xt7qft8djz8d https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qft8djz8d/data/mets.xml Minnesota Historical Records Survey United States. Works Progress Administration. Division of Women's and Professional Projects Minnesota Minnesota Historical Records Survey United States. Works Progress Administration. Division of Women's and Professional Projects 1938 iv, 307 p.: ill., maps 28 cm. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call Number: Y 3.W 89/2:43/M 666/2/no.70 books  English Saint Paul, Minn.: the Survey  This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Minnesota Works Progress Administration Publications Archives -- Minnesota -- Scott County -- Catalogs Scott County (Minn.) -- History -- Sources Scott County (Minn.) -- Genealogy Inventory of the County Archives of Minnesota. No. 70. Scott County (Shakopee), 1938 text Inventory of the County Archives of Minnesota. No. 70. Scott County (Shakopee), 1938 1938 1938 2021 true xt7qft8djz8d section xt7qft8djz8d INVENTORY OF THE COUNTY ARCHIVES



SHAKOPEE 'Nagewaimsemm







Prepared by

The Historical Records Survey
Division of Women‘s and Professional Projects
Works Progress Administration


Saint Paul, Minnesota
The Historical Records Survey
January 1959





The Historical Records Survey

Luther H. EVans, National Director
Jacob Hodnefield, State Director

Division of Women's and Professional Projects

Florence S. Kerr, Assistant'Administrator
Mildred T. Law, State Director


F. C» Harrington, Administrator
Linus C. Glotzbach, State Administrator


 lake of‘~«//\

J the Woods ‘j‘y

\\\J"\(’/- r

l \\ \Q .
l \











u 5

‘* «


{M s


It ca ‘

M A H %A H T A
_. ___ 1&0»: Wing


18%9 — 1851










I O W .11





The Inventory of County Archives of Minnesota is one of


a number Efirbibliographies of historical materials prepared
throughout the United States by workers on the Historical
Records Survey of the Works Progress Administration. The
publication herewith presented, an inventory of the archives
of Scott County, is number 70 of the Minnesota series.

The Historical Records Survey was undertaken in the winter
of 1955-56 for the purpose of providing useful employment to
historians, lawyers, teachers, and research and clerical
workers. In carrying out this objectiVe, the project was
organized to compile inventories of historical materials,
particularly the unpublished government documents and records
which are basic in the administration of local gOVernment,
and which provide invaluable data for students of political,
economic, and social history. The archival guide herewith
presented is intended to meet the requirements of day—to—day
administration by the officials of the county, and also the
needs of lawyers, business men and other citizens who require
facts from the public records for the proper conduct of their
affairs. The volume is so designed that it can be used by the
historian in his research in unprinted sources in the same way
he uses the library card catalog for printed sources.

The inventories produced by the Historical Records Survey
attempt to do more than give merely a list of records — they
attempt further to sketch in the historical background of the
county or other unit of government, and to describe precisely
and in detail the organization and functions of the government
agencies whose records they list° The county, town, and other
local inventories for the entire country will, when completed,
constitute an encyclopedia of local government as well as a
bibliography of local archives.

The successful conclusion of the Work of the Historical
Records Survey, even in a single county, would not be possible
without the support of public officials, historical and legal
specialists, and many other groups in the community. Their
cooperation is gratefully acknowledged.

The survey was organized and has been directed by Luther
H. EVans, and operates as a nation~wide project in the Division
of Women's and Professional Projects, of which Mrs. Florence


0. Kerr, Assistant Administrator, is in charge.






A survey of county archives was begun by the Minnesota
Historical Society as far back as 1917, at which time the
records of 14 counties were listed. The survey was revived
in 1954 under the Civil Works Administration and continued
for three weeks until that administration closed at the end
of March. It was organized in January 1955 under the Emer~
gency Relief Administration and operated until the end of
July of that year, during which time 45 counties were surveyed.

In the fall of 1955 a state—wide historical project,
under the sponsorship of the Minnesota Historical Society,
Dr. Theodore C. Blegen, Superintendent, and operated by the
Works Progress Administration, was organized not only to
continue the survey of county archives but to make inventories
of municipal, township, and school district archives, and the
records of churches, cemeteries, fraternal, and other organi—
zations, and to gather historical material of various kinds.

