Lincoln Township's first settlers arrived in the spring of 1852, so stated S. Pike in his early day historical sketches. Knud Alfson build a small house and put in a few acres of crops in section 27 while Lars Thompson began his pioneer farming about the same time on section 34.
In the fall of 1852, Jacob Knudson and Kittle Sanderson located in section 22 and in1853; pioneers Gunder Kittleson, Albert Kittleson, Gullick Thompson, Tove Thompson and Thomas Thompson arrived. John Seleir, Michael Farrel, Charles Straun, John Holehan, Nels Olson, Charles Jungk, H. W. Klemmen, Andrew Michael, Philip Kratz and Wm. Blackburn followed during the next two to three years.
Ridgeway is Lincoln Township's only town, which sprang into prominence in 1866 when the Chicago-Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad built through the community from the former end of the line at Conover. Fred Gashorn and James Kinney are recorded as the two of the earliest inhabitants of Ridgeway with S. Pike next in line as caretaker for the railroad company's hotel for railroad workers. Ridgeway grew rapidly until on May 9,1874, when a disastrous fire destroyed about 4/5ths of the business places of the town. Historian Pike says the fire originated with two little boys, 4 years old, lighting a cigar.
There are six cemeteries on record for Lincoln Township. In the southwest corner of section 20 is the St. John's Lutheran Cemetery established in October of 1861. Just across the road from the Old St. John's Cemetery is the plot established in 1891 for the Evangelical United Brethren Church from land secured from Philip Kratz.
In Section 16, what is known as the German Methodist Cemetery, is located and on land which was set aside from Henry Butz on January 19,1891. About 19 burials are in the cemetery located near the Fred Huhe farm. In section 15, is what is known as the Ridgeway Cemetery. It is recorded that it was started in the summer of 1866 when a man working on the railroad, which was being put through, died and was buried in the area but without a marker. The cemetery developed from then on.
Lincoln Lutheran Church has a cemetery in section 36 established in 1875, though the first burial was made on December 28, 1871. The Ridgeway Lutheran church has a cemetery in section 22 with the land being set aside on March 24,1882, from the farm of Jacob Jacobson.
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