Welcome to Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota

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A brief history of Yellow Medicine County

          Prior to 1849, Yellow Medicine County, was under federal jurisdiction and was officially known as a part of Wisconsin Territory. At this time the territory was mostly inhabited by the Chippewa Tribe to the north and Dakota Tribe to the south. In 1849, Yellow Medicine became part of Minnesota Territory and was a part of Dakota and Wabasha counties. According to the treaties of 1850, when tribes of the Sioux surrendered title to their lands in Minnesota, a tract of land ten miles wide on each side of the Minnesota River was reserved as Dakota Territory. In 1852, Dr. Thomas Williamson, a medical missionary with the Presbyterian Church, established the Pejuhatazizi Mission. "Pejuhatazizi" is a Dakota name meaning "Yellow Medicine", the name of a plant used by the Dakota for medicinal purposes and where the county name originates.The government established the Upper Sioux Agency in 1854 in what is now Sioux Agency Township. During the Sioux Uprising of 1862, the Agency, missions, and several white settlements were destroyed and as a result of the uprising the Dakota lands were declared forfeit. Consequently, white settlement began again in 1865. At this time Yellow Medicine was a part of Redwood County, MN. The early settlers were largely Scandinavian and German with smaller concentrations of English, Irish, Czech, and Bohemian.

          Yellow Medicine County was created by a legislative act on March 6, 1871. A board of three commissioners met on January 1, 1872 in Yellow Medicine City, which became the first county seat. In the spring of 1874, Granite Falls became the county seat and the first courthouse, containing a court room and three small offices, was completed on the site of the present jail. In 1888, this building was replaced with a two story stone structure which still acts as the court house today on Ninth Avenue in Granite Falls. Twenty-one townships and ten communities were established in the new county between 1871 and 1890. The communities include Granite Falls, Canby, Clarkfield, Wood Lake, Echo, Hanley Falls, Porter, Hazel Run, St. Leo, and Burr. A Dakota settlement of about 150 people is located three miles south of Granite Falls. Each community is authentic and has its own rich history to portray to their visitors.

(Source: Yellow Medicine County )


Upper Sioux Community

The Upper Sioux Community is  located in Minnesota Falls Township along the Minnesota River.The land has been the homeland to the Dakota Oyate Nation for thousands of years. Following the U.S./Dakota Conflict of 1862 the Dakota were either exterminated, forcibly removed to reservations located somewhere else, or voluntarily fled to avoid harm. In 1938, 746 acres of original Dakota lands in Minnesota were returned to the tribe and the Upper Sioux Community came into existence. Total land currently stands at 1,440 acres. In 1990, The Upper Sioux Community became a sovereign nation.

To read The Upper Sioux Community's full history, please follow this link: Upper Sioux Community Pezihutazizi Oyate History

Contact Information: 5722 Travers Lane, PO Box 147, Granite Falls, MN 56241    Phone: 320-564-3853

(Source: Upper Sioux Community and Wikipedia)


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County Information

Founded March 6, 1871
Parent County: Redwood

Seat: Granite Falls
Largest city: Granite Falls

Townships Cities

Burton Township
Echo Township
Florida Township
Fortier Township
Friendship Township
Hammer Township
Hazel Run Township
Lisbon Township
Minnesota Falls Township
Norman Township
Normania Township

Omro Township
Oshkosh Township
Otis Township
Posen Township
Sandnes Township
Sioux Agency Township
Stony Run Township
Swede Prairie Township
Tyro Township
Wergeland Township
Wood Lake Township

Granite Falls (part)
Hanley Falls
Hazel Run
St. Leo
Wood Lake

A small part of Granite Falls extends into Chippewa County

*Former and current townships and cities are included in this list

Places of the Pioneer Days


                          ~ Minnesota Falls


~ Yellow Medicine City

Unincorprated Villages, Hamlets, & Trading Posts

~ Burr

~ Lorne

~ Normania

~ St. Leo

   Post Offices

~ Lisbon


~ Sorlien Mills


~ Stony Run



Online Data

Website Updates:

