Hokah, a thriving village on the line of the Southern Minnesota, occupies a commanding position near the mouth
of the Root River valley, and has some of the most picturesque surroundings of any village in this part of the
State, and its future possibilities are many.
Its people are progressive and intelligent, believers in education and in business progress, and the appearance
of the village reflects their spirit.
The story of the early days of this interesting village has already been told. In the days of the railroad shops
it bid fair to become a large city. Then the shops moved away. Later, with the building of extensive dams, and
the construction of mills, prophecies were made that the place would become a great milling center. But floods
which washed out the dams, and litigation which embroiled the owners, together with the diminishing of the wheat
crop in this vicinity, and the growth of the great mills at the head of Mississippi navigation ruined this hope
But through it all, the people have held on, undaunted, and in recent years there has come a new impetus of business
and progress, founded upon the solid rock of the increasing wealth and importance of the farming region for which
the village furnished the shipping point.
The village has two papers, the Houston County Chief and the Hokah Tribune; two strong banks, the Farmers' State
Bank and the Hokah State Bank; a grain elevator, a sawmill, a hotel and a creamery, as well as a telephone exchange.
The creamery is owned by the Hokah Creamery Co., the elevator by the Hokah Grain and Stock Company, and the Hokah
Shipping Association is equipped with excellent stock yards. The Hokah Telephone Exchange has local, rural and
long distance service. The Beatrice Creamery Co. has a shipping station here. The Hoffman Flour Mill is operated
by water power and two miles southwest is the Bernsdorf Feed Mill.
The village owns a hose house and has a volunteer fire department of 30 men. There are two hose carts, with 1,000
feet of good 2 ½ inch hose. A bell is provided for a fire alarm.
The waterworks system consists of a reservoir of 150,000 capacity located on a hill 100 feet above Main Street.
The water is pumped by a gasoline engine, giving a gravity pressure of 50 pounds. The village has one mile of 6
inch and 8 inch mains, and nine double hydrants.
The I. O. O. F. Hall provides a public hall.
There are four churches, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church, Zion's Lutheran Church and the
Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Hokah Chief as originally established was started in 1856 or 1857, but the exact date is not known, as the
early files were not preserved. After a time it was suspended, but on April 26, 1859, it was revived by H. Ostrander,
a practical printer from New York State, who, in early life was associated with Thurlow Weed, one of the leading
journalistic supporters of Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams. Mr. Ostrander was an indomitable worker, and a
man who knew no compromise of principle, but who attacked every wrong he saw regardless of its connections or associations.
His paper was Republican, and in those trying days just before the Civil War, when party passions were at fever
heat, he battled nobly for the Union and became a terror to its enemies. He saw the triumph of the cause for which
he fought, but on May 23, 1865, scarcely more than a month after the end of the war, the paper was discontinued
for want of support and patronage.
Other former papers are the Hokah Herald and the Hokah Blade.