Goodhue County, Minnesota


 ~ Goodhue Township ~

Goodhue comprises township No. 111, range 15, and was originally a part of Belvidere, the combined township having been known as Elmira, York and Belvidere, successively, the latter name being retained by the half included in section 14 to the present day. Goodhue is bounded on the north by Featherstone, on the east by Belvidere, on the south by Zumbrota and on the west by Belle Creek. In the western part there is an outrunning of Trenton limestone, making a high table land. The remainder of the township is lower, with broad valleys and some ridges. There are no big streams, and the soil throughout the township is of good quality and well adapted for the usual crops.

The first settlement in the township was in 1854, when Francis Yergens and John Mann came in and staked out claims, built cabins and started to establish their homes in the wilderness. The succeeding year these two were followed by David Hickock, John Ingerbretson, Harry Danielson, Oliver Knutson and Knut Knutson. David Hickock and John Mann opened their houses for the accommodation of travelers. Peter Easterly came in 1856 and finding that Hickock and Mann each had more business than they could attend to, opened another hotel, which also had its full share of business for many years. Sometime Later Hickock and Mann both abandoned the business, and for a considerable period Easterly kept the only public house in the place.

The first birth in Goodhue was in 1855, when a child was born to Mrs. Francis Yergens which was christened Henry. The wife of Daniel Hickock died in 1856, this being the first death in the township. The Rev. Jabez Brooks officiated at this service, and the sermon he preached on the occasion was the first religious observance of a public nature in the town. The first school was taught by Georgiette Easterly in the summer of 1857. In 1858 H. H. Oleson opened a blacksmith shop, which was the only one in the township until 1868, when a man named Mutz built a shop near Easterly's hotel. In the spring of 1867 the Goodhue Seed Association was organized for the purpose of receiving the advantages of a combination which would procure seeds and other articles at wholesale instead of retail prices. The officers of the association were: President. Samuel Parker; secretary, Harrison Lowater; treasurer, T. M. Lowater.

In the earlier days church services were held at the homes of the settlers; sometimes in charge of a clergyman, lint more often conducted by some of the pioneers themselves. An early church was the German Lutheran church, organized in the spring of 1868 by the Rev. Christian Bender. At that time it had but seven members: A. Seeback, Gotlieb Seeback, R. Haas, Charles Semke, William Betcher, Herman Kempe and Peter Tipke. A church was built the same year at a cost of $500. Rev. Mr. Bender preached the dedicatory service the last Sunday in August. Later a new church, 36x50, was erected at a cost of about $2,500.

At a meeting held at the home of Peter Easterly, April 5, 1859, of the voters of that part of Belvidere lying in section 15, the matter of a separate township was favorably acted upon and the following officers were elected tentatively: Supervisors, P. Easterly (chairman). Ezra Bennett. Sylvester Cranson; town clerk, John Stowe; collector, F. Cranson; assessor, Sylvester Cranson; overseer of the poor, H. B. Patterson. At the same meeting it was voted to call the new town Goodhue, after the county. A petition was prepared and this having been granted, September 13, 1859, township 111, range 14, was constituted a separate body, with the proviso that the name be either Lime or Goodhue. For a short time the township was known as Lime. J. Going, then county clerk, appointed in 1859 the following provisional officers: Supervisors, Charles H. McIntire (chairman), L. C. Burke, H. B. Patterson; town clerk, John Stowe; justices, Samuel Parker, Sylvester Cranson; constables, H. Olson and S. W. Carney; assessor, George Spicer; collector, F. Cranson; overseer of roads, John Gleason; overseer of the poor, H. Danielson. The following year a regular board was elected. The name Goodhue, which from the beginning had been the choice of the people, became the official title in January, 1860. Among the early chairmen of the township were Charles H. McIntire, T. M. Lowater, Samuel Parker, A. A. Anderson, David Purdy, F. Tether, J. Finney, W. H. H. Bruce R. Kolbe. The early clerks were: L. C. Burke, S. S. Gibson, Isaac Gallagher, Lewis Johnson and John McHugh.

Goodhue's contribution to the Civil War:

Captain Hezekiah Bruce
W. Harrison Bruce
Samuel Budd
Walter E. Barnes
King H. Bennett
Lieutenant James H. Carney
Henry Danielson
Harmon Easterly
David Hickock
Lucius H. Hickock
Lewis Johnson
William King
Otis Ludden
Harry Lowater
Marsell B. Millien
Charles W. Mills
Cecil Miller
Sofe Rasmussen
Charles E. Bolander
Ernest Base
John Erieson
Theodore Kempter
Herman J. Newhouse
Christopher Oleson
Adelbert Reinhardt
Andrew Doudes
George E. Bivers
Asa Gould
Henry Brandes
William Gun
George Land

An extensive area of this town is under laid, a short distance below the surface, by a large bed of clay of a superior quality, which has been extensively used by the stoneware works at Red Wing.

Clay Bank is a stopping place on the Great Western railroad. Goodhue village is a bustling settlement which has enjoyed a steady growth, and is believed to have a splendid future ahead of it.

  Goodhue County |Minnesota AHGP | Goodhue Village

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


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