(The following is from Anoka Union Bi-Centennial issue & History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, (c) 1881)
GROW Township is situated in the Southwest portion of Anoka County.
Prominent among the first settlers were J.C. Frost, Joseph McKinny, Andrew J. Smith, Nathaniel Small, M.D. Leeman, Giles O. Lum, William Staples, Edward Stack, W.W. Hands and Captain Peteler.
The town was organized in 1857 with the name “Round Lake Township.” This name was changed to “Grow” in 1860. It was re-named “Grow” in honor of Senator Galusha A. Grow of Pennsylvania, because of his strong advocacy of the Union cause, who spoke in Anoka in the Political Campaign that year.
Names of the first town officers were Silas Lum, W. Hanks, M. Leeman, Wm. Staples, N. Small. As the town records were burned with Mr.. Lapham’s house in 1866, the official capacity of each is unknown. The present City of Ham Lake was included in Grow’s organization until 1871.
A major industry for several years was the Kelsey Brothers Brickyard located on the banks of Round Lake. The company manufactured approximately one million bricks per year. Some of these bricks were used in building the Old County Courthouse and in the building of the Anoka High School (1880).
Grow was divided into six school districts, each with a school house. District #10 was organized in 1857 and was taught by Miss Pomroy. District #11 was organized in 1861 with Miss Hattie Woodbury as teacher. Her school consisted of three girls and one boy. Miss Cora Kellog was the first teacher of District #33 in 1874. There is no official data available on the other Districts, #8, #9, and #41. They all became a part of Anoka-Hennepin School District in 1952.
Population in 1860 (including Ham Lake) was 330; 1900, 721; 1920, 626; and 508 in 1930. An upward trend started in the late 1930’s and has increased in population ever since. In 1960 the population was 1,402 and by 1970 it had swelled to 3,830, earning the reputation of the state’s fastest growing community. Population continued to escalate until it was over 8,000 in 1976. Due to the fast growth of the township the Grow Town Board received many demands for various kinds of services. Many of these services could not be rendered because of the nature of the township’s form of government. At the August 8, 1972 Board Meeting, Chairman Dick Schneider revealed future plans for a possible incorporation to make Grow Township a Village. In Sept. of 1972 the Grow Town Board unanimously voted to change the name of Grow to “Andover Village” on the application for incorporation. The Board felt the name “Andover” had a historical background and would give roots to the Community.
According to a story of long standing, one of the first engines to over the new Great North Railroad Track at the turn of the century tipped over into a swamp in the southeastern corner of Grow Township. An eye witness to this mishap related the incident by saying it “went over and over” thus the small community located in that vicinity became known as “Andover.”*
In September of 1973 the ground was broken for anew Grow Township Hall located on the 40 acre site off Crosstown Blvd. Near Constance. In September of 1974 the Commission approved the petition of the Grow Town Board to incorporate the township as the “City of Andover.” The first officers were: Richard Schneider, Mayor; Mary Vanderlaan, Gerald Windschitl, Bob Rither and Winslow Holasek, members of the Council.
*ACHS would like everyone to be aware that this is only a story, however entertaining. Research indicates that the name of Andover was adopted for this area long before a railroad was even present! Andover, like Grow and other communities, was most likely named after a person.