Search billions of records on

Chapter 15
Pages 113 ~ 120

From the book
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge and Others
Published Winona, MN by H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 1920
Republished Currently by Higginson Books


Zumbro Falls is a prosperous village on the banks of the Zumbro River and the Midland Division of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway. It is well located, the business section being near the river level, while the school and churches, and some of the older residences, are across the river in what was the original village. Zumbro Falls has a bank, two elevators, a newspaper, a creamery, a telephone company and a stock shipping association. There are two churches, the Methodist and the Congregational. An Advent church flourished for a while, but the church building erected in 1894 has now been converted into a residence.

The history of Zumbro Falls dates from the old ford across the Zumbro on the territorial road leading from Lake City to Rochester. Here the road southward wound its way from the prairie down into the valley, crossed the river a few rods from the present railroad station, continued across what is now called "Drinkwater Flat," south of the river, and then up the grade onto the level of the prairie again, and southward. To this place in 1855 came David Tibbetts, who built a substantial log house on what is now the railroad right of way, south of lot 6, block 2, south row, Whaley's Addition, and nearby established a ferry. At the same time his brother, Abner, of Lake City, secured the land south of the river, but resided on it only long enough to enable him to prove up his claim. His cabin was on the high land south of what is now the Drinkwater Flat. On the ridge north of the village, some 30 or 40 rods northeast of the present schoolhouse, James B. Glover built a cabin in 1858.

Traffic over the road and ferry increased in 1858. John Van Smith built a house on the south side of the river near the ferry, and opened a hotel, furnishing a convenient stopping-place for travelers. In 1859 Edwin Beeman built a shoe shop and Orrin Pencille a blacksmith shop. These two men had no families an lived at the Smith Hotel.

The flood of 1858 covered the flat and did considerable damage. The inhabitants took refuge on higher land, Mr. Tibbetts' family being rescued through the gable end of the roof. The cabin withstood the rush of the waters, but it was flooded nearly to the upper story. As a picture of the life in those times, it is told that Mr. Tibbetts kept his old musket hung from the rafters by leather thongs just under the upper floor and the water flooded the hammers of this old weapon.

About the beginning of the Civil War, Uriah S. Whaley bought out David Tibbetts, moved into his house and started operating the ferry. The village south of the river became quite a hamlet, given a considerable impetus by the surveying, grading and building of the railroad. Among the business houses on that side of the river were those of Charles Bryant, blacksmith shop; David Willard, harness shop; John Dale, wagon shop; Perry Card, hotel; Fidel Sugg, general store; James Burns, saloon and store; Mathias Bright, harness shop; Dr. Rogers, drug store; E. A. Harridan, general store. William Oliver erected a hall, a neat structure with mural paintings, and this became one of the social centers of the community. A Methodist church was also built.

In the meantime Benjamin Clark put in a dam at the rapids which gave the village its name, and erected a grist mill, which he operated for a number of years. When the railroad came through, Mr. Whaley platted a village on the north side of the river, and Whaley's Addition is what now constitutes the village of Zumbro Falls.

In that year, 1878, E. B. Doty erected a store on lot 10, block 1, north row, Whaley's Addition, and opened a hardware store. At the same time a duplicate of the Doty store was erected on lot 11, and William Churchill opened a drug store therein. Other business houses followed. After the cyclone of 1883, E. A. Harridan moved his store and postoffice from the old village to lot 8, block 1, north row, Whaley's Addition.

Business began to die away on the south side of the river, and that hamlet never recovered from the cyclone of 1883. Fidel Sugg and Dr. Rogers were the first to give up business there. The locality is now a residence section, with two churches, the village park, and a number of pleasant homes.

In the meantime Whaley's Addition has grown into the village of Zumbro Falls, taking the name of the former village south of the river. The station which is in this part of the village was not established until several years after the building of the railroad, as the township refused to vote a bonus. In a short time, however, the business of the hamlet demanded it and the station was established. When S. C. Welch engaged in business here in 1894, the village was already one of some size. The business was then nearly all on the north row of Whaley's Addition. The depot had been built, a hotel opened and an elevator established. J. M. Stegner, Son, John Strickland and E. B. Doty had general stores. U. J. Disney had a lumber yard and hardware store, the Stevens Opera House had been built, and G. W. Stevens was operating a blacksmith shop. The schoolhouse was near the location of the present school. The Advent church was also on this side of the river. John Strickland is still in business here. W. J. Disney but recently retired.

