History of Wright County, Minnesota
It is with a feeling of considerable pride and pleasure that the publishers present this history for the approval of the people of Wright county. The undertaking has not been an easy one and the difficulties have been many, so many indeed that this publication would not have been possible without the liberal assistance of the citizens of the county. The chief contributors and editors have given freely of their time and talent; business men, church officials, fraternity, association and corporation officials, manufacturers, professional men and bankers, often at great personal sacrifice, have laid aside their regular duties to write of their communities and special interests; educators have written of the schools, and men and women in all walks of life have given the information at their command. regarding themselves, their families, their activities and their localities. To all of these the readers of this work owe a lasting debt of gratitude, and to each and every one the publishers extend their heartfelt thanks.
In handling the vast amount of material gathered for this work, it has been the aim of the entire staff to select such matter as is authentic, reliable and interesting. Doubtless facts have been included that many will deem of little moment, but these same facts to others may be of the deepest import. It may be also that some facts have been omitted that many readers would like to see included. To such readers we can only say that to publish every incident in the life of the county would be to issue a work of many volumes, and in choosing such material as would come within the limits of two volumes we believe that the matter selected is that which will prove of greatest interest to the greatest number of readers, and also that which is most worthy of being handed down to future generations, who in this volume, in far distant years, may read of their large-souled, rugged-bodied ancestors and predecessors, who gave up their homes in older communities to brave the rigors of pioneer endeavor.
A few omissions may be due to some of the people of the county, themselves, as in many instances repeated requests for information have met with no response. In such cases information gathered from other sources, while authentic, may be lacking in copious detail. In other instances the indifference of persons who should have been interested has kept from us information which we have made strenuous efforts to secure and which we would have desired to include in this work.
Before passing hasty judgment on apparent errors, one should consider carefully, not relying on tradition or memory. In many cases we have found that persons' memories are faulty and tradition erroneous when measured by the standard of official records, even in the case of comparatively recent events, while in many instances families are under the impression that their forebears arrived in the county long before it was possible for them to do so. We have endeavored to follow a uniform system of the spelling of proper names, although various spellings of even the most familiar names appear in the newspapers and records.
The biographies have been gathered with care from those most interested, and with a few exceptions have been revised and corrected by the subject of the biography or by a relative or friend. As verification of all the details is impossible, the editors disclaim responsibility for any errors therein, the opportunity having been given the various families for making any corrections desired. This, however, refers to the dates, incidents and sequence of events; all personal estimates being the work of the editors and inserted in biographies only after consultation with the various members of the staff.
Table of Contents
NATURAL PHENOMENA... 1
PRE-HISTORIC INHABITANTS... 26
INDIAN OCCUPANCY AND TREATIES... 39
GOVERNMENTAL HISTORY... 60
THE EXPLORERS... 77
FIRST SETTLEMENT... 90
COUNTY REPRESENTATION... 97
COUNTY GOVERNMENT... 114
THE SIOUX UPRISING... 141
LAND OFFICE RECORDS... 158
WRIGHT COUNTY WAR... 194
PIONEER DEVELOPMENT... 205
COMING OF THE RAILROADS... 222
WRIGHT COUNTY HORTICULTURE... 229
AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT... 246
BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW... 263
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Of its splendid course from Itasca to the Gulf, the mighty Mississippi passes no fairer land than that which it touches in the central part of Minnesota, where, well tilled and populous, Wright county stretches away in sightly prospects.
A fertile country of rich black soil, its surface divided into hills and rolling land and prairie, beautified by meandering streams and sparkling lakes, and interspersed with natural and domestic groves, the county has advantages of location and surface which have made it one of the best agricultural and dairy counties in the state.
The elevation of this stretch of land above the sea, its fine drainage and the dryness of the atmosphere give it a climate of unusual salubrity and pleasantness. Its latitude gives it correspondingly longer days in summer and during the growing sea- sons about one and a half hours more of sunshine than in the latitude of St. Louis. The refreshing breezes and cool nights in sum- mer prevent the debilitating effect of the heat so often felt in lower latitudes. The winter climate is also one of the attractive features. Its uniformity and its dryness, together with the bright sunshine and the electrical condition of the air, all tend to enhance the personal comfort of the resident, and to make outdoor life and labor a pleasure.