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From Three Centuries in Champlain Valley

The shadows of those dreary days
Before my memory rolls,
The rude and stern and rugged ways
Of the rough times that tried men's souls.
July 4, 1776
Centennial Poem delivered at Plattsburgh, New York

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Bay City has a population of 232, a Farmers' Grain company, on saloon, a confectionery store, with billiards on the side; one general store, a dealer in grain and a meat market.


At a meeting held in the office of the county clerk in Prescott on March 3, 1857, petitions were presented asking for the creation of the towns of Clifton and Oak Grove, both of which were granted. The town of Clifton embraced all of the territory within the following boundary lines: “Commencing at the northeast corner of section 3, town 27, range 19; thence running on the line of said township to the center of Lake St. Croix; thence down said lake to the middle of the southwest line of the southwest quarter of section 3, township 26, range 20; thence following the line of the city of Prescott to the northeast corner of the city limits; thence north to the middle of the north line of the northwest quarter of section 2, township 26, range 20; thence following the line between townships 26 and 27 to the southeast corner of section 34, township 27, range 10; thence north to the place of beginning.” The first board of Clifton township was composed of George W. McMurphy, chairman; Osborne Stahl and G. W. Teachout. C. W. Cox was the first postmaster of Clifton Mills, established in 1852. In the town of Clifton in the year 1907 there were 601 head of horses, with an average value of $70 per head, or $42,070; 1,544 head of cattle of all kinds, valued at $21,616; 8 mules, worth $856; 1,865 sheep of all ages, worth $5,595, and 865 head of swine, estimated to be worth $6 per head. In the same year there were 231 acres of growing wheat in Clifton; 3,138 acres in corn; 4,476 acres in oats; 2,757 planted to barley; 1,165 in rye; 100 acres in flax; 139 acres devoted to potatoes; 4 acres in sugar beets, and 24 acres of apple orchard, with 599 trees bearing fruit; 10 acres of cultivated tobacco, and 2,187 acres in tame hay, while 2,405 acres were planted to timber. According to the returns made to O.J. Hohle, county clerk of Pierce county, the number of bushels derived from the harvest of 1906 was divided among the different crops as follows: Wheat, 5,692 bushels; corn, 48,865 bushels; oats 124,133 bushels; barley, 73,795 bushels; rye, 14,285 bushels; flaxseed, 542 bushels; potatoes 13,537 bushels; apples 41 bushels;strawberries, 26 bushels; raspberries, 14 bushels; clover seed, 23 bushels; timothy seed, 544 bushels. There were 2,665 tons of tame hay harvested and 74,000 pounds of flax fiber and 15,000 pounds of tobacco; 80,950 pounds of
butter was produced on the farms, which had a market value of $16,190.(Submitted by Pat James, Taken from Hisotry of The St. Croix Valley.

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Wise Words
To get out of a difficulty, one must usually go through it.
Samuel Easton

