Saturday, November 22, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 22

Nov. 22, 1862 – Born on this date in Featherstone Township, Goodhue County, Minn., Alexander P. Anderson, the inventor of puffed rice,1 held an additional claim to fame. In 1876, as a 13-year-old farmboy, he gave” water and directions to seven strangers on horseback looking for Northfield, [Minn.]. The riders were the James and Younger gang.”2



Alexander P. Anderson

Friday, November 21, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 21

November 21, 1912 – Minnesota won the first prize for potatoes at the land show in Minneapolis today. W. A. Dickinson of Meadowlands in northern Minnesota, in the country back of Duluth, had a bushel on exhibition that took the L. W. Hill $200 cup. R. J. Daley of Rollins, Mont., was a close second with a bushel of Uncle Sam potatoes.

Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Gopher Potatoes Win First Prize. Murphies Grown in Country Back of Duluth Win $200 Cup at the Land Show.”; Nov. 22, 1912; p. 1.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain November 21, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 20

November 20, 1908 – George W. Wentworth, one of the original organizers of the city of South St. Paul and one of its first aldermen, died on this date. Wentworth was a horse trader at the South St. Paul livestock market.

“Between 1887 and 1889 a split arose in South St. Paul between the citizens living near the stock industry along the river and the farmers on the western border, which Wentworth represented. Feeling short-changed in affairs of government, this western faction split and formed their own municipality in 1889, the City of West St. Paul. Wentworth then became an alderman on the new city council. He donated property for West St. Paul’s first school.”

Wentworth, who emigrated from England in the 1860s, built his large Queen Anne style mansion in 1887 at a cost of $12,000. “According to Agnes Wentworth Wright, George’s youngest daughter and one of the last surviving members of the family, George came to America because he was the second son of an English gentleman and thus could not expect to inherit his father’s property.

Four years after Wentworth’s death in 1908 at the age of 64, the family moved to St. Paul, and in October of 1912 the large eleven-room brick house was sold again for $400 at a sheriff’s sale, and it stood empty for the next fourteen years through the Depression. A Dr. Brown purchased it in 1940 and totally renovated the home with a new furnace, plumbing and wiring. Julie Sorenson purchased the house in 1967 and she was instrumental in placing it on the National Register [on Dec. 31, 1979].”

Wentworth Home in South St. Paul

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain November 20, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 19

November 19, 1881 - Brainerd township became a city on this date. “The name was chosen in honor of the wife of J. Gregory Smith, the first president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, [Brainerd being her maiden name]. Mrs. Brainerd Smith was the author of novels, books of travel and other works.”,_Minnesota,+Minnesota&start=10&hl=en&sa=N&prmd=imvnsz&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&ei=G9mCUIkVo9XJAZaUgagL&ved=0CFYQsAQ4Cg&biw=1166&bih=554#hl=en&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=Brainerd%2C+Minnesota&oq=Brainerd%2C+Minnesota&gs_l=img.12..0j0i24l9.13785.13785.0.19131.,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.&fp=ecc4f9917b781b93&bpcl=35466521&biw=1166&bih=554

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 18

November 18, 1942 - Leo M. Mustonen, 22, of Brainerd, Minn., disappeared on this date along with three other airmen: 2nd Lt. William A Gamber, 23, of Fayette, Ohio (pilot) and  fellow cadets Ernest Munn, 23, of St. Clairsville, Ohio and John Mortenson, 25, of Moscow, Idaho. Their plane, an AT-7 navigational training plane, left Mather Airfield in Sacramento, Calif., carrying the four airmen and about five hours of fuel. The plane never returned.1 


Leo M. Mustonen

Monday, November 17, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 17

November 17, 1966 - During a gala celebration on this date, “state representative John A. Blatnik threw the switch to light Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge for the first time. The City’s Project Duluth Committee, chaired by John Grinden, led the effort to light the bridge.”

 Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge

Sunday, November 16, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 16

November 16, 1983 – “About 50 protesters were removed from Sen. Rudy Boschwitz’s St. Paul office after they staged a sit-in and refused to leave until he changed” his support of U.S. covert actions in Nicaragua.

Duluth News-Tribune & Herald; “Sit-in staged in Boschwitz’ (sic) state office”; November 17, 1983; p. 3A.

Sen. Rudy Boschwitz