This county, established February 20, 1855, and organized January 1, 1867, was named for John Blair Smith Todd, commander of Fort Ripley (at first called Fort Gaines), 1849 to 1856, which was in the part taken from Todd county in 1856 to form a part of Morrison county. Todd was born in Lexington, Ky., April 4, 1814; was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, 1837; served in the second Seminole war and the Mexican war ; resigned from the army in 1856 ; was an Indian trader at Fort Randall, Dakota, till 1861 ; was a brigadier general in the civil war; was delegate in Congress for Dakota, 1861 and 1863-65, and governor of that territory, 1869-71. He died in Yankton, Dakota, January 5, 1872.
TOWNSHIPS AND VILLAGES.
Information of names has been received from "History of Morrison and Todd Counties," by Clara K. Fuller, two volumes, 1915, having pages 211-307 on the history of this county; from E. M. Berg, county auditor, Otis B. De Laurier, Hon. William E. Lee, John H. Sheets, and Mrs. John D. Jones, each of Long Prairie, the county seat, interviewed during a visit there in May, 1916 ; and from Wilfred J. Whitefield, the oldest resident of Sauk Center, in Stearns county, also interviewed at his home in May, 1916.
BARTLETT township, organized March 22, 1883, was named for a family of pioneer homesteaders.
BERTHA township, organized January 4, 1878, and its railway village, platted in August, 1891, and incorporated in 1897, commemorate Mrs. Bertha Ristan, the first white woman settler there.
BIRCHDALE township, organized March 24, 1869, was named from its Birch lakes, to be more fully noticed on a later page, and its morainic hills and dales.
BROWERVILLE, a railway village in Hartford, platted in 1882, when the Sauk Center branch of the Great Northern railway was built, commemorates Abraham D. Brower, one of the first settlers of this county, who came in 1860, settled in Round Prairie township, and was chairman of the first board of county commissioners, in 1867; his fourth son, Jacob Vradenberg Brower (b. 1844, d. 1905), who was the first auditor of this county, 1867; and a younger son, Walter C. Brower (b. 1852), who was editor of the Stearns County Tribune, Sauk Center. These sons were proprietors of the townsite. The biography of Hon. Jacob V. Brower is presented by Josiah B. Chaney in the M. H. S. Collections (vo1. XII, 1908, pages Loading... Loading...
769-774), and by Prof. N. H. Winchell in "The Aborigines of Minnesota," 1911, pages x-xiv, with his portrait and autograph.
BRUCE township was named by George Balmer, a Scotch pioneer farmer there, who was a county commissioners, in 1867; his fourth son, Jacob Vradenberg Brower (b. 1844, d. 1905), who was the first auditor of this county, 1867; and a younger son, Walter C. Brower (b. 1852), who was editor of the Stearns County Tribune, Sauk Center. These sons were proprietors of the townsite. The biography of Hon. Jacob V. Brower is presented by Josiah B. Chaney in the M. H. S. Collections (vo1. XII, 1908, 769-774), and by Prof. N. H. Winchell in "The Aborigines of Minnesota," 1911, pages x-xiv, with his portrait and autograph.
BURLEENE township, organized in 1888, has a unique name, for which further inquiry is needed to learn its origin and significance.
BURNHAMVILLE township, organized September 8, 1870, and its railway village, platted in February, 1883, are named in honor of David Burnham, who was a blacksmith for the Winnebago Indians at Long Prairie, and settled as a homestead farmer here soon after the civil war.
BURTRUM is a railway village in Burnhamville, platted in April, 1884, and incorporated in April, 1901.
CLARISSA, a railway village in Eagle Valley township, "was platted in 1877 by Lewis Bischoffsheim and wife, of London, England. The place was named in honor of the wife." (History, 1915, p. 298.) It was incorporated in 1897.
EAGLE BEND, a railway village in Wykeham township, received this name from its location at a notable bend of Eagle creek.
EAGLE VALLEY township, organized March 17, 1880, is crossed by Eagle creek, which was named for the bald or white-headed eagle, "the bird of freedom," emblem of the United States, formerly frequent throughout Minnesota.
FAWN LAKE township, organized July 28, 1881, bears the name early given to a lake in the east part of its section 30.
GERMANIA township, organized March 17, 1880, was named by its German settlers, his name being proposed by Paul Steinbach, from the ship Germania in which he came to America.
GORDON township, organized in January, 1869, was named in honor of J. M. Gordon, a pioneer farmer, who was a member of the first board of county commissioners. GREY EAGLE township, organized September 15, 1873, and its railway village, platted in September, 1882, were named from an eagle shot here in 1868 by A. M. Crowell, who many years afterward removed to Bemidji and was its municipal judge.
HARTFORD township, organized March 12, 1867, has a name that is borne by a city and county in Connecticut, and by townships and villages or cities in Maine, Vermont, New York, Wisconsin, and twelve other states. HEWITT, a railway village in Stowe Prairie township, platted in April, 1891, was named in honor of Henry Hewitt, an adjacent farmer. IONA township, at first called Odessa, organized January 6, 1881, has the name of a historic island of the Hebrides, which also is borne by a railway village in Murray county.
