Saturday, December 20, 2014

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

Friday, December 19, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 19

December 19, 1909 – West bound passenger train No. 3 on the Minnesota & Iowa division of the Chicago St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad, which left St. Paul, at 10 a. m. today, collided with a freight train at Blakely, Minn., about noon. Fireman Joe Zinnelil and Mail Clerk F. Torgerson, both of St. Paul, were killed. None of the passengers were injured seriously enough to need medical attention.”,-mn-train-wreck,-dec-1909

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 18

December 18, 1905 – The Supreme Court of the United States today upheld the validity of the Minnesota state law holding railroad companies responsible for injuries done to employees through the carelessness of other employees.

The case was that of the Minnesota Iron Company vs. Mark M. Kline. Kline was the engineer of a train on a road in St. Louis County, owned by the iron company and was injured through the failure of a brakeman to set a switch. The jury in the trial court brought in a verdict for $5,000.

The court, however, took the case into its own hands, and ordered that the verdict be set aside on the ground that the state law awarding damages to the servants of corporation because of carelessness on the part of their fellow-servants was unconstitutional. The state supreme court reversed this finding and ordered that the verdict of the jury be carried into effect. That decision was affirmed today.

The Minnesota Iron Company was formed by Charlemagne Tower in the early 1880s.

The Minneapolis Journal; “Kline Wins From Big Iron Company. Verdict of 5,000 for Injury Caused Thru Fellow Employee’s Carelessness Is Upheld.”; Dec. 18, 1905; p. 1.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 17

December 17, 1916 – With 300 heavily armed policemen spread throughout Minneapolis in a bandit dragnet and orders to “shoot to kill,” three bandits still managed to shoot and wound A. V. Duncanson in a holdup attempt this morning.

One bullet passed through his right forearms and the other through his right thigh. Duncanson was taken to the city hospital and later to his home. He will recover.

Duncanson was accompanying Miss Blanche Lewis to her home on Duncan Ave. S. They had just left a street car when the three bandits accosted them. One covered Duncanson with a gun. Miss Lewis screamed and the other two bandits beat her. Duncanson attempted to protect the girl and was shot.

The bandits secured no money, but escaped.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Holdups Rampant in Winter Crime Carnival”; Dec. 18, 1916; p. 1.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain Dec. 17, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 16

December 16, 1864 - First Lieutenant and Adjutant Thomas Parke Gere of the 5th Minnesota Infantry was presented with a Medal of Honor on February 24, 1865, for his extraordinary heroism on this date. He was recognized for his capture of the 4th Mississippi flag during action in Nashville, Tenn. Gere died on January 12, 1912, and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

First Lieutenant and Adjutant Thomas Parke Gere

Monday, December 15, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 15

December 15, 1904 - Cool-headed action by Principal Nettie Waite and prompt obedience by 34 kindergarten students of the old Lincoln School, Sixth and Washington Ave. North, Minneapolis, prevented a panic when the building caught fire this morning and probably saved several lives. As it was, every child got out of the school without trouble, and few knew the building was burning over their heads.

Shortly after 10 a. m., Miss Waite smelled smoke in the schoolroom. Looking up, she saw flames creeping across the ceiling, apparently coming from a vacant room above.

Realizing the safety of her students depended upon her, Miss Waite walked to the piano and struck the signal chord for every pupil to rise.

“Now, walk out into the yard,” commanded the schoolmistress, “and don’t wait for your wraps.”

Then to the cheering music of a march, the students obediently proceeded into the yard. They were soon joined by their teachers, who had remained behind to collect their wraps. By that time, the upper story was blazing merrily and many of the children learned why they had come out of the building only when they saw the flames and smoke.

“The obedience of the children undoubtedly saved them from injury,” said Miss Waite. “Most of them were between three and five years of age and not one of them had ever been in a fire drill. My assistants, Ruth Whittlesey, Agnes Rice and Bessie Cook, aided me in getting the children out.”

The building was abandoned for general school purposes about a year ago and has been for sale. The room that held the kindergarten class was the only part of the building in use.

Lincoln School is the oldest school building in the city still standing and was one of the first erected after pioneer days. The main part was built in 1867. A wing was added in 1871 and another in 1883.

The fire started from the furnace in the basement and followed an airshaft to one of the vacant rooms on the second floor, where the flames spread to all parts of the building.

It is unlikely that the school will be rebuilt. The board wants to sell the property as the location is not desirable. The only value of the property is in its frontage on the railroad tracks.

Minneapolis Journal; “Tots March From Burning School; Implicit Obedience to a Quick-Witted Teacher Prevents Panic at Lincoln Building.”; Dec. 15, 1904; p. 1.

Photo taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain December 15, 2014,
as long as acknowledgement included.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

On This Date in Minnesota History: December 14

December 14, 1916 – Ernest G. Strand, Socialist mayor of Two Harbors and representative-elect of his district, was arrested this morning by Sheriff Emil Nelson and brought into district court to answer to indictments returned against him by the grand jury for accepting bribes.

It is alleged that on two occasions Strand accepted “hush money” from P. L. Fullerton, proprietor of the Two Harbors Commercial Hotel, who is alleged to have operated a “blind pig,” or speakeasy. It is alleged that in May 1916, Strand, while acting in the capacity of mayor, accepted $25 and a similar sum on July 7, 1916, making a total of $50. He was arraigned before Judge Dancer and pleaded not guilty to the charge. The judge fixed his bond at $500 to appear in court Monday morning, Dec. 18. He was released on his own recognizance.

The Bemidji Daily Pioneer; “Socialist Mayor is Accused of Bribery”; Dec. 14, 1916; p. 1.

Commercial Hotel and Boat Landing, Two Harbors Minnesota, 1910