Junior Pioneers host ‘Understanding of the U.S. & Dakota War’

By Clay Schuldt

Staff Writer

NEW ULM-The U.S.-Dakota War ended over 150 years ago, but the New Ulm Community has never forgotten it.

The Junior Pioneers held their Winter Social held in Turner Hall Saturday and evening’s program featured a presentation by Lori Pickell-Stangel, Executive Director for the McLeod County Historical Society. The presentation was part of the “Bringing Books to Life” series.

The presentation focused on the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. Stangel performed a dramatic reading of one of the survivors of the conflict, Nancy McClure. McClure had an interested perspective on the conflict as she was a “half-blood.” Her father was a lieutenant stationed at Fort Snelling and her mother was Sioux. McClure witnessed the early stages of the conflict and was caught in the chaos of the initial uprising. McClure and her family were even held captive at Little Crow’s camp. The program also featured authentic museum artifacts to properly set the story in historical context.

Previous presentation focused on Native American Culture before white settlers, as well as a Swedish Immigrant family struggling to settle in the West. The program represents a partnership between the McLeod County Public Libraries and the McLeod County Historical Society and Museum. Stangel explained that all three programs may be schedule for a variety of events. In addition, many of the books used in the presentation could be a picked up at the local library.

This Winter Social is one of three social events hosted by the Junior Pioneers throughout the year. The organization features 650 members across the Country and even international members. The Junior Pioneers was organized by children and descendants of the original settlers of the New Ulm area. The group was formed in 1912 in response to the 50 anniversary of the dakota Conflict.

Clay Schuldt can be

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