“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers and War Memorials in Renville County, Minnesota

Clickable Map of Renville County, Minnesota and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Renville County, MN (44) Brown County, MN (87) Chippewa County, MN (12) Kandiyohi County, MN (76) McLeod County, MN (11) Meeker County, MN (21) Nicollet County, MN (75) Redwood County, MN (20) Sibley County, MN (13) Yellow Medicine County, MN (21)  RenvilleCounty(44) Renville County (44)  BrownCounty(87) Brown County (87)  ChippewaCounty(12) Chippewa County (12)  KandiyohiCounty(76) Kandiyohi County (76)  McLeodCounty(11) McLeod County (11)  MeekerCounty(21) Meeker County (21)  NicolletCounty(75) Nicollet County (75)  RedwoodCounty(20) Redwood County (20)  SibleyCounty(13) Sibley County (13)  YellowMedicineCounty(21) Yellow Medicine County (21)
Olivia is the county seat for Renville County
Adjacent to Renville County, Minnesota
      Brown County (87)  
      Chippewa County (12)  
      Kandiyohi County (76)  
      McLeod County (11)  
      Meeker County (21)  
      Nicollet County (75)  
      Redwood County (20)  
      Sibley County (13)  
      Yellow Medicine County (21)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 Minnesota, Renville County, Buffalo Lake — Buffalo Lake TornadoMemorial
On Tuesday, June 24, 2003 severe thunderstorms spawned three tornadoes that touched down here at 7:46 p.m. The F2 tornadoes, with winds as high as 157 miles an hour, struck several farms immediately south of town, then bore down upon the community, . . . Map (db m70072) HM
2 Minnesota, Renville County, Buffalo Lake — Veterans Memorial
In honor of those who served our country. Military Service Emblems 1991Map (db m69296) WM
3 Minnesota, Renville County, Delhi — Only Two Survived
Mary Schwandt and her brother August were the only two of their extended family of nine who survived the terrible six week long war now usually named the United States - Dakota Conflict of 1862. During Mary's captivity with the Dakota . . . Map (db m71301) HM
4 Minnesota, Renville County, Delhi — 18 — Schwandt State Monument
Erected by State of Minnesota 1915 In Memory of Martyrs for Civilization Johann Schwandt Christina Schwandt & Their Children Fredrik & Christian John Walz Karolina Schwandt Walz & John Frass Murdered by Sioux Indians . . . Map (db m69572) HM WM
5 Minnesota, Renville County, Delhi — Taoyateduta Leads His People in War
On August 17, 1862, Dakota leaders held a series of councils to discuss going to war. Earlier that day an incident in Acton Township had brought conditions to a crisis when young Dakota hunters killed five immigrants. The council began at the Rice . . . Map (db m170343) HM WM
6 Minnesota, Renville County, Delhi — The U.S.–Dakota War of 1862
The Minnesota River Valley was ripe for conflict in 1862. Tensions between the Dakota people and the U.S. government had long been brewing over broken treaty promises and dramatic changes to Dakota traditional lifestyles. Focused on the Civil War, . . . Map (db m170344) HM
7 Minnesota, Renville County, Delhi — Vicksburg CemeteryThe Historic Village of Vicksburg
* Vicksburg was approximately in existence from 1869 until 1878. The small village was located close to the Minnesota River (10 miles south of Renville in Flora Township or a half mile south of this sign). Within the town was a a general store, . . . Map (db m68969) HM
8 Minnesota, Renville County, Delhi — Vicksburg Village
Long before Vicksburg was established a French man, Charles Patterson, set a trading post along the Minnesota River to the east of this location. Known for his bearskin hat, and bear considered sacred by the natives, Mr. Patterson became known as . . . Map (db m170342) HM
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9 Minnesota, Renville County, Fairfax — Veterans Memorial
A Tribute to All Who Have Served Us in War and Peace Making Us Proud to Be Americans US Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8459 US American Legion Post #205 For God and CountryMap (db m78637) WM
10 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — "A Beautiful Place to Encamp"
"It was a beautiful place to encamp, but it proved an unfortunate one for us, as the enemy had the advantage both of the timber and hill for protection."                                             Joseph Anderson To . . . Map (db m71481) HM
11 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — “The Fight Was On”
"One of the sentinels fired. The shot was followed by a heavy volley from the Indians, which...killed and wounded several of our men and the fight was on."                                             Joseph Anderson . . . Map (db m71554) HM
12 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — After the Battle
"Soon after the battle I, with many others who had taken part in the war, surrendered to Gen. Sibley."                                                 Wamditanka "As soon as I surrendered I was thrown in prison," . . . Map (db m71612) HM
13 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — RN-BCO-004 — Battle of Birch Coulee
On the prairie half a mile east of this point, a party of about 160 troops was attacked by Sioux at dawn, Sept. 2, 1862. During the battle, the force was surrounded for thirty hours, losing over a third of its number in killed and wounded. . . . Map (db m67451) HM
14 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Battle Scars
All our horses, both cavalry and transportation horses, were either killed or so badly wounded as to make them unfit for service."                                                 Joseph Anderson Tethered to wagons on the . . . Map (db m71575) HM
15 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Battle Tactics
"It was concluded to surround the camp that night and attack it at daylight. We felt sure we could capture it."                                                 Wamditanka After the Dakota scouts spotted Anderson's men . . . Map (db m71510) HM
16 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — 7 — Birch Coulee State MonumentSept. 2d. & 3d., 1862.
