This Day in Minnesota History

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Today's Date: March 18

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In St. Peter, Methodist minister Edward Eggleston marries Lizzie Snider. Eggleston is best remembered for his novel The Hoosier School-Master , set in Indiana, but a less popular novel, The Mystery of Metropolisville , deals with land speculation in Minnesota in the 1850s.


Otter Tail, Becker, and Breckenridge Counties are formed. The first is named for the lake and river and is a translation from the Ojibwe name, probably for an otter-tail-shaped sandbar in the lake. Becker County honors George L. Becker, one of three representatives the new state of Minnesota had planned to send to Congress. When it was discovered that the state was permitted only two representatives, lots were drawn and Becker lost. Breckenridge County honors Vice President John C. Breckenridge, but when he later became a Confederate in the Civil War the residents of the county would vote to change the name to Clay County, honoring Unionist Henry Clay instead.


Margaret Culkin (Banning) is born in Buffalo. She would live in Duluth for many years, authoring more than thirty books, including Mesabi and Country Club People.