John Harrington Stevens.

Personal recollections of Minnesota and its people, and early history of Minneapolis online

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always a friend of the city and the county. Mr. Bickford sold
out his interest in city proi)erty to Judge Beebe, many years
since, and removed to Yineland, New Jersey.

Mr. Lewis for a ](mgtime transacted a large mercantile and
general business in Minneai)olis, which he chwed out in
1859, and transferred his home to Watertown, in Carver
county where, in (•omi)any with his brother E. F. Lewis, he
engaged in mercantile pursuits, and built a tiour-mill, and
l)ot and pearl aslicry. At one time he was a member of the
legislature from C'fuver county. He is now a resident of
Idaho, and president of one of the national l)anks in one of
the most i)rosi)erous cities of that territory.

There was up to this time several other valuable claims on
the military reservntion that had not been taken, and as the
commanding officer at Fort Snelling had seemingly become
indifferent to their occupation, people flocked from different
l)arts of the territory to take them. Claim-houses dotted the
])rairie between the town and Lake Calhoun. A change in
the commanding officer, just as the houses were completed,
made a change in the management of the reservation. All
who did not have permits, with one or two exceptions, were
ordered to leave the reservation and remove their buildings
and lumber. The order was obeyed, but it was an unjust one,
and caused great injury to the squatters, though eventually
a good many of them, after congress i)assed the bill reducing
the reservation, held on to the boundaries of the land they
had made previously, and obtained it from the government.



The Traverse des Sioux Treaty with the Indians having-
been perfected, persons seeking homes made haste to get hold
of the best locations in the neighborhood of the Falls. Col.
Emanuel Case arrived in the spring of 1851 and opened a store
in St. Anthony, in connection with his son, Sweet W. Case.
They came from Michigan. Colonel Case surveyed one hun-
dred and sixty acres of land immediately north of Mr. Bassett's,
on the river, and filed a claim on it, Peter Poncin, a pioneer
merchant of Stillwater, wanted the same land. He had taken
out a permit to trade with the Indians, built and opened a
store, but as»the Indians had left, he had no customers. The
dispute w^as settled at the government land-office, and Colonel
Case was the winner. In March, 1852, he was greatly afflicted
by the loss of his youngest son, James Gale Case, nearly twenty-
one years old. The young man fell through a watering-place
cut in the ice, near the bank of the river, and was
drowned. This was the second death on this side of the river.
Colonel Case had interested with him Alexander Moore, also
from Michigan. A good part of the land was under cultivation
for several years when, in 1855, it was laid out into lots and
known as a part of Bassett, Case and Moore's addition to the
village of Minneapolis. Moore idtimately became a mer-
chant in Minneapolis, and transacted a large business, and
contributed, as Colonel Case did, largely in building up the city,
in its early days. Mr. Moore moved to Sauk Center, in Stearns
county, many years since, and has represented that county in
several sessions of the legislature. Colonel Case frequently


held high trusts, and died, greatly regretted, in tlie snmnior
of 1871.

In 1851, thnmgh an arrangement with the Indian agent,
Joseph Menard occupied laud near that of Colonel Case. After
the treaty he came in possession of it, and the tract is now-
known as Menard's addition to Minneapolis. Mr. Menard is
still a resident of the city.

Charles W. Christmas followed Mr. Menard on the Indian
lands, securing a valunbh' claim in the fall of 1851, which he
improved in 1852. He laid it out into lots as Christmas's
addition to Minneapolis. His son-iu law, Isaac I. Lewis, and
nephew, Ca])tnin J. C. Reno, hecame interested in it with him.
Mr. Christmas was the father of a large family. His wife and
many of his children preceded him to the spirit-land. The
tliree claims of Colonel Case, Menard, and Christmas, were
the first made on the Indian lands in this vicinity.

A few more permits were granted in 1852 by the new com-
manding officer at Fort Snelling. Martin Layman came from
Illinois and located on the land, a part of which is now known
as Layman's cemetery. When surveyed by the government,
it proved to he included in a school section. In 1858, after
the admission of Minnesota as a state, our senators, Henry M.
Rice and General James Shields, and our members in the lower
house of congress, James M. Cavanaugh, and Wm. W. Phelps,
obtained the passage of a bill by congress granting Mr. Lay-
man the privilege of entering the land in the same way that
other lands are secured to settlers. This was on the ground
that Mr. Layman had settled on them previous to the survey,
and that settlers were not supposed to know that the sections
sixteen and thirty-six on the military reservation were to be
set apart for school purposes. The state was authorized, by
the bill that passed congress, to make selection of other
government lands in the place of those claimed by Mr.

