Prince Honeycutt with other Fergus Falls fire fighters

Prince Honeycutt with other Fergus Falls fire fighters

Fergus Falls firefighters outside the city hall and fire station, ca. 1895. Prince Honeycutt sits on the ladder at center. Used with the permission of Otter Tail County Historical Society.

Prince Honeycutt House

Prince Honeycutt House

Exterior of Honeycutt House (612 Summit Avenue East, Fergus Falls) showing the Honeycutt Memorial Drive sign, February 25, 2022. Photograph by Melissa Hermes.

Dedication of Honeycutt Memorial Drive

Dedication of Honeycutt Memorial Drive

André Cymone outside of the Prince Honeycutt House (612 Summit Avenue East, Fergus Falls) speaking at the dedication of Honeycutt Memorial Drive on June 12, 2021. Photograph by Melissa Hermes.

Otter Tail County Fair, 1921

Otter Tail County Fair, 1921

“Old settlers” of Otter Tail County at the fairgrounds in Fergus Falls, July 7, 1921. Prince Honeycutt leans on his cane at center. Used with the permission of Otter Tail County Historical Society.

Prince and Nancy Honeycutt with their granddaughters

Prince and Nancy Honeycutt with their granddaughters

Prince and Nancy Honeycutt inside their home with their granddaughters, Princelleyn and Luverne, ca. 1915. Used with the permission of Otter Tail County Historical Society.

Sophia Gardner

Sophia Gardner

Sophia Gardner (Prince Honeycutt’s mother), undated. Used with the permission of Otter Tail County Society.

Prince Honeycutt and his family

Prince Honeycutt and his family

The Honeycutt family, ca. 1905. Standing: Nancy Brown Honeycutt and Prince Albert Honeycutt. Kneeling at center: Albert and Inez Honeycutt. Seated, left to right: Rose and May Honeycutt. Used with the permission of Otter Tail County Society.

Prince Honeycutt outside his barbershop

Prince Honeycutt outside his barbershop

Prince Honeycutt outside his barbershop in downtown Fergus Falls, undated. Used with the permission of Otter Tail County Historical Society.

Honeycutt, Prince Albert (1852–1924)

Born into slavery in 1852, Prince Honeycutt set a course for himself that led from Civil War battlefields in Tennessee to freedom in the North. He settled in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, in 1872, and his accomplishments there were milestones in the state’s history: the first Black professional baseball player, the first Black firefighter, and the first Black person to run for mayor. In addition, he used his business and leadership skills to assist other Blacks moving from the Jim Crow South to rural Minnesota.

Willis, Dorsey (1886–1977)

On November 6, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt dishonorably discharged 167 African American infantrymen from their battalion at Fort Brown when they refused to confess to committing acts of violence in Brownsville, Texas, riot three months earlier. Dorsey Willis, the last surviving member of this battalion, lived in Minneapolis from 1913 until he died in 1977. In 1972, his dishonorable discharge was changed to an honorable one, and with the help of Senator Hubert Humphrey, he was allowed a pension of $25,000.

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