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Otter Tail County MNGenWeb

Nidaros Twp & Vining Village





From Trygg Historical Maps, Trygg Land Office, Ely, MN
b=bottom land, m=marsh, p=prairie, s=swamp

 Basic Facts:

Township N132, Range W39
Clitherall village established 1865
Government survey 18??
First Settled 18??
Organized September 5, 1871
Clitherall village platted 1881
NP Railroad arrived 1882
Vining village platted 1882
Clitherall village incorporated 1898
Vining village incorporated 1909


[Copied by Lory Brasel,, from the book "History of Otter Tail County" Volume I - 1916 by John W. Mason]

Nidaros township first made its appearance among the townships of Otter Tail county on September 5, 1871. The first election was held at the house of Mathias Oleson on the 23rd of the same month. The petition for the erection of this township was dated September 1, 1871, and contained the names of fifteen legal voters, every one of whom was a native of Norway. The list follows: Mekal Amunson, Ingebrit Hogenson, Petter Petterson, Peter Albert, Mathias Olsen, Andrias Olsen, Haagen Peterson, Ole Jorgensen, Hans Mikelsen, Roland Haagensen, Iver Anker, Bernt Bersen, Seffenias Borsen, Andrias Maalson and Thon Hartvik.

Nidaros township is bounded by Girard on the north, Folden on the east, Leaf Mountain on the south and Clitherall on the west. Parts of two large lakes are to be found in the township, Stuart and Clitherall. Other lakes within the township are Syverson, Brederson and Bull Head. The surface of the township is rolling, but most of it is under cultivation.

The township was greatly benefited by the building of the Northern Pacific branch through the northern part in 1882. This brought the township in touch with the county seat and afforded a better market for farm products. The old paths through the woods and around the lakes have given way to good roads and in this way the farmers have been enabled to reach the railroad with their products. Early in the history of the township a Lutheran church was built on the western end of Syverson lake, in section 21, and this is still the center of an active religious life.

There are two flourishing villages in Nidaros, Clitherall and Vining, both being located on the Northern Pacific.

The present township officers are as follow: Supervisors, T. B. Duhn, Christ Johnson and J. A. Anderson; clerk, O. C. Ukkelberg; treasurer, O. F. Herbranson; assessor, C. H. Leth; justices, O. F. Erickson and E. R. Moulton; constables, Arthur Anthony and Isack Olson. Clitherall.

The village of Clitherall is the oldest village in Otter Tail county, although it was not platted until several years after it became a thriving little trading center. It was settled in 1865 by the nonpolygamous Mormons, who were the first settlers in the county. The Whitings were among the first settlers in the village and it was on the land of Lucius A. and Diademma Whiting, that the village was platted by George A. Burbank in the fall of 1881. The original town stood on section 6. The plat was recorded in the office of the register of deeds on October 17, 1881. According to the petition asking for incorporation which was presented to the commissioners on September 1, 1898. the village covered about one hundred and twenty acres and contained one hundred and seventy-six inhabitants. The following legal voters signed the petition asking for an incorporation: G. W. Whiting, S. N. Lundquist. J. S. Kotschaver, K. H. Robbin, L. E. Larson, S. Halverson, Jul. Morstad, J. T. Bjerkvedt, Tom Tornquest, Ed. Johnson, A. Taylor, J. E. Curtis, Martin Iverson, B. Otterdahl, W. Smith, Lars Assleson, A. M. Bader, A. Wilson, E. E. Whiting, L. I. Langness, R. H. Smith, A. L. Fletcher, Alonzo Whiting, Lin Lundquist, J. B. Hoff, Ben Whiting, E. Fletcher, B. J. Hoff, Bert Whiting, Andru O. Moe, Chancey Whiting, Albert Rots and Robert Halvorsen.

The petition was granted by the commissioners on September 1, 1898, and an election ordered for the fourth of the following month. Of the twenty-seven votes cast all but one were in favor of incorporation.

The present village officers are as follow: President, A. Gustafson; trustees, L. I. Langness, R. T. Robinson and H. A. Gosslee; clerk, A. Larson; treasurer, J. Severson; assessor, L. C. Whiting; constable, H. O. Saetre. Vining.

The village of Vining is located in the northeastern part of Nidaros township on the branch line of the Northern Pacific running between Wadena junction and Fergus Falls. It was laid out by L R. Lathrop in the fall of. 1882 for Ole and Anna Johnson, J. F. and Johanna Geysler and Andrew T. and Anna K. Lund. When a number of citizens, interested in having the town incorporated, took a census on March 17, 1909, they found two hundred and ten inhabitants scattered over the seven hundred and sixty acres which they asked to be included within the incorporated village. A petition was presented to the commissioners on March 23, 1909, asking for a special election on the question of incorporation. This petition was signed by the following legal voters of the proposed incorporated village: Charles A. Lund, Ole T. Nyhus, O. A. Lund, Andrew T. Lund, Ole C. Olson, Lander Manson. Harry Olson, T. H. Froslie, G. Gulbranson, Edward Lund, Carl F. Berg, Christ F. Berg, A. B. Trana, Andrew Walseth, George Monson, H. R. Hogenson, Andrew Gunderson, John Funderud, Jr., Richard Haugenson, Nils N. Kloystad, Hans Christenson, William Timroth, John A. Timroth, M. S. Nyberg, J. F. Olson, H. A. Lund, John O. Hoff, and Oscar Anderson. The petition was granted and the election set for Tuesday, April 20, 1909. The vote showed that there were only nine voters in the village out of forty opposed to incorporation.

