Then & Now: A History of Rice County, Faribault & Communities

Edited by L. E. Swanberg Copyright 1976 by the Rice County Bi-Centennial Commission

Edited by L. E. Swanberg
Copyright 1976 by the Rice County Bi-Centennial Commission


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©Copyright 1976 by the<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Bi-Centennial Commission

Preface & acknowledgetnents<br />

A worthy project<br />

People are people, and where they settled in the<br />

mid-1800s when vast, spacious midwestern and<br />

western states became the mecca for adventurous,<br />

ambitious colonists; what they believed in, what they<br />

said and what they did, all became a part <strong>of</strong> recorded<br />

history.<br />

Happenings, events, incidents, <strong>of</strong>ficial records,<br />

concerned people <strong>of</strong> a century ago and they concern<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> now because we are the inheritors <strong>of</strong> their<br />

actions, projects and accomplishments.<br />

That is the chief purpose <strong>of</strong> this <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Bicentennial Book - to relate the story <strong>of</strong> their<br />

projects, ambitions and achievements and compare it<br />

to what is happening in the same county now.<br />

This has been a great Bicentennial Year - the<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficial anniversary <strong>of</strong> 200 years <strong>of</strong> American<br />

statehood.<br />

The anniversary has been observed on a national<br />

scale - a gigantic speechmaking, bell ringing,<br />

patriotic celebration was held on the July 4 weekend at<br />

Washington, Philadelphia and other cities.<br />

Recognition also was given in Minnesota and other<br />

states <strong>of</strong> the union and by the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Bicentennial<br />

Commission, <strong>of</strong>ficial sponsor <strong>of</strong> this book, ''<strong>Then</strong> and<br />

<strong>Now</strong>."<br />

It is with a feeling <strong>of</strong> pride and dedication that this<br />

book has been published. It has not been an easy taskthe<br />

area includes all <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, its two large<br />

cities, four villages, 14 townships and a dozen<br />

unincorporated communities - but it has been an<br />

enjoyable assignment and a rewarding one due to the<br />

excellent cooperation all <strong>of</strong> us have received from<br />

interested people in all sections <strong>of</strong> the county.<br />

We have endeavored to create and assemble a<br />

book which will be attractive, readable, full <strong>of</strong><br />

accurate information, illustrated with pictures <strong>of</strong><br />

bygone and present days.<br />

We are aware that there have been some omissions<br />

and some iamilies and individuals probably have not<br />

been recognized. But this has not been intentional. We<br />

have tried to do the best job possible within the limited<br />

time allowed us.<br />

That this history book is faultless, we do not intend<br />

to presume. It is probably not within the power <strong>of</strong> man<br />

to arrange a work <strong>of</strong> this sort without mistakes <strong>of</strong> one<br />

sort or another; that it will meet with the unqualified<br />

approval <strong>of</strong> all, we dare not expect but we trust that the<br />

merits <strong>of</strong> the history chronicled will overbalance any<br />

shortcomings that may be observed.<br />

The <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Bicentennial Commission and the<br />

staff <strong>of</strong> this book are deeply appreciative <strong>of</strong> the<br />

financial assistance and loyal cooperation given by the<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Commissioners, the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

City Council, the Northfield Council and the village<br />

councils and township boards which made this project<br />

possible.<br />

L. E. Swanberg, Editor<br />


tllen ~§Vow<br />

Minnesota American Revolution<br />

Bicentennial Commission<br />

Lt. Gov. Rudy Perpich, Chairman<br />

Lois Pollari, Executive Director<br />

John Whalton, Director <strong>of</strong> Bicentennial<br />

Applications<br />

George L. Clark, chairman <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Bicentennial Commission, sponsor <strong>of</strong> this<br />

book.<br />

Sen. Clarence Purfeerst<br />

Rep. Robert<br />

Vanasek<br />

· Rep. Orville<br />

Birnstihl<br />

Legislative Cooperators<br />

State Senator Clarence Purfeerst, Route 1,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, District 24<br />

State Representative Robert Vanasek, New<br />

Prague, District 24A<br />

State Representative Orville Birnstihl, <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

District 24B<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Commissioners<br />

Martin Hachfeld, Cannon City, Chairman<br />

Charles Miller, Northfield<br />

Lawrence Valek, Webster<br />

Daniel Minnick, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

William Wells, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Ervin Boelke, administrator-auditor<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Bicentennial Commission<br />

George L. Clark, <strong>Faribault</strong>, chairman<br />

M. E. Jarchow, Northfield, vice chairman<br />

Mrs. John G. (Mary) Parker, Secretary<br />

Gilbert Koester, Route 1, Northfield<br />

Wayne Eddy, Northfield<br />

Richard Nicoli, Lonsdale<br />

Henry Albers, Route 3, Northfield<br />

Ted J. Skluzacek, Route 4, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Edward Brown, Route 4, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Mrs. Walter Kroenke, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Mrs. Ann Schmidtke, Morristown (deceased)<br />

Dawn Covert, Route 1, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Leonard Schulz, Route 1, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

John Almendinger, Route 2, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Mrs. Walter Wetzel, Route 2, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Lester E. Swanberg, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Donald Remund, Morristown<br />

Stanley Burmeister, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Calvin Kuhnau, Northfield<br />

Mrs. Lester Bursik, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

John J. Carroll, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Mrs. Winston Johnson, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Virgil R. Koberstein, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Robert Thorson, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> City Council<br />

Robert Larson,.Mayor<br />

Arthur Hopke<br />

Gary Kindseth<br />

Paul Muellenmeister<br />

Harlan Pettipiece<br />

Eugene C. Wieneke, administrator<br />

City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> Bicentennial Commission<br />

John Messerli, Chairman<br />

Mrs. Robert Speckhals, Secretary<br />

Dr. Asa Graham, Treasurer<br />

Mrs. Kay Janky<br />

Mrs. Bernice Duncan<br />

Charles Turnbull<br />

Douglas Olson<br />

George Wickstrom<br />


jl<br />

I<br />

I<br />

City <strong>of</strong> Northfield Bicentennial Commission<br />

Lee Fossum, Chairman<br />

Peter Linstroth, Vice Chairman<br />

Alma Gaardsmoe, Historian<br />

Heritage Projects - Clifford Clark and Kirk<br />

Jeffrey, Co-Chairmen; Historical Publication - Lynn<br />

Carlin; Log Cabin Restoration- Charles E. DeMann II,<br />

Al Houston; Scriver Building Acquisition and<br />

Restoration- Fred Gonnerman, Maggie Lee, Mary Lou<br />

Street, Larry Karbo; Bicentennial Minutes - Marston<br />

Headley, Marjorie Neuhaus; Bicentennial Calendar -<br />

Fred Gonnerman, George Soule, Marston Headley;<br />

Historic Tape Recording- Marvin Festler.<br />

Festival Events - Gary Flaa, Tom Blaisdell, Dale<br />

Erickson, Co-Chairmen; Fourth <strong>of</strong> July Festival -<br />

Committee; Defeat <strong>of</strong> Jesse James Days - Bernard<br />

Hughes.<br />

Horizon Projects - Marie Sathrum and Joan<br />

Halverson, Co-Chairmen; Seminars ''The<br />

Presidency" - Clifford Clark, Carleton College;<br />

Symposia, Seminars, Performances on "Native<br />

American Values" - St. Olaf College, David Wee;<br />

Bicentennial Sculpture Project - Dixon Bond,<br />

Margaret Bundgaard, Mac Gimse, Chris Hager;<br />

Original Musical on Northfield <strong>History</strong> - Northfield<br />

Arts Guild.<br />

Lonsdale Bicentennial Committee<br />

Mrs. James F. (Dorothy) Palma, Chairman<br />

Richard Nicoli<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Vosejpka<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Al Kaderlik<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Robert'Pinc<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Donald Sticha<br />

Mrs. Elmer Vikla<br />

David Vikla<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Novak<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Palma<br />

Leonard Malecha<br />

Donald Novak<br />

Mrs. Roman Ceplecha<br />

Reynold Sticha<br />

Joseph Daleiden<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Daleiden<br />

Mrs. Thomas Pumper<br />

Mrs. Delores Roberts<br />

Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Valek<br />

James F. Palma<br />

Morristown Bicentennial Celebration Committee<br />

Wayne Merritt, Chairman<br />

Harold Kuball, Vice Chairman<br />

Leona Ellingsworth, Secretary<br />

James Senne, Treasurer<br />

Committee Members, representing eight<br />

organizations- Morristown Gun Club- Keith Remund,<br />

Wayne Merritt; Morristown Jaycees - James Senne,<br />

Brad Sammon; Morristown Commercial Club - Ivy<br />

H<strong>of</strong>fman, Mary Ann Churchill; Morristown<br />

Community Club - Mrs. Kenneth Schmidtke, Martin<br />

Wagner; American Legion Post - Harold Kuball,<br />

Phillip Wegner; Legion Auxiliary - Darlene Spitzack,<br />

Dorothy Walburn; Village <strong>of</strong> Morristown - Donald<br />

Remund, Jack O'Rourke; Morristown Public Schools -<br />

Frank H. Duncan.<br />

Preface & acknowledgements<br />

Finance Committee James Senne, Keith<br />

Remund, Jack O'Rourke<br />

Publicity Committee Ivy H<strong>of</strong>fman, Leona<br />

Ellingsworth, James Hermel<br />

Nerstrand Bicentennial Committee<br />

Barbara Sahl<br />

Louise Flom<br />

Barbara Haase<br />

Grace Kispert<br />

Paul Shelstad<br />

Ronald Haase<br />

Robert Larson<br />

Jean Kolling<br />

Staff <strong>of</strong> "<strong>Then</strong> and <strong>Now</strong>"<br />

George L. Clark, Chairman <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Bicentennial Commission, Book Chairman<br />

Mrs. Lester (Martina) Bursik, Librarian <strong>of</strong><br />

Buckham Memorial Library, Publisher<br />

Lester E. Swanberg, Editor Emeritus, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Daily News, Editor<br />

Acknowledgements<br />

We are grateful to the following persons for their<br />

important specific contributions:<br />

Research: Mrs. Lester (Martina) Bursik; Mrs.<br />

Elmer (Dorothy) Deming; Robert L. Kaupa; Mrs.<br />

Lawrence (Bernice) Knutson; Mrs. Aaron (Mildred)<br />

Lenmark, all <strong>of</strong> Buckham Memorial Library Staff.<br />

Miss Emily Mae Buth, Curator <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Historical Society.<br />

Typing: Mrs. James (Le Ann) Dean, Buckham<br />

Memorial Library Staff.<br />

Robert Norman, Oskar Teisberg, Ralph Merrill,<br />

Mrs. Charlotte Knoss, Mrs. Inez Sweet, Mrs. Mildred<br />

Lieb, Mrs. Walter Lentz, Glenn Cramer, Mary Carey,<br />

Mrs. Erich Krenz, Francis J. Lockwood, Mrs. Esther<br />

McKellip, George L. Clark, Wesley Lauritsen, Douglas<br />

Olson, Mrs. Eva Gallagher, Mrs. Louise Lick, Mrs.<br />

Clem McCarthy, Charles Roehrick, Lyle Schreiber,<br />

Miss Hannah Meyer, Mrs. Charles Robilliard, Miss<br />

Laverna Saufferer, Mrs. Dorothy Meyer, Mrs. Clara<br />

Nuetzman, Mrs. James J. Kolars, Mrs. Marge Neuhas,<br />

John Almendinger, Mrs. Catherine Spartz, Craig<br />

Keller, Donald Remund, Leona Ellingsworth, Ivy<br />

H<strong>of</strong>fman, Ronald Schwartz, Mrs. Alvin Kolars, Mrs.<br />

Betty Polson, Frank Chappuis, Mrs. Donald O'Neil,<br />

Mrs. Dorothy Palma, Mrs. Alvin Kolars, Mrs. Elmer<br />

Vikla, Mrs. LeRoy Pumper, Lee Fossum, Charles<br />

Carr, Bette Polson, Floyd Hammond, Paul<br />

Muellenmeister, Mrs. Harriet Steppan, Esther Reinke,<br />

Zita Kasper Taylor, Ira Harger Jr., Nerstrand<br />

Centennial Book Committee, Mary Heggedal, Ozzie<br />

Osmundson, Ambrosia Osmundson Ruble, Norma<br />

Bohn, Wilmer Schmidtke, Shirlie Reed, Tom West, Art<br />

Johnson, Louis Rud, Wilbert Meinke, Len Friedges,<br />

Mrs. Harold Voesjpka, Mrs. Charles Daleiden, Mrs.<br />

Leonard Daleiden, Mrs. Mary Landa, Edith Kampf,<br />

Mrs. Harold Moser, Mrs. Edgar Mentz, Thomas<br />

Vogelsberg, Carl Bartness, Thomas Gagnon and<br />

Norton J ohn·son and members <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Daily<br />

News Production staff.<br />


~en ~§Vow<br />

L. E. Swanberg (right) and other members <strong>of</strong><br />

the news staff <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Daily News,<br />

circa 1934. Swanberg, who edited "<strong>Then</strong> &<br />

Naw", has been with the Daily News for 48<br />

years, as reporter, city editor, managing<br />

editor, executive editor and editor emeritus.<br />

He's still active, and works daily in his <strong>of</strong>fice<br />

at the newspaper.<br />

About the editor<br />

L. E. Swanberg, the editor <strong>of</strong> this volume, has lived<br />

in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> for a half-century.<br />

He came to <strong>Faribault</strong> in 1926, after graduating with<br />

honors from the University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota's College <strong>of</strong><br />

Education. He taught history, sociology and economics<br />

at <strong>Faribault</strong> High School from 1926 to 1928.<br />

In 1928- one day after the last class <strong>of</strong> the school<br />

year at <strong>Faribault</strong> High School - Swanberg started<br />

work as a reporter for the <strong>Faribault</strong> Daily News. He's<br />

be~n with the ~aily ~ews ever since, as reporter, city<br />

editor, managmg editor, executive editor and editor<br />

emeritus, his current title.<br />

. Ex~ept for those two early years <strong>of</strong> teaching,<br />

JOurnalism has been Swanberg's life. It's a rare<br />

veteran Minnesota newsp perman who doesn't know<br />

"Swannie." He is a past president <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota<br />

Associated Press, has been active in the Minnesota<br />

Newspaper Association and is a member <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Southern Minnesota Chapter <strong>of</strong> Society for<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>essional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi.<br />

He's always been active in local civic affairs. For<br />

48 years he's been a member <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Lions<br />

Club and <strong>Faribault</strong> Masonic Lodge No. 9 AF & AM. His<br />

Lions Club involvement includes 46 years as secretary,<br />

one year as president and several years in various<br />

district cabinet posts.<br />

He's been a member <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Free Fair<br />

board for 38 years, and a member <strong>of</strong> that body's<br />

executive committee. ·<br />

He helped organize the <strong>Faribault</strong> Jaycees, and in<br />

1933 received the Jaycees' coveted Gold Key award for<br />

community service -the second <strong>Faribault</strong> resident to<br />

get the award. Several years later he received the<br />

Jaycee Scroll Award for outstanding service by a<br />

person over 35 years old. He's the only <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

resident who's been awarded both the Gold Key and<br />

Scroll by the local club.<br />

Swanberg is a member <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Civic<br />

Music Association, and once served as its president. He<br />

is active on the publicity committee <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Golden Age Club. For several years he was a member<br />

<strong>of</strong> the vestry <strong>of</strong> the Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our Merciful Saviour,<br />

and is the author <strong>of</strong> a book about the historic Cathedral.<br />

He was a member <strong>of</strong> the Boy Scout Troop 301<br />


Preface & acknowledgements<br />

committee for 30 years, and served on the Wacouta<br />

District Boy Scout Council. He has received the<br />

Council's prestigious Silver Beaver award for service.<br />

He's also a live master <strong>of</strong> ceremonies and song<br />

leader at frequent <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> social events.<br />

Swanberg's journalistic desires first were whetted<br />

in Worthington, Minn., where ie was born Jan. 25, 1903.<br />

As a 14-year-old pressman-reporter for the<br />

Worthington Glove, he reported births and deaths,<br />

wrote about tea parties and made certain the Globe<br />

went to press on time. After a year as the Globe's<br />

"utility man" -at age 15 - his finger was smashed in<br />

a press. The injury temporarily cost him his job, but it<br />

didn't diminish his love for newspapers.<br />

Swanberg graduated from Worthington High<br />

School in 1921 and from the University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota in<br />

1926.<br />

At the University he was president <strong>of</strong> the<br />

All-University Council, was chosen "representative<br />

Minnesotan" among college and university students<br />

and was an athletic team yell leader (before the advent<br />

<strong>of</strong> female cheerleaders).<br />

He was active on the University student newspaper<br />

and yearbook staffs, and was a member <strong>of</strong> the Iron<br />

Wedge honor society.<br />

He graduated from the University's College <strong>of</strong><br />

Education, but after two years <strong>of</strong> teaching, he "felt like<br />

a square peg in a round hole." He decided to try<br />

journalism, and joined the Daily News.<br />

He's been with the <strong>Faribault</strong> newspaper since that<br />

time. Although semi-retired, he's in his Daily News<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice every weekday, almost every Saturday and an<br />

occasional Sunday. His knowledge <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>'s<br />

past - its people, places and events - is appreciated<br />

by his Daily News colleagues, who rely on Swan bert as<br />

the newspaper's ''historian-in-residence.''<br />

Swanberg has looked at hundreds <strong>of</strong> pages <strong>of</strong> copy,<br />

read hundreds <strong>of</strong> thousands <strong>of</strong> words and examined<br />

scores <strong>of</strong> photographs in editing "<strong>Then</strong> & <strong>Now</strong>". But<br />

his work would have been fruitless without the help <strong>of</strong><br />

the dozens <strong>of</strong> volunteers who did research, wrote<br />

articles and provided photographs. Their efforts,<br />

combined with Swanberg's expertise, make this book a<br />

truly countywide Bicentennial project.<br />

Mrs. Lester<br />

(Martina) Bursik<br />

publisher,<br />

''<strong>Then</strong> and <strong>Now</strong>''<br />

Book is her idea<br />

Mrs. Lester (Martina) Bursik, librarian <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Buckham Memorial Library, <strong>Faribault</strong>, is credited<br />

with the idea <strong>of</strong> having a <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> <strong>History</strong> Book as a<br />

fitting project for the county Bicentennial<br />

Commission's observance <strong>of</strong> the nation's 200th<br />

birthday. As long as a year ago she interested county<br />

and <strong>Faribault</strong> city <strong>of</strong>ficials in the project. She has<br />

served as publisher <strong>of</strong> the book, ''<strong>Then</strong> and <strong>Now</strong>,'' and<br />

has spent countless hours to assure fulfillment <strong>of</strong> her<br />

idea.<br />

·I<br />


Table <strong>of</strong> contents<br />

Chapter I<br />

How It All Began - <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> now 121 years old<br />

- Early beginnings <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> and <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> -<br />

Pictures and stories <strong>of</strong> Henry M. <strong>Rice</strong> and General<br />

James Shields - <strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> railroads in county<br />

(Milwaukee, Rock Island, Dan Patch) - Interstate<br />

Roads, <strong>County</strong> Roads - Jefferson Bus Lines, local bus<br />

lines, telephone history, aviation history - <strong>County</strong><br />

park system, county landfill operation- First county<br />

board - Mystery <strong>of</strong> Metropolisville - Pictures <strong>of</strong> old<br />

county court house - Pictures <strong>of</strong> lake scenes - Story<br />

<strong>of</strong> M. F. McGlinnen, Erin pioneer now 96- Pages 1 to<br />

36.<br />

Chapter II<br />

Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, its government and its people­<br />

Individual pictures <strong>of</strong> city council members with story<br />

on council achievements and future projects - <strong>History</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong> early <strong>Faribault</strong> government - <strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

fire department and station (with pictures) - <strong>History</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong> post <strong>of</strong>fice - <strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> churches,<br />

illustrated by pictures.- Pages 37 to 70.<br />

Chapter III<br />

Schools <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, their founding and<br />

development - Public, parochial, Whipple and state<br />

schools - Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple, Mrs.<br />

Cornelia Whipple - Special education stories, Joseph<br />

Grebner, Mrs. Charles MacKenzie, Heinz Bruhl,<br />

Wesley Lauritsen - illustrated by pictures. - Pages 71<br />

to91.<br />

Chapter IV<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> industries and business firms - They<br />

make the city "tick" - Stories <strong>of</strong> two groups <strong>of</strong><br />

business firms, those established before 1920 and those<br />

after that date to the present time- stories illustrated<br />

by pictures. -Pages 93 to 134.<br />

ChapterV<br />

The people <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> and their way <strong>of</strong> life -<br />

Organizations, hobbies, special interests, sports -<br />

<strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> nursing homes and hospitals - Special<br />

stories on individuals in the limelight- Those engaged<br />

in pr<strong>of</strong>essional life - Brief items about people, taken<br />

from newspaper files - All illustrated by pictures. -<br />

Pages 135 to 174.<br />

Chapter VI<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, Northfield and the county's villages<br />

- Story <strong>of</strong> county board, its achievements and future<br />

plans - City <strong>of</strong> Northfield, history and development­<br />

<strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> Morristown, Morristown Township, Dundas,<br />

Lonsdale, Nerstrand, Dennison and Veseli - All<br />

illustrated by pictures.- Pages 175 to 242.<br />

Chapter VII<br />

Rural life influential in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> - Townships<br />

welcome settlers in 1850s, same time as <strong>Faribault</strong> and<br />

Northfield- Histories <strong>of</strong> Cannon City, Wells, Walcott<br />

and Forest Townships - Illustrated by pictures. -<br />

Pages 243 to 255.<br />

Chapter VIII<br />

More glimpses <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> rural life -<br />

Histories <strong>of</strong> Warsaw, Erin, Shieldsville, Richland and<br />

Wheeling Townships - Illustrated by pictures. -Pages<br />

257 to279.<br />

-Chapter IX<br />

Farm life pays many dividends - Histories <strong>of</strong><br />

Wheatland, Webster, Bridgewater and Northfield<br />

Townships- Illustrated by pictures. - Pages 281 to 302.<br />

Chapter X<br />

Wrapping it all up- Odds and ends <strong>of</strong> interest­<br />

Brief sketches <strong>of</strong> individuals in the news- Obituaries<br />

<strong>of</strong> prominent people- Illustrated by pictures.- Pages<br />

303 to 346.


Chapter I<br />

How it all began<br />

<strong>County</strong> now in 12lst year<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, scenic, prosperous with fertile lands<br />

and busy industries, is now in its 12lst year as a<br />

governmental unit.<br />

The county, named after Henry M. <strong>Rice</strong>, first U.S.<br />

senator in congress from Minnesota, was established<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficially in 1855 - three years before Minnesota<br />

became a state - but actual steps toward <strong>of</strong>ficially<br />

designating this county were begun two years before,<br />

in 1853.<br />

Thus it can be seen, in this 1976 U.S. Bicentennial<br />

year, that <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> ·has gained recognition<br />

throughout the state as one <strong>of</strong> Minnesota's pioneer<br />

counties, rich in agriculture, industrial and civic<br />

resources.<br />

This Bicentennial book will relate the factual, yet<br />

dramatic story <strong>of</strong> the founding <strong>of</strong> each <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>'s<br />

two cities, four villages, 14 townships and<br />

unincorporated communities.<br />

The trials <strong>of</strong> the hardy, rugged pioneers who came<br />

from eastern states and foreign lands to stake claims,<br />

clear the land and raise crops on the fertile soil will be<br />

described in this Bicentennial souvenir book.<br />

Oldtime pictures <strong>of</strong> pioneer men and women, the<br />

communities they settled and outstanding events<br />

which happened are scattered through this book.<br />

The county's 14 townships were all <strong>of</strong>ficially<br />

organized at annual meetings, held in accordance with<br />

an order from the Minnesota State Legislature on May<br />

11, 1858, the date when Minnesota <strong>of</strong>ficially was<br />

admitted into statehood.<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, early day historical accounts disclosed<br />

in 1853, took in about two-thirds <strong>of</strong> the present<br />

platted city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, large portions <strong>of</strong> Morristown,<br />

Warsaw and Walcott Townships and small portions <strong>of</strong><br />

Wells, Cannon City and Richland townships. It<br />

included the four eastern townships in Waseca <strong>County</strong><br />

and all but the four western townships in Freeborn ·<br />

<strong>County</strong>. It also took in practically all <strong>of</strong> Mower and<br />

Steele counties, about one third <strong>of</strong> Dodge, a very small<br />

portion <strong>of</strong> Fillmore and Goodhue and possibly a few<br />

sections in Olmstead county.<br />

So <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, in the early 1850's, actually<br />

comprised a large share <strong>of</strong> southeastern Minnesota.<br />

Boundary Lines Designated<br />

An influential group <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> citizens had<br />

definite ideas as to what the county's boundaries<br />

should be. They prevailed upon the influence <strong>of</strong> Gen. H.<br />

H. Sibley, who had been elected as a representative in<br />

the State Legislature from the <strong>Faribault</strong> district, to<br />

have the legislature enact a measure which designated<br />

the boundary lines <strong>of</strong> the county in accordance with the<br />

wishes <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> group. The bill also empowered<br />

the first county board to establish the county seat.<br />

The new boundaries conformed to the present<br />

boundary lines <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> with the exception <strong>of</strong> 12<br />

sections in the northern part <strong>of</strong> Bridgewater and<br />

Northfield townships, later taken from Greenvale,<br />

Waterford and Sciota townships in Dakota <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Thus the county proceeded to organize <strong>of</strong>ficially.<br />

Governor William A. Gorman, early in 1855, appointed<br />

a provisional list <strong>of</strong> commissioners who, it was said<br />

were friendly to the Messers Sears who in 1854 had laid<br />

out the village <strong>of</strong> Cannon City, three miles northeast <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>. Cannon City was designated as the county<br />

seat by the commissioners.<br />

In the fall <strong>of</strong> 1855, however, the county proceeded<br />

to organize by an election under the act that had<br />

defined the county's boundaries.<br />

There were three voting precincts, one at<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, one at Cannon City and the other at<br />

Morristown. Walter Morris, founder <strong>of</strong> the latter<br />

village who at first had located in <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

apparently held the balance <strong>of</strong> power.<br />

Elected county <strong>of</strong>ficers in November, 1855 were:<br />

Isaac Hammond, register <strong>of</strong> deeds; Charles Wood,<br />

sheriff; Isaac Woodman, judge <strong>of</strong> probate; F. W.<br />

Frink, Andrew Storer and George F. Pettit,<br />

commissioners. <strong>Faribault</strong> was selected as the county<br />

seat. The first elected commissioners held their initial<br />

meeting on Jan. 7, 1856 in the <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> Berry and<br />

Batchelder attorneys.<br />

When Minnesota was admitted to statehood in 1858,<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> began an era which continued but two<br />

years, in which the county government was<br />

administered by a board <strong>of</strong> supervisors composed <strong>of</strong><br />

chairmen <strong>of</strong> the various town boards. The first meeting<br />

<strong>of</strong> this countywide township system board was held on<br />

Sept. 14, 1858 in <strong>Faribault</strong> and was called to order by J.<br />

A. Starks.<br />

Commission Form Adopted<br />

On Jan. 7, 1860, the last meeting <strong>of</strong> the township<br />

county board was held and the county then adopted the<br />

commission form <strong>of</strong> government, a system which still<br />

prevails.<br />


Old court house and soldier statue, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

In January, 1860 the county was divided into five<br />

commissioner districts, each being entitled to one<br />

representative on the county board. The boundaries <strong>of</strong><br />

the districts today are similar to the original ones<br />

although there have been some changes.<br />

The newly elected board met May 15, 1860, the<br />

following commissioners representing the various<br />

districts: J. H. Parker, G. H. Batchelder, S. Webster,<br />

C. Clopson and William Thorp. J. H. Parker was<br />

named chairman and G. H. Batchelder was appointed<br />

to serve as county auditor until the next election, his<br />

bond being set at $5,000. His salary was set at $400 per<br />

annum. The only records state: "Nothing more <strong>of</strong><br />

importance came before the board and the balance <strong>of</strong><br />

the time was spent discussing the road and school<br />

districts, together with routine business.''<br />

The year 1826 is notable in the history <strong>of</strong> the City <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> as the date <strong>of</strong> the coming <strong>of</strong> Alexander<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> to the site <strong>of</strong> the place which now bears his<br />

name. Accompanied by his young wife, he established<br />

his trading post at the junction <strong>of</strong> the Straight and<br />

Cannon Rivers in what is now known as North<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>. The banks <strong>of</strong> the Straight River were chosen<br />

for his first camping place.<br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> was a lover <strong>of</strong> nature; and as<br />

his eye swept over the unbounded prairie to the south,<br />

the Big Woods and silver lakes to the west and to the<br />

meeting <strong>of</strong> the Cannon and Straight (Owatonna)<br />

Rivers, it was indeed to him a paradise; yet he knew<br />

the white man and realized, with a sigh, its future and<br />

destiny.<br />

In reading about Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong>, the eldest<br />

son <strong>of</strong> Jean Baptiste <strong>Faribault</strong>, we find a life<br />

interwoven with the development <strong>of</strong> the Great<br />

Northwest almost as closely as his father.<br />

Born in 1806<br />

Alexander was born June 22, 1806, at Prairie du<br />

Chien, then within the Louisiana Purchase, and was<br />

founder and principal proprietor <strong>of</strong> the city which<br />

bears his name. Because <strong>of</strong> a modest and retiring<br />

nature, much <strong>of</strong> his early life never will be known.<br />

About the year 1820 we find him on the banks <strong>of</strong> St.<br />

Peter (now Minnesota) River, and the following year<br />

located permanently at Mendota, then in the territory<br />

<strong>of</strong> Michigan, as a United States licensed trader, having<br />

outposts throughout the territory.<br />

It was at this time that he improved the<br />

opportunity to cultivate his English studies through the<br />

courtesy <strong>of</strong> the United States <strong>of</strong>ficers at Fort Snelling.<br />

~ He was married Nov. 1 1825, to Mary Elizabeth<br />

Graham, the daughter <strong>of</strong> Capt. Duncan Graham.<br />

She was born July 15, 1805, and died April8, 1875 at<br />

the age <strong>of</strong> 69 years, at Elizabeth, Ottertail <strong>County</strong>. He<br />

became the father <strong>of</strong> ten children namely, George H.,<br />

Agnes, Emely, Daniel, Catherine, Philip, Julia,<br />

Nathalie, William Richard)and A. Leon. The spring<br />


How it all began<br />

following his marriage, while with voyageurs visiting<br />

the outposts on the upper Minnesota River, an Indian<br />

gave his life to rescue <strong>Faribault</strong> and his young wife and<br />

companions.<br />

During 1826 to 1829 <strong>Faribault</strong> traded on the Cannon<br />

River, under a license from the American Fur<br />

Company, successors <strong>of</strong> the Northwest Fur Company,<br />

and established a post at Lake Sakatah, near the site <strong>of</strong><br />

the town <strong>of</strong> Waterville, and in 1831 he located at what is<br />

now Morristown. The following year he moved to a<br />

point between Wells and Cannon Lakes. The country<br />

was then peopled by the Dakotas, who called what is<br />

now known as Cannon Lake, Me-da-te-pe-tonka (Lake<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Big Village.<br />

In 1834 he influenced the Sioux to move to the site <strong>of</strong><br />

the present city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>. They occupied all that<br />

tract between and Fourteenth Streets on the west side<br />

<strong>of</strong> Straight (Owatonna) River, and the plateau was<br />

covered with the picturesque encampment <strong>of</strong> bark and<br />

buffalo-skin tepees.<br />

Log House Built<br />

In 1835 he built a log house on the east side <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Straight River, northeast <strong>of</strong> the Front Street bridge,<br />

and several log houses on what later was known as the<br />

Travis farm, on the road to Cannon City. This tract was<br />

then covered with a dense growth <strong>of</strong> maple which<br />

afforded an abundance <strong>of</strong> sugar. The frist regular<br />

trading post was <strong>of</strong> logs, built the same year, midway<br />

between the Straight River stone mills and the Front<br />

Street bridge. These buildings were afterward<br />

occupied by Peter Bush and family and as a<br />

blacksmith shop and was later known as "Hotel Bush."<br />

This humble building gave shelter to early settlers,<br />

among them several <strong>of</strong> our most distinguished citizens.<br />

In the winter <strong>of</strong> 1853 <strong>Faribault</strong> built a log house on<br />

the southeast corner <strong>of</strong> what is now Third Street and<br />

First Avenue east, while the first frame house in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, surrounded by a stockade,<br />

was being erected on the northwest corner <strong>of</strong> First<br />

Avenue east and Division Street, which was completed<br />

in 1853. The materials for this structure were hauled<br />

from St. Paul and Hastings. The <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

,Historical Society, as a special project, has restored<br />

this city's first frame house and it is annually visited<br />

by out <strong>of</strong> town and local residents, tourists and<br />

historians.<br />

The early territorial settlers will recollect the<br />

sturdy pioneers, Jim Mabon, Jean Cluckey, St. L'Ous,<br />

Craidgie, St. J armont, Payne, Howard, Wilson,<br />

Beaupre, McBeal, Louis Demara, Pierre La Point and<br />

others who assisted the construction <strong>of</strong> these notable<br />

and historic structures.<br />

In 1851, Mr. <strong>Faribault</strong> was one <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>ficial<br />

interpreters at the St. Peter (Traverse-de-Sioux)<br />

treaty when the Indians relinquished to the<br />

government 45,000 square miles lying on the western .<br />

side <strong>of</strong> the Mississippi. He also reported Little Crow's<br />

speech at the second treaty <strong>of</strong> 1851 at Pilot Knob, near<br />

Mendota.<br />

He was a member <strong>of</strong> the legislature from the<br />

Seventh District in 1851 and a witness, with General<br />

Sibley and others, before the United States Court,<br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

concerning charges <strong>of</strong> fraud in Indian affairs. He was<br />

among the first to <strong>of</strong>fer inducements to Dr. Breck and<br />

Bishop Whipple, to whom he gave ten acres <strong>of</strong> land for<br />

their schools, contributing liberally in money and land<br />

afterwards.<br />

Mills Established<br />

Straight River mills were commenced by Mr.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1858 and the Le Croix brothers came to<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> from Montreal to superintend the<br />

construction, also that <strong>of</strong> the mill on Cannon River,<br />

known as the "Polar Star Mill," together with the mill<br />

on Straight River near Fourteenth Street.<br />

As early as 1837 Mr. <strong>Faribault</strong> visited Washington<br />

with Major Taliaferro, General Sibley and a delegation<br />

<strong>of</strong> _Indians to conduct treaty negotiations<br />

with the government. He was one <strong>of</strong> the memorialists<br />

to congress in connection with the organization <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Minnesota Territory, and a charter member <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Minnesota Historical Society. With General Sibley he<br />

was a principal stockholder in the Borup and Oakes<br />

Bank and was associated with General Sibley and<br />

William R. Marshall in organizing a bank in St. Paul in<br />

1855. He was with General Sibley in the Sioux War <strong>of</strong><br />

1862 until the release <strong>of</strong> the white captives at Camp<br />

Release, near the town <strong>of</strong> Montevideo, Minnesota and<br />

was among the few fortunate ones who escaped alive at<br />

the Battle <strong>of</strong> Birch Coulee.<br />

Until 1852, Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> maintained his<br />

family home at Mendota, where also resided his father<br />

and family at the stone house built by the latter in 1826,<br />

I<br />


<strong>Faribault</strong>, about 1874, looking east from old courthouse r o<strong>of</strong> befor e Third Street bridge UXJS built.<br />

which is still standing.<br />

He built the first Catholic Church in <strong>Faribault</strong> in ·<br />

1855, for the Rev. George Keller- a frame structure<br />

which was burned in 1855. He was a generous donor <strong>of</strong><br />

the site <strong>of</strong> the present church, and gave at a cost <strong>of</strong><br />

$3,000, the first bell for the Church <strong>of</strong> the Immaculate<br />

Conception, the church which now stands on the site <strong>of</strong><br />

the church burned in 1857. This bell was destroyed<br />

when the building was partially burned, June 30, 1903.<br />

Mr. <strong>Faribault</strong> also is to be credited with many liberal<br />

gifts to the St. Paul and Mendota churches.<br />

In 1856 Mr. <strong>Faribault</strong> built his last home at<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>- his early camping ground on the Straight<br />

River bluffs, now crowned with magnificent<br />

institutions, overlooking the site <strong>of</strong> his pioneer trading<br />

post. In 1873 he sold his home to the State <strong>of</strong> Minnesota<br />

and the building is still being used by the Minnesota<br />

Braille and Sight Saving School.<br />

After a long and eventful life Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

passed away on Nov. 28, 1882 at <strong>Faribault</strong>, and was laid<br />

to rest in Calvary Cemetery with his kindred and other<br />

pioneer neighbors - that hilltop where once flashed<br />

the red signal fire <strong>of</strong> "alarm" to the Big Village<br />

braves.<br />

1853 Settlement Date<br />

Although this city's fifst trading post was<br />

established by Alexander Farib

Disastrous <strong>Faribault</strong> fire which occurred on<br />

June 18, 1878. Pictured is the building at<br />

Central Avenue and Third Street NW, site<br />

In tpe same season <strong>of</strong> the year came James Wells,<br />

"Bully" Wells, as he was called, who opened a farm on<br />

the Cannon bottoms, just above the city.<br />

Pioneers Listed<br />

A little party spent the winter <strong>of</strong> 1853 in the embryo<br />

village, awaiting the opening <strong>of</strong> the spring which would<br />

bring a new influx <strong>of</strong> settlers, and new supplies and<br />

provisions. According to an article written by Luke<br />

Hulett, shortly before his death, the residents <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> in the winter <strong>of</strong> 1853 were: Alexander<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and family; Luke Hulett and family; James<br />

Wells and family; Frederick <strong>Faribault</strong> and family;<br />

Edward J. Crump and wife; Peter Bush and family,<br />

Mr. Sprague and wife; Mr. Springer and wife and the<br />

following young unmarried people, Norbert Paquin,<br />

Smith Johnson, Orlando Johnson, John Hulett, Hugh<br />

McClelland, Mark Wells, A. McKenzie, Robert Smith<br />

and Theodore Smith.<br />

The spring and summer <strong>of</strong> 1854, according to the<br />

same authority, brought the following accessions:<br />

John Morris, who subsequently laid out Morristown,<br />

Major Babcock, Truman Bass, Mr. Tripp who was the<br />

first to settle on East Prairie, Dennis O'Brien, Mr.<br />

Travis, J. R. Parshall and James and Henry Scott, who<br />

built the first saw mill in the town. The Searses, father<br />

and son, located in Cannon City in the fall <strong>of</strong> 1854 and<br />

became formidable competitors for the county seat<br />

designation. Judge Woodman came about this time and<br />

now occupied by the Masonic building, which<br />

UXLS destroyed by fire.<br />

also William Dunn, who secured a claim east <strong>of</strong> Cannon<br />

City. Mr. Drake and others settled near Northfield.<br />

According to available records, Alexander<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, Peter Bush and Luke Hulett should be<br />

considered as the founders <strong>of</strong> the first settlement in<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

The history <strong>of</strong> the towns and villages <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> begins at an early date. <strong>Faribault</strong>, Northfield,<br />

Morristown and Cannon City were surveyed, platted<br />

and recorded in the order named.<br />

Town Plat Is Filed<br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong>, F. B. Sibley, John W. North<br />

and Porter Nutting filed the plat <strong>of</strong> the town <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> in the <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> the register <strong>of</strong> deeds <strong>of</strong><br />

Dakota <strong>County</strong>, to which <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> was then<br />

attached for judicial purposes, Feb. 17, 1855. Previous<br />

to this date, however, a preliminary survey had been<br />

made and Walter Morris afterward owned the share<br />

represented by John W. North.<br />

In August, 1955, Mr. North, having disposed <strong>of</strong> his<br />

interest in <strong>Faribault</strong> while searching for another<br />

promising location, selected the site <strong>of</strong> the present city<br />

<strong>of</strong> Northfield, and on March 7, 1856, filed the plat in<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> the register <strong>of</strong> deeds <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, which<br />

was then an <strong>of</strong>fice a little more than two months old.<br />

A plat <strong>of</strong> Cannon City had been made almost as<br />

early as that <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, but owing to the fact that the<br />

plat had been made without the usual formality <strong>of</strong> a<br />


<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1890, looking west from Second St. on east side<br />

preceding survey, it was thought best by the<br />

proprietors, after a vain attempt to harmonize<br />

conflicting interests caused by conflicting boundary<br />

lines, to have a survey made. The plat <strong>of</strong> this survey<br />

was not filed for record until the eleventh day <strong>of</strong><br />

November, 1856, but previous to that date it was a town<br />

<strong>of</strong> sufficient force to give <strong>Faribault</strong> a lively race in a<br />

contest for the location <strong>of</strong> the county seat.<br />

On April 1, 1856, Mrs. Sarah Morris, mother <strong>of</strong><br />

Walter Morris, one <strong>of</strong> the first proprietors <strong>of</strong> the town<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, and widow <strong>of</strong> Jonathan Morris, one <strong>of</strong> the<br />

first settlers <strong>of</strong> Morristown, filed and recorded the plat<br />

<strong>of</strong> Morristown.<br />

These were the first born towns <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, but<br />

speculators had dreams <strong>of</strong> more communities and<br />

these were added to the list. Numerous additions were<br />

surveyed and added to towns already recorded. The<br />

new towns <strong>of</strong> Wheatland, Wedgewood, Warsaw,<br />

Walcott, Shieldsville, Dundas, Millersburg,· East<br />

Prairieville and Lake City were added to the list. Of<br />

these some are still in existence and others are just a<br />

memory.<br />

Production Grows<br />

While settlement in towns and villages continued to<br />

grow, so did agricultural production. Official census<br />

figures showed that in 1860 in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> 18,000 acres<br />

were under cultivation in various fruits and grains with<br />

a production <strong>of</strong> 260,000 bushels <strong>of</strong> wheat. By 1872, there<br />

were 56,672 acres under cultivation and 548,000 bushels<br />

<strong>of</strong> wheat produced.<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>'s population also grew steadily. In<br />

1855 the population was estimated as between 1,500 and<br />

2,000; In 1860, 7,866; in 1865, 10,966; in 1870, 16,399 and in<br />

1880, the <strong>of</strong>ficial census report showed a county<br />

population <strong>of</strong> 20,622.<br />

As the figures indicate, settlement <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

and other communities in the county steadily<br />

increased. Schools and churches were established,<br />

various organizations were formed, new business<br />

firms and industries were established and agricultural<br />

production increased.<br />

Although settlement <strong>of</strong> the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> began<br />

as early as 1853, <strong>Faribault</strong> was not incorporated as a ,<br />

municipal government until 1872 when a new city<br />

charter was adopted and the Hon. George W. Tower<br />

was elected this city's first mayor. He was inaugurated<br />

as mayor on April9, 1872 with pomp and ceremony.<br />

Other city <strong>of</strong>ficers elected in 1872 included:<br />

Aldermen: C.D. Ham, J.H. Harding, S.C. Dunham,<br />

L.C. Ingram, J.H. Winter, T.H. Nutting, W.L. Turner<br />

and H. E. Barron. Barron was elected president <strong>of</strong> the<br />

board and Henry E. Some was appointed clerk.<br />

Justices <strong>of</strong> the Peace named were: Joseph C. Mold,<br />

O.F. Perkins, J.B. Quinn and J.F. Smallidge.<br />

The mayor appointed and the council affirmed<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficers as follows: Moses Cole, chief <strong>of</strong> police; James<br />

Hunter and Charles Kiekenapp, policemen; Gordon E.<br />

Cole, city attorney; R. H. L. Jewett, city surveyor;<br />

William Dickinson, street commissioner; Henry<br />

Dunham, assessor. Mr. Cole declined to accept the<br />

attorneyship and J. C. Morrow was appointed. A. W.<br />

McKinstry was appointed city printer.<br />

Disastrous Fire<br />

Historical records disclose that on June 18, 1878 one<br />

<strong>of</strong> this community's worst fires occurred. Almost an<br />

entire square was consumed including two banks and<br />

10 stores. Losses were estimated at $125,000 and many<br />

people suffered because <strong>of</strong> the conflagration.<br />


1885 <strong>Faribault</strong> scene, old <strong>Rice</strong> cirunty CoUrthouse and old Central School, a block away.<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> - versatile leader<br />

Henry M. <strong>Rice</strong>, for whom <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> was named,<br />

was a distinguished man <strong>of</strong> public interest who was<br />

born in 1816 in Vermont, came to Minnesota in 1839,<br />

became a representative <strong>of</strong> Indian tribes and for more<br />

than 20 years played an influential role in Minnesota<br />

politics.<br />

He served as delegate to congress when Minnesota<br />

was a territory, was among the first 12 Regents <strong>of</strong> the<br />

University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota and was one <strong>of</strong> the first two<br />

U.S. Senators elected from Minnesota when it became<br />

a state in 1858. The other was General James Shields,<br />

also a <strong>Rice</strong> Countian, who held the distinction <strong>of</strong> being<br />

the only person to serve in the U.S. Senate, from three<br />

different states-Illinois, Missouri and Minnesota.<br />

William Watts Folwell, eminent historian, former<br />

president <strong>of</strong> the University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota, and author <strong>of</strong><br />

the book, "Minnesota, the North Star State," wrote this<br />

about <strong>Rice</strong>:<br />

"After Henry M. <strong>Rice</strong> came to Minnesota in 1839,<br />

he was employed by the Chateaus <strong>of</strong> St. Louis, who took<br />

over the business <strong>of</strong> the American Fur Company, to<br />

manage their Winnebago and Chippewa trade from<br />

Prairie Du Chien. In 1847 he became a partner in the<br />

business and removed to Mendota, a place much too<br />

strait for two such men as himself and Henry Hastings<br />

Sibley, his arch political rival.<br />

Made Many Friends<br />

"Established in St. Paul, Mr. <strong>Rice</strong> threw himself<br />

into every movement and enterprise projected for the<br />

development <strong>of</strong> the town. He generously shared his<br />

gains with the public. His personal qualities were such<br />

that he could not help desiring public employment and<br />

obtaining great success in it.<br />

"His manners were so gracious and yet not<br />

patronizing, that he made friends with all sorts and<br />

conditions <strong>of</strong> men. He divided with an unerring instinct<br />

the motives <strong>of</strong> men and parties and knew when and<br />

how by appropriate suggestion to let them apparently<br />

move themselves toward his desired ends.<br />

"An early example <strong>of</strong> Mr. <strong>Rice</strong>'s influence and<br />

success may be found in a contract which he obtained<br />

in 1850 for collecting vagrant Winnebagoes and<br />

returning them to their reservations. The Winnebagoes<br />

were a powerful Wisconsin tribe when the white man<br />

came, and long after. The government persuaded them<br />

to vacate first their mineral lands and later all their<br />

lands in Wisconsin, and move to the so-called ''neutral<br />

ground'' in Iowa. This was a strip <strong>of</strong> territory some<br />

twenty miles wide, starting from the northeast corn~r<br />

<strong>of</strong> Iowa and running south and west to the river.<br />

"The generous presents and annuities required to<br />


~en ~8/ow<br />

Henry M. <strong>Rice</strong> (1817-1894)<br />

U.S. Representative from Minnesota<br />

Territory (1853-57), U.S. Senator from<br />

Minnesota and the man for whom <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> was named.<br />

effect the sale and removal were the ruin <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Winnebagoes. They became idle, dissolute,<br />

mischievous. The white settlers could not endure them,<br />

and the Indians themselves tired <strong>of</strong> their confinement<br />

to a narrow area.<br />

"Accordingly in 1846 a treaty was effected for<br />

exchange <strong>of</strong> the neutral ground for a reservation <strong>of</strong><br />

