Recap of 2014 Commemoration of the U.S. – Dakota War
Over 70 people gathered on August 23 in Morton on what began as a rainy, windy day to dedicate the three panels honoring our settler ancestors. Because of the rain, we met in the Morton City Park for the observance. The group was welcomed by David Torgelson, chair of the Renville County Historical Society board. This was followed by Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann from Cincinnati, OH who spoke on Remembering the Dakota Uprising – The Renville County Experience. His talk is found below.
We then boarded a tour bus. About 14 cars followed the bus. Tour brochures were distributed to all which detailed the planned stops. We stopped first at the Henderson, Wedge and White Monuments where Curt Dahlin spoke. The Radnor Earle Monument, adjacent to those monuments, was also discussed. The bus then journeyed to the site of the Kietzmann Massacre near the intersection of County Roads 4 and 6. While traveling, Don Tolzmann and Curt Dahlin provided a historic montage of events of the war. We also visited the Schwandt Monument, where Don Tolzmann spoke, passed the Middle Creek Brave Settler Monument and then visited the Middle Creek Church where Don and Pastor Ric Jacobson spoke about the significance of that church. We proceeded past the Beaver Falls Cemetery where Jan Klein read the Mary Hayden narrative, and also passed the Beaver Creek Town Hall. The journey ended at the Birch Coulee Battlefield where John LaBatte spoke on the battle.
The group gathered at the park for a box lunch and Pastor Jacobson then blessed our dedication and our meal. Our speaker was Dan Munson, the author of Malice Toward None, who told the story of the Kochendorfer orphans. After the lunch, family photographs were taken. Families that were represented were the Kochendorfers, with a very large turnout, the Urbans, the Clasens, the Krause/Roeslers, the Schwandt/Tolzmann family, the Perreault-Picard-Cardinal family, the Einenfeldts, the Krieger family of New Ulm, Pvt. Franklin Clifford’s family, the Rubic family of Nicollet County, the Ingalls family, the Witt family, the Rieke-Gluth-Lammers family, the Bahlke-Frohrip family and the Zimmerman family and several guests.
After lunch, some headed directly to Fort Ridgely to hear Curtis Dahlin’s talk and some caravanned to the Loyal Indian and Battle of Birch Coulee Monuments in Morton where John LaBatte told the story of the construction of those monuments. He also discussed the Battle of Redwood Ferry. Some then took the lower road to the fort and others took the highway and met at Fort Ridgely to hear John speak about the battles at the fort. Curt then spoke on Fort Ridgely and Renville County in the U.S. – Dakota War.
At the conclusion of the day, some participants said they had just taken a course on Renville County History 101.
The following PDF documents are from the August 23, 2014 event:
Bus Tour map: bus tour map.pdf