NEW ULM - A retired Martin Luther College (MLC) professor and athletic director with a strong interest in Dakota history recently published an historical fictional book about a Dakota warrior who roamed south central Minnesota before 1862.
Gary Dallmann's book "White Fox: Dakota Warrior" is the story of a warrior who was elevated to chief at age 28 and the challenges he faced.
"Lots of people have written books about the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, especially from the white man's view," Dallmann said. "This book is pure historical fiction about a Dakota chief before the white man took over."
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Retired Martin Luther College (MLC) Professor Gary Dallmann recently published a novel, “White Fox: Dakota Warrior.” The book cover is a rendition of an oil painting by Scott Haapala
Dallmann said he researched Native American culture which included "a ton of reading" over a long period of time before he began writing the book. It's set around Swan Lake in Nicollet County, a place where Dallmann enjoyed hunting for many years.
"It took me awhile before I found sources that agreed," Dallmann said. "I found out I didn't know as much as I thought I did. There is not much written record for the period I wrote about. Most Indian tribes passed the time during the winter by telling stories."
The book is a descriptive account of a Dakota warrior who lived in the wilderness, living off the land by hunting, tracking and fishing. He had respect for the earth, and was a ferocious warrior.
"Children are raised by everyone in the village. There is respect for fellow beings. People look out for each other. Food is shared. Indians are not considered second or third-class citizens in the book," Dallmann said. "I have a lot of admiration for Indians."
Dallmann said the Native American Seven Fires Council (SFC) enlightened him. The SFC described Native American Indians as a people in transition between history and contemporary America with the challenges of maintaining heritage, erasing stereotypes, and adjusting recognition in society.
The SFC states that some individuals and groups misrepresent the culture, philosophy and spiritual practices of the Native American, perpetuating false stereotypes promoted in the mass media.
Misrepresentation of Native American Indians shows up in various ways including the use of Indian images and/or tribal names in logos, on consumer products and as sports team mascots, according to the SFC.
A New Ulm native who wanted to teach and coach at a Lutheran high school, Dallmann graduated from Mankato State University before returning to New Ulm to teach. He taught physical education and coached teams at Dr. Martin Luther College and MLC for 45 years.
Dallmann and his wife Diane retired in Hot Springs Village (HSV), Ark.,- the largest gated community in the U.S. - for 18 months before returning to New Ulm.
"It was a nice place with a great little church, but it was too far from the family and it wasn't New Ulm. There is no place like New Ulm," Dallmann said.
The Dallmanns lived on Cottonwood Street, on the south edge of town, before moving to Linden Street.
"We watched two twin fawns grow up," living on Cottonwood Street," Dallmann said. "We saw wild turkeys too."
Dallmann's book is available in New Ulm at the Brown County Historical Society & Museum, Sven and Ole's Books, the Splendid Nest and MLC bookstore. Dallmann said he will donate profits from MLC bookstore sales to the MLC athletic department.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org