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Otter Tail County Minnesota

Perham Twp & Perham 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 N136, Range W39
Government survey 18??
First Settled 18??
Organized as Marion Lake March 19, 1872
Perham village platted March 6, 1873
Renamed Perham township March 1, 1877
Perham village incorporated February 14, 1881


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

The petition for the erection of Perham township was dated February 17, 1872, and contained the names of the following legal voters of the township: Peter Mohr, Frederi Santebin, John Rocke, Friedrich Mohr, John Kahler, Lorenz Rush, Michel Schmitz, John Berens, George Seifert, Charles Graety, Jacob Iverson, Joseph Lein, Balthason Fuchs, Jofan Lorbift Lungen, (two names unable to read), Andrews Liblum, John Leukof, William Harrles, Joseph Tim, Adam Gerber, George Allsbredt. Johan , Albert Wilerof and Lewis Everling. There were three names among the list of original signers which could not be deciphered, as they were written in German script and very illegible.

The beginning of Perham township dates from March 19, 1872, at which time it was organized under the name of Marion Lake township (township 136, range 39). The first election was held at the house of B. Fuchs on April 6, 1872. On the same day it was organized the territory Comprehended within Dead lake (township 135, range 40) was attached to it for all township purposes. The name of Marion lake was changed to that of Perham by an act of tile Legislature which reads as follows: "That the name of the town of Marion Lake, in Otter Tail county, be and is hereby changed to the name of Perham.' (Approved March 1, 1877).

This township lies in the Red river basin and is drained by waters of that river. Mud lake and Little Pine lake, both forming part of the system of the Red river, extend into this township on the north in sections 1, 2 and 3. The Red river enters this township on the east in the southeastern part of section 13 and meanders south through sections 24, 25 and 36 where it leaves the township in tile extreme southeastern corner. This system proves an excellent drainage for this region and makes the land exceptionally good for farming purposes. The farms rank with the best in the county and are kept in excellent condition. The farm buildings are modern and add to the natural beauty of the country. There are several large dairies in this township which are modern in every respect. The Northern Pacific passes through this township, running through sections 24, 23, 25, 10, 9, 4 and 5. This road was completed in 1871 and is undoubtedly responsible for the early settlment and organization of this township. This village, Perham, is the only station on the Northern Pacific in this township.

The present township officers are as follow : Supervisors, John Karsina, George Alstadt and John Buechler; clerk, F. G. Wasche; treasurer, Louis Huss; assessor, P. Wasche; justice, Joseph Gerber; constable, John Hoffman.


The village of Perham was platted and surveyed by Joseph E. Turner, March 6, 1873, for the Lake Superior & Pugit Sound Company of Maine. Thomas H. Canfield was the president of this corporation at that time. It was incorporated by an act of the Legislature, approved February 14, 1881 (Special Laws, 1881, pages 222-227). The act vests the government of the corporation in three trustees, two justices of the peace, treasurer, assessor, marshal and recorder. Officers were to he elected annually and the first election was set for the third Monday of March, 1881. The act named Henry Drahman, Louis Struett and S. Caughey as judges of election and A. S. Wimer as clerk at this first election. The act covers seventeen sections and provides in a general way for the government of the village and the management of such various municipal affairs as were liable to arise. The growth of Perham has been rather slow and yet it must be said that it has constantly grown.

The population of Perham is approximately one thousand Seven hundred. H. Kreuger is the present mayor, with Henry Holt, marshal, and George Young, clerk. There are two Catholic churches, Polish and German ; two Lutheran churches a Methodist Episcopal and an Episcopalian. The Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, Knights of Columbus, Independent Order of Foresters, lndependent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America, Fraternal Order of Eagles and Sons of Hermann all have thriving chapters in the village. The electric light Plant is a municipal corporation. The city hall was erected at a cost of tell thousand dollars and for a village of this size it is one of the best in the state. The city has a well equipped fire department with all the necessary paraphernalia for fighting fires. Perham is accommodated with a high school, which is fully up to the standard. The building, a ten-room, brick structure, was erected in 1899. The St. James Catholic hospital is really a public institution, being maintained by donations from Catholics and their friends for the benefit of the public generally irrespective of religious beliefs. The building contains seventy rooms and was erected in 1901. It is in charge of the Catholic Sisters and is always filled.

