Lectures & Panel Presentations

Women in Politics

March 07, 2019

Star Tribune columnist and author Lori Sturdevant charts the
progress of the women’s rights movement in Minnesota and
showcases notable leaders on both sides of the political aisle.  


One topic will be Rosalie Wahl, the first woman on the Minnesota Supreme Court.


Program will be held in the Wenger Room



$5 SCHS members; $10 nonmembers

American Women in the Great War

September 13, 2018

The Steele County Historical Society will host Ames Sheldon for a discussion, American Women in the Great War, on September 13, 7:00 PM.


Ames Sheldon will discuss the roles women played, especially in France, during WWI. Ames will walk us through the research process and sources used for her novel Eleanor’s Wars, a story about a young American woman who drove an ambulance in France during the Great War. Eleanor’s Wars won the Benjamin Franklin Gold Award for Best New Voice in Fiction.


It's 1942 and the globe is aflame. Eleanor Sutton, matriarch of a prosperous New Jersey family, struggles to fight the war on the home front. But then long-buried memories rooted in Eleanor's service in the Great War come to light. These decades-old secrets threaten her marriage to George--and bring his own carefully guarded secrets to the surface.


Ames Sheldon is a former journalist, former director of corporate and foundation giving at the Minnesota Historical Society, and the lead author and editor of Women’s History Sources: A Guide to Archives and Manuscript Collections in the United States (R.R. Bowker, 1979).


Admission to the lecture is free to SCHS members, $5 for nonmembers.

The Steele County Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1949. Its mission is to preserve and share Steele County history today for tomorrow.  The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Steele County’s past through museum exhibits, research, collections, tours, educational programs and book publishing.  The Society is located at 1700 Austin Road, Owatonna, MN.

Photographic Gems: Mining, Polishing, and Displaying Them

August 09, 2018

Rick Swanson, Fox and Swan Arts, will discusses ways to discover previously unknown family photographs, and how to deal with those that are damaged or in poor condition. Rick will offer examples of how to use them to embellish your family tree and tell your family story. Bring your own favorite photographic gems and share your story of its discovery so others can learn from your success. 

FREE for SCHS members; $5 nonmembers

Designing a Board Game: What's the Sequence

August 01, 2018

What's this item aboIn 1981, Doug Rueter entered into a license agreement with a Minneapolis based company to manufacture and distribute SEQUENCE, the family board game he invented. SEQUENCE has been continuously and actively marketed since April 1, 1982 - that’s over 36 years for those of you are trying to do the math. SEQUENCE enjoys world-wide distribution and has sold millions of copies.

Doug also invented a game called QB8 which he entered in the 56th Annual Minnesota Inventors Congress Invention and Idea Show in Redwood Falls, MN in 2013. It was awarded the F. ROBERT STARR (GRAND PRIZE) AWARD – it is the ONLY toy or game to EVER win that inventor competition in its 56 year history. QB8 was also awarded a Gold Medal and the PROFESSOR OTTO SCHMITT MEMORIAL AWARD for being “the most creative, innovative or unusual invention exhibited. . .” He has since developed a spin-off of that game called QB8 WORDS - both of which are here tonight. Doug has invented several other games – two of which will be presented to several game companies at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair this coming November in hopes that one or both will be licensed for distribution. 

Doug will be talking about the inventing process he has used for all the games he’s invented and for the first time will publicly display the original hand-made SEQUENCE game board.

Free for SCHS members; $5 for non-members

WWI Battlefield Medicine

May 17, 2018

Throughout history, war is known to have brought death and destruction.  Not so well , perhaps, are advances in technology and medicine that serve to benefit mankind in great way; so it was with The Great War from 1914 – 1918.  Amid the horrors of trench warfare and weapons which included machine guns and poison gas, new techniques, medicines and tools were developed that helped increase the survival rates for wounded.  Additionally, a system of prioritization, or triage, was instituted to allow for smoother transitions from battlefield to recovery in a hospital.  No longer were 80% of amputees dying; now the numbers reversed and 80% were surviving. 


