Ceresco became a township on July 8, 1857. Its name was a mistake; one of its residents, Isaac Slocum, had moved to the present town of Lincoln and suggested the name Ceresco for it after his old town of Ceresco, WI. Meanwhile, John and Miles Porter suggested Fox Lake for the township’s new name after Fox Lake, WI, where they had lived before. The County Board decided the townships’ names on April 6, 1858, but there was a mix-up and two names were switched. Nothing was ever done to correct the mistake, so Ceresco stayed Ceresco ever since.
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Because of its lack of timber and rivers, Butternut Valley was somewhat avoided by settlers in the early 1800’s. Andrew Strom, of Norway, settled his family in Butternut in 1857. About the same time, Evan Peterson and his family settled in another section of Butternut, and George W. Smith staked claims as well. While it is hard to determine who the real first settler is, Strom is generally given credit. Not many more settlers came until 1863. At this time, about two dozen more people came to the township.
Many people would not think the gossip column from a newspaper could provide useful genealogy information, but there are little tidbits that can come to the surface that help unlock different mysteries. For example, from the Mankato Free Press in 1907 related to Madison Lake:
“Farmers between here and Janesville who have organized a county telephone line took out a number of poles from Madison Lake, Wednesday. The line will connect with the Cannon Valley System at Janesville and besides that place will give service to St. Clair and Cream.”
The best place in Minnesota to find naturalization papers is to visit the Minnesota Discovery Center is Chisholm, MN. As a part of their collection, they have all the naturalization forms on microfilm.
The Research Center at the Blue Earth County Historical Society has a copy of the index for all naturalization records that came from Blue Earth County. The information included with this index allows the researcher to know which reel of microfilm they need to look at, as well as contact information for the Minnesota Discovery Center.
The internet seems to be the place where people go to find out more information about their family history. There are many great resources available online, but there are also many great resources available offline as well to assist in your quest for your family, they often just take a little more digging.
The Blue Earth County Historical Society is on many social media sites; some that you may not know about. Here is a quick guide on where to find BECHS on the web.
Facebook is the main channel BECHS uses for social media. Are you getting all our status updates? Watch this short video to see how you can see more of our status updates on a regular basis.
It’s amazing how great it feels when someone finds what they came for at the Blue Earth County Historical Society. In the past week, three different people came in looking for their relatives and they all left with everyone they were looking for. One of the people said he would have to come back after working his way through all the obituaries he found. This was the first time for one of these people and the second trip to see us for the other two. Weeks like this make my job so rewarding.