History of Hart 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


Hart township embraces township 105, range 8. Its boundaries are, on the north Warren township, on the east Wiscoy, on the south Fillmore county, and on the west Fremont township. The surface is rough and broken. The soil, nevertheless, is very productive. The high bluffs divide the country into four valleys, Rush creek, Dry, Pine creek and Knapp valleys. All excepting Pine creek valley run north and south; the latter runs east and west. Dry valley is so called from a small stream which disappears in. a subterranean channel only to reappear again in unexpected places. Knapp 's valley is named for J. R. Knapp, an old resident in that vicinity.

Organization. Hart was organized May 11, 1858. The first town clerk was John Pierce, appointed at the first meeting in 1858. The first board were: J. W. Young, John Knapp, justices of the peace; Liborius Kauphusman, Patrick Orourke, constables; George Bisset, assessor; Jesse Conner, collector; M. T. Doherty, Thomas Baily, F. M. Andrews, supervisors. The town was originally known as Benton.

Early Settlers. Oliver Parmelee came to this locality in 1854 and took up part of section 2. Laborius Kauphusman came in 1855, surveyed land, and made a claim on section 16. He then left, and returned soon afterward with his family. Thomas Heberer and M. T. Doherty came the same year. Thomas Heberer settled on section 2, while M. T. Doherty entered section 12. Other early settlers were: Henry Ronnenberg, Rev. A. Brand, John C. Brand, John Parmelee, Smith Thompson, Job Thorington and John Brammer. Henry Ronnenberg settled on section 12; Rev. A. Brand came with a large herd of cattle and took up land on section 24; John C. Brand entered part of section 23; John Parmelee, Smith Thompson and Job Thorington settled on section 10, while John Brammer made a claim on section 1.

Early Events. A large hotel (or tavern as it was called), named the "Benton House," was kept by O. E. Fockens in 1857 on section 2. At this time there was much travel through this section of the country, and the hotel did a thriving business. This soon decreased, however, and the place was deserted in 1865. In 1860, G. M. Hitchcock built a flouring mill in section 29, on Rush creek. A postoffice was established in 1872 with John Kiekbusch as postmaster.

Land Office Record. The first claims to land in Hart township was 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 one section is noted.

Two, Chas. K Cone, June 14; Royal D. Cone, June 4; 3, Luther R. Rowland, August 17; Jno B Knapp, September 13; 5, Alfred Marsh, August 30; 6, Orlando Stevens, July 17; 9, William Gaffney, December 18; 10, John S. Parmelee, August 17; Smith Thompson, August 17; 11, Job Thorington, August 13; 12, Hugh Cockran, November 10; 13, Henry Wychgram, November 13.

Hart village is located sixteen miles southwest of Winona and six miles north of Rushford which is on the C. M. & St. P. Railway. It has one store, a church, a creamery and a blacksmith shop.

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