Forest Prairie Township
Organized in the summer of 1867, Forest Prairie Township was named appropriately for the mixture of woodland and nearly mile-long strip of prairie in the northwest corner of the township. The soil was very rich, but pioneers and Civil War veterans alike were slow to settle in the area because of the labor needed to clear the land for cultivation. Luckily for the community, the St. Paul-Minneapolis-Manitoba Railway Company did most of the work for them when a line was built in the 1870s. The Minneapolis Pacific Railway Co. purchased land in 1886 and laid their own line of track, temporarily giving Forest Prairie a reputation as a railroading village rather than one as a prospering farm community. The town of Watkins was also started because of the railroad. Today it is the only town in the township.