3 3433 08192357 9
A HALF CENTURY OF MINNEAPOLIS
â– |HK FAI.I.S OF ST. ANTHONV
IN Till; KARI.V DAYS OF
A HALF CENTURY
HORACE B. HUDSON
\V ith Numerous \'iews
The Hudson Pl'blishing Company
1 HE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
R '"3 L
bv Horace 15. Hudson
IN THK rise of Minneapolis is found one of the most remarkable instances of city
buildintr in this country. In less than the ordinary span of life Minneapolis has
ad\anced from an obscure position as a frontier xillaue to a conspicuous place
amontr American cities â€” a city of about three hundred thousand people, with well
established social and commercial institutions and worthily noted for Us progressive atti-
tude in many lines of hiunan endeavor. To tell the story of .Minneapolis in concise
form, makintr its salient features available for ready reference, has been the purpose in
the preparatitm of this book.
7 he general plan of the book has been that of irrouping events of common interest
rather than the chronological listing of happenings without regard to their relations and
significance. \\ ith this design in mind the first seven chapters and the last are devoted
to sketching several not definitely limited periods in the city"s history, while Chapters
VIII to XXV'Ill, inclusive, take up separate phases of the life and activities of the city,
each account bemg in a measure complete in itself. In this method of treating the
history of Minneapolis, much m the way of anecdote and reminiscence of the pioneers
â€” which would find a place in a more extended work â€” has been, of necessity, omitted.
Many side lights, however, are thrown upon the story of the city in the bitjgraphical
sketches of men who have had a part in its building. These brief sketches will give an
insight into the character of the people of Minneapolis which, possibly, could be ob-
tained in no other way, and will give to outsiders an explanation of many things which
may seem to them incredible.
Among the sources of information regarding the early historv' of .Mmneapolis, Col.
John H. Stevens' "Personal Recollections of .Minnesota and its People" has been
found valuable as have the collections and other records and files of the .Minnesota
Historical Society's library which have been most courteously placed at the disposal of
the writer by Mr. Warren Upham, secretary of the societv, who has also contributed
tile chapter on "Early Explor^roV " /.Many' '^ug^^esticns and much information have
been received from pioneers and the older people o' the community and especiallv from
Mr. (jeorge A. Hrackett who has preKerved many valuable records. Acknowledge-
ment is here made for all these eyjd^rt'ces of kindU interest. It is imjiracticable to
publish a work of this character on oi^ir' than ;: .svibscription plan and the writer appreci-
ates the cordial cooperation of the men of \finneapolis which has made the publication
II P. H.
Minneapolis, October, lyuÂ«.
I. The Foundations of JMiNXEAPOTrs
II. The Early Explorers ....
III. From Savagery to Civilization
I\'. The Pkrkjd of E.\rlv Settle.mi:\t
V. Till-: EnR.MATIVE Pfriod
VI. The First Co.m.\ierci.\l Advance
VII. A.N Era of F>roader Development
VUl. Churches and riiii.ANTiiRopiES
IX. r'J)UCATioN \L Affairs ....
X. Music and The.\ters ....
XI. Art, Architix'ture .\ni) Engineering
XII. Courts and L.wvyers ....
XIII. Medicine â€¢
XV. Newspapers, Puhlishing vxd Fri-Ntin
X\'I. The Growth of F)Ankin(; .
X\'II. Real Estate and Insirance
XNIII. The Lu.MiiFR INDUSTR^â€¢
XIX. Flour Milling ....
XX. Cr'Aix Trade .\nd Ciiami',i:r of Com.mi:rc
XXI. X'aried Productive Industrii:s
XXII. Wholesale Tradi-:
XXIII. Retail P.usine.ss
XX\' Pl-P.LK .VfI'AIKS AXU ( )l-FI( I.\LS
XX\'I. Pi i;M( L'tilitiics
XW'II. SuNIiRV' ( )RGANIZAT10NS .\XD .\cT IXTII E.:
XW'III. HoMlCS AXD SuilURIiS OF MiXXE.VPOLIS
XXIX. Tin: Ci iy's Recexi- Progress
.1 5 3
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
NOTE-This list includes only views and maps,
Portraits are indexed alphabetically in general index.
