"HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY"
Compiled by Dr. L. H. Bunnell
Published Chicago by H. H. Hill, Publishers, 1884
Republished Currently by Higginson Books
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The river Zumbro entered the town of Troy from the northwest, in section 6, a quarter of a mile east of the town-line, and flowed in a southeasterly direction till it reached a point one mile south of the center of the town, where it turned and followed a northeasterly course, and finally leaving the town about on the line of sections 13 and 24, it being the center of the north and south line. This river rendered it so inconvenient for the people to meet, and especially so in the spring, that it was finally decided (the consent of the county commissioners having been obtained) at a town meeting held March 19, 1861, to divide the town, the Zumbro forming the boundary, and also to call the new town south of the river, Zumbro.
The first settlers in this town ~ at that time Concord ~ were the Baileys; Thomas, George and Andrew, who came in the early part of 1855, and followed some time in the summer of 1856 by the Jenkins family, father and two sons, and a Mr. Baker. The first school was taught in the late Isaac Jenkins claim shanty in the summer of 1859, by Miss Nellie Walker, (some say Miss Hellen Everet, Miss Nannie Walker, but the majority say Miss Nellie Walker) who received twelve dollars for the term of three months, and boarded herself. This school, now known as district 49, was organized in 1861, and the first school after its organization was held in a shanty built expressly for that purpose by York and Jenkins, and which was used for that purpose till 1864, when the red schoolhouse was built, being located on section 31. The first teacher in the red schoolhouse was Miss Hattie Ruber. In 1863, a postoffice, called South Troy, was established, but at the end of two years was discontinued. The present postoffice is located at Hammond, a station of the narrow-gauge railroad. Agriculture was the occupation of the people, but little if any other kind of business being carried on til 1866, when a Mr. John Ralton brought on a stock of goods and opened a store for the accommodation of the people in that section of the country.
The records show the first town meeting to have been held May 11, 1858, when the following officers were elected ~ then known as Troy: George Fanning (chairman), George Roberts, Edward York, supervisors; John Ritter, clerk; Isaac Jenkins, assessor; Parish Dewitt, collector; Francis W. Shaw, A. J. Jenkins, constables; George W. Fanning, Isaac Jenkins, justices.
The following is the record so far as chairman of supervisors and town clerks are concerned:
At a town meeting held March 19, 1861, it was voted to divide the town, and all that portion lying south of the Zumbro to be known as the town of Zumbro, and all north of the river to be called Hyde Park, and the first election for the new town was held April 2, 1861.
The schools of Zumbro are known as district No. 47, located in section 35; No. 48, located in section 34; No. 49, located in section 31; No. 52, located in section 13; No. 53, located in section 24.
In 1859 a branch of this society was organized by Elder Walker, and services were held in the Red School-house, district No. 49. On alternate Sundays, Elder Walker preached in the morning at the south Troy schoolhouse, and in the afternoon at the red school-house. At the expiration of eight or nine years he was succeeded by Elder Pegler, who officiated for two years. Elders Baldridge, Hartley and Norton were the predecessors of Elder Cox, who is now the officiating preacher.
Since the organization of the branch in the red schoolhouse, some thirty or forty members have been added to the society, rendering their present quarters too small for comfortable accommodation. Accordingly a move was set on foot to build an edifice expressly for church purposes. By the aid of the South troy society and that extended by the Wesleyan denomination of the State of Minnesota, they were enabled to accomplish their object, having now nearly completed a church edifice to cost about fifteen hundred dollars, and to be finished in time for fall services.
The only other church in the town of Zumbro is that of the German Lutherans, who have a church located in the extreme southeastern part of the town in section 36.
The only village in the township is Hammond, which is thirty-three miles west of Wabasha, on the Midland road. The village consists of about one hundred inhabitants, two general stores and one hardware store. The general stores are owned and conducted by E. N. York and Brucher Bros. respectively. The hardware store is owned by M. J. Maldoon. These stores do a very large business.
