Organization of the townships of Lincoln County
The townships of which Lincoln county is composed as they exist in its permanent organization are as follows: Beginning at the northeastern corner of the county and enumerating them downward, we have Alta Vista, Limestone, Lake Stay, Marshfield and Hope, forming the eastern tier; thence beginning again at the north we have Marble, Royal, Ash Lake, Diamond Lake, and Lake Benton, forming the central tier, and again beginning at the north we have Hansonville, Hendricks, Shaokatan, Drammen and Verdi, forming the western tier, a total of fifteen townships in all.
Lincoln county lies within a territory known as Plateau du Prairies (plateau of prairie heights) and described by Nicollet as a vast plain, elevated 1916 feet above sea level, and 890 feet above Big Stone lake, lying between latitudes forty-three and forty-six, extending from northwest to southeast a distance of 200 miles, from a point a short distance northwest of Lake Traverse in a southeasterly direction into Iowa.
The data upon which the history of the organization of Marshfield, Hope, Lake Benton, Diamond Lake, Drammen, Verdi, Royal, Marble and Limestone is written was obtained form the original records compiled by the first township clerks of the respective townships. The organization of Hansonville Township is related in the writing of Hon. John Hanson and that of Hendricks in the writings of Hon. Hiram B. Danielson. It is regrettable that the records of the organization of Ash Lake, Lake Stay, Shaokatan and Alta Vista are unobtainable, same doubtless have been misplaced by some of the early clerks of those townships and are evidently lost. However, as much of the history of the four latter townships as is available to the writer will be given.
If our information is correct the voting precincts of which Lincoln county was composed while it was still a portion of Lyon county were as follows: Lake Benton precinct consisted of two townships in central and southern, what is now, Lincoln county; Yellow Bluff (or Yellow Medicine), consisted of the three northern townships, Hansonville, Marble and Alta Vista; Marshfield, ten townships in central and southern part of the county, supposedly Hendricks, Royal, Limestone, Shaokatan, Ash Lake, Lake Stay, Drammen, Diamond Lake, Marshfield and Verdi, or perhaps Hope.
At a meeting of the Commissioners of Lyon county dated October 8, 1870, among other resolutions the following was adopted: "That township 113, range 40-41-42-43 and 44 be formed into an election precinct to be called Upper Yellow Medicine. That Frank Nelson and ---- Morse be justices thereof. * * * (other officers not named). Also that townships 109-110 and 113, range 45-46 and 47, be formed into an election district precinct to be called Lake Benton precinct. That George Ross and ---- Bentley be justices thereof. That the election in said district be held at the house of William Taylor. That William Taylor, Daniel Williams and John Bingham (probably Bigham) be judges of election."
At a meeting of the above board of county commissioners under date of March 15, 1871, William Ross was appointed assessor for the third district (Lake Benton election precinct). Under date of April 4, 1871, William Taylor was appointed assessor to fill the vacancy caused by the failure of William Ross to quality. At a meeting of the board of county commissioners on September 19, 1871, H. A. Langley was appointed justice of the peace in and for Lake Benton precinct.