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Rice County Minnesota 
Genealogy and History



County History, Organization and Description


 

RICE COUNTY
County Organization and Description
Source: "Minnesota geographic names: their origin and historic significance" By Warren Upham, 1920
- Submitted by K.T.

Established March 5, 1853, this county was named in honor of Henry Mower Rice, one of the two first United States senators of Minnesota, 1858 to 1863. He was born in Waitsfield, Vt, November 29, 1816; came west, to Detroit, in 1835, and four years later to Fort Snelling; was during many years an agent of the Chouteau Fur Company; aided in the negotiation of several Indian treaties, by which lands were ceded for white immigration in Minnesota; and was the delegate from this territory in Congress, 1853 to 1857. Excepting when absent in Washington, he resided in St. Paul from 1849 onward, and was a most generous benefactor of this city. To Rice county he presented a valuable political and historical library. Mr. Rice was a charter member of the Minnesota Historical Society, and was its president for the years 1864 to 1866. He died in San Antonio, Texas, while spending the winter months there, January 15, 1894. His portrait and a sketch of his life and public services, written by Governor Marshall, are published in the M. H. S. Collections (vol. IX, 1901, pages 654-8).
In accordance with the state enactment, a statue of Senator Rice is one of the two selected to represent Minnesota in the Statuary Hall of the U. S. capitol in Washington, as unveiled February 8, 1916.

TOWNSHIPS AND VILLAGES.
Information of the origin and significance of names has been gathered from "History of Rice County," 1882, 603 pages; "History of Rice and Steele Counties," compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, 1910, two vol-umes, in which pages 1-628, in vol. I, are the history of this county; and from Frank M. Kaisersatt, county auditor, and Martin M. Shields, judge of probate, interviewed at Faribault, the county seat, during a visit there in April, 1916.
All the townships of this county were organized May 11, 1858, on the date of admission of Minnesota as a state.

BRIDGEWATER township, first settled in 1853, has a name that is borne by a seaport city in southern England, and by townships and villages in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and ten other states.

CANNON CITY township, settled in October, 1854, was named like its village, platted in the fall of 1855, for the Cannon river, flowing across the west part of the township. Ambitiously called a city, this village had the honor of being the first place of meeting of the county commissioners, in 1855, but within that year Faribault was selected as die county seat. The village and its vicinity were the scene of a widely read story by Edward Eggleston, "The Mystery of Metropolisville," published in 1873.
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DEAN was the name of the post office at Cannon City after 1880, in honor of J. W. Dean, an early merchant there, and this name is borne by the present hamlet on the site of that formerly large village; but the post office was discontinued in 1901, by free delivery from Faribault

DENNISON is a village of the Chicago Great Western railway on the east line of Northfield, lying mostly in Goodhue county. It was named for the previous owner of its site, Morris P. Dennison, a farmer, who removed to the city of Northfield.

DUNDAS, a railway village in Bridge water, platted in 1857 and char-tered in 1879, bears the name of a large town in Ontario, and of villages in Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin, commemorating Henry Dundas (b. 1742, d. 1811), an eminent British statesman. This village was named by its founders, Edward T. and John M. Archibald, who came from Dundas in Ontario, built a flour mill here and made the best flour in the state. (M. H. S. Collections, vol. X, 1905, Part I, p. 41; XIV, 1912, p. 19.)

ERIN township, settled in the spring of 1855, received this ancient and now poetic name of Ireland at the time of its organization, in 1858, by vote of its people, many of whom were Irish immigrants.

FARIBAULT, the county seat, platted in February, 1855, organized as a township of small area May 11, 1858, and incorporated as a city February 29, 1872, was named in honor of Alexander Faribault, the eldest son of Jean Baptiste Faribault, who is commemorated by the county of this name. Alexander was born at Prairie du Chien, Wis., June 22, 1806t and died in this city which he had founded, November 28, 1882. He came to the Cannon river as a trader among the Indians in 1826, and during the next eight years he established trading posts on the sites of Waterville in LeSueur county and Morristown in this county, and also at a large Sioux village on the northwest shore of Cannon lake. In 1834-35 he persuaded these Sioux to remove their village to the site of Faribault. The next white settlers, Peter Bush and Luke Hulett, came in 1853.

FOREST township, first settled in 1854, was named probably for the originally wooded condition of nearly all its area. Townships and villages in ten other states, and counties in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, bear this name.

LONSDALE is a railway village in Wheatland, founded in 1903, having the same name as villages in Rhode Island and Arkansas.

MILLERSBURG, a village in Forest township, was platted in 1857 by George W. Miller. Its post office was discontinued in 1901, and the village site is now mostly farming land.

MORRISTOWN, a village platted in the autumn of 1855, and its township, organized May 11, 1858, received this name in honor of Jonathan Morris, who was born in Pennsylvania, January 9, 1804, and died here November 27, 1856. After being for twenty-five years a minister of the denomination called Christians or Disciples, in Indiana and Ohio, he came to Minnesota in 1853 and settled here in 1855. Hard work and exposure in building a sawmill caused the illness in which he died.