The Minnesota Elevator Company has erected a very large grain elevator at this place, and it is said this is the largest wheat market on this branch of the road. The elevator is in the charge of M. J. Maldoon.
A postoffice is kept in the store of E. N. York, who is also the postmaster.
In 1883 the German Lutherans erected a church for their use in Hammond, and this is the only church building in the village.
The town dates its existence to the completion of the narrow-gauge road, but the locality was known as Hammond's Ford prior to that time. The name has its origin in Joseph Hammond, an old settler, and the original owner of the site.
The Zumbro river divides the village into two nearly equal parts, they being connected with a bridge which spans the stream at this place.
Some time after the division into Hyde Park and Zumbro, and for the same reasons, all of that portion of Mazeppa east of the south branch of the Zumbro river was set off and added to the town of Zumbro. This gives to the township nearly sixteen miles of waterfront, and the land bordering on the river and its branch is extremely rough and broken, hardly fit for farming, and equal in extent to nearly one quarter of the whole township.
The balance is very high rolling prairie, with an occasional growth of natural timber.
Greenwood Wesleyan Methodist Church. ~ This was the second society organized in the township, and the second by this sect in the state. The first has already been alluded to, and the circuit was known as South Troy circuit. Greenwood church derives its name from the location of its first headquarters, on Greenwood prairie, in Farmington township, Olmsted county. The class was first formed February 7, 1869, and included the following gentlemen and their wives: A. J. Jenkins, Sidney Corp, James Henry, Thomas Bailey, Christ Hope; also Louis Warnic, Joel Pugh, George Bailey, Jane, Joseph and Mary Roberts, James Sweeney and Elisha and William Perkins. Before the end of March the following have united with this organization: James Arnold and Lyman Wilson, with their wives, and Thomas Wilson, Ezra Pugh, Charles Roberts and John Potter, Jr. Soon after its inception the society became identified with Zumbro township, and this became its home. In 1882 a church edifice was begun on section 36 (Range 14), and was completed during the second winter following. No indebtedness was incurred, and the building was completed as means could be found. It is a handsome frame structure, 42 x 26 feet in size, surmounted by proportionate belfry, and neatly painted. Its cost as completed was one thousand dollars. The society now includes forty-six members, under the pastorate of Rev. Charles Cox. A Sunday school was organized early, by Mr. Sidney Corp. The school now includes sixty-eight pupils, with seven teachers and officers. O. H. Tucker is superintendent. The several pastors have served for the number of years set opposite their names below. The first was the organizer of this and the South Troy societies: H. E. Walker, 3; George Pegler, 3; H. E. Walker, 2; M. R. Baldridge, 1; Thomas Hartley, 2; C. H. Norton, 1; Charles Cox, 3.
South Troy Wesleyan Methodist Church. ~ As early as 1866, Almond and Mary A. Martin and William Perkins covenanted together as Wesleyan Methodists. Next year a society was formed, March 24, with ten members. There are now about twice that number. Since 1868 services have been kept up quite regularly by this society, and by the Methodist Episcopal church at the South Troy and "Red" schoolhouses. This class holds stated services in the South Troy schoolhouse at this time.
Pleasant Prairie Grange, No. 56. ~ This lodge of the Patrons of Husbandry was organized in 1870 at what is known as the Dale schoolhouse. The first officers of the grange were as follows: Thomas Fryer, master; James Henry, secretary; O. H. Tucker, lecturer; Pratt Drinkwalter, overseer; A. E. Randall and George Evertt, stewards; L. M. Howard, chaplain; D. F. Wyatt, treasurer; Mrs. Wyatt, pomona; Mrs. Tucker, flora; Mrs. Henry, ceres; Mrs. Anderson, lady assistant steward. The membership reached about thirty, and meetings were kept up until February, 1876.
There is a German Lutheran church on section 36 (range 15), and an Allbright German church on section 28, in the village of Hammond's Ford.