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Knute Nelson donates land to county historical society

As a non-profit organization, Knute Nelson has dedicated itself to helping other area non-profits in the Alexandria area.

It has done it again.

Knute Nelson is donating one acre of land to the Douglas County Historical Society for an expansion project.

"Knute Nelson and the Douglas County Historical Society are thrilled by the opportunity to once again partner to expand our community resources, and extend the legacy of Senator Knute Nelson," said Mark Anderson, president and CEO of Knute Nelson.

The land that has been donated is located next to the existing Douglas County Historical Society site.

"It will offer an opportunity for the historical society to expand their presence by opening a new genealogy library and history center for Douglas County," said Rachel Barduson, executive director of DCHS.

The new history center will complement the current headquarters of the historical society, which is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Because the new library and history center will be on Senator Knute Nelson's original homestead and next door to his historic house, which was also donated by the Knute Nelson organization in 1985, the new building will be designed to look like a carriage house.

Plans for the new building include housing Senator Knute Nelson's surrey, currently on display at the Runestone Museum.

The current genealogy library has extensive resources, which Barduson said are continuously growing in all areas of Douglas County history.

It boasts files including the history of churches, cemeteries, rural schools, businesses, townships and villages, birth and death indexes, microfilm of newspapers and more.

All files, including the family files, continue to grow as Douglas County descendents bring in the history of their ancestors and share their own history for others to reference, Barduson said.

The new library will offer the genealogist and all members of the community use of a well-organized system of Douglas County resources, the director added.

Knute Nelson, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, provides services for older adults in the Alexandria area.

Its health care continuum includes assisted living, home care, hospice, rehabilitation and transitional care, a skilled nursing care center and wellness programming.

Additionally, the Knute Nelson Foundation works with individuals, businesses and foundations through charitable giving to assist in the further expansion of programming, services and facilities for those who are cared for by Knute Nelson.

For more information about Knute Nelson, visit or call (320) 763-6653.