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Diamond Bluff Township
At a meeting held in Concert hall at Prescott, November 26, 1856, a petition praying for the formation of the town of Diamond Bluff out of a part of the then existing town of Prescott was granted with the following boundaries: "All that part of Pierce county lying within the boundaries of fractional township 25, range 19, and township 25, range 18, and fractional township 24, range 18, be and is hereby set off from the town of Prescott and entitled the town of Diamond Bluff." The vicinity of Diamond Bluff was the scene of the first visitation of the white man in these parts. He was a Frenchman who, according to tradition, was a Vendean loyalist of the army of Jacques Cathelineau and had fled from France about 1793 to Quebec, then proceeding westward until he arrived on the Mississippi river near the present city of Diamond Bluff in 1800 and naming it "Monte Diamond." He lived there until his death in 1824, and the neighborhood was known during his residence there and for many years afterwards among the Indians as "Old White Man's Prairie." The first board of supervisors of Diamond Bluff consisted of James Akers, chairman, Wilson Thing and C. F. Hoyt. The first justice of the peace was S. Hunter. Susan Rogers was the mistress of the first school held in the township, and the first postoffice, established in 1854, was called Hoytstown, in honor of the first postmaster, C. F. Hoyt. The first frame house was erected by Enock Quinby in 1855. The first sermon was delivered by Rev. J. W. Hancock, a Presbyterian minister, who had been a missionary among the Indians for many years. The first white child born in the town was Mary Day, a daughter of John and Sarah A. (Vance) Day, who came to Diamond Bluff from Illinois in 1850, and the birth of the daughter occurred during the following year. The first death within the confines of Diamond Bluff was that of Daniel Crappers in 1854. There were 216 horses of all ages in the town of Diamond Bluff in 1907, with an aggregate value of $15,120; 498 head of cattle, worth $6,972; 105 head of hogs, worth $630. In the same year there was 417 acres planted to growing wheat, 246 acres in corn, 500 acres in oats, 591 acres in barley and 313 acres given over to rye, while only 3 acres was planted to flax. Potatoes claimed an area of 57 acres, and 286 acres were cultivated for tame hay. The principal farm products produced in Diamond Bluff township in the year 1906 were distributed as follows: Wheat, 7,185 bushels; corn, 7,200 bushels; oats, 16,625 bushels; barley, 17,340 bushels; rye, 4,700 bushels; 417 tons of hay were cut; 14,900 pounds of home-made butter were sent to market, for which the sum of $2,860 was paid. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909).

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To thy sunshine be there no eclipse,
nor clouds whose shadows fall.
Let the kindly words, from friendly lips
bring good cheer enough for all
And when your sunset time does come,
may your evening star be bright,
that no darkness obscure the pathway home.
The home that has no night.

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Ellsworth Village
Ellsworth, the county seat of Pierce County, is located on the C., St. P. & O. R. R., forty-four miles southeast of St. Paul, Minn. It is a pretty village of 1,200 inhabitants and has a high elevation, excellent for health-giving qualities. It is admirably located, being in the center of a rich agricultural district where farming, stock raising, dairying and small fruit raising are carried on with marked success. Nutritive grasses, ample rainfall and water also combine to make the region a good one for dairying purposes, and farmers are giving considerable attention to the raising of blooded stock. The business and professional men of Ellsworth are up-to-date and progressive, and Ellsworth is one of the trading points of the county. It is a village of pleasant homes, genial people, numerous societies and good social advantages. It has a fine court house, a high school building, an opera house, four churches, four hotels, four liveries, several rural routes, two elevators, two newspapers, three drug stores, two hardware stores, a bank a grist mill, creamery, woodworking plant and many other business houses. The village has a complete system of water works, a telephone service, electric light and power service transmitted from Rush river power house, seven miles distant. It has a fine fair ground, and the adjacent streams are well stocked with trout, the surrounding territory being both pretty and picturesque. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

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Even If I knew that tomorrow the world would still go to pieces,
I would still plant my apple tree.
Martin Luther
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Town of Ellsworth
The first board of supervisors of the town of Perry, as Ellsworth township was then called, were P. M. Simons, chairman; Caleb Bruce and Wilson Kinnie. Anthony Huddleston, who settled on section 20, April 23, 1866, was the first settler. On November 26, of the same year, Caleb, Elihu W. and Eli T. Bruce settled near him in sections 18 and 19 and other settlers arrived in the vicinity soon after them. Norris Kinnie built the fist house in the present town of Ellsworth. The first schoolhouse in the town was built in 1857 and the first teacher was Miss Mary Filkins, afterwards Mrs. G. H. Sargeant. The first post office was opened in 1860, with Seeley Strickland as postmaster. The village of Ellsworth was platted in 1862 by Norris Kinnie, Eli T. Bruce, Henry P. Ames and William Crippin, after the question of removing the county seat from Prescott to Ellsworth had been reaffirmed by a second election, held in 18622. The first court house was built of logs, but the county officers made their headquarters in the Crippen Hotel for several years. The county buildings were built in 1869. The first frame school building in the town was constructed in 1863, and the first brick structure for school purposes in 1874. The Hudson and River Falls Railroad, now a part of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad system, was extended to Ellsworth from River Falls in 1885.In 1907 Ellsworth township had an equine population of 552 head, having an estimated value of $38,640; 2,760 head of cattle, which were estimated to be worth as much as the horses. There were 1,399 head of sheep and lambs, worth $3 per head; 591 head of swine of a value of $6 per head. The number of acres in Ellsworth Township devoted to growing crops of all kinds in 1907 was divided as follows: wheat, 111 acres; corn, 1,212 acres; oats, 5,212 acres; barley, 576 acres; 40 acres in rye and 32 sown to flax, while 110 acres was planted to potatoes; 2,422 acres in tame hay, and 1,955 acres set out in young timber. The crop yield in 1906 was: wheat, 1,615 bushels; corn 35,405 bushels; oats, 119,860 bushels; barley, 11,990 bushels; rye, 1,580 bushels; 791 bushels of flaxseed and 8,730 bushels of potatoes. There was 3,980 tons of tame hay produced; 29,874 pounds of butter was produced, which had a value of $5,874. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

