Brown County, Minnesota

 

  National Guard and Armory

New Ulm is the headquarters Of the Second Regiment, Minnesota National Guard. Company A is located here and has a large, exceptionally well-constructed armory, which will be dedicated this year. All southern Minnesota, as well as Brown County and New Ulm, take a just pride in its military operations at this point. The history of this movement reaches back to April, 1871, when a few young, vigorous men at New Ulm met at the store of Doctor Weschcke and there took steps to organize a military company. A subsequent meeting resulted in the formation of the "New Ulm Military Company," of which Col. Joseph Bobleter, who had been foremost in the enterprise, was elected its president; George Walsh, who became secretary of state for North Dakota, was made its secretary, and Henry Weyhe was its treasurer. Meetings were held in the Turner hall. As a military body the company was officered as follow:

Captain, Joseph Bobleter; first lieutenant,
Julius Kirchstein; second lieutenant,
Richard Pfefferle; orderly sergeant,
Frank Friedmann; first sergeant,
George Walsh; second sergeant,
John F. Neumann; corporal,
Charles Brust, corporal
Henry Weyhe, corporal
Anton Olding corporal
B. Subilia, corporal

The company was mustered into the service of the state, May 25, 1871, as an "unassigned company of the Minnesota National Guard." The commissions were signed by Governor Horace Austin.

During the year 1871 another military company was organized at New Ulm, composed of members of the Turnverein, commanded by Capt. Charles Roos. That year two regimental organizations were perfected in the state and the company commanded by Captain Bobleter, of New Ulm, became Company E of the Second regiment, with Col. H. G. Hicks, of Minneapolis, as colonel. Joseph Bobleter, with the rank of major, was given the command of the battalion. But owing to the shortsightedness of the Legislature in refusing to appropriate one dollar a member to support the organization it went down so far as a state military organization was concerned. Colonel Bobleter kept his company intact for several years and it was the only company in Minnesota. The name "Company A" was retained until September, 1875, when it was dropped and that of the "Governor's Guards" taken up. Previous to this latter re-organization, however, the company lost all of its property, including rifles and equipment, by fire. A special act of the Legislature was passed relieving Colonel Bobleter and his sureties, given for the safe keeping of the state property. The history of this company in its earlier days was extremely interesting. The uniform which they wore consisted of grey single-breasted dress coats, black trousers and black felt hat with feather. Later on, the head gear was changed to the French "shako," but otherwise the uniform continued the same until the fire above mentioned. The weapons were the Springfield muzzle loaders, and sabers for the Officers.

They were called out by the governor in the fall of 1876 to try and capture the fleeing outlaws, the James and Younger brothers. In 1879 they were called out to quell the labor riot at Tracy, Minnesota, the same being a rail road riot.

The Second Battalion was organized at New Ulm in January, 1882. Joseph Bobleter was chosen major, when Joseph A. Eckstein was made captain of the old company. In 1883 the record shows the regimental encampment was held at New Ulm and proved to be a great military success. Ten companies were present. Albert Steinhauser was elected captain of the company and when the "World's Fair" came on in 1893 the command went to Chicago and took part in the great military parade at the exposition.

Original Roster
It is fitting at this juncture to give the names of the original New Ulm military company:

Oli Anderson
David Backer
Joseph Bobleter
Charles Brust
Henry Dressler
Paul Eberling
Charles Fetter
J. G. French
Fr. Friedmann
Joseph Gebbard
F. C. Gley
Anton Henle
Fr. Hoehne
Christ Juni
John Kashau
Julius Kirschstein
Fr. Koke
August Luedke
J. Lauterbach
Mathias Melter
Carl Mueller
Anton Olding
John Peller
Richard Pfefferle
John Piemeisel
Wenzel Platzer
Fr. Quense
Eugene Reiner
John F. Reumann
Ernst Rolloff
E. Schlohmann
Peter Steffel
Charles Stoll
Henry Stoll
Henry Subilia
Joseph Vogel
H. Vogelpohl
George H. Walsh
John Weyhe
William Windhorn
Carl Winklemann

After all the shifting scenes of thirty-eight years, the military interests of the state of Minnesota saw the necessity of having a modern armory as the headquarters for the national guard at New Ulm. After the Spanish-American War in 1898, the old state militia was re-organized into the present National Guard system. Plans were drawn and designs effected by First Lieutenant Klause, of New Ulm, and specifications made later by Architect Shippel, for an armory to be constructed of solid brick and stone masonry. Work was begun in 1914 and completed in 1916, when the formal dedication takes place.

The cost of this massive structure was fifty-two thousand dollars, of which the city paid eighteen hundred dollars for the site, the same being by popular subscription; the state paid forty-five thousand dollars, or fifteen thou sand dollars for each military organization here represented, the Regimental Band, the Machine Gun Company and Company A of the Second regiment. The outside dimensions of the armory are seventy-five by one hundred and fifty feet. Floor space for drill purposes, sixty-eight by ninety feet; the stage is twenty by fifty feet. No better armory can be found in the entire commonwealth.

Of the companies and officers it may be stated that the number of enlisted men in Company A is seventy; number of men in the Machine Gun Company is twenty-eight; number enlisted men in the Regimental Band is twenty-eight. The officers of Company A are: Captain, Baptiste win Juni; first lieutenant, William Bierhaum; second lieutenant, John A. Dengler.

Officers of the Machine Gun Company: Captain, Ed win Juni; first lieutenant, William Bierhaum; second lieu tenant, John A. Dengler.

The Regimental Band is under the direction of Joseph Hofmeister.

The staff and field officers are: Colonel, John Bushers; lieutenant-colonel, Steele Smith; regimental adjutant, Louis G. Vogel; regimental sergeant-major, _____ Setzer.

Second Battalion commander, Major Albert Pfaender. Brigade surgeon, Major L. A. Fritsche.

  Brown County |Minnesota AHGP 

Source: History of Brown County, Minnesota, L. A. Fritsche, M.D., Editor, Volume I, 1916.

 

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