New Ulm (Settler Descendant)

New Ulm, the City of "Charm and Tradition," is 90 miles southwest of the Twin Cities, in the heart of the scenic Minnesota River Valley.

The idea for the city of New Ulm, a settlement of German immigrants, was conceived by Frederick Beinhorn in Germany. Beinhorn came to America in 1852. By 1853, he was in Chicago where he and a group of other German immigrants formed the "Chicago Land Society." In 1854, the site of the present New Ulm was selected by the advance group. The name, New Ulm, was selected because many of the original settlers were from the Province of Wurttemberg, Germany, of which Ulm is the principal city.

In 1856 Wilhelm Pfaender arrived in New Ulm with members of the Turner Colonization Society of Cincinnati. The two groups merged and in 1857, the town of New Ulm was incorporated by an act of the Legislature.

New Ulm has been important in Minnesota's history. The first steamboats passed by New Ulm in 1853, going upriver with troops to lay out the site for Fort Ridgely. For the next 20 years, boats brought setters, freight, Indian supplies, and gold to the area.

The Indians mingled freely with New Ulm settlers in those days. Much trading was done between the Indians and the settlers of New Ulm.

http://www.ci.new-ulm.mn.us/

Stories

Title
It happened right here!
Lisa Besemer | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862
Keywords: Highway 29, Haberly, Haag, Henle
“Please give them help. Please give them the money we said we were going to give them.”
Lisa Besemer | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Causes of War, Perspectives on 1862
Keywords: Brown County Historical Society, Letter, Henle
Did people really trust themselves to come back here again?
Lisa Besemer | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862
Keywords: Depredation Claims, Compensation, Leaving, Haag
It’s only as good as the paper you write them on.
Lisa Besemer | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Treaties
Keywords: Treaty
We still have people that allow others to tell them what to think.
Robert Beussman | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Creating Awareness, Media
Keywords: Commemoration, Media
That story was just a story until my aunt took the gun to have it repaired
Robert Beussman | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862
Keywords: Weapons
Had the tables been turned?
Robert Beussman | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Forced Marches
Keywords: Marches, Anger
We're people just like they are
Robert Beussman | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Immigration, Persecution
Keywords: Germans, Immigration, Misperception
Who is right and who is wrong?
Robert Beussman | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862
Keywords: Aftermath, Fairness
They were fighting for their lives.
Robert Beussman | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Causes of War, Assimilation, Perspectives on 1862
Keywords: Hunt, Farming, Conversion, Religion, Honesty, Starvation
The enemy during one war and then the saviors for the next
Robert Beussman | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Settler Life
Keywords: Discrimination, Persecution, Prejudice
“Now, come on! You can do it"
Evelyn Eischen | Oral History
Theme: Growing Up
Topics: Growing Up, Language
Keywords: German, Language
This little boy was laying in the ditch
Evelyn Eischen | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Family in 1862
Keywords: Roeser, Holm
They should have tried to find a different way.
Evelyn Eischen | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862, Causes of War
Keywords: Cause
I think children of today are lacking history
Mary Fellegy | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Education
Keywords: History, Milford
I was embarrassed, to tell you the truth
Mary Fellegy | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Inter-cultural Relationships
Keywords: Perceptions, Fear
There are people who will say those people were taken there for safety
George Glotzbach | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Fort Snelling
Keywords: Fort Snelling, Preservation
We were all glad it was over
George Glotzbach | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Inter-cultural Relationships
Keywords: Commemoration, Celebration
We have not learned our lesson yet
George Glotzbach | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862, Current Events
Keywords: War, Humanity, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia
Inhumanity of man against man is hard to believe
George Glotzbach | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Forced Marches
Keywords: Violence
“Hey it’s over now, why don’t we just make friends.”
George Glotzbach | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Settler Descendant Life Today, Inter-cultural Relationships
Keywords: Events, WPA, New Ulm
They had a cause against the federal government
George Glotzbach | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862, Current Events, U.S. Government
Keywords: Point of View, Attack, Victims
"The land of milk and honey"
Alice Henle | Oral History
Theme: Immigration
Topics: Immigration Experience, German Land Association, Homestead Act
Keywords: Sienks, Henle, Homestead Act
You can see why this all happened
Alice Henle | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Upper Sioux Agency
Keywords: Upper Sioux Agency
She cut a lock of his hair and kept it.
Alice Henle | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862
Keywords: Hartman, Riel, Roner, Henle
The reservation line goes through our land
Frederick Juni | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Dakota and Settler Relationships, Reservations
Keywords: Reservations
I don't think that silence does much
Frederick Juni | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Brown County
Keywords: Commemoration, Anniversary, Celebration, Animosity
We surely have to keep history alive
Frederick Juni | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Morton
Keywords: Morton, Frank Massopust
I think it's a blemish on our local history
Frederick Juni | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Mankato Hangings, Abraham Lincoln
Keywords: Mankato, Hangings, Lincoln
We have the deed for this farm on the wall signed by Ulysses S. Grant
Frederick Juni | Oral History
Theme: Immigration
Topics: Settler Life, New Ulm, Homesteading, Sod Houses
Keywords: New Ulm, Massopust, Homestead, Sod Houses, Dugout
Humanity has still not learned to coexist in harmony
