Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 31

December 31, 1974 – The home of Minnesota’s 14th governor, John Lind, was placed on the National Register of Historic Homes on this date. It is located on the corner of Center and State Streets in New Ulm, Minn.


Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 31, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 31, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included. 

 "John Lind Home

This home was built by John Lind in 1887 and was a significant cultural, social and political center built on a prominence above early New Ulm. Swedish born Lind came to America and Minnesota in 1867 at age thirteen. While very young he was a rural teacher in the area until 1874 when he came to read law with a lawyer in New Ulm. He was admitted to the bar here in 1877 and resided here almost continuously until 1901 when he moved to Minneapolis.

During his residence in New Ulm Lind was a Congressman from 1887 to 1893. In 1899 he was elected Minnesota governor for one term. For a time he also was a land office receiver while retaining his New Ulm law practice. In the Spanish-American War he was a quarter master with the 12th Minnesota Regiment in 1898 – this despite the loss of his left hand from a childhood accident.

The Lind Home in New Ulm was stately and elegant when built and could accommodate a great number of people. The graceful porch served as the governor’s reviewing stand for many state and local events. The Queen Anne style house, designed by F. Thayer cost $5,000; though structurally altered, the home retains in 1973 the essential exterior details of the original design."


 The marker was erected in 1973 by the Brown County Historical Society with a memorial gift for Henry N. Somsen, an early law partner of Lind.

Monday, December 30, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 30

December 30, 1879 – On this date, Charles P. Ingalls of Redwood County, Minn., (yes, that Charles Ingalls) “deposited in the General Land Office of the United States, a Certificate of the Register [No. 7410] of the Land Office in New Ulm, Minnesota, whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said Charles P. Ingalls according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April, 1820, entitled ‘An Act making further provision for the sale of the public land.’”1
For his entire life Ingalls had a strong case of wanderlust. He is quoted by [his daughter] Laura in her Little House series of books as saying: ‘My wandering foot gets to itching’. He loved travelling and didn't like living among big crowds of people, so with his family in the early years of his marriage, he traveled a great deal and often changed homes. From their original home in the woods of Wisconsin, he moved his family to Indian Territory in southeastern Kansas, then back to Wisconsin, then to southern Minnesota, then for a year to Burr Oak, Iowa, then back to Minnesota. Presented with a job opportunity in Dakota Territory, he longed to move yet again, as the family was struggling in Minnesota. Caroline agreed, but extracted a promise from her husband that this would be their last move.2


 Charles and Caroline Ingalls

Sunday, December 29, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 29

December 29, 1906 - The articles of incorporation of a new Minnesota railroad company, the Big Fork & International Falls railway, were filed with the secretary of state’s office on this date. E. W. Backus, W. F. Brooks and C. J. Rockwood, all of Minneapolis, are listed as the incorporators and first board of directors.

Once completed, the new line will make it possible for a business man or tourist to take the evening Northern Pacific passenger at Minneapolis and by a continuous night trip of 320 miles over the Northern Pacific, its branch, the Minnesota & International, and the new Big Fork extension; arrive at International Falls in time for breakfast without change of cars.

The Minneapolis Journal; “New Minneapolis Link to Canadian Boundary, Great Traffic Outlet Certain, Railroad Will Link Minneapolis and International Falls This Year. Short Line to Port Arthur, Fort William and Nipigon Country. Clog on Wheat Terminals at Duluth Removed and Great Section Opened.” Dec. 30, 1906; p. 1


Saturday, December 28, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 28

December 28, 1901 - Bernard Schickling, 22 years of age, was arrested by Detective Rowlin near the Ducas street police station about 7 p.m. this evening for attempting to pass a $1 note which had been raised to $10. When searched at the central police station the police found one more raised bill on his person. He will be turned over to the federal authorities.

Schickling has been boarding at 27 Thompson Avenue for the past two months, and has been in St. Paul for about a year. About 7 p.m. this evening he went into the confectionery store on South Robert Street near Isabel Street. He bought a few small articles and handed Mrs. Spencer the raised bill. She saw that it was counterfeit and notified the police. Detective Rowlin was sent after Schickling, but upon seeing the detective he ran and gave his pursuer a short chase before he was captured. During his flight he dropped a false mustache, which he was wearing to disguise himself.

