Goodhue County, Minnesota

 

 ~ Cannon Falls Township ~

Cannon Falls Township received its name from the Big Cannon river, and its branch, the Little Cannon, whose sudden change of level forms a falls in the western part of the township, at the point where the city of Cannon Falls is now located. The Big Cannon flows through the northern part of the township, from west to east, and its valley is marked by many changes in topography. The outer bluffs of the river are frequently more than a mile apart and over two hundred feet above the water in the river. In this valley are broad terraces and beautiful farms, and in addition to this the township has considerable timber. Along some of the valleys there is a sandy lightness to the soil, which has the effect of making the roads rather poor at some seasons of the year. For agricultural purposes, however, the soil is excellent and large crops are raised, although dairying is an important industry. The river bottom, from one-half to a mile in width, has a gravelly soil.

It is probable that Dr. W. W. Sweney and Richard and William Freeborn, who made the trip afoot from Peel Wing, were the first white men to behold the falls. The first settler was Edway Stoughton, who came early in 1854. Others were Charles Parks, who settled at the falls, and James H. Payton and James McGinnis. Mrs. Charles Parks was the first while woman at the Falls.

The first death in the township was in August. 1855, when an infant son of David McKune passed to the Great Beyond. The first child was Ellen Hartry, now Mrs. Ellen French, of Dennison, born in October, 1855. The first marriage was that of Robert Fotherby and Sarah Strange, who were united before Charles Parks, justice of the peace. E. L. Clark taught the first school in 1856-57, the sessions being held in a building which he had erected for the purpose, principally of basswood logs; and which, for this reason, he named Basswood Seminary. This building was also used for a house of worship, on Sabbath days for some time thereafter.

Cannon Falls Township is bounded on the north by Dakota County, on the west by Dakota County and Stanton, on the south by Leon, and on the east by Vasa. It comprises one entire government township, No. 112, range 17, and its area has remained unchanged since the township act of 1858.

Among the early supervisors of the township were: William Barton. W. P. Scofield, Lewis Engberg, J. D. Wheat, Abram Mallet, D. H. Knox, George West, J. D. Jennings. H. A. Tanner, D. L. Davis. F. Pentz, C. W. Gillet. James McGinnis, E. E. Chase, W. P. Tanner and G. Slocum.

The first town clerks were: J. T. Moss, Eli Ellsworth. George L. Baker, W. H. Scofield, J. D. Jennings, A. J. Phelps, John Jennings, Frank Slocum. W. P. Tanner served as town treasurer for eleven years, and was then followed by Frank Slocum.

The early justices of the peace were J. A. Wilson. Park Tucker, G. Westman. W. H. Scofield and W. P. Tanner.

The first constables were James H. Peyton, E. H. Klock, George McKenzie, E. R. Steel and George Kinder.

Those who enlisted in the Civil War from Cannon Falls were as follows:

Marion Abbott
Charles J. Anderson
Thomas H. Baker
John Boss
Captain George L. Baker
E. E. Chase
E. L. Clark
Daniel E. Cadwell
George W. Doud
Peter Engberg
Jonathan Flynn
Lieutenant William D. Hale
Henry Hamilton
Nels. B. Johnson
Luther M. Knox
James M. Knox
Charles Klock
Olof Larson
Peter Lindberg
George Lewis
William Morrell
George W. Neff
James H. Payton
William O. Stranahan
Mathew Willson
Albert G. Leach
Charles M. Scofield
Marvin Cary
John Hoffstatter
Harlow VanVleit
Captain Ara Barton
George Cook
Samuel Dilly
Samuel Hullett
William Hullett
John J. Hartig
James F. Kelley
Stephen A. Penny
Jacob Rhodes
David Valentine
Joseph Blum
James A. Wright
Austin Demming
Cornelius Crown
Thomas Jennings
Lester Bancroft
George Park
Edward Klock
Nels Lindenholm
Matts Peterson
Cyrus Van Vliet
James L. Scofield
Luther Scofield

The present officials of the township are: Elof Johnson, chairman; Edward Lano and Martin Chelson, supervisors; Emil Bloomberg, clerk; Olaf Haine, treasurer; Louis Rapp, assessor.

  Goodhue County |Minnesota AHGP | Cannon Falls City

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

 

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