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Mower County, Minnesota

 


Early History and County Organization


[Source: "History of Mower County, Minnesota : together with sketches of its towns, villages, and townships, ..." Mandatory, Minn.: Free Press Pub. House, 1884 -- BZ -- Contributed to Genealogy Trails by Friends for Free Genealogy]

THE BEGINNING
To the readers of local history the chapter relating to the early settlement, the first events and beginning of the history of a country, is of general interest. Especially is this the case with pioneers themselves; those who have witnessed the changes that have been made; who have seen a trackless wilderness or prairie transformed into a beautiful country and filled with an enterprising and happy people. He reads here, slowly and critically, every word recalling memories of the past, which for a generation have been buried among a host of recollections which now arise before him like a dream. His old associations, the deeds, the trials and battles against hunger and cold, while settlers were few and far between, and wolves howled about the little log cabin, sending a chill to his heart; and the wind driving the sifting snow through the crevices—all arise now vividly before him. Often it is with pleasure he can re-call these recollections, viewing with satisfaction the thought that he lived through it all to see a thrifty and wealthy laud, dotted with school houses and churches, and villages and cities. But again it will be with sadness that the past is recalled, as thoughts spring up of the dark and painful side of weary days.

How a wife, whose virtues, bravery and simplicity will always be remembered, or a child, prattling in its innocence being called from earth to its eternal home, was laid away under the cruel sod in solemn quietude, by the rough and tender hands of hardy pioneers. Time had partially allayed the sting, but the wound is now uncovered by the allusion to days gone by, and the cases are not a few, where a tear of bitterness and sadness will course down the cheek in honor of the memory of those who have departed.

Notwithstanding the many disadvantages, and even sorrows attendant upon the first steps of civilization, and the adversities to be encountered, the pioneers led a happy life. The absence of the aristocratic and domineering power of wealth and position must have been a source of comfort and satisfaction. Merit alone insured equality, and this could not be suppressed by tradition. The brotherhood of man was illustrated in a sincere and practical way, and hospitality was not considered so much of a christian trait as a duty to humanity.

EARLY SETTLEMENT
To the reader of local history this chapter is of general interest, but to the pioneer, himself, it is more. Here he sees himself and friends and neighbors, as in the dim past they first sought out these western wilds and fought for existence in the wilderness. See him as he takes the book in hand, slowly, critically poring over every word, recalling in his mind the pictures of a vanished past at the mention of some well known name, or smiling as recollection brings back some ludicrous adventure of the early days. His old associations, the trials and tribulations, the battles against hunger and cold, while the settlers were yet scattered almost a day's journey apart. All these rise up before him as he reads. Even now in memory, he hears the wind blow around the humble cabin home that first sheltered him from the storms, and he hears the wolves howl as they did in the days of yore. The picture of the past rises up vividly before him, and he once more rejoices in the pride of his youth and young manhood. Then again, he thinks, how, through his own efforts this land has been subdued from a howling wilderness to a garden spot of luxury and beauty, with villages and cities springing up here and there, throughout the domain of the county.

But, perchance, the brow will cloud and the eye dim as memory's "mystic voice recalls the dark and painful side of those earlier experiences.' The loved wife of his bosom fading slowly away before the breath of that dread destroyer or some prattling babe, the joy and pet of the father and mother, laid away under the wild tough sod, in solemn silence, by the hands of sympathizing neighbors. Time has closed these wounds, but to-day, as memory is fast unlocking the chambers of the past quarter of a century, within his mind, the silent tear will steal its way to the surface, and drop as a tribute to the loved and lost of that bye gone time.

Notwithstanding the cares and adventures that clustered round the humble cabin door of the pioneer, these first settlers- "took solid comfort" Here all were free and equal, and the absence of the restraining presence of wealth and position was to him a source of comfort and satisfaction. The rough hospitality, the hearty feeling of common brother-hood among these early vanguards of civilization were the spontaneous overflow of hearts full of regard for humanity, and was practiced more than from the teaching of Christian duty.

The following well written lines will find place in the hearts and minds of many a pioneer of Mower county, in common with others of the commonwealth of Minnesota.

"Thirty Years Ago, My State."

Thirty years ago, my State,
You were fair—yes, very fair;
There were no furrows on your brow,
No silver in your hair.
The blush of early womanhood
Was on your rounded cheek,
The wild flowers on your bosom
Exhaled their fragrance sweet.
The wild birds woke your morning
And the rivers lonesome flow,
Pang vespers at the oven'
Sweet vespers, soft and low.
And through the many gathering shadows
Of those thirty years ago,
A mirage of green shadows
Will ever come and go.

Dear was the old log cabin.
Down by the river side,
'Hound it we children romped,
In it the baby died.
Narrow were its windows,
but they let the sunshine in
Through curtains of wild roses.
That climbed and shaded them..

Through those narrow little windows,
We watched the springtime come,
As she decked the fields of winter
With blessed green and flowery bloom.
Watched the bright and golden summer,
Her sunset fair and cloudless sky,
Watched the solemn; mellow autumn,
Watched the wild flowers droop and die.

Watched the fires of the prairie
Light their beacons in the night;
Watched the wild birds in spring time;
Watched them southward in their flight;
Watched the morning spread with glory
The hills and dales with molten gold;
Watched the silvery, dreamy twilight
Wrap the night in hallowed fold.

Rude and homely was the cabin.
Beauty did not deck its hearth;
But the kettle sung a home, song.
And the birch logs crackled mirth.
Its chambers were not high and spacious.
No marble stairway led lo them,
But Oh! for a night of boyhood.
To climb the ladder once again.

The cabin sleeps in ruins,
The Ivy from the roof has fled,
The mould is its only monument.
All but memories sweet are dead.
And as the years around us gather,
At life's end and eventide,
We'll think then of the cabin
Down by the river side.

There were days of gloom and darkness.
Nights of dark and dread,
Through the shadows of the years gone
With joys and smiles are spread.
For backward as our thoughts wander
For those good old byegone days,
Our hearts are filled with pleasure
Our souls are tuned with praise.

To learn with any degree of accuracy the first actual settler of a locality that has been settled for a generation, is a more difficult task than would be imagined by the reader. There is only one rule which can be adopted, and that is to state the arrivals in the order in which they came, giving the dates as stated by reliable parties—those who are most likely to be cognizant of the facts and the reader can judge for himself. For years past there has. been controversy and difference of opinion over the question as to who was really the first settler in Mower county. The historian does not dispute a single claim, but presents the claims of each with the date of settlement. The matter was submitted to the general committee appointed by the Old Settlers' Society for the revision of the history, and they decided that full credence should be given the statements of the settlers themselves, as there was no way of proving or disproving the claims. This committee was made up entirely of old settlers, and they decided that the matter of early settlement as presented in this chapter, was correct.

