Mower County Transcript -- 1902
Submitted by Mark Ashley, 11/2009

                    OF MOWER COUNTY

Part 10 of 13

Hon. B.F. Langworthy of Brownsdale,
One of the Earliest Settlers of the County,
Continues His Series of
Interesting Articles.

LANSING, 103, 18, was quite well supplied with timer along the Cedar river when the county was first settled, which was mostly cut for building purposes.   There is still considerable second growth timber in the township.   The first to make settlement in the township was H.O. Clark, known as "Hunter Clark," a name given him from his being an expert hunter. He came in the fall of 1853, He settled on the northeast quarter of section 34 and built a cabin a short distance from where Oakwood cemetery is now located.   Clark was of the true pioneer stamp; could not stand crowding. He sold his claim to Wm. Baudler, who took possession May 8, 1855.   Clark went to Idaho.   Samuel Clayton located on sections 26 and 27 in 1854.   He worked at blacksmithing in connection with his farming until 1865, when he sold his claims to Michael Teeter and left for Kansas.

Abraham S. Lott, Came to Austin Township in 1854

N.G. Perry came in 1854. He was accompanied by Samuel Dixon. Mr. Perry sold his farm to C. P. Bell and left for Nebraska.   John Petibone entered three eighties in section 11 in 1854 and in 1857 he sold out to A.B. Vaughan and D.M.V. Stewart and returned to Ohio.   A.B. Vaughan came to the county in company with two sons in the fall of 1854.   They took claims in section 10.   After letting the contract for building a home they returned to Wisconsin for the winter.   In the spring of 1855 Mr. Vaughan with his family, accompanied by his five grandsons, two of whom were married, came with teams to their new homes in Mower county.   The sons of Mr. Vaughan are Phineas D., John G., Enoch G., Herman B. and Benjamin R.   Phineas D. located on southeast quarter of section 3, John G. in the southeast quarter of section 2, Enoch G. on the northeast quarter of section 10, Herman B. on the southeast quarter of section 10, John G. and Phineas D. resided in the village.   In September 1855 D. B. Vaughan preempted the northwest quarter of sectin 15.   He enlisted in 1862 in company C, 9th Minnesota Volunteers Infantry, serving until August 1865.

Among the settlers of 1856 were Thomas Gibson, William Rutherford, John P. and Harcar Lyon, John H. Watkins, Henry C. Aldrich, Joseph Gillen, Martin McNally, Joseph Smith, James McLaughlin, Alfred Bartlett and John Dignan, and among those that came in later are George Wood, John Mathieson, Anson C. Boyonton, Wm. Litchfield, Jones Haney, E. H. Nellis and G. W. Grimshaw.   Wm Rutherford came into the township August 10, 1856.   He entered the east half of the northeast of section 14.

Harker Lyons in 1856 came to Mower county with his two sons Harker and John P.   John P. took a claim of 160 acres, after which he divided with his brother Harker, who enlisted November 1, 1863, in Company B, Second Minnesota Cavalry, serving until December, 1865, when he was honorably discharged.

Jones Haney in 1856 settled on section 30 of this township, where he resided for many years.   John H. Watkins in 1856 came to the county and settled in Lansing.   William M. Litchfield came the same year with his wife and settled in section 34.   His farm contains 250 acres.   Lars Thorson, better known as Lewis Thompson, in 1856 came into the county and preempted a quarter section in section 7.   Henry C. Chapin in the spring of 1871 returned to this county and settled in the township.  

Azariah H. Chapin came in 1856.   In 1862 he enlisted in Company C. Ninth Minnesota Infantry Volunteers, and served until the close of the war.   In 1870 he moved onto and commenced improving the land which he preempted in 1856 in sections 21 and 28.   James N. Cook came to the county in 1856 and purchased a farm in Lansing township. Robert Lewis came to Minnesota in 1864 and settled in this township where he preempted a farm where he lived alone for three years.   Christopher P. Bell settled in the town in 1857.   He is one of the largest land owners in the township.   John Mathison in the spring of 1858 came to the county and settled on the farm on which he still resides in the township at Ramsey.

