History of White Township

White Township, with the exception of the spur of hills extending into the southern corner of the township from Miller township, is quite level. The Wild Rice slough runs through it to the north,

Geo. W. White, originally from Ohio, came here from Richland county, Dakota, located his claim July 20, 1882. Wm. Linse, from Wilkin county, Minnesota, located his claim, Section 12, about or a short time prior to White‘s settlement. Nels Otland, on Section 14, was in all probability the first one in the township to commence improvements. The evidence on this point is very unsatisfactory and conflicting. It seems that Mr. White erected the first frame dwelling, while Mr. Linse broke sixty acres that season, and built his present residence late that fall. It appears that the above named families were the only ones that wintered here in ’82-‘3. Many of the settlers secured their claims that summer, but returned east, and came out again the next spring, 1883, when all the vacant land was settled.

Rev. Conrad Oertli, from Otter Tail County, Minnesota, section 13. He was for fourteen years a minister of the German Evangelical Association, and still preaches in both German and English.

L. C. and E. Stiles, from River Falls, Wisconsin, settled on sections 16 and 17.
Austin Ryan, from St. Croix County, Wisconsin, section 17.
Peter Seibel, from Fargo, Dakota, section 8.
O. P. Hanks, from Elkhart, Indiana, section 17.
Miles Smart, from River Falls, Wisconsin, section 17.

The Smith family settled as follows: Nelson, section 18; Manning, section 20; Albert, section 9; and Miss Emma D., section 20. Norman bought out his sister Emma. They came from New Brunswick, British America.

E. Watts, from New York, section 18.
Jno. M. Schusler and Harry Schissler, from Fargo, Dakota, section 19.
Geo. Sherburn, from River Falls, Wisconsin, section 19.
Roswell and Frank Chapin, from River Falls, Wisconsin, section 21. They were formerly from Ogdensburg, New York.
Geo. Chapin, section 21.
Mrs. E. Grant and sons J. P. and A. R., from Wright County, Minnesota, settled on sections 5 and 6.
Dr. S. E. Dean from Wright County, Minnesota, section 6.
H. W. Coats, from Fair Haven, Minnesota, section 6.
J. J. Leeson and J. H. Sullivan, from Wright County, Minnesota, sections 6 and 7.
Chas. Brown, from Cleveland, Ohio, section 7.
Peter Kelly, from River Falls, Minnesota, [sic either Thief River Falls, Minnesota, or more likely River Falls, Wisconsin] section 29.
Robt. Young, from Minnesota, section 28.
Perry Millender, from Holding’s Ford, Minnesota, section 35.
Chas. and Stanton James, from Holding’s Ford, Minnesota, section 34.
Joseph Fugate, from Minnesota, section 34.
Robt. Thompson and Jasper Compton, from Holding’s Ford, Minnesota, sections 26 and 27.
Thos. Colby, from Wahpeton, section 26.
M. Leland, from Colfax, Dakota, section 13.
August Bosse, from Otter Tail County, Minnesota, section 13.
Christopher Toole, from Carver County, Minnesota, section 1.
Martin Drachder, from St. Cloud, Minnesota, section 1.

There is a large Scandinavian element in the township, nearly all from Minnesota.

Ole Ruswick, from Wahpeton, section 3. Mr. Ruswick was elected county commissioner July, 1885.
John and Ole Oleson, section 15.
Jacob Hauson, section 15.
Christ Stokke, section 11.
Peter Nyquist, section 11.
Frank Miller, from Otter Tail County, Minnesota, section 24.
Wm. Theisen, from Tremblean County, Wisconsin, [sic Trempealeau County, Wisconsin ?] section 25.
Jno. Hovren, section 10, and his brother James on section 2, are from La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Ole Knutson and Paul Christianson, section 4;
Emile Mathiason, section 3 and Benj. Mathiason, father, section 9, are from Chicago.
Jno. Paulson, section 9.
Amond Wegand, section 10.
Evan Bradstreet, section 10.
S. Haverly, section 15.
Chas. Dennetz, section 33.
Alfred Johnson, section 33.
Wm. Hartle, from Steele County, Minnesota, section 31.
Ole Hanson, from Nobles County, Minnesota, section 32.
Jacob Hanson and John Moen, section 22.
Amun Christianson and Christian Cleffsted, brothers, section 22.
B. C. Ollend, Ole Hollen and John Anderson, section 23.
Jno. Haverly, section 14.
Paul H. Holen, section 15.
R. C. Back, section 26.
Iver Emerson and A. Cleffsted, section 7.
Alex. Mickels and Gust. Narrane, section 28.

Newark was included in White School Township, organized in June, 1883, and named for Geo. W. White. They have three large substantial school houses. Newark was set off last winter.


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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