Minnesota County Histories
Main Page Table Of Contents

Cairo Township
The History of Renville County, Volume 2
Compiled by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge
Chapter XLI
p. 1307-1308

Cairo township embraces township 112-32. It is bounded on the north by Wellington township, on the east by Sibley county, on the south by Nicollet county and on the west by Camp township. The C., M. & St. L. crosses the township in the northern part. Fairfax village is in the northwestern part.

The first settler was John Buehro, who located on the east side of Mud lake in June, 1859, and was killed by the Indians in 1862. George and Victor Rieke also settled on the banks of Mud lake in 1859, and in 1860 came their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Rieke, and other members of the family. The Riekes found shelter in Fort Ridgely during the Indian outbreak and took part in its heroic defense. As soon as the immediate danger was over they returned to their home and resumed farming.

The story of the Riekes, by Adam Rieke, the story of the Military Reservation and incidents of the early days by Col. Charles Hopkins are related elsewhere in these volumes, while a complete history of the township and its surroundings appears in the reminiscences of Nels O. Berge elsewhere in this work.

The cyclone of 1881 did considerable damage in this town. Joseph Halloway, wife and three children were killed; one of his boys escaped death but had both arms broken. John Finley, a boy aged fourteen, was killed while herding cattle; many of the cattle were killed outright or died from injuries received. In addition to loss of life a large amount of property was destroyed.

A sad event in the history of Cairo was the burning of the two little children of John Liebl, on September 29, 1898. These children, Martin, aged four, and Elizabeth, aged 2, were playing in the barn when the structure caught fire. The father was away at the time. Attention was turned to saving the house, and the children were not missed. When the father returned he plunged into the flames at the risk of his life. The dead bodies of the children were found in the ruins of the barn.

Cairo township was organized as Mud Lake April 2, 1867. At that time twenty-nine votes were cast and the officers elected were: Supervisors, William Emmick (chariman), August Rieke and J. H. Phelps; clerk, J. H. Phelps; assessor, M. J. Haines; treasurer, George Rieke; justices, R. Barton and Joseph Labarron; constables, S. Turner and H. W Dodge. The town was called Mud Lake until July 8, 1869, when the name was changed to Cairo. The earlies records of the township have not been preserved. The clerk has the minutes of all the meetings since March 10, 1874. The present officers are: Supervisors, Joseph Julius, Jr. (chairman), Charles Firle, Nels E. Nelson; treasurer, G. A. Boemmels; clerk, Theo. R. Reinke.

The first real estate assessment of Mud Lake township (112-32), now Cairo, was made in 1868. Those assessed that year were: Baptiste Frenier, section 31; Jane Laframboise, 25; Peter La Belle, 30; Elizabeth Muller, 22; William Mills, 24; Mary Mumford, 31.

By 1871 quite a number of people had acquired property in Cairo township, 112-32 (Mud Lake), the real estate assessment that year being as follows: Edmond O'Hara, section 9; Gardner Tibbitts, 10; Frank Shields, 10; Hanna C. Hains, 10; M. J. Hains, 10; Abram Culver, 14; R. Barton, 20; Elizabeth Muller, 22, 23, 27; J. Laframbois, 25; George Rieke, 26; James B. Harper, 27; Joseph Lebarron, 28; Samuel Marsh, 28; Amos G. Root, 29, 32; Michael Igo, 30, 31; B. H. Randall, 31; Mary Mumford, 31, 32; Frederick V. Haas, 32; F. G. Carter, 34, 35; Adam Rieke, 35.

The first personal property assessment of Cairo township (112-32) was made in 1869. Those assessed were: Renseller Barton, Charles Bird, M. M. Burk, Henry Berhns, S. Bengson, William Barnett, N. Christman, John Carson, W. Carver, Abram Culver, F. Dinkemire, James Drake, C. Dieter, Philo T. Dodge, Ralph K. Dodge, Henry Dodge, William Emerick, Torkeld Evenson, H. Evenson, A. R. Gleason, Thomas Greer, L. D. Griffin, Amelia Goodwin, Charles A. Grow, James B. Hupper, H. Hauler, Charles E. Haight, Miranda Haight, M. J. Haines, M. Hopkins, Squire Lamphire, Joseph La Banon, Wilson La Banon, Bradford Lauderback, Samuel Marsh, C. H. Nixon, James O'Hara, Edmond O'Hara, J. W. Palmer, J. H. Phelps, M. W. Phelps, Z. B. Pierce, N. Peterson, Victor Rieke, August Rieke, George Rieke, William Rieke, F. Rieke, Adam Rieke, C. L. Ruggles, L. W. Root, A. G. Root, Nelson S. Read, Datis Rector, H. Reinke, William Root, Will Sell, F. Shields, Samuel Stevens, Gardner Tibbets, Edgar F. Tibbets, Urial Tibbets, M. Tool, John Tyler, S. Turner, Worthington, Williams.

© Copyright 2006 KinSource All Rights Reserved