Saturday, March 29, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 29

March 29, 1916 – Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy (from 1959 to 1971 and Congressman from 1949 to 1959) was born in Watkins, Minn., on this date. McCarthy unsuccessfully sought the presidency five times.

Senator Eugene McCarthy

Friday, March 28, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 28

March 28, 1970 – “American film actor, screenwriter, producer, comedian and activist” Vince Vaughn was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on this date.

Vince Vaughn
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Thursday, March 27, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 27

March 27, 1902 – Fire, discovered at 1 o’clock this morning, entirely destroyed the large sawmill owned by the Glenwood Lumber Company in Cass Lake, Minn., causing a loss of $60,00 and throwing a hundred men out of employment. Immediately after the fire was discovered the whole mill was a vast sheet of flames.

By the great work of the fire department and employees of the mill, the fire was kept from spreading to the lumber yards and planning mill of the Scanlon-Gipson Lumber Company. Owing to the great distance of the mill from the hydrants, the firemen were unable to reach the fire with water.

The mill was built three years ago at a cost of $75,000. Many improvements have been made since. The mill began sawing for the season on Monday, March 24. The origin of the fire is unknown. The insurance is $35,000, carried by insurance agencies at Superior. The mill will at once be rebuilt and it is predicted will be ready for sawing in ninety days.

The Minneapolis Journal; “Big Mill Burned; Costly Building of Glenwood Company at Cass Lakes in Ruins.”; March 27, 1902; p. 1

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 26

March 26, 1917 – Minn. Gov. Burnquist today signed a bill authorizing the teaching of patriotism in the public schools one day each week.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Burnquist Signs Patriotism Bill”; March 26, 1917; p. 1

Minn. Gov. Joseph Burnquist

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 25

March 25, 1884Elisha Morcom was born in Gwenap, Cornwall, England, in 1835. When he was 15, he began working in the copper mines in that area. Four years later he traveled with an uncle to America, and began working in the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula in Mich., where “he made a name for himself” with the Keeweenaw Company, and held various management jobs with other mining companies.1

In 1884, he was appointed manager of the Tower mine by the Minnesota Mining Company. “Being a practical and thoroughly up-to-date mining man of his day, he opened and successfully worked the Tower mine for four years. In this Capt. Morcom won for himself great distinction for this was the first mine opened in the State of Minnesota.”1

Mining captain Elisha Morcom's 350 Michigan men, women and children arrived at Minnesota Mine by train to Superior, Wisconsin, and then crossed harbor ice at Duluth in open sleighs and headed north along the Vermilion Trail [arriving in Tower on this date]. Morcom's Vermilion miners were described as ‘the finest crew ever assembled in one place.’"2

1Tower Weekly News; “Capt. Elisha Morcom Passes To The Great Beyond Saturday Afternoon at 3:15. 73 Years of Age.” Nov. 27, 1908; p.1.


 Birth: May 1835, England

Death: Nov. 21, 1908; St. Louis County, Minn.

Burial: Lake View Cemetery, Tower, St. Louis County, Minn.

Monday, March 24, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 24

March 24, 1919 – The Minnesota Legislature granted to the women of the state the right to vote for presidential electors.” The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was passed seven months later on Aug. 18, 1920.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 23

March 23, 1860 - On this date, Ann Bilansky (born Mary Ann Evards Wright) became the first white person and the only woman ever to be legally executed in Minnesota. Bilansky, a housewife convicted in 1859 of poisoning her husband with arsenic, was put to death by hanging on gallows erected at the Court House Square at the corner of Fifth and Cedar Streets, St. Paul. The case is also notable because it appears possible that Bilansky was innocent and, in any event, she did not receive a fair trial.

Ann Bilansky Hanging in St. Paul