Minneapolis Who's Who

Ames, Dr. Albert Alonzo "Doc": Fabulously corrupt several-time mayor of Minneapolis. He was elected Mayor of Minneapolis four different times between 1876 and 1901, holding the last term as a Republican after the first three were as a Democrat.

Belton, Sharon Sayles: Mayor of Minneapolis from 1994-2001.

Blumenfeld, Isadore (Kid Cann): Local mobster. It may or may not be an understatement to say he was the "Al Capone" of Minneapolis gangsters. Indicted in the killing of a cab driver, the attempted murder of Officer James H. Trepanier and probably the murderer of local newspaperman Walter Liggett. He probably also had a hand in the dismantling of the Twin City Lines street railway in the early 1950's. He was convicted of slavery in the early 1960's and after serving a short prison sentance, he "retired" to Miami where he and Meyer Lansky operated a real estate empire.

Crosby, John: The Crosby in Washburn Crosby, Co.

Dayton, George Draper: Founder of Dayton-Hudson Corporation--now Target Corporation. In 1903 he bought out a tenant in his building at 7th and Nicollet and renamed the store Dayton Dry Goods Company. Dayton's also built the first fully enclosed shopping mall in the U.S. Named Southdale, it's located in a Southwestern Suburb of Minneapolis named Edina.

De La Barre, William: Austrian born engineer who helped the milling concerns take better advantage of the water power available at the Falls. By increasing the head, and managing the water more effectively, he was able to squeeze about 57,000 horsepower out of the falls.

Folwell, William Watts: Influential head of the University of Minnesota. Folwell Hall on the East Bank Campus is named after him as well as Folwell Park and the Folwell Neighborhood in North Minneapolis.

Godfrey, Ard: Millwright from Maine brought here in 1847 to build the first water powered sawmill on the Saint Anthony side of the falls. He was eventually made a partner in the mill. He built a house in Saint Anthony (1848) which is the oldest standing house in the city of Minneapolis.

Haynes, J. C.: Mayor of Minneapolis

Hennepin, Father Louis: French Explorer-First European to see record seeing the waterfall here in Minneapolis. In 1680, while a captive of the Indians, he was brought to this area on the way to a major Indian encampment. Upon seeing the falls, he named it for his patron saint, Saint Anthony of Padua. He was eventually released. He subsequently wrote and published his journals and this is how the falls were named.

Hill, James J.: A local rail baron, Hill founded the Minneapolis and Manitoba (later Great Northern) railroad, built the Stone Arch Bridge, and served on the board of directors for the St. Anthony Water Power Company and the later Minneapolis Water Power Company. He was a patron of the Catholic Church, founded the James J. Hill Research Library in St. Paul and built the largest private residence in the state of Minnesota in St. Paul.

Holtan, Timothy D.: Born May 13, 1967 in Denver, Colorado. Arrived in Minneapolis in 1988 from Stillwater, Minnesota. Citizen of Minneapolis, former Minneapolis River City Trolley driver, designer of this website.

Humphrey, Hubert H.: Mayor of Minneapolis in late 1940's, Governor of MN, U.S. Senator and Vice-President under LBJ.

Jones, David P.: Mayor of Minneapolis

Langdon, Cavour:

La Salle, Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de: Born in France in 1643, he was an explorer of New France for king Louis XIV and a contemporary of Father Louis Hennepin. On April 9, 1682 after rowing down the Mississippi River to the Gulf Of Mexico, he claimed the whole of the Mississippi basin for France and called it Louisiana. This property was bought from France in 1803 by the U.S. Government under President Thomas Jefferson and called the Louisiana Purchase. He was killed by his own men, somewhere in Texas.

Lileks, James: Born in Fargo, North Dakota in 1958. Arrived in Minneapolis in 1976. Local newspaper columnist for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, author, sometime radio personality, daddy (not mine, of course...), designer of an excellent website.

Loring, Charles Morgrige: First head of the park system here in Minneapolis. Acquired lake front properties in city to be used as public park land. Dredged lakes, started parkway system, Loring Park named after him in 1890. Served on Minnesota Supreme Court.

