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Conrad family history
Edwin Osborne Conrad, known to his family as “Os,”came from one of Stillwater’s best-known lumber families, the Bronsons. His mother was a cousin to famed suffragist Susan B. Anthony. It seemed natural to him to document his military life.
In 2010, Muriel Conrad of Stillwater and her son Scott Osborne Conrad donated what Os had saved through the years because they hoped that it would be displayed in the context of Washington County’s overall military history.
“In the quarters they’re in right now, there’s just not room for World War I history to be displayed,” said Muriel, who is a daughter-in-law to Os. “I just have such faith in Brent Peterson. There just aren’t many people left who know the history of Stillwater.”
Conrad’s detailed documentation of Air Service training flights in Houston in 1918-19 suggests that practicing with unpredictable aircraft of that era was no less dangerous than going to war. Evidently, he never was sent to combat — he entered duty and was discharged within 16 months — but his flight cap and goggles had plenty of use.
His grandfather, William S. Conrad, came to Stillwater after the Civil War. He served in a battery unit for the Confederacy in Virginia.
“Records here go back farther than anywhere else in Minnesota,” Peterson said, noting Stillwater’s claim as “the birthplace of Minnesota” and Washington County being one of the state’s nine original counties.
Kevin Giles • 651-925-5037