Saturday, September 21, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 21

September 21, 1909 - Lieutenant Governor Adolph Olson Eberhart became the 17th Governor of Minnesota on this date, when Governor John Albert Johnson died. Although his first partial term as governor resulted from Johnson's death in 1909, he subsequently won the office twice on his own merits, serving as governor until January 5, 1915.

Minnesota Governor Adolph Olson Eberhart

Friday, September 20, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 20

September 20, 1984 – Placed on the National Register of Historical Places on this date, “the William H. Hinkle House survives as a remaining trace of the once elegant residential South 10th Street, bordering downtown Minneapolis. Well-known architect William Channing Whitney was commissioned by William H. Hinkle, a leading flour producer, to design a prominent urban residence. Whitney, who was never regarded as a design innovator, chose a variant of the Georgian Revival style of architecture. The result is a distinguished structure, with a formal, symmetrical facade. Apart from layers of white paint and the removal of a balustrade, the house and its lot appear today as they did in 1887.

William H. Hinkle House

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Sept. 20, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 19

September 19, 1970 - “The Mary Tyler Moore Show with Ed Asner debuted on CBS TV and ran to 1977. Mary Richards threw her hat at 7th St. and Nicollet Ave. in Minneapolis for the opening credits.”

Statue of Mary Tyler Moore on Nicollet Mall in front of Macy's

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Sept. 19, 2013,
 as long as acknowledgement included.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 18

September 18, 1881 – Property on the northeast shore of White Bear Lake finally came before the public eye. Augustus Kirby Barnum…registered the plat. It was a family affair, as Barnum's wife, Carrie Josephine, cosigned the document, and his half-brother, William Hewitt, acted as witness and notary. Named the plat Dellwood.”

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Sept. 18, 2013,
as long as acknowledgement included. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 17

September 17, 1907 – U. S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger was born in St. Paul, Minn., on this date.

U. S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

Monday, September 16, 2013

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 16

September 16, 1872 - The public dedication of Lakewood [Cemetery in Minneapolis] was held on [this date].  Founded in 1871, Lakewood’s founders chose a site out in the country between Lakes Harriet and Calhoun. They planned to model the cemetery after other “rural” or “garden” cemeteries that were growing in popularity along the East Coast. Visitors traveled to Lakewood by horse and buggy on an unpaved road.

Photos of Lakewood Cemetery taken by Pamela J. Erickson.
Released into the public domain Sept. 16, 2013, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Destined for History

Apparently, some people are just meant to be listed in the annals of history, while others are mentioned in the census and little else. Outside of military and land records, my family generally falls into the latter category.

Did you know that a young boy who innocently and unknowingly gave directions to Northfield, Minn., to the James and Younger Gangs invented puff rice as an adult?  Admittedly, the young boy might—a very big might—have been mentioned in a chronicle of the Great Northfield Raid, but most likely not named. It took the invention of puffed rice for
Alexander P. Anderson to get real recognition, and the meeting with the James and Younger Gangs became an interesting backstory.1 Anderson was truly touched by history twice; he was meant to be remembered, and there are others.

Alexander P. Anderson7

Follow the money. That’s what Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were doing when they discovered and reported in The Washington Post on Aug. 1, 1972, that a $25,000 cashier’s check that appeared to be earmarked for the Committee to Re-elect President Nixon (CREEP) was deposited in the bank account of one of the Watergate burglars,
Bernard L. Barker.2 

The check was made out by a Florida bank to Kenneth H. Dahlberg, the President’s campaign finance chairman for the Midwest. Dahlberg [told The Post] that in early April he turned the check over to ‘the treasurer of [CREEP] or to Maurice Stans [formerly secretary of Commerce under Mr. Nixon] himself.’”2

Woodward would later call “
the Dahlberg check the ‘connective tissue’ that turned what they thought was a story about a common crime into one of historic dimensions.”3

“A true American hero in World War II as a highly decorated triple-ace (15 air victories) fighter pilot,”4 Dahlberg, who had homes in Boca Raton, Fla., and Deephaven, Minn., “started the Miracle-Ear Hearing Aid Company, which developed one of the first hearing aids to fit inside the ear; it was also one of the first consumer products to use transistors.” He also had a connection to another historic Minnesota event. While discussing the cashier’s check, Dahlberg told The Post that “he had just gone through an ordeal because his ‘dear friend and neighbor,’ Virginia Piper, had been kidnapped and held for two days.(See July 27, 2012, blog.)

Kenneth H. Dahlberg8

In the early 1900s, Horace Irvine was often mentioned in the St. Paul society pages because his father, Thomas Irvine, was a wealthy lumber baron. But in May 1903, Irvine was no longer just mentioned in the society pages; he was on the front page. While driving some friends up and down Sebley Ave. in St. Paul to show off the new car he had recently purchased, Irvine accidentally hit and killed an eight-year-old girl at the intersection of St. Albans Street and Selby Avenue. This was reportedly the first car fatality in St. Paul.5

 The intersection of St. Albans Street and Selby Avenue, St. Paul, Minn.9

Fifty-six years later, the two youngest daughters of Horace Hills Irvine donated their family home on Summit Ave. in St. Paul to the State of Minnesota for use as the governor’s residence.6
The mansion was named to the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 16, 1974.

Minn. Governor’s mansion10

Some people are just
destined for history.

LLet me help you find out what parts of Minnesota history your family played a role in.

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

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


2The Washington Post; “Bug Suspect Got Campaign Funds”; Washington, D.C.; August 1, 1972; p. 1.




6St. Paul Pioneer Press; “Rolvaag Signs Bill for Governor’s Home”; May 25, 1965; p. 13



9Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Sept. 15, 2013,
 as long as acknowledgement included.


On This Date in Minnesota History: September 15

September 15, 1998 – Minnesota native, University of Minnesota grad and American inventor, Reynold B. Johnson, died on this date in Palo Alto, Calif. “A long-time employee of IBM, Johnson is said to be the "father" of the disk drive. [His] other inventions include automatic test scoring equipment and the videocassette tape.” In 1996, Johnson was awarded the Franklin Institute's Certificate of Merit.

Reynold B. Johnson