Swan Lake, was named after a lake of that name in this township-originally part of Kingston. The first settlers were men by the name of Ayres and Richardson in 1856, from Mexico, N. Y. They were surveyors. They left in 1862 and the Indians soon burned their cabin.
After the Indian war, Isaac N. and A. W. Russel, were the first settlers in 1864 or 5, and were followed soon after by a colony from Kentucky.
The village of Dassel is embraced in this town, and was platted and settled in the spring or summer of 1869, on the completion of the St. Paul and Pacific Rail Road to that place. It was organized as a separate town September 4, 1866, and the name changed to ” Dassel, ” after a railroad gentleman of that name. The old farm or claim of Ayres and Richardson was sold and conveyed about 6 or 7 years ago to Mr. Harlow Ames.
Darwin, (organized April 5, 1858, ) takes its name from a man of the 19th century who was so unfortunate as to own stock or bonds of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Co., and not from the originator of the Darwinian theory, that “all the world and the rest of mankind ” sprang originally from the monkey.
Until the railroad was built this town was known as ” Rice City, ” named by a party of surveyors from Dubuque, who made claims on paper, and who laid out and platted a townsite which they named Rice City, ” in honor of Hon Edmund Rice, of St. Paul. John Curran was one of the first settlers of this town.