HISTORY INDEX>Ransom Township

Historical highlites of Ransom
Ransom [Click here to view full size picture] To the surprise of most people living today, even old timers, Ransom Township did not start its history under this name.
On March 8,1836 the first white settler arrived in the area, by the name of Rowland Bird, He brought along his wife and seven children and a man by the name of Leander Candee, a man of all work. On January 28, 1840 the Township was named "Roland" in honor of its first settler. On March 9th. 1848 the Township was renamed, Ransom due to the influence of "certain parties" living in the Township, Who these people were has been lost in time but the residents of the Township believed the pioneer of the Township should be honored so on April 2, 1849 the name was changed to "Bird Township". The final act which named the Town and Township, Ransom was adopted March 28, 1850.

When Ransom was first settled, nearly its entire area was covered with a dense growth of timber, the only exception, a small portion in the north which was a natural opening.
Most of the land in Ransom was purchased by land speculators before anyone ever settled within its borders, most of the early settlers were forced to purchase thier land from these second parties at a profit to the so called "Land grabbers".

The first marriage in the Township was that of Mr. Birds` handy man Leander Candee to his daughter Lorinda Bird in March 1840, The marriage was considered, "payment" to Mr. Candee for his years of devoted service to the family.

The first death in the Township was that of Allen Bird, the sixteen year old son of Rowland Bird, on March 8, 1839, The funeral sermon was delivered by The Reverend Jacob Ambler of Osseo, and such was the very first sermon delivered in in the town.

The first child born in the Town was to Mr. & Mrs. James H. Babcock, In the same year, 1839.

An interesting occurrance happened within the Bird Family in 1840, Mrs. Candee, a bride of only one month sickened and died on April 9th., her youngest sister Eunice Bird, died the same day. On September 18, the Birds` youngest son died and within four days Rowland Bird himself died at age 47 years.

The first fire occurred in the fall of 1841, Caleb Shepard of Adams Twp. was building a house in Ransom, he had built and covered the roof of the house and laid the floors. One Saturday he went to Adams to stay over for Sunday services and bring back a load of houshold goods to furnish the house. Upon returning Monday he found the house and lumber piles in ashes. The only clue obtained to the cause of the fire was scraps of torn and twisted cooking utensils that Mr. Sheperd remembered inclosing in a boiler in which he also placed some gun powder, people living five miles away claimed they heard an explosion in the direction of his new house. This did not deter the pioneering spirit , and in December of 1841, the Sheperd family moved into their new home.

The first School was taught by Lucinda Bird in the summer of 1838, three families sent their children to this school, whch was held in a basic shanty.
The first actual School House was a log building erected in 1840.

Ransom Township furnished 143 men to serve in The Union Army during the Civil War, out of this number, 40 brave men laid down their greatest offering, their lives in defense of The Union. On the 15th. of April 1861 the first call was given for volunteers to serve the Union cause, James Tarsney of Ransom was the first person to enlist from the Township.

The first Church to be organized in Ransom was that of The First Congregational Church on May 19, 1848, at the home of Caleb Sheperd two and one half miles north of town. The first seven years services were held in one of the school houses until funds could be raised to build a place of worship they could call their own. Their dreams were realized in the summer of 1855 when the church was constructed in Ransom Village.

A current point of historical interest is The Pleasant View United Breatheran Church, located at the corner of Pleasant View and Bird Lake Roads, it was organized in 1864 in the Webster school house located a short distance north of the Church, This church ranks around 16th. among the oldest United Bretheran Churches in The United States.

Ransom [Click here to view full size picture]
Ransom Neighborhood
Ransom  [Click here to view full size picture]
Photo Op- downtown Ransom
Ransom [Click here to view full size picture]
Sale day in Ransom
Ransom School [Click here to view full size picture]
This present day photo of the Ransom School House shows that its seen its best days.
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