The Faribault City Council recently approved the purchase of land behind the Crooked Pint Restaurant.  The grassy area goes south toward the viaduct.  This area is directly east of the Alexander Faribault house (across the road).  Mayor Kevin Voracek told us on New Year's Eve day plans are to eventually develop a park there.

I propose it be named Pelagie Park in honor of Alexander Faribault's mother.  She was held in high esteem by her Dakota people because of her acts of generosity.

The apple didn't fall too far from the tree.  Alexander donated a significant amount of land to help develop Faribault into a bustling community.  He was so generous in fact he died in poverty.

The city of Faribault is named after Alexander Faribault, early fur trader, builder of the first wood frame house in the community.  Faribault County, Minnesota is named after his father Jean-Baptiste.  Both are buried at Calvary Cemetery in Faribault.

You probably know those facts but thanks to MinnPost we know more about the mother of Alexander and wife of Jean-Baptiste, Pelagie.  She was also laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery.  Pelagie is the mother name listed on Alexander's grave and Elizabeth is listed on her grave next to Jean-Baptiste.  John is the name on his grave marker.

MinnPost recently shared an interesting nugget about Pelagie Faribault.  They say, "An 1820 treaty between the United States and the Dakota specifically set aside the 320 acres Wita Tanka, also called Pike Island, specifically for Pelagie Faribault."

It is a fascinating read which frankly had me feel more respect for the Dakota people. I think you'll understand what I mean if you read the short MinnPost article.  Pelagie was of Dakota and French descent. Her mother Native American, father was French Canadian.  Shortly after losing her first husband after they had a daughter she married French Canadian fur trader Jean-Baptiste Faribault.

The couple had 8 children.  Alexander was the eldest.  The youngest was born 23 years years after Alexander.  Their names are listed on the Faribault family tombstone at Calvary Cemetery.

I dare say you won't be able to find too many families more influential in the development of Minnesota.  All would eventually live in the city of Faribault.

According to the Minnesota State Legislature Jean-Baptiste Faribault was the first white settler to practice agriculture in the state.  According to Faribault County history the county took his name because of his relations with the Sioux in the region.  Faribault County was established in 1855.

Jean-Baptiste left the area in 1847 after Pelagie died and moved to Faribault with some of their children.

Elizabeth (Pelagie) and Jean (John) Baptiste Faribault Grave Markers. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

 

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