From, "The History of Houston County", Taylor Publishing, 1982 Page 45

In the early 1850's when white man began entering that part of the Minnesota Territory which in time became Sheldon Township, there was a great deal of activity in the valleys of Beaver, Sheldon and Badger.  The main reason being the plentiful supply of good water for both man and beast and also power purposes provided by the numerous springs flowing from beneath the limestone bluffs.

One of the first documents recorded in township records is one dated July 8, 1858 in which John Brown gives to the people of the Town of Sheldon the right of way to a spring together with the free use of the spring for getting water there from.

The first town meeting in Sheldon Township was held in the village of Sheldon May 11, 1858 for the purpose of electing Township officers.

William Applebee was appointed Moderator, Lyman B. Jefferson, Clerk.  It was resolved that the next annual meeting be held at the house of Heney Olson, Badger Creek.  The members of the first board elected were:  Chairman of supervisors--John Brown: Supervisors--Sterer Knudson, Heney Olson; Clerk-James Paton; Assessor--Michael Ryan; Collector--Lawrence Lynch; Justice of Peace--Lyman B. Jefferson, Christee Folson; Constable--Bartholomey Kenney, James P. Anderson: Overseer of the Poor--John Paddock.

Upon petition a special town meeting was held September 20, 1858 to levy a tax to raise money to pay township expenses.  A levy of 3 mills was voted and assessed against 22 property owners listed by name.  This tax resulted in an amount of $119.54.  At year end expenses totaled $119.50 which left a balance of 4 cents.

At the annual meeting held April 2, 1861, it was voted to raise $150.00 by tax levy for school purposes.  Rolland F. Sheldon was appointed school superintendent, April 15, 1861.  For this duty, he was paid $1.50 in 1861 and $2.00 in 1862.

One question voted on annually was "shall hogs be allowed to run at large."  This resulted in an agreement which stipulated that the ridge between Beaver and Badger was the dividing line between areas where hogs could and could not run at large.

At special election June 16, 1874 by the unaminous vote of 84 voters it was determined that --"cattle, horses, mules and asses might run at large in the daytime between April 1st adn October 15th."  This rule was in effect until at least 1887.

In the early years the annual town meetings were held in Sheldon or Badger on alternating years.  Later the Badger School House was used followed by the Harrington School House.  The Town Hall has now been moved to the former school house in the Village of Sheldon.

Through the years, the members of Sheldon Board of Supervisors have been quite conservative in their management and up to this day the township has never been bonded.

In comparison to the report in 1858, Sheldon Township in 1981 had $43,485.82 available and had a cash balance on March 1, 1982 of $14,770.87.

Present Board Members are:  Chairman--Dale Runnigen; Supervisors--Roy H. Ask, John A. Carlson; Treasurer--Thomas J. Solie; Clerk--Warren Swenson.

This history compiled by the clerk, Warren Sheldon Swenson, a great grandson of Dr. G. J. Sheldon.




   1860 Sheldon









Early Settler Surnames

  • Applebee

  • Jefferson

  • Olson

  • Brown

  • Knudson

  • Paton

  • Ryan

  • Lynch

  • Folsom

  • Kenney

  • Anderson

  • Paddock 




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