History of Ash Creek
Transcribed from "The History of Rock
By A. P. Rose
Published in 1911
The book in its entirety is available on googlebooks
The little village of Ash Creek, the first south of Luverne
on the Doon extension of the
The building of the Doon branch and the subsequent location
of a station on section 23,
The agitation for a second post office bore immediate fruit. Out of several applications for the office of postmaster, Mrs. L.B. Kniss was chosen and the office was established on the George W. Kniss homestead one half mile distant from the future Ash Creek station. The office was named for the creek flowing nearby. To members of the pioneer Estey family was given the naming of this stream. The incident of the christening, which occurred on Christmas day 1867, has been told in Colin Estey’s own words:
“In the forenoon Byron and I went to tend our traps.
He had one set for a fox near where Saints Rest now stands and on that day he
caught a coyote. Byron was about 8
years old then. As we went out to look at the traps we crossed (the)
The Ash Creek post office was located on the mail route
connecting Luverne with Doon and LeMars
So, Ash Creek, which nominally came into being in the early seventies, advanced no further than the country post office stage until about a dozen years later. Then it was thought the agency of the railroad that it was able to assume a more pretentious air.
The branch road
from Luverne to
“ Mrs. Kniss has
given some interesting statistics related to this early day post office: “Our
local paper was then the
That Ash Creek was about to shape itself into a metropolis. The extent of the subsequent building operations however was the erection of a second grain warehouse, 16 X 30 feet in size, put by E.A. Brown who at that time commence his successful career as a Rock county grain merchant. A box car was placed at the new station to answer the purposes of a depot building.
An event of the
year 1882 promised great things for the embryo town. This was the sale of the
Kniss and Brown farm upon which the station was located to
Col Grey proposed to build a flourishing town at Ash Creek, to be the headquarters for his various interests, much after the English baronial system. A year elapsed before the promoter commenced the execution of his plan. A survey of a townsite was completed in August of 1883 by James P. Gilman and the dedication of the site was made September 6, 1883 by James B Close, Col. Grey’s agent. The plat included eight blocks. The owner was fully honored in the names bestowed upon the streets running east and west, which were Col Grey and Alfred. The intersecting streets were designated as First, Second, and Third.
Coincident with the platting, three dwellings, each a two story structure covering a ground space of 24 X 36 feet and three barns were built by col. Grey for the accommodation of the employees on his nearby farms. There was persistent talk of a store on the site but it remained for other than Grey interests to supply the want. J.T. Woodrow, whose store was completed in October 1884, was the first merchant and for a number of years the only one in Ash Creek. The Ash Creek post office was moved to the new store and Mr. Woodrow commissioned postmaster.
There was some
progress during the half dozen years following the opening of the pioneer store.
In 1885 the railroad company established stock yards at Ash Creek, and one year
later erected a serviceable depot. Early in 1886 the believers in Ash Creeks
future greatness became convinced that the dawn of a new era was at hand because
of the proposed building of the Burlington Railroad from to
The Congregational Church Society, organized in the spring of 1889, erected a neat church edifice in the village the same year. The church, built at a cost of $1100 was dedicated Sunday February 9, 1890. Rev. William Fitch was the pastor at the time.
L.S. Walker succeeded to the business of J.T. Woodrow in
the summer of 1888, a grist mill was established by C.A. Delamater in January
1890, but it continued in operation only a few months. The Ash Creek farm of 891
acres was sold by Col. Grey in 1891 to Ezra Rice and James H. Grey and this
transfer was the commencement of better days for the humble village. The new
owners were men intensely interested in the advancement of Rock county. Progress
commenced at once. In September
1891, J.T. Fort, a blacksmith located in the town and E.A. Brown erected a
second elevator. The year following, E.C. Palmer came from
Ash Creek in more recent years has been added to gradually and at no particular period has experienced a boom or unnatural condition to force the extension of its limits. A creditable school building was erected in 1903. A public hall is maintained, and in the village are to be found residences that would do credit to a more pretentious community.
transcribed by G. Boomgaarden 2009