History of Wilson 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


Wilson township embraces township 106, range 6. It is bounded on the north by Winona township, on the south by Wiscoy township, on the east by Homer township, and on the west by Warren township. The surface is very much broken, and is divided by the bluffs into two valleys running north and south. These valleys are traversed by two creeks, West Burns valley creek and East Burns valley creek. West Burns valley creek rises in section 15 and flows northeast through the valley, and joins the east branch on the northeast quarter of section 3. East Burns valley creek has its source in section 9, flows north to section 3, where the two unite and leave the township on section 2.

Organization. Wilson was organized May 11, 1858, with W. W. Kelly as town clerk. The officers appointed at this first meeting were: J. S. Wilson (chairman), Duncan McDougall, Myron Toms, supervisors; M. H. Crittindon, assessor; Amos Shepherd, collector; William Jones, overseer of the poor; William Jones, Alvin Lufkins, constables; R. D. Fellows, Dexter Shepherd, justices of the peace. At this first meeting there were seventy seven votes cast.

Early Settlers. The first settler in Wilson township was Henry J. Harrington, who located on what has long been known as the Hamilton farm. There were several other settlers who found their way up the valleys of Wilson in 1852. Harry Herrick secured a claim in East Burns valley, two miles from its mouth. The claim was long known as the Ely claim and later as the Henry Bitner farm. Herrick built a log cabin east of the bridge which now spans the stream at that point. William Hewitt settled above Herrick, and built a house near the big spring. Joseph S. Wilson, for whom the town is named, took a claim above Hewitt's. He left his cabin in care of Roderick Kellogg during the winter of 1852-53, and in the spring of the latter year brought his family. Antone Schoebe made a claim above Wilson's. This was the last house in that direction for some time. All these people came in 1852. In the same year, a man named Blodgett settled in West Burns valley.

In 1853, Patrick L. Neville came into the township and rented the Harrington place. In the same year, John F. Gile is said to have located on section 29. He went away however, and returned in 1854 when he built a house.

In 1854, Patrick L. Neville moved to a claim which he had made on what has long been known as the Neville farm. He sold his crop and his lease on the Harrington place to John C. Walker who came that year. In the meantime Mrs. Harrington had sold the claim to M. K. Drew. Walker by right of his purchase of the lease claimed to own the property, and when George C. Gere and a constable Harvey S. Terry endeavored to get possession, the Walker family prepared for an armed defense, and refused to allow the officers to enter the place to get Mrs. Harrington's furniture. Later the matter was settled by Walker's paying to Drew, the amount that Drew had paid to Mrs Harrington for the claim.

Early Events. Two Blodgett children died in West Burns valley in 1852. Henry J. Harrington died in 1853, his funeral being held on Sunday, June 12. Frank Brown, born in 1854, is said to have been the first white native of the township. The Wayland postoffice, afterward the Wilson postoffice was established as the result of the efforts of John F. Gile who became the first postmaster. Matthew J. Laird operated a fiourmill in this township for some years.

Land Office Records. The first claims to land in Wilson 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 one section is cited.

One, Myron Toms, October 24; John C. Walker, February 3; Peter Farrell, October 17; John Oates, April 16; Wilson C. Huff, November 19; 2, Joseph L. Simpson, October 26; Otis L. Hamilton, February 23; Chas. Kuhnlein, August 17; John C. Brown, January 29; 3, Elizabeth Barker, May 4; Frederick Miller, October 19; Joshua Fletcher, May 23; Henry J. Peters, October 26; Johan F. Hauser, September 8; 4, Julianna Quiezler (Kuisler), November 14; Willet Carpenter, May 12; 6, Francis Focokes, August 18; 7, Harriet C. Huff, October 30; John Magonn, October 30; Edw. S. Smith, November 19; 9, Jacob Rauge, October 30; John Weiler, June 22; Christian Heilman, October 23; William Hewitt, October 20; Geo. IT Libby, October 20; Henry Bittner, October 22; 11, W. W. Kelly, August 20; Emil Holzborn, October 25; Christian F. G. Meyers, October 19; 12, Sanford Babcock, January 17; Perrie Cauchene, October 20; Patrick L. Neville, May 28; Peter Farrell, 'November 19; 13, Patrick H. O'Brien, June 19; 15, Joseph S. Wilson, December 4; Antone Schoebe, November 19; Jos. A. Helbe, October 25; 17, Henry G. Abbott, October 30; O. M. Farrington, October 30; William Owen, April 30; William Christe, May 14; 18, Townsend Carpenter, October 30; Archibald Christe, May 14; 19, Michael Koenig, October 30; Jos. Heller, October 19; 20, Jos. L. Davidson, September 8; 21, Jos. Benig, November 14; Samuel Sylvester, October 30; James T. Chute, October 30; 22, Peter Brang, October 23; Henry Stevens, October 24; David L. Babcock, October 16; 23, Jno. Laur, December 3; Mathias Engle, December 3; Samuel Cole, October 31; 24, Frederick Coggswell, July 26; Jeremiah Dutcher, May 18; 25, Hiram B. Lufkin, October 17; Geo. B. Sterling, October 24; Stephen Latson, November 19; Amos Shepard, November 23; Luther Lufkin, October 24; 26, Dexter Shepard, October 24; Daniel Moran, April 14; Samuel A. Jones, October 24; 27, Orrin R. T. Kingsley, October 6; Ole Nelson, September 21; Wm. M. Reynolds, May 17; William Jones, October 30; 28, Lewis G. Hunter, October 18; Lewis Keller, May 29; Thomas Conner, October 18; Charity Winget, October 18; 29, John F. Gile, October 15; James H. Morton, September 28; Daniel Hall, October 17; 30, Henry Tuttle, October 30; Henry Hueblein, June 14; Jacob Benig, October 22; 31, Frederick Hofcut, October 30; John H. Foster, October 30; 32, Allen Crittenden, October 30; Chas. Rouse, October 30; Lanson Stillwell, October 30; G. W. Bergman, October 23; 33, James Downey, October 19; Mason H. Crittenden, October 18; Samuel W. Crockett, October 30; 34, Mason Leet, October 24; R. D. Fellows, September 7; 35, Thomas F. Osborn, May 1; Harrison Calhoun, May 31; Calvin Ford, October 23. Among those who are also said to have arrived this year are: William Bergman, Sr., William Bergman, Jr., Levi Winget, Jeremiah Moran, R. D. Fellows, Henry Benig and Lauren Thomas.

Wilson village is located eight miles southwest of Winona. It has one store, two churches, a school, a creamery and a blacksmith shop.

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