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Plainview Minnesota History
From the book
"HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY, MINNESOTA"
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge and Others
Published Winona, MN by H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 1920
Republished Currently by
This history originally located at
Original page was difficult to read due to fixed width background used
the metropolis of Greenwood Prairie, is located in the town
of the same name. It is a noted shipping center for the
shipping of farm produce, a fact which makes the land in
this vicinity sell at a higher price than any other rural
land in the state. The village is well laid out, with broad
streets, flourishing business houses, and comfortable homes
surrounded with well-kept lawns beautified with trees and
shrubbery. The village has two banks, a good hotel, a
flourishing newspaper, two elevators, several produce
concerns, a creamery, a stock shipping association, a
canning factory, a pickling station, and the usual business
houses. The municipal improvements include a city hall, a
public library, a projected park, waterworks and electric
light service. The school is an excellent one, and adds much
to the beauty of the village. Five churches are represented
here, the German Lutheran, congregational, Methodist
Episcopal, Christian and Catholic. The leading fraternities
and ladies' organizations also flourish here.
Plainview City Hall
1910 ~ 1975
Plainview Village had its beginning in the spring of 1856,
when J. Y. Blackwell, an Iowa lawyer, arrived with his
family, and erected a structure, half logs and half boards,
near the southeast corner of Broadway and Jefferson streets.
Mr. Blackwell was a man of some means, and he saw the
possibilities of making this point a stopping place for
those traveling from Mississippi river landing places to the
rich farm lands further south and east. Consequently he set
about getting out timbers for a hotel. This building, which
occupied the southwest corner of Broadway and Washington
streets, the present site of the Plainview Hotel, was opened
for the accommodation of the public July 4, 1856. Ozias
Wilcox arrived that summer and bought from Hugh Wiley forty
acres in section 8. On this property, directly north of the
hotel, on the northwest corner of Broadway and Washington,
he built a combined residence and store. David Von Wort put
up a carpenter shop, and ____ Bray a blacksmith shop. A few
others, Edwin Chapman, Lloyd Yale, David Ackley and Dr.
Federal C. Gibbs had land nearby, and Levi Ormsby had a
claim shanty a half mile to the west. These named, some of
whom were single, and a few of whom had their families with
them, constituted the population of this immediate vicinity
when the terrible winter of 1856-57 set in.
In November, 1856, came a terrific snow storm followed by
other storms, and the snow lay some four feet deep on the
level until the following April. In some places the snow
sweeping over the prairies, found the little shacks their
only obstruction, and buried them in a mountain of snow.
Communication with the outside world was cut off. There were
no news, no letters, no visitors, and few comforts. The
people near the village were therefore decidedly better off
than the scattered settlers in the more isolated cabins on
the prairie, for they had the well-stocked store of Mr.
Wilcox from which to secure provisions. The winds sweeping
around the corners of this building cleaned a small court
about it, leaving sheer white walls, hard and icy, wising to
the crust-covered snow of the general level. Into this icy
wall, steps were cut, giving means of entrance and exit to
the court and the store until the warm weather of the next
April enveloped the landscape in slush. This severity of the
winter disheartened many of the people in the settlement.
But the beautiful spring brought encouragement, many indeed
lacked the means to try their fortunes elsewhere, and
consequently but few of the settlers moved away. Mr.
Blackwell, the first settler, however, shrank from the
hardships of another winter, and after assisting in platting
the village, disposed of his holdings and returned to Iowa.
Other settlers, however, came in, and before another winter
dawned, the little hamlet was materially increased.
The village was platted as Centerville in the summer of 1857
by J. Y. Blackwell, Ozias Wilcox, T. A. Thompson, Lloyd Yale
and Federal C. Gibbs. Another Minnesota village having
chosen that name, however, the cognomen of the new village
was changed to Plainview, a name appropriate to its position
on the watershed of the Zumbrota and Whitewater rivers.
For a time the village had a rival in Greenville, afterward
Greenwood, two and a half miles east. But Greenville was
within the limits of the Half-Breed Tract, land titles were
somewhat uncertain, investors were not attracted and after a
while the discouraged promoters gave up the fight, and the
business was transferred to Plainview.
In the next twenty years, Plainview became a place of
considerable importance, as the shipping, banking and
religious center of a rich farming community. No railroads
connected the village with the outside world. The shipping
and receiving points were towns on the Mississippi. But
buyers brought grain here, a bank did a flourishing
business, the stores kept a good stock of goods, the hotel
did a thriving business, and the stage coach was always well
filled with passengers to and from Plainview.
In 1877 came a tragedy which is still the subject of many
exciting stories among the old settlers. On January 22 of
that year, Frank Hathaway, aged 24, the son of a Highland
Township framer, shot and killed Nettie Slayton, who had
refused to marry him. He immediately made an unsuccessful
attempt to kill himself. Three days later he was taken from
a room in the Plainview Hotel, and hanged to a tree in the
back yard. The hanging was done by an orderly group of
masked men, supposedly substantial citizens, and no effort
was ever made to apprehend or punish them.
The railroad was completed to Plainview in 1878, and thus
furnished a railroad outlet for the growing business of the
1914 ~ 1969
The special issue of the Plainview News of February 22,
1870, gives an excellent word picture of Plainview as it was
a few months after the arrival of the railroad. The village
had perhaps 900 people, although a hopeful estimate of 1,200
was made. It contained 176 comfortable residences, and 47
business houses. It had a railroad station, a graded school
and a good postoffice. The churches were the Methodist
Episcopal, the Congregational and the Christian. The lodges
were Plainview Lodge, No. 16, I.O.O.F., organized December
26, 1866; Illustrious Lodge, No. 63, A.F.&A.M., organized
December 29, 1866; Plainview Lodge, No. 21, Ancient Order of
United Workmen, organized August 18, 1877; and Plainview
Society, Independent Order of Good Templars, organized in
November, 1878. The first three met in the hall over F. J.
Cornwall's store on Broadway, and the last met in the
There were four physicians, Fr. N. S. Tefft, who commenced
practicing on Greenwood Prairie from Minneiska, in 1856, and
moved to Plainview in 1861; Dr. J. P. Waste, who located at
Plainview in 1865; Dr. F. H. Roberts, a homeopath, who came
to Minnesota in 1868 and engaged in practice in Plainview in
1871; and Dr. E. C. Davis, who engaged in practice in
Plainview in 1876. Dr. M. E. Tabor, the only dentist,
started practice in Plainview in 1874, the first of his
profession to this village. There were two lawyers, H. P.
Wilson, who came to Plainview in 1856, and J. F. Pope, who
started practice here May 19, 1874. G. L. Robinson, not an
admitted lawyer, also started a law and collection business
in 1879. The two veterinarians were J. H. French and O. D.
The Plainview Hotel, established in 1856, had been burned in
1877. It was immediately rebuilt by John Bigham, who had
been its proprietor since 1868. The Plainview Bank was in
the hands of Amerland & La Rue. It had been established in
Four general store catered to the mercantile business. G. J.
