History of Hickman Township

About ono-third of Hickman township lies on the plateau, which, with the exception of several coulees is level and good farming land; the other two-thirds lie in the valley; the surface rather level. There are several ravines or coulees that emerge from the Coteaus in Sisseton township and run in a westerly direction; one of these coulees crosses sections 12,11, 10, 9 and 8, and on sec. 7 spreads out like a fan, covering three quarter sections of land, making an excellent meadow. This coulee on sec. 11 contained some timber, currants, gooseberries and raspberries, also plum trees. Excellent drinking water is easily obtained anywhere along this coulee.

Pioneer Settlers of Hickman

Ferdinand Gamache, born near Quebec, Canada, came here from Dayton, Minn., Oct. 1st, 1882; not being able to secure a team in Andover to haul a load of lumber he went to Groton, where he hired a man and team. They reached here after a days journey and Mr. Gamache erected his shanty on sec. 33 about the time the township was surveyed, and soon after returned to Minnesota, and came back the next spring.

Henry Gerberich, from Niles, Mich., built a shanty where he now lives, sec. 31, Oct. 12, ’82; his brother, Joseph, located on sec. 30 the next spring. Henry Gerberich was elected county commissioner in 1885; is also school and township clerk. The next to locate, were Wm. Ap. Williams and Wm. X. Roberts, popularly known as Bill X. They are natives of Wales, and came here from Bath, Brown county, and located on the south half of sec. 20. They erected their shanties the next day after Gerberich built his, and broke a few furrows for firebreaks, and, while here that fall, boarded at Mr. Shelden’s, ten miles distant. In the fall of ’82 Geo. Hickman helped A. T, Hammond, near Mr. Gaub, move to his claim from Bath. The next day, Nov. 11, he, Bill X., and Henry Gerberich, went to the fort where they were snow-bound several days, the winter having set in much earlier than usual. Geo. Hickman was much pleased with this part of the country, and the next winter hauled a load of lumber from Bath, which is forty miles from here, and built a shack on the southwest corner of see. 8, but in March, when the land came in market, he filed on the southeast quarter where he now lives. He was born near Heidelberg, Germany, and came here from Bath, having moved from Sac County, Iowa, to Bath; was elected county superintendent of schools of Day county, in 1884.

Hickman township was organized as a school township, including Lowell, in June, 1883. In 1884 two school houses were built and completely furnished at a total cost of $1,500; Lowell was set off the same spring. The following named settlers located in the spring of ’83, with a few exceptions where they found vacant land on the plateau the next year: Thos. Anthony, from Plymouth Eng., came here from Sac County, Iowa, sec. 8, Wm. Morgan, from Crieff, Scotland, sec. 8, and built the first substantial and painted house and barn in the township. Robert R. Roberts and sister, Sarah, the pioneer school ma’am, from Sparta, Wis., settled on the east half of sec. 6. Robert Roberts, from Racine, Wis., sec. 4; Robert Evans, from Cambria, Wis., sec. 9; Dan Sullivan, from Bangor, Me., sec. 10; Prank Thole, from Winthrop, Minn., on sec. 10, and his mother on sec. 4; Wm. Holt, from Minnesota, sec. 11; Joseph Weizel, from Dayton, Minn., sec. 11; Frank Bowers, from Ionia, Mich., settled on sec. 12, in 1884 sold out to Horace King and emigrated to Arizona in search of a more genial climate, but it proved too warm and he returned to Michigan; Elwood Luellen, from New York settled on sec. 3; returned to New York in ’84, where he died. Frank Osborn, from Buchanan, Mich., sec. 14; Frank Schindler, from Applington, Wis., sec. 15; Henry Thole, from Winthrop, Minn., sec. 15. R. E. Porter, from Galena, Ill., in 1884, purchased relinquishment from Wm. Beck, who went to Nebraska. Leonidas Recob, from Richland Center, Wis., section 18; Chas. Woodford, from Niles, Mich., sec. 19. Roland Williams, youngest son of William Ap. Williams, located on sec. 19; afterwards moved to Columbia, and his father now lives on the farm. Phil. Gaub and son-in-law, Chas. Esterbrook, are from Dayton, Minn., settled on sec. 31. Mr. Gaub is well known by our settlers. He built a fine residence and barn, and being about half way between Andover and Britton, he has for three years furnished entertainment for man and beast, and generally known as the half-way house. Is township and school treasurer and was appointed postmaster of Haupt postoffice Jan., 1885. Frank Lamberton, from Niles, Mich., sec. 30. Roland Williams and his daughter, Jennie, from Iowa, settled on the north half of sec. 29. Lesher, from Minnesota, sec. 29. Samuel L. Norton, from Richland Co., Wis., sec. 32, Robert Atkins, from Minneapolis, sec. 32. John Conley, from Dane Co., Wis., sec. 21. Lafayette Brigham and uncle, from Grand Rapids, Mich., sections 28 and 21. Mr. Brigham has been assessor for two years. Laban Lamberton, from Niles, Mich., sec. 34. L. R. Knight, from Maine, sec. 33; sold out to Will Tiss in the fall of ’85. John Glaser, from Wisconsin, sec. 35. The following named sellers are from Ionia, Michigan: O. N. Platt. sec. 23, came from New York to Michigan in 1854, and has opened an extensive farm. Alfred Stanton, sec. 26, and his son, Will Stanton, sec. 13. Marcus L. Babcock and son, George, on sections 27 and 22; Will, an oldor son died suddenly at Aberdeen last May. Thos. Creaser, from St. Johns, Mich., settled on sec. 27 in the fall of ’83, and his brother-in-law, Chas. Perry, from Connecticut, on sec. 25. Mr. Perry is now Justice of the Peace. Samuel Preston and his father, Clark Preston, and sister, Mary, were originally from Vermont; came here from Steven’s Point, Wis., and located on sections 15 and 20. Mary Preston married Wm. Morris, from Cambria, Wis., and lives on her fathers claim. Mrs. Clark Preston died Oct. 16, 1884, and Clark Preston died April 5, 1886, aged 84 years and 2 months., and was undoubtedly the oldest man in the territory at the time of his death. Chester Foote and father, from Spring Valley, Minn., sec. 24. Clark Perkins from the same place settled on same section. Chas. Bjork on sec. 26, and John Sherbank on sec. 23. Rose, Alber and Henry Otto, from Independence, Iowa, settled on sections 1 and 2. W. O. Prichard, from Lime Springs, Iowa, sec. 1. Roger and John Richards; from Monroe county, Wis., sec. 3. Isaac Jones, from Cambria, Wis., sec. 7. Hugh and Isaac Jones, sons of above Mr. Jones, first filed on east half of sec. 7 and afterwards relinquished to their father and sister, Maggie. Mr. Jones is now improving these claims. John Woulph, from Galena, Ill., came here last April with a lot of stock and now resides on the old Walter Osborn claim, see. 7.

