What’s in a Name? (Townships with Ojibwe Names)

by Sue Bruns (from The Depot Express newsletter, Fall 2014) Beltrami County consists of 51 named townships (not all of them organized) and a number of unnamed, unorganized townships in the northern part of the county. At least four township names have their roots in Ojibwe words: Bemidji Township, which, along with a village established in 1896, took the name “Bemidji,” a shortened version of the Ojibwe name for the lake “Bemejigamaug,” meaning “a lake with water running through it.” Nebish Township: According to the Minnesota Historical Society, Nebish Township and its lake of this name are from the Ojibwe word “aniibiish,” meaning “tea,” a drink enjoyed by both the Ojibwe and white settlers. Waskish Township, located northeast of Upper Red Lake was organized in […]

What’s in a Name? (Tenstrike)

by Sue Bruns (from The Depot Express newsletter, Summer 2014) In May 1899, a post office was established in a little logging community on the shores of Gull Lake just north of Bemidji. The village of Tenstrike was incorporated on March 11, 1901. From 1901-1915, the little community published a newspaper called the Tenstrike Tribune. The M & I Railroad ran through Tenstrike and into the lake on which two different sawmills operated, sawing logs purchased from settlers. In the early 1900s Tenstrike was home to thirteen saloons, four grocery stores, several hotels, two lodges, a post office, two meat markets, a city hall, several sawmills, a box factory, two cemeteries, and four churches to serve a population of about 2000. The most commonly accepted […]

What’s in a Name? (Funkley)

by Sue Bruns (from The Depot Express newsletter, Fall 2013) With a population of 5 for the 2010 census, Funkley, Minnesota, is the smallest incorporated city in the state. The village, named for County Attorney Henry Funkley (1867-1951), was incorporated in January of 1904. In the early 1900’s, the town was buzzing with logging action, its population peaking in 1930 at 60 people. In 1953, the population had shrunk to 25, but LIFE Magazine featured the small town in an article about the entire village receiving an all-expense paid, 5-day sight-seeing trip to New York City. The trip was paid for by Pacific Mills, a manufacturer of sheets and textiles. The company wanted to acknowledge the little town and their Women’s Missionary Society of the […]