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Census entry Holman family1339 views
Military service just one Holman tradition1298 viewsThe Burnsville Current November 7, 1979 features Floyd and Lloyd Holman and their sister Betty Kamrud and the family military tradition dating back to the Civil War - Captain Judd of Burnsville.
Dolly's Store moved to Rosemount367 viewsMay 29, 1980 Minneapolis Star Tribune features a story on the former Dolly's store moved from its original location at Crystal Lake to Rosemount.
Byrne School named for pioneer 1967308 viewsAlthough no additional information appears in this article, this was published by the Minnesota Valley Review when the William Byrne School opened.
Ed and Mary Doebel, after farming for several years, both worked for School District 191 and have now retired266 viewsIn the September 8, 1976 Burnsville Sun Newspaper article, Del Stelling interviews Ed and Mary Doebel about her retirement from the School District.
Wedding of Clara Fahey and Elias Kearney 1919265 viewsBoth members of Burnsville founding familes - Fahey and Kearney, both lived in the School District 16 area of Burnsville.
Some of the people in the photo have been identified:
Dolly Store moved to Rosemount225 viewsAfter the death of Oscar Dally his store was sold and moved to an area of Rosemount where a resident created a generic "old town" of Dakota County. The site is now a housing development.

Walt Strese of Rosemount created his own Antique Town in the valley behind his home on County Road 33 in Rosemount. Included was the Gibson Barbershop or Rosemount and Dally Store from Crystal Lake. The antique village no longer exists.
Burnsville Women around haystack218 viewsChristine Gerdesmeirer, Maye Fahey, Edna O'Brian, Margaret Hayes,Helen Kelleher and Clara Kearney. Burnsville Farm during WWII.

haystack wwII
Oscar Dally212 viewsThe Dally cabin at Crystal Lake in the 1920s.
Oscar Dally at Dolly's Place209 viewsOscar Dally behind the counter of his store, "Dolly's Place" located at the east end of Crystal Lake. The store was colocated with the house and the "resort."
Burnsville Name Belies That of Irish Founder196 viewsBy RALPH THORNTON
Mlnneapolis Star - November 26, 1963

High atop a windswept hill just south of the Minnesota River in Dakota County, in the cemetery he gave to his community, is the grave of William Byrne, early settler of Burnsville.

But what may make the old patriarch rest uneasily, according to his descendants, is that · his township today bears a Scottish name rather than one commemorating its Irish beginnings.

There are others who will stoutly maintain that Burns is also a good old Gaelic name.

Nearly every headstone in the old Mount Calvary cemetery there's a name such as Duffy, O'Brien, Dillon, Dempsey, Hanrahan, Gallagher and Murphy.

Burial Ground
From the burial ground one may look over the former Byrne Farm, another portion of which its owners gave for the settlements first Chapel, built logs in 1853.

Earlier, the first services have been celebrated in the Byrne home by father Ravoux, Noted missionary priest from Mendota.

The discrepancy and the spelling of the name of the town and that of its founder is due to a clerical error, said Mrs. Dorothy Byrne Benson. 127 W. Lake Street, enough is to live in great grandchildren. The other, John Byrne, resides in Phoenix Arizona.

Their family history states that William Bern, a native of County Kilkenny, Ireland, sailed to Montréal Canada about 1820. In 1853 he homesteaded near the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.

"The Township of Burnsville was then established", reads the story.
10 children

William Bern and his wife Julia had 10 children and many grandchildren. Their sons James, Daniel and John had 15, 10 and 10 children, respectively.

With so many Byrnes in the area, some added an "S" to their name to facilitate delivery of mail.

Later William Byrne moved to west St. Paul, where he died in 1877 at the age of 81.One of his grandsons was monsignor James C Bern, well-known St. Paul Catholic priest

Records in the Minnesota historical Society bear out details of this history,But referred to the family as "Burns."