Michael Eckers shares some of the changes and advances in Battlefield Medicine that took place during World War I, resulting in the highest survival rate of soldiers up to that period of history.  Many of the ideas put into practice a hundred years ago carry forward to our own time.

FREE for SCHS members; $5 for nonmembers.hat's this item about? 

Driver Meets the Road

April 05, 2018

What's this itemSteele County Historical Society (SCHS) will host Drivers Meet the Road. This panel presentation will focus on the driver and their experience. Panel members will address common driving violations and enforcement, crash causes and reconstruction, as well as training and educational programs directed at young, 55 plus drivers, and distracted driving. Evolution of automobile technology, both as a safety factor and a potential driver distraction will also be discussed.

Panel members are Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota Highway Patrol; Dean Rhoades, Vice President – Director of Risk Management, Federated Insurance; Laramie Sandquist, General Manager - Risk Management Resources, Federated Insurance; Mike Stormo, Science teacher at OHS, Drivers Education Instructor; Lon Thiele, Steele County Sherriff.

Free for SCHS members; $5 for nonmembers. about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

Girls Rock: The Healing Power of Girlfriends

March 29, 2018

The role of friendships in our lives is terribly under-estimated. Researchers are paying attention to the importance of friendships and social networks in our overall health. Stick with your girlfriends and stay healthier.

Voting Rights: Yesterday and Today

March 15, 2018

Throughout history women have played a significant role in voting rights, and continue to do so today.  Martha Micks, League of Women Voters Minnesota,  will take us through the impact of WWI in women achieving the right to vote and what is currently happening with voting rights.

Being Muslim in Minnesota

January 18, 2018

What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchyHanadi Chehabeddine, a Lebanese‐born journalist, public speaker, wife and mother of three, has lived in the U.S. since 2008. She is Muslim and now an American citizen. She feels compelled to reach out to her fellow Americans to help bridge an understanding of her religion and way of life. 

She is a branding expert fluent in Arabic, English, and French who has been published in Cosmopolitan magazine, The Washington Times, the Huffington Post, MinnPost, the American Diversity Report, and on her own blog,www.hanadispeaksout.com. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Leadership at the University of St. Thomas while changing the perception of Muslims in the corporate world as a diversity trainer.

This event is free to the public.

This event is sponsored by the United Way of Steele County through the generous support of a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant. description to grab your audience's attention...

WWI Life in the Trenches

August 24, 2017

The Great War began as a conflict of movement in August of 1914. Armies from Germany, France, Russia and the Astro-Hungarian Empire were massing. As Kaiser Wilhelm’s forces advanced through Belgium on its way to capture Paris, a small contingent of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) dug in to halt their movement. Near the town of Ypres, the Germans were slowed, but not stopped. Their momentum carried them to the Marne River, where the French finally halted them.

The war became a race of shovels along a five-hundred mile line as both armies dug tremendous underground works and trenches. During the next three years, advances were measured in yards at a cost of millions of dead in battles that lasted for months. Neither could break the stalemate.

Michael Eckers’ presentation on “Life in the Trenches” examines the living conditions of these trenches and explores the changes in tactics that evolved because of them. Life was so hard, especially during the wet, cold winters, that a new malady affecting thousands of soldiers was called “Trench Foot” to remember. Mud, rats and deadly gas were as much the enemy as the machine guns that ripped you to pieces if you dared attack across no man’s land.

FREE for SCHS members; $5 non-members

The Gainey Experience: The Life and Leadership of Daniel C. Gainey

September 21, 2017

Jackie, a St. Paul Communication Professor and former Jostens employee, distributed her book, published by Jostens Inc., at a Jostens National Meeting in January. The book highlights Jostens pivotal 1933 to 1968 CEO’s leadership engagement in business, education, politics and equestrian breeding. It also gives insight for those pursuing a future in corporate leadership. 

Glenny has taught at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul for over 20 years. She has a master's degree in Business Communication and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.

Please reload

© 2018 by Steele County Historical Society, 1700 Austin Road, Owatonna, MN.  507-451-1420 Proudly created with Wix.com