Cornwall started business with John Taylor in the spring of
1866 and became the sole owner in July, 1876. William Koenig
started business in May, 1867. W. F. Robinson succeeded J.
R. McLaughlin in April, 1866. Whiting & Co. started in
October, 1878, about the time of the building of the
railroad. The hardware business was handled by C. C.
Cornwall & Son, dating back to 1865 and Douglas & Co.,
dating back to 1876.
There were two drug stores, the Pioneer Drug Co., in the
hands of Landon & Burchard since August, 1874, employed C.
C. Clement, George Landon and A. French. The Little Drug
Store, owned by P. A. Goddard and Co., the firm consisting
of P. A. Goddard and Drs. Tefft and Waste, and employing
George Pegley, was established by T. G. Bolton in April
1877. J. R. Watkins was manufacturing Dr. Ward's proprietary
articles, as well as extracts and essences.
Julius Frickey, even at that time one of the oldest business
houses in town, had been established as early as 1860. He
did general harness making and dealt in leather goods. J. W.
Reifkogel, engaged in the same line, established his
business in 1871. John Thom, shoemaker and dealer,
established himself in February, 1875, and Henry Hinz at
about the same time. A. R. Nelson established his tailor
shop in 1876, and J. Welshans not far from the same time.
Kellom & Company, established in January, 1868, and M.
Lambie, who started in November, 1877, carried on the
millinery business. B. F. Leininger first engaged in the
jewelry business in 1870 and C. M. Allen engaged in the same
line November 1, 1878. A. D. Wyant established a photograph
gallery in March, 1876. T. J. Wadleigh & Son opened a
furniture store in May, 1877.
(Images of America)
|Wabasha County captures
the spirit of a region and its people through rare
historic photographs, many of which are previously
unpublished. A truly multicultural community,
Wabasha County has been home to residents of
Canadian, French, English, Irish, Native American,
and German origin. The earliest known pioneers,
Augustine Rocque and his family, became the first
white people to occupy a year-round residence in
Minnesota in 1826. Within these pages, discover the
people and events that have shaped Wabasha County’s
history over the past 170 years. Wabasha County was
named after the great chief Wabashaw II. Many
aspects of Wabasha’s heritage are featured here,
including the Mdewakanton Band of the Dakotas,
riverboats of the Mississippi, pioneers and their
descendants, and buildings throughout the area.
Author Judith Giem Elliott has produced a volume
that truly reflects the value Wabasha County’s
residents place upon their rich and colorful
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The grocery business was handled by four concerns. Lawton
Brothers, consisting of W. and I. P. Lawton, and employing
C. S. Lawton, was established in November, 1867. Henry
Potter opened his establishment in February, 1873. F. E.
Dodge succeeded G. F. Gregg in February, 1879. C. A. Orr,
who had a bakery in connection, started about 1878. There
were two dealers in agricultural implements, John McArthur,
established in 1873, and McLaughlin & Lynch, established in
The Brooks Brothers started buying wheat in December, 1876,
their local representative being George McKinney. Whiting &
Woodruff built their elevator in the late fall of 1878 at
the time of the arrival of the railroad. Brooks Brothers
also had a lumber yard in charge of George McKinney. T. G.
Bolton, the other dealer, started about the time of the
arrival of the railroad. The Plainview Flouring Mill was
established in 1869 by C. T. Allaire, but in 1879 had passed
into the hands of the Plainview Mill Co.
Ezra Feller established a livery business April 29, 1878. A.
Davey started a billiard hall May 28, 1872, and C. C.
Maxwell in August, 1877. Both sold fancy groceries in
connection with their establishments. Weikel & Fedder
established a meat market in 1862. Charles Welshans
commenced barbering in Plainview August, 1872. Fitch &
Abbott succeeded George Smith late in 1878.
Henry Horton, established in the fall of 1864; C. C. Maxwell
established in August, 1866; B. R. Lee, established
September 17, 1878, were conducting wagon-making shops. H.
D. Adams, established in April, 1876, and George Stratton,
were doing sign and carriage painting. Four blacksmiths were
doing business, S. Purvis, J. Springer, A. Pomeroy and Hardy
& Son, three of the concerns having started in 1865, and
one, J. Springer, in March, 1876. Among the carpenters were
Carroll & Clark, J. W. Marcyes, D. Z. Taylor
(my great-grandfather) and Abe
It is interesting to note that in 1919, the two leading
mercantile concerns of that day are still in existence. The
F. J. Cornwall & Co. store is managed by T. A. Askew, and
the William Koenig has recently been succeeded by the Schad
Mercantile Co. The harness business is in the hands of the
same families, the two establishments being conducted by
Albert J. Frickey and William Reifkogel. Nearly all the
establishments are the direct successors of the
establishments of 1879 but have changed hands.
Plainview was first incorporated as a village, in the spring
of 1875. The first officers were E. b. Eddy, president;
Charles Weld, Dr. J. P. Waste and William Lawton, trustees;
A. C. Cornwall, recorder; Rodman Burchard, treasurer; and A.
B. W. Norton, justice of the peace. In 1878 the
incorporation was abandoned in order that the village might
vote with the township on the question of issuing bonds for
the building of the railroad from Eyota to Plainview.
The village has two wells. The older well was drilled in
1895. It has an 8-inch diameter tube down to the rock, and
then a 6-inch hole in the rock to the underlying sand
strata. The average yield of water is 31 gallons a minute.
The newer well was drilled in 1898. It has 60 feet of
12-inch casing to the lime rock, 300 feet of 10-inch casing
through lime rock and loose sand, and an 8-inch drilled hole
in blue sand rock. The total depth is 697 feet partly filled
to a depth of about 50 feet through dropping cylinders and
drop to the water is 240 feet. The capacity is 56.5 gallons
a minute. The tank is of wood construction, elevated on an
80-foot steel tower. The tank has a mean diameter of 22 feet
9 inches, and a capacity of 60,000 gallons. The mains
consist of some 25,000 feet of 4- and 6-inch pipes.
Plainview State Bank was established in 1865, and conducted
as a private bank known as the "Eddy Bank" until 1878. From
that year until 1884 it was known as the Henry Amerland
Bank. In 1884 J. H. Davis, Jr., secured control and in 1885
erected the bank building, which in 1916 was enlarged and
made to include the post office building. On July 1, 1906,
it was incorporated with a capital of $30,000, by E. L.
Sylvester, G. F. Sylvester and Wilhelm Uecker, who were also
the officers and directors. In 1908 A. S. Kennedy entered
the bank as assistant cashier and in 1911 G. A. Stoltz also
became assistant cashier. The institution is a member of the
State Bankers' Association. A recent statement showed, in
addition to its capital of $30,000, surplus and profits of
$30,000, and deposits of about $900,000.
