Sacred Places in Kandiyohi County

Thursday, April 13
By Gregory Harp
7pm in KCHS Community Room

Photographer Gregory Harp will give a presentation on the Kandiyohi County Historical Society’s project, Sacred Places in Kandiyohi County.  This presentation will include a look at the photographs he has taken and how he creates each image. 

Women and World War I in Southwest Minnesota

Thursday, May 11
By Dr. Anita Talsma Gaul
7pm in KCHS Community Room

Women living in southwest Minnesota overwhelmingly supported World War I and contributed to the war effort in the ways they could, generally adhering to their expected feminine gender roles in their wartime activities. Many joined the Red Cross and spent many hours knitting “comfort items” such as socks, scarves, and wristlets for the soldiers. Women also joined the effort to preserve and conserve food as part of the US Food Administration’s “Food Will Win the War” campaign. Some worked as nurses for the Red Cross or the US Army or Navy Nurse Corps.

Some women, however, used the opportunities available to them in wartime to challenge these gender roles and participate in traditionally male activities. Due to a shortage of male farm laborers, some women worked as field hands. Other women took jobs as railroad station agents, bookkeepers, and lumberyard workers. Additionally, a group of Pipestone County women organized the only female Home Guard unit in Minnesota. As members of the Guards of Loyalty, women pledged to support the war by carrying on the work of the men called to active duty, including military service on the battlefront, if necessary. 

Dr. Anita Talsma Gaul received her PhD in American History from the University of Iowa in 2009. She currently teaches in the History and Humanities programs at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, and also works part-time during the summer as curator of the Murray County Museums in Slayton. This presentation is part of a larger work on women and World War I that will be published in Fall 2017 by the Society for the Study of Local and Regional History as part of its Rural and Regional Essay Series.

13th Annual Tea at the Sperry House

Friday, June 9th
1:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m.

The 13th annual "Tea at the Sperry House" will be held Friday, June 9th, serving at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The theme this year is “World War I”.  Come and enjoy delicious treats surrounded by the history of World War I.   Cost is $20 per person (adults only), with proceeds to benefit the Sperry House. Only 16 people will be served for each of the two teas, so reservations will fill quickly! Stop at the KCHS museum to register or call 320-235-1881.


Contact Jill Wohnoutka for any additional information.



The West Central Minnesota Baseball Hall of Fame announces the Inaugural Class Inductees

The Kandiyohi County Historical Society is proud to announce the inaugural Class of 2014 inductees into the West Central Minnesota Hall of Fame.  This year's inductees include:

  • Sylvester “Blix” Donnelly (1914-1976) A right-handed pitcher and lifelong resident of Olivia, MN.  He had an 18 year professional career between 1935-1952.  He played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Braves.
  • Howie Schultz (1922-2009) played five seasons with the Willmar Rails starting in 1950.   Prior to coming to play in Willmar, Schultz played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Cincinnati Reds.  
  • Mike Kingery (Grove City) played professional baseball for 17 years with the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Oakland A's, Colorado Rockies, and Pittsburgh Pirates.  He played VFW and American Legion baseball in Atwater and Willmar. 
  • Barry Wohler (Orono) a Bird Island native played baseball for Bird Island-Lake Lillian high school.  He played Legion ball for six years starting when he was in 7th grade.  He played at the University of Minnesota and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and played Triple A baseball.
  • Rueben “Rube” Nathe (Litchfield) started playing baseball in his youth in New Munich, MN.  He has been managing the Litchfield Blues since 1982.  Coached the Local American Legion team for 29 years.  Served as District and Minnesota State Vice Chairman for 36 years. 
  • Art Grangaard (1915-2004) was instrumental in building up the baseball interest in Willmar area in the 1950’s.  Awarded MVP of the Willmar Rails when they won the 1952 Class AA state tournament.  He was both manager and third baseman. 
  • Joe Martinson (1923-2007) started work at KWLM in 1947 where he covered many area high school, legion and Willmar Rails baseball games with his memorable play-by-play.  He was an assistant coach and manager of the Willmar American Legion baseball team. 

For more information, call Jill Wohnoutka at (320) 235-1881 or