"HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY"
Compiled by Dr. L. H. Bunnell
Published Chicago by H. H. Hill, Publishers, 1884
Republished Currently by Higginson Books
Most of this town lies in the bottoms adjacent to the Zumbro river, at its confluence with the Mississippi. The northeastern part is known as Sand Prairie, and the character of the soil is shown by its name. Great expectations were once indulged in regard to this particular locality. On the shore of the great river were standing the empty tepees of an Indian village when white men had begun to congregate in this locality. Timothy Enwright made a claim here, and the location soon attracted the speculative eye of several capitalists, as a feasible site for the up-building of a town. Accordingly, in 1856, Messrs, Thomas h. Forde, of Ohio, and Judge Casey, of Pennsylvania, platted a town, and named it "Teepeota." This was four miles southeast of Wabasha. Boats were induced to land here for a time, and the "boom" prospered. In 1857 Theodore Adams became a partner in the town-site. During this year a three-story hotel was erected, two stores and a blacksmith-shop were in operation, and the village numbered about thirty residences. D. Sinclair & Co. built a sawmill, which was set in operation in the spring of 1858, employing thirty men. The apparent success of this rival soon aroused the jealousy of Wabasha people, and bitter feelings were engendered. However, Teepeota was shortly compelled to acknowledge the superior advantages of its older rival. Boats refused to land there except at rare intervals, and people began to avoid and desert the isolated locality. On a March night in 1859 an incendiary torch was applied to its deserted buildings, and in a few short hours it was swept out of existence. No trace of it can now be seen.
South and west of the Zumbro lies a beautiful and fertile bench, about half-way between the level of the stream and that of the prairie at the top of the bluffs. Here settled, in the spring of 1854, on section 30, Messrs. Levi and Aaron Cook, and this gave rise to the name Cook's Valley, by which the locality is now known. Their location was at the mouth of Cook's valley proper, a valley tributary to that of the Zumbro, and running back southward several miles. Both these gentlemen are now deceased. The former has five children in Dakota and the west.
During the same year Dr. C. C. Stauff, a native of Germany, who had settled at Wabasha in 1853, located a claim near the river on section 19, on this bench, where he dwelt several years. He is now a prosperous merchant in Lake City, and his eldest son is clerk of the district court at Wabasha.
Ephraim Wildes was another settler of 1854, having first located on the northeast quarter of section 34. The next year he moved to section 30 and built the first frame house in the township. Here he died in 1861.
In April, 1854, Isaac Cole, now a resident of Wabasha, located on section 22, on the south bank of the Zumbro. He established a ferry and hotel and was largely patronized, for travel from Wabasha westward naturally followed the valley of the Zumbro. The Indians located by hundreds on the banks of the river were at times exceedingly troublesome, especially when returning noisy and furious from Wabasha, filled with the old-time fire-water. Brandishing their bowie-knives they threatened to kill and exterminated the whites, from which they were prevented only by the squaws wresting the dangerous weapons from them without ceremony. On one occasion they undertook to carry off Cole's ferryboat, and in fact did, but were compelled to abandon the enterprise by a posse of men who pursued and overtook them. Cole's son still occupied the old homestead, having a residence in the village of Kellogg, about one-fourth of a mile south of the site of the log cabin which did duty as a "tavern." In fact, every settler in those days kept a hotel, for explorers were glad to find a dry place to lie down when overtaken by night, and none were turned away hungry as long as the larder contained bacon and cornmeal. Game furnished a considerable portion of the provision against starvation and frequently furnished a meal with no accompaniment save salt.
Among other pioneers of 1854 may be mentioned G. H. Amerland, H. P.Wilson, John W. Murphy and Michael W. Riley, none of whom are now resident here.
The next year marked the arrival of Garret A. Cook, still a prominent and respected citizen of the town. He is a brother of Aaron H. and Levi Cook, and a biographical sketch of him will be found farther on.
Garret Albertson, a local Methodist elder, now deceased, came this year. His brother William at the same time located on section 30, where he now resides. His house has always been open to the weary traveler and is well known as a resort for preachers.
Patrick Holland located a claim on section 29, April 19, 1855, and still dwells thereon.
Daniel Metzgar located on section 30 in 1857, and still tills a small farm there. He is now sixty-two years old and is venerated and beloved for his noble qualities of mind and heart.
J. H. Wehrenberg, Henry Frye, Henry Graner and George McCaffrey settled in the valley in 1856.
A fine stream winds along the middle of the bench and is known as Cook's Valley creek. On the northeast quarter of section 34 is a small gristmill turned by this stream, known as Fish's mill.