The First National Bank of Plainview was incorporated May
14, 1902, by A. L. Ober, Joseph Underleak, F. G. Shumway,
Geo. N. Wedge and Frank L. Meachum, who were also the first
directors. A. L. Ober was president and F. G. Shumway
cashier. The bank opened for business July 1, 1902. The
building was purchased from A. F. Rockwell, hotel keeper,
and was formerly used for a sample-room in connection with
the hotel. A. L. Ober remained president until January 15,
1908, being followed by M. D. Fuller, who held the office to
January 15, 1908, being followed by M. D. Fuller, who held
the office to January 15, 1917, since which time J. I.
Vermilya has filled it. F. G. Shumway was cashier to
November 13, 1906; M. D. Fuller, November 13, 1906 to
January 15, 1908; Amos Boie, January 15, 1908, to August 1,
1910; Matt T. Duerre, September 7, 1910, to January 13,
1920; Geo. H. Vermilya, January 13, 1920 to date.
Vice-presidents: Andrew French, January 13, 1903, to January
9, 1906; J. J. Reiter, January 9, 1906, to January 15, 1910;
James R. Wedge, January 15, 1910, to January 14, 1913; H. D.
Wedge, January 14, 1913, to January 9, 1917; Miller T.
Bolton, January 9, 1917, to March 10, 1920; Mead Vermilya,
March 10, 1920, to the present time. Assistant cashiers:
Ralph C. Wedge, January 13, 1903, for one year; W. W. Wedge,
January 16, 1904, one year; Amos Boie, May 1, 1907, to
January 15, 1908; Grover C. Tock, June 1, 1910, to March,
1914; John Fisk, July 18, 1914, to July 22, 1915; Geo. H.
Vermilya, August 19, 1915, to January 13, 1920; Arthur W.
Wempner, from January 13, 1920 to date. The First National
is known as "The bank that gives personal service." It has a
capital stock (incorporated) of $25,000.00, and its
statement of condition, issued February 28, 1920, showed a
surplus and undivided profits of $7,767.38, with deposits of
The excellent school system of Plainview dates back to 1858,
when a school was established in David Van Wort's carpenter
shop in the village. A young Vermonter named Hale was the
teacher. The next schoolhouse was a small building which had
previously been occupied as an office and drug store by
Federal C. Gibbs. A school building was erected on the
public square in 1867. This was a two-story structure and
cost about $15,000. The school was then divided into five
departments, High school, Grammar school, two Intermediates,
and a Primary school.
Plainview Public School
1903 ~ 1924
The first newspaper ever issued in
Plainview was the Plainview Enterprise, a half-patent,
six-column folio, issued several weeks in the early part of
1864 for campaign purposes by M. E. And M. Stevens of
The Plainview News dates from Nov. 16, 1874, and was issued
by T. G. Bolton. It was a six-column folio, printed at
Wabasha, and issued monthly as an advertising medium for Mr.
Bolton's drug business. F. A. Wilson became the proprietor
in 1877, and issued the first weekly number April 18, 1877.
Just how he counted Mr. Bolton's previous issues is somewhat
uncertain, as the notable edition of Saturday, Feb. 22,
1879, of which a number of copies are still in existence, is
designated Vol. 3, No. 8.
In June, 1877, the Plainview News printing office was
established. April 1, 1878, H. J. Bryon purchased the paper
and six months later sold a half interest to Ed. A. Paradis,
who in April, 1882, became the sole proprietor.
The Methodist Episcopal Church
of Plainview was organized about the year 1855-7, and the
records of this organization that have been preserved go
back to the year 1859. The first minister in charge was the
Rev. O. P. Crawford, who was succeeded by the following in
order: John Quigley, D. Kidder, and Benjamin Crist. The
average pastorate of ministers during the early history of
the church seemed to be two years. Among those who served
the church as ministers in the early days, and who are still
members of the Minnesota conference, are the following: Rev.
S. W. Rice, H. G. Bilbie, G. F. Wells, Peter Clare, Frank
Cowgill and Alfred Cressy. The names of those who were first
baptised in the church and recorded are Jeshua Davies and
John B. Davies, baptised October 21, 1860, and on June 1,
the following year, the names are recorded of Edwin L.
Sylvester, Hattie Alice Sylvester, and Herbert Irving Yetter.
Oliver P. Light was the officiating minister and the
witnesses were G. W. Sylvester and E. L. Ball. The names of
a large number of the old settlers appear, most of whom have
been called to the other world. The first names to appear on
the record as members of the church are Hiram Allen and
Phobe Allen, the former was a local deacon. One of the first
class leaders was George W. Sylvester. The name of S.
McLaughlin also appears as one of the early class leaders.
The oldest member of the church died on May 12, 1920, Mrs.
Jane Rock, who was in her ninety-third year and had been a
member of the church for more than fifty years. In the
record of marriages the names of Andrew G. Crawford and
Maria A. Baston appear, the parties being united by the Rev.
Ezra Trecker, Nov. 14, 1860. It is evident that Plainview
was a large circuit during the early days of its history, as
the preachers traveled over quite a territory and record
many places at which they conducted services. The church was
built in the year 1860 but was remodeled, and a large
additional front added during the ministry of the Rev. W. M.
Gillies. There are six memorial windows in this commodious
structure as a tribute to the memories, respectively, of
Mrs. T. G. Bolton, Arthur J. Carrol, James Lynch, Samuel
McLaughlin, Rev. W. M. Gillis, and The Van Dyke Chapter of
the Epworth League. The remodeled building was dedicated in
1894. The present parsonage was built in the year 1890 and
both buildings are located on Jefferson Street, S. W., and
just one block from Main Street. The church is one of the
oldest landmarks of this old community. It has had a great
history, and some of its members have entered into Christian
work in other places, and some are mistresses in Methodist
parsonages in other fields of labor. Miss Mary Bolton, and
active member in the church, served as superintendent at the
Grenoble Orphanage in France in 1919-20. She will return in
the fall of 1920 to take up her duties in the same home. A
Service Flag with 31 stars, 3 of which were gold, was taken
down July 4. The Bolton family have been earnest workers in
the church for many years, and Mr. T. G. Bolton, who passed
away in 1917, was a member of the official board for many
years. The oldest living member of the church is Mrs.
Orrilla Colby, who is in her eighty-second year, and has
been an active member of the church since 1870. The Horns,
Washburns, Woods, Boltons, Hassags, the La Craft and Carlton
families, the Rocks and others well known in this community
have proved loyal and faithful workers, and many are still
in the marching ranks. The present pastor of this historical
church is the Rev. R. Prescott.
Webmaster's note: The Methodist
churches of Elgin and Plainview joined congregations during
the 1990s and built Peace United Methodist Church between
the two villages. Since then, the Methodist church house in
Plainview has become the
The Plainview Congregational Church
~ The first services of this church were held in the
building known as the Wilcox Hall, and were conducted by the
Rev. Mr. Cochrane of Elgin. The church was organized on
Wednesday, October 7, 1863, by a council assembled at the
schoolhouse and composed of the following persons: Rev. C.