KANDOTA township, organized in April, 1870, took the name of a proposed townsite platted here in 1856, on the shore of Fairy lake, by Edwin Whitefield, an artist from Massachusetts. This name, derived by him from the Dakota or the Ojibway language, is said to mean "Here we rest."
LEE'S SIDING, a railway station three miles north of Long Prairie, is named for Hon. William E. Lee, who was born in Alton, 111., January 8, 1852; came to Minnesota with his parents in 1856; organized the Bank of Long Prairie in 1882, was its cashier, and in 1896 was elected its president ; was a representative in the legislature, 1885-7 and 1893, being speaker of the House in 1893; was a member of the state board of control, 1901-03; was Republican candidate for governor in 1914.
LESLIE township, organized in September, 1876, and its railway village, platted in May, 1898, were named in honor of John B. Leslie, a pioneer settler from Kentucky.
LITTLE ELK township is crossed in its northeast part by the head stream of the South fork of the Little Elk river, flowing east into Morrison county.
LITTLE SAUK township, organized in the spring of 1870, and its railway village, on the Sauk river at the mouth of the Little Sauk lake, refer to a band of five Sauk Indians formerly living at Lake Osakis, as previously noted for the cities of Sauk Rapids and Sauk Center.
LONG PRAIRIE township, organized March 12, 1867, had been occupied 1848-55 by the agency of a reservation for the Winnebago Indians. Long Prairie village, the county seat, was platted in May, 1867, and was incorporated in 1883. The name is received from the Long Prairie river, flowing through this county to the Crow Wing river ; and the stream was named for a long and relatively narrow prairie, from a half mile to one mile wide, bordering its east side for about twenty miles, from Lake Charlotte and Long Prairie village northward to the west line of Fawn Lake township. MORAN township, organized March 27, 1877, is crossed by Moran brook, here joining the Long Prairie river, named for an early lumberman.
OAK HILL is a hamlet in Leslie township, named for its plentiful oak trees and morainic drift hills.
OSAKIS, a village lying mainly in Douglas county, but also extending into Gordon township, on the south shore of Osakis lake, received its name, like the lake and its outflowing Sauk river, from a small band of Sauk Indians, before noted for Little Sauk township.
PHILBROOK, a railway village in Villard and Fawn Lake townships, platted November 10, 1889, was named by officers of the Northern Pacific railway.
REYNOLDS township has a name that is borne by a county in Missouri and by villages in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and seven other states.
ROUND PRAIRIE township, having one of the earliest settlements in this county, was named for the Round prairie, so called, about five miles long from north to south and two miles wide, in the western third of this township and the east edge of Little Sauk. The railway village of this name was platted in October, 1903.
STAPLES township, organized January 5, 1882, and the city of this name on the Northern Pacific railway, founded in 1885, platted as a village called Staples Mill in June, 1889, and incorporated as a city in 1905, commemorate Stillwater lumbermen named Staples, who had logging and manufacturing interests here. Two prominent pioneer lumbermen of this family, coming to Stillwater in 1853-54 from Topsham, Maine, were Samuel Staples (b. 1805, d. 1887), and Isaac Staples (b. 1816, d. 1898).
STOWE PRAIRIE, the most northwestern township, organized March 27, 1877, was named for three brothers, Amos, Isaac, and James Stowe, who were early settlers on and near a prairie area in the north part of this township, continuing also northward into Wadena county.
TURTLE CREEK township, organized in July, 1890, has Turtle creek, flowing through its west edge, and Turtle lake at its northwest corner.
VILLARD township, organized July 28, 1882, was named in honor of Henry Villard (b. 1835, d. 1900), president of the Northern Pacific railroad company in 1881-83, when its transcontinental line was completed. This name is also borne by a village in Pope county, for which a biographic notice has been presented.
WARD township, organized in July, 1877, was named for a township in Randolph county, Indiana, by settlers who had come from there.
WARD SPRINGS, a railway village in Birchdale township, platted by J. W. and Martha J. Ward, was previously called Birch Lake City, from its location beside Little Birch lake.
WEST UNION township was organized March 12, 1867; and its railway village, platted in June, 1881, was incorporated in 1900.
WHITEVILLE was the name commonly given to an early settlement in 1865-6, about five miles west of Long Prairie, for three sisters, wives of L. S. Hoadley, Albert Madison, and Horace Pierce, "whose maiden name was White." (History, 1915, p. 225.)
WYKEHAM township, originally called Eden, organized January 10, 1880, has a unique name, received from England.
HISTORY OF MORRISON AND TODD COUNTIES MINNESOTA By Clara K. Fuller Volume I, Published by B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc. Indianapolis, Indiana (1915) Submitted by Veneta McKinney
Owing to the absence of "election returns the list of county officials is not complete from about 1879 back to the early days, when records seem to have been made for the time being only. From the secretary of state and from the Historical Society the following is all that can be learned along the line of Todd county officials:
In 1879, H. F. Lashier was in office and held it until 1883; M. J. Martin, 1883 to 1885; Albert Rhoda, 1883 to 1899; J. J. Reichart, 1899 to 1901; Walter Peltier, 1901 to 1909; E. M. Berg. 1909 to 1919.
