Historians 1980-1989

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  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: April 1980

    Follows a local company over 100 years though its inventions and manufacturing history with three successive owners.

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: July 1980

    Continues the history in words and photos, as one local company changes and expands through the years to 1980.

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: October 1980

    Covers the early history of a major form of local entertainment that began in 1870 and lasted half a century. The author credits the BECHS archives for its “wealth of source material, particularly two collections of original programs and photo brochures, as well as its newspaper resources.”

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: January 1981

    Continues the overview of “the golden age of the American theater” in 1893 and provides anecdotes of the exotic fare brought to local audiences before cinema “spelled the doom of live theatrical entertainment.”

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: April 1981

    Describes the architectural features of the library, including a detailed inscription of the cornerstone, laid in 1902.

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: April 1981

    Finds a connection between the museum’s 1880’s schoolroom and a teacher’s certificate issued to Horace B. Perrin, a Mankato resident from 1894 to 1933. Perrin filled many roles as well as that of teacher. His two daughters also taught school and one daughter owned and lived in the Perrin House until 1977.

  • Author: Marcia Schuster
    Issue Date: July 1981

    Chronicles the lives and accomplishments of families who fled war-torn Germany in the late 1840’s, eventually settling in Mankato. She notes the marriages and business partnerships that joined the two families for the next 50 years.

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: October 1981

    Reedfield ran not one but two successful businesses in the Mankato area from the 1890’s to the mid-1930’s. Reedfield was nationally known for the extensive knowledge and reproduction of authentic Indian designs. She also fabricated, rented, and sold costumes of all kinds for local theatrical productions, schools, churches, etc. Less well known is her role as proprietor of the “Coponanning” and Point Pleasant resorts on Madison Lake. 

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: January 1982

    Paints a picture of “the most famous race horse in history,” then continues with the fascinating story of racing and breeding in the Mankato area.

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: April 1982

    Quotes from a popular 19th century song introduce the folk art known as “crazy quilts.” Photos and descriptions of materials, methods, and designs, plus notations on the early artists who fashioned the quilts serve as a fine resource on the topic.

  • Author: Jeanne Kress
    Issue Date: April 1982

    Details the business college’s history from 1903 to 1980.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: August 1984

    Relays a wealth of information in the coverage of three early county fairs and those who took part in them. Many well-known names and events are featured in the survey. 

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: October 1984

    Surveys 130 years of beginnings, expansion, use, success and disaster, as successive attempts were (and are) made to provide power for area industries.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: November 1984

    Four early organizations are formed for specific civic purposes; of the four, three are still “alive and well.”

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: December 1984

    Fondly recalls the rural school district as a one-room schoolhouse back in 1937, and its role as a center of community activities. Features the unusual and enchanting annual holiday program.

  • Author: Louisa Smith
    Issue Date: January 1985

    Centuries of swaddling a baby for protection did not cease even when multiple layers of clothing became the norm in the early 20th century.

  • Author: Darell Apitz
    Issue Date: February 1985

    Thorough research documents 85 years of making lime, a “mortar material used by stone masons and bricklayers.” Beginning in 1853, the industry flourished but began to decline when Portland cement became available, and finally closed its doors in 1939.

  • Author: Audrey Annis
    Issue Date: March 1985

    Explores why and how a large group of New Yorkers with Scottish and English surnames immigrated to the wilds of southern Minnesota in 1856.

  • Author: Audrey Annis
    Issue Date: April 1985

    Continues the survey of Mapleton and Sterling Township’s early settlement. Describes the trip to Minnesota from Wisconsin in 1856 and the hardships of pioneer life. 

  • Author: Anita Stone
    Issue Date: May 1985

    Stone, Director of Public Information at MSU, traces the society’s history from 1901 to 1938, citing major highlights from records.

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: June 1985

    Relates the 1908 voyage of the steamboat Lorene on the Minnesota River from Mankato to New Ulm.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: July 1985

    Correlates the opening of the new Canterbury Downs with the forty years of horse racing enjoyed by the locals from the 1850’s to the 1890’s. Mankato’s horses had a “national reputation ... and many a race track,” as well as with “lovers of finely-bred horses at home.”

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: August 1985

    The writer gives a brief history of the brewing industry in the area and notes that few accounts exist of the profitable industry and advises readers that “sources differ in spelling the names of the owners ...”

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: September 1985

    Surveys the local industry to 1893, noting that the William Bierbauer Brewery (the first brewery west of St. Paul, Minnesota) was the only one still in existence in 1920 when the Prohibition Act was passed. The Bierbauer buildings were used until 1967, and demolished in 1971.

  • Author: Lucille Fitzsimmons
    Issue Date: October 1985

    Retired English teacher Fitzsimmons includes interviews with local residents as well as many print sources in her comprehensive look at Good Thunder from 1881-1912. 

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: November 1985

    Patriotism was prime in 1944, with area residents seeking ways to honor local members of the United States armed forces. Probably the most lasting memento of this was the beautification of the new Highway 22 from Mankato to Mapleton.. Today it still has no billboards but most of its “living tribute of trees and shrubs” still grace the Victory Highway.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: December 1985

    Review of the holiday celebration a century ago, replete with details and nostalgic information.

  • Author: Ruth Shellburg
    Issue Date: January 1986

    A long-time MSU professor and Camp Fire leader, the author reminisces about the 75-year history of the organization and local women who gained national renown.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: February 1986

    In 1849, the superintendent of farming for the Sioux living in the Minnesota River Valley filed a report on agriculture in the new territory of Minnesota. The author describes the article as a fascinating account of the food cultivated by the Indians and its “procuring, cooking and curing for use.”