According to the dates given the historian the first to locate within the territory now comprising Mower county, with a view to secure a permanent home, was the McQuillan party. Jacob McQuillan, Sr., and his son Jacob, Jr., natives of Ohio, came with their families from Ohio, in July, 1852, and settled on section 1, township 103, range 14. This land is now included in Racine township. They were accompanied by Adam Zadyger, a son-in-law of the old gentleman. They made the greater part of the journey from Ohio, overland, bringing their household goods with them. They arrived at their destination July 4th, and camped by a beautiful spring, now known as the Hamilton spring. Before unhitching his team, Mr. McQuillan nailed their coffee mill to a tree. He had at that lime nine children. They lived in the wagons until he could erect a cabin of round poplar logs. There were two springs, ten rods apart Jacob McQuillan Sr., claimed the west spring, and the son, Jacob Jr., claimed the east spring. The land was not surveyed at that time, and the old gentleman agreed with his son that he was to have the west spring, and the land west of it; while the young man was to have the land east of the spring. When the land was surveyed the line between Mower and Fillmore counties was established a few rods east of the spring, and in 1854, a man named Booth pre-empted the quarter section that young McQuillan had claimed. This created trouble, and a force of McQuillan's friends congregated, well armed, to put the intruder out of the way. Booth's friends gathered to meet the opposition, and 40 of them spent the night at the hotel in Hamilton. McQuillan's friends sent an advance guard, which was met by a few of Booth's friends, near Hamilton. When the former's friends found that Booth was prepared to meet them and defend this claim, they soon dispersed. This place was in litigation for some time, and financially ruined both the old man McQuillan and his son, and Booth kept possession. The land in question laid just over the line in Fillmore county, and included the site of Hamilton.

Jacob McQuillan occupied his Mower county claim one year, then removed to Fillmore county. Mr. Corey lived on the claim one year, when McQuillan sold it and entered land in Fillmore county where he improved a farm and lived until after the war. When he was 73 years of age he separated from his third wife and returned to Ohio, where he died soon afterward. He was a powerful man, with an iron constitution ; very kind, hospitable, and well liked generally, although he was uneducated, and uncouth in his manners—a veritable pioneer.

In March, 1853, the next settlement was made by Thomas W. Corey, a native of Massachusetts, who came from Illinois, overland, by way of Davenport and Decorah. He settled on the McQuillan claim, and erected a log cabin 18x20 in which he often entertained travelers. This was on the road from Decorah to Mantorville. The charge was usually 40 cents for two meals and lodging. Their post office and trading point for two years was Decorah. Mr. Corey lived upon the claim for about one year, then moved just across the line into Fillmore county. Eighteen months later he removed lo the village of Hamilton, and erected the first hotel there. In 1880 he removed to Tennessee, where he died in 1882.

From this date forward for several years the main settlements were made along the streams in the eastern and western parts of the county. The following comprised about all of the settlers who came in during 1853 :

Lansing Township—Hunter Clark.
LeRoy Township—John Van Hougton, George Squires, Moses Niler, J. S. Priest, Isaac Armstrong.
Lyle Township—Mr. Woodbury.
1854—Nevada Township—William Allen, Thove Oleson, Andrew Anderson, Peter Martin, Ole Anderson, Knude Anderson Quoile, Asleck Oleson, Tron Richardson, Ole Sampson, Swan Gorganson, Hans Swenson.
LeRoy Township—Fayette Lincoln, Geo. Britt, Samuel Bacon, W. Vergerson, Palmer H. Stevens, James W. Prentice.
Lyle Township—Orland Wilder, James and Return Foster, John Tifft, Eben Merry.
Lansing Township—Samuel Clayton, John Pettibone, N. G. Perry, Samuel Dixon, A. B. Blackmail.
Austin Township—D. J. Tubbs, Austin Nichols, D. L. Chandelor, C. G. Powers, and C. Leverich.

From this time on settlement was made rapidly. For full account of those who came in prior to i860, and some who came subsequently, see the respective township histories, in which such settlements were made.

If any omissions are noticeable to the familiar reader of this work, it will be remem-bered that great care has been exercised by the historian to obtain all, however some may have been overlooked by the old settlers who informed the historian.

COUNTY BUILDINGS.
In March 1857, the County Hoard of Commissioners engaged the office of A. S. Everest, in Austin, to be used as county seat headquarters. The Register of Deeds officed there and this was the place for holding the meetings of the Board of Commissioners. This and other small office rooms served for county seat buildings until the fall of 1868, when a Court House was completed, through an act of the Board of Commissioners of April 9th, 1868. At this meeting bids were received for the erection of a county building, and D. J. Tubbs being the lowest bidder, the contract was awarded to him in the sum of $6,450. A building committee was appointed consisting of Messrs. Beech, Stimson and Bishop. The building was to be completed by September 5, 1868. This was a two-story brick structure and was located on the corner of Main and Maple streets, opposite the present beautifully located public square. This building served the county well until 1881, when it was the will of the people that a new, larger and better Court House be provided the rapidly progressing county. In accordance with this manifest wish, the Board of County Commissioners commenced laying plans to erect more spacious quarters. At a meeting of the Board of Commissioners, held March 29, 1881, block 13—the old public square, owned by various parties, was purchased for the total sum of $1935.00. A building committee was then appointed, which consisted of Oscar Ayers, O. C. La Bar and W. B. Mitson. Bids were solicited for constructing the basement of the contemplated Court House.'

Dwyer & Mehan $10,511.15
Thomas McCall. $10,000.00
H. J. Anderson. $ 9,694.00
D. J. Tubbs $ 9,200.00

Mr. Tubbs being the lowest bidder, was awarded the contract and effected the work in a very satisfactory manner. H.J. Anderson was appointed as superintendent of construction, and received for his services $30 per week.

The building committee took much pains to become thoroughly conversant with the various kinds of architecture, making trips to Milwaukee, St Paul, Minneapolis and other points, to view and study into the plans of such building and finally engaged the services of W. H. Dennis, of Minneapolis, as their architect and designer. June 14th, 1882, the contract for erecting the super-structure was awarded to Snow & Allsip of Chicago. Mr. Snow was the Solomon Snow whose name appears throughout this history, as one of the early residents of Mower county. The amount called for in this contract was $52,291. The work of construction went on, and the building was completed and first occupied in the month of March 1884. Their court house is the just pride of the populace of Austin and Mower county. Its high, symmetrical dome towers up 170 feet from the base, and is indeed an index finger pointing the stranger and passer-by to a people of thrift, energy, and public spirit. The view from the dome of this building, as one looks out over the fine farming lands of the county, is a charming sight to behold.

