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Minnesota Soldiers Home, 5101 Minnehaha Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Minnesota Soldiers Home

Administrative Building
Address: 5101 Minnehaha Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Hiawatha, Minneapolis, Minnesota
City/locality-
State/province
Minneapolis, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year Established: 1887
Historic Function: Soldiers Home

Hiawatha Minneapolis Hennepin County

Minnesota Soldiers Home, 5101 Minnehaha Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota
(44.9114925° N, 93.2081206° WLatitude: 44°54′41.373″N
Longitude: 93°12′29.234″W
)

From its establishment in 1887 until 1971, a commandant operated the home along military lines. The commandant was assisted by an adjutant, who kept records, and a quartermaster, who purchased supplies. A surgeon and a chaplain were also on the staff. In 1971 the position of commandant was abolished and replaced by an administrator. A shift was made away from a military style with emphasis given to creating a homelike atmosphere in the institution.

The board located the home on 50 acres donated by the city of Minneapolis near the confluence of Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River. The home opened in November of 1887 in existing buildings. Construction of new buildings began in May of 1888.

A second Minnesota Veterans Home was opened in Hastings in 1978 in the buildings vacated by the Hastings State Hospital (Laws 1977 c453).

At the time of its establishment, the legislature appropriated $50,000 for land and buildings, and $10,000 for the first year of operation. A Home Relief Fund was created to hold the $20,000 provided by the legislature for annual operation after the first year. A Soldier’s Relief Fund was also established to pay for care to veterans in their own homes. Both funds still exist. The home receives money from two other sources besides the state: a per capita allowance is paid by the federal government, and residents who have pension incomes pay part of it to the home.

A board of trustees was created to administer the home. The board initially consisted of seven members appointed by the governor to staggered six-year terms. It was charged with locating a site for the home and contracting for its construction. It was also responsible for making rules to govern the residents of the home, appointing a commandant to operate the home, and administering the Home Relief Fund and the Soldier’s Relief Fund. Meetings of the board took place semi-annually. In 1957 the board was enlarged to nine members, one from each congressional district and one at large (Laws 1957 c150). In 1971 the legislature stipulated that one board member be a woman (1971 c619). The board was abolished in 1975 (Laws 1975 c61 s13) and the home came under the supervision of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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