Cottonwood County Historical Society
This is one way to go to the Web Site of the Cottonwood County Historical Society, located at Windom, Minnesota. This page sponsored by the Cottonwood County portion of the MNGenWeb Project. See http://www.museumsofmn.com/cottonwood-county-historical-society.html for the official website.
Purpose and Goals:
The purpose and goals of the Society are to collect, preserve, and disseminate knowledge about the history of the county.
Cottonwood County was established by the Territorial Legislature May 23, 1857. Because of the Minnesota Dakota Conflict of 1862, permanant settlement of the county did not begin until 1869. County government was formally organized in 1870 and county records date from that time. The Cottonwood County Historical Society, (formerly The Old Settlers Association), had its begining with the meeting of pioneer settlers in October 1901.
Meetings are held at the Cottonwood County Historical Museum located at 812 4th Ave., Windom, MN. The meeting time is 3:30 pm, on the fourth Monday of each month.
If you agree with the purpose and goals, we invite you to become a member of the Cottonwood County Historical Society. We believe this offers many benefits. Some of the major benefits, (besides helping fulfill our purpose and goals) are: Our Quarterly Newsletter; Free use of the Research Library; Discounts on copies; and Invitations to Art Openings and Special Events.
Dues are; Annual $15.00 (single)/$25.00 (family), or Lifetime $100.00(single), or $150.00 (couple) for US citizens. International rates are determined when requested based on current postage rates.
The Society can be contacted via the US Postal Service at:
Cottonwood County Historical Society
812 4th Ave.,
Windom, MN 56101
or via telephone at; (507)831-1134
or via fax at; (507)831-2665
or via the internet at; firstname.lastname@example.org
Members receive a quarterly newsletter.
Open Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm; Saturday, 10:00am - 4:00pm. Admission is free. Exhibits chronicle the county's development from the era of Native Americans to the early 20th century. Exhibits include the early settlers's home, the rural schoolhouse, the general store/post office, the REA kitchen, native american artifacts, Victorian Parlor, Law Enforcement artifacts, and the farm workshop.
Remick Art Gallery
The Remick Art Gallery is a changing art gallery showcasing local and regional artists along with thematic shows. The gallery changes five times a year. Contact the museum for the yearly schedule.
A fee of $2.00 is charged (non-members) to use the Research Library in the museum. It offers a wealth of information for those interested in local history or family histories. Research materials include: Business Histories/Documents, Cemetery Records, Census for Cottonwood County (microfilm), Church Records, Club and Organizational Records, Ephemera, Family Histories and Documents, Genealogical files, Library Card Catalog (computer and index files in process), Maps, Military Records, Naturalization Records (microfilm), area Newspapers (microfilm), Obituary Files, Periodicals and Newsletters, Photograph Catalog file (computer), Plat Books/Atlases and Indexes, School Records Files and Index (index on computer), Telephone Books, Township Records, Yearbooks, and more.
Room Rental and Group Tours:
The meeting room (max. capacity 90) with a slide screen VCR, and DVD player is available for groups to rent.
Cottonwood County Timeline:
- c. 3000 - 1750 A.D.: Woodland and Mississippian Native Americans, and eventually the Dakota Sioux, occupy the County. Rock carvings made at the Jeffers Petroglyph site. (Now a Minnesota State Park).
- c. 1655 - 1762: First Europeans arrive. The French explored and claimed
Minnesota land. Trappers traveled throughout the County but did not establish permenant settlements.
- 1849: MN Territorial Government established.
- 1851: Treaties of Traverse des Sioux & Mendota opens the territory west of the Mississippi to settlers. Native Americans moved to reservations.
- 1857: Cottonwood County established. One white occupant, Charles Zierke,
- 1858: MN becomes the 32nd state.
- 1862: Dakota Conflict in response to broken treaties. All 12 white settlers leave county.
- 1871: Railroad reaches Cottonwood County. Rapid growth begins.
- 1873 - 1876: Grasshopper plagues ravage crops. Many farms abandoned.
- 1895: Wheat primary crop planted (57,000 acres). 1700 farms.
- 1938: First Rural Electric Association lines installed. Provided electricity to rural areas.
- Early 1940s: Introduction of hybrid corn in County.
- 1940s: Flax production peaks (47,300 acres in 1949).
- Late 1940s: Soybeans introduced. 25,441 acres in 1949 (corn 127,512; oats 70,693; wheat 1,331).
- 1992: Population 12,656
Join our efforts to preserve the Historical Society's vast collections. Volunteer opportunities exist for the following; artifact storage, computer work, exhibit preparation, filing historic information, research, special projects, etc. Put a skill to use or learn a new skill while learning about your county.
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genealogist interested in the Cottonwood County Historical Society page since the counter was installed on January 28, 1998.
Please send any questions/comments on this page to Ray at email@example.com, or Linda at; firstname.lastname@example.org
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