Shedd, minister of Mantorville; Rev. Yoth, delegate from St.
Charles; R. C. Stillman, delegate from Elgin; I. C. Stearns,
delegate from Zumbrota; Rev. D. Burt, minister from Winona;
Rev. L. N. Woodruff, minister from Wabasha; O. Pendleton,
delegate from Wabasha; also the Rev. Cochrane, Elgin, and
Rev. Mr. Morgan. Eleven males and seventeen females were
included in the organization. Baptism was administered to
Emma, infant daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Williard, by Rev. Mr.
Shedd of Mantorville. The charter members were: Rev. Henry
Williard, Mrs. J. W. Williard, Jeremiah Baldwin, Alfred
Brown, Maria N. Brown, N. T. Manly, Mary L. Manly, Charles
J. Manly, Ellen Manly, S. H. Gaylord, Mary E. Gaylord, Geo.
W. Doeg, William Roome, William R. Davis, Margaret E. Brown,
Mary Needham, Anna Burton, Esther E. Truesdale, Mrs. Esther
A. Washburn, Emeline S. Whitney, Rebecca McCarty, James
Washburn, Mrs. Kate Washburn, Asa Y. Felton, Mrs. Lucy M.
Osgood, Esther A. Burchard and Eliza Gilpin. Among the
prominent members and workers during the early years of the
church's history were: Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Stillman, Mr. and
Mrs. C. O. Landon, Mr. and Mrs. A. Y. Felton, Mr. and Mrs.
Jeremiah Baldwin, Mr. and Mrs. Selden Washburn, Mr. and Mrs.
C. D. Burchard, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Washburn, and W. A. Pell.
The church edifice was built in 1871 on Main Street, on the
corner intersecting with Church Street, and was dedicated
September 28 the same year. Its seating capacity is about
400. It cost $7,000, a large part of which was donated by
Rev. Henry Williard, who was the first pastor and remained
for 17 years. Mr. Williard was ordained in 1858; installed
pastor of the Plainview church in 1863; resigned June 1,
1880, and died June 24, 1904. The succeeding pastors have
been as follows: Rev. George E. Freeman, 1880 to 1883; Rev.
Sidney K. Perkins, 1883 to 1885; Rev. J. B. Renshaw,
December, 1885 to May, 1890; Rev. A. L. P. Loomis, September
1 1890 to April 1, 1895; Rev. A. F. Williams, June, 1895 to
April 1, 1897; Rev. Frank J. Brown, October, 1897 to August
1, 1899; Rev. Frank H. Anderson, 1900 to 1903; Rev. A. D.
Adams, 1903 to June, 1905; Rev. W. E. Griffith, July, 1905
to November, 1908; Rev. H. C. Todd, 1909 to 1916; Rev. J. L.
Jones, 1916 to April, 1920; Rev. Mr. Osborn, July 1, 1920 to
this present time. The first parsonage was built in 1885 and
occupied successively by the Rev. Renshaw, Loomis, Williams
and Brown. It was then sold and one erected on the church
lot in the year 1900. The present membership of the church
is 160; that of the Sunday school 125.
Webmaster's note: The Congregational
church house is now occupied by the Presbyterian church.
The Church of Christ in Plainview,
Minn., was organized by Bro. Abraham Shoemaker in the fall
of 1861. The following were charter members: Mr. and Mrs.
Abraham Shoemaker, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Freer, Mr. and Mrs. Ed
Chapman, Mr. and Mrs. Ackley, Mrs. Hiram Butts and Mrs.
James Butts. Of these so far as is known only Mrs. Shoemaker
survives and resides with Mrs. James Dwiggins, R.F.D.,
Mankato, Minn. At first services were held in what was known
as Wilcox Hall, situated on the corner of Broadway and
Jefferson Streets. Later arrangements were made to use the
schoolhouse on Sundays. This was Plainview's first school
building. In 1866 the congregation purchased the school
building and moved it a little to the south of Meachim's
mill, or about where the present C. & N.W. depot stands. In
June, 1883, when the railroad was constructed, the lot was
sold to the R. R. Co. and the present church site was
purchased and the Chapel, as it was known, was moved
thereon. (I am not sure about that date - some say it was in
1878.) The Chapel served as the meeting house for the church
until 1895. At that time plans were set on foot and
successfully carried out whereby the present house of
worship was erected. Final payments were made on this
building January 7, 1902. The chapel was then remodeled for
a parsonage and the minister, C. W. Martz, bought it, with
part of the church lot, from the church. It later was sold
to other parties. In 1918, during the pastorate of Harry J.
Hill, the congregation repurchased the former Chapel. During
the same year it was made over into a thoroughly modern
house for use as a parsonage. So today the roof, walls and
main floor of the parsonage of the Church of Christ enclose
what was once Plainview's first school building and the
first house of worship of the congregation of the church
In 1874 the Church of Christ was given a charter of
incorporation. The following is a copy of the proceedings:
"We do hereby certify that at a meeting held at the chapel,
in the town of Plainview in the county of Wabasha and the
state of Minnesota, on the 21st day of July, 1874, in
accordance with notice given 15 days previous thereto, for
the purpose of Organizing and Incorporating a 'Society for
Divine Worship,' to be known and designated by the name of
'Christian Church,' John Truax was duly elected president of
said meeting and Dwight Leach was elected secretary thereof.
The said president and secretary received the votes of,
determined the qualifications of voters, etc. We do further
certify that the following named persons were elected at
said meeting as trustees of the 'Christian Church:' Class
1st, Daniel Clough and S. M. Stockwell to serve one year; J.
R. Watkins and Henry Horton, Class 2d, to serve two years;
and W. W. Freer, Dwight Leach and E. Clough, Class 3d, to
serve three years.
"In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and seal
this 28th day of July, A. D. 1874, in the presence of A. B.
W. Norton, Justice of Peace, and C. T. Allaire, witnesses.
"Signed ~ John Truax and Dwight Leach.
"Acknowledged before A. B. W. Norton, Justice of Peace,
August 4, 1874."
The pastors of the Church of Christ have been as follows:
Abraham Shoemaker, 1861,1862,1863; A. P. Frost (late of
Winona); B. U. Watkins (late of Winona); James A. Denton;
John Truax, 1873-1874; Joseph Harrison, 1874-1875; E. T. C.
Bennett, 1875-1879; John A. Grice; J. Carroll Stark; Hugh
Morrison; H. D. Williams, 1892-1893; Melvin Menges,
1893-1894; C. W. Martz, 1896; Ernest Thornquist, 1896-1897;
T. E. Utterback, 1898-1899; G. U. Wise, 1902-1903; G. R.
Morgan, 1904; J. M. Dixon, 1905; Mr. Wilson, 1906; H. F.
Barstow, 1907; B. L. Hoffman, 1915-1917; H. J. Hill, 1917-19
The following is a list of evangelists for this church: T.
