Milltown Township History



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Patrick Lillis, born in Ireland, came to Polk County in 1856, made a claim on where the town Milltown now stands. He said it reminded him of his home in Cork County, Ireland. He came from the Irish Village of Milltown, so he named the territory Milltown.

Milltown was set off from St. Croix Falls, December 20, 1869. The boundaries included what is now the townships of Milltown, Georgetown, Johnstown, and three townships running from the present Eureka town line to the western Barron County line.

The first supervisors were John Lynch, M. Fitzgerald Sr. and John Hurley. THe Roman Catholic Church was organized in 1864. The first settlers were James and John Rogers. The first school house was built in 1866. The first school was taught by Maggie Crawford in 1865.

The northern part of the township was basically settled by the Danes and Parmigians and the southern part, Irish.

By 1875 several children were of school ages, so the Brick school was built in the center of the district, which was called Brick School District No. 2. It was also used for church services, political meetings, spelling bees, community singing, and a literary society called the Patterson Lyceum held interesting and educational meetings. The building still stands, but has been remodeled into a family dwelling.

Dr. Mary Sorensen, a niece of Hans Bering who discovered Bering Sea, moved to Milltown in 1879. She was a pioneer Dr. whose services extended over a large part of Polk County.

A country church was built in 1890. It was build on an acre of land that was donated by Jorgen Nielson for cemetery purposes. In 1922, this church was town down. In 1913, the church was built in town. It burned to the ground on Christmas Day, 1917, and rebuilt, ready for use on December 22, 1918.

Lines for the Soo Line railroad were laid through town in October 1901 and the road completed the next year.

On March 23, 1910, and election was held to determine whether or not the village should incorporate. The population was 261. The vote was 39 in favor and 24 against.

A flour mill was located 1 block east of the railroad tracks, owned by Peter Blomgren, in the fall of 1918, it burned to ground as there was no central water system extending that far. Another building was built on the same site to grind feed for farmers.

In the fall of 1915, a new grade and high school was built.

The Community Club was established in 1919.

The Milltown Fisherman's Party was organized in 1950, a two-day celebration. This publicizes the great number of fishing lakes in the area, 13 of them are within eight miles of town. In 1961 the three towns of Balsam Lake, Centuria and Milltown integrated and a new school, Unity was built 4 miles southeast of Milltown on Highway 46.

A special thanks for Gloria Larson for her help compiling this information.