The Falls of St. Anthnny in the Etrly Days The "Old Main" at the University . . 93
of Minneapolis .... iM'ontispiece Entrance to University ..f Minnesota Caminis 96
The Falls of St. Anthony in a Xatnral State 10 Library Building at the University . . 97
The FalU of St. Anthony at the Present General View of the University I'arni lUnld
11 ings 97
F'olwell Hall, University of Minnesota . 98
15 Pence Opera House 114
The Academy of Music 115
16 The Grand Opera House 116
Map Showing the Travels of Gro^eillier.. _ Folwell ^Hall, University of Minnesota . ^98
and Radisson , > , â– ,^c
and Accault at the Falls of St. The Academy of Music 115
Carver's'sketch of the I'alls of St. .Vnthony 20 The Handicraft Guild Building ... 125
\'n EaHv Idea of Northwestern Geography Fireplace in the Handicraft Guild . . . 125
" ^j^jjjp^ ...... 21 In Mr. T. B. Walker's Art Gallery . . 127
Old Fort Snelling '.'.'..â– â– â– 23 Court House and City Hall .... 136
The Treaty of Traverse Des Siou.x . . 24 Law Buildiiig,^University c.f Armnosota 139
28 Millard Hall 183
32 St. Barnabas Hospital 184
Bridge Square, Minneapolis, in 1851 . . 35 The Minneapolis City Hospital ... 185
St Anthony in 1851 37 The Tribune Building 218
The First Suspension Bridge .... 39 The Journal Building 220
The Business Center in 1857 .... 41 The Northwestern Miller Building . . 222
Falls of St. Anthony in 1859 .... 42 R. J. Mendenhall's Bank 238
West Side Mills in 1859 44 Old First National Bank 238
The Second Suspension Bridge . . . 53 Old Security Bank 239
Minneapolis About 1868 54 l-irst^Biiildmg of the Northwestern National
The First Map of Minneapolis â€¢ â€¢ â€¢ 25 Minnesota^ College Uospit.il
The Government Mills of 1820-3
Colonel Stevens' House
^lining District About Bank 239
The Stone Arch Bridg
55 The Northwestern National Bank ISuilding 241
61 The First National Bank Building . . 243
First Baptist Church and Puljlic Library . 62 I'irst Real Estate Office in .Minneapolis . 261
The Campus of the University of Minnesota Home Office of the Northwestern Nati
The West Mote
63 Life Insurance Company .... 265
64 Saw Mills of Early Days 297
Loring Park-The First Large Central Park 66 The Old West Side Mills 297
The Metropolitan Life Building ... 67 The East Side Mills as They Appeared About
Two Churches of 1860
70 1880 299
Old Gethsemane Church 71 The Lumber E.xchange 300
First Baptist Church of 1868 . . . â– . 72 .A Modern Minneapolis Saw Mill . . . 301
The Church of the Redeemer .... 75 the Old East Side Flour Mills . . . 328
Westminster Presbyterian Church . . 76 The First Washburn Mill 329
Young Men's Christian Association iiniliL After the Great Explosion of 1878 . . 330
jj 77 General View of the Flour Milling District of
Young Women's Christian .\ssociati<m Build Today 334
jjjg 77 l-'irst Chamber of Commerce Building . 354
Pillsbury House '^'^ Present Chamber of Commerce Building 356
The Old Washington School .... 91 Modern Type of Steel Tank Elevator 359
Typical Minneapolis School Building of Type of Brick IClcvator 360
92 Modern Tile Tank Elevator .... 361
The First University Building ... 93 F,arly Manufacturing Establishments . . 386
LIST OK ILLUSTRATIONS
Gt-iu-ral \'ii.-w nf llu- MiniK-apulis Threshing
Maciiiiic (.'onipaiiy's I'laiit
\'ic-w (il tlu' Minneapolis Steel anil Maeliinery
The KilKore-Peleler Company's M an\ilactnr-
Modern Type of Wholesale I'.nililing in Min-
A Model Farm Implements Warehonse
A Modern Minneapolis Jobbing Bnilding .
