Settled in the spring of 1872, was organized October 21, 1876, and its city in sections 13, 14, 23, and 24 of the same name, platted in July 1878, was incorporated March 4, 1881, and was reincorporated on June 1, 1908, and separated from the township. The name was derived from a grove of large trees, including many of the hackberry, in section 15, about a mile west of the village and on the south side of the railway, surrounded by sloughs, like an island, whereby it was protected from prairie fires. This grove, named Bird Island for its plentiful wild birds, was a favorite camping place of Indians and trappers, and it supplied timber for the early settlers. The village developed when the Hastings and Dakota Railway came in 1878; the post office began in 1878.
|Main Street Bird Island|
Settled in May 1877, organized September 3, 1878, was named by S. T. Salter, the first township clerk, in honor of W. H. Kingman, his former fellow townsman in Winn, Maine, who removed to Wisconsin and purchased much land in this township but did not settle here.
Settled in 1856, organized April 28, 1862, was named in honor of Franz Sigel, a general in the Civil War. He was born at Sinsheim, Baden, Germany, November 18, 1824; died in New York City, August 21, 1902. He came to the United States in 1852; settled in St. Louis, 1858, as a teacher in a German institute; organized a regiment of U.S. volunteers, 1861, of which he became colonel; won the battle of Carthage, Mo., July 5, 1861; was promoted to the rank of major general, March 1862, and took command of a wing of the Army of Virginia; was appointed to the command of the Department of West Virginia in February 1864; was U.S. pension agent in New York City, 1885-89. About the year 1873 Gen. Sigel visited New Ulm and this township.