Riggs, Stephen Return (1812–1883)

Stephen Return Riggs was a Christian missionary and linguist who spent forty years in the Minnesota River Valley, Nebraska, and Dakota Territory. In both these roles, he aimed to “Christianize and civilize” the Dakota people he believed were caught in the “bonds of heathenism.” To further his project, he compiled the first printed dictionary of the Dakota language. Riggs’s work as a government translator and interpreter helped the United States remove the Dakota from their Minnesota homeland during the 1850s and 1860s.

Lindbergh, Charles A. (1902–1974)

Charles A. Lindbergh, a native of Little Falls, became a world-famous aviator after completing the first nonstop, solo transatlantic flight in May 1927.

Haupers, Clement (1900–1982)

Clement Bernard Haupers was a painter, printmaker, arts administrator, and arts educator active from the 1920s to the 1980s. He is best known for his directorship of the Minnesota Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project and for his influence in the Minnesota art community.

Mairs, Clara (1878–1963)

Clara Gardner Mairs was a painter, printmaker, and decorative artist active from the 1910s to the 1960s. She is best known for her prints of children, animals, circus scenes, and Old Testament stories, often with hints of satirical humor.

Lovelace, Maud Palmer Hart (1892–1980)

Minnesota native Maud Hart Lovelace captured her Mankato childhood in her Betsy-Tacy series of thirteen books. During her career, she authored six historical novels for adults as well as five additional books for children.

Snelling, Josiah (1782–1828)

Bravery at the Battle of Tippecanoe and during the War of 1812 distinguished the military career of Colonel Josiah Snelling, but he is best known for commanding Fort Snelling in the 1820s. It was the first permanent U.S. government outpost in what would become the state of Minnesota.

Whipple, Henry Benjamin (1822–1901)

Henry Benjamin Whipple, the first Episcopal bishop of Minnesota, is known for his missionary work among the Dakota and Ojibwe and his efforts to reform the U.S. Indian administration system. After the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862, Whipple was one of the few white men to oppose the death sentences of 303 Dakota.

Le Sueur, Meridel (1900–1996)

For more than seventy years, the Minnesota-based writer and activist Meridel Le Sueur was a voice for oppressed peoples worldwide. Beginning in the 1920s, she championed the struggles of workers against the capitalist economy, the efforts of women to find their voices and their power, the rights of American Indians to their lands and their cultures, and environmentalist causes.

Bishop, Harriet E. (1817–1883)

Harriet Bishop, best known as the founder of St. Paul’s first public and Sunday schools, was also a social reformer, land agent, and writer. In the 1840s, she led a vanguard of white, middle-class, Protestant women who sought to bring “moral order” to the multi-cultural fur-trade society of pre-territorial Minnesota.

Keenan, Agnes (1910–1979)

Agnes Keenan’s name is among the most prominent in the history of St. Catherine’s College—the school that became St. Catherine University. Although she was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 1910, Keenan spent most of her life in St. Paul working as a teacher and community leader.


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