History of Byron Township, Waseca County, Minnesota
From: Child's History of Waseca County, Minnesota
BY: James E. Child
The Press of The Owatonna Chronicle, Publisher.
Copyright 1905


Originally, in 1857, Byron was a part of the Otisco precinct, and so remained until the fall of 1858, when it was organized as a separate township. The early records of the township have been lost, but the oldest settlers claim that the first supervisors of the town were J. H. Wightman, chairman, Daniel C. Davis and Christie McGrath; David Beavins town clerk, and C. S. Weed, assessor.

Jeremy Davis and family were the first white settlers in the township. Jeremy built the first log cabin in the summer of 1855. It was destroyed by fire in the spring of 1857, and the family was left houseless for a time. Mr. Davis died in Byron, Sept. 13, 1863.

Daniel C. Davis, son of Jeremy, born May 13, 1834, came with his father and settled at the same time, in 1855. July 18, 1861, he was united in marriage with Miss Elizabeth Parvin.

Christie McGrath, a native of Ireland, settled in Byron in 1856, and still resides on his farm. He saw many hardships in the pioneer days. He has been an industrious worker all his life.

William and David Beavins also settled in this township in 1856. David was a character in his way. He was a very kind hearted man and very jovial. He was long on profuse promises, but sometimes short on performances. One time he promised Alex Johnston a large number of votes in Byron, upon the strength of which he got many a drink. After election Alex chided him for not getting a single vote, and Dave, with a great appearance of sincere sorrow, declared that he was mistaken in the day and didn't get to the polls, and that that was the reason why Alex was short on votes. It was claimed by others that. Alex's opponent saw David last on election morning. William served in the Union army and died a few years after his return home.

Isaac Ling settled in Byron in 1856. He served as a soldier in Company F, Tenth Minnesota infantry, dying at Dauphin Island, March 10, 1865. Mrs. Ling died here the same year, leaving a number of small children. C. S. Weed and family also settled in Byron in 1856.

J. H. Wightman, now of New Richland; Richard Ayers (deceased), late of Janesville; William Philbrook, who died in 1865; Jacob W. Pierce, still a resident of the town, moved to Byron in 1857.

Omer H. Sutlief, Garret Hope, and a number of other men and their families, came to this town prior to 1860.

Garret Hope, born in county of West Mayo, Ireland, Aug. 15, 1840, came to America in 1852, and lived for a time in Connecticut; he came West to Beloit, Wis., in 1855, and to Byron in 1858. Some years ago he sold his farm in Byron and removed to California.

Benaiah Parvin came here in 1860, and after several years' residence, emigrated to Arkansas, where he died soon after.

Calista J. Campbell, born in Madison county, N. Y., came West with her parents to Rock county, Wis., as early as 1848. Dec. 11, 1849, she married Edwin A. Crump. Eight years after they moved to Winneshiek county, Iowa, and three years later came to Byron. Some time afterward they spent a few years in the village of Wilton - Mr. Crump running a wagon shop and Mrs. Crump a millinery store. Mr. Crump was consumptive, and died Jan. 20, 1878. They were the parents of five children - three sons and two daughters. Mrs. Crump bravely carried on the farm in Byron, with the assistance of her children until 1880, Feb. 28, when she married Mr. John N Wilson, who was born in Canada Sept. 1, 1833. In 1854 he came to Wisconsin. later he went to Colorado, where he enlisted in Company G. First Colorado regiment, and served until the close of the rebellion. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson now have a cozy home in New Richland village.

Peter Bumgerten, born in Prussia, June 27, 1832, came to America in 1857, first living in Wisconsin. He remained there until 1869, when he came to St. Mary in this county. Six years after he removed to Byron. The last few years of his life he resided in New Richland, and died there in the spring of 1905.

Lawrence Concanon, born in Ireland, July 20, 1827, landed at New Orleans in 1851; he followed up the river to Illinois, where he lived until 1877, when he came to St. Mary. After spending three years in St. Mary, he settled on section 19, in Byron, where he still resides.

Zalmon M. Partridge, born Jan. 15, 1834, in Berkshire county, Mass., came to Minnesota in 1857, and lived in Dakota county, where he worked at carpentering and farming. Three years later he went to Virginia where he worked as a brick molder. In August, 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Fourth Loyal Virginia infantry, and served a little over three years. Nov. 2, 1864, he married Narcissus Samples, of West Virginia. In 1866 he returned to Minnesota with his family, again going to Dakota county. In 1870 he came to Byron, where he has since resided and made a good home. Mr. and Mrs. Partridge have been the parents of four sons and one daughter.

Mrs. Margaret Dwyer, one of the early settlers of Byron, nearly perished in the winter of 1864. She started to visit a neighbor, about four miles distant, was caught in a blinding snow storm, became bewildered on the prairie, and wandered around from Wednesday until Friday afternoon toward evening, when she arrived at her sister's house. She was so badly frozen and so much exhausted that she could scarcely move without assistance. Her suffering was intense. She lost half of each of her feet and was for a long time unable to walk.

Byron, in early days, was treeless but now it abounds in fine groves of cultivated timber, which give the landscape a very attractive appearance. The township, as a whole, is better adapted to stock raising and dairying than to wheat culture.

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