The census of 1860 lists Burns, his wife and children as Burns. The history of Dakota County by Rev. Edward T Neill, states that "In 1853 William Burns and family came from CanadaAnd settled in the north west corner of town."

However, the history states that "early records of the town from its date organization until 1860 were destroyed. It kept at all. The first officers of the town did not appear. At the time of its organization that was named in honor of William Burns, father of several sons located in and adjoining the town.

At the first recorded town meeting, April 3, 1860, Thomas Burns, his son, was elected chairman, the book states period

And these historical records the family insists, the name Byrne seems to have been mistaken for Burns by official recorders. And this mistake gave the town its present name.

But it is Byrne on its founders tombstone in Mount Calvary Cemetery

Pat Connolly, Burnsville village clerk, said"I can remember when every house between Nichols Station (Cedar Avenue) and Savage as Irish." In that area lived the Ryans, Kennellys, O'Regans, Conroys, Kellehers and many others.

Whether Byrnesville or Burnsville, the Township, which plans to seek incorporation as a village soon, just wanted Minnesota's fastest growing communities.

Perhaps it's founder, William Byrne, would take pride in the flowering of the settlement he founded 110 years ago and forget the misspelling of his name.
A plaque for Dolly (Dally) 180 viewsSeveral dozen residents from Crystal Lake gathered September 27, 1980 to dedicate a plaque to Oscar Dolly (correct spelling Dally) a life resident of the area and shop owner for 54 years. He died in 1977.
Thomas Berrisford (1840 - 1894)177 viewsThis biographical information appears on his Find a Grave posting, written while still alive.
Oscar Dally 170 viewsOscar Dally cabin at Crystal Lake.
Oscar Dally behind his house in Burnsville.166 viewsOscar's store was very close to the roadway, with just enough room for roadside parking. The house is set back (it still exists in 2016.) The house was restored beautifully, an addition added to the rear, while preserving the as-built portion to the east.
late 1920s or 1930s.
Oscar Dally165 viewsOscar Dally's Dolly's store before being moved to Rosemount.
Oscar Dally plaque 2017159 viewsAlthough his name is not spelled correctly on the sign, it marks the site of his popular store on Crystal Lake.
Register of Deaths for 1888157 viewsRegister of Deaths for 1888 Burnsville (Mary Berrisford, William Rice, Anatola Thornton, Walter Kennelly, William McDermott)
Byrnesville?157 viewsby Richard Brooks
used in 1976bCommunity History

William Byrne immigrated from County Kilkerry, Ireland, to Hamil­ton, Ontario, Canada about 1840. He moved his family to the northwest cor­ ner of what is now our city limits about 1855. Upon arrival, he named what we now call Savage "Hamilton" after the city he left in Canada. This community was the focal point for new settlers. Trade, school, religion and social events were centered there. Byrne donated land for a church, school, and a cemetery, later named Mount Calvary. It has been assumed by some that BYRNESVILLE township was named after him.

On April 3, 1860 a Thos. Burn signed the minutes of the Town Board meeting. One record states that Tho­ mas Burn was Byrne's son. There is evidence, according to Neill's His­ tory of Dakota County, 1881 that a family whose name was Burn settled here before Byrne. W as Thos. Burn Thomas Byrne? Supposedly Burn is Scotch, and Byrne Irish. Regardless, in 1860 Michael Connelly, the town clerk who wrote the minutes, signed the records BURNSVILLE, Minnesota. So began the basis for the much de­ bated enigma of the spelling of the town's name.

At study of the original Town Board minutes, beginning in 1860, shows that the spelling was BURNSVILLE in every written record until 1876. The town clerk spelled it BU at the March meeting and BY at the December meeting. It appears as BY on March 16, 1881, and as BYRNESVILLE for the last time March 6, 1882. (The records, on microfilm, are at the library; the originals are in the vault at City Hall).