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More Wise Words
Consider that this day never dawns again.

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El Paso Township
The town of El Paso was created by the board at a meeting held November 18, 1858, in voting to set off township 26, ranges 15 and 16, which included a portion of the town of Pleasant Valley. The first known settler in the town of El Paso was George P. Walker and the next was Thomas T. Magee, who arrived in 1855. The town was organized with George P. Walker and Thomas Hurley as supervisors. Thomas T. Magee platted the present town of El Paso in 1862, where he built a lumber and flour mill. He removed to Polk County in 1875, where he founded the town of Clear Lake. The live stock in El Paso township in 1907 may be classified as follows: Horses, 490 head; cattle, 2, 244 head; sheep and lambs, 1,338 head; swine, 421 head. The agricultural pursuits during the same year was represented by growing crops apportioned in acreage as follows: Wheat, 130; corn, 535; oats, 2,317; barley, 294; rye, 44; flaxseed, 100; potatoes, 44 acres; apple orchards containing a total of ten acres with 373 fruit-bearing trees; 1,208 acres was devoted to tame hay, and 6,043 acres was set out in trees. The farm products of the pervious year was derived from the following sources, and all amounts representing bushels unless otherwise stated: Wheat, 1,354; corn, 21,265; oats, 78,195; barley, 9,433; rye, 225; flax, 1,301, and potatoes, 3,893; 2,152 tons of tame hay was produced. The home dairies produced 20,280 pounds of butter, with a value of $3,836. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

El Paso Village
El Paso village, with fifty inhabitants, has two general stores, a Catholic church, a flour mill, a hotel, a sawmill and a shoemaker. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

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Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it.
Mark Twain

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Gilman Township
The first board of supervisors of Gilman, which was organized under the name of Deerfield, were Oliver Purdy, Caleb Coon and Bardon Jensen. The first settler was B. F. Gilman, for whom the township was named, who came there in 1859. N. B. Lawrence, Rufus Preston, Joseph and Caleb Coon soon followed him. The first school held in the township was organized in 1870 with M. L. Maxgood as the instructor. The first wedding to take place in Gilman was that of Caleb Coon and Cenith Preston, and their first born was the first birth of a white child in the township. U. F. Hals was the first postmaster of Gilman post office. The town of Gilman had 532 head of horses within its limits in the year 1907, and they had a market value of $37,240; 3,216 head of cattle worth $45,024; 1,845 sheep and lambs, having an aggregate value of $5,535, and 359 head of hogs, worth $2,154. The growing crop report for the same year gives: Wheat, 77 acres; corn, 355 acres; oats, 2,705 acres; barley, 341 acres; rye, 12 acres; potatoes, 54 acres, and 3 acres in sugar beets; 209 acres was planted in flax and 2,352 in hay. The total production of cereals and other farm products raised during the pervious year may be enumerated as follows: Wheat 1,006 bushels; corn, 6,641 bushels; oats, 102,675 bushels; barley, 10,940 bushels; rye, 315 bushels; flax, 3,565 bushels; potatoes, 3,450 bushels; 4 tons of sugar beets was produced, and 2,211 tons of hay. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909).

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I will not follow where the path may lead,
but I will go where there is no path,
and I will leave a trail.
Muriel Strode
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