Anson C. Boyonton came into the county in 1859 on Sept. 20.   He moved on a farm in sections 27 and 34.   Matthew Greg____ in 1872 built the Ramsey mill, of which he was proprietor and owner until his death.   Among those who have come to the town who have been identified with its history are G.W. Grimshaw and A.P. McBride.   George Cornelveaux moved upon his farm in 1861.   Michael Teeter in 1857 moved to Mitchell county, Iowa, remaining until the fall of 1860.   He voted for Lincoln in the forenoon and moved across the line into Mower county in the afternoon and settled in section 29 in Lyle township, where he lived until April 1865, when he moved to his present farm in Lansing township, which contains 330 acres with good buildings.

Ole G. Anderson came to the county and made his home with H.B. Oleson on section 6 in Lansing township.   He later bought the farm on which he now resides.

Anson W. Garrard moved in 1874 to a farm on section 33.   John Thompson in 1862 came to the village of Lansing and purchased the farm on which he now resides.   Frank Hangge in 1872 bought two lots in Austin and with four cows commenced his present dairy business.   In 1874 he purchased this present farm northeast of Austin.   The township was organized in April, 1858.

George Wood in March, 1857, came into the county and preempted a quarter section in section 8 and 9 in Lansing township.   He was for years one of the large and ____ of the township, owning 520 acres, all under cultivation.

The C. M. & St. P. railway company in October, 1867, built their road through the township, entering the town in section 3 and crossing into Austin.   The Southern Minnesota railroad was built through the township in 1869 and 1870.   The road enters the town in the southeast corner of section 13 and runs in a southwesterly direction through sections 4 and 23, in which latter section it forms a junction with the C. M. & St. P. railroad at Ramsey.

AUSTIN TOWNSHIP, was one of the first settled townships in the county.   Austin Nichols came to the present site of Austin in 1852 or 1853 and as early as 1854 Jackson Wilder laid claim to a large tract of land east of the Cedar River in the vicinity of where Officer's mill site is. This included what was known as the Sweetwater claim, so called from its beautiful spring there.   He did not stay but pushed on to the Otranto neighborhood.

In September, 1854, C. H. Huntington, A. S. Lott, Calvin Powers and Moses Rolph came from Rock county, Wisconsin, seeking a location.

Charles H. Huntington, Came to Austin Township in 1854

As the Wilders were not living on the Sweetwater claim, Huntington and Lott bought it.   They went up to the present site of Austin and met Chauncy Leverich, who had bought out Nichols, and they offered him $450 for his claim.   He insisted on $500 and the bargain was not made.   The party returned to Wisconsin for the winter, but fearing that their claims might be jumped in their absence, Calvin Powers and family and Huntington came and spent the winter here.   They arrived at Sweetwater claim Nov. 18, 1854 making the trip of 250 miles with a pair of horses and wagon. They drove a cow with them and brought household goods and a stock of provisions for the winter.   A log house was put up, 12 x 15 with one window and a door, a roof of oak shacks and with the cracks between the logs filled with chips and mud plaster.   Here Mr. Powers with his wife and four children spent the winter.   One day in February, while Mr. Powers and family were away from home Indians broke into their cabin and stole their provisions but they were kindly supplied by friends at Otranto, and the winter passed with little suffering.

April 15, 1855, Huntington and Lott, whose wives were sisters, started from Wisconsin and reached Austin township May 6, having made the trip with eight pair of oxen and two wagons.   They also brought 48 head of cattle and 44 hogs.   George Bemis and John Osborn joined them in Howard county.   They brought a cast iron mill for grinding meal with them, which was the first in use in Mower county, and was a great convenience for settlers within a wide area.   Lott settled on section 27 and Huntington took the Sweetwater claim.   Both had spent several years previous in California making an overland trip, which in those days meant danger and exposure.

David L. Chandler also came out from Wisconsin in 185__, and settled near what was later Cedar City.   Powers settled on section 25, where he died.

Calvin Powers, Came to Austin Township in 1854

In 1855, among others who came to Austin township were: Robert Audis, who settled on Section 10 and opened his house for a hotel with a dance hall in connection; Alexander Nigus, who settled on Section 1, on land now owned by J.S. Decke; George and Thomas Phelps, who settled in the Cedar City neighorhood; Reuben and Levi Watrous and Widow Lockwood on Section 12, Clem Smith on section 23, Daniel McPherson and M. J. Woodson

B.F. Langworthy
(To be continued)

Mower County Transcript, Wed.,
May 7, 1902, page 5, col. 1-3





Submitted to MnGenWeb by Mark Ashley
Webization by K. Kittleson