T. Vandolah, 1863; S. Johnson, 1864; Mr. Taylor, 1865; Mr.
Lotz, 1867; Morrison & Sons, 1868; H. A. Foster, 1894; H. D.
Williams, 1892; H. D. Williams and Mr. Harves, 1893; T. E.
Utterback, 1898-1899; Mr. Divine, 1902; Atwood and Gardner,
1905; C. B. Osgood, 1906; J. M. Irwin and wife, 1904; J. H.
Bicknell, 1905; J. M. Elam; E. Clutter and wife, 1910; Hugh
Cooper, 1915; Crayton S. Brooks, 1916-1917; H. J. Hill,
1917; C. B. Osgood, 1919; M. M. Moss, 1920.
Some of those who conducted serves on Lord's Days in the
absence of pastors were: Elders Joseph Sands, W. W. Freer,
S. M. Stockwell, J. R. Watkins and D. D. Clough. Some former
organists were: Hortense Freer, Alida McGee, Nellie Lamprey
and Tena Underwood. The pulpit desk still in use was made by
Elder S. M. Stockwell more than 50 years ago.
Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel's Church,
of Plainview, belonging to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of
Missouri, Ohio and other states, was organized in 1875,
after the first services had been held in the Church of
Christ, in the previous year, by Rev. Mr. Sipple. The first
church edifice was erected and dedicated on East Broadway in
1890. In 1889 a parsonage was built. In 1915 a new church
was erected on the same lot and dedicated March 26, 1916.
The new church is built of Indiana brick, and has a seating
capacity of 500. It is provided with a full basement,
containing the steam heating plant, kitchen and dining-room,
the last mentioned being capable of seating from 300 to 400
at a time. There is also a ladies' rest room off from the
main auditorium. The church was erected at an expense of
$25,000. The Rev. Mr. Sipple, the first pastor, was
succeeded by the Rev. Stuelpnagel, and the latter by the
Rev. Schaaf, the pastor from 1901 to 1920 being the Rev. G.
St. Joachim's Catholic Church.
~ In 1887 Rev. P. B. Murray came to Plainview and found a
few scattered Catholic families. With some assistance from
them and the citizens of the village, the good priest
erected a small frame church over which he presided as
pastor until the year 1900, when he resigned owing to ill
health. Rev. John Parkinson then took charge of the parish,
which had increased so rapidly that the church was enlarged
to accommodate the members. The people purchased a new
parsonage for their pastor, who gave them zealous care for
nine years., when he took another parish in Winona. In 1909
Rev. D. J. Lavery was assigned to the parish, which now
became so large as to need a larger church. In 1911 a fine
brick edifice was erected accommodating nearly 600 people,
and in 1918 the people erected a large beautiful parish
residence. The total value of the property today is placed
at $80,000, and the congregation numbers 700 souls. This
makes the parish of St. Joachim one of the finest in the
diocese of Winona, and its new church one of the most
beautiful. It is a brick structure of Gothic architecture
and is trimmed with white cut stone that gives it an
attractive appearance. The facade is surmounted by twin
towers that lend to the edifice massiveness and sublimity.
The church will seat 600 people. The interior is striking in
its elegance and design. The ceiling is of Gothic effect,
being 30 feet high in nave, transept and sanctuary, and 20
feet high in the side aisles. The sanctuary is 28 feet wide
with a depth of 26 feet and is adorned with a handsome
Gothic altar. The transept is 64 feet wide and is lighted by
two large rose windows, one of which was donated in loving
memory to the late Father Murray by his friends in the
parish; the other large window was the generous gift to St.
Joachim's of the Wabasha council of K. of C's. For which the
parish feels very grateful. Another large window which was
presented by the members of the Choir stands over the
gallery, while six smaller art windows, presented by members
os the parish adorn the walls of the nave. The art windows
are rich in color and most beautiful in design. While they
serve to lend adornment to the interior of the church, they
allow sufficient light and warmth of the sun to enter to
dispel the gloom and darkness that are so often found at
mid-day in nearly all of the large churches where light, the
obvious purpose of windows, is sacrificed for art. The new
Stations of the Cross which were donated from members of the
parish are of Gothic design and set in high relief and are
richly colored. They are most beautiful. On the right of the
sanctuary is the vestry and on the left is a beautiful
chapel that will seat forty persons. The new church in its
exterior and interior is beautiful and attractive, its
proportions being exact and striking in every detail.
Situate on an immense facing on West Broadway, it rises,
strong and massive, the gilded crosses over towering the
city and wide stretching landscape. This Christian temple is
the gift to Almighty God of generous hands and loving
hearts, a monument, majestic and sublime, revealing the
abundant store of Divine Faith and Love in the hearts of the
good people of St. Joachim's.
Illustrious Lodge No. 63, A.F.&A.M.,
Plainview, Minn. ~ The first meeting of Illustrious Lodge U.
D. was held January 18, 1867, in Van Wert's Hall. Those
present were F. A. Wells, W.M.; H. A. Wells, S.W.; Jas.
Lynch, J.W.; Augustus Smith, Treas.; S. N. Wright, Secy.; E.
C. Gearey, S.D.; I. B Pope, J.D.; G. W. Harrington, Tyler.
These members of the 'craft' continued their work throughout
the next several months, conferring the degrees on the
following: W. H. Stone, D. Van Wert, E. S. Case, F. Trace,
D. R. Case, O. Wilcox, D. D. Brown, Dr. J. P. Waste, Jas.
McHench, W. W. Case, M. W. Benscholter, W. S. Baxter, C. A.
Baxter, G. W. Colby, C. W. Sargent, S. Stanley, L. M. Gregg,
J. R. McLaughlin, C. O. Landon, Milton Smith, Thos. Crossen
and S. L. McCarty. The Grand Lodge of Minnesota granted a
Charter to Illustrious Lodge No. 63 on October 23, 1867, the
above 30 being the Charter members. At the first regular
meeting of Illustrious Lodge, No. 63, held Dec. 20, 1867,
when their Charter was presented by the Grand Officers, B.
A. Jones, D.G.M.; S. R. Merrill, G.S.W.; and W. W. Scott,
G.S.D.; the following were installed as officers for the
ensuing year: R. A. Wells, W.M.; H. A. Wells, S.W.; Jas.
Lynch, J.W.; A. Smith, Treas.; C. S. Case, Secy.; E. C.
Gearey, S. D.; I. B. Pope, J.D.; D. Van Wert, Tyler. Van
Wert's Hall was found too small for the meetings and one of
the second-story rooms of the new public school building was
rented and equipped, which was shared for some time with the
I.O.O.F. Lodge, which was organized a year before the
Masonic Lodge. In the course of time these two orders rented
and equipped a lodge room over the F. J. Cornwell store. A
few years later the Masons moved to new quarters in the
Weikel building, where they continued until 1906, when they
moved to the second floor of the E. R. Cornwell building,
now owned by R. E. Murray. Here they have very comfortable
and well equipped quarters but they are being outgrown and
plans are now being agitated for the building of a Masonic
Temple, the lodge having a membership of 130 and the Eastern
Star a membership of 150. Illustrious Lodge has always been
a healthy and growing organization with a membership of the
leading and most progressive men in Plainview and vicinity.
