Goodhue County, Minnesota


 ~ Belvidere Township ~

Belvidere was given the name of York by the committee which had charge of the organization of the Goodhue County townships in 1858. At the instance of the state authorities this was changed to Elmira, and after the same authorities had urged their objections to this name it was changed to Belvidere, which it has since remained. Belvidere originally included what is now Goodhue. The township comprises government township No. 111 north, range 14 west. Wells creek rises in the northwestern part of the town, running north and east. It is fed by Clear and Rock creeks, and then crosses the northern boundary into Hay Creek Township. The northern part of Belvidere is somewhat broken by these streams and has a hilly contour. The southern half, though much higher, is simply undulating, or rolling. On the eastern border of the town is an isolated mound, reaching an elevation of something like twelve hundred feet above the sea. Tie- soil of the township is good, and the streams afford excellent facilities for raising stock. Belvidere is bounded on the north by Bay creek, on the east and south by Wabasha County, and on the west by Goodhue.

In the spring of 1855, N. B. Gaylord and his brother, George, located on Rock creek in the northern part of the township. In August of that year, Joseph S. Thompson settled on Wells creek, and a short time afterward he was joined by N. B. Gaylord, who settled near, preferring that location to the place where he took his original claim.

During the fall of 1855 occurred an event which was of importance to the future history of the county. Claus Hoist, and a number of other German families, took up their residence near the head waters of AY ells creek, and began opening up farms. The part which the German pioneers and their descendants have taken in the development of the county is related at some length in another chapter. In 1856 there came an influx of immigration to this township, and the farms were soon settled up.

Ida Thompson was the first child born in the township. June 13, 1856. The first marriage was that of George Steele and Junia Pingrey, a sister of Mrs. J. S. Thompson, at whose house the ceremony was performed. August 14, 1855. by J. B. Smith. Etta Gaylord, aged two years, died in 1858, the first death in the township. Rev. John Watson held religious services in the house of Nelson B. Gaylord as early as the summer of 1856. Delia Eggleston taught a school in the room of her father's house in 1857, this being the first school in that section of the country.

N. B. Gaylord, in 1858, having a good water power, put in operation a large hand coffee mill, and ground for himself and neighbor's flour, meal and other articles. Having used up two coffee mills, he next procured a small burr millstone, and kept gradually improving his primitive enterprise until he launched out into a full-grown mill, with two run of stone, and a capacity of 120 bushels of wheat per day. The Belvidere mill finally took rank among the good mills of the county.

A cozy log church was built by the German Methodists near Gaylord's mill in 1862, at a cost of $300. This society now has a large frame church. In 1865 the Catholics erected a good frame church in the southern part of the town. The Norwegian Lutherans built a large church in the western part of the town in 1867.

A German Lutheran church in the eastern part of the town was built in 1872. Another Methodist church was also erected.

The first town board appointed by the county board was as follows: Supervisors, Mason O. Eggleston (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 Lane and George Gay.

At a meeting held July 5, 1858, in the town of York, composed of township No. 111 north, of range 11 and 15, including what are now Belvidere and Goodhue, at the house of Peter Easterly, the following officers were elected: Supervisors, Cyrus Couch (chairman), G. D. Post, Henry Danielson; town clerk. Oliver Knutson; assessor, B. F. Chase; justices, Peter Easterly, J. W. Finch; constables, James Lane, H. B. Patterson; overseer of the poor, Nelson Gaylord; collector, J. S. Thompson. January 21, 1859, the following named were appointed to fill vacancies: Supervisors, Sylvester Cranson (chairman), Charles M. Lee, Ezra Bennett, town clerk, John Stowe; justices, Hans H. Olson, F. Cranson.

The first separate town meeting of the voters in township 11, range 14 (Belvidere), was held April 5, 1859, and the following officers elected: Supervisors, Horace W. Twitchel (chairman), Marcus Eggleston, Mason O. Eggleston; town clerk, Hubert Eggleston; assessor, G. D. Post; collector, J. S. Thompson; overseer of the poor, Nelson B. Gaylord; constables, Jacob Church, George Gay; justices, Marcus Eggleston, B. R. Prince. In the following list, the first named under each year is the chairman.

During the Civil War the town raised bounties to the amount of $3,500 by private subscription, and a larger part of the adult male population enlisted. The following list of those who enlisted from this town during the war is larger than the official list, owing to the fact that some of them, though living in Belvidere, enlisted from other places. Belvidere Enlistments

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 Klingenschmidt
Ole Syverson
Timothy Regan
Timothy Houson
John Wayze
W. S. Williams
Svenom Hendrickson
A. C. Amundson
John Amundson
John C. Johnson
Jacob Wohlers
Peter J. Hilden
John Bomback
Fred Bomback
Joachim Hoist
Jacob Hoist
Claus Hoist
William Buckholst
N. B. Gaylord
George Gaylord
John Arden
Thomas Booth
Peter Swetchser
William Suchhaa
Frederick Luchan
James T. Bowker
William Berley
Ole Nelson
John Nelson.
Watson Devore
Frank Lane
Peter Wagoner
Nicolaus Lippert
R. Kolby
Andrew Baker
Ammond Larson
Samuel Church

Some of these died in the army, and others returned, to become prominent citizens of the township.

