Monday, April 11, 2011

Beaver Township History

The following article appeared in the "Courtland Journal", Volume 58, Number 15, Thursday, June 1, 1961.

Excerpts from Mrs. Swenson's history, read at the Centennial Observance.
     In 1868 Beaver Township was part of Grant Township which consisted of Grant, Elk Creek, Lincoln, Norway, and Beaver.  According to the minutes of the county Commissioners of that time, since watches and clocks were scarce, the clerk wrote "The meeting adjourned until dark, board was reconvened at dark and pursued business."
     According to the record, the first settlers in Beaver Township were T. A. Nelson, who later moved to Norway, and E. B. Pederson.  These men located on Beaver Creek in 1869 and settled the adjoining quarters.  This land was later purchased by Nelson.  The Missus Alphild and Esther Larson have original papers showing this transaction.
     As stated earlier, Beaver in 1868 was part of Grant township and did not become a separate township until 1873.  R. V. William was the first township trustee.
     According to Savage these "firsts" occurred in Beaver: First birth 1872, Joseph Munson, son of Nels Munson.  First marriage, Andrew Sederlin and Mary Knutson, June 1872.  First death, Gustav Werner, Aug. 10, 1872.  By 1880 Beaver township had a population of 481.
     Some early residents of Beaver were A. L. Anderson, Chas. Barricklow, John Berg, N. J. Bergstrom, A. Ellington, S. A. Hagman, A. E. Hall, L. Hall, F. G. Henrikson. G. H. Hoffman (hardware & harness), Joab Houghton, J. E. Johnson, O. R. Kackley, Magnus Nelson, A. H. Rosenquist, C. A. Tornquist, N. C. Swenson, A. Hedstrom, Olaf Bergstrom, John Nelson, C. H. Johnson, Olaf Hanson, F. August Larson, L. Edberg, G. Thudin, C. Lundblade, John Lund, P. J. Johnson, O. L. Olund, Eli Shaver, Olaf Johnson, Nels Nelson, N. J. Nelson, J. P. Florell, Jonas Anderson, Peter Pearson, Swen Carlson, James Carney, J. M. Engwall, Frank Anderson, C. O. Rolf, C. L. Elmborg, J. O. Larson.
     Beaver township thrived and prospered.  In 1890 the county held a Corn Festival on Oct, 4, 5, and 6 to celebrate the great progress being made.  One Beaver resident according to Savage won a first prize having the best 1-2 bushel of wheat.  His prize was 1 pound of Tourist coffee from a New York store and one towel rack and mirror.  Prizes were also given to the perennial crop-cute babies.
     Life was not easy on the Kansas prairie.  In spite of difficulties, sickness, disease and storms our pioneer mothers and fathers never lost sight of their ideals.
     Their happiness was contentment with what they honestly got.  Typical of that philosophy are the words of on 80 year old who said, "I have learned not to expect something for nothing, for I have had to work for everything and was glad to do it.  None but fools expect to take out more than they honestly put in.  I have learned that pure happiness is found only in the paths of God.  I have tried to improve my farm land in every way I can, but I know I shall leave it soon and think that my character, my soul, and the little good I have done in life, are all I will take from my farm at last.  There are men richer than I am, some of them are stronger, some are wiser, but not man has ever been happier than I am."

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