Maria Lokensgard lives on the family farm in Norseland. She currently works at Scholarship America in St. Peter helping foundations and companies handle their scholarship programs. Preserving her history has been important to her family for generations, and the chance to serve on the Historical Society Board has strengthened her commitment to bringing understanding and appreciation for our past to the next generation. Nicollet County has such a rich heritage of commerce and agriculture and she is looking forward to see the exciting ideas and new projects coming this year.
Board Member since: 2014
Eileen W. Holz is a lifetime resident of St. Peter, a graduate of St. Peter High School and Gustavus Adolphus College, and is self-employed at eholz graphix as a free-lance graphic designer. An avid genealogist and history buff, she is presently researching all sides of her family history, St. Peter cigar makers, Johnson Uniform Co., and Nicollet County polio victims and survivors. She believes that if you want a quality place in which to live, you have to be ready to work and volunteer to make it that way, hence her work with the St. Peter Reads Committee, the Nicollet County Historical Society, State Hospital Museum & Archives, and previously the Arts Center and the St. Peter Arts Association, St. Peter Community Players, and the Human Rights and Heritage Preservation Commissions.
Nita's family moved to St. Peter in 1978 where she was a nursing instructor at Gustavus for nine years. In 1987, she was appointed Director of Nicollet County Public Health. Following her retirement in 2009, her interest in history and genealogy resulted in becoming involved with the Nicollet County Historical Society. During these years, she has researched multiple projects: compiling cemetery records for Resurrection, the Poor Farm, the St. Peter State Hospital original cemetery and the French Cemetery. Other projects have included compiling a list of all county commissioners and officials since 1853, indexing Bob Wettergren’s book, hospital development in St. Peter and documenting an electronic database of obituaries published in the Herald from 1886-2008 for those with a Nicollet County connection.
Tim "Minnow" Bartelt became a co-owner and Director of Profits at Patrick's in St. Peter in 2001, after working there as a bartender, cook and manager since 1992. He played bass drum for the world champion St. Peter Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps from 1992 through 2005, and currently works with the Govies as support staff, assisting with their numerous fundraisers and events. Originally hailing from Waseca, MN, he has lived in St. Peter since 2007.
Board Member since: 2016
Tom is originally from St. George and has spent his life there. He attending vo-tech school and was employed by 3M for 38 years as a tool and die maker. He also farmed during that time. He retired from 3M in 2007 and is still farming today. Tom is married to his wife Carol and they have three children. He has always been interested in history and gives cemetery tours at Church of St. George West Newton, a parish that started in 1858.
Amanda grew up in central Minnesota and moved to St. Peter in 2000 to attend Gustavus where she studied geography. After graduation, she volunteered for a year in Washington, DC and moved back to St. Peter where she currently lives. She is the Office Manager for Congressman Tim Walz, teaches indoor cycling classes at the YMCA in Mankato and pours wine in the Tasting Room at Chankaska.
JoAnn Gieseke is currently working in New Ulm part time. She is on the Thrivent Board in St. Peter, various Church committees and otherwise spends most of her time babysitting her grand kids babysitting, which she loves. Rhonda's husband passed away three years ago. They have five children, four in the area and one out of state. She also has eleven grand children, which keeps her hopping every other weekend.
Tom Hagen taught history and English in Southern Minnesota public schools for thirty years. After retirement he began to teach at Minnesota State University in the humanities department specializing in Asian Studies, and has worked as an adjunct faculty member there for the last 12 years. Tom has also been active in preservation work, restoring and rebuilding four properties, and he received a Stewardship Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota for his work. Tom is currently advising/working on the restoration of the Jos. Schaus house (1857) in Mankato..
Board Member since: 2017
Ruth Klossner grew up on a dairy farm near Klossner—which is named after her father’s great-uncle. For 28 years she worked in the world of journalism as reporter, photographer, and editor for the Lafayette Ledger. A self-proclaimed “retirement flunky,” five years ago Ruth jumped back into the world of journalism. Before joining the newspaper staff in 1984, Ruth worked with kids, cows, horses, bugs, foods, and a zillion other things as an extension educator for 13 years; was a wedding photographer 15-plus years; showed horses and cows in several states; and played softball for something like 50 years. As secretary of the New Ulm Farm-City Hub Club and the Lafayette Area Lions, she writes their monthly newsletters, as well as one for Fields of Grace Lutheran Parish. Ruth was a member of the steering committee that founded the Connecting Nicollet County leadership. However, Ruth is best known for living with nearly 17,000 (inanimate) cow items in the Moo-seum in Bernadotte.
Gabriela is a transplant to St. Peter from Southern California. As a former Navy wife, she has lived all over the world with her husband, Mark, and daughters, Raina and Rebekah. She has an undergraduate degree in Cultural and Historic Preservation from Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, a Master of Arts in Humanities from Cal State, Dominguez Hills and a Master of Library Science from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She currently works for the City of Saint Peter in the Recreation and Leisure Department as the Senior Center coordinator. She is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the church council at First Lutheran and both the American and Minnesota Library Associations. She stresses the importance of lifelong learning and always having a book to read.
Board Member since: 2018
Loren grew up in North St. Paul and graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in pharmacy. He worked his entire life as a pharmacist starting in Albert Lea. In 1973 Loren moved his family to St. Peter and worked as a pharmacist at “Econo” and in 1998 took a position at the Regional Treatment Center where he worked until he retired in 2005. Loren is married to Roxane and between them they have five children and one granddaughter.
Loren’s interests are in American history with a special interest in western and Minnesota history. In his spare time he and Roxane are trying to visit as many museums as possible. Loren has been an active volunteer at NCHS for approximately nine years. Also, he currently serves as Chairman for the St. Peter Preservation Commissions which he has been active with for the past eight years.
Become a member of the Nicollet County Historical Society today!
Become a Member