MANKATO — When Lafayette “L.G.M.” Fletcher died in 1910, he was extolled as “the father of education in the city” — in spite of a historical past of tense School Board conferences throughout the monetary conservative’s lengthy tenure on the board.
Fletcher’s greatest battles have been over the location of colleges. He was fairly against the web site of the highschool, though he was not on the board the yr it was determined.
His obituary in The Free Press said: “… at times he incurred opposition by the positive declaration of his views, his unmistakable honesty of purpose and earnestness commended the confidence and support of his constituency.”
His obituary additionally described him as “a man of inflexible honesty and strict integrity, who additionally was “a man of very strong personality and character and marked individuality.”
Fletcher was born and raised in western New York state. Well educated, he was 19 years previous when he began educating at a faculty.
In 1854, he arrived in Mankato after becoming a member of a Dubuque survey crew liable for surveying Blue Earth County. Of the 40 males on the crew, solely Fletcher selected to remain. He claimed land in the Mankato space on what was referred to as the St. Peter Bluff Road, 2 miles north of the village rising alongside the river.
In his early years in the neighborhood, Fletcher surveyed claims and accomplished papers for different settlers. His curiosity in training was proven nearly instantly as he helped construct the first brick schoolhouse in Mankato in 1855 and served as its first trainer throughout the winter phrases of 1855-1858.
After he was elected to the School Board, he served nearly frequently from 1860 to 1906. During these years, he was described as “the watchdog of the treasury.” Liberal together with his personal funds, he was conservative with public funds.
The 3 R’s — studying, writing and ‘rithmetic (particularly arithmetic) — have been necessary for college students, he believed. However, he believed the classics — particularity lifeless languages like Greek and trendy international languages — weren’t mandatory, and he discouraged handbook coaching.
Fletcher was described as “not a very good friend of higher education,” though his second spouse, Susie Dyer, was one of the unique lecturers in the Normal School when it opened in 1868.
Real property and banking have been his enterprise pursuits, and Fletcher acquired in depth farm and metropolis property. By the time of his demise, Fletcher had quite a few property holdings and different pursuits, and was amongst the largest taxpayers in the county. He was one of the early incorporators of the Mankato Savings Bank, at 430 South Front St. He served as its president and G.E. Brett was its vp.
He additionally was amongst the organizers and served as a director for Mankato Manufacturing Company on Cherry and Pike streets.
Fletcher was amongst the 5 males who organized the Republican Party in Mankato in 1856, and he served one time period as a state senator in 1883.
Owning land on Minnesota Street, in 1892 he had the highway blocked, denying entry to the Cummings addition, claiming the highway crossed his property. Again, in 1896, he objected to the Omaha Railroad crossing his land, and the valuation that has been placed on the land, and 1897 noticed a dispute over taxes.
Fletcher died Jan. 21, 1910.
He was survived by his spouse and 5 youngsters. Two of his daughters grew to become schoolteachers. Son, Gilbert, was an artist identified for his block prints. Fletcher confirmed little sympathy for his profession alternative.
For extra details about historic subjects, go to the History Center at 424 Warren Street, Mankato, name 345-5566, or go to: BlueEarthCountyHistory.com.