441 North Park Drive, Morton, MN 56270 info@renvillecountyhistory.com 507.697.6147

We NEED Renville County School Yearbooks (Annuals)! UPDATED 07-09-2021

The Renville County Historical Society needs your help to add to the Research Library’s Yearbook Collection. The list below is the current copies we have in the Research Library. If you have yearbooks to donate please contact Nicole at the Museum director@renvillecountyhistory.com or 507.697.6147! Yearbooks and phonebooks are key pieces of preserving the history of who lived in the area and when. It is the goal of the Collections Committee to collect 3 copies of each yearbook.
If you are not ready to part with your yearbook that is ok, we have the capability to scan the yearbook and return it to you. For the past three years, we have been working on getting the yearbook collection scanned into PDFs. Visit our Facebook Page for featured yearbooks.

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Bird Island – St. Mary’s: 1962-1963

Bird Island Panthers: 1955-1959, 1965-1968

Editor’s Note: 1955 was donated on July 8, 2021!

Bird Island – Lake Lillian: 1978, 1981, 1983-1984, 1986-1989

BOLD High School: 1992, 2000-2003

Buffalo Lake Breezette: 1948-1950

Buffalo Lake Lakers: 1969, 1986

Buffalo Lake – Hector: 1988-1994, 1995 (2); 1996-2000

Buffalo Lake – Hector Elementary: year unknown

Buffalo Lake – Hector – Stewart: No Yearbooks

Cedar Mountain: 1984, 2000-2003, 2016

Danube Falcons: 1951-1952, 1954-1955, 1957

Fairfax Eagles: 1917, 1923, 1956-1957, 1959, 1962, 1965 (2), 1970, 1981-1983

Franklin Atoms: 1958-1960, 1963-1966, 1969 (2), 1970, 1971 (3); 1972 (3); 1973 (2); 1974 (3); 1975 (3); 1976 (4); 1977 (2); 1978 (2); 1979 (2); 1980-1982; 1983 (2)

Gibbon – Fairfax – Winthrop: No Yearbooks

Hector Hectorian: 1955 – 1959, 1961 – 1964, 1966, 1975, 1979 – 1983

Morton Tomahawk: 1907, 1915, 1917, 1938, 1940, 1944 (2), 1946 (2), 1948, 1958 (2), 1960-1961, 1963, 1964 (2), 1966-1967, 1968 (2), 1969 (3), 1970 (2), 1971 (2), 1972 (2), 1973 (2), 1974-1979, 1980 (3), 1981, 1982 (3), 1983-1985. 1985 was the last year Morton had a graduating class.

Morton Elementary School: 1995

Olivia Crucible: 1912, 1916, 1917

Olivia High School: 1924, 1957-1959, 1962 (O-HI-AN), 1964-1965 (Wildcats continues until school is consolidated), 1967

Redwood Valley Cardinals: 1984-1985

Renville County West: No Yearbooks

Renville the Renvillon: 1944, 1950-1952, 1954-1964, 1966, 1968-1970, 1970, 1975-1976, 1977 (2), 1978-1981, 1984

Sacred Heart Viking: 1967-1972

We recently had a donation of yearbooks from Olivia, Danube, and Sacred Heart. Please contact Nicole at the Museum at 507-697-6147 if you can add to the collection!

Mrs. Ann Dooley published in the Morton Enterprise December 13, 1918

Died at her home in our city, Saturday noon, December 7, 1918, Mrs. Ann Dooley, aged four score and seven years.
Ann Fallon was born in Athlone, Ireland, where she spent her childhood days coming to America at the age of seventeen. Her first home in the United States was in Boston, wherein 1851 she was married to Michael Dooley, who preceded her to the Great Beyond twenty-three years ago. After residing in Boston for two years Mr. and Mrs. Dooley began looking for better opportunities in the West and moved to Ohio and then to Wisconsin and finally in 1869 to Minnesota. In 1883 the Dooley family moved to Morton from Bird Island where they had been living. One year ago Mrs. Dooley had a severe fall from which she never fully recovered and which together with her old age was the cause of her death. Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dooley, three of whom survive to mourn her loss, Mike of Morton, Patrick of Hutchinson and John of Emmetsburg, Iowa. John was unable to attend on account of illness.
Mrs. Dooley was buried Monday at the Catholic Cemetery, Rev. Fr. Condon officiating.
Those from out of town who attended the funeral were Mr. and Mrs. Pat Dooley and Arthur McGrath of Hutchinson, Miss Nellie and Frank Dooley of Belle Plaine, Mrs. Jos. Holden and baby of Minneapolis.

