History of Newport Township

The surface of Newport township is level and has a large slough extending from north to south through its center. This slough has the appearance of having been a lake, perhaps centuries ago; the bottom is level and makes a good meadow. East of the slough, on sec. 16, the old earthworks of a fort remain to be seen. In all probability it was built by Gen Sibley in 1863-‘4, when he was through here hunting hostile Indians.

The township is well settled and has three schoolhouses; before the division it belonged to Farmington, Day County.

Pioneer Settlers of Newport

In August 1882, John Denton and son William, from Pine Island, Minnesota, located on the north half of sec. 31. W. A. and-John Page settled on the south half of the same section, and all built their houses within a stone’s throw of the center of the section. The Page brothers came from Crawford County, Pennsylvania to Pine Island. They wintered here in 1882-‘3 and constituted one third of the population in what is now Marshall county.

William J. Beatty, from Bruce County, Upper Canada, settled on sec. 27, November 1. 1882. The first winter he frequently walked to Groton and back in a day, and on one occasion had twenty-five pounds of meat, some groceries and mail, and becoming tired concluded to leave the pork in a haystack near the old Standing Rock trail, when to his surprise a large wolf scampered away from the stack; he decided to carry the meat home. He went over in the hills and selected two runners and made a pung, to which he attached a male bovine, went visiting and made trips to Groton.

These five families were the only settlers in the south half of the county until the following spring. In August 1883, J. F. Brown and George Babcock built a store opposite Phil. Gaub’s on sec. 36, where Haupt post office was established. The mail for the vicinity was brought by the settlers until the establishment of the weekly mail route January 1, 1885.

The following named settlers, with but few exceptions, came here in 1883:

Wm. Roehr came here from Mitchell county, Iowa, and settled sec. 1; his brother-in-law Carl A. Julien, from Sweden, sec. 2. Geo. Kerr and son Thos., from Canada, settled on section 4. Wm. Vieberg, from Minn., sec. 3. Titus Studt, from Michigan, sec. 6. Wm. O. Hibner, from Carson City, Mich., sec. 6. Mr. Hibner was the first township assessor. Perry Peterson, from Illinois, sec. 7. in April, 1884. Oscar Johnson, a native of Norway, sec. 7. W. H. Brown, from Syracuse, New York, sec. 7. W. A. Vicker, from Michigan, sec. 7. Charles Nealson and brother Edward, sec. 8. Charles Sonberg, sec. 18. Frank Linguist, sec. 17. Hiram Carson, from New York, sec. 17. Wm. Donald, from Canada, sec. 23. Robt. Loveland, from Michigan, sec. 13. Joseph Carson, sec. 18. Jacob Plattson, from Iowa, sec. 5. Jonas Holt emigrated from Sweden in 1868 to Minnesota, and from there here and settled on sec. 8. Mrs. Holt died November 2, 1885. Mr. Holt has been school treasurer since the organization of the town.

E. M. Ireland, from Berrean county, Mich., sec. 24. Mr. Ireland served three years in the rebellion; is now school and township clerk. Robt. W. Owens and brother-in-law, Robt. Hawthorne, from Utica, New York, settled on secs. 25 and 24. Miss Lizzie Owens, daughter of Robt. Owens, located on sec. 25, and afterwards married Spencer Woods, also from Utica, New York. E. A. Chubb, from Iona, Michigan, sec. 26. Jonathan Williams, from. Canada, came to Day county in 1883 and recently purchased relinquishment on sec. 14. J. E. Leavitt, from Berlin, Wis., sec. 35. John Leavitt, same section. Benj. S. Nelson, from Illinois, sec. 22, and Geo. Young from Minnesota, same section. Abraham C. and John C. Oswood, from Champaign, Ill., sec. 21. Christ. Osnes, from Bergen, Norway, sec. 28. John B. Nelson, sec. 21.

Eride B. Parker, a native of New Hampshire, came here from Pine Island Minnesota, and located sec. 32. Mr. Parker, in 1884, manufactured cane molasses, the first in the county. John E. Johnson, from Illinois, sec. 9. Peter Malm settled on section 10. Swan Johnson, a native of Sweden, and for fourteen years a resident of Germany, emigrated to Minnesota, and from there to his present home sec. 12. His little daughter, nine years old, speaks English, German and Swedish. G. F. Quist, sec. 10. Geo. Gullickson, from Wisconsin, settled sec. 19 in 1882, but did not remain the first winter. His cousin, Gilbert Gullickson, settled on the same section. Nelson Pearson located on sec. 32 in the fall of ’82; went east and returned the following spring.

Hans Johnson, from Grundy County, Illinois, sec. 29. Hans A. Johnson, same section. Frank P. Woodward, originally from New Hampshire, came here from Pine Island, Minnesota, in 1885, and settled on sec. 30.

Dr. Howe and son Frank, came here from Illinois and located on sec. 33; then secured several more claims, and in 1884-‘5 removed to Chicago. The doctor left his family and went to Utah in the fall of 1885.

Geo. Anderson and sons from Canada, came here in the fall of ’82 and stayed with Mr. Beatty; they squatted on sections 35, 26 and 27. Mr. W. J. Anderson lives on sec. 26. Geo. Anderson and son, J. A. Anderson, afterwards settled west of Britton, in Miller township.

Rev. J. Baxter from Austin, Cook county, Illinois came here March 1, 1886; is living at Mr. Beatty’s, and assists Rev. Phillips in his ministerial labors in the M. E. Church.


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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