The Perham State Bank and the First National Bank have charge of all the banking carried on in the village. The Merchants hotel and the Grand Pacific take care of all the transient trade of the town. The largest industry in the village is the Globe Milling Company. This flourmill runs day and night and its products are shipped to many foreign markets. The Perham Milling Company is a close rival of the former and its products are equally well known. The next industry in point of size is the Schmidt Wagon Works. This company makes wagons and sleighs. August Haut keeps a brick yard. The Marckel Lumber Company and the Dower Lumber Company are the two largest Lumber yards. The Marckel company's warehouse and implement room is the largest in the state for a town of this size, being three hundred feet long and is constructed of brick. It was finished in 1914. Perham does a large shipping business in grain, flour, potatoes and live stock. The business and professional interests of the village for the present year follow: Agent, Murtie (directory of Perham) Price; auto livery, Andrew W. Lacking; bakery, Fred H. Davis; barber, Albert G. Henn, Casper W. Lotterer: blacksmith, John L. Sawyer, Henry Schmidt ; dentist, Harry Prichett, Benjamin Esser; creamery, Perham Creamery Association. John Stege, Secretary: Co-operative Creamery Company; druggist, Michael J. Gans, Bernard L. Kemper ; furniture, Herman Koenitzer; general store, Drahmann Brothers, Perham Co-operative Company, John Stege, president; hardware, Amos Marckel, Kukowski Brothers, Fred Bauck, Jr., Paul E. Preuss ; harness, Jacob Palubicki, Philip Ososki, John Hall ; insurance, German Township Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Frankk Wasche, secretary: jeweler, F A. Miller, Peter Miller: lawyer, Michael J. Daly; livery, James B. Miller; meat market, Bever Palzer; milliner, Mrs. Olive L. Becker motion picture theater, Bijou, H. F. Briggs, manager; newspaper, Perham Enterprise and Bulletin, Harvey D. Small; physician, Jacob L. Bethold, Frank J. Brabec, John Esser; photograph supplies, Christ Raven, Henry J. Davies; real estate, Charles Pancratz, Perham Land and Investment Company : resort, Grand View Heights (three miles from Perham); shoes, Benjamin Lucking; shoemaker, Henry Geitmann surveyor, Charles C. Dirkes; Telephone, Perham Telephone Company; tailor, Frank J. Kalka veterinary, William P. Newman; wagon maker, Mathias Burelbach; warehouse, Perham Potato Warehouse Company.

The present village officers are as follow : President. John Esser; trustees, John Ladner, Henry Schmidt and A. N. Lucking: clerk. G. M. Young; treasurer, J. H. Shea; justices, M. J. Gans and C. W. Lotterer; constables, John Pockwinski and O. Caughey.


Population totals in state and federal census summaries.

   Perham  Perham Village
 1875  562  
 1880  919  
 1885  585  647
 1890  637  761
 1895  795  846
 1900  676  1182
 1905  647  1366
 1910  589  1376
 1920  582  1370
 1930  545  1411
 1940  565  1534

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

 Native (USA)  110   17%
 Minnesota  407   63%
 Foreign  130   20%
     Germany  121   93%
     Sweden  2   2%
     Norway  0   0%
     Canada  3   2%
     Ireland  0   0%
     Denmark  2   2%
     England  0   0%
     Poland  0   0%
     Finland  0   0%
     Russia  2   2%
     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). Altstadt , George ; Bachleitner , Jakob ; Bauck , Frederick ; Bauer , Franz X , Michael ; Berens , John ; Berger , Baptiste ; Bonner , Charles L ; Borchleitner , John J ; Busch , Lorenz ; Crane , Carso ; Deitlein , Andreas ; Derlinger , Andrew ; Dobmeier , Jacob ; Dolmeier , Jacob ; Douglas , John ; Ebeling , John , Louis ; Elert , Marie ; Faries , Isaiah ; Fredler , Martin ; Fuchs , Balthasar ; Gaffke , Johann ; Geitmann , Henry ; Gerber , Adam ; Goffke , Andregas ; Goyke , Mathias ; Graetz , Charles ; Grismer , Heinrich , Johan ; Grunert , Charlotte ; Hasler , Blasius , William ; Hass , Frederick ; Hatch , George E ; Holland , Conrad ; Hoppel , Helvig ; Hout , Martin ; Husen , Wilhelm ; Kahler , John ; Kaminski , Joseph ; Kopp , Susanna ; Lain , Joseph ; Lange , Carl ; Lein , Joseph ; Lorzel , Gustav ; Lozeckowsky , Johann ; Ludochowsky , August ; Mccrea , Andrew ; Mislisch , Martin ; Mohn , Frederick ; Mohr , Frederick , Peter ; Niebergall , George ; Page , Henry G ; Paschke , Joseph ; Phaschke , Anton ; Raiter , C H ; Ritter , Henry ; Rock , John ; Rusch , Chathrine ; Santebin , Edward ; Sautebin , Sophie ; Schmitz , Michael ; Schranack , Franciska ; Schroeder , Louis ; Seifert , George ; Steckenborn , Mathias ; Viox , Valentin ; Weileder , Joseph ; Weox , Frank ; Wernecke , John ; Zimmermann , Joseph

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