St. Cloud was an ideal place to settle if you were a quarryman looking to make a living in the 1880s. The area was rich with a multitude of colors of granite. All that was needed was the right skill set. It was an opportunity just waiting for the likes of the experienced, Scottish-born quarryman Henry N. Alexander who at age nine began learning the craft from his stonemason father near Aberdeen, Scotland. Henry came to the United States in 1880 and established a family granite dynasty that today is the largest granite producing company in the United States.
The fate of the Union army hung in the balance on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Confederate soldiers punched a hole in its defenses and only the men of the First Minnesota Infantry, led by Colonel William Colvill, stood in their way.
St. Paul's Commerce Building was originally built to house the Commercial Club of St. Paul and the offices of the St. Paul Association of Commerce. Years later, it reflects the economic strength and civic influence of St. Paul's business organizations at the beginning of the twentieth century. The Commerce Building is typical of buildings designed to house commercial and civic groups as well as private tenants.
The history of Coney Island as a resort begins when Josephine Hassenstab sold the 31.85-acre island to Lambert Naegele in March, 1884, for $5,200. While Waconia already had several hotels such as the North Star, Lake House, and the Sherman House, the Coney Island Hotel and its resort became the most popular of all of Waconia's hotels and contributed to the town's status as a favorite summer resort.
Chester Adgate Congdon accrued a fortune working as a lawyer for the Oliver Mining Company and through investments in the Mesabi Iron Range. He also served as a Minnesota State Representative from 1909 to 1913.
Marvel Cooke was a pioneering African American female journalist and political activist. Cooke's groundbreaking career was spent in a world where she was often the only female African American. Talking about her work for the white-owned newspaper the Compass, she told biographer Kay Mills in 1988, ''there were no black workers there and no women."
Between 1913 and 1914 the Coon Rapids hydroelectric dam was constructed with the intent to provide power to Anoka County. The dam was shut down in 1966 after becoming too expensive to operate. It later became part of Minnesota’s environmental control program.
In June 1922, the Minneapolis Public Library book wagon made its first trip from Minneapolis to Excelsior, a small village on Lake Minnetonka. Riding aboard the book wagon was Gratia Countryman, the library system's visionary director.
The Itasca forest during the late nineteenth century contained towering pines and numerous lakes. Individuals like surveyor Jacob Brower became captivated by the region and the wildlife that inhabited it. They recognized that the economic potential of northern Minnesota would change its landscape. Their effort to preserve Lake Itasca led them to contend with the lumber industry, public interests, and the politics that weaved between them.
In 1910 there were over sixty orphanages and homes for the aged operated by and for African Americans in the United States. Minnesota had one of them: St. Paul's Crispus Attucks Home. The home was named for the African American patriot killed in the Boston Massacre of 1770. It served the community for six decades, beginning in 1906 during the Jim Crow era and ending in 1966 at the peak of the civil rights movement.
At the southeast corner of Crookston’s historic downtown business district stands the old city hall, built in 1899 to house the booming city’s police department, fire department, and government offices.
Crown College of Minnesota is unique in being the only bible college in Minnesota. The mission of this type of college is to provide a biblically based education for Christian leadership. Teaching is focused on training lay people for Christian service. Crown is one of only four colleges in the United States affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination.
The Cuyuna Iron Range is a former North American iron-mining district about ninety miles west of Duluth in central Minnesota. Iron mining in the district, the furthest south and west of Minnesota’s iron ranges, began in 1907. During World War I and World War II, the district mined manganese-rich iron ores to harden the steel used in wartime production. After mining peaked in 1953, the district began to focus on non-iron-mining activities in order to remain economically viable.
Sired by a champion pacer and born in 1896, Dan Patch was bred to be a racehorse. At first glance, though, his chances didn't look too good. He had long legs, knobby knees, and worst of all, a sweet disposition—not considered an asset in the hypercompetitive world of harness racing.
Part of a Danish settlement near Tyler, the Danebod church and folk school have been a center of Danish American life for over a century. Danebod is a Danish word meaning "one who mends or saves the Danes." The Danebod community is home to programs that preserve, teach, and celebrate Danish American culture on the Minnesota prairie.
Dayton’s began as a single store at Seventh Street and Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis in 1902. When the last Dayton family member retired from leadership in 1983, the company had stores nationwide and profits of over $240 million. It became Target Corporation in 2000.
While working at Minneapolis's Washburn mills in the late 1870s, William de la Barre became an internationally known hydroelectricity expert and a key player in the development of water power at St. Anthony Falls.
Clement Haupers dies in St. Paul, in the same Ramsey Hill house in which he was born in 1900. Known for developing the Minnesota State Fair art show into a major exhibition of local work, he also led the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project in Minnesota. Throughout his career, Haupers insisted that artists should support themselves without government grants. In this vein, when asked to give art students a lecture on how to survive financially, Haupers's response was, "Sure, that'll be $150."
The Deerwood Auditorium is a prime example of a modern municipal facility made possible by the relief programs of the New Deal. It provided local residents with an auditorium and gymnasium space, council chambers, a library, and a fire hall. The building expanded the range of services available to the residents of Deerwood and enhanced their quality of life.
Adolf Dehn was a lithographer and watercolorist best known for his work in the American regionalist, modernist, and social-realist movements. An important American printmaker, Dehn demonstrated great skill in his works and, often, an irreverent sense of social commentary.
From the 1890s through the 1950s, Frances Densmore researched and recorded the music of American Indians. Through more than twenty books, 200 articles, and some 2,500 Graphophone recordings, she preserved important cultural traditions that might otherwise have been lost. She received honors from Macalester College in St. Paul and the Minnesota Historical Society in the last years of her life.
Donaldson’s, also known as William Donaldson and Company and L. S. Donaldson’s, was a Minneapolis department store located on Nicollet Avenue and Sixth Street. Started by two immigrant brothers, the company grew to be one of the major retail chains in the Twin Cities, rivaling Dayton’s for much of the twentieth century.
Ignatius Donnelly was the most widely known Minnesotan of the nineteenth century. As a writer, orator, and social thinker, he enjoyed fame in the U.S. and overseas. As a politician he was the nation's most articulate spokesman for Midwestern populism. Though the highest office he held was that of U.S. congressman, he shaped Minnesota politics for more than thirty years.