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Index to History of the Upper Mississippi Valley

Haven Township
History of the Upper Mississippi Valley

Pages 325-329 on the topic of Haven township in Sherburne County from History of the Upper Mississippi Valley by N. H. Winchell

[Scanned with an OCR reader and then edited to correct scanning errors. Work donated by Al Hibbard.]


Haven lies in the extreme northwest corner of the county, and has an area of about 24,320 acres, of which 2,942 are under cultivation. The census of 1880, shows the population to be 290.

Along the bank of the Mississippi river, which forms the western boundary, there is a narrow strip of timber, but about three-fourths of the balance of the township is level prairie. Until within a few years, this land was considered, by the settlers, to be almost worthless, but recent developments have shown the soil, although sandy, to lie of a very fine quality, and as a result, this prairie is being rapidly settled. The eastern part of the town contains some email timber and brush land, through which Elk river passes in a southerly direction, forming some good hay meadows.

The first white man to establish a residence in this town was Joseph Jerome, who had a tavern or stopping place for travelers on the trail of the "Red River Carts," as early as 1846. This location was on the Mississippi river, and near the line between sections thirty-six and twenty-five. In the fall of 1848, he sold his claim to William Sturgis, who was, as well as Mr. Jerome, a native of Canada, but came here from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, having been an extensive farmer and one of the pioneers of that locality. He now resides in Michigan.

In 1850, Casimere Galarneault and H. Dufort came to Mr. Sturgis' farm, and the following year both made claims. Mr. Galarneault settled on section twenty-five, and lived there thirteen years, but is now a resident of Benton county. Mr. Dufort's claim adjoined Mr. Galarneault, or it may have been a joint claim and afterwards divided; he now lives in the northwestern part of the State. Oliver Arceneau took a claim on section twelve in 1852, where he died in 1870. His brother, J. B. Arceneau, came the same year and located on section thirteen. A steamboat landing was established on his place soon after, called "Battise Landing."Frank Beaudreau came from Long Prairie in 1852, wither he had gone in 1848, and took a claim on section twelve; he now lives in Le Sauk, Stearns county. A Mr. Shiverlevee came about this time and located on the farm now owned by Joseph Jodoin, the latter coming here in 1856, and purchasing the farm soon after. Hugh Mulligan, now a resident of the town, settled here in 1856, but has been absent a portion of the time since. Joshua 0. Cater and John Biggerstaff were also early settlers.

This town was a part of Briggs, now Palmer township, until 1872, when the County Commissioners organized Haven township. It was named in honor of Hon. J. 0. Haven, of Big Lake, who represented this district in the State Senate in 1872-73.

Owing to the incompleteness of the early records, the names of the first town officers cannot be obtained.

A school-house was built on section twenty-five in an early day, and the first school taught by Betsey Hicks. The building was afterwards removed to section nineteen, where it was destroyed by fire. J. Briggs also taught a school in his own house, then in this district, soon after his settlement at Briggs Lake in 1855. There are now three good schools being conducted in the town.

There are two granite quarries in this township, for a description of which the reader is referred to the chapter on Geology by Prof. N. H. Winchell.

The agricultural report of Haven, for 1880 shows the following products: wheat, 34,416 bushels; oats, 17,168 bushels; corn, 4,109 bushels; barley, 307 bushels; rye, 70 bushels; buckwheat, 15 bushels; potatoes, 1,261 bushels; beans, 16 bushels; cultivated hay, 30 tons; wild hay, 392 tons; wool, 441 pounds; and butter, 7,300 pounds.


C. W. Ayers is a native of Northamptonshire, England, and was born on the 7th of August, 1844. When but an infant, his parents came to America, and settled in Canada. He was reared in his father's family until seventeen years of age, when he left home and engaged in agricultural pursuits. At the age of twenty-six years came to Minnesota and settled in Mille Lacs county where he was engaged in farming. Removed to his present home, in Haven township, in 1879, residing here since. Mr. Ayers was married in January, 1846, to Miss Margaret J. Bingham. They have had five children, four of whom are living.

John Biggerstaff (deceased) was born in Ireland, on the 9th of October, 1806. He came to America in 1836, and settled near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but subsequently lived in other portions of the State, until 1858, when he came to Minnesota and settled in Clear Lake township Sherburne county, being one of tho first officers of that town. In 1861, removed to tho farm in Haven, on which the family now live, and where he resided till his death, which occurred on the 20th of October, 1872. He was married in November, 1828, to Miss Janet Campbell. They have had seven sons and seven daughters, all living. The youngest son, Samuel, has carried on the farm since the death of his father, and has made some valuable improvements.

Joseph Barthelemy, a native of France was born on the 18th of March, 1844. The family came to America in 1853, and settled in Pennsylvania, but four years later removed to Minnesota, and located in St. Augusta, Stearns county. In 1871, Joseph settled ou a farm near that of his father, but in 1879, removed to his present home, which he had previously purchased. Located on Mr. Barthelemy's farm is a fine granite quarry, the stone from which is in great demand at present.

