Some sources say the community was named for Tom Penasse, an American Indian from the area, who may be the man pictured. The sign reads, "United States Post Office Penasse Minnesota, The Most Northerly P.O. in U.S.A." Penasse, Minnesota is located in the northern part of Minnesota's Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods County.
University of Minnesota Duluth, Kathryn A. Martin Library, Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections
In 1949, Sister Laura Hesch oversaw the clearing of the ground in preparation for the construction of the Little Flower Mission Church at the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe). The building was built the following year under the supervison of the Crosier Fathers of Onamia.
Leone Aronson, a resident in the Rice Creek and Long Lake area of New Brighton, collected these Indian arrowheads through her childhood. A large Indian village is believed to have been located at the location prior to the Revolutionary War.
Sister Laura made inroads into life of reservation by making friends with the Ojibwe children who loved the treats she brought when she visited Mille Lacs Indian Reservation (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe).
Sister Laura Hesch befriended a 100-year-old Ojibwe woman who lived alone on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe). It was through such relationships that she won the hearts of the Ojibwe.
Ojibwe homes along the shores of Mille Lacs Lake at Mille Lacs Indian Reservation (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe). Sister Laura Hesch made regular visits. Her outgoing personality soon won the trust of the people she came to be with as is evident by the fact that thirty two mothers came to the first Mothers' Party which she hosted.
The first concern for Sister Laura Hesch when she began her mission on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) was to get acquainted with the Ojibwe. She made her way to families and visited them in their homes on the reservation. The Ojibwe developed a faithful friendship with and a trust in Sister Laura--so much so that they requested she be buried on the reservation when she died.
In 1930, Bishop Peter Bartholme of the Diocese of St. Cloud asked Sister Laura Hesch, OSB, to set up a mission to serve the Ojibwe on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe). Holy Cross Convent in Onamia served as her home base from which she set out 11 miles several times a week to be with the Ojibwe.
William Knickbocher stands in a rice kettle. Knickbocher appears to be treading on parched wild rice to remove the rice hulls. Two birchbark winnowing trays are visible. William Knickbocher died in the fall of 1958.