An illustrated history of Lyon County, Minnesota
Whe white man's history of Lyon county dates back to no great antiquity, but that will be overcome in the course of time. Of priceless value are local histories of communities of the eastern states written contemporaneous with their early settlement; future generations will place a higher value on this work than the people of the present.
While the history of the county covers only a period of time represented by a span of years accorded a long-lived man, the events which have occurred should be recorded while there are yet living some who took part in the history-making. It is for this purpose that this volume is put forth. It is the only complete history of Lyon county ever published, and the material for its compilation has been secured almost wholly from original sources.
The author has consulted and quoted from the writings of Hon. Warren Upham, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, from C.F. Case's History of Lyon County, from the History of the Minnesota Valley, from the publications of the Minnesota Geological Survey, from Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, and from other books of reference. The files of the local newspapers have been of inestimable value in supplying authentic data, especially the files of those pioneer journals, the Prairie Schooner, Marshall Messenger and News-Messenger, kindly loaned by C.C. Whitney, of Marshall. Without them much of historical importance must have remained unrecorded. Scores of pioneer residents have interested themselves in the work to the extent of devoting time to the detailing of early day events.
For the purpose of revising and suggesting improvements Messrs. C.F. Case and H.P. Sanden and Dr. H.M. Workman reviewed the manuscript before it was put to press. Those gentlemen read the historical part of the volume, made a number of corrections, and indorsed the work as an impartial, comprehensive and substantially accurate record of events from the earliest days to the present time.
In the work of gathering the data the author has been ably assisted by Messrs. P.D. Moore, J.P. Nelson and William Larkin.
Probably no historical work ever put to press which entirely satisfied its author. There are so many pitfalls in the path of him who seeks to record the events of the past; the human mind is so prone to err in recalling names and dates of a former day. So it happens that the writer, compiling his story from data of which only a part can be verified, knows that there must be errors, albeit he may have exercised the greatest care. With no apologies, but with this brief explanation and the realization that the work is not perfect, this History of Lyon County is put forth.
Table of Contents
ABORIGINAL DAYS - 1700-1866 25
EARLY SETTLEMENT 1867-1869 41
COUNTY AND TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATION 1869-1883 47
EARLY SETTLEMENT (Continued) 1870-1873 65
THE GRASSHOPPER SCOURGE 1873-1876 75
RECONSTRUCTION PERIOD 1877-1881 87
THE AGE OF PROSPERITY 1882-1912 99
POLITICAL 1869-1912 113
MARSHALL 1872-1912 129
MARSHALL'S INSTITUTIONS 143
TRACY 1875-1912 161
MINNEOTA 1875-1912 177
COTTON WOOD 1888-1912 189
BALATON AND RUSSELL 1879-1912 199
GHENT AND TAUNTON 1878-1912 211
LYND, FLORENCE, GARVIN, AMIRET, GREEN VALLEY, ETC 219
THE PRESS 239
Biographical History 255
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During the next sixty-six years after Le Sueur visited the Minnesota river country, no white man was in Southwestern Minnesota, so far as we know. Then, in November, 1766, Jonathan Carver ascended the Minnesota and spent seven months with the Indians at the mouth of the Cottonwood river, in the vicinity of the present city of New Ulm. He remained with the Indians until April, 1767, and learned their language.