Joshua 0. Cater, whose birthplace is Barrington, Strafford county, New Hampshire, was born on the 25th of June, 1822. He was raised on his father's farm, and when twenty-three years old, bought a small farm in the neighborhood, on which he resided until 1857. Then came to Minnesota, accompanied by his three brothers, and spent the summer in visiting various parts of the country. Returned to New Hampshire, and in 1860, traded his farm in that State for the one on which he now lives, removing here the same year. Mr. Cater has devoted his whole time to the improvement of his farm, it being one of the finest in the township. He was one of the organizers of Haven township, and the first Chairman of the board of Supervisors. Mrs. Cater's maiden name was Louisa Woodis. They have had eight children, six of whom are living.

E. E. Cater was born in Strafford county, New Hampshire, on the 23d of April, 1852. Came with his parents to Minnesota, and this township, in 1860, and has lived here ever since. In 1879, he removed to the farm which he now occupies. Mr. Cater was married on the 26th of October, 1878, to Miss Mary Boyd, of Clear Lake. Of two children born to them, but one is living.

Absalom Campbell was born in Canada, and resided in his native province, engaged in farming and ship-building, until coming to Minnesota in 1869. He first settled on a farm in Benton county, but subsequently removed to Sauk Rapids. In 1879, he began the improvement of his present farm, and removed his family here the following year. A son, Elmer, owns a farm adjoining that of his father, with whom he resides. He was born in Canada, on the 20th of April, 1850.

Martin Dowling is a native of Ireland, and was born on the 8th of November, 1848. While yet an infant, his parents came to America and settled in Washington county, New York, but in 1857, removed to Illinois. The subject of our sketch remained in the latter State, working at the plasterer's trade in Chicago a portion of the time, until 1869, when he came to Minnesota. After remaining a short time in St. Cloud, he was employed by the government and went to work on Fort Abercrombie. Returning to St. Cloud, he worked at plastering for three years, after which he settled on his present farm, to which he had added from time to time, until it now contains two hundred and forty acres of good farming land. Mr. Dowling was married on the 22d of June, 1872, to Miss C. Clarity. They have had six children, five of whom are living.

E. A. Garlington was born in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, on the 26th of September, 1836. At the age of seventeen years, he went to live with an uncle, with whom he learned the trade of wood-turning. In 1856, came west in search of a home, lived in St. Cloud a short time, after which he was employed in different parts of northwestern Minnesota and Dakota. In October, 1861, he enlisted in Company I, of the Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, serving three years. Was taken prisoner at Murfreesborough, and on being exchanged, took an active part in the campaign against the Indians in Minnesota. In 1866, he went to Montana, and after prospecting for some time, engaged in farming, which he continued until his return to Minnesota, in 1877. He soon after settled on the farm which he now occupies, in Haven township. Mr. Garlington was married on the 1st of January, 1877, to Miss Ella Biggerstaff. They have two children.

Melvin Griffin dates his birth in Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of April, 1850. When a child, his parents removed to Wisconsin, where his father was engaged in farming and lumbering for a number of years. About 1867, the family came to Minnesota, and two years later, settled in Sauk Rapids, Benton county. Mr. Griffin lived with his parents, being employed occasionally in the pineries, until 1879, when he settled on the farm which he now occupies.

Herman A. Hibbard is a native of St. Lawrence county, New York, and was born on the 3d of September, 1848. In 1861, the family removed to Franklin county, and six years later, the subject of our sketch left home, and went to New Hampshire, residing in that State and Vermont for two years. He came west in 1869, and after a short stay in Iowa, came to Minnesota, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits in Sherburne county until 1876. Then bought a farm in Benton county, on which he lived till the spring of 1881, when he returned to Sherburne county. Mr. Hibbard was married on the 4th of July, 1876, to Miss Angie Starkey. They have three children.

Howard H. Hibbard was also born in St. Lawrence county, New York, on the 28th of November, 1854. When he was seven years old, the family removed to Franklin county, and in the spring of 1871, to Minnesota, first settling in the southern part of this township, but the following year, removed to their present farm. In the spring of 1881, the subject of our sketch left the parental roof, and settled on a farm of his own which he had previously purchased. He was married on the 5th of November, 1877, to Miss Rosanna Doran. They have been blessed with three children.

N. K. Hunt, whoso birth-place is in Orange county, Vermont, was born on the 23d of January, 1837. While he was yet an infant, the family removed to Van Buren county, Michigan, where the subject of our sketch grew to manhood. At the age of twenty-one years, he engaged in the mercantile business at Lowell, Michigan, continuing the same until his establishment was destroyed by fire, seven years later. Was then engaged in farming near his former home in Van Buren county, until 1880, when he came to Minnesota, and settled on his present farm. Mr. Hunt has been twice married; first to Miss Annette Spencer, on the 10th of July, 1861, who died on the 22d of April, 1866. His present wife was Mrs. Jane L. Francis, with whom he was united in marriage on the 12th of May, 1867.