Waterman Stinson came from Maine to St. Anthony.
Being a farmer in his native state, he was desirous of securing
a good farm in Minnesota. Most of the immigrants to the
Falls from Maine had been engaged in the lumber trade ;
hence they followed that business here, and when a farmer
from that state made his appearance, we were all anxious to


see that lie was well settled. Mr. Stinson was the father of
numerous girls and boys of industrious habits, capable of
working a large farm, and not having the least knowledge of
speculation, he wanted a home in the country ; so he was
placed on the bank of Bassett's creek, where there was not
the least prospect that he would ever be disturbed by the
extension of the village into his neighborhood. In addition
to his children, he had his aged parents to support. He
opened a large field for grain. His natural hay-meadows on
the creek were extensive and productive. His son-in-law,
Mr. Brennan, made a claim, at the same time, adjoining him,
which in after years became the property of Franklin Steele.
Mr. Stinson could not turn the tide of the expansion of the
city, which soon swallowed up his farm, and is now known as
Stinson' s addition to Minneapolis. He died several years

Judge Isaac Atwater, in June 1851, became interested in
the military reservation, only for a day, when he sold out for
ten dollars. He afterwards owned a large share of the Miller

John George Lennon obtained permission to occupy the
land adjoining Mr, Layman's, which is included in J. G.
Lennon's out-lots addition to the city. Captain Benjamin B.
Parker was fortunate in securing a quarter-section of land
east of Mr. Layman's, which is absorbed by his son's, the
Parkers' addition to Minneapolis. Sweet W. Case came in for
a quarter-section, as did Chandler Hutchins, back of Mr.
Lennon's. Mr. Case purchased the Hutchins pre-emption.
Mr. Case's original farm is Lawrence and Reeve's addition to
the city. While occupied by Mr. Case those claims were
greatly improved, most of the whole breadth of the half-
section being under cultivation. Mr. Hutchins's old claim
is included in Chicago, Lake Park, and several other addi-
tions. Edgar Folsom, through the good will of tlie military
authorities, came in possession of a quarter-section in the
neighborhood of Mr. Parkers, which eventually became the
home of Nathan Roberts, and is now included in Newell,
Carr and Baldwin's addition to the city.

Mrs. Judith Ann Sayer, a widow lady from New York,
occupied a claim near Mr. Case's, which is now Euctis's


addition to Miimeapolis. About this time Mrs. Sayer sold
her chiiin and married AVilliam Dickie of Lake Harriet.

Mr. Eolu'rt lilaisdcll and his tliree sons, Joln'i T., William,
and llobert, Jr., became the owners of claims, all now known,
as follows : Eobert Blaisdell, senior, Flour City addition to
MinncMpolis ; John T. ]51ais(lell pre-emption, John T. Blais-
dell's addition to the city ; William Blaisdell's land, Bloom-
ington addition to the city ; and Robert Blaisdell, Jr.'s old
farm is now Tjindsley and Linii^erfelter't? addition. John S.
Mann, William Dickie, Eli Pettijohn, L. N. Parker, Henry
Angell, and Henry Heap, occupied beautiful lands on the
shores of and near Lakes (^dhoun and Harriet, which are in
the several Remington additions to the city. James A.
Lennon, and Deacon Oliver, had claims near them ; the lat-
ter is now Oliver's Park addition : the former is in the Rem-
ington addition. Charles Moseau's old claim, the site of the
former Dakota chieftain's residence, is now the beautiful
grounds of Lake wood cemetery.

Edmond Bresette occupied the east shore of Lake Calhoun,
but, by a special act of congress. Rev. Dr. E. G. Gear became
the j)roprietor, and it is now included mostly in Calhoun
Park. George E. Huey had the claim §ast of Dr. E. G.
Gear's, which is in one of the Remington additions ; and
David Gorham had the claim north bordering on Lake of
the Isles, which he sold to R. P. Russell, who has made out
of it several additions to the city ; and George Park's claim
east of the Isles, wiiicli is now Lake of the Isles addition, and
N. E. Stoddard pre-empted the adjoining claim ; then John
Green made a claim, a portion of which land is called Lake
View addition. Z. M. Brown and Hill made the next claims,
which comprise the present Groveland addition. Dennis
Peter's claim is known as Sunnyside addition.

William Worthingham's old claim became the j)ropei'ty of
John C. Oswald, and it now bears the novel name of Bryn
Mawr addition. A little further out William Byrnes made a
beautiful home, and was elected sheriff of Hennepin comity,
but died before his term of office expired. This old home-
stead of Sheriff Byrnes is now Maben, White and Le Bron's
addition to the city ; while James Byrne's land is included in
the Oak Park addition.