NERSTRAND, the railway village of Wheeling township, platted in 1855 and incorporated January 30, 1897, bears the name of an earlier post office, established in 1878, which was named by Osmund Osmundson for his former home in Norway.

NORTHFIELD, platted in October, 1855, incorporated as a village in 1871 and as a city February 26, 1875, and the adjoining township of this name, organized in 1858, commemorate John W. North, principal founder of the village, who was born in Onondaga county, N. Y., in February, 1815, and died in Oleandar, Cal., February 22, 1890. He was educated at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn.; was admitted to practice law in 1845; came to Minnesota in 1849, and settled here in 1855; was a member of the territorial legislature in 1851, and presided over the Republican wing of the convention in 1857 that framed the state constitution; was influential in founding the University of Minnesota, and was treasurer of its board of regents, 1851-60. -In 1861 he removed to Nevada, being appointed by President Lincoln surveyor general of that territory. He presided over the convention that formed the state constitution of Nevada, in 1864, and was one of the judges of its supreme court Later he organized the company that established the fruit-growing settlement of Riverside, near Los Angeles, Cal., and was United States judge for that state.
Another citizen of Northfield, who has been thought to be included in the honor of this name, was Ira Stratton Field, born in Orange, Mass., January 25, 1813, who came to Minnesota early in 1856, settling in North-field as a blacksmith and farmer, and died here June 2, 1892. For twenty years before his coming here, he had lived in Jamaica, Vt, and had been elected twice to the Vermont legislature. He was an earnest advocate for temperance and for abolition of slavery. His removal to Northfield with his family very soon after the village was platted and received its name, and the tradition that the name was intended to honor each of these prominent early settlers, may be explained by acquaintance between North and Field before the latter came west. An obituary sketch of Field in the Northfield Independent, June 9, 1892, states that "early in 1856 ... he was gladly welcomed by Mr. North and the other few here at that time."

RICHLAND township, settled in 1854, has a name borne by counties in Wisconsin and five other states, and by villages and townships in twenty states.

SHIELDSVILLE township, settled in 1855, was named in honor of General James Shields, who induced many Irish colonists to take homestead farms in this township and in Erin. He was born in Atmore, Tyrone county, Ireland, December 12, 1810; came to the United States in 1826; studied law, and in 1832 began practice in Kaskaskia, 111.; was a member of the legislature in that state, 1836-39, state auditor in 1840-43, and a judge in its supreme court, 1843-5; served in the Mexican war, attaining the brevet rank of major general; was United States senator from Illinois, 1849-55; settled in Faribault, Minn., 1855, being attorney for the townsite company; was one of the senators elected to Congress when this state was organized, and served in 1858-9; removed to California in 1860; served in the civil war, 1861-3; resided on a farm in Carrollton, Mo., after 1866, devoting much time to lecturing, and was again a United States senator in 1879, from Missouri; died in Ottumwa, Iowa, June 1, 1879. At the unveiling of his statue in the Minnesota capitol, October 20, 1914, an address was given by Archbishop Ireland, which, with the portrait of Shields and a biographic paper by Captain Henry A. Castle, was published in the M. H. S. Collections (vol. XV, 1915, pages 711-740). His statue is also placed in the National Statuary Hall at Washington, as one of the two representing Illinois. The village of Shieldsville, in the northeast corner of this township, was platted June 12, 1856.

VESELI, a village in Wheatland, incorporated in 1889, was named for the city of Weseli in southern Bohemia, whence its early settlers came.

WALCOTT township, first settled in February, 1854, "was named in honor of Samuel Walcott, from Massachusetts, who was a very able, energetic and talented man, but after a time his mind became distraught, and he found an abiding place in an insane retreat in his native state" (History of this county, 1910, p. 147).

WARSAW township, settled in 1854 and organized in 1858, was at first called Sargent, but was renamed in 1864, then taking the name of its first post office, which had been established in 1856. This name was given "in honor of a town in New York, from whence a number of the early settlers had come" (History of this county, 1882, pp. 507, 513).

WEBSTER township, first settled in the spring of 1855, commemorates Ferris Webster, one of its most prominent pioneers. He was born in Franklin, N. Y., February 2, 1802; came to Minnesota in 1856, settling here as a farmer; died August 24, 1880.

WELLS township, settled in 1853, was named for James Wells, more commonly called "Bully Wells," a fur trader and farmer. He was born in New Jersey in 1804; served fifteen years in the U. S. army, having come to Minnesota with Colonel Leavenworth in 1819; was a trader at Little Rapids, near the site of Chaska, and in 1836 established a trading post on the site of Okaman in Waseca county; removed in 1837 to the head of Lake Pepin, being a trader there sixteen years; came to this township in 1853, and founded a trading post on section 34, beside Wells lake on the Cannon river, but gradually gave his attention mainly to farming; was murdered mysteriously in 1863, probably by treacherous Indians.

WHEATLAND township, settled in 1855-6, has a name that is borne also by townships and villages in New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, and six other states.