800,000 acres in Northern Minnesota. A tract lying<br />

between the Watab and Long Prair,fe Rivers, west <strong>of</strong><br />

the Mississippi, was obtained from the Chippeways for<br />

this purpose. But this plan did not work out, the<br />

Winnebagoes were disgruntled and unwelcomed by<br />

others and the tribe eventually disintegrated.<br />

Elected Congressman<br />

' ' <strong>Rice</strong> continued his fur trading, Indian<br />

commissioner and political activities. Henry Sibley<br />

served through the Thirty First and Thirty Second<br />

Congresses with admirable efficiency, and <strong>Rice</strong>, a<br />

Democrat, did not oppose him. Mr. Sibley was<br />

permitted to return to private life at the close <strong>of</strong> his<br />

second term and devote himself to closing up . his<br />

relations with the American Fur Company, <strong>of</strong> which he<br />

had remained the head. Mr. <strong>Rice</strong> was elected to<br />

succeed him by a three-fourths majority vote over<br />

Alexander Wilking, his Whig opponent.<br />

"The Minnesota legislature met December 2, 1857,<br />

and in joint convention, by a close vote <strong>of</strong> 59 to 49<br />

decided to recognize Samuel Medary, formerly <strong>of</strong><br />

Ohio, as Governor. In his message he recognized the<br />

body as a state legislature. Still there was doubt about<br />

the legal status <strong>of</strong> the houses, and there was little<br />

desire to undertake business which might turn out to be<br />

illegitimate.<br />

''The Republican members entered formal<br />

protests against any legislation. There was, however,<br />

one bit <strong>of</strong> business which the Democratic majority felt<br />

could not be postponed and that was the election <strong>of</strong> two<br />

United States Senators. That was virtually settled in<br />

caucus. Henry M. <strong>Rice</strong>, as everybody expected, was<br />

nominated without opposition. The second place, for<br />

the short term, went, after several ballotings, to<br />

General James Shields <strong>of</strong> Shieldsville, <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>,<br />

who was a newcomer and little known in Minnesota.<br />

"He had served with distinction in the Mexican<br />

War, filled many <strong>of</strong>fices in his former State <strong>of</strong> Illinois,<br />

and served a term in the Senate <strong>of</strong> the United States. It<br />

was a bitter pill for such Democratic wheelhorses as<br />

Sibley, Brown and Gorman to swallow. Franklin<br />

Steele, one <strong>of</strong> the first University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota Regents<br />

and a donor <strong>of</strong> Minneapolis real estate to the<br />

University, never forgave <strong>Rice</strong> for failing, as he<br />

claimed, to throw the election to him. Shields was<br />

everybody's second choice and the expectation was<br />

that his personal influence would procure many good<br />

things for the state.''<br />

Shields - triple senator<br />


General James Shields, who left his name on <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> in the early days, was one <strong>of</strong> the most colorful<br />

men in all <strong>of</strong> American history. Usually remembered<br />

as the only man ever to be a senator from three states,<br />

he had a much more brilliant and exciting career than<br />

that special achievement.<br />

He was born the son <strong>of</strong> Charles and Katherine<br />

McConnel Shields in <strong>County</strong> Tyrone, Ireland, in May<br />

1806 or 1810 (there is some controversy over the exact<br />

date) in <strong>County</strong> Tyrone, Ireland.<br />

Education, even <strong>of</strong> the most rudimentary sort, was<br />

impossible for hundreds <strong>of</strong> families in Ireland at that<br />

time, but James was ambitious and lucky. He received<br />

his education (and it was an excellent one) from those<br />

<strong>of</strong> knowledge with whom he came in contact: old<br />

veterans <strong>of</strong> the Napoleonic wars; a retired priest from<br />

Maynooth College; an uncle, Patrick Shields, who had<br />

taught in America, fought in the American Revolution<br />

and in the War <strong>of</strong> 1812. And Patrick Shields, the soldier,<br />

encouraged James to seek his fortune in America.<br />

He left Ireland (some historians say at age 16)<br />

sailing from Liverpool, destination Quebec, but during<br />

a violent storm <strong>of</strong>f the Scottish Coast the ship sank with<br />

all hands lost except the captain <strong>of</strong> the ship, a sailor<br />


How it all began<br />

)<br />

and James.<br />

After an interval <strong>of</strong> teaching in Scotland and<br />

adventure on the high seas, he landed in New York<br />

Harbor, then settled in the old French town <strong>of</strong><br />

Kaskaskia, Illinois, where there was ample<br />

opportunity to further his ambitions. He taught French<br />

for a living while he studied law, then fought as a<br />

lieutenant in the Black Hawk War. In 1832 he was<br />

admitted to the bar.<br />

Elected to Legislature<br />

He was elected to the Illinois Legislature in 1836<br />

where he served with a most remarkable group <strong>of</strong> men<br />

such as Abraham Lincoln, Steven A. Douglas, Edward<br />

D. Baker, John M. Palmer and Lyman Trumbull, all<br />

later United States Senators.<br />

"Shields," says Henry A. Castle in his biography <strong>of</strong><br />

the general, "easily took his place on terms <strong>of</strong> equality<br />

in this distinguished company. His personal<br />

appearance and manners were engaging. He was five<br />

feet-nine inches tall, <strong>of</strong> fine figure and graceful<br />

bearing. His voice was well modulated, his speech<br />

frank, clear and resolute. He was prominent in debate<br />

and influential in council. It was a critical time in the<br />

affairs <strong>of</strong> Illinois, the inauguration <strong>of</strong> a policy <strong>of</strong><br />

extensive public improvements, in which the youthful<br />

legislator bore a progressive part.''<br />

Later as State Auditor he helped straighten out the<br />

disordered finances <strong>of</strong> Illinois on the verge <strong>of</strong><br />

bankruptcy, and in 1842 he became Associate Justice <strong>of</strong><br />

the Supreme Court.<br />

Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer, and other great<br />

lawyers <strong>of</strong> Illinois and the nation appeared before that<br />

tribunal.<br />

Castle also had this to say: ''An eminent Minnesota<br />

lawyer <strong>of</strong> a later generation has carefully studied the<br />

decisions <strong>of</strong> Judge Shields as recorded in the Illinois<br />

Supreme Court reports, and testifies that they bear<br />

conclusive evidence <strong>of</strong> a legal erudition and<br />

discrimination rare in that period." o<br />

In July 1846 he was appointed Brigadier General <strong>of</strong><br />

Volunteers to serve in the Mexican War and was<br />

assigned to the command <strong>of</strong> the Illinois regiments.<br />

Space does not allow the recording <strong>of</strong> all his heroic<br />

feats in the war. Suffice it to say for his gallantry at<br />

Cerro· Gordo, where he was wounded twice, Shields<br />

was brevetted Major General and was widely<br />

acclaimed as a hero. The more serious <strong>of</strong> the wounds<br />

was caused by a cannon grapeshot an inch and a third<br />

in diameter entering Shields' right lung which then<br />

passed out near his spine.<br />

"Brigadier General Shields, a commander <strong>of</strong><br />

activity, zeal and talent, is, I fear, mortally woulded,"<br />

was the message Winfield Scott dispatched to<br />

Washington.<br />

General's Life Saved<br />

However, a pfisoner surgeon was allowed to<br />

administer to the general. He drew a handkerchief<br />

with the aid <strong>of</strong> a ramrod through the wound. Whether<br />

his purpose was to clean the wound or to stop the flow<br />

<strong>of</strong> blood, his act was credited with saving the general's<br />

life.<br />

Four months later he was in battle again, leading<br />

the well-known charge . <strong>of</strong> the Palmettos <strong>of</strong> South<br />

General James Shields<br />

Carolina and the New York Volunteers· at Cherubusco.<br />

It was his command, too, that led the advance troops<br />

into Mexico City and planted the Stars and Stripes on<br />

the halls <strong>of</strong> Montezumas.<br />

As a result <strong>of</strong> Cherubusco the State <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Carolina presented him with a diamond-hilted sword<br />

costing $5,000, and for his services in the Mexican war<br />

as a whole, Illinois responded with another sword at a<br />

cost <strong>of</strong> $3,000. After the general's death in 1879 these<br />

swords were purchased for $15,000 by an act <strong>of</strong><br />

Congress f~r the War Department.<br />

After the war President Polk appointed him<br />

governor <strong>of</strong> the Territory <strong>of</strong> Oregon. He resigned the<br />

appointment and the state <strong>of</strong> Illinois elected him<br />

United States Senator where he served six years with<br />

some <strong>of</strong> the greatest: Daniel Webster, Henry Clay,<br />

John Caldwell Calhoun, Thomas Hart Benton, Steven<br />

A. Douglas, etc.<br />

When the Whigs took over in Illinois Shields left for<br />

St. Paul and then <strong>Faribault</strong>, where he became one <strong>of</strong><br />

the owners <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Townsite Compally and<br />

was their agent and attorney.<br />

Establishes Shieldsville<br />

During this involvement, Shields drove out <strong>of</strong> town<br />

about 10 miles to a little settlement situated on the<br />

Dodd Road, a military highway between Fort Snelling<br />

and Fort Ridgely. He bought 282.42 acres from a bois<br />

brule by the name <strong>of</strong> Moses Latourelle and established<br />


~en ~c;<strong>Now</strong><br />

the village <strong>of</strong> Shieldsville. He took steps to induce Irish<br />

settlers to come to the vicinity, including the nearby<br />

township <strong>of</strong> Erin. That area became known in the early<br />

days as the General Shields Colony. By 1856 the town <strong>of</strong><br />

Shieldsville was well established and most <strong>of</strong> the better<br />

government land taken.<br />

The seventh Territorial Legislature <strong>of</strong> Minnesota<br />

granted a charter, approved March 1, 1856 for a<br />

railroad from the Iowa State line to follow the Straight<br />

River valley and push through the "big woods" to<br />

Minneapolis, a distance <strong>of</strong> one hundred miles.<br />

General Shields, along with General H. H. Sibley <strong>of</strong><br />

Mendota, Franklin Steele <strong>of</strong> Fort Snelling, F. Pettitt,<br />

Judge Alanson and B. Vaughan, was a commissioner<br />

for opening subscriptions and making arrangements<br />

for the permanent organization <strong>of</strong>. the Minneapolis<br />

Cedar Valley Railroad. They secured stock<br />

subscriptions to the amount <strong>of</strong> $200,000 and held a<br />

meeting at the <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> Shields & McCutchen in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> on January 28th, 1856. However, it took an<br />

act <strong>of</strong> Congress in 1862 to allow construction. The<br />

railroad got as far as Rochester in 1864. It was linked to<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> by a stage route. By 1865 it became the<br />

. Minnesota Railway Co. and had gotten as far as<br />

Northfield.<br />

Helped <strong>Faribault</strong> Grow<br />

During the spring and summer <strong>of</strong> 1856 there were<br />

few buildings in <strong>Faribault</strong> but largely through the<br />

efforts <strong>of</strong> General Shields, by fall there were more than<br />

250 units and the population had grown to 1,500.<br />

Estimated improvements to the city that year<br />

amounted to $100,000. According to Neill's <strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> ''The residences <strong>of</strong> General Shields, J.<br />

Cooper, N. Paquin, J. H. McClelland, F. <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

Rev. L. Armsby, S. Barnard, Mr. Humphrey, H.<br />

Riedell, J. Gibson, and Messrs. Decker, Alby, Lines,<br />

Whipple, & Co., averaged about $2,000 each.''<br />

General Shields, according to a few old timers still<br />

around, resided for at least a short while in<br />

Shieldsville, but he owned this imposing residence in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and lived in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> for probably three<br />

years.<br />

Shields returned to politics and before the state <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota was even recognized as such was elected<br />

United States Senator along with Henry W. <strong>Rice</strong>. After<br />

his term in <strong>of</strong>fice he returned to San Francisco, where<br />

in 1861 he married Mary Ann Carr, the daughter <strong>of</strong> an<br />

old friend.<br />

The couple settled in Mazatlan, Mexico, where<br />

Shields was involved in mining. When the Civil War<br />

broke out, he sold out his interest in the mines and<br />

<strong>of</strong>fered his services to Lincoln.<br />

On August 19, 1861, he was appointed Brigadier<br />

General <strong>of</strong> Volunteers, and on March 7, he defeated<br />

Stonewall Jackson, the only man ever to do so.<br />

President Lincoln appointed him a major general but<br />

the senate did not confirm the appointment and Shields<br />

retired from the army on March 28, 1863, to return to<br />

San Francisco where he was appointed a state railroad<br />

commissioner. Finally his wife persuaded him to buy<br />

an estate in Carrollton, Missouri.<br />

Elected Senator Again<br />

In 1874 the Democrats <strong>of</strong> Carrollton <strong>County</strong><br />

nominated him for the legislature. He was elected and<br />

served two terms. In 1878 he was elected United States<br />

Senator from Missouri to served out an unexpired<br />

term. Later he served as state railroad commissioner<br />

<strong>of</strong> Missouri.<br />

He spent the remainder <strong>of</strong> his life on his farm and<br />

on lecture tours. He died suddenly while on one <strong>of</strong> these<br />

tours at Ottumwa, Iowa, June 1st, 1879 from the effects<br />

<strong>of</strong> a wound he had received at Cerro Gordo.<br />

He was buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in<br />

Carrollton, Missouri, where in 1910 a statue was<br />

erected to his memory. In 1893 his statue had been<br />

placed by the state <strong>of</strong> Illinois in Statuary Hall in the<br />

National Capitol. In 1914 Minnesota placed a statue <strong>of</strong><br />

the general in the rotunda <strong>of</strong> the State Capitol.<br />

The Coat <strong>of</strong> Arms for the family name <strong>of</strong> Shields<br />

bears the motto, "Omne Solum Forti Patria," which<br />

translated means, "A brave man finds every land a<br />

fatherland.''<br />

It would appear to be a fitting motto for General<br />

James Shields who was indeed a man at home in many<br />

places.<br />

First county board<br />

The first <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board appointed by<br />

Territorial Governor Gorman on Jan. 2, 1855, one<br />

hundred twenty one years ago, was composed <strong>of</strong> three<br />

members, Halsey M. Matteson, Isaac N. Stater and­<br />

Luke Hulett, all prominent names in early county<br />

history.<br />

At an election held in November <strong>of</strong> 1855, three new<br />

members were elected, Frederick W. Frink, George F.<br />

Pettit and Andrew Storer, equally prominent in the<br />

county's development.<br />

In the spring <strong>of</strong> 1856, the county was divided into 14<br />

townships and the three man board was done away<br />

with. The chairman <strong>of</strong> each township board became a<br />

member <strong>of</strong> a new board to be known as the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Board <strong>of</strong> Supervisors. The board had its first meeting<br />

on Sept. 14, 1856 and it was composed <strong>of</strong> the following<br />

people: G. L. Carpenter, Webster, L. Barlow,<br />

Richland, Daniel Bowe, Northfield, W. A. Pye,<br />

Wheeling, Isaac Woodman, Walcott, J. A. Starks,<br />

Cannon City, B. Lockerby, Bridgewater, Miles<br />

Holister, Wheatland, Tom Kirk, Wells, E. F. Taylor,<br />

Forest, Isaac Hammond, Morristown. J. Hagerty,<br />

Shieldsville, John Conniff, Erin, G. W. Batchelder,<br />

Warsaw.<br />

The above type <strong>of</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Supervisors continued<br />

until Jan. 7, 1860 when it adjourned, never to meet<br />

again. Sometime between Jan. 7, 1860 and May 15, 1860,<br />

a new board was elected or appointed, which was<br />

composed <strong>of</strong> five members. The new five man board<br />

had its first meeting May 15, 1860 and was composed <strong>of</strong><br />

J. H. Parker, G. H. Batchelder, S. Webster, William<br />

Thorp and C. Clopson. However, C. Clopson was not<br />

present for the first meeting. At this meeting the board<br />


How it all began<br />

I<br />

These are the members <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Board <strong>of</strong> Commissioners in June 1940, 36<br />

years ago. Left to right, front row: Stephen<br />

Pittman, Morris town, fourth district; Charles<br />

Zimmerman, Northfield, second district;<br />

Fred W. Chester, Cannon City, first district;<br />

Clem L. McCarthy, <strong>Faribault</strong>, then county<br />

auditor. Top row: George L. Clark, <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

then assistant county engineer; Emil<br />

Machacek, Lonsdale, fifth district; Thomas<br />

Donohue, <strong>Faribault</strong>, third district; Tom<br />

Murphy, William H. Ziegler Co. All are<br />

deceased except McCarthy and Clark.<br />

established five commissioner districts Number 1, 2, 3,<br />

4, 5.<br />

lOOth Year Observed<br />

On January 7, 1955, 100 years after the first three<br />

man board convened, the five man <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board<br />

<strong>of</strong> Commissioners met with the following as members:<br />

George P<strong>of</strong>ahl, Walcott, First District; Ernest<br />

Schroeder, Bridgewater, Second District, board<br />

chairman; John R. King, <strong>Faribault</strong>, Third District;<br />

Archie Devitt, Shieldsville, Fourth District; Emil<br />

Machacek, Lonsdale, Fif~h District.<br />

On Jan. 5, 1976, the present county board <strong>of</strong><br />

Commissioners met. The board members included:<br />

Martin Hachfeld, Cannon City. First District, board<br />

chairman; Charles Miller, Northfield, Second District;<br />

William Wells, <strong>Faribault</strong>, Third District; Daniel<br />

Minnick, <strong>Faribault</strong>, Fourth District; Lawrence Valek,<br />

Webster, Fifth District.<br />

Boom town fades<br />

Cannon City, one <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>'s oldest<br />

communities, back 121 years ago was a bustling<br />

community with ambitious developers formulating<br />

grandiose schemes to sell scores <strong>of</strong> lots and homesites<br />

on the shores <strong>of</strong> Crystal Lake and to build the<br />

community into a dazzling metropolis. Actual<br />

construction <strong>of</strong> residences and commercial and service<br />

building had begun.<br />

The hopes <strong>of</strong> the ambitious developers went<br />

sky-high in the spring <strong>of</strong> 1855 when the newly organized<br />

county board designated Cannon City as the <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> seat. New settlers began arriving, more lots<br />

were sold, town growth prospects seemed rosy. Within<br />

six months the expansion balloon burst.<br />

An election was held in November, 1855 and<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, not Cannon City, was named county seat.<br />

Residents <strong>of</strong> the new "boom town", as well as the<br />


Hause <strong>of</strong> Dr. Jackson, corner Second St. and Second Ave. NW (early days)<br />

developers, were not happy with the sudden change in<br />

county seat designation. They were incensed.<br />

Gradually, Cannon City's planned growth diminished.<br />

Many settlers moved away.<br />

Although the town failed in its bid for greatness, its<br />

fame still lives on because <strong>of</strong> a widely read pioneer<br />

days novel, "The Mystery <strong>of</strong> Metropolisville", written<br />

by Edward Eggleston, an Indiana Methodist Church<br />

leader who also wrote ''The Hoosier Schoolmaster''.<br />

La Vern J. Rippley, writing in the "Golden<br />

Nugget", published in Northfield, reviewed the<br />

"Metropolis" book. He comments:<br />

Similarities Recalled<br />

"<strong>Now</strong>here in the novel does Eggleston specifically<br />

equate Cannon City with Metropolisville but the<br />

historical facts are only thinly veiled. For example, a<br />

boating accident occurred on Crystal Lake at Cannon<br />

City on July 4, 1857, taking the lives <strong>of</strong> four people. As<br />

preparations for the funeral were made, it was<br />

discovered that the regular minister was out <strong>of</strong> town so<br />

a 20 year old man by the name <strong>of</strong> Edward Eggleston,<br />

who had studied for the Methodist ministry,<br />

volunteered his services. In the novel, only two persons<br />

drowned and the incident does not happen on Crystal<br />

Lake but on 'Diamond Lake'.''<br />

Referring to the change in county seat designation<br />

in 1855, Eggleston, in his novel, tells it this way: "If this<br />

were history I should feel bound to tell <strong>of</strong> all the<br />

maneuvers resorted to by Metropolisville to get the<br />

county seat removed from Perri taut (<strong>Faribault</strong>).''<br />

"A dedicated Cannon Citian, Eggleston wastes no<br />

chance to slam <strong>Faribault</strong>, always, <strong>of</strong> course, in the<br />

guise <strong>of</strong> Perritaut. 'I couldn't stand the climate at<br />

Perritaut' and 'Perritaut was named for an old French<br />

trader, who had made his fortune by selling goods to<br />

the Indians on its site, and who had taken him an<br />

Indian wife- it helped trade to wed an Indian- and<br />

reared a family <strong>of</strong> children who were dusky! '<br />

·''To be sure we never see the Cannon River in the<br />

novel but who can doubt what Eggleston meant by 'The<br />

Big Gun River' and when the fictional characters visit<br />

Glenfield, it is obvious that in fact they were coming to<br />

Northfield. Red Wing was called Red Owl by<br />

Eggleston.''<br />

Came Here for Health<br />

"It was for the reasons <strong>of</strong> health that in the spring<br />

<strong>of</strong> 1856, the 18-year-old Eggleston, convinced by<br />

brochures and advertisements that Minnesota was the<br />

healthiest state in the union, decided on Minnesota as a<br />

last resort. Born in Virginia, Eggleston for some time<br />

had lived in Vevay, Indiana, but the climate there had<br />

gotten to him.<br />

"His health was in a shambles, lungs<br />

hemorrhaging, consumption eating its way through his<br />

vital organs, he seemed destined for an early death. By<br />

the end <strong>of</strong> the summer <strong>of</strong> 1856, Eggleston found his<br />

health so dramatically improved by his stay in Cannon<br />

City that he walked nearly 400 miles to Galesburg,<br />

Illinois. He returned to Cannon City a year later and<br />

was given new Methodist church assignments.<br />

"Though published in 1873, Eggleston's book opens<br />

as if it were yesterday. 'Metropolisville is nothing but a<br />

memory now - the last time I saw the place the grass<br />

grew green where once stood the City Hall, the corn<br />

stalks waved their banners on the very site <strong>of</strong> the old<br />

store - I ask pardon, <strong>of</strong> the Emporium <strong>of</strong> Jackson,<br />

Jones and Co., and what had been the Square, flanked<br />

by a white courthouse, not a Temple but a Barn <strong>of</strong><br />

Justice, had long s.ince fallen to base uses. The walls<br />

which had echoed with forensic grandiloquence were<br />


Barron House, early day <strong>Faribault</strong> hotel<br />

now forced to hear only the bleating· <strong>of</strong> silly sheep. The<br />

church, the school house and the city hotel had been<br />

moved away boldly. The village grew, as hundreds <strong>of</strong><br />

other frontier villages had grown, in the flush times. It<br />

died, as so many others died, <strong>of</strong> the financial crash<br />

which was the inevitable sequel and retribution <strong>of</strong><br />

speculative madness.'''<br />

<strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> railroads<br />

Transportation, including railroads, bus lines and<br />

county, state and interstate highways, has played a<br />

vital role in the development <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> from its<br />

beginning to the present time. The following articles<br />

were written for this book by George L. Clark, for more<br />

than 20 years <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Engineer until his<br />

retirement in 1973 and now chairman <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> Bicentennial Commission.<br />


Byron Kilbourn and associates obtained a charter<br />

in 1847 that granted them rights to build a railroad<br />

between Milwaukee and Waukesha, Wisconsin; a<br />

distance <strong>of</strong> 20 miles. Later the charter was amended so<br />

that the railroad could be extended to the Mississippi<br />

River.<br />

On May 19, 1849, Kilbourn was elected president <strong>of</strong><br />

the new railroad and it was named the Milwaukee and<br />

Waukesha Railroad Company. This was the beginning<br />

<strong>of</strong> what is now known as the Chicago, Milwaukee, St.<br />

Paul and Pacific Railroad, later the Milwaukee Road.<br />

In 1850 the name was changed to Milwaukee and<br />

Mississippi Railroad Company because their plans<br />

were to build to the river.<br />

The city <strong>of</strong> Milwaukee issued $100,000.00 in bonds to<br />

get construction <strong>of</strong> the line between Milwaukee and<br />

Waukesha started.<br />

On Sept. 12, 1850, they laid the first rails and by<br />

November had five miles completed. The twenty mile<br />

section <strong>of</strong> railroad was completed in early 1851, and on<br />

February 25, 1951, the first train operated over this<br />

section <strong>of</strong> railroad. The above date, February 25, 1851,<br />

is the date that the Chicago, Milwaukee and Pacific<br />

Railroad operated its first train; now the Milwaukee<br />

Road.<br />

The railroad continued on west and on April 15,<br />

1857, the first train entered the city <strong>of</strong> Prairie du Chien,<br />

Wisconsin.<br />

New company Organized<br />

In 1860, the railroad went bankrupt and on January<br />

18, 1861, the road was sold and a new company, with the<br />

name Milwaukee and Prairie du Chien, was organized.<br />

In 1863 the railroad was merged with another<br />

railroad and on May 5, 1863, a new company was<br />

formed and named the Milwaukee and St. Paul<br />

Railroad: After several mergers, the railroad<br />

construction was completed in 1867 to Minneapolis and<br />

St. Paul.<br />

In 1874 the name was changed again to Chicago,<br />

Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway and later the Chicago,<br />

Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and now<br />

known as the Milwaukee Road.<br />

The Minneapolis, <strong>Faribault</strong> and Cedar Valley<br />

Railroad was incorporated in March, 1862, and<br />

changed its name to Minnesota Central in 1864. This<br />


l/len ~ cf<strong>Now</strong><br />

House <strong>of</strong> Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> as it was when used for the Minnesota School for the Blind<br />

(Drawing by Jeff LaRoche)<br />

railroad's first track was built between Mendota and<br />

Wescott, now known as Radio Center, in 1864 and from<br />

Mendota to Minneapolis in 1865, and also between<br />

Westcott and <strong>Faribault</strong> in 1864. The first train into<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> over the Minnesota Central was in<br />

September <strong>of</strong> 1865. This road was built by Donald<br />

Grant, a <strong>Faribault</strong> railroad contractor.<br />

The Minnesota Central became a part <strong>of</strong> the<br />

McGregor Western Railroad in 1867 and the McGregor<br />

line also became a part <strong>of</strong> the Milwaukee and St. Paul<br />

Railroad, now known as the Milwaukee Road, in 1867.<br />

The first Milwaukee train to operate into <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

· was in August, 1867. Between 1905 and 1915 the<br />

company operated three passenger trains per day in<br />

each direction, plus one branch line trair ..;dCh way on<br />

the <strong>Faribault</strong>-Wabasha branch line, which we will<br />

discuss later.<br />

Passenger Business Declines<br />

Tom Murphy, Frank Baker, Steve Ames and Joe<br />

Elm were the passenger train conductors which<br />

operated trains through <strong>Faribault</strong> in the late 1920's and<br />

1930's until mainline passenger service ended. Tom<br />

Murphy was raised in Northfield, Frank Baker in<br />

Waterford, Joe Elm in Dundas, and Steve Ames, not<br />

known.<br />

The passenger business began to decrease and the<br />

company continued to take passenger trains out <strong>of</strong><br />

service. On June 30, 1952, the last passenger service<br />

through <strong>Faribault</strong> came to an end.<br />

The construction <strong>of</strong> a new grade between <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

and Cresco, Iowa was constructed in 1866 and 1867 by<br />

Donald Grant, a <strong>Faribault</strong> railroad contractor. <strong>History</strong><br />

is not clear, but there are indications that the<br />

Milwaukee started operating over the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Cresco section in late 1867 or early 1868.<br />

The first branch line to be built in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> by<br />

the Milwaukee was built in 1882 between Northfield and<br />

Cannon Falls. This connected at Cannon Falls with a<br />

branch which had been built a few years before, from<br />

Red Wing to Cannon Falls. This line operated six days<br />

a week, and the trains operated were mixed passenger<br />

and freight, between Northfield and Red Wing. This<br />

daily operation continued until April 1918 when the<br />

service was reduced to three days a week: Tuesday,<br />

Thursday and Saturday. The line was abandoned in<br />

December <strong>of</strong> 1918.<br />

The line between <strong>Faribault</strong> and Zumbrota was<br />

constructed in .1903 by Donald Grant, a <strong>Faribault</strong><br />


How it all began<br />

railroad contractor. The line connected at Zumbrota<br />

with the Milwaukee branch from Wabasha to<br />

Zumbrota, which had been constructed by the<br />

Minnesota Midland Railroad in 1877 and 1878; which<br />

became a part <strong>of</strong> the Milwaukee in 1883.<br />

One passenger train each way operated between<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and Wabasha until November 14, 1926, when<br />

full fledged passenger service on this line was<br />

discontinued.<br />

Portion Abandoned<br />

The Zumbrota Falls to Wabasha portion <strong>of</strong> the line<br />

was abandoned in May or June <strong>of</strong> 1934, and from<br />

Zumbro Falls to Zumbrota a few years later.<br />

After November 14, 1926, the company operated a<br />

mixed train for some years but sometime in the 1940's<br />

the mixed service was reduced, to a straight freight<br />

line. The line now operates a three day a week service·<br />

from Austin to Zumbrota. ·<br />

The Milwaukee built a branch line between<br />

Farmington and Mankato in 1903, which passed<br />

through Webster and Lonsdale, located in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>,<br />

which connected with a line, built in 1874, between<br />

Mankato and Wells, Minnesota, by the predecessor<br />

company, Central Railroad <strong>of</strong> Minnesota; later t.aken<br />

over by the Milwaukee. · ·<br />

Passenger and freight trains operated over the line ·<br />

between Wells and Farmington via Lonsdale and<br />

Webster until January 1, 1951 when all passenger<br />

service was discontinued over this line. The freight<br />

trains continued to operate, but during the past few<br />

years the freights operate three or four times a week<br />

on this line.<br />

The Milwaukee Road probably operated the<br />

greatest number <strong>of</strong> passenger trains over the entire<br />

system in 1928. It can be said that during the<br />

immediate post World War II years, the company<br />

operated the greatest number <strong>of</strong> streamlined trains<br />

and the fastest, in the history <strong>of</strong> the railroad.<br />


The construction <strong>of</strong> the Dan Patch Railroad was<br />

started prior to 1910 and the President M. W. Savage<br />

had planned to build from Minneapolis through<br />

Northfield and <strong>Faribault</strong> and thence on to Dubuque,<br />

Iowa.<br />

The railroad was named after a race horse, owned by<br />

M. W. Savage, Dan Patch. M . . W. Savage, a<br />

Minneapolis manufacturer and sportsman, was also<br />

owner <strong>of</strong> the M. W. Savage Catalog House, a firm<br />

similar to Montgomery Ward Co., only smaller. Mr.<br />

Savage purchased Dan Patch a stallion and pacer,<br />

from Dan Messner, the first owner, for $60,000.<br />

The great Dan Patch broke a world record on<br />

September 8, 1906, on the Minnesota State Fair<br />

Grounds by pacing the mile in one minute and 55<br />

seconds. The event took place at about 5 p.m. when<br />

there was no wind and this record stood for many<br />

years. After the record was set, Mr. Savage was<br />

<strong>of</strong>fered $180,000 for Dan Patch, which he turned down.<br />

Mr. Savage continued to race Dan Patch for many<br />

years and on July 11_, 1916, Dan Patch died. Mr.<br />

Savage, who was not too well at the time his horse died,<br />

died the next day, July 12, 1916, due to shock and poor<br />

health.<br />

Mr. Savage had visions <strong>of</strong> a Gas-Electric railroad<br />

between Minneapolis and Dubuque, Iowa.<br />

Built Amusement Park<br />

Mr. Savage, while building his railroad to the<br />

south, also constructed Antlers Park near Lakeville,<br />

Minnesota, as an amusement park on Lake Marion.<br />

Antlers Park was considered one <strong>of</strong> the outstanding<br />

parks <strong>of</strong> its kind at that time.<br />

Mr. Savage had visions <strong>of</strong> people coming from the<br />

Minneapolis-St. Paul area and all along the line from<br />

Dubuque, Iowa, to the park for outings.<br />

The line was completed in 1910 between Minneapolis<br />

and Northfield and the first passenger train operated<br />

from Minneapolis to Antlers Park, which was along<br />

one side <strong>of</strong> the park, on July 4, 1910. The first passenger<br />

train to arrive in Northfield was on December 10, 1910.<br />

Mr. Savage continued to build on south through<br />

Dundas to <strong>Faribault</strong> but stopped further construction<br />

<strong>of</strong> the new grade near the now Mike Karp farm<br />

northwesterly <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>. The reason for not<br />

continuing the construction operations was that the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> City Council refused to allow the railroad a<br />

right-<strong>of</strong>-way through the city and the end result was<br />

that the road was never build from the present ending<br />

near the Karp farm on south to Dubuque and no<br />

trackage was ever laid south <strong>of</strong> Northfield, Minnesota.<br />

Trackage rights were obtained from the Chicago<br />

Great Western Railroad between Randolph and<br />

Mankato, and in late 1910 eight passenger trains were<br />

operating between Minneapolis, Northfield, Randolph<br />

and Mankato.<br />

The Dan Patch railroad built up several small<br />

crossing stops along the way to pick up milk, poultry,<br />

dressed veal, and some dressed hogs. One crossing<br />

. stop south <strong>of</strong> Dundas was called "Clarks Crossing"<br />

:near where I lived on a farm untill918.<br />

Road Reorganized<br />

After the death <strong>of</strong> Mr. Savage in 1916, the railroad<br />

began to slip and in 1918, the road was reorganized and<br />

given a new name, the Minneapolis-Northfield and<br />

Southern.<br />

The Minneapolis-Northfield and Southern stopped<br />

operating trains over the Chicago Great Western to<br />

Mankato in 1930. However, they still operated<br />

passenger trains to <strong>Faribault</strong> until 1931, when<br />

thereafter the road operated only to Northfield,<br />

Minnesota.<br />

The road continued to operate passenger trains on<br />

the line for several years between Northfield and<br />

Minneapolis, but toward the end, operated only two<br />

passenger trains, one up in the morning and one back<br />

in the evening. On April 30, 1942, the last passenger<br />

train to operate, pulled into Northfield with only eight<br />

passengers.<br />

The M.N.S. built a connection in 1929, in Northfield,<br />

with the Chicago Milwaukee and now is one <strong>of</strong> the most<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>itable freight lines in the country and control is<br />

held by the Pence Family <strong>of</strong> Minneapolis. The road<br />

also connects with the Chicago Northwestern at<br />

Randolph and is now a competitor to the Minnesota<br />

Transfer line in the Twin Cities area.<br />


Early days LeSueur House, corner 4th St. and Third Ave. NW<br />


What is now the Rock Island System first came<br />

under discussion in June, 1845.<br />

By a special act <strong>of</strong> the Illinois Legislature, the<br />

Rock Island and LaSalle Railroad company was<br />

incorporated on February 27, 1847, but raising money<br />

to build the line was difficult because people had little<br />

faith in a railroad that merely connected two<br />

waterways, the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.<br />

However, the organizers decided to petition the<br />

legislature to build all the way into Chicago rather than<br />

just between Rock Island and LaSalle, Illinois. The<br />

amended charter was approved by a special act <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Illinois Legislature on February 7, 1851 and the name<br />

changed to Chicago and Rock Island Railroad.<br />

On October 1, 1851, the first spade <strong>of</strong> dirt was<br />

turned on 22nd Street, the southern limits <strong>of</strong> Chicago,<br />

and the <strong>of</strong>ficial construction <strong>of</strong> the railroad began.<br />

On October 10, 1852, a gaily painted little engine<br />

called the Rocket, with six sparkling new yellow<br />

coaches started the first passenger run <strong>of</strong> the road<br />

between Joliet and Chicago, a distance <strong>of</strong> forty miles.<br />

The trip took two hours. There was no turning facilities<br />

at Joliet so the train had to back up all the way back to<br />

Chicago.<br />

During 1853-1862 the road continued to push further<br />

westward.<br />

On April 22, 1856, the first train operated between<br />

Rock Island and Davenport and two weeks later, the<br />

Effie Afton, a steamboat, hit the new bridge over the<br />

Mississippi and burst into flames and destroyed the<br />

draw portion <strong>of</strong> the railroad bridge. A historic action<br />

was started · against the steamboat owners and<br />

Abraham Lincoln was the attorney for the railroad.<br />

Court litigation continued for several years and<br />

Lincoln argued the case before the Supreme Court and<br />

in 1862, an opinion was handed down in favor <strong>of</strong> the<br />

railroad.<br />

The line kept coming west and on July 9, 1886, the<br />

name was changed to Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific<br />

Railroad.<br />

In 1885, the Rock Island purchased the majority <strong>of</strong><br />

the outstanding stock <strong>of</strong> the Burlington, Cedar Rapids,<br />

and Northern Railroad.<br />

Grant gets contract<br />

The Burlington-Cedar Rapids awarded a contract<br />

to Donald Grant, a <strong>Faribault</strong> railroad contractor, to<br />

build the grade from someplace south <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> to<br />

Comus, a junction point with the Chicago and<br />

Milwaukee Railroad. The Burlington then continued to<br />

operate over the Milwaukee to Rosemount and then on<br />

its own line to South St. Paul, and on to St. Paul and<br />

Minneapolis. The Straight was moved to the east and<br />

all the area from the present post <strong>of</strong>fice in <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

was filled in. The Burlington Depot was opened in<br />

January, 1902.<br />

On June 1, 1902, the Burlington-Cedar Rapids and<br />

Northern leased its property to the Rock Island for 999<br />

years. The June 1, 1902 date would be the date <strong>of</strong> the<br />

first Rock Island operated train through <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />


How it all began<br />

The Rock Island operated eight passenger trains<br />

through <strong>Faribault</strong> for many years, four south and four<br />

north. It was then reduced to six trains per day as the<br />

local, as it was called, because it would make stops<br />

along the line, was removed from service.<br />

About this time they put on six new type passenger<br />

trains and removed the old steam engines, which were<br />

replaced with diesel engines and streamlined stainless<br />

steel coaches, sleepers, diners, and parlor cars and<br />

called them the Rockets after the name <strong>of</strong> the road's<br />

first passenger engine to operate October 10, 1852.<br />

Passenger trains disband<br />

The line _operated one fine train each day to<br />

California and one to Minneapolis from California<br />

known as the Mid-Continent Special. This was a real<br />

high class passenger train. You could get on in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and never leave the car until you arrived in<br />

California. Also, a "Twin Star Rocket" ran each way<br />

between Minneapolis and Kansas City which were also<br />

fine trains.<br />

Also, a "Burlington Zephyr Rocket" ran each way<br />

between Minneapolis and St. Louis, Mo., which were<br />

fine trains.<br />

The passenger business kept going down and the<br />

last passenger train to operate through <strong>Faribault</strong> was<br />

·the northbound Twin Star Rocket from Kansas City to<br />

Minneapolis which made its last run on July 28, 1969.<br />

Some freights still operate through <strong>Faribault</strong> and<br />

the depot was closed shortly after the last passenger<br />

went through July 28, 1969.<br />

It just doesn't seem possible that all these fine<br />

trains are gone, but they are, and perhaps, forever.<br />


The beginning <strong>of</strong> the Chicago Great Western<br />

Railroad was the issuing <strong>of</strong> a charter on March 4, 1854<br />

to the Minnesota and Northwestern Railroad<br />

Company. Nothing was done with the charter for thirty<br />

years until a man by the name <strong>of</strong> A. B. Stickney<br />

acquired it and started construction <strong>of</strong> a line from St.<br />

Paul to Lyle, Minnesota in September <strong>of</strong> 1884 and was<br />

completed in 1885 and put in service October 2, 1885.<br />

On August 1, 1887, the Minnesota and Northwestern<br />

opened their line between Chicago and the Twin Cities<br />

and through train operations took place shortly<br />

thereafter.<br />

On December 8, 1887, the Chicago, St. Paul and<br />

Kansas Railway purchased all the railway and<br />

property <strong>of</strong> the shortlived Minnesota and Northwestern<br />

Railroad.<br />

On January 16, 1892, in a complex financial<br />

maneuver, the Chicago Great Western Railway was<br />

incorporated, and thus the beginning <strong>of</strong> the Chicago<br />

Great Western Railroad and for serveral years was<br />

known as the Map_le Leaf system due to the fact that a<br />

map <strong>of</strong> the system looked like a maple leaf; due to the<br />

fact other small railroads were taken over by the<br />

Chicago Great Western.<br />

Chrysler Was Superintendent<br />

The superintendent <strong>of</strong> Motor Power for the Maple<br />

Leaf system was a young man by the name <strong>of</strong> Walter<br />

P. Chrysler. Chrysler was in charge <strong>of</strong> the railroad's<br />

main shops at Oelwein, Iowa. In 1908, Walter P.<br />

Chrysler attended Chicago Automobile Show, which<br />

changed the future course <strong>of</strong> his life.<br />

He saw a white Locomobile Automobile trimmed<br />

with red; Chrysler bought the car for $5000.00 right on<br />

the spot and became very interested in automobiles<br />

from then on.<br />

A few years later, Mr. Chrysler left the Chicago<br />

and Great Western and went to work for the American<br />

Locomotive Company and, in 1912, entered the<br />

automobile industry with Buick and later formed the<br />

Chrysler Corporation, which made Chrysler cars.<br />

On September 1, 1909, the. railroad was sold at<br />

foreclosure and conveyed to new ownership and the<br />

Chicago Great Western name retained, but added<br />

"Corn Belt Route."<br />

Fancy Train Names<br />

Many fine passenger trains were opera ted over the<br />

main line through Nerstrand, Minnesota for a number<br />

<strong>of</strong> years. The names <strong>of</strong> famous trains which operated<br />

through Nerstrand were: The Great Western Limited,<br />

The Corn Belt Special and two non-stop trains between<br />

the Twin Cities and Rochester known as the ''Red<br />

Bird," and the "Blue Bird," which made their run<br />

between the Twin Cities and Rochester in three hours<br />

and 25 minutes.<br />

The Great Western pr<strong>of</strong>ited little from World War<br />

II and passenger business for the Great Western main<br />

line started down hill and the last passenger train to<br />

operate on the main line was through Nerstrand on<br />

September 30, 1965.<br />

On Apirl 27, 1967, the Interstate Commerce<br />

Commission approved a merger <strong>of</strong> the Chicago Great<br />

Western and the Chicago Northwestern and on July 1,<br />

1968, the Northwestern took over the operation and the<br />

Chicago Great Western Railroad became history.<br />

Chicago Great Western Branch Line<br />

Between Red Wing, Through Northfield<br />

And <strong>Faribault</strong> and Mankato<br />

When Minnesota was still a territory, the<br />

Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pacific Railroad was<br />

incorporated under a special act <strong>of</strong> the territory <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota on May 23, 1857. It appears to be the first<br />

company havirig anything to do with the construction<br />

<strong>of</strong> a railroad between Red Wing and Mankato, a little<br />

later on.<br />

Another company which had much to do in forming<br />

the future Chicago Great Western was the Cannon<br />

River Improvement Company, incorporated in the<br />

State <strong>of</strong> Minnesota February 16, 1865. The purpose <strong>of</strong><br />

the Corporation was to construct canals, locks, dams,<br />

and in a general way construct slack water navigation<br />

from the Mississippi River via the Cannon River and ·<br />

the lakes connected therewith; thence via Lake<br />

Elysian to the Minnesota River near Mankato. The<br />

plan was not practicable and no work was ever started.<br />

After some study the company evidently concluded<br />

that a railroad would be cheaper to build and better, so<br />

on February 28, 1872, the Articles <strong>of</strong> Incorporation<br />

were amended to read "and also to construct and<br />


~en ~d:Jlow<br />

Luke Hulett House, 7th St. and Lincoln Ave. (early days, still standing)<br />

operate a railroad."<br />

Franchises Consolidated<br />

The Cannon River Improvement Company and the<br />

Minnesota Central Railroad Company had been given<br />

land grants and on March 10, 1983, the legislature<br />

passed a special act providing for the consolidation <strong>of</strong><br />

the franchises and land grants <strong>of</strong> the two companies.<br />

The consolidation was effected December 3, 1878 and<br />

then the Minnesota Central built a line from Red Wirtg<br />

through Northfield and <strong>Faribault</strong> to Waterville,<br />

Minnesota, completed in 1882. The towns <strong>of</strong> Red Wing<br />

donated $50,000 toward the construction <strong>of</strong> the line;<br />

Cannon Falls, $10,000; Northfield, $10,000; <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

$50,000 and Morristown, $10,000. After the line was built<br />

the Minnesota Central had no money to buy equipment<br />

and was operated from January 1, 1883 until June 30,<br />

1884 as the Cannon Valley Division <strong>of</strong> the Minneapolis<br />

and St. Louis Railway.<br />

On August 14, 1883, the Minnesota Central name<br />

was changed to the Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pacific<br />

Railway Company and the line extended from<br />

Waterville to Mankato and construction was completed<br />

in 1887.<br />

The company went into receivership and a new<br />

company was incorporated under the source name and<br />

sometime in 1892 leased the property to the Chicago<br />

Great Western Railway Company.<br />

The faribault Depot at first was located someplace<br />

on or near 12th Street NW, but later a new depot was<br />

built in downtown <strong>Faribault</strong> after a line was built to<br />

downtown <strong>Faribault</strong> a point near the present location<br />

<strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Canning Company.<br />

Chicago Northwestern Railroad<br />

(Company now known as the Northwestern<br />

Transportation Company)<br />

On July 1, 1968, the Northwestern Transportation<br />

Company started to operate freight trains between Red<br />

Wing and Mankato, through Northfield, Dundas,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and Morristown on to Mankato and<br />

connected at Mankato with another Northwestern line<br />

from the Twin Cities to Winona. In about 1973 the line<br />

between <strong>Faribault</strong> and Morristown was taken up; and<br />

also between Waterville and Mankato was taken up.<br />

The section <strong>of</strong> line between Morristown and<br />

Waterville is still operated on a once in awhile basis, so<br />

that the Morristown Creamery can get carload lots <strong>of</strong><br />

fertilizer transferred from the old Minneapolis and St.<br />

Louis in Waterville, now owned by the Northwestern<br />

Transportation Company, to Morristown.<br />

In the winter <strong>of</strong> 1975 the line between Northfield<br />

and <strong>Faribault</strong> could no longer be used; only as far as<br />

Dundas, which is still used some by backing the train<br />

from Northfield to Dundas, and then back to<br />

Northfield.<br />


How it all began<br />

From trails to highways<br />

By George L. Clark<br />

Section A<br />

No one knows who were the first people to live in<br />

the area that is now Minnesota, but it is certain that<br />

people have lived here for a long time, probably<br />

thousands <strong>of</strong> years. Not long after the last great glacier<br />

melted away northward, certain Stone Age hunters,<br />

probably from Asia, found their way into what is now<br />

Minnesota.<br />

The early explorers <strong>of</strong> America and what is now<br />

Minnesota and <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, had no roads to follow and<br />

their maps were incorrect and based on guess work.<br />

Therefore they usually decided to follow lakes and<br />

rivers, using them as highways into unknown country.<br />

In 1849, the year <strong>of</strong> its organization as a territory,<br />

Minnesota was mainly a wilderness, a hunting grounds<br />

for the Indians. <strong>Rice</strong> county was created by an act <strong>of</strong><br />

the Territorial Legislature on March 5, 1853. <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> was one <strong>of</strong> the earliest, best settled and<br />

prominent counties <strong>of</strong> Minnesota.<br />

The only semblance <strong>of</strong> any road in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> or<br />

around <strong>Faribault</strong> was a rough trail worn by the carts <strong>of</strong><br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> in his fur trade with the Indians.<br />

The first <strong>County</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> was a three<br />

man board appointed by the Territorial Governor<br />

Gorman, and consisted <strong>of</strong> three members. They were<br />

appointed on January 2, 1885 and did meet, but there is<br />

no record <strong>of</strong> what they may have done.<br />

In November <strong>of</strong> 1855 a new three man board was<br />

elected and held their first meeting January 7, 1865 in<br />

the law <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> Berry and Batchelder in <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

The board's third item <strong>of</strong> business at this meeting was<br />

a petition to designate a present road or trail as a<br />

<strong>County</strong> Road. The board took no action on the petition<br />

at their first meeting but would meet again on<br />

February 9, 1856 and consider the petition for action.<br />

On February 9th the Board designated the road as<br />

described in the petition as a <strong>County</strong> Road. The action<br />

the board took was the beginning <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Road system and the first road to be designated as a<br />

<strong>County</strong> Road in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

