Why Does This Blog Exist?

You never know what you'll find here - anything with genealogical or historical value is fair game. This blog will be updated as I clean out my office, go through boxes and piles, or find pertinent items at antique shops. In the meantime, I hope you find something of interest here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sports Center Saturday–1926 Huron Tigers Football Team

1926 Huron (South Dakota) High School Football Team
Row 1: Kucera, Sipes, Crawford, Ruark, Burtt, Capt.; Nelson, Magill, Ayres, Marquis
Row 2: Palmer, Perrin, Buck, Young, Betts, Gillispie, Cantonwine, Arthur, Hanson"
Row 3: Baker, C. Kucera, Jones, Rehpohl, Gifford, Abbott, Love, Skinner, Van Camp.
Coach Campbell, Mr. Slothower

Saturday, November 19, 2011

St. Paul - Chapter XVIII–Notable St. Paul Men

(From “St. Paul Location-Development-Opportunities” by F. C. Miller, Ph. D., Webb Book Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928)


Alexander Ramsey was the first territorial and the second state governor of Minnesota. His biographer calls him "the first and greatest" of all governors of Minnesota. He was born in 1815 of Scotch-German parentage near Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, and died in St. Paul in 1903. He received little more than an ordinary schooling.   By trade a carpenter, he found time to prepare himself for teaching, and, while he was a teacher, he studied law.

From young manhood on he strove to become a man of affairs. His legal studies enabled him to enter Pennsylvania politics and he was elected to Congress in his native state. As Representative in the Lower House, he became quite prominent. President Taylor considered him the most suitable man for territorial governor of the new territory of Minnesota.  Accordingly he appointed him to that office in 1849. When Ramsey arrived in St. Paul in that same year, he found the future capital of the state a small hamlet,  consisting for the most part of bark-roofed cabins. On the few irregular streets, he saw Indians strutting about in their strange native costumes. The common currency of the territorial capital consisted of cranberries and pelts and the only methods of passenger transportation were by steamboat, Red River carts, and on horseback.

Governor Ramsey and his wife, in June, 1849, occupied as their home a cottage which stood on the south side of Third Street between Robert and Jackson streets. The executive office was in the same building. It was afterwards converted into a hotel and called The New England House.

The new territorial governor was in fact but governor of that part of Minnesota lying between the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. Casting a longing eye upon the immense
territory west of the Father of Waters, he set about to acquire a goodly portion of it. So in 1851 he succeeded by the famous Treat}' of Traverse des Sioux (St. Peter) in obtaining from the Sioux about 25,000,000 acres. The signing of the treaty was perhaps the most picturesque event that up to that time had happened in what is now Minnesota. All the chief officials of the territory, numerous traders, speculators and editors, and all the important Sioux chiefs adorned in full tribal regalia and accompanied by thousands of painted warriors were present when the red men signed away an empire to the palefaces. Very soon an army of white settlers made a blooming garden out of the rich wilderness.

As governor of the state from 1860-63 Ramsey laid the foundation of the enormous land- grants for education, favored immigration, insisted upon strict economy in state expenditure, and organized the Minnesota regiments for service in the Civil War.

In 1863 he was elected to the United States Senate. In 1879 President Hayes made him Secretary of War.

What his home city thought of Ramsey is shown by its naming a street for him, by its giving his name to the very county in which St. Paul is located, and by its electing him Mayor in 1855.  A park and a school also bear his name.


Edward Duffield Neill was born in Philadelphia in 1823 and died in St. Paul in 1893.   He was an eminent preacher, educator, and historian.

Neill was educated in the grammar school attached to the University of Pennsylvania, took two years of collegiate work at the same institution, was graduated at Amherst, and spent one year at the Andover Theological Seminary. In 1848 he was ordained a Presbyterian minister and the year following arrived in St. Paul.   So eager was he for his chosen work that in a few months he succeeded in having his church building finished. This was the first Protestant Church built in St. Paul.

This church was located on Washington Street near Fourth. It was burned in 1850 and rebuilt at Third and St. Peter streets. This was the largest building in the state at that  time.

Dr. Neill's residence was the first one to be erected in its vicinity, occupying the site on Summit Avenue where later the spacious home of  James J. Hill was erected.

It was also the first brick residence erected in the city. To the Indians bricks were a great curiosity. They watched the building rise with wonder, and even carried off some of the bricks as souvenirs or as stones upon which to sharpen knives.

In 1851 he became the first Superintendent of Instruction of the territory of Minnesota. Two years afterwards he founded the Baldwin School and the College of St. Paul (Macalester).    The House of Hope Church was organized by him in 1855 and he remained its pastor till 1859, when he resigned in order to give all his time to his duties as State Superintendent of Instruction. Neill must have been a man of forceful character and very eager for the spread and advancement of education; for, in 1858, he was made Chancellor of the University of Minnesota.

He also preached the first Thanksgiving sermon delivered in Minnesota on December 26, 1850, before a congregation composed of Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians In the light of subsequent events a sentence of his sermon was prophetic. He said: "The gates of the Rocky Mountains will be thrown open and the locomotive, groaning and rumbling from Oregon, will stop here with its heavy train, on its way to some other point."

In spite of the manifold work on Neill's shoulders, he put all his power and vigor in the work at hand. So we find him engaged from 1858 to 1861 in the tremendous task of building up the common schools and higher institutions of learning of the State of Minnesota. Among other schools established chiefly by his effort is the Teachers College at Winona.

When the Civil War broke out, nothing could keep him in civil life. He became Chaplain of the First Minnesota regiment. His services in this capacity must have called for meritorious mention; for, in 1861, Lincoln appointed him hospital Chaplain in Philadelphia. No doubt, it was here that he came into personal touch with the president, who certainly must have been very favorably impressed by Neill's work and personality because in 1864 Lincoln appointed him one of his private secretaries. Neill held the same office under President Johnson. During Grant's administration, he was sent to Dublin as U. S. Consul. Neill's heart, however, was in the struggling institution he had founded in St. Paul, namely, the College of St. Paul.   Accordingly he returned in 1870 and began the task of building up and enlarging the college which became Macalester College. He was its first president. When he felt the burden too heavy, he relinquished his post to younger and more vigorous hands and contented himself with serving as professor of history, literature and political science, which position he held till his death.

Despite his eminent services as a preacher and educator, his favorite work was historical research. He certainly could not have had much leisure in the various responsible positions he occupied, but such as it was, he spent it in delving into historical manuscripts and studying other historical sources. Being an Easterner, he naturally devoted his younger years to historical research of Eastern history, especially that of Virginia and Maryland; but, when he came to St. Paul and saw a state in the making, nothing could prevent him from making a profound study of his new home. So we find him publishing a History of Minnesota in 1858 and delivering lectures on historical subjects bearing upon Minnesota. Among them, those of special interest to students in St. Paul are:

The French Voyageurs in Minnesota during the Seventeenth Century.
Life and Writings of Hennepin.
History of Gibways (Chippewas).
Occurrences in and around Fort Snelling from 1819 to 1830.


A name that is known all over the world is that of James Jerome Hill, the empire builder. It is inseparably associated with the development of St. Paul and the Northwest.

Mr. Hill was born on a farm in Ontario, Canada, in 1838, of Scotch-Irish parentage. His early education was obtained in a district school and a local academy.    It was his good fortune, however, to come under the guidance of William Wetherald, an eminent teacher, who helped to fit him for his future career. When hut fourteen years old, on account of  the death of his father, he was compelled to leave school to work in a village store in order to help in supporting the family.

He read substantial books intensively. He studied the primitive methods of transportation on the Oriental rivers. His fancy became inflamed, and young Hill began to dream of improving the river transportation system of the near East. His resolution led him to seek the Pacific coast. The most natural gateway, even in 1856, was St. Paul. He, therefore, worked his way to St. Paul by Chicago and the Mississippi River, arriving here in July, 1856.

The last party to the Red River Valley had just left. Although stranded and without a job, he did not bemoan his fate. He became a clerk for J. W. Bass & Co., agents for the Dubuque and St. Paul Packet Company, with whom he served so well that he rose to better and more profitable positions. These years were a period of growth. Alert, gifted with an extraordinary power of observation and a marvelous memory, he gained a masterly knowledge of the prevailing transportation system. He now read standard works of a technical character which enlarged and clarified his understanding of the subject.

Industrious and upright, he saved his money and soon became one of the leading citizens of St. Paul. In 1865, he became the local manager of the Northwest Packet Company. His enterprise prospered, and he become a thriving, public-spirited business man.   His wisdom and energy had won.

Relieving in the future of the Northwest and of St. Paul as the natural distributing center for this immense region, Hill became what we call "a booster." He put a warehouse on the levee and started a general commission and forwarding business. Soon afterwards, he contracted with the St. Paul and Pacific Railway Company to handle its local freight. Foreseeing the possibilities of railroad traffic, he traveled to the Red River Valley and Winnipeg, where much of St. Paul business originated. He had no doubt of the great future of this region and awaited an opportune time for entering the railway transportation business.

