Graham Lakes Township, Nobles County, Minnesota

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Graham Lakes Township is a township in Nobles County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 251 at the 2000 census.

Contents

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 34.8 square miles (90.1 km²), of which, 33.0 square miles (85.5 km²) of it is land and 1.8 square miles (4.7 km²) of it (5.20%) is water. The major geographic features in Graham Lakes Township include East Graham Lake, West Graham Lake, Jack Lake, and Kinbrae Lake.

Main highways include:

  • County 1.png Nobles County Road 1
  • County 3.png Nobles County Road 3
  • County 16.png Nobles County Road 16
  • County 18.png Nobles County Road 18

History

In the month of May, 1867, a pioneer named Stephen Muck pushed out into the unsettled Graham Lakes region and squatted on land on the bank of West Graham Lake. When surveyed, this land proved to be on section 22 of Graham Lakes Township. There he built a log structure from timber growing near the lake, the first house of wood in the county. In the fall of 1867, Muck brought his family from Jackson County, Minnesota. He earned his livelihood by trapping for a few years, then turned to farming. He lived continuously on his farm from 1867 until the time of his death in 1897. Stephen Muck was the very first permanent resident of Nobles County. [3]

The first town to appear on any map of Nobles County was a curious place called Gretchtown. According to an 1856 map - a map drawn 11 years before the arrival of Stephen Muck - Gretchtown was located on the south bank of West Graham Lake, very near to Muck's claim. Rumors of a railroad to be built through southwestern Minnesota had circulated in the 1850s, and even though no survey had been taken for the railroad, the town of Gretchtown had been created - at least on paper - to serve as a stopping point. When Nobles County was formally created by the Minnesota legislature on May 23, 1857, Gretchtown was brielfy designated as the county seat of Nobles County, a county at that time without any residents.[4]

When a route for the St. Paul and Sioux City Railway was surveyed in 1871, it was located far south of the Graham Lakes region. No towns or villages existed in Graham Lakes Township until 1879 when Kinbrae and Dundee were established. Neither town grew beyond a few hundred residents. Thus, the Graham Lakes region has remained entirely rural, and the lake shores of both East Graham Lake and West Graham Lake remain undeveloped.

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