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St. Michael Historical Society

St. Michael Historical Society Board of Directors

Sheldon Barthel, Vice President, Newsletter Publisher

Sheldon has served on the St. Michael Catholic Church Parish Council as vice-chairman and Trustee. He is also a past Grand Knight of the Wright-Hennepin Council Knights of Columbus, former District Deputy, and served on the Minnesota Council of the Knights of Columbus as Program Director and State Officer.

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 Stephen Samuel Barthel,                                      Accredited Genealogist Emeritus, Website Editor

 A genealogist since 1967, Stephen is a presenter at historical  and genealogical seminars and conventions throughout the  nation. He is a recipient of the Wigilia Award, the  highest award given by the Polish Genealogical Society of  America. From 1981 to 2004 he worked as a Reference  Consultant for the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He  is the son of Norbert and Cecelia (Gnitka) Barthel and resides  with his wife and two sons in St. Cloud.


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Matt Eiynck, Secretary

Matthew is currently a student at St. Michael-Albertville High School where he participates in both track and cross country. He comes from a family of five and has lived in the St. Michael and Albertville area nearly his entire life. He developed an interest in St. Michael history at a young age and is now glad to be a part of the historical society. He is a member of St. Albert's Parish and enjoys running as a hobby.

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Rose Ann Gindele, Archivist

Rose Ann is a life-long resident of St. Michael, the 9th of ten children born to Leo and Rose (Barthel) Kasper. She and her husband David raised five children on their farm near Pelican Lake. Rose Ann was instrumental in founding the St. Michael Historical Society and has served as its President since 2005.

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John Jaeb, Treasurer

John's great-grandfather, Michael Jaeb, arrived in St. Michael in 1861. His grandfather, also named John, was the village blacksmith and founded a gas station later operated by John’s parents Allen and Helen. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, John and his wife Patti have four children: Sarah, Allen, Michael and Gregory.

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Wayne Kessler

Wayne is a fourth generation resident of Frankfort Township and St. Michael. Besides being a dairy farmer, Wayne served on the Frankfort Town Board from 1970 to 1982, including eleven years as chairman. He served as a St. Michael City Council member from 1995 to 1999 and as Mayor from 2000 to 2005.


Dan Lenz

Dan and his wife Theresa (Kremer) are both lifelong residents of St. Michael, whose families have a long farming history in St. Michael. Theresa's family farm was located three miles west of town and Dan's family farm was located at the sight of the current CashWise Liquors. Dan recalls many a farmyard ballgame being interrupted by the centerfielder calling out "CAR", while he played his postion in the middle of Hwy 241.

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Lisa (Zachmann) Marx

A life-long resident of St. Michael, Lisa has always had an interest in history. In addition to her involvement in the historical society; she has also been instrumental in the St. Michael Historic Church Preservation Committee. Lisa hopes the efforts of the society will allow future generations to have a rich history to share and enjoy.

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John Robeck

John was born and raised on the family farm on Iffert Ave. "the Robeck Road", rural St. Michael. He is the son of Math B. and Adeline Schumacher Robeck.  He attended St. Michael Parochial schools, being a member of the first graduating class of St. Michael Catholic High School, class of '54. John and his wife Carmen raised four children, Carol, Susie, Andy and Julie.

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Crystal (Lehn) Sayen, Media Specialist

Crystal was raised on the Lehn family homestead in rural St. Michael and is the daughter of Gary & Gloria Lehn. Her love for history started after finding old photos, at a very young age. She currently works for the State of Minnesota and in addition owns a photography business, Crystal Sayen Photography. She is a graduate of St. Cloud State University and is currently pursuing her MBA at Concordia University. She resides in Monticello with her husband Erik, son Wyatt, and their 4 dogs.


Brendan Sage

Brendan Sage has lived in Saint Michael his whole life growing up on the south end of town just off County Road 19.  Brendan has been an historical society member since 2010 taking a strong interest in local history.  A student at St. Michael-Albertville High School, Brendan also works in retail and is planning on attending the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse with potential majors/minors in Statistics, Actuarial Science or Accounting.  In addition to the Historical Society, Brendan participates in Cross Country, Track and Field, Student Ambassadors, Fellowship for Christian Athletes, One Act Play (Tech Crew), National Honor Society and the local summer mileage club.

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Earl Vetsch

Earl, the son of William and Antonia (Wey) Vetsch was born on a farm in rural Frankfort Township near Pelican Lake. He and his wife Joan raised their six children in St. Michael. Earl worked as a carpenter in the Twin Cities for over thirty years and retired in 1997.

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Harry Welter

A life-long resident of St. Michael Harry spent thirty years in implement and appliance sales. He was a member of the St. Michael Fire Department for 23 years and a member of the St. Michael Lions for forty years, serving four terms as its president. He was a member of the St. Michael City Council for 14 years and served four years as mayor.

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Harvey Zahler

Harvey was born and raised on the Zahler homestead established in St. Michael in 1857. Harvey and his wife Betty raised their five children there as well. Harvey has also served on the boards of the St. Joseph’s Society, St. Michael Foundation and he served two terms on the St. Michael City Council.

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Robert "Bob" Zahler, President

The son of Harvey and Betty Zahler, Bob was raised on the family homestead. He is a graduate of St. Cloud State University and the University of St. Thomas. He is currently a Social Studies teacher at St. Michael-Albertville High School and has recently published a book on St. Michael entitled Faith, Family and Farming: A History of St. Michael, Minnesota.

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