Monday, July 28, 2014

On this Date in Minnesota history: July 28

July 28, 1946 - Linda Kelsey, actress best known for her role as reporter Billie Newman on the TV series "Lou Grant," was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on this date.

Linda Kelsey

Sunday, July 27, 2014

On this Date in Minnesota history: July 27

July 27, 1858 – “The land area of Polk County was established when Governor H. H. Sibley signed the bill creating the county on [this date]. The land area for the county was set off from the territorial county of Pembina, which included parts of northwestern Minnesota and northeastern North Dakota. The law set up the southern boundary of Pembina as the northern boundary of Polk County. When the present counties north of Polk were established, the name Pembina was erased from the county map of Minnesota.”1

The county was named in honor of James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United States. Polk was the president that approved the act of Congress that organized Minnesota Territory.2


2Upham, Warren; Minnesota Geographic Names, Their Origin and Historic Significance; Minnesota Historical Society (St. Paul, Minn., 1969); p. 421.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

On this Date in Minnesota history: July 26

July 26, 1906 – Arndt Reton, a Norwegian, 45 years old, who has made his home in Bemidji for five years and has been in the employ of the Crookston Lumber company up to a year ago, has been pronounced a leper by City Physician Morrison.

The victim has lost two or more of his toes, and his whole feet and several fingers show unmistakable signs of the disease.

Dr. Morrison has placed the man under quarantine and has reported the matter to the state board of health. Reton’s father and brother died of the disease in the old country.

Minneapolis Journal; “Genuine Case of Leprosy at Bemidji”; July 26, 1906; p. 2.

Friday, July 25, 2014

On this Date in Minnesota history: July 25

July 25, 1984 – Built in 1889, St. Paul’s High Bridge was closed to all traffic, vehicular and pedestrian, on this date. A bridge in Ohio of similar construction had recently collapsed, and engineers determined the bridge had deteriorated to such a point, that the same thing could happen here.

*Original St. Paul High Bridge – circa 1890 – Crosses the Mississippi River

The current bridge was built and opened in 1987 at a cost of $20 million. The ornamental ironwork on the new bridge was built using iron from the old bridge.

The High Bridge has a height of 160 feet, making it the highest bridge in St. Paul.

**St. Paul High Bridge Today


**Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain July 25, 2014, as long as acknowledgement included.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: July 24

July 24, 1920 - George Alexander, 432 Payne Ave., St. Paul, nursed a badly swollen optic, a scratched face and a bruised head at city jail this evening as a result of an attack on him by 15 irate women, who beat him with brooms, clubs and stones. He is held on a statutory charge.

According to the police, Alexander is alleged to have enticed a nine-year-old girl into a wooded area at 44th Ave. S. and 34th Ave. S. in Minneapolis on Friday. She went home to her mother and told her what happened, police allege. In anger, the mother called on women of the neighborhood. Hastily they armed themselves and set out in pursuit of Alexander. The feminine posse surrounded him and closed in throwing stones. At close quarters, the women used their nails as well as clubs, which they were carrying. Someone notified the police, who succeeded in rescuing Alexander after he had been badly beaten. It is alleged police actually saved him from probable death at the hands of the women.

Alexander, according to police, is 40 years old and has a family residing in St. Paul. He will be arraigned in municipal court tomorrow on a complaint preferred by the child’s mother.

The Minneapolis Sunday Tribune; “Angry Women Use Brooms to Avenge Child; Story of Girl Results in Neighborhood Posse Which Captures man”; July 25, 1920; p. 1.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Women Beat Up Man for Assaulting Child”; July 24, 1920; p. 1.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On this Date in Minnesota history: July 23

July 23, 1851 - “A treaty was signed at Traverse Des Sioux near St. Peter, Minn. [on this date] that ceded 23,750,000 acres to the U.S. government at a price of $2,968,750. This treaty officially opened up the area to white settlement.”

Traverse des Sioux

This ancient fording place, "Crossing of the Sioux," was on the heavily traveled trail from St. Paul and Fort Snelling to the upper Minnesota and Red River valleys.

Here, on June 30, 1851, Governor Alexander Ramsey, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Luke Lea, Delegate to Congress Henry H. Sibley, and other government officials established a camp on a height overlooking the small trading post and mission on the riverbank. They had gathered to negotiate an important treaty with representatives of the Sisseton and Wahpeton Sioux for almost twenty-four million acres called Suland.

This vast tract comprised most of Minnesota west of the Mississippi and south of the line between present day St. Cloud and Moorhead, as well as portions of South Dakota and northern Iowa. 

News of the signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux on July 23, 1851, started a great land rush, which brought swarms of settlers to the fertile lands acquired by the United States from the Sioux.

This historical marker was erected in 1968 by the Minnesota Historical Society.

For generations, the land stretching around you was the homeland of the Dakota Indians. Through treaties in 1851, the Dakotas sold all of their land in southern Minnesota. The treaties disregarded Dakota people’s traditional decision-making process and were written in a language they hardly knew. Making an “X” on a piece of paper was not the same as the Dakota way of taking council and obtaining the majority’s consent.

After the signings, the Dakotas were coerced onto reservations on the Minnesota River—but only until that land, too, was needed for white settlement. By 1860, the white settlers in the Minnesota River Valley outnumbered the Dakota five to one. In a single decade, the Dakota people had become a minority in their homeland.

Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain July 23, 2014, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

On this Date in Minnesota history: July 22

July 22, 1990 - Greg LeMond won his third Tour de France on this date. Lemond was the first American to win the great French cycling race. He and his family live in Medina, Minn.

Greg LeMond