The Historical Records Survey project, sponsored by the
Works Progress Administration and under the national direction
of Dr. Luther H. EVans, was organized in the state in March
1956. This project and the previous state historical survey
-project operated as a unit to continue the survey of archives
and other historical materials. Under this program the county
archives were listed in the unfinished counties in 1956 and
early 1957. The state project was terminated in February 1958,
and the survey has been continued by the federal project.

In order to secure uniformity in the publications it was
decided, in May 1957, to use the forms prepared by that organi—
zation and to enlarge the information secured on the early
surveys to conform to publication requirements. A recheck of
county records to secure the additional information and bring
the inventories up to date was begun in June 1957.

The immediate objective is the publication of a series
of county archives inventories, one number for each county.
The county numbers are prepared as the recheck is completed.
In Scott County this recheck was done from June 7 to July 50,
1957. The 87 counties of dinnesota are numbered in alphabetical
order. The number appearing with the name of the county on the
title—page is the number of the county in this arrangement and
not an indication of the order of publication.



The field workers on the recheck in Scott County were
Lyla Hallgrain, Grayce Wallace, and Paul Larson. The histor—
ical introductions were written by Elva Livingston and other
members of the editorial staff. '

Acknowledgment is made of the cooperation of the county
officials on these surveys and of others who have contributed
to the success of the enterprise.

Requests for additional copies of this publication may

be addressed to Dr. Theodore C. Blegen, Superintendent,
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul.

Jacob Hodnefield, State Director
Historical Records Survey

December l5) 1958





A. Scott County and its Records System

Historical Sketch .................................. 5
Governmental Organization and Records Keeping ...... 15
Chart of County Government ... ........... . ..... 61
Housing, Cale, and Accessibility of the Records .... 62
Floor Plans of courthouse ....... ... .... 66
List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory
Notes ... ...... ......... ................... . ...... 69

B. County Officers and their Records

Board of County Commissioners ...... . .... .......... 70
Proceedings. General business. Roads. School
districts. Reports Jury lists.

Auditor . ...... . .... ............ ................. 84
General accounting. Taxation. Real estate. School
districts. Public works. Welfare agencies. Orders
and warrants. Indebtedness. Fees. Bounties.

Licenses. Elections, bonds, and oaths. Miscellane-
ous statements and receipts. Expenditures of
offices. Miscellany. Correspondence.

Register of Deeds ........ . ......................... 128
Reception books. General indexes. Real estate.
Personal property. Special instruments. Military
discharges. Miscellaneous Registrations. Fees.

Clerk of the District Court ......... ......... 152
Indexes. Minutes. Calendars. Cases. Judgments. Tax
judgments. Jurors and witnesses. Coroner‘ 3 cases.
Justice court cases. Land registration. Naturaliza—
tion. Vital statistics. Professional register.
Business names. Bonds and oaths. Miscellany. Fees.

Judge of Probate ...... . ....................... ..... 176
Minutes of proceedings. Cases. Juvenile cases.
Wills. Letter record. Inheritance tax. Claims.
Bonds. Fees. Miscellany.



Table of Contents


VI. Court Commissioner ................................ 191
VII. Coroner ................ ...... . .............. . ..... 196
VIII. Sheriff .................. ...... ...... ......... .... 200
IX. Attorney ...... ... ........ . ................ .. ...... 205
X. Board of Equalization .. ......... .... ......... ..... 209
XI. Treasurer ..................................... .. 211

General accountino. Collections anal. disburse—
ments. Taxes. Iiiscellaneous receipts. Special
funds. Warrant registers. Bank accounts and

XII. Board of Audit ............................. ...... . 228
XIII. Superintendent of Schools ..... ..... ........ ..... 250

Annual reports. State aid. List of teachers,

school officers, applicants. Eh aminations of

schools. Clerks' reports. Teachers' reports.

Record of teachers. Teachers' pension record.
Records of pupils. Health records. County and
state fair records. Correspondence.

XIV. County Welfare Board ........ .............. ....... 259
Relief Agency. Child welfare board. Old age


XVI. Highway Engineer . ........... ...................... 257
Maps and plats. Surveys. Construction and
maintenance. General accounting. Miscellany.

