[photo of Nix]
JACOB NIX PLATZ
To a Patriot, Solider, Public Servant
Jacob Nix from Bingen Am Rhein in Germany was a key figure in the defense of New Ulm in 1862. Born in 1822, Nix early joined the push for a united Germany under a republican form of government. During the ill-fated 1848 Revolution, Nix served as Captain in the revolutionary "Free Corps." Captured, charged with high treason, and sentenced to be shot as a revolutionary, Nix escaped. Like many German "48ers", he emigrated to America.
In 1855, at a national convention of German-American Turners, Nix enthusiastically supported William Pfaender's proposal to establish a German Turner colony on the Minnesota frontier. Three years later, the Nix family joined Pfaender and friends in the settlement of New Ulm.
When the Dakota Conflict flared up in 1862, the sheriff appointed Nix as Commandant of New Ulm to protect the frontier city. His military know-how helped Nix hastily organize the battle by barricading three downtown blocks. In the heat of the 1st Battle of New Ulm (Aug 19), Captain Nix had a finger shot off but continued to lead the barricaded settlers in repulsing a fierce Dakota attack.
His public service continued in the U.S. Army (1862-1864), as city Assessor (1875-76), and for five terms as Town Clerk. Patriot, soldier, and public servant, Jacob Nix personified the spirit of the German Forty-Eighters: "For liberty by word and deed in the Old Country and in the New!" (from the Hecker Monument in Cincinnati, Ohio: Mit Wort und Tat fuer Volksfreiheit im Alten und neuen Vaterland!)