Douglas County Historical Society
1219 Nokomis St
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: 320-762-0382

Our Library Resources

Resources available at the Douglas County Historical Society Research Library

Douglas County Historical Society
1219 Nokomis St
Alexandria, MN 56308

320-762-0382
historic@dchsmn.org

Click HERE for information on Research Services, Fees/Forms.

NEW!

Oral History Recordings Project – Oral histories of local Douglas County residents, recorded from the 1970’s until recently are available for purchase.  Read more about it HERE, and check to see if your family member is on the list of interviews.

Douglas County Research Materials

  •  Business and Organization Files containing newspaper clippings of articles that were published in local newspapers
  • Family Files organized by family surnames – see if anyone has done any research on your family. Family files may contain genealogies, biographies, obituaries, family trees, family photos, research done by other descendants of the family.
  • Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths recorded in Douglas County from the beginning.
  • Obituaries from area newspapers 1866 – present day.
  • Marriage notices and write-ups clipped from the newspapers 1866 – present day.
  • Card files for the obituaries and the marriages sorted alphabetically.
  • Census records – all Federal census records for Minnesota from 1850-1930 and the MN state census records for 1865-1905. (Minnesota did a state census in the years ending in 5 during this time period). Note: the 1890 federal census was destroyed in a fire and is not available. The 1885 Douglas County Census has been transcribed and is in a book.
  • Census and mortality indexes in books for MN and some surrounding states.
  • Douglas County Naturalization records – the index is in a book, records are on microfilm.
  • Cemeteries and Cemetery records
  • Files on all churches; copies of actual records from some churches
  • Douglas County tax records – mostly for the 00 and 01 ending years, both real estate and personal property, on microfilm
  • Douglas County reference books – including Album of the Ages, History of Douglas and Grant Counties, Millerville, Urness, Kensington, and more (see list below)
  • Files on businesses, organizations, events, parks, etc.
  • Telephone books, city directories and reverse address books for Alexandria and Douglas County from 1876 to present day
  • Veterans files
  • School information
  • Oral history interviews of Douglas county residents
  • Maps – township, county, towns
  • Photo Archives – people and places of Douglas County
  • Harold Bradley history of businesses in Alexandria; the information up to 1965 is in the computer and is searchable.
  • Douglas County and Township history information.map 2

School and Student Information

  • Douglas County Country School Districts 1 – 104 Files
  • Map of Country School Locations
  • Rural school teacher files
  • School yearbooks for Alexandria, Brandon, Evansville, Alexandria Tech.
  • Class Lists from country school 8th grade graduates
  • Graduating Class Lists from Alexandria High Schools from 1887 – Present Day
  • Rural School Teacher Files
  • Alhi Times (Alexandria H.S. Newspapers) 1924 – 1973

 

JHS Floor Plan

Douglas County newspapers on microfilm. These include:

  • Alexandria Citizen 1896 -1944
  • Alexandria Daily News 1969 -70
  • Alexandria Park Region Echo 1908 -1996
  • Alexandria Post News 1872 -1920
  • Alexandria Republican 1894 -1897
  • Ashby Avalanche 1883 -1886
  • Ashby Post 1903 -1919
  • Brandon Echo 1896 -1908
  • Douglas County News 1878 -1894 and 1832 -1833
  • Douglas County Sentinel 1893 -1895
  • Echo Press 1996-2005 – New in 2007
  • Evansville Enterprise 1890 -1902 and 1922 -1946
  • Grant County Farmer 1890 -1896
  • Hoffman Advocate 1906
  • Lake Region Echo 1970 -1987
  • Lake Region Farmer 1955 -1962
  • Lake Region Press 1962 -1996
  • Osakis Observer 1881
  • Osakis Review 1891 -1988
  • Parkers Prairie Independent 1922 -1927
  • Rural MN News 1958 -1986
  • West Douglas County Record 1981 -1986 (Evansville)

Land Ownership Records

  • Family Maps of Douglas County, MN – Deluxe Edition, by Gregory A. Boyd, J. D., 2006, With Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads and More.  Shows the original homesteaders names, locations and land descriptions.
  • Grantor and Grantee indexes 1860-1876
  • Chattel mortgage records pre-1913
  • Plat maps showing farm owners beginning 1886, 1902, 1912, 1940, 1950, and more recent.
  • Transcription of land transactions from 1860 -1876 arranged by township.
  • Land Transfer books, Douglas County, late 1800’s to 1960’s.  These show the transfer of land from owner to owner, both farmland in rural townships, and platted land and lots around the lakes, in towns and villages.  Land transfer dates and names of landowners are included.

