Olmsted County, Minnesota


Haverhill Township

 (Township 107 North, Range 13 West)

This township was first settled in 1855 by Garrett Van Houghton, Gideon Fitch, Cyrus B. Dodge, James G. Whipple, Edward Cox and Cyrus Knight, Francis Cressy, Isaac C. Van Hook, William Searles and Daniel Murphy came in 1856.

The first birth and death in the township was of a son of Gideon Fitch, who was born in October, 1855, and lived only about two weeks. The first marriage was of a member of the Fitch family. Mrs. Jane Andrews, from Rhode Island, taught the first school in 1857 at her home.

The township was organized in 1859, and the following officers were elected:

Supervisors, O. A. Hadley,
Chairman C. H. Crane, Samuel R. Woodbury
Clerk, Charles Parker
Assessor, R. H. Talbot
Collector, Baldwin Martin
Justices. Francis Dresser, R. W. Palmer
Constables, Baldwin Martin, John P. Simmonds
Overseer of Poor, Gideon Fitch
Pound Master, Garret Van Houghton.

The township was first named Zumbro, but a town in Wabasha County, having been so named, it was changed in 1864 to Grant, and in 1865 to Sherman, which in 1867 was changed to Haverhill, the present name.

The nearness to Rochester has prevented the development of any village within its limits and it is an exclusively farming township. The settlers have been principally of Irish birth or descent. The state census of 1905 gives the population of the township as 508.

An Anti-Horse Thief Society was organized about 1880, with the result that there has been no horse stealing within its jurisdiction.

A German Lutheran church was built in the northeastern portion of the township in 1894.

The existence of a cave, the resort of wild cats and wolves on the farm of I. C. Van Hook, about three miles north of Rochester and near the Lake City road, had been known in the neighborhood, but it had not been explored till a Sunday in December, 1870, when five boys, from twelve to sixteen years old, sons of J. Van Smith, J. T. Van Hook, I. C. Van Hook and M. S. Higbee and a Danish boy entered it. They found at the bottom of a slope of fifteen feet a pit hole and beyond it a large irregular shaped chamber 260 feet long, forty wide and about thirty high, with rocky walls hung with stalactites, some of them a couple of feet long. The story of the boys was confirmed by the visits of several men, but we believe the cave has never become generally known.

  Olmsted County |Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Olmsted County Minnesota, by Hon. Joseph A. Leonard, Chicago, Goodspeed Historical Association, 1910.


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