Two women, one man, and two boys with horse and buggy in front of a house. Note on back of photo says,""Grandma Pierce Alice, Grandad Pierce Merritt, Frank, George, Lillian. This house is down by Bill Phelps, Good Thunder, Mn."
Origins of St. Benedict's Monastery (convent), St. Joseph, Minnesota. From its beginnings in the eleventh century, St. Walburg Convent in
Eichstätt, Bavaria, survived many trials of fire, war, famine, and secularization. "Fortunately for America, when the call came to plant a branch house in the new soil of the New World, the religious spirit of St. Walburg Convent was at its height." (McDonald, page 7). In 1851 St. Walburg Convent, EichstÃtt, Bavaria, was challenged by an invitation from Boniface Wimmer, OSB, (a missionary monk from Bavaria in America as early as 1846) to go to America to teach the children of the German immigrants. On June 18, 1852, Sister Benedicta Riepp with Sisters Walburga Dietrich and Maura Flieger blazed the trail for the EichstÃ¤tt sisters to the New World by way of the steamer, "Washington." They reached New York amid the confusion of fire crackers and shooting cannons for the July 4th celebrations. Undaunted, they traveled on to settle in St. Marys, PA. New members soon joined them. With the second group (3 nuns and one candidate) from EichstÃ¤tt, they were ready to establish other convents in frontier settlements, among them the Northwest Territory in the area which later became the state of Minnesota. In summary, the origin of St. Benedict's Convent, St. Joseph, MN, can be traced as follows: in 1852, the Bavarian branch of Benedictine Sisters who came to America first settled in St. Joseph's Convent, St. Marys, PA.; in 1857, a small group of sisters from St. Joseph's Convent (PA) ventured to the western frontier -- to St. Mary's Parish, St. Cloud, MN; in 1863, the St. Cloud group of sisters moved to St. Joseph, MN. In St. Joseph, they established St. Benedict's Monastery which became the largest Benedictine monastery in the world. (Early records refer to St. Benedict's Monastery as St. Benedict's Convent.) [St. Benedict's Monastery Archives (Saint Benedict's Monastery Archives; Sister Grace McDonald, OSB, With Lamps Burning, pages 7-10).
Exterior view of the Mason and Boardman hardware store in St. Peter, which was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Grace street. photograph E1393 shows the same "HARDWARE" sign.
Early years in St. Cloud (1857-1863). Mother Willibalda Scherbauer and her companions traveled from St. Marys, Pennsylvania by rail and wagon to Pittsburgh; by river boats on the Ohio River to St. Louis and on the Mississippi River with a stop-over in St. Paul; finally reaching St. Cloud. However, the riverboat, "North Star" was stranded on a sand bar two miles from St. Cloud. After two days, on July 4, 1857, the sisters were taken ashore in small boats. They stopped at the Benedictine monks' college in St. Cloud to enjoy their first meal after three days on the boat without food as they could not afford the price of a meal (50 cents). Then the monks took the sisters to their destination, St. Mary's Parish in the German settlement of Middle St. Cloud. The whole area was desolate having been ravaged by a grasshopper plague. The resulting food shortage and the extreme cold tested the endurance of the sisters during their first years in St. Cloud (Saint Benedict's Monastery Archives; McDonald, pages 20-27).
This photograph shows the Land Office building in St. Peter. The Land Office was located in St. Peter from 1858 until 1870 in several locations. The building shown in this photograph appears to be on the east side of Minnesota Avenue.
400 Block, South Front Street, 1860, with horse-drawn buggies and buildings; notes on back of photo say,""1860--Front St.--Cherry to Jackson (West Side)" and ""More likely Jackson to Cherry." Photo is printed in reverse (text on signs is backwards).
Exterior view of the Schilz house, built in Minnesota territorial days (1860) has since been remolded. Present location (as of 2003) is 205 East Main Street. Front has open porch with four support posts - embellishments on upper end of posts. Tall tree on left edge of frame.