The first election for county attorney (then called a district attorney) was in 1856. In October 1856 the name of Jesse Ayer, a 26 year old Canadian, was on the ballot. He was elected as District Attorney, but never took office. He had left in August for Monongalia County (now called Kandiyohi County). He was one of the developers of Columbia (now called Spicer). His family returned to Henderson at the time of the Indian Conflict of 1862. Because Mr. Ayer left, his office was filled by appointment of M. J. Severance.