Jefferson G. Dawes was very involved in the early years of Pine River especially in 1901.
Warren Huffman, “As I Remember…1894,” Bicentennial Issue 1873-1973, Pine River Journal, Pine River, MN.
Excerpts: “…The first winter was a hard one for new settlers to get started. George Barclay had the one store in Pine River and without the credit that he extended it would have been impossible to stay. George Barclay had his detractors, but he was a kind-hearted man and generous. He was a small man with a high-pitched voice. I remember him well, and we all felt a genuine sorrow and loss when he was shot by an unknown person as he sat reading in the lobby of the Barclay Hotel.
My first visit to Pine River was in the summer of 1895. At that time the town extended along one street and block facing the railway station. Barclay’s store occupied the site of the present locker plant. As I was only four years old at that time I have no recollection of what the other buildings were except the store and hotel. Being a small boy in those early years I have no memory of dates, but some things stand out in memory regardless of dates; such as, the Indian graves...After George Barclay’s death his widow married J.G. Dawes who was a real “go-getter.” Mr. Dawes immediately began putting Pine River on the map….”
Francis Allen, “Early History of Pine River,” pg. 2-3, 1973 Bicentennial Issue, Pine River Journal, Pine River, Minnesota:
“Soon after this Jefferson G. Dawes came here and settled… proceeded to plat and organize the city of Pine River. We must recognize the vision of this man as we look over our beautiful little city today, with its wide streets and beautiful parks and swimming pool. According to records in 1901, a petition signed by thirty-four residents requesting the organization of the village was brought forth on December 5, 1901, an election was held, there being thirty votes cast, and the following officers were unanimously elected: J.G. Dawes, President; H. S. Gilbert, J.P. Leef and E.S. Holman Trustees etc.”
Cass County Heritage Book 1897-1997, pg. 55 Cass County Historical Society, Walker, MN.
Pine River votes to incorporate as a village on December 5, 1901 with 190 residents located on 163 acres which center at Barclay and First Streets. This village includes two stores, two saloons, a hotel and livery, a boarding house, a barbershop, a blacksmith shop, a land office, a printing office and a post office. In 1997, 124 years after the founder of Pine River paid $1.25 per acre for land, acreage prices near Pine river range from $500 to $1,250 per acre. The village consists of over 30 retail businesses, plus one car dealership, three hair care establishments, two land offices, two banks, three eating establishments, a library, a medical clinic, a government center, a municipal liquor store and a post office.
Pine River Blaze, Pine River, MN, “Council Meeting, Pine River, MN,” Dec. 19, 1901.
Council Meeting 1901
At the first meeting of the village council of the village of Pine River, there were present President J.G. Dawes; Trustees J.P. Leef, E.S. Holman and Heber S. Gilbert and Recorder S.P. Hanson. The recorder reported that he had received and filed the official oath of the following village officers: President J.G. Dawes, Trustees J.P. Leef, E.S. Holman and Herber S. Gilbert; Recorder, S.P. Hanson whereupon it was declared that President J.G. Dawes and Trustees J.P. Leef, E.S. Holman and Herber S. Gilbert were duly qualified. Upon motion it was decided that the recorder, the constables and the justices of the peace each give a bond to be approved by the village council, in the sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00), and that the village treasurer give a bond to be approved by the village council, in the sum of one thousand dollars (1000.00). The bond of Recorder S.P. Hanson with J.P. Leef and J.G. Dawes as sureties was on motion approved and accepted. The bond of Constable D. J. Jones with J.G. Dawes and J.P. Leef as sureties was on motion approved and accepted. Whereupon it was declared that Recorder S.P. Hanson, Constable D. J. Jones were duly qualified for their respective offices, upon the filing of their bonds as required by law. Upon motion, Ordinance No. 1, relating to the sale of Intoxicating Liquors was passed and approved, and ordered published in the Walker Pilot, the official paper of Cass County, in the absence of a legal newspaper in the village of Pine River.