Goodhue County, Minnesota


 ~ Warsaw Township ~

Warsaw lies on the eastern border of Goodhue County and comprises township 11, range 18. It is bounded on the north by Stanton, cast by Leon, south by Holden and west by Rice County. The Little Cannon river passes along the eastern border, and in the valley of this river appears some timber, particularly noticeable in the southeastern portion. The larger part of the surface, however, is rolling prairie, with deep soil, and consequently many fine farms.

"Happy is the land that has no history." says an ancient writer. This is true of Warsaw. Agriculture has been the important industry in the township, and from the earliest settlement the story of Warsaw has been one of increased cultivation, where the people live in peace and contentment, free from the disputes and stirring events which, while they made interesting reading, do not always tend to the real benefit or growth of a locality. In June, 1855, the northern part of this township was settled by a party of Americans consisting of the brothers. Moses, William and Edwin George, Robert McCorkle (sometimes given is McCoskel), E. H. Sumner, Washington King, R. B. Wilson, J. E. Wright and Francis McKee. These men at once started farming, and while tiny endured the hardships always incident to pioneer life, their first crops were good, and from some of the worse privations they were spared. In 1856 a child was born to Washington King, a truly important event, and duly celebrated by the pioneers, who all wanted to take a peep at the little stranger. The following year, 1857, John Chambers died and the funeral was attended by the entire population of the settlement. In the summer of 1858 Rev. Isaac Waldron conducted the first religious services, in a room of a house owned by Alex McKee. In the same room Emma Babcock kept the first school, in the summer of 1859. Mr. Johnson built the first blacksmith shop in 1864 and later others were added. The settlement in the southern part of the township was started in 1856, by Anders Anderson, Nils Gunderson, Ole and Hagen Knutson, Andrew Thompson and others. Soon a Norwegian colony grew up around them.

The township was organized in 1858 with N. B. Townsend as chairman and J. E. Wright as clerk. Other early chairmen were Samuel Carpenter, Abram Towne, J. L. Wells, ____ Rice, R. B. Wilson and Chris. Lochren. Among the early clerks were William George, Edwin George. T. Bowman. Chris. Lochren and George Sheets.

Warsaw's contribution to the Civil War consisted of:

John A. Bond
Cyrus Bondurant
Ulrich K. Burk
Joseph E. Charles
Swen Christopherson
Clinton L. Babcock
Ole Christopher
Lyman S. Kidder
Lot Heustis
William McFall
James C. Rhodes
Thomas H. Dailey
Clark Schellenberger
Hiram C. Smith
H. Zimmerman
Calvin Daniels
Samuel Eldredge
C. R. Eldredge
Levi King
George McKinley
Silas Mills
Ole Nelson
Francis J. Ridgeway
Benjamin H. Ridgeway
James H. Wright
Joseph E. Charles
Herman Scherf
Swan Hailing
John N. Morrell
Andrew Swanberg
Morris Tracy
Ole Torgeson
John Johnson
Ole Hendriekson
Andrew Sanborg
Benjamin O. Bong
Osten Anderson
Lewis Kock
Ernest Zahn
Daniel F. Dibble
Patrick Gribbin
Edwin R. Nafry
Alfred Alphinson
Augustus Houghton
William Mills
Henry Martin
Ole Larson
Walter L. Winton

There are three small settlements in the township, Dennison in the west, Wangs in the center and Sogan in the eastern part. Beautiful, well-furnished and well-appointed homes, commodious barns, sleek livestock, rich acres, an educated and cultured people, tells the story of Warsaw of the present day.

Dennison is a village of 170 souls situated on the western boundary line of Warsaw Township, being about one-third in Rice County. The name is derived from an early settler who originally owned considerable land where the village is now located. The population of the village is about three-fourths Scandinavian. The first men to start in business in the village were Karl A. and Gunder Bonhus, who conducted a general store. After eight years they were succeeded by A. K. Lockrem. The Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1883, blown down in 1885 and rebuilt the same year. The railroad came through in 1884, and was operated by the Minnesota & Northwestern. The line was then sold to the Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City, and subsequently passed into the hands of the Chicago Great Western.

The first blacksmith was J. W. Downing. The first hardware and implement store was that of Bunday & Ferguson, established March 10, 1887. The school house is a comfortable building, 42x45 with four rooms, built of brick. It provides for the children living in the incorporate limits, the districts having originally been 34 and 155, respectively, in Rice and Goodhue counties. The village now has a bank (branch), one hardware store, one lumber yard, three general stores, a harness shop, a post office with two rural routes, a barber shop, two blacksmiths, one meat market, one farmers' elevator, a pasteurizing milk plant, a Methodist church and a public school.

The Dennison State bank is a thriving institution with a capital stock of $15,000. The officers are: President, J. C. Schmidt; vice-president, W. T. Schmidt; cashier, W. W. Wescott; assistant cashier, O. R. Bolen.

  Goodhue County |Minnesota AHGP 

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


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