History of Silver
Presentation to the Annandale History
Date: March 2, 2009
Henry Smith filled in
for the scheduled speaker who couldn't attend the meeting.
This report includes Henry's presentation and additional research.
There are three books about Silver Creek.
Ten Years to Live, Henry J. Schut, 1978
Footprints from the Past, Henry J. Schut, 1993
Our Pioneer Days in Minnesota, Gertrude Braat Vandergon, 1949 (link)
Silver Creek is the name of a township, a village and a creek.
Township, Wright County, Minnesota, was created April 6, 1858, and has a total area of 39.2 square miles,
including three villages (Hasty, Enfield
and Silver Creek) and 15 lakes (the largest lakes are Locke, Limestone, Ida,
Millstone and Eagle). The township
is bordered on the north by Clearwater
and the Mississippi River, on the west by Clearwater
Townships, on the south by Maple
and on the east by Monticello
Silver Creek meanders south to north through the township.
The creek starts at
and empties into the Mississippi River in Section 15, Silver
village of Silver
Creek is five miles south of Hasty and six miles north of Maple
Lake, located in Silver
Township, Section 5, at County Roads 8 and 123 on the shore of 78-acre Silver
(108 acres) is nearby and is surrounded by the 1,580-acre
Lake Maria (pronounced Ma-rye-uh) State Park created in 1963 and officially
opened in 1971.
The 1879 Silver Creek plat map named the following acreage
owners in Section 5 where Silver Creek village was established:
J. H. Chubb, E. M. Lambert, Henry Ferguson, John Ferguson and John
Houston. The sawmill and the Methodist
were on the 1879 map in Section 5. The
1879 plat map also noted that the post office was located in Section 6 on the
property of J. N. Lambert.
Creek was surveyed January 22, 1898, and the plat was filed December 12, 1898.
The plat included an existing dam and mill. There
were many established businesses in Silver Creek at that time. The
plat was signed July 26, 1898 by the following land owners in Silver Creek
J. H. Whitney and
wife, Belle J. Whitney
F. H. Whitney and wife, Mursetta Whitney
John C. Nelson and wife, Karoline Nelson
Jacob Johnson and wife, Annie Johnson
L. Hart and wife, Emma Hart
W. E. Friend
According to History
of Wright County, in 1915 Silver Creek village was a busy little trading
center and shipping point with three general stores, bank, shoe store, hardware
store, blacksmith shop, creamery, Methodist church, town hall, garage, pool hall
and about 100 people. The following
Silver Creek businesses were listed in the 1915 Maple
B.O. Cromer, general store
H. H. Haferbilt, pool
C. A. Henneman, general store
Andrew Hero, harness
Johnson Brothers, hardware
Kling Brothers, general store
Silver Creek Creamery Company,
J. H. Whitney, Manager
Whitney Brothers, Saw Mill
Henry Smith's presentation was about the more recent
businesses of Silver Creek. Silver
Creek was once a nice town with many businesses.
There was a garage where Henry's uncle, Bill Mol, overhauled cars.
Bill Mol also had a welding shop. Ray
Swanberg had a hardware store. He
also had a barber shop in the restaurant across the street from the hardware
store. General store owner, Bill
Thiesse, had a new grocery store built in 1950 or 51.
The post office was in Bill Thiesse's store.
There was a store run by Mr. Gamble.
Leonard O'Dean's father ran a shoe store and shoe repair shop.
There was a painting in Don Henneman's store of the
Silver Creek Mill which was down by the lake by the creek.
Bill Mol sold Massey Harris farm equipment and Chevrolet cars through
Gruys in Monticello. There was a pottery business in Silver
which is closed. John Hasslen
stored antique cars in a building across from the tavern.
There was a popular place called the Hoot n Holler.
All these businesses are gone now, but there are many new houses in
Silver Creek. Silver Creek has an
active sportsmen's club. Silver
Creek never had a police department. Silver
Creek was never incorporated and is part of Silver
- The following information is from the
History of Wright County published in 1915.
In 1866 the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad
(reorganized by James J. Hill as St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway in
1879 and Great Northern Railway in 1889) completed a rail line from St. Paul
through Anoka, Elk River, and Big Lake to east St. Cloud.
This line was just a few miles outside of Wright County's northern
In 1882 the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba
Railway (Great Northern Railway in 1889) completed a line of railway up the west
side of the Mississippi River to St. Cloud,
passing through Monticello and Clearwater in Wright County.
This was sometimes referred to as the Osseo branch.
This line was five miles north of the town site of Silver Creek with a
depot in the town site of Hasty.
Note: In 1890 the residents
of Silver Creek town site unsuccessfully attempted to change the Hasty depot's
name to Silver Creek Station.