In 1873, the St. Paul and Pacific Railway Company became bankrupt. Hill took advantage of this situation to interest some prominent Canadian financiers who realized the impossibility of building a railroad from Winnipeg west through Canada to the Pacific, and who were, therefore, willing to join with Hill in constructing a line through the United States. Together they bought the defaulted bonds of the bankrupt road. In 1870, the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company was eventually organized.

This company built branches in all directions through Minnesota and North Dakota, and subsequently, reached the Pacific coast in 1893. The new line from St. Paul to Puget Sound and Portland was called the Great Northern.

Mr. Hill had good reason to feel proud of his accomplishment as he achieved this gigantic success without any help from the Federal Government.

Mr. Hill was a man of ability, vision, courage, and consequently, of strength of personal character. Work is a pleasure to him. He made no excuse for himself. What he undertook, he finished. What he promised, he kept. And what lie demanded of himself, he demanded of others.

He had an appreciation of the beet in art and had a splendid collection of its treasures.  He was a student of the world's best literature. As a consequence, he built and donated to the city a magnificent building and library which bears his name.

To many of our public institutions he was a generous giver. Among these were the colleges and seminaries. From one of the colleges he received the degree of Doctor of Laws.

A life is noteworthy that accomplishes so much. A character that is unselfish and that contributes so much to the social need is noble.


Cushman Kellogg Davis was born in the state of New York in 1838 and died in 1900 in St. Paul. He was one of the most talented men that ever lived in St. Paul. Davis was nationally known as a statesman, writer on literary subjects, and as an orator.

His parents moved to Waukesha, Wis., where he spent his childhood. In 1857 he graduated from the University of Michigan. After completing a thorough course in law, he practiced in Waukesha. Joining the army in the Civil War,
he was rapidly promoted and became Adjutant General on the staff of General Gorman. As he contracted typhoid fever in the South, Davis was compelled to leave the army in 1864. Soon afterwards, in 1865, he started a law office in St. Paul. In 1867 he was elected a member of the Legislature. His forceful character and distinguished work as a lawyer soon brought him national recognition, for, in 1868, he was appointed United States district attorney for Minnesota. From 1874 to 1876 he was Governor of Minnesota. His chief merit as executive to the state was the establishment of a railway commission, which was to protect the people against excessive rates.

After his term of governor had expired he devoted his time to private practice. In 1887 he was elected United States Senator. In this higher position he distinguished himself so greatly that he was made chairman of the Committee on Pensions, and later chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations. As chairman of the Pensions Committee, he was instrumental in having a pension law enacted that put an end to excessive pensions but that was just and fair to the veterans of the Civil War. During his chairmanship of Foreign Affairs the Spanish-American war broke out. When peace was made, President McKinley appointed him as one of the Peace Commissioners. It was largely due to his influence that the United States insisted upon the relinquishment of the Philippine Islands by Spain. During his whole service as a public man, Davis was a vigorous and clear expounder of the Monroe Doctrine. When he died in 1900, both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives paid heartfelt and eloquent tribute to his services, character, and memory.
Though Davis did good work for St. Paul and Minnesota, he was more of a national character than a mere local man of eminence and standing. When the army of  Tennessee met at Lake Minnetonka, in 1884, General Grant asked Davis to deliver the principal address. The oration delivered on this occasion was heard by Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan. It was, perhaps, the most eloquent address ever given in this state. Almost equally brilliant was his famous oration on the battlefield of Gettysburg, in which he paid  tribute to what Minnesota did in the Civil War, and his address given in St. Paul at the laying of the corner-stone of the new capitol in 1898 is still remembered as the most brilliant speech ever delivered in St. Paul.

As a writer in the field of literature, Davis attracted general attention. His lectures on Modern Feudalism, Hamlet, The Law in Shakespeare, and Madame Roland are notable examples of his ability.

In view of his eminent public service, his firm stand on the side of right without regard to persons and interests, and his literary and oratorical abilities, it must be conceded that he was one of the most versatile and efficient men that has represented this city and state.

John Ireland was born in 1838 in County Kilkenny, Ireland, and died in St. Paul in 1918. When eleven years old, he came with his parents to St. Paul, where he at tended the Cathedral School. From 1853 to 1801 he was in France studying theology. Returning to St. Paul, he was ordained priest and very soon afterwards volunteered his services as Chaplain of the Fifth Minnesota Regiment. Afterwards he became rector of the St. Paul Cathedral. For a short time he served as secretary to Bishop Grace of St. Paul, who sent him to Rome in 1870 as his representative at the famous Vatican Council. In 1875 he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of St. Paul, and, on Bishop Grace's resignation in 1884, John Ireland became Bishop of St. Paul. In 1887 Bishop Ireland and his friend Bishop Keane went to Rome to consult with Leo XIII with reference to the foundation of a Catholic university in Washington, D. C. A short time afterwards he was made the first Archbishop of St. Paul. The St. Paul Catholic dignitary was a commanding personality in various important educational, economic, social, and political movements.

Perhaps the most important influence of the St. Paul archbishop was his outspoken stand for patriotism. Never did he miss an opportunity to proclaim by word and deed the obligations of patriotism. He was always in touch with men high in the national administration, being on a particularly friendly footing with President McKinley, who sent him to Europe in order to explain the American attitude as to the problems resulting from the Spanish-American war.

St. Paul was very dear to the prelate. He took an active interest in all questions and problems affecting the welfare of the city. His last tribute to St. Paul was the erection of the Cathedral, which magnificent structure on the brow of Summit Avenue is one of the glories of the city.

The archbishop was a pronounced advocate of temperance, so that his influence on this subject was felt not only in his church but as a force in politics.

Having seen much of the development of this section and of the whole Northwest, he had great faith in the progress that would follow. On the occasion of the celebration of the bicentennial of the discovery of St. Anthony Falls he gave a memorable address.

Coming to St. Paul when he was but a young man he saw not only the development of  the city, but he was a very integral factor in its life. While he fostered the educational and religious institutions of his church, he was equally interested in the promotion of the growth and welfare of the whole city. His activity' and influence were the result of great strength of character and the promptings of high ideals.

How did Governor Ramsey happen to come to St. Paul?
What kind of a town did he find St. Paul?
What did he do for the city and the state?
Has anything been done in his memory?
Was he a good man to have in office? Why?
Where did Mr. Neill serve in political life?
How was he connected with education?
What church did he build?
Why do you suppose President Lincoln liked him?
What special natural abilities did Mr. Hill have?
What personal qualities helped him to success?
What benefit are men like Mr. Hill to the city?
What offices did Mr. Davis hold?
What abilities did he have besides statesmanship?
As a senator what prominence did he attain?
Can you name some of his notable addresses?
What ran you tell of Bishop Ireland's early life?
What kind of American citizen was he?
On what special mission was he sent to Europe?
What building is a monument to his memory?

Monday, November 14, 2011

St. Paul–Chapter XVII–St. Paul, the Gateway To The Northwest

(From “St. Paul Location-Development-Opportunities” by F. C. Miller, Ph. D., Webb Book Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928)

A welcome waited for the pioneer
To make his home and empire here

Minnesota in its turn, especially after the more eastern states had been settled, offered unusual inducements to those who where willing to venture. Here was a great land of lakes and "laughing water," of forests, of fertile prairie, and fur and game, but occupied, as other states had been, by Indians. By foot and horse and stream men came to  explore, to barter, and then to abide and build homes, form a government, and launch a new ship of state.

Routes of approach for the most part followed the Mississippi. Here was the head of navigation, and here centered travel. Men of prominence came as explorers. Men in the employment of prominent business companies established trade relations. These extended on into Canada. The Indians were for the most part friendly and co-operated in such business relations as were maintained.

For the reason, therefore, that here lay an inviting territory that could be most easily reached by the Mississippi and because the site of St. Paul was the terminus of navigation, this city became at once the port or gateway to immigration and business.

In 1850 the population was 1,294. During the navigable season of 1854 as many as five or six hundred passengers are said to have arrived in one day. In May, 1857, twenty-four steamboats were lying at the levee, all crowded with passengers and baggage. In 1850 there were 838 boat arrivals, 216 of which were steamers running on the Minnesota River.

At that time St. Paul had the advantage of being practically situated on these two rivers. This advantage lessened as river transportation waned and railroads made their entrance. Yet in the time of railroad development St. Paul has retained its strategic position. These roads found natural and easy approach from all directions.

There was rapid development.   In 1860 the population had reached 10,275. As the numbers increased new industries were established, and it was soon evident that St. Paul would be a large city. In 1870 the imputation had doubled, and in 1880 it had doubled again. In 1900 the population was four times as great as in 1880, and to-day it is estimated to be 87% greater than in 1900.

After viewing this territory Jonathan Carver wrote in 1766 that "mighty kingdoms will emerge from the wilderness and stately palaces and solemn temples with gilded spires reaching to the skies will supplant the crude Indian huts." Some of our buildings approach the realization of the vision. Here, too, now flows from and to the great region that surrounds us a vast stream of the products of the field, the forest, and the mine on the one hand, and of manufactures and commodities on the other.    The city and its


hinterland have each contributed to this mutual development.

St. Paul has been called the agricultural capital of the Northwest, but it is a great center of commercial and industrial achievement also.

