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St. Croix County Biographies and Historical Sketches

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St. Croix County Townships Map | St. Croix County (1909) | Early History of St. Croix County | Villages, Townships & Municipalities | St. Joseph, Troy & Warren Townships | Stanton & Star Prairie Townships | Rush River, Somerset & Springfield Townships | Richmond Township, City of New Richmond | Kinnickinnic & Pleasant Valley Townships | Hudson Township & City of Hudson | Forest, Glenwood & Hammond Townships | Eau Galle, Emerald and Erin Townships | Baldwin, Cady & Cylon Townships
Kinnickinnic & Pleasant Valley Townships
Kinnickinnic Township, Pleasant Valley Township, "The Little Singing River"

Kinnickinnic Township

Kinnickinnic Township is one of the southern tier of St. Croix County townships, and is bordered by Troy, Warren and Pleasant Valley townships and Pierce county. The residence portions of the city of River Falls overrun their incorporated limits and extend to some extent into the township. The township originally included nine towns of townships 27 and 28 from St. Croix Lake, running eastward. By the setting off of Pierce County, the townships in township 27 were stricken off and since then the town has been reduced until it now includes township 28, range 18. It is a rich agricultural country, and its surface is divided between undulating prairie and high hills. The Kinnickinnic, a beautiful stream with beautiful scenery, drains the township from the northeast and the famous monument, already mentioned, is in the center of the township. Among the first settlers were W. B. and James A. Mapes, who arrived in the fall of 1849. Duncan McGregor spent that same winter with Judge Foster, and in the fall of 1850, Ira Parks and family settled on land adjoining the Mapes farm. Among other early settlers were Dr. Whipple, Mrs. Sprague, Lorenzo Dagget, Mrs. Josephus Medley, Luke and Frank Pomeroy, J. G. Crowns, James Penn, William Tozer, James Chinnock, Elisha Walden, Alanson Day, John Scott, W. L. and J. E. Perrin, Mrs. Lynch and others. The first couple married James A. Mapes and Catherine Scott. The present township covers 22,938 acres, having an average value of $25.58. There are in the township 484 horses, valued at $29,100; 1,500 neat cattle, valued at $21,000; 2,180 sheep and lambs, valued at $6,850; 370 swine, valued at $1,850; total value of real estate, $586,900; total value of personal property, $67,000, making a grand total of $653,900. Following is the acreage devoted to the various crops in Kinnickinnic township in 1908: Wheat, 190; oats, 4,738; corn, 2,905; barley, 1,744; rye, 681; flaxseed, 354; potatoes, 319; cultivated hay, 2,078. There are 909 acres of standing timber and 263 bearing apple trees. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

Pleasant Valley Township

Pleasant Valley Township is another of the southern tier of townships in St. Croix County. It occupies the western half of township 28, range 17, and is bounded by Kinnickinnic, Hammond and Rush River townships and Pierce County. It is drained by the head waters of the Kinnickinnic, abounds in rich farms and has one village, known as Pleasant Valley village. The first settlement was made in the fall of 1856. Among the early settlers were Sheldon Gray, Asa Gray, S. W. Mattison and Allen Webster. The town was organized March 30, 1857, with Peleg Burdick as chairman. The first school was taught in 1857 by Mary Munson. A post office was established in 1866 with Peter Hawkins as postmaster. The township has 11,512 acres with an average valuation of $35.97, the land being both rich and productive. There are in the township 325 horses, valued at $19,500; 950 neat cattle, valued at $13,300; 730 sheep and lambs, valued at $2,190; 170 swine valued at $850; total value of real estate, $414,100; personal property valued at $44,900; grand total, $459,000. Following is the acreage devoted to the various crops in Pleasant Valley township, in 1908: Wheat, 57; corn, 359; oats, 367; barley, 747; rye, 46; flaxseed, 322; apples, 1 acres, with 144 trees; hay, 2,674; standing timber, 153. (taken from "History of the St. Croix Valley", published in 1909)

"The Little Singing River"

In August 1975, right before his death, Great-Uncle Joseph Russell told my Aunt Inez Russell Dillon that his father, James A. Russell, Sr., came from Dover, Delaware to Wisconsin with a family by the name of Wilkerson. The Wilkersons were related, but not an Aunt and Uncle as he addressed them out of respect. The family lived many years on the Kinnickinic Prairie, fishing in the little river by the same name. In later years, Inez often listened to both her father Robert and aunt Elva reminiscing about the "little singing river," and also about Uncle Joe rescuing Robert from a quicksand bed in the river. I remember my mother, Marian Russell, and Grandfather, Robert Lee Russell, talking about "Kinnickinic Crick" (creek) when I was young, but I always thought it was some place in Minnesota. I remember one time when we went to our yearly family reunion in Baldwin and Ellsworth.  We stopped to see Uncle Joe and he and grandpa took mother and me to "Devil's Den."  We walked across a field near his house to a row of trees.  Suddenly the earth dropped off into a huge ravine, large enough to hold several houses stacked up.  It was breath-taking.  I also recall a swinging foot-bridge in a park, but I'm not sure in which town that was.  It's probably worn out by now from my cousins and me playing on it.    Submitted by:  Barbara Timm

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