The Territorial Legislature authorized a road from<br />

Read's Landing on the Mississippi River westerly<br />

through the towns <strong>of</strong> Kenyon and <strong>Faribault</strong> to a point<br />

on the Minnesota River opposite St. Peter. However,<br />

there are not very good records that this road was<br />

built.<br />

Road Viewers Named<br />

On February 11, 1856, the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board met<br />

again and received another petition for a <strong>County</strong> Road.<br />

About this time the county was experiencing an<br />

increased land boom, which started in 1855, and along<br />

with the boom <strong>Faribault</strong> and the <strong>County</strong> became a<br />

headquarters for a floating population.<br />

The <strong>County</strong> Board at the February 11th meeting<br />

could see that more roads would be needed and<br />

requested, so they appointed road viewers who would<br />

in turn advise the board <strong>of</strong> future requests for<br />

designations and damages to land used for roads. The<br />

board also set up road districts and district road<br />

supervisors.<br />

In the spring <strong>of</strong> 1856, the county was divided into<br />

townships who in turn were governed by a Township<br />

Board. The township then began to lay out roads,<br />

within the township, which were called Town Roads.<br />

The year 1856 was the beginning <strong>of</strong> Town Roads in <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong>.<br />

The county continued to designate county roads,<br />

but didn't, however, do much maintenance work, as<br />

they didn't have the necessary funds. This kind <strong>of</strong> road<br />

program continued until about 1864.<br />

The Minneapolis and Cedar Valley Railroad had<br />

been building south from Mendota for some time and<br />

reached <strong>Faribault</strong>, through Northfield, in September<br />

1865 and regular service was established in the middle<br />

<strong>of</strong> October 1865. This was the first railroad to operate in<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>. Later, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St.<br />

Paul Railroad secured control <strong>of</strong> the Minneapolis and<br />

Cedar Valley Railroad.<br />

Due to the railroad reaching <strong>Faribault</strong>, the <strong>County</strong><br />

Board, for the next twelve years, designated many<br />

miles <strong>of</strong> county road and were forced to do some<br />

maintenance on the roads, even though not very much.<br />

First Map Published<br />

About this time W. M. Lawrence <strong>of</strong> Dundas<br />

published a county map <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> which was the<br />

first published map <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

From 1865 to 1907, the <strong>County</strong> Board continued to<br />

designate more county roads and maintain them the<br />

best they could, which wasn't very good.<br />

The <strong>County</strong> Board in January 1907, appointed one<br />

<strong>of</strong> its members, John Finley, to be in charge <strong>of</strong> road<br />

and bridge construction throughout the county. Mr.<br />

Finley was to advise the board as to what was going on<br />

in regard to county road work.<br />

In 1908, the Dunn one-mill tax was enacted by the<br />

legislature. This was a state tax on real estate and was<br />

allocated back to each county on a formula basis. It<br />

was to be used for county road and bridge construction.<br />

In April <strong>of</strong> 1908, the <strong>County</strong> Board decided there<br />

was just too much work for their one member who was<br />

appointed to look after the county road work. The<br />

<strong>County</strong> Board decided to appoint Surveyor C. A. Reed<br />

as a kind <strong>of</strong> overseer over the county roads. This was<br />

the first time in the history <strong>of</strong> the county road program<br />

that someone who knew something about roads was put<br />

in charge <strong>of</strong> the program. One July 8, 1908, the first<br />

Road and Bridge Fund levy in the county was made by<br />

the <strong>County</strong> Board in the amount <strong>of</strong> $8000.00.<br />

By 1914, the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board was aware <strong>of</strong> the<br />

fact that most <strong>of</strong> the railroads had been constructed<br />

and that road construction would be starting in a big<br />

!way, and they would no longer be able to handle the<br />

work themselves and that pr<strong>of</strong>essional help was an<br />

absolute necessity. At the January 1915 meeting, the<br />

<strong>County</strong> Board, composed <strong>of</strong> H. H. Helberg_, Willia<br />

Ebel, J. N. Williams, Frank Wilkowske and Frank J.<br />

Parkas, appointed R. W. Hosfield, who was an<br />

engineer, the <strong>County</strong> Surveyor and <strong>County</strong> Ditch<br />

Engineer, as Supervisor <strong>of</strong> <strong>County</strong> Roads. The<br />

19<br />

FAR\BP~ULT<br />



<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> court house staff in early 1900s­<br />

First row, left to right: Lucius A. Smith,<br />

Charles Ebel, Charles Sayles, Frank<br />

Wilkowske (Morristown), James McMahon,<br />

James Trenda. Second row: James Flynn, Ed<br />

Kelly, Judge A. B. Childress, John Milligan,<br />

Frank Kaisersatt, Andrew Murphy, Bill<br />

Geiger, H. H. Heberg, Walter N. Nutting,<br />

Frank Parkos, William Edel (Northfield),<br />

Peter F. Ruge, unknown, Ella Healy (Mrs.<br />

Lucius A. Smith).<br />

appointment <strong>of</strong> Mr. Hosfield was the beginning <strong>of</strong> the<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Highway Department.<br />

Engineers Named<br />

The <strong>County</strong> Engineers, starting with Mr. Hosfield<br />

and up to the present time are as follows:<br />

R. W. Hosfield, Jan. 15, 1915 to Jan. 20, 1916<br />

(Hosfield left in 1916 to become Steele <strong>County</strong><br />

Engineer); W. P. Chapman- Jan. 20, 1916 to April 6,<br />

1920; P. L. Hogard- April6, 1920 to March 9, 1921; J. C.<br />

McElheme- March 9, 1921 to Feb. 1, 1926; C. E. Stahl­<br />

Feb. 1, 1926 to April 1, 1928; Russell Norton - April 1,<br />

1928 to July 31, 1930; A. W. Bedell- July 31, 1930 to Sept.<br />

8, 1930; C. W. Squires - Sept. 8, 1930 to Feb. 1, 1933;<br />

Russell Norton - Feb, 1, 1933 to April 1, 1933; George<br />

Thorne- April1, 1933 to July 16, 1935; C. E. Stahl- July<br />

16, 1935 to Jan. 1, 1938; George L. Clark (acting<br />

engineer)- Jan. 1, 1938 to May 1, 1938; A. R. Taubman­<br />

May 1, 1938 to May 1, 1943; George L. Clark- May 1,<br />

1938 to Dec. 31, 1973; Arthur Storhaug- Jan. 1, 1974 to<br />

Many things took place during the following years,<br />

but due to book space it cannot be put" in this history.<br />

However, George L. Clark, retired <strong>County</strong> Engineer,<br />

wrote a ''<strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Roads and Highway<br />

Department Under the Jurisdiction <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Board between 1&55 and 1974" which is on file in the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and Northfield Public Libraries and also<br />

with the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Historical Society. This history<br />

goes into detail in regard to county roads between 1855<br />

and 1974. The <strong>County</strong> Board continued to designate<br />

more roads over the years.<br />

255.3 Miles System<br />

In 1957, it was necessary to designate a new <strong>County</strong><br />

State Aid Highway System, due to legislative changes<br />

in county highway laws. After several months <strong>of</strong> study,<br />

the county engineer, George L. Clark, presented a<br />

county State Aid System to the Board for the approval.<br />

On August 7, 1957, the <strong>County</strong> Board adopted a<br />

resolution designating a new <strong>County</strong> State Aid System<br />

<strong>of</strong> Highways for <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> as presented by the<br />

Engineer. Members <strong>of</strong> the board at that time were:<br />

Emil Machacek, Ervin Ackman, John King, Clarence<br />

Albers, and Anton Helberg. The new system as<br />

designated at that time contained 255.3 miles. Later the<br />

mileage was increased due to some trunk highway<br />

tumbacks to the county.<br />

The <strong>County</strong> State Aid Highway System as <strong>of</strong><br />

January 1, 1976, contains 280.42 miles and is composed<br />

<strong>of</strong> the following types <strong>of</strong> surfaces:<br />

Concrete Surfaced - .65 miles; Bituminous<br />

Surfaced - 199.84 miles; Gravel Surfaced - 79.93 miles<br />

for a total <strong>of</strong> 280.42 miles. Bridges on the system - 38.<br />

On December 5, 1957, the <strong>County</strong> Board designated<br />

a new <strong>County</strong> Road system which included roads not<br />

designated in the <strong>County</strong> State Aid System, which<br />

contained 210.60 miles <strong>of</strong> road.<br />

During the past years some changes were made in<br />

the <strong>County</strong> Road system and, as <strong>of</strong> January 1, 1976,<br />

there is 199.76 miles in the sy~tem and is composed <strong>of</strong><br />

the following types <strong>of</strong> surfaces: Bituminous surface -<br />

25.23 miles; Gravel surface -174.53 miles; Bridges- 24.<br />

The total county mileage, including both systems<br />

is composed <strong>of</strong> 480 miles and 62 bridges.<br />

The county constructed a new highway shop which<br />

included the county engineer's <strong>of</strong>fice in 1975. It is<br />

located on NW 20th Street. The engineer's <strong>of</strong>fice, which<br />

was located in the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Courthouse, and the<br />

shop located in the old shop building on the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />


How it all began<br />

fairgrounds, were both moved into the new highway<br />

building in the latter part <strong>of</strong> 1975.<br />

Section B.<br />

The early roads in Minnesota were, for the most<br />

part, county roads and township roads. There was<br />

considerable agitation around the state and also in the<br />

legislature, before 1900 that there should be a state<br />

system <strong>of</strong> roads under control <strong>of</strong> the state. It was felt<br />

that the county and townships should be feeders to a<br />

state system, which, in turn, would make railroad<br />

facilities more accessible for the movement <strong>of</strong> freight<br />

throughout the state, especially to towns and rural<br />

areas not located on a railroad.<br />

After several attempts, a constitutional<br />

amendment was adopted in 1898 which permitted the<br />

legislature to set up a state system <strong>of</strong> roads. It appears<br />

from the records that the legislature, for some or many<br />

reasons, didn't warm up to the idea <strong>of</strong> a state system.<br />

However, the legislature finally, in 1905, passed some<br />

·legislation for setting up a State Highway Commission.<br />

In 1917, a State Highway Department, with a single<br />

commissioner as its head, was authorized and three<br />

years later, in 1920, the "Babcock Amendment" was<br />

adopted which launched the modern system <strong>of</strong> State<br />

Trunk Highways in Minnesota. Charles M. Babcock<br />

was appointed the first Commissioner <strong>of</strong> Highways in<br />

Minnesota by the governor <strong>of</strong> Minnesota.<br />

The amendment named specific designated routes<br />

as "Constitutional Routes," written with a provision<br />

which prohibited the legislature from adding<br />

additional routes to the State Highway System until<br />

after 75 per cent <strong>of</strong> the designated Constitutional routes<br />

had been constructed and permanently improved.<br />

The Constitutional ·Routes, as designated in the<br />

amendment, which pass through <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> are as<br />

follows: Trunk Highway No. 1 from St. Paul through<br />

Rosemount, Farmington, Northfield, Dundas,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, Owatonna and on south was established by<br />

Commissioner order No. 1337 on May 25, 1921; later<br />

the number was changed to No. 218 and then to No.3.<br />

At the present time No. 3 runs only as far as <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

The balance south has reverted back to the cities and<br />

counties. This was due to the construction <strong>of</strong> Interstate<br />

No. 35, north and south <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>. The portion <strong>of</strong><br />

trunk highway No. 3 between <strong>Faribault</strong> and the Steele<br />

<strong>County</strong> line was reverted back to <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> and this<br />

section <strong>of</strong> road is now designated <strong>County</strong> State Aid<br />

Highway No. 45.<br />

TH 21 Established<br />

Trunk Highway No. 21 between <strong>Faribault</strong> and<br />

Montgomery was established by Commissioner order<br />

No. 1479 on June 1, 1921.<br />

Trunk Highway No. 60 from <strong>Faribault</strong> to Kenyon,<br />

and on east, was established by Commissioner order<br />

No. 1479 on June 1, 1921, and from <strong>Faribault</strong> west<br />

through Morristown was established by Commissioner<br />

order No. 1538 on June 20, 1921.<br />

The following routes were authorized by the<br />

legislature after 75 per cent or more <strong>of</strong> the<br />

constitutional routes were improved. Trunk Highway<br />

No. 19 from north <strong>of</strong> Red Wing through Northfield,<br />

Lonsdale and on west was established by<br />

Commissioner orders No. 8633 and No. 8664 on<br />

December 28, 1933. Trunk highway No. 99 from a point<br />

on Trunk Highway No. 21, northwesterly to Shieldsville<br />

and thence on west was established by Commissioner<br />

order No. 8654 on December 28, 1933. Trunk Highway<br />

No. 165, known as Lyndale Avenue, from a point on<br />

Trunk Highway No. 21, near the location <strong>of</strong> the present<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Airport, thence north through Hazelwood<br />

and Minneapolis, was established by Commissioner<br />

order No. 8669 on December 28, 1933.<br />

After I terstate No. 35 was built and open to<br />

traffic, north <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, all <strong>of</strong> former trunk highway<br />

No. 165 was reverted back to <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> and is now<br />

<strong>County</strong> State Aid Highway No. 46.<br />

Trunk Highway No. 246 from Northfield through<br />

NerstraNd and thence east and southeast to the<br />

junction' <strong>of</strong> Trunk Highway No. 56, north <strong>of</strong> Kenyon,<br />

was established by Commissioner order No. 19513 on<br />

June 20, 1949.<br />

Interstate Road Designated<br />

Interstate No. 35 from the north line to the south<br />

line <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, which is 25.14 miles in length, was<br />

designated by sections, as described in the following<br />

numbered Commissioner Orders:<br />

Order No. 3115, dated 2-14-61; Order No. 29993,<br />

dated 4-21-60; Order No. 30921, dated 1-5-61; Order No.<br />

36922, dated 2-17-65; Order No. 32678, dated 4-24-62;<br />

Order No. 32142, dated 11-2-61.<br />

Orders No. 41025 and 41026, dated 5-4-67, which<br />

established the center line location does not include the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> by-pass, which was constructed last, and<br />

open to traffic the latter part <strong>of</strong> 1975. The <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

by-pass orders are to be written in the near future.<br />

All <strong>of</strong> the above described Trunk Highways have<br />

been constructed and hard surfaced on parts <strong>of</strong> old<br />

location and the balance on new locations, excep·t that<br />

part <strong>of</strong> Trunk Highway No. 246, between Nerstrand and<br />

Trunk Highway No. 56, which is still a gravel surface.<br />

The viaduct over the Straight River and the<br />

Chicago Rock Island and Chicago Northwestern<br />

Railroad tracks, located on Trunk Highway No. 60 in<br />

the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, was constructed in 1937. The<br />

Minnesota Department <strong>of</strong> Highways bridge engineer at<br />

that time was M. J. H<strong>of</strong>fmann, who became<br />

Commissioner <strong>of</strong> Highways in 1938. George Flynn Sr.,<br />

now retired and living in Farmington, was the Project<br />

Engineer in charge <strong>of</strong> the construction <strong>of</strong> the viaduct.<br />

Total mileage <strong>of</strong> designated Trunk Highways in <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> as <strong>of</strong> January 1, 1976, is 128.82 miles. The total<br />

miles <strong>of</strong> Interstate Highway in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> as <strong>of</strong><br />

January 1, 1976, is 25.14 miles.<br />


~en &-'

How it all began<br />

cetits a ride every day <strong>of</strong> the week.<br />

Eugene Wieneke, city administrator, disclosed<br />

that although total figures have not yet been compiled,<br />

there has been an increase in ridership since<br />

December. The number <strong>of</strong> people riding the bus since<br />

then has been going up slightly but steadily, Wieneke<br />

said. At present, there are two buses in operation with<br />

two full time bus drivers and four part time drivers.<br />

Hotels and later the <strong>Faribault</strong> also, and then only at the<br />

Brunswick until 1974, when they started using their<br />

own depot on 4th Street, near the Milwaukee tracks.<br />

Some <strong>of</strong> the buses in operation do not come by the<br />

way <strong>of</strong> Northfield but come directly to <strong>Faribault</strong> from<br />

Minneapolis over Interstate Highway No. 35, since I35<br />

has been open to traffic.<br />

Jefferson lines<br />

In the early part <strong>of</strong> 1919 three men, Emery Bryant,<br />

Theodore Ansell and Stanley Smith, started operating<br />

a small bus line between Minneapolis, St. Paul and<br />

Owatonna, through <strong>Faribault</strong>. However, it appears<br />

that the service between the Twin Cities and Owatonna<br />

by the way <strong>of</strong> Northfield, Dundas, and <strong>Faribault</strong>, was<br />

first inaugurated in 1920, probably using the name<br />

Jefferson Bus Company.<br />

The company at that time operated three buses in<br />

each direction and later expanded to as many as nine<br />

in each direction. One <strong>of</strong> the early buses operated was<br />

"The Round Top," assembled and fabricated in their<br />

own shop by their body men. It carried 13 passengers.<br />

In the early days the highways were not plowed<br />

and buses had a snow plow mounted on the front <strong>of</strong> the<br />

bus. They also carried three or four shovels on each<br />

bus, and if the need be, the passengers would get out<br />

and help shovel.<br />

In 1922 a number <strong>of</strong> the small bus companies<br />

operating at that time decided to merge and have only<br />

one company. On July 24, 1922, a new bus company was<br />

incorporated under the name <strong>of</strong> ''Jefferson Highway<br />

Transportation Company." The incorporators were E.<br />

L. Bryant, I.D. Ansell, N. L. Rogers, R. S. Dimmick,<br />

Clifford Schultz and Harry W. Davis. The company<br />

was incorporated under the laws <strong>of</strong> Delaware and the<br />

corporation was authorized to do business in Minnesota<br />

on Oct. 20, 1922.<br />

Zelle Gains Control<br />

On July 1, 1925, Edgar F. Zelle acquired all <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Class C voting stock <strong>of</strong> the original holders <strong>of</strong> the stock,<br />

which gave him control <strong>of</strong> the company. Mr. Zelle sold<br />

<strong>of</strong>f all the line operated by the Jefferson Company,<br />

except the southern routes, which were: Twin Cities to<br />

Rochester and Twin Cities to Northfield, <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

Owatonna, and Albert Lea, Minnesota.<br />

Mr. Zelle became president <strong>of</strong> the company in 1925,<br />

and continued as president until1950.<br />

In the late 1920's, the bus line was extended to<br />

Mason City, Iowa, and later extended to Des Moines,<br />

Iowa, and on to Kansas City, Missouri.<br />

In 1968, final approval was secured from the<br />

Interstate Commerce Commission to merge the<br />

Jefferson Transportation Company and the Crown Bus<br />

Company and is now called ''Jefferson Lines.''<br />

When the line operated into <strong>Faribault</strong> in the early<br />

years, their depot was at the Arlington and Brunswick<br />

Aviation history<br />

There was very little aviation around <strong>Faribault</strong> or<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> before the late 1920's. Jules Teske was one<br />

<strong>of</strong> the early aviators around <strong>Faribault</strong> and may have<br />

been the first one. Dale "Red" Jackson, who was<br />

raised in <strong>Faribault</strong>, did a lot <strong>of</strong> flying around St. Louis,<br />

Missouri, and other parts <strong>of</strong> the country and with<br />

Forrest . O'Brien established a new world's plane<br />

endurance record- 64 hours, 28 minutes, 30 seconds in<br />

July, 1929. He was killed Jan. 6, 1932, in plane crash at<br />

Miami, Fla.<br />

There were no airports in the early days <strong>of</strong> aviation<br />

in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>. The planes landed in farmers' hay<br />

fields wherever the pilots could find landowners who<br />

would allow it. However, they used to land out on a field<br />

west <strong>of</strong> town, ·near the old location <strong>of</strong> Trunk Highway<br />

60. Other places were on the Van Horn farm, located<br />

west <strong>of</strong> the St. Lawrence Cemetery and on the Dr. P. A.<br />

Smith farm about where the Control Data building now<br />

stands, in the <strong>Faribault</strong> Industrial property.<br />

About 1931, the <strong>Faribault</strong> American Legion Post<br />

rented 80 acres from Mrs. Crossett. She, at that time,<br />

operated the Blue Bird Inn, located along the east side<br />

<strong>of</strong> the then, Trunk Highway No. 1, now <strong>County</strong> State<br />

Aid Highway No. 45, south <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>. This was just<br />

south <strong>of</strong> the present location <strong>of</strong> the Spitzack Farm<br />

Service, Inc. The Blue Bird building stood about where<br />

the present Spitzack home now stands.<br />

The Legion never did any work to develop the field.<br />

A few early aviators, however, did use it. In 1934, the<br />

Legion gave up the field and Lawrence Merrill and Bill<br />

Lawless did some flying there before the Legion gave it<br />

up.<br />

Flying Field Established<br />

About this time Lawrence Merrill and Lloyd<br />

Schreiber rented a piece <strong>of</strong> land from Mrs. Crossett<br />

which had an east-west width <strong>of</strong> 1320 feet and a<br />

north-south length <strong>of</strong> 2640 feet. They put in two<br />

runways, built a hangar and thus established the first<br />

flying field located near <strong>Faribault</strong>. They bought a used<br />

plane and flew mostly for themselves, but did a little<br />

commercial flying.<br />

They had a few air shows and Max Conrad <strong>of</strong><br />

Winona, now known as the "Flying Grandfather"<br />

aviator, used to stop in when the shows were held. They<br />

continued to operate until1940, when the <strong>Faribault</strong> Sky<br />

Club was organized.<br />

The original club had about ten members, among<br />

whom were: Henry Voegele, Fred Grothe, Gib Green,<br />


~en ~t]Vow<br />

George W. Batchelder House, E. Division Street (early days)<br />

George Luedke, Ralph Temple, Stewart Shaft,<br />

Lawrence Merrill, Lloyd Schreiber and James<br />

Burmeister, Burmeister had a share in the club, but<br />

never did any flying. The field instructor, at that time,<br />

was Neil Sorenson who now lives in Minneapolis.<br />

This field was used until the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> built<br />

the present airport along the south side <strong>of</strong> Trunk<br />

Highway No. 21, northwest <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>. The City <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> bought the Henry Johnson farm property,<br />

described as follows: the S E lf4 section 14, Wells<br />

Township that lies South <strong>of</strong> the Shieldsville Road which<br />

contained 90 acres more or less, on July 1, 1944. The<br />

city developed the 90 acres into an airport in 1946 or<br />

1947.<br />

On April15, 1948, the city secured theSE 1f4 <strong>of</strong> S.W.<br />

114 Section 14-TllON-R21W, 40 acres, from Cora Ryan<br />

and others. The City made further improvements to<br />

the airport and it now has a 3000x75 foot paved runway<br />

and a 2600 x 200 foot sod runway.<br />

There has been a number <strong>of</strong> hangars constructed<br />

over the years and several local and out <strong>of</strong> town people<br />

keep their planes there.<br />

Air Festival Held<br />

An Air Festival, reflecting increasing interest in<br />

aviation, was held at the <strong>Faribault</strong> Municipal Airport<br />

on August 19, 1954, attracting several thousand<br />

persons.<br />

Twenty-five planes flew in from the surrounding<br />

area to participate in the first event <strong>of</strong> the day, a<br />

breakfast flight event sponsored by the Junior<br />

Chamber <strong>of</strong> Commerce.<br />

Oldest pilot was 39 while the youngest flier was<br />

22-year-old Ken Wyhre <strong>of</strong> Austin. Oldest plane was a<br />

1946 Taylor Cub piloted by Fred Lockwood,<br />

Minneapolis. The pilot traveling the greatest distance<br />

was Barney Weber <strong>of</strong> St. Paul who also flew the<br />

smallest plane, a Mooney Mite.<br />

Feature <strong>of</strong> the Show was a new Navy helicopter<br />

flown by Lt. Molder <strong>of</strong> the U.S. Naval Station,<br />

Minneapolis. The plane was used in a Civil Defense<br />

demonstration. A unique flight <strong>of</strong> progress was staged<br />

with a 1941 model Waco and the new Beechcraft<br />

Bonanza being used to show relative speeds <strong>of</strong> old and<br />

new aircraft and changes in design. All speakers <strong>of</strong> the<br />

day stressed the importance <strong>of</strong> the airport to civilian<br />

and military needs.<br />

The <strong>Faribault</strong> improved airport <strong>of</strong>ficially was<br />

dedicated on July 26, 1959 with 500 fliers in 161 planes<br />

and hundreds <strong>of</strong> local residents participating. State<br />

Senator A. 0. Sundet <strong>of</strong> Faripault was the speaker at<br />

the dedication ceremonies.<br />

A novel Penny-a-Pound airlift was conducted from<br />

1 to 8:30 p.m. Proceeds were to be used to furnish a<br />

room at the new <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> District One Hospital.<br />

Fifteen planes gave rides affording passengers a<br />

graphic birds-eye view <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Improvements made at the airport include:<br />

addition <strong>of</strong> 1,000 feet <strong>of</strong> hard surface runway;<br />

installation <strong>of</strong> running lights; rotating beacon; lighted<br />

wind sock; safer blacktop taxiways. All improvements<br />

were approved by the Federal Aviation Agency. These<br />


)<br />

I<br />

new improvements open the way to night flying in the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> area.<br />

Manager Is Named<br />

Since October 1965, management <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Airport has been in the hands <strong>of</strong> Gilmore J. P.<br />

Lundquist, retired Air Force colonel.<br />

Lundquist was welcomed to <strong>Faribault</strong> at a dinner<br />

party held December 12 for some 60 <strong>Faribault</strong> area<br />

pilots. As an Air Force colonel he was chief <strong>of</strong> photo<br />

reconnaissance. He told his welcomers "We want to<br />

stimulate flying here from the ground level, starting<br />

with the boy."<br />

When Lundquist arrived in <strong>Faribault</strong>, the airport<br />

was a one man, two plane operation. Lundquist<br />

expanded facilities and, in addition to managing the<br />

airport for the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, is also<br />

owner-president <strong>of</strong> Eagle Aviation, Inc. Operation has<br />

increased to an eight man, four plane business.<br />

The city maintains two hangars, aT hangar and a<br />

multiple hangar which can hold seven planes. There<br />

are 22 private hangars. Many pesons having business<br />

in <strong>Faribault</strong> arrive and leave at the airport.<br />

Eagle Aviation, Inc., itself is a major business.<br />

Lundquist has introduced flight training, an aircraft<br />

maintenance shop and radio shop and aircraft sales.<br />

The company has four planes available for a variety <strong>of</strong><br />

services including training, student pilots, charter<br />

services, air ambulance and aerial photography.<br />

Telephone history<br />


According to an article in the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Republican on Wednesday, May 22, 1878, the first two<br />

telephones in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> were installed in <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

on the previous Monday, May 20.<br />

The paper reports that two telephones were<br />

installed connecting the insurance <strong>of</strong>fice <strong>of</strong> Pratt and<br />

Robinson with the telegraph <strong>of</strong>fice located in Crackers<br />

Drug Store.<br />

This was less than two years after Alexander<br />

Graham Bell first successfully transmitted the human<br />

voice over a wire.<br />

On March 10, 1876, Bell uttered the now famous<br />

words, "Come here Mr. Watson I want you."<br />

A patent for the new device was issued and a public<br />

demonstration held on May 10, 1876. The<br />

demonstration did not receive much publicity and few<br />

people outside <strong>of</strong> the Boston area were aware <strong>of</strong> the<br />

existence <strong>of</strong> the telephone.<br />

Installing two telephones in a community, such as<br />

in <strong>Faribault</strong>, was common throughout Minnesota and<br />

elsewhere in the early days <strong>of</strong> telephony. The new<br />

instruments were used to connect <strong>of</strong>fices with homes,<br />

doctors' <strong>of</strong>fices with drug stores, railroad depots with<br />

hotels and livery stables with hotels and depots.<br />

The interest established by connecting one<br />

business with another or a business and a home<br />

How it all began<br />

eventually led to the establishment <strong>of</strong> a Central<br />

switching <strong>of</strong>fice which made it possible to interconnect<br />

telephone users.<br />

Phones Described<br />

The first two telephones in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> were<br />

described in the Republican as a couple <strong>of</strong> black walnut<br />

boxes, one with two bells on it, the other with a funnel<br />

which served both as a "speaker and trumpet." There<br />

was a knob on the box with the bells to signal the other<br />

phone. The article states it was not necessary to speak<br />

loudly but rather to speak distinctly.<br />

The second pair <strong>of</strong> telephones were placed in<br />

service in April <strong>of</strong> 1879. The Republican reports that<br />

Judge Scrandrett erected a telephone line connecting<br />

his <strong>of</strong>fice with that <strong>of</strong> the Judge <strong>of</strong> Probate. He then<br />

stated prophetically, "It will prove quite a<br />

convenience.''<br />

Later that year, in September, a third pair <strong>of</strong><br />

phones was placed in service linking Loyhed's<br />

Hardware Store with the Hazen Wind Mill Company.<br />

It didn't take the citizens <strong>of</strong> Northfield and Dundas<br />

long to see how advantageous the telephone would be in<br />

their lives.<br />

The <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Journal, a newspaper published<br />

in Northfield, reported August 26, 1880, that a Mr.<br />

Fryer had put in a telephone system linking the Ames<br />

Mill with the Dundas Mill and the residences <strong>of</strong> Mr.<br />

Ames <strong>of</strong> Northfield and Mr. Archibald <strong>of</strong> Dundas.<br />

Early in 1881, the Journal reported that a pair <strong>of</strong><br />

telephones was in service linking the First National<br />

Bank <strong>of</strong> Northfield and an un-named location in<br />

Dundas.<br />

Exchange telephone service was established in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1882 by the Northwestern Telephone<br />

Exchange Company, forerunner <strong>of</strong> Northwestern Bell.<br />

The Company's first central <strong>of</strong>fice was installed in<br />

what was then known as the Theopold Building. Later<br />

it was moved to the Deike Building, then to the Kaul<br />

Building and from there to its present location.<br />

Exchange Established<br />

In November <strong>of</strong> 1883 a telephone exchange<br />

operated by a Mr. J. B. Neal was placed in service to<br />

serve 30 customers in Northfield and Dunda~. Among<br />

the first customers was St. Olaf College. :~<br />

In 1883, a long distance telephone line was<br />

constructed linking Northfield, Dundas, and <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

with Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as Hastings, Red<br />

Wing, Lake City, Wabasha, Winona, Farmington and<br />

other points.<br />

The advent <strong>of</strong> long distance service caused the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Republican to write, "If the telephone<br />

system works well to distant points it will likely<br />

become a popular means <strong>of</strong> communication, being<br />

cheaper and quicker than the Telegraph.''<br />

In 1893 the first Bell patent expired. This made it<br />

possible for other companies to compete in providing<br />

telephone service in many communities.<br />

In 1897 the Northfield Telephone Company was<br />

formed to compete with the Company formed by Mr.<br />

Neal and took over that company in 1902. In turn, the<br />

Northfield Telephone Company was purchased by the<br />

Northwestern Telephone Exchange Company in 1904.<br />


~en ~c?-low<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Opera House, burned in 1928<br />

The Tri-State Telephone and Telegraph Company also<br />

provided service in Northfield but the exact date that<br />

service was established is not known. However they<br />

did operate at least one long distance station in<br />

Northfield in 1904.<br />

In 1905 the <strong>Rice</strong> Rural Telephone Company was<br />

formed to operate in <strong>Faribault</strong> in competition with the<br />

Northwestern Company.<br />

Competing telephone companies did not<br />

interconnect with each other. As a result, for a<br />

customer to have complete telephone service it was<br />

necessary to have service from both companies. This<br />

meant two telephones sometimes side by side on the<br />

wall, two directories and, <strong>of</strong> course, two telephone<br />

bills.<br />

Territory Divides<br />

The problem <strong>of</strong> competition was solved in 1918. At<br />

the urging <strong>of</strong> the public and Railroad and Warehouse<br />

Commission, the Tri-State and the Northwestern<br />

Company agreed to divide the territory they served.<br />

The Northwestern Company was to serve Minneapolis<br />

and the Northern portion <strong>of</strong> the state and the Tri-State<br />

Company, St. Paul and southern Minnesota.<br />

On January 1, 1921 the Northwestern Telephone<br />

Exchange Company was merged with Iowa Telephone<br />

Company and the Nebraska Telephone Company to<br />

form Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. In 1942,<br />

the Tri-State Company was merged with Northwestern<br />

Bell.<br />

From the two telephones installed in <strong>Faribault</strong> in<br />

1878, the number <strong>of</strong> customers served by Northwestern<br />

Bell in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> has increased to more than 12,000,<br />

and the number <strong>of</strong> telephones in use to over 23,000.<br />

In addition to Northwestern Bell, there are four<br />

other independent telephone companies that provide<br />

telephone service in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>. They serve the<br />

communities <strong>of</strong> Kenyon, Lonsdale, Montgomery, and<br />

Morristown.<br />

Telephone war erupts<br />

All was not quiet in the late 1870's and the early<br />

1810's in <strong>Faribault</strong> after the new talking miracle - the<br />

telephone - came to this community. In fact, there<br />

was a Telephone War. The <strong>Faribault</strong> Republican <strong>of</strong><br />

August 8, 1883, had this to say:<br />

''A small degree <strong>of</strong> excitement has existed during<br />

the past week on account <strong>of</strong> conflict between certain<br />

members <strong>of</strong> the City Common Council and the<br />

Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. As was stated<br />

last week the council had refused to grant a petition to<br />

allow the erection <strong>of</strong> telephone poles on Main Street,<br />

although they were willing to allow the use <strong>of</strong> all other<br />

streets.<br />

"The objection to using Main Street was that in<br />

case <strong>of</strong> fire the wires would be in the way and would<br />

hinder the use <strong>of</strong> ladders and other fire apparatus. As<br />

most <strong>of</strong> the patrons <strong>of</strong> the telephone exchange are on<br />

Main Street, the company was desirous <strong>of</strong> placing the<br />


How it all began<br />

}<br />

poles where they would be most convenient to all<br />

concerned.<br />

''The objection on the part <strong>of</strong> the company to<br />

placing them on Elm Street was that there are so many<br />

trees along the street as to interfere with the wires.<br />

Besides, it would be necessary to string a great many<br />

wires over ro<strong>of</strong>s <strong>of</strong> buildings, which is one thing that<br />

businessmen object to and why they petitioned for<br />

having the poles.<br />

"W. G. Cox, who is in charge <strong>of</strong> the telephone<br />

exchange, acting under authority <strong>of</strong> a resolution<br />

passed by the Common Council in December, 1879,<br />

proceeded on Saturday last to distribute the poles.<br />

When Alderman Wachlin, wishing to enforce the action<br />

<strong>of</strong> the council at its meeting last week, ordered Cox to<br />

desist and the latter not complying, Wachlin called up<br />

Chief <strong>of</strong> Police Delaney to arrest him.<br />

"As he considered that Cox had as yet committed<br />

no <strong>of</strong>fense, the chief refused to arrest without a<br />

warrant. The City Justice also refused to issue a<br />

warrant without a complaint being filed by the City<br />

Attorney. And the City Attorney, for the same reason,<br />

perhaps, deeming the resolution <strong>of</strong> the Common<br />

Council in December 1879 sufficient authority to<br />

warrant the company in erecting the poles, did not file<br />

a complaint.<br />

"Meanwhile, Cox, being assured by legal advice,<br />

was busy and while the council slept he had a force <strong>of</strong><br />

men at work, and on Sunday saw a line <strong>of</strong> poles along<br />

the west side <strong>of</strong> Main Street.<br />

''The resolution <strong>of</strong> 1879 is as follows: 'The Common<br />

Council <strong>of</strong> the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> do resolve that<br />

permission be granted the Northwestern Telephone<br />

Company to erect poles and wires thereon in the streets<br />

<strong>of</strong> the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> under the direction <strong>of</strong> the City<br />

Council, provided that said City should at all times<br />

have free use there<strong>of</strong> for fire alarm and other<br />

purposes.' Ayes - Cavanaugh, Crocker, Kaul,<br />

Mortenson, Mullon and Spencer. Nayes- None.<br />

''The opposing members <strong>of</strong> the council,<br />

maintaining that the telephone company did not<br />

consider the above resolution as <strong>of</strong> force or they would<br />

have presented a petition subsequently, and in any<br />

event the poles were to be erected under the direction<br />

<strong>of</strong> the City Council, and that the company violated the<br />

spirit <strong>of</strong> the resolution by getting the poles in opposition<br />

to the wishes <strong>of</strong> the majority <strong>of</strong> the Council. It is<br />

intimated that the end is not yet, and that the poles will<br />

have to come down."<br />

But succeeding issues <strong>of</strong> The Republican and other<br />

local papers emphasized that into 1900 the poles were<br />

still up. Later, in keeping with technical advances, the<br />

poles eventually came down and the wires were strung<br />

underground. So the Telephone War simmered out.<br />

<strong>County</strong> parks developed<br />


<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Park & Recreation Supervisor<br />

The Board <strong>of</strong> <strong>County</strong> Commissioners <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong>, Minnesota acted on July 10, 1962 to establish<br />

the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Planning Advisory Commission. The<br />

planning commission aided in establishing the<br />

eligibility <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> for certain federal and state<br />

grants to acquire and develop areas for recreational<br />

purposes.<br />

In 1966 the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board <strong>of</strong> Commissioners<br />

decided that there was a need for a Recreation & Parks<br />

Committee. The Park Committee shall act as an<br />

advisory group to the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Board <strong>of</strong><br />

Commissioners. The Park Committee among other<br />

things shall study and make recommendations on <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> Parks system, maintenance and use. Between<br />

the years <strong>of</strong> 1966 to the present 1976 <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> has<br />

acquired 1100 acres <strong>of</strong> county park property, consisting<br />

<strong>of</strong> six county parks and one bird sanctuary.<br />

Albers Park consists <strong>of</strong> 7 acres and is located 11<br />

miles north <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, Minnesota. Albers Park was<br />

purchased by <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> in 1967. Albers Park has a<br />

beautiful picnic pavilion and modern toilet facilities.<br />

The park is used as a picnic area in the summer time<br />

and a rest stop for snowmobilers in the winter time.<br />

McCullough Park consists <strong>of</strong> 104 acres and is<br />

located approximately two miles west <strong>of</strong> Shleldsville,<br />

Minnesota. McCullough Park was purchased by <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> in 1968. The McCullough area will be developed<br />

into a year around recreation facility for family<br />

recreation, with summer picnic area, playground and<br />

campground.<br />

Heron Island is the bird sanctuary within the <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> Park system located on General Shields Lake,<br />

The island was purchased by <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> in 1969. This<br />

island is especially significant because it is one <strong>of</strong> the<br />

largest nesting areas for the Blue Heron in the upper<br />

midwest and is one <strong>of</strong> the only breeding grounds for the<br />

American Egret.<br />

Shager Park is located on the southeast shore <strong>of</strong><br />

Cannon Lake. The park consists <strong>of</strong> seven acres and was<br />

purchased by <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> in 1968. The park has a<br />

swimming beach which is heavily used during the<br />

summer months; it also has a small picnic area and<br />

primitive toilet facilities.<br />

Falls Creek Park is located one mile east <strong>of</strong> the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> City limits. The park consists <strong>of</strong> 61 acres and<br />

was purchased by <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> in 1970. Falls Creek is<br />

mainly a wooded area with about 3000 feet <strong>of</strong> creek<br />

frontage. The park has a natural camping area divided<br />

by stone and sumac, limestone bluffs for fossil hunters<br />

and wilderness area for a natural wildlife<br />

habitat. Since <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> purchased Falls Creek a<br />

self -guided nature trail has been brushed which<br />

includes 29 points <strong>of</strong> interest and a mile and a half <strong>of</strong><br />

trail. A primitive campground and a picnic area have<br />

been established. A tree nursery was started consisting<br />

<strong>of</strong> 4000 trees.<br />

The Cannon River Wilderness Area consists <strong>of</strong><br />


CDVT!?Al .4v£/ F4RIBA!JL~ !rJ/1'/l(<br />

Early day <strong>Faribault</strong> street scene<br />

approximately 850 acres and is located midway<br />

between <strong>Faribault</strong> and Northfield along the Cannon<br />

River. The Wilderness Park was purchased by <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> in 1972. So far development in the Wilderness<br />

Area has consisted <strong>of</strong> approximately 5 miles <strong>of</strong> hiking<br />

and cross country ski trail. During the fall <strong>of</strong> 1975 a<br />

primitive type toilet building and picnic pavilion was<br />

constructed. A bridge across the Cannon River was<br />

dedicated in September, 1976.<br />

The final piece <strong>of</strong> ground the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Park<br />

system purchased is Hirdler Park. It is located on the<br />

west side <strong>of</strong> Lake Mazaska in the Village <strong>of</strong><br />

Shieldsville. The park was purchased in 1974 and is<br />

planned to serve as a lake access and picnic area.<br />

<strong>County</strong> landfill<br />

Prior to 1965 <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, like most counties in the<br />

United States, was plagued with private and township<br />

dumps plus roadside litter areas, according to Merton<br />

Hoover, <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Sanitarian.<br />

The most used area for dumping was owned and<br />

operated by the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> and was near<br />

completing the area that could be used for dumps<br />

purpose.<br />

In July 1965 a Special Use Permit was isssued by<br />

the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Planning & Zoning Commission to the<br />

Northfield Disposal Service to operate a landfill in<br />

Section 29 <strong>of</strong> Bridgewater township. The area to be<br />

used was an abandoned gravel pit. In the early days <strong>of</strong><br />

landfills gravel holes were used as they are usually in<br />

need <strong>of</strong> some kind <strong>of</strong> fill to remove a scar to the earth's<br />

surface. This, however, is not good fill for gravel pits<br />

due to moisture in garbage seeping into the water<br />

strata.<br />

By 1972 the area in the gravel pit had been filled to<br />

normal grade and another landfill site needed to be<br />

acquired. New Minnesota Pollution Control regulations<br />

for landfills required that the country draw a plan<br />

stating where and how solid waste was to be disposed<br />

<strong>of</strong> in the entire county. A consulting firm was hired and<br />

a plan for both pickup and disposal <strong>of</strong> solid waste was<br />

drawn up.<br />

A landfill site <strong>of</strong> 206 acres was purchased in<br />

Bridgewater township, section 33. The consulting<br />

engineer, through the cooperation <strong>of</strong> county <strong>of</strong>ficials,<br />

determined the soil suitable and ground water and rock<br />

formations would not be affected by leachates from<br />

garbage and other solids.<br />

The location <strong>of</strong> the landfill area determined that a<br />

heavy tonnage road be built to the site. This was done<br />

by the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Highway Department.<br />

The county then purchased an <strong>of</strong>fice building, built<br />

a garage, fenced the <strong>of</strong>fice area and purchased<br />

necessary equipment to operate a landfill and started<br />

the operation in 1973.<br />

Part <strong>of</strong> the plan for county service was a container<br />

system for pickup <strong>of</strong> waste generated in the townships.<br />

Containers <strong>of</strong> 8 to 10 yard capacity are stationed at<br />

strategic points in each township, thereby shortening<br />

the travel distance by township residents. The number<br />

<strong>of</strong> containers and the frequency <strong>of</strong> pickup by a county<br />

truck is governed by routes and need.<br />

The present <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Solid Waste program is<br />

estimated to last at least twenty years. In the<br />

meantime programs are being studied in the area <strong>of</strong><br />

resource and energy recovery to make better use <strong>of</strong><br />

lands and provide energy by burning and generating<br />


How it all began<br />

}<br />

electrical power or heat.<br />

Progress and technology in the field <strong>of</strong> solid waste<br />

generation and disposal will change at a more rapid<br />

pace in the next few years than ever in the past.<br />

Agents aid farmers<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, recognized as one <strong>of</strong> Minnesota's top<br />

producing agricultural areas, for more than 50 years<br />

has been the recipient <strong>of</strong> highly valuable pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

agricultural, agri-business, home economics, 4-H and<br />

economic advice provided by state and federal<br />

extension services.<br />

Records <strong>of</strong> the various county extension agents,<br />

their assistants, home economists and 4-H agents who<br />

have provided important advice and counseling<br />

services to <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> farmers, their sons and<br />

daughters and the general public as well, have been<br />

kept in this county since 1923. The list includes:<br />

Agricultural Agents<br />

A. A. McPheeters 1922-1924, Paul A. Johnson<br />

1924-1926, Harry A. Haas 1926-1933, Otto J. Hill 1933<br />

(emergency agent), Don Marti 1934-1945, Edward<br />

Slettem 1946-1952, Warren F. Liebenstein 1951. Frances<br />

Fruth 1944-45 War Food assistant; M. 0. Fruvag<br />

1944-45 War Food assistant.<br />

Home Economists<br />

Gwendolyn Watts 1927-1932, Elaine Trygestad<br />

1954-1956, Olive Ness 1956-1959, Mary Lu Luetke<br />

1959-1961, Carolyn (Opjorden) Tande 1963-1967,<br />

Kathleen (Lagerstrom) Ross 1967-1972, Carol Kelly<br />

1972-1973, Yvonne Steinbring 1973-.<br />

4-H Agents and Summer 4-H Assistants<br />

Irma Reineke 1934, Elvira Weum 1934, Shirley<br />

Emerson 1935, Marie H<strong>of</strong>fmann 1936-1937, Aurelia<br />

Haugerud 1938, Marie H<strong>of</strong>fmann 1939, Edith LaBonte<br />

1940-1941, Mildred Trottner 1942, Wilma Wiechmann<br />

1943-1944, Belinda (Flom) Carlson 1945-1947,<br />

Patricia Thurston 1948, Jeanne Gontarek 1949,<br />

Rosemary Conzemius 1950-1953, Gwen Willmsen 1954,<br />

Katherine Hawkins 1956, Milan Reed 1956, Arvy Larson<br />

1958, Joanne Honken 1962.<br />

Assistant <strong>County</strong> Agents<br />

Gene Williams 1959-1963, John Stone 1964, John<br />

Halvorson 1967, Marvin C. Lee 1967-1974, Michael<br />

McCorvel1972, Arthur L. Madsen 1974-.<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> is county <strong>of</strong> lakes<br />


Many an old timer can remember Roberds Lake as<br />

THE Saturday night and Sunday afternoon spot <strong>of</strong> the<br />

area. The old Brown and Bennett Hotel has been<br />

replaced by the Roberds Lake resort store. An integral<br />

part <strong>of</strong> Roberds Lake is Manley Park, now called the<br />

Manley Park Association.<br />

Manley Park was built about 1875 as a huge farm<br />

estate by Sylvester Manley Pye, an English gentleman<br />

and New York businessman. Pye bought the land<br />

section by section and the estate eventually totaled 102<br />

acres. After four generations, small portions <strong>of</strong> the<br />

land were leased to people who built cottages along the<br />

shore. These owners became known as the Manley<br />

Park Association. The lake was named for William<br />

Roberds, an original log cabin settler from North<br />

Carolina who built a grist mill in the first lake<br />

community (which eventually became Manley Park).<br />

William Harkins, member <strong>of</strong> the Wells Township<br />

Board, operates the popular Roberds Lake Resort and<br />

Millstone Trailer Park. Carlyle Beaupre operates the<br />

Shady Acres Resort on Roberds Lake and the Stump<br />

Restaurant.<br />


Lake Mazaska is the only lake in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

which borders on four townships: Wells, Forest, Erin<br />

and Shieldsville. A colorful history <strong>of</strong> this<br />

Irish-Catholic community tells <strong>of</strong> lake monsters,<br />

driving a horse and cutter across the lake in winter<br />

when roads were blocked, and pioneer families who<br />

built up the village <strong>of</strong> Shieldsville. It is also rapidly<br />

growing cottage-wise and has a number <strong>of</strong> resorts.<br />


General Shields Lake, named for a Mexican war<br />

hero, General James Shields, who was an original<br />

proprietor <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> and the man who organized<br />

"Shield's Colony" which is now Shieldsville, is split in<br />

the middle by townships Erin and Shieldsville. The<br />

lake is the origin <strong>of</strong> the Cannon River. Its island, in the<br />

northwest corner, is known for its herons and<br />

American egrets, wading birds that nest there in the<br />

spring. Orwin Rustad has written several articles on<br />

his studies <strong>of</strong> the birds there. The island is known as<br />

Bird Island, Wood Island and Heron Island.<br />


Cannon Lake is not only <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>'s largest<br />

