Brown County, Minnesota

 

   Cottonwood Township

Cottonwood township is in the extreme eastern part of the county, and when first established included a part of Sigel; the latter was set apart in 1862. Its eastern border is the county line, its southern is Linden Township. Its west is Sigel Township and a portion of Milford town ship, while at its north is found a small section of Milford Township and New Ulm and its northeastern portion is bounded by the Minnesota River. Both the Minneapolis & St. Louis and the Chicago & Northwestern railway lines traverse the territory including in Cottonwood Township. Its only village is Searles. Its population in 1910 was Six hundred and ninety-seven.

Its first settlement was effected by Peyton Nichols and S. A. Vanpatten, who arrived in the summer of 1855, locating in section 13; other immigrants came in that year, including Jacob Brust, William Wilkelmann, John Sturm, Jacob Pfenninger, Joseph Schafer and Alexander Waibel. About one mile above the mouth of the Big Cottonwood there was an Indian village, and Charles Michael, a Frenchman, was in charge of a lime-kiln owned by N. Myrick, of Traverse des Sioux; a Mr. Winkelmann jumped this claim and made his adventure win, for he secured title to the land.

A water power grist-mill was constructed by the Kuck Brothers near the Big Cottonwood, in section 32, but was soon burned. In 1879 a woolen-mill was erected in its place by Mr. Marsch and continued a number of years till that industry went with many other local concerns, to the larger centers of other sections of the country. This township held its first township meeting on October 24, 1858. The first officers were: Jacob Brust, chairman, Nichols Gulden and Ulrich Lipp; A. S. Valentine was chosen clerk.

In 1857 a party of Indians who had been engaged in the Spirit Lake massacre in the spring before were forced to leave the township. Later it was discovered that they had killed Mr. Brandt, who was living on the south side of the Cottonwood River. During the massacre in 1862 but two were killed in this township, Mr. Jones and Charles Lauer, the latter at the Upper Agency.

The first birth was John Schenler, in the fall of 1856.

Village Of Searles

This small village of Cottonwood township, is situated in section 21, and was platted on October 10, 1899, by Harry L. Jenkins and wife. It is a station on the Minneapolis & St. Louis railway and a prosperous, small trading point, in the midst of a fine farming community. Its population in 1910 was less than one hundred.

  Brown County |Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Brown County, Minnesota, L. A. Fritsche, M.D., Editor, Volume I, 1916.

 

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