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Lucien Galtier (1811?–1866)

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Lucien Galtier (1811?–1866) Empty Lucien Galtier (1811?–1866)

Post  jukido Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:34 am

Lucien Galtier (1811?–1866) was the first Roman Catholic priest who served in Minnesota. While he was a native of France, the place of his birth is uncertain and even the year, some sources claiming 1811 but his tomb bearing the date December 17, 1812. In the 1830s, people were settling across the Minnesota River (at the time called Saint Pierre by the French and St. Peter by the British and Americans) from Fort Snelling in the area of Mendota, Minnesota. Mathias Loras, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dubuque, Iowa learned of these settlers and journeyed up the Mississippi River to visit the settlers in the area. He wrote to his sister that "the Catholics of St. Peters amounted to one hundred and eighty five."[1] The bishop saw a need to send a missionary to the area the next year. Galtier spoke little English when he arrived in 1840.[1]

Galtier eventually learned that a number of settlers, who had left the Red River Colony, had settled on the east bank of the Mississippi River. He decided that the area with the settlers, in what is now downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, was a better location for a church. The location was near a steamboat landing, which had the potential for later development. Two French settlers offered a location for a church, and other settlers provided materials and labor to build a log chapel. Father Galtier wrote, "I had previously to this time fixed my residence at Saint Peter's and as the name of Paul is generally connected with that of Peter... I called it Saint Paul."[1] The area had previously been known as Pig's Eye (French: L'Oeil du Cochon), in association with pioneer Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant. The name of "Pig's Eye" came about by accident when a customer at Parrant's tavern mailed a letter with the return address of "Pig's Eye". Since everyone in the area knew Parrant, the response to the letter was delivered to Parrant's establishment. The area became known as Saint Paul's Landing, and a few years after a post office was established in 1846, later became Saint Paul

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