St. Cloud Creating New Park To Honor Former Slaves
ST. CLOUD - On this Martin Luther King Junior holiday, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis has announced the creation of a new park in memory of the first two slaves brought to the city.
One individual, a slave by the name of Mary Butler, arrived with some of the relatives of then the first mayor of St. Cloud Sylvanus B. Lowry. And, about three months later she gave birth to her son John, who would have been the first slave born here.
Kleis says Mary Butler was brought here 160 years ago in 1857.
The new "Butler Park" will be a half acre along the Mississippi River near the new Beaver Island Trail extension where a home was demolished.
The park is right about where they came up. They came up from Tennessee on the Mississippi River. She lost another child as part of that journey.
It will be mostly green space with a plaque and some benches. Work on the park should begin this spring.
This will be the city's 96 park.