History of Norton Township, Winona County,
From: The History of Winonia County, Minnesota
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, Editor
H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., Publisher
Norton township embraces township 107, range 9. It is bounded on the north by Mt. Vernon, on the east by Rollingstone
and Hillsdale, on the south by Utica and on the west by Elba. The surface in the central and southern parts is
what is known as rolling, open land, and contains some of the best land in the county, while in the eastern portion
the land is very much broken. Rollingstone valley, traversed by a branch of Rollingstone creek, is in this locality.
This valley is said to be from 400 to 500 feet deep. The scenery is wild and romantic. The wagon road winds around,
in and out along the edges of precipices and under immense overhanging rocks hundreds of feet overhead. A great
attraction in this valley or ravine is a large cave which reaches over a quarter of a mile underground, and is
filled with stalactites and curious stones. Elm, ash, basswood, oak, hickory and some maple are found along this
valley. When the early pioneers made their appearance in 1855 wolves were numerous, and black bears were seen occasionally.
Deer have been known to come up and eat along with the cattle, and one early settler had a large flock of quail
that he fed regularly near his cabin. The town formerly bore the names of Jefferson and Sumner.
1, Geo. W. Harris, November 13; 2, Philip T. Perry, November 17; 3, Robert K. Whitely, December 17; Christian
Dencer, October 26; 4, William C. Pike, November 1; 5, Addison B. Cushing, November 19; 6, Peter Kiefer, October
24; 8, N. F. Hulbert, November 15; Robt. Pike, Jr., November 20; Louisa Lockwood, December 19; Oliver H. Phillips,
November 19; 9, H. Wickersham, November 20; Henry N. Hilbert, November 1; 11, Geo. Austin, November 13; 12, Thomas
Davitt, August 4; Valentine Dencer, October 27; 13, Nicholas Meyers, October 22; Nicholas Kimmel, October 16; 15,
Nicholas Congdon, October 25; 17, Lucien Hayden. and P. F. Perry, November 22; Edward Ely, November 24; Jno. Weltner,
November 24; 19, Samuel Moore, November 1; 21, Joseph D. Kennedy, November 1; 22, Jairus R. Warner, November 14;
24, Nicholas Grinwald, October 24; Peter Epelding, October 16; 25, William Rupprecht, October 25; 27, Joshua W.
Carr, November 22; 28, William Chaffey, October 27; Elisha M. Hagan, November 1; Samuel Cole, November 1; Thos.
Van Hook, November 1; James Rouney, September 25; 29, Jno. T. Van Hook, October 8; George Patton, November 1; 30,
Chas. W. Gliddons, October 18; 31, Eugene M. Wilson, November 1; Simon Turner, October 11; William Sweet, August
14; Leon Turner, October 11; William Savage, October 26; 33, John Curtiss, November 1; Manoah Turner, October 11;
35, James Remore, October 23; D. L. Miller, December 22. Others said to have selected claims that year are: Allos
Schwager, Adam Hick, John Monk, Pardon Spooner, Michael Moore and J. P. Hilbert.