441 North Park Drive, Morton, MN 56270 [email protected] 507.697.6147

We NEED Renville County School Yearbooks (Annuals)! UPDATED 06/07/2023

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 [email protected] or 507.697.6147! Yearbooks, platbooks, and phonebooks are key pieces of preserving the history of who lived in the area and when.

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. We continue this project and plan to send off another 4 boxes of yearbooks for this month.

Yearbooks in BOLD are recent donations!

Visit our Facebook Page for featured yearbooks.

Yearbooks in Research Library

Bird Island – St. Mary’s: 1962-1963

Bird Island Panthers: 1955-1959, 1962, 1965-1968

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

BOLD High School: 1992-1995, 2000-2003

Buffalo Lake Breezette: 1948-1950, 1956

Buffalo Lake Lakers: 1957-1958, 1969, 1980-1987 (1987 recently donated)

Buffalo Lake – Hector: 1988-1994, 1995 (2); 1996-2000, 2004-2005, 2007

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, 1977-1979

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, 1954, 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: 1912, 1916-1917, 1924, 1949-1951, 1957-1959, 1962 (O-HI-AN), 1964-1965, 1967 (Wildcats continues until school is consolidated)

Redwood Valley Cardinals: 1984-1985

Renville County West: No Yearbooks

Renville the Renvillon: 1939, 1941-1944, 1947, 1949, 1950-1954, 1964-1978, 1984 RECENTLY DONATED 1953, 1965, 1967, 1971-1974, 1980

Sacred Heart Viking: 1967-1972

Saint Mary’s – Bird Island The Marion: 1961-1963, 1965

St. Mary’s – Bird Island The Blue Mantle: 1958

Please contact Nicole at 507-697-6147 if you can add to the yearbook 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

4-H Clubs of Renville County: 1975

Renville County 4-H Clubs listed in Frank Swoboda’s book, Looking Back: History of Agriculture in Renville County, published in 1975 by the Renville County Historical Society.

What are your memories of 4-H? Does RCHS have an index file card of your achievements? Give us a call 507-697-6147 or email [email protected] and ask us! How many active 4-H clubs are in Renville County in 2023?

Atomic Gophers (Bird Island Twp.) was organized in 1946.

Bandon Busy Beavers (Bandon and Wellington Twps.) was organized in 1948. Earlier Club Bandon 4-H was organized in 1932.

Birch Coulee (Birch Coulee Twp.) was organized in 1946. Earlier clubs – Flying Whirlwinds organized in 1932; Victory Growers, organized in 1946.

Bird Island Town and Country (Bird Island and Melville Twps.) was organized in 1957. Earlier clubs Bird Island Independents, organized in 1932; Busy Bees, organized in 1944, and City Farmers, organized 1946.

Boon Lake Orioles (Boon Lake Twp.) was organized in 1950.

Brookfield Buffalo Bills (Brookfield Twp.) was organized in 1971. Earlier club – Brookfield Merrymakers 1941-1962.

Buffalo Lake Onwards (Preston Lake, Hector, Martinsburg Twps.) was organized in 1935.

Cairo Sharpshooters (Cairo Twp.) was organized in 1946.

Camp Go-Getters (Camp, Birch Cooley Twps.) organized in 1925.

Countryside Clippers (Troy, Henryville Twps.) was organized in 1949.

Danube Full-O-Pep (Troy, Winfield Twps.) was organized in 1954. Earlier clubs, Danube 4-Leaf Clovers 1932; Danube Sky-Rockets 1934-1944.

Ericson Eager Beavers (Ericson, Wang Twps.) was organized in 1946. Earlier club Ericson Jolly Get-Togethers 1940-1941.

Flora Shooting Stars (Flora Twp.) was organized in 1936. Earlier club Middle Creek 4-H 1934.

Hector Hi-Hitters (Hector, Melville Twps.) organized 1954.

Hectorville Hustlers (Hector Twp, Melville Twp) was organized in 1941.

Kingman Ramblers (Kingman Twp.) was organized in 1934.

Lucky Clovers (Troy Twp.) was organized in 1974.

Norfolk 4-H (Norfolk Twp.) was organized in 1954. Earlier club Norfolk Willing Hands 1947

Osceola Jacks and Jills (Osceola Twp.) was organized in 1946. Earlier club Osceola Headway Makers 1935-1942.

Renville Aces (Emmet, Crooks, Sacred Heart Twps.) organized 1930 reorganized 2955, Earlier club Renville 4-H 1914-1930.

Renville Indians (Sacred Heart, Emmet Twps.) formerly Sacred Heart Indians organized in 1947. Earlier club Sacred Heart Livewires 1946.

Sacred Heart Hi-Lites (Hawk Creek, Sacred Heart Twps.) was organized in 1941.

Troy Troopers (Bird Island, Troy, Norfolk Twps.) was organized in 1938. Earlier club Olivia Vo-Ag, 1928-1934.

Winfield 4-Leaf Clovers (Winfield Twp.) was organized in 1946.

DAC-Happiness is 4-H Club (Olivia Day Center) was organized in 1974.

Did we miss anyone? RCHS would like to make sure the 4-H information is up-to-date and accurate and that we are preserving all of the history of the clubs!

Maxwell – Donnelly Fairfax Crescent February 3, 1899

We had a couple from North Dakota stop by today inquiring about the Donnelly family (brothers, Michael and Cornelious Donnelly) who had land in section 30 of Wellington Township, Renville County.

Michael and Cornelious along with their families are listed on the 1888 Renville County Platbook and on the 1880 US Federal Census.