Ann Fallon Dooley


Grover Cleveland Jaehning, Morton Pharmacist 1908-1958

Dr. Fletcher Penhall in front of the City Drug Store owned by Grover Jaehning in Morton, Minnesota. This building is currently the River Valley Art Center building on the corner at the four-way stop. The children are unidentified. The photograph is copy and very pixilated when scanned. There isn’t a year on the image.

Grover Cleveland Jaehning was the first subject Reverand Leroy Lothert wrote about in the “Profiles of the Past” published in the Morton Reminder. Rev. Lothert’s book, “Profiles of the Past”, a collection of his articles is available on the online gift store or at the Museum.

Grover C. Jaehning came to Morton in November 1908 at the age of 23 and purchased the Morton Drug Store from Charles Orth. The store featured the latest in gas lighting, and all popular brands of cigars. In the Morton Enterprise on July 20, 1917 it states Jaehning bought the stock of drugs from H.H. Logan who at the time owned the Red Cross Pharmancy. He started his pharmacy career in Sleepy Eye where he met his wife, Louise Ott. They were married June 15, 1910. They had three children: Julia (Charles) Lothrup; Richard George and Ruth Nurmi.

Grover sold his business in 1951 when he retired but when the business was changing hands again in November 1958 he got behind the counter again. The business when to Al Tourville in December 1958.

Grover & Louise lived out their lives in Morton, Minnesota except after retirement they would winter on the west coast. Louise passed away March 5, 1978 and Grover on October 13, 1986. Both services were held at the Morton Methodist Church and burial at the Redwood Falls Cemetery. Grove’s brother, Alfred H. and George Jaehning was a hardware dealers in Redwood Falls. There was an article published in the Redwood Gazette on March 5, 1959 by Perry Galvin with an interview with Grover about the changes in the pharmacy world over his years. Stop by the Museum to learn more!

Grover Cleveland Jaehning in his retirement years.
Grover Cleveland Jaehning at the 1984 Morton Centennial Celebration!

Donation Items for the Museum: RCHS preserves the history of Renville County from Yesterday until Tomorrow

Have you ever considered donating items to the Renville County Historical Society? While cleaning out your closets, attics or garages keep RCHS in mind for Renville County related items. RCHS preserves the history of Renville County from yesterday until tomorrow. It is the Mission of RCHS to discover, preserve and share the history of Renville County. Before you throw it away give Nicole a call at the Museum to see if it is needed for the RCHS artifact or archive collection.

Keep the following list in mind:

· Obituaries & funeral cards, feature stories from across the county, church anniversary booklets, graduation & wedding invitations, wedding & birth announcements

· Yearbooks for ALL schools in Renville County. See the RCHS BLOG for a list of the Yearbooks we have in the research library.

· Items that have business names on them and given out as gifts/premiums (prior 2019)

· Renville County Related Photographs (family, sports, activities, businesses, churches, etc.)

· Additional history & photographs on the ‘Old Villages’ of Renville County

· Renville County Related Military items & photographs and Legion & VFW histories

· Renville County Platbooks & Maps. See the RCHS BLOG for a list of the platbooks in the Research Library.

RCHS also accepts Day-to-Day items

· Office Supplies: 1/5 Cut Manila File Folders, #10 Envelopes and First Class Stamps, Copy Paper (8 1/2” x 11” & 11”x17”, 110# 8 1/2” x 11” multi-colored cardstock); 9”x12” manila envelopes

· Other Supplies: toilet paper, paper towels, dusting wipes, antibacterial wipes, bathroom & kitchen cleaning solutions, toilet bowl cleaner, etc.