WHEELING township, first settled in June, 1854, bears the name of a city in West Virginia and villages in Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri


LAKES AND STREAMS.

The name of the Cannon river and lake has been noticed in the first chapter, and it is also considered for Cannon Falls, Goodhue county.

Straight river, lying mainly in Steele county, is noted in its chapter.

Cannon river has its source in Shields lake, crossed by the north line of Shieldsville, named like that township for General James Shields. It flows through Rice lake, named for its wild rice, and Hunt lake is tributary to it, before passing westward into Le Sueur county. Returning into Rice county, from Waterville, it flows through the Lower or Morristown lake, Cannon lake, and Wells lake, the last named, like its township, for the fur trader, James Wells.

From the north and west, the Cannon river receives Devil creek, which brings the outflow of Cedar and Mud lakes; three creeks, unnamed on maps, flowing from Peterson, Florer, Dudley, French, and Roberds lakes; Wolf creek, deriving outflow from Mazaska, Fox, Circle, and Logue lakes; and Heath creek, flowing from Knowles lake and through Union lake.

In the preceding list, we may additionally note that Cedar lake has red cedars on its shores; Roberds lake was named for William Roberds, a native of North Carolina, who settled beside it and built a sawmill; Mazaska, meaning "white iron," is the Sioux word for silver; Circle lake encircles a large island, containing 97 acres; and in Union lake the two head streams of Heath creek are united.

Small tributaries of Cannon river from the south and east, nameless on maps, are outlets of Poole's lake and Sprague lake in Morristown; Mackenzie's creek flows through Warsaw to Cannon lake; and Prairie creek, flowing northeastward from Cannon City through Northfield, passes across an eastern prairie area, contrasted with the mainly wooded country west of the Cannon river.

Straight river in this county receives Mud creek from the west, and Rush and Falls creeks from the east.

Crystal lake, named for the clearness of its water, adjoins Dean village in Cannon City.

The northeast part of Morristown has three little lakes, namely, Pat's lake and Boneset and Mormon lakes. The second is named for its abundance of boneset, also called thoroughwort; and the third was used by a Mormon missionary as a place for baptism of converts.

Hatch lake, in sections 16 and 17, Wheatland, was named in honor of Zenas Y. Hatch, a pioneer homesteader, who was prominent in township affairs. Other lakes in Wheatland are Rezac lake, in section 20, named for Frank Rezac, a farmer near it, who served in the Union army; Cody lake, named in honor of Patrick Cody, an adjacent farmer; and Phelps lake, formerly called Cedar lake, extending across the township line into Erin. Their outflow goes west and north by Sand creek, tributary to the Minnesota river near Carver.


CHURCHES OF MORRISTOWN TOWNSHIP - 1882
HISTORY OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA
Source: Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis, Minn. (1882) submitted by Veneta McKinney

The first religious services in the township were held by Rev. Jonathan Morris, of the Disciple faith, at his residence, where the village now is, in 1855; the same fall he organized his church at the same place, with ten members, and continued holding services iu his house until 1856, when the congregation became too large for the limited accommodations, and a frame church was erected at a cost of .S350, with a seating capacity of 150. This building was destroyed by fire in 1874, and since that time they have had preaching in various places. The membership at the time the church was burned was 100, with Walter Morris as minister.

Episcopal Church. — The first services by followers of this belief were held in the Morristown hotel in 1858, by Rev. J. L. Breck. Organization was effected shortly after with thirty members, and in 1864, they erected their present church at a cost of $2,600 in the village, it being a neat and commodious structure, capable of seating 200 persons. The Rev. Mr. Bills, of Faribault, is the present pastor, there being twenty members, and services are held once in two weeks.

Methodist Denomination. — This society was organized at the house of Hilton Bloomer, on section thirty-four, in 1856, by Rev. A. V. Hitchcock, and the first services were held just previous to it by the same minister in the boarding house of Walter Morris, in the village. At organization there were eight members of the society. As soon as erected, the denomination used the Christian or Disciple church building until it was burned in 1874, and they then commenced the erection of their church, in the village, which has already cost of 600, and is not yet finished. Rev. J. Whitney is the present pastor, and services are held every Sunday evening; Sunday school every Sabbath, and prayer meeting Thursday evenings. The society is in good financial as well as spiritual condition, evidently considering true inward worth as of more value than mere outward show and pomposity.

United Brethren Church. — Effected an organization at the house of Hiram Erickson, on section eighteen, where the first service was held, with Rev. Daniel Reed officiating, in the summer of 1867. There were at organization fourteen members, and services were held in private residences until 1870, when a log church was constructed at -a cost of S150, on the shore of Horseshoe Lake, in section seven. Rev. Uriah Cook is the present minister.

The Albright Society. — This denomination effected an organization in 1863, and in 1873, erected their present neat and substantial church edifice, at a cost of $1,400, in the southeastern part of section thirty-four; there is now a membership of thirty on the church rolls. There is also a cemetery ground platted adjoining the church, in which peacefully repose the remains of about fifteen departed friends.

