The company that provided the iconic stone that gives many St. Thomas buildings their signature look is ending operations. Mankato Kasota Stone Inc. will close after 128 years of mining in the Minnesota River Valley.
The company's relationship with the university spanned more than 80 years. It was the stone supplier for Aquinas Hall, which was constructed in 1931. It went on to supply the stone for the John Roach Center for the Liberal Arts (formerly known as Albertus Magnus Hall), O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Murray-Herrick Campus Center, O'Shaughnessy Educational Center, Frey Science and Engineering Center (O'Shaughnessy and Owens Science Halls), McNeely Hall, and all four buildings on the Minneapolis campus -- as well as the old O'Shaughnessy Hall, which was torn down in 2010.
The company was founded by T.R. Merritt Coughlan, a stonecutter from Ireland by way of Canada. His son, T. Merritt, and I.A. O'Shaughnessy were St. Thomas classmates (1907 graduates), and four decades later O'Shaughnessy accompanied Father Vincent Flynn, president of St. Thomas, in asking T. Merritt for a gift of stone for Albertus Magnus Hall. His son, Thomas P. Coughlan '38, served on the St. Thomas Board of Trustees from 1977 to 1986, and the family was honored for its service to the university when the T. Merritt and Katherine Coughlan Field House opened in 1982. (Coughlan Field House was demolished in 2009 to make way for the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex.)
Although supplied from a different company (Vetter), the stone on the Anderson Student Center and Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex comes from the same region. Read more about what it takes to construct the signature St. Thomas look.
Read more about Mankato-Kasota Stone Inc. and the Coughlan family in a 2001 edition of St. Thomas magazine.