Joseph Jodoin was born in Canada, on the 25th of April, 1832. When he was seventeen years old, came to Vermont, and was employed on a farm five years. Then came to Minnesota, and after remaining a short time at St. Anthony, and one winter at Sank Rapids, went to live with Victor Shiverlevee, on the bank of the Mississippi, in the present town of Haven. This place he subsequently purchased, and is his present home. In 1862, began trading with the Indians in the Red River country, which he continued for sixteen years, when not engaged on his farm. Mr. Jodoin was married in 1872, to Mrs. Fannie Arcenau, a native of New York State.

Dennis Lannan is a native of Carlton county, Ontario, Canada, and was born on the 13th of December, 1835. He was reared on his father's farm until twenty-one years of age, when he went to the western part of the Dominion, and remained three years. Came to Minnesota in 1869, and after a three years' stay in Minneapolis, took a homestead in Holding township. Steams county, and resided there until coming to his present farm in 1879. Mr. Lannan was married on the 4th of August, 1875, to Annie Smith. They have three children.

Hugh Mulligan dates his birth in Donegal county, Ireland, on the 29th of January, 1828. In 1847, he came to America with the family, who located in Schuylkill county, Pennsylvania. Three years later, the subject of our sketch went to Philadelphia, where he was employed in a brewery five years. In 1855, he came west, and the following spring selected his present home. Resided on a farm in the neighborhood until 1867, when he went to the Pacific coast, and after spending the winter in Oregon, rented a farm near San Francisco, but did not remain there long, traveling through Central America and returning to Minnesota in 1870. Then settled on a farm in Dakota county, but after three years, returned to the farm which he had located seventeen years before, and has resided here ever since. Mr. Mulligan is one of the representative men of the county, and has filled a number of county and town offices. Mrs. Mulligan's maiden name was Mary Doran, to whom he was married on the 16th of August, 1854.

Ludwig Robbers was born in Prussia, on the 14th of April, 1832. The family came to America in 1844, and settled in Evansville, Indiana where the subject of our sketch soon became engaged as clerk in a store. At the age of seventeen years, was apprenticed to a harness-maker and after learning the trade, opened a shop of his own in the above city. In 1856, he came to Minnesota, and entered the employ of J. W. Tenvoorde at St. Cloud, remaining with him five years. He then opened a saloon in the latter city, and with the exception of a few months in St. Paul, conducted it until coming to his present farm in 1878. Mr. Robbers was a member of the State Legislature in 1869, besides holding a number of local offices while a resident of St. Cloud. He has been twice married; first to Miss Mary Lansing, who died in 1861, and on the 13th of January, 1862, he was again married, to Miss Esther McAvay.

Henry Scherfenburg is a native of Germany, born on the 5th of April, 1833. He learned the shoemaker's trade when he was a young man in his native country, and at the age of twenty-one years, came to America, and located near Springfield, Massachusetts, where he learned the trade of wood-turner, making that State his home for three years. In 1857, came to Minnesota, and settled on a farm in Rockville, Stearns county, remaining there five years, after which he came to St. Cloud, and was employed in the saw mills and at his trade, until coming to his present farm in 1880. Mr. Scherfenburg was married in 1858, to Angeline Evers; they have five children.

O. F. Trace, whose birthplace is in Crawford county, Pennsylvania, was born on the 28th of August, 1852. While he was yet an infant, the family removed to Wabasha county, Minnesota, where they lived on a farm until 1871, when they removed to Sank Centre, Steams county, and thence to Todd county. The subject of our sketch attended the common schools when a boy, took one term at Carleton college, Northfield, and afterwards attended the State Normal School, at St. Cloud, graduating in 1876. Since then, has been engaged in teaching most of the time. Purchased a farm in Haven township in 1878, and has since spent some time in its improvement. Mr. Trace was married on the 21st of August, 1878, to Miss Jennette Russell. They have two children, both boys.

Smith 0. Williams was born in Orleans county, New York, on the 27th of December, 1835. When about thirteen years old, the family removed to Michigan, which State claimed the subject of our sketch as a resident until his removal to this township in 1880. Mr. Williams was united in marriage with Adeline Adams, on the 22d of March, 1866.

J. F. Wray is a son of James Wray, a native of Donegal, Ireland, who came to America in 1817, and was for thirty-three years a prominent merchant in Philadelphia. The subject of this sketch was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, on the 3d of October, 1829. The family removed to Philadelphia, in 1832, where he attended public and private schools, and graduated at the high school in 1847. Soon after, he became employed in his father's store, remaining there until 1854, when he went to St. Louis, Missouri, and entered the employ of the American Fur Company. He was stationed at Fort Benton, four years, and afterward at Fort Union, at the mouth of the Yellowstone, until 1862. Then went with a party to Manitoba, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits there until coming to his present farm, which is situated on the bank of the Mississippi river, in 1869. Mr. Wray is Town Clerk of Haven township, having held the office since 1874, besides filling other town offices during his residence here. He was married on the 30th of April, 1863, to Miss Fanny Demarais, of Manitoba. One daughter is the result of this union.