Lowry, Thomas: Founder and incorporator of Minneapolis Street Railroad Company, later named Twin City Lines. Lowry had a huge influence on how the Twin Cities were developed. Where he laid tracks, development followed. Founded an amusement park at Big Island on Lake Minnetonka, and Wildwood amusement park in Mahtomedi. The Twin City Lines used to run from Stillwater in the East to Excelsior in the West and from Little Canada in the North to the Stockyards in South St. Paul.

Marquette, Father Jacques: Born on June 10, 1637. Died on May 18, 1675. A French Missionary who helped explore the upper Mississippi River area with Louis Jolliet Sieur du Luth. Marquette died of an illness on the shore of Lake Michigan immediately north of present-day Chicago (Ludington).

Nicollet, Joseph: Born July 24, 1786 in France. Died September 11, 1843 in Washington, DC. Came to the U.S. in 1832 to seek his fortune. Trained as a mathematician, he led an expedition to map the sources of the Mississippi in 1836-1837. In 1838, he was commissioned by the U.S. Government to survey the land between the upper Mississippi and the Missouri rivers.

Pillsbury, Charles Alfred.: Born December 3, 1842 in Warner, New Hampshire. Died September 17, 1899 in Minneapolis. Arriving in Minneapolis in 1869 he, with financial backing from his uncle John S. Pillsbury and his father, founded the Pillsbury Milling Company in 1872. Also served as a Minnesota State Senator.

Pillsbury, George A.: (August 29, 1816-July 17, 1898) Mayor of Minneapolis, 1884-1886. Father of Charles A. Pillsbury. In 1891 he returned to Concord, New Hampshire and donated $60,000 to build a hospital in that town. It was named after his wife, Margaret.

Pillsbury, John Sargent: Born July 29, 1828 in South Sutton, New Hampshire. Died October 1, 1901. Interred in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis. Arriving in Minneapolis in 1855, he set up as a hardware merchant, in old St. Anthony. He later became a patron and Regent of and is now largely considered the founder of the University of Minnesota. He was also a several time member of the Minnesota State Senate and Governor of Minnesota from 1876-1882. Brother of George A Pillsbury, uncle of Charles A. Pillsbury.

Rybak, R.T.: Current Mayor of Minneapolis.

Steele, Franklin: Original settler (1837) and founder (1851) of the City of Saint Anthony. Commissioned the first commercial water powered sawmill to be built at the falls (1847) by Ard Godfrey, laid the plat for Saint Anthony and incorporated it as a city. Served as Saint Anthony's first Mayor.

Walker, Thomas Barlow: Lumber baron and land speculator. He was among the 10 richest men in U.S. in 1923. He opened an art museum to display is personal collection in 1887 that eventually became the Walker Art Center founder of Walker Art Center. He harvested lumber in Minnesota, Nevada and California. The city of Walker, MN is named after him.

Washburn, Cadwallader Colden: Born in Livermore, Maine on April 22, 1818, died May 15, 1882 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Interred in Oak Grove Cemetery, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Surveyor, Lawyer, several time U.S. Senator from Wisconsin and Major General in the Union Army during the Civil War. Former Republican Governor of Wisconsin (1872-1874) and part founder of Washburn Crosby Company (later General Mills). In 1881 he gave a 55 acre plot of land in Madison, Wisconsin to the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters who used it to found the institution that has now become Edgewood College. He also donated the land on which Washburn High School in Minneapolis stands. He was also made an Honorary Regent of the University of Wisconson in 1878 after donating the money needed to build an Astronomical Observatory on the Madison campus. Washburn County in Wisconsin is also named after him.

Washburn, William Drew: Born in Livermore, Maine on January 13, 1831. Died July 29, 1912 in Minneapolis and interred in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis. Arriving in Minneapolis in 1857 as a surveyor, he was also a lawyer, a newspaperman, a co-founder of Washburn Crosby Company, part founder of Soo Line Railroad, a Minnesota State Representative, and a U.S. Congressman and Senator from Minnesota.


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