XVII. Agricultural Agent .................. ....... ....... 267
List of County Officers ..... . ...... ....... ........ 273
Clironological Index of Entries ........... ......... 278

General Index ... .................. .. .............. 281




Scott County, with an area of 575 square miles, is located
southeast of the central part of Minnesota, bordering on the
southeast bank of the Minnesota River. It was named for General
Winfield Scott, officer of the War of 1812, commander-in-chief
of the United States Army during the Mexican War, and unsuccess-
ful Whig candidate for the presidency in 1852. General Scott
never visited the area which was to be named for him, but in
1824 he was only a few miles away when he made an official
inspection of Fort Snelling.

The chief communities of the county are Shakopee, (popula—
tion 2,025; platted in 1854, incorporated as a city in 1857,
reincorporated as a city in 1870); New Prague (partly in Le Sueur
County, population 1,545, founded in 1856, incorporated as a
village in 1877, as a city in 1891); Belle Plaine (the only
borough in the state) founded in 1854, incorporated as a borough
in 1875); and Jordan (population 1,119, platted in 1854,
incorporated as a village in 1872, and as a city in 1891).

Other railroad points or neighborhood centers are Barden,
Blakely, Eidswold, Elko, Lydia, Marystown, Merriam Junction,
New Market, Prior Lake, and St. Patrick. Grainwood is a summer
resort, and Mudbaden a health resort. Savage, formerly a
horse training and racing center, is now the site of a transient
relief camp.

Scattered along the Minnesota bluffs are numerous artificial
symmetrical mounds of earth, mostly round and of Varying size,
which are evidence of the occupancy of the area for untold
centuries by a primitive people, Indian-like in their mode of
life, and possibly the immediate ancestors of the Indians found
in the region by the first white explorers. Especially interest-
ing is an isolated group of mounds consisting of four embank—
ments and effigies representing birds with wings spread out like
sailing hawks. This group doubtless belongs to the same period
as the mounds on the river bluffs. (l)

. For many generations the present site of Shakopee, the
county seat, was the site of a Sioux village which was ruledt

by a hereditary line of chiefs, bearing the name of Shakpay or
Shakopee (six). The first of these chiefs of whom we have
written mention was Le Demi Douzen (the half dozen) who attended


(1) Newton H. Winchell, aborigines of Minnesota, 187, 195.


 Historical Sketch

the conference with Zebulon M. Pike at the mouth of the
Minnesota in 1805. At the time of the arrival of the first
settlers, the S akopee village, Tintonwan, Tintaton, or
Teen—tah—o-ton (the village on the prairie) numbered about
eight hundred souls.

Several early Minnesota explorers followed the Minnesota
River westward, thus passing along the northwest boundary of
what is now Scott County.

The first Was probably Pierre Charles Le Sueur, a Canadian-
born Frenchman. Le Sueur was at Fort St. Antoine, on the east
shore of Lake Pepin, with Perrot in 1689, and was one of the
witnesses to the proclamation claiming the entire upper Missis—
sippi Valley in the name of the King of France. In 1695 he
erected a fort on Prairie Island near Red Wing. There he heard,
from the Indians, of an unusual deposit of blue and green earth
in the western part of the Minnesota valley. Hopeful of dis-
covering valuable minerals he sailed up the Minnesota late in
1700, established a fort near what is now Mankato, and started
mining. In the spring he returned to France with two tons of
what he believed to be copper—bearing ore. When he reached
there he found that his cargo was only worthless blue clay.

Jonathan Carver, a Connecticut Yankee, exploring under
British auspices, spent the winter of 1766-67 with the Sioux
Indians on the Minnesota River, possibly in the vicinity of
New Ulm or St. Peter. Peter Pond, also a native of Connecticut,
traded with the Indians in the same vicinity in 1775—75, and at
least one French trader was near him. In the succeeding decades
other traders located along the river, and as early as 1820 the
valley became a highway of traffic between what is now Fort
Snelling and the Selkirk colony on the Red River near the
Canadian border.

Major Stephen H. Long, William H. Keating, Thomas Say, and
others, with soldiers, guides, and guests, and acting under
orders from the War Department, went up the Minnesota and down
the Red River in 1825. Giacomo C. Beltrami, a romantic Italian

xile, accompanied them a part of the way.