Vining is now a village of. about. two hundred and twenty-five. There are two Norwegian Lutheran churches in the village. There is at present a bank, hotel, creamery, but the chief industry of the town is the buying and selling of the grain and the trade along this line has risen to such proportions that it requires three elevators to take care of the season's crops. This is also good evidence that the farms are very productive. The elevators are owned by the Andrews Grain Company the Farmers Elevator Company and Thowald H. Froslie. A. B. Trana is the present station agent.

In addition to the two villages, there are four summer resorts which have been platted since 1902, namely: Sunny Side, Nirvana, Fox Park and Camp Idlewood.

The great poet, Shakespeare has said "What's in a name," and he who named the attractive summer resort in the northwestern part of Nidaros township with the bright name "Sunny Side" must have had a hearty appreciation of what it takes to attract the wayfarer. It was platted by Martin Aalberg for Andrew T. and Anne K. Lund and the plat was recorded August 26, 1902.

One of the most pleasant summer resorts of Otter Tail county rejoices in the name of Nirvana. Located in the northern part of Nidaros township, on the east bank of Stuart lake, it occupies a picturesque spot pleasantly suggestive of the poetic name which it bears. It was platted by J. Q. Burbank for Charles G. Bade in the fall of 1904, the plat being recorded in the register of deeds office on September 15.

The plat of Fox Park was recorded June 20, 1905, by J. Q. Burbank for John N. and Mildred M. Fox. It is located in section 4, on the shores of Stuart lake.

The plat of Camp Idlewood was recorded November 16, 1907. It was laid out by Martin Aalberg for H. L. and Bertha L. Shirley. It is located in section 4 on the western shores of Stuart lake.


Population totals in state and federal census summaries.

   Nidaros  Vining Village
 1875  186  
 1880  311  
 1885  649  
 1890  684  
 1895  792  
 1900  717  
 1905  593  196
 1910  494  212
 1920  524  241
 1930  504  222
 1940  582  176
 1950  398  
 1960  320  
 1970  234  

Places of birth for Nidaros Township in the 1905 state census.

 Native (USA)  51   9%
 Minnesota  418   70%
 Foreign  320   54%
     Germany  0   0%
     Sweden  47   15%
     Norway  258   81%
     Canada  0   0%
     Ireland  0   0%
     Denmark  15   5%
     England  0   0%
     Poland  0   0%
     Finland  0   0%
     Russia  0   0%
     Scotland  0   0%
     Other  0   0%

Land Maps


The following names have been extracted from original land records (by John Nelson) and Mason's History (by Karen Terry). Albert , Peder ; Amonsen , Mikal ; Andersen , Anders P , Andrew P ; Baardsen , Bernt C ; Baardson , Anne , Syphenias ; Bakene , Ole O ; Berg , Hans P ; Bjerketved , Thomas T , Thorer T ; Bratley , Sivert A ; Christenson , Hans ; Christopherson , Ole ; Corliss , John W ; Ellingsen , Truls ; Ellingson , Ole ; Erikson , Thorenus ; Gibson , Anna E ; Gysler , Johan E , John ; Haagensen , Ingebright N ; Halverson , Ole ; Halvorsen , Peder ; Halvorson , Even ; Hamberg , Johan E ; Hanson , Christopher , Emma ; Hastad , Ole T ; Herbranson , Herbran E ; Hoff , John O , Nils J ; Iversen , Ole ; Jacobson , Jens S ; Johannesen , Nils ; Johansen , Thomas C ; Johnsen , Bent ; Johnson , Haagen , Hans , Ole ; Kilsen , Torval ; Kinney , Thomas ; Kulberg , Ole P ; Kvilhang , Bertha C ; Larson , George ; Linder , Peter ; Lund , Andrew T , Edward T ; Lundgren , Carl ; Mansson , Hakan ; Martin , Hans ; Mugeberg , Martineus S ; Murdock , Charles E ; Nilson , Lars ; Nosen , Andreas O , Ole A ; Oahals , Matheus O ; Olansen , Henrik ; Olsen , Andrew , Iver ; Olson , Martin ; Olsson , Sven ; Pederson , Elling ; Peterson , August , Elna ; Sandal , Nils K ; Shappell , William P ; Siverson , Thomas ; Sorenson , Lars ; Stene , Ole E ; Strobeck , Marie S ; Stubskind , Ole ; Sundqvist , Jons N ; Svenson , Johan ; Tassie , Elizabeth ; Thomann , Adolph ; Thompson , John M ; Valof , Ole E ; Wastvedt , Laurits T ; Whiting , Almon

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