History of Mayville, MN
From: The History of Houston County, Minnesota
Edited by: Franklyn Curtis-Wedge.
H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co.
Winona, Minn. 1919


Town Histories

The township of Mayville is bounded on the north by Union; on the east by Brownsville and Crooked Creek; on the south by Winnebago, and on the west by Caledonia. It is the southeast of the four central townships of Houston County, its northwestern corner being exactly in the center of the county. It is a government township, with the exception of sections 24, 25 and 36, and one-half each of sections 23, 26 and 35, which were added to Crooked Creek.

Crooked Creek Valley extends up into this township, coming in at sections 23 and 26, and extending northwest to section 18, where the head of the valley is well elevated. Another depression comes up through section 26, carrying a small branch, which makes its appearance in section 29. There is another little stream rising in section 9, which finds its way into the creek in section 16. Away from these valleys the land is what may be called table land, but by the inhabitants is usually termed "ridge land," and supports many good farms. In the northern part the ridges are broader than elsewhere. The eastern central part is mostly made up of high abrupt bluffs and narrow ravines. The southwest part of the town is rolling and embraces a strip of prairie land, with some brush land, as it is called, and some timber, particularly in section 14 and the immediate vicinity. Nearly the entire northwest part is well timbered. The soil is of a clayey character, except in the prairie region where black loam prevails.

Crooked Creek flows eastward through the central part of the township, deflecting toward the south as it leaves to enter the town of Crooked Creek. Along this stream are high bluffs, with narrow ravines coming in at the sides. At a certain elevation rock crops out in a shelf-like way. These ravines seem altogether out of proportion to the size of the affluents of the main creek, and in the far west would be called gulches, with more or less picturesque names attached.

There are no villages in the township, except Caledonia, which is mostly in the township of that name, but laps over into Mayville on sections 18 and 19.

The names of the first white settler in Mayville Township is not now known, but among the earliest arrivals were John O. Herron, who located on section 14; P. Kelly, Jerry Hooley, T. J. Murphy, Edward Buckley, Thomas Moriarty, Winston Taylor, Martin Rohan, and Thomas and James Kennedy. Of these Mr. Hooley and Mr. Murphy arrived in the fall of 1854,. the former settling on section 9, where he remained until 1868, when he returned to Illinois. Mr. Murphy removed from his original claim to section 28, where he resided for many years. Most of the others mentioned above came in 1855 or 1856. Mr. Buckley located first in section 9 and later in section 4, where he remained. Mr. Moriarty took land in section 8, but later went to Fillmore County. Martin lqcated on section 8, but afterwards removed to section 5, where also the Kennedys established themselves in the spring of 1855. J. J. Reinhardt came to Mayville in 1856 and located on section 21, where he remained. Mr. Cashman settled on section 4 in 1855.

In the northwest part of the town the first settler was Charles Klein, with his wife, five dwughters and four sons. John Mann located on section 4. Gasper Molitor, who arrived from Germany in 1856, bought a claim in section 17. John Meade came at an early date and secured a claim on section 19. Nicholas Neu pre-empted a claim in section 20 in 1857, and paid the government price, but sold in 1866 and removed to section 19. For four or five years after the first immigrants arrived, there was a considerable influx of others, mostly from Ireland and Germany.

In the fall of 1857 the first marriage occurred, that of William Schminden and Catherine Reinhardt. The first death was that of John Spoeden, in May, 1856. In the early history of this township there seems to have 'been no very startling events. Those who colonized it came with the honest purpose of securing homes, in which they succeeded.

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