Mason Township Board
Mason Township History
Mason Township is located in the middle of the second tier of Murray County. Lake Sarah Township borders on the north, Murray Township on the east, Slayton Township on the south, and Lowville Township on the west. This township was originally called "Okcheeda," which is a Sioux word for beaver. In 1879, it was renamed for Milo D. Mason, one of its pioneer settlers and mail carrier between Currie and Pipestone.
The first legal county seat was located in the center of the Murray County, Section 34 of Mason Township, this was also the place of the Okcheeda post office and general store. On January 7, 1873, the first elected board of commissioners met at the home of Leonard Bonesteel. Just as the meeting started, the greatest blizzard ever known in this part of the county began, one in which many lives were lost. The storm lasted three days and three nights, without the slightest let-up. The snow drifted into Bonesteel's log house. So much so that it was nearly impossible to be comfortable at foot away from the stove. The decision was made that, from then on, the board meetings would be held at Shetek Mills (Currie).
John Dennison settled on the highest area in Mason Township, and, as a joke, he called his place, "Poverty Hill." Many years before Murray County was settled, Poverty Hill was called "Butte Des Mortise," the equivalent of the Sioux name meaning "Mound of the Dead". The dead were placed on platforms until only the bones were left, then the bones were buried.
Lake Shetek and the resort island of Valhalla are located in Mason Township.
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