The Largest Jobbing F>uil(ling West of Chi-
One of the Xew Wholesale Warehouse
Retail l)islriet im Wasliington Avenue in
George W. Hale & Co.'s Store. About 18X(I
The Old Market Honse
L'pper Nicollet Avenue in the Retail District
The First Department Store in Minneapolis
Dog Train â€” One of the Earliest Means of
Red River Carts
Steamer "Minneapolis" at tlie Minneapolis
The "William Crooks" â€” First Locomotive
Running into Minneapolis ....
The ViUard Parade of l.S8>^ ....
Chicago, Miluaukee & St. P.aul Passenger
Steel Arch Bridge Over the Mississippi Ri\er
The Old City Hall
X'olnnteer birinien of 18/1) ....
The Mississippi River Gorge ....
The Minneapolis Postoftice Building .
I'he First Horse Car
Type of l-'irst Electric Car ....
Standard Electric Car, 1908 ....
On the .Minnetonka Electric Line
I'^xpress Boat on .Minnetonka
Train on the Old Motor Line .
Minneapolis General Electric Comp.my
The Minneapolis Exposition I'.uilcling
.\t One of the "King" Fairs ....
Opening of the First .Minneapolis Exposition
View at Minnesota State F'air ....
The Masonic Temple
luitrance to Lakewood Cemetery .
.An Old Time Minneapolis Home .
View in Late Autumn on Park Avenue
.\ Modern Minneapolis Residence .
.\ Residence Street â€” Grovel.md Terrace
.\ Tj'pe of Recent Residence -\rchitecturc .
The .SIii>re at Ferndale. Lake .Minnetonka .
( )ne of .Minnetonka's Charming Residences
Minikahda Club House â€” Lake Calhoun
The Old Round Tower at Fort Snelling â€”
Minnesota Soldiers' Home ....
The Security Bank Piuibling ....
The Minneapolis .^nditorinni ....
The Lower Dam and Rapid Transit Coni-
p.iny's Power House ....
Plymouth Congregational Church .
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Prirpi)sed Plans for the Enlarged L'nivers
Pillsbury l.iln-.iry Bnilding ....
The .Minneai>o!is (.ialeway -Old City Hall
Proposed Plan for the Development of M
neapolis' Civic Center ....
The Catholic Pro-Cathedral
A Half Century of Minneapolis
THE FOUNDATIONS OF MINNEAPOLIS
MINNEAPOLIS was literally, as well
as figuratively, founded upon a rock.
-V vast ledge of limestone resting
on a stratum of sandstone and extending
under the bed of the Mississippi river was
the geological cause of the Falls of St. An-
thony ; and the falls with their potentialities
of water power and resultant industries led
to the settlement and de\-elopment of Min-
neapolis. A\'hile, thus, the rocks which
flammed the Father of \\'aters became the
figurative basis of the city they also fur-
nished the actual physical foundation, for
many of the structures about the falls rest
directly upon this same limestone ledge ;
and rock, cjuarried from its numerous out-
croppings, has entered into the substructure
of practically every business and residence
building in the cit}-.
Although the practical ]iart which the
ledge of Trenton limestone played in the
determination of the site of .Minneapolis
and its earlier development, has l)cen to
some extent lost sight of. the figure of
speech suggested lias become more and
more appropriate as the solid foundations
of the city's many sided life ha\'c become
more and more a])])arcnt. An<l these foun-
dations rest not alone on the great water
power. The strategical location of Minne-
apolis as a commercial city was admirable.
