Plymouth in 1881
One of the most valuable sources of Plymouth’s early history is the chapter on “Plymouth” in Edward D. Neill and J. Fletcher Williams’ History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis (Minneapolis: North Star Publishing, 1881). The 11-page chapter details Plymouth’s first settlements, businesses, and residents, providing a unique summation of the township’s first 20 years.
Of great benefit to researchers is information pertaining to the town’s first European settlers. Brief biographical sketches were provided for the following individuals:
Christopher Braesch, Thomas Clark, Joseph W. Day, Benjamin Frost, David Gorham, Jonas H. Howe, Thomas Hughes, James Hughes, Henry Hughes, Charles W. Hughes, Edward Hughes, Joseph Jamme, Alexander G. Jardine, John H. Jordan, Mathias Klausman, Thomas Ottaway, Daniel C. Parker, James M. Parker, John H. Past, Henry Prohl, Frederick Radintz, Nicholas Roehl, Jacob Roths, August F. Sandhoff, Herman A. Sandhoff, Carl Schiebe Sr., Frederick Henry Benjamin Schmidt, Dennis Schmitz
Over the years, this information was developed into a number of family histories available for reference at the Plymouth History Museum.
Neill and Williams’ account of Plymouth in 1881 formed the basis for what is now seen as the definitive history of the town. Written by the Plymouth Historical Society’s first president, Neil O. Nielsen, “A Brief Look at the Early History of Plymouth” has been published and republished in various forms for decades. However, both texts contain a certain amount of folklore that has been interesting to unpack. These topics will be discussed in future posts.