Taken from the book "History of Goodhue County" published in 1878.
THE HISTORY OF GOODHUE COUNTY.
The first birth was in the family of George W. Bullard in 1852. The
same child died in 1854, which was the first death in the town.
The first marriage was Joseph F. Thompson and Miss Melissa Ping-rey,
in 1855; James B. Smith, Esq., performing the ceremony.
In the fall and winter of 1854. J. F. Pingrey taught school in a hall
over a store. Rev. J. W. Hancock and Rev. Maathew Sorin held meet-ings
as early as 1853. The place now supports in and around a few
well tilled farms, but other towns have ripened into prominence, and
Waucouta's former glory has been eclipsed by her more enterprising
In 1862 there were thirty-two registered voters, of which seventeen
entered the army, thus keeping the town always ahead of her quota.
Waucouta, like many places of early promise, lived its day, fulfilled
its destiny and retired to the shade, to spend the evening of its days in
quietness and rural simplicity.
In the spring of 1855, N. B. Gaylord and his brother George, located
for a few weeks on Rock Creek, in the northern portion of the town-ship.
Mr. Gaylord soon after removed to a new location on Wells
Creak, and in August Joseph S.. Thompson, with his family, settled near
Mr. Gaylord's, and began opening a farm.
Claus Hoist and several other German families located near the head
waters of Wells Creek that fall. The next season a large immigration
poured into different parts of the township.
Ida Thompson was the first child born in the township June 13, 1856.
The first marriage was the union of Mr. George Steele and Miss Junia
Pingrey, a sister of Mrs. J. S. Thompson, at whose house the ceremony
was performed, Aug. 14, 1855, by J. B. Smith. Little Etta Gaylord was
the first death-1858-two years of age.
Mr. Gaylard having a good water power, put in operation a large hand
coffee mill, and ground for himself and neighbors, flour, meal and other
articles, for the accommodation of the new beginners. Having used up
two coffee mills, he next procured a small burr mill stone, and kept
gradually improving his primitive enterprise until he launched out into
a full-grown mill with two run of stone, with a capacity of 120 bushels
of wheat per day. This coffee mill enterprise was in the year 1858-9.
The Belvidere mill finally took rank among the good mills of the coun-try.
Rev. John Watson held religious services in the house of Nelson
B. Gaylord as early as the summer 1856; and Miss Delia Eggleston
THE HISTORY OP GOODHUE COUNTY.
taught a school in a room of her father's house in 1857, being the first
school in that section of country.
In 1862 the German Methodists built a cosy log church near Gaylord's
mill at an expense of $300, and in the southern part of the township,
1865, the Catholics erected a good frame church building, where in
they have forty acres of land also.
The Norwegian Lutherans built a church near the west line in 1867.,
Belvidere is now amply supplied with fine churches, good school build-ings,
flouring mills, together with the necessary mechanical and manu-facturing
enterprises required by a thrifty rural people in the ordinary
avocations of life.
The town of Belvidere, was settled in the year 1855, mainly by Ameri-cans
from the Eastern States, and was organized as an independent
election district in 1858.
The first town board was appointed by the county board as follows:
Supervisors, Mlason 0. Egleston, chairman, William Thomas, G. D. Post;
town clerk, Hubert Eggleston; assessor, B, F. Chase; tax collector, J.
S. Thompson; justice of the peace, Marcus Eggleston; constables, James
Loan and George Gay.
The first town meeting was held on the 5th day of April, 1859, and
the following officers were elected: Horace W. Twitchel, chairman of
the board of supervisors, Marcus Eggleston and Mason 0. Eggleston,
supervisors; town clerk, Hubert Eggleston; assessor, G. D. Post; col-lector,
J. S. Thompson; overseer of poor, Nelson B. Gaylord; constables,
Jacob Church and George Gay; justices, Marcus Eggleston and B. R.
In the year 1860, Horace W. Twitchel was.elected chairman of the
board of supervisors, George Gelords and Knut Knuutson, supervisors;
Hubert Eggleston, clerk; Marcus Eggleston, assessor; N. B. Gaylord,
town treasurer and poor overseer; Marcus Eggleston and B. R. Prince,
justices of the peace; assessor, Star Dennison; justices, Star Dennison
and H. N. Eggleston; constables, Win. Kinney and B. R. Prince. 1870,
all the old officers held over except Mason O. Eggleston, who was ap-pointed
chairman of the board of supervisors, John Alley resigning.