The site at the Falls of St. .\nthonv was
])ecuHarly adapted to the building up of a
receiving and distributing market â€” the mak-
ing of Minneapolis what it has since become
â€” "the market city of the Xorthwest."
^^'hen tlie cit\' was founded the |)Ossibili-
ties of the northwest were quite unappreci-
ated but it was obvious to the clear visioned
men of the time that some day the prairies
would be peopled and th;it a market for
their agricultural products and for the sup-
ply of their needs for manufactured articles,
must arise. None of these pioneers foresaw
the nearness of the dimly understood com-
mercial situation or the wonderful modifica-
tions in its development which would be
wrought by the progress of invention and
the change in social conditions. But they
saw the fundamental advantages of the site
and Iniilded fearlessly and with faith in the
THE LUMIiliR INDUSTRY.
Next to the water power, one of the
primary elements in the citv's earlier suc-
cess was its proximit)- to the pine forests
of Northern Minnesota. Half a century ago
the finest body of white pine on the con-
tinent was growing along the Mississippi
river and its tributaries above Minneapolis,
ready to be cut into logs and floated along
the greatest natural logging stream in the
cotintry to the cheap power at the Falls of
St. Anthony. The conditions were ripe for
the production of lumber at a low cost â€”
while at the west and southwest lay the
treeless prairies, alrearly being invaded by
the settler, and offering a market for all
that the ^Minneapolis saw mills could pro-
duce. Here then was a great industry al-
most read}' made \vhich furnished profitable
employment while mrire permanent lines of
commercial endeavor were being developed.
HI!.\n OF N.WICATIOX.
It has been an axiom in commercial ge-
ography that the head of navigation on a
ri\'er of considerable jiroportions is the
natural site of a large city. Minneapolis
occupied this position on the greatest of
A HALF CENTURY OF MINNEAPOLIS
I hi; I'AI.I,S III" ST A.NTHciXY IX A NATIKAL STATK,
Kipr(jiluii.il Hum the oiigiiml wattr Lulor made by fapt. i^. Kastman probably about 1S41.
possession o( tl:e Miinuapolis Public Litrai-y. It is the oldest sketch ma
by an artist and is regarded as reasonalily accurate.
iiuw in the
xAmcricaii rivers. It is true that fur some
time navigation to the \er_v doors of the
city was uncertain, that for many }ears it
has been interrupted altogether, and tliat
the development of railroads has apparently
reduced the proportional importance of riv-
er transportation: hut the principle has re-
mained undisturheil ami iht,- sentimental ef-
fect (by no means to l.)e disregarded) has
Iieen operative in all these years, and iktw
ill njoS a new realization nf the iin|iniiaiKe
III water transportation ami the near ctmi-
pletiiiii til river imprii\ emeiils suggests that
this factor in the favorable locatimi uf the
city will once more be extremely acti\e in
l')iU while water Iranspurtatinn b\- ri\er
has been to some exteiil a (Iniiiiaiii iiilln-
cnce, water transportation thnnii,di the sys-
tem of the Great Lakes has been a most
])Otcnt factor in .M iiiiie;i|)(ilis c(nnmerci;il
growth. Located within 150 miles of the
western em! of Lake Superior, .Minneapolis
has enjoyed the advantages of cheap trans-
])ortation to the Atlantic seaboard, to an
equal extent with other cities situated on
the lakes. That is, goods can be laid down
in .Minneapolis at practically the same cost
as in Chicago. Milwaukee ami other points
some hundreds uf miles further frcmi the
consuming districts than this city. In the
same \va_\' floiu" and other agricultnial prod-
ucts ni;ty be sent lii.tlie eastern and fureign
markets under relati\el\' acKantageous
CI imlitions. This fact has been uf immense
significance and practical result in the cmn-
niercial strategy of the northwest.
IMn'SUAI, ( 11 AKAl rl'.KlSTIC.S.
