On This Date In Twin Cities History - February 21, 1866
On this date in 1866, the first Roman Catholic priest to serve in Minnesota, Father Lucien Galtier dies.
Born in 1812 in southern France in the town of Saint-Affrique, department of Aveyron, Galtier was brought to the United States as a subdeacon in April 1839 by then Bishop of Dubuque, Mathias Loras. Galtier was ordained in Dubuque on January 5, 1840 and on April 20 of that year left for Fort Snelling.
In 1841, Galtier supervised the building of a log chapel near a steamboat landing in St. Paul. ‘Saint. Paul’s Church’ would become the first cathedral in the diocese by the same name. Eventually the area itself would come to be known as St. Paul as well.
Father Galtier went on to establish the Church of St. Peter in Mendota and build its first chapel as well. This chapel was subsequently replaced by the current Historic Church of St. Peter in 1853 which still stands today.
In 1844, Galtier was transferred to Keokuk, Iowa. After a few months in Iowa and a subsequent two years in France, Galtier joined the Diocese of Milwaukee in 1847. He served at St. Gabriel’s Parish, in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, until his death.
Top Image: Historic Church of St. Peter in Mendota circa 1885
Bottom Image: Historic Church of St. Peter circa 2018