Mr. Welch bought in with J. M. Stegner and continued business with him for awhile before securing sole ownership. After continuing for some time alone, he took his son-in-law, L. E. Scruby, as a partner. The firm is now known as Scruby & Co.

The first crossing of the river here was by ford. Later the ferry was built. The first bridge was a pontoon structure of five flatboats, strung together on an iron rod fastened to a stone pier in the middle. The bridge was built by Samuel Doughty. This bridge was smashed by the ice, and replaced by a wooden bridge built by Horace E. Horton. This latter bridge was the one carried away by the cyclone. The structure built to replace it fell out of repair, and the present bridge was erected in its stead. Before the latter was built there was considerable agitation as to its location, many desiring it further down the river and nearer the present village. As finally built, however, it occupied the old site, with its south end leading directly to the heart of the old village.

With the increase in population and the erection of a number of new houses in the spring of 1896, there came a concerted demand for an organized village government. As the result of the work of a number of prominent citizens, a meeting was held, November 3, 1897, with Samuel Welch as chairman and Dr. Thomas R. Watson as clerk. Shortly afterward a committee of four, previously suggested by L. A. Doty, consisting of Samuel D. Welch, J. C. Strickland, W. J. Disney and Dr. T. R. Watson, consulted with attorney A. J. Green of Lake City. A census taken November 8 showed a population within the proposed limits of one hundred and ninety-three. A petition was presented to the county board, November 24, 1897, signed by E. J. Stegner, Thomas R. Watson, L. A. Doty, E. B. Doty, Baxter Doty, J. B. Glover, B. C. Disney, J. M. Stegner, William Potter, C. E. Kirkham, O. S. Clark, J. T. Ritter, H. F. Anding, N. Rosenbloom, E. J. Strickland, J. L. Strick.and, F. B. Anding, W. J. Grogan, S. Hermann, John Vogel, S. D. Welch, W. J. Disney, Henry Bielfeldt, Theo, Pfeiffer, Mike Pfeiffer, T. J. Kirkman, C. F. Scholer, Uriah Whaley, O. E. Kirkman, G. W. Stevens, David Whaley, Warren Clough, Nathan Whaley, O. R. Bint, G. H. Claflin, B. W. Disney, William H. Claflin, W. D. Little, Peter Theisen, Henry Norton, T. B. Warring, E. V. Beals, A. H. Sugg and John Carr. The petition was granted and the election ordered held February 8, 1898. At the election the proposition was carried by a vote of 49 to 11, and the following officers chosen: President, S. D. Welch; trustees, J. L. Strickland, T. B. Warring and L. A. Doty; recorder, T. R. Watson; treasurer, E. B. Doty; justices, George W. Stevens and Pratt Drinkwalter; constables, John T. Ritter and Clarence Kirkham. The first council meeting was held February 28, 1898. At an election held November 16, 1898, there were 41 votes cast for separation and 2 against . The presidents of the village have been as follows: 1898 and 1899, S. D. Welch; 1900 and 1901, Pratt Drinkwalter; 1902, L. E. Scruby; 1903 and 1904, A. Roberson; 1905 and 1906, Pratt Drinkwalter; 1907, L. A. Doty; 1908, Pratt Drinkwalter; 1909, J. C. Brinkman; 1910 and 1911, Thomas Baker; 1912, R. Warren; 1913, John A. Klindworth. The recorders have been: 1898 and 1899, T. R. Watson; 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, and 1904, B. W. Disney; 1905 and 1906, C. G. Burcher; 1907, 1908 and 1909, L. W. Disney; 1910, F. J. Sugg; 1911, L. W. Disney; 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918 and 1919, B. R. Theisen.

The village improvements consist of a park, a village hall, a waterworks system and a sewer system.

The stone "watch house" was erected in 1898. The waterworks system was installed in 1907 and the village hall erected the same year. The following year the hose cart and hose were purchased. The waterworks system consists of the pumping station at the village hall, a well nearby, a tank on the hill, and a system of mains and hydrants. The sewer system was put in in 1914. In 1915 the "watch house" was abandoned, and cages installed in the village hall. The triangular park south of the bridge was laid out in 1899 and tress planted. A street light system of individual oil lamps was installed in 1899 and abandoned in 1907.