The number of St. Paul industries increased rapidly. Some of those that became of major importance deserve to be noticed.

The fur-manufacturing industry was a natural one in a new country abounding in many kinds of fur-bearing animals. 

General Sibley at Mendota represented the Astor Fur Company and was favorably disposed toward St. Paul. The man, however, who did most to make it a fur center was Henry M. Rice, the factor of a St. Louis fur company. He became an owner of the original site of the city and devoted his whole energy to making the town prosperous. He built  facilities for storing furs and did his utmost to bring trade. Rollette and Fischer were also instrumental in bringing fur traffic to St. Paul by providing warehouses and establishing a Red River cart route. As early as 1849 St. Paul had become the terminus of all the Red River fur trade. This industry has continued to grow and to maintain a prominent position among the city's industries.

It is not so easy to account for the presence of the boot and shoe industry. It is perhaps due to the farsightedness of a few St. Paul men who were experts in this business and who saw its great possibilities. The industry prospered and was promoted by several firms of national reputation. Its importance and extent became an asset to the city and contributed substantially to its development.

It was natural that a city so situated should become a wholesale distributing center. In the early years goods brought by river were distributed from St. Paul. As the city grew, merchandise stocks, as might be expected, were carried in the larger center. Here, too, the vision and enterprise of pioneer wholesalers can not be overestimated.

It must not be overlooked that St. Paul was the capital of the state. Here were held the sessions of the state legislature and political and other kinds of conventions. Here, too, the state business was conducted. A state capital, by the very fact that it is a capital, enjoys a trade advantage that other cities do not have.

It is impossible to enumerate the many industries and causes that have contributed to the upbuilding of the city. Not only on account of its geographic location but also on account of the vision and wisdom and energy of its pioneers St. Paul became a city of size and importance. It has been developed and beautified by those who have molded it in the later years.

Here, then, has arisen a city "beautiful for situation” and rich in its tradition, prosperous, and progressive.

Senator William H. Seward, the future Secretary of State of the martyred President, in an address in St. Paul in 1850, said that he could foresee that when the great agricultural regions of the Northwest would begin to pour forth the abundance of their munificent supplies, St. Paul would be the natural center of a vast territory that would minister to the whole world.   And so it has come to pass.

Many kinds of business have been attracted to St. Paul. Naturally, as the country about the city developed, the city developed also. The lands have, for the most part, been fertile. Limitless fields of grain have been grown. The dairy industry, also, has developed till Minnesota produces vastly more butter than any other state. Live stock has been raised in great numbers. The shipment of these products has been to this city or through it. In addition to its own market, it has been like a pass in the mountains to other markets.

It is not strange, therefore, that in this vicinity should be located two of the largest packinghouses in the world. It is clear, too, that in so central and natural a distributing point the Ford company would find a great economic advantage in assembling and shipping its products from this city.

As the Mississippi River is improved and traffic renewed, St. Paul will feel again the impetus of that advantage which Nature so generously provided in the days of its founding and which she still offers.

In this chapter we have tried to explain the advantage of the situation of St. Paul and the reasons for the location and development of some of its major industries. In another chapter we shall describe the business of the city at greater length.

Could St. Paul have been more wisely located in this region?
What arc the advantages of its location?
What natural supplier have been tributary to St. Paul?
Make a list of the manufacturing industries which you know.
Try to visit some of these and write about what you see.
Is it easy to secure skilled labor in St. Paul? Why?
What advantages does the capital of a state have?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

St. Paul–Chapter XVI–The Growing Community

(From “St. Paul Location-Development-Opportunities” by F. C. Miller, Ph. D., Webb Book Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928)

Progress, man’s distinctive mark alone.
          -Robert Browning

From records that were published in 1857 we learn that in that year there were in St. Paul five masons, four plasterers, two painters, two blacksmiths, two wheelwrights, one saddle and harness maker, one gunsmith, one tanner, one shoemaker, three bakers, and seventeen carpenters.


There were several general stores, four newspapers, a few private hanks, and two or three hotels. The first newspaper was the Minnesota Pioneer, established in 1819. The Minnesota Democrat followed in 1850. The First National Bank, the first national bank in Minnesota, was established in 1863. The St. Paul House was 20 by 28 feet, a story and a half high, and built of tamarack logs. It was in this hotel that the territory of Minnesota was organized.

For land transportation there were at first two stage lines, a "Red Line" that ran to St. Anthony, Stillwater, and Prairie du Chien, and a "Yellow Line" that ran to St. Anthony. The Northwestern Express Company was established in 1854, and in 1800 the stage business engaged 700 horses and 200 men.

Steamship companies estimated that they had brought into this territory as many as 25,000 immigrants in one season.  In fact, St. Paul was enjoying a boom, much as many other western towns have done. There was a great deal of speculation in real estate. A  newspaper reporter said that all he heard was "Land! Land! Land!"

There was a general panic throughout the country and the boom soon quieted down to the disappointment of many. But the city went forward.

Railroads came. In 1852 "The Minnesota and Pacific Railroad" was completed between St. Paul and St. Anthony. The name was then changed to the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.   In 1858 a railroad had been completed from Milwaukee to La Crosse. On July 2, 1862, the first train arrived over the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway, recently reorganized and called the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. This new inlet and outlet shortened distances and removed difficulties.

Within a few years other roads were built in various directions and St. Paul had rapid and easy means of transportation to a large surrounding territory as well as to the distant parts of the country.

The railroads are listed in the chapter on transportation. 

When the Northern Pacific was completed to the coast a great celebration was held in St. Paul at which were President Arthur, General Grant, and many other men of national prominence.

The completion of this road that connected the city with the Pacific coast was an event of momentous importance and well deserved the interest and enthusiasm that were manifested. In fact, it was an event of national importance.  The celebration was very fittingly attended by the President and other men who represented the government and the whole country. Locally, however, it was certain that St. Paul would now have coast to coast connections and that increasing commerce would promote a rapid development of the city and the territory contributory' to it.

Subsequently, during the sixties, the Second National Bank was opened, the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. was incorporated, and the Daily Dispatch was issued. Fire engines were purchased. The Grand Opera House and the Pioneer Building were erected  along with thousands of other business buildings and residences, and city waterworks were constructed. School facilities were expanded and high school courses offered. By 1868 nearly one million letters passed through the post Office in a year.

In 1858 Minnesota was admitted to the Union as a state, with St. Paul as capital. This  fact naturally tended to promote the growth of the city. 

It is a great task to build a city and especially one situated like St. Paul. Much grading must be done for streets and buildings, streets must be paved, sewers and water and gas mains constructed, bridges built, public buildings erected, and street car and railway tracks put down. The cost of such public improvements amounts to many millions of dollars.

"Rome was not built in a day." Neither are other cities. At first there were ferries for crossing the Mississippi. In 1858 the Wabasha bridge was completed. Gradually came mother city bridges and railroad bridges. The first legislature met in a hotel. Then a capitol was built, later it was replaced by another, and then by a third, till we have now a structure of magnificence.

The earliest hotels were not inviting. Better ones gradually took their places. Even the better ones, such hotels as the Windsor and the Merchants, associated with much of the city's earlier history and progress, have given way to superior accommodations.

In 1867 the Chamber of Commerce was established with 167 members. The purpose of the association was "to advance the commercial, mercantile, and manufacturing interests, and to promote the general prosperity" of the city. Later, the Board of Trade, composed mostly of merchants, was incorporated. A great deal of the growth and  prosperity of St. Paul may be attributed to the efforts of these organizations.

With the coming of more railroads and immigrants more industries and wider trade relations were secured. Eastern and foreign capital came for investment. It was evident that here was to be a great industrial and commercial center where business would be certain and capital safe.

The city was founded and developed not by men of ease who had made their fortunes but by men of adventure and hardihood who were determined to make a way in the face of hardship and difficulties. They were aggressive, "up and doing," and persistent. For the most part, too, they were men of education and character whose ideals and labors were not wholly selfish, men of enterprise, but men who eave the city also a mold of culture and distinction.

And so, from stage coach and ferry and but a city grew, not by magic but by the appeal of its location, by the trend of civilization, and by the loyalty and efforts of citizens of vision and enterprise, to be a vast acreage of tall blocks, of towering stacks, of whirring wheels, of domes and spires, of schools and colleges and churches, and of homes and boulevards and beauty.

What were some of the early means of travel?
What events narrated in this chapter do you believe were most important? Why?
What advantages and what disadvantages would there be in constructing a city on this site?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

St. Paul–Chapter XV–Beginnings of St. Paul

(From “St. Paul Location-Development-Opportunities” by F. C. Miller, Ph. D., Webb Book Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928)

The first party of painted savages who raised a few huts upon the Thames did not dream of the London they were creating.
-James Martineau

In 1840 the civil inhabitants of Fort Snelling were ordered off the reservation. Among them was Pierre Parrant, a French Canadian, who went down stream and took a holding in what is now St. Paul. He was, accordingly, the first white settler of the city.

His first claim near Fountain Cave, not far from the Omaha shops, was mortgaged for ninety dollars. He was unable to meet the mortgage and lost the property. Another claim was taken near the foot of Robert Street. He sold it for ten dollars.   It is now worth millions.