Marilyn Betty Jacobson marries Harvey William Vosika on November 21, 1959

Married on November 21, 1959 at Our Saviours Lutheran Church in Sacred Heart, Minnesota.

Published in the Sacred Heart News on December 10, 1959, is the following about the wedding. Marilyn’s family donated her wedding dress and veil to RCHS March 2021.

Marilyn Jacobson and Harvey Vosika wed November 21

            The marriage of Marilyn Betty Jacobson and Harvey William Vosika took place Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Sacred Heart.

            The parents of the bride are Mr. and Mrs. Millard Jacobson of Sacred Heart; the groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Vosika of Danube.

            Pastor Donald A Borlaug conducted the double ring service in a setting of candlelight, ferns, and bouquets of yellow and white mums. The pews were marked with white bows.

            The bride entered in the arm of her father, to the music of Gounod’s Marche Romaine processional, played on the organ by Mrs. Rudolph Nelson. The recessional was the Mendelsohn wedding march. John Isaak, a soloist sang “O Perfect Love and the Wedding Prayer.

            The bride’s gown was fashioned with a floor-length skirt of nylon tulle, tiers outlined in imported Chantilly lace over bridal satin. The molded bodice was of Chantilly lace over satin with a Queen Victoria collar and traditional long sleeves. The bodice and collar were embroidered in iridescent sequins. Her veil was a coronet of lace embroidered in pearls, with a fingertip length veil of silk illusion. Her flowers were white-feathered mums and talisman roses. Her gift from the groom was a pearl necklace and matching earrings.

            Maid of honor was Dorothy Meyer, friend of the bride. Wanda McBroom, cousin of the bride, and Janet Vosika, sister of the groom, were bridesmaids. They all wore gowns of copper crystallite fashioned with a square neckline coming to a V in back, with full puffed sleeves and full ballerina length skirt with a cummerbund. They wore matching headpieces with crown and veil and carried yellow and bronze mums. Their gifts from the bride were pearl necklaces and earrings.

            Pamela Blagsvedt, a friend of the bride, was flower girl. She wore a floor-length gown of silk organza, full-skirted on a molded bodice with bell sleeves and a small collar. The taffeta midriff ended in a bow with drape ends at center back. She carried a cascade bouquet of yellow and bronze mums and wore her gift from the bride, a pearl necklace.

            Mrs. Ben Bersle, aunt of the bride was her personal attendant.

            The groom’s attendants were his brother-in-law, Ardell Lossow, as best man, his friends Norman Blume and Richard Tauber as groomsmen, and the bride’s little friend, Del Ray Lecy as ring bearer. They all wore white dinner jackets with midnight blue trousers, black cummerbunds and bow ties. They wore white carnation boutonnieres. The groom wore white gold cuff links and tie clasp given him by the bride. His gifts to his attendants were gold cuff links and tie clasps.

            Orlando Johnson, classmate of the bride and Dale Klemenhagen, cousin of the groom, were ushers. They wore white dinner jackets and black cummerbunds and bowties, with white carnation boutonnieres.

            The bride’s mother wore a two-piece suit dress in royal blue and black, with matching accessories. The mother of the groom wore a blue and black-figured dress with matching accessories. Their corsages were of white mums and talisman coursages.

            Corsages were presented to the three grandmothers, Mrs. Inger Jacobson of Sacred Heart, Mrs. Mary Vosika of Olivia and Mrs. Fred Schmidt of Danube.

            Two hundred and fifty guests were received in the church parlors following the wedding. A four-tiered wedding cake and candles formed the centerpiece of the bridal table. Mrs. Ardelle Lossow, sister of the groom, was in charge of the guest book. At the gift table were Mrs. Vyonne Dickey, cousin of the bride and Mrs. Dirk Allen, Mrs. David Albu and Miss Barbara Kvernes, friends.

            Mrs. Ben Bersle, aunt of the bride and Mrs. Bill Schmidt, aunt of the groom, had charge of the coffee service. Cutting the cake were Mrs. Guy Jacobson, aunt of the bride, Mrs. Al Klemenhagen, aunt of the groom. All were presented with corsages.