October 2018

BIOS: Gilbert M. Anderson, Siver E. Eye, Edward Foster, John P. Marso, Mark Anthony Paulson, John Albert Tollefson, Asgrimur G. Westdal

NEWS: Roberg family saved by dog


August 2018

BIOS: Gustav Erickson, John T. Gill, Hanson Brothers (Alfred, Christ, and Henry) Andy Larson, Jens H. Lynner, Lars H. Nordseth, Peter C. Scott, Arthur H. Stevens, J. O. Stevens, C. A. Stoppe


April 2018

BIOS: Henry Braasch, Franklin J. Cressy, C. F. Edwards, Charles Fanning, Adolph Forland, Edward N. Granholt, Peter O. Hagen, Havlor G. Homme, Alfred Hulteen, John O. Ims, John J. Mortensbak, Jacob Nosbusch, Martin Roles, Bjorn C. Schram, Peter P. Solem, Anna Stenevik Ole C. Wilson (All from Arthur P. Rose's History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)

HISTORY: Aboriginal Days 1695-1850, Under Agency Rule 1851-1862, Early Settlement 1865-1871, Grasshopper Days 1872-1877 (All from Arthur P. Rose's History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)

MARRIAGES:1872 marriages



March 2018

BIOS: Sylfest Aaberg, John Amundson, Christian O. Anderson, E. H. Anderson, John O. Anderson, Oscar T. Anderson, Hans Olson Asje (AKA Hans Olson), Louis Bahn, Hans P. Bengtson, Louis Bengtson, Severt Berg, Jens Berkvam, Olander Berkvam, Charles Besmehn, William B. Bliss, Henry Bordewich, James S. Christie, William Cole, William H. Cole, Charles Dahn, William O. Dillingham, Samuel K. Dyrdahl, O. J. Earlsley, Hans Engebretson, Lewis O. Enstad, Asmund K. Evenson, Edward Evenson, Albert D. Frank, Swen A. Friberg, Julius O. Gautefald, Fred I. Gillingham, Hellick J. Glaim, Erik Gjovig, Paul Gunderson, Simon B. Gunderson, Sigurd Gunlogson, Charles F. Hall, Helge Halstenson, Henry A. Hamre, Henry T. Hansen, George E. Hanson, Rasmus Hanson, Ole Hartwick, Christian Haug, John W. Hay, Elef O. Helgemo, Christian H. Hellie, Arthur Hewitt, Sever Hillikson, Rev. Olaf Hoel, Sherman N. Holliston, Torjus O. Homme, Osmund Iverson, Hans D. Jacobson, Herman L. Jertson, Charles K. Johnson, John N. Johnson, Knute Johnson, Robert J. Johnston, Olaus J. Jorgensborg, Bent Jorgenson, Mathias Jorgenson, William Kankerlik, Bertha King, Ole Knutson, H. L. Kolhei, Peder Olson Kollin, Oluf O. Kvistero, Erik Lageson, Alvin N. Landru, J. F. Langmaid, Christ Larson, Peter A. Larson, Lewis Leeland, Bendick Lewison, Albert K. Lilleby, August Lindell, William Marquardt, Robert H. McCormick, D. A. McLarty, Ole Mickelson, S. L. Mikelson, H. A. Mikkelson, Albert O. Miller, Gustave O. Miller, D. O. Moltrud, Lewis Mork, Erik G. Morstad, Albert B. Myhre, Martin S. Negaard, Tonnes T. Nelson, Ole Oberg, Halvor G. Odden, Andrew Olson, Andrew Omley, Ole A. Oraas, John D. Otis, Lewis Paulson, Nicoli Pedersen, John N. Pederson, Peter J. Pederson, Martin O. Peterson, William L. Phinney, Elef E. Quenroe, Mons J. Rache, John Reyerson, Mina A. Roisen, Lewis C. Rosetter, Henry A. Schlenner, Ole L. Shennum, John N. Silver, Peter Siverts, Nels K. Snortum, Albert J. Stevens, Frank L. Swan, Alfred Swanson, John C. Swenson, Henry Swenson, Swen Swenson, Joseph Peter Tholkes, Henry Thompson, Severin O. Tjosvold, Lewis W. Tongen, J. Van Valkenburg, M. O. Vik, John N. Waller, Arnold A. Wattner, Adolph C. Westby, Hans G. Wilson, Andrew Zacharias (All bios from Arthur P. Rose's History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)

