Swisshelm, Jane Grey (1815–1884)

Jane Grey Swisshelm only lived in Minnesota for six years, but during that time she left a lasting mark on the state. While in St. Cloud, she founded a newspaper which she used to advocate for women's rights, argue for the abolition of slavery, build up the Republican Party, challenge the authority of the Democratic machine there, and promote violence against the Dakota.

Paull, Irene Levine (1908–1981)

Writer and activist Irene Levine Paull was born in Duluth to Jewish parents. Faced with discrimination because of her ethnicity, gender, and political views, Paull fought for the rights of people who were oppressed.

Mattson, Hans (1832–1893)

Swedish immigrant Hans Mattson was a prominent immigration booster and politician. Working for the state and for private companies, he recruited many Swedish and Norwegian immigrants to Minnesota during the late nineteenth century. He was also the first Scandinavian elected to Minnesota office. During his lifetime, Colonel Mattson was one of the best-known Swedish Americans in United States politics.

Fournier, Alexis Jean (1865–1948)

Artist Alexis Jean Fournier is well known in Minnesota for his atmospheric paintings of Minneapolis and St. Paul landscapes. Fournier is also renowned beyond Minnesota as an important figure in the Arts and Crafts movement.

Gregg, Oren Cornelius (1845–1926)

In the 1880s, agricultural education in Minnesota was in trouble: farmers would not travel to the Twin Cities for classes, and university students did not want to study farming. Oren C. Gregg, a successful dairy farmer from Lyon County, Minnesota, saved the day by bringing lectures directly to Minnesota farmers.

Kelley, Oliver Hudson (1826–1913)

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.

Valesh, Eva McDonald (1866–1956)

In 1888, a St. Paul Globe exposé of women's working conditions penned by "Eva Gay" launched the career of Eva McDonald Valesh, a young writer. During the time that she lived in the state, Valesh left a big impression on Minnesota journalism, politics, and labor organizing.

Beargrease, John (1858–1910)

The US Congress ordered the beginning of mail service from Superior to Grand Portage, Minnesota, in 1855, but service was spotty. John Beargrease and his brothers came to the rescue. They began covering a regular mail route between Two Harbors and Grand Marais in 1879.

McGhee, Fredrick (1861–1912)

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Fredrick McGhee was known as one of Minnesota's most prominent trial lawyers. In 1905, he was one of a group of thirty-two men, led by W. E. B. DuBois, who founded the Niagara Movement, which called for full civil liberties and an end to racial discrimination.

Ripley, Martha George (1843–1912)

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.

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