When the Farmers Elevator was established in 1900, the village appropriated $30 to help pay a solicitor for selling stock for the purpose. In 1904 a franchise was granted the Zumbro Falls Farmers Telephone Company.

The first postmaster was probably Uriah S. Whaley, who kept the office at his cabin north of the river. He was followed by E. A. Harridan, who kept it at his store south of the river. Next came John Strickland, whose successor was J. B. Glover. Under Cleveland's second administration, Mr. Strickland again served. He was followed by William J. Disney, who in turn was succeeded by A. H. Sugg, who is still in office.

The Zumbro Falls Enterprise was established October 3, 1908, by Hugh R. Smith, and by him sold to the present editor, Fred J. Barton, March 1, 1919.

Hyde Park Lodge, No. 46, I. O. O. F. This lodge was moved to Zumbro Falls, and was here continued for many years. The lodge surrendered its charter in 1914. The last officers were: Noble Grand, A. Roberson; vice-grand, J. Morrisey; recording secretary, L. E. Scruby; treasurer, A. H. Sugg. This lodge absorbed Mazeppa Lodge, No. 72, I. O. O. F.

The children in this vicinity first attended school in a schoolhouse north of the present village, built in 1850. Later a schoolhouse was erected in the village, not far from the present site. It was destroyed by the cyclone in 1883 and replaced with another. The present brick structure was erected in 1913.

The Zumbro Falls State Bank was organized June 6, 1907, and opened for business August 5, 1907. The original stockholders were: William J. Disney, B. W. Disney, E. C. Disney, L. W. Disney, Henry R. Gray, Richard Greer, F. B. Roberson, Maze F. Thierstein, Emil A. Gray, H. A. Frieheit and William Saul, of Zumbro Falls, and W. D. Marvin and L. L. Cornwell of Pine Island. The first directors were: William J. Disney, W. D. Marvin, L. L. Cornwell, Henry E. Gray and William Saul. The first officers were: President, L. L. Cornwell; vice-president, Henry R. Gray; cashier, B. W. Disney. Mr. Cornwell was succeeded as president, January 14, 1912, by William Saul, and on January 13, 1920 by C. W. Radabough. Fred C. Heise succeeded Mr. Gray as vice-president. Mr. Disney has had charge of the bank as cashier since the beginning. The present directors are: Fred C. Heise, F. B. Roberson, J. E. John Steere, J. J. Springer, William J. Disney, C. W. Radabough, William Saul and C. J. Meyers. For a time Mr. Disney operated the bank alone. H. H. Billings became the assistant cashier January 14, 1913. May Drinkwalter became assistant bookkeeper in August, 1913, and was made assistant cashier January 13, 1914. Edna L. Schultz became bookkeeper November 1, 1918. G. N. Reppe, who is still serving, became assistant cashier January 1, 1919. The bank opened in temporary quarters, the present building being completed the same year. It is admirably equipped for its purpose in every way, and it the financial and business headquarters of the village. The original capital stock of $10,000 was on March 27, 1919, increased to $20,000. December 31, 1910, the loans and discounts were $106,555.91, the deposits $134,709.24. December 31, 1915, the loans and discounts were $180,923.59, and the deposits $176,717.02. December 31, 1919, the capital was $20,000; the surplus, $5,000; the undivided profits, $1,781.94; the loans and discounts, $270,986.60; the deposits, $339,649.37.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Zumbro Falls was organized in 1875 through the efforts of the Shores and Suggs of Glasgow Township, the Sprengers of La Crosse and the Rietmanns of Hay Creek, Goodhue County. These families settled here and organized a Sunday school. From this effort grew the present church. H. E. Young was the first pastor assigned. The charter members of this organization were: Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Shores, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Sprenger, Mr. and Mrs. F. Sugg, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Reitmann, and the children of these families. The first services were held in a private home in 1876. An old building was purchased and remodeled into a small church building, the remodeling being done principally by Mr. Sugg. The following pastors have serve this church at different periods: H. E. Young, Adam Miller, L. J. Brenner, William Berg, Herman Meyer, G. E. Rabe, Frederick Hogrofe, Geo. Nedtwick and A. B. Gould, the present pastor. During C. H. Miller's term of ministry the present church building was erected ~ a neat and tasty village church. Services were held in the German language to about 1915. Since that time the services have been held in English. The present membership of the church is 66 enrolled members, with an average attendance of about 125. During late years especial attention has been given the Sunday school work, with the result that this congregation is looked to as a leader in this work throughout this section. This school, at the suggestion of J. J. Sprenger, instituted the Sunday school quarterly review which has become very popular and effective. The church is a live, working church with men and women in it having a real concern for its welfare and is an influential factor in the life of the community.

