Black and white photograph of a Bohemian boy, Virginia, 1914.

Bohemian boy in Virginia

Bohemian boy, Virginia, 1914.

Black and white photograph of Suomalainen Raittiustalo, Virginia, 1910.

Suomalainen Raittiustalo, Virginia

Suomalainen Raittiustalo, Virginia, 1910.

Black and white photograph of boarding house residents near Troy Mine, 1905.

Boarding house residents near Troy Mine

Boarding house residents near Troy Mine, 1905.

Black and white photograph of a Finnish Lutheran congregation in front of Finnish Temperance Hall, Mt. Iron, 1896.

Finnish Temperance Hall, Mt. Iron

Finnish Lutheran congregation in front of Finnish Temperance Hall, Mt. Iron, 1896.

Black and white photograph of a Slovenian wedding in Eveleth, 1908

Slovenian wedding in Eveleth

Slovene wedding, Eveleth, 1908.

Immigration to the Iron Range, 1880–1930

During the early twentieth century, the population of the Iron Range was among the most ethnically diverse in Minnesota. Tens of thousands of immigrants arrived from Finland, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Canada, England, and over thirty other places of origin. These immigrants mined the ore that made the Iron Range famous and built its communities.

Black and white scan of a military land warrant used by William Thiele to buy part of New Ulm at the Winona Land Office, c.1856 (the patent was issued in 1858).

Military land warrant

Military land warrant used by William Thiele to buy part of New Ulm at the Winona Land Office, c.1856 (the patent was issued in 1858).

Black and white photograph of the first real estate office in Minneapolis, c.1855.

The first real estate office in Minneapolis

The first real estate office in Minneapolis, c.1855.

Black and white photograph of the founders of New Ulm, c.1854.

The founders of New Ulm

The founders of New Ulm, c.1854.

Military Land Warrants in Minnesota, 1854–1863

State militia soldiers fought many wars against Britain, Mexico, and American Indian nations to take land for the United States. The federal government rewarded them with military land warrants—certificates that could be redeemed for up to 160 acres of U.S. public land. The warrants were quickly sold and then traded on Wall Street to land agents in the country’s western territories. The agents made huge profits from selling and loaning them to struggling farmers. In Minnesota, German immigrants used land warrants to buy Dakota land, start farms, and found the town of New Ulm.

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