Mam iither interesting and iinpnrtant
conditinns ha\e entered iiilii llu- solid fnun-
dalii'ii buililing uf the eit\. huv iii - tancc,
the immediate ph_\'sical eonfiirm.ilinn uf the
surface about the h'alls uf .St. Aiitliuin' was
decidedly well aila])ted to city building. A
shallow basin surruundeil b\- luw hills gave
THE FOUNDATIONS OF MINNEAPOLIS
THE FALLS OF ST. ANTHONY AT THE PRESENT TLME,
This picture yive-s but a partial view of the developmeut of the water power aud tlie mills auil inrlustries
[â– entered about the falls. It is also impotsible in a view of the falls to give any
adequate suggestion of the presence of a city " of
ample room for wide streets, commercial
and manufacturing .sites and charming resi-
dence districts beyond. The surface was
sufficiently rolling to provide natural drain-
age but not so rough as to make improve-
ments expensive. A subsoil of sand and
gravel was an element making Ijoth for
health and convenience in all matters of
city improvements both public and pri\'ate.
Rroad valleys and easy gradients invited the
entry of railroads. All the materials were
at hand for the building of mills and homes,
warehouses and railroads. An agreeable
climate and a most productive soil invited
settlement of lioth citv and country.
Of the characteristics of the agricultural
conditions in the northwest a word must \)c
said in passing. It is now a well established
principle that anj' vegetable growth reaches
its highest development at or near the mc^t
northerly limit at which it may be jiroduced
at all. This was imt understood when Alin-
neapolis was founded. It was, on the con-
trary, generally believed that the agricul-
tural possibilities of the northwest were
very limited both as to variety and quality.
The half century has disproved this theorv,
and in this refutation has been one of the
most [jotent factors in JMinneapolis growth.
The instance of wheat alone is sufificient as
an illustration. The first wheat for Minne-
apolis mills was lirought from the south.
^\^leat growing in the northwest progressed
slowly. Southern winter wheat was not
adapted to northern conditions; the hard
spring wheat produced here was regarded
as inferior for flour making purposes. In
this matter there has been a complete revo-
lution of belief. Hard northwestern spring
wheat is now well understood to contain
the most valuable food elements and with
improved methods of grinding makes the
best flour in the world. Other grains have
passeil through somewhat similar transi-
12 A HALF CENTURY OF MINNEAPOLIS
tions in esteem; ami in llic matter nf was in a posili'in lu iccciNi.' the full benefit
Ejrasses and forage crops it lias been ilein- of the niovenienl. Its settlers were the
onstrateil that those jjrown in the north nmst enterprising members of the corn-
have ijreater nntriti\e \ ahu- than those mnnities which llicy had left. 'Jdie new
produced further south and that animals town had no tiailii ii nis to set aside, no
fed on these jiroducts make better ])roq;ress customs nf loni; standing; to o\-erthro\v.
in Minnesota tlian when eatinu;- the same Thin,t;s which were new and l;i lod were ac-
varieties of feed raised in more southerly cepted immediately. The sjjirit of the peo-
regions. And so from a rei^inn ]iopnlarly pK- was that of adaptability; it was their
supposed half a century ago to be a half- habit to instantly a\ail themselves of any-
frozen and nearly uninhabitable section of thin.s;- which mi.nht Ije a steppino; stone in
the ccitmtry there now isNue f(irth each year proorcss and there was almost no element
food supplies for many millicins nf ])eiiple amonj::; the ])ioneers which represented the
â€” products which to a lari;e extent tmd prejudice and nnwillinsness to change al-
their jirimary market at .Minneapolis. ways fnund in older and more conservative
.VN ,â€žM.)KTU.NK iMsn.Kn Al. MOMENT. comnuuulies. _ So as the city grew it w'as
found in the front in llie adaptation ot the
Still another stone in the foundation of inventions of the time and fretpientlyâ€” as in
.Minneapolis may be said to be tliat of oji- ^j^^. improvements in flour milling processes
portnneiiess. In no other half century of _itscdf led the world in splendid inventive
history could such a city as Minneaiiolis achie\-ement.