German Lutheran. — This society effected an organization in 1868, at the house of John Weber in section four, and services were held at various places in the northern part of town until 1881, when their church was erected in section four at a cost of $600. There is a burial ground connected with this church, located in section five, called the Weber cemetery, that was laid out in 1874, at the time of the demise of John Weber, who was the first to find a last resting place in it.


HISTORY OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA
NEWSPAPERS OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA
Published by Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis, Minn. 1882; submitted by Veneta McKinney

FARIBAULT REPUBLICAN. — The first number of this newspaper was issued in Faribault on the 22d of October, 1856, under the caption of "The Rice County Herald," as a neutral paper, by F. W. Frink, who threw off six numbers, and then it was sold to I. L. Pond & Co., and the services of K. A. Mott were secured as editor. No. 7 was printed as the first number under the new order, which continued ten weeks, when Mr. Mott bought out the whole establishment, from the shooting stick to the Franklin press, and his first paper was introduced on the 17th of December, 1856. The name was changed to "The Faribault Herald," which at once took a position on the questions of the hour, holding that slavery was sectional and local, and that it should not be extended into the territories, and assuming a strong opposition to the slave power. It was edited with great ability while in Mr. Mott's hands. On the 2d of June 1858, it was sold to Holley & Brown, who had been publishing a paper in Chatfield, in Fillmore county. Mr. O. Brown was the editor. In September, 1858, the paper, which up to this time had been a six column folio, was changed to a seven column paper. The name was also changed to "Central Republic in," and was conducted with energy and spirit through the stormy period of the war by Mr. Brown, who was always found on the side of the Union, although at times he severely criticized the methods of carrying on the war, and the conduct of the campaign against the Sioux. In December, 1865, the paper passed into the hands of A. W. McKinstry, who has managed it for seventeen years with good judgment, securing the confidence and respect of the community. On the 25th of May, 1870, the name was changed to "Faribault Republican." It is on a most substantial basis, and is issued from a first class office, with steam power and facilities for promptly turning off good work.
NORTHFIELD JOURNAL. --- In April, 1858, a paper was started by Capt. Hoag and Brother. The press and material were moved to the place from Cannon Falls, Wisconsin, and it was regularly published for about three years. The establishment was then leased to other parties, and several had a hand in its publication, until early in the sixties, when it was moved to Rochester, and there it was published for a time by the original proprietors. During this time, before the "Northfield Standard" was commenced by Mr. Kimball, there was no paper in Northfield.
THE SIDERIAL MESSENGER is published monthly by Professor William W. Payne, the Director of the Observatory at Carleton College, Northfield. It is the only periodical in the United States, devoted exclusively to popular astronomy, and it is gratifying to be able to state that students and observers in this fascinating branch of study are giving it a cheering support. It was started in the winter of 1882, and is a thirty-two page magazine, neatly printed and well edited; the price is $2 a year.
NORTHERN STATESMAN AND WESTERN FARMER. — A paper with the above appellation, to designate its ambitious sphere, was established in 1861, at Faribault, the first number bearing date of the 12th of November. The inaugural in the initial number was an able, well written article, in which the announcement is made that the good old
principles of democracy that had carried the country through so many storms, would control its utterances, saying that; "In politics, the Northern Statesman will be democratic, as expounded and illustrated by Jefferson and Jackson." The editor of the paper was Alexander Johnson, who continued it until 1864, when its publication was suspended, and Mr. Johnson went to St. Paul, where it is understood he is still connected with the press of that city. While here it justly earned the reputation of being one of the best edited papers in the State. The material subsequently went into the office of the Democrat.
THE FARIBAULT LEADER. — This paper was started in July, 1870, by 8. H. Kelley and sons, who issued it as a weekly until September, 1871, when it was sold to A. E. Haven, and became "The Faribault Democrat," which was first issued on the 8th of September, 1871. It is au eight column folio, published weekly, at $2 a year, and is a neatly printed and well edited paper. Each of the offices in the county has a job office attached, and do good work.
