Dorm Sweet Dorm: A Look at Student Housing in Blue Earth County

Mike Lagerquist
Issue Date: 
Winter 2016

The first two school houses in Blue Earth County were constructed in 1855. Mankato’s history of higher education and boarding style education was first impacted by Father James Thomason with his Woodland Seminary in 1864. Although it did not succeed, it was followed in 1964 by the Mankato Commercial College which lasted until 1980. Also following Thomason’s Seminary was the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1912, a successful story which has celebrated 150 years of service in Mankato. More common are residence halls on the University campuses of Minnesota State University Mankato and Bethany Lutheran College. While both have decommissioned and replaced previous dormitory style housing, they exampled the boarding style education brought to the area in 1864 by Thomason. 

Key Word Search Terms: 
Boarding, Dormitory, Minnesota State University Mankato, Bethany Lutheran College, Daniel Buck Hall, School Sisters of Notre Dame Woodland Seminary, Father James Thomason