History of Jordan Township, Fillmore County, Minnesota
From: History of Fillmore County, Minnesota
Compiled by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge
H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.
Chicago 1912


Jordan township is on the northern tier of towns in Fillmore county, the second from the western boundary. Its neighbors are Olmsted county on the north, Chatfield on the east, Fillmore on the south and Sumner on the west. The middle branch of the Root river enters the town in section thirty four, and runs diagonally to leave it from section twenty four. Lost creek runs across the northern part. In the soil there is quite a variety. The western part is a rolling prairie with a rich clay soil on a limestone foundation. The larger part of the northeast quarter is timber land, owned by a number of non residents and so it is cut up in many small Jots of five acres, with some more and some less. In the early history of the county this was the "Woods" where people came, sometimes thirty miles for supplies, and it was no uncommon thing to see one hundred teams a day on this errand. In addition to the rivers already mentioned, there is Jordan creek, with three branches converging from the south and west, to form a conference with the Root river before it leaves the town. Bear creek also sweeps around into section thirty one. Lost creek has several branches coming from near the town of Sumner. In low stages of water this creek loses itself in the ground. There is a large spring on section seven that starts Ferguson's creek and joins its fate in section eight with Lost creek. It will thus be seen that Jordan is a well watered township. There was considerable rock maple along these creeks when the town was first settled and sugar was made to some extent and is still. The soil is inclined to be black loam and is everywhere productive. This is especially so in the Root river valley.

Early Settlement. The occupation of this town was commenced in 1853. John and Joseph Maine came in the spring of that year from New England. John found a place that suited him in section thirty two, and cultivated it for five years, afterward going to Iowa. Joseph secured some land in section twenty eight and thirty three, but soon sold out. Thomas Mawer, an Englishman, came from Michigan and secured a home in section twenty, and lived there for ten years when he died. Mathew Mawer, brother of Thomas, took a claim in section thirty three, but went to California, and in 1859 died there. George W. Hare, from New York State, who had made a transient stay in Illinois, arrived in November and planted himself in section thirty one. Thomas Tabor, a native of England, came from Canada and located in section thirty two. Later he sold and went to Fillmore, locating still later in Pembina, Dakota.

Among other early settlers were the following:

1854 - George Bawer and son, B. Winans, F. P. Bowers.

1855 - John Tabor, A. Finley, William Finlay, A. Palmer, Jacob Oakey, Joseph Marshall, T. C. Linton, Isaac Green, G. Doty, S. Wilson, W. P. Odell, A. Finley, Jr., Thomas Brooks, William Carpenter, Edwin Pettis, Peter Loughrey, Charles W. Tabor, David Greiner, John D. Biggs, G. W. Biggs, Ned Tindall, William Cordell, Daniel M. Collum, Richard Malone.

1856 - John Murphy, E. Pettis, Henry McConville.

1857 - William Greiner.

1858 - C. Farrington and sons, E. V. and G. M.

Early Events of Interest. A Mr. Keck and two daughters died in November, 1855, and were buried the same week in the Jordan cemetery. These must have been the first deaths in the township after the arrival of white settlers. Thomas Mann and Elizabeth Finley were united in marriage in March, 1855. John Tabor and Ann Mawer were married in August, 1855. William Clark and Susanna McCollum contracted wedlock in August, 1855. Mathew Mawer and Nancy Finley were married in January, 1856. Mathew Tabor, son of James and Annie Tabor, was born March 4, 1855. Ira Hare, son of G. W. and Amanda Hare, was born March 24, 1855.

Land Office Records. The first titles to land in Jordan township were issued by the government in 1854. Those who obtained land that year were as follow; the date of the issuance of the warrant being given first, then the name of the owner and then the section in which the land was largely located: January 29, Salem Town, 10; September 9, Andrew J. Bolsinger, 11; September 9, Isaac Day, 2; September 9, Isaac Deeow, 2; September 9, John R. Jones, 2; September 9, Finley V. Miller, 12; September 9, Refine W. Twitchell, 3; September 9, Henry C. Wheeler, 1; September 20, Marvin Harwood, 6; September 21, Asher H Palmer, 33; September 23, Samuel M. Herrick, 2; September 28, David N. Morse, 10; October 4, William H. Peek, 11-12; October 12, Andy Gold, 1; October 18, Charles Wilian, 14-15; October 18, Samuel A. Sturges, 13; October 27, Enoch Winslow, 35; November 1, William Bly, 10; November 1, David Jaggers, 3; November 1, Albert A. Ripley, 1; November 25, Joseph Ripley, 1; December 12, Edward if Coffin, 15; December 12, Erastus J. Way, 15.

Political. May 11, 1858, the town of Jordan was organized with the following officers in charge: Supervisors, J. M Gillis (chairman), John D. Biggs and John Murphy; clerk, John Mawer; assessor, Jacob Oakey; justices of the peace, George W. Biggs and J. M. Gillis; constables, C. B. Beverstock and Ned Tindall; collector, G. W. Biggs; overseer of the poor, William Cordell. At this first meeting the judges of election were: Jacob Oakey, Dan McCallum and James Tabor; clerks of election, J. M. Gillis and C. M. Tindall. For about twenty years town meetings were held in schoolhouses, but in 1877 a town hall was constructed at a cost of $1,000. The name of the town was derived from Jordan Creek, which was given this designation by John Maine, one of the first settlers in town. The neighborhood of the stream is known as Jordan Valley.

Postoffices - Jordan. This was established as early as 1854, with Asher Palmer in charge, and the office was at his house on the southwest quarter of section twenty eight. In about one year the office went to the store of J. M. Gillis. In 1856 it was removed to the town of Fillmore Another office was established a few years afterwards on section sixteen, and I. Day was postmaster. It was at first called Bear Creek. Afterwards the name was changed to "Iday" in honor of its first postmaster. Mr. Saunders was the last one to handle the mails, in 1863.

Jordan Village. This was laid out in 1855, on the northeast quarter of section thirty two and the southeast half of the southeast of section twenty nine J M. Gillis opened a store there, and kept it going for about a year. At the same time there was a blacksmith shop put up, but the fire in its forge was never kindled, because the village never materialized.

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