Spirit of the Times

Hal, a Dacotah's stories appeared in "Spirit of the Times," a 19th-century newspaper published in New York City. The author's real name was Henry Sibley, the first governor of Minnesota and a friend of Martin McLeod.

You never know what you might find at the museum. Through a dutiful search among volumes of worn and battered texts, or a hunt through thousands of antiquated artifacts, you may run across a gem that’s been hidden away for decades, maybe longer. Assuredly, a trip to the museum can be a treasure hunt all its own.

Not long ago, a museum volunteer passed one of these gems across my desk. She was transcribing letters to do with Martin McLeod and found a most interesting letter written by a man who called himself “Hal a Dacotah.” After a bit of research, it turned out that Hal was Henry Sibley, the first governor of Minnesota.

Brian Haines is executive director of the McLeod County Historical Society and Museum, 380 School Road N.W., Hutchinson. Do you have a historical anecdote to share? Haines can be reached at 320-587-2109 or by email at director@mcleodhistory.org.