A more massive and artistically designed structure does not stand in any part of Minnesota. The basement is of "half cut" lime stone, including the two wide stairways which lead to the entrance, from the cast and west sides of the building. The building proper, is of pressed St. Louis brick, red brick, with beautiful stone trimmed window and door caps. The roof is slated and neatly painted. The interior is more elegant, in its finish, if possible, than the exterior. The main hallway of the first floor, is paved with differently colored stone; the wood work is oiled oak, which is of the most expensive and substantial material used in modern construction. The desks and other office furniture are made of clear grained red cherry, the appearance of which is decidedly fine. Mower county can boast of what but few other counties in the State can ; that while she possesses one of the most magnificent court houses in Minnesota, that she "owes no man anything" This is due solely to the fact that good and efficient men have been placed in office, and that they have not abused their office in becoming slack or corrupt, but have ever labored to enhance the best interests of the county, even as they would have done with their own funds. About seven years before the completion of the new court house, the Hoard of County Commissioners began to store away a fund for that purpose, by levying a light tax each year, thus the tax payers were not burthened by a heavy tax any one year, or compelled to pay interest on a large bonded indebtedness, as most counties have dune, in this and other States. No small credit is due to the enterprise and public spirit of the city of Austin, who taxed herself to the amount of $6000 as an aid toward erecting the court house. The total cost of the building, lots, and heating apparatus,, was, in round numbers $67,900, divided about as follows: $61,500 for building; $1,925 for grounds; and $4,500 for furniture and fixtures. After de-ducting the $6000 paid by the city of Austin, the cost to the people of Mower county, was about $61,916.

The new court house was fittingly dedicated by the formal opening of the first session of court within its walls. Judge J. Q. Farmer, in his eloquent charge to the Grand Jury, spoke as follows:

Gentlemen of the Grand Jury: —You have been subpoenaed from the several towns of this county to serve as Grand Jurors at this term of the court to aid in the administration of the criminal law of this State. As good American citizens, either by birth or by adoption, selected by lot from the various trades, professions, employments, and avocations of business life, and belonging to the different social and political societies, you have a common interest and purpose to faithfully discharge the duties of our temporary office.

You have convened upon neutral, may I not say sacred ground, in this new and beautiful court house, erected by the people of Mower county as a seat of Justice.

This capacious and magnificent temple which we are about to occupy for the first lime, bespeaks in terms stronger than human language, the faith, the dependence and veneration with which the impartial Goddess of Justice is held by the people of Mower county. The people in furnishing the means have only been equaled by the economy of the county commissioners in the expenditure of the same.

The mind that conceived and planned, as well as the dextrous hands that executed this model of stability, utility, and beauty, are entitled to great praise. I will attempt no eulogium of this beautiful structure, or its authors, for vocal language is tame compared with the silent language of the artist. Suffice it to say that this noble edifice seems to happily combine all the strength, durability, convenience, beauty and grandeur of modern architecture. It is common property. Every citizen of Mower county has an interest in it, and the State should be proud of a people who are so patriotic and devoted to the government as to willingly contribute so liberally to one of its departments. The powers of our State government are divided into three distinct departments: Legislative, Executive and Judicial. The Judicial department is the sheet anchor to the ship of State, and so long as it is firmly imbedded in the fundamental rock of honesty, truth and intelligence, the people may rest assured of their rights and liberties. It comes closer home to them than to other departments of power. They look to it not only to protect their person and property from the encroachment of individuals, but from the encroachments of legislative and executive departments of the State.

The Executive may be partisan and partial, the Legislative may be corrupt. Yet.if the Judicial department remains firm and steadfast, and administers impartially and faithfully, under the constitution, the individual rights will remain comparatively safe. The jury, both Grand and Petit, form an important factor in this department, capable of adding to or detracting from its integrity and good character, and without their favorable or harmonious action no court can do full and complete justice.

I firmly believe the stability and prosperity of our government, in a great measure, depends upon maintaining an enlightened, honest, industrious, faithful and impartial judiciary. In the erection of this beautiful court house, the people of Mower county acknowledge their faith and confidence in the judiciary of the State, and as we are about to dedicate it by actual use to the noble purposes for which it has been built, may we entertain and express a hope in behalf of the people, that this Bench will ever be occupied by an honest, wise and impartial Judge, and those jury boxes ever filled with discreet and fair minded jurymen, and that the bar represented by gentlemen learned in the law, honest and truthful, faithful to their clients, respectful to the Court, courteous to one another, and zealous advocates of right and justice. And may we further entertain and express the hope that justice may be so administered at this court, that all people, whether weak or strong, rich or poor, high or low, will approach this bar on a common level, with the fullest confidence that their rights will be protected and their wrongs redressed according to the law and the facts of their respective cases. I am happy to inform you that crime appears to be on the decrease in your county, and the prospect is that your duties will not be very great, complicated or protracted. But it is important that you should enter upon the discharge of your duties in the right spirit and frame of mind, divested of all feelings of prejudice or ill-will, love or partiality, fully resolved to diligently inquire after the truth and boldly act upon the facts as they shall appear to you from the evidence, and impartially apply the same to the law as you shall find the same in the statutes of the State; bearing in mind that the responsibility of deciding who shall be prosecuted at this term of court, for the commission of crimes, rests entirely with you.

THE POOR FARM.
One of the marked evidences that America is made of the most liberal minded, charitable and philanthropic people of any on the globe, is a knowledge of the system and perfect working of her humane institutions. No county has better regulations concerning its prisons, asylums and various hospitals than ours. While our laws are, in the main, rigid, we care for our prisoners as though they were men and not beasts. They are clothed, fed and cared for in a humane manner. The way in which we care for our unfortunate poor and poverty-stricken sick, is indeed a credit to our people and our Republican form of government. And year by year, better methods axe coming to obtain. No part of the United States affords a better example ct this, than in the institutions of Minnesota. Great has been the improvement regarding these things, even in the last twenty years, since the plan of supporting a poor farm has come into general practice. White "there is no place like home," it is a happy thought, that, if perchance we become subjects of some calamity and by it all our means for support is taken from us, we are not left to suffer for the necessary care our existence requires. Our people are taxed to support such unfortunates and they do not do it begrudgingly either, but rather deem it a pleasure.

Prior to 1868 the paupers of Mower county were cared for by some of the citizens, who were paid by the county. At that date a farm was purchased by the county in LeRoy township and fitted up for this purpose. April 16, 1868, the Board of County Commissioners, purchased seventy-five acres of land on the northwest quarter of section 28, township 101, range 14, of Daniel Caswell and wife, for the sum of $1,500; and also eighty acres of W. Hays for $1,840. This constituted the first poor farm in the county. Proper improvements were made and the poor were cared for, at that place until 1876, when it was deemed best to exchange this property for the present poor farm, which is located on the northeast quarter of section 31, township 103, range 18, which is in the township of Lansing, and is about three miles distant from the city of Austin. This place was bought (or traded for) of John S. Lacy and wife February 11, 1876. This farm comprises 160 acres, which is an excellent piece of land and now contains very good improvements, including all necessary buildings. It has been in charge of a trusty over-seer, whose salary in 1884, was $350 and expenses per annum.' At the present time the institution is nearly, if not quite, self sustaining. The place is well stocked and is tilled in the most profitable manner.

