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

We NEED Renville County School Yearbooks (Annuals)!

Recently donated 1967 Olivia High School Yearbook the years of the Wildcats!

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.

Yearbooks in Research Library

Bird Island – St. Mary’s: 1962-1963

Bird Island High School: 1956-1959, 1966

Buffalo Lake Lakers: 1969

Cedar Mountain: 1984, 2000-2003, 2016

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)

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

Buffalo Lake – Hector Elementary year unknown

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

Morton Elementary School: 1995

Olivia Crucible: 1912, 1916, 1917

Olivia High School: 1924, 1957-1959, recently donated 1967 visited our Facebook Page to view the Class of 1967!

Redwood Valley Cardinals: 1984-1985

Renville the Renvillon: 1950-1952, 1954, 1956-1964, 1966, 1968-1970, 1970, 1975-1976, 1977 (2), 1978-1981, 1984

We do not have any yearbooks from Danube or Sacred Heart in our collection!

Mayor H.H. Neuenburg Answers Death Angel’s Sudden Summons, Olivia Times August 28, 1919

Henry H. Neuenberg

Olivia in Mourning Over the Death of its Prominent and Beloved Citizen. Was Spanish War Veteran and Major in National Guard. Funeral Today From Home.

Henry H. Neuenburg, major of Olivia and beloved citizen is dead. The call came suddenly after an illness of only four days’ duration. The news of his death came as a terrible shock to the people of this vicinity on Tuesday morning. As a result, sorrow was depicted on the faces of the town people as they appeared on the streets and gloom spread to every home in the village. It seems so hard to realize that he, who was attending to his business affairs and mingling with other businessmen in town on Friday had been called so suddenly.

Mr. Neuenburg was taken ill on Friday from an attack of acute appendicitis. Dr. Mesker was called and alter Dr. Peterson of Minneapolis, who advised an operation. On Sunday he was taken to Minneapolis, where he underwent an operation at Fairview hospital. Here it was found that an abbess which formed on the appendix had broken and gangrene had set in. His condition left little hope for his recovery and immediately his two sons, Donald and Wilbur, were sent for and they, with Mrs. Neuenburg and of her relatives were at his bedside when he passed away at 3 o’clock Tuesday morning. The remains were brought to Olivia Tuesday evening and arrangements have been made for holding the funeral this afternoon at 1:30 from the home and 2 o’clock from the M.E. Church.

Olivia mourns today for one of its very best and most esteemed citizens, the history of whose life has been closely interwoven with the history of this village. Born in LeSueur County, Sept. 1, 1867, he came with his parents to Renville County at the age of nine years. The family settled on a farm in Beaver Falls in 1876 and here Henry remained until the age of 18, attending the public school in Renville and Redwood counties and later taking a course in a business college. In 1885 he entered the employ of Heins & McClure in their hardware store at Beaver Falls and this position he held until the death of Mr. McClure when the business closed. In 1890 he came to Olivia taking the position here as cashier of the Peoples Bank, which position he held until 1897 when he engaged in the lumber business forming a company known as H.H. Neuenburg and Co. He continued in this business until 1909, when he was appointed postmaster at Olivia. He served as postmaster for eight years and shortly after leaving the government employ he purchased the Olivia Roller Mills and was conducting this business at the time of his death.

During all the years of his residence here he concerned himself with the affairs of the village and community, filling various public offices and giving his support to the furtherance of every movement for the betterment of the community. At the time of his death, he was acting as major of the village, member of the board of education, member of the armory board, member of the Masonic, Odd Fellows and Modern Woodmen lodges and stockholder of the Canning Co. and other local enterprises.

Captain Henry H. Neuenburg
Co. H Spanish-American War

In 1898 at the outbreak of the Spanish-American war he enlisted with Company H and served during the war. He remained with the company during the years since, serving as a lieutenant, as captain, and finally as major of the battalion.

On Jan. 14, 1892, he was married to Miss Ida McClure, who with two sons, Donald aged 15, and Wilbur, aged 9 survive him, another son, Vern, having died in the service of his country in the late war.

A proper estimate of the character of the deceased cannot be given in this limited space, but it should be said of him that he was ever loyal to his town and country ever true to his friends and fellow citizen, ever devoted to his home and loved ones and always worthy of the compliments paid him and the honors conferred upon him. To have known Henry Neuenburg was to admire and esteem him, for he possessed in a marked degree those qualities of heart and mind which make men admirable and lovable. He will be sadly be missed from the social and business life of Olivia, but most of all from the home where the influence of his lovable nature and kindly impulses was most felt. To the bereaved widow and sons, the sympathy of the community goes out in full measure. May they find comfort in the thought that their departed loved one has left to them as a rich legacy, an honored name and that his life was filled with deeds which merit eternal reward.