In 1879 C. E. Burr was in office and held it till 1883; F. C. Chase, 1883 to 1885; C. E. Burr, 1885 to 1891 ; John Peterson, 1891 to 1899; W. I. Paine, 1899 to 1907; Henry Froelich, 1907 to 1913; August Stephan, 1913 and is the present treasurer, term expires in 1919.
In 1879 F. C. Chase was sheriff and was succeeded by J. F. Bassett, 1881 to 1885; S. J. Davis, 1885 to 1887; George W. Maynard. 1887 to 1899; Joseph G. Harmes, 1899 to 1903; Charles Hamilton, 1903 to 1909; Anton Johnson, 1909 to present date, term expires in 1919.
REGISTER OF DEEDS.
In 1879 W. E. Lee was in office and was followed by J. I. Bell, who served till 1885; C. H. Ward, 1885 to 1893; Charles Harkins, 1893 to 1895; John Wait, 1895 to 1901 : William J. Gutches, 1901 to 1909; H. C. Maynard, 1909 to present date, term expires in 1919.
JUDGES OF PROBATE.
In 1879 William O'Bryan was serving and was followed, in 1881, by L. S. Headley, who served till 1891; D. A. Tufts, 1891 to 1895; J. Frank Locke, 1895 to 1899; W. F. Callahan, 1899 to 1909; B. A. Lewis, 1909 to present date, term expires in 1917.
In 1879 the county attorney was A. W. Crowell, who served till 1881; J. D. Jobes, 1881 to 1883; E. B. Wood, 1885 to 1891; R. E. Davis, 1891 to 1899; George W. Peterson, 1899 to 1909; Arthur L. Church, 1909 to present incumbent, William M. Wood, whose term expires in 1919.
In 1879 J. H. Sheets was in office; C. H. Ward, 1881 to 1885; S. S. Sergent, 1885 to 1887; G. E. Keyes, 1887 to 1897; S. S. Sergent, 1897 to present, term expires in 1919.
In 1879 the coroner was M. Nessline; he served till 1881; J. H. Gates, 1881 to 1893; John Nutting, 1893 to 1895; C. E. Harkens, 1895 to 1897; M. L. Murphy, 1897 to 1899; B. W. Parrott, 1899 to 1905; C. E. Reeves, 1905 to 1907; P. O. Scow, 1907 to 1909; E. P. Story, 191 1 to 1913; John Markuson, 1913 to present, term expires in 1919.
CLERKS OF THE COURT.
Charles Harkens was succeeded in 1883, by Jacob Fisher from 1883 to 1891; C. E. Harkins, 1891 to 1895; M. L. Smith, 1895 to 1897; C. E. Harkens, 1897 to 1899; P. O. Scow, 1899 to 1907; J. E. Withers, 1907 to 1909; N. Irsfeld, 1909 to 191 1; P. O. Scow, 191 1 to present date, term expires in 1919.
M. L. Smith was holding this position in 1879 and in 1895 was followed by W. M. Barber; J. E. Withers, 1907 to 1909; N. Insfeld, 1909 to 191 1 ; W. M. Barber, 191 1; N. Irsfield, present incumbent, term expires in 1919.
In 1879 A. Rhoda was superintendent, held till 1883; John Barnes, 1883 to 1887; W. M. Barber, 1887 to 1891; J. G. Mock, 1891 to 1895; Rudolph Dettler, 1895 to 1897; O. B. De Laurier, 1897 to 1901 ; George Peterson, 1901 to 1907; Bertha F. Roddis, 1907 to 191 1; Victor S. Knutson, 191 1 to present date, term expires in 1919.
1893, Eli Woodman, Sid S. Taylor, M. Sarff, Henry Froelich; 1895, John W. Swanson, Sid S. Taylor, Henry Froelich, Louis Anderson; 1897, E. E. Greeno, J. W. Swanson, Ben Brever, Eli Woodman, Louis Anderson; 1899, E. E. Greeno, Henry Fraunt, Ben Brever, John Long, Louis Anderson; 1901, E. E. Greeno, Henry Fraunt, Fred Kemphenkel, John Long, Chris Heen; 1903, E. E. Greeno, E. A. Perkins, Fred Kemphenkel, J. C. A. Long; 1905, J. D. Marlin, E. A. Perkins, F. Kemphenkel, John Long, Chris Heen; 1907, J. D. Marlin, Ed Paulson, F. Kemphenkel, Chris Herrman, Jr., Chris Heen; 1909, Ed H. Thiel, Ed Paulson, F. Kemphenkel, Chris Harrman, George E. Curtis; 1911, E. A. Thiel, Ed Paulson, F. Kemphenkel, J. J. Grimes, G. E. Curtis; 1913, C. A. Remillard, Ed Paulson, Charles J. Speiker, J. J. Grimes, G. E. Curtis. The board in 1915 is composed as follows: C. A. Remillard, runs to 1917; William F. Wieseke, to 1919; Charles J. Speiker, to 1917; Chris Hermann, to 1919; G. E. Curtis, to 1917.
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