Reprinted from the Nov. 30, 2000, Tri-County News. Originally published Nov. 17, 1949.
Dedication ceremonies will be conducted at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day for the granite monument recently erected to designate the site of the Old Fort at Maine Prairie Corners.
The fort was erected in 1862 as a haven for the settlers at the time of the Indian uprising and housed practically all Maine Prairie residents of that time. Although the fort was never attacked, many anxious weeks passed while the Indians were on the warpath.
The new monument is a result of the combined efforts of numerous individuals and groups. The 2 1/2-ton monument itself was donated by the Stearns County Historical Society and the Cold Spring Granite Company. The inscription is the result of a contest sponsored by the Kimball P.T.A. Labor for the construction of the base was donated by C.B. Copeland, and the materials used in constructing the base were bought by the Kimball Centennial Committee from funds remaining from the September centennial observance.
The dedication ceremony will be short, consisting of the presentation of the monument by Mr. Glanville Smith, president of the Stearns County Historical Society, and the acceptance by a local resident, together with a prayer and a salute by the firing squad of the American Legion.
At sundown on Thanksgiving Day is a most appropriate time for the dedication of the monument which actually is a mark of respect for the early pioneers of the area as well as a marker to designate the site of the fort.
Advance indications are that a large crowd will be on hand for the ceremonies, many coming from distant points. The Minnesota Highway Department will landscape the area adjacent to the monument, and planting of trees and shrubs will be completed in the spring.
The contest to secure an inscription for the granite marker to be placed at the former site of Maine Prairie was sponsored by the Kimball P.T.A. It was announced on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 1949, with entries due by April 22. The contest was part of the Territorial Centennial Celebration, and was open to any citizen of Maine Prairie Township. The inscription was limited to 50 or fewer words. The writer of the prize-winning inscription would receive $15, and the local judges were Mr. Delbert Jones and Miss Marie Schelfhout of the High School English Department, and Mrs. Carl Liedman. The winner of the contest was Mrs. Clayton (Phyllis) Greely, now Phyllis Greely Hoeft of Kimball.