In 1871, John Alley was elected chairman of the board of super-visors;
Peter J. Hilden and Walter Brown, supervisors; clerk, B. R.
Prince; treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; assessor, H. N. Eggleston; justices,
John Alley and B. R. Prince; constables, Wm. Lane and Wm. Kinney.
'THE HISTORY OF GOODHUE COUNTY.
In 1872, John C. Johnson was elected chairman of the board of super-visors,
and J. S.-Thompson and Stephen Redding, supervisors; clerk,
Peter J. Hilden; treasurer, C. C. Roberts; assessor, Walter Brown;
justices, Walter Brown and George Stace; constables, Wm. Lane and
S. Mageras. In 1873, John C. Johnson was re-elected chairman, as well
as J. S. Thompson and S. Redding, for supervisors; clerk, T. J. Hilden;
treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; assessor, George Stace; justices, George Stace
and Walter Brown; constables, James Arden and E. Fountain. In
1874, the same town board was re-elected, with the exception of A. W.
Fountain being elected justice of the peace, Walter Brown not qualify-ing.
In 1875, William Thomas, Per'ry George and Martin Johnson were
elected supervisors, William Thomas being elected chairman; clerk, T.
J. Hilden; assessor, George State; treasurer, C. C. Roberts; justice,
John C. Johnson; constable, R. Mlallan. In 1876, William Thomas,
Perry George and George Stace were elected supervisors, William
Thomas being elected chairman; clerk, Peter J. Hilden; treasurer, C.
C. Roberts; assessor, John 0. Johnson; Stephen Redding, justice of the
peace; John Mageras, constable. In 1877, Perry George was elected
chairman of the board of supervisors; Martin Johnson and John Shafer,
supervisors; clerk, T. J. Hilden; assessor, John C. Johnson; treasurer,
N B. Gaylord; justices, John C. Johnson and Peter Krall; constables,
C. A. J. Hanson and Hubert Mageras. In the year 1878, Perry George
was re-elected chairman of the board of supervisors; Stephen Redding
and Olaus Johnson elected supervisors; clerk, P. J. Hilden; assessor,
George Labbitt appointed; treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; John C. Johnson
and P. Krall, holding the justice office; C. A. J. Hanson and S. Mageras,
constables. The town has always been very patriotic, and when the
war broke out the men enlisted as one man, all that conveniently could
leave their homes, and when President Lincoln called for 300,000 more
they enlisted, whether they could leave their homes or not; but besides
this private subscriptions were made to bounties in the sum of $3,500.
The following named men enlisted from time to time during the war:
Hubert Eggleston, William S. Kinney, John Arden, James Arden,
Michael Corcoran, T. Erickson, John E. Olin, James N. Wood, Peter J.
Lotty, F. Snidert, R. J. Daniels, Bent E. Olin, Benjamin Chase, B. R.
Prince, Walter Brown, William Parsons, John Alley, Cyrus Klingen-schmidt,
Ole Syverson, Timothy O'Regan, Timothy Houson, John
Wayze, W. S. Williams, Svenom Hendrickson . A ..Amundson, John
Amundson, John C. Johnson, Jacob Wohlers, Peter J. Hilden, John
Bomback, Fred. Bomback, Joachim Holst, Jacob Hoist, Claus Hoist,
John Holst, William Buckholst, N. B. Gaylord, George Gaylor, John
THE HISTORY OF GOODHUE COUNTY.
Arden, Thomas Booth, Peter Swetchser, William Suckhaa, Fredrick
Luchan, James T. Bowker, William Berley, Ole Nelson, John Nelson,
Watson Devore, Frank Lane, Peter Wagoner, Nicolaus Lippert, R.
Kolby, Andrew Baker, Ammond Larson, and Samuel Church..Some
of those'died in the army, and at the time the town was almost depopu-lated
of able-bodied men; but the town is now in a flourishing condi-tion
and at present pretty well settled, mostly by Germans and some
Norwegians and Americans. We have five churches-one Catholic,
two Methodist and two Lutheran, and seven schoolhouses, all in good
In 1861, Horace W. Twitchel was elected chairman of the board of
supervisors'; William Thomas and Mason Eggleston, supervisors; Reuben
Ward, clerk; Marcus Eggleston, assessor; Nelson B. Gaylord, treasurer
and overseer of the poor; Marcus Eggleston and Ben. Prince, justices.