The Congregational Church of Zumbro Falls was organized November 15, 1890, with four members, Pratt Drinkwalter, E. J. Stegner, C. J. Street and E. Butruff. The early meetings were held in the Methodist Episcopal church. The congregation dedicated its own church December 14, 1890, and in the same year, on August 5, the Congregational society was incorporated, the first officers being: G. W. Stevens, president; John Vogel, clerk, and Minnie Smith, treasurer. The pastors of the church have been the Rev. Messrs. William McArthur, J. C. Huntington, A. L. Struthers, I. C. Todd, J. E. Ingham, J. C. Huntington, W. H. Moore, Frank Ferguson, J. L. Nott, Irving B. Hollman, S. T. Beattie, C. H. Moxie, Paul Albert and John Hayes Barnett. The Rev. A. B. Gould now serves both the congregational and Methodist churches.


Gillford Township occupies Township 110, Range 13. It is bounded on the north by Mount Pleasant, on the east by West Albany, on the south by Hyde Park and on the west by Chester. The land of this township has a gentle roll. It is situated midway between the original forests and rough land, bordering on the Zumbro on the south, and the similar land along the Mississippi on the north. There is an abundance of clear-running water, which renders stock-raising a profitable undertaking.

In the early part of May, 1855, Wm. McCloud, George and Seymour Fanning came to this township, and after taking claims and working through the summer season, they returned to Illinois for the winter and in the following spring they returned here with their families. The same year, 1855, Jos. Fuller took a claim near Mazeppa, but being discouraged by a heavy frost in June was about to return to Illinois when his brother-in-law, Mr. Gill, dissuaded him, and they both settled in Gillford. In the fall of 1855 Mr. Gill returned to Illinois for his family; after spending the winter there and when returning here he was taken sick and died. Mrs. Gill, however, settled in this township, and on account of her amiable character the township was named for her. Mr. McCloud was a man of very great worth to county and township. He laid out the roads in the township; he was a great patron of schools; he did his utmost to promote religious interest in the community; as regards hospitality he could not be surpassed. In the spring of 1856 Messrs. E. M. Hoyt, E. F. Hoyt, W. F. Green and F. Lamb came to this township and took claims in the northwestern part.

The first teacher in the township was Lizzie Green (Bartlett), who taught a select school in a "claim shanty," 10 by 12 feet in dimensions, in the summer of 1858, in the bounds of the district now known as No. 15. The second school was established on section 12, near the present schoolhouse No. 19, and the first teacher was Rosa Montgomery.

Until the summer of 1859 no religious services were held in the township. In that summer a Sunday school was organized at Oak Centre, and after that was in successful operation, two more were organized. As yet there was no preacher or preaching. In the spring of 1860 James Stillwell came into the township and took a claim. It was soon known that he was a Methodist exhorter, so he was waited upon and asked to preach at Oak Centre the following Sabbath. He preached, and the people were so well pleased that he made several appointments, and thus the work continued throughout the summer. In the course of several months a great revival took place, which was so widespread that three new churches were organized, which still exist.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, commonly called the "Lincoln Congregation," was founded July 15, 1881, with eight charter members, namely: Carsten Siems, John Sass, Martin Johnson, John Boesch, Dietrich Recjmann, H. Meyer, H. Dammann and Peter Zimmerman. The first board of trustees was composed of John Sass, Martin Johnson and Carsten Siems. A small frame building was erected in which services were held up to 1901, when a church edifice was put up at a cost of $5,000. The first building is now used as a church school. This property is located in Gillford Township, two miles southeast of Oak Centre. The first pastor was the Rev. Christ Murer, who served nine years. He was followed by Rev. George Terben, whose pastorate lasted eight years. Rev. Otto Sievers, who came next, served six years, and was succeeded by Rev. Paul Beck, who remained pastor for eleven years. The present pastor, Rev. W. F. Rolf, was called in 1917. The congregation has at present pastor, Rev. W. F. Rolf, was called in 1917. The congregation has at present 191 communicants, of whom 56 are voting members. The present board of trustees is composed of Fred Heise, D. Klindworth and John Bartels. The school has an enrollment of 29 and is taught by the pastor. It is held nine months in each year. The other officers of the congregation are: George La Mont, secretary, and A. J. Siewert, treasurer.

