By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Residents of Otter Tail County can find out more about their individual township by logging onto the county website.

After accessing the home page for Otter Tail County, take your computer cursor to the far right to “County and Government” and scroll down and click on “Cities and Townships.”

As an example, one can scroll down and click on “Rush Lake Township” where you will find the following information:

Photo by Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County is home to more than 1,000 lakes. 

Organized January 3, 1871, Rush Lake Township bears the name of its large lake, which is translated from the name given to it by the Ojibways. Rush Lake gives its name, in the usage of the Ojibways, to the part of the Red River (now named Otter Tail River) flowing from it to Otter Tail Lake.

The township, governed by a township board, has a population of 970. Major lakes include Boedigheimer, Head, Marion, Mud, Rice, Round and Rush. The township includes the city of Richville.

By doing a search for the town of Richville, under the banner of “Cities and Townships,” one can find the following information:

Along the Soo Railway in Rush Lake Township, platted in the fall of 1903, the town of Richville was incorporated October 25, 1904. This village was named in honor of Watson Wellman Rich, civil engineer, who was born in Dayton, N. Y., March 9, 1841, and died in Shanghai, China, January 12, 1903. 

He served in the Fourth Minnesota Regiment in the Civil War, attaining the rank of captain. He was engaged in engineering work for several railroad lines in Minnesota, and after 1897 was chief consulting engineer of the Imperial Chinese Railway Administration.

There are 62 townships in Otter Tail County, each with a board of supervisors. 

Otter Tail County is larger in size than the state of Rhode Island and paved roads total 1,062 miles. This keeps the county highway department very busy.