During the late war, the Lodge Service Flag contained
nineteen stars, showing that 19 of its members were in the
Country's service. Two of these stars were of gold in honor
of Byrl Sylvester and Thaddius Davey who gave their all in
their country's service. Although the Lodge is saddened in
the loss of these two members, it nevertheless rejoices in
the fact that its worthy members were among the very first
to go forth to battle for the great wrongs heaped upon
Humanity by the Old World Autocracy. On June 10, 1920, a
program was carried out in honor of Chas. W. Donaldson's
fiftieth anniversary as a Mason and member of this Lodge, he
having been made a Mason in Illustrious Lodge on June 10,
1870. On this pleasant occasion, Dr. W. A. Allen of
Rochester was present, he having been made a Mason in the
same lodge on Sept. 30, 1870. Since Illustrious Lodge No. 63
was organized, the following members have held the office of
Master: F. A. Wells, E. C. Gearey, D. D. Brown, Augustus
Smith, E. S. Case, Jas. McHench, H. a. Wells, H. R. Gearey,
J. F. Pope, Geo. R. Hall, Dr. E. S. Cobb, H. D. Wedge, G. F.
Sylvester, F. L. Gilbert, J. F. Thompson, A. C. Cornwell,
Dr. E. E. Smith, W. G. Mack, Dr. E. A. French, B. E.
Rohweder, F. W. E. Petrich, Dr. W. H. Whitcomb, Dr. T. J.
Moore, C. L. Waterman. The present officers (1920) are: Dr.
T. J. Moore, W.M.; Glenn I. Mack, S.W.; H. H. Nichols, J.
W.; W. G. Mack, Treas.;' A. C. Cornwell, Secy.; Thos. A.
Askew, Jr., S.D.; Fred Foreman, J.D.; Geo. W. Purvis, Tyler.
Plainview Chapter, No. 184, O.E.S. ~
Plainview Chapter, U.D., was organized August 23,
1905, with the following officers: Mary P. Shumway, W.M.;
Dr. E. E. Smith, W.P.; Tattie E. Cornwell, A.M.; A. A.
Marshall, Treas.; Lee T. Meachum, Secy.; Mabel Ross, Cond.;
Vera Burchard, A. Cond.; Millie C. Carley, Warden; John N.
Ross, Sent.; Electa A. Hall, Chaplain; Myrtle Bush, Ada;
Lillian Washburn, Ruth; Margaret Rockwell, Esther; Inez M.
Meachum, Martha, Maude Cornwell, Electa; Ethel M. Austin,
Organist; M. E. Jenks, Marshall. On the evening of June 8th,
1906, the Worthy Grand matron, Evelyn Yeuld, was present and
constituted Plainview Chapter, No. 184, under the laws of
the Grand Chapter of the O. E. S. of Minnesota and presented
to the organization its charter. The following officers were
then installed for the balance of the year: Mary P. Shumway,
W.M.; Dr. E. E. Smith, W.P.; Hattie E. Cornwell, A.M.; A. A.
Marshall, Treas.; Lee T. Meachum, Secy.; Mabel Ross, Cond.';
Vera Burchard, A. Cond.; Mollie C. Carley, Warden; J. N.
Ross, Sent.; Electa A. Hall, Chap.; Myrtle Bush, Ada;
Lillian Washburn, Ruth; Sunnie Marshall, Esther; Inez M.
Meachum, Martha; Frances Cornwell, Electa; Ethel M. Austin,
Organist; M. E. Jenks, Marshall. Plainview Chapter has been
guided by efficient officers and a loyal membership so that
the growth has been steady and large in these few years and
now shows a membership of 150. This large membership, like
that of the Masonic Lodge, finds the present quarters too
small for the many social functions and degree work which it
carries on. The members are alive to the plans for a future
home where these two organizations may enjoy the comforts of
which they are worthy. Those who have filled the office of
Worthy matron to the present time are Mary P. Shumway,
Hattie E. Cornwell, M. Estella Manchester, Mary Smith,
Myrtle Bush, Claire Phillips, Agnes Smith, Sallie Murrison,
Eva Moore, and Maud Mack. The following members have filled
the office of Worthy Patron during the same period: Dr. E.
E. Smith, A. C. Cornwell, E. L. Sylvester, M. J. Manchester,
B. E. Rohweder, W. G. Mack, and C. L. Waterman. The present
officers (1920) are: Maud Mack, W.M.; E. L. Sylvester, W.P.,
Jennie Waterman, A.M.; G. F. Sylvester, Treas.; M. Estella
Manchester, Secy.; Maud Nunamaker, Cond.; Harriet Richmond,
Plainview Chapter, No. 36, R.A.M.
(Royal Arch Masons?), was organized October 10, 1882,
with the following charter members: H. C. Woodruff, Augustus
Smith, C. E. Daniels, F. A. Wells, James A. McCarty, D.
McCarty, Ezra Fellar, F. L. Meachum, and Robert Wahler. The
first officers were: H. C. Woodruff, M.E.H.P.; Augustus
Smith, E.K.; C. E. Daniels, C.S.; Milton Smith, treasurer;
E. C. Gearey, secretary; Henry D. Wedge, C.H.; D. McCarty,
R.S.C.; F. A. Wells, P.S.; E. R. Cornwall, M. of the 1st
Veil; James McCarty, M. of the 2nd Veil; F. L. Meachum, M.
of the 3rd Veil; Robert Vickery, sentinel. The chapter
surrendered its charter November 6, 1894. The officers at
the time of the surrender were: Augustus Smith, H.P.; D. D.
Harrington, K.; Dr. J. P. Waste, S.; E. R. Cornwell, C.H.;
F. A. Welles, P.S.; Geo. R. Hall, R.A.C.; Milton Smith,
Treas.; F. L. Meachum, Secy.; W. Lawton, G.M. 3rd V.; Geo.
C. Landon, G.M. 2nd V.; H. C. Wedge, G.M. 3rd V.; J. W.
Plainview Lodge, No. 16, I.O.O.F.,
was organized December 29, 1866. The charter members, David
Van Wert, Wm. L. Cleaveland, W. W. Case, and Ferdinand
Trace, and the first officers were: W. A. Allen, N.G.; John
Simpson, V.G.; D. Van Wert, secretary; S. N. Wright,
treasurer; W. L. Cleaveland, constable; W. W. Case, warden;
E. B. Eddy, R.S.N.G.; W. H. Stone, L.S.N.G.; F. Trace, I.G.;
J. Huntoon, O.G.; John Valentine, R.S.V.G.; A. Pomeroy,
L.S.V.G; T. A. Thompson, R.S.S.; J. J. Butts, L.S.S.