THE MINNESOTA MISSIONARY. — This is a denominational monthly, originating in 1877, in Faribault, and edited by Rev. George B. Whipple and Rev. Edward C. Bill. A. E. Haven is the printer. It is in the interest of the Episcopal Church, particularly in its missionary interests.
EDUCATIONAL MONTHLY. — Late in the an educational journal was published for a year or two by William Applegate, of Faribault.
RICE COUNTY JOURNAL. — This is a leading newspaper in the county, published in Northfield. It was first established in 1872, by C. A. Wheaton. It was at first independent, and claimed to be the organ of no individual, clique, or ring, and was a neatly printed eight column folio, ably edited and well managed. Mr. Wheaton died in 1882. It is now published by Wheaton & Pierce, Mr. Pierce, being the editor-in-chief. The paper is now a well printed nine column folio.
DUNDAS NEWS. — This was started on the 4th of November, 1876, by Henry E. Lawrence, the former publisher of the "Monday Morning News" in Minneapolis. This was published for three years, when it was removed and became "THE NORTHFIELD NEWS," the first number of which was issued on the 1st of November, 1879; Henry E. Lawrence, editor and proprietor. It is an eight column folio, well printed and well edited.
MORRISTOWN ENTERPRISE. — On the 27th of July, 1867, the Morristown Enterprise Company printed the first number of this paper. The gentlemen interested in the publication were J. N. Powers, C. W. Howe, and H. L. Howe. J. N. Powers was editor and publisher. It was issued on Thursday of each week at S1.50 per annum. In size it was 10x13 inches, with ten three-column pages, and was stitched by a New American machine. The company published but three papers, when it was bought by J. N. Powers, and he continued it until the winter of 1877, when he went to Waterville.
MORRISTOWN MESSENGER. — In 1878, H. S. Barlow published a five column paper, 14x24 inches, on a wooden press made by himself. This was issued on Tuesdays. In a few mouths S. B. Coe bought an interest in the establishment and Barlow left. In 1879, Mr. Coe sold to A. E. Verity, having changed the name to the "CANNON VALLEY MESSENGER," which was published several months, when it fell a victim to one of the fatal diseases which afflict newspaperdom.
As to one of the Morristown papers, we insert the following extract from a neighboring paper which is its own explanation:
"A Rice County Journalist.
A correspondent of a Missouri paper writing from Morristown, this county, speaks as follows : “concerning the office and proprietor of the Messenger, published at that place, and we challenge the entire State to produce another such instance of grit, genius, and native ability : There is a small paper published here, called the MESSENGER,
which has a good circulation, and is certainly an illustration of success under difficulties. I spent this forenoon in the printing office, and the sight of .it is worth a visit to Minnesota, for it has no equal in the world. There is not more than fifty dollars worth of material in the office, and its two presses were made by its proprietor, Mr. J. L. Barlow, whose only tools consisted of a hatchet, hand-saw, and jack-plane. They are built entirely of wood, with the exception of the levers and two iron rods, and their appearance is indescribable, yet they do good work. The mantle of Faust must certainly have fallen on Barlow. He is not only a printer and mechanic, but a photographic artist as well, and Morristown may well boast of a sort of universal genius."
Other publications.
A little book entitled "A brief circular relating to Rice County, Minnesota, showing its resources, advantages, and the inducements it offers to those seeking homes in the West," was published in 1860 by Holley & Brown, and edited by C. Williams. It was a neat little pamphlet and well calculated to serve the purpose for which it was intended.
A county map was published in the early winter of 1873, by W. M. Lawrence, of Dundas.
In 1878, a large wall map, representing each farm with the ownership, and being complete in all respects, was published by Warner & Foote, of Red Wing.
In 1868, Mr. F. W. Frink published "A Record of Rice County, Minnesota, being a review of the settlement, growth and prosperity of the county, and a brief description of its towns and villages." It was neatly printed at the "Central Republican" office, and was a book of thirty-two pages. In 1871, an appendix was added and a new edition published. It was a valuable little work, Mr. Frink being one of the earliest settlers, and most of the time in public life, intimately associated with county affairs, was admirably qualified to prepare such a book.