There were several other claims made in 1852 and 1853 in
what may now, perhaps, be classed as north Minneapolis ;
some on the military lands ; others on the ceded Indian
lands. Among them were those of Charles Farrington ; Eli-
jah Austin's, now Sherburne and Beebe's addition ; F. X.
Crepau's, now Crepau's addition ; Stephen and Eufus Pratt
both laid out their claims in city lots, one Stephen Pratt's
and the other Rufus Pratt's addition. The beautiful Oak
Lake addition is mostly on the pre-emption of Thomas Stin-
son. Central Park is on the original land of Joseph S. John-
son. Asa Fletcher and his brother Timothy owned the land
out on Portland and Park avenues, now Merriam and Lowry's
addition, while William Goodwin owned what is now the
Evergreen addition. Bristol's old claim was j^re-empted by
Jackson, and is now known as Jackson, Daniels and AYhitney's
and Snyder and Company's additions. H. H. Shepley's claim
is divided among several additions, Viola included-

In the more southerly portion of the city Andrew J. Foster
and Charles Gilpatrick had valuable farms, which are now
included in the additions that bear their names. Deacon
Sully's old claim is now on the map as Sully and Murphy's
subdivision. The Qriginal Falls City farm of Henry Keith,
made in 1852, is now owned by Judge Atwater and Judge
C. E. Flandreau, which is a part of Falls City and Eiverside
Short-Line addition, and Dorwin Moulton's claim is Dorman's
addition to the city. William G. Murphy's pre-emption is
composed in part of Cook's Eiverside addition, and Alfred
Murphy's claim is included in the Fair-Ground addition.
Hiram Burlingham's farm is included in Morrison and Love-
joy's addition. Simeon Odell's old home is now Palmer's
addition, and E. A. Hoclsdon's farm is the Southside addition
to the city. Captain Arthur H. Mills's and J. Draper's claims
were where the residence of Hon. D. Morrison is now.
Galpin's and other additions are also portions of their old
homes. Charles Brown's and Frank Eollin's claims are
Eollin's Second addition, and Simon Bean's farm is Minnehaha
Driving Park. John AVass's farm is a portion of Wass's
addition. Ard Godfrey's old home has been transferred to
the Soldiers' Home, and Amasa Craft's farm is Munroe
Brother's addition. Hiram Van Nest's homestead is Van


Nest's addition. AVilliani G. MoflPett's claim is lujw Minne-
haha Park. Philander Prescott's claim is known as Annie E.
Steele's out-lots addition.

Amon<i^ the ori<^inal settlers wlio occupied claims in 1851
and 1852, and whose old homes are not laid out into city
lots, are those of Colonel 8. Woods, William Finch,
Samuel Stough, S. S. Crowell, Mark Baldwin, "William
Hanson, J. J. Dinsmore, Willis G. Moffett, Chris Garvey,
H. S. Atwood, Thomas Pierce, and Titus Pettijohn. I think
Messrs. Pierce, AVilliam G. Motfett, the Blaisdell Brothers,
and Christopher C. Garvey are about the only ones who
now own any considerable portion of those original pre-
emptions. The entries made by A. K. Hartwell and Calvin
Church, in the near vicinity 9f the Falls, are included in the
original town-plat of Minneapolis. Among those who were
residents on the west side of the river in the fall of 1850, were
Simon Stevens, Henry and Thomas Chambers, and Horace
Webster. They made claims elsewhere. Levi Smith, Edward
Smith, Major A. M. Fridley, P. P. Russell, and George E.
Huey, became interested with Robert Smith in the govem-
eniment mill-property early in 1851. Levi Smith was a
brother-in-law of Judge A. G. Chatlield. He never resided
here. He was the first register of the U. S. land-office at
Winona. His brother Edward Smith only remained a year
here. He married a sister of Governor Burns, of Wisconsin,
and moved to the Pacific coast.