Abigail Burnham Chapter, D.A.R.,
of Plainview was organized in March, 1908. The charter
members were: Regent, Anna Tripple (Mrs. William E.)
Griffith; secretary, Miss Agnes Colvin (Mrs. E. E. Smith);
treasurer, Miss Francis Cornwell (Mrs. Chas. DeWitt);
historian, Miss Elsie I. Burnham, registrar, Mary Chamberlin
(Mrs. J. A.) Carley; Myrtle Mallory (Mrs. M. T.) Bolton,
Adel Burchard (Mrs. E. R.) Cornwell, Miss Maude Cornwell,
Margaret Burnham (Mrs. J. H.) Eggers, Jr., Grace Laudon
(Mrs. B. C.) Fish, Florence Cornwell (Mrs. B. E.) Rohweder,
Aula Burchard (Mrs. J. A.) Slocumb. The first board of
managers consisted of Mrs. Rohweder, Mrs. Eggers, Mrs.
Slocumb, Miss Cornwell, Mrs. Bolton. Later members have
been: Ellen Wedge (Mrs. E. E.) Mallory, Eva Wedge (Mrs. Eva)
Colvin, Isabelle Chesebro (Mrs. J. R.) Wedge, Mary Etta
Gaylord (Mrs. A. D.) Posz, Maude Marshall (Mrs. W. G.) Mack,
Harriet Marshall (Mrs. C. E.) Richmond, Miss Anna Gaylord,
Miss Thedora Gaylord. The present officers are: regent,
Marry Etta Gaylord (Mrs. A. D.) Posz; vice-regent, Margaret
Burnham (Mrs. J. H.) Eggers, Jr.; secretary, Mary Chamberlin
(Mrs. J. A.) Charley; treasurer, Isabelle Chesebro (Mrs. J.
R.) Wedge; historian, Zula Burchord (Mrs. J. A. Slocumb;
registrar, Agnes Colvin (Mrs. E. E.) Smith. The chapter is
named from Abigail Collins Burnham, wife of Major John
Burnham, who served throughout the entire Revolutionary War
without a furlough or leave of absence, and was a personal
friend of Washington and LaFayette. The chapter has been
active in all patriotic work. In the schools it has fostered
Americanism by introducing the flag drill and by giving
prizes for work done in the U. S. History classes. The
public library has been furnished with excellent pictures of
George and Martha Washington. As a part of the state work
the chapter has repaired the side porch of the old Sibley
House at Mendota. During the war, the members did their full
duty as individuals and as a chapter, making generous
contributions of money, sending knitted garments to the
soldiers, and furnishing Jelly to the hospital at St. Paul.
Telephone service on Greenwood Prairie had its beginning in
the middle nineties, when Dr. Edwin S. Muir, then a
practicing physician of Plainview, constructed a line from
his office in Plainview to the Pottsdam (Potsdam) Store, at
Pottsdam, in Olmsted County, a distance of eight and a half
miles. Its purpose was to place the physician in touch with
his patients in the vicinity of Pottsdam.
As the outgrowth of this line, the Plainview Telephone Co.
was organized by Dr. Edwin S. Muir, George C. Landon, Helen
Patton and others. This company was a branch of the Dwelle
Telephone Co. of Lake City. It had a local exchange at
Plainview, with lines extending about the village and into
the surrounding rural districts. Connection was had with the
Tri-State Telephone co. at Wabasha, and thus the people of
Plainview were placed in touch with the toll service of that
The Greenwood Prairie Telephone Co.
was incorporated February 8, 1902, by Andrew French, F. D.
Washburn, W. T. Lee, I. A. Grove, L. E. Ryan, Frank Appel
and A. F. Hanneman, all of Plainview and vicinity. The first
officers were Andrew French, president; W. T. Lee,
vice-president; F. D. Washburn, treasurer; I. A. Grove,
secretary and general manager. The company was started with
an authorized capital of $25,000 and a paid-up capital of
$1,5000. An exchange was established at Plainview, with
lines radiating into the surrounding country. Mr. Grove was
succeeded as secretary and general manager by Andrew French.
In 1905 the authorized capital was increased to $50,000. In
1906 the Elgin Telephone Co. was purchased. Through the
purchase of this company toll line connections were
established at Rochester with the Northwestern Telephone Co.
In 1907, the company purchased the Plainview Telephone Co.
This gave the company control not only of its competing
local exchange in Plainview, but also of a line to Wabasha.
Two years later, in 1909, James A. Carley, who had been a
director of the company since 1903, purchased a controlling
interest and has since been secretary and general manager.
In 1912 long distance connection was had with both the Tri-
State and the Northwestern Telephone Co.'s. The Plainview
company was thus the first in the southern part of the state
to have toll-line connection with both the Tri-State and the
The company now has toll line connections at St. Charles,
Rochester, Eyota, Wabasha and Kellogg. It has local
exchanges at Plainview, Elgin and Millville. It also has
lines running into the St. Charles exchange. More than 1,100
phones are in use, and the lines embrace more than 1,681
miles of wire. The reports show that in 1918 the average
number of toll calls monthly was 6,300 and the average
number of local calls monthly 82,660. In the winter some 12
people are employed, with an increase of linemen in the
summer months. The annual receipts of the company are about
$25,000. The valuation of the property is placed at
$122,838.65. The sum of $25,754.22 has been set aside for
repairs, and there is a surplus of $31,129.52. Practically
every farm house within the area served by the company is
now provided with a telephone, and has been for the past
five years. Service has been available for practically every
farm house since 1912. In addition to its lines and
equipment, the company owns a sightly building at Elgin,
erected in 1916. The exchange at Plainview is located in a
building owned by James A. Carley. The officers of the
company are: President, Mary C. Carley; vice-president and
treasurer, E. L. Sylvester; secretary and general manager,
James A Carley.
The Greenwood Prairie Old Settlers'
Association was organized February 6, 1877. H. P.
Wildos (Wildes?) was temporary chairman and Samuel B. Evans
temporary secretary. The original name was "The Old
Settlers' Union of the Southeastern Portion of Wabasha
County and Vicinity," and the membership was confined to
those settling here previous to January 1, 1858, together
with their wives and husbands. The annual meeting was to be
held in February. The constitution and by-laws were adopted
February 28, 1877, with Dr. N. S. Tefft in the chair and R.
C. Stillman as secretary. February 16, 1900, it was decided
that any one having lived on Greenwood Prairie forty years
should be eligible to membership. The following have been
the officers of the association: Presidents: 1877 and 1878,
Dr. N. S. Tefft; 1879, George Bryant; 1880, 1881, 1882 and
1883, A. P. Foster; 1884, T. A. Thompson; 1885, G. R. Hall;
1886, G. W. Harrington; 1887, 1888 and 1889, T. G. Bolton;
1890 and 1891, R. C. Stillman; 1892 and 1893, F. L. Meachum;
1894, 1895, 1896 and 1897, Frank D. Washburn; 1898, Dr. N.