            The waitresses were Sharon Schmidt, cousin of the groom, Dianne McBroom, cousin of the bride, Marilyn Vosika, sister of the groom, and Marlyn Eliason, Evelyn Hardy, Elsie Olson, Mrs. Roger Robinson and Henrietta Meyer, friends of the bride. They were presented with nylon aprons by the bride. The ladies aid of the church took care of work in the kitchen.

            Mr. and Mrs. Vosika are now at home in Olivia, after a wedding trip to Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Iowa and Illinois.

            Guests who attended the wedding were from Willmar, Granite Falls, Danube, Olivia, Renville, Bird Island, Montevideo, Hendricks, Lake Lillian, Cottonwood, Belview, Clara City and Stillwater.

            Mr. and Mrs. Sid Blagsveldt, friends of the bride, assisted as host and hostess.

Editor’s Note: A big thank you to our volunteer, Linda Balk for typing up this from the newspaper. RCHS continues to work on the Wedding Dress exhibit. RCHS received over 10 new dresses for the collection to fill out the decades. We will be publishing a press release when the exhibit is complete.

Renville County Township & City Dates

Townships of Renville County information from History of Renville County 1916 Volume II

  1. Bandon Township was organized on January 4, 1871, and the first election was held a few months later at Jeremiah Farrell’s house in section 18.
  2. Beaver Falls Township was to be named Upson but after the county was organized the name Beaver was given. Organized April 2, 1867, the first township election was held in 1867 at the store of C. Prignitz in the village of Beaver Falls, then the county seat.
  3. Birch Cooley Township was organized on April 2, 1867, and the first election was held fall of 1867 at the home of Joseph L. Preston. The present boundaries were organized on July 28, 1874.
  4. Bird Island Township was organized on October 2, 1876, and the first election was held at the home of Joseph Feeter on October 21, 1876.
  5. Boon Lake Township was created on September 6, 1870, at the time included Brookfield. Present boundaries since 1874. The first election was held fall of 1870.
  6. Brookfield Township was organized in 1874 and the first election was held on April 7 at the home of Charles Foster.
  7. Camp Township was organized on April 2, 1867, having failed to hold an election, Halleck Peterson, was appointed assessor on May 21, 1867. A town hall was erected in section 15 in 1904.
  8. Cario Township was organized as Mud Lake and the first election held on April 2, 1867.
  9. Crooks Township was organized as Aurora in November 1884 and the first election was held December 9, 1884. March 1885 name was changed from Aurora to Crooks as there was already an Aurora township in the state.
  10. Emmet Township, named for Robert Emmet, the Irish patriot. Organized September 7, 1870, first election September 21, 1870.
  11. Ericson Township, named for Eric Ericson, County Auditor
  12. Flora Township organized in 1867 the first election held in the house of James Gaffney. Named after Francis Shoemaker’s horse.
  13. Hawk Creek Township was organized on April 2, 1867, an election was held on April 6, 1867, at the home of Henry Wilson. 1906 a town hall was erected in section 14.
  14. Hector Township was created April 7, 1874, as Milford, on July 29, 1874, the name was changed to Hector, a town in New York from which many of the settlers had come. There was already a Milford township in the state. The first town meeting was held on June 30, 1874, at the home of James Cummings.
  15. Henryville Township was originally assessed as part of Beaver Falls township in 1869. Took its name from Peter Henry, one of the best known of the pioneer settlers. Organized March 16, 1871, the first election was held on March 23, 1871.
  16. Kingman Township was organized on September 3, 1878, and an election was held at the home of H.W. Jones in section 20 on September 24, 1878.
  17. Martinsburg Township was organized on September 3, 1878, with an election held at the home of J.B. Mohan in section 22 on September 24, 1878.
  18. Melville Township was organized on January 1, 1878, with the first town meeting at the home of Albert Brown on January 21, 1878.
  19. Norfolk Township’s first election in March 1875 was originally organized as Houlton on July 26, 1869. Various changes both in name and territory took place after that and it assumed its present boundaries on October 2, 1876. The name was changed to Norfolk in 1874.
  20. Osceola Township was organized on September 30, 1879, at the home of J.F. Lucas, Sr. The first annual meeting was held on March 9, 1880.
  21. Palmyra Township was organized on January 2, 1872, and an election was held on January 30, 1872, at the home of E.H. Olson.
  22. Preston Lake Township was organized on September 7, 1869, the first town meeting held September 28, 1869, at the home of William Phare. The township hall was built in 1900.
  23. Sacred Heart Township’s first town election was held on April 6, 1869, at the house of G.P. Greene.
  24. Troy Township was organized on March 21, 1876, and the first election was held on April 8 at the house of Ira Everson.
  25. Wang Township was organized on July 28, 1875, and the first election was held at the home of Elling Johnson on August 16, 1876.
  26. Winfield Township was created as Liberty township on April 17, 1878, the first meeting held at the home of Ulrick Julson on May 4, 1878. Another petition was granted on December 8, 1878 organizing and naming the township. The town was duly organized at a meeting held on December 27, 1878.
  27. Wellington Township was organized on June 4, 1873, the first election held June 17 at the William Carson house.

