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Somerset, Wisconsin: 125 pioneer families and Canadian connection: 125th year

[From book "History of the St. Croix Valley" published by Easton, printed in 1909],   pp. 67-79 PDF (7.4 MB)

Page 67

The next 12 pages from book,
"History of the St Croix Valley"
published by Easton in 1909.
Important Agricultural Community-Progressive and Prosper-
ous-Present Townships-Surface, Soil and Character of
Citizens-Early History-Originally Covered a Wide Terri-
tory-Early    Courts-Early   Justice-Material   Prepared
With Assistance of Hon. H. C. Baker.
Although St. Croix county contains several cities and many
flourishing villages, it is important principally as an agricultural
locality, and its rich acres of dark clayey loam so well adapted
to the raising of grass, grain and root crops, and its rolling sur-
face admirably suited to the pasturage of stock have contributed
mot a little to the general prosperity of the state. It is one of
the' wealthiest agricultural counties of the Northwest, and pov-
erty within its borders is almost unknown. The villages which
were originally the sites of sawmills are now the shipping points
for grain, vegetables, stock, fruit and dairy products, and a larg-
er part of even the smallest hamlets have grain elevators, flour-
ing mills, creameries and cheese factories. Although the lumber
boom is now over and passed, the larger settlements all have
lumber yards, and in several of the cities the milling of lumber
still constitutes an important industry. The greater part of the
county is now developed, few large tracts of wild or wood land
remaining. Well kept roads bring the farms seemingly nearer
to the villages, and the railroads which cross the county here
and there place even the remotest places in close connection with
the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis on one side and Superior
and Duluth on the other. Telephone lines also form a network
of communication throughout the county, and aside from the
main lines many local lines have been established for the use
'of the various neighborhoods. The schools rank high, and this,
together with the excellent climate, makes the county an ideal
place for the bringing up of sturdy children. Churches point
their steeples upward from every hamlet, and meeting halls
where lectures and entertainments are given in the winter time
show that the higher life of the community has not been
The county as at present constituted contains twenty-one
townships-Baldwin, organized in 1872; Cady, organized in
HISTORY OF THE ST. CROIX VALLEY                 699
1870; Cylon, organized in 1859; Eau Galle, organized 1858;
Emerald, organized in 1861; Erin, organized in 1858; Forest,
organized in 1881; Glenwood, organized in 1885; Hudson, organ-
ized in 1849; Hammond, organized in 1856; Kinnickinnic, organ-
ized in 1857; Pleasant Valley, organized in 1851; Rush River,
organized in 1851; Richmond, organized in 1857; Springfield,
organized in 1860; Somerset, organized in 1856; St. Joseph,
organized in 1858; Star Prairie, organized in 1856; Stanton, or-
ganized in 1870; Troy, organized in 1851, and Warren, organized
in 1860. These townships form a parallelogram with slight
irregularities on the east and west. Somerset, St. Joseph, Hud-
son and Troy lie along Lake St. Croix, rising for the most part
in gentle, rounded bluffs from the water and rolling to the west-
ward in rich farm land. Somerset, Star Prairie, Stanton, Cylon
and Forest border on Polk county at the north; Forest, Glen-
wood, Springfield and Cady, along Dunn county on the east, and
Cady, Eau Galle, Rush River, Pleasant Valley, Kinnickinnic and
Troy, along Pierce county on the south, while Hammond, Erin,
Emerald, Warren, Richmond and Baldwin form the center tiers.
The eastern portions are comparatively level and were originally
heavily wooded, forming some years ago a portion of the terri-
tory then known as the "Big Woods." The early settlers for
the most part settled in these woods and cleared and broke the
Nature has afforded excellent drainage and watering facili-
ties and the soil is kept in the best condition the year around,
without the aid of artificial irrigation. The larger rivers are the
St. Croix and its tributaries, Apple, Willow and Kinnickinnie
on the east and Rush river on the west. Of these tributaries
Apple river is the largest and in the early days was the scene of
extensive logging operations. It rises in Polk county, where it
is supplied by numerous lakes; enters St. Croix county and
passes diagonally across the northwestern corner and empties
into St. Croix lake, above Stillwater. This river passes through
a deep gorge in the limestone rock a few miles above its mouth,
falling in its passage over several ledges of rock, producing falls
far famed for their wildness and grandeur. Kinnickinnic river,
in the southern part of the county, is also noted for its beautiful
scenery and for its waterfalls. It passes from St. Croix county
into Pierce county and then uniting with its southern branch,
flows into Lake St. Croix. Rush river rises in Eau Galle and
turns, thence flowing into Lake Pepin. These streams are unfail-
ing, owing to their supplies from numerous springs and small
lakes. Several small lakes in different parts of the county are
well supplied with fish. The Bass, Twin, Bell, Perch and Cedar

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