TERRITORIAL ACTION.
The county was named in honor of John E. Mower, an early member of the Legislature. Until the year 1853 the county was included within the limits of what were then termed Dakota and Wabashaw counties. These two counties embraced all the territory lying south of town 115, and as far west as the Missouri river. The boundary line between the two counties ran about one mile west of Austin. These counties in 1853 were divided into twelve smaller ones, and Mower county was included within the bounds of Rice county.

In February, 1885, the limits of Mower county were defined by the legislature. It is bounded on the north by Olmsted and Dodge counties; on the west by Freeborn county; on the south by the Iowa State line; on the east by Fillmore county. It included towns 101, 102, 103, 104, ranges 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18, west of 5th principal meridian, except sections 1 to 6 inclusive, in town 104, ranges 14 and 15, which were cut off and annexed to Olmsted county, through the influence of J. M. Berry a member of the legislature; May 22, 1857.

It contains in all 453120 acres, or 708 square miles. The surface is generally undulating prairie interspersed with timber along the borders of the streams. The congressional survey of these lands was made in 1853-4.

ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNTY.
On the first of March, 1856, Governor Gorman, agreeable to an act of the legislature, appointed George White, Phillip Howell and William Russell, as a temporary Board of County Commissioners for said county, with full power to do and perform all acts and duties devolving upon officials in that capacity; also with power to locate, temporarily, the county seat.

These commissioners met on the 7th day of April, 1856, in the village of Frankford, and proceeded to appoint the various county officers, as follows: Register of Deeds and Clerk of the Board of Commissioners, Timothy M. Chapman; Treasurer, Lewis Patchen; Probate Judge, C. J. Felch; Surveyor, Moses Armstrong; Sheriff, G. W. Sherman. These are the only officers for which appointments were then made. At this same meeting the commissioners proceeded to divide the county into three election precincts, as follows:

High Forest precinct, township 104, ranges 14,15 and 16, were set off and duly established, with John Robinson as assessor; Thomas H. Armstrong, Justice of the Peace; Orson Lyon, Constable.

Frankford precinct included township 101, 102 and 103, ranges 14,15 and 16. George Hunt was chosen Assessor; David D. Frazier, Justice of the Peace; John W. Farquer, Constable.

Austin precinct was composed of townships 101, 102, 103 and 104, ranges 17 and 18. Washington Mason was appointed Assessor in this precinct; Sylvester Smith, Justice of the Peace; Charles Ferris, Constable; J. B. Yates, Road Supervisor.

Each of the above precincts composed but one road district. At a later meeting of the board, held sometime in July, they established two additional precincts—Le Roy and Red Rock. The former name"d was composed of township 101, range 14. In this division Samuel P. Bacon was appointed Justice of the Peace; W. B. Spencer, Constable. Red Rock was the north half of township 103 and all of township 104, ranges 17 and 18. Chas. F. Hardy, was made Justice of the Peace; Hilliard Tilton, Constable.

All officers appointed were to hold their respective positions until January, 1857. The first general election was held October 14, 1856, at which 374 votes were cast, and the following officers elected: J. M. Deny, Representative; R. L. Kimball, Register of Deeds; J. B. Yates, Sheriff; S. P. Bacon, Treasurer; M. K. Armstrong, County Surveyor; A. B. Vaughn, Judge of Probate: Dr. O. Allen, Coroner; W. B. Spencer, George H. Bemis and H. C. Blodgett, Commissioners.

The following shows a complete list of county officers:
Timothy M. Chapman 1856  
R. L. Kimball 1857 1858
David Blakely 1859  
Soloinon Snow 1861 1869
R. L. Hathaway 1869 1871
George W. Robinson 1871 1875
William M. Howe 1875 1882
M. M. Trowbridge 1882 1884

TREASURER.
Lewis Patchin 1856 1857
S. P. Bacon 1857 1858
A. S. Everest 1858 1860
T. J. Lake 1860 1862
Sylvester Smith 1862 1869
Solomon Snow 1869 1870
J. S. Irgens 1870 1874
I. Ingmundson 1874 1879
P.T. Mclntyre 1879 1881
G. L. Case .1881 1884

AUDITOR.
D. B. Johnson, Jr 1859 1860
Ormanzo Allen 1860 1865
H. M. Allen 1865 1871
J. T. Williams 1871 1875
P. T. Mclntyre 1875 1879
J. M. Wyckotf 1878 1880
H. W. Kims 1880 1884

SHERIFF.
G. W. Sherman 1856 1857
J. B. Jates 1857 1859
George W. Bishop 1859 1861
E. D. Kenton 1861 1865
W. F. Grummons 1865 1867
D. J. Tubbs 1867 1869
Allan Mollison 1869 1873
George Baird 1873 1875
R. O. Hall.. 1875 1878
H. B. Corey 1878 1884

COUNTY ATTORNEY.
Ormanzo Allen 1857  
D. B. Johnson, Jr. 1859 1860
C. J. Shortt 1860 1864
H. R. Davidson 1864  
D. B. Johnson 1864 1865
C J. Shortt 1865 1867
E. O. Wheeler 1867 1869
C J. Shortt 1869 1871
L. Bourgard 1871  
Layfette French 1874 1878
C. C. Kinsman 1878 1880
George F.Goodwin 1880 1882
John M. Greeman 1882 1884

CLERK OF THE DISTRICT COURT
V. P. Lewis, (by appointment) 1855 1858
J. E. Willard 1853 1861
L. A. Sherwood 1861 1870
J. F. Atherton 1870 1874
F. A. Elder 1874 1877
S. Sweningrsen 1877 1884

PROBATE JUDGE
C.J. Felch 1856  
A. B. Vaughn 1857 1859
G. M. Cameron 1859 1861
Robert Lyle 1861 1866
Onnanzo Allen 1866 1869
C. F. Hardy 1869 1870
E. O. Wheeler 1870 1871
Jessie Rose 1871 1874
W. H. Crandall 1874 1875
S. Harter 1875 1876
G. M. Cameron 1876 1879
John O Fanner 1879 1880
Ormanzo Allen 1880 1884

SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
J B Tollman 1864 1867
Sherman Page 1867 1869
O T Otis 1869 1870
___ Pike 1870  
J. T. Williams 1870 1872
A. A. Harwood 1872 1874
E. F. Morgan 1874 1875
N. M. Holbrook 1875 1877
A. H.Tuttle 1877 1881
D. C. Belden 1881 1884

