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Otter Tail County Minnesota

Adna Twp & Dent Village





From Trygg Historical Maps, Trygg Land Office, Ely, MN www.trygglandoffice.com/maps.html
b=bottom land, m=marsh, p=prairie, s=swamp

 Basic Facts:

Township 136N, Range 40W
Government survey 18??
First Settled 18??
Organized March 21, 1882
Original name was Cuba
Renamed Edna May 2, 1882
Railroad arrived 1902
Village plat recorded Aug 19, 1903
Village incorporated Sep 5, 1904


[Copied by Lory Brasel, lbrasel@leagent.net, from the book "History of Otter Tail County" Volume I - 1916 by John W. Mason]

Edna township (township 136, range 40) was first organized under the name of Cuba. Gustave Grunert and other citizens of the proposed township petitioned the commissioners on March 21, 1882, for the organization of a civil township to be known as Cuba. There were twenty-seven signers to the petition asking for the organization of Edna township, but since nearly all of them were written in German script-and poor script at that- it is impossible to give the complete list. Those which can be deciphered are as follow: Gustave Grunert, George A. Etzell, Gerhard Falk, Oren Cram, Eugene Cram, George W. Niebergall, Ernst Haarbs, P. A. Niebergall, Charles Altstadt, Albert Zitzan, John Karsnia, John Altstadt, Heinrich Zitzan, Thomas Morris, Paulie Ragalla, Martin Gaike and Paul Ragalla. The names not given are in such poorly written German script that it is impossible to translate them.

The election of the first officials was held on the fourth of the following month at the residence of George W. Niebergall. However, the new township rejoiced in the name of Cuba only a short time, as is evidence by the following statement taken from the commissioners' record of May 2, 1882:

"In the matter of a statement from the state auditor that the name 'Cuba' for a new organized township not being admissable, the board of commissioners adopted the following resolution: Resolved that the township 136, range 40, be changed from Cuba to that of Edna, it appearing from report of state auditor that the name Cuba has already been given to a township in Becker county."

Edna was the forty-third township organized in this county. It is bounded on the north by Hobart, on the west by Dora, on the south by Dead Lake and on the east by Perham. This township has a large water acreage and some of the land is surrounded by the lakes in such a manner as to make it very difficult to reach without travelling a great distance. The land in section 20 is a good example of this township. To reach Dent, which is the trading center for this township, a distance of two miles as the crow flies, one has to travel seven miles, and go completely around the eastern part of Big McDonald lake. This reduces the value of the farm land in this section to a great extent. There are twenty-six lakes lying whollv within the territory of this township. Big and Little McDonald lakes are the largest bodies. The former has an area of nearly four sections, while the latter has an area of almost three sections. The lakes which are given names on the map are as follows: Moer Kedrick, Ceynowa, Paul Wolf, Pelowski, Rice, Pickeral, Boos, Glenard, Wendt, Heart and Mink. Dures lake cuts the northeastern corner of this township and Lake Sybil, the northwestern corner.

The Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie railway passes through the entire length of the county from north to south. This road experienced as much trouble when the survey was made in dodging the numerous lakes as the farmers do in getting to market. This road was built through this county in 1902, and has one station, Dent, in this township.


The building of the Soo line through Otter Tail county was responsible for the platting of at least five towns on its right of way, and four of these were platted by the Minnesota Loan and Trust Company. Dent, located in section 34, was surveyed by Martin Aa1berg on August 19, 1903.

A census taken on the 19th day of July, 1904, shows a population of one hundred and sixty-nine residents in said territory. This induced the citizens to ask to be incorporated and they at once prepared a petition to that effect. The following legal voters signed the petition: Peter Schumacher, J. E. Besler, H. Winkler, William J. Hoffman, Peter Jonas, A. M. Heck, Fred Lubberman, Henry J. Krekerberg, A. J. Smith, Gust Hazelkauf, William Victor, William Schloesser, Thomas Coughlan, William Ruhoff, John H. Krekelberg, A. M. Murphy, William Albright, J. A. Schmitz, Louis Honer, Wilhelm Hieth, Charles Stender, Frank Hassler, George F. Partridge, R. Harthen, D. J. Cooper, M. D. and R. R. Cooper.

