Murray County Historical Society

The Murray County Historical Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of Murray County’s history.  The Murray County Historical Society is funded by support from its members, donations from museum visitors, contributions from the city of Slayton and local groups, and the support of the Murray County Board of Commissioners.

Upcoming Exhibit:

Out of the Clear Blue Sky: Weather in Murray County

picture4Murray County has a continental climate, with usually cold winters and hot humid summers. It is also a climate of extremes. Murray has the dubious honor of holding the state record for Minnesota’s only f-5 tornadoes. The 1968 Tracy tornado started over the Lake Shetek area in 1968 and the 1992 Chandler and Lake Wilson tornado, pictured to the left.

Living in a climate of extremes changes the cultural landscape and affects human memory. Murray County Central High School is a  direct result of the 1992 tornado. The economic history of Lake Wilson is tied to three disasters; a fire, a tornado and a man made explosion. Agriculture is directly tied to the weather and a farmer’s daily decisions are based on its outlook. The museum will explore how weather has changed the history of the area, both economically and culturally. We will try to answer questions like; did the dirty thirties effect our area? What was the effect of the 1975 Blizzard of the Century on farming? How do the first students of the combined MCC remember their school years? And many more. The twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1992 tornado this year and the fiftieth anniversary of the Tracy tornado in 2018 seem good milestones to explore weather.  So keep an eye to the sky and your ear to the ground for upcoming announcements on when the new exhibit will open. We hope to have it in place by the  time of the Chandler-Lake Wilson all School Reunion on June 17th.


New in the Collection…


picture2Of the many great things that we have accessioned recently, these two stood out. Brad Hovdet of the Lake Shetek area brought in a   collection of Valhalla items including the stamp used to stamp posters, admittance tickets, and special invitation cards to dance at Valhalla free of charge. We wonder if this stamp was ever used as it has an alternate spelling of the name Valhalla.

The second item shown is an award given to Bert Teitema in December of 1931. You may not know what this is, but if you were in the newspaper business at that time, it would be a familiar item. It is a make–up rule similar to the steel ones used by print setters, but this one is purported in the newspapers to be solid gold. Bert was celebrating his fiftieth year as a master printer, giving him his start in 1881. He had been working for the Murray County Herald under John V. Weber for thirty six of those years. Weber ordered the rule and had it inscribed on the back. “To Bert Teitema, Master Printer, whom God gave the gracious art of inspiring friendship and the noble urge to unwearying human service. 1881-1931-With every affection and gratitude from an appreciative employer-J.V.Weber.” The kicker to this story is when the Herald printed the news article of Bert’s honor, who ever set the type spelled his name wrong!



2016 Murray County Historical Society