Morton S. Wilkinson, ca. 1880.

Morton S. Wilkinson, ca. 1880.

Morton Wilkinson was one of Minnesota's first US Senators, and was a member of the original Territorial Legislature. Wilkinson successfully lobbied President Lincoln to appoint Thompson to the Northern Superintendency because of his support during his Senate race. Wilkinson eventually retired to Thompson's railroad town of Wells.

Snuffbox presented to Clark W. Thompson

Snuffbox presented to Clark W. Thompson

Sterling silver snuffbox presented to Clark W. Thompson ca. 1863, during his tenure as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Superintendency. Made in England ca. 1861. Clark's position as Superintendent of Indian Affairs was highly sought after, because contracts for supplying reservations under treaty agreements provided opportunities profit and graft.

Clark W. Thompson

Clark W. Thompson

Clark W. Thompson, ca. 1860s. Minnesota Historical Society portraits collection.

Thompson, Clark Wallace (1825–1885)

Clark W. Thompson was a businessman and politician who founded the town of Wells, Minnesota, in 1870. As Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Northern Superintendency during the US–Dakota War of 1862, he was involved in crooked business practices and corrupt political dealings—a man of industry who used his position and power to build wealth at the expense of Native populations.

Sherds of Fox Lake-type ceramics

Sherds of Fox Lake-type ceramics

Pottery sherds of the Fox Lake ceramic-ware type—the same type found at Mountain County Park in 1976. The sherds pictured here were excavated in northern Iowa in 2015. From M. A. Hoofnagle’s “Bits and Pieces: A Case for Holistic Analysis in the Study of Ceramic Archaeology” (honors thesis, University of Iowa, Spring 2017).

Map of Mississippian cultures

Map of Mississippian cultures

A map showing the extents of Mississippian and Mississippian-influenced cultures, including the and Oneota peoples. Photograph by Herb Roe. CC BY-SA 3.0.

View of old "mountain" island, Mountain Lake

Mountain County Park

Mountain County Park in Cottonwood County, July 2, 2014. Photograph by Wikimedia Comons user McGhiever. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Mountain County Park and Historic Site

Cottonwood County’s now-dry Mountain Lake was the site of Indigenous villages and encampments over the course of 3,000 years. The area has provided clues—some of the oldest evidence of human habitation in present-day Minnesota—about the lives of a group of people who remained relatively isolated from Upper Mississippi trade networks. In the 1970s, the site was developed into a public park operated by Cottonwood County.

Rice, Henry Mower (1816‒1894)

As a trader, businessman, treaty negotiator, and legislator, Henry Mower Rice played a crucial role in Minnesota’s statehood and the development of St. Paul. At the same time, Rice was responsible for policies that benefited himself and his business partners at the expense of Minnesota’s Indigenous populations.

Jeffers Petroglyphs

The dawn sun illuminates Jeffers Petroglyphs, ca. 2018. Photograph by Tom Sanders; used with the permission of Tom Sanders.

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