Acton and Kingston, Minnesota

Acton was organized April, 185, and originally embraced 118-32, and the south half of 120-32. Acton takes its name from Acton, Canada, where the Ritchie family came from when they first settled in Acton, in 1857. In 1857 Robinson Jones, Howard Baker and mother and Abram Kelley settled here. Capt. Robinson and John Blackwell came in about the same time.

All except John Blackwell had formed an acquaintance with each other in a lumber camp the previous winter, on the upper Mississippi. Of the old settlers named, Abram Kelley alone remains.

The first child born in Acton was to Peter Ritchie. Jones, Howard Baker and his mother were three out of the five killed by the Indians, August 17th, 1862, at the house of Howard Baker.

Kingston; was named by Geo. A. Nourse, Esq., a lawyer, then of St, Anthony, now residing in Nevada. This town was organized April 5, 1858, and embraced 119-29, 120-29 and 12 1-29.

Benjamin Dorman was the first man to turn the sod in this town, while in the fall of 1857, Mr. A. P. Whitney, Henry Averill and S. B. Hutchins took possession of the town-site of Kingston, on Crow River and commenced the erection of the dam, where now stands the Kingston saw and flour mill.. Whitney is now in California, Averill has gone to parts unknown, and Hutchins resides in Wright County.

Some six or eight young men-the aristocracy of Forest City–having heard of the arrival, and not having seen a lady for three or four months, joined in a pleasure excursion ” to Kingston, to see Mrs. Fitzgerald. This was the first pleasure excursion that took place in Meeker County. On being introduced to Madam Fitzgerald, she proved to be a very good, kind, straight-forward, plain-spoken woman, who remarked that the “skeeters had been awful.” Slightly elevating the crinoline, she exhibited an instep swollen and distorted by mosquito bites, and assured the masculine present that that was not an over-wrought picture of her entire condition. The boys returned to Forest City wiser and more reflective, if not better men.

In 1858 some flour had been stolen from Kingston, and a search warrant was duly placed in Sheriff Jewett’s hands, with the view of finding the stolen property. Examining various houses with the assistance of Deputy Sheriff Maddox, they entered the house of Madam, Morris Powers. Fearing the flour might be concealed in the cellar, the deputy descended through a trap door, whereupon Madam Powers stationed herself, with a tub of hot suds at the trap door, and with a tin dipper obstructed the egress of Maddox, and he was not seen for about an hour. Maddox soon thereafter resigned his office.

Meeker County

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