The community of St. Peter was initially, and for a very brief time, known as Rock Bend, a name taken because of the presence of a sharp bend in the course of the Minnesota River on the east side of the settlement. The name was used probably from late in 1853 until sometime in 1854. The envelope shown here, addressed to Charles E. Flandrau (1828-1903), who was living in the area at the time, is one of only a few objects that survived with the name "Rock Bend" on it. Flandrau, himself, became a very prominent resident of the State of Minnesota. Among many other duties during his lifetime, he commanded the defenders of New Ulm in August of 1862 and later served on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
This document contains the text of a bill that was passed by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature in 1857 to transfer the capital of Minnesota from St. Paul to St. Peter. This document has been determined to have been written at that time, but it is most likely a working copy of the document that was passed by the legislature. Joseph Rolette, a member of the legislature who was opposed to the transfer of the capitol, disappeared with the original bill and failed to return it in time for it to be properly signed by Territorial Governor Willis Gorman, who had, in the meantime, signed a copy of the document that Rolette had taken. Governor Gorman's action was declared to be illegal by a Judge R. R. Nelson, thus ending the attempt to move the capitol.
The St. Peter Company, which helped to promote and establish the community of St. Peter, conveyed to the town's residents through this document the land for a large park. The park is known as Gorman Park, and was named after Territorial Governor Willis A. Gorman, who was a member of the St. Peter Company. The document is dated January 6th, 1857.
Minnesota's second Territorial Governor, Willis A. Gorman, signed this document that appointed William B. Dodd, one of the founders of St. Peter, as a Brigadier General of the First Brigade of the Second Division of the Militia of Minnesota Territory on February 20th, 1857.
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.
This photograph shows St. Peter Civil War veteran William B. Stone in his uniform. He served as a sergeant in Company H of the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Sergeant Stone died in St. Louis in 1862.
Portrait of St. Peter resident Lt. John Kinsman Hezlep, a member of the West Point Class of 1865 (where he graduated #14 in a class of 68). He was the son of George Hezlep, one of the members of the St. Peter Company, the group of men who founded the community of St. Peter. Hezlep served in the U.S. Infantry and Engineers and died in service of Yellow Fever on August 13, 1867 at Fort Morgan, Alabama.
Governor Alexander Ramsey signed this document appointing Eugene St. Julien Cox of St. Peter as a Captain in the First Regiment of Mounted Rangers on the 11th day of November in 1862. Cox commanded Company E. He was 28 years old at the time he was mustered in on December 10th, 1862. Cox was mustered out on November 11th, 1863.
Members of Captain Eugene St. Julien Cox's Company E of the First Mounted Rangers signed this document stating that they had received blankets and that they were responsible for their care and safe keeping. The document is dated November 22nd, 1862.
On December 27th, 1862, Phiney Wells signed this document in St. Peter to enlist in the First Mounted Rangers. Wells stated that he was born in New York and that he was 25 years and eight months old. He listed his occupation as a farmer. Wells had blue eyes, dark hair, a light complexion, and was 5 feet 10 inches tall. The document was signed by D.R. Kennedy, who was the quartermaster of the regiment. Wells was obligated to serve for up to 12 months.
Civil War musician Maximilian Hoefer, who was a member of the 19th United States Infantry Band, served as a Musician Second Class from October 13, 1864 until October 13, 1867. He was born in Luxembourg in 1847, and became a prominent businessman in St. Peter, MN.
A view to the north along South Minnesota Avenue in St. Peter showing the east side of the 100 block (at center of photograph) and the east side of the 200 block (at right). Buildings on the west side of Minnesota Avenue are visible on the left side of the photograph.
Beginning in April 1865, the members of the St. Peter School Board kept minutes of their meetings in this ledger. The minutes provide information about the teachers, principals, and superintendents who were employed in the St. Peter school system. Records of expenses and details concerning the planning and construction of new schools can also be found. This ledger ends in June of 1899. The Nicollet County Historical Society has the next two ledgers in its collection, making records through 1944 available to researchers. Of particular interest in this ledger are the names of three men on the first page who served as governors of Minnesota. They are: Henry A. Swift (governor from July 10, 1863, to January 11, 1864), Horace Austin (governor from January 9, 1870 to January 7, 1874), and Andrew R. McGill (governor from January 5, 1887, to January 9, 1889).
Superintendent Samuel E. Shantz, steward George W. Dryer, druggist Daniel J. Shaw, and two other individuals, all of whom were associated with the St. Peter State Hospital in St. Peter, Minnesota, appear in this photograph.
This drawing shows the city of St. Peter as it appeared in 1870. It provides the only known images of some of the structures that are featured, one of which is the First Lutheran Church, which is listed as the Swedish Church on the drawing. Also shown is the bridge over the Minnesota River at Broadway, which could be turned to allow the passage of riverboats.
This is a photograph of Rev. Aaron H. Kerr, 1819-1890. He was a Presbyterian minister in St. Peter from 1856 until 1878, except for service as chaplain of Minnesota's Ninth Infantry Regiment from 1862 until 1865. In 1878 he moved to Rochester to serve as steward of the State Hospital until 1890.
This postcard shows a view of the Commercial Hotel in St. Peter that was located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Park Row. The image is a reproduction that was made from an earlier photograph.
Exterior view of the hardware store that was owned by M. G. Evenson in St. Peter. It was located next to Laubach's grocery store, which was on the southwest corner of the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Park Row.
Exterior view of the Northwestern Hotel in St. Peter that was located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Front street and Park Row. In November of 1887, a fire in the hotel's stable destroyed the hotel and many other buildings.
Exterior view of the Northwestern Hotel in St. Peter that was located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Front Street and Park Row. In November of 1887, a fire in the hotel's stable destroyed the hotel and many other buildings. This postcard is a reproduction made from an earlier photograph.
