Olmsted County Places - Haverhill Township

HAVERHILL township, organized in 1858, originally called Zumbro for the principal river of this county, was renamed Sherman in 1865 and Haverhill in 1866, this name being suggested by settlers who had come from Haverhill in Massachusetts.

Source:MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES Their Origin and Historic Significance

There has been considerable difficulty experienced in selecting a name for this town. It was first named Zumbro, after the river of that name, but as the adjoining county of Wabasha had a town of that name, Zumbro was changed for a short time to Grant, and in April, 1865, to Sherman, and in April, 1867, to its present name of Haverhill.

It is situated in the center tier of townships, its west line forming the east boundary of the city of Rochester. On account of the proximity of this city (Rochester) Haverhill has neither church, store or postoffice. It had for a few years a postoffice, Robert Latte being the first postmaster, holding that position about one year, 1857 and part of 1858, when G. Van Horton was appointed. He kept the office till 1860; Charley Parker was then appointed, but in one year he turned it over to S. B. Willard, who in one year left it for H. K. Bletham to keep. Mr. Bletham turned it over to the Rochester post-office about 1864 or 1865, since which time there has been no post-office in the town, all mail being received at Rochester, where also all farm and household supplies are purchased and all farm products sold.

The first settlers in Haverhill came in 1855. G. Van Hautan, from Indiana, in the spring of 1855 settled on section 15. Edward Cox took a claim in section 10 the same year; he came from Wisconsin. Zedekiah Tumbleson, from Indiana, settled on section 1. Cyrus Night settled on section 5. C. B. Dodge settled on section 17. J. W. Livingston settled on section 35. Gideon Fitch settled on section 4. James G. Whipple settled on section 17. All the above-named settlers came in the year 1855, and many of them made their homes in their wagon or on the ground in tents made of horse-blankets, old quilts and, where they had them, wagon-covers. Gideon Fitch built the first log house of burr-oak in 1855; the first birth, death and marriage occurred in this (Fitch) family. The first school teacher was Mrs. Jane Andrews, from Rhode Island, who taught school in her own house in section 8 in the year 1857.

Haverhill was organized as a town in 1859, under the name of Zumbro, as before stated. The following officers were then elected at a general town election: O. A. Hadley, chairman of the board of supervisors; C. H. Crane and Samuel R. Woodbury, associate supervisors; Charles Parker, town clerk; R. H. Talbot, assessor; Baldwin Martin, collector ; Francis Dresser and R. W. Palmer, justices of the peace ; Baldwin Martin and John P. Simmonds, constables; Gideon Fitch, overseer of the poor, and Garrett Van Hauton, poundmaster. The present (1883) incumbents are : B. F. Bulin, chairman of board of supervisors; J. J. Lawder and S. S. Faner, associate supervisors; John Barrett, clerk.  During the rebellion of 1861-5 the following men were accredited to Haverhill as soldiers to fill her quota: A. I. Mason, W. Wood, died in prison; O. Whipple died in prison; E. Dodge, George Sawelle, John Fitch, G. Dewitt, J. Dexter, V. Mante, J. P. Simmonds, Ira Marlett, James Marlett, Sam Horton, P. Irish, P. Van Hally, died in hospital; O. Bulen, B. F. Bulen, Morgan Bulen, M. Peckham, George Woodruff, Thomas Horton, died in hospital; Herbert Ingals, W. Delaney, G. F. Brockett, Patrick Murphy, Pat Iago and Steve Johnson.  About one half of this town is prairie, but along the streams it is very bluffy and heavily timbered; there are several small marshes. The present inhabitants are principally Irish, with a few Americans and Germans. Much of the land is owned by non-residents, who rent it to tenants. C. Wilson has large farms in sections 21, 20, 29 and 32. In 1877 he had 800 acres in wheat, which gave him a net profit of $8,000. The eastern branches of the Zumbro drain almost every section in the town.

Source: History of Winona and Olmsted Counties, 1883




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