Other famous early explorers of the valley were George W.
Featherstonhaugh, an Englishman, who with William W. Mather,
made a i'geological reconnoissance” of southwestern Minnesota
for the government in 1835; George Catlin, the famous painter
of Indian subjects, who with Robert S, Wood, an Englishman,
examined the famous pipestone quarries in 1856, despite the



Historical Sketch

warn1nue and hrea ts of the Indians; and Joseph H Hi.collet

who in 1856 had explored the ultimate sources of the Mississippi
and who in 1858 explored the southwestern part of the state and
visited the pipestone quarries° Among the men in Nicollet's

pa rtg* was John 81 Fremont, who later was called ”the pathfinder"
and who was to explore the Rockies and the Pacific coast, to
serve as a general in the Mexican and Civil wars, and to run
for president as the first Republican candidate in 1856.
iicollet’s map published in 1845 was the first correct map of
the M1nnesota areau (2)

Traders and missionaries located at or near the villag e of
Chief Shakopee at early dates. Oliver Fa1ibau1t is said to have
located on the site as a trader in 18441 His father, Jean
Baptiste Faribault, for whom a Minnesota county is named, had
a post at Little Rapids abOVe Carver as early as 1805. Hazen
Mooers was engaged as a trader in the Shakopee vicinity in the
late 1ort1es. His son John was appointed government farmer to
tr 1e Inc.ians here. The Heve rend Samuel Wn Pond, who with his
brother, {Gideon H., came to Minnesota as a missionary in 1834,
settled at Shalcopee in 1847 His home was the first i‘rame
building in the Valley. Thomas A. Holmes, a well known town«
site promoter, opened a trading store on the site of Shakopee
in 1851 and he is credited with beinr the actual founder of
the city. With him came John Mckenzie and Emerson Shumway to
h.e1p build the c abina Assistance was also given by Daniel
Apgar who arrived before it was completed. These men were soon
joined by John C. Sommerville, Arnold Graffenstatt, and H. Lewis”

Not long after Holrses arrived, David Faribault attenqpted to
start a rival settlement about a mile and half farther eaSt
A few french and m1°xed blood families ga hered about him and
built a few cabins, but the effort Was short lived.

After taking a claim near the town Daniel Apgar went back
east, returning in the spr ing of 1852 with his wife. His
brother A1 81 Apgar an.d wiie, his father and mother, Mr. and
Mrs. Samuel Apgar, their four young children, and a friend,
Harrison Raynor, arrived in October.

Other arrivals of 1“ 852 were Davie L1 Fuller (who had visited
the region the pre evi.ous year), Joseph Graffenstatt, Alvin
Dorward, Abraham Bodnaman, Benjamin F. Turner, Henry Marclay,
Edward Smith, William Holmes, David Kinghorn, Thomas S. Turner,
(2) Theodore C. Blegen,u11d1n§ oinnesota, 31— 97; William

Watts Folwell, A T1stor* of L1nnesota, 1: 58- -72, 89— 150


 Historical Sketch

Comfort Barnes, Peter Atwood, Timothy Canty, Baptiste Le Beau,
and John Barclay. Beginning in 1854, the influx of settlement
increased rapidly. Many of the early settlers, as may be seen
by their characteristic Yankee names, were typical Americans
from the older states. Later the Germans, Irish, Bohemians, and
Scandinavian immigration was to be an important factor in the
progress of the county.

An excursion party“ from Fort Snelling went up the Minnesota
by steamboat to Shakopee's village in June 1842, and in 1850
three boats carried excursions upstream and ”demonstrated the
navigébility of the Minnesota River”. By 1854 the number of
stewnboat arrivals and departures at St. Paul from the Minnesota
River reached the hundred mark, and almost four times that number

(1:? (1

were recorded in looo.

The greater part of southern Minnesota was opened to settle—
ment by treaties with the Sioux Indians signed at Mendota and at
Traverse des Sioux, near St. Peter, in 1851 and proclaimed by
President Millard Fillmore in 1853. The Indians were moved to a
reserVation on the upper river. Many of them, however, continued
to return to their old hunting grounds during the summer months.
About 150 members of Shakopee‘s band were camped near the village
that bears his name in May 1858 when they were attacked by
hostile Chippewa. A bloody battle followed, and the Chippewa
finally retreated, leaving for their homes to the north. This
was the last of a long series of conflicts between the two great
Indian tribes of Minnesota.

