, the action was reconsidered, and the town lapsed to Mendota, whose boundaries remained unchanged until the winter of 1861, when the town of Eagan, consisting of township 27, range 23. Was formed by special act of legislature. Mendota, then contained all in the county of township 28.
In 1874, the city of St. Paul annexed the village of West St. Paul, which took from the town of Mendota the point of land along the river on the north, containing less than one section. The present boundaries are: On the north, the Mississippi river and the Sixth ward of the city of St. Paul; on the east, by the town of West St. Paul, Dakota county; on the south, by the town of Eagan; and on the west, by the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. The town contains seven whole and seven fractional sections, or an area of 6,700 acres of land.
The two great rivers forming its western and northern boundaries, with the sloughs extending from them into the land, furnish excellent drainage. There are several lakes in the town, the largest of which is Pickerel lake, lying in the northern part of the town, in section 13, so named from the fine pickerel with which its waters abound. Roger's lake is in section 26 and 35, and was originally called Martin's lake, after the first settler on the north-west quarter of section 35. In 1879, the lake was given its present name in honor of the oldest settler on its shores. Augusta lake, in the southern part of section 27, and extending into section 34, was named after a daughter of General Sibley. Lemay lake, in section 34, was named for C. Lemay, one of the oldest settlers of the county, who made his claim in 1849, and has since resided on it. There are also several small, unnamed lakes, in different portions of the township, furnishing a liberal supply of water for the use of stock and other purposes.
The surface of the township is rolling, and along the Mississippi river bluffy. In its original state it was covered with a growth of oak and maple timber. Along the Minnesota, extending back a distance of from eighty to 160 rods, the land is low and marshy, and can only be utilized in dry seasons, at which times large quantities of hay are procured.
The soil is a rich loam, with clay sub-soil. In the north and west the farmers are quite extensively engaged in market gardening, which their proximity to the city of St. Paul makes profitable. Many fine farms have been cleared from this rough, timbered country.
The northern and western portions of the town were within the limits of the original military reservation, and the first road built through the town was the military road built in 1849 by Major Dodd, and known as the "Dodd" road. This road has since been extended and improved.
The early settlement of the village of Mendota has already been recorded, and that of the town is so closely interwoven with it that little more can be said. Nearly all the pioneers in this town settled in the village first, and after the country west of the Mississippi river was thrown open to settlement made claims in the surrounding country and began farming. Hitherto, the principal business had been trading with the Indians. C. Lemay came to Mendota in 1849, and made a claim in section 34, which was the first claim located, back from the village. He built his house in 1852 and is still residing on his original claim.
E. Perron came in 1851, and the following year purchased the farm on which he now lives, of Peter Felix, who had pre-empted the claim. C. Conneyer pre-empted a claim in what is now Eagan, and in 1871, purchased his present farm of General Sibley. P. Martin pre-empted the D. Underwood farm in 1854. The Le Claire's made claims at an early date. S. C. Staples settled on section 13, in 1854. E. G. Rogers came to Minnesota in 1856, and purchased his present farm in section 35 in 1857. In 1851, Clement Vondell, who came to Mendota in 1848, settled on his present farm in sections 13 and 24, where he has since resided. The first few years after his arrival in Minnesota he was engaged in the pineries and in teaming for the government. Joseph Beaudet came from Canada in 1850 and to Mendota in 1852, and preempted the land where he now lives, adjoining the village on the north-east. In November, 1856, he platted about twenty-four acres as an addition to the village. Beaudet carries on the business of blacksmith and wagon-maker. Among the early settlers in the township were many who settled in what became the town of Eagan, and a sketch of them will be found in the history of that town.
The organization of the town of Mendota occurred May 4th, 1858, by the election of the following officers: Patrick Eagan, chairman, Michael Lynch and Joseph Vizena, supervisors; G. S. Whitman, clerk; Christopher Nugent, assessor; James Thomas and James McC Boal, justices of the peace; Hypolite Dupuis, overseer of poor. At a meeting of the board held May 29th, the town was divided into five road districts. Joseph Beaudet was appointed overseer of No. 1, Treffla Auge of No. 2, Thomas Kelley of Nos. 3 and 4 and Thomas Daily of No. 5. At a special meeting George Auge was appointed assessor in place of C. Nugent, removed.
At the annual meeting of 1859, ninety-three votes were cast. Patrick Eagan was elected chairman and Michael Lynch and Joseph Vizena, supervisors; G. S. Whitman, clerk. The amount collected by tax for 1859 was $958.78; amount paid for expenses, $1,018.95.
Annual meeting for 1860: H. J. Sheafer was elected chairman and Daniel Underwood and Michael Dupuis, supervisors; Phillip Crowley, clerk.
At the annual meeting of 1861, a tax of one and one-half mills was voted for schools, three mills for current expenses, and one-half mill for roads and bridges. Fifty-six votes were cast, and James McC. Boal was elected chairman and William Morrissey and Joseph Vizena, supervisors; P. Crowley, clerk.