Records show that William Byrne had several sons. Many early sett­lers had large families. For sheer identity from one another, some changed the spelling of the last name to make mailing purposes easier. "Kennelly" is spelled three different ways, for example. Was there so much mail in the 1850's that "son" Thos. had to go from Byrne to Burn? It is doubtful. Long time residents in the community say they simply do not know when or how the spelling changed, IF IT DID AT ALL. Not one can offer an historical fact to pin­ point the change.

Dorothy Byrne Benson, a great granddaughter of William Byrne , in a speech given at the dedication of Byrne School, made much ado about the misspelling of the town's name. She thought, "the least we could do was to correct it". She said she had "called the village manager a- bout it" . In a taped interview dated February 1, 1975, she admitted she had been south of the Minnesota Ri­ ver twice, once to a funeral in Sa­vage at the age of six and again at the school dedication. The fact is not one of the original Byrne family has lived in town for many decades. So why the fuss?

Burnsville is not such a bad name. It's better than Ballclub, or Embar­rass, or Fertile, or Dent, or Climax, Minnesota, to name a few. Per­haps William Byrne, who is buried
in his own cemetery, would care more about Hamilton being renamed Savage than a misspelling. . . if there ever was one. . .of our town's name.
Mrs. Oscar Dally dies157 views1955 - the death of Mrs. Oscar Dally (Emma) is reported.
They moved to Crystal Lake where they operated a resort for the past 35 years. The 1930 census provides the following information:

Oscar A Dally Head M 44 Minnesota
Emma Dally Wife F 45 Minnesota
Frank W Dally Son M 19 Minnesota
Margaret Dally Daughter F 10 Minnesota
Oscar Dally156 viewsThe site of the Oscar Dally cabin after being removed.
Burnsville's first merchant154 viewsBy DELSTELLING
November 17, 1981

John Berrisford, Burnsville’s first merchant, was one of those hardy pioneers, who not only fought in the Civil War, but also the Sioux Uprising.

Born in Staffordshire, England on Sept. 21, 1843, Berrisford and his parents moved to America in 1856, eventually settling in Minnesota.
After a rough sea voyage, they arrived in New York City and then ! took a train to Galena, where they transferred to a river boat which took them up the Mississippi River.

When they arrived at Reed’s Landing in Minnesota, they discovered Lake Pepin was still covered with ice, thus causing the passengers to disembark with their baggage.

Rather than wait until river traffic opened up, Berrisford’s father and his older brother, Tom, started to walk to the farm of William Berrisford, an uncle, who had settled in Credit River, about 100 miles away.

Later, after the ice had left Lake Pepin, Berrisford and his mother and four brothers and sisters resumed their steamboat trip to St. Paul.

Upon arriving in St. Paul, they again transferred to another river boat which traveled up the Minnesota River to Credit River landing, now Savage, where they were met by their father and Uncle William.
After a couple of days, they located a building site along side a lake and erected a log shanty, which served as their first home in America.

Shortly thereafter, Berrisford went to work on the farm of a Mr. Ragen (Regan?) at “the princely sum of $6 per month.”

In describing this later, Berrisford said he got up at 4 a.m. and milked six or seven cows before breakfast, following which he went out into the field.

After working all day in the field, he again had to milk the cows, following which he finally had supper about 9 p.m.

There were times, he said, he got so hungry he could have “eaten a jackass and chased the driver.”

It was while working for Mr. Ragan that he bargained with him to purchase a cow for his family. He purchased the cow for $20, with the understanding he would pay for it in labor.

By that time, his salary had increased to $8 per month, so after about two and a half months, he had finally paid for the cow, the first cow the Berrisford family had in America.

That winter the log shanty caught fire and burned, with the result young Berrisford moved in with his Uncle William, while the rest of family moved in with Mr. and Mrs. Murray, some neighbors.

When spring came, young Berrisford moved to St. Paul where he and his brother, Tom. went into the business of sawing and splitting wood.

