~Some historical background:

The development of this frontier region was destined to delay. It had only fairly recovered from the effects of the Inkpaduta or Spirit Lake massacre and the hard times period when the outbreak of the Civil War in 1851 again set a break on immigration. Then in August, 1862, was inaugurated the terrible Sioux war, which again depopulated the western part of Minnesota and crimsoned the fair soil with the blood of so many innocent men, women and children. Fiendish atrocity, blood-curdling cruelty and red-handed murder ran riot. At New Ulm was enacted one of the most atrocious massacres recorded in the annals of Indian warfare.  At Lake Shetek, in Murray county, on the Des Moines river in Jackson county, and other places in southwestern Minnesota, the murder-crazed redskins fell upon the settlers and enacted lesser tragedies—lesser only because the victims were not so numerous. Those who had builded homes on the Big Sioux river and within the boundaries of the original Rock county hastily departed to escape the fury of the savages. When the census of 1865 was taken, there were NO inhabitants in Rock county.

Source: An Illustrated History of the Counties of Rock and Pipestone, Minnesota, 1911