In July of 1917 Dodge County officially formed a chapter for the American Red Cross.  However, the work for Red Cross and the war effort had begun earlier that year when the first of Dodge County men went into the service at Fort Snelling.  By the time those men left Minnesota for training in New Mexico they were supplied with an abundance of war comforts prepared by the women of Dodge County who would later make up the work force for the Red Cross.  With the help of E. L. Sanford, director of the Dodge County chapter, the women of Dodge County were able to pass every quota the Red Cross had for Dodge County.  By the end of the war in 1918 Dodge County had raised forty thousand dollars and supplied soldiers and relief efforts with over twenty thousand articles of clothing, bedding, bandages, etc.

Historic artwork of a Red Cross nurse flanked by members of all of the lines of the military

The work of the Dodge County chapter was carried out through five branches under each of which was one or more auxiliaries.  The branches took care of the detail of the work, looked after raising the quotas of both work and money and left the chapter officials to look after the management of every factor of the chapter.  Each branch of the Dodge County chapter of the Red Cross helped out the war effort tremendously.  Branches were at Claremont, Hayfield, Kasson, Mantorville, and West Concord.

In Mantorville, the branch exceeded every allotment of goods or money quota assigned to it during the war.  At one Mantorville fundraiser an egg was sold and resold until it had brought in over sixty dollars.  The Kasson branch dealt almost exclusively with aiding in the equipment of the Mayo Brothers’ Base Hospital at Rochester.  In addition to helping supply the base hospital with bandages and other items, the Kasson branch also helped supply clothing for refugees and war sufferers in France.  The West Concord branch was home to the first Junior Red Cross organization in Dodge County.  Every teacher and pupil in the school took part in various project to help the effort.  Some of these projects include the making of garments, knitting, the gathering of clothing for refuges and the saving of fruit pits.

One project that many Red Cross chapters across America took part in during World War I was the making of Red Cross Signature Quilts.  For a one dollar donation, your name was embroidered on to a quilt.  Here at the Historical Society we have a quilt that was made by the Concord Farmers Club in 1918 on display and also pictured below (donated by Marilyn Miller of West Concord, MN).

During a visit to the Dodge County Historical Society Museum author Erica Vetsch saw our Red Cross Quilt and was inspired not only to write a book, but to make a quilt of her own.  With the help of her sister-in-law, Linda Amrose, Erica made a Red Cross Signature quilt with the names of over three hundred Dodge County World War I Veterans embroidered on it.  This quilt can also be seen on display in our museum.  A Bride Sews with Love in Needles California by Erica Vetsch is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other book retailers.

Source for Dodge County information: A History of Dodge County, Minnesota in the World War 1917 – 1919, a Chronicle of the Activities of Soldiers, Sailors, Officials and Citizens.



Thank you for nominating the Dodge County Historical Society Board Members for the ALSA Ice Bucket Challenge! We acc this in honor of Dorothy Haukom and all those suffering from ALS.


Diane Berge, Barb Gilliland, Larry Dobson, Greg Nelson, Phil Haukom, Scott French and Friend Accepted the challenge.


They have nominated Scott Rose candidate for Dodge County sheriff, Dave Erickson and Steve Grey Dodge County Commissioners, Jim Jenson Dodge County Sheriff, Steve Johnson candidate for Kasson Mayor, the Class of 1970 Hayfield Vikings, and Phil Haukom’s brothers, Mark and Dave, and his nephew Lanny.


Please go to for more information on ALS or to donate money towards finding a cure.







Come on out for a fun evening and support the Dodge County Historical Society!

November 6th, 2014 from 6:30pm – 9:00pm at the Kasson Event Center.

Tickets are $20.00 in advanced or $25.00 at the door.

You can purchase tickets through any of our lovely board members or the Dodge County Historical Society’s Museum.  You can also send a check to the Dodge County Historical Society and we will happily send you some tickets.

Can’t wait to see you there!

While walking into our museum have you ever noticed and wondered about that painting we have hanging on the opposite wall?

