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).