This township is one of the favored ones of the great Northwest. It is rich in soil, with an undulating surface,
plenty of timber, and ample drainage. Upland, meadow, and groves are so evenly distributed that nearly every farm
has its proper proportion of each.
The first settlers in this township were Luke B. Osgood, Daniel McDaniels, and John H. Wheeler. David Wood followed
a few days later, and Buel Welsh made a claim here in 1855, but soon returned to Faribault.
This township was organized separate from other territory the 5th day of April, 1858. On that day the board of
county commissioners, consisting of Messrs. E. B. Stearns, of Otisco; John Bailey, of St. Mary; and Luman C. Wood,
of Woodville, made an order constituting township 108 N. of Range 23 W. the town of Iosco, and appointed Messrs.
H. W. Peck, George L. Leonard, and David Smith judges of the election which was to be held at the house of Daniel
Tripp, in said township.
The minutes of the first town meeting read as follows:
FIRST ELECTION OF IOSCO.
"At an election held at the house of Daniel Tripp, in the town of Iosco, Waseca county, Minn., on the 11th
day of May, A. D. 1858, the following named persons received the number of votes set to their respective names
for the following offices, to wit:"
Then followed in detail the names of all the candidates and the number of votes each received. N. E. Strong was
elected chairman and David Smith and John G. Ward supervisors; Spencer J. Willis, clerk; L. B. Osgood, town collector;
A. J. Bell, assessor: B. W. Gifford, overseer of the poor; A. J. Walton, constable; L. P. Kellogg and Silas Ward,
justices of the peace. The names of E. Carpenter, James Babcock, Samuel Hardy, William Rockwell, G. L. Leonard
and H. P. Chamberlain are recorded as receiving complimentary votes, but nearly the whole vote was cast for the
successful candidates. Only forty two votes were cast and the successful candidates received from thirty nine to
forty one. The result of the election is certified to by H. W. Peck, David Smith, and G. L. Leonard, judges of
election, and attested by N. E. Strong and M. L. Kellogg, clerks. The town was divided into seven road districts
and the following road overseers were appointed: A. J. Walton, Daniel McDaniels, Silas Ward, John Otis, Segur Johnson,
Charles Billings, and Hugh Healey.
There was a large addition to the population of the township in 1856. Early that spring, N. E. Strong, George L.
Leonard, Daniel Tripp, Benjamin W. Gifford, and A. A. Cotten platted a village site on section 20 and called it
"Empire." It was surveyed and platted by H. W. Peck. William Long, father of Seth W., George and Frank
Long, built a sawmill at this place. Thomas and Daniel Tripp built a hotel. It was at this village of Empire that
Peter Farrell stabbed and killed Jacob Hagadorn on election day, in October, 1857. After the defeat of Empire in
the county seat contest of 1857, the village soon disappeared, and the township reverted to its normal condition
as a paradise for farming.