have "been built. The city is the product \^ j^ possible that .Minneapolis, if it had
of the age of the greatest inventions known ,,^.^.â€ž f,,â€žnded twentv-five years earlier,
to the world. At the time when the first ,vould have lost the full effect of the wave
rude buildings were being erected about the ,,|- progress which so dominated its actual
Falls of St. Anthony, the railroadâ€” perhaps settlement and earlier decades of history,
ihe greatest force in modern civilizationâ€” ( )^\^^,^. towns along the Mississippi river,
was in a state of cruilitw The telegra|)li established some time before Mineapo-
was but a dream while the tele|)hone. elec- |js, seemed to miss the spirit of the day-
trie light and all the other modrrn electrical ^i,,,! for mauv \-ears lagged behind the pro-
inventions were unthought of. b'-ven the ci'ssion of progress. For some reason they
application of steam power was in its in- i,ad become "set in their ways" and were
fancy. The wonderful inventions of ma- unable to adapt themstdves to new ideas.
chinery â€” from the sewing macliine throiigli |f therefore Minneapolis came into being at
all the list of domestic and factory appli- a particularly ans|iicious moment in the
ances and out again on to the larms to the countr\'s history, the cit_\- ina\' lia\e to
modern liar\ester and thresher â€” all these thank a procrastin.iting gmenimtnt for de-
were vet to be Contributed to the comfort laying i(s biitli. As will be told in a later
and progress of the race. Practically all of chapter, tlu' actual settlement of the site of
tlie inventions of machinery, im])leinents Minneapolis was mnch delaxed by the fail-
and ])rocesses whiili now are so nnuli a ,,re of the goxcniinent to push treaties with
part of every day life as to be accepted as i],e Indians and to open for settlement an
necessities without a momenl's considera- unnecessariK' large milil.iry reserxaticju.
tion. had not then been conceised of e\en
in the brains of the brightest men. Since
iS^o these things which we iigard as com It h;is been claimed b\ some of llu' older
mon necessities have been |ioured oul to residents of Minnesol.a that the state bene-
tlie world in a ni'ser i-e.asing stream ;md filed greatly through the fad tli.at its early
Minneapolis was founded just in time to settlemt'iil took pl.aci' coincidently with the
receive the forward ini]inlse wdiich the in- period of the gol.l eNcitemeiit in California.
ventive half of the nineteenth century was It was argneil lliat the wilder and less sta-
to bring to the world. .\nd the young city ble elements .if western emigr.ilion at that
cii.\u \("rKK oi- I III-: i'io\p;i;i<s.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF MlNNEAI*OLlS
time naturally gravitated tn tlie coast while
Minnesota attracted tlu' nmre hardheaded
and far-seeing'. Furtluv tliey argued, that
the lawless element went where the loose
government of the mining camps offered
opportunities for license while Minnesota
attracted the law-abiding. There is un-
(U)ubtedly much to uphold this theory. At
all events the early history of Minnesota
and especially of Minneapolis is peculiarly
free from accounts of law breaking and
crime. For some years after Minneapolis
was founded there was no prison of any
kind in the village and the erection of a
"lock-up" was regarded as almost an un-
necessary expenditure of |)ublic funds. The
city was indeed fortunate in being settled
by men (if high character wdio gave a tone
to the life of the settlement which was in-
\aluable as time went on in attracting the
right kind of people and became another
solid stone in its foundation.
These, briefly, are a few of the elements
of strength which entered into the founda-
tion of Mimieapolis. There have been
many other influences on the development
I if the city's life and physical growth but
in those which have been mentioned are
found the most conspicuous reasons for the
wonderful progress from wilderness to
metropolis in less than the span of a human
THE EARLY EXPLORERS
Dy Warren I'p/iaiii, Secretary ol the Minncsola
BEFORK the first wliiti,' men came to burial, wliicli are fdiiiid near lakes and
make their homes within the area of rivers through all this region, excepting