Brown County, Minnesota


  Leavenworth Township

Leavenworth Township is in range 33 west and congressional township 109, and is six miles square. It is situated south of Prairieville Township, west of Stark, north of Mulligan and east of Burnstown townships. It was established on June 28, 1858, by the county board of commissioners, and at the time contained all that portion of the county outside the Indian reservation west of Lake Hanska. From time to time new towns have been organized from its original territory until it finally assumed its present size.

In the fall of 1858 the first election held in this part of the county was held at the house of Dr. J. B. Calkins. There were but seven white men present, one of them a minor and there was one Indian present, yet there were forty votes returned from the precinct. The township was legally organized on April 16, 1859, at pioneer Maffett's house. The officers there and then elected were as follow: Luther Whiton, chairman; Isaac Bandy and Seth Henshaw, supervisors; George Charnock, clerk; Peter Kelly, assessor; G. W. Maffett and O. F. Putnam, constables; Peter Kelly and George Charnock were elected pound-masters, and the pounds were located at J. B. Calkin's claim shanty and at Luther Whiton's smoke house. At this election there were thirty-two votes cast. From 1863 to 1866 the township had no organization, as all had fled on account of the Indian outbreak. An assessor, however, had been appointed by the commissioners to assess the property of the township from year to year.


In October, 1857, a company of speculators and town site schemers laid out the village of Leavenworth, covering a half section of land on the west side of the Big Cottonwood River. They put up a log cabin and left Dr. J. B. Calkins to hold the claim down for them. He remained about two years and left for all time and the "townsite of Leavenworth" was no more, save in the memory of a few pioneers.

During the same autumn, 1857 came into this township, W. B. Carroll and G. W. Maffett, members of a government surveying party who were laying out a government road. They made claims the next spring. Carroll married Mary D. Loomis, in 1860, and was the first to marry in the township. He was killed by the Sioux Indians during the 1862 outbreak. Other settlers, of various and later dates, who came in and bore well their part in the development of this township were:

J. B. Altermatt, from Switzerland
George W. Brown, of New York
George B. Ebilsiser, from Indiana
Benard Frey, a German
George W. Harrington, of York state
Frederick W. Hormann, a German
Charles A. Hughes, of New York City
Edward Larson, of Norway
Joseph Ott, born in Chicago
John M. Sanderson, a Canadian
Peter Schlitz, Of Luxemberg
J. J. Schumacher, a German

First Events

Among the earliest events in the township were these: First birth was Matilda, daughter of John Schneider and wife, born in the winter of 1857-58.

The first death was that of Mr. Buck, who was killed by a fall from his wagon.

The first preaching was in the winter of 1859-60, by a minister of the United Brethren faith, who chanced to be visiting in the township.

The Catholics organized and built a church, under the leadership of Father Alexander Berghold, in 1868. The first school was taught by Mrs. Wylie, in 1866. The first mill was the one built by John Jackson and J. G. Davison, about as soon as the township was settled. Later it was owned by Peter Schields, who in 1872 converted it into a two-run of stone milling plant, with a capacity of twenty-five barrels a day.

Leavenworth post office was established in 1858, with Doctor Calkins as postmaster; during the Indian War it was abandoned, but re-established in the township of Stark, but still later it was moved to Leavenworth Township and was kept by postmaster J. B. Altermatt. It has long since been discontinued and mail is received by rural delivery from the Sleepy Eye post office. Lake Altermatt, the largest sheet of water in the township, in sections 31 and 32, was named for J. B. Altermatt, just mentioned.

The population Of Leavenworth Township in 1910 was five hundred and forty-six.

The Northwestern railway line just touches the corner of section 6 of this township. The people who reside in this township usually trade at either Sleepy Eye or Cobden

  Brown County |Minnesota AHGP 

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


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