Whipple Sermons
Coming Soon
German Union Cemetery:
A Three-Generation Genealogy
National Register
View or search the Rice County National Register of Historical Places
Doing research at the Rice County Historical Society
MON - FRI: 9AM - 4PM
Additional Summer Hours:
SAT: 10AM - 2PM
(Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Othertimes available by appointment.

History of the Upper Cannon river Basin with Larry Richie

Posted on: Jun 13 2022 by admin

Saturday, June18th at 10am at Slevin Park in Faribault

Come join Larry Richie for his program during Heritage Days about the Upper Cannon River Basin. Larry is a local archeologist who has spent years researching the area and history of the Cannon River. His program will discuss how glaciers formed the basin and the role they played in shaping the waterways.

The program will be held at Father Slevin Park at 10am, it is $5 per person. We ask you to bring your own lawn chair. To register in advance (strongly encouraged) or more information on this program please call the Rice County Historical Society at 507-332-2121 or email us at rchs@rchistory.org.

The 1st Summer Saturday Research Assistance

Posted on: Jun 10 2022 by admin

Saturday, June 11 from 10am to 2pm

This summer, on June 11 and August 6, members of the newly formed GIG (Geneology Interest Group of Rice County) will be at the museum to help people with their genealogy research. The GIG volunteer will help researchers find information on their ancestors from any part of the US. GIG volunteers will make use of Ancestry, Family Search, the Dalby Database, and many of the Rare Book resources in the RCHS Collection.

Those interested can call the museum to reserve a time slot at: 507-332-2121. Walk-ins are welcome.

Program: “The Unpardonable Case of August Ruther” with Ariel Butler

Posted on: May 13 2022 by admin

Thursday, May 19, 7pm

Join us on Thursday, May 19, at 7:00 pm as Rice County native Ariel Emery Butler presents her research on “The Unpardonable Case of August Ruther” who was convicted of murder in Rice County, MN in 1918.

August Ruther, served in the German army in the 1890s and moved to the US in 1907. He eventually to Rice County in 1914 where, he met and married Josephine Fiske, whose father had left her a farm. Josephine also had charge of her older brother, August Fiske, who did farm work but was developmentally disabled.

On September 9, 1917, August Fiske was found dead at his brother Henry’s farm and two months later, August Ruther was charged with poisoning his brother-in-law in Rice County. 

Throughout his trial and sentence, Ruther maintained his innocence, yet, despite any direct evidence, a jury convicted August of murder in eighty minutes. Was he convicted because he was guilty, or was the anti-German nativism that was presented in the US during World War 1 the reason he was convicted? 

This program will be held at the Rice County Historical Society at 1814 NW 2nd Ave., Faribault, MN 55021. For more information or to make a reservation, please call us at 507-332-2121.

The program is free and open to the public thanks, in part, to a grant from the Minnesota Humanities Center.

“Bison Bone Discovery Days”

Posted on: Apr 11 2022 by admin

Larry Richie, a retired farmer and local historian is bringing his Bison Bones and other local archeological discoveries to the Rice County Historical Society to share them with the community at an open house, 1-4 pm, April 20, and an evening program on at 7 pm on April 21.

Bison Skull

Richie has spent the last two summers in a swamp in Walcott Township, Rice County, digging in a sinkhole near his farm. There he has recovered hundreds of bison bones, many bird bones, and other interesting geological findings. With support from friends and other supporters, Richie and the Rice County Historical Society have had four of the bison bones Carbon Dated.  The results say the bones range in age from 2,500 to 3,600-year-old.  The sinkhole has given up over 8 bison so far, and Richie plans to spend another summer working the same spot.

On April 20 and 21, Richie will discuss how he found the bones, the process of recovering them, and how they were dated. He will also discuss the geology of the area, and how it changed over the course of several thousand years.

There are two times that the general public can come look at the bones and talk with Larry.  The first is an open house on Wednesday, April 20 from 1-4 pm.  The second is an evening presentation by Richie on Thursday, April 21, at 7 pm.  Those who reserve in advance will be sent a link to some of Richie’s writings about his discovery and some additional material beyond what he will be presenting in the session.

Admission is $5.00/each – $2.00 for RCHS Members. To place a reservation please call RCHS at 507-332-2121.