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.
March 1st, 1856, Governor Gorman, in accordance with an act of the legislature, appointed the first set of County Commissioners for Mower county—they were: George White, Phillip Howell, and William Russell. These held till January 1st, 1857, when the following, regularly elected Commissioners begun the administration of county affairs: W. B. Spencer, George H. Bemis and H. C. Blodgett. The following gives the name of each County Commissioner for each year, down to 1884, inclusive:

1858— George H. Bemis, chairman; W. B. Spencer, and C. F. Hardy.
1859— No record appears.
1860— Ormanzo Allen, chairman; C. F. Hardy and S. P. Bacon. Upon the resignation of Mr. Allen to take the office of County Auditor, J. Stewart was elected Commissioner in his place.
1861— Milo Frary, chairman; Samuel Loomis and J. Stewart.
1862— G. H. Bemis, chairman; R. C. Heath, and G. T. Angell.
1863— A. Beach, chairman; R. C- Heath, and T. Angell.
1864— A. Beach, chairman; W. B. Spencer and C. N. Stimson.
1865— Alanson Beach, C. N. Stimson, and W. E. Harris.
1866— Alanson Beach, chairman; William E. Harris and C. F. Hardy.
1867— Alanson Beach, chairman; William E. Harris and E. J. Stimson.
1868— Alanson Beach, E. J. Stimson and Joseph McKnight.
1869— Alanson Beach, chairman; D. P. Putney and George W. Bishop.
1870— Alanson Beach, chairman; George W. Bishop, D. P. Putney and Joseph McKnight.
1871— Alanson Beach, chairman; H. E. Tanner, C. J. Felch, George W. Bishop and E. F. McKee.
1872— C. J. Felch, chairman; W. M. Howe, H. E. Tanner, E. F. McKee and A. C. Bisbee.
1873— C J. Felch, chairman; W. M. Howe, A. C. Frisbee, E. F. McKee and H. E. Tanner.
1874— C. J. Felch, chairman; W. M. Howe, H. E. Tanner, A. C. Frisbee and James Grant.
1875— C. J. Felch, chairman; H. E. Tanner, James Grant, William Richards and A. J. French.
1876— William Richards, chairman; C. J. Felch, James Grant, A, J. French and F. W. Kimball.
1877— William Richards, chairman; A. J. French, F. W. Kimball, G. W. Allen and W. B. Spencer.
1878— William Richards, chairman; G. W. Allen, W. B. Spencer. O. C. La Bar and M. M. Trowbridge.
1879— William Richards, chairman; O. C. La Bar, G. W. Allen, W. B. Spencer and M. M. Trowbridge.
1880—William Richards, chairman; M. M. Trowbridge, O. C. La Bar, O. W. Case and W. B. Mitson.
1881— O. .C. La Bar, chairman; W. B. Mitson, R. A. Donaldson, O Avers and Hans Anderson.
1882— W. B. Mitson, chairman; H. C. Anderson, Oscar Ayers, J. B. Graves and R. A. Donaldson.
1883— Oscar Ayers, chairman; H. C. Anderson, J. B. Graves, C. L. Schroeder and John Gilligan.
1884— Oscar Ayers, chairman; H. C. Anderson, J. B. Graves, C. L. Schroeder and John Gilligan.

LOCATING THE COUNTY SEAT.
Ever since the organization of the county the "bone of contention" had been the county seat question. The first Board of County Commissioners, who were appointed by Governor Gorman in 1856, were George White, Phillip Howell and William Russell. On the 7th day of April 1856 these temporary commissioners met in the village of Frankford and appointed the various county officers. It was also their business, under authority of the legislature to locate a county seat and the record of such an act should have Deen recorded in the County Commissioners book of Record; but no such record was then made, but some time later the following record appeared on the fly leaf of Book "A" of Deeds and marked "page I" This is the only record of the location of the county seat at Frankford:

"According to an act of the Minnesota Legislature, approved March , 1856, George White, Phillip Howell and William Russell, were appointed commissioners to locate the seat of Mower county. Said commissioners met on the 7th of April, 1856, and located the county seat of Mower county at the following place to-wit: In the village of Frankford, situate on the southwest quarter, of the southeast quarter, and the southeast quarter, of the southwest quarter of section 13, township 103, range 14, west of the fifth principle meridian." Witness our hands this 7th day of April, 1856. Phillip Howell, } William Russell, } Commissioners. Geo. White. } Attest: Timothy N. Chapman, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners.

Mower county at that time was entitled to one representative in the legislature and his election took place in October 1855—the first election held within the county. The polls at High Forest were located under an oak tree, a board with the ends placed on two barrel heads served as a judge's desk. The east side nominated W. B. Covell, a Democrat, and the west side A. B. Vaughan, a Republican. Ninety-seven votes were polled; Vaughan received the majority, and received his certificate of election from the judges, and applied at the house for his seat. In the meantime Covell had made the returns of the election to the register of deeds, in Houstin, and from him received his certificate of election, proceeded to the house, and was duly qualified as the first member of the legislature from Mower county.

The first general election held in the county occurred October 14, 1856. Two local tickets, without regard to politics, were put in nomination. On the west side, the People's ticket, with J. M. Berry, for Representative; R. L. Kimball, for Register of Deeds; J. B. Yates, (High) Sheriff; S. P. Bacon, Treasurer; N. P. Todd, Surveyor; W. B. Spencer, of LeRoy, G. H. Bemis and H. C. Blodgett, as Commissioners; A. B. Vaughan, Judge of Probate, and Dr. O. Allen, for Coroner.

On the east side the Union ticket placed in the field, T. H. Armstrong, for Representative; W. B. Covell, Register of Deeds; J. S. Pierson, Sheriff; G. P. Covell, Treasurer; M. K. Armstrong, Surveyor; William Spencer, of LeRoy, C F. Hardy and N. Goodsell, as County Commissioners; C.J. Felch, as Judge of Probate, and J. Pierce, as Coroner.

The "People's ticket" was elected with a majority of 46 votes out of 374 polled, with the exception of Mr. Todd, who was defeated by 74 votes. Heretofore the east side had had all except three minor offices, but in this election the west side gained the power.

The first question of any importance which came before the newly elected County Commissioners was that of establishing a permanent county seat.

The people of the west side of the county argued that it would be easier to locate the county seat at Austin, than it would be to go to Frankford to transact the county business.

When it was established at Frankford by the first (temporary) County Commissioners, it was by them declared that it could not be removed except by a vote of the people of the county. Two of the newly elected Commissioners, George H. Bemis and H. C. Blodgett favored its removal, and took it upon themselves to remove it to Austin.

As the county had erected no building, the records and little tin box which contained them, constituted the county seat, and wherever these were there it was also.