Most of the early settlers were men of family, and appreciated the need of educational facilities. At a meeting of the citizens held in G. A. Cook's house, November 8, 1857, a school district was organized. John Canfield, a resident of Glasgow township, was made director, Garret Albertson, treasurer, and G. A. Cook, clerk. The latter has filled the same office for this community ever since, and still has the records of this first meeting. Nearly all the citizens of the town were present, and it was decided to raise fifty dollars for school purposes. By mutual contributions of labor, a log building was erected for a schoolhouse, on the site of the present one, in district No. 28, and school opened the same month. G. A. Cook's daughter, Aurora, was employed at a salary of ten dollars per month, and presided over the instruction of fifteen pupils during the winter. There are now four schoolhouses in the township, and the youth will compare in intellectual development and culture very favorably with those of other rural localities in the state.
A postoffice was located in Cook's valley in the spring of 1859, and supplied by the Wabasha and Austin stages. Daniel Metzgar was appointed to take charge of it, and after keeping it a little more than three years, turned it over to G. A. Cook, who has ever since administered its affairs.
In 1862 a postoffice was established at Pauselim, with W. A. Johnson as postmaster. On the organization of the village of Kellogg, the office was moved thither, and now bears the latter name.
Several of the pioneers were devout Methodists, and steps were early taken to secure the preaching of the word. The earliest religious services were held in the year 1857, at the cabin of Levi Cook, and was conducted by Rev. Crist, a Methodist clergyman. Rev. H. Dyer was soon after sent here by the conference, and he organized a class. In August, 1859, he was assisted in his labors by Garret Albertson, a local elder residing here. Sunday school here included thirty-five pupils.
In March, 1863, a meeting was held at Cook's Valley schoolhouse to take steps toward building a house of worship. The following trustees were elected at this meeting: Oliver Collier, G. A. Cook, John R. Brown, Ezikiel (sic) Collins, Nelson Staples. This committee, with the assistance of Rev. H. dyer, were instructed to solicit funds, and proceed to invest them as fast as secured in the construction of a church edifice. During the same year foundations were prepared and lumber brought on the ground. In the fall, N. Staples was awarded the contract for the carpenter work at seventy-five dollars, to be completed by March 1, 1864. The latter year saw the completion and occupation of the building. It is located on the south side of the Plainview road, on section 30, and is a plain frame structure, 24 x 36 feet in superficial dimension. It has been painted white, but at this writing (February, 1884) is in need of a new coat of color. The original cost of the building was about six hundred dollars, and it will comfortably accommodate one hundred persons.
A church of the same character and dimensions was built at Pauselim, simultaneously with that at Cook's valley. It was removed to Kellogg in 1882, and is now located in the southwest quarter of section 22. Divine service is held in these churches once in two weeks. Rev. Acres, resident at Read's Landing, is the circuit pastor. The Sabbath school at Kellogg includes about twenty-five pupils, in charge of Mrs. Charles LaRue. Much of the religious information above is derived from records now in the hands of G. A. Cook, who was secretary of the first board of trustees. About the time that these churches were built, a Presbyterian missionary was at work among the people, but he did not succeed in organizing a society. It was at first the intention of the Methodists to build only one church, but it was decided to be necessary that a society be maintained at each end of the town in order to preserve the supremacy of Methodism. No minister of any denomination is resident in the town, and the churches above described are the only ones in existence. Garrett Albertson, a local elder, dwelt here some years, and then removed to Alma, Wisconsin, where he died. Many residents of the town are communicants in the Catholic church at Wabasha.
On November 9, 1869, a meeting of citizens was held to arrange for the establishment of a common burial place. A cemetery association was formed, with J. A. Cole, G. A. Cook and Henry Graner as trustees. The latter was made treasurer, and all have served in the same capacity ever since. Two acres of land were purchased at fifty dollars per acre, from Henry Frye and Henry Graner, and the latter donated one-fourth of an acre. This constitutes Greenfield cemetery, and is located on the south side of the Zumbro, in the center of the south half of section 20. Lots sixteen feet square at first sold for five dollars each, but have materially advanced in valuation since that time.
By the spring of 1855 there were many families residing here, and the population soon began to increase by natural augmentation, as well as by immigration. The earliest birth among Caucasian residents was that of Frank, son of H. P. Wilson, and occurred June 25, 1855. August 31 of the same year a son was born to Carl and Wilhelmina Stauff, and christened Frank Henry. He is now associated with his father in business at Lake City. On November 16 a son was added to the family of Levi Cook. Augustus was the name given to this child, and is now living in Dakota. Frank Wilson is also supposed to be living somewhere in Dakota.
