Saturday, October 4, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 4

*October 4, 1914 – The body of Joe Melette, a wandering semi-professional veterinary, was found lying on the Great Northern right-of-way just east of Elbo early this morning. A boy discovered Melette’s body while walking the track between Bagley and Elbo. Melette was well known by old-timers in the isolated portions of northern Minnesota. Foul play is believed to have been involved.

In Company With An Indian

Meletter was last seen Saturday evening, when in company with a mixed-blood Indian, he started from Bagley to Lengby. Both had been drinking and under the influence of liquor.

Struck on Head

Judging from the appearance of the wound found on the top of Melette’s head, he was struck either by a blunt instrument, or by an engine while lying on the track asleep. The remains were taken to Bagley by the coroner and an attempted is being made to inform relatives of the affair.

Had Large Roll of Bills

Parties who met Melette on Saturday evening believe his death to be foul play because when they saw him, he had quite a large roll of bills, and when his remains were discovered, only $1.50 in silver was found on his body. The matter is to be investigated by Clearwater county authorities.

Three in Five Years

This is the third time that remains of persons that have been killed or murdered, have been found on the Great Northern right-of-way in that locality during the past five years.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Robbery Motive of Bagley Murder. Body of Joe Melette Found on Tracks of Great Northern Railroad Early Sunday Morning. Mix Blood Indian Sought. Blow on Head by Blunt Instrument Believed to Have Cost Life of Wandering Veterinary Surgeon.”; Oct. 5, 1914; p. 1.

Friday, October 3, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 3

October 3, 2009 – “Somali Pres. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed visited Minneapolis and St. Paul and urged expatriates to help find solutions to the violence in their homeland. The area is home to the largest Somali population in the US.”

Somali Pres. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed

Thursday, October 2, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 2

October 2, 1973 - The lake carrier Peter Robertson struck a pier on the Wisconsin side of the Arrowhead Bridge on this date. The accident disabled the drawbridge lift mechanism, and the bridge, which spans Lake Superior between Duluth and Superior, Wis., was closed the next day.

The lake carrier Peter Robertson

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 1

October 1, 1945 – Minnesota Twins’ second baseman Rod Carew was born on this date to a Panamanian mother on a train in the town of GatĂșn, which, at that time, was in the Panama Canal Zone. The train was racially segregated; white passengers were given the better forward cars, while non-whites, like Carew's mother, were forced to ride in the rearward cars. When she went into labor, the conductor Charles Williams stopped the train to find a physician. Traveling on the train was Dr. Rodney Cline, who delivered the baby. In appreciation for this, Mrs. Carew named the boy Rodney Cline Carew.

Rod Carew

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 30

September 30, 1918 – Olli Kinkonnen, the September 18th tar and feather victim of a group that called themselves the Knights of Loyalty, was found hanging from a tree one-half mile north of Lester Park around 5 p.m. today. Kinkkonen was attacked by the group for renouncing his citizenship to avoid being inducted into the U.S. army, and had been missing since the tar and feather party.

Coroner McAulliffe determined the hanging to be a suicide, believing Kinkonnen had tried to remove the tar from his body with his handkerchief, but was unsuccessful. Kinkonnen appeared to have been hanging there for some time. On his death certificate, his date of death is listed as Sept. 18-22, 1918.1

“Kinkkonen was buried in an unmarked grave in a poor people's section of Park Hill Cemetery, just a few rows away from the graves of the three victims of the 1920 Duluth lynching. The Tyomies Society, a Finnish cultural group, placed a marker on Kinkkonen's grave in 1993. It reads, ‘Olli Kinkkonen, 1881 to 1918, Victim of Warmongers.’"2

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain September 30, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

1The Duluth News Tribune; “Victim of Tar Party in Duluth Suicide, Belief; Body of Olli Kinkonnen Found Dangling From Tree Near Lester Park, Covered with Paint; Federal Probe, Hint; Kidnapping Charge Suggested by County Attorney Richard Funck. President’s Order Violated.”; October 1, 1918; p. 1.


Monday, September 29, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 29

September 29, 1883 - A consortium of flour mill owners in Minneapolis form the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic Railway to build a railroad between its two namesake cities to avoid sending shipments through Chicago.,_St._Paul_and_Sault_Ste._Marie_Railroad,_St._Paul_and_Sault_Ste._Marie_Railroad

Sunday, September 28, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: September 28

September 28, 1901 – The state board of equalization has decided that iron ore in stock piles at the mines of St. Louis County shall go on the assessments rolls at $1 per ton. It was assessed by the county authorities at 50 cents. The various companies were on hand this morning with a vigorous protest, and F. B. Kellogg declared that they would not stand the increase. They will fight the assessment in the courts.

The total assessments of the Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines on ore stocks was $1,249,390. The increase brings it to $2,498,780, an increase in the state’s valuation that will have a very material influence.

The iron companies were represented by J. B. Cotton of the Duluth, Missabe & Northern, F. B. Kellogg, general attorney for the Duluth & Iron Range and Chester A. Congdon of the Oliver Iron Mining Company.

According to the figures submitted by the iron company representatives the ore at the mines is worth next to nothing. They considered 50 cents a ton rather a high assessment.

State Auditor Dunn presented figures showing that on May 1, as a result of the winter’s work, there must have been on hand at the mines at least 4,000,000 tons, which at 50 cents a ton would mean a valuation of $2,000,000. He contended that $1 a ton was a very fair valuation.

The resolution was adopted by a vote of 10 to 7.

The Minneapolis Journal; “St. Louis Co. Iron Ore. ‘Twill Be Assessed $1 Per Ton. Companies Protested Vigorously and Will Fight Assessment to the Death.”; Sept. 28, 1901; p. 1.

Chester A. Congdon