Frederick Juni | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862
Keywords: Humanity
It was a clash of two cultures. It had to be.
Frederick Juni | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Dakota and Settler Relationships, Factions, Causes of War
Keywords: Cause, Factions, Neighbors, Compassion
That whole process is very complicated
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862, Factions, Missionaries, Christianity, Fur Trade, Dakota and Settler Relationships
Keywords: Myrick, LaBatte, Intermarriage, Kinship, Starvation, Lac qui Parle, Acton, Conversion, Big Eagle (Waŋbdí Tháŋka)
The notion is that if you're Christian you can't be an Indian
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Spirituality
Keywords: Christianity
I believe in understanding on both sides
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862, Leaders in War, Mankato Hangings, Oral History, Marches
Keywords: Ramsey, Guilt, Marches, Soldiers
Two of my grandfathers were sentenced to hang at Mankato
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Aftermath of 1862
Keywords: Christianity, Davenport Prison, Faribault, Henry Whipple, Mankato
Where did the Dakota Indian get their land?
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Treaties, Dakota Land, Trade
Keywords: Treaties, Trade, Migration
Take the politics out of it and deal with it from a historical aspect
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Understanding, Education, Forced Marches, Fort Snelling
Keywords: Education, Genocide, Marches, Anger, Fort Snelling
Some people call it a clash of cultures. I don't, that's too general
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Dakota and Settler Relationships
Keywords: Fur Traders, Missionaries, Treaties
Do you think they would have stopped to have trials?
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Dakota Exile/Diaspora, Mankato Hangings, Abraham Lincoln, Forced Marches
Keywords: Dakota Exile/Diaspora, Mankato, Hangings, Lincoln, March
They're still fighting the Dakota War among themselves
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating
Keywords: Minnesota Historical Society
I believe that Little Crow was a reluctant leader
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Leaders in War, Little Crow, Gabriel Renville, Aftermath of 1862
Keywords: Little Crow (Thaóyate Dúta), Gabriel Renville
Education needs to tell the truth about what happened
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862
Keywords: LaBatte, Quinn, Hapstina
I see errors in Minnesota Historical Society's signs and books
John LaBatte | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Forced Conversion, Missionaries, Lower Sioux Agency
Keywords: Missionaries, Christianity
That Norwegian suggested that they look at the New Ulm site for starting a town
Orlin Mack | Oral History
Theme: Immigration
Topics: Immigration Experience
Keywords: German Land Association, Norwegian, Language
He told them that there was trouble coming
Orlin Mack | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862
Keywords: Dakota/Settler Relations
I don't think they got a very fair deal
Willard Manderfeld | Oral History
Theme: Shared History
Topics: Treaties
Keywords: Treaties, Land
Close to a hundred miles
Willard Manderfeld | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Causes of War, Family in War, Aftermath of War, Treaties, Perspectives on War
Keywords: Family, Fort Ridgely
They lived here that long so they got the land free
Willard Manderfeld | Oral History
Theme: Immigration
Topics: Homesteading, Immigration Experience, U.S. Government
Keywords: Homesteading, Immigration
They had to teach us English first
Willard Manderfeld | Oral History
Theme: Growing Up
Topics: Growing Up, Settler Life, Language, German
Keywords: German, Language
Where do you start, and how far back do you go?
Richard Runck | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862
Keywords:
Let sleeping dogs lie
Richard Runck | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Ways of Commemorating, Learning from the Past
Keywords: WWII, Accuracy
War is always that way
Sylvan Schumacher | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862
Keywords: War
Everyone else left the area
Sylvan Schumacher | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Aftermath of 1862, Family in 1862
Keywords: Leavenworth, Wounded Knee
I was always interested in what a dugout was like
Sylvan Schumacher | Oral History
Theme: Immigration
Topics: Settler Life, Homesteading, Sod Houses
Keywords: Homesteading, Sod Houses, Midwifery
He couldn’t let the dog bark, so he had to drown his dog
Sylvan Schumacher | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862
Keywords: Slough, Leavenworth
If everything was taken away from me, I probably would have done the same thing
Terry Sveine | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Perspectives on 1862
Keywords:
I’ve been told that maybe if I was not on the so-called “winning side”, I might have a different view
Terry Sveine | Oral History
Theme: Life Today
Topics: Settler Descendant Life Today, Inter-cultural Relationships, Reconciliation
Keywords: Reconciliation
I thought: this deserves way more than that
Terry Sveine | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Mankato
Keywords: Mankato, Reconciliation
If we can learn what not to do, there’s some good to come from it.
Terry Sveine | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Education, Teaching 1862, Learning from the Past, Ways of Commemorating
Keywords: Learning from the Past
They came over from Luxembourg
Terry Sveine | Oral History
Theme: Immigration
Topics: Settler Life, Dakota and Settler Relationships
Keywords: Immigration
“We were told that would be better than capture.”
Terry Sveine | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862
Keywords:
Joseph and his family had close connections with the Indian community
Jerry Weldy | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Dakota and Settler Relationships
Keywords: Treaty
Some of the mixed blood people had to look out for themselves
Jerry Weldy | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Fort Ridgely, Factions
Keywords: Fort Ridgely
The big move was on.
Lorraine Wels | Oral History
Theme: Immigration
Topics: Immigration Experience
Keywords: Steamboat
“Grandma Koehler’s house was burned to the ground..."
Lorraine Wels | Oral History
Theme: 1862
Topics: Family in 1862, Dakota and Settler Relationships
Keywords: Steamboat, New Ulm, Settlers

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.