Though Parrant had a reputation for boldness and courage, he was, according to all accounts, by no means a man of fine appearance.   The early pioneers, just like school boys, were never backward in giving their companions nicknames which frequently were accurate estimates of character.  Very often some physical defect was cleverly used to inflict on a person a name that stuck to him till death. So it came to pass that Parrant, who had a defective eye, was called Pig's Eye.   Though that name was descriptive of the first settler, it was not an appropriate name for the infant settlement, bordered by the stately Mississippi and the gloriously wooded slopes and crowns of crags, battlements, and bluffs of the St. Paul Gorge.   Despite this contradiction of name and fact, the present capital city of the State of Minnesota started its career with the crude frontier name Pig's Eye.

For two or three years St. Paul suffered from this infliction, though the little settlement showed vigorous signs of life. In 1841, Father Gaultier succeeded in building a small log-house chapel near Bench Street, in the vicinity of Third Street and Jackson Street and dedicated it to St. Paul, the apostle of nations. The worthy priest, resenting the coarse name of Pig's Eye for the village in which his church was located, proposed as a substitute the name of St. Paul. His suggestion was welcomed and the infant city received the name of St. Paul, though the name of Pig's Eye continued to be used by some of the rougher frontiersmen for some time. Before the name of St. Paul became permanent, the place was also frequently called St. Paul's Landing. The original Indian name was Innijiska, sometimes spelled Imnijaska, meaning White Rock.

Benjamin and Pierre Gervais were the next settlers to arrive, July, 1838. It was Benjamin who bought Parrant's second claim for ten dollars. He afterwards sold or donated this land and took up a claim on the lake that now bears his name.

Edward Phelan, Joseph Hays, and William Evans arrived soon afterwards. In 1839 many persons arrived and settled in what is now St. Paul.

When A. L. Larpenteur arrived at the levee in St. Paul in 1843 with a stock of groceries, he, or rather his supplies,were greeted with welcoming shouts by the whole population of St. Paul, which consisted at that time of about twelve white persons and two or three hundred Indians. In addition to a number of Indian lodges, there were only three or four log houses in the future capital city of Minnesota.

An early writer of the history of St. Paul says that in 1843 St. Paul "was a mixture of forests, hills, running brooks, ravines, bog-mires, lakes, mosquitoes, snakes, and Indians."  The road on Third Street from Jackson Street to Wabasha  Street was almost impassable on account of the thick underbrush and dense forest. North of Fourth Street, travel was almost out of the question on account of swamps and bogs. Near the old Capitol was a splendid waterfall, the waters of which found their way by many twists and turns to a lake on Eighth Street near Robert Street, in which the Indians and hardy white pioneers caught many fish. The waters of this lake found their way to the river by way of a gulch near Robert Street.

Up to 1846 there had not been much river traffic to and from St. Paul, but in that year the traffic increased to such an extent that St. Paul became one of the "points" (regular stopping places) of the river with much more frequent service. The river traffic grew Steadily till about 1858, and, though the Civil War affected it seriously, it continued till about 1862, in which year the first railroad in the state was built between St. Paul and St. Anthony (East Minneapolis). After railroads entered the state, the river traffic languished.

Up to 1849 the only way to get in or out of Minnesota (which then had about 1,000 inhabitants) was by way of the Mississippi, its branches, and Lake Superior. There were no stage lines or railroads; in fact, there were no roads that could be called roads. The river trip from St. Paul to St. Louis took from 25 to 30 days. The fuel used on the  steamers was wood, which was frequently chopped down by the passengers of the boat, if they were in a hurry to reach their destination.

The land conveyances were exceedingly primitive. To travel by wagon was impossible on account of the total lack of passable roads. A good horseman, however, could manage to make his way on the open prairie, some of the main Indian trails, and, in low water, on river bottoms. For freight, the only efficient land vehicle was the Red River cart.


The Red River carts were so named because a good stretch of the trail, between the Canadian Northwest and St. Paul, was in the Red River Valley. It is said that these carts were first made about 1800 and are still used to-day for the transportation of furs in the extreme northwestern sections of Canada that are distant from modern means of transportation. During the infancy of St. Paul the arrival of 150 to 200 Red River carts loaded with furs and drawn by oxen or ponies was one of the red-letter days for old and young. The excitement to-day incident to the coming of a big circus fades into insignificance compared to the excitement caused by the arrival of the Red River carts in the struggling jumping-off place called St. Paul in the forties and fifties of the nineteenth century. When the carts arrived in the latter part of August or early in September, the population of St. Paul, men, women, and children, neglected and abandoned all work in their eagerness to see several hundred (sometimes close to a thousand) carts line up on Third Street in charge of their fantastically clothed half-breed drivers, who, with their savage whoops and shouts, almost awoke the dead in the primitive churchyard a short distance away.

The carts were entirely made of wood and leather without a nail or scrap of iron. The two wheels simply consisted of well-seasoned wood that had been bent into the required circular shape. Between the wheels and resting upon the axle was a large wooden box into which a load of almost a thousand pounds of fur could easily be packed. The oxen or ponies were attached to the carts by wide belts of buffalo or deer hide. As the wooden axles and wheels were never lubricated, the noise made by the moving carts could be  heard for some distance. The boys and girls of St. Paul had sharp ears for the creaking and squeaking of these queer vehicles. No threat or punishment could prevent them from making a bee line to the source of the hideous noise.

The northern terminus of the Red River carts was Pembina or Winnipeg. The distance traveled by them per day was from twelve to fifteen miles. The route usually taken  as up the Red River to Big Stone Lake and then along the Minnesota River by way of Traverse des Sioux (St. Peter) to St. Paul. Sometimes a detour was made by way of Otter Tail and Sauk Rapids.

The drivers of the carts lived largely on pemmican, which consisted of dried, chopped-up buffalo-meat mixed with buffalo-fat. The mixture was then pounded and pressed into bags made of buffalo hide. Occasionally, however, when the oxen or ponies were resting and game was easy to obtain, a change of fresh meat was eagerly sought The cargo brought by these carts to St. Paul consisted chiefly of various furs and buffalo robes. The outgoing cargo from St. Paul was largely tea, tobacco, alcohol, and hunters' supplies. The importance to St. Paul of the Red River cart traffic may be judged from the fact that merchants adjusted their credits in such a way that they were not expected to pay their bills till a certain date after the arrival of the Red River carts.   Even personal accounts were, as a rule, not pressed until the squeaking and creaking Red River carts were on their home-bound trail to the Northwestern wilds of Minnesota and Canada.

The Minnesota Democrat of July 13, 1851, said: 'The great Red River caravan will he here on Thursday or Friday. It consists of 102 carts laden with buffalo skins, moccasins, leggings, coats, ornaments, curiosities, and pemmican."  The business made possible by such a caravan was an important asset to St. Paul. It reflects one phase of the  city's beginnings very vividly.

The first school in St. Paul was not a public school but a Protestant Mission School.   A missionary at Kaposia (South St. Paul) alarmed at the utter lack of educational and religious facilities for the growing generation wrote to the Governor of Vermont for help in procuring a Christian teacher for the young in the frontier village of St. Paul.   And as the nearest bookstore was fully 300 miles away from St. Paul, the missionary requested also that she bring school books along from the cultured Green Mountain State.   In accordance with this request, the governor sent Miss Harriet Bishop to St. Paul.   She is said to have been a typical New Englander, positive, determined, and non-compromising. At the Same time she was a devoted worker in her chosen field. Many are the hardships that she cheerfully bore for the sake of the religion and education of her pupils.   No blinding blizzard could keep her from her beloved school.   Nor could a skulking savage, in full war paint, frighten her from the trail to the school house.   The work she did in the  desolate river town in the Wild West can hardly be overestimated. It was no doubt back-breaking and discouraging work to teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and the  fundamentals of the Protestant religion to the half-savage children. Still this was comparatively easy toil compared with the desperate work Miss Bishop was compelled to do in making her pupils clean, wholesome, and courteous civilized human beings. She knew nothing of discouragement and had no idea of failure. Her influence for good in this wild outpost of advancing civilization was very great. She was the first torch-bearer of the culture of the East, the first transmitter of the wisdom of the ages on the banks of the upper Mississippi. If we consider the results she attained, we are filled with wonder when we examine the scanty means at her disposal and her more than primitive school environment.

Miss Bishop describes her schoolroom in these words: "A little log hovel, covered with bark and chinked with mud, previously used as a blacksmith shop. Dimensions 10 x 12.

On three sides of the interior of the humble cabin pegs were driven into the logs, upon which boards were laid for seats. A seat reserved for visitors was made by placing one end of a plank between cracks in the logs and the other end upon a chair. A cross-legged, rickety table in the center and a hen's nest in the corner completed the furniture."

In 1853, Dr. Edward D. Neil! established the Baldwin School, situated at Fifth and Washington streets, and named in honor of Matthew Baldwin, founder of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, who contributed to the erection and maintenance of the school. This school was intended for girls, but "lads" were admitted. The first year 43 girls and 26 boys attended. Anna M. Paul was principal, and Mary K. Brewster and Harriet A. Kellogg, assistants.