AVliile the foregoing may not be a full list of the original
owners of the soil in this neighborhood, I think it as correct
as possible to get it at this time. George A. Camp was a
resident during the exciting claim-making on the west side of
the river, but he never made a claim. He was a member of
his uncle Anson Northrup's household. William Goodnow,
a carpenter, who built Mr. Northruj)'s house, also resided
here, but made no claim. H(^ committed suicide in the begin-
ning of the winter of 1852, by jumping into the river just
above the Falls. Goodnow was a young man, an excellent
workman, but addicted to strong-drink, and at the time of his
death was suffering from delirium-tremens. This was the
first case of suicide in what is now Minneapolis, and the first
victim here sufferintr from that terrible disease. Gordon and


William Jackins were members of their brother John Jackiu's
family. They were interested in a forty-acre tract of land
joining Mrs. Sayer's claim. The younger brother William
died while occupying the claim. William Hubbard, a lawyer
from Tennessee, occuj^ied a claim for a year or two, but
sold it and removed from the territory before the land came
into market. John Berry lived on and preempted a farm
near the Lake of the Isles, which is now within the city limits.


Dr. A. E. Ames, soon after his arrival in St. Anthony, in
1851, found a few Freemasons, and called a meeting of such
of them as were residents, at the parlors of Mr. Godfrey, with
a view of establishing a lodge. A petition for a dispensation
was sent to the grand lodge of Illinois. The petition was
granted, and on the 14th of February, at the same parlors,
Cataract Lodge, U. D., was organized. A. E. Ames was Wor-
shipful Master ; William Smith, senior warden ; Isaac Brown,
junior warden ; Ard Godfrey, treasurer ; John H. Stevens,
secretary ; D. M. Coolbaugh, senior deacon ; H. S. Atwood,
junior deacon ; and William Bramer, Tyler. Colonel E. Case
of St. Anthony, and Captain J. W. T. Gardiner of Fort Snel-
ling, were members.

As this was the first charitable order organized in this
vicinity, where so many now exist, it will be observed that
Cataract Lodge is the parent of all similar organizations north
of St. Paul. Dr. Ames, the master, had been a member of
the Grand Lodge of Illinois, and had also been master of the
lodge at Roscoe, and Belvidere, in the same state. On the
organization of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, he was chosen
Most Worshijjf ul Grand Master, and in later years held high
places of trusts in the different organizations of Freemasonry
in this state.

Colonel William Smith, the senior warden, was a native of
Maine, had been a prominent citizen of that state, and master
of his lodge. Isaac Brown, the junior warden, was also a
native of Maine, and was a past-master. He was the first
sheriff of Hennepin county. Ard Godfrey, the treasurer,
also a native of Maine, had liel4 a similar office in a lodge on
on the banks of the Penobscot.


John H. Stevens, the secretary, was initiated, jjassed and
raised, in a military, travelinj^ lodge, U. D., from the Grand
Lodge of Tennessee, during the winter of 1848, at the National
Bridge, in Mexico. The dispensation gave the officers of the
lodge permission to meet on high hills, or low \ales.

The senior deacen, D. M. Coolbangh, was made a Mason in
a Pennsylvania lodge. On the organization of Hennepin
lodge, U. D., two years after the organization of Cataract
lodge, he was selected as its first Master. The junior deacon,
H. S. Atwood, was initiated, passed and raised, in a lodge in
New Brunswick. His wife was a sister of Cahin A. Tuttle.
The Tyler, "William Bremer, I think, was made a Mason in
Pennsylvania. He had a farm near the city.

Colonel E. Case, a native of New York, was made a Mason
in a lodge near Rochester in that state. During a long resi-
dence in Michigan he held high i)ositions in the Order in that
state, and was for a long time treasurer of Blue Lodges in
Hennepin county, and the first Grand Treasurer of the Grand
Lodge of Minnesota. Captain J. W. T. Gardiner was a native
of Hallowell, Maine, a graduate of West Point, and stationed,
at the organization of Cataract Lodge, at Fort Snelling, com-
manding Company D, First regiment U. S. Dragoons; He
was made a Mason at one of the western army forts.

The first who presented petitions for membership of
Cataract Lodge were Isaac Atwater, John George Lennon,
Anson Northrup, John C. Gaims, John H. Murphy, and
Robert W. Chimmings. These gentlemen were the first to
become Masons at the Falls of St. Anthony.

The Grand Master of Illinois, to whom the petition was
sent, and who granted the dispensation to Cataract Lodge,
was Judge E. B. Ames, long since a resident of Minneapolis.



A large majority of the original claimants and owners of
the soil on the military reservation and Indian lands in the
vicinity of the vrest bank of the Falls of St. Anthony, have
crossed the invisible, silent river, and preceded iis to the
unknown land.

