New Ulm in Brown County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
—Historic Downtown New Ulm —
Frank Erd and his wife, Louise, came to New Ulm from Cincinnati. Frank, whose father was an architect, erected a substantial store, one of the few brick buildings in the city. The Brown County supervisors kept their offices in Erd's building, guaranteeing a steady stream of customers as citizens came to file land titles, pay taxes, and hold court sessions.
During the Dakota Conflict, the building became a refuge for women and children. Gathering in the basement, they placed a keg of gunpowder in the center of the room, with the understanding that if the barricades were breeched, someone would light the fuse. That responsibility was given to Mary Schmitz Ryan, a young woman, six months pregnant. However, after attacks on August 23, 1862, the Dakota withdrew. Two days later, the town was evacuated as survivors marched to Mankato and safety.
The building has seen many changes since 1862. After the Civil War, the Erds added a third floor. When Willibald Eibner bought the business in 1883, he turned it into one of the finest restaurants in southern Minnesota, complete with a bakery and candy making factory. Following a downtown fire in 1936, Eibner rebuilt the front in a striking art moderne style.
Location. 44° 18.881′ N, 94° 27.608′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 108 North Minnesota Street, New Ulm MN 56073, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Crone Store (a few steps from this marker); Dacotah House (within shouting distance of this marker); Boesch, Hummel, and Maltzahn Block (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); New Ulm (about 400 feet away); Arbeiter Hall (about 500 feet away); Grand Hotel (about 500 feet away); Jacob Nix Platz (about 500 feet away); Brown County Bank (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Ulm.
More about this marker. photo captions:
• The Erd Building shortly after its construction · Images from the Brown County Historical Society
• Mary Schmitz Ryan
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Wars, US Indian •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 21, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 343 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 21, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.