In December 1886 a line of railway was completed to
Glenwood, Minnesota, by the Minneapolis & Pacific Railroad, passing through
Buffalo, Maple Lake, Annandale and South Haven in Wright County.
This line was six miles south of the town site of Silver Creek with a
depot in Maple Lake. In 1888 the
Minneapolis & Pacific Railroad became the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste.
Marie Railway or "Soo Line."
Gertrude Braat Vandergon wrote that there was a mill in Silver Creek village in
1874. The 1879 Silver
plat map indicated a sawmill on Silver Creek on the property of E. M. Lambert.
Around 1885 Mr. Chubb constructed a sawmill on Silver Creek at Silver
Lake. The mill was soon after sold to
William Whitney and later to J. H. Whitney and F. Whitney. The
dam was a concrete and wooden structure in the channel between Silver
and Silver Creek. Water flowed over
the dam into the creek, then to Lake
and eventually into the
The Silver Creek Co-operative Creamery was organized June 21, 1912.
In 1915 there were some fifty patrons owning about 200 cows.
The locker plant was added in 1940. Cream
and butter were the products of the creamery until milk handling equipment was
installed in 1943. The creamery and
locker plant were always busy. Besides
milk and butter, the creamery sold feed. The
creamery later combined with Maple Lake Creamery (Maple Lake had a creamery
since 1896). The Silver Creek
creamery building is still there across from the former bank building.
The First State Bank of Silver Creek was chartered on July 11, 1914.
In the fall of 1920, H. N. Shorty Lungwitz and his wife Anna became
cashier and assistant cashier, respectively, at the Silver Creek bank.
On February 18, 1935, the bank moved to Monticello
under the new name, Wright County State Bank.
All other Monticello
banks had closed. The First State
Bank of Silver Creek was among nine of thirty banks in Wright
that survived a mandatory federal four-day bank holiday in 1933 to
prevent a rush of withdrawals. Wright
County State Bank was acquired by Marquette Bank in 1992.
The brick bank building in Silver Creek is still in use as a tavern.
Silver Creek Post
The first Silver
post office was established in Fremont
in 1856 with A. G. Descent as postmaster.
Fremont, which existed from 1856 to 1858, was a townsite on the Mississippi River
at the mouth of Silver Creek. A
Silver Creek post office is noted on the 1879 Silver
plat map in Section 6. Rural Free
Delivery was established in Silver Creek circa 1903.
The Silver Creek post office was discontinued December 1, 1906, and
records kept at the Maple
post office. (Maple Lake was
established as a mail site in 1858 but the town wasn't incorporated until
1890.) The Silver Creek post
office was reinstated in 1921 and continues today.
The current Silver Creek post office is open from 1-3 p.m. in a small
frame building rented from Mr. Gruys. Mail
is delivered from the Maple
post office. There are many
historical photos of Silver
at the post office.
) (1894-present) According to Condensed
History of Wright County, 31 Hollanders came from
in 1867. At the end of two years
only A. H. Braat and his family of six and the Van Kekeren brothers remained as
the nucleus of a colony of Hollanders that have contributed greatly to the
marked development of Silver
Township. In 1873 four Vandergon brothers
(John, Hugh, Dick and Nicholas) distantly related to the Braats arrived and in
1874, Tennes (Tunis) Shermer and H. Nyland, all natives of
Holland, joined the colony. In later years
community added to its members P. Schermer and George Meintsma.
The Dutch Reformed Church was organized in 1894.
County, 1915 The Reformed Church of Silver Creek belongs to the
denomination called the Reformed Church in
America, which was planted in
New York City
in 1624 and is, therefore, one of the very oldest Protestant denominations in
the country to be represented in Wright
County. The Silver Creek church had its
beginning with services held in the present school building and in the homes of
T. Schermer, Sr., and J. Vandergon. The
church was organized in the school building December 17, 1894.
Among the families present as charter members may be mentioned the
Schermers, Vandergons, Braats and VandenHoeks. At this
organization there were sixteen baptisms, fourteen infants and two adults, Anna
Schermer and Jennie Vandergon. T.
Schermer, Sr. and H. VandenHoek were chosen as elders, and J. J. Braats as
deacon. The church is located four
miles north of Maple
Lake. The pastors have been the Rev.
Messrs. TePaske, W. A. Gruys, J. J. Dragt, and the present incumbent, B. W.
services were held in an 1892 schoolhouse. Two
acres of land were purchased in 1903.
In 1904 the first church building and a horse barn were completed
four miles north of Maple
Lake on Highway 8. The parsonage was
completed in 1905. A new church in Silver
village was built in 1964.
earliest burial in
on the southeast side of Millstone
was in 1887. (Silver
Creek Community Church link) (Lakeview
History of Wright
County, 1915 - District 16 (119) School on S.W. of N.W. of Section 8.
This is another two-room school. An
addition was built to the original one-room building a few years ago.
