Hon. B.F. Langworthy of Brownsdale, One of the
Earliest Settlers of the County,
Continues His Series of
Under the enabling act of congress approved March 3, 1857, a
constitutional convention of 108 members, each council district to elect two
for each councilman and representative it was entitled to, was authorized to
meet at the capitol on the second Monday in July to frame a state
constitution and submit it to the people of the territory. The election
was held on the first Monday in June. On July 13th the delegates met, but
on account of a disagreement arising in the organization the republican
members organized one body and the democrat members organized separately.
Each of these bodies claiming to be the legal constitutional convention,
proceeded with the work of framing an instrument to be submitted to the
people. After some days an understanding was effected between them and
by means of committees of conference the same constitution was framed and
adopted by both bodies. On being submitted to the people October 13th it
was adopted. The counties of Houston, Fillmore and Mower constituted the
eighth council district and were entitled to fourteen (14) members and the
following named persons were elected members of the convention: Alanson B.
Vaughan, Clark E. Thompson, John A. Anderson, Charles A. Coe, N.P. Colburn,
James A. McCann, II, A. Billings, Charles Hanson, H.W. Holly, John Cleghorn,
A.H. Butler, Robert Lyle and Boyd Phelps of the republian wing, and James
C. Day of the democratic. Mower county was hardly noticed in territorial
affairs until the apportionment of 1855, when Houston, Fillmore and Mower
were put in one district, the eighth. It was then that the district sent
to the council two members, Clark W. Thompson and B. F. Tillotson, and to
the House W.B. Gere, Samuel Hull, William F. Dunbar, William B. Covil and
Martin G. Thompson. That was the seventh territorial Legislature of 1857.
The Eighth Territorial Legislature in 1857 assembled January 7th. In the
council were B.F. Tillotson and Clark W. Thompson. In the House were W.
B. Gere, D.F. Case, W.J. Howell, John M. Berry and M.G. Thompson.
In the formation of the constitution in Section 10 of the
schedule, Mower and Dodge counties were put into one district numbered
thirteen. The first state legislature assembled December 2, 1858, and the
thirteenth district was represented in the Senate by E.W. Summers and Boyd
Phelps and the House had George O. Way for representative. The second
legislature of 1859 and 1860 assembled December 7, 1859,
and adjourned March 12, 1860. The senators of the thirteenth district were
Henry C. Rogers of Brownsdale, Mower county, and A.J. Edgerton of Dodge
county. The members of the House were T.J. Hunt, Peter Mantor of Dodge
county and B.F. Langworthy of Mower county. In the apportionment of 1860
Mower and Dodge counties were put into the fifteenth district. In the
third legislature in 1861 the district was represented by J. W. Flake in
the Senate and by Peter Mantor and T.J. Hunt in the House. They assembled
January 8th and adjourned March 8th. The fourth legislature of 1862 met
January 7th and adjourned March 7th. For member of the Senate they had
Joseph H. Clark and for members of the House were S. Bostwick of Frankford
and H.C. Rogers of Brownsdale.
The fifth legislature of 1863 met January 6th and adjourned
March 6th. The fifteenth district was again represented in the Senate by
Joseph H. Clark and the House by B.D. Sprague and F.P. Bachon. The sixth
legislature of 1864 met January 5th and adjourned March 4th. They had B.D.
Sprague in the Senate and in the House they had Royal Crane and Augustus
Barlow. The seventh legislature of 1865 met January 3rd and adjourned
March 3rd. B.D. Sprague was again elected senator and Royal Crane and
C.D. Tuthill were representatives. The eighth legislature of 1866 met
on January 7th and adjouorned March 2nd. Samuel Lord was elected senator.
In the house we find C. J. Felch of Racine and D. B. Johnson of Austin.
The ninth legislature of 1867 met January 8th and adjourned March 8th.
In the Senate we aain find Samuel Lord of Dodgle county and in the House
C.J. Felch and D. B. Johnson both of Mower county.
The tenth legislature of 1868 met January 7th and adjourned
March 6th. For senator we find a Mower county man in the person of W.E.
Harris of Racine and in the House new men, D.A. Shaw and E.K. Prosper of
Dodge county. The eleventh legislature of 1869 met January 5th and
adjourned March 5th. In the Senate we again had W.E. Harris of Racine
township, this county, and in the House T.J. Hunt and E.K. Prosper both of
Dodge county. The twelfth legislature of 1870 met January 4th and adjourned
March 4th. Samuel Lord was again elected to the Senate from Dodge county and
G.M. Cameron and Hosmer A. Brown of Brownsdale were elected representatives.
The thirteenth legislature of 1871 again had Samuel Lord for senator and
Harlan W. Page of Austin and W.G. Telfer of LeRoy members of the House.
In the apportionment of 1871 Mower county was set off from the 15th
Senatorial district and put into a district to be known as Senatorial
district No. 4, which was entitled to one senator and two representatives,
the latter to be voted for by the whole county. The north and south
districts were not yet established.
In the fourteenth legislature of 1872, for the first
time, Mower county alone constitutes a senatorial district. Sherman
Page of Austin was elected senator and John T. Williams and J.M. Wykoff, both
of LeRoy, were elected representatives. For the fifteenth legislature of
1873, N.K. Noble of Austin was elected senator and Ole O. Finhart of Frankford
township and E.J. Stimson of Brownsdale were elected representatives. The
sixteenth legislature of 1874 met January 6th and adjourned March 6th. E.