land transfer books all

 

Alexandria

Resource Books We Own

Douglas County Resource Books:

  • Alex 150 – Nominations by the People, Douglas County Historical Society 2008, Short essays contributed by local residents about their favorite things in Alexandria, past and present.
  • Alexandria MN – Images of America, by Barbara Grover, 2013, Historical photos and captions of the Alexandria area.
  • Alexandria – Postcard History Series, by Barbara Grover, 2014, Historical postcards and captions of the Alexandria area.
  • Alexandria Minnesota US Bicentennial Commemorative Book 1776-1976, Echo Printing June 1976.
  • And Then Came Summer – Alexandria Remembered, by Peggy Schoellkopf and Jane Carey Delay.
  • Century Farms of Minnesota, by Dorothy L. Wanless, 1985, All counties are included in this book.
  • Coffee and Danish, collected newspaper columns of 1978-1987, by Toni Christenson, Alexandria, Minnesota.
  • The Defrosting of Minnesota by Helen Joos Cichy, 1977, Minnesota history.
  • Douglas County, A Retrospective, by Rachel Barduson, 2007.
  • Douglas County Album of the Ages, Douglas County Historical Society 1979, family histories and biographies of Douglas County residents.
  • Douglas County Footprints – A Step Back in Time, Echo Press 1999, A photographic history of Douglas County.
  • Douglas County’s Immigrants – From Europe to America – Ethnic Settlement Patterns and Immigrant Architecture in Rural Minnesota, by Kathryn Albertson Sletto, 1992.
  • Douglas County in Pictures, Douglas County Historical Society 1987.
  • Family Maps of Douglas County, MN – Deluxe Edition, by Gregory A. Boyd, J. D., 2006, With Homesteads, Roads, Waterways, Towns, Cemeteries, Railroads and More.
  • First Finnish Settlers of Holmes City Farming Area, from the Ilmonen book, 1929, Translated in 1994 by Toivo and Ellen Hulkonen.
  • The Frontier of Douglas County and Adjoining Counties, by John O. Smith, 1957. (The history begins in 1877) Swedish immigrant homesteaders.
  • History of Douglas and Grant Counties Minnesota, Vol. I and II. Editor: Constant Larson, 1916. Volume I: County and town histories. Volume II: Biographical sketches of some of the leading Douglas and Grant County residents.  Includes many of the early homesteaders.
  • How the Lakes Were Named, by Lorayne Larson, 1965, The stories behind how Douglas County lakes got their names.
  • Portraits by Magel, by Magel Boyd, biographies of various Alexandria residents, abt. 1990
  • So You’ll Know, By Ercel Aga, 1998, a collection of his columns in the newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota
  • This Was Our Livelihood, Vol. 1, Douglas County Historical Society, 1983.  Biographical articles of local residents and their work.
  • This Was Our Livelihood, Vol. 2, Douglas County Historical Society, 1985. Biographical articles of local residents, and their work.

Town and Township Histories:

We have Town and Township Histories for all of Douglas County. These files include: History, Accidents, Crime, and Fires.  In addition, many towns and townships have: Businesses, Clubs, Celebrations, and other historical information.  Blog Post  (For example, Miltona has an extensive Miltona Tornado file.)   We also have these books published:

  • Brandon Record: Bud Greenquist’s History Columns March 26, 1998 – Oct. 26, 2006, By Bud Greenquist, about the Edgefield Cemetery area early settlers, Brandon and western Douglas County.
  • Garfield Centennial – A Century of Tradition, Family and Community 1905-2005 (Douglas County, Minnesota).
  • Holmes City 150th, 1858-2008, A Village and Township History, editor Kathryn (Tewes) Johnson
  • Kensington’s First 100 Years – A History 1890-1990, Kensington, Minnesota, Oct. 1989, Kensington Centennial Book Committee
  • Millerville: A History of Millerville, Minnesota, Douglas County, Our Founders’ Legacy, Volume 2 of 3, by Helen Joos Cichy, 1981.
  • The History of Millerville, 1866-1930, by Karl Matthias Klein, tells the names of early settlers and the area of Germany/Prussia from which they came. A chronological listing of settlers and happenings in Millerville.
  • Moe Township: Legends of the Hills – Pioneers of Moe Township, by Gabriel Pipo, 2004.
  • Osakis Centennial Articles, published in the Osakis Review in 1957.  Historical articles of Osakis from 1857-1957.
  • The Pocket Lake News, by Bertha Ann (Mike) Weaver, includes Mike surname family history.
  • Rose City: Memories of Growing Up in Rose City, Minnesota, 2nd printing, 2014, Peterson and Christianson Heritage, (descendants of Pehr Christianson)
  • Spruce Hill Remembered, by Mildred Anderson Dahl, 1996
  • The History of Urness Township – 135 Years of Rural Community Life, by the Urness Township History Committee, 2004.