The addition is in good condition, but the old part of the building is in
poor shape. Extended repairs should be made soon.
The full eight grades of work done for some years.
Good teachers are employed. The
school board is always ready to furnish needed supplies.
Vandergon (1860-1941), who came to Silver
at age seven, wrote in her book, Our
Pioneer Days in Minnesota, that
the 1892 District 119 brick
schoolhouse was torn down in 1917 and replaced with a two-room frame
schoolhouse. District 16,
Silver Creek School (Grades 1-8) was at present-day County Roads 8 & 39.
In 1955 Silver Creek consolidated with the Annandale
and a new school was built in the village.
When all Silver Creek students were bused to Annandale, the school became a foam fabricating company.
book, Footprints from the Past, Henry
J. Schut (1910-1981) wrote about the hardships of attending high school before
bus service. Henry Schut drove to Annandale
and several other Silver Creek
students rode with him. He later
boarded with a farmer near
and rode the horse-drawn school bus to classes at Annandale
High School. Bus service started about 1935 for
high school students. Silver Creek
was served by the Lundeen Bus Company, and Walter Lundeen and Henry Lundeen were
the bus drivers.
Episcopal Church of Silver Creek
History of Wright
County, 1915 The Methodists were presented with a church in the early days.
P. A. Locke of
made a bequest of $500 to the Township of Silver Creek on condition that the
town supervisors should erect a church at a cost of $1,000, that the Methodists
should always use it, and that the Methodist trustees should keep it repaired
and insured. The conditions were not
kept and the building fell into disuse.
Gertrude Braat Vandergon wrote in Our Pioneer Days in
Minnesota that the church was built in
Section 33 in 1863 and later moved to Section 5.
The Hollanders also sometimes attended and conducted services there.
was on the 1879 plat map in Section 5 (at present-day County Road 8 and 123).
The Methodist church building was moved to the village
Creek in 1885.
The Methodist congregation in Silver Creek was part of the Clearwater
charge and was served by traveling preachers.
Services were often conducted by lay people.
The congregation later became part of the Methodist Episcopal Church of
Annandale. The church building was
shared a parish with Zion
established in 1888 on Co. Rd. 39 near Sugar
Lake. The Zion
congregation moved the church building to Annandale
in 1948. The two churches had the
same pastor until December 10, 1953, when Immanuel and Zion
decided that each should call its own pastor.
In 1928 Immanuel
started as a Mission Society of Evangelical Lutheran Church, Zion Congregation
of Corinna. The first services were
held in the Town Hall. A church
building was purchased from the Methodist Conference in 1929 and moved to its
present site. The Mission Society
worked together and remodeled the church, putting in new windows and doors and
refinishing the inside.
The church property was purchased in order that Lutheran
services might be conducted in the village for the convenience of those members
who lived in Silver Creek and its vicinity.
The following men were appointed to close the transaction:
Albert Rotsolk, Emil Klemz, Paul Klemz, Treasurer.
Others in the new congregation of Immanuel
were Albert Klemz, Ernest Klemz, Carl Klemz, Harrison Laughton, August Klemz,
Charles Rotsolk, Harold Klemz and Robert Klemz.
In 1931 the
congregation divided and Immanuel
Church, Silver Creek, was organized.
congregations started a Christian
together in 1944. This school was
held in a small brick school house between Silver Creek and Annandale. The Zion
congregation left the school in 1949. Immanuel
decided to go on with the school. Classes
were moved to a small school by Sugar
Lake. In January 1955 it was decided to
discontinue the school. The
schoolhouse was sold for $1,000.
Notes by Secretary
Annandale History Club
LETS SNEAK A PEEK AT SILVER CREEK
By Lorie Plaggerman
January 8, 1981
On April 6, 1858, the board of county commissioners
determined the boundaries of what would be known as Silver
Township. Included in this area are the town
sites of Hasty, Enfield
and, of course, Silver Creek. The
Fremont, which existed from 1856 to 1858, was also encompassed by the township
had several post offices in its early years.
Among them was the Bianca Post Office, established in the late 1850s,
with Reverend Moses Goodrich as postmaster.
In 1860 the Ypsilanti Post Office opened under the direction of Joseph
Brooks. Mr. Kling was appointed
postmaster of the Hasty Office which was established in 1889.
The Fremont Post Office was created in 1856, headed by postmaster A. G.
Descent, and in 1910 the Enfield Office was opened.
All of these post offices have since been discontinued.
However, the Silver Creek Post Office remains in business today, and
operates out of a newly-constructed building.
Creek is unincorporated. Its an
inland town and one of the few pioneer towns to have survived without the
benefits of either a railroad system or river.