HISTORY OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA
Schools in Rice County (1882)
Published by Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis, Minn. 1882; submitted by Veneta McKinney

EDUCATIONAL.
The first school opened in the county, as far as we are able to learn, was kept by Edward J. Crump. Mr. A. Faribault and Luke Hulett furnished most if not all of the children to attend. This was in the winter of 1853. Accounts of the early efforts to establish schools in several towns are given here as a sample of the early methods, and how soon the teachers and scholars adapted themselves to their surroundings, and how faithfully they pursued the paths leading to knowledge. No attempt is made to cover all that was done at that time.
In the spring and summer of 1857, there were three private schools opened in Faribault, one kept by Mrs. Dunning and daughter in a room west of the land office, one by Miss Tuttle in Crump's Hall, and the other by Miss Haskins in the house of Col. Stevens. This was just before the public school building was completed, which the citizens so commendably began at such an early day.
Miss H. G. Fisk, of Warner, New Hampshire, opened a select school in the room which had been occupied by Miss Dunn. Miss Mary A. Fisk taught music in the summer of 1857.
In September, 1857, Miss Parish, of Vermont, opened a select school in Faribault.
School district No. 6 had a schoolhouse, 26x32 feet, and sixty scholars. Richard Hoodland was teacher.
District No. 7 was set off from No. 1 in the fall of 1857. The school was kept in a house belonging to G. B Dutton, about a mile from Faribault. Miss Sarah Fish was an early teacher.
About this time there was a log house in district No. 12 on East Prairie; it was ceiled and battened overhead, and there were thirty-one scholars. E. Lyman Kendall was the teacher.
The following is taken from the local press, and was published in the winter of 1857-58.
"SCHOOLS IN RICE COUNTY.
No. 1, Faribault. — Seldom has our pen been exercised to make a more pleasant or satisfactory report than that which comes under the above head. The money panic pouncing upon us at a time when the district was considerably involved in consequence of the purchase of a lot and the building of a first class schoolhouse, etc., has made the duties of the trustees arduous and thankless.
Some time in November last, three teachers were employed and a partial but imperfect system of grading effected. Miss Mary Fisk taking charge of the primary department in Crump's Hall, and Mr. Fish and Miss Parish, each occupying a room in the schoolhouse, superintending the higher departments. These schools closed last week. We have visited them from time to time, and now propose to give others the benefit of our observation
Miss Fisk has had under her tuition in number from forty to fifty scholars, generally of the younger class. The feature in this school, most striking to the casual observer, has been the perfect system attending every exercise ; the best of order uniformly prevailed, and so perfect was the teacher's self government that not a word or gesture seemed to escape her without bearing a significance which her pupils readily understand. In fact we have no hesitation in pronouncing it for system and good manners the model school.
Many of the scholars were backward for their age; yet their reading, spelling, and mental arithmetic recitations were full of interest, especially were we pleased with their prompt recitation of passages of scripture, common tables, and their vocal music.
Miss Parish came among us last fall a stranger, but her reputation as a teacher, which she had established in Vermont, had preceded her. Of superior education, clear and pointed in her explanations, beloved of her school, were she but a little more thorough in her government we could find no point to criticize. Besides the tuition of about fifty pupils, comprising her department of this school, Miss Parish has superintended a class in algebra and one in astronomy from the other department, both of which have made excellent improvement, considering the number of classes she has board, and the double amount of labor performed, she has certainly achieved great success.
The department over which Mr. Fish has presided has been the largest and most difficult to manage. He made a general examination of his classes last Saturday afternoon. The review was made with a design to ascertain the real improvement made and without any special preparation having been made for the occasion. The questions were proposed by the visitors as well as teacher. The performance was really very creditable and far surpassed the general expectation. We think one geography class, a large class in Weld's grammar, the second class in spelling, and the entire performance in arithmetic to be worthy of particular notice, evincing such thorough mastery of elemental principles as is seldom attained.
The general demeanor of the school gave evidence that it had been under the tuition of a gentleman.
"No. 2, Morristown. —By C. S. Crandall, teacher.
Mr. Mott, Sir: — In compliance with your re- quest, I report at the earliest opportunity.
The room I occupy is in a log building 16x18 in size. It is comfortably warm, being ceiled and battened.
I have over fifty scholars in all and an average attendance of about forty. They are about equally divided into male and female and range in age from four to twenty. I will attempt to give you a list of books in use, which you will find rather of a mixed account, the result I suppose of gathering scholars from all parts of the Union. My reading classes mostly use Sanders' series, I have fifteen in Sanders' fifth, six in McGuffey's fourth, and five in Sanders' second. In Sanders' pictorial primer I have a class of eight little girls and the smartest class you ever saw, too. Besides these classes there are several independent classes of one reading in his own book. In spelling, Sanders' speller is used by five; the elementary by twenty. In arithmetic I have a class of four young men now working in proportion, another class is in fractions; Ray's work part third is studied by twelve, part second by five, Colburn's mental by eight. In grammar I have five classes as follows : two pupils in Browns' grammar, one in Smith's, one in Welds', one in Wells', and one in Hazen's. In geography, I have six in Mitchell's large edition, and two in the primary. These are all the important facts I have to communicate. C. S. Crandall."
"No. 3, Shieldsville. — This district was organized just in time in the present winter to receive its share of the public money; as a matter of course there was no schoolhouse till that time; a log house was fitted up for the purpose, with temporary seats and desks, size 14 feet by 20; although not very comely in appearance, yet it is quite comfortable.
The number of scholars in the district is eighty-four; twenty-seven is the number of attendants, the average about twenty-two. The books in use are as follows, introduced by myself the present winter: Thompson's arithmetic. Wells' grammar, Mitchell's geography, Colburn's mental arithmetic for small scholars, Sanders' series of readers and speller. With a few exceptions, these are the books listed.
There is to be a new schoolhouse erected in the spring.
The scholars, I think, are as far advanced as they will average in the other schools in the county.
The inhabitants are interested in improvement, and though from a foreign soil, they are loyal to Uncle Sam in the great principles of government and schools.
Wm. Bentley, Teacher."
"No. 4, Warsaw. —
The whole number of scholars is seventy-three, average attendance about fifty. The text books in use are Sanders' series of readers and speller, Adams' and Thompson's arithmetics, Colburn's mental arithmetic, Mitchell's school and primary geography, and Wells' grammar.
Our schoolhouse, you will remember, was destroyed by fire in November last. We have since occupied the building formerly used as a store by Hollister, Frink & Co., dimensions, 16x32 feet. It is inconvenient, especially for so large a school, yet under the circumstances a better one could not be procured.
The scholars have been well disposed, and have made good progress in their studies; and I believe the school, as a whole, will compare favorably with other schools in the county; at least I am willing it should stand upon its own merits alone.
E. Cabling, Teacher."
"No. 5, Cannon City. — I. N. Sater, teacher.
This school, under its excellent superintendence, has made fine improvement this winter. The average attendance has been fifty-seven. With the exception of an excellent class in natural philosophy, only the common branches have been taught.
To an advanced arithmetic class special notice is due; the large number of adults, including eight over the age of twenty-one, has given this school a close resemblance to our higher institutions.
In size the schoolhouse is 32x40 feet, with 14 feet posts. It occupies a picturesque site, and is a thoroughly finished, imposing structure, doing honor to the taste of its builders. It cost $1,400.
The apportionment of the county fund this year gives this district $275."