About noon Sheriff Yates and Vaughan, with the little tin box on which rested the future of both Frankford and Austin, in their sleigh started tor Austin. That night they stopped at the Tattersoll House, in High Forest. The landlord took the tin box and hid it away, with instructions to deliver to no one but Vales and Vaughan. In a short lime Sheriff Sherman (Yates had not yet duly qualified) with a posse of men from Frankford, arrived and arrested Yates, Vaughan, Bemis and Tattersoll, (who was the landlord) for grand larceny. He then posted guards around the hotel and went to obtain a search warrant, as the landlord would not give up the tin box containing the records. While he was gone, Yates made a bargain with W. Sykes, by which Sykes was to receive $20, if he would obtain the box and deliver it to Yates, in case they succeeded in removing the county seat, if not he was to have $5.00 which was paid down. At a signal from Vales (he was to pass out of the back door) the man was to take it out and hide it. The evening being quite cold, Yates soon induced the guards to come in and take a drink, and they became quite convivial, and supposed as long as they watched the persons under arrest that their duty would be performed, and that the box would be safe. But alas, for the cunning strategy of Yates. He passed out of the front door (the signal agreed upon) and down into the timber a short distance. Three of the guards, who saw him go out, followed him, but he eluded them by taking advantage of a short turn in the road, and jumped into the brush, while the three guards passed directly on. In the meantime Sykes had co-operated with Yates in carrying out the plans already laid, and was seen by Yates in the act of hiding the box. Yates then took the box and after Sykes had gone to the house took the box some distance and hid it beneath the mantles of snow which then covered the earth to quite a depth, and covered it with rails; it remained there for three or four days. After hiding the box, Yates went about a half mile and stopped a few hours at the house of Mr. Pierce, and then returned to the hotel. He afterward drew a diagram of the grounds where the box had been hidden, and gave it to John Patterson and C. C. Hanchett, who dug it up from beneath the snow and conveyed it to Austin, where it was secreted in the hardware store of R. L. Kimball. The officers procured a search warrant, which only allowed them to search within the store proper, and not in the upper story, which was used by Mr. Kimball as a residence. While search was being made about the store room, it is said that some one carried the tin box under cover of a shawl to the cellar and there stowed it away within a pile of potatoes. Thus it will be seen the search was made in vain. George Bemis had the book containing the proceedings of the county commissioners under his coat the night they all remained at Tattersoll's House, and the following morning he and Yates walked about eighty rods from the hotel and there deposited it under the snow, at the foot of an oak tree, disguising the marks they had necessarily made in the snow, by a certain process more effectual than elegant !

The book remained there a short time, and was then taken back to Frankford and carried by Mr. Bemis throughout the trial, closely guarded beneath his coat and vest.

Armstrong, Morse, Willis and Belden appeared in the trial for the prosecution, and Jones, Ripley and Gordon E. Cole for the defense. The citizens from the west part of the county having heard of the arrests which had been made, proceeded at once to Frankford, to liberate the prisoners, all going well armed as it was feared by some that something serious might transpire. But all soon passed off without the shedding of blood, and with the exception of a false alarm that caused no little consternation among about fifteen men, who were sleeping in Levi Pat chin's old log tavern, the examination proceeded without further trouble. Yates and Semis were each bound over for the sum of $3,000, to appear at the next term of the Fillmore county court. Before that session of court convened, the location of the county seat at Austin was decided by a vote of the people June 1,1857, and consequently no further action was had in regard to the parties under bonds.

[Source: "History of Mower County, Minnesota : together with sketches of its towns, villages, and townships, ..." Mandatory, Minn.: Free Press Pub. House, 1884 -- BZ -- Contributed to Genealogy Trails by Friends for Free Genealogy]


First Settlers
THE HISTORY OF Mower County Minnesota By Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge Chicago H. C. Cooper. Jr.. & Co. 1911; submitted by Veneta McKinney

The first settlement within the present limits of Mower County, of which there is any record, was probably made July 4, 1852, in what is now Racine township, section 1, township 103, range 14, by Jacob McQuillan, Sr., and his party, which consisted of nine children — of whom Jacob, Jr., brought his wife and family — and a son-in-law, Adam Zadyger. At that time no survey had been made, and as a matter of fact the land was not open to settlement, for although the Indian treaty of Mendota, which ceded the land to the whites, had at that time been signed by the Indians, and approved with amendments by the senate, the amendments had not been accepted by the Indians, nor the official proclamation issued by the president. Upon their arrival, the party camped by what is now known as the Hamilton spring. Before unhitching his team, Mr. McQuillan nailed a coffee mill to a tree, as a visible sign of his claim to a homestead. For a time the family lived in the wagons, later they took up their abode in a rude cabin of rough poplar logs. Near the place of the settlement were two springs, some ten rods apart. Jacob McQuillan, Sr., took the west spring, and the land west of it, while his son, Jacob, Jr., took the land east of this line, thus including in his property the most eastern of the two springs. The county line now runs a few rods to the eastward of the line between the claims of the McQiiillans, Senior and Junior.
In 1854 a man named Booth pre-empted the quarter section that young McQuillan had claimed, the claim being located in what is now Fillmore county. This created trouble, and a force of the McQuillans’ friends congregated, well armed, to put the intruder out of the way. Booth's friends gathered to meet the opposition, and a party of them spent the night in readiness for the fray. The McQuillan party sent out an advance guard, which was met by a few of Booth's friends, near the present site of Hamilton. When the McQuillan party discovered that Booth and his friends were prepared to meet them and defend his claim, they soon dispersed. The place was in litigation for some time, and resulted not only in a victory for Booth, but also in the financial ruin of the McQuillans. This land, as has already been stated, was just over the line in Fillmore county, and included the site of the village of Hamilton.
Jacob McQuillan, Sr., occupied his claim in Mower county several months and then moved to Fillmore county, renting his claim to Thomas W. Corey. About a year later he sold his Mower county property. He improved a claim in Fillmore county, and there lived until after the war. At the age of seventy-three he returned to Ohio, and there died shortly afterward. He was a powerful man with an iron constitution; very kind and hospitable, and well liked generally, though he was uneducated, and possessed of the roughness and gruffness of the typical forerunners of pioneer settlement.
Thomas W. Corey, already mentioned, made the second settlement in Racine township in the spring of 1853. He was a native of Massachusetts, and came from Illinois, overland, by way of Davenport and Decorah. He settled on the McQuillan claim and erected a log cabin, 18 by 22, in which he often entertained travelers, the cabin being on the then traveled route between Decorah and Mantorville. The charge was usually forty cents for two meals and lodging. Their post-office and trading point was Decorah, Iowa.
After a time Mr. Corey moved across the line into Fillmore county and erected the first hotel in Hamilton. In 1880 he removed to Tennessee and died there two years later.
The second point of settlement in Mower county was also near the border line. In 1852 Isaac Van Houghton, who assisted in surveying the boundary line between the state of Iowa and the then territory of Minnesota, was much pleased with the vicinity of what is now Le Roy township. A year later he induced several of his fellow citizens of Lansing, Iowa, to join him in a colonizing venture. Consequently, some time during the summer of 1853, Isaac Van Houghton, George Squires, J. S. Priest, Moses Niles and Isaac Armstrong came to the extreme southeastern part of Le Roy township. Van Houghton claimed the southeast quarter of section 36 and Squires the northeast quarter of the same section. This, however, was before the survey, and which the lines were laid it was found that their claims were on school lands and not subject to homestead entry. Armstrong claimed the west half of section 33, while Priest and Niles claimed the southeast half of section 35. These claims are located approximately, for, as before stated, no section lines were drawn until later in the year. All five of these claimants sold out within a short time.
The western part of the county received four settlers in 1853. "Hunter" (H. O. or O. P.) Clark, who settled in Lansing township; one Woodbury and his son-in-law, Pinkerton, who settled in Lyle township, and Austin Nichols, who settled on the present site of Austin.
Clark took a claim and settled in the northwest quarter of section 3-1, in Lansing township. He built a log cabin a short distance northeast of where Oakwood cemetery is now located. May 8, 1855, he sold his claim to William Baudler and moved west. The last seen of him was in Idaho.
One Woodbury, accompanied by a son-in-law, Pinkerton, came to Lyle township in the fall of 1853 and claimed a large tract of land bordering on the Red Cedar and on the creek that bears his name. He erected a log cabin on the northwest quarter of section 33. Woodbury sold his claim in June, 1855, and moved to Olmsted county.
Austin Nichols hunted along the Cedar in 1852, and in 1853 reached the present site of Austin. In his reminiscences he does not state whether he spent the winter of 1853-54 here. At any rate, he drove his first claim stake June 8, 1854.
In 1855 the real influx of settlers began, and from then until 1860 the pioneers came in rapidly.