HISTORY: Town of Hazel Run, Town of Porter (All from Arthur P. Rose's History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)



February 2018

BIOS: Gjermund O. Gjermundson, John Gustafson, Adolph Hartfiel, Bert G. Johnson, Adam Kockelman, Thom Larson, Jens C. Lecy, William S. Lund, C. G. Nelson, Ole S. Olson, Stephen G. Peterson, Sondre T. Reishus, Andrew J. Volstead (All bios from Arthur P. Rose's History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)

HISTORY: Town of Woodlake, Town of Hanley Falls (All from Arthur P. Rose's History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)


December 2017

BIOS: (All bios are from Arthur P. Rose's The History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)- John E. Afdem, Julius Alke, Andrew O. Anderson, Mons H. Anderson, Theodore T. Anderson, Eli C. Barber, George E. Bestland, Hoken O. Brusven, Hans J. Christenson, George Cole, Louis Ellison, Saraline Friberg, Charles P. Griswold, Halvor O. Homme, John J. Huffman, Bernard Kelehan, James R. Kjemhus, Gunder Kjos, Andrew Knutsen, Anton A. Knutson, Sever H. Kvam, Olai A. Lende, Ole O. Lende, Christopher G. Lestul, Gustav N. Molstad, Cassius Edwin Moulton, Lewis Nelson, Peter Nelson, Siver Olson, Arnt Olufson, L. S. Orwell, Borre Peterson, James L. Putnam, William I. Radford, Knute Reishus, Hans P. Rodness, William B. Rogers, John A. Thompson, Allen Williams, Arthur W. Winter

HISTORY: Town of Canby (with photos), Town of Clarkfield (with photos), Town of Echo (with photos). Towns, unincorporated villages, post offices, hamlets & trading posts of pioneer days: Minnesota Falls, Yellow Medicine City, Burr, Lorne, Normania, St. Leo (with photos), Lisbon, Silliards, Sorlien Mills, Stavanger, Stony Run, Vineland.

(all taken from Arthur P. Rose's The History of Yellow Medicine County 1914- many names listed)

NEWS- POLITICAL: J. A. McDermott named state oil inspector



September 2017

BIOS: (All bios are from Arthur P. Rose's The History of Yellow Medicine County 1914)- Halvor S. Berg, Charles Friberg, Henry Hill, Mathias Jenson, Herman Milbradt, Gorham Powers, O. E. Stevens



August 2017

HISTORY: Burton Township, Echo Township, Florida Township, Fortier Township, Friendship Township, Hammer Township, Hazel Run Township, Norman Township, Omro Township, Oshkosh Township, Posen Township, Sioux Agency Township, Swede Prairie, Tyro Township, Wergeland Township, (many early settlers named in all)



July 2017 (All items from Arthur P. Rose's The History of Yellow Medicine County 1914- more bios coming soon!)

BIOS: Joseph Fortier, Ole Iverson, Henry Mooney, George Olds, John Swenson, John Winter

HISTORY: Lisbon Township, Minnesota Falls Township, Normania Township, Otis Township, Sandnes Township, Stony Run Township, Wood Lake Township (many early settlers named in all townships)



May 2017

BIOS: L. W. Olson, John Purington, F. Robson, Lorenzo Satchwell, Daniel Smith, Henry T. Sowl, O. J. Swan, H. N. Tibbils



March 2017

BIOS: A. H. Cook, R. B. Cooley, S. A. Hall, J. F. Hannah

HISTORY: Wood Lake


Prior Updates


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