The history of Redwood County, Minnesota
The aim of this work is to present in an available form, the facts which the average citizen should know about those events of the past which have been important in making the county what it is today. To the recital of these events have been added the biographies of present and former residents, that the reader may judge of the kind of men who have had their part in the life of the county, where they came from, under what conditions their youth was spent, what preparation they had for existence in this county, at what period of the county's progress they arrived here, and what they did toward its future progress. For the sake of future generations, these biographical sketches have also been made to include genealogical and family records.
The patrons of this history are almost exclusively the people of the county itself. It has, therefore, seemed wise to gather from various printed sources the story of the county before the arrival of the first settlers. In this way the reader will find in these two volumes, in accessible form, the material which otherwise could be made available in the average home only by the possession of a large library.
The census reports of the United States government are accessible to all, and it has not therefore seemed best to reprint from those reports extensive statistics regarding nationality and agriculture. The subjects, have, however, been treated in a general way, without reprinting the routine figures from the census reports.
County, village and township records, as well as various reports of state officials bearing on Redwood county have been searched with care. The Northwestern Gazetteer, published every two years, beginning with 1876, has also proven a valuable source of information. The newspaper files have also been closely examined. The source of the information contained in each chapter is given at the close of the chapters.
The records in Redwood county have been unusually well kept. But a handicap in the preparation of the history has been the neglect of many of the people of the county to respond to re- quests for information. In reply to more than 500 letters sent out requesting reminiscences from people who have lived in the county for more than thirty-five years, less than ten replies have been received. Hundreds of letters asking for information regarding churches, post offices, early settlers, and official events have likewise remained unanswered.
Our representatives have, however, met with unfailing courtesy in their personal interviews with the people, and many thanks are due to all citizens of the county who, by their assistance, have helped to make the publication what it is.
The proof sheets of the historical part of the work have been read with care by Hon. Julius A. Schmahl, Secretary of State. Mr. Schmahl has also been frequently consulted during the progress of the work, and has made many valuable suggestions.
Our association with the people of the county has been a pleasant one. We have conscientiously performed our task, and in placing the history in the hands of those whom it most concerns, our hope is that it will increase the interest that all should feel in the history of the state and county.
Table of Contents
GEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS 1
ERAS AND PERIODS 7
PHYSICAL FEATURES 10
PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS 26
INDIAN OCCUPANCY AND TREATD3S 32
CLAIM OF TITLE 58
EXPLORERS, TRADERS, MISSIONARIES 70
THE LOWER SIOUX AGENCY 88
CAUSES OF THE OUTBREAK 94
THE SIOUX OUTBREAK 118
THE MASSACRE IN REDWOOD COUNTY 135
REDWOOD FERRY AMBUSCADE 142
MASSACRE EXPERIENCES 149
MONUMENTS AND MARKERS 164
COUNTY ORGANIZATION 168
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THEDt MEETINGS 175
COUNTY OFFICERS AND BUILDINGS 191
LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATION 195
RIVER TRANSPORTATION 208
HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES 219
LIVE STOCK 265
PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS 283
NEWSPAPERS OF REDWOOD COUNTY 294
REDWOOD COUNTY TOWNSHIPS 315
REDWOOD COUNTY CHURCHES 365
BUTTER AND CHEESE MAKING 396
AGRICULTURE OF TODAY 401
THE BISHOP WHIPPLE MISSION 421
MATERIAL RESOURCES 432
PIONEER EXPERIENCES 442
COURTS, CASES AND ATTORNEYS 465
REDWOOD COUNTY VILLAGES 489
OLD SETTLERS ASSOCIATION 560
THE REDWOOD HOLSTEIN FARM 563
DIFFICULTIES OVERCOME 566
BANKS AND BANKING 570
POSTAL SERVICE 584
THE PIONEER PERIOD 596
REDWOOD FALLS PARKS 608
MERCANTILE AND CIVIC IMPROVEMENT 614
REDWOOD FALLS CEMETERY 619
MILITARY COMPANY 622
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Redwood county is situated in the southwestern part of Minnesota, within the basin of the Minnesota river which is its boundary on the northeast. Two tier of counties (forty-eight miles) intervene between it and the Iowa line, due south, and two tier of counties (forty-two miles) intervene between it and the South Dakota line, due west.