Among some of the earlier settlers in or near the village
was Isaac Carter. He was born in
Maine, but moved to Wright County, Minnesota, with his parents in 1859. At the
time of his marriage in 1866, he and his wife obtained 80 acres of land in
Section 33 of Silver Creek Township (approximately one mile north of town).
He later added another 40 acres to his farm.
Merl Carter (grandson) and Larry Carter (great-grandson) of Isaac each
have homes on this original homestead.
On June 4, 1867, 31 people who had left their native
homeland of Holland, arrived in the Silver Creek vicinity. Many
of these folks eventually took up residences in
and St. Cloud. However, A. H. Braat (and family
of six) and F. and Charles Van Kekeren remained in the area.
In May 1873 four Vandergon brothers, also from Holland, purchased a farm near Silver Creek. The
following April, T. Schermer and H. Nyland also settled in this area.
This group of Dutch settlers held fast to their religious
upbringings from the Reformed Church of Holland.
In early years, they had gathered together in private homes to share
times of worship. They were also
able to use the schoolhouse (built in 1892) for their Sunday services.
The organization of the Silver Creek Reformed Church on
December 17, 1894, is attributed to the efforts of Reverend Peter Lepeltak and
Reverend Gerrit Dangremond. The
construction of their first church began in June 1903, being completed the
following year. A horse barn was
also built in 1904 to provide spaces for those who drove horse and buggies to
church. A double stall was rented at
the cost of $2.00 per year.)
In 1964 a new church building was erected in the town of Silver
Creek. The original church
building, located four miles north of Maple
on County Road 8, is now owned by Richard Vizenor (1981).
In the early 1900s many others of Dutch descent migrated to
Township. A number of people of Swedish
heritage also made their homes in the Silver Creek area.
Charles A. Swanson and his son-in-law, Frank Neutz, each owned successful
farming operations northeast of town.
In 1896 John Algren (also a native of
) settled along the shore of Limestone
Lake, which is approximately 1 miles northwest of Silver Creek.
He was involved with farming, as well as operating a popular summer
vacation resort. He could
accommodate up to 25 guests at this resort, and rarely lacked for business.
The shore of
was the building site for a sawmill constructed by Mr. Chubb around 1885.
The mill was soon after sold to William Whitney, who operated it until a
fire destroyed the building about four years later.
The mill was rebuilt and the business was then sold to J. H. Whitney and
F. Whitney. These two brothers
enjoyed a successful operation sawing logs and grinding feed for many years.
The first store in Silver Creek was opened in 1891.
The proprietor was Henry Whitney, an uncle of J. H. Whitney.
Gradually other businesses moved into the area.
A hardware and blacksmith shop was established in the village in 1900 by
Andrew Johnson and Frank Lock. Three
years later Mr. Lock sold out his share of the business, whereupon Andrew
Johnson formed a partnership with his brother, Claus W. Johnson. Another
early merchant of Silver Creek was William Klemz, who had purchased a general
store in 1909. Two years later he
sold the business and pursued his interests in farming and carpentry.
In 1911 C. P. Weston resigned his role as the first
postmaster of the Enfield Post Office and moved to Silver Creek.
There he bought a saw mill which he used not only for sawing wood, but
also for manufacturing sorghum. He
also dealt in farm implements and machinery, as well as serving as the town
The Silver Creek Co-operative Creamery was organized on
June 21, 1912. According to an
annual report from 1914, the average price paid for butterfat was $0.3375.
There were approximately 50 farmers being served at that time with a
total of about 200 cows.
On July 11, 1914, the First State Bank of Silver
Creek-Hasty was incorporated and two days later opened for business.
Although the bank has long since been closed, the building remains and is
occupied as a tavern. The huge vault
has been converted into a cooler for storage.
By 1915 the population of Silver Creek had reached
approximately 100 residents. The
business district then consisted of three general stores, a pool hall, the
creamery, a hardware store, shoe shop and blacksmith shop, the bank, a garage
and the town hall.
also had the opportunity to include a Methodist Episcopal Church.
This was made possible through a bequest of $500 from P. A. Locke of Massachusetts
for that purpose. He had requested
that the town supervisors would erect a church building at a cost of $1,000,
which would then be used and
maintained by the Methodist trustees. Although
the structure was put up, the other conditions were not met and the building
fell into disuse.
church which has been a part of Silver Creek's history, as well as the present
day, is the Faith
Church. Located in the country, it
projects a look of peace and tranquility.
which is located in the town of Silver
Creek. An attractive addition was
recently added to this church.
some of the businesses located in Silver Creek in 1981 are Blegen's Market,
Silver Creek Hardware, Mike's Meats and Feed, Sandee's Beauty Salon, the
Corner Bar, Silver Creek Repair and the Post Office.
Creek is situated in the midst of several beautiful lakes, and on the
Lake. There are no main highways which
lead into the town, which provides for very quiet and peaceful living.