On This Date In Twin Cities History - January 4, 1874

On this date in 1874, the Catholic Industrial School is established on a farm just outside St. Paul.  The school opened under the supervision of the Franciscan Brothers in a building erected on the shores of Lake Menith (now drained) and the site of the present day University of St. Thomas campus.  The school operated at the St. Paul site until 1877 when, due to financial issues, Father John Ireland moved it to Clontarf, a railroad town and Catholic colony on the prairies of western Minnesota.  Here, both white and Native American boys were offered instruction in various industrial arts, in addition to the regular academic subjects.  In 1892, due to a loss of federal funding dedicated to instruct Native American children, the school was sold to the Federal Government.