Bohemian/Czech Resources: 

  • Family Files and Genealogies for many Douglas County families with roots in Bohemia

Finland Resources:

  • First Finnish Settlers of Holmes City Farming Area, from the Ilmonen book, 1929, Translated in 1994 by Toivo and Ellen Hulkonen
  • Holmes City Apostolic Church Records, located in Moe Township. Families from Finland, most from Holmes City Twp. or Moe Twp. Membership lists, Family names and birthdates.
  • History of Finns in Minnesota, Hans R. Wasastjerna, editor, 1957.

German Resources:

  • Guide to German Parish Registers
  • German Genealogy Guidebooks and Handbooks
  • Maps (detailed) of German Parishes
  • Family files and genealogies for Douglas County German families
  • The Atlantic Bridge to Germany, by Charles M. Hall
    • Vol. 1 – Baden-Wuerttemberg
    • Vol. 2 – Hessen Part A, Rhineland Pfalz Part B (The Palatinate)
    • Vol. 3 – Bavaria (Bayern)
    • Vol. 4 – Saarland, Alsace-Lorraine, Switzerland
    • Vol. 5 – Schleswig Holstein, Hamburg, Bremen
    • Vol. 7 – Nordrhein – Westfalen (North Rhine, Westphalia)
    • Vol. 8 – Prussia
    • Vol. 9 – Kingdom Province, Thuringen, Nine Duchies
    • Vol. 10 – Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Braunschweig (Brunswick), Schaumburg – Lippe, Oldenburg
  • Newsletter: Pomeranian Leute (Pomeranian People) from July 1982 – 1986.
  • Germans from Prussia, by Myron and Norma (Gorges) Gruenwald

Sweden Resources:

  • Emigrants from Lima, Dalarna, Sweden, by Bertil Grundström, including Douglas County.
  • Swedes to Douglas County, Swedes in the 1880 Census of Douglas County, Minnesota, Douglas County Historical Society and Bertil Grundström of Tranås, Sweden, August 1995
  • History of the Red River Valley Conference of the Augustana Lutheran Church, 1953, about the Swedish Lutheran Churches, including those in Douglas County.
  • Härjedalen Heritage 1991, Härjedals National Förening of America, collection of submitted family genealogies. Douglas County family histories have been photocopied and placed in the family files. Surnames: Backlin, Backlund, Hanson (Albert S. and Hilda Oberg), Hjelm, Johnson (John and Karen Backlund), Lindquist, Lindstrom, Peterson (Pehr), Satterlund, Moe, Norbert, Randin, Staffanson, Sandberg, Thorson, Westberg, Wicklund (Most from the Holmes City, Oscar Lake area.

Norway Resources

  • Nordmændene i Amerika, by Martin Ulvestad, 1907 & 1913, English Translation 2011, Norwegians in America.
    • Volume 1 – Names and short biographies of earliest Norwegian immigrants listed by US state and county.
    • Volume 2 – Norwegians in: American wars, public positions, publishing, education, pastors, etc. (notable Norwegians), and Norwegian Americans organized by the place in Norway where they originated.
    • Volume 3 – Alphabetical index of the Norwegians named in Volumes 1 and 2
  • History of the Norwegian Settlements, by Hjalmar Rued Holand, 1908, 1930, English Translation 2006
  • Norway Counties and Parishes Listed
  • Emigrants list leaving the port of Trondheim Norway with Douglas County places as their destination.

Norwegian Bygdebøker – Farm histories and family genealogy books published by local parishes in Norway. Organized by Farm names and numbers. Norwegian Bygdebøker – Farm histories and family genealogy books published by local parishes in Norway. Organized by Farm names and numbers.  We have these volumes:

