North of Kingsbury and Brooking Counties, is Hamlin County, possessing a vast area of most excellent farming and stock-raising lands. This county was organized August 12th, 1878, Jacob Hanson, Magnus Hanson and Lewis Nelson being the first Commissioners. The following are the remaining County Officers first appointed: Sheriff, James Boswell; Treasurer, Jacob Cass; Clerk and Register of Deeds, J. M. Hoyt; Judge of Probate, G. W. Hubbell; Surveyor and Clerk of Court, E. S. Ricklin.
The present officers are as follows: Commissioners—Jacob Cass, William Marshall, J. D. Riley. Sheriff—Samuel Colgrove. Treasurer—H. P, Horswill. Clerk and Register of Deeds—J. M. Hoyt. Judge of Probate—Jacob Cass. Surveyor—William Fitzgerald. Superintendent of Schools—A. I. Darnell. Assessor—O. H. Merrick. Clerk of Court—C. P. Parsons.
Estelline is the County Seat. Hamlin County contains a number of very extensive and finely managed farms or "ranches," particular mention being due to the well known "Keator Ranch." This farm is owned by J. S. Keator, of Moline, Ill., and embraces ten thousand acres, two thousand of which are under cultivation. The writer had the pleasure to be enabled to personally inspect this magnificent farm. The estimated wheat yield of this farm, for 1882, with anything like an average season, is twenty thousand bushels. William Marshall is the manager in charge, and is a gentleman who well understands how to so conduct the immense enterprise as to make it as profitable as it should be. Keator Postoffice is located on this farm, which is about thirteen miles south of Watertown. Mr. Marshall is the Postmaster. Stock raising is largely entered into on this "ranch." As might be expected, a large force of employes is necessary.