The area of Scott County was not involved in the great Sioux
Outbreak of 1862. One of the leaders of the Indians, however,
was Little Six who had become chief of the band in 1860. This
chief and Medicine Bottle, were captured by John McKenzie who
helped build the Holmes cabin, and were hanged at Fort Snelling
in 1865 for the murder of Philander Prescott during the outbreak.


Scott County was established by an act of the legislature
on March 5, 1855. The boundaries coincided roughly with the

(5) Information as to the early days of Scott County is found
in William Hinds, §.§E§EEE of Bhahgpee, Minnesota, Shakopee,
Minnesota, 1891; Julius A. Coller II, “Th'é'ifia‘téfi of
§haggpee, Einnesota, 1862—1950, The Shafiopee Trinting Com—
pany, Shakopee, Minnesota, 1953. The county nomenclature
appears in: Warren Upham, Minngsota Geographic Names,
507-512. ' “”"" fl W""”““”“


 Historical Sketch

present boundaries but included a considerable area to the
south. (4) On February 20, 1855, the area was greatly reduced.
The southern boundary was established as at present. It was the
intention that the eastern boundary should follow the range line
between 20 and 21 west, but as the description differed from the
description of the western boundary of Dakota County in an act
passed at the same time, the question Was still unsettled. The
rive‘ renai.ned the other boundary. (5) On May 25, 1857, the
county was enlargged by an act of the territorial legislature
which a.ttached to Scott County that part of Carver County lying
north of the river in section 1, township 115 north, range 25
west, which was at ti o same time included within the corporate
limits of Shakopee. (6) The line between ocott and Dakota
Counties was adjusted in 1860 but the definition was confusinc.
(7) In 1:171, having been authorized by the legislature to pass
upon the question, the people of the two counties ratified the
present boundary on November 7, (8)

The first officers appointed by Governor Alexander Ramsey
in 1855 were: comn.is sioners Thomas S, Turner (chairman),
Franklin h’asson, and Comiort Barnes; sheriff, Ai G. Apgar;
justice of the peace, Daniel Anger. At the first meeting which
was held on April 29, 1855 in a stone building, the county
board named Daniel Apgar, judge of probate, and William H. Nobles,
county surveyor. It also made Scott County one election precinct
and ordered that an election be held at the home of Franklin
Wasson in Shakepee. {9)

This election held on the second Tuesday of October 1855,
resulted as follows: rend-"Sieners, Samuel Apgar, Franklin
Wasson, and Comfort Barnes; register of deeds and county sur—
voyor, William H. Nobles; sheriff, Ai G. Apgar; treasurer,

H. H. Spencer; judge of probate, Daniel Apgar; attorney, Luther
W. Brown, E. A. Greenleaf was appointed clerk of the district
court in the summer of 1855. (10)

The county was divided into three assessment districts by
the-county commissioners on January 2, 1854, and David Kinghorn,


(4) LEHEJ 185 5, 55, ch. 11, sec. 5.

(5) EEEE: 1855, 85, ch. 6, see. 10; 7O

(5) General Laws, 185? extra session, 9'7— 99, ch. 25.

(7) Epci 1 Law:s, 1860, 59, ch. 52, sec. 1.

(8) Genelal Laws,1871, 165, ch. 97, sec. 1.

(9) Countymcenhis sionersf Proceedings, A. 2.
(10) County Commissioners‘ Records, 9:5, 0“ Edward D Neill,

31152032: at $11.8. ljrmuote 37.51.1191, 29 0-


 Historical S:etch

Harrison Iiaynor, and Thomas S. Turner, were appointed assessors.

The system of county government in Minnesota was reorganized
by the township act passed by the legislature in 1858. (12) In
anticipation of the act, the Scott County commissioners met on
April 5, and. established twelve townships. (15) On July 5,

1858, t.ne chairmen of the twelve townships, who under the new
system were to constitute a board of county supervisors, held
their firs t meetir =9 on July 5,1858. (14) The supervisor system
proved cumbersome and the commissioner system was resumed in
1860. (15)

The records of the county show a guitclaim deed issued as
early as June 4,1855. A bond to convey a claim was recorded
October 6, 18 54. The first patent shown in the U. S. Land
Office Register is dated August 16, 1855. Prominent names found
in the early records are: Daniel W. Storer, E A. Greenleaf (a
clergyman), Ai G. A oar, Harmon H. Strunck (dr 331st), Franklin
Wasson, F. M. Brown (attorney), A. G. Chatfield (district judge),
Arnold Graffenstatt, Samuel Apgar, Benjamin F. Davis, Spier
Spencer, Daniel Apgar, Harrison Raynor, John Le Beau, Joseph
Gelhage, Comfort Barnes, Sr. and Jr., and Harriet Sencerbox.

