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Todd County, Minnesota

Town of Staples

SOURCE: History of Morrison and Todd Counties Minnesota by Clara K. Fuller, Volume II, 1915, B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana. Transcribed by Mary Kay Krogman.

The largest town in the county is Staples, although one of the youngest, on the Northern Pacific railroad. This town grew up as a result of the Northern Pacific cut-off being built in 1885 from Little Falls in order to shorten the run from St. Paul to the coast. It is almost wholly dependent on the business incident to the railroad traffic, the population being largely made up of railroad employees. Staples furnishes a good market for vegetables and small fruits as well as eggs, poultry and dairy products, and many farms in the north end of the county are devoted largely to this line of production. This cut-off also brought into existence the village of Philbrook, which was laid out by B. F. Hartshorn, an early settler of Motley. Joseph Smith and Mr. Phelps were among the first business men of this town. It is the trading place of a rather sparsely settled farming country, but being well within the Cuyuna iron district it has a fine prospect of being a prominent business center of the future.

The people who now make up the population of the county are typical of the American people, generally. They represent many of the older states, as well as European countries. There are the New Englanders or descendants from the old Pilgrim stock and people from New York and other eastern states, as well as large numbers from the great middle west. A large percentage of the people are Germans or Americans of German parentage and this nationality is more numerously represented in the towns of Long Prairie, Hartford, Ward, Moran, Germania and Bertha. The Scandinavians (often called the Yankees of Europe), began to settle in Little Sauk, Gordon and Kandota about 1870, although a few came at an earlier date. Peter Peterson, John Peterson, Mons Anderson, Jens Johnson, Andrew Johnson and John Olson are names of old settlers in Little Sauk and Gordon. Later a large number of this nationality settled in Iona, Eagle Valley, Wykeham, Ward and other towns of the central portion of the county. The Polish settlers have already been mentioned. In northern Ward and southern Moran there is a large settlement of Bohemians and these people have built a hall in which to meet and observe the customs of their native land, and to celebrate the holidays of their adopted country. There are also quite a sprinkling of French settlers near Clarissa and in Round Prairie. The Irish are also in evidence in Todd county, as in every new country. It is noticeable that the children of all these various races show a marked tendency to amalgamate-to be, in fact, one race.

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