Two years later a department was organized for boys.  This department deveIoped finally into Macalester College, while the department for girls became Oak Hall, which is, therefore, the oldest exclusive girls' school in the city, except St. Joseph's Academy, which was founded in 1851.

Churches and schools usually develop side by side. In St. Paul the church was first.  Under the direction of Rev. Lucian Gaultier a Catholic church was erected at Third and Jackson streets.   Then came the first school in 1847. In 1847 St. Paul was just a small frontier town. Says Miss Bishop: "It must be borne in mind that St. Paul was a small trading post, giving as yet no sign of its unprecedented growth. The council fires of the  red men were but just extinguished on the east side (north side of the Mississippi) and were still brightly blazing on the opposite side of the river. Our village was almost daily thronged with Indians where they frequently encamped in larger numbers than the entire adult [white] male population of the Territory," The first Protestant church (Presbyterian) was erected in 1849 on Washington street near Fourth, with Rev. Edward D. Neill as pastor. The Methodist Episcopal denomination occupied a neat brick edifice in December of that same year, and soon afterwards the Protestant Episcopal and Baptist denominations erected buildings.

It was not till 1849 that the town of St. Paul was divided into three districts and the first  three public schools established. One of them was in the basement of a church, another in the lecture-room of a preacher, and the third was erected on a lot donated by W. H. Randall.

In the year 1840 St. Paul was incorporated as a town by Act of the Legislature. The same act created Ramsey County and made St. Paul the county seat. The corporate limits contained about ninety acres. Its present area is a little more than fifty-five square miles, or 35,482 acres. In other words, it is 391 times as large at present as when it was incorporated, and the present value of its real estate is approximately four hundred millions.

On March 4, 1854 St. Paul was incorporated as a city. In 1856 the vicinity of St. Paul was devastated of crops by a swarm of Rocky Mountain locusts that darkened the sky and caused terror. Wagon loads of these insects were shoveled off the streets and damped into the river.

Interesting First Facts of Saint Paul
First settler Pierre Parrant 1838
First wedding James R.CIewett and Rose Perry 1839
First white child born Basil Gervais 1839
First Catholic church At Third and Jackson Sts. 1841
First priest Rev. Lucian Gaultier 1841
First postmaster Henry Jackson 1846
First school teacher Harriet Bishop 1847
First school house at Third and St. Peter Sts. 1847
First physician and druggist Dr. John J. Dewey 1847
First hotel J. W. Bass 1847
First tax assessment $85,000 1849
First Protestant church On Washington St. near Fourth 1849
First Protestant pastor Rev. Edward D. Neill 1849
First brick residence Erected by Rev. Edward D. Neill 1849
First newspaper Minnesota Pioneer 1849
First Editor James M. Goodhue 1849
First 4th of July Celebration 1849
First Methodist Church Market St. opposite Rice Park 1849
First Thanksgiving Sermon Edward D. Neill 1850
First courthouse and jail At Washasha and Fourth Sts. 1851
First School for Girls St. Joseph's Academy 1851
First School for Boys Cretin 1851
First railroad St. Paul and Pacific 1852
First mayor David Olmstead 1854
First fire department Pioneer Hook and Ladder Co. 1855
First superintendent of schools   Edward D. Neill 1856
First police headquarters Adjacent to Rice Park 1857
First city directory 1,700 names 1857
First bridge across the Mississippi At Wabasha Street 1858
First Telegraph Message To Secretary W. H. Seward 1860

Who was the first settler in St. Paul?
Who proposed the present name for the city?
What was the first railroad built to the city? When?
On what transportation had we depended before railroads came?
Tell about the Red River traffic and carts.
What was the first school in St. Paul?
In what year was the city incorporated?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

St. Paul – Chapter XIV – Indian Stories

(From “St. Paul Location-Development-Opportunities” by F. C. Miller, Ph. D., Webb Book Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928)
In even savage bosoms
There are longings, yearnings, strivings
For the good they comprehend not.
                   --Henry W. Longfellow


In the early fifties, there were still many Indians in and about St. Paul. Perhaps the best known was a Sioux squaw who was called "Old Bets" by the whites. She lived near Mendota and was almost a daily visitor in St. Paul, selling moccasins and bouquets of wild flowers. Old Bets had a friendly smile for everybody. She became, despite her grotesque shape and deeply furrowed face, a great favorite among the people of St. Paul. Hardly anybody whom she accosted refused to buy from her or give her some money when she asked for "kosh-poppy" (Sioux for "money"). Few people who saw her waddle along Third Street thought that this old, unattractive squaw had a romantic past.

Old Bets had been a young, lithesome Indian maid. Many a warrior had cast wistful glances at the handsome, fawn-like girl. She, however, had eyes for only one, a young brave who had distinguished himself not only in the annual buffalo chase but also on the field of battle against the hated Chippewas on the other side of the Mississippi. Her brother, however, a medicine man of great parts and almost supreme influence among the Sioux at the mouth of the Minnesota River, was violently opposed to the warrior's union with his sister. The Indian maid became sad and sorrowful.  She, who had been the sunshine of her father's lodge forgot to laugh, forgot to hum the loved Indian tunes.. [1-2 words illegible] silent shadow, shunned her merry, youthful companions, and sought solace for her great sorrow in the deep and dusky forest surrounding the wigwams of the Sioux band.

One day, however, during the Indian summer, when Manitou is always gracious to his dusky children, she met her lover in a dense grove near the bank of the Minnesota
River. The two lovers were delighted to see each other, and both gave fervid thanks to Manitou, the friend of loving couples. Their frenzied joy, however, was tempered by the
thought of speedy parting. Both became sad and sorrowful. But why part? Did the Indian god not favor their love? So the two resolved to flee as a married couple.

Early next morning, long before sunrise, the young warrior and his bride fled westward on fleet Indian ponies. Though anxious and fearsome at the start, they soon became happy and hopeful as the galloping horses put mile after mile between the hard-hearted medicine man and the loving couple.

In the meantime, a little after sunrise, the angry brother had discovered the flight of his sister with the man he hated. With a few trusty warriors, on the fleetest ponies of the Sioux camp, the ferocious medicine man rode furiously, rage and revenge in his heart, on the trail that led westward.  The tomahawk concluded the flight and the story, but the bereaved woman never forgot her lover.


In the spring of 1851, a dead Indian was found near Third Street. To judge from the wounds inflicted no white man could have been the murderer. The sheriff, having been informed of the crime, was determined to bring the murderer to justice. Accordingly, he hastened with a strong guard of soldiers to a camp of Indians nearby.

The Indians were quietly cooking their supper and were conversing with one another in low tones when the sheriff arrived. A few stragglers in front of the camp hurried to the approaching official and asked him and his party to come into camp and partake of the supper that was just about ready. The sheriff thanked the hospitable Indians for their kindness and said that he and his party could not, to their sorrow, enjoy the delicacies offered, because he had come on a very serious errand that brooked no delay. In the meantime a number of other Indian warriors had come from the inner camp who were wondering at the presence of the pale-face chief and his soldiers. The situation seemed to become rather serious; still the sheriff's sixth sense told him that the Indians had no intentions of opposing him in doing his duty. At the same time he thought that frankness and promptness would be the best policy. Consequently, he told the throng of savages what had happened and what he wanted. Scarcely had the sheriff finished his short address when a big hulking Indian pressed himself forward toward the sheriff and said in a distinct, matter of fact way: "You want to know who killed the vile carrion you found? I did, pale-face chief. I did. My name is Standing Rock."

The self-confessed slayer submitted peacefully to arrest and quietly followed the dread officer of the law to his carpenter shop, for in 1851 the frontier town could not yet boast of a jail. Here he was detained about ten days till the grand jury met. Standing Rock did not, for a minute, entertain the idea of jail breaking. That was not a man's part. A  tenderfoot might have tried and surely would have succeeded, for there was nothing between the prisone and freedom but a rickety windowlatch.

He was indicted for murder, but, upon promising the grand jury to return upon a certain day for trial, he was released. Standing Rock, cutting a number of notches into a stick, equal to the number of days to the date of his trial, quietly withdrew and went hunting with his tribe.   To the surprise of everybody, the Indian appeared on the day agreed upon, ready for trial.   And, as his case was not called for about a week, Standing Rock came every morning, sat quietly on a doorstep, and awaited the summons of the court. Neither the blazing sun nor two rainstorms could make him budge. When some half-breeds passed by and told him what a fool he was to await pale-face justice, he calmly replied: "A man must keep his word."   When he was finally called, he gave a true account of the incident, and the jury, without retiring, found him not guilty.   Standing Rock had not committed murder at all. He had simply carried out the order of the tribe, which had found the victim guilty of a crime highly offensive to both the rude pioneers and the simple-minded Indians, and which was punishable by death according to Indian customs.