The county seat was established in Shakopee in 1854, and
block 56 was donated by D. L. Fuller and Thomas Holmes to be
used for public buildings. The county seat has since remained
at Shakopee, although several attempts have been made to remove
it to Jordan or Lydia. (16)

The first lists of grand and petit jurors were drawn by the
county commissioners on August 15, 1855. The county Was still
sparsely settled and the board failed to find enough available
names for the required fifty grand jurors and seventy— two petit
jurors, so a list 01 twenty- four names for the grand jury,and
thirty— two for the petit jury, was prepared. The names are
interesting as they are those of men who were substantial and
even prominent figures in both private and public life.

11) County Commiss ioners1 Records, Azl2.

12) General. Laws, 1558, 190- 227, ch. 75, secs. 1-24.

15) county Counisoioners’ Recor s, A2250.

14) Counojr Comnis sioners' Records, A2247.

15) General Laws,1So 150— 141, ch. 15.

16) County CownuoslonersY Records, A215; B: 9, 51; L3570, 425,
55913pec1a Laws,1872416,§e11e Plaine Herald, October
20, 2. ”_— "'~—~"'-___‘__


 Historical Sketch

The grand jury list: Thomas S. Turner, John W. Waters,
Steven Storm, John Burnham, Asa Wells, Henry Corkins, Barney
Young, Samuel Hamond,Wi11iam Holmes, Thomas A. Holmes, Henry H.
Spencer, Spier Spencer, John Hare, Franklin Wasson, Henry J.
Koons, Daniel Apgar, L. W. Brigham, John Carlinger, David
Earibault, Thomas Kennedy, George Kinghorn, and David Kinghorn.
The petit jury list: John Bakley, Comfort Barnes, Mathew Tailly,
Samuel Apgar, Arnold Graffenstadt, Baptiste Le Beau, Oliver
Peltey, Joseph Graffenstadt, Benjamin W. Turner, John W. Turner,
Alles Dorward, Barney Doud, James Mitchel, John Smith, John C.
Somerville, Lyman Ruby, Samuel Pond, John Dorman, Samuel Burnham,
John Mooers, Alfred E. Traverse, William Smothers, Edwin Ball,
Charles Sweet, Platt Schemerhorn, Walter West, John Bass, Edward
Smith, Zeb Lavalle, Alvin Dorward, William H. Raynor, and David
Ebert. (17)

A stage line was established between St. Paul and Shakopee
in 1855, and a ferry across the river at Shakopee opened the same
year. H. A. Holmes was appointed postmaster at Shakopee on
December 10, 1854, but the office Was not opened until a month
later. The Shahppee independent was established in 1854. (18)
The first petitionmfor a school*district was granted by the
county commissioners on July 2, 1855; (19) the first sale of tax
delinquent real estate was in April 1858; (20) and the first
license for an auctioneer was issued by the board on May 12,

862. (21) Early churches at Shakopee, the first in the county,
were: the Methodist Episcopal, organized in 1855; St. Peter's
Episcopal and St. Mark's Catholic, organized in 1854; the
Presbyterian by the Rev. Samuel W. Pond in 1855; and St. John's
Evangelical Lutherwiin 1859.

In August 1862, the county commissioners of Scott County
appropriated $10,000 as a fund to encourage enlistment in the
United States Volunteer Army. (22)

The legislature of 1877, to curb extravagance in the
counties and to protect taxpayers who in many areas had suffered
a series of crop failures as the result of grasshopper raids,
passed a law which limited the tax levy to five mills in all
counties where the total valuation was over $31,000,000. (23)
(17) County Commissioners' Records, A26, 7. The spellings are

as given in the records.