. lake, but is rapidly becoming the most popular.<br />

Resorts, places <strong>of</strong> entertainment, beaches, and over 50<br />

year around residences make up the Cannon Lake<br />

community. An old legend from the <strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> text tells how the lake got its name.<br />


Cedar Lake's historical past cannot be overlooked<br />

today. Families <strong>of</strong> original pioneers still remain in the<br />

homestead community, such as the LaCanne and the<br />

LeMieux families. Dr. Harry E. Whitney, headmaster<br />

at Shattuck for more than 50 years, owned the largest<br />

island on Cedar Lake and used it for a summer school<br />

camping grounds about 1917. (Mrs. G. R. Kingham is a<br />

daughter <strong>of</strong> Dr. Whitney).<br />


<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>'s deepest lake is French Lake. It has a<br />

gay history <strong>of</strong> old summer homes owned by pioneer<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> families. In 1891 a group <strong>of</strong> 20 <strong>Faribault</strong><br />


Early day Dudley's and Kelly's Lake scene.<br />

families decided to take advantage <strong>of</strong> the scenic lake's<br />

facilities. They organized the French Lake Club,<br />

bought a house, and agreed each family would use the<br />

house for two weeks <strong>of</strong> the summer. Donald Grant,<br />

prominent railroad contractor, built Scottish Heights,<br />

a summer home, just before the French Lake Club was<br />

organized. The huge house was built on four acres <strong>of</strong><br />

land overlooking the south shore. The house was sold in<br />

1928 and burned shortly after that.<br />


Circle Lake, with its 98 acre island, is one <strong>of</strong> the<br />

county's largest and one which can best illustrate the<br />

effects <strong>of</strong> the times.<br />

A long-time Circle Lake-Millersburg area resident<br />

recalls hearing about the Dundas Archibald Mill which<br />

had flowage rights on the lake. Located in Dundas on<br />

the Cannon River, the mill could regulate its power by<br />

adjusting the dam at Wolf Creek on Circle Lake<br />

because <strong>of</strong> the connection with the river.<br />

Today, the old timer said, two <strong>of</strong> the biggest<br />

problems are the changing level <strong>of</strong> the water and<br />

keeping fish in the lake.<br />

''There are just a few planks in the dam now,'' he<br />

said.<br />

The island was at one time dense with maple trees,<br />

but these were cut down by the island's owner at the<br />

time, W. W. Grant. The island has also been a golf<br />

course. Owned by Sherman and Coss, a realty<br />

company from Minneapolis, it was part <strong>of</strong> a mainland<br />

resort which had cabins, resorts and a pavilion.<br />

In its prime time during the '20s, the resort hosted<br />

many knickered golfers driving their high-wheeled<br />

vehicles from all parts <strong>of</strong> the midwest.<br />

During the depression, the resort quieted to<br />

nothing but unpainted buildings with squeaking doors<br />

and sagging ro<strong>of</strong>s.<br />

Today Circle Lake is still quiet mainly because <strong>of</strong><br />

the water level which seems to constantly change.<br />

''Seeing a boat is an occasion now,'' said one man<br />

who is building a permanent home near the lake.<br />


Kelly and Dudley Lakes, just <strong>of</strong>f highway 21 -<br />

named for Patrick Kelly, who settled here in 1863 and<br />

Robert Dudley, in 1855 - are actually two small twin<br />

lakes but are considered one. Miss Rose Shields stated<br />

that the lakes at one time were separated and a<br />

pontoon bridge was built enabling people to cross from<br />

one to another. An island in the middle <strong>of</strong> one <strong>of</strong> the<br />

lakes is now connected to the mainland and is being<br />

divided into lots and sold. James Clarkin, veteran <strong>of</strong><br />

the Mexican War with General Shields, settled on a<br />

farm north <strong>of</strong> Kelly in 1857.<br />


How it all began<br />

''We've had boats for nearly 80 years,'' said Harold<br />

Brazil, whose family homesteaded there in 1864. He<br />

now has about 160 acres including the lake shore.<br />

"We've got two cabins now and places to add another<br />

or two. The lake's mainly for fishing."<br />

There are 196 acres to both lakes.<br />

FOX<br />

South <strong>of</strong> Union and Circle Lakes is Fox Lake.<br />

Having a public access a few miles <strong>of</strong>f old Highway 65.<br />

it is stocked by the state department <strong>of</strong> conservation<br />

and has several cottages.<br />

RICE<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> Lake is on the pasture <strong>of</strong> Leo and Tom<br />

Murphy's farm near Kilkenny. The Murphys<br />

homesteaded here in 1858. Leo Murphy seined the lake<br />

for rough fish for 40 years and then turned over the task<br />

to his son, Tom.<br />


Union Lake is north <strong>of</strong> Circle, close to old highway<br />

65. It has many cottages and an old dance pavilion<br />

which belongs to Mrs. Emma Camp <strong>of</strong> Northfield.<br />

My husband and I built the pavilion in 1924," Mrs.<br />

Camp said. "We don't use it anymore."<br />

Un.painted now, the building is on the hill behind<br />

the two buildings near the highway. Faded red crepe<br />

paper still drips from the aging rafters probably a<br />

wedding dance decoration.<br />

Camp Dean was at one time near this schoolhouse.<br />

Owned by the Congregational Church <strong>of</strong> Northfield, it<br />

was used mainly for church organizations. Its<br />

buildings have been tom down.<br />

Oldtimers Andrew Cleland and William Wyman,<br />

who have lived near the lake most <strong>of</strong> their lives, have a<br />

collection <strong>of</strong> Indian relics found while working in the<br />

fields <strong>of</strong> the farms. Cleland has a couple <strong>of</strong> flat edged<br />

rocks with smooth, rounded holes for mixing war paint.<br />

He has collected a full little wooden box <strong>of</strong> arrowheads<br />

and has some crude axe heads too.<br />

Wyman who lived in Northfield said his father<br />

homesteaded near Union Lake right after the Civil<br />

War.<br />


Other lakes in the county are Cody and Phelps near<br />

Wheatland, Sprague, Weinberger, Crystal, Wells, Mud<br />

and Little Mud, Willing, Hunt, Malaga and Twin Lakes.<br />

All but two <strong>of</strong> the county's lakes are located near<br />

highway65.<br />

Two families, pioneers in this community, are the<br />

Healys and the Dudleys. Both Irish families, their<br />

names are associated with General Shields Lake, near<br />

Shieldsville. Sarah Dudley was the first white child to<br />

be born in Erin Township and Mrs. John Healy was the<br />

first school teacher there. The Healy home was<br />

considered the "mansion <strong>of</strong> the community."<br />

In their pasture was a dance pavilion where many<br />

good times were had by the people <strong>of</strong> that community.<br />

Pioneer women saluted<br />

Anna Mallory Buckham died in 1935 at the age <strong>of</strong> 96<br />

at the home <strong>of</strong> her nurse, Mrs. Howard Ulvenes. She<br />

was the widow <strong>of</strong> Thomas Scott Buckham, who she<br />

married on Nov. 28, 1868. She was identified with the<br />

church (Congregational), social and civic life <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> for many years. Following the death <strong>of</strong> her<br />

husband, who had been <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Supt. <strong>of</strong> Schools,<br />

Judge <strong>of</strong> the District Court, and <strong>Faribault</strong>'s second<br />

mayor, 1872, Mrs. Buckham expressed a desire to<br />

bequeath some memorial to the city which would be<br />

symbolic <strong>of</strong> Judge Buckham's distinguished career<br />

and which would be <strong>of</strong> practical use to the residents <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

A few months later Mrs. Buckham, in a letter to<br />

the city council, made known her plans for a beautiful<br />

memorial library to be located at the foot <strong>of</strong> Central<br />

Avenue on a site in front <strong>of</strong> the Buckham home. She<br />

purchased the Winkley property at a cost <strong>of</strong> $20,000 for<br />

this purpose. Mrs. Buckham stipulated that she had<br />

decided to erect a memorial library at a cost <strong>of</strong><br />

approximately $100,000 "that shall be a benefit and<br />

pleasure to those now living here and those who shall<br />

come after them. The only conditions for acceptance<br />

were that the city accept the library as a memorial to<br />

Thomas Scott Buckham and the assurance that this<br />

memorial will be suitably and adequately<br />

maintained."<br />

The council quickly accepted the generous bequest<br />

and work on the structure, designed by Mrs.<br />

Buckham's nephew, Charles Buckham, distinguished<br />

Vermont architect, was begun. The cornerstone was<br />

laid Sept. 22, 1929, by Mrs. Buckham and the library<br />

was dedicated on July 20, 1930, with another nephew,<br />

Rev. John W. Buckham, D.D. <strong>of</strong> Berkeley, Calif.,<br />

giving the address.<br />

The beauty and design <strong>of</strong> the Buckham Memorial<br />

Library proclaim Mrs. Buckham's vision and love for<br />

the generations to come. .<br />

Excerpts from a letter written by .Miss Carolyne<br />

M. Murray, who died in 1949 (age 91), told that she and ·<br />

her mother, Mrs. Thomas M. Murray, who had been<br />

shopping in Northfield, heard a burst <strong>of</strong> shooting. As it<br />

turned out, they were witnesses <strong>of</strong> the James-Younger<br />

Bank Raid, Sept. 7, 1876. She recalled men o·n<br />

horseback rode madly up and down the block by the<br />

bank, shouting at people who quickly got out <strong>of</strong> sight. In<br />

a few minutes the shooting ceased and the men on<br />

horses rode hurriedly away. She and her mother<br />

hastened to the bank comer from where they saw two<br />

dead men and a dead horse. She wrote, "Tension<br />

heightened because <strong>of</strong> fear that the bandits might<br />

return any minute for revenge. In the meantime,<br />

Henry Wheeler, who had taken a leading part in the<br />

gun battle, and others immediately organized a posse<br />

and started out in pursuit <strong>of</strong> the bandits, who, on<br />

fasthorses, had already outdistanced them.''<br />

Agnes <strong>Faribault</strong> Haskell (Mrs. Wallace) <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> was born at Mendota, Minn., Nov. 11, 1858.<br />

Her father, Frederick <strong>Faribault</strong>, was Alexander<br />


~en 8? §Vow<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>'s youngest brother. She was baptized in<br />

Mendota but received her education at Bethlehem<br />

Academy in <strong>Faribault</strong>. Her sister and she owned a pair<br />

<strong>of</strong> fine sorrel ponies and many <strong>of</strong> the older generation<br />

remembered them for their skill in riding. Some <strong>of</strong> you<br />

might have heard <strong>of</strong> her daughter, Valerie (Mrs. O.C.<br />

Olson) and Valerie's son, Norbert C., both <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Miss Lillie Clara Berg from whose writing "Early<br />

Pioneers and Indians,'' some <strong>of</strong> the material was<br />

received, was born on a farm in Bridgewater<br />

Township, <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, April 16, 1891. She graduated<br />

from the State Normal School at Mankato and taught in<br />

the elementary schools <strong>of</strong> Minnesota, Washington and<br />

California until her retirement in 1946. Her<br />

grandparents settled in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>, thus she had an<br />

interest in tracing her family and others here.<br />

Evangeline Whipple. Bishop Whipple had reached<br />

the age <strong>of</strong> 74 years the fall <strong>of</strong> 1896 when he left on<br />

unexplained business. His parishioners were all<br />

surprised when he wired home in October that he had<br />

just been married to Mrs. Evangeline Simpson <strong>of</strong><br />

Boston. She had been a widow, owner <strong>of</strong> a beautiful<br />

estate worth a half-million dollars. She was charming<br />

and friendly but much younger (35 years) than the<br />

Bishop. People wondered if the marriage could be a<br />

success.<br />

Feelings gradually changed when she used some <strong>of</strong><br />

her money to enlarge the Bishop's house, providing<br />

him with a big library facing the Cathedral. He filled it<br />

with treasures he had received from many sources -<br />

Indians, honorary degree hoods, books, pictures, etc.<br />

Evangeline displayed her art treasures from Europe in<br />

another room, <strong>of</strong> which the Bishop was proud. She<br />

enlarged and beautified the entire house with her<br />

wealth. Before they left for Florida in the winter,<br />

Evangeline gave many gifts to those who needed them,<br />

among which was a sleigh presented to the principal <strong>of</strong><br />

St. Mary's Hall.<br />

They traveled to England to attend the 4th<br />

Lambeth Conference in London. In her purple velvet<br />

gown, she received almost as much attention as her<br />

famous husband.<br />

Together they visited the Indian homes and<br />

mission schools. She was received kindly and with<br />

honor. She donated $50 so one <strong>of</strong> the teachers could take<br />

an Indian girl to a conference to show others how to<br />

make delicate bobbin lace. They made lace bedspreads<br />

at the mission schools for Mrs. Pierpont Morgan and<br />

Mrs. Vanderbilt, receiving several hundred dollars for<br />

each one.<br />

On Sept. 16, 1901, Bishop Whipple died. Evangeline<br />

had been his wife for five years. After spending the<br />

winter in Florida, she returned to <strong>Faribault</strong> because<br />

plans were underway to build a tower on the Cathedral<br />

in memory <strong>of</strong> the Bishop. She found the loneliness <strong>of</strong><br />

the big house more than she could bear.<br />

Receiving a call to come to France because <strong>of</strong> a<br />

brother's illness, she closed the house, leaving Major<br />

Milligan in charge, keeping the Bishop's rooms and<br />

library exactly as he had left them. The house stood<br />

empty for many years. Evangeline Whipple never<br />

returned. She died in Europe. Her portrait hangs in<br />

Saint Mary's Hall, also.<br />

Grace E. McKinstry, daughter <strong>of</strong> A. W. McKinstry,<br />

Editor <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Republican, came<br />

to <strong>Faribault</strong> in 1865 as a child. She studied art in<br />

America, France, Spain, and Holland and is listed in<br />

"Who's Who in America, 1936" as one <strong>of</strong> America's<br />

outstanding portrait painters and popular lecturer on<br />

art and travel topics. The Travelers Club <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

was founded by Miss McKinstry, who died in 1936.<br />

There are water color and oil paintings painted by Miss<br />

McKinstry in the gallery on the museum floor <strong>of</strong><br />

Buckham Memorial Library. There are portraits <strong>of</strong><br />

Mrs. Mattison (mother <strong>of</strong> Flora Mattison Sheffield,<br />

owners <strong>of</strong> the flour mill which recently burned), Harry<br />

Whitney, Headmaster <strong>of</strong> Shattuck from 1874-1926, A.<br />

W. Stockton, and two unidentified Indians.<br />

Miss McKinstry exhibited her art work in many<br />

cities in the United States and Europe. She was<br />

appointed as teacher <strong>of</strong> painting at Carleton College in<br />

1887 and opened an art studio there in 1898. She was a<br />

member on the governing board <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota Art<br />

Association and recording secretary <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota<br />

State Art Society in 1910-12.<br />

She painted a great many portraits including one<br />

<strong>of</strong> Governor Johnson <strong>of</strong> Minnesota and several staff<br />

members at Carleton College. She received much<br />

recognition for her work.<br />

Miss Martha Watts was born Feb. 23, 1857 in<br />

Vermont. She, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lambert<br />

Watts, one sister and two brothers, came to <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> in 1859, where they lived on a farm in Sec. 27,<br />

Northfield township two miles from Dennison. She<br />

taught in rural schools several years. One <strong>of</strong> her pupils<br />

was Thomas Bunday, who passed away in Northfield in<br />

1954 at the age <strong>of</strong> 90. Miss Watts also was deputy<br />

secretary to a Register <strong>of</strong> Deeds in N.D. for four years.<br />

Miss Watts recalled the days <strong>of</strong> the Sioux Massacre<br />

when the New Ulm settlers passed their farm in<br />

covered wagons, fleeing from the Indians.<br />

Elsie Meyer Kiel (Mrs. A. L. Rustad) <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

said regarding her grandmother Mrs. William T.<br />

Meyer's account <strong>of</strong> pioneer life: "In the early days <strong>of</strong><br />

1855 before <strong>Faribault</strong> was settled, the Wheeling<br />

township pioneer's nearest market was Hastings,<br />

Minn. By ox team and lumber wagon, grain and other<br />

produce were taken to that town. Grandmother and<br />

Grandfather Meyer slept overnight in the wagon box.<br />

The next morning flour, sugar, and other supplies were<br />

purchased and the trip was made back to their farm.<br />

After the <strong>Faribault</strong> trading post was established,<br />

grandmother walked from the farm in Section 29, to<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> where she sold her eggs at 7 cents per dozen<br />

and their butter for 11 cents per pound. Indians camped<br />

in the densely wooded area but were friendly. They<br />

knew Saturday was bread-baking day at<br />

grandmother's and would walk right into the log cabin<br />

and help themselves. To show their gratitude, though,<br />

they brought her wild game in return. About the time <strong>of</strong><br />

the New Ulm Indian Massacre, Wheeling settlers were<br />

much concerned about the Chippewas living around<br />

but they proved to be friendly. However, the pioneers<br />

never went to bed without bolting their cabin door<br />


How it all began<br />

securely and seeing that the old musket was near the<br />

bed."<br />

Mary Ripley Mott. Louise Mott, youngest daughter<br />

<strong>of</strong> Rodney and Mary Mott, wrote a paper about her<br />

parents for the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Historical Society in which<br />

she said: Mary Ripley was born in Marlboro,<br />

Connecticut in 1825. Her father, a zealous missionary,<br />

brought his family to Will <strong>County</strong>, Ill. where she met<br />

Rodney Mott. She taught school for $2.00 per week and<br />

"boarded around." She married Rodney Mott Aug. 17,<br />

1852. They came to <strong>Faribault</strong> in covered wagons in 1856<br />

because there was so much malaria and typhoid fever<br />

in Crete, Ill., where they lost two children. Mrs. Mott<br />

was in the Ladies Bible Class <strong>of</strong> the Congregational<br />

Church, the teacher <strong>of</strong> which was Mrs. Henry Riedell.<br />

Mr. Mott was the teacher <strong>of</strong> the Hulette and <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

children and then became the editor <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Herald and later its owner when Fred Frink sold it. Mr.<br />

and Mrs. Mott were intensely interested in public<br />

affairs, ardent Republicans, out to stop slavery. Louise<br />

says her mother was always busy, but not too busy to<br />

read to the girls. She was never afraid <strong>of</strong> anything,<br />

including Indians or floods which forced the Motts to<br />

move their home to higher land several times when the<br />

river overflowed its banks. She lived to be 99 years <strong>of</strong><br />

age.<br />

Mr. Mott, in his Feb. 17, 1858 issue <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Herald wrote under the heading "Common Schools"<br />

about the following two woman teachers, Miss Mary<br />

Fisk and Miss Parish: Seldom has our pen been<br />

exercised to make a more pleasant and satisfactory<br />

report than that which comes under the above head.<br />

The money panic pouncing upon us at a time when the<br />

district was considerably involved in consequence <strong>of</strong><br />

the purchase <strong>of</strong> a lot and the building <strong>of</strong> a first class<br />

school house, etc. has made the duties <strong>of</strong> the trustees<br />

arduous and thankless.<br />

Sometime in November last, three teachers were<br />

employed and a partial but imperfect system <strong>of</strong><br />

grading effected. Miss Mary Fisk taking charge <strong>of</strong> the<br />

primary department in Crump's Hall, and Mr. Fish<br />

and Miss Parish, each occupying a room in the school<br />

house, superintending the higher departments. These<br />

schools closed last week. We have visited them from<br />

time to time and now propose to give others the benefit<br />

<strong>of</strong> our observation.<br />

Miss Fisk has had under her tuition in number<br />

from 40 to 50 scholars, generally <strong>of</strong> the younger class.<br />

The feature in this school most striking to a casual<br />

observer has been the perfect system attending every<br />

exercise; the best order uniformly prevailed and so<br />

perfect was the teacher's self government that not a<br />

word or gesture seemed to escape her without bearing<br />

a §ignificance which the pupils readily understood. In<br />

fact, we have no hesitation in pronouncing it for system<br />

and good manners the model school.<br />

Many <strong>of</strong> the scholars were backward for their age,<br />

yet their reading, spelling, and mental arithmetic<br />

recitations were full <strong>of</strong> interest, especially .... we were<br />

pleased with their prompt recitations <strong>of</strong> passages <strong>of</strong><br />

scripture, common tables and their vocal music.<br />

Miss Parish came among us last fall a stranger,<br />

but her reputation as a teacher which she had<br />

established in Vermont had preceded her. Of superior<br />

education, clear and pointed in her explanations,<br />

beloved <strong>of</strong> her school, were she but a little more<br />

thorough in her government we could find no point to<br />

criticize. Besides the tuition <strong>of</strong> about 50 pupils,<br />

comprising her department <strong>of</strong> this school, Miss Parish<br />

has superintended a class in algebra and one in<br />

astronomy from the other department both <strong>of</strong> which<br />

have made excellent improvement, considering the<br />

number <strong>of</strong> classes she has heard, and the double<br />

amount <strong>of</strong> labor performed, she has certainly achieved<br />

great success.<br />

We want to give no undue praise to these teachers,<br />

and if we could not truthfully have spoken well <strong>of</strong> them<br />

we should probably have said nothing. But it is<br />

apparent to those who have visited our schools that<br />

under many difficulties these teachers have done for us<br />

this winter a noble work, and we should not withhold<br />

that reward so dear to every teacher's heart and yet<br />

the last to be conferred vis: appreciation.<br />

Active nonogenerian<br />

In addition to being an active nonogerian - he<br />

celebrated his 96th birthday with members <strong>of</strong> his<br />

family on June 10, 1976- John E. MCGillen, resident <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Manor and former Erin Township resident,<br />

is a versatile individual <strong>of</strong> many talents and interests.<br />

During his long life, McGillen who is still spry and<br />

vividly recalls many standout events <strong>of</strong> his more than<br />

nine decades <strong>of</strong> living has been a farmer, livestock<br />

raiser, horse handler, co-op member and <strong>of</strong>ficer,<br />

musician, baseball player and avid sports fan.<br />

Born in New Zealand, the son <strong>of</strong> Patrick McGillen<br />

and Margaret McMann McGillen, on June 10, 1880, he<br />

has lived in this country most <strong>of</strong> his life. His parents<br />

came to New Zealand, known then and now as ''the<br />

land <strong>of</strong> opportunity" from Ireland. Settling in the<br />

Christchurch community, they farmed and raised<br />

20,000 sheep.<br />

<strong>Then</strong> they decided to join the steady migration <strong>of</strong><br />

people <strong>of</strong> many lands to the United States, the<br />

midwestern and western section <strong>of</strong> which were being<br />

rapidly settled in the 1880's, 1890's and early 1900's.<br />

While John was still a youngster they came to <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong>, Minnesota and settled first with Patrick<br />

McKenna who lived on the southeast corner <strong>of</strong> Lake<br />

Mazaska in Shieldsville Township. Later the McGillens<br />

moved to an Erin Township farm four miles east <strong>of</strong><br />

Montgomery, a farm on which John McGillen and his<br />

wife, who died in 1932, lived for many years.<br />

Helping to celebrate his 96th birthday were ·<br />

McGillen's three sons, Edward <strong>of</strong> Kilkenny; Gregory<br />

<strong>of</strong> Mankato and Kevin <strong>of</strong> Le Center and their wives;<br />

two daughters, Mr. and Mrs. Chet Borozak (Phyllis) <strong>of</strong><br />

Fridley and Mr. and Mrs. John Oliver (Margaret) <strong>of</strong><br />

Robbinsdale; 13 grandchildren and three great-<br />


Second Regiment, Minnesota National Guard camp at <strong>Faribault</strong>, June 24, 1888.<br />

grandchildren.<br />

Of his farming days, he has many memories -<br />

primitive farming methods later giving way to<br />

mechanized machinery, using oxen for farm work at<br />

first, then horses and later tractors- becoming a firm<br />

believer in agricultural co-operatives and serving as<br />

president <strong>of</strong> the Montgomery Livestock Shipping<br />

Association C(}-op for 40 years, prompting a<br />

congratulatory letter for his contributions to the C(}-Op<br />

movement from Lyle Lamphear, director <strong>of</strong> public<br />

relations for the Central Livestock Association, South<br />

St. Paul, and recalling zestfully the day many years<br />

ago when he entered a prize team in the under 3400<br />

pounds event <strong>of</strong> a Le Sueur <strong>County</strong> Fair horse pulling<br />

contest and "stole the show" by capturing top honors.<br />

McGillen also recalls, with a happy twinkle in his<br />

eye, the days when the Foley-McGillen Orchestra (he<br />

was a mandolin player) played for well-attended<br />

dances at Franta's Hall, Montgomery. The band also<br />

played for "400 Club" dances once a month. Members<br />

<strong>of</strong> the popular musical ensemble were: Frank Kubat,<br />

Martin Willaby, Bart Foley, William Foley, John<br />

Murphy and McGillen. ·<br />

The nonegerian's greatest memories, though, are<br />

<strong>of</strong> his baseball days in the early 1900's. A catcher, he<br />

played on Erin Township, Shieldsville and Kilkenny<br />

teams. He remembers the stars who played on the<br />

championship Fleckenstein Brewery baseball teams<br />

which met all comers in successful style. He, too,<br />

remembers pitcher McCleary who chalked up an<br />

imposing five year record <strong>of</strong> 160 games as pitcher for<br />

Lake Benton and Waseca, winning 149 <strong>of</strong> the games<br />

and losing but 11.<br />

He also has fond memories <strong>of</strong> George Barton and<br />

Halsey Hall, Minneapolis sports writers, and followed<br />

closely the baseball careers <strong>of</strong> Jimmy P<strong>of</strong>ahl, now <strong>of</strong><br />

Owatonna but formerly <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> who played for the<br />

Washington Senators, and Hudson "Hockey" Mealey,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, <strong>of</strong> Southern Minnesota League and<br />

University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota baseball fame. All these years<br />

he has kept extensive batting, pitching and fielding<br />

records <strong>of</strong> many diamond stars.<br />

On his 96th birthday, versatile John McGillen<br />

received many congratulations. He took it all in stride<br />

like the true trooper he is.<br />

183 die in wars<br />

Hundreds <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents served their<br />

country, for the past 115 years, in United States Wars,<br />

including the Civil War, Spanish-American War, World<br />

War I, World War II, Korean Conflict and the Vietnam<br />

War.<br />

During that service, 183 war veterans from this<br />

county paid the supreme sacrifice by giving their lives<br />

in four wars, Vietnam War, Korean Conflict, World<br />

War II and World War I, according to figures supplied<br />

by Charles Fleckenstein, <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Veterans<br />

Service Officer. Figures were not available for<br />

Spanish-American War and Civil War casualties.<br />


How it all began<br />

There were nine Gold Star Veterans from <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> in the Vietnam War; 13 in the Korean Conflict;<br />

116 in World War II and 45 in World War I. The list <strong>of</strong><br />

Goid Star Veterans who died in the service <strong>of</strong> their<br />

country includes:<br />


Edward Francis Braunger, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Sgt. David<br />

Gerald Bultman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC Gary L. Burke,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Capt. Michael D. Burmeister, Northfield;<br />

Pvt. Thomas Dell Eastman, Kenyon; Major Robert F.<br />

Grundman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC William Hering,<br />

Northfield; Kevin Patrick Shields, <strong>Faribault</strong>; SP 4<br />

~raid F. Tracy, Dennison.<br />


Roy Harold Bailey, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Cp. Donald Richard<br />

Bremer, <strong>Faribault</strong>; · PFC Robert Barry, <strong>Faribault</strong>;<br />

PFC Francis W. Coleman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Fireman 2nd<br />

Class John Charles Doyle, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Edwin C.<br />

Erickson, Northfield; Cpl. David W. Kaul, <strong>Faribault</strong>;<br />

Pvt. Paul Lidstrand, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Sgt. Lawrence D.<br />

Johnson, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Harvey B. Mosher,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC 1-c Harvey L. Pedersen, <strong>Faribault</strong>;<br />

Sgt. Donald Ponto, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Cp. Robert E. Weber,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />


PFC Edward Allen, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt. J .G. Elliott<br />

Anderson, Northfield; Lt. Arthur Bestul, Dennison;<br />

Pvt. Palmer Bollenbach, Owatonna; Pvt. Oliver<br />

Boucher, <strong>Faribault</strong>; S1-c Evan Brekken, Dennison;<br />

MM1-c Albert Bremer, San Diego, Calif; F1-c Theo.<br />

Ceplecha, Lonsdale; Sgt. Dean Christensen,<br />

Northfield; Sgt. Marlow Christenson, <strong>Faribault</strong>;<br />

Pvt. Carson Cole, <strong>Faribault</strong>; S-Sgt. Raymond<br />

Corbesia, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Sgt. John Cross, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt.<br />

Rudolph David, Kilkenny; Sgt. Harold Davidson,<br />

Oelwein, Iowa; Lt. Carl J. Degen, Los Angeles, Calif.;<br />

Pvt. Charles De Mott; S 1-c Robert De Wolf,<br />

Northfield; Cpl. Walter Drevlow, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt.<br />

Stanley Edwardson, Northfield; Pvt. Herbert<br />

Ellerbusch, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Pvt. Daniel K. Flom, Kenyon; Pvt. Edward Fuller,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; T-5 Philip Gannon, Northfield; Pvt.<br />

Leonard Golden, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Melvin Gordon,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Pfc. Elmer Graves, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt. Robert<br />

Graves, Minneapolis; Pfc. Elmer Grohman,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Warren Grunert, Northfield; Lt.<br />

Donald Habein, Morristown.<br />

Lt. Lyle Hanson, Northfield; Pvt. Berchard, Hanson,<br />

Mankato; SK1-c Paul Haefemeyer, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Thomas<br />

Russel Haugen, Dennison; Pvt. Bennett C. Hellam,<br />

Minneapolis; T2-c Robert J. Hellam, Minneapolis;<br />

Staff Sgt. Charles Patrick Henry; Pfc. William Hille,<br />

Webster; Pfc Hubert Hostetter, <strong>Faribault</strong>; S-Sgt.<br />

Alfred Howland, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Pvt. Buddy Louis Hering, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Cpl. Frank<br />

Hruza, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Capt. James K. Hunter, Northfield;<br />

Pvt. Howard Jandro, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Seaman Martin<br />

Jensen, Northfield; T-Sgt. Roy Johnson, Northfield;<br />

T-Cpl. Noel E. Jones, Dundas; Lt. George E. Kaul,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; S-Sgt. Leonard Kern, <strong>Faribault</strong>; S-Sgt.<br />

Raphael King, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

MM Carl Krauseman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Henry<br />

Krause, Minneapolis; PFC Arthur Kreitz, Northfield;<br />

AM James H. Krenske, <strong>Faribault</strong>; T-4 Vernard<br />

Kuhlman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC Warren Lambert,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Herman Lerdel; Lt. James Lippert,<br />

Northfield; S-Sgt. Laverne Lowe, Northfield; Pvt. Olaf<br />

Q. Lium.<br />

Lt. Frank Manz, Northfield; PHM 1-c Clarence<br />

Mathis, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Franklin Juel Madison, <strong>Faribault</strong>;<br />

Cpl. Matthew McGuiness, <strong>Faribault</strong>; T -Sgt. Ralph<br />

Miller, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Cpl. Francis Miller, Owatonna; S1-c<br />

James Morris, Dundas; PFC Gordon Nelson,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC Stanley Nelson, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC<br />

Robert O'Brien, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

T-Sgt. Russell Olson, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC Jack<br />

Ostrom, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Clarence Overby, Little<br />

Chicago; Pvt. Arthur Pagel, Kenyon; T -5 Arthur<br />

Paquette, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC. Robert Peterson,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt. Albert Peterson, Northfield; Cpl. Paul<br />

Pickering, Minneapolis; Lt. Noel Pineur, Robbinsdale;<br />

A-c Charles Popelka, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Lt. Clyde Rasmussen, Minneapolis; Harlan E.<br />

Rasmussen, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Capt. Luther Ranum,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; A-c Arnold Reed, Morristown; WAVE<br />

Shirley Riach, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Sgt. Rodney Root,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC Mark Rosenqvist, Nerstrand; PFC.<br />

Leland R. Rowberg, Northfield; Cpl. Thomas Savage,<br />

Dennison; Lt. Herman Sahli, Lonsdale.<br />

A-S Jerome Schuck, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Matt Schmanske,<br />

Medford; PFC. Bernard Shea, <strong>Faribault</strong>; WT1-c L. W.<br />

Siemer, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Sgt. Charles Snell, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC.<br />

Edward Sobrak, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Arthur Steinberg,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt. LeRoy Sullivan, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Gerald<br />

Titman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt. James Tripp, Northfield; Lt.<br />

Eugene Truax, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Pvt. Earl Truman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt. Edward Tuma,<br />

Lonsdale; Lt. Erwin Tyler, Northfield; PFC George<br />

Van Ryn, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Lt. Robert Viall, Northfield; Lt.<br />

Forrest Von Ruden, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC. Clarence<br />

Wanous, Medford; Ensign Vernon Wegner, <strong>Faribault</strong>;<br />

Lt. Roger J. Weum, Kenyon; PFC John P. Weed.<br />

Homer Howard Wilson, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Sgt. John Wolf,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt. Floyd Workman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Pvt.<br />

Douglas Workman, <strong>Faribault</strong>; PFC Dean C. Wood.<br />


Walter J. Albers, Northfield; William Ashley,<br />

Dundas; Thomas Ausems, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Peter J. Braun,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Guy Edson Bruce, Elysian; Wilber<br />

Bultman, Kenyon; Samuel Cowden, Dundas; Roy<br />

Collins, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Charles Cross, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Frank<br />

Czaplewski, Winona.<br />

Herman Dammeier, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Andrew DeMars,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Arthur Drewitz, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Leo Ferstler,<br />

Northfield; Theo Fornier, Northfield; Albert Fossum,<br />

Lonsdale; Frank Gibney, <strong>Faribault</strong>; William Griffin,<br />

Lonsdale; Herman Haefemeyer, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Arthur,<br />

Hanson, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Harry Hatfield, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Wilfred Jeno,<br />

Lonsdale; Roy Keller, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Harold Kenny,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Fred Larson, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Norman Larson,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Louis Moreau, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Frank Novak,<br />

New Prague; Edward Orcutt, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Edward<br />

Olson, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />


Herman Ottem, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Cyril O'Connell,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; L. C. Prentiss, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Frank St.<br />

Anthony, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Harvey Schreiber, <strong>Faribault</strong>;<br />

George Schuenke, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Daniel Schuette,<br />

Morristown; George Sheeran, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Louis Sherwin, Nerstrand; Henry Treka,<br />

Montgomery; John Trenda, Webster; Edmund Varley,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>; Theo Willing, <strong>Faribault</strong>; Herbert Zabel,<br />

Northfield; Edward Zeamann, <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />


•<br />

Chapter ll Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Council is busy<br />

The <strong>Faribault</strong> City Council, in charge <strong>of</strong><br />

conducting the government <strong>of</strong> the City, is composed <strong>of</strong><br />

five members, all elected by the citizens <strong>of</strong> the city at<br />

large- and not by wards.<br />

Members <strong>of</strong> the Council include: Mayor Robert<br />

Larson; Councilmen: Paul Muellenmeister, Gary<br />

Kindseth, Harlan Petti piece and Arthur Hopke.<br />

Two <strong>of</strong> the council members are· seeking<br />

re-election- Larson and Kindseth. Petti piece has filed<br />

for mayor. Muellenmeister and Hopke are holdover<br />

members.<br />

But two more council members will be chosen<br />

during the 1976 Primary and General Elections. In<br />

accordance with the new <strong>Faribault</strong> City Charter,<br />

adopted by <strong>Faribault</strong> voters in a special election held<br />

on Dec. 10, 1975, the council membership will be<br />

increased by two, a total <strong>of</strong> seven, all elected at large.<br />

Under provisions <strong>of</strong> the newly adopted charter, the<br />

mayor and councilmen no longer have assignments as<br />

commissioners <strong>of</strong> specific departments. These<br />

departments are now under the supervision <strong>of</strong> a City<br />

Administrator, Eugene Wieneke, who assumed his<br />

duties~ upon appointment by the council, on Sept. 1<br />

1974.<br />

Wieneke, who is pleased by the cooperation he has<br />

received from the .<strong>of</strong>ficials and citizens <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

has been in the city and county administrative business<br />

for nearly 10 years, including eight in Galena, Ill., and<br />

at Dunn <strong>County</strong>, Wisconsin.<br />

Although the members <strong>of</strong> the present council have<br />

expressed individual opinions during council meetings<br />

on specific issues, differing from each other, it can be<br />

said that, on the whole, the council is in total<br />

agreement on two basic subjects - citizen<br />

involvement in public affairs and the dire importance<br />

<strong>of</strong> each agency, organization or group seeking<br />

appropriations from the council to establish priorities<br />

for their requests.<br />

Councilman Paul Muellenmeister commented "In<br />

this Spirit <strong>of</strong> 1976 year I <strong>of</strong>fer a few words for the next<br />

generation -If you wish to keep America great and<br />

free, get involved in city, county, state and federal<br />

government. Don't sit back and say 'let someone else<br />

do it'."<br />

The city council, in January 1976, passed an<br />

ordinance which created a new city <strong>of</strong>fice- Director<br />

<strong>of</strong> Public Safety. The <strong>of</strong>fice combines the duties <strong>of</strong> the<br />

chief <strong>of</strong> police and the fire department chief, <strong>of</strong>fices<br />

which no longer exist. Chosen by the council to assume<br />

this post is Ronald Drew, who formerly held a similar<br />

post in New York State and Bethlehem, Pa.<br />

Under provisions <strong>of</strong> the same ordinance, the <strong>of</strong>fice<br />

<strong>of</strong> Director <strong>of</strong> General Services was created, including<br />

accounting, bookkeeping and personnel ·duties<br />

formerly carried out by the city recorder and city<br />

treasurer, two <strong>of</strong>fices which no longer exist. The new<br />

post is held by Bruce Nelson. Purpose <strong>of</strong> these changes<br />

was to improve administrative efficiency without<br />

increasing the number <strong>of</strong> employes.<br />

Much has been accomplished by the council during<br />

the past two years. <strong>Now</strong> under construction - and<br />

expected to be completed by February 1977 - is the<br />

enlargement <strong>of</strong> local sewage plant facilities including<br />

installation <strong>of</strong> a different type <strong>of</strong> sewage treatment. Of<br />

the $4.3 million project cost, 75 per cent will be paid<br />

through federal aid, 15 per cent through state aid and<br />

10 per cent by the city.<br />

Another major project has been more efficient<br />

utilization <strong>of</strong> Municipal State Aid. Prior to adoption <strong>of</strong><br />

the project, this type <strong>of</strong> state aid was used on a<br />

piece-meal basis. Under the new plan, half <strong>of</strong> the<br />

county's overall annual share for 10 years is being used<br />

for street improvements and the other half for<br />

maintenance and payment <strong>of</strong> bonds.<br />

Another commendable project has been<br />

construction <strong>of</strong> curb and gutter, sidewalks and street<br />

surfacing work on a special tax assessment basis with<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> taxpayers giving excellent cooperation.<br />

What are the major projects facing the council in<br />

the future? Wieneke sums them up as the following:<br />

As soon as a studies report is received from the<br />

state a major decision will have to be made by the<br />

council on the future <strong>of</strong> the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>'s Airport.<br />

The council is faced with three decisions- merge with<br />

the City <strong>of</strong> Owatonna Airport -leave the present local<br />

airport as it is - or resolve to enlarge the ·present<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Airport.<br />

The City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> will have to face up to the<br />

need for construction <strong>of</strong> a major sanitary sewer along<br />

the southern border <strong>of</strong> the city due to residential<br />

development pressure.<br />

Construction <strong>of</strong> a new Industrial Park, now<br />

underway north <strong>of</strong> the city limits by a local private<br />

developer, John Heselton, is under council supervision.<br />

Recently, the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> received a $350,000<br />

community development grant from HUD (Federal<br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Housing and Urban Development) and<br />

city planning is underway for the project. <strong>Faribault</strong>'s ·<br />

grant is the second largest from HUD in this area. Half<br />

<strong>of</strong> the money will be used for construction <strong>of</strong> three<br />


~en ~c:<strong>Now</strong><br />

First council met in 1872<br />

Robert Larson<br />

(Mayor)<br />

Gary Kindseth<br />

Arthur Hopke<br />

Harlan Pettipiece<br />

Paul Muellenmeister<br />

Eugene Wieneke<br />

short water and sanitary sewer lines in three small<br />

locations in the city. The other half will be used for the<br />

start <strong>of</strong> a city housing inspection program. The bulk <strong>of</strong><br />

this share <strong>of</strong> the money will be used for housing<br />

rehabilitation.<br />

So, under the city council direction, <strong>Faribault</strong> is<br />

forging ahead, not standing still.<br />


(This history <strong>of</strong> the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> has been<br />

compiled by reading the <strong>of</strong>ficial minutes <strong>of</strong> the council<br />

meetings. The routine matters <strong>of</strong> business, on which<br />

any council must spend a great deal <strong>of</strong> time, have been<br />

omitted. Also, some major items are omitted because<br />

they will be covered in other chapters by other<br />

writers.)<br />

An act to legalize the act to authorize the<br />

incorporation <strong>of</strong> the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> was approved<br />

February 29, 1872. It provided for the first election to be<br />

held on the first Tuesday <strong>of</strong> April in 1872. H. M.<br />

Matteson, B. F. Straub and Ernst Fleckenstein were<br />

designated as inspectors <strong>of</strong> elections and the board <strong>of</strong><br />

canvassers. The population <strong>of</strong> the city was given as<br />

5,000, <strong>of</strong> which 1,000 were voters. There were 612 pupils<br />

enrolled in the city schools.<br />

The charter meeting was held in Central Hall with<br />

a capacity audience. Dr. L. W. Dennison was elected<br />

chairman. F. W. French, Esq. explained the charter.<br />

Other prominent citizens who spoke were Luke Hulett,<br />

Esq., the Honorable G. E. Skinner, the Honorable<br />

Gordon E. Cole and R. A. Mott, Esq.<br />

The first election was held on April2, 1872. Friends<br />

<strong>of</strong> the charter rejoiced by firing salutes, and the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> brass band played in honor <strong>of</strong> the event.<br />

"The election under the new charter resulted in a<br />

clean Republican sweep with the exception <strong>of</strong> one<br />

justice, J. B. Quinn, Esq., who was personally quite<br />

popular and whose Republican opponent refused to<br />

run."<br />

The total vote cast was 846. There were 555 votes<br />

for the charter and 291 against. Officers elected were:<br />

Mayor, George W. Tower; Recorder, H. P. Sime; and<br />

Treasurer, James A. Winter.<br />

A paragraph from the Mayor's address, given at<br />

the first meeting <strong>of</strong> the Common Council on April 9,<br />

1872, shows that politics has not changed a great deal:<br />

"And now, Gentlemen <strong>of</strong> the Council, let me urge.<br />

upon you the strictest economy in public expenditures<br />

compatible with the public interests. Remembering<br />

that we are trustees <strong>of</strong> the purse <strong>of</strong> our constituents, let<br />

no unnecessary <strong>of</strong>ficers be appointed, no salaries paid<br />

but for corresponding efficient services, no<br />

improvements made at public expense merely for local<br />

or personal ends; and above all, let us avoid debt as we<br />

would a pestilence or famine.''<br />

The newly elected council took its work seriously,<br />

for their second meeting was held the next day. They<br />

met 32 times from the first meeting in April through<br />

the end <strong>of</strong> December.<br />

Pound Master Appointed<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the first items <strong>of</strong> business was the<br />

appointment <strong>of</strong> Pound Master Reuben Rundell. Mr.<br />

Rundell served for many years and his duties covered<br />

all animals. He once had a bull in the pound which had<br />

to be sold to pay for the pound fees. One <strong>of</strong> the first<br />

ordinances pertains to cattle running at large. Public<br />

opinion was about equally divided on this issue. At one<br />


I<br />

meeting a petition would be presented to have cattle<br />

confined and at the next meeting a remonstrance<br />

petition would be brought in for the cattle to run at<br />

large.<br />

At the July 8th meeting the pound master was<br />

given a fee <strong>of</strong> fifty cents for each dog killed and buried.<br />

At the June 20, 1881 meeting it was decided to require<br />

licenses for dogs. The collection <strong>of</strong> the fee was on a<br />

percentage basis with the pound keeper getting a<br />

larger percentage as the number <strong>of</strong> licenses increased.<br />

Horses were an important part <strong>of</strong> early <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

In 1873 the first publicly maintained watering trough<br />

was built. November 15, 1875 the council was<br />

concerned about loose signs that were frightening<br />

horses on bridges. December 13, 1880 a petition was<br />

presented to allow the driving <strong>of</strong> sleighs and cutters on<br />

Seventh Street at a speed exceeding ten miles per hour.<br />

On August 1, 1911, 125 additional hitching posts were<br />

purchased. Resolution 374 on June 27, 1910 prescribed<br />

the areas where hitching posts and curb rings could be<br />

installed. On September 12, 1916, the council authorized<br />

a payment <strong>of</strong> $4.50 for buggy shafts broken when a<br />

horse was frightened by a sprinkling wagon.<br />

Horses were used by the fire department until1924<br />

even though the first fire truck had been acquired in<br />

1919. A by-product <strong>of</strong> the use <strong>of</strong> horses was that in<br />

March 1917 it was advertised that manure was<br />

available for fifty cents per load delivered.<br />

Fires were an ever present danger in the new city.<br />

Most <strong>of</strong> the buildings were <strong>of</strong> wood construction,<br />

heated with woodburning stove or fireplaces. The city<br />

did have a volunteer fire department, but they had only<br />

buckets or a hand operated pump to work with. At the<br />

November 23, 1872 meeting <strong>of</strong> the council a petition was<br />

presented asking the council to investigate the<br />

purchase <strong>of</strong> a steam fire engine. The report was<br />

favorable, and on Debember 9th it was voted to buy a<br />

steam engine for $5,000 and two hose carts for a total <strong>of</strong><br />

$7,750. With the salary <strong>of</strong> the Chief <strong>of</strong> Police at $50 per<br />

month, it is quite evident $7,750 was a large amount <strong>of</strong><br />

money and is an indication <strong>of</strong> the seriousness <strong>of</strong> the fire<br />

hazards.<br />

Water Is Problem<br />

The riew engine arrived in February <strong>of</strong> 1873 and<br />

was put into service. To be useful, the new engine<br />

required a good source <strong>of</strong> water, and without a water<br />

system, this was a problem. The first solution was to<br />

build platforms at the river's edge, but this could not<br />

take care <strong>of</strong> the buildings farther from the river. A<br />

series <strong>of</strong> huge cisterns were built throughout the<br />

business district and these were filled with river water.<br />

To add to the fire danger, many <strong>of</strong> the fires were<br />

incendiary in origin. At the April 22, 1874 council<br />

meeting, a reward <strong>of</strong> $250 was <strong>of</strong>fered for the capture<br />