The St. Paul Globe
; “Tried To Pass Bad Bill, It Had Been Clumsily Raised From One to Ten Dollars.”; Dec. 29, 1901; p. 3.


Friday, December 27, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 27

December 27, 1919 – “The North Dakota Training School [in Mandan] is perhaps the only reformatory in the country with a voluntary inmate—a sixteen-year-old boy committed by his own request. A chance to earn an honest living—to specialize in a trade—was what this orphaned boy from Cass county [Minn.] wanted. His only opportunity seemed to be the industrial school of the state reformatory and he sought admittance through the juvenile commissioner. His plea was granted and he was enrolled, the term to expire at any time he wishes.”

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; Bemidji, Minn.; December 27, 1919; p. 1.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 26

December 26, 1979 – The Kline Sanatorium, Anoka’s first hospital, was built in 1902 and operated by local physician Dr. James Franklin Kline. The sanatorium had fifty-four rooms, all adequately heated by steam and lighted with electricity. “In fact, one of Dr. Kline’s specialties was the treatment of nervous disorders through the use of electricity.”*

“Anoka became famous as a place to seek restored health. Patients came from all over Minn., Wis., Mont., and the Dakota and Iowa to receive treatment for various ailments at the Sanatorium.”*

After a tornado hit Anoka on June 18, 1939, the Sanatorium housed 23 families who had lost their homes until further arrangements could be made.^ The building was listed on the National Register of Historical Places on this date, and is now used as apartments.



*Minnesota History; by Mary Ann Kiefer; Research Paper; Nov. 14, 1989; located at Anoka County Historical Society.

^The Anoka Herald; Former Kline Hospital is Mecca for Homeless Following Tornado Disaster;” Anoka, Minn.; July 5, 1939.

Kline Sanatorium, Anoka, Minn.
Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 26, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 25

December 25, 1855 – Frederick Greiner was born on this date in Chaska, Minn. Greiner was Chaska’s mayor from 1892 to 1898; proprietor of Chaska House, the community’s first hotel, and engaged in the manufacture of brick and tile (Greiner & Corning) from 1882 to his death in 1910. His cream-colored brick home in Chaska built ca. 1870 was named to the National Register of Historical Places on Jan. 4, 1980.


 Frederick Greiner's House, Chaska, Minn.
Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 25, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 24

December 24, 1902 - With his face almost completely hidden from view by the bandages and absorbent cotton, which he said were necessary to protect the wounds they concealed, Joseph Vallerio appeared in police court today to answer to a charge of disorderly conduct.

The charge had been made against him by Antonio Lagoni, one of his fellow countrymen, who said Vallerio had shot holes through the roof of the Lagoni home at 379 Rosabel Street, Sunday night.

Rosetta Pinnochi, a pretty Italian girl, is said to have been the cause of the trouble. Both Vallerio and Lagoni love the girl, and Sunday evening, when Vallerio appeared at the Lagoni home and asked for the girl, he was told she wasn’t there. Vallerio called his rival a liar and the latter inflicted the damage to Vallerio’s face which was the cause of the bandages.

After Lagoni had finished with his caller he shut the door in his face, whereupon Vallerio is said to have pulled a gun and fired a few shots through the door and ceiling of Lagoni’s home. Vallerio says Lagoni attacked him with brass knuckles, and that he fired the shots to scare him. Vallerio was allowed to sign a peace bond, and upon his promise to remain away from Lagoni’s home, was permitted to escape a workhouse sentence.

St. Paul Globe; “Lovers Fight Over a Beauty Court Hears Their Troubles and Demands a Peace Bond.”; Dec. 25, 1902; p. 2.


Monday, December 23, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 23

December 23, 2007 – “High wind and ice coated power lines blacked out tens of thousands of people in the Midwest. The storm was blamed for at least 22 deaths. At least 8 people in Minnesota, 5 in Wisconsin, 3 each in Indiana and Wyoming and one each in Michigan, Texas and Kansas were killed in traffic accidents.”