  • Hordaland County, Norway
    • Evanger Boka – Gards og Ættesoge av Lars Schjærven og Johannes Gjerdåker, Band I &II  (Evanger Book – Farm and Family History by Lars Schærven and Johannes Gjerdåker, Volumes I & II.)  Evanger is in Voss, Hordland, Norway (In Norwegian)
    • Haus – I Soga og Segn – Ættar Bok  (Family genealogies book)
      • I. Gjerstad Sokn 1958
      • II. Haus Sogn 1959
      • III. Ådna Sokn 1964
      • IV. Ytre Arna (Elvæ) 1969
  • Nord-Trøndelag County, Norway
    • Stjørdals Boka – Gards og Slekthistorie (Stjørdal’s Book, Farm and Family History)  includes the areas of Stjørdal and Lånke.
      • Stjørdal herad Band II Del I (Stjørdal parish, vol. 2, part 1)
      • Stjørdal herad, Band II Del II (Stjørdal parish, vol. 2, part 2)
      • Lånke herad, Band III (Lånke parish, vol. 3)
    • Verdals Boka – En Bygdebok om Verdal 1976. Verdal’s Book, a farm and family history book about Verdal, published 1976.
      • Bind III, IV, V – Gårds og Slekthistorie (Volumes 3, 4, 5, Farm and Family (genealogy) Histories.
  • Oppland County, Norway
    • Gardar og Slekter i Fron by Einar Hovdhaugen (Farms and Families in Fron)
      • Bind 1 – Sør-Fron (Volume 1, Sør-Fron parish)
      • Bind 2 – Nord-Fron (Volume 2, Nord-Fron parish)

Church Records we have copies of may include baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths (Douglas County, Minnesota):

  • Holmes City Apostolic Church, located in Moe Township. Families from Finland, most from Holmes City Twp. or Moe Twp. Membership lists, Family names and birthdates.
  • First Lutheran Church, Miltona, Spruce Hill Luth Church 003Minnesota
  • Danish Lutheran Church (Trinity) in Nelson, Minnesota, baptisms from 1871, marriages 1876-1945, ministerial book 1870-.
  • Oscar Lake Lutheran Church, Swedish Evangelist Lutheran Congregation, Douglas County, Minnesota.
  • Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregations of East Moe, West Moe, Urness, Solem and Holmes City townships. Record book begun 14th Dec. 1875-1912.  Membership lists by family
  • East Moe and West Moe records, 1913-1950. Norwegian congregation. Baptisms, confirmations, marriages.
  • Our Lady of the Seven Dolors Catholic Church, Millerville, Minnesota, parish records. Members were mainly from Prussia, Germany, Bohemia (Czech), Ireland, Netherlands
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Alexandria, Minnesota. Early records starting in 1882. Baptisms 1882-1948.
  • St. Nicholas Catholic Church, Belle River township, Douglas County, MN parish records. (baptisms, marriages, deaths)
  • Spruce Hill Lutheran Church, Spruce Hill Township, A Swedish congregation.
  • Trysil Lutheran Church, Holmes City Township, A Norwegian congregation.
  • First Methodist Church in Alexandria – parish records. Members were primarily English speaking, many from the East Coast.
  • Zion Lutheran Church three ring binder contains 1947 identified photos of members, and a membership roster. (German Lutheran)

Family Genealogies – submitted by researchers with Douglas County roots – Surnames List under construction.  Contact us by clicking HERE for individual research requests.

Kensington Runestone Research Materials

We have files of articles, booklets, magazines, and news clippings, plus published books listed below.Runestone

  • The Cult of the Kensington Rune Stone: Cultural Power and the Production of American Civil Religion, dissertation by David M. Krueger, Jan. 2011.
  • A Holy Mission to Minnesota 600 Years Ago, by Hjalmar R. Holand, 1959
  • The Kensington Rune Stone, Compelling New Evidence, by Dr. Richard Nielsen, Scott F. Wolter P.G., 2006.
  • The Kensington Runestone Crusade to Vinland, by Margaret Barry Leuthner, 1988
  • Kensington Runestone A Defense of Olaf Ohman the Accused Forger, Vol. 1, by Barry J. Hanson, 2002.
  • The Kensington Stone, A Mystery Solved, Erik Wahlgren, 1958.
  • The Kensington Runestone New Light on an Old Riddle, Theodore C. Blegen, 1968.
  • Locating the Site of the Kensington Runestone Massacre . . . Solving a Mystery, presentation by Bob Voyles, 5/2/2015
  • Mystery of the Runestone, by M. Leuthner 1962, illus. by M. Johnson
  • Myths of the Rune Stone: Viking Martyrs and the Birthplace of America, by David M. Krueger, 2015.
  • A Pre-Columbian Crusade to America, by Hjalmar R. Holand, 1962.
  • “Them Boys Were Here Alright” A Study of Community, Cutural Identity, and Economics Within Douglas County, Minnesota, a thesis by Kimberly M. Hoppe, 2011
  • Viking Explorers and the Columbus Fraud, by Wilford Raymond Anderson, 1981.