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


Martin-Jensen Post Organized published in the Franklin Tribune 12-4-1919

Martin-Jensen Post 308 Franklin, Minnesota

Local American Legion Post Now Numbers More than Thirty-five and Growing!

The Franklin Post of the American Legion, Martin-Jensen Post No. 308, is rapidly growing into a strong organization and before long will include all of the servicemen in this community. It was organized with the required fifteen charter members less than two months ago and has now more than doubled membership with application coming in before every meeting of the post. The charter members are R.A. Dahms, Raymond Erickson, Spencer Erickson, Early Erlandson, George Foss, Matt Fox, Arthur H. Johnson, Evan Larson, Leonard Lund, Palmer Lund, N.M. Mahlum, Bert Martin,k Elmer Otnes, John L. Peterson, Harold Poss. Before a charter is granted, a prospective post the application must bear the signature of fifteen members.
Since the charter was received the following named members have been taken into the post: Owen Anderson, Chester Desmond, Archie Gallery, W.m T. Grimes, John Hanlon, Nels Hanson, Joseph McParland, R.J. Neunsinger, Alfred I. Thompson, Leon Thompson, Gilbert Waters, Clifton West, Archie Whetston, Elmer Steen, John O. Erickson, Jos. R. Ford, Emery Bloom, John I. Thompson, Alfred C. Thompson, Edward Wellnitz. More applications are ready to be submitted to the executive committee.
Martin-Jensen post is named for two service boys of this community who gave their lives in France. Joe Martin died on the battlefield in France while Julius Jensen died of influenza at the ort of Brest shortly after arriving there.
A special meeting of Martin-Jensen Post was held Nov. 28, nineteen members being present. The meeting was called to order by Commandant Dahms. Business pertaining to the post was transacted. Resolutions were passed condemning the shooting of four Comrades at Centralia, Washington. The entire meeting united in pledging support to our government and the Legion with one hundred percent Americanism.
Martin-Jensen Post wishes to extend thanks to all who assisted and contributed towards the Legion dance given Nov. 25.
The Workman hall has been procured for Martin-Jensen Post future meetings. A booth will be maintained in the village hall for the sale of Red Cross Christmas seals and this booth will be run under the supervision of the post.
The motto adopted by Martin-Jensen Post is: “One for All and All for One.”

The One Union by Edgar A. Guest
One for all and all for one!
This was the cry that once we made.
And great the buildings reared upon
The stones which our forefathers laid;
Our flag lights every sky today,
A symbol of the world’s renown,
The beacon of the better way.
Shall all selfish creatures tear it down?

Beyond your need for yellow gold,
Above your love for hours of ease,
Oh, toiler at the bench or mold,
Greater than all idolatries
There is a trust for you to keep,
A love that’s better than them all:
For ages shall your children weep
If now the Starry Flag shall fall.
Honest the toil and fair the pay!
United thus must free men stand
To hold the gate and bar the way
To all that would destroy our land.
Above the fortune and the place
Of which too much the wealthy brag.
Now, for the glory of our race,
Must capital esteem our flag!

But one way now all men must take
One path to journey, side by side;
No discord must our courage shake,
No hatred must our strength divide.
The greatest union calls us all,
Its fate upon our will awaits;
Now rich or port, whate’er befall,
Must work for our United States.

The test case to decide the validity of the Soldiers Bonus Law has been advanced on the Supreme Court calendar and arguments will be heard on December 19, 1919, and decision rendered shortly thereafter.
National Headquarters advises that new charters will be issued to all posts, to be signed by the first duly elected National officers. Local posts will continue to use the temporary charters at the present, which are to be replaced by the Permanent Chaters at a later date.
In order to obtain a reissue of certain articles of uniform clothing and equipment, in case articles restored to the government to whom for any reason never issued, may make application to Supplies Division, Office of Director of Storage, Munitions Building, Washington, D.C., whereupon similar clothing and uniform in kind and value as near as may be, will be returned to him.

American Legion and Its Purposes published in the Franklin Tribune September 18, 1919

Object of Soldier Organization is to Foster Americanism and Support Constitution.

During the past few weeks, there has been some talk of organizing a post of the American Legion at Franklin but no action has so far been taken. This is an opportune time to go into action. Posts have been organized in neighboring towns and the work is carried on with enthusiasm. There are more than sixty soldiers and sailors in the Franklin community and this number would make a strong post.
There seems to have been some doubt as to what the American Legion is, what it stands for and its purposes. The membership of the organization is defined in its constitution and its purposes are set forth in the preamble.
Article 11 of the Constitution is as follows: “All persons shall be eligible to membership in this organization who were in the military or naval service of the United States during the period between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918, both dates inclusive, and all persons who served in the military or naval service of any government associated with the United States during the World war provided that they were citizens at the time of application, except those person separated from the service under terms amounting to dishonorable discharge, and except those person who refused to perform their military duties on the ground of conscientious objection.”
The preamble to the constitution reads as follows: For God and Country we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of Amers; To maintain law and order; To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism; To preserve the memories and incidents of our association in the Great War; To inculcate a sense of individual obligation of the community, state and nation; To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses; To make right the master of might; To promote peace and goodwill on earth; To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy; To concentrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness.”

