Burnett County 


 A brief summary of the communities, settlements and other areas within Burnett County, 
how they got their names and where they are located.
AARON -- Named after Aaron Cornelison, an early settler in Rusk Township.  Lucy Cornelison was the first postmaster and named the town after her husband.  Aaron is located in Rusk Township.

ALPHA -- Named by Guy E. Noyes, this community was originally known as Smaland Prairie because of the large numbers of settlers that came from Smoland Sweden.  The post office department said the name was too long, so Mr. Noyes named it 'Alpha', the name on his cream separator (Alpha Number One De Laval).  Alpha is found in Wood River Township.

ALSTAD -- A forest, conservation and wildlife area in Burnett Co., this area was named after James Alstead.  May also be spelled 'Alstead'.  This area is located in Anderson Township.

ANDERSON and ANDERSON TOWNSHIP --  Named after Canute Anderson, the first settler in Burnett Co. in 1851.  He was a member of the Wisconsin Assembly and conducted the first post office unofficially in his own home.  This post office may have originally been known as "Berdo" or "Bardo", but no records are left to substantiate this. Canute was instrumental in organizing the Burnett County government.  The community of Anderson is located in Anderson Township, which was originally known as Benson Township.

ASPEN -- Probably named after the many Aspen trees in the area, this settlement has been abandoned.  It is unknown where Aspen was located.

BENSON -- A branch of the railroad was built in 1884, connecting Grantsburg with the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad at Rush City.  A station on that branch line at the store of Sven Johann Bengston (also known as Benson) was named for the storekeeper.  In 1885, the storekeeper applied for a post office, giving the name Benson, but there was already a Benson in Wisconsin, so the name was changed to Randall.  The post office was discontinued in 1929 but the name remained for the community, which has now completely disappeared. Benson can be found in Anderson Township

BIRCH ISLAND -- This area received its name from the lake on which it is located, Birch Island Lake.  A peninsula running into the lake is covered with birches and looks like an island from a distance.  Birch Island is located in the Scott Township

BLAINE TOWNSHIP -- Established in 1902, this township was probably named for John G. Blaine, the Progressive Republican at the 1902 convention.

BLANDING -- Named after William Blanding, a logger who lived in St. Croix Falls, this was a post office from 1886 to 1901.  It is was located in Daniels Township.

BRACY -- Another post office which was in existence from 1884 to 1908, this was named after the first postmaster, Burtred G. Bracy.  Bracy was located in West Marshland Township.

BRANSTAD -- Named after Ole C. Branstad who was an early settler who donated land where the creamery was built in 1896.  The name in Norwegian means "burned village".  Branstad is located in Grantsburg Township.

BURNETT COUNTY -- Our county was named for Thomas P. Burnett who was an early Wisconsin legislator.  He was born in Virginia and emigrated to Kentucky as a child, eventually practicing law in Paris, KY.  In 1829 he was appointed Indian Agent at Prairie du Chien, but later returned to the practice of law and was an influential factor in Wisconsin territorial legislation.  He was a member of the Wisconsin Constitutional Convention.  He died in 1846.  The community of Burnett was located in Anderson Township.  There was also a Burnettville in the county, but it's location is unknown.

CANUTE BROOK -- Named after Canute Anderson, this tributary of the Trade River flows through Anderson Township.  Canute owned large haying meadows and sold hay to loggers.

CLAM FALLS -- Known by the Chippewa Indians as Ga-Essikag-Kakabigang (ga-essikag - 'there are clams') and (kakabikan - 'a waterfall').

COOMER -- Named after William Coomer, a merchant at Taylors Falls.  Located in LaFollette Township, the only thing left of this community is a church and a school building.

CREX MEADOWS WILDLIFE AREA -- A state conservation area named after the Crex Carpet Company of New Brighton, MN, which owned all of the land in the area and harvested wire grass there for the manufacture of grass carpets from 1905 to 1915.

