How 7 Steele Co Communities Got Their Name
One of the legends of where I grew up in Wisconsin was the naming of a town named Wanderoos. The town was called Dwight but towns folk were notified that there was another Dwight, Wisconsin and they needed a new name. Someone sent in as a joke the name of the local cheese maker a Mr. Wanderoos and that was it. The little village is still known as Wanderoos.
How about Steele County? A number of people are familiar with the renaming of Cooleyville to Ellendale. Ellen Dale being the popular wife of the railroad president. Here's a few others. Steele County was home to a Lafayette which became Freeman and then Dover and finally Havana. It's actually takes its name from the County seat of Mason County, Iowa which is Havana.
Do you know how uncommon the name Lemond is? It's believed that other than our township and a railway station in Australia there are no other places named Lemond.
An early citizen of Medford came to America on the ship Medford and named his son after the ship and of course you can figure out the town wound up taking that name Medford as well.
The town of Oak Glen changed its name to Blooming Prairie. Later there was talk of another settlement in Steele County taking the no longer used name of Oak Glen but it wound up being named Bixby instead.
Pratt was named for a local farmer
Merton was first called Union Prairie and then Orion and then Merton after a town in Wisconsin.
Somerset is the most interesting. The Minnesota Geographic Names from 1920 talks of the town postman witnessing his tent blowing over in a high wind. The somersaulting of his tent evolved into Somerset and hence the area became just that, Somerset.
Yikes, there was a bear spotted nearby?