Historical Societies (Olmsted County)

Olmsted County Historical Society Library

1195 West Circle Dr. SW
Rochester, MN 55902
Phone: (507) 282-9447
Web Address: olmstedhistory.com
Email: services@olmstedhistory.com
Hours: Tuesday—Saturday 9:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m.

Resources Available:

Books & Other Published Materials

Indexed local histories of Olmsted County

Extensive collection of books and periodicals on Minnesota history and the Civil War; complete collection of Minnesota

Legislative manuals

DAR lineage books

Savage and other genealogical resources

Biographical index to military resources at Olmsted County Historical Society Library

Cemetery Indexes (Olmsted County)

Indexed transcripts from Olmsted, Mower, Wabasha & Winona counties (MN), and some from Dodge, Goodhue, Fillmore, & Houston counties.

Indexed funeral home records from many Olmsted County undertakers and records of one funeral home in Pine Island, Goodhue County; also a scrapbook from Vine Funeral Home in Olmsted County that is indexed.

County Histories & Biographical Sketches

Histories of 40 other Minnesota counties for surrounding counties

Biographical index to military resources at Olmsted County Historical Society Library


Federal Census--Minnesota portion: 1850, 1860 (print index), 1870 (print index), 1880 (microfilm Soundex index), 1900 (microfilm Soundex index), 1910, 1920 (microfilm Soundex index), 1930

State Census: 1857 (Olmsted County index), 1865, 1875, 1885, 1895, 1905

City & County Directories

Rochester city directories (1873-1993)

Olmsted County directories

Newspapers published in Olmsted County

The newspaper coverage is from 1859-present for the city of Rochester; also have some microfilm of area newspapers: Byron (1868-1970), Chatfield (1857-1902), Dover (1906; 1908; 1941-1945), Elgin (1904-1942), Eyota (1869-1878), Pine Island (1882-1885; 1890-1910), Renville (1917), St. Charles (1867-1874) and Stewartville (1893-1976).

Manuscripts & Public Records Collections

Rochester city clerk's records, 1858-1958

Vertical files, pertaining to Rochester & Olmsted County, containing photographs, family histories, manuscripts, pamphlets, etc.

Wedding scrapbooks, 1934-1959 (indexed)

Church Records
Immanuel Lutheran Church Records (Potsdam, MN) (indexed)

Cutshall photography collection [first 40,000 of approximately 65,000 are indexed]

Hoffman photo collection (not indexed)

Probate Records
Indexed probate & guardianship records from Olmsted County, 1864-mid 1950s

War Information
World War II service information sheets for Olmsted County (indexed)

Draft registrations for World War I for Minnesota (whole state)

Newspaper Indexes

Index 1859-1912 of early Rochester newspapers

Biographical index to miscellaneous sources

Obituary index to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, 1979-present

Plat maps and books

Olmsted County: 1877, 1896, 1964, 1973, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1989, 1993

Also have some plat maps for surrounding counties and Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Rochester for 1899, 1904, 1914, 1920, 1928

Vital Records Indexes

City of Rochester birth & death, 1871-1940 (indexed)

Olmsted County
Births, 1871-1930 (indexed)

Marriages, 1856-1955
Deaths, 1871-1997 (missing mid 1992-mid 1994)

Other Minnesota counties include Blue Earth, Carver, Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Jackson, Mower, Nicollet, Pipestone, Rice, Scott, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Winona

Iowa counties include Allamakee, Howard, Mitchell, Winneshiek


Rochester:      Century High School, 1998-present

Lourdes High School (Catholic), 1946-1994 (some issues missing)

Mayo High School, 1967-present (missing 1987-1988)

Rochester Junior College (later rochester Community College), 1928-1984