north side Erected by the State of Minnesota in grateful remembrance of the Heroism of those gallant soldiers and citizens who fought the Battle of Birch Coulee and to perpetuate their names. Capt. Hiram P. Grant. Co. A. 6th Minnesota . . . Map (db m69514) HM WM
17 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Caught Unaware!Settlers in the Area of Birch Coolie Creek
  In 1862, settlers in the area of Birch Coolie Creek were living peaceful lives, having come to this area to take up new homesteads. They were in large part recent immigrants to this country. When they settled here they were mostly unaware of . . . Map (db m69354) HM WM
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18 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Dakota Positions
"We had no difficulty in surrounding the camp. The pickets were only a little way from it."                                                 Wamditanka No soldiers would have attempted to climb this hill during the battle. . . . Map (db m71551) HM
19 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — RN-BFS-002 — Earle Monument
Erected by the Renville Co. Pioneers, Aug. 18, 1907. In Memory of Radnor Earle who was killed by the Indians in the massacre of Aug. 18, 1862 while Saving his Father's life.Map (db m70510) HM WM
20 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — RN-BFS-002 — Henderson Monument
Erected by the Renville Co. Pioneers, Aug. 18, 1907. In memory of Mrs. S. R. Henderson and her two little daughters, Jehiel Wedge, and Eugene White, who were killed by the Indians in the massacre of Aug. 18, 1862. . . . Map (db m70514) HM WM
21 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Minnesota's Civil War
In the late summer of 1862, the land on which you're standing was a war zone. The causes of that war had been brewing for decades. In treaties signed between 1805 and 1858, the Dakota nation ceded much of its land to the U.S. government. . . . Map (db m71337) HM
22 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Redwood Ferry
On a summer day in 1862 the Redwood Ferry landing on the Minnesota River below this point was the scene of the first attack against military troops in one of America's most tragic Indian wars. Early in the morning of August 18, 1862, a large . . . Map (db m68897) HM
23 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Solid Friendships
Made of solid granite, the “Friendly Indian Monument” was dedicated in 1899 in honor of six Dakota Indians who befriended and protected government employees, immigrant settlers, missionaries, or aided soldiers during the . . . Map (db m70864) HM
24 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Surrounded at the Coulee
This monument was dedicated in 1894 as a testament to U.S. soldiers and civilians who fought and died in the Battle of Birch Coulee. The U.S.–Dakota Conflict of 1862 started when Dakota Indians, frustrated over broken treaty . . . Map (db m70848) HM
25 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Battle Ends
On the second day of the fight, we were reinforced...which ended one of the hardest and best fought battles known."                                                 Joseph Anderson Early in the afternoon of September 3, . . . Map (db m71590) HM
26 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Battle of Birch CouleeBig Eagle
West of crest of hill and 755 feet east was one of the principal points of attack by the Sioux indians under Big Eagle, Sept 2-3, 1862.Map (db m67764) HM
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27 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Battle of Birch CouleeMah-Ka-To
600 feet south, in the ravine the whites were attacked by the Sioux Indians under Mah-Ka-To Sept. 2, 1862.Map (db m69389) HM
28 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Battle of Birch Coulee
Just before sunrise on September 2, 1862, the sharp crack of a warning shot signaled the start of the Battle of Birch Coulee. One of the bloodiest battles of the U.S.-Dakota War was fought here. For a day and a half, this place echoed . . . Map (db m71159) HM
29 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Battle of Birch Coulee
. . . Map (db m71795) HM
30 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Battle of Birch CouleeGray Bird
In the then tall grass in the swale, about 800 feet north, a body of Sioux Indians under Gray Bird attacked the whites. Behind the hill 400 feet to the east was the last point of attack by the Indians, whence they were driven by . . . Map (db m154042) HM