Exterior view of the Randall and Noble store in St. Peter which was located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Nassau street. The store sold groceries and crockeryware.
Exterior view of the saloon owned by Herman Sporing in St. Peter. It was located on the east side of the 200 block of South Minnesota Avenue near the north end of the block. Sporing is standing in front of the building.
This photograph shows a store in St. Peter that sold picture frames and Howe sewing machines. It was located slightly north of the Nicollet Hotel, which was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Park Row.
This photograph shows a tinsmith shop in St. Peter that was located on the west side of the 300 block of South Minnesota Avenue. Owner C. R. Woods sold stoves and tinware. Charles Feldman, C. R. Woods, and Harry Woods are in front of the shop.
This photograph shows the first high school in St. Peter, which was located on the northwest corner of the intersection of Fifth and Grace streets. The front of the school faced Fifth street. It was constructed in the early 1870s.
This is a photograph of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in St. Peter, also called the German Lutheran Church. This church was dedicated in 1870, and was located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Fifth and Mulberry streets, facing Mulberry. A new church on the same site was dedicated in 1923.
This document for two shares of stock in the Saint Peter Workingmen's Co-operative Association was issued on September 16th, 1870 to someone whose name appears to be John P. Gren. This may be the man who is listed as John P. Grand, a farmer in Oshawa Township, in the 1870 Nicollet County census. The certificate was signed by the association's president, Robert J. Billingsley, a farmer from Lake Prairie Township, and by the secretary, St. Peter attorney Charles S. Bryant.
Dated the fourth day of March in 1871, this bond was issued by the Borough of Saint Peter in order to raise money to finance the construction of the Winona & Saint Peter Railroad. The value of the bond at maturity was five hundreds dollars. The railroad crossed the Minnesota River and entered Nicollet County near the site of the St. Peter State Hospital in May of 1871. The railroad eventually extended through St. Peter, Traverse, Oshawa, Nicollet, and Courtland in Nicollet County before it crossed the Minnesota River into Brown County.
Standing, left to right, are: Z. S. Gault, T. H. Frazier, and Henry Moll. Seated, left to right, are: G. S. Ives, George Noble, C. R. Davis, and Dr. G. F. Merritt. This photograph of prominent St. Peter men was taken in 1872.
Standing, left to right, are: Z. S. Gault, T. H. Frazier, and Henry Moll. Seated, left to right, are: G. S. Ives, George Noble, Charles R. Davis, and Dr. G. F. Merritt. This photograph of prominent St. Peter men was taken in 1872.
The William Klein furniture store on the east side of the 200 block of South Minnesota Avenue in St. Peter. The store was built in 1872 and was destroyed in a major fire in St. Peter in November of 1887.
This is the home of George Dryer, who lived at the intersection of Third and Walnut Streets in St. Peter. Dryer was the steward at the St. Peter State Hospital. The 1880 census lists Dryer, his wife, Anna, and their children, Mary Emma, Anna, and Horatio. George is on the porch and Mary is in the carriage.
The east side of the 200 block of South Minnesota Avenue in St. Peter. Left to right: William Klein furniture, the Cheap Cash store, A. J. Lamberton general store, the First National Bank, C. Amundson general store, Anderson general store, Deutschmann general store.
This postcard version of a photograph originally taken in 1877 shows the James Nutter blacksmith shop in St. Peter. The business was located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Front and Grace streets.
Interior view of the Union Presbyterian Church in St. Peter after it was remodeled for the first time. The church is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Third and Locust streets, facing Third street.
This is a photograph of E. St. Julien Cox, the first mayor of St. Peter from 1865 to 1867. Cox was a captain in Company E of the Second Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War. He led volunteers to fight at New Ulm during the 1862 Uprising. Cox served as judge of the Ninth Judicial District from 1876 to 1882.
The interior of the Union Presbyterian Church in St. Peter, Minnesota, is shown in this stereograph. The church, which has been extensively remodeled inside, faces South Third Street on the northwestern corner of the intersection with West Locust Street.
This photograph shows the original wooden Winona and St. Peter Railroad bridge near the St. Peter State Hospital. The view appears to be toward the community of Kasota in Le Sueur County. This bridge was replaced by an iron bridge in 1879.
This view of the original Winona and St. Peter Railroad bridge over the Minnesota River that was completed in 1871 appears to look toward Kasota from a location near the St. Peter State Hospital. The bridge was replaced about 1879 by a metal one. Some of the stone supports for the new bridge can be seen to the right of the wooden bridge.
This photograph shows the construction of the Nicollet County Courthouse in St. Peter, which is located on the east side of the 500 block of South Minnesota Avenue. Construction began in 1880 and was completed in July of 1881.
This photograph shows a view of St. Peter, looking north along Third street from its intersection with Park Row. At right is Theodore Knoll's store, and at left is the St. Peter Marble Works. The spire of the Norwegian Lutheran Church is visible in the distance.
Exterior view of the Philip Dick clothing and shoe store in St. Peter on the southeast corner of the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Nassau street. Along Nassau street are signs for a blacksmith shop and the Western Union telegraph office.
This photo shows Edith Sackett and Mother Sackett in St. Peter. The Nicollet County Bank building at far left is on the northwest corner of the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Nassau street. The St. Peter Tribune newspaper office, S. O. Strand's millinery shop, and the I. O. O. F. meeting site are shown.
This photograph shows a group of St. Peter residents at a picnic. The names are on the reverse side of the photograph. Among the individuals listed are members of the Peterson, Cosgrove, Ribble, and Schleuder families.
This is a photograph of Dr. John Sander, a Gustavus Adolphus College professor who helped found the First English Lutheran Church in St. Peter in 1892. The church is now known as Trinity Lutheran Church.