Wright County, Minnesota


Land Office Records, 1855 - 1879

The original patents to land in Wright County, upon which all subsequent deeds and transfers are based, were obtained in four ways under the pre-emption act, under the homestead law, under the town site act, and from the railroads. The first settlers obtained their homes under the pre-emption act, by the provisions of which they were required to make certain improvements, to live upon their land a certain length of time, and to pay $1.25 an acre. There were certain restrictions as to the size of the claim and as to the eligibility of those who filed. Instead of paying money the settlers often paid soldiers' script which they had purchased at a discount. This script had been issued to soldiers, entitling each veteran to a certain number of acres free. Few of the soldiers ever used this script to obtain land, and thousands of these papers fell into the hands of speculators, by whom they were sold to settlers. Under the Homestead Act, which replaced the pre-emption act, the government issued a patent after a person had lived on an eighth or quarter section (according to location) for a certain period, and made certain improvements. Many of the people obtained their land from the railroads, who had a land grant of each alternate township along their improved rights-of-way. There was also a town site act under which villages could be entered, platted, and lots sold.

The following transcriptions from the land office records gives the original owners of all the land pre-empted and homesteaded in Wright County. This is the roll of honor of those who dared the rigors of a pioneer country and started the first developments. The list is in the main accurate, though, through carelessness of the land office registers and their clerks, the original entries are often misspelled, and transcriptions of more or less illegible handwriting since that date have distorted some of the names in various ways. But especial efforts have been made to insure accuracy in this printed list, and the names of thousands of old pioneers will be recognized. A few of the original claimants are still living, and many families are still residing on the original claim of their father or grandfather. For the most part, however, the original claimants moved away, on account of Indians, grasshoppers and hard times.

In the following list, where a person's farm lay in several sections, or where a second claim was later taken in another section, only the first section of the first filing is given, except in special cases, for a constant repetition of names would needlessly cumber the rolls.

Counties Listed

Albion Buffalo Chatham Cokato
Corinna Frankfort (1) Franklin French Lake
Maple Lake Marysville Middleville Monticello
Otsego Rockford Silver Creek Southside
Stockholm Victor Woodland Clearwater
Fractional Rockford Fractional Frankfort (2)
Fractional Maple Lake Fractional Monticello (2)
Fractional Otsego (2) Fractional Otsego (3)
Silver Creek and Clearwater
Monticello (3)

  Wright County |Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Wright County, Minnesota, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Volume I, 1915


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