Arago History

Arago Township was organized in 1896, combining Townships 141 and 142, Range 35.  It was called Hay Creek Township at first, then changed to Eagle Lake.  A notice from the State Auditor said there already was an Eagle Lake Township.  The town board then changed it to Arago.  Arago was the name given to Potato Lake by Nicollet in 1843.  The name commemorates Domnique Francois Arago, a French astronomer.  It was changed back to Potato Lake because of the Jerusulem artichokes growing around the lake.  However the area was still called Hay Creek until the post office was started in 1897.  The Post Office was organized by Chas Martin in his log home.  Later it was in a frame building that was added on.  Then in 1899 another addition was built on.  This was the Fairview Hotel with a dance floor and dining room.  In 1907, a frame building, 12×20 feet was built by Henry Michel, on his property 1/2 mile north.  Chas Martin resigned and Mr. Michel became the post master and moved the post office to his new building.  Then in 1908 Michels sold 40 acres to David Short.  The sale included the residence, a store with stock of goods and the post office.  Mrs. Michel was the post mistress and so she resigned and Mrs. David Short was appointed as the new post mistress.  Then at some time their daughter, Daisy Rehard, served as the post mistress until the post office closed in 1955.

On Oct. 2, 1905 Township 142 separated and formed a new township and named it Clover.

In 1892 a new wagon road was laid out going through Arago and Clover Townships and on to Itasca State Park.

In 1917 a cemetery was surveyed just south of the post office.  This was called the Arago/Clover Evergreen Cemetery.  It has been enlared once since then.

In 1895 School District #15 was organized and a school house was built on the George Hemmerich property on the NE 1/4 of section 18.  This was moved to just west of the cemetery and used as a town hall.  In 1896 another District was formed south of Hay Creek.  This was District 21 near the Becker County line.

Another early business was a sawmill stared by Bill Pritchett 1/2 mile north of the post office on a little lake.  He had a sawmill, a shingle mill and a lath mill all run by steam engines.  He also had a store with gas pumps.  Later Tom Hjermastad had a store with gas pumps just north of the lake.  He also raised chickens and had a strawberry farm.

In 1897 Frank Mitchell Sr. and Peter Becker took out homesteads in Clover Township.  They are both still in the same family owned by Donald Becker and Frank Mitchell III.  The Mitchell homestead is registered as a Century Farm in the State of Minnesota.

Click Here to read “Arago My Arago” – By Frank Mitchell