Discovering the Willmar Bank Robbery

By Scott Thoma

A pork loin, mashed potatoes, vegetable, salad and dessert will be served starting at 5:30 pm. The cost of the meal is $20 per person for KCHS members and $25 per person for non-members. Following the meal, the annual meeting will be conducted. After the short annual meeting, Scott Thoma will present on his process of discovering the Willmar Bank Robbery story. The Willmar Bank Robbery took place in downtown Willmar on July 15, 1930 when robbers entered the Bank of Willmar. Scott will tell his story of researching and what he encountered along the way of this well-known story in Willmar history.

Please RSVP by Thursday, April 13th!! Please call 235-1881, go to our website or email us at to reserve your spot! Prepayment is required. Our address is KCHS, 610 NE Hwy 71, Willmar, MN 56201.


The Kandiyohi County Historical Society will host a book talk featuring Kandiyohi County native, Carolyn Mankell Sowinski. She has written a book about a 3-day blizzard which occurred 150 years ago. In her book, The Great Storm: Minnesota’s Victims in the Blizzard of January 7, 1873, Sowinski has identified 84 people from 31 counties in the state who died in this storm: men and women; children and babies; Civil War veterans and recent immigrants; homesteaders and villagers; state residents and visitors. Friends died together; neighbors died together; family members died together. Many died alone—suffering for one, two, or all three days. In her presentation Sowinski will share stories about Kandiyohi County victims—six residents died; five non-residents died in the county; three residents had amputations. Sowinski will read excerpts about the storm, highlight some historic documents about the victims, and provide helpful hints when doing research.

The book talk will be on Thursday, April 13, 2023, 6:30 pm at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society, 610 NE Hwy 71 in Willmar. Sowinski will have books for sale at the event (cash or check). The author has five books about her ancestors and Minnesota history available on