Olmsted County, Minnesota


Salem Township

 (Township 106 North, Range 15 West)

In June, 18 54, Joseph B. Dearborn, from New Hampshire; J. W. Hurd and wife and Albert B. Hurd reached Mantorville, and in their explorations for homes they selected the northwest part of this township and made their claims. The Hurds stayed during the winter, in hay shanties, and Dearborn went east after his family, returning and building a log house the next spring. In July, 1854, Asa Hurd, father of J. W. and Albert, came with his family and built a log house, and in 1855 there were eight families of the Hurds settled in the neighborhood. Frederick Enke, Ole C. Wegger, T. B. and Christopher Isaacson, brothers, Edward Alvord, E. A. Holton, George Hanson, and Aaron Anderson also settled in the township in 1854.

In 1855 Zabina Handerson, Cyrus and M. A. Holt and John Vosburg came from Illinois, Darius Wilkins from Vermont, and John Lutzi from Switzerland, and C. Hellickson. The immigration of that season was largely Norwegian, and that nationality constituted a decided majority of the earliest settlers.

Sanford Niles, Daniel S. Hebbard, Lorenzo McCoy, Mason Hicks, Jackson V. Hicks, Ole Seeverts Sattre, Andrew Seeverts, Ole A. Amundson, William P. Brooks, Thomas Donovan, George W. Gove, Nels Jacobson, T. Knudson, James Montague, Tharl Nelson and Sylvester O. Holt came in 1856.

The first child born in the township was Julia, daughter of Edward A. Holton, born in 1854. The first death was of Ella, infant daughter of Darius Wilkins, in 1857. The first marriage was a double one, of Columbus Irish to Miss Frances Hurd and Hiram Fairbanks to Miss Emma Hurd, by Esquire Wilkins, in October, 1857. The brides were daughters of H. G. Hurd.

Zabina Handerson built the first frame house at Salem Corners, and Cyrus Holt opened a store there in 1856, but kept it only a short time and the attempt to start a village failed, and it has since been simply a farming township. A store was established about six years ago by Smith Fuller, from Byron which has been more successful. It has been sold recently to Henry Aaby.

The township was organized in 1858 and called Salem, having been previously known as Lexington. The following officers were elected:

Supervisors, Zabina Handerson
Chairman; William Waite, Jr., Ole S. Sattre
Clerk, Samuel H. Nichols
Assessor, A. P. Everest
Collector, Hubbard G. Hurd
Overseer of Poor, Luther L. McCoy
Justices, Darius Wilkins, Cyrus Holt

In 1868 a two-story town hall was built at Salem Corners, near the geographical center of the township, the lower story being used as a schoolroom. At the first town meeting held in the hall the floor of the second story gave way, letting the crowd into the room below, but nobody was hurt.

The state census of 1905 gives 759 as the population of the 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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