SCHOOLS OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA - Morristown Township
HISTORY OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA
Source: Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis, Minn. (1882) submitted by Veneta McKinney

Morristown Graded Schools.— The first school held in the village of Morristown was in a little log shanty, 12x1-4 feet, and was taught by Isaac Hammond in the winter of 1855-56, there being twelve scholars present. In 1857, the district in the meantime having been legally organized, a frame schoolhouse was erected, 24x40 feet, at a cost of $800. This building served the purposes for which it was erected until 1873, when the present neat and substantial building was erected at a cost of $2,000. It is a two story building with a seating capacity of about 120. The first officers of the district were, Messrs. Andrew Story, Levi Coen, and Hilton Bloomer. The present officers are: Director, Charles Grant; Clerk, Baron Hopkins; and Treasurer, William Crawford. The principal of the school is C. A. Sheridan.

District No. 7. — This was about the first district to effect organization in the township, dating its existence back to 1856, when officers were elected to take care of school matters, as follows : Director, H. Blanco; Clerk, Uriah Northrup; and Treasurer, C. M. Benson; and Mr. Joseph Baker called school to order the winter following with fifteen pupils in attendance. The district now has a neat and commodious school building in the northern part of section twenty-nine. The Sakata Literary Association was organized at this schoolhouse in February, 1877, and is a meritorious and commendable institution.

District No. 40. — Effected an organization one year later than the above, in 1857, and the district shortly after erected a school building. The first officers were as follows : Director, James K. Davidson; Clerk, Lewis McKune; and Treasurer, John McKune. The first instruction was diffused by Miss Nettie Davidson. The location of the schoolhouse now in use is the eastern part of section thirty-five, the district embracing the territory in the southeastern part of the town.

District No. 54. — Embraces under its educational jurisdiction the territory lying just north of the village of Morristown. The organization was made substantial in 1859, the meeting being held at the residence of H. Hershey, which resulted in the election of first officers, the names of whom have escaped the memories of those whom we have interviewed. The first school was taught by Miss Harriet Wood, with an attendance of twelve juveniles. The present school structure is in the northeastern corner of section fourteen.

District No. 60. — Was organized in 1867, having, prior to this, been merged into other districts. The first school board was: Director, Peter Ruthen; Clerk, Seth H. Kenney; and Treasurer, Samuel Donarh. The first school was taught by Mr. Eli Smith with twelve pupils on the benches. The district embraces the northwestern part of the township as its territory.

District No. 89. — The organization of this district took place in the year 1866, and the first officials were: Director, .John Hile; Clerk, Benjamin Hershey; and Treasurer, William Haines. The location of the house now in use by this district is the northeast corner of section seventeen.

District No. 99.— Commenced its existence in 1872, being the youngest district in the township. The first school was taught by Miss .Jane Chapin with an attendance of twelve pupils, in a building on section two, and the officers at that time were: Director, Richard Cooley; Clerk, Horace Green; and Treasurer, Richard Newell. The location of the school structure now in use by the district is the southeast corner of section three.


HISTORY OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA
Transfer of Land

Published by Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis, Minn. 1882; submitted by Veneta McKinney

Transfer of Land. - The earliest transfer of land recorded is stated as being on the 5th of October, 1854. As it will be of interest, it is below given in full:

"Whereas, J. G. and H. Y. Scott have this day purchased of Alexander Faribault the following property, cornering at a point 28 rods east and 14 rods north from the southeast corner of the town of Faribault, and embracing two acres, with the northwest corner at the above named point, being 1 8x36 rods, for the following consideration, viz: The said J. G. and H. Y. Scott to build in a proper manner a good steam saw-mill on said land, and put the same in successful operation within one year from this date. Now, know ye that if the said J. G. and H. Y. Scott shall build or cause to be built the said steam saw-mill, in time and place aforesaid, then we, Alexander Faribault, Luke Hulett, and Walter Morris bind ourselves in the penal sum of $6,000, which sum is considered double the value of said mill, to make the said J. G. and H. Y. Scott a good and sufficient general warranty deed for and to the aforesaid piece of land.

Given under our hands and seals this 5th day of October, 1854.

(Signed) Alex. Faribault, [Seal]
Luke Hulett, [Seal]
(Witnesses) Walter Morris. [Seal]
G. H. Faribault.
E. J. Crump.

Following the above is recorded a quit claim deed conveying a piece of land from William Morris to John W. North for the consideration of $1,000. The document is dated the 29th of December, 1854, and is witnessed by J. J. Noah and H. H. Sibley.