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: March 1986

    Local residents and communities enjoyed their “sky-watching parties” for this once-in-75-years appearance of the outer-space visitor

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: April 1986

    Only a few artifacts remain to show that once two railwaysystems operated in Mankato. The author traces the locations and persons involved during the years 1895 to 1930 when this mode of transportation flourished.

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: June 1986

    Traces the rise and fall of the site on Spring Brook, six miles east of Mankato that might have become a famous health spa. “Mineral Springs” can still be found on current Blue Earth County maps.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: July 1986

    Utilizes many valuable sources in tracing the exploration and development of the “great bend of the Minnesota River that marks the north boundary of Blue Earth County.”

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: August 1986

    Peruses the 1885-86 Mankato City Directory to note the educational and employment opportunities and special events available to residents of the time.

  • Author: Elvina Severson Lewis
    Issue Date: September 1986

    The author, a granddaughter of pioneer settlers in the area, follows the history of “small potatoes” from 1855 to the present, including four photographs and a township map.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: November 1986

    At the peak of the local industry’s 85-year existence, Blue Earth County had thirty cigar manufacturers. The author follows its history in Mankato, Mapleton, Lake Crystal, Madison Lake, and Good Thunder.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: December 1986

    Traces the village’s holiday celebrations from 1892 to the present, citing many events, locales, and names of townspeople who combine to make it into a “five-day extravaganza that attracts up to 5,000 people.”

  • Author: Vernard Lundin
    Issue Date: January 1987

    Adapting an article from his book, As the Twig Is Bent, the author spins a fond tale of the village people, places, and activities he remembers from his early boyhood.

  • Author: Vernard Lundin
    Issue Date: February 1987

     In his second return to his boyhood surroundings, the author focuses on the one-room school where he attended grades 1-8.

  • Issue Date: May 1987

    Celebrates preservationists for their roles in identifying and preserving national and local properties of value and significance.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: June 1987

    Chronicles the rise and fall of many of the 40+ newspapers that appeared “to inform, educate and influence county residents during the last half of the 1800’s.” This and a second article commemorate the bicentennial of Freedom of the Press.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: July 1987

    Continues her survey of area “purveyors of news” from 1891 to present, citing many long-gone newspapers as well as those still dedicated to bringing county residents global and local events.

  • Author: Julie Schrader
    Issue Date: August 1987

    Recounts the sometimes futile efforts to control the insect infestation that devastated Blue Earth County for four long years. As the plague continued, much of Minnesota was affected; measures to control the plague included a state-wide day of prayer proclaimed by the governor.

  • Author: Lucille Fitzsimmons
    Issue Date: October 1987

    Retired English teacher Fitzsimmons surveys early businesses that supplied goods pioneers were unable to produce. Fascinating details enliven this first of two articles.

  • Author: Lucille Fitzsimmons
    Issue Date: November 1987

    A long-time resident and high school teacher continues her exploration of the vital purveyors of merchandise in a typical small town. 

  • Author: Michael Scullin
    Issue Date: January 1988

    Ethno-historian Scullin draws from his articles on the time period, various Indian groups, settlements and food gathering, and other forms of lifestyles throughout 10,000 years of habitation in North America.

  • Author: Julie Schrader
    Issue Date: February 1988

    Traces many local lodging houses from1852 to 1930, giving informative details about meals, accommodations, and changes of ownership.

  • Author: Julie Schrader
    Issue Date: March 1988

    Continues the survey of small-town lodgings from1855 to the 1930’s. Early establishments and proprietors are discussed.

  • Issue Date: May 1988

    Follows the life and career of George M. Palmer from his humble beginnings to President of the Hubbard Milling Company. Continues with his deep involvement in various civic and church organizations. Lists his descendents to date.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: June 1988

    Hilarious details spice this story of the construction, dedication and excursion to St. Paul to celebrate 1868’s new form of transportation in the area.

  • Author: Gail Palmer
    Issue Date: July 1988

    Author uses knowledge gained while teaching in the Beauford area over many years to pen a short but comprehensive history of local people, places and events.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: October 1988

    This mountain climber was obsessed with reaching the heights since she first climbed the windmills on her grandmother’s farm. After becoming the “first woman professional mountain guide in the national park system,” Alma championed the role of women in the labor force.

  • Author: Inella Burns
    Issue Date: January 1989

    The county was both excited and cautious when the “snorting iron horse” first rolled into Mankato in 1868 and grew into a county network of rail lines by 1907.

  • Author: Julie Schrader
    Issue Date: March 1989

    Points out the importance of the stagecoach in early Blue Earth County when water navigation was not available. Traces the routes and stage lines form 1853 to 1864.

  • Author: Julie Schrader
    Issue Date: April 1989

    Continues the stagecoach history from 1864 to the 1870’s, pointing out that the stage lines were still important even after railroads became prominent.

  • Author: Susan Monks-Kjos
    Issue Date: May 1989

    Encourages preservation of, and visits to, both local and national sites of historic significance. Notes the more than 1,200 historic districts that help preserve our heritage.

  • Author: Penny Jones
    Issue Date: July 1989

    First of two articles reprinted from February 1989’s issue of Preservation News, the monthly newspaper of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The new owner(s) of a previously owned home are given many resources to consult in their quest for information.

  • Author: Penny Jones
    Issue Date: August 1989

    Using excerpts from her article in February 1989’s Preservation News, the author continues to point out more resources available to the owner(s) of a previously occupied house in searching out its history.