History Center is open. The Archives requires an appointment. Call 507-934-2160.

Visitors are immersed in aspects of Victorian daily life through tours, programs, meetings, and social events at the E. St. Julien Cox House. This historic house museum is a place to relive history, gather for community discussion, entertainment, and fellowship.

Eugene St. Julien Cox and his wife Mariah “Mayhew” Cox built this home and raised their family here. The women raised in this house went on to make local and state history. The Cox House interprets the lives and experiences of Victorian women and tells those stories in dynamic ways to diverse audiences.

Eugene Cox was one of the earliest settlers of St. Peter, an attorney, St. Peter’s first Mayor, and a representative to the State House and Senate. The Home was built in 1871 and is one of the few fully restored Italianate homes in Minnesota. His daughter Lillien Cox Gault followed in her father’s footsteps and would eventually become Minnesota’s first female mayor. Her sister Irene would be one of Minnesota’s first female attorneys.


Temporarily closed due to COVID-19
Contact us at (507) 934-2160 or


$6.00 | Adult
$5.00 | Senior 65 years +
$4.00 | Child ages 5-17
Free for children ages 4 years old and younger,
and members of the Nicollet County Historical Society.


Learners of all ages will enjoy stepping back in time to view the striking architecture, hear intriguing stories, and become immersed in the vibrant history of the Cox family. Email the Cox House to book your tour.


The Cox House welcomes all visitors. We recognize the diverse needs of our audience and strive to enable all visitors access to the house. Learn more about directions, parking, and accessibility here.


Currently, there are no upcoming events.


The Cox House was built in 1871 by Eugene St. Julien Cox and his wife Mariah (Mayhew) Cox. The couple and their six children were the first occupants of the house and it remained in the family for three generations. In 1968 the house was donated to Nicollet County Historical Society, restored, and re-opened to the public in 1971 as a historic house museum. 

Lillien and Mariah at train depot

What makes the house unique is its architectural style. The house is a prime example of a Carpenter Gothic-Italianate Cottage, a combination of styles that were all the rage in the latter half of the nineteenth century in the cities of the American East but would have stood out for its exuberance and style in 1870s pioneer Minnesota. The architecture shows vertical board & batten siding, pillars, long windows, and cathedral cupolas that lend an imposing look to the structure. 

Cox House 1913

  • Eugene St. Julien Cox was the first mayor of St. Peter
  • Lillien Cox Gault was Minnesota’s first female mayor
  • Irene Cox Buell was one of the first women to argue a case before the Supreme Court in Minnesota
  • Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
  • One of the few fully restored Carpenter Gothic cottages in Minnesota.

Buell and Cox law firm business card


Historic preservation is a constant process, and with your help, we can keep the doors open for many future generations. Donate today to help fund timely preservation projects at our stunning historic home. Immediate needs include exterior paint, and window repairs. Please help us “Keep the Cox House Standing” by donating today.

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