Sunday, December 22, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 22

December 22, 1968 – In the first playoff game in franchise history, the Colts defeated the Vikings, 24-14, in the Western Conference Championship Game at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. Minnesota trailed 21-0 in the 4th quarter but a late rally fell short.”



Saturday, December 21, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 21

December 21, 1922 – Minnesota jurist Pierce Butler was confirmed as an Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court on this date by a wide margin of 61 to 8. He is notable for being the first Justice from Minnesota, and for being a Democrat appointed by a Republican president.


Associate Justice Pierce Butler

Friday, December 20, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 20

December 20, 1979 - Construction on the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome began on this date and “was funded by a limited hotel-motel and liquor tax, local business donations, and payments established within a special tax district near the stadium site. The Metrodome itself cost $55 million to build—significantly under budget—totaling around $124 million with infrastructure and other costs associated with the project added.


Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 19

December 19, 1957 – “Governor Orville L. Freeman appointed L. Howard Bennett to a municipal judgeship in Minneapolis, making him the first African American judge appointed in Minnesota.”


After his campus appearance in 1959, Martin Luther King Jr. was interviewed by L. Howard Bennett, a local civil rights leader and the first African American judge in Minnesota, for local educational television. The video may be seen through MN Video Vault, a project of Twin Cities Public Television.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 18

December 18, 1915 – The swan song of the saloons was sung in Pennington county [today] when 12 thirst parlors closed their doors and for three years at least the authorities promise a ‘dry’ zone, so far as law enforcement can make this possible. The passing of saloons in [Thief River Falls] removes many old-time landmarks and places of amusement where in the halycon (sic) days of the lumberjack and woodsman, high jinks and good fellowship, in a rough way, to be sure, but quite common at that, prevailed. Moving picture houses, groceries, confectionaries and soft drink emporiums are to take the place of saloons here.”

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; Bemidji, Minn.; December 20, 1915; p. 1.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 17

December 17, 1942 – The dedication ceremony was held for the Sister Kenny Institute located at 1800 Chicago in Minneapolis. Elizabeth Kenny “was an unaccredited Australian nurse who promoted a controversial new approach to the treatment of poliomyelitis in the era before mass vaccination eradicated the disease in most countries. Her findings ran counter to conventional medical wisdom; they demonstrated the need to exercise muscles affected by polio instead of immobilizing them. Kenny's principles of muscle rehabilitation became the foundation of physical therapy, or physiotherapy.”



Monday, December 16, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 16

December 16, 1886 – “The Village of Golden Valley was incorporated [on this date]. During its early years, Golden Valley was an agricultural community of only a few hundred residents, full of farms, mills, and dairies. Residential development began after the Electric Luce Line Railroad was cut through the village in 1912.”


Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 16, 2013, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Family Names

Does your family have names—first names—that are handed down generation after generation? Do you know where the names originated?

My mother’s name was Betty Louise. I never thought much about it, until I discovered that my grandma’s name was Ida Louise. Upon further research, I found that my great-grandmother’s name was Louise, and my great-great-grandmother’s name was Louise; four continuous generations of Louise.

My mother skipped the Louise name with my sisters and me (although I was originally supposed to be name Kathryn Louise, but my parents changed their minds after I was born, concluding I didn't look like a Kathryn). But one of my sisters gave her daughter Louise as a middle name. And so the tradition continues.

As most genealogists will attest, researching continuous generations of men with the same first and last names can be very frustrating. In my family, the same line in fact, my great-great-grandmother Louise’s father’s name was Ernst; her brother’s name was Ernst, and his son, her nephew’s name was Ernst. When I find land records for Ernst Landt in Manitowoc County, Wis., which Ernst is it? Census records, birth records, death records, etc., can help make some sense of who is who, but what if those records aren't clear or are unavailable?

Everyone deserves to be recognized and remembered. If you’re going to continue to pass down a family name, at least give your child a unique middle name or middle initial. Trust me, future family genealogists will thank you.