Sheriff Isaac Brown died many years since. Eli Pettijohn,
once so prominent in our midst, resides in California, and is
said to be a hale, hearty old man. Deacon Allen Harmon
lived a life of usefulness, and was called to a better world
some seven years ago. His children are among our most
respected citizens. Mr. Harmon's good deeds in this life will
ever be cherished by his old friends. Anson Northrujj occu-
pies a prominent place in the history of Minnesota. Warm-
hearted, generous, a good neighbor and firm friend, he has
reached a green old age, meriting the esteem of not only the
pioneers, but of the new citizens of the commonwealth. Geo.
W. Tew went further west at an early day, and died a few
years since.

Edward Murphy was for many years a prominent citizen on
the west side of the river. No one was more public-spirited.
He firmly believed in the future greatness of Minneapolis,
and freely expended money to develop its resources. He was
at the head in securing the running of boats up the river to
Minueajiolis. His death was greatly regretted. His widow,
and his two children, Ira Murphy of this city, and Mrs. B.
Armstrong of St. Paul, survive him.

Sweet W. Case has long occupied a prominent position in


the community. For many years he has been city asseBSor.
He was our first clerk in the district court. He still resides
in Minneapolis. Peter Poncin emigrated to the Pacific coast
and died there a few years since. Martin Layman, one of
our most cherished pioneers, lived to see the city expand all
around him. A portion of his claim wasjaid out into a cem-
etery. He died three years ago.

Isaac Atwater is one of the most prominent men in the
state. For many years he occupied a seat on the supreme
bench of Minnesota. A graduate of old Yale, he is a classic
writer and ready speaker. As a lawyer he ranks among the
foremost. As a member and secretary of the old board of
regents of the University of Minnesota, he labored long and
earnestly in the interest of that great seat of learning. Judge
Atwater has occupied many high positions with credit to
himself and satisfaction to the community. At the birth of
the city he fortunately consented to serve as one of its alder-
men. His wise couivje in the council tended largely to shape
the course of those cldennen who followed him in the adop-
tion of wholesome ordinances for the city government. For
many years he was a member of the board of education. He
was one of the founders of our fine system of graded schools.
His good works are all around us, and he is still vigorous and

John George Lennon, a pioneer merchant, a man who was
always alive to the interests of the city, died in October, 1886,
at the age of seventy-one years. In the earlier years of the
occupation of this section of the state by the whites, Mr.
Lennon was at the front in all enterprises for the good of the
country, and was especially efficient at the Falls of St. Anthony
in securing immigration. As the representative of the Amer-
ican Fur Com})any in this neighborhood, he was influential
in the community, and he always used that influence for the
benefit of the people. He was a son-in-law of Major Nathan-
iel McLean, at one time United States agent at Fort Snelling
for the Dakotas. His widow and an only son have their
home in Minneapolis.

Captain Parker, the old master of the steamboat Governor
Ramsey, after he moved on his claim adjoining Mr. Layman's,
became county commissioner, in 1872, and continued in office


until 1875. He died shortly after the expiration of his term
of office. Chandler Hutchins several years since moved into
the upi^er portion of this state, where he still resides. Capt.
John C. Reno went to Ohio in 1858, but returned lo this city
in 1887, and is now an efficient business man. George Parks
sold his claim and returned to Maine where, if alive, he still
resides. He was our first supervisor of roads. N. E. Stod-
dard came from Ohio. He was a scientific agriculturist and
horticulturist, and was the first to improve, by a system of
hybridizing, the earliness of Ohio dent-corn. He also intro-
duced the Stoddard seedling-potato, of much merit. He died
in the prime of manhood while a resident on his farm.

Z. M. Brown was a pioneer hardware dealer in St. Anthony.
He removed to this side of the river, and was engaged in
active business. After entering his land he sold it and
removed to Monticello in this state. He died some ten years
ago. Mr. Hill, his ancient neighbor, was the father of Hon.
Henry Hill, an early lawyer in Minneapolis. He died many
years ago at the residence of a son who resides in Brooklyn in
this county. Dennis Peters was an early settler. He was a
hard-working, honest man. I think he still resides in Minne-
sota, William Worthiugham, the pioneer mechanic of St.
Anthony, lived to a great age, and died three years ago at his
home on Western avenue in this city.

Charles Farrington, after entering his laud, sold it to Mr.
Jewett, and removed to Plymouth, in this county. He died
in 1887. Elijah Austin, a prominent farmer, died at his
home in this city, some ten years since, leaving a widow and
a son. F. X. Crepau, a pioneer of St. Anthony, resides on
his original preemption. He is a market-gardener, and has
secured a competency. Stephen Pratt, a member of the
ancient lumber-firm of Stevens, Pratt, and Chambers, lived

Online LibraryJohn Harrington StevensPersonal recollections of Minnesota and its people, and early history of Minneapolis → online text (page 13 of 41)