I located Michael and his wife, Margaret on the 1870 Census in Tiverton, Newport, Rhode Island. By the 1910 census, Michael and Margaret with their adult sons, Charley & James, were living in Williams County, North Dakota. Michael died in September 1912 and is buried at the Highland Cemetery in Ray, North Dakota.

Cornelius followed his brother to North Dakota. He died in 1905 and is buried at St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery in Fairfax, Minnesota. His 2nd wife, Bridget Donnelly (1848-Aug 15, 1917), is also buried there.

Maxwell – Donnelly Wedding Fairfax Crescent Feb. 3, 1899

“One of the most noteworthy social events of the season was the marriage of William Maxwell to Mary Alice Donnelly, which occurred in the church of St. Andrew here on Tuesday morning last.

“The ceremony was performed by Rev. F.X. Bajec in the presence of a few of the immediate friends and relatives of the contracting parties. John Donnelly, brother of the bride served as groomsman and Miss Nellie Maxwell as maid of honor.

“Mr. Maxwell has for some time past been engaged in the grain commission business in Minneapolis and is one of the rising young businessmen of that city. His bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Donnelly and has since childhood with the exception of two years spent in New England with relatives, where she received her education.

“The happy young couple took their departure for Minneapolis on the day of their marriage where they will be at home at their friends after Feb. 10th.”

DARING BURGLARY: Safe in W.F. Stute’s Saloon Blown Open and $51 in Cash Stolen From It

This is a newspaper clipping found today tucked in the Cram’s Unrivaled Family Atlas of the World published in 1891. The clipping has written on in pencil March 21, 1922. There was no indication of what newspaper it was but we checked the Hector Mirror March/April 1922 newspaper and didn’t find a mention of the burglary.

“Hector was the scene of a daring robbery Thursday night, or early Friday morning. The safe of W.F. Stute’s saloon was blown open and the robbers made away with $51 in cash. The culprits were evidently “onto the job,” for the safe cracking had all the signs of being done by experts.

“The blacksmith shop of G.F. Berggren was entered and some of his tools stolen, which were found afterwards in the saloon. The thieves first broke off the dial of the combination lock, drilled in and put in a charge of dynamite. The explosion completely wrecked the safe, blowing the door several feet against the partitions. The glass in the door and also the cigar showcase was shattered, while the oak woodwork of the door and partitions was demolished. The sum of $51, which was in the safe, was gone.

Suspicion for the burglary rests on two young fellows who were seen around town Thursday afternoon, but who could not be found the next day. One of them is a son of respectable parents living near town and the other resides in the neighboring town. They were in the saloon in the afternoon and in the early evening were seen down the track having a very confidential conversation with each other. Late in the evening one of the youths applied to Liverman Brown for permission to sleep in the barn but was refused. Brown, however, offered to pay for a bed at the Clifton, which the fellow accepted. There he told Landlord Dodge that he wished to get up at 5 o’clock and was given an alarm clock. The next morning he was gone and the alarm dial of the clock showed that it had been set for 1:45 a.m.

The county attorney was notified of the case the next day and with Sheriff Vick is now hunting up the burglars. It is quite likely that they will be captured.

Seventeeth of May Celebration Held Recently: Norway’s Independence Day was Observed May 16 at Hawk Creek Bridge by A.A. Davidson published in the Renville Star Farmer May 27, 1937

The 17th of May celebration, Norway’s Independence Day was celebrated last Sunday at the new Hawk Creek bridge. It was a success as to program and attendance. In fact we never did know Lief Errickson had so many decendents in this country. The crowd almost filled the Minnesota valley from bluff to bluff. Parking space was at ta premium, cars stood along the road a half a mile from the picnic grounds.

The Colorful Tom Davis of statewide political fame pointed a crown of golry to the Skandinaven race fro their achievement as citizens in our state. Also mising in a little politics. Tom is gifted with a oritorical ability possessed by very few men in our state. Attorney Haugland of Monty gave a review of the significate of the day going back 500 years into the history of Norway.

A male quartett from Sacred Heart sung several patriotic songs in two languages.

Miss Froyis Kittlsland, a fourth generation American born school teacher, sung the Norwegian National song in Norwegian.

Hawk Creek is a most beautiful place. Digging into its early history we find John C. Fremont once a candidate for the presidency of the United States. On an exploring expedition up the Minnesota river in 1862 mapped this region and gave the vailley its name on his map of that date.

We also find Louis Roberts a steam boat captain whom Roberts Street in St. Paul is named visited this place in 1858 and was so taken up with its beauty he decided to establish a town there. A store was built and stocked. It flourished althrough the Indian outbreak of 1862, had a post office call Jannett. This village was in existence till 1878 when the railroad came through and Sacred Heart was established.

Editor’s Note: A.A. Davidson was a charter member of the Renville County Historical Society helping establish it in 1940. According the the Renville County History book of 1980 published by RCHS “Hawk Creek Post Office, also called Jeanetville was established about 1869 by J.S. Earl. Later postmasters were G.B. Mulford and F.W. Brasch. The last postmaster was Ole Fugleskjel, who kept it at his place in section 10 until it was discontinued.”

2021 Featured City: Danube

Danube won the 2019 Donate to Vote held at the Renville County Fair. Unfortunately, COVID-19 interrupted the rotating schedule of featured towns. Since the Museum was closed for most of 2020, RCHS decided to keep Fairfax up and add Danube in slowly. RCHS does not have a large collection of Danube related items so the exhibit currently on display only takes up about 1/3 of what the other city exhibits have. Danube will be on exhibit through February 2022.

RCHS will begin phasing in Renville the 2022 Renville County featured city. Renville won the virtual 2020 Donate to Vote contest with $320 in donations.