Long before the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum took shape, an immigrant from Switzerland, Theodore Bost, arrived. Bost purchased the land from a railroad engineer in 1855. Several years after the purchase, Bost had improved his farm enough for his attention to turn to looking for a wife. There were few single women in the new territory, so he wrote to his parents in Switzerland and asked for their help.
After a two and a half year courtship via correspondence, Sophie Bonjour accepted Bost’s marriage proposal and traveled to St. Paul. They were married the day after her arrival. The marriage was blessed with four children and lasted until Bost’s death in 1919.
The couple’s letters were compiled into the book, A Frontier Family in Minnesota: Letters of Theodore and Sophie Bost, 1851–1920. Published by the University of Minnesota Press in 1981, the letters are as relevant today, as when they were written. Today, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has enveloped the original Bost farmstead, but the original Bost farm buildings are long gone.
Wendy Petersen Biorn
Executive director, Carver County Historical Society