Historical Societies (Houston County)

Houston County Historical Society

104 History Lane
Caledonia, MN 55921
Phone: (507) 725-3884
Email: hchs@acegroup.cc
Hours: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Additional hours June-August: Saturday & Sunday 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.; Also open by appointment

Resources Available:

Books & Other Published Materials

Index to Minnesota in the Civil & Indian Wars (microfiche); cannot be copied

Church histories and directories

Writings of Houston County authors, histories of some villages

Index to the Luxembourger Gazette, 1870s-1918

Luxembourgers in the New World v. 1 & 2 by Nicholas Gonner

Cemetery Indexes (Houston County)

Houston County's 152 burial sites (stone recordings done in 1976, with some updated and some on computer); organized by township

La Crescent, Minnesota: Prospect Hill Cemetery original record books (often give date and place of birth and sometimes names of a relative)

Allamakee County, Iowa
Winneshiek County, Iowa
Winona County, Minnesota

Census

Federal (Minnesota portion): 1850 [paper, whole state], 1860, 1870 [index for Houston County], 1880, 1890 [a special census of Union veterans & their widows], 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930

State: 1857, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905

City & County Directories

Telephone directories from Houston and Fillmore Counties (1911-2002; 2009)

County directories (1902 onward)

County Histories & Biographical Sketches

Histories of Houston County: 1882 (indexed), 1919 (biographical sketches indexed), 1982 (indexed)

Various histories of other counties and towns

Newspapers published in Houston County

Brownsville: Free Press News (1865-1869; 1899-1901 [three issues]; 1904; 1906-1920)

 Southern Minnesota Herald (1855-1859)

 Western Progress (1869-1874)

Caledonia:   Argus (1888; 1890-2006; December 2011)

      Journal (1868-1872; 1874-1884 [misc.]; 1878-1879; 1885-1886; 1889-1899; 1901; 1902-1904; 1906-1958)

Tribune (1897-1898)

Hokah:        Blade Chief (1857-1862; 1876-1877; 1874-1884 [misc.]; 1882-1938; 1942-1945; 1947-1948; 1938-1949 [misc.]; 1952-1953)

Sun Tribune (1886-1899; 1917-1925)

Houston:     Banner (1999-2004; 2004-current)

Gazette & County Journal (1976-1993)

Signal (1882-1987)

La Crescent: Cooperator (1891-1892)

Echo (1963-1967)

Houston County News (1968-2002; 2006; December 2011)

Patrol (1888-1889)

Rural News (1986-1989)

Times (1950-1953)

Times-Hokah Chief (1954-1963)

Rushford:    Star (August 11,1876-February 17, 1881; January 6, 1881-December 28, 1882)

Spring Grove: Herald (1893-2004; 2006; December 2011)

Manuscripts & Public Records Collections

Public Records

Houston Co. Alien Registration Forms, 1918 (1 roll microfilm)

Houston Co. District Court Naturalizations, 1854-1943 (4 rolls microfilm)

Tax records 1861-1900 (personal property & real estate) on microfilm; 1901-present, organized by township

Tax receipts, 1863-1930

Land records (microfilm): grantor indexes, 1854-1888; grantee indexes, 1857-1888; deeds, 1852-1919 (no mortgage records)

Probate & Will records: probate records index, 1860-1892; probate records, nos. 1-2150, latest March 1917; wills, 1884-1919 (each book indexed)

World War I Draft Registrations (microfilm)

Civil War Records of Houston County by David Klinski: 8 years of intensive research filed by township. These include veterans of War of 1812, Black Hawk War, Mexican War and Spanish American War as well as Civil War.

Manuscripts--Church Records

Caledonia, Brownsville and Houston Episcopal Churches, 1864-1924 (also on microfilm)

Caledonia Presbyterian Church, 1859-1958 (microfilm)

German Lutheran Church at Brownsville (later United Church of Christ; currently Zion Evangelical Church) photostats; many records in German
baptism, 1863-1939;
marriage, 1870-1878;
burial, 1888-1939;
list of confirmands and communicants

Hokah Presbyterian Church, 1868-1944; microfilm

Hokah United Church of Christ (formerly Evangelical and Reformed; currently Community Church), photostats; some records in German; earliest record book, 1872-1892

Hokah United Methodist Church (formerly German Methodist Episcopal; some records in German)
original record books:
baptism, 1881-1991;
marriage, 1882-1992
death, 1919-1990, some earlier deaths in membership records
membership lists beginning in 1858 (some records are from other churches on the circuit: Pine Creek, Crooked Creek and Union)

Hope Presbyterian Church, Union Township, session minutes and lists of members, 1894-1942 (microfilm)

La Crescent Presbyterian Church, 1859-1958 (microfilm)

Money Creek Baptist Church, 1859-1958 (1 book)

Oak Ridge Lutheran Church, 1895-1944 (records in paper); this is the church that was dismantled and rebuilt in Norway as an example of an immigrant church in America