PHYSICIANS
THE HISTORY OF MOWER COUNTY MINNESOTA By Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge Chicago H. C. Cooper. Jr.. & Co. (1911) Submitted by Veneta McKinney

The early history of the pioneer physician is naturally a story of feeble resources. His professional limitations were, therefore, necessarily great. To enable us to understand these limitations we must take a retrospective glance at the conditions of medicine sixty years ago. Imagine, if you can, the forlorn condition of the doctor without our present means of physical diagnosis, without the clinical thermometer, the various specula, the hypodermatic syringe, the ophthalmoscope, the otoscope, the rhinoscope, the aspirator, and many other similar instruments; without the aid of hematology, of anaesthetics, of antisepsis, of the modern microscope, without our laboratories and experiments, our chemistry, our bacteriology, our roentgen rays, our experimental pharmacology, and our antitoxins — without anything except his eyes, his ears, his lingers, his native vigor and resourcefulness; then we can appreciate the professional limitation of our fathers, appreciate no less the triumphal march of medicine during a single lifetime. It requires no prophet's power to foretell the fact that the science of medicine stands at this hour upon the threshold of an era which will belittle all the past. In this most wonderful era of the world's history, this magic age, the science of medicine is rapidly being elevated into the position of one of the bulwarks of society and one of the mainstays of civilization. It made possible the building of the Panama canal, made Havana a clean city, and diminished the possibility of introducing yellow fever among us. It has kept cholera in check, pointed out the danger of bubonic plague through the rat-infested districts of San Francisco, and it now urges that the government shall maintain sentinels to guard the gulf coast from yellow fever, the Mississippi from cholera, the whole United States from bubonic plague. It also discovered the stegonyia as a yellow fever carrier, and the rat and ground squirrel as plague distributors.
The medical history of Mower county begins with J. C. Jones, who located in LeRoy township in the spring of 1855. His wife was also a physician. They remained until 1866 and then removed to Missouri.
AUSTIN.
The pioneer physician of Austin was that venerable practitioner of the kindly old school, Dr. Orlenzer Allen, who came in April, 1856, and practiced until 1870, when he removed to Wisconsin, where he lived until the time of his death, April 5, 1883. He was born at Alfred, New York, in 1830, and located in Wisconsin in 1842. His medical education was received at the Rush Medical College, at Chicago, from which institution he graduated in 1856. Dr. Allen was an ideal country physician, kindly, self-sacrificing and able. His twin brother, Ormanzo, was also a prominent figure in Austin and Mower county in an early day. The next physician to locate in Austin was Dr. J. N. Wheat, a homeopath. He came in September, 1856. Dr. Wheat was born in Old Hadley, Massachusetts, January 16, 1818, spent his boyhood in New York and Ohio, and graduated in medicine at Buffalo in 1852. He became one of the foremost citizens of Mower county. Dr. S. P. Thornhill came in the winter of 1869-70. He was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, March 21, 1821, and studied medicine at West Carlisle, Ohio. He served as regimental and brigade surgeon in the Civil war, and subsequently came to Austin, where he died in 1879. Dr. Hiram L. Coon graduated from the Rush Medical College in 1855, came to Austin in 1856, remained a few years and then moved to Northfield. Dr. W. C. Jones came to Austin during the Civil war, practiced a few years and died about 1879. He was the father of B. F. Jones, at one time a newspaper editor and politician of Austin. Dr. W. L. Hollister came to Mower county in 1867, lived at Lansing a while, and then came to Austin in 1871. He still resides here. Dr. O. W. Gibson came to Austin in February, 1867. He was born in Tioga county, Pennsylvania, in 1839. During the Civil war he served in both army and navy as surgeon. Dr. James P. Squires came to Austin in 1873. He was born in Livingston county. New York, in 1825, and graduated in medicine at Buffalo, New York, in 1851. He was an array surgeon and came here from Faribault county, this state. Dr. Thomas Phillips, a homeopath, came in May, 1882. He was born in Canada, graduated from the University of Chicago in 1880 and later from the Hahnemann Medical College in the same city. Dr. Ellen M. Fairbanks, wife of Alonzo Fairbanks, came to Austin with her husband in 1859. In 1881 she graduated from the Woman's Medical College at Chicago. A Dr. McDonald, a graduate of McGill University, Montreal, practiced here a few years in the early eighties. Dr. C. H. Johnson came to Austin, June 16, 1884. He was born in Canada, in 1855, graduated from McGill University, Montreal, and came here at once. With this the story of the earlier physicians of Austin ends, those coming since the middle eighties being numbered among the comparatively modern physicians of the city.
BROWNSDALE.
Brownsdale was the home of a number of physicians at an early day. Dr. Hunter came to Brownsdale in the fall of 1871 and died the following year. Dr. Eryhmy came from Preston, Minnesota, in the spring of 1871 and remained until the spring of 1874, when he went to California, where he died a few years later. Dr. Bidell, another early physician, stayed in this county a year or so, either in Brownsdale or Grand Meadow, and then went to the Dakotas. He was a graduate of the Chicago Medical school. Dr. A. S. Britz came in 1876 and stayed until 1880. He was born in Indiana, March 1, 1844, served in the Civil war, and graduated in medicine at Chicago. After leaving here he went to Clearwater, Minnesota. Dr. Hall came from Preston in 1876 and after remaining a few months went to Lake City. Dr. Minkler, who graduated in medicine in Canada, came here in 1875, but in a short time returned to Wisconsin. Dr. Dodd, a graduate of the Rush Medical College, Chicago, came in 1880. In 1882, owing to failing health, he went to California, where he died. Dr. David Kyto, who had graduated in medicine at Indianapolis, practiced here a short time in 1883. Dr. C. S. Beaulieau came in 1880; Dr. Gray in 1883; Dr. Johnson in 1884; and Dr. Foward in 1884. Dr. G. W. Gray was born in 1851 and came to Minnesota in 1877, practicing in Grand Meadow until 1883, when he came to Brownsdale. Dr. Frank M. Johnson was born in Wisconsin in 1854. He graduated from the Rush Medical College in the class of 1882, and came to Brownsdale in the fall of 1883.
DEXTER.
Dr. R. Simmons was the first physician in Dexter. He came in 1873, remained a few years, then returned to Indiana, his former home. He was a graduate of the Cincinnati Medical College. The next physician to locate here was L. D. Johnson, who afterward moved to Grand Meadow. Dr. McCormick practiced here for a while and then moved to the Dakotas.
GRAND MEADOW.
The first physician at this point was Dr. Samuel Jenks, who came in 1872. He was a native of New York, and a graduate of Rush Medical College, Chicago, class of 1872. He was a well educated successful physician. He remained till 1880, when he moved to the Dakotas. The second physician was Dr. Wilder, who came in the fall of 1876, and was associated with Dr. Jenks, both in practice and in the drug business. He removed to Iowa City in 1878. He came from Wisconsin and was not a regular graduate in his profession. Dr. O. A. Case came to Grand Meadow in 1877. He removed from here in 1878. Dr. Remington came in the winter of 1881 and left the following summer. Dr. L. D. Jackson located in Grand Meadow in March, 1879. He was born in Vermont in 1851, and graduated from the Rush Medical College in 1877. Upon coming to this county he practiced in Dexter before coming to Grand Meadow.
ROSE CREEK.
Dr. Obadiah Wheelock, the first physician in Rose Creek, was born in New York in 1828, graduated in medicine at New York, and came to Rose Creek in 1872. He belonged to the eclectic school.
LANSING.
Dr. Josef Allays was the first to practice medicine in Lansing. He came in 1857 and settled in section one. He was a Catholic priest, and combined the duties of priest, physician and farmer. He moved from here to Chicago. Dr. R. Soule came in 1865. His career is told elsewhere. Dr. Lafayette, a Frenchman, came to Lansing from Red Wing, in the fall of 1866. He was of the eclectic practice. After remaining here three years he went to Missouri.
LEROY.
Dr. Jones came here from Pennsylvania in 1855, and settled on the Joe Mason farm. When Dr. Alsdorff came he gave up practice and in 1866 went to Missouri, where he took up farming. Dr. G. M. Alsdorff, an eclectic, came to LeRoy in 1864. He was born in Pennsylvania, November 24, 1824, and there remained until coming to Minnesota. When the new village was laid out, in 1867, Dr. Alsdorff opened an office, and the following year moved to the new location. Dr. Bingham, a graduate of the Rush Medical College at Chicago, practiced for a short time and then went to Lanesboro, where he died of smallpox. Dr. E. J. Kingsbury came from Decorah in 1869. He as born in New York state in 1832, and in 1854 graduated from the American Medical Institute at Cincinnati. In 1855 he came to Mower county, preempted land in Bennington township, assisted in the organization of the town and became a prominent citizen. Subsequently he practiced in Spring Valley and Decorah before coming to LeRoy. Dr. Corbitt came from Michigan in 1868, and remained here at intervals until his death in 1880. He was an allopath, and graduated in medicine at New York. Dr. C. W. Thrall came here from Wisconsin and entered into partnership with Dr. Kingsbury. He was a regular and a graduate of the Rush Medical College, Chicago. From here he went to LaCrosse. In the spring of 1880, Dr. F. C. Davy came here and became a partner of Dr. Alsdorff. After leaving here he attained considerable distinction as a chemist. In the spring of 1881, Dr. Aldenkirk, a homeopath, came here. Later he went to Iowa.
LYLE.
The first physician to locate in Lyle was Dr. A. Truane, who came in 1870. He moved from Lyle to Wisconsin. Dr. Tanner, a homeopath, came in 1870, and made a short stay. In 1881, Dr. M. Gordon, of Montreal, located here. He remained but a short time.

