The archives of Pipestone County History is operated in the public interest by the Pipestone County Historical Society, a private not-for-profit organization.
Archival Holdings:
General collection of historical, architectural and social resources.
Specific material related to Pipestone County organizations and industries, families, and businesses, persons and events.
Primary source material includes ledgers, diaries and other holographic items, assorted records, scrapbooks and other memorabilia.
Iconography includes broadsides and art work, architectural and engineering drawings, maps and photographs.
Archives Use:
Archives holdings are considered one of a kind.  They are non-circulating.   Special care taken in their handling may include the wearing of cotton gloves while using some items.
What we have in our archives:
  • Obituary Records:  The Museum has a card index of county obituaries listed by surname.  Obituaries can be copied from the microfilm and bound copies of the local newspapers at the Museum using the information on card index.  These cards are kept up-to-date by Museum Staff.
  • Marriage Records:  The Museum has a card index of marriages listed individually by bride's name and groom's name.  Marriage notices can be copied from the microfilm of the local newspapers using the information on the cards.  These cards are kept up-to-date by Museum Staff.
  • Birth Records:  The Museum has a card index of births that appear in the local newspapers.  These notices can be copied from the microfilm of the local newspapers using the information on the cards.  These cards are kept up-to-date by Museum Staff.
  • Dr. Alex H. Brown Birth Records:  Taken from Dr. Brown's Journals from 1909 to 1924.  Click link Dr. Brown's Journals to view.  Also available are the actual birth stubs written out by Dr. Brown from Dec. 10, 1916 to May 24, 1944.  To view list, click link Dr. Brown Birth Stubs.
  • Dr. H. DeBoer Birth Records:  Stubs of Birth Certificates of babies delivered by Dr. H. DeBoer in western Nobles County (Leota Township), western Murray County (Chanarambie and Moulton Townships), northern Rock County (Battle Plains Township) and southwestern Pipestone County from May 2, 1915 to October 8, 1944.  To view list, click on Dr. DeBoer Birth Stubs.
  • Pipestone High School Graduate List from the Class of 1891 to the Class of 2016.  Click on Pipestone High School Graduates to view and/or print the list.
  • Pipestone Area School Faculty and Staff 1905-2014 compiled from the yearbooks available at the Pipestone County Museum and Meinders Library in Pipestone.  The first yearbook was in 1905 followed by 1922 through 2014.  For the years 1905-1952, click on HS Faculty 1905-1952, For 1953-1984, click on HS Faculty 1953-1984.  For 1985-2014, click on HS Faculty 1985-2014.  The Faculty and Staff will be updated as yearbooks are available.
  • World War 1 Veterans of Pipestone County:  Click on Pipestone WW1 Veterans to view information.
  • Plat Books for Pipestone County:  The earliest plat book the Museum has is in 1898 followed by 1914, 1936, 1950, 1954, 1961, 1962, 1972, 1979 and up until 2013.
  • Assorted Commemorative Booklets from Pipestone County Churches and individual Pipestone County Towns and Cities.
  • Many Pipestone High School Annuals and some Pipestone Technical College Annuals as well as some annuals from the Ruthton and Jasper schools.
  • Local newspapers on microfilm:  Pipestone County Star from 1879 to present, Pipestone Leader from 1890 bound volumes and 1897-1944 on microfilm, Edgerton Enterprise from 1887-2004 on microfilm with missing years 1913-1941.  Jasper Journal -- 1888 to 2016 on microfilm -- includes the Town of Ihlen.  For a more detailed listing of newspapers available at the Pipestone County Museum, click on link -- Pipestone County Newspapers.
  • For a history of the newspapers published in Pipestone County, click here.
  • Photographs:  A large collection of photos including Pipestone County families, businesses, street scenes of Pipestone and other towns and cities in the county.
  • Family histories:  Many published and unpublished histories of families have been donated to the Museum's archives and are available for viewing.  See list in following link: family histories.
  • Family Bibles.
  • Oral Histories:  In the Museum's archives are numerous oral histories done for special projects.  See list in following link:  Oral Histories.
  • Pipestone Indian Training School:  In the Museum's archives are many photographs of the Pipestone Indian Training School as well as Annual and Quarterly reports 1912-1924 and 1929-1939.  The reports contain names of students and their ages in attendance at the time of the report, their tribal affiliation, date first entered the school, what instructions they were taking during the quarter, etc.
  • Chesley Glass Plate Negative Collection:  Photographer George Chesley's Glass Negatives from 1885-1920.  3,019 negatives of families and individuals mostly photographed in his studio in Pipestone.  See list of surnames under Chesley Glass Negatives.
  • Close Brothers Land Sale Records:  Close Brothers Land Company contributed to a settlement boom in Pipestone County.  Land buyers would sign a contract with the Close Brothers or their two other land companies -- The Western Land Company and the Southwestern Minnesota Land Company -- to purchase property over time.  The buyer would get land with a house and barn already built on the property.  These sale records are the original contracts signed by buyers.  They include the payments due, if transferred to another party, and if the contract was completed.  Their office was in Pipestone from 1883 to the late 1890s when their landholdings were sold.
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