1860 - Supervisors, Horace W. Twitchel, George Gaylord, Knut Knutson; clerk, Hubert Eggleston; assessor, Marcus Eggleston; treasurer and overseer of the poor, N. B. Gaylord; justices, Marcus Eggleston, B. R. Prince.

1861 - Supervisors, Horace W. Twitchel, William Thomas, Mason Eggleston; clerk, Reuben Ward; assessor, Marcus Eggleston; treasurer and overseer of the poor, Nelson B. Gaylord; justices, Marcus Eggleston, Ben Prince.

1862 - Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, George Stace, William Perly; clerk, Halvor Knutson; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; assessor, B. F. Chase; justices, Peter J. Hilden, Marcus Eggleston; constables, John C. Johnson, Frank Lane.

1863 - Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, William Perly, George Gay; clerk, Oliver Knutson; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; assessor, Marcus Eggleston; overseer of the poor, J. S. Thompson; justice, Peter J. Hilden.

1864 - Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, O. C. Roberts, Halvor Knutson; clerk, Ruben Ward; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; assessor, Julius Munger; constables, Caleb Reynolds, William Thomas; justices, G. H. Gaylord, P. J. Hilden.

1865 - Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, William Thomas, Daniel Mallan; clerk, Oliver, or Halvor, Knutson; assessor, George Stace; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; justices, Marcus Eggleston, John Alley; constables, Ole Knutson, John Lueham.

1866 - Supervisors, J. S. Thompson, William Thomas, John Lueham; clerk, A. AY. Fountain; treasurer, H. W. Twitchel; assessor, S. R. Ward; justices, Star Dennison, John Alley; constables, B. R. Prince, J. S. Thompson.

1867 - Supervisors, M. O. Eggleston (failed to qualify, and J. S. Thompson held over), William Thomas, Halvor Knutson; clerk, A. W. Fountain, treasurer, C. C. Roberts; assessor, Star Dennison; justices of the peace, Marcus Eggleston, P. J. Hilden; constables, R. W. Dewore, J. C. Maybe.

1868 - Supervisors, John Alley, George Stace, E. Northfield; clerk, Stephen Roberts; treasurer, C. C. Roberts; justices, H. N. Eggleston, Edwin Bullard; assessor, Star Dennison; constable, Albert Pratt.

1869 - Supervisors, John Alley, Walter Brown. John C. Johnson; clerk, Stephen Roberts; treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; assessor, Star Dennison; justices, Star Dennison, H. N. Eggleston; constables, William Kinney, B. R. Prince.

1870 - All the old officers held over except John Alley, who resigned as chairman of the board of supervisors and was replaced by Mason O. Eggleston.

1871 - Supervisors, John Alley, Peter J. Hilden, Walter Brown; clerk, B. R. Prince; treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; assessor, H. N. Eggleston; justices, John Alley, B. R. Prince; constables, William Lane, William Kinney.

1872 - Supervisors, John C. Johnson, J. S. Thompson, Stephen Redding; clerk, Peter J. Hilden; treasurer, C. C. Roberts; assessor, Walter Brown; justices. Walter Brown, George Stace; constables, William Lane, S. Mageras.

1873 - Supervisors. John C. Johnson. J. S. Thompson, S. Redding; clerk. T. J. Hilden: treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; assessor, George Stace; justices. George Stace, Walter Brown; constables, James Arden, E. Fountain.

1874 - The same board was elected; Walter Brown did not qualify, and A. E. Fountain was named as justice of the peace in his stead.

1875-Supervisors, William Thomas, Perry George, Martin Johnson; clerk, T. J. Hilden; assessor, George Stace; treasurer, C. O. Roberts; justice, John C. Johnson; constable, R. Mallan.

1876 - Supervisors, William Thomas, Perry George, George Stace: clerk, Peter J. Hilden; treasurer, C. C. Roberts; assessor, John C. Johnson; justice, Stephen Redding; constable, John Mageras.

1877 - Supervisors, Perry George, Martin Johnson, John Shafer; clerk, T. J. Hilden; assessor, John C. Johnson; treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; justices. John C. Johnson, Peter Krall; constables. ('. A. J. Hanson, Hubert Mageras.

1878 - Supervisors, Perry George, Stephen Redding, Olaus Johnson; clerk. P. J. Hilden: assessor (appointed), George Labbitt; treasurer, N. B. Gaylord; justices, John C. Johnson, P. Krall; constables, C. A. -I. Hansen. S. Mageras.

At one time there was a post office at Thoten in this township.

 Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Goodhue County Minnesota, Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, H. C. Cooper Jr, & Company, Chicago, 1909.


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