(18) Hinds, A Sketch of Shahgpee. Op. Cit. 52—54.
(19) County CommissionersTmBecords, Az3'

(20) County Commissioners’ Records, A3254.

(21) County Commissionersi Records, B2166.

(22) County Commissioners' Records, D2172, 175.
<23) feasted EELS. 1877: 35~


Historical Sketch

This restriction provoked a lively discussion at the meeting
of the Scott County commissioners on August 4, 1877, after which
the following entry was made in the minutes: ”The commissioners
under the above restriction came to the conclusion that the poor
ought to starve; no more roads and bridges be built; courts,
grand and petit jurors, witnesses, and deputy sheriffs be abol-
ished, and retrenchment in all contrivable and imaginary shapes
be introduced. Look out tax payers, a Glorious time is coming.
Retrenchment and Reform.” (24)

The river, and the trails which gradually emerged as high—
ways, were the only routes of transportation for nearly two
decades after the real settlement of the county began. A rail-
road through the county was projected, however, as early as
March 2, 1855, when a charter was granted to the Root River
Valley and Southern iinnesota Railroad Company. One of its
routes was from the Twin Cities to Shakopee, thence up the valley,
crossing the Minnesota River at St. Peter, to Mankato, and thence
to the Iowa line. The name was changed to the Southern Minnesota
Railroad in 1857. Nearly forty miles had been graded up the
valley from Mendota when the financial panic of 1857 put an end
to further construction. The Minnesota Valley Railroad on March
4, 1864, succeeded the Southern Minnesota, and started work on
the old road bed. The construction train drawn by old number 1
engine, the ”Mankato”, reached Shakopee on November 11, 1865,
and regular traffic was opened between that town and Mendota
five days later. In 1869 the name was changed to the St. Paul
and Sioux City Railroad Company. That year a bridge was built
across the Mississippi near Mendota. Le Mars, Iowa, was reached
in 1871 and there connection was made with the Iowa Falls and
Sioux City railroad at Sioux CitV. The line is now a part of

1| I,‘

the Ciicago, St. Paul, minneapolis, and Omaha system.

The first railroad shops of the Minnesota Valley Company
were opened at Shakopee in 1867. They were destroyed by fire in
1872 entailing a loss of $100,000, but were at once rebuilt.

The machine shops were removed to St. Paul in 1882. A new car
shop was erected that year, but this too was discontinued in 1885,
and the machinery and some of the men were transferred to Hudson,

In 1870, the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad, now the

Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway Company, was built from
Minneapolis to Merriam Junction and southward.



Historical Sketch

The following year the Hastings and Dakota, now a part of
the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad, was
put through the county forming a junction with the Omaha at
Shakopoe. With a change at the eastern terminus this road
followed a route not differing greatly from that surveyed for
the Nininger, St. Peter, and Western Railroad in 1857. (25)

The extreme southeastern part of Scott County is crossed
by the Wells branch of the Southern Minnesota Division of the
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific.

From 4,595 in 1860 the population of Scott County increased
to 14,116 in 1950. The people are predominately native born.
The foreign born population in 1950 numbered 1,250 and included
579 Germans, 286 Czechoslovakians, 95 Norwegians, 44 Swedes, 54
Irishmen, 52 Canadians, 26 Danes, 22 Russians, 21 Austrians, l2
Hollanders, 12 British, 12 Swiss, 10 Poles, and 44 of other
nationalities. (26)

Scott County is almost exclusively agricultural, 2,651 of
its people being employed in farm work and many more in allied
industries closely related to it. The early settlers first
raised food for their own families and fodder for their stock,
with perhaps a little surplus to sell or barter for such food,
staples, clothing, and supclies as they could not produce.

Soon wheat was the principal crop, although the acrea 3e of corn
and potatoes increased and. there was a growing interest in dairy
cattle, oxen, and swine. In 1879, Scott County led the state

in the production of flax. About that time, coincident with a
diminishing yield per acre of wheat, attention was turned more
and more to diversified farming, a trend which was particularly
marked after the introduction of cooperative creameries in the

Nearly ninety percent of the area of the county is in farms,
and in 1954, 128,882 acres were available for crops. In 1954
the principal field crops were corn and cats, but enough winter
wheat was raised to give the county third place in the state in
acreage of that cereal. Major attention is paid to cattle and
swine raising, and dairying. In 1955, the c