Underwood City History

Greeting from Main Street
Main Street, Underwood, Minnesota, looking North, November 4, 1914.
Main Street
Main Street
Underwood School

Northern Pacific Depot prior to 1912.
Foss Log Cabin
The Foss Log Cabin.

The Beginning...

Homesteaders chose this heavily wooded area for their home in 1869. From their humble log dwellings, the whistle of the train was to be heard just twelve years later in 1881. This was the beginning of a very busy little town, which we know today as Underwood. The railroad was petitioned to change the name from Southvick and the post office was also petitioned to change their name from Turtle Lake Post Office-all to Underwood!

The Name...

The populace of the village called their settlement Underwood, in honor of Mr. A. J. Underwood, editor of the Weekly Journal at Fergus Falls, someone known personally by nearly every settler at that time, and a man of vast knowledge in the history of Otter Tail County.

Significant Dates...

  • 1869- The first homesteaders arrived.
  • 1881-The Northern Pacific Railroad was built.
  • 1884-The Turtle Lake Post Office and Southvick Railroad were petitioned to the name Underwood.
  • 1887-The first Schoolhouse in District Five was erected.
  • Sept. 30, 1912-The village of Underwood was incorporated by 27 voters.
  • 1981-Underwood celebrates it's Centenial.

Past Businesses...

The small town of Underwood has been host to a variety of businesses including:

  • Merchants
  • Doctors & Dentists
  • Drug Stores
  • Hardware Stores
  • Garages
  • Photo Shop
  • Stations
  • Lumber Yards
  • Blacksmith Shops
  • Automobiles
  • Implement Shops
  • Jewelry and Watches
  • Banks
  • Harness Shops
  • Creamery
  • Elevator
  • Telephone Company
  • Insulation Company