DANBURY -- This community was started in 1911 on the Soo Line Railroad and may have been named after Dan Springer who was the contractor who did the grading for the railroad.  It is also said that it may have been named after John Daniel Glass.  Some of the other names suggested were, Blueberry, Nettland (named after Ed Peet's wife), Edsville (named after Ed Peet, himself) or just Peet.  The decision was made by Mr. Peet, settling on Danbury, because he envisioned the town becoming a second Danbury Connecticut, and so chose the middle name of his friend, John D. Glass.  Danbury is located in Swiss Township.

DANIELS TOWNSHIP -- Established as a township in 1907, it was named after an early settler and prominent citizen, Daniel Johnson.

DES MOINES -- This settlement was originally known as Sucker Lake until summer residents from Iowa had it changed. Located in Webb Lake Township.

DONGOLA -- Located in the Sand Lake township, the town of Dongola and its post office were active between 1899 and 1912.  The name was picked by the first postmaster, Hiram Ingalls, who wanted Gondola, but it was mispelled as Dongola and that's how it stayed.  Another story says the name was picked after Dongola kid, a kind of leather that was popular at that time.

EKDALL -- A community with a church, school, and postoffice that was located in the West Marshland Township, north of Grantsburg, from about 1891 to 1917.  It has completely disappeared.  It was populated by a large group of Swedish people who gave the name to the post office.  Ekdall means "oak slope" or "oak dale".  Ole Johanson wanted the post office to be called Meadow Hill, but more people liked Ekdall because there are so many oak trees in that area.  Another story says that Norwegian settlers claimed this location and Even Ryen named it Ekdall after a gaard in Norway.

FALUN -- The first postmaster, Edward C. Johnson, chose the name of Falun after the city in Sweden which many of the early settlers had come from in the 1870s.  You can find Falun in Wood River Township.

FERRON PARK -- Named after F. Ferron who owned a stock farm on McKenzie Lake.  This area is located in Scott Township.

FOUR CORNERS -- A small community grew up near Trade Lake in the early days, located at the crossroads where Co. Rd. Y makes a sharp turn.  It became known as 'The Corners' and later Four Corners.  Charles F. (King Karl) Anderson was appointed to be postmaster of Trade Lake from 1870 to 1874.  Because he lived at Four Corners, he chose to operate this post office there.  Four Corners is located in Trade Lake Township.

FREYA -- Located seven miles northeast of Grantsburg in Wood River Township, it was named after the Scandinavian goddess of love.

GASLYN -- The lake and creek, and later the town, were named for a logger and timber cruiser, Dave Gaslyn.  The post office operated from 1902 to 1919.  Gaslyn is located in Rusk Township.

GRANTSBURG -- The Indian name was "Kitchi-Maski-gimi-nika-ning" meaning "at the great cranberry place."  Canute Anderson came to this area in 1851 and established the first post office which was in his home.  He later built a sawmill and laid out the village site, naming it after General Ulysses S. Grant who was popular at the time because of his victory in the Battle of Vicksburg. Grantsburg is located in Grantsburg Township.

GRANTSBURG TOWNSHIP -- Located on the western-most border of Burnett Co., Grantsburg Township once covered the whole county!

GRIFFIN -- A small community located nine miles north of Grantsburg.  It was named for Ira Griffin, one of the cranberry kings of the district.  Griffin is in West Marshland Township.

HAGEN CREEK -- Named after Charles Hagen who owned large haying meadows and sold hay to loggers.  Hagen Creek is a tributary of the Trade River and flows through Anderson Township.

HERTEL -- Named after Otto Hertel, the first postmaster, who was also a storekeeper.  Hertel is found in LaFollette Township.

JACKSON TOWNSHIP -- This township was named by G. L. Miller, who was a Prairie du Chien attorney who invested heavily in property in the eastern part of Burnett County.  He personally petitioned the state legislature to establish this new township to be named in honor of Stonewall Jackson.

KARLSBORG -- Meaning "Charles' fortress', an early settler, M. J. Kalmen, chose this name after the place in Sweden from which he and others had come.  Karlsborg is located in Lincoln Township.

KREINERSVILLE -- E. O. Kreiner was one of the first settlers of this area who helped to get the first post office established.  Kreinersville was named after him and is located in Swiss Township.

