August Artifact of the Month

Donor: Leatrice Ziwisky       

Accession #: 2016-0168-072


Gerber Swiss watch. Back opens showing clockworks; missing crystal; attached to mirror case. Watch belonged to Fred A. Bullert and was used in World War I. During WWI Fred served in A.E.F in France from September 8, 1918 to December 21, 1918. He became disabled as the result of gas used in trench warfare in France according to his daughter Leatrice Ziwisky.  Fred was inducted June 24, 1918 at Glencoe, MN.  He was in Company G, 161st Depot Brigade, Camp Grant June 25, 1918 – August 18, 1918; Co. G 341st Infantry August 18, 1918 to October 10, 1918; 354th Infantry October 10, 1918 to January 15, 1919; Co. C.Convalescent Center January 15, 1919 to date of discharge February 3, 1919.

McLeod County Historic Partnership-Kid Pioneers Programs @ Winsted, Silver Lake, Biscay, Stewart

McLeod County Historic Partnership:

Kid Pioneers Programs!

Kid Pioneers is a FREE interactive, historical children’s program about the youngest members of McLeod County’s early settlers. Through games, crafts and other activities, the public can learn about what life was like in the mid-1800s while also getting a broad education on their local town history.  Thanks to our local hosts, Kid Pioneers will be in:

*Location (Local Host): Date & Time

Legion Park (Silver Lake Pola-Czesky Days): Sat, Aug. 5th 11:30am-1:30pm

Hainlin Park (Winsted Summer Festival): Sat, Aug. 12th 2pm-4pm

Biscay City Park (City of Biscay): Wed, Aug 16th 2-4pm

McLeod County Fairgrounds: Thurs. Aug. 17 – Sat. Aug. 19th

Stewart City Park (Friends of the Stewart Red Owl): Sun. Aug 20th 2-4pm

Plato Park Shelter (Plato Lions): Sun, Aug. 27th 1-3pm


McLeod County Fair- August 16th-20th, 2017-Displays, Photos with WWI Soldiers & Red Cross Workers!

McLeod County Fair (August 16th-20th, 2017)

McLeod County & The Great War:(100 Years-1917-2017) 
McLeod County Soldier’s go to War!




The McLeod County Historical Society & Museum is excited to kick off our three year long theme, “McLeod County & the Great War” at this year’s Fair.  This first year we will focus on the U.S. entrance into World War I, the draft in McLeod County, and the Soldier’s experiences at boot camp and making their way to Europe.

The display will showcase draft cards from McLeod County Soldiers, uniforms, WWI gear, and personal letters & photos sent to the home front,  on their way to War. We will also feature how those left behind aided the war effort, especially our McLeod County women, who organized Red Cross Units, sold war bonds and took on historically male dominated roles and jobs to ensure that our Country and County continued to function, doing their part to support the troops overseas!

McLeod County Historical Society & Museum

Booth Open 10 am-9 pm each day of the Fair

  • Photos with WWI Soldiers & Red Cross Workers
  • Guess the WWI Gadget?
  • Learn why many thought WWI would be the
  • War to end Wars!



July Artifact of the Month:

Donor:  Phyllis Ohland

Accession #: 2008-0047-002

History: Blue and white rose patterned English china vase with gold trim.  A crest with “P” & “T” is stamped on the bottom.  Unknown manufacturer.  The vase was owned by one of the wives of the missionaries to the Sioux and was part of a china set one of them had been given by the parish she left in Connecticut..  The missionaries had established a Minnesota/South Dakota border mission (Brown’s Valley?).  When they were threatened by Little Crow’s uprising in 1862 they buried their valuables, including this vase, and started to flee. When they returned they dug up the china.  Some of the scalloped edges of the opening on the top of the vase were supposedly broken when it was buried and those edges were tinted with gold when the vase was recovered.  Page 27 of R. J. Creswell’s “Among the Sioux” 2008-0047-001 has a photo of the missionaries escaping the Indians, as well as the story of establishing the missions.  The Creswell book and this vase were given to Phyllis Ohland in the 1930’s by Mack and Maude Smith of Biscay.  Maude was a niece of one of the missionaries and had what was left of the china set. Mack Smith was the manager of the Thompson Lumber Yard in Biscay and the Smiths and Ohlands were neighbors.


















Annual Pork Chop Supper Fundraiser-6/12/2017

Annual Pork Chop Supper Fundraiser

Monday, June 12th 4:30-7PM

$12-Adults & $6-Kids-Extra Chop-$3

Music from 4:30-6:30PM

By Guitarist Lee Weber & Stoney Point

Museum Educational Media Center!

Limited Inventory Wildlife Art  Print Silent Auction!

