Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Diary of Eben H. Davis

A small diary in the collections of the Sherburne History Center provides fascinating detail about the early settlement of Elk River.  Eben H. Davis, at one time the Sheriff of early Sherburne County kept a travel diary in 1882.  In the autumn of 1882 he was part of a group surveying and “cruising” timber from Grand Portage to Hunter’s Island, Canada.  The final pages of this diary he provides background information about Elk River at the time of his settling in the area.  He gives two different dates for his arrival in Elk River: 1850 and 1851.   The date of his arrival matters very little.  The details of the settlement make this a valuable document. 

            In Sept. 1850 the writer hereof first came to Elk River.  Peter Bouttino was then building the Riverside Hotel.  His brother Chas. was living in and keeping Saloon in a log building about 4 or 5 rods west of the Hotel. 
            Silas Lane then lived in a house on the hill near where Harry Mills house now stands.  Chas. Donnely Donley lived about 80 rods N.E. of Robert Browns place and a man named Carver lived near Edd Kegans place.
            E. H Davis born in Town of Lowell, Maine August 29th 1835.  Emigrated to Illinois in fall of 1849 and to St. Anthony Minnesota in Spring of 1850 and to Elk River in Spring of 1851.  Was Married to Louisa M Ingersoll July 4th 1857 who died Sept. 19th 1888.  

Riverside Hotel and Bottineau cabin.  Photo from the collections of the Sherburne History Center. 1990.200.563


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