Another IAGenWeb Project


(From "Frederick Padden Founded Our Town")

During the fall of 1853, John Patten built a log shanty near the bank of the Plum Creek, the first building of any sort to be erected on the site of Fredericksburg. This shanty was located near the junction of Plum Creek and the East Wapsipinicon River.

Little was known of John Patten and his family, where they came from, or where they went. They lived in the shanty but a short time, then built a second one in Dresden Township, where the family spent the winter of 1853-54. Later in the fall of 1853, Israel Martin and his wife moved into the first shanty and stayed until spring when the Pattens and Martins moved away.

On September 21, 1854, Frederick Padden and his family moved into the little empty shack on the bank of the creek.

Frederick Padden, pioneer, first permanent settler in Fredericksburg, first hotel keeper, first mill builder and owner, first roadmaster and first postmaster - he gave his name to the town and township.

More settlers came in the fall and the next spring - Lewis Padden, a brother of Frederick, Christopher C. Stone, J.K. Kroninger, Jesse F. Appleberry, Thomas P. Vokes, George Hillson, Daniel Bloxham, James Potter, Godfrey Vail and others came with their families to the new settlement and to the country nearby.

Fredericksburg Firsts:
  • May 19, 1855 - first sermon preached in the front room of Frederick Padden's hotel, the Fountain House, by a Free Will Baptist Minister, Rev. S.M. Prentice.
  • June 1856 - first baby born - Rosa Padden, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Lewis Padden
  • June 1856 - first death - Emilia Padden, daughter of Frederick & Julia Padden
  • October 1856 - the town of Fredericksburg was platted by Frederick Padden & Daniel Bloxham
  • In 1856, first Post Office was estabilished with Frederick Padden as postmaster & F.W. Barrow as deputy
  • In 1857, first marriage, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Zwick
  • In 1875, the Fredericksburg Cheese Company opened a factory on Plum Creek
  • In 1886, the Minnesota Northwestern railroad came through Fredericksburg
  • In 1903, Fredericksburg put in waterworks at a cost of $4000 with Main Street piped, and since that time has developed excellent water and sewer systems
  • In the fall of 1933, US Hwy 18, which runs through Main Street, was started to be paved and completed in 1934

    Frederick & Julia Padden are buried in the West Cemetery in Fredericksburg.

  • "We look back through the years with great pride and admiration and a deep sense of gratitude to those early settlers whose faith, courage, and foresight helped to make Fredericksburg the good town it is." Dora M. Leach wrote the above article for the July 1, 1954 centennial edition of the Fredericksburg News - for this purpose just parts of the article were used.

    Reprinted With Permission By The City Of Fredericksburg (Cindy Lantow, City Administrator)