Wherever youth of the opposite sexes are associated together, there the little god of the bow and arrow is sure to be found. He came to reside in Greenfield probably as early as 1857, for March 28, 1858, witnessed one of his triumphs in the nuptials of J. Henry Wehrenberg and Anna Frye. This couple still resides here, surrounded by a large family of children. Some time during the same year Henry Stewart and August Wildes went to Sand Prairie and were married without any previous knowledge of their friends that such was their intention. This match appeared to prosper, and the couple is now living in Dakota.
The number of births and deaths recorded by the town clerk since the law requiring such record went into effect ~ from 1871 to 1883, inclusive ~ is as follows:
The earliest deaths recorded in Greenfield were due to violent causes. The first was that of William B. T. Piers, whose demise occurred April 6, 1855, at Wabasha, and was the effect of inflammation caused by the bite of a dog inflicted here. Madison Wildes had two Indian dogs that were very savage, and poor Piers, by some means, incurred their displeasure.
E. M. Wildes, the owner of these animals, was the second resident to bite the dust. Wildes and George Hayes had made claims on adjoining eighties, and these were "jumped" by two men named Henry Dresser and Aleck Beard. These latter built a shanty on the line between the claims and Jointly occupied it. This was in the fall of the year 1856. On a certain Friday Andrew Wildes, a young brother of Madison, with the assistance of another lad, tore down the shanty in the absence of its usurping occupants. On Saturday night following Hayes started for Wabasha from the residence of Ephraim Wildes, father of the boys above named, and was met by Dresser and Beard, who had just discovered the destruction of their cabin. They told Hayes they would rebuild the shanty if they had to shoot every man in the settlement. These men were known to be desperate characters, and Hayes became frightened and returned to Wildes;. Next morning a posse of citizens were gathered and proceeded to the scene of action, on section 29, to induce the unlawful occupants to leave. When the party approached Dresser was on the roof and his companion inside. The former swore he would shoot the first one who touched a board of the building. Disregarding this threat, Wildes walked up and leaned against the building, whereupon Beard began firing at him with a revolver. Wildes was struck above the right groin by a bullet and sank to the ground. He was carried home by his friends and lingered in agony till the next day.
Dresser was known as the leader of a gang of lawless claim-jumpers, and was finally driven out of the country. Seven yokes of oxen were run off by the gang, and Levi Cook's life was saved from their attack only by a gun's missing fire. After their departure peace continued to reign in the valley.
A similar tragedy to that above described occurred on the site of Teepeota. Dr. Enwright had made a claim there, and his rights were disputed by members of the same lawless fraternity. One night in the fall of 1856 a party set out for Enwright's shanty, swearing that, if they could not find him, they would shoot any man found on the premises. An inoffensive man named Polhemus chanced to be staying there that night, in the absence of its owner, and received a bullet in his head. Death was instantaneous. A man named Weston came to his death in a similar way from the same cause at Wabasha. He was reading a paper one evening in his house and was sot through the window. His murderer was never apprehended.
In 1866 a man was found one morning on the western border of the town, with his head hanging out of his buggy, life being extinct. It was ascertained that he was a book agent, and had displayed a sum of money on the morning of the day previous at Wabasha. It was supposed that he had been followed during the day by some covetous wretch, and killed under cover of darkness for his money. No clue to the murderer was ever found, and the name of the murdered man is unknown.
It is said that an unknown man died of cholera in the town immediately after coming off a Mississippi steamer in the spring of 1855. He was in search of land, and came out from Wabasha with a settler. He was struck the same evening with the dread malady, and succumbed to it within a few hours. Two others died about the same time, from the same cause, in the town of Glasgow, just outside this town, and were buried here. While making their coffins, Garret Albertson was struck with a chill, through fear, and could not go on. It was only through the ridicule of his friends that he mustered sufficient will power to recover.
An interesting incident of the great flood of 1859 is thus related: A very profane man, named Edward Deland, had lost two successive crops of small grain on the Zumbro bottoms by flood. In 1859 he Planted forty acres to corn, and on the first of July it was large and looking very fine. He made the remark that morning to a passing neighbor, that he thought he had "got ahead of God Almighty this year by planting his whole farm to corn" which was now beyond damage by high water. In the morning of July 3d, a Wabasha party visited him and purchased his farm, the deed to be made and money turned over the afternoon at Wabasha. While cultivating corn during the forenoon, Deland heard the roar of the approaching flood, and looked up to see a great wall of water rolling toward him. He was barely able to reach his stable and mount to its top in time to escape being swept away. The house, fortunately, was beyond the reach of the rushing waters. Finding he could not circumvent the Lord, he set about "getting ahead" of his purchaser before news of the flood reached him. Taking his wife in a skiff, he reached terra firma by rowing a fourth of a mile. They reached Wabasha, signed the deed, received the money, and returned home well satisfied with the day's events on the whole.