<strong>of</strong> arsonists.<br />

On March 17, 1882 a fire-started in the kitchen <strong>of</strong><br />

the Barron House. The volunteers started to fight the<br />

fire but soon found that the water from the hoses has<br />

become a mere trickle. Sand had been drawn into the<br />

cylinder <strong>of</strong> the pump and so the Barron House was<br />

destroyed. The engine was sold to Belle Plaine,<br />

Minnesota in 1894 for $1,100.<br />

The council had to deal with many subjects in<br />

First <strong>Faribault</strong> House<br />

Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

addition to the more routine matters such as approving<br />

the laying out <strong>of</strong> streets, building bridges, making<br />

assessments for street sprinkling and other<br />

housekeeping details. Incidentally, the cost for a<br />

sidewalk (wood) for the width <strong>of</strong> one lot was $16.25.<br />

By January 1876 the council felt that it should have<br />

a regular meeting place, so a room was rented in the<br />

Masonic Building for $150 per year.<br />

When the county built the court house, the citizens<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> decided there should be a clock in the<br />

tower but the county <strong>of</strong>ficials were reluctant to spend<br />

county money for a clock that would mostly be<br />

beneficial to <strong>Faribault</strong> residents. On December 14, 1874<br />

$500 was voted for a clock by the council. Provision was<br />

made for someone to wind the clock and maintain<br />

it. This position was continued for many years.<br />

One hundred years ago the Common Council voted<br />

to spend $400 for the Centennial observance if the<br />

citizens would raise an equal or larger amount.<br />

Bond Issues Popular<br />

Bond issues were more popular a century ago than<br />

they are now: November 3, 1874 $5,000 at 10 per cent<br />

interest were sold to build the engine house and a<br />

cistern; August 25, 1877 $8,000 for constructing the<br />

Third Street bridge; and May 15, 1879 $50,000 for the<br />

Minnesota Central Railroad. The later issue was<br />

approved 410 to 111. A large issue was also sold when<br />

the water system was bought by the city.<br />

The city was growing so on October 17, 1881 the<br />

Philadelphia plan <strong>of</strong> street numbering was adopted.<br />

·This provided for odd numbers on the east and south<br />

lines <strong>of</strong> the streets and even numbers on the north and<br />

west sides. One number was provided for each<br />

twenty-two feet <strong>of</strong> frontage and the house number was<br />

determined by the location <strong>of</strong> the front door. On March<br />

8, 1897 an ordinance was adopted which changed the<br />

designation <strong>of</strong> avenues from tree names to numbers.<br />

This was more practical but less picturesque.<br />

At the June 11 meeting in 1894, a representative <strong>of</strong><br />

the Mutual Benefit Insurance Company <strong>of</strong>fered to build<br />

a city hall costing up to $30,000 if they could sell $700,000<br />


~en~§Vow<br />

worth <strong>of</strong> insurance. The <strong>of</strong>fer was accepted by the<br />

council. The building was constructed during the later<br />

months <strong>of</strong> 1894 and 1895. At the April 13, 1896 council<br />

meeting, Frank Little, the representative <strong>of</strong> the<br />

insurance company, said that his company had spent<br />

over $20,000 and asked for help in completing the<br />

building as he had not sold as much insurance as he<br />

hc.dhoped.<br />

Before the building <strong>of</strong> the City Hall, the library had<br />

been housed in the court house. On April30, 1896 R. A.<br />

Mott and John R. Parshall, representing the Library<br />

Association, <strong>of</strong>fered to turn over their library<br />

materials to the city. State law provided for a one mill<br />

levy for the support <strong>of</strong> libraries. Support for the library<br />

was voted at the election on April 12, 1897 by a vote <strong>of</strong><br />

547 to 222.<br />

Gives New Library<br />

In addition to the gift <strong>of</strong> the city hall building,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> was fortunate in receiving $100,000 for a<br />

library building and $20,000 for land to build it on from<br />

Mrs. Anna Buckham as a memorial to her husband,<br />

Thomas S. Buckham. The gift was announced at the<br />

September 11, 1928 council meeting.<br />

The summer <strong>of</strong> 1929 saw one <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>'s sons<br />

become world famous. Dale "Red" Jackson and his<br />

partner, Forest O'Brien, set the world's record for<br />

non-stop flying. They flew their plane for 420 hours 212<br />

minutes without landing, or 173 hours and 37 minutes<br />

longer than the previous record. Later this same<br />

record was broken by Jackson and 0 'Brien. The<br />

council sent a telegram <strong>of</strong> congratulations on July 23,<br />

1929.<br />

On two occasions the business <strong>of</strong> the council was<br />

interrupted to listen to important news events. On June<br />

22, 1937 the council recessed to listen to the returns <strong>of</strong><br />

the Louis-Braddock fight, and on December 9, 1941 it<br />

recessed to hear Franklin D. Roosevelt's report to the<br />

nation after Pearl Harbor.<br />

The Board <strong>of</strong> Health was created by the council<br />

December 1, 1881. One <strong>of</strong> the first actions by the board<br />

was the providing <strong>of</strong> a Pest House where persons with<br />

contagious diseases could be cared for. The board also<br />

enforced quarantine regulations. In January 1890 a city<br />

doctor was appointed. Dr. Seeley's salary was set at<br />

$60 per year or fifty cents per call. This fee was to<br />

include the cqst <strong>of</strong> any necessary medicine.<br />

In 1899 Captain James Hunter approached the<br />

council with an <strong>of</strong>fer to sell Hunter's Hospital (now the<br />

Evergreen Knoll) to the city.<br />

The <strong>of</strong>fer <strong>of</strong> the German Evangelical Deaconess<br />

Society to build a hospital was presented to the council<br />

October 24, 1907. This <strong>of</strong>fer specified that the building<br />

should not cost more than $35,000. The city was to<br />

contribute $10,000. Beds would be provided for thirty<br />

patients. Because <strong>of</strong> the contribution by the city, it was<br />

agreed that people for whom the city was responsible<br />

would be cared for at the rate <strong>of</strong> $1 per day. After<br />

several years the hospital asked for an increase to $2.40<br />

per day. This was refused. The $1 per day rate was still<br />

·in effect in 1953 when the board <strong>of</strong> directors <strong>of</strong> the<br />

hospital petitioned for an increase.<br />

During the Spanish flu epidemic it was necessary<br />

to provide additional hospital space, so Hunter's<br />

Hospital was again used as an emergency hospital and<br />

Resolution 708A was passed to pay the bills for those<br />

unable to do so.<br />

In 1912 the Visiting Nurse Association requested<br />

the council to appropriate $75 to have a bathtub<br />

installed in the basement <strong>of</strong> the City Hall for the use <strong>of</strong><br />

poor children.<br />

At the second meeting <strong>of</strong> the Common Council on<br />

April 10, 1872 two policemen were hired for a salary <strong>of</strong><br />

$40 per month. Later in the year one <strong>of</strong> the men was<br />

designated as chief and his salary increased to $50 per<br />

.month.<br />

It may be difficult to think <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> as needing<br />

an ordinance to prohibit Houses <strong>of</strong> Ill Fame, but the<br />

council passed such an ordinance June 5, 1874.<br />

Generally laws are passed to meet a need.<br />

Prisoners not Coddled<br />

The Common Council could not be accused <strong>of</strong><br />

coddling prisoners in the city lockup. In 1876 they<br />

approved a diet <strong>of</strong> bread and water for prisoners and in<br />

1896 provided a rock pile for tramps to earn their keep.<br />

The broken up rocks went to the street department for<br />

repairs. Action against law violators was swift. At the<br />

February 18, 1874 council meeting a complaint was<br />

registered against Wattles' Saloon in the Barron<br />

House. It alleged that the saloon had become a "haunt<br />

for little boys" and that gambling, smoking and the<br />

serving <strong>of</strong> liquor to minors were allowed. A hearing<br />

was held at which several boys were questioned under<br />

oath by the cityattorney. The following day the council<br />

met and revoked the license.<br />

Control <strong>of</strong> saloon licenses seemed to be a major<br />

function <strong>of</strong> the council. There was a large turnover <strong>of</strong><br />

ownership and each change had to be approved. Many<br />

pages <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>ficial minutes are devoted to these<br />

actions. In 1917 Ordinance A47 was adopted, setting the<br />

hours for opening and closing saloons and prohibiting<br />

girls and women from entering saloons. In 1913<br />

Ordinance A35 had been passed forbidding free lunches<br />

in saloons.<br />

With the advent <strong>of</strong> prohibition, law enforcement<br />

problems changed but did not decrease. <strong>Now</strong> the police<br />

had to see that the so-called "s<strong>of</strong>t drink parlors" did<br />

not do a little "bootlegging" on the side. One dealer<br />

evolved a plan whereby liquor was kept in the<br />

basement and if a reliable customer wanted something<br />

stronger than pop, a bucket was let down through a<br />

hole in the floor to get it. In time, the police interfered<br />

and the dealer had to sell his business.<br />

November 28, 1922 a delegation <strong>of</strong> ladies came to<br />

·the council meeting to ask that Prohibition be<br />

enforced, that matrons and chaperones be provided at<br />

all public dances and that windows in places where s<strong>of</strong>t<br />

. drinks were sold be curtained and those curtains<br />

drawn. The council's decision was not to require the<br />

drawn curtains.<br />

The council called for bids for a police car<br />

November 27, 1928. Bids were received for a Buick,<br />

Hupmobile, Chandler, Hudson, Oakland, Dodge,<br />

Oldsmobile and Graham-Paige.<br />

"Tiny" Retires in '56<br />

On December 26, 1956 one <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>'s dedicated<br />


Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> House on First Avenue<br />

NE (near Division Street) as it looks today<br />

after being restored by <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

policemen in the person <strong>of</strong> Lawrence F. Abelman<br />

retired. "Tiny," he was over six feet tall, had almost<br />

become a landmark. He was good natured and friendly<br />

but his stature awed little boys and a word <strong>of</strong><br />

admonition from him carried weight. He was <strong>Faribault</strong>'s<br />

motorcycle patrolman for a number <strong>of</strong><br />

years having gained experience in riding a motorcycle<br />

during World War I. On Saturday nights he would be<br />

stationed at the Third or Fourth Street and Central<br />

Avenue intersection operating a battery lighted<br />

Stop-and-go sign. He once received a letter from<br />

someone who had passed through town addressed to<br />

"The Tall Cop in <strong>Faribault</strong>." On his retirement, the<br />

council voted also to retire his badge- Badge No.1.<br />

Progress in the form <strong>of</strong> the coming <strong>of</strong> the<br />

automobile had its effect on city government. In<br />

August 1907 Ordinance 150 set the speed limit on<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> streets at eight miles per hour. By 1910 it was<br />

decided to pave Central Avenue from Division to Sixth<br />

Street N.W.<br />

Even before the automobile, street work, street<br />

surveys and the sprinkling <strong>of</strong> streets took much <strong>of</strong> the<br />

council's time. In 1914 $250 was appropriated to<br />

experiment with using oil on the streets to control the<br />

dust. April 27, 1915 Fred R. Kummer , Buick dealer,<br />

appear ed r equesting permission to install an<br />

underground gas tank at Fifth Street and Central<br />

Historical Society. Home was built in 1853 and<br />

was the first frame building in <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Avenue. The Buick Garage was located where the<br />

Hotel <strong>Faribault</strong> is now.<br />

The first motor . truck was purchased from the<br />

Anderson Motor Company in May <strong>of</strong> 1919 for $782.96.<br />

The first motorized fire truck was also purchased in<br />

1919. By 1921 the council spent $62 to have streets<br />

marked for parking.<br />

In the fall <strong>of</strong> 1937 at the September 14 meeting, the<br />

council discussed the desirability <strong>of</strong> purchasing the<br />

Caron property for a park. On October 26 Councilman<br />

Herbert H. Meyer moved that the Caron property be<br />

purchased for $150 per acre. The motion passed<br />

unanimously. On December 20 the council voted to buy<br />

all <strong>of</strong> the property for $13,000 with a life lease to the<br />

Carons for the residence. During this period no<br />

objections to the action were brought fo the council. In<br />

the election <strong>of</strong> April 1939 all <strong>of</strong> the council members<br />

were defeated, mostly because <strong>of</strong> the park purchase. A<br />

visit to Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> Park on any evening or<br />

weekend now is vindication for the council members<br />

who did what they considered right but lost their jobs<br />

fo~ doing so.<br />

Before the days <strong>of</strong> organized charities, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

proved its compassion by <strong>of</strong>ficially contributing to<br />

areas that experienced disasters. In August 1883 the<br />

Common Council voted $2,000 for the Rochester,<br />

Minnesota tornado . victims, in April 1886 $500 for<br />


~en ~§Vow<br />

cyclone damage at Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud, and in<br />

September 1894, $800 for survivors <strong>of</strong> the Hinckley fire.<br />

The history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> in this Bicentennial year<br />

covers more than 125 years. To deal with it fully would<br />

take many volumes and much additional research. The<br />

preceding covers some incidents that seem to be<br />

noteworthy, but is in no way an exhaustive treatment<br />

<strong>of</strong> the history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> and the activities <strong>of</strong> its<br />

government.<br />

Fire department<br />

is Ill years old<br />


Former Fire Chief<br />

This is a "chronological" history <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Fire Department with major improvements <strong>of</strong><br />

equipment, personnel changes, major fires and other<br />

fire prevention advancements throughout the years.<br />

During the 111 years the department has been in<br />

existence, 18 persons - including 14 children - lost<br />

their lives because <strong>of</strong> fires.<br />

In 1864 the department consisted <strong>of</strong> four volunteer<br />

companies, Excelsior Hook ' & Ladder Co., Straight<br />

River Hose Co., Young America Hose Co. and the<br />

Phoenix Hose Co. To call these companies into action a<br />

steam whistle at the Hill's Furniture Factory would<br />

blow notifying the people in town there was a fire. This<br />

was used until about 1870 when a large bell was placed<br />

in the tower at the fire hall. This was used until 1940<br />

when it was removed for safety reasons and it was<br />

stored in the basement <strong>of</strong> the fire hall untill967 when it<br />

was placed in a special bu.ilt niche in the new fire<br />

station on Second Street NW.<br />

In February <strong>of</strong> 1870, a fire destroyed three business<br />

places. This fire was fought by a bucket brigade;<br />

Excelsior Hook & Ladder Co. using hooks to pull down<br />

the building and keep the fire from spreading; ladders<br />

which had arrived just two weeks before from Chicago<br />

and the bucket brigade, no engines. Later, a pair <strong>of</strong><br />

wheels was procured by the bucket brigade. The men<br />

manned the ropes and made a tour <strong>of</strong> the village,<br />

stopping at every shop and store to seize buckets which<br />

they hung upon their primitive truck and thus the first<br />

extinguishing apparatus was secured.<br />

The City Council, in the spring <strong>of</strong> 1870, purchased<br />

land on Third Street Northwest between First and<br />

Second A venue Northwest for a future fire hall. Two<br />

major fires occurred that year, including November<br />

22, the Hill's Furniture Factory, $25,000 loss and<br />

November 28, the Seabury Hall, $20,000 loss.<br />

January 1, 1873 the City Council reorganized the<br />

fire department with a total <strong>of</strong> 123 members into four<br />

companies - Engine Co. No. 1, 40 men; Excelsior<br />

Hook & Ladder Co., 40 men; Niagara Hose Co., 20 men;<br />

and the Straight River Hose Co. , 20 men. Chief<br />

Engineer was C. P. Pike, 1st Assistant J. R. Parshall,<br />

2nd Assistant H. P. Sime. On February 7, a steamer<br />

engine arrived in <strong>Faribault</strong> after being on the road for<br />

60 days. April 10, a major fire destroyed six business<br />

places.<br />

Fire Hall Built<br />

In 1876 a new fire hall was built at the cost <strong>of</strong> $7,300.<br />

Ground floor was the equipment floor and horse bam,<br />

second floor was the firemen's hall and city <strong>of</strong>fices and<br />

in the basement was located a large cistern for the<br />

storage <strong>of</strong> water to help fight fires. December 8, Bean's<br />

Flour Mill burned, $25,000 loss.<br />

The most disastrous fire that ever happened in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> was on June 17, 1878. Almost the entire block<br />

was destroyed, including two banks and ten stores, loss<br />

$125,000. This block was between Central and First<br />

A venues and Third Street and Second Street<br />

Northwest.<br />

January 11, 1882 H. P. Sime resigned as Chief <strong>of</strong> the<br />

fire department. March 17, the Barron House Hotel<br />

burned, $34,000 loss.<br />

September 4, 1894 a new chemical engine was<br />

purchased, this engine and the other chemical engine<br />

were pulled to fires by horses. These horses were<br />

owned by different men in town, they were also used to<br />

pull the sprinkler wagons to sprinkle the streets and<br />

when an alarm was sounded they would go to the<br />

station and hook on to the chemical engines and go to<br />

the fire. The City also owned some horses, they were<br />

kept in the back part <strong>of</strong> the fire hall.<br />

May 3, 1895 the <strong>Faribault</strong> Rattan Works burned,<br />

$30,000 loss. August 15, the Far ibault Fire Department<br />

Relief Association was organized for the firemen who<br />

were sick or injured on duty. Chief was John H. Detert<br />

and Joseph Brandis was Assistant Chief.<br />

January 1998, the Young America Hose was<br />

disbanded, 21 members. July 20, the old fire hall<br />

located on First Avenue Northwest between Third and<br />

Fourth Street Northwest was torn down.<br />

In 1910, E. F. Kelley was appointed Fire Chief.<br />

May 12, residence <strong>of</strong> E. H. Sperry was burned, with<br />

Mrs. Kellogg, Mr. Sperry, two sons and one daughter<br />

losing their lives. In 1918 C. W. Aberle was Fire Chief<br />

and H. H. Aberle was Assistant Chief.<br />

In April, 1919 Jack Duchene was appointed Fire<br />

Chief, replacing C. W. Aberle. Department had four<br />

paid men plus the Chief. August 4, City Council<br />

purchased the first motorized chemical truck from the<br />

American LaFrance Co. , arrived November 25.<br />

On March 23, 1923 Sacred Heart Church burned,<br />

$15,000 loss. November 27, City Council purchased a<br />

Dodge truck from John Langer for $1,495, the firemen<br />

helped John Langer build the truck body and tanks.<br />

December 7, City Council approved $500.00 more to<br />

finish the truck. Department had six paid men and<br />

sleepers, they were men who were hired to sleep at<br />

night at the fire hall.<br />

Last Horses Sold<br />

March 21, 1924 the last horses used by the<br />

department were sold at an auction. June 12, City<br />

Council looked at the new style pumpers. On August 5,<br />

Saint Mary's Hall was struck by lightning, total loss<br />

$100,000. August 12, bids were advertised for a pumper<br />


Old <strong>Faribault</strong> fire station and horse drawn fire tvagons<br />

and ladder truck. August 24, American LaFrance<br />

Truck Co. was awarded the bid for a 750 gallon pumper<br />

and a front wheel drive 65' wooden ladder aerial truck<br />

to be delivered in 150 working days, cost for the<br />

pumper was $14,784, ladder truck was $14,700 less<br />

$1,500 for the old horse drawn ladder wagon. This 1924<br />

wooden ladder aerial truck is still in the department.<br />

On October 8, Marven Morgan was appointed Assistant<br />

Chief.<br />

January 31, 1925 Farmer's Merchants Bank<br />

burned, $13,000 loss. Department had eight paid men<br />

and five night sleepers. January 9, 1927 Vaux Canning<br />

Factory burned, $37,500 loss; November 28, 1928<br />

Bundy's Shoe Store burned, $26,000 loss, three men<br />

injured; January 31, 1929 Grand Theatre burned, total<br />

loss $200,000. April 10, Marven Morgan was appointed<br />

Fire Chief.<br />

In 1931 there were three major fires- February<br />

25, <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Courthouse burned, total loss $100,000;<br />

May 7, Brand's Nursery burned, $14,700 loss;<br />

September 28, Mee's Studio burned, $19,000 loss.<br />

In 1932 the department had four trucks - Dodge<br />

Chemical, American LaFrance Chemical, 750 gallon<br />

American LaFrance pumper and 65' American<br />

LaFrance ladder. There were nine paid firemen plus<br />

Chief Morgan and Assistant Chief Frank Boldt.<br />

February 7, Emery Book Store burned, $19,720 loss;<br />

August 7, <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Grandstand burned, total loss.<br />

February 28, 1933 Sacred Heart School burned,<br />

total loss; April 1, Daisy Woodcraft burned, $17,000<br />

loss; January 27, 1936 Maison Ritz Bar burned, $15,000<br />

loss; August 29, Hutchinson Dry Goods Store burned,<br />

$44,000 loss. Department had nine paid men and two<br />

part time men. January 18, 1937 Faribo Liquor Store,<br />

Evans Cleaners and Schultz Restaurant burned,<br />

$17,500 loss, all occupied the same building.<br />

1938 Firemen began to fix toys for the needy<br />

children, this was continued until 1967 when the<br />

department moved into the new station. May 1,<br />

department was changed to shifts <strong>of</strong> 24 hours on and 24<br />

hours <strong>of</strong>f to shorten the work week. There were six men<br />

to each shift plus the Chief and Assistant Chief.<br />

January 21, 1940 Jim & Joe Clothing Store burned,<br />

$39,900 loss.<br />

Fire Hall Criticized<br />

August 8, 1941 Grand Jury criticized the condition<br />

<strong>of</strong> the fire hall and demanded immediate action. 26<br />

years later a new station was built. October 29, <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> Rural Cooperative Fire Protection Association<br />

was organized, including Wells, Cannon City, Walcott<br />

and Warsaw Townships.<br />

May 23, 1942 City Council approved $4,000 to repair<br />

the fire hall. Wooden floor was replaced with concrete<br />

and steel rods were installed through the building to<br />

hold it together. Bids were awarded to Paul Schroeder<br />

and Benson Brown.<br />

October 18, 1943 Shattuck School Clock Tower<br />

burned, $150,000 loss. Four men -were injured- Chief<br />


~en ~c!fiow<br />

Ruins from disastrous <strong>Faribault</strong> fire June 17, 1878. Looking north on Central Avenue<br />

Morgan, Fred Achilles, William Fihn, Charles<br />

Roehrick- and a student from Shattuck.<br />

March 12, 1944 Frank Boldt Assistant Chief died,<br />

was with the department 39 years. December 31, Henry<br />

Felix died, was the first paid truck driver in the<br />

department in 1919.<br />

May 1, 1945 Edward Behlke was appointed<br />

Assistant Chief. May 16, Mrs. Edward Duchene and<br />

seven children died in a house fire.<br />

February 1946 City Council approved one more<br />

fireman to fill in for the day <strong>of</strong>f a month the Council<br />

granted the firemen. April 7, Commander Elevator<br />

burned,· $75,000 loss, one fireman injured. August 20,<br />

Civil Service was approved for the fire department<br />

personnel.<br />

March 15, 1947 new 1,000 gallon Seagrave pumper<br />

delivered to the department. It will replace 1919<br />

American LaFrance Chemical truck, cost $13,077.<br />

Pension fund was established for the firemen. June,<br />

Edward Behlke was promoted to First Assistant Chief<br />

and Lawrence Svien was promoted to Second Assistant<br />

Chief. November 21, six members <strong>of</strong> the William<br />

Brooks family were injured in house fire.<br />

January 16, 1948 First Rural fire truck purchased<br />

by the Rural Fire Association to protect four<br />

townships, Cannon City, Wells, Warsaw and Walcott.<br />

Cost $8,121.34. February 12, Rural truck made first fire<br />

run.<br />

January 23, 1953 K. & G. Manufacturing Co.<br />

burned, $30,000 loss. March 3, new 1,000 gallon<br />

American LaFrance pumper arrived, cost $17,481.36.<br />

The money for this truck came from the tax refund on<br />

cigarette and liquor from the state. This truck will<br />

replace the 1924 750 gallon American LaFrance<br />

pumper. October 18, State School Dairy Barn burned,<br />

$200,000 loss. May 30, 1954 Sacred Heart Church<br />

burned, $36,000 loss.<br />

1955, firemen were granted two days a month <strong>of</strong>f to<br />

shorten work week. November 19, Stoeckel's Cities<br />

Service Station burned, $50,000 loss. August 30, 1956<br />

Fred Silvernagle and three children died in house fire.<br />

September 23, 1958 the last <strong>of</strong> the wooden block<br />

floor in the fire hall was replaced with concrete, this<br />

section was the old horse barn.<br />

City Proposal Defeated<br />

January 14, 1962 Shamrock Bar burned, $40,000<br />

loss. February 23, City Council purchased the Edgar<br />

Mentz house for the future site for a proposed<br />

Municipal Community Building. September 11, bond<br />

issue was voted on and was defeated, 3,726 "no," 1,084<br />

"yes," for the Municipal Community Building for the<br />

Fire, Police and City <strong>of</strong>fices. October 11, Daniel<br />

Muchow daughter died in house fire.<br />

January 12, 1963 Parker Auto Body Shop burned,<br />

$10,000 loss. June 25, Marven Morgan notified the City<br />

Council <strong>of</strong> retiring September 1, as Chief <strong>of</strong> Fire<br />

Department, forty-one years in department, 34 as<br />

Chief. August 24, new GMC fire truck, with a high<br />

pressure pump, for the Rural Fire Association was<br />

delivered, it replaced the 1948 Dodge truck, cost<br />

$5, 784.95. October 24, City Council appointed Ervin<br />

Venera Fire Chief effective November 1, 1963.<br />

May 25, 1964 State School Haven Building burned,<br />

$15,000 loss. December 23, City Council allowed the<br />

position <strong>of</strong> two Captains to be created in the<br />

department.<br />

January 1, 1965 Charles Roehrick and Eugene<br />

Gallagher were appointed Captains to fill the positions<br />


<strong>Faribault</strong> fire scene, March 9, 1884. M. P.<br />

Holman Saloon destroyed, A. W. Tenney Feed<br />

created in department. February 9, . City Council<br />

discussed plans for a new fire station. AprillO, Sacred<br />

Heart Church burned, $50,000 loss. Owatonna Fire<br />

Department was called for mutual aid. May 1, Charles<br />

Roehrick was promoted to Assistant Chief to replace<br />

Lawrence Svien who will retire May 30, Alva Hallanger<br />

was promoted to Captain to replace Charles Roehrick.<br />

February 8, 1966 City Engineer was authorized to<br />

draw specifications for two new fire trucks. February<br />

22, City Council met with architects for fire station.<br />

February 24, architect was hired. March 2, Foldcraft<br />

Factory burned, $30,000 loss. During the ensuing<br />

months a number <strong>of</strong> meetings were held by the Council<br />

and architect on the plans for the new fire station and<br />

property was purchased for the location for the new<br />

fire station. November 11, bids for two new fire trucks<br />

were opened and on December 13 they were awarded to<br />

the American LaFrance Truck Co. December 13,<br />

Council approved plans for fire station. December 23,<br />

Paul Gray was awarded general contract bid <strong>of</strong><br />

$152,500, Larson Electric $32,750 and Capital Plumbing<br />

$73,784, total bid $258,998less cost <strong>of</strong> property.<br />

January 24, 1967 bond issues for $430,000 were sold<br />

for the new fire station. February 1, Assistant Chief<br />

Edward Behlke retired, thirty years in department.<br />

February 28, Captain Alva Hallanger promoted to<br />

Assistant Chief and Donald Erickson was promoted to<br />

Captain. March 28, authorized City Engineer to<br />

process an order on construction <strong>of</strong> fire station. April1,<br />

one day a week <strong>of</strong>f was granted to the firemen to<br />

shorten the work week and change to two shifts with<br />

nine men to a shift. December 18, moved into new<br />

station.<br />

January 12, 1968 new 1250 gallon American<br />

LaFrance pumper arrived, cost $37,250. April 1, new<br />

85' steel ladder aerial American LaFrance arrived,<br />

Store, damaged. North side <strong>of</strong> Third St. NW<br />

between Central Avenue and First Avenue.<br />

cost $51,900. April 20, open house was held at the new<br />

fire station. May 25, Cook's Paint Store burned, $30,000<br />

loss. August 27, old fire hall was sold to <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> for<br />

•· $3,000. October 8, Ervin Venero resigned as Chief due<br />

. to health, effective November 1, 1968, seventeen years<br />

with department.<br />

Roehrick Named Chief<br />

February 11, 1969 City Council appointed Charles<br />

Roehrick Fire Chief effective February 16, 1969. March<br />

.16, Donald Erickson promoted to Assistant Chief. May<br />

11, Segar Grocery Store burned, $11,000 loss. July 8,<br />

Dodge van was purchased for use as a rescue truck,<br />

this will be the first rescue truck for the department,<br />

cost $2,748. During the following months the firemen<br />

built storage cabinets in the truck for first aid supplies<br />

and rescue tools. November 21, rescue truck was put<br />

into service.<br />

November 25, City Council established through<br />

streets on Second Street Northwest to Eighth A venue<br />

Northwest and Second Avenue Northwest to<br />

Fourteenth Street Northwest as emergency routes for<br />

the fire department.<br />

January 1, 1970 City Council granted holiday and<br />

overtime pay for the firemen. March 10, City Council<br />

approved the purchase <strong>of</strong> a slide and movie projector<br />

for the department to use for public fire prevention<br />

programs and training within the department. March<br />

24, station wagon was purchased to be used for fire<br />

inspection and fire prevention work. July 22, Lawrence<br />

Svien, former Assistant Chief died, thirty six years<br />

with department.<br />

August 25, City Council adopted a fire prevention<br />

code, Ordinance A389. November 1, Victor Moravec<br />

and William Borwege were promoted to Captains.<br />

November 6, Bliss Motors burned, $25,000 loss.<br />

November 12, cornerstone and slide pole, used to get<br />


~en E;?cf<strong>Now</strong><br />

Godfrey Fleckenstein Brewery taken from the bluff 10 days after 1891 fire.<br />

1919 American La France Chemical Truck,<br />

first motorized unit <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> Fire<br />

Department. In front <strong>of</strong> truck are Buck Haupt<br />

(in suit), Dan Savage, Ferdinand Behlke in<br />

uniform, driver in uniform Jack Duchene,<br />

Chief Carl Aberle (in suit), Frank Boldt on<br />

running board, Henry Felix in uniform by<br />

back wheel, Lard Alm (in suit), back man on<br />

step, Hoger; front man, Alfred Taubman.<br />


-"· . , I·<br />

Dolly and Button, owned by J. Warmington,<br />

and their fire rig, and local firemen, in front<br />

DoLLY - ,..~<br />

<strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Fire Station in 1895.<br />

from the second floor to the first floor when a fire<br />

alarm was received, were removed from the old fire<br />

hall and stored in new fire station.<br />

February 23, 1971, City Council approved four<br />

more firemen. March 1, four men were added to. the<br />

department to shorten the working hours and to have<br />

three shifts with six men and a Captain on each shift<br />

for a 56 hour week, plus the Chief and Assistant Chief.<br />

March 5, City Council passed ordinance banning open<br />

burning in city. August 1, Sellner Manufacturing<br />

burned, $80,000 loss. October 6, new cornerstone for the<br />

new station was laid and also the 1876 cornerstone from<br />

the old fire hall.<br />

July 1, 1972, fire inspector was hired for the new<br />

Fire Prevention Bureau to enforce Fire Code.<br />

November 28, new fire district ordinance was passed,<br />

dividing the city into three fire zones. November 28,<br />

emergency telephone number "911" was brought<br />

before the Council for a discussion by Manager Donald<br />

Furlong, Northwestern Bell Telephone, and Chief<br />

Roehrick to install the emergency number "911" for<br />

the Fire, Police, Sheriff and Ambulance. December 22,<br />

Country Club burned, $45,000 loss.<br />

February 28, 1973, station wagon purchased for<br />

Fire Inspector. April 1, Gerald Eul promoted to<br />

Captain. July 4, Mr. Quick Restaurant burned, $32,000<br />

loss.<br />

"911' Number Adopted<br />

March 2, 1974, Donald Erickson, Assistant Chief,<br />

retired, 22 years with department. May 28, new rescue<br />

truck bid awarded to Bliss Motors. June 9, Shattuck<br />

School Ice Arena burned, $50,000 loss.<br />

September 23, Emergency number "911" was put<br />

into service for the Fire, Police, Sheriff and<br />

Ambulance. October 28, old fire hall was demolished to<br />

make way for the new <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Law Enforcement<br />

Center. December 3, new rescue truck chassis arrived,<br />

it will replace the 1970 Dodge van, because <strong>of</strong> the<br />

increase <strong>of</strong> rescue service. The following months the<br />

firemen drew the plans for the body to be installed on<br />

the new chassis, after many hours <strong>of</strong> work the plans<br />

were finalized, bid was awarded to the Truck Utilities<br />

Co. to build the body. Cost, truck and body, $11,500.<br />

February 16, 1975 City Council promoted Victor<br />

Moravec from Captain to Assistant Chief to replace<br />

Donald Erickson who retired March 2, 1974. April 2,<br />

new rescue truck was put into service. This truck is<br />

equipped with an electric winch, latest rescue<br />

equipment, oxygen therapy equipment and radio<br />

facilities to communicate with the ambulance and <strong>Rice</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> Hospital. May 8, City Council appointed<br />

Francis Herda Captain to replace Victor Moravec who<br />

had been promoted to Assistant Chief.<br />

June 7, City Council approved the purchase <strong>of</strong><br />

better safety equipment for the firemen including fresh<br />

air masks, new style fire coats, not rubber, and new<br />

style helmets. The old helmets have been used for 40<br />

years.<br />

June 19, King Mill and Warehouse <strong>of</strong>fice and three<br />

garages were destroyed, $450,000 loss. Fought fire for<br />

14 hours with help <strong>of</strong> the Owatonna and Northfield Fire<br />

Departments. This historic mill was an old landmark<br />


Ultra-modern new <strong>Faribault</strong> Fire Station,<br />

Second Street and Second Avenue, with<br />

unique hose tower and historic fire bell.<br />

for many years in the western section <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>. It<br />

was built in the early 1800s.<br />

November 4, Chief Charles Roehrick notified the<br />

City Council <strong>of</strong> retiring on January 2, 1976 as Chief <strong>of</strong><br />

Fire Department, 32 years with department.<br />

The department now has the following equipment:<br />

1924 American LaFrance 65' wooden ladder truck, 1947<br />

1,000 gallon Seagrave pumper, 1953 1,000 gallon<br />

American LaFrance pumper, 1963 GMC high pressure<br />

pump, 1964 International tanker, 1,200 gallon - these<br />

two trucks are owned by the Rural Fire Association-<br />

1968 1,250 gallon American LaFrance pumper, 1968 85'<br />

steel ladder aerial truck, 1970 Dodge van backup<br />

rescue unit, 1973 station wagon for inspection work and<br />

1975 Ford rescue truck. All these trucks are radio<br />

equipped, except the 1924 ladder truck, and all carry<br />

the latest fire fighting equipment. There are 23 paid<br />

men now in the department.<br />

New fire station functional<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>'s modern municipal fire station, located<br />

at 122 NW Second St. (in the City Hall block) on the site<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Mrs. P. Theodore Olsson home which had been<br />

acquired by the city through condemnation<br />

proceedings, was declared ready for occupancy by the<br />

Fire Department on Dec. 13, 1967. Moving day for<br />

firemen was held Monday, Dec. 18, 1967.<br />

The attractive, well-planned new building was<br />

evaluated.as "very functional and effectively designed<br />

for community fire protection." Representatives <strong>of</strong><br />

other fire departments in the state have visited the new<br />

station and praised its design, equipment and<br />

functional adaptability.<br />

At a city council meeting held November 23, 1966,<br />

the council, by a 4-1 split vote, authorized construction<br />

<strong>of</strong> the proposed new fire station on the new site as soon<br />

as possible. Councilmen Thomas Dillon, Richard<br />

Ostrom, Lawrence Thompson and William Anderson<br />

voted in favor <strong>of</strong> the project and Mayor Clarence Miller<br />

voted "no."<br />

On Jan. 24, 1967, at a special meeting, the city<br />

council opened bids and awarded contracts for the<br />

building. The Paul Gray Company, <strong>Faribault</strong>, was<br />

awarded a general contract on a bid <strong>of</strong> $142,623.76. The<br />

mechanical contract (plumbing and heating) was<br />

awarded to Capital City Plumbing and Heating Co., St.<br />

Paul, on a bid <strong>of</strong> $64,787.60. The electrical contract was<br />

awarded to Larson-Roberts Electric Co., <strong>Faribault</strong>, on<br />

a bid <strong>of</strong> $30,445.<br />

Building Described<br />

The building, <strong>of</strong> face brick and cast or natural<br />

stone, is 90'x98' in size. Exterior doors and frames are<br />

<strong>of</strong> hollow metal. Windows are <strong>of</strong> fixed steel and glazed<br />

with gray glass, translucent in the dormitory,<br />

transparent elsewhere.<br />

The building is one story high in the apparatus<br />


Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

section and one story and a basement in the dormitory<br />

section. A special feature is a niche in the building<br />

which contains the historic bell used for years at the<br />

old city fire station which was constructed in 1876 and<br />

later torn down. Another unique feature <strong>of</strong> the station<br />

is a 14'x8'x35' high inside hose drying and training<br />

tower.<br />

Architects who planned the attractive new building<br />

are Raugland, Entriken, Domholt and King, Inc.,<br />

Minneapolis.<br />

General approval <strong>of</strong> the new, long-needed<br />

structure was given by the general public and visitors<br />

from throughout the state at an <strong>of</strong>ficial Open House<br />

held April 20, 1968. Firemen conducted guided tours.<br />

Two new American La France fire trucks, a 1250 gallon<br />

per minute pumper truck and an 18 foot aerial ladder<br />

were on display.<br />

The ''Minnesota Fire Chief, ' ' <strong>of</strong>ficial publication <strong>of</strong><br />

the Minnesota Fire Chiefs Association, in its<br />

March-April, 1968 issue, devoted several pages and<br />

pictures to <strong>Faribault</strong>'s new station. The <strong>Faribault</strong> Fire<br />

Department now has a personnel <strong>of</strong> 23 men.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>'s 100-year-old fire station (built in<br />

1876) which was razed to make room for the<br />

new county-city Law Enforcement Center.<br />

First post <strong>of</strong>fice here in 1853<br />


The Continental Congress established postal<br />

service for the North American Colonies by an act<br />

passed on July 26, 1775, superceding, even before the<br />

Revolution, the comparable service operated under the<br />

British Crown.<br />

The service was authorized in the Constitution in<br />

the single sentence, "The Congress shall have power<br />

... to establish post <strong>of</strong>fices and post roads. The first<br />

United States postal act was passed in 1789 and<br />

Benjamin Franklin was appointed by George<br />

Washington as the first Postmaster General. He had<br />

been Deputy Postmaster General for the Colonies<br />

under British rule so was well qualified for the position.<br />

Postal service in <strong>Faribault</strong> started with the arrival<br />

<strong>of</strong> the first mail in 1853. Just how this mail was<br />

addressed or how it could reach <strong>Faribault</strong>, we do not<br />

know because the city as such did not exist. The mail<br />

probably came from St. Paul and was addressed to<br />

some well known person in the area.<br />

It was fitting that the first postmaster <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

should have been Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong>. In 1854,<br />

Edward J. Crump was appointed <strong>Faribault</strong>'s deputy.<br />

The post <strong>of</strong>fice was a log cabin located about where the<br />

Hotel <strong>Faribault</strong> now stands. It didn't have to be a very<br />

large building as some weeks the total mail for the city<br />

was Luke Hulett's New York Tribune.<br />

In 1855, Crump completed that famous <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

landmark, Crump's Hall. This building was to serve as<br />

the first meeting place <strong>of</strong> many <strong>of</strong> the city's<br />

organizations. It also served as the post <strong>of</strong>fice from the<br />

time <strong>of</strong> its completion until the death <strong>of</strong> Mr. Crump in<br />

1856.<br />

At this time, mail was received weekly from a<br />

route between St. Paul and Owatonna.<br />

In 1855, the postal service made prepayment <strong>of</strong><br />

postage on mail mandatory. Prior to this<br />

uncertainty <strong>of</strong> delivery made it customary to collect<br />

the postage at the time <strong>of</strong> delivery. This method<br />

encouraged some mailers to use prearranged codes on<br />

the outside <strong>of</strong> the envelope so that the addressee could<br />

get the message without paying for the letter.<br />

Seal Is Sacred<br />

From the very inception <strong>of</strong> the postal service,<br />

Benjamin Franklin had insisted on the policy <strong>of</strong> the<br />

freedom and sanctity <strong>of</strong> the mail. The seal on an<br />

envelope was sacred and inviolable. No person<br />

regardless <strong>of</strong> his rank or position could legally open a<br />

letter addressed to another. This policy has continued<br />

to the present. To further enhance the prestige <strong>of</strong> the<br />

mails, the registry system was also started in 1855.<br />

This meant that not only was the mail confidential, it<br />

was safe.<br />

After the death <strong>of</strong> Crump, a Mr. Young was<br />

appointed acting postmaster. The <strong>of</strong>fice was moved to<br />

the Moses Cole store building on the east side <strong>of</strong> First<br />

Avenue east and south <strong>of</strong> Division Street. Young was<br />

an unsatisfactory postmaster as he was too lazy to get<br />

up from his chair to give out the mail. He was removed<br />


~en~8'/ow<br />

in 1857 and replaced by George S. Skinner.<br />

Part <strong>of</strong> the pay <strong>of</strong> the postmaster was the rental <strong>of</strong><br />

space and equipment for the <strong>of</strong>fice. This meant that,<br />

whenever there was a change in postmasters, there<br />

would also be a change in the location <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fice.<br />

Often this was not convenient for the public.<br />

With the appointment <strong>of</strong> George Skinner, the <strong>of</strong>fice<br />

moved to the present location <strong>of</strong> the Hallmark store.<br />

Daily mail service between <strong>Faribault</strong> and Hastings<br />

was started, and service from St. Paul increased to<br />

thrice weekly. Volume in 1857 was between 1800 and<br />

2000 pieces per week.<br />

The <strong>Faribault</strong> Herald for September 24, 1857 had<br />

an article "Our Post Office". "At the request <strong>of</strong> a<br />

number <strong>of</strong> our prominent citizens we glady give<br />

expression to the full and entire satisfaction given by<br />

Mr. Skinner and his clerk, Mr. Pettier, in the<br />

management <strong>of</strong> the Post Office. Their arrangements<br />

are excellent, and they have been faithful and<br />

accommodating in the discharge <strong>of</strong> their duties. With<br />

pleasure we become the organ <strong>of</strong> the community in<br />

giving this evidence <strong>of</strong> our appreciation.'' Receipts for<br />

letters alone in the first quarter <strong>of</strong> that year were $246.<br />

This time, without changing postmasters, the<br />

location <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fice was changed to the east side <strong>of</strong><br />

Central Avenue about the present location <strong>of</strong> Karp's<br />

Shoe Store. Mails to Hastings and the East were<br />

received daily and dispatched three times weekly.<br />

They were dispatched South daily via Owatonna.<br />

Pony Express Begins<br />

Though it had no application to local mail service,<br />

it was in 1860 that the Pony Express was started. It<br />

operated for only eighteen months, but during this time<br />

traveled 650,000 miles and delivered 30,000 pieces <strong>of</strong><br />

mail.<br />

From the first Pony Express notice: "Wanted:<br />

young, skinny, wiry fellows not over 18. Must be expert<br />

riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred.<br />

Wages $25 per week.''<br />

To its carrying <strong>of</strong> Lincoln's inaugural speech and<br />

the news <strong>of</strong> the firing on Fort Sumter and the<br />

declaration <strong>of</strong> war in 1861, the Pony Express was one <strong>of</strong><br />

the most colorful chapters in post <strong>of</strong>fice history.<br />

Postmaster Skinner was replaced in 1861 by James<br />

Gibson. Total receipts for the first quarter in 1861 were<br />

$270.88. In 1862 for the same quarter receipts $331.07<br />

and for 1863, $412.35. Pieces <strong>of</strong> mail handfed for the<br />

first quarter vf 1862 were 8,083 and for the quarter in<br />

1863, 10,242 pieces.<br />

Postmaster Gibson advertised 47 letters as<br />

undelivered. This was a customary procedure as some<br />

people forgot to pick up their mail or, for various<br />

reasons, did not want to receive it. A fee <strong>of</strong> two dollars<br />

was charged when an advertisement letter was<br />

delivered.<br />

On June 5, 1861 the schedule <strong>of</strong> arrival and<br />

departure <strong>of</strong> mail was published. Eastern mails<br />

arrived on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and<br />

departed on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.<br />

Southern mail, via Owatonna, arrived daily, except<br />

Sundays, at 5 p.m. and departed daily, except Sunday,<br />

at4 a.m.<br />

During the term <strong>of</strong> Mr. Gibson trail service was<br />

established. However, the transport <strong>of</strong> the mail was<br />

still difficult because <strong>of</strong> problems caused by the<br />

weather. In 1865, because <strong>of</strong> bad storms, there was no<br />

mail from the East for eleven days between January 20·<br />

and 31. In May 1866, a flood in Wisconsin delayed the<br />

trains so that no mail was received from there for two<br />

weeks.<br />

The following notice appeared in the weekly paper<br />

December 4, 1867:<br />

"We learn that the Milwaukee and St. Paul<br />

Railway have determined to put a mail car from<br />

McGregor, Iowa to St. Paul, Minnesota. The mail for<br />

Minnesota will be distributed while the car is in<br />

motion, this facilitating delivery and transmission <strong>of</strong><br />

mail matter." The "railroad post <strong>of</strong>fice" had been<br />

inaugurated by the Postal Service on August 24, 1864.<br />

City Delivery Started<br />

On July 1, 1863 a few hundred postal carriers, not<br />

yet wearing uniforms but with letter pouches slung<br />

from their shoulders, set out to revolutionize city<br />

delivery <strong>of</strong> mail in the 49 largest cities. Local post<br />

<strong>of</strong>fices were authorized to employ carriers only if their<br />

revenues were sufficient to support such free service.<br />

In <strong>Faribault</strong>, city delivery was to start January 1, 1892.<br />

With thousands <strong>of</strong> men in the army wanting to send<br />

money home to their families, there was a great need<br />

for a means <strong>of</strong> doing this. The registered mail systems<br />

could not meet the need because <strong>of</strong> the paper work that<br />

it entailed. As a result, the looting <strong>of</strong> soldiers' mail<br />

became a national scandal, .and the Money Order<br />

system was created on November 1, 1864. In a notice<br />

published in the Central Republican July 18, 1866 it was<br />

noted that "money orders may be issued for any sum<br />

not exceeding $50. The fee for an order not exceeding<br />

$20 is 10 cents, over $20 the fee is 25 cents.<br />

A mail route was established between <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

and Cannon City on November 13, 1867. The route<br />

operated three times a week. The first railway post<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice was started on the Milwaukee and St. Paul<br />

Railway in December <strong>of</strong> 1867. Outgoing mail from<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> averaged 320 letters per day.<br />