At the annual meeting in 1862 a tax of three mills for town and one mill for roads was voted. Sixty-four votes were cast, and P. B. Thompson was elected chairman, Joseph Vizena and W. Morrissey, supervisors; P. Crowley, clerk.
At the annual meeting of 1863, a tax of there mills for current expenses and two mills for roads was voted. P. B. Thompson was elected chairman, W. Morrissey and Michael Lynch, supervisors; P. Crowley, clerk.
At the annual meeting in 1864 a tax of two and one-half mills for current expenses and two mills for roads was voted. James Thomas was elected chairman, W. Morrissey and H. E. Descorius, supervisors; P. Crowley, clerk.
In 1865, a tax of two mills for roads and two and one-half mills for town purposes was voted. Michael Lynch was elected chairman, Timothy Fee and Joseph Vizena, supervisors; P. Crowley, clerk.
In 1866, one and one-half mills for current expenses and one and one-half mills for roads were voted. W. Morrissey elected chairman, Timothy Fee and Eloi Parus, supervisors; P. Crowley, clerk.
In 1867, a tax of one and one-half mills was voted for current expenses. James Thomas was elected chairman, E. G. Rogers and W. Blair, supervisors; J. D. Rogers, clerk.
In 1868, a tax of two mills for current expenses and two and one-half mills for roads was voted. C. A. Stephens elected chairman, W. Morrissey and Cornelius Guiney, supervisors; T. T. Smith, clerk.
In 1870, a tax of seven mills for roads and bridges, and three for current expenses was voted, Cornelius Guiney elected chairman; T. T. Smith and Robert Holgate, supervisors; C. A. Stephens, clerk.
In 1872, four and one-half mills for town expenses was voted, Cornelius Guiney elected chairman; R. Holgate and T. T. Smith, supervisors; M. Lynch, clerk.
In 1872, a tax of two and one-half mills for current expenses was voted, M. Lynch elected chairman; C. Guiney and C. Lemay, supervisors; M. Scanlan clerk; C. Lemay resigned, and D. N. Bryant was appointed; M. Lynch appointed clerk in place of Scanlan, resigned.
In 1873, a tax of five mills for town and five for roads and bridges was voted, M. Lynch elected chairman; D. N. Bryant and T. Fee, supervisors; C. O. Sprague, clerk.
At the election of 1874, a tax of five mills for current expenses was voted, J. L. Lewis elected chairman; T. Fee and Charles Small, supervisors; T. Nealy, clerk; D. N. Bryant, justice.
In 1875, it was voted to raise $400 to pay on deposit, $300 for current expenses, and $500 for road and bridges, T. T. Smith elected chairman; C. Lemay and C. Small, supervisors; T. Nealy, clerk.
In 1876, it was voted to raise $200 for current expenses, T. T. Smith elected chairman; Charles small and D. Lemay, supervisors; D. N. Bryant, clerk.
In 1877, it was voted to apply $200 for town purposes and $100 for road and bridges, T. T. Smith was elected chairman, Charles Small and Edward Perron, supervisors; D. N. Bryant, clerk.
In 1878, it was voted to raise $130 for current expenses and $875 for roads; T. T. Smith elected chairman; C. Small and James Auge, supervisors; D. N. Bryant, clerk.
In 1879, it was voted to raise $150 for town purposes, Henry Dehrer elected chairman; Chas. Small and James Auge, supervisors; D. N. Bryant, clerk.
In 1880, voted to raise $180 for current expenses, Henry Dehrer elected chairman; James Auge and C. F. Staples, supervisors; D. N. Bryant, clerk.
In 1881, it was voted to raise $200 for current expenses, H. E. C. Dehrer elected chairman; C. F. Staples and James Auge, supervisors, D. N. Bryant, clerk.
School district No. 6 was composed of the whole of the town with portions of the adjoining town. The first school was taught by Lejendre, a Frenchman, in the old log church erected by Father Ravoux, in 1842. The district purchased of H. H. Sibley, the stone church which he erected in 1856, at an expense of $1,500. The present officers are Charles Small, director; James Auge, treasurer, and Michael Dupuis, clerk.
School district No. 5 was organized as No. 3, being set off from No. 6 in 1859, by the county commissioners, but was afterwards re-organized in 1862, and re-numbered. The first board of officers were S. C. Staples, director; J. W. McGrath, treasurer, and J. Truman, clerk. Phillip Crowley was the first teacher. The first school-house was built the same year of wood, 24x30, at an expense of $300, but has been re-modeled into a fine house. The present officers are C. F. Staples, director, Mr. McGrath, treasurer, and Clarence D. Pierce, clerk.
School district No. 91 was set off from 6, by an act of the legislature, approved March 6th, 1871. The district was organized April 6th, with the following board; E. G. Rogers, director; L. Trapp, treasurer, and R. Holgate, clerk. The school-house, of wood, 30x40 feet, at an expense of $400, was erected in time for the spring school, which was taught by Sarah Shelley. The present board are E. G. Rogers, director; H. E. C. Dehrer, treasurer, and John Roeller, clerk. The average attendance is about thirty- five scholars.
[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 Mendota Township. (Published Earlier)
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