In the early pioneer days, the Indians were treated with more respect than now.   To some extent they were considered fully the equals of the white settlers.   The Indians on the Minnesota frontier, though somewhat contaminated by white vices, were still a sturdy, dignified, and haughty race, proud of their blood, proud of their land, proud of their tribal past and traditions, and proud of their honor.   They were a people who kept their promises, a people who believed in "a square deal," and a people who did not know what the terms "fear" and "cowardice" meant.   These traits which the best of the white pioneers themselves possessed could hardly help but appeal to most of the white settlers.   Consequently, in early days Indians and whites freely intermingled, and  practically all public places of entertainment and amusement were open to the Indians.    Such treatment found a responsive chord in the heart of the Indians, and, accordingly, they always tried to act, speak, and behave, as much as possible, as white gentlemen.   History bears out the fact that they did so, unless they were intoxicated or had been taken advantage of by white scoundrels or their tribal animosities against other Indians had been dangerously aroused. It was, therefore, a common sight in the pioneer days to see Indians frequent white hotels, ask for white entertainment, ready to pay white prices.

holeinthedayOne day in the early fifties there walked into a St. Paul
hotel "Hole-in-the-Day," a Chippewa chief, a man of imposing presence. With commanding personality, the Indian chief, with his blanket wound about him like a Caesar or a Bruins with his toga, stepped forward, greeted the assembled guests with a friendly "Booshy nechee" (How do friend?) and took a seat in the lobby.

Presently dinner was announced and, while the white guests rushed pell-mell into the dining room, he betook himself to the same place, in quiet manner, in accord with the dignity of a chief of the Chippewas.  Taking a vacant seat near an open window the chief sat down and partook slowly of the food placed before him. And then he wondered whether his squaw and papooses would be safe during his short absence, whether the hated Sioux might not make a raid and rob him of all he loved best.

The window opposite his table suddenly being darkened, Hole-in-the-Day looked up and saw a party of Sioux warriors, in full war paint, passing by outside and casting hostile glances at him. A white newspaper man who was sitting near the renowned chief became rather nervous at the sight of shining knives and glittering tomahawks and left the table for a more restful place.   Hole-in-t he-Day, however,peacefully proceeded with his meal. Even when the door opened and thirty Sioux braves entered the dining room and paraded with insolent bravado in front of him, the Chippewa chief remained calm. After having  leisurely finished his meal, he rose, like Cato in the Roman senate, and, wrapping his blanket about him, walked in front of the bloodthirsty enemies of his tribe, and, slowly lighting his calumet, blew the smoke into the very faces of the hated Sioux and stalked quietly out of the hotel. The dumbfounded Sioux did not dare attack the brave Hole-in-the-Day, lest the Great White Father's braves at Fort Snelling would indict fearful punishment.

Hole-in-the-Day never forgot the deadly danger he had been in on that day, and, swearing bloody vengeance, he is reported to have come frequently to St. Paul in his canoe, where he would cross the river, hide his craft, await passing Sioux, slink u|pon them, slay them, and depart safely with their scalps to the sheltering cliffs of St. Paul.


Indians never forgive. They know no such word as apology. "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" is a fundamental Indian principle.

On the other hand, the Indian never forgets kindness shown to him. Do him a trifling favor and he will be your friend. Feed him when he is hungry, house and nurse him when he is sick or disabled, and he will risk his life for you if you should happen to be in distress or danger.

To the Indian ingratitude is a deadly sin, that Manitou, the Great Spirit, not only frowns upon but punishes with everlasting torture. Bloody revenge for wrongs and undying gratitude for kindness and friendly help are almost the sum-total of Indian philosophy.

What has been said is shown by the following substantially true account of Chaska, the bravest warrior of Little Crow of Kaposia (South St. Paul) and his white friend, George Spencer, a merchant of Yellow Medicine, a small pioneer settlement on the head waters of the Minnesota River.

One winter evening in 1860, just before Christmas, the snow storm that had been raging all day long turned into a blizzard. The wind was howling over the bleak prairies and piling up the snow into almost impassable drifts. Spencer's little store was almost buried under a thick cover of snow and the rude shack was trembling and swaying to and fro. The wind that was coming through the cracks of the rough boards had blown out one candle and Spencer was afraid that the other one also might be blown out. That it might not be blown out, he was just about to put it in an iron pot, when there came a loud knocking at the  door.

Mrs. Spencer began to scream. Her husband tried to comfort her, rushed to the door, and shouted: "What is it?   Who are you?   What do you want?" A feeble voice from outside answered: "Me Indian. Me cold.   Open door!"

Mrs. Spencer almost collapsed with fright. "Don't be afraid, Josie. It is some poor Indian. I must let him in. He'll freeze stiff if I don't. Here, sit down. No danger. My gun is loaded. Now, Josie, be quiet. I must let him in."

Spencer opened the door and in fell an Indian, all but dead. Mrs. Spencer, though far from being composed, saw at a glance that no possible harm could come to her. So she helped her husband to make the Indian comfortable. The sturdy savage, accustomed to wind and storm, fully recovered in a day or two.

When he left he thanked his kind white rescuers and told them that he was Chaska from Kaposia, far, far away, on the banks of the Mississippi, that Kaposia was but a short trail from White Cliffs (St. Paul), and that Manitou would not let him forget what his pale-face friends had done for him.

Two years afterwards, the Sioux tribes under Little Crow rose against the whites. They spread terror to the settlers of the middle and upper course of the Minnesota River. Settlers on outlying farms were mercilessly slain. Scalping parties brought horror, dismay, and death to the whole region. Even the towns were not safe. New Ulm
and several other settlements were almost captured by the Indians.

One war-party of Sioux, among whom was Chaska, had gone westward on its bloody trail as far as Yellow Medicine. An early morning attack had been planned. Chaska dreaded the fate of the Spencers. Compelled to keep his desire to save them and their friends from his tribesmen, he hurried on with them, ready to save their lives at any cost. Some of the braves were a little suspicious of him. Though he gave the Sioux war-whoop with the same ferocity as they gave it, they had never seen him kill any white person.

Though Chaska tried to rush on, the warriors crowded about him and kept him back. When Yellow Medicine was reached their blood-thirst got the better of their suspicion and they ran upon the defenseless men, leaving Chaska behind. After a little, he ran with incredible swiftness to Spencer's store. The door had been smashed and the windows were broken. He rushed into the house and was just in time to throw himself between the Spencers and the blood-reeking savages. He succeeded in beating them off and bringing the Spencers to the timbered bottom lands of the Minnesota River. Here he hid them, brought them water and told them to stay until he returned. He himself went back to the fray and at the risk of his life saved a  number of other whites from the frenzy of the drunken Indians. Having obtained a keg of "fire-water," the Sioux were soon so drunk that Chaska had little trouble to bring the Spencers and the other survivors of the massacre to safe quarters.

Shortly afterwards General Sibley came with his hastily gathered troops and put an end to the Sioux uprising.
Chaska's tribesmen never forgot what he had done for their pale-face enemies. Afraid to murder him openly, they finally succeeded in secretly poisoning him.

Chaska's widow, shunned and hated by the Indians, was left by them to shift for herself and her papooses. She lived in the Indian village near Mendota.

General Sibley and other St. Paul men tried to secure a pension for her from the government. When they failed in this, they themselves housed, fed, and clothed her and her children. But Lucy, as she was known in St. Paul, was too proud to accept charity, so she made moccasins and trapped game, which she readily sold in St. Paul.

Tell the romantic story of Old Bets.
What good traits did Standing Rock show?
Why did the Sioux not attack Hole-in-the-Day?
What noble trait did Chaska exhibit?

Friday, September 30, 2011

St. Paul – Chapter XIII – Chippewas and Sioux

(From “St. Paul Location-Development-Opportunities” by F. C. Miller, Ph. D., Webb Book Publishing Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, 1928)
Those intrepid and unflinching men
Who knew no homes save ever-moving tents
                                   --Ella Wheeler Wilcox

When white men first came to the vicinity of St. Paul, they found the territory occupied by two powerful tribes of Indians, the Chippewas, occupying, in general, the lands east of the Mississippi, and the  Dakotas, or Sioux, occupying the lands west of it.


The Chippewas belong to that great group of Indian tribes called by the early French explorers the Algonquins, who had occupied all the territory on the Atlantic coast from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the James River in Virginia and extended westward to the Mississippi River and north to Lake Itasca and Hudson Bay.

In their midwestern home the Chippewas lived almost without exception in forests.  Their wooded territory was full of lakes and streams. Here, living in tepees and villages, they found food, shelter, and clothing.

Their history is principally a record of wars against those tribes that pressed them from the East and the Sioux who confronted them on the West. Defeated in the East, they were, nevertheless, successful in driving and keeping the Sioux to the West of the Mississippi.   The struggle between these two tribes for possession of this immediate site was a bitter one and engendered a lasting hatred. Two scenes of battles, pioneer writers say, arc Battle Creek Park and Mendota.

Like practically all other Indians, the Chippewas lived by hunting, trapping, fishing, and, to a small extent, by raising corn and pumpkins. Within the woods were moose, bear, elk, and deer. Their weapons were bows made of hard wood or bone, sharp stone-headed arrows, and spears tipped with sharp bone points. Animals were trapped or caught in dead-falls, and fish were taken in nets made of the inner bark of cedar and basswood and nettle fibers. Knives were made from the ribs of moose and awls from the thigh bone of the

Clothing was made of furs and hides. Roughly shaped kettles and pots were made of  clay. Wigwams were made by bending over and twisting together young trees and covering them with hides.   A hanging mat sufficed for a door.