In 1862,.J. S. Thompson was elected chairman of the board of super-visors;
and George Stace and William Perly, supervisors; Halvor
Knutson, clerk; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; assessor, B. F. Chase;
justices, Peter J. Hilden and Marcus Eggleston; constables, John 0.
Johnson and Frank Lane. Joseph S. Thompson was then re-elected five
years in succession, and held the chairmanship six years successively.
The other supervisors under him in that time were:
In 1863, William Perly and George Gay; clerk, Oliver Knutson;
treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; assessor, Marcus Eggleston; J. S. Thompson,
overseer of the poor, which office he held till the county took them in
their care; Peter J. Hilden, justice of the peace, which office he held
till the year 1875, when he enlisted in the army.
In the year 1864, C. C. Roberts and Halvor Knutson were elected
supervisors; J. S. Thompson, chairman; town clerk, Reuben Ward;
treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; assessor, Julius Munger; Constables, Caleb
Reynolds and William Thomas; justices, G. H. Gaylord and P. J. Hilden.
In the year 1865, J. S. Thompson was elected chairman; Wm. Thomas
and Daniel Mallan, supervisors; clerk, Oliver or Halvor Knutson;
assessor, George Stace: treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; justices of the
peace, Marcus Eggleston and John Alley; constables, Ole Knutson and
In the year 1866, J. S. Thompson was elected chairman of the board
of supervisors; Wm. Thomas and John Luchan, supervisors; A.
W. Fountain, clerk; H. W. Twitchel, treasurer; S. R. Ward, assessor;
justices, Star Dennison and John Alley; constables, B. R. Prince and
J. S. Thompson.
In the year 1867, M. 0. Eggleston was elected chairman of the board
THE HISTORY OF GOODHUE COUNTY.
of supervisors, but did not qualify for the office, and J. S. Thompson
held over that year. William Thomas and Halvor Knutson were elected
supervisors; clerk, A. W. Fountain; treasurer, 0. C. Roberts; assessor,
Star Dennison; justices of the peace, Marcus Eggleston and P. J.
Hilden; constables, R. W. Dewore and J. C. Maybe.
In 1868, John Alley was elected chairman of the board of supervisors;
George Stace and E. Northfield, supervisors; clerk, Stephen Roberts;
treasurer, C. C. Roberts; justices, H. N. Eggleston and Edwin Bullard;
assessor, Star Dennison;. constable, Albert Pratt: In 1869, John Alley
was re-elected chairman of the board of supervisors; Walter Brown
and John C. Johnson were elected supervisors; Stephen Roberts, clerk;
treasurer, N. B. Gaylord.
This township was first settled in 1854 by Francis Yergens'and John
Mann. In 1855 David Hickock, John Ingerbretson, Harry Danielson,
Oliver Knutson and Knut Knutson, came in, and selected lands and
made claim. David Hickock and John AIann each built houses and
opened them as hotels, and though the population in their immediate
vicinity was small, travel was quite brisk, and the hotels were consid-ered
a success, so much so that when P. Easterly came the next year
(1856) he also built a hotel, which he kept in operation for a number
The first birth in Goodhue was in 1855, when a child was born to Mrs.
Frances Yergens, which was christened Henry. The wife of Mr. David
Hickock died in 1856, which was the first death in town. The funeral
sermon preached on that occasion was the first religious service. Rev.
Jabez Brooks officiated. The first school was taught by Miss Georgi-ette
Easterly, in the summer of 1857.
In 1858 H. H. Oleson opened a blacksmith shop, which was the only
one in the township, till 1868, when a man named AMutz built a shop
near Easterly's hotel.
There are five good school houses. Goodhue is one of the finest
agricultural towns in the county, and all the farmers seem to think they
cannot do better than to stick to their farms, some of whom have very
The business of the town being entirely agricultural, events have not
transpired to make a very exciting history, and interesting only so far
as all are interested to know that material wealth is being gathered