The first marriage was that of E. S. Fanning and Hannah Fanning in the spring of 1865. The first child born was Mary Fanning, a daughter of the above. The first death was that of Samuel Fanning, in the fall of 1856.

At the time of the construction of the narrow-gauge railroad through the township a vote was taken whether the town should bond itself. It was lost by a few votes. There are six thousand two hundred and sixty-nine acres of land under cultivation. Politically the township is republican.

The first town meeting was held at the house of L. W. Manning on May 11, 1856. The result of the first election was as follows: E. M. Hoyt, L. W. Manning, David Fanning, supervisors; E. M. Rider, town clerk; James Morehead, William McCloud, justices of the peace; S. Tysdel, assessor; William Green, overseer of poor. The number of votes cast was thirty-four.

Oak Centre is a hamlet in section 5. For several years a postoffice was located in the store there. The name was given by C. C. Lowe on account of the abundance of oak trees in the vicinity.

The Oak Centre Creamery Co. was organized in 1913 with the following officers: President, George La Mont; vice-president, Henry H. Blohm; secretary, George Beaty; treasurer, A. J. Stewert. The company has a well equipped building. In 1919 the factory turned out 165,000 pounds of butter fat, which was marketed principally in Philadelphia. Chester Winters is now president of the concern, with Fred Heitmann vice-president.

Jacksonville is a hamlet near the line between sections 11 and 12.


Chester Township occupies Congressional Township 110, Range 14. It is bounded on the north and west by Goodhue County, on the east by Gillford Township and on the south by Mazeppa Township. The Zumbro river crosses its southwest and southeast quarter-sections. In the southeastern portion of the town there are several fine groves. The general configuration is quite uneven, the region being traversed by numerous valleys, but a rich prairie loam covers the whole and affords a handsome return to the tiller of the soil. A deep valley tributary to the Zumbro, with its several branches, drains the whole surface. Through this valley a bear was pursued by the early settlers, and the region became known as Bear Valley. Trout Brook flows through the southwestern part.

On section 12 of this town is a rare natural cave of large dimensions. It was discovered by Tyler Whipple, in the summer of 1856. Numerous apartments exist, and several have been entered and examined. The exterior entrance is found on the side of a small mound, and the explorer is obliged to descend a narrow passage to gain admission. The passages leading to some of the apartments are so low that one must lie on the face and creep to reach them. The labor is, however, well repaid by a sight of the beautiful stalactites which depend (to hang down) from the roof. One of these rooms is in the form of an inverted jug, the entrance being made through the mouth. In another place is found a well of limpid water; in another a deep pit has been found, whose depth is shown to be very great by the time occupied by a pebble in reaching the bottom.

On section 8, many years since, a solid piece of wood was found at a depth of sixty-four feet, in a well dug on the farm of Philip Arendt.

During the winter of 1854-55 a party of St. Paul gentlemen who were out on a trapping, hunting and fishing expedition, encamped on Trout Brook in the southwestern part of the town. Among the number was James M. Kimble, who was so pleased with the stream, filled a with fine trout, that he determined to settle there. On returning to St. Paul he secured tools and supplies and set out with only one companion to establish a claim. There were hundreds of men at Red Wing waiting for the snow to settle, but Mr. Kimble and his companion pushed on. They lived two weeks in a cloth tent on the banks of the creek, while getting out material and building a cabin. Thus a claim was established in February, on the northwest quarter of section 30, and here Mr. Kimble brought his family in April following. The next settler was probably G. Maxwell, Mazeppa, followed by Peter Bouillard, an Alsatian Frenchman, who still lives on his original claim, on section 28. He came in May, and during the same month came Joseph Caswell and four sons ~ Joseph, Jesse, Cyrus and Hiram; Edward Hunt, William Washey, William Davis, and two sons ~ Robert and James; Daniel Slaymaker and two sons ~ Reuben and Henry; Greenberry Triplett. This year also saw the arrival of Francis Jerry, W. W. Day, G. W. Judd, Wells B. Smith and Thomas Cliff.