S. Tefft; 1899, C. D. Burchard; 1900 to 1907, inclusive, G.
F. Sylvester; 1908 and 1909, D. D. Harrington; 1910 to the
present, Frank D. Washburn. Vice-presidents: 1877, George
Farrar; 1878, I. W. Rollins; 1879, Joseph Richardson; 1880,
1881 and 1882, R. C. Stillman; 1883 and 1884, Dr. N. S.
Tefft; 1885, G. W. Harrington; 1886, John Gage; 1887, 1888
and 1889, George R. Hall; 1890 and 1891, C. O. White; 1892,
George R. Hall; 1893, C. D. Burchard; 1894, George R. Hall;
1895, E. L. Sylvester; 1896 and 1897, George Gage; 1898,
Mrs. P. C. Wood; 1899 to 1907, inclusive, D. D. Harrington;
1908 and 1909, George W. French; 1910, T. G. Bolton; 1911,
W. P. Baldwin; 1912, 1913 and 1914, J. I. Vermilya; 1915, A.
J. McRay; 1916, M. J. Horn; 1917 to the present, C. R.
Grieve. Secretaries: 1877, T. A. Thompson; 1878, H. P.
Williams; 1879, John W. Bryant; 1880, 1882 and 1882, T. G.
Bolton; 1883, 1884 and 1885, C. D. Burchard; 1886, 1887 and
1888, R. C. Stillman; 1899, C. D. Burchard; 1890 and 1891,
D. D. Harrington; 1892 and 1893, E. L. Sylvester; 1894, C.
D. Burchard; 1895 and 1896, W. H. H. Pope; 1897, 1898 and
1899, George R. Hall; 1900 to 1907, inclusive, T. G. Bolton;
1908 to the present, E. L. Sylvester. Treasurers: 1877 and
1878, E. B. Eddy; 1879, George Farrar; 1880, H. P. Wilson;
1881 to 1884, inclusive, George W. Harrington; 1885, Dr. N.
S. Tefft; 1886 to 1889, inclusive, F. L. Meachum; 1890 and
1891, E. L. Sylvester; 1892 to 1895, inclusive, D. D.
Harrington; 1896, 1897 and 1898, E. L. Sylvester; 1899 to
1907, inclusive, Frank D. Washburn; 1908 to the present,
Judson T. Wentworth. Much credit for information in this
history is due to talks delivered at the Greenwood Prairie
Old Settlers' meetings by A. P. Foster, R. C. Stillman, G.
W. Harrington, T. G. Bolton and I. W. Rollins.
Greenwood Prairie Old Settlers' Association
Standing, l to r: Dean Harrington, Mrs. Dave Wentworth, F.
D. Washburn, Mrs. Orin Wood, C. D. Burchard.
Sitting, l to r: H. T. Washburn, Mrs. E. L. Burton, Mrs. E.
Plainview Poultry Association
~ The Plainview Poultry Association was organized in 1913 by
about 25 persons who were desirous of advancing the poultry
interests in the community by raising more and better
poultry. Since their organization was launched, they have
held a poultry show every year and one only need attend
these exhibitions to realize the advancement that has been
made in the breeding and raising of pure bred poultry. PLAINVIEW TOWNSHIP
The first show held was small and the poultry exhibited was
of an inferior grade which could not be accepted in the
present shows. The show was a stimulus which made each
exhibitor eager to do better the next season with the result
that the poultry now shown by our local breeders is of the
highest class and many of these same birds win in the larger
shows held in the Northwest. It is truly remarkable what
such an organization can do in a few years for the
advancement of the industry. This work has spread throughout
the community so that many of our farmers have as fine
flocks of pure bred poultry as can be found anywhere. Those
having benefitted from this knowledge realize the advantage
in raising standard bred poultry, for it is more pleasure to
work with high class fowls and the monetary return for eggs
and meat is far greater. This organization has been the
means of starting a work that will be of great value to the
community for years to come.
The present officers of the association are Dr. E. E. Smith,
Pres.; C. H. Ritter (my great-great
uncle), Vice- Pres.; G. F. Sylvester, Treas.; L. F.
Appleby, Secy., who with a few others have given freely of
their time and money in order to continue this work for the
advancement of the poultry industry. The above members have
also put on the poultry exhibit at the Wabasha county Fair
each year for the Fair association and have made it one of
the most attractive exhibits at the annual Fair.
Plainview Township lies in the extreme southern part of
Wabasha county, and is bounded, generally speaking, by
Highland Township, Wabasha County, on the north; Whitewater
Township, Winona County, on the east; Quincy Township,
Olmstead County on the south; and Elgin Township, Wabasha
County, on the west. Its eastern line is coincident with the
First guide Meridian of the Government Survey. Its northern
line is coincident with the Second Standard Parallel of the
Government Survey, and for this reason Government Township
108-11 which constitutes Plainview Township, does not fall
squarely south of Township 109-11, which constitutes
Highland Township, and consequently for about a half a mile
at the northwest, Plainview has Oakwood Township for its
The town for the most part is a rich, undulating prairie,
approaching to the level in the northeast. Along the
southeast the town is broken by the abrupt descent to the
level of the Whitewater, and in the east by the bluffy vale
of a small branch of that stream. The watershed between the
Whitewater and Zumbro Rivers extends across the north
central portion of the township, east and west from
Plainview, the village being on the crest. From this
watershed, "dry runs" extend toward both valleys, these runs
in the springtime being filled with the rushing currents of
the surplus surface waters. The soil is rich, productive,
easy to till, and has the excellent merit of retaining an
unchanging growing quality in seasons of wet and drought
The township was first settled in 1854, but the real influx
came in 1855. Titles to land claims were somewhat
complicated by uncertainty as to the Government's final
action in regard to the Half Breed Track, in which the
northeastern third of the county was included. The first
settlers were Oliver Nelson Olson and Andrew A. Halverson,
native of Norway, who brought their families here from
Wisconsin in 1854.
In 1855 the first American settlers located in the central
part of the township and established the village of
Greenville. This became the nucleus of a settlement of other
Americans, and to this day the traditions of the township
are almost entirely those of New England, and the other
Atlantic states, although there has been a considerable
sprinkling of Scandinavian settlement, and in more recent
years the people of Teutonic origin and birth have settled
here in increasing numbers.
Much of the early American settlement centered about the
village of Greenville, afterward called Greenwood. The
vanguard of settlers was a party consisting of E. B. Eddy,
A. T. Sharp, Thomas Todd, William Boatman, and several
temporary helpers, among whom was David Campbell. Mr. Eddy
and Mr. Boatman brought their wives. A few days later came
David Ackley and Edwin Chapman. Within about a week arrived
another party. Of this party, two, Benjamin Lawrence and A.P.
Foster, remained and became prominent citizens.
End of Chapter
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