Heather Harren's blog
By Catherine McCartney
Le Ray Township once sported the clever name, “Lake” for several months before being changed by William Cole for his home county in New York. This name was awarded to the township due to the numerous lakes lying within its boarders. These plentiful lakes fostered lush forests that clustered around the townships boundaries. First settlers arrived in 1856 to the majority of the township as sections of the land were part of a Winnebago reservation. Naturally, the new settlers took quickly to the lumber industry. A few mills and a store sprung up; later a school.
by Win Grundmeier
By Jacob Johnson
Minnesota State University has gone by many names since the 1800’s, but the first name the university went by was the Mankato Normal School. The school began in 1868 and kept the name until 1921 when the name changed to Mankato State Teachers College. The beginning of the Mankato Normal School has images of fire, new buildings and an undefeated football team.
Stretching 38 square miles, Judson Township was the largest township until 1895 when South Bend provided some of its township to Mankato. The luscious timber snagged the attention of many incoming immigrants. The majority of settlers were Welsh people. The first to claim territory were Chester Hill, John Randolf, and Rev. John Tidland, who settled in the summer of 1853. Three short years after their arrival, Judson was administrated as a town.
Originally called Watonwan, Garden City Township lies on the edge of the beautiful Watonwan River. The first settler, S. Titus Mills, arrived in 1854. Mills, along with his family, opened a small hotel that served travelers passing through the township. Being the only place of lodging until Lake Crystal was re-established, he attracted many visitors. He continued to run the inn until his death in 1873.
By Hilda Parks
“The Methodist have stolen and taken our church from Caroline … I say, stolen, and I mean stolen.” Thus wrote T.C. Nason in a letter to the Mankato Weekly Review for April 30, 1889.