History of Fremont Township, Winona County, Minnesota
From: The History of Winonia County, Minnesota
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Editor
H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Publisher
Chicago 1913


Fremont township embraces township 105, range 9. Its boundaries are, on the north Utica, on the east Hart, on the west Saratoga, and on the south Fillmore county. The surface of Fremont township is diversified. In the eastern and southern portions the land is much broken, while in the central and western parts it is almost level. Rush creek flows through the northeastern corner, cutting sections 1, 2 and 12, while Pine creek flows through the southeastern portion, cutting sections 25 and 35.

First Settlers. The first settlers came to Fremont township in 1854. Those who located here that year were: Isaac Arnold, Phineas Gates and Phineas Gates, Jr. Isaac Arnold made a claim on what is now section 2, while Phineas Gates, Sr., and Phineas Gates, Jr., settled on what is now section 14.

Land Office Records. The first claims to land in Fremont township were filed in 1855. Those who filed that year were as follows, the section being given first, the name of the claimant next, and the date of filing last. In case the settler had land in more than one section, only the first is noted.

One, Orlando Stevens, July 17; Nelson Brown, September 22; Obed Andrews, June 7; 4, Orsamus Jay, November 10; Porter Richards, November 30; 6, Joseph Gerrish, August 7; Thos. H. Dobbs, October 20; 8, William H. Jay, November 30; 9, Esra J. Earl, September 5; Erastus Kelley, September 5; 21, James A. Randall, November 8; Franklin Labaree, November 22; 22, Ezra Wells, November 22; James S. Campbell, November 22; 26, John Dubois, October 5; John D. Stanwoon, October 11; Hiram Hall, May 8; 27, Robert Winditt, May 22; Daniel A. Boaker, October 20; 28, John W. Henry, October 5; Miles M. Woodin, October 20; 29, Toleff Amison, October 6; 33, Ole Zollifson, October 6; 34, Thomas Colton, October 5; Osman Rulson, May 24; 35, Rozin Everts, October 20; Henry Taylor, November 7. In additon to these it is said that the following selected claims in 1855: Noah Gates, Edward Porter, Samuel Arnold, Mathew Ferguson, John Ferguson, John Jarman, Lemuel Bartholomew, Duncan Ferguson, Donald Ferguson, Thomas Robertson, Reason Evaretts, John Dobbs and Geo. Johnson Noah Gates settled on section 2, Edward Porter on sections 6 and 7, Samuel Arnold on section 9, Mathew Ferguson on section 15, John Ferguson on the same section, John Jarman on section 17, Lemuel Bartholomew on section 9, Duncan and Donald Ferguson on section 17, Thomas Robertson on section 20, Reason Evaretts on section 28, John Dobbs on section 5 and Geo. Johnson on section 8. John Earle and John Draper camped out on section 4.

Early Events. The first house built in Fremont township was erected by Isaac Arnold, in the fall of 1854, on what is now section 2. It was a small log house, perhaps 14 by 16 feet in dimensions. In 1856 L. C. Rice built a small store on what is now section 2. This was the first store known to have been kept in Fremont. In the same year (1856) "Captain" Hinkley started a blacksmith shop on section 22. The first postoffice was established in 1857, on section 2, at a village known as Neoca (long since abandoned), with L. C. Rice as postmaster. In 1856 a sawmill was built by John Henry and John Du Bois, on section 26, on Pine creek. Although a very crude affair, it was capable of sawing 1,000 feet of lumber per day. The water power was not very good at this point. In 1870 this was converted into a gristmill. Edward Porter was the first person that died in the township. He died in the winter of 1856, and was buried on what is now section 5. The first birth was that of Charles Gates, born some time in 1856, on section 14. The first marriage was that of Ann R. Arnold to John Du Bois, in the year 1856. In 1857 the first schoolhouse was built. It stood on section 8, and was 24 by 16 feet. Malinda Joy was the first teacher. Dr. W. S. Morrison came in 1867. The first hotel was kept by Isaac Arnold on section 2 as early as 1855. The first road was built under the supervision of Phineas Gates in 1856. It was known as the Gates road, and led from the Du Bois mill on section 26 to the territorial road in the center of the township.

Organization. Fremont was organized May 11, 1858. The following officers were elected: Supervisors, William C. Page (chairman), James A. Randall and Louis Peterson; clerk, John Currie, Jr.; assessor, Orsamus Joy; collector, John W. Henry; overseer of the poor. Erastns Kelly; justices, R. Everts and O. B. Eldred; constables, William H. Joy and A. B. Preston.

Fremont village has a population of fifty people. It is located twenty miles southwest of Winona and six miles south of Lewiston on the C. & N. W. Ry. It has a mill, a store, a school and a blacksmith shop.

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