Peace Church in Crooked Creek Township (formerly Evangelical and Reformed, the United Church of Christ; now Independent).  This church maintains a cemetery.
Account books 1947-1967, 1952-1959
Ladies Aid 1939-1940
Membership and dues books covering period 1885-1970
Minutes 1885-1987
Service Flag, 23 November 1947 13 blue stars, 3 gray
Women's Guild 1954-1973, 1984-1986; Treasurer's Book 1960-1964
Young People's League 1925-1945
Miscellaneous papers: Cemetery by Laws; Yoking agreement with St. Peter's UCC; Incorporation Papers 1 January 1886; 10 Marriage Licenses 1970s; Bulletins, Deeds, Invoices, Minutes of annual meetings

Sheldon Presbyterian Church, 1860-1963 (microfilm) session minutes and church registers

South Ridge United Methodist Church, Mound Prairie Township (formerly Evangelical and United Brethren)
Original Records
Birth, death, marriage 1874-1990 (some in German)
Board minutes 1874-1900 (German)
Guest Book 1932-2001
Membership, officers, history 1874-1990
Minnesota Centennial 1855-1955
Photo album 115 photos
75th Anniversary 1874-1949
Sunday school 1923-1998
Treasurer's books 1874-1949, 1954-1988
Trustees books 1874-1990
United Methodist Women 1985-1996
Women's Missionary Society 15 October 1943-6 December 1983
Women's Workbooks (food lists, etc) 1950-1992
A variety of German and English song books
Miscellaneous documents: history, clippings, Sunday school and youth photos, brochures, newsletters
Photostats of earliest record book:  baptism, 1940-1987
marriage, 1897-1998
burial, 1898-1990 (burial records contain early birth dates)
membership and officer lists

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America records, some in Norwegian, all on microfilm

Central Lutheran in Winona, 1873-1922; 1871-1917 (reel 73)

Cedar Valley Lutheran in Houston, 1870-1945 (reel 73)

Cross of Christ Lutheran in Houston, 1854-1917; 1862-1918 (reel 76)

Faith Lutheran in Black Hammer, (reel 74); 1895-1982 (reel 75); 1858-1881 (reel 76)

First Lutheran in Onalaska, 1870-1900 (reel 41)

La Crosse Pastoral Conference, 1870-1889 (reel 41)

Immanuel Lutheran in Caledonia,(reel 73)

Our Savior's Lutheran in Riceford, 1881-1981 (reel 76)

St. Peter's Lutheran in Houston, 1858-1910; 1851-1909 (reel 76); includes records of the Stone Church, the oldest Lutheran Church building in Minnesota

Trinity Lutheran in Spring Grove, 1857-1861; 1891-1920 (reel 74); 1857-1861; 1891-1920 (reel 75)

Wilmington Lutheran, 1892-1917 (reel 73)

also many church records from Lutheran churches in Iowa and North Dakota 

Photographs


20,500 photographs arranged by subject and by family collections

5140 negatives organized plus many more; many glass negatives

Newspaper Indexes

Vertical files of clippings, ephemera, genealogy & family history and obituaries (accessed through a card file)

Plat maps and books

Iowa

State: 1875

Allamakee County: 1917

Minnesota

State: 1874

Dodge County: 1937

Hennepin County: 1873, 1898, 1913 (microfilm)

Houston County: 1878, 1896, 1931 and more from 1850-1994; 1871 wall map is earliest map showing land ownership; microfilm: 1878, 1898, 1931

Jackson County: 1887, 1914, 1936 (microfilm)

Kandiyohi County: 1886, 1905, 1932 (microfilm)

Kitson County: 1912 (microfilm)

Olmsted County: 1970

Vital Records Indexes

On microfilm:
birth indexes, 1870-1939
birth records, 1870-1917
delayed birth records, 1939-1983 (3 reels; a few date to 1860s)
death indexes, 1870-1982
death records, 1870-1941
marriage records, 1854-1917 (each book indexed)

Yearbooks

Caledonia:   Caledonia High School (1908, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1937, 1940, 1942, 1947, 1954, 1956, 1959, 1960-1971, 1973-1979, 1981, 1982-1989, 2006-2010; also
Welcome Grads of 1965, 40th Class Reunion 1965-2005)

Loretto High School (Catholic) (1937, 1939, 1940, 1944, 1947, 1949, 1977, 1994; also class yearbooks 1930, 1939; 50 year class reunion, 1944-1994 (biographical); 50 year class reunion 1947-1997)

Caledonia Elementary School (2000)

Houston:     Houston High School (1955, 1956, 1959, 1961-63, 1965-68, 1970, 1973, 1976, 1982, 1984, 1987-1988, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2004)

La Crescent: La Crescent Middle & High School (1970, 1974, 1985-1989)

Spring Grove: Spring Grove High School (1956)


La Crescent Area Historical Society


Mailing Address: P. O. Box 193
Location: 328 S. Third St., La Crescent, MN 55947
Phone: (507) 895-1857
Email: lahs1857@gmail.com
Web Address: http://lacrescenthistory.org
Operates out of an old house called "Heritage House"
Open hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day vary; check website or Facebook; also open year-round by appointment

Collection includes museum artifacts as well as photographs of people, businesses and organizations, family histories, genealogies, and scrapbooks.