Cities of Renville County information compiled by county.

Bird Island was incorporated in 1881

Buffalo Lake was incorporated in 1891

Danube was incorporated in 1901 first call Miles

Fairfax incorporated 1888

Franklin incorporated 1888

Hector incorporated 1881

Morton incorporated1884

Olivia incorporated1881

Renville incorporated 1881

Sacred Heart was incorporated in 1883

If you have information to add to this article please email Nicole director@renvillecountyhistory.com

J.M. Bowler excerpt from the History of Renville County Volume II: 1916

Left: J.M. Bowler Right: Lizzie S. Caleff Bowler with granddaughter, Helen Law (daughter of Victoria Law).

J.M. Bowler was born in Lee, Main, on July 10, 1838. Educated in common schools, Lee Academy and Westbrook Seminary. Worked on his father’s farm, in his store and lumber camps. Taught country school in Lee in 1855 and Falmouth in 1856. Came west in March 1857. Taught school in Hales Corners and Lynn, Wisconsin, and McGregor, Iowa. Came to St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota, in April 1859, taught school several times in Nininger and Grey Cloud. Carried a Torch in the Wide Awakes, and voted for Abraham Lincoln for President in 1860. Enlisted in Company E, First Minn. Vol. Inf. in April 1861, and was discharged up the re-organization of the regiment for the three years service. Enlisted as private in Company F., Third Regiment Minnesota, Inf. Vols., Sept. 23, 1861; was promoted to corporal and sergeant, and in October 1862, was commissioned Second Lieutenant and December 1, 1862, captain of the company and served as such until April 1, 1865; was commission Major of 113th U.S.C.T. and was mustered out with the regiment April 9, 1866. Was on detached service at different times as a member of the General Court Martial, Military Commission, and Post Adjutant on the staff of General C.C. Andrews at Little Rock, Ark., and was also appointed assistant general superintendent of Freedman’s Bureau for the same district. Major General Reynolds offered to recommend him for second lieutenant’s commission in the regular army. He declined the office, preferring to return to his home in Minnesota. November 30, 1862, married Lizzie S. Caleff at Nininger, Minnesota. She and their daughter, Victoria, were with him during his stay at Jacksonport, Ark. After leaving the army, he taught school several terms at Nininger and Hampton and followed farming until he moved to Minneapolis, October 1901. Besides he was in the farm machinery business at Bird Island for a short time and for a few years traveling collection agent for the Northwestern Manufacturing and Car Company of Stillwater and Minneapolis. Harvestor Company, Minneapolis.
He worked two summers as a right-of-way agent for Chicago, Great Western Railroad Company. At different times held various town and school district offices; was representative in the legislature of 1878, speaker’s clerk during the session of 1891, and State Dairy and Food commission two years under Governor Lind. Was a nominee for Lieutenant-Governor on the ticket with Governor Lind in 1896 and 1898; also for Railroad Commissioner on Democratic State ticket in 1902. As an earnest friend of good government—government of, for, and by the people–has always taken a lively interest in politics and never missed an opportunity to vote at elections. Since coming to Minneapolis in 1901 has done some business in real estate and insurance. In 1881 and 1882 was editor of the newspaper, the Bird Island Blizzard.