In forty-six years as a Minnesotan, John Sargent Pillsbury helped establish what eventually became one of the world's largest flour-milling businesses, served three terms as governor, and contributed—generously and often anonymously—to numerous causes he deemed worthy.
In the late nineteenth century, Minnesota was rife with political discontent. A national movement to support the interests of working people against elites took hold at a local level. Crusading figures like Ignatius Donnelly challenged the power of big business and wealthy tycoons. The movement, called populism, arose from the people's urge for reform. It shaped the young state's politics for close to three decades.
Early schools in Carver County were typical of those found in nineteenth century Minnesota. Schools were small then, and grew out of the community's desire to educate local children. They were often held in the same building as the church or town meeting hall, and had ties to both, so were not clearly public or private.
Expert Essay: Jennifer Gunn, Director of the Program in the History of Medicine at the University of Minnesota, touches on more than 300 years of state history to explain what has made Minnesota a medical mecca.
Erected in 1913 on Tower Hill, one of the highest elevations in Minneapolis, the Prospect Park Water Tower was built to increase water pressure in the area and thereby enhance firefighting efforts. Familiarly known as "The Witch's Hat," it has become the neighborhood's architectural mascot not for its function but for its singularity.
Early schools in Minnesota were one-room schoolhouses. The first school in Carver County, built in 1855, was one of these. It became part of the first school district in Minnesota, Public School District #1 in Carver, which was formed in 1856.
Kirby Puckett played twelve seasons as a center fielder for the Minnesota Twins. Known for both his playing skills and his spirit, “Puck” played a major role in rejuvenating the team and leading them to World Series victories in 1987 and 1991. Although his career was cut short by eye problems, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.
Pierre Esprit Radisson’s 1659 expedition to Lake Superior and beyond opened a door to the North American fur trade. Through it, he earned a reputation as a courageous explorer and a cunning merchant. In the 2010s he is remembered as one of the first Europeans to travel to what became the state of Minnesota.
Thanks to the limestone bluffs and hills that surrounded Red Wing, the town became a Minnesota lime-making and stone quarrying center from 1870 to 1910. Those forty years are sometimes known as the city’s “Stone Age.”
Republicans from across the nation came to Minneapolis in June 1892 for secret meetings, public rallies and speeches, and their official national convention, which culminated in the nomination of then US President Benjamin Harrison as the party's presidential candidate.
Dr. Martha Ripley was an early advocate for women's health and welfare. She and her family moved to Minneapolis in 1883, just after she completed medical training at Boston University School of Medicine.
A devastating cyclone hit Rochester on August 21, 1883. It killed dozens of people and injured many more, but emergency health services in the tornado's aftermath also led to the eventual creation of the Mayo Clinic.
Minnesota State Senator Anton J. Rockne took pride in the nickname "Watchdog of the State Treasury." Yet as America's Great Depression deepened in 1932, he fought against programs for the poor and his opponents branded him "Commander-in-Chief of the Hunger Brigade."
Joseph Rolette was a fur trader and politician during Minnesota's territorial period. A colorful character in his time, Rolette is remembered for the drastic action he took to assure that St. Paul would become Minnesota's state capital.
Patented in 1915, the ensilage harvester improved on standard practices for harvesting and storing crops, and streamlined farm work. Its basic design, largely unmodified, is still used by agricultural implement companies worldwide.
When Leonard August Rosing became chairman of the Minnesota Democratic Party in 1896, he had his work cut out for him: Republicans had controlled the governorship since before the Civil War. But Rosing was successful in unseating Republicans and getting Democrat John Lind elected governor in 1898.
The Sabes Jewish Community Center (JCC) began in 1918 as a community center for immigrant youth on the North Side of Minneapolis. Located in St. Louis Park since the early 1960s, in the twenty-first century the Sabes JCC continues to be a mainstay of Jewish cultural life for the greater Minneapolis community.
One of the first female professors in the United States, Maria Sanford was an English professor at the University of Minnesota for nearly thirty years. Her exceptional teaching, notable public lectures, and active community leadership led many to call her "the best loved woman in Minnesota."
Since the first sawmill was built near Red Lake in 1856, the harvesting and processing of timber has been a significant part of the local economy. It has provided an enduring source of income for the Ojibwe living in the area that is now the Red Lake Indian Reservation.
Founded in 1882, the Schubert Club is one of the oldest existing arts organizations in the country. It has had a significant impact on the cultural life of St. Paul, supporting music education and hosting concerts featuring well-respected local, national, and international musicians.
When 3M began doing business in 1902, it made sandpaper. Soon the sandpaper company invented a line of products that changed household life around the world. 3M's Scotch brand masking tape and cellophane tape were small inventions that started a consumer revolution.
The Second Battery of Minnesota Light Artillery fought in some of the major battles in the Civil War's Western Theater. In their three and a half years of service, the Second's officers and men had the unique experience of functioning in all branches of the army-artillery, cavalry, and infantry.
On Wednesday afternoon, November 25, 1863, the Second Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment participated in one of the most dramatic assaults of the Civil War. They were fighting the Battle of Missionary Ridge, one of several important battles they had been involved in throughout their two years of service in the Union Army. This battle would prove to be the most significant in the history of the regiment.
Carver County made its mark on aviation history thanks to local aviation pioneer Elmer Sell. Owner of the first airplane in Carver County, Sell founded Sell Airfield and had a flying career spanning four decades.