Olmsted County, Minnesota

 

Orion Township

 (Township 105 North, Range 12 West)

The first settlements in this township were made in 1854 by George M. Gere, John Schermerhorn, Joel Ballard, David Hazelton, James Edwards, C. J. Robinson, Henry Goodman and Joseph Rose. Stephen and Cassius L. Case, brothers, and Lowell B. Bliss made claims the same year and settled with their families in 1855.

Francis H. Cummings, Thomas Harris, Franklin B. Burk, Levi Lovejoy and Lemuel Denny came in 1855. Mr. Cummings built a saw mill and platted a town that he called Cummingsville. The mill ran only a few years and the village failed to develop. The same year Thomas Harris built a steam mill which had a short life. Mr. Harris went into the army and ceased to be a resident of the township. F. G. Tesca, Daniel Hisey, John H., Joseph and Amos Plank, Monette and W. F. Seymour pre-empted in 1856.

The first birth in the township was of Edward, son of F. H. Blodget, born in June. 1854. The first death was of John Schermerhorn, in October 1855. The first marriage was of O. H. Chapman to Miss Eliza Schermerhorn, in November, 1854.

The first school was taught in 1856 by Andrew Beardsley, at the home of Mahlon Clayton. A school house was built the same year and the first to teach in it was Miss Deming.

The first sermon was preached in the house of Stephen Case, in the fall of 1855, by Rev. George Stevenson, a Methodist. The township was organized in 1858. At the first town meeting Thomas Harris was moderator, and Richard S. Russell, Thomas Harris, B. F. McVey and L. B. Bliss, judges of election. The first township officers elected were: Supervisors, L. B. Bliss, chairman; Stephen Case, Seth A. Cole; clerk, John T. Hancock; collector, Henry Goodman; overseer of poor, F. H. Cummings; justices, Thomas Harris and F. B. Burk; constables, Henry Goodman and M. L. Scarbrough.

John T. Hancock held the offices of town clerk and justice of the peace more than thirty years continuously. He wrote a most beautiful, old style, round hand.

Stephen Case was one of the committee that named the township. It was first called Salem, which was changed to Orion. The Orion flouring mill was built in 1866 by Christopher Ecker, who sold it to William Hueston in 1874. It was burned down in 1879 and rebuilt by Mr. Hueston, with three run of stones, run by water power.

There is a creamery, with M. B. Chapman as the butter maker. A town hall was built in 1894 and dedicated by a dance. The population of the township, as given in the state census of 1905, was 669.

That mysterious place called "Devil's Den" is supposed to be located in this township.

  Olmsted County |Minnesota AHGP 

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

 

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