The Anders Andersen Reunion in Willmar MN July 2019

Bus Tour 2 Kandiyohi County settlers and native American

by LaVonne Hookom

November 2019 posted here by Gary Gauer

Our American Story – Settlers and Native Americans – 07.19.19

On your left, is the Tripolis Lutheran Church, started by a group of immigrants from Sweden. A log church was built in 1871. A portion of the old log church can be viewed in one of the basement rooms.

Off to your right, is Lake Wakanda behind the trees – A Historical Marker Shows the Site for a Refugee Camp (near the farm house) – This was the spot where John Other Day, a friendly Sioux Indian, led a party of sixty-two white men, women and children out of danger when the Indians attacked the Upper Sioux Agency, during the Uprising. The party left the Agency at daybreak August 19, 1862, and camped at this site that evening. Four large flat Indian mounds used for ceremonial purposes were visible south of Lake Wakanda for many years. (Harlan Madsen made the motion to change the name Lake Wakanda back to its original name which means “spiritual place” or “where the spirit dwells”: an honor to the Dakota people, a strengthened link to the past for future generations.

Harlan and Julie Madsen farm at 15263 120th Avenue - We are arriving at the multi-generational farm where we will enjoy a wonderful meal and tour their dairy farm.

Bus will board at 12:45 and leave at 1 pm for the rest of the tour to northern Kandiyohi County.

County Rd. 5 - Solomon Lake and the Vikor Church which has a service every summer. Guri Endresen Monument at churchyard. Guri Endresen cabin is beyond in the woods but the bus can’t get back there – The Endresen family built this cabin in 1858. The Endresen cabin has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1986. It is architecturally and historically significant as one of the area’s oldest buildings on its original site, a rare survivor of the “pre-Uprising” (U.S. Dakota War of 1862) period. One of the few buildings still standing that has strong historical links to the events of the U.S. Dakota War of 1862.

Despite their hardships, life was peaceful until August of 1862 when the U.S. – Dakota Conflict came to Kandiyohi County. The Endresens had built the cabin, cleared the land and were developing a typical frontier farm then the conflict broke out. On August 21, Guri was making supper for their family. Her husband, Lars was out chopping wood, their son, Endre was in the potato field, their son, Ole was visiting neighbors, and their daughters were outside playing. A group of Native Americans came up the trail and shot Lars where he was chopping wood. Guri quickly hurried with her baby Anna into the outside root cellar and hid behind some tall weeds. She watched as the Native Americans killed her son Endre in the potato patch. Her two girls were taken hostage by the Native Americans.

After the Native Americans had left, Guri came out from her hiding place and covered her dead son and husband with blankets. Then she headed off to her daughter and son in law’s cabin. Along the way she got lost in the woods, it was cold and dark by this time. Guri got covered by mosquito bites while wondering in the woods, and she was carrying her baby the entire way. Guri could not find her daughter’s cabin so she headed home again. When Guri finally arrived back at her cabin, her son Ole was there. She bandaged his shoulder wound, ate a meal and then rested. The next day, Guri hitched up the ox cart with her wounded son, Ole and baby Anna started out again for Oscar Erickson’s cabin where they found more wounded people. Guri tended to their wounds and somehow this group managed to load up a wagon and start the long journey to Forest City in Meeker County. When they got there, Guri was re-united with her two daughters that had been kidnapped. The girls had been able to escape and find their way to safety!

1:50 pm -- Pioneer Log Church of Norway Lake, Interpretive Center and Early Settlers cabin – Ed Huseby and Earl Knutson – Get off the bus and board again at 2:45 -- Leave 3 pm

Isle of Refuge – Hiding place for settlers in this area who fled to the Isle of Refugee to escape when they heard of the trouble with the Dakota. They lived for days on the meager supplies they were able to bring with them. They were rescued by relief parties and escorted to safe settlements to the east.

West Lake Massacre Victims Monument in New London – 3:15 pm – Three families were massacred and are now buried here.

Kandiyohi County Historical Museum Arrive 3:45 – 4 pm - Enjoy the exhibits.

4:45pm - Board bus and return to the Conference Center.

Thank you for joining us for this Native American and Settler Tour. If you ordered a box lunch for supper, they are available in Galleries 3 & 4.