The election on the question of incorporation was held on September 5, 1904, and resulted in twenty-nine votes in favor of the proposition and none against.

The growth of this village has been rather slow as shown by the present census which gives this village a population of approximately two hundred and fifty. Dent is located in the heart of the lake region and this makes a very suitable location for resorts. In consequence the village is alive during the summer months, while in the winter business is not so flourishing. The Homestead elevator does a large business in buying and shipping grain. The banking interests of this community are carried on through the Farmers State Bank.

Dent is twenty-two miles northwest of Henning. It has a German Lutheran and an Evangelical Church, a hotel, grain elevator, feed mill and creamery. Charles M. Perdue is the present postmaster.

The present village officers are as follows: President. G. Wagner; trustees, J. Ruebke, E. Borup and J. S. Elliot; clerk, J. J. Harms; treasurer, E. J. Stoll; justices, C. Perdue and W. J. Brown; constable, Fred Talske.


Population totals in state and federal census summaries.

   Edna  Dent Village
 1885  271  
 1890  411  
 1895  485  
 1900  451  
 1905  557  142
 1910  521  244
 1920  528  221
 1930  515  224
 1940  515  204

Places of birth for Edna Township in the 1905 state census.

 Native (USA)  66   12%
 Minnesota  344   62%
 Foreign  147   26%
     Germany  126   86%
     Sweden  1   1%
     Norway  0   0%
     Canada  2   1%
     Ireland  0   0%
     Denmark  0   0%
     England  0   0%
     Poland  1   1%
     Finland  0   0%
     Russia  16   11%
     Scotland  1   1%
     Other  0   0%

Land Maps


The following names have been extracted from original land records (by John Nelson) and Mason's History (by Karen Terry). Aalberg , Martin ; Albright , William ; Alstadt , Charles , John ; Altstadt , George ; Besler , JE ; Bistram , Martin ; Borup , E ; Brown , WJ ; Budish , Martin ; Budzig , Anton ; Ceynowa , Paul ; Clarke , Nehemiah P ; Cooper , DJ , RR ; Coughlan , Thomas ; Cram , Eugene , Oren ; Czapiewski , Paul ; Davis , Charles ; Elliot , JS ; Engelmann , John ; Etzell , George A , George H ; Falk , Gerhard , John H ; Frosonsky , Frederick ; Gaike , Martin ; Gerber , Adam , John ; Gilman , Charles A ; Goyke , Martin ; Graff , Frank ; Grunert , Gust , Gustave ; Haarbs , Ernst ; Harms , JJ ; Harthen , R ; Hassler , Frank ; Hazelkauf , Gust ; Heck , AM ; Heiermann , Moritz ; Hieth , Wilhelm ; Hoffman , William J ; Honer , Louis ; How , Calvin F ; Jonas , Peter ; Karsnia , John ; Keerbs , Ernst ; Krekelberg , John H ; Krekerberg , Henry J ; Lubberman , Fred ; Martadem , Johan ; Martens , Johann ; Marz , Johan ; Mcclure , Thomas C ; Morris , Thomas ; Murphy , AM ; Newman , William L ; Niebergall , George W , PA ; Orzel , Johan ; Parchem , Anton , Julius , Xaver ; Partridge , George F ; Perdue , C , Charles M ; Ragalla , Paul , Paulie ; Rogalla , Apolaniar , Leon , Paulin ; Ross , Jacob ; Ruebke , J ; Ruhoff , William ; Schloesser , William ; Schmitz , JA ; Schumacher , Peter ; Silbernagel , Adam , Peter ; Smith , AJ ; Stender , Charles ; Stoll , EJ ; Talske , Fred ; Tenney , L H ; Teuter , Heinrich ; Victor , William ; Wagner , G ; Walde , William ; Winkler , H ; Zitzan , Albert , Heinrich ; Zitzow , Heinrich

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