Later, he learned the bakery trade from Robert Baxter, who was killed at the battle of Birch Coulee.

When the Civil War broke out, Berrisford enlisted with the Third Minnesota, serving with that regiment until the battle of Murfreesboro.

The regiment was later sent back to Minnesota on parole, and upon arriving here was sent out to western Minnesota to help quell the Indian uprising.

In doing so, the regiment participated in the Battle of Wood Lake.

It was after the war that John Berrisford opened a general store in Burnsville, near what is now the junction of Judicial Road and County Road 34.

At the time, this was on the old Shakopee-St. Paul Road, along which much of the horse and wagon traffic of that day travelled.

Nearby, the original St. John the Baptist Catholic Church was located. Thus, this became one of the most strategic locations of the community, serving the residents of Burnsville and also those of Hamilton, now Savage.

In later years, Berrisford returned to St. Paul, where he was engaged in the fuel business at Rondo and St. Albans streets.

He passed away in St. Paul on June 8, 1908.

Incidentally, the old Berrisford store is still in use. After the church burned, the store was moved to Hamilton and is now occupied by Razor’s Edge Barber Shop.
Eli and Clara Kearney and Luke and Sadie McCoy154 viewsSadie McCoy was Eli Kearney's sister. photo 1944.
Oscar Dally resort cabin153 viewsPossibly this was first Dally living structure, later rented as resort cabin after 1293 house built. Date may say 1920.
152 viewsDolly's Store was located at Crystal Lake.
John Connelly farm -1940s152 viewsThe John Connelly farm was located one farm down from the William and Bridget (and later Pat and Mary Connelly) farm. This house was later owned by Jim and Rosella Kennelly Ryan and it stood on Highway 13.
Oscar Dally obituary by Dick Deurre149 viewsApril 4, 1977
Dolly's Place is a small, neat old building nestled on Crystal Lake Road. When Mr. Dally started the business in 1923 it was a grocery store but now most of the sales are beer, pop and candy. The customers are from the Crystal Lake neighborhood and start buying at an early age. It is not unusual to see a three or four-year-old standing in front of the candy counter trying to decide what to spend his nickel or dime on. Dally was always a marvel, he'd stand there pa­tiently while the young customers would waver between picking a Bub's Daddy or a Marathon Bar.

The decision could take many minutes and involve several changes before becoming final. Many young custom­ers couldn’t even count their money and Mr. Dally would patiently explain what they owed. I noticed that many times he'd slip an extra goody into the bag of a favored young client. His patience was matched by his generosity.

The lure of Dolly's place is almost irresistible to Crystal Lake youngsters. This past winter our seven-year-old and his 10-year- old sister fastened on their cross country skis and took a two-mile trip across and back on Crystal Lake. Upon returning they said "It was cold but it was worth it to go to Dolly's."
Later that day their mother and I took a short tour on skis and quit early because the numbing cold drove us inside. Only then did we learn from WCCO that the wind chill was 40 degrees below.
Our kids have learned to row a boat and paddle a canoe at an earlier than normal age. Their main incentive for learning early was to enable them to go to Dolly’s Place by them­selves.
Oscar Dally was a remarkable man. After losing a leg in a railroad accident he moved to Crystal Lake in 1923. He and his wife started the business. She died in 1955. Since then he managed the place alone but had help from his daughter, Mrs. Al Kraft and his son Frank. Between them they created an institution that has served many generations ofCrystal Lakers. Oscar Dally, who died at 91, will be remembered fondly, by people who are less than 10 years old today,all their lives. We will all miss him.
The Oscar Dally (Gordon-Van Tine) House149 viewsKit home number 573,, first offered in 1916. Dally purchased (possibly 1923) this home in kit form. It was shipped by rail from Davenport Iowa to Rosemount. From there Oscar had it brought by ox-cart to the east end of Crystal Lake in Burnsville.
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