The first mortgage placed on record was made on the 20th of October, 1855, in which Isaac H. Presho, for the sum of $400, mortgages the southeast quarter of section five, township 111, range 20, containing 160 acres, to F. Fuller. This document was signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of O. F. Smith and Thomas F. Towne.

Immediately following the above document on record is a mortgage dated the 11th of October, 1855, from Norbert Paquin to Alexander Faribault in the sum of $350.

Clerk of Court. - This office was established in Rice county in the early part of 1856, and the records extend back to that date. J. J. Noah was the first Clerk of Court, with the office first in Mendota. The earliest record is a marriage, dated the 15th of January, 1856, in which E. J. Crump, a Justice of the Peace, testified that with their mutual consent he had joined in holy wedlock Nathan A. Lease and Rachel Lightner, both of Rice county. The witnesses to this interesting event were John and Martha Morgan.

Henry C. Masters and Miss Anna Randle are recorded as having been joined in the bonds of matrimony on the 24th of February, 1856, by Walter Morris, Esq., in the presence of Mr. Beach and Mrs. M. M. Willis, at the residence of Russell Randle.

The first minister whose ordination was recorded in Rice county, was Morgan A. Noble, who was ordained in 1845, at Peoria, Illinois, and it appears as at first, transferred to Rice county books. The first record of this kind that has a date attached was made on the 11th of March, 1858, and licensed Rev. Henry C. Hazen. It is signed by H. Ball. The present efficient officer in this department is C. L. Palmer.


HISTORY OF RICE COUNTY MINNESOTA
Old Settlers Dates of Arrival
Published by Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis, Minn. 1882; submitted by Veneta McKinney

A list of the old settlers with the date of their coming, as recorded in the Old Settlers Association:
1853
Alexander Faribault, Mendota, February.
W. R. Faribault, Mendota, February
Peter Bush, Canada, April.
Luke Hulett, Vermont, May.
E. H. Cutts.
1854
H. M. Matteson, Herkimer, N. Y., August.
F. W. Frink, Vermont, October.
J. G. Scott, New Jersey, June.
J. R. Parshall, Ohio, June.
S. Benhaus, New Jersey, October.
A. S. Cromwell, New York, November.
John Cooper, England, July.
1855
Levi Nutting, Massachusetts, April.
James Shants, New York, May.
G. S. Woodruff, Connecticut.
S. Atherton, Vermont, September.
E. N. Leavens, Connecticut, October.
George G. Howe, New York, June.
S. Barnard, Vermont.
J. S. Closson, New York, May.
R. H. L. Jewett, Rhode Island, July.
G. W. Bachelder, Vermont, May.
James Colleyers, England, May.
1856
E. E. Rogers, Massachusetts, October.
W. H. Stevens, New York, June.
John Mullin, New York, May.
J. B. Wheeler, Massachusetts, May.
C. M. Millspaugh, August.
Lyman Tuttle, June.
William McGinnis, Ireland, June.
A. Mortensen, Sweden, June.
C. A. Bailor, Indiana, June.
S. C. Dunham, Connecticut, May.
C. D. Horn.
E. W. Dike.
D. O'Brien.
John Close, Ohio, June.
J. L. Dunham, New Jersey, April.
W. J. Goll, New Hampshire, July.
G. E. Skinner, New York, November.
P. E. Brown, New York, October.
F. G. Stevens, Michigan, June.
John Jipson, New York, August.
G. W. Newell.
T. H. Loyhed.
1857
H. Milson, Ohio, February.
N. S. Flint, Vermont, April.
S. A. Wiley, New York, June.
Thomas Mee, New York, April.
Gordon E. Cole, Massachusetts, January.
W. H. Dike, Vermont, May.
W. A. Shaw, New York.


The Alcantara Farm
Source: History of Rice & Steele Counties, Minnesota, Illustrated, Vol. II; Compiled by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge (1910) transcribed by Susan Geist

The Alcantara Farm, in Northfield, is the breeding place of high grand trotting horses. In 1899, Alfred K. Ware, the proprietor, purchased the world-famed Alcantara, a horse that ranked fifth in the world as a sire of trotting and pacing horses, having at the time of his purchase by Mr. Ware a list of over 135 which was increased to over 160 before his death. Mr. Ware has owned the following horses: Betherton, Sidmont (2.10 ); Barolite (2.17 ); Homeward, Aldatara Wilkesoneer (2.30); Red Star (2.12 ); Senator La Follette (2.23 ); Royal Ouline (2.23 ); Major Silver; Lexantara; Ashon (2.12 ). A great many fast colts have been produced in Minnesota. Among them might be mentioned: Iseneta (2.05 ); Happy Hooligan (2.12 ); Lady Ouline (2.17 ); Ollie K. (2.12 ); Mollie Barolite (2.18 ); Browie Mae (2.24 ); Bessie Barolite (2.22 ); Lucy A. (2.19 ); Red Sid (2.24 ), and several others that are fast but have not made records. It will be seen from this list that Mr. Ware stands at the head of all in this section for improving the speed qualities of horses.


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