J. S. Fuller was appointed postmaster on May 19,<br />

1869. The location <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fice remained the same, but<br />

the increase in business necessitated an enlargement<br />

in the <strong>of</strong>fice. The building was extended twelve feet in<br />

the rear and 200 new boxes were added. In May <strong>of</strong> 1871<br />

a daily mail route was established between Waterville<br />

and <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

In 1872 charges <strong>of</strong> irregularities were brought<br />

against Postmaster Fuller by a former clerk, F. A.<br />

Robertson. These charges concerned the unauthorized<br />

opening <strong>of</strong> mail by the postmaster and the improper<br />

use <strong>of</strong> postal funds. The charges were not proven.<br />

Eden N. Leavens succeeded J. S. Fuller as<br />

postmaster on June 11, 1873. W. H. Howard was made<br />

clerk and assistant postmaster. The following<br />

appeared in the Republican in speaking <strong>of</strong> Mr.<br />

Leavens:<br />

"Mr. E.N. Leavens, our new postmaster, has<br />

entered upon the discharge <strong>of</strong> his duties and nods to his<br />

acquaintances through the <strong>of</strong>ficial window with an<br />

easy dignity and complacency that indicates<br />

satisfaction and his belief that he has been put where<br />


Crews at work on Aug. 1, 1911, at site for <strong>Faribault</strong>'s Post Office<br />

he will do the most good. May he live long and<br />

prosper.''<br />

Postal Card In Debut<br />

On May 1, 1873 the postal card made its debut. The<br />

first postal cards had imprinted on them a replica <strong>of</strong> a<br />

one cent stamp. The uniqueness <strong>of</strong> the card was that<br />

the customer paid only for the stamp and got the card<br />

free. Postal cards became very popular.<br />

With the increase in business, a new <strong>of</strong>fice was<br />

needed. Special Agent W. W. Huntington stated the<br />

terms he was authorized to <strong>of</strong>fer, which provided for a<br />

firepro<strong>of</strong> building <strong>of</strong> either brick or stone, 35 by 90 feet<br />

on the ground floor and 15 feet in height, furnished with<br />

a vault and $2,500 worth <strong>of</strong> fixtures including 1,000<br />

number one call boxes, 200 number one Yale lock boxes<br />

and 36 lock drawers. The building should have gas<br />

fixtures and would preferably be on a corner. For this<br />

the government would pay $600 annual rent.<br />

Warren Allen <strong>of</strong>fered to erect a building on the<br />

comer <strong>of</strong> Elm (First Ave. NW) and Third Street for<br />

$600. H. M. Matteson <strong>of</strong>fered to build on the northeast<br />

corner <strong>of</strong> Third and Willow (presently Depot Square).<br />

J. H. Staley <strong>of</strong>fered to build on the corner <strong>of</strong> Fourth and<br />

Main (Central Ave.). Both <strong>of</strong> these bids were $550. H.<br />

E. Barron <strong>of</strong>fered the north room <strong>of</strong> the Barron House<br />

for $100 per year. This <strong>of</strong>fer was accepted in spite <strong>of</strong> a<br />

petition from businessmen for a Third Street location.<br />

The <strong>of</strong>fice was moved to the Barron House on April<br />

16, 1877. In the new <strong>of</strong>fice 1,000 call boxes, 400 Number<br />

one Yale lock boxes and 30 Number three lock drawers<br />

were installed. The <strong>of</strong>fice also contained a firepro<strong>of</strong><br />

vault and was lighted with gas. The location at the<br />

extreme end <strong>of</strong> the business section was unsatisfactory<br />

to many. To answer some <strong>of</strong> the objections,<br />

Postmaster Leavens erected two letter collection<br />

boxes in the northern part <strong>of</strong> the business district. Mail<br />

was collected from these boxes three times each day.<br />

Unwise Decision<br />

The decision to accept the Barron House bid,<br />

though it was the lowest, proved to be unwise, not only<br />

because <strong>of</strong> the location, but because the building was<br />

not firepro<strong>of</strong>. On March 17, 1882 the Barron House was<br />

destroyed by fire. The fire started in the kitchen about<br />

noon. To fight the fire, water was pumped from the<br />

river. Sand got into the pumping cylinder and soon the<br />

firefighters had only a trickle <strong>of</strong> water coming from the<br />

hoses. It was evident that the entire building was<br />

doomed, so an organized effort was made to save the<br />

mail and fixtures <strong>of</strong> the post <strong>of</strong>fice. This was<br />

accomplished with little or no loss. The removal <strong>of</strong> the<br />

post <strong>of</strong>fice to the S. P. Wall building on Third Street<br />

between Main and Elm (now a parking lot) was so well<br />


~en G?§Vow<br />

conducted, that it was open to deliver mail that<br />

evening. The vault was opened and everything was<br />

found to be in good condition.<br />

On July 1, 1882 <strong>Faribault</strong> became a second-class<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice. On September 1 orders for changes in service<br />

were received. Service to Shieldsville, Prague and<br />

Wheatland was curtailed to once a week. Service from<br />

Lester to Montgomery and from Lester by Angheim<br />

and Wheatland to Montgomery was also cut to once per<br />

week. The locations <strong>of</strong> Lester, Angheim and Wheatland<br />

have disappeared.<br />

On Saturday evening August 25, 1883 the post <strong>of</strong>fice<br />

was moved from the Wall building to the stone building<br />

<strong>of</strong> Main and Third owned by F. A. Theopold.<br />

John R. Parshall was appointed to succeed<br />

Leavens on June 1, 1885. Postal receipts for 1885 were<br />

$9,543.65. 3,813 money orders were issued. On October<br />

1, 1885 special delivery service was begun. The charge<br />

was ten cents per letter.<br />

Postmasterships were political appointments.<br />

With a change <strong>of</strong> administration, E.N. Leavens was<br />

again appointed postmaster October 1, 1889.<br />

Business continued to increase so that, by 1881,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> was eligible for city delivery service.<br />

Citizens were requested to put numbers on their homes<br />

and businesses. The Philadelphia plan <strong>of</strong> street<br />

numbering had been adopted earlier by the Common<br />

Council. Even numbers were on the north side <strong>of</strong> the<br />

street and odd numbers on the south side <strong>of</strong> the street.<br />

Each 22 feet <strong>of</strong> frontage was represented by one<br />

number. Three letter carriers, Charles D. Pike, John J.<br />

Van Sann and Peter M. Stone, were appointed for the<br />

service which started on January 1, 1892.<br />

Haven Is Postmaster<br />

On January 15, 1884 Alfred E. Haven succeeded<br />

Leavens as postmaster. Haven was the owner <strong>of</strong> the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Democrat and in 1876-78 had been county<br />

superintendent <strong>of</strong> schools.<br />

William Kaiser was appointed postmaster<br />

February 15, 1899 from a field <strong>of</strong> nine candidates. The<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Republican had this to report:<br />

"At last William Kaiser has received the<br />

appointment <strong>of</strong> postmL;:;ter fur '<strong>Faribault</strong> and will<br />

succeed Mr. Haven, who will have held the <strong>of</strong>fice, upon<br />

his retirement, about a year and two months beyond<br />

the time for which he was appointed. Mr. Haven has<br />

been an efficient <strong>of</strong>ficer and gives way to the unwritten<br />

law <strong>of</strong> politics.''<br />

The Post Office Department, in 1899, requested<br />

bids for a building and this time specified that, in<br />

addition to the fixtures, heating and lighting be<br />

furnished. The bid <strong>of</strong> Donald and A. J. Grant was<br />

accepted and the <strong>of</strong>fice was moved on May 1, 1899 to<br />

Central Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets. The<br />

personnel <strong>of</strong> the <strong>of</strong>fice at this time were William<br />

Kaiser, postmaster; E. N. Leavens, assistant<br />

postmaster; Mrs. Nellie Bemis, money order clerk;<br />

Samuel A. Metcalf, mailing clerk; Edwin J. F.<br />

Kiekenapp, stamp clerk; E. J. Healy, Jr., John J. Van<br />

Sann and Peter M. Stone, carriers. William P.<br />

Townsend became a clerk August 3, 1899.<br />

James W. Parshall became the first rural carrier<br />

on June 4, 1900 at an annual salary <strong>of</strong> $400. The length<br />

<strong>of</strong> the route was twenty-two miles and ran east through<br />

Cannon City and Wheeling Townships. The population<br />

served was about 500.<br />

On September 1, 1899 an additional city carrier was<br />

allowed and service was extended to the east side <strong>of</strong><br />

town. The Rural Free Delivery route had proved so<br />

successful that on February 15, 1901 five additional<br />

routes were authorized.<br />

By the year 1900, post <strong>of</strong>fices had been established<br />

at Moland and Richland. Daily Star Route service was<br />

maintained with those <strong>of</strong>fices and the <strong>of</strong>fice at<br />

Shieldsville.<br />

The salary <strong>of</strong> rural carrier in 1900 was increased<br />

from $400 to $500 per year. Routes averaged<br />

twenty-five miles in length. Postage for delivery on a<br />

rural route was two cents.<br />

Gross receipts for the year 1901 were $18,210.00. On<br />

October 15, 1901 the <strong>of</strong>fice at Richland was<br />

discontinued. The schedule for the Moland Star Route<br />

allowed five hours for the trip which was made by way<br />

<strong>of</strong> Eklund.<br />

School Postal Station<br />

A postal station was authorized at the School for<br />

the Feeble Minded on April 1, 1902. All <strong>of</strong> the services<br />

<strong>of</strong>fered at the main <strong>of</strong>fice were provided at the station.<br />

This year also saw the installation <strong>of</strong> the first telephone<br />

in the post <strong>of</strong>fice and an electric motor for the<br />

cancelling machine. Pay records show that one carrier<br />

was paid $13.33 for eight days work. The basic salary<br />

was $600 per year.<br />

The failure <strong>of</strong> the First National Bank occurred on<br />

January 3, 1905. There were $1629.90 <strong>of</strong> postal funds on<br />

deposit at the time. Postmaster Kaiser was held<br />

responsible for the funds and made good the loss. The<br />

failure <strong>of</strong> the bank caused several other local businesses<br />

to fail and hurt business in general in the city.<br />

Eden N. Leaven, who had served as postmaster for<br />

sixteen years and as an assistant to Mr. Kaiser since<br />

1899, was compelled to resign on July 1, 1909 because <strong>of</strong><br />

ill health. At the time <strong>of</strong> his resignation he was<br />

82 years <strong>of</strong> age.<br />

On February 12, 1910 the post <strong>of</strong>fice was again<br />

visited by fire. The fire was discovered at 11:10 in the<br />

evening. By the time the firemen arrived, the entire<br />

back <strong>of</strong> the building was burning. After a two hour fight<br />

the flames were subdued and clean up began.<br />

Fortunately very little mail was damaged, but much <strong>of</strong><br />

it had gotten wet. The fire had started on Saturday<br />

night so the postal employees had Sunday to dry out the<br />

mail and clean up. The Sunday mail was delivered as<br />

usual, but it took over a month to get the <strong>of</strong>fice back in<br />

shape.<br />

In 1908 Congressman C. R. Davis succeeded in<br />

getting a bill passed by Congress appropriating $50,000<br />

for a new building. The property was purchased for<br />

$9,000. In 1910 an additional $20,000 was appropriated.<br />

Ground for the new <strong>of</strong>fice was broken on July 24,<br />

1911 and work progressed during the summer and fall<br />

until October 26, 1911 when the cornerstone was laid.<br />

The contractor for the building was William O'Neill<br />

and Sons Company.<br />

The cornerstone laying ceremonies began with a<br />


Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

This was the type <strong>of</strong> transportation used by<br />

rural mail carriers when the Rural Free<br />

Delivery Service started in 1901. The buggy<br />

had a small stove inside.<br />

dinner for visiting dignitaries at the Brunswick Hotel.<br />

This was followed by a parade in which fraternal<br />

organizations <strong>of</strong> the city, the Shattuck and St. James<br />

Cadet Corps and the fire department took part.. The<br />

day was cold, dark and gloomy. The cornerstone laying<br />

ceremony was conducted by <strong>Faribault</strong> Lodge No.9 AF<br />

& AM. The Grand Master <strong>of</strong> the Grand Lodge <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota, Elmer A. Kling <strong>of</strong> Little Falls, was in<br />

charge. The address was given by Congressman C. R.<br />

Davis. After the ceremonies the guests were given a<br />

tour <strong>of</strong> the city in automobiles which had been loaned<br />

by leading citizens. In the evening a banquet was held<br />

in the Gallagher-O'Neill Hall with 500 attending.<br />

Speakers were James J. Dow and the Rev. F. L.<br />

Palmer.<br />

Parcel Post Service<br />

Service from the new building was begun<br />

December 15, 1912. On January 1, 1915 parcel post<br />

service was begun by the Post Office Department. The<br />

weight limit on parcels was eleven pounds. One pound<br />

could be sent fifty -miles for five cents. Eleven pounds<br />

to the eighth zone was $1.32. The eighth zone from<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> includes Alaska and Hawaii. With such<br />

favorable rates the volume <strong>of</strong> parcel post grew rapidly.<br />

The <strong>Faribault</strong> <strong>of</strong>fice had been designed before parcel<br />

post was a part <strong>of</strong> the service, so from its beginning the<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice was crowded. It took over fifty years to get the<br />

building enlarged.<br />

John Kasper was appointed postmaster in 1916 to<br />

succeed Mr. Kaiser.<br />

During World War I the Post Office Department<br />

was faced with the task <strong>of</strong> providing mail service to the<br />

men at training camps and later for the American<br />

Expeditionary Forces. Provisions were made for<br />

mailing <strong>of</strong> parcels at a rate <strong>of</strong> twelve cents per pound<br />

with a maximum <strong>of</strong> twenty pounds. Mail from the<br />

soldiers could be prepaid at domestic rates or letters<br />

could be sent without postage and collected for from<br />

the receiver. Magazines could be sent for one cent, not<br />

to an individual, but to the AEF for delivery to men in<br />

uniform.<br />

May 15, 1918 marks the beginning <strong>of</strong> air mail<br />

service. The first air mail rate was twenty-four cents<br />

per ounce. This included ten cents for special delivery<br />

service at the destination. Later the rate was reduced<br />

to six cents and the special delivery was eliminated.<br />

Regular postage at this time was two cents per ounce.<br />

The two cent rate continued until the '30's when it was<br />

increased to three cents for letters going to another<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice and two cents for letters for local delivery.<br />

October 1, 1935 was important to all postal<br />

personnel because on that date the forty hour week<br />

became law. This meant much rescheduling and, for<br />

most employees, two full non-work days each week.<br />

In 1936 postage meters for the payment <strong>of</strong> postage<br />

were introduced. Use <strong>of</strong> meter impressions eliminated<br />

the need for cancellation. For the mailer it meant time<br />

saved and better control <strong>of</strong> postal funds.<br />

Seed Firms Busy<br />

During the thirties the Ideal Life Insurance<br />

Company and the Farmer Seed and Nursery were the<br />

big mailers in <strong>Faribault</strong>. Ideal Life notices were<br />

mailed monthly. In spring the <strong>of</strong>fice reeked <strong>of</strong> onions<br />

and oinion sets mailed by Farmer Seed. Other large<br />

seasonal mailers were Andrews Nursery, the Brand<br />

Peony Farms and Lehman Gardens.<br />

In time the volume <strong>of</strong> these mailers became so<br />

great that it was necessary to start making distribution<br />

in the plant. As long as there was rail service, the<br />

Farmer Seed and Nursery mail was loaded into a box<br />


lilen ~§Vow<br />

car spotted beside their building. This worked very<br />

well with one exception. The railroad lost one <strong>of</strong> the<br />

cars and didn't find it until more than a month later.<br />

In 1924, with the change <strong>of</strong> administration from<br />

Democrat to Republican, N. S. Erb was appointed<br />

postmaster. He served until1934 when Mr. Kasper was<br />

again appointed to the position.<br />

A Civil Service examination for the substitute<br />

clerk-carrier position was given in April1936. Over one<br />

hundred and twenty people took the examination. The<br />

beginning salary at that time was sixty-five cents per<br />

hour.<br />

World War II took several <strong>of</strong> the employees from<br />

the <strong>Faribault</strong> <strong>of</strong>fice. Some <strong>of</strong> them worked in the Army<br />

Postal System. The army postal service was better<br />

organized then it had been for World War I. Among the<br />

innovations was V-Mail. For this service a special form<br />

was obtained at the post <strong>of</strong>fice on which the message<br />

was written. This was sent to New York, San Francisco<br />

or Seattle where it was opened and photographed on 16<br />

mm film. The film was sent by air to points overseas<br />

where the prints were made from the film These prints<br />

were sent to the addressee. This system greatly<br />

reduced the volume <strong>of</strong> the mail and resulted in faster<br />

service.<br />

With the war over, business returned to normal but<br />

was constantly increasing. This meant that the<br />

building was getting more crowded. Walter Brucher<br />

had become postmaster in 1938 upon the death <strong>of</strong> John<br />

Kasper. He started to work for an addition to the <strong>of</strong>fice.<br />

Several times it seemed hopeful, but the building didn't<br />

materialize.<br />

Meanwhile, the department experimented with a<br />

feeder air route serving <strong>Faribault</strong>. Air mail was<br />

dispatched from the Owatonna airport to<br />

Minneapolis-St. Paul or Omaha. This service started<br />

October 26, 1949. The advantages did not warrant the<br />

cost, so it was soon discontinued.<br />

Zip Code Program<br />

July 1, 1963 was a major landmark in the history <strong>of</strong><br />

the postal service, for it was on that day that the ZIP<br />

code program was started. Received somewhat<br />

skeptically at first, it has proved its worth. Because it<br />

lends itself to mechanization, it has made it possible to<br />

move today's mass <strong>of</strong> mail. It would be impossible to<br />

do so without ZIP code.<br />

Finally, in 1963, it was announced that the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> post <strong>of</strong>fice was to be enlarged more than<br />

double in size. Work was started in 1964 and continued<br />

through the winter. Regular postal service was<br />

continued while the building was being built.<br />

Employees learned to wear heavy underwear and<br />

jackets to work as canvas and plastic do not make<br />

weatherpro<strong>of</strong> walls.<br />

September 24, 1965 the new half-million dollar<br />

addition and renovated building was dedicated. As at<br />

the cornerstone laying in 1911, the day was dark, cold<br />

and gloomy. The Bethlehem Academy band played for<br />

the occasion at which Walter "Bill" Hogan <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Minneapolis Regional Office was the speaker. A<br />

luncheon, sponsored by the Chamber <strong>of</strong> Commerce,<br />

was held at the Hotel <strong>Faribault</strong>. Tickets were $1.50 for<br />

a menu <strong>of</strong> fish or ham with mashed potatoes, peas, jello<br />

salad, rolls, c<strong>of</strong>fee and chocolate cake topped with<br />

whipped cream.<br />

With the enlarged facilities, the <strong>Faribault</strong> Post<br />

Office is now one <strong>of</strong> the finest in the state. Parcel post,<br />

both incoming and outgoing, has greatly decreased in<br />

volume. Gopher Shooters Supply is the largest year<br />

round mailer and Andrews Nursery and Colonial<br />

Hatcheries are the large seasonal mailers. Semi-truck<br />

loads <strong>of</strong> nursery stock and baby chicks are dispatched<br />

daily during the spring season.<br />

Postmaster Walter Brucher died in the spring <strong>of</strong><br />

1968. Lyle J. Schreiber was appointed postmaster<br />

October 4, 1968. He was the first career <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

postmaster, having been in the postal service for<br />

thirty-one years before becoming postmaster. He<br />

retired July 1, 1974 and was succeeded by Harold S.<br />

Berg.<br />

In preparing this history much credit is due to the<br />

former postmaster William Kaiser who had written a<br />

history in 1910 to be included in the. two volume <strong>History</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> and Steele Counties compiled by Frank<br />

Curtis-Wedge and a <strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> by the Rev.<br />

Edward D. Neill.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>'s mother <strong>of</strong> the year,<br />

Adeline Heyer Ballenthin<br />


(1972 Minnesota Mother <strong>of</strong> the Year)<br />

"Concern for the welfare <strong>of</strong> her family and<br />

dedication to the welfare <strong>of</strong> others has led Adeline<br />

Heyer Ballenthin down many paths <strong>of</strong> life, both as an<br />

influential leader or a commendable follower.''<br />

So stated a letter written in behalf <strong>of</strong> the Owatonna<br />

Hospital Auxiliary, co-sponsor with the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Welcome Wagon, in nominating Adeline Ballenthin for<br />

1972 Minnesota Mother <strong>of</strong> the Year, a nomination<br />

resulting in her selection by a state committee.<br />

Adeline became <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>'s first State Mother,<br />

selected for her contributions on a local, district and<br />

state level in religious and civic activities and for her<br />

homemaking talents and on the high character a~d<br />

achievements <strong>of</strong> her four children.<br />

They are: Kathleen, B.A; M.S; Valparaiso<br />

University, Indiana, a teacher in Caracas, Venezuela,<br />

S.A.; Richard, Master in Divinity, Concordia<br />

Seminary, St. Louis, Mo.; now a pastor in Chatham,<br />

Ontario, Canada; James, juris doctor, Phi Beta<br />

Kappa, University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota, law partner <strong>of</strong> Rosen,<br />

Kaplan and Ballenthin, St. Paul; John, graduate <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Institute <strong>of</strong> Technology, Tau Beta Pi; University <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota and now working for his Doctorate in<br />

Physics.<br />

James and John were each National Merit<br />

Scholarship Finalists and all four children were honor<br />

graduates at the high school and college levels and are<br />


Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

active in church and extra-curricular activities.<br />

Adeline was born May 21, 1918, in <strong>Faribault</strong> to Otto<br />

and Elsa Lieder Heyer, the second oldest child and<br />

oldest daughter <strong>of</strong> 14 children, 10 <strong>of</strong> whom are still<br />

living. Her brother, Robert, was named National<br />

Teacher <strong>of</strong> the Year in 1975.<br />

Reared in the depth <strong>of</strong> the depression with the<br />

family struggling to make ends meet, her father,<br />

skilled in cabinetmaking and carpentry, was not above<br />

taking any type <strong>of</strong> work to earn money to support his<br />

growing family.<br />

Class Valedictorian<br />

After attending Trinity Lutheran School for eight<br />

years, she graduated valedictorian <strong>of</strong> her class <strong>of</strong> 136<br />

from <strong>Faribault</strong> High School in 1936. The school selected<br />

her as the first recipient <strong>of</strong> the DAR "Good Citizenship<br />

Award," and the "The Good Citizen" was the topic <strong>of</strong><br />

her valedictory address and this objective has been<br />

striven for in the ensuing years. She was elected to the<br />

Junior and Senior National Honor Society and to Quill<br />

and Scroll, journalistic Nati~nal Honor Society.<br />

Even though awarded several scholarships,<br />

because <strong>of</strong> family need, she returned to high school to<br />

enroll in business courses and at a time when jobs were<br />

hard to come by, T. M. Power Wholesale Co. hired her<br />

as their first bookkeeper and secretary, a position she<br />

held until marriage in 1940 to Willi E. Ballenthin, who<br />

had come in 1930 to <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> from Pomerania,<br />

Germany.<br />

Full Circle Made<br />

For the next 15 years they lived in Cambridge<br />

where Willi was an engineer at the Cambridge State<br />

Hospital. In 1955 the family moved to Owatonna where<br />

Willi was chief engineer <strong>of</strong> the Owatonna State School,<br />

and in 1969 they returned to <strong>Faribault</strong> where he<br />

became the chief engineer <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota School for<br />

the Deaf. Adeline had made full circle, returning to her<br />

birthplace, to live out the remainder <strong>of</strong> her life.<br />

From the time the children were born, Adeline<br />

assumed presidencies, chairmanships and committee<br />

posts <strong>of</strong> virtually every organization with worthy goals<br />

<strong>of</strong> which she became a member and her husband<br />

encouraged her to do this.<br />

Mrs. Ballenthin, in the span <strong>of</strong> 36 years, lived with<br />

her busy and cooperative family in three different<br />

cities - Cambridge, Owatonna and <strong>Faribault</strong> -when<br />

her husband assumed new power engineering<br />

positions.<br />

In all three cities and their counties - Isanti,<br />

Steele and <strong>Rice</strong> - Mrs. Ballenthin became an admired<br />

leader for her zeal, enthusiasm and unflagging work in<br />

pushing beneficial projects for the Isanti <strong>County</strong><br />

Library, serving until 1955 as board chairman; for the<br />

Isanti <strong>County</strong> Water Safety and Swimming Program;<br />

for the Minnesota Federation <strong>of</strong> Women's Clubs; for<br />

the Cambridge and Owatonna PT As; as a chairman for<br />

six meetings on "Home and Family Life," conducted<br />

by the Minnesota Council on Family Life; as organizer<br />

and first president <strong>of</strong> the Owatonna City Hospital<br />

Auxiliary; as District "F" president <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota<br />

Hospital Association Auxiliary with an area spanning<br />

22 counties, including <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>; serving as the first<br />

Mrs. Adeline Ballenthin<br />

(Mother <strong>of</strong> the Year)<br />

woman appointed to the Owatonna City Planning<br />

Commission; for her leadership <strong>of</strong> many <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

organ ~zations.<br />

Through the years, she has been a faithful and<br />

active member <strong>of</strong> the Lutheran Church, Missouri<br />

Synod, holding many <strong>of</strong>fices and chairmanships and<br />

last year became one <strong>of</strong> the first seven women in<br />

Trinity Lutheran Church in <strong>Faribault</strong> to be taken into<br />

voting membership.<br />

A year after becoming State Mother, she assumed<br />

the presidency <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota American Mother's<br />

Committee, Inc., which annually conducts the search<br />

for State Mothers, and became state Bicentennial<br />

Biographical Project Chairman for the book ''Mothers<br />

<strong>of</strong> Achievement in American <strong>History</strong>, 1776-1976" in<br />

which Minnesota has 10 biographies included. This is<br />

an endorsed project <strong>of</strong> the American Revolutionary<br />

Bicentennial Committee and is partially funded by it.<br />

Husband, Children Pay Tribute<br />

Perhaps the greatest tribute <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> born<br />

daughter is that which comes from a husband who<br />

shared his wife's interest and gave his support and<br />

encouragement and that which comes from the<br />

children as represented by the letter from Rev.<br />

Richard Ballenthin supporting his mother's<br />

nomination for 1972 Minnesota Mother <strong>of</strong> the Year.<br />

"In thinking back, I knew that my mother gave a<br />

great deal <strong>of</strong> time and effort for the good <strong>of</strong> the larger<br />

community, but it impresses me that she did it in such<br />

a way that our home life was never deprived," he<br />

wrote. "In fact, my <strong>of</strong>fhand impression is that she was<br />

always home doing the things a fulltime mother would<br />

be doing.<br />

"Our lives were impressed in the most subtle way<br />

by the values and feelings and nature <strong>of</strong> a mother who<br />

has always put all <strong>of</strong> herself into everything she did.<br />

"She rarely raised her voice but effectively she<br />

raised us. Her moral and spiritual values were held<br />

highly and instilled in us effectively. We grew up with a<br />

strong faith in God, a vibrant concern for the greater<br />

community, and a personal drive to develop our own<br />

abilities to the absolute fullest.<br />

"Our love and respect for our parents couldn't be<br />


~en l!?cf<strong>Now</strong><br />

higher and a strong family built upon love and sharing<br />

stands as the cornerstone in our own lives as the key to<br />

the strength <strong>of</strong> ourselves as individuals and our<br />

community and our nation."<br />

"In this our Bicentennial year, we need a<br />

reaffirmation <strong>of</strong> Christianity emphasizing the<br />

importance <strong>of</strong> the family as the cornerstone <strong>of</strong> our<br />

community, state and nation, instilling children with<br />

Christian and moral values and their responsibilities<br />

toward themselves and others.''<br />

Girl Scouts active<br />

According to a <strong>Faribault</strong> Daily News story in the<br />

issue <strong>of</strong> Oct. 16, 1929, 200 <strong>Faribault</strong> girls on that date<br />

were enrolled in scouting.<br />

"This year," the item stated, "there are five active<br />

troops <strong>of</strong> Girl Scouts, according to the local scouting<br />

committee. The Congregational, Methodist and<br />

Immaculate Conception Churches sponsor Girl Scout<br />

troops while active organizations have been<br />

established at the Minnesota Braille and Sight Saving<br />

School and the Minnesota' School for the Deaf. One<br />

Campfire Girls troop is active in <strong>Faribault</strong>, sponsored<br />

by the local Episcopal Church (Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our<br />

Merciful Saviour). Among the members <strong>of</strong> the local<br />

Camp Committee are Mrs. Henry Voegel and Mrs. E.<br />

A. Gruss."<br />

The Immaculate Conception Church Girl Scout<br />

troop was organized in the spring <strong>of</strong> 1929. Troop<br />

organizers included: Mrs. Henry Voegel, Mrs. E.A.<br />

Gruss, Mrs. Zita Kasper Taylor and Mrs. Charles<br />

MacKenzie Jr. Committee members active in Girl<br />

Scout work for the troop were Miss Lillian Wall and<br />

Mrs. John Winkley.<br />

Sewage plant vital project<br />

There was a city wide meeting held on October 18,<br />

1954 to hear plans about the proposed sewage disposal<br />

plant. "The State <strong>of</strong> Minnesota has ordered the city <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> to construct an approved sewage treatment<br />

plant as a health measure. The city cannot add to its<br />

sanitary sewer system unless steps are taken to<br />

comply with this order."<br />

The foregoing quote was taken from a brochure<br />

that went on to say that the city council considers the<br />

construction <strong>of</strong> a sewage treatment plant an absolute<br />

necessity and it proposes to construct such a plant.<br />

Engineering for the project is in charge <strong>of</strong> the firm<br />

<strong>of</strong> Toltz, King and Day <strong>of</strong> St. Paul. They described the<br />

work needed:<br />

Sewage and industrial wastes <strong>of</strong> the city <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> are discharged to the Straight and Cannon<br />

Rivers without treatment. The sewage from the<br />

institutions <strong>of</strong> the state <strong>of</strong> Minnesota are discharged in<br />

part <strong>of</strong> the city sewers and in part to an old obsolete<br />

state sewage plant.<br />

This sewage seriously pollutes the Straight and<br />

Cannon Rivers. This project to be constructed jointly<br />

by the city and state, contemplates connecting existing<br />

sewer outlets at a common point on the east side <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Straight River just below 14th Street. At this point, a<br />

modern treatment plant will be constructed to treat<br />

sewage adequately.<br />

Sewage Treated<br />

The treatment plant will screen and settle the<br />

sewage, treat it further on trickling filters and provide<br />

for chlorination to disinfect the sewage, prior to its<br />

discharge to the river. The solids removed from the<br />

sewage will be disgested and vaccum filtered for<br />

ultimate disposal on land areas as a soil conditioner.<br />

Industrial wastes from <strong>Faribault</strong> Canning<br />

Company will be disposed <strong>of</strong> separately by land<br />

irrigation at a site north <strong>of</strong> the city.<br />

Total cost <strong>of</strong> the project is estimated at $1,250,000.<br />

Of this amount 22 per cent will be paid by the state and<br />

$375,000 will be available from the city. The amount<br />

left, $875,000 will be financed by the city.<br />

The council plans to finance the project under<br />

provisions <strong>of</strong> Chapter 398 <strong>of</strong> the Laws <strong>of</strong> Minnesota,<br />

1953. Under this law part <strong>of</strong> the cost will be assessed<br />

against the benefited property. The Council has<br />

decided the most equitable method <strong>of</strong> assessing is on a<br />

parcel basis. Basic assessment will be $150 for each<br />

parcel to be paid at $7.50 per year for 20 years, plus 4<br />

per cent interest on unpaid installments. On unplatted<br />

land the council proposes to establish a connection<br />

charge <strong>of</strong> 150 dollars, so that wherever these acres are<br />

platted that charge will be made for each sewer<br />

connection. So owners <strong>of</strong> new platted property will pay<br />

the same as present owners <strong>of</strong> platted property. A bid<br />

<strong>of</strong> $909,003 for the construction <strong>of</strong> the sewage disposal<br />

plant was approved by the City Council. Submitting the<br />

low bid was Steenberg Construction Company <strong>of</strong> St.<br />

Paul.<br />

Ten Acre Site<br />

Ground was broken on April 20, 1955 on a ten acre<br />

site on the east side <strong>of</strong> the Straight River just below<br />

14th Street for <strong>Faribault</strong>'s Municipal Sewage disposal<br />

plant.<br />

As members <strong>of</strong> the city council, city <strong>of</strong>ficials and<br />

representatives <strong>of</strong> the contracting and engineering<br />

firms watched, Mayor Frank Duncan and John Dusek,<br />

commissioner <strong>of</strong> water and sewer, turned shovelfuls <strong>of</strong><br />

dirt, <strong>of</strong>ficially launching work on the project which will<br />

now get underway on a large scale.<br />

Other city <strong>of</strong>ficials participating were:<br />

Councilmen Phil McCarthy, William Korff, and Vince<br />

Pluemer; City Engineer Ted Olsson, City Water Supt.<br />

George LaRoche, City Recorder, Roland Kruger.<br />

The project is to be completed by June 8, 1956 with<br />

60 men on the crew. This site was purchased by the city<br />

council in 1933 at a price <strong>of</strong> $3,000 from the late Dr. P.<br />

A. Smith. It is ideal for the purpose for which it is to be<br />


<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1874, looking north from old court house<br />

used.<br />

In 1934 a city election was held to determine<br />

whether residents would approve the issuance <strong>of</strong><br />

bonds, contingent on a PWA grant for the construction<br />

<strong>of</strong> a disposal plant. It was decisively defeated. Since<br />

then several city councils have discussed the plant and<br />

developed steps towards it eventual attainment.<br />

Plant Being Enlarged<br />

Consistent use <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>'s Sewage Disposal<br />

plant increased steadily. Fourteen years after the<br />

plant began operation (1956) city <strong>of</strong>ficials became fully<br />

aware <strong>of</strong> the need for plant expansion. On Sept. 13, 1970<br />

an engineering agreement for a complete remodeling<br />

and overall improvement project <strong>of</strong> the plant was<br />

approved by the city council. It was estimated the<br />

project would cost about $4,000,000.<br />

Study <strong>of</strong> the project continued and on May 24, 1972<br />

an application was submitted by the council to the US<br />

Federal Government for federal fund assistance.<br />

Bids for the improved and expanded plant were<br />

opened on Jan. 8, 1975. On March 7, 1975 the<br />

construction contract was awarded the Lysne<br />

Construction Co., Blooming Prairie on a bid <strong>of</strong><br />

$3,436,000. The four top bids submitted each were<br />

within $2,000 <strong>of</strong> each other. The completion date was<br />

set for Oct. 1, 1977. Construction <strong>of</strong> the plant is now well<br />

underway. The new addition will utilize newest<br />

methods devised in the treatment <strong>of</strong> sewage.<br />

The engineering firm <strong>of</strong> Ricke-Carroll-Muller<br />

Associates, Hopkins, previously had been hired to<br />

make detailed plans and studies. For its services the<br />

firm was paid $220,000.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the features <strong>of</strong> the enlarged plant is that it<br />

will have its own standby generator, valued at $120,000<br />

so that in case <strong>of</strong> a NSP power failure, the plant could<br />

continue operation. State and federal requirements<br />

also stipulated that while the plant is being remodeled,<br />

sewage waste cannot be further polluted.<br />

Under the agreement with federal and state<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficials 75 per cent <strong>of</strong> the total cost will be paid by the<br />

federal government, 15 per cent by the state and the<br />

rest by the City <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Parks provide fun,<br />

recreation, quietness<br />

After the city acquired the Caron Farm in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>'s north side section for park purposes,<br />

nothing was done for a few years because <strong>of</strong> World War<br />

II. During that time the city built a new dam on the<br />

north branch <strong>of</strong> the river. Paul Schroeder Company<br />

constructed the dam on a cost plus basis. Later in Oct.<br />

1945 a walkway was constructed across the dam.<br />

May 1946: Most <strong>of</strong> the farm was rented to B. F.<br />

Kaul for agricultural purposes; Hugh Vincent Feehan,<br />


(/len ~§Vow<br />

a landscape architect from Minneapolis, was<br />

employed to make an overall plan <strong>of</strong> the park layout;<br />

July 22, 1947: City Council awarded a bid to build and<br />

repair a fish rearing pond in Slevin Park.<br />

July 22, 1947: The City Council accepted a bid from<br />

the Tuma Construction Company for grading<br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> Park. The amount <strong>of</strong> the contract<br />

being $10,336.50; Oct. 7, 1947: The City Council<br />

accepted a bid <strong>of</strong> $8500 from the <strong>Faribault</strong> School<br />

District for lands for an athletic field. This included all<br />

lands within the perimeter <strong>of</strong> Memorial Drive;<br />

March 23, 1948: The Baseball Association asked that<br />

Bell Field be built and a grandstand be erected.<br />

Aug. 12, 1948: Lighting Contract for Bell Field was<br />

awarded to the Minnesota Valley Electric Company.<br />

Nov. 1948: Bid let for grandstand to Kratochvil<br />

Construction Co. for $28,978.64; Jan. 25, 1948: School<br />

Board submits plans for bathhouse and swimming<br />

pool; 1950: Paul Schroeder Construction Co.<br />

constructed bath house.<br />

At that time <strong>Faribault</strong> belonged to the Southern<br />

Minnesota Baseball Association and continued to draw:<br />

capacity crowds. Later the city erected bleachers at<br />

both ends <strong>of</strong> the grandstand, this continued for a few<br />

years and finally ended. After the Southern Minnesota<br />

Baseball Association folded a new sport, s<strong>of</strong>tball<br />

became popular.<br />

The city converted most <strong>of</strong> a park area south <strong>of</strong><br />

Bell Field to several lighted s<strong>of</strong>tball diamonds.<br />

In recent years the city has acquired a tract <strong>of</strong> land<br />

on the South bank <strong>of</strong> the river. This area contains 20 to<br />

30 acres <strong>of</strong> land. The city hopes to develop this in the<br />

near future and is to be known as Alexander Park<br />

South.<br />

There are 15 city-owned parks within <strong>Faribault</strong>. In<br />

addition, the recreation facilities at six private schools<br />

and one public school-owned facility are available for<br />

public use. Furthermore, the city has an agreement<br />

with the School District for joint use <strong>of</strong> skating<br />

facilities at four <strong>of</strong> the public schools. The <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Fairgrounds are also located within the community.<br />

While <strong>Faribault</strong> does not have a recreational<br />

classification system as such the following<br />

classifications were developed by city staff to<br />

generally categorize existing facilities.<br />

Play Lot: The smallest <strong>of</strong> the park units,<br />

characterized by specialized facilities that serve a<br />

concentrated or limited population.<br />

Playfield: Somewhat larger area for intense<br />

recreational activities such as field games, court<br />

games, crafts, apparatus area, skating, and<br />

neighborhood centers.<br />

Community Park: Community parks encompass a<br />

large area usually designed for community-wide social<br />

and recreation functions. Community parks are noted<br />

for activities such as picnicking, walking, swimming<br />

and active games. Lighted areas for evening games<br />

are typically provided. A portion <strong>of</strong> the area is left in<br />

the natural open state.<br />

Special Facility: An area providing specialized or<br />

single purpose recreational activities such as golf<br />

courses, swimming pools, picnic areas or arenas.<br />

From the map it is evident that a number <strong>of</strong> areas<br />

within the community are not being adequately served<br />

by the existing park system. Notably, the area west <strong>of</strong><br />

Highway 65, the area east <strong>of</strong> the Straight River, and the<br />

area south <strong>of</strong> Highway 60 between Highway 65 and the<br />

Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad<br />

tracks are all total'.y or severely lacking in. available<br />

recreational facilities. Areas which are adequately<br />

served by the existing park system are also hampered<br />

however, on the basis <strong>of</strong> access. In many instances,<br />

man-made and-or natural barriers restrict access to<br />

park facilities. It should also be noted that three<br />

city-owned parks are as yet undeveloped. In the case <strong>of</strong><br />

Alexander Park South and Slevin Park, once<br />

developed, access will likewise be a problem.<br />

Coordination and cooperation between city parks<br />

and schools at the present time is somewhat limited.<br />

With the exception <strong>of</strong> two schools which are located<br />

adjacent to parks (Garfield school - Wapacuta Park<br />

and Jefferson School-Jefferson Park), cooperation is<br />

limited to joint use <strong>of</strong> warming house facilities at four<br />

public schools.<br />

Data on <strong>Faribault</strong> Parks<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Fairgrounds-Second A venue and<br />

20th Street_N. W ., Special Facility.<br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> Park - Second Ave. N.W.<br />

and Cannon River, Community Park.<br />

Slevin Park - Second Ave. N.W. and Cannon<br />

River, City.<br />

White Sands-T.H. 65, Special Facility.<br />

Alexander Park-South- Seventh Ave. and 12th St.<br />

N.W.<br />

McKinley School - Fourth Ave. and Ninth St.<br />

N. W., Playfield.<br />

McKinley Recreation Center - First Ave. and 12th<br />

St. N.W., Special Facility.<br />

Shattuck Golf Course - Shumway and Parshall,<br />

Special Facility.<br />

Lincoln Park - Lincoln and Seventh St. N.W.,<br />

Playfield.<br />

St. Lawrence School- Second Ave. & 8th St. N.W.,<br />

Play Lot.<br />

Sacred Heart School- Third Ave. and Seventh St.<br />

N.W., Play Lot.<br />

Central Park - Third Ave. and 5th St. N.W.,<br />

Community Park.<br />

Trinity Lutheran School- Sixth Ave. and Fourth<br />

St. N. W., Play Lot.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Junior High School- Fourth Ave. and<br />

Fifth St. N.W., Playfield.<br />

Washington School, Shumway and T.H. 60,<br />

Playfield.<br />

Immaculate Conception School- Second Ave. and<br />

First St. S. W., Play Lot.<br />

Bethlehem Academy - Second Ave. and Second<br />

St. S.W., Playfield.<br />

Peace Park- Park Place and Division, Special<br />

Facility.<br />

Meder Park - Third Ave. N.E. and Division,<br />

Special Facility.<br />

Rye Park - Institute and Division, special<br />

Facility.<br />

Tepee Tonka Park - Third Ave. N.E. and<br />


Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> is noted for its many, well-kept<br />

parks and playgrounds. The map shows the<br />

designated numbers <strong>of</strong> the 27 parks and<br />

playgrounds located in all sections <strong>of</strong> the city.<br />

Division, community Park.<br />

Conliffe Park - Conliffe and Prairie, Special<br />

Facility.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Senior High School- Prairie and Third<br />

St. S.W., Playfield.<br />

Wapacuta Park- Second Ave. S.W. and Tower<br />

Place, Community Park.<br />

Hartman Park - Lind and Francis, Special<br />

Facilty.<br />

Jefferson Park- Ninth Ave. and Tenth St. S.W.,<br />

Playfield<br />

Southern Park- Westwood Drive, Playfield.<br />


Buckham Memorial Library<br />

Library idea born in 1856<br />

Early in 1856 a Dr. L. W. Leighton located here and<br />

opened his <strong>of</strong>fice, carrying a few staple drugs. In those<br />

days there was little business for a doctor and Leighton<br />

eked out his rather slender income with a circulating<br />

library. There was a brisk demand for the few books he<br />

was able to keep. He left the state in 1859.<br />

<strong>Then</strong> an organization was formed known as the<br />

Brotherhood <strong>of</strong> the Good Shepherd and a free reading<br />

room was opened. About 1500 volumes were secured as<br />

gifts from <strong>Faribault</strong> citizens. Later the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Library Association was formed and given a place in<br />

the Commissioner's Room in the Courthouse. The<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Public Library as a tax supported institution<br />

dates from 1897.<br />

In 1896 the library occupied rooms provided in the<br />

new city building. Money was needed for books,<br />

equipment, etc., and the energetic people <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

held strawberry festivals, a minstrel show and kept a<br />

box on the desk for contributions.<br />

In 1897 the Library was taken over by the city and a<br />

board <strong>of</strong> nine members was appointed: Thomas S.<br />

Buckham, President and board members: J. J. Dow,<br />

E. N. Leavens, B. B. Sheffield, R. A. Mott, H. C.<br />

Theopold, A. D. Keyes, M. M. Shields, A. E. Haven.<br />

The library continued to grow and its quarters<br />

were being enlarged but soon its quarters became too<br />

small.<br />

Memorial Library Given<br />

Mrs. Anna Buckham gave to the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> a<br />

most generous gift - a library - in memory <strong>of</strong> her<br />

husband. It is known as the Thomas Scott Buckham<br />

Memorial Library. It was dedicated on July 20, 1930.<br />

The architect was Charles Buckham <strong>of</strong> Vermont,<br />

4 nephew <strong>of</strong> Judge and Mrs. Buckham.<br />

5224 Blocks Used<br />

The building is constructed <strong>of</strong> dolomite limestone<br />

quarried near Kasota, Minn. To some it will be<br />

interesting to note there were 5224 blocks used in the<br />

structure. The cost <strong>of</strong> the building, lot and extras was<br />

$239,000.<br />

Because Judge Buckham was an avid Greek<br />

scholar with a particular interest in the arts, Mrs.<br />

Buckham chose Greece as a central theme for the<br />

library.<br />

The Greek window at the center <strong>of</strong> the main<br />

reading room was designed and made by Charles<br />

Connick <strong>of</strong> Boston. It uses the gods, heroes, poets and<br />


Story <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

philosophers to present the glory that was Greece.<br />

On the walls <strong>of</strong> the upstairs reading room are four<br />

panels which interpret the contribution <strong>of</strong> Greece<br />

toward what is beautiful and permanent in the modern<br />

world. The period pictured is that <strong>of</strong> the fourth century<br />

B.C., the age <strong>of</strong> Pericles, when Greek culture reached<br />

its height.<br />

These Greek murals were painted by Artist Alfred<br />

J. Hyslop, a former pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> art at Carlton College.<br />

It is his intent that the colors remain intense and bright<br />

through the years, which they have. They were hung in<br />

1930.<br />

On this floor is Judge Buckham's personal library.<br />

Many volumes are in the Greek language.<br />

The music room is a gift from the ''Friends <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Library.''<br />

On the third floor is the museum belonging to the<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> Historical Society.<br />

The library has 50,000 volumes available to its<br />

patrons, as well as eight newsp~pers, 125 periodicals,<br />

recordings, 8mm and 16mm films. The library has<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> newspapers dating back to 1856 up to the<br />

present time. 1856-1859 are on micr<strong>of</strong>ilm and from July<br />

1950 to present.<br />

-Librarians who have been in ~harge since the<br />

organization <strong>of</strong> the library are, in the order <strong>of</strong> their<br />

service:<br />

Mrs. Cynthia G. Davis, Miss Sarah LeCrone, Miss<br />

Julia Fink, Miss Mildred Methven, Miss Florence<br />

Love, Miss Esther Reinke, Mrs. Mildred Lenmark<br />

(acting librarian), Norwell Leitzke, Gerald Stading,<br />

Mrs. Lester Bursik (Martina)<br />

The present staff (1976) <strong>of</strong> the library includes:<br />

Mrs. Dorothy Deming, Mrs. Florence Cates, Robert<br />

Kaupa, Mrs. LeAnn Dean, Mrs. Jackie Jones, Nancy<br />

Brandt and Joseph Charlton; Custodian is Otto<br />

Sunvold.<br />

Robert Norman, former superintendent <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Public Schools, is chairman <strong>of</strong> the library<br />

board, Other members include: Alfred Crossley, vice<br />

chairman; Miss Emily Mae Buth, secretary; Mrs. A.<br />

M. Hanson, Mrs. Layton Hoysler, Mrs. Walter Lentz,<br />

Dr. C. F. Robertshaw, Mrs. A.W. Nuetzman and<br />

Arthur Hopke, city council representative on the<br />

board.<br />

Water fluoridated<br />

Fluoridation <strong>of</strong> the city's water supply was<br />

approved by the city council on December 9, 1952. The<br />

council voted unanimously to go ahead with<br />

fluoridation proposal which calls for addition <strong>of</strong><br />

fluoride to the city's water supply as a measure to<br />

combat dental decay.<br />

Speaking in favor <strong>of</strong> the proposal were: Frank<br />

Duncan, Byron Berhow, Karl Reinke, Dr. E. E.<br />

Luhring, Mrs. William Behlke, Dr. Robert Reed, and<br />

Ed Silvis. Speaking in opposition were Marie Voegel<br />

and Layton Hoysler.<br />

New reserve center<br />

The 1958 Memorial Day observance in <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

was highlighted by the dedication <strong>of</strong> the $238,000 new<br />

Army Reserve Center in West <strong>Faribault</strong>. The center is<br />

located near the intersection <strong>of</strong> Highway 60 and<br />

Western Avenue. Work was started June 15, 1957. The<br />

center houses the city's two reserve units, the 328<br />

Ordnance Company and the 483rd Transportation<br />

Company. The principal speaker was Brig. General<br />

Briard P. Johnson, commanding general <strong>of</strong> the XIV<br />

U.S. Army Corps, Reserve.<br />

Deaf group formed<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Division No. 101 <strong>of</strong> the National<br />

Fraternal Society <strong>of</strong> the Deaf was organized on Dec. 6,<br />

1924 with eleven charter members. <strong>Now</strong> it has more<br />

·than 50 members.<br />

The Society was founded in 1901 to provide life<br />

insurance for deaf men as insurance companies then<br />

thought that the deaf were poor risks and would not<br />

issue them policies.<br />

<strong>Now</strong> the Society has more than 12,000 members<br />

and assets <strong>of</strong> more than $6,000,000.<br />

The Society <strong>of</strong>fers life insurance and sick and<br />

accident insurance to deaf men and women. It also<br />

promotes their social welfare.<br />

Wesley Lauritsen, the only surviving charter,<br />

member, is the 1976 president <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> division.<br />

Churches community · asset<br />

Fourth Avenue<br />

United Methodist Church<br />

Five families, three couples and nine unmarried<br />

men had stayed in <strong>Faribault</strong> through the winter <strong>of</strong> 1853.<br />