Menu:  Pork Chop, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Green Beans, Applesauce, French Bread and a DQ Dilly Bar! Coffee or Punch

Thank you Business Sponsors for supplying all the Great Food:

“Little Crow & the Dakota War” Documentary Movie-7/23/2017

“Little Crow & the Dakota War”

Documentary Movie

Sunday, July 23rd-7PM

State Theater

35 Washington Ave. E

Hutchinson, MN 55350

Tickets-$10 for Adults-$5 for Kids under 12 yrs.

The Museum is excited to have Mark Diedrich and Bill Weiss back for a second showing of “Little Crow and the Dakota War”, their very successful documentary that explores the life of the Dakota Warrior during the U.S. Dakota War of 1862. The Museum was lucky enough to feature the film’s premier when it first came out, with standing room only at the Historical Society, but this time, the State Theater has donated the use of the theater to give guests the full movie experience!

The film has been featured on PBS and shown all over the region, with much success.  Mark and Bill will both be available to give a short talk about the making of the film and the impact that it has had on the legacy of Little Crow, the Dakota people and the history of the 1862 war that was fought here in McLeod County and Minnesota.  All ticket proceeds will go to help support the Museum’s Mission to preserve McLeod County’s History, with all popcorn and pop sales to the State Theater.  The Museum will be preselling tickets, with limited tickets at the door.  See you at the Movies this Sunday, July 23rd!



World War I & the History of Military Service Flags-7/30/2017

World War I & the History of Military Service Flags

Sunday, July 30th-2-3PM

Museum Educational Media Center

The Service Flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or conflict.  This special flag also has a unique and patriotic history grounded in the history of World War I and the touching story of one father’s pride and love.

Please join us for a program on the history of the Service flag and display of McLeod County Service Flags from the Museum’s Collection.  We ask guests to share their family flags and will offer time at the end of the  program to share their Soldier’s service story.



Doughnuts For Doughboys! Fundraiser-Delivered on 6/2/2017

Doughnuts For Doughboys!

Delivered on National

Doughnut Day Friday, June 2nd

In honor of the 100th Anniversary of World War I the McLeod County Historical Society & Museum will be selling Doughnuts for Doughboys!  For every dozen doughnuts purchased, your business will receive a WW I Vet Military Biography of a McLeod County boy who served in the war. Your Purchase will also help us to continue to preserve these heroes’ stories & artifacts!  Display your Doughboy in a prominent place & let your community know you appreciate our World War I Veterans and support the preservation of local history.  Your business will receive a gold star, displayed at the Museum, for every doughboy and dozen donuts you purchase!  So help us preserve the past and honor the stories of these local Vets who are gone but not forgotten.

Donuts for Doughboys Fundraiser Sheet to fill out, drop off, mail or email to get your Doughnuts for Doughboys!

1-Dozen Doughnuts per $20 Donation!

Donuts Provided by:



Artifact of the Month:

Donor: Gerard Stifter                              Accession #’s: 2016-0189-007

History:  World War I dog tag U.S.A. #4066193. Belonged to Eugene J. Stifter, Winsted, MN.  Eugene John Stifter was born October 6, 1893 in Winsted Township, McLeod County, to Paul A. Stifter, Sr. and Anna Loew.  He entered military service on July 25, 1918.  He served overseas in France during World War I as a member of the American Expeditionary Force with Company L, 54th Pioneer Infantry. While serving in France, he broke his leg wrestling with another soldier in the barracks.  He was honorably discharged from active duty March 28, 1919.

Eugene married Angela Christina Fasching on September 2, 1919 at the Church of the Holy Trinity, Winsted, McLeod County, Minnesota. Eugene was an active member of American Legion Martin Krueger Post #407, including a time as post commander.  For a number of years, he read the roll call of deceased veterans at Memorial Day celebrations in Winsted. Eugene died December 25, 1981 at St. Mary’s Home, Winsted, McLeod County, Minnesota.








World War I – Minnesota Author Presentation-5/21/2017

World War I – Minnesota Author Presentation

Sunday, May 21st -2PM

Museum Educational Media Center

A third generation Minnesotan, Iric Nathanson writes and lectures about Minnesota history.  His articles have appeared in a variety of publications including the Star Tribune,  Minnesota History, Hennepin History and the on-line daily MinnPost.  Iric’s 2010 book, Minneapolis in the Twentieth Century, was a finalist for a Minnesota book award.  Please join us on Sunday, May 21st for our 2017 theme kickoff author program on World War I.  Mr. Nathanson’s new book, “World War I – Minnesota”,  will give us a great state-wide overview, as we dive into the history of the war to end all wars.  Iric will be selling and signing books after the program. The Museum will have a special display of World War I artifacts from our collection and refreshments will be served.

Books are available at our Gift Shop for $24 each, email us at to order one today!