Isadore, son of Francis and Elizabeth Jerry, was probably the first white child born in Chester, his birth dating May 13, 1857. In June, 1857, a daughter was born to Nelson B. and Margery Smith, and christened Lottie Ann. She became the wife of John McCabe, and resides in the town. On July 14, 1856, Cyrus L. Caswell and Margaret Jenkins, of this town, were united in marriage at Mazeppa. This is the earliest marriage of Chester's citizens. In the fall of the same year two persons, Edward Hunt and Sarah Washley, agreed to live together as man and wife, and had a contract drawn up to that effect. I. T. Nicholls, of Mazeppa, executed and witnessed this document. The month of May, 1857, also dates the first death in the town. At this time a ten-year-old daughter of William Davis, named Agnes, passed away.

During the winter of 1856-57, Sidney Cross taught a rate school in Caswell's house. During the following winter timbers were got out, and in the spring of 1858 Bear Valley log schoolhouse was erected.

In 1873 Evander and M. Skillman, brothers, built a gristmill on the west side of section 19 on Trout Brook. A gristmill was built on the Zumbro in the extreme southeast corner of the town by Benjamin Clark in 1866, and did a good business till it was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1882.

No stores were maintained within the limits of the town until 1877. During this year Anthony Caspar built a large store on the north line of the town, at Belle Chester. In the spring of 1883 John P. Wagner and John M. Weimar built a fine store on the northeast corner of section 5, opposite Caspar's, and put in a large general stock. This building and its contents were totally consumed by fire on the morning of November 22, the same year, causing a loss of seven thousand dollars.

The Bear Valley postoffice was established in 1856, with Joseph Caswell as postmaster, and was supplied by the Wabasha and Faribault stage line for some time. Mail is now received twice a week by the Lake City and Mazeppa stage route. Early postmasters were: Silas Cross, James M. McMillan, C. M. Bontelle, E. H. Smith, William Morris and Charles E. Buckminster.

The town was politically organized May 11, 1858. The meeting was held at the house of Joseph Caswell, Jr., and the following officers were chosen for the ensuing year: Chairman, F. M. Skillman; associate supervisors, R. H. Davis and Jesse M. Caswell; clerk John A. Slaymaker; he soon resigned and S. J. Buckminster was appointed November 11; assessor and collector, John Hunt; justices, Alfred Ambler and J. A. Skillman. N. B. Smith was appointed collector November 16. The town was originally called Bear Valley and changed to Chester.

Bear Valley Grange. Patrons of Husbandry began its existence about 1870. In 1874 a hall was built by the society on the southwest quarter of section 12.

The Methodist Episcopal Church was the first religious body to have an organization in Chester Township. There were two local elders of the Methodist Episcopal church in the town in 1856, namely, S. E. Standish and Greenberry Triplett. Meetings were held under the leadership of these gentlemen during the year 1856 in Joseph Caswell's house. About the same time, or early in 1857, Rev. Ralph Frasier, a local elder residing in Mazeppa, preached at the same place. To Mr. Standish is given the credit of preaching the first sermon in the town. Rev. Nelson Moon, a local elder, settled in Bear Valley in 1864, and at once began preaching at Bear Valley schoolhouse. The class was formed August 27, 1864, composed of: Nelson, Casandra and Emma Moon, E. H. Davis, Samuel and Emeline Converse, Mrs. H. J. Crump, Huldah Cliff, Joseph and A. B. Spaulding, Susan Merrill, Hiram, Almira and Frances Stacy, Isaac Waters, David Jones, Margaret Caswell, James A. and Mrs. A. Davis, Philo Tenyke and wife. This class was assigned to Gillford circuit.

Rev. Frederick Hill, a Baptist clergyman, who settled in Zumbro ~ then Hyde Park ~ in 1856, soon after held meetings in this town and organized a class.

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bear Valley. The Lutherans at Bear Valley organized with 20 voting members in the year 1888, and selected the above name for the church. The pastors who have served the congregation have been: Rev. Lange, 1887 to 1900; Rev. Ottomar T. Sievers, 1900 to 1906; Rev. Paul Beck, 1906 to 1916; Rev. W. C. Limpert, 1917 to the present time. There are now 21 voting members and 123 communicants.

End of Chapter