Compared to the conveniences of white people nearly all their tools and implements were very crude. In three respects, however, they have excelled the palefaces. The moccasin, the snowshoe, and the birch-bark canoe could hardly be improved for such a life as Indians lived.

Although harsh and cunning in warfare, the Chippewas were strictly honest and very hospitable. The peaceful stranger was sacred and the best they had was given to him.

When the French explorers came into contact with the Chippewas, they were received with open arms. These explorers and missionaries captured their hearts by kind and considerate treatment. It was only later that adventurers of other nations unfortunately did a good deal to engender in them a hatred against the whole white race.

The coming of the white man had a profound influence on the monotonous life of the  Chippewas. They threw away their crude kettles and pots for copper and brass ware. Instead of bows and arrows and spears, they used the gun, the steel knife, and the metal tomahawk. Instead of taking game for use only, the value of the skins of fur-bearing animals became an incentive to become butchers and trappers.   Vast numbers of animals were killed.

Changes were also made in then manner of dress and in their personal habits. Firewater became a curse. Diseases that had been unknown were now contracted. And yet in many respects the white man exerted a beneficial influence.

The Indians were taught mercy and charity; and churches, schools, and hospitals were provided for them. The government also, for the most part, gave them very fair treatment. In the short space of a generation, however, it could not be expected that they should  make the same progress which it had taken centuries for the white man to make. In the struggle between the two races they were destined to failure to keep pace with the trend of civilization and were gradually removed to reservations.

The treaty of Fort Snelling, made in 1837, provided that a large part of their lands east of the Mississippi should be ceded to the federal government. In 1847 another treaty was made by which more lands were ceded.   Henry M. Rice,  former U. S. Senator, of St. Paul, was one of the commissioners who induced the Indians to sign this treaty. In other treaties they disposed of all their lands and they were placed on reservations in the northern part of the state.

Hole-in-the-Day was one of the most prominent Chippewa chiefs. In 1851 he addressed a public meeting in St. Paul and complained bitterly of the wrongs he believe that his
people had suffered. He charged that they had to go too far to receive their money and that poor food producing disease had been dealt out to them.

The following is taken from this speech.

"Though we have sold the greatest portion of our lands, we have gained nothing by it. We are poorer than ever. The more treaties we make, the more miserable we become."

The chief family names of the Chippewas were Loon, Bear, Crane, Martin, Catfish, Wolf, Kagle, Rattlesnake, Goose, Lynx, Cormorant, Beaver, Reindeer, and Merman.


During the early days of St. Paul the Sioux, or Dakotas, lived on the west side of the  Mississippi. They were a very large tribe, occupying the vast area from the upper Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains. They regarded themselves as the most powerful Indian nation. Indeed, they were of the opinion, before their chiefs hail visited the Great Father at Washington, as they were accustomed to call the President, that the United Dakota nation, under the leadership of their best war chiefs, would prove more than a match for the white invaders.

The territory in which they lived, unlike that of the Chippewas, was almost free of timber except near watercourses and in the foothills of the Rockies. The Sioux in this region were, therefore, aptly named Prairie Indians.

Before these Indians disposed of their lands to the   government they lived almost exclusively by hunting and fishing and on wild plants, berries, fruit, deer, buffaloes, wild ducks, and geese. In swampy regions and  shallow lakes and river bottoms they gathered wild rice.

SiouxChiefIt was a unique custom when an Indian chief or his head men visited another settlement for the resident chief to serve dog meat as a delicacy out of respect for his guests. The Sioux had summer houses and winter houses. The summer house was a rude structure made of bark supported by a framework of poles.   When they secured their supply of meat they built winter tepees of buffalo skins. About twelve poles formed the framework which was covered with eight buffalo skins, fastened together with sinews. The floor was covered with hay on which buffalo robes were spread. Such a tepee was comfortably warm even in the coldest weather.

Their axes and knives were made of stone. Their arrows and spears were headed with deer horn, stones, and the white ligament of the neck of the buffalo, which became hard like iron.   The tough skin from the neck of the tortoise furnished bowstrings.

They cooked their food in earthen vessels which they made, or placed it on skin or bark in a hole in the ground where it was cooked by means of heated stones. The stomach of the deer was used for carrying water, fish bones served for combs, and a bone from the forearm of a small animal was used as an awl.

In pottery, the Sioux women did superior work. They also produced works of art in ornamentation and weaving.  They made yarn from the tough outer coating of nettles or from bass wood hark which had been softened by boiling.

Custom and public opinion were their only laws. They, too, like the Chippewas were affected with some of the white man's vices, but were sharers also in many of his efforts to assist them to a better life.


The principal treaty with these Indians was made in 1851. They had a magnificent rich empire that was eagerly coveted by the whites. The lands given up consisted of nearly twenty-four million acres of the most fertile land in the Mississippi and Minnesota  valleys.   For this immense territory a little more than $3,000,000 was agreed to be paid, something like twelve cents an acre. The Indians were to be paid in annuities.

On the announcement of the signing of this treaty, The Pioneer of July 31,1851, said: "The news of this treaty exhilarates our town. It is the greatest event in the history of the territory. We behold now clearly the red savages vanishing, and, in their place, a thousand farms, waving wheat fields, villages and cities, and railroads with trains of cars rumbling afar off."

Thus they, too, were compelled to fall back before the advance of civilization, and, like the Chippewas, to find their home on government reservations. It was too much to expect that they could be assimilated. No hunting tribes can withstand the coining of agriculture.  An Indian family needs something like sixteen square miles to make a living, while a white family can do so on forty acres.

Wabasha and Little Crow were two of the most conspicuous Sioux chiefs.


Except for a few names of towns, streets, and lakes nothing remains from the Indian occupation. Practically their only impression was that which they made upon their own times.

Their lot was inevitable.   Walt Whitman says:-
“I see swarms of stalwart chieftains, medicine men, and warriors,
Ah, flitting like ghosts, they pass and are gone in the twilight."
It is, however, gratifying that with only rare exceptions they were treated fairly by the whites and the government. Nothing reflects more credit upon St. Paul than the fact that her leading pioneer settlers, such as Ramsey, Kittson, Sibley, Rice, Neill, Marshall, and others were firm friends of the Red Man. Both as private citizens and as officials they did everything in their power to deal justly and fairly with the Chippewas and the Sioux. They frowned on all efforts of unscrupulous whites who regarded the Indians as legitimate prey. When their personal influence was insufficient, they used the force of the law to protect them. In cases of want and distress they helped with food, clothing, and care.


They even made efforts to educate them and to train them in the culture of crops and other fundamentals of white civilization.

Even the Indian trader, according to General Sibley, was fair and friendly with the Indians.  Sibley says, "The reliance of the savage upon his trader became almost without limit. The white man was the confidant and sharer of his joys and his sorrows and his influence was, therefore, almost boundless, an influence sometimes used to accomplish selfish and unworthy purposes, but more frequently employed for the benefit of the Indian himself." When Indians were sick, the trader often loaned them money and provided care for them.

The Indians themselves have attributed much of their hospitality, or at least the suppression of overt antagonism towards the whites, to the influence of the Christian missionaries who taught them to have mercy and charity.   There is no doubt that the doctrine of peace and good will had a good influence on their attitude and conduct.   Less bloodshed was the result.   But the common occupation of the same territory by whites and Indians was impossible.   The modes of life and the ambitions of the two peoples were too different to exist together.   The consequence was that the Red Man had to withdraw.   It was a repetition of the world-old principle of supremacy by the superior nation.   More and more the Indians were compelled to retreat before the on-coming of civilization.   They became wards of the government, living on reservations and in a less natural environment.   Their numbers have, therefore, gradually diminished. A few of each of these tribes are, however, still living in St. Paul.