MOWER COUNTY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.
In the preceding paragraphs has been related the story of the early physicians of Mower county. The present-day physicians are nobly following in their predecessors' footsteps. The Mower County Medical Association was organized October 3, 1902. The meeting was called to order by Dr. W. S. Fullerton, state organizer, and Dr. C. A. Hegge, the former being made temporary chairman and the latter temporary secretary. The officers elected were: President, William Hollister; vice president, W. F. Cobb; secretary, C. A. Hegge; treasurer, G. F. Schottler. The physicians present at the organization were: A. W. Allen, O. H. Hegge, C. A. Hegge, William Hollister, W. H. McKenna, F. Kimball Fiester. C. F. Lewis, II. F. Pierson, E. H Washburn-Rodgers, O. C. Mareklien, George W. Gray, G. J. Schottler, W. W. Freeman, W. F. Cobb and W. A. Frazer. Since then the presidents have been: 1903. William Cobb; 1904, A. E. Henslin; 1905, H. F. Pierson ; 1906, G. J. Schottler; 1907, W. A. Frazer; 1908, C. C. Leek; 1909, M. J. Hart; 1910, C. F. Lewis. The society has done much to sustain the ethics of the profession, to promote the sanitation of the county, to protect the health of the community and to guard against charlatanry in all guises and forms. The society is now constituted as follows: President, C. F. Lewis ; secretary, Clifford C. Leek, Austin; other members, A. W. Allen, Austin; W. F Cobb, Lyle; A. N. Collins, Austin; W. A. Frazer, Lyle; G. W Gray, Brownsdale; M. J. Hart, LeRoy; C. H. Hegge, Austin; H. Hegge, Austin ; A. E. Henslin, LeRoy ; C. H. Johnson, Austin R. S. Mitchell, Grand Meadow ; Homer F. Pierson, Austin ; G. M F. Rogers, Austin; G. J. Schottler, Dexter; E. V. Smith, Adams P. T. Torkelson, Lyle.
Other physicians in the county are: F. E. Daigneau, Austin W. H. McKenna, Austin; Alb. Plummer, Racine; C. B. Lynde, Rose Creek, and H. L. Baker, Waltham.


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