The photo: Benjamin Matter (7) and Alexander Matter (5) in front of ther great-great-great-great-great-great uncle's headstones. Here lies Jospeh Matter 1862-1864 and Alexander Matter 1872-1872.
In 1854, Joseph Matter and his brothers came to America from France first settling in New York. In 1856, after spending time in Wisconsin, Joseph came to Minnesota. He and his family built a homestead 1 mile of what is currently downtown Delano. At the time there were no roads, homes, or railroad line in the area. Only thick growth wooded land that had never been touched. This area was known as 'The Big Woods'. Delano, MN was incorporated in 1876, many years after the earliest pioneers arrived in the area. Joseph Matter married Sophia. His brothers settled in the same are west of the Crow River. One brother built a homestead on what is now the Highland Ridge housing addition of Delano. Joseph and his brothers cleared the thick woods to make was for farmland. All this was done with axes, handsaws, and the help of teams of horses to clear the massive logs.