Benton Co. History: The Ghost Town of Fruthville
FOLEY -- Talk to anybody who lived in Benton County back in the 1950s ask them if they had ever been to Fruthville.
It's a ghost town now, but back in the early 1900s, Benton County Historical Society Executive Directory Mary Ostby says it was the home to several businesses.
It ended up with a creamery, a blacksmith shop, a store. They actually built a bowery, which there are many different definitions of boweries, sometimes it's just a mall to dance on, sometimes it's a building, but from the history,it sounds like it was a little building with a dance place outside where people could come for bazaars and celebrations.
Many people who know of it refer to the town as "Fruitville", in fact, you can find it on google maps today as that. However, Ostby says its true name is "Fruthville" named after brothers Simon and Peter Fruth who started the town.
They bought the land in 1901 and started the town with the hope of getting a German-speaking Catholic church built there. (They didn't want to go to the Polish-speaking church in Gilman, so they were traveling to either Rice or St. Cloud for the German services.)
The Bishop of the St. Cloud Diocese at the time ultimately decided the church should be built just a few miles to the west in Mayhew Lake where Annunciation Catholic Church still stands today.
Ultimately, with no church to regularly draw residents, the businesses started to close. The Fruthville Store closed in the early 1950s, the Fruthville Coop Creamery closed around 1944.
There is no evidence of the town left today and the land is all privately owned. The town was located on the corner of Benton County Road 1 and County Road 13.
Once a month Ostby is on the News @ Noon Show on WJON talking about the forgotten history of Benton County.