My great-grandmother, Louise Kampf Kniss

LLet me help you find the original “Louise” or “Ernst” in your family.

Discover your roots and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.


For more information on my Minnesota Family History Research services, visit TheMemoryQuilt.com and click on Family History Research in the left-hand column.

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 15

December 15, 1892 – American industrialist J. Paul Getty was born in Minneapolis on this date. “He founded the Getty Oil Company, and in 1957 Fortune magazine named him the richest living American, whilst the 1966 Guinness Book of Records named him as the world's richest private citizen, worth an estimated $1,200 million.”


J. Paul Getty

Saturday, December 14, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 14

December 14, 1900 - William Foelsen, one of the leading contractors in St. Paul and a member of the board of police commissioners, was discovered to be in New Ulm today after last being seen Tuesday evening, Dec. 11, at the Brenck and Krent saloon, Ninth and Wabasha. His friends and family had suspected foul play.

Foelsen was engaged on a contract to enlarge the Hamm Brewery company. On Tuesday at 5 p.m., he paid his 90 employees their wages for the preceding two weeks, and then went to the saloon. His friend Henry F. Koenig, the last person to see Foelsen, said Foelsen appeared to be his normal self when he left for home late Tuesday evening.

Foelsen learned of the concern over his welfare while reading a Dec. 14 article on his disappearance in the St. Paul Globe. He was very much startled by the news, and immediately telephoned his family, the police, his lodge brethren and friends to tell them where he was and that he was okay.

Seriously? The guy is missing for a little over two days, doesn't tell his wife he’s going somewhere other than home, and is surprised to learn everyone thinks he has met with foul play? Me thinks the guy was up to no good.

St. Paul Globe; “Friends Fear Foul Play; Absence of William Foelsen is Causing Much Alarm; He Was Last Seen Tuesday; Henry Koenig, Who Saw Him Last, Says He Was on His Way Home—Had Large Sum of Money.”; Dec. 14, 1900; p.1

St. Paul Globe; “Paid New Ulm A Visit; Absence of Police Commissioner William Foelsen is Accounted For; Called Away By Business; He Did Not Have Time to Notify His Family and Friends of His Hurried Departure.”; Dec. 15, 1900; p. 2.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain July 25, 2012,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Friday, December 13, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 13

December 13, 1998 – “Gary Anderson (Minnesota Vikings) kicked six field goals against Baltimore. In the game Anderson set a National Football League (NFL) record for 34 straight field goals without a miss.”


Gary Anderson



Thursday, December 12, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 12

December 12, 1977 – The Hutchinson Carnegie Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places on this date.

Asa Hutchinson is credited with beginning the Hutchinson Public Library in 1874 when he donated two volumes and a half a lot of land for a library site. In 1903, voters in Hutchinson were eager to accept the $10,000 gift Andrew Carnegie offered for a building. A new library was dedicated in 1904, and in 1977, it was selected as a historic site listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. In 1985, a bond referendum for $750,000 allowed for the enlargement of the Carnegie Library. The new addition was designed by local architect John Korngiebel and successfully merged the old with the new.”


Hutchinson Carnegie Library

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 12, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 11

December 11, 1858 – Born on this date in Oak Grove Township, Anoka County, Henry Gilbert Leathers “was one of the first white children to be born in that township. He lived the pioneer days of the county, remembered the Indian outbreak, of the women being sent hurriedly to Fort Snelling for protection [from] the Indians coming down the Rum River. He
attended school in the county school and his high school in Anoka and attended Carleton College [where he] graduated as a pharmacist. In 1882 he first opened a general store selling everything from soup to blasting powder and later cars. This store was on the west side of the river and south of the bridge (the garage for the cars is still there today as the
Bridge Street Market).”

Leathers’ beautiful Victorian style home in St. Francis was named to the National Register of Historic Places on December 26, 1979.

Steinke, Ray; “History of St. Francis, Anoka County, Minnesota”; St. Francis Area Chamber of Commerce; 2005.