Religious services - with no_ thought <strong>of</strong> creed or<br />

denomination - were held in Crump's Hall, or in<br />

homes, even out-<strong>of</strong>-doors.<br />

In 1855, seven people met in the <strong>Faribault</strong> house<br />

(more <strong>of</strong>ten called Nutting's Hotel) and organized the<br />

class that became the First Methodist Church <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>. Truman Nutting and his wife Mary; the<br />

Reverend Mr. Morgan Noble and his wife; James M.<br />

White (operated a shingle mill); Harvey T. Rawson<br />

(kept a general store); and Edward J. Crump (the first<br />

school teacher) - these were <strong>Faribault</strong>'s original<br />

Methodists. The Nuttings were hospitable people and<br />


<strong>of</strong>ten kept the minister and his family in their hotel<br />

when there was no way to pay a salary. Mr. Noble was<br />

the first minister whose ordination was recorded in<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>- he was ordained in Peoria, Illinois and<br />

transferred to this county.<br />

By 1856, the still-small group decided to start<br />

building a church on a lot that Truman Nutting had<br />

secured as a gift from General Shields. 25x36 feet was<br />

the size <strong>of</strong> the first church; there was no vestibule so<br />

the double doors opened directly into the sanctuary. To<br />

the left and right <strong>of</strong> the entrance was a wood stove. On<br />

the platform was a chair, a table with a Bible on it and<br />

a few chairs for the choir. Oil lamps hung from the<br />

ceiling.<br />

By 1860, there were 62 members with 55 in the<br />

Sunday School. Value <strong>of</strong> property was $800. A twenty<br />

foot addition to the rear in 1865 made the Little White<br />

Church adequate for another ten years.<br />

May 17, 1875 this news item appeared in "The<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Republican": The old Methodist Church on<br />

the corner <strong>of</strong> Third and Cherry Streets was purchased<br />

by Hatch and Dibbold, Contractors, and moved back<br />

sufficiently to have site clear for the new building. The<br />

new edifice will be <strong>of</strong> wood veneered with brick.<br />

Dedication <strong>of</strong> this structure was in 1877.<br />

Years later, they were able to afford pews and<br />

sidewalks and the church was debt-free. A fire in 1901<br />

caused extensive damage, but repairs were made and<br />

the building was used until1915. It was then, during the<br />

ministry <strong>of</strong> Anthony J. Allen, that work was begun to<br />

remove the old church - and a contract signed for the<br />

building <strong>of</strong> the present sanctuary. The new building<br />

was dedicated December 9, 1915. The German<br />

Methodist Church across the street opened its doors to<br />

the congregation during the months when it was<br />

without a home, and the next milestone was the merger<br />

<strong>of</strong> these two churches in 1924.<br />

The records seem to give credit to the women's<br />

organizations for the raising <strong>of</strong> $8,000.00 for the<br />

installation <strong>of</strong> the Reuter Pipe Organ in 1923.<br />

But to all members <strong>of</strong> the church must go credit for<br />

its latest great achievement - the building <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Educational Unit. Three well-planned finance<br />

cr~sades, over a ten-year period, made possible the<br />

building <strong>of</strong> this $190,000 facility. The cornerstone was<br />

laid September 6, 1964 and the mortgage was burned<br />

May 21, 1972. Once more, the church was debt-free.<br />

The church, now known as the Fourth A venue<br />

United Methodist Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> following action<br />

by the General Conference in Dallas which united<br />

Methodists and Evangelical United Brethren into one<br />

effective denomination, has built three parsonages. In<br />

1914, the lot south <strong>of</strong> the church was purchased and a<br />

parsonage built. In 1928, the Harkins property on the<br />

NW comer <strong>of</strong> Third Street and Fourth A venue was<br />

purchased for a parsonage and on October 6, 1963,<br />

Consecration and Open House was held at the new<br />

ranch-style parsonage at 621 Olander Street in<br />

Southern Heights. The Rev. Charles Nelson family<br />

were its first residents.<br />

Up to mid-1976 the pastor was Lewis F. Allin, who<br />

came in 1969. He is a native <strong>of</strong> Hill City, a graduate<br />

<strong>of</strong> the University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota with a degree in<br />

Chemical Engineering, and <strong>of</strong> Drew Theological<br />

Seminary, Madison N.J., with a Bachelor <strong>of</strong> Divinity<br />

degree. He served during World War II as a<br />

communications <strong>of</strong>ficer in the U.S. Army Air Corps,<br />

with overseas duty in China, Burma, India and Europe.<br />

After graduation from the U <strong>of</strong> M, Mr. Allin worked for<br />

one year as a petroleum engineer in Venezuela before<br />

entering the ministry. He served pastorates in Delano,<br />

Rockford, Princeton, and South St. Paul before coming<br />

to <strong>Faribault</strong>. Mrs. Allin (Joyce) is also a graduate <strong>of</strong><br />

the University <strong>of</strong> Minnesota. Present pastor is the Rev.<br />

Rex Logan.<br />

Congregational Church<br />

The Congregational Church found a place in the<br />

early history <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, when, in the summer <strong>of</strong><br />

1855, regular services were conducted by various<br />

ministers who happened to be in town. When no<br />

clergyman was available, Dr. Charles Jewett,<br />

remembered as an "apostle <strong>of</strong> temperance," led the<br />

services.<br />

On the third Sunday <strong>of</strong> May, 1856 a church was<br />

formed. Thirty members made up the new<br />

congregation. The first minister was the Reverend<br />

Lauren Armsby who came here from New Hampshire.<br />

He served until 1861 when he became chaplain <strong>of</strong> the<br />

8th Minnesota Regiment in the Civil War.<br />

The church building was bought in 1856 for $1,000.<br />

It was dedicated on January 7, 1857. "It was the first<br />

church edifice built and completed in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> and<br />

was located on Third Street. Later, the building was<br />

enlarged and sold to the Trinity Lutheran<br />

Congregation, now First English.<br />

In 1864 a Second Congregational Church was<br />

provisionally organized; this was called Plymouth<br />

Church and was formally organized on January 25, in<br />

the year 1866. The cornerstone was laid in the building<br />

on September 11, 1867. The church was built from stone<br />

quarried near <strong>Faribault</strong>. The location was the comer,<br />

or intersection <strong>of</strong> Maple and Third Streets where the<br />

church still stands today.<br />

The two churches merged in 1874, using the<br />

Plymouth Church and adopting the name The<br />

Congregational Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

The Rev. Rankin Shrewsbury is the pre sept<br />

minister <strong>of</strong> the Congregational Church.<br />

(Some <strong>of</strong> the above material quoted from bulletin<br />

prepared for the Open House <strong>of</strong> the Historical Room.)<br />

Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our Merciful Saviour<br />

The Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our Merciful Sa vi our was<br />

established in June <strong>of</strong> 1862. It was the first church to be<br />

built as a cathedral in the American Episcopal Church.<br />

The Rt. Rev. Henry Benjamin Whipple D.D., LL.D.,<br />


Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our Merciful Saviour, First<br />

("nt~-~dral in American Episcopal Church,<br />

Sixth Street and Second Avenue NW, as it<br />

looked when completed in 1868 (without<br />

tower).<br />

first bishop <strong>of</strong> Minnesota, built it as his own church.<br />

In 1859 when Bishop Whipple came to <strong>Faribault</strong> he<br />

found that the Rev. Lloyd Breck, D.D., and the Rev.<br />

David P. Sanford had built a parish church, the Ch4rch<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Good Shepherd, two blocks west <strong>of</strong> the present<br />

t5en ~§Vow<br />

''Brief Story <strong>of</strong> the Cathedral'' :<br />

Practically no changes were made in the building<br />

until 1902 when the tower was completed in Bishop<br />

Whipple's memory, a year following his death. The<br />

Chimes, which are played regularly, were given by the<br />

s~cond Mrs. Whipple, the first Mrs. Whipple having<br />

died some years before. The lectern was a memori~ll to<br />

the first Mrs. Whipple, ''The sainted Cornelia.''<br />

The Bishop's Cathedra or chair is in the sanctuary<br />

just north <strong>of</strong> the altar. During the seventies, August,<br />

1874, the Bishop was almost murdered while seated in<br />

this chair during a Sunday morning service. The<br />

would-be assassin was a disaffected and disturbed<br />

seminary student who had previously been advised by<br />

the bishop that he could not be ordained into the<br />

ministry. While people in the church and choir stood<br />

transfixed with horror, this student strode from the<br />

back <strong>of</strong> the church, through the nave chancel with<br />

pistol leveled. The only one who took action was Bishop<br />

Whipple. He leaped over the altar rail, pinning the<br />

man's arms to his side and rendering him helpless.<br />

Peace Lutheran Church<br />

Three hundred twenty-nine men, women and<br />

children were released from Trinity Lutheran Church<br />

on October 27, 1947, and on November 10 were<br />

incorporated as Peace Lutheran Church <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

Minnesota. The first worship service for the new<br />

congregation was held at Ephphatha Church for the<br />

Deaf on November 23, 1947. During its months <strong>of</strong><br />

formation Peace congregation was ably served by<br />

Pastor Herbert Burgdorf <strong>of</strong> Morristown, assisted by<br />

retired Pastor Carl Albrecht.<br />

The Rev. Lawrence Gallman was called to be the<br />

con~re~ation's first resident pastor and was installed<br />

on Aprilll, 1948. By summer <strong>of</strong> 1948, all transfers from<br />

Trinity had been processed and the congregation<br />

numbered 447 men, women and children.<br />

Witness to the crucified Christ <strong>of</strong> Calvary was<br />

given to the community as Peace congregation began<br />

sponsoring a down-town Good Friday Service at the<br />

Village Theater on April 15, 1949, and has done so ever<br />

since that time. <strong>Faribault</strong> area pastors and the choirs<br />

<strong>of</strong> Peace and Trinity congregations participated in this<br />

annual remembrance <strong>of</strong> our Lord's death. During the<br />

same year, Easter Sunrise services were begun.<br />

Plans for permanent facilities for the church and<br />

school were made as the congregation was formed.<br />

The first unit <strong>of</strong> our present structure, the school, was<br />

dedicated to the Glory <strong>of</strong> God on May 7, 1950. Besides<br />

the class rooms, an assembly hall was also provided in<br />

this building. The first worship service was held here<br />

on the following Sunday - Mother's Day - May 14,<br />

1950. That fall, a two manual Allen Electronic Organ<br />

was purchased by the Ladies' Guild for the<br />

beautification <strong>of</strong> our worship.<br />

The need for larger worship facilities was<br />

apparent even as the first unit was dedicated.<br />

Authorization for the preparation <strong>of</strong> preliminary plans<br />

for construction <strong>of</strong> the new church were begun in 1952<br />

and were brought to completion with the Dedication<br />

Octave December 14-21, 1958. The cost was $263,000.00.<br />

Members and friends worshipped during the<br />

Dedication Services around the themes that reminded<br />

all <strong>of</strong> how a church is dedicated to God and what this<br />

meant for the world, the community and the<br />

individual.<br />

All appointments in the church, including the altar,<br />

pulpit, communion rail, lectern, and the credence table<br />

(made <strong>of</strong> mild steel and white oak), the baptismal font,<br />

baptismal lights, processional cross, processional<br />

candle standards, candelabrum and hymn boards were<br />

designed by Pastor L. Gallman and made by members<br />

<strong>of</strong> Peace Church, Bernard Niner, Harold Kenow,<br />

Edgar Kenow, James Kenow and Barney Kalow.<br />

The church is quite distinct and in many ways<br />

different. New and striking features have been<br />

included in the construction <strong>of</strong> the church.<br />

After a 22 year _ministry at Peace, Pastor<br />

Lawrence Gallman retired in January 1970. Pastor<br />

Ronald Michel came from Indiana and was installed as<br />

our second pastor on August 2, 1970. After 10 months <strong>of</strong><br />

joyful beginnings, the congregation was saddened by<br />

the sudden death <strong>of</strong> Pastor Michel on June 15, 1971.<br />

Pastor Ruclare Pauling <strong>of</strong> Warrenville, Illinois, was<br />

installed as the third pastor <strong>of</strong> Peace congregation on<br />

October 17, 1971. He resigned from Peace congregation<br />

on April 9, 1975. The congregation then was served by<br />

vacancy pastors O.H. Cloeter and Edgar Eifert <strong>of</strong><br />

Trinity congregation, <strong>Faribault</strong>. On Aug. 29, 1976, the<br />

Rev. Silvester Robeset <strong>of</strong> Hodgkins, Ill., was installed<br />

as pastor.<br />

A great part <strong>of</strong> God's activity in Peace<br />

congregation over 29 years does not involve dates,<br />

buildings, and great crowds <strong>of</strong> people. Much <strong>of</strong> it goes<br />

unnoticed because it isn't publicized and involves only<br />

a few people. It involves a pastor bringing a forgiving<br />

or comforting work from God to persons troubJp£i .l- ::.. .•<br />

sin, sickness, or the loss <strong>of</strong> a loved one. It is a teacher<br />

glancing in love and concern to a child striving to learn<br />

more <strong>of</strong> the love <strong>of</strong> Jesus. It is the individual Christian<br />

living and speaking the Christian message to those<br />

with whom he lives and works. The history <strong>of</strong> Peace<br />

Lutheran Church has been written best by those who<br />

have brought that word <strong>of</strong> Jesus written over our<br />

church door to people:<br />

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you<br />

... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be<br />

afraid ... I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no<br />

man cometh into the Father, but by Me.''<br />

Trinity Lutheran Church<br />

On January 1, 1970, Trinity Lutheran Church <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> marked the 100th year <strong>of</strong> its existence. The<br />

story <strong>of</strong> Trinity congregation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> reaches<br />

back to the time when Minnesota had not yet taken its<br />

place among the states <strong>of</strong> the Union.<br />

In the summer <strong>of</strong> 1856 the Reverend Ferdinand<br />


<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1874, looking west from old courthouse<br />

Sievers, mission director <strong>of</strong> the Missouri Synod,<br />

surveyed the mission possibilities in Minnesota. In 1869<br />

the Reverend Christian Krause moved to the city <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and by January 1, 1870, had gained sufficient<br />

strength to organize a regular congregation. This<br />

organization took place in the Metropolitan Hall on the<br />

aforementioned New Years Day, 1870. That marks the<br />

birthday <strong>of</strong> the Trinity congregation.<br />

Reverend August Zip pel came next to Trinity. By<br />

September 18, 1871 the group planned to build a church<br />

that fall.<br />

1874 brought the Rev. John Hertreck to Trinity.<br />

Within a year's time he became the father <strong>of</strong> Trinity's<br />

Christian Day. School. This combination<br />

school-parsonage was built.<br />

The cornerstone <strong>of</strong> Trinity's present church was<br />

laid on September 2, 1900. The church was dedicated on<br />

November 10, 1901.<br />

The Reverend 0. H. Cloeter is presently serving<br />

the congregation as head pastor.<br />

First English Lutheran Church<br />

The First English Lutheran Church on the corner<br />

<strong>of</strong> Second Avenue and Second Street held its first<br />

service in its new church on Christmas Day, 1931. It<br />

was at that time, too, that the congregation approved<br />

the name First English Lutheran church so all would<br />

know that English was the preferred language.<br />

With the pastorate <strong>of</strong> Arthur L. Rustad in 1933<br />

expansion <strong>of</strong> the congregation's ministry without<br />

regard to national heritage was begun. There was no<br />

longer a Norwegian worship service. Today a vestage<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Scandinavian heritage remains in the church<br />

decor, the hymnals and the lutefisk suppers that are an<br />

annual event.<br />

During his 25 year pastorate, the Rev. Rustad<br />

carried on an active ministry among young people and<br />

adults and was active in many organizations and<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficial bodies <strong>of</strong> the American Lutheran Church.<br />

The men who decided for the Christian ministry<br />

when he was pastor were: David Lee, Harvey Grote,<br />

David Carlbom, John Peterson and Richard Grow.<br />

Under his leadership a new parsonage was built in 1937<br />

(depression year) and in 1953 a new parish house,<br />

involving a cost <strong>of</strong> $165,000 was constructed. Mortgage<br />

burning took place in the year 1955.<br />

For eight years he served as gratis editor <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Messenger <strong>of</strong> the Lutheran Orient Mission and he<br />

raised the money that enabled the church to start a<br />

Christian Hospital in non-Christian Iran.<br />

He found time, too to be active civically in many<br />

different ways in <strong>Faribault</strong>. He was active in <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

American Legion Post 43 and served as post, district,<br />

state and national Legion chaplain. Whe he resigned as<br />

pastor in 1958 the parish had grown from 350 members<br />

to more than 2,000.<br />

In the spring <strong>of</strong> 1959 Gerhard H. Huggenvik<br />

accepted the pastorate. In 1966, Donald T. Hanson was<br />

installed as Senior Pastor.<br />

When the congregation reached 2, 700 members it<br />


~en ~8-/ow<br />

was decided to divide the congregation. This was when<br />

Our Savior's was established.<br />

There was a new pastoral staff installed in the<br />

seventies. Duane C. Hoven was installed in July, Paul<br />

0. Monson, January 1971, and Hjalmar F. Hanson<br />

installed in a vistation ministry in June 1971. Since that<br />

time much effort has been spent on establishing a<br />

youth ministry, a senior fellowship and a couples<br />

fellowship.<br />

''First English Lutheran has begun to show signs<br />

<strong>of</strong> increasing concern to minister to the community.<br />

Space has been provided for a daily class for pre-school<br />

retarded children, young people from the <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Activity Center have used the church for weekly<br />

religious education classes, a variety <strong>of</strong> YMCA<br />

programs have been held here. The Pastors have been<br />

involved in leadership in civic and county<br />

organizations with the church on a conference and<br />

district level, and with Luther Theological Seminary in<br />

St. Paul." ·<br />

(Last paragraph quoted from church bulletin <strong>of</strong><br />

April1974).<br />

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church<br />

A service <strong>of</strong> groundbreaking took place on the site<br />

<strong>of</strong> the new Our Savior's Lutheran Church on Prairie<br />

Avenue South on July 27, 1969. The Rev. David R.<br />

Vaaler, pastor <strong>of</strong> Our Savior's, conducted the service.<br />

Present for the groundbreaking were members <strong>of</strong> the<br />

new congregation. This new group, consisting <strong>of</strong> sixty<br />

six families, transferred from the First English<br />

Lutheran Church because <strong>of</strong> crowded conditions there.<br />

Services were conducted in the <strong>Faribault</strong> Senior High<br />

School until the church was completed. The first<br />

services were held in the present building February 8,<br />

1970.<br />

Rev. Vaaler who serves Our Savior's Lutheran<br />

church in <strong>Faribault</strong> is a native <strong>of</strong> Willmar. He came to<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> after having served parishes in' Houston and<br />

Fort Worth, Texas, and most recently, Waukon, Iowa.<br />

There are now 175 families in Our Savior's<br />

congregation and 725 baptized members.<br />

Bethel Lutheran Church<br />

Bethel Lutheran ·Brethren church is a member <strong>of</strong><br />

the synod, The Lutheran Brethren Church <strong>of</strong> America.<br />

The Reverend Joseph Aarhus, who was a pastor in<br />

Kenyon, formerly came to <strong>Faribault</strong> to conduct<br />

meetings. From these meetings grew the present<br />

Bethel Lutheran Brethren Church.<br />

Twelve pastors have served the church in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, from Reverend Aarhus, the first pastor, to<br />

Reverend Dale R. Hanson, the present pastor.<br />

Charter members <strong>of</strong> the congregation were Mr.<br />

and Mrs. Lloyd Orcutt and Audrey, Mr. and Mrs.<br />

Albert Simonson, Mable Simonson, Vernon Simonson,<br />

and Mr. and Mrs. Morris Simonson.<br />

In April <strong>of</strong> 1949 the cornerstone was laid for a new<br />

church at Lincoln Avenue and Northwest Sixth Street.<br />

In July the building was dedicated.<br />

An addition was added on the same location in the<br />

. year 1967. The ground breaking ceremony was held on<br />

July 30, 1967. The first service was held in it on April 7,<br />

1968.<br />

The present elder board consists <strong>of</strong>: Hilmar<br />

Albrecht, vice chairman, Howard Barrett, Henry<br />

Evert, Harvey Zicafoose, chairman.<br />

Those serving on the trustee board are: Sidney<br />

Jenson, Clarence Kloster, Wayne Neuhaus, chairman.<br />

Officers <strong>of</strong> the church include: Ebert Bauer,<br />

treasurer, Mrs. Edward King, secretary, and Mrs.<br />

Ebert Bauer, Sunday School Superintendent.<br />

First Baptist Church<br />

The earliest record referring to Baptist work in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> is found in Frink's Short <strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>: "In 1855 there were no church edifices in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, but religious services were held every<br />

Sunday in unfinished buildings ...'' The second sermon<br />

heard in Minnesota was in Crump's Hall. _<br />

From an article in the <strong>Faribault</strong> Republican we<br />

learned that the early settlers <strong>of</strong> this city were largely<br />

from New England, were descendants <strong>of</strong> the Puritans<br />

and brought with them a love for church and schools.<br />

Five years after the first log cabins were built in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, the first churches were organized. Three<br />

churches were organized in 1856: the Congregational,<br />

the Baptist and the First Methodist.<br />

When the <strong>Faribault</strong> Baptist church was organized<br />

there were only six Baptist churches in Minnesota.<br />

Twenty charter members united with the church<br />

on September 6, 1856. Rev. Timothy R. Cressey was the<br />

first pastor <strong>of</strong> the church. The group met in Phelps Hall<br />

and subsequently in Metropolitan Hall which they<br />

rented for three years. In 1862 the first church building<br />

was erected; this church was dedicated February 4,<br />

1863 during the pastorate <strong>of</strong> Rev. Mr. Hazen.<br />

The second church was built during the pastorate<br />

<strong>of</strong> Rev. A. E. Kelley, who prepared and drew the plans<br />

for the building. This year 1920 was an important one<br />

as it was at that time that the church building was paid<br />

for in full.<br />

The Rev. Glenn E. Saunders was pastor when the<br />

present church at 1108 Westwood Drive was built. This<br />

was on September 19, 1971, when the dedication<br />

ceremonies were held.<br />

The present pastor is Rev. Bruce Pickell who came<br />

to <strong>Faribault</strong> from Silver Bay, Minnesota in July <strong>of</strong> 1974.<br />


Early day <strong>Faribault</strong> scene<br />

Immaculate Conception Church<br />

In 1855 a group <strong>of</strong> settlers <strong>of</strong> various creeds and<br />

ethnic backgrounds and nationalities came to this<br />

territory. The Catholics, as well as other incoming<br />

religious groups, wanted their own house <strong>of</strong> worship.<br />

Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> gave one thousand dollars to help<br />

with the building <strong>of</strong> a church. This was the Mr.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, a fur trapper,. after whom <strong>Faribault</strong> was<br />

named.<br />

Father Augustin Ravoux, a remarkable<br />

missionary priest, was the first priest to say mass in<br />

<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong>- in Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong>'s log houseand<br />

was instrumental in getting the first church<br />

planned and built. This church, called St. Anne's, was<br />

ready in June <strong>of</strong> 1856. This, the first church <strong>of</strong> any<br />

denomination, was burned to the ground the following<br />

October. This was generally thought to be the work <strong>of</strong><br />

an arsonist.<br />

Father George Keller <strong>of</strong> Alsace, France was the<br />

first resident priest for Immaculate Conception parish.<br />

He served that church, with missionary zeal, . for 12<br />

years. In 1870 he was transferred to northern<br />

Minnesota for further missionary work.<br />

Between Father Keller and Father Genis there<br />

were two priests, Father Renveille, whose pastorate<br />

was a little over a year, and Father Scheve, who served<br />

for two years. Father Renveille died from yellow fever,<br />

Father Scheve, not in robust health, served but two<br />

years and died at the age <strong>of</strong> forty-six. He is buried here<br />

in Calvary Cemetery.<br />

Father Claude Genis, also born in France, came to<br />

Immaculate Conception parish in October <strong>of</strong> 1874.<br />

Under his direction the church tower was completed,<br />

the sanctuary was extended east and a sacristy was<br />

added.<br />

In 1878 the French and Belgian members <strong>of</strong> the<br />

parish petitioned for a parish <strong>of</strong> their own. In answer to<br />

this, Bishop Grace gave the choice <strong>of</strong> retaining<br />

Immaculate Conception and shouldering the financial<br />

burden <strong>of</strong> $12,000.00, or <strong>of</strong> leaving this to the Irish -<br />

assets and liabilities - and organizing their own<br />

parish. They chose the latter and organized the Sacred<br />

Heart parish in 1879.<br />

There have been many sincere and hardworking<br />

priests who have served with distinction in<br />

Immaculate Conception parish. One <strong>of</strong> the most<br />

beloved priests was Father John Foley a native <strong>of</strong><br />

Prince Edward Island. He knew the meaning <strong>of</strong><br />

"ecumenism" and practiced it. He made many friends<br />

throughout the entire <strong>Faribault</strong> community. He served<br />

Immaculate Conception as a pastor for 36 years,<br />

guided the parish to financial stability and was a model<br />

<strong>of</strong> spiritual leadership.<br />

67<br />


St. Lawrence Church<br />

At the time <strong>of</strong> the first settlers in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Catholic Church mission activities began. Father<br />

Ravoux celebrated Mass at the house <strong>of</strong> Alexander<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1&53. Father Ravoux came to <strong>Faribault</strong> as<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten as he was able - he had such a large mission<br />

area - and continued to conduct Mass in Mr.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>'s home.<br />

When Father George Keller came in 1859 he<br />

continued to use Mr. <strong>Faribault</strong>'s house to <strong>of</strong>fer Mass.<br />

As the number <strong>of</strong> Catholics grew, they wished to<br />

have a place <strong>of</strong> worship <strong>of</strong> their own, and in 1860 they<br />

built a frame structure on a site donated by Mr.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, Mr. Paquin and General Shields.<br />

Immaculate Conception Church is located on this site<br />

today. Father Keller was in charge <strong>of</strong> this par .is~,<br />

which took in all the Catholic people <strong>of</strong> the town, 1t 1s<br />

said that each Sunday he preached in French, German<br />

and English so all might understand.<br />

In 1869, Bishop Grace gave the German Catholic<br />

people <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> permission to sta~t their . o~n<br />

parish. Twenty six families ~ere act~ve m ?rgamzmg<br />

this new church, the first pansh meetmg bemg held on<br />

September 19, 1869. They selected a site for a new<br />

church, and the plot <strong>of</strong> ground on Fourth Street,<br />

between First and Central A venues was bought. Here a<br />

small frame church was built. First Mass was held on<br />

February 2, 1870.<br />

Soon the parish felt the need <strong>of</strong> a different location<br />

and on August 26, 1872, they bought the present site<br />

where St. Lawrence stands today.<br />

Many hard working and inspired priests h~ve<br />

served St. Lawrence parish, Father Fredenck<br />

Tschann had the longest administration. He was a good<br />

financier. He said that his job in a Northfield bank gave<br />

him a good head for figures. Father Tschann's<br />

retirement was in 1969. He left the parish with a sizable<br />

savings arid debt free.<br />

Father Francis Pouliot is the present pastor <strong>of</strong> a<br />

congregation which numbers over 400 families.<br />

Sacred Heart Church<br />

The three Catholic Churches in <strong>Faribault</strong> share a<br />

common heritage. Mass was <strong>of</strong>fered for the first time<br />

in <strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> by the Reverend Augustin Ravoux in<br />

the lob cabin <strong>of</strong> Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong>, a fur-trader after<br />

whom <strong>Faribault</strong> was named. This was in the year 1848.<br />

In 1&56 the first Catholic church in <strong>Rice</strong> county was<br />

built on the present site <strong>of</strong> the Immaculate Conception<br />

church. Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> donated one thousand<br />

dollars towards its construction as well as the whole<br />

block on which it stood. It was named St. Anne's in<br />

honor <strong>of</strong> the patron saint <strong>of</strong> Canada. Many <strong>of</strong> the first<br />

settlers here were the French-Canadians. The<br />

following year this church was destroyed by fire. This<br />

tragic happening was thought to be the work <strong>of</strong><br />

arsonists.<br />

The first resident priest in the county was the<br />

Reverend George Keller who was appointed pastor in<br />

1&58. His parish extended from Rosemount on the north<br />

to Blooming Prairie on the south, from Pine Island on<br />

the east to Kilkenny on the west. He named the church<br />

which replaced St. Anne's in honor <strong>of</strong> the Immaculate<br />

Conception. It is said <strong>of</strong> Father Keller that on<br />

Christmas day he used to say his first Mass in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, the second in Shieldsville, the third in<br />

Kilkenny, traveling by horse and sleigh. At his Sunday<br />

Masses in <strong>Faribault</strong> he regularly made the<br />

announcements and preached in English, French and<br />

German.<br />

Because <strong>of</strong> the rapidly increasing Catholic<br />

population groups were desirous <strong>of</strong> starting their own<br />

churches. The Germans organized their parish. In 1879<br />

the French parishioners withdrew from the<br />

Immaculate Conception parish and built the Sacred<br />

Heart church.<br />

Father Payette was the fi rst pastor; he was soon<br />

succeeded by Father Joseph Leonard who sang the<br />

first High Mass in the new church on June 22, 1879. The<br />

first baptism was that <strong>of</strong> Joseph Hautelot, the first<br />

marriage that <strong>of</strong> Augustin St. Martin and Delphine<br />

Favrault, the first funeral that <strong>of</strong> Etienne<br />

Archambault.<br />

Father Leonard was succeeded in 1880 by<br />

Reverend John Van Leent during whose pastorate the<br />

parish was organized as a legal corporation.<br />

The funeral <strong>of</strong> Alexander <strong>Faribault</strong> was held<br />

during Father Van Leent's pastorate. Mr. <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

had transferred from the Immaculate Conception<br />

parish ''to which he had contributed so generously to<br />

worship with his fellow Frenchmen at that time in a<br />

church <strong>of</strong> their own.''<br />

A number <strong>of</strong> well-remembered priests served<br />

Sacred Heart parish. Among those who served were<br />

Father Monge, Father Domestici, Father Durand,<br />

Father Guillmette, Father Moorman, Father Roger<br />

Blais, Father Joseph Schobert, Father Sterns, Father<br />

Cecil Houle and the present priest, Father John Brown.<br />

It was during the pastorate <strong>of</strong> Father Domestici that<br />

the present building was erected. The cornerstone was<br />

laid on May 28, 1922.<br />

Ephphatha Church<br />

For more than three quarters <strong>of</strong> a century the<br />

Ephphatha Church located at 16 Sixth Ave. NE has<br />

been serving the deaf and the blind <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> and<br />

vicinity.<br />

The first inter.est in the religious instruction <strong>of</strong> the<br />

deaf and <strong>of</strong> the blind dates back to the year 1898 when<br />

G. H. Bakken, pastor at <strong>Faribault</strong>, and Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Olav<br />

Lee <strong>of</strong> St. Olaf College recommended to the convention<br />

<strong>of</strong> the United Norwegian Lutheran Church that a<br />

mission among the deaf and the blind be started at<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

A committee was appointed to study the matter<br />

and in 1900 this committee recommended to the annual<br />

convention that a pastor be called to do the work,<br />

dividing his time between the Lutheran children at the<br />

\<br />

I<br />

I<br />


'-<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1887, looking north on Central Ave. from Second St.<br />

state schools in <strong>Faribault</strong> and similar schools in other<br />

states.<br />

The Rev. C. M. Larson was chosen to be the first<br />

pastor to the deaf and the blind. He was familiar with<br />

the language <strong>of</strong> signs as he had a deaf brother, Lars M.<br />

Larson. It is interesting to note that the latter was<br />

instrumental in founding the schools for the deaf in<br />

North Dakota and New Mexico and later settled down<br />

to spend his sunset years in <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Pastor Larson was succeeded by the Rev. B. J.<br />

Rothnem. He served the church for six years, from<br />

1913 to 1919.<br />

Up to this time the work had been conducted in a<br />

church in the city. This was not a very good<br />

arrangement as the children at the School for the Deaf<br />

and at the School for the Blind had to cross railroad<br />

tracks and go through town to attend services. The<br />

viaduct had not been built.<br />

In 1919 the Rev. Henry 0. Bjorlie, who had<br />

previously started the work among the deaf in Sioux<br />

Falls, S.D., was called to the <strong>Faribault</strong> field.<br />

Pastor Bjorlie at once put his whole heart and<br />

soul into the work. He saw the need for an edifice for<br />

the exclusive use <strong>of</strong> his flock and purchased, on his own<br />

account, an old two-room school house that he had<br />

remodeled into a church.<br />

Under the direction <strong>of</strong> Pastor Bjorlie the work<br />

flourished. Every Sunday his little church on the hill<br />

was filled. The need for a larger church in which to<br />

minister to the deaf and the blind was evident.<br />

Pastor Bjorlie, his devoted wife, Mrs. Lorraine<br />

Bjorlie, and loyal friends worked tirelessly for a new<br />

church and on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1941, the new<br />

Ephphatha Church for the Deaf and the Blind was<br />

dedicated. It stands as a monument to the Rev. Henry<br />

0. Bjorlie.<br />

For six years Pastor B jorlie carried on his<br />

ministry in this fine edifice, the finest church for the<br />

deaf in the world. <strong>Then</strong> the Master called Pastor<br />

Bjorlie to His heavenly home. Mrs. Bjorlie has been a<br />

faithful helper and pianist at the church for more than<br />

a half century.<br />

The Rev. Stewart Dale served as pastor from 1948<br />

to 1953. In 1950 a new parsonage adjoining the church<br />

was erected and dedicated in conjunction with the 50th<br />

anniversary celebration <strong>of</strong> the work.<br />

In 1953 the Rev. Ingvald Thvedt took over as pastor<br />

and chaplain, ably assisted by his wife, an experienced<br />

parish worker. In 1968 the Rev. Gordon Long joined the<br />

staff and worked with Pastor Thvedt. This was a period<br />

<strong>of</strong> great growth in the work.<br />

Pastor and Mrs. Thvedt left in 1972 to take up work<br />

among the handicapped and aged in Tucson, Arizona.<br />

The Rev. Gordon Long has been carrying on the<br />

work in <strong>Faribault</strong> alone since that time.<br />

The Ephphatha Church is sponsored by the<br />

American Lutheran Church and deaf and blind<br />

students attend services. All protestant students are<br />

welcome and the church also ministers to an adult<br />

congregation.<br />

The above history was written by Dr. Wesley<br />

Lauritsen, former longtime member <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota<br />

School for Deaf faculty, a 54 year member <strong>of</strong><br />

Ephphatha Church and president <strong>of</strong> the congregation.<br />


Hope United Methodist Church<br />

The Hope United Methodist Church, located at<br />

Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., in <strong>Faribault</strong>, is<br />

now in its 98th year <strong>of</strong> Christian service and grew from<br />

a class organized in 1878 by the Rev. G. W. Sydow.<br />

Originally the church's name was Zion Church <strong>of</strong><br />

the Evangelical Association <strong>of</strong> North America. In the<br />

early 1930's the name was changed to First<br />

Evangelical. With the union with the Methodist Church<br />

in 1968 the name Hope United Methodist was adopted.<br />

The first building was constructed in 1878 on the<br />

present site. It served until 1907 when the present<br />

building was erected. An addition was built in 1956.<br />

The Sunday School was organized at about the<br />

same time as the church. About ten years later, special<br />

emphasis on young people's work was stressed. The<br />

Woman's Missionary Society, an active and<br />

constructive church organization for 63 years, was<br />

formed in 1913.<br />

During the active existence <strong>of</strong> Hope Methodist<br />

Church, the congregation served as host to the annual<br />

Conference in 1907, 1917, 1928 and 1938.<br />

The church through the years, has shown an<br />

intensive, constructive interest in sociological,<br />

cultural, educational and economic problems <strong>of</strong> the<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> community, in addition to carrying on a full<br />

religious program for all ages.<br />

As a result, the church's pastors during the past 45<br />

years, including the Rev. A. B. Utzman, who was<br />

active in the <strong>Faribault</strong> American Legion Post and later<br />

served a congregation in St. Paul; The Rev. Edwin<br />

George Moede; The Rev. B. C. Siewert, who was active<br />

in scouting and served a church in Brainerd; the Rev.<br />

Darwin Miller, who also was community-minded; The<br />

Rev. Dave Schneider, who was active with young<br />

people, foreign groups and the local Civic Music<br />

Association, and the present pastor, the Rev. Melvyn<br />

Budke, formerly <strong>of</strong> Lake Elmo, who definitely is<br />

community-minded and is an active member <strong>of</strong> the 55<br />

year old <strong>Faribault</strong> Lions Club, all have succeeded in<br />

increasing the church's membership.<br />

St. Luke's Church <strong>of</strong> Christ<br />

St. Luke's United Church <strong>of</strong> Christ held its first<br />

service <strong>of</strong> worship in its new church on May 17, 1970, at<br />

10:30 a.m. That same day there was a brief closing<br />

service at the old church at 9:30a.m.<br />

The congregation held a groundbreaking service<br />

on May 4, 1969. Construction began May 12, 1969.<br />

Members <strong>of</strong> the congregation worked with the<br />

contractor during the last year <strong>of</strong> building. They<br />

estimated that they donated 5,000 hours <strong>of</strong> time.<br />

There is room to seat 400 people in the nave <strong>of</strong> the<br />

new church and 50 people in the balcony area. There is<br />

church school space for 200 children. The<br />

multi-purpose dining room will seat about 350 people.<br />

The entire building, which consists <strong>of</strong> 18,000 square<br />

feet, provides ample space for the <strong>of</strong>fice and library.<br />

The building project took place during the<br />

pastorate <strong>of</strong> the Rev. A. M. Guthmiller. Reverend<br />

Guthmiller's replacement began to serve at St. Luke's<br />

in February. He is Reverend James Laak.<br />

Many members worked on the building project<br />

along with the regular building committee: Walter<br />

Koopmans, chairman; Paul Hachfeld, Marvin<br />

Bauernfeind, Mrs. ·Kenneth Dean, Mrs. Arnold<br />

Hafemeyer, Mrs. Edward Nems. The finance<br />

committee consisted <strong>of</strong>: Warren Matthies, chairman,<br />

along with Willis Hafemeyer, Gordon Reineke, Mrs.<br />

Werner Helmer, Mrs. E. J. McCormick.<br />

St. Luke's new church is located at 1100 Ninth<br />

Avenue South West, on the edge <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

Seventh Day Adventist Church<br />

The <strong>Faribault</strong> Seventh-day Adventist church <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> was founded by R. F. Wolcott and Louise<br />

Wolcott. The Minnesota Conference <strong>of</strong> the Seventh-day<br />

Adventists <strong>of</strong> Minnetonka are owners <strong>of</strong> the church.<br />

R. F. and Louise Wolcott, together with seventeen<br />

charter members, organized the Seventh-day<br />

Adventist Church in <strong>Faribault</strong> on August 24, 1929. For a<br />

time the congregation was housed in the Wolcott home.<br />

In 1930 the group bought a church building that was<br />

located at Cannon Lake. This building was moved to<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> and was placed on a lot located on Lincoln<br />

Avenue and First Street.<br />

It was in 1970 that the group bought the brick<br />

structure that was formerly the First Baptist Church.<br />

This building, which is situated on the corner <strong>of</strong> Third<br />

Avenue and Fifth Street North West, in <strong>Faribault</strong> is the<br />

present location.<br />

The school had its beginning in the home <strong>of</strong> R; R.<br />

Randall in the year 1923. In 1930 it was moved to the<br />

Church on the corner <strong>of</strong> Lincoln A venue and First<br />

Street, which, in turn, was moved to the Church's<br />

present site. ·<br />

One charter member, Mrs. Iva (Wolcott, Everett)<br />

Kisor, is living in the country near <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

A fourth generation <strong>of</strong> the Wolcott family Janna<br />

(Kisor) Borg is a member <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Church.<br />

The present pastor, Ernest Dobkins, came to<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> in 1972. Through his efforts and leadership<br />

the church has established a health food store,<br />

"Nature's Nook," on Third Street North West in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

The Seventh-day Adventist Church School was<br />

organized in 1923. It had its beginning in the R. F.<br />

Wolcott home, one <strong>of</strong> the charter members.<br />

In 1930, when the first Seventh-day Adventist<br />

Church building was purchased and located at Lincoln<br />

Avenue the school was established there.<br />

In 1970 the Church purchased property at Third<br />

Avenue and Fifth Street, NW and the School was<br />

located there.<br />

Eight grades are taught in the school together with<br />

classes in music, choir, and band. There is a<br />

Pathfinder's Club, similiar to Boy Scout organization.<br />

When the students graduate from the elementary<br />

grades they go on to an Academy <strong>of</strong> their choice. Also<br />

they choose their college in the same way.<br />


Chapter m <strong>Faribault</strong>, City <strong>of</strong> Schools<br />

Public schools<br />

began here in 1856<br />


The first school in <strong>Faribault</strong>, established in 1853,<br />

was privately supported by Alexander. <strong>Faribault</strong> and<br />

Luke Hulett for their own children. The teacher was<br />

Edward Crump. <strong>Faribault</strong> School District No. 1 was<br />

created by the <strong>County</strong> Commissioners on January 7,<br />

1856. The first legal meeting <strong>of</strong> the school board was<br />

held on January 31, 1856. Members present included R.<br />

A. Mott and George Batchelder. An assessment <strong>of</strong> $600<br />

was voted for a school building. In the school year<br />

1857-58 three teachers were employed from November<br />

through February. The reason for the short term was<br />

the depression <strong>of</strong> 1857. The <strong>Faribault</strong> School District<br />

was . made a corporate body by an Act <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Legislature in 1864, under the control <strong>of</strong> a school board<br />

<strong>of</strong> five members. The first school building <strong>of</strong> any size<br />

was the Old Central School, built in 1867, and was<br />

located on the site now occupied by the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Junior High School. A lot was purchased from General<br />

Shields, who donated the adjoining lot.<br />

High School subjects were gradually introduced into<br />

the curriculum, and were taught by the superintendent<br />

with the help <strong>of</strong> upper elementary teachers who<br />

happened to have free time. The <strong>Faribault</strong> High School<br />

became fully organized as such in 1878 under<br />

Superintendent Pratt. In October 1878, the school board<br />

instructed him to procure a teacher <strong>of</strong> high school<br />

subjects. On November 5, 1878, R. A. Mott, Clerk <strong>of</strong> the<br />

School District, advertised through the newspapers<br />

that an examination for ·admission to the high school<br />

would be held at Central School Hall on November 16,<br />

1878, and all pupils passing the examination would be<br />

admitted to the high school tuition free. The course <strong>of</strong><br />

.study was three years. High school classes were<br />

conducted in the Old Central School Building. The first<br />

class was graduated on June 20, 1879 and consisted <strong>of</strong><br />

Mary E. Howard, Mary N. Howe, and Rebecca<br />

Mortenson. Miss Howe was presented with a medal<br />

donated by Mr. H. H. Herbst <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> for standing<br />

highest in the class in scholarship and deportment.<br />

Four Divisions Created<br />

'"In 1880 the school system was divided into four<br />

divisions: Primary, Intermediate, Grammar, and<br />

High School. There were 1,198 pupils and 20 teachers.<br />

Besides the Old Central School, there were four<br />

buildings on the west side <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>, each with 50<br />

pupils, and one building on the east side for 100 pupils.<br />

The annual school meeting <strong>of</strong> October 5, 1885 instructed<br />

the Board <strong>of</strong> Education to prepare plans for a new<br />

school building. The building was built on Block 16,<br />

which is now the junior high physical education field.<br />

The cost was $28,000. The land was purchased from the<br />

Seabury Mission for $5000 with the stipulation that the<br />

block was to be used forever for educational purposes.<br />

In 1906 the <strong>Faribault</strong> High School was accredited<br />

by the North Central Association <strong>of</strong> Secondary Schools<br />

and Colleges. <strong>Faribault</strong> High School was one <strong>of</strong> the first<br />

high schools in Minnesota to be so accredited.<br />

The Old McKinley Elementary School was built at<br />

the turn <strong>of</strong> the century, and on the assassination <strong>of</strong><br />

President McKinley was named after him. It served<br />

until 1957 when it became the headquarters <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Community Recreation Program. Other elementary<br />

schools were built as follows: Lincoln 1905, Washington<br />

1906, Garfield 1913, Jefferson 1954, New McKinley 1957.<br />

Additions were built to these schools in 1913, 1925, 1954,<br />

1961, and 1968. In 1914 a new high school building was<br />

constructed on the site <strong>of</strong> the Old Central School, which<br />

was demolished. The old high school was converted<br />

into the Central Elementary School. In 1938 a<br />

substantial addition was built to the high school.<br />

In 1938, the high school enrollment in grades 7-12 was<br />

1,068. Of these 192 were non-resident pupils. Only 50 per<br />

cent <strong>of</strong> eighth grade graduates in the county entered<br />

high school, and only 65 per cent <strong>of</strong> these graduated.<br />

1ndependent District<br />

In 1950 the <strong>Faribault</strong> School District became an<br />

Independent School District. This change in<br />

classification made the organization <strong>of</strong> the district<br />

similar to that <strong>of</strong> other school districts in Minnesota<br />

and gave the school board more authority in operating<br />

the school system.<br />

In 1960 a new Senior High School was completed on<br />

38 acres in southwestern <strong>Faribault</strong>. It has a capacity <strong>of</strong><br />

800 students. The old high school became the <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

Junior High School.<br />

In 1962 the <strong>Faribault</strong> School District became a<br />

Consolidated School District and an extensive<br />

transportation system was established. The area <strong>of</strong> the<br />

School district is 220 square miles.<br />

In 1964 the <strong>Faribault</strong> Area Vocational School was<br />

built at a cost <strong>of</strong> one million dollars, with a capacity <strong>of</strong><br />

300 post secondary school students in 16 trades and<br />

occupations. It is an outstanding school.<br />

In 1971 the reorganization <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> School<br />

District was completed with the addition <strong>of</strong> the last<br />

rural school district to the <strong>Faribault</strong> District. All the<br />

rural schools were closed and the pupils transported to<br />


~en 8?8/ow<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> Senior High School complex<br />

including swimming pool, tennis c.ourts and<br />

class buildings as well as <strong>Faribault</strong> Area<br />

Vocational Technical Institute buildings (at<br />

left) both in southwestern section <strong>of</strong> city.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> except the eight teacher school at Nerstrand,<br />

the three teacher school at Warsaw, and the one<br />

teacher school at Shieldsville.<br />

In 1972 the <strong>Faribault</strong> Area Training and Education<br />

Center was established. The <strong>Faribault</strong> School District<br />

was given the responsibility <strong>of</strong> educating the trainable<br />

retarded children at the <strong>Faribault</strong> State Hospital.<br />

The <strong>Faribault</strong> School District, in its 120 years <strong>of</strong><br />

active existence, has developed into one <strong>of</strong> the State <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota's leading districts <strong>of</strong>fering a wide variety <strong>of</strong><br />

courses in excellent facilities. In December <strong>of</strong> 1975,<br />

members <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Faribault</strong> Education Association,<br />

composed <strong>of</strong> public school faculty members, called a<br />

strike during negotiations for a two year contract.<br />

The strike lasted for 45 days, including the entire<br />

month <strong>of</strong> January with teachers daily walking the<br />

picket lines. After several strike truce negotiation<br />

sessions a settlement was reached and regular classes<br />

were resumed in public schools in early February.<br />

Elementary schools built<br />


Soon after the turn <strong>of</strong> the century, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

citizens were busily providing public Elementary<br />

schools for their children. Most <strong>of</strong> the people favored<br />

the neighborhood plan for providing schools, the school<br />

being easily accessible to the pupils and their parents<br />

in a close relationship. Strong loyalties were built up<br />

toward the neighborhood schools which have persisted<br />

to this day.<br />

Washington School, on Shumway Avenue, on the<br />

east side <strong>of</strong> town, was built in 1905. In the same year,<br />

Lincoln Elementary School was constructed on the<br />

west side <strong>of</strong> Lincoln Avenue. Following the<br />

neighborhood trend, Garfield was built on Third<br />

Avenue in Southern Heights in 1912, on a site on which<br />

many Indian relics were found at the time <strong>of</strong> the<br />


City <strong>of</strong> schools<br />

in 1962-63. Both Lincoln and Jefferson added two-story<br />

units in 1969. There has been quite a transformation<br />

over the years in the Elementary system, going from<br />

the four or six room structures to schools which house<br />

four sections <strong>of</strong> each class, kindergarten through grade<br />

six, plus facilities for physical education, music, art,<br />

audio-visual, library, and food services.<br />

Elementary school enrollment was constantly on<br />

the rise from 1956 when there were 1042 students until<br />

1974 when the enrollment reached 2326 children. The<br />

latest figure, obtained in 1976, was an Elementary<br />

public enrollment <strong>of</strong> 2225 students. It seems likely that<br />

the enrollment will not drop appreciably in the near<br />

future. Conditions seem to indicate this trend.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> education plan<br />

