At a meeting of the county commissioners held at Marshfield on July 23, 1879, a petition signed by a majority of legal voters of Congressional township number 112, north of range 45, west in Lincoln county, praying that the same be organized as a new town under the township organization law, to be named York, was considered and the commissioners fixed the boundaries of said new township and named the same York in accordance with said petition, and designated the house of Joel Orton on section 22 as the place for holding the first town meeting, to be held on Tuesday, the twelfth day of August, 1879. The record of C. H. Briffett and J. G. Field (Chairman), County Commissioners, and attested by G. I. Larson, county auditor.
On September 16, 1879 the County Board made and filed an order as follows: "It appearing that the name of York, given by the Commissioners to township 112, range 45, was the name of a town in Fillmore county, it was ordered on motion that the named of York be changed to Royal". The order was signed by J. S. Field, Chairman of the County Board and attested by G. I. Larson, county auditor.
The name was supposedly changed from York to that of Royal in honor of LeRoy Royal, who took an active part in the organization of the township. We are informed by P. V. Peterson, one of the oldest settlers in the township, that there was considerable dissension among the settlers as a result of the change of name, some of the Scandinavian residents desired very much that it should be named Swenson in honor of Jonas Swenson, who was supposed to have been the first settler in the township.
The first township meeting was held at the home of Joel Orton on August 12th, 1879. Joel Orton was chosen moderator, Stephen LeRoy, Jonas Swenson and Henry Cooley, judges of election. The polls were closed at twelve o'clock, noon, reopened at one o'clock p. m., and closed permanently at five o'clock. A canvass of the votes cast resulted in the following: Chairman - J. W. Orton, 11 votes and Hans Caspersen, 10; Supervisors - H. Cooley 11 votes, O. E. Alexander 11, Jacob Givett 10 and John Givett 10; Clerk - LeRoy Royal 11 votes, Gilbert Peterson 10; Treasurer - Stephen LeRoy 11 votes, Geo. Kile 10; Assessor - John Tainter 11 votes, Gilbert Oleson 10; Justices of the Peace - Joel A. Orton 11 votes, Edward Hutchinson 10, Wm. Mennie 10, Ole Peterson 10 (Wm. Mennie was chosen by lot as one of the Justices, three of the contestants having a tie vote); Constables - Alvin Derby 11 votes, Wm. Mennie 11, Luis Caspersen 10; Overseer of Highways - Wm. Mennie 11 votes; Overseer of Poor - Andrew Ryan 10 votes; Pound Master - Edward Hutchinson 10 votes. Signed: Joel A. Orton, Moderator; Henry C. Cooley, as Clerk; Jonas Swenson and Stephen LeRoy, as Judges.
The following excerpts are gleaned from the records as recorded from the original and certified to in March, 1883, by John Tainter as the Town Clerk; "March 13, 1880. Town board met and qualified before E. S. Hutchinson, and the following officers were appointed: Town clerk, Henry C. Cooley; Constable, Alvin Derby.
"At the town meeting held on the 9th day of March, 1880, Alvin Derby was elected constable for a term of two years and qualified. Signed by Henry C. Cooley, Town Clerk".
"At the qualification of town officers March 15, 1880, Alvin Derby was appointed constable for the term of two years and qualified. Signed by Henry C. Cooley, Town Clerk".
From the above records it appears that several of the officers elected at the first town meeting, held August 12, 1879, did not qualify.
At the first annual township meeting held March 9, 1880 at the home of Joel Orton, the meeting was called to order by John Orton and Louis Caspersen was chosen moderator.
The report of the Board of Supervisors was read and approved. The sum of $81.75 was levied to pay existing indebtedness and current expenses for the ensuing year. It was decided to hold the next annual town meeting at the home of John Swenson. It was voted that the vicinities of G. B. Olson's farm, Andrew Erickson's and the west line of section 12 be the places for posting of public notices and that posts be erected at these places for that purpose. A. Derby was elected chairman of the board of supervisors by 30 votes; O. Peterson and S. Swenson supervisors by 25 votes; H. C. Cooley clerk by 26 votes; G. B. Olson assessor by 33 votes; O. Kolsta treasurer by 34 votes; G. B. Olson justice by 26 votes and E. Hutchinson justice by 25 votes; A. Ryan constable by 34 votes and G. Peterson constable by 26 votes; H. Peterson was elected as overseer of highways by 23 votes.
Thee minutes were recorded from the original papers by John Tainter, Clerk, at a later date.
Alexander, O. E.
Briffett, C. H.
Cooley, H. C.
Cooley, Henry C.
Field, J. G.
Hutchinson, E. S.
Larson, G. I.
Olson, G. B.
Orton, J. W.
Orton, Joel A.
Peterson, P. V.