After New York City schoolteacher Harriet Duncan came to Minnesota in 1868, she became an advocate for temperance and women's suffrage. She was president of the Minnesota Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) for seventeen years and urged the WCTU to work on behalf of women's rights more broadly.
Young Red Wing newspaper editor Lucius F. Hubbard backed his words with action when he enlisted as a private in the Fifth Minnesota Volunteers during the Civil War. He emerged from the fighting as a general and a war hero, and became wealthy through wheat marketing, milling, and railroads. He was elected governor in 1881.
Centralized hydroelectric power came on for the first time in the United States in downtown Minneapolis on September 5, 1882. Minnesota Brush Electric Company produced the power, beating a similar effort in Appleton, Wisconsin, by twenty-five days.
From 1883-1915, Imdieke Brickyard in Meire Grove produced bricks using traditional European methods. Residents supported this business venture by purchasing materials to create structures that represented their German culture.
Built in less than a year, the Industrial Exposition Building in Minneapolis housed the city's first Industrial Exposition in 1886 and the Republican National Convention of 1892. It dominated the Mississippi riverbank east of St. Anthony Falls for decades.
When 3M began in 1902, they 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 became a consumer revolution.
Born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1838, John Ireland came to St. Paul with his parents in 1852. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1861, and by the time he was appointed archbishop of St. Paul in 1888, he was one of the city's most prominent citizens.
"If not fully satisfied, your money cheerfully refunded." We take statements like this for granted today, but when twenty-eight-year-old entrepreneur Joseph Ray (J.R.) Watkins of Plainview, Minnesota, put that message on a bottle of his Red Liniment, he was a trailblazer.
In 1868 the grain trade in Minnesota was growing, but few railroads existed in the state. Steamboats were the supreme mode of transportation. William Robinson built a grain warehouse on the banks of the Mississippi to take advantage of the steamboat traffic. Shortly afterward the town of Jefferson was plotted. In a few years, however, the railroad came through, and a larger town was platted to the south. The Jefferson Grain Warehouse quickly became obsolete.
In 1930, the Jewish Community Center of St. Paul (JCC)—originally called the Jewish Education Center (JEC)—began the work it continues in the twenty-first century: providing for the educational, social, cultural, and recreational lives of Jewish youth and St. Paul families.
A marked rise in public anti-Semitism in the 1930s spurred a group of Jewish leaders in the Twin Cities and Duluth to form the Anti-Defamation Council of Minnesota in 1938. In the 1950s the focus of the council shifted from defensive actions to teaching campaigns. These efforts aimed to fight ignorance and improve social relations. The renamed Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas continues this mission in the twenty-first century.
In the late nineteenth century, some of the Jewish immigrants who had originally settled in the Twin Ports of Duluth-Superior saw economic opportunity in the nearby Iron Range of northern Minnesota. From the 1890s through the 1920s they founded retail and service businesses in the region's booming mining towns. Though small in numbers and relatively isolated, Iron Range Jews supported a vibrant communal life through the 1980s, when hard times on the Range led to a general depopulation.
John Albert Johnson was Minnesota's first governor born in the state, its first governor to serve a full term in the current State Capitol, and its first governor to die in office, making him one of the state's most notable leaders.
The K.J. Taralseth Company building is a physical reminder of the early commercial development of Warren. After moving from a brick store that was destroyed by fire in 1910, Ralph Taralseth built a new store that reflected the company's success. The new building carried a mixed product line for which the company became known. It also provided space for the professional services and fraternal organizations forming in and around Warren.
Oliver Hudson Kelley was a "book farmer," a man who had learned what he knew about agriculture from reading rather than from direct experience. In 1867, he helped found the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, the nation's largest agricultural fraternity.
Trustbuster, Senator, Secretary of State, Nobel Laureate, and World Court judge, Frank Kellogg rose from a small farm in Olmsted County to being the highest-ranking diplomat in the United States. He is remembered as one of the authors of the 1928 Pact of Paris, a multi-lateral treaty that renounced aggressive war as a matter of national policy.
Minnesota's southeastern counties held a commanding position during the second half of the nineteenth century, considered the state's King Wheat era. In these decades, many farmers throughout the state grew wheat in preference to all other crops.
KleinBank is the largest family-owned state bank in Minnesota with assets worth over $1.4 billion in 2012. There are nineteen locations throughout Minnesota, including: Buffalo, Chanhassen, Cologne, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, Norwood Young America, Otsego, St. Bonifacius, and Victoria.
The Knights of Labor shaped business and political policy in Minnesota communities in the late nineteenth century by working with the Farmers' Alliance and advocating for shorter work days, equal pay for women, child labor laws, and cooperation between workers.
From early inns and boarding houses to the magnificent eight-hundred-room Hotel Lafayette, during the last decades of the nineteenth century, Lake Minnetonka was transformed into one of the resort capitals of America. In the 1870s and 1880s, tourists from across the nation came to stay at the resort hotels that prospered on the shores of one of Minnesota's most famous lakes.
Winnibigoshish, Leech Lake, and Pokegama Falls Dams were built in the Mississippi Headwaters during the late 19th century. These structures preceded the construction of the Headwaters reservoir system and played key roles in flood prevention and river control during the 20th century.