Freberg Four Row Corn Combine

On exhibit at the Renville County Fair each year!

The following is an excerpt from the 1949 Hector Mirror:

Another step in modernizing the nation’s agricultural industry has been begun with the building of a four-row corn combine by J.R. Dvorak, owner of the Dvorak Machine Shop in Cosmos.
Mr. Dvorak put his machine into operation for the first time last week on the Leonard and Lloyd Freberg farm, 13 miles southwest of Cosmos, and from all reports, it is living up to its expectations 100 percent.
The hug machine weighs over 14 tons with a 225-bushel load of shelled corn in its tank and is self-propelled by 113 horsepower diesel engine. It is run by one man, who can easily pick and shell 30 acres of corn in a single day and having combined 2 1/2 carloads of white corn in 36 hours.
This proves to be quite a contrast to the present single and two-row pickers which can only move through 7 and 14 acres, respectively, on a good day. Then after the corn is p8icked it must be hauled to the storage bins until a sheller can be obtained to finish the job. Dvorak’s machine combines all of this work in a single operation and leaves the cobs right in the field where the work is done.
Reportedly, there is only one other corn combine in the United States. That one is owned by John Eyestone, an Ohio farmer, whom Dvorak contacted before beginning his work.
Both Dvorak and Freberg were well pleased with the combine on its trial run. No breakdowns were encountered during the breaking-in period and Leonard Freberg stated that he expected the machine to be a “great time saver” for the farmer.
Dvorak feels that it is the “coming way of harvesting corn” and may revolutionize the corn-raising industry.
Over its trial period, the machine ran on 17 gallons of diesel oil daily or approximately two dollars per day.
It had attracted many interested visitors during the entire building period, which covered a four-month span of time, and now that the machine is in operation still more inquirers are coming to the Freberg farm every day.

Editor’s Note: The Freberg 4-Row Corn Combine is on exhibit each year at the Renville County Fair. Stop by Building # 4 for more information.

Tornado published in the Bird Island Blizzard July 21, 1881

Very, fortunately, we escaped the tornado of last Friday, although one of the hardest storms that we have ever had, accompanied by rain and hail struck this place on that day at about 3 o’clock P.M., lasting about one hour, during which the railroad stockyards were struck by lightning and somewhat damaged. The tornado traveling in a south-easternly direction passed through the townships of Bird Island, Palmyra, Wellington, and Cairo, in this county, and as far east as New Ulm, in Brown County. The full extent of damage done in the county has not, as yet, been ascertained, but will probably be known in a few days. In Palmyra, the farmhouses of Ole Times and Briagle Tulloform and a large amount of loose property was swept away. The new large barn of John Mork and Alexander Johnson were destroyed. The new frame house, barn, and granary of Solomon Bergman totally destroyed and a number of others whose name we have not learned, have met with losses amounting to from $100 to $1000. In Wellington the houses of James Tompkins, Ed. Rodgers, Mike Murphy, Patrick Lavelle, Jas Larkins, and others have been swept away together with a large amount of household effects and farm property, also the houses of John Patrick and William Fahey were totally demolished, and a young child of John Fahey’s killed and his wife’s arm broken. Martin Welch was badly injured but will probably recover. In Cairo, the large new two-story framed building of Matthew Finley was blown clear from its foundations and pieces carried for over a mile. The oldest son, aged 12 years, was killed while herding cattle. About 35 head of stock in the herd were also killed, and a number of head belonging to Mr. Finley and others. A family of Germans consisting of Joseph Hollorer, wife and four children, were all killed with the exception of the youngest, a two-month-old baby, which was afterward found some distance from the house, having an arm and leg broken. So terrible was the power of this storm that every tree on the fine large groove surround the house was as completely stripped of every particle of bark as could have been done with a knife. The bodies of Joseph Hollover and wife when found had not a vestige of clothing upon them but their shoes. Wagons, reapers, and all movable property were carried in many instances nearly half a mile. From the many reports of suffering and loss of life, it may well be said that this has been the most disastrous cyclone ever known in this state. Signed Pontax

Editor’s Note: Martin Frank, son of Matthew Finley, son of John Fahey, Mr. Eckert and his son, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Hollover and four of their children, Child of Loomis, Lena Reitz and her son, and son of Werner all perished during the July 15, 1881 tornado.