The tales of Burnett County
Burnett County lies in the St. Croix River valley. The first actual movement is opening the St. Croix valley was in the autumn of 1833 when a mission was established at the outlet of Yellow Lake by Rev. Fred Ayer and his wife. Miss Crooks was the teacher.
July 29, 1837 the United States purchased this valley from the Indians. A Meeting for this purpose was held at Fort Snelling and a treaty signed. The purchase was ratified by Congress in the spring of 1838.
March 1, 1865 this county was separated from Polk County of which it was originally part. The newly established Burnett County included the area that is now Washburn county. It was named in honor of Thomas Pendleton Burnett, a general and kind hearted lawyer. In 1865 when the county was organized the first county officers appointed by the governor were as follows: Judge, Nimrod H Hickerson; Clerk of Court, Canute Anderson; Register of deeds, Peter Anderson; Treasurer, S. Thompson; Sheriff, Martin B. Johnson and District Attorney, Jacob Larson. Grantsburg was selected as the county seat.
January 24, 1865 the first county supervisors meeting was held. Michael Jensen was chairman, Thore Ingebretson and Peter Anderson were supervisors. November 7, 1865 the first election was held at the home of Nimrod Hickerson.
The early settlers were mostly Norwegian and Swedish immigrants.
The first frame house built in the county was built at Grantsburg in 1865 by W.H. Peck.
The first crops were raised in the township of 39, range by Charles Ayer.
The first School for white children was held in a house belonging to Joel A. Hickerson. Mr. Hickerson came to this area in 1861, took a pre-emption and while building his home left it with tools inside and enlisted in the army. While he was gone the neighbors finished the building sufficiently to use it for a schoolhouse.
The first deed recorded in Burnett county was a tax deed form Polk county to Simon Estonson, dated January 20, 1866.