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Otter Tail County Minnesota

Dora Township





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 37W
Government survey 1860
First Settled 18??
Organized July 26, 1880


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


The citizens residing in the unorganized congressional townships now embraced within the civil townships of Homestead, Butler, Pine Lake and Corliss presented a petition to the county commissioners on July 26, 1880, asking for the organization of this territory, twelve miles square, into one civil township. The petition was rejected by the board on the ground that there was too much territory in the proposed township. Accordingly another petition was presented on the same day, having evidently been prepared with a view of providing for such contingency. This second petition called for the organization of a township comprehended within the present limits of Homestead township. Evidently the major portion of the inhabitants of the four congressional townships represented in the first petition lived in what is now known as Homestead township. This second petition was granted by the commissioners and the new township was given the name of Runyon at the request of the petitioners. The first election was held on the 14th of the following month at the house of Alfred Lane in section 28. The name of the township was later changed to Homestead by the order of the county commissioners. The second petition, July 26, 1880, contained the names of the following legal voters: G. D. Runyon, Levi Oberdrear, A. Harey, C. B. Fiske, W. B. Mitchell, C. T. Denison, A. O. Sherman, James Dunn, A. U. Taylor, N. E. McKee, Alfred Lane, Hans Christianson, David B. Williams, T. Murphy, S. G. Richmond, James Stolt, S. Runyon, I. Runyon, F. Shlers, Thomas Raon, A. J. Davis, H. Davis, John Galliger, H. C. Aitkinson and P. Downing.

This is one of the few townships in the county without any lakes, although thirty years ago there were at least two lakes which appeared on the county map one in section 9 and the other in section 18. Bluff creek arises in the eastern part of the township and flows in a southerly direction leaving the township in the center of section 35. The surface of the township is generally level, although the northwestern part is quite rugged.

There has never been a platted village in the township and the nearest approach to a village is found in the north central part of section 4. As early as 1880 there was a blacksmith shop at this point and a general store. The postoffice was established here and named Davies in honor of the merchant who handled the mail. The postoffice was discontinued many years ago and the township is now served by the rural free delivery.

The present township officers are as follow: Supervisors, .G. A. Johnson, Math Lohi and Arno Poser; clerk, Frank Maasch; treasurer, Herman Kampsula; assessor, Roy Verbeck; justices, Math Jakola and A. J. Davies; constables, Vano Nervonen and Arthur Huldman.


Population totals in state and federal census summaries.

 1880  39
 1885  143
 1890  174
 1895  277
 1900  426
 1905  476
 1910  381
 1920  561
 1930  552
 1940  529

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

 Native (USA)  85   18%
 Minnesota  388   82%
 Foreign  103   22%
     Germany  32   31%
     Sweden  19   18%
     Norway  1   1%
     Canada  5   5%
     Ireland  2   2%
     Denmark  5   5%
     England  5   5%
     Poland  0   0%
     Finland  34   33%
     Russia  0   0%
     Scotland  0   0%
     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). Aitkinson , HC ; Christianson , Hans ; Davies , AJ ; Davis , AJ , H ; Denison , CT ; Downing , P ; Dunn , James ; Fiske , CB ; Galliger , John ; Harey , A ; Huldman , Arthur ; Jakola , Math ; Johnson , GA ; Kampsula , Herman ; Lane , Alfred ; Lohi , Math ; Maasch , Frank ; McKee , NE ; Mitchell , WB ; Murphy , T ; Nervonen , Vano ; Oberdrear , Levi ; Poser , Arno ; Raon , Thomas ; Richmond , SG ; Runyon , GD , I , S ; Sherman , AO ; Shlers , F ; Stolt , James ; Taylor , AU ; Verbeck , Roy ; Williams , David B

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