Nearly all business except that of the elevators, of which there are two, is conducted on Belvidere avenue, running east and west. It comprises two dry goods, one drug, one hardware, one liquor and two millinery stores, one meat market and three hotels, Jung's Hotel being the first to establish in the incorporated village. The building is frame, as are all in the place excepting one, and was built in 1874. One solitary brick building, the only outcome of a brickyard venture, by Geo. Howe, of the same date, marks the architecture of Kellogg.
This village was incorporated by a legislative act approved February 14, 1877. The railroad company had adopted the name of Kellogg, in honor of a Milwaukee gentleman who furnished the depot signs, and the village took the same cognomen. The act of incorporation named J. E. Gage, Joseph Ginthner and John Schouweiler as judges of the first election, and they were elected village trustees, with Calvin Potter as president and Edward A. Tupper recorder. J. O. Junkin was elected treasurer. On July 24 C. H. Coleman was appointed recorder, to fill vacancy caused by Tupper's removal from the town.
In 1878 Joseph Ginthner was made president; J. A. Schouweiler, William Barton and T. C. O'Leary, trustees; J. F. Schouweiler, treasurer; and George Howe, recorder.
Since then the following have been chosen officers:
One destructive fire occurred at Kellogg in March, 1880. At this time Calvin Potter's store was entirely consumed in the night; nothing was saved, as the building was wrapped in flames before the fire was discovered. There was no insurance, and Mr. Potter lost his all. He is now in Dakota. A small blacksmith-shop burned previous to this, but the loss was trifling.
A fine school-building stands on the north side of Belvidere avenue, at the west end of the village. About ninety-five pupils attended the school, which is divided into two departments, in the winter of 1883-4.
The assessable lands in the town of Greenfield numbered fifteen thousand three hundred and fifty-eight acres in 1860, and were valued by the assessor at sixty thousand six hundred and seventy dollars. Besides this, two thousand six hundred and forty-nine dollars were laid on town lots, which must have been included in Pauselim or Teepeota, neither of which had a tangible existence at that time. Personal property at that time was assessed four thousand nine hundred and seventy-three dollars, making the total basis of taxation sixty-eight thousand two hundred and ninety-two dollars. The population then numbered four hundred and fifteen. Ten years later it was found that one hundred and seventy-six persons had been added to its number, making five hundred and ninety-one. The next decade added one hundred and ten, and Uncle Sam found out people numbered seven hundred and one in 1880.
In 1883 the assessment of real estate covered twenty-one thousand and seventy-two acres, with a value, including structures thereon, of eight-six thousand six hundred and seventy-four dollars. Of this amount, nine thousand six hundred and twelve dollars covered town lots with their structures. Personal property was rated at twenty-eight thousand seven hundred and ten dollars, and the total assessment lack but four dollars of reaching one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars.
The territorial election for this section was held in the spring of 1856, at the house of Ephraim Wildes. The judges appointed to conduct this election were William Albertson, Henry Dresser and Aaron Cook. The latter was made clerk. At this election Garret Albertson was chosen justice of the peace. No record of this election can be found, and nothing further in relation to its action can be gleaned from the memories of early settlers.
On the organization of the town, May 11, 1858, F. J. Collier was chosen chairmand of supervisors, and Seth C. Tennis Town clerk.
At the gubernatorial election in 1883, the republican candidate received thirty-three votes, and the democratic ninety-five. This is said to be a fair index to the political sentiment of the town.
Kellogg Lodge, no. 122, A. F. A. M., was organized January 13, 1876. Work, under dispensation, was begun April 24, 1875, by the few Masons then resident here. The following were the first officers: M. O. Kemp, W.M.; J. E. Gage, S.W.; M. K. Wolfe, J.W.; J. O Junkin, Treas; Paul Miller, Sec; John Mealey , S.D.; J. W. Moore, J.D.; G. B. Albertson, S.S.; William Albertson, J.S.; John Kins, Tyler.
The lodge is now out of debt, with money in its treasury. A handsome lodge-room is rented and fitted up in the second story of the building on the northeast corner of Winona street and Belvidere avenue. Since the organization thirty-five persons have been connected with the lodge, and its membership now includes twenty-three persons. The present officers are as follows: M. K. Wolfe, W.M.; J. F. Schouweiler, S.W.; L. O. Cook, J.W.; J. O. Junkin, T.; G. W. Foster, S.; J. Hendricks, S.D.; William Albertson, J.D.; Henry Graner, S.S., Charles La Rue, J.S.; W. J. Burns, T.