KRUEGER -- Also spelled Kruger.  This post office was named after Paul Kruger, President of the Transvaal Republic, and leader during the Boer War.  The post office itself was located in Charles Benz's home.  Charles was an enthusiastic German and is the one who suggested the name of Krueger.  It is located in Meenon Township.

LAFOLLETTE TOWNSHIP -- Named after Governor Robert M. Lafollette who was in office at the time this township was established in 1902.

LEEF -- This community was named after John A. Leef who was an early Swedish settler and the first postmaster of the community, which is located in Jackson Township.

LINCOLN TOWNSHIP -- Probably one of the many areas named after President Abraham Lincoln. 

MAY -- The name of a post office that was established in 1898 and ran until 1905 in the general store of Justin Schoonover.  It was located on the east shore of Big Clam Lake in the Siren Township and was named after Justin's wife, May Schoonover.

McDOWELL -- Named after A. L. McDowell who lived on the shores of Lilly Lake in Webb Lake Township.  He was the postmaster of this settlement, along with being a "sucker", a term used for the clean-up man who piled branches that are cut off felled trees.  This community later changed its name to Webb Lake.  See also Webb Lake.

MEENON TOWNSHIP -- Meenon is the Chippewa word for blueberries.  It is said this was a "land of jack pines and blueberries," and blueberries were an important source of income to the early settlers here.

MILLER -- See Webb Lake

MORO -- Located in Jackson Township, Moro was named after the Moro Castle at Havana Cuba, at the time of the Spanish-American War.

NORWAY POINT -- This point of land, where the St. Croix River bends sharply, was the site of a ferry and log landing in 1880.  It was also named by the loggers because of a stand of Norway pine.

OAKLAND -- There were small areas of oak trees in the midst of a countryside covered with jackpine.  This community was named after such an area.

ORANGE -- Named after Orange Parslow who was the first postmaster in this community, which is located in Oakland Township.

PANSY -- It is said that the first postmaster's wife, Mrs. John Vorpahl, liked pansies, thus the name.  Pansy is located in the Swiss Township.

PEET -- Ed Peet started the newspaper in Grantsburg in 1895, and published it until 1905.  He was known throughout the state for his promotion of the cut-over lands in Northern Wisconsin and his advertising of Burnett County.  Mrs. Ida M. Nichols, the first postmaster in this settlement, gave the post office his name.  Peet can be found in the West Marshland Township.

PERIDA -- The first postmaster of this community was Perida Frank Parsons, from 1899 to 1908.  This area no longer exists as a community, but was in Lincoln Township.

RANDALL  -- Named after James J. Randall of New England, who settled here.  See also Benson above.

ROONEY -- Named after James Rooney who owned land in the area, this town is now abandoned.  There is also a Rooney Lake which was named before the town was. Both are located in the Swiss Township.

ROOSEVELT TOWNSHIP -- This township was established in 1903 when Theodore Roosevelt was President.

RUSK TOWNSHIP -- This township was established in 1899, during the last year of the Governor of Wisconsin, Jeremiah M. Rusk's, term thus it was named after him.

SAND LAKE TOWNSHIP -- Within this township's borders is Big Sand Lake, so named because of its beautiful sandy beaches.  The township took the name as well because of this famous tourist attraction. 

SCOTT TOWNSHIP -- This township was named by G. L. Miller who chose the name in honor of General Winfield Scott, Commanding General of the United States Army during the Mexican War.  Although Mr. Miller was a Prairie du Chien attorney, he became a booster for this area in Burnett Co. and personally petitioned the legislature for new townships that he named after famous generals.

SIREN -- Settlers moved into this area after 1870, and by 1895 a post office was established.  The first postmaster was Charles F. Segerstrom who had the office in his home.  His home was surrounded with lilacs, so he suggested the Swedish word for lilac, "Syren."  The postal department changed the 'y' to 'i' in granting the application.  Several years later the post office was moved a mil and a half west of the present village where a store and creamery had been established on Little Doctor's Lake.  When the Soo Line Railroad was extended from Frederic to Duluth it was moved to the present site.  Siren is nestled in the Siren Township, of course!