H. Wells of Lansing was elected senator and Gonder Holverson of Nevada and
A.E. Peck of Pleasant Valley were elected representatives. The seventeenth
legislature of 1875 met January 5th and adjourned March 5th. E.H. Wells
was again elected senator and John S. Irgens of Adams and C. F. Greening of
Grand Meadow were elected representatives. The eighteenth legislature of 1876
met January 4th and adjourned March 3rd. R.I. Smith of Austin was elected
senator, C.F. Greening of Grand Meadow and H.F. Deming of Nevada as
representatives. The ninteenth legislature of 1877 met January 2nd and
adjourned March 2nd. R. J. Smith was again elected senator and S.J. Sanborn
of Racine and Hosmer A. Brown of Brownsdale were elected representatives.
For the twentieth legislature of 1878 G.W. Clough of Austin was elected
senator and S.J. Sanborn of Racine and H.K. Volstad of Nevada were
representatives. Sanborn was reelected. The twenty-first legislature of 1879
assembled January 7th and adjourned March 7th. W.H. Officer of Austin was
elected senator and J.F. Goodsell of Frankford and J.D. Allen of LeRoy were
chosen representatives. This was the last of the annual sessions. The
twenty-second legislature of 1881 met January 4th and adjourned March 4th.
W.H. Officer was elected senator amd J.D. Allen of LeRoy and P.A. Peterson
of Udolpho were elected representatives. This session was the first of
biennial sessions, which have since continued. In the twenty-third
legislature of 1883, the state was re-districted and Mower county was made the
third senatorial district. The legislature met January 2nd and adjourned
March 2nd. W. L. Hollister of Austin was elected senator and John Frank of
LeRoy and J.F. Carson of Racine were elected representatives. The county
had been made into two representive districts, according to the apportionment
of 1881, divided as follows: The towns of LeRoy, Lodi, Adams, Nevada, Lyle,
Austin and Windom entitled to elect one representative and the towns of
Racine, Pleasant Valley, Sargent, Waltham, Udolpho, Lansing, Red Rock, Dexter,
Grand Meadow, Frankford, Bennington, Clayton and Marshall, entitled to elect
one representative. The twenty-fourth legislature of 1885 met January 6th,
adjourning March 6th. W.T. Wilkins of Austin was elected senator and H.W.
Lightly of Austin and J.F. Carson of Racine, representatives. Senators were
to be elected every four years and representatives every two years. The
twenty-fifth legislature of 1887 met January 4th and adjourned March 4th.
Dr. O.W. Gibson was elected senator and J.J. Furlong of Windom and E.S.
Hoppin of Pleasant Valley, representatives. The twenty-sixth legislature
of 1889 assembled January 8th and adjourned April 23rd, Dr. O. W. Gibson
continued senator and E.S. Hoppin and H.W. Lightly were re-elected
representatives. The twenty-seventh legislature of 1891 assembled January 6th
and adjourned April 20th. Oscar Ayers of Austin was elected senator and J.J.
Furlong of Windom and G. W. Benner of Dexter were chosen representatives.
The twenty-eighth legislature of 1893 met January 3rd and adjourned April 18th.
Oscar Ayres continued as senator and J.J. Furlong and George W. Benner were
re-elected members of the House. The twenty-ninth legislature of 1895 met January
8th, adjourned April 23rd. Sam Sweningsen of Austin was elected senator and
John Mathiesen of Lansing and J.J. Furlong of Windom were elected representatives.
The thirtieth legislature of 1897 met January 3rd and adjourned Aprtil 21st.
Sam Sweningsen continued senator and C.L. West of Austin and L.C. Scribner
of Frankford were chosen as representatives. The thrity-first legislature
of 1899 met January 3rd and adjouorned April 18th. Sam Sweningsen was again
elected senator from Austin and C.L. West and L.C. Scribner were re-elected
to the House of representatives. Mower county was made the 6th district by
the apportionment of 1897. Windom township is now a part of the North
Representative District. The thirty-second legislature of 1901 assembled
January 8th and adjounred April 12th, S. Sweningsen senator, G.W.W. Harden
of LeRoy and W.A. Nolan of Grand Meadow representatives. This legislature
met in extra session in February 1902 to consider the report of the tax
revision commission. The above is the last meeting of the Minnesota
I hope my readers will excuse me if I vary the program
somewhat, and write up a few of the reminiscences of myself and some of my
old friends. In the fall of 1869 I had the honor of being sent as a delegate
to the county convention that met in Austin to nominate a legislative ticket
to represent Mower county in the legislature of 1870. G.N. Cameron was
nominated by Austin friends and Hosmer A. Brown of Brownsdale was presented
by his friends as their candidate. The legislature of that winter was the twelfth
that had met since the state was admitted into the union. It was my privilege
to be instrumental in placing the name of Hosmer A. Brown of Brownsdale in
nomination as one of the candidates to be voted for. He was nominated and
elected. It was my luck to be in St. Paul at the opening of the session when
Mr. Brown came up to commence his legislative duties, about that time there
came a lady to St. Paul from Connecticut by the name of Mary Louisa Frink and
I was not a little surprised to hear from my bachelor friend, H. A. Brown,
that he and Miss Frink were to be married. It appears that it had all been
arranged that she was to meet him in St. Paul to be married. At the close
of the legislature March 4th, Mr. and Mrs. Brown came to Brownsdale where they
continued to reside until Mrs. Brown's death on August 3, 1900. She was a
woman of rare personal and literary excellence.
Mower County Transcript, Wed., June 11, 1902, pg 1.; 13th article
[ NOTES: this article ended with "To Be Continued", so maybe there are
more articles that we do not know about. ]