Langford—Hickman Township

Langford is situated on a gentle rise of ground, commanding a good view of the surrounding country, and is located on sections 29 and 32. J. N. Lindley, from Fox Lake. Wis., located on nw. 1/4 sec. 32 in 1883, and last June gave the railroad company a divided half of his claim to locate the town site there. Geo. Cole, from Minnesota, settled on sw. 1/4 sec. 29 in 1883, and sold his claim to the railroad company. Langford was surveyed by Sam Denton, and a plat of 190 acres completed July 1, 1886, on the same day that the railroad track reached there. Up to the present date, July 10, quite a number of buildings are rapidly approaching completion. Jno. A. Edmands, of Andover, had a large shanty hauled here June 20, and put in a stock of hardware; is the first business place established in Langford. Daniel W. Farquhar, the blacksmith, came here from Groton and put up his shop the next day after Edmand’s shanty arrived. Mr. Farquhar is one of the old veterans of the rebellion.

The railroad company built a section house and had it shingled July 8. The depot is well under way and will be completed in a short time. Hamilton and Shepard, from Winona, Minn., under the firm name of the Dakota Lumber Co., have their large lumber office nearly completed. W. N. Daniels, from Groton, erected a temporary hotel. J. N. Lindley, real estate and insurance agent, has his office completed. Mr. Lindley dug the first well in town, near the depot; it is 23 feet deep, with an abundance of good water. A. Folsom, from New Hampshire, came to the Sisseton Agency in 1876, where he clerked several years, and can talk “Injun” like a Sioux. Later clerked in Webster and Andover. May 1, 1886, put in a stock of groceries in the Babcock-Brown store at Haupt. Mr. Folsom built a large store, and has the first general merchandise store in the village.

G. G. Green and P. O. Melland, from Groton, have about completed their pioneer restaurant. Labord and Langhorn put up a shanty at Haupt last June and opened a saloon; on the 7th inst. moved to Langford. McCord and Newland will shortly erect a paint and sign writing shop. Several elevators and business places will be completed after harvest. Langford possesses every advantage to become a first-class railroad town.


Hickman, George; History of Marshall County, Dakota: Its Topography and Natural History, and Sketches of Pioneer Settlers, with the Names of Actual Settlers where They are From, and where They Live; Also the Military and Sisseton Reservations; J.W. Banbury, 1886.

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