31 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Faithful Indians' MonumentHumanity • Patriotism • Fidelity • Courage
Erected A. D. 1899 by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society to commemorate the brave, faithful, and humane conduct of the loyal Indians who saved the lives of white people and were true to their obligations throughout the Sioux War in Minnesota . . . Map (db m69496) HM WM
32 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Prairie Factor
"I led my men up from the west through the grass and took up a position 200 yards from the camp behind a small knoll."                                     Wamditanka You are standing where Wamditanka and his band took . . . Map (db m71532) HM
33 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — The Story of the Land
Before the Battle When glaciers receded from this region thousands of years ago, they left behind huge rivers and lakes in a broad valley. Over time, the valley became filled with tallgrass prairies, small lakes, and the waterway known . . . Map (db m71445) HM
34 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Two Men, One War
The story of Birch Coulee is told vividly by the men who fought here. As you move along this trail, you will follow the stories of two men: Joseph Anderson, a captain in the U.S. Army, and Wamditanka (Big Eagle), a Mdewakanton chief. . . . Map (db m71459) HM
35 Minnesota, Renville County, Morton — Wrong Place, Wrong Time
"When the men in advance reached Little Crow's village...they saw a column of mounted men and some wagons...going eastward."                               Wamditanka The "men in advance" were Dakota scouts. According to . . . Map (db m71472) HM
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36 Minnesota, Renville County, Renville — Middle Creek Brave Settler Monument
In memory of the brave settlers to fell at this point in the massacre of 1862.Map (db m153853) HM WM
37 Minnesota, Renville County, Renville — Renville Legion Post 180
Dedicated to all Area Veterans who Served our Nation Map (db m119985) WM
38 Minnesota, Renville County, Renville — Site of Florita Settlement 1886-1912
A general store was built about 1886 and was called Florita, being in Flora township. A post office was installed in the store with about 40 boxes. In 1898 the Flora Farmers Co-operative Creamery was started and did business until 1912. This . . . Map (db m68991) HM
39 Minnesota, Renville County, Sacred Heart — A Family's Proud HeritageThe Enestvedt Seed Corn Company
This land was first tilled in 1867 by Ole Enestvedt and a pair of oxen with a single bottom plow. The early years were hard, back-breaking years as homesteading usually was. In 1900, Ole and Anna's youngest son, Engebret started the . . . Map (db m71275) HM
40 Minnesota, Renville County, Sacred Heart — A New Life with Family and Friends
This is the Lars Rudi home. Lars was the son of a farmer in Uvdal, Numedal, Norway, and was one of seven Rudi children who grew to adulthood. All but one of the Rudi siblings immigrated to America hoping to make a better life for . . . Map (db m71224) HM
41 Minnesota, Renville County, Sacred Heart — Farther and Gay Castle
These ruins are all that remain of a large stone house built in 1861 by Joseph R. Brown, frontier fur trader, Indian agent, politician, journalist, and inventor. The house, known as Farther and Gay Castle, was a center of hospitality and . . . Map (db m69451) HM
42 Minnesota, Renville County, Sacred Heart — The Enestvedt Marker
This memorial to Ole O. and Anne Enestvedt and their children is near the location of the log and dugout home of these Norwegian immigrants. This pioneer family staked their homestead claim in the spring of 1867, shortly after the "Indian . . . Map (db m71288) HM
43 Minnesota, Renville County, Sacred Heart — The Joseph R. Brown House
A Grand and Luxurious Home This was the first house built of quarried granite in the Minnesota River valley during the 1860s. Most structures then were cabins or small wooden frame houses. Brick and stone structures had been built at . . . Map (db m226523) HM
44 Minnesota, Renville County, Sacred Heart — The Kittelsland Water Wheel
This water wheel was put to use about 100 years ago, (around 1900) in this creek to pump water to a storage tank in Peter and Gunhild (Enestvedt) Kittelsland's round barn. The tank was located up in the hay mow so the water had enough height for the . . . Map (db m71281) HM
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Dec. 6, 2023