Courthouse clock in exhibit shows when Mankato tornado hit

Published 7:37 am Monday, April 16, 2018

ST. PETER — Time most certainly did not stand still in St. Peter since an F3 tornado cut a path through the community 20 years ago.

The Mankato Free Press reports that a new exhibit in St. Peter at the Treaty Site History Center created in conjunction with anniversary observances of the tornado and the city’s extensive recovery includes an electric wall clock that once hung in a Nicollet County Courthouse hallway. Its hands are stopped at 5:29.

That’s when the twister hit and power to the building went out.

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Nicollet County Facilities Maintenance Director Douglas Krueger loaned the timepiece to the history center. He was in the courthouse in St. Peter on Sunday, March 29, 1998, when the building was smashed into by a force of nature moving more than 150 mph.

“I was on call that day,” he said. “The Sheriff’s Department said it was getting really warm in the building, so I went to check on the air conditioner.”

After the winds died, Krueger helped deputies assist people nearby the building who had been caught outdoors in the storm.

“While it was a tragedy, what happened that day, most of the town came out pretty good.”