STAPLES -- Named after Winn Staples who was a prominent logger in the pineries on the St. Croix River and its tributaries.  The location of this community is unknown.

SWISS -- The first postmaster, C. H. Chipman, when applying for a post office, suggested Big Island as a name for this area, named for the island in the St. Croix River that was not far away.  The name was refused, supposedly because it consisted of two words.  As a second thought, Mr. Chipman, also the owner of a fine herd of pedigreed Brown Swiss cattle, submitted the name of Swiss, which was accepted.  Swiss located in the Swiss Township.

TRADE LAKE, the settlement, and TRADE LAKE TOWNSHIP were named after the lake which had been a popular Indian trading post located on its shores.  The settlement was known as Donersville at one time.

TRADE RIVER -- A community located in Anderson Township. See a history of Trade River.  Also see a history of the Trade River Evangelical Free Church.

UNION TOWNSHIP -- When Captain D. W. Fox settled on Yellow Lake in Burnett Co., he chose this name for his township in honor of the Union forces in which he served during the Civil War.  He was attached to the staff of General Sexton, and became prominent in local, county and G. A. R. affairs.

VETERAN -- Captain D. W. Fox also named this community which is located on the west side of Big Yellow Lake in Lincoln Township, the name being selected to commemorate the veterans of the Civil War.

WEBB LAKE and WEBB LAKE TOWNSHIP are named after the largest lake within the township's boundaries.  The lake was originally named Webb's Lake, as Mr. Webb is claimed to have been an old trader with a poor reputation who had a trading post near the lake's outlet.  Another story says he was a logger from Stillwater, MN.  In 1909 G. L. Miller went to Madison and had a special act passed by the legislature dividing Jackson Township into three smaller townships.  At a meeting in Mr. Miller's home, the Webb Lake Township was called Harrison for the purpose of allotting the proportionate share of assets and liabilities of Jackson Township.  Later it was suggested it be named Miller,but the people objected and voted to change it to Webb Lake.  However, the earliest post office was at the home of a Mr. McDowell and named for him.  At a later date the office was moved near its present site and named Weblake because the department wanted one-word names.  The township name was subsequently corrected to Webb Lake and the post office was discontinued.

WEBSTER -- In 1896 a new post office was established in the settlement called Clam River.  J. D. Rice, the leading pioneer of the community, applied to Congressman John Jenkins to have it changed to Webster after Noah Webster, the great lexicographer. Webster is located in the Town of Meenon.

WEST MARSHLAND TOWNSHIP -- Marshland was the name given to a hamlet started by cranberry growers in the 1870s.  It was thought that it would grow into a great cranberry capital.  As the crops dwindled, so did the hamlet, and the name was applied to this large township of extensive marshes.  Later other townships were set off from it, leaving only the western part to be called West Marshland.

WOOD RIVER and WOOD RIVER TOWNSHIP -- This was the second post office established in Burnett County in 1862.  The site was probably named by fur traders, explorers, timber cruisers, or loggers who gave the name to the river and two lakes, Big and Little Wood.  The post office was discontinued in 1867, but the name still applies to the township

YELLOW LAKE -- The Chippewa Indians named the lakes and the river here for the yellow sand at their bottoms, or possibly because of the preponderance of yellow bloom or pollen which appeared in their waters.  The Indian word "Wess-awa-gamig" meant "yellow water" and "Oss-awa-gami" meant "the water is yellow."  Early French explorers who arrived before 1700 called the river Riviere Jeune.  The settlement on Big Yellow Lake had a post office from 1890 to 1950, named for the lake.  Yellow Lake is located in Oakland township.


Amick, April, Bashaw, Belton, Doran, Fairview, Hamlin, Hildas Corner, Hoque, June, LaFollette, Lind, Reed Corners, Riverside, Smiths Stopping Place, Spirit Lake, Sprig, Timberland, Vincent, and Woodland Corner

Last Update Sunday, 07-Nov-2010 22:16:22 EST