IMG_0280His name is Alonzo Jay Edgerton.  And while you may think that he is displayed solely for his very fashionable beard, he was also a very important citizen of Dodge County.  General Edgerton was a United States Senator and a Pioneer of Dodge county.

Alonzo Jay Edgerton arrived in Mantorville in 1855,  with his wife, of five years, Sarah Curtis.  He practiced law for 23 years here in Dodge County, except for when he served his country.  In 1862 he entered the army as Captain of Company B, 10th Minnesota Infantry and was promoted to Colonel two years later.  In the summer of 1865 he was promoted to Breveted Brigader-General in the district of Louisiana.

“…He was not only cool and courageous in the hour of danger, but very popular with the soldiers under him…”

– Pg 405 of The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-Made Men, Minnesota Volume, 1879


Shortly after arriving in Dodge County, General Edgerton was elected Prosecuting Attorney, where he served for one term.  He was also elected to the state senate in 1858 and again in 1876.

In 1871  General Edgerton was appointed as the first Minnesota Railroad Commissioner for four years.  While in this post he was described as the “people’s commissioner, gaurding with the utmost faithfulness their interests, without doing injustice to the railroad corporations” (Pg 405, The United States Biographical Dictionary).  In the spring of 1878 he moved to Kasson, where he still practiced law.

“His dignified presence, and his easy and conciliatory manners, combined with great earnestness and sincerity, strongly and favorably impress a jury; hence his success as an attorney-at-law”

– Pg 405, The United States Biographical Dictionary


General Edgerton later moved to South Dakota where he served as Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court of Dakota for four years and resided there until his death in 1896.

He was also a Knight Templar among the Masons and held offices in both the Grand Chapter and the Grand Lodge.

Now that you know a little more about General Edgerton we hope that you will stop by the museum and meet him in person!

The Fair Was a Success!

Thank you to everyone who helped set up and man the Log Cabin during the fair this past week.  You all did a wonderful job!

Also thank you to all of you who stopped by.  We appreciate your support and hope that you enjoyed the objects we had on display!

Who look forward to seeing you here at the museum sometime in the near future.

Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

The Dodge County Historical Society

Ever wondered what it would be like to go to school in a one room school house?

Well here is your chance to find out! You’re invited to two hours of school in the One Room School House during Stagecoach Days!

You can sign up for one of our sessions taking place on June 28th from 9-11 am or June 29th from 11 am – 1 pm*

Children in grades 1-3 are welcome.

Please call us or Mary Ann at  635-5508 or e-mail us at and we will save you a desk!

We Have a limit of 15 Students each day, so please sign up soon.

Hope to see you there!


Donations are welcome.


*Since this session takes place during the lunch hour please make sure that your child is fed beforehand. Thank you!


Stop on by the Dodge County Historical Society Museum for a chance to look at the living history displays, along with the great buildings we have on our campus.  There will also be an opportunity to participate in the hawk throw and archery activities.

Downtown there will be a lot of fun activities. Activities include a costume contest, a book signing, an art show, a bean bag tournament, a melodrama and a fantasy picnic.

The Music stage downtown will be featuring the bluegrass band The High 48s, along with the local bluegrass gospel band Cabin Fever and more!

So stop on by Mantorville for a great time!Music Stage Poster

Book Release – May 17

The long awaited copy of the 1900 Court Transcript “Slingerland vs Slingerland” will be available on May 17 at the Dodge County Historical Society Museum at 1:00 pm. Anna Slingerland, a young woman, married Tunis, a wealthy man, in his 6o’s, when she became pregnant.  See here for the rest of the story.

Board of Directors

The Board will meet April 17 – 6:30  pm. at the Museum in Mantorville

Call 635.5508 or dchs@kmtel for more information.

Annual Meeting

The Dodge County Historical Society Annual Meeting will be held on March 15th.
“Old School Café” in Mantorville.
Social hour 5:00 PM – Dinner 6:00 – Meeting 7:15
Choice for Dinner    Chicken Kiev – Barbeque Ribs
Contact dchs@kmtel for your dinner choice.



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