Leathers’ Home in St. Francis, Minn.
Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 11, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 10

December 10, 19301 – Secretary of State and former Minnesota U.S. Senator, Frank B. Kellogg, was awarded the 1929 Nobel Peace Prize on this date for “having been one of the initiators of the [Kellogg-Briand] Pact of 1928.”2

“The Kellogg-Briand Pact was signed by Germany, France and the United States on August 27, 1928. The Kellogg-Briand Pact [was] an international agreement in which signatory states promised not to use war to resolve "disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them". Parties failing to abide by this promise ‘should be denied the benefits furnished by this treaty’.”3

“During the selection process in 1929, the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided that none of the year's nominations met the criteria as outlined in the will of Alfred Nobel. According to the Nobel Foundation's statutes, the Nobel Prize can in such a case be reserved until the following year, and this statute was then applied. Frank B. Kellogg therefore received his Nobel Prize for 1929 one year later, in 1930.”4

Frank B. Kellogg





Monday, December 9, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 9

December 9, 1924 – The last surviving member of Minnesota’s (Civil War) Company K, David Archibald, died on this date. He was only 16 when he enlisted, but told the recruiting officer he was 17-years-old.

“Archibald was severely wounded by a gun shot in his left thigh at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, on June 4, 1864. The minnie ball passed through the fleshy part of his inner thigh, cut through muscle and exited through the rear. Archibald was taken to the hospital and remained there until Dec 30, 1864. He was discharged on Jan 2, 1865. The wound left him lame for the rest of his life, though he was able to walk without the need for a cane.”


David Archibaldhttp://www.1stminnesota.net/1st.php?ID=1308

Sunday, December 8, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 8

December 8, 1904 – “After having danced a jig on the topmost girder of Duluth’s new aerial ferry bridge, 155 feet from the ground, W. G. Ellis, a Minneapolis workman employed on the structure, met death today while lowering himself to the ground to go to the aid of [his] injured brother.

Ray Ellis had descended from the structure only a moment before, sliding down a cable. The wire was icy and he was unable to check his speed, striking a block, a short distance from the ground. When W. G. Ellis learned that his brother was hurt he rushed to the rescue, using the same cable in his descent. He, too, lost control of himself and struck the ground with terrific force, breathing his back and right leg. He died fifty minutes later without recovering consciousness.”

St. Paul Globe; Dances and Falls; Workman is Killed on Duluth Aerial Bridge”; Dec. 9, 1904; p.1

Aerial Bridge Over Ship Canal, Duluth, Minn.

Second of its kind in the world.  Clear span 400 feet; clear height 136 feet; total height above water, 186 feet.   (Postmark Superior Wisc Oct 14, 1909)


Saturday, December 7, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 7

December 7, 1863 – “Richard W. Sears was born in Stewartville, Minnesota [on this date]. His mail-order idea developed the A. C. Roebuck Company housed on the seventh floor of the Globe Building in Minneapolis. Renamed Sears, Roebuck and Co., it was headquartered later in Chicago.”


Richard W. Sears


Friday, December 6, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 6

December 6, 1963 – T. Eugene Thompson was found guilty of the first degree murder of his wife Carol, and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor on this date. The jury deliberated for some 13 hours before announcing their verdict. Thompson was accused of master-minding a murder-for-hire scheme to kill his wife, the mother of his four children.

Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Thompson Found Guilty, Given Life Prison Term”; December 7, 1963; p.1.

 T. Eugene Thompson


Thursday, December 5, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 5

December 5, 1902 – Stillwater's [Minn.] Opera House burns to the ground. Simonet's Furniture and Midtown Antiques Mall later occupy the site.”


Midtown Antiques Mall, Stillwater, Minn. 

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 5, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 4

December 4, 1928 - A bomb planted in St. Paul's Irish Godfather Dan Hogan's Paige coupe in the white stucco garage behind his home at 1607 7th Street West, Saint Paul, exploded, killing the owner of the Green Dragon saloon1 and “well-known figure in the Twin Cities underworld.”2



Dan Hogan's Home, St. Paul, Minn.