CARLTON COUNTY, established May 23, 1857, with a further legislative act of February 18, 1870, and organized September 26, 1870, was named in honor of Reuben B. Carlton, one of the first settlers of Fond du Lac, at the head of lake navigation on the St. Louis river, near the line between St. Louis and Carlton counties. He was born in Onondaga county, New York, March 4, 1812; came to Fond du Lac in 1847, as a farmer and blacksmith for the Ojibway Indians; was one of the proprietors of the townsite of Fond du Lac, being a trustee under the act of its incorporation in 1857; and was a member of the first state senate, 1858. He owned about eighty acres adjoining that village and the river, on which he resided until his death, December 6, 1863.
The village of Carlton, the county seat of this county since 1886, was also named for him; and he is further commemorated by Carlton’s Peak, near Tofte in Cook county, the most prominent point on the north shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota, forming the western end of the Sawteeth Range.
Fifty years after Carlton’s death, James Bardon of Superior, Wis., wrote the following personal remembrance and estimate of him to Henry Oldenburg of Carlton, dated September 10, 1913. ” ‘Colonel’ Carlton, as he was called, was a man of large frame, fully six feet in height, a strong personality, of good looks and pleasing manners, a man of much intelligence. He became associated with the bright and enterprising men who laid out and established Superior, Duluth, and other places about the head of Lake Superior. An avenue here in Superior was named after him. . . . Colonel Carlton was more prominently identified with the westerly part of St. Louis county, now Carlton county, in the early days, than any other man; and when thenew county was projected it is likely that all men agreed that Carlton was the appropriate name for it, . . . a really noble character.”
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