Why were these two tribes enemies?
How did the lands they occupied affect their life?
What causes account for their passing away?
Where can you find some Indian relics?
Write a story about them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Early Bath County, Virginia Marriages

from Annals of Bath County, Virginia, Oren Frederic Morton, Staunton, Va.: McClure Co., 1917
Armstrong, John (Polly Crawford) – 1790
Armstrong, John (Jane Kincaid of Robert)—1797
Armstrong, Archibald (Nancy Scott)—1797
Baxter, William (Margaret Toms)—1788
Beard, Robert (Sarah Mitchell of James)—1785
Berry, John (Janet Given)—1790
Betty (Beaty), Andrew (Agnes Sitlington of John)—1786
Black, William (—) —1764
Black, Alexander (Mary Ann Ham)—1793
Black, George (Elizabeth Miller of Patrick)—1796
Bourland, William (Sarah Dean—or Mary?)—1786
Bratton, James (—) --1774
Bratton, Adam  (Elizabeth Feamster of Thomas)—1788
Bratton David (Agnes Kirk of John)-- 1799
Brown, Josiah (Jane Waddell)—1801
Burns, Peter (Jane Miller)—1789
Burns, John (Margaret Monroe)—1801
Burns, Polly (James McCourt)--1792
Burns, Eva (John Miller)—1791
Burnside, Alexander (Elizabeth Gilliland of John)—1800
Carlile, John (---) —1762
Callison, Mary of Daniel   (Benjamin  Delany)—1801
Clark, Samuel (Jane Mathews of Sampson)—1790
Cleek, Elizabeth (Daniel McGlaughlin of John)—1795
Cleek, Sophia (William Hartman)—1801
Cleek, Margaret, (Benjamin Potts)—1792
Coffey, Margaret of James (John McWilliams)—1781
Corbett, Mary of Samuel (Joseph Chestnut)—1794
Crawford, William (Martha Cooper)—1786
Crawford, James (Mary ——) —1786
Crow, Thomas (Nancy Donally of Charles)—1789
Davis, James (Ann Estill)—1786
Dean, John (—) —1758
Dean, Sarah (James Venable)—1797
Dean, Mary (Samuel Depew)—1787
Dickenson, Martha (John Shrewsbury)—1793
Dickenson, Nancy (Joseph Kincaid)—1795
Donally, Andrew  (---) —1766
Donally, Catharine (James Ward)—1800
Daugherty, William (Mary Bridge)—1786
Daugherty, Isabella (William Nicholas)—1796
Elliot, Archibald (Sarah Clark)—1748
Elliott, Abraham (Nancy) Campbell)—1786
Elliott, Wiliam (Agnes McCampbell)—1788
Estill, Solomon-(--—) —1773
Ewing, John S. (Rebecca Cackley)—1801
Ewing, William (Mary Taylor)—1791
Ewing, Jean (Moses Moore)—1786
Feamster, William (—) —1763
Fitzpatrick, Mary (John Jones) —1792
Frame, Elizabeth (John Duffield)—1790
Frame, Mary (George Roebuck)—1795
Frame, John (Martha Daugherty of Michael)—1798
Francisco, John  (Eizabeth [sic] S. Lewis)—1798
Gay, Thomas (Mary Swearingen)—1791
Gay, Samuel (Margaret Mustoe)—1799
Gillespie, Mary (Samuel Blake)—1792
Gillespie, Rachel of Jacob (John Sutton)—1795
Gillespie, John (Comfort Griffith)—1798
Gillespie, James (Elizabeth Gillespie of Simon and Rebecca)—1779
Gillespie, Robert  (Mary Galloway)—1791
Gillespie, William (Margaret Eddy)—1792
Given, William (Agnes Bratton)—1764
Given, Samuel  (Elizabeth Robertson)—1785
Given, William (Rebecca Kenny of Matthew)—1789
Given, Adam (Nancy McGuffin)—1797
Given, Isabella of Agnes (Isaac Duffield)—1795
Graham, Sarah  (James Waddell)—1798
Graham, James (—) —1763
Graham, Lancelot (-—) —1763
Gregory, David of Mary (Margaret Warrick)—1786
Gregory, Elizabeth (John Robinson)—1800
Gregory, Isaac (Hannah Given)— 1790
Griffith, Mary (Peter Flack)—1793
Gwin, David (Violet Crawford of William)—1790
Gwin, James (Jane Hicklin of John)—1792
Gwin, Robert (Ursula Robinson of Peter)—1793
Gwin, (—) —1765
Gwin, Robert (Margaret Elliott of William)—1785
Hall, James (Nancy Hicklin of Thomas)—1785
Hall, Jane (Robert Hutchinson)—1788
Hamilton, James (Rachel Vance of Samuel)—1786
Hodge, William (Martha Benson of George)—1800
Hughart, Thomas (—) —1761
Hughart, Mary Elstock of Joseph of Louisa County)—1799
Hughart, James (Nancy Thomas) —1792
Hughart, Jane of James (Edward McGlaughlin)—1796
Jackson, Rhoda (Edward Morris)—1795
Jackson, H---. (John Townsend)—1786
Jackson, Elizabeth (David Caruthers) --1786
Kelly, Mary (Patrick McGraw)—1798
Kelly, James  (Margaret Sloan)—1796
Kelso, James (Elizabeth Sitlington)—1789
Kincaid, Andrew (Ann Poage)—1785
Kincaid, David (Jennie Lockridge of Robert)—1800
Kincaid, Ferdinand (Margaret Fulton of James)—1799
Kincaid, James (Jane Curry)—1791,
Kincaid, James (Margaret Wiatt)—1793
Kincaid, John (Mary Dinwiddie)-1786
Kirk, Robert (Martha Moffett)—1785
Knox, Alice (Francis A. Dubois)—1801
Knox, Elisha (Nancy Parker)—1801
Knox, John (Sarah Robinson of Joseph)—1793
Knox, William (Sarah Acklin of Green-Craig County)—1792
La Rue, Abraham (Sarah Lower)—1792
Laverty, Ralph (—) —1764
Lewis, Charles (Sarah Murray)—1762
Lewis, Charles (Ann Honce)—1792
Lewis, John (—) --1793
Lewis, John (Rachel Miller)—1789
Liptrap,  Isaac (Mary Bright)—1785
Mann, Thomas (Elizabeth Armstrong of Robert)—1792
Marshall, Robert (Jean Vance)—1792
Mayse, Isaac (Ruth Hicklin of Thomas)—1788
Mayse, Joseph (Agnes Hicklin of Hugh)—1787
Mayse, Nancy (George Shaw)—1787
Mayse, Richard (—) —1760
Mayse, Robert  (Margaret McClenahan)—1790
McAvoy, Robert (Sarah Burns)—1798
McCallister, Garnett (Ann Sprowl)—1792
McCallister, John (Mary Kincaid)—1800
McCartney, Lucy (Zachariah Barnett)—1792
McCarty, Timothy (Jane Waugh)—1800
McCausland, Mary (Samson Sawyer)—1790
McClintic, Jane of Robert (James Brown)—1800
McClintic, Samuel (Susanna King of Adam)—1793
McClung, John (Mary Stuart of Benjamin)—1788
McCIung, John, Jr.,  (Jane McClung)—1793
McClung, Elizabeth of Joseph (John Moore)—1793
McClung, Margaret (James Musson)—1797
McCreery, John (Martha ----) —1762
McCreery, Robert (Mary ----) —1764
McCreery, John (—) —1771
McCreery, John of Robert (Margaret Black of William) --1787
McMullen, Edward (—) —1759
WcWhortcr, David (Barzillai McCorkle of Robert)—1800
Means, High (Nancy Armstrong of Robert)—1785
Milhollen, Sarah (Jeremiah Simms)—1800
Miller, Patrick  (—) —1785
Milligan, John (Isabella Doak)—1786
Montgomery, James (—) —1765
Montgomery, John (—) —1753
Montgomery, John (Sarah Hicklin)—1785
Morris, Richard (---) —1761
Morris, Frances (Abraham Garnett)—1794
Payne, Lewis (Nancy Davis)—1794
Porter, Amelia (Nimrod Bogges—Boggs?)—1801
Porter, James (Catharine Hughes)—1795
Porter, Nancy (Robert Nutt)—1800
Ramsey, Charles (Polly Mounts)—1801
Ramsey, William (Sarah Fulton)—1794
Rhea, Elizabeth (Tolliver Wright)—1797
Rhea, James (Margaret Still)—1800
Rhea, Robert (Catherine Bailor)—1798
Ross, John (Mary Harvey Davis)—1795
Ross, James (Elizabeth Griffin of William)—1795
Scott, Hugh (Betsy Bell)—1800
Smith, Barbara of William (Joseph Warman)—1794
Smith, James (Elizabeth Wilson of Robert)—1794
Smith, John (Sarah Moore of Levi and Susanna)—1794
Sprowl, William (—) —1757
Stephenson, David (Mary Davis)—1783
Stephenson, James (Margaret Smith)—1796
Stephenson, Robert (Jane Smith of John)—1798
Stephenson, Susanna (William Hughes)—1801
Stewart, Isaiah (Martha Stewart)—1786
Stuart, Henry (Sarah Moore)—1791
Stuart, James (Nancy Moore)—1794
Swearingen, Alexander (Sarah Layne)—1800
Swearingen, Samuel (Hannah Scott)—1798
Tharp, Daniel (Margaret Barkley)—1795
Thompson, Hannah (Peyton Walker)—1794
Thompson, Thomas (Jean McClung)—1795
Trotter, Christopher (Prepare McClintic of Wllliam) ---1786
Usher, Ann of Robert (Hugh Donaho)—1795
Usher, Jean of Robert (Clements Graham)—1791
Usher, James (Catherine Whitesides)—1788
Vance, Samuel (----) —1763
Vance, Mary of James (William Bridger)—1795
Waddell, Isabella of Alexander (James Boggs)—1797
Wallace, Matthew (Sarah Brown)—-1801
Ward, James (Catharine Donally)—1800
Warwick, John (—) —1771
Warwick, John (Mary Poage)—1794
Warwick, Margaret (Adam See)—1794
Wilson, John (—) —1769
Wilson, George (Elizabeth McCreery)—1750
Wilson, Jane (Cornelius Vanosdale)—1785
Wooton, William (Jane Gilliland)—1793