NICOLLET DAY — History
— The City of Nicollet was founded in 1856 by several different people. It was named after the French explorer Jean Nicollet.
— The City of Nicollet is located in Nicollet County on Highways 14, 99, and 111. It is near Swan Lake.
— Nicollet has several founders and various locations at first. At one time it was known as “Eureka” and then “Swan City” as well as “Dakota City.” None of these sites were very successful until the railroad came through the area. The name of Nicollet was decided upon in 1858.
— The present-day town site for Nicollet was founded by James Stewart in 1874. The location was chosen due to the railroad.
— The Sisseton Sioux Indians led by Chief Sleepy Eye called the area home at one time. They lived in an area near Swan Lake.
— During the heyday of the railroad, Nicollet had up to 6 passenger trains running at one time.
— The 1st fire department in Nicollet was created in 1893.
— The 1st school in Nicollet was a private school in an old feed mill in 1883 taught by Miss Nette Wethille. The 1st public school was built in 1885 for $1,450 and the first teacher there was Gustav Chilgren.
— Many years ago, pike were forked out of Swan Lake by the wagon load. Some were even used by local farmers for fertilizer. There is a picture of fish 5-feet long taken from Swan Lake.
— Ice was a big industry in Nicollet at one time. Ice from Swan Lake was taken for both commercial and residential needs and stored away for use during the summer.
— Nicollet had a “Pest house” at one time. Any single man who had a communicable disease had to live in the pest house until he recovered.
— In 1905 an epidemic of influenza made life miserable for a good share of Nicollet’s population.
–Joel Polzin is the Fire Chief of the Nicollet Fire Department which has over 20 firefighters.
–The Mayor is Fred Froehlich.
–The Nicollet High School Homecoming Queen was Jessi Johnson and King was Josh Chadderdon