Old Central School, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

excavation for the basement. It most likely was a part<br />

<strong>of</strong> Tepee Tonka settlement.<br />

These schools became too small to handle the<br />

enrollment so additions were in order. The first <strong>of</strong><br />

these was at Garfield in 1925. Washington and Lincoln,<br />

which were built somewhat larger than Garfield,<br />

originally, received their first additions in 1954.<br />

McKinley and Central, the earliest schools,<br />

became known as "old" McKinley and "old" Central.<br />

Central School was razed to make room for an athletic<br />

field for the Junior High School Physical Education<br />

program. A new school, named Jefferson School was<br />

built on Home Place in Southwest <strong>Faribault</strong> in 1954.<br />

The pupils who had attended Central were distributed<br />

among Garfield, McKinley, and Jefferson Schools.<br />

"Old" McKinley was replaced with a new McKinley<br />

School, on a different location, on Fourth Avenue<br />

between Ninth and Tenth Streets in 1959. Old<br />

McKinley, although condemned as a school, was used<br />

by the city recreation program for <strong>of</strong>fice space and for<br />

some <strong>of</strong> their activities for several years. It was razed<br />

in the summer <strong>of</strong> 1976.<br />

Still later additions to Elementary school buildings<br />

were occasioned by rising enrollments when thirteen<br />

·rural districts were required, by law, to close because<br />

they did not have grades one through twelve in their<br />

buildings. At this period, Garfield received an addition<br />

In 1891 Rev. James J. Conroy proposed to the<br />

Board <strong>of</strong> Education <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> a plan as a solution <strong>of</strong><br />

uniting the parochial schools <strong>of</strong> the Catholic Church<br />

with the public school system. The plan was sanctioned<br />

by Bishop Ireland before Father Conroy proposed it to<br />

the Board <strong>of</strong> Education.<br />

The sisters teaching in the parochial schools <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Immaculate Conception parish qualified as public<br />

school teachers and were employed by the Board <strong>of</strong><br />

Education. The plan was adjusted and the "Hill<br />

School" became part <strong>of</strong> the public school system.<br />

The <strong>Faribault</strong> Plan soon became a matter <strong>of</strong><br />

comment and interest and created world wide<br />

discussion. The press, both religious and secular, and<br />

the pulpit <strong>of</strong> every Christian denomination in the U.S.<br />

and Europe became involved in the spiritual<br />

controversy. Archbishop Ireland supported the plan<br />

vigorously, but was opposed by several Bishops <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Church. The matter was finally taken to Pope Leo XIII<br />

and he held that the <strong>Faribault</strong> Plan should be tolerated<br />

by the church.<br />

<strong>History</strong> <strong>of</strong> school districts<br />


<strong>Rice</strong> <strong>County</strong> was detached from Dakota <strong>County</strong><br />

and organized into a new county by the Minnesota<br />

Territorial Legislature in 1855. The first election was<br />

held in November 1855 and F. W. Frink, Andrew<br />

Storer, and George F. Pettit were elected county<br />

commissioners. At the first meeting <strong>of</strong> the<br />

commissioners on January 7, 1856, the first business<br />

was the creation <strong>of</strong> School District No. 1 which<br />

embraced most <strong>of</strong> the incorporated limits <strong>of</strong> the City <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>. Also organized were school districts 2, 3, 4,<br />

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Thomas S. Buckham was appointed the<br />


~en ~

City <strong>of</strong> schools<br />

Lonsdale, Medford and Owatonna areas. The Academy<br />

is incorporated by the State and is a member <strong>of</strong> the<br />

following organizations: State <strong>of</strong> Minnesota, North<br />

Central, National Catholic Educational Association,<br />

Archdiocesan Educational System, and the<br />

Independent Private School Association.<br />

The growth and development <strong>of</strong> the Academy has<br />

closely paralleled the growth <strong>of</strong> education in the city <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>. The Sisters continued in the desire <strong>of</strong> their<br />

precedessors, to bring and continue a solid Christian<br />

education on the secondary level where values can be<br />

shared and affirmed so that all students will be led to<br />

appreciate the good, the true and the beautiful in the<br />

light <strong>of</strong> the Good News and the teachings <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Catholic Church.<br />

Centennial Observed<br />

Months <strong>of</strong> careful planning went into the<br />

observance <strong>of</strong> the Academy's Centennial in 1965 and<br />

the Centennial anniversary <strong>of</strong> the establishment in this<br />

community <strong>of</strong> the Sinsinawa Wisconsin Dominican<br />

Sisters. The Centennial committee was headed by<br />

Sister Regina, OP, then principal <strong>of</strong> Bethlehem<br />

Academy as coordinator and Thomas Dillon as general<br />

chairman.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the highlights <strong>of</strong> the Centennial observance<br />

was the presentation <strong>of</strong> a three act Pageant entitled<br />

"Framing a Century" - the history <strong>of</strong> the local school.<br />

It was written by Sister M. Caitlin <strong>of</strong> the Bethlehem<br />

Academy faculty with a cast <strong>of</strong> 400 persons.<br />

Academy graduates from its beginning held<br />

reunions in various establishments in <strong>Faribault</strong>. The<br />

weeklong observance ended with the commencement<br />

exercises for the graduating class <strong>of</strong> 1965.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> the highlights <strong>of</strong> the Centennial year was<br />

groundbreaking exercises on April 25, 1965 for the new<br />

convent <strong>of</strong> the Dominican Sisters <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>. The<br />

weatherman provided a menu <strong>of</strong> snow and rain but the<br />

ground breaking ceremony was held in spite <strong>of</strong> this.<br />

Participating in the ceremony, each equipped with<br />

a golden spade, were Mother Mary Benedict, OP,<br />

Mother General <strong>of</strong> the Sinsinawa Dominicans; Sister<br />

Regina, principal <strong>of</strong> Bethlehem Academy; the Very<br />

Rev. Mark Farrell, pastor <strong>of</strong> Immaculate Conception<br />

Church; the Rev. Cecil Houle, pastor <strong>of</strong> Sacred Heart<br />

Church; and the Rev. Frederic Tschann, pastor <strong>of</strong> St.<br />

Lawrence Church. Also participating _were Anthony<br />

Reuvers, church <strong>of</strong>ficial, and the Rev. Donald<br />

Tomlinson, assistant pastor <strong>of</strong> the Immaculate<br />

Conception Church.<br />

Immaculate Conception<br />

school history<br />

With the advent <strong>of</strong> the first railroad in October 1865<br />

many new families arrived. Soon it was evident that<br />

the two class rooms could not accommodate the new<br />

students and Sister Gertrude came from the Academy<br />

and taught classes in the afternoon. Her class room<br />

was a space between two rows <strong>of</strong> cordwood in the<br />

basement <strong>of</strong> the church. Later another class room was<br />

fitted up and Sister Angela was assigned to teach full<br />

time.<br />

The parish school was financed by the parents who<br />

paid one dollar per month for each child, plus the<br />

necessary books and supplies. For four years the<br />

sisters made their way through the sunshine and<br />

showers <strong>of</strong> summer and the blizzards and cold <strong>of</strong><br />

winter from the Academy to the parish school - a<br />

distance more than a mile. In 1868 the Berglehner<br />

residence was purchased and this became the home for<br />

the sisters.<br />

The parish school became crowded and the<br />

Academy was well attended for those days. Father<br />

Clement Scheve, who arrived in 1871, immediately<br />

planned a new school and made house-to-house<br />

canvass <strong>of</strong> the parish for funds. This drive was<br />

successful and the new school was ready for the<br />

opening in September 1872. This was a two-story<br />

structure with four class rooms, a cloak room and a<br />

hall on each floor. Three rooms were furnished for<br />

immediate use with Sisters Veronica, Damien and<br />

Matthias in charge. Four years later another room was<br />

furnished and the faculty included Sisters Damien,<br />

Sadoc, Calascanta and Alphonsa.<br />

In 1876, the new Bethlehem Academy on its present<br />

site was opened with Mother Gertrude, Superioress,<br />

which post she held until 1892. She was assisted by<br />

Sister Bertrand as Prefect, Sister Imelda, Directoress<br />

<strong>of</strong> Music, and Sister Margaret in charge <strong>of</strong> the<br />

household.<br />

On Salary Basis<br />

In the parish school Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Reid was engaged in<br />

1880 to teach the bigger boys and the following year<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>essor Cleary came. Shortly after this a change was<br />

made in financing the school by putting the sisters on a<br />

salary basis. The parish sponsored fairs, bazaars to<br />

raise the one thousand dollars needed annually to pay<br />

the four sisters, each twenty-five dollars a month, for<br />

the ten-month school year . This system continued until<br />

the pastorate <strong>of</strong> Father Danehy put in the tuition plan.<br />

In 1890 Father Conroy came and one <strong>of</strong> his<br />

immediate problems was the school. Tuitions were<br />

insufficient to meet the expenses. It was at this time<br />

that Martin M. Shields, who had been superintendent <strong>of</strong><br />

schools in Scott county before coming to <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

suggested that it might be feasible to do here what had<br />

been done in Scott county. The plan was to have the<br />

sisters teach in the parochial school under public<br />

school auspices. After many conferences the proposal<br />

was accepted by the Board <strong>of</strong> Education August 26,<br />

1891, and was put in effect that same year. This, the<br />

so-called "<strong>Faribault</strong> Plan" received wide publicity.<br />

The school was known as the "Hill School." Attendance<br />

increased but the experiment was short-lived.<br />

In the spring <strong>of</strong> 1893 opposition developed and the<br />

Board <strong>of</strong> Education wrote the Mother General at<br />

Siqsinawa to ascertain whether the Sisters could wear<br />

other garb than the religious. This request being<br />

refused the lease was closed and the Immaculate<br />


Conception was no longer a public school.<br />

The School was reopened in September 1893 as a<br />

parish school. The experiement was most interesting<br />

and according to the <strong>Faribault</strong> Democrat, September<br />

15, 1893, the school ''had been among the best in the<br />

city,'' but the general public was not ready to accept it.<br />

The school continued to function under the<br />

direction <strong>of</strong> the Dominican Sisters and the old stone<br />

school <strong>of</strong> 1872 served the parish well. But as time went<br />

on the attendance grew and it soon became imperative<br />

that better facilities had to be acquired. Many<br />

unavoidable ci~cumstances delayed the building <strong>of</strong> a<br />

new school. However, when Father Dolphin came he<br />

made it his first order <strong>of</strong> business and the new school<br />

was completed and ready for use in the fall <strong>of</strong> 1925. This<br />

is the school we have today. It was built with foresight<br />

and despite its crowded condition it is doing excellent<br />

work. <strong>History</strong> repeats itself. It is again too small. It<br />

seems inevitable that the near future will see an<br />

addition to the Immaculate Conception School.<br />

This is an excerpt from the pamphlet "Highlights<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Immaculate Conception Parish during its first<br />

one hundred years 1856-1956"<br />

St. Lawrence School<br />

The history <strong>of</strong> the school connected with St.<br />

Lawrence Catholic Church dates back to 1871, when it<br />

was decided to conduct school in the church. John<br />

Vogelsberg was chosen to be the instructor.<br />

Father J. Van Leent served the French and<br />

German parishes from 1881 to 1886. During this time<br />

the first parish school was erected and the Dominican<br />

Sisters were secured to take charge. The hardships and<br />

sacrifices which they endured were many. Their daily<br />

walk from the convent down to St. Lawrence and back<br />

again through all the rough winter weather showed<br />

courage and zeal in their great work. They were truly<br />

pioneers. Sisters Hildegard, Gertrudis and Sister<br />

Katherine were remembered for a long time.<br />

Father John Pavlin succeeded Father Van Leent in<br />

1886, and remained until his death in 1896. His many<br />

kind acts endeared him to his parishioners. His<br />

greatest interest was in his school, and he made many<br />

personal sacrifices to furnish the necessary<br />

equipment.<br />

His successor, Father Frederick Elshorst also had<br />

a very keen interest in the parish school. Daily, he<br />

conducted classes in German and other studies. His<br />

keen foresight prompted him to purchase the property<br />

across the street north <strong>of</strong> the parish for a new school.<br />

At a meeting <strong>of</strong> the parish on October 7, 1912, it was<br />

decided that the old school house behind the rectory<br />

was inadequate to accommodate the growing needs <strong>of</strong><br />

the parish and a building committee, consisting <strong>of</strong> P.<br />

H. Donkers, Peter Lonien, S. Kern, John Endres and<br />

Nick Becker was appointed to take action toward the<br />

completion <strong>of</strong> a new school. It was completed for the<br />

opening day <strong>of</strong> school in the fall <strong>of</strong> 1913. The<br />

approximate cost was $30,000.00.<br />

On February 16, 1913, the house and lot, north <strong>of</strong><br />

the school were purchased for the Sisters residence. In<br />

1921 the old residence was sold and moved and the<br />

present convent built at an approximate cost <strong>of</strong> $8,000.<br />

Another landmark in the history <strong>of</strong> the school is<br />

1969 when Father Tschann inaugurated the new<br />

Catholic Consolidated School System. The three<br />

parishes in the city amalgamated the parish schools<br />

into one big school operation, with one acting principal<br />

and with a shared budget.<br />

Sacred Heart School<br />

The history <strong>of</strong> the parish school connected with The<br />

Sacred Heart parish dates back to 1886. In that year<br />

Father Van Leent served as pastor <strong>of</strong> both the French<br />

and German parishes and had erected a two-story<br />

frame schoolhouse, one room for the German pupils<br />

taught by Sister Hildegarde and the other for the<br />

French in charge <strong>of</strong> Sister Joseph, both Dominicans.<br />

Father Van Leent resigned in 1887 and soon after, the<br />

bi-lingual school, having proved unsatisfactory, the<br />

French withdrew.<br />

Father Monge's long cherished dream <strong>of</strong> a<br />

parochial school became a reality in 1916 when the W.<br />

M. Reid mansion was bought for $12,500. It was<br />

remodeled to fit the needs <strong>of</strong> a school and staffed by<br />

four Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters with Sister<br />

Esperance as Superior. The first eighth grade<br />

graduation took place on June 1, 1917, when the<br />

following pupils received their diplomas: Mary<br />

Louise La Rose, Theresa Le Blanc, Adelphine Le ·<br />

Mieux, Roland Paquette, Hubert Plaisance, Dorothy<br />

Roell and Laura Tousignant. French was taught in all<br />

grades in addition to the usual subjects.<br />

Sister Esperance remained in charge only one<br />

year and she was succeeded by Sister Rodolpha for the<br />

usual six year term. Sister Eunice held the <strong>of</strong>fice for<br />

the next twelve years, to be followed by Sister Valerie<br />

who stayed only one year. <strong>Then</strong> followed each with one<br />

term: Sisters Venantia, Letitia, Herbert, Georgine,<br />

and the present Superior, Sister Lourdine.<br />

· A new school was built in 1933 to replace the one<br />

destroyed by fire on February 28, 1933.<br />

While Father Schabert was pastor, he realized that<br />

the inadequate facilities <strong>of</strong> the parish school would not<br />

be able to take care <strong>of</strong> the ever increasing number <strong>of</strong><br />

children seeking Catholic education. He talked up the<br />

idea <strong>of</strong> a new school and began monthly Building Fund<br />

collections for that purpose.<br />

Property Acquired<br />

In the midst <strong>of</strong> the program <strong>of</strong> repairs to the<br />

buildings, Father Houle kept working on the idea <strong>of</strong> a<br />

new school building and taking practical steps to its<br />

achievement. The large porch on the convent, now<br />

badly dilapidated and no longer safe, was taken down.<br />


S1WW storm hits <strong>Faribault</strong> in January, 1886. Looking north on Central Ave. from Second Street<br />

A new and larger water intake was piped into the<br />

school. An opportunity awaited to purchase more<br />

property.<br />

All those who were thinking about the school<br />

problem realized that to expand the present school it<br />

would be necessary to have more property for the new<br />

building itself and for more playground space which<br />

had always been inadequate from the beginning.<br />

During the summer <strong>of</strong> 1952 it became possible to<br />

purchase the two large lots directly south <strong>of</strong> the school<br />

on which was located the Petteys apartment building<br />

for the sum <strong>of</strong> $23,500.<br />

With the approval <strong>of</strong> His Excellency Archbishop··<br />

Murray, the actual transaction was made on<br />

November 1, 1952. A group <strong>of</strong> men solicited funds from<br />

the parishioners at the rate <strong>of</strong> $100.00 per family and<br />

that drive plus the annual pr<strong>of</strong>its from the apartment<br />

rentals had reduced the debt on the new property to<br />

$11,000 (1956 figures).<br />

At the beginning <strong>of</strong> the 1954-55 school year, it<br />

became apparent that a new school building had to be<br />

provided for the following year or some pupils would<br />

have to be turned away.<br />

Plans Drawn Up<br />

In January <strong>of</strong> 1955, Father Houle, Arthur Dube, and<br />

William Anderson made a trip to St. Louis, Mo. to<br />

investigate a new type <strong>of</strong> building which would be<br />

faster and more economical, Penn metal construction,<br />

a light weight steel, fire-pro<strong>of</strong> type <strong>of</strong> construction.<br />

In early February, Allen J. Ross, an architect from<br />

Mankato, was asked to draw up plans for a new<br />

building which would provide three new classrooms, a<br />

principal's <strong>of</strong>fice, new toilet facilities, a large<br />

multi-purpose room which could be used for hot<br />

lunches, recreation, parish activities, etc, with a<br />

kitchen and food and chair storage rooms.<br />

To finance the new school, the pastor himself<br />

undertook in January, 1955, the task <strong>of</strong> calling on all the<br />

families <strong>of</strong> the parish, gathering census information,<br />

and asking each family to donate $400.00 more if<br />

possible, or less, according to circumstances, with a<br />

down payment in cash and weekly, monthly, or yearly<br />

installments until the entire amount would be<br />

contributed.<br />

Work on the new building progressed rapidly with<br />

only minor delays in spite <strong>of</strong> the fact that this was the<br />

biggest year <strong>of</strong> construction in the history <strong>of</strong> the U.S.<br />

Many parishioners were able to obtain work on the<br />

project since the pastor acted in the capacity <strong>of</strong> the<br />

general contractor and some <strong>of</strong> the important<br />

sub-contractors were members <strong>of</strong> the parish. The new<br />

building was ready to be occupied in early March <strong>of</strong><br />

1956 and was blessed on Sunday, March 4, by<br />

Archbishop John Gregory Murray, S.T.D., the<br />


~en &?cf}low<br />

Archbishop <strong>of</strong> St. Paul, assisted by a large number <strong>of</strong><br />

clergy, parishioners, people <strong>of</strong> the city <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> and<br />

friends <strong>of</strong> the parish. The attractive school and church<br />

social center has been popularly used in the years<br />

following and the parish school has held class sessions<br />

each year.<br />

Trinity Lutheran School<br />

Trinity Lutheran School began in 1875 in a<br />

combination school-parsonage building which still<br />

stands on the church premises at 521 NW Fifth Street.<br />

The Rev. John Hertrich, pastor at that time, also<br />

served as teacher for the school.<br />

In 1881 Rev. Henry Schulz took over as teacher and<br />

in 1883 a one-room frame school building measuring 45<br />

by 26 feet was erected. By this time, there were one<br />

hundred children enrolled in the school.<br />

The first full-time teacher and principal <strong>of</strong> the<br />

school, Martin Kirsch Sr., came in 1884. Martin Kirsch<br />

taught for 29 years, until 1913. During this period,<br />

religion classes and many language arts classes were<br />

taught in the German language.<br />

Continued growth crowded the school so that in<br />

1902, the one-room building was sold and moved <strong>of</strong>f the<br />

premises. The old church building was then remodeled<br />

into a two-room school. This building was used until<br />

1915 when the congregation built a four-room brick<br />

structure, with a basement assembly room. This<br />

building is now part <strong>of</strong> the present structure.<br />

The addition <strong>of</strong> three classrooms and a principal's<br />

<strong>of</strong>fice was begun in 1952 and dedicated in 1953. In 1959<br />

an auditorium-gymnasium, two additional classrooms,<br />

locker and shower rooms, fellowship rooms, kitchen<br />

facilities, and church <strong>of</strong>fices were added, completing<br />

the present facilities.<br />

Trinity School has an enrollment <strong>of</strong> 200 students<br />

served by 10 teachers.<br />

P eace Lutheran School<br />

Being highly concerned with the Christian<br />

education <strong>of</strong> their children, the members <strong>of</strong> Peace<br />

Lutheran Church opened its Christian Day School on<br />

September 14, 1948 with 68 pupils enrolled in grades one<br />

through eight. Classes were conducted in rooms at the<br />

Ephphatha Church for the Deaf, Division Street and<br />

Sixth A venue East, until the completion <strong>of</strong> the ranch<br />

house school. This was being constructed at the corner<br />

<strong>of</strong> Third Street south and Eighth Avenue S.W. The<br />

ranch house style residence was adapted to provide<br />

two emergency class rooms for the Christian Day<br />

School <strong>of</strong> the congregation. It was dedicated on Oct.<br />

31,1948. When the school was completed, the ranch<br />

house was completed as a residence. Eugene Vetter<br />

was the first teacher and principal with Miss Ruth<br />

Severson teaching the lower grades.<br />

Ground breaking ceremonies for the construction<br />

<strong>of</strong> a parish school were held on Sunday, July 24, 1949.<br />

The first unit <strong>of</strong> ow present structure, the school, was<br />

dedicated to the Glory <strong>of</strong> God on May 7, 1950. Three<br />

classrooms and an assembly hall, which served as the<br />

chapel, were provided in this building. There are now<br />

five classrooms, a library and church and school<br />

<strong>of</strong>fices.<br />

A kindergarten in the school was inaugrated on<br />

September 2, 1952. Peace school now <strong>of</strong>fers complete<br />

grade school education from kindergarten through the<br />

eighth grade in all required subjects, meeting the<br />

standards <strong>of</strong> the State Board <strong>of</strong> Education, all being<br />

taught from a Christian viewpoint. Hot lunch program<br />

is <strong>of</strong>fered by the school.<br />

On September 16, 1974, a pre-school nursery<br />

program was opened. The program is licensed by the<br />

State Department <strong>of</strong> Public Welfare. This program<br />

differs from many in that it provides the setting for the<br />

child to work and play in a Christian atmosphere with<br />

children <strong>of</strong> his own age. The multi-media,<br />

non-denominational materials stress the presence <strong>of</strong><br />

Jesus in the child's home, in his play activities with<br />

friends, and in nature. Mrs. Margaret Beseman is the<br />

head teacher <strong>of</strong> the nursery school with Richard<br />

Timm, the director.<br />

Peace School has sponsored Talent shows, Science<br />

and Art Fairs, annual Operettas since 1959 in which all<br />

the children in the school participate.<br />

The first winterim mini-courses were completed<br />

February 20, 1976. "We wanted to give the students an<br />

opportunity to break from the routine," Richard<br />

Timm, principal <strong>of</strong> the school said. ''For three days,<br />

students .were able to choose from thirty or more<br />

winterim mini-courses, such as indoor gardening, ice<br />

fishing, painting, embroidery, woodworking, ice<br />

cream making, candy making, baking and a number <strong>of</strong><br />

other activities. The goal <strong>of</strong> winterim is to spur<br />

students' interests in areas which are not dealt with by<br />

academic classes.<br />

School principals who have served Peace School<br />

are Julius Wantoch, Paul Groenke, Stuart Firnhaber,<br />

Paul Obst, Robert Koring, Willard Kniep, and Richard<br />

Timm from 1970. Teachers who have taught in our<br />

school beside the principals are Arthur Nitschke,<br />

Mabel Harris, Mrs. Paul Groenke, Martha Knutsen,<br />

Arlene Rehwaldt, Peggy Wiedenheft, Marlys Gehrke,<br />

Eleanor Mueller, Mrs. Viola Musegades, Mrs. LeRoy<br />

Drier, LeVana Knehans, Mrs. Edith Glende, Mrs.<br />

Randall Beinhom, Mrs. Clarence Spitzack, Milton<br />

Kuball, Mrs. Eugene Blaker, John Briggs, Mrs.<br />

Bernice Griggs, Carol Wackier, Mrs. Beata Borchert,<br />

Mrs. Lois Gramse, Patricia Schaper, Janet Schrimper,<br />

Mrs. Esther Burgdorf, Cleo Splinter, Mrs. Sherry!<br />

Kniep, Mrs. Cheryl Carlson Lindner, Sally H<strong>of</strong>fmann,<br />

Mrs. Margaret Beseman, Mrs. Mary Sanborn, Mrs.<br />

Betty Lindemeier Velzke, Mrs. Marlyss Wagner, Mrs.<br />

Kay Cram and Allen Zum H<strong>of</strong>e.<br />


Early day view <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota State School for Deaf on the Straight River bluffs in <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

School for Deaf<br />

113 years old<br />


1917 Graduate <strong>of</strong> MSD<br />

The 116-acre campus <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota School for<br />

the Deaf is located on the hilltop on the east side <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>. A state representative recently said that the<br />

campus was one <strong>of</strong> the most beautiful in Minnesota.<br />

The School was established by an act <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Legislature in 1858 and opened in 1863 with eight pupils.<br />

The current enrollment is around 200. During the past<br />

113 years more than 3,400 students have entered the<br />

school.<br />

The School is an educational institution in every<br />

sense <strong>of</strong> the word. For years it has been run under the<br />

direction <strong>of</strong> the Department <strong>of</strong> Welfare, but a recent<br />

act <strong>of</strong> the Legislature placed the school under the State<br />

Department <strong>of</strong> Education.<br />

The School has a staff <strong>of</strong> about 30 certified<br />

academic teachers and a dozen qualified vocational<br />

teachers. These teachers give the deaf youth a<br />

well-rounded education that will enable them to<br />

continue their education in post secondary schools or<br />

colleges, or to step into positions in their home town<br />

communities.<br />

Despite salaries that have not always been<br />

attractive, the School has been fortunate in having a<br />

staff <strong>of</strong> dedicated teachers, houseparents and<br />

employees. They have helped to make the School one <strong>of</strong><br />

the outstanding schools for the deaf in the United<br />

States.<br />

The School has always been out <strong>of</strong> politics.<br />

Through various forms <strong>of</strong> state administration the<br />

superintendent has always been appointed on merit<br />

and knowledgeable persons say that in each case the<br />

best man available was always chosen to head the<br />

school.<br />

The School has had eight superintendents and<br />

three acting superintendents. The latter served during<br />

emergencies for a year or less.<br />

Happy Students<br />

In the early days children usually entered the<br />

School at the age <strong>of</strong> eight, but now the entry age is<br />

usually around five. This gives the child a good start on<br />

his educational journey.<br />

Many young children entering the School do not<br />

know their own names or that they have a name. Yet<br />

under the direction <strong>of</strong> competent teachers they are<br />

able to get a well-rounded education, preparing them<br />

to live a full life.<br />

The children attending the School are a very happy<br />

group. Most live in the dormitories under the care <strong>of</strong><br />

understanding houseparents. There are a few day<br />

students whose parents live in <strong>Faribault</strong> and vicinity.<br />

In the early days <strong>of</strong> the school children came in the fall<br />

..md usually went home for a short Christmas vacation.<br />

After they returned, they would stay until school closed<br />

in the spring. In those days vocational classes were<br />

held on Saturday and there were many events during<br />

the weekends to keep them busy.<br />

With improved transportation facilities, many <strong>of</strong><br />

the students now go home weekends and the school is<br />

closed during the Thanksgiving and Easter vacation<br />

periods.<br />

The Minnesota School for the Deaf now uses what<br />


~en~§Vow<br />

Minnesota School for Deaf gymnasium<br />

is called the Total Communication Method <strong>of</strong> Teaching<br />

the Deaf. This includes child devised gestures, speech,<br />

formal signs, finger spelling, speech reading, reading<br />

and writing. Every child is provided the opportunity to<br />

learn to use any remnant <strong>of</strong> residual hearing he may<br />

have by employing the best possible electronic<br />

equipment for amplifying sound.<br />

Vocational Training<br />

So that students may take their place as<br />

self-supporting citizens in their home communities<br />

upon leaving school, vocational training is begun early<br />

at the Minnesota School for the Deaf. The girls learn to<br />

prepare meals and they also learn to sew and make<br />

their own dresses. Following recent trends the girls are<br />

now also found in graphic arts classes and home<br />

mechanics classes.<br />

The younger boys are taught sloyd in a<br />

well-equipped shop. Older boys learn cabinet making,<br />

upholstering, printing, linotyping, and all phases <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong>fset printing.<br />

Art, typewriting, photography, assembly, crafts,<br />

sheet metal and welding are also <strong>of</strong>fered students.<br />

Driver training classes are open to all boys and girls <strong>of</strong><br />

legal driving age. A certified driver training instructor<br />

is in charge and most students leaving school have a<br />

state driver's license.<br />

The Minnesota School for the Deaf is a member <strong>of</strong><br />

the Minnesota State High School League and both boys<br />

and girls participate in a full schedule <strong>of</strong> sports.<br />

Besides competing in regular conference schedules,<br />

the football, basketball and track teams <strong>of</strong>ten meet<br />

teams in nearby schools for the deaf. This <strong>of</strong>fers the<br />

students fellowship with deaf students in other states.<br />

In 1938 the School basketball team won the Midwest<br />

Schools for the Deaf tourney and drove to New York to<br />

play in the National Schools for the Deaf Tourney.<br />

There are a number <strong>of</strong> student organizations that<br />

give the students an opportunity to serve. The Boys'<br />

Athletic Association, now in its 54th year, helps sponsor .<br />

the athletic program and student <strong>of</strong>ficers are<br />

responsible for many projects. The student treasurer<br />

handles up to $5,000 a year. His books are regularly<br />

audited by staff members. A faculty adviser meets<br />

with the boys regularly.<br />

Pr<strong>of</strong>essional Organizations<br />

To keep up with the ever-changing conditions, the<br />

teachers are members <strong>of</strong> a number <strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>essional<br />

organizations. They have their own Minnesota School<br />

for the Deaf Education Association, are members <strong>of</strong><br />

the Minnesota Education Association, and many are<br />

members <strong>of</strong> special groups promoting the education <strong>of</strong><br />

the deaf.<br />

Graduates <strong>of</strong> the School are succeeding in<br />

practically all walks <strong>of</strong> life. They are employed as<br />

printers, linotype operators, bakers, cabinet makers,<br />

farmers, teachers, college pr<strong>of</strong>essors, ministers, and<br />

business men.<br />

That the State <strong>of</strong> Minnesota has a good investment<br />

in the Minnesota School for the Deaf is at once<br />

apparent when you learn that almost 100 per cent <strong>of</strong> its<br />

graduates are self-supporting. And the School is proud<br />

<strong>of</strong> the fact that not a single graduate has been<br />

convicted <strong>of</strong> crime and sent to prison.<br />

Graduates <strong>of</strong> the School are an integral part <strong>of</strong> the<br />

economic, industrial and spiritual society <strong>of</strong> our great<br />

state. Graduates have happy families. They fulfill<br />

their citizenship duties. They ask no favors - want<br />

none.<br />

The eight superintendents who have given the<br />

School outstanding leadership are: Roswell H. Kinney,<br />

1863-1866; Jonathon L. Noyes, 1866-1896; James N.<br />

Tate, 1896-1923; Elwood A. Stevenson, 1924-1928; Victor<br />

0. Skyberg, 1928-1932; Leonard M. Elstad, 1932-1945;<br />

Howard M. Quigley, 1945-1966; Melvin H. Brasel, 1967-<br />

Credit should also be given to James L. Smith,<br />

Nannie A. Pollard and Albert C. Esterline who served<br />

. as acting superintendents for a year or less during<br />

emergencies.<br />

School for blind established<br />

As early as 1863, a State Commission for the<br />

Education <strong>of</strong> the Deaf and Blind had been created, but<br />

only sufficient funds had been appropriated to finance<br />

the opening <strong>of</strong> the Department <strong>of</strong> the Deaf.<br />

In 1866, through the efforts <strong>of</strong> Miss Harriet Tucker,<br />

a Department for the Blind was opened in connection<br />

with a School for the Deaf and Blind. Both schools were<br />

quartered in private residences until 1868 when a<br />

building large enough to house both Departments was<br />

erected on the heights east <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>.<br />

In 1873, the Department for the Blind graduated its<br />

first class <strong>of</strong> four students. At this time, students<br />

between the ages <strong>of</strong> 10 and 25 years were admitted.<br />

It had long been felt that the close association <strong>of</strong><br />

blind and deaf students worked hardships upon both<br />

groups. In 1874, a new location for the School for the<br />

Blind was acquired and the school is still located there<br />

today. This change marked the beginning <strong>of</strong><br />

independent work in the education <strong>of</strong> the blind in<br />

Minnesota, and by 1879 the two departments had been<br />

completely separated. James Dow was named<br />

Superintendent <strong>of</strong> the School for the Blind.<br />

In 1884, Dow Hall was built to house the school. The<br />


City <strong>of</strong> schools<br />

First State School for Blind, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

curriculum included reading, spelling, arithmetic,<br />

music and broom and mattress making. By 1886, the<br />

curriculum had been expanded to include a three year<br />

high school course and the enrollment had risen to 50<br />

students. Miss Ella H<strong>of</strong>ner was very instrumental in<br />

the development <strong>of</strong> the curriculum during this period.<br />

Soon several changes were made in school buildings: a<br />

hospital, a school superintendent's home, an industrial<br />

building and by 1898 a south wing was added to Dow<br />

Hall for dormitory, library and music facilities.<br />

At the turn <strong>of</strong> the century, the teaching staff<br />

consisted <strong>of</strong> 12 persons and in addition there were<br />

supervisors and other employes. Eighty five students<br />

were enrolled in a complete 12 year course, including<br />

the grades and high school. Optional courses also were<br />

<strong>of</strong>fered in musical and industrial fields. Two new<br />

dormitories for boys were built about this time.<br />

Summer School Established<br />

By 1907, Dr. Dow began a summer school for men<br />

who had become blind in later life. This school was the<br />

first <strong>of</strong> its kind in the country, aimed at social<br />

readjustment as well as industrial rehabilitation. In<br />

1913, a summer school for blind women was opened.<br />

Later the two sessions became a summer school for all<br />

adult blind and the age limit for students attending<br />

regular school was lowered to 21 years. Dr. Dow<br />

retired in 1920 and his sister, Julia Dow, became<br />

superintendent for two years.<br />

Joseph E. Vance became the next superintendent<br />

in 1922. Under Superintendent Vance, a Department <strong>of</strong><br />

Sight Conservation was begun in 1925. In place <strong>of</strong><br />

Braille used elsewhere in the school, children in the<br />

Sight Conservation Department used Clear Type<br />

materials.<br />

When Superintendent Vance resigned in 1930,<br />

Mendus R. Vevle became the new superintendent.<br />

Through Mr. Vevle's efforts the School Library was<br />

made a distributing center for the Library <strong>of</strong> Congress<br />

Books for the Blind. The school became the first state<br />

institution to have a degree librarian. Supt. Vevle also<br />

combined the music, industrial and academic<br />

departments into one comprehensive program under<br />

one principal.<br />

John C. Lysen became Supt. <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota<br />

School for the Blind in 1934 and remained at the school<br />

until1965. Under his tenure, the enrollment rose to 140<br />

students, some <strong>of</strong> whom were day students. Three new<br />

buildings were added during the era, the Industrial<br />

Arts Building in 1942, the Activities Building in 1957 and<br />

the Regional-School Library Building in 1959.<br />

Meanwhile, existing structures were rehabilitated and<br />

modernized. In 1953, the name <strong>of</strong> the school was<br />

changed to the Minnesota Braille and Sight Saving<br />

School in order to convey to the public a true concept <strong>of</strong><br />

its activities and the double purpose <strong>of</strong> the School.<br />

New teaching methods<br />

In 1965, the new superintendent, C. E. Ronayne,<br />

introduced a new philosophy <strong>of</strong> education <strong>of</strong> the blind.<br />


~en &?§Vow<br />

He initiated the integration <strong>of</strong> senior blind students in<br />

the <strong>Faribault</strong> Public Schools. Also, under Supt.<br />

Ronayne, many more multiple handicapped students<br />

were enrolled in the school. The population <strong>of</strong> the<br />

school dropped considerably, with many students<br />

returning to their home communities to attend school.<br />

Melvin Voxland became superintendent in 1967.<br />

The activating <strong>of</strong> a Deaf-Blind Department took place<br />

while he was in charge. The Department undertook to<br />

educate students who are both deaf arid blind. By 1974,<br />

the Deaf-Blind Department had reached an enrollment<br />

<strong>of</strong> 22 students.<br />

In 1972, Vincent F. Svaldi replaced Supt. Voxland.<br />

Under Supt. Svaldi, an <strong>of</strong>f-campus co-ed Independent<br />

Living House was established for older students.<br />

Melvin H. Brasel became superintendent in 1976.<br />

He serves as superintendent <strong>of</strong> the Minnesota School<br />

for Deaf as well as the Minnesota Braille and Sight<br />

Saving School. The two schools are situated on<br />

separate campuses. The total school population at the<br />

Minnesota Braille and Sight Saving School is<br />

approximately 60 students.<br />

The future role <strong>of</strong> the school in these times <strong>of</strong><br />

changing emphases is difficult to predict. For blind<br />

people, as a whole, this school has made it easier to live<br />

useful, happy lives in home and community.<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> State Hospital<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>'s three state institutions, the Minnesota<br />

School for the Deaf, Minnesota Braille and Sight<br />

Saving School and the Minnesota State School were<br />

founded as one school in 1863.<br />

By an act <strong>of</strong> the State legislature, approved August<br />

11, 1858, <strong>Faribault</strong> was designated as the location for a<br />

state school for deaf mutes, on the condition that the<br />

citizens <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong> donate forty acres <strong>of</strong> land for a<br />

site.<br />

In 1863, the Deaf School was established in a<br />

building originally built for a store. In 1866 a blind<br />

department was added to the school and the combined<br />

school was known as the "Institution for the Education<br />

<strong>of</strong> the Deaf, Dumb, and Blind.'' After a few years trial,<br />

it was found that educating the blind and deaf under<br />

one ro<strong>of</strong> was detrimental so in 1874, a separation was<br />

made. The legislature <strong>of</strong> 1881 established a permanent<br />

school at <strong>Faribault</strong> for idiots, imbeciles, and the feeble<br />

minded, and thus three separate and distinct<br />

institutions, each with its own superintendent and<br />

employees, but all under the same board <strong>of</strong> directors<br />

were established under the title <strong>of</strong> "Minnesota<br />

Institute for Defectives."<br />

Land was purchased above the bluffs east <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Straight River. The Legislature provided $25,000 for<br />

the construttion <strong>of</strong> new buildings.<br />

An act <strong>of</strong> the Legislature <strong>of</strong> 1879 established a<br />

commission to visit the hospitals for the insane and to<br />

select feebleminded persons found there and turn them<br />

over to the trustees <strong>of</strong> the blind and dumb and deaf<br />

institution. They were to establish a school for their<br />

training. This school was spoken <strong>of</strong> as the<br />

Experimental School. It was organized by Dr. Henry<br />

M. Knight, a veteran in the care and training <strong>of</strong> the<br />

feebleminded. His son, Dr. George H. Knight was<br />

elected superintendent on June 1, 1879. Fourteen<br />

children -nine boys and five girls- comprised the<br />

students at that first school.<br />

New Building Authorized<br />

In February <strong>of</strong> 1882, a new building was ready for<br />

the care and training <strong>of</strong> the feebleminded. Another act<br />

<strong>of</strong> the legislature <strong>of</strong> 1884 provided more money for<br />

additional building and there was now room for one<br />

hundred children.<br />

In April, 1885, Dr. Knight resigned and Dr. A. C.<br />

Rogers became superintendent in September 1885. He<br />

pioneered programs for the mentally retarded.<br />

Since 1885, each succeeding session <strong>of</strong> the<br />

legislature has provided in part to meet the large<br />

demand for admission to the Institution. In 1890, a farm<br />

<strong>of</strong> 190 acres, known as · the Gilmore farm was<br />

purchased. In 1894 "Sunnyside" was built, and 1896<br />

found Skinner Hall being constructed. In 1900 a<br />

building just for epileptics was built. In 1909 another<br />

farm was purchased. Through the years new buildings<br />

have been added: Rogers Building in 1959,<br />

Administration Building in 1958, Linden Building, a<br />

living unit for residents, was built in 1964.<br />

The school has had a number <strong>of</strong> name changes:<br />

1905, School for Feebleminded and Colony for<br />

Epileptics; 1949, Minnesota School and Colony; 1955,<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong> State School and Hospital; 1969, <strong>Faribault</strong><br />

State Hospital.<br />

Superintendents who have served:<br />

Dr. H. M. Knight - 1879-1885; Dr. Arthur C.<br />

Rogers- 1885-1916; Guy C. Hanson; Dr. J. Moorhead<br />

Murdock - 1927-1937; Dr. Edward J. Engberg -<br />

1937-1969; Harold Gillespie - 1969-1973; Charles<br />

Turnbull-1974.<br />

Population:<br />

Low: 21 residents, 1880; High: 3252 residents, 1956;<br />

1976: 1025 residents.<br />

Bishop Whipple, man <strong>of</strong> action<br />

It has been said repeatedly by men. accustomed to<br />

a judicious weighing <strong>of</strong> words that ''no bishop <strong>of</strong> the<br />

church ever has given more striking evidence <strong>of</strong> the<br />

fact that the highest order <strong>of</strong> the ministry <strong>of</strong> Christ<br />

belongs not to a diocese alone, but to the whole Church<br />

and to the Commonwealth, than the Right Rev. Henry<br />

Benjamin Whipple, First Episcopal Bishop <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota." <strong>Faribault</strong> was chosen by him as the See<br />

City <strong>of</strong> the Diocese.<br />

Henry Benjamin Whipple was born in Adams, N.Y.<br />

Feb. 15, 1822. The character <strong>of</strong> the man and the<br />

preparation <strong>of</strong> his life <strong>of</strong> service to thousands began<br />


City <strong>of</strong> schools<br />

Nov. 10, 1859, immediately began missionary work<br />

among the Indians who became his staunch and loyal<br />

friends and held his first service in the wooden chapel<br />

in <strong>Faribault</strong>; Feb. 19, 1860. For 42 years as bishop he<br />

gained national and world recognition for his dynamic<br />

service to mankind.<br />

His many projects, building the Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our<br />

Merciful Saviour, <strong>Faribault</strong>; founding the Whipple<br />

Schools, Shattuck, Saint Mary's Hall and St. James<br />

Schools in <strong>Faribault</strong>; building the Diocese <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota into an influential force for Christianity<br />

earned worldwide acclaim.<br />

He died Sept. 16, 1901 after being stricken with<br />

pneumonia. His funeral, held at the Cathedral in<br />

<strong>Faribault</strong>, was impressive with its sincere, eloquent<br />

tributes to a man who lived a most purposeful life.<br />

Mrs. Cornelia Whipple<br />

Right Rev. H. B. Whipple, D.D. L.L.D.<br />

several hundred years before this in the lives <strong>of</strong> his<br />

ancestors and their descendants, who were among<br />

some <strong>of</strong> the most honorable families <strong>of</strong> our country.<br />

He was educated in private schools in the state <strong>of</strong><br />

New York and later attended Oberlin College, Oberlin,<br />

Ohio, where he lived with his uncle, the Rev. George<br />

Whipple, who was pr<strong>of</strong>essor <strong>of</strong> mathematics.<br />

His student life was interrupted by a severe illness.<br />

In the weeks <strong>of</strong> enforced seclusion a vision <strong>of</strong> the needs<br />

<strong>of</strong> perishing humanity took possession <strong>of</strong> him. Every<br />

other consideration paled in the light <strong>of</strong> this great<br />

vision. It was his clear perception <strong>of</strong> the highest values<br />

<strong>of</strong> life which led him to decide what his life work should<br />

be -<br />

the Christian Ministry.<br />

He received his theological training under that<br />

eminent scholar, the Rev. Dr. W. D. Wilson <strong>of</strong> Cornell<br />

University, N.Y. On August 26, 1849, he was ordained<br />

Deacon by Bishop De Lancey, his loyal friend and<br />

religious guide and in February, 1850 he was ordained<br />

priest. His first call was to Zion Church, Rome, N.Y.<br />

where he built up a large parish and erected a new<br />

church. He then was called, in 1856, to the newly<br />

organized "Free Church <strong>of</strong> the Holy Communion" in<br />

Chicago.<br />

Because <strong>of</strong> his phenomenal work there he was<br />

elected to the Episcopate in 1859 in St. James Church,<br />

Richmond, Virginia, at the session <strong>of</strong> the General<br />

Convention. He was the youngest <strong>of</strong> all the Bishops.<br />

He held his first service in Minnesota at Wabasha,<br />

Scriptural praise from the Book <strong>of</strong> St. Mark,<br />

chapter 14, verse 8, "She hath done what she could,"<br />

voiced by the Rev. John S. Kedney, D.D., in a<br />

memorial sermon before mourners who overflowed the<br />

historic Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our Merciful Saviour, <strong>Faribault</strong>,<br />

Minnesota, eulogized the memory <strong>of</strong> Mrs. Cornelia<br />

Whipple.<br />

Mrs. Whipple, the wife <strong>of</strong> the Rt. Rev. Henry<br />

Benjamin Whipple, first Episcopal Bishop <strong>of</strong><br />

Minnesota, died on July 16, 1890 following earlier<br />

injuries received in a Georgia railway accident.<br />

Her death, mourned by thousands in all sections <strong>of</strong><br />

this country and abroad, marked the close <strong>of</strong> a life<br />

steeped in Christian unselfishness and piety. Her<br />

constructive life was devoted to helpful service to the<br />

poor and suffering, to the grateful Indians and to her<br />

husband, the Bishop, who frequently mentioned that<br />

Mrs. Whipple "was his right hand in all good work,"<br />

particularly in laying the foundation <strong>of</strong> <strong>Faribault</strong>'s<br />

famed Episcopal Schools.<br />

Mrs. Whipple was the eldest daughter <strong>of</strong> the Hon.<br />

and Mrs. Benjamin Wright and was born in Adams,<br />

Jefferson <strong>County</strong>, N.Y. Educated at Mrs. Emma<br />

Willard's celebrated Troy Female Seminary, she<br />

taught several years in South Carolina and provided<br />

largely the means to educate her brother who became<br />

a faithful minister <strong>of</strong> the church.<br />

Married in 1842<br />

In 1842 she was married to Henry Benjamin<br />

Whipple, then engaged in the mercantile business in<br />

New York. She led him to the Church and as they were<br />

connected with the Parish <strong>of</strong> Zion Church, Pierrepont<br />

Manor, her husband became a lay reader and held<br />

services in the Adams Academy.<br />

In 1847 Mr. Whipple became a candidate for Holy<br />

Orders and was ordained Deacon by Bishop DeLancey<br />

in 1849 and accepted the charge <strong>of</strong> Zion Church, Rome,<br />


~en ~8/ow<br />

Scandrett <strong>of</strong> St. Paul and Brigadier General C. H.<br />

Whipple, USA.<br />

The impressive funeral service for Mrs. Cornelia<br />

Whipple was held in the Cathedral <strong>of</strong> Our Merciful<br />

Saviour on July 19, 1890 and was a sincere, eloquent<br />

tribute to her constructive, unselfish life <strong>of</strong> service to<br />

God. Truly, she exemplified St. Mark's words "She<br />